Have you felt bogged down…stuck…frozen in a place you’d rather not be? What led you here? Who’s idea was it to follow this path? Was it your plan or did the Lord send you? Was it your dream or his?

When feeling stuck, those questions bring clarity.

If the Lord sent me—if this is a dream he put in my heart—then he’s with me in this place…and I can trust him to show me what’s next.

The life of Moses encourages me.

Remember the burning-bush encounter? God initiated that whole bringing-my-people-out-of-slavery-in-Egypt thing. That was an overwhelming assignment, especially considering Moses wasn’t the most popular man in Egypt. He’d fled for his life after impulsively murdering an Egyptian for mistreating a fellow Hebrew.

After hiding out forty years in the wilderness, Moses heard the Lord speak in a flaming bush, assigning him a huge mission: “…I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

Moses said, “Who am I, that I should go…?”

God said, “I will be with you.”

“What if they do not believe me or listen to me?” God gave him miraculous signs to convince the people.

Moses objected that he was “slow of speech and tongue.” The Lord said, “Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

Moses ran out of excuses. “O Lord, please send someone else to do it.”

Have you ever had that conversation? Lord, it’s too big! I’m inadequate. Send somebody else!

God allowed Moses’ brother Aaron to go with him and promised, “I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do.”

Take time to read the full account beginning in Exodus 3. Notice how God repeatedly assured Moses he wasn’t doing this on his own: say to the Israelites…go to Pharaoh and say to him…

Moses had one responsibility: to follow instruction. God told him what to say and what to do. Moses just obeyed, and God took care of everything else.

It was God’s idea!

Early on, Moses asked the Lord what to tell the Israelites if they asked who sent him. God told him to say, “I AM has sent me to you.” Simple meaning: I am everything you need.

When he sends us, we can go confidently because it’s his idea and he’s everything we need.

Decision is the cure for stuck. “I will go in the strength of the Lord God: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only” (Psalm 71:16).

Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She’s secretary of Christian Authors Network and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and Christian Women in Media Association. Visit www.diannebarker.com.

 

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“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26).

This morning I awoke to the sweet sound of birdsong. The feathered creatures seemed to be singing their praise for a new day, for sunshine just breaking through the darkness, for an ample food supply.

I wonder…am I as grateful for these and a multitude of other blessings?

The cheery chorus reminded me these little ones diligently pursue their sole responsibility—being the best winged-creatures they can be. They do not appear to worry about anything.

They don’t fret about position, problems, or power. They show no anxiety over relationships, no remorse over past failures, and no fear over what lies ahead.

We can learn much from these happy singers, just trusting God for every need.

Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:31).

Our Lord cares for even these delicate creations. Yet he considers me of more value than many sparrows.

That certainly builds my self-esteem!

Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She’s secretary of Christian Authors Network and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and Christian Women in Media Association. Visit www.diannebarker.com.

 

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I didn’t see it with my own eyes but I heard about it. The Israelites faced a desperate circumstance—the Red Sea before them and the Egyptian army behind them. No way out! Then the Lord sent a strong east wind causing the water to pile up like walls making a path, and turning mud into dry ground for that massive throng to cross. When the army pursued, the waters returned to normal flow and swallowed the Egyptians (Exodus 14).

I didn’t see it with my own eyes but I heard about it. After the Israelites had wandered in the wilderness forty years because of their unbelief, the Lord said it was time to take possession of the land he’d promised them. How would they cross the Jordan River? Again he caused the water to rise in a heap, and they crossed the Jordan—at flood stage—on dry ground (Joshua 3:9-17).

I didn’t see it with my own eyes but I heard about it. The Israelites used a baffling strategy—marching around the city of Jericho once for six days and on the seventh day, as the Lord commanded, they marched seven times, blowing trumpets and shouting. The walls tumbled and the Israelites conquered the city (Joshua 6:1-21).

I didn’t see it with my own eyes but I heard about it. As the Israelites fought for the land they would inherit, Joshua asked the Lord to let the sun stand still while the nation battled the Amorites. “The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day” (Joshua 10:1-14).

What’s your desperate circumstance? Do you wonder if it’s too difficult for the Lord?

He often reminded his people, “You have seen with your own eyes all that the Lord your God has done” (see Deuteronomy).

Don’t forget what you’ve seen with your own eyes…or what you’ve heard about. The Lord has a reputation for doing the impossible.

“Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you” (Jeremiah 32:17).

Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She’s secretary of Christian Authors Network and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and Christian Women in Media Association. Visit www.diannebarker.com.

 

 

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Dianne Barker, Topics: Marriage * Parenting * Living in joy *

Dianne Barker, CAN Secretary Topics: Marriage * Parenting * Living in joy *

Done… Now What? 

Done. That’s what I told the Lord, repeating it many times during a long drive, alone except for him.

I’m a big dreamer, and I’ve spent my life pursuing dreams. That’s not a bad thing. Other people call this goal setting. I call it pursuing dreams because that’s the way I’ve lived it—chasing dreams the Lord put in my heart.

I did a pretty good job of living in the moment—with plans always simmering. Then I seemed to reach the end of the path. No clear direction to move ahead. So I got honest with the Lord.

I’m done! Done trying to arrange circumstances. Done trying to figure how to use my gifts to bring you glory. My life is yours. If you don’t tell me what to do, I’m done.

I wasn’t quitting on God…just letting him know if nothing else comes, I’ll continue living in the moment, not worrying about the future, content and grateful for my wonderfully blessed life today.

Maybe he accepted that as a fresh surrender. I’m still reeling from what happened next—unexpected opportunities and exciting possibilities, all bearing his fingerprint.

My computer Thesaurus gives these synonyms for surrender: relinquish, give-up, hand over, part with, forfeit, concede.

Many years have passed since I first learned God requires total surrender. Andrew Murray writes in Absolute Surrender, “The condition for obtaining God’s full blessing is absolute surrender to Him…Give yourselves up absolutely to the will of God…what can God do to fill a vessel absolutely surrendered to Him?…God has prepared unheard-of-things, blessings much more wonderful than you can imagine, more mighty than you can conceive.”

These words are embedded in my heart. “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11).

I’m done! Lord, your plans are better than mine. You lead. I’ll follow.

Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She’s secretary of Christian Authors Network and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and Christian Women in Media Association. Visit www.diannebarker.com.

 

 

 

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Have you ever asked, “Why this waste?”

While Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman brought an alabaster box containing expensive perfume and poured it on his head.

“Why this waste?” said the disciples, indignant. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

The woman’s deed was to prepare him for burial, Jesus said. “Wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her” (see Matthew 26:6-13).

In baffling times when I could see no purpose, I’ve asked, “Why this waste?” Someone I loved was disabled by a devastating disease. A friend’s young child died tragically.

What good could come from such waste?

Scripture gave answers.

  • We may comfort others. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).
  • Others see our faith. “Then the Lord said: ‘I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you” (Exodus 34:10).
  • We share in the fellowship of Christ’s suffering. “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Philippians 3:10).
  • We learn obedience, as Jesus did. “Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8 KJV).

God never wastes an experience. Knowing he’s weaving everything together with purpose satisfies me.

Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She serves as secretary of Christian Authors Network and is a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and Christian Women in Media Association. Visit www.diannebarker.com.

 

 

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