Posts Tagged ‘faith’

Faith Filled Friday with Ashley

Friday, December 15th, 2017

He’s able to take you out of your mind!

Come grab a warm cup of coffee and sit with me. Last week I shared a struggle I was going through and the how it taunted me. Today, I want to share with you how the dreaded event went.  Thank you in advance for taking time and joining me for Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Faith Filled Friday with Trench Classes United.

I prayed the night before for all the strength and courage for the next day. I woke up filled with unexplainable peace. I just knew today wasn’t going to be as bad as I dreamt up, although I was still a bit hesitant of what to expect, I put on the Armor of God and trusted this peace that I know only comes from our Abba Father.

I was greeted with love and kindness. I was a bit baffled to be greeted so lovingly and it showed me that I had really allowed the enemy to fill my head with dreamt-up things that just weren’t true. Every day, I learn to take my thoughts before the Lord. I ask, “Is this true, Lord?” And when He takes these thoughts from me I know they are from the enemy. I realize now that as far as this situation, that as He was telling me they weren’t true, I was taking back the lies and digesting them. The devil is a vicious beast out to turn us against each other, using his lies to make us feel less than, unwanted, or unlovable.

We’ll it worked for a bit, but our God is great! I stepped out in faith trusting and knowing I wasn’t alone; that my Abba was right beside me. That day that I dreaded so much that it kept me up at night, well, it turned out to be a wonderful day.  A day where I met new people and spent time with people I feared. I went in with God’s love and trusted Him. And you know what? He provided all the love I needed.

The Lord is faithful and He will strengthen and protect you from evil one. 2nd Thessalonians 3:3 tells us this.

He always wants the very best for us. He wants us to feel loved and cherished. He sees all the good in you and me. He knew that day was not going to be easy for me. He knew that my going was a huge step of faith for me, and because I was obedient and went, He blessed me more than I could have ever imagined. He gave me a great compassion for someone who has always been so difficult for me. Now I pray each day that I could love her today more than the day before.

Pursue the things which make for peace and the building up one another. Romans 14:19.

Coffee Hour Friend, I learned a big lesson with this past struggle: Don’t consume and digest the lies of the enemy. Don’t allow him to have that power over you. You see, he wants us to be divided, to dislike or hate one another.

Remember, we are broken vessels being restored by a great Father, and every day His grace, mercy and forgiveness are new to us. Why then shouldn’t it be given to those who once have hurt us? Prayer wakes us up with mercies from God that are “new every morning” Lamentations 3:23

We are called to love not just those who love us back, but the unlovable. I encourage you if there is someone who has hurt you and still does today show them God’s love and compassion. Give them that grace and mercy that you think they don’t deserve and watch what God does. It’s an amazing thing, but please know that I know just how difficult a task this is because I have been called to do the same. It is not by my strength or my love that makes this possible but through the Father’s love. All we need to do is ask and He will provide more than you could ever imagine.

Can you take this step of Faith with me today, and don’t forget to look up Ephesians 6:13-24  and apply Gods Armor over you today!

Love,

Ashley

 

Thursday’s Trench Truth

Thursday, December 14th, 2017

Life’s not perfect; just breathe!

Have you ever been told to just breathe, and then do this: hmmmmmmmm? Ah, the power in relaxed breathing and what we can learn! Welcome to Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Thursday’s Trench Truth with Trench Classes United and Jenn Woosley who shares Lessons from Yoga!

Yoga is not about holding a pose perfectly. It’s about focusing on breathing in the moment. The poses are challenging, difficult, yes, but the key is paying attention to your breath coming in and going out. And what is breath? The life that God breathed into us…and graciously allows us to have every new day we’re alive.

Life is not about having things perfect, though we hear a lot about that. Perfect behavior, perfect families, perfect relationships, perfect holidays; the list could go on. Let’s be honest; none of that exists. Living in expectation of perfection or how things “should” be leads to tears and disappointments.

Instead, focusing on the One who gave us our breath in and through the hard times in our lives is what counts. In so doing, we’ll find the strength to hold on to our faith when it’s dark, when we’re challenged and when hope seems far away.

Just like in yoga, one day the pose that seemed so difficult will come more naturally…and so will hope, smiles, and joy if we just focus on and breathe in the moment.

Jenn

Tuesday’s Trench Truth

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

I was in the gym the other day and couldn’t help but hear a conversation two guys were having…about their wives! And I thought we as women were the only ones who vented!

Thanks for joining me for Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and a moment of truth with Trench Classes United.

The first thing I heard one of them say is: “My wife is so f-ing selfish, man!”

I think I must have looked like a deer caught in a pair of glaring headlights, because as soon as he said it, he caught my expression and immediately bent down to avoid my staring. I didn’t mean to look so dumbfounded. It just kind of caught me off guard.  For the rest of my workout, I tried desperately to not listen to their conversation as they both began to “vent” about their wives.

This was a double-edged sword for me, because I’ve been known to “vent” about many things, including my husband, but seeing this with my own eyes, hearing these things with my own ears, well, it was like putting the shoe on the other foot, knowing this could easily be my husband saying this. I mean my husband most certainly could call me selfish.

The truth is everyone needs someone to vent to, but there’s a difference between venting and vomiting!

If we can’t say what we’re venting to the one we’re venting about, perhaps we shouldn’t say it.

Have a terrific Tuesday!

Truthfully,

Evinda

P.S. Join me this Wednesday @ 6:00 pm PST for our F.B. Live to discover a taste of what you’re missing in the trenches.

Monday’s Mantra

Monday, November 20th, 2017

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.

 

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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

Faith-Filled Friday

Friday, November 10th, 2017

It’s Faith-Filled Friday! Grab your coffee and your strand of faith for some great knot-tying in and for your faith! Jennifer has a thought-provoking question to ask us…and an answer, her answer to that same question! Come on in for a few!

How would it change your mindset if you suddenly realized that you were born to solve a problem? 

When I was young I would read history books or stories of people who did great things and marvel at what they were able to accomplish.  If only I could do great things.  If only I had a special purpose in life.  That hope was tossed aside by the realities of my life: Parents who often worked late and weren’t home, bullies at school, an abusive husband.  I have often felt unworthy, not good enough and that having a purpose in life was for someone else and not me. 

Then one day I heard… “You are a solution to a God problem.”  It wasn’t a voice from on high but from the pulpit. I had just moved to Florida and it was the second or third time attending this church.  The pastor went on to explain that all of us were created to solve a “God problem.”  Every hard situation, every joy was meant to fulfill that purpose.

Every person is born with purpose, to solve a God problem.

“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.” (Proverbs 20:5)

All people are made in the image of God. Each of us are born with a purpose and calling that we can discover… or completely miss. The influence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers gives us insight to His purposes for us.

I have an assignment from God specifically for me.  Jeremiah 29:11 states, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

This truth opened up a world of hope and a resolve to discover that plan and achieve it.   I no longer feel like someone tossed about by my experiences.  I feel free to walk out what God has called me to do.

How about you?  Do you feel bound up by the past and/or how you view yourself?  Do you believe God has a special assignment for you?  He does, and He is waiting for you to accept it.

Jennifer,

 

 

Thursday’s Triumph

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

When someone steps on your foot, what do you say? Hopefully you say ouch, right?! But what do we do when someone steps on our emotions, our emotional foot, per say?

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Thursday’s Trench Truth with Trench Classes United. Grab your coffee and come on in for a moment of truth.

After so many times of getting your foot stepped on without any sort of relief, one of two things will happen: Your foot will be so pained, you won’t be able to walk, or…you will finally say ouch and stop people from stepping on it and recreating the pain.

The key is not just in when we say ouch, it’s how we say ouch.

Join us to learn how to live life forgiven and forgiving…for a life lived forgiven is worth living.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love,

Evinda

Wednesday’s Word

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

per·spec·tive

The interrelation in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed; also: point of view; the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance.”

Did you know that your perspective can be affected by your perception?  I know; I see you scratching your head so let me make a confession: I honestly thought they were the same thing! Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Wednesday’s Word with Trench Classes United. Come on in for what I hope will be a powerful blog that will clear your perception to positively affect your perspective, no matter where you are in life!

I can’t take credit for this breakthrough; it comes from Jason Frenn, the author of Power to Change.  Let me see if I can explain it to you in a way that brings clarity. As the definition states, perspective is where you are physically, emotionally and spiritually when you view something, or someone, and perception is how you interpret what you are looking at, perceiving with your mind and soul, from any given perspective.

For example, we have all read or heard of those amazing stories of a person born into poverty, or a not so positive generational cycle of any type; this equates to their perspective, position and/or placement in life. Now, how they rise above it and make something of themselves because of how they viewed and interpreted their circumstances is their perception. In other words, perception is how we take in whatever we take in.

Let me share a word picture that comes to mind: There are many arteries and blood vessels (little pipes) that carry oxygen and blood to and from the heart but they can’t do that if there are clogs in the pipes, so to speak. Life can clog those pipes –perspective—and receiving God’s love becomes really difficult, if not impossible for many. (John 3:16) It is NOT because God’s love isn’t powerful enough to clear the clog, but more because their perception needs to receive truth in order to unclog the perspective.

His love is what changes our perception so that no matter what perspective we are viewing our life’s circumstances from, or those of others, our perception doesn’t waver.

Perception can change your perspective.

But how do we change our perception despite our perspective?

God knew there would be so many of His kids born into unhealthy cycles,  incredibly unpleasant circumstances, which is why He left us the precious gift of His Spirit: to change our perception, despite our perspective.  Could it be that when we feed our faith, our perception is able to rise above our perspective?

What will you do today to positively affect your perception in a way that lifts you above your perspective?

Thoughtfully,

Evinda

 

Tuesday’s Trench Truth

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

When someone you look up to lets you down, what in the world do you do?

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Tuesday Trench Truth with Trench Classes United. Grab your coffee and come on in for a moment of truth.

Recently I experienced a disappointment as it relates to a very influential person, but what sickens my heart even more is this person is the most influential in “the church,” and I know what that can do to the perspective of newcomers.

Why do we fall so hard when those we have esteemed let us down? Could it be that perhaps we have put them on a pedestal that no one should be put upon except our God? Could this be why He tells us to not put our faith in man but in The Son of Man? Could it be that our pride is wounded for having been so deceived and now this person becomes just “another wolf in sheep’s clothing”?

Coffee hour friend, many times when we are let down by those we lifted high, it’s because we see their error as an extension of ourselves! Instead of focusing on the problem we need to kneel to the solution and pray our own souls into transformation as well as the one who has let us down. There truly is no other way.

On that note, if you’ve ever been let down by someone you held up high, why don’t you plan on joining us for the orientation to Living Forgiven, and Forgiving, because a life lived forgiven is worth the living!

I am so excited to meet you there!

Evinda

 

Monday’s Mantra

Monday, November 6th, 2017

Have you ever told a lie? That is one of the questions on a sales assessment test. If you answer no, you are lying. If you answer yes, you are a liar. The best case scenario…you are an honest lair!

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

When I was the age of five, my mother decided it was time to teach me about the consequences of dishonesty. One morning at breakfast she said, “Megan, do you know God knows every time you tell a lie?” “How does He know?” I asked. She answered, “because every time you tell a lie, there is a light that blinks on and off in Heaven.” I had to take a few moments to think about that … and then I asked, “Mom, do you ever lie?” “Of course not!” she proclaimed. “Mom,” I replied, “I think there is a light blinking on and off in Heaven!”

A comical childhood memory, yes, but not without thought-provoking implications. What is the difference between a half truth and a white lie? Are we able to speak the truth if we are not able to be truthful with ourselves? Can we be totally honest without sacrificing the feelings of others? Does saving someone’s feelings actually save them from the truth?

I am currently studying “Speaking the Truth in Love; How to Be an Assertive Christian” in my Stephen Ministry class. Speaking the truth in love means being genuinely honest, direct, and open when relating to others. Assertive behavior is built on the principles of respect, truth and honesty. We are called to be honest with God, ourselves, and those with whom we love, live, and work. When we express our thoughts, feelings and preferences, in an honest, direct, and respectful manner, we empower others to do so as well. The Christ-centered, assertive Christian is one of wholeness and integrity; a person whose words and behaviors are consistent with his or her beliefs and values – a person who accurately reflects on the outside what is on the inside… a person who lives his or her truth out of love and respect for God, themselves, and others.

I pray, Dear Lord, that we may grow and blossom into this kind of Christian, so that our behavior may bring honor to You and to the whole Body of Christ.

But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head – ChristEphesians 4:15

Your comments are always most welcome.

Lovingly in Christ,

Megan

 

 

Faith Filled Friday

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

 

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Faith-Filled Friday with Trench Classes United. If you are just joining us for the first time, you may want to read Wednesday’s Word as this is the continuation of that blog on divine appointments. Grab your coffee and come get comfy as I conclude my story of events that led me to a divine appointment.

With the help of my assistant, I had a rental car, and a new plan set in motion. I was going to miss picking up my granddaughter from the bus stop but I wasn’t going to miss my grandson’s choir performance, even it if meant putting on my big girl panties and driving there all by myself. This would require me overcoming my fear of driving on the Austin freeways that tend to make me feel as though I am riding the most twisting, spiraling roller coaster and ending up where I started off!

You would think that 4.5 hours would be plenty of time to relax, unwind and get over my unpleasant experience, and it was…sort of. I don’t even remember what I did during that “downtime” but before I knew it, it was close to time to board my new flight so I quickly went around the corner to get something to eat for the flight. As I was waiting for my order, an alarm went off in my head and I checked my watch! Terror filled my bones as I realized that I was supposed to start boarding ten minutes ago! My order wasn’t complete but I asked for it anyway, grabbed it and ran back to my gate…but there was no one there?

I began to look around me as if in a bad dream, looking to the left and then to the right and I bolted toward the left looking for an American Airline attendant. Finally, several gates later, I found one and quickly walked up, cutting right in front of someone. I practically pushed my ticket in her face and said: I CAN’T MISS THIS FLIGHT. She sent me to the wrong gate.” The combination of the look of panic on my face, and my tone sent her to her computer and within seconds she let me know my flight was at gate 47B, not 45!  THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING, I screamed silently to myself.

I didn’t even have time or energy to wonder if the attendant from earlier had sent me to the wrong gate on purpose, but of course, looking back, I wonder but I won’t waste my time or energy on that possibility.

I made it to gate 47B with maybe five minutes to spare! My heart was beating faster than a basketball being bounced down the court for a slam-dunk! I sat in my seat, right in the middle of two others – I hate the middle – I was close to tears and in no mood for talking. I got my seatbelt on just as the door was closing and they were preparing us for takeoff. I had all but forgotten about any sort of divine appointment!

But God hadn’t!

It took me just until the plane began traveling down the runway to realize that I was sitting right next to my divine appointment. It started with small talk at first, but picked up speed as we delved into each of our lives. I still can’t believe how much we have in common. But then again, why am I so surprised? By the time we were in the air, my soul began to sour as if on new wings of an eagle.

The proof of the divine nature of this appointment was the fact that her husband had recently lost his dad due to an unexpected tragedy, and my husband had just lost his mom in much the same way: an unexpected tragedy! We both cried as we shared our stories with each other, how hard it is to see our men hurting and how grieving changes a person, which ultimately can change a marriage…for the good or not so good.

The most encouraging aspect of this particular appointment is it wasn’t so much about me as it was for me! What I mean is He wanted me to receive more from this appointment than give. This appointment was for both of us, not just one of us. It was a cup of happiness to my sad and tired soul…just when I needed it most, and I received this medicine like a child yearning for candy. It was such a sweet, sweet time of connection, validation and preparation for the next…divine appointment.

Thankful for my Abba who goes ahead of me and has my back…

Evinda