Friday, March 18, 2016

Mid March Grays and Jeremiah

Photos courtesy of JennyEBurr

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD,

"plans to prosper you and not to harm you,

plans to give you hope and a future. 

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, 

and I will listen to you. 

You will seek me and find me

when you seek me with all of your heart."

Jeremiah 29: 11-13 NIV

On a gray, lightly rainy day in mid March in the village,  I wandered about the area and took a few photos. 

Much to my surprise, gray was predominant in many of the photos, set against a melting background of snow and ice.  

It can sometimes take a great deal of effort to see beyond a dreary, sky-gray day. 

A day that seemingly holds no promise of anything better than the shades and shadows before you. 

At least, that may be how it seems. 

Yet, knowing that there is a promise of the sun behind the gray, 

the white clouds in the far distance of tomorrow, 

the blue sky somewhere beyond today, gives a reason for hope and promise.   

Without both rain and sunshine, life doesn't grow. 

So it is for me, for you, and for others. 

Without the gray times of challenge and struggle in our lives we do not grow closer to God. 

We do not find strength to carry on, if we do not have these times of difficulty and sorrow.  

Times where we have no choice but to call out to God and rely on Him and His promises. 

These verses in Jeremiah remind me of just how much my Heavenly Father loves me and you. Seek Him out with all of your heart. 

Dear Heavenly Father, I am praying for the reader today who is shrouded in gray and despair, please help them to seek you, open their heart to you, and give them strength to get through the troubles which they face to day.  In Jesus's Name, Amen.

Your turn: How do you get through your gray days?  Feel free to leave a comment.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

When Success is Failure


Photos courtesy of JennyEBurr    More in the village photos. 

When success is failure has been on my mind a great deal over the past few weeks....years even. 

Why?  Sometimes when you actually succeed at something; you fail. At least to others, it may appear as though you have failed. 

Success is defined in the Canadian Oxford dictionary as:
the accomplishment of an aim; a favourable outcome; the attainment of wealth, fame or position; a thing or a person that turns out well. 

Based on the definition, success could be anything as long as a goal is achieved. 

 When is success failure?

When you do exactly what God called you to do (success) but it still appears to be failure.

For me success is...

In my writing and hearing from a reader that it has touched their heart. 

Being a mom and connecting with my adult children.

Time spent with my spouse. 

Mentoring others. 

    Trusting in God.

    Living out my faith.

    Being obedient to what God wants me to do. 

    Continuing to trust God when things go wrong, when life is difficult, challenging or unbearable. 

    When my blessings from God come in the form of strengthening faith and trust.

    This is success.

    Faith, trust, love and obedience. 

    Three years ago when my spouse prayed about working for a start up company God told him to join the company and he did.

    I struggled with this for quite a while because it made absolutely no sense to me. 

    My job was only casual, we really couldn't afford for my spouse to work for a company that might not make any money for several years. Unfortunately for my husband, I spent a great deal of time nagging him about his decision.

    Finally, I prayed about it.

    God told me that my spouse was being obedient. So that ended my discussions with my husband about him needing to find work which paid. He and I both had to wait until God indicated that it was time for a change.

    He worked three years with the start up. Then in December of 2015 the company was laid to rest so this meant that my spouse could begin looking for a paying job. 

    At the time of me writing this he is still in the process of looking for work. 

    Success- doing what God called us to do
    Failure-others may view our calling from God as failure

    When success is failure, I think that Paul states this thought clearly when he writes to his friends and supporters from jail.

    Philippans 1: 12-13  NIV
    Now I want you to know brothers that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result it has become clear to the palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. 

    Dear Heavenly Father, in times of successfully obeying You, which to others may seem like failure, I ask that you help those people to really see You and to open their hearts to You.   In Jesus' Name, Amen. 

    Your Turn: 
    Have you experienced, success which appears to be failure? Please feel free to leave a comment.  

    Posts from other sites which may interest you. 

     Praying with Weary Travellers by Jenny Burr

    Envying the Arrogant by David Kitz 

    Unspoken Broken by Ann Voskamp 

    Other posts from this blog which my interest you. 

    Being Content

    Love Is 

    Grumble Complain