Posts Tagged ‘faith’

Faith Filled Friday

Friday, September 29th, 2017

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and our Faith-Filled Friday with Trench Classes United. Today’s blog is written by myself and Jenn Woosley, a former Transformer of ours who has truly learned the value of transformation. I love what she shares about words, and their power…which are influenced by our attitude, aka, our heart! Grab your coffee and your Strand of Faith and join us for another Faith-Filled Friday!

What we say and how we say it is so important. It’s imperative to remember that others hear based on their life experiences. It’s the reason we get triggered by something that’s said. I was reminded of this in two instances yesterday

There are a lot of people out there who’ve been seriously hurt by the words, tone and actions of other human beings. If you find yourself upset by words, take a step back and understand why before responding. Realize that not every comment requires a response from you.

If a person is upset by your words, take a step back and understand where they may be coming from, why they are upset. And if you don’t know, ask. Often, your words triggered something in them about them, and their life experiences, not something you did or said wrong. If their anger or frustration is that of an abuser, then you have to step away because fighting back only causes more bad behavior.

There are two key ingredients we need to flavor our words with: Empathy and compassion. Both have gone missing in our society. All the anger, the hate, the backlash going on around us is largely caused by what I’ve written about above. We all want “my” say…

Words matter. How they are phrased matters. Sometimes it may be best to say nothing at all.

Think about it.

Jenn,

 

Thursday’s Trench Truth

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Tam’s Trench Truth with Trench Classes United. I must say, today’s blog is a bit raw…but maybe, just maybe it will touch someone out there who also suffers with chronic health issues. That’s our prayer! Come on in for some heart to heart from John Tam.

I’ve been sick for over two weeks now! These long-term sicknesses can be so hard. Coughing for weeks and weeks brings so much pain to my ribs and abs. Tonight it all kind of came to a head as I had maybe the longest coughing fit of my life. I started feeling as if I was going to pass out. But the pain seemed to keep me in it somehow.

 

My coughing literally pulled me out of my bed and had me holding the foot board. When I eventually stopped I ended up sitting on the floor. I leaned my head back against the bed and started thinking. I leaned my head back, exhausted, and the thought came to mind just how complex life can be. Isn’t it weird to think about how pain can even have its place?

 

Sure it is incredibly hard to live with. For years I have dealt with panic attacks as the pain overwhelms me and leaves me feeling trapped like I am in someone else’s body.

 

It’s not as if I think God wants us physically hurting or for that matter, emotionally hurting but I can’t help but wonder if even pain can be used by Him. To be honest, for so many years I can see how it has literally destroyed parts of my life and if I am honest maybe even the best parts of who I am. I have literally screamed at God and asked him why he can’t help relieve me more. But maybe He is relieving me from a pain that was far worse? I keep asking and telling God that I am already humble enough. I even tell friends and family to please work on their health so that they don’t end up like me. I have not been able to find my way out but I must say tonight that it was nice that my pain kept me from falling over and probably bustin’ my head open.

 

Weird to think I thanked God for that tonight…

 

Yesterday found me begging the VA for a walker. That is so hard for me to ask for that as it was hard just getting on a cane. But my goal with the walker is to alleviate the pain a bit so maybe I can walk further. The further I can walk, the better it will be for my health. I know the “No Pain No Gain” plays into all of this. But I just have to take it in bits and pieces and manage my way through it somehow. I could use your prayers everyone, and so can the many people around the world who live with pain.

 

Much love everyone,

~John

Wednesday’s Word

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

Standing Steadfast is Moving Forward

1st Corinthians 15:58: Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and to Wednesday’s Word with Trench Classes United. I just love taking scripture and applying it to our everyday lives! Grab your coffee and your Strand of Faith, and let’s go tie some knots! Oh, and if you’re new to Coffee Hour, all the Strand of Faith is, is a red strand of yarn, and every time you read scripture that resonates in your heart and life, you are to tie a knot in it. After a while, you hold it up and thinking of the strand of yarn as your faith, how likely is that faith to unravel in tough times? Keep tying those knots! J

Are you a believer in coincidence or when something happens that speaks to you, or works out near perfectly, do you sense Him working everything that concerns you on your behalf? Well, I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the number of times just the right scripture has come to my attention at just the right time. This week’s is no different.

Lately I’ve been realizing that for quite some time now, our organization has been analogous to an Israelite wandering in the desert. In other words, we keep going around the mountain and not climbing up it! In fact, there are times when I feel as though I’m standing still, and not sure how to move which makes me want to run! Have you ever felt like that? Like you want to throw in the towel because you feel as though you’re not going anywhere? You just want to feel like you’re moving forward, whether in a relationship, in our finances, His calling for our life…whatever the situation, right?

I saw this particular verse on a meme’ for a memorial service for a friend of a friend…and I had to re-read it a couple of times. My heart sort of skipped a beat, or so it felt, as I read it for the third time. “…be steadfast, immovable…”

It hit me like a surge of electricity: to be immovable in our faith is moving forward!

We may not feel the motion, but inch by inch, in whatever the situation, to remain steadfast and immovable in our faith, trusting Him for our next move is a motion in the right direction: closer to Him…forward!

So if you’re feeling like you’re in a rut, sort of stuck, not going anywhere, I pray that this verse will rekindle the fire in you that you would know you are progressing forward in the right direction.

Thoughtfully,

Evinda

Tuesday’s Trench Truth

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

Thanks for stopping by for Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Tuesday’s Trench Truth with Trench Classes United. Today is the first day of sharing what we are actually learning in the trenches at this time, so grab your coffee or your favorite beverage and come on in for a trench truth.

Have you ever hung out with someone for an hour or two and gotten sucked into their opinions and observations which just so happened to be about everyone else? And then when you said good-bye you felt this surge of relief and realized your ears were tired and your heart heavy?

When much of our conversation is about others, this is a sign of one of two things: either it’s a bad habit to get in the lane of others’ lives, or it’s a sign of an internal struggle to stay in our own lane, our own life! It’s called a preoccupation with others.  Let’s look at that word for a minute:

pre·oc·cu·pa·tion

“Lost in thought, extreme or excessive thought about something or someone”

In other words, Coffee Hour Friend, a preoccupation with others’ lanes of travel, aka, their lives is a distraction from our own!

We must ask ourselves, why…am I so preoccupied with them and what concerns them? Is there something in my own life I’m not willing to look at? Is there something within me that I need to have my thoughts occupy?

Learning and unlearning

Evinda

Monday’s Mantra

Monday, September 25th, 2017

 

 

Watching her enjoy the new found freedom her wheelchair offers makes my heart happy.

Watching the forecast of her future makes my heart break.

 

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

 

My precious Kirby Girl started to show signs of canine Degenerative Myelopathy 18 months ago. It started with the dreaded sound of the intermittent dragging of her back left foot. Degenerative Myelopathy is a progressive, genetic disease of the spinal cord, similar to Lou Gehrig’s disease in humans. Its progression, over time, results in complete paralysis. The ultimate outcome of DM is death. There is no cure. The majority of dogs with DM require euthanasia long before reaching the final stages of this insidious disease. The one hidden blessing is that it is painless for the dog.

 

When I first detected the onset of the disease, I prayed and pleaded Kirby would be spared from it. But as I painfully watched the slight drag of a foot slowly and deliberately progress into complete rear end immobility, I knew escaping the consequences of this debilitating disease was not His will.

 

It is gut-wrenching to stand by and watch someone you love go through something that you cannot fix. No matter what you do, no matter how much love and quality of life you provide, you know, in the deep recesses of your heart, it will not change the eventual outcome. This feeling of helplessness can be so vastly overwhelming!

I am no stranger to this feeling and my prayers for Kirby have changed considerably as her disease forges onward. I have had to relinquish my control and remember who is really in charge!

 

I could write countless blogs on the lessons I’ve learned caring for my Kirby Girl, but I couldn’t begin to count all of the times the Lord has intervened … a fleeting moment, when a back foot is able to scratch an itchy ear … a squat, held just long enough to go potty, without falling over … or a donated wheelchair to resume walks in the park. The Lord continues to hold me up as I hold up Kirby. More significantly, He continues to fulfill my deepest heartfelt prayer, “please keep my Kirby Girl happy and comfortable and show me how to best care for her.” He has blessed Kirby and me with the resilience to face this season of our lives, resulting in an even deeper and more intense connection.

 

As I write this, I can hardly see through the swelling of my tears. I have no idea how or when her journey will come to an end, but I can see in her eyes, she has turned yet another corner in the progression of this disease. In spite of her condition, she continues to accept her circumstances unconditionally, with a bit of spunk and a few cherished licks to my cheek … most notably, she is happy and comfortable.

 

God is always with us.

He is with us when we feel Him and He’s with us when we don’t.

Focus on God’s presence.

He is near to all who call on Him.

God does answer prayer.

Your comments are always most welcome.

Lovingly in Christ,

Megan

Faith Filled Friday

Friday, September 22nd, 2017

Thanks for joining us for Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and for our Faith Filled Friday with Trench Classes United. I can’t wait to share this blog with you, one written by a former Transformer. It really inspires us to be on the lookout for those “divine appointments” in places we get so comfortable, we may miss them: Work! When you’re not feeling well, where do you go? Hopefully we go to a doctor or a hospital, right? Come on in for an appointment at the doctor’s office with Sharon Drachenberg.

 

I was so ministered to through a patient I evaluated today whose walk with Jesus shone, exposing light on my own recent Laodicean – which means lukewarm or halfhearted — drifting. Let me share what I mean:
This sweet lady had severe – and I do mean severe — burns and painful, itchy scarring from her chin to her waist as well as on both arms.  Instead of groaning and complaining, she caught the attention of my heart because she was genuinely positive, thanking God for saving her life. When I questioned her about constant pain and the discouragement that it must trigger, her face lit up and she exclaimed she wasn’t discouraged because she was a Christian.

I countered that even though we are Christians, we can feel discouraged.

She looked at me in shock, then ever so gently touched my arm and said, “Oh, how can we be when we have Jesus Christ?”!

The respect, honor, love, and gratitude of her heart said His name in a way I have never, ever heard before. It was as if angelic choirs lit up her voice and shone light on her face.

At the end of the visit, I thanked her for coming in and blessing me with so much more than I was able to return to her. She was/is one of those patients I’ll never, ever forget. In fact, when I got home later that evening, I was reminded of her in an ever-so-powerful way as I settled down to prepare for bed, which included some Bible reading time. Her sweet voice echoed in my heart as I read a recent note I wrote after a portion of scripture that I had read. I had noted to God how unresponsive my heart was to His name, to hearing His name

I realized that though I hadn’t asked, but had just made a physical and mental note of it, He heard me and sent me that patient today! Right then and there, as I re-read my note, I asked Him to change that in me, to rekindle the fire in me and bring me out of my drifting that I would be responsive to the whispering of His name.

Thanks for letting me share a piece of my work day this Faith-Filled Friday

Sharon

 

Tam’s Trench Truth

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

Hello and welcome back to Thursday’s Trench Truth.

 

Forgive me if I keep this one a little shorter than I usually do. I attended a class reunion and have been sick ever since. I can’t wait to share about that when I feel better, but for now, I’d like to share with you about something I am most thankful for in this life, something that has worked like glue and has held me through the hardships and heartbreaks of life, Music!

 

Music: A Gift from Above

 

It’s not that music always has an innate ability to heal me… but it surely has had the ability to invade me. Its power within me jumps on the swing-sets of my soul, and rocks the teeter-totter of dreams within my mind. Each and every step of the ladder is a gift where it brings me back to the place I stood as a child so long ago… Atop the slide where I can see all the rhythmical beats of my heart… still sliding… still beating the drum of life, still thanking my Higher Power for an ever-widening range and breaths of life.

I leave you with this truth and question: Music has a significant power; what does it do for you?

 

Much Love to all of you as always!

 

~John Tam

 

 

Wednesday’s Word

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

 

Spiritual Math!

And He said to them, with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you, and to those who hear, more will be given!

Luke 6:38

Thanks for joining us for Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Wednesday’s Word @ Trench Classes United. I just love this time of transparent sharing and using His Word in real life situations which I pray encourages you in your journey. Grab your coffee and don’t forget your Strand of Faith, for the more knots we tie in it, the less likely it is that it (our faith) will become unraveled.

I’ll be honest with you; I really struggled with what to share with you this week. It’s the week before class and my to-do list is getting longer instead of shorter!  Well, I contemplated just re-using a blog from last year, so I began to flip through them and came upon this paragraph which awakened my writing soul:

“Have you ever heard the saying, ‘What you put into it is what you will get out of it’? That’s what I think of when I read this verse and really hear what it is saying. Another way to say it or ask it is, “Do you get what you give?”

This principle applies in so many areas of our lives. I’ve seen it over and over again. If you dream of owning a home, you have to take care of what you rent. If you want/need a nicer car, take care of the one you have. If you want to make more money, you need to use what you have wisely. If you want a better job, you’ve got to give %100 to the one you have when you’re there.

And then this thought hit me in my busy head: If you keep running out of time, give Him the first minutes of your day!

Coffee Hour Friend, if you’re like me, busy with whatever it may be, we can’t afford not to give a bigger measure of time to the Author of our time each day! It’s called Spiritual Math!

Counting my blessings

Evinda

Tuesday’s Trench Truth

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Tuesday’s Trench Truth @ Trench Classes United. I’m delighted you could join us for a moment of truth!
Did you know that conflict can be a character developer? Yup, but it takes a lot of practice. If I were to ask you what your first reaction is at the first hint of conflict, what would your transparent answer be? Would it be to run, hid and pretend it doesn’t exist? Do you find that when you do that, run, that is, the conflict occupies space in your head without paying rent?

Oh, Coffee Hour Friend, would you consider joining us for our four-week class Living Fearlessly and turn your conflict into character-development?

 

Hope to see you there

Evinda

Monday’s Mantra

Monday, September 18th, 2017

God –“The one Supreme Being, the omnipotent, omniscient creator and ruler of the universe.”

Wink – “To open and close one eye deliberately, as to convey a message, signal, or suggestion.”

God Wink – “A uniquely personal experience or event, often mistakenly identified as a coincidence” L

 

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

 

I am not a believer in coincidences. Oftentimes, when I am in need of direction, reassurance, or a solution, it unexpectedly comes through a radio broadcast, a stranger’s comment, or a turn of events. I get so excited when I “catch” one of these moments, because for me it means God really cares and He is hearing me! I was blessed with one such moment last week …

 

I’ve learned asking the Lord for help is the best way to tackle any dog-training challenge. Since He is the one who created the dog, I’m sure no one knows better than He how to train one. I am currently training my young, enthusiastic Boxer for competition obedience. Competition obedience demands an exorbitant amount of focus from the dog. Requiring my highly distractible Boxer to keep his undivided attention, solely upon me, is proving to be an arduous task.

 

After a particularly frustrating day of training, I came home and opened up Sarah Young’s daily devotional, “Jesus Calling”. It read: “I am intimately involved in all of your moments, and I am training you to be aware of me at all times. Your assignment is to collaborate with me in this training process.” I stared at the devotion in disbelief. “WOW”, I blurted out loud, “The Lord is teaching me the exact same thing I am teaching my dog!”

 

A mere coincidence – what are the odds of that?

 

I shared this experience with my friend and workout instructor, Cheryl. She told me her family calls these special moments “God-Winks.” I am not familiar with the expression, but the visual it represents is powerful. Through a mindful observation or a moment of recognition, we have access to God’s guidance. All He asks of us is to be aware of Him at all times.

 

Imagine the countless blessings – the gift of peace, once fear is dispelled, the clarity of mind, once doubt is negated, the certainty of love, once faith is restored … all in the wink of an eye – God’s eye!

 

Are you aware of God’s winks in your life?  Has God winked at you today?

 

Dear God, let us have the eyes to see…

 

Your comments are always most welcome.

 

Lovingly in Christ,

Megan