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Life is a Journey

Comfort in knowing God Instructs, Teaches, and Guides

With COVID numbers rising once again as a new strain of the virus emerges, it’s good to be reminded that God never takes His eyes off what is happening here on planet earth. When we seek Him with our whole heart and listen for His voice, He will instruct, teach and guide us as we make the journey in life. God initiated that journey the day of your conception and you will continue that journey until you have reached your eternal destination.

As we journey from here to there, we will find many paths that we must choose and if you listen, God will make it evident to you the path that is part of your intended journey. He will also use the paths of your journey to teach you and instruct you so that He can make you more like Him. Psalm 32:8 says, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with my eye.”

God instructs every step of our journey

At first we might think that instructing and teaching is the same thing, but there is a difference. When you instruct someone, you’re giving them a set of tools or tasks to do something specific. For example, if I want to crochet a blanket for my sister for her birthday today, I need to follow the instructions so that the blanket takes the correct shape and pattern. If I want to assemble a piece of furniture, I need to follow the step by step directions to avoid having to take things apart and reassemble over and over again.

Whenever I don’t follow the instructions of whatever project I’m working on, I can become frustrated, even angry, and give up. Walk away. Maybe to never pick it up again. Or perhaps, as a last resort, I pick up the instructions and decide the manufacturer actually knew what they were talking about and when I follow the instructions my project turns out well.

So whatever journey God outlined and ordained for your life, He instructs us by giving us the exact tools we need to do the specific journey that was designed for us. He will never tell us to do something without giving us the skills, gifts, and abilities we need to be able to fully accomplish His plan for us. So if you are hesitant about take that first step onto the path He has placed in front of you, go ahead and take the step. You can know God will instruct you every step of the way.

God teaches us to prepare us for our journey

Where instruction provides the skills, teaching is more generic. You can teach almost anything: concepts, ideas, theories, history, or what the Scripture has to say about how we should live. Teaching implies “education” which includes academics but also encompasses moral and social aspects of our development. Instruction takes the basics of what is taught and moves it to application and processes. YouTube can teach me how to crochet. It can teach me about different kinds of tools and how to use them to build furniture, but until I pick up the crochet hook or the tools and begin following a specific set of instructions what was taught in YouTube is nothing more than head knowledge. Teaching gives us the knowledge in our head but instruction moves it to action.

We can see a good example of teaching and instruction in Moses. At the burning bush, God speaks to Moses and teaches him about who he is, saying “I AM.” But once he teaches Moses, he then gives him specific instructions: “Go to Pharoh, tell him to let My people go, and then lead the people to the promised land.”

God guides in our journey

Psalm 32:8 tells us that God guides us with His eye. He’s looking out and watching over us. He sees what we cannot see. He’s not leading us blindly along. Rather He is purposefully guiding us with the ending destination in mind.

The great thing about Moses’ life journey is that God constantly guided him. When his mother placed him in a basket to float in the Nile trying to save his life from Pharaoh who was murdering all the baby boys, God made sure that he was found by none other than Pharaoh’s daughter who adopted him as her own son which ensured that Moses would be raised as a prince who would learn all there was to know about Egyptian law, court etiquette, and receive the best teaching and instruction in all of Egypt. But Moses still needed more teaching and instruction to be able for God to use him for God’s plan to bring the nation of Israel out of slavery.

After Moses killed an Egyptian who was beating one of the Hebrew slaves, it was discovered and Moses fled and left Egypt. He then spent the next 40 years tending sheep but it was there that he would learn the skills he needed to shepherd God’s people out in the wilderness. Then when God sent Moses back to Egypt, God guided him in what to say and what to do.

Destination Preparation

God does the same today. He is a God that is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. But when we allow the noise and distractions of life and we believe the lies of Satan, the still small voice of God is drowned out and it becomes difficult to hear God above the noise. Sometimes, we seek the advice of others when seeking God’s will for us. When that advice is coming from a strong, mature Christian, it can be helpful. But don’t allow their voice to be louder than God’s voice. So sometimes, we need to take some time out and just be still in His presence and listen (without talking) for the voice of the Holy Spirit within us. And He will guide you through the wilderness when there seems to be no way. Just listen for His instructions and His teachings – they are preparing you for the destination.

God will guide you through the wilderness when there seems to be no way. Just listen for His instructions and His teachings. They are preparing your for the destination.

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What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

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The Antidote to Stress, Worry, Depression & Anxiety

How COVID has impacted mental health

Most of us would agree that we have not seen a year like 2020 in our lifetimes. It has been a year of stress, worry, depression, and anxiety. And we need an antidote!

The headline of an article published by WKYT in Kentucky reported that a study revealed increased suicide rates across the U.S, and mental health issues arose among adults during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reports from the CDC (as reported in June of 2020)

  • 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance abuse
  • 31% reported anxiety or depression symptoms.
  • 13% started or increased substance abuse.
  • 26% reported trauma or stress-related disorder symptoms
  • 11% say they seriously considered suicide.

The New York Times reported in May of 2021 that in San Francisco more people died last year from drug overdose than COVID.

The world-wide pandemic has had a world-wide impact that needs a world-wide antidote

While the statistics above are from the US, it isn’t just the US that has seen an increase in mental health problems. It’s happening all over the world. Government statistics in Japan reported that more people died from suicide in the month of October, than from COVID-19, in all of 2020. A majority of these were women. But there is an antidote.

Stress, Depression, Anxiety and Worry has been present since the beginning – and so has the antidote

Stress, depression, anxiety and worry is nothing new to the human experience. You can read through the Bible and find that many people, even those who God used mightily, had emotional challenges. In 1 Kings 19, we find Elijah running for his life from Queen Jezebel and he lies down under a broom tree and asked God to die. When we read the Psalms we can find many of them where David pours out his heart to God with a variety of emotions. Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet. The book of Lamentations is the laments of the prophet. The disciples of Jesus locked themselves in a chamber after Jesus’ death out of fear of what the Jews would do to them.

We need an Antidote

From Genesis to Revelation, you can see stress, depression, anxiety and worry as people lived their lives. However, you can also read the Bible to discover the antidote.

Peace is the antithesis, not the antidote

For example, in the last verse of Psalm 29 we find the words, “May the LORD give strength to his people! May the LORD bless his people with peace!” The opposite of stress, anxiety, worry and depression is peace. We get our strength to get through these times from God and it is He who blesses us with peace. But peace isn’t the antidote, its the antithesis. So what, then, is the antidote?

David is the author of Psalm 29 and in the ten verses that precede his prayer, he shares the antidote to worry and stress, anxiety and weakness of faith.

Psalm 29:1-10 Ascribe to the LORD, O sons of the mighty, Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in holy array. The voice of the LORD is upon the waters; The God of glory thunders, The LORD is over many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful, The voice of the LORD is majestic. The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; Yes, the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, And Sirion like a young wild ox. The voice of the LORD hews out flames of fire. The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; The LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the LORD makes the deer to calve And strips the forests bare; And in His temple everything says, “Glory!” The LORD sat as King at the flood; Yes, the LORD sits as King forever.

The Psalmist is telling us that even in the midst of the tremendous storms of life, God is Sovereign above everything in creation, and He is Lord of all!

The antidote is proper worship

The antidote of stress, worry, depression, and anxiety is worship. This is what we see David doing in Psalm 29 – He is worshipping the Sovereignty of God. When we understand the Sovereignty of God and worship Him, we can let go of stress, worry, depression and anxiety and trust that God is in control.

If worship is the antidote, then we need to know exactly what is worship. We also need to know how to use this antidote. So let’s start with defining worship and then we will learn how to use this antidote as we discover the proper attitude of worship and the proper act of worship.

If worship is the antidote, then what is worship?

Worship is much more than just going to church, singing some songs, shaking hands with other believers, lifting hands, praying, partaking of communion, or anything else we do in church. True worship is not about our acts – it’s about our heart.

So, how would you define worship? Wikipedia defines it as, “an act of religious devotion usually directed towards a deity. An act of worship may be performed individually, in an informal or formal group, or by a designated leader. Such acts may involve honoring.” – Wikipedia

The modern Webster dictionary defines it, “the act of showing respect and love for a god especially by praying with other people who believe in the same god.”

The 1828 Noah Webster dictionary defines worship like this, “Chiefly and eminently, the act of paying divine honors to the Supreme Being; or the reverence and homage paid to him in religious exercises, consisting in adoration, confession, prayer, thanksgiving and the like. The worship of God is an eminent part of religion. Prayer is a chief part of religious worship.”

Worship includes honor, reverence and adoration. There needs to be a sense of awe and perhaps even fear – or a deep, deep respect for our Supreme Being and Creator. A popular song sung in churches is “Heart of Worship” and certainly the ‘heart’ of worship is respect, love, and self-sacrifice. One line of that song says, “Though I’m weak and poor, all I have is Yours, every single breath!” The song discovers that God does not require a song – but our hearts.

Worship is much deeper than a song

In the analysis of worship we need to understand that the acts and attitude needs to be much deeper than a mere song. The biblical definition of worship can be found in Romans 12:1. It says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”

If we are going to truly worship, then before anything else – we need to surrender all to God. Including the things that cause us stress, worry depression, and anxiety. We need to be entirely sanctified for our acts of worship to have any meaning. Jesus said we need to worship in spirit and in truth. Without it we are just going through the motions. True worship involves the heart. It involves the will. And true worship involves the spirit. Anything less will not do.

The Attitude of Worship is necessary for an effective antidote

God says in Isaiah 1:11-16: “The multitude of your sacrifices— what are they to me?” says the Lord. “I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. When you come to appear before me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of my courts? Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations— I cannot bear your worthless assemblies. Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals I hate with all my being. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands in prayer, I hide my eyes from you; even when you offer many prayers, I am not listening. Your hands are full of blood! Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong.”

The antidote starts in the heart – not our acts

The people were doing all the right things; they were doing the acts of worship – but the attitude was wrong. They were rebelling in their heart while their actions were ones of worship. Because the attitude was wrong the acts were more than meaningless. And as a result, they were detestable to God. God looks at the heart. God looks on the thoughts and the intents of a person. If you are in rebellion with God; if you are living in disobedience to God – your worship is more than meaningless – it is detestable.

So before we can truly worship God, we must first get the heart right. Jesus said, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:23-24

When we come to God we need to come with pure hearts. When we take Communion – we need to come with pure hearts or it is more than meaningless – it is detestable to God.

Attitude is everything.

“The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.” Isaiah 9:13

Attitude is everything. Talk is cheap. These people talked the talk but didn’t walk the walk. With their mouth and lips they honored God but their hearts were far from God. They had a list of ‘do’s and don’ts’ they followed, but their hearts were still devoted to themselves and not God. They were on the throne.

Here is the right attitude for worship. “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe” Hebrews 12:28

The right attitude is gratitude, reverence and awe. When we come to worship we need to come with thanksgiving and praise. We need to come reverently – with a sense of awe. I think the Church has lost that sense of awe for God when we come to worship. The way we come into the sanctuary, the way we dress, and the way we speak should show respect for our God. It should reveal a sense of awe for Him.

The Acts of Worship that provides the antidote

What does the act of worship look like? There are many acts of worship that are meaningful with the right attitude and heart. Noah Webster mentioned prayer. Paul, mentoring the young pastor, Timothy, says, “Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.” 1 Timothy 2:8

Prayer with the right attitude of holiness and purity

Notice the call to prayer is included with the right attitude – holiness. Worship must begin with purity. We find in 2 Chronicles 29:15-16, “When they had assembled their fellow Levites and consecrated themselves, they went in to purify the temple of the Lord, as the king had ordered, following the word of the Lord. The priests went into the sanctuary of the Lord to purify it.” 

The place of worship

Notice that they consecrated themselves and purified the temple of the Lord. Worship is also in a particular place – the House of the Lord or a place dedicated to the Lord. I think this is a reason we have Churches or Houses of worship. Notice the acts of worship in Deuteronomy 12:5-7. “But you are to seek the place the Lord your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go; there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you.” 

Offerings and sacrifices

“Offerings and sacrifices; tithes and special gifts; freewill offerings; the best of your increase or income”, it says. Then you shall rejoice and be thankful because of how the Lord blessed you. As we focus on His many blessings, our stresses, worries anxieties, and depressions are exchanged for the goodness of God that He has poured out in our lives.

Praise

Here is another example.

“Hezekiah gave the order to sacrifice the burnt offering on the altar. As the offering began, singing to the Lord began also, accompanied by trumpets and the instruments of David king of Israel. The whole assembly bowed in worship, while the musicians played and the trumpets sounded. All this continued until the sacrifice of the burnt offering was completed. 2 Chronicles 29:27-30

When the offerings were finished, the king and everyone present with him knelt down and worshiped. King Hezekiah and his officials ordered the Levites to praise the Lord with the words of David and of Asaph the seer. So they sang praises with gladness and bowed down and worshiped.” 

Bowing

Bowing was also a part of worship as was kneeling and sometimes standing.

I will bow down toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Your Name for Your loving kindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word according to all Your name. Psalm 138:2

Bowing is the act of making ourselves humble by kneeling or bowing down before the Lord as a way of demonstrating our humility and devotion to Him. It helps us remember that worship is an act that brings glory to God, and our act of kneeling or bowing is a sign of our submission to His authority. By showing our submission we are signifying our understanding of the power and authority that we serve, this allows us to align ourselves with Him fully as our focus is only on Him during the act of worship

Bowing or kneeling is also a great way to show our unconditional love and surrender for when mere words are not enough! Bowing and worshipping go hand in hand because when we bow our heads in worship we are comforted and fulfilled.

A great example of this is when Job hears the horrific news of the total loss of everything he loved, instead of reacting in negative way, he “arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshipped” (Job 1:20). An amazing way to show his faith and trust in the Lord!

The antidote of Worship has a progression

Are you seeing those acts of worship? Prayer, singing, bowing, praise. There is a progression here. When we are stressed, worried, feeling anxious or depressed, we start with prayer, castings our cares on the Lord. When we give them to Him, we can sing with joy as we acknowledge all the blessings He has given us. That should then lead us to bowing before our Sovereign God with thanksgiving and praise Him for his goodness.

The Bible says,

“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” Psalm 100:1-2

“With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord; in the great throng of worshipers I will praise him.” Psalm 109:30

“God inhabits the praise of His people” (Psalm 22:3).

If the antithesis of stress, anxiety, worry, and depression is peace, then so is joy which comes as we give God praise. Peace and joy cannot occupy the same space and stress, anxiety, worry, and depression. It is just impossible.

God is a God of Peace

1 Corinthians 14:33 tells us: “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.”

Do you remember when Elijah had a duel with the prophets of Baal? You can read the whole story in 1 Kings, Chapter 18. Listen to what the Bible says the prophets of Baal did.

“they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.” 1 Kings 18:28-29

Can you imagine such a sight? Shouting, frantic prophesying, even slashing themselves with swords until the blood flowed. The prophets of Baal were serious! They were emotional! They were sacrificial! The results? No one answered. No one paid attention.

God does not delight in meaningless acts, even when those acts are full of passion and zeal. God is a God of order – not confusion or frenzied and empty acts. Philippians 4:6-7 says,  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Psalm 4:8 says, “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety.”

2 Thessalonians 3:16 says, “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”

Trading Stress, Anxiety, Worry, & Depression for Peace

Taking time to dwell and meditate on the Sovereignty of our God and spending moments in true worship will help us trade our stress, anxiety, worry, and Depression for peace. Then our hearts beat with joy. We’ll have a song of praise on our lips. We will be able to find peace in the storms of anxiety and worry, calm in the face of stress, joy in the depression when we enter into worship with the right attitude and a pure heart so that our worship is filled with reverence, awe, thankfulness, and praise.

I want you to know that you can worship the Lord individually and have sweet communion with Him – and you ought to. Sometimes just you and Jesus engaged in worship can be so sweet and wonderful as we let go of the cares of this world 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to cast all our anxieties on Him because He cares for us. So surrender them to Jesus and come to him with a heart of worship, which is the antidote to stress, anxiety, worry, and depression.

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click here to listen to our daily devotions on Spotify and be sure to follow us.

Do you have an event on the calendar and need a speaker?

We’re offering 15% off our speaker fees if you book by July 31, 2021. Call today and use the discount code: SUMMER2021.

We’re excited to be a part of your ministry and can’t wait to see you – no matter what size your event.

904.239.8937

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Your contribution is appreciated and will help us grow and expand our ministry. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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Now you can enhance your Bible Reading with the Verse Mapping Template

Our Verse Mapping download is FREE and includes 6 pages: 3 pages of instructions for using the template and the 2 page template, plus the cover page. If you’re looking to go deeper into God’s Word, learn more about God and develop a stronger spiritual life, Verse Mapping will help you dig into the scriptures. As you apply God’s Word to your life, you will develop a more intimate knowledge and relationship with God.

[Download not found]

Download our Free 2021 Bible Memory Verse Plan

We’ve put together 52 memory verses for you to hide God’s Word in your heart! You can download the full document for free and then print a new verse each week and as many copies as you’d like. Each verse prints four times on a page so that you can then cut them into index size cards and place them in prominent places where you will see them frequently throughout the day to help you remember to memorize them. Just because you visited our site, they’re yours for free! Download today.

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Download our Free 2021 Daily Bible Reading Plan

With just 30-40 minutes per day, you can read the entire Bible in one year. The One-Year Bible Reading Plan consists of both Old Testament and New Testament readings for each day of the year. The Bible is God’s personal Word to you. What is He saying to you today? Open your Bible and find out!

[Download not found]

Download our Free Self-Care Wheel

The Self-Care Wheel provides ideas for practicing self-care in six dimensions of yourself: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Sensory, and Social. NOTE: You will need 11X14 paper to print the wheel.

Want to know more about self-care? Our Self-Care blog series targets people who serve in any ministry position and takes a Biblical approach to self-care.

[Download not found]

<<<SPOTLIGHTING>>> In the Spreadshop Store:

All things are possible

Do you have an “impossible” in your life? Remember that in Jesus, all things are possible. You just got to have faith.

All things are possible

The slide show below highlights some of our favorite Christian Tees designs available in our Spreadshop and Teespring stores.

  • Revive Us Again, Lord

See our Canvase prints in the Teespring Store: All Things New

All Things New

We’ve added a new canvas print to the Teespring Store. These prints make great gifts or for decor in your home.

When we ask Jesus to forgive us and save us from our sin, He takes our old, sinful self and makes us new in Him. This beautiful canvas is a great reminder of what Jesus has done for us.

To see the collection of Canvas and Poster Prints


Need some music to get you through the day? Check out one of our Playlists on YouTube

Click here for the Contemporary Christian Playlist
Click here for the Southern Gospel Playlist
Or Click here for the Hymns Playlist

You can also watch our animated devotionals on the YouTube Channel


God, Love and Marshmallow Wars by Julia M. Bruce

What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

God, Love and Marshmallow Wars is a book that includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
  • Conversation Starters.
  • Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
  • Romance Builders.
  • Relationship Builders.
  • Personal reflections.
  • Date ideas.
  • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.

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Psalm 61:2. Lead Me To the Rock

Today’s Verse: Psalm 61:2

Pressure, Stress, Burnout, Compassion Fatigue

Life is filled with pressure and stress. Stress to meet deadlines, stress to get the bills paid, stress in learning a new job, stress to handle the amount of work on your desk, stress carring for a loved one with an illness. Pressure to be liked by your peers, pressure to make the team, pressure to get the next promotion. Sooner or later we come to a boiling point where we feel burried beneath the weight of the stress and pressure. Things are just more than we can handle. At times, we even feel defeated by it. We throw up our hands and cry out, “I don’t know what to do!” or “I can’t go on like this!” Burnout and Compassion Fatigue are real and we experience these in those moments when we cry out, “I can’t take another step!” In that moment we either experience our greatest tragedy or our greatest victory. It just depends on where turn for help. David turned to his Rock, his Fortress. Where do you go in these moments?

I’m well familiar with pressure, stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue. Not only do I keep up this blog, I’m CEO of this ministry. But this is what I do “part-time.” I also wear the title of Director of Foster Care for a statewide agency and in that role, I oversee seven staff in seven counties and we are about to add three additional staff and begin working in a new county. I’m also currently writing two books. And if that wasn’t enough, I have a husband currently in the hospital (has been there since last Friday!) with some pretty significant things going on.

Seeking Relief

For some they seek relief in alcohol or drugs. Some seek relief in pornography. Some seek relief in sexual relationships. Others seek relief in sports, hobbies, or video games. And in today’s world, it can even be sought in virtual reality. Even if one find distraction in these things for a short while, there is no security or strength found in them to help us through the situation. In fact, most of these things only bring more problems. More tragedy.

Tragedy can also happen when we are overwhelmed when we attempt to make a major decision while we are feeling stress and pressure. Often, when we attempt to make decisions at this time, we make the wrong decision or one that is irreversible. These might be something like the decision to drive a car after drinking or getting high, choosing to cheat on your spouse, choosing to get married or divorce, deciding to buy an expensive item you can’t really afford.

Me Power

We are not meant to do life in our own power. How do I know when I’m relying on myself? When I begin to feel overwhelmed, discourage, afraid. When I begin to feel like I can’t take another step in the calling God has given me and I’m ready to throw in the white flag. Or when the passion I have for my ministry feels more like a burden. God wants us to depend on Him and live life through His power. When we live in His power, He gets the glory as others see Him at work in our lives. When we have nothing left to give, we need to let go of the reigns and follow David’s example by crying out to God, “Lead me to the Rock!”

Lead Me to the Rock

So then, when we feel overwhelmed, what should we do? David prayed in Psalm 61:2, Lead me to the Rock.”  In 2 Samuel 22 David said, “The Lord is my Rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my mountain where I seek refuge. My shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold, my refuge, and my Savior.”

In the Bible, a rock is a symbol of strength and security and in the moment that David wrote Psalm 61:2, he needed the stability and security of a rock strong enough to stand against the circumstances that caused him to feel overwhelmed. He needed a Rock that is higher than him – a place above his own wisdom and abilities. Jesus is “higher than us” in His deity, knowledge, and power. He is higher in that He is worthy of our praise and worship. He is higher in that He is the only way to salvation.

David also needed God to lead him to that rock. Often when we are feeling overwhelmed, we just are not able to see the path that leads to the Rock because we are too focused on the problem and become blinded to way to get there. He knew he didn’t have the strength on his own to get to the Rock in that moment. Instead he cries out to God to lead him to the Rock.

Making overwhelming moments victorious moments

Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed, discouraged, depressed, fatigued, afraid, uncertain, worried, or have anxiety, we have a Rock that is higher than us. A strong fortress in which we can hide. We have the arms of our Savior waiting to embrace us, strengthen us, love us, encourage us and give us just what we need for one more step forward. When we run to the Rock, take time out to abide there. Spend time in His presence. We can find both strength and security for all of life’s overwhelming moments. So when you are feeling overwhelmed, follow David’s example and ask God to lead you to the rock that is higher than you. When we do, our moments of feeling overwhelmed can become a greatest victories.

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What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

This book includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

Couple activities include:
  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
  • Conversation Starters.
  • Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
  • Romance Builders.
  • Relationship Builders.
  • Personal reflections.
  • Date ideas.
  • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.

Available in hardback, paperback and ebook from Westbow Press Bookstore, Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Nobel. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.

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Look for the GLMW Group on Facebook.

Join the community of couples on Facebook who are committed to intentionally growing their marriage and learning how to have a marriage that honors God. Here you can post photos of the different activities as you do them, ask questions of other couples, share how God is using this book to strengthen your marriage, and grow with other Christian couples. We’ll see you in the community.

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Psalm 57:1. A Safe Space

Today’s Verse: Psalm 57:1

Felt Safety

When dealing with children who have experienced trauma, there is a need for the child to feel safe in order for them to trust and attach or bond to their parent or caregiver. Even if the child recognizes they are in a safe environment, they may not feel safe due to the trauma they have been exposed to. So, in caring for these children, the caregiver adjusts the environment and their behaviors in order for the child to feel safe, develop trust, and be able to attach and bond. These caregivers become a shelter or refuge for the child while they heal from the trauma they have been exposed to. The caregiver becomes their safe-space and there, in the shadow of their wings, they find love and safety.

Our Safe-space

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There has always been evil in the world, but it seems that with every passing day, more and more evil is exposed. It can leave us feeling unsafe, uncertain, unprotected. There is a sense of trauma as we experience the evil in the world. But there is a place where we can find refuge. We, too, have a safe space. The Psalmist uses an analogy of a bird gathering her young under wings to tell us there is refuge in the shadow of God’s wings.

Imagine the birds under momma’s wings

Imagine for a moment what it is like for the baby birds in their safe-space. Under their mother’s wings, they find shelter from the storm. They find warmth. They are close enough to momma to hear her heartbeat. The baby birds feel the comfort of her embrace. They know she is keeping an eye on any danger that is near and she will defend them. Because under her wings is safety and refuge, they have no need to fear.

David knew calamity

David certainly knew calamity as he battled against King Saul and then throughout his reign, his enemies sought His life. Over and over again throughout the Psalms we see David calling on God for mercy and deliverance, but we also see him placing his trust in God. He knew that God was a place of refuge from all his troubles. He knew that God was his safe space.

A place of refuge

A refuge is place where one can go for protection. It’s a place of safety and shelter from danger or trouble. It’s a place to run to when being pursued. Notice that a refuge does not mean that trouble or danger will never come. Rather, it’s a place where we can seek safety during the danger or trouble.

David sought refuge

We need to also notice from this verse that David sought refuge under the wings of God. The verse does not say that God drew David under His wings. David had to put himself there. In order to do so, he had to place his trust, confidence, and hope in God. This is what placing yourself under God’s wings really means – trusting Him, even when you don’t understand why or when you can’t see God at work.

Consider the following:

Do you trust God when life seems to be falling apart?

Do you trust God when you or a loved one receives a bad medical report?

When you lose your job, do you trust God will take care of you and open another door?

Do you trust God when your marriage seems to be falling apart?

Do you trust God when one bad thing after another just keeps happening?

When there is a financial hardship, do you believe in his promise that He will supply all your needs?

Do you trust God with your children’s lives?

Do you trust God with your biggest hopes and dreams?

Trusting God is an Active Choice on our part

Our faith and trust in God can grow when we make the active choice to trust Him and believe that He is in control of every situation. For each circumstance we face in life, we can choose to do things our own way or God’s way. We can choose to be angry about what we are facing, or trust and believe that God is always good and that He has good plans for us. We can choose to demand our own way or to wait on Him. Or, we can choose to quit and walk away or to keep on believing that His Word is true and that He is faithful to keep His promises.

Trusting God comes down to one thing – it’s always our choice.
–Julia Bruce #trustingGod

In the Shadow of God’s Wings

Return for just a moment to the image of the baby birds hiding under their mother’s wings. Everything that is true for the baby birds, is true for us when we seek refuge under the wings of God. Under His wings:

We find shelter from the storms of life.

We find warmth in a cold and cruel world.

Under His wings, we can hear the heartbeat of God if we are close to Him

We can feel the comfort of His embrace

If we are under His wings, we can know that God is watching over us and keeping His eye on everything going on around us and in the world.

We have no need to fear when we are under His wings.

Imagine yourself there – under His wing.

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What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?

This book includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:

Couple activities include:
  • Scripture to memorize and meditate on.
  • Conversation Starters.
  • Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages.
  • Romance Builders.
  • Relationship Builders.
  • Personal reflections.
  • Date ideas.
  • Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples.

Available in hardback, paperback and ebook from Westbow Press Bookstore, Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Nobel. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.

Westbow logo
Christian book logo
amazon logo
Barnes and Nobel logo
walmart logo

 

Look for the GLMW Group on Facebook.

Join the community of couples on Facebook who are committed to intentionally growing their marriage and learning how to have a marriage that honors God. Here you can post photos of the different activities as you do them, ask questions of other couples, share how God is using this book to strengthen your marriage, and grow with other Christian couples. We’ll see you in the community.

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904.239.8937
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Follow us on:

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Psalm 55:22. Got burdens?

Today’s Verse: Psalm 55:22

Burdens

Burdens. Big problems that bring fear, worry, and hurt. Problems without any good solutions. The kind of problems when you don’t know what to do. The kind that makes your heart feel heavy and weighed down. We all experience them – it’s just a part of life. Sometimes they happen because of a choice or decision we made. Sometimes they happen outside of anything we could do. Burdens – like a health crisis, financial crisis, marriage crisis, betrayal of a friend, a wayward child, a job loss. Burdens – like trying to make an important life-changing decision, trying to understand God’s will for your life. Or Burdens – like watching the evil in the world destroying lives.

Burdens. Whatever they are, God wants us to cast them on Him – surrender them to Him and trust that He is in control. David tells us that whenever we are burdened, God promises to sustain us through the burden and the He will not let us be moved or shaken by it. God never promises us that burdens will not come our way, but He does promise that He will carry us through them. But how do we cast our burdens on the Lord?

Cast your burdens on the Lord

Casting our burdens on the Lord begins in prayer. Hebrews 4:16 tells us, “Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.” As we get on our knees and cry out to God, we can tell Him all about our burdens. However, too often, when we do, we come to Him whining and wonder how God could allow this burden to happen. As we tell him about our burdens, rather than complaining, just tell him what’s going on in your life and how it is making you feel. It’s ok to tell Him you don’t understand what’s going on and ask Him to help you understand.

What about when God doesn’t deliver us?

We can also, seek His face in the midst of the burden and ask that He resolve the issue. If, by his mercy, he does, then we can give Him praise and thanks for it. But God doesn’t always deliver us. At times, it is His will that we endure the burden so that we can grow in our faith and trust. In these times He is teaching us to be more like Him or preparing us for a specific plan He has for us.

Problems can also be a means of God trying to get our attention or they could be a consequence to sin in our lives. So as we are on our knees, we need to be seeking His face as to why this burden has been placed on us. Ask the Holy Spirit to help reveal to you if God is trying to get your attention or trying teach you something, if there is sin that is the root cause of the burden. If you feel that God is trying to teach you something, then begin to research the Bible for what the scriptures have to say regarding what He’s trying to teach you. If the Holy Spirit reveals the cause of the problem is sin, then repent and confess it to God.

Willing to Endure

Lastly, we can ask God to show us solutions but also be willing to endure going through the burden, if that is God’s will, with a surrendered heart that says, “Thy will be done!” If you find you must go through the burden, then surround yourself daily with scriptures of God’s promises to never leave you, promises that He will give you strength,  the promises of Him carrying you, and the promises that God will provide for you in every circumstance.

Some of these promises are:

– Philippians 4:19 – for when you need God to supply your needs
– Matthew 6:33 and James 1:5 – for when you need wisdom to make difficult decisions
– Psalm 23:4, Psalm 119:76, John 16:33 and 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 – for when you need comfort
– 2 Corinthians 9:8 – for when you need grace to remain faithful to Him
– Psalms 46:1 and Philippians 4:13 – for when you need strength to persevere
– Romans 8:18 – for when you need to be reminded that the burdens we face today are not worth
comparing to the glory that will be revealed to us in heaven.
– Jeremiah 29:11 – for when you need to be reminded that God has a specific plan for your life – one
that is for your good and not for your harm.
– 1 John 3:1 – for when you  need to be reminded of God’s love for you
– Isaiah 41:10 – for when you are battling fear
– Deuteronomy 31:8 – for when you need to be reminded that God will never leave you
– Romans 8:37-39 – for when you need to be reminded that nothing can separate us from God’s
love.

When you truly trust and believe that God will sustain you through the burden, that He is able to deliver you from it if it is His will,  and that He will take care of every need the burden creates, then the weight that you feel in your heart will be lifted and you will know that you have cast the burden on Him.

Cast all your cares on Him

Take your troubles, problems, and fears to him. Cast them at His feet. The God who created the universe (including you!) is never caught unaware or by surprise. He is a God who cares about every part of your life. He sees every tear that falls and He knows every heartache. Whatever you’re facing, God’s got this….let it go. Surrender it to Him. Then live in His peace.

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