Discovered

Have you ever discovered something that you didn’t know you had?

How fun is it when you discover an awesome surprise! Something totally unexpected. Something not planned. What a treat! 

My husband bought a GMC truck in 2019. Last winter and until a few weeks ago, we did not know we had a remote starter. We could have taken advantage of a slipping into a warm truck during the cold months but we had no idea. No idea. 

You might be thinking, “Are they wacko or something? They didn’t know they had a remote starter?” In our defense, this is our first vehicle to have the remote start feature, so it never occurred to us until someone asked. Then we checked it out. Woo hoo! We could start our truck without going outside to do so. 

It's embarrassing to admit this but how many of us don’t know what we have? Until someone tells us? Something that is either hidden or we are unaware of – something we haven’t heard of or seen? 

Friends, we have a treasure to be discovered – a treat that can be ours – a gift to be opened – for everyone. No matter our race. No matter our social status. No matter our economic standing. No matter our skin color. No matter our political alliance. No matter our denomination. No matter what. 

If you haven’t discovered the awesome treasure that is yours for the claiming - let me tell you. You have a God who loves you – to death. You have a Savior, Jesus, the Messiah. You have a home waiting for you in Heaven. You can start your eternal, abundant life now – here on earth. 

I have been immersed in “religious” practices since birth. I attended a faith-based school until seventh grade. I have been able to recite the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostle’s Creed since first grade. I learned the names of the apostles. I was in church every day – Monday through Friday – and on holy days as well as every Sunday. I heard what was being taught but I did not have a relationship with Jesus. The truth was there but I didn’t discover Him until I was 25 years old. He was there – just like our remote start. Although I wasn’t aware of Him, He loved me. I had to discover Him for myself. 

And when I did – my life was changed. He was the best discovery I’ve ever made. 

My friends, life is short. We don’t know how many days or hours or minutes we have been given. Let’s not waste them. Let’s not be unaware of the gift that is ours to discover. Jesus. He is waiting. He loves you. 

“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” Jeremiah 33:3

Kathy Troyer
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Blocked

Hey, friend! Have you ever been blocked by someone on social media?

I have. Let me tell you - getting blocked or deleted on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram is humiliating. Plain and simple - it hurts. Especially when someone you care about blocks you. Discovering your friends are able to “see” posts and pictures but you can’t - oh my - Jesus, help me!

Social media can spotlight unwanted-ness, left out-ness, not-in-the-circle, lacking, out-of-the-loop - rejection on steroids.

My FOMO Enneagram 7-ness magnifies “being blocked.” Although on the exterior I might appear to be happy and light-hearted, feelings of rejection simmer internally. I have a sneaky feeling some of you feel the same.

B U T - here is the Good News! You are not blocked from God’s grace or love. He does not “unfriend” or block you. He wants to “friend” you and have you join with those who have repented of their sin and received eternal life.

Friends, don’t allow rejection by others to negatively color your view of God. He is a good Father and promises to never leave or forsake us. “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us. He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:31-32

May you experience His love in a new and fresh way.

Cheering you on!

Kathy Troyer
Author

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Influencers

One of my sons suggested my husband and I watch the Netflix feature about the Fyre Festival. Oh. My. Goodness.

The entire documentary was like watching a train wreck that you know is going to happen but you keep hoping it doesn’t. Sheesh. Anxiety started building up about four minutes in. I still am shaking my head thinking about it.

The Fyre Festival was touted as a celebrity-filled music festival set on a beautiful Bahamian island.   I’m not going to say any more about the movie and I’m not suggesting you watch it.  What I do want to talk about are the people in the movie who were labeled as the “influencers”.  People who, just because of their social or celebrity status, have the power to influence the masses.  Merely by posting on social media they can influence lives and finances. A beautiful model posted about the Fyre Festival and soon hundreds of people started to sign up - paying out huge dollar amounts to attend a unique music festival. That is influence, my friends. Attaching a celebrity’s face or name to an event has incredible influence on others to purchase, buy in, take part and the reverse can be true.

We may not be celebrities but we are influencers.
You are. I am.
Who are we influencing?
What are we influencing others to buy in to?

These are valid questions for all of us to ponder.

I want to influence others to live godly lives, full of mercy and grace, extending forgiveness and offering hope so they may know the joy I have in my heart - all because of Jesus.

May God help each of us influence others in the right direction for the right reasons.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Kathy Troyer
Author

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Pity Party

We all have them from time to time: pity party days. It seems like nothing is going right and everything is going wrong. Appliances stop working, cars break down, kids quarrel, coworkers are grumpy, the coffee canister is empty, a family member is ill - the list goes on and on.  It’s part of life.

I’ve found a way to counteract my pity party days. It’s simple and effective.

Serve.  Serve others.

If I’m having a tough day, I try to encourage a friend or family member. It’s amazing what happens when I serve someone else.

About 12 years ago, a friend called my husband & I asking if we could meet at her apartment to discuss her financial needs. She didn’t know that we were at a crisis point financially ourselves. My first instinct was to tell her no, absolutely no way. But we went to her apartment armed with a few bags of groceries knowing full well we were unable to help her financially.

After she shared her heart, we shared our situation and we prayed together for God to help all of us. Just by being together - crying, laughing and praying - we were all encouraged. Our finances weren’t changed. Our situation wasn’t changed. But our attitudes were.

Serving our friend with a few bags of groceries was a simple act of service but it was life-changing for us.

So, my dear friends, look for simple ways to serve and I think your pity parties can turn into praise parties.

You, my brothers and sisters were called to be free. Do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.  Galatians 5:13

“and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Matthew 20:27-28

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38

Kathy Troyer
Author

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First Step

After the end of a recent mission retreat in Guatemala, my husband and I needed to leave our hotel in Antigua at 3:30 a.m. in the morning to go to the Guatemala City Airport.  I decided to shower the night before because 3:30 a.m. is not meant for anyone to be awake. (Surely there is a special place in heaven for night shift workers.)

I turned the shower on and waited and waited for hot water.  None. Only cold. So I turned the cold water handle on just in case it was plumbed backwards. No hot water.  I turned the hot water faucet back on and waited and waited some more. Because I was committed, I was going to do shower with or without hot water.

First my right foot went into the shower.  Then my left. Brrrr.  “I can do this. I need to do this.”  Then the water began to feel less chilly.  Soon warm water was falling on my head. Ah....the warm water became warmer and warmer until several minutes later I was enjoying hot water. It was wonderful.

This might sound silly but I thought - this is what happens when God asks me to step out in faith!

It looks like nothing is happening. I don’t always see (or feel) the blessing right away.  It’s only when I step out in obedience that He empowers me to do what He’s asked of me. I believe it’s the same for you, too.

What is it you are waiting for?

May God give you - and me - the courage and faith to take that first step.  May your cold water turn to hot water when you do.

May your first step be one of many steps.

May you enjoy His “showers of blessings”.

For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7

I will send down the showers in their season; they shall be showers of blessing. Ezekiel 34:26

Kathy Troyer
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