Susan Jane King

Thriving with Jesus in life's ongoing challenges

Get Lost Stinkin’ Thinkin’!

SERPENT-CRUSHED-BY-SANDAL-FOOT-OF-JESUS-LARGER[1]

The thought came to me like a snake, rearing its ugly head, ready to strike. It was a familiar thought, all wrapped up in insecurity and doubt. But this time was going to be different!

The Lord had been tenderly teaching me about my thought life the past few weeks. When I experienced that thought, I knew it was time to fight the battle—and win!

I confess I’ve been pretty weak in this area at times. Negative thoughts would overwhelm me, and before I realized it, I would be stuck in a muddy pit of discouragement, thrashing and grasping for a way out.

Jesus didn’t die for me so I could be stuck in the mud. He gave His life so that I could live abundantly (John 10:10). I’m learning I have an enemy out there who wants to steal that from me (John 10:10), and I need to do my part to keep him from winning, to stand in what I’ve already been given (Ephesians 6:13). Here’s how:

Don’t give your consent

A dear friend of mine told me recently, “When negative thoughts come at you, you don’t have to give your consent to them.” What she meant was when those thoughts come knocking at the door of my mind, I do not have to open that door and welcome them in, entertaining them and serving them coffee. I have a choice. I can refuse to dwell on them.

When that negative thought came the other day, I simply said, “No! I refuse to think about that!” I would not let it take up space in my mind. I knew if I let it put down roots, it would produce some pretty ugly fruit. When I said no, I kept my peace.

Cultivate an attitude of gratitude

We recently studied Philippians 4:6 in my Thursday morning Ladies Bible Study group. The verse mentions thanksgiving as one way to overcome anxiety. We were challenged to list 3 things for which we were thankful and to thank God for those things. I’ve been trying to do that exercise every day, especially when negative thoughts come.

When I’m struggling, I will redirect my thoughts to God’s blessings in that particular situation. I will thank God for His promises to me. I will express gratitude for His love and faithfulness, and I will proclaim who He is to me. I’m discovering I can’t be grateful and upset at the same time. Those expressions of gratitude smash that snake of ugly thoughts right under my foot!

Praise God

The beginning of Philippians 4:6 talks about praising God. The word “prayer” in the verse actually means, “to look at God as He is.” When I do that, I cannot help but praise Him! As I worship God, who is over everything, the negativity fades away. As I speak the truth about Him, that ugly snake slithers back into the hole it came from.

I’m grateful for the Lord’s patience with me as He has been teaching me these principles. I’m still learning to apply them. Yet, He who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6). That’s something else to praise Him about!

Question: How has the Lord been helping you with your thought life? Comment at the link below.

Visit Susan’s website: susanjaneking.com

Susan Jane King

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Welcoming Our Sidekick

mom and I

My mom and I

My sister Brenda got married this past weekend. Our entire family celebrated the happy occasion. I travelled to Ohio for the big event, and when I arrived, I announced to my mother, “I’ll be your sidekick”! I spent several days helping her as she assisted my sister with the wedding arrangements. We picked up guests at the airport, baked cookies for the cookie table at the reception, helped decorate the reception hall, folded programs, and participated in a host of other activities. I loved every minute of it. My mother embraced my help, and we enjoyed the time we spent together. My “sidekick” activities remain part of my special memories from the weekend.

siblings

My siblings and I at my sister Brenda’s wedding reception

We all have a sidekick who has been sent to help us. In fact, one of the names given Him by Jesus is Helper. “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever” (John 14:6, NASB). Jesus was referring to the Holy Spirit, whom all believers receive when they put their faith in Jesus (Ephesians 1:13-14). The word Helper is parakletos in the Greek language of the New Testament, and it means, “one called alongside to help another.” In other words, the Holy Spirit is always with us, wanting to help us. He is our Sidekick. He wants to come alongside us as:

Teacher/Counselor

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you” (John 14:26, NASB). He helps us understand the truth; in fact, He is called the Spirit of truth (John 15:26). He helps us understand God’s Word and reminds us of specific passages when we need them. He provides insights and instructs us in what we should do. He takes what He hears from Jesus and the Father and shares it with us (John 16:14-15).

As He walks with us, the Holy Spirit gives us the best advice possible. He is a Friend we can trust. He counsels us and advises us. He always has our best interests at heart. He comforts us with the truth about who we are in Jesus and how very much we are loved and accepted in Him.

Prayer Leader

“The Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26, NASB). The Spirit prays for us and guides us in what to pray and how to pray (Ephesians 6:18). He leads us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Power Source

We are told, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8). Everyone who has the Holy Spirit possesses an unlimited power Source. He wants to work in all of our lives to make us “more than conquerors through him [Jesus] who loved us” (Romans 8:37, NIV).

The Holy Spirit wants to help each of us, just like I wanted to help my mother with the wedding plans. I delighted in coming alongside her and helping. In a much greater way, the Holy Spirit is waiting for us to accept His help. He is thrilled to assist us.

I find so much encouragement in knowing I don’t have to go it alone in this life. I have a Helper who walks alongside me all the way. You do too! We are blessed when we welcome our Sidekick!

Question: How is the Holy Spirit coming alongside and helping you? Comment at the link below.

Visit Susan’s website: susanjaneking.com

Susan Jane King

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Lessons Learned from a Lost Dog

lost dog

The injured dog Sarah found while running

My daughter Sarah was out running this week when she came across an injured dog in the road. It looked like it had been hit by a car. Sarah stopped running, scooped up the dog, and walked over a mile back to our house. This began the Great Dog Rescue Adventure.

The dog trusted Sarah from the moment she hugged it to her chest. Sarah brought the dog home, bathed it, cleaned its wounds, and bandaged its gashed leg. The poor dog couldn’t put any weight on its back left leg, and it had cuts and scrapes on all of its legs. I took photos of the dog and posted on Facebook, trying to find anyone who recognized it. Sarah convinced me to drive around the neighborhood where we found it and knock on doors to see if anyone knew whose dog it was.

Honestly, I was completely overwhelmed by the response to help this sweet dog. Over 200 people shared my Facebook post, while others offered lots of encouraging comments. Three different people volunteered to adopt the dog and pay all of its medical bills if we could not find the owners. Some animal rescue folks gave us advice about things to do in order to help the dog and to find the owners.

In the end, thanks to the Facebook posts, we were able to reunite the dog with its distraught owners later that evening. I love a happy ending! The owners took their dog to the vet that evening and got it some help. It may need surgery in the future, and the animal rescue folks have volunteered to help with expenses.

In the middle of this process, my husband David said, “Wow! It’s like a whole community is involved in helping this dog!”

It made me smile. Not just because I love dogs, but because it presented such a beautiful picture of how God intends us to live on planet earth . . . taking care of one another.

Caring

So many people cared about what happened to this little dog. They felt for him and expressed their concern. It reminds me of where it says in the Bible, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15, NASB). A soft heart cares about others and their struggles. When we care, it can help serve as a reminder of how much God cares. We are told we can give Him everything that upsets us because He cares about us (1 Peter 5:7).

Loving

The many people we encountered during our dog rescue poured out so much love for this little dog. My heart melted as my daughter ministered to him, holding him in her lap, treating his wounds, getting him food and water, and talking sweetly to him. Others loved him too through words and acts of kindness. In this world, we can choose to love the hurting whenever we meet them. Lots of people need to know they are loved. The Bible encourages us to be fervent (to stretch) in our love for one another (1 Peter 1:22). It says others will know we are Christians by our love for one another (John 13:35). Again, when we love, it reminds others of God’s great love: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NASB).

Helping

People got involved. They saw a need, and they did something to help. From my daughter to the people on social media, many stepped in to provide assistance. We are told that in the early church, “They began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need” (Acts 2:45, NASB). In other words, people put their love and concern into action. Jesus did that. He saw our great need, and He left his throne in heaven to come save us (Philippians 2:5-8). We are told “do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4, NASB). That’s what Jesus did. He can help us to do the same for others.

Praying

A great conversation evolved concerning this dog. People were talking with one another—and with the Lord—about him and his owners. People wanted him to be found, to be reunited with the family that loved him. People asked God to help—and He did. We are told to pray for one another and that prayer can accomplish much (James 5:16). Pray unites us more closely with one another and our Father in heaven who loves us. Pray invites God into our struggles and allows us to see who He is and what He can do. We see many beautiful examples of Jesus praying in the Bible, and we are told He lives to intercede (pray) for us today (Hebrews 7:25).

In the end, Jesus wants everyone to come home to Him (2 Peter 3:9). As that sweet little dog discovered this week, there is no place like home!

Question: How has someone reached out to you with God’s love when you felt lost? Comment at the link below.

Visit Susan’s website: susanjaneking.com

Susan Jane King

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