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.

 

Pandemic Peace

By Linda Tancs

Peace is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), a desirable attribute at every turn. Think how different the world would be if we experienced a pandemic of peace. We always need peace, especially now in the midst of the health pandemic known as coronavirus, or COVID-19. Anxiety, fear and economic uncertainty rise with every new case. When those emotions (and plenty more) seize your heart and mind, think of the story of the disciples in the boat with Jesus during a storm. The moment that a furious squall whipped over the Sea of Galilee, they were in full-throttle panic mode. Then they woke a sleeping Jesus to pronounce their imminent demise, much to His chagrin. Notwithstanding their lack of faith (and peace), he calmed the waters (Matthew 8:23–27; Mark 4:35–41; and Luke 8:22–25).

If nothing else, the disciples learned that God was on their side. That’s the essence of peace. If He is for us, then who, or what, can be against us (Romans 8:31)? Keep your peace, and share it with others. Also pray for the recovery of those who are affected by this virus.

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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 the Darlings Go

By Linda Tancs

In the world of fiction writing, an oft-used expression is “kill your darlings.” It generally means to delete any aspect of your story that, notwithstanding your fondness of it, does not advance the narrative. It’s an agonizing process, particularly if you’ve grown attached to a certain plot twist, character quirk or whatever the case may be.

You may not be a writer, but you undoubtedly have darlings of your own that do not advance the narrative of your life. Maybe you can’t let go of a friend’s broken promise or a colleague’s betrayal. Do you feed on 40-year-old regrets like a hungry child? Is there too much focus on your backstory and not enough forward action? That’s like a book that no one would want to read. Throw out the script that’s hindering you and move forward (Hebrews 12:1; Ecclesiastes 3:6).

It’s time to let your darlings go. Improve your story.

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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.

 

 

Rules

By Linda Tancs

American poet Mary Oliver wrote, “Even paradise must have rules.” How right she was. After all, God did impose a rule in the Garden of Eden. He told Adam that he could eat of every tree in the garden except for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:16-17). Well, we know how that turned out.

In our own world, we recognize that community rules are integral to an ordered society. We even impose rules on ourselves. I’ll only eat dessert on weekends. I’ll walk 40 minutes each day. Calls will be returned within 24 hours. But, of course, rules are broken. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41). The remedy is prayer. In fact, Paul exhorts us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). That may sound impossible, but it really isn’t. Every thought can be a form of prayer, a resolution to live out the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Which rules are you breaking? Pray over it so that, in time, you’ll mount up with wings like eagles (Isaiah 40:31) and soar above the tendency to break the rules.

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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.