TRUST

TRUST

A word that has come up A LOT lately in my life.

A word that I find hard to comprehend sometimes.

The image above shows a ride that I was on some years back. I was trusting that I would not fall and that the safety harness would keep me from falling off. I trusted the person who checked my harness before starting the ride and I trusted the equipment that nothing would go awry.

Why do I find it so hard sometimes to trust the Lord?

TRUST

Trust, trust, trust… Easy to say, hard to do.

I was contemplating that word. Visualizing it in my head and I came up with a profound thought. There is a ‘t’ on each side of this word and when you replace it with a symbol of a cross then it looks something like this:

TRUST-3

How awesome is that! God has made this word a reflection of Him! As we trust in Him we can’t help but look to the cross. The cross that Jesus died on. The cross that Jesus came down from and was then put in a tomb. The tomb that was empty three days later because Jesus conquered sin and death! He died so that I might live!

I still find it hard to trust…  My thoughts then went more towards those three letters in the middle. ‘R U S’ Are you ‘S’? What could that mean?

‘S’ could stand for any number of things. Safe, Secure, Sure. So the question is – Do I trust God enough that I can be safe in His arms? Do I trust God enough to feel secure in His promises? Do I trust God enough to be sure of His love? I was only reading the first half of the verse from Proverbs. The second half is what I need to learn.

“Do not depend on your own understanding.” Do not think you can do it all yourself. Trust. Do not try to do things on your own. Trust. Do not believe in your own understanding or how you perceive things. Trust.

Then I saw the letters backwards from my visual. ‘S U R’ Yes you are!

YES! I am safe in His arms. He can carry me and uphold me in my darkest hour.

The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.” Psalm 145:15

YES! I feel secure in His promises! He promises to never leave me nor forsake me.

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

YES! I am sure of His love! He loves me no matter what I do and He loves me unconditionally.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

I am Safe in His arms!    I feel Secure in His promises!    I am Sure of His love!

This ultimate reassurance helps me once again to TRUST.

Trust in the Lord with all my heart!

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A Call to Holy Living

My paraphrase of 1 Peter 1:13-25

Be alert! Stand guard! Be prepared for what lies ahead. Practice the ways of the Lord. Learn how to be Holy and teach it to others who do not know. A time is coming and is here already! We need to move and put into motion all that we have learned. As we hope on the Lord we are longing and expecting what He has for us. We are waiting for His return. Oh what a glorious day that will be when the Salvation from our God will be revealed! The salvation that Jesus gave us to make us free! Follow the ways of the Lord. Live lives of obedience and respect knowing that we do it out of love for our God. Cast off your old ways. Throw away your old desires. These are from he past and not of God. Take on the new ways of God and follow His will and desires. Transform your lives. Be Holy. Be different. Show the world that you are blameless in God’s eyes.

Reverent fear, awe, and wonder. These are the things that we show our God. The way we worship. This world is not our home. We are residents of this life only temporarily. We need to treat this as a rental place and keep it clean so that we an look forward to our permanent home. Jesus was our ransom. The price He paid of His life was so that we might live. We did not deserve this yet He paid it in full. We are saved. God thought we were worth it and came to protect us from the devil and preserved our lives. His precious blood was shed so that we could live. This is the forgiveness we received. We equals Everyone! Jesus, the spotless Lamb, became our sacrifice. He was perfect and without sin and gave Himself as a precious gift and lives again so that we can live forever with Him!

cross

As we know Christ and live holy lives we trust in Him. We lean on God and know that He is there for us. We accept His ways and this brings us to faith. A faith we know with confidence that Jesus saves. We believe in a God that we do not see but trust He is there.

With this truth, with the belief in God and the sacrifice Jesus paid, we are cleansed from all sins. We are washed clean and rejuvenated. We are whiter than newly fallen snow because of the process of tossing the past and living a new life. With this new life we show love. Sincere love. Genuine love. A love that you would show your family as brothers and sisters. A love that goes deeper than we can express.

We have been born again. we are alive in Christ. this is exciting news that we are renewed to a new life! This new life will last forever. For all eternity. God, through the sacrifice of Jesus, has preserved a place for each one of us in heaven. We know this through the eternal word of God. His word will never end. It is ever lasting and will always remain. In the Old Testament (Isaiah 40:6-8) it says that we are like grass or beautiful flowers. The grass withers and the flowers fade BUT the word of the Lord remains forever. And this word is the salvation given to us by God in Christ Jesus!

 

Read the Bible passage for yourself and tell me what you think.

Thanks for reading.

 

PRO-crastination

It has been October since my last blog!! Where has the time gone?

In my case it would be family, procrastination, church, procrastination, life and, did I mention?, procrastination!

Yes, I  believe I am the PRO in procrastinate. If I can say it can be done tomorrow then it will be. Problem is, tomorrow never really comes…

tomorrow...

Leaving things for the last minute usually gets me at a stress level (crisis level) where I can get things done more efficiently (or at least that is what I tell myself.) Knowing that something has to be done by tomorrow gets my heart racing and causes me to buckle down and ‘get er done’. Those of you in school I’m sure can relate to this one with your papers that are due the next day.

Thing is, too often when I do things this way, I tend to get things wrong or things can get missed all together. People count on me to get things done and if not done in a timely manner I will get behind in other things as well.

6 steps of procrastination

So, how do I move from procrastination to productive? How do I stop the cycle of putting it off, laziness, excuses, denial and then getting to the crisis mode? Here are some tips that I have been trying to put into practice.

1. Goal setting

Yes, setting goals and sticking to them. There is an awesome app that comes with most phones called ‘Reminder’. If you don’t have it I suggest you get it, NOW. I have reminders on there for almost everything. You can do a one time reminder or set weekly reminders. It’s great! No more forgetting to bring something to work, I have a reminder. No more forgetting to read my bible, I have a reminder for that every day!

2. Put your goal into little chunks

If I look at the whole project that I have to get done I go stir crazy! “I can’t do that so why even try!” I think. But, if I break it down into separate chunks with separate reminders then it is way more doable. “I can’t” turns into “I can” and “I will.”

3. Accountability

Find a friend, someone who you know will ‘say it like it is’ and ‘kick your butt’ when you need it. If I have a project that is just too big for me to handle I will go to a friend who can help me see it in smaller steps and help me work towards that goal. They will also check up with me and see how I am doing and if I am getting my steps done.

4. Just do it!

Just get out of your pj’s. Just get off the computer. Just do it instead of think about it! This is the one that I have the most problem with and where procrastination can rear it’s ugly head. Instead of tomorrow think today, instead of later think now. Easier said than done, but with the above tips we can beat this thing!

now!

So, to stop the cycle of procrastination I need to set goals, break big goals into smaller steps, find someone to help keep me accountable and JUST DO IT! But, don’t stop there. Might I suggest one more tip…

5. Reward yourself

Give yourself something to look forward to. If you really have to get those dishes done but would prefer to watch TV then let that be your reward. If you are sick of having a mess in your house but love to have people over reward yourself by planning a get-together. Let your end goal be your reward!

Note – As I write this I realize that I need this more than I know. Yes, I can do tips #1-3 but if I don’t follow through and do tip #4 I am done for. Unfortunately, I tend to stay in denial and take my reward (#5) before getting anything done.

Thank you for reading!

Share how you combat procrastination!

*All pictures used I find on Google Images. Credit should go to them.

Storms

Everyone goes through some kind of storm in their lives. Maybe it was just a storm that passed in the night, like a term paper due tomorrow. Maybe it was a storm that lingered around for quite a while and you didn’t think you would every see the end, like some one who has survived cancer.

In any case, whether big or small, we have all been in one storm or another. For those of us who believe in Jesus Christ, we know that He is there to help us ‘weather the storm’, to help us through it and to help us change what needs to be changed in our lives.

I wrote the following to help others relate to a storm they might be in right now or that they have gone through. Enjoy and share it if you wish to encourage others.

STORMS

Storms
Coming – Going
Never knowing when
Never knowing why
Some come and go and you don’t even realize it
Some stay so long you wonder if you will ever be the same again
But… that is the purpose of the storm
To change things
To never go back to way the things once were

Storms
Small ones
To water the ground
To make things grow
To change the air quality
Small ones
That pass in the night
Or stay for an hour
To remind you that they are needed every once and a while

Storms
Large ones
To drench the ground
To uproot and reposition
To awaken the soul
Large ones
That frighten you
Or cause you concern
To remind you that things aren’t always what you want them to be

Storms
After the storms
The rainbows
The calm
The clean up
Things that got uprooted need to be mended
Things that were frightened need to be cared for
In the storms we look to the light
After the storms we cling to the truth

Storms
Life storms
Some passing
Some hovering
All unexpected
All changing
All reminding us Who we should cling to
All showing us that when we are weak, HE is strong

The Bucket

The optimist sees the bucket as half-full, the pessimist sees the bucket as half-empty. What happens when the bucket is empty? What do these people think then? Here is my take on their thoughts…

The pessimist – “My bucket is empty. My bucket has holes. There is no way I am going to fill my bucket up. What is the point of even trying?

I try to fill my bucket and everything keeps leaking out. I need to fill the holes but that requires work. Maybe it requires me to change my bucket. CHANGE MY BUCKET? How can I change my bucket?

I like my bucket and it likes me. We have this great relationship. I fill up my bucket every once in a while and my bucket slowly depletes. Some days it depletes faster than others but I understand my bucket and it understands me. I know when to fill my bucket and when my bucket is getting low. 

Okay, sometimes I don’t realize my bucket is very low and I haven’t filled it in a long time. But that is where my situations or friends and family come in. Something always happens or someone reminds me to fill up my bucket. I personally don’t like it when they point out the holes in my bucket. 

For the most part I fill my bucket when I can but I really don’t see the point. I know it’s just going to drain again…”

The optimist – “Wow! How did that happen? I must go and fill my bucket up. 

Oh… There are holes all over my bucket. Maybe I should change my bucket and get a new one? Or, maybe I could just patch these holes so that it won’t leak again. Some of these holes look like they have been in my bucket for a very long time. I’m not sure if I can fix or stop the leaks. 

I know… I can ask God or my friends and family! They can help me or show me what to do. 

Fixing my bucket or changing it might take a long time… 

That’s okay. I can do this. I have my friends, my family and my God who can help me along the way to fix my bucket!”

How do you look at your bucket? Is it full? Is it empty? Is your bucket in need of repair? Will you let it sit there and watch the holes get bigger? Or will you take the time to fill the holes or change your bucket completely?

Now… Read the pessimist and optimist’s thoughts and the questions again only this time using the word ‘life’ in the place of ‘bucket’. 

Find what fills up your life and do it. Is it connecting with God, time with family, satisfying work, recreation, and exercise? If there is something that is causing you to not be filled then fix it or get a new ‘bucket’. 

Please note: This is not meant for those who are struggeling with a bad marriage or family. Those are ‘holes’ that need to be fixed and mended. Marriage and family are meant to be for life! You can get these mended with God’s help. Seek out a Christian friend or counsellor who can help you. 

*Bucket reference is mainly from chapter 1 of “Simplify” by Bill Hybels. 

Worship – a Battle Cry

(Based on 2 Chronicles 20)

I have been reading through the Bible in chronological order. It has been most interesting but the Leviticus and Numbers books were quite the chore (I can not lie.) Now I am in the Books of Kings and Chronicles. Most of it is the same with “this king did evil in the eyes of the Lord” kind of talk. But right now, in the midst of a war coming upon Israel, King Jehoshaphat recognizes his need for God’s help and cries out to Him. “Jehoshaphat was terrified by this news and begged the LORD for guidance. He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting. So people from all the towns of Judah came to Jerusalem to seek the LORD’s help.” (vs 3-4)

Jehoshaphat then proceeds to pray to God for help in front of all the people gathered there. At the end of his prayer the Spirit of the LORD came upon one of the Levites and he prophesied saying, “Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (vs 15) This is great news to hear! The army they are about to face is so large that they are no match for them but God has just affirmed that he will be there with them.

Sometimes we have that in our lives, too. We have something ahead of us that we need to face but it is way to big for us to handle. This is when we need to call on God and ask for His guidance and help.

But this story doesn’t stop there. On the way to battle Jehoshaphat stops everyone and gives a little pep talk (vs 20) and then appointed singers to walk ahead of the army. (vs 21) Yes, SINGERS! They believe so strongly in the word of the LORD given to them through the Levite that they are already giving thanks to their God! OUR God! How often do we praise God knowing the ‘battle’ we are facing is right over the next hill?

“At the very moment they began to sing and give praise, the LORD caused the armies … to start fighting among themselves.” (vs 22) Every single one of the enemy army’s soldiers were dead, not a single one of them had escaped. (vs 24) God showed up in a powerful way, but would he have still done that if they didn’t sing I wonder? It reads, “At the very moment they began to sing…” the LORD made the armies fight each other. This teaches us that when we believe that God is on our side and is fighting our battles for us, we need to sing our praise and thanks to Him even before the victory is won.fe85e9c66fc2e5e7a911fc7ef0a6ae90