A Time of Silence

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The past couple of days have been rather “silent” for me…after a flurry of busy days filled with deadlines and lists of “to dos”, all leading up to a scheduled event. Thanks to the Lord’s mercies, His strength, and the power of the Holy Spirit, the event was a success.  Yet it was not without personal struggles, little short-comings, and roadblocks to circumvent.  Now my body has decided it’s time for some down time. That’s often the way it is for me.  And it may be that way for you, too.  As it is for many who are disabled or who manage life with a chronic illness.

Flare-ups are common, especially after a flurry of activity or a bout with stress or increased demands on our body’s limited resources. “Down” times become necessary, as they are the body’s way of telling us it needs rest and restoration.  You may find yourself overly fatigued, having increased pain levels, or facing flare-ups of other symptoms.  It isn’t so much the pain or fatigue that down time brings which upsets me the most. It’s being unable to minister as I am called to do or unable to do some of the other things I love. And yet, the Lord is helping me to realize that these quiet times are a good opportunity to rest in Him, to pray, and to listen for His voice. God speaks to us in the stillnes- sometimes through our pain- and He will comfort us and draw us nearer to Him…if we allow Him

“Be still, and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)

I have found that, often, during such times, His Spirit enables us to share what He’s placed in our hearts, according to His perfect timing. For me, it might be in the form of a letter, or perhaps an article or blog post, or through a video I’ve been given the time to produce. Your sharing may come in a similar form, or in a different way altogether.  He’s taught me that, in the stillness, if I will take time to listen, He will speak to my heart and often provide new, quite opportunities to minister to others, as He brings healing and restoration to my own body and spirit.  And He will do the same in you!

Sharing hope and the beautiful truth of God’s love are the greatest gifts of ministry- often revealing themselves via the most heart-touching and meaningful ways- in the silence.

Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (NIV)

John 14:26: “But the Comforter [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

May the Lord bless you abundantly as He guides you to becoming all He created you to be!

Angela

Failing, To Succeed

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“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” -Michael Jordan

Wow! Those are encouraging words for me today. And perhaps for you, as well. Seems like, at this point in my life, I fail far more than I succeed. But the Bible says that when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10) Through our failures, God yields His strength to us. And, in these cracked, clay vessels, our

imperfections allow God’s light to shine through. The imperfections are still there. Yet they serve the greater purpose of allowing others in this darkened world to see God’s glory radiating through us- failures and all.

Like Michael, let’s keep on trying!

2 Corinthians 4:7: “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

2 Corinthians 12:9,10: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (ESV)

Temporary Setbacks

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Don’t give up on your dream because of a mistake or temporary setback. Remember why you started on this journey. Visualize your goal. Keep moving forward. The enemy will try to derail you with distractions. Don’t let him detain you any longer! Take that next step. Commit to make that change. Pursue the dream God has placed in your heart!

You can do ALL things through Christ, who strengthens you!  Philippians 4:13

Vision In Action!

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What has God placed on your heart for today? Has He given you a vision for something He has called you to do? Are you closer now to walking in your calling- to seeing that vision come to life- than you were a year ago?

If the answer is “yes”, keep trusting! Keep walking! Keep seeking God’s guidance! He will use each experience, each appointment, as a stepping stone in the pathway to your calling. And HE will fulfill the vision and complete the good work He has begun in you!

If the answer is “no”, then why not? Take Action! Do it TODAY! Don’t allow the enemy to detain you, distract you, discourage you, or derail you any longer!

Seek God’s direction. Listen for His guidance. Be obedient. And take that step of faith!

God will take care of the rest!

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. – Philippians 1:6

Other Scripture References:

Where there is no vision, the people are unrestrained, but happy is he who keeps the law – Proverbs 29:18  Vision is the bridge between the present and the future. Without it we perish or go “unrestrained.”  Vision gives us a path and a purpose.

“The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” – Proverbs 16:9

The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the one who holds his hand. – Psalm 37:23-24

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus – Philippians 3:14  

When your vision is honestly birthed by God Himself, He will be delighted to direct your steps as you act upon what He has placed in your heart, according to His will!

May God bless you abundantly and guide you to becoming all He created you to be!

Angela

Letters From Home

63706_315156658584187_129777671_n“Mary carried her Bible everywhere she went.  Tucked inside her purse or coat pocket, it never left her side.   Like a cherished keepsake and without fail, every chance she got throughout the day, the words from its worn pages brought her inspiration, comfort, instruction and hope.  One day someone asked her, ‘why’ …  To the stranger’s question she replied, without even having to contemplate what she would say, ‘These are my letters from home.'”

The Bible is like a treasure box filled with letters from distant relatives whose stories guide and shape our lives.  Like pilgrims who have traveled to a promised, far away land, they journeyed to new horizons and braved the challenges of this life, while sharing their experiences and faith with you and me.   From cover to cover, the Bible is God’s amazing gift to us- a collection of love letters from our Father Creator and the story of His Son, Jesus Christ- interwoven within a tapestry of personal accounts which reveal God’s character- His sovereignty, wisdom and power, along with His deep and endearing love, grace, and mercy.

As we read our letters, they instruct and inspire us, reminding us to keep seeking, keep following, keep trusting, keep praying, keep loving, keep marching, and to keep believing that we will one day reach the Promised Land- our heavenly home- where we will, at last, be with our beloved Father and with our precious LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Have you taken the opportunity lately to open the Bible and read God’s letters, written with love to you- His dear child? If you haven’t, I encourage you to do so. If you find the King James Bible difficult to read, find a translation like the NIV or the Holman Christian Bible.

Open to the book of John.  It is the fourth book in the New Testament.  John is a wonderful place to start because the author tells the story of Jesus in such a beautiful way. From His existence with God the Father at the time of creation, to His birth as a human child and His miracles and teachings, to His heart-felt prayer for you and me in the Garden of Gethsemane, and to His cruel crucifixion- every line reveals more of God’s character and endearing love for us, His children.  But the story doesn’t end in sorrow, for Jesus rose from the grave, conquering death for all eternity,  and making a way for you and me to live with Him forever in peace and harmony in our heavenly home! That’s right.  this earthly life isn’t all there is!

God loves you more than you could ever comprehend.  And He left you a treasured keepsake, filled with His words of love and guidance.  They are for you- His beloved Son or Daughter. He knows you and His desire is that you know and love Him.   He longs for the day when you run into His arms and call Him “Father”. He is waiting for you to read the letters He sent and to know His love for you. He has a plan for your life, just as He did for Mary.  She found direction in the letters He sent her and so can you!

If you want to know God’s love and His plan for you, then take time- right now. Open the Bible and read your Letters from Home.