Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Thursday, January 11, 2018

lessons in GRACE

Today, a new day is dawning on my blogging habits. I will be linking the posts on the new blog, "lessons in GRACE~ learning to love the NO as much as the YES" to my old blogs for the first while… after that I hope you will come here or sign-up to join me here on this new adventure! I don’t want to do it without you! Click over here to find out more!

Rejoicing in Truth!

Thursday, December 14, 2017


As I was checking my gift list and what we still need to get to be ready for Christmas. I got out the
boxes of decorations... some bring back precious memories.  I love adding just a little something new every year to keep things fresh though.  After the ornaments have been hanging on the tree for a few weeks they get kind of dusty?  Or maybe that is just at my house?  I have an ongoing battle with dust… I hate to dust and I think dust purposely antagonizes me!!! 

While going about my tasks, my mind was drawn to Christ, Father’s Gift to us all.  The most precious gift ever! In so many ways, it has been a rough year for so many that I care about.  But my eyes keep turning back to that original Gift… no matter the circumstances of life the only thing that matters is our relationship with God... that started on that first Christmas morning.  Jesus Christ was born in a dusty stable, but from that very moment He started to change the world… He takes all the “dust” and grime of our lives and sweeps it all away never to be seen again, if we just turn to Him.

There are questions of why God lets things happen… some feeling like the bad circumstances are a punishment from God.  There are so many instances in the Bible of when bad things were happening to people and it was not as a punishment!  Look at Job for instance… what would we do if all our possessions were taken… we lost our job… our kids were killed???  I know for myself, I probably would ask God why He would allow such things… if He loves me so much how could He let me go through all this pain??? In fact I have asked that in the past. I spent years dealing with infertility... the heartache... the heartbreak... bitterness blinded my eyes to God's goodness... all I could see was how cruel my whole situation felt! It is crazy how off track emotional pain can take you! But these are the words that were a gift to bring me back to reality... God's reality... "Father God is not a cruel Father!" I wonder why no one ever said that to me in all those years? Such a simple statement, but a scale falling off my eyes moment!

But we do like to understand things… we like to try and fix things… we think we know more of what we need than God does… admit it, we have all been there.  I will admit it… I am impatient… I like to figure things out on my own… I want to live in comfort not pain!  But if everything was “peachy keen” all the time how would I ever grow?  And truthfully, what would I need God for?  God may not bring on any of the distress in our lives but He will allow it… ultimately to be used for His glory!

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

In Job 38 and 39, God and Job are having a “conversation.”  If you take the time to read it you will see that God was letting Job know that no matter what his circumstances were God was still in control!  God created all things… He should know how to keep things going and in order! Hmm… not so easy to remember sometimes.

Getting back to the gift part… if our Heavenly Father was willing to give up His only Son to restore His relationship with us… why would He ever do anything to cause us harm?  He sent Jesus to earth as a precious little baby but He wants us to let Him be so much bigger than we can ever imagine in our lives!  So I guess the question is… If Father was willing to give me and you such a precious Gift are we willing to trust Him no matter our circumstances?

“Blessed are the people who know how to praise you. They walk in the light of your presence, O LordThey find joy in your name all day long. They are joyful in your righteousness because you are the glory of their strength. By your favor you give us victory.  Our shield belongs to the Lord.  Our king belongs to the Holy One of Israel.” Psalms 89:15-18 (GW)

So if you are going through some tough times right now... if life seems to be too hard to handle... if your eyes have been blinded to God's goodness... let me re-gift those same words to you... "Father God is not a cruel Father!"

Father, I thank You for Your goodness and the precious Gift of Your Son! I praise You for Your presence… that You will never leave us alone!  Lord, You are so faithful! I ask You to open the eyes of every person reading this to see Your goodness. All praise to You! In Jesus' name.

Rejoicing in Truth!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Half-way is Never Enough...

When I got married over 27 years ago, I was under the impression marriage should be a 50/50 thing... give and take... 50/50. I had expectations of how the relationship should work... we need to meet each other halfway. Right? WRONG! It isn't just with marriage either... it can spread to any of our relationships with family and friends.

Live with expectancy not expectations!
Expectations bring disappointment,
Expectancy can bring miracles!

It didn't take long before I realized doing “50/50” just was not going to work!  By trying to do life that way, I was putting conditions on my love for the other person, which led to disappointment and frustration... 50/50 says "I'll do my part and you do your part"... it bases love on performance. We get more concerned with what the other person is giving rather than what we are giving. How could I ever judge what is my 50% or my husband's 50%... when I look at it like that I see I am trying to build a foundation all on my feelings... love isn't a feeling... love is an action... it's a choice. Like the choice God made when He sent His Son to die for each of us. God has always and will always give us 100 percent. Truthfully, I know I never even deserve 10% of His love... yet He pours His love out on me in abundance.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” ~ Romans 5:8

Now, it is your turn… will you try to work on changing your marriage relationship to 100/100... in fact, how about trying it with all your relationships… even that person that gets on your nerves?  Not saying it is easy... and honestly it will never be 100/100... some days it might be 80/100 or 75/100... we are just human, but it gives us a goal to strive for each day. I know for me… I am a work in progress!  It cannot be done through our own strength but through the strength that comes from a life totally yielded to Christ.

I have had single friends say, "I am just trying to find a half-way decent guy." I have probably even said this before myself. Think about that... a half-way decent guy... or a half-way decent anything??? Why would we be willing to settle for "half-way decent" instead of all the way decent!!!??? Half-way decent means half-way not decent! I want more than that! How about you? Are you settling at the half-way point?

A little respect and loving kindness can go a long way… making just a small effort to reach out to others is a big deal!  Half-way is never enough! Every act of kindness will be water to a thirsty soul.  As Believers we are called to be light in this dark world, so whether our spouse or friends or family are Believers or not… they need to see that our words and actions bear witness to the Love we have living inside of us.

"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." ~  Matthew 5:16

Rejoicing in Truth!


Friday, August 11, 2017

I Must Confess...

For the last 10 days I have posted each day with #honoryourspouse on my FaceBook page. I know some people probably don’t get why I did this. I never meant for any of this to come across as braggadocios. But today, August 11, is our 27th wedding anniversary, so I just wanted to do something a little special. And anyone that knows me, even just a little bit, knows how much I adore my hubby, and how thankful I am for this man God has given me.

I must confess… my actions do not always reflect adoration or thankfulness towards my hubby many times. Just yesterday, something happened or didn’t happen in a situation, and I ended up with hurt feelings. I am the kind of person that uses up a lot of words, whether spoken or written most days… words are important to me. Luke on the other hand… not so much! Water and oil!!! I was not asking anything complicated from him… I just really needed to hear what he thought or what was on his heart about a specific situation. What did I get… nothing! So when I pleaded with him for just a few words, I got, “I’m sorry.” I’m sorry??? Sorry for what? I just shut down from the whole conversation, which is probably better than the times I don’t keep my mouth shut!

So last night as I was feeling brokenhearted, I was talking to God… I knew that this little incident was something that the devil would love to make into something big. I was reminded that making a marriage work was not an easy assignment. There are so many married couples being torn apart… and more cases than not, it is a little thing that snowballs into a big thing! It breaks my heart to see families ripped apart! I was also reminded about unconditional love from the Father. I am not always lovable, BUT He always chooses to love me anyway!

As I was getting ready to crawl into bed, I remembered I had not written my #honoryourspouse for the day… REALLY! What did I even feel like writing when I was still wallowing in my emotions??? I dug down deep… asking God what can I write without feeling like a hypocrite??? Here is what came to me instantly:
“August 10... To love is a choice! It's in the hard times emotions can deceive...keep choosing to love! #honoryourspouse”

That pretty much says it all! Our life is far from perfect, but the God who brought us together is… that is how it works! That is the ONLY way it will work! Honor God with your commitment! And honor each other with God’s help in ALL things!

“And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” ~ Ephesians 5:2

Rejoicing in Truth!


We have such a heart for marriages and because of that we are using our B&B, Shining Light Inn, to be a place for marriage weekends. We have REFRESH Your Marriage Weekend set for September 15-17, 2017. Click HERE for more details.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Always a Blessing in the Burden...

I came across this writing from a few years back... my heart was prodded to share it today. I needed the reminder, but maybe someone else needed it too:

How do you look at burdens, disappointments, illness? Do you ever feel sometimes that as a believer you should not ever see yourself as being burdened?  Can you see the good in burdens that we may face?  I know I started with a lot of questions… where do I find the answers? 

When I started thinking and praying about writing this devotional, I had no idea where God was going to take me.  The words “burden” and “blessing” kept coming to my mind.  In fact I had previously posted something on my other blog titled “Burden or Blessing” not realizing that this was the place God wanted me to go for this devotional.  The first verse that comes to my mind when I think of burden is:

“Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you; 
He shall never permit the righteous to be moved." ~ Psalms 55:22 
No matter what we may be going through God is always there to carry our load if we will just give it to Him.  How can a burden be turned into a blessing or better yet how do I let God turn a burden into a blessing in my heart and life?  When the dreams and plans we may have for our lives just don’t go the way we think they should… how do we take that burden, that disappointment, that hurt and let God work His miracle to turn it into a blessing.  It just amazes me to see how God can take ashes and make something new out of them. (Isaiah 61:3)

Everyone has a story and this is mine... For years I carried a burden with me.  It was so personal and I “suffered” in silence most of the time, but anyone that really knew me knew it was always there.  I felt at times it became my identity… the burden of never being able to have a baby.  Many, many tests were done, but still no real reason for the infertility… no reason for the emptiness… no reason for the loss… no reason why I couldn’t give my husband a child.   For a long time I kept asking why God would allow such a thing to be a part of MY life… I always have done my best to live for Him… why did I have to carry this burden when I wanted to be a mom so badly?  I got plenty of unsolicited answers from so many people, but I never really got the answer I was looking for from God.   

I would often think of Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.”

I know I was born with the desire in my heart to be a mother.  I also know God gave me that desire.  Then why when I was “delighting myself in the Lord” was He not giving me the desires of my heart?

I never did receive an answer to that exact question, but what I did receive was that if I had a willing heart to trust that God knows best, He can change the desires of my heart. He can relieve the burden of the loss of my dreams.  And yes, He can even turn this burden into a blessing

You might ask where is the blessing.  The blessing comes from me surrendering my desires to His way in my life.  Psalm 37:5 goes on to say, Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.” 

That is a promise from God… a God who never changes (Hebrews 13:8)… a God who never lies (Hebrews 6:18)… a God who will never let me go. (Isaiah 41:13)  It may not be my plan but it is God’s plan.  This is a favorite quote that relates to this, “It is dangerous to mistake my wishes for God’s will.”

Satan hates it when we can find the blessing in the burden. One of our enemy’s greatest weapons is discouragement… if I allow him to take that burden and add his lies and deception, then he has got me right where he wants me. He will use discouragement and discontentment to turn my heart away from God and all the blessings God has for me.

How do I combat when Satan wants to bring up that hurt and try to turn it back into a burden?  I praise & worship God.  I am not saying it is always easy, but I do know that God has already won the victory and I am so thankful I am on the winning side.

These are a few verses that help me praise God in those difficult moments.  I pray you will meditate on them and that you find comfort for whatever burden you may be carrying today.

"I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps.  He has put a new song in my mouth— Praise to our God; many will see it and fear, and will trust in the LORD.” - Psalm 40:1-3 

“Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD.” - Psalm 31:24

“The LORD will give strength to His people; the LORD will bless His people with peace.” - Psalm 29:11 

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise Him.” - Psalm 28:7 

I pray that through God’s leading I will be used to be a blessing to someone today. Giving God all the glory, in Jesus’ Name. Share this with someone that may need to read this today too.

Questions to ask yourself:

Has there been a time in your life when you thanked God for a burden?

Share how God has turned a burden into a blessing in your life.

What do you do to get through those difficult moments?

Rejoicing in Truth!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Focus Not Fog...

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.   ~ 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Do you ever have those times when anxiety seems to creep up on you for no real reason? I find that the busier I am the less anxious I tend to get. There is always cleaning, decluttering and organizing to do, but… I love it when it’s done, but I have to be in the mood to do it! 

I joined a group once for decluttering and putting perfectionism out of my life, called FlyLady. One of her articles was talking about driving in the fog and how if I get antsy and overwhelmed while trying to clean and organize my home it is like driving in the fog. 

I was thinking about how it is the same when I let my thoughts and emotions overwhelm me and cause me to be frustrated in my life spiritually! I take my focus off God and put it on the junk going on around me or the thoughts and questions I have going through my head.  I am guilty of using distraction to keep me from staying on task! Anyone else have that problem too??? I listen more to the enemy’s voice in my ear than the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart.  

There is no good way to get through my day in a fog… maybe fog stands for Free Of God??? WOW! Why would I want to live a life in FOG?  I don’t!  Waiting… being still… trusting is soooo hard for me to do so many times.  I have always been a doer and I know God has spoken to my heart about that so many times in the past.  Maybe this time I will actually learn something.  

The anxiety can so easily build up in me because my flesh says God is not moving quickly enough… He is not showing me the next step… He is causing my frustration and loneliness.  But in my spirit I know none of those things are true.  In these times I have to take a deep breath, confess my unbelief, and remember it is not about me anyway!  It is my fault for taking my eyes off Him! Don’t be like Peter when he stepped out of the boat. He was walking on water while he kept his focus on Jesus, but what happened as soon as he looked away? (Matthew14:22-33) God’s timing is perfect!  How many times does the Bible say to be patient?

Remember… if you are standing firm in your faith… then courage, strength and love should come more easily... it’s a good way to see what you are really standing on. Focus on Him!

Rejoicing in Truth!