I'll be happy when....
The list could almost be endless.
I'm sorry to say that I regularly add to the list. And the sad part is that I already have many of the things I previously said would make me happy... Here's my story.
Awhile back I was thinking an "I'll be happy when..." thought in my head and I felt like God stopped me up short and asked me a question back. "Really Cindy, will you really be happy then?"
I realized right there that if my happiness was contingent on acquiring or accomplishing something that I was pushing off happiness for later. How sad!
What if God wants us to be content IN the meantime? Joy in the journey and all that can be much more than a trite saying.
Don't get me wrong. I know "I'll be happy when...." is just a common expression and likely it's depth is shallow, but when God asked me that question, it...
In the famous Great Commission verse, Jesus challenges his followers to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). In its simplest definition, a disciple is a follower of Jesus. So how do we go about making disciples like Jesus asked us?
One way is to follow Paul’s advice in 1 Corinthians 11:1 which says, “And you should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ.” This verse comes right after 1 Corinthians 10 where Paul talks about how to decide whether to eat meat offered to idols or not. Notice he doesn’t say whether people should or shouldn’t but rather he gives guidelines about how to make good decisions.
"Encouraging builds disciples, telling builds dependents."
We don’t really have the option to eat meat sacrificed to idols in our society, but we do have plenty of other decisions to make that may be questionable to some people. Encouraging people to make their own decisions is a great way to make disciples, not...
Did you know God has things hidden just for you?
Isaiah 45:3 says:
I will give you hidden treasures,
riches stored in secret places,
so that you may know that I am the Lord,
the God of Israel, who summons you by name.
and Isaiah 48:6b-7
From now on I will tell you of new things,
of hidden things unknown to you.
They are created now, and not long ago;
you have not heard of them before today.
So you cannot say,
‘Yes, I knew of them.’
There’s always more!
His resources and truths are endless. His love for you is personal and there’s always more!
God is offering you truths. Personal truths. Keys to relating well with others. Impact ideas for the kingdom. Freedom. Life abundant. Hope.
As long as you are living there is more. More to be found. More to be experienced.
So, what’s the absolute key to finding the treasures God...
I just love a question that makes me glad you took the time to ask or answer it! How about you?
Here’s 10 options to use in your conversations (or to ask yourself) as we close out one year and open another.
– If you had to choose one word or one phrase for the last year what would it be?
– What are three things you accomplished this last year?
– Who is someone you invested in this last year?
– What is a prayer that was answered for you?
– Who made a difference in your life in this last year?
– What is one event did God loved in your last year?
– Where do you intentionally want to invest time and energy this next year?
– Who is someone you want to pray for this next year?
– If you could reach just one goal this next year what would it be?
– What character quality is God offering you to experience in a greater way this next year?
Happy New Year!
I pray you have some meaningful conversations with others...
Most of us have high hopes for the New Year. Every year. We start thinking about it sometime before Thanksgiving, or any time we have a twinge of guilt or hope about a change we want. And we envision what our lives would be like if that change were made.
What would it really look like to have a closer relationship with God?
Reading through the Bible in a year?
Half hour of morning devotions, six days a week?
Praying for a specific person or situation till there is a breakthrough?
I spent many years wanting to do the right thing. I was truly intending to set appropriate goals and keep them, but usually I found myself falling short of my dreams and pinning my hopes on the next year.
Then I found 2 simple practices and 1 overarching truth that changed everything, including me.
When you read the Bible – look for something, or more than one thing. I found that when I read If I am looking for specific things it changes my reading. When...
Maintaining the gain can be tricky. We have probably all done it – worked hard to get somewhere and then slipped back to our old ways.
Maybe you started that new habit of daily devotions, only to break your streak with a lapse over vacation and then find yourself demotivated to jump back in.
Perhaps you lost weight but then it found you. Some how you worked out less, or had a few too many rewards and found that number on the scale more represented the old you than the new one.
Or possibly you started that project and truly made some traction, but then some busy season stole your time and attention and now it’s overwhelming to think of restarting.
Here’s two failsafe tips that can make all the difference.
1) Make a plan for self-evaluation and/or gathering feedback.
Self-evaluation is something you do on your own but it only works if you do it and for most that means if it isn’t on a schedule it’s only some sort of vague sensing of where you are at...
Defining your dream is a great start. And removing obstacles is a game changer.
But just like putting a destination in your GPS, and getting in your car is not enough, you can’t really get anywhere till you start driving.
Once you have decided where you are going, and you have done the hard work of defining and owning your obstacles, it’s time to start moving toward your goal.
Forward movement requires a few items.
Sounds simple but it can truly be difficult at times. It’s easy to lose heart if you thought the pathway you were on would surely get you there and some obstacle gets in your way. That’s why #3 is so important.
Heb. 11:39 talks about those who died without receiving the promises they had hoped for and yet these folks are listed as a part of the great cloud of witnesses.
What if the win is about the journey and not so much about how many destinations...
There’s an unusual pathway near our home where you can see a quarry lake (that’s when a former quarry fills up with water) on one side of road about a 100 feet down. On the other side of the road is a steep drop about 300 feet to a river that is disconnected to the lake.
One day as we were walking down the path something unusual happened with the sun or something and the river appeared to be only 10 feet away. It must have been some odd kind of reflection. Both my husband and I noticed it and I said, “That’s weird, it must be some kind of obstacle illusion.”
Freudian slip perhaps. But I believe God had something in that phrase for us. Sometimes we think things are something they really aren’t.
What if the obstacle that has been holding you back is just an optical illusion?
What if there is a path around the hurdle you feel you can’t get over?
What if you could move forward in victory instead of living your life looking backward...
All good stories have one thing in common. All of them.
Think about it. Got any ideas?
Here’s a hint. Have you ever stopped watching a series? The number one reason people stop watching a series, or skip ahead in a book, is because they are bored.
Here it is: one thing all good stories have in common is a plot!
The plot gives us a reason to keep watching. We are wondering what’s going to happen?
If you are bored with your life, it’s likely your plot line is lagging. Have you given up hope? Are you not sure what’s next?
Having a destination clarifies the journey!
If you are still living there is a reason. God has something for you to...
What if taking your care to the next level required less of you but was more effective?!
Is that even possible!
Caring for the young requires a lot from the caregiver.
It can be downright exhausting, but now that my kids are grown I am so proud of them. They feed themselves, tie their own shoes, read on their own etc. In fact my kids have mastered adulting and are having their own families and making an impact on the world! I’m so proud of them.
When they were young it wasn’t always easy, but as we taught them how to do things they grew and became more and more healthfully independent.
Our church family is like this, too.
When people are young in faith they need to have things done for them, be taught about expectations and they need practice to get things right.
As leaders it can be easy to get stuck thinking the people we are caring for are...
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