Remember when….

Over the last 10-15 years or so, I’ve been able to pose this question to a variety of friends and family members:  Do you remember when this or that happened…?  Do you remember the time we road that roller coaster at Lakemont Park 21 times in one day? Do you remember the first time you road the Great Bear at Hershey Park?  Do you remember when we went to Canada to your Uncle’s cabin?  Do you remember when our parents cousin got married, we got to spend time together in the hotel room drinking tons of soda bottles??  I have many memories like that.  The list is endless.  These times of remembering are precious….

There are also times when God says to me or possibly you:  “Remember when, I helped you through that situation that you never thought was possible to go through.”  God make also say, remember when you thought you couldn’t do something that I called you to do.  I helped you then and I will help you now.  This idea of God helping us remember is present in the Bible in Joshua 4:1-9 –

When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the Lord said to Joshua, “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, from right where the priests are standing, and carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.”  So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe,  and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites,  to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’  tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.” So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the Lord had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down.  Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.”

God told the Israelites to build a stone memorial.  What memorials or memories do you have of God carrying you through?  God always carries us through.  We just have to learn to trust him with each experience and situation….

Seeking to become more like Jesus everyday…

Apryle 🙂

 

Protection

You might wonder why I have a cell phone case pictures above. Well, I will spend this blog telling you. I’ve noticed that there are many people who choose to carry around their cell phones without any or very little protection. They get these thin cases that only cover the phone but don’t protect it. I think it’s wise to have the kind of case that covers every corner of one’s phone. This is why I bought the case above. This case is called the OtterBox Defender.

As a Christian God protects every part of my being. This includes the physical, emotional, and spiritual parts of me. I’m under God’s protection. As a believer, God is my OtterBox Defender. He protects me from the dangers of this world. Paul talks about this protection in Ephesians 6:10-20:

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  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.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,  and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.  Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,  for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”

Just like I need to put on my case on my cell phone to protect it, I need to put on God’s armor so that I am protected to fight whatever battle comes my way.  This is true for all of us.  In order to be protected by God I must use the tools that He has given me which include:  prayer and the Bible.  Sometimes, I may battle physical health issues which could include any kind of illness.  I may also have to fight against mental health issues like anxiety, stress, or worry.  I must put on God’s armor, my Otterbox Defender to fight these battles.

What battles are you fighting?  Are you putting on God’s armor of protection?

 

“Just Trust Me.”

The phrase above is one I often hear from God in a variety of situations in my life. Sometimes God’s ways and plans don’t make sense to the human eye and experience but we must trust him. This is true both in our long-term paths and in the short term day to day life stuff.

Sometimes our experience of trusting God makes us feel like we’re hanging off the edge of a cliff. Sometimes it feels like we’re walking around in the dark. As I reflect on trusting God, I’m reminded of the experience of doing trust falls at church camp. I never liked doing them. I remember having to fall back into someone’s arms and trust that the other person would catch me.

Trusting God means that we surrender to him no matter what. Faith is a part of trust. Hebrews 11:1 says: “Faith is the substance of things hoped for & the evidence of things not seen.”

What areas of your life is God asking you to trust him for? Will you join me in placing your trust in him in those areas?

Trusting in God, Day by Day….

Apryle 😊

Who’s Plan?

I absolutely love the image above which I ran across online via social media a couple of years ago. And the image keeps reappearing. So who’s plan are you following? God’s plan or your plan? On any given day there is the opportunity to follow your plan or God’s plan. We always have the opportunity to choose which plan we will follow.

I’m the type of person who likes to plan. I like to know my schedule ahead of time. My life is very calendar based. This means that I know ahead of time what I will do on most days. While this is not a bad thing, I need to learn to be more flexible and increased my trust in God. I believe that God has a plan for me each day and it may not be what I plan to do on that day. I believe this is true for all of us.

I have also tried to plan out my life in the long term and it seems that time and time again God has interrupted my plans. For the longest time I believe that I was going to be a pastor for a career, but that’s not how God carried out that out. I’ve been able to carry out my pastoral calling in my work as a therapist. I’m glad that I’ve been able to submit to God’s plan because His plan is always better than mine.

There are a few scriptures that come to mind as I think about following God’s plan versus my own.

Proverbs 16:9 says: “In there hearts, humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”

Proverbs 20:24 says: “A persons steps are directed by the Lord. How can anyone understand their own way?”

Are you following God’s plan or your own? Are you willing to trust God enough to direct your steps? God’s ways and plans are always better just as it says in Isaiah 55:8-9: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are my ways, your ways’ declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.'” Let’s increase our trust in God’s plan together.

I’m loving this journey!

~Apryle

Finding Rest

Today this picture represents what it means for me to rest. I’m sitting on my porch enjoying God’s creation and being a human being instead of a human doing. As one who is created in God’s image, I am called to take time away and rest. The purpose of this rest has two parts. The first is to connect with God and the second is to rejuvenate the body, mind, and soul. There is a natural rhythm to life of working and resting. As one created in God’s image, I must find time to rest and find peace in my body, mind , and soul. This rest is essential to prepare myself for work. As a part of this resting, I must connect with God through worship, prayer, and devotions. I’d like to encourage all who are reading this to find time to rest. It is essential in order to be who God created you to be.

Sacrifice

Over the last few days I’ve been reflecting on the word sacrifice. There are many different meanings of the word sacrifice. Historically, animals were sacrificed in or to obtain forgiveness of sins in the Old Testament.  The ultimate sacrifice was given when Jesus sacrificed his life on the cross for our sins.  God, the Father sacrificed His son.  John 3:16 puts it this way:   For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

I believe that to sacrifice something one must give up something.  There is surrender involved in sacrifice.  Sometimes we give up our time for someone else.  Maybe someone in your life needs a listening ear.  Sometimes we are called to give up something financial to help someone else or to help a group of people.  Maybe you’ve been thinking about giving to a specific charity or mission.  When we give to someone else or to a group we are blessed.  We gain from giving to others.

Living a life that is sacrificial is not easy.  In fact, making sacrifices should be a challenge.  If you find sacrifice easy, it may not really be the authentic sacrificial situation that I’m referring to.  Luke 9:23-24 says:  “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”  Living sacrificially is part of being a disciple or follower of Christ and it is something that must be lived out daily.  Will you join me in the adventure?

 

Attention

Are you an attention seeker or an attention giver? You may ask what is the difference? An attention seeker is a person who desires attention from other people. The attention seeker may exhibit positive or negative behavior to get attention.

On the positive side, sometimes people wave across the room to get someone’s attention. On the negative side, people can also yell and scream to gain attention from others. Giving attention to those exhibiting negative behaviors is not the best way to respond to a negative attention seeker. It may be best to ignore the negative attention seeker until they calm down and can regain control of their emotions.

Attention givers are those who respond to attention seekers by giving them attention. Being an attention giver is not always a bad thing. In today’s world there are those who may need some extra attention, love, and care from another human being. The attention giver must use discernment in who they give attention to. We’re not all called to care for everyone.

Where do you find yourself today? Are you an attention seeker or an attention giver?