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The Bible and Windows 8

The Bible and Windows 8 – I have just spent the last two hours of my valuable life seeking help for my newest problem: That problem is Windows 8. So, how do I handle the frustration and anxiety I am feeling right now? The only way I know how is to be creative by putting my thoughts into words through this post. However, that may be a monumental task as it has taken me four minutes already just to type what I have already typed due to the cursor changing on me, the keyboard keys are not typing, and for some unknown reason things appear that I don’t want to appear. I am so frustrated by even typing this paragraph. Does anyone know why in the middle of typing I can’t type and have to hit the lower left bar to be able to type again? And why when typing does it sometimes not work when I hit the space bar to makeaspace (oops) as it did right here.

Yes, I understand that some of this might be user error because I sit in a chair with my laptop on my lap and type. But, SO DO MILLIONS OF PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD. Do you hear me Microsoft? The “soft” of what I just typed ended up in first paragraph. I just repositioned it.
I am learning the new basic navigation. But, what was wrong with the old one? If I wanted pictures, I would have bought a Mac. And, I hate going into corners for everything. It is so annoying guys! I really don’t want to learn how to group apps with pics, I just want to put my apps in plain ‘ol alphabetically order. I want to just scroll through my app titles in alphabetical order and with ABC letters. Okay, that might be because I am a former librarian, but please…I hate pictures being forced n – oops, the o didn’t type – being forced on me.
But, I don’t hate pictures. I have over 10,000+/-  of them. But, I can’t figure out how to click on a picture, and open it into Photoshop.* I know, all you pro Window 8 people are thinking what an idiot, but if you know – oops, a screen just popped up saying, “Close programs to prevent loss.” To finish my previous sentence…if you know how to do it, please let me know. And to the “Close programs….” comment, I would be happy to, but, I will have to go to the help screen to figure out how to do that. Oh shoot, I don’t know where the help button is, but I bet if I go through my 65 page print out, I may be able to read something about it.
And here is an interesting thing about my informative print out…I went through it, made a few changes on Windows 8, only to get to the end of the instructions and read, “If you can’t figure something out, updates are available.” Come on folks, updates when I can’t even figure out the simple things, and shouldn’t the updates be mentioned first?  And why did the right side bar just come out and show its face?
Now, I will say that I did learn some things in my two hour self-training. I learned that…
–        Windows X is my new best friend.
–        I can click the space bar tolog (oops) to log in.
–        I can click the home and end keys to see from one end of the tile apps to the end of the tile apps. (I am sure a teenager on drugs would love this feature…back and forth, back and forth, back and forth – in color no less.) See the picture above.
–        The minus sign at the lower left makes the screen zoom in and out, but why does it zoom in and out when I least expect it?
–        Windows Q shows all the apps.
–        Windows I will power off the computer.
–        Windows E opens Explorer.
–        Windows C shows the right side bar.
–        Windows F shows the Search screen.
–        Windows D launches the desktop.
Obviously, you can tell I am not really a shortcut person. But, I will be now. I have survived most of my computer life without shortcuts, but I can learn.
I do apologize to Microsoft for any misjudging of their product…I realize that my new HP might be part of the problem, but the bottom-line is I am still frustrated and anxious!!!
Yes, I did learn a few things today, and I do realize I have to take more hours out of my valuable future Saturday afternoons to do that, but why is it so difficult?
I cringe when I think about my 85 and 87 year old parents. They want a new computer. They need a new computer, but how in the world can I train THEM on Windows 8? Hmmm….Ah, great idea. I will leave that to my brother. Nothing like revenge!
But, then that leaves me to something else…
The Bible says not to be frustrated, anxious, or revengeful! If I would have stuck with Windows 7, I wouldn’t be facing these trials – Windows 8 trials.
So the second bottom-line is that I am going to memorize these verses before my next Windows 8 self-training, so maybe it isn’t so bad after all. But, God sure has a funny way to get me to memorize scripture, doesn’t He? So, be prepared for Bible training when you purchase Windows 8! It comes with the territory.
Verses to Memorize BEFORE learning Windows 8:
Frustrated with this trial: “Consider it pure joy my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” James 1:2
Anxiety: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6
-a different version! NLT
-a different version! NLT

Revenge: “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge…” Leviticus 19:18

* By working on this blog, I learned how to put my pics in Photoshop. Actually, it was the same as before, but I was all confused!!!!

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Social Media and God

Dealing with social media and time for God?

It is tough to blog, tweet, Facetime, Facebook, Goodreads, e-mail, Skype, post, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. and etc., when all you want to do is sit down, study your Bible, pray, and get going doing other things. Now, it isn’t that I don’t like all the Social Media sites. I love them, but WOW, they can be way too time-consuming.

God, It's Me and Awaken Me

Coming Soon – Summer, 2014

[These books are being reprinted in 2016 under the following titles respectively]:

Awaken Me: Growing Deeper in Bible Study and Prayer / Anchor Me: Laying a Foundation in Bible Study and Prayer

On this journey of SOCIAL MEDIAing, where do you begin without wiping out anything else of importance in your life? If you have any ideas, please email me here.

As you can see, I am basically just trying to figure out how to have time to do everything in my life. I have been involved in social media for a while, but I never really took the plunge to really expand. I want to expand, but I just want it to happen on its own! I am learning that isn’t going to happen. There are techniques, research, emails, friends, new friends, and connections that have to be made. Add in the time spent reading books so you can post on Goodreads, writing a new book, keeping up with new media, searching Pinterest, and for those who have an outside job, OH MY! How do you do it?

But, as I have pondered all this, I have realized that God is the one right beside me when I am writing books and guiding me along the way, so why shouldn’t I use that same “Holy Spirit” strength in guiding me with my new hobby of SOCIAL MEDIAing!

Today, I have decided to let Him go on this journey with me. I don’t have the wisdom, knowledge, or time to do it on my own. Every tip shared with me, I am going to look at as a prodding from Him. I will evaluate it, maybe act on it, or maybe put it aside for another day. And, I will listen for His still small voice telling me “Enough is enough for today.”

Honestly, it can be overwhelming. Why would I want to please God in every other area of my life, but leave Him out of my Social MEDIAing?

So, starting TODAY…Hear me friends, I am making a commitment to follow His leads, His promptings, His suggestions, and His will regarding how much time I spend each day Social MEDIAing. I will put God first in my life and pray for His will in all I do – including the daunting and fun task of social MEDIAing.

NOTE: I am putting this in writing, so please help me to be accountable to my new found SOCIAL MEDIA commitment

Bible Verses:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:33


Lord, please let me responsible with all my social media sites. Let me glorify you. Show me how to follow you more closely in everything I do. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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What is God’s Purpose for You?

What is God’s purpose for YOU?

I can’t say it any better than Gus Yepiz!!!

“…I will use you according to your designed purpose.”  This is profound and one area that God had to work on in my life. When we become Christians, Satan comes along and gives us this horrible assumption that God will turn us into “supermen”, able to leap tall building with a single bounce so to speak. We assume He will change our personality, give us new giftings, and replace our old talents with new ones. God never intended or promised any such thing! He never intended to take our broken pot made of clay and turn us into a vessel of gold, he only promised to take the pieces of the broken pot, turn them back into clay, and then remake the same pot using the same clay. The difference is that He has removed the dross and contaminants that caused the pot’s uselessness in the first place. It is like the master craftsman who cuts down the big oak tree on his land and makes from it a beautiful chair. Everyone is in awe of the woodwork and carvings of such a beautiful chair. Old women now sit on the chair and rest their weary feet, young men stand on it to reach the fruit from the orchard, a mother rocks and feeds her baby from the comfort of that chair. Such magnificent beauty, strength, and usefulness are now that oak chair’s portion! And that, of course, is exactly the point…, it is still by its very nature oak! The gifts and calling of God are without repentance. God doesn’t give us new gifts and personalities when we become Christians. He won’t turn our clay to gold or our oak to ebony in order to perform His work…, rather He says, “Stand back and watch what I can do with clay and oak!”

By Gus Yepiz
(Reproduction permission given by Glory Odemenene)

God, It's Me and Awaken Me

Awaken Me on Amazon.com and BN.com
    God, It’s Me – Coming Soon!

My Housekeeper

I love my housekeeper.

Yesterday I received a Facebook post from my good friend Glory. It was simple and easy to read, but so powerful. It simply said, “Become friends with people who aren’t your age. Hang out with people whose first language isn’t the same as yours. Get to know someone who doesn’t come from your social class. This is how you see the world. This is how you grow.” I do not know the source of this statement, but knowing my friend who posted it, I feel sure she meant that this is how you grow as a Christian.

Glory's post FB 2

As an USA expat living in Lagos, Nigeria, I have now seen poverty, unbelievable health problems, corruption, and the tears of people reaching out to God for help. But, I have also seen the calm sweet spirit of those who love Jesus and want to be obedient to Him no matter what life has brought them.

In Nigeria, most expats have housekeepers, cooks, and drivers. I am no exception. Yesterday, I told my housekeeper to show up, but that she was not going to clean for me, because I wanted to take her out for a birthday lunch. I decided to take her to a simple place next to our flat where we could walk to and not spend too much time.

I was ready to go. Mary (not her real name) showed up in a nice, lovely suit for the occasion. I was just wearing my regular old jeans that I had worn the past two days. I was gently jolted into reminding myself that this lunch was a very special occasion for her. We arrived at the restaurant. Remember, it is Nigeria. We had to proceed through a scanner and have our purses checked before being allowed entrance. The table in the main restaurant was covered with a bright white tablecloth adorned with a lovely folded cloth napkin. I ordered a steak and French fries. She ordered a hamburger and French fries. She ate her French fries with a fork. We laughed. I told her that in America, we eat our French fries with our fingers. I made her order a dessert since it was her birthday. She ordered an apple pie to go. She wanted to share her special occasion by bringing something home to her husband and son. Throughout the meal, we shared our lives. She told me about her tribal wedding and her white wedding. She asked me if I drove a car. She was shocked that someone from the USA didn’t have a driver to drive them everywhere. She doesn’t drive. You see, there is no opportunity here for her to ever own a car. She takes multiple buses to get home after cleaning my flat – sometimes taking up to three hours to get home.

table set

One day I asked her what she really wanted if I could bring her one thing back from the U.S. Her answer wasn’t fancy clothes, toys for her son, or needed medicine. She wanted a new watch. Hers wasn’t keeping time correctly, so she wanted a new watch, so she wouldn’t be late to work.

The lunch ended. We walked back to my flat. She left. I sat down and I thanked God for an opportunity to share with someone who was not my age, someone I had to ask to repeat what she said when she jumped into her tribal dialect, and someone who definitely was not from my social class.

Then, later that night, when I read the post from my friend, I could totally relate to it, because I had just experienced it and lived it this very same day.

While my housekeeper thanked me for my kindness towards her, I thanked God for the blessing I had just received.

Bible Verses:

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12

“I will make them and the places around my hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in its season; there shall be showers of blessing.” Ezekiel 34:26

Six hours after I posted this blog, I received a message from Mary that I want to share. It is written exactly as she wrote it.

“Gudeven mum. I am very happy and appreciated for what u did for me .may almighty God reward u and bless ur family in jesus amen.I love u mum .thanks Mary.”

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Sometimes God Just Gives Us a Blessing

I wasn’t expecting a blessing today.
It was a typical morning today in Houston, Texas. I got up, made my coffee, said goodbye to my son as he left for work. My couch is the usual spot for my quiet time. I balance my coffee cup on a coaster on the couch and read the Bible and pray. Today my devotional was on LAZINESS (Proverbs 13:4.) I thought about the fact that if someone writes a book, they are not lazy! It takes time, dedication, editing, more editing, and persevering. I said my prayers, wrote some notes to some friends, and got ready for my day. I picked up lunch at Taco Bell, went to Kroger, bought some Christmas presents at Palais Royal, journeyed to my friend’s house for a visit, and then returned home.I stopped at our mailbox on the way home only to be a little disappointed that there was no key in the box indicating I had a package. But, I did have a United States Postal Service Priority envelope. Honestly, I went through all my junk mail and then tackled the envelope. I saw immediately that it was from Lizzie. Lizzie (a.k.a. Elle Bee) is a young woman who attended the Sunday School Class my husband taught before we went on our little adventure to Nigeria.
The package was opened and I was so thrilled. I saw a book that Elle Bee had written and published. I was so happy for her, and was totally touched when I opened the book and read her sweet note to us. It said, “Patti and John, Thank you so much for everything you did for me. This book would never have been written without you. LB.” By this point I was more thrilled about her stick-to-itiveness to finish and publish this book. Then, I turned the page, and I had to sit down – I couldn’t even stand. This precious new author dedicated the book to our family. Never before have I been so honored as in that moment TODAY. The dedication read, “To the Greene family. For your support. For your love. And for your kindness.” By this point, I knew a “thank you email” was not going to be sufficient.
 I immediately called Elle Bee. I congratulated her and thanked her for her kind gesture even though it did not seem like it was enough. I told her how proud I am of her for all her hard work.

You see Elle Bee isn’t someone who has dreamed about writing a book all her life and is finally doing it – like me! She is a young, single lady in her 20’s who is dedicating her gifts and talents to the Lord now. She is truly following 2 Timothy 4:12 which says, “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.”

Love you “Elle Bee.” Because of you, I received a blessing that I absolutely was not expecting today. Thank you.

Raised practically by himself, ten year old Charlie would like nothing more than to be left alone. Unfortunately, he is a magnet for attention, particularly of the negative degree. Bullying. Blame. Teacher disapproval. For the majority of his life, Charlie has been able to take the attention in a “grin and bear” it sort of way. But what will Charlie learn as he is whisked off to Thailand?

To find out more, check out The Evidence (Mission with Miss Bee BOOK #1) by Elle Bee; ISBN 978-1-312-15522-0.

To read more or to order an autographed book, go to Joseph’s Grain at http://josephsgrain.org.

Pictures shared by permission!

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Rescue Me

I became aware of a new tool today titled Rescue Me. It is a computer tool that gives “an accurate picture of how you spend your time to help you become more productive every day.”  The program (which you pay for) works “by noting how long you spend on your computer.” It monitors how much time you spend browsing certain websites,” i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Fox News, Pinterest.

I am sure it is a very productive tool and can help us see areas where we need to lessen our online time. This would allow us to get busy and going on things that are more beneficial to our goals – if we have some goals.

The Bible is like that too. When we read the Bible and allow God to search our hearts, He will show us what to do and what not to do. And for all those gray areas in-between, the Holy Spirit will enlighten us to his guidance and direction. Then, we won’t need to spend the valuable time He has given us trying to figure out what path to take. He will have already shown us or given us the peace not to fret over the worries and cares of life.

When our life is too busy, too cluttered, and/or we need rescuing, turn to God. He can “rescue us” and get us on the path He has strewn out for us.

That is absolutely amazing when you think about it.

Rise up and help us; rescue us because of your unfailing love.
Psalm 44:26 NIV

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Prayer, Hope, and Answers!

At certain times in our lives, we encounter situations that require us to lift up deep cries, wails, and prayers to our heavenly Father. These prayers may involve our health, our family, our loneliness, or a multitude of other circumstances. Let’s take a look at Hannah’s prayer and discover how Hannah felt and how the Lord chose to answer her prayer. Keep in mind that God always sees the big picture for YOUR life, and God’s answers are always designed especially for you or whomever you are praying for.

In 1 Samuel 1-2, we read that Hannah was married to Elkanah. Elkanah was a Godly man who loved Hannah very much; but the Lord had not blessed their union with any children. Peninnah, also Elkanah’s wife had children. Peninnah continually provoked Hannah because of her childlessness to the point she wept and would not eat.  Hannah was embarrassed and grieved with this harsh treatment. Have you ever been at the point, like Hannah, where you have experienced embarrassment, grief, and/or distress? If so, let’s look at the process that Hannah experienced and see if you find any similarities in your life.

  1. God loved Hannah. 1 Samuel 1:5
  2. Hannah had no children. 1 Samuel 1:5
  3. Hannah was embarrassed and grieved. 1 Samuel 1:6
  4. Hannah was provoked, so she wept and did not eat. 1 Samuel 1:6
  5. Her husband loved her. 1 Samuel 1:8
  6. Hannah was distressed. 1 Samuel 1:10
  7. Hannah prayed to the Lord as she wept bitterly. 1 Samuel 1:10
  8. Hannah vowed her unborn child to the Lord. 1 Samuel 1:11
  9. Hannah poured out her soul to Eli the priest. 1 Samuel 1:15
  10. Eli gave Hannah hope. 1 Samuel 1:17
  11. Hannah left with a good countenance and wasn’t sad anymore. 1 Samuel 1:18
  12. Hannah conceived and bore a son – Samuel. 1 Samuel 1:20
  13. Hannah gave her child to Eli as she vowed. 1 Samuel 1:24-28.
  14. Hannah rejoiced and glorified the Lord for his answer. 1 Samuel 2:1-2

How often do we find ourselves in one or more of the steps that Hannah found herself? When I read 1 Samuel 1, I became so impressed that Eli gave Hannah hope. And, it took that hope to get Hannah out of her funk. Proverbs 13:12a says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick. . .” It was hope that made Hannah’s countenance shine. She went away with hope. Through hope, her strength returned. She ate and left with a smile on her face (while still in the midst of her situation)!

When you are facing situations beyond your control, remember HOPE. Even Zophar, in Job 11:18, states, “And you shall be secure and feel confident because there is hope; yes, you shall search about you, and you shall take your rest in safety.”

If a friend or family member is in a distressful situation, give them hope. Tell them they can be secure in the Lord Jesus Christ by confessing their sins and trusting in Him. Pray for their perseverance to ease the sorrow they are facing during their difficult time.

In Luke 13, Jesus healed a woman who had been sick for 18 years. “She was bent over completely forward and utterly unable to straighten herself up or to look upward.” But she encountered Jesus and was “released from her infirmity . . . all the people rejoiced over all the glorious things that were done by Him.”

The complete verse in Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”

Amen!!! Keep praying and your longing will be fulfilled in His way in due time.

“For this child I prayed; and the LORD, hath given me my petition which I asked of Him.”

1 Samuel 1:27

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State of Emergency

I read a lot of news articles – many involving a particular state of emergency I have them sent directly to my iPhone. I use Google Alerts so I will be notified immediately on certain topics. I read many online newspapers. And I subscribe to “real” magazines.

One day one of the articles that came through one of my sources and printed in the Star Tribune was entitled More than 40 people killed by 2 female suicide bombers in northeastern Nigeria. The article was about two teenage girls that entered the busy marketplace in Maiduguri, a provincial capital in NE Nigerian state of Borno. In their vests were explosives hidden beneath their full hijabs. The first girl detonated her bomb killing 3 women. As rescuers rushed in, the second girl screamed and set off her explosives, killing many more.

While bombings and killings like this occur frequently in Nigeria, I wondered if we are getting desensitized hearing about it. The answer is probably YES. But, with this article, I wondered if the two girls were being used by the Islamic Extremist group Boko Haram who were immediately suspected to be the insurgents responsible for the attack. Were the girls forced to carry the bombs? And were these girls from the group of the 200+ girls kidnapped from Chibok (78 miles southwest of Maiduguri) in April, 2014 that are still missing? Then, my mind wondered if people are really “suicide bombers” if they are forced to carry out a task such as this. I also placed my heart into the minds of those 200 girls’ parents still missing – wondering if they were all now concerned that these two girls might have been their daughters. There must be nothing like losing a child, double that with your child being kidnapped, double that with thinking that your child might be used by an Islamic militant group to carry bombs, and double that with not knowing if your child is dead or alive.

Maiduguri is the largest city in Borno state. The city had already been placed under a state of emergency because of the extreme violence there.

But what happens when a city has been declared in “a state of emergency?” The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English states a state of emergency is, “when a government gives itself special powers in order to try to control an unusually difficult or dangerous situation, especially when this involves limiting people’s freedom.”

No matter what your ‘State of Emergency’ might be, God is the only one that can come to your rescue, answer your questions, and get you to a place of safety. He can do that, but you must first place your trust in Him as your Lord and Savior. With your relationship secure in Him, He has provided you with His Holy Spirit who can guide you in prayer and help you to understand the Bible in new and exciting ways. Look to Him, read His Word, and believe He will touch you and guide you.

While cities and countries depend on the government to help them during these states of emergencies, we must depend on God through our Lord Jesus Christ to get us through our own personal emergencies.

Ephesians 4:19 – And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. ESV

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Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines moving as “changing [a] place or position as relating to the activity or process of moving to a different place to live or work.”

Have you ever had to move in one way or another? Most of us will answer an astounding “YES” to that question. Maybe you have moved to a new house, a new job, a new spiritual journey, or a new stage of life.

Just recently, I encountered moving home to the U.S. after living in Nigeria. I am in the process of adjusting. Many days I find myself pondering or exploring how to pick up the pieces left behind; how to console myself when my friends have moved on in my absence; how to not miss the past; and how to basically get back into the swing of Western culture.

It is tough readjusting. While I feel I “deserve” an adjustment phase, it probably doesn’t help that I am holding on to the past as tightly as children hold on to their security blankets. I am still thinking of my Lagos church, my Lagos Bible study, my Lagos apartment, my newly found Lagos friends, The Punch (the best Nigerian newspaper), and even the little Lagos fabric store at the mall. I miss my Lagos driver and my Lagos housekeeper. And, I don’t miss them so much for their service as I do for their camaraderie. And, all this deep stirring in my heart is creating an emotional response that I am not too proud of.

Maybe you are experiencing a loss of some kind: a job loss, a painful divorce, or a death in the family.  I have been sitting on my couch, way more than I should be lately, cradling a pity-party in my heart and mourning my loss. So, I decided to research how two Bible characters dealt with moving on – one who did so the wrong way and one who did it the right way. And, incidentally, both are named SAUL!

In the Old Testament, King Saul was chosen by the prophet Samuel to be Israel’s first king. King Saul started out as a righteous man, but he allowed his jealousy to get the best of him. When David returned from killing Goliath, 1 Samuel 18:7-9 states, “And the women responded as they laughed and frolicked, saying, Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands. And Saul was very angry, for the saying displeased him; and he said, ‘They have ascribed to David ten thousands, but to me they have ascribed only thousands. What more can he have but the kingdom?’ And Saul [jealously] eyed David from that day forward.” Saul’s problem was he foresaw a “JOB LOSS” and he couldn’t accept that he would have to move on. Read 1 Samuel 18-31.

The process King Saul embraced in order NOT TO HAVE TO MOVE ON involved:

–          He harbored ill-feelings and jealousy;

–          He tried to kill [David];

–          He encountered evil spirits;

–          He became angry;

–          He actively sought evil;

–          He lived an inconsistent life towards God;

–          He sought a medium instead of God;

–          He committed suicide.

Wouldn’t it have been a lot easier for King Saul to deal with his ill-feelings and jealousy? He could then have moved on and accepted God’s will and proceeded to the next phase of his life gracefully and with God by his side?

Now, let’s look at someone who had to move on – someone who did it the right way.

In the New Testament, Saul of Tarsus (who later became known as Paul), a die-hard Jew, moved from being a relentless persecutor of believers to a saved follower of Jesus Christ. Saul ravaged the church with threats and actually murdered Christ’s disciples along the way. But one day, on the way to Damascus, a light shone from heaven and Saul came face to face with Jesus’ voice. He became a new man in Christ. After his conversion, Paul was without sight, food, and drink for three days. But as only the Lord can do, He brought Ananias into his life to encourage him in the Lord. He was baptized, ate, and then was strengthened. Paul stayed with Jesus’ disciples being trained in the ways of our Lord Jesus Christ. After his training (and adjustment period), Paul, moved into proclaiming Jesus in the synagogues and beyond. Read Acts 9.

The process Paul used to get him to the place of MOVING ON involved:

–          He embraced his change;

–          He allowed for time of solitude;

–          He accepted encouragement;

–          He strengthened himself by spending time in counseling and training;

–          He actively involved himself in God’s work.

Now, which approach seems best to you – King Saul’s or Saul of Tarsus’ approach?

We all go through transitions in life. Don’t be afraid of the changes in your life. We get hung up on our changes because we are emotional beings. Sometimes we don’t like change, while other times, we do. For you, your transition may involve laughing, smiling, tears, and/or sorrow. We will always have events and circumstances that will confront us. Moving away, moving on, or moving forward brings their own unique challenges, hardships, and/or excitement. Let’s try to use the experiences we face today as a springboard to focus on what is yet to come in God’s eyes. Jeremiah 29:11 states, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I think that what God is telling me from this study personally is, “Patti, don’t be afraid of the changes in your life. I sent you to Nigeria; and, I just sent you back. I know what I am doing. Follow your own advice, and DON’T REMOVE ME FROM YOUR MOVES.”

And likewise, “Don’t remove God from your moves.” He knows exactly what He is doing.


Moving Away Verse:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

Moving On Verse:

Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19 ESV

Moving Forward Verse:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV



Have you ever woken up feeling that you just want to go back to bed. You don’t want to think about the future. You don’t want to pick up the house. You don’t care if the dishes are left in the sink. And you don’t care about even opening the curtains to let a little light in. That’s what I call cocooning!

You just want to remain in the dark. You want to stay in a place where no one can see you. You want to be closed in where you can be alone with your own thoughts and even give yourself the freedom to have a pity party if you desire. And heaven help us if the doorbell rings. We don’t want any intrusions, so we pretend we aren’t home and pretend no one is behind the door. Sometimes these feelings stem from just being lazy. Other times it is because you have been too involved in the outside world that you need a break.

It is okay. It happens to all of us at one time or another.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s verb definition of cocoon is “to spend time at home instead of going out for other activities.” I am one of those people who likes to cocoon!

Usually when I am at home, I like my curtains closed most of the time. It isn’t because I don’t like the light; it is because when I am at home, I like to be truly at home – closed in; away from noise; away from outside pressures. I just like the secure-closed in feeling of being safe – of being allowed to think my own thoughts without distractions.

Jesus needed those times too. He needed to get away to pray by himself. He needed that quiet time to dwell on his life and his God-given mission. We need that too. But, with too much time to reflect, we can become so introverted that we are no use to others. Yes, closing in to relax and have time alone with God is necessary, but if when we find ourselves closing in without the spiritual tug to open ourselves up to be used by the Lord, we need to re-evaluate our motives.

Years ago, I had surgery. I had to stay in the house by myself for 2-3 weeks. Yes, I enjoyed the solitude needed for healing. I enjoyed the days getting up going to the fridge to get a drink, and then going back to bed surrounded by my blankets and my favorite books and reading materials. But, there does come a time when we need to get out. We need to experience life and be around other people.

If we find ourselves in a position where we feel we just can’t get out and face people, we need to muster up enough courage (with God’s help) and fortitude to be able to get going with life. It isn’t that we have to give up our quiet solitary life completely. But, we do need to ‘escape’ our cocoon and see what God has for us.

To do this, we must take time in our solitude to ask God for courage; to trust the Lord to show us how to be brave; how to minister to others; and when to cocoon back into the solitary we enjoy and many times need.

Mark 6:31 ESV

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

Joshua 1:9 ESV

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

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