Receiving Love Obstacle #1-Pride

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. - 2 Corinthians 7:1 NASB

Too often we let ourselves get in the way of what God wants for our lives. In my last post, I mentioned that there were four things that cause relationships to break down: too much pride, too many priorities, too little patience and too limited a perspective.  Actually, these are tactics to avoid in any aspect of our lives!

Today we will talk about pride. Pride is the root of all evil in the world. Pride hinders holiness because it creeps into the fabric of our lives, sometimes without our knowing. It shows up in our priorities, causes impatience and keeps us from seeing the big picture. Unfortunately, pride isn't always self-recognizable. It is often unearthed only after someone (or the Bible) confronts us with the error of our ways.

Essentially, pride is selfish and wants to be right at all costs. If we are prideful we will look for ways to prove we are right, rather than try to understand someone else's point of view. Admittedly, I am guilty of this at times. I will research a point until I've found the answer that proves what I've already decided was true...and then stop looking.  After all, why would I want to dig up evidence that I could be wrong? I quit while I'm "ahead". But am I really ahead and am I really right?

We don't get "ahead" or gain just by being right. A lot of times we lose. Conflict erupts that might have been avoided. Fellowship breaks down and we miss out on the love God intends for us. God wants us to experience His love on earth and in eternity. We can have all of that if we seek Him and His wisdom with an open rather than a closed mind. How is your state of mind today? What would God say about you?

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

I Know You Love Me

"...Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."-God, Hebrews 13:5b (NIV)

One thing I do understand in the middle of the storms of this life is that God loves me. So far, the year 2009 has been a very tough year for me, in my estimation, perhaps one of my top 3 most difficult. Maybe deep down, that's why my postings have been scarce, even non-existent. Yes, I've been busy with my coaching business, but that probably wasn't the main culprit.

As I've tried to make sense of and cope with a close friend's "disappearance", as well as deal with some other family issues, I'm trying to lean on God so I can learn the lesson He wants me to learn. I'm learning...and I think I'm ready to start writing here at Bread Crumbs again.

My lesson and the lesson for all of us is that Jesus is the only person who will never let us down. He won't deceive us. He won't betray us. He won't desert us. What a relief.

I can know He loves me because He laid down His life for me. (John 15:13). In every season, no matter what I've done or how alone I feel, I can know He loves me.  Maybe that's why the tears come every time I hear the song in the video below from Hillsong, "At the Cross". Take a few minutes to listen, pray and take in God's love for you. Remember, He will always love you, just the way you are.



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

What Can God Accomplish For You Today?

But Moses said to the people, "Do not fear!  Stand by and see the salvation of the LORD which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever. - Exodus 14:13 NASB

What is your greatest fear?  What do you need God to accomplish in your life today?  Life can get us down sometimes, maybe even a lot of the time, but God is ready and available to do some major work in and through our lives if we just turn our lives over to Him.  Moses and the Israelites experienced God's power firsthand in a might way.  

In Exodus 14, the Israelites had just left Egypt after a long period of slavery under Pharaoh's rule.  Even though God led them out of Egypt, they were scared because they had left the only home most of them had ever known and moving on into unfamiliar territory.  Plus, the Egyptians were following close behind.   Enter God to the rescue!  He spoke through Moses as Moses told the people not to fear.  A close examination of Exodus 14:13 can teach us the following about God's provision for us in any circumstance.

  1. Do not fear.  God sees everything that is going on in our lives and He knows how to handle every "Egyptian" and every situation that keeps us in bondage to fear. 
  2. Stand by.  "Standing by" does not mean meddling in God's business.  God will do all of the dirty work in our lives. All we need to do is come to Him, talk to Him and give to Him all of our requests and all of ourselves.
  3. See.  While God is working, we need to be watching.  I wonder how many times I miss God's work in my life because I'm too busy trying to do it for Him!

God can accomplish permanent change in our lives, no matter what needs to be done.  Who do you need to become to do the things God is calling you to do?  Ask God to make you into that person.  What mess do you need cleaned up in your life?  Ask God for help.  He'll make order out of chaos and equip you for His service.  All we have to do is do the little part that we know to do, keep coming to Him for help and He will do the rest.  IfHe can part the seas, what can He do for you? 


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

What Do We Do With Memories?

One thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead.  Phil 3:13 NKJV

Canadian geese.  "Best Behavior". NSA.  Choking on a pill.  Starbucks Coffee.  The Superbowl. Plant clippings growing in a vase.  Reading from a devotional book.  On their own these are simple things.  But because they are directly connected to a past friendship that I desire with all of my heart to be restored in its entirety, these memories are sometimes bittersweet, bringing both smiles and tears.  In short, I am missing a friend.

Memories are a funny thing.  Whether they are good or bad memories, either type can be both good and bad for us.  Dwelling on memories of past mistakes can keep us in the "I'll never be able to change" mindset or give us the determination to say "I'll never go back there again".  Good memories can give us a smile as we remember some good times spent with a loved one.  However those same memories can also provoke tears and loss of energy due to thinking about what could or should be, making Proverbs 13:12 "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life." come alive to us.

Do you have a memories you are trying to forget?  Are you holding on to other memories in order to keep hope alive?  Whatever the case, we need to be focusing on the present, reaching forward to the future, and pressing into the one Friend who will never leave us.  I still miss my friend, but Jesus is a better friend, and God says He will create a new thing.  He will create new things in our lives.  He might even create a new thing from the old.  We just need to keep looking upward and reaching forward.

"Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." - Isaiah 43:18-19 NKJV


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

Is Feeling Worthy Being Prideful?

It is only in the possession of God that I lose myself. It's in the height and breadth and glory of the sunshine that the littleness of the dust particle playing in its beams is seen, and it's by humility that we take our place in God's presence to be nothing but a speck dwelling in the sunlightof His love. - Andrew Murray, "Humility"
Mainstream society tries to make us think that each one of us is and should be the center of our own universe yet the bible compares our best efforts at righteousness to filthy rags (Is 64:6). It is no wonder that so many of us are confused!
We are all worthy to be used, but not worthy to be praised. I believe that there are two keys to recognizing our place in this world and stepping up and out to make a difference in it.

1. We are important to God - God loves us and gave His son to die for us, so that He could empower each one of us to be lights in the darkness of this world. He needs us, for the very reason that we are so imperfect, so He can show the world what He can do and so people will know that He is God!

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Eph 2:4-7 NKJV)

2. We are not important in relation to God - In the whole scheme of things, we are pretty insignificant indeed. However it is the realization of insignificance that gives us true power, and in that lies the paradox. In my opinion, this is the essence of faith, for to have true faith in God, we must not have faith in ourselves.

And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Cor 12:9 NKJV)
Feel worthy to be used by God, but not so worthy that God can't use you. We can feel worthy to fulfill God's call on our lives without being prideful as long as we still remember who we really are in light of who God is.  Fulfill your calling with a humble confidence.  Just show up for work. God will get the job done.


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

Love is Kind

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. – Eph 4:32 NKJV


“Love you guys!”, I heard someone exclaim as they left our small group meeting several years ago.  I remember thinking at the time how loosely the word “love” is thrown around in our culture today.  Most of the time, it is not referring to the type of agape, unconditional love Jesus modeled to us and expects us to give to our fellow Christians.  I am very careful to not to throw out the words “I love you” to someone unless I’m willing to put actions to my words.


Love is patient.  Love is kind.  Loving another Christian is more than just hanging out and sharing good times, although that is part of the fun. How clever it was of God to tell us that love was patient before he got into the rest of His definition for love!  He knew we would need to master patience first and foremost because the rest of love’s requirements imply an investment of time and energy on our part.  


So what does it mean to be kind? According to Strong’s Concordance, being kind means to be useful and to furnish what is needed to those around us.  I love involves kindness, true biblical love is definitely difficult in today’s fast-paced society.  All of our lives are complicated and to complicate things even further, all of us are wired with different personalities. 


These complications and differences combine to make kindness quite a challenge.  It takes a long time to figure out how to be kind to another person because what they see as kind or useful may not be what we think of at all.  Being kind takes a concentrated effort to see things from another person’s perspective rather than our own…to walk in their shoes. 


In a nutshell, to be kind means a sacrifice of self to help someone else.  It is more than just not being cruel.  Kindness is usefulness and providing for someone else’s needs.  What can you do today to be kind to someone in your life?


For further thought:

1)      What keeps you from being kind?

2)      What is your deepest need?



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

Love Is Patient

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Pe 4:8 NASB


I have struggled with patience all of my life.  I’ve learned to be patient in rush hour traffic, long lines at the store, and in waiting for Christmas to come.  However, a harder lesson for me has been in the area of being patient with people.  While I am usually patient over the long haul, the intricacies of day-to-day interactions often trip me up.   Apparently I am not alone in my struggles because the biblical commands for us to love each other so often connect love with patience or longsuffering.


Love is patient (1 Cor 13:4 NASB).  The King James Version translates the same verse as  “charity suffereth long”.  Loving others is not always easy.  To fulfill God’s command for loving our fellow Christian brothers and sisters, it takes patient endurance through the tough times in a relationship.  Tough times are inevitable in the good ones.    However, biblical love will get us through the tough stuff. 


The bible says to keep fervent in our love for one another above all else, because love covers a multitude of sins—and we are all sinful creatures.  Fervency consists of effort, action and communication, indicating that love is not passive.  Our intimate relationships (e.g. spouse, family, inner circle friendships) require this effort most of all because we have the most investment in them and we see more of their sins.  I wonder how many good relationships end prematurely because of our impatience and the fact that pop psychology today tells us to run for the hills when the going gets tough.


Love is a challenge, but God in His own longsuffering with us has given us the perfect model to follow.  Additionally, He has given us the power to overcome the challenges through His word and His spirit.  How has God’s word challenged you today in your relationships?   How will you use His power today to fervently love someone else?



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

Love Them Like Jesus

This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. – John 15:12 NASB


Love one another.  Jesus is very clear about how we are to treat other Christians.  On the surface, loving those with whom we choose to serve God with seems pretty easy.  However, there is much more to Jesus’ meaning of love.  Jesus tells us to love our fellow Christians in the way that He loved us—and he died for us. 


Dying for a child or spouse might not seem like that big of a stretch to some of us, but dying for a Christian is another story.  How much should we give of ourselves to a fellow Christian?  What does this agape love look like in practice?  How do we love others as Jesus did?  All of this provided some great discussion in my Sunday school class this morning.  I’m still thinking about it.


The apostle Paul gives us some good examples of what love looks like in life in 1 Corinthians 13.  This is quite a checklist and is more than a pretty poem to be read at weddings.  As you read the following, consider how well you love those around you.




  • is patient
  • is kind
  • is not jealous
  • does not brag
  • is not arrogant
  • does not act unbecomingly
  • does not seek its own
  • is not provoked
  • does not take into account a wrong suffered
  • does not rejoice in unrighteousness
  • rejoices with the truth




  • bears all things
  • believes all things
  • hopes all things
  • endures all things


Love never fails.


When I compare how I love others to how God says we should, I realize that I fail miserably much of the time because my selfishness gets in the way.  Plain and simple, love is hard. Fortunately, love never fails either.  God’s love for us as well as His Holy Spirit inside of us enables us to love others.   Our love for others can eventually right any wrong.  Commit to love better today.  Ask God to empower you.  God never fails.


For further thought:


1)      How well do you love the fellow believers God has placed in your life? 

2)      From the “checklist” in 1 Corinthians 13, what is your biggest challenge?

3)      What baby step will you take today to love others as Jesus commands?


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

New Beginnings for a New Year

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. – Gen 1:1-2


There is just something about starting a new year that provides fresh motivation.  Whether it is the symbolism of leaving the past behind or the anticipation of what the future year holds, nonetheless, I look forward to hitting the ground running toward new and exciting things.


As God started with a clean slate of creation, similarly, we have an opportunity to do the same on January 1 of each year.  Just as most businesses close out their books at the year-end, we too can close the books on the past year of our lives.   We all have the opportunity to start with a clean slate or blank canvas.


Each year for me, the time between Christmas and New Year’s Day is a time of reflection and refocus.  I revisit my successes and failures and resolved to change some things for the coming year.   This week, I updated both personal and professional goals and am ready to start painting on the blank canvas of 2009. 


I like fresh starts and second chances.  I like creating something out of nothing and even fashioning a new thing from the broken pieces of an old thing.  The start of a new year gives all of us a chance to begin in with the things in our lives we can control.  


What are your goals for 2009?  Do you have a particular theme or emphasis?  How will you build on your past successes?  What will you do to remove the obstacles in your path?  Don’t forget to involve God in your plans.  Not only can he help set the direction for your life, He will be by your side as you progress toward those plans you design with Him.  2009 is here.  Let’s get started, shall we?


Dear Heavenly Father, please reveal to me the path you wish for me to take as I move forward one step at a time.  Show me Your way.  I hold up 2009 to you with anticipation of new and exciting things.  Your power to create and restore is amazing to me and I’m thankful in advance for what you will accomplish.  Make me into the servant for You that You desire and deserve.  Amen.


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