Imagine 13 year old me, sitting at the dining room table desperately trying to understand algebra. I'm getting noticeably frustrated; to which my dad replies, "change your attitude." That. Did. Not. Help. It used to make me so angry. How on earth was changing my attitude supposed to help? Now that I'm older, I understand. The way we approach anything affects the way it turns out.

I have been reading about Joseph in Genesis lately. He was dealt an awful hand early in life. Sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, tempted and then accused of rape by his masters lying wife, forgotten by the guy in prison who could have helped him get out, and living a good portion of his life in a foreign land with no visible hope of ever seeing his family again.. especially since his brothers told his dad he was dead.

Joseph didn't sit at the dining room table seething in anger, he maintained a level head and worked hard as if he were exactly where he wanted to be. God blessed him greatly for it. Everywhere he was placed, he gained the respect and trust of those in charge of him. They gave him leadership roles which eventually made way to his big break- Pharoah's right hand man. This opportunity lead to him ruling over everyone who had done him wrong! He forgave his brothers and even saved their lives.

If he had given up, he might have just died as a nobody in an Egyptian prison. But, he didn't sit and dwell in self pity, though he arguably had every right to do so. He was willing to trust God and honor Him no matter where he was, so God was able to use and bless him. God causes all things to work together for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). If life gives you lemons, submit those lemons to God and let Him make the sweetest lemonade out of it. Change your attitude- because your attitude changes everything.

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For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:17‭-‬18 ESV

Paul and his partners chose not to focus on the here and now. They were being beaten, imprisoned, threatened with death, but it was worth it when they saw people come to Christ. When they saw the light of eternity enter their eyes. They chose not to focus on the affliction or the difficulty in their work. The seen. That which was always at the forefront of their minds. They chose to focus on the unseen. The moment when they, and all they reached, would finally be together at last in eternal peace with Christ.

As we continue through this rough season, let's not focus on what's in front of us. The restrictions, fear, job loss, uncertainty. Let's focus on the eternal. How can we share Christ in our altered daily lives? What kinds of posts would inspire hope on social media? Who/what can we pray for if we have found ourselves with down time. And when hopelessness overwhelms again, let's close our eyes and imagine what happens when this temporary affliction is over. See yourself with Christ, and all those you dared to reach, in that eternal peace.

Its shocking that Paul called it a "light momentary affliction." If the trial is so bad, imagine how good God is to make that "bad" "light and momentary." I know it is hard to maintain that perspective sometimes. If you find yourself struggling, feel free to reach out to us for prayer in the comments.

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Time Out Tuesday! (Yeah it's been a while.)

On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, seven eunuchs who served in the presence of King Ahasuerus, to bring Queen Vashti before the king, wearing her royal crown, in order to show her beauty to the people and the officials, for she was beautiful to behold. But Queen Vashti refused to come at the king’s command brought by his eunuchs; therefore the king was furious, and his anger burned within him.

Esther 1:10‭-‬12 NKJV

In the book of Esther, we tend to focus on the story of one person- Esther. I noticed tonight that Queen Vashti is an unsung role model. She only gets a small part in the whole book, but makes a big stand. King Ahasuerus was quite the partier and loved his wine. When he was quite drunk, he demanded his wife come into his party full of dudes and parade her self around because she was pretty..🙄. Queen Vashti, full of dignity and confidence, refused. His response to her integrity and modesty was to basically divorce her, strip her title of Queen, and kick her out of the palace.

The Christian walk is not always easy. We will encounter situations where we might want to compromise, stretch the truth, show off a little, but that's not who we're called to be. Yes, Queen Vashti lost her prowess, but she kept something far more valuable- her integrity. Matthew 6:19-20 says to store up treasures in heaven where nothing can ruin or damage them. Value the eternal more than the here and now. It may cause sacrifice, to lose something you may really want; but in the end, the reward from God is much more satisfying. What is right isn't always easy, but it's always worth it. Value yourself and your relationship with God uncompromisingly.