In my early working career, I liked my job in administration at a new hospital, but a big brand new company moved to town. They had an opening for a human resources director, and I interviewed. The vice president said his boss’s daughter applied, and it was between the two of us. In the meantime, other jobs came available, and I applied for those. The interviews were positive, and I was sure I would be hired for one of them.

I had prayed about this change, and I didn’t understand when I wasn’t chosen for any of them. Why had I been called back for second interviews and not one of them panned out? What was God trying to teach me?

A prominent doctor came to my office, and he told me his neighbor was the vice president who had interviewed me. He said the man wanted to hire me, but his boss made him hire his daughter. This doctor asked me not to leave. I was upset the doctor found out.

Then the chief operating officer told me he was the other neighbor to this vice president. He asked why I was leaving. He also wanted me to stay. I did stay, and the raises and opportunities were good. A year later, the big company I’d been to for interviews didn’t succeed, and a large number of employees were let go, including the vice president of human resources!

The lesson I learned was that the grass wasn’t greener on the other side, and I should appreciate the plans the Lord had for me right where I was working. He already knew this would happen. I thanked the Lord for taking care of me—and telling me no.

Are you struggling to understand why the Lord has told you no? We may not know right away why God says no to a request, but we can rest assured God has our best interest at heart.

Molly Jebber writes Amish historical romance. Her award-winning books have made Publisher’s Weekly Best Ten List, live interviews on news sites, and received near excellent ratings from RT, and featured in USA HEA. She’s a national speaker for Women’s Christian Connection and guest lecturer at Ohio State University, libraries and conferences on writing, publishing, and marketing. She loves God, her family, and friends.

 

 

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Watching the summer season come to an end, and autumn follow, reminded me once again that God is in control. He is the one who sends the rain, the snow, and the sunshine. He directs the clouds and the wind and determines the temperature. Though people may try to predict the weather based on meteorological patterns, they cannot control it. Only God can.

God is a God of order. Since the beginning of time, God established day and night and seasons. He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down (Psalm 104:19).   Every day, every week, every month, every year the order of nature is consistent. Just as nature is consistent, so is our God. His love and care for us remain the same.

God is faithful. Just as we can depend on daylight and darkness, we can depend on God. He will never leave us or forsake us. He is always with us to guide and protect us. We can trust that He will do what He says in His Word.

Knowing this gives us peace and frees us from worry and fear that exist in an ever-changing chaotic world. As we savor the days of autumn, let’s give thanks to a faithful God whose love for us will last forever.

I am the LORD, and I do not change (Malachi 3:6 NLT).

 

Author, Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman is a best-selling, award-winning author of more than 100 books for children and adults. She is a lyricist for children’s piano music, contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine, and presenter at writers’ conferences. Her latest picture book addresses the topic of dementia: I Love You to the Stars—When Grandma Forgets, Love Remembers.

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The secret things belong to the Lord our God… (Deuteronomy 29:29 NIV).

The oddly-fashioned wheel bug is a type of assassin bug. An assassin bug preys upon and attacks a wide variety of insects and other arthropods in a rather gruesome manner, using its front legs and proboscis. The bug injects the critter-turned-lunch with enzymes that not only paralyze it but also dissolve the life-giving organs. The wheel bug then slurps up the liquefied insides. Yum, right? Uh, not hardly! Kinda icky, actually! Yet, the true bug is considered beneficial because it preys on pest insects.

The wheel bug gets its name from the crest on top of the thorax, shaped like a wheel. Interestingly, though, biologists don’t seem to know just exactly why the cog-shape is part of the bug’s anatomy. The wheel bug is the only insect in the United States with such a crest, but no consensus on the crest’s purpose exists.

That aspect of the wheel bug makes me smile and appreciate God’s creativity even more. Did God give it a wheel just to make us ponder? Does it have a purpose that God’s kept secret all this time? Did He like the idea of pointed, teeth-like knobs protruding from the top of the bug?

I love the lessons God teaches me through His creations, but I’m also okay with not knowing things. I think there’s much He wants us to know, but I believe there are some things we won’t know this side of heaven.

And maybe a wheel-shaped crest on top of a bug happens to be one of those unknowns!

Julie Lavender used to be afraid of most insects and creepy-crawly things until she fell for that cute high-school boy who loved all of God’s creations, the one who eventually became an entomologist for the US Navy. Most bugs and critters still terrify her, but now she appreciates their beauty and purposes in the natural world and is quite fascinated by them! She is the author of the newly-released 365 Ways To Love Your Child: Turning Little Moments Into Lasting Memories.

 

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Compassion Fatigue By Janet Holm McHenry

compassion fatigue is real

Compassion fatigue is real.

The Lord is a refuge to his people. –Joel 3:16 (ESV)

From a recent training for local teachers on social-emotional learning I learned a new term: compassion fatigue.
As teachers have doubled up duties to teach both in an in-person setting and in a distance learning model, they have also encountered countless cases of students and parents and peers in emotional distress, while also trying to manage their own families’ needs and their own.

Compassion fatigue is real. I have experienced this often over the last 22 years as I’ve prayer-walked the streets of my community and been a pivot point for various prayer groups. Their burdens become mine—and sometimes I simply feel overwhelmed.

When tremendous needs from many I love recently came from several directions, I found myself on the couch, exhausted one day. “What’s wrong with me?” I asked my husband.

“You’re taking on too much,” he quickly answered. And my husband is almost never quick to answer.

I imagine the prophets felt this compassion fatigue. God called them to speak his words to the people, who had strayed from following the Lord and who would not listen to the warnings God spoke through the prophets.
What must have kept them going was God’s call on their lives, as well as his words to them.

Reading the Bible daily is also what keeps me going during this challenging season. It also keeps me praying for many right now suffering from loss of loved ones, fires, floods, illness, straying children, unemployment, and depression.
Daily I run to the place where my compassion fatigue is always lifted: God’s Word. He never disappoints.

About the author: Janet McHenry is a speaker and author of 24 books—six of those on prayer, including the bestselling PrayerWalk and her newest, The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus. She would love to connect with you: https://www.janetmchenry.com.

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On the first day of a class I was teaching on how gender is expressed in the home, church, and society, I thought through the material I planned to cover. And honestly, I feared that some of what I’d prepared was too elementary for seminary students. Did they really need to hear again that both male and female were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26–27)?

Yet despite my doubts, I determined to cover even the basics. So, as I taught, I repeated what I assumed they all knew. But sure enough, a woman sitting on the front row sat stunned.

“Are you saying I myself am made in the image of God—without having to be married?” she asked.

I’m not saying that. Genesis says so.”

She turned to face all her classmates. “Did you know that?” she exclaimed.

They all nodded.

She looked back at me and burst into the tears of joy. She did not have to marry to fully image God. Nor did she have to bear children to ultimately image Him.

In the days that followed, this student changed her focus from seeking a husband to equipping herself for ministry.   

 At the time of our creation in the Garden, humans bore God’s image perfectly—simply by being. Today that image is marred but not erased (see James 3:9). We bear God’s image by virtue of being His creations. But we are also called and predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ. And what is that image like? It’s embodying love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22–23).

Sanctified Sexuality: Valuing Sex in an Oversexed World, by Sandra Glahn & Gary Barnes

Sanctified Sexuality

Dr. Sandra Glahn is professor of Media Arts and Worship at Dallas Theological Seminary. Her most recent book is a collaboration with 25 experts on marriage, divorce, same-sex attraction, gender dysphoria, and more, titled Sanctified Sexuality: Valuing Sex in an Oversexed World. Excerpt adapted from Sanctified Sexuality.

 

 

 

 

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