Real Genuine True Rest

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Good morning!

Submission.  That can be such a scary word.  It is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as the condition of being submissive (submitting to others), humble, or compliant.  When I think of submission I think of letting something go.

  • Letting go of control
  • Letting go of anxiety
  • Letting go of sadness
  • Letting go of anxiousness
  • Letting go of anger
  • Letting go of always trying to fix things (relationships, family, children, etc)

We tend to want to hold some back…some of our anger, some of our forgiveness, some of our control.  But all that partial release brings is stress.  Or, we let it go only to pick it up again.

I am learning that we only find true rest in total submission… When we lay everything down at the feet of Jesus and submit all to Him we will find true rest.  Easier said than done…but anyone else in need of some real, genuine, true rest?  Let’s work at it together!

Blessings,

The Johnstons

Finding Joy in the Little Things

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Good morning!

Finding joy in the little things…When I look at the smile on this boys face as he sips full strength juice it makes my heart smile.  As I sat on my bench watching him I began to think about all the things we already have, all that Jesus has already done, to bring a smile to our faces.

It seems that most of the time we tend to focus on the things we don’t have.  We plan, we strive, we set goals, and we work hard.  All good things!  It keeps us moving forward, but it also keeps our focus on things we don’t have yet.  And if we aren’t careful we become dissatisfied with where we are.

Let’s not forget to remember all the things He has already done for us.  It is so good to stop and look and think and smile.  Smile at the gifts He has given us.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

Fullness of Joy

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Good morning!

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.  Psalm 16:11

So often we chase after joy.  We chase “things” we believe will make us happy and bring us joy.  But as King David so wisely penned…in His presence, there is where we will find fullness of joy.  It isn’t something we have to chase after, it is Someone we lean into.

As we start our week out let’s stop seeking the things of this world to fill us with joy.  Let’s lean into Him and praise him because only He can make us whole.

Blessings!

The Johnstons

 

A Confidence That Lasts

As I was on my way to work this morning I was thinking about confidence… a confidence that lasts.  It is so easy to have confidence when things are good, when they are going our way and all seems well.  But how do we get the confidence that lasts… the kind that is there when darkness grips us or when the unexpected comes.

Then a worship song came on the radio in my car that took me to a place of udder surrender and praise. (King of My Heart – Kutless)  To listen click here.   And all of sudden the Holy Spirit was speaking to me that when we open our hearts and praise the LORD for who He is and declare over and over that HE IS GOOD, “this is where you get confidence that lasts”.  From total and under surrendering worship.

You know that shepherd boy…David, that had so much confidence that he could take down the giant?  The one that believed His God was with him everywhere that he went?  That same boy sang songs and played his harp in complete and udder surrender to the LORD his God.

Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.  Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits – Psalm 103:1-2

David knew where his confidence came from.  He knew it didn’t come from the Israelite people, it didn’t come from his family (his older brothers doubted him), it didn’t even come from within himself after he killed Goliath.  It came solely from the LORD his God…and he kept that confidence by worshipping and opening his heart to praise God for who He is and what He has already done and continues to do.

This is how we get confidence that lasts…by believing and declaring that God is good.  By knowing that He is working all things together for good.  (Romans 8:28)  And by surrendering all we have to Him, His plan and His purpose.

Blessings,

The Johnston’s

Finding Confidence

Good morning!

Confidence.  I used to define confidence as “trusting in my abilities”.  Since I was a young child I grew up believing I could do anything I set my mind to.  I grew up roping and competing at rodeos starting at a young age.  The harder I worked at it, the better I got and I began to trust in that ability that I was developing.  The more I trusted that I could do it, the more confident I became.

It reminds me of a boy I’ve read about…a boy who tended to his father’s sheep and goats.  Day in and day out he was out in the fields watching over the flocks.  It was his responsibility to make sure they stayed safe, stayed all together and didn’t wander off.  The opportunity David had to protect his father’s flocks had developed his character and he had gained confidence.  So when the giant Philistine was threatening the Israelite army, he had no problem saying “I’ll go fight him!” (1 Samuel 17:32)  David had confidence.

But more important than his confidence in his ability, David had confidence in his God.  He didn’t hesitate.  He didn’t shrink back in fear.  He didn’t doubt when everyone else did.  He believed.  He believed he could and he believed his God would.  I love how the scriptures tell us that as Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. (1 Samuel 17:48)  Confidence.

Confidence has everything to do with trust.  We place our trust in people, in our abilities, but are we ultimately placing our trust in the LORD?

We fall short, people fail us, our abilities will fade but the LORD…He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  (Hebrews 13:8)  And He is someone who we can be confident in that will never fail.  We can quickly run, just as David did, full of confidence in this life because we trust in his promises, his faithfulness, and his goodness.

Blessings,

The Johnston’s

A New Kind of Confidence

Good morning!

I have been doing lots of thinking lately…thinking about all the time, energy and joy that doubt has stolen from me.  I have come to realize that doubt is actually the opposite of confidence.  When we doubt our identity, our abilities, our gifts, our goals, our call from God or whatever it might be, we lose a bit of the confidence that we started with.  And when we lose our confidence it can really slow down our progress or stop it all together.

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

These verses keep coming back over and over in my studying.  Where have I placed my confidence?  In myself?  In my friends or family?  In a boss or someone I deeply admire?  Or have I placed my confidence in the LORD?  The One who holds my life in his hands… because if my confidence was in the LORD alone doubt wouldn’t have a chance to creep in.

I want that kind of confidence.  The kind only found in trusting the LORD.  I don’t want to wither and dry up when the heat of life comes; but stand sturdy and confident.  I don’t want to give in when adversity comes but stand in confidence.  I don’t want to fear when I fall short, but to stand confidently in the LORD.  I want to place all of my confidence in Him, because He cares for me.  He is for me not against me.  And He is good.

Blessings,

The Johnston’s

 

 

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