Receiving Love: Obstacle #4-Perspective

Great is my confidence in you; great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort; I am overflowing with joy in all our affliction. 2 Corinthians 7:4

In case you are just joining in for the first time, I've been going through 2 Corinthians 7:1-4 and discussing how having too much pride, too many priorities and too little patience affect our relationships (for the first post in the series click here).Today I will be discussing the fourth obstacle to receiving God's love through our personal relationships-having too limited a perspective.

While I don't know if most people believe this, difficult times pave the way to more intimacy and deeper connection between two parties. Sure, no one enjoys a disagreement, but if two-way communication is allowed to take place around the disagreement, the relationship can soar to new heights from the mutual understanding.

Unfortunately, most people view conflict as undesirable in a relationship. I've heard many times from people that good relationships "are supposed to be easy". 

Well...yes and no.

Great relationships do have a sense of ease about them. However, great friendships can have points of contention from time to time and still be great. Paul expressed his joy in the troubles he had with the Corinthians. Perhaps he knew that the tough times were only temporary and circumstantial and would bring forth change for the better. Paul never ceased to communicate either, even though it appears in his letter that he was the one who was pleading for acceptance. Paul knew that the Corinthians were worth fighting for.

The key to any relationship's survival is perspective and honest communication. If we keep our minds open to the possibility that our limited perspective is not the only way things can be, and keep the lines of communication open, any relationship with two people willing to reconcile can be salvaged and propelled to greater heights.

Dear Father, you know my heart. Show me your heart in all of my relationships. Thank you for the trials that keep me compassionate towards others. Give us all the hearts and minds to suspend our own judgment and open the lines of communication with those you have put into our lives. Give us your humility and patience and enable us to understand your priorities and perspective. Amen.

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


Focus on Today

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." - Mt 6:34 NKJV

It only takes a brief glance at the stockbrokers on Wall Street to see that there can be trouble enough in one day to sufficiently wreak havoc on the nerves.  Up and down and down the stock market goes.  The world's financial markets are indeed in a mess.  We are all concerned, but what are we to do?

Jesus lectures about worry in the 6th chapter of Matthew as part of the famous "Sermon on the Mount".  I have to think that He was speaking of financial troubles because the mention of worry occurs after He exhorts the crowd to get their priorities straight and focus on working for spiritual treasures rather than earthly riches.  (Mt 6:19-21)  After preaching that man can't serve both God and worldliness, He tells His followers not to worry about food, shelter and clothing.  He says that God will provide for them just as He provides for nature's creatures.  These words are perfect for today as the unemployment rate is soaring and investment values are plummeting.  People are definitely worried.

Does worry really accomplish anything?  Most often it does not, except for maybe bringing on a migraine or high blood pressure.  Jesus gave some good advice here, advice we'd all be wise to follow.  Following a mental parade of "what ifs" running around in our minds is not only unhealthy and unproductive, it would appear that it is unbiblical.  Therefore, we need to let God worry about the future while we take care of the present.  It is always easier to tackle problems as they come because then they are known. 

What problems are on your mind?  How often do you find yourself worrying?  Take some time today and read Matthew 6:19-34.  Write down one of these verses on a notecard or post it note to have handy when worry comes your way.  God's Word can calm your anxious mind.

For further thought:

One method of dealing with fear or worry is to try to imagine what the worse case scenario might be in your situation.  If you can live with the absolute worse case, which most likely won't come to pass, then your worries will be substantially relieved.


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

The Completed Tabernacle

According to all that the Lord had commanded Moses, so the children of Israel did all the work. Then Moses looked over all the work, and indeed they had done it, as the LORD had commanded, just so they had done it.  And Moses blessed them. (Exodus 39:42-43 NKJV)

Looking back on Exodus 35-39, we see an example of God's people carrying out God's instructions to the letter.   Not only did they construct the tabernacle, but they carefully made all of the furnishings, altar items, and priestly garments.  It is amazing to me how much work it takes to do things exactly as God wants.  God is very particular and desires quality rather than quantity.  The good news is that God provides us with the resources to do the job!  God gave Moses all that he needed to get the work done, including materials and skilled personnel.  Incredible!

As I think about the completed tabernacle, I think about the following principles we can apply to our lives:

  1. God provided skilled workers - God stirred up the hearts of the specific people He needed to get the job done.
  2. God provided materials - more than they needed.
  3. Moses followed God's instructions to the letter - He gave God the quality God expected.
  4. Moses inspected the work - A leader is responsible for the work of subordinates.

What task does God have planned for you?  What character does He want to produce in you? He will provide the resources you need in many ways.  No job is too big for God.  Keep seeking Him and watching for His plan to be revealed.  When it is time to move on the task, God will make 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 at

Pressing Toward the Goal

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Jesus Christ has also laid hold of me...forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus - Philippians 3:12-14 NKJV

I wonder if we don't underestimate the power of knowing our callings in life - what Christ has "laid hold" of us for.  After we are initially called by God to come to him in a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, there is a secondary calling.  God has a purpose for our lives.  God has given each of us a unique set of abilities and personalities to be employed for his use and once we surrender completely to His will, we will live more satisfying lives. 

I would venture to say that most of us never reach our full God-given potential.  Even if we discover our own specific purpose for our lives, many of us never put plans into action to move forward toward them.  Take a look at some recent statistics regarding goal setting.

Research shows that approximately 95 percent of us have never written out our goals in life, but of the 5 percent who have, 95 percent have achieved their goals.  In 1953 at Yale University, 3 percent of the graduating class had specific, written goals for their lives.  In 1975, researchers found that the 3 percent who wrote down their goals had accomplished more than the other 97 percent put together. - John Maxwell, Be All You Can Be, p29

Interesting stuff, huh?  I wonder if our apostle Paul wrote down his goals.  Maybe he did, maybe he didn't, but the fact remains that he did know what he was called to do.  And his sense of calling drew him toward the end result.  He kept looking and reaching forward toward his goals. 

Connect Learning to Living:

1) Do you know what your life's purpose is?  If you would like to know, there are some excellent resources available to help you with this.  I'd be glad to help.

2) If you know your life purpose, what are you doing with what you know?

3) Where do you want to be in 6 months, 1 year, 5 years?  What would your life look like then?  What would need to change in your life to get there?  Who can hold you accountable to pressing toward your goals?


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