Thursday, August 9, 2018

When life gets hard...because IT WILL

Many of you have read my first book, Not Really A Princess. In this book I share my story of growing up in Western Washington and the struggles our family had. It was a lot for us to endure. At times I felt it was hopeless. I wanted someone to help us...anyone.

When I was 13, my adoptive father died and I did not understand how things could get much worse or why trials seemed to plague us. A month after he died we sold 29 of our 31 horses and I stood watching from inside the barn that rainy afternoon as truck after truck drove away with my horses. 

We had no income and we needed the money the sale would bring. I felt forlorn. That God had abandoned us.  A couple months later we started going to a little country church. I had never been to such a place. They were memorizing scripture out loud together. Romans 12:1-2.They all had Bibles with them and they would sing hymns in harmony together. This was all so foreign to me. My sister and I were invited to youth group that night and quickly made friends. Within a few months my mom and sister asked to pray with our pastor to accept Christ as their Savior and wanted me too also. I went along with it but am not sure I really knew what that meant. It wasn't until a month or so later when I really started understanding what Christ did for me in dying on the cross, that I prayed by myself one night. I contritely prayed for Him to forgive my sins and thanked Him for giving me eternal life. Romans 6:23 says, " For the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Times were still hard but somehow I felt a sense of hope. It didn't matter if everything was great because I clung to His promises. Reading Psalms was my favorite and still fills me with hope when trials come. 

Over the past 46 years I know that the only thing that can help my frame of mind is praying and reading God's Word. They are what give me refreshment. They are what give me hope when things are hard. Because dear reader, life has hard times. The question is, how do we deal with adversity? Do we give up? Do we ignore it? Do we get angry?

I would encourage you to start reading Psalms. In many chapters King David cries out to God asking Him why has something happened. But he always comes back to praise by the end of the chapter. You see that is why he was a man after God's own heart. He talked to God about everything. Good and bad. He fellowshipped with Him. Shared his burdens and his joys. There are so many that are my favorites that I have a hard time sharing just one. Here is one of the many. Psalm 34:17-18, "The righteous cry and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

God is waiting to hear from YOU. He longs for you to talk to Him. It is true that He is the almighty, sovereign, merciful God. But He created you and loves you. 

I have spent more nights than I can count crying to God. Asking for Him to fill me with peace and healing. I cannot imagine a life without that love filling me or the encouragement He gives. 

Do you know I pray for all of you who read my blog? For everyone who reads my books? I do. Every day. I may not personally know you or your situation but I can still pray for you because God knows you and what your needs are. So I pray this gives you comfort. 

So I can think back 46 years ago and I am so very thankful that God drew me to Himself. He wrapped His arms around me and comforted me and has never left me.


Tuesday, August 7, 2018

He Has Your Back

I am sure you have heard the old question --when you see the word "therefore" you have to see what it's "there for". I think one that stands out the most is in Hebrews 12:1-3.

"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart."

I have read this passage dozens of times, I have it underlined in my Bible but as I was studying chapter 11 and kept reading into 12, a bell went off in my head. I am not quite sure why the chapter break is even there. I mean, it is a great passage by itself but becomes so much fuller if you read the previous chapter first.

Hebrew 11 has been deemed by most as the "faith chapter" and rightly so. So many examples of extreme faith. Sarah being so old and being told she would have children, she must have laughed. She did. Abraham being willing to sacrifice his son. Moses leading complaining people for years.

Then our Hebrews author tells us therefore. And why? Because we too can have that kind of faith. Putting aside doubts and fears. Sin and worry. Because God's got this. He is on the throne. Sovereign, Immovable. Think of what our Lord endured on the cross for us. And it's that last phrase that clinches it. "so that you may not grow weary and lose heart".

It can be difficult to do the right thing, the thing that may get your heart pumping, the thing you have put off. Do not lose heart dear reader. He has your back.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Just a moment Guest Blogger: Jessica Everett

Guest Blogger: Jessica Everett

     Our society is so fast-paced. We’re busy. We’re rushing. We don’t have free time. Work hard. Play harder. But… what if we had just a moment. Just a moment to say hello to the cashier. Just a moment to wave to the little girl with her mom in the store. Just a moment to say good morning to the post man.  What if we took just a moment to make their day? Would our life just crash around us? If we took the extra moment would our schedule fall? Would it really take that much time out of our day to do so?

     A few weeks ago I was in the checkout line at the store with my one year-old. She was done. She was sick of doing errands and didn’t want to be there anymore. She was fussing and whining and crying. Trying to climb out of the cart.  There was a young man in line behind us and he took just a moment to say hello to her. He played peekaboo with her while in line and she burst into a smile. It totally made her day! And as a tired mama, it made mine as well. Didn’t take any extra time from his day. Didn’t put his schedule out of line. But that small moment was such a blessing to me!
     How often do we do that? How often do we put a simple act of kindness ahead of what we have to get done that day? Isn’t it worth it?

      I challenge you this week to go out of your way to take just a minute to make someone’s day. Just a small moment to make a big impact.

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