December 1st, 2017

Faith Filled Friday

Good Morning my Coffee Hour Friends. Pull up a seat and grab up a cup of coffee or tea.  Let’s talk about the pressings of life and how it affects you and me.

Have you ever felt pressed beyond your means?  A pressing you feel is about to tear the seams of your very soul.

I’ve felt that pressing: when finances were dwindling and there were bills still needing to be paid, or when my loving and devoted husband who was facing a pressure of working until he felt he could work no more.

Let’s take a look at Jesus as he was pressed in the Garden of Getestemane.

Matthew 26:36-38: Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

Jesus’ soul crushed to death to the point of grief.

Has your soul ever been crushed to death to the point of grief?

I know mine has.

Walk with me through a bit of what the Lord gave me on pressing.

The Garden of Gestemene is a place of agony, a place of pressing. Lord, as you wept and pleaded to have the cup taken from thee, yet you cried “Abba, Your will, not mine.”

Jesus as you press us and we cry out for you to lighten the load, may we cry out as you did, Abba, Your will not mine, though the pressing, discouragement, worry, anxiousness, fear, and doubt all creep in and our sight grows dims.
“Our sight grows dim”…we can’t manage this load on our own and we don’t have to. When grief gets us down, we forget where our hope comes from. Our grief consumes us and we forget we simply need to pray. Let’s take a look at this verse which addresses this very principle: Jesus, being consumed with grief, went to pray. He knew he needed help for He couldn’t face this pressing on his own.

Matthew26:38: “Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and He said, ‘Sit here while I go over there to pray.’”

Jesus went through the pressing and to the cross for you and me. Say these words with me:

May we seek your face, Jesus, and may our eyes be opened to see the will of the cross emerge. Jesus, we lay our life down and present our sins to you. Revive our souls, that as we rise we’d be cleansed and refreshed, made whole and anew. As our sight is restored and our feet are set upon the Rock, Lord may we always remember where our help comes from.  We will stand refined and new singing praises to our All Mighty God for you carried us through.

If today you are being pressed, meet Jesus at the foot of the cross and lay it all down at His feet. Let it all out. Let your heart and soul cry out all of the grief that is gripping you. Oh, that you would know that He bends down and listens and when He needs to, He carries you through, for He loves each one of us with an Everlasting Love.

Ashley

November 30th, 2017

Thursday’s Trench Truth

Some of us have to be taught how to love and how to be loved. Sounds crazy, right? Thanks for joining us for Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Thursday’s Trench Truth with Trench Classes United.

The other day, my girlfriend was sharing about a family conflict that kept rearing its subtle but ugly head over the Thanksgiving holiday, and how it saddened her that the parties involved weren’t able to talk about it healthily. She was able to recognize that the reason they weren’t is because one of them is self-aware and emotionally healthy; however, the other has an inability to socialize lovingly without alcohol.  In other words, the one who is emotionally healthy did not allow the other’s inability to become her disability, and yet she yearned to be able to resolve the issue.

How often do we allow someone’s inability to become our disability by lashing out, reacting instead of stepping back and thinking about it and then responding? Could it be that how we love is based on how we were loved? Perhaps loving requires learning how to unlearn! In order to work through the conflict that threatens to divide, we’ve got to be on the same side…emotionally willing.

The good news is we can re-train our brain to love like He loves us.  We are wounded in relationships…and healed in relationships, one of God’s most important ways to teach us how to love in the classroom of life!

Thoughtfully,

Evinda

November 29th, 2017

Wednesday’s Word

It’s that time of the year…already! In addition to the other hats we as women wear, now we get to add to our responsibilities in the name of “Christmas,” which can really send us in a tailspin if we are not careful! Welcome to Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Wednesday’s Word with Trench Classes United

I don’t know about you, but this is where I struggle, staying in the moments because of all my responsibilities, especially at this time of the year. But is that a crutch of an excuse? Is that just a pass to remain busy, and often too busy? Oh, if we were just given the perfect equation for balance in our lives, huh, some sort of recipe to follow that we would achieve that ability to consistently stay in the present so as to not be ripped off in the future while soaking up regrets from the past.

I think I found it…yes, the answer to this dilemma!! But I must confess, it sounds easier than it is but it really is possible! I’ve already tried putting it into practice and I’m telling you, it works! See, this life is just temporary, a sort of practice run to learn how to dwell in eternity with the One whose perfect love will carry us there, so whatever we endeavor to do, wherever we put our most energy, whatever rents the most space in our head…must have eternal value!

 

Pouring truth into the mind is necessary to keep out the lies that keep us chasing after another thing to check off on our to-do list, or trying to control circumstances, situations or even worse, others. We must discipline the mind with spiritual truths which will then feed the soul so as to not be caught off balance like that of a double-minded, wobbly-legged weakling struggling to stay afloat while grasping for air, or for a future that is secure.

So as we enter into this holiday season, my prayer for you and for me simply stated are the words in Isaiah 26:3: He will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You…because he/she trusts in you!

Oh, that we would live in the moment, one moment at a time; that we would recognize and learn to trust that Your hand goes before us, protects all that is behind us, and provides for us all that we need in this moment and the next.

Love,

Evinda

November 28th, 2017

Tuesday’s Trench Truth

Have you ever experienced a clogged sink or a malfunction in your garbage disposal? It can be a bit frustrating and puzzling at the same time, and if you have ever experienced this, you know you have to stop what you’re doing, slow down and fix the problem…or it will only get worse! Welcome to Tuesday’s Trench Truth with Trench Classes United. Come on in for a moment of truth.

It was towards the end of a class and I felt led to share this analogy of a clogged sink and/or a broken garbage disposal, trying to paint a visual of clogs in the pipes preventing the water from flowing freely and setting the clog free. Then I shared that the heart sort of works the same way. If we’ve come to believe negative things about ourselves, told to us by whoever and for whatever reason, there begins to be a clogging in the heart that prevents the love of God from coming completely in and allowing us to live that abundant life.

It’s not that His love isn’t powerful enough, because it is: but it’s only when we face the lies and begin to denounce them with His truths for us and about us that His love for us begins to move ever so freely from our head to our heart!

Are there negative things, aka, lies, that you’ve come to believe about yourself as truth?  What causes a lie to flee: A truth! Here are just a few of the hundreds of truths that God says about you and about me:

We were created in His image and surely God doesn’t despise Himself! Genesis 1:27.
We are His children, precious in His sight John 1:12

We are accepted-Ephesians 1:6

He calls us friend-John 15:15

We can’t out-sin His love for us! Oh, that you would begin dispelling the lies with new truths that His love would flow freely in your heart

Truthfully,

Evinda

November 27th, 2017

Monday’s Mantra

Could the very thing we complain about actually be a blessing? According to a sermon given by Pastor Greg Laurie – You betcha!

 

Welcome to Coffee Hour at Chicklit Power and Megan’s Monday Mantra with Trench Classes United.

 

‘Tis the holiday season! Before we’ve barely begun to digest Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas is upon us.  Our intentions of loving our neighbors as ourselves and allowing the peace of Christ to rule our hearts seem to woefully recede into the background while the fanatic push of finding the perfect present and holiday parties thrust to the forefront of our focus. Thus the beginning of grumbling and complaining…

 

You have a Christmas party to attend at 7:00 pm. You can’t believe it! Of all days, your boss asks you to stay late to tie up a last-minute project. As you leave work, you realize you left your car keys in the office. You hurriedly grab your keys and rush to the grocery store to pick the dessert you promised to bring to the party. Of course, you hit every red light on the way. You dash into the store, snatch up the dessert, and head to the “15 item or less” check-out line … and you wait… and wait. You anxiously start to fidget, looking to see what is taking so long. Promptly you identify the culprit. “That lady at the front of the line has more than 15 items! Can’t she read? This is the 15 item or less line. I only have one item,” you complain.

 

Let’s evaluate the above scenario from the perspective of blessings.

 

1) You have been invited to a Christmas party and you get to attend.

2) You have a job and a boss who evidently trusts you to get a job done in a timely manner.

3) You own the car those misplaced keys belong to.

4) The Lord is using the red lights to teach you patience.

5) You have the financial resources to pay for the dessert.

6) Knowing you did not absorb the previous red light lesson of patience, the Lord, because He loves you, used the “lady with more than 15 items” to provide you another learning opportunity.

 

Wow – from stressed to blessed!

 

In Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, she writes,

 

“Thank Me for the very things that are troubling you. Thankfulness opens the door to my Presence. See how many times you can thank Me daily; this will awaken your awareness to a multitude of blessings.”

 

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (ESV)

 

Your comments are always most welcome.

 

Lovingly in Christ,

Megan

November 24th, 2017

Faith Filled Friday with Ashley

Waiting…

Welcome to Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Faith Filled Friday with Trench Classes United and Ashley Zito, our new writer for Fridays! I’m so excited to have her on the blog team! She truly writes Spirit inspired from her heart to yours! Grab your favorite break-time drink and come on in.

Just the other day, my heart and mind were focused on my husband’s current working situation, and as I began my devotional for the day, I couldn’t believe how He met me there, in the midst of my questioning and wondering about our current situation. I was reading in Genesis 22:2 (ESV) where God spoke to Abraham and told him “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”

Here’s what struck me: When God called Abraham, he went without any hesitation, without questioning. He faithfully went. When God promised Abraham a child and then He told him to wait…and he waited…and waited…and waited.

What do we do when God tells us to wait? When He says wait, we must do so. Why? It’s God’s simplicity. See, He says, “Trust and know – through experience – that I am God for I see and think in ways you could never comprehend. Wait!

Oh, but Lord, our hearts cry! How much longer? And yet, His answer is simple: trust. See, our flesh gets in the way of God’s simplicity. Oh, if we would only take God’s commands to heart and do as He says, for His heart’s desire is the very best for you and me. The enemy, our adversary, uses our own flesh against us, so what must we do? Take up the full armor of God and defeat the lies of the Beast that we would not let him hide the blessings and promises of God from ourselves.
One of the most powerful pieces of that armor…The Sword of the Spirit: The Word of God. Why do we shy away from it when It’s for our wisdom and guidance…to use in walking toward any victory! For Jesus has already conquered the ultimate obstacle that was meant to separate us from Him forever: death.

As I finished up my devotional, I was filled with such a presence and couldn’t help but saying, Oh, Praise You, Yahweh! We will wait or go when you command us to for there is none like you. Use us Lord to spread your love and glory even though we can’t see where we are going.

I am comforted knowing that His thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are His ways our ways (Isaiah 55:8) and I am encouraged to take up the whole armor of God that we may be able to withstand any temptation to move before He commands, to stand firm in His calling, fastening on the belt of truth, putting on the breastplate of righteousness, and as shoes for our feet, putting on the readiness which comes from the gospel, and in all circumstances, in every time of waiting, taking up the shield of faith for it is then that we can extinguish all flaming darts of the adversary. We will keep on our helmet of salvation and live by the sword of the Spirit, praying at all times…even in the waiting.

Ashley

 

November 23rd, 2017

Thankful Thursday

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power & to an amazing Thankful Thursday with Trench Classes United.

I love poetry; it has always brought comfort in hard times.  It’s the thought that goes into the lyrical rhythms that occupies my heart.  Writing has always been my happy place where I can sink in and express myself without judgment.  So enjoy a little magically delicious melody. Put on some comfy clothes (preferably yoga pants, an old comfy shirt and some fuzzy socks… my personal faves), grab a venti extra hot Hazelnut Latte and stay a while.

My Happy Place

 

The best kind of magic is faith;

It’s where I dwell, where I feel safe
It’s where my heart can just be

It’s where my eyes can see

It’s where my life feels whole

It is the comfort where I just know

The solidarity within Him, and the love that surrounds Him

It’s a gift of hope a treasure to be hold

A love to be shared a story to be told

Of solace within Him for a weary heart

And aspiration for the burden, a light in the dark

Yes, the best kind of magic is faith

It’s where I dwell, where I feel safe

It is with faithfulness in Him I take refuge; for He is my anchor; He is my glue

My roots run deep in the soil of God’s love
Built up in Him acknowledging true trust

Strengthened in the heart; overflowing with thankfulness

A love, a respite, a hope, a life truly blessed

 

Thank you so much for stopping by…

Love, Kat

November 22nd, 2017

Wednesday’s Word

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Wednesday’s Word  with Trench Classes United. It’s that time of year again, the time where families are planning get-togethers, menus, and activities…my favorite holiday…Thanksgiving. Instead of a moment of truth, I thought I’d invite you in for a giggle or two! I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving

Twas the night before Thanksgiving and all through the house

Every creature was stirring, including the mouse

Everyone was working on all of the fixings

The noise and smells were coming from the kitchen

 

The children were busy with their tablets and toys

Captured in their games, they made not a noise

While the adults laughed and worked all collectively

What a beautiful sight it was for onlookers to see

 

When all of a sudden there arose such a clatter

Mom ran to the kitchen to see about the matter

She looked to the left and she looked to the right

She just couldn’t believe what was in plain sight

 

There was broken glass from a favorite platter

And at first glance, she knew it didn’t matter

Everyone was frozen, waiting for her reaction

But she didn’t give the devil that satisfaction

 

The counters were a mess, preparations everywhere

It looked as though a tornado had just gone thru there

The turkey had flown from the platter to the floor

The poor thing looked like it just couldn’t take no more

 

The stove was a disaster waiting to happen

full of pots and pans, handles overlapping

The old mom would have immediately gotten on her broom

And painted the atmosphere with a bit of doom and gloom

 

But the new and improved mom was no longer that way

For she had learned the true meaning of Thanksgiving Day

She stared at each of them and the mess they surrounded

Knowing her response would leave each one of them astounded

 

Now sons, now daughters, in-laws and friends like family

Is this ever a sight for the eyes of my heart to see?

More than the chaos, the mess on the floor

The memories we’re making are worth so much more

 

Mom calmly spoke: Grab a rag, and a dishtowel too

Because it looks like we have a bit of cleanup to do

Let’s work together in cleaning up this mess

It will only take a few minutes or less

Pick up the turkey, and we’ll wash him off

We’ll stuff him but good and put him in the trough

We’ll baste him all over, and get him ready to eat

No one will ever know we stepped on his feet

 

And when the morrow comes and we gather for the meal

We’ll be able to discern what matters and what’s real

Faith, family, friends, love and laughter

Help to bring us all the happily ever after

 

She looked to each of them with tears in her eyes

And said something that she had just realized

Oh, why can’t it be Thanksgiving every day?

Loving each other in a Christ-like way

 

Patience, self-control, love and joy too

Are there for the asking for each of you

We don’t have to wait for a holiday to see

That Christ’s greatest gift is that of family

 

 

Praying you enjoy your Thanksgiving, no matter what circumstances you are in, no matter who you are with … or not with!

Thankfully,

Evinda

 

November 21st, 2017

Tuesday’s Trench Truth

Thoughtful Thankfulness

I love this time of year, when the weather begins to cool down, creation’s colors change and bright oranges, reds and yellows burst forth upon the leaves of the trees.  There’s a sort of fall scent that comes with it all, too.  This harvest season is the beginning of the holiday season and while I’d rather stay in this “thankful” season, I’ve come to realize that we don’t have to have Thanksgiving to be thankful.

Every morning, I begin my quiet time by being still and inviting Him into the rewind of my previous day. Together we go through the things that happened and the moments where He was blessing me, or trying to get my attention, and/or moments that make me super thankful I am His and He is mine. As I am still, I can recognize all kinds of things to be thankful for, and I do acknowledge them through journaling and prayer.

For twenty-two days now, I’ve seen posts on Facebook talking about the things they are thankful for because this is the “month of thankfulness.” Every day brings a new thing to be thankful for and I absolutely love the simplicity of many of the things that others are thankful for. As this month seems to hurry into the next, I can see that the attitude of gratitude has diminished, like so many other good intentions.

Could it be to practice thankfulness is a challenge? I think that it can be and that being thankful requires more than written or spoken works. It requires action. Do my actions line up with my words of thankfulness? Am I living like I’m thankful? What does it take for an attitude of gratitude to be my constant companion?

Here are some truths that I’ve learned and am trying to live about thankfulness:

Learning how to be thankful for the little things gets us through the big, difficult things.

Thankfulness is a choice!

Thankfulness can pull us out of the pit of depression and brighten perspective.

Thankfulness is an act of worship and blesses God!

Thankfulness is an anti-inflammatory that decreases pride.

Thankfulness is an antibiotic for negativity.

Thankfulness opens the door to more blessings.

Thankfulness can turn a frown upside down!

Thankfulness helps us stay in the moments instead of living for the next.

A little thankfulness goes a long way!

Now it’s your turn; what does an attitude of thankfulness do for you? Remember, we don’t need to wait for Thanksgiving to be thankful!

Thankful,

Evinda

November 20th, 2017

Monday’s Mantra

Today, I want to share with you a previously posted blog because I believe it’s worth remembering where we started in our journey with our God.

Is it mandatory to experience an “AH HA” moment when you commit your life to Christ? I sure hope not, because I didn’t!

 

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Megan’s Monday Mantra with Trench Classes United. Warm up that cup of coffee you’ve been carrying around all morning and join me in my salvation story.

 

***********

 

Jesus knew how much I needed Him, so He snatched me up early…

 

My Mother thought our neighbors were undereducated. In other words, STUPID!

She reluctantly let me play with Bobbie and Tom because they were the only kids in our neighborhood close to my age. I thoroughly enjoyed their company but Mom always wished I had someone more my “equal” to play with.

 

One Sunday morning, Bobbie and Tom’s parents asked my Mom if I could go to church with them. To my surprise, she allowed me to go. I will never forget pulling into the parking lot of a pink brick church. At the impressionable age of 6 years old, I had never seen a pink building let alone a pink brick church!

There were no Sunday School classes, everyone just filed into the church and filled the pews. I can still distinctly remember where we sat – 5th pew from the front on the left side facing the altar.

 

No one could ever accuse my neighbors of being a traditional prim and proper type of Christian family. They worked hard, played hard, and then some. My playmates, Bobbie and Tom, were always into some kind of mischief, which was what I liked most about them. Today was different though. Today they all sat in a neat row, backs straight, hands folded in their laps, and feet firmly planted on the floor, waiting expectantly for the sermon to begin.

 

The most colorful character I had ever encountered, up to this point in my short life, confidently approached the pulpit. His presence was so huge that the pink brick church could hardly contain it. His booming voice filled the city block surrounding him and he wore the largest cowboy hat I had ever seen. His name was Preacher Cowboy George!

 

I know he delivered a great sermon because the congregation was on fire. The only, and most important, part I remember is when Preacher Cowboy George asked, “Have you committed your life to Christ? Have you asked Jesus into your heart? If not, then come on up and we will do it together here, today!” My first reaction was to jump to my feet and head straight to the altar, but not before looking to my neighbors to do the same. There they sat, calmly watching and smiling at those who were making their way to the front of the church. UH OH! I didn’t know anything about asking Jesus into my heart, yet clearly my “undereducated” neighbors not only already knew – they already had! I felt ashamed.

 

I lagged behind on my way out of church. I had been too afraid to stand up in front of the congregation, to accept Christ, all by myself.

 

That lone “UH OH” moment led to a nightly prayer asking Jesus into my heart for the next 16 years.

That lone “UH OH” moment led to some very spectacular “AH HA” moments throughout my lifetime. That lone “UH OH” moment changed the path of my life forever.

 

So, as you navigate your way through the highs and the lows of the coming week, please keep in mind …

 

Oftentimes God’s “UH-OH” moments are actually “AH-HA” moments in disguise!

 

Enjoy this day that God has given you.

 

Lovingly in Christ,

Megan