Value of a Season

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“Each season can teach us something. How we respond is totally up to us”

The experiences we have each season can either block us or propel us. In our world today, we are facing challenges like we’ve never seen before. Social distancing is changing the way we live. Our church buildings are less accessible to us. In seasons like these we can experience sadness because we lack the company of others. Many people are uncomfortable being alone because God created us to be in relationships.  In Genesis 2:18 “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”

This season of quarantine and social distancing can be especially difficult for widows and widowers. Many are just beginning to adjust to living without their spouses. Now they are separated from their support systems making life extra difficult.

How do we combat loneliness during this time of isolation? I’ve used my time to reach out to friends and family that I normally don’t have time to connect with.  I’ve reached out to widows, caregivers, and others that I know who are alone. I’ve caught up on projects and spent extra time in prayer and worship. It’s important that during this time we give what we want to receive. I am convinced that the best way to combat any challenge is to pour into someone else’s life. Try offering encouragement and hope to those who may experience fear and anxiety during this season.

How about working on a project you may have pushed aside? Perhaps God has placed something in your heart, and in this time of reflection and solitude you can work toward that goal. Start writing that book you’ve always wanted to write. Teach yourself a new skill. Everything is on YouTube these days. Maybe you’ve always dreamed of starting a business. This is a good time to write out a business plan. In my book A Woman’s Call Living a Life of Purpose, the chapter titled Entrepreneurship; I cover some of what you need to know to start a business. Take some of the free time you now have to sit down and write out a plan, listing steps on how to proceed. It won’t always be like this and wouldn’t you love to be a step ahead when things turn around?

Many unbelievers are searching for hope in this unprecedented time. What a great opportunity to share the hope of Jesus Christ. A phone call to encourage someone or pray with them is a good thing to do. Even amid everything that is going on, people still have problems. Their marital problems didn’t suddenly subside because of a pandemic. They probably are worse because couples are spending more time together. Children didn’t suddenly stop making unwise decisions. Financial issues have most likely gotten worse. What I am saying is that many still need encouragement and hope. Shut downs and quarantines do not hinder the power of prayer.  God can still meet people right where they are and do whatever they need Him to do.

Now that your schedule is free, spend quality time in prayer, studying, praise and worship.

Remember, God is always with you.

“Let your manner of living be without covetousness, and be content with such things as ye have. For He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” Hebrews 13:5.

Dr. Evelyn Johnson-Taylor

Surprised by Suffering 

Arise DAILY Devos

by Julie Zine Coleman @JulieZColeman

 

An old friend of mine recently suffered a medical problem which required extensive surgery. The whole ordeal caught her off-guard. “I never expected to have to go through anything like this,” she sheepishly confessed to me. “I assumed that the Lord would protect me from suffering.” Psalm 121 had been her mantra for many years: “He who watches over you will not slumber… the Lord will keep you from all harm…”(Psalm 121:3, 7 NIV).

 

My friend had it half-right. We can count on the presence and care of a God who misses no detail. Nothing can separate us from his love or the salvation we received through his grace. But to expect a life devoid of suffering would necessitate ignoring a large portion of Scripture.

 

Whether we like it or not, suffering is part of God’s plan for his people.

 

In…

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I’ll Do It All Differently (This Year)!

How are you doing with your New Year’s goals?

Goal, Setting, Goal Setting, Success, Business

 

 

I’ll Do It All Differently (This Year)!

 

“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”     Joshua 1:9

Take Authority of Your Life

The phrase “I’ll do it all differently!” is the sentiment of thousands the first week of the New Year as planners are purchased and calendars reviewed.   Each new year the same thoughts and struggles are evident by the end of the first quarter of the year.  Beyond just saying “I’ll do it all differently” – you actually can!  Today I recommend that you downsize your life and focus on you.  It is not selfish. “Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start now and make a brand new ending.” – Carl Bard

Change Demands Attention to Priorities

First, daily quiet time is a primary source of spiritual self-care.  Secondly, consideration of your mental health and development is necessary for emotional stability, and lastly attention to your physical health and wellness, which all combine to create the essence of who you really are.  It is essential to your personal productivity and fulfillment of your life’s purpose to live in harmony with yourself.  Taking time for you decreases the volatile effects of undue stress on spirit, mind, and body.

Try one or more of these exercises: set aside quiet time (even if for brief periods); purchase a coloring book and color a page each day; or take a walk and turn your cell phone off.  These exercises will relax and renew each component of your being by nurturing the spirit, mind, and body. When scheduling your day, week or month, ask yourself a few questions: “God, is this your will?”, “How is this task going to prepare or assist me in my journey?”;  and “Do I really have the time to do this?”.   It is important to remember that it is OK (and not ungodly) to say, “No, I cannot do this at this time.”

It is Up to You (to Make and Keep Your Commitments to Change)

Retrain your responses, and do not allow yourself to be bullied by guilt or manipulated into accepting tasks you are not predestinated to do. Yes, you may have the gifts and skills; however, is it what God wants you to do?   During the process of downsizing your life, you will begin to find and schedule time for tasks that you have desired to do for years.

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”    ― Andy Warhol

“The steps of a good man (or woman) are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.”         

Thank you for keeping us on track.

To learn more about Karynthia Phillips

 

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To learn more about Evelyn J Taylor Ministries

 

Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving

 “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good his love endures forever.”

1 Chronicles 16:34 NIV

 

Heavenly Father

Thank you for all of your many blessings. We thank you for all that you have provided so that we may live the life you have designed for us to live. You have blessed us abundantly and we do not take your blessings for granted. During this season of thanksgiving let us remember those who are without. As we gather with family and friends, help us to be mindful of those who are sad and lonely. Remind us to share our blessings with others. Whether it is a kind word or gesture, may we always acknowledge that everything that we have comes from you. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.

To learn more about Dr. Johnson-Taylor

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Claim Yours Promises

by Evelyn Taylor  @drevetaylor

So Joshua said to the Israelites: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the LORD, the God of your ancestors, has given you?”                                                                                                                                           Joshua 18:3 NIV

I tend to book early flights.

I like to get to my destination early in the day, so I can arrive and still have time to enjoy the sunlight of the day. This means I have to plan. Airports can be exhausting, and when I’m standing in a TSA line before sunrise, it helps to know I have a window seat waiting for me when I get on the plane.

Imagine my surprise when I recently boarded a plane only to find another passenger in my assigned seat! Now, on a midday flight, I don’t mind settling for an aisle seat. But the window seat is the best place for sleeping at that early hour. No worries about getting knocked by the beverage cart or slumping onto another passenger.

I’m not always the most assertive person, but in order to receive what was promised me, I had to inform my seatmate of his mistake. It meant a bit of shuffling and reorganizing as the middle seat was also occupied. I felt a little uncomfortable that I was causing my fellow passengers some inconvenience. But I couldn’t be timid. I needed to claim what had been promised.

Just before entering the Promised Land, Joshua told the Israelites that they should lay claim to what God had already given them. They were to take God at His word and step forward in trust. It would take action to receive their inheritance.

As with the Israelites, God has given us blessings that we have yet to claim. They are already ours, but we must step forward to receive them. Our obedience to God is the action necessary for him to release his promises to us. When we yield ourselves to his will, we are positioned to receive all that he has promised. As the Lord told Isaiah: “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land” (Isaiah 1:19 ESV).

When we belong to him, we don’t have to live in fear and anxiety. He promises to keep our hearts and minds in perfect peace as we step forward to trust him. “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you” (Isaiah 26:3 NIV). In the stressful times in life, we can receive the peace of God.

As Moses spoke to the Children of Israel encouraging them, we can have faith trusting that God will always be with us as well. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV).

The Apostle Paul wrote concerning the magnificent abilities of our God: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” (Ephesians 3:20 NIV) We can be assured that he is able to do more than we can imagine. We don’t have to settle for less, nor do we have to worry that our present reality is all that he has for us. There is no need to be afraid to ask for what is rightfully ours.

Focusing on the promises of his Word rather than on a surrounding disturbance will allow you to enjoy all God has promised. Ask in trust, confident in a God who keeps his promises. Faith is more than saying we believe. Faith actually believes.

Change Brings Growth

Guest blogger- Linda Ray Center

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” –John F. Kennedy

Growth is a task God sets before us. Change is a fast-forward journey to the future. You might be going through a change right now. It could be a beginning or an ending of a relationship, a move to another state, or an upcoming opportunity. There is power to see how God works His direction for our good. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.”(Romans 8:28)

On a recent cruise, my day began with a walk around the ship. I filled my lungs with salty air and knew God was near. The warmth of sun on my face confirmed His presence. I felt it necessary to drop a few commitments when I returned home and invest in understanding God’s direction for my life. Sometimes I hear the “go” but not the how. The future is a mystery, so I started praying for wisdom. James 1:5 tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom ask God.” In my prayer time, I asked the big question, “What’s next?”

Three years ago, I felt the call to write and speak about God’s goodness. After the divine nudge, I became acutely aware of my academic shortcomings and have struggled to accomplish this task. As a child, my focus in school was wrong. Moving to six different schools before I graduated from high school was difficult. Making new friends became the hardest part, and as a result, I concentrated more on fitting in than my education. 

In short, I needed to relearn the fundamentals of writing. My journey began with short articles about relationships, but it grew into something bigger. I developed a strong leading to inspire children to take their education seriously. 

I’m often stretched beyond what I think is achievable, but I know with God, all things are possible. Just as God equipped Moses, who had a speech disability and yet spoke and led his people. He gave Esther courage to face her calling. The Lord equips His children for the tasks He sets before them. 

My passion for writing deepens more each day. God uses change to cause good things. Change brings opportunities to grow closer to Him.

How do you embrace change? 

What growth opportunity taught you a valuable lesson?

Guest blogger

Linda Ray Center


Linda Ray Center is an author and inspirational speaker addressing the importance of education to children.
 As a communicator, she encourages God’s design in relationships of all kinds and for all ages. Center and her husband reside part-time between Tennessee and Florida. She loves her blended family and will showcase her grandchildren’s pictures at any given moment. 

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Thank you Linda for sharing your gift with the readers.

To learn more about Dr. Evelyn Johnson-Taylor