Monday, January 28, 2013

CHANGING ZIP CODES


Courage for the little things…

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right
hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
Isaiah 41:13 NIV

Sometimes I feel like I have courage for the larger things in life, like surviving a car accident, giving birth to a premature son, or spending time living in a foreign country. It’s the little things where I fail, like fearing the walk into an unfamiliar church, unpacking and organizing a sea of
boxes in my family room, or getting oriented to a new town. Yes, can fly across the globe to a Bible college in New Zealand, but, “Please God, don’t put me on a freeway two miles away from
my new house!”

Our Heavenly Father offers courage for all situations. He doesn’t rate our need and say, “You’re on your own for this situation; it’s only a 2.4 on the fear scale and I don’t mess with such trivial situations.” What kind of God would that make Him? No, He loves us enough to subdue our daily fears. When we do our part and take a first step, He will watch our back and take away our fear, but we need to make the first move. In his book, The Neurotic’s Notebook, Mignon McLaughlin says, “Courage can’t see around the corner but goes anyway.”

Lewis’s outlook on courage is: “Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” If we are to be lean, strong men and women of faith, we can expect God to take us on some adventures where we know not where we are going. Courage opens the door and says “boo” to our fears.

What is your biggest fear about moving to a new area? Are you afraid your children won’t make friends? You won’t find a job? You will hate the weather? You’ll never see your extended family? You will never grow to love that dark galley kitchen? Look your fears straight in the eye and take one little action today to conquer them. God is great at matching our timid first steps and will be there to keep us moving forward.

Sometimes all we have is a community of two, but sometimes that’s enough…for a start.

Taken from Changing Zip Codes: Finding Community Wherever You’re Transplanted. This forty-day devotional for the uprooted, deployed, downsized, and displaced is published by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. It is available in print and ebook through Amazon.com
http://tinyurl.com/b7kaahx.

ENDORSEMENTS

“Carol Stratton has chosen to write to a topic that is addressed in few other
places: clinging to faith during times of change. The fresh daily format and
encouraging, biblical insights will encourage anyone who is struggling
through the idea of moving to a new location, as well as uplifting those who
are joyfully anticipating a move.”— Darla Knoth, Leadership Development/
Content Coordinator, National Women’s Department, Assemblies of God.
“After twenty-two moves, Carol Stratton is a relocation expert with a heart for
the newcomer. Carol’s warm and witty stories, based on personal experiences,
offer hope and encouragement to anyone faced with a move.” — Florence
Littauer, International Author and Speaker, Founder of CLASSeminar
ministry.
“Having moved fourteen times, I find Carol’s devotional book both encouraging
and inspiring for anyone relocating. Filled with biblical principles, it keeps
the reader focused on Christ during the upheaval of change that comes with
moving. Her hands-on experience with relocating adds humor and warmth
that will capture the heart of anyone who goes through the transition and
adjustment of a move.” — Susan Miller, Founder and President of Just
Moved Ministry and author of After the Boxes are Unpacked
“Using wit, humor, and entertaining facts (even about Zip Codes), Carol
Stratton provides helpful tips, insight, and cheerleading for those who are
facing the “big move.” She proves that God is everywhere, even among
new neighbors, new coworkers, and new church members. Let her words
encourage you.”— Dr. Dennis E. Hensley, author The Power of Positive
Productivity