So Help Me God

Adversity! That is not a fun word to hear! Most of us do not run toward adversity. It is not some thing that we hope to wake up in the morning and face! It is actually something most of us try very hard to avoid. But avoid or not, adversity finds us!

So the question becomes…What do we do in the face of adversity?

I love Hero stories! Sure, the superhero kind are fun to watch. But I am talking about the true, real life, regular human being, hero stories! I eat them up! I can’t get enough of them! They are in the books that I love to read. They are in the movies that I love to watch. And they are throughout the pages of the Bible I cherish.  Every hero story, ancient, past or present, all have one thing in common…the hero faced adversity! 

Most of the time they were doing something with their life that made someone else take notice. Eventually, they were faced with adversity that would challenge them to hold fast to their beliefs and values, or shrink back, compromise or flee.  

The reason I love Hero Stories is because every time the hero musters all the courage they have and stands their ground in the face of adversity, no matter how great!

Their courage gives me courage!

Recently, I have been encouraged by a woman who has stood her ground in the face of adversity! 

Today was a great day in history for Christian Woman. A strong woman who is willing to stand up for her values in the face of criticism, attacks, unjust slander, differing opinions, and not cower in fear or desire public approval, won the day. Judge Amy Coney Barrett became supreme court associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett. 

In a world where it is becoming increasingly unpopular to take a stand for your Judeo Christian beliefs and constitutional values, she stood her ground as a strong, intelligent, accomplished woman and took her place as a member of one of the highest, most responsible positions in the country!

Isaiah 33:22

For the Lord is our judge;  the Lord is our lawgiver; The Lord is our king; he will save us.

Legislative, Executive, Judicial!

The system we all live under and have liberties and freedom within, was founded on this verse in Isaiah. 

As Christ followers our days of adversity are not over! Paul tells us to fight the good fight for the faith. Are we willing to stand up in the face of adversity when it depends on us? Will  we stand our ground firm for righteousness, Truth and justice?

The final words Justice Barrett said as she raised her hand and pledged her allegiance was…

SO HELP ME GOD!

Those need to be our words also! In the face of adversity it is only God who can help us stand firm and be the hero He’s called us to be!

I take heart and my courage grows when I witness people like Justice Barrett. I also am encouraged when I study the heroes throughout the pages of God’s word! This is where I find my hope and my courage! Will you meet me back here the next couple of weeks as we look at the heroes in the pages of God’s Word? 

Friends, I believe God is calling all of us to be His Heroes. Through the encouragement we gain from the heroes who have gone before us combined with the strength and power we get freely from God, we too can stand firm in the face of adversity!

TRUTH BOMB

With God’s help we can stand firm in the face of adversity!

Speak Truth Love

Priority Number One

The minute Fall hits, I begin thinking of Christmas. I don’t do anything as crazy as decorate for Christmas in October, but in all honesty I get excited when it is Fall because it feels like an open door that leads to Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I truly love Fall. I love the change that it brings in the air (although that hasn’t happened yet this year in California). I love all the Fall colors and everything pumpkin spice flavored. I love the later mornings and the earlier evenings. And I love wearing sweaters every single day.

Next comes Thanksgiving, a true Christian holiday set aside to give thanks for all the blessings God lavishes on us. It is a time to celebrate around good food and great people!  And say, “Thank you, God.” 

But nothing makes my heart skip a beat like the anticipation of Christmas. Sure, there is no denying the amount of work and effort and time that goes into the Christmas holiday. From programs to services to outings, to gifts and the perfect Christmas cookies, to roasted turkey and honeyed ham, Christmas takes work. Part of the magic of Christmas is found in the ability to put in all that effort and work, knowing that the dividends of the outcome far outweigh the time invested. Christmas is everything magical, from the twinkling lights to the pine scent of the Christmas tree, to the glistening snow-capped mountains and the indescribable glow within your heart when you share the gifts you have meticulously selected with those you love the most. Christmas is my favorite of all.

How come, then, could the best day of the year be December 25, and the worst day of the year be December 26?  For one reason and one reason only: our focus has been misplaced. When our focus is misplaced, disappointment and disillusionment is bound to happen. I would be lying if I didn’t admit to the thrill of excitement going to bed on December 24th, and the semi empty feeling of going to bed on December 25th.

This week I heard my son-in-law preach a sermon that captured all of these feelings I’ve felt for years in a nutshell. His illustration was perfect. As children, we often went to bed on Christmas Eve, full of anticipation of receiving everything on our wish list. Only to finish unwrapping all our gifts under the tree on Christmas day, and being disappointed that we didn’t receive everything we’d hoped for. This feeling repeated year after year, unless we were able to place our focus on the right priority for Christmas. Jesus Christ came to earth as Immanuel, God with us, to be “with us” each and every day of our lives. When that priority is misplaced, we feel disappointment, discouragement, let down, and even hopeless. When we re-align our priorities with the only priority that brings hope and joy, we are never disappointed. Jesus does not disappoint—ever.

The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will call his name Immanuel—God with us.” Isaiah 7:14

And in Him we can wake up every morning, with hope and anticipation of what He will do in us and through us that day!

Truth Bomb

When Jesus is our priority, we are never disappointed!

 As we head into this holiday season, let’s align our focus to be on the single priority of Jesus Christ Himself.  He never falls short and He never disappoints!

Speak Truth Love

RECONCILIATION IS NOT POSSIBLE WITHOUT FORGIVENESS

Have you ever had to forgive someone and it seemed impossible? I’m not talking about the person who bumped into you at Starbucks as you were reaching for your latte. Or the person who cut in front of you at the grocery store. I’m not even talking about the woman with the guts to pull in front of you and take your parking place. I am referring to the person who never should have hurt you, let you down, forget you, mistreat you, deny you what you deserved. The one who disappointed you, looked past you, even betrayed you.  

As you read these words and they soak into your soul, you can see the persons face. The memory of the event can feel like it happened yesterday. Feelings and emotions surge as you recall the incident. This person does not deserve to be forgiven!

Yet, forgive we must!

This type of forgiveness calls for us to act contrary to our human nature. It takes a power much greater than we possess on our own. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit living in us, can we forgive when it is unmerited!

We do not forgive because someone deserves to be forgiven. We simply forgive because we have been forgiven!

When Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross as a perfect, sinless, sacrificial lamb of God,

He showed us how to forgive.

“Jesus said, Father forgive them for they don’t  know what they are doing.”  

Luke 23:34

Jesus died on the cross for my sins and yours. He was wrongly accused, beaten and crucified and still FORGIVES! Jesus knows that by not forgiving we are held captive to the unforgiveness and all that comes with it.

The phrase in the Greek implies that it was repetitive! When Jesus was saying these words He was repeating them over and over again!  

I do not know what pictures and memories came into your mind as you were first reading my opening words. But the people that popped into my mind did hurtful things to me that pierced deep and left a mark!  I knew I needed to forgive them because Jesus has forgiven me. But I needed to do it one day at a time, over a period of time, out of obedience, repeating their name and the phrase, “I forgive ___________.”  There were times this process took longer than others. But each and every time God was faithful to give true forgiveness to my heart, spirit and peace in my soul! 

How wonderful and encouraging it is to know that Jesus Himself used a similar process.

TRUTH BOMB

FORGIVENESS DOESN’T MAKE THE OTHER PERSON RIGHT, IT MAKES YOU FREE.

We forgive because we have been forgiven!  We did not deserve it, but Jesus gave it to us freely!  We are to forgive others freely so that we can be set free and have reconciliation.

In this tumultuous time that we are living through, what a difference we could make if we would forgive. I believe that God demonstrates for us that RECONCILIATION is not possible without FORGIVENESS!  

Jesus forgave the people who did not think like Him, act like Him, speak the same language as Him, and who mistreated and even killed Him!

Corrie ten Boom suffered the loss of family, torture and mistreatement in a concentration camp, only because she was “different!”  She is quoted saying;

“Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hatred. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.” 

Corrie ten Boom

Powerful words from someone who gave forgiveness when it was not deserved.

Martin Luther King is most well known for His ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. His life was threatened time and time again, he had hate language and words yelled at him and his family. He was imprisoned, beat and bruised and eventually killed. But I love his quote on forgiveness even more than his famous speech because he lived it out.

“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.” 

Martin Luther King

Powerful words again from someone who gave forgiveness when it was not deserved.

These heroes of the faith, along with many others, were able to forgive because they had been forgiven! They lived the Truth of the New Testament…

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.”

Matthew 6:14

“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”  

Colossians 3:13

“Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”

Ephesians 4:32

Friends, our world needs RECONCILIATION on every level.  If we are willing to forgive we may see things made right, right before our very eyes!

Speak Truth Love

FALL IS FINALLY HERE

Fall has finally fallen!  It is here! The colors on the trees have begun to change, football has started, the coffee drinks are boasting of shots of pumpkin spice, and I see fall flowers, gourds and pumpkins decorating front porches. Then why does it still feel like Fall is looming but has not yet landed?

Is it because the outside temps are still sizzling (at least here in California) and it feels like Summer will never end?

Is it because the humidity is still so high that my hair falls flat the minute I style it and my clothes stick to every part of my body?

Is it because nothing started on time like usual, not school or sports?

Is it because the climate around our world feels unsettled and not fresh and calm like the first day of fall?

Maybe one or all of these factors play a part and maybe you could add a few of your own.

This year has been one for the record books, and one I do not think any of us want to repeat!

It is so easy to allow the negative events of our lives to take over and demand our full attention! But I am convinced that God wants the opposite from us.

Instead of listening to the loudest voices around us, I believe God is calling us to listen to His Voice as it whispers softly, “I Am Still In Control.”

“And your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right and when you turn to the left.”  Isaiah 30:21

Friends, I believe that too many times we allow our ears to listen to the loudest voice around us and then are influenced to walk in those ways.

God wants His voice to be the primary voice we listen to! Problem is, He doesn’t shout,

He whispers. Isaiah calls it, “A Still Small Voice.

God whispers to us, are we listening?  Or are we allowing the loud shouts of the world to be our greatest influence?

In a study I did by Lysa Terkeurst she put it this way…

“WE MUST EXCHANGE WHISPERS WITH GOD BEFORE SHOUTS WITH THE WORLD.”

TRUTH BOMB

THE BEST VOICE OFTEN COMES IN A WHISPER.

The loud voices will always be around us, often making us feel like our favorite seasons may never arrive.

 However, we must chose to listen to the still small voice of God as it whispers, “I AM IN CONTROL AND I WILL SHOW YOU THE WAY TO GO!”

Speak Truth Love

CHASING OR BEING CHASED?

I moved to Sonoma County four years ago! When God brought my husband and I to this beautiful place I was in awe of it’s natural beauty!  Hills upon rolling hills were covered in a velvety green blanket of grass. The sky was a bright blue colored, full of fluffy white clouds.

The clouds seemed to slowly billow into formations that drew my attention and had me guessing what animal shape they were in, just like I did as a child. The hiking trails were numerous and lined with statuesque trees of every kind. Wild blackberry bushes would pop up everywhere and deer with their fawns would grace us occasionally as we hiked in and between their natural habitat. All of these sights and more drew my attention and heightened my senses, but nothing captivated me like the vines.  

I was after all, smack dab in the middle of “Wine Country!” The vines were everywhere!

As we hiked, rode our bikes, or walked the winding paths through our new community the vines were ever present. My captivation with them came through the changing of the seasons.

We arrived in our new home that November. I was thrilled to have caught the end of Autumn and the beginning of Winter in my new residence. The hills had been doused with downpours of rain and remained green for quite some time. The trees had just begun to drop their leaves and the berries were not yet ripe on the bush.  But the vines were ablaze with brilliant Fall colors!  Red, yellow, orange and green all together gave an elegant splendor to every vine I passed.  

Winter turned into Spring and the Vines were as beautiful as ever. Their leaves were stunning hues of every shade of green. They started out small and by the end of Spring were large and full. Summer brought the fruit!  Oh yes, it had been growing though the Spring, but now the evidence hung full and plentiful in plain sight. Autumn returned and the vines began to display hints of those vibrant colors, red, yellow, and orange.  Each season brought change, and a glorious surprise in each new phase! Yes, the Vines were quickly becoming one of my favorite pieces to our move.

Overnight, that first Fall in our new home, changed the Vines without warning!  Several fires began high above us and high winds were forcing them down through the Vines and right to our back door! That first year was frightening! The fire swept so quickly and unexpectedly that not only were the vines burnt, many neighborhoods were burnt down as well. We were evacuated for over a week and lost power and dwelt with contaminated water, but our home remained untouched!

The following year the fires returned. They did not come as close as before but we were evacuated. The third year it happened again!  Each time we were evacuated, but safe!

Today, I find myself writing to you after another sleepless night of warning sirens and threats of evacuation after yet another fire rages above us in the hills!

Of course I am praying for safety! Of course I am praying for the people around me to be safe! Of course I am texting faithful loved ones who I know will pray for all of us!

But this time I found myself asking God a question,

“WHY ARE THE FIRES CONTINUING TO CHASE US?”

I was tired and weary of this pattern every Fall! I was frustrated with the threat and the unknown. I was exhausted with packing and unpacking our most special possessions!

“Why God are the fires continuously chasing us?”

Then God spoke to me…

“MAYBE YOU ARE NOT TO FOCUS ON THE FIRE CHASING YOU, BUT ON YOU CHASING THE VINE!”

My heart stopped beating for a second as I took in the full meaning of what God had said.

Yes, the threat of fire is not fun! Neither is the threat of a virus, or social injustice, or a divided nation, or heat waves, or many other uncomfortable situations.  But LIFE HAPPENS and LIFE IS DAILY! There are always going to be trials, temptations, fears, doubts, unjust practices, pain, hurt, sorrow, and out right bad stuff. But where is my focus and what am I chasing?

Am I chasing after the VINE, and is my branch firmly attached to Him? Or am I allowing the firestorms of life to chase me and knock me down, and sometimes OUT?

I AM THE VINE, YOU ARE THE BRANCHES. WHOEVER ABIDES IN ME AND I IN HIM, HE IT IS THAT BEARS MUCH FRUIT, FOR APART FROM ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING.”  

JOHN 15:5

I can waste my time, effort and life allowing the hard situations to chase me and overwhelm me, or I can chase after the True Vine, Jesus Christ! In Him I can bear much fruit even through the storms of life!

TRUTH BOMB

STAYING ATTACHED TO THE TRUE VINE IS THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE IT THROUGH THE STORMS OF LIFE!

So let’s be “VINE CHASERS”, and not be chased by every difficult situation that comes our way! Keep on pressing forward my friends, He is on the throne! 

Speak Truth Love

TODAY IS THE DAY!

What do you think of when you hear this phrase? 

TODAY IS THE DAY!

Do you get excited? Does it send a thrill through your body as you anticipate great things happening?  

Or do you get anxious? Does it create a sick feeling in your stomach as you think of the pressures the day may hold?

I am willing to bet that depending on the day, you have felt both of these sensations at the mention of these 4 words…TODAY IS THE DAY!

We live in a world that is changing by the minute. This past year feels like things are changing by the milisecond! It is easy to develop what I have coined as, “Covid Caution.” Or the extreme of “Covid Caution,” which is “Covid Crazy!” Due to the fact that today’s norm may not be true for tomorrow!

This feeling of loss of control can produce high levels of anxiety and make us dread the day, rather than seize it.

Truth is, TODAY is all we have each time we wake up until we lay our head down at night.

Yesterday is gone and tomorrow has not yet come! God willing we will have more tomorrows, but TODAY is what God has given.  What are we going to do with it?

“But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “TODAY,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”     Hebrews 3:13

Friends, are we allowing the deceitfulness of our sin to rob us of our TODAYS?

I mean, are we allowing the enemies voice to be the loudest voice we hear and deceive us with his lies? Is he still deceiving us by bringing up our past sins and stealing TODAY away from us?

Are you hearing the deceitful voice tell you that you are not not good enough, you are not strong enough, you are not smart enough, clever enough, attractive enough, or known enough?

Are you frozen in anxiety that creates fear and doubt? Are you overwhelmed with the anxious thoughts of what if?  What if I fail? What if I am not prepared? What if this or that happens?  The “What if’s,” can freeze us in our tracks and prevent us from ever living TODAY!

The definition of ANXIETY is, “Full of mental distress or uneasiness because of fear of the unknown and excessive worry.”

The saddest part of ANXIETY is that most of what we worry about, NEVER EVEN HAPPENS TO US!

The truth is God tells us “TO NOT BE ANXIOUS.”

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life…”  Matthew 6:25

TRUTH BOMB

GOD WANTS US TO LIVE TODAY AND TRUST HIM FOR OUR TOMORROWS!

“AND WHICH OF YOU BY BEING ANXIOUS CAN ADD A SINGLE HOUR TO HIS SPAN OF LIFE?”  MATTHEW 6:27

TODAY IS THE DAY my friends! It is the opportunity to trust in our great God! It is the time to know that He holds tomorrow in His hands, and that He loves us and will take care of us no matter what!

So let’s live TODAY like God intended us to live it! Let’s remember that, 

“TODAY IS THE DAY The Lord has made! We can rejoice and be glad in it knowing He holds ALL OF OUR TOMORROWS!”

Speak Truth Love

CELEBRATE THE DIFFERENCES

Have you ever learned a Life Lesson that has stuck with you? I mean the kind of lesson that you knew was directly from God and He wanted you to pay very close attention to it!

I learned this kind of a Life Lesson when I was a missionary in Chile. I was thrust in a country where EVERYTHING was different! The language they spoke was not my native language.The food they ate was not what my palate was accustomed to. The grocery stores did not contain the foods on my “normal” shopping list. In fact, it took half a day to make the rounds to each individual store that held the items to complete my list! They shook hands differently than I did. They greeted each other differently than I did. They raised their children differently than I did…

I think you are getting the picture!

They did everything differently than I did!

On top of all of that, they did not look like me! 

My first natural, human response was to put the entire country into a box that fit my understanding. In my mind, they were WRONG and I was RIGHT!

That was when God spoke His undeniable Truth into my life and taught me a Life Lesson I have never forgot…

TRUTH BOMB

DIFFERENCES ARE NOT RIGHTS AND WRONGS, THEY ARE SIMPLY DIFFERENCES!

 “Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters.”  

Romans 14:1   

 “Disputable matters” are non essential values that Christ followers may have. In and of themselves, they are not right, or wrong. “Good” Christians may differ, without being right or wrong. In movie terms, some people like romantic comedies, and some people like westerns or spy thrillers. 

Differences are not rights and wrongs, and they are to be celebrated!  

When we celebrate the differences that God has given to each of us, it creates a beautiful mosaic and begins to mimic the way God intended us to be.

As we approach each other with acceptance in who God created us to be, we begin to listen, learn and grow from one another. We begin to love each other the way God wants us to. And we can watch the fear, the anger and hatred melt away and be replaced by love and acceptance. 

I’m different from you, and you’re different from me. Let’s celebrate that, for it’s the way God intended us to be!

Speak Truth Love

IT’S FALL Y’ALL!

Pumpkin Spice EVERYTHING is Back!

Driving through Starbucks and ordering that delectable pumpkin beverage with it’s spicy cinnamon appeal brings warm feelings that Fall is in the air!

Maybe some of you like summer and hate when it comes to an end. That definitely isn’t me! Not by a long shot! Once the fireworks of the Fourth of July have flamed out, and the last piece of corn on the cob has been eaten, I AM SO READY FOR FALL!

Bring on those cozy sweaters! Light those fireplaces and curl up with a warm blanket! Cook, eat and bake everything pumpkin! I even bought a magazine full of new fall pumpkin recipes! My heart and my spirit were ready to drive-through Starbucks, order that pumpkin spice latte and a pumpkin scone, put on a cozy sweater or sweatshirt, light the fire and watch college football! Oh Yes, and begin school! And now, Labor Day is in the rearview mirror, and none of this has happened.

Neither Mother Nature nor COVID-19 is cooperating! Smoke in the air, heat waves are abounding, no indoor dining is open, we can’t use the restroom at Starbucks, kids are still at home, no Friday night lights high school football, and my favorite college team isn’t even playing! This doesn’t feel like Fall. And it certainly doesn’t feel like “normal!“

Nothing right now feels normal! But the truth is, transitions happen all the time! In fact the change that I was just talking about from summer to fall is in fact a transition. The problem is it is not transitioning the way I want it to transition! It is in fact, it is not meeting my expectations!

Let me introduce the definition of transition. 

‘Transition is: ‘movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another; change is constant!’

The truth is most of the cells in your body are different than they were six months ago. Transitions happen regularly in our lives. And it is a good thing that they do. Without change and without transition we become stagnant! Stagnant in my definition from above, would mean that it stays summer all year long. That is not good news for someone like me! And truly it’s not good news for you either! My family and I always hate it when Christmas comes to an end. We love Christmas so much! As I am tucking my grand children into bed on Christmas night, they often say, I wish it was Christmas every day! Can you imagine? At first it would be wonderful! But eventually it would lead to monotony at best and gluttony at worst! Change is necessary and good. One of the things I love most about God is that He knows this, but He also knows us! God knows that change is difficult. So, He has allowed transitions! Transitions can take us smoothly from one change to the next if we allow them to.

Can you imagine if we went from the dead of summer to the middle of December overnight? It would be such a shock to our systems!

Just as the physical shock of sudden change without transition can bring shock to our physical bodies, the shock of the “normal“ to something different without smooth transitions can bring shock to our spiritual self as well!

So the big question is, “how do we transition through these unknown, ab normal, uncertain times?“

We trust in the ONE who it doesn’t surprise at all! He is our constant! He never changes and nothing takes Him by surprise! Clinging to this Truth keeps us constant through the change and transitions!

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

God’s awesome, unchanging nature is our anchor point! It is our solid rock! It is the sure and true foundation that we can stand on regardless of the change and the transitions all around us!

I LOVE YOU LORD; YOU ARE MY STRENGTH! THE LORD IS MY ROCK, MY FORTRESS, AND MY SAVIOR; MY GOD IS MY ROCK, IN WHOM I FIND PROTECTION!  HE IS MY SHIELD, THE POWER THAT SAVES ME AND MY PLACE OF SAFETY!” Psalm 118:1-2

TRUTH BOMB


WHEN LIFE GET’S OUT OF HAND, ON CHRIST THE SOLID ROCK I STAND!

As much as I’d love to throw a pity party for myself, and pout and act like a child who doesn’t get her fall sweater, her warm fuzzy blanket and her college football game while sipping her pumpkin spice latte, I know God wants more of me!

He wants me to remember His faithfulness to me in the past as I go through the change and transitions of the present!

So I want to close today with what I cling to when transition and change is happening all around me. I remember the songs of my youth and hold to their eternal Truth!

“On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand! ALL OTHER GROUND IS SINKING SAND!”

Cling to the TRUTH my friends as our heads feel like they’re about to sink and go under, Christ is the solid rock on which we stand!

Speak Truth Love

The Power of Words

Today I just want you to know that you are loved! You are worthy, and you matter! You were created on purpose and with a purpose! You are unique and perfect just the way you are! You have significance and you make a difference. You were created on purpose by the Creator Himself! You truly are complex and wonderfully made!

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is MARVELOUS- how well I know it.” Psalm 139:14

Words are encouraging and build us up. They can turn the bluest of days rosey!

They can take a downcast spirit and perk it up! They can remove a discouraged attitude and replace it with hope! Words can even improve our physical well-being!

WORDS ARE POWERFUL!

Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing! Truthful words stand the test of time, but lies are soon exposed!”  Proverbs 12:18-19

As we begin a new month and end our series on ‘focusing on the “small” things in life to find joy’, I believe the smallest and most powerful way to find joy and bring it to others is through our WORDS!

It costs us absolutely nothing to pay someone a compliment!

How great does it make you feel when someone calls you by name? Then adds a compliment to it?

“Lisa, what you shared today really spoke to my heart.”

“Lisa, I love you in that color! It looks so good on you.”

“Lisa, You are doing an excellent job, we appreciate you.”

Insert your name into any of the above comments and imagine someone saying them to you. Feel the encouragement and uplifting of your spirit. Then, imagine yourself filling in the blank with someone else’s name that you know. Feel the love and encouragement you are bringing to them!

This is our calling friends! To bring the love and encouragement of Jesus into each other’s lives. All it takes is a few “small” words! When we do this we are following the words of scripture when they say,

Encourage one another daily as long as it is called today.” Hebrews 3:13

Remember, their is no spiritual gift of DISCOURAGEMENT. Let’s encourage one another daily because all we really have is TODAY!

TRUTH BOMB

79A56906-8E2E-4047-870B-A0010C551427

THE ENCOURAGING WORDS WE SAY BUILD EACH OTHER UP AND BRING HEALING!

Speak Truth Love

THE SMALLEST OF THINGS

Sometimes the smallest and most simplest of things, produce the biggest outcome!

Last Tuesday was my Anniversary! I wrote about the smallness of being quiet. That night I was driving home from visiting my grandchildren. I was alone in the car when I began to smell a distinct and painfully familiar smell. Smoke was filling the air and the closer I got to home the stronger the smell got! Storms had raged the weekend prior sending thousands of bolts of lightning striking the ground! Fires had sprung up everywhere and we were facing evacuation for the fourth year in a row!

The joy found in the smallness of the quiet had left my life and in its place was the loud roar of fire storms.

As the week progressed my phone was blowing up with evacuation notices! That sound which sent chills running up and down my spine, was going off every couple of minutes! One zone to the north of us was being evacuated! Another zone to the west of us was being evacuated! Then another, and another, and another!

Saturday morning arrived and we found ourselves still in our home, not yet evacuated.

We got up early and ventured outside to get some exercise hopeful that the smoky air would continue to clear.

We had made it! All of our friends and church family were safe and tomorrow we could continue live streaming our service from church!

Then, the worst news of the week hit us like a ton of bricks.  Beginning at 5 AM on Sunday morning strong winds and lightning strikes we’re hitting again! There was a red flag warning for our county! With it came warnings of dangerous high winds and lightning strikes.

Panic set in! We began to scramble! Would we have electricity to live stream the services? Would we be able to have our celebration drive-through and collect backpacks for our community school? How would we get the word out to people with such short notice? Our brains felt like they were on overload in a matter of minutes.

Then when all hope felt lost, when everything felt completely out of control, the smallest of Truths brought The greatest of Joys!

WE PRAYED!

The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”   James 5:16

We sent out an email for an all church community prayer time at 4 o’clock that afternoon!

We may have been separated by distance, but we have never felt more togetherness!

Through the smallest of obedience’s to pray, we experienced the awesome power of God!We received a MIRACLE!

No windstorm came that next day!

Not at 5:00 a.m. or 5:00 p.m.! There was not even the soft rustle of leaves blowing on the trees. No lightening in the sky, no bolts hitting the ground! It was calm and clear. The predicted storm never came! God took it away!

As my series through the month of August draws to a close, God taught me the greatest lesson of all at the end.

The smallest and simplest act we can do is pray! The power it holds is like no other!

We may not receive exactly what we ask for every time. But every single time we perform the small simple act of praying, our great God Hears, Listens and Answers!

TRUTH BOMB

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THE SMALL ACT OF PRAYER PRODUCES THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT!

Prayer may be a “small” thing to do, but it ignites the power of God’s Holy Spirit every single time!

Speak Truth Love