Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out

Don’t be afraid to reach out to others whenever you go through a rough spot.

I’ve said that to those around me. And I mean it. However, when I’m the one who needs to reach out, I find it easier to advise than to take my advice.

I’m a big advocate of prayer. I remind people often to share their concerns and requests so others can pray for them. When it comes time for me to share my concerns and requests, I’m hesitant.

Sure. I believe prayer is an essential part of our life and walk as Christ-followers. Absolutely. I pray for others daily. So why the reluctance on my part to ask for prayer? I believe it has something to do with the false and extremely dangerous belief I am to soldier through. Be strong. Overcome without asking for help. Don’t show weakness or be needy.

Does any of that resonate with how you feel at times? The old pull yourself up by your bootstraps mentality?

Well, according to God, believing that way is just wrong.

As Rich Mullins sang, we are not as strong as we think we are.

The Bible tells us to cast all our cares on God because he cares for us. We are told when we are weak, Christ’s strength shows up in our weakness. We are told to lean into Jesus and let him share our burden. We are told to pray for one another. We are told to comfort as we have been comforted.

Nowhere does the Bible tell us to hold back in asking for prayer.

God places people in our lives to lift our needs before the Father’s throne. They can’t lift if they don’t know.

Right now, in this time and space, the stress of my broken hip; which is healing wonderfully, thank you, Jesus, is not friendly to my auto-immune diseases. Uncharacteristically, I asked my Bible study group to prayer specifically for the battle going on in my body. They were already praying for my hip’s healing, but this time I opened up more about my struggles and gave specifics.

Sometimes it is difficult to admit our weaknesses. Sometimes it is difficult to admit we struggle. Especially if we have encountered those who, again falsely, believe if we belong to Christ we’ll never face adversity. Jesus said in this world we WILL have trouble. He didn’t say we might.

Our strength comes from Christ alone. It’s not of our own making. For when we are weak, he is strong. His power works best in our weakness. His glory shines brightest through our brokenness. Prayer is a big part of taking our petitions to the Father on behalf of our self and others.

Have there been times you struggled with asking for specific prayer requests?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.

When Gators Line Our Path

Earlier, I mentioned I broke my right hip while Pilot and I camped over Thanksgiving. What I didn’t mention were the gators which lined our path as we rode bikes mere hours before my fall.

This park in southeast Texas is known for its overabundance of alligators inhabiting the lakes in the park. That’s fine. I have no problem with gators staying where they belong.

In. The. Water.

The day after Thanksgiving, as we rode the trails around several lakes, we counted twelve gators ranging in length from three to over six feet within a fifteen minute period of time.

On. The. Trail. NOT in the water.

When we met some hikers who told us there were two six foot gators stretched across the full length of the trail facing each other up ahead, I was cautious. When we met a man who said he saw an eight to ten foot gator on the edge of the trail in front of us, I told Pilot I wanted to turn around.

Always the adventurer, Pilot thought we should keep going. I said no and turned around; realizing we’d still have to run the gauntlet of more alligators until we made our way clear of all lakes.

Each time I came upon one of these gators, I remembered what David told King Saul before David went out to face Goliath in battle. Substituting gators for lions and bears.

As far as I was concerned, these prehistoric reptiles where as big a threat as any lion or bear. I don’t care how sluggish they looked to the unsuspecting passer-by, I gave them as wide a berth as I could without running into the gator lying in wait on the other side of the trail.

And I didn’t care how much Pilot wanted to get up close and personal with the ten-footer, I wasn’t about to.

So I couldn’t help but laugh after I fell and broke my hip. I’d escaped harm from the mega-gator, only to break my hip back in the safety of our campsite. Too funny.

You may never have to stare down alligators which block your path, but I bet you’ve faced your share of tests, trials, and uncertainties which are just as fierce. Even more so.

None of us will get through this life unscathed without being touched by pain and sorrow.

Fortunately, we don’t have to travel down these paths alone. No matter where we are, what type of bear or lion or gator we face, God is with us when we call out to him. Whether we feel like it or not. He will never leave or forsake us. He is our rescuer, our shield, our defender.

It may feel like as soon as we move past one gator, there’s another, larger, one waiting around the bend. And there just might be.

The key, however, is to remember the God who already delivered us from the jaw of the previous gator will deliver us from the next.

Even if the next is a broken hip.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

“The Lord who saved me from the claws and teeth of the lion and the bear will save me from this Philistine!”

Saul finally consented, “All right, go ahead,” he said, “and may the Lord be with you!” 1 Samuel 17:37 (TLB)

 

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Death And Life Are In The Power Of The Tongue

King Solomon cautioned readers of the book of Proverbs that death and life are in the power of the tongue. As followers of Christ created in the image of God, how often do we consider the gravity of that fact? How often are we mindful of what we say, tweet, text, send?

Careless words. Thoughtless words. Abusive words. Caustic words. Malicious gossip. Words wielded deliberately like the deadliest blade intent on belittling, damaging, destroying. Words spoken without the least bit of thought to their impact.

The apostle Paul cautioned the Corinthian church about their verbal assaults on each other. He feared they had resorted to quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorder. (2 Corinthians 12:20) He told the church in Colossae to rid themselves of all anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language. (Colossians 3:8)

James tells us the tongue is a fire that can set a forest ablaze. He asks us how praise and cursing can come out of the same mouth. (James 3:5-6, 9-12)

Our words matter. How we say them matters. The intent behind them matters. Our words can lift up. Our words can tear down. Our words can bring life. Our words can bring death.

I wish I could say my words have never wounded. But I can’t. I wish I could say I’ve never spoken out of anger, or jealousy, or arrogance. But I can’t. I wish I could say I’ve always spoken the truth in love, or never allowed a hurt to go by without responding with harsh words. But I can’t.

Maybe you feel the same.

Here are three questions to ask ourselves before our words leave us.

Is what I’m about to say true? Is it nice? Is it necessary? It might be true, but do we need to say it? Will it serve to bless, heal, help?

Going back to Paul again. “Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you.” (Ephesians 4:29 GNT)

Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Our words, however they are delivered, are powerful. Since we are called to be like Jesus, shouldn’t we use our words as he did?

Our words need to speak life, not death, to those around us.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. Proverbs 18: 21 ESV

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Guest Post – I Am Judas

Today’s guest post, I Am Judas, written by Dave Peever first appeared on Live 4 Him.

I Am Judas

Not a name most would like to call themselves but I am Judas. You may be thinking I am the other Judas, not Iscariot but the one mentioned in John 14:22 but that is not what I am saying. I am Judas, Judas Iscariot. In case you have not been following the “I am _______” series (I am Mary, Thomas, Samuel Peter and Adam) I want to assure you that I have not suffered some sort of mental illness that causes me to think I am anyone and possibly everyone other than Dave. I am Dave Peever but for this post I must state that I am Judas.

I have been called by Jesus.                                                                                 

I entered Bible college all excited; I was going to be a pastor. I was called and nothing could stop me. I may not have been the best student or the best example of a Christ follower but that didn’t matter, I was one of them. Life had meaning and goals, all I had to do was finish out my 3 years of training and I would be able to fulfill my calling. No longer would I be a student among students but rather I would be able to make a name for myself. I was Judas.

Money and position were important.

Summer break came and it was time to work, time to make money. It felt good to have cash in my pocket and a place to contribute. I was needed at work and I was rewarded at work. Position and profit soon called louder than commitment and Christ following. It didn’t matter who called me or what they called me to do, I had new meaning in life and new goals. I was Judas.

I didn’t leave the group, just backed off.

I didn’t return to Bible college, instead I pursued a career that had nothing to do with my calling. I’m not sure what others thought. I figure many saw me at church and assumed that my commitment to Jesus had not changed just my choice of how to live it out. I lived one way when Christians were looking so as to gain their approval while living totally different when they were not around so I could feed my lust for money and worldly position. I was Judas.

The only one I was truly fooling was me.

Maybe others thought I was still a follower of Christ but I would have to say that as time went on people stopped seeing me that way. They may not have written me off but it was becoming apparent that I was not the man I tried to trick people into thinking I was. The truth is I am not sure anyone was falling for my act although they all treated me the same as before. I had sold my relationship with Jesus for money and the approval of others and somehow I fooled myself into thinking He didn’t know. I was Judas.

Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over. Matthew 26:14-16 (NIV)

 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” John 13:27 (NIV)

I may not have handed Jesus over to be killed but it isn’t beyond me to kill Him off in my everyday actions so that I can gain wealth and the approval of those who do not follow Him. I am Judas.

Who is Dave Peever? I am a follower of Jesus the Christ. My specific call is to creatively present various aspects of life as a Christ follower and as a member of a collective of Christ followers I use my background as an actor, director and playwright/writer as well as my music, preaching and leadership skills to assist churches in transition (between pastors) with their desire to be more effective. I have been married for 31 years. We have 3 sons and 4 grandchildren all who currently reside in central Ontario Canada. I have been in ministry for 22 years.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks!

Crinoline Cowboys Book Review

Southern Belles conquer the west. Set in Crinoline Creek, Texas in the late 1860s, Crinoline Cowboys is a collection of four stories. Authored by Patty Smith Hall, Cynthia Hickey, Marilyn Turk, and Kathleen Y’Barbo, each story tells the tale of a strong, determined woman who leaves her southern home and losses following the Civil War, to start a new life in the Texas.

As Madalyn Turner, Josephine Montgomery, Sarah Beth Taylor, and Bea Wilson face their new surroundings, challenges, and the unfamiliar ways of the citizens of Crinoline Creek, their stories take us on a delightful journey right up to the happily ever after.

If you’re a fan of Christian historical romance set in the west, this may just be the book for you. With four different heroines, heroes, and sets of problems there’s sure to be something you’ll enjoy.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

I wish you well.

Sandy

Please enter your email address on the form located on the right sidebar to sign up to receive posts every Tuesday and Thursday. Thanks.