Tag Archives: Iva

STRAIGHTENING THE CURVES OF LIFE

STRAIGHTENING THE CURVES OF LIFE

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6 NkJV

Do you continually feel your life is taking detours? Do roadblocks halt your journey? Perhaps, you are steering off course.

I cannot walk a straight line. Some blind folks tend to veer. I am a veerer. I can walk on the left side of the street until I reach an intersection. After I cross Fifth Street, I find myself on the right side of the street, instead of the left side, where I wanted to be. Not only did I cross Fifth Street, but I veered over to the opposite side.

This is dangerous because a car could easily hit me.

Now that I walk with Iva, my guide dog, she keeps me on a straight path.

Sometimes in life, we find ourselves in places we did not intend to go. However, God will direct our paths, just like Iva directs me.

There are three prerequisites to this promise. First, we must trust God. We need to firmly believe He has our best in mind (Jer. 29:11). We face life’s trials with confidence in God’s plan for us.

Our trust in the Lord must be complete. Notice the word “all” in our verse. It is a small word with a large meaning. We don’t pick and choose which areas of life we will trust God with. We trust Him in all things, and with all our heart. Our minds say we trust Him, but at times, our hearts tremble. That is not trusting God with all our heart.

Next, don’t lean on our understanding. Again, we don’t give God full reign in some areas of life, but try to handle certain parts on our own. We can never and will never do life better than God.

Acknowledge God. Every matter in life can find a solution in the Bible. God’s Word gives specific directions for marriage and raising children. It instructs us in our finances.

Another way God guides us is through prayer. Start praying about your predicament. Soon, God will speak. You will read a devotional and a Scripture will pop up as you hear the Holy Spirit whisper, “That is for you.”

For a second time, the little word “all” appears. As before, that means we take it all to Him.

Once we stop attempting to fix our problems on our own. When we have complete confidence in God. When we pray and wait for His answer before making a decision. When we do all of that … God will direct our paths.

“Direct our Paths” is “kata” in Greek, and it is translated “to make straight” according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words. It also means “guide” in Luke 1:79.

We know God navigates our paths better than we can, but we need to be intentional about it. Our nature leans toward making decisions without first consulting our heavenly Father. It goes against the grain to forbid worry from occupying our thoughts. When we make faith and consulting a habit, we will have the assurance that we are on the right path, the path planned by God.

Lord, we trust You, but we need to trust You in all things. Help us do that. We give You total control of the paths we walk. Help us resist being a back-seat driver to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

DIG DEEPER

Read Proverbs 3.

HIKING THE TRAIL

Memorize todays’ focal verses. Place them in your Bible or around your home as a reminder to hand it all over to God.

Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.

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GUIDE DOG TALES VOL 26

GUIDE DOG TALES VOL 26

By Carolyn Dale Newell

Iva never ceases to amaze me. Recently, we have experienced various opportunities for Iva to show off her skills.

Sometimes, I need to spend a day or more in a large church or convention center. On those occasions, I teach Iva the routes to the important spots, such as the bathroom, my book table, my chair, and if I am speaking, the podium. No matter the size of the building, Iva nails it.

Saturday, she maneuvered me around a crowded Walmart without bumping me into anyone. Speeding buggies, running kids and crazed shoppers kept her on her toes. Iva never missed a beat, and she was not distracted.

One day, we came upon a few parked cars which were idling. This is tricky because you never know what to expect. Are they waiting for us to pass by, or are they getting ready to pull out at any second?

One car was sitting in the street next to two parked cars. The driver appeared to be waiting on someone. He said hello with a smile, the kind of smile you hear. Iva assessed the situation. She made her decision and weaved me safely through the maze. Iva was rewarded with praise, cookies (treats), and a scratch behind the ear. Yes, I am one proud momma.

I suppose her skill will continually shock me. Next week marks our one-year anniversary. I hope I never grow accustomed to Iva’s intelligence.

God never fails to amaze me with His astounding work either. I stand in awe when God answers my little prayers. Insignificant prayers are not insignificant to God.

When something falls on the floor, it is a daunting task for a blind person. Either iva finds it, or God leads me to it. I am so blessed to have such impressive help, canine and divine.

I seek God’s guidance concerning my Bible study topics. I pray about the messages I write and speak. God comes through in ways that can only be God.

Consider God’s awesome power when you see the strength of wind and water in hurricanes and storms. Appreciate God’s creative wonders when you admire the texture of a fragrant, vibrant flower. Praise God when the birds sing the songs He has orchestrated for them.

God’s timing astonishes me. For over ten years, September 18 was a dreadful day. The day my daughter became the prodigal. God, In His loving kindness, gave me a super special day nearby on the calendar. On September 20, 2016, I met my best friend. My black beauty, Iva. Isn’t that so God?

Take time to reflect upon your heavenly shock and awe today. Observe your surroundings, giving Him glory for His creative genius.

Boldly ask God for the little things as well as the larger ones. Thank Him for His answer the moment the request leaves your lips. Praise Him! Worship our awesome God because He is worthy.

Copyright 2017 Carolyn Dale Newell.