Your personal mentors …

“But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid.
Am I in the place of God?
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good
to accomplish what is now being done,
the saving of many lives.”
Genesis 50:19-20

Today, I want to encourage you to remember the goodness and dominion of God to fulfill HIS plans for us ~ and HIS plans are for good (Jeremiah 29:11)!

Bad things happen to all of us in some form or another as we live in a sin sick world.  And in our moments of weakness, we may run with our feelings (like life is over, God forgot about us, our dreams/visions won’t ever come to pass, etc.) ~ right?  In those moments, how quickly we can lose sight of God’s power, love, promises and plans for our lives.

I know I get pretty frustrated with myself when that happens.  But, we have personal mentors in the Bible to show us another way of handing such ‘evil.’  Most recently I was reminded of Joseph as a mentor.  He had visions from God in his youth, visions that he would actually reign over his family.  But, after he shared these visions, ‘bad’ things began happening … His dad was a little miffed when he heard he and his family would be bowing down to Joseph; and his brothers ~ well they mocked him, envied him, and actually planned to kill him.  Ultimately, they left him in a pit and sold him as a slave.  Oh, and then they lied to their dad that Joseph was killed by a wild animal.

While Joseph was in slavery, and later wrongly accused/imprisoned, Joseph kept finding favor from God in the middle of his circumstances, and ultimately he was appointed second in command of Egypt, under Pharaoh – after 13 years of trials, sorrow, and pain!  The key throughout that time, was that Joseph kept his thoughts focused on God, His truths, His hope and His promises. (Philippians 4:8)

No matter what came against Joseph, he never lost sight of God’s sovereignty ~ God’s ability to move mountains and make a way.  And in the end, he was exactly where God wanted him to be ~ overseeing Egypt, preparing for a famine (which he knew about after interpreting Pharaoh’s dream while in prison), and saving his family, as well as many others.  As the story goes on in Genesis, Joseph’s brothers ended up bowing down to him, and being provided for, just as God’s visions foretold.  Yes, God sees the beginning and the end ~ we don’t.

I encourage you (and myself) ~ to never lose sight or be deceived by the attacks of the enemy.  No matter how much ‘evil’ comes against us, God IS with us, lovingly wanting to guide us back on His intended path to good.

It’s a choice, no matter the circumstances!  Seek God first, take encouragement from His personal mentors in the Word, and recall all that is true through Christ Jesus.  Hang on to His promises and to Him every single moment of every day!  

I encourage you to build relationship with God’s mentors in the Bible ~ learn from them. And, I also encourage you to develop relationships with others who will help remind you of what is true.   

God’s Love and Blessings to each one of you!

Michelle
coachmichelle@charter.net

Resources:
The Divine Mentor, by Wayne Cordeiro “discover how to enjoy a dynamic, vital, and intimate relationship with God as you learn to hear Him speak daily through the Bible .. His handpicked mentors.”  www.divinementor.com

The 2014 finish line …

looking back

Wow, 2014 is almost history!   Mind boggling at times how quickly a year passes by ~ maybe that just shows my age 🙂   But wait …. before we cross the threshold beginning a new year ~ to that fresh start ~ let’s look back (but only for a brief moment) and let’s gather all for which we are grateful about 2014!

Yes, let’s collect those memorable moments, those life changing moments and bring them with you into the new year.  Hmmm … let’s think back to a met goal, an accomplishment, a time when you made a decision to exchange something destructive for a positive, even someone’s tender smile  … let’s consider those things which were …

“true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.  (Philippians 4:8)”

What were they?  Yes, even if there was just one, write it down and bring that positive moment with you to the 2014 finish line, so you can build upon it, as you begin anew in 2015!

clip art - Finish Line

And all the rest .. the disappointments, the anger, the fears, the offenses … the totality of your burdens, whether they occurred in 2014, or the burdens you’ve carried from years past, allow yourself to lay them down once and for all at that 2015 threshold.  Allow God’s strong arm to carry them for you ~ and allow yourself to enter 2015 with the positive accomplishments, along with God’s unconditional Love, Forgiveness and Healing!  As I heard in Amy Grant’s song, ‘Carry You’ … “Lay down your burdens, I will carry you, I will carry you My Child, My Child … “

Blessed be the Lord, Who bears our burdens and carries us day by day, even the God Who is our salvation!    Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!”
Psalm 68:19

If I may encourage you to learn about God’s immense Love for you, and His desire to walk with you, to carry your burden, please contact me at coachmichelle@charter.net.

God’s Love and Blessings,
Michelle

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy and most blessed Thanksgiving to you and your families, whether they are close by or far away!

This is my favorite time of year and after months of not blogging, I can’t help myself but to share my enthusiasm about Thanksgiving day!  Thanking God for our family and friends and every single blessing!  (Of course, everyday is a day to be thankful ~ just today it’s named! 🙂 )  
With that said, and not knowing my audience, I balance my excitement with compassion. On this day that we call Thanksgiving, I don’t know if you are surrounded by family, maybe more than your arms can hold, or if you are alone. So as we focus on that which is pure and lovely, our day of Thanks begins with knowing how precious we are in the eyes of God, and that HIS wondrous thoughts of love toward you, and HIS plans for good in your lives, outnumber the grains of sand!  Wow, every time I remember this, I envision myself staring at a patch of beach and quickly realize I can’t even begin to count the grains of sand.  HIS pure, unconditional love is real and it is for YOU!  
So, today I pray your day is filled with God’s love and blessings to overflowing and that you are able to share that love with others all around you, in word or deed!  And as today ends, let’s all focus a little more intently on our blessings, no matter how small or large. As our Pastor at Excel Church in Lancaster, MA says:  “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. We are in charge of our attitudes.” ‪#‎AttitudeOfGratitude‬ @vazquez_em
If I can encourage you with God’s love and Word, and in developing a new attitude of gratitude, one little step at a time, please email me at:  coachmichelle@charter.net.  
God’s Love and Blessings,
Michelle
Psalm 139:16-18

Trusting Relationship

Relationships are such an integral part of our lives ~ and we long for those quality relationships ~ the ones where we can share honestly from our heart, request and listen to their wisdom, and depend on  ~ developing an unbreakable trust .  Often times though, true relationships are hard to come by; and many of us have been hurt so deeply by ‘relationships’ we mistrusted.  Yet, there is One for which we were created and can trust beyond compare!

Relationship is described in Merriam-Webster as ~ ‘The way in which two or more people … talk to, behave toward, and deal with each other; are connected

Our relationship with God can be so intimate, when we take away traditions and religion and just talk to ~ connect and commune ~ with Him, one on one.  He longs for us to be in relationship with Him.  Think of the beginning of mankind, when He formed us and ‘breathed the breath or spirit of life into us!’ (Gen 2:7).  Think about the Love He has for us ~ that truly unconditional love ~ to the point of laying down His Son’s life for us!

And, then He teaches us to seek Him, to abide in Him, to ask Him, to believe by faith.  And, in return He responds with I will … listen, answer, comfort, guide your steps, provide, I will make a way… when you seek me with ALL of your heart and mind!  Sometimes it’s hard to allow ourselves the freedom to receive God’s love because we’ve been so hurt in this world ~ but allow yourself a moment to reach out to Him.  God hears your cries!  Your part is to seek Him, and to stop long enough to fellowship with Him.

Kari Jobe’s song ~ The More I Seek You ~ in part says it this way:

 “The more I find you, 
the more I love you

I wanna sit at your feet,
drink from the cup in your hand.
Lay back against you and breath,
hear your heart beat

This love is so deep,
it’s more than I can stand.
I melt in your peace, it’s overwhelming…”

Don’t you want that peace in the midst of the calamity of life?  Will you, for a moment stop and envision yourself sitting at the feet of God, drinking in His Love, His Wisdom, His peace; laying down all of your concerns at His feet, trusting Him … and just sit back and hear His heart beat.  Psalm 46:10 says: “Be still, and know that I am God!”  

This is how we know we’re living steadily and deeply in him, and he in us: He’s given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit. Also, we’ve seen for ourselves and continue to state openly that the Father sent his Son as Savior of the world. Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God’s Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God. We know it so well, we’ve embraced it heart and soul,
this love that comes from God.”
1 John 4:13-16 The Message

Have a blessed day In Christ,
Michelle
coachfromtheheart@gmail.com

W-a-i-t-i-n-g …

Everyone reading this is waiting for something, right?  Whether waiting for our circumstances to change; the birth of a child … or a grand idea; waiting for something small … or a miracle … waiting is part of our every day life. 

And as you think about what you are waiting for … how often have you grown impatient, began to doubt or even given up hope? I know I have at times.  But then I remember …

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Jeremiah 29:11

I remember that He created each one of us with a very specific plan and purpose, and I take comfort knowing that in HIS amazing love for us, HE gives us the wisdom and the patience to wait for those plans to come about ~ for God’s perfect timing!  Here’s how …

“Wait and hope for and expect the Lord;
be brave and of good courage and
let your heart be stout [brave, strong] and enduring …”
Psalm 27:14

Notice there is action required on your part ~

“Trust in the Lord and do good; …
     (lean on, rely on, and be confident)

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and
     He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord
     [roll and repose each care of your load on Him];
trust also in Him and He will bring it to pass…

Be still and rest in the Lord;
wait for Him and patiently lean yourself upon Him;

fret not …”
Psalm 37:3-7 (Amplified)

So, I am waiting with expectancy for many wondrous things, as I know you are.  Seek and follow His guidance.

When you come looking for me, you’ll find me.  “Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” God’s Decree.”  Jeremiah 29:12 (The Message) 

God’s Love and Blessings to you and yours!
Michelle Lord Samples
coachmichelle@charter.net

 

Divorce – Moving Forward

As mentioned in my last blog, satan’s job description is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10a), and marriage is one of the many targets for which he aims.

And sadly as a result, anyone reading this has either gone through, or known someone who has gone through a divorce.   Divorce can painfully impact lives at so many levels ~ emotionally, spiritually, financially and physically.  And not just their own, but also the lives of family and friends in ways they often don’t even recognize.  My husband and I know all to well, as we are both previously divorced, and know first hand the shock/disbelief, the angry chaos, and at times, long-lasting impact on our lives and those around us.

But God … in His Mercy, can turn that which the enemy intended for harm ~ into good!

“… And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
Rom 8:27-28

Because we have both walked through the painful journey, (through, being the key word), and because we have discovered and received the love of God, through Jesus Christ, those wounds are healing and we are now better equipped to encourage others.

Just recently we were honored to have our church* ask us to lead a divorce support life group.**  If you have been through, are going through, or contemplating divorce, consider joining our life group.  Some of the topics we will cover along the road to healing are – anger, depression, loneliness, forgiveness, children, financial survival, reconciliation, among others.  Recovering from divorce is a process that takes years.  But, together we can move forward toward healing and a bright future.

“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

If you know anyone who would benefit from encouragement through this support group, and is able to commute to North Reading, MA, please ask them to contact me confidentially at coachmichelle@charter.net.  Our first meeting will be held on Monday, March 10th.

“But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory making us conquerors through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Corinthians 15:57

God’s Love and blessings,
Michelle (and Jim)

* International Family Church, http://www.intlfamilychurch.com
**  
Based on DivorceCare material.  If you do not live in the area noted above, please search for a DivorceCare support group near you through their website, www.divorcecare.org

Steal, Kill and Destroy …

For someone like me who is all about encouragement, the title ‘steal, kill and destroy‘ sounds a bit dark.  But as I watch and listen to what’s going on in the world, I can’t help but think of this scripture, which begins with:

“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy…” John 10:10a

The thief, known more commonly as satan, ruler or the prince of this world, has a job description, and it is to steal, kill and destroy us.

You’ll find evidence of this destruction in the daily news ~ mall/school shootings; children killing parents/each other; terrorism; deadly addictions; cheating and deceiving in ways we could never have imagined before; weather pattern changes with destructive outcomes; and on and on the list could go.  And think of the violent movies, tv dramas and video games that offer even more creative ways to destroy or devalue life; the medication ads that tell us how sick we are, and how much sicker we’ll become while taking the meds; and listen to death/darkness and destruction in the lyrics of songs.

At times, we shake our heads in disbelief, and ask ourselves what is this world coming to? Yet I remember my dad asking that same question when I was a little girl.  Truth is that this destructive path has been with us ever since Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden, when they transferred their God-given authority (Genesis 1:26) over to the ‘prince’ of this world. But let me encourage you, for Jesus continued to say:

“… I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” John 10:10b (Amplified)

Jesus came … to reclaim our God-given authority!  Jesus came to save us, to walk through the struggles of life with us; to fill us with His peace, joy and hope, here and now … and for eternity!  Think about this amazing gift in the midst of what we see and hear, knowing that satan is defeated.

“Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us, no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud.
A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ,
like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.
God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son.
He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition,
entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity
in order to set it right once and for all.”
Romans 8:1-4 (The Message)

God’s Love and Blessings, Michelle coachmichelle@charter.net

Resources:
Ephesians 1:17-23  [I, Paul] “pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.  Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come.  God has put all things under the authority of Christ…”