Confused of what to do?

I wish I had three more rooms in my home, I commented to my friend during a phone call recently. I was looking at the items scattered and piled on my desk. Binders, books, day-timers, journals, spiral notebooks, magazines, art cards, microphone, and cameras were just some of the items. I’d like to have a room for painting, another for writing, and another for my work-work (otherwise known as my day job), I told him, have kiddingly but mostly not!

Even though the mess can eventually get overwhelming, I felt content. Even hopeful and driven. Something that had been missing for some time since our country and province began self-distancing rules during the current world pandemic. Feeling better I realized I’m in the grieving cycle. I’m cycling into acceptance, however understand navigating the grief cycle is more erratic than linear. And may cycle backwards into sadness or anxiety.

Just a week ago my desktop was bare.

When my calendar began to empty of sales appointments and open spaces appeared, I wondered what would now enfold in those time slots. What to do with that time? Are the bills going to get paid? Is this opened time now a gift of God? Goodness, then I really do not want to waste it! What to do? As you can imagine, dear readers, this type of thinking only led to confusion and anxiety. I had to find a way to ease my fears and place my time into God’s hands.

Putting our Plans in God’s Hands

  1. Ask the Helper

John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

When we need clarity around something, such as our time, we can ask the Holy Spirit to help us through His teaching and bringing something to mind we need to remember. Our Counsellor is always there to show us Jesus’ way of obedience to His words. When I meditated on this verse, God brought to mind Jesus’ command to love God with all your heart and mind; and to love your neighbour as yourself. (Mark 12:30-31). Practically, how can we do this with our everyday time including some so very ordinary moments?

2. SEEK HIS WILL

Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

Jesus taught to be persistent in seeking God. Not giving up seeking takes faith, focus, and follow-through. When confusion from uncertainty sets in, especially when our plans unravel, we can ask God for wisdom, knowledge, patience and understanding. Practically we can full-heartedly go to His word. We may want to look up ‘plans’ in the concordance of our bibles and then SOAK in those scriptures. We will never know God’s plan completely for our lives, yet we can be directed on how to be obedient to His word. God’s word opens the door to His will for us to know Him better and be known.

3. LET GO AND TRUST GOD

First Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”

In this time, we can only see what we are experiencing. We don’t see the eternal future that God knows. Like looking through a dark glass, we can’t see clearly what is ahead or make sense of what is happening now. Even in obedience using our spiritual gifts to serve others, we are not assured that our plans will come to fruition. We may become confused about what to do with our time or if we are to continue what we thought we are suppose to do! By letting go of trying to make sense of what is going on we place our plans in God’s hands who promises we will know Him fully when we are with Him eternally.

Never Give Up

Never give up asking, seeking, and trusting God, my friend! We will never be free of confusion on this side of eternity, but God’s plans are good!

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead or Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen Hebrews 13:20-21

What plans do you need to place in God’s hands today?

Linking up with Recharge Wednesday

Never a Threat

I am sure all of you had a different kind of Easter celebration than maybe ever before. At my house, I had a Skype call with my eldest and her family as they ate their first turkey dinner prepared in their home. Earlier that day I dropped of a gift of cupcakes and my roaster to my daughter, keeping the 6 feet social distance. For me, my granddaughter left on the porch step a ziplock bag of chocolate chips cookies she had made. Later today they’ve promised to drop off on my step turkey and a piece of apple pie left over from their Easter dinner.

During this time of social distancing, our front steps, our porches, our apartment doorways have become drop off zones of gifts, borrowed items, and left-overs.

I miss walking through doorways.

I look forward to the day when porches and doorways become again just a step before entering rather than the final destination they are today.

But for now, I’m called, like many of you, dear readers, to keep doors closed and stay in for the protection of life for others and myself.

Our Protector

May we always remember though too, we have another protector of life Who lets us through the doorway that brings us into God’s salvation.

Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.” John 10:7

When we listen to Jesus’ voice and follow Him through the gate into His pasture, He not only gives us eternal life; we also immediately receive His gifts of forgiveness, love and guidance.

I am the gate, whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:9-10

Our Security

And He never abandons us no matter the threat.

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. John 10:11

There is a threat currently in our physical world too tiny for the human eye. Yet, nothing is threatening to the One who overcame death. As we follow the guidelines of our governments and health officials, keeping our distance that may mean not opening our doors, may we hold on to our great Shepherd by continuing to do His work He has called us to and let Him work within us.

Now may the God of peace who through blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen Hebrews 13:20-21

Linking up with #TellHisStory

Embassy of Love

Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. Ephesians 6:19-20

Have you ever considered yourself an Ambassador for the Kingdom? When people ask what you do, have you ever considered answering, “I am an Ambassador?” And when they raise their eyebrows at you, you continue, “for the Kingdom of Heaven.”

I don’t know Ludmilla, but guess she may answer that way! Watch why…

What is an Ambassador?

A bible study I am currently in describes an ambassador as “a dignitary whose full-time job is to live for a period in a foreign land, intentionally building relationships with the people native to the land and purposefully representing to those people the desires of his king or sovereign and is given authority to speak and act on his behalf. Adapted from Chris Patton.”

How are we Ambassadors?

We are living in a foreign land until God calls us home. While we are here we represent  our Sovereign King. We live purposely by continuing the work of Jesus through the work of the Spirit that transforms our character and guides our steps. We are called to reflect God’s goodness and speak of His love.

Often I can get wrapped up in my wonderings of what my purpose is. Yet, God has it already laid out in His word!

Have you ever considered yourself as an Ambassador of God’s Kingdom? What resonated for you in Ludmilla’s story?

But you are chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9 

Your all in all

They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind. The stalk has no head; it will produce no flour. Were it to yield grain, foreigners would swallow it up. Hosea 8:7

silent2

In Hosea 8:7 who are they? They are the Israelites who had sought forbidden relationships with Assyria and Egypt for military power, and had mixed in worshipping forbidden gods along with God. They were no longer being faithful to the One who could provide them all they needed. Harvesting good seed in grounds bathed by sunlight and filled with nourishment, produce a sturdy crop. The Israelites, though,  expended their energy on activities without roots for their souls, leaving them vulnerable. Danger was coming from foreigners–eventually the Assyrians invaded and conquered Israel.

I know I too, can spend time on hollow activities instead of taking the time to plant, sow, and wait. I can Netflix binge, or mindlessly scroll my Instagram and my Facebook accounts to ‘numb’ out. I can seek instant gratification that only leaves me unsatisfied. I can eat those four girl-guide cookies instead of taking the time to cook the nourishing spinach and eggs. I can try to fight my own battles by seeking out who I think will agree with me, commiserate and create an alliance, instead of seeking God first.

But these attempts at self-preservation only pull me apart from God. When I try to become more secure in the world without God, I’m left vulnerable to the pull of all things that only blow away in the whirlwind of time.

When we put our security in God, we become too deeply rooted to be swept away. We are less tempted to engage in that ‘quick fix’ or reach out for things that leave us hollow and wanting. Instead, we grow closer to the One whose faithfulness is everlasting.

“Truly is not my house so with God? For He has made an everlasting covenant with me, Ordered in all things, and secured; For all my salvation and all my desire, Will He not indeed make it grow? Samuel 23:5

What things are you putting your security in? Is there something God is asking you to give up so He can be your all and all?

Linked up at #TellHisStory

 

Living Full Heartedly

The Mighty One, God, The Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising sun to where it sets. Psalm 50:1

mar132

Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call on me in the day of trouble, I will deliver you, and you will honour me. Psalm 50:14-15

mar133

God’s creations are in abundance. Every day the sun rises and the sun sets, warming and cooling the earth, bringing us the light of day and darkened nights. Although God is timeless, He knows we need these cycles of light and dark to refresh and rest our bodies, minds, and souls. He knows what the earth needs to grow our food, and the amount of waters required to quench our thirst. In places though, fresh water and food is lacking. People are thirsty and hungry, and sick. Animals are migrating, trying to find new habitats, some populations dying away to extinction.

Sometimes it’s hard to see God’s abundance in the world among it’s sufferings.

Yet, God calls us not too lose heart. Why? Because He, our Creator, knows that through a heart of gratitude we are delivered from our anxiety and worries. He commands us to call out to Him when we are troubled, so He can provide rest for our minds even when all seems to be in chaos. When we wholeheartedly trust in God’s abundance, hope prevails. Instead of being downcast, we are energized to continue to seek ways to make the world a better place. Through heartfelt love and obedience to Him we honour Him and all His creations.

Where is God showing you His abundance today? How might He be asking you to make the world a better place?

Linking up at:

Counting My Blessings

Tell-His-Story-button-badge

A Command to Be Very

March6

This post first appeared at Inscribe Writers Online

Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn it from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Joshua 1:7

The Lord not only told Joshua to be courageous, but very courageous. I wonder if the Lord added the emphasis of an adverb before the adjective “courageous” because of Joshua’s extreme circumstances? His new job was to lead two million people into a new land and conquer it. Even though Joshua had grown to be a strong leader from assisting Moses for many years, I can imagine he may have felt extremely challenged for this upcoming new adventure!

But Joshua did not hesitate, did not measure the pros and cons, or run to his friends for advise. Instead, he ordered and directed the people to ready themselves for their journey to cross the Jordan, to the land the Lord was giving to them. While directing their next steps, Joshua reminded the people of Moses commands and the Lord’s promises, and the people obeyed their leader knowing they were also being faithful to God’s plan. And they too, encouraged Joshua to “be strong and courageous!” (v.18)

When facing new challenges, I can be very hesitant to take the next step. I want to be very sure so the outcome will be successful, on my terms. I can measure my success by my circle of influence expanding, or my finances increasing, or by the amount of ‘likes’ I’m receiving. Yet, unlike the worldly definition of success, success in God’s eyes is for us to be strong and very courageous through obeying and following His word. It’s being faithful to His plan for our lives. He directs us when we turn toward Him. And then we can rest in His promise that we will be successful wherever we go.

mar63

Lord, thank You for always being with me and directing my way. Even though my situations can get tough, and challenging, I know you are with me. May I always keep my eyes on You, may I always turn to You, for when I do life with You, I will be successful in Your eyes wherever I go. Amen

And may the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Where might God be saying to you ‘be very courageous and strong?

 

A reason for restlessness

SEPT25

I’m not sure if it is either DNA or genes that dictate personality traits. So not sure if it is my Dad’s DNA or his genes that created a tendency in me to be restless within.

I’ve described my Dad as a ‘wanderer,’ however not sure if that is right word to explain his explorations including travels across provinces, country borders, or to the horse stables just a few miles from our home.

At home, too, in his lazy-boy chair he’d  wander into stories when reading his spy novels, biographies, and the three or four newspapers delivered to our front porch daily.

Merriam-Webster defines ‘wanderer’ as a person who roams about without a fixed route or destination.

No, I do not think ‘wanderer’ fits my Dad.

I’d called it wandering too, when late in his life and legally blind, he’d go on his a strolls away from the nursing home. Once while resting on a bus bench, a bus stopped, and the driver helped him on. He ended up riding the route, circling back to where he started (and where a relieved nurse from the nursing home waited on that same bus bench).

No, Dad can’t be called a wanderer  because, even if he wasn’t sure of his routes and had to refer to those paper maps in the glove compartments of his cars, he always had destinations in mind.

So maybe explorer would be a better word to describe my dad. And his explorations likely were motivated from a restlessness within. A restlessness derived from a knowing there is something more.

It is this more that can drive us to proceed, to keep seeking and reaching to fulfill our God-given heart desires of peace, joy, and love.

And to know Him.

I believe my dad’s heart desires were full-filled completely. He now rests in God’s presence, his restlessness no longer necessary to explore for something more.

SEPT253

Yes, I may have received my restless trait to explore from my dad, but it is my heavenly Father who first gave it to me.  My restlessness can be used to seek Him for what only He can satisfy.

So I’ve begun to embrace more my times of restlessness within.

Because I know that in my restless explorations I am not wandering aimlessly but seeking more  direction from the One who created me.  My routes may shift, change and be corrected, but He is my constant companion. And with patience, mercy and grace, He is teaching me His ways to the final destination–complete rest in Him.

If you’re in a season of restlessness, my friend, I pray you know you do not need to wander. Instead keep your eyes fixed on the destination God calls us to–completeness in Him.

And you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.” Colossians 2:10

Linked up today at #TellHisStory

Love Lynn, Certified Professional Life Coach @ Inspiring Hope in You

 

Leaving behind behind

I sit here, at this desk in the library, my university course books to my left, my day timer to my right, and my current devotional laid flat and open and and upside down in a corner.

But my eyes too, wander up from the screen, to the street view through this second story location from this place I sit at the library.

There’s a pair walking, a mother and daughter possibly, the elder one’s gait hobbles as if one shoe is multiple soles rather than one. Her arm is linked with the other one, tall, slim, in dark pants and a white sweater.

The temperature has cooled over these last two July days, from t-shirts to light jackets, from outside patio to indoor dining. And in these last two days, the weather pressure has also built a pressure in my face, behind my eyes I cannot shake, leaving me tired. And behind.

It’s not a migraine and my heart goes out to those that do suffer from those splitting head, nauseating symptoms when the barometer fluctuates not in their favour. I believe my symptoms are allergies, from what I’m not sure, as the air is full of many components. And I’ve never been tested.

It’s these possible allergies, the pressure, the irritation of being oh-so tired, that has brought me to this library desk at this moment in the hope the change of place will get me from being behind to on schedule again. An essay is undone, due last week.

Yet, inward focus is still foggy at best, and know my work may not be any good in this time. But I’m trying, trying hard to push through, yet…

jul242

My eyes lift up to the window, a barrier that holds the air outside from my place.

There’s a pair walking, a mother and daughter possibly. The daughter steadies her mother though the linking of their arms. And I wonder too, about another time when the mother held her arms out to her daughter to come to her. Her daughters steps slow, and unsteady, with a wobbling gait that looked like she walked in a pair of shoes with uneven soles.

A passing of time….

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:… Ecclesiastes 3:1

And a ponder, is there really such a thing as a time of being behind? Or is it only a judgement, a label?

What if we left the word behind, behind?

I wonder if we left the word behind behind, if we’d also leave behind the scurrying to just get done so we’re not feeling behind, sacrificing quality and presence in the present.

And then see His presence in the present and be present in His presence when Jesus shows up.

We see in the story of Mary and Martha, (Luke 10:38-42) Mary was in His presence when Jesus showed up at their home. Martha called out to Jesus in complaint that Mary wasn’t helping in the preparations. I’m guessing she called out, too, as she was feeling behind and wanted to finish up as soon as possible too, so she could enjoy the presence of Jesus.

But Jesus? He wasn’t worried about the preparations, or if Martha would be finished on-time. Present in her home, He just wanted to Martha to be in His presence at that moment, the story teaches.

And teaches too, that we cannot ever spend too much time with Him.

jul243

They are gone, the pair, the mother and daughter possibly, maybe into one of the residences in the seniors apartments I see from my place where I sit in the library. And I feel blessed to have witnessed that moment of kindness, of love, of caring, and a leaning in to hold up–all that Jesus is.

There’s still the presence of pressure in my face, my eyes, my head. Yet the pressure of needing to perform to the level to write a university third year essay at this moment has vaporized.

Because Jesus showed up. And I’m on His schedule.

“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:19

2 Peter 3:8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day

How do you stop yourself from doing, from feeling behind, to get on God’s schedule?

Lynn J Simpson, Certified Professional Life Coach at Inspiring Hope in You

Linking up with #TellHisStory

And Tune in Thursdays

Tune-In-Tursday-Badge

Tell-His-Story-button-badge

Our final security

Each post this month of April will be a Devotional on the security we have in God. My hope is that God will use these words to encourage you on your daily paths.

Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Hebrews 7:25

jan23

It’s your turn and all eyes are on you. You fold your hands over your knees, hesitating, wondering, if this small circle of kind people will really accept you. What if they knew? A day has passed since taking that chance, typing that message to someone you respect, that someone you hoped to develop a deeper relationship with, but it is still unanswered. Hurt, you ponder. Maybe he/she no longer likes me? Your hands hesitate over the keyboard, words of encouragement ready to flow, yet question if you qualify to be the messenger. Would they read these words if they knew my past ways? 

jan17

When Jesus died on the cross He saved us. His presence with God in heaven assures us that he continues to be forgiving of our past, present, and future sins when we come to Him. We can be secure in knowing we are fully accepted by Him, not needing the acceptance of others to be forgiven. We can be assured that even though we feel disappointed, He is always looking out for our best interests. When we live in the grace of Christ we experience the freedom from guilt and failure to do His work. Let’s spread this good news by living out the security we have through Him and build His Kingdom as He is calling us to!

I’ll be on a blogging break from this place for a month as I dedicate writing time to another project that I think God has placed within me. I’ll take this step in faith and know whatever direction it takes me, I will be learning and growing! I will be dropping into your places from time to time, and hope you’ll connect with me on Instagram ! 

 

Securing our steps

Each post this month of April will be a Devotional on the security we have in God. My hope is that God will use these words to encourage you on your daily paths.

apr42
Maligne Canyon, Jasper National Park/photography by Lynn J Simpson

My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be shaken. Psalm 62:5-6

The enclosing canyon walls rise high, grey and daunting under a wintery day’s overcast sky. From an observer above it may seem like an impassable fortress, it’s iced floors too slick to journey. Then a group of hikers are spotted, roaming the narrow gorge, ice cleated boots securing each sturdy step they take.

 

apr4
Ice Climber at Maligne Canyon, Jasper, Alberta/ Photographer Lynn J Simpson

When you’re in a place and see only an intimidating landscape with a path that seems insurmountable, you must not stay discouraged. God has promised He will give you what you need to secure each step you take and be your hope and strength as you navigate difficult terrain. When you wait on God, He will direct your way through the ravines as you pass over the landscape. When you hold onto God, He will steady you so you will not be shaken, will not fall on the uneven patches along the way.  No matter the challenge, do not fear. He is your rock and salvation, your encourager and protector, always with you every step of the way.

I’m linked up today with the Fierce-Hearted Women at Holly Gerth and at also Recharge Wednesday with Patricia Holbrook