Monday, December 5, 2016

My Weakness, His Strength...

I have often heard people say during times of stress or problems, “I must be strong for them.”  Well, if you are dealing with pain, stress, sickness… here is something God spoke to my heart. He reminded me that I need to be weak in these times. I know that may sound ridiculous to you, but it is definitely what He showed me & here is why... 

God showed me… It is when I let myself be weak that my pride gets out of the way.

But when Jesus heard it, He replied, “Those who are strong and well (healthy) have no need of a physician, but those who are weak and sick.” ~ Matthew 9:12

It is when I am weak, I cry out to my Heavenly Father for help.

Pay attention to my cry for help because I am very weak. Rescue me from those who pursue me because they are too strong for me. ~ Psalms 142:6

It is when I am weak, I have no illusion that I am in control.

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up. ~ James 4:10

It is when I am weak, I will experience the blessings and benefits of being God’s child.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, ~ Ephesians 1:3

It is when I am weak, His strength becomes mine. 

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

It is when I am weak, my vulnerability brings His presence even stronger in my life.  

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. ~ Psalms 91:1

It is when I am weak, life detours will not distract me but will allow His will to shine through.  

Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. ~ Hebrews 12:12-13

It is when I am weak, He gets all the glory!

He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, ~ Romans 4:20

Let me be weak, Lord, living in Your strength!

So do not fear, for I am with you; 
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10

Rejoicing in Truth!

PS: This verse was laid on my heart today for someone… maybe it is you! When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” ~ John 11:4

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

What Are You Thinking?

I am a very inquisitive person.  I have always liked to know how things work… the reasons why things are done a certain way… things need to make sense to me.  A cognitive thinker you might say.  (Cognitive: acquiring knowledge by the use of reasoning, intuition, or perception; relating to thought processes.)  This however has not always been a good thing!

The good part of this is… I am pretty good at Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble, Sudoku, word finds and crossword puzzles… none of which you can make a living at!!! Ha!  The bad part… I am an over-thinker!  If something doesn’t make sense I struggle with believing or following along.  This way of thinking can make things tough as a follower of Christ.  There are so many things that will not make sense to my human brain.  Many times what I am reading in God’s Word gets stuck between my brain and my heart.  I can be like a spoiled child and demand God to explain to me why things are the way they are, but how much good does that do? Or I can completely trust that He is in control and has it covered.

On the outside I might look like I am cool, calm & collected… truth is… there are times I can go from 0 to 100 in panic-mode! I hate that about myself! It use to happen a lot… poor Luke in the first few years of our marriage! The times are now fewer & farther in between, or maybe only 0 to 10! But I really don’t want any panic in my life anymore!

Reading in Psalm 131, I was shown how that we can be like the child who is still demanding food from the momma… we fret and cry and demand God to do what we want Him to do in our lives. Or we can be like the weaned child who sits on the mother’s lap content and satisfied.

Are there things in your life you just do not understand?  Maybe you are demanding things from God that He knows is not in your best interest.  When is the time you learn to be humble, patient, content… trust Him with your whole being and circumstance… even when you do not understand God’s reasoning?  I am not saying you shouldn’t ask God… He wants you to bring your desires and requests to Him.  What I feel this is saying is that no matter how long you have to wait for His answer… you trust Him with faith and patience not fret and worry. Like it says in Psalm 131:3 – “Hope in the Lord from this time forth and forever.”  After all, divine logic is so beyond humane thinking or understanding!

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. Philippians 4:6 (AMP)

Ask yourself, do you want to keep living in anguish and worry or are you willing to wait in faith, hope and peace???  Can you trust Father while He works it all out in His good, acceptable and perfect will?  I would say that is a resounding, “YES.”  It is not easy, but it is easier when we get our stinkin’ thinkin’ out of the way. 

Remember… nothing is a mystery to God. God is always the same! His faithfulness will never cease!

Rejoicing in Truth!

Monday, October 3, 2016

A Dot in His Picture...

Over the last year we, my hubby & I, have really had to change the way we are living our life. Serving God & trying to do His will, as we understand it, has been a part of the majority of our married life… but God has really challenged us (me) more than ever.  God is always asking me, “How much are you willing to trust Me? Are you ready to give everything up as you know it, to follow Me to something bigger I have for your life?”  I am sharing this to only say that God keeps “shaking” us/me awake to what new step He has for us... what might be next?

As a kid I can remember playing with a sliding tile puzzle… maybe some of you don’t even know what I am talking about. It is a hand-held plastic game board, about 3”x 3”, that had 15 interlocking tiles that you would slide around trying to put all the tiles in order to make a picture or to get the numbers in order.  Each tile was important to the puzzle, and each move you made could make it or break it.  There would be many times I would slide the same piece around in a “circle” trying to get it to go where it belonged. I must confess there were times I tried to cheat by popping a tile out so I could solve it easily… that never worked though because even if I could get it popped out I could not get it pushed back in!

That is how my life feels sometimes lately… like a sliding tile puzzle!  God has every piece of my life in His hands and He has to be the one to make the picture.  There are many days I try to slide a tile into a different position and that usually just scrambles things all the more.  I can only see one piece at a time… and some days maybe not even the whole piece… but God can see the whole picture. 

Okay, so here is my fleshly truth… there are moments or even days that I want to turn back from this path.  It seems too hard when I feel like I don’t know where I belong.  I feel lonely and isolated, and let’s face it… just plain impatient!  I know God knows what He is doing, but does He have to take so long to do it??? Really?!

And God’s truth… He knows the plans He has for me, plans for peace and not harm, and a future filled with hope (Jeremiah 29:11).  He also has promised never to leave me (Hebrews 13:5) He said, if I love Him I will be obedient to His Word (John 14:23, 2 John 1:6).  And just like Jesus said to Peter when Peter wanted to walk on water to come to Jesus, but failed… “You of little faith, why do you doubt?” Matthew 14:31

That is it… there really can be no arguing with God’s truth! I cannot live by how I feel which changes from moment to moment! I have God’s solid truth to stand on.  I may be only a dot in His big picture, but it is okay… that is where faith and trust have to come into play.  I must trust Him enough to go where He says to go, move where He says to move, and speak what He says to speak.

As we grow in our faith… we can see clearer & clearer, or maybe it isn’t really clearer, but rather that we are walking by faith & not by sight! (2 Corinthians 5:7) Some days I must look like… 2 steps forward, 3 steps back! Do you have those days too? We can always say, “No.”… but the truth is… it is not about us.  We all are a dot in His picture! Is your dot in the place where He wants you to be?

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. ~ Psalm 51:10

I don’t know what you are going through, but God does… He cares.  Cry out to Him and lay yourself at His feet.  When feelings start to overtake remember His Truth!  Lord, I pray for each person that reads this… help us to keep our eyes focused on You… the One that holds life in His hands. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Rejoicing in Truth!


Monday, September 12, 2016

Safe in His Arms...

The days are getting shorter… Fall is drawing near! I love Fall… the trees changing colors, the cooler temps, sunny days with cool nights. Last year, the autumn season was a very tough time for me… turmoil & anxiety invaded my life… it was a horrible, struggling time for me. A time I do not want to revisit! Trying to prepare my heart against any of the discouraging darts of the enemy with this next season just around the corner.

Looking to Psalm 139, the whole chapter… it's an incredible “word picture”. Verse 10 is a verse of peace for me…“Even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.” This verse brings to mind the lyrics to this song by 33 Miles:
I know it seems like this could be
The darkest day you've known
But believe you me
The God of strength will never let you go
He will overcome, I know

Through many dangers, toils and snares
You have already come
His grace has brought you safe this far
His grace will lead you home

And the arms that hold the universe
Are holding you tonight
You can rest inside
It's gonna be alright

And the voice that calmed the raging sea
Is calling you His child
So be still and know He's in control
He will never let you go

It is a great reminder that no matter what you may be going through our Heavenly Father is here to lead you and hold you.  As followers of Christ we are never left alone to deal with the turmoil of this world.  I can picture God holding me up with His right hand while pointing me to the path He has planned for me with His other.  Trusting and resting that He is in control… giving it all up to You, Lord.  What peace that puts deep down in my soul!!!

Could you use some peace today? Go ahead, read and meditate on Psalms 139 and see what Holy Spirit will show you to give you comfort in whatever circumstance you may be going through.
“Even though I walk into the middle of trouble, You guard my life against the anger of my enemies. You stretch out Your hand, and Your right hand saves me.” ~ Psalms 138:7
God’s hands will never fail you… not ever!
To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. ~ (Jude 24-25)

Rejoicing in Truth!


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Promises in the Dark...

As we are getting closer to the end of summer, it makes me a little sad.  You can see the days are getting shorter… it gets darker earlier.  To be perfectly honest, I am not a fan of the dark!  I don’t know if it is because I really cannot see what might be lurking in the dark or what… all I know is the dark makes me uncomfortable. 

Almost all of my life I have slept with a nightlight on at night. When I was young the light in the hall outside my bedroom was on every night. I shared a room with my older sister & we always kept the door opened, at least a crack, so the glow from the hall could always be seen in our room for security’s sake! Even now as an adult I still have a small light somewhere near so I can fall asleep easier. Some may think that is silly, but for me there is nothing worse than waking up in complete darkness! In the dark, things don’t look like they should… I imagine things that aren’t really there… reality is askew in the darkness. When I can see the light… anxiety & fear fades away.

In the Old Testament of God’s Word you can read that God dwelt in the darkness (Exodus 19:9 and 20:21).  In 2 Chronicles 6:1 it says, “…The LORD hath said that He would dwell in the thick darkness.”  I know these verses are referring to God always being with the Children of Israel in the dark cloud that followed them on their trek to the Promise Land, but when I read that verse in the King James Version… I found a comfort in knowing that God is with me even in the dark. 

It’s the same way in my spiritual life… the world can be a dark place… an anxiety escalator for sure. There are so many times in each one of our lives when we feel like we are in the dark. Maybe not a physical darkness, but an emotional darkness… financial problems, illness, a death of a loved one, loss of a job… those can all put us in a feeling of being in the dark, which in turn may settle us in a spiritually dark place.  When those things happen do you ever question where God is… do you feel abandoned?  In our logical way of thinking we know He is always there with us, but when life’s disasters seem to be piling up one after another, do you question if God is keeping His promise to you? 

“For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’” ~ Hebrews 13:5b

That is a great verse… a great promise, but it is one of those verses that rolls off the tongue but maybe not always sinks into the heart.  God never promised us that we would not have troubles in our life… in fact He told us we would have troubles, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16:33   Really?... ok, great, He has promised us trials (yikes), but He also promised us that He will give us the strength to get through anything… the words of victory, “I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD.”  But we still need to do everything possible to always see the Light of Christ. Remember, Jesus Christ knows what it was like to face the darkness of this world too. As He took His last breath on the cross the world went dark. 

If you are a follower of Christ then you have Him living inside you so that makes you an overcomer!  You are not alone! God is always with you, even in the darkest places of your life… His light will shine forth… you will make it through… and on the other-side of this trial you will have a testimony that will have His glory shining all over it!  Believe it when Christ promised us, “…lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. ~ Matthew 28:20b

Let God be your nightlight, your daylight… your only LIGHT! Darkness flees in the LIGHT!

Father, I thank You for Your promises.  I thank You that You are always near.  I pray, Father for each person that reads this to feel Your holy presence embracing them.  I ask You to pour out a greater portion of Your strength on them… that they know and believe that it is only through You that they can conqueror whatever trial stands before them.  I praise You for what You are doing and for what You are going to do. Giving You all the glory in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Rejoicing in Truth!


Thursday, August 11, 2016

That Special Someone...

How precious is it to hear that “special someone” call you by name? Luke & I have been married for 26 years today. In all those years he has actually called me by name very few times… I do love to hear him say my name. This might sound strange, but much of the time he either calls me sweetie or sweetheart… most of the rest of the time I just hear his voice & I know he is talking to me. Hearing the voice of the one I love & the one who loves me, makes me stay in-tune to him… not always, but most of the time… that is what we try for anyway!

Isaiah 43:1 says ~ … this is what the Lord says, who created you… He who formed you: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine…”

I can look at this verse in a couple different ways… one being as an observer, not really seeing this as personal. Like looking at someone else’s story, wishing it was my story. 

Or I can take it in as a participant, this being a personal message for me. Grab a hold of all that this includes... "you are Mine"! Those words make my heart leap for joy! What about yours? 

Have you accepted that love from Father, or are you still just an observer? Have you let the blood of Christ cover the sin of your past, present, & future? You don't have to wish this to be your story... you just have to ask Christ to be the Lord of your life! He is that special someone... He has called you by name! Will you heed the call?

The voice of Father calls you by name… the Love of a lifetime is speaking your name! Do you hear it? Are you in-tune to it… to Him?

Rejoicing in Truth!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

On a Mission...

I just have some thoughts to share today… hopefully it will speak to your heart too!

We were so blessed to have last-minute overnight guests from the Netherlands… a mother & daughter from Holland. Funny because another room was occupied by a couple from Holland, Michigan! I am amused & amazed many times by how God orchestrates these visitors to our home! You might call it coincidence, but I call it God wink moments! It has happened many times in the last 2 years with the B&B!

At breakfast there was great conversation between the Michiganders & the Nederlanders… the ladies from the Netherlands shared that they speak 6 different languages! That just blows my mind! I speak a little French & a tiny Spanish, & I am still working on English!

Part of my quiet time every day usually includes “Our Daily Bread”… today it just fit so well with my life! The title of today’s was “True Communication”… most of it was about the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. But here is one statement that spoke to my heart, “We may not speak or understand many languages, but we know that the Holy Spirit equips us to connect with people in other ways. Amazingly, we are God’s hands and feet – and mouth – to further His mission. Today, how might we – with the Spirit’s help – reach out to someone unlike us?”

Every time we are blessed to welcome “strangers” into our home… I am in awe of the opportunity the Lord has given us! Why did He put this gift of hospitality in both Luke & myself? Why did He see fit to give us this home to fulfill this mission? Why does it not bother me to clean toilets & do laundry? When God impressed on us the name for the B&B, Shining Light Inn Bed & Breakfast… we knew it was not about a job, but a vocation!

In the past I had a friend that would always ask me, “What is your passion?” I never really knew how to answer that. Doing what I love to do… using the gifts God has given me… that was just who I was, not what I necessarily saw as my “passion”. This morning two of our guests mentioned the word passion… they said how every detail shows how passionate we are about what we do with the B&B. Also, that doing the little extra things for presentation & flavor of the breakfast was done with passion. It hit me this morning that this is my passion… loving on people… making people feel extra special… just listening to their story… making the environment warm & welcoming! Passion… passion… passion! Honestly, I never saw it… what I do & how I do it is just who I am… true passion doesn’t have to be hard! Duh! I’m a little slow sometimes! Ha! It might entail hard work, but it will still come naturally!

"Love sincerely. Hate evil. Hold on to what is good. Be devoted to each other like a loving family. Excel in showing respect for each other. Don’t be lazy in showing devotion. Use you energy to serve the Lord. Be happy in your confidence, be patient in trouble, and pray continually. Share what you have with God’s people who are in need. Be hospitable.” ~ Romans 12:9-13

I am thankful that Father God has given us a chance to connect with people from all over the world! He has equipped us to be His hands & feet while operating the Inn. He also has equipped you to touch lives wherever you are at today or whatever you are doing! We just need to be aware… don’t get so caught up in the job that we miss the mission! That is a great reminder for me as well!

Our prayer for the B&B is, “Lord, bring us exactly who You want to come through our door.” Hey & if you are prompted to come for a visit… our door is always open!

Rejoicing in Truth!