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Failure? – Words Worth Remembering Week #10

Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.
                                                                                          Isaiah 43:18-19

What does it take to be labeled a failure?

I have given this considerable thought due to circumstances in my life lately.

The conclusions I have drawn are these:

1. No one can declare us a failure except ourselves.

2. We are not failures until we refuse to keep trying.

no failure

Thomas Edison is remembered for his many inventions that enhanced the lives of many, including us today. But no matter what the invention was he saw numerous failures before he saw success.  With each failure he kept going.

“If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is another step forward”.
Thomas A. Edison, Encyclopaedia Britannica

There are any number of inspirations for not giving up if we look for them.

Colonel Harland Sanders – started the first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise at age 65.

Grandma Moses – began painting at 76, after arthritis forced her to give up embroidery. She continued painting until 101.

Julia Child – became a chef after many years as a secret intelligence officer. She was 49 when her first book was published, 51 when her TV program “The French Chef” first aired.

Ray Kroc – went from being a salesman to opening the first McDonald’s at age 52.

Sister Marion Irvine – started running at age 47, when she was overweight and smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day. Went on to qualify for the Olympic marathon trials at age 54.

Laura Ingalls Wilder – published the first book in the “Little House on the Prairie” series at 65.


The list could go on & on but the point is that none of these people allowed the lack of worldly success to keep them down. They put their failures behind them, but didn’t forget what they had learned from them. Then they looked ahead to see what might be ahead.

One of the biggest challenges I have had in my adult life is with a healthy lifestyle. As a child I was very active and was skinny as a stick. But as I became less active and made poor food choices I put on pounds and found it a much bigger challenge to take them off. Lately as I consistently miss work-outs and eat sugar-filled treats I begin to doubt that I will ever win the war with weight.

This week’s verse is a reminder of what God’s desire is for us in regards to our past. He tells us to put it behind us, not dwell on it and look ahead to the new work He is doing in us. Even when it seems we are walking in the wilderness of being alone, of disobedience or discouragement when we look closely we will see good things springing up.

This gives me hope!!

God’s desires for us are always for good, never desiring for us consider that we are failures. But we have free wills and minds that can think whatever we choose. If we choose to dwell on the past or the negative that is where we will stay.

When we choose to look ahead and SEE with faith what God has planned for us we will NEVER fail.

Praise God for the new things He is doing in each of our lives!!

Blessings & Peace,

Paula

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When Less Is More

Do you ever have days when you feel -less?  

                                      morris-lessmore

HOPELESS?

FAITHLESS?

RESTLESS?

MINDLESS?

FRUITLESS?

Life can be tough to take some days and the future uncertain. You feel less than perfect, less than enough even.

On days like that it’s important to remember a few things:

  • Romans 8:24-28

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

= HOPEFUL

  • Luke 17:5-6

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.

=FAITHFUL

  • Matthew 11:28-29

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

=RESTFUL

  • Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

=MINDFUL

  • John 15:1-4

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you.No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

=FRUITFUL

When we are feeling less the key is where we turn. Turning to our own wisdom and trusting our feelings will not pull us out of our doldrums. It is when we turn to God’s word and remind ourselves of His truth that we will remember who we really are. Before long we will find ourselves with hearts and minds full of more blessings than we can count!

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Corinthians 12: 9-10

I am so thankful for God’s great gift of grace to help us when we are feeling less!

When we are less He is more!

blessings and peace to you…
Paula

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Letting Go

DSC04753

As I was reading my daily scripture this morning I saw something I never had before.

The scripture was a portion of a story I have heard for over 40 years. The story of Joseph. A few days ago he was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers and became a servant in Egypt. Yesterday he was put in jail for something he didn’t do yet he was blessed by God and given interpretations for the dreams of two other prisoners. One of the prisoners was the Pharaoh’s cupbearer who was reinstated to his post and eventually remembered Joseph when the Pharaoh had a dream that couldn’t be interpreted by his advisors. God gave the interpretation to Joseph who was then made second in command in Egypt. The dream had been about seven years where the crops would prosper and then seven years of famine. God also gave Joseph the plan for making sure Egypt would be able to survive the years of famine. (See Genesis 37-41 for the way God tells it…the non-Paula’s condensed version)

Today was one of my favorite parts of the story (Genesis 42-45):

Joseph’s brothers (yes, the ones who sold him into slavery) came to Egypt to buy grain for their families. Joseph knew who they were but they did not recognize him and he did not reveal himself to them for quite some time. When he finally did they feared that Joseph would make them pay for what they had done to him so many years before. But instead Joseph introduced them to Pharaoh who was so excited he sent them back to bring their father, their wives and children to live in Egypt.

The next part is what I had never seen before:

ready?

Do this: Take some carts from Egypt for your children and your wives, and get your father and come. Never mind about your belongings, because the best of all Egypt will be yours. Genesis 4:19-20

Did you see it?

The letting go part?

They were told to never mind about their belongings…to leave them behind…to let them go.

If they had taken the time to pack up everything they owned and tried to haul them from Canaan to Egypt it would have taken forever! And since what was waiting for them in Egypt was much finer than anything they had ever owned they wouldn’t miss what they left behind. Letting go allowed them to get to better things than they could imagine. Sure they still might have gotten there if they held on but it would have taken much longer and when they got to Egypt they probably would have found that they didn’t want/need what they held onto anyway.

Now do you see it?

All of a sudden I began to wonder what I’m holding onto that is keeping me from the best God has for me.

Attitudes? Fear? Uncertainty? Disbelief?

Wow. It makes a girl think!!

I’m going to work on this over the next few days, weeks, etc. If it makes you think too I encourage you to pray about it and I’m sure God will show each of us as we are open to Him. Then we can open our hands/hearts/minds and let go.

DSC04759

I believe that even this side of Heaven God has amazing things for us that He longs to reveal. Let’s let go & see where He takes us!!

blessings and peace to you!

Paula

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What’s The Difference?

Stories of people making a difference in the lives of others are so inspirational. They are everywhere – television shows, news stories and radio spots all about these amazing people. They tell of millionaires who give money to those in need, weight loss coaches training people to lose incredible amounts of weight and others who save lives, remodel homes for returning soldiers…so many who change lives through their actions and deeds. Every time I encounter one of these stories I am touched and motivated to go out and do the same.

But then I stop short.

I can’t make that kind of difference!

I’m not rich, I don’t have special skills to teach others about losing weight or overcoming other obstacles in their lives, and I don’t have the vacation time or the resources to travel somewhere to assist with disaster relief. I could never be like one of those people.

It can be easy to stop there, believing that since I may never be able to impact the world with my difference I am unimportant and shouldn’t even try.

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.           1 Corinthians 12:4-6

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10 NIV

We may not ever be in the news for the difference we make. But the reality is that we don’t always know the difference we are making in someone’s life when we allow God to reach through us. When we dismiss our abilities and the way the Holy Spirit can work in our lives because we don’t think they are important enough we are tying God’s hands and hindering Him from blessing people through us. Whatever gifts we are given God can and will use when we release them to Him.

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38 NIV

And for those of you who are convinced that you don’t have gifts that God can use? Let me ask you a few questions…

1. Can you pray?  Our prayers have more impact than we will ever know, at least this side of Heaven. When we offer a prayer for a friend, family member, or even a stranger we release the power of God through the Holy Spirit to work in their life. Your prayer may be the lifeline for someone who feel they have no strength to go on.

In addition to praying for family, friends and other known needs I have formed a habit of praying when I hear a siren. I don’t always know if the siren comes from a police car, fire truck or ambulance but I pray for the people who are helping, and the people being helped. Truly someone’s life may be saved because of your prayer.

2. Can you smile? I work in a medical office at the front desk. I spend most of my day answering the phone and checking in patients. It’s not the kind of job where I’m changing lives or making life-altering decisions that impact others and it is easy to slip into the attitude of thinking my role is unimportant. But that thinking would be wrong. I can smile. I can be kind to those I encounter. This is not a small thing.

Think about the difference when you go to a store, medical office, etc. and the person at the counter is crabby, just doing enough to get through the day but certainly not happy about it. Now think of the last time the person in this position smiled at you and was pleasant throughout your interaction. What kind of difference did that make in your day? We in turn can make this difference for someone else.

3. Can you write/type? The art of letter/note writing is fading fast. It is fun to get an encouraging note via “snail mail” as too often the only thing we find in the mailbox is bills. But whether you handwrite a note or use e-mail or Facebook to deliver your message, a few minutes to say, “hi” and let someone know you are thinking of and praying for them can lift their day and make a difference.

Some days we are blessed by being told of the difference we are making in our little corner of the world. But even when we aren’t told we need to trust that God is at work in us and through us when we allow Him. The ultimate reward will be when we stand before Him one day and hear:

‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!                                                                                             Matthew 25:21 NIV

blessings and peace to you as you make a difference today!

Paula