Category: <span>thoughts by Vonette Bright</span>

Trust the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. Proverb 3: 5 – 6


Pastor Ike witnesses a miracle every Sunday.  It happens when he stands in his pulpit to preach.  He spends almost every other minute of his life in a wheel chair.

You see Ike has broken his neck three times. Once in Vietnam, another in an automobile accident.  The third time occurred when an iron beam crushed him.  The doctors said he’d never walk again.

But during his recovery, he prayed,

Lord, I’m yours, for whatever I might still be good for.  But please let me stand in the pulpit if I am to preach.”

God granted that prayer.  And Pastor Ike praises God for getting his attention.

Dear friend, God wants your attention too!  Read your Bible.  Praise and thank Him for working in your life.  Expect your miracle!

By Vonette Bright
Used by Permission

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Further Reading

•   Up from Depression  – Barbara Epp shares her journey with depression and the misconception that Christians shouldn’t get depressed

•  Suffering – Spiritual principles to meditate on during hard times

•  Salvation Explained


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It was as though someone just hit her. The thought that she could die from cancer was terrifying.


“The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ear.” – ” reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.” Psalm 18:4-6; 16&17

It was as though someone just hit her. The thought that she could die from cancer was terrifying. Laura grabbed her Bible off the hospital nightstand. She began frantically paging through it, crying out to God for help. Thankfully, the words of scripture comforted her.

Cancer and death were Laura Walker’s powerful enemies. But the author clung to God’s promise of rescue. God’s word filled her with peace. She didn’t know if rescue meant physical healing. Or maybe it meant the ultimate healing: taking her home to heaven. Either way, she was rescued. Death could never touch her cancer-free soul.

Friend, God has promised never to leave or forsake you. Through sickness or health!  Through adversity or blessing. And now fourteen years later, Laura can still testify to God’s faithfulness.

Reconstructing Natalie (Women of Faith Novel of the Year) by Laura Jensen Walker
http://www.laurajensenwalker.com

by Vonette Bright
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Further Reading

•  Life’s Lessons can Come from Unexpected Places

•  We Went on a Journey – a cute story about expanding our territories

•  Salvation Explained


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Many years ago, a few women met to read scriptures.
They came upon Malachi 3:3.
It says,

“He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross.”

So, one woman decided to view for herself the process of purifying precious metals.
She wanted to see how it was like God’s love for us.

Well, the silversmith sat, just as the scriptures indicated.
He kept his eye fixed on the furnace, watching the impurities burn away.

Dear one, can you picture that?
God must purify us to burn away the garbage in our life, but won’t go beyond what we can bear.

Then, the man said the process wasn’t complete until he could see his own image reflected in the silver.
And that’s the way it is with God in your life too!

By Vonette Bright
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Further Reading

Good News for You

Dealing with Despair

•  Salvation Explained


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As the Bible says,  “In everything, give thanks.”


When he (Jesus) saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”  Luke 17:14-19

I love the Bible story of the ten lepers Jesus healed.  Those outcasts were miserable, falling apart, and isolated.  They were hated, feared and despised.  Then Jesus healed them.  He gave them new skin, new lives, and new hope.

Nine of them ran towards town anxious for others to see them – to receive their approval and acceptance.

But one returned to Jesus. He fell at His feet, thanking God for the incredible gift of a new life.

Of course that begs the question, which kind of leper are you? God is constantly in your life,  providing for daily need, healing you, blessing your life. So do you run toward others or toward God?

Friend, prayer is much more than making requests to God. As the Bible says,  “In everything, give thanks.”

by Vonette Bright
Used by Permission
Inspired by Radical Gratitude – by Ellen Vaughn, Zondervan Publishing.

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Further Reading

•  God WILL take care of you

 Jesus is Always There!

•  Salvation Explained


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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.

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: https://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


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“Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble.” 1 John 2:10


Chelsea moved into a rough neighborhood because it was all she could afford. She decided with God’s help to shine the Light of Christ in this spiritually dark area.

She began by hosting a gathering in her building, but her neighbors didn’t trust new people. Then one Friday night, things changed.
An explosion rocked her building.  There was panic everywhere!  Chelsea quickly prayed to God for courage and direction.  She called the fire department and screamed for help in an effort to rescue a woman who had passed out.  That woman’s life was saved.

Because Chelsea had shown she cared, most of her neighbors responded favorably to her next invitation. She even saw three of them come to Christ!

Friend, God may have you in a dark place for a purpose. Shine the light of Christ wherever you go!

by Vonette Bright
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Further Reading

•  Don’t Limit God

•   Serving the Lord Wholeheartedly

•  Salvation Explained


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He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us,” 2 Corinthians 1:10


Lupe’s alcohol abuse was destroying her life, and the lives of her four children.
First, she lost her job, then all her belongings, stored in a rental unit, were auctioned off.
Her despair was compounded when she discovered she was pregnant.

Travelling on a bus with her children, she saw a sign: “Video game tournament and FREE FOOD.”
Hunger outweighed her shame and she coaxed her family towards the Salvation Army’s open door.
Lupe and her children began attending worship service every Sunday.

Shortly after, when the invitation was given, Lupe invited Christ into her life.
She said, “The more I give my problems to Christ, the lighter I feel.

Friend, like Lupe, you too can find new life in Christ.
Go to ‘4 Steps to Knowing God

By Vonette Bright
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Further Reading

•  Pressing the RESET button on our lives 

•  Struggles, Despair

•  Salvation Explained


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Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37

Including Sam, each student was required to bring a clear plastic bag to class.  Then they would write a name on a potato and drop it into the bag.  Each potato represented a person that student refused to forgive.  They were expected to carry this bag with them wherever they went all that week.  And Sam’s bag was heavy!

Of course, the point was that Sam carried a spiritual weight of unforgiveness.  Hers was a cumbersome burden.  And a smelly one by the end of the week!  Oh, those smelly potatoes!

Oh, dear one, forgiveness is powerful.  When you choose to forgive, the weight is released.  Anger, frustration and fear will be divinely lifted.  Sam learned that never-to-be forgotten lesson.
You can too.

Who might you need to forgive?

by Vonette Bright
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Further Reading

•   The Power of Forgiveness | by Dr. Henry Brandt

•  Forgiveness – Yourself and  Others

•  Salvation Explained


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Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;”  Philippians 4:6


Debora could be very stressed: she’s a wife, mother, occupational therapist, writing instructor, piano teacher, speaker, author and (deep intake of breath) tennis enthusiast.

How does Debora handle a stress-filled life like that?

Well, she doesn’t!!!  She gives it all to God!

Friend, the Bible says not to worry or be anxious, but to pray…

Tell God about your needs and thank Him.

And God’s peace will guard your heart and mind as you live in Christ.

Debora’s acronym will help you remember:

It’s pe-aceplacing each aggravation at Christ’s feet… expectantly!

Yes, real peace is yours when you intentionally give it to god in prayer.

Give each annoyance, dilemma, and burden to God, one by one, and minute by minute.

by Vonette Bright
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Further Reading

   Where Your Choices Can Lead You – A True Story

•   Did I Hear You Correctly Lord? – My dreams were too small for God

•   Salvation Explained


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Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.”  Psalm 37:4 (NIV)


Shirley’s life was one hurt after the other.  Two divorces and the challenges of a blind son had left her aching to be happy.

One day as she read the Bible verse:  “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” she decided to do exactly what it says. Delight in the Lord! She began praising God! – no matter what happened.

The car wouldn’t start.  Praise God.  Her boss was unreasonable that day. Praise to You, Lord.

It wasn’t long before the “desires” of her heart began to change.  Did she suddenly have a wonderful marriage?  A son easy to rear?  No.  She discovered the joy of God’s love and His blessings on her life – despite the circumstances.

Dear one, delight in the Lord.  He will give you the desires of your heart.

By Vonette Bright
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Further Reading

•   God is My Delight

•   HE IS!  A great poem

•  Salvation Explained


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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
Used by permission

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FURTHER READING

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: https://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/



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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


Diana says she’s not afraid of her past.   In fact, her dramatic change speaks volumes about God’s love.

Students who knew the “old Diana” noticed the change.  Campus parties she attended used to include drinking and promiscuity.  Then she met Jesus and turned her life over to Him.

Now she truly cares for her friends.  And she’s also not afraid to share her faith in class… even at a secular university!  Diana wrote a paper for a literature class.  It compared society’s standards for a woman with Bible standards.  She concluded that society inhibits women from experiencing the freedom found in Christ.  In the paper, Diana also shared about God’s love.  She got a perfect grade!

Friend, if others notice you’ve changed, tell them why.
God’s love made all the difference!

By Vonette Bright
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Further Reading

He Lets me Rest

God, our Shield

•  Salvation Explained


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Dear one, don’t give up.  Pray!


“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 1 John 5:14

Cindy prayed to God night after night, “Why don’t you ever show yourself to me?  I want to know You.”

Then one day, she was sitting at a table with some friends.  Two strangers walked up to them.  The men asked the girls if they could tell them about Jesus.  The girls said, “Sure.

As the two men shared about God’s love, Cindy began to cry.  She told them what she had been praying for.  They were God’s answer!  Together they led Cindy in prayer as she invited Jesus into her heart.

Dear one, don’t give up.  Pray! The Bible says,
This is the confidence which we have before Him:
that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”

God will hear you.  And He will answer too.

By Vonette Bright
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Further Reading

How to Pray

How to be sure God Listens to your Prayers

•  Salvation Explained


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“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials,”  James 1:2


Charlie lost both legs, his left arm, and all but a finger and thumb on his right hand from a terrible crash.  At first Charlie thought he could no longer do anything for God.  Painfully, he could still write. Could God use his limited ability?  Absolutely, yes!

Charlie wrote letters to prisoners. Because he couldn’t include his return address, the inmates had no way to respond. Charlie was tempted to give up. Then he was told a prisoner had requested that Charlie use the best paper possible. The inmate said, “Charlie’s letters are passed from cell to cell until they literally fall to pieces.”

Friend, when you think you have nothing left to give God, you’re wrong.

Use your God-given gifts and talents, experience, and encouragement to minister to others.

By Vonette Bright
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Further Reading

•   Making a Difference

•  Fully Surrender to the Lord

•  Salvation Explained


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It is impossible, without Jesus to have true, lasting change that brings healing and restoration.


But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”  Galatians 5: 22-23

What Chris Caine knew about God came from a very strict, religious background.
And in her late teens, she gave her heart to Jesus through prayer.

But it bothered her that some people think they’re Christians simply because they act the right way.
She thought, “Changing your behavior doesn’t mean your heart has been transformed.”

Chris is right.  It is impossible, without Jesus to have true, lasting change that brings healing and restoration.
Chris said, “My behavior changed from the inside out…rather than me always struggling to change from the outside in.”

Dear friend, the Fruit of the Spirit results in:  – love, joy, peace, patience kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
It can only come from a response to your love relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

Stop Acting Like a Christian… Just Be One: by Christine Caine http://www.chriscaine.com

By Vonette Bright
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Further Reading

•  How to live a life empowered by the Holy Spirit
•  Fully Surrender to the Lord
•  Salvation Explained


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