One Big Boat, Different Paddle (Part 3)

From sea to sea and shore to shore, we all are traveling life’s journey in one big boat. However, we all have our own paddle to navigate through life.

The next few weeks let’s take a look at how Jesus can help us move our paddle in life. We can’t compare ourselves to someone else. This is our own personal paddle for life.  How we use that paddle will determine our outlook. Three questions we will work through and hopefully be an encouragement are:

  1. Do you want to seek His help?
  2. Do you trust His help?
  3. Do you praise when He gives help?

 

  1. DO YOU WANT TO SEEK HIS HELP?

If you have a child or ever babysat one, you probably have heard these words, I DO MYSELF.  It’s because we feel we have the resources to do life on our own.  Sometimes, I have found myself in a pickle because I have thought, I do myself!  So much time and energy was wasted trying to fight an issue on my own.

We were made to work hard and challenge ourselves.  That is what builds character. I get that.  In my own personal experience regarding decisions of life, I first and foremost, need the Captain of the life boat to help and guide me.   Truth is, we can try and pretend He doesn’t exist, think He couldn’t be bothered, or believe He really isn’t in that much control.  Does that ring a bell?

Remember Jonah. He took off in a sprint from God’s instructions. Result:  I guess he didn’t like the Club Med retreat inside the large fish. (Jonah 1)  King David’s desire for a woman made him lose good brain cells scheming to have her husband die in battle so he could have her for himself.  Result: He then lived in guilt and shame due to his own “I do myself’ consequences. (2 Samuel 11; Psalm 32)

As we all look at our own paddle with important issues we are facing, we need to decide a very important question.  Do we want to seek God’s help? What is stopping that decision?  Past hurts? Accepting if God exists? Unanswered prayer? Wanting total life control?

Hurtful life waves can make us feel as though we are going to drown.  Our paddle feels too small or too heavy to fight. We don’t want to lose control of our life because we feel we have been doing a pretty good job ourselves. Many keep looking for someone new or something exciting that will hopefully change the course of life. Some look for their own god and make it whatever they feel will help.  Do you feel a hole in your spirit that nothing seems to fill and are you tired of saying, I do myself?

I keep remembering the verse in Philippians that says, true peace will only come from the True Caption in the Life Boat.

Then, because you belong to Christ Jesus, God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and feel. Philippians 4:7(CEV)

The Lord will always guide you and provide good things to eat when you are in the desert. He will make you healthy. You will be like a garden that has plenty of water or like a stream that never runs dry. Isaiah 58:11 (CEV)

Why not take some time this week to talk to The Captain?  Tell Him about your life, your paddle, and the waves you are encountering. He wants to partner with you.  Will you seek His help? I plan to.

Grab Your Paddle:

  • Are you tired of saying, I Do Myself? Will you seek God’s help?
  • What is one thing you are struggling with that you need to seek God’s help?
  • What past or current situation is making you question God’s help?
  • Ask God for His True Peace and His help.

YOU CAN DO THIS!

See you soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Big Boat, Different Paddle Part 2: He will Help Us Move the Paddle

Part 2: He will Help Us Move the Paddle

Last time I shared that we all are traveling this journey in one big boat. However, we all have our own paddle to navigate through life.

Sometimes are paddle is pretty sweet to maneuver. Life is good, things have fallen into place, there is a steady routine, our future is looking stable, and the waves of life are calm.

Then comes the fog horn. We have a change of pace and our paddle is struggling to keep things afloat. Its tiring, its taxing, and its trouble.

I am sure you would agree, most of us have both. Honestly, I like the first option of smooth sailing leaving the paddle beside me.

How can we keep pushing ahead to keep our life boat not only in survival mode, but with success? (hey, that’s like my blog title!! 😊)

Have you ever watched someone in the water struggling to keep their head above the surface? Maybe you have experienced that.  It’s awful isn’t it? Then someone hands them a paddle, and it is the most wonderful relief ever.

Remember the Apostle Peter? He had that experience. Jesus reached out and rescued Peter. Let’s read it again.

Come on!” Jesus said. Peter then got out of the boat and started walking on the water toward him.

 But when Peter saw how strong the wind was, he was afraid and started sinking. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Right away, Jesus reached out his hand. He helped Peter up and said, “You surely don’t have much faith. Why do you doubt?” Matthew 14: 29-31 (CEV)

Jesus still wants to do that to us today.

Christ obeyed God our Father and gave himself as a sacrifice for our sins to rescue us from this evil world. Galatians 1:4

There is only one God, and Christ Jesus is the only one who can bring us to God. Jesus was truly human, and he gave himself to rescue all of us. I Timothy 2:5

He is still in the business of rescuing and helping us today. That was His purpose in coming to earth.

Crosswalk.com had an article of quotes from Corrie Ten Boom. Anything she has said, I love to read.   This is one of her quotes,

You can never learn that Christ is all you need, until Christ is all you have.

Check out the article

https://www.crosswalk.com/slideshows/20-powerful-quotes-from-corrie-ten-boom.html

Over the next few weeks, I will continue to chat about how Jesus can help us move our paddle in life.

  1. Do you want to seek His help?
  2. Do you trust His help?
  3. Do you praise when He gives help?

This is a good check for me to see all the resources Jesus has to help me navigate on this boat called Life. Will you join me? See you soon.

Grab your Paddle:

  • List some of your “paddle” issues right now and ask Jesus for help
  • Memorize Galatians 1:4 and I Timothy 2:5
  • Remember we are all in this boat together.

YOU CAN DO THIS!

One Big Boat, Different Paddle: Part 1

I love sitting by the water and watching boats glide by. You know, life is like a boat.  We are all in one big boat in a huge body of water called LIFE.  Some times it is wavy, sometimes calm, and other times a bit of both.

The difference is we have been given our own paddle to fight and conquer life.  Sometimes I envy those that seem to have the biggest and most glorious, fancy boat with not much need to break into a sweat to use a paddle. Me, on the other hand, feels like many times I’m struggling in a rubber dingy that has just sprung a link and my paddle has floated away.  Do you feel that way sometimes?

How do we use our paddle?  Throw it overboard? Paddle as fast as you can? Put a white flag on it and give up? Or take long, strong strides to balance and stabilize the situation?  I’ve done all of these.  Honestly, more times than not, I start off frantically flinging my paddle anyway I can thinking as kids say, I DO MYSELF.

We are unique and have all been handed life differently while in this earthen vessel called a boat. It is easy to judge someone else and think how they should be using their paddle.  It is another thing to decide how to float our boat with the paddle we have been given.

Many times, we need to be rescued.  Being in this boat can be tough. There is illness, someone is unkind, injustice is winning, or we are constantly fighting financial hardships which never seem to let up. As a single parent, there were so many situations that made it hard to even put the paddle in the water to move ahead. The struggle and pain is real.

That is when we need to realize:

  1. Jesus is IN our life boat.
  2. He will help us move the paddle.

 

  1. Jesus Is IN Our Life Boat

Life is never neat and tidy. There are waves, winds, and storms. The disciples experienced that while on a trip across the Sea.  Check out Mark 4: 35-41. The storm came but Jesus was there in their boat in the storm.

The struggles will be there for sure.  However, the greater struggle is not reaching out to the only One who can stabilize our life boat. It’s like Peter when he knew Jesus could rescue him yet he choose to take his eyes off Him…that’s when he lost sight and trouble began.

 Come on!” Jesus said. Peter then got out of the boat and started walking on the water toward him.

 But when Peter saw how strong the wind was, he was afraid and started sinking. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Right away, Jesus reached out his hand. He helped Peter up and said, “You surely don’t have much faith. Why do you doubt?” Matthew 14: 29-31 (CEV)

As humans, we naturally do this so well. It is easy to lose sight and start to sink. We suddenly have forgotten everything we know, let alone how to use our paddle.

Our first step is to realize that while in this life boat, we have Jesus with us.  He wants to help us and engage in our journey with the unique paddle that has been handed us. Jesus’ life wasn’t easy, so why should we think ours will be?  We may think He doesn’t care and that He isn’t there.  Again, human thinking can overrule.

Being able to take the time to process the fact that Jesus is right IN our boat is paramount to peace. He lived life on earth, He understands the waves and winds that toss our life boat around.

This is our challenge…do we understand He has been and will always be with us?  For those who wonder how Jesus can be in your Life Boat check the link at the bottom.  For those who have a relationship with the One who sits in your boat, take time to re-focus on Him so you can begin to push your paddle through the waters. Like in Peter’s situation, He is reaching His hand out to you.

I have rescued you.  I have called you by name; now you belong to me.  When you cross deep rivers, I will be with you, and you won’t drown.  Isaiah 43:1b-2a

Next time: Part 2: He will help us move our paddle.

OPEN YOUR TOOL BOX:

  • Read the story in Mark 4.
  • Take some time to focus on your life boat and paddle.
  • Do you have Jesus as One who sits in the life boat of yours?
  • Memorize Isaiah 43:1b-2a
  • As you face life this week, reach out to the One in your life boat who wants to help you. He is reaching out.

YOU CAN DO THIS!

https://www.allaboutgod.com/prayer-of-salvation.htm

 

 

 

Hello There Earth!

We just celebrated Earth Day. It’s a pretty amazing place, isn’t it!  For me personally, it has given me years of pleasure by enjoying the time outside, doing some travel, and just watching the garden grown.

God created it, And God saw that it was good. (Gen 1:9)

I am thankful to God for such a beautiful ‘piece of property’ He has given us to enjoy.

It’s hard when parks are closed, playgrounds have yellow tape around them, and our favourite camp grounds will not be opening anytime soon. But one day, gates will open, tape will be cut off, and we can hear the crackle of the campfires once again.

God continues to spin the world while we wait through COVID-19.  He made it so we can enjoy its beauty and make memories on it. That has always been His pleasure.

For some, you have a back yard. Others live in an apartment building and maybe the balcony doesn’t offer much space.  My daughter, who lives in a large city, has a balcony but the pigeons have taken over.  (Yep, sure miss my kids) So, what can you do with the stay home, stay safe rule?

It will need some creative juices to flow as the weeks continue.

I use to have picnics with my girls during the cold winter weather in our basement. Why not do it now? Pack a picnic lunch, put some plants around your area, dress in some summer wear, throw down a blanket and enjoy your imaginary beautiful picnic area.

Put a beautiful scene on your screen and pretend you are right there. I was at this waterfall last summer and even though I can’t visit it, I can enjoy the beauty of it still and almost hear the sound of the water cascading over the Falls.

I enjoy watching nature shows where I can feel I am right there exploring alongside the camera people. My four walls suddenly become bigger. This is the time when we can especially escape to their part of the world.

I typed in nature crafts on www.pinterest.com. I am always amazed of such fun things to do.

Just getting in the car and driving somewhere for a few minutes can help re-set the mind frame. It is hard to stay cooped up, but taking a drive to see some spring scenery can help bring a breath of fresh air.  Grab some snacks, put on some tunes, and enjoy the spring scenery out the car window.

I know this is hard and you may want to pack it all in and forget social distancing.  Enough is enough, right? Sorry, we need to stick with it for a while longer. ☹ Let’s try and stay diligent and put on our creative hats.

So, for a time, enjoy our Earth and what it offers in a different way right now.  One day we will be connecting with people and spending time in the beauty of our world without these restrictions. We will all have stories to tell and we want to be able to pass them on to our grand kids, our relatives, and friends.

The heavens keep telling the wonders of God, and the skies declare what he has done.  Psalm 19:1

Celebrate planet Earth,  be good to yourself and kind to others.

Remember, we are in this together and WE CAN DO THIS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What On Earth!

Our whole world is shrouded in this illness.  Yes, we are all in this together with no choice of our own. For most of us, we are doing due-diligence, staying home, and staying our distance.  High Five to you!

I wanted to encourage you all as you  are doing your best to stay safe at home, staying the course, and staying grounded when you feel like your feet are slipping beneath you.

God knows this has happened and it hasn’t surprised Him. He is offering His comfort when we feel overwhelmed, when panic attacks overtake us, when fear of the unknown and financial issues hit us, when we are desperately missing our friends and family, and when we are deeply concerned about the safety for those we love.

I have found myself overwhelmed and in a state of panic sometimes.  Do you feel that way?  When can I leave my house and feel safe? Will our children stay healthy? What about finances and how to meet the bills that are still coming?  Did I touch something that has the virus? What will be the next shortage other than toilet paper? ☹ This has not only hit a part of the world…we are all facing it every day.

As we face each update of COVID-19, claiming Scripture  has helped to  calm my heart and mind. Listening to worship music has been a positive place to calm my nerves.  Not allowing fear to take hold and releasing my conversations to God helps me walk through the day.

There are organizations that are ready to encourage and listen to you.

TheLife.com –You are  able to reach out to a Mentor.

Focus on the Family has a link:

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/family-time-during-the-coronavirus-quarantine/

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association 24hr Prayer Line: 888-388-2683

My childhood girlfriend and I are doing daily devotionals together from miles away with the app YouVersion.  A great way to connect. Why not check on their plans and ask someone to join you.

https://my.bible.com/sign-in

We are all in this together, so will you read these Scriptures along with me to comfort our hearts? Reach out to God…He knows.  So, when we say, What On Earth? read these:

  • The earth trembles, and its people shake; you alone keep its foundations firm. Psalm 75:3
  • Our Lord and our God, you are my mighty rock, my fortress, my protector.  2 Samuel 22:2
  • So always trust the Lord because he is forever our mighty rock. Isaiah 26:4
  • I prayed to the Lord: Our Lord, you are the one who gives me strength and protects me like a fortress when I am in trouble. Jeremiah 16:19
  • In times of trouble, you will protect me. You will hide me in your tent and keep me safe on top of a mighty rock. Psalm 27:5
  • But I will sing about your strength, my God, and I will celebrate because of your love. You are my fortress, my place of protection in times of trouble. Psalm 59:16
  • Can anything separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble, suffering, and hard times, or hunger and nakedness, or danger and death? Romans 8:35

We will get through this.  As the Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians …we will get up again.

In times of trouble, God is with us, and when we are knocked down, we get up again. 2 Corinthians 4:9

What on Earth??? Why Not Open Your Tool Box: 

  • Read these and other verses to comfort your soul and your heart
  • Know we are in this together…keep staying at home and stay safe so we can eventually go out
  • Check on the above links to reach out to those that are waiting to listen
  • Call someone today and have a good long chat
  • Remember you are never alone.

WE CAN DO THIS BECAUSE WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER AND GOD IS HERE!