Enjoying The Detour?

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way. – Psalm 37:23 (NKJV).

I have dreams in my heart.   Dreams that have been there for years and grow stronger with every passing year.   Dreams I know that I know are from God.

So when my mother died,  who I took care of most of my adult life,  I started rebuilding my life.  It took me down a total different path.   I became a pharmacy technician.   A far cry from what I wanted to do, where I felt I was supposed to be headed.

I felt discouraged. I questioned God, as many of us do, in this situation.   He impressed on me to enjoy the detour.

I still have those dreams,  but now I see them more clearly.   I am still in the detour, but I have met so many wonderful people, learned about who I  am and developed new skills that I don’t think I would have discovered if I had not taken the detour.

God orders our steps.   He has a reason for taking us the long way.   He has a reason for every detour,  every U-turn.  His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).   We only have a limited view.   He can see the whole picture.

He will bring the dreams in our hearts to pass if we don’t give up.   He is also working in us. giving us the right connections, honing  our abilities and making us into the people capable of taking on those dreams (with His help, of course).

We just need to sit back, know God is in control and enjoy the detour.

#dreams #delayeddreams #Godisincontrol #Godknowstheway

Are You Listening?

God is always with us (Hebrew 13:5). However at times God seems so far away, like He exists in another universe and has to time travel to check His messages.

Some people think our sin is separating us from God (Isaiah 59:2). But wait! Didn’t Jesus die to reconcile us to God (2 Corinthians 5:19), to take our sin–past, present and future (II Corinthians 5:21)–once and for all (Hebrews 10:10-14, I Peter 3:18)? Wouldn’t God turning His back on us, a deaf ear, be contrary to that? Yes and yes.

I’ve heard it said the teacher is silent during the test, but I don’t subscribe to this either. If God is a present help (Psalm 46:1), if God tells us to come boldly before the throne of grace in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16), if He says to call on Him in trouble and He will answer us (Psalm 91:15), then He is not silent when we are in need, when we are in a time of testing.

Yet others believe it is because we didn’t follow the last instruction God gave us.

What is my opinion on this subject? I believe that God is speaking, but we are not listening.

In the episode “Revelations” of the X-Files, Scully is in a confessional, and she confesses that she is afraid.

The priest asks, “Afraid?”

Scully admits, “Afraid God is speaking, but that no one’s listening.”

We talk to God. We tell Him what we need, how to make our lives better. We pray for the people in our sphere of influence and their needs. Only it is a two-way street, but do we ever listen to how God is directing?

How does God speak? Direct us?

Many different ways, but God likes to use His Word. A Scripture or Bible story will come to mind that instructs us about the situation.

When we have a decision to make, maybe the more we pray, the more dread we feel. That’s God directing us to back off the idea (Colossians 3:15). If we feel peace, He is giving us the green light.

He may also bring a person, a friend, a co-worker, to say the right words at the right time. Sometimes it will be a knowing deep within on how to proceed, or even a still, small voice that tells you which way to go.

God speaks many different ways. One of the ways He speaks to me is through my dreams at night.

When you are in trouble, after you have poured out your heart to God, get away for a few minutes and listen. You may have to do this day after day, but God will eventually give you the answer you need.

#GodsDirection #GodSpeaking #GodWithUsInTrouble

What Will You Say?

Ever have a battle going on in your head?

You write down your dreams. You break down your goals into actionable steps. You are excited. You can’t wait to accomplish them. You see yourself achieving your goals, your dreams from God.

Then a minute, hour, day or week later, you look at the same dreams and cringe. What made you think you could ever achieve those goals?

Those dreams God placed in your heart were never meant for you to accomplish. Not on your own. Dreams from God have some unique qualities. They are too big to accomplish without the help of others and God. They are never selfish. They seem impossible to accomplish and are in our own strength.

The cemetery is filled with unfinished movies, books, songs, paintings. People gave up when things looked impossible, when doubt set it. They buried their talent just like in the parable Jesus told in Luke 19:12-27.

You remember the story, right? A man was going on a journey. He would be away for awhile, so he called three of his servants together. He gave one ten talents, another five and to the last servant, he gave one. They would give him an account when he returned of what they did with those talents. Both the servant with the ten talents and the five doubled their talents, so the man gave them cities to manage. However the servant who received one talent held onto it. This made the man angry. He took the servant’s talent away and gave it to the servant who had ten.

We too will give an account of what we did with the gifts, talents, dreams and abilities God gave us. What are you going to say when you give account? Why didn’t you move toward your dreams? Kids? Job? Taking care your parents? Yet people find time to binge watch series after series on Netflix. Find all those hidden moments to work toward your dreams. Step by step you will achieve them, and you can give a great account of how you used your gifts, talents and abilities to bless others.

If you have a dream from God, invite God to help you to accomplish it, to lead you and guide you in the way you should go. God will take you and your dreams to places and before people you never thought possible.

#dreams #goals #talents #God

Are You Fighting The Good Fight?

 

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. – I Timothy 6:12 (NKJV)

What is the good fight?

We fight ourselves. We fight for causes. We fight our destiny. We fight for what we think is right, but are we fighting the good fight?

Paul tells to fight the good fight of faith. What is faith? Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Why do we have to fight the good fight of faith? After all, doesn’t Romans 12:3 say that we have all been given the measure of faith? Yes, but we are not all using it, exercising it.

As human beings, we have trouble with anything we cannot see. We think that belief, having faith in something we cannot see, that we do not have proof for in the natural, is for children. We believe as we grow up we must give up faith, believing in the unseen.

Only in our everyday lives, we believe in the unseen all the time. Air. Wind. Gravity. Love. We cannot see these things, but we experience them. Therefore we believe in them.

Faith is believing that what you are believing for is already yours. It is not enough to just agree that 2 Corinthians 1:20 states that all the Promises of God are yes and amen. We can quote the Scriptures and not believe them. We extract all power from them when we do this. In order for them to work, we have to mix them faith (Hebrews 4:2).

I have found the best way to do this is to meditate on the Promises. What is meditation? I am not talking about sitting on a floor, trying to empty our minds. I am talking about taking a Scripture and muttering it over and over to ourselves when we are alone. When we do this day after day, we start to believe the Scripture, the Promise. It requires minimal effort on our part.

We make faith so hard. Something we conjure up, but we just need to meditate on the Promises we want to come to pass in our lives. We are not convincing God to move, to intervene, on our behalf. He settled everything and gave us everything that pertains to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3) at the Cross. We are convincing ourselves to fight for what is already ours.

Fight for Jesus died to give you. Meditate on the Promises today because when we are blessed, we can bless others (Genesis 12:2) and show them to Christ, which is the real good fight.

#FightTheGoodFight #Faith #Believing #Blessed

 

 

 

Are You Rehearsing?

And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. – Exodus 17:14 (KJV)

 

I started attending a writer’s group to critique the novel I am working on. The first time I submitted, though, I understood what it felt like to have sung my heart out in front of the judges on American Idol and have them rip the performance to shreds.

I walked out of the restaurant, questioning myself as a writer. Something I rarely do any more.

God had an answer though. He always does. We just have to be open to finding it.

God always knew Joshua would succeed Moses as the leader of the Israelites. Moses just lead them out of Egypt when God told Moses to create a memorial book and then rehearse those victories in Joshua’s ears.

Why? When we rehearse our victories, we see how far we’ve come, we see how far God has brought us. We see our track record, our history.

I remembered the good reviews, the awards for my short stories, the websites that picked up my articles, the comments from people I have helped through my writing. As I did, I began to believe in my abilities as a writer again. I formulated a plan to re-write my piece from their advice.

This is what happened with Joshua. He and Caleb were the only ones from the original generation who believed God. They were the only two from the original generation who made it into the Promised Land. I believe this is because Moses kept telling Joshua what God had done for them, rehearsed the victories in his ears.

We need to do this as well–rehearse our victories in our ears. Remember what God has done in the past. What He did before, He will and can do again if we just believe. Write down your victories and rehearse them today and every day until they become a part of your thinking and your believing.

#believing #victories #God

Need Encouragement?

And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. – I Samuel 30:6

Ever been discouraged about how your life is going?

You do not see your dreams coming to pass. Your child is as rebellious as ever. Your marriage is on the rocks.

You think that nothing is ever going to work out in your favor.

You might feel there is no one around to encourage you, to help your get through this rough patch.

People won’t always be around. You have to learn to do what King David did. You have to encourage yourself in the Lord.

How do you do this?

Put On Praise Music. Get alone. Sing to it. Dance to it. It’s hard to feel depressed when you are offering the sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:!5).

List Your Blessings. Write them down, then rehearse them every day out loud.

Volunteer. Help those you are less fortunate than you. By doing this, you will see how much God has done for you.

Rehearse God’s Promises. Pick promises that pertain to your situation. Meditate on them. Say them over and over to yourself when you are alone. Faith will rise from this simple action.

When you are down, don’t look to others to be your encouragement. Encourage yourself.

#encourageyourself #blessings #praise #Godspromisesaretrue

What Are You Dwelling On?

Every day while washing dishes (Yes! Some people still do this), driving, doing work, memories play in our heads.

We are transported back to that time in our minds. We see the events as they happened. We feel the same emotions. Smell the same smells.

This happens with good memories and bad.

We can listen to a song played at our senior prom. It will evoke feelings of excitement and maybe nervousness of what to expect.

From mine, I remember the hotel, the contests, the songs, what my date said, sitting outside with my friends and their dates, the two older women sitting in the hot tub nearby.

From here, my mind might drift to why my date and I later broke up. The phone call to tell me his feelings changed. The trying to be friends. The truth about his real character and what lines he could cross to get what he wanted.

I can choose which memory on which I dwell. The happy memories or the bad ones.

We all have the power to choose what we play on the screen of our minds.

We choose what we will dwell on, what we allow into our lives.

We have to be diligent about what we watch, about what we hear. What we focus on is going to happen in our lives.

Do we want more of the same? Or do we want better?

To get better in life requires us to be diligent about that which we give attention.

We have to be selective about what we listen to, about what we see, about who we hang around, about who we allow in our lives.

To get positive results, we cannot allow negativity to enter our sphere. There will be negativity in our lives no matter what, but we choose react to it.

Are we going to listen to that station? We can shut it off. That conversation? We can walk away.

What negativity are you allowing in your life?

You can keep it and get the same results. You can change and see your life follow suit.

The choice is yours.

 

#memories #avoidnegativity #changeyourlife