where to find strength
Joshua – Be Strong and Courageous Todd Phillips
SESSION 1 FIGHTING ON THEIR KNEES

Where To Find Strength

When in Chaos

This world is so messed up. Many Christians say we are living in end times. But, you look through history that has been said many times by many important leaders in the Christian world. My only concern is to live for Jesus today and to be prepared for when He does come again. For me at least, studying the signs of the end times does not teach me how to live for Him today, to be used by Him to reach others. What I want to know about is how to find His power to be set apart from the world for Him.

Seeing as the last series I wrote from was all about suffering. Where we learned God is in control of the good and the bad I thought it would be good to move on to a series on strength. How do we find power that can only come from the Lord?

We start out with an act of submission. What do you imagine when you see someone on their knees? I can picture a man on their knees with others pointing guns at them. They are being forced into submission, give up their power to these men that have the power to kill them.

Where to find strength

Now, God does have the power to take our lives. But God is not about scaring us into submission like that. He wants us to submit of our own free will. To chose Him and submit to His will for us. I remember when my husband and I separated back in 2007, I was devastated and fell to my knees praying to God. I was angry, hurt and confused. I had no where to turn and finally said, “ok, God I give in! I submit to You, only You can get me through this.” I have to admit that my selfishness, fear, controlling nature took many more years for Him to break but when God did enough in and around me it did finally break.

Where to find strength

That deep submission to God and His ways is where I finally found His power to face anything that comes at me. Now I and my husband were allowed to buy a home that is a fixer upper. We have financial burdens that before my full submission would have me a ball of anxiety. I may not be physically falling to my knees, but I do know who to talk to when my anxiety wants to rear its ugly head. I stop everything I am doing and speak to God, even if it is just a few words sending my fears to Him. Letting Him know I cannot do this alone I need Him to show and do it for me. So, where to find to find might is by giving up our own power to replace it with His might.

where to find strength
Our new home

where to find strength Outside sources

How to Find Strength in the Strength of God | Desiring God

Sep 2, 2014  “Whoever serves, [let him serve] as one who serves by the strength that … has made and Jesus has bought with his blood (2 Corinthians 1:20).

20+ Bible Verses About Strength – Powerful Scripture Quotes …

Oct 30, 2018  The Bible is filled with encouraging verses about finding strength through God’s power. You are strong in the storm when you rely on Jesus!

Bible Verses about Finding Strength in Jesus Christ …

Sep 4, 2017  Bible verses offer solace during personal conflicts, give hope when life feels bleak, and give us strength in difficult times. Learn how to find …

Personal Strength through the Atonement of Jesus Christ

Personal Strength through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. By Elder Richard G. Scott. Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Through the Atonement of Jesus …

20 Incredible Bible Verses about God’s Strength

Dec 1, 2017  I have learn to trust God I need you Jesus to give me the strength to keep following Jesus n just to keep guideing me to him I want to live for …

Bible Verses About Having Strength During Hard Times

Jun 19, 2019  These 40+ bible verses about strength during hard times will help to encourage and … will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

37 Encouraging Bible Verses About God’s Strength – Life, Hope …

His strength and renewal can help us face our fears and do the impossible. … “ But Jesuslooked at them and said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with  …

Strength | Awed by Jesus Christ

“Power” comes from the Latin, potis, meaning, “to be able” and “strength, vigor and control”. Men seek power to in an attempt to control other men (political, …

12 Prayers For Strength – Find Comfort and Hope

Aug 4, 2015  Lord Jesus, give me the strength to stick it out over the long haul—not the grim strength of gritting my teeth but the glory-strength God gives.

Kentucky Baptist family finds strength in Jesus during tragic week …

Apr 13, 2019  ASHLAND, Ky. (KT) – Her oldest son was lifeless on a hospital gurney in the trauma room as doctors tried desperately to figure out how to save …

How Do You Serve The Lord With Gladness?

Serve The Lord With Gladness

Yesterday was Sunday and the discussion in my family centered on prayer, and asking the Jesus for things. We watched Kerry Shook message on the tv together. He was talking about the need to pray for things we want. How if we do not ask for we will not get. That started me thinking, what about when God says no? We ask but He says no. That led to a little study we did together on serve the Lord with gladness.

serve the Lord with gladness

You see in my family we are, and have been asking for many years, for a home for my husband our son and I. We have our ideas on how this could happen we ask the God for it every day. But, in the little study we did taught us something about how to ask. It brought out our motivation for what we ask for.

Are we asking for a home to make us comfortable, or are we asking for a home that will serve the Lord? One idea we have is to add on to my in laws home and my husband and I live with them. But is this to make things easier on each of us, or is it to serve the Lord? What is our motivation behind it, and how will we handle it if He says no?

serve the Lord with gladness

What if the Lord wants my husband and I to serve Him in an area a little less comfortable? This brings to mind the safety of our youngest son who is 12. But, in worrying about that, is that trusting the Lord? This brings to mind the article I read this morning by Danny Gold. He wrote about
“the movement converting El Salvador’s gang members into born-again Christians.” (Danny Gold)

Could you imagine God calling you serve Him in some of the most dangerous places in the world? To be associating with people who live with death every day? That is what Danny Gold’s article is about. How Pastors associate with gangs in El Salvador, even live among them. Would you be willing to risk your life for the Lord, the lives of your children? Could you find joy in that?

serve the lord with gladness

white flowers with the words Serve the Lord with Gladness: Come before His presence with singing. Psalms 100:2

White flowers with the words serve the Lord with gladness: come before His presence with singing. Psalms 100:2
serve the Lord with gladness

With my husbands and my background, our life experiences we may be asked by the Lord to associate dangerous people. I cannot deny that. God surrounded us with a loving supportive family but the fact is still there, our past actions. Those actions lead us to having a history that many dangerous characters share. But, God lead us out of that history, redeemed us and now could God lead us to an area to help others find a way out? Would I feel safe, would I find joy in living among, associating, friending people with such histories?

I think it all hinges on how much I trust the Lord. Do I trust that no matter the bad things that could, or would happen He would take care of us. Just how uncomfortable am I willing to be to serve Him? Can I trust Him to keep my child safe? Or, could the experience my child lives through while serving the Lord be needed? Be needed for my child to build His testimony in the Lord?

serve the Lord with gladness

How about you? How uncomfortable are you willing to be in order to serve the Lord? How far are you willing to go for the Lord? Have you ever thought about it? We are asked to build our treasures in heaven, not here on earth. Is what you are doing now today accomplishing that?

Outside sources

“Working For Jesus” – Focus Online

How many hours will you work in your lifetime? Studies indicate[i] that the average person will spend between eighty to ninety thousand hours at work. Research …
Are You Working For Jesus Christ? | Beginning And End

Sep 24, 2017  Are you serving Jesus Christ in your every day life? Do you work in ministry to share the Gospel? Why every Christian should work for the …
What Does the Bible Say About Working For God?

Bible verses about Working For God. … For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should …
WORK FOR JESUS

Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit. 1. Volume 23. Tell someone today how much you love Jesus Christ. 1. WORK FOR JESUS. NO. 1338. A SERMON. DELIVERED …
Three Exemplary Jesus Practices about Money and Work

Sep 12, 2012  “Jesus regards our attitudes about money as very important in the formation of our character.” In this selected chapter excerpt from his latest …
Doing the Works of Jesus and Greater Works | Desiring God

Apr 21, 2012  God equips his people with everything we need to serve him. And we will do even greater works than Jesus himself.
There’s a Work for Jesus | Hymnary.org

Authoritative information about the hymn text There’s a Work for Jesus, with lyrics and MIDI files.
Lesson 14: Your Walk And Your Work For Christ (1 Timothy 4:11-16 …

Apr 12, 2013  If we all would learn this simple but profound principle, that our walk with Christ is the necessary basis for our work for Christ, we would avoid …
Jesus’ 10 Principles for Working – an Overview on Faith and Work …

In this video, New Testament scholar Sean McDonough gives an overview of how Christians should approach their work, based on 10 sayings of Jesus.
Jesus at Work « Biola Magazine

For Jesus‘ family to work in a trade indicates they were part of what we’d call the lower middle-income class of that day. Furthermore, tradition suggests that his …

feeling unloved

In this chapter Jacob arrives at his relatives property and meets Rachel at the well. As he spends time with them he falls in love with Rachel. But when it comes time to marry her he is tricked and ends up with Leah. I am not really sure what was meant by saying Leah had bad eyes. Maybe that she was not as pretty as Rachel? Does not matter though because we see here that she is feeling unloved by husband

But God sees this, how she is being treated unfairly and He blesses her. The blessing may not be an easy blessing for her to live with. After all God cursed women with painful childbirth. Then raising all the children while Jacob is out in the fields. One thing that gets me though, if Jacob did not love her then why did make it so that she could have so many children? What was his thinking? I guess maybe it was that in culture back then they did not have a way to divorce yet. He was just doing his duty as a husband. 

Feeling Unloved by Husband

If he was just doing his duty just think of how devastating it was to Leah’s ego, her self worth. God knew she needed comfort. He also knew the bond between child and mother. To give her the love she yearned for, to show her that God sees her, He gave her many children. 

I know when I felt unloved by my husband, even by the world I yearned for a child. I felt like at least that way someone would love me. But, the truth of the matter is that kids are hard work! Giving birth hurts more than some of the worst physical pain that is out there. Then raising them to be responsible adults takes every inch of energy out of a person.

What kind of blessing is that then? It is one of the best blessings I think. I feel I need to acknowledge those who cannot have children though. I know He has blessings for you that are beyond what anyone could imagine. He has a plan for everyone who believes in Him. 

Feeling unloved by husband

Let’s go back to Leah though. She has not suffered through child birth and has all these kids to raise. I am pretty sure as she is human that at times she wondered if she could really make it through some days. She already was self conscious I am sure because of her looks and how Jacob complained about marrying her. Now her husband only sleeps with her out of duty and these kids are underfoot all the time. Even  resenting her as I am sure all kids go through those feelings at times. 

feeling unloved by husband
feeling unloved by husband

feeling unloved by husband

Even through these struggling circumstances the Bible says God kept blessing her. He did not change the situation, maybe He even compounded it. But, because He had a plan and He saw she needed someone in her life to love her. He gave her child after child. 

What I take from this chapter is that sometimes God’s blessings can add more responsibility. When that happens we may turn to grumbling against God. But if we can be like Leah and see each and every new child as God’s blessing what better attitude could that give us. Maybe God has you living in some poor conditions. If we look past the circumstances and see even the small blessings can help make things more bearable. 

Are you able to look past your circumstances and see some positive. Something, some how see God’s hand is there with you still? If you need someone to pray and talk with you I am here for you. 

Outside Sources

What The Bible Says To A Woman Who Feels Unloved By Her Husband

Feeling Unloved In Marriage

Another important step to improving a troubled marriage is for the couple to … on is when a husband is walking with Christ, when a wife is walking with Christ, …


Help for Various Marriage Problems | Focus on the Family

The following examples illustrate how wide-ranging marriage problems can be. … They seek out and find a Christian counselor; and after repeated visits, learn to …


It’s Never Too Late for God to Save Your Marriage | FamilyLife®

When I meet with a husband and a wife whose marriage is unraveling, … and wife, for the first time in a long time, begin to pour the love of Christ into each other.


5 Signs Your Marriage is Headed for Trouble – Christian Marriage …

Jun 24, 2016  5 Signs Your Marriage is Headed for Trouble, by Alicia Michelle – ChristianMarriage advice and help. Find biblical, helpful Christian resources …


How Can My Difficult Marriage Glorify Christ? | Desiring God

Mar 20, 2017  A faithful, covenant-keeping spouse can display the truth of Christ’scovenant with us — even after a failed marriage.


Helping a Christian Friend With a Troubled Marriage – A Divine …

Jan 10, 2016  Does someone you love have a troubled marriage? Here is practical biblical advice for how to help a Christian friend with a troubled marriage.

Is Fear Holding You Back

Is Fear Holding You Back

What is God calling you to do?

God says in the Bible over and over do not fear, but sometimes that emotion is beyond our control. What do we do then? Do we just give in to our feelings? Allowing them to keep us from experiencing all that God has for us? Or, do we keep pushing forward beyond our fears? For me I lived by my feelings, they limited my life for so long. My anxiety held me back, and to sooth my fears I would eat. It became so disabling. I could not fully experience what God had for me.

is fear holding you back

Let me list a few of the Bible verses on what God says about fear:

Isaiah 35:4 New Living Translation (NLT)

Say to those with fearful hearts,
    “Be strong, and do not fear,
for your God is coming to destroy your enemies.
    He is coming to save you.”

John 14:27 New Living Translation (NLT)

27 “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

Joshua 1:9 New Living Translation (NLT)

This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Matthew 6:34 New Living Translation (NLT)

34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Isaiah 43:1 New Living Translation (NLT)

The Savior of Israel

43 But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
    O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
    I have called you by name; you are mine.

Psalm 34:4 New Living Translation (NLT)

I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
    He freed me from all my fears.

is fear holding you back

I could list many more verses but there are too many for this article. God mentions fear over 500 times according to a Google search I just did. So this subject is huge in His eyes. Why do you think that is? What I think is that fear is what holds us back from fully experiencing God. He wants to bless us, to give us a life of peace and joy but if we let our emotions control us we cannot experience those positive aspects that can only come from God. We are not able to acknowledge the free gift thuat Jesus’ pain has given us.

Is Fear Holding You Back
street sign saying doubt & fear just ahead

is fear holding you back

Right now in my situation I could stay where I am and not let God help me grow more. The Lord is being faithful to the promise He gave me and leading my husband and I to our own home. But the details are so scary. I have been living under government assistance for all my adult life. Now my daughter is an adult and she is on my housing voucher with me. When I move I need to take my name off the voucher so she can use it on her own. The fear is that when I do that will I have to move right away. If I do, the house is not ready to be lived in. In order to look for apartments for my daughter to live in my name has to be off the voucher so landlords can see she has a legitimate way to pay rent. If we wait too long to look for an apartment for her she may not have one when she and both need to move out of our current apartment, then where will she go?

There are so many small details that have to work out just right for both of us. Details that only God can make just perfect. What I need to remember is that GOD IS IN CONTROL! God says do not fear so many times in the Bible. We are His creation, His precious people who He loves and cares for. He brought us to this, He will bring us through it.

What do you fear today? Is it holding you back from doing the next best thing the Lord wants you to do? How do you handle the emotion fear? Lets discuss this in the comments below or in our Life Group on Facebook.

 
Seekers of Biblical Truth Closed group · 16 members Join Group
 

Outside sources

Trusting in Jesus Home Page

Hundreds of articles and studies on the Trusting in Jesus website to help you find the peace, joy, and hope that only the Savior can provide.


Simply trusting every day – Hymn

Simply trusting every day; Trusting through a stormy way; Even when my faith is small, Trusting Jesus, that is all. Trusting as the moments fly, Trusting as the …


Trusting Jesus when life hurts – ChristianWeek

Apr 25, 2016  When life hurts, and I mean, really hurts, our faith in Jesus sometimes hurts too. It’s hard to have faith when life hurts. Harder, I think, then when …


What does it mean to “trust” Jesus?

our A: First, trusting in Christ means that you’re not relying upon yourself, but on Christto get you into heaven. We cannot get to heaven by doing good deeds, …


Trusting Jesus > Lyrics | Edgar P. Stites

Simply trusting every day, Trusting through a stormy way; Even when my faith is small, Trusting Jesus, that is all. Refrain: Trusting as the moments fly, Trusting as  …


Trusting Jesus: Jeffrey R. Holland: 9781590381557: Amazon.com …

Trusting Jesus [Jeffrey R. Holland] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Book by Holland, Jeffrey R.


Trusting Jesus | Hymnary.org

Authoritative information about the hymn text Trusting Jesus, with lyrics, PDF files, printable scores, MIDI files, audio recordings, piano resources, and products …


What does it mean to trust in Jesus?

Answer: The expression trust in Jesus holds multi-layered meaning. In one sense , trusting in Jesus means believing in Him for salvation (John 3:16). We believe …


Trusting Jesus | Hour of Power

Feb 17, 2019  Today, Pastor Chad Blake, Executive Pastor of Shepherds Grove, brings a message entitled, “Trusting Jesus.” The Voices of Hope Children’s …


Trusting Jesus – Delaney Street Baptist Church

Trusting Jesus as the way to God is not an exclusive path to God, it’s completely inclusive. No matter who you are, what you’ve done, no matter where you were …

god uses broken people

God Uses Broken People

If He Can Use Us, He Can Use You

Update! We are homeowners!

The years between 2005 until now 2019 have been long and hard. We made a lot of mistakes in our marriage, but The Lord had a plan through it all. I had a glimpse of that plan when we separated in 2007, I fell to my knees cried out to God and He showed me we would live together in our own home and serve our community. The home you see on the end of the video is not finished, but we sign for it today. It is the home God promised me in 2007!

Through the years there has been much pain for us, our children and others who are close to us. I would like to say right now we are sorry. Sorry for our bullheadedness, my fear and control to try to deal with my fears. But, what satan stole from us thru temptations and sins God is now giving back 1000 fold. You see we do not deserve this home, what we should get for our sins is to live apart and struggling. But, just for our believing and trusting God He is blessing us.

god uses broken people
God uses broken people like you and me to help and rescue broken people like you and me.

God uses broken people like us. Already someone from the closest Salvation Army has agreed to give us a ride to church once we move into the home. I believe that is where we will be serving our community. I do not know much more than that right now but I trust as we do the next good step He will bless others with showing His power through us. Today we are going to sign the papers for the home. Work still needs to be done, it may take us a month to actually move in. But, I trust His timing and how God uses broken people to bless others around us.

Outside sources

What Does the Bible Say About God Working Through You?No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his …. Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not  …
Jesus Will Use Us to Win Others | Unlocking the BibleJesus Will Use Us to Win Others. … “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19 (NIV). Christ promises evangelistic …
William Murphy – Let Us See Jesus Lyrics | AZLyrics.comLyrics to “Let Us See Jesus” song by William Murphy: Let us see you lifted up like never before. Let us see you lifted up like never before. Let us see y…
Michael Card – Jesus Let Us Come To Know You Lyrics | Genius …Jesus Let Us Come To Know You Lyrics: Michael Card / Jesus let us come to know you / Let us see you face to face / Touch us, hold ususe us, mold us / Holy  …
Jesus Commands Us to Tell OthersJesus Commands Us to Tell Others – Why should I be an active member in sharing the … The last command that He gave them was this: “Therefore go and make …
Let Jesus Wash Your Feet | Joseph Prince MinistriesLike a servant who uses his girdle as a towel to serve, Jesus wants us to sit down and letHim serve us—by washing our feet with a deeper revelation of Himself …
Let’s Be the Hands and Feet of Jesus – First Baptist PowellAug 30, 2018 …Let’s Be the Hands and Feet of Jesus …. Let’s use our gifts, talents and wisdom the Lord has given us to reach the world for ChristLet’s share …
Love of God – Words of St. Therese | Society of the Little Flower – USThere is one ONLY THING to do here below: to love Jesus, to win souls for Him so that He may be loved. Let us seize with jealous care every least opportunity of  …
God Will Give You Something to Say | Desiring GodDec 27, 2016 …Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will help us in the most frightening settings. … Luke uses the very words of Jesus’s promise to describe Stephen’s … He stirs up his people to “let the word of Christ dwell in [them] richly, …
Jesus is calling us to new life. But first, we need to let old habits die …May 31, 2019  For most people, Easter seems to come and go. Why does Easter last so long for us? Well, the great mystery of the Resurrection, of Christ’s …

gratitude essay

Gratitude Essay

As I prayed and thought about the post for today I wondered just how many ways, how many times can we write about being thankful? I thought I would start out with gratitude this week. What it is, and what it is not.

In researching the internet, you know the ever faithful “Google”. I find that there is a trend going around called “Positive Psychology.” I thought I would include some of what I found in this gratitude essay.

What is gratitude?

One article I found from Positive Psychology Program listed some definitions of gratitude that I thought may help us understand this elusive feeling. I know we all want the feel good, happy, pleasant feelings all the time and sometimes it seems they are so far away. So, let’s just see just how science today defines gratitude:

“if we acquire a good through exchange, effort or achievement, or by right, then we don’t typically feel gratitude. Gratitude is an emotion we feel in response to receiving something good which is undeserved” (Lacewing, 2016).

I like this definition because it seems to match the Bible. God gives us what we do not deserve. All of us here on earth are sinful, we do not deserve the strength, the health, or even to be alive. We do not deserve the hope of heaven. We deserve hell if anything.

Another definition for this gratitude essay is:

“an emotion that is typically evoked when one receives costly, unexpected, and intentionally rendered benefits, and is thought to play a key role in regulating the initiation and maintenance of social relationships” (Forster et al., 2017).

What happens when someone gives you something or does something you never expected? Does that help you feel good for that person? I may be struggling with this a bit though. I tend to let history cloud my gratitude when someone who has hurt me does something nice.

gratitude essay
an open book

I tend to use my marriage as an example a bit much lately. But it is what is on my mind all the time. I am trying to let God teach me to be the wife my husband deserves, and let God do the work He needs to do in my husband. But, here is an example of the past clouding my gratitude.

My personal experience for this gratitude essay

Just recently my husband bought me a coffee from a local coffee shop. Automatically my thoughts of the many times that he would insist on buying the expensive coffees when we are broke came to mind. The hurt, the fear of how we are going to make it.

What did not come to mind is all the times I expressed to him I needed more than just physical love from him. I needed to be appreciated, loved for who I am. I did not express gratitude that he thought of me, only me in buying that coffee. I let my hurt and pain stay and cloud my judgment.

That attitude did not help our relationship. My husband was making a grand gesture that he could do with our circumstances. I stopped myself I looked at him and said, “What I should say to you is thank you very much, I really appreciate that you thought of me.”

Final thoughts for this gratitude essay

You see, it is so easy to lose sight of being thankful. Even when a person is trying their hardest to do something nice. Something to say I know you are hurting let me do this to try to make up for it. Yes, ok a bought coffee will not make up for everything. But it is a step. I need to make a step in learning to be grateful instead of letting the past hold us back.

What about you? Do you have trouble expressing gratitude when someone you are upset with does something nice? Please share your ideas with us! Would love to have you join our community and join the discussion in our Thankful Thursday group!

Outside sources

Essay on Gratitude#1 Essay on Gratitude Towards Parents. Gratitude is one of the most underestimated ways anyone can use to enrich their lives. It is the feeling and attitude of …
Billy Graham: How to Be Thankful in All ThingsNov 21, 2017  But even so, we all have much to be thankful for. Look with me at … A spirit of thanksgiving is always the mark of a joyous Christian. Why should …
10 Things You Can Be Thankful For Today | CruWe’re told in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to give thanks in everything. … I know that I have been made right with You because of my faith in Your Son, Jesus Christ. 2.
How To Be Truly Thankful- 4 Tips to Develop Christian Gratitude …Nov 4, 2017  Do you feel it? There’s almost an unspoken pressure in the realm of Christian social media circles to be thankful for each day you have on earth …
4 Reasons We Can Be Thankful in Times of TroubleNov 23, 2017  As Christians we can be thankful that we are children of the sovereign Lord. Even when our life seems to be spinning out of control, we can trust …
30 Christian Quotes about ThankfulnessNov 14, 2016  1 Thing Christians Forget to be Thankful For – Why would I be thankfulfor these things? These horrible, depressing times of life? Because one …
5 things to be thankful for no matter what“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18. What is so special about thankfulness is that thoughts like …
Why is giving thanks to God important?First Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” We are to be thankful not only for the things we like, but for …
The Power of a Thankful HeartNov 18, 2015  “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” – (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Amazon.com: Enmeng Womens Blessed Thankful Printed T-Shirt …Buy Enmeng Womens Blessed Thankful Printed T-Shirt Casual Thanksgiving ChristianTee Tops: Shop top fashion brands T-Shirts at Amazon.com ✓ FREE …

development training

Development Training Pastor Austin Taylor Interview

What is your position with Life.Church Online?

My role is Development Training Pastor, which means that I oversee the initial training process new Church Online volunteers go through when they join the team, as well as their ongoing leadership development throughout their time serving with us. I love supporting our amazing team!

How long have you been a Development Training Pastor?

I’ve been on the Church Online staff team for 6 1/2 years. But I’ve been in this specific role for about a year and a half. I’m so grateful to work for a church that places such a high value on equipping people. So they can do what God has called them to do.

Can you describe to me a typical workday as a Development Training Pastor?

This is kind of an impossible question, haha! Ministry is so dynamic and every day can look totally different. It all depends on the needs of the team and our community. In a typical work week, I have meetings with the rest of the Church Online staff team to review the previous week’s stories and metrics, track our team’s progress toward annual goals and strategize for the upcoming message week; write content for our weekly “Tuesday Talk” [Facebook Live training video for our volunteers], then meet with the other pastors to rehearse and film it; plan logistics for upcoming international travels for our team; connect with volunteers, leaders, and givers in our community; and review our existing bank of volunteer training to identify where we need updates or new resources.

A couple of other projects I’m working on at the moment are researching current Learning & Development best practices to find learning we can apply from the business world into our team and interviewing job applicants for open roles within Digerati [Life.Church’s digital missions department, which includes teams like Church Online and YouVersion.

Share a funny story as a Development Training Pastor.

Here’s one of my favorites: A few years ago, my work laptop was downloading a software update that was going to take 8 minutes or so. I couldn’t really do any more work until it finished, so I decided to take a quick power nap at my desk while it was downloading. When I woke up, I lifted my head and realized I wasn’t looking into my laptop screen, but my team leaders.

She had Skyped the entire rest of our team on a group video call, and they were all laughing and taking pictures of me sleeping. When I realized what was happening, we all started cracking up! I love working with a team that works hard—and pranks hard—together.

What is most challenging in your job?

Our Church Online volunteer team currently includes 630 people serving from over 50 countries. They represent every kind of cultural and church background you can imagine, and most of them have never stepped foot in a Life.Church location. We absolutely love the diversity of our global and remote team, but from a training perspective, it does present the unique challenge of making sure everyone is fully aligned as they serve. We’re constantly reevaluating our volunteer training and communication to make sure that we’re consistently reinforcing our mission, core beliefs, and DNA in everything we do. As Patrick Lencioni would say, we need to be the “CROs” (Chief Reminding Officers) of Life.Church’s vision.

Can you share an inspirational story?

Yes—I could share 1,000 if you’d let me! We hear so many incredible stories of lives being changed each and every week at Life.Church Online.

Here’s one of my favorites: A few months ago, I was in a Church Online service at  http://live.life.church and got to connect with Moussa from—get this—Timbuktu! It’s a real place in Mali, a predominantly Muslim country in West Africa. He had just gotten off work and told us that it was his first time attending with us. I believe it was quite possibly his first church service ever. He stayed for the entire service and asked several questions along the way.

How amazing is it that our church is able to reach people like Moussa in places like Timbuktu?!

What is one piece of wisdom you would like to share with my audience?

If you love Jesus, have the heart to reach the nations, and have internet [which I know you do, if you’re reading this!], God can use you and your gifts to impact people all over the globe through Church Online. We want to equip you to become a digital missionary—all without leaving your home. All you have to do is say yes! Come join us and be part of a global movement that’s taking the Gospel to every corner of the world.

As our Senior Pastor Craig Groeschel said recently, serving always changes lives—and the first one to change is always your own. Learn more here: http://go2.lc/serve.

How do you navigate family life and ministry?

This is another area I could write volumes on because it’s so important for any leader. To keep it brief, here are a few key principles I try to stick to:

1) God first, family second, ministry third. My priorities have to remain in that order.

2) Be 100% present at work and 100% present at home. Both deserve my full attention and energy.

3) Find mental stopping points. At the end of each workday, I take a few minutes to wrap up whatever I’m working on, recap and assess my work from that day, quickly glance over my calendar to prep for the next day, and mentally transition out of work mode so I can be fully engaged at home.

4) Understand seasons. There will always be short-term seasons when my work life or home life will require a little more of me than usual, and it’s up to me to communicate about them to my family and team leader.

development training
street sign with the word Leadership

outside sources

Life Church Online Church Room

Life Church Online website

YouTube Streaming

Life Church Life Group on Facebook

Pastor Steven Roberts on Facebook

Open Network Life Church Free Resources

YouVersion Bible App

Austin Taylor

Learn to become a pastor

Pastor/Leadership Development

gratitude

Gratitude Essay

As I prayed and thought about the post for today I wondered just how many ways, how many times can we write about being thankful? I thought I would start out with gratitude this week. What it is, and what it is not.

In researching the internet, you know the ever faithful “Google”. I find that there is a trend going around called “Positive Psychology.” I thought I would include some of what I found in this gratitude essay.

What is gratitude?

One article I found from Positive Psychology Program listed some definitions of gratitude that I thought may help us understand this elusive feeling. I know we all want the feel good, happy, pleasant feelings all the time and sometimes it seems they are so far away. So, let’s just see just how science today defines gratitude:

“if we acquire a good through exchange, effort or achievement, or by right, then we don’t typically feel gratitude. Gratitude is an emotion we feel in response to receiving something good which is undeserved” (Lacewing, 2016).

I like this definition because it seems to match the Bible. God gives us what we do not deserve. All of us here on earth are sinful, we do not deserve the strength, the health, or even to be alive. We do not deserve the hope of heaven. We deserve hell if anything.

Another definition for this gratitude essay is:

“an emotion that is typically evoked when one receives costly, unexpected, and intentionally rendered benefits, and is thought to play a key role in regulating the initiation and maintenance of social relationships” (Forster et al., 2017).

What happens when someone gives you something or does something you never expected? Does that help you feel good for that person? I may be struggling with this a bit though. I tend to let history cloud my gratitude when someone who has hurt me does something nice.

gratitude essay
a book opened to where the subheading says of Gifting, first line under that says way of expressing gratitude
an open book

I tend to use my marriage as an example a bit much lately. But it is what is on my mind all the time. I am trying to let God teach me to be the wife my husband deserves, and let God do the work He needs to do in my husband. But, here is an example of the past clouding my gratitude.

My personal experience for this gratitude essay

Just recently my husband bought me a coffee from a local coffee shop. Automatically my thoughts of the many times that he would insist on buying the expensive coffees when we are broke came to mind. The hurt, the fear of how we are going to make it.

What did not come to mind is all the times I expressed to him I needed more than just physical love from him. I needed to be appreciated, loved for who I am. I did not express gratitude that he thought of me, only me in buying that coffee. I let my hurt and pain stay and cloud my judgment.

That attitude did not help our relationship. My husband was making a grand gesture that he could do with our circumstances. I stopped myself I looked at him and said, “What I should say to you is thank you very much, I really appreciate that you thought of me.”

Final thoughts for this gratitude essay

You see, it is so easy to lose sight of being thankful. Even when a person is trying their hardest to do something nice. Something to say I know you are hurting let me do this to try to make up for it. Yes, ok a bought coffee will not make up for everything. But it is a step. I need to make a step in learning to be grateful instead of letting the past hold us back.

What about you? Do you have trouble expressing gratitude when someone you are upset with does something nice? Please share your ideas with us! Would love to have you join our community and join the discussion in our Thankful Thursday group!

Outside sources

Essay on Gratitude

#1 Essay on Gratitude Towards Parents. Gratitude is one of the most underestimated ways anyone can use to enrich their lives. It is the feeling and attitude of …
Billy Graham: How to Be Thankful in All Things

Nov 21, 2017  But even so, we all have much to be thankful for. Look with me at … A spirit of thanksgiving is always the mark of a joyous Christian. Why should …
10 Things You Can Be Thankful For Today | Cru

We’re told in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to give thanks in everything. … I know that I have been made right with You because of my faith in Your Son, Jesus Christ. 2.
How To Be Truly Thankful- 4 Tips to Develop Christian Gratitude …

Nov 4, 2017  Do you feel it? There’s almost an unspoken pressure in the realm of Christian social media circles to be thankful for each day you have on earth …
4 Reasons We Can Be Thankful in Times of Trouble

Nov 23, 2017  As Christians we can be thankful that we are children of the sovereign Lord. Even when our life seems to be spinning out of control, we can trust …
30 Christian Quotes about Thankfulness

Nov 14, 2016  1 Thing Christians Forget to be Thankful For – Why would I be thankfulfor these things? These horrible, depressing times of life? Because one …
5 things to be thankful for no matter what

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18. What is so special about thankfulness is that thoughts like …
Why is giving thanks to God important?

First Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” We are to be thankful not only for the things we like, but for …
The Power of a Thankful Heart

Nov 18, 2015  “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” – (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Amazon.com: Enmeng Womens Blessed Thankful Printed T-Shirt …

Buy Enmeng Womens Blessed Thankful Printed T-Shirt Casual Thanksgiving ChristianTee Tops: Shop top fashion brands T-Shirts at Amazon.com ✓ FREE …

PTSD Symptoms

What Are PTSD Symptoms

(This is a very old post)

A couple of weeks ago I found out I suffer from PTSD. That my trauma’s started in my youth. Don’t get me wrong, I know my parents did the best they could. My mother is a very strong woman who did her best to do right by me and the family. My father admitted and he got help for his part in it all. After all, was said and done is a wonderful man now. This is not to talk about how bad my family was, it is to talk about how everything affected me and what are PTSD symptoms.

Do you identify with this video in any way? Please know there is help out there for you and I would love to help you find that. Where it started for me is being fed up with where my marriage is at and seeking Christian counseling. That is where I learned about what are PTSD symptoms with this video:

My trauma’s started early in life when I was a toddler I met my stepdad. I am not going to go into all the details that are not needed. Just to let you know it involved exposure visual adult sexuality then few later sexual abuse. I want to remind everyone. I am not trying to say my parents are monsters. They are far from that, my mom is a strong woman who did her best to protect me with everything that was going on around her. My stepdad had an illness that after all came out he got help for. I honor them for that!

But, because I or no one around me really understood how everything affected me I was left to struggle with the after-effects of everything. Which led me to many damaging relationships with men. Rape, sexual abuse, my anger coming out as abuse towards my first husband. Sexual issues in my current marriage. One thing after another right up until recently. I have about 45 or so years of living in survival mode to try to deal with.

What Are PTSD Symptoms and How To Be Grateful For Them

what are ptsd symptoms
a drawing of a woman’s back and she is holding her hair up with her hands. Words say PTSD seriously may be the death of me. The worst part is nobody understands how hard everyday is.

How to be grateful for all of this? I never thought I would put gratefulness with everything I have been through. I never dream I could come close to finding anything to be happy about ever. I lived with depression, pain, hurt, anger, fear for so long. I never knew any different. But, I am grateful for it all!

I am grateful for the experience because God uses all our experiences to His Glory. What a powerful thing it is to be used for His Glory! The creator of the world is wanting to use me with all my sins, all my pain, all my ugliness.

I am grateful for showing me what a wonderful husband God has given me. Even though my husband may have contributed to some of my trauma God once again is using that. He is using my husband and me for something wonderful. We do not see it yet, but we know God has a plan.

If you also suffer from PTSD or think you do, please seek help, professional help. You cannot do this alone. The place that God led my husband I to is Faithful Counseling

 

Outside sources

Symptoms of PTSD | Anxiety and Depression Association of America …

PTSD is diagnosed after a person experiences symptoms for at least one month following a traumatic event. However symptoms may not appear until several …
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – Symptoms and causes …

Jul 6, 2018  Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition triggered by a terrifying event, causing flashbacks, nightmares and severe …
PTSD: Five effective coping strategies

Oct 20, 2017  What are some helpful ways of coping with PTSD symptoms? In this article we take a closer look at emerging strategies and effective …
PTSD: Coping, Support, and Living Well

Learning healthy strategies for coping with PTSD is possible and can offer a sense of renewal, hope and control over your life. There are a variety of areas in our …
8 Biblical Steps to Recover From Post Traumatic Stress Disorder …

Oct 9, 2014  8 Biblical Steps to Recover From Post Traumatic Stress Disorder …. Dealing with painful experiences is painful, but it is critical to healing and to the … Paul even encouraged Christians to “endure suffering along with me, as a …
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Symptoms, causes, and risk …

Feb 6, 2019  PTSD is triggered by a traumatic event. … By Christian Nordqvist … In addition, the symptoms must lead to distress or difficulty coping with work …
What Does God Say About PTSD? – Biblical Counseling Center

Jul 14, 2015  PTSD is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation and may have … Lindy Abbott , a Christian blogger, wife, and mother suffered abuse as a young … She told me she unknowingly used a coping skill called dissociation to …
Trauma Is Not a Life Sentence | Desiring God

Jan 5, 2017  … kind of suffering — the kind that overwhelms one’s ability to cope. … Some Christians have been trained to think that proper believers will not …
What does the Bible say about PTSD?

Did anyone in the Bible suffer with posttraumatic stress disorder? … effective copingmechanisms may contribute to whether a person develops PTSD. … Christians know the deep value God places on human life and often feel extremely guilty …
Restoring the Shattered Self: A Christian Counselor’s Guide to …

Whereas posttraumatic stress disorder is due to a single traumatic event or … has developed a distinctive Christian counseling model for dealing with this kind of …

promises of God

Promises of God

Today I am rejoicing in my dreams fulfilled. They are promises of God that He made me from the Bible and in my prayers. I would like to list some of the ones I am seeing today. God is not done with me yet, I do not believe He is done with anyone until they die. But, what I see today has me on fire for Him! Let’s see if I can help any of you catch the same fire.

Exodus 14:14 New Living Translation (NLT)


14 The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.

I cannot say I stayed calm most of my life. But, the Lord has fought for me. The change in my husband is beyond anything anyone could have done. The old husband is long gone. He focuses on me, and no longer is he looking at those ladies on the internet. He is taking responsibility for us as his family by looking for a home on his own. He is the one who calls me every day to study the Bible together. He has become a true man of God that I asked for years ago!

Promises of God

Isaiah 40:29 New Living Translation (NLT)


He gives power to the weak
    and strength to the powerless.

As I sit here I am weak. I can’t even barely walk, I am not known to people in my neighborhood. Even in Life Church I am pretty low on the totem pole. But, with His power, His words I have His strength to touch people through this site. I have His strength to raise 3 wonderful kids to adult hood and one on his way. I have His strength to help others on the internet, and to endure all the trials that are around me now.

Isaiah 41:10 New Living Translation (NLT)


Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

I am no longer afraid. He brought me through so much in my life I know He will again. No, things are not easy, I still struggle. But, I look at everything in my past. I see how God provided homes, food, and safety for my kids. Those memories help me to trust this promise. I am not afraid of not living with my husband again, or not getting healthy. God gave me a home in three days once. If He can do that, He can open doors to my health and to a new home!

Isaiah 43:2 New Living Translation (NLT)


When you go through deep waters,
    I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
    you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
    you will not be burned up;
    the flames will not consume you.

Take a look at my stories under the category My Testimony. He truly was with me through deep waters, rivers of difficulty, and fires of oppression. No matter what I did, or anyone else did, we survived and thrived. I do not see how I could have done any of it without His help. 

promises of God
Bright sunny day on the beach. A wave is breaking as it comes to shore. The words say God never breaks His promises.

These are just a few of the promises I can list and see examples in my own life. Could you do the same? What God has put on my heart is to color my Bible and journal in color. I will be coloring His promises in the Bible and listing where I see that promise in my journal. I am doing this so that I can properly thank Him for each and every fulfilled promise. If you are struggling to see your dreams fulfilled, where the open doors are or how to live for God maybe this is for you. Talk to God, listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and see if He wants you to journal His promises in your life. I am alive today all because of God’s faithfulness to His promises.

Promises of God Outside Sources

2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen …New International Version But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. New Living Translation But the Lord is faithful; he …
15 Bible Verses on God’s Faithfulness | Grace Love LifeFeb 26, 2017  Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love …
2 Thessalonians 3:3 NIV – But the Lord is faithful, and he will – Bible …But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.
2 Thessalonians 3:3 – But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen …Read 2 Thessalonians 3 using all available Bible versions. But the Lord is faithful , and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.
21 Bible Verses on God’s FaithfulnessMar 12, 2013  Psalms 86:15 “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” …
Faithfulness of GodDeuteronomy 7:9 says “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithfulGod, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those …
49 Bible verses about God, Faithfulness OfThe LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
What Does the Bible Say About Gods Faithfulness?Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, …
Is God Faithful?When we say God is faithful it means He is totally trustworthy – He is perfectly faithful. The prophet Isaiah wrote. O LORD, you are my God; I will exalt you and …
The Lord Is Faithful Rollerball PenColorful pens with the scripture The Lord is Faithful Psalm 145:13 on the cap. Long Lasting German Tips Smooth Writing.