The Power of Struggle

Without struggles in our lives, we can not know ourselves and what we are really like, how we handle pressure, what we need to work on, how we learn, our pride level, so many things. If we only possess a perfect life in which no conflict was present, for one it would be dreadfully boring and two, we would never have the opportunity to know or improve ourselves beyond the extent of the mirror looking at the outer shell of ourselves. To truly know ourselves and what we are capable of and what we need work on, how can we grow wiser, learn, challenge ourselves, learn to lead, etc.? And without knowing ourselves deeper, how do we know God deeper, whose fingerprint is below the seen, in the soul and not on the seen shell? Not that we are God but that He reveals Himself in us in our inner soul when we worship and follow Him. Every great novel has an antagonist and a crisis. Some have several. Would it be worth the read without it? 

An Excerpt on Relational Pain

Excerpt from my daily devotional Inspirational Thoughts for Mothers:

“There is no pit so deep that God is not deeper still. -Corrie Tin Boom

” To give thanks to Him for all things is indeed very difficult… For it includes giving thanks for trials of all kinds, for suffering and pain, for weariness, for the crossing of our wills, for contradiction, for reproaches, for loneliness, for privations. Yet they who have learned submission will… Hereafter see all the links of the chain, and how wonderfully even those have fitted which at the time seemed to have no adaptation… This belief enables them to praise Him and give thanks now for each thing, assured that the God of love will do all things well. -Priscilla Maurice

“Trust in the dark bri GS triumph at dawn. – Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

” When I cannot understand my Father’s leading, and it seems to be but hard and cruel fate, still I hear that gentle whisper ever pleading, Boris working, God is faithful… Only wait.

“So, if your every human plan and calculation has miscarried, if, one by one, human props have been knocked out, and doors have shut in your face, take heart. God is trying to get a message through to you, and the message is: ‘Stop depending on inadequate human resources. Let Me ha for the matter.’ – Catherine Marshall

Calming Troubled Waters

I don’t know one single person right now with a perfect life, one free of trouble. Not one. And that is disconcerting and simultaneously expected. This life is no picnic, the Bible tells us it would be this way. People are happy to believe the good stuff and get weird and offer see with the bad stuff. One thing you realize with the addition of years and experience is that you take the good with the bad or you will be lonely because every single person has both. Every one. Me too. So calming the troubled waters of our souls, our family, our church, our community, our world is an extremely tall order, one which goes against human nature’s affinity for badness. So the answer for this must involve the goodness, the good side of us as well as the superhuman, God. So God is the hope, see? His nature is not corrupted with this affinity for badness. He is beyond reproach, able to reach the heart and what!tter strongholds. So the cure for trouble is prayer to God, our way to leave the physical and goto the spiritual realm and also our sacrifice of pride in asking Him for help, believing with faith that He is the only help and hope we have. And the waves will subside. We will still have trouble but we will be changed to know we are not alone ever, we are not unloved ever, and when this life is over for us, we have a home with God. There is enormous comfort in that. And co fort is getting harder and harder to come by. Thank God for this hope and help.

Trials of All Sorts

Trials of all sorts are inevitable. If you are not in one or just stepped out of one recently, one is just ahead. They hurt. They try you. They rip you to shreds. They make you feel low and vulnerable and humble (hopefully) and insignificant in the scheme of things. Why do we have to endure these things? Because we can get a little prideful, a little haughty, a little too big for our britches. And God is our Father in Heaven. An excellent, perfect father as He is to us does not let his whiny snot-nosed brats (like we are sometimes as adults) just get whatever we want and watch us brag about it and want more. No, a perfect father does not let his kid get away with murder or evil things or just continue along a monotonous path we feel comfortable with forever. Why not leave us alone? Because He is alive and we are too and a good father as He is wants the best for us. He wants us to stretch our limits and see what amazing gifts He gave us to use and enjoy. He wants us to grow our characters and become more like Him, more perfect each day, more willing to serve and help and show love. He wants us to be good. So, He disciplines sometimes and tests other times and both feel like the same thing- a painful trial. Trials, if you have ever endured them, suck. They tear you up. They make you feel really really stupid. So don’t expect a fun road, but the absolute best thing anyone can ever do to get through a trial faster is this. My secret. Here it is. Give Up. Immediately, once you recognize the trial, fall down flat on your face and give up control to God, humbly admit that He is God and you are not and let it go to Him. More may be required, like some degree of effort to accomplish a task, but often God takes care of the rest when you humble yourself and ask Him to. Learn the lesson. Find the correction or lesson quickly and it will be over quickly. Be proud and haughty and find your own way out and you may have to go through the same or different versions of the same trial over and over and over, you get the point. The beauty of God as Father is not only that He wants us to grow and stretch and improve, but He also is filled with love and adoration for us. So He gives us this monster to tackle, but when we ask Him for help, He tackles it with us/for us/through us. Amazing. So, if facing a trial or just did or will do, please remember my secret and use it. It is free. It might save you a heck of a lot of pain. God bless you!! 🙂

Smaller than God

Any problem can be put into its proper perspective if you say “This is smaller than God”. This works because it is truth. Everything is smaller than God. You, me, problems, disappointments, discouragements, darkness, death, Satan, enemies, hatred, every single thing you can imagine or call up, God is bigger. This is a great faith building exercise. Write it on notes everywhere. Text yourself. Text a friend. “This is smaller than God”. Or you can take the bigger half, and say the same thing like this “God is bigger than this.” Of course, for this to work, not only do you have to know God is bigger and problems are all smaller, you need to also bear in mind that God loves you so much!! So, He is bigger but also has your back. Whoa. Big story. So there it is, short, sweet and to the point, in the face of any problem, “This is smaller than God.” Once we know that mixed with His great love for us, anything that hits us is temporary and doable because God supplies all our needs according to His riches in glory (and He owns everything). All He needs from us to accomplish this provision for us is the faith of a humble heart. We muster that faith and it unleashes God’s willingness to fix it. We have to give Him the reins. “This is smaller than God.” And God loves me.

How to Win the Fight Within

I love boxing. I love to watch, love to fight. I fight inside myself too. I seem born to fight. Unsure if from heredity (my Daddy was a boxing instructor in the Marines) or nostalgia (watching matches with him as a kid) or just the overwhelming drive and energy built into me, I really enjoy the fight. I don’t like losing though. Really really don’t like losing. So I have a way to win every fight inside me. This works. To win every fight within your soul, on do two simple things. The first is lay down and give up. The second is to give the fight away to God. He can win against everything. I didn’t say it was exciting. Refusing to fight IS actually an action, though, in this case. We bow out of the fight against the roaring flood of our pride. Our pride says we can beat this. We can win. And I always did before. But. Eventually we will come against a fight we cannot win, too big an opponent. And God will not fight for us if our enormous egos are blocking His way. So when faced with a small battle inside, start practicing your new line of defense: your double play: surrender the fight and give it to God to fight. He can not lose to anyone or anything.

Good Deeds Unrewarded

Many many times in this world, utilizing the eyeballs in our heads, we do not see rewards for good deeds done. Sometimes, more often now than before in our upside down world where wrong is celebrated and right is belittled we are ridiculed or accosted for good deeds. Often, there is a wonder at why we should bother doing good deeds when they are ignored, unappreciated, punished. I wondered that today once. Why bother? No one cares either way. No one even notices. My employer of old used to say that appreciation only exists until the customer steps outside so don’t do any favors. I completely ignored his cynicism and continued to help when I could. Why? Why bother? The easy answer is because I follow the teachings of Christ Jesus. The Bible tells me to do good deeds. Why? To be applauded and appreciated by man? Nope. We do good deeds because we are told to for the sake of God’s kingdom which is greater than any one of us. We work for God. He is the One we are serving and obeying. And guess what. He has promised an eternity of rewards for those unappreciated and persecuted good deeds done here on this earth. I would much rather have an eternity (which is a very very long time) with peace and reward from the Creator than years of praise from other created beings. If you look at it that way, with an eternal perspective, it becomes much much easier to do the right thing in life.