WHEN BAD THINGS HAPPEN

Here we are in not only a new year but a new decade. I honestly did not think I would see 2020. I also did not see me still in a state of transition. I get down and feel like I have lost vision because “it has taken too long” to move into the work of love God had fired up in our hearts or painful events have distracted me.

But God…. Has a plan and a purpose for everything that comes. God can use anyone or anything to remind us that He is faithful and has not given up on us no matter how hurt and distracted we become.

As Christians, we hear the question “Why do we have trials or troubles?”. “Why does God allow bad things to happen to me?”

Even as Servants, teachers, leaders and pastors we all experience trials that we don’t understand the why.

Today, God dropped into my Facebook, a video teaching from Joyce Meyer regarding this very topic of trials in our lives and 4 purposes of these trials.

Joyce laid out points of thought for this topic that has given me an attitude adjustment and exposed my own distraction from the faith that God knows what He is doing and what it will take for me to be effective for His purpose and kingdom. We would like to share this with you, may it touch your heart and mind to persevere in the process. 

Paraphrasing the list:

1. Keep us humble – When all always goes well, we build the attitude of pride or judgement of others and forget our need of God, our provider, healer, comforter and so much more. (2 Corinthians 12:7)

2. It is not about what God should do for us but who He is.
(2 Corinthians 1:8, 9)

3. To test and strengthen our faith, even remind us that faith is essential.
(1 Peter 1:7)

4. To equip us to help others. (2 Corinthians 1: 3, 4)

As I listened to her words it brought to my mind the story of Joseph in Genesis.

Genesis 50:20, here Joseph’s brothers showed up in great need and found Joseph in charge of that which could save them. The brother they had sold into slavery, they were afraid to face him for what he might do to them. 

I recommend reading from verse 15 -21. Joseph had experienced great trials and yet persevered in faith and understanding that God is faithful and will use the trials for good and showed forgiveness and mercy to his brothers.

Satan would rather Joseph sent the brothers away to starve and die. But God used Joseph’s trials to bring him to his destiny, for He knew what was to come and that Joseph would meet their need.

Glory to God that He still uses our trials to perfect us for His glorious purpose that we would not have accomplished any other way.

As for “trials are a punishment”… Even though we may experience consequences by our own decisions or someone else’s, what the enemy determines for evil and destruction, God makes for good.

God can and will use our trials and if we take advantage of those opportunities. Those trials will build within us strength, perseverance and compassion that one day we will help others. 

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Are You Busy?

Good Morning our Friends,

Whew! This has been a busy week. Here it is Friday already and I have a list of things unfinished.

“Busy”… I used to think that was a good thing, but now I am not so sure. My understanding of busy was that it was the opposite of bored and that bored was bad, idle hands and all.

I think it’s wrong in my case. Being busy can be a distraction from what important.

I can’t do this, that or the other thing because I’m too busy doing something else that isn’t as important as but easier than something else. It may be only an excuse to delay something more important that I may consider to be unpleasant or more difficult.

Mmmmm, wow, ouch… is that true in your life too. I will save “right order” and “wasting vs investing time” for another post.

Some of these distractions are delaying the blessings of God, keeping us from doing the things God prepares us to do.

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (NIV)

I feel like a kid that my dad gives me a direction and I respond.. “Yeah, okay, after I get these other things done” that I think are more important. Meanwhile, after I get my “more important” things done, I missed the trip to the treat shop for ice cream with my dad. Now I think to myself, “my response should’ve been, Yes and get it done.”

Distractions can be used by the enemy to keep us from God’s best because satan will use any foothold, whether a crack or cavernous void, that we make available to him. Much of the time we don’t realize that we are doing it until we miss the bus.

Ephesians 5:15-17 “Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (NIV)

Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward, It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (NIV)

But God, loves us so much. He knows our heart and is actively pursuing us. His will and timing are perfect. If God says “now”, now is the best time for the best result.

He will give us more opportunities but will also allow the consequences of our decisions to put it off.

I recommend that when God gives us a job to do, no matter how small or large, we trust his direction and respond yes, and act on it without hesitation. As we act swiftly, God will hold the bus for us because He knows the benefit at the end. Let’s get on that bus together!

Don’t Get Distracted

Good Morning Friends,

We hope all had a magnificent Independence Day, enjoying good company and stayed safe.

We also want to take a moment to thank ALL who have given of themselves that we all may enjoy the freedoms we have today. Also honor to those who fight and have fought to restore and or maintain our Christian heritage in this country.

The enemy, would have us be distracted. Anger, bitterness and apathy makes it easier that as the thief, to kill, steal, destroy and divide to conquer families, communities and country. After all, by the Spirit, the family is where we should learn and practice love, joy, peace, patience and perseverance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

I was listening to a song on the radio this morning, “Slow Fade” by Casting Crowns. The truth in the words are like a knife to those who dare to listen. “Be careful little eyes what you see, be careful little ears what you hear, be careful little feet where you go”… How do we protect our children, ourselves and our communities and country from the evil that deceives us and slowly steals our innocence, peace and joy?

Too often our families suffer with generations of dysfunction to the point we don’t know what we don’t know. When will we put our foot down and scream out “WE MUST STOP THIS INSANITY”, and call out to God? We must make a conscience decision to stop the dysfunction and remove ourselves if others insist on continuing. The lies and deceptions of the enemy have us convinced that life will cease if we stand up for right. “It might hurt someone’s feelings” or “we don’t have any other place to go” and so forth.

I will speak for myself, Juliah, I grew up a people pleaser. It would paralyze me to think that I hurt someone’s feelings and that they would not like me anymore. Even way into my adulthood, I was more worried about what people thought about me or even more my husband, than what God thought of us. I thought I was peacekeeping, but it was and is pathologic passivity. I still occasionally experience the terror of what someone else will think… It takes faith, that God has our back, prayer that we acknowledge our weaknesses and need God, and practice taking action to get beyond ourselves.

Now don’t get me wrong, doing or saying something with the intention of offending or injuring is wrong. What are your motivations for the things you think or do? Faith or fear, love or bitterness, selflessness or selfishness or, God forbid, revenge? Something we need to evaluate constantly.

1 Corinthians 13:3 “If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” (NIV)

All things are to be truth in love. It is ultimately up to the other person to decide to be offended or not. We cannot control what others think… We always do our part in love with right motivation and God will honor it. Starting with our families and working our way out… Our families deserve our best…