Monday, January 26, 2015

Are You In the Water?

Hi friends,
Hope you are all having a great start to 2015!
 I was studying for my Sunday School lesson last week (I teach Kindergarteners). We were learning about Jesus walking on water and Peter getting out of the boat to walk on the water.  I know the story very well, but always like to refresh myself and reread it before teaching.  It's awesome though because God always shows me something new even when I read a well known story.  As I was reading Matthew 14, I thought about the faith that Peter had when he got right out of the boat and started walking to Jesus on the water.  When Jesus told Peter to come to Him, the Bible doesn't say Peter hesitated.  He may have, but when he got out and started walking to Jesus, his faith was strong enough to keep him from drowning.  I personally think he was pretty confident in Jesus's strength upon entering the roaring waters.  Peter began to sink only when he took his eyes off of Jesus.  He began to look around at everything that was against him: the waves, the storm, and the wind.  Jesus still took care of Peter even when he started doubting, but what an awesome miracle he was participating in while walking on water.  When Jesus reached out and grabbed Peter, He asked him why he began to doubt.  God's power is so magnificent and we all too often forget that.  We step out in faith like Peter, but then begin to doubt.  I think we too, make faith based decisions and then look around and forget the God that we serve.  He can do miraculous things!  I often deep down know that God has everything under control, but I still want to take matters into my own hands and worry.  It's hard to trust and keep trusting after time, especially if God has you in a waiting period.  I do know that no matter what, God will never let you down.  When you begin to doubt God, start praising His name.  I have found so much comfort in praising God with statements such as, "You will not fail me. You are holding me by my right hand. You are good.  You will never leave me or forsake me."  Those things are all true, and God's peace fills me when I pray those words! You can walk on water too if you keep your eyes on the One who made the waters with His words! It's okay to step out of the boat, and often I think we do.  We seem to fail just like Peter after traveling the path just a little ways when we think of all the things that could go wrong.  Just keep walking.  Keep trusting.  Keep waiting. Keep praising.

Matthew 14:28-31- " And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"

Deuteronomy 31:8- "And the Lord, He it is that doth go before thee; He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed."

Isaiah 41:13- "For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee."

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Roll With the Flow: Lessons From a Busy Life

Hello friends,
My semester in college came to a close last week and it has been great to have a break from classes.  This has been a semester that I look back on and I literally have no idea how everything got accomplished.  I do know that God brought me through all the work and all the stress.  This has by far been the most stressful and most crazy semester I've experienced.  I think I completed over 20 projects, a couple of them being 50 pages plus.  My fellow education majors and I hear that it doesn't get better the further we go into the program so it looks like I just have a stressful year and a half ahead! I feel like I haven't been my normal self.  I usually am the type of person to have everything planned way in advance; however, lately, I've been having to think quick at the last minute to get things accomplished.  I am so grateful for this break from school over the next few weeks; it is a much needed refresher.  I hope you are all enjoying this Christmas season. I want to encourage you and share with you 10 things I've learned from my crazy, busy semester in no particular order.  

1. Never stop having your quiet time because you are too busy.  That is the one thing that will give you peace and the strength you need to make it through without going crazy.  Take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to talk to God and read His word each day.  
2. Jesus is your one, true Rest. He will give you rest. You will find rest when you bring your true feelings to His throne. There are days when I just have to tell Him exactly how I feel.  He already knows, so just talk with Him about it.  Tell Him how tired you are and how much you need His strength. 
3. Surrender- Give it all to God where it all belongs.  
4. Don't try to tackle today with your own resources, you will never make it. We must realize that we can't in our own strength get everything done.  We must have God's help! 
5. Pray about what your doing.  He'll help you. Don't allow Satan to trick you into thinking God doesn't care about the little things in life.  I can tell you story after story of things I've prayed about that were tiny that God answered.
6. Acknowledge that God is always in control.
7. Remember that in the long run, your eternal Heaven life is not affected by the stressors of today!
8. Don't I trust God enough to help me get everything accomplished?
9. Sometimes no matter how much work you need to accomplish, you just need to take a break.  Sometimes you just have to push your work aside and relax and worry about the work the next day. 
10. Time management is everything! Sometimes your plan may not work though.  Roll with the flow!

No matter where you are in life, these truths apply.  I think at times, we all have those overwhelming days where it just seems like there's not enough of us to go around for everything that needs to be done. And guess what, there's not.  We can never be enough in our own strength.  I think we can all admit to the days of feeling the overwhelming pressure of life.  Take it one day at a time.  When you don't accomplish everything because a lot of days you won't; keep your priorities in order with devotions at the top of the list. Also remember that God is in control.  He knows what must be done and He has everything under control.  Roll with the flow!

Proverbs 19:21 - There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.

Matthew 19:26 - But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Matthew 6:34 - Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Lessons While Driving

Hello friends,
I am so sorry it has been way too long since I posted! Life has been keeping me so busy.
This morning as I was driving to work, God showed me a Biblical truth.  The interstate I drive on has many lanes that end, merge, and split on my route to work.  There is even one place where you have to be in the correct lane because one goes to another interstate.  As I drive, I always make sure I am following the correct path; that is the logical thing to do since I know exactly how to get to work. It would be crazy of me to stay in the wrong lane and go onto another road that doesn't take me to work.  I'm usually thinking ahead as well because I don't like to wait until the last minute to change lanes; therefore, I try to make sure I'm in the lane I need to be in way before I must be in that lane.  This morning as I passed the split of the two interstates, God allowed me to think of staying on track with Him.  So often, we struggle with making the right decision.  Sometimes we may even know which choice God would want us to make, yet we are still struggling to make that choice.  I thought about how easy it is to stay on the correct path while driving.  We don't question it; if we know we need to go a certain path, we go that way.  It would be crazy not to.  Why do we struggle to stay on track with God? He knows what is up ahead.  He knows the curves, turns, merges, lane endings, etc. even when we have no idea what new road He is taking us down.  We need to be willing to stay on the road where Jesus is, just as easily as we are willing to stay on the road that we know will end at our desired destination.  Let me encourage you that the road where Jesus is, is definitely where you want to be! That is the safest, most blessed place you can be at all times, with Jesus.  Stay on track with God.  He will never let you down! I'm not saying you won't have difficulties or struggles, but I am saying that where Jesus is, you'll be satisfied.  Other roads may look more appealing; however, God's road is best. 

Matthew 7:14- "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

Psalm 37:23-"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way."