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God is Teaching Me About… Who has Control?

From giving Him my all to giving up control, join me this week as I share some things God has been teaching me lately.

 

Who has Control?

Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me. Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.”
Isaiah 46:9-10, NLT

Pilgrimage_FRIDAY-300x252One of the battles I face as I try to live in relationship with Jesus is the concept of control. As much as I want to depend on Jesus, the illusion that I’m in control sneaks back into my life. I live like the responsibility lies on my shoulders. What if I make the wrong decision? What if I go the wrong direction? What if I step outside of God’s will?

It’s exhausting to believe it’s all up to me. And it puts me in the center—instead of God.

One of my favorite devotional books is My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. Chambers doesn’t mince words, and his words often challenge my comfortable, Christian life. Chambers points out that God is in control of everything, and we must develop an attitude of trust and rest.

“Nothing happens in any particular unless God’s will is behind it, therefore you can rest in perfect confidence in Him.” –Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”
Proverbs 16:9, NIV 

It’s difficult for me to remove myself from the equation and “rest in perfect confidence” in Jesus. I want to believe that God is in control—even when I make mistakes. I must believe He is sovereign, regardless of my missteps. Otherwise, I make God too small.

God is the One in control. I can run around each day with a fretting and anxious heart trying to make the right decisions, or I can choose to rest in the confidence Scripture gives me.

He is faithful. He is big enough to redeem all things. He is worthy of my trust.

It’s about Him, not me. And even when I fail to trust Him, His sovereign plan is never in question.

Father, keep teaching us about You. Remind us that we are safe in Your capable hands. You are sovereign.

Humbly learning these lessons,

Allison

WHEN LIFE IS HARD…COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!

 
Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.
Psalm 100 (NKJV)
 

GIVING THANKS FOR THE BLESSING OF FAMILY

 

woman-on-phone-300x200The telephone rang. “Hello,” I answered. My daughter–in-law Leigh was on the other end of the call. “Nana, are you busy?” She always asks that question when she calls. Of course, I rarely answer her with the truth … I’m always busy. But, not too busy to talk to my girls. Girls. It took 25 years before a girl joined this testosterone, male dominated family of ours; 31 years to have a female born into it—our first granddaughter, Natalie.

But I digress…”Nana, are you busy on October 18th and 19th?” Leigh inquired. My thoughts ran wild as I tried to envision my calendar. “Whatever it is, I need to clear it,” I thought, “because I bet I’m about to be invited to keep my grandsons while Mom and Dad take an overnighter.”

Because of mission trips, writing deadlines and ministry business, I hadn’t been able to spend much time with the grandchildren for a couple of months. Lonely for them, I was afraid they were feeling like second fiddle—neglected for The Cause. That concern always brings conviction to my heart—that I’d let ministry duties get out of balance.

Mothers and Grandmothers do that sometimes. We get busy with Important Stuff. Good Stuff. Jobs, church work, ministry, volunteer causes, hobbies, walk-a-thons—whatever.  Before you know it, we’re over-committed. And tired. And cranky. And forgetful. And if we don’t stop the process, our family relationships will suffer.

Family. After our relationship with God, it’s our first priority. It’s our most important blessing. God meant family to be the foundation of our lives on earth, not a sideline thought. He created family to be the foundation—the glue of society. When we cease to put Him and Them first, our whole lives get out of whack.

So, I listened closely to Leigh to see if my suspicions were correct. Was I going to get an invitation to lay down my responsibilities in ministry to serve my family and fellowship with my precious grandsons, Asher and Mason? Ah, but wait! Serving our family and fellowshipping with them IS ministry! Our most important one!

Leigh’s voice came through the phone once more. “Can the boys stay with you that Wednesday and Thursday? Brady and I have to go out of town for his job …”

“Yes! Now, what will we do those days?” I thought.

Join us tomorrow as the planning, and the joy … begins!

Until tomorrow,

Your Traveling Companion,

Brenda

WHEN LIFE IS HARD…COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!: GIVING THANKS FOR MATERIAL BLESSINGS

 
Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.
Psalm 100 (NKJV)

GIVING THANKS FOR MATERIAL BLESSINGS

SHOWER_HEAD-e1414453757107The warm water cascaded over my head, seemingly washing away weeks of stress and fatigue. I could feel the muscles in my back and shoulders melt against the strain of three weeks and 16,000 miles of travel.

“Ahhh, this feels good,” I thought. And then it hit me. The simple blessing of hot water. Of the soothing comfort of it beating down on my shoulders, feeling warm and clean. So normal in our culture. I looked around my bathroom. There were four water faucets within eyesight. One simple turn of the handle and warm clean water would gush through each one of them. Wow. What a luxury. In American culture at least.

Having just returned from a small town in Brazil on a mission trip, I’d learned how to appreciate a little thing like hot water. While there, I’d found myself in need of some modern conveniences for which I am accustomed. Hummm … could it be that I am just spoiled rotten and in need of a little “thanks” giving?

I remembered being in one village—in a very simple cottage—with running water. Cold water. Sometimes. The weather was hot and sticky, with dirt roads and puffy clouds of dust. I remembered the times the water shut down, and we’d go to night services without a shower … or to bed without one. Or had to pour water from a bucket to flush the toilet. I remembered we couldn’t drink the water even when it was running.

Standing there with the hot water beating upon my shoulders, I thanked God for clean water that you can even drink, and paved roads and clean air. And I thanked Him for America where opportunity abounds … even in these harder times for which we are unaccustomed.

And I thanked Him for the opportunity to travel to that simple village with the sporadic water supply and puffy clouds of dust. Because it is in that place that I am reminded of my blessings at home, and the blessing of sharing Hope in this new land. It is because of the blessings we have in this country that I am able to travel and share blessings in theirs.

I am also reminded that even the great blessing of warm, clean water, and paved roads, does not offer peace in my soul. Only Jesus offers that. And we can take that blessing with us no matter where we travel, or whereever we live-—or no matter what we have or don’t have. Peace of the soul is an intangible gift, that when given by God, no one can take away.

So, today, I’d like to offer you that peace. It’ll be the best decision you’ll ever make, and you’ll never regret it!

http://www.zookeepersministries.com/getting-to-know-christ/

Until tomorrow,

Your Traveling Partner,

Brenda