Do the next thing.

Do the next thing.

Feeling overwhelmed? Just do the next thing.

Is everything too much?

Concerned over your future – of things not working out?

There’s a simple solution: just do the next thing…

“Do it immediately, 
do it with prayer, 
do it reliantly
casting all care. 
Do it with reverence, 
tracing His hand 
who placed it before thee 
with earnest command. 
Stayed on omnipotence, 
safe ‘neath His wing,
leave all resultings
do the next thing.”


(ancient Saxon poem referenced by Elisabeth Elliot)

Let me give you some good news…

You don’t need to know it all.

God knows. He will direct your path – if you ask Him.

So, if you’ve asked God to be with you today, to direct all your ways, then take heart.

You haven’t come all this way to only go this far…

Just do the next thing.

And then the next.

You can.

(… more from Elizabeth Elliot)

“Tucked in the back of the Book of Mark, following the story of the Crucifixion, we read this lovely little story.

Mark 15:42-46

“By this time, evening had come. And as it was preparation day (that is, the day before the Sabbath), Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the Council, a man who looked forward to the kingdom of God, bravely went into Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate was surprised to hear that He was already dead, so he sent for the centurion and asked him whether it was long since He died. When he heard the centurion’s report, he gave Joseph leave to take the dead body. So Joseph bought a linen sheet, took Him down from the cross, wrapped Him in the sheet and laid Him in a tomb cut out of the rock and rolled a stone against the entrance.”

Can’t you imagine the disciples and Mary and Martha and the other bewildered women, sitting in absolute dejection and perplexity when their Lord and Master and King had just died?

They couldn’t think of one single thing to do.

Here came this Godly man, who looked forward to the kingdom of God, who bravely went in and asked for the body of Jesus.

He could think of one thing to do. He did the next thing.

That must have been a tremendous cheer and encouragement to those discouraged people. “

Elizabeth Elliot is the author of more than 20 books.
HIS plans are greater than my dreams

HIS plans are greater than my dreams

HIS plans are greater than my dreams…

Keep that in mind when you’re dealing with disappointment, worry or unease over the timing or waiting.

We all have dreams. Sometimes those dreams are seeds of what God has put into our hearts. However, HIS PLANS are always greater than what we, as flawed humans, can dream or imagine.

Ask the One who loves you more than any other to trust in HIS plan for you. How do you know it’s from God? It’ll be filled with hope.

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

Don't be discouraged - remember - HIS plans are greater than my dreams - Jeremiah 29-11

His PLANS are greater than my dreams. Be patient. And while you’re waiting, be the reason someone believes in the goodness of people! 

Prayer Provides Strength

Prayer Provides Strength

Prayer provides strength. And isn’t strength what we all really need as we face challenges and questions?

Strength to move forward, strength to meet the challenge, strength to persevere, strength to overcome, strength to stand our ground, strength to…

As good as venting can feel, it doesn’t provide anything long term.

Sure, you’ll get a bit of solidarity (or pushback).  A “vent” on social media is there in the moment and then slides away in the feed. What about a “vent” in person with friends? It’ll get you a hug or a sympathetic look or word, but after it’s over, everyone just searches for something else to talk about…

Now, prayer.

Prayer provides strength.

For those who have uncovered the joy of praying, any and every challenge (your own or others) has the potential for building long-term strength.

Why?

Because unlike a “vent”, answered prayer unfolds into a long, long, stretch of experience that builds confidence. Prayer provides strength.

Your efforts in prayer don’t just disappear. Those efforts remain as an experience of tapping into the power that originates and flows from the Creator, the One who loves you.

Is prayer easy? Sometimes. Not always.  Prayer can be work. However, the effort to pray for something for a very long time, regardless, is sweeter and more satisfying than anything else.

Prayer = Strength

Put your energy into prayer.

Prayer provides strength - Venting might get you some short term sympathy but praye builds strength.

Want more encouragement to pray? Read this.

And if you’re wondering about God being silent when you’ve been praying for a long time, then consider these words from Oswald Chambers when Jesus didn’t show up to heal Lazarus. Rob and I have been praying for what feels like a long time, and hearing silence. But His silence hasn’t been what we thought…

Pain and the Love of God

Pain and the Love of God

It’s not as though we won’t experience pain just because we’re optimistic people… every person on this planet will suffer in some way, at some time. This hurt that could be physical, mental or spiritual will afflict all of us.

It’s not going to be possible to be cheery all the time. How can an optimistic person deal with these afflictions that cause an ache?

You can treat pain with the love of God.

C.S. Lewis’ book, “The Problem of Pain“, explores the question, “If God is good and all-powerful, why does he allow his creatures to suffer pain?”.  I’ve underlined a great number of phrases as I’ve read the book, and the quote below is especially poignant for me:

“When pain is to be born,
a little courage
helps more than much knowledge,
a little human sympathy
more than much courage, 
and the least tincture of the love of God
more than all.”

So, to paraphrase C.S. Lewis — just a little bit of the Love of God when dealing with pain is more effective than anything else.

Where do you go to feel the Love of God?

I can feel God’s love in many ways – including

  • reading His Word,
  • pondering and praying in solitude,
  • when I listen to praise and worship music,
  • hearing the Word from the altar at church,
  • when receiving communion – the body and blood of Jesus and hearing the absolution,
  • when I pray with Rob, and with friends,
  • and when I honestly force myself to list all the blessings God has provided for me. Being thankful helps me feel God’s Love.

How about you – where do you feel the Love of God?

Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice!

Strive for full restoration,

encourage one another,

be of one mind,

live in peace. 

And the God of love and peace will be with you.

~ 2Corinthians 13:11 NIV

We're all going to need to handle pain - CS Lewis has a valuable idea on how.

Want more about love? Read this post or  Read this post. 

When positive people take action it flows from love.

When positive people take action it flows from love.

Positive People know they’re loved. And their actions flow from love.

There’s an amazing power in love – both accepting love and giving it.

Positive people are able to love others and receive love. They know that they’re created by God, who loves them and has put them here on this earth, at this time, for His purpose.

Their belief in this truth of God’s love helps others’ outlook by demonstrating, despite circumstances, mistakes and imperfection, love is possible.

When positive people take action it flows from love.


This is the 8th of eight ways positive people improve others’ outlook. It concludes the series! Here are links to the 1st2nd3rd, 4th,  5th, 6th, and 7th ways positive people improve others’ outlook on life.

  1. Positive People acknowledge the truth and manage the overflow.
  2. Positive People look for things for which to be thankful.
  3. Positive People bring out the best in others.
  4. Positive People build a tribe of other positive people.
  5. Positive People go out of their way.
  6. Positive People are aware of boundaries and also put them in place.
  7. Positive People are focused.
  8. Positive People know they’re loved. And their actions flow from love.

These 8 ways positive people improve others’ outlook began with a sentence in a post by Tom Corley that started me thinking…

“Positive people help to remove or subdue stress,

improving your outlook and your health.”

~ Tom Corely quote

In his post, he’s talking about toxic people and then contrasts them with positive people.

We are to surround ourselves with other positive people.

I imagine there are at least 8 ways positive people help improve other people’s outlook on life. They are probably more than eight… maybe you can add some in the comments.

We won’t all be good at all eight!

There’s every chance we won’t be experienced or proficient at all eight – even if we are pursuing positivity. No worries. Optimists always know there’s room for improvement.

You are Part of God’s Plan

You are Part of God’s Plan

You were created by God…

with purpose,

for purpose,

and 

on purpose.

We were also chosen to belong to him. God decided to choose us long ago in keeping with his plan. He works out everything to fit his plan and purpose.

Ephesians 1:11 NIRV

Have you made time in your weekly and daily plan to hear and experience this wonderful God who chose you, on purpose and for a purpose? HE is waiting for you…

You were created by God WITH purpose, FOR purpose, and ON purpose.

You were created by God WITH purpose, FOR purpose, and ON purpose.