Embrace the fire

I began working as a human resource associate for a large company, and the calls we receive are from our fellow coworkers.

Image by Oldiefan from Pixabay

We provide assistance on a variety of issues, and nearly all our calls are very pleasant.

A coworker went to my manager and said she just had the worst call ever. He immediately sprung into action.

He went back to her cubicle, listened to the recorded call and made steps to ask for the callers’ resignation.

It must have been bad.

He then gave her some time off to have coffee, go for a walk or whatever she needed to be able to come back to work.

It must have been really bad.

Isaiah 43:2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.

This verse above is a very popular one, and I am sure we have sung this in the church at one time.

Notice it says when you pass, not that you might pass or you will never pass through the waters or fire, but when. While the above experience was just a moment and quickly taken care of, there are other moments in life that feel like we are drowning and can go on for years.

My advice when these drownings and these seasons of fire come, embrace it.

We may want it over with quickly, but we don´t want to rush God’s plan, molding and shaping in our lives.

While it could be hard to believe at the time, these seasons are for our benefit, even when we are not at fault.

God is doing a work in us. We may not know what He is purifying, removing and adding, but I do know this. When we finish and come out of it, we will find that we have not drowned nor have we burned.

We come back stronger and wiser.

I would rather be all the wiser as the years go by, and embrace my difficult circumstances and learn from them. If not, I stay stuck.

It took me a while to learn this, so now when difficult times or moments come my way, I ask. ¨God, what can I learn from this?¨

Ask yourself what you have learned from your trying times, you may be surprised what you come up with.

Joseph, a just man picked by God

Have you noticed that there are not many sermons on the life of Joseph, Jesus´ stepdad?  I have been meditating on his life lately, and I have come to the conclusion that God did indeed pick the right man to be Jesus’ earthly father.

But of course, God is always right!

The Bible does not say much about him, but from we do read we can gather quite a bit of information.

Joseph was a just man, full of integrity.  When he found out his betrothed Mary was with child, he did not make any rash decisions.

He was quiet about it.

The Bible does not tell us how he found out, but he did.  

A Jewish betrothal was as binding as modern marriage. A divorce was necessary to terminate the betrothal, and betrothed couples were regarded legally as husband and wife even before their physical union. 

By law, Mary could have been stoned for falling pregnant before marriage.

But something grabbed my attention, the word says Joseph thought about these things.  In other words, Joseph was not rash, he took the time to think and meditate about what was going on.

Could it be he thought about Mary being pregnant, knowing it was out of character for her?

He was also thinking about how to put her away, as to not embarrass her.

But then the Angel showed up in a dream and told him to take Mary as his wife. Joseph believed and obeyed.

Oh, how many quick decisions  I have made without taking them to prayer.   I am sure I could have saved many a headache and error if I would have just stopped to pray about it, and not be quick to judgment. 

Because Joseph did not act quickly, he was able to receive the right answer from the Lord through a dream, and that settled it for him.  He did not doubt but believed.

Here is another lesson for me, believe the Lord when he tells me or show me something, never doubting.

Joseph played a key role in the life of Christ.  He was key because Jesus grew up with an earthly father, he learned a trade, he was just and  Joseph protected his mother and him by obeying the Lord in regard to his dreams and fleeing when needed to.

  • Jesus protects his Bride.
  • Jesus is just and righteous
  • Jesus is honorable

Matthew 1:25  and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.

God picked the perfect man to be Jesus’ earthly father.

How to irritate a king

In the book of Exodus, we read where the king of Egypt gave a direct order to the hebrew midwives to kill all male children and allow the female children to live.   The king was in fear of the multiplication of the Hebrews, and in the event of war, they would lose.

Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

There was something the king did not count on. The midwives feared God, or had reverence for God more than the king, and thus protected the male children from sure death. Also, he was telling them to kill their own people.

There are times in our lives where we need to draw the line and obey God more than man, especially when it goes against the word of God. Satan wanted the extinction of the Messianic line, but it did not happen.

Two women had the courage to go against the kings’ order.  Think about that, two women said no.   In that culture, women did not say no. I thought to myself, do I have that type of courage to say no, when a directive given to me goes against my beliefs, will I be strong enough to stand my ground, how about you?

In further reflection of this passage and the story as a whole, Moses´ life was spared and became the deliverer of the Israelites.

What the king desired for the Hebrew children, he and his people paid with their firstborn son.

He thought they would lose in time of war, instead, they received plagues and death to their livestock.

He refused to let them leave, and the men and chariots ended up at the bottom of the sea.

The decree against the Jewish people was no match for God and for two women.

For the two women that saved the life of Moses and countless other children, the Lord provided households. In other words, the Lord not only provided an actual house but a family.

In the end, it pays to obey the Lord and He will not disappoint you.

Bible reading, Exodus 1:15-22

 

How to be bold and courageous

Have you ever been in a place where everything around you was in complete disarray, and all you wanted to do was escape to some tropical beach?

I have many times.   During those difficult moments, besides wanting to run away the words would escape me to explain or confront said situation.  All I could do during my prayer times was God, please remove so and so.  God, please get me out of this situation.  God, I need a miracle.

Being shy and insecure during those time did not help much either.

How to be bold and courageous

 

I really did not want to face what was in front me.  Obtaining a tan was my best option.

I  found out this is the wrong approach. God was teaching me life lessons on growth, maturity and even speech.  Be ready in season and out of season came to mind.  We will face situations that we are uncomfortable in, and running away will not help, nor will we mature and learn from it.

I have learned to ask for boldness,  (not hesitating)  courage, (being able to face difficulty) and eloquence of speech when needing to confront or deal with something I am highly uncomfortable with.

In Acts Chapter 4, Peter and John were facing prison and beatings because in the previous chapter they prayed for a lame man since birth, and he was instantly healed.   Everyone knew this man and he was over 40 years of age. This tells me he was a permanent fixture at the entrance of the Gate Beautiful.

Now that he was healed, Peter and John found themselves in a dilemma.

Peter and John prayed for boldness, and the council had no choice but to let them go.

I found out the words I do not say can become a prison to those that need to hear the truth.

As Peter and John prayed for boldness, I now do the same, whether there is a difficult situation or not.  It´s best to be prepared for when it does come upon me, I will find myself to be ready.

Instead of asking God to take everything away, I pray for strength,  courage, wisdom, boldness, stamina, and grace to continue.

After a prayer like this, I find myself energized and I know God is with me.

Can you imagine if:

  • Jesus did not face the cross
  • Moses did not go up Mount Sinai
  • Noah did not build the ark
  • Saul/Paul did not accept the call to follow the Lord

There are many more examples, but you get the picture.

During difficult moments in life, it´s who you become in the process that counts.

Don´t give up, keep asking God to gird you and He will not fail in His promise to keep you and give you wisdom.

 

 

Walking in Faith

Not long ago I attended a women’s meeting.  My friend and  founder of the Rahab Foundation was the speaker.

Previously she was a consultant developing environmental impact studies for mining projects.  When she accepted the Lord, He called her to love the prostitutes.  She was incredulous as a new believer.  She did not understand what was going on, much less why God would choose her.

During her prayer times with the Lord, she kept seeing the word Prostitution flashing before her eyes.  She began to feel a love for them, and it was not long after she quit her consulting work and embraced her calling in faith.

It was a slow and difficult start.  Today it is a thriving ministry.

What steps do we take when a new challenge or opportunity comes our way?

Faith

Romans 12:3 says we have all been given a measure of faith.

What is faith and what does it mean to you?  Below are a few definitions:

  • Faith is complete trust or confidence.
  • Faith moves the heart of God.
  • Faith is an assurance in the heart, it gives peace.
  • Faith causes God to move on your behalf.
  • Faith is confidence in the trustworthiness of God. It is the conviction what God says is true and what He says will come to pass.
  • Faith is a knowing God has equipped you, not that He might. He has, past tense.
  • Faith is the opposite of fear.

My friend would spend quiet times with the Lord, and it is there where she received her training and instructions in the ministry.

She did not believe in herself but in God´s ability to work through her. That is key.  She surrendered all to Him, and He came through.

Our Lord never fails.

She began with something small with joy and gladness and the Lord grew it.   In being faithful with the little the Lord gives us, we begin to receive larger things.

Often times when we work for the Lord we desire the big things immediately, but it doesn´t work that way.  We need to start small and work our way up and do our best.  The Lord is responsible for our increase.

1 Corinthians  3:6 –   I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.

When we do our part, the increase will automatically come.

What does our part mean?

Recognize an opportunity when you see it and take it by faith.  By doing so, you will discover your strengths and weaknesses, and you will improve by doing.

If you are not doing, you are not growing.

[tweetthis display_mode=”box”]If you are not doing, you are not growing.[/tweetthis]

Don´t worry about the mistakes, they are our learning curb, embrace them and grow.

The bottom line is, God has called you to something great, but to be great we need to start out small.

Why you should never steal

A few months ago we hired a very trustworthy worker to do some work for our office.   We know him and his work ethics very well, and did not doubt when he brought along a helper, which is reasonable and understandable.

Because of the type of work being accomplished, our main worker was not always present, so we would continue to use his helper for various other jobs around the property. We found out much later that he was stealing from us, which left us and our friend very saddened and hurt.

Stealing is not worth it.  It brings a curse upon yourself.

There are many things one can steal when left unattended, but did you know you can steal from yourself?

How can I steal from myself? You may ask.

By not improving yourself in the areas you are weak in, and not recognizing you need help.

The longer we steal from ourselves, the longer it takes for us to reach our dreams and true potential and we become frustrated with ourselves and life.

  • We fail to  learn
  • we fail to  grow
  • We fail to accomplish things that matter in life.
  • We do not reach our full potential
  • Opportunities are lost

This type of theft keeps you in poverty.

I love learning, and I have just recently learned how to set goals and how to achieve them. I have decided  I will no longer steal from myself, but invest in myself.

If you are like me, college is out of the question because of age and cost. Today´s learning is very accessible via online.  These two websites are offering sales for the New Year.

I have learned to write down my goals for the year, and I have them in front of me as I sit at my desk.  Research shows when one writes down their goals, they are more likely to accomplish them.  I am excited about how I will finish 2017

What did we learn from the theft a few months ago?  Do not trust others and keep guard on our belongings.  That includes your spiritual, mental, emotional and personal belongings.

We had to forgive and release him to the Lord, and not hold any bitterness or resentment.  By doing so, we free ourselves and we move on, and we become the wiser.

God sent His son to the earth to give, the enemy comes to steal.  May we be in the spirit of giving,  not holding any of our gifts or talents back to those that can benefit from what you have to offer.

In giving, God deposits more into you so that you can give it away again.  It never runs dry.

Try giving something away, an advice, a prayer, an encouragement.  God will only bless you with more.

 

 

 

 

Do you see your life in cycles?

Life is about cycles.

When my mother passed away more than 20 years ago, it was a shock to all of us. It was discovered during her operation, cancer had spread to the liver, and there was nothing the doctors could do.

She was sent home to die, and she did a few weeks later.

We  went back to our lives with work, family, and home. My father understandably had a void in his life that took a time to heal.

Four years after my mother’s death, he remarried and lived ten years in his new marriage until his death.

We  enjoyed seeing a new adventurous side of my father and witnessed him  do and try new things.

In all of this, I observed  doing and learning new things has no age limit.

Life has cycles. There is death,  life, we mature,  grow, we fail and  learn and  continue.

Sadly, there are those that choose to stay stagnant. It could be fear of the unknown and not seeing fit to leave their comfort zone.

They miss out on the excitement the school of life has in store for them.

I have also found  what was important to me a few years ago, is no longer important today.

Why? because of the change that has occurred within me.

I have also learned when life gets tough and discouragement sets in, handing things over to God is essential. Not only for myself but for the  good of my family.

Then, you pick yourself up and keep pressing forward.

We should always try something new, even when we fail. No one can take away what was learned  in the process.

January is around the corner, and instead of the same new year’s resolution that never gets fulfilled, why not put on your list something different.

Some ideas:

  • Learn a new skill
  • Make new friends
  • Read a book out of your normal reading genre
  • Eat different foods
  • Study a new topic
  • Visit a new place

They key is, don´t stay still, keep moving.

Are you willing to try something new?  If so, what will that be?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment below.