Category: <span>Thoughts by Women</span>

The Bible instructs us to bear one another’s burdens.

Many problems are too heavy for us to bear alone.

Faced with extreme hardship, Paul wrote that he counted on the prayers of his friends for victory (2 Corinthians 1:8-11, Philippians 1:19, Romans 15:30-32)

1. Pray that their love for others will grow. 1 Corinthians. 13:4-7, Philippians 1:9-11.

2. Pray for unity, agreement, unselfishness, humility, and oneness in Christ.
Philippians 2:1-5, John 17:11, 21.

3. Pray that they will have the mind of Christ and acknowledge the Lord daily to direct their lives. 1 Corinthians 2:11-16, Proverbs 3:5-6.

4. Pray that they will present themselves as living sacrifices to God. Romans 12:1-2.

5. Pray that they will know who they are in Christ. Colossians 1:28, 2:10, Ephesians 1:3-4, 7-8.

6. Pray that they will hunger daily for the word of God and grow daily in Christlike maturity. Matthew. 4:4, Ephesians 4:11-16, Philippians 2:12-13.

7. Pray that they will put on the full armor of God and be alert to Satan’s strategies. Ephesians 6:10-18.

8. Pray that they will not love the world system but set their mind on Christ.
1 John 2:15-17, Philippians 4:8.

9. Pray that they will have a servant’s heart with a spirit of brokenness and humility.
Mark 10:44-45, Psalm 51:17.

10. Pray that they will develop a praying heart, worshiping, praising, and thanking God as they see His hand of blessing extended to them. Psalm 103:1-2, 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18.

Holy Spirit, enable me to pray for my family and friends according to the mind of God. Thank You, God, for answering my prayers according to Your will as I plead Your promises.

By Sylvia Gunter
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Taken from Prayer Portions p. 321, © 1991, 1992, 1995 by Sylvia Gunter.
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Further Reading

•  Praying with Confidence

•  What Should Be Included in Prayer?

•  Salvation Explained


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thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. ?It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. ?It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

Where I live in the western United States, it has been a winter with relatively little snow and a spring crying for rain. Fire danger is high as the slightest spark produces unimaginable loss to life and property. As I drive the streets of our city, gray-brown yards stretch endlessly.  And then—almost magically—there appears a yard with brightest green grass. What produces this lawn that flourishes even in drought?

How can Christians remain “ever green” in the midst of the seemingly endless drought of discouragement or the sudden and unexpected fiery trial? Perhaps advice for growing good grass has more spiritual application than we guess.

1.  A good gardener knows the makeup of the soil. Many of us shy from taking a long look at ourselves for fear of exposing ourselves to ourselves. But basic to understanding ourselves is understanding that God loves us “as is.” Author David Benner* writes, “Genuine self-knowledge begins by looking at God and noticing how God is looking at us… God loves each and every one of us with depth, persistence and intensity beyond imagination.

2.  Soil preparation is crucial. One expert says, “(dig) the soil deeply…remove stones and debris…” Spiritual tilling can be painful. Confessing sin that the Holy Spirit reveals is a first step in our pursuit of ever green lives. But a good spiritual gardener goes a step further: discovering the sin behind the sins. Quoting Benner again: “Discovering our core sin tendencies is helpful because it lets us deal with our problems at their root.” Merely cutting off weeds in tilled soil only makes for a better appearance. Digging out root systems lays the groundwork for verdant lawns. And abundant living.

3.  Green lawns mean proper amounts of fertilizer and water have been applied. Both these elements are expensive and their application is time consuming. So it is with what we add to our lives in the pursuit of fruit bearing. Spiritual growth requires expensive time. Time we choose to spend in quiet sitting with the Lord to hear His slightest whisper. Or time spent in diligent study of the Bible, asking questions, seeking answers.

Homeowners who have ever green lawns spare no time or expense. Am I as committed to becoming an ever green Christian?

*The Gift of Being Yourself by David G. Benner

by Marilyn Ehle
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Do Not Lose Heart

A Big Picture Prayer Perspective

God’s Perspective on Hope in Disappointment

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thoughts by Marilyn Ehle Thoughts by Women

“Although He was a son, He learned obedience from what He suffered and, once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him..”  Hebrews 5:8-9

What is our source? What sustains us?

What do we have or what do we do that we cannot lose without stripping us of identity: ministry, family, job, good opinion of others, success, possessions, etc.?  What determines whether we are up or down?  Can we say, “Jesus, you’re all the world to me.” Or does something else have our hearts? If everything else were stripped away and I was left with only Jesus, would that be heaven? Would he be enough?

Christ My Life

Christ for sickness, Christ for health,
Christ for poverty, Christ for wealth,
Christ for joy, Christ for sorrow,
Christ today, and Christ tomorrow;

Christ my life, and Christ my light,
Christ for morning, noon, and night;
Christ when all around gives way,
Christ my everlasting stay;

Christ my rest, Christ my food,
Christ above my highest good;
Christ my well beloved, my Friend,
Christ my pleasure without end;

Christ my Savior, Christ my Lord,
Christ my Portion, Christ my God,
Christ my Shepherd, I His sheep,
Christ Himself my soul does keep.

Christ my Leader, Christ my Peace,
Christ has brought my soul’s release;
Christ my Righteousness divine,
Christ for me, for He is mine;

Christ my Wisdom, Christ my meat,
Christ restores my wandering feet,
Christ my Advocate and my Priest,
Christ who never forgets the least;

Christ my Teacher, Christ my Guide,
Christ my Rock, in Christ I hide;
Christ the everlasting Bread,
Christ His precious blood has shed;

Christ has brought us near to God,
Christ the everlasting Word,
Christ my Master, Christ my Head,
Christ who for my sins has bled;

Christ my Glory, Christ my Crown,
Christ the Plant of great Renown,
Christ my Comforter on high,
Christ my Hope draws ever nigh.

Attributed to St. Patrick

by Sylvia Gunter
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More Poems Glorifying God

More than a Father

When I say… “I am a Christian” – by Carol Wimmer

I am Thanking You right NOW

thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women

Hear God’s word for you in Isaiah 40:31.

“Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

You may be exhausted and at the edge of your endurance from running the race of life. You may be weary and weighed down by demands and tensions. You may need strengthening and refreshment with God’s holy strength to receive his enabling grace for each day. Be blessed as you are lifted into your Abba’s presence to receive his love. Lift your eyes to him, and receive his eye-to-eye, face-to-face fresh touch of his love in all its fullness. He sets the godly ones apart for himself. He committed himself to you as your Abba, and he will meet all your needs today, because those who seek him will not lack any good thing. He has covenanted to heal and strengthen you spirit, soul, and body. He pledges to defeat Satan’s plans of attack in physical and emotional areas that are vulnerable.

Receive his Spirit of revelation, wisdom and understanding, so that you take only his yoke and do the things that fulfill his divine purposes. You can be confident in his ability and presence at work in your life in everything that touches you. You have his favor and blessing as a shield.

Remember your God-given place in his scheme of things. See the cross and run there and hide from all stresses and pressures. His resurrection power and his ascended authority and glory outshine all the plans of the enemy to oppress you. He will lighten your steps as you mount up with wings as an eagle, as you run and do not grow weary, as you walk and do not faint. That’s his sure word to those who wait on him. Be still inside, and look to him and receive a fresh touch of the power of the Holy Spirit. Let him refill and rejuvenate you so that you will have a full supply from which to water others. Hear God speaking to you as you draw close to him.

God gives you grace for today, and then tomorrow he gives a whole new supply of himself. Receive his sweet presence each moment, and rest in feeling secure in him. When you don’t know the outcome of your situation, it is safe not to know, because he is good. Be blessed to open up to new trust in your Father. It is his will and design that you take your full God-given authority, evicting all fear and doubt and discouragement, because his perfect love casts out your fear.

The blood of Jesus heals where there is pain and hurt. His hands hold the answer in the situations closest to your heart, the ones that have wearied you the most. Know that God holds the key for every person and circumstance that has claim upon your spiritual, emotional, and practical responsibility. God’s reconciling grace is ready for all relationships to enjoy his unity and the sweet fellowship of his presence. Exchange your strength for his. Be blessed in the power and the glory of his great strength.

Be blessed in the name of the Lord who is your strength and your song (Isaiah 12:2).

by Sylvia Gunter
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•  Replenish, Without the Guilt

•  Refreshment

The Pause that Refreshes

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thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women

The heart of God to us, His children, is so caring and loving.

He knew there would be times in our lives when our hearts are down and our spirits depleted. I’m convinced that is why He placed many encouragements in the Bible to help us in just those times.

I read one of them today and it occurred to me that if I followed through on the words of this Scripture it would impact my daily outlook in an incredible way.

Listen to these wise words from Psalm 92:1 & 2

It is good to praise the LORD and make music to your name O Most High, to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night.Psalm 92:1 & 2

God knew that we would need to be encouraged in very practical ways as we walk out the changes and challenges of our days. He said it’s a good thing to praise Him. He not only said it’s good to praise Him and to use music as part of our praise, but He also gives two very practical ways to do it.

Proclaim His love in the morning.

Proclaim His faithfulness at night.

Imagine the impact on your daily outlook if you took a few minutes every morning to declare out loud how much the Lord loves you. To look in the mirror as you prepare for your day and thank the Lord for His loving care as you prepare to head into your day. Ask Him to remind you throughout the day of His love.

At night when you lay your head to rest on your pillow imagine the comfort and peace it would bring to recount 2 or 3 ways the Lord showed His faithfulness to you throughout the day. Think of how it would nurture the relationship with your spouse if you recounted these blessings of God’s faithfulness out loud.

To keep our days sandwiched between the morning proclamation of His love over you and the evening declaration of His faithfulness is a sure way to keep your heart in tune with His and to keep your attitudes adjusted throughout the day.

Prayer & reflection

Father God, You know just what I need. And I need to proclaim your love and faithfulness every day. I can so often fade from the deep realization of how much you do love and care for me every day. Open my mind to remember this simple way of praising You. Thank you for holding me close to Your heart today. In Jesus’ strong name I pray, amen.

by Gail Rodgers
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3 Ways to Honor God Daily – by Palitha Jayasooriya

• Giving God Thanks and Praise –  by Terry Stead

Rejoice in Hope – by Roy Lessin

thoughts by Gail Rodgers Thoughts by Women

I urge you, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority1 Timothy 1:2

A few months before Dr. Bill Bright went home to be with the Lord, Marvin and I talked with him by phone. The doctor had given him only months to live because of a deteriorating lung condition. Even though he was bedridden and on oxygen all the time, he was rejoicing in the Lord and still was working on 15 projects.

He told us how God spoke to him in a dream. In the dream, God showed him the growing number of bedridden and/or handicapped seniors who could be using this last season of their lives for the most powerful ministry of all – intercession. They could be interceding for their families, their church, their country and the world. God asked him to share this dream with all bedridden and handicapped seniors.

My brother Frank became totally handicapped as the result of Lou Gehrig’s disease. Near the end of his life he could only communicate by blinking his eyes. But as he grew physically weaker, he became spiritually stronger and his ministry became intercession.

God shapes the world by prayer. The more praying there is in the world the better the world will be, the mightier the forces against evil….” – EM Bounds

Would you help Bill Bright fulfill the dream God gave him by recruiting seniors to intercede for the world?

Father, the Bible says that “first of all” we are to pray. I ask that You would raise up millions of seniors who, in their retirement years, would make intercession their ministry. Amen

by Katherine Kehler
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•  The Joy of Prayer 

•  Talking to God!

•   Jesus and Prayer 

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thoughts by Katherine Kehler Thoughts by Women

Growing in grace they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap (spiritual vitality) and rich in the verdure (abundance) of trust, love, and contentment. They are living memorials to show that the Lord is upright and faithful to His promises…” Psalm 92:14-15 (Adapted from the Amplified Bible)

She is now in her 90’s, resides in an assisted living facility, has a failing memory, and—some would say—is confined to a wheelchair. But when I saw her recently in the narthex of our church waiting for her son to take her home, I saw a woman with pink cheeks, surrounded by people who couldn’t wait to say hello. There was the mom of toddlers who heard Marti—when she was merely in her 80’s!—speak to young mothers about maintaining sexual happiness in marriage. An older woman wanted to bring Marti up to date on the Bible study she formerly attended. Someone else reported on her children’s missionary activities in a secure country; Marti has prayed for this couple since they were teenagers.

Many years ago I asked Marti how she “happened” to be so involved in ministry, especially since her beloved husband died in her arms while on a mission trip. The essence of her answer?

Oh, Marilyn, I just kept saying ‘yes’ to Jesus. There were times when I wasn’t sure about the path my husband or our organization was suggesting, but when I knelt by my bed, confessed my inadequacy (or angry resistance!), asked for wisdom, and reaffirmed my willingness to go anywhere, be anything, God always led in the right direction.

Simple, isn’t it? While Marti has lived with disappointments and sorrow, experiences rapidly failing health and is dependent on others, she sits in her wheelchair to pray, listen to others read the Bible to her and rejoices that a daughter and two sons carry on an inner city ministry to at-risk teens. Grandchildren minister in unexpected and unique ways around the world. There is no “I-wish-I-could” attitude in Marti. She just keeps saying “yes” to Jesus.

by Marilyn Ehle
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Never too Old – by Katherine Kehler

A Call to Prayer – to seniors and those who are housebound but have internet.

Never Too Old –  by M. Jantzen

thoughts by Marilyn Ehle Thoughts by Women

“Be ready to speak up and tell anyone who asks why you’re living the way you are, and always with the utmost courtesy.” 1 Peter 3:13 (The Message)

In a recent conversation with a successful businessman, he described how he encourages his Christian colleagues to live and work in a secular environment where a verbal expression of faith may not be welcome or even allowed. His advice, however, should not be limited to the nine-to-five, frequently harsh business world. How can we be “evangelists” in whatever community in which we find ourselves? This man says, “Live a life that invites inquiry.”

Am I living my faith in such a supernatural way that people are dazed by my reliance upon God?

Do my neighbors see unselfish acts quite out of character with the prevailing culture? Do I courteously relate to my family?

Paul and his friend Silas were privileged to hear that kind of question. They had been beaten and jailed for talking about Jesus but their response was nothing short of miraculous. Instead of whining or beating on the bars of their cell door, at midnight they were praying and “singing hymns to God.” Suddenly God intervened with an earthquake that shook open the prison doors. Perhaps it was both the earthquake and the mens obvious trust in God that elicited the jailer’s question: “What must I do to be saved, to really live?” (Acts 16:30, The Message)

When was the last time a friend asked, “What IS it with you? How can you keep going? Why do you seem content when your world is crumbling?” This is not to suggest that we hide our difficulties from onlookers, but what a thrill it is when we allow God to produce supernatural love, joy, peace and patience in the face of trial—responses that invite  inquiry.

Father God, grace me with the desire, willingness and ability to live a life that invites inquiry. Help me trust you to put the right words in my mouth at the right times.

When was the last time a friend asked you about your faith? What was your response?

Read 1 Peter 3:12-14 for encouragement.

By: Marilyn J. Ehle
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•  We are Christ’s Ambassadors

• Conversation Startersto transition to Spiritual things

Come Alongside – what it looks like to come alongside of people while Jesus draws them closer.

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thoughts by Marilyn Ehle Thoughts by Women

In our culture and language the word rest can sound like a simple word.

We talk of taking a rest which usually means a short break long enough to regain some strength but never quite long enough for a full recovery before we have to start again. So it is no wonder that when we hear God say “rest in me,” we don’t begin to understand what He means. God is inviting us to a God-size rest.

In the Old Testament, one of the Hebrew words for rest is ‘nuah‘. It means absence of activity or movement, being settled in a particular place with finality, victory, security, or salvation. I love the strength of that definition. Finality, victory, security and salvation. Now that is a God-sized rest.

Rest is in God alone (Psalm 62:1-2, 5; 116:7).

It is a gift from God (1 Kings 8:56). God promises rest from the enemies called sorrow and suffering, turmoil and trouble, hard service and cruel bondage (Isaiah 14:3). Nevertheless, God warned that continued rest depended on their obedience (Numbers 32:15, Isaiah 28:12, Psalm 95:11). Continuing in God’s undisturbed composure requires that we keep our spirits and souls stayed on Him.

Another word for rest ‘shavah’ means to repose, to end, to observe the Sabbath, to cause to rest, to bring to completion. Can you imagine the dramatic change when all the whirl of activity in creating everything on Earth came to an end. When God rested from creation, He did not stop because He was tired, but because His work of creation was complete. It speaks again of the strength and finality of God’s rest.

God ultimately accomplished true rest for His people through Messiah to make for Himself a glorious name (Isaiah 11:10, 63:14). The fulfillment of this is expressed in Hebrews 3:7-4:13. This Greek word for rest ‘katapauo’ means to cease, refresh, give intermission from labor. This passage speaks of entering into God’s rest. We enter this rest through Christ’s completion on the cross of all the work needed for us to enter into His victory and grace. He has won the victory and the battle is over. We rest as we choose to have our total being, our spirit, our will, heart, imagination, and conscience centered in His perfect work. This is rest to be enjoyed in fellowship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is the rest of God Himself in our spirits and hearts, based on relationship with Him.

God is longing to give you His God-size rest of spirit, soul, and body as you abide in Him. Allow His God-sized rest full of victory, finality, security, and strength to take care of everything that concerns you today and enjoy Him in it.

By Sylvia Gunter
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Is My Heart God’s Resting Place? by Sylvia Gunter

• He Lets Me Rest – By Katherine Kehler

A Place of Rest

thoughts by Sylvia Gunter Thoughts by Women

“He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.” Isaiah 33:6 (NIV)

When I lived in Taiwan, there was a general understanding that shopping is the national pastime. Stores stay open until 10pm every day and whatever the time of day, you can usually find a place to buy something. I, too, love a good shopping adventure. Just today I found two fabulous jumpers for my girls at a quarter of their original price. I love the thrill of the find.

In Isaiah, the Lord refers to himself as a store! A rich store filled with everything good, beautiful and necessary for abundant life.

When I am in need of salvation, wisdom and knowledge, there’s only one place to shop.

You always get more when you shop with Jesus. There’s endless variety with individualized packages for each customer. Abundant life just doesn’t come any cheaper. In fact, at Jesus & Co. salvation is free. A lifetime membership, offering you every available treasure of heaven, will cost you everything and yet nothing. The value?   Priceless!

Reflect: How often do you spend time shopping for the treasures of heaven?

by Idelette McVicker
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Finding Treasure by Vonette Bright

• Treasures in Heaven – by Idelette McVicker

Treasure Pearls by Alisha Ritchie

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thoughts by Idelette McVicker Thoughts by Women

So we do not look at what we can see right now, the troubles all around us, but we look forward to the joys in heaven which we have not yet seen. The troubles will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:18

I live in a city with over 200 days of sunshine each year. But along with warmth and beauty, such brightness also yields a negative effect. Extended exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays produces cataracts as well as more serious degenerative diseases. To counteract these possibilities, doctors advise the wearing of sunglasses.

But sunglasses have both positive and negative effects. Recently as I was driving I commented to my husband, “It looks as though the predicted rain will be heavier than expected. Look at those dark clouds.” Then I removed my sunglasses for a moment and was surprised to see that while clouds definitely were scudding across the sky, they weren’t as dark and threatening as I first thought.

It’s possible to wear spiritual sunglasses that distort our view of people and the world just as my glasses produced a less than accurate picture of the sky. God says, “Love your enemies,” but I see their violence and assume that the Father’s love couldn’t possibly extend to them and therefore, I have no responsibility to emulate that love. Jesus proves his power over wind and storm but I cower in the face of natural disasters and the vicissitudes of life. He proclaims victory over sin and death but I neglect or refuse to appropriate all that the Holy Spirit generously offers.

Physicians who specialize in eye care routinely recommend cataract surgery, an operation to remove a cloudy lens, replacing it with an artificial lens to restore clear vision. In a similar but far more restorative procedure, God waits for our consent for his operative work to help us see him, his creation and even ourselves with more perfect vision. His command to “fix our eyes on Jesus” can become a daily reality when we remove the sunglasses of our own distorted view and see God and his world with vision unfiltered by our own pessimism and faithlessness.

The psalmist prayed, “Open my eyes…” and the hymn writer penned, “Open my eyes, illumine me…” How different will be my viewpoint of the people and world around me when my prayer is the same.

By Marilyn Ehle
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thoughts by Marilyn Ehle Thoughts by Women

But Peter and John replied, ‘Judge for yourself whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Acts 4:19-20

Is serving God your obligation or passion?

I was sitting alone in a hotel room in Rome, thinking to myself, “Why am I here?” I grew up believing that in order to be a good Christian, I needed to do certain things. I believed my value was based in what I did for God. Then, God changed my heart. He began to show me what it meant to truly love Him and let that love motivate me to act.

I had committed to a mission trip, which included a week of training in Rome, then two weeks of service in Birmingham, U.K. In the middle of the week of training, I began to doubt my own intentions. As I prayed for clarity, God gave me Acts 4:20, which affected me deeply: “For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

The early Christians were not motivated by obligation. They did not live their lives based on a rigid set of rituals. The early followers of Christ were compelled by something much more significant. Many had been in the presence of God in the form of the man, Jesus Christ. They had seen things they could not reason away. The sick had been healed. The dead had been raised. They had experienced a love and a power they had never felt before ? and they could not stop talking about it, even at the threat of imprisonment or death.

If any of us feel like our devotion to God is based on ritual or if we are trying to gain God’s favor by doing something for Him, we’ve got things upside down. We shouldn’t have to ask why we are doing what we are doing if our motivation is love ? for God, and for others.

Lord, why do I serve you? Search my heart and change me if my motivation is wrong. Let me never do anything to earn your love because I already have it. May I never serve from a need for recognition or out of obligation. Help me know you and serve out of the overflow of your love. Amen.

By Debbie West
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Sit Down and Listen

Serving the Lord Wholeheartedly

Bloom… Where You are Planted

thoughts by Debbie West Thoughts by Women

But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruitJeremiah 17.7-8

I’m right smack dab in the middle of fundraising so I can travel the world and share the love of Jesus with women from all different walks of life and empower them with the gospel.

It has been one of the hardest and most rewarding seasons of my life!

I have never felt more like I’m on a roller coaster ride than now (and that’s saying something since we had four teenagers!). One day I’m UP because I have had a friend I haven’t seen in a long time commit to partnering with me and the next I’m DOWN in the dumps because another friend who I’ve poured my life into has opted out. One minute, I’ve experienced God throwing open wide the doors and the next minute it seems like they’re all closed.

Sometimes, I feel like I’m just going AROUND and AROUND– trying to set up appointments and rescheduling cancellations.

UP and DOWN, AROUND and AROUND, never knowing what might happen next. I’ve seen huge answers to prayer and then experienced the silence of God. I have wrestled with disappointment and been amazed by His works! It’s exciting and yet completely terrifying!

But in the middle of it all, I can feel God deepening my faith like never before. I can feel my roots growing deep into the water, finding life and love and joy! I’m discovering He is ALL I need. I find my heart rejoicing in the middle of my struggle. Words like fortitude, tenaciousness and strength have become my prayer as I ask God to do His work in me. I feel Him preparing me for what is to come. Chiseling me into His masterpiece. I’m realizing I need Him like I need air to breathe. I’m learning what it means to place my complete trust in God and I want Him to be my hope and confidence! He is who I look to, He is who I depend on and He is where I put my hope – a hope that, Paul says in Romans, DOESN’T DISAPPOINT! (Romans 5.5 NLT)

I want to be this tree, Jeremiah speaks of . . . to be planted by the river of LIFE, so my roots will grow down deep into the water. I long to be healthy and fruit producing regardless of my roller coaster journey.

This is what I want!

So when someone sees my life, they don’t say, “Wow, look at Kristi.” They say, “Wow, look at her God and what He can do with a life!

By Kristi Huseby
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When Life is a Perplexing Journey by Kathy Cheek

 Journey into Wholeness – by Idelette McVicker

Journey of Choice –  by Lynn Mosher

thoughts by Kristi Huseby Thoughts by Women

I learned a godly truth from a bunch of cilantro.

Sitting in my fridge for a week or so, I noticed some of the leaves had rotted before I got to use them in my food. My first instinct was to chuck the whole thing.  But I love cilantro, and it isn’t cheap. So I decided in order to keep the lush green ones from being contaminated, I’d pluck them away and sealed them in a storage baggie. Much less icky that snapping away the  slimy, brown ones and getting the gunk on my fingers.  Blech.

As I pulled the fragrant, dark leaves, I realized there were a lot more “good ones” than I originally thought.  That made me sigh with relief because I hadn’t wasted all my money after all.  Yet immediately my eyes had detected the bad ones and thought the worse.

It took a while to pluck all the tasty leaves away,  and I had to be more methodical and careful about doing it, but I felt better about ditching the rotten remnant once I had finished the task. A bulging baggie proved to me how much good remained. And my kitchen smelled amazing!

Of course this became a God-lesson for me.

Thank goodness our Heavenly Father doesn’t see only the bad in us and decide we need to be trashed. Instead, He sees the good in us as His Son points out, “These abide in me and I have made them worthy to save for Your use, Father. Do not cast them out.”

He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful  (John 15:2).

Our precious, loving Lord carefully and methodically plucks away the sin tendencies in our lives to keep them from contaminating us, and uses the good He has found in us to do His will.  Then He bags and seals us in His Spirit to protect us and keep us fresh until He can use us.

Instead of concentrating on the bad, rotten and yucky in me which needs to be thrown away, perhaps I need to see how much good God sees in me through His Son, Jesus. He is viewing each leaf in my life to determine if it is worth keeping and using. There may be more good for Him to use than I originally thought. It makes me more thankful of the process, no matter how long it takes.

Thank you Lord, for taking the time to save what is good in me and not chucking me in the garbage because of the sin which has tainted my life.  Seal me through Your Holy Spirit. It is through and by Your Son, who has made me worthy to save, that I pray: use me to draw others to You. Amen.

By Julie Cosgrove
Used by Permission

Do you know this love that is found in God alone, through Jesus?  Would you like to give your burdens to him and have a relationship with Him?  It doesn’t mean that life will be easy but it does mean you have Jesus walking by your side. It starts with a simple heart felt prayer:

Lord, thank You for dying so we can be set free from all of guilt and sin — no matter how big or small.  Your blood has erased all of our sin. Thank You so much! Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be. Amen

It is the first step.  Keep learning more….

If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.

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Chains of Perfectionism by Kristi Huseby

• Aphids and Sin – by Katherine Kehler

Fruitful Gardening – by Caran Jantzen

thoughts by Julie Cosgrove Thoughts by Women

I received a very high compliment the other day, but in fact, it is a testimony to the amazing work God has done in my life.

The people that I meet at this point in my life don’t know the harsh upbringing I had with a very troubled father.

After sharing a little of my past history with my new friend she said she couldn’t picture me having been in that environment. She said I was too normal.

She had observed that I am not carrying around any visible baggage.

I am not the walking wounded.

There was a time when I was…(before I learned to forgive and let go). If I had waited until he was sorry, I would still be waiting. I knew I had to do it for my own emotional and spiritual health and it was the most freeing choice I ever made. Like dandelion petals carried away with the wind, the burden was lifted from my shoulders. I never imagined it could feel so good just to let it go. God surprised me with that one, and it was a beautiful blessing in my life.

Someone made the statement in a discussion recently about how sometimes we don’t receive God’s grace for healing from a painful past. She hit the nail on the head.

We discussed why two people can go through a hardship and one won’t let it go and grows bitter while the other one lets it go, let’s God work, and heals.

A long time ago I decided I knew I did not want to be that first person. Too much of my life had been robbed already and I wasn’t giving up any more ground to the past. We don’t have to go through life as the walking wounded still carrying visible baggage.

We can receive God’s strength to let go and heal. He will bring healing to the heart that opens to His work of grace.

Psalm 147:3  “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission

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Wounded by Words by Max Lucado

•  Bruised Reeds and Smoldering Wicks

Loving Through Conflict

thoughts by Kathy Cheek Thoughts by Women