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February 2008
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April 2008

No More Tears, No More Pain

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.  - Rev 21:4

Of all the blog posts I've written in the nearly three years I've been writing this blog, one of my most popular posts has been found by people typing the words "feeling helpless" into their web browser's search engine.  Does that strike a chord in you?  It does with me.  I wonder what about their situations and the pain they must be feeling.  I wonder how deep their loneliness is that causes them to type the words in the privacy of their own homes.  Do they have someone to talk to or turn to?  Do they know God?

I think we've all been in that "helpless" place before.  We may have experienced the feeling a little differently than our friend, neighbor or coworker, but the core emotion is still the same.  What can we do when we feel this way?  First of all, we can rely on our faith foundation, trusting that God is in control of everything in our lives, good and bad.  Secondly, we can know that the situation is temporary.  One day all of our tears will be wiped away and God will make all things new.  That is a promise.  It is declared in God's word by God Himself:

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.  And he said unto me.  Write: for these words are true and faithful.  - Rev 21:5

These words are true and faithful.  One day, maybe not here in our earthly lifetimes, God will create lives for us with no more tears and no more pain.  We can wait for that day with a confidence more sure than anything we have ever known.

Dear Father in Heaven, I thank you for your faithfulness and care over us as we struggle through the day-to-day, feeling helpless at times.  Strengthen your faithful servants in Your word and Your promises and give us hearts to reach out to those in need.  Let those who are desperate hear Your call.  Amen.

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Janna Rust is a Life Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.


An Acceptable Offering

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering.  From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering. And this is the offering you shall take from them ... - Exodus 25:1-3 NKJV

How often do you ask yourself what God wants from you in the form of an offering?  Do you know what would please Him coming from you specifically with respect to your own time, talents and treasure?  I wonder how many people give God what He wants.  I wonder how many times I allow my own motives or laziness to get in the way of what God wants from me specifically.

God is very specific with the types of offerings he wants from his children.  In the initial days of Israel's relationship with him, God bent Moses' ear for 40 days on Mount Sinai explaining to Moses all the details surrounding God's laws, the temple construction and the type of offerings acceptable to Him.  God knows exactly what he wants from us and tells us so.

The passage above tells us this:

  1. God wants offerings.
  2. God wants pure offerings.
  3. God wants specific offerings.

It is amazing to me that while God "owns" everything, he still wants something from us - a specific something.  Why waste our time and treasure giving him something he doesn't even want with impure motives to top it all off?  We definitely can't fool God.  Remember, He has the ultimate in surveillance equipment - Himself!  He knows what we can offer. Let's spend time with Him God through his word, seeking him and his will for our lives with sincerity, so we can give him the pure, specific offering he desires. 

From learning to living...

  • What can I offer to God that is specific to Him from me in the area of my abilities?
  • How can I make a sincere offering of every area of my life to Him this week?

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Janna Rust is a Life Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.


Obedient for His Presence

Then Moses went up, also Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel.  And there was under His feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and it was like the very heavens in its clarity.  But on the nobles of the children of Israel He did not lay His hand.  So they saw God, and they ate and drank. - Exodus 24:9-11 NKJV

What a rare occasion this must have been for many people other than Moses to actually stand in God's presence and look upon Him.  Try to picture the scene above in your mind. I'm sure that words cannot adequately describe what they saw.  Interestingly enough, not too much earlier than this scene, all of the people but Moses were told to stand back (Ex 24:1-2)  What changed?  What does is take to see God and be in His presence?

Two things changed.  The hearts of the people and the applied mercy of God.  Moses received the words of God, told them to the people, and the people in united fashion proclaimed to Moses their obedience to God.  As a result, Moses took blood from the burnt offerings and sprinkled it upon the people as a sign of God's covenant.  (Ex 24:7-8)   It was only then that some of the people were allowed to approach God.   And oh, did they see Him!

Individual obedience to God's call on our lives allows us to draw near to God.  Our first act of obedience is to respond to His "call" by believing on Jesus Christ for salvation and asking Christ to be Lord over all of our lives.  That is our blood "covenant", allowing us in to heaven where God dwells in all His majesty.  Day to day obedience allows us to draw near to God while we are here on earth in the form of prayer and worship.  It takes a lot of surrender to our own wants and desires, but it is worth it.   Do you want to get a closer "peak" at God?  Ask God to give you a heart examination and show you how you can be more obedient.  He'll let you see Him.


Hope Through His Resurrection

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade - kept in heaven for you, (1 Peter 1:3-4 NIV)

How are you feeling today?  Hopeless and helpless?  Joyless & jilted?  No matter what the trial is in our lives, we don't have to feel that way.  If you've accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can be hopeful and joyful through it all.  The key is all in where we choose to focus our attention. 

If we keep an attitude of gratitude, remembering the good things we have rather than the seemingly "better" things we don't have, we can have an inner sense of peace and joy no matter what the situation.  We can choose to be thankful for God's great act of mercy in allowing his only son Jesus to pay for our sins by his death of the cross.  We can choose to be thankful that God also raised Jesus from the dead, allowing us to relish in the certain hope of a glorious eternal life with God and an inheritance in heaven.  Think about how great that life is going to be!  As Christians, we have that to be thankful for. 

This Easter weekend, let's choose to put on an attitude of gratitude rather than one of grumbling over the way our lives have not turned out like we've planned.  After all, how do we know that our lives aren't turning out exactly as God has planned?  If He's in charge, things have got to end up well!

Wishing you all a blessed Easter holiday.

For further thought:

1) Have you personally accepted Jesus into your life?  Do you remember a specific time and place where this occurred?  If not, you may not yet be a Christian.  Check out this link to know more about becoming a Christian.  If you do accept Christ today, would you email me to let me know that you did?

2) What area of your life do you need to give total control of to God?  Give it to Him today and be thankful that He is in control of all.

3) How can you thank God for His mercy on you today?

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Janna Rust is a Life Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.


What Does a Life Coach Do?

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. - 1 Cor 9:24 NIV

Since I've started down the career path of coaching, I have to say that I love every minute of it.  It is truly my passion to help other "runners" run in such a way as to get the prize -- attaining their God-given purpose in life. 

Following is a YouTube video featuring Christopher McCluskey, my instructor during my coaching training.  He addresses the five roles of a Christian Life Coach very eloquently here.  A coach, especially a Christian one, can help you run your race of life so as to attain the prize.  In a nutshell, they catch your passion and run alongside you toward it.  What God-sized goal is out there waiting for you to reach?

Now for the video:

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Janna Rust is a Life Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.


Prepare the Way

"The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary.  He wakes Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned." (Isaiah 50:4-5 NKJV)

I attended a speaker training seminar this past weekend hosted by Sharon Houk, who in addition to having her own speaking ministry, is a Stonecroft Ministries Regional Speaker Trainer.  The room was filled with a range of attendees, young and old(er), experienced and not-so-experienced.  All of us were eager to pick up some speaking tips and ideas and Sharon did not disappoint.  In addition to the tips we received, we were charged to know the Truth and proclaim it based upon the foundational passage of 2 Timothy 2:2:

And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

We are all called to share the truth of God's word with others in some fashion and God will prepare the way for us to share it.  He will give us opportunities to proclaim His truth if we in our own hearts are prepared.

2 Tim 2:20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. (NKJV)

As I sat in church on Sunday and sang the song "Prepare the Way" by Jared Anderson, I reflected upon the seminar and the importance of being who I need to be so God could do the work through me that He wants to do.   I've got a long way to go!  In spite of what my car's GPS system says, I have not arrived.   So in closing, take the time to reflect with me on a portion of the song lyrics.  Let the King of Glory enter in to your life to change you and prepare the way for you to proclaim His truth and to speak that word in season to those that are weary.  Let all who call His name prepare the way.


Prepare the way
Make straight the path for Him
Let the King of Glory enter in
Let the King of Glory enter in
Who is this King of Glory

The Lord strong and mighty
The Lord mighty to save
The earth is full of His glory
Creation calls prepare the way
His love endureth forever
His power is without an end
His strength is victory's treasure
Let all who call His name prepare the way

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Janna Rust is a Life Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.


Importance of Teamwork

No one can be an island, cut off from the world and from the help of others.  All of us can benefit from someone else at some point in our lives.  Join me over at Laced With Grace today as I discuss the importance of teamwork.

And...don't forget, the contest is still going on over there to sign up to win $250 towards registration at the upcoming She Speaks conference.

 

Hope to see you there!

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Janna Rust is a Life Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.


Its All About Timing

I will not drive them out [Israel's enemies] from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the beast of the field become too numerous for you.  Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased, and you inherit the land. (Exodus 23:29-30 NKJV)

Everything is all about timing, isn't it?  But not our timing, God's timing.  Not unlike God's words to the Israelites, it seems like God is always telling us to wait as well so that we do not get ahead of Him.  He tells us to wait because He knows what is best for us.  He also knows that pride will get the best of us if we become successful too quickly.  He knows that our impatience will set us up to fail. 

This passage reminds us of some very important truths about God's plans for our lives.  We need to remember that we need to remember that His plans are all about Him, not us.  They are wrapped in His will, His timing and His wisdom.

1.  God's will.  Notice that the "I" in the above passage was about God, not the Israelites.  God was the one doing all of the "doing".

2.  God's timing.  Everything the nation of Israel had been promised wasn't all promised at once.  He gave them the promised land piece by piece, in His time.  Why would God be any different with us?

3.  God's wisdom.  God knows the right time for everything and He is wise in His timing for the events in our lives.

God wants what is best for us.  Our challenge is to let Him do it His way, not ours, humbling ourselves under His mighty hand.


Remember Where You Came From

"Also you shall not oppress the stranger, for you know the heart of a stranger, because you were strangers in the land of Egypt." - God, Exodus 23:9 NKJV

In the midst of all the laws given by God to the Israelites regarding violence, property, animals and idolatry, we see two almost identical statements telling the people of Israel not to oppress strangers.   (Ex 22:21, Ex 23:9)  Interesting.  God doesn't want strangers - those not of the Israelite heritage - dwelling with the Israelites (Ex 23:32-33) because they could cause them to stray from their faith.  However, Israel was still to be kind.   God reminded them that they too were former "strangers".

How does this apply to us?  Who is the "stranger" in a Christian's life?  Commonly we think of strangers as people we do not know.  However, let's stretch this a bit further because I think sometimes in our culture today it is easier to treat a stranger with kindness (or to not oppress them) than it is to embrace those we know.  Could a stranger then be anyone who doesn't hold the values we hold?  Could a stranger be that person in our life who isn't as far along in their spiritual or other maturity as we are?  Basically, I don't think a stranger always needs to be a person we do not know.

So what are we to do with those strangers in our midst?  One thing God tells us to do is to not oppress them.  He also tells us that we were also once strangers.  In my words, we should remember where we came from.  We didn't just "arrive" today.  When we were "strangers" in whatever area of life in which we are speaking, we might have been just doing the best we could do given our stage in life.   Is that something to be oppressed for?  You be the judge.

Connecting Learning With Living:

1) Who is a "stranger" in your life?

2) How can you treat them with kindness today?

3) What do you need to change in your own life so that you can be less "oppressive" to the "strangers" in your midst?

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Janna Rust is a Life/Business Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.


A Giver's Reward

But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. - 2 Cor 9:6-7

Last night I had the privilege of having dinner with my high school French teacher.  We have kept in contact over the years, having dinner together once a year or so since I graduated.   Too much time had passed, several years, since we'd last connected.  However, the time lapse had no effect on our conversation. 

She is retiring this year.  And as we talked about that, I kept thinking of the legacy she will leave behind.  She was one of the good ones.  Always giving of her best and expecting the best of others.   Always loving what she did.  I know her students saw her passion and I believe she was probably more inspiring to others - fellow educators & students alike - than she gives herself credit for.   

A giver's reward is in the fruit of their labor.  If we sow bountifully we will reap likewise.  And if we give with a cheerful heart, we will be blessed all the more because God loves a cheerful giver.   How will you give of yourself today?

Questions to ponder:

1) In what area of my life am I "giving" grudgingly?

2) How can I give cheerfully of my time, talent and treasure today?

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Janna Rust is a Life/Business Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.