Category: Blog

Thumbnail HeadshotBy Ginger Biggs-Harrington

When my mother was diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer, I was thousands of miles away, living in Japan. I struggled with why God allowed such a devastating diagnosis to come three weeks after my Marine husband left for a six-month deployment. Why this? Why now? When I’m so far away?

We all face challenges that make us feel alone, to wonder how we will make it through the wilderness of hardship. Fear can tempt us to forget God’s love and care.

We are not alone.

“The LORD your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked until you came to this place’” (Deuteronomy 1:30-31).

What a clear picture of the love of God.  Embedded in these words are principles of God’s love in the trials and transitions we wander through:

  • God goes before us—we are not alone.
  • When we are following God, He will fight on our behalf.
  • When we find ourselves in the wilderness (difficulties and confusion) on our way, God will bring us through with loving care.
  • There are times when God carries us, just as a father carries his child.
  • God seeks out a place for us.
  • God will show us the way we should go.

Grab hold of this truth and don’t let go.

But for all this.

“But for all this, you did not trust the LORD your God, who goes before you on your way, to seek out a place for you to encamp, in fire by night and cloud by day, to show you the way in which you should go” (Deuteronomy 1:32-33).

I am haunted by Moses’ words, “But for all this, you did not trust the LORD your God…”

  • On those days when I forget God’s love is real…
  • On those days when I struggle with negative thinking or a fearful outlook…
  • On those days when I think I am staring a giant in the face…

I forget God has been good and faithful in every hard thing.

Don’t let insecurity overwhelm you.

So often in scripture these same concepts and patterns play out in our lives. The details of the situation may change, but the principle resonates through time, out of the pages of ancient writings and into the details of our challenge.

When we face difficulty we can choose to trust God and move forward, believing He loves us and will help us.

Do you need to pray?

If you face a situation where your emotions and doubts are getting the best of you, join me in this prayer:

Lord, forgive me that I have been discontent and fearful about_________. Change my perspective so that I can move forward and enter into what you have for me. I ask you to give me this place, to make it my own and to possess what you have for me here.

I speak your word to myself: do not fear. You are going before me and you will fight on my behalf. I believe you will help me through this challenge as a father carries his son.

Thank you for fighting on my behalf.  I trust you to show me the way I should go.  Guide my choices and decisions—may they be prompted by faith rather than fear.  I will not let my emotions hold me back.

 Don’t let me be rebellious and unwilling in my heart, and prevent me from trying to fight the battles on my own, working out what I think needs to be done–putting myself where I think I should be.

Lord, I want what you want.

I will go where you lead.

In Jesus’ name, amen

 

 

Ginger encourages women to fully live God’s word and writes for GingerHarrington.com, and Planting Roots, as well as guest posting at  Guideposts and (in)courage. She is a speaker and Social Media Coordinator for Planting Roots: Strength toThrive in Military Life. . She’d love to connect with you on her blog, Facebook, or Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

headshotBy Christian Bonner

September 28th of this year will mark the fourth anniversary of my Grandma’s passing. As you can imagine, my thoughts have been filled with memories of her, mostly sweet. I don’t know, maybe we clashed in personality, but some are painful and have left wounds that I am unsure will be healed on this side of heaven. But the good I remember, it is oh, so good! I think at times she was a hard woman because she had to be. She had a lot to manage as one woman. She not only raised eight children but aided in raising a few of her grandchildren, myself included.

As the memories of her life and her last days flood my mind, the words “purpose” and “moving forward” keep popping up. (more…)

kori pic 3By Kori Yates

Great ideas can be tiring, but God-ideas are inspiring.

I am learning. Gradually.

I love to volunteer, jump in, help out, run the show. However you want to put it, I’m in. I joke periodically that God gave me my sweet husband to hold my hand down. While not altogether true and knowing he is far more of a blessing than that, I do know that he helps keep me in check and remind me of my priorities before I drive us all crazy.

God calls us to many things in our lifetime. Whether acts of service to others or stewardship of resources, not a day goes by when He does not speak to our hearts about something. But there is a drastic difference between the “business of God” and the “busyness of God.” (more…)

Deb Blue 5x7 tighter cropBy Dr. Deb Waterbury

Being married is hard.  Being a mother is hard.  Being in any relationship for any length of time with any person is hard.

I mean, let’s face it: We all live this life through a lens focused on self, and self often doesn’t like it when self is being mistreated.

Truly this isn’t news to any of us who have lived in adulthood for more than a few years, but what can be news to some of us is that this “self lens” is a lie, and it is the source for more of our life-spun angst than we are many times willing to admit. (more…)

FullSizeRender (1)By Raena Isaacson

You could feel the tension in the air while the eleven-year-old girl stood timidly, at the edge of the high dive, reluctant to take the plunge…

As the she stood there contemplating what to do, I could only imagine the fear and self-doubt that was racing through her mind. Even though parents and swim teammates were rooting for her and encouraging her to “JUMP,” she just couldn’t muster enough courage of her own to jump. (more…)

Laurel photoBy Laurel Strasshofer

Hide me in the shadow of Your wings from the wicked who despoil me, my deadly enemies who surround me. They have closed their unfeeling heart, with their mouth they speak proudly.” (Ps 17:8b-10)

If you are like me, when you are crying out to God to rescue you from your current circumstances, especially from the wounding of a brother or sister in Christ, you tend to shy away from praying such prayers as David did. Surely, such calls to God for safety, protection, vindication and rescue are only meant to be asked when those who don’t know Him are the source of our wounding or troubles! It would be wrong to ask Him for such deliverance from the hands of fellow believers, right?

I was pondering over this a short while ago – and feeling guilty for making the cry of the Psalmist my own prayer – when it occurred to me David’s own call to God for rescue from his “deadly enemies” had to do with his flight from Saul.  Saul – who once considered David his confident and friend.  Saul – appointed of God to be king of Israel. Saul – a God-follower. A God-follower who unwittingly fell into fear and pride and as a result became David’s accidental enemy.

…though I am God’s child, I can become an accidental enemy of those I lead…

This made me wonder, “Have I ever, through my own actions, become an accidental enemy of those I lead?”  How many times, when thinking I was doing right by my team, had I actually inadvertently “closed my heart” and been a source of wounding to them? This caused me serious introspection as I considered the consequences of unintended harsh leadership that can come from blinding pride.

It is sobering to know that though I am God’s child, I can become an accidental enemy of those I lead by:

  • Responding to people based on perceptions instead of reality (assuming instead of asking)
  • Expecting the worst of someone (starting with distrust instead of trust)
  • Speaking negatively (gossiping about or criticizing instead of speaking well of those we lead)
  • Behaving with indifference (being aloof; treating people like things [or a means to an end] instead of valued contributors with hopes, dreams, hurts and joys of their own)
  • Self-promoting (taking credit for the work of others instead of recognizing and elevating them)
  • Blaming (pointing fingers instead of accepting responsibility)
  • Minimizing efforts (demoralizing with words like, “How hard can that be?” or, “What does she do all day, anyhow?” This could also be done by frequently changing plans without consideration for the work your team has already invested in the process.)
  • Letting ego rule (responding out of fear someone might outshine or know more than us instead of ceding to his expertise and encouraging his growth)
  • Holding onto offenses (bringing up the offense or continuing to use it as an excuse for distrust long after the incident is past instead of offering restoration)

So, what can we do to try to avoid becoming the source of someone’s cry to God for rescue and relief?

Perhaps we could follow David’s cue. Because he was keenly aware of the deceitfulness of pride and that he may have his own blind spots, he regularly gave God permission to expose those things in him. It was not uncommon for him to make his prayer, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.” (Ps 139: 23 & 24)

I am making this my prayer today, too.  May I lead with love. Always.