A Time Like This

By Linda Tancs

It’s certainly no exaggeration to say that the COVID-19 pandemic is wearing on people’s nerves. Recently, a local business owner exclaimed to me, “Why do I have to live through something like this!”

The Old Testament story of Esther immediately came to mind. In that book, Esther’s cousin Mordecai persuades her to exert influence over her husband, the Persian king, to foil a plan hatched by the king’s minister Haman to annihilate the Jews throughout the empire. Although any such request could’ve resulted in her own death, Mordecai reminded Esther that, as an upright Jewish woman, perhaps she came to her position on the throne for just such a time in her people’s history (Esther 4:14).

Like Esther, we’re all enduring this trial for God’s purpose. Don’t bemoan your endurance during this historical time. Embrace it. What can you do to alleviate suffering during this time? Can you shop for someone? Make masks? Offer encouragement or prayer?

You were destined for such a time as this.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

 

 

Choices and Consequences

By Linda Tancs

Poet W.H. Auden said, “Choice of attention—to attend to this and ignore that—is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer. In both cases a man is responsible for his choice and must accept the consequences.” Indeed, choices and consequences have followed us since the Fall in the Garden.

What choice are you making, inwardly or outwardly? To be needy? Greedy? Jealous? Angry? Self-centered? You’re not alone, as Paul reminded the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 10:12-13). God will show you how to make better choices. In fact, He’s given you a manual—the Bible—to guide you (Romans 15:4).

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

 

 

The Art of Conversation

By Linda Tancs

French philosopher Jean de La Bruyère observed, “The true spirit of conversation consists more in bringing out the cleverness of others than in showing a great deal of it yourself; he who goes away pleased with himself and his own wit is also greatly pleased with you.” It’s a great act of humility to let others shine, to take a back seat in the conversation (Philippians 2:3). You might even call it a challenge. After all, we live in a “selfie” culture, where everyone is obsessed with their own importance, their own light.

What kind of conversationalist are you? Do you hog the limelight? Do you need to get a word in edgewise? Try a different approach.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

 

 

Enjoy the Ride

By Linda Tancs

There’s a poster that reads “enjoy where you are on the way to where you are going.” For some, it may seem impossible to enjoy the present moment. Maybe you’re having a physical, mental, emotional or spiritual challenge that renders a sentiment like that meaningless to you. But here’s the catch: if you cry and lament your way through your present circumstances, then when you’ve “arrived” at your breakthrough you’ve really only escaped what came before and won’t truly enjoy where you ended up. It’s the patient endurance of the journey that reaps a genuine harvest (James 1:2-4). You might need a seat belt, but enjoy the ride.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

Secret Agents

By Linda Tancs

The song Secret Agent Man describes someone who is vulnerable to evil forces, always one step away from destruction. That could easily describe any of us were it not for the fact that God has given us special “secret agents,” the angels (Psalm 34:7). Although sometimes visible (e.g., Luke 1:19, 26-27) much of the time they work behind the scenes, protecting us and guiding us against the forces of evil (Psalm 91:11–12). We popularly refer to them as “guardian angels.” But their role is so much more than protection. They also worship God continually (Revelation 4:8), carry out some of His judgments (Revelation 16:1) and patrol the earth (Zechariah 1:10-11).

The Bible reminds us to extend hospitality to strangers because you might be entertaining an angel unawares (Hebrews 13:2). Maybe you’ve encountered an angel without knowing it. It could’ve been that stranger on the bus who seemed to know just the right thing to say to you. Or an airline seatmate with an uncanny understanding of your career frustration. Maybe someone on the train told you to smile. Cherish those encounters. You just never know.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

A Quiet Mind

By Linda Tancs

Robert Louis Stevenson said, “Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened, but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm.” That observation speaks of serenity, which the dictionary defines as a state of being calm, peaceful and untroubled.

How quiet is your mind? Would you liken it to the hush of a library or the chaos of an avalanche? Stevenson told us what a quiet mind is, but he didn’t say how to get one. For that you should turn to Scripture. It tells us to keep our mind stayed on the Lord (Isaiah 26:3). A mind stayed on Him is faithful, and faith produces peace. Peace guards the heart and mind (Philippians 4:7), keeping them running in perfect step, just like a clock during a storm.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

First Impressions

By Linda Tancs

American artist Andy Warhol once observed, “You can never predict what little things in the way somebody looks or talks or acts will set off peculiar emotional reactions in other people.” No doubt you can relate, whether you’ve been on the giving or receiving end. Oftentimes, love at first sight is more movie legend than practical reality. Yet Scripture reminds us not to focus on outer appearances (1 Samuel 16:6-7). Get to the heart of the matter instead. Strive for love (Colossians 3:14).

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

Wait for It

By Linda Tancs

“Wait for it” is an expression used to show that you are about to say something surprising, funny or difficult to believe. God uses it in a different way, exhorting his prophet Habakkuk to wait for the answers that the prophet seeks. God reminds Habakkuk that the answer will come at the appointed time. God is never late (Habakkuk 2:3).

What are you waiting on? A new home? A different career? Improved family life? Can you learn to wait, like Habakkuk? Will you recognize the answer when it comes? We often forget that, sometimes, the answer to prayer is “no.” Ask God to help you not only recognize when the appointed time has come but also to accept the response.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

We’re All Linked In

By Linda Tancs

English poet and clergyman John Donne famously said that no man is an island. That thought was echoed centuries later by John Henry Newman, first an Anglican priest and now a canonized Catholic cardinal. He said that we’re all links in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. Social networking sites have raised that to an art form, but its spiritual implications cannot be overstated. As Pope Benedict XVI brilliantly put it, no one sins alone and no one is saved alone. Every life spills into another, for better or worse. When we impact others favorably with our good works, we bring witness to the glory of God (Matthew 5:13-16). Conversely, bad company ruins good character (1 Corinthians 15:33). Be a guide, not a hindrance (Proverbs 27:17).

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.

 

 

 

Let’s Dance

By Linda Tancs

Television shows like Dancing With The Stars introduce us to the beauty of various dance forms, like the tango, foxtrot and quickstep. Watching the professional dancers navigate the dance floor is inspiring. Is your “dance” with life that beautiful? It takes practice, like the contestants show us.

Which steps do you need to practice? Reconciliation (Romans 12:18)? Honor (Romans 13:7)? Love (1 Corinthians 13)? Faith (Matthew 17:20)?

Keep dancing.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES, Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Learn more at goforwardinfaith.com. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith and join the Facebook group @goforwardinfaith.