Really Relating

LIFE, LOVE, AND THE RELATIONSHIPS THAT MAKE IT ALL MATTER

A Future and A Hope 01/29/2010

Filed under: Circumstances,Future,God,Hope,Pain,Plans,Promises from God — Vickey Banks @ 5:57 pm

“What if things don’t get better?”

That’s the question a hurting friend asked me last week. It was a valid question, considering her circumstances. In a desperate attempt to encourage her, loved ones keep telling my friend what loved ones often say when we’re hurting:

   “Things will get better.”
   
But…what if they don’t?
   
I understand her question; honestly, it’s one I’ve asked God before. Like my friend, I live with chronic physical pain. Every flipping day. And some days, well, if I’m honest (and I am), I’m just done. Finished. Worn slick from painting on a happy face, I can’t help but wonder if this is as good as it gets. My weary self wants to focus on all the things I can’t do because of wacked out discs and the potentially grim future ahead. 
Ahhh…but then I remember a precious promise from God, 

“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD.
They are plans for good and not for disaster,
to give you a future and a hope.”
– The Bible, Jeremiah 29:11
  
While that might not change my circumstances, it radically rearranges my reality. Because of Him,  
  
I have a future… I have a hope.
   
The God of the Bible doesn’t do random. He’s the same God who created the plants before He created the animals and people who would need the plants to survive. He’s a God of logic and order. Along with His profound purposefulness, He is loving and not mean-spirited. That means that as long as He leaves me here on planet Earth, He has good reason. He has plans with my name of them; Plans for my good. A future filled with hope.
  
You know what?
  
The same is true for you.

Really Relating
How does it make you feel to know that God has plans with your name on them?
 

Beginning Again 01/06/2010

Filed under: Beginning Again,Dream,Goal,God,New Beginnings,New Year,Plans,Really Relating — Vickey Banks @ 10:53 am


“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” 
C.S. Lewis
  
A new year means a new beginning. There’s something so hopeful about new beginnings, isn’t there? We love the idea that we can have a fresh start, no matter what we’ve done or who we’ve been. We can join a gym, tackle a new Bible Reading plan, try our hand at a new hobby, or finally learn to play the piano.
  
Although a new year is a fresh start, it isn’t exactly a blank slate. While we can start over, we aren’t like a new calendar or journal with empty pages of promise just waiting to be filled. We each come to the New Year with a powerful one-two punch that sets us up for a future that surpasses our wildest dreams.
  
PERSPECTIVE THAT COMES FROM OUR PERSONAL HISTORY 
What do you know about yourself – your personality & temperament – that will help you to not just set goals and dream dreams, but to realize them? What normally helps you to succeed & what wears down your good intentions? Do you need accountability and short-term goals? Who can help you get to where you want to go? What knowledge do you need to do what you want to do? Take stock and then take aim with the perspective God has given you.
  
POSSIBILITIES THAT COME FROM THE GOD WHO LIVES IN US 
If you’ve accepted Christ as the Savior that the Bible says He is, that means you bring all of His resources to your every goal and dream! His contacts, strength, tenacity, power, and more. He is the God that regularly makes what’s impossible possible! Allow Him to do in and through you what you could never do on your own.
  
As Andy Andrews wisely says in his inspiring book, The Traveler’s Gift, “A person without a dream never had a dream come true.” So go ahead…Set a new goal. Dream a new dream. It’s a New Year. God has great plans with your name on them. Ask Him how you can cooperate. You really can begin again.
  
“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11, The Bible
   
Really Relating 
What is one specific and measurable goal you’d like to set for 2010? How can what you know about yourself and the God who is IN you help you to realize your dream?