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

“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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Dear one, turn to God in the midst of your suffering.
Only He can heal a hurting heart.


A few years ago, Kim lost someone dear to her through death.
She suffered deeply, feeling abandoned.  Through this dark time she began to search the Bible for God’s answers.

Psalm 34 provided hope.  Verse 18 says:  “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those who are crushed in spirit
That’s how Kim felt!  So she prayed and trusted God to rescue her.

Through this experience, Kim gained a much more intimate dependency on Christ and her eyes were opened to how much others were hurting, too  God gave her a deeper compassion for people who are suffering.  Kim Dexter’s songs tell of hurting people about hope found only in Jesus.

Dear one, turn to God in the midst of your suffering.
Only He can heal a hurting heart.

Through my own experience, I realized how many people are hurting in so many ways,” says Kim. “Most people suffer in ways you’d never know. I want to show others what I learned about God and how He can help them in their lives. This record is focused on finding healing for the hurting and delivering the strong message of surrendering your life.

By Vonette Bright
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Further Reading

•  Alone But Not Lonely

•  Broken but Made Beautiful

•  Salvation Explained


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“In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

When you travel overseas, there are certain items banned from your return flight.
Adrian Rogers told of a time he viewed an example of this as he was going through security.

In front of him was a man trying to take some gourmet cheese back into the United States.
The inspector argued with the man, but the traveler insisted that he could do so.
So he proceeded to walk to the back of the line and eat the cheese.
Then, he walked right through security!  (SMILE)

Oh, dear friend, there may be some who insist you can’t bring Jesus into public places.
But as long as Christ is in you, you can take Him anywhere you go!

The Bible says, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works
    and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

By Vonette Bright
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Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “

Never will I leave you; never will I forsake youHebrews 13:5 (NIV)

“God is so much bigger than whatever you’re going through.”

That’s what Bart Millard’s grandmother would say to him.  But she lived it out in front of her family as well.

Before Bart was born, his grandfather left the family.  But Bart’s grandmother kept praying her husband would come home.  For over 25 years, she never gave up.

When he died, she told Bart,

There are two men that I really love with all my heart and my life! Jesus and your paw paw.  I’m much better with the [second one] leaving me, than the first.”

Dear friend, the Bible says, God “will never leave you or forsake you.”  So when life’s trials seem overwhelming, remember this.  God is bigger than whatever you’re going through.

He is there and He is all you really need.

by Vonette Bright
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Further Reading

•   I Love You, Jesus – A poem
•  HE IS! – a powerful poem about God
•  Salvation Explained

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And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  2 Corinthians 12:9

Faye is an amputee.   Oh, but don’t pity her.

Like the apostle Paul, she can say,
I will boast of my weaknesses,
                  so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Faye gathered young people from two churches to help assemble “life & limb backpacks.

The bags of were heading to Ghana to be given free of charge.

Each one holds supplies for an amputee’s new artificial limb.

But Faye believes the message inside each backpack is even more important.

Along with the instruction sheet, there’s information on how to receive Jesus into your life.

Friend, Jesus says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

Give God your weakness and see what he does with it by his strength.

http://www.standingwithhope.com/

By Vonette Bright
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Further Reading

•   Dealing with Despair and dark moments of the soul
•   A Moving Mountain – Have you ever heard of a mountain moving a person?
•  Salvation Explained

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“For God so loved the world so much that He gave His only Son so that anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16 (Living Bible)

Sharon Hersh said,

The idea that SELF
must fix a broken SELF
with the very SELF
that got ITSELF into the mess in the first place
is SELF defeating!

The “mess” Sharon referred to was her addiction to alcohol.

You see, friend, when Sharon stopped drinking, she praised her SELF, not God.

And her self-healing was not permanent.

As soon as trouble came and her emotional wounds were opened again, she returned to alcohol.

But thank God, whose grace can break through our most enslaving behaviors!

Finally Sharon surrendered to God during an Easter Passion Play.

It was as if God whispered, ”Sharon, I give you My Son, My sacrifice,
My deepest wound to forgive and heal your deepest wound
.”

Dear one, look to Christ, not to yourself, to heal the deepest wounds in your soul.

The Last Addiction: Why Self-Help is Not Enough by Sharon Hersh
http://www.sharonhersh.com

“I must surrender to these truths every day. I cannot afford to miss one day

By Vonette Bright
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Further Reading

Heaven: How to Be Confident You Will Go to Heaven When You Die

Reading the Bible – Where to Start?

•  Salvation Explained

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And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness— secret riches.  I will do this so you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.” Isaiah 45:3

It was over a year of the deepest pain Joanna ever experienced.  God had allowed a rift to appear in some of her dearest relationships.  Nothing she tried could repair it.

But through prayer and Bible study, God began revealing the cause to her.  She had a deep-seated need for approval.  It caused her to look to people for her identity, rather than to Christ.  It was in that difficult time that she discovered this truth.

Even in darkness there are hidden treasures.  In the undoing of everything Joanna held dear, she found all she really needed was Christ.

Dear friend, you don’t need the favor of people.  Because God loves you.  You are His favored, His beloved.  He uses difficult times and even attacks from the enemy, in order to work in you wholeness and maturity.

By Vonette Bright
Used by Permission
From: Having a Mary Spirit by Joanna Weaver

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Further Reading

•  Fear or Love?
•  Beauty out of Brokenness
•  Salvation Explained

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“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13

Kristine was told she would be released early from prison. She was being rewarded for her good behavior.  Then at the last minute, she was falsely accused by an inmate. She now faced ten more years behind bars.

Before prison, Kristine would’ve responded with bitterness and anger.  But she had changed. She felt God asking her to forgive her accuser and patiently await the outcome. This new response surprised those around her – even herself! [She had chosen a peaceful and forgiving attitude.]

At a prison Bible study, Kristine learned about living a victorious Christian life.

Now she was putting it into practice.  And finally, the accusation was dropped.

But even before the announcement, Kristine’s faith had given her freedom.

Friend, faith in Christ can free your imprisoned heart too!

by Vonette Bright
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Further Reading

•   Four Grizzly Bears – What are the Grizzly Bears (fears) in your life?
•   Feelings, Forgiveness and Peace
•  Salvation Explained

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“..I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.  I am the good Shepherd. The good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”’  John 10:10-11

Cora was only fifteen.  But she needed to work to support her widowed mother and family. Three years later her mother died.  Cora worked even harder to keep her five siblings together. One by one they graduated and went off on their own.  Then Cora was alone for the first time in her life.  She felt her purpose for living was gone.

Cora took pills to lift her mood, but her depression got worse.
She gave up on life, overdosed and woke up in the hospital.
By her bedside was a Bible. She began reading the book of John. Cora saw how much God truly loved her. She prayed and gave her burdens and her heart to Jesus.  She left the hospital with a brand new purpose for living!

Oh, friend, God can, and will, give you a new outlook on life.

By Vonette Bright
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Further Reading

•   Father God’s Intimate Love Letter to You
•  God is my Delight
•  Salvation Explained


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“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8

Maybe your father mistreated you or was unkind.

Oh, dear one, is the image of your heavenly Father based on your earthly father?

Lily was abused as a teenager by her father.
She was even ordered to never again call him “Daddy.”

As Lily prayed and read God’s word, she learned that her heavenly Father was different.
The Bible says God showed His great love for you by sending Christ to die for you
while you were still a wrongdoer.

You know, God began to change Lily’s heart towards her father.
Rather than looking for her father to change, she began to
see him through God’s eyes of love.

It changed their earthly relationship.

Father God is merciful and loving. Cultivate a relationship with Him through prayer.

Then keep on talking to Him. He loves hearing from you.

by Vonette Bright
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Further Reading

•   A Call to Fatherhood
•   The Ultimate Perfect Father – What can we learn from God Heart’s? by Sylvia Gunter
•  Salvation Explained

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In the Bible, God says,

“I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will watch over you.”

What a promise!

Starla prayed God would show her whether she should be a missionary.  When she traveled on a short mission trip, she grew scared. She thought if she made the long-term commitment, would she ever see her family again? Would she die out here alone?

Then as she walked with some tribal children, she sang the chorus, “The Savior is waiting to enter your heart. Why don’t you let Him come in?”  That was it!  She realized these children needed to hear about the Savior, Jesus!  She wept and thanked God for His direction.  Peace replaced fear.  And thirty years later, she’s still seeing God using her and her husband to help reach the world for Jesus.

Friend, trust God to guide you!

Psalm 32:8 (NLT) The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”

by Vonette Bright
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Further Reading

•  We Plan – God Directs
•  Stepping Into a Personal Revival
•  Salvation Explained

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“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22 (NIV)

The New England Journal of Medicine recounts the amazing healing of Norman Counsins. His medicine?  A healthy dose of laughter each day.  So much so, that not only did it bring him sleep, but it reversed his incurable debilitating disease.

Scripture confirms what Mr. Counsins learned:

a joyful heart is good medicine.

Viktor Frankl wisely pointed out:

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: to choose one’s attitude.”

Friend, God cares about you, but he also cares how you respond to your circumstances.  Do you leave your worries with God in prayer?  Or do you constantly chew on the problems you face? Do you rejoice in everything or sit and sour?

Your attitude in the face of adversity is a witness too. Make a decision today to have a joyful, gracious heart.

By Vonette Bright
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Further Reading

•  Extending Grace to Others
•  Beware! We Have Many Observers
•  Salvation Explained

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Jesus said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

As Dawn read that, she thought back to her grueling hike up a mountain during a spiritual retreat.

Oh how she struggled under the burden of an increasingly heavy backpack.
At each leg of her journey, a rock was added.
On each rock was the name of a sin like cursing or jealousy.
As she neared the top, the shape of a cross came into view.
Dawn was exhausted.  She released the stones at the base of the cross.
You see, she was carrying burdens around she didn’t need to.

And I suspect, you do too.

The stones you carry have names like anger, jealousy, deceit, and fear.

Friend, today, lay down the weights of your life at the foot of the cross.

by Vonette Bright
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FURTHER READING

He Lets Me Rest
The Lord is My Shepherd

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


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Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10

Technology may be one of the biggest enemies to our prayer lives.

That’s right!  Professor David Levy of University of Washington’s School of Information warns us.  Today’s flood of technology is destroying our ability to engage in any kind of contemplation – we used to call that “quiet time.”

The Bible says to “Be still and know that I am God.” But ˜being still” is difficult when the cell phone rings, or text messages are incoming or emails land on your desktop. The temptation is to respond immediately.

Friend, interruptions in your spiritual conversation with God are dangerous. Look for a quiet place for prayer and then turn off all distractions. Prepare to hear what God has to say to you in His Word.

Start by “being still.”  Then you will get to know God.

by Vonette Bright
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FURTHER READING

• Stepping Into a Personal Revival
He Put a Song in My Heart

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


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