ONE BIG BOAT, DIFFERENT PADDLE: Do You Praise When He Gives Help? Part 5

One of the many manners we were taught growing up were two words, Thank you!

While in our life boat, we will have many opportunities to say thank you to people but most importantly to God.

This is where I fail many times.  When God answers a prayer, even if it seems very small, we need to thank Him.  It is an important mindset to live a life being grateful and thankful.

When life situations blow into our boat, it is time to thank Him.  A beautiful sunset, a quiet moment to regroup, an encouraging word from someone, a financial provision, a little child’s hand tucked in yours, safety of friends and family, or justice served.  The list is endless.

God loves to give us things.  Are we really aware each day of those precious little things He bestows on us?  As long as we still have breath, we need to praise Him.

King David said, I will never give up hope or stop praising you. All day long I will tell
the wonderful things you do to save your people. But you have done much more than I could possibly know. I will praise you, Lord God, for your mighty deeds and your power to save. Psalm 71: 14-16 (CEV)

 Bow down and worship the Lord our Creator! The Lord is our God, and we are his people, the sheep he takes care of in his own pasture. Psalm 95: 6-7 (CEV)

For me, personally, I struggle to praise God during tough times.  Life is hard enough fighting waves in my life boat to then be told to praise God anyway.  I am sure you are much better at this than me so I need to keep working on it.

My friends, be glad, even if you have a lot of trouble.  You know that you learn to endure by having your faith tested. James 1: 2-3

I prefer enjoying the view and a calm ride in my boat than the wavy times with my paddle fighting to keep afloat. Do you feel the same way?

When we are in a thankful state of mind, it helps our attitude and perspective on life.  That is sketched on my life to-do list.

Well, that wraps up the series on One Big Boat, Different Paddle. It is important to remember we cannot compare our life to anyone else.  We have our own ride on the water.

So, the choice is ours.  Will we let God be Captain of our Life Boat clinging to our paddle that has been given us? Hope you will join me.

See you on the water!

One Big Boat, Different Paddle: Do you Trust His help? Part 4

Ever heard these sayings?  Just Trust me, or Once bitten twice shy?

Trust is a toughie.  Humans make promises and then don’t keep them. Maybe an ex-spouse, a BFF, a family member, your adult kids, a pastor,  or a close co-worker. It could be a long-time neighbor or someone in the church that seemed to have your back.  What about an acquaintance that talks behind your back, a business partner, a classmate, roommate, or a co-worker that is jealous?  Who can we really trust?

Life in our boat can hurt.

The Psalmist, David, felt the same way too.

My enemies are not the ones who sneer and make fun. I could put up with that or even hide from them. But it was my closest friend, the one I trusted most.  We enjoyed being together, and we went with others to your house, our God. Psalm 55:11-15 (CEV)

It can be easy to put up walls and push people away with our paddle and say ENOUGH!  It hurts the heart too much. When life hits us with curve balls, we can’t always trust in people. That is when bitterness can begin to tear at the heart. That is not a good place to stay.

What about trusting God?  There have been numerous times in my life when I have come to Him trusting He would answer and yet; silence.  That is when doubt comes in, and that is not a good place to stay.

It is human nature to ask why, why, why?  I am going to be honest.  Some people say to me, you shouldn’t question God?  It has made me think I am less of a Christ-follower.  Didn’t David wonder and talk to God about it?  So did Elijah, Moses, Gideon, Simon Peter, John the Baptist, and Thomas to name a few.

God is way bigger than our questions.  He wants to hear our heart and to be honest with Him.  I tell people to ask Him the whys and share how you feel, but don’t say mad at God forever…work through it with Him.  He wants to work with you. Now, that is a good place to stay.

I have to claim what God says in his Word to lean and trust in Him.  Easy?  Not always. We are human and we can’t see what lies ahead.

While working on this blog, Chris Tomlin’s song popped up. I think it will encourage you.

Will you trust in the Almighty, perfect God who loves you?  I have determined to keep reaching and communicating with Him.  He is patient as I work on this trusting issue.

Sheila Walsh recently posted on Instagram this verse,

Everyone who honors your name can trust you, because you are faithful to all who depend on you. Psalm 9:10

As you and I sit in our life boat with the paddle we have been given, let’s trust God who helps us fight the waves even when it doesn’t make sense.  It is my desire. Will it be yours too?

Why not join the God Team.

God can be trusted, and he chose you to be partners with his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:9

Grab your paddle:

  • What life issues are you struggling to trust God in?
  • Memorize 1 Corinthians 1:9 and Psalm 9:10
  • Take some time to talk to God honestly? Then try and listen to His heart.
  • People will hurt us, so how we respond will determine our healthy outcome.
  • Trusting is hard, but we can do this.

See you next time.

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?



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.


See you soon.








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.


  • 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.