Tag Archives: Faith

Lessons From This Summer (Final Part) — Do Not Fear

Standard

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

The school year is getting closer.  I feel like that is the ever-present thought on my mind.  It brings with it joy and excitement at the thought of seeing friends, having new classes, activities, and new memories to be made.  At the same time, it often also inspires feelings of panic as I consider the amount of responsibilities that are different and far greater than those that I have during the summer months.

When I focus on those responsibilities, I just want to curl up in my bed, lock the door, and hide in my room.  (Like that ever really solved anything for anybody).  But when I am afraid and overwhelmed, that is usually my first response.  Where can I hide?  How can I keep this from happening? Other times, I think to myself, “I know I am supposed to do this, but if there were any way to make it easier, less stressful, less expensive (fill in the blank with whatever usually applies to you)…”

I have mentioned in my previous two posts that this summer has been one of immense personal growth and learning.  I am not going to write a post about each of the lessons that I have learned this summer, but the lessons have been many.  I have learned about my relationships with other people, my view of God, many of my faults, how I spend my time, money, God’s provision and timing, as well as many others.

This past Sunday in church, one of the points of the sermon was, “When we stand for Christ we draw a line in the sand that is daring Satan to cross it.” It discussed how our enemy uses his tools against us to find what will eventually pull us away from putting our trust in God. One of the easiest ways for me to stop trusting God is to give way to fear.

This summer has been a time of me more firmly drawing my line in the sand.  As I learn these lessons and put them into practice I am choosing to stand for Christ.  Heading back to college and starting a new school year will be a time to really live out what I have been learning in a different environment than my home. When I fear everything that could go wrong before I even get there, it is so easy for me to take my eyes off of Christ and lose my firm footing.

This Sunday, the Lord gave me a special blessing which encouraged me to not fear and continue to stand for Him and live out what I have learned this summer.  After the sermon, we had a baptism at a lake and were blessed by the testimonies of people sharing what God has done in their lives. Walking back from the lake, I had a conversation with an older, wise sister in the faith whom I had never met.

She talked to me about her own life, issues the world and church were facing, and other topics.  Then she looked me in the eye and said,

“God will never leave you or forsake you. You are the apple of His eye. You do not need to be afraid. You are so blessed. You have everything that you need.”

My eyes welled up with tears and I thanked her for her words as we got in line for the church potluck following the service. I got my plate of food and sat down at another table with my parents and some other friends from church.

An older brother in the faith sat down who was my Bible study leader a few years ago.  He asked me about my life, and I talked with him about the many lessons I had been learning this summer as well as struggles and fears.  He reminded me,

“Isn’t it amazing how many times we are told not to fear. God has great plans for your life, Breanna.”

I got in the car after the service had ended and broke down crying in the car from the encouragement that I had received from the Lord through these dear people, one of whom  I had never even met.  It was so incredibly freeing to realize that the only thing that was holding me back from really living out what I have been learning was my own fear.

God reminded me in a very personal and incredibly loving way that He is with me always on this journey.  That He is standing beside me, helping me to fight the lies of the enemy with His truth. That He is all sufficient for me, and that He is taking care of me. That I have absolutely no need to be afraid.

I will honestly admit to you that all of my little worries have not disappeared, but they have subsided. I admit that there are still moments where the easier thing to do seems to hide from, rather than walk boldly towards whatever I am afraid of.

But in spite of my fears, I am drawing my line in the sand.  I will serve Christ.  I will live for Him daily.  I serve a God who is bigger than my fears and whose truth is more powerful than the lies that the enemy wants me to believe.

So to any of you who might be afraid today of whatever today, this week, this month, this year holds for you, I echo the words of my sister in the faith…

“God will never leave you or forsake you. You are the apple of His eye. You do not need to be afraid.”

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

Advertisements

Lessons from this Summer (Part 1) — Lord, Grow My Faith

Standard

It has been quite some time since I have last posted anything on this blog. Long times of silence for me, usually mean that God is teaching me a lot and I am processing it. This blog was created as a place for me to record what I am learning in my walk with God. It is called Trust Falls because trusting God completely has always been a struggle for me. I think it is for everyone at some point or another if we are honest.

The next several posts over the next few days are my reflections on what God has been teaching me this summer. I write these posts to share what I am learning in hopes that it may also encourage you. I also write them because it helps me remember what I am learning and also be held accountable by those of you who read this blog and go throughout daily life with me.

The first lesson I have been learning this summer lays the foundation for all of the other posts to follow.

This past year, I often prayed that God would grow my faith. I had no idea when I prayed that prayer what that would exactly imply. I don’t even think I fully considered what that would mean as I prayed it. The prayer fit with the theme of chapel or a song I was listening to.

But God often answers our prayers.

This summer I have been participating in a Bible study called, The Gospel-Centered Life. (I highly recommend it). One night my Bible study leader told us…

“Opportunities to trust God are opportunities to grow our faith.”

And the lightbulb went off…

I had flashbacks to all the times I have prayed that prayer, sometimes praying it by rote rather than meaning it with my whole heart.

I remembered the mornings my car wouldn’t start, my day had too many tiring obstacles, and I worried about the future. I thought of times that I was frustrated with other people, strategizing how I would provide for myself, and trying to save the world without looking to the true Savior of the world for help.

And it has struck me so often in the days since then just how many opportunities that God was giving me every day to build my faith by trusting Him.

Slowly my attitude has been changing. Rather than feeling frustrated by challenges in my day, I am learning to entrust them to God which is growing my faith in Him. Rather than racking my brain for a million of my own solutions, I am praying and asking God to show me the direction He would like me to take. Rather than worrying about the future, I am remembering that there has not been one day in my life that God has not provided my basic needs and blessed me in abundance with more.

There are many moments throughout the day when I succeed, and many more when I fail. But slowly and surely, I am learning to put my trust in God–not me, not other people, not things, not finances, not my jobs–and my faith in Him is growing steadily every day.

I don’t know where you are at tonight when it comes to trusting God. Maybe you gave Him your life a long time ago. Maybe you never have. Regardless of where you are today, remember that there is a very real God who made you and loves you. He has great plans for you. He knows you by name and thinks about you constantly. He loves you with an everlasting love.

If you have never trusted God with your life, why not trust Him today? Stop running from Him and give Him control. Ask Him for forgiveness from your sins and trust Him with the rest of your life.

Lord, I know that I have sinned. I know that my sin separates me from you. Thank you for sending Jesus to die on the cross to save me from my sins. I ask for your forgiveness from my sins today. I believe that you sent your son Jesus to die on the cross and that He was raised from the dead. I ask that you will come into my heart and make me a new creation. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

The Influence of a Godly Mom

Standard

Listen my son to your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.

Proverbs 1:8

Tomorrow marks a very special day in my life, the birthday of my mom.  If you asked me who the most godly woman I have ever met is, without hesitation I would tell you my mom.

And in honor of her birthday, I would like to tell you the reasons why.  These are some of the lessons I have learned from my mom.

She taught me that character matters.  And that nothing and no one should ever make you compromise it.

She taught me that wisdom first and foremost comes from the Lord.  Whenever I had any sort of problem, her first question would be if I had prayed about it.  If my answer was no, she would send me to my room to pray and ask the Lord for guidance before I sought hers.

She taught me to pray for wisdom, knowledge, understanding and discernment.

She taught me the value of time spent in the word.  Many mornings I would find her in bed doing her devotions.  The book was worn and torn from years of use.  When I went to college, she gave me her devotional book.   It is one of the most precious gifts I have ever been given.

She taught me to pick and chose friendships wisely, to look for friends that would push me towards the Lord.

She taught me that only one opinion of me really mattered, God’s.

She taught me that exterior beauty will fade, but inner beauty can only grow and mature.

She taught me that my family should be my best friends.

She taught me about sacrifice.  She would never put herself first.

She taught me that good relationships are worth waiting for and to never settle.

She taught me what a wife should look like.

She taught me how to manage my time, work hard throughout the day, and relax at the end.

She taught me to manage my anger, and to never let the sun go down without resolving it.

She taught me that sometimes I was wrong and needed to see a situation from another’s point of view.

She taught me to take healthy risks and try new things.

She taught me how to distinguish between Satan’s lies and God’s truth.

She taught me to pick my battles wisely.

She taught me to tithe.

She taught me to put others before myself.

She taught me to do the hard right thing over the easy wrong.

She taught me to go for my dreams and believe that if God was in it, it would eventually come to be.

She taught me to trust in the Lord as provider.

She taught me to be patient.

She taught me to listen.

She taught me gentleness, compassion, and kindness.

She taught me what it means to be faithful and loyal.

She taught me about my Creator.

And so much more…

So for those of you who are parents, setting a godly example for us, your children, is so very important.  It is the greatest gift that my parents gave to me.

And for those of you who are not, you still have a vital role to future generations.  What kind of legacy are you leaving?

Thank you, Mom for all you have given to your four kiddos.  We love you!  I wish I could be there with you today to celebrate!

 

 

 

 

Thank You, God

Standard

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Colossians 2:6-7

God is good.

He has given us…

  1. Food
  2. Water
  3. Nature
  4. Friends
  5. Family
  6. Jobs
  7. Meaningful work
  8. Ministry opportunities
  9. Music
  10. Creativity
  11. A new day
  12. Forgiveness
  13. Mercy
  14. Grace
  15. Compassion
  16. Butterflies
  17. Flowers
  18. Homes
  19. Rain
  20. Crops
  21. Exercise
  22. Finances
  23. The ability to think and reason
  24. His word
  25. Unfailing love
  26. Animals
  27. Different kinds of fruit
  28. Hilariously shaped clouds
  29. Laughter
  30. Joints and muscles that move
  31. Brains
  32. The five senses
  33. Math
  34. Rainbows
  35. Snow
  36. Waterfalls
  37. Icicles
  38. Smiles
  39. Hugs
  40. The feeling of hot and cold
  41. Cultures
  42. Languages
  43. Continents
  44. Oceans
  45. Planets
  46. Stars
  47. A soul
  48. Snow
  49. Color
  50. Light
  51. Darkness
  52. Gardens
  53. Rivers
  54. Mountains
  55. Frogs
  56. The praying mantis
  57. Starfish
  58. Second chances
  59. Ability to chose Him
  60. Salvation
  61. Redemption
  62. Righteousness
  63. Faith
  64. Spiritual gifts
  65. Unique strengths
  66. Galaxies
  67. A limitation in our knowledge
  68. The atmosphere
  69. The Body of Christ
  70. Justice
  71. No reason to ever be bored
  72. His one and only Son who died for us
  73. Prayer
  74. A way out of temptation
  75. Reconciliation
  76. Encouragement
  77. Children
  78. Older generations
  79. Wisdom
  80. Discernment
  81. Knowledge
  82. Understanding
  83. Patience
  84. Peace
  85. Direction
  86. Answers
  87. Dance
  88. Joy
  89. Excitement
  90. Watermelon
  91. Deliverance
  92. Sleep
  93. Beauty out of pain
  94. Companionship in brokenness
  95. Freedom
  96. Mentors
  97. Life
  98. Passions
  99. Dreams
  100. Adventures

And so many more.

And for these gifts…tonight…I am so very thankful.

No More Excuses

Standard

I recently was a leader at a conference where Axis Ministries came and spoke.  During their presentation, they showed this video.  Before you read further, take a few minutes to watch it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obdd31Q9PqA

The conference theme was all about turning apathy into action, and after watching this video, I asked myself some hard questions about that theme.  I challenge you to ask them to yourself as well.

-Am I making excuses that are stopping me from living my life to the fullest potential that God has for me?

-What are my most frequent excuses? Is there any truth to any of them?

Summer is a wonderful time to reflect and relax, but it is quickly coming to a close. So before this next school year starts, I have a few more questions for you.

-Where is your relationship with God at right now? What excuses are getting in the way of that relationship growing?

-Has summer been a time of putting your faith on hold or are you putting it into action?

-What steps can you take to grow deeper in your faith?

Take some time right now, wherever you are to reconnect with the God of the Universe who created you. Who loves you with an everlasting love. Who desires to have an intimate relationship with you. Who lets you call Him Dad.

The Lord your God is with you; he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you; he will quiet you with his love; he will rejoice over you with singing. 

Zephaniah 3:17