Category Archives: FAITH

I Don’t Understand!

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Proverbs 3: 5

Trust in the Lord with all your heart not on your own understanding.

 

Why am I sick, Lord? Why did I lose my loved one? Why did I lose the job I loved?

When bad things happen to us, we want to understand why the bad thing happened to us. But do we really need to know that? In most cases, we don’t. Will understanding the why make a difference? You’ll still be sick, your loved one will still be gone, or you still won’t have that job you loved so much.

I think when we ask why, we are really asking is why me? Why did this happen to me? Are you mad at me? Don’t you care about what happens to me? Don’t you love me?

This is where studying the Bible and, especially, passages relating to God’s love for us will get you through the bad times. Once you understand the depth of God’s love for each of us, then you can trust Him which will lead you to accept His sovereignty.

This is when you have to go back to His Word—His promises. The Bible assures us that God loves us. It says so in so many different ways. If you think of God as your father, then you know that He loves you and wants the best for you.

When you ask why again and again, it will rob you of your peace and joy.

Trusting God means forgetting about the why.

Trusting God means moving forward.

Trusting God means giving the problem to God.

Trusting God means that you believe His promises.

Trusting God will restore your peace and joy.

We don’t need to understand why each bad thing happens to us–unless it’s of our own making. If bad things happen as a result of our own actions, then it’s good to know that and learn from it. But when bad things happen for no reason that we can understand, that’s when it’s time to trust God and His promises.

So today when that why word rears its ugly head. Banish it from your thoughts. Instead, tell yourself and God over and over—I trust you. I know you love me.

It will do wonders!

 

Need Some Encouragement?

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I had a few setbacks this week in my ongoing journey with my brain tumors so I was needing some encouragement. I went to my stack of index cards of  Bible verses. I don’t have a good memory so I write verses that are special to me on them so I can read them again and again. And thus renew my mind and put God’s truth in me.

Anyway, here are a few verses that spoke to me and I want to share them with you, in case you’re needing some encouragement as well.

 

Proverbs 24: 16: For though the righteous fall seven times they rise again.

Psalm 92:12: The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree.

Psalm 91: 2: I will say of the Lord. He is my refuge and my fortress: My God in him I trust.

Psalm 31: 15:  My times are in Your hands.

1st John 5: 4:  for everyone born of God overcomes this world.

 Luke 18: 1: One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up.

 

So whatever you are facing today, pray about it; trust in God’s love for you; and never give up!

 

Jumping Off The Roller Coaster!

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Psalm 31:15

My times are in your hands.

I hate roller coasters! Not only rollercoasters, but most any amusement park rides. I don’t have the time to tell you how many times I ALMOST got hurt on various amusement park rides, but that is neither here nor there.

Real life has ups and downs, just like a roller coaster. If we aren’t careful we can get  caught up in the cycle of all those exhilarating highs and those desperate lows. Some people may enjoy that ride, but I’m not one of them. I am not a drama queen. I don’t like drama any more than I like roller coasters.

Unfortunately, my life has been more like a roller coaster lately. As the two-year anniversary of diagnosing my bilateral brain tumors approaches, it seems as if those hills and curves are coming even more quickly. One day–good news. The next–bad. The next–worse and then back to good news. And at this point, it seems as if it’s never going to be done.  It just keeps going on and on and on and…..

The thing about roller coasters (and life) is that control is an illusion. The best we can do is buckle up, hold on tight, and go along for the ride. Life can get that way as well if we let it. We can start worrying about every little detail, not just in our lives but in the lives of the people we love. As if worrying about it can change the outcome. NEWS FLASH–IT CAN’T!

 I’m done with the roller coaster.  In fact, I’m jumping off the roller coaster! I am not  in control, but God is. All those emotional highs and lows are too exhausting and stressful. Certainly, not good for me or for you. Instead, I’m claiming God’s promises of peace and joy, no matter what the circumstances.

He promises me my times are in his hands.

I believe Him!  

Are You A Quitter?

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Proverbs 24: 16

For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.

Are you a quitter? As children, we knew being called  a quitter was bad. Right up there with being a chicken or having cooties. But as adults we know there are times when it’s right to quit, but when?

Certainly, we aren’t called to quit just because things get rough. Or when it takes longer than expected. Or when our feelings get hurt. Or when we’re just plain tired.

I can’t tell you when it’s the right time to quit. That’s between you and God, but I can tell you when to rise up again because the Bible tells me the answer. When you fall! Seven times? Maybe, but it could be even more. Just as Jesus answered Peter when he asked how many times he had to forgive someone–seventy-seven came the answer.

Giving up is easy. Rising up again and again and again isn’t so easy. In fact, it can be quite difficult, but we learn so much when we rise again after the fall. Rising up again strengthens us and matures us as Christians. Each time we rise again that mustard seed of faith grows a bit more as does our dependence on God.  And never forget someone somewhere is watching you. Each time you rise, you show the power of God.

I’m struggling now–physically, but not spiritually. In spite of all my health issues, I’m at peace. At least most of the time. I won’t say I don’t get discouraged because I do. But when I am discouraged I remind myself of  two different verses.

First, Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Second, Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

As I remind myself of these two wonderful promises, God gives me the strength to rise up and face the day once again.

I pray the same for you.

 

A BABY CHANGES EVERYTHING

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Luke 2: 10-12

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

 

A baby changes everything, there is no arguing that point. Ask any parent, new or experienced, young or old, tired or rested. A baby changes everything for their family.  And that’s even more true for the baby we celebrate during this Christmas season.  Let’s take a look at the reason for the season.

JESUS–his birth, his life, and his death changed the world!

Atheists–agnostics–and some who just aren’t sure often give Jesus his “due.”  Oh, he was a great teacher, they say, but He wasn’t GOD.

Let’s take a practical look at that for a moment, shall we?

What’s the year? Oh–it’s 2013 A.D   A.D. does not mean “after death,” as a lot of people believe, but it stands  for a Latin phrase: anno domini, meaning “in the year of the Lord”—the year Jesus was born.  B.C stands for Before Christ, though now people have changed it in an attempt to downplay the religious aspect.

Wow!  Time is measured by Jesus’s birth and death. I’m impressed!

JESUS–his birth, his life, and his death changed the world!

Let’s take a look at Jesus’s life for a moment and those who knew him best–his disciples.

Without going into the gory details, ten of the original twelve apostles chose death rather than renounce Jesus’s divinity. Why? Because they experienced life with the Messiah. Some were with him the day he was baptised and they heard God’s voice come down from the heavens saying,  “this is my beloved son with whom I am well pleased.”  They experienced the darkness the day he died.

They knew beyond a shadow of doubt that he was the Son of God and they were willing to die rather than renounce His divinity.  Because of that certainty, they spread the good news of the gospel throughout the world.

JESUS–his birth, his life, and his death changed the world!

But even better, Jesus changed my world. Christianity isn’t about rules and religion. It’s about a relationship with God through His only begotten son, Jesus. And that has made all the difference in my world!

Indeed, a  baby changes everything!

IMAGINE YOUR MENTAL WEALTH

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Ada Brownell is my guest writer today. I love her devotion, and it is so true. Some sins seems small and inconsequential to us, but in the end they can still make us gag and become very uncomfortable. Ada has a  new book out–IMAGINE THE FUTURE.  Here’s the Amazon Link for it.

IMAGINE YOUR MENTAL WEALTH

by Ada Brownell

Psalm 119: 10-11

“With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments. Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.”

David, the same young fellow who killed the giant while Israel’s army stood by in fear, discovered Satan can trip up the best of us if we don’t look out. David wrote this after repentance for committing adultery:

God’s Word. A great download for our brains.

We are able to put some beautiful things in our minds: scripture, good music, good information, a willingness to learn, a willingness to work, a determination to love, a determination to help, a determination to make heaven our home.

Although God’s covenant is etched into our hearts when we accept Jesus as Savior, we need to study good things that “Ca-ching!” profitable character. We’re told in the book of Timothy to study to show ourselves approved unto God, so we will rightly interpret the Word of Truth.

If we use our excellent knowledge of good things, our character and integrity grow. Our will becomes stronger. It’s like seeing a growing baby every day. He looks the same size if we see him often, but if we wait six months or a year, we see a big difference! And you and others will see a change in you when you put positive things you learn into action.

When we make good decisions, we become more mature, more trustworthy, more dependable, and our potential for doing great things increases.

Yet, we need to guard our minds because ungodly things we assimilate (even alcohol or an illegal drug) can do things we can’t fathom.

Could be like what happened to Jonesy, my sister’s Clara’s Chihuahua, a little darling dog who did tricks for Clara’s husband, Blackie. They would put glassless eyeglasses on the dog, and he’d sit up, take his front paws, and act as if he were reading a newspaper. He’d play dead when Blackie pointed his finger and yelled, “Bang!”

Jonesy did all kinds of tricks and received his hamburgers “made to order,” and a human cookie for dessert. But one day he coughed, sneezed, and gagged all through the night. He wouldn’t eat, and he continued coughing, sneezing, and gagging for several days.

My sis thought Jones was dying, and she couldn’t bear putting him to sleep. Her son was fighting a war, and he was attached to the dog, too.

“We can’t let Jonesy die!” she said.

After about a week of the dog not eating, Jonesy gagged and Clara noticed something in the back of his throat. A long blade of grass hung down his throat and up through his nose. She pulled it out. Jonesy immediately got a drink, ate, and lived for several years after that.

Sometimes a tiny amount of filth or ungodliness can give us great grief.

©copyright Ada Brownell 2013—Adapted from the soon to be released book, IMAGINE THE FUTURE YOU.

 

IMAGINE THE FUTURE YOU by Ada Brownell

Will you be the person you dream of being—or someone from your nightmares?

You don’t need a fortune teller to reveal your future. You are the person who determines who you will be, what your life will be like, and how your hopes and dreams will be fulfilled.

Today is the time to IMAGINE and to create an action plan for your future.

  • How harnessing your will can make you a champion
  • How to make valuable deposits into your mind, detoxify harmful substances in the brain, and avoid brain washing
  • How to look and be your best
  • How to connect with Someone who will make a difference in your life
  • How who you marry changes everything
  • How to avoid traps that jeopardize your future
  • Where you want your name to appear
  • Why you can believe God is there and interested in your future
  • Examples of people who grabbed their future and held on

This book will show how to make the right connections, how to grow you talents, and how to begin believing in yourself and things greater than yourself—for a wonderful Future You!

This sounds like a great book, Ada. Here’s the Amazon Link for it.

Thanks for being my guest, Ada!

 

The Worst Thing

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Psalm 23:4 (King James)

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

I’m at an age when I grew up with the King James version of the Bible and that was the only version. There may have been others out there but I wasn’t exposed to them since there was no such thing as the Internet back then.  To me Psalm 23, is about not fearing death. OK, that’s a good thing, I’ll give you that. But one of my online devotions used a different Bible version this week. It goes this way:

Psalm 23: 4 (NIV)

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Those words touched me in a completely different way than when I usually read them.

I am going through a dark valley right now. It may not be the darkest valley I’ll ever have to go but it’s pretty dark and certainly not a place I ever wanted to go.  I found out a few weeks ago that I completely lost my hearing in my right ear due to the treatment on my brain tumor.

I’m still facing treatment for my left tumor and that means if the same thing happens I could be completely deaf.

Interestingly enough, when I was diagnosed and told that deafness was a possibility, that was the worst possible news. It seemed as if that would be the worst thing that could ever happen to me. No longer able to hear my husband as he serenades me. No longer able to participate in a simple conversation–face to face or on the phone. No longer able to play and talk with my pet parrots.

To me it was one of the worst things that could happen. In truth, I may be better equipped to handle deafness than most adults. I’m a speech pathologist with a degree in deaf education. I’ve known sign language since I was a teenager.  I’ve taught deaf and hard-of-hearing children how to be better communicators in spite of their hearing loss.

At the beginning of my journey with my brain tumors, It was impossible for me to imagine becoming deaf. Now, it’s not. It’s a very real possibility and one that I must face. Some days, I’m sure if the worst thing does come to pass, I will simply become a hermit, stay home, and write. However most days, I know that is a ridiculous choice.

Those are the days that I remember God is with me and even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for He is with me.

THE WORST THING is different for each of us, but the feelings are the same–pain, sorrow, fear, and even anger to name a few. The worst thing can and does happen to some of us every day. Even as we go  through the worst thing–the darkest valley if we keep our eyes on the light of God’s love and goodness, the darkness won’t be quite so dark and scary and we won’t feel so alone.

One of the best ways to let God’s light shine is to read His Word. I find such comfort and hope in His Word and the promises there. When I read the verse from today, my spirit calmed, and I remembered I’m not alone in the darkest valley. God is there with me.

 When bad things happen we have a choice. Let the darkness win or let God shine his light of love and goodness into the darkness to light the path that leads to God’s Kingdom–a kingdom filled with love, peace, and joy.

SHARING TIME: I’d love for some of you to share your journeys out of the darkness and back into the light of God’s Kingdom.