Encouragement

Encouragment
 

Get Back Up and Walk By Faith!

Life happens to all of us. Even though I've been a Christian for many years, recently I found myself in a place spiritually where I couldn't seem to get on top of things. Circumstances were weighing me down causing me to wear my emotions on my sleeve. I was not being very effective because I had lost some of my joy and energy. My focus was on what I could see. I'm so thankful to God for His word because he used it to bring me into a better place. A few days ago I was reading in II Corinthians ...
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Is Your Anger Worth It?

I don't like being angry. I mean, I really dislike being agitated. So when my flesh gets provoked and jumps into the pool of emotion surrounding the event or circumstance that triggered my anger, I could almost get angry for being sucked into an emotion I dislike. The battle is real. James said it best. "So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God" (James 1:19-20). For any moms out there, here's an example you might relate to: you ...
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Are you feeling overwhelmed?

There are times, no matter how strong we are...no matter how much faith we have... the weight of the world is on our shoulders. The mountain won't move. The miracle isn't coming. Nothing is changing and attacks seem to be coming from everywhere. So many feelings swirl around our heads. I'm buried. I'm drowning. I am overwhelmed. It's usually a time we feel weary. We're tired. It's hard to think straight, our eyes brim with tears over nothing at all, and we feel like we're all alone on this huge planet. But can I tell you a secret? We're not ...
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Army of One

I recently heard a phrase that made me chuckle and sigh at the same time. It was: "I am an army of one." I laughed because that's me in a nutshell. For the entirety of Mirror Ministries, it's just been me. And this is probably true of most writers, but I'm also the business office, the book designer, product packer, equipment roady, speaker, blogger, podcaster, tech help, and the list could go on and on... which is why I also sighed. YET, you won't hear me complain. The journey has been (and still is) amazing. And although in the natural, ...
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Don’t Yield To Fear!

If you are driving down the road and see a yield sign, what are you to do? You are to either stop or slow down to allow the other traffic to proceed. John 14:27 says, "I leave the gift of peace with you - my peace. Not the kind of fragile peace given by the world, but my perfect peace. Don't yield to fear or be troubled in your hearts - instead, be courageous!" (The Passion Translation) According to the dictionary, the definition of yield is "to give way to." When Jesus says, "Don't yield to fear," He is saying, ...
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Don’t Let Self-doubt Talk You Into Quitting!

Have you ever gone for a job interview and the interviewer asks you, “What qualifies you for this position?” And we’re armed and ready with our lists, aren’t we? Well, if we want the job we are. We have our education history. Our job history. A long list of strengths and (hopefully) a short list of growth areas. We share our experience and talk confidently of why they want to hire us. “I’m the one you want. I can do this. Hire me.” This self-reliance is a far cry from what Moses was feeling during his meeting with his employer-to-be ...
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Long Suffering – Unleashed!

Long-suffering. This. This is not a word that I have pursued in my walk with Christ. In its implied meaning, for me, it is suffering for a long time. I am all about celebrating and rejoicing, but you will not find me in the line signing up to suffer for a long time. :o) Then one day a dear friend asked me if I knew what suffering meant in Latin. I had no idea. She shared that it meant passion. From there we had a discussion on what long suffering could mean if we understood the true meaning, rather than ...
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BE an Inspired Woman!

How many of you would agree Jesus is amazing? wonderful? outstanding? Me too! So think about this: Jesus is the head of the body of Christ, so what kind of out-of-proportion image do we have of Jesus when we see Him as amazing and wonderful but ourselves as small, inferior, and insignificant? The Bible says, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people ...
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Take Time To Reflect This Christmas

A study of elderly people was done and they were asked what they would do differently if they could live their lives over again. One of the prominent answers was that they would reflect more. The word reflect means, "to think deeply or carefully about, review, contemplate, or meditate." If this was true of "The Greatest Generation," how much more is this a challenge for us today? Despite all our technological advances that were designed to make life easier and to save time, we seem to be so busy and not have time to do everything we would like. In ...
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Unexpected Battles

"Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep" (1 Samuel 30:3-4) They didn't see it coming...at all. David and his men were returning home from a time of raids and battles. They had been successful, but war is war and I can imagine how ready they were to get back to their families. I'm not sure of the landscape of Ziklag, but at some point coming around a bend, over a hill, or just off in the distance they realize something is wrong. "...they found ...
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Where are you God?

Dear God: Where are you? Why haven't you answered my prayers? I have cried out to you night after night asking you to make my daddy stop drinking. And here I am again, listening to the brutality of his drunken rage at 2:00 in the morning. The screaming and yelling, slamming of doors, foul language, and the hateful statement that he made about me. Why are you letting this continue? It has been going on for over 10 years. Please, won't you make it stop? It is the middle of summer, and I am buried under a pile of covers ...
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I Thought I Was Past All That!

I woke up at 3:45 this morning. Yes – the first number was still a three. Now, I’m an early riser, but that’s early even for me. I’d like to say it was because the Lord woke me up to pray or something super spiritual like that. But no – it was because of something I thought I’d overcome many moons ago. I thought I was past all that. And…I was super hungry. I snacked my way through the day yesterday and I woke up starving. And self-deprecating. I had cried myself to sleep and woke up with the same ...
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Where I Stand

These days everyone wants to know "who you are" in an effort to figure out "where you stand" on the insane amount of issues going on in the world right now. The world, and even some Christians, will judge "where I stand" based on what they see and think they know about me as a person from what they see. For example, at first glance I am black/African-American, and because of that - not all people - but some will assume I think and feel a certain way about various issues. Another example - I am a female. Once again, ...
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Embracing Change

Anyone who knows me very well knows I am resistant to change. I have been driving the same car for ten years. We were at our last church for 16 years and we have been at our current one for more than seven years. No one can accuse us of being church hoppers! I have worn my hair basically the same for the last ten years with a couple of slight variations in length. We lived in our last home for 14 years and have been in our current one six years. I have a hard time picking out clothes ...
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Overcomers in This Life

I recently had the privilege of attending a ladies’ retreat sponsored by our church. It’s always a great time when we get together with friends of like mind, as well as when we meet new friends. For me, one of the highlights of the retreat was when four of the ladies on the leadership team did a short drama/dance to the song “Mercy Tree” by Anthony Evans. (If you haven’t ever heard it, I encourage you to download it from ITunes. You will not be disappointed.) Tears flowed down many of our faces as we watched these ladies bring a ...
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A Day At The Circus

Yesterday was the perfect day. Everything went right. I did my devotions. Everyone got to school on time. Work was great and very productive. My computer didn't act up. The lipstick stain came out of the dress I wanted to wear for our couples' banquet for church that night. When the kids got home from school, everyone was peaceful and got along, and I even had one whole hour - without interruption - to get ready for the banquet. My husband and I had an amazing time together and enjoyed our fellowship with the other couples. When we got home, ...
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Abundance

I believe that this year, 2016, will be a year of superabundance for the person who intimately knows and follows Jesus, no matter what the rest of the world looks like! As I was praying about what to speak about for our church's ladies' brunch for the new year, God gave me one word-ABUNDANCE! The psalmist says in Psalm 65:11-13 - You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance. 12 The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy, 13 the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, ...
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Honey is Sweeter Than Vinegar

Recently a lingering dull headache pushed me to drive 75 miles to our wonderful chiropractor for an adjustment. En route I called to book the appointment only to be flippantly told by a new receptionist that the office hours had changed and I had already missed the time for morning adjustments and would have to come much later that day. The thought of waiting in pain due to their new schedule, that they obviously had kept to themselves, roused great irritation in me. This fleshly inconvenience coupled with the receptionist’s obvious uncaring attitude caused me to speak harshly to her ...
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Why I Laugh 🙂

I have pretty much always been known for my rather contagious laugh. When I think something is funny, I am going to break into a big smile...followed by a giggle, and then a hearty laugh. Depending on who I'm with and how hard it has hit my funny bone, we may get into pure hysteria! Laughing is a part of who I am. I have been found in large grocery stores on many occasions by family and friends who heard me laughing a few aisles away. I laugh all the time. I laugh when I pray. I laugh when I'm ...
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When Life Doesn’t Look Like Pinterest

We've all seen the Pinterest life. Creative. Crafty. Uber time-consuming. Totally unrealistic. Pinterest. The grape-kabobs to get your kids to eat fruit in their lunches. Or the kiwi fruit trees: I mean it's cute and all. And I like a palm tree as much as the next guy....but really? And then there's me, who for Alli's 13th birthday did not raid Pinterest for ideas of treats for Alli's 9th period homeroom. Or crafty, colorful, bubble-lettered notes to put with them. This is what she got: Yep. Those are Dunkin' Donut Munchkins and a handwritten chicken-scratch note so Mrs. Busch would ...
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Dear Stress, Let’s Break Up.

Are we so comfortable with exhaustion that we can’t even enjoy a break when it’s thrust upon us? Uh Oh! I confess: guilty as charged, but I have discovered a practical, biblical principle in the Word of God called “Sabbath” and I’m learning to build margin and boundaries into my life for God. We have to know when we’ve worked enough, tried enough, gathered enough, purchased enough, said enough, stored enough, kept enough, created enough, produced enough, generated enough, consumed enough, labored enough, expended enough, spent enough. Somebody has got to say ‘ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.” Oh Me, Oh My! My ...
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Overwhelmed? Let God Support You!

Have you ever had one of those weeks where life just seems to overwhelm you? That has been my week this week and could potentially be my lot for the upcoming week too! I was and could be overwhelmed when I think of everything I need to accomplish before next Monday morning. For, you see, my family of 7 people (me, my husband, 3 teens and two little guys) are leaving to go on a Missions trip out of the country-to Honduras! While it is exciting and I know new adventures await, I am still responsible for making sure 7 ...
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Distracted by Paradise

It’s my last morning on the mountain where I’ve been on a mini-sabbatical. It's been a respite of sorts on Pupukea on the North Shore of Oahu. (Thank you Auntie and Uncle for opening your hearts and home to me.) It’s been a time to refresh and journal and write and pray. I had to work some, but I’d get that done at early o’clock in the morning and have the rest of the day to respite. And with my crazy schedule at home of work and ministry and kids and chaos, it was MUCH needed. MUCH! I fell into ...
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I Am That Warrior Girl

Warrior Girls live to win another day. I love sharing this true prayer story with friends. While in prayer, the Lord spoke to Lester Sumrall, (a Missionary Statesman, who was an inspiration to many around the world) and asked, “Do you have dominion?” He replied, “Yes, Lord.” “Then look like it!” He said. Your appearance must not be sad, depressed, or defeated. Again the Lord asked, “Do you have dominion?” He replied, “Yes, Lord.” He said, “Then talk like it!” Your speech reveals either dominion or defeat. Again the Lord asked, ‘Do you have dominion?” He replied “Yes, Lord.” “Then ...
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We Shall Not Be Moved

I think one of the things I love the most about being raised in church is the wonderful memory of the songs we sang in praise and worship services each week. It amazes me how at different times when facing difficult situations, a song will come up in my heart that I may not have thought about in years! It's as though they are stored there for the Holy Spirit to bring up at just the right time to bring encouragement and comfort, and to remind me of truths from the Word to help in times of need. One such ...
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The God of New Beginnings

A new year turns a new page. It’s a time for new beginnings. Just this week we welcomed a new beginning and a special gift from God – a new baby boy, my eleventh grandchild! Holding this tiny precious life in my arms, what could be more perfect? I reminisce about the births of my own five children and wish I could remember more of the details from that busy time of life. Time is more valuable to me the longer I am alive. One thing I have learned is that the only constant life-event is change. I remember the ...
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Christmas Silence

As Christmas Day draws near, one of the most common answers we get from people when we ask how they are is, “Busy!” I think in some cases a better word might be “Frantic!” It seems there are so many things to be done, places to go, parties to attend, and people to visit. Homes need to be decorated, presents need to be purchased and wrapped, Christmas cards need to be addressed and mailed as well as family pictures made. The list seems endless. In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we can find ourselves losing focus on ...
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Thanks Be To God

It's such a simple phrase. But when said from the heart, it carries so much. "Thanks be to God." It was the coined phrase of our mentor--the Apostle Paul. "But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:57). "Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place" (2 Corinthians 2:14). "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" (2 Corinthians 9:15). Americans celebrate Thanksgiving because of the first group of settlers that made a new ...
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Why Do We Judge Ourselves So Harshly?

In his letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul made an interesting statement: "But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself" (1 Corinthians 4:3). How many of us make it "a very BIG thing" to be judged? Whether by others, or by ourselves, it seems being judged is often a source of contention in our lives. We're tempted to be angry and defensive if we feel people are judging us in any way-- and then we are just as ...
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The Ugly Sin Within

When I began my research on the topic of the sin of pride, I didn't think that I would be the one getting the lesson on humility. That should have been an obvious sign to me right there! God began to show me how our culture perpetuates this sin, to the Nth degree! Think about social media. What is it that we see a lot on social media? Not all of the time or for all people, but sometimes people post and display their vainglory accomplishments and grandeur that they have attained. Never mind that they have gone into untold ...
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You Are Awesome!

My youngest daughter Elizabeth LOVES her four sisters. She calls them "the guys", and they are pretty much the center of her world. A couple of months ago my doorbell rang, and Elizabeth and her sister Cia came running to see who was there. When the gentleman said hello to Elizabeth, she grabbed Cia around the neck in a hug and said, "These are the guys - they're awesome!!" It made me laugh, but it also made me think about how God wants us to relate to each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. It made my heart so ...
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Words Matter

Not often, but there have been a few select times I’ve had the opportunity to attend Prayer Conferences and like so many others, I’ve had the divine privilege to sit in those meetings for a few days at the feet of some of the Generals of Prayers, such as Lynne Hammond, Patsy Cameneti and Rachel Teafatiller. It has been during those times that not only have these precious women of God taught me, but I’ve also ‘caught’ things in prayer. So many outstanding statements have been made during the course of the Prayer Sessions. Here’s one outstanding statement made by ...
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Waiting

Wait, anticipate Eat, eat again Sleep, and so sleepy still Grow, grow, and grow Think, showing, wondering Daydreaming, hoping, waiting I cannot move so fast What happened to me? Where is my energy? Why so much food, So much water I wait and wait Walking I, hoping, growing and growing I have a hundred names One favorite to me I cannot wait any longer Screams Pain Travail, travail,travail Relief I hold new life, so thankfully ...
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The Ultimate Comforter

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of going shopping with a dear friend and spending a few hours just having fun. One of my "shopping goals" was to find a new comforter set for my bedroom. After browsing a few stores I found a beautiful set in burnt orange, cream and brown with what looked like an Asian inspired stitching of trees and leaves. The store was out of stock in the size I needed, so I ordered it to be delivered to the house a few days later. My husband called me at work to let me ...
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Twig Girdles

John 15:4-5 I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much fruit. However, apart from Me you can do nothing. Last summer as we were driving down the five miles of dirt road to our house my husband pointed out one of the many Mesquite trees that we have on the ranch and said, “Look, a Mesquite twig girdler!” Of course, being the naïve East Texas girl that I am I said, “What in the world is a twig girdler?” As I looked at the tree I could see several branches ...
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Trust the Mirror

Hello friends! I had a simple experience yesterday that sparked some thoughts I hope will be a blessing to you. I was on my way out to work when I opened my garage door to find that a friend who was watching our girls for the day had parked right behind where I needed to pull out. At first I thought I might have to go back in and ask her to move her car so that I could leave, but then I thought I'd better take a closer look. With 5 girls up and about, I knew a quick ...
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Trophies

A few weeks ago I attended a Kingdergarten awards ceremony for my youngest daughter, Elizabeth. Just being able to write that is a miracle in itself. All of my five beautiful girls are adopted and have faced their own challenges. Elizabeth was born with serious health challenges related to drug use while she was in the womb. She was not expected to live, but fought her way into the world 7 weeks early and survived. God blessed me to be at home with her for the first year. We would rock in the glider and pray and sing in between ...
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The Promise of the Spirit

Is there a shortage of God's Spirit? I think not. Although there are some who act as if there is. At one time, people couldn't fathom such an outpouring such as we have today. Moses once said to Joshua, "Oh, that all the Lord's people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them" (Numbers 11:29)! If he only knew... However, I find it a shame that there are still many who do not know God's Spirit has been poured out on all flesh. In my travels, I meet people from a diversity of backgrounds. There are ...
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The Governor

I go and never stop Everyone looks to me to see However I cannot see I can only tell What is it that I tell? All day long, all night long I tell, with a bird, with a bell, with a song I tell all day long I move people, I move things, They all revolve around me From the day they arrive until the day they are gone They will all look to me Everyday some will look to me all day long Some wish they could push me back Oh, how they long to push me back However ...
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Symptoms of Gratefulness

‘Twas the morning after Thanksgiving and all through the house, not a child was stirring,not even our new dog Samson:). I opened my eyes a few minutes before my alarm went off at 5 a.m. to hit all of the black Friday sales. My heart was beating with excitement, 20% off, 40% off clearance items, free coloring book with a $100 toy purchase J! Before I got up out of bed I said a little prayer, “Father, what is Your plan for me today?” And what to my wondering ears did I hear, “Stay home and spend time with Me.” ...
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Such as I Have I Give

Our family has been living in France for the past 2 years, and when Tony decided to move here my main concern was how I going to bring up my kids in a country I know very little about? I was homeschooling at the time and really enjoyed the home school community and activities and life etc..... Then I realized its not really what comes from without that your children grasp most, its what comes from within. That they actually become more of who you are, the 2.0 upgraded version. If you love the word of God they will, if ...
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Strength Will Rise as We Wait – Really?

Yes....those were my sentiments as we sang those lyrics Sunday in church. Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, as we wait upon the Lord, as we wait upon the Lord! Let me tell you, I have been waiting...a LONG time for some things the Lord spoke to me. And I felt anything but strong as I walked into that church. Frustrated, irritated, and discouraged were much better descriptors for me. So as praise and worship started and this song, "Everlasting God" was led, and we sang these lyrics, I knew something was not right in my heart ...
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Slap Happy

It is a natural tendency of our flesh to react. For example, touch something hot and your hand reacts automatically by pulling back; stub your toe on a piece of furniture and your whole body flinches in reaction to the sudden pain. And if you are untrained in self-discipline, a few sharp words may coincide with your reaction. In fact, outbursts of sudden emotions are reactions in and of themselves. This is why Christians must allow the Holy Spirit to bear the fruit of His presence in their lives - without it, we are just a mass of flesh. Galatians ...
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Schizophrenic Tongue

Put a straight jacket on that thing! Ever feel like your mouth has a mind of it’s own. You say things before you really think about it. Maybe you have gotten to a place in your life where you could care less what comes out of your mouth. You should. An uncontrolled tongue can bring a heap of problems to your doorstep. Proverbs 18:21 tells us, Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. What have you been eating? If what you have been experiencing in life is ...
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Remembering His Word

My husband and I and a team of 11 just returned from a successful missions trip to an orphanage in Port au Prince, Haiti. During the course of the week while I was away, once again a prophetic word was rolling around in my heart. It’s a word that I have been very personally impacted by that was given to two leaders by Patsy Cameneti in 1979 at a Holy Ghost Rally - that was 33 years ago! When I first came across the prophecy, it especially witnessed to my heart over the years, but in particular it has come ...
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Puppy Love

Who loves me more... my dog or my God?! I know what you’re thinking, this is a bit far fetched (pun intented:). Just stay with me for a minute, I have a good point;) I am the proud owner of the most wonderful, majestic, sweet, 70lb., Goldendoodle puppy named Samson. I love my dog and my dog loves me. As a matter of fact, every time I walk in the door he goes crazy! If Samson could talk he would probably be saying something like this... “I missed you’ ‘I love you so much’ ‘You’re my favorite person ever’ ‘I’m ...
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Outrunning the Bees

Many years ago I must have used some type of hair product that attracted bees. One day I was walking down a street and I am not sure how many bees dove into my hair but, it seemed like a lot. I started running, but the funny thing was, I couldn't outrun the bees because they were all in my hair and I have thick hair.The buzzing was so loud near my ears I thought there must have been at least 10 bees. So I stopped and started shaking my head and eventually they all left. I am not normally ...
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My Name is Hope!

"Do you know my name?" The sweet, bright voice came out of the blue while I was waiting in an express check out line at Walmart the other day. I had just finished a REALLY long shopping trip for groceries, field trip items, etc. and had somehow gotten out the door with some batteries not paid for. So, back in we went to the shortest line we could find to make things right. While I was waiting, the sweet voice came from a little girl sitting in the front seat of the cart in front of me. "Do you know ...
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I Hate Debt!

It's true; I confess - I hate debt. It's not that I think it is wrong, or sinful, or unethical - I just don't like it for myself. Beyond a mortgage, debt is a real bother to me. However, due to some recent circumstances, we have had a significant increase to our debt load. This weighs on me a lot. I want it paid off and the sooner the better. Because I am a number cruncher and actually enjoy that type of thing, I can spend a lot of time devising and analyzing plans to get rid of the debt ...
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Got a Moment?

Can life be busy? Absolutely. Can we let precious moments pass us by? Without a doubt, the answer is yes. I’m convinced that significant moments happen on purpose; we learn to seize the brief occasions that would otherwise disappear & we plan our schedules to include special times before they are forgotten. Ephesians 5:15-16 echoes this so well as it says, “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity…” I’m sure you know that I’m going to wrap this up by talking about our moments with God, but ...
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Give Thanks

"Brothers and sisters, we ask you to show your appreciation for those leaders who work among you and instruct you. We ask you to love them and think very highly of them because of the work they are doing. Live in peace with each other. We encourage you, brothers and sisters, to instruct those who are not living right, cheer up those who are discouraged, help the weak, and be patient with everyone. Make sure that no one ever pays back one wrong with another wrong. Instead, always try to do what is good for each other and everyone else ...
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Fix Your Thoughts

I don’t love everything about myself. I can easily become discouraged when I fail at something. I don’t want to explore a new friendship because I might get hurt. If I start something new I may not be able to finish strong. If I write the book, it won’t be publishable. If I try to eat healthy, I’ll end up crashing my diet. Stepping out and trusting God to accomplish His purpose in me? That’s risky business. I’m just getting started. These are only a few of the thoughts that may pass through my mind in a moment. Hurt. Rejection ...
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Fix Your Mind

Let’s just go ahead and admit it, sometimes our mind needs to be fixed! I’m not talking about the kind of fixing that takes place when something is broken. I mean fixed as in set, inflexible, and unchanging. Have you ever met someone who makes sudden and unpredictable changes, their mind is all over the place, pulled in every direction? Maybe you are wearing the “flighty” badge yourself. I can honestly say that when I find myself like this, it’s miserable and rightly so. When we allow our thoughts to run wild our emotions and flesh join in-it’s a party ...
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Finding Your “Happy Place”

Can I really be happy? If so, how do I get to the place where it’s not my struggles that determine who I am? How, oh how, do I find my happy place?These are real questions and, if they live in your heart, you are not alone. I think everyone strives to be happy.God wants you happy!Knowing it’s God’s plan for your life is the first step! Ecclesiastes 3:12 makes this clear. “I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.”You mean, God is not the one causing my ...
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Finding Joy

Recently my husband and I purchased a home after renting for over five years. We have just been in awe of how God has worked everything out. In a time where it is difficult for many people to get a home loan we know that He was moving in each step of the process. As I was working in the front of the house planting flowers that my Dad had given me, I couldn't help but think of a time when I would have loathed doing that same exact thing! I'll never forget at about age 12 having the worst ...
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Face to Face

What has been stopping you from spending time, face to face, with God? Face to face, nothing standing in between you. “We do God more honor in believing what He has said about Himself and coming boldly to His throne or grace than by hiding in a self-conscious humility.” A.W. Tozer When I was younger I made decisions that took me in the opposite direction from God. I chose to do things against the leading of the Holy Spirit that in turn left me feeling empty and far from Him. I felt as if I had turned my back on ...
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Every Day Our Father’s Day

"How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son." ...
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Don’t Let Go

“The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever.” ~Psalms 138:8 How beautiful! The Lord truly will fulfill His purpose for us! Are you like me & have so many dreams in your heart? There are many things I can look back upon & see that the Lord has truly fulfilled, yet there are things I have held onto for years that are yet for an appointed time. When I was younger I wanted it all “right now”. As I’ve grown in the Lord, I’m very content to wait patiently & watch how God brings ...
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Don’t Just Endure, Persevere.

Don’t quit. Don’t give into how you feel. Don’t be moved. You got this. Just. Don’t. Quit. There are days when I repeat those words to myself like a 10 year old girl with a new Taylor Swift song. I’m sure I would become completely annoying to those around me if they could get inside my head, but it works. Like David, in 1 Samuel 30:6, I have to encourage myself in the Lord. I have to let the word of God in me be my personal coach, trainer and cheerleader. This journey called life is challenging....to say the least ...
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Do You Know I Am?

Have you ever had days where you feel so bad for how you have acted? Maybe it was an outburst of anger, or a judgment against someone. Maybe it was just a lack of faith in an area, or a moment of insanity, or simply a period where you just forgot about God and His Word? When you do come to your senses you feel ashamed because you know there is no real excuse. Sure, you could think of one if you tried hard enough, but then you'd just be guilty of justifying your sin (which of course, is another ...
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Destined to be a Diamond!

Having been engaged a number of times, actress Zsa Zsa Gabor was asked whether a lady should give back the ring. Her answer? "Of course, darling, but first, you take out the diamonds." While this is a bit humorous, the message rings true-diamonds are valuable!! Not only are they valuable, they are beautiful. One would be hard pressed to find a naturally occurring substance that is comparable in beauty to a diamond. However, the diamond's beginning is a far cry from the sparkling beauty of a stone we see in the end. Indeed, it is hard to believe that something ...
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Cricket Mentalities

I recently heard a story that may help us. A young boy had caught a handful of crickets and put them in a wide-mouth jar. He placed inside the jar your typical supplies: grass, flies, berries, etc. Then he put the lid on the jar with several holes punched in it so the crickets could breathe. Immediately, they began jumping hysterically trying to get out of the jar only to hit the lid and bounce back down. This behavior went on for a couple of days and then suddenly stopped. The crickets became content with their jar, moving about inside ...
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Carrying the White Flag of Surrender

Two and a half years ago, my family and I received the call - the call from our Lord to relocate to Tulsa, Oklahoma. This was a big step for us as we had only lived in Illinois and had been in LeRoy for 25 years. It was a bittersweet event in our lives. Although we were excited about the move and what the Lord had for us in Tulsa, we were saddened to leave the family and friends that we had in Illinois. Nonetheless, we forged ahead and made the move in July, 2011. As we prepared for the ...
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Carefree

Having an eight year old son I recently asked him, "what do I mean to you?" He said to me, "you're my girl of love, you take care of me mommy." There are times when l just sit around with my children and do what they are doing to enjoy them. And I want to enjoy them with all of my heart, to spend time with them, to play with them, to love them to regard them etc...I don’t want to miss anything, I want to be there for it all. A few days ago my two children were playing ...
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Can You Say…

When my oldest son was around two years old, I had a job outside the home. Every morning while I got ready for work, I would put him in the bathtub to keep a close eye on him and give me time to put my make-up on. One morning he asked if he could play with his new toys in the tub. The day before, my husband had bought him an inexpensive combo-pack containing a boat and a ship. I said sure, and he was quite entertained for awhile. As I sleepily sipped my coffee and began putting mascara on, ...
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Can You Forgive?

Sometimes, people do things that hurt and disappoint us. What do we do with those feelings? When we expect people to be a certain way and they fall short, how do we respond? It’s not always easy to get past being let down by someone you love or turning the other cheek when a stranger takes advantage of you. People can cause us great pain if we allow them. It’s easy to look at others and highlight their flaws and the things they have done to hurt or disappoint. The hard part is looking at yourself and recognizing that you ...
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Can We Forgive

Two people I love very much had a war of words recently; and like with any conflict, their initial reaction was to quit the relationship. Broken, hurt, and disappointed, their feelings wanted to call the shots. But as Christians, we are not to live by our feelings because feelings change. Instead, the Bible instructs us to be led by the Spirit. Paul addressed these feelings in his letter to the Romans: "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform that is good I ...
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Brain Sweep

If you’ve ever been pampered from head to toe, enveloped in soothing sounds and aromas while on a journey to relaxation at a spa, you will definitely walk out feeling replenished and ready to start again. This was time ‘just for you.’ Perhaps your ‘just for you’ time was a couple of hours of precious alone time somewhere without any interruption from your little honey bun calling “mommy” or maybe even a few hours away from deadlines and hectic schedules; but in those few hours it was the beginning of a detoxing time in the natural! Well ladies, I’ve found ...
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Better Not Bitter

It was in the middle of one of the hardest of days that I heard this challenging charge to my heart & it was right on time! I thank God for the day someone said to me, “You can allow the situations of life to make you bitter or make you better!” I looked at my attitude, checked my heart & an adjustment started that day that has carried me to where I am now. As I type this letter, I’m a person who can look back upon all the toils of life & truly say that have made me ...
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Best for Last

You've heard the story about Jesus turning water into wine. There are many reasons it is significant, especially since it was His first miracle. But there is something very important which was said after this miracle that applies to you and I today--something that defines our destiny. The Bible says, "When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water [for Jesus] knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. And he said to him, 'Every man at the ...
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Bald, Mullet, or Bouffant

Shortly after having my children, my hair would fall out by the hand full. It would have been a bit disconcerting if I didn’t have really thick hair. I would think, “well.. Lord, there’s 20 less to keep track of!” It’s nice to know, bald or bouffant, the Lord knows you. He just doesn’t know details about you though, such as the number of hairs on your head. He is aware of you, paying attention to your life. Matthew 10 tells us that He pays attention to the sparrows knowing if they rise or fall and how much more valuable ...
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An Old Index Card

Just the other day my mom handed me something very special. It was an old index card, very worn and yellow with age. On the card were words my father, who is now in Heaven, had typed with an old fashioned type writer when he was young. It's a glimpse into his heart. Today I imagine that the words written on it are magnified to him way beyond the passion he had in that moment. Here are a few of those words entitled "The Upward Look"... As God looks at man it is too bad that he sees him looking ...
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All Consuming Fire

Our reverence for God shows our depth and reveals our capacity to receive. So what does it mean to have reverence? The dictionary defines it as having awe or respect for a person or place. It is respectful submission or yielding to the judgment, opinion, will, or even the courteous regard of another. In this case, our reverence is for God and the things of God. The writer of Hebrews said, "See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they [the children of Israel] did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall ...
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A Morning Like This

All hope seemed gone! How could the situation ever be made right? It was truly Mary Magdalene & the other Mary’s darkest hour on their way to the tomb that morning, like we read about in Mathew 28. Though one doesn’t want to cast away their confidence for it has great recompense for reward (Hebrews 10:35), it had to appear that their hope had died. It’s amazing how God always has a plan, a higher road and a way to even resurrect our dreams. We see it take place that beautiful morning we call Easter & we can also see ...
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A Christmas to Remember

“It is more blessed to give than receive” - Jesus I can still recall Christmas 1988, and how special it was that morning as we opened some of our most memorable gifts. I received a beautiful doll that I’ve held onto for all these years, hoping to pass it down to my little girl. My brother got a red BMX bike and my big sister got a new dress. There was an abundance of gifts for us to open that morning. We had a blessed Christmas, not because of the gifts, but because of how the story began… It was ...
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‘Above All Else’…Means It’s Important

Here we are in the month of February - completely adorned with red, pink, and hearts in every size and style. The heart has become the standard icon marking the love that is shared on Valentine's Day. Ironically, the word 'heart' is what we use to describe the essence of a person. There are some whose heart is pristine and beautiful, like that of a Valentine's Day heart, overflowing with grace and love. But, there are others whose hearts have suffered so much damage, that you may not even recognize it as a heart. Regardless of where you think the ...
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70×7

Forgiving, most will agree that it is important to do. How many times have we agreed in our head that we should forgive but held onto unforgiveness in our heart? It’s easy to do. Have you ever had to clean the house and come across an object that you just don’t know where to put? You really don’t want it but you don’t want to throw it away either. In those situations, I am always tempted to just shove it into my closet instead of dealing with it. The problem is that my closet becomes a mess, unorganized and full ...
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