I'm so excited....a week from today I'll be at Carol Kent's Speak Up With Confidence! :)
As I've shared many times before, God used this powerful conference to significantly teach and encourage me. I've also had the chance to meet MANY amazing speakers/writers/bloggers from around the country, and our friendships continue to flourish despite the distance.
For the next few weeks on "Friendship Friday", I'd like to share some of my "Speak Up" friends (and their writings) with you!
For today, may I introduce to you.... Sharla Fritz!
Sharla and I met last summer at Speak Up. I was literally writing in my journal, "God, would you please bring me a friend here at this conference?" as I sat at my table all alone.
Minutes later, Sharla sat down, we immediately connected, spent the next few days chatting, learning and enjoying meals together, and she's been a great friend ever since! :)
Sharla is a tremendously gifted author, speaker, and blogger. (You may remember when I featured her book Divine Design.)
Enjoy her guest post today!
Has life thrown a wrench in your plans?
What circumstances are you in right now?
One pastor I knew when I was growing up said that a Christian should never be under the circumstances because God is in control! Paul takes it one step further and says, "Give thanks in all circumstances"!
You may wonder, how do I give thanks for the rotten circumstances that I’m in now?
For many, times are tough. Maybe your job or your husband’s job is questionable, perhaps you are facing serious health problems, maybe you’re having some trouble with a close relationship.
I’d like you to notice one little word in this verse.
Paul does not say, "Give thanks for all circumstances."
He tells us, "Give thanks in all circumstances."
Because of the sinful state of this world, life continues to throw serious situations in our path. No one gets to live a trouble-free existence. I don’t think God necessarily expects us to thank Him for all our problems. His original design of the world did not include pain or suffering. However, we can learn to thank God in the midst of our hardships. We can thank Him for His presence, His peace, and His capability to work good out of every tough time.
Right now I am putting this into practice.
A few months ago my daughter and her husband moved to China. And they had the nerve to take my grandchildren along with them!
They are going halfway around the world to be missionaries and I’m inspired by their lofty ambitions, but I miss them terribly.
Sometimes I feel like complaining about it and don’t feel like thanking God for calling my daughter to the mission field. But I can thank Him that He is just as close to them in China as He was when they were in the U.S. I can thank Him that they have found a nice apartment. I praise Him for email and Skype! I thank God that He understands what it is like to send a child on a faraway mission.
Take the challenge:
In the midst of your circumstances, good or bad, find three things to thank God for!
~ Sharla Fritz
Sharla Fritz is the author of Divine Design: 40 Days of Spiritual Makeover. She is a Christian speaker, singer and writer. As a speaker for women’s groups, she loves to communicate Christ’s transforming love and grace. She dedicates her blog (sharlafritz.blogspot.com) to women who are interested in fashion—especially fashion of the soul. It features everything from practical advice on clothing to insight for spiritual style. Those who want to experience an inner transformation will find inspiration there.
What a great reminder, Sharla! Thanks for sharing! (If you want to visit/connect with Sharla, hop on over to her website and say hello!
And I'll accept your challenge (anyone else?!)!
I'm thankful for life in Christ, good health, family, friends, our couple small group, ministry opportunities, a new reputation, the opportunity to stay home with my kids....oops, sorry! I know we're supposed to just share 3, but I could go on and on!
I'd love to hear from you, dear friends! What are you thankful for today? Share with us please!
Have a wonderful, refreshing weekend! I also thank God for YOU!
P.S. For more Caffeinated Randomness, head over to visit Michelle and friends. You'll be glad you did!