What Are You Magnifying?

What are you magnifying_

For your Maker is your husband – the LORD Almighty is his name – the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.  Isaiah 54:5 NIV

Good morning!

What are you magnifying in your life?  You know…that thing you can’t stop thinking about. We can magnify the Good or we can magnify the bad…

It is easy to get swept up in our current problems and let our minds roll over and over trying to figure out an answer or make a plan as to how are going to combat it, or try to figure out how we even got here in the first place.  A few things that get magnified in our lives are

  • Health Concerns
  • Special Food Diet
  • Exposure to allergies, chemicals, and germs

But as we let our minds run wild with thoughts all we are actually doing is magnifying the challenge we face.  We take our situation and make it bigger and bigger and bigger in our minds until it becomes all consuming.

Do you have something in your mind that you are magnifying?

Is our situation bigger than our God?  The God of all the earth?  The one who laid its foundation and binds up the waters? 

Not likely.

Instead of magnifying our current situation friend, let’s magnify God.  Let’s lay down our anxiety at His feet and lift our eyes to Him. Let’s start making Jesus bigger in our days and step into the peace that comes with trusting Him in and through ALL things.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

The Slowness of Progress

 

CT goofy tree

So the LORD God appointed a plant and it grew up over Jonah to be a shade over his head and deliver him from his discomfort.  And Jonah was extremely happy about the plant.  Jonah 4:6

Good morning!

Have you ever been completely frustrated?  Almost annoyed at the slowness of progress?  It doesn’t matter if we are parenting children who seem to not be getting the message, trying to grow our online businesses, or working at a relationship that seems to keep coming up short.  Sometimes it is easy to get worn down, stressed out, and flat frustrated at the slowness of progress.  It feels like a mountain we keep climbing yet the top doesn’t seem to be getting any closer.

I was feeling this very frustration when I read this verse out of Jonah while working on a bible study I am currently doing.  The words literally jumped off the page at me.  God appointed a plant…a plant! To provide protection for Jonah while he sat and sulked under his own man-made shelter and had his pity party.  After he had prayed to die, by the way.

While Jonah sat there feeling sorry for himself, God was still at work.  Don’t you love how God never stops working on our behalf.  Jonah had prayed to die, sat sulking under his shelter as God was working on his real protection.

We can sit and sulk and feel sorry for ourselves too, and we do, don’t we?  And honestly, it doesn’t do anybody any good.  Why we are throwing our pity party and wondering why our children won’t listen, why our business isn’t growing, or why our relationship isn’t working God is ALREADY working it out.  He is going to provide exactly what we need, when we need it.

If he can appoint a plant to provide protection for Jonah, I am confident that He can provide absolutely whatever it will take for us as well.

Let’s let our frustrations go.  They aren’t doing us any good…and let’s start trusting Him to provide what we need, when we need it.

Blessings,

The Johnstons

Where Our Help Comes From

Tanna and boys

Happy Monday!

As we kick-start our week I felt encouraged to share with you where our help comes from.  As I spent some quiet time with the Father this weekend and prayed about the upcoming doctor appointment (today) for our son I was greatly encouraged by the scriptures in Psalm 121.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains – where does my help come from? 

My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. 

He will not let your foot slip – he who watches over you will not slumber; 

indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 

The LORD watches over you – the LORD is your shade at your right hand; 

the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. 

The LORD will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life; 

the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore. 

So as we start into this week and face whatever it brings, lets pick our heads up and lift our eyes to the One who provides our help.  He’s got us!

Blessings!

The Johnstons

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

Rest Assured

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Good morning!

All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.  Psalm 139:16

It is so easy to become anxious on our journey… to want so badly to run ahead of where we are.  We want to

  • Run further from our pain
  • Run into a better job or promotion
  • Run towards children that sleep all night
  • Run to a time different from now

But from our experience God is never early, but he hasn’t ever been late either.  He uses each day, each experience to grow us closer into who He made us to be.

Let’s let go of the things we can’t control and trust Him with our days.  We can walk confidently in our path when we trust the One we know is paving the way.

Blessings!

The Johnston’s

 

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

Kicking Doubt to the Curb

Greetings!

After truly identifying where doubt comes from, the serpent, we are in a better position to combat it.  So how do we truly leave doubt behind and move forward in confidence with what God has spoken to us?

I have been pondering this quite a bit over the past few days as my husband and I have been walking through a situation that has not at all gone the way we had thought it would.  We were so confident in our decisions and just knew things would go the way we had planned.  And when they haven’t, we have been left with quite a few questions in our minds.

  • Did we move on something we thought God intended but maybe he didn’t?
  • Why didn’t this work out like we anticipated?
  • Where did we go wrong?
  • Now what?

Doubt.  All these questions allow doubt to creep into our minds and settle in our souls, if we let them.  Doubt can only have as much control in us as we allow it to.  So we are going to decide to combat it with faith.  Faith in a good God who keeps his promises.  Which is why we must combat doubt with the very Word of God.

When we begin to have questions about where God is in our situation, the best remedy is to open our bibles, spend time in the Word and spend time with the Father.  Lean in to who He is and what he says about us and speaks over our lives that is unchanging.  Cling to His promises and His truth.  When we do this, it restores our faith and it changes our focus from our situation to Him.  It brings back our confidence in Him and it will kick our doubts to the curb.

Blessings,

The Johnston’s

 

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