The English speaking church we attend in Mexico had an interesting beginning. We have met the Canadian couple who were instrumental in the formation of the church. I enjoyed hearing the story both from their perspective and that of the pastor.
After wintering in the area for several years, this couple could see the need for a church service in English. They learned of a pastor in the area who was bilingual and approached him with their idea.
He could see the merit in this but didn’t feel his language skill were good enough. After more conversation he thought it might be possible. “We can start next year” he said.
The immediate response of, “How about next week?” took him by surprise. Sensing this was God’s will, he agreed. The next Sunday fourteen people were in attendance for the first service in English. That was over ten years ago.
We appreciate the ministry of our Mexican church home. I have been privileged to be in attendance for both multicultural and outreach events with the English and Spanish congregations working side by side.
I am grateful for the pastor who didn’t feel equipped but accepted the challenge. He did not give in to the natural tendency to say, “No” or put off what seems too much to handle. Instead, he stepped out in faith and trusted God to lead the way.
This story has inspired me. I know that God has big plans for each of us. He doesn’t always call those of us who feel equipped. Instead, He calls those who are willing and equips them. When I step out in faith and trust the Lord, there is no limit to what He may enable me to do.
The high winds we had been experiencing were unusual. It’s often breezy where I live, but gusts up to 100 kilometres per hour were definitely out of the ordinary.
One day a north wind blew in cold arctic air. Another, a Chinook wind blew in mild temperatures. Either way, it caused problems and was the topic of many conversations. The roar as it buffeted the house was enough to make me wonder if we’d be blown away.
The wind warnings had finally subsided when I heard someone on the radio talking about an experience from his childhood. I’m not sure where he grew up but he told of wind so powerful that it picked up the trampoline from the backyard and sent it over the top of the house where it came crashing down in the front yard. Needless to say, the trampoline was totally destroyed. From then on, his dad always made sure everything was well anchored.
Although the picture of a trampoline being tossed over a house was vivid, the term well anchored was what stuck in my mind. The storms of life have a way of tossing me around and then causing serious damage when I come crashing down. To stay safe I need to be well anchored in the Lord. Prayer and reading the Bible are the lifelines that keep me firmly connected to God.
There is no need to doubt I will be protected because I fully believe in His promise to care for me.
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. (James 1:6 NIV)
The pastor started his sermon by telling us the choices we make shape our future and determine our destiny. This was something I already knew. The question remained; how often do I think about it when making my choices?
Life gives plenty of opportunity for making choices. I can face these with faith or with fear. I’ll admit, making choices is not easy for me. When it comes right down to it, I think the fear of making the wrong choice is what causes my inability to be decisive.
What I fail to remember is that the faith I need to move forward isn’t faith in my own judgment or ability. I only see the short-term and what looks like the easiest and most productive path for right now. God is the only one who sees the whole picture, beginning to end, and can guide me to make the right choice.
How strong is my trust in God? I know He can take care of me but do I fully believe that He will? Do I succumb to my fears or wholly trust in the Lord?
The answer to those questions will shape my future and determine my destiny. The decision is mine to make. God will never force himself on me. It’s my choice and I choose to trust in Him.
The Lord will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. (Psalm 138:8 NLT)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NLT)
The words didn’t make sense to me. I could understand being told to do my best. After all, I’ve heard no one can ask more of you than to do your best. Yet here was someone asking for more than that.
When I heard, “Do more than you think you can,” I laughed to myself, thinking that wasn’t possible. And then – I did it! I pushed myself harder to see if it was possible and ended up doing more than I thought I could.
I learned I’d been settling for less than my best for quite some time. What had formerly been my best was now commonplace and I was capable of much more. This was a huge eye-opener for me.
The lesson I learned was that I’m capable of doing much more than I think I can. Even so, there are limits to what I can achieve on my own.
Over the past few years, I’ve done many things I never thought I could. This happened when I stopped limiting myself and God by staying stuck in, “I can’t.” What would not be possible for me is no problem for The Lord. Now, I say, “If you want me to do this, I trust you’ll make it happen.”
Life is much more fulfilling when I don’t attempt to tackle it on my own. I am not supposed to be able to do everything. When I put my trust in the Lord, I can stand back and watch him do immeasurably more than I ever dreamed of my life. Every success and achievement is due to him and for that, I can never thank him enough.
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13 NLT)
“I feel like I’m doing something wrong when I step on the other side of this line.” I said to my husband.
We were walking along a grassy path and the sun was hitting a tall chain link fence at just the right angle to create a duplicate fence shadow.
The line I was walking beside represented the top of the fence. Unsure which side to walk along, I was, in effect, straddling the fence!
“What a good example of life” I said. Metaphorically I sit on the fence, to keep from making decisions. I wouldn’t want to come down on the wrong side and offend anyone. It would be embarrassing to make a mistake by choosing the wrong side.
When I walked above the fence line it didn’t seem right. Unconsciously I adjusted my pace to follow the line. To do this I had to look down, to watch my steps. This meant I wasn’t looking up at what was around me.
Did it make a difference which side of this line my feet fell on? Not at all.
I was doing what I’ve always done, not veering off of the straight line before me. By watching my feet and not looking up I was trusting in my own limited knowledge and not looking up to the Lord for guidance.
The Lord has promised to instruct and teach me in the way I should go. My focus needs to be up and on him. His counsel will always direct me to the line he wants me to walk.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. (Psalm 32:8 NIV)
The wise counsel GOD gives when I’m awake is confirmed by my sleeping heart. Day and night I’ll stick with GOD; I’ve got a good thing going and I’m not letting go. Psalm 16:7-8 (The Message)