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Chasing Endurance, Issue #004 -- The Underwhelm Me Edition
January 31, 2016
2016 is off to a vigorous start, isn’t it? It seems as though just a few seconds ago we were counting down to the end of the year ... yet here we are, already one month into 2016.
As we go continue in this new year, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed… especially if you’re transitioning into a new role or taking on new responsibilities. So this month I’m keeping it short and sweet …
In this edition we'll have:
It’s easy to forget that our to-do-list doesn’t define us. But when you’re feeling overwhelmed each item becomes bigger and bigger in our minds until all we can see are those unchecked, undone things. I have two words for you … just … breathe.
3 Bible Verses for When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed
There are mornings I wake up with the drumbeat of all the things I have to do that day crowding my mind. It seems as though before my brain is fully awake, it’s overrun with the hundred things that I have to get done before bedtime.
I feel so busy and so overwhelmed that it’s sometimes difficult to concentrate on worship. The enemy whispers the lie that the time spent with God could be better spent checking items off my to-do list.
It’s very tempting to give in, but that’s when I really have to dig in and focus my attention on the Most High God – reminding myself that without Him I can do nothing. I need Him to give me the strength and the resources to get through the day.
Does that ever happen to you? Do you ever think that you could skip your time with God because you have so many other things to do? Do you ever get so caught up with all the things you have to do that you forget to give praises to the God who gives you the ability to do them?
I have found that when I’m feeling overwhelmed the best thing to do is focus on one verse. Just one. So this month I’m sharing 3 of my favorite “Underwhelm me, Jesus” verses.
1. Come to me, all who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 (GW)
2. I am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid. John 14:27 (NLT)
3. You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created. Revelation 4:11 (NKJV)
I pray that as you meditate on these verses that God’s peace will settle on your hearts and remind you of what is truly important.
Interview with Kerresa A. Wright (Part Two)
Last month we featured part of an interview with Kerresa – a 29 year old who is passionate about serving God. She shared her experience of growing up in the church and feeling disconnected from God. An encounter with a man and his knife was the catalyst for her conversion. This month we continue her story.
Q: Kerresa, what’s the hardest thing God has asked you to do?
A: The hardest thing was when I had to stand up for what I believed concerning the word of God knowing that everyone was against me and that they (my coworkers and management) would not understand. My workplace wanted me to work on the Sabbath since I was new and the department was doing poorly.
Management called me into meetings beseeching me to work and help the department recover from its deplorable state. There was a lot of pressure, especially with my coworkers turning on me. I respectfully and prayerfully said, “With all due respect I will not be able to work late on Friday and Saturday during the day, but I will be able to work Saturday night and Sunday.”
Q: Did you do it? If yes, how did you get the courage/faith/strength to do it?
A: The Lord gave me the strength and the wisdom to restore the department without having to work on Friday late or even on the weekend.
This was only possible through sincere prayer, fasting, studying the word of God and seeking godly advice from friends and family members.
Q: What was the easiest thing that God asked you to do?
A: None of the things that God asked me to do was easy as there is constant warfare between the members of my body and the spirit. The things that God ask me to do always seem impossible and hard, and sometimes, senseless.
But the key to doing the things that God asks, comes from knowing the voice of God by reading His word and having an honest heart. I am not afraid to tell God how I feel or think about a particular task. Sometimes I even ask Him if He is sure that I am the one He wants to do the thing He’s asking.
Q: What does your devotion & prayer life look like? Walk us through a typical example.
A: I try to pay special attention to details. Any and everything about God fascinates me. I try to spend a lot of time in His Word. I want to know what it means to esteem the word of God above the necessary food. So I spend a lot of time examining myself which reveals my weaknesses.
This leads me to Christ in prayer which helps draw me closer to Him every day and understand this terrible world that I live in. I have daily devotions and always have a song in my heart.
I also make it creative - sometimes I may listen to scripture or read someone’s experience. It greatly depends on what I may be going through at the moment.
My mother always says that she has to charge up for the workplace by listening to spiritual or gospel music. And that’s something that I do as well.
Q: What would you say to those persons who claim that church and service to God are boring?
A: I would find out from the person when was last time they spoke with God and asked Him to do something for them. Then I would inform them that they did not come to church by chance as God led them to the church because He had a special message in store for them.
The person who says that church is boring, is saying that the time spent with the Lord is boring. If the time at church is the first time that was spent with God for the week, then you are going to be bored and feel strange. The natural man does not understand the things of the spirit.
Q: You seem to be a woman of principle. How did you learn these principles?
A: I am from a principle-based family. We were taught to analyze and observe everything. My mother used a lot of quotes, proverbs and gestures which we would have to understand. A particular look, for example, meant that you should not said or did something you shouldn't have.
Q: What are some of the principles that you live by?
A: Whether I do…whether I eat or drink…should be done to the glory and honor of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
If I want good … my nose must run (Good things come through hard work and effort)
Life is like a circle … what I do will come right back round to me (Do unto other as you would like them do unto you Matthew 7:12)
To every action there is an equal reaction
What you sow is what you reap
Q: What do you believe to be your God-given gift/talent?
A: My talents are discernment, witnessing to and encouraging persons, as well as, sympathizing and empathizing with others.
Q: When did you realize these were your gifts?
A: I realized those gifts in my dreams and through communicating with people.
Q: How have you used this gift for His glory?
A: By helping and giving people my honest response.
Q: How do you keep your faith strong?
A: Sometimes I do get weak. But when I read the word of God and open my heart to Him in prayer, my faith is strengthened.
Reflecting on what the Lord has done for me in the past also aids significantly in strengthening my faith. I surround myself with godly friends and tell or witness about God's love for humanity. I also spend time in nature.
Q: If you could give one piece of advice to young people in today’s society, what would it be?
A: Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things will be added unto you, as the Lord sees fit.
Do not let the world distract you - for the devil is very cunning- He only sugarcoats things to destroy you. I have been tricked by him many times, so I am telling you that he is a liar and the father of it. Be wise and think before you act. What the Lord has in store for you to have in this life no one can stop it but you by the choices you make.
Q: What's next for you? Where do you see God leading you?
A: I am currently working on getting into the field of teaching which I believe is my calling. Sometimes it seems very overwhelming because when I look at this generation's behavior ... it all seems hopeless.
In addition to that, I pray that the Lord will bless me with a family of my own that will be a reflection of His intended purpose of a true family.
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Thanks for reading this month's Chasing Endurance, now you can check one thing off your to-do list. See you next month!
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