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God’s Timing is Perfect

Have you ever been waiting on God? Waiting for Him to answer a prayer you have been praying for a long time? Have you ever wondered when is God going to answer MY PRAYER? Or is He ever going to respond?

I think we all have been there—In God’s waiting room. Waiting for answers, waiting for results, waiting for the unknown. Sometimes waiting in God’s waiting room, He teaches us valuable lessons we would have never learned if we weren’t in waiting.

I do think God answers our prayers; just not always in the way we may want or like. God may answer us with ‘Yes!’, or ‘No,’ or even ‘Not yet, or not now.’ But these in fact are God’s answers to what we ask of Him. Just as a parent doesn’t give a child everything their heart desires, because they know what is best for their child, is the same thing God does with us. His delayed responses or answers is not a way to punish us, but a way to help us learn what He is trying to show us.

There are so many lessons we can learn from God’s timing. Here are three things I have learned.

3 Things I Have Learned From God’s Timing: In God’s Timing I learn,

1. It’s Always Perfect- God is God. He has the most perfect plans ever. We cannot put a deadline on His timing. When we give God a deadline we are demanding our desires to be God’s desires. It doesn’t work that way. God’s ways and desires are so much better than ours. God created the heavens and the earth; He knows what He’s doing. Will you trust God with the plans He has for you?

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9

2. He has the best plans ever– If I never waited for God in His timing or always went ahead of Him, I’d never know how great the reward of His plans really are. How many times have you gone ahead of God, looked around and said God ‘where are you?’ Then realize, you never consulted God in the first place? I sure have, many times. My impatience has made me make some not so good choices at times. I have learned when I don’t wait on God, I get myself into a whole lot of trouble. I can almost see God tapping his foot with His hands on His hips, saying “If you just wait for my timing, I will have something so much greater and better ahead for you, Just Wait For ME!”

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

3. How important it is to grow my patience- If I never had to wait on God, I would never learn how important it is grow my patience. Waiting in God’s waiting room, grows our patience. We need patience when going through and enduring our trials. If our patience was never tested, we would never know we needed the patience’s of God to get through what we are going through. If we didn’t have patience, how could we ever accomplish what God is asking of us?

Sometimes in our waiting, God reveals to us very convicting, yet valuable lessons. In His waiting room, sometimes I realize, maybe God is really waiting on me? Maybe God is asking me to do something that I have not done yet. It is God’s waiting room, He reveals what is in my heart, what He desires of me and that I only need to trust in Him.

God never wastes anything, especially the time He has given us. He desires us to use the time He has given us in a certain way, the way He created it to be used. When you feel like you have been waiting for a long time or don’t seem to ever have enough time, ask God “How can I use the time you have given me more wisely?” “Please Lord, Help me be patient and wait for your timing.”

There are great rewards in our patience.

What have you learned from God’s timing?

Have you been in God’s waiting room for awhile? What is He trying to show you?

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This post was first published on www.akchristianwomensministry.com.


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The Struggle is Real

The other day I was sitting in Sunday school class and the pastor asked us questions about storms we go through as couples.  Couples raised their hands and said they had struggles with finances, loss of a job, unexpected sickness, a baby born were some of their responses.  Our pastor then asked, “How many couples have had a miscarriage or lost a baby?”  A surprising amount of us raised our hands.  No one would have ever known by looking at the couples in the room, that we had these deep struggles.  
There are so many of us that go through struggles in life that we keep hidden and in the dark. Many of us walk around with smiles on our faces but in reality, there are deep struggles going on inside.  
Some of us may have struggles that are hard to even admit.  They might be something we are ashamed of or the enemy has whispered lies that have led us so far astray we don’t know how to get back on course. 
 
The struggle is real.  We all have them.  Even godly people of the Bible had struggles.  
For example, King David had a wandering eye for another man’s wife, which got him into trouble.  One night when David was walking around his roof, he saw a beautiful woman bathing who caught his attention.  He was intrigued and sent someone to find out about her.  The messenger returned and informed King David, her name was Bathsheba wife of Uriah, one of his soldiers in command.  Even though King David knew she was married to another man, he slept with her and she conceived a child.  
To make matters worse, David covered up his mistake.  He concocted a plan for Uriah to return from the field and lay with his wife, to make him think he conceived a child with Bathsheba and not David.  When David discovered his plan didn’t work and realized his mistake would be exposed—King David had Uriah killed by putting him at the front line of battle.    
Talk about scandal!  King David’s wandering eye not only led to adultery but also murdering another man to cover up his mistake!  David had some real struggles.  
At what point do you think David should have came forward his struggle?  
If David had just opened up to God about what he was dealing with or asked someone to pray for him, the scandal could have been avoided.  Just imagine all scandals that could be avoided in our own homes and communities if we would just let someone pray for us?  Or if we would just entrust God with our struggles?
David did not go on to live the rest of his life allowing sin or his struggle to reign over him.  After being approached by the prophet Nathan, David said to him, “I have sinned against the LORD” (2 Samuel 12:13).  David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14).  Through David’s repentance and turning away from his sin, is what transformed his life to become apart of one of the greatest plans ever—the bloodline to Jesus.  
David had to learn the hard way.  His choices did not come without consequence.  Nathan tells David, “The LORD has taken away your sin.  You are not going to die.  But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die” (2 Samuel 12:13).    
Scandals.  They are everywhere.  Our government.  Our homes.  Our communities.  Our schools.  Even our churches.  The very place where we think we can feel safe and entrust another in prayer, is the very place the enemy attacks the hardest. 

No one is exempt from the enemy’s trickery, even godly people, even the anointed and appointed.
Here is the Real Truth. 
“But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.” 1 John 1:5-7
The struggle is real.  We are all human, we all fall short and make mistakes.  (Rom. 3:23)
Behind every struggle there is an enemy force at work.  
The dark is where the enemy does his best work.  
The enemy desires to keep our struggles hidden in the dark. 
When our struggles are brought into the light, the enemy can no longer reign over us.  
Bring your struggles into the light.  
1.  The best way to expose the plans of the evil one—bring them to the light.  
“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”  Ephesians 5:11 ESV
2.  No amount of darkness can ever extinguish the light of Jesus.  Keep his light inside of you.    “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” John 1:5 ESV
3.  Follow Jesus He knows the way.  Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  John 8:12 ESV
The enemy has us scared to believe we will be persecuted and abandoned if we expose our flaws.  He  disillusions our minds to think keeping the struggle in the dark is a better option than getting help that is so desperately needed.  

Imagine what our world would look like if we were free from the reign of the enemy and exposed his evil plan by illuminating it with light?  Suicide wouldn’t be an option.  Abortions would not occur.  Divorce would be non-existent.
We don’t have to learn the hard way, like David did.  We can put an end to the enemy attacks, by allowing someone we entrust to pray for us.  Allowing their prayers to intercede on our behalf.  By surrendering our struggles to God and getting the help we need before it leads to our destruction.  
Hold onto God’s promises.  Stay in His Word.  Stay faithful in prayer!  This will allow our struggles to be brought to the light and allow God’s divine power to fight our battles for us.  
 
Do you have an an accountability/prayer partner that can help you get through your struggles?  
 
Do you have a pastor you can entrust? 
 
Do you take your struggles to God and allow Him to fight your battles?
 
I pray and hope this post is an encouragement to you.  If you are struggling with something, please don’t keep it hidden in the dark, bring it into the light.  Don’t let the enemy silence you.  Entrust another to pray for you, take it to God.  Allow God to fight your battles for you.  
 
Keep praying our hearts and minds will be guarded against the evil one, before it is the death of us.  The enemy is relentless and won’t stop until he has destroyed our lives, our families, our marriages, bank accounts, it is endless. 

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This post was first published on www.akchristianwomensministry.com


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Why is it Important to Be Alert?

I will never forget the day I went hiking on a popular Alaskan trail this summer with a friend and all of our kids. It was a beautiful day. We came prepared wearing our hiking gear, brought our bear spray, filled our camelbacks with water and brought snacks for the kids. We were the first hikers of the day to set off on the trail.

As we approached the pseudo summit, we had stopped to take a water and snack break. As we were looking around at the beautiful mountain, I had spotted something across the field about 500 ft. from us. I could see something pacing back and forth. At first I thought it was a dog, but then soon realized it was a wolf! Right next to the pacing wolf was another wolf!
We immediately put our dogs back on their leashes and instructed the kids to get together in a huddle around us, stay together to go back down the mountain. As we were walking off the mountain we were praying for God to please keep us safe and protect us from the attack of the wolf pack! I am happy to report we made it safely off the mountain, but were so glad we were alert to our surroundings. If we were not paying attention, the situation could have been so much worse.

Our situation on the mountain that day reminds me of when Jesus took the disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray (Matthew 26:-45). Jesus knew the time was approaching when Judas was going to betray Him and be taken away by the Roman soldiers. In the garden, Jesus is overwhelmed with sorrow and asks Peter and two other men to keep watch while Jesus prayed. When Jesus returned from praying, He finds His disciples sleeping. Jesus says, “could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak” (Matt. 26:41).

According to Mark 14:41, Jesus goes away and comes back two more times, each time telling the disciples to keep watch and pray. But each time Jesus returns, He found the disciples sleeping. After the third time, of warning the disciples to keep watch and pray, it was too late. A crowd armed with swords and Roman soldiers appeared to take Jesus away.

Jesus knew before the crowd and soldiers came, they were about to be faced with threatening circumstances. Jesus wanted His disciples to not waver in the face of temptation. He was trying to warn them to keep watch and pray so they would not fall victim when confronted with threatening circumstances. Instead the disciples fell asleep.

How much more prepared would the disciples had been if they were alert and listened to God’s instructions?

Jesus was trying to warn the disciples that night in the garden, to remain physically and spiritually awake to keep them from falling into sin. Having an encounter with the wolves that day was a reminder how important it is to be alert not only to our physical surroundings, but our spiritual surroundings as well. Satan can be so quick and deceiving. Like the wolves, he is lurking around ready to attack at any moment.

What a great important reminder to stay awake and alert to Satan’s schemes, because he is sneaky! I for one have been a victim and didn’t even realize it.

Just as Jesus instructed the disciples to keep watch and pray in the Garden of Gethsemane, is what He asks us to do.

Stay alert in prayer; it will keep you close to God’s truth and ready in threatening circumstances. Click To Tweet
Even though we were prepared for the hike that day, we weren’t necessarily prepared for our encounter with the wolves (a threatening situation). God heard our prayers that day and kept us safe as we hiked off the mountain. In that situation, our prayers are what kept us safe.

We become more alert and watchful when we are devoted in prayer.

“Devote yourself to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.” Colossians 4:2 NLT

“Be alert and always keep praying.” Ephesians 6:18b NIV

How do you stay spiritually awake?

How has staying alert and watchful kept you safe?

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This post was first published on www.akchristianwomensministry.com.


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The Truth About the Facebook Fairytale

Chances are if you’re  living this day and age you are apart of the social media craze.  You have a Facebook account, Instagram, Twitter, snapchat, you name it.  You post pictures, sending messages of what you are doing in your daily life, painting a picture of what your life looks like.

Facebook doesn’t always tell the whole story.  It has become more of a fairytale than the real tale of our lives.  I love Beth Moore’s quote “Facebook is  Fakebook.”   Just because we see a perfectly posed family picture, a person smiling, doesn’t always mean everything is going perfectly behind the scenes.  The pictures we see are merely snap shots of what are really going on in our daily lives.

Sometimes Facebook can get the best of me.  Everywhere I look there are pictures of perfect skin, perfect makeup, perfect outfits, perfectly plated dinner plates, manicured houses, perfect vacations, the list goes on.  I then become disillusioned in thinking, ‘Wow everyone has it so together,’ then realize these are the deceptive lies of the enemy.  If I’m not careful I can fall into his trap of doubting my worth by comparing myself to others or being discouraged that I have not done enough with my life.

I am someone who is not always honest and transparent about what has been really going on in my real life.  I would like to be better about posting ‘Hey friend I’m struggling today, I could use your prayers, will you pray for me?’  Instead I coward to what others think of me for fear their comments of what they will really say.  Facebook has become a not so safe place where we can reveal the struggles of our daily lives, for fear of criticism.  We can’t expose our real battles we face for fear of insults.  Or we fear when we expose our vulnerabilities, there will be no where to hide once the flaming arrows start launching?

I’m not saying we should use  Facebook  as a place to spill our dirty laundry, but as a place where we can feel safe and encouraged;  not attacked.

This has made me think what is our purpose in using Facebook and what do we use it for? 

Are we using Facebook as someone who casts out the  first stone or the one walking away with grace?

Are we portraying lies and fake facades of a superficial life that will never last?

Or are we displaying God’s splendor, displaying His fruit that is evident in our lives, in what we post, making it all for His glory?  Are we being transparent and real truthful and honest.

How are we really using Facebook?  As a weapon of the enemy or an instrument of righteousness for God?  Let’s find out.

Do we use Facebook to encourage and build one another up?  Or leave not so nice comments and cast judgements upon what we see?  Or are we silent stalkers who like to look at others posts but choose not to like or comment, but instead make assumptions upon what we only see on the surface?

Do we use Facebook to tell God’s story of what He is doing in our life? Or as a facade putting together an assemblance of the appearance of how great our life seems?

Or does Facebook attack our minds?  Tempting and luring us to mindlessly scroll through everyone’s lives taking us away from what we should be paying attention to?

How does Facebook really affect us? Do we allow the enemy to fill us with his deceptive lies of dissatisfaction? Making us desire more of something we don’t have?   Making us wish we had the life of someone else?

Or do we try to compete, try to keep up with the  Joneses, try to rise above the shouts of the world to be heard, to barely hear the whispers of the Lord?

Or do we compare ourselves to others,  allow the seeds of inferiority to be planted, that I’m not good enough because I don’t have what so and so has?

Are we being lured into the trap of the enemy, using Facebook as his weapon of destruction?  Or are we protecting ourselves using it the way God would like us to as His instrument of righteousness?

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”  Galatians 6:7-8

Have we become disillusioned in the lies of the Facebook fairytale?  Thinking this is what life should be like?  I promise you behind every smile, every perfectly posed family picture, there is a struggle and battle that lies deep within, that is merely resting right beneath the surface.  Truth is, life is messy.  Facebook may not always portray life’s messy moments and tell all of God’s story.

Next time you use Facebook, say a prayer.  Ask God to help you use it for His glory, to pray for those you see who need prayer.   Offer a word or two of encouragement.  Become an instrument of His righteousness and  build His kingdom.

We can break down the walls of the fairytale, build the walls of His kingdom when we tell His story;  allowing the  author of our stories to shine through our authenticity.  Truth is, fairytales never last.  God’s story is eternal and will never fail.  We need to tell the real tale of our lives, to tell God’s story.  Don’t hide behind the Facebook fairytale, allow the author of your story to be known.

When we hide behind the fairytale, how will anyone ever know it is Only God that got us through our trials and Only God that provided?  Hiding behind the lies, hides  His story He has written, keeping His story hidden in the dark.  His stories need to be brought to the light for all the glory be to God!  Amen.

“Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.” Romans 6:13

We are real people with real problems.  And that's okayClick To Tweet.

How will you use Facebook this week?  As a weapon of the enemy building up his armies?

Or an instrument of righteousness building up God’s kingdom?

Have you been  disillusioned in the Facebook fairytale?  How or in what way?

What truth has Facebook revealed to you?

How do you use Facebook and how has it affected you?

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First Encounter OR Second Hand Faith?

Today’s post is written by blogger Carol Dunfee.  This post was first published on www.caroldunfee.com.
I grew up hearing stories about my grandpa. He passed away when I was a newborn, so I never got to meet him. My mom has told me that he was fun-loving. He treasured his two daughters. He loved music and often entertained his family with his guitar, his harmonica, and his singing. My mom has fond memories of singing along with him. She honored his love of music by singing with me when I was little. She encouraged me to dance and sing to the music playing in our house.  My grandpa had an indirect effect on me even though I never knew him.
Then there was Gramma. I didn’t have to rely on stories to learn about her. I got to meet her in person. She was my hero. She made everyone around her feel special and loved. She worked hard tending her enormous garden, canning fruits and vegetables, sewing her own clothes, and preparing the most amazing meals. She loved God with all her heart. I wish I had recordings of all our late-night conversations where she told me about her history and about her God. I knew her FACE TO FACE.
Many of us who are “religious”, know Jesus as I know my grandfather. I have heard wonderful things about him, but I never got to KNOW him personally. Religion tells us stories about the great things Jesus did while He was here on earth. It tells us that He is God’s Son and that He died on the cross and rose again to pay the price for our sins. It tells us that if we confess our sins and accept Him as Savior, then He will give us a home in heaven when we die.
Second-hand stories are great. They connect us to those we could never meet otherwise. I know who my grandpa was because my mom told me about him. Many of us learn about God through second-hand stories. These stories help shape our morals and values. They give us an anchor.
However, I don’t want to know my Creator only through second-hand stories. I want to KNOW Him first-hand. I want to hear His voice speak to me as I read the Bible and as I ask Him for guidance. I want to see His hand working in my family. I want to have His abundant life NOW!
He is not a list of rules or traditions. He is not defined by organized religion. He can work through those things, but He is not confined by them.
I want my children to know that He is real and available RIGHT NOW. How will they know if I don’t show them? I need to tell them the stories, but I also need to go a step further. I need to let them see that He is real in my everyday life. I need to continue to pray that they encounter His love and power for themselves.
Jesus is a real person. He loves you. Don’t take my word for it. Don’t take your pastor’s or priest’s word for it. Search for Him yourself.
“But if from there you seek the LORD your God,
you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.”  Deuteronomy 4:29 NIV
A note from Heather:  I hope Carol’s message today challenged you to not settle for second hand faith but to get your own personal encounter with Jesus.  When I think of first encounters, I think of Paul and Silas when they were beaten and thrown into the inner prison in Macedonia (which is the lowest, darkest, grotesque of all prisons) with shackles fastened to their feet.  They were imprisoned in a deep dark pit for healing a girl who was possessed.
Despite being persecuted and beaten for their beliefs they started to pray and sing hymns of praise to God while they were in this deep dark pit of a prison!  Their prayers and songs of praise echoed throughout the prison.
Suddenly an earthquake shook the foundations of the prison. All the doors were opened and their chains fell off (Acts 16:26).  The guard keeping watch trembled at the sight of this and asked “What must I do to be saved?”  Paul replied “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31).  In verses 33-34, it goes on and says this man took the prisoners home and washed their wounds.  Immediately he and his whole household were baptized.  The jailer then brought them a meal and was filled with joy because he and his whole household believed in God.
Talk about First Encounters!  We can’t just take the world’s word for who God is, we have to seek him ourselves to obtain our own testimonies.  When we have our own personal encounter with God, we believe because of our FAITH, not because of what someone tells us.

Have you had a first encounter with God?

Do you have your own personal relationship with God?

Do you have a personal testimony to share with others?

Meet Carol

 

I am a wife, mom, piano teacher, and blogger for Alaska Christian Women’s Ministry.  When I am not teaching piano, I live the crazy life of a wife and mom of three. I love it when life is neat and organized, but I find that rarely happens. I am learning to love the chaos.  To read more about Carol visit her blog at www.caroldunfee.com.

 

Did you enjoy this blogpost? Please share with others! Want more encouraging messages sent right to your inbox? Subscribe to my blog and receive a weekly Monday Message or like my Author Facebook page to catch the latest posts.  Have a blessed week!

 

I would love to hear from you! Leave your comments below!

 

A version of this post was first published on www.akchristianwomensministry.com.

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Chicken Soup for the Soul: Military Edition {Giveaway}

“I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives.  I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him” quote Abraham Lincoln.

I am so excited to announce the story I submitted last year to Chicken Soup for the Soul has been accepted and published in the Military Edition!  I am humbled and honored to have our story alongside other men and women who have served and been the force behind the forces.  And I’m thankful to have another opportunity to be published in the Chicken Soup Series!

I can’t believe how completely different our lives look now.

Never in my life did I think I’d be in this place I am today.  Never in a million years did I think I would be living in Alaska, living on a military base with my husband serving in the United States Air Force.  Never did I imagine all that we would see and learn just by taking a step of faith out of our comfort zone.  Only God.

You just never know what God has planned.

Even though we left everything we knew–family, friends, kid’s school, our home, jobs, etc.  We wouldn’t trade the military or Alaska for anything.  Coming up here we have become a closer knit family.  Moving to a place where you know no one, makes a family depend on each other in ways you never had before.  We also get to meet amazing military families who sacrifice their lives and serve just so we can be safe.

There is so much more to our story than what is published.  God has been writing our story for quite some time and is always full of surprises!

Life wouldn’t be life if there weren’t curve balls, sharp turns or detours would it?

As I am writing these words, we are getting ready to embark on our new journey to Colorado!  In fact we could really use your prayers.  There are a lot of unknowns of where we will live and what school our kids will attend.   We are trusting in God’s provision and leaving it in His hands.  Even though we don’t know how all the details are going to work, we know God has it already worked out for us.

There is something powerful in doing something bigger than yourself.

Alaska has taught us many things especially the art of camping and how to be prepared in all kinds of situations (wild life, negative degree weather).  We will be driving with our two kids and dog in our RV through Canada this summer, stopping by national parks along the way.  It is bittersweet for us to leave all the wonderful friends who have been our new military family to embark on our new adventure.  But we are excited for our new adventure that awaits.

Sometimes I question if we have to move every 3 to 4 years how are we able to grow roots?  I believe God uses us wherever we are.  He allows us to bloom wherever we are planted growing our roots deeper in every step of faith and act of obedience.  I will cherish the relationships and friendships we have made along the way and carry them in my heart wherever I go.  Each journey we go on grows us and prepares us for what God has in store (hence why we named our dog Journey ; ).

Our Journey Girl

Want a chance to win a copy of Chicken Soup for the Soul:  Military Edition for your self?  Before it is available in stores?

Here’s How to Enter:  Contest ENDS May 12th!  

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Do all three for THREE chances to win!  I will need your email to notify if you won.  The Contest is only for those who live in the United States.  I promise I will not share your info with anyone.  If you win I will need your mailing address so I can send you a signed hard copy of the book!  Please share with others so they can have a chance too!  I will announce the winner via Facebook and email.  Please like the Facebook page or leave your email in the comments in case you win!  Good luck!

Chicken Soup for the Soul:  Military Edition is available for pre-order purchase on www.amazon.com for only $10.37!  It’s a perfect gift to give to that special someone who serves for Memorial Day!

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Yes Lord

“God doesn’t call the qualified, he qualifies the called” quote Mark Batterson.  

          Has God ever asked you do something that didn’t make sense?

About 2,000 years ago Jesus was looking to qualify the called.  He was starting his ministry on earth calling His first disciples.  He saw some fisherman fishing alongside a lake.  He then told them take the boat, out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch (Luke 5:4).  

Simon, the boat owner said to  Jesus, “We’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.  But because you say so, I will let down the nets” (Luke 5:5).  Then something amazing happened.  Their nets began to break and their boats began to sink because they had caught so many fish (Luke 5:6-7).  

Simon and all his companions couldn’t believe what they had just witnessed.  They had been fishing all night, then Jesus came along and changed everything.  Simon fell to his knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord;  I am a sinful man!”  Simon knew he had witnessed something great and felt unworthy to be in the presence of Jesus.

Jesus said, “Come, follow me, and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.”  Matthew 4:18-20

In just three words Jesus changed the lives of these fishermen forever.  The disciples were busy making a living catching fish, then Jesus came along and said, “Come follow me,” you are now going to catch men.  Without hesitation in the both gospels of Matthew and Luke, the men dropped their nets, pulled in their boats to shore, left everything (their families, their businesses) to go follow Jesus.  

I have thought about this scenario many times. 

Why do you think God allowed these men to experience what it was like to catch the biggest catch of fish ever in their lives, to then tell them to drop their nets and walk away from everything they once knew?

This amount of fish could have made lots of money to feed their families and then some.  The fishermen prior to this had only been loosely associated with Jesus.  Jesus allowed the disciples to have a taste worldly abundance, so they would know nothing in this life could ever bless them more abundantly than what God could provide.  Dropping their nets and walking away led to the most extraordinary life ever in Jesus. 

What would you do if Jesus came along and asked you to drop everything to come follow Him?  Would you say ‘yes’?  

What courageous faith, trust and obedience these men had to just walk away.  We may not always know what lies ahead but God does. 

I can so relate to the disciples.  Three years ago God asked my husband and I, “Will you walk away?”  He said, “I know your life is comfortable, but will you leave all of your family, friends, your jobs and your life, to come follow me?”  

I’ll be honest at first, our response was ‘wow God that’s asking a lot.’  There were a lot of unknowns, where would we go?  Where would we live?  Where would we work?   When God asked us to walk away, He already orchestrated the plan, we just had to follow.  

Once we said ‘Yes Lord,’ God started opening the doors to where He was leading us.  We didn’t need to know how every detail was going to work out, because God had it under control.  We knew where God was leading us may be uncomfortable at first learning how to live in our new life.  But, we knew whatever abundant blessings we had in our comfortable life couldn’t compare to what God had in store for us.  Saying ‘yes’ to Jesus was the best decision we ever made.

His abundant blessings are always greater.  

Saying ‘Yes Lord,’ allows for God’s biggest blessings to overflow within our lives. 

Saying ‘Yes Lord,’ to whatever He is asking us to do will always leads to the most extraordinary life in Him.

Has God ever asked you to walk away and come follow Him?  

God is calling all of us to have the most extraordinary life in Him.  We don’t have to be extraordinary to do what God is asking us to do, we just have to be ready. 

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 5:3

Coming Soon!  Some new changes to the website.  I will be doing a 4-part series of Meeting Jesus.  We will be meeting Jesus in the scriptures, our struggles, our storms and everyday lives.    

It’s all about meeting Jesus right where we are.  In Him we will have life to the full that is complete and everlasting.  Have a blessed week!

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Celebrate Easter with Jesus with this Family Bible Reading Plan!

7 Miracles I Have Witnessed as a Nurse

Have you ever witnessed a miracle, something so amazing, you knew it could only be God’s handiwork?  Being a nurse I can say I have been a first hand witness to some of life’s most amazing miracles.  I’ve witnessed countless births—babies taking their first breath of life as they enter into this world.  I’ve seen patients on their death bed who had no chance of survival, walk out of the hospital on their own two feet.  I’ve seen a father donate his own kidney to his son to give him a chance of life. It is an honor to be a nurse and a witness to some of life’s most precious moments that can only be explained as a miracle.  A miracle is something that cannot be explained by laws of nature but only by the divine work of God.

Here are 7 of the Most Precious Miracles I have witnessed (as a Nurse and Mother)-

1.  A Mother’s selfless act of giving her baby up for adoption–    I have worked in the operating room as a nurse anesthetist for over 13 years now and in that time, have witnessed hundreds of babies born.  I will never forget the love of the mother who gave her baby up for adoption.  I couldn’t imagine what that mother felt at that moment knowing she was giving her motherly rights away to another mother.  How selfless of the birth mother, putting her own child’s needs first before her own.  By giving up her rights she was giving another mother a chance to be a mother and a chance for a better life for the baby.  This selfless act of love reminded me of the selfless love Jesus gives us everyday.

2.  The Blind Couple-  One of the other births that I will never forget is a baby being born to a blind couple.  Both the mother and father were physically blind.  When their baby was born, they handed me their camera and asked me to take a picture of their new born child.  I literally had tears in my eyes taking the picture of their new baby, knowing they would never physically see their child with their own eyes.  What impressed upon me so much about their baby’s birth, was no amount of blindness can ever change the amount of love they had for their child.  Just because they couldn’t see their baby with their own eyes didn’t mean their love for their child was any less.  This picture of blindness showed me we may go through periods of darkness or spiritual blindness in our lives, but that doesn’t mean God ever leaves us or doesn’t love just as much.  

3.  #1 Nurse Necklace-  I will never forget the family who gave me a #1 nurse necklace.  I was a nurse on a medical floor and took care of an older gentlemen for many weeks.  This man had a very loving family. He became very ill and passed away a few weeks after being ill in the hospital.  I was so touched when the family invited another nurse and I to their father’s funeral.  I have had patients pass away before but have never been invited to their funeral.  Afterwards the family gave the other nurse and I a #1 Nurse necklace to thank us for taking care of their father.  It stirred my heart the way the family showed gratitude by giving us the necklace after their father passed away.  I never before had a family respond in that way and it moved me.  It showed the power in giving gratitude and kindness out of our grief and sorrow.  

4.  The Russian man-  I will never forget when a Russian man, whom I never met before, reached out his hand and said, “Do you believe Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior?” I said, “yes.  Then he says, “You are my sister” (while still holding my hand).  We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, adopted into God’s one big family.  It doesn’t matter if we are Catholic, Greek or Jew when we accept Jesus as our Savior, what unites us as family is the blood of Christ.  

5.  The Roll Over Accident-  Have you ever witnessed something and you know what you saw, but couldn’t believe it?  My children and I were driving down the highway one day when it was raining.  A pick-up truck about 3 car lengths in front of us lost control and flipped horizontally (3 times) on it’s side with a flat bed trailer attached to it.  When the truck and trailer stopped rolling, it laid horizontally on it’s side laying across all 3 lanes of the highway.   Not one car hit the rolled over pick-up truck.  What was so amazing, all 3 passengers inside the truck boosted themselves out of the window and walked away unharmed.  It was a bone-chilling moment, knowing the accident could have been much worse, but God protected us.  This moment showed me not only do physical seat belts keep us safe but so does God’s belt of truth when it’s worn.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place.”  (Ephesians 6:14).  

6.  Brooklyn-  Our daughter Brooklyn who is almost 10 years old now, was born 8 weeks premature.  When she was born she only weighed 3 pounds 8 ounces.  She was too tiny to bring home and needed to stay in the hospital to learn how to feed and grow.  Her birth and life have nothing been short of a miracle.  Since she was born, she has alway defied the odds.  She came home after only 3 weeks (usually babies have to stay until they reach gestation).  She never needed oxygen when she was born, in fact she came out screaming!  One thing she has taught us is to trust in God’s plans.  Life may not turn out the way we planned but God’s plans are always greater and better.

7.  Bowen-  Out of all the miracles I have witnessed, there has been none greater than our son Bowen.  He is our third child born six years ago.  Even though he lived a short life of only two weeks on earth, his life impacted us greatly.  God used Bowen in a big way in our lives to show us how life’s most devastating moments can be turned into life’s greatest blessings.  How God takes our tragedy, our hardship and heartaches uses it, molds it and turns it into something more beautiful than it was before.  He showed us the meaning of living a life of love is a life worth living, when we are loving we are living.  There is no gift greater than that.  

Our son’s life taught us that God does answer prayer, maybe not in the way we want. Our son is no longer suffering, he is living a life free from pain, disease and sorrow.  God went ahead of us and made the greatest plan ever.  He is taking care of him until the day we will see him again. 

Have you ever witnessed a miracle from heaven?  Something that could have only been God’s handiwork?  Please Share!

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Join me next week for the 4 part series of meeting Jesus in the scriptures, our struggles and our everyday lives.  I would love to hear from you!    Please Leave Your Comments Below.  Have a Blessed Week!

Jesus In Disguise

Have you ever had an encounter with Jesus that totally changed your life? I wanted to share with you about the first time I went to Honduras on a mission trip with our church.  We went down to help build a building for the sponsor children for Compassion International.  We were in a community outside of Progresso, Honduras.  One day the pastor took us on a walk to show us some of the other projects the church had completed over the previous 12 years.  They had built a water system for the community to have clean drinking water, houses for those in need and now the Compassion house.

One of the houses we visited in particular, was fragile and could have been blown down by a gust of strong wind.  It had thin walls, a metal tin roof and dirt floors. This house was among many which did not have electric or running water.  The owner of this house was a woman who invited us into her home.  Many women were left behind to tend homes on their own while their husbands left to find work far away.

When she invited us in she wanted to show her gratitude by offering the only meal she had—a chicken (which is expensive).  It was obvious she did not have much to give and yet she wanted to offer us her very last meal.  We said no we we already ate, please keep your chicken.  She was insistent to give us all she had even though she had no idea where her next meal was going to come from.  We did not eat her chicken but left her home filled with a richness so abundant that it was hard to describe.

What the woman gave me that day could never compare to anything I could ever give to her.  She gave when she had nothing to give.  She was like the widow who gave everything she had.  

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” (Mark 12:43-44)

She showed me a giving out of faithfulness to a degree I have never seen before.  Her giving was so selfless.  The only way I could describe it was, Jesus in disguise.  Her offering out of poverty, giving everything she had to live on to us was the richest gift I had ever received.  

“You can always give without loving, but never love without giving.” ~ Amy Carmicheal

Her giving showed me the love of Jesus, how he loves and thinks of us.  She was not afraid to give her love not knowing where her next meal was going to come from.  She gave without an expectation of receiving.  She lived faithfully in the love of Jesus, relying on Him for her every need and provision. His love knows no limits, is not bounded by boundaries, but free to everyone. Her offering her last meal, gave like Jesus gives to us everyday.  His love isn’t meant to be kept hidden but shared with others.  

I have never forgotten what she gave me that day. She gave me the courage to be courageous in love, not be afraid, share the love of Jesus with others, so they too may know there is no greater love than His.

Her giving challenged me to ask myself, what am I willing to give to others to let them know how much Jesus loves them no matter what the cost? 

Have you ever seen Jesus in Disguise?

How did it impact you?

“I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends.” John 15:12-13 MSG

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Join me next week as we dive deeper into the love of Jesus!  I would love to hear from you!  Please Leave Your Comments Below.  I pray you’re week is filled with God’s abundant love!

Confessions of a Stay at Home Mom

This week will conclude our series on confessions.  I hope this series has filled you with God’s truth.  We can walk away from our comparisons of each other and rejoice in God’s truth for us in who He says we are.  We don’t have to wait to be accepted by the world or for our circumstances to change, we are worthy and valuable just the way we are.  He has a divine and specific purpose for each and every one of us.        

Whether we are called to be married, single, a working mom or a stay at home mom there is meaning a purpose in God’s calling for us.  Here is an interview of a stay at home mom who shares her heart with us.

How did you decide being a stay at home mom was God’s calling for you? Children are God’s greatest gift to us, their hearts are a mother’s classroom.  Investing in our children reaps rewards that are immeasurable.

What is the number one thing being a stay at home mom has taught you?
Being a stay at home mom is a constant dying of oneself.  It is a continual process of learning how to be selfless, learning how to be content no matter what and knowing I am still contributing to society even though I am inside the four walls of my home.  Also learning how to find joy in every moment, the good and the bad. God teaches me through thankfulness. When we are thankful, then we are more likely to find joy in each moment, which is what God wants for us.

What is the number one thing you struggle with as a stay at home mom?
Isolation and not getting a break.  Isolation can be the tool of the devil.  It can be a downward spiral that gets out of control quickly.  When I start to feel this way I know I need to pray and seek support of other moms who are going through the same thing.  I try to be proactive in recognizing triggers which amplify my struggles such as getting out of routine (holidays), bad behavior or sickness.

What did you do before you were a stay at home mom and how many years have you been a stay at home mom?  How many children do you have?
I used to work as an Early Intervention Speech Pathologist for five years before raising children.  I have been a stay at home mom now for 9 years.  I have 5 children, four boys (ages 2, 3, 7 and 9) and one baby girl.

That’s very admiral, you possess a master’s degree and walked away from a career to raise children.  What is the best advice you can give to other stay at home moms?
Do the best you can with the knowledge you have now.  The knowledge you have in the moment is enough to accomplish what God has planned for you.  God has entrusted you with their lives, he has put your children in your care for a reason.  God will continually equip you with what you need at every given time.  He has chosen your family and has great plans for you and made each of us with a purpose.  You don’t have to do something that is newsworthy or career savy to contribute to society.  What you do inside of your home, is just as important as what you do outside of your home.  We can support each other by not comparing and encouraging one another.

What is your greatest reward you have received as a stay at home mom?
God has called me to equip the next generation of warriors in his army with His armor, character, love, and grace. I can only do this when I lean on God for wisdom and peace and in humbleness, admiting I CANNOT do it alone. As mom’s we often fall into the trap of “I just need to keep going”. That is a red flag for I need a break, need help, or need to let go. God provides us with help in the form of His word, friends, family, spouses. Seek counsel of other women and pray hard!

What do you do as a stay at home to get a break?  I try to leave the house to get a break or escape to my craft room and work on a craft project.  Sometimes the only break I get is going to a private room or outside to pray. Finding a positive outlet for feelings helps as well as leaning on God for His strength. Be proactive in communicating with spouse and children in calm, respectful way to express a need for breaks. Because if mama isn’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. It is a sad but true statement. Taking care of oneself will help the entire household–do so without feeling guilty.

What are your favorite Bible verses that help you?

“Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).

“Encourage one another build one another up”  (1 Thessalonians 5:11).

“In all work you are doing, work the best you can.  Work as if you were doing it for the Lord, not for people”  (Colossians 3:23).

“Do everything in Love”  (1 Corinthians 16:14).

“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer”  (Romans 12:9-12).

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest”  (Matthew 11:28).

Being a stay at home mom is a busy 24/7 job that rarely gets recognized as being a job.  Whether we are a working mom or one that stays at home, instead of judging or comparing ourselves and each other’s children, we can all be encouraging one another, because we are all apart of the same team (quote from Cindy Bultema)!

God has called every one of us for a specific meaning a purpose.  Carrying out God’s calling for you, gives your life more meaning and purpose than anything in this world.  

God has great plans for you.

Do you know God’s calling for your life?

What has God called you to do?

If you are a stay at home mom please share how being a stay at home mom has impacted your life, So we can be encouraging one another!

A special thank you to my twin sister for sharing her heart with us for this post!  

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I would love to hear from you!  Please Leave Your Comments Below.  Have a Blessed Week!


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