(June 14, 2021) Carol Round shares some good advice…
Proverbs 16:9 (AMP) gives wise advice… ‘A man’s mind plans his way [as he journeys through life], But the Lord directs his steps and establishes them.’
Since my 30-year teaching career ended in 2005, I’ve discovered this truth: We can make plans, but God directs our steps. I love telling others, who are retired or nearing retirement, ‘You won’t find those words in the Bible. Retirement is a manmade concept.’
My post-career plans included expanding my professional photography business and writing news stories for area publications. The first one was not part of God’s plans for my life. At the time, I lived in a small lake community. Who wouldn’t want to spend their autumn and winter years near the lake?
But God had a better plan for me. Nine months after he planted the seed, I obeyed, and he directed my steps to a community with a larger population.
When we let God direct our steps, you never know where it will lead. Look at the disciples. I’m sure their plans didn’t include dropping their fishing nets or leaving other jobs behind to follow Jesus.
(February 04, 2021) Carol Round, having experienced an exhausting moving home time, encourages us to relax in Jesus…
Packing! Moving! Unpacking! I questioned, once again, ‘Why did I have so much stuff?’
It’s not the first time I’ve moved in almost 20 years, it’s the sixth! I know others who have moved more times than I have, and I don’t envy them. I’m still trying to recover from my latest move.
I’ll confess! If I’d had my way, I’d still be in the first place I moved to four years before retiring from my 30-year teaching career in 2001. My post-teaching career plans included freelance writing for area newspapers and continuing my 20-year photography business that exploded when I went digital.
But Jesus had a greater plan for me. That’s the reason behind my many moves. Although it took him nine months to convince me to move the first time, I’ve learned to say, ‘I want your will, not mine.’
Obedience means surrendering
Each time I’ve moved, it’s been in obedience to his calling on my life.
I don’t take it lightly. For someone like me, who was used to being in charge, and thought she was in control of her life, it meant surrendering. Even though I still struggle sometimes, I’ve learned his way is the only way to live freely and lightly. (more…)
(December 19, 2020) Brian Bell challenges our moving into 2021…
A nearby retailer’s Christmas catalogue included interviews with several local personalities and one of the questions asked was to reflect on 2020 and what they had learned ie ‘The best piece of advice I’ve ever received was…’ Interestingly one young woman’s reply was ‘This too shall pass…’
Now whether she was aware or not, those words have a scriptural basis. There are times in scripture we read ‘and it came to pass…’ and while the context such as in Luke 2:1 (KJV, Darby) relates to fulfilment of an event, I have heard believers use them in the sense that ‘difficult’ or ‘bad’ times will pass.
Hope for 2021
I’m sure for many, the fact that 2020 is going brings some relief and the hope for something better in 2021. Its true 2020 proved an exceedingly difficult year, as we remember those who lost their lives to the virus; grieving families; for the organisations which collapsed for financial reasons; the loss of jobs and the impact on livelihoods; loneliness for many who live alone. We applauded, of course, frontline health and other workers. (more…)
(September 5, 2020) Carol Round reminds us that God is the master planner…
An anonymous quote on social media recently grabbed my attention. It said, ‘Long before Zacchaeus couldn’t see Jesus, the tree was planted to meet his need.’
Not only do I love this quote, I had to share it. Reflecting on the words, I began to think about God’s plans for my life. Until my rebirth, I never considered how God had already prepared a way for me, just as he did for Zacchaeus.
According to Luke 19:4, the tree Zacchaeus climbed to see Jesus is a ficus sycomorus (its scientific name). That type tree can take from 20 to 50 years to grow to full maturity. So, it’s possible that before Zacchaeus was born, the tree he climbed was planted.
Plans that God set in motion before our birth
Before we were ever born, God had plans for us!
He knew the span of our life before we were formed in our mothers’ womb and the number of hairs on our head! God doesn’t leave such attention to detail to chance. He has plans for each of his children, and they are good.
Before we even realise we’re going to need something, God has already planned for that need. Even before we ask him for it, his plans are already in motion. Just ask Zacchaeus. (more…)
(July 23, 2017) Maureen McQuillan encourages any who feel discarded …
An impossible task!
That’s what the project that I had set myself suddenly seemed as I looked down at the pile of rocks – or to be technical – large pieces of cut or sawn stones.
I had been working on the back garden we had some years ago and, being creative, had envisioned an attractive dry stone wall. And I had decided that I could build that wall by myself and save costs.
The various shaped stones arrived, several quite heavy. But I wasn’t desponded, even though I had never built a dry stone wall before and had neither instruction manual nor helper – Robert was away ministering.
Well, here goes, I thought (plus ‘Help, Holy Spirit’ and similar prayers!). In my mind I planned it all out and then began to build so creatively. And all went well until a certain point …
I just couldn’t find the right piece of stone for the next joint. Nothing would fit the breech in the design. I searched and searched to no avail. There just wasn’t a beautiful shapely stone that would fit in. (more…)