Category Archives: General

How to Decide Where God is Leading

What’s Next?  How to Decide where God is Leading

Guest Post: How to Decide Where God is Leading

This week I’d like to introduce you to one of my friends, Rachel Foley! I’ve known Rachel for about 3 years now.  Well, actually we went to college together many moons ago, but we didn’t really know each other back then. Only in recent years have we become good friends after reconnecting at a conference where I spoke and Rachel led worship.  Let me tell you, she’s pretty amazing! 🙂

Rachel and her husband Shad are worship leaders at Solace Church. They are venturing out on a new, exciting endeavor to encourage others in faith and family life…their own blog: ShadrachandRachel.com. Rachel is a wonderful writer, and Shad is hilarious. I think you guys are going to enjoy their very genuine and humorous writing style as much as I do! It’s my honor and pleasure to introduce their launch to you with Rachel’s first blog post about how to decide where God is leading.

What’s Next?  How to Decide Where God is Leading

by Rachel Foley

At some point in all Christ-follower’s lives, we ask the question, “What is God’s plan for me?”  I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard a loud and clear immediate answer to that question, and I would be very wary of believing anyone who says she has.  We want to hear His voice in the wind or have a burning-bush type moment that transforms us and compels us to passionate obedience.  To our dismay, the call is not always dramatic or to something grand and life-changing.   While it is true that God may have some grand designs for your life, they typically do not begin in a grand fashion.  God has already laid out His plans for us, and they begin with ordinary, small steps of obedience.

My Story

Let me briefly share my story. Every time I have felt God’s call on my heart, it has made me sick, literally. In fact, nausea has accompanied most steps of obedience I’ve taken!  When God has knocked on my heart’s door, it has always been an invitation to join Him in some work for which I felt completely inadequate. Not very glamorous and powerful, I know, but it is true, regardless.

When I was pregnant with our third little blessing, I felt God stirring in me.  (Perhaps it was indigestion, but it was stirring, nonetheless.)  I felt God calling my heart to some new adventure.  I began to draw close to Him in order to hear His voice.  Months went by.  I delivered my sweet baby girl, and my dreams of continuing to stay at home full-time began to be squished and stretched and morphed into this horrible, dreadful feeling that God was calling me to become a nurse.  Hilarious!   I was an English major! I nearly puked at the vet’s office watching my dog get stitches!  And the creator of the universe was telling me to go to nursing school?  YES.  Nausea set in.  Anxiety followed.  The tears were frequent.  I threw a few little temper tantrums, but I eventually followed the call.

Baby Steps

I began slowly.  I clung so tightly to Him, I’m pretty sure I left fingernail marks.  I spent time with Him every day in prayer and Scripture.  I finally agreed to be obedient, but only in baby steps.  I told God I would go see the advisor at school, and nothing else!  When that went well, I told Him I would take one science class at a time.  When that went well, I told Him I would become a Certified Nurse Assistant.  When that went well, I told Him I would apply for nursing school.  When I got accepted, terrified and shaking, I consented and learned far more about faith, perseverance, and the power of Scripture than I had in my whole life. That journey required every single ounce of faith I had in my weak, little soul.  However, I not only graduated, I graduated at the top of my class and delivered the student address at commencement.  ALL GOD.

This particular part of my journey took four years.  Significant change does not happen overnight.  When we commit to seeking God’s call on our lives, we must realize that it is a process.  Obey in baby steps.  Psalm 119:105 says God’s Word is a “lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”  When you commit to obedience to God’s call on your life, he will light your path just enough for you to see where your feet need to land next.  A dear friend of mine, Tracy Robbins, addresses the same idea in her blog “Incremental Obedience.” I recommend you read it at HappyHealthyandProsperous.com.

If you are truly ready to discover God’s plan for your life, start with what He has already told you.  It’s all right there in Scripture.

…continuing reading the rest of Rachel’s post here where she gives a few practical steps to decide where God is leading you!

If you know anyone that could benefit from this, please pay it forward!  Share this post via the sharing links below.  “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV) 

Obedience to God–Do you need a leash?

Obedience to God...I want to follow and obey God easily, willingly, and immediately...to be the type of person that does what I need to without a bridle or leash or tether to keep me in check or to make me go where I need to be.

Obedience to God–Do you need a leash?

“The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.”” Psalm 32:8-9 (NLT)

When it comes to obedience to God, do you need a leash?

Lately, we’ve been doing some obedience training with our two dogs, Lucy and Daisy. One of the areas where we’ve been working with them is keeping them within safe boundaries, more specifically our front deck. We’re trying to teach them to stay on the deck and not get off without our permission. Most of the time they do a great job. However, this is still a work in progress.

Unfortunately, I discovered that they may not have been as fully and completely trained as I had thought. Several weeks ago, I decided to take the dogs out onto the front deck with me in the morning. This wasn’t unusual since we’d been training them to stay on the deck for quite some time now. They had been enjoying coming out with me in the mornings as I did my quiet time outside.

I had been spoiling the dogs a bit allowing them to come out more often than usual because the kids were away at their grandparents for the week, and the dogs were missing them. They had been very good and obedient…up to this point. On this particular morning I noticed Lucy perked up immediately and started staring out into the front yard. I turned my gaze to where she was staring. Instant panic struck as soon as I saw the object of Lucy’s attention. It was a bunny rabbit.

So what’s wrong with a bunny?

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How Christians Should Be Like Dust

How Christians Should Be Like Dust

How Christians Should Be Like Dust

This past week my family and I took a vacation to Colorado. It was amazing! Believe it or not, it was the first time I’ve ever seen the mountains up close and personal. Talk about amazing and inspiring…I could stay in the mountains for a LONG time and write and study and write and study… I’ll post a few of our pics on Instagram. In addition to sightseeing, hiking, and fishing, we participated in some pretty adventurous undertakings too! We did some summer alpine activities on a mountain in Breckenridge. We ziplined through the mountains (in the rain!), and we also went white water rafting.

While we were there, we also had an opportunity to attend a church bible study in Canon City with some family. The kids weren’t quite as excited as I was about this activity, but I sure enjoyed it! Call me crazy, but I eat that kind of stuff up. It’s super fun for me. I especially love gleaning wisdom from older, more experienced people. However, the coolest bit of insight I gained at this study was from my 15-year-old cousin. And of all things…her insight was about dust.

We are like dust

One of the passages we studied was Genesis 28:10-19 about Jacob’s dream at Bethel. My young cousin focused on verse 14 in this passage:

“Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will spread out in all directions–to the west and the east, to the north and the south. And all the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants.” Genesis 28:14 (NLT)

She explained how this made her think of Christians being like dust, pointing out that dust spreads in all directions and gets everywhere. Then another lady brought up a verse that came to her mind which also indicates that we are like dust:

“For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.” Psalm 103:14 (NLT)

Their conversation got my wheels turning about the qualities of dust and how we are to exhibit some of those same qualities as Christians. This also reminded me of when I studied salt and wrote previously about the qualities of salt and how we should be like it.

Let’s talk about some of the qualities of dust that we should emulate… Continue reading

Getting Through a Tough Time and Coming Out Better On the Other Side

Some Tips on Getting Through a Tough Time and Coming Out Better On the Other Side

Getting Through a Tough Time and Coming Out Better On the Other Side

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 (NLT)

A good friend of mine is going through a tough time right now. She’s brokenhearted and grieving tremendously about some of the bad things that are happening to and around her. I’m not at liberty to share the details, but I know all of us can relate to feelings of us loss, grief, betrayal, defeat, loss of hope, despair, confusion…the list could go on and on. Sometimes things happen in our lives that we don’t see coming. Things that knock us off of our feet and take our breath away. Things that feel crushing. It might even feel like we won’t be able to come back from these awful things.

I’m here to tell you today though that WE CAN! We have a wonderful, powerful, amazing God who can do things greater than you could ever possibly imagine! Don’t lose heart during a tough time. We serve a God that can bring things back from the dead. Those situations, circumstances, and even relationships in our lives that appear to have died…He can resurrect them! We serve a resurrection God.

“That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.” Romans 4:17 (NLT)

It’s okay to be sad…God gets sad too

First, grieving is perfectly okay during a tough time. It’s okay to be sad. We’re not a “bad Christian” if we’re not happy, positive and hopeful ALL the time. We’re human, and God knows that. In fact, God made us in His image (Genesis 1:27). So guess what that means? We’re a lot like God. Did you know He gets sad and grieves too? Continue reading

Put On Christ: Jesus is Like a Stylish Outfit

Put On Christ....Learn How Jesus is Like a Stylish Outfit

Put On Christ: Jesus is Like a Stylish Outfit

“And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.” Galatians 3:27 (NLT)

I read Galatians 3:27 this week in one of my morning bible readings. You know me and analogies! So of course my mind went reeling with the different ways we “put on Christ like putting on new clothes”.

What we wear and how we look in it tends to be a pressing topic this time of year. With summer approaching people are concerned about summer clothing…swimsuits, shorts, tank tops, dresses, etc. However, what we put on spiritually will have a significantly larger impact. In fact the bible uses clothing and “putting on” things as an analogy throughout different parts of the Bible. Today though, we’ll focus on how when we put on Christ, it’s like we’re putting on new clothes.

Jesus is like a fashionable and stylish outfit. I thought of how when we put on Christ, it’s like finding and wearing a new, classy outfit in a lot of ways…

When we put on Christ and look like Jesus, it flatters us.

Do you have that outfit that just makes you look good? You can probably picture one of your favorite outfits in your head right now, right? Jesus can make us look our best like that outfit. His character displayed in us paints us in a flattering light. We look our best when we act like Jesus.

“Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.” 1 Corinthians 15:49 (NASB)

“Then you will look and be radiant…” Isaiah 60:5a (NIV)

Like a great pair of clothes, Jesus emphasizes, highlights, and accentuates our best parts. 

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Lessons from Barabbas at Easter

Learn the symbolism of Barabbas in the Easter story

Lessons from Barabbas at Easter

I’m super excited about this week’s post! Although, it’s a bit delayed due to taking some extra liberty and time with some extended research. In fact, I went all “college professor” on this one, even researching some books and scholarly articles to examine some history and expert opinions. With this being Easter Week or Holy Week, I’d like to share a bit of what I learned about Barabbas.

Not long ago Pastor Brent Troxell, one of the pastors at my church, gave a mini-message of sorts before we took communion together at church. In less than 5 minutes, he spoke something so profound that impacted me as much as an hour long sermon. He shared part of the crucifixion story, specifically about Barabbas, in a way I’ve never heard before. It made such an impact on me that I made a note to go and study it further on my own, which is what I’ve done over the past week.

Pontius Pilate was convinced of Jesus’ innocence

After Jesus was arrested, questioned, and falsely accused by the Jewish authorities, he was handed over the next day to Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor of Judea (Matthew 27:1-2, Mark 15:1, Luke 23:1-2, John 18:28-29). Pilate questioned Jesus and was convinced that Jesus was innocent (Matthew 27:23-24, Mark 15:14, Luke 23:4, 13-16, John 18:38).

Paschal Pardon

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