God’s Will

GOD’S WILL

How can I know I am in Your will
My heart’s desire is to please You
I want a mission to feel fulfilled
To show, my feelings are true.

When I know I am in Your will
I feel such peace and joy
Is it wrong needing to feel complete
Or pride that will destroy?

I wonder at times what direction to take
Since I’ve known You, I know I can trust
Waiting for You and living by faith
You never fail, You always instruct

As I walk with You Lord, and obey
You reveal one step at a time
Each step I take is one of faith
I know You have a design

I earnestly ask in prayer everyday
Please guide and direct all my steps
I walk out blindly, I don’t know the way
But trusting, I will be blessed.

I am always amazed at what happens to me
Just when I think, it can’t possibly be.
You give me the victory.

By:

Lissette Trahan

COMMENT

I have found in my life to have true contentment,
satisfaction and peace, I must know that I am in God’s
will. If I truly love God nothing else will satisfy. I pray,
I ask, I seek. It is not always easy,

His timing is different than mine.
His ways are different than mine.

I was reading the Bible and the words leaped out at
me. “Feed My Sheep”. Then I saw on T.V. at
Christmas where people were helping others in need.
Why only at Christmas?

I had a picture painted of Jesus, overlooking a city.
I found people in need. I got addresses and started
to visit.

I made cards telling the story about the person and
what each needed. Those cards along with the picture
of Jesus went into many stores and churches The
main idea was one person helping another.
My only condition was that no money was to
be given.

I was amazed the way God opened doors.
I would take one step and what seemed impossible
kept happening. Being in God’s will is exciting.

John 2:16-17
For all that is in the world—the desires
of the flesh and the desires of the eyes
and pride of life—is not from the Father
but is from the world. And the world is
passing away along with its desires, but
whoever does the will of God abides forever

Toro! Toro!

Toro!  Toro!
Toro! Toro!

Toro!  Toro! by Michael Morpurgo tells the tale of a young boy who bonds with a bullfighting bull in Spain after he helps raise the calf when its mother dies in birth.  The truth about bullfights is hidden from him until he goes one day to watch a bullfight.  Afterwards, the boy named Antonito is determined to free his bull named Paco.

One day Antonito decides the best way to free the bulls is to let all 50 of them go free.  He knows then that since bulls are herd animals, Paco will follow his mates into the mountains.  He gets up one morning early and does just that.  However, on this day, his village, Sauceda, is bombed, caught in the crosshairs of the Spanish Civil War in the 1930’s.  His whole family is killed while he was away.  All he has left is a horse and his bull.  However, Paco escapes in his rage to not be left behind by Antonito and disappears.

Antonito is left to wander the countryside, not trusting any adults.  His uncle, a freedom fighter against Franco, finds him and cares for him.  Eventually, he is reunited with his sister who survived the bombing as well.  She survived because she was out looking for Antonito on that fateful day.

While on the run, they hear stories of a bull called The Black Phantom that chases away the Guardia Civil.  Antonio is sure this is his bull, Paco.  Antonito and his sister are sent away to live with their uncle’s mother.  Their uncle is never heard from again.

Later in life, Antonito has a job cutting cork in the forests of Maracha.  Always longing to see his bull once more, he searches for him every day.  One night he awakens after dreaming of his bull to find the grass flattened beside him, the ground still warm, and hoof prints.  He knew Paco had been with him.

Antonito says, “men and women have a capacity for kindness as great if not greater than their capacity for evil.”

Good, quick read.  Sad at times as a bullfight is described and I for one hate bullfights.  When I lived in Mexico and Spain, I refused to go and see one, not wanting to support it.  Sad when his family dies.

Paco harbors guilt at what he had done:  letting go of all his father’s prized bulls.  Yet, he is seven and this is all he knows.

The love, care, and compassion shown by the boy to his pet Paco is the heart of this story.  I love this story because of the way it plays out.  I love it when God uses seemingly bad things for good.  Because Antonito was releasing the bulls, he was saved.  Otherwise, he would have been killed along with his family.  Because Antonito was releasing the bulls, his sister was saved, sent by her parents to go and find Antonito that fateful morning.

The love for an animal trumps right and wrong and in the end is what saves the boy and his sister.  Animals hold such precious places in our hearts that a lot of us are willing to do anything it takes to save them.  God is the one who placed that love for animals in us when He told us to care for all of his animals.  God is the one who prompted the boy to save the bull on that day–which ultimately saved his life and that of his sister.  Albeit the boy felt guilt, it was God’s will, which is often not understood.

Antonito is telling the story to his grandson.  I bet he is glad that he did release Paco as he is alive today and able to hug his grandson.

What Does it Mean to “Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus?”

I’m reading my Bible (part of my goals this year is to finish the Bible) and I’m in Mark.  My Bible is an NIV Study Bible so periodically, it offers explanations, insights, and questions.  One question is “For you, what does it mean to ‘take up your cross’ and follow Jesus?”

I have often heard this asked and wondered myself.  So, first thing I usually do it google whatever I’m curious about.  What a great tool–the Internet!

I found an awesome explanation about what it meant back in Jesus’s time and how it’s meant today:

http://www.gotquestions.org/take-up-your-cross.html

In sum, it means are you willing to lose everything to follow Jesus.  Not that you have to give up everything. Not that this will happen.  Just are you willing.

From our BSF study of Isaiah so far, we’ve learned it’s more about what’s in your heart rather than actions or deeds.  You can go through the motions of doing God’s work but if your heart is not in it, then it’s meaningless to God.

I just finished Matthew and half of Mark and the Pharisees figure prominently in these books.  They are the Biblical men who are always trying to trip up Jesus.  Jesus chastises them over and over again for their empty actions.  Their hearts aren’t in their work for they do not care about the people.

This is a great question that is often misunderstood.  People, some of whom are defined by their things, have a hard time with this one.  But it’s not about the doing of giving up your things.  You can give up all you have and still not have a heart for Jesus.

It’s about having the heart for Jesus and striving every day to be more and more like him. This is our calling and what God desires for each of us.

And it’s a challenge.  Usually every day I must repent for something or other.

Luke 9:23:  Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

We must deny ourself, die to self, and follow Jesus, His will for our life, every day.  His will not mine.

Today is a new day and as long as God is the one in front I can do better.  For my heart is with Him.

Why I DON’T Want a Writing “Job”

My mother-in-law mentioned to me last night that Craigslist has tons of blog writer positions or copywriter or writer in general and I should look into those.  Immediately, without thinking, I said, “I don’t want to write for other people.  I want to write what I want to write, not what others tell me to write.”

I started mulling this over this morning.  I searched Craigslist and everything sounded about as exciting as a 8:00 AM Economics lecture.  Then I thought about my answer last night and seconded it.

I don’t want to write for others.  I write for myself and what my heart (and I believe God) tells me to write about.  I don’t want to have to do research on some mind-numbing topic and turn in a report about it.  Lord knows I did enough of that in college to last me a life time.  I don’t want to blog for others when I can blog about whatever I want to.

Call this selfish or whatever but to me, this is what makes writing fun and if writing is not fun for me, I won’t do it.  I’m old enough in life to realize I’m through doing monotonous stuff if I don’t have to.  Praise God I don’t have to write for a living.  My husband does all of that.

I also mentioned to my mother-in-law that I write books for me and I am going to try my hardest to get published.  But if I don’t succeed, if God doesn’t will it, I will still keep on doing it.

This is passion.  This is where I stand.

Lessons from the Arabian Nights

I began this humongous book of epic proportions to read to my kids entitled “The Arabian Nights: Their Best Known Tales.”  I’ ve been reading it pretty much non-stop for the past 5 days mainly because it’s due back at the library today.  I finally finished it last night and even my kids were glad.

This book was refreshing because the stories are all ancient and most talk a lot about God or Allah.  It’s nice to see how the characters rely on God and his will for their lives.  Some good quotes I enjoyed:

I resigned myself to the will of God.

Call upon the Almighty, He will help thee; thou needest not perplex thyself about anything else; shut thy eyes and whilst thou are asleep, God will change thy bad fortune into good.

There is no strength or power but in God alone, who is almighty.

God’s purposes concerning me are as yet hid in darkness.

Several times the characters submit to the will of God and chalk up the calamities of their lives and their situations to His will.  They never complain and about it but just accept (or submit if you will) to it and move forward, making the best of what has happened.

I wish I had more of this attitude in my life.  The ability to accept things in your life and not try to fight or change the bad stuff and to do all this humbly and with grace is hard in our day and time of instant gratification.

To realize that God does have a plan for your life but it is hidden in darkness, waiting for you to discover it.

Good stuff to think about this weekend.

Dwelling On Death

Lately, I’ve been thinking about death a lot lately.  What if my husband died what would I do?  What if one of my dogs died?  What about my grandparents?  This could be attributed to my very somber mood as of late or the fact I just finished reading Lamentations in the Bible which describes the death and destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC by the Babylonians but as I was laying in bed this morning, thinking of death and checking to make sure my dogs were breathing, my writing surfaced again in my mind.  What if my novels are dead?

This I believe is what is driving my thoughts on death–the fact that my writings/novels may be dead and I’m just not prepared to deal with this or let them go.  A book by nature is a living document for every time it is read it comes alive in the mind of the reader or listener.  I want my novels to come alive repeatedly–not die a horrible death on my computer never being read.

Death is something we don’t have control over.  When your time is up, you are called.  Maybe this is what God is trying to teach me about my novels.  I want to have control over their life and death but I can’t really force a publisher to publish it, now can I?  I thought I’ve handed my novels over to God’s will but maybe I haven’t.  Recently, I have let the fact that my career is going no where get to me and maybe I shouldn’t have.  After all, if it was meant to be (it being my novels published or me have a writing career), it will be.  It has been predetermined and all I have to do is act on it.  God already knows.  I just wish I did.  It would definitely make the rejections a lot easier to handle knowing someone else will believe in me.

Time to Pray

I so think my story is done (my YA novel that is).  I don’t want to go back to it.  Yet, I just got more suggestions from an agent who said I was 90% there and said it was too “heavy-handed” with the characters and I needed to eliminate some things.

To be perfectly honest, I really don’t want to.  I have re-written this story so much by now that it’s amazingly pathetic.

My only consideration is, “Is this the story God wants me to do?”  If so, then I need to obviously take her advice and work on it…again.  But, part of me is ready to move on to my next story.  Part of me feels this is just such a waste of my time when there are so many other things I could be doing.  How long does one follow a pipe dream?  How badly do I want to be published?  How badly do I want this?

Yet, if I didn’t feel this story wasn’t worth telling, I’d have moved on long ago.  Yet something about this one–the potential power it holds–keeps me working on it.  At what point do I say, “Enough already?”  I am so torn up over this project that I’m having trouble describing how I feel right now.  I’m very sad and beaten down by it all–the process, the story, the memories, and the hope (fruitless?).

I know there is something here, but do I have the fortitude to keep digging until it is crystal clear to readers?  Part of me wishes someone would just tell me my writing sucks and stop dangling out hope that maybe one day I’ll get it right.  It is so much easier to just give up rather than fight through the pain I feel every time I work on the novel one more time.

All I know is it’s time to pray…some more.  I don’t have the answers.  My characters can’t tell me what to do.  It’s all in my mind and I have to determine how best to reconcile it all.

What do I truly want with this story?  Is it finished?  Is there something more…something missing?

I don’t know anymore–what I want or how badly.  I really don’t know anything right now.  I’m so emotionally drained from this whole process and adverse to re-visiting the world I created that I’m unsure if I can make it any better or if I can emerge from it all.  I don’t know where my heart lies or anything…