Monday, August 31, 2015

This blog post has been a long time in the writing.  I knew God wanted me to write it, but it was extremely difficult to get it out.  He would not let me write anything else until I finished it.  So it has been over a month since I have blogged, or even written anything for that matter until I could finish this, because in some ways, I was still living in a “WHY ME” attitude.  He has taught me a lot this last month or so, so here is my long time coming post on “WHY NOT ME?”




Why Not Me?


Most of us prefer the seasons in life when everything is going along well, and there is nothing really hard to deal with.  I think it is safe to say, that even though there are seasons in life when the storms are raging, or we are wandering in the middle of winter, and can’t feel God’s warmth, we would much rather live life in an easy carefree summer existence.  I know I would.


photo by patty

 I think most of us would also say, what when the storms were raging is when we felt His presence in our lives the most. 


Three years ago I lost my husband unexpectedly, and then just two days later, when I lost my dad to a long term illness, I know some of my first words, (when I finally found my voice) were “WHY ME?”  I mean I was working for God in both my professional life and at church, I volunteered in just about every ministry that asked for help.  So why was God doing this to me?  Even if we are not neck deep in ministry, I have heard time, and time again from believers and non-believers alike those two little words when trouble rears its ugly head. 


The truth is however, that God does not promise a life free of trouble.  In fact, He promises the exact opposite.  In this world we will have trouble.


John 16: 33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”


    So if God promises that in this world we will have trouble, how do we have hope through our troubles?  How do we not just curl up into a ball and give up?  Well, there was a time that I actually did this.  All I wanted to do was go to sleep, and when I woke up all of my trouble would be gone.  But guess what, when I woke up trouble was not gone. 


    The second half of his promise was for us to take courage, or in other translations, is says to “take heart” because Jesus has overcome the world.  I have said before, when a test comes to our lives, we can either become bitter, or we can become better; and if we allow God to make us better, we then become bolder for Him.  He did overcome the world, so, no matter what comes our way, we have that knowledge that we too can become overcomers.


photo by patty

If you are like me, sometimes it takes a while for things to travel the 18 inches from my head to my heart.  I knew all of these things when I lost my husband and my dad, but the “why me” was still on my lips, and in my heart.  I knew in my head that God had the best for me, that He would always take care of me, but in my heart I wanted things to get back to the way they were, to wake up from my sleep and everything that had happened be just a bad dream.  But God had other plans.


The “Why Me” started to turn into, “Why Not Me?”  What makes me any different than others who have experienced loss, or, other hard ship, or cancer, or divorce, or any kind of trail that can come in this life?  Nothing.  The only thing that makes me any different, if that God promised me Himself through that trial. 


I have made it part of my daily devotion, to thank God for the trial He has given me.  I thank Him for what He will do to prove Himself faithful to me today, and I pray that He use my trial to show others how faithful He is so they can trust Him in their own personal trail.

So the next time you find yourself in a trial, try, even if it is hard, take a step back.  Say “Why not me?” and ask God to be your everything in the trail, ask Him to make you better through it, then ask him how He can use you in this trail to help others. Take courage today, Jesus did overcome the world, and for that, we can become bolder! 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Three Questions Part Two


Last week I talked about the Three Question method of bible study.  This week I am opening up my personal notebook and going through a passage of scripture so you can see it in action. 


In my quiet time with God, I usually pick a book of the bible and work my way through it verse by verse.  Through the years, I cannot tell you how impactful this has been in my walk with the Lord.  Last year I was working my way through the book of Acts, today I will highlight just one day from my notebook.  Soon I will begin a series of posts from this book, but for today, I want to show this method in action, and how it can benefit anyone.


I like this method of study for many reasons, here are just some of them.


  1. It is a great way to break down the word, and study it.
  2. You can do as few or as many verses you want in a sitting, depending on how much time you have.
  3. If you do this with a friend/accountability partner, you get different perspectives on the same verse.  Iron sharpening iron in action.
  4. Hear God’s voice through His word.
  5. A journal you can use to hold yourself accountable.
    photo by patty

On this particular day, as I had been working my way through Acts, I opened the bible to Acts 10:23b-28, just five and a half verses.


And on the next day he got up and went away with them, and some of the brethren from Joppa accompanied him. 24 On the following day he entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and [t]worshiped him. 26 But Peter raised him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am just a man.” 27 As he talked with him, he entered and *found many people assembled. 28 And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man

[u]unholy or unclean. (NASB


photo by patty
To put this in context, the apostle Peter had just had a vision from God of all kinds of unclean foods that Jews were prohibited from eating.  In this vision, God told Peter to eat the food, saying, what He (God) had made clean is now clean.  No sooner did the vision end, and then Cornelius’ men arrived at his gate.  God told Peter to go with them, because they were sent directly from God. 


There were three reasons for this vision. 

  1. Peter was being sent to speak to the Gentile people and he would have to have meals with them.  God is now saying all food is acceptable to eat because he would be in strange lands and not have many food choices. 
  2. The food was a metaphor for the Gentile people God was sending him to.  That it is now ok to associate with non-Jews, and that God is now calling them “clean”. 
  3. Who are we to call someone unclean?  Who God cleans up, they are clean (and whole), who are we to not have a meal with them?


So here we are, Peter has just left his home and now is walking in the Centurion Cornelius’ home, and Cornelius and his whole family were there waiting for Peter.


I am going to go verse by verse so you can see the three questions in action.



What does it say?  Next day, he got up, went with them along with brethren from Jappa

What does it mean?  We are not alone on our journey, righteous people walk along with me.

 What does it mean to me?  Who are those walking with me?  Who can I lean on when I need them?  Who needs to join me on my journey?



What does it say? Following day they entered Caesarea, Cornelius and many others were waiting.

What does it mean?  Cornelius did not just want the good news for himself, he gathered all who meant something to him.  Share the good news of Jesus, don’t keep it to myself, or be afraid to tell others.

What does it mean to me?  Who does God want me to share with today?  Is there someone I am afraid to share with?


25 &26

What does it say?  When Peter entered, Cornelius fell at feet and worshiped him.  Peter raised him up saying “I’m just a man”

What does it mean?  Be careful not to elevate anyone above God.  It does not matter who they are or what they have done, they are only human.

What does it mean to me?  Who am I putting before God?  Who have I put on a pedestal that I have to remember is only human?  Is there someone I am in danger of putting in a position before God?

27 & 28

What does it say?  As they talked, Peter saw many assembled.  “You know it’s unlawful for a Jew to associate with foreigner, yet God has shown me I should not call any man unholy or unclean.

What does it mean?  Peter explained to all that God changed his heart, that God does not call any unholy or unclean and neither should I.  It’s time to tear down old walls.

What does it mean to me?  Who am I calling unholy or unclean?  Is there someone who needs to hear the good news of Jesus that I think is too far gone?  Is there a group of people that I am afraid to approach?

photo by patty
In my live it out part I wrote this prayer…

God I am only human and these who walk on this earth are also only human.  Help me to keep things in perspective and keep you in the place of honor above all else.  Help me to not elevate anyone or anything above you.  I Love You Lord!  God open my eyes to others, help me to see walls that I have built up that need to be torn down.