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I Can versus I Can’t

Undaunted Painting by Davis Maho

Undaunted
Painting by Davis Maho

It seems that my life is full of “I Can’ts. I can’t go backpacking with my family. I can’t eat certain foods because they make me ill.  I can’t travel easily right now due to food intolerance issues. I can’t function like I want to because of chronic fatigue syndrome. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t. I hate it.

Perhaps you have some “I can’ts” in your life too. They aren’t fun. In fact they are awful.

But God reminds me that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13) That doesn’t mean that I will be able to backpack or run races or even function like I want to, but it does mean that what God wants me to do I will be able to do. He will give me the strength to persevere and accomplish what He has planned for me.

I went to a Hopi show at our local museum recently and met my son’s friend Davis there. He is a painter and had several of his paintings displayed. One painting, of a warrior maiden named He’e’e’, spoke to me. The title of the painting is Undaunted.

That is what I need to be. Undaunted by my circumstances. Full of I cans instead of I can’ts.

I can do what God asks me to do. He has allowed the awfulness of chronic fatigue syndrome and food intolerance in my life for a reason and I will do the best to serve Him and accomplish what He wishes for me to accomplish while I’m in this state.

I will be undaunted.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

And so can you….

(To see more of Davis’s work see this link.)

Today I Choose…..

Roses

Today I Choose:

 

To bloom where I am planted. (1 Corinthians 7:17-24)

To be content with the current circumstances of my life….while seeking to change what I have the power to change. (Philippians 4:11-13)

 

To believe that no matter how difficult my circumstances, all things will work together for good. (Romans 8:28)

To have a “can do” approach to my problems. (Numbers 13-14)

To let God guide me, because He knows a whole lot more than I do.  (Psalm 48:14)

To live joyfully. (Psalm 118:24)

To leave my past mistakes and sadness behind because God’s love and mercy are new every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

To call myself a beloved Child of the Most High God instead of thinking that I am a fool or someone who can’t do anything right. (Galatians 3:26-28)

To believe the best about others actions and motives no matter how they treat me. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

To do good to others even when they hurt me. (1 Thessalonians 5:15, Romans 12:21)

To give of my time, talents, finances and encouragement to others, because there is always someone in need of something. (Luke 6:38)

To be kind, compassionate and forgiving instead of bitter or angry.  (Ephesians 4:31-32)

To allow God to heal my broken heart and bind up my wounds. (Psalm 147:3)

To let God love me, even when others don’t. (Romans 8:38-39)

To always love others, for it is the most excellent way to live. (I Corinthians 13, Matthew 22:36-40)

 

 

 

ipod June 2014 001I had a hard day recently and as a result tears were forming in my eyes and running down my cheeks. As my heart was crying out to God a song randomly came on to my iPod. The song was entitled El Me Conoce which means He knows me. (I have Spanish songs on my iPod because I’m trying to learn Spanish…. :-) )

The words to the song go on to say “He sees each tear that falls and hears me when I call.” I really needed to hear that right then, and I was so grateful that God provided those encouraging words!

Yes, God does see our tears. He even collects and records them! Psalm 56:8 says: “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”  I don’t know why He takes special note of our tears…perhaps someday He will replace each one with a special hug or measure of joy.

God also hears us when we cry out to Him. “The Lord hears His people when they call to Him for help…..” (Psalm 34:17-18)

I was so encouraged that God knew where I was emotionally and He responded with a song. (Isn’t it amazing that God can use an iPod to reach us?) If you need to be encouraged that God knows your name, knows your troubles, sees your tears and hears your cry, then take a moment to listen to either the English or Spanish version of this song. He loves you and He does care for you!

He Knows My Name

El Me Conoce 

 

God Will Make a Way

“…..I am making a way in the wilderness…..” (Isaiah 43:18-19)

This past weekend I was driving the back roads of northern Arizona with one of my sons. We wondered whether the road would be passable or would have trees blocking the way. As we drove along, we could tell that some of the trees had been recently cleared. I even commented to my son that the tree we had just passed must have been cut and moved recently, because I could smell the freshness of the cut wood.

Shortly we came to a tree that was blocking the road. In front of us were two cars, also stopped, but filled with people who were well equipped with a chain saw and winch! They had been the ones clearing the road before us!

In a very short time the tree was no longer blocking the way and our three vehicles went on. They kept us in view, guiding us around other obstacles and through muddy waters.

That night, I reflected on what had happened. God had truly provided these “angels” to go before us and clear the way. Had they not been there, we would have had to turn around and drive back the 20 miles we had just driven (over not so great roads).

I believe God was showing me that He truly is with me and making a way through my wilderness. The path I’m on is much like the road we drove….not easy; in fact, very difficult in places.

And since He is with me, He is with you too; going before you on your difficult journey, and clearing the way bit by bit.  (Isaiah 43:1-2)

May you see glimpses of Him today, as I saw on Sunday.

 

I Made It For You!

Maui 2014 011My Child~

That beautiful sunset you just watched…..I made that for you!

 

 

 

The flower you marveled at…..I made that for you too!

Flower

 

 

 

 

 

The fish you saw under the ocean…..yes, I made that for you to enjoy!

Orangespine Unicornfish1

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know that My thoughts of you outnumber all the grains of sand on the earth? They do! I love you that much! So, relax My Child and enjoy what I have made. Take time to slow down, smell the flowers, watch the sunsets and remember Me and My love for you!

 

“How precious to me are your thoughts, God!  How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand–when I am awake, I am still with you.” Psalm 139:17-18

 

 

“But ask the wild animals, and they will teach you. Ask the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you. Or speak to the earth and let it teach you. Let the fish of the sea make it known to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all men.”  Job 12:7-10

God is Our Guide

Maui Sunset

Maui Sunset

“If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”  Psalm 139:9-10

It is wonderful to know that God is always guiding us, no matter where we are or what we are facing.

A friend posted this verse on FaceBook while I was in Hawaii. I was facing a challenge at the time and as I woke that morning, I sensed God’s presence and guidance. When I read the verse later that morning which my friend had posted, it reaffirmed what I heard Him whisper to me. It really spoke to me due to “rising at dawn” and being “on the far side of the sea” because both pertained to me that day!

May you be assured too….God is guiding you and holding you close!

 

Celebrate!

 

Keawala'i Congregational Church, Maui

Keawala’i Congregational Church, Maui

My Dear Child~

Every mistake you have ever made or ever will make has been taken care of by My Son.  (2 Corinthians 5:21) There is no reason to be sad about anything that you have done because you are free from your past! (John 8:36) You are a new creation! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

You can live joyfully in the present because Jesus came to give you a full and abundant life. (John 10:10) All you need to do is believe and you will live forever. (John 3:16)

Will you accept this gift? The cost to you is nothing because Jesus paid the price. I am waiting for you with wide open arms, so come!! (Luke 15:11-24) Come and dance through life with Me!

 

 

 

 

Let It Go!

Embrace the Now Whispers from the Father

Embrace the Now
Whispers from the Father

My Child~

Please stop dwelling on the past. Thinking about the past will not allow you to move forward and that is what I want……for you to live in the present.

So you made a mistake. Guess what? So do all My Children. Let it go! No parent wants their child dwelling on their errors. You talked with Me about it; you learned from it; so move on!

Someone treated you poorly? Discuss it with them if you can and leave the rest with Me. I will bring good out of your pain.

Don’t keep looking behind you. Don’t live in the past. Don’t beat yourself up over your mistakes. Don’t dwell on your hurts. Don’t use the past as an excuse to stay stuck where you are.

I have forgiven your past mistakes and taken your sin from you. (Psalm 103:12) I will deal with those who have hurt you. (Romans 12:19) I will make all things work together for good.  (Romans 8:28)

I want you to live in the present. I want you to focus on loving others and doing the best you can now, for Me and for My glory. I want you happy. I want you free. I want you living an abundant life. (John 10:10)

So stop looking behind you and concentrate on the present moment. There is a whole wide world waiting for you to embrace. But you need to be free of the past to fully embrace the present.

Are you with Me? I am with you!! Let it Go and let’s move forward!!!

“This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us be glad and rejoice in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

“Brothers and sisters, I know that I still have a long way to go. But there is one thing I do: I forget what is in the past and try as hard as I can to reach the goal before me. I keep running hard toward the finish line to get the prize that is mine because God has called me through Christ Jesus to life up there in heaven.”   (Philippians 3: 13-14)

 

March 2014 117“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”  Romans 8:28

It’s hard, really hard, to go through tough times. It doesn’t seem fair, and even though we know that life isn’t fair, we want it to be fair.

We want answers to the “whys” in life.  Why did I lose my health, my child, my spouse, my marriage, my job, my home, my ______ (fill in the blank). Why?

In tough times I have to cling to the truth that God is good. And that He allows things to happen for His purposes…..which I may not understand immediately. Or I may not understand until weeks later. Or months later. Or years later. Or maybe not until heaven.

During the tough times I choose to trust; otherwise I would be cranky, angry or maybe even depressed.

I am fortunate that today I understand why I experienced a horrible ordeal in December.  Going through that situation was very upsetting and even frightening. But now that I see the bigger picture, I am grateful that I went through it, because others will benefit.

A woman shared recently in a bible study that circumstances in our life are like puzzle pieces. When we look at one piece, it doesn’t make sense by itself and it may even appear ugly. But as the puzzle is assembled, a beautiful picture unfolds.

All things do work together for good, and whether I see that goodness tomorrow or 10,000 tomorrows from now shouldn’t matter to me.

What matters is I know God can be trusted. And so I choose to trust. (Psalm 9:10Job 13:15)

In His way and in His timing, He will let me see the big (finished) picture. And it will be beautiful.

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone Whispers from the Father

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
Whispers from the Father

Do you ever feel like God might be asking you to do something but you think it’s too far out of your comfort zone or ability to do it?

Do you have an idea that you would like to try, but feel it would be impossible to bring it to pass?

I have felt like that. Just this past week in fact. My response was along the lines of “Ohhhh….this is beyond what I know and I’m not good at it and I don’t think I want to put the effort and time into it!”

Moses felt like that too. When God asked Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, he responded:

“Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3:11)
“What if they do not believe me or listen to me?….”  (Exodus 4:1)
“O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” (Exodus 4:10)
“O Lord, please send someone else to do it!” (Exodus 4:13)
 

God didn’t go for any of Moses’ excuses. Not one of them.

And He didn’t take Jonah’s “no” very well either. When Jonah went the opposite direction from what the Lord asked of him, he ended up in the belly of a large fish. (Jonah 1) After the fish vomited Jonah up on dry land, Jonah decided to do what God asked of him. (Jonah 3:1-3) Moses eventually did what God asked of him too. So did I.

I’m not sure why we resist God when He asks us to step out and do something for Him. I suppose we like to be comfortable. But I think life is far more exciting and rewarding if we do what God is nudging us to do. We don’t need to fear, for God promises to give us power in place of our fears (2 Timothy 1:7), to be with us (Exodus 3:12), and to teach us (Exodus 4:12). He is there for us!

Let’s get out of our comfort zone and walk the path we have never walked before. God will be with us and with His help we will accomplish something wonderful for His glory!

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