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#Godshowedup

Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. – Hebrews 10:25

Sometimes you just move in the Spirit. Sometimes things just work out and it all comes together. I was once again feeling guilty that I had missed my Saturday morning deadline, but as I’ve stated last week, still coming off of burning it on both ends. So, this morning I go to church. And, as I’m sitting listening to our Pastor’s report from India missions, I started thinking about how grateful I was to have such a wonderful church family. That maybe I should stop and talk to one of the Pastors afterward to see what I might be able to do to help keep this blog rolling. I’m just having a hard time getting into a rhythm again. To know what it is I’m supposed to be talking about here.

And, as I was kinda packing up my stuff and looking around, here came an usher, that I see every Sunday, but don’t think I’ve ever really talked to before. And, he starts sharing with me about this really motivational speaker he listens to, and she gives daily blessings that he shares with a list of people every day. That he encourages all these people every day. And, I shared with him that I have a blog and a ladies’ Bible Study. And, you know #Godshowedup. As he always does. He sent me a messenger. An encourager. Another set of resources to reach into. To find these people that encourage others every day. And, I appreciate it so deeply. I love that the Spirit moves and that those who allow him to move through them, will never be disappointed.

I’m so grateful to have a personal relationship with Jesus and to see the Spirit move in miraculous ways, every day. I am so grateful for everything that I have, and everything that I’ve been through to have such a wonderful testimony that God urges me to share with others, that they might also be encouraged in their walk. That they might have the veil lifted to watch for the ways God moves all the time. To continually remind me that #Godshowedup.

And, I did have a moment with the Pastor to encourage her and share how inspirational she is and how much I appreciate everything they do for the Lord and for others. To remind us, that the most important thing is to share the GOOD NEWS! To bring others to Christ. To encourage one another. To be here and to let the Spirit move through us to bring people to the Light and to build each other up.

Here is what I wrote during the service today, before my messenger showed up:

“Living in the Word has sustained me. Believing in Jesus Christ has made it so I can live. And I am winning at life. That I may be so grateful and blessed. This was emphasized again today as I sat in church. That I find it so uplifting and it makes me full. That I may not be lukewarm. Part of why it’s so important to have a church family and fellowship with one another. That you may be uplifted and encouraged, that you may grow in your faith. That may be in tune with the Spirit and be a channel for God to show up. That you may be in tune and understand when God shows up.”

And then, He did. Every time.

Image result for hebrews 13:1-2

God bless you all.

I can do all things

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13

Sometimes, I catch myself burning it at both ends. Hence, part of why I missed last week. It’s definitely a struggle when you start running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off. Things slip through the cracks, and things have to be put down because you literally have too much on your plate. But, I have learned the warning signs of too much at once, and early burnout. I’m one of those people that when I start burning out, I get really sick too. So, I have to slow down and put a few things down, for the sake of me. You can’t fill up other people’s gas tanks, if yours isn’t full to give.

But, this last week, I noticed one thing. I had read a story about a dad telling his son how big God is, all depends on your closeness to God. He used the analogy of seeing an airplane. From far away, God seems really small, but as they approached the airport – the plane became huge. God, in your life, is only as big as how close you are to him. And this really stuck a chord with me. It’s true. And later that evening, I was laying down, and I had the overwhelming sensation that I was laying underneath a plane. That I couldn’t see anything for all the plane there was. It was really incredible, and I really enjoyed it, and it gave me an overwhelming sense of peace.

That’s been the other part of this too. I haven’t felt nearly as stressed in this season of burning at both ends, like I’m busy and doing all the things, but I haven’t been panicky because of it. Because I have the overwhelming peace of God. Which brings me to another thought I’ve been having this past week. I’ve been thinking of the prayer that our church says before every sermon.

“This is my Bible, I Am what it says I am. I can do what it says I can do. Today I’ll be taught the Word of God. I boldly confess, I’m about to receive, the incorruptible, indestructible, ever-living seed of the Word of God. I’ll never be the same, never, ever, ever, In Jesus Name, Amen. ”

The pastor leads us in that prayer before we receive the Word. And he doesn’t just say it, he stops and we repeat as he goes. I later came to find out that some of this is Joel Osteen too, but he’s added his own stuff too. The first couple times we prayed this, and I really thought about these words, I cried.

“I am what it says I am, I can do what it says I can do.” The Bible says, all things are possible with God. I am his workmanship. I am beautifully and wonderfully made. I serve the same God who created the universe and raised Christ from the dead. The God who gave barren women children, who healed lepers, who made the blind see, and the lame walk. The God who defeated the devil in sending his son to save us and reconnect us with the Almighty. That’s the God we serve. “And I will never be the same. Never, ever, ever. In Jesus name.”

It’s an incredibly powerful prayer, and to say it every week, reminding yourself what God says about you, and what you are declaring about your God-you will never be the same. Declaring these things over your life is critical. You have to speak life to yourself, and declare your life to God, and he’ll never leave where you’re at, He saves you from you. And I thank God for that.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for all that you do for us. Thank you for all that you are. That you save us from ourselves. Thank you for sending your word, that we may grow in you Father. That you reassure us who we are, and inform us what we can do with you Father. That we are blessed because of you, and you continue to bless us, each and every day. Thank you Father God-for everything. IN JESUS’ NAME! AMEN!

Mission’s Circle

Lately, I have had these guys on my heart, Diamond Willow Ministries. Here’s their mission statement: The mission of Diamond Willow Ministries as a Christ centered organization is to empower and develop healthy Christian youth, families, and leaders by meeting current spiritual, emotional, and physical needs within the Native American community.

I’m not sure what all they need right now, but pray for them. Reach out to them. Thank God for their ministry and pray that He lays his hands upon it right now.

And as always, you can donate: here

Part of the Family

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.– 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

While our Pastors have been over in India, we have had a chance to listen to our newer Pastor speak. He has had a message for the past couple weeks about being a part of God’s family and what all that means. One of the parts that he has touched on, is that we are adopted into the family. This particularly has spoken to me because I am part of an adoptive family myself. Let me share what this has meant to me.

Growing up, I knew that I had a brother and sister. They are quite a bit older than I am, and they had pretty much already grown up and moved out by the time I really started living life and remembering things. So, for the most part I grew up as an only child, but I knew they were out there, living life. My sister would call and visit sometimes, and my brother would write letters, but I also understood that they were adults and they had their own lives. But, I was actually a bit older before I ever figured out that they were adopted.

I remember being really surprised. I had no idea, they were just my brother and sister to me. My parents explained that they had these whole other lives and families before they came to be a part of ours, but that it didn’t change anything between us, they were our family. So, as I was growing up there were several times where people would ask if I had siblings, and I would say yes, a brother and sister. And I would leave it at that, I didn’t tell people they were adopted. Because it didn’t matter, they were our family now. And, that particular thought has really struck home while listening to the Pastor’s messages these past couple weeks. That’s how God feels about us being a part of His family. Doesn’t matter that we had before lives, or other stuff, we’re a part of the family now. I actually had a moment not too long ago, where my son found out that my siblings were adopted and as he was trying to sort through that concept, he kept referring to them as my “adopted brother” or “adopted sister”, and one time he said it, and I cut him off and said, “Please stop referring to them like that, they’re just brother and sister. The adopted part doesn’t matter, they’re my family just like if my parents had them themselves. I don’t like you saying it like that, they’re not different just because they’re adopted, they’re my family.” Now, I don’t think my son was trying to mean it any kind of way, he was just trying to understand the concept, but it did really hurt my feelings. They are my family, I understand that they came into my family differently – but it doesn’t mean they are any less my family.

I’m really appreciative of being able to grow up like this and understand this concept of family different than most, I feel, because it has really affected how I treat people and what I understand a family to be. I have welcomed the concept of being a family to a lot of people over the years, it’s not hard to be a part of my family. And, I believe, a lot of people need that. I wish more people were more accepting of the concept, because it really shouldn’t be that difficult to feel a connection like that. And, if you think about it, it’s not hard to be a part of God’s family either. He doesn’t lay down a lot of rules, you don’t have to jump through a million hoops. You want to be a part of the family? Sure! Come on in! There’s plenty of room and love here.

The other part of all of this, is that my brother and sister have all the same benefits I do, when they’re hurt or struggling, they have parents to call on. They come to family holidays (well, the one doesn’t but only because they live so far away – not because they’re not welcome.) They get gifts and phone calls and cards. Their children aren’t treated any differently. They are family. Just like us being a part of God’s family. We get all the blessings and benefits of being a part of His family. He is our good, good Father, and together we are all a part of the family of God.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you! Thank you for the opportunity and the ability to be a part of Your family. Thank you, that you love us so much. Thank you for your blessings and your love. Thank you that we can all come into your family and feel loved and connected to one another and to you. I am just so appreciative of my experience, of the earthly family you have given me that I can better understand your love and what it means to be a part of Your family. Thank you for all that you do Father, that everyone may feel the love and connection that I feel, being one of your children. That you may bless me and bless those reading this all the days of our lives. Bless the works of our hands and the words from our mouths that they may bring glory and honor to you Father. Thank you for all that you’ve done for us, and all you will continue to do. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

Surprise, surprise. This week I’m choosing an adoption mission. This group has the mission statement: “A Family for Every Child is dedicated to finding loving, permanent families for every waiting foster child.” Did you know, there are 430,000 children in foster care in the United States? That’s a lot of children waiting to experience the love of a family… If that doesn’t break your heart, I don’t know what would. Take some time to read about this mission here. Pray for these children, they need and deserve love and a forever home.

And, you can always Donate

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Here I am

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” – Isaiah 6:8

61 sThe Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,

because the Lord has tanointed me

to bring good news to the poor;1

he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives,

and uthe opening of the prison to those who are bound;2

  vto proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,

wand the day of vengeance of our God;

to comfort all who mourn;

  to grant to those who mourn in Zion—

xto give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,

ythe oil of gladness instead of mourning,

the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;

zthat they may be called oaks of righteousness,

the planting of the Lord, athat he may be glorified.3

  bThey shall build up the ancient ruins;

they shall raise up the former devastations;

they shall repair the ruined cities,

the devastations of many generations.

  cStrangers shall stand and tend your flocks;

foreigners shall be your plowmen and vinedressers;

  dbut you shall be called the priests of the Lord;

they shall speak of you as the ministers of our God;

eyou shall eat the wealth of the nations,

and in their glory you shall boast.

  fInstead of your shame there shall be a double portion;

instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot;

therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion;

they shall have everlasting joy.

I have been enjoying just digging into scripture lately, and especially sharing some of my favorites with you. I heard this one for the first time a little over a year ago, on a podcast. The preacher informed us that we could borrow it, but that it was his. LOL. He was just kidding of course. But, this was also during a time where I was praying a lot of scripture in my prayers. And let me tell you, that when you start praying scripture in your prayers, you better be ready for what happens next.

I believe that this scripture is for everyone who follows Christ. We are to help everyone we can, and help be the hand that rains blessings on others, and bind up the broken-hearted. To recite this prayer on a regular basis and remind yourself what it is you are striving for, will most assuredly change your attitude, and your life.

I find it interesting, when I was growing up, we were broke. This is what my mom always told me, “we’re not poor, we’re broke.” We have enough money to pay the bills and put food on the table, but not a lot past that. So, as most kids living in that situation, I had great dreams and aspirations of growing up to get a job that was going to fix that issue. I was not going to be broke when I grow up. And, as we all know, easier said than done. But, I did, I set my heart to that goal. I have fought and struggled every step of the way, to try to not have that lifestyle. And, it’s finally starting to pay off – you know 14 years into being an adult, I’m finally getting there.

But what’s really incredible, what really blows my mind, is that every since I’ve renewed myself to Christ, and really started to walk in the faith. To take these goals, and smash them, and start taking leaps and jumps into where I’ve wanted to be. My mind has only turned to how can I use what I have, to help others. I find myself wanting to go do missions, to donate my time and my resources, to be about my Father’s business. I found myself compelled to write a blog even. <– It doesn’t always have to be money.

The point is, my Spirit has changed. It has aligned itself with the truly important things of this world, and the next. I always felt that once I reached my goals, I would feel this sense of satisfaction and completion, but now that I am here, quite literally living my dream, I only find myself wanting to do more. Not to have more money, or more things, or whatever, but to do more for God. This wanting, urging feeling that I need to go. How can I use all that I have, to do more for Him?

I’m sharing all of that, to tell you this. I believe that if you are not already praying scripture, that you should. You should find a scripture that speaks to you, and start praying it. Write it down on an index card, and start praying it. Once a week, every day, whatever you want, but just start aligning yourself with the Spirit of Christ. Another favorite scripture of mine to pray, is this one. Talk about “be ready” for what the scripture will unlock for you. This one is POWERFUL. Paul’s prayer for spiritual wisdom for the Ephesians.

15 Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere,[e] 16 I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, 17 asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom[f] and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. 18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.

19 I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. 21 Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come. 22 God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church. 23 And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.

Ephesians 1:15-23

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you! Thank you, that you do not leave us where we’re at. That you bring us into your fold, and make us more like you. That you bless the work of our hands, and that you give us the need and desire to do your will. That you make ours lives forever more blessed and abundant through your Word. I pray today Father, that you renew in me a heart for you. That I will always rest-assured in you, and abide in your will. I strive to be more like you, and less like me. That you may bless the work of my hands, and the lives that I touch in such abundance that all will know your name, and know that you are the good, good Father who provides, who heals, who binds up and looses all things Father. I pray that I be a shining light for you and your will. That more may come to know you, through me. That I am the good, good servant who is about their Father’s business. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

Our church supports a lot of missionaries and missions. Including our Pastors – Dave and Jeanne Kaufman! They are in India this next week to support the Pastors and Preachers there. They have held 21 Pastor’s Conferences all over India in the last 2 weeks! They have been pouring out blessings upon the people there, and have witnessed miracles and miraculous healings! Feel free to support this worthy cause and encourage them on their trip, and remember you can always pray for them! – Just choose “missions” in the drop down. 🙂

https://my.simplegive.com/App/Giving/holy241165

God answers prayer

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34

You know, when I started this blog over a year ago, my life was crazy. Not to say it isn’t now, but it was hard crazy. I was doing a lot of hard things. Working two jobs to try to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads. I was still recovering from the loss of my dad. I was dealing with a lot. And, yet here was this still small voice telling me about how I should write a blog. And, to be honest, never a dream of mine. Always thought writing was cool, but I would much rather read somebody else’s writing. I always thought my life would make a cool movie, but not a book? But here, in the midst of chaos, I’m reading about bloggers, reading blogs, etc. and I could just hear this voice urging me to write. And, as I tell in my story, finally one day I did. And here we are, over a year later, still finding things to tell you about every week. Sharing the Good News, and explaining how you should be digging deeper, and telling everyone about when #Godshowedup.

Today and this week, I have been constantly reminded of how God answers prayer. Prayer is the most powerful thing we can do as believers. I think, as believers, we lose sight of all the prayers that He answers sometimes. That’s part of why I started my Prayer Box. A way to keep track of answered prayers. That’s why when I received a free prayer journal, I dedicated it to my Ladies’ Bible Study, so we can keep track of prayer requests – and so we can see all the answered prayers – many times-within the week! I think this truly conscious awareness of how much God answers prayer has really strengthened my faith, confirmed my beliefs, and encourages me daily. I know, that He doesn’t always answer every prayer, nor how you think He would answer them. But answers are answers, nonetheless.

This week, our candle business had a new growth opportunity, we entered into a consignment shop! I have also dedicated myself to trying to go to a Vendor Fair once a month, to continue assured income for my husband – who is making 95% of these candles. But here, a little over a year ago, I was praying to God. Give us answers, help us. And, I thought my new job was the answer, but that didn’t answer for my husband. Now, with the candle business, even more prayers have been answered. Then, of course, you pray that the business is successful, and in the 2 short months we’ve been open, we’ve made more than our first year. Are you kidding me?! God provides. God answers.

On Tuesday night, we prayed for our country. Prayed for discernment, understanding, and knowledge for the people in charge to help find resolution. We understand that it is not over, but it appears to be going in the right direction. We prayed for healing, and there was. We prayed for families, loved-ones, and relationships, and God is stirring in their hearts to fix things.

This year, I’ve prayed for so many things that I could keep you here for hours with my answered prayers. I encourage you to count your blessings, to track your answered prayers, because #Godshowedup in my life on a daily basis sometimes, and definitely in the lives of others I know. Answered my prayers and my prayers for others. God always wants to move, but you have to give Him an in, you have to bring His will down into your life. And you have to be ready to move, to open the door, to close another one, you have to be ready for the answer you get. Pray daily, pray when you least feel like it but need it most. That’s your direct channel to the one who can do something when you feel like you can’t do anything.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you! Thank you for being the God who provides. The God who is there, the Alpha & Omega, the Great I AM. I just appreciate each day so much Father. Each and every day is so rich in life and love, that we may all be so blessed. That you are the God who answers prayer. Thank you for sending your son so that we may have that direct channel with you. That we no longer need all the old ways to have to talk to you every day, and that you wanted and loved us so much that you sent Jesus to be our connection to you. That we can live and bask in the glorious light and love that you give. I am just so grateful, words cannot express. Thank you for all that you do for us, each and every day. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

With Australia being a big focus on the news, I decided to look for an Australian mission. Because, Australia needs prayers right now. Prayers for their fires, for the thousands of animals and people that are being displaced, but also for them in general. Australia has seen a sharp decline in church attendance in the past several years, and this group is focused on church planting and missions outreach. Take some time to read about: Operation Mobilization – an Australian based Mission Group that is reaching out to locals.

https://www.omusa.org/stories

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Holy and Dearly Loved

“clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience” – Colossians 3:12b

Last week’s post gave me the inspiration for this week. Although Romans 8 is a great chapter, and loved by many believers and followers of Christ. My all-time, favorite passage is Colossians 3:12-15. I know I’ve referred to it a few times before, but I’m not sure I’ve stated why it’s my favorite. I feel like this verse embodies a lot of what we as believers should be doing and believing.

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Colossians 3:12-15

It gives us some of the fruits, it tells us to bear with each other, to forgive one another as God forgives you. Then, it tells us to put on love, the overwhelming supernatural love of God. To let yourselves be ruled in peace – the passage I originally memorized quotes the “peace of the Messiah”. And to be Thankful. In all things be thankful. I just feel like this passage really says everything we, as believers, should be striving for. I have used the memorization of this passage many times. Typically in moments where I’m not feeling very “Christian-like”. As I’m trying to subdue unwanted actions and feelings, to remind myself that this is who I’m trying to be. This is what God wants from me.

With all that being said, I do want to strongly recommend that you find a verse that speaks to you. You can use mine too. But, a verse, that you spend time with. Memorize. Use in times of need. It really helps. We are also told to “hide your word in my heart that I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11. I believe that this is referring to being so in the word, and being able to recall scripture in times of need, that you can be more Christ-like, so that you can curb those old feelings and emotions of the “old you” to be more like who God wants you to be.

I had an example of this, this week. I was in the drive-thru, and the person in front of me, pulled up to the window…. and sat there. They didn’t even roll their window down to order. Now, a minute or two goes by, window still up. I see them trying to talk to someone in the backseat. Ok. Then, 5 minutes, 10 minutes…. What is going on? And, I’ll admit, after 5 minutes, I start struggling. I’m on my lunch break… I have to get back to work. What is happening, and after 10 minutes, their window is still up. They have not even ordered yet. I am inclined to lay on my horn, but I don’t. I’m telling myself, maybe they have an indecisive child in the backseat – they have to see the train of cars piling up behind us. And, it’s not a drive-thru that you can get out of, you are stuck there. Finally about 15 minutes in, they roll down their window. At 10 minutes, I reminded myself of Colossians 3:12-15. Peace of the Messiah in my heart. Peace. Peace. Peace. Then, I remembered an old song from growing up. ♪ I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river in my soul ♪ Sang the whole song, repeatedly while I was waiting. Because, then when they completed ordering – it took almost just as long at the pickup window. And, the whole time I’m singing, I’m also thinking, I have no idea what these people ahead of me are going through. Maybe they’re just as flustered and frustrated as I am. I’m not going to help the situation by honking or hollering out my window. I can just wait. I was also reminding myself of the little saying, “Jesus never worried, never hurried, and lived in the solution, not in the problem.” It was a total moment, where I had a chance to be the “old me” but I made the conscious choice not to. Purposefully decided to be like Christ. To wait patiently for my turn. It’s not the end of the world, it’s an extra 20 minutes in the drive-thru.

It’s important to make these conscious decisions. If you can’t trust Him with all the little moments, how are you supposed to trust Him with the big ones? And, it’s in all the little moments that we’re making our changes, all the little moments that we’re slowly changing our behaviors to be better, because the little moments happen every day. Compared to the big ones that only happen every once in a while. It’s a conscious decision to be more like Christ, all the time, not just when it suits us or when he’s convenient.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you! Thank you for being the good, good Father. Thank you for the teachable moments in my life, for the constant shaping and molding as the Potter to the Clay. Thank You for your incredible patience and supernatural peace that you give us. Thank you for giving us access to this peace, giving us the ability to tap into this patience and the peace that surpasses all understanding. Thank you for your incredible love. That we may all experience and know that love in our hearts. That we may grow and continue to be more like Jesus. Thank you for everything that you do for us Father. For all that You are, and all that You would have us be. IN JESUS’ NAME! AMEN!

Mission’s Circle

Our church supports a lot of missionaries and missions. Including our Pastors – Dave and Jeanne Kaufman! They are about to travel to India this next week to support the Pastors and Preachers there. Feel free to support this worthy cause and encourage them on their trip, and remember you can always pray for them! – Just choose “missions” in the drop down. 🙂

https://my.simplegive.com/App/Giving/holy241165

The Holy Spirit

 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. -Romans 8:16-17

As I woke this morning, I kept being urged to read my Bible to write today. I’ll admit that recently I have not been reading as much as I usually do, so I don’t really have a spot to be reading at the moment. So, I just started in Acts. Flipping and scanning, seeing what I’m supposed to be reading. Noting the highlighted areas, reading around those. Finally, I land in Romans 8. I have versus 11 and 26-30 highlighted. But really all of Romans 8 is very good. *Emphasis is my own*

Life Through the Spirit

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Present Suffering and Future Glory

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

More Than Conquerors

31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Powerful Chapter!

The Holy Spirit just stirs reading it, like, “YES! YES!”

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. – You are no longer condemned because you are alive in Christ, and you are Free because God has set you free through His Son, and the Holy Spirit.

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. – You live in this world but you are not of it anymore. You have transcended into becoming a creation of Christ Jesus. You are not dead inside, but alive with the Holy Spirit.

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. – You are alive and free in the Holy Spirit. You are a joint-heir with Christ. All His glory is yours, all the Father has to give is yours, you need only to receive. For all that we suffer, we will also receive in glory because of the gifts of the Father and His love.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. – The Holy Spirit is our helper, our intercessor, our right-hand man, our captain. He knows the will of our hearts and cries out to God for us, when our own words cannot express our needs.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? …. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Nothing can separate us from God. Absolutely nothing. If we have submitted and given ourselves to be His, then we are alive in Him forever! And we can rest assured in that, have peace in that, know love in that. That we are heirs with Christ and our God will never leave us or forsake us, that we are royalty and will forever be blessed and join in the eternal glory of Christ Jesus.

Note

Now, as I’m reading and writing all of this, I have felt compelled to share a very personal story:

As I had recently come back to the faith, and started praying again. Prayer was very powerful for me, it was almost this other-worldly experience. It felt like my battery was being charged, and also made me want more. Fast-forward several months, maybe even a year, and I realized while I was praying, I was also rocking side-to-side. I would start praying sitting still, then when I would be done praying and kinda “come back”, I would be gently swaying. And, this just kept happening. I wasn’t even thinking about it, and I would forget until I would open my eyes and here I was swaying again. Then, fast forward again, and I would be in the middle of prayer and then my mind would just go blank and I just wanted to groan. Like, I just had no words for my prayers anymore and I just wanted to groan. – Which kinda freaked me out, like why is this happening? Now, at this point, I can’t say that I knew this part in Chapter 8 where – ” In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” So, when I heard this scripture, I was like “OH!” That all makes sense now!

Now, I’m not sure what the story is going to do for anyone, or why I felt really compelled to share it, except that it was a deep revelation in how the Holy Spirit guides us in ways we don’t understand to get us closer to God. That I didn’t even know this scripture, but the Holy Spirit did and he just kept drawing me in and getting me closer and closer to God, and knew that eventually I would catch on. And, that has been a lot of my walk. Just going with this tugging feelings inside me and letting the Holy Spirit guide me to where I’m supposed to be going, and trusting in God that I always get there. Just like this blog. I have grown so much in being able to reflect and share and discover and experience with all of you, and all your encouragement over the year. And for that, I am forever grateful.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, Daddy, the Great “I AM”, Thank you! We enter your gates with thanksgiving today, for all the gifts in our lives. The gifts of the holiday season, of your son Jesus, and of the Holy Spirit. Of the fact that you sent your son to die for us that we may live in you. We gratefully accept your abundance of Love and Peace and Hope and Understanding that you bestow on us and in us. We are forever grateful that you love us so much. That we are all your royal children, and that we can live forever in you. That you guide us in the ways we should go, and that you continually help us grow in our new lives as creations of yours in Christ. That we continue to bear fruit and to bless those around us, as you have blessed us. Thank you for all that you do Father, and all that you are. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

Our church supports a lot of missionaries and missions. Including our Pastors – Dave and Jeanne Kaufman! They are about to travel to India this coming January to support the Pastors and Preachers there. Feel free to support this worthy cause and encourage them on their trip, and remember you can always pray for them! – Just choose “missions” in the drop down. 🙂

https://my.simplegive.com/App/Giving/holy241165

‘Tis the season

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. – Colossians 3:12-15

Ahhh, Christmas. Time to be grateful for what we have, and who we have in our lives. A time where the Hallmark movies make more and more sense with age. A time where I feel more and more concerned about making sure that everyone enjoys the holidays and not necessarily what gifts they get. Don’t get me wrong, like I stated last week, I care about the gift, but I would rather get someone one good gift than 10 meh gifts. But, I really couldn’t tell you 95% of the gifts I’ve received over the years, but I do remember the actual days. The Holiday. How it made me feel. How I hope I made others feel.

This year, I’m finding something interesting though. I’m so grateful that I have my faith. I’m so grateful that God sent his son to die for me, that I may have a personal relationship with Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit. I find it interesting that even though it’s not Jesus’s birthday, but simply a time to set aside to observe it, that the joy of Christmas has been in my heart all year. That I really don’t feel that different with the holiday only days away, because I’ve been celebrating all year. I have felt the love, joy, and peace of the season- All year long 💞 and that it doesn’t have to be for just me. It can be something that everyone can enjoy, because Christ has given himself for each of us, and all of us. And if we start letting him in our hearts every day of the year, instead of just Christmas – that anyone can experience the love, joy, and peace of Christmas all year long.

How incredible?!? What a Great God?!? He has given us the best gift any of it could hope for. One that we have free access to, all the time. A gift, that literally, keeps on giving. We just need to accept, need to embrace, need to hold it close, and cherish it for the amazing, incredible, supernatural gift that it is. That we may all be so blessed.

I hope you all have an incredible Christmas. I hope you get everything that you want, and need, and that you cherish those you can spend it with. That God may shine his face upon you, watch over you, and bless you this holiday season. And that the feeling you have in your heart stays with you all year long, since that is part of the gift that Christ died to give you. May you and your loved ones be blessed this holiday season, as God intended. 💞

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this day. Thank you for all your blessings, every day of the year. Thank you for sending your son to die for you, that we may receive the eternal gifts you have for us. That we may cherish those close to us, and far away, and not with us anymore, just as you cherish us. So much that you would make the ultimate sacrifice so that we may walk with you, Father. That we may be blessed in all we do, and grow stronger in you, Father.

Bless your holy name, IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

This week, I encourage you to do your own mission. Think of someone or something close to you and do something nice. Reach out where you’re at. Christmas can be some of the loneliest and hardest times of year for some people. Invite someone to dinner, give them a small gift, take them out for coffee. Show you care and that they are not alone. Be a missionary, right where you’re at. 💞

Thankful, Grateful, & Blessed

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 18 (NIV)

So Thankful

This year, I’ve had a hard time thinking about what I want. I’m a little grateful that no one has really asked. Maybe they all already have something in mind, but even if they don’t, I will be grateful for whatever I receive. I have had Christmases where I’ve hardly received anything, and ones where I have received more than I could possibly imagine. Years of little, and years of plenty. Last year, as I stated last week, was a year of little giving for me, but I still managed to eek out gifts to everyone I cared about – which is what I really care about. It’s one of my “love languages”, if you will. I love to show the people I care about – that I care, by giving gifts. Everyone in my life means so much to me that I just want to show appreciation. I spend a lot of time, thinking about what I’m getting others. Not necessarily stressing over it, but just really trying to make sure I get the perfect gift. The ever-illusive “perfect gift”. Some years, I’ve nailed it, and as my husband has been reminding me this year as he ponders what I got him – some years, I have totally missed the mark. Several years ago, for our anniversary, I got this beautiful quote, blown into a full-size poster and framed and gave it to him…. Not really my husband’s style, but he graciously accepted the gift, and didn’t say much about it for a long time, but I knew as soon as he saw it… not really the gift he wanted. Which happens. Happens to all of us. Both as the giver, and the recipient, but life goes on.

I also have a particularly hard time because I’ve lost someone close. I lost my dad a couple years ago, and this was his FAVORITE Holiday. He was like a giant kid. And he loved giving. After I grew up, we would go shopping for Christmas together, because between you and me – he was not the best at picking what people wanted. He would steal my ideas! I actually started making 2 lists a few years ago, a list of items that he could buy our loved ones, and a list that I would use. But, we would go shopping together, and I would help get him pretty well set for gift-giving at Christmas. And, the year before he died, I was able to give him the best Christmas gift I could imagine. I was able to take him to a Dallas Cowboys Game. An entire trip where we just laughed and had a great time, and had all sorts of memories I will never forget. And I am so grateful that God gave me that opportunity (because I was the runner-up in a drawing to win the tickets, and the first winner had turned them down because they had just watched a game the weekend before! – Are you kidding me? #Godshowedup!) So, that makes this time of year bittersweet. And, I’m sure it’s bittersweet for many.

But, I already feel like I’ve received an incredible gift this year, and I’m just so grateful. So grateful that my God, is such an incredible God, and he knows what we need. This year, I was working with my dad’s Bible Study group to give donations to local charities, and when I called one of the charities to let them know we would be making a donation, and asked where to send the check etc. The lady started telling me that she used to work with this older gentlemen at this same time of year and he was such a great guy, and that sadly he had passed away a few years ago but she was so grateful someone else was doing this. And, I asked, if the gentlemen’s name was my dad’s name. And she said, “Yes, how did you know?” I said, “Yes, that was my dad.” And, she told me how sorry she was that he was gone, but thanked me again profusely… And, I’m just so grateful, that he’s not gone. He lives in here <3, in all the people that he’s touched. And, he will continue to live on.

Now, I’m telling you all of that, to tell you this. My dad wasn’t always like this. But, as he grew in his faith, and followed God, he began giving. He knew it was important to help those in need. It is one of the most important things that we will ever do. To shine the light and love of God on those around us. To give. As Christ gave, as God gives, because we are here to be thankful, to be grateful for what we do have, because there are those that don’t have, or maybe things we don’t have. But we have God. And he will always provide. He will always give us what we need. And, I find it hard to think about what I want, because I don’t want. I have everything I need. I have everything the Lord has given me, and I couldn’t be more grateful, thankful, and blessed.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16 – 18 (NIV)

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” – 2 Corinthians 4:15 (NIV)

“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” – Ephesians 5:18-20 (NIV)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” – Philippians 4:6 – 7 (NIV)

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.” – 1 Chronicles 16:34 (NIV)

“I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.” – Psalm 69:30

“Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods.” – Psalm 95:2-3

“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” – Psalm 9:1 (NIV)

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for all that you do. Thank you for all that you are. Thank you for your blessings of overflow. Thank you for your amazing grace, and for your supernatural peace. Thank you Father, for sending your son to die for us, and giving us the gift of Salvation and the ability to come live in Heaven with you. That you saved us, and that you love us. Thank you for all that you are Father, and all that you would have us be. I pray that each person who reads this is blessed this season. That you ease any suffering they might have, that you mend wounds and bridges, that you bring us all together in your love. That watch over us and guide us in your ways. That everyone may feel as eternally grateful and blessed and thankful as I do. That my heart is overfull, and you are the Good Father who provides that. IN JESUS’ NAME! AMEN!!

Mission’s Circle

This particular cause is important to me as I have known too many people to be the victims of domestic violence. Please take a moment to consider donating to your local domestic abuse shelter. I’m putting my local one up here because everyone needs help everywhere.

Brookings Domestic Abuse Shelter

Or Donate here

What a difference…

11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. – Ecclesiastes 3:11

a year makes

I always find as the year comes to an end, how life has changed in such a seemingly short period of time. Sometimes, for the better, sometimes for the worse. This past year, was thankfully, for the better. I have been quite caught up recently in how different my life looks now, compared to this time last year. And, I know, that all of it is thanks to my Heavenly Father. As previous years had experienced trials and tribulations, as bouts of my life have been roller coasters of madness and mayhem, this past year, was exceptionally great. Don’t get me wrong, it had it’s moments. But in the great, overall comparison. I find myself eternally grateful.

Last year at this time, my ends weren’t just not meeting, they couldn’t even see each other. I’m not sure they were even in the same building, let alone the same room. Our little family was going through a time of transition, a time of flex. I was working two jobs to try to help the ends get closer together, and I started writing this blog, and I was still trying to maneuver keeping a Bible Study together, and the million other little things I do. I was still recovering from the blow of falling and terribly injuring my back. I was still learning what life was like without my dad. My husband had left his old job and was battling his own demons. Our son was just trying to be a kid, who was also dealing with all his own stuff, living in a house, with two parents recovering from all these things. A time of flex. But strong, is what you are, when you have no other choice. And, by God, that is absolutely what my family is. Strong.

And, to think, how different this year looks. I have a new job – which made my ends almost able to make knots ;), my ladies’ bible study group finally got their forever home (I hope!) – we just had our first meeting in our newest location this past week! (Praise God!), my blog has a consistent audience – that I pray reads these words and is encouraged and grows from them. My husband is doing leaps and bounds better than last year, our candle business is taking off and doing seemingly better than ever before. Our son, is also doing better. As any parent knows, when the parents are doing better, generally the children improve, thankfully this is the case this time as well.

I’m telling you all of that, to tell you this. The biggest ways that #Godshowedup sometimes, is in the little things. It’s in the every day. It’s in the small ways and steps that we gradually take forward. In the things we take for granted. He is our strength, when we have no strength. He is the good, good Father, and if we continually trust in him, he will lead our steps. He will bring us forward. He will guide us in the ways that we should go. We just have to trust Him. Each & every day. Because, He doesn’t always show up in the big ways we expect, but he fine-tunes the little things sometimes, that we might miss. Until we take a step back and look at the big picture. At the difference a year can make. We have to trust Him for the battles, because He has won the war. We have to believe that what He has in store for us, is better than we can imagine for ourselves. We cannot see the forest for the trees, but He’s got the whole forest in His hands. My forest, and your forest, and your family’s forest, and He can absolutely see where we need to go, every step of the way. And, if we just trust Him, He will take us there.

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for this day, and all the days. Thank you for every thing that you do for me, and for each person that reads this blog, for the lives they touch, for the people they love, for each and every one of them is precious in your eyes. That you may bless their hands, and their steps. That you may guide them every step of the way. That you may watch over them, and protect them, and keep them safe. That you may heal them, inside and out. That you may be the everlasting and everloving light that you are. A lamp unto our feet. That you have our lives in your hands, and we couldn’t ask for anything better. Bless your name Father. Bless our lives. May we all feel the incredible love, and life that you have for us. IN JESUS’ NAME!! AMEN!

Mission’s Circle

I’m taking a moment to encourage a mission that isn’t near my home, but it’s focus is near and dear to my heart. PTSD, mental illness, and addictions are serious, and real. They affect millions of people every year, and they’re so deceptive because they typically are dressed in normal clothes, and look like regular people. But, as my entire life has shown me, these people struggle the most. How hard is it to explain that your brain is your own worst enemy? How impossible is it to explain, that there is no tangible reason that you can’t function like everyone else, because you simply can’t. These are the battles that millions of people face. An underlying disease and crisis that sits just below the surface and doesn’t get nearly the attention it should, considering how many people are struggling with it. Feel free to check these guys out, I did find one that has a focus on helping people find Christ while they endure this journey, but really, take a moment and reach out wherever you can. Even if you don’t understand, sometimes the biggest impact you can make is just being there for someone who needs it.

A Place of Hope

Pray for those who need it, and for those who help, and for everyone fighting a battle today ❤