August 2nd, 2017

Wednesday’s Word

 

He Loves to Give us Gifts

James 1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Wednesday’s Word with Trench Classes United. We’ve been sitting in the Psalms for a few weeks but we are going to move on because I just have to share something. See, when His Principles and Promises come to life in my own life, I am compelled to share that He may receive the praise He so deserves. Grab your coffee and your Strand of Faith, and come on in.

I have a question for you: Do you believe, with your whole being, that God is concerned about everything that concerns you? That He loves to do nice things for you, to give you wonderful gifts to delight your soul? And, Coffee Hour Friend, I’m not just talking about in the spiritual realm, but in this world, in this journey, in the here and now! When someone does give you a gift, do you find it hard to say thank you? I don’t know about you, but isn’t it easier being on the giving end? Well, I’m thinking He wants me to learn how to say thank you, to receive all that He has for me so I want to claim and exclaim how He revealed, yet again, that He is the giver of good gifts.

It was just two days before our long-awaited cruise. I was so beyond excited and ready for this break. I was just about all packed and ready. Some of our friends that we were going with had set up excursions, and a couple of them were just going to wing it once we got there. I had attempted to set up a dolphin excursion, but when I saw the price, I immediately hit the back arrow and just stared longingly at the location, and the candid smiles of others who had gotten such an opportunity.  Well, just two days before leaving, one of my girlfriends asked if I had checked for specials on the dolphin excursion. I shook my head and added “I’m not going to worry about it.”

Well, she must not have liked that answer because within seconds, she had the site up on her computer and my longing to swim with the dolphins was rekindled. She pointed to something on the screen, and my rekindled desire suddenly burst into flames! There, right in front of me was buy one get one for $30! That was $150 off! I booked that excursion so fast, I was even impressed. I just knew in my soul that this was a gift from my Father for He truly cares about all that concerns me. See, this wasn’t an excursion where you watch from the distance, and maybe bend down and kiss the dolphin and pet it; no, this was the opportunity to get in the ocean water, swim with them, let them pull you through the waves and even lift you up! I was beyond excited.

The excursion was in the last port we stopped at, Cozumel and I could go on for pages and pages about the days prior but I want to get right to the next gift He blessed my husband and me with. After checking in for our excursion, they said they were running a bit behind, and moved it from 1:00 to 1:30, so we had more of time to enjoy the rest of the park, which we were only able to explore a small section. It was huge, with all kinds of fun things to do and beauty to behold. We arrived on time, and they were not on time, but we waited patiently. Finally they called us and there were about 45 people that they began to put in groups with numbers. They assigned us number 1, and within a few minutes, the lady who was checking everyone in called us by name and said with an accent almost as thick as peanut butter, “Oh, well, you are the only ones. This is lucky for you!”

See, what that meant is we didn’t have to share any of the 40 minutes with any others; we had two dolphins and the trainer all to ourselves…AND the trainer kept us in there for over an hour! Three gifts in one!

It’s been said a picture speaks a thousand words, so here are just a couple to show the joyful receipt of His good gifts to my husband and me on this day, gifts that left memories in my heart for all my tomorrows that I may draw upon when I am down, or just bring back up to the hallway of my heart to smile from the inside out!

Friend, sometimes we are moving so fast, we don’t recognize our Father as a giver of good gifts. What has He done for you lately?

Evinda

August 1st, 2017

Tuesday’s Trench Truth

Thanks for stopping by for Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Tuesday’s Trench Truth, and invitation, too with Trench Classes United. Grab your favorite break-time beverage, and join us for a moment of truth.

Have you ever noticed that the more we talk about our problems, the bigger they get? It’s the same thing with fears; the more we feed them, the smaller our faith becomes.

I know I used to do this in the name of “venting,” and perhaps you have, too. Coffee Hour Friend, can I just keep it real right now? There is a fine line between venting and vomiting! The more we talk about something, the more we are hanging on to it. How many times do we need to regurgitate the same thing in order to feel validated? In order to feel heard? Or, in order to make a point?

Perhaps we need to think about who we vent to, and our motive behind the venting! Today, can I challenge you to feed your faith and quiet your fears? And if that seems a bit of a stretch, mark your calendars for our Night of Purpose which will be an introduction to Living Fearlessly!

 

Looking forward to seeing you,

Evinda

July 31st, 2017

Monday’s Mantra

Another Monday, a new day, a new week! Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Monday’s Mantra @ Trench Classes United.  Oh, Coffee Hour friend, perspective can change everything! Come on in.

Do you ever have those Monday blahs and wish you could just get right to Tuesday, one day closer to the weekend? Ah, last week, coming home from vacation, I began to have one of those Mondays. I found myself wishing I was back on the ship, cruising to a new port of call, experiencing a new culture, new beauty, tasting new foods, marveling at another sunrise, getting lost in a new sunset, and creating more memories for my memory bank to draw from in times just like this.

That’s the time we need to depress the pause button and keep moving forward to experience what He has for us in the now. How do we do that, though, take our “tush” off the cush’, and pull our hearts and minds into the moment, the new day He has given us?  I mean, there I was whining like a baby without her bottle, needing not a diaper change but an attitude adjustment and I just happened to land in 1st Thessalonians 5:18, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” I added my name to the end of that verse and my heart stopped.

It worked!

Instead of staying stuck, on pause, wishing and missing, I found myself thanking and praising Him for the moments that turned into wonderful memories, and even the not-so-wonderful ones I experienced on vacation, for those are the ones where He spoke to teach and guide me into new waters.

Here’s another key that may work to unlock your heart and get it moving past the past: God knows that sometimes, this whole idea of giving thanks can really be challenging, but in this verse He tells us that while in any type of circumstance, including the Monday blahs, we can thank Him for something! See, we may find it difficult to thank Him FOR our current situation or circumstance, but we surely can thank Him for something while IN the current situation or circumstance.

So let’s gather our thanks, press into Him with an attitude of gratitude, for this will bring new awareness of more blessings to thank Him for, especially His presence in our present!

Love,

Evinda

 

 

July 28th, 2017

Foster’s Faith-Filled Friday

He’s Got This!

TGIF! Whew, so thankful for the weekend! Grab your coffee and come on in for our Faith-Filled Friday.

 

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. —Isaiah 26:3

 

Life can seem unbearable at times.  Physical pain, difficult decisions, financial hardships, the death of a loved one, or shattered relationships threaten to engulf us. All of these thing can leave us plagued by doubts and when we are plagued, we may even find it difficult to pray.

 

We become so overwhelmed by chaos that we lose sight of God’s will. I find myself thinking “I got this,” and attempt to try and do it on my own, wanting to control situations with every intention to make it better. Well, Coffee Hour friends, we can’t do it by ourselves and can I tell you there is such a sense of peace we experience when we realize the Lord has already taken care of everything. He’s got this!

 

I know for me, recently I’ve had so many moments where I felt like “what the heck!?” “How/why is this happening to me?” I love the Lord; I follow Him and I try my hardest to show the love of Jesus to others. Yes, I fall short, A LOT! And thank the Lord for His grace. But why on earth isn’t His love enough? Why do I find myself thinking about how I’m going to handle this situation? I start looking to the left and right instead of keeping my eyes on the Lord.

 

I had such a revelation. The Lord wants me to trust Him even through the low valleys in my life because if I can trust him through them, He will bless my obedience and I will soar as if with wings of eagles to the mountaintop. It will be uncomfortable and yes, it will be hard, but God continues to prove His faithfulness in His promises for me, for us. I/we just need to trust him!

 

I’m sure you have heard the story in the Bible of Peter walking on the water. I love Peter because he reminds me of myself a little bit. He is quick to act, often without thinking. He shoots off his mouth when discretion may be the better choice. Peter understands failure. After all, he denied Christ. He experienced forgiveness, and he has the joy of being used greatly by God on the day of Pentecost. Peter preaches the sermon that leads 5,000 people to join the church.

 

Jesus didn’t die for perfect people; He died for imperfect people like you and me. He wants our obedience; He wants us to trust His will for our lives even when we go through difficult seasons.

 

When it comes to trusting Jesus, what keeps you from getting out of the boat? What keeps you from daring to trust Jesus? Today I want us to dare to trust Jesus completely.

 

I John 4:4, “the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” If we focus on the problems then we will loose sight of the one greater than anything!

Love,

Breanna

July 27th, 2017

Tam’s Trench Truth Thursday

Hello, and welcome back to another Thursday. This week I find myself sifting through a troubling circumstance.  Maybe writing about it will bring clarity and help one of you as well.

 

I drive every night for work and as I do I come across many animals. It is one perk of my job that I do enjoy. However, sometimes I come across animals that have been hit by cars. So there I was yesterday morning and I saw a black & white cat lying in the road. I turned around, put on my e-lights, grabbed my gloves and commenced to remove the black and white cat from the road and as I was moving the cat to the side of the road, a woman came out of her house and screamed at me, asking me what I was doing with her cat!

 

I placed the cat down and told her I had moved the cat out of the road so it would not be continuously hit. I told her how sorry I was she lost her pet. All she could do was start screaming at me that I had hit her cat and that I should not have been speeding down her street and now her cat was gone. I tried to tell her that I had just stopped to remove the cat from the roadway so as to not get ran over more. Yet I just could not lead her to understand that I had not been the one to hit her cat. I know as much as I loved my Bella dog that I would have been devastated if she would have ever got out and was hit. But I don’t think I would assume someone that had hit my 4-legged family member had hit them. But we all act differently with pain and grief over the loss of a loved one.

 

I will not lie; this has been bugging me so bad that she thought it was me. I feel like her seeing me holding her cat in some way made it even more traumatic for her. I have prayed about it many times over now. At the same time she sees me this way I feel incredibly bad for her. I still can’t help but see her tears still flowing down her face. All I wanted to do was hug her tightly, to hug the pain way, but no such hugs exist in the universe. Instead I was looked at as the man who sped down the street and killed her cat.

 

I can’t help but think of many situations in life where we are misunderstood or are mistaken by people who are certain they know we did something or that they know the heart and intention of us despite us having a loving and most genuine intent. When I think about this I really feel that I am often misunderstood. So this has just opened up a can of worms for me to sort through, pray about and seek any information on that might help me to better understand my feelings overall.

 

Part of the reason this touches me so deeply is that my family has had me pegged for who and what they think I am. All I can do is continually pray that one day they’ll have an interest in seeing that I am not the man they think I am… that I am not the man that brought his boyish ways to his manhood.

 

Do you ever feel people have you pegged and think they know you and have no interest in really seeing who you really are? How do you deal with this sort of feeling? How do you let it go?

 

In closing here… I ask that everyone pray for this woman’s grief. Please pray that God can bring her some comfort.

Much love everyone, and God bless.

 

~John

 

July 26th, 2017

Wednesday’s Word Summer of Psalms

My Defense: My Defender!

In addition to putting ourselves into the Psalms, I had another idea; we can go through a few verses and maybe add somebody’s name who we are either burdened for or in conflict with. This, too, can provide so many a-ha moments and deepen our understanding of God’s principles and promises to us and for us. The Word does not have to remain an overwhelming mystery to us, Coffee Hour Friend! Let’s get started in Psalm 26, a Psalm about how commitment to God can give us strength to stand up to opposition and examination!

Have you ever felt like you were getting the third degree, like your every move was being watched and/or questioned? Or how about being falsely accused of doing something you didn’t do? It’s not a good feeling, and it’s the extreme opposite of how our Loving Father wants us to feel as He guides us through opposition and/or examination.  David is a great example of one who has his heart “cleansed” consistently, showing up to meet with Abba for his cleansing. Listen to his plea, which is almost in the form of a defense in the first five verses:

1Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the Lord. I shall not slip. 2Examine me, O, Lord, and prove me; try my mind and my hear ,3for Your loving kindness is before my eyes and I have walked in Your truth.4I have not sat with idolatrous mortals,  nor will I go in with hypocrites.5 I have hated the assembly of evildoers and will not sit with the wicked.

Okay, let’s try and bring this home to our hearts. Do you have at least one person’s name that your heart is just aching over, or a person with whom you are in conflict with? Okay, let’s do this!

1Father, when will you vindicate me in the eyes of those who persecute me? Despite their attacks, give me strength to walk in and with integrity, to trust you, Lord that I do not slip by fighting this spiritual battle that has eternal value with my worldly flesh.

Now, if you really want to add more life, put an actual name in there! Let’s go on to the second verse.

2Lord,  help me to examine myself, staying in my own lane, my own car, not swerving into others’ causing wrecks in the wake, so that when you examine me, my mind and my heart will both be found clean, according to you. Your love helps me to walk in truth, O, Lord. I cannot deny that even when I veer to the left or right, your love not only pulls me back, but washes me clean. I’m so very thankful for your steadfast love!

Let’s push pause for a second. See, I don’t know about you, but I often need this reminder, that He is the examiner of the heart and soul, not ME, so by staying in my own car, driving in my own lane – not in others’ business, not pointing fingers – I can come before Him and allow Him to examine me and correct me because I long to have a pure heart, to be found as a good and faithful servant, especially in relationships.

So when we sit for just a few minutes in His principles and promises, the need to defend ourselves takes a turn back to the One who defends us and there is suddenly no need to defend ourselves, but to seek His truth, that we may be found defended!

Go ahead and continue with your rewrite and remember, sharing your heart is not a grammatical exercise of perfection…it just requires transparency.

Soaking up the Psalms…

Evinda

July 25th, 2017

Tuesday’s Trench Truth


A fear of approaching others with a possible problem or conflict can be as a result of a fear of things.
Save the date and plan on joining us for an introduction to Living Fearlessly, a night filled with purpose as we walk you through your relational strengths, and weaknesses with FREE assessments, and share the value of learning about the 7 most common fears each of us face daily!

 

 

 

 

 

It’s going to be a great, great night!
I look forward to meeting you
Evinda

July 24th, 2017

Monday’s Mantra

It’s Not What I Thought!

Thanks for stopping by for Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Monday’s Mantra with Trench Classes United. Grab your coffee and come on in.

Have you ever thought something was a certain way, or thought something meant something else only to learn you were not so correct? Well, I’m about to share one of those a-has with you!

Just the other day in my own coffee hour with our Father, I was sitting in the Beautitudes – Matthew 5:1-13. I just love doing that, sitting in scripture and digging for diamonds.  So these 8 profound principles can also be called spiritual conditions and they each have an eternal reward! What’s cool is if you’ll notice, the first one’s reward is “the kingdom of heaven,” and the very last one, those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake is also rewarded with the kingdom of heaven. I find that so cool.

For the sake of time, let’s talk about just the first one; after all, there’s enough in that one to chew on for a while and strengthen your Strand of Faith with more knots. J

I hate to admit but I’ve never really sat in them before, really studying them, and after doing so, I realize why: Right away, I learned of a misunderstanding I have always had when it comes to the very first one, verse 3: Blessed are the poor in spirit…STOP!

When I say “Poor in spirit” to you, what do you think it means?

I thought it meant those less fortunate in all aspects…but I was so incorrect. It means humble and charitable!

Humility leads us to generosity!

Now I don’t know about you, but I used to cringe at the mere thought of humility, but I’ve come to welcome it for humility is necessary in the journey of faith. As I dug, I realized I had allowed my ignorance to really rip me off. This new understanding helps me to desire this beautitude!

And did you know that charitable is not just referring to $$$$? Nope, charitable also refers to the generosity of our time, talents and tasks!

So who do you know that could use some of your charitableness today? Practicing this will keep us “poor in spirit,” for we can never out-give when we are relying on the Giver of all good things to sustain us and take us to our reward of the kingdom of heaven.

Love,

Evinda

July 21st, 2017

Faith-Filled Friday

Welcome to Faith Filled Friday! Grab your coffee and your strand of faith for some heart-to-heart truths from Jennifer Wyatt!

Repeat after me….Nothing is impossible.

I have always loved the story of Joseph, starts in Genesis 37.  God revealed his purpose to him at a young age.  Unfortunately, those around him didn’t understand what his dreams meant and took matters into their own hands.

Every time I read the story I am in awe on how God uses our “bad situations” to lead us right to where He wants us to be.  I don’t know about you, but if my brother put me in a hole and sold me off as a slave I’d be pretty PO’d.  Maybe he was and that detail isn’t included but Joseph went on to live life with integrity and purpose. He believed he had heard from God… his purpose was to preserve the nations of Israel.  He may not have known that was the end goal but I think he felt it in his heart.

Whether he was in a hole in the ground or being falsely accused, he was living in God’s perfect will. His assignments came with his journey.  It’s the same for all of us.  The journey can be full of uprooting (physical or emotional).  This stirs things up and gets us moving.  Water that has been sitting too long is no good; it’s stagnant. This happens when no water is being drawn out.  None of us have been called to produce stagnant, murky water.

Another truth that has settled in my heart is this: When God wants to change your life He will give us a picture of what could be.  All we have to do is start walking towards it.  Provisions will come and our assignment comes in the journey. Something else that happens in the journey is the equipping! In other words, He doesn’t call the qualified; He qualifies the called! We just need to be willing, full of faith in Him and have the heart of a servant.

Don’t take my word on it…read Hebrews 11.  It’s been called the Hall of Faith.

“The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.” Hebrews 11:1-2

Look at the life of Joseph and you will see that nothing is impossible.  Joseph trusted Him to see him through; you can too!  Trust in Him that your life has meaning and purpose.  Trust in Him that nothing in your life is impossible to overcome.
Filled with Faith,

Jennifer

July 20th, 2017

Thursday’s Trench Truth

 

 

I may use Facebook a little too much but I swear I find the most thought-provoking posts and memoirs. The one that stood out to me this week was, “You can’t use an egg unless it’s broken.” The post went on to say how perhaps we are best used by God after we are broken. I posted this on my own wall and some of the comments were thought-provoking.

Someone posted about an experiment that he saw as a kid. Hold an egg in the palm of your hand and try to crack it…apparently this is very hard to do. I Googled this to read more about it, and I guess this has been tried a lot! One of the experimenters concluded that if you hold an egg in an upright position, it is impossible to crack. It’s very difficult, yet possible, to crack one when holding it on its side.

A shell is made for protection. Eggshells protect life growing inside. Seashells protect the animal inside from harm. It’s necessary, right? At some point though, the life inside the shell has to break out to completely fulfill its purpose. If that does not happen, it equals death.

We tend to build shells around our lives and our hearts. Perhaps there are wounds so deep we want to encase them so as not to remember the pain. Maybe routine and rigidity keep us in familiarity. Staying inside the shell, our own little world, feels safe and comfortable. I am here to tell you, you cannot grow that way.

I tend to fear ‘cracking.’ I don’t want to be pushed out of perceived safety. At times, life does this to us just by its nature. Other times, choices we make cause breaks in the shell. I don’t believe God causes harm to come to us…but I do believe when it does, He uses it to help us and those we come in contact with. Yes, we have to allow Him to do that. How better to allow Him than to first admit we’re broken? It’s okay to be shattered. Let’s stop trying to hold the shell in place, or piece it back together.

I challenge you to let the pieces of YOUR shell fall away. Continue to grow in 2017, and let your growth be an encouragement to others. God has a plan!!!

Jenn