Archive for the ‘Encouragement/motivational’ Category

Wednesday’s Word

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

Dying to Live or Living to Die?

2nd Timothy 2:11-12: “For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.”

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Wednesday’s Word with Trench Classes United. I love Wednesdays! Not only because it’s halfway through another week, but it’s our time to really dig into a meal of scripture to apply in our lives. When it comes down to it, the best things learned in life are found in these pages written long ago and still so very relevant today. Grab your coffee and your strand of faith and let’s go ties some knots together.

Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m dying to go…” or, “I’m dying to do…”? I know I’ve used that phrase many times, and probably too many to count.  Life is full of pleasures that we say “we would die” for, and yet, would we?

A couple of weeks ago in our Trench Class, we were having a group discussion about despair, which can be as a result of putting our hope in the wrong things/people, and how we can unknowingly become angry with God. Doing as many of these classes as I have, it takes a lot to startle me, or surprise me, but this particular night, one of our transforming men said something that startled, surprised and saddened me. He said “God didn’t give me what I wanted,” and this was one of the reasons for his current despair.

My first response was: “Our God is not a genie in a bottle but a loving Father and when He doesn’t give us what we want, it’s usually for our good, but that is a tough truth to swallow if you don’t know what you believe or who you believe in.”

I then went on to make an announcement to this class of mixed beliefs. I said: This life that we’re living is temporary, a place where we are to be exercising spiritually to prepare for our final destination, a sort of dress-rehearsal for the real thing.” I then added, “I know that’s hard for some of you to believe especially if you are mad at God, or don’t know what you believe about God, but one day we’ll have to come to terms with the reality of eternity and where we’ll spend it.” I then asked: “Are you living to die, or dying to live?”

But even days after class, his transparency was speaking to me, because if he feels that way, I just know there are so many more out there that feel the same way. And then I came across this portion of scripture while studying something entirely different! I just love how He reaffirms us, confirms His truths for us to share with others.

See, if we died with Him, meaning we crucify our own desires, our own selfishness, our own agenda daily then we are living to die! But if we are simply living for the moment, for our own desires, for our next new car, better job, the latest in fashion and jewelry, a better relationship, or for the possibility of changing someone else, or all for our children, or for our spouse, then we are living to die!

Perhaps all you need to do is shake up those priorities a bit, put them in the right order so you may answer I’m dying to live…eternally with the One Who rights all wrongs, the One Who will never leave me or forsake me. Eternity is a reality!
Eternally minded,

Evinda

P.S. Join me for Coffee Hour Live tomorrow at 10:00 PST @ www.facebook.com/EvindaLepins

Tuesday’s Trench Truth and invitation too      

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

        

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Tuesday’s Trench Truth and Invitation, too! We’re so glad you could make it.

Have you ever been in the midst of a tough circumstance and while in it talked about it over and over and over again? I bet after a while, all you could see was the circumstance!

I was on the phone with one of our transformers the other day, and after about 20 minutes, she let me know she had to go; her neighbor had come over and her son was walking through the door.  I hurried to make one comment before hanging up: “Turn this off for now, because the more you talk about it, the bigger it will get, and the bigger it seems, the more hopeless it looks.”

See, the truth is that when we feed all of our fears, we breathe life into despair and become so focused on what’s wrong that we can’t see what’s right!

Maybe it’s time for a bit of laughter…because laughter is to a hurting soul what water is to a fire!

On that note…may we invite you to join us for our fundraiser, a night of laughter with Squeaky Clean Comedy? What a difference it will make to someone whose scholarship will become a reality because you decided to join in the laughter!

 

Evinda

P.S. Join me for Coffee Hour Live Thursday at 10:00 PST @ www.facebook.com/EvindaLepins

Monday’s Mantra

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. I am excited to share Monday’s Mantra with you which is actually from a former Transformer, Jenn Woosley! Grab your favorite break-time beverage and come in for a few moments.

I was at church last weekend, listening to the call for the offering. The point was made that combining resources can accomplish so much more. It is amazing what a group of people, no matter the size, can do when they share what they have.

The thought occurred to me, why don’t we do this more with the emotional, mental and physical resources God has given us as well? Far too often, and I am guilty here of this, we spend our time criticizing what others are or are not doing. We have ‘the answer’ for whatever we see happening around us. It’s easy to sit high and look low. It’s easier to think that struggling person needs to just ‘get it together,’ or shake our heads at how he/she got in that position in the first place…even worse, offer help but get exasperated whey they don’t change immediately.

What if I have a God-given ability to help? Suppose He’s helped me through a similar situation? Or He’s helped me recognize a weakness in me that could very well be somebody else’s and I’ve learned to outgrow it? Could sharing my story with transparency help another?

When we are divided, we cannot learn, shift or grow. We become stuck, complacent and/or critical. It seems to me that it would be far better to recognize the strengths in others as well as ourselves, and share those. I bet we’d find we could accomplish a lot more!

Growing…

Jenn

 

 

 

P.S. Join Evinda for Coffee Hour Live Thursday at 10:00 PST @ www.facebook.com/EvindaLepins

 

Faith filled Friday

Friday, May 19th, 2017

Hello and welcome back to Faith Filled Friday.

 

When I share something through my blog writings I always try and show the light at the end of the tunnel, a wakening and maybe even an epiphany that came to me. But this post is a little different. It’s about transparency of a different kind, maybe?

So have any of you ever done something incredibly & unintelligently stupid?  When you have so much going on that the decisions you make are done by auto pilot?

As I shared last week, my father, whom I have never met, is going to pass away soon. I have been through the passing of my foster parents, my step-father, and now my bloodline father is dying and he’s now to the point where I was told he isn’t even waking up. I have wanted to meet and talk with my father for my entire lifetime. Never getting to meet him is becoming a reality that I am having a difficult time accepting. I feel this huge loss and it’s been consuming me.

 

The situation has only gotten worse with family on his side that seems to feel that for some reason I am to blame for my father never being in my life and they have even said as much. They seem not able to comprehend why I ask how my father is doing every day but I just want some form of update as to how he is. Despite how much they have hurt me I have reached hard and deep into prayer as one source of coping through this painful situation, but also into my transform classes to try and make sense of all this.

Sometimes you learn things in life, yet it’s not always about learning a specific thing. It’s really the fact that sometimes strength isn’t ultimately in knowing or discovering any one thing at all; that in actuality, it might be more the fact that instead of discovering something — an answer or a new understanding — you in essence create something within. It’s the voice that says “It hurts so badly and despite all this pain, I’ll be alright.”

 

It all ties into the abandonment I have felt not only with my father, but also my mother and many other family members and loved ones. To be honest here I am not even quite sure where my blog post is going other than to say I am grateful for the fact I took these classes as they have helped me maybe not with understanding but maybe more in granting myself the time and understanding that I just might have to be ok with never understanding. Wow! Just typing ‘Never’ made me burst out in tears.

Please pray for my father and the rest of my family I have never met. I am just trying to find and feel the peace in knowing that this time around I won’t have that awakening or that epiphany in this passing of my father. I will never know quite why my father chose to not have me in his life. I have to be ok with that in some capacity.

 

Much love to each and every one of you,

 

John

Thursday’s Trench Truth and Invitation too

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Welcome to Thursday’s Trench Truth and Invitation too. I’m so glad you could join us today. Grab your coffee and let’s go share a moment

In the trenches of life, by whose standard do we measure ourselves? You would be amazed at how many of us out there have an inaccurate view of themselves, so much so that they remain stuck, without a purpose, let alone an understanding of what that purpose even is.

What keeps us stuck? It’s the “I’ll never syndrome,” or the “could of, would of, should of” mantra that keeps many from thriving in life and love and instead, keeps them just surviving.

Do you know anyone stuck in this stinking thinking? Reach out and invite them out for a night of laughter with our upcoming fundraiser, Squeaky Clean Comedy Night! After all, laughter often has the power to change a perspective!

Evinda

P.S. Join me for #Coffeehour Live @ 10:00 PST today! www.facebook.com/EvindaLepins

Wednesday’s Word

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

All that Concerns Me

Psalm 138:8:” The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, Oh, Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the works of Your hands.”

Welcome to Wednesday’s Word and Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. I’m so glad you could join me for your break. Grab your coffee, and don’t forget your strand of faith because hopefully you and I will tie some knots today in an effort to keep our faith intact when life gets tough!

Have you ever lent someone something and then never gotten it back? Or if you did get it back, it certainly wasn’t in the condition you lent it? Normally stuff like that doesn’t bother me. Seriously, I don’t keep tabs or score like that. But – yes, this is a big one J – years ago I had lent a treadmill out to someone who really wanted to get back in shape and since I had become an outdoor runner, I thought I’d let her borrow mine. I was completely happy to do it.

Fast-forward to the last several months: I can’t believe the difference a few years make…especially on the body! I’m like this chronic complainer every time I go to get up, much less do something active, I creak and cringe as I hear my knee pop, feel my back twinge, among other aches and pains. So obviously, it is not longer a good choice to run outside unless I want to become an invalid! But I don’t want to stop running, so I have found myself whining about my treadmill that I had lent out all those years ago, with no trace of it ever returning, not to mention any communication with the person I lent it to!

Needless to say, a treadmill has appeared on my wish list and I told myself as soon as the taxes are paid, I was going to start shopping for one. My husband has been looking on Yucaipa Buy Sell, and other fun finds to locate one. It’s amazing how many people use them for clothing racks! J

Well, last week our neighbor, whom we truly love, came over to tell us she had just put an offer in on a home and she was going to be moving. I was stunned into sadness, but happy for her. She was so excited to be going where she’s going and starting a new adventure. We sat down and she began to show us pictures, and then admitted she had already started packing. This was really happening!  I got up to do something to hide my envy, but what happened next was so unexpected that it made me sit right back down. She asked if I wanted her treadmill! My mouth jarred open and could have caught a tennis ball, let alone anything else that wanted to fly in thereJ I didn’t even know she had a treadmill!

“George asked me if I wanted to sell it a few months ago when he was over helping me with something and I told him I’d think about it; I wasn’t quite ready to sell it.”

My mouth was still open. Now I’m even more humbled at my husband’s sweet heart always looking out for me.

“It’s sort of old,” she continued.

I stopped her, realizing I hadn’t said anything because I had been stunned into silence, and just said “I don’t care how old it is.” I told her how I had wanted to get one for quite some time but had to wait until I paid off our taxes. I literally was so overwhelmingly stunned and humbled by God’s provision with my neighbor’s decision to just give her treadmill away, just as easy as I had lent mine out all those years ago!

But here’s where it gets crazy: My husband went over to get it two days later and brought it home, and I didn’t get on it until two days later and when I did…oh, my good and gracious Jesus, I was immediately brought to tears…humble, happy tears. You see, God didn’t just return what the locusts took; He out-gave what I lent all those years ago. I had just a basic treadmill but this one is not just your run-of-the mill basic treadmill; it is a Mercedes! It has fans if you get too hot, a cushioned pad so you actually feel as though you are running on clouds —  not that I know what that feels like; I can only imagine. But there’s no impact! It feels so, so, so good! There are so many buttons and knobs and gadgets that I will take me months to learn all of its extras!

I just love this truth: God is concerned about everything that concerns us! And when He’s the one repaying, you get more than you lent! The sky is the limit! I am convinced that He cares about every single detail of our lives! Coffee Hour Friend, what needs to be repaid in your life?

Running with Jesus,

Evinda

P.S. Join me for #Coffeehour Live @ 10:00 PST today! www.facebook.com/EvindaLepins

Tuesday’s Trench Truth and Invitation too

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

Welcome to Tuesday’s Trench Truth and Invitation too. I’m so glad you could join us today. Grab your coffee and let’s go share a moment

Currently in our Trench Class we are discussing despair; talk about a deep subject! From despair, we can see where desperate comes from, and how closely related it is to depression. Now, don’t go leaving our time together just because it got a bit serious. J The truth is we’ve all felt desperate, a sense of despair at some point in our lives for whatever reason. And then there are those that have a propensity toward depression itself.

I myself can empathize with swimming in the pit of despair, and I know what it takes to pull me out. This trench truth I’d like to share with you is like a flashlight in the darkness of despair and depression and I pray it shines just as bright for you or anyone you know who struggles with despair/depression:
Despair is what is going on inside someone. It isn’t what one thinks about the situation or circumstance, a particular trial or tragedy; it’s what they think about themselves while ‘in’ that situation, circumstance, trial or tragedy!

If you know of anyone who struggles with depression, perhaps it’s time to reach out and lift them up with an encouraging word about their value! Nothing speaks louder into a person’ life than a statement that validates their value!

Another thing that helps is laugher. Maybe you can invite them to our Squeaky Clean Comedy Night fundraiser! Here’s the info:

Loving laughter,

Evinda

P.S. Join me for #Coffeehour Live @ 10:00 PST today! www.facebook.com/EvindaLepins

Monday’s Mantra

Monday, May 15th, 2017

Thank you for joining us for Monday’s Mantra and Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. I hope this mantra will seep into your heart and rise up in your life.

Many of us have heard the first couple lines of the Serenity Prayer, which are pretty powerful, but there is even more potent power in the lines that follow, particularly the fourth line which reads: “Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace”!  The first time I read that, I thought, what in the world… how in the world… Kind of sounds like an oxymoron, huh?

Or how about when we pray for something…and pray…and pray some more, and when the answer comes, because it doesn’t look like what we thought it should, our focus is still on the issue we’re praying about?

Doesn’t Jesus Himself say, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world”?

Okay, okay, I know, you’ve heard all of this before so let me get to the point: what if we were to look not at our trials and troubles, but through them? If life is a journey, a long road, we all know there are lots of turns, and sometimes we take the wrong turn and have to make a U-turn to get back on track. Usually it’s because we missed our turn, for whatever reason; we weren’t paying attention, or we couldn’t see it, or we struggle in and with new surroundings, new territory, in other words, change. But no matter the reason, it’s usually because the focus of our attention is on the wrong thing: the struggle!

Trials and troubles are the same way. They sort of work like detours, traps if you will, to get our focus off of Him who leads us to and through a trial or trouble, and instead, we are left honing in on that trial or trouble and magnifying it so much that our vision is obscured from our Guide in the journey of life.

What if we were to stop looking at our trials and troubles and begin to look through those trials and troubles as ways to give us a better spiritual focus, so much so that even the hardships were stepping stones in each of our pathways to peace?

Walking the pathway of peace,

Evinda

P.S. Join me for #Coffeehour Live @ 10:00 PST today! www.facebook.com/EvindaLepins

Faith-Filled Friday

Friday, May 12th, 2017

Hello and welcome back to Faith Filled Friday

I wanted to share with you all something that happened to me recently that really stood out to me that was unexpected. Lately I have had to call in and speak with many customer service representatives from all my various bills for one reason or another. Let’s just say that I have had to really bite my tongue and that my patience has been fully tested. It was getting to that point where I felt like jus screaming! Have you ever felt like that? I have been so frustrated with these reps that seem like they are somewhere else When they talk to me like they don’t believe me despite having all previous information, for example, the operator id’s and calls written down and recorded, to keep repeating myself over and over brought me to a boiling point that was about to spill over!

Just as I came to that point I noticed a shift of something different in me at that very moment.

In the past when I have lost my patience with people who are rude or talk down to me, I’d let myself get upset and mad. However this time I felt like this low tide, I guess you could call it. Just as I was getting ready to give them a piece of my mind, I heard a voice within tell me to be calm, that there is so much other stuff I am going through lately that needs my full attention, to breathe and to close my eyes. This voice within was so calming and it was like an infusion of more patience within me. I didn’t pray and ask for it. It was just there. Or was it already there but needed dusting off?

This really got me thinking to how present God is in those moments with us. Was I able to flip that switch because of all my effort in taking these Trench/Transform classes? Is it because I continue to ask God for strength to get me through the tough times…though I never considered a phone call in to a business as a way to get there.

In comparison to my current heartaches — my father who I’ve never met is on his death bed and my family is not letting me come and meet him before he passes, being falsely accused of things and then losing a close friend just days ago — yet there I was fully ready to go off on someone and that Voice stepped in.

Life is full of those small things in everyday life that can add to our faith. No matter what brought that voice forward in me I think I’ll pat myself on the back for listening to it! But I will also continue to ask for not only strength but patience with people and even myself. To be honest, it kind of excites me to think what else this next class might bring to me with a high tide and what it can take peacefully and leave me with during a retreating low tide.

If you all don’t mind I ask you to please pray for my father, my family, the situation and myself. It’s been so hard on me lately knowing that I will never meet my father despite trying.

Much love to you all,

~John Tam

 

 

Thursday’s Trench Truth

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

Thanks for joining us for a quick Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. It’s Thursday already! Time for a truth from the trench and an invitation, too!

Imagine waking up the sound of a gentle breeze rustling through the trees and the beautiful music of birds talking back and forth to their kind, their conversation like music billowing into your window riding on the top of the billowing breeze. And the air, oh, so fresh, freeing, and though you are in a room with others, you surrounded by a blanket of peace, others there for the same reason…to get away, to learn how to live fearlessly, forgiven and forgiving.

Ah, yes life is worth living when we are forgiven and forgiving.  Join us in Laurel Pines, August 4-6th. Sign up today

Hope to see you there,

Evinda

P.S. Join me for Coffee Hour Live on Thursday 10:00 PST @ www.facebook.com/EvindaLepins