Overwhelmed

You are just finished dealing with one thing and the next hardship already comes along. Or, you are still in the middle of battling with one issue while another — and maybe yet another — is added upon your shoulder. You feel overwhelmed. You know you won’t be able to cope with all of this much longer. You have come to the end of your rope.

Ever felt this way before?

This is how I have felt yesterday morning. Then the LORD brought something to my mind — something my old Pastor used to say often, mostly during our prayer meetings. He said that especially in times like these we need to look up to the One who can change things, the One who loves us so deeply, and who cares for us and our sorrows. We need to go to His Word. And then he shared that, in situations like these, he often goes to Psalm 91, reads and prays its words. That’s exactly what I did on Tuesday morning and I urge you to do the same.

If you feel like you have come to the end of your rope today, get your Bible out — even if it is dusty — and start reading the healing Word of God. Why not start with Psalm 91 and keep on going, reading a little more each day?

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Working On a Book Project

I’m currently writing a book about dog training. It started rather slowly and last winter I didn’t get any further than a rough outline. I was discouraged and so I set it aside for a while. Then, beginning of this year, I picked it up again. I’ve had to change a few things first.

The perfect first draft

You see, I have a problem to sit down and just write. I can’t let go. First drafts are not my favorite part of writing. I struggle with them because, in my eyes, they need to be perfect from the start. I want my drafts to have no spelling mistakes and all the right words. (Maybe a result of the frustrations I’ve had while writing essays in school?)

Let first drafts be first drafts

This year I didn’t give in to my worries about sentence structure or spelling or anything else during my first drafts. I guess what got me motivated was something I’ve read on a writer’s website: First drafts are exactly that: first drafts! So I sat down, let the ideas flow and recorded them on paper.

To outline or not to outline

I’ve ended up with an abundance of thoughts and, first, I was afraid of organizing them but it worked out well. Some writers suggest to start with an outline. I didn’t create one until after I’ve jotted down most of my ideas which worked well for me.

The ideal time to write

I’ve searched the internet to find suggestions for the best time to write. The answers were overwhelming. Since I’m a morning person I thought it would be best for me to follow the advice of writing first thing in the morning. For a while I did but it wasn’t ideal. You see, I like to have my devotions and study in the early hours of the day. I’ve had to come up with a schedule and I knew I couldn’t do both, writing and studying, at the same time. I’m now doing my studies in the morning and my writing I do in the afternoons and that works for me.

Christian or not?

When I first started to work on this book I thought I could write it from a Christian perspective, no problem. I soon realized, though, that a couple of Bible verses here and there or one or two references made to God will not make it a Christian book at all. It was time to get down on my knees and pray. It was time to trust in the LORD and to acknowledge Him in all my ways. Since then the book is going a different direction but also progressing.

It’s amazing how much the Bible has to say about God, about people and about the relationship between us and the animals. God’s Word helps me to get the right kind of idea about taking care of dogs and training them — and sharing with others what I have discovered along the way 😉

Ecclesiastes – All Vanity?

What a life: Building dream houses and beautiful gardens, sitting in an executive chair instead of working as an employee, owning an abundance of livestock, able to buy whatever our hearts desire and enjoying life to the fullest – what a life this must be!

Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. (Ecclesiastes 1:2)

I know of at least one person who is thinking right now: “O, uh! Ecclesiastes! There we go again.” 🙂 Thank you for reading my blogs, for your amazing support and for sharing your life with me. ❤

Many years ago, I struggled to understand the words and stayed as far away as I could from Ecclesiastes. It just didn’t make much sense to me at that time. Now I love to read, study and write about it.

This book teaches us so many lessons about the meaning of life and how to live for God. Sadly, a lot of its sayings are misinterpreted but that doesn’t make the book less valuable to read, does it? True, it will take more effort and time on our side but it’s well worth it. It definitely deserves more of our attention. If we take the time to dig deeper into it we’ll find a treasure chest filled with nuggets of wisdom.

Study Helps 

Bible: Use one that includes study helps like cross-references in book form or an online Bible like the ESV or KJV

Chasing the Wind: This is a great audio series by Alistair Begg of Truth For Life Ministries. His sermons are thought-provoking and well-grounded in God’s Word. You will see this part of the Bible unfold as Alistair guides you through it.

Why Everything Matters: The Gospel in Ecclesiastes, by Philip G. Ryken (I will talk more about this book in a separate post in the near future.)

Matthew Henry’s Commentary online at Bible Study Tools. (Also available in bookshops in printed format)