God is Able…Listens…Loves…

Posted by on May 1, 2017 in Action Steps, Personal Growth Tips, Spiritual Help

    God is able… Deep in our hearts we know God is able and we whisper in the darkness “God is able.” We may feel uncertain and unsure of what to do, but God who is able to do more than we can ask or imagine can do that which we cannot do. Ephesians 3:20 Knowing this but maybe not quite fully believing we ask “why” and question God. Job questions God Remember the story of Job? Job questioned God and he struggled in the darkness confessing his lack of understanding of all the things he suffered. Job did not doubt God was able to sustain him. He simply did not understand why these things were happening to him. He constantly asks, “Why?”.  Seeking answers Job looks within himself confessing his inability to understand all he is suffering. Job found his answers within God. Throughout the book of Job we watch as God instructs, teaches, grows and stretches him. Job sought God for direction and answers to his dilimena and we can find answers to our questions and the solution to our suffering and pain within God as Job did. Do you question God? Is He silent? Do you experience times knowing you are wrapped in His loving arms, but He appears distant and silent in the darkness? Your questions linger with no apparent answer and no solution. Prayers appear to evaporate into thin air going nowhere. The cry of your heart asks, “Why?” We whisper with doubt in our hearts to ourselves in the darkness, “Is God able?” Is God listening? Does He love and care about me? Does He remember I am here? These and other questions invade your mind. The dry dark periods test your faith and the joy of relationship. Hang on! God is not finished with you or me. He continues to write the chapters of your life working behind the scene molding and shaping you into what He desires you to become as He continues to write your story. Through the years I have asked these same questions when the path was lonely, dark, and silent. I wait knowing God is working to bring me closer to Him, instructing, teaching, growing and stretching me. I do not like it and I turn to Him sometimes in anger asking “Why?”.  Tired and weary I did not stop with “why”. I asked, “Can I have a break?”. The break I sought did not come, but seeking God through prayer, talking to Him, and reading His Word peace finally came as I surrendered to Him. Trusting that He alone knows that my heart, my longing to be obedient and my desire to grow loser to Him in the midst of my suffering, questioning and anger. Job replies to God. “I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you.” Job 42:1-2  ...

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Loneliness…

Posted by on Apr 18, 2016 in Personal Growth Tips, Spiritual Help

    Loneliness   Loneliness engulfs my spirit and my soul experiences sadness. Oops, sadness engulfs me as I try pushing my head up from the pillow to start a new day. What happened so long ago that left me experiencing loneliness and hopeless despair? What is the cause of the emptiness that wells up inside me? Divorce, rejection, unfaithful spouse, sickness, or a friend’s betrayal? Looking back God’s hand lifts my body up from the depths of loneliness and despair loving me through pain, loss, and rejection. Come to me, my child, rest in my loving arms. Family, friends, and spouses may betray us. It may have been jealousy, greed, or simply to gratify a selfish desire. It startles, surprises, and leaves us fearful to trust. Following Jesus does not allow for living in the status quo arena. Growth, change and moving forward is part of following Him. Growing closer to Jesus He leads step by step along the path he has designed for our journey of life. Where do you place your hope? Is it in material things? People? Money? All are temporary and fleeting. Our hope lies in Jesus Christ. Put your faith in the one who comforts you, watches over you, and walks beside you. “But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you.” (Psalm 39:7) What David couldn’t do he realized God could. Hope can be found when we realize the truth that all things pass away even pain and pleasure, but God is always with us. Do you want to take the next step with Jesus? Are you ready for a fresh start? What steps or changes do you need to make to walk with Jesus Christ and move forward in faith experiencing the peace that only He can give? Is God calling your name to step out in faith and trust Him? He never calls us to do what He will not give us His grace to fulfill. Remember where He calls you to go He goes with you. Brenda Luther, thirteenonecoaching.com  ...

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TRUST?

Posted by on Oct 7, 2015 in Action Steps, Personal Growth Tips, Spiritual Help, Uncategorized

God asks…”Do you trust me?” We waver back and forth in our decision to trust Him. Often we take matters into our own hands with the attitude, I can do it on my own. God asks…”Do you trust me?” Do you trust me enough to: 1.  let go and let me be in control? 2.  step back and wait on me? 3.  accept my forgiveness? 4.  accept the sacrifice of my Son, Jesus, for your sins? 5.  accept salvation that is offered freely? 6.  give me all the burdens dragging you down and keeping your mind unsettled? 7.  help you forgive someone who has hurt you deeply and pray for them? 8.  heal your wounds inflicted upon you by a spouse? Child? Friend? Co-worker? 9.  give you strength of character, wisdom, and knowledge to face the questions and the answers encountered in daily living? 10. forgive your spouse, friend, or family member who turned their backs on you, slandered your name with lies, and refused to accept responsibility for their behavior? 11. trust me and be obedient to my Word? 12. accept my love? 13. follow me? Do you remember the song Trust and Obey? “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey.” It was one of the first hymns I learned to play on the piano. My sisters and I used to play church all the time. Believe it or not, I was always the preacher. Amazing, because I was a shy little girl. My sister, Glenda, played the piano, and my sister, Diane, and I were the singers. Singing and playing church were two things I enjoyed besides riding my bike. Church was one thing we knew. Every time the doors opened we were there. I am thankful that my Mother taught me the love of Jesus and encouraged me to follow Him. There is no greater gift we can give our children than to teach them of Jesus and His love,  to trust  and follow Him accepting His gift of salvation. We grow up. Life happens and through the difficult times our faith and trust in Him falters. Doubts assail our thoughts. We waver in our trust of God wondering and questioning Him in the midst of pain, suffering, loss, and difficulties. Eventually we realize that living life on our own is not working and we turn to Him. The words of the song are true; “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey.” Lord, may our answer to the questions today be, “yes”, and may each of us  surrender all to you trusting in your unfailing love. Help us to rejoice in you as you heal the pain that disrupts our joy and robs us of precious moments with our family and friends and the joy...

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God’s Grace…Is it Sufficient?

Posted by on Sep 22, 2015 in Obstacles, Personal Growth Tips, Spiritual Help

  “God’s Grace…Is it Sufficient? Journeying through life, encountering problems, suffering emotionally, lacking motivation, and trudging along the path questions invade our mind about God’s grace. Moments of indecision wavering with the sufficiency of God in the search for resolution and the struggle to trust God. 1.  The lack of joy or motivation in your spirit raises the question “God’s Grace…Is it Sufficient?” 2.  When conflict with loved ones causes you to question your actions and your motivates. 3.   A family member or friend suffers from sickness and answers to prayers do not come.  “God’s Grace…Is it Sufficient?” 4.   Life is full of uncertainty and your thoughts are in turmoil. 5.   Although you are reading your Bible, praying, attending church, and seeking God you feel your spiritual life is stagnant. Your spirit seems cold and unyielding and God seems far away. 6.   People fail you and you are disappointed and fail to understand. Questions flood your mind. 7.   The darkness surrounds you and fear invades your spirit as you search for meaning in your life. 8.   God seems far away and you feel empty inside wondering, “Where is God?” 9.   Something is missing in your life and you wonder, “What am I missing?” 10. The questions come when jobs are lost, finances are in disarray, and there appears to be no hope. 11. God is silent and you wonder, “Has God forgotten me?” 12. The questions arise, “Does God love me?” 13. Where is God in your time of doubt, sadness, wandering, floundering, and questioning Him? It is impossible to figure out life on your own without God. He is with you, walking beside you, guiding, and leading you along the path He has laid out for you. Following Him when you question, “God’s Grace…Is it Sufficient?” Experiencing feelings of being forsaken, rejected, and alone you continue to seek Him knowing in your heart that He is sufficient for all your needs. Whatever I have, whoever I am, I can make it through anything with God who gives me strength. Philippines 4:13 I command you–be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you, wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 …Nothing is too hard for God. Jeremiah 32:17 Paul pleaded for the Lord to remove a thorn in his flesh, and the Lord replied, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” II Corinthians 12:9            God displays His power in weaknesses giving hope and courage to trust Him. Trusting in Him, He gives what is needed. Discussing weaknesses is not a joyful topic. The desire to be strong and self-sufficient is the goal. God has other plans. He desires for strength and sufficiency to come from faith and trust in Him. Our faith falters in the attempt...

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Words

Posted by on Aug 6, 2015 in Personal Growth Tips

Words … Because I think it does not necessarily mean I need to speak it. Sometimes I speak before I think. Are you guilty like me? As I realize and understand the value and impact of words, I desire to be more thoughtful before I speak. My desire is to have my spoken words to be words of love, that encourage, provides hope, and brings joy and laughter to people’s lives. I ask myself, “Do I always use wise words making the most of every opportunity and is my conversations filled with grace?” Colossians 4:5 What do my words say about me? About you? Are my words pleasing to God? Are yours? With a word God created the world, healed the sick, and cast out demons. Words are powerful. What is in our hearts is revealed when we speak. Words can change the quality of our life for good or evil, affect our mood, change our behavior, cause us to stumble, to question our choices, or help us make wise choices. Our words have the same affect upon other people. One word can change my day, your day, your spouse, our children, our life, and the people who cross our path. Let us change our day and their day with kind, encouraging words that will impact their life for good. When someone speaks sharp, unkind words to me in anger I wonder and question “Why”? Are they having a bad day? What did I do wrong? At other times I receive words that encourage and uplift me and make me smile. I forget that my tone of voice is important and affects the impact my words have upon others. Our tone can reflect happiness, anger, impatience and frustration. Take time one day and listen to your words and listen to the tone of your voice. If you are like me when you are busy and preoccupied with work or a thousand other things, our tone can express irritability, annoyance, and aggravation which is projected upon our family, friends, and acquaintances. A few ways that words impact our life:     (1)   create doubt and confusion in our minds and we question our choices     (2)   generate tears that overflow    (3)   cause anger that wells up within us    (4)   crush our spirit and the result is we feel hopeless and alone    (5)   instill fear and we become frightened    (6)   show love and generate passion within us    (7)   tarnish reputations and wrecks havoc upon people’s lives    (8)   sting and wound us    (9)   depress us and we experience sadness    (10) demoralize us and the result is loss of confidence and hope    (11)  influence feelings of unworthiness    (12)  give us a sense of worthiness and confidence to be all we can be  ...

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Change…

Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in Personal Growth Tips, Spiritual Help

“How are you sabotaging your own progress?” This is the question our pastor asked today. The following is things I thought about as I reflected back on the sermon. I don’t know about you but I think about and desire to make changes in my life. Often that is  true, “I think” but fail to implement changes. Doubts come and fill my mind with all the reasons why it is impossible for me to make changes and fear of the unknown intrudes on my thought process. Some changes I can easily make but others are not quite so easy. A few reasons we use to justify why we refuse to change… 1.  Fear of __________? 2.  What would people say? 3.  What if I fail? 4.  Can I financially afford to take that step at this time? 5.  Who would be willing to give me a chance to start that new career? 6.  How would change affect my spouse, family, children, and friends? 7.  Do I have the desire and will power to change? 8.  How do I implement change into my current life style? 9.  Is anyone willing to help me? 10. Where do I begin? 11. What holds me back from implementing change in my life? 12. Can I accomplish change and stick to it? 13. Am I willing and do I want change in my life or is change something to mull over from time to time and dream about? The issues and difficulties that we face in life and changes we know we need to make, but refuse to make for various reasons all go back to our spiritual life. They are spiritual issues. Is Jesus first and foremost the #1 person we run to and rely on when the difficulties of life drag us down? Often instead of running to the One who has all the answers and loves us more than anyone else and is our Helper we run to a friend or anyone who will listen. We spend time discussing our problems but not seeking a solution. We run from change that we know we need to make and settle for a life of the status quo and experience feelings of loss within our heart. We are missing the spiritual blessings that God has for us when we refuse to make the necessary changes as God calls us to a higher calling. What is your biggest obstacle in making changes that will benefit you spiritually?  Is it that you are unwilling to give up a habit you know is detrimental to your family, your health, your mental stability, your witness for Christ, or your career? Is it a hobby that consumes you and takes too much time away from your spouse and your children or does not allow you time to serve and worship Christ? Is it your career that consumes your time...

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