Posts Tagged ‘faith’

Wednesday’s Word

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

 

 

There are all Kinds….

Revelation 1:5b: “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood and has made us kings and priests” — (witnesses)—“to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever, Amen.”

Thanks so much for stopping by Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and our Wednesday’s Word with Trench Classes United. I just love Wednesdays…and His Word that never, ever fails to steer us in the right direction.

Did you know that you qualify as a witness? Yep, that’s right, a witness to what He has done for you…not what you have done!

I was reading in the Book of Revelation the other day, and this subject of being a witness came up, and He gave me such a great analogy using my job to help me relate and understand in a way I could share with you: court-reporting.  I just love how He does that, speaks to us, about us, for us so He can speak through us.

Anyway, let me share this analogy with you.

There are many types of witnesses, and as a court reporter, I have reported them all. J For example, there are hostile witnesses, those who are angry at being called to testify about what they’ve seen or experienced. There are third-party witnesses, those who say he said/she said; in other words, gossipers, or unrelated parties. And there are those I call unprepared witnesses, those whose answers are 90% “I don’t remember” or “I don’t recall,” and these are usually witnesses for their own case! J Then there are expert witnesses, those called because of their expertise in the subject that the attorneys are there to talk about. And lastly, the most common kind of witness I’ve reported as a court reporter is a percipient witness, or an eyewitness. This is a witness who testifies about what he/she actually has seen, perceived with their own senses.

As I was reading John’s first letter to the churches and to all of us, this thought hit me like a ton of bricks – well, maybe a bit more gently than that – but if we all qualify as witness for Christ, what kind of witness are we?

Are we the hostile witness, angry at or with God because of a tragedy and our need to understand everything?

Do we tend to slip down that slippery slope of gossip in the name of “prayer,” acting as a witness to someone’s misfortune or bad choice, or talking about our own mountains, making them bigger and bigger, instead of looking to the mountain mover? Are we so focused on others that we are a third-party to our own walk with Christ?

Are you the type of witness who forgets all He has done for you, allowing your troubles to outweigh His triumphs in your life? Forgetting to have an attitude of gratitude?

Or are you an expert witness, one who professes their faith and lives it and is paid by His protection, provision and promises and guided by His principles?

Oh, I want to leave a legacy that says: she lived what she knew; she was so in love with Jesus that many considered her an expert in her faith!

Witnessing…

Evinda

Tuesday’s Trench Truth and Invitation, Too!

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017


Sometimes our brain needs a lane change!

Thanks so much for stopping by for Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and our Tuesday’s Trench Truth with Trench Classes United. Come on in for a moment of truth that came to the surface of my heart just last week.

Last week, I had an incredibly long drive to what turned out to be a short deposition. But oh, how thankful I am for that long ride to Glendale. I had determined in my mind that I was going to make it a great time of worship and praise, a time for me and Abba to hang out, and a time for me to hear Him above the noise of life. He’s such a joyous God, with a crazy funny sense of humor, and He will go to great lengths to sit us down, causing us to be still so deep can reach out to deep. And the parking lot of the 210 freeway proved to be that quiet place!

The entire two-hour drive was spent listening and agreeing with so many pieces by Hosanna Poetry, words that worked as coals of fire with sparks of conviction into a couple of areas of my life, sparks burning away deeply-buried resentments, resentments that were close to growing roots but now with the cry of repentance melted away like a dying ember.

There were moments of such deep conviction driving me right there in the parking lot of the freeway to cry out for God to forgive me for what had been growing, unbeknownst to me, inside my heart because of an ongoing situation.

And then there were moments of just thanking Him, of feeling His arms reach out and enfold me in a huge and gentle hug all the while keeping the hands on the wheel of my car driving me to my deposition.

What could have been a real bummer of a drive turned out to be such a time of refreshing renewal…it was as if my brain had a lane change!

Coffee Hour friend, sometimes we just need to be still in the most unsuspecting places and times and soak up His presence, allow our brain to experience the ease of a lane change that will propel our heart right back to Him.  What goes in is what comes out!

Are there people, circumstances pulling on your mind, taking you down the roads of resentment, bitter, angry? Join us to learn how to experience that brain lane change and live fearlessly!

 

Love,

Evinda

Megan’s Mantra

Monday, August 14th, 2017

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 already needed Him, so He snatched me up early…

My Mom thought the 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 – fifth 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 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 coolest 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 was ashamed.  I lagged behind on the 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 for Jesus to come into my heart for the next 16 years! That lone “UH -OH” moment has led to some very special “AH-HA” moments throughout my lifetime.

I’ve not felt concerned with the kind of moment I experienced when I committed my life to Christ. Instead, my biggest concern has been whether or not I am allowing Christ to work visibly through me, so that others might recognize His presence and be blessed by their own type of “AH HA” moments as they commit their lives to Him.

So, as you work your way through this week, remember, oftentimes God’s “UH-OH moments” actually turn out to be “AH-HA’s”!

In closing, I’d like to share one of my husband’s favorite Monday morning texts to me,
“Enjoy this day that God has given you.”

Your comments are always most welcome.

Lovingly in Christ,

Megan,

 

Foster’s Faith-Filled Friday

Friday, August 4th, 2017

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Foster’s Faith Filled Friday with Trench Classes United! You are going to love Breanna’s transparency as she shares about something most of us can relate with for sure, difficult co-workers! Grab your coffee and come on in!
Have you ever dealt with a difficult coworker?

Recently, my office hired a new employee that – well, let’s just say she rubbed us all the wrong way, and that’s putting it mildly. My office is very much a laid-back, small group of women that get along very well together. We are all able to chit-chat while we work, potluck often, and even hang out outside of work. We all have a genuine bond with each other.

Unfortunately, this new employee was not receptive to this type of atmosphere and didn’t care to be a part of anything we did and made this very apparent with her attitude toward us. Talk about some serious tension in the office.

 

I found myself becoming snappy toward her and developed a sense of bitterness that even I could taste. So one night I prayed about it, for the Lord to soften my heart toward her and help me to give her grace. I heard the Lord say to me “Still show her My love.”

It was hard, trust me, but I continued to try and include her. With every attempt to do so, she would push me away even more and almost become angry. But still I continued to try and scale this wall she had built around herself.

 

I didn’t know this woman and I don’t know her story or why she does the things she does, but I was determined to be as nice and loving as I could. Eventually, I became tired of the negativity and considered it a “waste of time.” A couple days passed and she was let go and I instantly felt this sense of relief (sad right?).

 

I reflected on my attitude that night and realized I was treating her like an enemy. With enemies, it’s a natural reaction to want to overcome them and win the fight. But Christ tells us something different:

 

Matthew 5:43-45 43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?

 

The true test of our Christian walk isn’t how we treat our brothers and sisters in Christ, but how we treat those who are openly hostile to us. We were once enemies of God and are still plagued by sinful nature that is at war with Him, but while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8)

 

Who are we to decide which one of us is deserving of God’s grace when we ourselves are not?

 

I realize now that I did not treat or react to my co-worker out of a heart of love or how Christ would have treated her. Instead, I judged her and was so quick to want her gone.  If only I had dealt with this from a Biblical stand point, maybe I would’ve had an eternal impact on her. I missed my opportunity.

 

Finally, consider this; are they really your enemy? They are not. We might not like the way they act, but we do need to love them. Speak life, show love, and point them to the Gospel of Christ, the only one who has set us all free, the One whom I know will grant me another opportunity to be more like Him the next time I encounter a difficult co-worker..

Thoughtfully,

Breanna

Wednesday’s Word Summer of Psalms

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

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

Tuesday’s Trench Truth

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017


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

Monday’s Mantra

Monday, July 24th, 2017

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

Faith-Filled Friday

Friday, July 21st, 2017

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

Thursday’s Trench Truth

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

 

 

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

Wednesday’s Word Summer of Psalms

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

Hiding Behind the Mask of your Faith

Thanks for joining me for Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Wednesday’s Word @ Trench Classes United. It’s a great day for a Psalm! Grab your coffee, (icedJ ) a pen, journal, your strand of faith and let’s get right into the word at Psalm 19.

So within the first six verses we can see that this is a Psalm of praise for God’s creation and His Word. I don’t know about you, but I often miss the small things about creation that are really quite significant when I press the pause button in my life and just gaze upon, for example, a new flower in bloom, or the splendor of the hills, the mountains, the clouds, a beautiful sunrise, the promise of a new day, and/or a beautiful sunset, a beautiful finish to another day of life, and what about the new life I described in Monday’s Mantra, the brand new humming birds born in our Ficus tree? There are so many pieces of creation that beckon us to stop, pay attention and let it soak into our being for then we can be refreshed with hope because we’ve acknowledged our Creator.

I could sit in this mode for a long time; however, I want us to begin today with verse 7. “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul. The testimony of the Lord is sure; making wise the simple. 8The statues of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.

Now let’s try a rewrite and again, remember, make it yours, honest, from your heart:

“Abba, your principles and promises are perfect, and they are continuing to convert my soul. Your words are true, giving me depth in my soul.8Your requirements are right and they make my heart glad. The commandment to love You with all my heart, soul and mind keeps the eyes of my heart open to the things of You.”

There is such perspective and power in the scriptures, friend. I could literally keep us here for hours, but I’m going to jump down a few verses because I found a diamond shining brilliantly in the depths of studying.  Let’s jump to verse 12.

12 Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults; 13keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins. Let them not have dominion over me. Then I shall be blameless and I shall be innocent of great transgression.” STOP!

There’s a word there that has always caused me to wonder what does that mean, secret faults and presumptuous sins? Sounds like a good book title, huh? J This verse actually validates my understanding of what we do in the church; heck, what I did for years: we hide our secret faults behind the mask of faith which lead us to presumptuous sins for the term presumptuous terms can also be translated to say “neglecting something I should have done”!

Another diamond I found is in the word “cleanse.” In this context, it is referring to an internal cleansing. I just love the truths that are waiting to be discovered so that they can come to life within us and be lived out.

Let’s wrap up this rewriting session with the final verse, which we can make the cry of our hearts daily: 14Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O, Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”

I don’t know about you, but I say there’s no need to do anything with that but write it, speak it and deposit it in the core of your soul!

Living in the Psalms,

Evinda