Encouragement

Welcoming March 2018… Spring Into Goodness + God’s Perfect Plan

March 1, 2018

March, the month that welcomes spring and the month that ends with the start of Holy Week. Where do you want to be this month? Are you seeking more of God’s Goodness or perhaps you’re wondering why He’s silent and you’re not? In this month’s #OthersCentered Calendar we’re prompted to yes, love others, but also to seek within and discern, rather than absorb.

Download the March “Others Centered” Calendar

Crisis

How to Handle a Major Life Crisis

February 23, 2018
Crisis

Have you ever had to live through a crisis?

I grow orchids, and I typically repot then in the summer when I wasn’t homeschooling. On one occasion, I was on the back porch taking orchids out of pots, and stepped back into the kitchen to get something.  At that time, we had a huge fluorescent light in the kitchen work area, and I saw water pouring out of that light.

My first thought was that my husband would not like that. And then I wondered how water and electricity  would work together cause it usually doesn’t. I ran upstairs to the bathroom over the kitchn. The door to the bathroom was closed, but I heard water running.  So I wnt in and found the sink full of some clearning rags and water over flowing into the floor.

Naturally I turned off the water, but then I heard a big boom. And I went downstairs to the kitchen. That big light had fallen. What a mess. I was trying to decide what to do with the huge light in the floor and water still pouring out the ceiling.  Then my oldest son came up from the basement and told me water was coming through the ceiling down there in the finished area of the basement.

I was overwhelmed. I had stopped the source, but how could I stop the water already pouring through that house.

I called my husband, he wasn’t there. I called friends, neighors. No one answered. It was a Friday and no one stays home on Friday.

This story reminds me of that verse in John where Jesus said that we would have trouble in this life.  I was overwhelmed and needed help. Where is God when life falls apart.

We all want life to be normal, and not have hardships. However,  we groan in this life.

Romans 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.

I found childbirth painful.

As long as we live in these bodies we groan because the world is broken.  A crisis will come.

My guest is Sarah Conaway. She is going to share her crisis and the hope she found.

Peace

Want to Live in Peace? Pray for the President

February 16, 2018
Peace

Do you want to live in peace? That may seem like a crazy question because everyone would say yes, but I’m serious. Look at I Timothy

1 Timothy 2:1 – 2 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.

This passage urges us to pray for those in authority over you, like the president. Look at the consequences. “in order that” means cause and effect. Your prayers result in giving you a ‘tranquil’ and ‘quiet life’. That sounds like peace to me, and living in godliness and dignity sound good too.

People in authority have a huge impact on our lives. In the Old Testament God punished the nation because King David numbered the people. So the actions and choices of those in power can impact our lives tremendously.

 Having leaders who follow truth and do good things benefits us all.

 

Plus, we see our prayers do have an influence.

But our leaders seem so far away. It’s important to remember that they are like people, just like we are. The more you know about them, the more you can pray wisely.

We are coming up on President’s day, so let’s learn something about our past presidents. Rebecca Price Janney shares stories of presidents and their pets. Fun!

Learn more about her here.

 

Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day: Keeping Love in Your Marriage

February 9, 2018

Valentine’s Day has arrived, and so we’ll see roses, chocolate, and fancy hearts all everywhere.  I’ve always found it fascinating and a little sad when men rush into stores with a desperate look on their faces, hoping they find a gift that keeps them out of trouble. However, I’m convinced that red fuzzy stuff has nothing to do with love. (Chocolate, maybe. LOL)

Everyone wants true romance that lasts a lifetime, not just on Valentines. But how can that happen? Many young people are dumping the idea of marriage to co habitation, as if marriage caused the problem.

We’ll turn to the Bible for answers. After all, God loved us first.

I Corinthians 13 says, “Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant,

does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,

does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth.

What a description! Can anyone live up to that?

My parents were married for almost fifty-six years when my mother passed away. So it is possible to have a wonderful, affectionate marriage despite the ups and downs life presents. Staying committed to showing your love makes the difference.

Life Coach, Angela Breidenbach is my guest. She has lots of ideas to guide you in following I Corinthians 13.

Learn more about Angela here.

Pure-Hearted

You Can Be Pure-Hearted

February 2, 2018
Pure-Hearted

Have you thought much about the word perfect. I have always wanted to be perfect, to be pure-hearted, but I fail.  And I feel guilty when I fail.

Several years ago I had a Sunday School for ladies. One Sunday I was working hard teaching. I’d write on the board and then talk about certain words in the text and how that applied to our lives. After I finished, I prayed and dismissed the class, a lady came up to me and told me the dres I had on was unbuttoned in the back. It was a dress that had covered buttons. Right in the middle, I missed two of them so that every time I turned around to write on the board, they could see my back.

That was not fun, in fact, I was horrified that they might be thinking of the bra I had on instead of the lesson I was trying to teach This kind lady fastened the buttons so I was no longer immodest for the entire church. The only thing I could be thankful for is that the class was full of ladies.

I did not want to distract but to draw women closer to God. How can we be pure-hearted? God calls us to be holy as he is holy. That’s a tall order. We want to do right and do it with the right attitude and the right motives.

How can we do that?

Kathy Collard Miller shares secrets from her new book, Pure-Hearted

Learn more about Kathy here.

 

Hope

Discovering Hope in the Psalms

January 26, 2018

Have you ever gone through a difficult time? A situation that lasted awhile? If so, you know we need hope.

Raising a disabled son was like that for me. I tell people, it felt like swallowing razor blades for breakfast. He wanted to be normal, like everyone else. How excruciating to watch him try and fail. His tears shredded the depths of my soul.

I made it through with the Psalms. The writers of the Psalms did not hold back. In their brutal honesty we can find comfort.

You’ll notice Psalms start off with sadness or distress, but end up joyful, as if the author found the answer in his faith. The only one that doesn’t is Psalm 88, which draws a pic of depression. I think God put it in the Bible for those really tough times when we need to grieve.

 

Pam Farrell has written a study on the Psalms called Discovering Hope in the Psalms.

Learn more about her here.

History

Learning from History: Rahab on Faith and Truth

January 19, 2018

Stories from history can be fun, but they can also be useful because they enrich our lives and guide our choices. For example, my husband used to be the computer-go-to person in his firm. And that was great for the family too. However, at times I would attempt to fix a problem on my own, and then still have to call him for help. He always told me that if I had tried something once, I should not try it again. I had already proved it did not work. Duh. I should have learned that technique didn’t work. I always assumed I had done it wrong somehow. I should tell myself to learn from history.

A famous man also once said that if we did not study history and the mistakes made, we would be prone to repeat those errors.

In this case, however, we want to talk about someone who did things well. Her name was Rahab and she lived in Jericho. However, the lady worked as a prostitute, and I can imagine she came to dislike that job. Men may have mistreated her and her home town probably did not respect her.

However, she heard about Israelite’s God and all his wonders. You have to admit, when God made the Red Sea open up so the children of Israel could walk across, somebody saw it. What a sight that would have been. And they probably heard stories about the manna too. Imagine eating food that came from the sky. Plus the Jordan River stopping flowing for the people when it was flooding. Flooding! Rahab heard what he did, and she wanted to be part of his family.

My guest is Debbie W. Wilson and she shares what she learned from her Bible studies.

You can find her here.

Hand

He Holds My Hand in Hard Times and Good Times

January 12, 2018

We need the Lord to Hold Our Hand. If you listen to the news, you know our world is in turmoil.  Terrorist attacks, bombings, and hatred against police dominate the headlines these days. Plus, politicians viciously attack one another. We as women tend to shut all that out, but it’s pretty hard to ignore the chaos in our families. The holidays just ended and many of us had to work hard to deal with difficult family members.

Our children create problems too. They disobey, get sick, fight, have problems in school.

Consider this verse: My peace I give to you. My peace I leave with you. Not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled  neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

So how can we get this gift of peace?

John fifteen talks about abiding in Christ.

Abide in Me and I in You. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine. John 15:4

That word ‘abide’ is a command, and it means to live there, make that place your home. The Apostle John continues that theme through the chapter. Look at verse nine of John fifteen.

Just as the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Abide in my love.

That verb commands us to live, stay, remain in God’s love.

What are some ways we can stay there? Live in the midst of God’s love? What an amazing thought!

If we live in the midst of God’s love, we can find peace in the middle of tough times.

My guest today is Carol Kent, and she has written a devotion based on hard times she lived through.  He Holds My Hand is a beautiful devotional that demonstrates how much God loves us.

Learn more about her here.

Reignite Your Faith

Reignite Your Faith in 2018

January 5, 2018
Soundcloud Image - Jan 4, 2018-Erica Wiggenhorn

The holidays are over, and it’s time to reignite your faith. As mothers, we are probably worn out after doing all the celebrating since we are the ones who do the work. And it’s almost a relief to get back to normal with a new year stretching before us.

However, with it’s so important that we do not allow ourselves to become complacent about our faith, even though prayer and devotions, bible study are all part of what we do. Our faith is so vital.

The Apostle Peter knew he would not be among the early church much longer and he had a message to give them. You know when you face death, you don’t do small talk:

2 Peter 1:13 And I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder, (2 Pet. 1:13 NAS)2 Peter 1:14 knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. (2 Pet. 1:14 NAS)

Peter wanted to stir up the church, and I want to stir you up by reminding you how much we have in Christ.

 

2 Peter 1:3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. (2 Pet. 1:3 NAS)

How incredible that we have, not some, but everything we need through the true knowledge. (epi gnosis – full and complete knowledge of God.  

2 Peter 1:4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. (2 Pet. 1:4 NAS)

How amazing that we can become partakers of the divine nature. By the way, divine nature would mean we are becoming more like God!

The early church lived with enthusiasm as they saw God move, and as we face a new year, Erica Wiggenhorn invites you to reignite your faith.

You can find Erica here.

Reignite

Erica Wiggenhorn

 

 

 

 

 

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