When is Independence Not a Good Thing

“Me do it.” The little girl grabbed the hairbrush from her mother.

“Look Ma, no hands.” The boy peddled his bike past his mother, his hands raised in the air.   

“Don’t worry Dad, I’ve got this.” The college graduate heads out for his job interview.

Independence.

We demand it. We desire it for our children. We even celebrate it.

But, “independently” isn’t always the best way to do things.

Examples –

  • During the battle between the Israelites and the Amalekites, when Moses
    held up his arms the Israelites prevailed. If his arms dropped, the Amalekites were winning. Fatigued, unable to keep his arms up independently, Aaron and Hur came to his aid. With them holding Moses arms up for him, Israel won the battle. 

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+17&version=NASB

  • As the Israelites settle into their routine, Moses handled disputes between the people. All of them. In a large group there are many. Too many. Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro, tells Moses, “the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone.” Jethro continues to advise Moses to delegate some of the responsibility and share the workload.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+18&version=NASB

Both these examples refer to a burden that is “too heavy”. Moses’ arms, the task of settling all the disagreements. The scriptures encourage getting others to help. Of not handling things independently.

Support groups exist to help each other. Share common goals. Ease burdens that are too heavy.

As a writer, I’m grateful to have http://lexingtonwordweavers.com/ to help me. To lift me up, provide suggestions, offer correction.

A large reason for the existence of the church is to share each other’s burdens. Provide wise counsel. Lift each other up. “. . .and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near,” Hebrews 10:24-25

This passage in Hebrews came to my mind as I watched the solar eclipse from the horse pasture. When darkness took over the sky, my horses drew near to each other. For safety, for comfort, for reassurance.

Since the day of the Lord draws ever nearer, let’s continue to encourage each other, to draw closer together, share the heavy burdens. But most important is to be in alignment with God’s will. If we do that, then others might be overwhelmingly amazed at His glorious presence. 

And, darkness will be extinguished by the wonderful Light.

 

 

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Book Review of The Last Arrow

The Last Arrow: Save Nothing for the Next LifeThe Last Arrow: Save Nothing for the Next Life by Erwin Raphael McManus
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This isn’t just a great book. It’s a challenge for each of us to step into something bigger, get out of our comfort zones, become – MORE.

From the first page to the last, Erwin offers encouragement. He gives us his story, stories from the lives of others. And stories from the Bible, using the life of Elisha as the example of how God works through ordinary people. Ordinary people who, not wanting to be mediocre, offered their Last Arrow, leaving an extraordinary mark on the target of life.

Erwin’s words – “most of us underestimate how much God actually wants to do in our lives and through our lives. The Last Arrow is about leaving nothing undone that was ours to do. It is squeezing the marrow out of life. This journey is about ensuring that when we come to the end of our lives, we will arrive at our final moments with no regret.”

After reading this book, realizing how much more God has in store for me, I will arrive at my final moment with no regrets.

Note: As part of the launch team I read an uncorrected proof. The final product might vary from what I’ve quoted here.

View all my reviews

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Truth Serum Horse

Sources : Truth Serum Horse

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What If . . . ?

 

I lose my job?

pink slip free

The car breaks down?

car-accident

I get hurt riding my horse?

20160316_155439

My children won’t listen?

girls fighting

There’s a bee in the flower?

rose with bee

What if . . . ?


Stop and think –

Many  things we worry about are preceded by  “what if?”

But, God’s plan for us is perfect because He is perfect.

“For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope,” Jeremiah 29:11 (NASB).

We should still work hard at our jobs, maintain our cars, discipline our children, practice safety, etc. But we can be encouraged there are no “what if’s” in God’s plan. He is in control and since He is, we’ve no need to worry.

open Bible

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God,” Philippians 4:6 (NASB).

Let’s remember to trust the Lord and let go of the ‘what if’s.” His every decision, every action, is best for us.

He never struggles with doubts

No second guesses

His will is done with perfect love.

No “what if’s”

Stop to smell the roses, but watch out for the bees.

 

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Shields are Not Just for Superheroes

Source: Shields are Not Just for Superheroes

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Common Sense about Horse Communication

Horses cannot learn to speak our language. It’s up to us to listen to theirs. Read Anna Blake’s description of why this is important.

Relaxed & Forward: AnnaBlakeBlog

The first thing to remember about horses is that their senses are just better than ours.

I’ve never trusted my own senses. I consider it a good thing.

While I was still in grade school, I broke my nose on a sheep. These things happen; he was a big cross-eyed ram by the name of Grandpa. So, I don’t have a good sense of smell, but no worries, if I imagine what it might smell like I get by. It should impact my taste but you can’t convince me that raspberries taste better to you.

I was born with flimsy eardrums and flunked all my hearing tests in school. Two childhood surgeries later, no improvement. My parents debated whether I wasn’t able to hear or just didn’t listen. I do in fact have a hearing loss. It’s the lower tone range, so it’s mainly men I don’t listen to. I…

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Nature Speaks

God can be found everywhere. Take time to look for Him today.

Tablet of your Heart

Writers are scavengers—we gather scraps and pieces together and turn them into stories.

I found these things as we did a scavenger hunt and free-write at writing group.

God is amazing how he gives us this beautiful world to live in. We see these kinds of common objects in nature, and sometimes they’re just there in the background and we don’t take notice of them. He creates such a huge variety of shapes, colors and textures.

brown uneven pine cone Something rough

The pine cone is rough and uneven. It reminds me how the Lord loves us even though we have bumps and ridges.

green leaf Something green

A vibrant green leaf is full of new life and moisture. This makes me think of how we come alive with Jesus and he gives us living water and gifts.

wood chips Something woody

Wood chips are chiseled from a big piece of wood. They bear resemblance of the tree…

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Being Seen With Christ

A man, or woman, can be recognized by the vehicle they drive.

My husband and I drive what I call, “his and her black Dodges.” If someone who knows us sees either of these vehicles they know at least one of us is nearby.Black Dodges

The Durango is recognized as my car only if someone has seen me with it, driving it, or getting in / out of it. If a person never sees me with that car they don’t know which one in the parking lot belongs to me. The car and I have to be seen together.

Reading scripture verses as follow-up to last week’s sermon a theme stood out in these words ─ united, together, fellowship, conformity, purchased, abide, and known. Words describing our relationship with Jesus Christ. But, to be recognized as belonging to Christ, we must be “seen” together.

A man can be recognized by his truck because of his relationship with that truck. They’ve been seen together. Can people recognize we are followers of Christ by our relationship with Him? Are we seen together?

Some of the verses:
Romans 6:4-5
Ephesians 2:4-5
1 Corinthians 1:9
Revelation 5:9-10
John 15:4-7
1 Corinthians 2:6

~Cindy Payne ©

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Diving Deep

I peer out over the lake. Watching the water ripple in the breeze.Sandy Beach calm The waves gently lapping the shoreline.

Several yards away from where I sit on the rock, I see the turtle’s head, barely above the waterline. turtle head out of water cropped


As a boat approaches, the waves get stronger, crashing louder. The turtle disappears, diving deeper into the water.
“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind”, James 1:6 (NIV).
I continue to watch. The turtle reappears.
Another boat, the turtle dives again. This time I think, Is the water quieter down below these waves?
As I sit, watching the waves, the boats, and the turtle, my mind turns to God. His creation, the beauty, but even more His provision – for quiet, for peace, for safety.
The turtle dove into the water to escape the turbulent waves caused by the boats’ wake. We can dive deeper into the Word of God to escape the turbulence caused within the world.

Worry, doubt, problems, loss ─ these often make us feel tossed and blown by the waves of trouble.
Diving deeper into Scripture can bring a tranquility not seen from the surface.

“I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm”, Psalm 55:8 (NIV).

 

 

 

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Bearing More Fruit

Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit,” John 15:1-2 (NASB)

The owner of the vineyard tells me she removes the branches that are dead. That she added a new branch (root) which is already entwined with the older vine.

 Jesus continues, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

When growing grapes, the entire plant is considered the grape vine. It is this portion from which all other branches, leaves, and fruit, must grow.  Rosalie went on to explain for the fruit to reach its maximum potential, it must receive plenty of sunlight. This means that even some of the beautiful leaves and young shoots must be pruned away. This makes room for the sun to shine through. She said she didn’t like to do that part but, if she didn’t, then there wouldn’t be tasty grapes to eat.

Jesus used the examples of vines, branches, and fruit to help us see ─ our lives are a lot like a grapevine. The dead wood (sin) must be removed and destroyed. Unnecessary parts of our busy days need to be carefully pruned to allow the Light of the Son to shine through. When Jesus, the Son, shines in our lives then fruit will grow.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” Galatians 5:22-23 (NASB)

 

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