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Iron Sharpens Iron: as people sharpen each other

One thing we know we are missing right now is fellowship!

I have been thinking A LOT lately about how lonely I seem to be.

I am an introvert so I believe I managed COVID loneliness much better than some of the population. After all, I still go to work 12 hours a week =3 hours x 4 days. I have interaction with at least one other friend who works in the office even though the rest of staff is working from home.

I also have a ton of zoom. Ton = 20 hours a week. But it is not the same.

The best way I can relate it to others is “I am missing a Tribe” in my life. I am missing a group of people headed in a similar direction to reach goals.

I had that pre-covid.

It wasn’t so much about personal goals but we had other things we were working on in 3 small groups I attended. That in person contact was inspiring and motivating to keep on with it.

The fellowship was a huge part of the ongoing participation and progress.

I am in the process of finishing a book. I have a goal to write and lead a retreat. But the follow through is almost painful. I am at a part that is tedious. There are no more rewards until it is done– unless I create some – somehow. Daily I have chosen to put off the work. I come home and do other things, including nap, rather than finish up.

I joined two fb groups and I hope that will help some. But occasional posts is not the same as daily contact and spurring each other on.

Iron can sharpen iron. In the same way, people can help each other.
Proverbs 27:17 ICB

With the vaccines, perhaps it won’t be too many months until we can go back to in person groups. Until then I will have to get creative to find and keep inspiration going. I do not believe in paying money just to join a mastermind group of like minded individuals. Surely there is a way to connect other than that.

If you know of any ideas…please let me know.

Intercessory Prayer: The Hardest Work in the World — Living Our Days

I’m convinced we’re prone to make entirely too much of visible, quantifiable ministry. Don’t get me wrong–I love sharing the faith that is in me with a big roomful of women and then trusting God with the results. It’s also extremely satisfying to write and then painstakingly edit an article that shows up online and […]

Intercessory Prayer: The Hardest Work in the World — Living Our Days

Just an hour a month

1 Corinthians 7:32

(New Living Translation)

32 I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him.

So what do we do when we have wives, and husbands, and children and jobs?

Paul, writing to the Corinthians wants the people to not cling to this world. When we immerse ourselves in all the hustle and bustle, all the responsibilities we have CREATED for ourselves…we do not have much — if anything left over for God.

How many times have you thought “I barely have time to pray”; “When am I gonna get time for ‘quiet time?’ “  “I don’t have time for private Bible study!”

This is a direct result due to the lives we have built. Yes, we built them. Sure we have to work but usually that takes no more than 12 hours a day at most. Even if it takes 16– we have 15 minutes. And this is just to be WITH God…let alone do service for Him.

Maybe you don’t have time on a daily basis to do service…but could you sneak in a hour once a month? I don’t think that is asking to much. One hour of service per month. Surely you watch tv or surf the net, FB, or any other social media time  more than one hour a month. 

Start small. Some may mock me that I started with an hour a month as a goal here. But one hour will give you the satisfaction of giving to God which will bring you great joy. From there you will WANT to do more. It will come naturally.

Hey, What can it hurt? Give it a try.

Until Then~
Blessings, Kate

Temptation: there really is a way out- always.

Temptations are not meant to destroy you. “We all experience times of testing, which is normal for every human being. But God will be faithful to you. He will screen and filter the severity, nature, and timing of every test or trial you face so that you can bear it. And each test is an opportunity to trust him more, for along with every trial God has provided for you a way of escape that will bring you out of it victoriously.” (1 Corinthians 10:13 TPT).

The other day, I was on a walk when, the thought hit me to sin. HMM. I did not want to sin. I had no interest in doing what had crossed my mind. I listed all the reasons I had no reason. Yet the compulsion was there. 

Compulsion: an irresistible urge to behave in a certain way, especially against one’s conscious wishes.

On this side of it– the temptation or idea seems like it should have been easy to avoid because I had no interest in proceeding.  But, alas, I gave in.  Four hours later I found myself doing what I had no intentions of doing earlier in the day. 

Paul said:
15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[a] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.  Romans 7:15-20  NIV

It’s not an excuse– but it shows me I am in good company. This “sin” thing is a human condition that we are not rid of. There are some who say we can reach a place where we no longer sin but it says in 1 John 1:8 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.

The sad truth is that just as these verses point out that “sin happens”….the passage that started this post tells us that God has already prepared a way out for us. We do not have to give into sin. Yes, temptation is going to continue…and we are going to cave from time to time…. BUT remember — there is a way out. We need to look for it and then choose to act on it.

Maybe my way out was that internal voice in me that didn’t want to sin and listed all the reasons I had no interest in it. Maybe the way of escape could have been to distract myself, call a friend, read a book, work on my projects or hobbies.

There was a chance at every moment up until that decisive time when I made the wrong choice. A chance to do what is right. To take a different path. To face reality and just deal.

Sometimes we think by sinning we are avoiding the uncomfortableness of life. We are trying to control something in an instant way. But life takes time. And that is ok. Some sticky situations take longer than others to navigate…but cutting corners often just delays the inevitability of the reality to hit us.

Maybe we don’t always get an open door or window to escape through. Maybe instead we get courage and peace to move ahead in doing the right thing. Again though, we have to take the right action for that to be of any use.

Lord, transform my heart and mind. Grant me the willingness to be willing to do the right thing. Then grant me the forethought ( careful consideration of what will be necessary or may happen in the future.) of seeing the right way and its benefits. Help me desire that more than my need to satisfy my instant gratification and prideful desires.Thank you for forgiveness when I fail to do what is right. Thank you for lovingly staying with me and daily nudging me in Your directions. Amen

Day 2 Quarantine

Yesterday I was told that a friend I had volunteered with was called late Sunday night by the Health Dept to be told she was positive for COVID.

We had actually served three times in the last 5 days, and although we were masked and gloved…we were in within 1-2 feet from each other at some points with both of us trying to squeeze small boxes into a larger box.

So after cleaning up things on my desk I headed home.

I do not think I have it– but neither did she. She was symptom free.

Today since I HAVE to stay home– I want to get out. I’m rebellious that way. It is going to be an interesting 14 days.

SO there I was …sitting on my bed working on a blanket I am crocheting and listening to my Toby Mac Pandora station when the following song came on. I couldn’t help but tap my foot and smile real big. It was/ is the perfect time for seasons such a these.

Please enjoy: Never Gonna Let Me Go by Tauren Wells. Lyrics included.

Guest Post: When What You Don’t Know Is Dangerous (trust God with the unknown)

restandchaos

I answered the phone and discovered it was the school nurse.

She told me that my 10 year-old son had been stung by a bee an hour ago at recess. And now he was developing hives. By the time I picked him up he had hives all over his body. He was not having any trouble breathing, but we decided to swing by the gas station, grab some Benadryl, and then head to the ER just in case.

On the drive over he said his throat hurt and it felt like a piece of food was stuck in it.

I quickly pulled into the ER parking lot and we got checked in. After over half an hour wait we were taken to a room. At this point the Benadryl was kicking in and the hives were starting to ease up.

The doctor came in to see my son and told us his throat looked clear, but they would keep an eye on him for a while.

In the end, the doctor decided that because of the severe reaction and the fact that bee sting allergies tend to be worse with a second reaction, she was going to prescribe an EpiPen.

We casually discussed what to do in the case of another reaction, and then we headed home.

We have limited knowledge, limited control, and limited resources. But God knows every little detail about everything in creation. He is the One who is in complete control of everything from the rising and setting of the sun, to each and every single breath we take. We may not know what the future holds, but we know the One who does. We can trust God with the unknown because He knows.

God Knows Even When We Don’t

“When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.”

-PSALM 94:19

In general, I have a very calm personality.

When things go wrong I tend to keep a clear head and quickly figure out how to best manage the situation. I know panic is not a good thing, so when my kids get hurt I try to remain relaxed and reassure them that they will be okay as I figure out what to do. I generally keep my fears to myself.

So, it wasn’t until after we got home that it finally hit me:

I have a son with a possibly life-threatening allergy.

My mind started racing as I thought of all the times he had been at the park with friends or had ridden his bike a couple miles to the local soccer fields.

  • What if he had been stung at one of those times?
  • Would his friends have known what to do?
  • And what about that week he had spent up at camp?
  • What would have happened if he had gotten stung then?

And then I heard God say, “Was there ever a time when he was not in my hands?”

I have cared for my son for over ten years and had no clue that he had this allergy.

But God did.

When we find ourselves worrying about what today may bring or what tomorrow may hold may we remember this beautiful truth: there is never a time when we are not in God's hands. We can trust God with the unknown because He knows.

Trust God with the Unknown

“I can rest in the fact that God is in control. Which means I can face things that are out of my control and not act out of control.”

-LYSA TERKEURST, UNGLUED

We have limited knowledge, limited control, and limited resources. But God knows every little detail about everything in creation. He is the One who is in complete control of everything from the rising and setting of the sun, to each and every single breath we take.

We may not know what the future holds. But we know the One who does.

The God who is BIG enough to create and rule the entire universe, is the God who is BIG enough to handle whatever comes our way. The God who holds us in His hands through every day we face.

God is not thrown off by a new diagnosis. He is not thrown off by a pandemic. He is not thrown off by unemployment, or political unrest, or anything else this world may throw at us.

When we find ourselves worrying about what today may bring or what tomorrow may hold may we remember this beautiful truth:

There is never a time when we are not in God’s hands. 

If you found this encouraging then please share!

Collene https://restandchaos.com/trust-god-with-the-unknown/

Just for fun

whomever chooses my last meal– make it Meixcan. The last thing I ate the night before delivering Malcolm was Mexican. My last meal out, today (before having my all my upper teeth removed Thursday) was Mexican with Lori (thank you LO LO). I see a pattern here. Last meal = Mexican

coming soon “An Ode to My Teeth” By Kate Hufstetler…

Until Next Time~
Blessings, Kate

Excellence NOT Perfection: just for today.

Am I ready to daily practice excellence?

I’ve been thinking about being excellent. Not in a perfectionistic way. But in doing my best in all areas of living. Charles Stanley has said for years “Do your best, Be your best, Look your best”  maybe not in that order…. I can’t recall. But I always scoffed at the “look your best” part. I latched on to the one admonition I wasn’t sure of and ignored the other two. Sure I heard what he said, but I took no real interest in it. 

This past week, I received at least four messages about personal excellence. There were 2 emails that contained this idea. There was a YouTube personality talking about it. And it was covered in a book I am reading on a different subject. Then today I got the verse of the day which reads:

1 Corinthians 10:31 KJV
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Whatever I do? ( I guess that covers looking my best as well LOL) But seriously-– EVERYTHING?

That is a show stopper.

I could end this post right here and we would all have PLENTY to reflect on…plenty to work on for today. To continue on though, I did a search on what the Bible says about being excellent and here are a few of the verses:

Daniel 6:3 Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other presidents and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
Titus 2:7  Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works,
2 Corinthians 8:7 But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.
2 Peter 1:3-4 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Its a big job but we can work towards it. It will be possible to do our best. The Bible also says:

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

We are not called to be perfect… oh wait…yes, we are. Jesus says:
Matthew 5:4 New Living Translation
But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.

This post is not about perfection. I am nowhere near that. I am just now reading older books about the Holiness movement. Sometimes it seems their standards were so high that it would require me to be vigilant at all times. It kinda seems exhausting just reading about it.

Before I could get too overwhelmed with standards I am not reaching yet,  I heard this week, on the YouTube video,  that our best is going to look different on different days. When we are grieving or depressed or anxious– our best may not be at the same level as on a day where things are going smooth and feeling great.  That I believe is the difference between being excellent and doing our best  vs. being perfect, We can always do our best, whatever that is, even if we do not reach perfection.

Just for today let us consider where we could step up our game. Can we show up as a better partner or parent? Can we give more on the job? Is there a way to be of service or help another person? How is my honesty? Do I display joy and am I an attraction to Christianity? IF someone looked at my life — would they be interested to find out where I get my joy, strength, and peace? Does it draw people to the Lord Jesus Christ?

Just something to think on.

Until Next Time~
Blessings, Kate

Encouragement for a godly life

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
New Living Translation

11 So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. 12 Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.