Awesome truth!!! The love of our family always inspires us. When we consider how much more God loves us…that same loving encouragement is but a thought and prayer away!
There are some things I really stink at. Ok- lots of things.
One of them is french braiding.
I spent many lazy summer days as a pre-teen learning to french braid my own hair. I spent hours on and off for days on end learning how to craft the tightest, smoothest braid possible. But for some reason, as strange as it seems, it is far easier to braid my own hair (without even being able to see what I’m doing) than it is to braid either of my girls’ hair.
So this morning, when my spirited younger daughter came to me with the request of a french braid, I had to break the news to her.
“Momma’s not so good at that.”
“Just try. Please?!”
“Are you sure? I might mess up…I may have to do it more than once.”
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We should all say, Yes to a little rest!!!
It is useless for you to work hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest for his loved ones. Psalm 127:2
There is a phrase I have heard many times during my years in both lay and pastoral ministry: You can be doing many “good” things, but they may not all be “God” things.
Lately, I have been doing many “good” things. So many that my calendar has not one day on which something is not scheduled. I am going to school. Training to mentor women in crisis. Mentoring in my community. Spending a weekend away with my husband. Visiting my brother.
I certainly believe all of these “good” things are also God ordained.
But in the midst of this hustle and bustle, I have also done some not so “good” things.
In my busyness I have rushed my kids…
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“I’m still the round peg in the square hole. Still care about people. Will still risk getting burned to do the right thing, not the popular thing. I still don’t care that I have a fancy and overpriced piece of paper that somehow makes me important. And I realize that this is what makes me different and why God uses me in the strangest of ways.” – Real Christianity
I had the most amazing experience!
A prayer of mine had finally been answered, and I was filled with joy- so much so, that I couldn’t stop smiling! When I woke up the next day, I was still smiling. I didn’t call anyone to share the news- I chose to spend the day with Him. I did ordinary, everyday tasks- but His presence was with me all day.
You will show me the way of life,
granting me the joy of your presence
and the pleasures of living with you forever Psalm 16:11
I had to drive into town and run a few errands- nothing special- but He was there. I remember there being lots of road work and traffic- things that would normally irritate me- but as I sat there in the car, I felt His hand in mine. It didn’t matter what I did or where…
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“As long as we continue to live as if we are what we do, what we have, and what other people think about us, we will remain filled with judgments, opinions, evaluations, and condemnations. We will remain addicted to putting people and things in their “right” place.”
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!” (John 14:12-14)
Read: Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 1:39 – 2:40
Relate: The Fifth Crusade was well underway when a surprising lay recruit showed up in the camp in the summer of 1219. Today he is best known for the apocryphal stories of him preaching to animals and for his work among lepers. In his own day he was best known for his voluntary poverty and founding an order of “lesser brothers” who did the same. Either way, Francis of Assisi was the last person…
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Faith is declared to be a noun according to Webster’s Dictionary and yet it acts like a verb. Faith is used as a name and, as such, it makes perfect sense to be a noun. However, when we say he or she has faith or is exercising faith, this is an active statement for faith. Faith involves unquestioning belief, complete trust, and loyalty.
Unquestioning belief is the state of believing or having no doubt. This unquestioning belief is the driver of faith. The active part of faith is the state of being. We say, you exercised your faith today when you approached that individual and witnessed to them about the good news of Jesus. Your faith enabled you to share the Gospel through the action of faith. “What does Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and that faith was regarded as the basis of Abraham’s approval by God.” Romans 4:3 “Then Abram believed the LORD, and that faith was regarded as the basis of Abram’s approval by the LORD.” Genesis 15:6 (God’s Word) In both cases his belief and faith are the same; the action of his unquestioning belief, his state of being, and having no doubt was faith.
Complete trust is a matter of being confident and having assurance in someone or something. How often do we display complete trust? The answer is daily: in things like the brakes on our car or truck; when we want to stop we simply put our foot on the brake pedal and press the brakes into action. We display our faith in each other in varying degrees, our spouse to be faithful or our doctor to know how to help us get well. “Faith assures us of things we expect and convinces us of the things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1 (God’s Word) Faith is the action that builds our confidence and assurance into complete trust.
Loyalty is dressed in the faithful adherence to the word of God. We learn as we grow in our journey with Jesus; faith is a companion who works along side us in our endeavors to fulfill the great commission. “And remember that I am always with you until the end of time” Matthew 28:20b (God’s Word) Our best friend is Jesus and he has promised to be with us always! God faithfully adheres to His word. This faithful adherence of God is shown through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for the remission of our sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us always…this is loyalty.
Because faith is unceasing belief, absolute trust, and devotion, we know that faith is a verb. Sure we are able to say, “Hello Faith, how are you today?” and calling her by name is placing faith in the context of a noun. When we then say that Faith displayed her faith in the word of God, faith was a verb.
Blessings and Peace Always
I’m tired and worn. My heart is heavy. -Tenth Avenue North
I have shared before how much I may seem to thrive off this crazy ability to manage an insanely busy schedule. This is something many believe I can make look easy. Juggling the hats labeled mom, taxi driver, student, assistant, pastor, mentor, wife, and counselor, I often get asked the question, “How in the world do you manage it all?”
Let me assure you….I don’t.
Sometimes the need to manage it all drives me plum crazy. Until all the hats begin to manage me.
I get tired. I get worn. I get irritated. I get angry. And, I scream. At God.
And I know that you can give me rest. So I cry out with all that I have left.
That cry came just the other day as I was getting ready for an appointment. I had the pleasure…
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