Receiving Love: 4 Obstacles to Acceptance

I will most gladly spend and be expended for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less? - 2 Corinthians 12:15 NASB

I can feel for Paul.  Being pushed away and misunderstood by someone you love is a very painful and emotional experience. By the nature of Paul's writing in 2 Corinthians, it would appear that he was not being well received at the time. I think we've all been on the receiving end of rejection and have most likely pushed someone else away at some point in our lives. Why do things have to be this way? What causes this to happen?

I believe that we see a very clear picture of what causes relationships to break down in 2 Corinthians 7:1-4. Here's a quick summary:

1. Pride...too much (v1)

2. Priorities...too many (v2)

3. Patience...too little (v3)

4. Perspective...too limited (v4)

The bottom line here is that we all get in the way of our own happiness and what God has intended for us. When we do, we often start blaming other people for the lack of satisfaction or reciprocity in our relationships, when in fact, we may be the ones causing the problem.

In my next few posts we will dive into 2 Corinthians 7:1-4 and learn about those obstacles getting in the way of how we receive love from others. Stay tuned for my next post on how our own pride gets in the way.


Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them.  For more information, visit her other blog at

The Ultimate Center of Influence

The Lord said to Moses, "I am going to come to you in a dense cloud, so that the people will hear me speaking with you and will always put their trust in you." (Exodus 19:9a NIV)

Networking.  It is the "thing to do" for a small business owner and entrepreneur.  It is all about who you know.  Not only is it important to know a lot of people, but if you know influencial people who know a lot of people (i.e. centers of influence), then you have really got something! I am learning this firsthand as I work on building my own business

Moses had the ultimate center of influence in his "network".  God himself said he would make sure the people knew of his connection with Moses.  God wanted the people of Israel to trust in Moses as their leader and was willing to be a "referral source" for Moses.  Now that is some connection! 

But Moses did not build that connection with God overnight.  He faithfully spent time alone with God as he strived to do what God wanted him to do.  Moses built such a strong relationship with God that God called him "friend."  We can have the same connection with God as well.  It just requires time, effort and a willing heart on our parts.  We too can have God as a center of influence in our "network". 

Connecting Learning With Living

1.  How would you relate your relationship with God on a scale of 1 to 10?  (10 being the most satisfactory)

2.  Do you know what that perfect "10" looks like?  What is preventing you from having the perfect "10" in your relationship with Him? 

3.  What one thing can you do starting today to move toward your perfect "10"?


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

The Blessing of Unsolicited Advice

So Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he said. - Exodus 18:24 NKJV

How many times have you given advice that was not taken well by the recipient?  To the contrary, how often have you received advice and not reacted well to it?  Unsolicited advice from a friend, family member or work associate can have mixed results.  More often than not, the well-meaning advice should have never been verbalized.  Sometimes though, the advice we receive may be exactly what we need to hear.

In Exodus 18, we see a perfect example of how such advice should be given and received in the continuing saga of Moses leading Israel to the promised land.  His father-in-law, Jethro, pays a visit which had a huge impact on Moses.  At the time of Jethro's visit, Moses was really getting bogged down in the details of judging every case of law brought to him by the people.  Hard telling how petty some of them were!  We can only imagine.  In short, Jethro saw what was going on and advised Moses to start delegating the smaller tasks so he wouldn't get burnt out. 

The key points to remember from this passage are related to when we should give advice and how we should receive it. 

1.  When giving, be educated.  We see in Exodus 18: 14 that Jethro spent some time observing the situation.   I'd venture to say that Jethro was also sensitive to God's leading as well. Advice should not be given unless all of the facts are known and mutual respect is established.

2.  When receiving, be humble.  Moses implemented all that Jethro advised him to do because he was a humble leader.  Moses valued effectiveness more than his ego.  He listened to wise Jethro and was a more effective leader for it.

Yes, giving unsolicited advice is a risky thing to do, but may be just the thing someone in your life needs to hear.  If given in the right way, it could be life-changing.  Who in your life might need your help today?


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

Faith and Work

Do you experience inner conflict over commitment to God and your work because you feel you aren't devoting enough time to ministry?  Can a Christian's true "calling" be to the secular marketplace? 

Join me over at Laced with Grace today to see what the Bible says regarding this dilemma. 

Hope to see you there!


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

Its All About Time

Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. (Col 4:4 NKJV)

It is all about time isn’t it? We need to redeem the time because we only have a certain amount of it allotted to each one of us. We all get the same amount of time to do the things that God has for each of us specifically to do.

We have about 75-80 years of life on this planet.

  • 52 weeks in a year
  • 7 days in a week
  • 24 hours in a day       

How are we each redeeming the time we have to fulfill God’s unique calling on our lives? How do we know if we are “called” to do something? 

Look at Nehemiah in Nehemiah 2:1-5.)


  • Nehemiah was heartbroken for his people.  Ne 1:4
  • Nehemiah had counted the cost of his passion.  (He was ready to give up his good job as the cupbearer to the king to rebuild the wall for his people.)

Chuck Swindoll in his book “Hand Me Another Brick” quotes Alan Redpath in his book on Nehemiah as saying:

Let us learn this lesson from Nehemiah: you never lighten the load unless you first have felt the pressure in your own soul.  You are never used of God to bring blessing until God has opened your eyes and made you see things as they are.  There is no other preparation for Christian work than that.  Nehemiah was called to build the wall, but first he had to weep over the ruins.

To redeem the time, we need to be purposeful with the time we have, discerning the best activities from the good.   We need to do those things we are called to do. What are you doing to pursue your unique calling?


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

Keeping the End in Mind

Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. - Proverbs 29:18

It is hard to get somewhere if we don't know where we are going, isn't it?  First of all, if we don't have a map or a plan, we will most likely get lost along the way and end up wandering aimlessly around.  Secondly, if we don't have a good positive sense of what the end of our journey will bring, we might quit before we reach our destination.  Change is hard without some form of motivation.

Abraham was no stranger to change.  Thanks to God he found his whole life in a state of upheaval as he left his country to pursue a land God had promised for him.  To motivate him, God kept reminding Abraham of the end goal - that his descendents would number the dust of the earth - and even allowed Abraham to get a little "taste" of the land.

And the LORD said to Abram, after Lot had separated from him: "Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are - northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever.  And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then yur descendants also could be numbered.  Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you." - Ge 13:14-17 NKJV

Casting a detailed vision is a key step in motivating us toward our goals.   If we can fully picture ourselves in a future situation, we will be more motivated to get there.  When times get tough we can know that our sacrifices will pay off in the end.  When we struggle in being excited about doing the things we would not prefer doing, we can remember that even the little mundane chores have a purpose for the big picture. 

Are you where you want to be in your professional, church, family, social or ministry life?   Do you know where you want to be?  Maybe you have some goals in mind but are getting bogged down in the details or are frustrated with the process.  Taking the time to cast a vision for yourself or your team will have a huge impact on motivating you toward your goals.  Do a little dreaming today.   


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

Power of Suggestion

And Joshua said to the people, "Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you." - Joshua 3:5 NKJV

I was driving home yesterday from bible study when a song playing from my iPod brought back a vivid memory that I will never forget.  The memory itself isn't important to this post, but the person and relative timing of when this particular memory took place surely is.   A year and a half ago, I had a brief conversation with this person - then an acquaintance, now a close friend - which sparked a chain of events that changed the course of my life.  Never underestimate the power of suggestion.  I can't remember the exact words she said but they included something like "You should share your story."    I didn't even think I had a "story" worth sharing to individuals, let alone worth sharing to groups of people with a microphone in my hand.  The funny thing is that people seem to be encouraged by it.  God does work in mysterious ways, doesn't he? 

I wonder what biblical history would have looked like had Joshua not been bold enough to inspire the people of Israel to cross the massive overflowing Jordan river (Josh 3:15) into the promised land.  Keep in mind that this was no dribbling stream and there was no bridge present to cross over.  This was a roaring river and to cross it required a leap of faith and literal miracle of God.  I love this story.  Joshua listened to God, conveyed God's message to the people and then took part in a miracle.

Then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan. (Josh 3:17 NKJV)

This was the start of something big.  A turning point in the history of the nation of Israel.  Have you ever really thought about the impact of your words on those around you?  One sentence could alter the course of another's life forever.  That can be an exciting thought.  That's why we must continually seek God's direction in our lives and try to be the people He wants us to be.  We must make every moment count and be aware of opportunities to both speak for and listen to God wherever we find ourselves.   Remember, never underestimate the power of suggestion.  Live for impact.

For further thought:

1) What opportunities lie in your life where you can make a difference? 

2) How can you impact your today for tomorrow? 

3) What action will you take today to make a difference in someone else's life?  Who has made a difference in yours?  Do they know it?  If they don't, let them know.


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

Revisiting the Call

From the Negev he went from place to place until he came to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier and where he had first built an altar.  There Abram called on the name of the Lord. - Genesis 13:2 NIV

Sometimes after a long journey with God as we live out our calling we must return to the place from where we have come and seek His face again.   The reasons for this are varied.  We may be weary.  We may be facing obstacles.  We may sense that we need to change direction.  We may just need a little encouragement that what we are doing is still what God wants from us.  Whatever the reason, whether we are seeking God's face for a new direction or for renewed energy on our current trek, the fact remains that when we ask God for help, he will give it.  If we heed God's advice we will find ourselves encouraged anew and revitalized to tackle the challenges ahead.

I wonder what compelled Abram to return to that place near Bethel where he had built his first altar to God.  He had been on a long journey from Haran to Bethel to the Negev to Egypt and then back again to Bethel.  He had yet to settle in the promised land but had still managed to accumulate wealth along the way.  Perhaps he sensed he was off track in his pursuit of God's original mandate to him.  I'm also wondering if in this latest meeting with God, God didn't remind Abram of his original instruction to leave his people and his father's household.  After meeting with God, we do see from the text of Genesis 13 that Abram parted company with Lot (a relative), who had been traveling with him since he left Haran.  Once Abram shed this "load", God spoke again to Abram and reminded him of the original plan he had for him:

The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, "Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west.  All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever.  I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted.  Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you."  (Genesis 13:14-17 NIV)

Abram lifted up his eyes and looked at the vision God had planned for him.  He took his eyes off of himself and his current situation and focused on the future.  He took in the sights, the sounds, and the smells of what the future held.  We must do the same if we are to continue steadfastly in God's purpose for our lives.  Has God given you a dream for a future in His service?  What does that look like to you? Lay hold of it and start today to make that dream become reality.  God is waiting to join you.  Won't you join Him?


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

The Power of Encouragement

Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.  For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  (2 Timothy 1:6-7 NKJV)

I spent time in 2 Timothy this morning.  I love the letters Paul has written to Timothy, his beloved protege/apprentice and son in the faith.  As I read them, especially the second, I see in Paul's words the pride and love for this young man and friend. Paul was in prison, most likely waiting to be executed, when he wrote this letter.  It seems he was lonely as well (2 Ti 4:11) and wanted to both see and exhort Timothy in his ministry one last time.

As I ponder what Paul's mood must have been at the time of its writing, I also wonder what Timothy's reaction was when he received the letter from his dear mentor.  Was he spurred on to action within his ministry?  Was he strengthened by the reminder that he was gifted by God and had God's power, Spirit, and the benefit of a sound mind? Was he saddened by Paul's need to see him one last time?  I suppose the answer could be "yes" to all.   To me, that letter would have meant the world.  Oh, the power of encouragement!

I love to encourage the people in my life to strive for and achieve their personal best, whatever that is.  That is why I started my coaching business.  It makes my day to see that I, or most likely God through me, was able to encourage someone to press on through trying circumstances and help them realize that the trial will not last forever.   I love to see other people succeed and it encourages and motivates me as well in my own journey.  Maybe that is why I love this letter from Paul so much. 

When was the last time you offered to someone a listening ear, word of encouragement, or perhaps just a note or phone call to let them know that you cared and were pulling for them?  Won't you do that today or this week?  I guarantee that it will be a richly rewarding experience - for you and for them.

For further thought:

1) What is the gift of God in you?  We all have been given something.  Are you using your gifting?

2) If you know your calling, what is stopping you from fulfilling it to its maximum potential?

3) Who can you enlist to help you on your journey to fulfill your calling & keep you focused on your strengths so you can avoid the "spirit of fear"?

God's Provision for Leaders

Have you ever been thrust into a position of leadership and wondered how on earth you were going to accomplish the task in front of you?  I know I have.  I bet that most people have in one form or another.  Remember that we all lead someone - whether it be in our homes, our jobs, our schools or our churches.  In 1 Samuel 10, Saul found himself in a position of leadership that he did not ask for.   As I mentioned yesterday, Saul had just been walking along minding his own business when he got approached by Samuel who told him the news that he would soon become king.

I wonder what I would do if I was told one day out of the blue that I was "chosen" to be in charge of the metropolitan area in which I live?  That would be a wee bit scary!  I would hope there would be some kind of training to guide me on my way.  With respect to Saul, God provided everything necessary for him to succeed.  Other than being tall and good looking, I'm not sure what other leadership skills that Saul possessed, but I do know that God took care of the rest, as He will also do for us.  Let's take a look at what God gave Saul.

1) A Foundation in God's Word. - Before Samuel anointed Saul, he told Saul that he wanted to show Him the word of God.

And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us, ( and he passed on,) but stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God.  (1 Samuel 9:27)

I wonder how long Samuel and Saul talked about the word of God.  The principles in God's word are essential to effective leadership and productive lives.  (2 Tim 3:16)

2) A Change of Heart. - Samuel told Saul that he would be turned into another man by the Spirit of the Lord.  I wonder what exactly that meant in Saul's case.  Perhaps God gave him courage and compassion along with the wisdom and wherewithal to get the "job" done.  Remember, we are all turned into "another man" when we become Christians!  (2 Cor 5:17). 

And the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man. (1 Samuel 10:6- Samuel's words to Saul)

And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day. (1 Samuel 10:9)

(NOTE: This also reminds me of the New Testament Saul (aka Paul, as the "new man") in Acts 9:17)

3) A Leadership "Team" - It is definitely more fun and more productive to be in leadership if you have a good team of people around you.  We can get more done if we have the support structure of a team.  God provided the same for Saul.  What a great God we serve, huh?  God thinks of everything.  He touched the hearts of some local men to help Saul in his new "job".

And Saul also went home to Gibeah; and there went with him a band of men, whose hearts God had touched. (1 Samuel 10:26)


Can you see how much God provides for us when we accept His plans for us?  I don't know who said this, but a quote I've heard before always sticks in my mind about these principles:

God doesn't always call the equipped but He always equips the called.

Is God calling you to service in a way that you feel unequipped?  God can equip you.  Are you afraid that you will be "going it alone"?  God will provide you with helpers too.  Most importantly, we need to keep praying and  waiting on God's timing before we set out on our own.  When God is ready for us, He will make us ready for Him.

(NOTE: This is a republished post of my October 19, 2006 entry entitled "Equipped by God".   Due to the fact that this time of year many people are starting up new ministries or revamping old ones with new faces of leadership, I thought it would be beneficial for some of my newer readers.)