Interruptions

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What do you do when the best-laid plans do not turn out the way you thought? I had an experience recently that I would like to share with you. We took The auto train from Florida to the Women of Promise  International Ministries conference in Maryland. I had so many things to transport for the conference: packets, bags, books, T-shirts, folders and notebooks, etc. The auto train appeared to be an excellent way to travel. We could pack the car, get on the train, and sleep as we took the 17 hour train ride to Maryland.

We had an uneventful trip, a very nice assistant on the train and things went really well. We had a great conference, and we were scheduled to return home on Monday September 11, but hurricane Irma came through the state of Florida. We didn’t have to worry about whether or not we should evacuate for Irma because we were already out of town attending the conference. Unfortunately, the storm rendered the train tracks impassable and our Monday’s return trip was canceled and rescheduled for Thursday.

Well, that didn’t seem like such a bad thing because I had promised myself that the next time I was in the area on a Sunday morning that I could visit Greater Mt Calvary Holy Church.  I also wanted to tour the African-American Museum in Washington DC and visit a friend in West Virginia. Now, with the train delay I would fulfill all three of those desires.  As a special bonus, I was able to minister the Word on Wednesday night in West Virginia. What a great experience.

Our Thursday train ended up being cancelled as well because of the residual from the storm.  We were told that the tracks were still under water in some of the areas of our route back to Florida.The next available seat they had for us on the train, not a sleeper but a business class seat would be on September 21.

My friend was very kind and offered for us to stay as long as we liked to but we realized we really needed to get home. With a goal in mind, we set out driving with me as the only driver. I figured no matter how long it took we would surely arrive before September 21.

My GPS showed our destination as nearly 1000 miles.  I certainly was not looking forward to that as I had made a decision not to do long-distance driving after experiencing horrible sciatica pain after my last road trip a year prior.

We were looking at nearly 15 hours of driving. After praying we started our journey. I stopped frequently and after eight hours in the car we checked into a hotel for the night. We had been warned about gas not being available on some exits. We were told that the traffic would be heavily congested with people returning to Florida after having to evacuate and that some hotels would be closed.

God granted us favor as we spent the first night and headed out again the next morning. The second night we stopped after seven hours in the car to rest deciding to do the final leg of the trip home on the third day. We ran into minor traffic congestion a few times. Gasoline was readily available and the hotel we chose on our final night had just opened the day before after being closed for a week.

So what do you do when life gives you an interruption?  Apostle Paul writes in Romans 8:28 “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.” When interruptions come, I stand on what I know to be true about God. He is faithful and He does not lie. I am confident that this interruption was somehow working for my good. There might have been something that God wanted me to learn, or something He wanted to show me, but nevertheless I must always keep moving forward.

Let me encourage you my friend, because I know life has a way of giving us all kinds of interruptions whether it be a long-term illnesses, loss of job, loss of home, a hurricane, or death of a loved one.  There are all kinds of things that interrupt our lives, but even in that we give thanks.  1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV) “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

It is in those moments of interruption that we must resist the temptation to complain. The key to  maintaining our joy is to not complain when things do not go according to our plans. In the midst of interruptions I have learned to offer God praise.

I had an awesome opportunity to minister to some lovely woman. God provided for our needs as we traveled and when we arrived home there was no damage to our home from the hurricane.

Interruptions are just an opportunity to offer a praise of thanksgiving to an awesome God.  What started as a 6 day voyage turned into a 10 day trip, but at the conclusion of it all, we ended up right where we needed to be.

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Evelyn Johnson-Taylor

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Life on my own Terms

images (6).jpgI’ve heard it said many times, “I’m going to live life on my own terms.” Well, I do not wish to live life on my terms but on God’s terms. Even when we think we know what is best for us, many times we do not. I want to be where God wants me to be and when He wants me there.

I do not wish to arrive too early or too late. My timing often is off, but His timing is always perfect. When we try to do things on our own, we struggle for years trying to accomplish what could have been done in one day. Have you ever experienced something just open up to you? Something that you have been trying to work out on your own and it suddenly works. Timing has everything to do with us accomplishing our dreams in life.

Isaiah 40:31“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” God will renew the strength of those who wait for His perfect timing. Stop worrying so much is easy to say but not always easy to carry out.  Many times when people say “I’m not going to worry about it,” what they really mean is I’m not going to talk about it. I can tell you from experience, not talking about an issue does not mean you are not worrying about it.

We all can agree that worrying does not change anything. I recommend that you go to bed, get a good night sleep and allow God to work things out in His time. Many times while we are resting, He is working. Things tend to look better in the morning. His timing is not our timing but His timing is best. Make a decision today to stop living life on your own terms and live them according to the plans that God has laid out for your life.

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See Me Hear Me Know Me

Excerpts from the book…Order book and journal this weekend and receive free tote bag.

……Over the years, I have been accused of being in denial regarding his condition. I have never been in denial; I simply do not want my faith to waver. To keep my faith strong, I have had to be careful who and what I allowed in my ear.

My advice to caregivers is when your faith seems to waver, reaffirm what you know to be true about God. Read the Word to see what the Scripture teaches us about who He is. The Word of God teaches that He is a healer of all manner of diseases. Tuberculosis was not too hard for God.

When we do not see the manifestation of the promises in our own lives, it doesn’t mean that God is not able. I made the decision to believe the Word knowing that God knew the situation we were in. I had to believe He was able to bring us out and that He would provide whatever we needed during this time. Trying to process it all in my mind overwhelmed me. I had to trust God and stand firm on my faith in Him knowing that He was able……………………….

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I have watched over the past few days as my hometown of Lumberton, NC is making national news headlines.  This community has experienced great devastation as a result of Hurricane Matthew.  Even now the flooding continues to be a threat to this close knit community.
Many people have never heard of Lumberton, but I graduated nursing school from Robeson Community College located in Lumberton. My first job as a nurse was at Southeastern General Hospital now called Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Lumberton.  In 1991, although I had not lived in Lumberton for nearly ten years, I returned there to be married at St. Mary Church in Lumberton.
I have strong roots and close ties to this community.  Many family members and friends who still reside in and around the area were affected by this storm and I have great love for the people of Lumberton.  While some of them have lost everything, I hear constant praise and thanksgiving to God in the midst of their tragedy.  They are not focusing on what they have lost, but on the goodness of God.  They are focusing on the many provisions that have been made to accommodate them during this time.  There are many volunteers who are bringing the necessary help to the community.
This tells us a little something about the people of Lumberton.  They are strong and resilient people.  They are people who care for each other and many of them have strong faith that will not be shaken by Hurricane Matthew.  Join me as we pray for this community and others who have been affected by the hurricane.  Even in times when we do not understand the reason, we know that we can trust God.
Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” God is sovereign, He has all wisdom and, above all, He loves us.  Even in the bad times, God does not change, His great love for us remains.
Email me if you want to help – evelynjtaylor@evelynjtaylor.org

Dr. Evelyn Johnson-Taylor