Have Courage And Be Kind

Written by: Jody Mugford

“Have courage and be kind.”

Last week we looked closer into this motto, as highlighted in the latest Cinderella movie (2015) by little Ella’s mother. We dug into courage and what it can look like. I pray it was an encouragement for us all as we learn to wait on God’s direction, to be bold and brave in His timing. This week I would like to take a look at kindness.

“Have courage and be kind.” These are words that Cinderella lived by and were so strongly embedded into her character that they poured out of her every word and action. One didn’t need to be around her very long to detect a quiet strength and a genuine love and kindness for all of God’s creation.

This phrase has impacted me greatly over the past year and I’ve seen it woven into many areas of my life. For example, I used to always tell my daughters to “be nice” – when playing with friends, speaking to others, etc. I noticed one day that a dear friend of mine says to her children, “be kind”. The difference got me thinking and I felt to modify my words as well. This small variation may seem insignificant to some but, to me, it was a complete change.

Nice is defined as “being pleasant, agreeable or good”. Being nice is a great and wonderful thing and we should be nice to all those around us. However, when I stopped to think about it, I felt like the word “nice” has a relatively shallow meaning. Anyone can say nice things or do nice things…anyone can be nice on the surface…but do we always mean it deep down?

Being kind is defined as “being of a benevolent nature; gentle; generous; warm-hearted”. To me, this is different. Being kind is not easily faked or manufactured. Being kind comes from the inside, from a heart of gentleness and love.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatian 5:22-23 (NLT)

I love how this verse highlights the awesome characteristics that should embody a follower of Christ. I must admit, though, that growing up I often felt like this was a list of goals I needed to attain. I knew I needed to have these characteristics but I always felt I was falling short. When I did exemplify these traits, it was short-lived and I would plummet again into an attitude of selfishness and short-sightedness (especially as a teen!). I just couldn’t seem to measure up.

My revelation came many years later when I realized the biggest part of this verse. “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives…”. The Holy Spirit! This is His work in me! It is not my job to dig deep and create these godly characteristics within myself. In my sinful, rebellious nature, I can never live up to this. In my own self, I will always fall short. But God… Oh I love that phrase! But God…! When we accept Christ as our Saviour, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our hearts. He then begins the process of molding us to be more like Christ. He starts sweeping out the sin in our lives so that more of Himself and His character can fill our hearts and overflow as the fruits of His Spirit. This is a process, my friend, and takes time but it is an amazing experience.

I have often felt (and often still do), that I can’t live up to Christ’s standards. Sometimes I don’t have enough patience with my family, some days I don’t have joy in my heart, and there are times I can’t control my thoughts or my tongue. If this is also you, friend, let me encourage you. The Holy Spirit wants to fill you up with so much of Him that these fruits will pour out of you. The more He fills you, the more of Him and His nature you will have. This comes from spending time with Him regularly, in prayer and in His Word and it comes from obedience. God honours obedience. Is He prompting you to get rid of a certain sinful habit in your life? Do it. Do you need to make amends with someone or change a behaviour because you know He’s calling you to? Do it. God values your obedience and with it, He will fill you up with more of His Spirit. It truly is a mind-blowing process, and ongoing transformation! This is when will see His fruit. This is where we find our (His) true kindness.

And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6

 

Love and Blessings,

Jody

Be Still

Written by: Christianne Williams

Be still.  That can be tough.  When I think about being still, my children as toddlers always comes to my mind.  They would run about here and there from the time they got up in the morning until they laid their heads down at night.  One of my children in particular didn’t even really stop through the night.  There were constant trips to bathroom and pleas for water, hugs, and rescuing blankies that had suddenly vanished.  Taking them to places where being still was appreciated always made me anxious, because without fail they call upon some hidden energy store and need to be busier than normal.

I remember one time in particular one of my boys was being really loud and fidgety while a missionary was giving a presentation.  I got so tired of ‘shhhh’ing and trying to keep him still that I decided to take him to the nursery.  On our way he out, he asked very loudly, “Are you going to spank me?”  In this instance my son’s struggling got him where he wanted to be, in a place he could be free, not bound to sitting and coloring.  In life, though, struggling never helps us to achieve what God has for us, it simply wears us down.

One thing I’ve been thinking a lot about is getting closer to God and resting in His plan, asking Him for wisdom, and believing He’s going to work things for my good even if I don’t see evidence of it with my natural eyes.  It means being aware of how you’re viewing the situation around you, how you’re dealing with it, the action you’re taking.  Sometimes we feel like reacting instead of praying for wisdom and waiting until we get revelation on how to proceed.  Sometimes we try so hard in our own strength to change the way things are, the situation we find ourselves in, when what really brings peace is to say, “Ok God, what are you going to do here?”

I’ve had days when it really feels like everything is set up against me, like there’s no way good can happen, and I have to find a way to still my mind before the Lord and ask Him to bring me peace while He works things out.  Getting alone with Him and asking for a new perspective, for revelation about what you’re facing, that’s where we find perfect peace.  It doesn’t mean that the storm will pass right away, it may rage for awhile, but it brings an awareness of His nearness and the truth that He goes along beside us.

The more time you make to be still before Him, the easier it will become to trust Him to work things out for your good, regardless of the process He takes you through.  I’ve been in situations that make no sense, and quite honestly struggling through, trying to come up with a solution or a plan of some sort, has never worked.  What did work is realizing that my Father is good.  No matter how many people here turn against you, He never will.  No matter how many times we mess up with our reactions, He will always be faithful to help us back up.

I read something on social media the other day that I really like, and it sums up a new mindset I’ve tried to adopt.  “Instead of saying ‘Lord I don’t know how I am going to do this’, say ‘Lord, I can’t wait to see how You do this’”.  Be still. No struggling. Allow excitement to fill your heart over how He will work this out!

Deficient Love

Written by: Cindy Morrone

I know this doesn’t happen in your home but frequently it does in ours.  Here’s how it goes.  One daughter tells on another and as soon as I get the first few words of discipline out, my words are cut off.  Ultimately the accused rebuttals and then the accuser retaliates and all of my teaching is lost in the mess of it all.

Similarly, I am noticing that this can happen with us adults too.  We, by our deficiencies, can interrupt God’s teachings in others.

Have you ever had the honour of sharing in someone else’s mess?

Just yesterday after several disappointments, I reached out to a mentor and new-found friend in my life.  She was immediately available; sacrificially laying aside for me.  She listened attentively and related where she could.  She responded in a way that encouraged me, lifted me up and drew me closer to our Jesus.  She prayed over the phone with me, reciting Scripture to feed me Truth.  She didn’t pry or appear to have all the answers but she directed me to the One that does.

I don’t always respond that way especially in my marriage.

Laced in my own fears, doubts and insecurities, I can respond in a way that distracts from God’s will in his life. I set the focus on me and us and not Him.  I have said out loud, “I can not be what you need.”

And therein lies the truth.  I do not have what it takes.  And if I keep delving out deficient love then derailment is eminent.

I need to go get Love.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”  1 John 4:7&8

“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”  Romans 5:5

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.”  Galatians 5:22

And it’s when my own fears, doubts and insecurities meet with the profound knowing of God’s love for me that the filling overflows onto those I am most in love with.

 

 

Expectations

Written by: Carolyn Ruttan

I am a fairly organized person, I like to make to do lists and check each item as I finish it. I like to plan my menu a week or so in advance. However, sometimes it is pointless and frustrating when I can’t find all the ingredients on my list in one place. That’s how it is in Honduras. Take for example tomato soup. It may be on the shelves one week but then it may disappear for a while. Believe it or not, there have even been times when I’ve gone in for bananas only to be told there are none. Honduras grows enough bananas to supply the entire world and yet there are none on the shelves? I don’t understand that. And I enjoy half and half in my coffee. It’s the one thing I splurge on. Yet I have not found it for what seems like months.

So you see in the case of finding what I need to make the meals I want, it is probably best just to go into the store with low expectations of finding everything that way I am not disappointed. My friend and I were just talking about this the other day. We both love to cook, but sometimes you have to scratch certain recipes from your menu for the reason of not finding the needed ingredients.  I have been known to improvise though…

I think when it comes to people that perhaps it is a good idea to lower expectations of others. We all are human. People let us down. They disappoint us. We in turn disappoint and let others down. But when it comes to God, we surely can have high expectations of him.

Heb 10:23

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope that we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.

The definition of Expectation is this:

A strong belief that something will happen or be the case.

I’ve been thinking a lot about expectations lately. God has been speaking a place deep in my heart that I need to raise my expectations. It’s an area of my heart where I often been discouraged and yes even a bit disappointed with God if I were to be completely honest.

You see, I am ill. A lot. These mysterious days come like clockwork every two to three weeks and linger for one to three days. It’s like the flu but not the flu. They are debilitating and when they come I am in bed for the duration. I am weary of them, but because it’s been my reality for the last nine years, I have come to expect them. And sadly I have missed out on a lot of life because of these sick days.  But what if, I were to raise my expectations? Instead of expecting to be sick for an event, what if I changed my mindset to expect to be well that day. What if I were to read and say aloud scriptures on healing? Or believe that, by faith, I am already healed. I mean I have experienced a miraculous healing before, when I was healed of epilepsy as a child.

I have been writing out scriptures about healing for a few weeks now. And while I have had sick days…..they have not been lasting as long!  Instead of lasting a couple days, they have only been lasting half a day. I am believing by faith that one day they will be a thing of the past. I think of the woman in the bible with the issue of blood. (Luke 6) Just by touching Jesus garment she expected to be healed and she was!

I think of a crippled man in the book of Acts. Acts 3:16 Through faith in the name of Jesus, this man was healed—and you know how crippled he was before. Faith in Jesus name has healed him before your very eyes.

So why is it we expect bad things to happen or things to not turn out?  Or maybe we try to do things on our own and in our own strength, expecting to fail, instead of relying on the Holy Spirit to help us.  Friends….we can TRUST him with our lives, wholly one hundred percent.

Anyway, that is just what the Lord has been speaking to me about the past few weeks.  But perhaps there are areas in your life where God is concerned that you need to raise your expectations.

Ephesians 3:20

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work in us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

Inhale The Future, Exhale The Past

Written by: Mandy Lawrence-Hill

There are moments we experience in this life that are truly undesirable. Sometimes those moments are added to more moments, and sometimes those moments roll into a season. One big undesirable season. I have learned that these seasons are temporary no matter how they seem to completely envelope us into their ugliness; at times pulling other undesirable moments in for the journey making the day seem as an insurmountable mountain.

What is worse is when you are experiencing those undesirable moments with your children. For me, their undesirable moments are worse than those of my own because it hurts my heart to watch them struggle. I want so badly to do what I know I cannot; fix them.

It is during these moments, or seasons, that I cling to the scripture from Jeremiah 29:11 that promises “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you hope and a bright future.

It is sometimes hard to see past what is taking place in our undesirable moments or seasons to the hope and bright future that God has for us BECAUSE of the things He is bringing us through—but He does promise us He will bring us through to see the hope and bright future He has waiting for us.

So, friend, if you’re like me, and you’re walking through more undesirable moments than you’d like to lately…take a big deep breath and inhale the future, then exhale your past. There are two great things to note here in this verse. First, God knows the plans He has for us. I am so thankful He knows; that brings so much comfort to me. Second, he doesn’t just see and know what we are going through— He has planned better things for us in the days to come. Days full of hope and bright futures. What an incredible promise.

God has strength for us in each new moment we will face in the days to come and He will equip us with exactly what we need, when we need it—we just need to ask Him.

Let’s cling tight to the truth that our undesirable moments and seasons are simply temporary. More so, let us embrace the God that will equip us with everything we need to journey through these times and anticipate with great expectation the future He has waiting for us on the other side of these mountains we are facing.

Father God, while it seems impossible to do, I thank You even for the hard times I experience. Bless each moment whether it be wonderful or seemingly impossible to face. I hold tight to the promise that You will bring hope and a bright future from these adventures. Thank You in advance for what You will reveal in the days to come. In Your name, Jesus; Amen.

 

We Are The Body— Part 2

Written by: Conny Varga

Lately I’ve been thinking about the growing perception in our society that Christians are narrow-minded, judgmental, and hypocritical. We are known for what we are AGAINST, not what we are FOR. It makes me wonder – how did we get here, and what have we done – or neglected – to be viewed this way? Interestingly, some researchers have found that openness to spirituality is ever-present in society, and that people yearn for genuine care and love. By itself, this sounds like our churches should be overflowing with “seekers”, doesn’t it? However, it was also discovered that most people are very hesitant to step foot into a church building or anything institutional. They want to get to know us in THEIR context, not in ours. People want to know that we care about them and their lives, their families, their jobs, their communities before they will every bother to trust in the God we serve. They don’t care how great we are and what programs we offer if we can’t be real to them.

Among other contributing factors, what has happened over the years is that somehow the Body of Christ has become self-centered and distant. We have lost interest in our neighbours and focused more on staying within our own little “fish bowl” called church. We have become less concerned about supporting our local communities and the people who live in them, and more concerned about church programs and services. We have forgotten how to be Christ’s Body to the world.

The Christ-followers in the book of Acts were known for their care for their neighbours, their sacrificial lifestyles, their hospitality towards the stranger and the needy, the rescuing of abandoned children, their love for the widow, and their radical obedience to the Great Commission. Living in their comfort zone was not an option. As a result, they had “favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47)

Are we known for that? Do people know, I mean truly know, that they can come to us when they are in need? When is the last time we opened our home to share a meal with an unchurched neighbour? Do we reach out to people in our community who have lost a loved one? What about being a steady support to the single girl down the street who is expecting but has no support system? Are we willing to truly listen to people without trying to push our own ideas and agenda? How can we become the true, active, living Body of Christ again? It will take open eyes, creativity, and sacrifice.

The apostle Paul put it this way: “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” (1 Cor. 9:19-23). In short, we put ourselves in other people’s shoes and meet them where they’re at.

Let’s start being the Body of Christ again! Let’s start by choosing one person or family that we can befriend today. Do we need to slow our hurried pace and stop to fill someone’s need? Maybe we can be a mentor to a struggling married couple or college student. Everyone’s context is different and unique. I pray that we would all live within our own context with open eyes and listening ears. We are the Body of Christ – let’s be Jesus to our community again!

Words of Life

Written by: D’Anne Mullin

According to Webster’s dictionary the word proverb means, “a brief popular epigram, adage,” or “a short saying that is widely used to express an obvious truth.”  Often a proverb indicates a positive action necessary on the part of the reader.  Even when you break down the word proverb into its two parts you see the smaller words pro (positive) and verb (action) within.  In essence, a proverb is positivity moving forward!

I recall a time when a proverb from the Bible, one read many times before, struck me in a new way!  Proverbs 12:18 says, “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”  I was walking through a particularly difficult time at work, feeling the weight and pressure of deadlines, financial upheaval and staffing dynamics.  There were days all I wanted to do was turtle from my responsibilities and take as many days off as was allowed.  There were also days where I was ready to approach every situation and interaction with fire, fury and an unparalleled ferocity.  I must admit that there were days where my words matched the latter.

Thankfully, through his incredible grace, God brought this verse along my path and by His Spirit it pierced my heart and filled my mind.  I was reminded that words have incredible power over situations and over people.  The Lord showed me again that there are words of life and words of death; that words spoken carelessly or negatively can seriously damage the work God wants to do in others and definitely wreak havoc in my own life.  He showed me that my ability to verbalize is a God given privilege, because I am made in His image, and one I should protect and use responsibly.  That I must be careful when, if and how I wield my tongue.  That I must begin to speak the name of Jesus over every broken part of my workplace so that life and healing can take place.

Daughters, it is so easy for us to bend to the world’s standard of quick-witted retorts, petty insults, hurtful accusations and slanderous gossip, in an effort to relieve our feelings of frustration and of being wronged.  The world feeds us a steady diet of revenge and retaliation, of standing up for our rights and making others pay.  We are conditioned to take action and deal quickly with situations, to speak our minds freely and pat our self-esteem.

However, God shows us a very different path of communication with others.  In James 1:19 we see that God wants us to be, “quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”  Much easier said than done, but an action we must all adhere to for peace and life to abound in any and every situation.  We must engage the Holy Spirit in helping us to achieve this, sometimes each and every moment of the day!

We can simply pray, “Holy Spirit, help me,” before answering a feared phone call, or interacting with a particularly toxic co-worker, or entering a heated meeting, or facing a financial partner.  Whatever we face, at home, work or play, we can enlist the help of the Almighty God, through His Spirit, to effectively communicate words of life everywhere we find ourselves.  Our words will no longer pierce, but heal!  These are split second prayers, but they keep us in touch with God’s presence, and are powerful against our flesh and the enemy!

I have learned that as I positively act to change my speech patterns, bringing them in line with the Spirit of God, I find greater joy in life and can confidently handle all that life throws my way.  My hope is this encourages you to do the same.  I will leave you with this one final verse, Ephesians 4:29.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

 

Have Courage and Be Kind

Written by: Jody Mugford

This is a short but powerful quote from the movie Cinderella (2015). It’s spoken by Cinderella’s mother to her little Ella as a child. The words resonate so strongly with her that they are woven into the very fabric of her being. As Cinderella navigates what quickly turns into a heartbreaking and often unfair life, she handles herself with untold grace and patience…kindness and courage.

I was thinking recently how this simple motto is also heavily reflected in scripture! Let’s take a look at some scriptures about courage.

This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13

My personal favourite…the current theme of my heart
Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
Psalm 27:14

…And there are so many more! Over and over in scripture, God is reminding us not to fear, not to worry, have courage, be brave. As a child, my idea of courage and bravery included epic sword fights and battles, diving into peril and putting your life at risk to save the day. While these are most definitely examples of bravery and courage, I must admit that I cannot remember the last sword fight I had…! Courage can look like many different things in many different situations. It certainly can be an epic battle, a heroic save, or the selfless serving and protecting of others every day. May I also suggest, however, that sometimes courage can mean…to rest…? To not move, even when it seems illogical…? To hold still and wait on God…?

Read Psalm 27:14 again. Isn’t it interesting that God would give us the instruction of “be brave and courageous” but plunk it right down between two directives to “wait patiently for the Lord”? I think He is trying to tell us something – sometimes it takes courage to stop and be still. To wait.

I am a doer. I see a problem, I come up with a solution and I go fix it. It’s part of who I am. This aspect of my personality has come in handy many times in my life! However, it has taken a problem to arise in my life so big that I absolutely cannot fix in any way through my own planning or ability, for me to realize that I need to learn to wait. And for a doer like me, that takes courage. Now I am realizing that I need to wait on God, not only when I can’t see a solution, but sometimes when I can! There are numerous accounts in the Old Testament when the Israelites saw a problem and used their own ideas to fix it. The ideas were often logical and I could see how they arrived at their conclusion, but their solutions backfired and things often got worse. Why? Because they didn’t wait on God for HIS solution, for His best. God never says, “You go on ahead and I’ll follow”! No, my friend, God knows what is much further ahead than we do. He knows the best solution in the best time. This is why He says “wait patiently for Me”.

If we learn to wait on God before we step, He will cultivate even more courage in us. And, in the waiting, we will learn to hear His voice. So that when He says, “It’s time. Go!”, we know we are walking in the right path, the one He has set for us, the one that will bring about the best solution in the best time. Is it easy? No. Is there a cut and dry pattern to follow? No. But is it worth it? Definitely. To get to see God’s handiwork unfold the best answer when you need it, because you learned to wait on Him and follow His voice? Most definitely worth it.

Let’s ask God to help us have the courage to walk in His steps for our lives. Let’s learn to wait when He says and only go when He lead us. I am convinced that it will take us down an even more amazing path than we could ever dream!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Love and blessings,

Jody

P.S. Next time, we will look at the second part of the motto…Be Kind!

Where Is Your Focus?

Written by: Christianne Williams

I always believed I was a person who lacked the ability to focus.  My mind would wander from one thing to another, I would seldom finish things that I started and this left me feeling overwhelmed.  My husband is my opposite, they do say it happens that way.  He is driven.  If he starts something, he will most certainly finish it and do it well.  Sometimes this has caused conflict because he comes behind me, seeing the dishwasher half emptied or the dustpan still containing dirt, and he takes it upon himself to help me out and finish the job.  This in turn makes me feel as though he’s shining a light on my undone tasks and I get irritated.  At any rate, I’ve recently discovered that its not my inability to focus that’s the problem, but in fact, my ability to focus entirely on the wrong things.

In the example of my husband finishing up my chores, I don’t look at the heart behind the help, I concentrate on the message that I am not doing enough, I’m dropping the ball.  That’s just an example of how when we focus on the wrong things, we lose sight of what it truly important.  I’ve seen it many times at our kitchen table as well.  Siblings sitting together, all working on different lessons but all working toward the goal of getting things done for the day so they can have free time.  One will lose focus and start making noises, soon to be followed by their neighbor and before you know it, I’m telling them to ‘focus on what you’re supposed to be doing!’  I don’t feel qualified to tell them that but I’m the parent/teacher so what can I do?

When we were in the hospital during each of our daughter’s three open heart surgeries, we had struggles with where our focus would lie.  In the midst of all of the beeping monitors, medication pumps, and the story the numbers would tell the doctors, it became hard at times to focus on the One who calms our storms.  Fear would creep in, and in being honest, I would become focused on what could possibly go wrong instead of what God could do in the middle of that desperate situation.   And things did get desperate.  We were in need of miracles most days, I could compile a long list of times when we were told ‘there is no hope’ and how we would need to refocus on the truth that God can work things out for our good in any situation.

The truth is often silent.  We can’t confuse it with the facts.  The facts are often contrary to the truth, which is what God says.  Sometimes our circumstances say there’s no possible way that anything good can come out of this, yet God works well with impossibility.  They say that numbers don’t lie but God neither does God and He can make a way for your financial miracle, a way that you could never dream up on your own. The medical report may speak of death and hopelessness, but God is the One who gives hope, He restores sight to the blind and heals all of our infirmities.

The question is, where does our focus lie?  In the bad reports?  Or in the One who meets all of our needs?

In Numbers 13, Moses sent some men to explore the land of Canaan, the land they were supposed to inherit.  When they returned, they spoke of the goodness of the land, but they spent more time discussing the size and power of the people they would have to overthrow to take the land.  They were concerned that the greatness of the people would prevent them from receiving the Promised Land.  Joshua and Caleb, however, were certain they could do it.  The men argued with them, they gave them the reasons they felt it would be a death mission, but they remained confident that it was a battle that had already been awarded them.

They were focused on two different things.  The majority on the greatness of the enemy, and the minority on the greatness of God.  Focusing on the right thing gave Joshua and Caleb the confidence to be bold in the face of a great enemy, and in a circumstance that by our natural eyes seemed would surely go against them.

Isaiah 26:3 tells us, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in You.”

My ability to focus was not the issue, where my focus was directed was.  Keep your eyes on Jesus and trust Him in all things, even when the facts tempt you to believe otherwise.

The Difference One Word Makes

Written by: Cindy Morrone

Why would He require a young pregnant woman to travel miles and miles away from her family and all that was secure and familiar to her?

It doesn’t make sense.

Why would He ask a righteous man to allow his integrity to be questioned for another’s problem?

It’s inconceivable to ask one to take such a personal risk.

And I ask time and time again of Him, to answer, similar questions.  Why as we attempt to live in obedience to Him is there such uncomfortableness, unfamiliarity, risk and sacrifice?

I think a lot.  Too much.  I am thankful for how I am wired; created, but what can be one of my greatest assets, can also be one of my greatest obstacles.

I often joke that I could never work in an emergency room.  There just isn’t enough time to research and ask the world-renowned experts for just the right solution in such a crisis situation!

And my questions go unanswered.  Instead, a knowing transpires.

To just ‘stand’ and not ‘understand.’  Dropping one word makes all the difference.  Standing on faith alone makes all the difference.

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.  Hebrews 11:6

Believing in a higher power rather than in myself; is just that.

Have you ever read the book of Job?

It is in the last few chapters where God answers Job.  Not directly but by asking this blameless and upright faithful servant, a series of questions that no human could possibly answer.  And in response Job replies, “I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.  You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’ Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.”  Job 42: 2&3

It is in the unknowing that a Saviour was born and eternal life defeated death.

It is in the unknowing that the impossible is made possible, miracles happen, restoration and healing occur and hope is renewed.

Dear Heavenly and Gracious Father, help us to let go of a need to understand and fully trust in You rooted in a knowing of your deep love for us.