When we walk with knowledge in our present from the lessons learned from our past, we are walking toward a brighter future. EL
Thursday’s Trench Truth
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And He said to them, with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you, and to those who hear, more will be given! Mark 4:24
Have you ever heard the saying, “What you put into it is what you will get out of it”? That’s what I think of when I read this verse and really hear what it is saying. Another way to say it or ask it is, “do you get what you give?” Welcome to Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Wednesday’s Word with Trench Classes United. Come on in for a true story of applying this principle of spiritual math!
Come with me into the moment where someone is sharing how they lost their job.
“So what happened?” I asked. As she explained how she had been taking longer breaks than allowed, driving around in the company vehicle taking care of her own stuff, of course after she had completed her work, and how they had finally called her in and put a GPS tracking report in front of her that had showed her daily habits, I sat quietly and nodded to show I was listening and not condemning. What she said next rendered me hopeful: “Basically I was stealing from the company, taking advantage of them.”
I nodded my head in agreement, “Yes, and if you are able to see that, well, then that’s a lesson learned to take with you to the next job.” We then began to talk about the job search and how that was going. She had just had a really good interview that day for a vacation homes sales position and was feeling pretty good about it at least I thought she was until she said what she said next: “I guess I’m not good enough for the job I really wanted.”
My mouth dropped. “What do you mean?” She went on to explain to me that she had interviewed for a position with Apple, and how much she really wanted that job but apparently she hadn’t interviewed good enough.
“Why do you believe you aren’t good enough for that job or that you didn’t interview good enough?”
“Well, they didn’t call me back.”
“Oh, I see. So you believe that because you didn’t get a call back that you interviewed poorly or you weren’t good enough…”
I let that dangle in the air for a long silent minute. Then I continued. “Could it be that you interviewed just fine but that He is saying not right now?”
She looked at me perplexed. “What do you mean?”
Well, it sounds like a great job and an impressive job; however, how can He bless you with an even greater job than the one you just lost? Could it be you need to learn to take care of what He gives you so He can give you more?”
“And, no, He’s not punishing you, my friend; just giving you the same measure you gave.”
I went on to explain this principle that applies in so many areas of our lives. I’ve seen it over and over again. If you dream of owning a home, you have to take care of what you rent. If you want/need a nicer car, take care of the one you have. If you want to make more money, you need to use what you have wisely. If you keep running out of time, give Him the first minutes of your day!
But let’s talk about something of an eternal vale: What about how much we feed or invest into our faith, our relationship with Him? The more we invest in Him to be with Him and to be like Him, the more understanding, wisdom, knowledge He will bestow upon us, which ultimately will produce fruit: love, joy, gentleness, patience, kindness, goodness, and self-control. These things have eternal value!
I remember when I sold Princess House Crystal years ago and I longed for national awards, or I wanted to earn a trip, or this prize, or that prize, and I did what it took to earn/win what I wanted. When I came back to Christ, and really surrendered my life, I remember thinking, I want that same fervor I invested into sales to be invested into knowing Him, in each and every area of my life that with that measure I invest, it will be measured back to me!
What about you? What measure of time are you investing into the things of God to be with Him, to be like Him? With the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you!
Oh, that your cup would measure full and overflowing!
I didn't inherit a green thumb. I wish I had. I've even tried to force the issue…with little success! Welcome to Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Monday’s Mantra with Trench Classes United.
I have a few indoor plants that require little upkeep and I've managed to keep those alive. A favorite of mine is the ficus tree which I've had for years. The other day I noticed that one side of the tree had grown larger and fuller than the other. A moment later I realized that part of the tree reaches towards the window. I turned the tree around so the other side faces the light.
This small, seemingly insignificant act made me think: What parts of me have grown by exposure to Light, and which parts are still in the dark?
I read a quote the other day, the gist of which was, if you are lucky, being a parent will help you become the person you are meant to be. I would add that you must allow it to, but otherwise I agree. The same is true in marriage or intimate relationships. As I've grown older, and a tiny bit wiser, I've seen the truth of this in action. Being a mother has shown me many of my weaker spots, areas in which I'd like to grow. The same is true in my significant relationships. Truthfully, I've been humbled on many occasions.
What's your first instinct when faced with a truth about yourself? If it's good, it's easier to accept, isn't it? How about if it's bad? I go into defense mode, with some righteous indignation thrown in. If I'm honest though, that defensiveness is because I know the struggle I have. I don't want to admit it. Like my plant, that side of me is in the dark. It can't grow.
For instance, my anger, I've had it all my life. It was my go-to emotion. A relationship of mine shone light into this particular area of my life, and I had to acknowledge the damage it causes. Humble pie is hard to swallow. I have since begun to understand that God used this to shine His Light into my heart. I can honestly say, through the work He is doing in me, anger no longer has the same control over me. I get angry, yes. Anger is a secondary emotion, covering up fear, sadness and anxiety. Now I access the feelings underneath much faster than I used to be able to.
If I choose to turn towards the Light, I will grow. If I choose to hold my brokenness close and keep it in the dark, I will be stunted.
"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life." John 8:12
Until next week, be blessed,
Leaning into Him in the hard times helps us to love on Him in the easy times. EL
Faith is clinging to Him in the circumstances that only He could bring us through! EL
Have you ever found yourself in one of the stories of the Bible? Thanks for joining me for Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Faith-Filled Fridays with Trench Classes United.
I am still studying the book of Esther, and learning from the circumstances of Esther and Mordecai, both Jews. They had prayed and fasted for three days from ALL things. Esther 4:16
Esther was about to go before the king to plead for her people and herself, a terrifying circumstance because anyone who went before the king without being summoned by him would be killed. Let’s stop there for a moment.
Why does God allow terrifying circumstances into our lives? Well, each circumstance, grand or small, is meant to draw us to Jesus, to His Word, and to our knees. Through each circumstance God is building us into stronger warriors for Him. He is equipping us through these times to get better at recognizing and fighting the lies of the enemy. He is placing specific verses deep within our hearts to be ready to stand and fight the lies of the beast. He is, each time, reminding us and the enemy who is on the throne.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes, I say, “Lord, why another circumstance? I can’t take another one right now.” And, I am right I can’t on my own take another circumstance. The Lord reminds me of His perfect word and I am filled with hope.
Joshua 1:9 New Living Translation (NLT)
9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
I forget during my difficult circumstances, that there have been seasons of peace, and during those seasons, I love to bask in life moving smoothly without hiccups. However, without a mess, a hiccup, a conflict, or finances dwindling, I don’t lean so deeply into my Savior. I do love on Him during my season of peace, but I don’t lean as deeply into Him for my needs. Why, because they have been being met. He doesn’t want me to forget Him.
He is ever so jealous for time with us, and doesn’t want us to lose all that he has taught us to fight the enemy.
God wants to make warriors out of us! We can only become warriors for Christ by being ever so needy for Him, His strength, Word, and guidance. I will praise Him through the storm, the unknown, and the why’s, because I know He has a perfect purpose and plan for my life. He wants nothing but to bless and love on us.
Would we truly see and experience His love if we didn’t have circumstances that only He could bring us through?
Thank you Jesus for the storms, the trudge of mud I am working through, the unknowns, and why’s, and thank you, Lord, for holding and counseling me through each circumstance.
In a world of Google, Siri, Alexa, GPS and any other techno guide, how is it we still can get so lost? Thanks for joining Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Wednesday’s Word with Trench Classes United.
A mission statement gives a business, a ministry a purpose, a direction to head and hopefully a destination to reach. Our Board of Directors has been meeting for several months now to refine and align our organization’s mission statement. That got me thinking about my personal mission statement and what our worlds would look like if we each had a personal mission statement as believers and followers of our Loving Father.
If it is developed and created with the same three principles followed for a business, a non-profit organization, including a ministry like ours, it would include what you or I wish to focus on, what we wish to accomplish and what we’d like to achieve or become as a result of that focus.
A personal mission statement reveals where our energy is focused, helps determine our actions, our choices and behaviors. In other words, our personal mission statement reveals a lot about what is most important to us.
Wouldn’t it be fun to begin reading His promises and principles in search of your own personal mission statement? What is it that you would like to achieve in this life to prepare you for the next? What is nearest and dearest to your heart?
I’ll share one of mine with you and by all means, in the Christian economy, I wouldn’t be the least bit offended if you adopted it as your own! After all, these words are directly from Christ Himself, for me and for you!
Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven”!
And might I add that you won’t always receive a “like” or a “share” or a “re-tweet”! But that’s okay because He sees it and likes it and multiplies it!
On a mission,
Happy Monday! Welcome to a new week and thank you for being here this morning for Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Monday’s Mantra with Trench Classes United.
One of my favorite things to do is drive around towns or neighborhoods, looking at buildings, houses, and yards. I like to see the unique designs and sometimes I get ideas for my house or yard. There is a building in downtown Redlands that I always admire. It's Spanish style, with a beautiful paint job and a beautifully manicured yard. The other day I happened to have an appointment in that building. I arrived early so I walked around the outside a few times to get a little exercise and see the building up close and personal.
I was a bit surprised, to say the least. Have you ever noticed how getting close gives you a different perspective? As I walked around this beautiful building, I noticed something. There were areas where the paint was chipping away. There was garbage strewn in some of the bushes, and there was a not so nice smell about the place.
Isn't it easy to judge by appearances? To judge ourselves, or others, by what we look like. Last week I wrote about shells. A shell is just what we see on the outside. In 1 Samuel 16:7 God says, "The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
I used to worry about my physical appearance a lot more than I do now. Perhaps it's age. Maybe it's that my shell is cracked and God is working on what's inside. Personally, I hope that is what it is! Some days I feel like that building...my paint is peeling; there's garbage everywhere and the smell is less than pleasant. Maybe someone has pointed out a fault or two, or I regret words that flew out of my mouth...yes, life has a way of chipping away at my reserves.
This is when I know that I have to head to the feet of Jesus. I need my time with Him so He can remind me who I am. He loves me, shattered shell and all. He gently restores.
"He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name's sake." Psalm 23:3. I’m so thankful for His presence, His principles and His promises that refresh me, the very depths of my soul!
Until next week, be blessed,
Faith Filled Friday
Happy Friday! Today I want to talk about the dangers of trying to please others, and the harm it can do to us. Thanks for joining me for Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Faith-Filled Friday with Trench Classes United.
I feel the Lord’s whisper: “Why are you worried my beloved over such a trivial thing?” I was worrying, yet, I didn’t realize where this worry was truly stemming from. As I sat in prayer, the Lord revealed the answer to me and I’d like to share with you what He gave me in my time with Him.
Pleasing God surpasses pleasing people.
1 Thessalonians 2:4 New Living Translation (NLT)
“For we speak as messengers approved by God to be entrusted with the Good News. Our purpose is to please God, not people. He alone examines the motives of our hearts.”
The need to be accepted and liked is too grand in my mind. After reading this, here’s what I wondered: What does it mean eternally and temporally? Why do I need to feel accepted, liked, and or wanted by others? Why is the need so grand in me? I am God’s beloved and He cherishes me and loves me infinitely. He will never leave me or forsake. My Lord is enough!
However, I get caught up in the questions like: Am I good enough? Was what I said enough or right? It’s exhausting, questioning my every move! I’m learning that I can’t sacrifice my very being to be accepted or liked. What does it matter? It doesn’t! When I have sought the Holy Spirit’s guidance, His words, and I’ve done all that He has asked of me, everything else is to be left in His hands. For in mine, nothing but chaos takes place, disconnecting me and filling me with an anxiety that leaves me lost.
Philippians 4:6-7 New King James Version (NKJV)
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Do you find yourself trying to please others, in your head about your words and deeds? If so, meditate on these loving instructions from our God for the have brought me great encouragement and I trust that they will encourage you too. Don’t let Satan lie to you or cause you to think of less of yourself because of someone. You are cherished and loved by God. He is jealous for you and longs for time with you. Put your energy and focus on Him and He will bring the right people into your life and help you let go of the ones who aren’t.
I may use Facebook a little too much but I swear I find the most thought-provoking posts and memoirs. The one that stood out to me this week was, "You can't use an egg unless it's broken."
Welcome to Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Monday’s Mantra with Trench Classes United.
The post went on to say how perhaps we are best used by God after we are broken. I posted this on my own wall and some of the comments were thought-provoking.
It made me think of an experiment as a kid. Hold an egg in the palm of your hand and try to crack it…apparently this is very hard to do. I Googled this to read more about it, and I guess this has been tried a lot! One of the experimenters concluded that if you hold an egg in an upright position, it is impossible to crack.
A shell is made for protection. Eggshells protect life growing inside. Seashells protect the animal inside from harm, which is necessary, right? At some point though, the life inside the shell has to break out to completely fulfill its purpose. If that does not happen, it equals death.
We tend to build shells around our lives and our hearts. Perhaps there are wounds so deep we want to encase them so as not to remember the pain. Maybe routine and rigidity keep us in familiarity. Staying inside the shell, our own little world, feels safe and comfortable. I am here to tell you, you cannot grow that way.
I tend to fear 'cracking.' I don't want to be pushed out of perceived safety. At times, life does this to us just by its nature. Other times, choices we make cause breaks in the shell. I don't believe God causes harm to come to us…but I do believe when it does, He uses it to help us and those we come in contact with. Yes, we have to allow Him to do that. How better to allow Him than to first admit we're broken? It's okay to be shattered. Let's stop trying to hold the shell in place, or piece it back together.
May I challenge you to let the pieces of YOUR shell fall away; continue to allow growth in and let your growth be an encouragement to others. God has a plan!!!
Faith Filled Friday
I come to you this Friday, with a heart of praise. Today, I want to just give thanks for all God has done and is doing in my life. Day after day there is a new hurdle to jump over, a new stress, anxiety, and exhaustion. The list can go on and on. Thanks for joining me for Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Faith-Filled Friday with Trench Classes United.
I want to stop today, and not so much look at the list of chaos that is constant among us, but give thanks for our Mighty God who brings up and over every hurtle that come across our path.
I am so thankful that when we pray, God bends down and listens and He doesn’t just listen but He guides, shields, and protects us…from the enemy and from ourselves. We are so weak, but He is so strong, and He is able and happy to carry us through our days, and /or weeks and months. He never tires of carrying us through our messes.
Psalm 55:22 New King James Version (NKJV)
22 Cast your burden on the Lord,
And He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.
I give Him thanks during my time of waiting on prayers to be answered, and as I praise Him I am thankful for Him going before me and working out all the details that I can’t even begin to comprehend. There are times when we might think He is slow to answer us, but I am learning over and over again that we just can’t see as He does; therefore, we must wait with great expectations. This is to trust that He has our very best in mind and wants the very best for us always. God knows what’s the very best for us, so we must keep our eyes fixed on Gods will and not our own!
Jeremiah 29:11 New King James Version (NKJV)
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Oh beloveds, give Him all your praise! Lift up His name in Praise and count your blessings one by one. Oh, the joy and peace that will come over you is indescribable. He loves to spend time with us, He longs for us to sit at His feet and soak in His glory. Our victory and honor come from God alone, not from others! Thank Him for that today! Thank Him for all He has done and for all He is going to do for you! He loves us with an everlasting love, a love that no one can ever give us here on this earth. Praise Him today with me!
What you do to be heard & understood determines how well you will be heard and understood. EL
Have you ever felt misunderstood by friends you deemed close? What do you do to right the wrong? Do you write them off or work through it? Learning to communicate through misunderstandings can be difficult at best. Join us tonight at 5:45 for a little friendship test to determine your strength of friendships at www.facebook.com/trenchclassesunited and plan on joining us for a life-changing relationship workshop with best-selling authors, Milan & Kay Yerkovich (authors of How we Love) THIS Saturday from 9-3. Tickets are still available.
Looking forward to seeing you on F.B. live tonight at 5:45
See you there
P.S. Don’t forget to join me tonight on Facebook Live at 5:45 @ www.facebook.com/trenchclassesunited