Posts Tagged ‘spiritual’

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,

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

Faith-Filled Friday

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United. Today’s Coffee Hour is written by a long-time friend of ours, Jennifer Wyatt on a very perplexing subject: Nourishment. Hmmm, come on in for some spiritual nourishment! J

Nourish means to provide (someone or something) things that are needed to live, be healthy, to develop or grow stronger.  Often we equate this with food and drink, but I believe that we are to nourish one another.  In a relationship it means to be supportive, encouraging and affirming.  1 Thessalonians 5:11 and Hebrews 3:13 tell us that we are to build each other up every day.

There are many people in the Bible that nourished and encouraged others.  Moses (Duet. 3:28), Titus (1 Cor. 7:4),Tychicus (Eph. 6:21-22), Judas and Silas (Acts 15:32), Timothy (1 Thess. 3:2) to name a few.

What does it do for us?  Why is it important?

  • It builds up (1 Thess. 5:11)
  • Makes us feel loved and appreciated (2 Cor. 7:13)
  • Strengthens us (2 Thess. 2:16-17;2 Cor. 7:4,7)
  • Helps us remain on our appointed path (Acts 11:23)
  • Gives us courage (2 Chron. 32:6-7; Phil. 1:14)
  • Creates unity and helps fight the temptation to isolate (Rom. 15:5; 1 Thess. 3:6-10)
  • Keeps us true to our calling (Deut. 1:38)
  • Develops perspective and trust in God (2 Chron. 32:6-7)

With all of these amazing reasons, why is it so easy to criticize and tear down?  There are many reasons that come from “woundedness” and bad definitions in our life.  When we don’t love and value ourselves, it is hard to love and value others.  Oftentimes the root of this is because we were never taught how to be encouragers.

Coffee Hour was designed to encourage you and uplift you on your journey.  We appreciate your time and prayers for this ministry as we encourage others through our blogging.  My freedom challenge for this week is to think of three people you would like to encourage.  Choose one of them to encourage weekly over the next three months.  Then sit back and watch them grow.

“My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love” (Col. 2:2)

Encouraging you in your journey…

Jennifer

 

Wednesday’s Word

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

Just Ask!

John 16:24: “Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.”

 

It’s already midweek…again! Thanks so much for stopping by for our Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and for our Wednesday’s Word with Trench Classes United. I truly enjoy seeking Him in His Word and applying it to whatever is happening in my life at the time, and I pray it helps you as well. Grab your coffee and come on in.

Have you ever wondered if you were on the right track, going in the right direction, doing the right thing? If I had a dollar for every time I wondered that…well, let’s just say I’d have a nice savings account – if I didn’t spend it, that is! J

What is it we do when we are felling less than content in the journey, or better yet, feeling like all that we’ve done to get where we are, where we felt He was/is leading was either for nothing or just not right? Again, I must admit my own overwhelming confessions of been there, done that; I got the hat, mug, T-shirt and bathrobe, too!

Little by little, the enemy can chip away at us, and because he slithers into our thoughts, which become actions if left in our hearts and minds for too long, before we know it, we lose confidence and before we know it, we are backing up from our Guide in the journey. Confusion sets in, and now we are left wondering and whining, not sure what to do. It’s such a crazy cycle easier seen once we break it. I wonder how He sees it. I imagine He scratches His head, maybe even smiles a bit as He watches me go around and around and around again the same mountain…just like His children the Israelites!  I wonder if He’s ever tempted to take away our free will for just a second or two, however long it would take to reach down and literally put me and you in the right direction.

But that’s never going to happen; we have been gifted with free will – the choice is ours. So back to the original question, which basically summed up is: how do we know we are in His will?

Are you ready?

It’s really simple: Just ask Him!

I can just hear you say, “Seriously?!” “But what if I don’t hear Him?”

Again, it’s really simple, Coffee Hour Friend, and how I know is it has worked EVERY single time for me:  Oftentimes the right perspective is waiting…in His presence.

In other words, we may not get a “Go this way,” or “Do this,” but we will get the right perspective if we just meet with Him, consistently seeking His presence, quieting out the rest of the world, spending time with Him in His Word.  Let me give you a quick example:

Just a week ago, I was having one of my fits, threatening to quit, and so I said to Him, “You are going to have to give me a hit-me-over-the-head, with a cast-iron skillet, type of sign to keep me in this craziness.” I continued with my pity party: “I just can’t do this anymore!”

You know what? He’s okay with pity parties, as long as He’s invited! You know why? Because if you throw that party in His presence, He replaces that self-pity with a perspective aimed in the right direction. Within minutes, my soul echoed “You can’t or you won’t?”

I confessed…”I don’t want to be out of your will.”

That day, guess what happened? I got a hit-me-over-the-head with a cast-iron skillet kind of sign! And the next day I got another one! And the next day I got another one! As I write this, I can’t help but laugh because our Abba has such a sense of humor. It wasn’t necessarily a cast-iron skillet that hit me over the head, but He made sure to hit me over the head and get right to my heart THREE times so I’d get it!

So the next time you wonder in the waiting, remember, just ask Him. Go be with Him. Your persistence will usher in His presence…and perspective will come, and you will know what to do, where to go as peace follows you.

Your fellow sojourner

Evinda

 

Monday’s Mantra

Monday, September 11th, 2017

Do you ever feel uncomfortable sharing your faith with someone you fear won’t be as receptive as you’d like them to be? Do you feel reluctant to even approach the subject sometimes? I know I do. Thank the good Lord for those who don’t!

 

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

 

Last Sunday, I volunteered for the Women’s Bible Study sign-up table at church. As I assisted with registration, I could not help but overhear the conversation a woman was having with another volunteer at the table. She was lamenting how, once again, she had asked her friend to attend the bible study – and how, once again, her friend had declined.

 

I remember attending my first Bible Study. I did not know the first thing about the Word of God. Over the period of three years, a faithful Christian friend called me every time her Bible Study group started a new study, and every time I answered with a “No.” Even though I believed in God, I felt nothing I did was good enough for Him. I felt all of my failures were indicative of my unworthiness of Him. I definitely had a tumultuous relationship with God, and the point at which my life began to mirror my relationship with Him, I despairingly responded with a “Yes!” When I told my husband I was going to attend a Bible Study, he asked, “What made you change your mind?” I told him I needed to find out why God did not love me.

 

I attended my first Bible Study because I believed God did not love me. Why was I convinced He did not love me? Because, I did not know the first thing about the Word of God! By the end of the first month, I knew how wrong I had been.

 

I momentarily stopped filling out a registration form and shared this story with the disheartened woman whose friend, once again, had turned down her invitation to Bible Study. I encouraged her to please…

 

DON’T STOP ASKING!

 

Perseverance like my friend’s, changes lives.

I know – it changed mine.

 

Your comments are always most welcome.

 

Lovingly in Christ,

Megan

Wednesday’s Word

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

James 4:3: You ask and do not receive because you ask amiss that you may spend it on your pleasures.”

Can you believe it; September’s already in full swing! Wow, time is so precious and I thank you for taking some of yours to join us for Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Wednesday’s Word @ Trench Classes United.

Last week my husband and I went on a little four-day getaway to Cle Elum, Washington – I had never even heard of Cle Elum J Well, let me tell you, it’s a beautiful little town full of history, and trees…lots and lots of trees, oh, and hills, beautiful, green hills, old, old houses, and very nice people, oh, and did I mention wild life roaming free?!

Why did we go to Cle Elum? Well, my husband’s sister and brother-in-law have a ranch out there and they’ve been asking us to come visit them for a couple of years now. So we decided to celebrate our wedding anniversary out there and I’m so, so glad we did!

My sister-in-law actually flew with us – they also have a home in Upland, CA, so her husband picked us up at the airport…in style, with a red Cadillac Escalade truck – I soon discovered that he loves red. Anyway, as we pulled onto his property, his pride shown quietly through his smile as he explained various parts of the property, beginning with the entry gate that has a real-life tractor hanging 50 feet up in the air!

As we neared a driveway, I was stunned into silent envy as I viewed the rolling hills to my left and right, and a long and winding road up ahead, a roof peaking out in its midst, getting larger as we got closer. It was the longest driveway I’ve ever seen! As soon as their home came into full view, I was again stunned into silent envy with every angle that we approached. It was absolutely beautiful…and as we made our way inside, and they began to take us on the tour, my silence turned to overwhelmed exclamations. I couldn’t believe all the beautiful details of their custom-built ranch home. They had spared no expense.

By the end of the tour, I had a real bad case of house envy. Don’t get me wrong; I am very happy for them, truly. They both are hard-working, and he’s the owner of a company he started 52 years ago, a company that is thriving! It was crazy, the teeter-totter of emotions I was feeling: happiness for them on one end, and envy on the other, and what was it that bounced me back and forth between the two emotions? This question: Why does God bless some more than others? Have you ever wondered that?

Over the next few days, this question came through the hallway of my heart, rising to my mind, and threatening my joy, but my faith kept me from falling.  And days later, as I sit here reminiscing over the beautiful moments, now sweet memories in the near past, scripture holds me tight, firm on the ground of faith.

See, while God desires for us to have abundant life, it doesn’t always include beautiful homes, cars, and financial freedom, especially if it is used for one’s own pleasure that is void of kingdom purposes. James hits the bull’s eye straight into my heart with this verse:  You ask and do not receive because you ask amiss that you may spend it on your pleasures.”

Could it be that I’m not necessarily asking for the wrong things, just maybe not asking for the right reasons? Do I want the right things for the wrong reasons?

Thinking…

Evinda