Wednesday, April 25, 2018

MOVIE REVIEW: "Like Arrows"

Let's face it - parenting is HARD! And, if God is not the center of your marriage and your life, it is even harder.

Like Arrows
is a new Christian movie produced by FamilyLife’s Dennis and Barbara Rainey and Bob Lepine, with the help of Alex and Stephen Kendrick. This parenting movie will release in theaters as part of a significant new parenting initiative called FamilyLife’s Art of Parenting™.

MOVIE SYNOPSIS: When conflict, rebellion, and resentment overwhelm their family, Charlie and Alice are forced to rethink their parenting strategy. In the process, they realize how critical intentionality and focus are when shaping and molding young lives. FamilyLife’s first feature film explores the challenges and joys that come with raising children. Through a journey that unfolds over 50 years, Charlie and Alice discover the unmistakable power of family. Together, they learn that knowing and living by God’s Word is what brings transformation and hope to any family.

Thanks to FlyBy Promotions, my husband and I were given the opportunity for a sneak peak of this movie before its release in theaters. Although the film seemed to "drag" a little in some places, it was overall a good movie. The main idea we gleaned from it is that many people think, as they go through life, they should just do "the best they can," and that includes raising their children. They think they  only need to turn to God when things aren’t working out for them. But, that isn't how it's supposed to be. Instead of only making God a PART of our lives, we need to make him the CENTER of it. There is a big difference.

If you get a chance to see Like Arrows, I would recommend it. It will be in select theaters for two days only - May 1st and 3rd. Click here to see if it will be playing in a theater near you:

FIND A THEATER NEAR YOU 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

TRUST #15: How To Trust in God When You Don't Know How


According to Dictionary.com, TRUST (as an action verb) is defined:
to have confidence in; rely or depend on : to believe : to expect confidently; hope
So, in reference to a Believer's trust in God, this means:
  • to have confidence in God, believing He is in control of all things
  • to rely or depend on God for help, comfort, strength and/or peace
  • to believe in God, or believe what He says in His Word is true
  • to confidently expect or hope that better things are on the way

Some of you, however, have been given bad examples of trust, or have been disappointed by someone you trusted, so you don't know HOW to trust anyone anymore... and that includes God.

How do you place your TRUST in God when you don't know how?

If you are truly committed to building a trust relationship between you and God, it WILL happen for you. But, TRUST isn't something that just automatically happens. It is a journey, and is something that needs to be consistently nurtured. Here are some things you can do to help you on your journey:
1.  PRAY and ask God to show you how to trust in Him. I truly believe He will honor that request if you are sincere about it. Consider Mark 9:24 that says, "Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” The man in this passage had faith that Christ could do miracles, but he knew his faith wasn't as strong as it should have been. He acknowledged his doubts here and asked for help with those doubts. In the same way, you can acknowledge your lack of TRUST, and sincerely ask God for help. 

2.  READ VERSES ABOUT TRUST. Look up all the verses about TRUST that you can find and meditate (ponder, reflect, think deeply) on them.  Here are just a few to get you started:
  • Psalm 56:3
  • Psalm 13:5
  • Psalm 37:5
  • Proverbs 3:5
  • Proverbs 16:20
  • Isaiah 26:3-4
  • Romans 15:13
  • Philippians 4:6-7
  • Philippians 4:19
  • Hebrews 11:6
3.  READ THROUGH THE PSALMS and write down all the attributes/characteristics of God that you see, and be sure to personalize them. Here are a few examples from Psalm 3 to get you started:
  • Psalm 3 is a lament - a song about suffering. It is a plea to God for help. I can be confident of God's help.
  • Psalm 3:3 - The Lord is a shield around me. He is the One who lifts my head. 
  • Psalm 3:4 - He answers me when I cry out to Him.
  • Psalm 3:5 - He sustains me.
  • Psalm 3:7 - He can deliver me from my enemies.
  • Psalm 3:8 - He blesses His people.
4. START KEEPING A PRAYER JOURNAL so you will be able to look back on it and see how the Lord has answered your prayers.

5. MEET WITH A MENTOR. Make the effort to find a follower of Jesus Christ that you look up to - someone you believe you can learn from - and ask him/her to meet with you on a weekly basis. Use that time to talk and go over questions you have about God and the Bible, to share prayer requests and concerns, and to pray together.

If you have other ideas that have worked for you, I would love to hear them. The main idea is to keep working on building a trust relationship with your Lord, and good things are bound to happen.


Related Posts
TRUST #1: Focus for 2018
TRUST #4: Remember How God Has Helped You in the Past 
TRUST #7: A Simple Plan to Help Us Trust More and Worry Less
GOT QUESTIONS:  How Can I Learn to Trust in God?
BIBLE STUDY TOOLS:  7 Daily Steps to Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart






Sunday, April 15, 2018

TRUST #14: Trust God to Listen to Your Heart

A few weeks ago, I was stressed - seriously stressed to the point of it affecting my health. I was feeling anxious, having headaches, and didn't sleep too well at night. There were several things on my mind at the same time - things that needed to be dealt with in different ways - things like settling a misunderstanding, feeling concern over a loved one's situation and making plans for some possible changes to take place, seeking answers from someone I wasn't very comfortable going to for help, having feelings of failure over raising and educating my children, and having feelings of being unappreciated. It was a lot to be dealing with all at once, and I came to the point where the only words I could mutter up in my prayers were, "God, please help me."

When two friends came over for a Bible study that week, I shared some of my struggles with them, and asked if one of them could say the closing prayer. I wasn't in the right frame of mind to be audibly praying at the time. Not because I quit believing, not because I believed God wouldn't hear me. I just didn't have the words.

A few days later, almost everything on my list was resolved, or in the process of being resolved, and I was able to pray more specifically again. But, I later found out, one of my friends' husbands was encouraged to hear about my lack of words for openly praying. It may sound odd that he was encouraged by my discouragement. But, he said it made him realize he is not alone when he goes through the same thing.

So, SOMETIMES, when we go through a hard time, it could actually be happening for someone else's benefit. But, no matter the reason for WHY these things happen, it is important for us all to remember how God understands what we are going through. He understands our hearts. He understands our needs. So, even when we cannot express ourselves in words, we can take comfort in knowing the Holy Spirit will do the praying for us, and God WILL listen and respond.

God is good.  TRUST Him to listen to your heart, even when you don't have the words.


Related Posts:
TRUST #1:  Focus for 2018
TRUST #3:  God Works All Things for Our Good

 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

TRUST #13: Trusting God to Help Us Find Our Way (Daniel McIntosh's Story)

Today's TRUST story comes from my brother, Daniel McIntosh. He and his family are missionaries with Kentucky Mountain Mission in Southeastern Kentucky. Thank you for sharing, Daniel!
I recall back in the 1970’s, living in southern Minnesota, and visiting a park with family and friends. This particular park had flat lands, cliffs, caves, and even a large flowing river. I was around the age of 9. My older sister, a couple friends, and I went on a hike in the woods. There was a part of the trail we could continue on, or we could hop across a bridge over the river where the path split off into two more directions. We hopped across the river and, after a time, the friends wanted to separate and go their own direction - a direction our parents told us not to go alone and without adult supervision. In the process, everyone got lost. We couldn’t find the way back to the picnic area, and fear began to creep in. I recall wondering if I would ever find my way out and back to my parents.
About that same time, I realized I needed to pray - and pray I did. I called out to the Heavenly Father in prayer asking for help, to show us the right direction back, and to be reunited with the rest of our family again. No sooner was my prayer over and the Lord brought to my mind the flow of the river. What direction did it flow when we entered the woods. What direction was it flowing now, and on which side of the river were we standing on now? When I was able to piece all of this together, I knew exactly where to back track on the path, cross the river, and head back to our family and friends. I shared it with my sister, we were able to cross back to the main path and, shortly after that, our friends could be seen across the water - still lost. We called to them and told them how to get back to our side. Then, we all walked out safely from the woods, back to everyone still in the picnic area, just in time for supper.
Until I called out to God, trusting Him to help us find our way back, we were lost. But in that moment of trusting Him, and asking for His guidance, He helped me realize what path I needed to take and how to get to where I needed to be. Everyday life is much the same way. We need to trust God for the small and big things -what college to go to, what job to take, where to live. Every task and routine in life should be accomplished through trusting Him first in it all.
~Daniel McIntosh


Related Posts:
TRUST #1: Focus for 2018
TRUST #4: Remember How God Has Helped You in the Past 
TRUST #8: Trust God to Meet Your Needs (Carolyn McIntosh's Story)
TRUST #9: He Never Leaves Us Nor Forsakes Us (Daneille Snowden's Story)
TRUST #10: Following God's Lead (Charity Vanderhoof's Story)

Sunday, April 1, 2018

TRUST #12: The First Moment of Real Trust in God

 
My brother, Daniel, a Pastor and full-time Missionary with Kentucky Mountain Mission in Southeastern Kentucky, recently shared the following paragraph with me about the first moment of real TRUST in a Christian's life.
I can think of numerous moments where trusting God was important in my life. Some for trivial events, others for life-changing situations. No matter how small or large things may seem, it’s always important to place full confidence and trust in the One who created all things, who breathed life into us, who granted us a second opportunity to be reconnected in fellowship with Him (through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ). In fact the first moment of real trust in Him comes when we realize we are sinners in need of a savior (Romans 3:23), admit Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9), and receive His gift of everlasting life (Romans 6:23). From that moment on in every believers life are unlimited opportunities and times to continue placing trust in the events that occur in our lives. 
~ Daniel McIntosh
I felt it was fitting to share this from Daniel, considering today is Resurrection Sunday (a.k.a. Easter), which is a day set aside each Spring for Christians to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the tomb. This occurred on the third day after he was nailed to a cross where He suffered, bled, and died for the sins of the world. When God raised Jesus from the dead three days later, it showed God accepted what Jesus did for us on the cross. It showed He accepted Jesus' payment for sin. His resurrection allows us to have victory over that sin, and to have the kind of relationship with Christ we were meant to have.

Check back next Sunday, when we will be hearing from Daniel again - this time with a personal TRUST story about a time when he and our sister were lost in the woods. Until then, have a great Easter/Resurrection Sunday, and a great week!

 
Related Links:
ALL ABOUT GOD: Resurrection Sunday
ALL ABOUT JESUS: The Work of the Cross
GOT QUESTIONS: What is Easter Sunday? 
GOT QUESTIONS: Why is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ Important? 
CROSSWALK:  What is Easter (Understanding the History & Symbols) 

Sunday, March 25, 2018

TRUST #11: Trusting Christ With A "Death Sentence" (Mike Phillip's Story)


Today's TRUST story comes from Mike Phillips, a friend of mine from church who was given a "death sentence" from his doctor, but is alive today to tell about it. Thanks for sharing, Mike. 
When my mother was dying, my wife, Pauline, and I took turns taking care of her. During that time, Pauline noticed I had a nasty looking mole on my waist line and she tried to get me to have it looked at. I kept putting it off and told her I would after mom passed away. When I finally had it looked at, it turned out to be a pretty serious cancer. I was told I had malignant melanoma stage 4.5 (I didn't realize it at the time but, now, I understand that to be basically a death Sentence.)
In March 1995, I had surgery to remove the mole, and it left me with a crater just above my waist on my left side which was 9" long, approx 2" wide, and was 3" deep. After several complications, it finally healed up. Then, when I went back to have the doctor check it out, he sent me home with these instructions: "Go home and tell your family goodbye, because you are going to live about 2 more weeks." I told him I didn't think so, but I did eventually have a talk with my children.

I honestly never once begged Christ to heal me. I told Him I was okay, and to do what He wanted. At work, people heard about my cancer and came to my office to talk about it. Several conversations went like this: 
"I heard you have cancer." 
"Yes I do."
"Well, you don't act  like it."
"Well, I am gonna get healed."
"HOW do you know that?"
"Well, either God will heal my body here, or I'm gonna die and go to Heaven, and THAT will heal me. Either way is good for me."
Often I was asked to explain what I meant. So, God Gave me cancer, and cancer allowed me to be a witness. Six months later, I was diagnosed as cancer-free and have remained so all these years later. (It is now 2018).
I never doubted Christ and He never let me down. I just trusted him to do the best for me.

~Mike

Related Posts:
TRUST #1: Focus for 2018
TRUST #4: Remember How God Has Helped You in the Past 
TRUST #8: Trust God to Meet Your Needs (Carolyn McIntosh's Story)
TRUST #9: He Never Leaves Us Nor Forsakes Us (Daneille Snowden's Story)
TRUST #10:  Following God's Lead (Charity Vanderhoof's Story)

 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

TRUST #10: Following God's Lead (Charity Vanderhoof's Story)


Here's an essay about TRUST from my friend, Charity Vanderhoof, and how she followed God's lead when she and her husband were forced to sell their house. Thank you for sharing, Charity.
I have many stories of trust, especially from a season of my life when my husband, Vic, was having violent seizures and unable to work. We went from being a family with a good financial situation to being destitute rather quickly. During that time, we were forced to sell our house and downsize. My husband was no longer able to help in decision-making because of the amount of brain damage from his seizures, but I knew we had to sell the house because we could no longer afford it. 

I talked to the bank and made it personal to them. I told them I would put it on the market if they would bear with me and not foreclose. They agreed to work with me. The housing bubble had just burst and things were not in our favor, but I had been praying. I knew the Lord was telling me to sell the house and He "spoke" a number to me for what to sell the house for. After interviewing realtors, all  of them thought my price was too high and that we would have to make a short sale. Then, one realtor gave me a number $2000 above the number the Lord had spoken to me. We obviously went with that realtor. 

It all happened fast from there. The FOR SALE sign went up in the yard. Then, that same afternoon the original person who had the house built was in the area because he was relocating back to the area and hoped to find a house in his former subdivision. Imagine his surprise when he saw the house he had originally built was for sale. He came to check it out, then he made an offer that night. He offered full asking price for the house in a market that was a sellers market, not a buyers market. We accepted, of course.  Then upon appraisal, the appraiser said the asking price was $2000 higher than the appraisal value. So, the price went down to the appraisal price, which was exactly the number the Lord had spoken to me when I was praying about what to do. The sale closed on the house 2 days before the bank's deadline. Only God could have orchestrated the whole thing.
Through this event, and many more like it, I have started to learn that, while I might not always have the best emotions about what happens in my life, God is there all the time. I am learning I can trust him with everything. I am learning to say, "Okay God, this is yours to take care of.  I am going to do my best to follow your lead and then lean back and let you work."  
~ Charity Vanderhoof


Related Posts:
TRUST #1:  Focus for 2018
TRUST #4:  Remember How God Has Helped You in the Past 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

TRUST #9: He Never Leaves Us Nor Forsakes Us (Daneille Snowden's Story)


Today's TRUST story is from my friend, Daneille Snowden. Her family is currently raising support to serve in Mozambique, Africa, in a much-needed pastoral support ministry among the pastors, students, and missionaries of that area. Please visit their BLOG PAGE for more information, or to make a donation. 

Thank you, Daneille, for sharing this encouraging story about how God never leaves or forsakes His children.
When I was almost 21 years old - between, my junior and senior year of college - I became an intern to India. I had felt the call into Missions since I was 12, and this was my big opportunity to begin this new walk with Christ.
In that summer of 1987, when my flight arrived late to Bombay (today called Mumbai) I only had a few minutes to drive across this large city to board a domestic flight to Kolkata. Literally, there were hundreds of people in front of me going through customs. I was surrounded by Indians, Arabians, and even Chinese; finding myself the only American around.
Out of panic, my heart cried out to the Lord for help. God‘s response was: I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5b KJV)
I simply surrendered my plight (& flight) to the Lord. INSTANTLY, the customs agent pointed to me and said, “You... next!” I answered with a question, “Who me?” Of course he said, “Yes!” I was, then, whisked through customs and stuffed into a bus load of people (and real chickens) and transported across the city. I made it just in time! Wow! JUST IN TIME! Isn’t that just like our God. 

Why is it that our needs are sometimes met "just in time?" Maybe because He wants to remind us of how “He never leaves nor forsakes us!”
~ Daneille Snowden

Related Posts:
TRUST #1:  Focus for 2018 
TRUST #4:  Remember How God Has Helped You in the Past 


Sunday, March 4, 2018

TRUST #8: Trust God to Meet Your Needs (Carolyn McIntosh's Story)


Today, my mom (a recent widow) is sharing one of her TRUST stories with all of us. Thank you for sharing, Mom, and for encouraging us to trust the Lord through every season of life: 
Since losing my husband in May 2017, the Lord has been teaching me to take things one day at a time. I have had to TRUST Him for many things, including car and house repairs; but each time I ask, my church family has been there for me. God's Word says He has promised to supply all my needs, and to be the husband to the widow. The more I TRUST Him, the more He shows me how His Word is true.
I have also had to TRUST Him to show me each day what He has for me to do. At times, I have felt like I am doing nothing for the Lord since my husband passed, but I am learning that He cares about the "little" things I can do, as well as anything else that comes my way. 
  • I can be a prayer partner.
  • I can be a good listener.
  • I can visit a neighbor.
  • Just giving a smile is important.
  • Being there for my children and grandchildren is important. 
He has shown me I can TRUST Him to use me during this season of my life; and YOU can trust Him, too. Ask the Lord to help you use your gifts, and He will. Just listen to Him, and be ready!

For His Service,
Carolyn McIntosh


Related Posts:
TRUST #1:  Focus for 2018
TRUST #3:  God Works All Things for Our Good
TRUST #4:  Remember How God Has Helped You in the Past 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

TRUST #7: A Simple Plan to Help Us TRUST More and Worry Less

https://www.annieandeverything.com/worry-less-trust-more/
Today, I want to share an article with you from my blogging friend, Annie, over at ANNIE & EVERYTHING.

I recently read the idea she shared about a simple devotional plan any of us can use to help us learn to TRUST more and worry less... AND, it doesn't cost anything to do it! All you need is your Bible, a notebook, and a pen.

She got the idea from a recorded sermon by John MacArthur. He made the comment that "anyone suffering from day-to-day anxiety needs to know God’s character better, and the way to know God’s character better is to read the Psalms."

So that’s what she did and, if you click over to her ARTICLE, you can read about how she did it. She shares two simple steps that can help us learn more about God and His character. And, as a result of knowing Him better, we can have more TRUST in Him.

Thank you for sharing this idea with us, Annie, and thank you for allowing me to share about it here on He Holds My Right Hand. I have been using this plan myself for the past few weeks, and it is great!

One more time, here is the link to Annie's article. I hope you will take the time to read it:

Blessings!


Related Posts:
TRUST #1:  Focus for 2018
TRUST #2:  My Unexplained Pain
TRUST #3:  God Works All Things for Our Good
TRUST #4:  Remember How God Has Helped You in the Past