Follow Him

There are times in my life that may not reflect that I follow Jesus and that I committed my life to Him. But this I know, Father God carried me and protected me through difficult times and truly loves me like no other. God loves you! He wants you to follow Him. He wants a relationship with you. He created your life and values you. The world is not enough. So I hope you decide to follow Him and commit to Him today.

Prayer

“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me of my sins, change and restore my life and live in my heart. I believe that you died and rose again for me to have eternal life. I receive you as my personal Lord and Savior. Direct my path from this day forward. In Jesus Name, AMEN!”

Congratulations!

Welcome to His Kingdom! This is the best decision you will ever make in your life time. So, now what? I suggest, you find a Bible and read it, pray for direction and find a bible believing church. Do not be stagnant in this decision. Pursue the Lord!

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Growth Happens -

“…but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.  For now, we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”                                     1 Corinthians 13:10-12

 

The physical, cognitive, and emotional growth that takes place in a child, from birth to age 12, is quite a significant amount.  I have the privilege of watching that growth in my child. However, we can forget that this type of growth continues to happen throughout our lives.

 

My daughter and I went to Target to look for things she may want to have for her birthday. I noticed a young lady, notepad in hand, who was there for the same reason.  She said out loud, “nothing seems interesting, I can’t believe I don’t want any toys.” My daughter looked at me and said, “I feel the same way.”

 

A part of me felt sad that my little girl is growing up.  I am excited to see all that God has created her to be. I am many years older than my daughter, and I am too, experiencing growth in many areas of my life.

 

There are many interests that I used to have, that don’t anymore.  I have learned that between the ages of 38 to 52, a midlife awakening begins. There were many days where I loved going out to hockey games and staying out late.  Now, I go to bed at the time I used to want to go out. My priorities have shifted in all areas of my life.

 

My daughter had a well-check appointment with her pediatrician.  The doctor explained some changes that she may encounter this year as she gets closer to her teenage years.  My daughter began to cry. The doctor asked her why she felt sad. She told the doctor, “growing up is scary, being an adult seems so scary.  I want to stay a child and not have to deal with it.”

 

A change is scary and unwanted.  However, change is inevitable. Instead, we must embrace change and hope for growth and birth something new and fruitful.  Whether it is coming upon puberty, changing careers, losing family members or any significant life changes, we must trust that the Lord knows our needs and wants us to become what He intended.  When we believe in that hope, we can hope for something good because God is good!

 

Lesson Learned:  May there be hope in the growth to bring us to where God wanted us to be.

 

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for guidance when I encounter change.  In every situation, may I grow and gain knowledge. Thank you for wisdom and discernment.  Help me make godly decisions. Thank you for leading the way, Father God. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

No Sin is Hidden from The Lord -

“There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed or hidden that will not be made known.” Luke 12:2

There is a small pleasure of not getting into trouble when I should.  I feel it when I perform the California rolling stop when driving.  But the Sheriff behind me is looking for someone else, so they do not pull me over.  While that may be a sign of grace, true sin will catch up to us.

Many years ago, when I was in college, living at home, my parents were renovating the backyard.  My friend and I were at my home studying for a class. Except, we were distracted by the attractive construction workers.  (Hey! We were young and single!) They would have to walk past the kitchen bay window where my friend and I were “studying” next to, to get tools and supplies from the truck.

As they would walk, by we would smile big and do funny dances at them. We did this because the house had tinted windows. Well, we were so wrong about that! The next day, I was outside and walked past that same window and could see inside, when the lights were on in the kitchen.  And the lights were on in the kitchen that day were giving the construction workers googly eyes. From that day forward, I never looked at them and tried to avoid them at all costs.

I remember thinking, I  thought I could get away with acting like that.  If I knew the construction workers could see my friend and me, we never would have behaved that way.  In life, we sin and think we had gotten away with something or hurting someone because they would never find out about it. However, Father God knows every sin.  He knows every move we make. All of these sins will come to light, and we will be judged for it. There are no tinted windows between God and us.  Let us repent for our sins, and the sins were are unaware of daily!

Lesson Learned:  All sin will come to light.  No sin is hidden.

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, convict me when I sin.  Holy Spirit, show me when I sin and not realize it.  Thank you for giving us grace and mercy. Give me guidance to always do the right thing. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

Sabotaging the Outcome Before I Even Start -

“But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord save me.’ Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, ‘O you of little faith, why did you doubt?’ And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.” Matthew 14:30-32

The activity of swimming is one of my least favorite things. I had ear infections, after many visits to the pool. My swimming abilities were sub-par. I don’t like swimming. In college, I had to face my fears whether I wanted to or not.

My major in college was Kinesiology, the study of human movement. There was a requirement of taking six different sports classes, one of them being aquatics. I talked to the administrator for my major and asked if I could get around that particular requirement. They said, “if you want to graduate, you must take the class.” Thankfully my best friend, who is like a fish in the water, offered to take it with me and be my support.

The first day of the class came, and I was nervous. The students were waiting out by the pool. An older man drives up in a yellow Corvette, gets out of the car shirtless in swim trunks with a cigar hanging out of his mouth. The man walks up to our group and asks, “beginning swim? I’m Flip, your coach.” First, we took care of the paperwork of people adding the class and straightening out schedule questions. Then he said, “we will start tomorrow, class dismissed.”

Now, I was upset because I was all worked up for and had to put on a bathing suit for nothing. I walked over to Flip and said, “I’m sorry, but I don’t think you can teach me how to swim, I am horrible at it, and I hate being in the water.” Flip, took his cigar out of his mouth leaned in and said in a calming voice, “can you give me a chance, my dear? I will not let anything happen to you. But if it doesn’t work out, we will go from there, okay?” And the next day, I did.

Flip had us in the shallow pool, and we got used to the water. We did simple exercises. Then he asked us to all get out and walk over to the Olympic size pool, that was about 16 feet deep. He told us to get into the pool and hold on to the side, slowly let go, and then we will dip below the water, and come back up with our heads above the water, without needing to tread water. And it worked. I couldn’t believe it.

After class, he asked, if I will be okay and I said yes, I would. He told the students to buy some goggles and flippers for the hands to skim across the water. By the end of that same week, I was swimming laps in the Olympic pool. I come to find out; Flip was the coach for Olympic Gold Medalist swimmers Gary Hall Jr. and Amanda Beard. My friend says, “oh my, only you would tell an Olympic Swim Coach, he can’t teach you how to swim.” Yes, I would!

There were two lessons I learned from this experience. Attitude is everything. It was so helpful to have a coach, who listened and acknowledged my fears, but encourage me that I could do it. Flip knew I couldn’t handle hearing, “oh suck it up, you big crybaby!” And how many times, are we faced with something difficult in our lives and we cry out to God, “I can’t do this! Why do I have to be in this situation?” We will have to endure some growing pain and hard times. But God is able; we are capable through Him. God wants us to be victorious! If we aren’t victorious in a particular situation, God had something better meant for us.

Lesson Learned: Let your faith lead you through the difficult times and God will help you figure it out in some way.

Prayer:
“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for not trusting you. Help me to see where you are in difficult times. May the Holy Spirit give me wisdom and knowledge. May my attitude change and learn to build on those positive experiences. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

No More Self-Inflicted Suffering -

“…fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous hand.” Isaiah 41:10

The disciples and apostles in The Bible suffered greatly for sharing the gospel of Christ. Job suffered immensely. The Bible tells us, our lives will not be comfortable on this Earth, especially for knowing Him. However, there is a difference for suffering for God versus dealing with constant suffering in our lives.

A friend of mine shared that he suffered from chronic neck pain. He was stressed and not taking care of himself. Once he sought help and took action to help himself, his situation began to change for the better. This friend said something poignant. He said, “God doesn’t want us to suffer.”

Many times, we worry how things will turn out. I have wasted precious hours of sleep thinking of every scenario of a situation. Honestly, I thought this would help me. Instead, my body would hurt, and I would wake up exhausted in the morning.

A few months ago, I woke up thinking and agonizing over a problem. Thankfully, I had a moment of clarity, “it is 2 a.m., what could I possibly do to solve this problem right now? Nothing, so I need to rest so that I would feel rested in the morning.” I was asleep in minutes. Before, I would have stayed awake for 2 hours minimum.

Trusting and having faith in the Lord is the remedy to the suffering we bring upon ourselves. We may never know the answer to the problem or why a person behaves the way they do. There are things we want for our lives, but God has a different way for us.

Thankfully, bad situations and problems are temporary. It may not feel like it at the moment, but things usually get better. If we reflect on how we got through a stressful time, we can see how it changed for the better. Worrying never helped, but God’s direction and our faith are what brought us to the other side. Remember God has got us! If we are to suffer for anything, it is for advancing the kingdom of God.

Lesson Learned: Self-inflicted suffering will not get us through life’s problems.

Prayer:
“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for not trusting in you. I pray for healing in all areas of my life, where I may suffer. Reveal in me what to let go or when to fight. I ask for a hedge of protection around myself and my family. Help me to allow you, Heavenly Father to fight my battles. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”