Does life feel like a blur …

Have you ever walked through a season where your life feels like a blur ~ like you have been running here and there, trying to keep up with the pace (whether real or perceived) ~ where you believe you can’t think anymore or handle one more issue of life? That series of days, weeks or months where the work schedules/demands, family commitments, church commitments, special holidays and milestone events of life feel as if they have drained you of everything?

When I get into that ‘blur’ ~ feeling like life is out-of-control and there’s nothing left within me, I inevitably realize that I have disconnected from my priority ~ God first!   Because I realize that in the craziness of life, I have left little room for quiet, refreshing time with my Father God. I may pray as I run, but I have forgotten to seek His guidance and wisdom. I am no longer in the shadow of His comfort, His peace, His love! And as things are falling apart around me, I realize how much I miss HIM!

That is when I STOP everything, and reset my priorities.

Praise God, HE loves us so much! When I stop, I can sit, breathe, share my heart and concerns with Him, for He listens and hears them all (1 John 5:14-15). And, when I take that time, I am refreshed, I find clarity and everything else in life falls into place.

Oh, I encourage you. The saying may have been ‘stop and smell the roses’ but I encourage you, stop, reset your priorities, and reclaim your peace, your clarity, and most importantly, your first love in God.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will remain secure and rest in the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no enemy can withstand]. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust [with great confidence, and on whom I rely]!” Psalm 91:1 Amplified

“Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God.  And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].” Philippians 4:6-7

Be blessed,

Michelle
coachfromtheheart@gmail.com

Action Required …

From The Heart_4C

We had a great conversation with dear friends this weekend about being ‘doers of the Word.’  In reality, whenever we hear or read the Word of God, we have choices to make.  Of course, one choice is to actually read the Word, getting to know God (His character and personality) throughout the Bible ~ not just a random verse here and there.  Then there are many other choices, but two important ones are to 1) believe the Word in our heart; and 2) to decide ‘to do’ what God instructs us through His Word.

“… humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts,
for it has the power to save your souls.
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.”
James 1:21-22

Scripture has been so powerful to my husband and I as we both walk through either health and/or work challenges. This particular scripture causes us to take inventory! It says when we: humbly accept (receive, take, believe) … the WORD (God’s promises, life, wisdom, freedom, etc.) that God has planted in our heart, it has the power to save our soulsHIS Word has power!

But, it further says we can’t just listen (or read about it), we must actually DO what it says!

The Message version says:  “Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear!”

As we encourage ourselves in God’s Word, or quote scripture to someone else ~ it’s important for us to take a personal inventory.  Are we actually doing what it says in the midst of our own circumstances, or are we deceiving ourselves?  For example as the Word says, Are we being anxious for nothing; casting our cares to the Lord; trusting Him, and leaning on Him, or are we carrying the burdens on our own?  Doing what we know from the Word is not always easy!  But, the benefits are eternal and are powerful to help us! 

The benefits follow as you continue reading the scripture:

“… IF you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free,
and IF you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard,
then God will bless you for doing it.”
James 1:23-25

Action Required:  Did you notice the word “IF” … there is an action to be taken on our part (because we have free will, the choice is ours)!  IF we read/listen and absorb the Word into our hearts … doing what it says, God will bless us!!  God blesses us with salvation and freedom from all that holds us down!  Please note, He’s not saying “IF so He can condemn us, for He loves us too much.  He’s saying IF to help us understand the benefits of His guidance and what is required of us.

As we believe God’s Word, by faith, hear what He says and take action:

“… be strong and courageous! … Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you.  He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6, 8 NLT

As we read/listen and act on God’s Word, may you always know it’s power and truth to set you free and guide you.

God’s Love and Blessings to all!!!
Michelle
coachmichelle@charter.net

Rest

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest.
[I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]”
Matthew 11:28 Amplified

Recently I became ill and hospitalized ~ twice within a week.  Curiously, during that time, different visitors brought me the same message ~ REST.  What was it about rest?  I guess truth be told, I’m not sure how to rest!  Do you?

So, during my recuperation time, I’ve searched the word REST in the Bible, and I found some nuances of its meaning ~

  • Rest ~ Sabbath ~ to stop, cease and end; “meditate on the glories of God..”*
  • Rest (anapauo) from Matthew 11:28 ~ cessation from toil; refreshment; intermission ~ relieving and refreshing our souls
  • Rest (menuchah) ~ a place of stillness; repose; consolation; peace; a quiet place; and condition of restfulness.  Isaiah 28:12 talks of causing the “weary to rest … yet they would not hear.”

Resting in the confidence of our Mighty God; trusting HIM; leaning against HIM and allowing HIM to refresh, revitalize, and inspire us!  How often do we rest?  More than likely, we keep running and accomplishing and striving … and meanwhile risk not hearing the still voice of our Lord’s refreshing, guidance and direction toward His great and wonderful plans for us.  “Cease striving and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10

This morning, a popular psalm came back to mind in a new light ~ Psalm 23 ~ I encourage you to re-read it slowly and intently ~ resting in the tender, loving arms of God:

“The Lord is my Shepherd

[to feed, guide, and shield me],
I shall not lack.

He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still andrestful waters.

He refreshes and restores my life [my soul ~ mind, will and emotions];
He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him—not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake. [meditating on all His glory]

Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil,
for You are with me [never leaving nor forsaking us];

Your rod [to protect] and

Your staff [to guide],

they comfort me [God extends deeply felt compassion ~ deep empathy toward you].

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup runs over.

[provision; favor and excellent hospitality]

Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love [grace] shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place.”

As I walked through this health issue/hospitalization, I am so grateful to God that throughout, I knew HE was with me!  It was comforting to call out His name when fear came over me.  What a blessing to experience God through trials!  He is my anchor, my fortress and HE is my resting place.  I pray HE is yours as well.  If you need encouragement about your loving Father God, through Jesus Christ, please contact me!

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

____________________________

*Exodus 16:30 “rested” described as “Israel rests and meditates on the glories of God’s creation..”  New Spirit Filled Life Bible

Where do you run?

When you were a child, did you ever hide behind a long drape at home or on the school stage? And, maybe even at times, grab the edge of the long drape and swirl around until you were completely enveloped by the drape, believing you were safely hidden? Or, did you ever run and hide around mom or dad’s legs in a shy or fearful moment?  As children we may have felt safe and protected in those hide-away places.

But now as adults, where do you run when sad, scared, angry, or inconsolable because of the challenges faced?  When you don’t understand ‘why’ something traumatic just happened to a loved one; when everything is out of your control, and you don’t know what to do or say?  Where do you run and seek safety, counsel/guidance and love?   Do you remember then, as always, that God is your true, constant and ever ready friend?

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty
[Whose power no foe can withstand].
I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress,
my God;
on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!
(Psalm 91:1-2 Amplified)

Dwelling in the ‘secret place of the Most High’, is spending time with God and sharing your heart with Him ~ talking about your dreams and visions, as well as everything that’s causing you pain or concern; and being able to ask those ‘why’ questions.  It is ongoing time with God in prayer, getting to know Him through scriptures, asking for and listening to Him speak wisdom, guidance and love into your life.

When you walk closely with Him, He securely upholds you, guides you and there is a tremendous sense of comfort/security!  Because you’re dwelling ‘under the shadow.’ If you think of a shadow, it doesn’t take many steps before you’ve stepped beyond the shadow, right? He’s asking you to stay close to Him always, and when you do, He promises safety/refuge!

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do,
everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
Run to God!   Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
your very bones will vibrate with life!”
Proverbs 3:5-8 (The Message)

Staying close to God/developing a trust relationship with Him is personal, and requires time, just like developing any quality/true friendship.  It’s not a church attendance thing, it’s relationship building.  I am so grateful to God that when I look to Him, even in those doubting, questioning times, He is always faithful to show me truth, comfort me and answer those important questions, and I know He is there for you too … right now!
I encourage you to get to know your heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ!
And, if I can help you, please contact me at coachmichelle@charter.net.

God’s Love and Blessings,
Michelle