Have you ever wondered why so many people struggle with illness and weakness? You would think that since God is a Healer that He would reach down and heal his people, especially those that are believers.
It’s a question that has been asked down through the ages, I would guess. And many have searched to find the answer. I have learned there are many reasons why God may leave us in our sickness, disability, or weakness.
We all need confidence; however, the question is… is this true confidence? From where are you getting your confidence? Unfortunately, self-confidence often comes from our success, our education, comparing ourselves to others, and the list goes on. So where can we get confidence?
Self-Confidence vs. God-Confidence
Webster says self-confidence is confidence in oneself and in one’s powers and abilities. The word will tell you this is what you need to be successful. But depending on our own abilities and strength will let us down. Because our own abilities are fleeting. In a moment, life can turn on a dime and leave you with nothing.
Consider these verses…
Hebrews 13:5-6 “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
Proverbs 11:28 “Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.”
My family knows from experience that your savings account will not keep you safe. Money can be gone in an instant for many reasons. For us, sickness and loss of jobs loss widdled away at our savings quite quickly.
We had to depend fully on God because there was nothing else to depend on. We didn’t have that much to fall back on in the first place but It gave us a kind of false confidence to have a small nest egg. We learned quickly that trust in God only truly comes when you have nothing left but Him to depend on. That is true confidence.
This verse came alive for me as I lay flat on my back for months.
Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever.”
Confidence in Beauty?
1 Peter 3:3-4 “Your beauty should not come from outward adornments, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
We can’t depend on our good looks. Some of us don’t have much to begin with but beauty is fleeting. Now that I am pushing 60, I can see that this is definitely true. Age takes its toll and gravity does the rest.
But we can lose our looks at a young age also. One fleeting moment can change everything.. a car accident, cancer, a burn, an attack. You can see we won’t go far if we depend on our beauty.
Micah 7:5 “Do not trust a neighbor; put no confidence in a friend. Even with the woman who lies in your embrace guard the words of your lips.”
How about Friends and Family?
We can’t rely on people. Quicker than a flash, people will turn on you without even blinking an eye. Think about Samson. He trusted Delilah and lost his freedom, his eye-sight, his strength, and so much more. There is only One Who you can trust. That would be God, Himself.
True Confidence Comes from God
When we depend on God for our success, it doesn’t really matter where our strengths and abilities lie. God can do amazing things when we rely on Him.
I am Confident in this…
Psalm 118:8 “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”
Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
I’ll be breaking these verses down in the coming months. I encourage you to follow us through notifications or through our newsletter. We want to help build your confidence in God.
But to get you started in God-confidence, start with meditating on this verse.
1 John 4:16-18 “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world, we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”
Our confidence comes in first trusting Jesus Christ as our Savior.
Acknowledging Him as the Son of God. And acknowledging our sinfulness. Believing that Jesus came to earth to live a perfect life and to die in our place, taking on our punishment and rising again to defeat death and the grave!
And Finally, we must confess our sins, admitting that we have turned away from God and now will repent, turn from our sins and back to God.
Have you done this?
If so I implore you to search the Bible and find the answers. Here is a good place to start… Knowing God
Q: Are You Getting Enough Water? Are you Staying Hydrated?
We all know that we’re supposed to drink “8 glasses of water a day”. We’ve been told this forever. But for one reason or another, most of us are guilty of not doing it. We go around dehydrated and don’t even realize it. And our body pays for it, especially the kidneys.
Did you know that some hunger pains are actually signs of thirst? Studies show that many times people will eat when they are only thirsty. So maybe we should try drinking a glass of water when you get the urge to eat.
Did you know that the main cause of kidney stones is dehydration? Wow! kidney stones are caused by dehydration and poor diet. Check it out on this report.
Furthermore, did you know that dehydration causes a lack of energy, lowers cognitive skills, and may affect your mood? There are ten or more dangers of dehydration. You can read about that right here.
Actually, we may need more than 8 glasses of water.
Your Weight in lbs / 2 Equals number of ounces to drink each day.
There are a lot of factors to figure this, such as where you live and how much exercise you get. My nutritionist said you should take your weight in pounds divide it in half and THAT is how many ounces of water you should drink each day. Oh boy! If you weigh 200 pounds or more, you are gonna be floating away. But then again, it could help you lose weight, get your blood pressure under control, and many other things. I have also been told that the running to the restroom issue will go away once your body acclimates itself to receiving the right amount of water. My experience is that this is true.
Make Rules. When I first became aware that I was not getting enough fluids, I made rules such as I cannot have anything other than water, each day, until I have had my 8 glasses. Ok. You can have your coffee in the morning. But after that, no tea or coke or whatever, until you have finished off 8 glasses of water. And DON’T try to gulp it all down in the first hour of the day. Not helpful folks.
Drink 16 oz first thing in the morning. This might be a little difficult at first. Start small and build up to it. As a result, your body will wake up, kick-start your metabolism, and get “things” moving. If you know what I mean.
Do drink a full glass of water before each meal and snack. They say that this will help curb your appetite. As I said before, thirst is often disguised as hunger pangs. It will also, fill you up a bit so that you don’t eat as much.
Keep a glass of ice water on your desk, on your bed stand, and in your car. This way, you can sip on water throughout the day. Before you know it, you will have your goal accomplished. Get yourself a Bubba Cup. The steel ones will keep your water cold for 12 hours or more. Ours, keeps water cool all night long. It even still has ice in it! I fill this cup before I go to bed and sip on it whenever I am aroused. In the morning, I pretty much have 16-20 oz finished off.
Be sure to drink a full glass of water when taking medications. I can take an aspirin at a drinking fountain with one sip but use the opportunity to get in a full glass. If you are taking an RX, you should be doing this anyway.
Get a Water Purifier. We don’t all live out in the country with a nice deep well with cool, freshwater in it. And some tap water can taste pretty nasty. We use a filter from Pur. Awesome little attachment that goes right on the faucet. Actually, we recently found the Culligan Water Filter which works Soooo much better.
Additionally, Improve the Taste with Infused Water. Purchase flavored or seltzer water. However, be sure that you don’t select drinks that have sugar added. Or, you could make your own flavored water. … Draw a pitcher of water each night before bed. Add a few pieces of fruit, vegetables, herbs, and VOILA! In the morning, tasty water. I have enjoyed one with cucumbers and mint. An added advantage here would be that when the pitcher is empty, you know you’ve met your goal!Michele shared about making Kefir Water here.
Fruit Infuser Water Bottle. My son just introduced us to this amazing water bottle that infuses your water with fruit flavor as you drink.
Finally, Eat More Fruits and Vegetables. They are made up of 20% water, which equals more fluids!
So, there you have it. 8 ways to help get your 8 glasses of water each day. Go do the math and see how much you really need and start doing these things today. Soon, you will find your blood pressure dropping, your bowels moving better, and you will have so much more energy. You might even lose a little weight.
How do you keep hydrated? Let us know in the comments.
if you don’t know where to start, go back to the beginning
While on vacation in Grapevine, Texas, our friends the Vande Zande’s introduced us to water kefir. At first, we were a bit hesitant. So I put the Vande Zande’s through a question decathlon. By the time I ran out of questions to ask, Char had given us each a shot of the kefir water in a small glass. Staring at the water kefir while I rotated the glass around, I inquired as to what flavor we were drinking and she said she made white grape and mango. We were given white grape. So taking one last look at Brad (he knows my ingestion of fermented products has very small margins), I lifted my glass and drank it down.
At first, the fizziness took me by surprise. The bubbles danced on my tongue and the flavor of white grape really came through. Delicious! It was nice and cool and that felt wonderful after an 88-degree day walking around Waco, Texas. It did not have the “alcohol” aftertaste that I thought would occur. In fact, there really wasn’t an alcohol taste. The fermentation duration was short, therefore it had not yet reached a stage of possessing intoxicating elements. Lastly, I was waiting to see if my stomach would concur and moments later… happy stomach! As you grow more mature, one becomes a bit hesitant in trying new stuff that might upset the delicate balance of your intestinal life. As all good hostesses, she awaited my analysis.
“Well, what do you think?” said Char.
Both Brad and I gave the “thumbs up”. For the rest of our stay there, we had water kefir with every meal. It gave me a wonderful option to kick soda to the curb. So I set my mind to order some water kefir grains, poly mesh strainer and the “flipper” glass bottles for storing the water kefir in the instant I got home.
On your mark, get ready
First I would like to start you out with a brief history of water kefir. Then we will talk about what it is made up of, what benefits there are in drinking water kefir and lastly how to start “brewing” your own water kefir.
You may be wondering how to pronounce kefir. I have had found three pronunciations. The first would be to say “keh-fear“, the second would be to say “key-fur” and lastly “keh-fur”. There was even a poll out on the web on how to say kefir. I consulted the Cambridge Dictionary (a go-to for those wanting more sophisticated phonics) and found that pronouncing it “keh-fear” seemed to hold weight in both British English and American English. Just delivering this phonetic quandary to you has frazzled me. So I will leave it to you and your regional dialect to decide how you shall pronounce it and what syllabic emphasis it should receive. Let’s move on to more fun and interesting things about water kefir.
get set and go!
Water kefir is a century old drink, whose origins are speculative and lacking documentation. According to a youtube video by St. Michael’s Kefir, there are four possible areas where water kefir got its start. These areas are Mexico, Caucasus ( the Caucasus is a mountain system in West Asia between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.) Tibet, and Japan.
Kefir requires sugar for its growth and production of the brew, so any centuries-old culture making water kefir needed to be near the tropics. It was thought that after the conquest of Mexico the Spanish brought it back to Europe through the transatlantic trade. In addition, European soldiers returning home from the Crimean war of 1850, brought with them a drink similar to water kefir. Regardless, water kefir has spread worldwide, “splashing” onto the scene in the U.S. in 1853 by a Kentucky local. [Source: St. Michael’s Kefir, youtube]
animal, vegetable, or mineral?
Photo Credit Michele Bruxvoort
As you can see by my picture above, the kefir grains look like little jelly globs. They are bouncy and slippery. Once they hit the counter or have pressure applied to them, they easily split apart. Kefir grains are just a happy group of bacteria and yeast living together. Kefir goes by several other names like California Bees, Sea Rice, Water Crystals, Ginger Beer, and Tibicos.
Why would you want to drink kefir water?
Great question! Water kefir is an excellent alternative to soda. It provides you with gut loving probiotics, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. Aiding you in digestion and keeping your intestinal life moving right along.
There are several things I like about kefir water. First I like its fizzy pop feel. I like the fact that it is a great probiotic to add to my diet and it is a great alternative to sugary and diet soda. I have drunk kefir water right along with sandwiches, salads, meat and potatoes supper, as well as breakfast. My favorite flavor of kefir water is grape with apple coming in second.
I look forward to seeing you back here in two weeks. We will go over where to get your kefir grains, the recipe for water kefir production, maintaining health grains, as well as helpful tips and tricks.
Have you tried water Kefir? What is your favorite flavor?
And we all have had our dreams dashed, usually by those closest to us.
Joseph had BIG dreams.
And his family didn’t like his dreams. They thought they were ridiculous and that Joseph was trying to lord it over them. So they threw him and his dreams into a pit.
I wonder how long Joseph lay in that pit before his brothers drew him out and sold him.
Long enough to realize that he had been bruised physically and emotionally, for sure. Here he was …. deep down in a well. It was cold and dark. He was sore, maybe a broken bone. Certainly, his heart was broken. His own flesh and blood had literally thrown him away. I imagine that he figured this was the end of his dreams AND of him.
Have you ever found yourself thrown into the pits of life with seemingly no hope for rescue?
I have been thrown into the dark, wondering “what went wrong?”
“What did I do that caused this terrible turn of events?”
“And, what should I do now?”, as I lick my wounds.
“How would I get out of this dark place?”
For Joseph, if we jump to the end of the story, we find a happy ending …. reconciliation. Tears of Joy.
18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. “We are your slaves,” they said.
19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.21 So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them. Genesis 50
How did Joseph manage to remain kind and forgiving after such treatment?
David once wrote,
12 It is not an enemy who taunts me—
I could bear that.
It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me—
I could have hidden from them.
13 Instead, it is you—my equal,
my companion and close friend.
14 What good fellowship we once enjoyed
as we walked together to the house of God.
He had his moment of despair, but then he turned to God before hate and vengeance could take control.
It had to be the same for Joseph. God had an amazing plan to work out for Joseph.
You see, Joseph was not ready, at seventeen, to become second in command in Egypt. There was training to be done. God needed to stretch and shape Joseph’s character. He did this through those trials. … being thrown into a pit, being sold as a slave, given leadership roles in a household, then thrown into prison and given leadership roles there. This was all training for the “BIG” job.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds,3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
Joseph allowed God to mold and shape him THROUGH the trials and in the end, he was ready to take leadership being 2nd in command in all of Egypt. As a result, he was able to save his family AND all of Egypt.
Joseph let go of the pain and took hold of God.
We must let go of one thing to grab hold of the other. We can’t have both.
As with clay, if it is hard and dry, it cannot be shaped. It must be pliable to allow the master to shape and mold. Sometimes even, a beautiful pot is taking shape, but The Master sees a flaw and he crushes the clay back down and starts again.
Can you see it?
Back in that cold, dark pit, Joseph did not know how God was going to turn things around. He only knew that it hurt. But God already had a plan for dealing with the hurt and turning things around. Joseph’s part in all of this was to keep trusting God.
Help me, like Joseph, to remain pliable in Your hands that you may mold me and make me after Your will.
Have you been hurt by the church? Have you felt abandoned by God in the lonely fires of ministry?The Perils of A Pastor’s Wifewill speak to your deepest wounds and help you find God’s Presence through it all. Sweet Sister—somewhere, somehow, somebody knows. You are not alone. A Facebook group has been created for support in these days. Come join us.
This Group is expressly for men and women trying to find Joy in the Wilderness after losing their pastorate. Please share this with others you know who are struggling with the transition.
This is a place for support and encouragement. No judgment, just a friend to lean on. Someone who has been there, done that.
CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO JOIN.
Holding on to Hope!
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