5 Things I’ve Learned From Jogging Regularly (you probably never thought about this one!)

Over the past few months (years really, haha), I’ve been trying to talk myself into jogging back up to a decent run. It was also because in between the time when I stopped til now, my jeans had gotten a little tighter. (No, it wasn’t solely due to those quarantine monthsbut those months probably didn’t help.)

The idea that God created our bodies to move kept running through my mind. Pun not intended (or was it? haha).

So, I finally made a plan to start again.

I asked a friend if I could join her on her morning jogs on the days I was off from work. Personally, I knew this would help get me up and out of the house and make for a more productive day.

#1: It develops endurance.

First off, to endure is defined as “continu[ing] in the same state” or “remain[ing] firm under suffering or misfortune without yielding”.

Running takes a bit of effort to maintain a steady pace in order to finish your chosen distance within a certain time frame. This can be also be said about how we live as Christians.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

Hebrews 12:1 (English Standard Version)

This is so encouraging to how we live our lives today in a world full of hurt and disappointment. Despite what happens in the world, we can look to God and the truth found in his Word. In Psalm 119, it shines a light on the importance of following God’s commands:

Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.

Psalm 119:6, English Standard Version

And further …

With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.

Psalm 119:10-11, English Standard Version

#2: It boosts your mood.

Yes, there is such a thing as a “runner’s high”. You feel good after accomplishing a goal or set a new PR (personal record for those who don’t run).

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a runner’s high as “a feeling of euphoria that is experienced by some individuals engaged in strenuous running and that is held to be associated with a release of endorphins by the brain”.

Listening to uplifting music with a ideal and steady running beat can also help. I made a playlist specific to running on Spotify of mostly praise and worship music (something with a good message and running tempo). Another option may be an encouraging podcast or book if you’re more into that.

#3: It promotes goal setting.

What are your reasons for running? Daily exercise? Weight loss? Being healthy & fit?

Before you start jogging or running, set a reasonable goal you can maintain in a typical week.

For example: I plan to run at least 2 miles 2 times a week, but that won’t limit me if I want to go further or more often. This goal is subject to change as I continue running.

#4: Don’t compare yourself to other runners.

Every runner is different – from pace and time to distance. The list goes on.

But how true is this regarding life in general? When was the last time you compared your life to someone else’s? On social media? In public? Maybe it was in private. I know I’ve been guilty of all the above. Theodore Roosevelt said it well that “comparison is the thief of joy”. When we compare ourselves to others, it can open a door for envy or jealousy to develop. Furthermore, if these things are given a chance to take root, they can steal the joy-filled moment we may be missing and should be thankful for.

So run your mile … or two … or three … or ten! Celebrate every victory!

Be thankful for legs that can run and a body to take care of.

#5: It is free (pretty much).

Lastly, other than the clothes on your body, all you really need is a pair of running shoes. But of course, it helps to have something for music in the background too.

You can even invest in a decent pair of running shoes, a running belt, and better workout clothes if you so desire. This is all based on personal preference and what will make your jog or run more enjoyable.

After a few weeks of jogging/running, I have learned that lighter is better. I still like to have a secure place for my car/house key and chapstick. I also prefer a side pocket on the shorts or pants to hold my phone, but you can always hold your phone too. Again, it’s all about personal preference.

Remember: God created our bodies to move, even if it’s a leisurely walk and enjoy some fresh air. Take some time and observe the little details God created.

I want to hear from you!

  • How have you been taking care of you body lately?
  • What running tips have helped you improve?
  • What are your running must-have items?

Have fun, be safe, and God bless you!

Lauren ❤️

Living out Faith over Fear in 2020.

For the last few months, we all been living in quarantine to some extent, essential worker or not. Our daily lives were interrupted: going out to restaurants, seeing family members, going to church, hitting the gym — basically doing anything that put us in close contact with others.

In recent events, Covid was beginning to feel like a thing in the past (as we are slowly reopening the country). Then came protesting over racial issues. It’s crazy to think such an issue still has roots in our country. And though the issue is still present, the riots and protests have faded (at least according to the media) and the “second wave of Corona” is upon us. | How much does the media really control us? Think about it.

Lately, I’ve been encouraged to share an experience that happened a few months ago.

At the beginning of the Coronavirus panic: While I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep, I had imagined a huge dark cloud coming over America. At the time I associated with the media.

It looked ominous.

I found myself starting to worry; but in the midst of that worry, I began to pray: for myself, my family and friends, my co-workers, and our country. I didn’t know what extremes were coming to protect Americans from the ‘Rona.

However, as I prayed that night, a peace came over me.

I knew God was still in control. Not the media or anything else.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10, New International Version

How do we know God is in control?

In order to know who God is and what He is capable of, we should spend time getting to know Him.

Fact: He wants to be known and known by us on a personal level. He wants a relationship with us.

When we come to know God and what he did for us (John 3:16), we are given a confident hope in the things we cannot see. That is faith (Hebrews 11:1). It is by this faith “we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command” (verse 3) — His voice made the very universe we live in out of nothing.

We are not called to live in fear.

Disclaimer: If you still don’t feel comfortable leaving your home yet, then stay home. I realize some areas are different compared to others.

But, as the quarantine begins to slowly lift (again), we shouldn’t continue living our lives in fear. If anything, this should make us more aware about good hand-washing and other precautions we should take if we’re getting sick.

Ever since the beginning of this world, God was in command, and still is.

Fear only entered the world because sin entered the world. So did suffering, so did worry, and so did everything else that causes us pain.

We overcome fear and worry when we trust in God.

For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

2 Timothy 1:7, English Standard Version

I must admit, these last few months have been a struggle as I watched our beloved country dealing with Covid and the roots of our past. It breaks my heart to see people hurt and confused by these events.

But it’s also reassuring to know people want to help fight this battle.

My current weapons right now are praise and thanksgiving along with discernment. This not only reminds me of where I’ve come from, but it allows me to reflect on God’s goodness in rescuing me from, well, myself. If He cared for me then, why would He stop caring for me now? He never changed.

If we are faithless, he remains faithful — for he cannot deny himself.

2 Timothy 2:13, English Standard Version

And furthermore …

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Hebrews 13:8, English Standard Version

This song is a beautiful reminder and perhaps a good summary of the thoughts (and feelings) this post contains.

I hope it brings you as much encouragement as it did (and still does) for me.

Be blessed & praying for y’all.

One Book Every Woman Should Read & Why She Should

Back in August of 2019, I started re-reading the book Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge. The sole purpose of this book is “unveiling the mystery of a woman’s soul”, as described on the front cover. To understand how our femininity plays a role in God’s plan for us on this earth.

I read this book back in high school and tried in college, but …

It wasn’t until this weekend that I could put into words what I was feeling. There was, however, that reassurance that God was fighting for me and my heart.

A Captivating Journey, aka my personal journal of the book.

I’ve always heard about Jesus being our advocate (1 John 2:1), our High Priest (Hebrews 3:1-2), and more. But during that weekend, there was that moment that it became more personal than it had ever been. The word’s from Riley Clemmons’ song Fighting For Me kept flooding my mind, almost like a reminder that Jesus was, in fact, fighting for me. The words. It was the chorus: “You will never stop fighting for me when I can’t fight for myself. Every word is a promise You keep ’cause You love me like nobody else”.

This is not all to say nobody loves me. I know I am loved – by my God, husband, family, and friends. My childhood has been filled with a few moments of rejection that had quite an impact on my heart, despite knowing I was still loved. An impact that probably kept me from pursuing other friendships further in fear of rejection.

Why did I choose to this specific book? I felt led to — it literally jumped of my bookshelf and into my hands … and well, captivated my attention and later my heart.

What I found out from it?

We must know the true desires of our hearts.

As a woman: What do you desire the most in life? What makes you feel beautiful and loved?
(If you’re a guy, thank you for taking the time to read this. Feel free to read the book yourself and learn more about us, hehe.)

In the book, John and Stasi uses powerful examples of their own lives to describe the core desires (the inner longings) of a woman’s heart:

  • To be romanced. To have someone pursue her and tell her she’s lovely, usually in the form of a lover.
  • She wants to play an irreplaceable role of a great adventure. To be someone who has an impact on others. I believe the current term “influencer” can be used here.
  • To unveil a beauty. To know, to hear she is beautiful. That she is worthy of love.

They also identify how Satan tries to destroy and twist a woman into believing untrue thoughts about herself. They also identify how God says we are beautiful, worthy of love, and wants us to play a role in the greatest adventure he has for us.

We are offered healing from past wounds and freedom for the future.

You, dear heart, are the crown of creation, his glorious image bearer. And he will do everything it takes to rescue you and set your heart free.

Captivating, page 94

Healing only comes when we invite Jesus in and allow him to heal our wounded heart. This healing can be from any struggle or pain you have been dealing with over the years. Let Jesus help you forgive and answer who you are to him.

We have an irreplaceable role to play.

We have an irreplaceable role to play in the Kingdom of God. Especially in today’s society, we need Jesus more than ever as Satan tries to cause fear and panic among us. The world has been a mess ever since The Fall (Genesis 3) and needs more beauty. God has placed a calling on every one of us (men and women); but we need to be bold enough in step into the role and walk in wisdom where he calls us.

Ladies, if you haven’t already, I highly recommend this book … even if you’re currently struggling with anything. Be brave and bold. Step into your irreplaceable role and embark on a great adventure.

If you have read it, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. Just leave it in the comments below.

Forever grateful,

Resources for your own journey:

When Blogging is a Calling: 4 Reasons You Should Blog

When Blogging is a Calling: 4 Reasons You Should Blog

In early 2013, I started my very first blog using Blogger under the same title Made to Love. I had dreams and goals to write more, but never got around to posting them.

“Why was that?”, I wondered.

I was afraid. Afraid that these thoughts were not good enough or that someone else had a better way of writing them.

I was comparing myself to others and not being obedient to sharing the thoughts God had placed on my heart and in my mind.

Over the years to now, I realize now that God was still preparing me for this journey ahead. I just had a lot of wisdom to learn at the time

And still do.

4 Ways God may be calling you to Blog:

#1 You keep coming back to it.

As I mentioned above, I have been blogging since early 2013. The passion was there, but the momentum was not. Maybe this is you, maybe it’s not; but what my blog was lacking as a clearly defined purpose. Why do you want to start blog? What kind of blog do you want to start? What audience do you wish to reach? How will you reach this audience? What kind of posts are you going to write? … and the list goes on.

For me, it was a matter of giving these dreams over to God in hope he would lead me in the right direction of when to start my blog and what to write about.

#2 You enjoy writing.

Two things I wrote in my “welcome back” post:

“I’ve always loved the idea of writing and storytelling on a blog.”

“There is something therapeutic to curating the perfect blog post”

Made to Love is back!

Writing can be a fun and therapeutic experience to anyone. You have can either share them openly with others or within the pages of a private journal. Disclaimer: I do not recommend sharing an overly emotional thought unless you feel God leading you to post it. Being discerning of God’s voice.

#3 You may have doubts.

Blogging as a hobby can be fun; but turning blogging into a career (full-time or part-time) can be a bit risky and takes a lot of courage to take the first step. That step could be emotional, mental, financial, or spiritual. It’s also a matter of trusting God to provide for and take care of your every need.

Still unsure of your writing abilities? Just start writing.

Lacking confidence as a Christian blogger? Seek God and get to know him. Listen to who he says you are.

Not sure if people will read or find your blog? Just promote it and trust God will reveal it to those who need it.

Lacking in finances? Start small and only pay for what you really need.

Whatever your doubts, seek God in everything.

#4 You are always thinking of potential writing ideas.

Think about it. Whenever you journal or read about something you find applicable to your life, what do you want to do? Share it on social media in hopes it will help someone else? Share with family or friend in a message? Regardless of the audience, you are sharing your thoughts with others, possibly creating a discussing — even better when you are discussing God’s Word.

Over the past few years, I have share some ideas. Others ideas I have written down in a journal, waiting to be further developed. Some ideas might take a while to develop if God is still working you through it. Be patient with the process.

If you are called to blog, do not give up on the dream.

Be strong and courageous. Trust God in the process.

Enjoy the journey.

Be blessed, y’all

A Gentle Kind of Leader: How God Leads and Guides Us

The first time I came across the Gentle Leader, I was walking our dog, Ryder down by The Pearl, a local area here in San Antonio. There was a lady sitting on a bench with her Golden Retriever using this Gentle Leader leash. Her dog was so well-behaved and didn’t seem to pull. At the time, we were still using a harness on Ryder. While it gave us some control, he still felt like he was pulling. The idea behind this leash is to minimize pulling from the dog and allow for a more pleasant walk. The leash buckles around the neck (as a normal collar), then gentle slips over the nose with an adjustable loop. The only trick was getting your dog acclimated to the leash. Needless to say, after talking to the lady, I curious to try her leash on Ryder. So off to Amazon we went!

Fast forward a few months: My husband and I have been training to walk Ryder using the Gentle Leader leash. We still have our occasional moments of protest him; but for a good distance of the walk, he has been pretty cooperative.

This example seemed to resonate a little in my spirit …

How can this example be applied to my own life?

God leads and guides us in our own lives.

Just like the Gentle Leader, He equip us, prepares us, with what we need on a daily basis. In Psalm 23, David ponders how the Lord is like a shepherd. Before David became king, he was out taking care of his father’s sheep. Sheep, in general, are very dependent on their shepherd to take care of them and protect them from danger. David understood what it meant to trust God and depend on him for strength, even after his moments of struggling with him. Later in the New Testament, Jesus himself said “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11, ESV).

Our struggle only makes it difficult.

Good and upright is the Lord, therefore he instructs sinners in the way.

He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.

All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his commandments.

Psalm 25:8-10 ESV

The word humble jumps out to me here. I mean, it’s repeated in the same sentence! To be humble means to submit to authority: God’s authority.

Even today, Ryder is still adjusting to having the guide around his snoot. But I believe he will soon come to realize that struggling and pulling will only make the walk unpleasant. He will begin to relax more and more, depend on us to lead him and obey our commands.

How true is this for us when we humble ourselves, submit to God, and obey his commands?

It is just like us in our relationship with our Heavenly Father. We can either learn to listen and obey his commands or we can learn things the hard way in a struggle for control.

We have nothing to worry about and nothing to fear when we know God is in control. Click To Tweet

Today, as we face the threat of COVID-19 and trying to live life as normal as we can … all while staying at home or standing six feet away. Okay, maybe life isn’t that normal right now. But, I would like to leave y’all with one of my favorite verses found in Isaiah, chapter 41 …

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;

I will strengthen, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 ESV

As well as, another verse found in Proverbs, chapter 3 …

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

Proverbs 3:5-8 ESV
When we submit to God and believe in what he did, that is sending his ONLY son to die for us, we gain access to the greatest gift of all. Click To Tweet

There is nothing like the gift of a cancelled debt we could never repay. Nothing like student loans or credit cards we can eventually pay off in months to years. But also the gift of knowing God himself, our Creator, and meeting him some day.

What a beautiful reminder during the week before Easter.

To God be the glory,

3 Truths for the Christian Blogger & what I have learned.

3 Truths for the Christian Blogger & what I have learned.

Over the past year, I’ve had to take a break from blogging, mostly because the well of inspiration (to write) had dried up. Probably for a good reason to as this season helped me think about why I wanted to share my thoughts in the first place. That can be a scary idea, y’all. 

When I first started blogging a few years ago, I wanted whatever I posted to always reflect Jesus no matter what. This is a great goal for the Christian blogger; but, it was easier said than done at the time. The whole concept had yet to plunge deep into my heart as I had hoped it would. As a result, the ideas I had for this blog lacked a single direction I had to step away from blogging for a season.

God has a way of humbling us to bring glory to Him. Click To Tweet

This realization made me question why I started blogging in the first place.

P.S. If you aren’t a blogger, let these truths speak to you. They can be applied in whatever in you do. ❤︎

When your heart’s not in it to win it (for Jesus).

When you ask yourself the question “Why do I want to start a blog?”, make a list and reflect on these reasons. These reasons could be the deciding factor for your blog to flourish.

James 4, especially verses 7 through 10, has a special place in my heart and sometimes I take this truth for granted. This chapter lists five steps we should live out on a daily basis:

  • Submit to God.
  • Resist the devil (and he will flee).
  • Draw near to God.
  • Cleanse and purify yourself before God. (Where does your loyalty lie: God or the world?).
  • Humble yourself before God (and He will lift you up).
    • I love how the Message version states to “quit playing the field”, “the fun and games [of the world] are over”, and to “get down on your knees before the Master. It’s the only way you’ll get on your feet” (James 4:7-10, MSG).

One idea I will be practicing in my writing is using it to be more reflective with my everyday thoughts and seeking Biblical truths about them.

Seek God for direction.

In a young adults’ Bible study I attend, we are currently studying the life of David and his establishment as king of Israel. David was patient for his time to come. He could have asserted himself on the throne sooner than God intended.

David was “a man after God’s own heart” and his relationship with God was pretty sweet, even when he messed up. He was in constant communication with God and was able to accept the consequences, bring his shortcomings to God, and reconcile the relationship. All was sweet again – until the next time. How much more is God faithful to forgive us as he did with David?

Communication is the key to any successful relationship. It is important to communicate with our Lord and Savior often however you are called to do it. A few examples: praise, prayer, and in the Word.

Don’t let others’ thoughts influence your opinions.

This was a huge concept for me to grasp over the past few years. I have struggled with caring about others’ potential thoughts about what I shared. (Potential. Not yet said.) Sometimes, I would compare my writing to others’, and would think less of myself. Other writers seemed to put the words together more eloquently than I ever could. What a crazy thought. As a result, this attitude has kept me from finishing, and even posting, something near to my heart at the time.

Change your attitude to live out that of Psalm 37:4-6.

  • Take delight in the Lord (and He will give you what your heart desires).
  • Commit everything you do to the Lord.
  • Trust the Lord.
  • He will validate your life with His stamp of approval.Only God can validate your life with His stamp of approval. Click To Tweet
    • Meaning: Only God can have a say in your life. Others’ opinion don’t matter – except, of course, when God is using them to speak to you. Be discerning in this area.

So if God is calling you to write: Remember these points, add to them as need, and write to your hearts content. ❤︎

3 Truths About Love

3 Truths About Love

Dearest reader,

Regardless of your relationship status, know that you are loved no matter what — especially by the one who loved you FIRST. The One who created you, who “knitted [you] together in [your] mother’s womb” (found in Psalm 139, verse 13).

Love is from God.

Often times we associate love with giving or receiving something tangible. Maybe it’s those butterflies in your stomach. Or maybe it’s just air moving through your digestive system. But I digress.

The origin of love comes from God himself. He knew us before anyone else (as Psalm 139 show us).

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mothers womb. verse 13

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there were none. verse 15-16

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! verse 17

God’s ultimate love displayed.

The most precious gift of love we will ever receive is God’s ultimate sacrifice — his Son, who died in our place so that we could live with Him forever.

In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. 1 John 4:9

Love is perfected.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11

Furthermore, in first John 4 verse 12, when we love others, God’s love is also perfected in us.

As a result, when we love others, God’s glory is revealed through us—even in the less extravagant of moments.

But, the question arise in my heart: How do I show love to those I do not know?

Personally, I would want to spend time getting to know that person. My primary love language is time and touch—and yes, it’s a tie. (To find your “love language”, you can take a test here). Everyone brings a unique language to the table.

Love y’all,

Living in the Joy of Surrender

The moment you surrender your life and plans to the Lord, you may start to ask “what’s next?” or “where should I go?”. You want to share this faith with others. You keep trying to listen for a physical place on the map—months turn into years and still, there’s nothing on the radar.

But, have you ever thought to yourself that God wants to use you right where you are?

As you read this post, let these lyrics speak to your heart:

God You don’t need me, but somehow You want me.
Oh, how You love me.
Somehow that frees me to open my hands up and give You control.
Control by Tenth Avenue North

He still wants us to share the truth about who He is to everyone—wherever we are. Click To Tweet

Personally, the idea of relocating to another city to have some impact on the people there is intriguing; however, I don’t want to go somewhere based on my desires alone. I want to be sensitive to where the Lord wants me. The idea may seem effortless to talk or think about giving up control and surrendering any plan in your current life. However, the execution phase doesn’t come so easily. Lately, I’ve been learning how to bloom (or be a light) where I am currently planted. Sometimes it feels like a never-ending process.

So, true story: I was curious and decided to research a few benefits that surrendering your life to God could bring; and the first result to appear on the page led me to and exercise move actually called “Surrender”. No joke. Some of the benefits from doing this exercise include tightening your core and strengthen your legs.

Now, I’m sure you’re thinking “what in the world?” or “how random, Lauren”. But trust me, I have a point to make.

Just like exercise, building and strengthening your relationship with God takes a bit of training. It takes discipline and endurance.

Whatever our current situation may be, God still wants to use us. Click To Tweet

So, how are we strengthening our relationship with Him so others can see God’s glory NOW?

Get to know Jesus Christ personally. We should seek to learn more about His character and portray His same attitude others can see Him in us.

12 Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. 13 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. 14 Do everything without complaining and arguing, 15 so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.

Philippians 2:14-15 (NLT)

Know the truth. Hide it in your heart (and hold onto it). 

I have hidden your word in my heart,
    that I might not sin against you.

Psalm 119:11 (NLT)

16 Hold firmly to the word of life; then, on the day of Christ’s return, I will be proud that I did not run the race in vain and that my work was not useless.

Philippians 2:16 (NLT)

Pray for others continually. So that everyone in Christ “[bears] fruit in every good work and [increases] in the knowledge of God; [that] they are being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy. Also “pray that [they] will be strengthened with all his glorious power so [they] will have all the endurance and patience [they] need … filled with joy [and] always thanking the Father. He has enabled [us] to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light.

Colossians 1:9-12 (NLT, paraphrased).

Where and how is God wanting you to live in this joy today?

A beautiful reminder I heard in a Bible Study lecture last night:

We are saved to serve. Keep your eyes open. Let love motivate you. ❤ Click To Tweet


How to Trust God With Your Plans: Part 3

How to Trust God With Your Plans: Part 3

The idea of trust has always been near to my heart — it’s even on my Bible cover as a reminder to do so.

I always find peace going back to one of my favorite verses: Proverbs 3:5-6. Through it, I am reminded to trust in the Lord’s timing and plans — not my own. God knows the “desires of my heart” and I believe He still cares about them; but such things may not be what I need at a particular time in my life. Maybe you feel the same way. Truth is, we all still have a little bit of growing to do.

Totally depend on & constantly seek Him.

Man, easier said than done! Am I right?? Proverbs 3:5 through 6 is one of my favorite go-to verses when I need a little boost through this journey called life.

I took a little time to look deeper into the word “understanding” and found the word bÎynah (bee-naw) in the Hebrew-Greek dictionary. When this word is used as a noun, the words comprehension and discernment are tagged to it, along with this explanation:

God has graciously endowed human beings with the ability of understand and comprehension; but this faculty is not [absolutely trustworthy or sure], and therefore, we are to ask God for guidance at all times.

[Furthermore], our own ability should function to give us discernment; like how to have a proper attitude toward seeking the riches of the world.

Honor God in everything you do.

Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lordand he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord, trust in him, and he will act.

— Psalm 37:3-5 (ESV)

To do “good” in verse is similar to being fruitful; appealing or pleasant to the senses; morally correct and opposed to evil. When I think of this, the five senses come to mind, starting with the eyes (in what we see), the ears (in what we hear), the mouth (in what we say), the hands (in what we touch or do), and the nose … well, okay, I don’t know how to tie that in … maybe smell pleasant smells? Hmm, go enjoy nature & what God has created? – okay, there we go!

Commit your plans to God.

In other words, trust God and he will act. The only disclaimer I have is that it might not be according to our time frame. The Lord knows our hearts desires and cares about them, but He also knows what we need to grow and mature in our faith. As I say this, the story of Abraham comes to mind — maybe because we also talked about him last night at BSF (Bible Study Fellowship). God remained faithful to His promises when Abraham’s faith wavered; but Abraham never stopped growing in his faith. One of the take-away principles was this — that “righteousness, [or being made right], comes by having faith in who God is and not in our own abilities and rituals”. When we commit our own plans to God, we are trusting Him to provide. The results might not be instantaneous, but by putting our faith in God, we are made righteous.

Righteousness comes by having faith in who God is and not in our own abilities and rituals. Click To Tweet

What are areas you’re needing to trust God with today? What quotes, songs, or verses help you through such times?

Got an encouraging story? I would love to hear it!

Soli Deo Gloria,

Walking in Confidence: Part 2

Walking in Confidence: Part 2

How do you go about walking with confidence in your daily life? 

As I prepare to head back to work after a (much needed) stay-cation, I’ve been reflecting and searching God’s truth about living out my life in bold confidence for Him. Personally, it can be a bit difficult in a hospital setting (or anywhere in general), where you have to be mindful about sharing your faith with others (co-workers, patients, etc.). This series, so far, has been a great project for that and I look forward to sharing these concepts with you.

Be humble in the present.

In Corinthians 10 verse 1, Paul comes before the church of Corinth in gentleness and is observant of people’s reactions to him being “timid in person” yet bold in his writings (verse 2).

We don't have to show boldness according the the world's standards, but by God's standards. Click To Tweet

Instead, he goes onto explain how we, as Christians, should rely on the weapons God makes available to us — prayer, faith, hope, love, scripture, and the Holy Spirit. This is in addition to putting on the armor of God daily and being alert at all times (Ephesians 6:10-20). Personally, I also love how, in verse 19 and 20, Paul asks that the words “may be given to [him] in opening [his] mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the Gospel”. In the past situations, I have found myself wanting to say something, but lacking the confidence to say it; and often enough, it’s due to the fear of how it comes out of my mouth and received by others. Not necessarily in sharing my faith either, but my thoughts in general.

Remain bold in spirit and take every thought captive in Christ.

“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ...” — ‭‭(2 Corinthians‬ ‭10:5‬, ESV‬‬)

With this verse, the word “thought” comes from the Hebrew-Greek word noēma and stems from the noun noéo, meaning “to perceive. A thought. That which is thought out, planned, devised, in a negative sense“. Satan will try (that’s the keyword) to fill our minds with negative thoughts to keep us quiet; however, it is important to know how to combat this negativity with God’s truth and “teach them to obey Christ”. What we do with these thoughts is our choice. How will I (you) respond? A good way to do this is through prayer and asking the the Lord to give you a discerning spirit to keep your mind focus on God’s truth. Tip: Knowing and repeating scripture out loud helps.

Fear of the Lord.

I am not talking about the kind that causes you to be anxious and break into a cold sweat; but the kind leading to “reverential awe (and respect) toward God”.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” — (‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭1:7‬, ESV, underlining added).

The Hebrew word used for fear is yir’âh, meaning moral reverence; (exceedingly) awesome; (to be) feared. This kind of fear is viewed as a positive quality as it acknowledges God’s good intentions for our lives and is produced by God’s Word as we seek after Him daily. It, then, gives us the confidence we need to live a life like Christ and with a boldness to share the Good News of the Gospel. The results of this fear help to produce a good life — full of humility, riches, and honor.

Remain sincere in heart.

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” — 1 Samuel‬ ‭16:7‬ ‭(NLT)

To others, David did not look much like a king as he, a shepherd boy, tended to his family’s flock; but God saw much more inside. He saw his heart and a potential that would help him be the king Israel needed. Don’t brag about what you do outwardly; but do not be ashamed of the authority God has given you. 

According to 2 Corinthians 9 verse 13:As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity (submission in the ESV) to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ” (parentheses added). When people see us serving with a humble heart, they will see God’s glory through us. Our submission will prove our obedience to sharing the Good News with others.

Do not be ashamed of the authority God has given you. Click To Tweet

One of my favorite verses is found in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 and reads, “But [the Lord] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” ‭‭(2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9-10‬, ESV‬)

God's power is made perfect in your weakness. Click To Tweet

Soli Deo Gloria,

Lauren ❤︎

Also, if you haven’t already, feel free to check out part one of this series here.