Thursday, December 18, 2014

Roll With the Flow: Lessons From a Busy Life

Hello friends,
My semester in college came to a close last week and it has been great to have a break from classes.  This has been a semester that I look back on and I literally have no idea how everything got accomplished.  I do know that God brought me through all the work and all the stress.  This has by far been the most stressful and most crazy semester I've experienced.  I think I completed over 20 projects, a couple of them being 50 pages plus.  My fellow education majors and I hear that it doesn't get better the further we go into the program so it looks like I just have a stressful year and a half ahead! I feel like I haven't been my normal self.  I usually am the type of person to have everything planned way in advance; however, lately, I've been having to think quick at the last minute to get things accomplished.  I am so grateful for this break from school over the next few weeks; it is a much needed refresher.  I hope you are all enjoying this Christmas season. I want to encourage you and share with you 10 things I've learned from my crazy, busy semester in no particular order.  

1. Never stop having your quiet time because you are too busy.  That is the one thing that will give you peace and the strength you need to make it through without going crazy.  Take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to talk to God and read His word each day.  
2. Jesus is your one, true Rest. He will give you rest. You will find rest when you bring your true feelings to His throne. There are days when I just have to tell Him exactly how I feel.  He already knows, so just talk with Him about it.  Tell Him how tired you are and how much you need His strength. 
3. Surrender- Give it all to God where it all belongs.  
4. Don't try to tackle today with your own resources, you will never make it. We must realize that we can't in our own strength get everything done.  We must have God's help! 
5. Pray about what your doing.  He'll help you. Don't allow Satan to trick you into thinking God doesn't care about the little things in life.  I can tell you story after story of things I've prayed about that were tiny that God answered.
6. Acknowledge that God is always in control.
7. Remember that in the long run, your eternal Heaven life is not affected by the stressors of today!
8. Don't I trust God enough to help me get everything accomplished?
9. Sometimes no matter how much work you need to accomplish, you just need to take a break.  Sometimes you just have to push your work aside and relax and worry about the work the next day. 
10. Time management is everything! Sometimes your plan may not work though.  Roll with the flow!

No matter where you are in life, these truths apply.  I think at times, we all have those overwhelming days where it just seems like there's not enough of us to go around for everything that needs to be done. And guess what, there's not.  We can never be enough in our own strength.  I think we can all admit to the days of feeling the overwhelming pressure of life.  Take it one day at a time.  When you don't accomplish everything because a lot of days you won't; keep your priorities in order with devotions at the top of the list. Also remember that God is in control.  He knows what must be done and He has everything under control.  Roll with the flow!

Proverbs 19:21 - There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.

Matthew 19:26 - But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.

Matthew 6:34 - Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.



Friday, October 24, 2014

Lessons While Driving

Hello friends,
I am so sorry it has been way too long since I posted! Life has been keeping me so busy.
This morning as I was driving to work, God showed me a Biblical truth.  The interstate I drive on has many lanes that end, merge, and split on my route to work.  There is even one place where you have to be in the correct lane because one goes to another interstate.  As I drive, I always make sure I am following the correct path; that is the logical thing to do since I know exactly how to get to work. It would be crazy of me to stay in the wrong lane and go onto another road that doesn't take me to work.  I'm usually thinking ahead as well because I don't like to wait until the last minute to change lanes; therefore, I try to make sure I'm in the lane I need to be in way before I must be in that lane.  This morning as I passed the split of the two interstates, God allowed me to think of staying on track with Him.  So often, we struggle with making the right decision.  Sometimes we may even know which choice God would want us to make, yet we are still struggling to make that choice.  I thought about how easy it is to stay on the correct path while driving.  We don't question it; if we know we need to go a certain path, we go that way.  It would be crazy not to.  Why do we struggle to stay on track with God? He knows what is up ahead.  He knows the curves, turns, merges, lane endings, etc. even when we have no idea what new road He is taking us down.  We need to be willing to stay on the road where Jesus is, just as easily as we are willing to stay on the road that we know will end at our desired destination.  Let me encourage you that the road where Jesus is, is definitely where you want to be! That is the safest, most blessed place you can be at all times, with Jesus.  Stay on track with God.  He will never let you down! I'm not saying you won't have difficulties or struggles, but I am saying that where Jesus is, you'll be satisfied.  Other roads may look more appealing; however, God's road is best. 

Matthew 7:14- "Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."

Psalm 37:23-"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way."

Sunday, September 7, 2014

"Lead me to the Rock that is Higher than I"

Hello friends,
I want to encourage you today by just reminding you how big and great our God is! I love Psalm 61, especially verses 2-4.  Psalm 61:2-4 says, " From the end of the earth will I cry unto Thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah." Wow, I can just read and re-read those verses. What an encouragement.  It doesn't matter what you are going through, God can always lift you up.  I love the analogy that I picture in my head as I read verse 2. When I am overwhelmed and sinking, I can call out to God and He lifts me up out of the water and sets me on top of a rock. When I think about that, it helps me picture how great and mighty our God really is.  In a split second of you calling out to Him for help, He will help you.  You may not always feel immediate relief, but I can promise He has a plan and He is helping you.  Verse 3 tells us that God has been a shelter and tower from the enemy.  I will share with you another mind picture for those of us who are visual! I love to picture things, it makes it so much more understandable and real to me! I picture verse 3 as a huge tower in a field where we as Christians can run inside and get away from the devil.  I picture verse 4 as hiding under the wings of a huge bird where nothing can hurt me because I'm covered under the feathers of the bird. I often read those verses and what a peace it brings to my heart especially when I'm feeling anxious.  No matter how stressed or down you are feeling, you can bring it to God! David said, "From the end of the earth will I cry unto Thee." God will meet you where you are, even if it's as far as the ends of the Earth. Nothing is too big for God, so no matter what kind of pressure or overwhelming situation you feel that you may be in, it is not too big for God.  He can always set you up on top of that rock while He draws you closer to Himself.  Next time you begin to feel overwhelmed or just stressed, ask God to lift you up onto the top of the Rock that is higher than you.  He will, and things will look so much better from that point of view. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Wait, Wait, Wait

Hello friends,
Sorry it's been so long since I posted! Life has been crazy lately with college classes starting back up and a lot of other activities going on! I'm so blessed to be in the Early Childhood program at my college. I'm enjoying my new classes, but wow what a busy semester it looks like it is going to be. I am so excited about becoming a teacher! I've been waiting and dreaming my whole life of becoming a teacher and finally the time is here. I'm considered a pre-service teacher right now and my practicum starts in just a few weeks. How fitting I thought that it would be for us to talk about waiting today. I want to just encourage you and remind you that waiting on God does pay off.  Trusting Him in the midst of waiting and pressing on toward the goal is exactly what He wants us to do.  I have had several situations lately that I've been waiting for and praying for.  At times, it seems to be an unending cycle of wait, wait, wait.  Sometimes it's difficult to wait; I'm not going to tell you it's easy.  But waiting is so worth it! When God eventually says, "Ok, now is the time!" Everything begins to look more clear.  Looking back, sometimes you can see that you are in a better place in life to receive the blessing God has had you waiting for.  That has definitely happened to me.  I've wanted something in life to happen and it just wouldn't happen and I did not understand why.  Later, when God allowed it to unfold, I could look back and see His hand in the whole thing. Waiting deepens our faith in God.  We have to keep trusting God that His plan and His timing are perfect for us. How many times can you remember being told to wait? I'm sure you can think of at least a few times.  Waiting is something that we all have to do at some time or another. I love to plan ahead; I have a calendar that I keep and I write down everything! I'm usually looking ahead to the future and sometimes wanting to hurry up and get ahead on the calendar of life.  I've been learning and I've been reminded lately to enjoy each stage.  Enjoy the time I have in college.  Enjoy the time I have to be the student-teacher instead of the head teacher.  Enjoy life for today's blessings and stop looking ahead and trying to figure out what tomorrow's blessing will be.  God wants us to live life in the present moment enjoying His presence in each moment of every day.  But it's hard to wait.  When you are waiting for something, it can be difficult to be content where you are.  That is where we must realize our contentment is never going to come from our circumstances.  It will always come from God! He is the One who completes us and makes us content.  Not our circumstances. Not what we are waiting on.  Wait for God and you'll be happily and completely content exactly where you are no matter what you are waiting on.

Psalm 27:14- "Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord."

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Jump Over the Mud!

Hope all of you are enjoying a nice August day! As some of you know, I teach a children's Sunday School class at my church.  This past Sunday was promotion Sunday which means all of the kids moved on to the next grade level.  I had a fantastic class this past year.  We all grew close and just really made some great memories and bonds! It was very difficult to see them move on.  I was excited to receive new children moving into my class but so sad to see my old ones go.  That whole situation reminds me of how sometimes in life, we don't want to move on.  We like our comfort zone and to get out of it takes a huge amount of effort.  But in the situation of my new Sunday School class, God is ready to use me in different children's lives this year.  My role and time of ministering to the old group during Sunday School is now over, and God has blessed me by allowing new children to move up into my class.  It will take time and effort to build relationships with each of the new students in my classroom, but God has placed them in my life for a reason and I want to be the best Sunday School teacher I can be! I want these kids to remember God as they grow older and as a teacher, I can help lay foundations to Biblical doctrines and a relationship with our Heavenly Father! What a blessing! However you do not have to be a teacher in order for God to use you, He gave you special gifts that He wants to use! So when God places new people, new opportunities, new places in your path, embrace them! They are not there by accident, but by divine appointment.  God wants to use you in every situation, every day.  Don't be stuck in the old ways, but be willing to travel a new way with Jesus! So often, we try to live in the past in a situation that is gone, and we don't move forward because we are stuck back in the mud.  The mud could be the devil telling you that you are unable to complete the task, the mud could be a past situation that now just won't leave you alone, the mud could be fear, but God doesn't want us stuck in the mud! So, jump over the mud and move on with God's help! When God begins to place new situations in life, He wants us to trust Him and be willing and ready to be used wherever He plants us! I'm not telling you that it is always easy to do, but it is always best! If you try to stay in the same place you have been in, you will never go anywhere.  God wants to use you in His timing, where He places you! I must start over training these new Kindergarten students who just moved up into my class, and I must learn new tactics to relate to them.  God wants us to be willing to restart at times, and jump into a new ministry opportunity! That could be witnessing more openly and more often, it could be serving in a new ministry, it could even be helping a co-worker and showing them the love of Jesus! Whatever it is that God is calling you to today, go ahead and just jump over the mud and keep staying on track with God!
Psalm 37:23, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way."

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Stopping in Puddles

Hello friends,

A couple of months ago, there were several days after work that I ran into a torrential downpour of rain on my way home.  I really dislike driving in rain, especially hard, blowing rain.  Ok, so these storms were so bad, I chose to pull off and sit in a safe parking lot until it slacked off a little.  I maybe sat for 5-10 minutes and watched other cars struggle through the flooding roads and wind.  Once you are parked during a rain storm, it seems much less stressful, obviously, because you are no longer in the middle of a fight between your car and the storm.  Everything seems more clear once you stop and often just a 5 minute stop will lessen the conditions of the weather. This so clearly reminds me of God.  He wants us to stop.  Sometimes we are fighting something that doesn't need to be a fight.  Sometimes we may try to muddle through something that God could've carried us over.  Stopping and looking for God makes everything more clear.  Just as the car pulls to a stop in the rain, when we come to a stop and we stop trying to make things work out our own way, God reaches out a helping hand.  So often we are too busy trying to get through something on our own, that we totally miss God's helping hand reaching down.  We must remember to not get too busy or too caught up in ourselves. God always has a plan, and we must repeatedly check to make sure we are following His way.  Sometimes you just have to stop right in the middle of a puddle in life and look to God.  A quick stop and glance at God changes everything.  So the next time you are facing a rain storm in life, just stop and look to God.  If He doesn't show you a better way to approach your situation, He will surely give you strength and endurance. Isaiah 40:31, "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."  No matter what you may be facing, God is always there to help.  Even when you get yourself into a bad situation, God is there waiting to help you get out.  Look to God, and you will find Him.  Jeremiah 39:13, "And ye shall seek Me, and find Me, when ye shall search for Me with all your heart."  You may have to wait for a time, but in time God will show His perfect plan!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Finding Your Fit in Ministry

Hello friends,
I hope today finds you enjoying a new week! I just finished up 8 weeks of working as a summer camp counselor for a local Christian day camp! Today is my first day off in a while! I loved my summer job, but oh the kids can definitely be crazy at times! I love working with children.  It's my calling, it's my love, and God brings me great joy from being able to invest in young lives.  Almost every ministry I serve in at church is a children's ministry.  That's just where God has called me and it's where I love to be!  I want to encourage you to find the ministry God has called you to be a part of and get involved! Serving God is one of the greatest blessings you will experience and it can be so fun! If you are involved in a ministry right now that you do not enjoy, that is probably not the ministry you were meant to serve in.  I'm a firm believer that God gave every person a unique personality and unique gifts that He wants to use for His Kingdom! I Corinthians 12:4 says, "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit." The entire chapter of I Corinthians 12 is talking about the different gifts and unique purpose each believer has to the body of Christ. Maybe you love to teach, maybe you love to sing, or cook, or play sports, or maybe even technology is your thing! God can use every single one of those gifts for His church! Serving can be so enjoyable and fulfilling!  I can't tell you the times that I have been so blessed by one of my young students.  They can be so encouraging and you can learn from their childlike faith! Find your fit in ministry.  I promise God definitely has a fit for you, and if you have not been able to find it yet, pray! Ask God to show you what unique personality traits He wants to use for His ministry.  Let me also encourage you that your ministry does not have to end on Sunday, it can be used all throughout the week.  No matter what job field you are in, God wants to use you as a ministry to others.  Here's an example, I'm going to be a teacher and I consider often whether I want to work in a Christian school or a public school. I do not have clear direction yet on which place God would want me, but I do know that even if He wants me in a public school, I can still minister to those children.  I may not be able to verbally share Jesus, but I can show Jesus and love the children like Jesus does.  Ministry opportunities await us each and every day, how are we embracing them?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

From The Eyes of a Child

Hello everyone,
I have to share a story with you today about one of my little Kindergarten students in the Sunday School class that I teach.  It is such a joy to teach these little children and to share in their joy as they grow in Christ! I can't begin to explain the joy it brings to my heart when a 6 year old comes up and tells me that they have surrendered their life to Christ and that they want to do or be whatever God wants them to be!  Wow. God works in young hearts! He works in anyone willing to listen! It's an amazing thing. A few weeks ago, we were discussing a topic in Sunday School. One of my Kindergarteners answered a question with something along the lines of, "You just trust Him." She was referring to just trusting God.  You just trust Him. If only we as adults could have the faith of a child.  The wonder of a child. The excitement of a child. You would be amazed how excited children get when they have witnessed to someone or when a friend they invited comes to church with them.  It's real.  It's a beautiful picture of God's love.  God tells us that we must have the faith of a child in Matthew 18:3, "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." And you do have to have the faith of a child to get saved.  That verse does not mean you have to be a child to get saved. Not at all. It's talking about, as an adult, you must relinquish you adult mindset of complicated thinking and just trust that Jesus died to save your soul from hell, and that He is alive, risen from the dead in Heaven today! It also means that as adults, we must resist the temptation to think that we are good enough to get to Heaven.  We can't be good enough. Everyone does wrong things.  We must be humble and ask God to enter our life and save us because we know that we need Him! Children have a way of showing us up sometimes.  There are many instances when I think to myself during a class, "Wow, these kids really understand God!" Kids understand God's sacrifice.  God made it simple! We complicate things as adults. So next time you're doubting, just trust God! Just trust Him.  He's got it! There's no need to obsess or worry or be afraid! He's got it.
On a side note, just to show how much He's got everything under control and how much He cares about us, I'd like to share a story with you! In my neighborhood,  there is a field and the grass was high in the field. I really wanted to be able to use the field over the weekend to play a sport in, but the guy in my neighborhood hadn't cut the grass yet in that field.  Sometimes it goes for a while before it gets cut.  Well I prayed that God would have the guy cut the grass on Friday.  As I drove home from work on Friday, I was amazed to see that the field had been cut while I was at work.  Woah people, talk about a God moment! I was just in amazement that God really cared that much about something so small in my life! I ended up not even being able to play the sport on Saturday, but God had a plan in that and that's okay too. However, I am still so thankful and just so encouraged by a God who does have it all under control!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

His Strength is Made Perfect in Weakness

Hello friends,

I hope that you have enjoyed God's Word in worship on this Sunday! Today, I sang at my church.  I love to sing but it can be so nerve-wracking to get up in front of 600-800 fellow worshippers and sing! It seems that on top of the already rising number of nerves the day I sing, something always seems to go wrong that day.  My health condition still flares occasionally, and the past few times I've sung, I've had symptoms during the day from my health condition, or I've had a low blood sugar episode.  Anyway, today as I sing, my allergies are bad.  I've been battling them for over a month now and I still sound a little hoarse, clearing my throat, etc.  Well as I worry about the affects this could cause on my singing, I am constantly reminding myself of one of my favorite scriptures.  I like to use this scripture every time I sing because it reminds me Who is singing for me and through me...God! The verse is 2 Cor. 12:9, -"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." Grant it, I realize when Paul wrote this verse he was suffering in much, much, greater ways than I have ever thought of; however, hear me out, this verse encourages me so much! No matter what circumstances I am dealing with, in this case, no matter how awful I feel, no matter how much could go wrong with the song I am singing, God's grace is enough for me.  He tells me His strength is made perfect in my weakness.  I'm considering my voice being hoarse, my health condition flaring up, etc. to my weakness on these days.  God goes on to tell me that I can glory in my weakness, so that His power can shine through! Woah, this is incredible.  God may allow certain circumstances to come upon my day just so He can show that it is Him getting me through the solo, singing, or anything else that may be happening that day! His power is greater than my weakness! He will help me through.  Every time I sing, I'm reminded of this verse.  I can be joyful in what I consider to be a weakness, because that just gives Jesus more glory! When I'm done singing, I definitely know Who got me through without having symptoms, allergy voice, etc. and it's not me, it's God! I know this situation is minimal and pales in comparison to many other instances; however, I wanted to use it as an example and to remind you that God cares about even the smallest details of everyday life! No matter what you may consider your weaknesses to be, God wants to use them for His glory.  Allow Him to use you today!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Recognize Your Worth

1 Corinthians 6:19-20- "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."

You have been bought with a price. That price was the blood of sweet Jesus that He shed for you on the cross.  As Christians, we are no longer our own, but we become the humble home for God to live in and through us.  Let that sink in, you are the home of God Almighty if you have received Him into your life.  You are a light for God in the dark world.  Other people should see Christ in you.  God living in us, making us not our own is not scary or confining but liberating, exciting, and wonderful! We should be glorifying God with our body and our attitude.   It's all God's anyway! God doesn't set limitations for punishment or to take happiness away from us.  He frees us and wants us to enjoy life.  He gives us boundaries to help us enjoy life more and avoid major problems. I want to be a servant for Christ, I want to love Him so much that I can always just confidently and humbly answer with a yes when God speaks to me to do something. This is not an easy task. Not something I can say I do currently at all times. I want to be able to always trust Him with everything! God controls the universe, He loves the whole world, and He deserves our trust and respect. Being in love with Jesus is a joy! And oh how He longs to help us! Ask for God's help wherever you need it! When I read 1 Corinthians 6:20, I can't help but just feel encouraged and amazed when I read the words, "For ye are bought with a price:" I mean, that's a pretty big statement.  That shows the vastness of God's great, abundant love for His people.  Remember as you make choices, that you are a vessel that God is using to shed light on the world. Make choices that glorify God.  Make decisions that show off God to the world.  When you fail to make the right choice, ask for God's forgiveness and ask Him to help you in the situation.  He wants to help even when you make mistakes.  Also remember what you're worth.  You, my friend, are worth the blood of Jesus.  He shed it for you.  Don't ever feel down or discouraged or think that you, the you that God made is not good enough.  God made you, you because He wants to use your personality for a special purpose in His Kingdom.  You are bought with a price by the God who made the universe!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

He Loves Me and I Can Trust Him

I visited the beach recently and reflecting back on the trip, I can think of so many things that God shows us through His creation.  He tells us His thoughts toward us are more in number than the sand. Psalm 139:17-18- "How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee."  If you've ever seen sand, you know that it is innumerable.  You can't count it, there's so many grains in even a handful, you can't count the sand! Imagine if every one of those grains was a thought God had about you, and He thinks about you even more than that! He makes the waves on the ocean never cease.  He creates and places natural instinct in the sea gulls to skim the water in search of fish and dive in and grab their dinner.  I watched a horseshoe crab come up on the beach in a wave and it knew to try to get back in the water and swim back to the deeper part of the ocean away from the shore.  Watching the sunset that God paints each day is amazingly beautiful.  If He does all of these things for nature, don't you know He loves us more? He tells us that in Luke 12:24, "Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?" I was reading a book while at the beach and was so encouraged to remember that if I'm trusting God with my eternal salvation and security, I can trust God for every area of my life.  I think seeing God's care for nature can be so encouraging.  So beautiful. 
     Remember when you see God caring for the ocean, the birds, or anything in nature, He cares for you so much more.  Every area of you, the real you, the you that no one else knows, He loves it. Every. single. part. of you - He loves. He can take care of every single part of you too.  I've realized sometimes I get ahead of God, I try to make things work for me in my own timing. My personality is the "very go-getter type A" personality.  There is nothing wrong with that, God made me that way for a purpose.  He wants to use that part of me, but there is something wrong with it when I try to get ahead of His timing.  When I try to search for myself because maybe God seems too slow at the time.  That is wrong.  God is never too slow.  His timing is perfect and getting ahead of Him causes problems. I'm being reminded to trust Him, trust His timing, trust that He can take care of every single area of my life.  And I can wait. And I can be happy and complete in Him while I wait.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

God's Perfect timing

Hello friends,
I've redesigned the look of my blog and created a new logo! So exciting...Praise the Lord!
Today I'd like to share with you about my experience with God's timing.  As my health condition "anniversary" is approaching, I've been thinking back about God's timing and plan.  As some of you know, June 2, 2009, is the day my life took a major turn from the plans I had set for myself.  I never planned to be put into the hospital 6 times in a year and a half with extra multiple visits to the ER and IV therapy.  I didn't plan to visit over 10 doctors all over the state in hopes of finding help for my newly discovered health condition.  I also did not plan to miss days and weeks of school, church, and activities during my last 3 years of high school. But God did.  He did, He had it all planned out.  To God be the glory, it's 5 years later and I'm almost in remission from Dysautonomia and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome! And let me also share how on SO many occasions throughout the 3 years that I was very sick, God gave me strength to still go and enjoy many activities.  I remember weeks in advance of any big events approaching, I would ask people to pray I would be able to attend the event (for example, Jr/Sr banquet, homecoming court, etc.) and He gave me strength to go and have fun!  Just wanted to share that too! I do still suffer from different aspects of the disease and I am still on medication to help control symptoms, but praise God, I am SO much better!!!! To be completely honest, I cannot imagine going through what I went through again.  I can't imagine having the symptoms I experienced 5 years ago right now in my life.  I wasn't expecting to wake up one morning feeling weird, and have my life changed. But that's what happened.  Praise the Lord it was only Dysautonomia and not anything even more serious. (Not that Dysautonomia isn't serious, because it is, but I'm still thankful.  I know people in worse situations.)   So anyway, as I was thinking about some of the hard times I experienced throughout the 3 years that Dysautonomia heavily affected my life, I thought about how perfect God's timing is.  I mean, I worry a lot and when it comes down to it, no matter how much I analyze/think about a certain situation, it's not going to help the situation.  I had no idea my life was about to change, and no amount of worrying could have prepared me for it.  God prepared me for it. Matthew 6:27 says, "Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?" That verse reminds us that no worry will help us!  I can't tell you the times that the peace of God was all over my life during those years.  The moments when life was shaking and yet it was all okay.  The moments when fear seemed to be knocking all around and yet God's presence was filling the room.  What I want you to grab from this is that when/if a negative situation comes your way, you can know that God will get you through.  I know that you can imagine a situation and think I have no idea how I would respond to that in my life. Let me tell you, if you ever have to respond to that situation, God will respond to it for you and carry you in His arms through the way.  Don't think up trouble before it happens, it won't turn out the way you planned anyway! Trust God and know that He is God and He keeps His promises. God's timing is always perfect.  When He's guiding you through something, you never have to worry. 
Psalm 46:10- " Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth."

Deuteronomy 31:6-"Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."

Monday, May 19, 2014

Why Do I Need to Have Faith?

How real is your faith? What a question and one that is so important! I've been reminded lately that faith is our choice.  It's not easy to trust God at all times, it's easy to say we trust Him and deep down I know that we know He is always right and good. However trusting Him is something you must consciously choose to do every day, in every moment.  God cares about so many things in our lives, even the really simple things.  I love that He cares so much about me and you! He knows our favorite color, what we enjoy, and He enjoys blessing us.  It takes faith to believe that God cares, it takes faith to accept God's blessings, acknowledge that He was the Giver, and be thankful for the blessings. It also takes faith when things don't seem to go our way.  Recently, I've encountered a situation that didn't turn out the way I'd hoped, didn't go according to the way I would've written the script. Those are the moments when you must thank God in faith, knowing that His will and His way is better than ours.  Those are the moments when trust seems unnatural, but oh the feeling of relief when you just trust God! I've also noticed that bringing the situation to God, thanking Him for the good things, thanking Him for the way things turned out, and thanking Him for His sovereignty and perfect plan (even when the situation turned out not as you had hoped for) brings great relief and peace! He promises peace and He never forgets a promise.  God's got the master plan, while we can only see the here and the now.  God can see tomorrow, next week, next year, and into eternity.  He's not out to ruin your life, actually He's making it better and He wants our lives to be the best they can be! John 10:10 says, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." I think as Christians, we know all of these things, and its easy to say "oh yeah, that's true, I believe that"! But really, we need to think in every situation about how much God cares and how perfect His way is! Another area I've been reminded of recently is thanking God in advance.  Almost like being so sure things are going to work out, that you are praying/praising in advance for the turnout.  That takes faith too, to believe God enough to praise Him for what you cannot see.  (Here's an example, let's say someone is having surgery.  You could praise God for His protection, peace, and the outcome, even before the surgery.) Of course, things do not always work the way we intended them to, and that's where we have to praise God for letting His will be done.  However, praying in advance will help bring peace and be a reminder that our God is able.  So why do you need to have faith? Well here's the simple solution, "It's impossible to please God without faith"(Hebrews 11:6).  How can you live without faith? Life would be so despairing without faith.  Trusting God is a major step in enjoying life to the fullest. So, how's your faith?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

God's Plan is Perfect

Lately, I've been thinking back over the past few months of life and thanking God for His goodness.  It seems that He has been reminding me of His perfect timing, His perfect will, and His perfect plan.  I want to share a personal story with you today to just share how God's sovereignty and perfection has been shining in my life. Around last October, it was time to register for spring college classes.  I only had 2 core curriculum classes left and I could not take any upper level courses without completing those first.  So, for the first time in my college life, I would only be considered a "part-time" student because I was only taking 7 hours of credit (and that should not happen again as I can now take my upper classes).  I was happy in a couple ways about this, because I was hoping to get my class schedule on 2 days a week and only have to go to school those 2 days each week.  I was also looking forward to a lesser load for the first time! Well when class schedules were put up, the class I needed was being offered at night. The other class I ended up taking was online.  And the night class was on Monday and Wednesday nights...right during church on Wednesdays.  I was pretty upset about it at first and I was really, really questioning God as to what to do, and how this could be His plan for me to miss some of church on Wednesdays.  (I serve on Wednesday nights too, so not only was I missing church, but I had obligations.)  I struggled with the decision for a little while and ended up registering because I had to have the class.  I was not looking forward to being at school at night and just didn't think it would be good.  When I found out I would not have any day classes, I decided to look for a job.  Now I was praying about several different opportunities and decided to go for the substitute teaching route.  Since I am majoring in Elementary Ed, I thought subbing would be a great answer! But y'all, I am a planner girl...like really a planner. I write down EVERYTHING and plan my days.  As a substitute, you can't plan! You get called late at night sometimes, early in the morning, etc.  I have definitely been learning how to rearrange my days! :-) I was also concerned that subbing would not keep me busy enough.  I love to be busy, and wanted a job that was going to be consistent! All of this was uncertain when I got hired as a substitute at 2 different schools! However God in His sovereignty gave me 2 great schools to work at and kept me very busy and worked out my college schedule so that I could sub even on the days that I had class because my class was at night.  He also worked out my schedule at church, and I was able to go straight from class to church and still meet my biggest obligations for the ministry I serve in on Wednesdays! And this has been one of the best semesters yet in college! I have LOVED teaching! God has shown me so much and allowed me to gain experience that I needed! He has allowed me to substitute teach in 3 yr old classrooms all the way to 12th grade classrooms and everywhere in-between! I would have never chosen that schedule for myself, but it was wonderful! In this situation, God allowed me to see His plan very quickly.  A lot of times in life though, we don't see God's plan ever really span out. "Why did God choose to do this in my life?" is a question that we ask so often.  You may not see the end result yet, but be hopeful! It is coming! Remember He is Sovereign! His timing, His plan is perfect! I know my situation was very small and it shows how deeply God cares about the small things in life. If He cares that much about little things, remember how much He cares about all things! He's got the whole puzzle put together while you only have a piece!
Jeremiah 29:11-"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."

Monday, April 28, 2014

What are your expectations?

Hello friends,
Today I want to write to you about waiting on God and placing your total trust and expectations in Him.  It's hard to wait. Let's face it, we want what we want and we want it now! God has been so gently reminding me lately, to trust Him entirely.  Trust Him so much, that no matter what answer He gives me, I will rejoice in it.  No matter what the situation, take what He places in my day as a blessing from Him.  Sometimes things don't go exactly how I expect them to or how I planned them to, but I must remember that God has a purpose in that.  Psalm 62:5 says, "My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him."  Am I allowing God to be the center of my expectations? Am I so in love with HIM, that I can be excited about any answer He brings me, whether it is what I wanted or not? We have to let go and when we do let go and we allow the God of the universe, who knows everything, to control our life, He will do what is best for you! You see waiting on God is hard to do especially when its SO easy to fall prey to worrying.  We worry that God may make a decision that we don't like, but that is all part of learning to put our expectations in God! Psalm 112:7 is an amazing verse in dealing with worry! It says, "He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD." I do not have to be afraid of ANY bad news that I may receive.  God is going to take care of it! My heart needs to be so in love and glued on God, that I can trust Him with every situation that may come my way.  God is going to be with us through everything, and to be totally honest, whether we worry or not is not going to make any situation less hard to go through. One other verse that reminds us how worthy God is of our trust is verse 6 in Psalm 62- it says, " He only is my Rock and my Salvation: He is my Defence; I shall not be moved." God is our firm Foundation, our Salvation, and our Defender! We can stand strong in HIM! So set your expectations high in God Almighty, because He is worthy of our trust!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Prayer...our greatest adventure

Hello friends,
Today I want to encourage you and remind you how important prayer is to the Christian life! It really is our life-line.  It's a 24-7-365 connection to God Almighty, the One who created you, knows you, and loves you for you! He wants to hear you talk to Him and He's ready and waiting.  When you are feeling guilty, angry, confused, upset, happy, excited....everything, God wants to share your emotions.  He will help you control them if you ask.  Do you ever get so so excited about something and just praise God right there and then? What about when you are having a bad day at work, do you stop and seek His help? Prayer isn't something for mornings and bedtime...it's a lifestyle.  I'm not saying that we shouldn't pray when we wake up and before we go to bed, because we should; however, it needs to be more than that.  Paul tells us in 1 Thess. 5:17 to "Pray without ceasing".  All the time, and I know you are thinking that that is something that is impossible. How do you pray without ever stopping?  I get it. I feel the same way at times.  It's a difficult concept to grasp.  But prayer is an attitude.  How's yours been lately? An attitude of thanks when God sends a special blessing into your day, and really a thankful attitude no matter what happens.  We know that God's ways are higher than ours.  An attitude of forgiveness when your co-worker mistreats you.  Those simple prayers, "please help me Jesus", are some of the best! Prayer takes practice! It's something you must work at...it doesn't just happen the instant you get saved.  It's a quality that as a Christian, you have to work at.  Believe me, I'm still working at it.  It's not easy, but prayer can be the greatest adventure you ever dreamed of!  An adventure with the Almighty, who has far greater plans than you.  A dream becomes an adventure when you bring it to God. He can write a life story, love story, career story, or any other story greater than you ever imagined.  So keep waiting, keep praying, and never give up!

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

Monday, March 31, 2014

Lessons From the Life of a Squirrel

Hello friends,
It is a beautiful Monday where I live and I hope that you all are enjoying this last day of March!
Today I want to share a truth with you that I was reminded of while watching a squirrel! As I sat in our sunroom looking outside, I saw a squirrel look around, jump from the tree to the ground, and run, stop, look around, and stop.  He kept stopping, I'm sure you've seen them do this! He would stop and check his surroundings and even while he was getting something from the ground, he would look down and then up again repeatedly! It must be a tiring life for him always checking his surroundings like that!! Then I was reminded of the spiritual warfare we face each day.  The times the devil tries to entice us and oh how many times we fall for his trap.  God wants us to be like the squirrel, checking our surroundings because the "devil walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour" 1 Peter 5:8.  Those are strong words, the devil is like a lion prowling on YOUR life to see if he can devour you.  Um, I'm not sure about you, but I prefer to not be dinner for the devil! We need to look around and be aware of the lion who may sneak up on us to attack at any time...he tries to get you every day.  What ways have you been allowing him to devour you?
As I said above, I thought about how tired the squirrel must get staying on guard like that and Christians get tired too. But the squirrel seems to relax a little more when he is in a tree. God is our Tree as Christians.  We can rest in God! Deuteronomy 33:27 tells us: "The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and He shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them."  Wow!! What an encouragement! God is our refuge and we can rest in Him! He will take care of our enemy, the devil, for us!  But you may be thinking how do I rest in God? And I think the number one answer I could give you is His Word! Memorize His Word. Read His Word. Trust His Word.  So remember to be on the look out and rest in God!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Embracing today

Hello friends!
Hope you are enjoying this March day! I was reminded of a truth...and my dog helped me remember that truth! We really don't know what tomorrow will bring or what an hour from now will bring. We do have the ability to plan; however, our plans get interrupted at times.  Something that typically we do not like too much.  Dogs do not have the ability to plan and they really have no idea what may happen to them...they are at the mercy of their owner.  My dog had a grooming appointment just the other day and he gets very excited when we get in the car to go somewhere.  He loves to go with us, especially because when we take him, we are typically going to visit my grandparents (who he loves to visit because he gets to play with their dog).  Well he got in the car Saturday, probably thinking he would go to my grandparents, although he ended up going to the groomer.  I think so often we think we know what's going on in our lives, but we do not.  We need to live in the trusting assurance of God, our Savior.  He does have us in His hands, and we do live at His mercy.  Aren't you glad His mercies never fail!! Live in His assurance knowing that His will is perfect. This is something I know I need to work on, and probably we all do to some extent.  You see, my dog did not want to go to the groomer; however, we, as his owner, knew he had to go.  It was best for him, and I'm sure now he feels more clean and much better because we made him go.  It's the same with God, He makes us do things sometimes that are not what we would choose, but it is only because it is best for us.  We may not ever feel cleaner or better because we went through what we went through, but trust Him, it was helping you.  So next time you take your pet to the groomer/vet, remember that God is your Owner/Maker and He is leading you along the path that is best for you!


Romans 8:28-"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."


Lamentations 3:22-"It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not."

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Salvation is forever!!

Hello friends!
I hope you are all enjoying a really great day in the last week of February! What a joy to know that we are friends of Jesus!
My pastor preached something very important and encouraging this past Sunday and I'd like to share it with you all! He preached on salvation....not only how to accept Jesus but that once you have accepted Jesus, you are saved forever! There is nothing you can do to make God take His free gift away.  God loves you...no matter what.  You should strive to honor Him, but when you mess up, He's there to forgive you.  You see, so often we look at salvation as a prayer...but salvation is not just a prayer.  Everyone's salvation prayer is different.  The man on the cross that died the same day as Jesus died, just said "Lord, remember me." God knew that man's heart, and that man believed in God and accepted His gift of salvation.  Salvation is receiving God.  You receive God by believing Him and what He did for you, and knowing that you need Him so therefore you ask Him into your life.  If you've accepted Jesus, you don't have to doubt your salvation.  The devil will try to lie to you and make you doubt your salvation to make you an ineffective Christian, but if you can remember a time and place where you stopped and asked Jesus to save you...you are saved. Sometimes I don't feel saved, I'm just being honest...but I have to remember that salvation is NOT a feeling. It is a FACT. If you have received Jesus to be your Savior, it is a fact that you are going to Heaven when you die, not because of what you have done, but because of what JESUS did for you on the cross.  Probably my very favorite verse on knowing that I am saved is Romans 10:9-"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." I know I have asked Jesus and believed Jesus...He saved me!
 Do you realize He paid the whole price for you...I mean even as Christians, we don't realize what Jesus really did for us.  Someone that does not accept Jesus is like someone who doesn't take a free payment for something.  This is a really downed example, but think about this...A daughter wants to go get her nails done but doesn't have money to do so.  Her mom gives her the money to go get her nails done, but if she refuses to use that money, she won't be able to go.  Why not use the free money...right?! It's the same thing...we don't have what it takes to get to Heaven, but God does. And He paid that price, but we must receive it.  When you receive it, it's yours...forever!
Stop doubting your salvation if you've asked Jesus to save you! Don't worry about whether you said the right thing in your prayer, whether you knew everything you were supposed to know at the time of your salvation, or whether you really trusted God enough. If you know a time when you received Him and His free gift...let God take care of His part--saving your soul! He's worthy...trust Him with it! If you are not sure of your salvation..check out the page on my blog called "The Good News"

Luke 23:42-"And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom."

John 10:28-"And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand."

John 1:12-"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The greatest love story

Hello friends,
Hope you are all staying warm and dry! Valentines day is so quickly approaching us and it tends to just be a day of buying something special for the one you love, making it a huge day for stores and restaurants! But Valentines day is more than a boom in the floral and jewelry department...it's a day to remember the love that God so graciously gives us each day. It's a day to bask in the light of God's great love and know that He loves you and has given you the greatest gift you could ever need or receive! It's a day to celebrate whether you are married, single, or somewhere in between.  God loved you and loves you now more than any person on this Earth ever will.  You see, at Christmas, we celebrate God sending Jesus into the world, at Easter, we celebrate Jesus' resurrection from the dead and His salvation, Valentines day is the day we should celebrate God's love for us.   Remember to share God's love with others as well. Show His love to those around you this V-day and everyday really! Be sure to thank God for His love on Valentines and think about His great love toward you! We really should do this every day, but Valentines is a special day to think even more about His love! God gave His only Son for you! Jesus came to this Earth to redeem you from your sin and if you accept His gift of redemption, you have the best thing life offers! Remember what He gave for you...His life.  He is your true love story! So being single is no reason to pout this V-day, because if you have Jesus, you have so much more than any human could ever think to give! Celebrate in the romance of redemption!

John 3:16-"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Romans 8:39-"Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Glow in the Dark People

Well we have really gotten some snow this week and I love the snow...probably because I'm not the one scraping cars, driveways, roads, etc. but anyway I think it's just so beautiful and peaceful! But one thing that stands out to me is how bright it is inside at night after a fresh snow.  Snow lights up a dark room from outside through windows closed with blinds.  It seems to glow in the dark. It makes me think of God when He washed us white as snow.  You see snow is really white, but it's not only white...it's SO white..it glows.  I think that's a perfect picture of how God made us clean...He not only washed our black dirty sins away, but He put His light in us so we can glow in a dark world.  You see when you became a Christian, God washed you white as snow and put a light in you to glow.  Christians are glow in the dark people! Use your light for God's glory and if you haven't accepted Christ to be your Savior yet*, do it today so you can glow in the dark too!

Isaiah 1:18-"Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."

*Information on accepting Christ is in the tab at the top of Rebekah's Hope Ministry page entitled, "The Good News"

Friday, January 24, 2014

He knows you!

Hey friends,
      I just want to encourage you today and remind you that God knows you...the real you...all about you! There's no sense in trying to hide anything from Him, because He already knows it! Be real with God...He made you. He understands you. He holds you.  He loves you.  And you can do nothing to lose His love...ever. Relax in the fact that God loves you even though He knows everything there is to know about you.  How many hairs you have, how you feel today, and what you are having for dinner tonight are all things He cares about...because they have to do with you.  He's madly in love with you and gave everything so you could be adopted by Him to be in His family and come live with Him one day when you pass into eternity.  The only thing you have to do is believe and invite Him to enter your life! Wow. It really is a true love story folks...the best one you'll ever encounter! I didn't make all that up either...it's right here in God's word...

Romans 8:38-39-"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Matthew 10:30-"But the very hairs of your head are all numbered."

John 1:12-"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"

Romans 8:15-"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father."

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Hand in Hand

Hello friends,
Do you ever want to feel like a Kindergarten kid again that gets their hand held everywhere they go? Maybe you feel that life was so much easier those days, when you were totally dependent on your parents/guardians. It's so easy as a child to just trust and believe you'll be fine if your parents tell you that, but what happens as we turn into adults? We simply grow out of dependence on our parents and start living on our own for the most part.  The world pushes and encourages so many people as they get older to be independent...follow your own dreams! It's not wrong to be independent (in fact, it's good in many ways); however, it does become wrong when we become independent of God.  You know that you must have child-like faith to just totally believe and trust that what God tells us in His word is total truth.  You must believe you are sinner and believe that Jesus is your Saviour from sin, and believe that you need Jesus! I mean that all takes faith! Children so often have more faith than adults! Why is this?! Isaiah 41:13 reminds me to trust God with child-like faith, it says, "For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee." If you want your hand held throughout your life and you wish that your hand could be held some days...this verse should be extremely encouraging to you! God is holding your hand if your allowing Him to! How do you allow Him? By trusting Him and opening your hand to surrender to His hand. Can you picture this verse....God is standing right beside you holding your hand and your walking along with Him and every single step, He is whispering in your ear, "Fear not; I will help you." How many times do we allow the world to hold our hand? Start inviting Jesus to hold your hand and guide you. Be totally dependent on God...He is your Heavenly Father! And on those days you want your hand held...know that it is being held :-)

Friday, January 3, 2014

His stength is made perfect in weakness

Happy 2014!!!
I hope you all enjoyed a joyous Christmas season and a hope filled new year celebration! God has a perfect plan for our lives this year! I want to remind you all that God's strength is not limited by your weaknesses.  No matter where you find yourself falling short, God's grace is sufficient.  Many of you may have set a new year resolution or goal and you may already be finding it hard to keep.  You may find yourself looking for a change this new year. However no matter how many times we fail ourselves, God is there to pick us up.  No matter how long and hard you try to fix yourself, God is still in the "fixing" business.  He is the only One who can truly fix you anyway...we can't fix ourselves! No matter where you find yourself falling short each day, God is looking for an opportunity to use your weakness to show His strength. Maybe your weak spot is faith, maybe its a health problem, a certain problem in your life that just won't go away.  2 Corinthians 12:9 says, "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." God can use your weaknesses for His glory! Yes, no matter what you have done, He can it to bring glory to Himself! You can be glad to know that where you fail, God's power shines brighter! He has everything you need! You and God fit together to make a perfect pair. His strength is greater than your weakness!