Podcast #119 – The Power of Our History With God (5:04)

Newer isn’t always better. Our spiritual history may actually help us get the breakthrough we’re looking for.

Welcome to the Sabbath Café Podcast.  You’re listening to episode #119 – the power of our history with God. 
 
I was sorting through some old notebooks the other day, and a note card fell out.  It was a crafted prayer I wrote about 5 years ago for my family.  I had tucked it away, and totally forgot it.   
 
 It was a small card, and filled up front and back with a prayer I wrote about a broken relationship.  At that time, it felt like the situation was never going to change. These relationships have been broken for years. Honestly, I didn’t know if my prayers were going to make any difference at that point.  Still, I remembered that no request is too small or insignificant to God. And sure enough, after praying this crafted prayer for about a year, a breakthrough happened!  God answered my prayers and reunited a family!  It was nothing short of a miracle.   
 
As I read it, I was amazed that most of my requests have been answered.  Changes didn’t happen overnight, but they did happen.  As I remembered how God made possible what I thought was impossible, my faith rose up.  Suddenly, all of the negativity I felt that week vanished. 
 
In our social media world, we’re always looking for the latest news and trends.  We rarely take the time to reflect on our past.  To be honest, I feel that my generation, me included, don’t really understand the value and purpose of history. I think that’s why I didn’t recognize the value and power of my own history with God. Our history with God is made up of all of the interactions and experiences between us and God. Every prayer He answers adds to that history.  When it comes to building up our faith and spiritual maturity, our history with God can be a powerful tool. 
 
History gives us perspective.  It shows us the big picture and reminds us that real change takes time.  It helps us to be patient and wait for God’s timing.  When we can’t see the hand of God at work, our history reminds us that God is indeed still working.  When we feel discouraged in the middle of the storm, it reminds us that our journey is not finished yet.  Every experience we have with God, whether big or small, adds to our faith. And every interaction we have with God brings our faith to the next step.  
 
When I feel anxious and fearful, these negative emotions can be so overwhelming that I feel paralyzed.  My mind jumps to the worst case scenario and I sink into a pit of negativity.  And that’s exactly what happened to me recently.  I felt the challenges I had were so big… so beyond me that I couldn’t muster up any faith to pray.  But when I found that prayer card, and remembered how God answered the prayers that I thought were impossible, my faith rose up.  I remembered that God is bigger than my challenges.  I remembered that despite my limitations, and my lack of faith, God really can do above and beyond what I can ask, think or imagine.  
 
Are you also facing a difficult situation lately?  Do you feel like you’re dealing with a giant in your life?  Maybe it’s time for you to take a break and remember how God has showed up for you in the past.   Push the pause button on your worries, and think about your own history with God.   If you keep a journal, this is the perfect time to take it out and read a few pages.  Not only will you remember God’s faithfulness to you, you’ll also be encouraged by how far you’ve come and how much you’ve grown in your own journey.  And you may even see that your current challenge is not as big as you thought.  God can and He will help you walk through it, just like He did before.  And you will come out of the storm amazed and transformed. 
 
And that’s our podcast for this week.  I’d like to wish everyone a very happy holiday season.  Thank you so much for listening.  Merry Christmas and we’ll see you in the new year! 

Podcast #118 – Just an ordinary day… (4:25)

In the social media world, we all like to share our best sides. But when God shows up, even mistakes or missed opportunities are turned into blessings. Here’s one of mine.

Hi everyone, this is Michele, and welcome to Sabbath Café. 

Most of the time, we like to share our “success stories”… Like when God answers our prayers or when life goes smoothly, and we live happily ever after!  Those times are great, but honestly, most of the time, life doesn’t work out that way.   Everyday life is messy.   Most of the time, it’s not so clear cut.  It’s not really black and white.  There are many shades of gray.  Often I don’t know if I’m hearing God or if it’s just my own thoughts.  But you know, that’s all just part of life. As I found out this week… even when I don’t get things quite right, God will still make it a beautiful experience. 

So this is what happened… 

One afternoon, I was out running errands. I was driving along, and just had this thought… maybe I should take a left turn instead of a right turn as I normally do.  And I just thought… taking a left turn would be… kind of out of my way.  I was in a hurry. And I was thinking, “Why?  That doesn’t make sense…  Maybe it’s just my own thoughts… My adventurous side chiming in…” Some time that happens.   And so I decided to ignore that, and kept driving along.  

Sure enough, not a minute later, I came to a dead stop in this bumper to bumper traffic on a local street.  Now it wasn’t really traffic hour…. so it was kind of weird why suddenly we’re kind of stuck.  And I can feel people getting annoyed.  I can feel the cars behind me getting impatient. Thankfully, I didn’t need to get somewhere at a certain time.  So I just settled down, and follow the traffic. And about a couple of blocks down, I saw the problem. The traffic light went out at an upcoming intersection.  Because it was out, every car had to stop – all 4 ways. And that’s what started the backup. 

And that’s when I realized “Wow, if I had made a left turn back then… I would have just completely avoided this.”  I even made a mental note to myself… that on my way back to take the other route… the longer route… so I can just bypass this whole mess. 

Now what’s interesting is… if I had taken that left turn earlier, I would have avoided all this. And I’d never know that this route had problems. I would’ve drove to my destination with no issues, and thought to myself… “That was kind of weird… Was that just my own idea?  What was that all about?”  Because everything would have gone pretty smoothly.  

It made me wonder… how often something like this have happened –where God was helping me out, and I had absolutely no idea. 

I tend to look for “signs” to see if God is involved in my life…. And when I have a normal day where nothing special happens, I used to feel like God was aloof and not interested.  But this whole experience showed me that God really is speaking… has been speaking… and is reaching out to me… even when I’m running errands, but I’m the one who didn’t see it. 

And I think God is also teaching me about how He interacts with me in real life.  It’s not a big deal to Him if I make a mistake.  Everything really can be a learning opportunity, and His grace is big enough to turn my every mistake into a blessing. 

So no matter what kind of week you’ve had, I hope you’ll also ask God to show you if He has any insights for you. He may turn your very ordinary day also into something extraordinary. 

And that’s our podcast for this week.  Thank you so much for listening.  Have a wonderful week, and we’ll chat next time. 

Podcast #117 Quick Update!

Hi everyone! Thanks for being patient. Life threw us a curve ball this last 6 months, so I’ve not been able to post here. Thankfully, things are settling down a bit, and I’ll be posting more podcasts and blogs here shortly. Here’s a mini-podcast to share a quick update with everyone.

Podcast #116 Finding Friendship (Finding Freedom part 3) (4:50) (File updated)

Here’s the conclusion of Finding Freedom series… As it turned out, I also found a great Friend in the process.

Part 1: Ep 114: Finding Freedom
Part 2: Ep 115: Freedom to Explore

Here’s the podcast transcript:

What I learned is that God wants to talk with me.  He loves the world, but He wants to connect with me, personally… And He wants me to get to know Him too.  

Because at the end of the day, the real purpose in developing this connection with God is learning how to do life with God.  It’s like having God as your… travel buddy.  It’s learning to relate to God and developing a friendship with God rather than just being a coworker with God… like I think a lot of us grew up with.    

I realized that in order for me to go deeper, I have to transition my relationship with God into a friendship.  Into understanding how that works because Jesus says “I no longer call you servants, I call you friends.”  So in your walk with God, there will probably come a point where it will transition.   There will come a point where Jesus will want to take you to that next level.  To relate also with you as friends. And that’s a whole different world, right there.  And so that’s what I love about my time with God.  It’s learning that there’s a freedom… an inner freedom.  An internal freedom that does not depend on your circumstances. That does not depend on whether I get to go to church or not because now the focus has shifted.  It’s shifted from what I do outside to learning how to be friends with Jesus.  

Honestly, the time we spend at church and with our Christian community is only a fraction of our lives.  If we only know how to relate to God when we’re focused on church life, then we’re missing out on the chance to experience God in all the other area of our lives… 

It’s learning to experience God in the day to day things.  It’s learning to see how God helps us to find solutions in the problems we face at work.  And how God shares His perspectives about the latest news headlines.  Even how He comforts and encourages us when we go through illness and difficulties.  

I think most of all, that’s what I love most about bringing God into my personal life. In a sense, God stepped off the pages of the Bible, and became real.  Even though I still can’t see Him or touch Him, but He’s become a closer friend than a real person can be for me.  He’s someone I can depend on, and someone I can confide in.  And someone who knows me so intimately, and yet is always on my side. 

And that’s why even though many of us are unable to gather with our church community during this season, I actually didn’t see that as a challenge. In fact, it has been a wonderful opportunity for me to press even deeper into the things of God.   

Now when I do get together with my friends, when I do get together in my community, that’s great.  But my growth, and my relationship with God… and the depth, and my maturity with God… does not depend on any of this external things anymore. And actually, it’s quite fun… me being able to just explore and go as fast as I can, and explore anything I’m curious about… so that’s been very exciting too.  I don’t really have to worry about what people think I should or shouldn’t do anymore.  That really doesn’t matter.  

I have the freedom to ask God any question that comes to mind.  And God is not going to be offended or shocked… because He already knows anyways. It’s a relief to know that He accepts me as I am… always. 

So no matter where you’re at in your life, it’s the perfect place and time to talk with God. He is always ready to meet you and I with a hug and some fun insights about your situation if you’re interested. 

I’m excited just thinking about the adventure God has in store for you. 

And that’s all we have for this week’s podcast.  Again, thank you so much for listening, and have a wonderful week.  See you next time. 

Mini-podcast: Any advice for yourself during quarantine? (Covid Reflections #3)

In this last part of our Covid Reflections minicasts, let’s think about what we’ve learned and see what wisdom or advice you’d like to share with yourself during quarantine.

This finishes up the Covid Reflection series. I will be starting a new series in the next episode. Stay tuned!

Podcast #107 Connecting with God in times of crisis

Like the rest of the world, we’ve been sheltering in place for over a week now. I felt tossed about in the storm, and overrun with fear. Where do I go from here?

Podcast #106 My Experience in Replacing Anxiety with Peace

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I started a simple 10 day program last year on learning to rest in God. A year later, I’m still working through the lessons. 😀 Decided to share some of my experiences here in podcast 6.  And you can download the free scripture worksheet here: Peace meditation worksheet.

 

Podcast #105 How my anxiety affected my perspectives

Pod-logo-aqua-square-3000x3000-medium-qtyThe title sounds really serious… but this podcast is really just about my latest silly, *facepalm* / “Homer Simpson” moment… I promise, it’ll make you feel much better about your day. 😉

Processing Through Regrets

What I find challenging about the feeling of regret is that I can’t change the past. What is done is done. I don’t know about you, but I have a bad habit of repeating these memories in my mind. Every time I remembered the situation, it stirred up the feelings of shame and disappointment. Recently, I’ve been learning a new way to respond to these feelings of regret. And it’s very simple – let go of the past and move forward. 🙂 Yep. It’s that simple… but simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. When a friend first said that to me, it was really hard for me to receive. The feeling of regret is usually accompanied by guilt, and I could not let go of the guilt for some reason.

alone man person sadness

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My Anniversary Reflection

This year will be my fifteenth wedding anniversary.  Yep. That’s right. Fifteen years. It is hard for me to fathom the fact that I’ve been in a relationship or even a friendship with someone for this long. Unlike most couples, I was the one who had an issue with commitment when we got engaged.  It’s not that I didn’t love my husband, but the sheer enormity of a lifetime commitment simply blew my mind. My husband, Mr. J, had no such concerns. Even though we’ve only known each other for a short time, as an intuitive visionary, he can already see us together for the long haul. Our differences were quite obvious even back then.

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