Delight

 So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you. 1 Peter 5:7

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Days can be full of plans unraveling, work pressures building, and expectations unfulfilled leaving you feeling unworthy, unaccomplished, and disappointed.

But God delights in you regardless if your check list is complete, or you didn’t meet a deadline, or you were unable to keep a commitment.

Hold on to your plans loosely.

For your well-being to God is more important than your to-do list.

What is one thing you can do today that shows He delights in you just ’cause you are you?

The Lord your God …will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

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

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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

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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

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A Command to Be Very

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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.

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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 Pathway to Goals & a little bit more

 

Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path. Psalm 119:

Hello Readers!

I’ve been quiet here. But do plan to be back writing faithfully in a few weeks!

In the meantime this is what’s been going on…

Have you ever experienced that moment when your GPS voice says “recalculating?” That moment of hesitation, waiting for the new (correct/another) direction ? Since just before Christmas, I’ve been feeling like I’m in a recalculating moment.

Below is a quote from a post I wrote entitled A Pathway to Goals

“And I felt a God nudge to let go of all I understood and how I thought things should go–a God nudge to turn and prepare my heart for Him in the wilderness where He provides comfort, hope, and renewal.” You can read the entire post at Inscribe Writers Online

And have you ever commented on another blog and got an ah ha moment?

Below is my comment to The One Word That Almost Wasn’t

 “I think I can understand too, your hesitation in not ‘doing’ as the world is always influencing us to do this, that, get better, take a course, join this program, read this devotional etc and then you’ll be a success, okay….everything will fall away if you stop. 🙂 When I think about a time of pruning, I also see a branch lifting up to receive the sunshine after being buried under a weight of extra…”

My branches are heavy and it’s a time to let go although I’m not sure all that I am to lessen…

A final note for now:

The entire life of Jesus isn’t the story of somebody climbing up the ladder; it’s a picture of someone coming down-a series of demotions. The problem with spending our lives climbing up the ladder is that we will go right past Jesus, for He’s coming down. John Ortberg

Then Jesus declared, “I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35

May He quench your thirst today.

Love, Lynn

 

Be Strong in the Lord-Ruth L. Snyder

This HOPE week of Advent, I have the pleasure of hosting author Ruth L. Snyder who I know through the nation-wide group, Inscribe Christian Writers Fellowship. And she has a very special invitation for us!   

Be Strong in the LORD By Ruth L. Snyder

 “Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”

—Psalm 37:3-6

I started my morning with prayer and Scripture reading. My heart was especially burdened for our family. I prayed for God’s protection and was quiet before God. My heart was filled with peace when my devotional time was finished. Less than an hour later, my husband and I were embroiled in a heated disagreement regarding our children. The longer we talked, the more we disagreed. I retreated to my piano to play hymns and reflect. Why couldn’t we resolve this situation? Kendall and I both want the best for our children, but sometimes we disagree about what this looks like. We are learning to use tools like John Gottman’s Sound Relationship House (https://www.gottman.com/about/the-gottman-method/).

Life on earth is full of challenges and problems. Sometimes we get totally overwhelmed. Cancer. Addiction. Family issues. War. Abuse. God is the only one who is big enough, wise enough, to have the solutions. We need to choose to be strong in HIM. He will give us the victory, if we trust him and not ourselves.

According to Strong’s Concordance, the phrase, “be strong,” comes from a root word that means to enable, empower, strengthen, or be made strong. Remember the apostle, Paul? We may see him as a spiritual giant, but he claims that God’s strength is best displayed in our areas of weakness.

When we feel strong, we don’t rely on God the way we should. In fact, when we have the ability to do things well, we often boast and become proud. When we realize we are weak, God is able to work through us to display his love and power to those around us (1 Corinthians 1:26-31; 2 Corinthians 12:9). Here are some examples from Scripture:

  • God enabled Samson to defeat Israel’s enemies, but when Samson chose to disobey God, he was captured (Judges 14-16).
  • God chose Saul to be King. When Samuel took a while to show up, Saul took things into his own hands. Then he disobeyed by not destroying all of the enemy, and God took the kingdom from his son and gave it to a lowly shepherd boy, David (I Samuel 9, 13, 15).

Think About It

Have you experienced God’s power in your daily living? What difference is it making in your life? Journal your thoughts, or respond in another way that is meaningful to you.

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you that you are all-powerful. Help me to remember that without you I am vulnerable and weak.  As I walk through this day, lead me. Help me to be sensitive to your voice and obedient to your will. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Ruth would like to invite you to join a FREE 10-Day devotional challenge. You will receive 10 free devotionals and access to a private Facebook group to discuss the devotionals, apply them to your life, and pray.

https://equipped.lpages.co/equipped-10-day-devotional-challenge/

 

Ruth L. Snyder is the author of Equipped: Ephesians 6 Devotionals to Empower and Make You Victorious in Everyday Struggles. And TODAY the Kindle version is FREE! (Wednesday, December 4). For my friends outside of Canada, you can click HERE to purchase.

Ruth resides near Glendon, Alberta, along with her husband and five children. Ruth enjoys writing articles, devotionals, short stories, and Christian fiction. Ruth is Past President of InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship.
http://ruthlsnyder.com
www.facebook.com/ruthlsnyder
www.twitter.com/wwjdr

 

Words richer than Gold

(feature photo © Lynn J Simpson -Emerald Lake, Yukon)

Imagine.

You are climbing 1200 steps chipped in the ice of a 30 degree mountain slope. You hold onto a rope strung along the way. You carry 70 pounds of supplies on your back. It’s -40 F. And once you reach the summit, and drop your supplies, you slide down the mountain to gather another 70 pounds of supplies and climb those stairs again, and again…ten more times. And when you have all your supplies at the top of the summit, you pack them on your back and travel another 500 miles by foot, and then by boat through river rapids between canyon walls 100 feet high.

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Miles Canyon, Whitehorse, Yukon (photo © Lynn J Simpson)

You persevere. You persevere in hopes that you will strike it rich, strike gold, once you reach your destination.

This was the travels of the 30 to 40K stampeders who chose the Chilkoot Trail route at Dyea, Alaska on their way to the Klondike in northern Yukon, the winter of 1897-1898. As I researched the Klondike Gold Rush, the topic of my final writing assignment for my current writing course, I began to understand what hardships these stampeders endured for ‘riches’ that were not even guaranteed! Out of the 100,000 stampeders, only up to 40,000 actually made it to the Klondike, and only 4,000 found gold, and just a few hundred actually got rich.

And I began to ponder: How often have a sought for ‘riches’ in this life rather than persevered in seeking out His treasures that are a sure thing? When have I given up, or turned away when hardship has hit instead of continuing, knowing He never lets go of the rope no matter if I can’t see the next step in front of me?

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Yukon Railway at Carcross, Yukon (photo © Lynn J Simpson)

Proverbs tells 2:1-8 tells us:

My son, if you accept my words
    and store up my commands within you,
 turning your ear to wisdom
    and applying your heart to understanding—
 indeed, if you call out for insight
    and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasure,
 then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
 He holds success in store for the upright,
    he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
 for he guards the course of the just
    and protects the way of his faithful ones.

 

Did you know the word ‘silver’ shows up 402 times in the bible?  In other words, there is an abundance of silver to be found in God’s word! He instructs us to seek His wisdom that leads to success, guards, shields, and protects us.

And thankfully, to find the knowledge of God, we don’t have to summit a mountain in -40 F! Instead, we can faithfully study His word for insight and understanding.

Where are you searching for wisdom?

But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. Timothy 6:11-12

SoaringWithHim  &  HolleyGerth

You can find out more about my Christian Life Coaching Services at Inspiring Hope In You. Coaching is a gentle approach to uncover your obstacles and find your steps to create the changes you desire.

 

My Neighbours

I’m posting  this on the day my neighbours to the south, the United States, are celebrating their Thanksgiving holiday. Ours, in Canada, was October 14th and why the different date than the USA? Well, it ‘is complicated’ –words that titled an article on the subject in a national magazine.

There is no doubt that Canada and the USA have their differences. We have CFL and they have NFL for one, with differences such as a three downs in our game compared to their four! And I have friends who follow both leagues.

That’s the blessing of having neighbours who do different than we do, maybe even follow different rules. I’m not going to get political here. Instead point to what God’s word says about who we all are, and how we are to be.

Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers? Malachi 2:10

Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 1 Peter 3:8

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:14

So Happy Thanksgiving my brothers and sisters across my country border! And thank you for all the experiences I have had in your country–from the awe-striking sunset of  Maui, to the metropolitan of New York,  to the white-knuckling rides at Universal Studios, Florida, and so much more…and more to come.

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A Small Argument

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Often I’ll hear those big leaders talk about starting small. But my argument to that?

Small is just as impactful as big. Nothing is small. All acts of obedience are big.

Start small. And maybe small is your call. And that’s big too.

A small group leader of  2 is as impactful as a speaker who grows to 100,000 ‘s in audience. If your serving is mentoring one, serving for one, doing one thing…it’s BIG.

May you never think you HAVE to grow your audience, your social media following, your social influence….to be impactful.

May you never think you need to BE more to be impactful

Instead may you know that you make a difference no matter a measurement.

“You make a difference no matter a measurement.”

Maybe those big, influential leaders could eliminate the phrase to “start small” to start a shift towards authenticity rather than popularity in this culture blown up with media influence to be more popular with the masses. And for some, that popularity has included selling out through stealing words, pictures, ideas…deceit and lies unfortunately.

Let’s remember….

Small is just as impactful as big. Nothing is small. All acts of obedience are big.

“All acts of obedience are big.” 

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Maybe it’s time to talk about starting big by showing up.

How would you end the following sentence?

Maybe it’s time to ……

For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:20

Want to read more inspiring content? Check out at #TellHisStory & Let’s Have Coffee

 

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

 

 

Mystery Solved and a Good Friend

“Is that the lake they called the ‘disappearing lake’ and threw mattresses in to stop draining?”

I glanced at my friend from the passenger seat of his cozy Dodge truck. “I’m not sure.” I’ve been there so many times, to this lake in Jasper National Park, you think I would know!

It’s one of my favourite places after all-summer, spring, winter, fall-all seasons. I’d witnessed the low waters, and places where the water seemed to have disappeared.  Yet I’ve never asked why.

My friend? He’d never been to Medicine Lake. But we later learn he is right. It is known as the ‘disappearing lake.’ The indigenous named the lake due to its’ “magic” or “big medicine.”

The anomaly is explained on the information board at Medicine Lake. The lake lies about about half way up Maligne Lake Road but many tourists, I’ve noticed, miss Medicine Lake. Instead, they continue up the road to the popular areas of Maligne Canyon and Maligne Lake.

If ever in the area, I’d encourage you to stop.

My friend silently reads the explanation of the disappearing waters. I just scan the words, the images. I’m restless in the wind.  I pull my knit hat over my ears and start to descend the steep stairs to the rocky bank that precludes the lake. Soon I hear my friend’s steps too.

When in this place I’m distracted. Or am I? Maybe I’m just caught up in the magic of the place.

I navigate the craggy rocks until I reach the lake’s shore. The transparent waters barely cover the pebbles and sentiment. I peer through my camera lens at the seven kilometre lake expanding then narrowing in the distance. The surrounding Rocky Mountains scrape the sky then progressively descend in the distance.

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It’s medicine for my soul, this place.

When I finally look up, I see my friend has wandered north along the shore. I join him and he tells me the resolution of the mystery.  In the 70’s, dye was used to determine the waters flow into an underground cave system.  In the spring and summer the glacier melt water fill the cave system to overflowing causing Medicine Lake to rise. In the fall and winter, the water drains back into the cave system to eventually empty into the near by waters of Athabasca River and the Maligne Canyon.

Later as my friend drives us up Maligne Road, I follow the sight of Medicine Lake from my window. I notice areas where the lake has disappeared and the land is rippling clay. My friend and I ponder about where these unseen cave entries may be.

And I’m grateful. Grateful for a friend to teach me how to go deeper, beyond what I chose only to see, and underground to the truth.

And the mattresses ended up being just an unproven tale after all.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray. Proverbs 12:26
Lynn J Simpson, Certified Professional Life Coach at Inspiring Hope In You

Linking up at #TellHisStory

 

A dating Single Opinion

The snow has come and stayed in my part of the world. It is early, however I’m not surprised by sudden weather changes anymore. Having an adventurous temperament, the abrupt changes can even be satisfying. Even the dullness of a lingering grey sky can benefit me because it makes me search out places to brighten my day.

It’s this search for the light that led me to a conservatory of plants and flowers that were displayed in exhibits titled Tropical, Arid, and Temperate. I’d packed my older camera and macro filters I hadn’t used in a long time. The camera was light in my hand as I snapped pictures of water droplets, yellow and red rose petals, and thorns on cactuses. And I was happy with the lightness of the shots.

If familiar with photography, you know it’s all about the light–determining the light of the environment and setting up the camera to expose that light for the effect you desire.

It wasn’t until I’d reached the last exhibit that I noticed why my camera had been letting in so much light. It was set at 800 ISO! A little side lesson on photography–the higher the ISO number the more light BUT also the more noise. This means the pictures will have a grainy look. This grainy look may do well on outdoor night shots for example, but not on close-up flower shots that you generally want clear and sharp!

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I hadn’t taken the time to check all the settings on my camera nor to check why the photos were light in an environment that generally takes more adjusting to get the right exposure.

Not very wise of me. Not very wise at all.

When I’d review the shot on my tiny camera screen, I’d assumed the light was okay without looking further into the details of what was really happening–too much noise was also getting into the picture.

And reflecting, it’s in more areas than photography where I’ve not noticed the noise in my life because I did not prepare and did not pay attention to the details.

For example, I’ve jumped into dating relationships before first getting to know the mens character, fixated on my light of hope to the point of compromising my own convictions. But the noises of incompatibilities eventually splintered the relationships.

In hindsight, and through all I’ve learned since then of God’s design for marriage, I know the hurts of those broken relationships may have been avoided if I wisely (and courageously) had taken the time to pay attention to the details by 1. spending more time getting to know one another before dating  2. being aware of feelings that can cloud compatibility issues and, 3. loving and respecting one another by always moving each other toward our relationship with God.

By doing these three steps, too, I’d be preparing a foundation for a marriage honouring God first, that exposes the light of His truths, and that brings focus to each of our gifts and how He wants us to use them–what I like to call a Kingdom Building Marriage.

Ideally this all sounds great and I’m yet (or maybe never) will live it out in a marriage relationship. And I know what I’ve proposed is quite counter-culture that even singles within the church (I’m quite sure as have witnessed it and been there) find it hard to stay out of the world noise that often tells of a different way to date.

But, like adjusting the camera’s ISO to create the clear picture we desire, we can set our minds and hearts on God’s light who always provides, protects, and brings us peace.

For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Proverbs 2:10-11

My son, do not forget my teachings, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years, and bring you peace and prosperity. Proverbs 3:1-2 

Your turn. Love to hear your thoughts (& learn more!) on God’s design for marriage. If married, are there ways you could help singles in your church toward godly dating and marriage?

(Note that the pictures in this post have been edited with a noise reduction feature in my software!)

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