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Overboard Blog

Living the extraordinary life of faith!

Filtering by Tag: Faith

A Bun Dance?

Joseph Castaneda

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Abundance

There are three main components required to live the Overboard Life: faith, courage and abundance. Faith is about putting our focus on what Jesus is doing in our lives and in the world around us, and on the unchanging, all-powerful nature of our God. Courage is a character quality that God is developing in us as we trust in  the work of the Spirit to move us to follow God, in faith, and to trust that what He is doing, that what He is asking of us, is truly what's best. Courage is what allows us to grab the sides of the boat and take the jump out on to the water.

When I was writing my third book, Overboard, I was trying to come up with the key components of living the Overboard Life, working out a way to express them in writing. The first two seemed natural to me, the faith and courage parts. But the third one eluded me for a while. (I'm a Baptist...I need three points and a poem for it to "count"!)

I batted around a few ideas, like "Hope" or "Love" or "Service" or "Eating Tacos" but none of them seemed to quite encapsulate what I was after. One day, Traci and I were talking about these key themes when God finally granted some clarity.

Hope, love, service and eating tacos are all good things, and obviously, all part of the Christian Life (especially the tacos!). But when it comes to leaping Overboard for the Lord, I realized the missing piece had to do with God's capacity to overwhelm us with everything we need, whenever we need it. He doesn't give out faith sparsely, He doesn't build our courage in limited amounts, but rather, He provides all we need in abundance because He know precisely what we need and when we need it.

To live the Overboard Life we have to embrace that God is an abundant God, that He never lacks in anything, and that He loves to overwhelm His children with His presence (that very thing we need most!). He is the giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17), the supplier of rain, sun and daily sustenance (Matthew 6:25-27), and He meets all of our needs according to His abundance (Philippians 4:19)!

Naturally, God's abundance doesn't mean all we have to do is "name it" and "claim it," as if God is some how obligated to give us what we want when we want it. Rather, through faith, we trust that God is able to do His work, in and through us, doing more than we could ever imagine, guess or request in our wildest dreams (Ephesians 3:20). So courageously we follow Him in obedience and watch Him supply our needs in abundance.

Where do you need to trust in God's abundance today? What promise from His Word do you need to rest in, believing that He can fulfill (and will!) it, not in scarcity, but in abundance?

Excuse Me...Your Faith is Showing

Joseph Castaneda

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Faith

The prophet Isaiah gives us two of the most amazing commands followed by two of the most amazing truths! 

1: Don't be afraid
2. Don't be discouraged

I love that those aren't just suggestions to make our lives better or ideas that will create a happier you (although they will!). Seriously, these are commands God is giving out to His children while they are in the midst of some serious turmoil and struggle. The odds seem impossible to overcome. The chance of victory seems unlikely at best...certain to end in crushing defeat at worst. There was no out.

But God.

God shows up, and He reminds His people who is in control of EVERYTHING in life. He reminds them of how He is the God of all power and authority, the God who raises up kings and kingdoms and who just as easily brings them down. In the face of one of Israel's greatest foes this God commands, "Don't be afraid," and, "Don't be discouraged."

Then, to remind the Israelites the why of His commands, He states:

1. I am with you
2. I am your God

Amazing! The Almighty Creator God of the universe is close to His children, and personally relates to them! He is their God, personally reaching out and personally known and He is with them. Unlike the gods of the people around Israel, God's who were neither personal nor near, this God delights in knowing, loving, and blessing His people.

I don't know what you're facing right now, or what you might be facing soon, but I know my God (and He knows me!) and He says to you: Don't be afraid, and don't be discouraged, because I am with you...I am your God! Will you, today, exchange your fear, discouragement, anxiety, worry and stress for the hope, courage and power that God provides? The only way to do that is through faith, trusting that God's promises are as true today as they were 2,700 years ago when he gave them to Israel.

The Lord is Near

Joseph Castaneda

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God is close!

Have you ever felt isolated and alone? I don't mean physically alone (though that may be part), but I mean that type of loneliness that a person can feel even if they are in a room crowded with people. Have you ever felt that?

It's the kind of isolation that can leave you feeling hopeless, feeling like no one understands what you are experiencing or feeling, and ultimately, that there may be no answers or help coming. It's having a heart broken at the deepest level and being intimately aware of what it's like to have a spirit that has been crushed by a friend, an enemy, a job, a spouse, a parent or even a church. It is an awful feeling.

If you are in that space today, I want to offer you a precious reminder from God's Holy Word: The Lord is close.

The promise from Psalm 34:18 is as precious a promise one can have in seasons of absolute despair and utter loss. God is near, and He loves us no matter what condition we find ourselves in. 

If you are in a season of isolation, if you are feeling brokenhearted and crushed, will you let us join with you in prayer? Will you pass along a request so that we can pray Psalm 34:18 over you and your situation? (overboard@overboardministries.com)

We may not have any comforting words or help to provide, but we know our God is near, and we will pray on your behalf for His nearness to be felt in your life.

The Lord is near!