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Posts Tagged ‘trust’

On November 22, 2016, I blogged about the computer solitaire game I play and how reluctant I am to be shown how to play it, similar to the way I often approach life. I like to figure things out by myself.  Today, God gave me another message as I played…

solitaireI have the option to choose to play a winning hand. The daily challenges which appear on my phone each morning guarantee they can be won. Sometimes that is more of a challenge than other days. There are times I have to trust that I am playing a winnable hand, because as I flip through the unplayable cards it sure doesn’t seem possible. But eventually a pattern opens up, and I begin to see that it is plausible after all.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

Once we give our lives to Christ, we are given a winning hand. Because He is beyond time, He knows what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen in our lives. He has it mapped out. All we have to do is play the cards we are dealt. Sure we have choices, but He knows us better than we know ourselves so He already has that figured out, too. We only need to trust in Him as our loving Savior that it is His plan for it all to work out for the best in the end.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

If I can trust some unknown computer programer to give me a winning hand each morning in a game on my phone, how can I not trust my Lord and Savior – who paid the price by his death so I could win the gift of salvation – to guide my day?

Yeah, convicted.

 

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The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. Psalm 121:8

I have a cross-shaped plaque hanging on my door jamb. Cut out in the center is the name of Jesus. Each time I use my key in my latch, it reminds me He is with me in my going out and my coming in. Yesterday the wind whistled through the corridor to my apartment. I noticed the plaque had flipped around backward. God, once again, sent me a message.

I wish I could say I know my Bible forward and backward, but I can state I recognize Jesus forward and backward. I don’t just mean by reading His name on the cut-out plaque near my front door. I mean in life.

I have learned over the years, backed by Scripture and experience, that God is already in my future and He is preparing me for it.  But, if I’m honest, I most often see Him backward.

They say hindsight is 20/20. I agree. It is always easier to see God’s movement in my life from the rearview mirror. The evening after, or a few days later it thunks my brain. Ah – okay. That was You, Lord. That serendipity was orchestrated by You alone to encourage me, correct my path, or confirm I am in Your will and am headed in the right direction. It always leave me with a tingly warmth that spreads from my heart into my tear ducts.

Sometimes it takes months or years before I see it.  But eventually, I do. Often, it makes me drop to my knees.

I hope, as I journey through this life, I can now see Him more forwardly and trust more in His guidance. Here comes the test of that…

Being accepted into the mission field is a leap of faith. I have always resisted the idea of being a missionary, but He had other plans. 

No, I am not off to Cambodia or Africa. My mission field is in cyberspace and I am traveling via my keyboard. But the work is just as valid. Souls are being won and hearts are being touched. I am humbled to be asked by Campus Crusades for Christ Canada through The Life Project to come onboard as a writer and editor. It has been a long discerning and vetting process. But as with any missionary, I must raise my own salary.

ButI go forward in faith believing that the time, income and words will be there. And looking back, I know He has prepared me for this effort over the past seven years. To Him be the honor and glory.

Already, God is bringing forth partners in prayer and funding, mostly from friends and a few family members. I know He will continue to do that and people only He could bring forward will join me.  Some I may not even know yet. Scary, but cool to consider.

If you want to know more, here is a quick video: https://vimeo.com/147793848.  If, after discussing it with our Lord, you feel called to support me in prayer or funding, comment and I’ll get in touch. Thanks.

Looking back on my life, I see Him in it, and so I boldly go forward…

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Noel Coward once sang, “Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun. ” Any Texan can relate to that, especially July-September.  Shade is a rare and precious commodity. So, when I looked out the window after church and saw these grackles huddled under my car, I laughed. Then I paused and thought…hmmm? Am I that smart?

IMAG0514Four years ago when I felt called to start this blog, I told the Lord that He’d have to show me obvious evidences of Him in my day so I could relay it to others. He has been faithful to do that, and this day was no different. Those birds taught me a deep truth.

If I was a grackle, more than likely I’d be worried that small water puddle might dry up and I couldn’t get a drink. What if no juicy bugs crawled by for hours on end.  Shouldn’t I be out there pecking around for them? What if the car moved? Well, I might doze off and get caught under it’s wheel.

But you see, I think the birds live in the moment, and then the next, confident God will take care of them. Instinctively they seek shelter.

In Matthew 6:26-27, Jesus states:  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[?

Now I’m not saying we shouldn’t plan for the future. That is being a good steward of our finances. However, there are times we all need to know when to just seek the shelter of the shade, that is God’s protection and love, and trust. Agreed?

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I awoke to a warning beep on my cell phone. Dense Fog Advisory.  So, naturally when I hopped in my car to head for work I sent up a prayer for me to arrive safely, and also for any of my friends out on the roads. Even still, my hands gripped the wheel a bit more firmly. I couldn’t see more than two cars ahead of me, and my breath began to quicken as the muscles in my shoulders tightened.

 

Then a small voice told me, “That’s all you need to see. Trust me for the rest.”

As I drove, cars slowly came into view as well as directional signs- speed, curve, stop.  All along the way, I still received guidance. Is this not an example of our life? Truth be told, I had plenty of visibility. In fact, when I played back the video on my cell phone I thought. “Wow, It’s not as foggy as I thought!”

Doesn’t that describe our lives? God sees all, yet we only see now, and a bit of the past fogged by our memories  in our rear view mirror. I think at times He envelops us in uncertainty so we can learn to slow down, trust and only see what He needs us to see at that given moment. Otherwise we may become distracted, or too overconfident of our own abilities.

Who will you trust to navigate you through the fog today?

 

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ID-100108485Infants become toddlers when they begin to, well, toddle. What parent hasn’t crouched down, arms extended and coaxed their wee one to inch towards them, one wobbly step at a time, then scooped them up and hugged them once their hands reconnected? It is necessary in the child’s development to crawl, toddle, walk and eventually run. We can’t carry them around until they are in their 30’s, can we?

In prayer, my mind pictured a toddler reaching out, unsure if it could walk.  Arms outstretched, it’s attention on it’s father’s beckoning hands, just three short steps away. A soft voice whispered, “Come. You can do it. Come. I’m here. Trust me.Try.”

Sometimes, I think God does carry us. But there are other times when He sets us down and backs away, just a few steps, so we will be enticed to walk towards Him. It is a test of faith and trust, but it also helps us reevaluate how much we want to be in His arms again. Do we sit and cry, demanding He to come to us?  Or do we slowly rise onto our feet and begin to take the first toe-to-heel movements in His direction as He gently calls to us, trusting if we wobble or stumble, He will be there to scoop us up?

Our faith-walk, just as an infant’s strides, should become more sure and steady. We are never out of the peripheral vision of our Daddy’s eyes or the extent of His reach, but there are times He wants us to test our legs, our boundaries, and our trust in Him. By letting go, He encourages us to draw near, to take those first few steps back to His arms where we once felt so secure. How else can we grow strong enough to stand in His presence?

Do you feel as if God has stepped away? Maybe He has… for your benefit,  Look with your heart. There He is, crouched with arms outstretched towards you. Take a deep breath, rise and walk to Daddy. Trust Him. Try.

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John stands knee-deep in the river, day after day. He feels this inner fervency to draw people to repent. So much so that he lives off the land and sleeps under the stars. Relentlessly, he cries out, taking no notice of how he is received.  Maybe, just maybe a few will respond.

Then, one day, the Son of BaptismOfJesusByJohn-787653God,  for whom he has been preparing others to receive, arrives and wants to be baptized as well. John says, “Uh, no. You are the one who should be doing this to me. I am not worthy to untie your sandals.”

But Jesus tells him this is what must be done, and there is purpose in it.   I can picture him as he looked into John’s eyes. I almost hear him say, “Trust me on this. You have to do this. You’ll see why in a minute.”

As he is baptized,  the Holy Spirit comes to bolster Jesus through the next three years of grueling ministry.  God anoints Him for the task. He confirms that Jesus is His Son.

Jesus’ baptism has another purpose as well. It’s is also a foreshadowing of Jesus passing that same Holy Spirit on to each believer who is baptized in His name and receives Him into their lives.  While John baptized for repentance of sins, Jesus takes that and turns it into so much more. John’s baptisms was temporary and temporal.  Jesus’s obedience turned it into a divine and eternal action of our loving and willing-to-forgive Father in Heaven.

Have you ever felt inadequate for a ministry God has called you to do?  Then you can relate to John. But just as Jesus told John that what he was asking him to do was purposeful and necessary, so He tells you. Just do it, trust and then watch what happens. Christ can take your simple acts of obedient talent and manifest Himself into them so they become  significantly more than you ever imagined.. He did it with water jugs at a wedding, with a boy’s meal of fish and bread, and with two pieces of wood tied to make a cross bar in which to punish thieves and murderers.

So, do what Christ is calling you to do, no matter how insignificant it makes you feel. Obey His command. Perhaps the skies won’t open up and an illuminated dove descend. But God will nod and say, “This is my child, with whom I am well pleased.”

 

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