Whose Will Is It?

Ever have your mind made up to do something or go someplace, make all the plans, and then have it all fall through at the last minute? How do you explain these frustrating disappointments? Fate? Timing? Or could it be God’s will?

Now, I know a lot of people poo-poo the very idea of God even caring about what we mortals do down here on earth. But I know differently. Here’s a situation that happened recently and you tell me what you think.

It had been a rough day, starting off with my computer not working. Isn’t that a fun way to start the day? “Oh my, here we go again,” I thought. “Wonder what happened to the connection this time.” So the first half of the day was spent troubleshooting what the problem was with the network connection. By lunchtime, I was thinking “I need to do something fun tonight”. Now I usually go out to dinner with my son, but that night I felt like going country dancing. After several attempts at communicating and getting agreement with a friend, the plan was in place and I was looking forward to a fun evening.

Took a shower, got all dressed, did the makeup and hair routine, and was ready to head out the door when that small inner voice said “Take the recycling out on the way”. I have learned, after many years, to heed that still small voice immediately, so I grabbed the bag of plastic containers and locked the door behind me. Coming back to my car after dropping the recycling in the dumpster, I noticed my left rear tire was extremely low.

“Guess I have to go to the gas station and get air in the tire now,” I sighed. It was a bitter cold night. At the gas station, the tire would not inflate. “That’s odd. I wonder what’s wrong.” Thankfully, I cannot remember the last time I had a flat tire. Undaunted, I decided to see if Sears Auto was still open. It was not. The sad realization that I was not going dancing that night finally sunk in.

“Lord, you know I wanted to go dancing tonight. I’ve had such a tough day.” But it was not meant to be. I have to say I was not a happy camper. Can anyone relate at this point?

So what do we usually do next? You can answer that for yourself. But before my thoughts went down that negative track, I caught myself. “You know, this could have been a lot worse. You could have been on the highway and had a blow-out in this freezing cold weather. Then what would you have done?” Dismay and disappointment gave way to gratitude and praise. “Thank you, Lord, for your protection tonight. Thank you for keeping me safe. Thank you for telling me to take the recycling out.” In Psalm 121:7-8, we are promised that “The Lord will keep you from all harm. He will watch over your life. The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”

Thankfully, also, the friend I was meeting was still at home, finishing dinner. As I related the situation, my friend jokingly says “So I guess this was not God’s will?” I cracked up. This was such an unexpected comment and it definitely lightened the situation.

“That’s my take on it,” I replied.

So what is your take on it? I am sure something like this has happened to you. How do you explain it? Until next time, let me encourage you to see things from a different perspective. What may look like a disappointment may well be the Lord’s protection on your life. Send me your thoughts and in the meantime, keep looking up!

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When God Ignores Us – Part 2

Speaking of listening, many times people have a hard time hearing “no” from others. We want to hear the word “yes” don’t we? Most of us want what we want and we want it now. True? In fact, I read somewhere that a sales technique is to get the client to start asking questions they will agree with and that gets them in the mode of saying “yes” and therefore more likely to buy. Interesting, huh?

When it comes to hearing the word “no” from others, if we are mature, most of us can handle it without getting our feelings hurt. But how about when it is God who says “No”? How do we feel then?

Not so hot, is what I want to say in my flesh. When I have my mind set on something, I usually will do whatever it takes to get it. I am not a quitter. But my perspective changes when I listen to God and really choose to hear His still small voice instead of my own. “Is this really good for me?” “Is this God’s best for me?”

How do I know that God is saying “No”? Good question. There are clear signs. Some of which are such as strife, struggle, conflict, things just not working out, no sense of peace, closed doors, loss of blessing, losing sleep. If we pay attention we will hear the answer. We will know.

“No” is a hard answer to accept, isn’t it? We feel disappointed, hurt, and saddened. Sometimes we may doubt that God really loves us. But the truth of the matter is this: God loves us so much more than we could ever imagine. Nothing can separate us from the love of God. When God says “no” to us, it only means He has something better in mind for us. It is a way of protecting His children.

Take this example. I had made plans to go away for a long weekend to go biking, hiking and glory in the beauty of the fall foliage. Then comes the tornado watch and the rainstorms. Plans changed. My prayer was and is “Not my will, but Thy will be done.” The key is the attitude we have when we hear no from God. Do we pout and complain and act like babies or do we accept things and act like adults?

Sometimes we don’t understand why God says no at the moment, but it may become clear later on. Take heart and look on the bright side. Just as parents must often say no to their children for their good, so it is with God. He only wants the best for His children and that means sometimes He has to say no to us. It is all part of our journey to faith. Until next time, keep looking up!

Answered Prayer

An interesting conversation happened the other day while I was biking on the trail near my house. This guy rides up next to me and starts talking. Turns out he was a Christian. We started talking about faith and he was telling me about how people in undeveloped countries are seeing miracles and healings. Now I believe that God is still in the miracle working business because I have seen many of them in my own life.

After listening to his stories for several minutes, I asked “Are you saying that if you have strong enough faith, you can heal anyone?”
“Yes,” he replied and pointed out a scripture in Matthew where it talks about praying in Jesus’ name.
“Yes, I agree there is power in using the name of Jesus, but what about God’s will?” The conversation went on and he continued to share stories about missionaries and healings.

Now, I don’t know what you believe, dear one, but the Bible is clear. There is always an IF-THEN connection. IF we are walking in God’s will and living a clean and righteous life, THEN we can pray and ask for things in Jesus’s name and our prayers may be answered IF it is in God’s will. Again, we will not receive everything we pray for because God is sovereign and He knows what is best for us AND the perfect timing if we are meant to receive it.

This conversation had me thinking. Lo and behold, my Dr. Stanley devotional for the next day was on this very topic. Amazing.

Hope this gets you to thinking, too. Are your prayers being answered? Do you pray in Jesus’ name? What kind of life are you living? Please write and give me your thoughts on this.

Answered Prayer

An interesting conversation happened the other day while I was biking on the trail near my house. This guy rides up next to me and starts talking. Turns out he was a Christian. We started talking about faith and he was telling me about how people in undeveloped countries are seeing miracles and healings. Now I believe that God is still in the miracle working business because I have seen many of them in my own life.

After listening to his stories for several minutes, I asked “Are you saying that if you have strong enough faith, you can heal anyone?”
“Yes,” he replied and pointed out a scripture in Matthew where it talks about praying in Jesus’ name.
“Yes, I agree there is power in using the name of Jesus, but what about God’s will?” The conversation went on and he continued to share stories about missionaries and healings.

Now, I don’t know what you believe, dear one, but the Bible is clear. There is always an IF-THEN connection. IF we are walking in God’s will and living a clean and righteous life, THEN we can pray and ask for things in Jesus’s name and our prayers may be answered IF it is in God’s will. Again, we will not receive everything we pray for because God is sovereign and He knows what is best for us AND the perfect timing if we are meant to receive it.

This conversation had me thinking. Lo and behold, my Dr. Stanley devotional for the next day was on this very topic. Amazing.

Hope this gets you to thinking, too. Are your prayers being answered? Do you pray in Jesus’ name? What kind of life are you living? Please write and give me your thoughts on this.

The Power of Attraction

So you’ve all probably heard of the best-selling book called “The Secret”, right? The premise of the book is that we can “attract” wonderful things into our lives merely by thinking about them. Thinking about them draws them to us; everything from riches, to good relationships, to good health.

Now there is something to thinking positive thoughts, and visualizing what you want in life. With that, I totally agree. I don’t want to burst your bubble if you read the book, however, there is a big BUT in this whole concept.

The BUT is God. We can think about something all we want, BUT if it’s not God’s will for us to have it, we aren’t going to get it. Period, end of story. I can dream of winning the lottery, making a million dollars or whatever, BUT God may have other plans for me. He only gives us what we can handle and some of us may not be ready to handle a million dollars 🙂 Spend, yes, but not handle it wisely.

The book has sold millions of copies world-wide. Do you believe in God’s will? Or are you in total control of your destiny? Drop me a note – I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Until next time, stay positive and keep looking up

The Power of Attraction

So you’ve all probably heard of the best-selling book called “The Secret”, right? The premise of the book is that we can “attract” wonderful things into our lives merely by thinking about them. Thinking about them draws them to us; everything from riches, to good relationships, to good health.

Now there is something to thinking positive thoughts, and visualizing what you want in life. With that, I totally agree. I don’t want to burst your bubble if you read the book, however, there is a big BUT in this whole concept.

The BUT is God. We can think about something all we want, BUT if it’s not God’s will for us to have it, we aren’t going to get it. Period, end of story. I can dream of winning the lottery, making a million dollars or whatever, BUT God may have other plans for me. He only gives us what we can handle and some of us may not be ready to handle a million dollars 🙂 Spend, yes, but not handle it wisely.

The book has sold millions of copies world-wide. Do you believe in God’s will? Or are you in total control of your destiny? Drop me a note – I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Until next time, stay positive and keep looking up

Giving Up

As we come to the end of Lent and approach Holy Friday, I am meditating on what Jesus gave up for me and what I have given up for Him this Lenten season.

I’ve given up trying to figure things out on my own. I’ve given up worrying about people and events I cannot control. I’ve given up expecting my loved ones to behave in a certain way and trying to understand why people act the way they do. I’ve given up control and direction of my life to the Lord in all areas. I guess you would call that surrendering. Waving the white flag and saying “Lord, I give up. I give my life to you. I’ve tried doing things my way, but have failed miserably. Proverbs 21 says ” A man’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart.”

Our Lord Jesus Christ surrendered himself in the most dramatic way – He gave up His very life for us: for all our sins, past, present, and future. He didn’t have to do that. He CHOSE to do that for us, because He loves us so very much.

If Jesus can hang on a cross and give up his life for me, what can I give up for Him in this short life of mine? How I can surrender my will more to the Father’s? Isn’t that what love is all about anyway? As St. Francis puts it, “It is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.” Dying to ourselves so that others may live.

Lord, my prayer is to make me more like your Son, Jesus. Help me to surrender to you, Lord, and give me the wisdom to know your will and the courage to obey. Amen.

Have a blessed Holy Week.

Giving Up

As we come to the end of Lent and approach Holy Friday, I am meditating on what Jesus gave up for me and what I have given up for Him this Lenten season.

I’ve given up trying to figure things out on my own. I’ve given up worrying about people and events I cannot control. I’ve given up expecting my loved ones to behave in a certain way and trying to understand why people act the way they do. I’ve given up control and direction of my life to the Lord in all areas. I guess you would call that surrendering. Waving the white flag and saying “Lord, I give up. I give my life to you. I’ve tried doing things my way, but have failed miserably. Proverbs 21 says ” A man’s ways seem right to him, but the Lord weighs the heart.”

Our Lord Jesus Christ surrendered himself in the most dramatic way – He gave up His very life for us: for all our sins, past, present, and future. He didn’t have to do that. He CHOSE to do that for us, because He loves us so very much.

If Jesus can hang on a cross and give up his life for me, what can I give up for Him in this short life of mine? How I can surrender my will more to the Father’s? Isn’t that what love is all about anyway? As St. Francis puts it, “It is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.” Dying to ourselves so that others may live.

Lord, my prayer is to make me more like your Son, Jesus. Help me to surrender to you, Lord, and give me the wisdom to know your will and the courage to obey. Amen.

Have a blessed Holy Week.