Christian Mentors, Moms, Parents, Stay at Home Moms, Women's Ministries

Reboot….

This has been my mind set pretty much all day, which is why I’m finally getting to my writing at 7:30pm!

Yesterday, when I went to open my “blog ideas” list on my Notes app…I panicked!

 It.Was.Not.There!  

Like, at all!  Tons of other non-essential lists to myself are there, but my “go to” blog ideas list was gone.  My wonderful husband looked up some ideas on google and then we just decided to call Apple tech help.  Sweet Ashley from Austin, TX led me through the process of erasing my iPhone (yes…I said, ERASING!!), which at first totally freaked me out, but she assured me that if I followed her directions, talking out every step of the process, my phone would reboot in about 5 hours.  Then she said, “But wait…before we go through this process, do you have an automatic back up set up on your phone?”  Thankfully, I did (hard lesson learned from the last time something like this happened!) ~ I was confident that Ashley was going to be my saving grace and I’d get my LIST back!

I hope I haven’t lost you with this computer talk of erasing, rebooting, back-ups ~ but hang in there….

The one thing she kept asking me was, “Are you sure you saw your list before the last back up at 6:33am this morning?”  I was fairly sure I’d seen it that afternoon, so we chose that back up to reload.  There was also a back up performed 12 hours earlier ~ were my notes on that one?  Well, we’ll never know!  As I went to sleep last night, my phone had completed its 5 hour long reboot…everything was there right where I left it…except for my list!

Today was an odd Monday in that I didn’t have a concentrated day of writing, but it did give me a lot of time to think about what I would write, what could God bring to my mind, what could I remember from MY LIST!  (Another panic moment!)

Then a friend of mine, who encourages me on “blog days” checked in with me.  I texted her my tale of woe and she had the audacity not to join my pity party!  She wrote back, “Guess you have to reboot your thoughts?”  My eloquent ~ and most Christian-like ~ reply to that was, “Dangit!”  To which I got her response, “An exercise in trust and patience.”  I’m so thankful that God keeps friends in my life who keep me real and keep me grounded!

So, with my day of school activities and committee meetings, my brain kept tossing around the idea of “rebooting my thoughts.”  What does that look like?  How could I tap into that today?  Or any day for that matter?  What does a reboot look like for you?

In the dictionary, reboot refers to literally shut down and restart.  Yes, this phrasing was coined in the early 1980’s with the dawn of the computer age, but read that again ~

“to shut down and restart”

But here is the twist my dear friend….you cannot undertake this process alone.  You must consult with a professional…with one who knows how the manual works…with someone who can guide you through the rebooting process with minimal (or without any!) loss of information.

Had I tried to figure out how to reboot my iPhone, I may have lost precious photos (uh..yeah…I am currently downloading all my photos to my computer while I write this!), or other various apps and programs on my phone.  But because I followed Ashley’s directions, and did not try to second-guess her (she’s the expert here!) or jump ahead of the process, the reboot was successful.  My precious list didn’t show up (it’s floating around in cyberspace I’m sure!) but the reboot was a success.  Everything that was on my iPhone during the last back-up, was returned.

Can you see where I’m going here?  I hope so….it took my all day to figure this one out!

What is it in your life that is out of whack?  Just a hair off?  Something slightly damaged?  What is God asking you to shut down and restart?  What “data” is God asking you to erase?  NONE of these things are easy or comfortable…they are sometimes downright frightening!  But when the God of the Universe, the Father who loves you dearly, is asking you to trust Him through the process of “rebooting and starting over,” He can absolutely 100% be trusted!  He is the expert of your life!  He is the professional that you can run to in times of trouble and distress!

But before you can reboot anything successfully, you have to have made a back-up plan.  Now, my iPhone can be set to do it automatically so I don’t have to think about it.  Seriously, if I have one more thing I have to remember every day…ugh!  Not a good thought!  But with the Lord and His Word, it’s not an automatic anything.  We have to be actively involved in uploading (I know….another computer term) the Living Word of God into our hearts and minds.  When we are daily in process of reading God’s Word, praying throughout our day, we have a back-up of truth that we can draw from when we have to shut down and restart.

We have Old Testament truths in Deuteronomy 11:18-19, Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” and in Psalm 26:2, “Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;” and in the New Testament we read beautiful verses like Mark 12:30, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’” and a favorite of mine and so many others, Philippians 4:6-8, Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.””

I would like to challenge you right now, when you are done reading this, to go to the Lord in prayer.  Part of this time in prayer can most definitely include time spent in His Word (the best ‘owner & operator’ manual you’ll ever have)!  This is not a “get an answer quick” kind of attitude here, but one of reverence for the fact that the Lord is the ONLY one you can turn to who can help you to be confident through the rebooting process.  Allow Him to take out the thought patterns that are filling your mind with “spam” (sorry…I couldn’t help but get one more computer reference in there)! Let Him clear out the filters of lies that the enemy has been feeding your way. And then…FOLLOW His directions!  This is key!

Jump in and let the professional erase the unnecessary and damaged views you may have about Him, about your life, about the world you are living in.  Allow the Lord (yeah..the professional!) do His work in your life so that you can be made new again.  So that you can move forward freely to accomplish the tasks He has for you, and so that you can do them well.

The rebooting process takes some time.  Just like my iPhone, some of the apps came back right away and worked fine, while other more detailed areas took longer.  There is no way to rush the process ~ because if you try, you will negate the process and it will have to start over.  But thank you Lord Jesus that you are a patient Father, who desires to take the time (when I choose to place my life in His very capable hands) to get me back on the path to restoration and wholeness.

My friends, trust Him today with your reboot!  It’s worth it!!

Blessings,

René

Philippians 4 verse 7

 

Christian Mentors, Moms, Parents, Stay at Home Moms, Women's Ministries

Are you friends with Doubt?

It’s mid-December and we are in the midst of celebrating “the most wonderful of the year.”  At least that’s what the popular Christmas song says.  But for many, it is not.  For some, it is a time of sadness, depression, fear, anger, loneliness, angst, and a season filled with doubt.

You long for companionship, family, a loved one who’s passed away, financial stability.  You long to be happy and filled with joy.  But whatever the reason, the sense of doubt is easier to cling to than the reality of what the Lord wants for you.  I have seen so many in my life make the apparent choice to be friends with doubt.  I have watched myself fall into the same trap that doubt puts forth ~ and here’s the scary part ~ doubt will never let you down.  What’s that?  Come again?

When you cling to doubt and it becomes a dear friend, all of the negativity that comes with the feelings and attitude of doubt, will always be there to make you feel insecure, insignificant, unseen, unknown, alienated, and desolate.  Those are the promises that doubt carries with it.

Literally, this is what doubt is summed up to mean: to be uncertain about; consider questionable or unlikely; hesitate to believe; to distrust; to fear; be apprehensive about; to be uncertain about something; be undecided in opinion or belief; a feeling of uncertainty about the truth, reality, or nature of something; fear; dread.”

What part of that very enlightening definition makes us want to have doubt as our friend?  As our companion? Lies of the enemy my friend ~lies of the enemy!

Jesus knew that we would struggle with doubt and wrote about it a handful of times in His Word.  James 1:5-8 says this about how to deal with doubt,Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. An indecisive man is unstable in all his ways.” 

Our Lord is constantly available to us and hears us when we call out to Him.  It may not always feel like we are being listened to, mainly because sometimes we aren’t willing to hear the answer He’s giving us, but He DOES hear us.  Every time!

The words in James chapter 1 are an incredible encouragement to me in that God instructs us to ask God for wisdom (in all things) no matter what the situation and He will not criticize us and He will give that needed wisdom to us generously.

Did you catch the part in there about what we have to do in order to get that generous wisdom?  Or what we owe Him for giving us what we ask for?  Nope?  Well good!  Because there isn’t anything we can do to earn it ~ we simply have to have faith in our asking.  Oh, I know, bringing up faith!  It’s so hard sometimes to have faith!!  And that’s what satan is counting on ~ if we give up on faith, then we welcome in doubt…which brings on fear, sadness, depression, indecisiveness, instability, etc.

Just like I don’t have to tell my lungs to take in air to help me breathe, or tell my blood which veins to flow through, or instruct seeds to grow ~ my faith in God’s love and grace has to be something that is a part of me; a part of my heart, mind, body, and soul.  And when I feel that my faith is waning….that is something I can ask the Lord to refresh in me.

If a child ever came up to you and asked you to teach them to become wise and trusting, would you laugh and turn away?  Absolutely not!  You would do whatever you could in that very moment to come alongside that little one, and encourage them in what they’d asked.  God the Father does the very same thing.  He is so excited to meet you right where you are and give you what you need.

He can give you peace that passes understanding.

He can give you joy overflowing ~ Philippians 4:7

He can shower you with mercy ~ Deuteronomy 4:31

He can lift away the sorrows of your heart ~ Isaiah 35:10

He can save your soul ~ Galatians 2:20

He can restore in you a clean heart ~ Psalm 51:10

He can reconcile you back to relationship with Him ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17-19

…All because you ask…

So now I ask YOU ~ do you want to be friends with doubt any longer?  Or do you want to live in the freedom and peace that comes from knowing and trusting the Lord Jesus Christ?

During this season of never-ending parties, family get-togethers, bell ringers, and carolers ~ remember that these are not what our focus should be centered on.  Cast off the distractions and the doubts that the enemy is trying to foist upon you! He only goal is that you miss the peace, the mercy, the joy, the reconciliation, and the love of the Son of God who came to bring us life…true life and joy with not a seed of doubt in the mix! 🙂

And just for fun ~ take a quick listen to this beautiful song by Bethel Music ~

Blessings,

René

James 1 verses 5-6

{All verses are from http://www.biblegateway.com}

Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Deuteronomy 4:31, “For the Lord your God is a merciful God. He will not leave you or destroy you or forget the covenant with your fathers that he swore to them.”

Isaiah 35:10, “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”

Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
2 Corinthians 5:17-19, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”