Christian growth · trials

Bumpy Roads Lead to Beautiful Destinations

“Just because the path you’re on is bumpy
doesn’t mean you’re on the wrong road.”

I read that quote yesterday and thought of a hike my family once took. We headed up a mountain road that started out kind of gravely. As we continued upward the road bumped more and more. We were looking for the fire tower and were unsure of its exact location. At times the road bumped so much I thought our van’s shocks would never be the same. We climbed and climbed and bumped and jostled our way up the mountain.

The question of whether or not we were on the right road was asked more than once. We finally came to a blocked road where we parked the car and got out and walked a mile or more up a rather steep incline. There ahead of us was the fire tower! We climbed up the forsaken steps and when we got to the second and third landings the view was spectacular! It was worth all the bouncing and jolting just to see the sight before us! We indeed had been on the right road. If the bumps had discouraged us and we would’ve turned around, we would have missed this sight!

Life gets bumpy, doesn’t it? We begin to question ourselves. We also question God.

“Is the Christian life supposed to be this way? Shouldn’t things be much smoother than this? Is my marriage supposed to have this jostling? Why are my children creating such havoc after all my godly instruction?”

The temptation is to turn around and go the other way – our own way – a way we feel would be smoother. But the absence of bumps doesn’t mean it’s right.

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. I Peter 5:10 

The road will smooth out eventually and you’ll find the view is wonderful – it’s called Christ-likeness. Because He is the God of all grace, you and I have the grace we need to endure the bumps. Don’t doubt you’ve chosen the right road (“why did I trust Christ, anyway? He’s a mean God that’s out to get me.”) Keep traveling on. He’s there with you. He’s not forsaken you. He knows the bumps are there and He’s waiting at the end of the road. Keep on driving. It will be worth the view!

Denise

Comfort · Encouragement · trials

My Favorite Bible Verse To Share With Hurting People

This is just a screenshot of my favorite verse. A friend sent this to me, knowing it is my verse. Do you ever hear somebody reading a verse that is special to you, and you think to yourself,

“Wait!! That’s my verse!”

That is the way I feel when I hear someone quote or read Psalm 73:25 and 26. God gave me this verse the morning of our daughter, Ashley’s funeral, so many years ago . I learned that day that God is my portion; He is enough for me, even in the hardest times.

When I want to comfort someone else who is going through a trial, I share this verse because I know what a comfort it was to my own heart. I remind them that just as we portion out a piece of pie that is suitable for each person at our table, in a much greater sense, God gives to us the amount of grace that we need for that moment.

It is always enough.

He is always enough.

He will strengthen the very core of who you are when you turn to Him.

If you or someone you know is going through a difficult time, feel free to share my verse, or claim it as your own. 😊

trials · trust

A Trial More Than I Can Bear

 

More than I can bear

Do you ever think that God sends a trial your way because you are weak and He wants to make you strong? People often repeat the quote,

God will never give me more than I can bear,

but that’s not true! He gives us situations that are more than we can handle so we’ll depend on His strength instead of our own! Let me tell you how He revealed that to me just recently. Continue reading “A Trial More Than I Can Bear”

Responding to trials · trials

Keep Looking Up!

spring tree 1

Last week I was doing my weekly errands of grocery shopping  and Target run with the typical flurry of moving quickly from one place to the next.  While walking up the parking lot towards Target, I had my head down, towards the pavement, while also reaching for my shopping list.  Then in my peripheral I caught a glimpse of

PINK 

lots of pink! 

I turned my gaze away from my frenzied walk to look up towards the sky.  There in my view was this lovely sight –

spring tree

Of course I had to snap a picture!  I didn’t want to waste the gorgeous view of these pink blooms against the crystal blue sky.  It literally took my breath away.

After I finished my shopping and walked again under its beauty, I heard the Lord whisper in my heart ~

You need to keep your eyes upward.  That’s where the joy is!

Oh, that is so true!  Hebrews 12:2,3 tells us:

 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;
who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
despising the shame,
and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself,
lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

It’s really difficult to stop and consider Jesus when I have my head down, dwelling on my concreted  problems.  It’s hard to see the beauty of His presence and remember His promises if I focus on my list of troubles.

I must lift my gaze into His lovely face.  It doesn’t take the problems away, but it reminds me of the truth that He endured mistreatment from sinners, but He is now in heaven, victorious!  Because of that, I don’t have to be weary and faint! I can have victory, too!

That’s a beauty even spring blooms can’t come close to! One day all those that know Christ as their Savior will be gathered with Him where troubles and trials will be over forever.  Until then, friend, let’s

Keep Looking Up!!

Denise Signature 150 px

 

Christian Life · Encouragement · eternal · trials

Change Your View

wp-1516731367120-1058527903.jpgBecause my husband had a birthday this week, we took a couple of days to go on a trip to Hot Springs, Virginia to celebrate!  Oh, the blessing this change of view has given our busy lives! We loved the gorgeous setting of the Homestead Resort, sitting in sun-filled lobbies, window seats, and also the love seat in our own room.  The change of view has been a blessing.

There are times that our spiritual eyes need a change of view, too.  Discouragements come to all of us.  It’s part of living in a sinful world with sinful words, responses and actions.  Sometimes those all belong to our own heart; sometimes they come from others.  I’m never surprised at my own wrong actions/reactions, but though I shouldn’t be surprised when it comes from others (because others are sinners, just like me), it does come as a blow.

Have you been there?

Someone does or says something that you just weren’t expectitng and it’s a hard pill to swallow.  But as a believer of the Lord Jesus Christ, we are reminded that we don’t wrestle with flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world.  My enemy is deeper than the person from whom the blow came. Ephesians 6 reminds of this truth. It’s no surprise to me that after having recently hearing my husband preach on these verses, and after having taught this passage afterwards in my Adult Bible Fellowship, that soon after the battle became very apparent.  Then, oh, the wrestling in my own heart through the night!  The “Why?”  “How could they” thoughts pierced my sleep, leaving me to toss and turn in the darkness of the room and also in my mind.

But when morning came, I went to that very passage in Ephesians 6 and repeated the armor that I wear –

  • The Belt of Truth – What Truth would I meditate on today?
  • The Breastplate of Righteousness – How would I respond towards this that would show a righteous heart?
  • Feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace – Would I be ready today to share the Gospel, or will I dwell on the war around me instead?
  • The Shield of Faith – What promises of God’s Word could I claim today?
  • The Helmet of Salvation – Will I remember all I am in Christ because I’m His child?  How will this change the way I respond?
  • The Sword of the Spirit – What verses will I meditate on to remind myself (and my enemy, Satan) of the victory Christ has won for me? 

Choosing to meditate on that passage gave me a whole different view!  It was like the sunshine that was pouring into the library in which I was blessed to sit! It refreshed me in the battle because I was dressed properly to fight it!

If discouragement is your view today, do yourself the blessing of changing your view to all that is yours if you are a child of God.  It will give you an eternal perspective that will equip you to live in victory today!

Denise Signature 150 px

Christian Life · trials · waiting

Dealing With the Dark, Void Situations

Sunset 2a

I love the sunshine so much that the minute I wake up in the morning, the curtains in my bedroom get thrown wide open!  I want the those sunbeams to stream in! Even on a cloudy day, just the light from the outside is a welcomed change from the darkness within my room.

But what do we do when there’s darkness in our hearts, via a relationship or a circumstance that we cannot change?  It could be as trivial as frustrations, like when I was attempting to write this post and spent a good deal of time editing and rewriting. It was scheduled and ready for posting, but when I went to preview my writing, it was GONE!  What?  After a good couple of hours, it’s nowhere to be found?

I could not change this.  So after stopping and giving this darkness (trouble) this to the Lord, I realized that there must be a reason for this “mistake.”  Maybe it was just that I take time again to call on His Name. Doing so brought light (truth) to my heart – it was, indeed, like throwing open my bedroom curtains.

A lost blog post is trivial, but what about darkness and emptiness in a relationship? There’s a void and distance there that you would love to fill, but you cannot change the other person’s heart.

What about the grief felt when dealing with the consequences of sin – yours or someone whose life touches yours?

Or the sorrow of death or sickness?

We have to go back to the beginning –

Gen 1:2, 3  And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

When there was NOTHING but emptiness and darkness, with only a word, God changed it all into beauty and fullness.

Light, sun, moon, trees, flowers, sky, birds, fish, animals and man and woman were added to the emptiness and it was no longer void – it was FULL.

Who but God could do that?!

No one.

He longs to do the same with our dark and empty circumstances! It all starts when we know that we need His Son as our Savior.  He brings light from the darkness of sin and gives forgiveness and His presence for eternity.

His presence starts the moment we trust Him!  Now all those “dark” situations turn to me towards my God who longs to bring light and life to all these matters!  How?

  • Making me realize Who He is
    • Creator
    • Gracious
    • Kind
    • Loving
    • Able…
  • Making me fall on my knees before Him to ask that He will change this darkness and emptiness for His glory.
  • Making this dependence on Him a daily habit that transforms me into His likeness.

Yes, even losing a post on a blog post can be used to transform me into His image.  As I learn to call, to wait, to trust, to know He is sovereign, I can be more like Christ, if I allow Him to calm my troubled heart and look for Him to make beauty from my darkness.

What dark situation sleeps under your pillow and awakens you with a start?  What “empty” circumstance is causing you to need His light and abundance?  Thank God for that situation today, then call out to Him and wait for Him to transform it…and you!

Denise Signature 150 px

Christian growth · trials

Gingerbread Girls & Grace

Let the Christmas festivities begin! We had a Ladies’ Christmas Tea at our church on Monday night. The theme for the night was, Gingerbread Girls & Grace. The theme for the decorations was obviously, gingerbread  everything! We had gingerbread houses,  gingerbread  girls decorating the table,  gingerbread favors, and of course cookies!

My daughter, Whitney was our speaker.

She used the analogy of making a gingerbread house and the disappointment hers would have been, had she entered our contest we hosted that night. She said hers would’ve…

  1. Not looked like yours.
  2. Not looked like she thought it would have.

The analogy is, neither does

  • My life doesn’t look like yours.
  • My life look like I thought it would.

Each of our lives is a story, written by God. We can never doubt His love for us, no matter. Lamentations 3:22, 23 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning, great is His faithfulness. The end goal is we become Christlike, therefore, we can embrace the struggles gladly.

What great truths these were. I’ll be looking at my Gingerbread attempt with these reminders in my heart!

Here are pictures of our wonderful evening at church…

The Gingerbread contest…

My entry…

Whitney sharing God’s Word with us…

Does your life look differently than you thought? Does your life look different than others’? See God’s Sovereign hand and his sufficient Grace shaping and molding you in your spiritual growth to become like Christ!

Denise