Encouraging, uplifting , positive thoughts rooted in the love of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Category Archives: Trust

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: 10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.  But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

A flock of about fifty geese hunkered down on a football field was a very unusual sight for me, so to satisfy my curiosity, I asked my colleague why the birds just sat there, as if they were immobilized and motionless. He responded that due to the high winds in the atmosphere above our level, the geese knew to remain on the field until the storm had passed; otherwise they could be blown way off course; become separated from their travelling partners; or even lose their lives. With the long flight to southern parts, and the way in which geese depend on each other in the flight routine, one mistake could result in a lost goose, and one lost goose could bring an end to the team.

The support of the flock is as important to the one goose, as the support of one goose is important to the flock. Serving God in isolation may seem the answer sometimes, but is serving by one’s self God’s design for His children?

Sometimes we feel strong enough to make it on our own, but it is much easier to snap one twig than a whole bundle of twigs. As the Bible aptly puts it, a cord of three strands is not easily broken…. When we are all grounded it is easier to stay together and support each other, but the one who has no one to support and encourage may lose his way.

Our Father is able to keep us in and through every storm. He takes care of swallows, and geese and us, His children. If geese do not fly into a storm, why should we?

Inventory / Introspection  Have I taken care to hunker down and hide under His wings when He shows me warning signs of storms ahead?  

Personal Application: My loving Father is able to keep me through the storms of life, but He also calls me to safety in Him.

Dear Father, we are grateful for your protection. You equip geese with what they need to ride out a storm, and wait until it is safe to fly. In the same way, we have the Comforter to lead and guide us if we choose to listen and obey. Help us to be on the watch for the warning signs You give us, and to be careful to walk where You lead.  When it’s time to hide under Your wings, may we run to You without hesitation. When it is time to soar, may we rise with the wind of the Holy Spirit.

I am told that when geese fly, they rotate the leadership position when the leader gets tired.  Geese know that the roles they play are not constant throughout the journey. Help us to remember that. Sometimes we will lead, other times we will follow, but we support and encourage each other to the glory of your name.

Storms and changes will come, but you remain steadfast and certain. Geese know not to fly into a storm… may we never knowingly run into danger either.

Amen.

Blessings,
ann
Toni R
(c)
Except where indicated, Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
© Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s Blog, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.  


Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2

Children are taught that square pegs do not fit into round holes, but that doesn’t stop them from trying. Some have managed to fit the pegs into the holes, but not without significant damage to said pegs and holes.

As children of God, we do know that we are called to live a life of holiness, but sometimes we find ourselves making adjustments as we try to fit into situations that were not meant to accommodate us. Sometimes the adjustments may be blatant and obvious, at other times they are subtly deceptive and we may find we keep moving the boundary lines inch by inch, until we are miles away from where we need to be. The people we hang out with, the books we read, the music we listen to, the television programs and movies we watch, and the policies and platforms we vote for should reflect the Christ within us.

Christians are not called to a life of popularity. We are called to follow Christ. Our primary goal should be to live the life that pleases Christ, even if it does not sit well with the crowd. In James 4, we see that friendship with the world makes us God’s enemies. If we choose not to stand for “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable … excellent or praiseworthy”  (Philipians 4:8),  we might find ourselves nursing wounds that come from trying to fit into what He has called us to separate ourselves from.

Inventory/Introspection: What are the little things that could cause me to subconsciously or unconsciously move His boundary markers?

Personal Application: Standing up for Christ means that sometimes I will stand out. It can feel like a lonely place, but I have His assurance that He is with me and that He will never leave me. When I stand up for Christ, I am never standing alone.

Father, we are thankful for Your Word and the guidelines You lay out for us to follow for our own good. You love us so much that You have prepared a way for us to live eternally in You. (John 3:16) 

The consumer nature of our present world makes it easy for us to access ‘things’. Some are beneficial and good for us, others can lead to sin in our lives. Help us to be aware of the little things that can become issues later on. Your Word shows that a little yeast affects the whole dough. (Galatians 5:9) A little compromise can affect our own Christian walk, and when we are weak, we can also put our brothers and sisters in Christ at risk by introducing them to practices and possessions that can cause them to grow weaker in their faith.

Help us to walk as Christians, even if we become like square pegs that cannot fit into the world’s expectations of us. We have no desire to be battered and beaten up, so help us to remain true to the ‘shape’ that we are supposed to be. We have no reason to find friendship with the World. We are Yours, and we are thankful for Your unfailing love.

May we never forget who we are as we go about our daily lives. May Christ be our focus whether we are simply choosing a book to read, or electing a leader. We do not need to cut corners or seek favours from man in order to be successful in Your eyes. We have no reason to compromise if we trust You to take care of whatever concerns us, be they large, small or in-between.

We choose to be non-conformists as far as following this world is concerned. We will follow only You.

Amen.

Blessings,
ann

Toni R
(c)

Except where indicated, Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
© Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s Blog, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


1.Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”   “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”  Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.  On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance.  He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”

9. When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.  But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied.  “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”  Genesis 22:1-12

As I read the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit gave revelations of details I had not noticed before.

  • Perhaps the most striking was Abraham’s timeline. The Bible did not say what time of day God spoke to Abraham, but it says that he got up “early the next morning” and started his preparation.
  • The next thing that crossed my mind, was that Isaac was a strong, young man. He likely had more physical strength than his father. Why did he allow himself to be bound and laid on an altar, knowing what happens on an altar?
  • The third thing He revealed to me was that Abraham went away from his servants. He asked them to mind the donkeys, then he went off to be with his son…
  • The fourth thing was that Abraham was keen to hear God’s voice despite all the thoughts he may have been having at that time.

If God calls me at midnight and asks me to hand over something I have no use of, or wanted to get rid of, I would likely immediately rise and give it to Him. I do not know that I would rise “early the next morning” to give Him what seemed the dearest thing on earth to me. Still, Abraham trusted God to unfold a plan known only to Him.

The sermons I have heard on this passage have all focused on Abraham’s faith. What of Isaac? Why did he not try to break free and escape? Something tells me that Isaac likely believed because he saw his father’s faith. He likely would have heard the story how God opened Sarah’s womb and gave her a gift. He trusted his father’s word even to the last second and lived to see God’s deliverance fulfilled in his own life.

Abraham walked away from his servants. They had journeyed together for three days, but he left them behind at the crucial moment. What is the request God has made of you? Are you ready to leave close relationships behind so you can draw closer to Him? Joseph shared his dreams with those who didn’t get it and that landed him in a pit. Not everyone  will understand the command He has given to you. Be careful to step away, if needed, when you seek to fulfill His will, lest others try to talk you out of it.

Abraham heard from God at the eleventh hour… Sometimes it seems as though we wait and wait and nothing happens.  He is still there and still speaking. May our hearts and ears be attentive to His voice even in the midst of what we are facing.

The same God who provided a substitute for Isaac is able to deliver you from whatever you face. Keep your mind and heart on Him.

Personal Application: Today I will ask Him to examine my life and see what living or dead sacrifice I need to lay on His altar.

Inventory/ Introspection: What good is my word? When I say I trust God to do the impossible, do I really believe it? Will those around me be able to know God through the way I live?

Father, I do not look forward to the things that stretch me physically or spiritually, but I know they are necessary for my growth. I do not always go as a willing sacrifice, but I pray You will break my will until I become what You want me to be.

I pray that my heart will be willing to rise early to the requests that you make of me and that I will be willing to trust You and not doubt.  All I have was given by Your hands. I would rather not hang onto anything You ask me to give up.

Help me to discern your voice above all others, and that, if necessary, I will walk away from what is nearest and dearest so that Your perfect plans can be fulfilled.

I am thankful for the relationships and material possessions You place in my life to help me over the difficult patches. Help me to trust that  You will take care of what You ask me to lay on the altar, and that I would not fight Your purpose.

May Your name be glorified.

Amen

Blessings,
ann

Toni R
(c)

Except where indicated, Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

© Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s Blog, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. (Psalms 61:1-4 – KJV)

As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:10-11)

The Bible records the stories of those God placed in one environment then moved them on to greener pastures. It’s human nature to want the pastures, but I am yet to meet one who wants the process that one must go through to get it. 

When I gave my life to Christ, I gave up my rights to direct my own path. I didn’t realize that at first, and having realized it, there are still days I want to do my own thing. There are days I wish I had a sneak peek into what He has for me so I could at least know what’s coming down the pipeline. Fortunately for me, He doesn’t play by my rules. I would rather not have to deal with the harsh waves of life that toss me against the hard places, but I know that even in the midst of the storm, the Peace-speaker is speaking to me.

God will deliver on His promises. His timing may not be in line with ours, but we can rest assured that He will not go back on His word. I don’t know what your day, your week, your month or even your life has been like so far. Maybe you would really don’t want to be where you are. Maybe, like me, you have been trying to get a glimpse into the ‘better days’ that have been promised. I want to encourage you today to hold on a bit longer.  There are people watching you as they struggle with their own storms. They may be thinking that if your faith sustains you, they may trust the God you serve. If you give up, they may feel like there’s no reason to hold on. May I encourage you to hang on today? If not for your sake, then hang on for the sake of those who wait to see how your God will come through for you.

Inventory / Introspection: How has my attitude to my daily challenges reflected my level of contentment in my present position?

Personal application:  Will I trust Him to lead me today so that others see Him, even if it causes me pain?

Father, I have found myself in an uncomfortable place. Truth be told, I would rather not be here, but I know that there is no place I can go that You are not already there, so even in the midst of this, You are here with me. I am thankful that You have not left me alone.  I don’t like this place of uncertainty, but I know that Your plans for me “are good … and prosperous”, so I will trust You to carry me over the issues I cannot walk through and I trust You to keep me covered when the winds of adversity blow. I am safe and protected in You, even when I don’t feel like it. “You are my Hiding Place. You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance” Psalm 32:7… I choose to lose myself in You.

I confess today that I would rather not be here, but I know that there are others who are watching to see how You will deliver me. Help me to “stand still and see Your salvation” so that Your name may be glorified in these circumstances.  My life is in Your hands.

Amen

Blessings,
ann

Toni R
(c)

Except where indicated, Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

© Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s Blog, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Ecclesiastes 5:4-7 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make one and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, “My vow was a mistake.” Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God. *

I recently came across this passage while reading a Bible I’ve had for almost twenty years. I couldn’t remember why I had double highlighted the passage but the impact of the words was enough to make me stop and check myself to see whether I had an ‘outstanding debt’ in this area. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin”… Has my mouth led me into sin? As the question started to gnaw at me, I began to think of the vows I had made to God … vows I may have made when I felt Him gently guiding me in a particular direction or vows I may have made when I needed instant deliverance.

Have I been employing the ‘many words’ tactic,  trying to talk my way out of something I gave Him my word I would do? Have you? Our life experiences may take us through bitter waters. Sometimes we feel like we’re at the end of our rope and that there’s no way out. Often the tendency is to pray: “Lord, if you help me out of this one, I’ll do whatever you want me to do!” This awesome God delivers… and then we forget about our promise to Him.

As I write, I am getting the sense that there is something I need to work through but I can’t quite put a finger on it so I’m praying for revelation. What about you? … Are you getting a sense of unfinished business between you and your Father? Is there something you committed to do that you haven’t quite gotten around to doing? Did you promise God you would do something after you achieved a particular goal? Missions? Volunteer service? Ministering to the infirmed? Serving sacrificially? What was the vow you made that remains yet unfulfilled?

While I turn these questions over in my mind, I contemplate the many times He brought me through issues I thought I’d never survive. I contemplate the times I asked Him for direction and then went my own way anyway. I am thankful that He has not treated me as my sins deserve but that He gives me this opportunity for redemption.

Father, I have made more mistakes than I can count, yet You still love me. Thank You for being patient with me. There are things I promised in moments of despair or joy that I may not have fulfilled… please forgive me for having made promises I did not fulfill. I don’t know where You are taking me but I have given You my life and all that I am. I pray that You would lead me and that I would willingly follow after You.

The years have brought experience and the experiences have brought wisdom. I am spiritually old enough to know that when I make a pledge to You, I ought to follow through. If there is unfinished business I need to take care of, please bring it to memory so that I can fulfill my vows to You. Please set a watch over my tongue that I do not speak for the sake of speaking but that I would take commitments to You seriously. I believe You will provide whatever physical, emotional, spiritual or other support I need to help me walk in the destiny You’ve called me to.

I stand in awe of You and I trust You to order my steps.

Amen

Blessings,
ann

*THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Toni R
(c)

© Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s Blog, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2:1-4)… They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. (Acts 2:42-43)

As a child, I’d run with a kite in my hand waiting for the perfect moment. When the right current of air came along, I’d throw up my hands and let the kite go. I’d then watch with pride as it rode the wind, soaring to heights it could never get to if I was still holding on.  It’s a wonderful feeling to see something I’ve fashioned with my own hands glide effortlessly in the breeze.

I’m good at making a kite. I’m good at running with it. I’m also good at throwing it up into the wind but I cannot make it fly. The timing of the wind has to be ideal. If I don’t let go at the right moment, the kite may come crashing down in a matter of seconds.

  • If I let go before the wind has fully come, the force of the airstream may catch the kite at the wrong angle and blow it downwards instead. That bad-timing can cause damage to my kite.
  • If I change my mind about letting go while in mid-launch, the gust can rip the kite right from my hands and leave me with shreds of my beautiful masterpiece. Even though I’ve spent so much time working on the kite, I do have to let it go and allow the wind to carry it. Yes, when the wind comes, it’s time to let go. Kites were made to fly.
  • If I let go after the wind has passed, I can launch with all my might but the kite still won’t fly. The kite flies on the strength of the wind, not on the power with which I throw.

The Holy Spirit came like “a mighty rushing wind” (Acts 2:2). Those who had gathered to wait on Him were ready. It was time to allow The Wind to come and take control. They were prepared … they were waiting. They were not running around all day waiting on a moment that wasn’t coming, neither were they trying to create their own ‘wind moments’. They let go of all their fears and inhibitions. God had given a promise and they believed that He would make good on it.

What are you holding onto that needs the freedom of the wind? Are you trying to fly your kite on your own strength and power? It may look good as it leaves your hand, but when your efforts fail; your dream will come crashing with it.  On the other hand, God may be telling you to wait on Him for His timing in launching a dream He’s placed inside you.  Don’t run ahead of Him… If He promised you support, then He’s going to send it. The perfection of His timing settles all the questions. Wait for it… wait for it!

Father, there are days when it seems all my energy is consumed with running around trying to launch my kite into a wind I created myself. I’m convinced that the timing is right, yet the kite won’t rise. I heave with all my energy and still nothing happens… There are other days I feel you tugging at my heart. The Wind of the Holy Spirit is so strong in the call for action yet I allow the fear of failure or the fear of what others will say to prevent me from going where you want me to go. Please forgive me for putting my trust in the wrong place.  Today I will be a kite in Your hands. I don’t know the timing of Your launch but I trust You to place me where I will do my best work for You. Nothing I’ve accomplished is worth celebrating if Your hand of blessing is not visible in my achievements. Thank you for second chances, Abba.

Amen

Blessings,
ann

Toni R
(c)

© Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s Blog, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Psalm 71:5 For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth.

I made my commitment to follow God when I was just a child. I had great trust in Him and believed His word without question. I was happy to share and defend what I believed. (I could sing with gusto about how He brought me through ‘trials and dangers’ because, in reality, I had never experienced any!) Life was good!

As I grew older and my walk with Him deepened, I began to experience real trials and at times questioned whether I could walk this walk.   I found out there were issues that required spending time seeking His direction. There were days when I would long for an answer and His reply would be “not now”. I went through many moments of wondering where God was when I needed Him. There were times I wondered whether I had made the right decision and whether I should have ‘lived my life first’ and then become a believer afterwards … There were many reasons to give up.  At least, that’s what I thought.

At the height of a personal crisis, I came across Psalm 71:5 and decided to take stock of where I was and how I had gotten to this point. It began to dawn on me that:

  • God had not changed. He is the same God I met in my childhood and He will be the same God when I meet Him face to face at the end of it all.
  • Unless I decided to trust Him with childlike faith, I would spend time wandering in the proverbial desert when I could have been on my way to my destiny.
  • The choice to trust Him is all that – it’s a choice. The ball is in my court.

If I say that everything is going according to plan and that life is coming up roses that would not be a true representation of where I am. I can say though, with all certainty, that God has never forgotten me and that He’s taken me through enough painful experiences for me to realize that there is nothing impossible where He is concerned. I can trust Him with everything I have and I have discovered the importance of being honest in sharing my disappointments, frustrations and regrets.

I am learning to sing like a child again. For one, He has brought me through a lot. For two, He has never left my side. There are still moments when I feel like He’s far away but I choose to believe He’s with me and that He will work all things in His perfect timing.

I pray that you would be reminded today, that God has not changed.  I pray you would remember the times He brought you out of situations that seemed impossible. I pray He would give you clear directions for the questions you ask and that if He says “no” or “wait”, you will seek Him for grace and peace to go through this leg of your journey. He is your hope.

Father, I thank You for being my hope and my confidence. When I revisit events in my life, I can see how you have led me and I’m grateful that You never gave up on me even when I walked away from You. You are all I need and so much more.  Today I build an altar as a reminder of Your unfailing love and Your guidance in my life. Sure, I can look at all that remains to be done (in my eyes), but I choose to look instead at all the joys and blessings You have brought me. I choose to believe that You are indeed the Faithful One and that Your plans for me are perfect.

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer” Psalm 19:14

Amen

Blessings,
ann

Toni R
(c)

© Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s Blog, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Boaz asked the foreman of his harvesters, “Whose young woman is that?”  The foreman replied, “She is the Moabitess who came back from Moab with Naomi.  She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.’ She went into the field and has worked steadily from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter.”  So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with my servant girls. Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the girls. I have told the men not to touch you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.” Ruth 2:5-9(New International Version)

After the death of her husband and her father in-law, Ruth chose to stay with her mother-in-law, Naomi. Their journey took them to Bethlehem and to the field of the influential Boaz. Their timing took them there at the beginning of the harvest and Ruth continued to do what was natural for her. She went straight to work, picking up leftover grain so they could have something to eat. As she went about her business, she had no idea Boaz, the owner of the field was watching her and making provisions for her. (He later instructed his workers to purposefully leave extra grain in the field so Ruth could find all she needed.)

Life sometimes throws us curve-balls, like the ones Ruth found herself facing. She could have decided to serve her own interests but she chose to stay with Naomi. In the midst of serving this widow, Boaz saw Ruth and she found favour in his eyes.

We tend to dislike the joyless journeys. We tend to prefer days when the hand of God is clearly over us and all His plans are unfolding the way we expected. Ruth had to deal with the sorrow and pain of being a widow yet she chose the path of service. The path you have to walk today may be just as difficult for you but I would encourage you to joyfully serve so that you may find favour in the eyes of Boaz.  Boaz is watching you! Your Boaz may be your immediate supervisor, a prospective employer, your professor;  your future spouse or anyone else in a position to positively influence your transition.

Life may not be what you envisioned but still serve as unto God and not unto man.  While you serve the Lord with all you have, may Boaz take notice of you and may the evidence of God’s favour be seen  all over your life. Your reward will be worth the present sacrifices.

Father, I am extremely grateful for the many times you have showed me favour simply because I have been obedient to you. I am also aware that there are times I have walked away from being Boaz to someone.  Please forgive me. I pray that You will help me to do well in whatever You ask me to do and that I will find favour in Your sight. I pray that You will also open my eyes to those around us with genuine needs and to extend hope even as Boaz did for Ruth. My life is in Your hands and all I am, all I have, all I earn is Yours.

Blessings,
ann

Toni R
(c)

© Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s Blog, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Anthonette Anderson and Tonirand’s blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


I will bless the Lord at all times... Psalm 34:1b

Blessing the Lord does not always come easy.  It’s easier to map our praise and thanksgiving with our moods. If all is well, we gladly offer praise and thanksgiving. When we face obstacles, the sacrifice  tends to be harder to come  by. God knew the days we would have therefore  He has made provisions in His word.

Ecclesiastes 7:14
says “When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, a man cannot discover anything about his future.” ( New International Version – NIV). My understanding of this verse is that God allows good things to happen but he also allows bad things to happen to us as well. We must depend on Him because we do not know what’s going to come next … if we did, we would not need Him!

Still, this does not make it easy for us to be thankful during dismal times. It’s hard to watch the family home go up in smoke or listen to a bad report from a doctor or watch a loved one suffer from the pain of bad choices. We often want to fix things and it’s easy to get angry when things don’t go the way we wanted them to. The word says we should “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.1 Thess 5:18 NIV. It also says we should  “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. – Eph 5:19-20 – NIV

Things may not go the way I want them to go but I have a choice. I can choose to bless the Lord, regardless or I can choose to look through human eyes and try to fix them myself. But I am human … it’s logical to want things the way I want them. It’s logical to call it quits when life goes against the course I planned. It’s easier to throw in the towel and call it a day but I choose to bless Him. I choose to trust Him. I choose to obey.

The place you now find yourself in may be the worst you could ever imagine. Hopelessness and despair may seem to be the only choices you have.   Please be reminded that  our God has already worked out the answer. No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it 1Cor 10:13 – NIV. As hard as it may seem, as long as you have life, you can choose.   Will you trust Him to deliver you today?

Father, thank You for your promises concerning my life. I realize things may not always go the way I want them to but I know that You are in control … regardless. I am not happy with all that is around me but I choose to believe that You are still in charge and that You do not make mistakes. Please teach me how to be thankful in all things, how to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” despite what goes on around me.
I thank You for Your unconditional love and for Your blessings towards me. I will bless You. I will praise You. I choose to trust You to walk with me through this!

Blessings,
Toni R

(c)


Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6 – New International Version)

Ever read a really, really good book? You’re into it … you’re thoroughly enjoying … you’re liking what you’re reading and then there comes  a twist… the final chapter is not quite what you expected. What you thought for sure was going to happen didn’t materialize and events you never dreamt up suddenly became the order of the day. You ask yourself how the author thought of such an ending and why the plot didn’t go in another direction. What was this author thinking? You’re almost at the last page and the questions are still not answered… How can this make sense? As you near the end, the light begins to dawn on you … there is bound to be a sequel!!! Your  anger and disappointment now turn to excitement as you start your search for the follow-up book.

We tend to  map our lives the way we want them to unfold. We have everything planned. It seems life is flowing the way we want it to and then the Author changes direction. You look at your own blue print and you realize things are no longer where you wanted them to be. The mileposts seem farther and farther away and there are fewer ‘checks’ on your to do list. The one year project is now two years behind and you seem to have lost the reins.

Have you come to the end of a chapter in your life? Did you think this was it? Were you hoping to find the answer? Are you still searching for your treasure? Angry? Disappointed? Confused? Need guidance on where to place your feet next?  Need a reason to be excited again? He wrote the book. He knows how to lead you!

Psalm 119:105 – Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. (New Living Translation – NLT)
Psalm 119:133 – Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me. (New International Version – NIV)
Psalm 37:23  – The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. (NLT)

The good thing is, He already knows what’s around the bend.  He has already seen the end of the story!  Trust Him to take you past the hitches and over the hills and through the valleys.  There’s no place that you can go that He’s not already there!  He alone can take you safely through this and every other chapter of your life.

Right now, your reality may cause you pain. There may be thoughts of what could have been or where you went wrong or what could have been done differently. The good news is, you can start over anytime!  Things may seem out of place right now and you may not feel like moving forward. This is not the end! I encourage you to make the next step a step of faith. Your ideals may appear to have come to an abrupt end but the best is yet to come. Hope is not lost. Despair will not last forever. Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning! (Psalm 30:5)

It doesn’t matter where you have been or where you went wrong. Our God allows second chances. If you hear Him call today, please respond. There is hope for tomorrow. Those who know you best may wonder why you push on and you yourself may wonder why you even bother to try.  There are greater joys awaiting you. He still has your best interest at heart. He’s still concerned about every area of your life.  This is not the final chapter. It’s not at all over … it is to be continued!!

Father, thank You for the cross and the sacrifice that gives me the opportunity to come boldly to Your throne. Please wash me of all my sins and make me clean before You. Thank You for the plans You have for my life. I repent of trying to do things my own way. Today I lay all I am and all I hope and dream of becoming into Your hands. I trust that You will order my steps.  Rewrite my story so that all I do will bring You glory and honor.

Thank you for all the experiences in my life (even the not so pleasant ones), as they have all helped to shape my life. I recognize that there are experiences I do not wish to have but since I choose to trust You with everything, I release all to You so You can order my steps. Train my heart and my ears to listen to Your voice and teach me to walk in obedience. Thank You for Your faithfulness.  Amen

Blessings,

Ann

Toni R (c)