Finish Your Plate

By Linda Tancs

When you were a child, you might’ve been told to “finish your plate.” Maybe you were reminded of all the other children in the world who were starving for what was left on your plate. Jesus didn’t like waste, either. In one story of Jesus’s feeding of the multitudes, He instructed His disciples to gather the leftovers so that nothing would be wasted (John 6:10-12).

Waste isn’t just about food. What have you left on your plate, metaphorically speaking? What’s used up, worn out, fragmented? God’s power is perfected in your scraps, the bits and pieces (2 Corinthians 12:9). Give your unfinished plate to God, and He’ll make a banquet out of it (John 6:13).

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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.

 

Hope Floats

By Linda Tancs

Entering a body of water (even a pool) as a nonswimmer can be intimidating. That’s one reason why a place like the Dead Sea is so exciting. Given its high salt content (almost 10 times that of normal sea water), you float rather than sink. How pleasant not to need a life vest!

The Dead Sea reminds me of the expression “hope floats.” Indeed, hope is buoyant, and you don’t need to float in the Dead Sea to get it. Everyone can experience the buoyancy that hope brings. It uplifts the spirit, bringing joy (Proverbs 10:28), courage (2 Corinthians 3:12) and redemption (Psalm 130:7). The next time you’re floating in a pool, think of that.

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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.

 

Peace Comes With a Price

By Linda Tancs

Two world wars and numerous other conflicts provide us with ample evidence that peace comes with a price. This is illustrated biblically as well, particularly when Jesus shows His disciples the wounds of his crucifixion and offers them His shalom peace (John 20:19-23), a peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7).

What price are you willing to pay for peace—in your family, in your work, in your life? What do you need to sacrifice? Maybe it’s your ego, your identification with material things or a toxic relationship. What do you need to do to amplify your shalom peace and extend it to others?

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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.

 

Don’t Hog Your Journey

By Linda Tancs

A TV personality once shared some advice she’d been given: don’t hog your journey; it isn’t just for you. Life is meant to be shared. One person’s trouble is another’s beacon. You never know how your own journey can impact others. Solomon reminds us of that in Ecclesiastes, wherein he says that there’s power in numbers (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). Put another way by an old rock band, “one is the loneliest number.”

Be a mentor. Be a friend. Share what you know. Don’t let your life be the best-kept secret.

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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.

 

 

Time and Money

By Linda Tancs

A long-professed proverb of sorts is “time is money,” commonly used to indicate that the less time you waste, the more you’ll get done and the more money you’ll make. But like so many oft-used expressions, there’s plenty of meaning behind the meaning. Time is, indeed, currency. Even the poet Carl Sandburg called time “the coin of your life.” Like money, we spend time. And, like money, once we spend time, it’s gone. Sometimes we have more of it and sometimes we have less. We take time for ourselves and give it to others. Whereas money managers tell us how to make the best use of our money, the Bible exhorts us to make the best use of our time (Ephesians 5:16). As the apostle James reminds us, sometimes we plot and plan our time around making money, failing to realize that our times are ultimately in His hands (James 4:13-15).

How do you spend your time?

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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.

 

 

On the Mountaintop

By Linda Tancs

What’s your favorite mountaintop view? One of my favorites is the view of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, from Snow Mountain. It’s no wonder that the Bible speaks of going up mountains. After all, what do you see from the mountaintop? Everything. It changes your perspective.

Mountains bring to mind Psalm 104:8—the mountains rose and the valley sank. From the mountaintop, everything seems so small.

View your life as from a mountaintop. When your perspective gets larger, your problems get smaller—worries, anxieties, offenses, you name it. They sink.

Climb every mountain, as an old song says. The view is so worth it.

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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.

 

It’s Elementary

By Linda Tancs

“Elementarymy dear Watson” is a phrase often attributed to Sherlock Holmes, the English detective created by the novelist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Holmes supposedly says this to his companion Dr. Watson when explaining his reasoning in solving a crime.

God’s law is likewise elementary, as distilled by Jesus during His ministry (Matthew 22:36-40). He intended it to be simple. We complicate it through our own actions. What He had to say about how we should live our lives could be summed up in a few phrases: love others and give of yourself to them, especially the less fortunate (Galatians 6:2); be non-violent (Proverbs 3:31); be honest (Proverbs 12:22); be forgiving (Mark 11:25); and be humble (Luke 14:11).

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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.

Mind the Gap

By Linda Tancs

The British use the expression “mind the gap” to call attention to gaps at train station platforms—that abyss bridging where you are from where you want to be. The gap is a good metaphor for life transitions, where your “now” is not where you ultimately want to remain.

Sound familiar? Sometimes we sidestep life’s gaps—it’s too hard, too lonely, too uncertain. We stay stuck in the “now” but then try to avoid even that by reminiscing about the “good old days” (Ecclesiastes 7:10).

Don’t fall into that trap. Instead, embrace the gap and all its messy steps and details. Contrary to popular thought, the devil isn’t in the details—God is (Proverbs 16:9).

Ask, Seek and Knock

By Linda Tancs

Matthew 7:7-12 is often construed to mean that we can have what we want if we’ll just ask, seek and knock. Of course, God delights in giving gifts to His children, like any parent (James 1:17). But we miss an important opportunity to see this passage as an invitation to trust that we are being guided and cared for unless we insert Him into it.

Read it this way: “Everyone who asks for Him, receives Him; and the one who seeks, finds Him; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened to Him.” It’s not about what, it’s about who.

Knowledge or Wisdom

By Linda Tancs

The phrase “knowledge is power” was first attributed to Sir Francis Bacon in the 1500s. There’s nothing wrong with being knowledgeable, but knowledge isn’t always powerful. Sometimes, it’s wrong or even useless. The better phrase is “wisdom is power.” After all, God ordained it a valuable treasure (Proverbs 8:11) and even commands us to acquire it (Proverbs 4:5).

God does grant knowledge (Ecclesiastes 2:26), which is often used in pursuit of worldly endeavors. But wisdom is an ability to see things from the Lord’s perspective, to conduct oneself according to His precepts. Practice wisdom through prayer and discernment and you’ll live a powerful life.