Encouragement for HIS daughters

Words to Encourage

The Cross

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The Cross

I have a cross ring, a couple of cross necklaces.  I have seen them in artwork, tattoos, drawn and colored.  I have seen them in non flattering ways.  But what does it really mean?  Can I really describe what the cross means to me?

No, I cannot.  All I know is that it represents LOVE.  It represents a LOVE that cannot be described in words.  It represents sacrifice that I will never truly understand.  It represents JESUS.

Brennan Manning said: “Jesus comes not for the super-spiritual but for the wobbly and weak-kneed who know they don’t have it all together, and who are not too proud to accept the handout of amazing grace.”  

How grateful I am that He chose to climb up and stay on that cross for me.  He could have called legions of angels…He had so much power, and yet…He chose to take the wrath for my sin.  How can I prove that?  I cannot.  I just know.

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18

May I truly reflect on the message of the cross this Easter season….and know that although I don’t have it together, and never will…He does and did it for me. 

 

JesusOnCross

Be blessed dear ones~

IN CHRIST ALONE
Isaiah 55:8-9

*google image, NIV*

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Spring Stings!

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Ah…the spring…and stings!

With warm weather comes the beautiful season of blooming flowers, budding trees, grass becoming green…and…duh, duh…duh (notice drama building), stings!!

Being outside has issues, but we still love being outside as much as possible. But the stings of anything can cause havoc in our lives. We were walking down the street just the other day and a little bee of some kind decided to fly near my husband’s eye and sting the corner! He did swell up, and thankfully it wasn’t in the eye (although with all the wailing I thought it was, just kidding!)

Over the years we all have suffered stings. Once I received the wrath of a wasp and swelled to such a large size that the emergency room proved the only refuge. Which later caused the need for an emergency epi pin to relieve any further sting damage in the future world of stinging. The pin should not have been prescribed for me I later learned from an allergy specialist, but it had been. So when I was stung by a very large, unhappy wasp which had gotten in my way, I used the pin. Bad choice. My heart raced uncontrollably and it did nothing for the swelling of the sting. It just caused heart issues. Not good.

My husband’s hand tripled in size one summer and he continued to deliver packages on his job. He had to have help just picking the packages up, and we won’t even talk about how hard it was to drive! Needless to say, stings are not pleasant experiences, as many of you well know.

The word “sting” translates to a word that means: “a sting, as that of bees, scorpions, locusts. Since animals wound by their sting and even cause death, Paul attributes death, personified as a sting, i.e. a deadly weapon”

I Corinthians 15:56-57 says this: “The sting of death is sin and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

“Sin” translates to “Hamartia” which means “missing the true end and scope of out lives, which is God.” STAY WITH ME.

Therefore, the thing of venom or poison is our eternal missing the true end and scope of our lives, God. When we miss God, when we miss that intimate relationship with Jesus, we we don’t know him as Lord and Savior, we know the sting of death. That pain, that spreading of poison! Eternity not spent with God.

The power and strength of that “missing the true scope of our lives….God” is the law! In other words, the sting of that wasp only had power over us if throughout that we had to do a certain amount of actions in a certain way…and only that way to bring us relief. Medicine, cool compresses gave us relief or victory over the sting by removing the poison. Just as Jesus gives us the victory over death and its sting! The shot I gave myself was the “law” that I was told I had to do..and it was wrong. It brought me more problems with the racing heart. The “law” did not relieve my sting.

Only Jesus Christ can give us that victory. There is no “law” that can bring us that peace. There are not a set of rules and regulations that will give us peace over that sin if we approach it in the manner of the law. A wise friend once told me: “The law commands your flesh to work and then it condemns everything it does.” We cannot do enough to rid us of that sting of death…but Jesus death on the cross bore that sing of death so that we might have victory over it.

Romans 10:4 says “Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

Those wasps have no power over my husband and I! We had the victory through the meds and treatment to avoid the death of the sting. We are sometimes at the wrong place at the wrong time…bad things do happen in our lives, but death has no sting for the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ!!

So as this spring shows its beautiful face, stay away from those stings…or at least know how to rid yourself of the poison!! Rely on what you know to be true. Remember through and in HIM we have victory!

Be blessed~

IN CHRIST ALONE

Isaiah 55:8-9

 *google image, NIV, Strong’s Concordance*

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The Photo Album

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The Photo Album

Several years ago I had the opportunity to meet an aunt and cousin.  They were actually my husband’s, but they still were “mine”.  Through a series of events and searching by my aunt, she located our name.  Through some unfortunate circumstances we had never met, much less knew of each other’s existence.  

We met for lunch and talked as though we had known each other for years!  It was the sweetest thing.  We had shared some similar experiences, loves, hopes and dreams.  We shared photo albums, marveling at the physical resemblance of generations so long ago.  It was simply delightful.

What joined our hearts so quickly?  It really wasn’t a biological connection, because technically I did not have one.  But we figured it out…we connected our hearts because we all loved Jesus so much!

I saw in my mind’s eye the Father opening his photo album.  He turned the pages ever so carefully, pointing out the characteristics of each of his children.  He told stories of what the pictures meant…”Here my daughter found her first seashell, she was so excited…see her smile?  She was thinking about my creation…how sweet is that?”  He pointed out the resemblance of each of his children.  “Sara loves on the sick children at the hospital.  Jonathan sat at my feet in this picture as we talked.”

Can’t you see the smile?  Can you feel the pride he has over his children?  He continues to look, page by page…picture by picture.  There are millions of albums, and he tires of none.

1 John 4:7  “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”  This is just one of many scriptures that shows how powerful the love of God is…there are so many more.

What connected us at lunch? What connects all of us right now?  Jesus.  It is quite simple..JESUS.  Our hearts are one when we know Him as our Savior.  Could it be practice for our heavenly home.

I have to go…I have some photo albums to look at.

Be blessed~

IN CHRIST ALONE

Isaiah 55:8-9

*google image, NIV*

 

 

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Give Up!

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I had to Give Up!

I have told a number of “storm stories” due to the fact that: a.) we’ve lost our home twice to storms b.) there are great analogies about storms and life, c.) everyone experiences them at one time or another.

That being said, spring has sprung and with it those lovely spring storms, (note my sarcasm ). We have a funny story from our 25th Wedding Anniversary, and I hope we don’t have one from our 35th coming up, but I do have one from last Thursday!

 It was our son’s birthday and we were at his home celebrating. We had to drive from his home in another town, to ours.  We had kept track of the storm system, or so we thought, and knew we were in the clear.

Well, we weren’t in the clear.  We drove down back country roads with water covering them and the rain was falling so hard my husband couldn’t see 2 feet in front of him.  I know, we should have turned around, or pulled over…but we were concerned that with the rain falling as hard as it was we had better keep going!

Now, people who love us are understanding of my apprehension in storms, so my text messages began to arrive in the midst of it all!  Basically to ask how I was…only to find out rather than taking refuge in our closet,  we were driving in the area where a “rain wrapped” tornado was aloft.  And since all the power was off in this area…the only light we had was the horrible lighting and our headlights.

So what do all good storm watchers do?  I scanned the sky for that rain wrapped tornado!  And of course, with every flash of lightning I saw one!!( not really) Although we both appeared and acted very calm, my heart was sending me another message.

“Give Up” was what I heard in my spirit, and what I said out loud.  We began to laugh and figured that “third time might be a charm” and there was not a whole lot we could do about it anyway.  We just kept driving through it and gave it up.  

A peace fell over us like I cannot describe.  It had not stopped, but our fears were surrendered.  We laughed.  We got home safely, only to see our poor pup at the window of a very dark house. He seemed no worse for the wear.  

But we gave up….I gave up.  I surrendered.  

All was well, but even if something had happened…it would have been ok.  It always has been, no matter what the storm brought before, it was always ok.  I didn’t say it was easy, pleasant or that I wanted to experience it again…but it was ok.

 Ecclesiastes 3:1-4: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens, a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance..”

So what do you need to give up?  What do you need to surrender?  Might as well do it, it might be the season for laughing!

Blessings dear ones~

IN CHRIST ALONE

Isaiah 55:8-9

*google image, NIV*

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Want to be a Princess?

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I wonder if every little girl wants to be a princess at some point in her life?

 

I know I did.  I did not want to be an ordinary princess though.  I wanted to be a “tough as nails princess”  The kind that rode horses, participated in sword fights, and really didn’t need a prince to save her from anything.  I wanted to be the type of princess that was beautiful, yet didn’t really care if all her gowns sparkled.  I wanted to be that type of princess that people liked because she was kind and helpful, not just because she was a princess.

I think my vision of “princess-hood” came from my experiences as a child.  My parents divorced when I was young and I was the oldest, thus the “caretaker” of my brother and sister (or so I thought).  I had a tendency to protect and hover over those I loved….and no one, I mean no one could mess with me.  Not that I was mean….I just didn’t take any junk from anyone!

As I grew up I realized that I wasn’t a princess at all.  I feel like I fought for a lot in my life.  I am not complaining, it made me who I am today…but princess, naw….no need.  I was my own woman.  I did not need anyone, or so I thought.

Once I got married, I didn’t really act like I needed my husband either.  I did not have a good relationship with my dad, thus the tough exterior.  Well, that did not work so well.  I did not know who I was….nor how much God really loved me. Then I found out I was treasured…I was a princess.

James 1:12 “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

Isaiah 62:3 “You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of your God.”

I needed to know that then, and I need to know that now.  I love God with all my heart, and He loves me. And I am still a princess!

Be blessed~

IN CHRIST ALONE

Isaiah 55:8-9

 

*google image, NIV Bible*

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Dandilions! Every Year!

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Dandilions!  Every Year!

 

As every spring begins, there is a lot of yard work to go along with it.  And with the long winter that has been hanging around, it is indeed a pleasure…even though every muscle in my body will be yelling at me tomorrow!

The goal this day:  Remove the dandelions from the back patio.  They grow in-between the division in the bricks every single year.  The task seems so daunting.  But, I will admit, the sea of yellow really is pretty!

Now yellow is one of my favorite colors, so the question runs through my mind every year.  Do I really want to pull them?  They really are just pretty little flowers.  Ah, my reasoning really doesn’t hold up, so seeing the patio does become a priority.  But there is not a year that is different.  Every year.

I lean down to pull out the first one.  That was easy enough.  Oops, the green leaves seem to remain. Strange.  And even more curious is that every year I go through the motions of pulling these things!  One more try…just the yellow flower head!!

I decide that whether I like it or not, I am going to have to resort to the way in which I end up doing it every year.  Pointed blade of one of my garden utensils…first dig deep to the right, then the left….then pull!  Aha!  The entire flower came out roots and all!  I go for another one….great, two…super, three…I am on a roll!  Four…ooops, what happened?  The root was only removed in part.  

At this point it hits me…every year….these pretty little flowers are…..weeds.  Now I know to some they have value, but to me their value is nothing when they are coming up on my brick patio. They do not belong there.  The battle continues…every year.

What does that sound like?  It sounds a little like sin to me.  Sin is “missing the mark” and the result of sin…sins…”the fruit”.  That cute little flower was missing the mark, it was in the wrong place.  These weeds would soon take over and cover my patio.  Sin is so deceiving.  It can appear pleasurable and beautiful and good.  Then you see the root of it.  The consequences overtake you, they are inevitable at some point.

The deception is the key.  It can appear good, even beautiful.  It is pleasurable for a moment…then…

Hebrews 8:12 is one of many scriptures that give us hope.  “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

Do you have dandelions in your life?  I sure do.  I have to ask myself if I am pulling them by the root so that they have no more life?  Or because they are “cute”, do I leave them there to simply overtake my life?  The decision is mine…the decision is yours. Every year, every day.

The Father wants us to live our life abundantly.  He has His “best” for us because He loves us.  Once we discover that truly those dandelions aren’t the best for us…we can replace them with lovely day lilies…and it will happen every, single year.

Be Blessed~

IN CHRIST ALONE

Isaiah 55:8-9

 

 

*google image, NIV Bible*

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The Ocean

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What is it about the ocean?

There is something about the ocean that I simply cannot explain. I love to sit on a beach and simply stare out into the ocean. The waves lap up against the shore either in a delicate, calming rhythm, or in a crashing pattern that seems to indicate fury. The water might sparkle or it might look grey and ominous. The sounds are that of seagulls and splashes or it can be very, very quiet.

Whatever the draw is….I love it. I really feel alive.

And, I feel the presence of God. I know, I know…I am suppose to sense His presence no matter where I am. I get that, and I desire that…but every single time I am near that vastness…I feel His presence.

Is it the fact that I have stopped? That I am trying to hear? That I am not thinking of a million things I need to be doing? I have given myself down time since it is a vacation?

Psalm 97:1 says “The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice.”

Could it be that being near the shore is being with those that rejoice? Similar to when the “trees of the fields clap their hands”? (Isaiah 55:12)

Whatever the reason, I will continue to want to be there…and bask in the presence of the Lord.

Be Blessed

IN CHRIST ALONE

Isaiah 55:8-9

*personal photo, scripture NIV

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Simple Grace

*This is the same post on my other blog, Teachermomalways.com, but I wanted to share it here as well, thank you for reading today*

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Simple Grace

I must be on a “simple” kick. My last blog was about “simple lessons”. All day today I have thought of the simplicity of God’s grace and how I have complicated it many times in my life.

If someone asked you to explain your faith, could you? What is faith after all? What is grace? Oh, I know all the scriptures. I could send you to them or quote them for you. But if you don’t believe the Bible is the word of God, what good would it do?

My faith is simple. I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and have accepted Him as my Savior. My one and only Savior. I am dependent on Him. I believe in His existence in my life right now, and tomorrow.

I cannot argue in apologetics, I cannot prove He exists. I cannot do anything but tell you about my life and how I have felt Him and seen Him work over and over.

My parents argued over and over in ugly ways and then divorced. I seemed to be right in the middle of them protecting my mom. Even when I was 12 and dealing with those issues, I really felt that “someone” was watching out for me. God was.

I was not sure of my future, and others around me doubting my ability to become anything with the circumstances that I was in…but there were two teachers who believed in me, and guided me and encouraged me. HE used them to love on me at a crucial time in my life. I went on to school and became a teacher myself. He was there.

I married and although I could fill a volume of books on how God was faithful, I will share only a few. After six years of marriage we had children. I had some issues the second time around and could have lost him. We did not. At one point one of them was not moving in the womb. We were close to delivery and I had to make a quick trip to the ER. It was a scary time, but the stubborn child finally moved and was born by c section days later. It was hard.But He was always there..

We lost 12 people to death in four years in the 90’s. I did not think I could survive through many of these deaths. HE was present. HE brought me peace. A supernatural peace that cannot be explained.

We raised our children. Many times while on my knees in prayer…He showed up. His presence was heavy, palatable, felt by me. I cannot explain it. But I know HE was there…

We personally went through the destruction of two homes in individual storms. In one, I felt that I should look at the window and step on the porch. That is when I saw the tornado. Inside, I would have not seen it and since our home was destroyed, we might have been also. The second storm I heard a voice, not audible mind you, but a feeling that I should get under the table. I did and seconds later a tree fell in on our table right where I had been sitting. It destroyed our home. He brought peace to me in a situation that I did not understand, we lost our home..again!!

It hasn’t always turned out the way I thought it should. Sometimes I have been disappointed and even mad. I have plenty of questions. We have had many rough times in our through these last 35 years, but, He never leaves me…even when He has every right to do so. I still trust Him.

I could go on and on. I cannot convince anyone that Jesus is real…anymore than anyone could convince me He isn’t. I am just afraid He has been given a bad rap. He simply has a gift to give. He wants us to have eternal life. He wants to be with us as we walk through this thing called life. He knows we are not perfect. He just wants the best for us. Sometimes we think that it is just a bunch of rules to follow. It is not. Moral codes maybe, but not rules. That is where the grace comes in.

I cannot get good enough, nor do I have to do so. His grace is for me, for us. “God’s riches at Christ’s expense” I have heard it said before. This is true.

I cannot prove He loves me, except for what I believe and what I have felt…..once you are in His presence, you know it is real. And you never want to be out of it. And I am in love with Him.

So that is it. Simple grace. His gift. I can accept it, or not. But I know it is real. It is that simple.

Be Blessed~

IN CHRIST ALONE

Isaiah 55:8-9

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Surgery Time!!!

sptchmom777:

This blog is written by a young woman I have know since she was a little girl. She writes with such love, compassion and understanding..and I am asking for prayer for little Amelia. Thank you for reading!
Blessings dear ones~
IN CHRIST ALONE
Isaiah55:8-9

Originally posted on Amelia's Heart Journey:

The name “Amelia” comes from a Hebrew/Arabic root that means “work of the Lord”.  Amelia’s middle name is Joy.  All of these things come together to describe this amazing little girl with whom we’ve had the honor to walk these past 4 months.  We’ve already seen God’s hand on her and our entire family as he has sustained and steadied us through the droughts and storms that come with having a heart baby.  Amelia’s had no problem gaining weight and growing (which is a huge blessing because heart babies often struggle in that area), and her little personality is growing even faster than her little body.  She is really laid back and when she’s awake is usually doing some combination of chillin’, smiling, and wiggling.  She can hold her head up well, and she’s getting close to rolling over and sitting up.  We’re loving every second we get with her…

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His Sense of Humor

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Yes, I believe God has a sense of humor.

Yep, I think He chuckles.  I think God likes laughter!  Ecclesiastes 3:4  tells us that there is “a time to weep and a time to laugh.”  Just look at the Father’s creation and you must see that He indeed has one!  

I thought about an aardvark.  They are pretty funny to look at. But God designed them with that long nose and it has a purpose.  Stop, now think….there you go, you thought of something didn’t you?  

Along with His sense of humor, I have been thinking of some of His others attributes.  What will it really be like to see Him?  Can we be a part of the “Kingdom of God” right now and get a glimpse?

Most of you have heard of the song I CAN ONLY IMAGINE by MercyMe.  It was written by Bart Millard several years ago at the passing of his father.  

“I can only imagine, what it will be like, when I walk by your side.  I can only imagine what my eyes will see when you face is before me, I can only imagine.  Surrounded by your glory, what will my heart feel?  Will I dance for you Jesus or in awe of you be still?  Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall?  Will I sing hallelujah or be able to speak at all?”

Oh my, this speaks to our hearts in such a truthful manner.  We know what the word says about the God, about Jesus and John even describes heaven in Revelation.  But what will it really be like?  Can we truly describe or get a taste of His glory?

God is love.  Ponder that for a minute.  What is love?  He loves us more than we can even fathom.  I imagine that He chuckles at us, smiles at our wacky behavior.  Sometimes I wonder if He shakes His head in disappointment when we miss it?  I think of a daddy letting his baby girl dance to the music. He chuckles as she sways back and forth to the beat.  Her smiles melts his heart.  She stumbles, and he is there to catch her.  She cries, he soothes her.  She heads for the stove.  He has told her “no, do not touch”, but she continues for the burner. She gets burned.  Daddy does not run from her.  He embraces her as she deals with the consequence of the behavior.

I so often see myself as that little girl.  Have you allowed Abba Father to love you?  Have you taken the time to be with Him?  

Right now at this very moment, stop.  Take a few minutes to bask in His love.  Ask Him to make His presence knowing to you at this time.  Tell Him you love Him.  He doesn’t want this to be hidden from us.  He loves us.  That is one of the biggest motivators I know…love.

And just look up a Blob Fish or an Axolotl….you may never doubt  His sense of humor!

Blessings dear ones~

IN CHRIST ALONE

Isaiah 55:8-9

*google search image, NIV Bible”

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