Destiny and Calling

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What a hard but rewarding year I’ve had. I have grown in leaps and bounds with Jesus. I have experienced every emotion under the sun. What happened? I finally found my destiny and calling.

Do you know your destiny? What is God calling you to do? Here’s what I’ve learned over a year’s worth of aimless wandering.

I was kicking against my destiny. For almost a year I ignored His will for my life. The more I ignored it the more disconnected with life I became. Have you ever experienced this? Have you ever pushed God’s will aside?

I’m a committed follower!

Right now, I am very in-tune to what God wants for me. I just need to allow the Holy Spirit to get me out of the way so that He can work out the details. When we don’t get ourselves out of the way,  we will not doubt botch things up. No more life botching for me!

What is my destiny?

During this past year, I’ve been seeking, praying, reading and pondering and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am to be a“Fruit of the Spirit” kind of woman. I am to be loving, caring, honest, patient, giving, not boastful and always engaging with other believers. My head knew all of this, but it took this last year of letting go and allowing some serious mending to take place.

What is my calling?

God has given me the gift of writing. He wants me to write to bring glory to his name. God has given me the gift of hospitality and serving others. God has called me to be the best care giver I can possibly be. Again, it has taken me a whole year to feel I was ready for and of this. I didn’t feel worthy or clean enough. I am now ready and in a great place in my heart and life to serve and give my love whole heartedly and I’m extremely excited about this path I’m on; because it’s what God wants.

I spent many years searching; wandering in the desert; sinking down a black hole without any direction and I’m not about to return there. I am reading the Bible more, meditating more, getting involved in a church, being honest with others about who I am and where I’ve come from.

Why is it so important to know God’s destiny and will for your life? Because if you don’t you too will stagger in this world without hope and fall down the dark pit like I did.

What I am learning is that we all will experience life-altering changes, out-of-control circumstances, or relatively normal bumps and blips that cause us to move away from the plan of God. When that happens, we must neatly nestle ourselves under God’s wings and surrender into the spot He has reserved for us. He will bring all things, all hope to us through our commitment to Him.

Oh Lord, help me to be always conscious of the calling you have on my life and may I always put your first.

Hitting a Baby Bunny

Question

Can we hurt God?

Isaiah 64:6 We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.

Last week my friend and I took a leisure ride through the country roads of Maine. It was absolutely beautiful out. We had the windows cracked open a bit, played some soft music and engaged in pleasant conversation.

While driving through the curvy and bumpy roads, out of nowhere came a baby bunny trying to cross the road. I heard a thump under the front tire. I could do nothing to avoid it; I hit the bunny and instantly it died.

Oh the pain! Oh the sadness! It bothered me so much that I couldn’t function for a few hours. All I kept talking about was how badly I felt about hitting the baby bunny.crying-woman1

Later that night, I sat with my journal and Bible. I began to read Isaiah 64:6, when God’s Spirit began to speak to my heart about unconfessed sin in my life. He reminded me that I can come to Him any time. I can stay there with Him for as long as I want. I was prompted to ponder some personal questions about myself.

When is the last time I felt the same kind of sadness as hitting a baby bunny, towards sin in my life?

The last time I did hurt God, did it affect me for hours?

I know I am tempted to sin every day; we all are. I believe that the heart of God grieves when I take my sins lightly, especially when I try to smooth them over by blaming others.

Guilt is removed when we recognize who we are in the light of God.

If we have a true relationship with God and really know Him as He is, we will without hesitation, be forgiven and receive His mercy. We must never underestimate the price that He chose to pay for us. God does not see sin, and judge the person; He sees the person (us) and judges their sin. He looks at us from the inside out. God is in the business of changing hearts. If we have a heart-change, then our actions will also change.

for it’s like someone calculating inwardly.” Eat and drink,” he says to you, but his heart is not with you. Proverbs 23:7

Hitting the bunny was a total accident. Sin is not! If you feel there is unconfessed sin in your life, spend some time with the Almighty God. Allow Him to pour His grace over you.

Come join the conversation as we share how Awesome God is. living by grace

Getting Back on My Bike…Beth Farley

May Is National Bike Month

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Have you put off doing something because you were afraid? Has an event left you crippled in fear? Recently I purchased a bike. It’s a plain-ole bike. It has no gears, no hand breaks and has fat tires. I describe it as a one-speed-old-lady-bike. For years, I was afraid to get back on a bike. Where did that fear come from? It came from an incident I had when I was a child.

I have never been the greatest biker. I’ve always had some issues with equilibrium therefore making my balance off kilter at times. On one occasion, I remember showing off, riding my bike and courageously taking one hand off of the handlebar. I thought I was hot-stuff. I looked back and yelled to my brother, “Look, one hand!” When I turned forward I crashed into a parked car. It hurt and left a lasting fearful impression.

Where does fear come from? I believe fear stems from past frightening experiences. I also believe Satan would like nothing more than to trip us up and make us feel captivated to our fears.ID-100105900

There are specific things that may cause our fears to become phobias. I recently found a four page list of phobias in a magazine and was shocked to see how many applied to me at one point or another in my life. We may feel as though every courageous step we take forward, we fall two fearful steps behind.

If you were to take an inventory of your life, where would your fear gauge be? Are you closer to a10 where your fear can’t be shaken; unstopped or unyielded? Or are you closer to a 1 where your fear is listless, lifeless and stagnant?

How can we change our fear gauge from a 1 to a 10?

First of all, we should face the fear. I finally faced my fear of getting back on a bike. In Isaiah 41:10, God tells us, Fear not, for I am with you. I recited that over and over again the first time I got back on a bike and wobbled down the street. I recite that scripture every time I feel like fear is trying to take over me. It’s a small but powerful scripture in times of fear.

Secondly, do some self examination. Sometimes my fear is a result from an unconfessed sin hanging around in my live. Maybe you have done something evil. Maybe you wrongfully hurt someone’s feelings or judged someone by their appearance. There were times in my life where fear was trying to manifest itself in my soul and I had to get down on my knees and pray for help.

Thirdly, take action! If you can’t shake the fear, seek help. Go to your Pastor, or a good friend or trained counselor to help you. Proverbs 24:6

Lastly, try reciting the Serenity Prayer every day. There are things that we just can’t control and need to let go of.When I recite this prayer, there is a cleansing surrender that comes over me.

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference. 

We can work through any fear. I have experienced many fearful circumstances. Health issues, divorce, deaths, financial ruins, etc.; God has been there through every fearful situation.

Psalm 23:4, Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear, whom shall I be afraid of.

What does fear do to you?

How do you conquer your fear?

Let’s chat while I host on livingbygracepic.jp

Give me a Hug

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Do you need a hug today?

When my children were born, I couldn’t wait to hold them and touch their little fingers and toes. And when my sweet dad was on mega doses of morphine before passing away, I just held his hand. Human touch has wide-ranging physical and emotional benefits for people of all ages. Research shows that touch reduces pain, relieves stress, improves pulmonary function, and stimulates growth in infants

Jesus often coupled touching with healing. Today’s scripture reading relates just one occasion. He also touched Peter’s mother-n-law on the hand and took away her fever (Matthew 8:14-15). He touched the eyes of two blind men and gave them sight (Matthew 8:1-15). He even touched and cleansed a leper (Mark 1:40-42).

As a senior care giver, it is so important to hold the hand of your client while guiding them. It is so important to rub their back or even put on their shoes. All require touch and all exhibit them you unconditional love.

We benefit from appropriate human touch, but societal inhibitions sometimes get  in the way. If you find yourself wavering between a handshake and a hug, consider a friendly pat on the back, shoulder, or hand. Or, you can always do the side-hug. Both you and your friend will benefit from these tactile forms of communication.

Who needs a touch from you? How can you help someone feel loved? Are you afraid to touch someone? Let’s chat as I host on todays: Living by Grace. livingbygracepic-jp

Scripture for the Today: When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God. Luke 13:13.

Dear Merciful Healer, Jesus’ example inspires me. Show me how to reach out to someone who needs my touch today. Amen.

Trampoline Kind of Faith…Beth Farley

As a Christian, I find it ironic to be asking, but I have to. Does your faith bounce up and down? I woke up with a little case of shaken faith. Please don’t tell me that I’m the only one that tends to have a trampoline kinda faith at times.

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How many of you have jumped up and down on a trampoline? I remember jumping on my kids’ trampoline once, yup, only once. I didn’t enjoy it at all; as a matter of fact, I hated it. I didn’t like how I was not in control of where I was going to land me. Fear and insecurity gripped me.

Faith is stronger than gravity. When you’re falling down, it’s not a question of how far you will fall, but how high you will bounce. You see, when we experience faith-shaking-times in our lives, we have to be able to move from the negative impact of the experience into a positive plane.

In 1 Kings 18:25-40 we see the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. In this story Elijah has great faith to have God consume his enemies. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s quite the faith. But, his faith became shaken when Jezebel heard of what Elijah did and threatens to kill him. Does he go to God? No, he cowards away in a cave!
Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life. (vs3 ESV)

He ran away But…An angel of the Lord came down and touched him, not once, but twice. God told Elijah that He has the provision in place to overcome his enemies. Elijah listened to God and followed His direction and had victory

What can we do when we feel our faith is being shaken?

1) Spend time with God. Tell him your fears. Tell Him how scared you are and how much you need Him. Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?

2) Share your fears with someone you trust. Ask them to pray for you. Sometimes talking to someone you can trust can help you cope. Psalm 34:1 I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears.

3) Listen to music. Listening to music is very therapeutic. Play some Christian tunes to soothe your soul. Psalm 92:1-5 It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name, O Most High, 2 to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night, 3 to the music of the ten-stringed lyre and the melody of the harp. 4 For you make me glad by your deeds, O LORD; I sing for joy at the works of your hands.

We were never promised a life without fear. But…there is hope in Christ. With that realization, no matter how high you jump or no matter how hard you fall, He is with us and He will help us because our Faith in him is bigger than the negative gravity that tries to covet our lives.

What is your faith looking like these days? Have you jumped high and landed low? Come and chat with us on living-by-grace a Facebook community.livingbygracepic.jp