What God is NOT Doing

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Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I’m seated comfortably in my favorite chair in my upper loft area with my feet up on the ottoman. I was about to write a new post for this blog “Fresh Perspectives for Every Day Life” when I recalled a post I wrote years ago and I realized, it’s still what I would want to say today. I’m normally home most days, the only difference is now most people are homebound too because COVID-19 “Stay Home” is in effect.

At a time when FEAR is rampant and anxiety levels are high with many people hooked up to news feeds like it’s an IV, I wanted to share a few thoughts about”What God is NOT doing” during COVID-19 this global pandemic.

Here ya go:

She was dressed for summer in an icy blue, vertically striped shirt and a pair of white pants. Her familiar smile lit up her face and mine. She greeted me with a sweet hug that enveloped me, “Hi friend!” then blurted out, “I have to run to the bathroom quickly. Be right back!”

When she returned, we ordered our drinks, grabbed a seat and caught up. “It’s been months since we last met? When was that?” we wondered. Many work transitions and family health trials have entered her life since we’d last met. I sat. I listened. She’s reading the book of Daniel now and we thought through each situation from Daniel’s lens and his prayer of praise in Scripture.*

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She asked me…”So, what’s going on with you?” I reported about some of the fun and beautiful things going on in my life and what God’s been teaching me, about me. I also shared a few updates related to my husband, ministry, plus a quick update on my empty nest and my grown children.

We marveled at all that had taken place in our lives while, it seemed, other things hadn’t changed at all. We both have difficult situations where, since we last spoke, it seems there has been no change. You know what I mean where it appears God is not doing anything related to an issue. I got to thinking about that wacky perspective of concentrating on what God’s not doing and how off that really is.

So, I told her. “You know, the other day, I thought of it this way… I can only imagine what my response would be, if I had throughly cleaned my house-vacuumed all the carpeted rooms, dusted the entire place, scrubbed every toilet, mopped all the floors, washed every dish and put them all away, only to hear my husband comment when he returned home, “You left the mail on the counter!” I’d be so disheartened thinking, WHAT? Don’t you see all the things I’ve done? 

“It is kind of like that.” I said. “God is doing SO many wonderful things all around me and I resolve not to be the brat kid who stomps her foot at the Father and accuses Him of inactivity. But, but, but you haven’t done…this yet, God!”

 She said, “Wow! I’ve never thought of it like that. Good point.”

Okay, yeah, it may be tempting to think he is not at work. I’ve been there. So whenever I’m tempted to focus on what God is seemingly NOT doing, I say, yeah, sure, God is not doing some things. Here are a few of the things God is NOT DOING:

  • He’s not scratching his head wondering, Oh, boy what do I do now?”  Or “How will  I help?”

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  • He’s not out of the office or unaware.
  • He’s not working against me. He is FOR me.
  • He’s not surprised or shocked.

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  • He’s not wringing his hands.
  • No, He is not biting his nails bewildered, wondering, “How do I respond in this difficult situation?”

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  • He’s not confused and doesn’t need to call in a committee to help with decisions.

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NO he is not because…HE’S GOD! And He is good!

I truly believe God is doing so much, in and around me, all the time! Jesus is quoted in the book of John saying, “My father is always working.” So, yes, for now… I will live in the mystery of all He is doing. I am thankful and I praise Him and I’m thankful for the things he is NOT doing as well.

When our time drew to a close, we discussed a next time to meet and said our good byes.

*Here is the praise passage from Daniel 2:19-23

“During the night the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven and said: “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning. He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what lies in darkness and light dwells with him. I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors: You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you, you have made known to us the dream of the king.”

Especially at this time read this Scripture:

“You can go to God Most High to hide. You can go to God All-Powerful for protection. I say to the Lord, “You are my place of safety, my fortress. My God, I trust in you.” God will save you from hidden dangers and from deadly diseases. You can go to him for protection. He will cover you like a bird spreading its wings over its babies. You can trust him to surround and protect you like a shield. You will have nothing to fear at night and no need to be afraid of enemy arrows during the day. You will have no fear of diseases that come in the dark or terrible suffering that comes at noon. A thousand people may fall dead at your side or ten thousand right beside you, but nothing bad will happen to you! All you will have to do is watch, and you will see that the wicked are punished. You trust in the Lord for protection. You have made God Most High your place of safety. So nothing bad will happen to you. No diseases will come near your home. He will command his angels to protect you wherever you go. Their hands will catch you so that you will not hit your foot on a rock. You will have power to trample on lions and poisonous snakes. The Lord says, “If someone trusts me, I will save them. I will protect my followers who call to me for help. When my followers call to me, I will answer them. I will be with them when they are in trouble. I will rescue them and honor them. I will give my followers a long life and show them my power to save.””

Psalms 91:1-16 ERV

https://www.bible.com/406/psa.91.1-16.erv

 

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Do You Receive Correction?

In my previous blog I talked about how my strength training coach can get more out of me than I know is in me. It’s true, she does. She has taught well and pushed me and I’ve become stronger. (Toothpaste and Workouts) and an interview from the real deal link: (the real deal)

Chelsea is a good teacher and demonstrates every exercise before I attempt to do it. She’ll point out all the particulars of each movement and she is excellent. Equally important, she mentions what not to do. I’ve heard her say, “Don’t let your arm extend pass this angle, don’t hyper extend your knees, keep them slightly softened.” But mainly she stresses what’s “right” and she does it. (Teaching) I learn by watching what is “right” and doing what is right. Not only am I stronger now but I’m more aware of the way my body works. I’ve even caught myself in wrong patterns, old cheat patterns, or poor body mechanics and I’m now able to correct some old habits.

I’m excited because I have even caught myself when I’ve not used correct form. For example, when I pull open the microwave door now, I reach toward the handle, set my shoulder and use my lats instead of my shoulder and neck muscles to open it. That way I won’t carry pain and tension in my shoulders but engage the muscles that operate my shoulders from behind in my upper back. She is teaching and I’m learning!

Here’s my point… I wouldn’t know the proper way to do this unless, while working out, my coach also called out my errors or mistakes. “Nope, don’t raise your shoulder Rachel! Keep those muscles quiet and pull from behind. Yes, there that’s it!” She will touch the muscles she is referring to and help me correct if I need to.

Whether I’m using free weights, resistance bands or the weight machines that operate on a pulley system, I am being taught, reprimanded, corrected and trained well. And I love it. Never once have I thought, Oh, my gosh! Why is she saying that? She is so judging me and doesn’t care about me. Not at all! In fact it’s quite the opposite. I know she is for me and she wants me to grow and become stronger.

We expect and welcome advice from a strength coach about our bodies. We similarly  want to be taught and challenged regarding our nutrition, our money and investments. We accept tips from experts who’ve gone before us. They get our attention and we are open to it. Even when they express how to avoid the pitfall or challenge us in the HARD things of life we welcome it. We know, in order to grow, it’s all part of the deal.

I love the word of God, I do! Scripture is a written love letter from the author, God, to us and it helps us become more like His son, Jesus Christ.

All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 ESV

Every scripture has been written by the Holy Spirit, the breath of God. It will empower you by its instruction and correction giving you strength to take the right direction and lead you deeper into the path of godliness. Then you will be God’s servant, fully mature and perfectly prepared to fulfill any assignment God gives you. 2 Timothy 3: 16-17 TPT 

Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Proverbs 19:20

4 areas are mentioned:

  •  Teaching (What is right because it says later “in righteousness”)
  •  Reproof (What’s not right)
  •  Correction (How to get it right)
  • Training (How to keep it right)

No matter where we are let’s be open to teaching, rebuking, correcting, training, so that we may be perfectly prepared and complete to fulfill our assignment. It’s a one time transfer into the Kingdom of his beloved Son, yet it’s a life long process! So let’s welcome the correction that is involved in the process instead of resisting it. That way we will all grow in righteousness.

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It’s the Little Things

You know how it can be the little things that tick you off, tip you over, rob your peace, or frustrate you, spoil your mood, the moment or the day? I mean it can be the tiniest thing sometimes, right? But what if that’s not really the best way to live. What if there is another option out there… What if those things weren’t allowed into our life or when they do make their entrance we get after them licklity-split, pronto, right away!

Scripture says in Song of Songs, Oh catch for us thee little foxes for it’s the little foxes that spoil the vine. If a little fox is allowed in the vineyard and he even nibbles a bit on the vines it can have a great impact, a devastating one.

You see if the little foxes come in…Somethin’ dies. Because when the little foxes eat the vine or even nibble at it for awhile there will be no grapes in the vineyard, there will be no profit and there will also be no wine produced.

I’d like to present this fresh thought today. How ’bout we ask God to help us FLIP THE SCRIPT, let’s catch the little foxes but instead let different little things have great impact and delight your heart. I like to call it “the treasure hunt with God.” The small little things that are all over all the time every day if we have vision to see them. Do you see them?

If we slow down and hunt for them with expectancy, we will find them and won’t be concentrating on any little annoyances because our vision is dialed into and focused on other good little things instead. Do you see them? They really are all around you. It is the little things that could go unnoticed but don’t need to if we are tuned into the winks and kisses of God’s goodness and grace in our everyday lives. I want to highlight just a few examples.

Sometimes it is as simple as:

  • a flower in bloom
  • a sunset at night
  • a call from a friend or relative
  • a new friend who gives a gift
  • getting to be with someone you love or admire
  • meeting an interesting or intriguing individual
  • being reunited with friends
  • delighting in a good meal or food your enjoy.

This sight grabbed my attention. These flowers were in bloom in my yard when I returned from ten days of being away.

This was a WOW moment for me. A wink from God the master painter!

This beauty, whom I had met days earlier, made these new earrings for me.

I adore my friend and mentor Jill Briscoe and we were ministering separately, but at the same location. A little serendipity for sure!

I felt the Holy Spirit say, “Walk over and see what she’s up to.” ( I’m so glad I did! ) I will write a blog about this wonderful woman Janice.

We met years ago, maybe five, and there is a beautiful connection along with respect and love and a huge dose of laughter thrown in as well. Being reunited in heart and in ministry was fabulous for me last week at Forest Springs Camp and Conference Center during their “Ladies Day” event.

A friend’s fresh produce from her garden made for a wonderfully yummy lunch for me it was a delight to the eyes and taste buds too. God gives us al things to enjoy.

So let’s catch the little foxes before they spoil the vine and instead let’s hunt for a see more readily all the little things which are simple blessings and allow these little things to build up and then let’s give Him thanks.

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What a Difference a Day Makes.

I sat on the deck and ate a delicious summer salad topped with pineapple, blueberries and strawberries. Quite pleased with myself, I said, “Man, that was terrific!” It was so warm I decided to find my swimsuit. I quickly changed and ran back out so I could gather a bit more vitamin D as I soaked up the sunshine.

I didn’t put all the cushions on the chairs but made a nice cozy place to sun bathe. It was so glorious to be outside after a long and very cold winter. THIS FEELS FABULOUS! After about an hour, I collected the cushions and stowed them safely away because there was a promise of snow in the near future.

That glorious day of sunning was only a few days ago and yesterday’s weather did a complete 180 degree turn around. Sure enough, what was forecasted, an April winter snow storm hit. The snow was very beautiful but it made it seem as if  I had only dreamt about sitting outside in my swimsuit after a tasty lunch.

My husband and I were both home inside and thankful because it grew increasingly colder and the snow fell and collected on the lawn and trees all around us. I felt like we were the fixed characters in a snow globe. It seemed as if someone had shaken our globe and we were now in a magical winter wonderland. When I was a little girl, I’d heard the phrase, “April showers bring May flowers.” I think it usually meant rain showers not snow showers!

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I will admit, it was so beautiful. The snow began lightly and increased as time went on. I stared out the window in amazement as if repeating the date…“It’s April 10th!” was going to stop the events unfolding before me. I had come home about an hour before it started snowing and immediately put layer upon layer of clothes, “BURRRRRR!” I finished  with a huge scarf that I wore for hours.

So here’s what it all made me think about today. What about this latest snowfall can I learn in my own life and my walk of faith? I began to consider: I can expect the unexpected to happen. If God has promised things in my life I can believe they will happen even if it seems unlikely based on my current circumstances.

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I sure didn’t think, sitting outside on the deck in my swimsuit, it would snow. It didn’t seem possible even though it was forecasted and promised that it was coming. Let me list a few of the promises of God for encouragement. Let’s believe in the promises of God. Let’s put our hope in the things He has said more than the things we may have staring us in the face today in our current situation.

  • Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. Isaiah 65:24   (God hears your prayers)

 

  • If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (God will forgive you.)

 

  • He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6b (God will complete His work in you.)

 

  • And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 (God will provide your needs)

 

  • What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do.  Isaiah 46:11b (God will not forget His promise. )

 

  • And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:20b (God will be with you.)

I like this quote, “I don’t believe in the power of positive thinking, I believe in Biblical optimism- based on the promises and character of God.” Steve Backlund.

Let me recap for my sake and yours. Remember, it doesn’t matter what seems or feels true. Our circumstances or current situation… They are like me sitting in the sunshine unaware of the “promised” snow… it all can change, this is THE TRUTH:

  •  God will forgive you.
  •  God will complete his work in you.
  • God will not forget his promise.
  • God will provide your needs.
  • God hears your prayers.
  • God will be with you.

Even if the promise seems as unlikely as a spring snow storm, it can happen, in God ‘s timing things can turn around. He is for us not against us, remember that! And by the way, happy Spring!

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Tune In or Tune it OUT?

The hum of the tree stump grinder and blower was constant, followed by the high-pitched chain saw’s whine as branches were being trimmed and removed from my neighbor’s backyard trees. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to try to decipher what each sound was or whether it would be best to just get up and look to see what was going on.

I made my list for the day and decided to read the final chapters of a book written by an author I will be interviewing in the future for “the real deal” podcast. Usually, I sit in the quietness of my home and hardly have any distractions. Not the case this morning.

I looked out my window, across the street my neighbors had a crew re-roofing their home. An extension ladder was leaned against the house with another smaller one propped up a few feet beside it to a lower section of the roof.

A blue tarp lined portions of the yard and bushes protecting them from all the debris falling from above. Shingles lined the driveway the way pickup trucks lined my street.  This morning was very atypical as there was a flurry of activity. I didn’t know whether to watch or sit down and try to read. I wasn’t sure which window to gaze out first, front or back?

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I thought, should I tune in and watch all the transformational work going on around me? Or should I try to tune it out? Golly, that’s the magic question I have to ask myself and decide on often. What do I pay attention to and what should I tune out in my life? 

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I was aware of the fact that when I looked out the back windows and concentrated my attention there, I was missing what was going on in the front of my home simultaneously.  I took some photos.

Then suddenly, the other neighbor’s two basset hounds, began to bark, first one then the other. Like I was listening in stereo. Woof… WOOF, WOOF… woof. WOOF, WOOF, WOOF, WOOF, WOOF! I decided to write this blog instead. I got the idea, tuning in or tune it out, from what was happening.

Oh my word, it was comical, it was a cacophony all around me: truck engines roared, dogs barked, men talked and shouted, the grinder growled and blew as wood chips shot through a tube into the tree service truck, additional cars passed by and weaved through the unusually congested street. Next, the wind gushed and activated the wind chime near my front step. It all made a big crescendo for a moment.

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Then, over time,  little by little one truck after another pulled away as the tasks were completed.  I cannot watch it all. I will miss something for sure! Isn’t that like the activity of life and even of God? I’m certain that when I see what He’s doing in one area of my life, He’s actually working on another area at the same time unknown to me.

I may think He’s trimming something out of my life and that’s the only activity going on. Only to realize, little did I know, He’s got a crew of angels, people and activity going on in a whole other area. I must tune into this: His grand design is so much bigger than my small little plans.

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So today, as the men have now sat down to have lunch break, I’ve decided to finish this blog and pick the book up again to get a few chapters finished. I hope you are able to tune into God’s voice and his activity in your life. I also pray that we both will be able to know what things we need to pay attention to and what to tune out.

We need to and can TUNE IT OUT:

  • fear
  • worry/anxiety
  • hopelessness
  • discouragement
  • panic

How do we do that tune it out?  Don’t concentrate on the above list rather…release the opposite.  These are available and can be released in the Holy Spirit:

  • God’s perfect love- which casts out fear!
  • Peace that passes understanding
  • Hope- the confident expectation of good things to come
  • Courage- doing it afraid
  • Rest and Praise –these are powerful weapons 
  • Thanksgiving- a way to enter His gates 

We can have restful hearts, in the midst of all the spin, because God is always working. He also has a flurry of activity going on all around us. He is for us, he’s not against us, so be at rest.

We can TUNE IN to these characteristics and truths…His:

  • Goodness,
  • Faithfulness
  • Kindness
  • Attention to detail
  • Redemptive work
  • Melody He is singing over us as we sleep
  • Good plans he has for us and our futures.

Yes, my morning was unusual. It was NOT quiet, but oddly enough, my heart was!

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength,” Isaiah 30:15a

 

 

 

 

 

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I’m Still Learning, Leaning and Listening.

My day yesterday wasn’t truly hectic but it was fuller than most. It was filled with loads of people, lots of conversations, leaning in and listening.

  • I had a coffee date in the morning with a new friend…delightful!
  • A midday call with a dear friend about the book I’m writing…helpful!
  • Another friend phoned, so I hopped on the treadmill to walk and listen…needed.
  • My cousin texted: I do have time available if you have a hankering to chat or pray. Just let me know. I was still on the treadmill when I called her and we prayed together…grateful.

I had told my cousin, “I need to get ready soon so I can’t talk too long because I have dinner plans.” I finally just got dressed because we kept talking. So, without taking a shower I freshened up a bit and I got ready for the night out. I remained on the line the entire time, exited my home and got into the car.

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I put my AirPods in my ears because I like to be hands free and I could do all of the above mentioned things more easily.  (talk, walk, dress and drive)

I told my cousin Annie, “Alright, I’m in the car now. I need to enter the name of the restaurant in my phone and listen for the guided directions from Maps, so how ’bout you go ahead and pray first and I will chime in when you’re finished.”

“Okay, sounds good, makes sense so you can get your bearings on where you are headed.” She agreed.

I could hear Annie’s voice as she prayed, what I found interesting was, I could still hear the faint GPS voice in my ears underneath it…“In 500 feet turn right on Harris Highland. TURN RIGHT.” I turned right and continued to listen to both voices.

I prayed too and we concluded together with “Amen!” as soon as I located a parking spot and pulled into it. “Well, I’ve arrived. You have a great night, I love you, see you soon.” I placed my AirPods into their case and tucked them safely in my purse.

I got to thinking how the directions and guidance I heard during our conversation is a lot like the way it is to lean in and listen to the Holy Spirit. It was kind of fun how a “guided voice” still continued as I went into the restaurant, although my AirPods were no longer in. It was simply “the voice of the Holy Spirit” that I was aware of speaking to me.

I was delighted to see all of the couples. As each arrived, those of us present at the table stood and greeted the newly arriving members of our party.

“All rise for the honorable Cheryl!” We said as each came in one by one or in pairs.

The restaurant was filling up quickly and the noise became louder. I went over and chatted a minute with one of my friends who would not be seated next to me during the meal.

“I feel like I haven’t seen you in forever! Hey, how is that class you are teaching going?” I asked.

“I was really glad for the women who showed up,” she responded. “You could be praying for me and all the women…” I let her finish her sentence but prayed for her right then because while she said you could just pray…I heard the Holy Spirit say, pray for her right now Rachel before you go back and sit down. 

I prayed for her because I heard the Holy Spirit as clearly as I heard the guided GPS voice say: “In 500 feet turn right on Harris Highland. TURN RIGHT.” 

Then later I took a drink from my water glass and I heard, “You should go use the bathroom.” I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the Holy Spirit but my bladder speaking. Okay, just a little humor there.

I returned to my chair and continued to enjoy such an amazing meal. It was remarkable. The presentation, the colors, the tastes and smells were completely wonderful. It was a  full sensory experience. (I only took one photo because I began to enjoy the food and conversation and lost myself in it all)

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I saw the owner of the restaurant standing against the wall. He had on a wine colored shirt and a black apron over it. He was a man of medium build and several things struck me: His dark rolled and upward turned mustache, his tattooed biceps and his intense eyes and slight smile.

He stood near the hostess station as he looked over toward all the tables, I caught his eye and waved him over to our table. Why? Because it was so fantastic and as I was chewing I heard, “Make sure you tell him how much you are enjoying your meal Rachel and do it in front of everyone.”  

He came over and I said, “I want you to know how much we are enjoying this meal, blah, blah blah…” I’m not sure what else I said, I trust the Holy Spirit on that one too.

During the meal one of my girlfriends mentioned how she can not lift her arm fully.   Somehow she’d injured her shoulder’s rotator cuff. She giggled a bit as she exclaimed, “Do you know how hard it is to shampoo your hair with one hand and how tired the arm  gets doing it? My husband had to help me get myself dressed!”

I’m sad to say I told her a story about helping someone else who was going through something similar.  YIKES! I didn’t take the time to pray for her. WHAT in the WORLD was I thinking? I know I should have done it and I can still call and pray for her or pray with her when I see her in a few days. My point is, I probably didn’t obey as quickly when I heard the Holy Spirit tell me, “Pray for Anne, speak to her shoulder.”  

You see earlier in the evening when we first greeted each other I gave her a hug and she mentioned she had to be careful because even the hug hurt. I didn’t pray then. BUT I didn’t address it, even though I’m pretty sure I heard, “Pray for Anne, speak to her shoulder.”  

So now that I’ve shared my simple dinner story, let me encourage you to listen to the Holy Spirit’s voice in your own life. It won’t come from outside of you. It will be like an inner thought, just like taking directions from the GPS. Let’s keep in step with the Spirit.

You see I’m always learning, leaning and listening. The good news is He’s always speaking!

My Sheep hear my voice. John 10:27a

 

 

 

 

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Disappointment’s Trap- How to Climb out Instead of Get Stuck.

I was over the moon with excitement. I wanted to clap my hands together and shout, “That’s a wrap people!” As though I were a director on the set of a Hollywood movie or somethin’. In all actuality, I had simply finished recording the first episode of my new podcast, “the real deal.”

I was honored to have my Father, Richard as my first guest and we had concluded our time together. We had recorded something quite unique and special. I thanked my Dad and my husband took a photo of us together as a sweet memory of our time. The reason I wanted to interview my Dad for my first episode as my initial guest is because he is my hero! He more than qualifies as someone, in my book, who is the real deal.

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Yes, Richard Heggen certainly is “the real deal!”  He is so comfortable in his own skin with his life.  I love him. My Father has implored us all, my sisters and me along with our whole nuclear family to be “the real deal.” He instructed us, “Just be yourself. You are one of a kind. Nobody wants phony bologna!” He’s said, “In the art world it is called the ‘honesty of materials.'” He always emphasized to be “the ‘genuine article,’ ‘the real deal.'”

My newest venture in spreading encouragement and exhorting audiences has taken form in this new podcast, called “the real deal” with Rachel Inouye. You can probably imagine my excitement as 2019 arrived. I’m not sure if it was the next week or when it was, but my husband and I looked at the files from the recording of episode 001, only to discover there was no episode 001. It had never been saved or was deleted or some other unknown cause. Nonetheless the podcast was gone, nada, zip, zero, nothin’ honey!

I was more than disappointed. I was a bit nauseous. I told my husband before he left for work, “It’s gonna be okay, but I may cry. I’m sad. It’ll be okay, I know but I might just cry!” A moment later, I recall I said, “I’m sure we can try to re-record it somehow, it’ll be fine honey, but I may… cry.” Then, I did exactly that, I CRIED!

My disappointment stemmed from a few things:

  • The audio file was great content and it was lost!
  • I felt like I had wasted my Father’s time.
  • I thought I had wasted my husband’s time too.
  • I was hoping my husband wasn’t feeling accused at all. It wasn’t his fault. He is my forerunner and I was disappointed.
  • I wasn’t sure how or when we’d be able to record again.
  • My hope of launching a podcast was deferred.

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My Father and I don’t live in the same state. I was fortunate to have the time with him while he and my mom and sisters came for a fall visit, so we had recorded then.  I knew they were not planning a trip back anytime soon so the possibility of getting this first episode redone seemed unlikely.

I hesitated to do it, but I called my Dad on Face Time  and said, “Well,  Dad, I’ve got some bad news. Remember recording for the podcast? We don’t know what happened but there is no sound on the  audio file. Even though we had listened to it while you were here, remember how we heard parts of it? Well, anyway it’s gone. I’m so sad.”

His response was, “Well, maybe we’ll have to come back and visit you sometime and record something else instead.” As it turned out, that’s what we did. We recorded something else but not here. Instead,  while I was back in Iowa visiting we took another swing at it. While together at a family gathering, I grabbed my dad for “the real deal” interview and my husband set up a make shift studio, we settled in, tucked away in my brother-in-law’s office, we recorded “the real deal” with Rachel Inouye Episode 001.

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Here’s how I climbed out of the disappointment trap:

  • I recognized my true disappointment and I grieved.  Yes, the audio files were lost, the content was precious, but it was gone…So I cried. (I allowed myself to go there, but I didn’t stay there.)
  • I asked God to make a way to recovered or redo.
  • I prayed with a friend, she asked for “a better outcome than the first version.”
  • I let it go and moved forward.
  • I was kind to myself and my husband.
  • I looked for the positive spin on it. Is there a silver lining here?
  • I “got back on the horse” and tried it again.
  • I realized I am strong! My resolve proved I’m energized by this endeavor; I am made to do this. (Persevere )
  • I DIDN’T GET STUCK!

If you are dealing with disappointment of any kind BIG or SMALL, I hope you will bounce back or climb out of the trap too. One thing I have been challenged to declare is…There is always a solution. 

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Here’s the good news. I believe my new podcast episode 001 was meant to be and it launched on January 8, 2019 which was my Dad’s eighty-eighth birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Richard and happy birthday “the real deal” with Rachel Inouye.

Here is the link to listen to episode 001. I sure hope you are blessed by it. If you like it SUBSCRIBE and RATE and REVIEW it. Thanks. There is much more to come!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-real-deal/id1448869614

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What Just Happened?

As I sit here typing this blog post, I am crying a bit too. Why? Because I had almost finished it, only a few final touches to make and it would have been complete. The blog post was about looking back and seeing God’s hand in our lives, it was titled “Have You Been Carried?” It was a good one.

I like to drag the cursor over the text and have in read to me as a way of making sure it’s what I want to say. I hit a button and it was reading it all aloud perfectly. I hit something else and it kept reading, but all of the words were gone. They vanished! The screen was completely white and the bottom where the word count is kept read, 0 words!

 

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What? What just happened? I decided to go up to the upper part of the screen and hit the UNDO typing button. But still nothing came back on the screen. I lost this labor of love in one CLICK. I simply wanted to encourage you that God will carry you in the new year because I have seen how he has carried me. He doesn’t change and he can’t lie so I know he will continue to be faithful to his promise. Here is the promise…notice the, “I will” parts!

I will be your God throughout your lifetime-Until your hair is white with age. I made you, I will care for you, I will carry you along and save you. Isaiah 46:4 NLT

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He has carried me this year and he will continue until my hair is white with age. Perhaps all the things I had written were just for my own review. Here is what I suggest. Take some time, look back as you review 2018 to see the ways God has cared for you and where he had carried you and the times he has saved you. It was wonderful to see his constant hand in my life this year.

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One of my tag lines for a talk I give called “I will be your God throughout your Lifetime” is this quote: “Look back with gratitude and look forward with faith.”

So as you look back on 2018 see the ways God has surprised you, fulfilled a dream of yours, carried you and sustained you.  Based on the backward glance display gratitude and thank God now. You can look forward with faith for 2019. I declare it’s gonna be a great year!

What are You Waiting for?

I had put it off for weeks or maybe months, I wasn’t overly concerned but had one thing I was thinking should just be checked out. One evening, at prayer group, a health related prayer request of mine led me to blurt out,” Yeah, I am due for an annual check up.”

“So… Rachel when do you want to have made the call by, like next week? “One of the guys asked.

I fired back, “Sure! Next week is fine.”

Accountability is quite powerful. I knew I was going to be asked, “Did you make that doctor’s appointment?’

A definition for accountability immediately came to my mind:  ACCOUNTABILITY-  “account for abilities”  

Rachel, what are you waiting for?  You are able to make an appointment!  My thoughts spurred me on. So I made it the next day. BOOM,BOOM, BOOM!

  • I gladly sent prayer group this text  FYI…Just made an appointment for my full physical!
  • I had the blood work done a few days ago.
  • Although I am not a doctor, I read the results.
  • Today was the day for my physical.

 

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After my name was called the nurse introduced herself and said, “Follow me this way, please.” Then she stopped and said, “I’ll have you step up on the scale to get your weight.”

“Okay, let me take off my coat and boots first. As I unzipped my boots I began to laugh. I said, “I’m chuckling because my husband likes to take off as much as possible when he weighs in.”

To which the nurse commented then inquired,  “I think I know him! Does he take like his pants off and everything?”

“No, no, no… I just meant that he removes his boots and watch and any coins in his pockets too.”

We did all the regular health history stuff and updates to the chart information.

“Oops! I didn’t check your height. Sorry! Let’s do that now!”

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“Five foot two…aaand a half!” as she announced it I felt like doing a cart-wheel because at least I’m not shrinking .

The whole physical went really well in fact, when my doctor was going through my blood work results, she exclaimed, “These numbers are incredible!” As she finished she headed me a printed copy and said, “You should frame this paper when you get home!” She spoke through her giggle, “Girl, you should have some cheesecake!”

As I exited she said, “All really looks good, just remember to make your mammogram appointment.” Oh, boy! Here we go again. 

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I took this photo thinking, Well, that’s behind me and it was a great visit!

So let me ask you…What are you waiting for? Is there something you are putting off?

  • Could you clear away distractions and make a forward step now or in the morning?
  • Could you invite someone to hold you accountable?
  • What is one little step you could make today? (Habakkuk 2:2 “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it…”)

Remember the answer to this question, “What is the best way to eat an elephant?” answer. “One bite at a time.”

If I’m being honest with you I still have many things that need forward momentum applied to them:

  •  Steps I need to be taken to make a manuscript a published book.
  • I have loose ends which must be tied up before I can launch a podcast.
  • I have videos that need to be worked on for an on-line course.
  • I have Christmas presents to wrap.
  • YES THE LIST GOES ON!

But let me encourage you to get the ball rolling. Overcoming inertia is the hardest part. Once we get started it’s so much easier.  So let’s be encouraged together! God is working in advance and he goes before us in the things we are to do. (one of my recent blogs was about this.)

Oh, and know this, I am  very happy to report,  I have already made my mammogram appointment for early January.