Category: thoughts by Vonette Bright

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for we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”  Ephesians 6:12

Every time Pat tried to talk with her friend Monica about God, something seemed to interrupt them: Her cell phone range. Or people would suddenly disrupt their conversation. Or loud noises would prevent Pat from getting the message across … one obstacle after another.

Pat believed there was a spiritual battle being waged for Monica’s soul.  She remembered the Bible says we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the spiritual forces of evil.

So, the next time the opportunity arose to speak with her friend, Pat was prepared.  She had prayed for God’s guidance and protection, and continued to pray throughout their conversation.  And this time, Monica opened her heart to receive Christ!

Friend, don’t be surprised if you find yourself engaged in spiritual warfare.  Remember to always go into battle prepared!

By Vonette Bright
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“But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” Isaiah 53:5 (NIV)

The Bible says, referring to Christ’s death on the cross: Jesus “was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.”

When Barb Boswell suffered through breast cancer, she felt pierced too.
After her painful ordeal, God reminded her that Christ was pierced on her behalf.
It was Good Friday, the day we remember the crucifixion of Jesus.

Oh dear one, God used both piercings for His glory.

Through faith we know Christ rose again.  His suffering was for you, to make a way to God.
For Barb, cancer was a life-changing experience, which God has used.
She now reaches out to other cancer survivors with the story of God’s love and grace.

Take a few minutes to read Isaiah 53.

It will put all your sufferings, all your “piercings” into perspective.

Every Time I Turn Around, I Catch a Glimpse of God! By Barb Boswell  http://www.barbboswell.com/

By Vonette Bright
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Isaiah 53 New International Version (NIV)

53 Who has believed our message
    and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
    and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
    nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
He was despised and rejected by mankind,
    a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
    he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

Surely he took up our pain
    and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
    stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
    he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
    and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
    each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
    the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.
By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
    Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
    for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
    and though the Lord makes[c] his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
    and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.
11 After he has suffered,
    he will see the light of life[d] and be satisfied[e];
by his knowledge[f] my righteous servant will justify many,
    and he will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,[g]
    and he will divide the spoils with the strong,[h]
because he poured out his life unto death,
    and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

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“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

How many times have you asked God to change someone or something around you?  Maybe it’s your husband’s bad habits.  Or a parent’s abuse.  How about a co-worker’s verbal attacks?  Perhaps a teacher’s hard heart? Or a global crisis?

You really wish things would change!

Ruby used to pray like that.  She was reared by her aunt who was cruel and abusive.  Even as an adult, Ruby disliked being around her.

But as Ruby grew closer to God, He began to show her that her attitude wasn’t right.  And Ruby’s prayers changed.  She asked God to enable her to love her aunt.  Oh, dear one, it wasn’t easy.  Nor did anything happen overnight.  But prayer changed Ruby.  Today she’s able to show God’s love to her aunt.

Yes, friend, prayer changes people.

But don’t be surprised if prayer changes YOU!

By Vonette Bright
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Psalm 68: 19 says, “Praise the Lord;  Praise God our Savior!  For each day He carries us in His arms.”

Diane knows that God may sometimes use His followers to be His loving arms.
You see, Diane’s daughter, Annie, suffered for months with a paralyzed stomach.

The family searched long and hard for a cure.
They really needed God to carry them when they were down.

So God sent some of Diane’s friends to encourage them and help with chores.
Diane said, “That’s such an encouragement when you’re down and discouraged.”

Friend, make yourself available to God.
Be His loving arms by caring for and comforting others.

When we suffer, God becomes present to us by placing a friend’s arm upon our shoulders.

by Vonette Bright
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“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Ruthless violence!  Lavish lifestyle!  Those words once described Jorge Valdes (HORE-hay val-DEEZ) a former Colombian drug lord.

His message to drug policy makers, ambassadors and top military officers in Washington, D.C., was surprising.  He spoke of ‘coming clean’ and finding a new life through a dramatic personal encounter with Jesus Christ.  Even the FBI agents who tracked and jailed him agree he’s truly been transformed by Christ.  Amazing!

You may think you’re without hope, that you’ll never change.  But the Bible says otherwise. The Bible assures us: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new”.

Cling to that truth today, dear one.  Christ can transform you.  Ask Him to.  Trust in Him alone.  And say goodbye to that old self-serving you.
4 Steps to Knowing God: https://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws

By Vonette Bright
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“knowing that He who began a good work in me is faithful to complete it.”  Philippians 1:6 (NLT)

Pain filled yet another of Gracie’s mornings. 

Her husband Peter tried to comfort her –“It won’t always hurt.  And one day you’ll have a new body that will be pain free.”

She snapped her head around and said –“I know I’ll have a pain-free body in Heaven one day. But today, right now, I need to hear that God has purpose and meaning for me, even in my pain-filled, broken body. That’s what you need to remind me of – every day!”

Gracie’s devastating car accident in 1983 led to the amputation of both legs.

Friend, maybe you, like Gracie, need to be lovingly reminded of God’s purpose for your life.

If you’ve turned your heart over to Jesus, God promises that you are purposed, planned, loved and guided through this life.

Even through your darkest, pain-filled valleys.

While on this earth, I am to live by faith and trust God each day.

Peter and Gracie Rosenberger www.StandingwithHope.com

By Vonette Bright
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“…neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:39

Bobbi’s spiritual life needed refreshing. Prayer became a duty rather than a joy.

Friend, God wants an intimate relationship with Bobbi! He wants the same with you. Instead of a structured activity, make prayer a meaningful conversation. Talk to Him as a best friend, share concerns, allow time for Him to speak to you through His word.

Bobbi began speaking to God aloud as she drove to work and in her morning walks. She even prayed for neighbors as she passed their homes. Rather than watching TV as she did dishes, she prayed and memorized scripture. Bobbi cherished these times with her Friend and Confidant, Jesus Christ.

Friend, God wants the same relationship with you. And He is waiting for you now.

Inspired by Priscilla Shirer, author of “A Jewel in His Crown

By Vonette Bright
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“And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” Mark 16:15

Sharing your personal testimony, over time, should become easier.

Your story should focus on how God has changed your life.

Your joy and enthusiasm are significant elements.

Talk about how God transformed your life.

Explain how he became your motivation for living.

Tell about his love and promises, and what they mean to you.

Underscore how Jesus promised never to leave you or forsake you.

And how he will take you to heaven someday when life is done.

Remember, friend, the best testimony is a Christ-centered one.

Share your faith and help others share theirs,

by Vonette Bright
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But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” 1 John 4:11

Gracie Rosenberger sat in the waiting room welcoming the West African patients.
She was part of a medical mission helping poor and rich alike who waited for artificial limbs.
As a double-amputee, Gracie knows the loss of a limb can hinder relationships.

But even Gracie’s smile and laughter froze upon seeing Mary’s hand extended to hers.
Mary was missing fingers and her right leg -the results of Leprosy.
As Mary looked at Gracie, her eyes questioned, “Am I welcome, too?”
Taking Mary’s disfigured hand; Gracie broke into an even bigger, warmer smile.
She was reminded how Christ had welcomed HER sinful, diseased and maimed soul into HIS family.
Nothing could stop her from sharing the warm embrace of Jesus Christ.

Touching the untouchable becomes a privilege, friend,
when you recall how Christ reached out to you.

Peter & Gracie Rosenberger:   http://www.standingwithhope.com

Jesus not only touches our wounds, He heals our souls and welcomes us into His family.”

by Vonette Bright
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Beth’s prayer was to be used by God.  He had given her the gift of hospitality, but she thought it was just for friendly ‘get togethers’.  But could God use her social gift as an outreach? The answer was YES!

Beth explored the idea, and created a Hospitali-TEA (T-E-A) ministry.  Over a cup of tea in pretty porcelain, women open their hearts and slowdown from their frantic pace.  There’s time to laugh, cry, share, learn, listen, and hug.  Through her tea and talks Beth is able to lift women’s spirits and give them hope in Jesus.

Friend, God wants to use you too.  Explore the desires and gifts He’s given you.

Discover ways God can use you to reach others in His name. 

Investing your life in this way will yield eternal dividends.

[*Inspired by Laura Leathers and Dr. Patricia Ennis, author of Precious in His Sight, the Fine Art of Becoming a Godly Woman, and professor and establishing chairperson of the Department of Home Economics at The Master’s College, http://www.masters.edu/.]

By Vonette Bright
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It was 3 o’clock in the morning and Gail couldn’t sleep.

She got up and paced and worried.  Work and family problems occupied her thoughts.

Why not PRAYWhat???  It was as if God grabbed her attention.
So Gail knelt beside her bed.  After a long list of requests, she felt spiritually deflated.
Her desire for immediate answers turned into impatience.

Desperately, she opened the Bible next to her bed to Psalm 5.

O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation.

That was convicting.  “Wait in expectation.”  So she asked God to forgive her impatience.
She also thanked Him for listening and answering in His perfect timing.  Then she finally fell asleep.

Dear one, God listens at all hours.
Lay your requests before Him and wait expectantly.

Psalm 5:3 (NLT) “In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”

Psalm 143:8 (NLT) “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.”

By Vonette Bright
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“Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face.”  Job 13:15

Ever had one of those days?

A friend of mine had a whole string of them together!

At first it was a painful health problem … then a serious car accident … then a root canal … then her purse was stolen … then a major car repair … and another, and still another  … and much more – all in a matter of months.

Now there’s a temptation to ask God, “Why?”

Job’s conclusion to his testing was: “[God] knows every detail of what is happening to me.  When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”

So the next time you have one of those days, try this. Instead of wondering “why”,  with Job you can say, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” Not only when good comes your way … but also when you have “one of those days.”

by Vonette Bright
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“Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.”
Colossians 4:2

Janet’s son was brutally murdered but she turned to God to handle such a painful loss.

Sometime afterwards Janet spoke with a grieving mother in a similar ordeal.

But that woman was vengeful, bitter and angry.

Yes, both mothers suffer from the pain of loss.

But Janet’s attitude reflects a strong faith in God.

Her daily discouragement-fighter is to thank God.

She prays,

Thank you, God, that you comfort me through your Word.
When my heart longs to have my son again, You comfort me
I am so, so grateful.”

The Bible says,

Devote yourselves to (God in) prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.”  Colossians 4:2

Dear one, that’s the best way to meet your darkest trials……Faith-On.

By Vonette Bright
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“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14

Sometimes, it’s hard to know what other people need. But here’s one thing I can assure you: your neighbor needs a word of encouragement… It could be a mom who’s about at the end of her rope… Or it’s a friend whose husband just lost his job.

Ask the Lord to give you the right words to say. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been sharing my faith with someone–and frantically asking God to give me just the right words.  And He puts the very words in my mouth that needed to be said.

Success in witnessing is simply taking the opportunity to share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit… Then, leave the results to God.  When you obey God–motivated by love–you cannot fail!

It’s what my husband Bill called, “No-fail witnessing!”

By Vonette Bright
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“..for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.” Luke 15:24

Lisa was dating a man who didn’t believe in Christ as she did.

Instead of breaking off the relationship, she gradually pulled away from God.
Within two years, the man broke up with Lisa.
She was tempted to believe that life was no longer worth living.

But,” Lisa admitted, “if anyone understands, it’s God.”

So she returned to church.
She prayed and cried through most of the service.

An old friend listened as Lisa unfolded the past two years.
The friend responded with the story of the prodigal son and reassuringly added,

God the Father is so glad you’re back!”

Dear one, have you taken a step away from God?

Return to Him.
Your heavenly Father will welcome you back with open arms.

By Vonette Bright
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