Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Perfect Gift in an Imperfect World...

Joy to the World… Peace on Earth Goodwill to Men… Jesus is the Reason for the Season… and on and on the sayings go.  Maybe Christmas is not feeling that way to you this year.  You might have had a very hard, trying time in 2011.  Joy is the last thing you are experiencing and as a follower of Christ you have His peace living in you, but the world is far from peaceful. 

Okay, you did not come here to Coffee Cup Corner to be depressed… I do have some good news to share with you!  You are not forgotten!  Even when you feel that God doesn’t seem to be paying much attention to you… He is.  The Greatest Gift of all times is the gift of Jesus Christ.  And the reality is… if our Heavenly Father never did anything for us again except giving us His Son, our Savior… that is still way more than we ever deserve… that is enough of a reason to praise Him forever, through the good and the not so good circumstances.

“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah 9:6

Why Christmas… why do we celebrate it the way we do… why should we want to partake in the festivities?  In my opinion, the glorious Christmas story is a reminder that our faith is not misplaced.  It’s a reminder, that when God seems to be silent He not necessarily still… when God is still it is not that He is uninterested… and even when we have convinced ourselves that He is uninterested it has nothing to do with His plan for the world or for you.  It reminds us that God can do anything He chooses to do.  And it is a reminder that God pays attention, is moved by and blessed by those who remain faithful.  But most of all Christmas is a reminder that your faith and your hope is not in vain.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”  I Corinthians 15:58
The challenge is… will you walk away from the norm… will you be that unique person that no matter the situation, you will choose to walk blamelessly in the eyes of God.  You may be having marital problems… will you say I believe in my vows and I will not just give up?  Or you may be in a work situation where you don’t seem to be moving upward… will you make the decision to still do your job with integrity?  When all is said and done, will you say, I want to know that to the best of my ability I am blameless before God in the way I am choosing to live my life, whether I see God do anything on my behalf or not.

I pray you have a blessed and joyful Christmas!

Rejoicing in Truth!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Love and Patience That Can Only Come From God...

I read this devotional this morning and I knew I needed to share it. It is from "Our Daily Bread" and it is written by David H. Roper.  The scripture to read is Colossians 3:12-17. Hope you get as much out of it as I did.
The Horse and Her Boy
"When I was about 5 years old, my father decided that I needed a horse of my own to care for. So he bought an old bay mare and brought her home to me. I named her Dixie.

Dixie was a formidable beast for me at my age and small stature. No saddle was small enough, no stirrups short enough for my legs, so I rode bareback most of the time.

Dixie was plump, which meant that my feet stuck straight out, making it difficult to stay astride. But whenever I fell off, Dixie would simply stop, look at me, and wait while I tried to climb on her back again. This leads me to Dixie’s most admirable trait: She was wonderfully patient.

I, on the other hand, was less than patient with Dixie. Yet she bore my childish tantrums with stoic patience, never once retaliating. I wish I could be more like Dixie, having patience that overlooks a multitude of offenses. I have to ask myself, “How do I react when others aggravate me?” Do I respond with humility, meekness, and patience? (Col. 3:12). Or with intolerance and indignation?

To overlook an offense. To forgive 70 times 7. To bear with human frailty and failure. To show mercy and kindness to those who exasperate us. To gain such control over our souls—this is the work of God.

God of grace and God of goodness,
Teach me to be ever kind,
Always gentle and forgiving
With the Savior first in mind. —Brandt

Love that is born at Calvary bears and forbears, gives and forgives."

Rejoicing in Truth!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Can You Hear It?

Can you hear it?  Hear what? You might ask.  The sound of God speaking directly to you! 

With the Christmas season upon us I was thinking about the angel sharing the God-given message of the Messiah coming.  (Read Luke 1) Think about Mary getting a visit from the angel Gabriel with a message from God… he told her she was blessed and favored by God!  As that wasn’t enough… then he told her she was going to conceive a child, the Son of God! And what did Mary say to him?  She asked him how this could be since she was still a virgin.  Now comes the most awe inspiring point of this conversation, at least to me… Gabriel told Mary that the Holy Spirit would come on her and the power of the Highest would overshadow her! Conception by the Holy Spirit!!!  He also told her that her cousin, Elisabeth, was also pregnant… Elisabeth was past the age of conception, and at this point Gabriel shared that with God nothing is impossible.  After this whole amazing exchange between Gabriel and a young virgin girl… it almost goes without saying that nothing is impossible with God!

For with God nothing is impossible.  Luke 1:37

You may never have a physical visit from an angel, but you are still hearing from God just like Mary did.  Mary’s story is in our hands, God’s Word, for us to experience in written word, so for me it makes it so much more vivid.  But how would your life encounters with God read if it was written down???  I find when I read about the great experiences in the Bible, I am enthralled… but each one of us have God experiences everyday that we take a breath!  I am sure there are many reasons in your life that you would love to have a personal message from God.  You know what?  We all have that message… individually given to each one of us… His Word, right in our hands.  It is suited to each one of us, if we are just willing to open It and read It. 

God has sent you a message… a Message that will change your eternal life.  His Message of hope, renewal, and forgiveness through His Son.  Will you hear and receive His Message?

I pray your heart will receive His Message new every day, and that your eyes will be opened to His continued presence in this world.

Rejoicing in Truth!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Disjointed...

Do you ever have those times when everything in your life seems to be disjointed? Disjointed might not be a good word for it, but there are times in my life where something just seems to be off to me.  I am not talking about anything tangible… it is more an uneasiness in my spirit.  Could it be the Holy Spirit trying to show me something that needs to be changed or taken care of?  Or maybe is it the devil just trying to take my focus off the Lord.  I know there have been times in the past when I have had this uneasiness and then later finding out it was something God was working on me about… actually preparing me for something BIG!

I must confess I have the problem of being a “small thinker.”  And there have been many instances in my life that being a small thinker has caused me to limit God’s moving in my path.  God is bigger than we can imagine and He has big things in line for each one of us.  We, as followers of Christ, have His Spirit inside us; so this means we have His power to live a life without limits.  There is no mountain that He cannot move… a problem so difficult that He cannot solve… no broken heart that He cannot heal… no stronghold that He cannot break.  Nothing can keep us from His blessings but our own lack of faith or disobedience.

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, Ephesians 3:20

At this point I do not have a definite answer to my “disjointedness.”  I have sought God’s Word… I am praying for clarity… I have searched my heart.  I still have a lot of questions, but what I do know is… I will not let this uneasiness take my focus off the things Father has called me to… I will not live by my feelings… I will do my best not to put God in a box… I choose to trust Him no matter where He leads… and I have His peace.

“ For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. Isaiah 55:8

I pray for clarity in your life, as well as mine.  May you truly know that nothing is impossible with Him if you are faithful.  Let life be an adventure with God as your Guide!

Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD! Psalms 27:14

For further inspiration read Psalms 27.

Rejoicing in Truth!

Monday, October 31, 2011

What are You Thinkin’?

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!!!   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.

Reading 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.

Rejoicing in Truth!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Calling You Out…

What is my calling?  Have you ever heard anyone ask that question?  It is a very “religious” thing to say… or at least I see it that way.  Do you expect God to write “your calling” in the sky?  Do you think it is going to come to you in a magical way?  To put it simply… I believe every follower of Christ has the same calling… to share the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ.  The great commission or duty is given by Christ, “Go to the people of all nations and make them My disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world." Matthew 28:19-20 (CEV) You can find it also in Mark16:14-18.

Okay, so every follower of Christ has a calling to share the Gospel, but everyone is called to share IT in the unique way God gives them.  None of us are the same and that is why the way I share Christ is totally different from how you share Christ.  God has appointed each one of us into positions where we can be the most for Him… mothers, wives, bus drivers, housekeepers… you name it.  He has given each one of us a place to invest our time and talent.  Our gracious Heavenly Father does call us to rest for short seasons.  The rest of the time He calls us to serve… find that place of passion to pour your heart into… maybe a hurting person or a loved one. 

To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven:  Ecclesiastes 3:1 (AMP)

If you are wondering where to go or what to do… go to God… He will show you where you can be most effective… He created you and He knows you best.  Do not waste this opportunity! Live in this moment He has given you… it is ALL for His glory.  Don’t let a single day be wasted… grasp this time to make an everlasting impact on those people around you.  It is a privilege to serve the Lord… to be all that He has called you to be… never fail to use any of the great things He has put in you.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5 (AMP)

Now, if you did not know about your calling before… you do now, so what are you going to do about it???  Once you know something you can’t unknow it and this makes you responsible to either obey God’s Word or do nothing… it is your choice.  I know that my desire is to one day hear my Father say, “well done My good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21)  Is it yours?

Rejoicing in Truth!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Too Busy To Know God?

I read this devotion this morning and I just had to share it... this is something God has been working on me about lately.  Let me know your thoughts on it. It is taken from "Our Daily Bread" by RBC Ministries.

She had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. —Luke 10:39

One day when I was waiting to board a plane, a stranger who had overheard me mention that I was a chaplain began to describe to me his life before he met Christ. He said it was marked by “sin and self-absorption. Then I met Jesus.”

I listened with interest to a list of changes he had made to his life and good deeds he had done. But because everything he told me was about his busyness for God and not his fellowship with God, I wasn’t surprised when he added, “Frankly, chaplain, I thought I’d feel better about myself by now.”

I think the New Testament character Martha would have understood that stranger’s observation. Having invited Jesus to be a guest at her home, she set about doing what she thought were the important things. But this meant she couldn’t focus on Jesus. Because Mary wasn’t helping, Martha felt justified asking Jesus to chide her. It’s a mistake many of us make: We’re so busy doing good that we don’t spend time getting to know God better.

My advice to my new airplane friend came from the core of Jesus’ words to Martha in Luke 10:41-42. I said to him: “Slow down and invest yourself in knowing God; let His Word reveal Himself to you.” If we’re too busy to spend time with God, we’re simply too busy.

Savior, let me walk beside Thee,
Let me feel my hand in Thine;
Let me know the joy of walking
In Thy strength and not in mine. —Sidebotham

Our heavenly Father longs to spend time with His children.
Rejoicing in Truth!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It's a Trust Thing...

I want to start out today by asking you some straight forward questions… Are you saved? Have you trusted Christ as your personal Savior?  Do you believe that God’s love for you is so great that He gave His Son to die for your sins?

If your answer is “no” to any of those questions… then first you need to get that taken care of.  Now is the time to pray and ask God to forgive you of your sins, confess to Him that you accept Jesus Christ as your Savior, repent (turn from your sinful ways), and declare that you are choosing to live the rest of your life for Him. Romans 10:9-10 says: “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”  Now, if you made that decision… go and tell someone.

As a follower of Christ I see my decision to accept Christ as the biggest decision of my life!  I cannot even grasp how God’s unselfish, unconditional love has changed me.  In order to believe that I am secure in His mighty grip… I have got to trust Him with my whole being. Do you believe that to be true for you as well?  We can trust our Heavenly Father with our eternal destination, yet there are so many times during an average day we do not trust Him with our daily needs!!!???  How does that work… does that even seem possible???

Are you going through a rough patch today? Or you may be dealing with just ordinary, average obstacles.  Is your trust in Christ alone to deal with whatever may come your way today or are you holding onto it with fret and worry?  I was reading in II Corinthians 1:9-10 “Indeed, we felt within ourselves that we had received the [very] sentence of death, but that was to keep us from trusting in and depending on ourselves instead of on God Who raises the dead. [For it is He] Who rescued and saved us from such a perilous death, and He will still rescue and save us; in and on Him we have set our hope (our joyful and confident expectation) that He will again deliver us [from danger and destruction and draw us to Himself],

I am talking to myself as I hope it is also touching your heart.  If God cares for you enough to sacrifice His Son… why wouldn’t He care enough to make the right plan for your life?  When I could see His message to me in this scripture I felt so silly that I realized I don’t always trust God with the “little” things in my life.  I felt like He was saying to me, “Trust Me My precious daughter! I am in control. If I love you enough to give the life of My Son for you, then that should show you I care about every part of your life.”

May I encourage you today… no matter what you may be going through… God cares about you, His precious child.  Throw your hands in the air and tell Him you know He is in control and that you put your complete trust in Him to do what is best for you, no matter how big or small.  Remember the more you rely and trust Him the more strength He will give.

The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a crushed spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all… The LORD redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned. Psalms 34:18-19, 22

Rejoicing in Truth!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Recipe for Life...

I know many people that collect cookbooks… some of them don’t even like to cook, but they like to see what delicious recipes they would make if they did like to cook.  I have a cupboard full of cookbooks, some little thin, freebie ones… some big heavy ones with beautiful pictures and elaborate ingredients, I spent a fortune on… some old ones that have been passed down from family, some of these ones are literally falling apart from years of use.  I have one that was my grandma’s; I received it after she had gone to be with Jesus.  That one is my prize possession! The funny thing about that one is that it has completely come off its binding. I cannot even use it anymore… I now have to keep it in an envelope so I don’t lose any of the pages.  You might wonder why that one is so precious to me… of course it has some great, simple, everyday-type recipes… and it was a remembrance of my grandma… but what makes it so special to me is my grandma’s handwritten notes throughout the pages of that tattered book.

This made me start thinking about the “recipe” book God has given us.  His precious Word, given to us as a recipe for an abundantly blessed life.  Every ingredient you need for daily living is found in this one Book!  God’s handwritten note to us… written by my man, but authored by the  Holy Spirit.

Just think… the Bible (God’s Word) is the only gift from God’s hand to us.  In  II Timothy 3:16-17 is says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  We, as followers of Christ, need to be prepared for anything that may meet us throughout the day.

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,  I Peter 3:15

How do you prepare yourself?  Read Ephesians 6:10-17. 

~Be strong in the Lord (v. 10) and by reading and receiving God’s Word is where your strength comes.

~ Put on the whole armor of God (v. 11-12) to be able to stand against the evil of this world, seen or unseen.

~ Reading God’s Word daily so you know what you believe and you can stand on that Truth.  This is the belt of truth that will hold up the breastplate of righteousness and integrity, which guards your heart. (v. 13-14)

~ Dress your feet with God’s Word, the Good News of peace, so you will be sure-footed and always walking on solid ground. (v. 15)

~ Most importantly take the shield of faith to stop the fiery darts of the enemy. (v. 16)

~ Cover your head  (your thoughts, motivations) with the helmet of salvation, always taking the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God wherever you go. (v. 17)

It is not about just reading your Bible… it is about falling in love with the Words of God.  It is not about knowledge of the Bible… it is about learning Who God is and Who He wants to be in your life.  It is not how much of the Word you are in, but how much of the Word gets in you.

Rejoicing in Truth!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

Beautifully Broken...

Do you ever have those moments when something is said to you in a joking way, but to you it just feels mean?  I don't have a problem laughing at myself when something is funny, but I don't appreciate being laughed at.  It can be in those times that I may feel ugly, hurt and misunderstood. Do you know what I mean?

Okay, it was in one of those times I came across a devotional entitled, "Beautifully Broken, My Beautiful Warrior," in the book “His Princess Warrior.” It talked about the weakest points in you are the places where God can shine the brightest. He wants to use your brokenness to make you beautiful for His glory. He will rebuild whatever is broken to become more beautiful than we can ever imagine. It talked about Esther and how God took her heartache and brokenness to be used for His glory and actually, if you read the book of Esther... she was used to save a nation.

Let me tell you these words in this book were just what I needed.  God has blessed me with the best hubby in the world... I love, love, love that Luke is the husband God has called him to be. Praise to You, oh Lord!

Here is a prayer for spiritual beauty… I pray for you to see how beautiful God has created you and how He is turning your brokenness into greatness. Believe Him when He says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” I pray you will bring your weakness and brokenness to Him so that He can restore you and turn you into something more beautiful than you could ever be on your own. I pray that all of Heaven’s beauty will shine through you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“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

If you have a hurt you are dealing with right now... let it go... do not let the enemy have his way in this… you are beautiful in God’s sight… He is the only one that you need to validate who you are.

I hope that if you are feeling down or not too beautiful today... these words may be a help to you... let God's glory shine brightest where you feel the weakest.

Rejoicing in Truth!

Friday, September 2, 2011

In His Hands…


I was reading in Psalm 139 and verse 10, “Even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.  made me think of 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 (Psalms 138:7) while pointing me to the path He has planned for me with the 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.

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!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Ultimate Way to Love...

What does the word “humble” mean to you? When you see that word what is the first thing that comes to your mind?  Less than… low in spirit… giving up selfish ways… submission??? The actual definition for “humble” is… unassuming in attitude and behavior; feeling or showing respect towards other people; relatively low in rank and without pretensions.  And the opposite of humble… brazen, boastful, prideful.

I admit I have struggled with pride over my lifetime and still do… it is one of my ongoing battles.  Reading in Philippians 2:1-11, it talks about Christ’s humility… living with humility and unity. It touches my heart to think of how Christ humbled Himself because of His love for me… for you! He gave up His glorious life in heaven to become a man to serve the sinful people of this world… that is the ultimate way to love!!!

“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:8

Is there someone God has laid on your heart to show love and Christ-like humility to?  Your spouse… your child… a sibling… a parent… or even a stranger in line at the grocery store???  That kind of humbling kindness is great for the person who receives it, but you cannot imagine how much good it will do for you! The first time you do it… it may be hard, but every time after… it will get easier, especially when you are doing it for your love of the Father and by staying focused on Him.

As I walk out my day today, I will be watching for those moments when I can humbly give of myself and show the love I have so freely been given through Jesus Christ by the Father. You have IT in you too if you are a follower of Jesus Christ… you have the power that can change someone’s day, even someone’s life. I pray you will take that step with me!

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

Rejoicing in Truth!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

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.  I have always slept with a small light of some sort on at night as long as I can remember.

In the Old Testament of God’s Word you can read that God dwelt in the darkness (Exodus 19:9 and 20:21).  In II Chronicles 6:1 it says, “Then said Solomon, The LORD hath said that he would dwell in the thick darkness.”  I know in these verses it is referring to God always being with them in the dark cloud that followed the Children of Israel, 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. 

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   Okay, 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.”  If you are a follower of Christ then you have Him living inside you so that makes you an overcomer too!  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  He promises!

Dear Lord, 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 poor 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, 2011

The Rose...


It is only a tiny rosebud ~
A flower of God's design;
But I cannot unfold the petals
With these clumsy hands of mine.

The secret of unfolding flowers
Is not known to such as I ~
The flower God opens so sweetly
In my hands would fade and die.

If I cannot unfold a rosebud
This flower of God's design,
Then how can I think I have wisdom
To unfold this life of mine?

So I'll trust in Him for His leading,
Each moment of every day,
And I'll look to Him for His guidance
Each step of the pilgrim way.

For the pathway that lies before me
My Heavenly Father knows ~
I'll trust Him to unfold the moments
Just as He unfolds the rose.

                                    - Charlie Gilchrist

Withhold not Your tender mercy from me, O Lord; let Your loving-kindness and Your truth continually preserve me! Psalms 40:11

Rejoicing in Truth!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Living Life on Purpose...

Is there a major struggle going on in your life? Do you feel like you just cannot take another step?  Are you exhausted from dealing with life?  I know for me there are hurting people all around me… friends that are going through tough times with their health, family, job situation, you name it… people are struggling.
In Joshua 1, there were some tough times going on too… Moses had died and it was Joshua’s time to lead God’s people.  I don’t know about you but that would be a scary predicament to me.  This is what God told Joshua, “Every place upon which the sole of your foot shall tread, that have I given to you, as I promised Moses.” (1:3)  Can you see how God allows every step you take?  He promises to be with you every step of the way… just like He promised Joshua and the children of Israel.  We may not always make the best choices of where we are stepping, but God’s promise still remains.  He says in verse 9, “Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  Are you really aware of that fact at all times?  When hard times come do you take that promise for granted or maybe even forget it?
Did you ever play Hopscotch?  You tossed the stone on the Hopscotch area to see what spot it would land on… that would determine where you could hop and where you couldn’t hop.  I wonder, do I “play” my life out like a game of Hopscotch at times? Do I carelessly pitch a “stone” out there in my life and wait to see where it will land to determine where I will or will not go?  Is that living my life with strength and courage?  Is that living my life with purpose?
When you make a mistake or you forget to do something important… do you ever say, “I didn’t do it on purpose”?  Of course you didn’t do it on purpose, but did you do it with purpose?  God has given us a gift of life and an even greater Gift of eternal life through Christ… I have to ask myself, “Am I doing my best with what He has given me?”  Am I living my life with purpose on purpose?  
Father God, I thank You for the gift of life and for the Gift of eternal life through Your Son.  I thank You for each person that reads this and for Your life changing Word.  I pray each one will feel Your love and embrace as You walk with them each step of the way.  Lord, I pray for guidance and for Holy Spirit to help each of us to live with courage and boldness, no matter the circumstance of life. God I pray for healing of the mind, body and spirit. Thank You for what You are doing and for what You are going to do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Be happy with what you have because God has said, “I will never abandon you or leave you.” Hebrews 13:5b 
A good life can just happen, but a GREAT life must be lived on purpose!
Rejoicing in Truth!

Friday, July 29, 2011

From my heart to yours...


From my heart to yours... I have spent so much of my life seeing through eyes of fear not eyes of love… fear of looking stupid, fear of being rejected, fear of letting people get too close, fear of being hurt. I was a Believer… I had the joy of Christ living in me, but I was living a life in defeat, and I did not even realize it.  I had not recognized I was letting my own insecurities cause such fear in my daily life rather than choosing to live in faith through Christ’s love… how much better it is to live in love not in fear! 

The opposite of fear is faith… faith that if you look stupid… people that really know you still love you... faith that if you are rejected… those people don’t know what they are missing out on and you will show them love anyways... faith that God will bring great people into your life that you can be close with... faith that if you do get hurt by people... God’s love can heal all wounds. 

Let God do the healing… remember the enemy wants nothing more than to cause us fear and keep us wounded.  You are not his victim… you are a victor through Christ!

Perfect love casts out fear. 1 John 4:18 

Let God’s perfect love wrap you in His arms… He delights in you and wants His best for your life.  Faith in Him is the path to follow.

"The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17

SHOUT for joy... that is your battle cry… stomp on the enemy and keep moving forward!

This was put on my heart not only for me, but hopefully for some of you too. 

Rejoicing in Truth!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Half-way is Never Enough…


When I got married 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. It isn't just with marriage either... it can spread to any of your relationships with family and friends.

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 is not done through your strength but through the strength that comes from yielding your life totally to Christ.

A little respect and loving kindness can go a long way.  Know making just a small effort to reach out to others is a big deal!  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 your 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, July 15, 2011

Boundaries...

How many times do I try to put boundaries on God in my life, instead of trying to live in the boundaries He has placed on my life??? While reading in Jeremiah 5… in verse 22 it talks of how God has marked boundaries for the ocean and it is not allowed to go pass a certain point on the shore.  The waves can roll and roar and get as big as they want but they are only allowed to go onto the shore as far as God allows.
How many times do we draw the line in the sand with our disobedience?  God has a plan for each one of us and all He asks is for our love and obedience. We choose to put a limit on the blessings from God by thinking our way is what is best… sounds ridiculous but how many times do we do that?

“The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I [too] will love him and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to him. [I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.]” John 14:21 (Amplified)

There have been many instances in my life lately that have really made me think of how self and disobedience could be getting in the way of God’s work in my life and through my life.  Those moments when someone else’s actions affect me… like it is all about me… NOT!  Realizing that in those times when we put our discomfort above our service for God… are those times that we may be stepping over the line of idolatry… putting ourselves before our mighty God??? Through humility we are able to surrender all conflict to God.  I have learned I need to take a step back and realize what others are doing or not doing is not my problem to fix! (So hard sometimes!!!)

Please read Psalm 119:73-88… there is so much refreshment in this passage.  God has made you the way you are. Our desire should be to learn His Word.  His judgment is right and true.  His tender mercies will be our delight when we humble ourselves to His ways.  All hope needs to be in His Word.  I love what it says in verse 88, “According to Your steadfast love give life to me; then I will keep the testimony of Your mouth [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying it].

Father God, I pray that you will help me to know You are my refreshment. Open my eyes to see that Your Word is water to my dry soul.  I thank You for Your tender mercies, always remembering that You are the hope in any circumstance. Always mindful that Your steadfast love brings life to me.  Help me, Lord, to hear, receive, love and obey Your Word.  In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

Rejoicing in Truth!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Calamities of Life...

How is your summer… peaceful, quiet, relaxing… hurried, busy, exhausting… or somewhere in between?  When I was still in school I loved summer, as I am sure most kids do! Not sure that my mom felt the same way though!?  I hear so many mothers anticipating the end of the school year and the beginning of summer so their routine can be more relaxed and how nice it will be to have their kids home. But long about mid-July, after the kids have been out of school for 5 or 6 weeks… relaxing has turned into boredom… quiet has turned into chaos… and peace has turned into squabbling!  And Mom just might be thinking school could not start soon enough!  Ready for a vacation from summer vacation!

If you read in Psalm 57, David is praying a prayer for deliverance from King Saul. The King is pursuing David to kill him… King Saul does not want David to become King.  I love in verse one where he is asking for mercy from God, “in the shadow of Your wings will I make my refuge until these calamities be passed.”

Calamities of life can be anything from problems with your children to loss of a job or even a loved one and anything in between. You can choose to run from things like this in your life but you will never be able to escape… you will always be looking behind to see if your past troubles are catching up to you.  If we don’t learn something from the calamities in life, we may be on the path to repeat them.

We have two choices when calamities come along… try and run from it and keep running until we are so tired we can’t run anymore… or run to the merciful arms of the God of the universe.  Cry out to Him! God knows everything that is happening in your life, but He still wants to hear His children call out to Him (v. 2).  Trust that He has called upon Heaven to do what is best for you.  He sends His mercy and truth to save you… He is your defender (v. 3).  Exalt God in your words… praising Him, calling Him by the names that speak of His greatness… He is bigger than any calamities of life (v. 4-5).  The “snags” of life will try to defeat you, but God is in control… He will turn things meant for harm into things for His glory (v. 6).  Others are watching to see how you will handle calamities in life… choose to praise God no matter the circumstance.  Your testing will become your testimony and will bring God all the glory (v. 7-11).

Don’t try to hide in a cave like David did… there is refreshing shade from the heat of life in the shadow of God’s wings.  Run to Him… Rest in Him… Be Refreshed by Him. 

Rejoicing in Truth!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Break Out of Approval Addiction...

Wanted to share this excerpt from the book, *His Princess Warrior:

Break Out of Approval Addiction
My Princess Warrior, Today I am asking you to search your heart and answer this question: Whom do you seek for approval? Are you living your life for the approval and praise of people, or of Me? I want to save you from exhausting yourself by performing for a world that does not want to praise you. I designed you to desire Me and Me alone. When you choose to live for Me, you will never again be thirsty for attention, because you will be hydrated in My love and adoration for you. Now let Me ask you again, My beloved daughter: Whose praise do you seek?
Love, Your King who seeks after you

Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of God. Galatians 1:10

A Prayer to Live for God's Approval
Princess Warrior! I pray that you will find the thrill of knowing your Father in heaven adores you and loves to shower you with praise. I pray you will be forever free from the bondage of needing the praises of people. May your empty cup be filled up daily with God's love. May you be able to pour out His love on others because you are full. May you never forget how much the Lord loves you and how precious you are to Him. In Jesus' name, Amen.

And may the Lord our God show us His approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful! Psalm 90:17

I know this spoke to me and I hope it speaks to your heart as well.
Rejoicing in Truth!

*His Princess Warrior, Love Letters for Strength from Your Lord, by Sheri Rose Shepherd

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Shining Through...

When I was about 4-years old, my older sister and two older cousins were throwing rotten apples over cars as they drove past our house. Of course, I wanted to be like the big kids so I picked up an apple to pitch over the next car that passed by. The next car happened to be a shiny red sports car. As I threw the apple the other kids yelled out, “DON’T do it! You’ll never make it over!”… It was too late; the deed had already been done and the decaying apple hit with a “splat” right into the car window. The woman in that car slammed on the brakes and put the car in reverse. What did we do? We high-tailed it into our back yard to hide.

Even 40 years later, my first natural response is to run and hide when I don’t want to deal with real life. I am learning when I run or hide from my problems all that does is make me “ugly” on the inside and causes my attitude to be ugly on the outside too.

Exodus 34 talks about Moses going up the mountain to worship and commune with God. It was in those forty days that Moses “saw” God and when he came back down to the children of Israel, “his face was shining brightly because the LORD had been speaking to him,” (Exodus 34:29). The children of Israel were afraid to look at him so he covered his face with a veil, so they couldn’t see the glory of God shining from his face. But we read in II Corinthians 3:13-16 that as time went on and real life happened, the glory shining from Moses’ face was fading, but he continued to keep the veil on so no one would know… he was putting up a facade.

I know I have been guilty of the same… posing and pretending that because I am a Christian… everything is just fine. Do you ever do that… do you ever have difficulty being transparent?  All across the world people are going to church… putting on their religious faces, looking fine in their Sunday best while on the inside they are not fine at all. The really sad part is that if you play that charade long enough you can start to believe it. Most people around you may never know what is really going on inside you, but your heart always knows. As sisters and brothers through Christ, we should be able to be completely transparent with one another. We need to find those people we can truly trust and drop our “veil”… just be real about our short-comings. Living an authentic life might sound like too much exposure, but sharing what is in your heart is freedom.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” II Corinthians 3:17

You just never know who might be struggling with the same issue and by you opening up… that could be their lifeline to true freedom in Christ. Pretending is bondage… honesty is freedom.

You are a masterpiece, created by God… recognize that… start behaving like one. Pretending to be what you are not is like putting a “paint-by-number” clown over the Mona Lisa. God made you the way you are to live a real life to glorify Him. It is only when we become completely transparent that the glory of God can be seen shining from within us.

“And all of us, as with unveiled face, we continued to behold the Word of God as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord Who is the Spirit.” II Corinthians 3:18

When we pose and pretend or run and hide… we aren’t giving God the chance to do a work in us and through us. It is only when we admit to our shortcomings and weaknesses that God can be our strength… total dependence and trust in Him is real life as a precious child of God.

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32
The next time someone asks you how you are, will you just say, “fine” or will you give an honest answer?  I pray for us all to stop peeking from behind the “veil” and that we let our walls come tumbling down… let God’s light come shining through!

Rejoicing in Truth!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hmmm, Change...

C-H-A-N-G-E!  I don’t know about you but all my life I have fought against change.  I like the familiar.  I like being in my comfort zone.  I am a “planner”… I am sure some of you can relate.  However, over the last few years God has really worked on me in this area.  He has shown me that my reluctance to change is actually my lack of trust in Him… I have let my fears and insecurities come before my faith in my Almighty Father.

From the moment we are born we are constantly changing, much of what we never even think about because it is just natural.  Some change is enjoyable for me though… changing my hair color… changing my clothes… changing around my furniture.  Those are fun and non earth-shattering changes, but what happens when things are changing around me that I have no control over or even health changes?  What about when God has called me to change something I am doing or maybe starting to serve Him in a different way… what then?

When we are unwilling to change, then we are putting limits on God and the abundant life He has called us to.  I heard someone say recently that we can choose to live our life in pity or in power.  As Believers we have the power of God living inside us, so we are already equipped for change and a life without limits for God.  There is no mountain He cannot move in our lives.  There is no problem that is too big.  There is no heart broken enough that He cannot heal it.  There is no change that He cannot help us through.

Do you want to experience all you can from God in your life?  He wants to bless you in indescribable ways… the only thing that can stop that in your life is your lack of faith or disobedience.  Are you ready to take that first step to accept the change God has asked of you?  Are you ready to have Him open the windows of Heaven for you to pour out a blessing (Malachi 3:10)?  Are you ready to trust Him enough to give you a life greater than you could dare to imagine?

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to Him… forever and ever. Ephesians 3:20-21

Now is the time to lift your hands in surrender to the changes God has for you in your life.  You are His chosen child!  He will give you dreams beyond your comprehension.  Will you choose today to live a life for God without limits?  Are you willing to embrace change?  Just remember God created you the way you are, but also that He loves you so much He wants you to keep growing and changing. 

It makes my heart race just thinking of the incredible adventure He wants to share with us… if we are willing to let Him have it all!

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

What has God shown you in your life about change?  Is God doing a work in you… through you?  Is that your desire to be used by Him... wherever He leads through whatever change may come along?

And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. Philippians 1:6

There is One thing that never changes and that is God… His Word… His love… His plan for your life. Read Isaiah 40 to see more of how God will stand forever.

Just remember, “If nothing ever changed there would be no butterflies!”

Rejoicing in Truth!