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Overboard Blog

Living the extraordinary life of faith!

Filtering by Tag: Choices

Joseph Castaneda



Whenever I read the words of Galatians 6:10 I'm struck by the certainty of the statement Paul made to these believers. He didn't say, "If you ever have a chance..." or "Hey guys, maybe one day you'll get a moment you can do good..." Instead, he says with some confidence, that opportunity is coming, and when it does, these believers need to be ready to do good. To everyone.

I've known too many believers who want God to give them an opportunity to serve, who at the same time, are ignoring the opportunities right in front of them! They want a sign in the sky directing them to some divine appointment when they already have Galatians 6:10 giving some significant clarity.

It reminds me of a friend of mine who ran a mission trip for some out-of-state students. These teenagers were traveling across the country to do missions work in Oregon, helping serve the homeless community in Salem. The students were picked up at the airport in Portland, and on the one hour drive to Salem made a quick stop at the only rest area between the two cities.

Unknown to these students, my buddy had arranged for three guys to pose as homeless men at the rest area, asking for money, food, and transportation. These 20+ teens and their leaders actually had to step over one of them (pretending to sleep on the sidewalk) on the path to the restroom, and not one of them offered any help to any of the men. In fact, even though they had a van full of snacks provided to them, they didn't even offer a bag of chips to the men.

As the students hopped back in their vans for transportation to their ministry site, the three homeless guys hopped in a car and beat them back to the location. The students began orientation with my buddy, and while they were being introduced to the staff, the three homeless guys walked in. The kids recognized them instantly, and after a few uncomfortable laughs, my buddy dropped the challenge on them.

You see, they had flown across the country to minister to the homeless community, but they ignored the opportunity to serve homeless men right in front of them! They had "opportunity to do good," but they were waiting for the "right" opportunity in the form of a trip.

What "opportunity to do good" has God place in front of you right now? Are you ignoring a chance to serve or bless someone else because you are waiting for God to point you in the right direction? Maybe Galatians 6:10 is God's way of pointing you to serve TODAY, and to capture the opportunities He has placed in front of you.

Would You Like a Little Anxiety with That?

Joseph Castaneda


Do. Not.

I enjoy many Bible commands, because they have a more direct impact on me personally. You know, "Wives submit to your husbands" and "Children obey your parents" are great, because I reap the reward of those. (I hope the sarcasm is coming through loud and clear. Ha!) But then there are commands that are equally clear, but far less enjoyable. At least, less enjoyable at the outset.

For example, "Do not be anxious about anything..."

The problem is that the text is pretty clear: "Do not be anxious." This command can't be misunderstood as some loose guideline Paul is giving us, or some principle that is negotiable so that anxiousness can be excused as a cultural construct of Paul's day, or that Paul is waxing eloquently on what is best for us though it would be acceptable to choose another path. No, the command is plain: [You] do NOT be anxious.

Then, as if to further clarify that which is pretty clear already, God had Paul add, "...about anything..." to the context. Not only are we not supposed to anxious, but just to be clear, we are not to be anxious about anything!

As Traci and I were gearing up to leave our paid position at New Hope Community Church, and facing the reality of finishing up our personal support raising while also trying to help find $225,000 to purchase and remodel a bowling alley, there certainly were opportunities to be anxious. I wish I could tell you that I passed all those tests with flying colors, but when I woke one morning at 3:29, finances were already on my mind.

I laid in bed for several minutes pondering a few strategies and ideas and immediately my mind went racing toward anxiousness when this verse popped in to my mind. "Do not be anxious about anything..." (that's the hard part), "...but in everything, with prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God" (that's the solution).

Let me encourage you today, give your anxieties, your worries and your fears over to the only One who can take them away. Put Philippians 4:6 to practice. Memorize it. Pray it. And every time you begin to feel anxious, even at 3:29am, let this verse beat your worries away.

At the outset, "don't be anxious" is not a fun or easy command to follow, but when I turn my anxiousness over to the Lord, I'm always grateful for His strength that allows me to be obedient. What worries do you need to hand over to Him today?


Joseph Castaneda



It's crazy to me that God has gifted us the ability to work, so that according to Ecclesiastes 3:13, we can enjoy the good things from our labor. Without question, our greatest joy will come when we are living face to face with our Creator God in eternity, but until that day, we are given opportunity and permission to enjoy the good in this life, too!

What would our lives look like if we truly enjoyed the labor of our hands, the grind of the work place, and even the challenges of the daily commute? What if we saw all of these things as gifts from God instead of difficult, miserable, or even unlikable parts of our lives?

Instead, what if our daily work routine was viewed as a hand-selected, prized gift, given to us by God Himself so that we could enjoy the work, enjoy the meals we purchase with the income, and relish the good times with friends and family that the resources given us provide? Imagine how different we’d view each day!

This verse brings to mind Colossians 3:17: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, given thanks to God the Father through Him.”

Do you find joy in your work? It may not be the job that’s the problem (No, I’m not saying that every job is great. I’m simply reminding each of us that work is a gift from the Lord, and regardless of whether or not we “like” our particular vocation, we can still choose joy!), but your perspective that needs to change.

Today, choose to enjoy the work God has given you.