Thought for the day: Trust. Now it’s getting deep. We better put our floaties on. Trust. Who do you trust, and why? The real answer lies in the ‘why’. There could be many reasons why we trust someone. But, what would happen if one day that trust was shaken? Most likely we’d begin to doubt. What about Jesus? Do you trust Him? That is a loaded question. Many times I will say, “I trust you Jesus;”but then go my own way. Or try to control a situation. Is that really trust? No. I’m still a work in progress. You? For years my professional life was on the uphill, there were uncertainties at times, yet for the most part it was good. Then. One day, a few years back that changed, and it was like I fell from a mountain top. I suddenly found myself unemployed, struggling to find a full time job. It took a few years. My trust was split wide open like the San Andreas Fault. For you it may be something else. Yet, can you relate? However, during those years Jesus never left me. Oh, I promise, it may have felt and looked like it. You? Worry, fear of the unknown, all creep in. But. At just the right moment, things turned! And now my feet are on a new path with Christ! Trust. It can be difficult. Hang in there! He will not fail you. And one day, once again, we’ll say “See, God has come to save me. I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD God is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.” Isa. 12:2 NLT TRUST. Do you? #spreadthewordacrosstheglobe #trust #doubt #Hewillnotfailyou
One week of posting, it feels good. I didn’t have time last night due to final preparations for Hurricane Irma. So this Day 7 is on Day 8, but for yesterday.
In times like this you realize who your friends are. Who cares about you, and is concerned. I’ve had friends reach out to me and offer their homes, both in Florida and those that live out of state. God has given me good friends, and I am very thankful for all of you! To my friends out of state that offered, I won’t be there for Irma; however, I have you on my list as a vacation destination for later!
I will be watching the storm closely today as she is projected to make her arrival into Tampa in the wee morning hours of Monday, 9/11. By tonight I will have made the decision to stay hunkered down in my house, or go to a nearby friends home.
“..if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” Ro. 12:8b NLT
With the impends storm headed this way I’m thankful God had planted in me a week ago to focus on the positives in my life. A week ago the storm was headed for the East Coast of Miami, and Tampa would get wind and rain by the time she made it up the state. However, God already knew the path of Irma. He knew the panic that would set in within people. Yet, as I sit and type this I am so thankful He placed in my heart peace, and positivity, even in the midst of possible destruction.
No one knows the outcome. If you listen to the news, its Armageddon. I’ve been in contact with my family, and friends, in Southwest Florida checking on status. Getting real time updates.
Those that I know, we have done all we can do in preparations. We prepare for the worst, and pray for the best. It is in God’s hands. I’m thankful to know He is with all of us, watching and protecting.
Friends, look for God in the details. Not in the big things – life becomes an adventure when you see Him in the details.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Gal. 5:22-23 NLT
Gentle Whisper Ministries 2017
Tomorrow will mark another day I journey across the Bay.
Last week I was listening to some lessons on-line by Beth Moore, in this particular lesson she said, “Sometimes God has us experience things so we can minister to another, and so that we can speak about it.” I agree, yet my spirit cried out “when can I stop experiencing all the hard things, and begin to experience good things?”
Have you been going through some rough days, months, or years?
I may sound like I’m complaining, but I’m not. I firmly believe that we all do experience things so that we can help another, and encourage another, when they experience them.
But man. You too? I know, right.
I will echo the words of the Apostle Paul –
“And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News.” Phil. 1:12 NLT
Before someone tells me we are very fortunate in America. That there are millions across the globe that have nothing, and daily have to walk miles for food. There are millions of others that deal with an illness, or incurable disease. I agree with you. Travesties far worse. When your world was flipped upside down, it becomes a challenge to put those things into perspective as you stare into the forest before you.
My perspective is from someone that had their life mapped out, everything was going well, until – it was flipped upside down. The table began to tilt with the lay-off. Three and a half years later it was upside down. But isn’t it funny that while upside down I had only one way to look – UP.
I’ve heard it said “it is better to have nothing than to have and lose it all.” I never really understood that. I was one of those that would say, “It’s only things,” “If you lose your job you can get a new one.” Those statements are true, but the ability to cope is much tougher. It was three years before I found a job, a full-time, permanent, with benefits, job. The ones in-between were part time, or seasonal, and the pay was marginal.
“…the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me; this will lead to my deliverance.” Phil. 1:19b NLT
Can you relate? Have you been there? Are you there now?
If you are, I understand. When the table of our life gets flipped upside down its:
“Don’t look out for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” Phil. 2:4 NLT
I know how your emotions can be up one day and down the next. I know how others close to you won’t, or don’t, even offer to help. Their reason – “you never asked.” I mean really? You can’t just do something? I know how the people you thought were your friends never called and asked – how are you? How are things? Instead they stayed away. If someone would have asked me five years ago, if all this would have happened. I would have probably said, “unlikely.” How wrong I would have been.
None of us know the path God has laid out for us. But what I do know, having journeyed on the road you may be on today, is to keep going. Don’t give up.
When you want to stay in bed, with the covers over your head. Get up.
“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.” Phil. 4:12 NLT
What may be in front of you now is the forest, and you can’t see the tree, but friend just put one foot in front of the other, and keep going.
“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Phil. 4:13 NLT
During this time look for what God wants you to do? In the midst of everything this blog was birthed. It came with ease, although at times I suffer writer’s block, or time constraints, but God will make a way for His will to be done.
Each day I made a list of three things. I had to do these three things in order:
- Read my bible
- Apply for 3 jobs
- Write on my blog
Start small. Make your list to fit your situation. Find at least three things to do each day. Something to keep you busy, productive, and focused, as you journey on your path.
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Mt. 6:33 NLT
We who love Jesus are all called to spread His Good News. Wherever God plants your feet – share. Talk to people. Friend, you and I are not alone in our struggles. It may be dressed differently, but it brings with it the same fears, tears, and doubts.
“Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!” Ps. 96:2-3 ESV
I wish I could tell you that tomorrow your struggle will be over. But, I cannot. I have no idea. Except that one day it will end. The gates of heaven will open and things will begin to change. Hang in there. In the meantime, sing, seek, and declare glory to Him.
In the years of my struggle, I learned a side of God that I had not known before. Friend, I pray as you seek Him in your time of struggle you will learn more about the God that loves you. His Son that gave His life for you, and the Spirit He gives today for wisdom.
“Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be hoy and without fault in his eyes.” Eph. 1:4 NLT
Tomorrow as I journey across the Bay, day in and day out, I’ll watch for opportunities to share, encourage, and inspire, another – for His glory.
“No, dear brother and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” Phil. 1:13 NLT
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2016
*pictures by tenspeedhero, imgarde, pixgood
Last month I kicked off a new initiative “Guest Writer of the Month.” Each month a different person will tell his or her story of how God has seen them through a difficult time, and proven to remain faithful. Amidst pain, trials, struggles, uncertainty, doubts, and fears, these individuals will share a portion of their walk, and tell of a faithful God.
Please feel free to be encouraged, and reconnect to the God of the Universe, through this month’s guest as she tells her story – When Life Crushes You.
For the past three weeks I haven’t been able to get a story out of my mind. I hear it, and picture it over and over. And I wonder, isn’t that exactly how we are supposed to act?
I was out of town for a birthday party, and while there planned to visit my son and his family. During that weekend on Sunday one of my best friends and I went with my son, daughter-in-law, and my two grandkids on his boat. It was a beautiful day!
The sun was shining, clouds out in the distance meet with the calm blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico, while we raced out past North Captiva Island. I say raced because my son only knows one speed – fast. Thank God for the idle zones. That’s where we catch our breath!
While moving between Sanibel and Captiva my son proceeded to tell us of the recent time they were all out on the boat, and a storm came up on them. He said, “Mom, it was out in the distance, and we were heading back in. Then all of a sudden in no time it was on top of us.” He couldn’t believe how quickly it arrived, and with the wind pushing the waves to 4ft plus it rocked his boat to and fro. He decided there would be no time to get to the marina, even at full throttle. They were in the storm. At that point my daughter-in-law chimes in and says, “We headed for the nearest boat dock at a home close by, and the whole time it was raining, thundering, and lightening, my four year old grandson was asleep.” In fact she said, “He missed the whole thing.” She couldn’t believe it. He woke up when the storm passed, and they were back at the marina.
What I couldn’t believe is why they tell me these stories! I was, and am, very thankful everyone is ok. Except the boat – it suffered a scratch. My nerves certainly were not sleeping, or calm. But –
At that moment, and ever since, I have pictured the scene in Matthew.
“Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.” Mt. 8:23-24 NLT
No, my grandson is not Jesus. It’s in the illustration of that story that God reveals how we are to act. Calm, and resting in our Heavenly Father’s trust. Just as my grandson rested in trusting his daddy to guide the boat. He had no fear, or worry. He was so peaceful, he slept. In his four year old heart he knew his daddy would get them to safety. Aren’t we called to do the same thing with Christ?
“So don’t worry about these things, saying “What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear? These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.” Mt. 6:31-32 NLT
Jesus says we will have troubles in this life. There will be trials, and storms, that toss our emotions to and fro like the boat in the storm. Sometimes those storms “suddenly” appear out of nowhere it is on top of us. Sometimes like my son, you can see it coming out in the distance, but then it is “suddenly” on top of you. When those times come, not if, but when because He tells us “here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.” Jn. 16:33a NLT.
On that Sunday, out in the Gulf of Mexico, on a bright sunny day in the pristine blue waters, God revealed the illustration of how His children are to act in a storm. I love that. The best time to have someone listen is when they are calm, and not facing thunder and lightning all around them. As we anchored on a sand bar, and my grandkids jumped out, there was no fear in them as their feet left the bow of the boat making their way into the water. I keep that story tucked deep into a pocket in my heart. I’m sure one day I will have to exercise it. After all, Jesus said “we will have many trials.”
Some of my most precious illustrations God gives me is through parent child relationships I have the pleasure of witnessing. Rightfully so because He is my, and your, Heavenly Father.
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are.” 1 Jn. 3:1 NLT
Friends that is the example you are to follow when the storms of life happen. No, not to literally sleep through them, but to rest in trusting Him. To know He has it all under control. To know He will take you to the nearest dock, wait for the storm to finish raging, then move you on to the marina. When life brings the storms that is the peace I will strive for. It will also be the image of a four year old little boy, asleep on a boat, in a storm, resting fully in his daddy.
“So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Mt. 10:31 NIV
©Gentle Whisper Ministries
*picture by wallpapersinhq
Have you ever thought “God did you forget about me?” Or perhaps you may have said a prayer, and then a few days later changed your mind, and thought, “Hopefully, God forgot what I said.”
If you have you are not alone. I will go out on the limb, and say at one point or another all of us have thought at least one of the two thoughts.
In a conversation last night with my bestie we were discussing our personal life events with each other, and true to course the conversation includes the desire to please God, stay in His will for our lives, and do nothing to cause us to miss what He has for us. Why? Because He always knows what is BEST.
Let me preface this by saying, and she would also agree, neither of us are perfect. Both of us have made mistakes. And, both of us still strive to achieve, receive, and believe God’s will for our lives.
About midway through our conversation it dawned on me – do we think God has a touch of Alzheimer’s? We must if we ask either of those two questions.
This is in no way to minimize the devastating disease that attacks the human mind, or the many who have lost their lives to it. It robs people of precious memories, takes away their daily ability to do the simplest chore, and stops the thinking process. Currently there is no cure. Hopefully one day there will be. Two people in my family have lost their lives to this disease. If you are dealing with, or lost, a loved one to Alzheimer’s my prayers to you.
The diagnosis of God seem to arise when:
- Life takes us by surprise and plummets us down a path of uncertainty –
- The doctor says “I have some bad news” –
- Things don’t go the way we wanted it to –
- Our plans suddenly change –
- We find ourselves alone –
- Our resources begin to dwindle –
Or perhaps it could be because we said a prayer made a request to God, and offered our lives to Him that we have forgotten. Rest assured He has not.
God does not, and cannot, have Alzheimer’s. When we forget – He remembers. He remembers, and knows – every – single – detail. (Ps. 139 & Job 38-41)
This all started due to a discussion on prayers about the current situations of life we both find ourselves in. We were going through our respective books on different prayers, and she said, “Call on me. Oh I would never pray that.” At that I interjected with “You already did. The words were; however You wish to use me that is what I will do.” Different words same meaning – Call on me. She then said, “maybe He forgot.” Thus began the discussion, and diagnosis.
God is not human. (Num. 23:19) He cannot get human illnesses and diseases. Is it because we are human, we forget, get diseases, and illnesses that we put God on the same level? Do we envision God in heaven saying “Now what did he/she say;” What was his/her name? And, what was it I was supposed to do?” Or “What was the plan they wanted for their life again?” All of a sudden because our comfort zone is no longer comfortable, or we realize it may get uncomfortable, we diagnosis God with Alzheimer’s because surely He has forgotten.
Our God is a God that remembers. He does not ask the questions we do. When we forget, or use different words, He does not. God says, “Can a mother forget the infant at her breast, walk away from the baby she bore? But even if mothers forget, I’d never forget you – never.” (Isa. 49:15 MSG) He does not forget us. It may seem like it. During this season in my life I have asked that many times. But He reassures me, and you, that “I’ve written your names on the backs of my hands.” (Isa. 49:16a MSG)
He cannot forget because He knows the plans, purpose, and future for us. (Jer. 29:11) In order to fulfill His plan, and purpose for us things have to change. Comfortable has to become uncomfortable for a while. When this happens God says “I am the LORD, and there is no other. I create the light and make the darkness. I send good times and bad times. I, the LORD, am the one who does these things.” (Isa. 45:6b-7 NLT)
If we find ourselves hoping God will forget something we’ve prayed about in accordance with His will, especially for Him to use us as He sees fit hold on because you just gave Him permission to change your world around.
It will get uncomfortable, and bumpy, for a while. It will feel like He is far away, forgotten us, or walked away. But friend, hold on the journey will be worth it! All the tears, fears, uncertainties, and challenges will be to grow you, prepare you, and to help another.
This journey I am currently on is not one I would have ever picked for myself. My friend would not have picked hers either. If there was an exchange line we’d be in it.
On this Good Friday, the day Jesus went to the cross, for a moment, did He feel God, His Father, had forgotten about him? As He hung on the cross for you and me, beaten, bruised, and bloody Matthew says, “At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachtani?” Which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”’ (Mt. 27: 46 NLT) When His journey was at it’s most uncomfortable stage even Jesus asked the question.
As I look around sideways, and backwards, the only way to go is forward. Continue on this journey with God as he whispers in my ear “don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name, you’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end – Because I am GOD, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior.” (Isa. 43: 1-3a MSG)
The next time we feel that God has forgotten may we mimic the words of the Psalmist “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again – my Savior and my God! Now I am deeply discouraged, but I will remember you.” (Ps. 42:5-6a NLT)
God did not forget His own Son. God does not forget us. Neither should we forget Him.
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2015
“Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart, don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.” Prov. 3:5-6 MSG
Let me begin with the vehicle in the picture is not my vehicle. Nor am I driving it. It is courtesy of The Eastsider LA site.
Within the last two weeks I found myself saying, twice, “I am not a good backer upper.” You may be wondering what that means; I am referring to backing into a parking space. Both times ironically was at church before a bible study class. I will only attempt to back into a space, if both spaces next to it are empty. In both cases I backed in crooked and the back quarter of my car was in the next space. The first time the teacher was in the parking lot, and heard me and responded “that’s because with God you are made to go forward, not backwards.” I didn’t give it much thought but just chuckled, until the following incident where I backed up the same way. This time I was really over and had to get back in my car to straighten it out. The words came spewing out of my mouth again, “I am really not a good backer upper” then I chuckled and said, “That includes when God makes me back up in life.” If you have ever experienced a setback in life you may know what I am referring to.
Recently I’ve started building a timeline that spans a look back over the last 18 years. It has been quite the eye opener. What most people (including myself) have called “the valleys,” “pits,” “downfalls,” or “descents” are really when God backs us up, or slows us down. I have quite a few dips, and some more step than others. At each one there is a recollection of an emotion of frustration, worry, fret, and confusion. And, miracle after miracle. The time line records the times God stepped in, and what He did.
Even Job in the Old Testament experienced difficulty when God backed him up in life. In the first chapter of Job he loses his livestock, and servants (Job 1:13-17). Immediately following after losing his livelihood, he lost all his children (Job 1:18-19). Talk about a back-up! I am thankful I have not experienced one as extreme as Job, and pray I never do. If you have lost loved ones my heart goes out to you. Job is noted as saying, “The LORD gives, and the LORD takes away. Praise the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21b HCSB). Job is a better backer upper than me. In my most recent back up, I found praising to be difficult. Something I had to make myself do because I knew, and know, He is still there controlling the situation “Our God is in heaven and does whatever he pleases” (Ps. 115:3 HCSB).
That last sentence can sound like we have a God that is mean, does things to hurt people, and is whimsical. On the contrary, Job’s friend Eilhu says it best when he is talking to Job after his big back up, and we can apply it to our back up “He makes these things happen either to punish people or to show his unfailing love. Pay attention to this, (fill in your name). Stop and consider the wonderful miracles of God!” (Job 37: 13-14 parenthesis mine HCSB). When we are in the midst of a back-up it is hard to see how it can be unfailing love. This is where the time line comes into play, by looking backwards we can see forward.
On my time line I have recorded a vision, a goal, and a desire out in the future. There are no lines to it yet, because I do not know the path between here and there. With it I also recorded a praise to God, it will serve as a reminder that along the way to praise Him, and when I get there the inexpressible joy that will accompany it.
To date I am still not a good backer upper into a parking space. I do not foresee being a valet employee in my future anywhere. However, with practice and over time backing into a parking space can be improved. Just like with each backup in life, knowing God is in the driver’s seat, eventually He will move me, and you, forward and straighten it out. Like Paul, after a back-up and we begin to move forward we know we “have not achieved it, but focus on this one thing. Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead” (Phil. 3:13b NLT). And like Job when we question where was God, and why did this happen, we will realize “Surely I spoke about things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know,” as He moves us on the path He has for us. (Job 42:3b HCSB).
The key to be a good backer upper is to release our own ideas, plans, and goals into the hands of God.
“Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart, don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.” Prov. 3:5-6 MSG
©Gentle Whisper Ministries
*picture by theeastsiderla