Toothpaste and Workouts

There is more in you than you know. I heard God tell me. You’ve got more and more is required because you rely on me and I am in you. You may be wondering, Rachel, when did you have this thought? Let me give you the back story.

We were headed to Marco Island, Florida my bag was packed, except for the toiletries. I knew my toothpaste was almost gone. The tube was getting pretty empty but I held it in my hand and thought, I’ll probably run out, but it’s better than taking a new, heavier tube, in my checked bag. But it was amazing, it never ran out! I even had more left when I returned home.

One morning just before tossing it in the garbage, I decided to employ the method my husband uses to get at the last little bit. I used the edge of the vanity and I pulled the tube along to force the tooth paste to the end. Next, I used my toothbrush handle and slid it down the tube a second time to ensure I’d get all the remaining paste out. It worked like a charm! It lasted a for a few more days. It was a tube that kept on giving.

IMG_2461At my next brushing, I squeezed again and I heard His voice again, There’s more in you too. I’m never pushing you to hurt you, but for you to know more fully what you contain. You contain me and the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. You are a container of me – the hope of glory. I know! Those profound encounters happened in the bathroom, for goodness sake! Hmm? I chewed on the thought awhile.

Later, I was at the gym working out doing some strength training, a new thing for me this year. Even there I felt the same message was being confirmed and impressed on me. You’ve got more in you.

I’m working with a coach, Chelsea, who is excellent, she both pushes me and is encouraging. One time she gave instructions while demonstrating, “What you’re going to do here is you’re going to walk up these steps, holding a kettle ball weight in each hand.” I looked up at the significant number of steps and watched her climb her way up.

IMG_2481As she climbed, she continued the instructions,”Step by step all the way to the top, engaging the glutes and quadriceps and pushing through the big toe as you climb. Once you reach the top, turn around at the landing a then come back down slowly.” I watched as she demonstrated and then it was my turn. (Side note: I did it! Alternating with another exercise, which I don’t remember and repeating each station three times.)

Later, Chelsea instructed as she laid face-down on a weight bench, bar below. “This time we work to fatigue.  Pull up like you are rowing. You need to give me six, but you may even get up to ten.” I got into position…then, while I’m breathing and lifting she’d ask, “What number are you on?” I replied, “Six!”  She said, “Rachel, you’ve got another, or two more in you!” I would do it!  Then the same message repeated “you’ve got more, there is more in you.

Let me ask you, “Do you know how much you’re capable of? Do you know how strong you are? Do you know the one who meets you even in your weakness? Do you know that you too have more in you?”  Well, let me tell you, you do!

A few reminders:

  • But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world. 1 John 4:4 NLT
  • For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13NLT
  • But he 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
  • The LORD will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun- scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Isaiah 58:11 NIV

Those waters that never fail are better thantoothpaste that never runs out. May God strengthen your frame today. I bless you and remember: “There is more in you, because of who you contain.”

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“the real deal” podcast with Rachel Inouye

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Trash or a Treasure?

She was crouched down, low to the ground, her index finger and thumb made her own set of human tweezers as she searched through the pile on the dirty concrete floor. Her hair hung from her head as she carefully examined the small areas where paper clippings and other craft supplies had fallen to the ground. She was a tiny but very determined “treasure hunter.”

Earlier we had completed a craft project that included gluing little round gem stones on top of a hand painted box. The young people in the program were allowed to select 7 gems each. (I can’t really remember the number each child could grab) We brought plastic bags from America full of craft gem stones…ruby-red, sapphire-blue, emerald-green, topaz-yellow and clear ones glistened like diamonds. They loved these special gems. Even the boys in the group were excited about this craft project and topping the box with colorful eye-catching gems was the icing on the cake so to speak.

Let me give a bit of the back story. We were in Guatemala City working along side a ministry called Potter’s House. The staff at Potter’s House tirelessly love and serve these kids whom they refer to as “TREASURES.” We were volunteers who provided/staffed a time away at CAMP for some children from the community. It was an amazing experience!

So I was about to sweep the floor as it was clean up time and we would soon be headed outside for games. That’s when I saw her, this precious small black eyed beauty low to the ground. She smiled as she saved a few fallen gems from being thrown into the trash and carefully placed them securely in her dusty cupped hand.

I held a dustpan in my left hand, ready to seep up the trash with the right when I heard in my spirit, she’s My treasure and she is looking for treasure too. Let me ask, do you know what a treasure you are? God got my attention that day in Guatemala as I heard him ask the question.

So I’ll ask you the same thing-Do you know what a treasure you are?

I read an article, years ago that stated we are doing people a disservice telling them that they are special. I couldn’t disagree more. I believe God made people on purpose for a purpose and He sees each one of us as His very own masterpiece- His TREASURE.

While at “CAMP” that summer in Guatemala each child got their photograph taken so that it could be glued inside the lid of the craft treasure box when opened. My hope is even today those children remember they are truly treasures. I really have no idea exactly what those kids lives are like.

I have no idea what your life is like either. I don’t know whether you think of yourself as TRASH or TREASURE. But it doesn’t matter what you think, it matters what God says. He says you are a masterpiece. His poem, his workmanship created in Christ Jesus.

I agree with God.

Say these things aloud…declare them. Allow your ears to hear what your mouth is proclaiming. This can unlock something inside you. It may also unlock and open something else…perhaps you’ll see your face, like the small glued photo, inside on the lid of God’s treasure box, filled with real gems.

Come on, let it out. Let me hear you, now!

  • I am a special treasure, one the world needs to see on display.
  • I shine like the stars in the universe as I hold out the light of life.
  • I am an unstoppable force– God’s power is in me.
  • I have been made on purpose for a purpose!
  • I am God’s masterpiece!

“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians‬ ‭2:8-10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

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Guatemala City Dump- most of the children live nearby and their parents work there.
Treasures each one!

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https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-real-deal/id1448869614?mt=2
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When the Going Gets Tough…

Have you heard this phrase? “When the going gets tough; the tough get going.” I’d have to admit, when things get hard sometimes I’ve just quit. Here’s a silly little example I’ll share to illustrate.

Once upon a time, in a house of a home school family, mine, a magic marker was dropped down inside a blue glazed piece of pottery with a small narrow opening to the “mouth” of it. I tried for a while to dislodge the marker. First, I turned the pottery over, attempted to guide the magic marker toward the small opening.

“Lemme see, maybe this will work.” I said. Next, I shook it, inverted it and checked the placement of the marker. Then I shoved my index finger in, wiggled it and felt around trying to grab the end and guide it out. I followed this by a feeble attempt of my pinky finger. “Rats!” I exclaimed. “I’m so close, I can touch it!”

I tried other things too, but to no avail. I remember I looked down at my young daughter and said, “Let’s just set it aside for now and have Daddy take a look at it when he gets home!” I just quit. Is that pathetic? (I am married to a man who is mo-ti-vat-ed by a challenge!)

bright colored markers colorful colors

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com

Just so you know the rest of the story. Michael took a look at it when he returned from work and did something amazingly clever to free the trapped marker. I call him MacGyver, from the television series starring Richard Dean Anderson, because he fixes most anything using bizarre methods.

I believe someone out there is frustrated, discouraged, or losing hope and I want to encourage you… Don’t give up! The stuck marker and pottery scenario seems small, but it’s the stick-to-it-tive-ness, perseverance and overcomer’s attitude and testing of one’s will or strength I’d like to highlight.

Let me start by telling you this truth. You are stronger than you think, will last longer than you know, and are capable of doing more than you can imagine. (God knows this about you and about me too.)

What’s kind of funny to me is how we love the pain and struggle, in some areas of life, and are even drawn to it.  I have a few friends who’ve done the Iron Man multiple times.  I’ve seen how we can enjoy the toil involved in sports and athletics. I know I’m hooked by the background story of the training process of dedicated Olympians. The amount of sheer determination and grit that led up to the metals ceremony amazes me.

blue and red superman print tank top shirt

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

These athletes undergo rigorous training routines as we cheer them on. Their training is excruciatingly difficult, but I have never heard anyone accuse the athletes’ coach or trainer of being too tough.

Rather, the coach is appreciated for pushing the individual and bringing out their best through the hard process of testing. The coach pushes hard which makes a better athlete, period. (A few movies display this well. Miracle, Facing the Giants, Remember the Titans)

action active arena athletes

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

adult coach communication face

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

However, when it comes to our own spiritual lives or another person’s faith journey, we don’t have the same mindset we use with sports. Instead, when faced with a difficult situation or grueling trial, people doubt the goodness of God or easily assign blame to Him. But God is good and only good. Yes, life can be both hard and good. Yet God is FOR us.

Here are a couple of truths which keep me going when the going gets tough and have helped me thrive and make it through more than I knew I was capable of enduring:

  • the example of Jesus enduring the crucifixtion ‘for the joy set before him’
  •  the fact that God promises to be with us in hard times: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor for sake you. Deuteronomy 31:6 

Going through hard things in life, a trial, struggle or a PIT of some sort often makes people doubt the goodness of God. Whether we are the one going through it or we observe someone else in the PIT. I heard Graham Cooke once say, “PIT stands for ‘Prophet in Training’ or ‘Person in Transition.'” Are you going through a hard thing? Are you in the PIT?

I’ve spent some time in the PIT  I hope to see God working to make me a prophet in training and I know I’m a person in transition. I believe God only wants good for me and He is able to do the impossible in my life. Knowing Jesus in a deeper way is the result of my time in the pit because it’s where His presence became so evident to me and my encounters with the Living God increased. So I am actually grateful for the circumstances I’ve seen in my life. We are all in process.

The other day I ran across this verse from Isaiah 42:3 NIV. It is one that ministered to me and helped me believe in God’s goodness for me years ago. But it was needed again the other day as a reminder of that fact that God is NOT out to break me nor does He desire to squash me like a bug. “A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;”

So remember dear believer:

  • God is for you NOT against you.
  • God works all things together for your good.
  • God will never leave you or forget about you.
  • God lifts up his smile upon you and gives you peace.
  • God blesses your coming and going both now and forever more.
  • God promises to be with you in hard times.
  • Be strong in the LORD and the power of His might.
  • God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory.

Let us not be weary in doing good, for we will reap in due season, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 New Heart English Version

When we rely on the power of God and trust in His character and rest in His promises, We are stronger than we think, will last longer than we know, and are capable of doing more than we can imagine.. “So when the going get’s tough…Let’s cling to God and get going!”