They Are Watching

Their eyes are on us. They are watching our every move.

There are two groups I can think of. One is those who are not believers and watching our every move so when we fail they can point fingers and use it against God and us. There are also those around us who are hungry for and need God. These people are watching how we act and often imitate what we do because they see us as “good Christians” and want what we have.

My question is what about when we have a bad day, what about when every single thing that can go wrong, does? Not every day here on this earth is paradise; in fact most days are not.

No pressure.

Sometimes (more often than not) my behavior reminds me of what Paul said in Romans. I don’t understand what I do and the things I know I should not be doing…………..I do anyway. There are times that the more I try to be good, the harder it seems and the less it happens.

The thing is living in the world we do, we are going to have tough times. As Christians we have to live by a different standard and very definitely a higher standard.

Without a doubt, it is hard.

When we meet a new acquaintance and they want to know where to go in our town and what to do, how do we answer? We tell them about the best restaurants, the stores that have the most fashionable clothes and good prices, the best fishing hole, an awesome shooting range, the coffee shop with the out of this world coffee, good contractors, dentists, doctors etc.  How often do we mention the church options and invite them to ours, the meaningful new bible study you attend, a family of Christian people who enjoy the same hobby (motorcyclists in my case J)

When we (Christians or not) find ourselves in a position where we vehemently disagree with our neighbors, coworkers, churchgoers, the person next to us in the checkout line, we become warriors of the most brazen sort. Maybe we should become warriors of the prayer sort.

When someone we do not like falls upon hard times, we think to ourselves, well, well, look who finally got what they deserve. Before getting too righteous we should be remembering that we got something precious we did not deserve, do our foes not deserve the same from us?

When we sense the Holy Spirit nudging us to call a friend, take a meal, send a card, share a prayer or stop the person walking by and give them a hug, but we don’t because time is short. You may have just missed the only chance that person has today for comfort and support. You certainly have missed a chance to show that Jesus Christ lives in you.

When we do what is right but not necessarily easy, others notice, a seed is planted and respect grows. When we do what is right maybe a heart is softened just enough to start seeking that which they see in us. When we do what is right God’s Kingdom grows and angels rejoice.

Dottie

……………….and so I ride

 

 

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Starting Over

Starting Over.

Self-sufficiency is a coveted commodity in our society. We all know people that have made their way all on their own and are proud that they need no one but themselves to get by.

But then one day, God brings even the most self-sufficient to a place where they have no strength, no answers, no money, no job and no choices except to turn to God and say, help me.

It can be exceedingly painful and extremely humbling.

Starting over is like learning to walk ………. start-overs and setbacks are a part of life. How many times does the little one tumble before he learns to walk with steady grace?

Another thing I can tell you with an amount of certainty is that most likely, you are not where you are because of some fluke of nature but you are in the starting gate of life because God needs to show you something.

Do not and I repeat DO NOT misunderstand what I am saying, I am not negating your pain or situation in any way. You have lost a spouse, you have lost every material possession you had in this world, your best friend died, you have gotten a terrible diagnosis, your child died, your job is gone and all prospects have dried up. You have been abused, or drugs or alcohol have their steely grip on you, maybe the friends you thought you could count on have betrayed and deserted you. The circumstances you are facing are deadly serious and they hurt like hell.

You hurt, you cry, you threaten, you shout, and finally you admit that you have absolutely nothing left on this earth.

At this point there is nothing left to lose.

That’s the good news.

While you are pleading with God and asking “Why me Lord, what did I do to deserve this? God is softly telling you that He has heard His son speak the same words.

 Trust Him through this.

Whatever your circumstances of your life at this moment you can come out a winner. If you have sinned, repent. If you are facing a battle, seek God’s will and let Him handle the battle for you. If you are in unfamiliar and unknown territory, know with absolutely certainty that God has a blessing waiting for you there and rejoice in that fact. To those who have cheated, mistreated, lied about you, offer up prayers for them. If you have traveled a road that you never should have traveled, work with God to find your way back to the road He wants you to follow. If every treasure you have on this earth is suddenly gone, know with certainty that the real treasure awaits you.

 God offers you the way to start over and find the significance that has thus far eluded you. Know that you can be the inspiration to others that they are so desperately seeking. However you first have to grab that courage, strength and wisdom and trust what is being offered. Don’t let the simple act of unconditional love offered by God be covered up in the mess, loss and hurt of the moment.

Do not give up.

Mother Teresa said that “When you have nothing left but God, you have more than enough to start over again”

There is such truth in that statement, it is not romantic drivel, it is solid, wonderful, honest truth.

I know there is fear in uncertainy. You are afraid of more pain, you are afraid your life will be very different, you are afraid God has drawn the map but misplaced the compass. I can tell you that the tighter you hold onto the reins of control in this torturous moment the more intense the pain will become and the more extreme the battle will be.

When God gives you the opportunity to start over, know that He is giving you the chance to start over with Him. Don’t look at this as a roadblock, but recognize the road could very well be GONE and God is offering you a bridge to a better way, the ONLY WAY that is going to get you where He desires you to be.

Will it take a leap of faith, of course it will, just as it will take a trust that only comes from seeking God every single second of every single day. You will find growth, significance, greater closeness with God and the unexplainable peace that presides over every circumstance every day when God is involved.

There is so much wrong in the world but with God there is so much more right.

So go ahead, find the courage to let go and start over. You will be glad you did.

“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (NIV).

Dottie

…………and so I ride

 

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We are more than the sum of the trouble we are going through.

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I think that a lot of the times we tend to define ourselves according to our troubles.

We are victims, we are picked on, we are divorced, widowed, addicts, unemployed and unworthy,  you get the picture. We look at ourselves as if who we are is measured by what we are going through.

If we are living on this earth, we are going to have trials and tribulations.  If we look at ourselves solely as the sum of our troubles is it any wonder that everyone else soon does the same? As long as we are defining ourselves in terms of our troubles we will never be free from them.

There is one big thing that we tend to forget I think.

No matter what we are going through we are still God’s child. No matter how stormy the weather or how choppy the seas, we still have our destiny. God’s presence does not depend on whether we are living in pleasant or turbulent times.

So yes we might be living through any amount of trouble but we must never forget we are so much more than all that.

We are also healed, loved, raised up, redeemed, His workmanship, justified, worthy, purchased by the blood of the Lamb. We are clothed with the righteousness of Jesus.

Endure, stay in the fight for our Life coach is always with us.

He is with us no matter the circumstances, “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go” Genesis 28:15

We already possess all we could ever need. No matter what Satan has laid down for us, no matter the storm that is raging around us. We still have our destiny. God prepared it, Jesus assured we would receive it.

If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. (2 Tim. 2:12)

Dottie

…………………………………and so I ride

Be Still and Know that I am God

Psalms 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God”

My first thought was ok, does that mean that I am to be quiet, calm and hushed no noise, just a quietness that comes from deep inside. Or maybe it means peaceful and untroubled? Or is it talking about being tranquil and not moving?

It could probably mean any of those things. When we are calm, quiet and hushed God’s voice is more likely to be heard plainly and clearly. It might mean that although we may still be walking through rough water, the storm inside us is no longer raging because you know with an absolute certainty who it is you are trusting.

It is hard for God to dwell in a heart that is full of rage, agitation, complaints and is heavy with the burdens that God wants to carry for us.

It helps to remember that where we can’t…………..He can.

We are commanded to “Be still and know that I am God” It could probably be translated, “Chill Out, take it easy, loosen up, relax!” Romans 15:4 tells us that through endurance we find hope. God interceded on our behalf before, He can do it again. We should think of His history and what He did for those of us He loves every time we walk through troubles because that puts our troubles in a totally different perspective.

So be still with a spiritual calm. That stillness won’t come from false confidence inside you or it won’t come because of a silly superman/woman cape you tie on each morning.

That stillness will come because we know exactly who this God is that we trust.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.download