Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

THE REWARD

Posted: March 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

Ada Brownell is my guest writer today. She has been writing for Christian publications since age 15 and spent much of her life as a daily newspaper reporter. After moving to Springfield, MO in her retirement, she continues to free lance for Christian publications and write non-fiction and fiction books. You can find her blog at:  http://inkfromanearthenvessel.blogspot.com Stick to Your Soul Encouragement

THE REWARD

Hebrews 11: 6

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” 

Why does it sometimes take so long for God to answer prayer?

In my book, Swallowed by Life: Mysteries of Death, Resurrection and the Eternal, I tell the true story of Eddie Rickenbacker and his military buddies being lost at sea in 1942 when their plane went down. I am sure Rickenbacker, a Christian, prayed before, but one day when they knew they would die if they didn’t get food, he called for all the rafts to gather around for a prayer meeting.

The men bombarded heaven, and when Rickenbacker said “Amen,” a sea gull landed on his head. He reached up and grabbed a leg and the guys had a raw lunch, leaving only enough to use for fish bait.

The men received sustenance, hope they soon would be eating fish, and believed they would be rescued—and they were.

I remember many miraculous answers to prayer in my life. We had moved to Thompson, Utah, population 100, three bars, no grocery store except a few items sold in the bars, and no church.

I thought we’d missed God’s will for us. For a year I prayed. Then the Lord did a work in me and I told Him if He’d send a helper, I’d start a Sunday school. Within a week a lovely young Christian woman my age and her two little boys moved to town and we started a Sunday school in the schoolhouse.

One time when we moved from Arvada, Colorado to Pueblo, we’d prayed the Lord would help us sell our house. The realtor brought us the contract when we were loading the last few things in a U-Haul truck.

He’s done miracles of healing in our family. Gary, our oldest son, thought to only have a percentage of his kidneys working, found to be whole.

Doctors thought Gwen, our middle daughter, had multiple scleroses, but tests proved otherwise and she’s fine.

Doctors recently suspected our youngest son, Jaron, had leukemia because of consistently elevated white blood cell count. After prayer and retesting, he was negative for leukemia and the blood count was normal.

Another time, the hand of God shoved our car out of the way of an oncoming truck on an icy mountain pass as I screamed “Jesus, help us!”

God hasn’t always answered the way we wished. We lost our oldest daughter to cancer when she was age 31. But God’s comfort and peace was there. He doesn’t leave or forsake.

Keep praying. God is there.

 

PRAYER: Lord, give me faith to know you’re in all of our tomorrows. You made the world out of nothing and created us for your pleasure. Thank you Lord for your love and answering prayer.
©Ada Brownell March 19, 2014

Psalm 4: 8

In peace, I will lie down for you, Lord, alone makes me dwell in safety and confident trust.

So, yesterday I talked about jumping off the emotional roller coaster with all those emotional highs and lows.  They may be fun for a moment, but in the long run, it’s too exhausting.  I don’t want the roller coaster, I want God’s  peace, tranquility, contentment, and joy.  But I’ll admit, those things can be hard to find when you or a loved one is involved in a long-term journey with an illness or other adversity.

So, today’s post is short and sweet (just like me!).

I’m looking for some practical ways to jump off the coaster.

Here’s a few things I do:

1. When anxiety comes (and it will) I say a short sentence prayer.

2. I remind myself God loves me and He will work all things out for my good.

3. Focus on things I can change, such as better eating and exercise.

4. Listen to praise music.

5. Focus on doing something nice for someone else. I can’t do a whole lot right now, so  I make greeting cards and send them out to other people.

What do you do to stay more grounded in God’s peace and joy?

 

Deuteronomy 30: 11-16

Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.  It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the season that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.  For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. 

Sometimes it feels as if it is almost impossible to follow God the way we want to. It feels overwhelming. Afterall, we have so many problems and so many temptations, and so many…. The list could go on and on, couldn’t it? But the Bible assures us that it is NOT too difficult or beyond our reach. In fact, the Bible tells us that all that we need is very near us.

And what we need is God’s Word.

God’s Word gives us all that we need to be victorious in this life and in the next life.  But we must know His Word and then we must follow it to reap the promises of God.

God is so good and thanks to Jesus, we live in an age of grace. We don’t have to sacrifice animals and follow a myriad of regulations. We have righteousness with God through Jesus, but we still need to love God and walk in HIs ways, if we want to reap the promised rewards.

And the rewards are many!!

I found Deuteronomy 30 a great chapter to read. It encouraged me and blessed me, and it may do the same for you as well. So, if you have time, take a few minutes to read the whole chapter.

A MUSIC MOMENT

Posted: December 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

I BELIVE–this is a great song by Jimmy Fortune. I think you’ll like it.

 

I BELIEVE VIDEO

 

HAVE A WONDERFUL MONDAY!

 

 

Tammie Edington Shaw is my guest writer today.  She is a former newspaper editor and creative coordinator for David C. Cook. She is on the staff of the Write-to-Publish Conference and lives with her husband near Chicago.  Here’s a couple of links to find out more about her.

www.tamedingtonshaw.blogspot.com (Letters Across the Page)

www.facebook.com/TammieEdingtonShaw

 

Thanks, Tammie for sharing your devotion with my readers.

Land of the Free

by Tammie Edington Shaw

1 Timothy 2:1-2

I Urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

“Did you vote?” This is the question my Mother always asks me when there is an election.

I usually vote, but I hate to admit it, I have missed a few local elections, although no presidential ones. But, I have had to tell my Mother, on occasion and ashamedly, that I didn’t vote.

“Oh, Tammie,” she would say. “I couldn’t miss voting in an election. I still hear the words of Miss Derby: ‘It is a privilege to vote.’ After fifty-five years, my Mother still remembers some wise words of her 4’11” spinster high school teacher.

Our country has many troubles, but, I would rather live in the United States, than anywhere else in the world. We can still go to church every Sunday and worship as we please, and we do have the opportunity to elect our officials.

Thank you, God that I was born in a land of the free.

Tammie Edington Shaw

www.tamedingtonshaw.blogspot.com (Letters Across the Page)

www.facebook.com/TammieEdingtonShaw

1 Chronicles 16:34

O give thanks to the Lord for He is good; for his mercy and loving kindness endures forever. 

 

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and that means turkey–oops, I mean that we should be focusing on being thankful for the things in our life. Oh yeah, right? I’m supposed to be thankful for my brain tumors and how they are affecting my health and my life. That’s a little hard to do. God doesn’t really expect me to do that, does He?

To answer the question, no I don’t think God expects me to be happy I have brain tumors or all that I’m going through, but I think He doesn’t expect me to forget all the blessings He has done for me in the past, is doing for me in the present, and will do for me in the future. When we focus on the negatives in our life, we end up with blinders on. Not being able to see or to enjoy the blessings we have in spite of our circumstances.

But keeping a thankful attitude will keep you in God’s peace and joy.  I think praising God and be thankful in all circumstances go hand in hand. It’s a little hard not to be thankful when you’re praising God and it’s hard not to praise God when you’re thankful. So, if you feel a pity party coming on and who doesn’t when life get’s difficult, then put on your favorite praise music and sing of God’s great love.

I’m not saying it’s easy to be thankful when you’re in the middle of the storms, it’s not! Life is filled with tragedies, some big  and some little. But a lot of times we seem to lose sight of the big picture. This earth is not our home. His loving kindness endures forever. No matter how hard life is right now, it’s still temporary.  Heaven is waiting for us and that’s why we should be thankful!

PERSONAL SONG OF THANKS

Posted: November 4, 2013 in Uncategorized
Thanks, Darlene  for sharing this devotion with us.

PERSONAL SONG OF THANKS

(Inspired by Psalm 136)

Thank God! He deserves your thanks.

His love lasts forever.

God is my Creator and Father.

His love lasts forever!

God is my Lord and Savior.

His love lasts forever!

God is my Comforter.

His love lasts forever!

Thank the God who created the earth.

His love lasts forever!

He flung stars into the universe.

His love lasts forever!

He created the tiniest single cell organism.

His love lasts forever!

He ridged America’s greatness with rugged mountains.

His love lasts forever!

Ocean waves crash on rocky shores in the north.

His love lasts forever!

He was on the moon before the first landing.

His love lasts forever!

That God watched over my beginnings.

His love lasts forever!

He watched over me when my father left.

His love lasts forever!

When my cry reached God’s ears, He shouted, “No more!”

His love lasts forever!

My uncle disappeared into the mists of memory.

His love lasts forever!

God’s glory rang through Bach’s preludes and fugues.

His love lasts forever!

Debussy painted pictures of God’s glory.

His love lasts forever!

All 500 hymns of my hymnal testified to God’s glory.

His love lasts forever!

God went ahead of me and sought out teachers.

His love lasts forever!

God softened their hearts and opened their wallets.

His love lasts forever!

God took me, a nobody on welfare,

His love lasts forever!

And made me valedictorian.

His love lasts forever!

He took the awards meant for others and gave them to me.

His love lasts forever!

God remembered us when we were down.

His love lasts forever!

When Grandma had died and Mom couldn’t work.

His love lasts forever!

He took care of us in our time of need.

His love lasts forever!

Thank God, who did it all!

His love lasts forever!

 

1st Thessalonians 5:18

give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ. Jesus.

t’s November and we all know that means Thanksgiving! Turkey–cranberry-stuffing–and pumpkin pie!  Well that Thanksgiving is good, but I want to talk about an even better kind of thanksgiving,.  Thanksgiving to God.  After all, that is where the holiday got its name.

We all know the story, right? The Pilgrims came to America, the Indians (oops, Native Americans) helped them, and then they celebrated the fall harvest with a feast. When I ask my students who the Pilgrims were thanking at that first celebration, most of them say the Native Americans.  Again, most seem surprised when I correct their thinking by informing them that the Pilgrims were thanking God as well as the Native Americans.

Back to the story. On the surface, it seems like a sweet story with the Pilgrims and the Native Americans coming together for a feast. But the reality isn’t quite as sweet.  Life had been and would continue to be difficult for those first brave Pilgrims who so wanted to worship God their way that they were willing to leave their warm comfortable lives and come to the New World.  New World meaning an unknown world with none of the amenities they’d know their entire lives.

And yet they were thankful to God.

By our modern standards, their life wasn’t  all that great for them in England or the Netherlands. But compared to what they faced in America, life in Europe was much easier. When they arrived in America, they had no houses, no stores to buy food or other necessities, and no towns for safety.  Whatever they wanted or needed, they had to find it or make it for themselves. Not only did they have nothing, but they had no realistic expectations that they would ever see their loved ones whom they’d left behind ever again.

And yet they were thankful to God.

You may or may not know this part of the story. A violent storm threw their ship off course. They intended to land much further south in the Virginia area. Instead, they ended up in what is now Massachusetts. Quite a difference as far as winter weather goes. They weren’t prepared in any way for the difficult winter they faced. That first winter was horrible for the small band of Pilgrims. They lost more than half the group to illnesses and injuries and they only stared out with one hundred three people!

And yet they were thankful to God.

When I was a speech pathologist in the schools, I always spent a few weeks on this story with my students. My goal was to teach the history of the event, but more than that I wanted to fill my students with a sense of awe at how brave these people were.  They were willing to give up everything to travel to an unknown world and start over so that they could worship God in the way they felt was right.

And they were thankful to God.

Life can be difficult for us as well. There are all sorts of circumstances that make us angry, sad, or unhappy. The Bible doesn’t say we should be thankful FOR  the circumstances but IN the circumstances. Even as we go through the tough spots, you will find many things to be thankful for if you look for them. The Pilgrims looked for and found them.

How many of us would show such bravery and courage?

PS.  I’M DEVOTING THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER TO THANKFULNESS. IF YOU HAVE A TRUE-LIFE STORY YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH MY READERS, LET ME KNOW.

 

FIVE FREE EBOOKS!

Posted: October 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

I don’t normally promote books on this blog, but FIVE FREE EBOOKS!  i couldn’t resist. I hope you’ll take a look at them. And you also have a chance to win a $50 Amazon gift card! Wow!

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It’s a commonly known fact that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. You may spend 21 days trying to form a good exercise routine or kick a bad habit, but what about taking 21 days to form a new spiritual habit? .

That’s the reason for the 21 days series – to provide you with 21 days worth of biblical devotions to help you form new habits that draw you closer to Christ. And for two days only (October 17th-18th, 2013) we’re giving all 5 books away for free. After that, they will be available for only 99 cents each.

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Over the course of the 21 days, God began to change me as I spent intentional time being grateful for all I have been given. I did this through writing in my journal each day and also sending a hand-written thank you note to someone different each day.

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Our lives are ruled by habits. We are defined by them. How our days play out, how we act and react, and even how we eat, sleep and talk are all affected by our habits – for better or for worse. It’s said that it takes 21 days to form a new habit or break an old one, so why not spend the next 21 days forming a habit of spending time with God? If you’ve got 21 days, we’ve got 21 devotions specifically written for today’s teen girls.

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FINDING FREEDOM!

Posted: September 25, 2013 in Uncategorized

Exodus 20: 1-3

And God spoke all these words  “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

“You shall have no other gods before me.”

FREEDOM. As American’s we love this word. It is the basis for our country, but what exactly does it mean? DICTONARY.COM  defines it as exemption from external control; the power to determine action without restraint; or personal liberty. Sounds good to me.

Unfortunately, there’s a shortage of freedom these days. And no, I”m not talking about your civil liberties. That’s an issue for another day on another blog. I’m talking about personal freedom. Freedom from addictions. Freedom from the “rat race.”  Freedom from debt. Freedom from worry. Freedom from all those things that interfere with your personal happiness. Those things that stop you from pursuing your God-given dreams. Those things that interfere with your peace and joy.

Most Americans (and that includes me) have bought into what the advertisers tell us–WE NEED MORE THINGS! If we just had more things, we’d be happier. If we had more things, we could finally get skinnier, prettier, and richer, then we’d be happy!  Right? WRONG!

I refer you back up to the definition of freedom. Free from external control. If we believe what the advertisers want us to believe then we have no freedom. Because we’re too busy buying all the things we supposedly need to be happy. And then after we have the THING, then we have to worry about paying for them. Before we know it, we realize we bought the wrong  THING, and then we need the new THING.

And so the cycle continues.

So, how do we find freedom? The above verse tells us all we need to know to find that freedom. Let’s look  at it again. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.  Do you see it now?

If you want out of the land of slavery, then have no other gods but the one, true God. What are your other gods? Nice clothes? Cars?  Gadgets and more gadgets? A lifestyle you can’t afford?

Keep your focus on God, follow His principles for a godly life, and then you will find freedom.