August 18, 2017

God’s Strength Is Enough for You

A lot of people can quote the first half of 2 Corinthians 12:9, but I’m not sure how many actually understand the power and strength imparted in its fourteen words of divine promise. I didn’t, until I actually lived it for myself. I didn’t really understand until I’d been diagnosed with a life-altering illness. Until I had absolutely no more spoons. Until I was called to spend more than I had of energy, strength, and life. We probably all know the back story of this great promise. God had graciously chosen to allow the Apostle Paul to suffer some sort of chronic physical affliction, from which he desperately sought deliverance. Have you ever been there? Have you ever been to that [...Read More]


The Secret of Endurance

Once upon a time, there was a young boy named Joseph who was his father's favorite. He came from a large family -- eleven brothers (ten older, one younger) and one sister -- but he was the beloved one. He had all the richest comforts his father could provide, the best robes and the easiest work. He had been chosen above all the other sons to be his father's successor. He innocently (or perhaps naively) shared this knowledge with his siblings -- which, of course, made them jealous. After all, he was only a teenager. He hadn't done anything yet to prove his worth. But eventually they got so jealous, they sold him to some foreigners who happened to pass through the area. Suddenly he went [...Read More]


God of the Impossible

What are you facing right now that seems impossible? Maybe a health problem like cancer or infertility. Maybe an estranged loved one. Maybe a financial hurdle that seems insurmountable. Maybe a dream that seems to be dying a slow, painful death. We all have something, right? Some situation that looks impossible on paper. Something that feels hopeless or unredeemable. Abraham and Sarah must have felt like that. God had promised a child who would become "many nations," and yet He hadn't delivered. So they took matters in their own hands, and Abraham committed adultery with Hagar at the insistence of his wife. And they got a son -- but they also got more than that, as it brought a new [...Read More]


You Are Not Alone!

Did you know that even Christ suffered physically, during His time on earth? I find that so encouraging! It helps to know that others have gone through whatever we’re facing. It helps to know that someone else has experienced the same challenges – and come out stronger on the other side. It helps to know you’re not alone. I know this firsthand. I have a long-term illness that keeps me housebound most of the time. I don’t get out for coffee with friends, or girls-days-out, or late night get-togethers with other couples. Some days, I feel really alone! But I’m not alone. And neither are you. I have a Bible... and I can look through that Bible and find person after person who [...Read More]


Runaways

It's a blessing to have friends to help out when your own load is a little too heavy. And it's an extra-special blessing when those friends are firmly planted in God's Word and able to share His timeless wisdom and life-giving encouragement. Barefoot Hippie Girl is one of those friends, and I'm honored to share her words with you once again. ******************************************** Last week, on Facebook, I kind of bragged that I had most of my own posts written already for the upcoming week. And Elizabeth asked me if I wanted to write a post for her. It took me all of about 2 seconds to say yes. Then I wondered just what I was going to write about.  But, I prayed about it, and God [...Read More]


Rejoicing in Misery?

When you feel lousy – you feel lousy. When your body feels sick and tired and blah – then your spirit feels miserable and cranky and, well, blah. Anyone who’s ever been sick can relate. You see, the body and spirit are so interconnected that when you fight a battle in one area, it gets fought in the other one too. When your energy is being spent fighting sickness of some sort, that’s energy that is not being spent fighting bad attitudes and low spirits. It’s hard to fight on both fronts at the same time. It’s challenging. Sometimes it feels impossible. But I don’t think it is impossible. Why? Because we have commands in Scripture, and we are expected to obey those commands [...Read More]


It’s okay to grieve.

Before I start, can I just say a big thank you to all who responded to my posts last week? Both those who struggle with their own serious illness, and those who don't - all your notes and comments were such a blessing to me, and an encouraging reminder that we are never alone in our struggles! And I would love to keep hearing from more of you, so feel free to send me a message about your own story, if you'd like. As I was considering what to write about today, I kept thinking about the verses I'm memorizing in 1 Peter. In a way, it goes along with everything I wrote last week. But it's not just specific to chronic illness. It's for everybody. Because it's straight out of God's Word, and [...Read More]


How to help your friends through hard things.

Quick note: I've decided to pause the linkup feature for the time being. But I still welcome your comments and questions about your Bible reading! Life is messy. People are hurting - your friends, your family, your coworkers. Your neighbor down the street, or that person who sits in your pew at church. They may be fighting through depression, or anger. They may be fighting uncertainty about the future. One thing is certain: they're fighting with something. It could be an empty bank account. It could be a friend's betrayal. It could be a family torn apart by sinfulness, or a home broken by natural disaster. It could be health problems. It could be loss of work - or loss of purpose. You [...Read More]


On struggling through the dark places.

Do you ever struggle with depression? That weighted feeling of emptiness, that dark despondency. That feeling of sinking into dark nothingness. Do you ever feel utterly alone in your depression? Do you ever feel less-than-Christian for struggling with those feelings? You shouldn't. Why do I say that? Because that's what I find in my Bible. In God's perfect and complete Word. In His words that are wholly profitable and always relevant. I read in there that David got depressed too. You know, the King David. The man after God's own heart. The one whose hundreds of poems are recorded for us in that holy and perfect Book. He struggled with the same things we do. Read what he writes [...Read More]


What Are You Learning?

This is supposed to be my post where I share what I've learned from my Bible reading this week. From the TTB12 readings. But, although I've kept up with the schedule, what I've been learning hasn't really been in the daily readings. So what has God been teaching me? 1. Don't try to analyze the wind. In other words, don't try to figure everything out, because not everything in this life can be figured out. He has His own ways of working and leading, and those ways are far beyond our human comprehension. Simply trust, and rest, and let Him work in His own perfect way and time. 2. Don't wish away the difficult times. Who wouldn't agree that life is hard? But we can learn to rest in those hard [...Read More]