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"If a man cannot get through to God it is because there is a secret thing he does not intend to give up." - Oswald Chambers
The photo is of a tree in South India called the Royal Poinciana. It’s red flowers put it in a category of trees called “Flame Trees.” Red reminds me of passion. 
The Spirit ignites our hearts so that we are on fire for the Gospel, living, speaking, breathing and walking like Jesus. 
Our secrets put barriers between us and that life filled with passion, love and peace. But we can break them down with swords, cutting deep into the dark places of our hearts and exposing and surrendering them to God. 
The only way is through and it will likely be painful. What do I need to give up today? 

"If a man cannot get through to God it is because there is a secret thing he does not intend to give up." - Oswald Chambers

The photo is of a tree in South India called the Royal Poinciana. It’s red flowers put it in a category of trees called “Flame Trees.” Red reminds me of passion. 

The Spirit ignites our hearts so that we are on fire for the Gospel, living, speaking, breathing and walking like Jesus. 

Our secrets put barriers between us and that life filled with passion, love and peace. But we can break them down with swords, cutting deep into the dark places of our hearts and exposing and surrendering them to God. 

The only way is through and it will likely be painful. What do I need to give up today? 

Filed under God peace My Utmost for His Highest Oswald Chambers faith

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Pray for me to be strong and of good courage and to remain faithful, with an attitude of submission, a true handmaid of the Lord.

Elisabeth Elliot

If you would have asked me a couple of years ago what I needed prayer for. It would certainly not have been to have an attitude of submission. I have learned that submission is a fearful word in our culture because it implies the resignation of freedom, an injustice. However, and ironically, I’ve come to realize that God wants me to submit to Him as an ultimate surrendering of of my life, so that He can give me the only true freedom.

I can choose to submit to God, where I am free. Or I can choose to submit to this crazy world, where I become anxiously enslaved by never ending to-dos, expectations and consuming awareness of everything I want that I don’t have. So I choose to submit to God, and even though I’m still afraid sometimes, He is always faithful in keeping His promises of freedom and peace. 

This freedom and peace was made possible by Jesus being born into this world. Jesus died so that we could be forgiven. God’s grace and forgiveness for us through His son, and then in turn our grace and forgiveness for others is where freedom and peace are found. 

Filed under submission God Elisabeth Elliot

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I was getting ready to take my dog Ginger for a walk the other morning. Her ears perked up as she saw me put my shoes on. And as I opened the door, she sprung to her feet. Imagine her excitement when I grabbed her leash. She caught on quickly and showed me her appreciation by jumping on me, tail wagging, as if to say,”thank you!” 
As she had experienced this series of events many times before, her instinct told her that if she followed me outside, we would go for a walk.
I was thinking about how thrilled my dog was before we even stepped foot out the door. If she has that reaction, how much greater should my reaction and gratitude be toward God for where He is leading me?
God is absolutely faithful and trustworthy. He keeps His promises and as I look back, has ALWAYS been faithful, getting me to exactly where I need to be. I look forward to finding out what’s next; growing, serving, loving, challenges, trials, triumphs…His plans may not look like mine but I know they will bring Him glory and will be good for me.
The illustration I gave about my dog is erroneous, however, because there have been quite a few times when I have grabbed her leash and headed out the door (Ginger at my heals) only to find out that it’s cold and rainy…imagine her disappointment. Unlike me, our God doesn’t give up when it’s raining. He fulfills His promises through the most violent storms in our lives.
Do you have faith that He will lead you? If you do, you can bet that it will be an incredible adventure.

I was getting ready to take my dog Ginger for a walk the other morning. Her ears perked up as she saw me put my shoes on. And as I opened the door, she sprung to her feet. Imagine her excitement when I grabbed her leash. She caught on quickly and showed me her appreciation by jumping on me, tail wagging, as if to say,”thank you!” 

As she had experienced this series of events many times before, her instinct told her that if she followed me outside, we would go for a walk.

I was thinking about how thrilled my dog was before we even stepped foot out the door. If she has that reaction, how much greater should my reaction and gratitude be toward God for where He is leading me?

God is absolutely faithful and trustworthy. He keeps His promises and as I look back, has ALWAYS been faithful, getting me to exactly where I need to be. I look forward to finding out what’s next; growing, serving, loving, challenges, trials, triumphs…His plans may not look like mine but I know they will bring Him glory and will be good for me.

The illustration I gave about my dog is erroneous, however, because there have been quite a few times when I have grabbed her leash and headed out the door (Ginger at my heals) only to find out that it’s cold and rainy…imagine her disappointment. Unlike me, our God doesn’t give up when it’s raining. He fulfills His promises through the most violent storms in our lives.

Do you have faith that He will lead you? If you do, you can bet that it will be an incredible adventure.

Filed under faith dog gratitude trust God

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Never Alone by Barlow Girl played on my Pandora station today.

I cried out with no reply and I can’t feel You by my side so I’ll hold tight to what I know You’re here and I’m never alone.” 

Sometimes I pray and feel like God isn’t there and that He doesn’t care. Tonight, I’m unable to focus and am afraid of the future. So I need to cling to what is true.

This song reminded me that while I don’t feel like He’s listening, He is and He’s there right by my side. I can feel lonely and afraid but the truth is I’m not alone and He will meet my needs.

Truth: He’s growing me stronger because I’m clinging to my faith tonight.

I’m never alone…and neither are you.

Filed under Faith God Prayer Truth Barlow Girl

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Re-prioritizing

Why do we women judge ourselves so harshly? I often make an agenda for myself and set expectations that can’t possibly be met on my own strength. As I reflect on my to-do list, I often realize that many of the items listed don’t even matter that much. But I place them way high up on a shelf; above my relationships; above God. Soon, the shelf becomes so heavy that it breaks, toppling over on me. Ouch!

school. job. house work. serving. grocery shopping. birthday gifts. exercise. grocery shopping. bills. emails

Soon, even time with friends becomes just another item on a list and my life becomes task-oriented, guilt-driven and not a blessing to anyone at all, including myself. I become afraid that if I do not complete a, b and c that I will be a failure and that others will think of me in the same way. 

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 4:3-5 “But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God…”

Let’s leave the judging to God, for not even we are our own (1 Corinthians 6:20). 


Filed under faith god women devotional

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Just Breath…

Lately my devotional time has been dry and I am easily distracted. That time has become more about me finding comfort than my desire to know God’s amazing character. He has a funny way of giving me just what I need; my reading for Hermeneutics class this week was about the role the Holy Spirit plays in helping us understand Scripture.

This afternoon while I read, with the football game on in the background, God tapped me on the shoulder and said, “hey, it’s okay to feel distant from me because I’ll bring ya right back; the Spirit will be your guide.” Although, it will take effort on my end, too….going to sleep a little bit earlier and waking up a little bit earlier for devotional time. 

The Bible is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16-17), meaning God inspired the authors to write the texts. How AMAZING is that! I have faith that this is true because the Word has changed my life and the lives of many of my loved ones in so many ways. It, He, has taught me, comforted me, corrected me, given me advice and hope. The Spirit lives in me, and if you have faith in Jesus, He lives in you, too.

And with that, it’s time for bed and tomorrow is a brand new day. 

"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” - 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Filed under devotional God faith spirit

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While visiting my friend’s farm over Labor Day weekend, a truly awesome storm rolled in quickly over us and black clouds covered the bright sky like waves.  The dark angry clouds rolling in unpredictable storms may cover our bright skies but are no match for the power of God. Ask Him to guide you through the storm. He will.  ” The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.”  - Nahum 1:3

While visiting my friend’s farm over Labor Day weekend, a truly awesome storm rolled in quickly over us and black clouds covered the bright sky like waves. The dark angry clouds rolling in unpredictable storms may cover our bright skies but are no match for the power of God. Ask Him to guide you through the storm. He will. ” The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.” - Nahum 1:3

Filed under storms phootography god faith devotional

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Let me introduce to you, Bre: my close friend . dedicated mom (above is a pic of her adorable daughter, Emma) . music lover . Christ follower . brilliant advice giver & listener . gifted storyteller:

My daughter Emma has the cutest stuffed turtle you will probably ever see.  Her name is “Lady” and she is never too far away.  She was at the hospital the morning Emma was born.  She was there for Emma’s first plane ride, first sleep over and first time she was sick.  I have woken up a dozen of mornings to see my Little Miss sitting in her crib, the two of them having quite the conversation. 
So, Lady has had me thinking about Turtles lately; and how if there is any animal I resemble lately, its got to be this one.  I was driving down a country road the other day and suddenly the car in front of me hit the brakes.  Traffic was stopped in both directions, I saw ahead of me a man get out of his truck and start looking at something in the middle of the road;  a turtle.  We have all read the story of “The Tortoise and the Hare”  plenty of times to know that turtles tend to be a little “slow”.  Well let me be the first to tell you this turtle was not just slow, he had just plain stopped.  What I saw as I passed slowly by the turtle was just a shell.  That turtle was hiding in his shell.  He had gotten half way across the road, probably scared by a car and retreated inside his shell.  No arms,legs, head were visible…. he was hiding.  The nice gentleman helped the turtle out and I continued on my way, but the image of that shell stuck with me. So often I am just like that turtle.  When things get tough, when I get scared, when life is just “too much to bear”; I retreat inside my shell. After all, I’m safe in there, aren’t I?  No one can see me, no troubles can get in… phew!   But let me tell you a little bit about my shell.  Its dark, its lonely, and you know, everything outside that shell of mine is just the same, I just can’t “see it”. 
That turtle I passed - was still in the middle of the road.  Just because he disappeared for a while, didn’t mean his circumstances miraculously changed. Psalm 17:6-8 says “I have called upon You, for You will answer me, O God; Incline Your ear to me, hear my speech.  Wondrously show your loving kindness, O Savior of those who take refuge in Your right hand For those who rise up against them.  Keep me as the apple of the eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings…”  Here’s my “God slapped me across the face” moment;  Why would I continue to hide alone in my shell, delaying the inevitable situation outside, when I could be hidden in the shadow of HIS wings, held safe and sound as the problems of this life rage around me. What has my shell gotten me?  Stuck in the middle of the road holding up traffic? Today, despite the trials, circumstances and troubles of this world, I choose to come out of my shell and instead, to hide in His wings.   

Let me introduce to you, Bre: my close friend . dedicated mom (above is a pic of her adorable daughter, Emma) . music lover . Christ follower . brilliant advice giver & listener . gifted storyteller:

My daughter Emma has the cutest stuffed turtle you will probably ever see.  Her name is “Lady” and she is never too far away.  She was at the hospital the morning Emma was born.  She was there for Emma’s first plane ride, first sleep over and first time she was sick.  I have woken up a dozen of mornings to see my Little Miss sitting in her crib, the two of them having quite the conversation. 

So, Lady has had me thinking about Turtles lately; and how if there is any animal I resemble lately, its got to be this one.  I was driving down a country road the other day and suddenly the car in front of me hit the brakes.  Traffic was stopped in both directions, I saw ahead of me a man get out of his truck and start looking at something in the middle of the road;  a turtle.  We have all read the story of “The Tortoise and the Hare”  plenty of times to know that turtles tend to be a little “slow”.  Well let me be the first to tell you this turtle was not just slow, he had just plain stopped.  What I saw as I passed slowly by the turtle was just a shell.  That turtle was hiding in his shell.  He had gotten half way across the road, probably scared by a car and retreated inside his shell.  No arms,legs, head were visible…. he was hiding.  The nice gentleman helped the turtle out and I continued on my way, but the image of that shell stuck with me. So often I am just like that turtle.  When things get tough, when I get scared, when life is just “too much to bear”; I retreat inside my shell. After all, I’m safe in there, aren’t I?  No one can see me, no troubles can get in… phew!   But let me tell you a little bit about my shell.  Its dark, its lonely, and you know, everything outside that shell of mine is just the same, I just can’t “see it”. 

That turtle I passed - was still in the middle of the road.  Just because he disappeared for a while, didn’t mean his circumstances miraculously changed. Psalm 17:6-8 says “I have called upon You, for You will answer me, O God; Incline Your ear to me, hear my speech.  Wondrously show your loving kindness, O Savior of those who take refuge in Your right hand For those who rise up against them.  Keep me as the apple of the eye; hide me in the shadow of Your wings…”  Here’s my “God slapped me across the face” moment;  Why would I continue to hide alone in my shell, delaying the inevitable situation outside, when I could be hidden in the shadow of HIS wings, held safe and sound as the problems of this life rage around me. What has my shell gotten me?  Stuck in the middle of the road holding up traffic? Today, despite the trials, circumstances and troubles of this world, I choose to come out of my shell and instead, to hide in His wings.   

Filed under god faith trust