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  1. We are definitely in a war, here, in America, and it certainly feels that the Devil has made headway than the other way around. I have to always remember that everything is possible with God in the equation—that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE—and not lose hope.

    • Yes! And not losing hope is key since our Lord is greater and stronger than the enemy. This is why we pray for our brothers and sisters to wake up to the strategies of the evil one so they are not manipulated by him and rendered inefficient as Christ followers.

    • Satan knows no geographical boundaries. His attack is global. The World Wide Web bates witness to the enemy and his minions as their works appear world wide.

  2. Thank you for the reminder to be authentic. This divine exchange reflects your get out of the boat while there still is a storm (January 6th Sunday sermon). I am grateful that you are a man of your word and have actions to prove your faith. Risk is faith in action…
    Peace, Joy & Wisdom!

    • Thank you Keith! We must be willing to risk our reputation for the reward of seeing others blessed by God. Allowing faith to guide our decisions over fear can be difficult, but it is so worth it seeing God come through!

  3. Yes, JOY comes from our God-filled hearts; happiness from “happenings” that happen to us. Night and day difference.

  4. Thank you Pastor Nathan, we enjoyed your blog. We read it during the Tuesday night women’s fellowship, and we appreciate the love in action messages. It was a great lesson how you can lift someone’s day with a simple gesture by listening for God’s voice.

    • Wow!! What a privilege it is for you to read the post during Bible study. I pray that we can all take steps out of our comfort zone to plant seeds of God’s kindness towards others throughout our day-to-day interactions. Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. Thank you for this great message! I had a hard situation to handle and I am encouraged that I did get out of the boat! It’s not done, but God was with me!

  6. I believe that most people would never get out of the boat. This is not about overcoming a personal conflict in 2019 but about life and death. Who can look the grim reaper in the eye and have so much faith they don’t blink.
    BUT you can begin the process by asking God to lay some courage and faith on you. There are some people at our church who I know would do a half gainer out of the boat, but they are few and far between. Myself, my faith is so weak I would be looking for a life jacket. But I am working on it.

    • Thanks for your thoughts Phil. I believe God calls each person to come out of the boat in a variety of ways… for some, that might be more difficult than what others might go through. Even still, all we need is a little faith – ‘the faith of a mustard seed’ (Matthew 17:20) for God to move in us & to move mountains for us. Don’t give up! That seed of faith will grow just as our faith will increase in God to do more extraordinary things in our lives.

      • Thank you very much Pastor. I can tell the Spirit truly resides in you. I believe one of the Spiritual gifts you have is the ability to communicate to others at all levels about anything. It is a gift you have that allows you to speak to anyone about their life, why God should be in it, what God wants, and what he can do. I heard that you feed the hungry also. I am extremely happy (joyful) that you came to our church. I know there many who feel the same way.

        • Thank you very much for your thoughtful & encouraging words Phil! It brings me incredible joy knowing that Holy Spirit could use me to communicate the heart of God to bless others & encourage them in the faith. I am grateful for your words as it motivates me to continue writing. ✍️ 😊

  7. Thanks Nathan! I wish church would not end so soon and we could share our testimonies as an encouragement to others that God is always with us and talks to us. As you said, many times, we are just too busy to listen! I loved what it said in the Daily Word, “No matter what the situation, imagine Jesus in the middle of it all and He can and will intervene and give us the assurance He is working with us to solve our problems and give us a sense of peace!

    • Thank you for sharing Cheri! There is power in sharing our testimonies as it reminds me of Revelation 12:11 – “They (the people of God) triumphed over him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…” Our testimony reveals what God has done & encourages us to move forward in faith! Perhaps there can be more time in the future for testimonies.

      • Some very-renowned pastors have recommended that effective sermons have a great beginning and ending within a twenty minute time frame, being that the average attention span is 20 minutes. With such sermons, there would be ample time for testimonies, especially effective if the testimonies were relevant to the sermon topic.

  8. I always try to bring some sort of physical or spiritual relief to workers as I interface with them. (By workers I mean the service industry. The low paid mis treated job corps that support our country. Especially since I was one for 50 years.)
    I try to bring a smile to their face, some relief from drudgery of their job.
    Some small chatter to let them know you at least recognize their effort AND they are human too not just a faceless calorie burner at our beck and call.
    Sometimes I even find a fellow Christian and then the joy really gets rolling.
    I always try to keep a small stack of $1 bills in my car to give to the homeless at freeway ramps and those that suffer alone and in silence on the sidewalk or any place I happen to be.. Especially the ones that are in so much misery they cannot even beg. Lastly even if I have no money to give I say a short prayer for them.

    • Hi Phil. Your experience has given you compassion to be the hands & feet of Jesus… especially to those who might be overlooked! Thank you for sharing. May God continue to bless you on your endeavors to give to those in need & to comfort those in their distress.

  9. Thank you for this message, Pastor Nate. It’s always good to be reminded that fear and faith cannot co-exist. One has to go and, for the Christ follower, that has to be fear.

    You’re a blessing.

    • Thank you Cassandra. Yes, fear must leave when we choose faith! We need to be reminded daily of who Christ is and how He is greater than the circumstances that we face. Blessings to you!

  10. Nathan, This is the verse I recite when I am afraid or feel defeated.

    Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will joy in the God of my salvation.

    The Lord God is my strength;
    He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
    And He will make me walk on my high hills.
    Habakkuk 3:18-19

    • Thank you for sharing this encouraging verse Linda! It’s crucial to saturate ourselves with the Word when we are afraid so we can renew our strength through Christ. “I will rejoice in the Lord!”

  11. “When we see someone who has broken our trust, we look at them with hope for restoration, not as fractured pieces to never be repaired.”
    Thank you Nathan for this message. It’s comforting to hear .

    • Hi Linda. I’m glad it brings you comfort. This truth can be difficult for us to take in, especially if we are still dwelling in the hurt. Thankfully, God wants to hear our hurt & transform that into hope so we can love that person through the brokenness. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Just what I needed today! Thank you Pastor Nathan!!! Wishing you a blessed day.

    P.S. I am passing this message to my peeps. 🙂

    • Great message for the first day of lent. I have been thinking “get your own house in order.” It’s something I can do without traveling any further. We have been blessed with so much but when your unaware of all your blessing because of disorder it can feel more like a curse. If I dig where I am and rely on what I already have as I get my own house in order. It can be a victory, a blessing and a way to find peace. Jesus went though so much during these 40 days and He is my inspiration to get my house in order to be ready for His return.

      • Well said Toni! What a rich awareness the Lord has given you regarding your blessings. May God give you His peace as you use these 40 days to draw closer to Jesus.

  13. Great blog post. Emory and read it together. Persistence is the key to growing in Jesus.

    • How wonderful that you & Emory read it together!
      Yes, persistence is key. It reminds me of Galatians 6:9 – “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Let’s keep digging in what God has for us!

  14. Nathan, I enjoyed your message. I know when I’m running or biking or just trying to get through a rough day, praying and asking God to keep me going always helps me finish .
    Thank you.

    • A wonderful example of how to incorporate our relationship with God during the normalcy of our day, such as working out. May our God continue to give you what you need Linda!

  15. Wow, this so answers my prayers to God recently. And guess what, I live in the high desert of Arizona. Thank you.

  16. Nathan, what a nice message to reaffirm God’s presence in our lives. I also had a dream around 2011. My son Michael and his family were falling apart, everything was just horrible. I was extremely ill for a few months, one night I had a horrible fever and I had a dream that my father ( who passed in 2000) was giving me water. I was a new Christian then and I’ve come to believe that that was Gods way of speaking to me to stick with Him. There would be many more trials to come in my family but the one constance is God‘s presence.
    God Bless you for your sharing.

  17. Godly truth that exalts the Lord. Appreciate so very much you using your God-given gift in a way that glorifies the Lord and not yourself. That is a rarity in the spiritual climate we now live in. Don’t ever lose that, Nathan. Stay true. Guard your heart. The Lord has His hand upon you to use you. Pass the tests He gives. Be encouraged!

  18. Your blog almost made me cry-and I am not one to cry easily. You are anointed and right where God wants you to be. This window of time is a blessing and taking you down a path of your future. I can totally relate and am very encouraged by what you have to say, so keep saying it! God bless you!!

    • Thank you Barbara for your kind words! Yes, I do believe that this is a window of blessing in so many ways, so it’s important to remember that, especially when times get tough. I appreciate your encouragement and God bless you and your family as well!

  19. Nathan, my weakness is the opposite of yours, I tend to isolate and stay alone by choice. It’s a struggle to participate with events at church or just calling up a friend and say let’s go to lunch. And the activities I choose are easy to do by myself I run, work out, ( I have a gym in my garage) bike and hike . I do spend time almost every day studying the Bible, and I go to a Bible study.
    And unlike you, my writing skills are not that good LOL. I don’t know how to end this comment, so I’m just gonna say thank you for bringing the subject up and I pray for your struggles as well as mine .
    Linda Chism

    • As you pointed out, we all have different weaknesses. Being part of the Body of Christ means we have different gifts, but also different struggles! It’s a good reminder to know that we all have areas God challenges us and encourages us to grow in to be more like Christ. Thank you for your prayers and I’ll be praying for you as well Linda.

  20. Thank you, Pastor Nathan, for being transparent and vulnerable through your blog, an example of the very strength in weakness you write about. You encourage me as I, too, am in a season of hardship and struggle and sometimes start going down that rabbit hole of despair. But as I lean more on Jesus than on my own understanding and find myself waist-deep in that hole, our loving God pulls me out and I’m back on solid ground. I often turn to a song, “Blessings” by Laura Story, to remind myself to ask “What if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights are Your (God’s) mercies in disguise.” The answer is always in our good, good Father.

    • Hi Patty! Thank you very much for sharing and I’m glad the post encouraged you through this season of hardship you are facing. I love that illustration of our God pulling us out of the hole – whatever that may be for each of us – to have us stand firm on His foundation. I truly believe each season is a time for us to learn, to pass tests, and to grow in Christlikeness. Yet many times we don’t like the trials that are used to shape us! As you mentioned, it is pivotal to remember the character of God when we are focused on ourselves or our circumstances. I’ll look up the song too!

  21. Your best yet Pastor. A couple of anecdotes to share. A friend of mine was invited to lunch with a wealthy person who is a Christian. They stated you must be lonely on Wednesday since you have time to Blog, so they should invite you to lunch too. You answered that one STRAIGHT UP in your blog and in my mind to digress to the vernacular.
    I know many wealthy people and a few at the church who are wealthy with their relationship with Christ. I marvel at this state of being.
    I felt better knowing weak is not exclusive or makes you a loser or on an escalator to meet Satan. The hard part is working to be strong.
    I met a man at a church function who carried 3 bibles. One in Japanese and two in English. He also read books by Bible scholars to get perspective.
    I asked him what he did with his time to create a basis for a conversation. He said he “read the Bible”
    I asked him what else he did he again said “read the Bible.” I asked “all day” he said yes. “Every day?” He said “yes.” I asked “at work” he said yes. He said God helped him. I asked “did he fail and make mistakes at work?” He said “yes.” I saw him again months later at church. I asked “how’s it going. He told me he had been fired from his job. I asked him what he was going to do? He said “he already had a new job.”
    He invited me to come down to where he lived. I said “yes” it would be nice it would be good to see him. I asked “what are we going to do?” He replied “read the Bible.”
    I did never made a date. Weakness versus a Christian Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    • Hey Phil! Good to hear from you. Looks like God orchestrated the timing beautifully for your conversation & this blog. Let me know when you want to get lunch with those guys 🙂
      Good point to know that weakness doesn’t me we are less in worth, but less of ourselves for Christ to work in us. What an admirable man to be diligent in the Word! That right there, is spiritual strength 💪🏻

  22. Thank you for those words. We’ve been in MN for almost 2 1/2 years. As I was driving today I was thinking how I haven’t connected to the church we attend or have not made any friends. Loneliness is real, even if we want it that way. God mad us social, so we can do His work. It’s a struggle. Blessings, miss you and VFMC family.

    • It’s great to hear from you Tersa! Your realization is so true as we need each other as the Body of Christ… sometimes it requires us to get out of our own space to do so! Tell the family I said hello and congratulations on the house 🙂

  23. I asked a member in the ministry to Baja about running into the drug cartels when they go by Tijuana. He told me they skip the bad part. I don’t buy it, I think they are all very brave for not only building the homes but being fearless of the evil they might encounter.

    • Hey Phil. It’s always a risk to step into the unknown, but if God is leading, then we should not fear. Pray for the Lord’s protection as I’ll be taking a trip to Baja with the young adults on May 24-27.

  24. I know I have PTSD ad I constantly have to go to God for peace and reassurance for my well being. It is not easy but I am so much better knowing the Lord is there by my side in all my insecurities. Thank you for this timely reminder!

  25. Now THAT was your best blog yet Pastor! Can I get an amen. The Tony Robbins of Christ!!
    I believe one of the missions of a Pastor is to get the flock moving in the right direction and sometimes they have to turn the burner up. Good one Pastor Nathan!!

  26. I appreciate it Phil! 🙂 Sometimes we have to look back & break those habits before we can move forward. I’m honored that the Lord used this message to speak to you.

  27. Well done!!!!
    Excellent and timely word.

    I am so proud of you. Keep up the GREAT job. I love the pictures of you and Valerie.

    lots of love and continued prayers, Patti

  28. That was great! Thank you so much for this! It comes to me at a time that I am feeling incredibly weak. My husband and I are quitting smoking. I was very tempted to go buy a pack today, resisting with all I have in me. Somehow I’d left out the submission to God. As soon as I read it, I said it and felt comfort and renewed strength. Thank you for reminding me💞
    All my love to you and your gorgeous Mrs.

    • What a great testimony of submitting to God’s power to help you overcome! You touched on a great point that is for all of us – we cannot conquer these unwanted patterns of history in our own strength – only with the strength God gives when we go to Him. May He continue to give you & your husband exactly what you need each day to completely stop smoking. Blessings!

  29. Thank you for these words :
    You are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) and breaking the habits of history is growing in maturity in the Lord; He wants you to be free!
    Praying for you , Pastor Nathan.

  30. I really appreciate all the time and effort you take to create your messages. I get so much out of them. My least favorite movie of all time is “Groundhog Day.” LOL

  31. Pastor your work is amazing and encouraging.i like the way it’s easy to understand your article… God bless you

  32. Amen! May the Luke 4 anointing be upon you always. May you decrease and He increase. May we be involve so that He might be seen. May we always remember that the calling, gifts, anointing are given to help and reach the lost, bound, poor, hopeless, and broken-hearted; never idolized. Because we know ourselves well may we trust the Lord’s love and discipline to keep us on the right road as His power/anointing increases in our lives. Be filled with joy, Nathan. Keep asking for that which concerns you. Giants still fall today, as we delight ourselves in Him. Take care! You’ve been given a gift to write. Be encouraged. Keep using it. Keeping your eyes on Jesus.

  33. Great lesson, Pastor. Luke 9:23 reminds me that we are following Him and not the other way around.

    It stands to reason that, as a Christ follower, every area of my life is subject to the Savior, to do with me and in me what He pleases.

    Thanks.

  34. Thanks Pastor Nathan. I heard your sermon on this topic and its great to have it reinforced in this format! Helps me be open to the bigger and better abilities of God beyond my human boxed in vision of Him.

  35. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

    • Nathan, This why I enjoy the insight of the Holy Spirit and those who appreciate (honor, invite him to be with them, dialogue & have confidence in what he shows us & how Holy Spirit confirms through others- precision of ingredients of our actions or inactions). God bless you and Valerie with MORE! More favor, grace and Jesus lifted above all as he gave us this gift to be like him – being one. We have to gracious to those who like you illustrated, had a heart to please but a mind that counseled (edited) your wife’s list. Let us pure in our intentions and not add to people’s burdens including ours. Keep the faith and keep loving your wife and His presence forevermore- worship is romance as we embrace the Father, Jesus & Holy Spirit >>>

  36. Thanks for this post. Very insightful and helpful. It’s funny, I would, often, get a ticker-tape running with scripture on it.

    Lol…just like Joseph, I rely on the Lord to do the interpretation. We’ll swap stories one day.

  37. Very interesting 😊. I very rarely remember dreams. It’s as if I don’t dream at all. Hearing others tell about their dreams makes me wish I could remember mine.

    • Hello Karen. I’ve gone through seasons where I didn’t dream for a while. Perhaps you can pray for the Holy Spirit to break through and speak to you while you sleep? God may want to speak to you this way, you never know!

  38. I think dreams are in the same category as “God talks to me.” After my husband had his stroke, he awoke in the hospital with an amazing look of surprise on his face., He said, he saw Jesus, he saw God, he saw angels. He said the flowers were prettier than the ones I brought him. He said they sparkled. I asked him what did Jesus look like. He said, there was light all around Him but that Jesus and God were black. I asked God if this was true and He said, “Use your common sense. Jesus grew up in Egypt-Northern Africa. and the Middle East. He walked. He did not drive around in a sun shaded Cadillac. He had to have been very dark. I quit talking about it because people looked so skeptical. I have fasted and prayed for many things and God has answered me. I had asked God to let my somewhat skeptical husband to have an experience like Paul.

  39. Hi Pastor Nathan,

    Your everyday stories about your life and how they bring enlightenment into your spiritual life are always so relatable and inspiring. I’m enjoying reading your posts and learning from them.

    Blessings to you and Valerie,
    Grace

  40. Ow! I thought I was all good until you said to take off the armor and there it was. I was a bloody mess, leaking all over the people who stood alongside me! Choking back tears, I’ll admit this one was for me, Nathan. OK, I’ll rest in Him.

    • Yes it was such a powerful image that was displayed, I had to share! I definitely need this word for my own life too, so I can receive more of what the Holy Spirit has for me when I get back in the battle. Rest is a weapon! Praying you rest well in His Presence Patty!

  41. Wow this is for me too! Went into battle yesterday for the benefit of another person who doesn’t see it that way. So painful for me. But I sensed God asking me to be faithful and trust Him and tolerate the discomfort of showing up to be myself. And now I am exhausted and your words are so affirming that I need to receive His rest as the battle will continue

    • Thank you Nancy for sharing how you trusted God in the midst of your situation & even through the difficulty, it can be exhausting! A great realization is that you now need to trust Him to rest – allowing the results to be in God’s hands. Praying that you are refreshed in this time with the Lord.

  42. I have been very touched by this message.
    Fighting battles is hard and painful; we cannot get victory without our Lord Jesus. Thank you Pastor Nathan for reminding me that God wants me to rest in His provision , so that my soul and mind may be calmed and restored.

    • The battle can be tough, especially if we feel overwhelmed & distressed from the battle around us. I am reminded of Philippians 4:4-7 that talks about the ‘peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard you hearts & minds in Christ Jesus’ which is given to us by submitting our requests to God. I pray this for you & for myself so we can be reminded to come before the Lord when we are anxious & unsure about the future, because He will be our help in times of need.

  43. This really spoke to me as I am that soldier who has been wounded & yet I still put on that armor & go out & fight. My fight is the worries & concerns of family issues. It makes me think of that dream I told you about. I need rest from this battle. Thank you for this wonderful post.

    • I am so glad the Lord used it to speak to you! Rest is the key to victory in regaining strength, but also to demonstrate a deeper trust in God. I think it’s safe to say we all need to evaluate where we are at & rest from the battle at times. Thank you for sharing!

  44. You must be praying for me because the past few weeks I’ve had nothing but positive things God has spoken to me about my adult children especially my oldest son. It has changed my perspective on all of them and I’ve seen a major change especially my daughter. I am renewing my faith that the prophecy given to me years ago will come to pass. Thank you Nathan

    • Wow that’s great Cheri! I’m excited to hear how you are hanging on the promises of God for your children while the Lord is speaking to you, encouraging you along the way. Isn’t that incredible how the Holy Spirit encourages you & from that, overflows to others? I’ll be praying with you that the words come to pass!

  45. I’m encouraged by the word the Lord has given you to post this. Too often, the enemy of my soul tries to bring me down with harmful words from my past; however, I reach for encouraging words from the word of God and I’m renewed in my faith.

    I know that, no matter what, God loves me and proved His love for me by giving His only Son, Jesus, to die for me.

    I know that the enemy has no power of me or my circumstances because God is for me. I’m encouraged. Thank you, Nate.

    • Amen Cassandra! This is not a battle of flesh & blood, and you know how to fight- reaching for those encouraging words in Scripture! Thank you for the reminder of standing firm in Christ, no matter what. I’m glad you are encouraged!

  46. Thank you for this, cause right at this moment I also need an encouragement to keep on encouraging my family especially when it seems nothing’s changing on the surface. This serves as an affirmation and conviction for me to keep on going, and also to constantly remind myself that the Holy Spirit is with me.. God bless you Nathan

    • You are welcome. I’m encouraged to hear how it has encouraged you! I’ll be praying for you & your family situation that they will see what the Lord wants to reveal to them & be open to the leading of His Spirit. God’s got you!

  47. Thank you, I was refreshed and recharged my faith again to wait upon HIS PERFECT TIMING and a reminding us about PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.

    May the Lord continue to use you as His mouthpiece through this platform and bless you in so many ways.

    Blessings..

  48. When I pray and am asking for a result, I always remind myself when Daniel was asking for help from God. (Daniel 10:13) He had to wait until Michael, one of the chief angels, had to fight for 21 days to get to Daniel. So, I’ve learned that help is on the way, but there is strong resistance in the world and perseverance and patience is required of me.
    Thank you Nathan for your words of encouragement.

    • Linda,
      What a great reminder of the spiritual battle that takes place behind the scenes, yet all around us. We should press into prayer and remain faithful to what we know so that we get the breakthrough that we need. The world and the enemy have power, but nothing is greater than our great God!

  49. Thank you for the word of the Lord… It is more encouraging to do better in life and to love God more and more… It says never give up but in hope to see the light of the Lord, the creator we rejoice for ever more… Peace and love be unto you (brother Nathan) Amen

  50. I especially wanted to read your message as we are at a place of waiting for an open door; a new beginning. My husband has taught in Christian education from 1995 – 2018; mainly at a Christian high school but also two years at a Bible College. Currently he is applying at public schools. When I clicked on “read more” it took me to your article on “Dream Interpretations” which was strange because I had to go to menu to pull this current article up. I read both. I believe there is a connection the Holy Spirit desires for me to see as last night I had a dream that someone we know was trying to hurt us. I’ve had dreams before and can recognize when they are from the Lord. When I awoke from this dream I prayed and sensed that the Lord was saying that this woman is prayer “cursing” us and it is from the enemy through her, to hinder/delay the open door the Lord has for us. My husband is a fisher of men who impacts lives. The public schools are a harvest field. So, the Lord used both of your articles to confirm what He is saying. The dream concerning the enemy’s strategy against us concerning the open door/new beginning. Be encouraged, the Lord is using you.

    • How incredible that the Lord used both of the articles to speak to where you & your husband are at! It is also encouraging to know that the Holy Spirit is speaking to you through dreams to reveal to you what is going on in the spirit – I pray that the Lord will continue to protect you & your husband & that any schemes of the enemy will be thwarted in the Name of Jesus! May the door swing wide for you both in His timing. Thank you for sharing Terri.

  51. Thanks Nathan.
    Been blessed by the message. May God continue with you as a blessing to all who read your posts.

  52. Great message, often time we live in anticipation, causing unwanted stress. When we can surrender our will and our mind over to God we can live in the moment and in His glorious presence.

  53. Very true Toni! Once I realize that I’m being held captive by my own thoughts relating to stress, insecurities, or disappointments, I try to give them to God as soon as I can. Otherwise, I can dwell on those thoughts, which is exactly what the enemy would want me to do- to get caught up ‘in my head’, which brings more stress & negative feelings. That’s why I’m working on trying to give those thoughts to God sooner rather than later, but it’s a learning process!

  54. Recently I had some negative thoughts about myself due to how a person responded to a request I had asked of her. Satan kept at me, making me believe I was stupid for asking this request, making me feel insecure. I could not stop this thinking on my own so I prayed & asked the Lord to help me. The thoughts went away & I no longer have them repeated in my mind over & over. I have peace & I feel secure because the Lord helped me.

    • Amen! What a great example of how giving negative thoughts to the Lord helped you have the peace needed in your day to carry on. It’s so important to remember to give them to God because we face battles similar to these daily! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  55. Another good one! The three points are frameworthy! In the very least, I am going to print them out and tape them to my bathroom mirror!

  56. I am more than a conqueror through Christ who straightens me. Words have power, we must choose them wisely. God is good, God is love and He feels me with His spirit. Those words alone give me a sense of comfort, belonging and security. Knowing my God is with me no matter what I face allows me to face the day as it comes. To live in the moment and not anticipate things that may not be. I thank you Lord for another beautiful day and the knowledge of knowing I am in your presence.

  57. Yes, yes you are Toni! ‘Life and death are in the power of the tongue’ (Proverbs 18:21) so we have to use our words wisely, especially over ourselves! Thank you for your example of standing firm in your identity in Christ.

  58. I need prayers for me and my loved ones. For me it would be my self worth being that I’ve had many life changing traumatic experiences in my life including a current separation with two little autistic boys involved and how I miss them! I certainly need to increase my faith as I know that the Father has already forgiven me but, it seems I am still haunted by the assaults on my soul from the past. Please pray for me and for that which was snatched and taken away from me. Sincerely, In greivance, Daniel.

    • Thank you Daniel for sharing your heart Daniel!
      Lord Jesus, I lift my brother Daniel to you & that continually remind him of who he is in you & that there is no condemnation in Christ. He is not only forgiven but free to walk in fullness & victory now, regardless of the past. I ask that the relationship with his boys can mended & that they will know how much he loves them, even through this difficult time. Give Daniel peace, wisdom, & hope while increasing his faith to believe in the greater things to come. In Jesus’ Name, Amen 🙏🏻

  59. Thank you for your blog. This was a good reminder for me. I really appreciate how the Holy Spirit has you pull out some areas that are easily missed. I’ve had the Lord speak to me in times of weakness say: “ Haven’t I always given you what you’ve wanted? “ what are my promises I made to you?” He is always faithful and always true!
    Thank you for following me on Instagram and opening your blog to me.

  60. Pointing out that there are “gifts of healing” is so important. I like what you said about God, that He is not a God of formulas. He heals as He sees fit. You blessed my soul with that. With that saying, all doubts should be expelled from the life of the believer.

    Amen.

  61. Just read this now, and it is a very good reminder for me not to give in to the lies of the enemy especially when circumstances seem to be not changing a bit. Sometimes when I’m in the moment of frustration and trials, I feel drained, and overwhelmed. But after a while, I would remember how God can make beauty out of ashes, and all the promises He spoke over me. “This is how I fight my battles” praise, worship, and speaking life over my situation and trials ..

  62. Amen! Christ has given you the victory and we rejoice in the fact that He will get you through it! Worship is a powerful weapon and is needed even more so when we don’t ‘feel like it.’ Thank you for sharing Pia

  63. Pastor Nathan,
    I was reading the email you sent on “Jesus will get you to the otherside” and clicked on read more but ended up in here instead, so I just started reading this. It is very insightful, thank you. It reminds me of the time I spoke to you of my daughter’s dream and some of my own.

    As a child and later as a teen I’ve had many dreams. I brushed it off as a result of an overactive imagination. Most memory of my dreams dissipated like mist before I was completely awake no matter how hard I tried to hold on to the memory. However, there were a handful of unusual dreams that I recall in such sharp detail, that I remember them even up to this day. I am still waiting on an interpretation of one of my dreams. After reading this article, I applied what you taught, and I think I have an interpretation but I’d love to hear what you think.

  64. Pastor Nathan.
    This message comes at a time when I need it the most. It seems my life is just one typhoon after another. And this one feels like it’s going to rip the boat apart. Is it my lack of faith to say I don’t feel Jesus presence in the boat with me? I am constantly seeking God in His Word and by prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving. I choose to believe in his promises. I choose to not be moved and to stand firm in His commandments. I choose to trust in his wisdom rather than my own and lean on His strength. So what else does God require of me? I want to be on the otherside already! But after reading your blog, I can add this declaration …I choose to learn the lessons on loving unconditionally, forgiveness, not taking offence, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, thankfulness and self-control. I seem to recall asking God to bless me with the Fruits of the Spirit. I guess He heard that prayer. (Be careful what you ask for.) I was under the impression that he could just magically grant them and I would automatically manifest them without little to no effort on my part. Boy, was I wrong. I’m learning all these lessons the hard way. I just finished bible study on Acts. So I can also add that I shall try to an imitator of Paul as He was of Christ. (1 Cor 11:1) and choose to count all these trials and hardship a blessing from God as He molds me into his likeness that I may serve him in this kingdom and be counted as one of his ‘daughters and sons’ of God.

    Please pray for me and my family in these season of storms . I want, no … I need to feel Jesus presence beside me. Please pray that God opens my eyes to see the Lord of Host and his army encamped around me (as Elisha prayed) and that I am not alone, outnumbered nor powerless in the face of my enemies.

    Thank you.

    • Thank you for sharing your heart Angela. I like you, also pray at times that the Lord will take away certain storms that come my way. Yet the Lord is teaching us something through it, isn’t He? I will be praying for you and your family during this season. May the Lord our God give you an abundant measure of His peace to quiet your soul and the strength to sustain you as you press through the circumstances. He is with you!

  65. That is true! Sometimes I would not want to read the Bible or even pray is because God would let me know the person who was wrong in a particular situation was myself!!

    Now I wonder if so many people do not want to commit their lives to Christ is because they will have to face their own mistakes–but again none of us are perfect.

    • The Bible is the best mirror as it reflects who we are in light of Christ. Are we willing to see what He sees… not just the good as our identity in Christ, but in the areas where He wants us to change… to conform to the likeness of His Son? Thanks for sharing Cheri!

  66. Thank you for this msg, Pastor Nathan. It goes with the chapter I have been meditating and memorizing this summer.

    Psalm 19:1-14 KJV — To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

    • Thank you for sharing Angela! It’s encouraging to hear that you are meditating and memorizing it, thus keeping the Word in your heart. May this passage come forth when you need to remind you of who the Lord is for you in the midst of your circumstances.

  67. While in OR, I have been waking along the canal across from Danielle’s house & I am reminded of the verses in the Bible about peace. The canal is filled with water that rushes over stones & then quietly settles into a peaceful flow. I have observed this & it brings to my mind Jesus giving me peace. I have anxiety which is like the rushing water. Sometimes I feel like I am drowning or I may hit a big rock & be injured but then I come to the peaceful flow where I just float over all that anxiety. I picture Jesus saying “Take my hand & walk w me on this water. Do you trust me to let go of all that anxiety & be free & peaceful?” Some times I picture the rough water & the waterfalls are washing me free of anxiety & bringing me to the peaceful water of Jesus. I have learned a lot from God about His peace on this trip & I find it interesting how you are writing about it too at this time. I am praying when I go home I can carry these thoughts & pictures w me.

    • Beautiful illustration of how the Lord is meeting you in the midst of your anxiety! I do not think it was a coincidence that the subject of peace came about as the time of this writing… God knows! May He answer your prayers about being the prince of peace wherever you go.

  68. Thank you for the message of peace in a world that can get chaotic. A reminder of God peace is enough to weather the storm we know the light of the Lord guides our path. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil. We have the mind of Christ when we can take the time to quiet our mind and listen for the voice if our heavenly Father, then we find peace. Thank you Lord for the peace and comfort only you can provide.

    • The clamor of all the voices in the world can make it hard to hear the voice of God. You are correct Toni in that we have to quiet our minds to be in a place to hear what He is saying to us… whether on a national level to our personal circumstances. Just as Jesus was in complete peace when he was on the boat as the storm raged, so we can have access to that same peace, for He is the prince of peace.

  69. It’s so funny that I’m reading this this morning. I was in a class, last night, and we were exploring this very thing.

    It is so vitally important that we learn these values in order to be effective in life and ministry. Andrew Murray’s book, “Waiting on God”, helped me during a very tough time in life and the ministry of NHCCC.

    To wait on God is to love and respect Him more and realize the great love and respect He has for you.

    Selah

    • Cassandra,
      Sounds like a confirmation! I’m learning more and more the importance of rest so I will be effective in what the Lord has for me. I love that – ‘to wait on God is to love and respect Him more and realize the great love and respect He has for you.’ So true! Waiting on Him demonstrates trust and through that, I can have peace that He’s going to come through for me. Thank you for sharing.

  70. Thank you for reminding me that BE STILL BEFORE THE LORD AND WAIT PATIENTLY FOR HIM ( Psalm 37:7) is what I have to do when I ask to our Lord Jesus to answer my prayers.
    I used to be very impatient that I wanted to fix and get things right away; and I didn’t stop or rest until I get it , and even think on waiting. That kind of attitude made me get tired all the time , not only physically but mentally and spiritually.
    However, when I confessed that the Lord Jesus is my Savior and Master , then He taught me that I’m not in control of anything in my life . He showed me that He is the one who knows what is good for me and that He always will answer my prayers in his perfect time because He loves me. He doesn’t want to see me tired of asking and praying, He just wants me to wait patiently to show me His power.

    • Johanna,
      What a beautiful testimony of how you, like so many of us, want things fixed right away – I think it is part of what makes us human! Yet surrendering control to God because He knows what is best for us is how we can continually be at peace and rest in His provision, direction, and purposes. I’m learning how to do this each day so I do not react in what I think is right, but I give my plans to the Lord which I know is right and He will guide me.

  71. Thank you Pastor Nathan for encouraging us to pray continually and in the right way. I remember those days that to pray was a boring time to me; growing up as a catholic, I had to repeat the same prayer all the time . But I was told that Jesus’ model of prayer was the only way to do it. However, I knew that God can hear more than the same words and I used to hide from my parents to talk to God in a different way. I used to tell him my feelings, my thoughts, my problems and how Wonderful He is. I felt relief and peace after praying by myself and using different words. Then, when I became a Christian, I realized that to pray is more than repeated words, it is really an encounter with our Lord . So now I know how to pray following Jesus’ prayer as a wonderful guide to talk to God.

  72. Great reminder that the race is ours and competing with other takes the focus to other places. This story reminds me of the teachings of the body, that an eye can’t be an ear and a foot can’t be a hand but the all work together for the sake of the body. Just as we are many in the church we make up one body for the glory of God. We all have certain gifts and talents that keep the church in a good and Godly flow where we can be in His presence. The way I have been most successful when it comes to discipline is to set my mind on a new behavior during the lent season. It reminds me of how Christ prepared for His death for 40 days, and how I can use His strength to make these changes. Knowing that I am preparing to fight the good fight and finish the race make the sacrifice feel more like a blessing.

  73. Amen!! It is time to wake up!! This is a really great reminder for me especially, cause I feel that most of the time “I’m asleep” and too distracted. But God is really amazing and full of grace that He lovingly reminds us of who we really are, our true identity which is , we are His children.

    • Yes! Many times distractions can lead us away from what God wants from us, but you are awake and alert, ready for what the Lord has for you! As you mentioned, His grace is more than sufficient to have us walk in our identity in Christ, each day is a new day. Thanks for sharing!

  74. Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world!
    The enemy is attacking but God’s power is greater and stronger! Jesus said, “Ye shall ask anything in My Name and I will do it.
    If we spent the time we are complaining, in prayer confessing that God is all powerful and able to do all, so much more can be accomplished but we ARE GETTING THERE! Thank to the encouraging messages you and Pastor Jim are giving us!

  75. There are so many distractions in this world today that often times we are focusing on the past or the future. We forget to saver the moment and be in the presence of God. When we still our minds is when we can hear the voice of God and soak in His love, wisdom and Oneness with us.

  76. Oh boy Nathan,
    This is one I really have an on-going struggle with.
    All I have to do anymore is get behind the wheel
    and I lose control….people not signaling, people cutting me off when I am already driving over the speed limit. Whew…I really needed this blog.
    Thank you for sharing Love and blessings on you and Valerie. ….P.S. Is that dog real? I want what he has.

    • It’s easy to lose control whether behind the wheel or in the midst of a heated conversation… the fruit of self-control helps bring our focus back to the one who is in control, Jesus.

      The dog is real, but I don’t know whose it is. I want what he has too! 🙂

  77. I always thought that self-control was about overindulging in food, material possessions, drink, pleasures & so on. I thought I had a good sense of self-control until you mentioned fear. This is where I let the enemy grab a hold of me so that I lose control & I become anxious & worried. This is an area the Lord has been working on me all summer so I am excited to read this on your blog. I will be seeking the Lord more in the area of self-control in regard to fear. Thanks Nathan!

  78. I think it can be easier to look at the physical areas you mentioned when it comes to self-control and forget about the internal conflicts we have, and those can be tough! I’m glad the blog spoke to you as it is something the Lord has been working through you this summer! May the Holy Spirit give you exactly what you need to overcome.

  79. Hi Nathan,

    Amen! During my time of great suffering since 2012 the Lord has never left me. My greatest peace has come from praying, “Your will be done Lord” and He has always taken care of me. This was an encouraging post for me.

    God bless!

    • Ryan,
      Even through the pain, you are able to see the provision of the Lord – what a mature response in the midst of a constant trial! I’m hoping I can have the same attitude through it all, each and every day. I’m praying healing comes in Jesus’ Name for you. Thank you for sharing!

  80. You’re right. The “waiting” time is difficult for all of us, and yes, somethimes we ask ourselfs if could be better if we come back to Egypt ??. The situation that you don’t “think” is that you got to far already and Egypt, is not going to be waiting for your “come back”with open arms…

    • True! ‘Egypt’ is that false sense of security that we once had… it can tend to look ‘better’ when we are trials and they seem like they are never going to end! Yet we have to remember that God is for us and will get us through whatever it is we are currently experiencing. Thanks for sharing Jorge!

  81. Hey, Nathan. This is John Quinn from Twitter.
    Incredibly, this article was put in my life like manna from heaven. I want to write a full account to you somehow.
    I am 69, retired divorced, 3 sons, 1 daughter. My daughter has been keeping my wonderful 3 grandkids from me. It started when I attempted to bring attention her and husbands drinking. Talk about a woman scorned!!! I don’t know anyone like her: viscous, vindictive, jealous, cold.
    Total opposite to my caretaking nature. I was a medic, and then 12 years Infantry, but never lost my true caretaking nature.
    John W Quinn
    Long Beach, Mississippi

    • Hey John! I’m thrilled that you can across this post as perfect timing for you. God definitely has the best timing, doesn’t he?
      I’m so sorry that you have not been able to see your grandkids. In moments like these, it seems like the only thing available to do is to pray for her and her husband. Perhaps there is more to distance and the Lord can bring healing to that hurt. I’ll be praying for you, for them, and for an opportunity to arise so that you can see your grandkids. Thank you for sharing!

  82. In Mark, Jesus tells of the 4 different types of soil that the seed lands on: no soil (by the wayside), stony, thorns, good ground. I have a question and maybe an answer: how do I become “good soil” and avoid the other 3?
    I think the answer may be this: God gave Adam and us both our lives and the Earth to till: proper “tilling” of both creates the necessary environment for the seed to take root, grow, thrive.
    So, it is MY personal conscientious responsibility to do my part to develop and maintain my own plot of good soil.
    QUESTION: HOW do I do and maintain this good soil? So that The Word In fact DOES take root and grow in me? Is it eliminating stuff that doesn’t matter? Being around the right people? Cleaning out my material stuff, living minimally, ……HOW BEST TO I TILL MYSELF, MY OWN SOIL, so that the Word takes root???
    All answers welcome!!!

    • Great question and answers to the 4 soils!
      I think in response to the waiting we face in the valley, we definitely do have our responsibility to ’till the ground’ with the promises God has given us. We have to take those promises, declare them over our lives, and keep digging to develop our plot of good soil. In time, we will “reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9) and the character the Holy Spirit was developing in our lives is now more refined and ready to be used for more of God’s glory.

      • Thank You! Good stuff. Paul said “constant renewing of the mind”, and maybe that goes right into our constant attention and vigilance . Continuous. In order to maintain fertile soil.
        John

  83. We need to remember we are beautifully and wonderfullly made, in the image of God. Words are powerful, and self doubt and self criticism makes us forget how powerful our Creator really is. We may not be able to control the criticisms of others but we can control how we react to it. God did not give us a spirit of weakness, but of courage, strength and might. If we know we were created for a higher purpose, that purpose we can pursue and become the warriors God needs us to be for His name sake.

  84. Toni, you are so right! “We may not be able to control the criticisms of others but we can control how we react to it.” I love how you phrased it.

    Let’s walk towards the higher calling God has given each one of us and only cling to the words that identify with who we are in Christ!

  85. Kindness is so important, not only to lift our spirit but also those we share it with. It doesn’t take much effort but can make a world of difference. We have all heard of instances where someone went over the edge because there cheese burger was not prepared to their liking. Many times people are treated rude, they hold it in and then one day explode over something foolish. If we can remember that we all have struggles from time to time and we all have good days and bad, we can take heart to other peoples pain. Jesus was so full of compassion, a samaritan woman, at the well, her life was changed, the dead lived again and the blind could see. Jesus did not discriminate, even those filled with demons were shown His love. You never know what a few kind words can do. You need to give it away inorder to keep it.

  86. I love the idea of the kindness that defies human reason. That’s radical Jesus kinda stuff. And we need a whole lot more of it in this dark world. Kindness stands out nowadays. Not always easy to choose, but we get the privilege to be kind as Christians. Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Meghan,
      Yes, kindness is becoming a rarer sight these days, which can make more of a significant impact on those who need it. May we give into the promptings of the Holy Spirit when He calls us to be kind. Thank you for sharing!

  87. Nathan, such a great message on kindness. While it is a fruit of the Spirit and talked about throughout the Bible as you noted, it’s also an attribute of unconditional love in 1 Corinthians 13, “love is kind.”

    And these are powerful thoughts: “I’m talking about the kindness that defies human reason. When we walk in the fruit of the Spirit in extraordinary ways, past the point of comfort, convenience or sensibility, it can only point to Christ for why we do what we do. “

    • Karen,
      Thank you for the reminder that kindness flows out of agape love, the ultimate goal of our faith, to love God and to love others. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts!

  88. So much good stems from kindness, including pointing us toward great need to repent and walk in the ways of the Lord. Thank you for this excellent reminder.

  89. The devil is a liar. Not once has he ever told me the truth. My sins were many, and the shame and guilt I thought was eternal. Reading about the crucifixion woke me up to the sacrifice Christ made on my behalf. Yet, I still felt unworthy of His glorious kingdom. I weeped, knowing that it was I who put Him on that cross. It was I who was mocking Him, beating Him, spitting on Him and slandering His name. I cried out to God, “Im sorry, I failed you. I no longer want to be a burden to this world. If it is hell i deserve, hell i shall go”. I was expecting to be cast down suffering in the depths of hell. I embraced myself ready for that great fall. But much to my suprise God called me blessed, He forgave me and showed me love like I never known before. I finally had a breakthrough, and that breakthrough was repentance. Repentance is so important to find that conversation that sets us free. Freedom from the lies, freedom from the guilt and freedom from the advisory. The devil is a liar and there is no good found in him. Today I walk the narrow path, lead by the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Thank you Lord, Your amazing grace has saved a wretch like me. His love casts out a multitude of sin, honor’s us with treasures beyond our belief and welcomes us to be a part of His loving family. The best part is, all are welcome, the sad part is, many never find the path. Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.

  90. Thanks be to God and His glorious grace and mercy on our lives! What a powerful testimony of His love and forgiveness over your life Toni. As I was reading what you wrote, I was reminded of 1 John 3:8 – “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” Jesus made a way so guilt and shame are not ours, but given to Him through our act of repentance. Hallelujah to what He has done through us & what He will continue to do. Stay blessed Toni!

  91. Loneliness is a tough one. I normally don’t feel lonely, but I can relate to being lonely in a crowd. There is so much going on around you that you can feel beside yourself, unable to relate, uneasy and insecure. Some people can thrive in large crowdes, however as a Christian I feel that is where God says don’t be of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. The world is full of lust, gread, immortality and selfishness. God warns us that this is satans kingdom, hence that is where the uneasiness and uncertainty comes in. If we can still our minds, in these situations, and let the dust settle we can see clearly. This is our opportunity to thank, act and pray. To be greatful that God has more instore for us than what the world has to offer. There is nothing wrong with feeling lonely at times because it is in that loneliness that we can be filled with the presents of God.

  92. Loneliness is an opportunity to draw me to the Father. Any problem, or trial, or bad feeling is a chance for me to run to Him. I don’t always run to God at first. Sometimes I wallow a bit. Then the Holy Spirit reminds me of the truth. I hate hard times but they can be quite fruitful. We are never alone, no matter what we feel. Praise God for that! Thanks Nathan.

  93. OBEDIENCE IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE…..IF WE ARE BEING OBEDIENT TO GOD….THEN AREN’T WE DOING THE RIGHT THING?……………………THE FEAR OF THE LORD IS THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM……..DON’T WE NEED WISDOM EVERY DAY TO KNOW GOD’S WILL…THEN THERE WOULD BE NO END TO WISDOM,BECAUSE WE (I) NEED IT EVERY DAY…..

    • Elaine, Many times, doing the right thing is obedience, but not if hearts are not in the right place. My ‘ ‘ around the right things alluded to King Saul’s disobedience. He sacrificed the offerings thinking he was doing the right thing but God told him to wait instead. He wanted to please the people rather than God. How this would translate to us today is if we are willing to do the ‘right things’ because people are watching or wanting us to (giving money, getting involved in a particular ministry, etc.) rather than if God is calling us to do that in that time.
      I agree with your assessment of wisdom… we sure do need it every day! Thanks for sharing!

  94. Very interesting, I have learned that through the storm, it is easy to call on God for help and guidance. But when all is well we tent to become more self reliant. That is a dangerous place to be, trusting in self is the end of wisdom. It leads to arrogance, recklessness, and pride. I have been fortunate enough to fell the wrath of God early on, in those times, that they dont last long. All is going well and in a blink of an eye you wish you were never born. I find it to be a good thing, a way to keep me centered and focused on God. He is our loving Father, and as a Father, He nows His children know not what they do. So a little discipline goes a long way. What does the bible say, “spare the rod, spoil the child.” No one likes a spoid child, they are self-centered and can’t see the big picture infront of them. God loves when we comunicate with Him and trust in Him. As simple as that is we tend to go astray all too often. The passage on it is better to be obedient towards God than do right is definitely a head scratcher. I don’t fully understand those words but I’m sure when the time is right I will understand them fully. Thanks for the wonderful blog and your dedication to sharing God’s word.

    • Thank you Toni for your insight into what I wrote. As you mentioned, it’s fascinating that we have to guard our hearts against wondering from the Lord when the times are good, don’t we? That’s why it’s important to realign our thinking and remind ourselves of God’s goodness in our lives. I have also found that fasting helps bring me back to this place since it is a voluntary restraint on food that leads me to trust in God in a similar way if I was leaning on Him through the storm, where my circumstances are beyond my control. In the context of obedience > sacrifice, King Saul wanted to please the people by offering sacrifices rather than being obedient. He would rather look good in front of men, rather than wait on God’s timing. Thank you for your encouragement!

      • Fasting really is a good discipline. Did you know when we fast and eat again after out fast, our body’s are starving for the nutrients. When we over indulge those nutrients are often neglected by the body because it does not recogniz the need for them. So after your fast reward your body with food that heals. Fast food and junk is even worse after a fast, so avoid that at all costs.

  95. Patients, perseverance and endurance. That’s what I recite when I get ahead of myself. Remember God’s perfect timing, God is like the wave, you wait upone Him and He will carry you through. Not only that the momentum is so strong it is unstoppable. Seek God first and the rest shall follow. I just made breakfast, I seen your post and thought I will read it later, Im going to eat now. However taking a glimps at the first few words it became my time to practice patients. I got to be filled with the spirit and now I can eat with the gratitude on God can provide.

  96. That is a picture of Bethany Hamilton. You do not see her left arm as it was bitten off by a shark. Her story is inspiring.

    • Hi Phil. You are correct, this is Bethany Hamilton. I chose her because she overcame the obstacles of her limits & didn’t let the fear stop her from going back in the water to ride the next wave. Her life is truly motivating!

  97. Amen! Very timely message. Sometimes we get so busy trying to figure things out, how to do things to make our dreams a reality, that we forget to call on our dear Father Who knows our every need, and Who has wonderful plans for us. We forget to seek His will, and to wait upon Him.

  98. Now, I realize why God just “pushing” me to check your message on my mail.
    This is so much an answer to my hearts yearning this season of my life. I’ve been asking a lot of questions, struggling with a lot of convictions and God has used you to clear these and lighten me up. I’m going to hold on to these two points: look upward and keep moving forward. Trusting God to perfect what has been entrusted into His hands.
    Thanks Pastor Nat, you’re a blessing.

    • Pastor James,

      Thanks for sharing your heart. I am overjoyed that the Lord has led you to read this & that it is what you need in this season to continue on with what our great God has for you. I hope you are having a wonderful & merry Christmas!

  99. This is how I’m feeling right now, stuck in a mud. But by reading this message , it made me realise that the reason why I “don’t look up” cause I’m so focused looking down trying to lift my foot up off the mud, which causes me to “strain my neck” which eventually leads to me, feeling exhausted.. I need to look upward and keep moving forward instead of looking down..
    Thank you for this timely reminder.

  100. Hi Nathan,

    Been busy and just looked at this post. It was a beautiful poem which I remembered from your Write the Vision book, no. 10. Have any of your other blogs come straight out of your book?

  101. Thanks for the reminder Nathan! This year was our year of turmoil and only prayer and Jesus could straighten things out!. My colon cancer, my granddaughter, Samantha’s pit bull dying, her husband driving Samis car when an uninsured driver totalled her car, my daughter Sheril’s hybrid car dying on her and finally my son Daniel’s call 2 nights ago that my granddaughter had a seizure in Reno while visiting her mom’s relatives. Just as they were leaving the hospital, she had another seizure. There was only one answer to all this craziness and that was prayer! For now my healing has been faster than expected. Sami found someone to restore her new car at a reasonable price, Sheril’s car will hopefully be fixed by tomorrow and my baby Zoe’s numbers seem to be normal for now.
    She is beginning to drink a little milk and she will be home on Friday.!

    Please have Jim, our pastors and prayer team continue praying! Sometimes Jesus is the only one who can fix the impossible!

    • Thank you Cheri for being vulnerable in sharing what has been going on with you & your family. I am relieved & filled with joy that many of these circumstances you mentioned have not taken away your peace- since true peace is found in the person of Christ! In addition, many of those things you have mentioned have turned around for the good, including your health. I will continue to pray for your recovery & I look forward to seeing you soon. Merry Christmas!

  102. Hi Helen,
    Yes, this is from my book – good memory!
    I have only put up one other, ‘The Dance of My Delight on Nov. 6th to showcase a sample of my book. I might every now & then put one up, but that would be more the exception rather than the rule.
    Pray that I can work toward releasing the 2nd half of the book next year!
    Have a Merry Christmas!

  103. Pastor Nate, this is a very good blog and eye opening, to say the least. In looking at your bullet points and your mention of women there helping Mary to deliver the baby while Joseph being outside helped me to better understand the shepherd’s voicing to “all who heard it” what they had experienced with the angels. (Luke 2:17 – 18)

    Though the scripture does not specifically state the assistance Mary received, it would make sense that Joseph, himself, would seek that type of help.

    Boy, oh boy, this made great reading for me. Keep up the good work.

    Blessings.

  104. I’m so convicted with what you wrote regarding distractions. I usually use entertainment as a default to “unwind” after a long day of work. Everytime I do so, I have this nagging feeling within me that I should be having a quiet time, and just seek God, to know Him more. But I would reason out that my mind should be “relaxed” first (hence the entertainment) before I seek God, and after a while my mind gets too distracted to focus on God’s word. This 2020, I will be intentional in seeking God, intentional in prioritizing God, and I know that God will give me the strength and guidance in doing so. I no longer want to be a mediocre Christian, I want to be the person God intended me to be..
    Thank you Ptr Nathan for this message.
    Happy New Year to you and your family!! God bless

  105. Pia,

    I definitely understand about using entertainment to unwind. It’s good to know I’m not alone in that struggle! I’ll be praying for your intentionality in seeking God. I’m excited for what He has in store for you in 2020! Happy New Year to you & yours!

  106. I love my time with Lord. I journal & pray. I purposely set up a room so I can meet with Lord & yet, somehow I get distracted. I have things that get in my head that these are my priorities for the day. Appointments, helping in classrooms, meeting friends one-on-one, & doing chores are my distractions. They are good things but are they more important than my time with God? No. How blessed I feel when I am with Him at the beginning of my day! So I plan to spend my days with the Lord first, make Him my priority. There will be days when I will have to rush out of the house to go to an early appointment so I will turn off that radio in my car & pray to God on the way. I will meet with God before I meet with others & ask Him to bless my time with this person. I desire to be a person of patience & love to the students I help in the classroom. What better way than to spend time praying & journaling about the students I will be in contact with? And what about the staff? Meeting with God before I speak with the staff will give me words to speak of encouragement. I really need to let the chores not be so important to my life. What does it matter if my house is dusty or the floors need moping? So I will be asking God to help me in this distraction. After all, He is far more important to my life that dishes sitting in the sink! In all these distractions, I will seek to make them less & make God my priority with Him giving me strength in my life for this year.

    • Amen! Such an encouragement to hear that your desire is to spend time with the Lord before the busyness of the day and not after! As you mentioned, He might speak to you about the very things you participate in, which can help in ways beyond what you can imagine. I’m excited for your pursuit in God with fewer distractions as it reflects the desires of your heart to follow Him in greater ways. I’ll be praying for you through it!

  107. Thanks Pastor for this message. This is a topic I have been thinking about for the last few weeks. To be childlike. Children are so resilient, they can take a fall and get up laughing. They can be mad one minute and forget what they were mad about the next. Adults tend to get caught up in worldly issues and it’s easy to stay stuck in a mindset that stunts our growth. To be like a child takes imagination, one minute your a fireman the next a superhero out to save the world. They are able to laugh and play and know that everything right now is ok. However adults tend to project into the future or live in the past that enjoying the moment becomes obsolete. Keeping up with the Jones’s is hard work and leads to only wanting more of what you don’t even need, the opposite of simple. A child can turn a pencil into a rocketship or mud into pie. We too still have that in us so letting go of the mundane, living in the moment and trusting our heavenly Father, we too can be childlike and a child of God knowing that everything is ok right now.

  108. This is so good! Thank you for Sharing Nathan! Lord is using you greatly to speak to me. I definitely want to simplify my life and will work towards this.

  109. Very nice message. I think of Lots wife looking back perhaps in grief for those that were perishing. They we her neighbors, acquaintance and family. Looking back does not change anything, it often takes you back to feelings you haven’t worked through or regrets you ponder over, however, the Lord tells us to press forward to what lies ahead. That is His kingdom, His righteousness and an everlasting eternity. This post takes me back to a time when I was walking alone in Seattle to catch a bus. It was close to midnight and no one was around. I started hearing foot steps behind me and I heard, “don’t look back”. I continued to walk towrds my destination knowing God is with me. I felt as if I looked back it my provoke a sense of fear and that makes you an easy target. I walked with confidence, made it to the bus and was obedient to what I heard. I don’t know who was behind me but I did know who was before me.

    • Toni,
      I think Lot’s wife looking back represents more than just the loss of those she cared for. Grief can take two forms as 2 Corinthians 7:10 states, “ Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” Ironically, this verse applies directly to her as she would have been saved if she kept her focus forward on the Lord.
      Thanks for sharing your story of ‘not looking back.’I’m so glad you didn’t!

  110. This was a fantastic piece. Absolutely appreciate your interpretation for our modern days needs/challenges. I need to read this, especially today. Thank you for spreading the good word.

    • When the time comes when we are not to look back it will be a huge change from our comfortable American life. We all have so much stuff and we have become attached to our stuff. It is often hard to let go of stuff because it brings fond memories or for it’s usefulness. This is why we need to know God’s voice. Throughtout history there have been people certain Christ was right at the door and sold house and home in anticipation. We hear of them being left with nothing and wearing sackcloth. No where in that passage does it say sell all your stuff for I am near, it simply says “don’t look back.”

  111. So good! I love that you were in the middle of mowing your lawn and God prompted you to stop what you were doing and follow His leading… A good reminder that no matter how busy *WE THINK* we are, God’s agenda is greater than our to-do lists.

    Also an encouragement that how others make us feel is not always the intention of their heart.

    Thanks for sharing Nathan!

    • Thank you for the encouragement Haley! Yes, we have to pay attention to the Lord’s leading even in the midst of our busy lives because God wants to reach those people too! As you mentioned, ‘God’s agenda is greater than our to-do lists.’ Love it!

  112. I like sharing with the down trodden. They have many problems and the attitudes of most non Christians is to avoid them and judge them. All of us are a disaster away from being homeless.
    I always say hi, to everyone for that matter.
    The smallest gift goes a long way , even a simple acknowledgement of another human.
    Pastor that anecdote made me feel really good and that on occasion the Holy Spirit motivates me and makes his presence known to me through that simple act.

  113. Such a kind jester, both moving your car because of her limitations and offering the fruit of kindness. We have no idea what others are facing and many are good at masking their emotions that it’s easy to believe nothing’s wrong. It is when we let go and let God we can finally get over our ego and out of the box that separates us. It is in expressing joy, sadness, hope and worry that we get to use our facial muscles and teach the next generation that emotions should not be suppressed but expressed. It is in our expression the world gets to see our true self. We all have good days and bad days but without the opportunity to experss them the world becomes one long day and hope, joy and love dwindle down leaving us an empty shell. A simple gesture such as a bag of orange’s can break the ice and warm the hearts of others. Thanks for the message.

    • Well said Toni. It is easier to get frustrated and focus on how that person has mistreated us rather than trying to be kind to them. Remembering that they are probably facing some type of difficulty is hard, but necessary since it helps put ourselves in their shoes.

  114. I love this! What a sweet (no pun intended) reminder to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit. And the power of kindness. Also, a great reminder that everyone is going through something, and not to make assumptions. What a blessing to be used by God in what appeared to be a seemingly small way, that actually had a huge impact.

  115. Such a profound and enlightening lesson, obedience is key, hunger for and attentiveness to the Holy Spirit a must. I am inspired to participate with the Holy Spirit.
    Thank you.

  116. Hi!! This is just so timely, very very timely! I believe God is using you to convict me of certain things, and to remind me of who I am, and where I need to run when I’m emotionally and physically drained, when things that I’m praying about seem not to change at all.. Thank you for writing this reminder for all of us, to focus on Jesus. Just now I was talking to God, declaring all His promises to me, and saying that I refuse to give in to bitterness, to hopelessness, then I heard a notification from my phone.. It your post!! May God continue to bless you, and use you to reach out to people, like me, who needs to hear His word, His affirmation, His message, at a certain point in their lives.
    God bless you and your family Pastor Nathan 🙂

    • Pia- God has the best timing, doesn’t He? Just as you are declaring the promises He has given you, the Lord reaffirms it with reminding you that you are an overcomer! Thank you for sharing & I’m encouraged that the Lord used this post to speak to you.

  117. May God help me to move forward in areas that i have allowed fear, doubt and regret to take hold so that i may walk into all that He has for me and the faithfulness He calls me to. Thank you for this insightful blog

  118. Faith without works is dead. That is such an important passage in the bible. Often times we put things off and believe I’ll do it tomorrow. Yet if we can’t complete a task today how can tomorrow be any different? Jesus’s asks will I find faith when I return? The scripture is clear, no one knows when that day will come. Each day if we put God first He will find faith upone His return. All we have is this moment and how we use it is what Christ will see.

    • Yes Toni! Great words of wisdom and reminds me of this – since we do not know what tomorrow will bring, let us live like there is no tomorrow, each moment making a difference for the Lord.

    • The Lord is with you Sheila! Do not be discouraged, but remember that the Lord is your God who is with you and will never leave you. Cry out to Him and He will pick you up.

  119. Excellent counsel. Keep up the GREAT job. You are having amazing impact and helping others to “stay steady”. lots of love and continued prayers….I am SOOOOO proud of you!

  120. Thank You Pastor Nathan for this!! I picked up a lot of things that I can start practicing and applying in my life.
    God bless you and your family.

    • You are very welcome Pia! I’m am delighted that the post helped you overcome the negative thoughts. May our great God give you what you need each day to continue through. Blessings!

  121. THANK YOU FOR THIS ENCOURAGING WORD AND REMINDER THAT GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL 🙌🏻 DO I BELIEVE THAT HE SENT THIS VIRUS ….NO ….I DO BELIEVE HE IS USEING IT TO DRAW PEOPLE CLOSER TO HIM …I KNOW FOR SURE HE’S USING IT TO DRAW ME CLOSER TO HIM BY TEACHING ME TO TRUST HIM IN A GREATER WAY….AND FOR HIS GLORY…. HALLELUJAH 🙌🏻🙇‍♀️ THANK YOU FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT…YOUR POST ALWAYS HELP ME TO TURN MY EYES 👀 AWAY FROM SELF,AND BACK TOWARDS HIM….GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES ♥️🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻

  122. Brother Nathan, thanks for doing what you are doing. This reminds me that all of us Christians are called to do the same (seek God’s face, live a holy life, live a life of prayer and Bible reading).
    I believe, God is giving us Christians, plenty of time to spend time with Him, He is giving us plenty of time to get right with Him, He is giving us time to get prepared to share Christ wit others.
    I also believe that this time we are living now is the beginning of the birth pains.
    Thanks Brother Nathan for writing what you write for I’m sure, your writings give encouragement to me and other Christians.
    God bless you and may God keep on giving you the grace you need.

  123. Amen Franklin! Yes, this is a divine opportunity to seek the Lord like never before. Our prior excuses and busyness are gone so we have no better time than to turn our face toward God & go deeper in the Word and in prayer. Thank you for sharing!

  124. Thank you Nathan, the COVID-19 is a good reminder to stay in the Word and with Jesus all the time. Don’t wait for a crisis to occur because then you’re trying to catch up.

    🙏🏻🙏🏻 To you and Valeria.

  125. I remember an old saying, “there are no atheists in fox holes.”
    How true given the pandemic and the fears, as you said, catastrophes bring to the surface.
    It was interesting that New York’s governor ended a news report with “thank God” three times in succession.
    This from a Roman Catholic who has been chastised by the Cardinal for his extreme views on abortion. Excommunication is being considered.
    Deadly catastrophes enliven Christians and create them too.
    Thanks for bringing that to mind Pastor and also remind me not to procrastinate my morning study.

  126. Phil,

    I’m hoping that this virus can cause people to turn to God in radical ways. As you mentioned, state officials thanking God for His help and hopefully, that they will seek Him when this is over.

  127. This shows that our God is so Faithful because he keeps his words. I Glorify his name for this Miracle happened to these Couple!!
    And thank you so much Man of God Nathan for the sharring may God bless you so much with your Family.

  128. Thank you Pastor Nathan for this great message. It reminds me of the story of Noah. No one wanted to help or believe what God spoke to him. While people mocked him and laughed he keeped working. When the flood came the door was already closed. Just as in Revelation, when Christ says it’s finished it’s too late. As you said we need to prepare and be ready. As a believer we don’t know what hour He will come, but we do know He is coming. Now is the right time to show our faith by our works. We don’t do it to be seen by others but to advance the kingdom of God, which He has made ready for us.

    • Right on Toni! That’s exactly what Jesus said about the last days saying in Matthew 24:37-41, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.”
      Thank you for mentioning that because it reminds of what we are supposed to do as the people of God at this time.

  129. Amen Pastor Nathan, we need to think about this, times are becoming harder we are called to focus Christ for our salvation as Christian, God gives us now the opportunity to follow him before it get too late.

  130. Thank you Pastor Nathan for this message! Truly Gods timing as it spoke directly to my situation! I love to bake and am inspired to make some personal goodies to bless others! I was reluctant as it seemed not enough but now I see the powerful of small acts of kindness.

    • You’re welcome Nancy! That’s wonderful to hear about blessing others with your cooking & baking gifts – your kind act will go a long way since people see the heart behind it & take it in. Thanks for being a blessing!

  131. Thank you, Pastor Nathan, for this word of encouragement. You and Valerie have been a blessing to me and my family. I pray spiritual blessings on you both for the seeds you continue sow and nurture and may God be glorified in the harvest they produce.

  132. I decided that instead of a card or a text, I would call my Bible study ladies & see how they are doing. We do Zoom on Tues night but not everyone can do it or their phones don’t work for Zoom. We do a Bible study & share but not everyone shares. I call to ask them what I can pray for. I ask questions about their families & how they themselves are doing with their walk. Sometimes we have deep conversations. The women tell me they are so blessed by these calls & I am blessed by them too. They uplift me & give me joy in a simple phone call.

  133. Thank you Pastor Nathan, great message, every journey started with a the first step.

  134. I had prayed this morning for wisdom in dealing w a person. I asked that I would have wise words when speaking & texting to this person. I then opened up your blog & here is a message about seeking wisdom! Amazing how God works. I will be praying for wisdom in regards to opening up the church.

  135. Great message for a time such as this. It is very inspiring to hear, to know that the shacking is necessary for our growth, to discard the things that no longer serve us and to seek a strong foundation in Christ. As you mention go deeper, I think of the roots of the tree that nourish the body, that search for living water and keep us grounded. As God wills, the fruits of our labor will be abundant. We will know a tree by its fruit and our fruit is the fruit of the Holy Spirit which is truly a gift from God.

    • Yes Toni! Typically we might be fearful of the shaking because it breaks us out of our routine & to pay attention to areas of our lives that we might have taken for granted. Like you mentioned, there would not be the opportunity for growth without the shaking because God is doing something new.

  136. 100% truth. So very much appreciate your voice of truth in a world filled with deception. You are exactly right. This is what the Lord doing during this current season. Sharing your message. Take care and you be encouraged!

  137. It is so easy to find other distractions and idols during this lockdown! We all need to look at our new way of living and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to us how we can grow in Christ and how we can impact others in faith and love. Pastor Nathan, I really appreciate these reminders and all your lessons. Xoxo

    • You’re right Denise! I have found that when I have more free time, it’s tempting to be distracted… especially with busyness when I know I should be resting in the Lord. Thank you for your encouragement, tell Bill I said hello!

  138. This is a very interesting, insightful passage. Hearing the Lords voice and becoming familiar with it is required by all believers. Having the Lord come to your home would be the greatest moment of anyones life. The preperation is important, as the scriptures says have our own house in order because we know not what time He comes. If Chist came today would we be ready or trying to complete work we hadn’t yet done? As you mention that both sisters were right, Jesus is such a humble man that all He requires in love, devotion and faith. Jesus Himself feed 10,000 because He know it was needed. In Revelation 3:20 the scriptures say “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” Be ready! So based on that scripture Martha was right as well however she just wasn’t as ready as she needed to be. As He said both were right, Martha has a heart of service and to serve the Lord is a great thing and to listen to the Lord is also great. I do believe where Martha may have lacked understanding is when she grumbled about serving alone. I feel in her mind she did not only want to fill her mind with the Lords wisdom over a meal but wanted to nourish His body and give what she could to Him. We are all called to different areas in the body of Christ, one thing that is important to remember is all areas are needed but we need to serve with a greatful heart.

    • Thank you for your response Toni. You are correct, we are called to be faithful as Jesus illustrated through the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. My hope is that we can be faithful not just in the good, but in the best of what He’s called us to each day. For many, it’s easier to serve others than to sit at Jesus’ feet… but what is better? As you mentioned, Martha’s attitude focused on her lack of need (my sister needs to help me) rather than meeting Jesus intimately, (sit, be still, and listen with her sister) which would fill the true need. The Martha in me continually has to be reminded of Mary’s position so I can rest with God, rather than serve incessantly for God.

  139. […] by the Holy Spirit. (I discuss this in more detail in my previous blog ‘Word of Knowledge’ https://nathancherney.com/the-word-of-knowledge/.) However, the spiritual gift of wisdom is application-based – focusing on how to apply the […]

  140. Thank you for your beautiful psalm (it really sounds like one) and the encouragement to accept the time and place God has us in and to trust the plans He has for us in it.

  141. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started the book. I didn’t know what a prophetic journaling experience would mean and growing up in a Southern Baptist church, I approached it cautiously. But as I read it, the chapters are rooted in God’s word and written from God’s heart.
    I think the best way to approach it is to go with a heart posture of seeking God, desiring to know Him more and whatever the Lord wants to speak to your heart. That you are there to listen however He communicates it. Through the text, the Scripture, a visual or phrase the Lord might give you. This book gives you a lot of space to write down those thoughts and things God might be communicating to you. As always test the spirits (1 John 4:1) and make sure what you are getting is biblically sound. I have found this book to be a great tool to use to draw closer to the Lord! And there have been SO many times where there was just perfect timing of the message to what I was going through. During the start of the Black Lives Matter movement during Covid-19, I was on the chapter about “True Justice”. The chapter on “Rejection” hit me like a ton of bricks as God was already working on an area of my life where bullying as a child was affecting my actions to this day. And most recently, the chapter about social media convicted me after God had gently suggested a social media fast, but after refusing, I ended up dropping my phone in a kayaking incident 😅. That chapter really put into perspective the heart problems of my social media habits.
    Highly recommend this book and it makes a great gift for those wanting to delve deeper into their personal relationship with God!

  142. Thank you for this teaching. We always need to be reminded that there is one who would have us switch to the other side. It’s always good to be reminded that we stand for the RIGHT.

    Jesus is our Captain. “Strengthened by the mighty power of Heaven, we shall conquer. ‘Til the raging foe afar is driven, press the battle on!”

  143. Amen, thank you for the great message. When I think of long wait periods I think of the scripture that speaks on patience, perseverance and endurance. God is faithful and when we can remain faithful ourselves He gives us the desires of our heart.

  144. Thank you Pastor for this clarifying messeage. I love the analogy of the filter, it puts a new perspective on how we alow ourselves to be influenced. Without the filter anything can get in, and what goes in comes out throught our speech and our actions. I think of these mobs of people repeating words that are so angry and destructive just because someone told them to. It makes me think about what was said in Matthew 6:7-8 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” The filter of Christ is an excellent way to avoid empty chatter and be transformed by the renewing of our mind.

  145. Anen, I love this message, with our busy world and mind many times we find it hard to settle and seek God first. How lovely it is to hear the voice of God and walk blindly obeying His word. Such faith to go into the unknown to compete a single task and wait for instruction to press forward. It is easy to get ahead of ourselves and think more is needed when God has not yet guided the way. So many times when we pray we seek safety for others, ourself and our world. But knowing that sometimes all that we need is to be silent and be in His presence is truly a gift.

    • Thank you for sharing Toni! It’s true that many times we are tempted to press on in what we think is right rather than waiting for the Lord’s direction & guidance. Even this can be a test to see if we truly trust that He has the best plan for us, even when we cannot see it just yet.

  146. ” If God does shut a door, we do not have to be disappointed, for He has the right path for us, even if we do not know it yet!”

    SO GOOD. What a nugget. 🙂

    I also love what you said here about the faith and obedience in coming home, “It takes a measure of faith to go out, but it is a whole new playing field coming home.”

    Thanks for sharing this encouragement & teaching!

  147. You’re welcome Jen! I’m thrilled that the Lord spoke to you through this blog. May our great God give you keen insight & discernment as to what doors you should walk through & what doors should stay closed. 🚪

  148. Excellent word…. Stay steady… As darkness continues to increase… those who know their God will do great exploits And they will shine as bright as the stars.

    I am so proud of you. You were born for such a time as this.

    • Amen!
      As we walk as “children of light” (Ephesians 5:8), may those who are still stumbling in the dark see the radiance of Christ through us & know Him.
      Thank you for your kind words Patti!

  149. On August 12th God gave me a picture of an atomic bomb being dropped in the near future and an aerial view of the explosion. The interpretation that I was left with was after or during what you refer to as “the storm”, Christ followers must unleash the “atomic bomb” (Holy Spirit) to the nation. Those that have previously been sheepish or reserved need to step up and act in the Spirit. All believers need to be awake and ready for this day. Anyways, I feel like the Holy Spirit is going to play a vital part in this “storm” and all believers need to be prepared and ready to receive instruction from the Spirit on when to drop.

    • So good Haley!
      I fully believe that this time is training ground for Christ followers, especially the sheepish ones, to stand firm on the Rock of Christ. In that way, the people of God can usher in the wave of the Spirit to see hearts the unregenerate renewed & the Body of Christ revived like never before. May it ‘hit’ like that atomic bomb you saw- suddenly, powerfully, & expand beyond what we could expect in our own minds. Thank you for sharing 🙏🏻

  150. Amen, thank you for this important message as we are going through this shaking. As we prepare and stand firm on the Rock we must listen to know how each individual must prepare to withstand the strong holds the world has places on us that try to hold us down. It is time to break the change of bondage and sink our roots deep to grasp on to the Lord’s word.

    • I agree Toni, we all must do our part to spiritually prepare in whatever way that looks like for each of us. Being compassionate for one another & to come alongside to help in this time can be a source of strengthening in the Body of Christ. May the Lord reveal & break off anything that we are clinging to other than Scriptures.

  151. Thank you for sharing. It gave me much to ponder and reflect on. I need to trust more and worry less. Your words were comforting because the world is in such chaos and prayer and trust in Christ is the answer.

  152. This may be the most important blog you have done up to now Nathan. I will write you a personal note on my situation and how I can fast without harming my
    physical body. Keep up the good blogs! Blessings on you and Valerie. My prayers for you both, M.

  153. I am in. I think I would be able to do a short fast because of my health issues but I would love to be in prayer for this also. Thank you for your blogs, you and valerie are always in our prayers.

  154. This is a great blog for right now…{“for such a time as this”)> As I struggle with depression I need to be reminded that it is the evil one that is putting me in this position. Well meaning friends will tell me that they cannot understand my depression but they have mates, significant others alongside them. I do not. Makes a huge difference when you are facing depression without anyone beside you. But, this is when the Lord becomes more “real” as you have no choice but to trust Him. Blessings..M.

  155. “In essence, chaos remained because there was no plan established. “.

    Please, clarify this statement for me.

  156. I definitely found this helpful. In a time when many different voices and perspectives are swirling & causing confusion, thank you for writing so clearly about how we as Christ followers can think through voting in elections!

    • Amongst the chaos of competing voices, it can be difficult to hear the Lord’s leading on how to vote in this election. I’m thrilled that this post was found helpful for you through it Jennifer!

  157. Oh Nathan,
    This blog really speaks to me. I needed this one right now. Thank you. May God Bless you…Margie

  158. I needed to hear this so badly. My ex husband recently left me and promptly divorced me to join a cult (basically.) It took 3 days from filing to judgment for the divorce. That was in October, I’m still reeling. I have been through some stuff in life but this is nothing I could’ve ever expected. Thank you

    • Shelly,
      I am sorry to hear about your ex husband. I cannot imagine how difficult that must be. Even through this pain, God is still working. He is with you & will walk with you every step of the way. I’ll be praying for you and for your ex husband. God bless.

  159. Thank you for sending me this pastor! ❤️ It’s amazing to because Natasha told me of a stormy dream she and I were in and how we were taking shelter and looking for direction from weathervanes 😱❤️

  160. Oh Nathan,
    What a valuable blog. It really helps me to put things in their proper perspective. It also reminds me of the old song…”My Anchor Holds”….”Troubles almost ‘whelm my soul: Griefs like billows o’er me roll; Tempters seek to lure astray, storms obscure the light of day: But in Christ I can be bold, I’ve an anchor that will hold. Praising Jesus that our anchor holds. M.

  161. This completely wrecked me as soon as I started reading it. I had no idea how much I have been holding inside. I needed this more than you could possibly know. Thank you so much 💖 God bless you and your beautiful wife

  162. Hi Shelly,

    The Lord is with you and He will sustain you in these tumultuous times. Thankfully He knows your situation well and delights to help you and be that sustaining anchor you need. Our great God is mighty to save (Zephaniah 3:17) and He holds you in His hands. Praying for you!

  163. Another thought provoking blog. May God continue to bless you as you proclaim His word. Blessings on you and Valerie. In Him, Margie Seevinck

  164. Good word! I definitely see that God is preparing me for ministry and opening up doors. It’s exciting! 🙂 thank you for the encouraging post.

    • I appreciate it Melissa. It is very exciting to see the Lord working in your life as you’re discerning your ministry options. Praise God for His faithfulness! It’s been a joy for me so far to see what the Holy Spirit has done in you and where He is taking you. 😀

  165. As usual, you are right on the target of where I am in my walk. I really needed this and thank you for all of your work. Bless u

  166. I’m extremely pleased to discover this website. I wanted to thank you for ones time just for this fantastic read!! I absolutely enjoyed every part of it and i also have you bookmarked to see new stuff in your site.

  167. Thank you Pastor Nathan for a wonderful message of hope! I love how you speak to the heart of the matter that touches us all right NOW with scripture, lots of examples, your personal story etc to being us back to God as our true hope!

    • Thank you Nancy!
      One of my goals is to be transparent as I point to Christ so I am appreciative that this message spoke to you in that way. No matter what we face, we can have the hope in God to bring us through!

  168. I thank God and I thank you for this message! It was such an encouragement to my heart in every way. It gave me a renewed hope for the days and months to come for my own life, my family’s and many precious ones that I know that have endured and still are enduring trials and disappointments.
    Thank you Pastor Nathan for your transparency and openly sharing your struggles. Often we think we are the only ones, when in fact so many others are suffering at this time. Your example inspires me to do the same especially when we are in the middle of trials ourselves! I too can reach out and encourage others in the midst of my own stuff.
    Thank you again for sharing, inspiring and renewing my hope in Him and His awesome Word!
    God richly bless you for you faithfulness. Praying for you and Valerie.
    “And hope does not put to shame..Romans 5:5

    • Rose,

      I thank you for you and your families constant encouragement to Valerie and I. We are appreciative of your love and care towards us in so many ways!

      It’s not easy to share openly, but I think if it can help someone draw closer to Christ, then it is worth putting myself out there. Thank the Lord that this post renewed your hope in God! We appreciate your prayers for us 😊

  169. What a meaningful blog, Nathan. Thank you.
    Yes, lately, especially, I have brought to mind the Lord’s faithfulness in the past. The old song “It is No Secret (what God can do) has become very special to me. Thank you for the words of encouragement you
    bring in these blogs. Praying for you and Valerie always. May the Lord’s favor be yours! In Him, Margie

  170. Thank you Nathan for such an encouraging blog!
    Yes, so true! I can “remember” the many times I experienced victory in Christ through some of the most difficult trials. As you shared, it was His faithful provision, protection and promises that met me time and time again! When I come face to face with these ongoing challenges of life I can call to remembrance the numerous times He was and still is, faithful to bring me through into victory.

  171. The answers to life’s questions are not found in the world but in the “Word”. I am reading this scripture passage from Jeremiah on a regular basis. Thank you Nathan for encouraging and challenging us.
    In Him, Margie Seevinck

  172. […] —> Plans to give you a future – It is tempting to become so focused on the anxieties of the present that we neglect the future. At the same time, it’s possible to have angst about the future because of the current conditions. Either way, God has the best plans for you regarding your future. “He [God] who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). In other words, God is not done with you yet! The Holy Spirit is about perfecting and pruning you now to prepare you for later. You do not have to have all the answers – God is preparing you now in the journey as He leads you towards the destination. (For more on the future, see a ‘Faith-Filled Future’). […]

  173. What a great blog. Strange….well not really….I had ask the Lord to do in me what He wants to do today in my prayer time with Him this morning.
    I love play-doh! It was always my favorite thing to do with my own kids as well as when I was teaching pre-school. The old hymn says…”Mold me and make me, after Your will, while I am waiting, yielded and still.”
    My prayer: May it be so Lord Jesus…M….P.S. Love Valerie’s art-work!

    • Thank you Margie!
      I love how that hymn fits perfectly in the shaping and waiting process… we are called through both to yield to God’s purposes.
      I’ll let Valerie know you appreciate it 😀

  174. Thank you Pastor Nathan for once again your timely message. Especially in the days we live in, and the opportunities we have to live out our faith in Jesus! Let us join hands today to pray for our country and government, that God will mightily intervene in protecting us and allowing us to continue to live in freedom and peace in the midst of chaos. I do believe God will demonstrate His mighty power, mercy, and love He has for our country in the days to come. Praying for you and Valerie, and your church to flourish during these days of testing.

    • Eileen,

      I too, am thinking about our government in the midst of the transition of power. God is, and always will be, in charge so we can pray for revival, peace, and mercy in this pivotal time. I am praying that His will be done and that we as the church, the Body of Christ, would represent Him well in all we do. Let’s keep praying for our country, in Jesus’ Name!

  175. Great message! Definitely feeling pressed down and stretched out these days. It can be painfully uncomfortable, but I do know that God never wastes our pain. Out of it, He is molding and shaping us into a new creation, strong and useful for His glorious purpose.

    • I agree Rose, God never wastes our pain! This can be part of the stretching and molding process He intends for our benefit and ultimately, for His. While no one signs up for pain, it’s important to remember if we’re feeling stretched, we can yield to the Holy Spirit’s work knowing that He has a purpose in and through it all.

  176. Thank you Pastor, your punny message isn’t lost on me lol. As usual you are right on time with a word from God that I truly needed. I appreciate you both, nice work Val!

  177. Our focus must be on the Lord Jesus who is the “author and finisher of our faith.” We must say, with the apostle Paul, “Forgetting those things which are behind…I press toward to the mark of the high-calling
    in Christ Jesus.”
    God Bless you Nathan as you continue to bless and
    encourage us with your blog. In Him, Margie Seevinck

  178. A most timely and needed message! I am recently learning that God wants me to focus and enjoy the here and now and be 100 percent in the moment. It is so easy to look behind at what has not been, could have been and look ahead at what could be and dwell on all of it. As a result I miss all those precious God given moments! Whether its moments with my family, moments with God in His word, a beautiful walk enjoying His creation or a bike ride on a sunny day. I am choosing to enjoy today, and live each moment pleasing to Him.
    Thank you for your encouraging message. Looking forward to the next one!

  179. All we have is right now, everything else is either memory or imagination. The greatest gift is now and the power of now can shape our reality. Anticipation or regret can hinder our growth and make us feel stagnant. Having flow and gratitude for each moment can keep us healthy, focused and centered. When we place our feet upon The Rock we know we are on solid ground, and the momentum of that flow will carry us to new hights, greener pastors and a heart filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. A well balanced diet of “The Fruit of the Spirit.”
    Thank you for today’s message Pastor Nathan. ✝️

  180. Oh Nathan,
    How wonderful. I am so thankful for you and Valerie
    and the blessing the Lord is giving you to nurture and love these little ones no matter how long.
    Praying for you both with love, Margie Seevinck

  181. May God strengthen you in your waiting and grant you and Valerie’s heart’s desire with His hand-picked child for you . In the praise and glory of His name!

  182. Wow, how beautiful! I am praying for you guys. I know that you will be good parents, you are good parents, not to mention awesome examples of following Christ! God bless you!

  183. Hey Pastor Nathan, you and Valerie deserve several children. Lots of love in your family.
    Enough love for your family and the church. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you down even though I know you have been. No one knows it though which is generosity if you think about it.
    I have prayed a bit for you and Valerie to have a family, I’ll pray some more. Better work those quads though. Dog in front little one in back.
    Ok there you go Pastor, blessings.

    • Hi Phil,

      It’s good to hear from you! I appreciate your support for us and we are very excited to have her as we expand our family. We are still praying and seeking the Lord for our own biological children, so we’d appreciate your prayers in this as well.

  184. This is all so amazing to hear. The Lord is definitely rewarding you and showing you quickly what selfless love is. You two are amazing. I remember how good you were with kids immediately. My kids loved to be around you right away when you first came to venice church. My baby girl was so comforted by beautiful Valerie. You both were made for this role. So excited for this journey for you. May the Lord continue to bless you. I love you both and cannot wait to hear all about these journeys you will have. God bless.

    • Thank you so much Angeena! We love your family and I’m praying the Lord continues to bless you all and keep you.
      We are excited for this journey and are learning a lot… it’s a ton at once but so worth it! We appreciate your kind words and support. Tell everyone in the family we say ‘hello’! 👋

  185. I am so HAPPY that I am literally crying!! You and Valerie can provide a safe heaven for children who need it so badly. You both are wonderful and such a BLESSING!
    It can be challenging but God will see you through it!

    Love you both! <3

  186. I am so HAPPY that I am literally crying!! You and Valerie can provide a safe heaven for children who need it so badly. You both are wonderful and such a BLESSING!
    It can be challenging but God will see you through it!

    Love you both! <3

  187. So happy for you and Valerie. God’s timing is perfect! Praying for you both as you continue your daily adventure with God. He will give abundant grace and provisions. You both will be great foster parents! Praying for a permanent situation with precious children you will be able to call your own. I believe He is getting you ready!

    • Eileen,
      Thank you for writing. Yes, His timing is perfect & it is typically outside of our timing, isn’t it? We are sure learning a lot & it has been wonderful to spend precious time with her. Thank you for your prayers regarding the situation & our future with children. We appreciate it!

  188. Nathan, thank you for sharing so personally and for the lessons you are learning. Your little one could not have been more blessed than by being placed with you and Valerie!
    I just wanted to let you know that the Lord really encouraged me by your post and helped me to look at my own anxiety about a task I am working on right now!
    Blessings and prayers for the three of you!

    • Aw thank you Lynn! You are so kind. I’m thrilled that the blog spoke to you since that is my hope – the lessons, experiences, & thoughts I’ve learned can be life giving words to others. We appreciate your prayers for us. I’ll be praying for you to have peace with the work you are engaged in. Take care!

  189. Congratulations on your new arrival. You guys are going to be wonderful parents/care-givers. God bless you and the baby girl.