Trust in the Lord

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Friday, April 25, 2014

April 25, 2014 ~ Contentment




I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
Philippians 4:12


Thoughts~

As I drove home from dinner at a nice restaurant with two long time friends, I had plenty of time to reflect on our evening. I’d spent a very fun evening sharing food and friendship in a beautiful setting where flowers graced the white linen table cloths and soft music filled the air.
I talked to the Lord on the way home and thanked Him for an extra special night and an opportunity to share my faith a little bit. 

Generally I do not go out to eat at “nicer” restaurants like I did when I was married and I miss those times. Yet, I know that  because it's not an everyday happening for me, I was able to appreciate the evening even more. Over the past 8+ years God has taught me that I need to be content in all situations and know I am exactly where He wants me right now. 

A wise friend shared with me that "if God wanted me somewhere else, I'd be there." Those words have played an important reminder over the years and helped me so much as I wait for God to move in my life. 

Contentment was a tough lesson for me at first since I am a rather independent woman and tend to take the steering wheel much too often, thinking God needs my help. (Oh, brother!).

While I am not a puppet that God maneuvers, I have given up control and asked Him to guide me as I wait in one spot or another.  In these spots, while I'm waiting, I've learned what contentment looks like. It is fully trusting Him, knowing He will move mountains to get me into the place where He wants me. 

I am perfectly content in my current life; as God knows, I am willing to accept whatever He gives to me. Like Paul, I have had plenty and now have far less. And yet, my faith carries me like a ship in the ocean; staying on course in my walk with the Lord. 

Contentment has come to reside in my life forever.



Actions~

Words that are the opposite of the word contentment are: 

Unhappiness

Disgruntled

Discontented

Dissatisfied

Restlessness

Those negative words make me cringe; when they try to sneak back into my life, knocking on the front door or running around to the backdoor, demanding to be let in, I start praying immediately for God's Spirit to fill me with contentment in the place I am currently in.

Additionally, I have learned to recognize how there are people who have so much negativity that I need to stay clear of them. They seem to want to breed discontentment rather than build me up as I practice trusting God daily.

Have any of the words made a home in your life? Get rid of them today. Ask God to teach you how to be content in all things. He is such a great teacher and wants you to live in a day to day, moment by moment state of contentment.

Finally, contentment brings peace and peace brings joy and all of it brings glory to God.

Pray~

Father, I know how much You love us and thank You for showing us how to trust in You and embrace contentment.

Trusting in Him,
Becky


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April 22, 2014 ~ How Great Thou Art


Today I sit in awe and wonder over how God speaks so quickly to me. 

I mentioned to my friend Vicki that I wanted to begin writing on The Daily T.A.P. blog again and that I needed to pray about when to start. It has been a very tough 8 months of school where I wrote so many papers I was out of "writing steam."

Before I could even pray, Jessica,  a follower from the Philippines on the Trust in the Lord (Facebook page) asked me why I had stopped posting the "thoughts actions and prayers." That they inspired her. She was a confirmation to begin again. 

Thanks Jessica.

THOUGHTS:

Today is earth day and I am truly in awe of the creation God made for us, our earth and all that is within it. One of my favorite songs is How Great Thou Art which I want to share a version for you to listen to. Carrie Underwood sings this version and I tear up every time I hear it. My soul sings with her even though I can't sing much at all. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLLMzr3PFgk

God is so great!
He saved me through Jesus sacrifice on the cross.
He listens to me when I pray.
His love is unconditional. 
His plans for me are always in the works. 
He doesn't give up on me. 
His peace is consuming in my heart.
He is teaching me to wait on Him.
He taught me how to trust Him no matter what.
He made this beautiful earth for us to enjoy until Heaven is our home.

ACTIONS:

Think about how Great God is. to you personally.

And then write it in a letter to Him.


PRAYER:

Father, how great You are! We love You and thank You for giving us our beautiful earth. May we be wise stewards of it. Thank You for all you have done for us. 

In Your Name I pray,
Amen. 

Becky




Lyrics to How Great Thou Art:
O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

And when I think of God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November 19, 2013 ~ Does Your Soul Feel Parched?

He turned the desert into pools of water
and the parched ground into flowing springs.
Psalm 107:35

THOUGHTS ~
Dry, dusty desert experiences seem to be felt by all Christians at one time or another. When in one of these patches over a decade ago, I felt far away from the Lord, hopeless and my joy was totally limp. I wondered why and couldn’t figure it out. I just knew I felt a great distance from the Lord. Of course, I knew God didn’t move; I did. I took a few steps away from Him. And the few steps became greater distances until I found myself in a lonely desert experience.

Usually the reason we feel distance is that the enemy of God, the enemy of our soul, has pulled us ever so slightly away: enticing us to take our eyes off of the Lord and onto life’s various details. The enemy isn’t dramatic about it and it happens without you even knowing it has occurred . . . until all at once, you feel stranded in an island of dry sand, parched for God’s love and His word.

The great news is God will never leave you stranded in the dry desert. He doesn’t want us there anymore than we want to be there. He uses these times in our lives to remind us how important it is to put Him first. And in my case, my faith was made stronger because after experiencing life without a constant daily connection with the Lord is like, I never wanted to return to that emptiness.

ACTIONS ~ 
When you find yourself in a desert experience:
First ask the Lord to help you find your way out of it. (He will).

Second, set aside time for meaningful alone time with Him. A few hours, a day, a weekend, whatever is feasible for you. Turn off the noise makers in your home, sit quietly in a place that you are comfortable, and open His Word to feed your dry soul. Try Psalm 40. (Bring Kleenex).

Third, be honest with God: tell Him you need His refreshment in your heart.
Fourth, begin setting aside a daily quiet time with the most important person in your life: Jesus. Read His word intently and listen for His whispers of love and encouragement.

I will promise you this: when you are spending time with God, just you and Him time, you will experience peace, contentment and joy that is indescribable. Just like the flowing spring in Psalm 107.

PRAYER ~ 
Thank You Father, for giving us a way out of the desert and into the lushness of fellowship with You.

Trusting in the Lord,

Becky

[Photo by Kelli Emmons, used with permission)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Does God Roll His Eyes?


But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. 
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 
But do this with gentleness and respect. 
1 Peter 3:15

Thoughts:
I gulp and swallow deeply when I even think of the gift of evangelism. You should see me if I hear about a class that teaches it: I want to run away as fast as I can. In fact, I want to hide.

And yet, God has kept putting me in situations over my life time where He calls me to share Jesus with people. I protest “that is not MY spiritual gift, Lord” and I imagine He is rolling His eyes. A big eye roll in my case.

I admire the pastors and preachers, the missionaries and the Billy Grahams of the world who have this gift and multitudes of people walk the aisle and accept Jesus as their Savior.

I am in awe how the words tumble out of their mouths so smoothly and people keep walking forward and keep getting saved. Even in Acts, when Peter spoke, he saw thousands came to know Jesus.
However, over time, I have realized God has called me in a different way from Billy Graham to share my faith. He has made it very clear I am to go to the people where they are and just be myself. Like order a cup of coffee, sit on a bench, smile at people and hand them one of my painted hearts. (gulp) Or sit in a park and paint the hearts, drawing people to my table where I can give them a heart that has Trust in the Lord painted across it.


He prompts me to be authentic, to be exactly the woman who He made me to be. And share honestly, without reservation, but with respect and gentleness (1 Peter 3:15 ) how He changed my life.  How He taught me how to trust Him no matter what. Read those three words again:

No Matter What.

I totally trust God with my whole heart no matter what. It’s been a long journey for me to learn that; I graduated three years ago from wanting to fret to wanting to place every ounce of my trust in Him.

Lysa Terkeurst shared that when something is God’s plan for us, if we can do it all on our own, then rethink it. If it is so off of our radar, out of our scope, then He steps in to do the work. And is He ever stepping into my life right now!

And so I said “Yes, use me” and God is sending daily echoes of His plan for me as I prepare to hit the road next summer, traveling on my first journey with Hearts Across America where I will (gulp) share my faith “my way”.

Am I nervous? Kind of. But mostly I am excited. I know If God has called me to be used this way, in random encounters and divine appointments, then why should I fret at all?


An ordinary woman like me can be used by God because all I needed to do is say “Yes, Lord. Use me.”
And then, no more eye rolls.

Actions:
Can you say "Yes, Lord, use me!" What is stopping you? Ask God now to show you how He wants to use you in the lives of others.

Prayer:
Lord, I pray for each reader today that they listen to Your gentle nudging of where You want to use them. Open their hearts and minds and show them how trustworthy You are.

Trusting in the Lord,
Becky

See my pre-journey posts and more at Hearts Across America: https://www.facebook.com/HeartsAcrossAmerica.

And perhaps you will want to sign up to pray for people in a particular west coast city that I will be meeting along the way.



Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30, 2013 ~ "Why me, Lord?"


Deuteronomy 31:8


“Why me,” I asked God?  “Why not,” He replied deep within my soul. Nothing else was said by the Lord of my life. Simply “why not.”

And so, at long last, I’m going on my first encouragement road trip! A 45 day journey where I will be sharing my painted heart art as a way to offer encouragement and share the love of Jesus with everyone God places in my path. A three year old dream, I call it “Hearts Across America,” and God has given it His green light for next summer. He placed this creative desire in my heart in the summer of 2010 and of course, I thought He was sending me right away. But that was not His plan; He wanted me to say yes and then prepare me in many ways.


I never stopped praying or believing Hearts Across America would happen . . . although others were skeptical.  After all, who am I to become a road traveler sharing Jesus plan of salvation? I’m certainly not a theologian or called to be a street corner preacher. I’m an artist with a spiritual gift of encouragement who loves people. But more than anything, I worship the Lord and want to share the truth: He loves us all right where we are.

Over the past eight years God taught me three major truths that changed my life . . . taking me from being a follower of Jesus to a radical believer who placed Him in the very core of my heart, the center of my life. It has been a life changing journey and I have nothing to do with it: God gets all the glory. I simply asked Him for wisdom, transformation and later, restoration. And as I waited, (and waited and waited) He gave me all three.


First, He taught me to trust Him wholly, leaning only on Him (Proverbs 3:5-6). Second, to obey Him completely, without any reservation (Deuteronomy 11:1). And third, to use the gifts He has given to me because He was preparing me for His perfect plan for my life (Jeremiah 29:11).



Those eight years were learning times, filled with lessons, heartache, struggles, trials, the recession, major financial changes, the loss of income, a return to college and daily trust exercises. There was also much joy and hope in these times too as I learned how to lean on the Lord for everything. Fun times, serendipitous experiences, marriages of my children, births of 5 grandchildren, four moves and numerous challenges to develop my testimony and share it filled the 96 months. And then, after waiting and waiting and waiting, God said “It’s time, prepare to go!” “I’m so ready, Lord,” I replied happily.

This month I joined a life group at my church where we have been studying “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God” by Lysa TerKeust. I had never read this book which amazes me since I have been saying yes to God for eight years. I suppose He wanted me to learn directly from Him. Lysa shares 5 questions to make sure we are hearing from God and not ourselves. I won’t list them all here but the fourth question says “Is it beyond me?” Oh for sure, Lord, this is way beyond me. I was able to clearly answer all the questions with an affirmative yes so this was an echo from God that He is sending me out on the road. (Please buy Lysa’s amazing book).

I believe God's plan is to have me refresh others and to offer encouragement as I hand out hand painted wooden hearts that say “trust in the Lord.” And I will share my story of trust and restoration with all who are interested, just as 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to do.

What I would love is for you to consider three things. First, (and I really mean this!) is to be a partner of prayer in my ministry. Oh how I need to know I am being covered in prayer and that people are praying for random encounters and divine appointments. Second is to think about also sharing “trust in the Lord” hearts in your states, countries and lives. You may order these or make your own. Third is to purchase hearts to give as gifts to family and friends with other sayings on them.The proceeds are to be used strictly for Hearts Across America: 25% goes for the cost of the heart and 75% to share spiritual encouragement with hearts on the trip.

I ask from the bottom of my heart that feel absolutely no obligation EXCEPT to pray. God has already brought people who want to be a part of Hearts Across America and I know He chooses wisely so I don’t need to beg. It’s not my style anyway.

Our Lord is the master of restoration and new beginnings and in less than 9 months, my first trip (of many, I hope) will head out on the road. Please be praying with me. Pray lots!

Trusting the Lord with all my heart,
Becky 

Here is the link to Hearts Across America:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hearts-Across-America/111938242331558


My friend Vicki pointed out that if you are not a Facebook user, you have no way of seeing the hearts. She also told me to tell you that if you don't want hearts but want to donate, the hearts will be given out in your name. So if you are interested, shoot me an email and I will send you the information.

Trusters4Him@gmail.com






Thursday, September 5, 2013

September 5, 2013 ~ A Future with Hope


For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11



Thoughts ~ God has amazing plans for each of us and the plans He has for me don't look like the ones He has for you. We are all created differently, so of course, it makes sense His plans will be different for us.

But the enemy of our soul will do everything he can to gang up on us with his evil army by causing us to take our eyes off the Lord. One of those ways satan likes to disrupt our lives is to bring negativity into our minds. And he sometimes uses other people to wreck some of the havoc and even our own negative thoughts. Remember this: anything that brings glory to God, is part of satans battlefield.

I’m in the process of planning a major road trip up the west coast of America where I share my Hearts Across America heart art as a tool to open conversations with strangers. This has been a long time desire of mine and it appears the Lord is giving me a green light after three years of waiting. As I plan, satan whispers so much negativity about my dream of serving the Lord that I am certain he knows there will be lives changed, including my own. And so, I pray often for the Lord to take over and guide my steps as I seek to share Jesus with the people I come in contact with. God has a plan and satan does not get to mess it up!

Action ~ When we think negatively, we are often not really leaning on the Lord and appreciating all He has done for us and will do in the future. Remember that satan tosses negative thoughts at us, not God. As Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, He has a plan for each of us and will give us a hope and a future.

Take a piece of paper and divide in in three columns vertically. (You can make a word doc in the same way but carrying your sheet around with you will help more). In column 1 the header will say "negative thoughts." In column 2 it will say "positive thoughts" and in column 3 it will say "God's thoughts."

In column one, list your negative thoughts in detail for your life. For example, some might be "I am fat" or "I am worthless" or "I can't pay my rent" or "I am afraid to live alone."

In column 2, list positive thoughts that correspond to your column 1 thoughts. For example if you wrote "I am fat" in the positive column you might write "I am working on eating healthier and getting more exercise." If you wrote "I am afraid to live alone" you would write some of the positive things about living alone will bring. Write an opposite of whatever your negative is and if you can't think of one, ask a friend who loves you to help.

In column 3, write what God says in His word. For example, where you wrote "I am unloved" God says “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3). Where you wrote “I am afraid to live alone” God says: “I have not given you a spirit of fear” (II Timothy 1:7) or “I will never leave you or forsake you (Hebrews13:5).

This list will help you identify negative thoughts that basically can ruin our days. We can look at the positive of each situation too, but most of all, God’s thoughts will bring comfort, encouragement and hope to your heart.

If you are new to using your Bible or want to make finding the verses a little faster, go to http://www.biblegateway.com/  where you can enter particular words in the keyword search box.

Prayer ~ Lord I ask that you show each person how valuable they are to you and that You have a special plan for their lives.

Trusting in the Lord for my walk with Him,

Becky

Saturday, August 31, 2013

August 31, 2013 ~ Acknowledge Him


Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 
(NASV)

Thoughts ~ These are a couple of verses so embedded in my soul that they rise out of it at all times of my every day. I think over them.  I pray them out loud.  I share them with everyone who will listen.
They are the verses that changed my simple faith into one that is empowered with the love and strength of the Lord Jesus. These verses took me from hurt and rejection to a maturity in Christ I did not know was possible.

After my divorce, I felt undesirable. I hurt so much I buried the hurt in my work. I cried alone at night often in the early months, but soon the Lord picked me up by the arm pits and said “Becky, trust Me.” He didn’t promise the pain and grief would leave quickly. He didn’t promise another husband to love me someday. But he did tell me quietly in my heart to trust Him and His promise was peace, contentment and joy in my relationship with the One who does love me. That was nearly eight years ago. He kept His promise as each moment I placed my trust in Him alone.

Happily, God knew Proverbs 3:5-6 were to be life changing for me. And not just for me, but for millions of believers in all time. Today I want to ask you to take just one part, verse 6a, and ask yourself a question. In fact, grab a pen and make a list that God will use in your life to redirect your thoughts, actions and prayers.

Verse six begins with “in all your ways acknowledge Him” and that is what I felt prompted to share with you today. A calling and urge so strong that I had to write this after my alone time with the Lord and before I moved on to the rest of the day’s activities.
Each of our lives is filled with a lot of unnecessary stuff. You know what I mean without listing it. The stuff that makes us blush when we think that God can see us reading, saying, doing, and hearing: pure junk. The stuff that is in our lives that does not glorify Him at all. The stuff that makes us stumble on our path to spiritual maturity. Even the “okay” stuff that isn’t harmful, but that gets in our way of having a deep meaningful relationship with Him, because we put it in first priority over the Lord.

Actions ~ Today I’d like to challenge you to make a list of the stuff that you need to ask God to take over like I did after my divorce. If we are acknowledging Him in ALL our ways, we won’t be dragging stuff around that does not bring Him honor. We will be asking Him to be the center of our world and we will want to submit everything to Him for His blessing, His okay. Finally, ask Him for forgiveness (1 John 1:9) and to show you His perfect plan for you (Jeremiah 29:11)

It’s very hard to acknowledge God when we are doing something that makes us blush, feel guilty or become side tracked from our purpose-filled paths as we walk with Him.

So go ahead, begin your list, and ask Him for the wisdom (James 1:5) you need to know what you need to omit from your life.

Prayer ~ Lord, use my words that You placed on my heart to glorify you and you alone. You know the needs of everyone who reads this blog and I pray for blessings for each of them as the acknowledge You.


Trusting in the Lord,

Becky