God Has His Own Goals

There are so many of us fighting against the unknown, clinging to faith, because we have nothing else. Remember it is the meek that will inherit the earth.

Three Iron Nails

I forget that God is real. That Jesus is real. I hold onto a thought — “Please God, let this happen.” As if, if what I want doesn’t happen, God has let go of me. As if God’s with me less if I don’t get a job when I’m unemployed.

But God is real; he’s holding me, and he has his own goals. God’s goals for me are his own, of his choosing. He may want me to be unemployed for a while. He may want me to move. I can trust in the things he’s told me — the eternal things. He’ll never leave me nor forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6). He died for me. I’m valuable to him. Jesus died for me — so he’ll never forget me. I matter to him, so much, that he gave up his life for me.

So when I panic over my circumstances…

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He Leads us beside still waters

He Leads Us
by Max Lucado

How can a person deal with anxiety? One fellow decided to hire someone to do his worrying for him. He found a man who agreed to do so for a salary of $200,000 a year. After the man accepted the job, his first question to his boss was, “Where are you going to get $200,000 per year?” To which the man responded, “That’s your worry!” Worrying is one job you can’t farm out—but you can overcome it.

David declares in Psalm 23:2, “He leads me beside the still waters.” He leads me! God isn’t behind me, yelling, “Go!” He’s ahead of me bidding, “Come!” He leads us. He tells us what we need to know when we need to know it. Hebrews 4:16 says, “We will find grace to help us when we need it!”

God leads us. God will do the right thing at the right time. What a difference that makes!

Trying not to give up

Doubting Yourself is a Step in the Right Direction – Bible Truth in Time of Need

There are times in this life when you feel like you are at the edge of the cliff, looking down deep into the abyss, your heart screaming on the inside for rescue, but there seems to be no relief, and no comfort. You doubt your very sanity as the weight of your burden has broken every escape, and collapsed all hope. It is at these times when you must realize that many times these dispensations of distress are divine appointments where God can intimately meet with you. He is the only place that you can find peace and strength. As you begin to doubt yourself, Christ can begin to work on your behalf directing you to Him as He rescues you from your desperation and doubt.

This world is filled with self-help videos and books that tell to you look inside, be positive, look to lift yourself up and discover your “inner strength” to win. In trying to will our self to victory, we come up with all kinds of schemes to survive – we workout insanely to upgrade our bodies, move to a better neighborhood, change marriages, friends and jobs – as ways to get ahead, instead of turning to God. But in none of these will you find your rescue. The truth is, as you are sucking in the dust from your barren fields of doubt, choking on hopelessness, trying to find God, you will come to realize that He who is your “outer strength”, has already discovered you.

As you are surrounded and battered by troubles, you will not be demoralized. When you don’t know what to do, be assured that God does  know what to do.  In the midst of all your struggle, God will never leave your side. While you’re going through the worst, you’re safe in the hands of the Best!

We all look at, and admire great men and women of faith; people who have great exploits and done great things in the name of God. Their strength came from Christ, who strengthened them. In the midst of your greatest doubt is a great place to realize that, even though you feel your faith is weak, it is the same God that you are turning to that every great man and woman of God derived their strength from also. That same strength is available to you. You must come to the realization as you doubt in yourself, that your faith is not based on your devotion to Him, but in His devotion to you.

When you are in your darkest hour, in your deepest void, in your greatest doubt, feeling like you can’t hang on to God, don’t worry – God is holding on to you.

Your deliverance will not come from thinking positive, being stronger, behaving better, or believing better, but by trusting in Christ who has already secured your hope and victory on the cross. Trust in your divine source that transcends your own power and ability. He is your “outer strength”, a safe fortress, and your inner peace–where all is still.

Doubt your “self” and trust in Jesus in the midst of the storm, when thunder, lightning, and fierce dark clouds are boiling over your life. Don’t be preoccupied and self-centered, placing your efforts on the inside of your “self”– turn to God, your “outer strength” when you are in doubt. Doubt yourself, but never doubt Him. He is far greater than what you see as your present reality – He has overcome the world.

John 16:33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

2 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

Unceasing Prayer

PERSISTENT PRAYER

A daily devotional message by author Paul Estabrooks

As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. 1 Samuel 12:23a

An important aspect of prayer is to pray patiently. God meets our needs “at the proper time” (Galatians 6:9). Too often Christians weary of praying, and give up. This is often justified on the basis that God’s failure to answer means the request is not according to His will. Remember, God can:

Deliver – whatever we ask in His name;

Delay – to fit His perfect timing (only He sees the end from the beginning);

Deny – and say ‘No’ because we ask amiss or give a

Different and better answer.

Jesus urges us to be persistent in prayer (Luke 11:5-8). This does not mean that God does not want to meet our needs and that we need to try to persuade Him. It simply means that only God, who completely understands the whole situation, can know when and how to answer. Only when we have assurance in our hearts from the Lord, should we remove a matter from our prayer list.

Many times Christians lose heart in prayer because they do not recognize when the Lord does answer their prayers. Sometimes this is due to the fact that they did not pray specifically enough and sometimes because they have decided in advance how God must answer. Perhaps they think that only a great miracle can meet their need.

But the Lord may change the circumstances so that the need seems to be supplied “naturally.” Mature believers will recognize that the events of everyday life also come from the Lord. Our daily bread and safety are miracles of God in this troubled world Let us not presume to tell God how to answer, and let us praise Him for His daily care.

RESPONSE: Today I will acknowledge God gives His best to those who leave the choices to Him.

PRAYER: Lord, help me to be patient and persistent…and leave the answers to my prayers in Your hands.

God you could fix this!

I am approaching a point of frustration that could jeopardize all the work I have put in, fighting with faith. Man I am beaten weary and have prayed my way through to now. This day, was bitter and I continue to struggle on days of celebration. I have plenty of responsibility but no way to cover them. I keep praying,  I keep getting a “wait” sign. Wait for what, to be kicked a few more times, to face discouragement tomorrow.  No thanks. What does a guy have ro do to enjoy God’s promise of succes.

Favorite Song; Best Lesson

One of the things I love most about my wife, is the appreciation of history.  We both hold on to family momentos as if they were priceless. Although in reality they have no real value; except sentiment.

I don’t know if days gone by were any easier or less frantic.  But the music!!! My wife and I still blast Patsy Cline, Otis Redding and other phenomenal artists. In hopes kids running about may appreciate the works of some amazing musicians. As we sat on our porch listening to musicians long passed; I heard my song. I call it my song not only for the powerful lyrics, but also, when it was recorded. 

The artist,  Louis Armstrong.  The song, “What a wonderful world”. I can’t begin to imagine the inequalities this man faced. But through it all he recognized God’s creation and the beauty therein. The simplistic beauty of a baby’s cry, fields of green and skies of blue. Truly this is a wonderful world.  Filled with the love of God, created for the one thing loved above all others. It’s easy to take for granted, what God has created.  Don’t do it!!!! Sit back; be quiet; look at the mighty things he has created for us. Appreciate the things he has created: never forget we are at the top of his works.

Truly it is a Wonderful World.

Why Talent Won’t Cut It

WHY TALENT WON’T CUT IT

 

    

Talent is never enough. There’s no substitute for it, but there’s also no guarantee of success with it. To turn talent into influence, a person must prepare it with hard work, surround it with the right relationships, strengthen it by taking responsibility, and protect it with character.

Preparation Positions Your Talent
Author Emile Zola spoke truly when he said, “The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.” Preparation positions you so that when opportunity comes, your talent can shine. “Talent alone won’t make you a success,” Johnny Carson once remarked. “Neither will being in the right place at the right time, unless you are ready. The most important question is: Are you ready?”
Relationships Influence Your Talent

People knew LeBron James had special talent when he was a teenager. His high school basketball games were televised on ESPN. He was considered a future hall-of-fame ballplayer before he even turned pro.

Marcus Dupree was like LeBron James, only on the football field. A running back from small-town Mississippi, Dupree had it all as an athlete: size, speed, power, and grace. All of the top college programs invested heavily in his recruitment. Some blatantly disregarded collegiate rules when recruiting him, illegally provided him with money to influence his decision of where to attend school. The University of Oklahoma even sent an assistant coach to live in Dupree’s hometown of Philadelphia for six weeks in an effort to win his commitment.

Yet despite flashes of brilliance, Dupree never made it big. A movie about his life proclaims him as The Best That Never Was. Perhaps the main reason Dupree never capitalized on his remarkable talent was his relationships. Everyone close to Dupree—his extended family, friends, and coaches—wanted to profit from his success. Instead of adding value to Marcus, they sought to extract it from him. Without an encouraging support system, Dupree faltered the first time he encountered adversity and never fully recovered.

Responsibility Strengthens Your Talent
The ESPN documentary, Broke, examines why so many professional athletes, despite signing multimillion dollar contracts, find themselves penniless when their playing days are over. According to the film, “By the time they have been retired for two years, 78 percent of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress; within five years of retirement, an estimated 60 percent of former NBA players are broke.”

Regrettably, these athletes never learned to manage their money. Their reckless spending prevented them from enjoying the financial stability that their talent should have secured for them. They enjoyed the momentary pleasures accompanying their ability without taking responsibility for their future wellbeing.

Character Protects Your Talent
Figure skater Tonya Harding, golfer John Daly, sprinter Marion Jones, and cyclist Lance Armstrong…each of these athletes had dazzling ability, but lacked the character to sustain it. Overcome by jealousy, Harding hired a hitman to attack her rival, Nancy Kerrigan, thereby sacrificing her shot at Olympic stardom. Daly won the PGA Championship as a rookie, and the British Open a few years later, but his off-course drinking problems kept him from winning as much as his talent merited. Both Jones and Armstrong gave in to the temptation to supplement their natural talents with performance enhancing drugs. While the decision brought them victories in the short-run, each eventually got caught and suffered a fall from grace.

Thought to Ponder
When have you seen talent squandered? What was the reason why someone’s ability went to waste?

 

Truly I tried to find contentment in another’s words

I spent some this evening reading the posts of fellow Christians. I always enjoy an open dialog and seek new perspectives on varying subjects especially concerning the Bible or ministry. I found hundreds of posts. Authors from around the worls with differing backgrounds and education all offering their interpretations of scripture and theology. Many proclaiming solutions to a variety of plights.
But I find my inspiration in those posts, of Christians not offering answers,  but rather asking questions. Hard questions. Those that really can’t be answered with certainty. Challenging our beliefs isn’t something to fear. It’s something to be embraced and critical to the formation of faith. Sometimes new perspectives force us into uncomfortable places. We may find ourselves second guessing truths we have depended on for years.

So why would someone do this? Deliberately seeking posts and authors  that might possibly shake their core beliefs.

Because only during times of conflict can faith be tested. Better to identify our greatest fears than to be surprised by them later.  It never ceases to amaze me how we all grow so complacent with our faith and our relationship to Christ. We go through the motions never challenging ourselves and then, suddenly, something unexpected occurs and we panic. Faith is questionable,  confidence is shattered.  Trust destroyed. 

I don’t know if I can ever prepare for the obstacles and challenges ahead. I know   I am heading towards a day of decision where everything I know will be questioned. I hope, however,  I have cemented my faith by exercising it as much as possible.

Oh my, What Did She Overhear

I don’t know if this would be considered a unique situation. I am sure others have had a similar incident with considerably worse results.

Earlier in the evening I had tried to Skype my Mom in hopes my daughter might have the opportunity of seeing her grandma some 300 miles away. For whatever reason we couldn’t make a connection and I ended the call and laid my phone down to attend to other matters. As it turns out, the call was eventually completed, it just took a while. Unknowingly my wife and I were on speaker phone with my Mom. My Mom sat listening to our conversation and trying to get our attention. Eventually my wife and I heard my mother’s voice and couldn’t help but wonder where it was coming from. Once I had figured our what had happened I became flush with fear. What had she heard? What were we even discussing? My mind went blank, what was I doing just 2 minutes ago!!! C’mon brain, seriously!!!? Neither of us could recall what we were just discussing. What did she over hear. Just for a moment thoughts we thought were private were being broadcast. And then it hit me. Why is it I hold more reverence towards my Mom than my savior. Maybe I have sinned so much against him I have lost my shame. After all Noone is perfect. Day after day I sin against him, very seldom do I think about how transparent my heart is to him. Their is no secrecy or privacy from God. That can be a good thing or bad thing. This particular incident reminded me of how important is to be mindful of God’s omnipresence and to act accordingly. If I knew God was listening to everything I said, wouldn’t I be extremely careful not to offend. Of Course I would. So what is it that makes us forget he’s a live! Watching us, pulling for us, hoping for us, willing to die for us? How do we manage to ignore him?
He’s not our priority. His teachings are not a priority. We don’t focus on his
Kingdom only ours.
God speaks to everyone, all the time in various ways. Was this a mistake or a lesson I needed to hear. Only he knows. But I have realized through this ordeal someone is always listening, I need to be careful in what I say.

Bible answers – Praying

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers[l] in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together[m] for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn[n] among many brothers and sisters. 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.