When I Feel Like a Failure

 Posted by on February 13, 2013  Life Lessons
Feb 132013

This was a Bible Study I have been working on this week.  Wanted to share.  There are times you will make mistakes.  It is often said in business it is not that you made the mistake, it is how you recovered from it.  However, this is a truth that applies not just in business, but life generally.  Or as I would say, Life Lesson 359.

When I Feel Like I don’t Measure Up.  How often do we feel like that?  As I think about it, I immediately have 20 or 30 things that come to mind where I feel like I do not measure up.  If you have the book, please read Chapter 3.  It is so awesome!  She tells such a perfect story of making 100 individually wrapped brownies for her kids school.  Once she goes through the stress of making these brownies, she realizes, when she is out of time, the brownies have nuts in them, and the school has a no nut policy.  She had overlooked this when she went to make the brownies.  have you ever had an everyday experience where something generally small made you feel like a complete failure?  Lysa mentions she felt like God somehow let her down by not reminding her of this item.  WOW!!!!!!!!  I very recently felt just like that.  Why didn’t God help me do this or that better?  Didn’t he know I was making a mistake?  Maybe I didn’t intentionally put the “nuts in the brownies”, but none the less, it is what it is.  Lysa asks a question at this point.  Looking back, how could you make the choice to see Jesus in the midst of the mess? Lysa states Satan delights in our feelings of inadequacy.  He wants us to stay there.  What do you think about that statement?  Easy for us to stay there.  Lysa states because she fails at things doesn’t mean she is a failure.  She is still a loving mom, giving person.  She still takes her responsibilities seriously.  She unwittingly made a mistake.  She says she separates her circumstance from her identity.  I like that.  She recognizes she will make mistakes, whether she means to or not.  In those moments, she needs to recognize they are her circumstances.  They do not define her.  She knows who she is.  She reflects on Proverbs 24:16 for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.” What is the one word used her to describe the man in this verse?  What does the word righteous mean?  What happens to this man?   The word fell in this verse is “naphal” in the Hebrew language which gives us the message he didn’t mean to fall, but he did.  From the verse, what is the man’s reaction to his fall?  How can this verse be an inspiration to us?

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You Can’t Save Everyone

 Posted by on January 8, 2013  Life Lessons
Jan 082013

One of the lessons which took me the longest to learn is also one of the simplest.  You can’t save everyone. You may want to, your heart may be in the right place, and you may even be equipped with the proper tools.  However, as in all things, life is a matter of choice for both you and the people you may want to help.

Some people don’t want to be saved, in fact, some people don’t even want to be helped.  Maybe they are comfortable where they are, afraid of change, or just not ready.  Sometimes there are misconceptions, misunderstandings, differences of opinion, and so it goes.

Stay true to the discernment the Spirit gives.  Listen and be obedient to God’s direction.  Often times you are taken down a road you did not expect, but when you are open, those new roads can be more amazing than anything you could have dreamed for yourself.

Remember, we are not responsible for the choices of others.  We are only responsible to do what we know is right and true.  We are called to obedience.  We can’t force choices and decisions on another.  We can be there for them, love them, and be willing to stand beside them as they walk through their trials.

More good news?  God is good.  If you have the heart to help others, God gives you tremendous love and grace to do what you need to do.  If you have been blessed with the gift of mercy, God gives you the strength and patience you will need.  If you have been given the gift of hospitatlity, God will supply you with the appropriate resources.  Whatever God has gifted you with, He will also give you the tools to use.




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The Good Fight

 Posted by on July 9, 2011  Life Lessons
Jul 092011

I did the best I could, and I never gave up.
I know you can’t see and don’t have the wisdom yet to understand.
When you were a baby and you cried many nights. Me not knowing what to do. All I could do was to comfort you. Hold you. Sing in your ear.
The weeks I would make very little money go as far as I could, to make sure you had what you needed, and yet not let you know what a struggle it really was.
The days you would come home from school crying because the other kids were so mean you. All I could do was let my heart break with you.
The struggles you and I had. The conflict for whatever reason parents and children have conflict. You were right, I was right. It doesn’t really matter.
Son – what you need to know is this.
I always did what I thought was right.
I always did what I could.
I never gave up on you. I never will.
I’m always here, and I won’t give up now.

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Teaching One Another

 Posted by on June 29, 2011  Life Lessons
Jun 292011

Titus 2:7

 “In everything set them an example by doing what is good.  In your teaching show integrity, seriousness”

One afternoon, my son, and I were discussing a new employee we work with.  I mentioned the young man was new to the business world and had very little experience.  I told my son “I have a lot to teach him.”  

My son had an interesting observation regarding my comment.  He told me that I had just taken ownership over this young man.  He mentioned “most people would have said ‘he has a lot to learn’”.   

His comment made me think.

A prayer I have always had for my boys was that they would have Christian adults around them who would love them and invest in them.  Christian men and women who cared enough about them to want to help them find the answers to the questions they have in all areas of  life.  Christian adults who want to be a strong example of Christ’s love and who would trust and help train them to be self-controlled, respectful, peaceful and loving young men.

I believe Paul is telling Titus in this verse, teaching includes every aspect of your life.  You teach by being a part of someone’s every day life, consistently showing them who you are, what you believe in and what you stand for. 

If we as Christian men and women aren’t willing to teach through our lives everyday, what will young men and women learn?  Who will they become?  How will they understand God’s grace if they haven’t seen it through us?  How will they recognize truth if we haven’t taught it to them?

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 Posted by on June 29, 2011  Life Lessons
Jun 292011

You boys really don’t like taking pictures.  I take a lot of them.   One of the reasons I like them so much, is that is gives me something to look back on and see your smiles and remember the good times we have had together.  Pictures bring back that time if just for a moment.  They make me smile, remind me of the things I am thankful for, and hopefully will remind you of the people who love you and the great times we had together.

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Praying for One Another

 Posted by on June 29, 2011  Life Lessons
Jun 292011

Ephesians 6:18

 “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”

One summer while at youth camp as a counselor, God opened my eyes in several ways regarding seeking prayer from others in my own life.

 I had been to many youth events as a counselor, and worked with many youth during invitation calls.  However, this particular evening was different.  During the invitation, the pastor called for any of the leaders who wanted or needed prayer to come forward.  This was very unusual during a youth event.

As the alter call was made once again for leaders to come forward for prayer, the pastor talked about opening our hearts to whatever God had for all of us that evening, including the leaders.

I felt the Lord working with me that evening to go forward for prayer.  There was nothing specific I wanted to pray for.  And, I was hesitant because I felt like I was there to lead, and I needed to be there for the youth.

Nonetheless, I went forward and on my knees began to pray.  Just seconds after I went forward, I felt the arms of someone around me.  It was Jacob, one of the youth from my church group.  He had come to pray with me. 

He stayed there with me, praying and later joined me in worship for the rest of the evening.  I always appreciated Jacob’s responsiveness in that moment, and his willingness to pray for me. 

God showed me that evening that I didn’t always have to be strong.  I needed to open my heart and allow others to pray for me and with me.  Through Jacob, God encouraged me that evening to reach out to other Christians and allow them to minister to me.

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Joyful Giving

 Posted by on June 29, 2011  Life Lessons
Jun 292011

Deuteronomy 15:10

 “Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.”

 Sometimes we find it difficult to let go of our worldly possessions, gifts, talents or time.  We want to hold on so tightly to the things right in front of us, we get distracted and loose sight of what God wants from us.

Joe and I learned early on that when we ministered to others, with whatever was needed at the time, God blessed us in amazing ways.  Usually in ways we didn’t expect and with greater blessings than we could have asked for. 

Although we had been taught to give to the Lord, and He would bless us, it was not the purpose behind our giving.  It was, however, the result. 

Through the years, God sent us many opportunities to minister to family, friends, and often times people we didn’t know.  The opportunities came in many forms.  Sometimes it was a place to live, a job, a friend, a confidant, a financial need and often times a meal.  We never know who God will send us on any given evening, or what may be required of us. 

Here’s the cool part.  God has always watched over us, cared for us, loved us and poured blessing upon us which were more than our own expectations or desires. 

We consider ourselves wealthy in life with family, friends, love, opportunity, and business.  This is not to say we don’t have our problems from time to time.  It is just to say that we know whatever comes our way God will continue to take care of us.  Why would we not want to give generously back to the Lord when He has proven Himself to be so loving and giving to us?

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God’s Timing

 Posted by on June 29, 2011  Life Lessons
Jun 292011

Mark 5:36

 .. “Don’t be afraid, Just trust me.”

 In October 2003, I received a call from Danny, a friend of mine.  He had attempted suicide.  He said I was the only friend he had and wanted to tell me goodbye.  Over a two week period, he attempted suicide 3 times. 

On the 3rd attempt, the hospital kept him for 5 days.  During that time period he was unable to drink, and therefore sober.  He called me when he left the hospital.  When I spoke to him sober, he was more clean and clear headed than I had heard him in years.  It was so good to have a real conversation with him. 

 As Danny and I were talking, God spoke to me.  “Tell him who I am.”  I responded, “Not now Lord.  This is the first real conversation we have had in so long.  I don’t want him to tune me out.  Can’t it wait for tomorrow?”

 The Lord replied, “No you must talk to him now.  Tell him who I am.”  The words from Mark 5:36 poured over me “Don’t be afraid, just trust me.”

 “Danny, can I talk to you about God?”  I asked.  “Yes” he said, “I knew you would.”

 We talked about who God was, and how Danny could receive God’s gift of salvation.  We prayed.  Danny told me he felt a deep peace and knew all was well with his soul. 

That evening when I called, Danny didn’t answer.  A police officer did.  The suicide attempts had done so much damage to Danny’s heart his body could not recover.  Danny  had a massive heart attack and died. 

Praise God for His perfect timing.  Praise God that when we are able to set aside our apprehensions and trust Him, He does exactly what He needs to do.  Praise God, Danny is with him now.

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Caring for the Elderly

 Posted by on June 29, 2011  Daddy, Life Lessons
Jun 292011

1 Timothy 5:4

 “Their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them.  This is something that pleases God very much.”

 A great respect I have for my husband, Joe, is the way he cared for his mother, Nan, during her illness until she passed.

 When Nan first became ill, Joe was running a courier service which flourished its first year.  The business was doing well and growing at an amazing pace.  We had become comfortable in the businesses we were running, and had settled into a nice lifestyle. 

 Months later, it became clear that Joe’s mother was having strokes and becoming increasingly unable to care for herself.  She moved in with Joe’s sister (across the street), but there was no one who could care for her during the day. 

 Joe wanted the opportunity to care for her.  We knew from experience God blesses you when you are obedient, and although we were concerned to be without that stream of income, we knew God would take care of us and reminded ourselves of how He had been blessing us. 

During Nan’s illness, Joe would pick her up every morning, tend to her, and take her home in the evening.  They would run errands together, watch TV, cook, play with the kids and who knows what else during the day.  In Nan’s last weeks, she was unable to walk.  Joe woudl go to get her and he would carry her in his arms across the street to our house.  She could not eat, so he would make her strawberry milkshakes all day!  He would dress and clean her.  In the evening he would carry her home again.

The night Nan went home to the Lord, Joe said, “no regrets.”  His heart was at peace and he knew he had done not only what he needed to do, but God had blessed him with the opportunity to serve his mother in a very real way.

 Joe took care of his mother as the Lord wanted him to do, and gained more than the financial benefit could have ever given him.  All the while God took care of our needs and blessed our other businesses.   

When we trust God and do what pleases Him, he blesses us in amazing ways.

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A Call To Be Humble

 Posted by on June 29, 2011  Life Lessons
Jun 292011

James 4:10

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”

 During a prison ministry trip, a particular guard taunted me every time I would come in or out of a cell.  He would say the women in prison were not worthy of my time or energy.  He asked me after a fight had broken out if I realized what kind of women they were. 

 I considered what the women in this prison thought of themselves.  Did they have any self respect left?  Did they have anything to hold on to which was greater than the walls around them?  Greater than those who would put them down? 

On the third and last day we were at this prison, an inmate came to ask me why I was there.  She asked why I cared.  She said the women there were not good enough to deserve God’s love, and she waited for a reply. 

 For just a moment, I thought I don’t know what to say to her.  I have no idea what she needs to hear, or what it is I should say.  Then I realized, this was not about she and I.  God had something to say to her, through me. 

God whispered to me through a song which was a favorite of mine at the time, “One of these days I’m gonna see, what I would have been if you hadn’t saved me.  One of these days.”

 I looked at this woman and as I began to allow God to talk to her.  Soon several women gathered round, and we talked about sin and what it really was.  We talked about God’s grace, that it was meant for all.  I  confessed to the women I wasn’t good enough either, but God had offered me the same gift of grace he would offer them.  The woman I had started with began to weep and ask the Lord for forgiveness. 

 I was humbled.  I was no greater than she.  Sin had separated both of us from God.  Neither of us was good enough, but God’s grace was great enough.

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