Can You Hear Gods Voice Above The Noise?

Can you hear God’s voice? Do you hear Him when he calls to you?

I’m in the middle of lambing right now and it’s such a great reminder on how we have to listen to be able to distinguish God’s voice above the noise.

When it’s a ewe and her lambs and nothing else is around it’s really easy for the lambs to distinguish her call. And it’s best for the first 24 hours or so if they do have some distance from other sheep so they can learn to identify their mothers unique “voice”.

As I move them out into the pair pasture or even into a lot with a few more sheep it’s even more vital they can distinguish their own mother from the crowd. If they get separated they often run around panicked looking for their mom and their mom is calling trying to find them in the chaos. It’s when they slow down, perk up their ears and truly listen they can locate her voice above the others.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27 (ESV)

How often do we run around like chickens with our heads cut off desperately seeking the “right way” to do this whole Christianity thing? In reality, God is always calling to us we just need to slow down and listen with our hearts.

When a lamb panics they often run all over bawling wildly for mom and of course she comes running. Yet in his panic he can’t slow down long enough to see and hear what’s right in front of him. Many times they will run right past their own mother or continue to bawl right in front of her not hearing her cry back to them.

Not until their mom reaches out and touches them will many stop and realize she’s been there the whole time.

I know I can’t be the only one to ever react this same way can I? I’m spending so much time running around trying to figure out a situation on my own while all along God has been right there calling to me.

God has given us full access to Him through Jesus. We have his will for our lives spelled out in His word, the Bible.

Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105 (NLT)

Let’s all quiet our minds and hearts and listen for God’s voice as we move forward. Even when life is chaotic all around us we can still stop and listen as God speaks to us.

I’m praying this makes sense as I am literally using talk to text into my phone as I move ewe and lamb pairs. I love what I do and love the way God uses my everyday life to teach me lessons! So sometimes you do what you need to do to get the lesson recorded.

Praying your week is blessed and you can feel God’s presence fully envelop you.

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

How to Choose the Right Tools for the Job

“Come on, I’m desperate!” the cowboy pleaded!

I knew he was in bad shape and I did feel bad for him but there was no way I was giving him my horse!

It was a beautiful sunrise as we all unloaded our horses out of the trailer.  The quiet stillness of daybreak was soothing to my soul. I was exactly where I belonged in life and soaked up the blessings all around me.

Choosing the right tools

We were helping a friend move cows and calves back home from summer pasture. It was about a 20 mile journey. We all knew how long it would be before we agreed to go. Not to mention all the hills, draws and creeks we would have to cross before it was over.

When you’re moving cows with calves at side you need to let them take their time so you don’t run the weight off them. Yet you still have to keep urging them on, especially as the miles add up.

The hills were starting to wear the calves out by about mile 10. So it was taking quite a bit of convincing to keep them going. By about mile 15 an older cowboy, who had chosen to ride a 2 year old colt, was “out of horse”. This was way too long of a day for a young horse to try to tackle.

As we fought our way up and out of another draw the young horse just quit. He’d had enough and couldn’t go any farther. All the urging on in the world wasn’t changing his mind.

Right horse After quite a bit of effort, the cowboy climbed down and led the horse forward. The young horse reluctantly trudged along now that the extra weight was gone.

You’ve probably heard the saying “choose the right tool for the job”. I can tell you, a 2 year old colt for a 20 mile ride wasn’t the right tool for the job. He was young, immature and hadn’t had enough miles with a rider on his back to handle what that ride threw at him.

How many times do we do the same thing in our own lives? When a circumstance comes up our reaction is to try to tackle it in the natural. But we’re not fighting against flesh-and-blood. So choosing a natural reaction to our situations is choosing the wrong tool for the job.

God gave us the tools we need to stand firm in faith in Ephesians 6. We have to choose to pick them up and use them though.

Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Ephesians 6:11-13

Belt of truth

We can stand firm knowing the truthfulness of God’s Word.  It gives us confidence to stand up to the devil. We have truth on our side we don’t have to settle for believing the lies of the enemy. When the devil comes after us we can speak truth over the situation.

Breastplate of righteousness

The devil is going to come after us with everything he has, it’s just a fact. But we’re equipped and protected with the righteousness Christ has given us. So when the enemy slings lies at us we can stand up to his accusations. Jesus gave us the grace to overcome!

Your feet fitted with the gospel of peace.

The gospel gives us stability and protection as we do battle. We’re equipped to share the good news with others. When we’re serving in the Kingdom of God our focus is Kingdom work and not self serving.

Take up the shield of faith

Our faith is vital to take our stand against the enemy! With it we can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. So as the fiery darts are being flung our way, our faith keeps our eyes on Jesus. Without Him the battle is lost.

Helmet of salvation

Our salvation is what gives us hope. I love the visual of putting our helmet of salvation on. It covers our mind which can lead us astray so easily. Yet the hope we experience because of it helps keep our mind focused on our eternal hope.

Sword of the Spirit

The sword of the Spirit is the word of God. This is our only offensive weapon and it’s meant for hand to hand combat. This is why it’s so important to memorize scripture. When the devil is on the prowl we can go after him with the truth of God’s word.

We’re going to encounter difficult situations. It’s part of life. It’s important to know the right tools to use for those situations. The mighty tools God gives us help us to defeat the enemy!

Are there any pieces of God’s armor you struggle to put on? Let’s talk about it!

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Can You Feel God’s Love in the Hard Places?

But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in my weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9a

Have you ever felt like you’ve had the wind sucked right out of your lungs? Or that you’re suffocating under the weight of your heart breaking?

It all happened so fast I didn’t have time to think or prepare in any way.

Jag was a working dog. He was a handful as we started training. He was full of tension and didn’t always deal with it in the most appropriate ways. I struggled to figure out ways to help him.

But, his heart was so big and he had so much try I just couldn’t give up trying myself.

I discovered through Jag it can include animals as well. We had been through the fire together and the bond formed through it was amazing!

A wonderful bond develops when a person weather’s a storm with someone else. I discovered through Jag it can include animals as well. We had been through the fire together and the bond formed through it was amazing!

Border Collies are a stoic breed by nature. So looking back it doesn’t surprise me that he never let on he was in trouble. We were moving sheep for several hours and I noticed he started to favor a hind leg. Yet he still didn’t want to quit. When he was still favoring it the next day I raced him over to the vet.

It’s amazing how fast things can go downhill. I wasn’t prepared. My heart wasn’t ready for what happened next. I’m not sure it ever is. We discovered he had a tumor strangling the main blood vessel into his heart. He was bleeding out internally and despite my vets best efforts we were unable to save him.

So many people tried to tell me he was “just a dog”. I suppose if you’ve never felt the loyalty of countless hours spent together it would seem that way.

So many people tried to tell me he was “just a dog”.

I suppose if you’ve never felt the loyalty of countless hours spent together it would seem that way. My heart felt like it had been ripped out and stomped all over. I had been cheated and on top of the hurt, anger soon followed suit.

Yet in the middle of it all, God met me. As I was crying out to God in anguish I could almost audibly hear a scripture reference whispered to me. I raced to look it up and sobbed tears of release as words I’d read many times took on new meaning.

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. Isaiah 41:10

Only God! He’s there for us even when it feels like our world is falling apart. He loves us in the hard places when we have doubts. He holds us up when we’re struggling to move forward.

There were still valleys of heartache to travel but I was grateful to feel God’s presence with me in those valleys. He wants to strengthen and hold us up in this life. Let’s allow Him in to do just that!

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. Isaiah 41:10

It has been several years since Jag went on ahead and every now and then I still shed a few tears. More often than not though I smile over the memories and am reminded of how faithful our God is in the hard places!

I want to share a poem with you I have always loved. It sums up the love and loyalty God gifted a dog with so beautifully.

Loyalty

God summoned a beast from the field and He said, “Behold people created in my image, therefore, adore them. You shall protect them in the wilderness, shepherd their flocks, watch over their children, accompany them wherever they may go – even into civilization. You shall be a companion, an ally, a slave.

“To do these things,” God said, “I endow you with instincts uncommon to other beasts:  faithfulness, devotion and understanding surpassing that of people. Lest it impair your courage, you shall never foresee your death.

Lest it impair your loyalty, you shall be blind to the faults of people. Lest it impair your understanding, you are denied the power of words. Let no fault of language leave an accord beyond that of people with any other beast – or even people with other people. Speak to your people only with your mind and through your honest eyes.

“Walk by their sides; sleep in their doorways; forage for them; ward off their enemies; carry their burdens; share their afflictions; love them and comfort them. And in return for this, people will fulfill your needs and wants which shall be only food, shelter and affection.

“So be silent, and be a friend to people. Guide them along the way to this land that I have promised them. This shall be your destiny and your immortality.” So spoke the Lord.

And the dog heard and was content.

Author unknown

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

3 Practical Ways to Learn to Trust God

The day started out bright and sunny with so much promise. Loping along on my little horse alongside my brother and dad. The day was beginning to unfold and there were many adventures left to be had.

I was living every little 6 year old girl’s dream. Well, I’m not sure every little girl dreams of living completely off the grid in a tiny, chicken wire, stucco house but it was the one of the biggest highlights of this gal’s young life.

We lived well over an hour from the nearest town and spent every day of the summer horseback. It was glorious.

On this particular day we were out checking fence lines. Life wasn’t the hurried mess we often find ourselves in in this day and age. It was just a day of glorious adventures with my family.

I was never one short on words, especially when I was young. So the questions flew out of my mouth almost as fast the wind blew through my hair. Dad always humored me well answering my questions and making me feel completely loved and safe with him all the time.

We were miles and miles from home as the clouds started to roll in. In the wide open country of SE Montana you could see storms coming from many miles off. Dad decided it was best if we headed for home and hustled a bit in doing so.

The sky was growing darker by the minute, the wind was beginning to howl and the temperature took a drastic turn south. My little girl heart just knew to stay close to my dad as he would know the way.

It wasn’t too long before the rain started to pick up and the drops got larger. I lowered my head and trusted my horse to follow my dad’s. Suddenly something hit me on the top of the head. Then another and another. Ouch, it kind of stung. I had spent enough time outside to immediately know the hail had arrived in full force.

They started small but quickly grew in size and amount. My dad pulled his horse up and my brother and I followed suit. There was a cutbank we had been running alongside and my dad spotted a badger hole. He took a quick look inside and then had my brother and I stuff ourselves in there the best we could. He leaned over the hole covering his head the best he could and shielding us from the pounding hail.

Okay, I have to admit, I’m not sure which I was more scared of at the time. The hail outside or what might still be inside the hole with my brother and I! I just closed my eyes and trusted my dad.

Dad had to know we were scared about going into a badger hole. But, he knew what was best for us and we had to make the choice to trust him or not.

3 ways to learn to trust God.

Get to know Him:

We need to spend time getting to know God. We won’t trust someone we don’t know. So we need to get into His word and discover the heart of God. Once we know Him personally it makes more sense to trust Him.

God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? Numbers 23:9 (ESV)

Learn from past experiences:  

Just as I had learned to trust my dad from him proving himself trustworthy in prior experiences the same can be said for God. As we go through life we’ll have opportunities to put our faith in Him and learn to trust Him more each time. We need to recall those past experiences and thank God for them often so our trust in Him can grow.

Oh Lord, I will honor and praise your name, for you are my God. You do such wonderful things! You plan them long ago, and now you have accomplished them. Isaiah 25:1 (NLT)

Tell Him about our fears:

When I first went into the badger hole I was too scared to tell dad I was scared. Guess what, it added to my fear!  Once I told dad I was scared he was about to help reassure me. When we keep our fears in the dark they grow even bigger in our mind.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

We go through so many things in life where we aren’t sure what’s scarier, what we feel on the inside or what’s happening on the outside.

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Do you see love as a fairytale?

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How do you view love? Do you imagine a prince riding up on a white horse and saving you? It’s such a pretty picture but it’s also a fairytale.

Now I’m not against a good fairytale but it’s so important to distinguish between reality and fantasy.

It seems to me we are doing a great disservice in making marriage seem like one big fairytale. Somehow believing every day will be sunshine and roses. Have we become so enthralled in creating the perfect wedding we forget the marriage is where our focus needs to be?

So many of our youth are growing up thinking love is just a feeling. That it comes and goes as easily as changing a hairstyle. Our throw-away society has trickled down into our marriages and families.

Love is a choice. Love is an action.

Love with actions

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 1 John 3:18 (NLT)

Even in those moments where we’re not “feeling” it doesn’t mean love isn’t there. It means we have to hang on to what is true and not just an emotion.

How is it possible for our weak human flesh to ever love the way God intended? It’s only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit in us.

love because he loved us

We love each other because He loved us first. 1 John 4:19

We need to grab hold of how deeply God loves us first so we can then turn around and love deeply as well. I find the best way to do this is to thank God daily for how much He loves me. It’s amazing what an attitude of gratitude will do to shift our thinking.

Matthew Henry’s commentary says it like this – “The divine love stamped love upon our souls; may the Lord still and further direct our hearts into the love of God!”

What is love?

Love is patient and kind.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking, easier said than done. I agree! Patience doesn’t come naturally for me and as such kindness can go out the window with it. But, God clearly says this is exactly what love is. So when I’m feeling my fuse getting short I whisper a quick prayer to God. It’s rarely fancy – just an honest plea to help me show patience and kindness even if I’m not feeling it.

Love isn’t rude, arrogant or insists on it’s own way.

Do you have the need to always be right in a disagreement? Some things are worth standing up for, no doubt. My grandma told me early in my marriage, “If it won’t matter in 5 years, let it go. If it will hash it out.” But we can do it without being rude or arrogant. I believe when we always keep love in the front seat of our marriages we can look at both sides through the lens of love.

Love is not irritable or resentful.

How many of us would raise our hands if asked if we’ve ever held a grudge against someone we love? Right there with you. In the past I struggled so much with this and could be very resentful over every offense. So hard on a marriage! It’s so important to ask God for help in releasing past offenses and letting go of irritability and resentment.

Love rejoices with truth!

Love takes no pleasure in hurting others. So often when we’re hurt by those we love, even if inadvertently, our natural reaction is to hurt back. It’s only fair right? Wounding those we love as a way of revenge only perpetuates the cycle. At some point we must choose to stop it. Love delights in the well being of others!

 

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:7

Our marriages are worth fighting for. Our families are worth fighting for. Love is worth fighting for!

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

 

Are You Ready to Persevere this Year?

I love words!

Words in general but mainly God’s word. That wasn’t always the case though. There were many years of running from God’s word as well as utter confusion over it.

As my faith grew I decided to pray for a hunger and thirst for God’s word. I asked for my heart and mind to receive clarity and take it all in. As usual, God is faithful and I love to dig into His word now.

At different times I will read “wide” and devour a lot of words at one time. Other times I really dig “deep” and meditate on a verse or even one word.

The word I keep coming back to as for this new year is “persevere”. God is calling me to follow through on what I’ve started. I’ve let fear and perfectionism stifle me for way too long. I want to follow through on the dreams God has planted in my heart.

Are You Ready to Persevere this Year? Continue on your course even in the face of difficulty!

Of course I want to steadfastly persist in my God given purpose. Don’t you? It doesn’t mean it’s easy and we will face obstacles and difficulties.

As I studied the word persevere I discovered one of the definitions of it in Greek is endurance.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. Romans 3-4 (NLT)

Problems help us develop endurance. Endurance helps us develop character!

The work God has set before each of us calls for endurance. We can’t operate in our own power to will this endurance into being. We can try but it’s exhausting! I speak from experience.

This kind of endurance only comes through connecting with the power Jesus has promised us.

So how do we do this in a practical way?

We know struggles and setbacks will come. We know how easy it is to get discouraged and lose hope when they do. So how do we fight off the discouragement?

There’s no need to overthink it or write out our pro’s and con’s list. (Anyone else like a good list! Yes, that’s me raising my hand right here.) Just make the choice to grab hold of scriptures to remind us God is with us.

Are you ready to persevere this year? Don't give up. God is faithful and at the right time you will reap a harvest.

We have the choice to run to Him in prayer instead of trying to tackle it in our power. “Lord, I can’t do this without you. I’ve tried. Give me your strength to make the next right choice. Help me to trust You as I persevere in what you’ve called me to do. In the name of Jesus, amen.”

What we do in the here and now matters!

We need to persevere in living our lives in a way that glorifies God. Please hear me on this, I’m not saying striving to be good enough. It’s not possible. I’m saying our lives are often our best sermon so live it in a way that others will want to know where your hope comes from!

Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.1 Timothy 4:14-16 (NLT)

I’m praying with you friend. Through Christ we can continue to move forward this year in the call He’s put on each of our lives.

Where is God calling you to persevere this year? Share in the comments so we can hold each other up.

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Are You Trusting God with Your plans?

How’s your new year going so far? Are you excited over the new adventures to come? Or is there a sense of dread over all the unknown?

Are you trusting God with your plans?

I spent quite a bit of time over the month of December reflecting on the past year and preparing my heart and mind for this one. I invited God into the planning process and am asking Him to continue to guide me.

How often do we set big goals in the new year only to be overwhelmed 2 – 3 weeks later? Then condemnation tries to sneak in and throw shame all over us. So we give up all together. I’ve been there and unfortunately more than once!

I love to set goals, dream big dreams and plan everything out. Preferably in pen with lots of added color for effect! Then I hope no one bumps into my perfectly orchestrated schedule for myself.

Not just once in the planning but also in the rearranging of all my plans.

How I long to be flexible enough to write my plans in pencil and trust the Lord when things need to be rearranged or even left behind all together. His kingdom come – His will be done!

Trust the Lord

Can we unclench our death grip on our plans this year? Let’s go ahead and dream big dreams, set goals and plan for what God is calling us towards.

But, hold all of them with a loose grip. Be ready to bend in new directions when God places new situations or people in our path.

I’ve been guilty of being so caught up in my schedule I missed appointments God had designed specifically for me. I don’t want to be ruled by my schedule. I want it to help guide me, not be an anchor that holds me back.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6 

When we seek the Lord’s plans for us and stay in touch with Him we can let go of the panic. We get the choice to simply trust.

When I say simply trust I believe the choice is simple but I also know it doesn’t make it easy.

There are seasons for everything and a time for everything under Heaven. (EC 3:1) There is so much freedom in enjoying the season we’re in right now. Being fully present instead of always dreaming and planning for the days ahead.

How about this year we take a step towards recognizing the divine appointments God has scheduled for us? Let’s open our eyes, ears and hearts for what God puts in our daily planner. Then trust Him enough to be present in those moments.

What is one way you can make more room for God’s appointments for you this week? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear.

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

How to Fight the Storm of Fear

“Hurry, load ‘em up!” I hollered over the wind as my young niece and nephew brought their horses to the trailer.

The temperature had dropped as the wind seemed to come up instantaneously. Everyone at the rodeo was desperately trying to get horses and kids rounded up and to safety.

I was just out of high school and was going to the town an hour north of us each week for the women’s and kids’ rodeo. It was a fun evening to look forward to each week. It also gave me an excuse to have my niece and nephew come stay with me for the weekends. It was also a way of getting them out of the situation they were in even if was just temporary.

I had always been a completely fearless person. Often not even exercising enough self caution to prevent way to many injuries to count. Then that storm rolled in and changed everything.

“Grab your ropes and get in the pickup,” I said hurriedly, “I think we can get ahead of this storm and outrun it.”

The sirens were going off in town and I knew there must have been a tornado warning issued. It was so dark the only way to see any of the sky was as the lightning sparked and illuminated it all. As far as I could tell there was nothing on the horizon so plenty of time to get out of there before it got worse.

My niece was concerned but had spent her whole young life with me and snuggled up beside me trusting my decision. It was short lived!

As we rounded the corner out of town the rain started coming down in sheets followed by hail pelting us in full force. Visibility was almost nonexistent at that point.

My poor niece was terrified. I was fighting my own fear welling up in me to calm her down. I was just trying to stay on the road as we inched along.

It came up so fast I didn’t have any time to react. I never saw it coming just the wind hitting us with such ferocity that fear completely overtook me.

The next thing I knew we were being picked up off the road and moved like a little matchbox car to the opposite ditch.

Something died inside of me that night. That fearless girl who believed she was completely invincible realized her own mortality. Fear had set in and the devil was trying to destroy me in new ways since his old ones had failed.

If there was so much as a cloud in the sky while I was outside, my heart would race uncontrollably. I would make every excuse in the world to those around me on why we needed to immediately go in the house. As rancher’s we work outside for a living and this presented a huge problem over the years.

It was especially bad if we were in a vehicle and crippling if I was the one driving.

It may sound like a logical fear but unfortunately it was a foothold for satan to gain ground in other areas of my life. New fears started growing and morphed into daily worries. I became the epitome of a worry wart.

One day, many years later, I was driving home by myself pulling a camper when a storm rolled in fast. My heart felt like it was going to explode it was racing so fast. Rationale was fleeing. Then I remembered a verse I’d chosen to repeat while I was in labor with my first son.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)

I started repeating it to myself as a way to calm my heart. Also to help turn my focus back on Jesus who had always wanted to heal me of this fear.

The fear started to subside. I was fighting back finally and the devil knew he was in trouble. Through the power of the Holy Spirit I was taking ground back that had been stolen all those years earlier.

You know what, the storm didn’t subside. The wind blew hard and it rained and hailed on me for a good part of the way home. It was dark and scary on the outside but my heart had found firm footing inside and there was no way I was going back!

I love what Kelly Balarie reminds us in her book Fear Fighting – “What didn’t kill you yesterday has no real power to kill you today.”

Unfortunately, I had let fear rob me of the power Jesus had made available to me all those years. So, I exhaled all the fear and inhaled life back into those dry bones.

Does that mean fear never tries to rear it’s ugly head in my life? Of course not, but now I know that where the Spirit is – there is freedom!

~I would love it if you’d visit Fear Fighting Writers Contest and vote for me if this post has encouraged you. Go to the bottom of the page and enter 32 in the comments. Thank you!

If you want to learn more about Kelly Balarie you can visit www.purposefulfaith.com or to order the book go to www.fearfightingbook.com.

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Perspectives shift in the light of Jesus

When I was young I used to ride a giant of a horse. My dad would saddle him for me and I would shimmy up his leg until I could reach the stirrup. From there I would continue the climb to the top of that mountain I called “Butch”.

Then Butch, my sister and I would head out across the deepest ravine on God’s green earth. It was every bit as wide as it was long. Rough around the edges and full of crevices throughout it. I was sure there were snakes all through the bottom so my sister and I would race as fast as we could through it.

My youngest son with his horse, Spades.

It rocked my world when my dad told me that the horse I had rode when I was 4, 5 and 6 and was sure was over 17 hands tall was a mere 14 hands. What!?! No way.

And that huge ravine, which was deeper than most oceans, you could easily drive a pickup across.

The funny thing is…those mountains that seemed so big when I was little weren’t nearly so big as I grew up.

My perspective changed.

How often are we so focused on the mountain we see in our life we don’t really see the truth of it’s size? We focus on our problem so much that it grows and grows, completely out of proportion to what it is in reality.

We chip away at the situation in our strength somehow believing it will make the mountain smaller. When it reality, God is already SO much bigger than any mountain we see in front of us.  

I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. Mark 11:23-24 (NLT)

Now I’m not downplaying the size of many of the problems in our lives. They can be very real and loom large.

But, when we keep our focus on Jesus our perspective changes. You see, our God is still on the throne and no problem or situation escapes Him. We can trust Him to help us speak life into our situations.

Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong. Hebrews 5:14 (NLT)

As our spiritual maturity grows our perspective changes.

Just as when I was little and Butch looked like the biggest mountain I could climb so were my problems when I didn’t have the maturity to focus on God.

As I grow in my walk and get closer to Jesus the problems are still there. I wish I could tell you they weren’t but they are. But now it’s different because I don’t focus on my problems. I look up at the One who puts all things in perspective. He wants to help us realize that nothing we face in life is bigger than the God we serve.

It’s all part of the process of the growing and we should expect our perspective to change as the world grows dimmer because our focus is on the light and hope of the world.

I’m sharing this post with several other blogger’s at these Faith Linkups. I encourage you to check them out. If this post resonates with you and feel it would help others please feel free to share. Easy to share buttons below. ~Laura~

Fear Fighting: Do you Live Fear or Faith?

Please help me welcome Kelly Balarie to the blog this week. 

Just yesterday, my friend told me her daughter has lice. 

I hugged that girl yesterday!

Would lice go from her hair to mine? Would I be cleaning the entire house, washing every sheet and stuffed animal, and pulling a thin comb through every inch of hair on my family’s heads from now until eternity? I can’t handle this thought. Next time, fist bumps will trump hugs.

Fear is the plumbing of discontentment.
It is the spillage of hesitation and loneliness.
It is the brakes to love.
It is the bulldozer to close relationships.
It is the boundary holding you back from God’s unlimited plan for you.

Fear is the rain cloud that always follows, the homicide to all God has, the breeding ground to insecurities, the shortness of breath that wakes you up at night, the cemetery of faith, and the artery blockage to the Spirit’s leading.  Continue reading “Fear Fighting: Do you Live Fear or Faith?”