Tag Archive | God’s Word

#SayWhat

Today is Blog Hop day over at Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies! I am writing about a time specific time God spoke to me and I had a “say what” moment.

My life has been full of searching for someone or something to fill a void I have had most of my life. I have searched for acceptance, valued and loved. As a child and a teenager, I didn’t feel accepted, valued or loved by my family. Now that I am older I know they did loved me – very much so – they just couldn’t love me in the way I needed.

I married and had children very young so that I would feel loved. What a surprise to me that marrying and having children didn’t fill that void. I blamed my children, my husband, and the things that happened to me as a child. I was mad at everyone around me, especially God, for the life I felt I deserved and didn’t have. I wanted a life full of happiness, peace and love.  I didn’t want the life I had that was filled with conflict, anxiety and stress.

As I entered my thirties I realized I needed to bury my past and get over myself. I began to rebuild my relationship with my dad, I quit being so angry and I started accepting my life. I began to go to church regularly and read my Bible. For the first time ever in my life I was feeling a sense of peace.

And then my world was shattered at 32 years old when I lost my mom very suddenly and unexpectedly. I felt like an orphan, even my dad and I had reestablished our relationship. Less than 5 months later, on my mom’s birthday the relationship with my dad ended. I was drowning in the feelings of worthlessness, feeling unloved and angry. It was too painful to open up and getting hurt repeatedly. I came upon this Scripture:

”And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away…” ~Matthew 18:9

My life application study Bible notes said explained: We must remove stumbling blocks that cause us to sin. For the individual, any relationship, practice or activity that leads to sin should be stopped. “AHA – there it is right in the Bible. Any relationship – must be stopped.”

I asked my husband “does this means I can walk away, having nothing to do with my family ever again?” He looked at me with sadness and concern asking “why does it matter?” I replied “I don’t like the person I become when I am around my family.  I get resentful and bitter.  I don’t want to hope and then be disappointed.” He asked again “why does this matter so much now, you have been hurt and disappointed before. Why does it matter so much this time?” Tears were running down my face, there was an empty hole in my heart.

Finally I had the answer I was searching for my whole life. And without thinking I blurted it out:

”I want just once, just once in my life to know that I matter, that I am the most important person to someone. Just once I want someone to love me enough to fight for me, to stand up for me.”

As the tears ran down my face, I heard clearly, distinctly and lovingly…..

“I do Veronica and I did”

I knew instantly I heard the voice of Jesus! I understood what He whispered to me:  I did matter to Him, I was important enough, and He did fight for me.  All that love was shown on the Cross. That day changed my life – that was my #saywhat moment and the day I decided to say yes to follow Him.

OBSBlogHop

In Memory ~ Rich Hollinger

What a difference a week makes LORD!  What a difference 24 hours make!  A reminder that our time here is very short and precious.

I want to yell, scream and stomp my feet.  Why?  Why Rich?  Why now?  He was so full of life.  He made the world a better place just by living each day with so much joy.  He went out of his way to help people:  family, friend, coworker, neighbor or stranger it made no difference. He lived a life of service.  He cherished Amie and his daughters.  They were his life and his world.  I can still see the way his eyes lit up any time he talked about them.

And then there was his work!  Or as I like to think of them……the 3 Musketeers.  Nick, Larry and Rich.  all three very passionate about the work they do.  All three giving the best of themselves to build a company that is known for integrity, honesty, doing what’s right and where the customer is the priority.  That says so much about the character of each one.  They not only lived it, they held each other accountable to continue living with those values.  They respected each other but above all they considered each other family.  It doesn’t always take blood to be brothers.

So I have to ask why LORD?  Why Rich?  Why now?  He was too young, he had so much more life to live, he had more years of being Amie’s husband, more years of being Lexie and Anna’s dad, and there can’t be a 3 Musketeers with only 2!!!

It makes no sense LORD!  Yet, I can imagine how big Rich’s smile was when he heard those most glorious words we all long to hear:

“Well done good and faithful servant, well done!”

His smile lit up any room here on earth, I can imagine when he received his eternal reward, for his servant’s life, it was bigger and brighter than the sun.  And knowing Rich I can believe he probably yelled out “HAIL YEAH!”

His work here was obviously done but how do those left behind more forward, how do we go on without him here?  How does Amie, Lexie, and Anna begin to put back the pieces of their without their husband and father?

I know Your Word says: Your ways are not our ways; Your timing is perfect; Your plans are to prosper us not to harm.  I know Your Word always bears fruit and will be there for them but LORD honestly right now I don’t want to give them a Bible verse.  Show me a way I can be of help to them, to be the hands and feet of You.  To live out Your Word instead of repeating Scripture in their time of need.

I ask for Your mercy LORD.  Wrap Your arms around Amie, Lexie and Anna; every member of Rich’s extended family and his Manor Roofing family let each one feel Your presence in a deep comforting real way.  Let peace come into their souls, hearts, minds and bodies.  Remove all worries from them LORD and replace it with You.  Place on their hearts and minds good memories of Rich so that instead of crying through the pain they can laugh through the tears.  Help them to celebrate the man You created in Your image.

In the days, weeks and months ahead I ask for Your servants to be there in the time of need for Amie, Lexie and Anna – just to be there for them in the way they need.  May the three cling together in their grief and not allow this to divide them.  Help them to be patient, understanding, kind and forgiving not only to one another but to themselves as well.  LORD, my heart breaks for them.  I just ask You to hide them in the shelter of Your protective wings and let no more harm come to them, only Your rich blessings.  Remind them that they are strong through You.  In Jesus’ Name I Pray ~ Amen.

“Strong Enough”
by Matthew West

You must
You must think I’m strong
To give me what I’m going through

Well, forgive me
Forgive me if I’m wrong
But this looks like more than I can do
On my own

I know I’m not strong enough to be
everything that I’m supposed to be
I give up
I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t you cover me
Lord right now I’m asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
For the both of us

Well, maybe
Maybe that’s the point
To reach the point of giving up

Cause when I’m finally
Finally at rock bottom
Well, that’s when I start looking up
And reaching out

I know I’m not strong enough to be
Everything that I’m supposed to be
I give up
I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t you cover me
Lord right now I’m asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough

Cause I’m broken
Down to nothing
But I’m still holding on to the one thing
You are God
and you are strong
When I am weak

I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
And I don’t have to be
Strong enough
Strong enough

I can do all things
Through Christ who gives me strength
And I don’t have to be
Strong enough
Strong enough

Oh, yeah

I know I’m not strong enough to be
Everything that I’m supposed to be
I give up
I’m not strong enough
Hands of mercy won’t you cover me
Lord right now I’m asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
Strong enough

Fabulous Friday with Cheryl & Link Up

The Light in a Dark World by Cheryl Bardwell

Have you felt overwhelmed with all the political stories and mudslinging going on? Not sure who or what to believe? Did you have a disagreement with a spouse or family member? Want to crawl in a hole and hide until it all blows over?

I feel that way sometimes. Life just seems too much to handle. Until recently, I found it easier to run away from my problems or situations rather than deal with them. However, I have now learned to take God’s hand as I walk through the pain and fear of whatever situation that I am facing. It makes me stronger not weaker. I grow in confidence, not only in myself but in my relationship with the Lord. There is a Light on the other side of pain and that Light is Jesus. The greatest thing is that He leads, guides and walks me through the pain, frustration and fear.

Turn to Him my friends in times of turmoil for He is the only Light in a dark world.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12 NIV)

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I ask all readers to say a prayer for Cheryl today, she will be having surgery later on this afternoon.  Thank you!  It’s time to for our Link UP party.  To link up your blog click on the link below…..

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Where Redemption Happens ~ Guest Post

Let me introduce you to Laurie Coombs.  I met Laurie at She Speaks for the first time.  While at lunch with a group of ladies, she shared her story with us.  I was held captive by what Jesus redeemed through an unspeakable crime.  I sat in complete stillness, unable to say a word (and for those who know me, THAT in itself is a miracle.)  I saw the radiant peace wash over Laurie as described her journey and knew without a doubt it was not faked, it was not a show, it was the real deal, found only through Jesus.  Welcome Laurie and let her story show you that no matter where you are, Jesus can always redeem ANYTHING. 

I knew something happened. Shaking my head, I adamantly whispered, “No. no. no. no…” But with tear-filled eyes they told me. “Laurie, your dad was murdered last night. He’s dead.”  Startled, my eyes began to dart around the room, not knowing what to do with I had been told.  As my new reality began closing in around me, I felt the shackles of a heavy burden weighing me down, but there was no escape. I wanted to run away. I wanted to scream. I wanted to hit something, throw something. This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening, I thought.  But it did happen. And in that moment, my life was forever changed.

Nine years later, Jesus called me to embark on a journey to forgive the man who murdered my dad. But then, He took it a step further: love your enemy, He said. Honestly, the word “love” in the same sentence as “enemy” didn’t seem to make sense to me. What’s more, the word “love” in reference to the man who murdered my dad was repulsive.

I cried out to the Lord and said, OK, God I get the whole forgiveness thing, but love my enemy?  How am I to do THAT?!? Immediately, His response came, bring him a bible. And this is how it  all began.

What began with a call to follow Jesus into my unknown, scary places resulted in the redemption and healing of not only of myself, but of the man who murdered my dad as well.

I have seen the unimaginable happen. And I know first hand that it is God’s intention to take the horrible chapters of our past and create beauty out of our darkness. Toward the end of this journey, I felt God saying to me, Laurie, this is what your journey has been all about. Changing lives. Bringing good out of evil. Beauty out of ashes. This is where it’s at. Not in your past. But what I will do with your past if you will continue to follow me wherever I lead.

God is good! It is His desire to lift us out of our despair and our pain and bring us to a new place.  A place that is rich in beauty and blessing. Yet, God has shown me that in order to get there, we must choose, through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, to say yes. To say yes, my Lord, I will follow You. Yes, my Lord, I will obey Your commands. For, it is when we lay down our fear, our pride, and our resistance that we are able to experience life as He intended. The life that Jesus died for us to have.

This is where redemption happens.

And I pray that you are encouraged to say yes to Jesus to whatever He may be calling you to and to embark on your own Jesus-led journey.

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Thank you so much Laurie for sharing your story with me at lunch that day and for sharing with the readers here today.  You are a picture of grace and beauty.

Laurie is a writer who encourages others to draw closer to the heart of Jesus. She lives in Reno, Nevada with her husband, Travis. They have two little girls and are in the process of adopting one or two more children from Ethiopia. Read more on her Blog, and visit her on Twitter and Facebook.

Wendy Blight Visits…..

I am thrilled to have Wendy Blight stop by for a visit on my blog today.  There are not enough words to describe the special place she holds in my heart.  Her book Hidden Joy literally changed my life.  If you have deep hurts that are causing you to live with bitterness, anger and maybe even hatred in heart, I encourage you to read her book.  Wendy has a special message today:

Veronica, thank you for inviting me to be a guest on your blog today.  But even more, thank you for being such a blessing in my life.  You have a beautiful servant’s heart, and I am so thankful to call you friend.

As I prayed about what to write, the Lord laid on my heart a woman who feels unworthy, unimportant, average, and most of all without purpose. At one time, that woman was me.   What is my purpose God? How could you ever use me?

But as I journeyed with God through some painful years, years I believed would never have any value in my life, He taught me very powerful Truths.

For those of you sitting in the place I just described, this post is for you.  May you never forget God created you with a special purpose.  He says in His Word…

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 
Your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
~Psalm 139:13-16

God says in Jeremiah 29:11

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.

Sometimes we hear a voice whispering in our ear:  You are unworthy. God could never use you. But Jesus tells us in His Word that words like these have one source and one source only.  They are spoken by the evil one, the one Jesus identified as “the father of lies” in whom there is no truth.  He seeks to steal, kill, and destroy all that is God’s and all that is good.

You, sweet friend, are God’s child.  As His child, you are good.  Satan’s goal is to keep you from believing this and prevent you from being the wonderful creation God created you to be.

Please, please do not listen to him. Instead of believing lies, believe TRUTH from the One Who says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

Hear Truth from God’s Word today:

You are LOVED

with an everlasting love. (Jeremiah 31:3)

You are PRECIOUS and VALUABLE

your name engraved on the palm of His hand. (Isaiah 49:16)

You are WORTHY

for He gave the life of His only Son, Jesus Christ, for you. (John 3:16)

You are FORGIVEN

you need only repent of your sin. (Acts 3:19)

You are REDEEMED

the old is gone and the new has come…in Christ you are a new creation! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

You are SAVED FOR A PURPOSE

one which He specially created for you. (Ephesians 2:10)

Will you believe with me today that God created you for a great PURPOSE…one that only you can fulfill?

If you don’t know that today, promise me you’ll spend time in these verses and ask Your Father in heaven to make them very real to you! As I close this post, I am going to pray for each one of you that God brings here today…pray that this is a day you will have an amazing God moment…where you KNOW that you KNOW He is working in your midst, listening to the cry of your heart. He desires to heal your hurt and bring you back to wholeness.

I am praying for you!

And if you have a story or truth you would like to share on this topic, please leave a comment today.  From the comments left, I will choose a winner to receive a signed copy of my book Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner:  The Transforming Power of God’s Story.

Veronica, thank you again for allowing me to be your guest.  I pray the Lord uses the words He laid on my heart to bless and encourage someone today!

Blessings,

Wendy
www.wendyblight.com

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Thank you so much Wendy for guest posting today.  For all the visitors here today, check back later in the month for a follow-up to this post from me.  God’s timing is always perfect.  At the exact moment that Wendy sent this to me, God had just whispered to me my own special purpose.

Hidden Joy IS life changing, grounded in scripture, written by someone who knows exactly what it means to be fearful and have shattered dreams.  Wendy’s journey to healing shows that God redeem any shattered dream and making it so much more.  I don’t just believe in it, I am living proof, so I too will be giving away a copy of Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner:  The Transforming Power of God’s Story.  Leave a comment for Wendy and she will pick TWO winners to receive a signed book!  Thank you all for visiting today.

Guest Post ~ TAPP

Today you will get to meet a very special friend, Heather.  Heather and I met through Melissa Taylor Online Bible Studies, we connected in real life at She Speaks – yes room 415 WAS the place to be!  Please make her feel welcomed and leave her a comment.  Thank you so much Heather for stepping in when I needed! 

 

The following is a guest post by Heather Bleier from her blog Transformed where her passion is to help women be transformed by the renewing of their mind and the Word of God {Romans 12:2}. She lives in sunny south Florida with her AMAZING husband Daniel. They are expecting their first bundle of joy this Christmas.

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I love spending time with God and I strive to make it an important part of my day. This is a little something I came up with earlier in the year to help me stay organized….even when my life is NOT! I call this little no brainer TAPP…

Time

God’s Word gives us direction on spending time with Him, both in the Old and New Testaments. King David records in Psalm 5:3, that He meets with God early in the morning as does Jesus according to Mark 1:35. The quiet of morning seems to be the prime time for God time. It’s in this quiet before the storm, we are able to receive strength, focus, and direction for the day and give God our first fruits. Now for me, morning makes the most sense…then again I don’t have any children {got one brewing now though} and I can only imagine the dynamic children must add to a person’s morning routine. I also know mornings weren’t the only time Christ set out to meet with His Father; though it seems to be His first choice. Christ was often found ministering to God’s people, teaching and healing them. I wonder at the complete physical exhaustion Jesus must have felt as people were brought to Him at all hours of the day…and night.  It would make sense then that there were times Jesus couldn’t meet with God in the morning and instead, He would take time later in the day {see: Mark 6:45-46, Mark 14:32-34, Luke 5:16, Luke 6:12}. This must be my first step, I must set a Time to spend with God each day and dedicate it to Him.

For me, that is 6:00-8:00am each morning; like I said, I don’t have kids yet! When will your Time be?  Will it need to change each day because of work, school, or family?  Whenever it is, put it on your daily calendar either on your phone or the one hanging in the kitchen, let your family know when this time will be and ask them to honor it by letting you be alone.

Accountability

Satan would have us believe that we can’t do this and he’s right. On our own…we will falter every time, but “{We} can do all this through Him who gives {us} strength,” Philippians 4:13. God is the one who will give us strength to do this and in Proverbs 27:17 He reminds us that “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”  What we need is some tangible Accountability. We need someone who will ask us each day, “How have you spent one on one time with God today?” or “What did you learn and how does it affect your faith?”  Some of us may even need someone who will make us feel a little guilty if we skip our Quiet Time; though for others, that may be counterproductive. Let that person know when you plan on setting aside your Quiet Time and send them a text, email or call them when you’re done, or have them call you, but find what works.

For me, it’s my friend Angie, but whether our Accountability partner is our spouse, dear friend, sibling, co-worker, mom, dad, or whomever, we need to know someone is going to help us stay on track.

Place

We all have those places where we can focus and those places that keep us hopelessly distracted. Our Quiet Time space needs to be set up so that when we sit down with the Lord, nothing will get in our way. One thing I know, I cannot have my iPhone within reach of my Quiet Time area!  I have no internet at home, so my laptop posses no problem, but that little 4.9oz phone might as well be dipped in glitter…or chocolate!  When I get myself up for my Quiet Time, I have to set my phone in the kitchen or some other space in the house where it cannot disturb me. I have also set up my little Quiet Time space with everything I need; my Bible, journal, a light, a delicious smelling candle, extra pens, pencils and highlighters, note cards, a few devotion books, and of course whatever Bible study I’m doing at the time. {My hubby is up and about by 7:00am, so a good pair of noise reducing ear buds and an iPod are also essential for my Quiet Time space.}  If you have a little wall space, you can put up some corkboard and pin up Bible verses, questions, prayer requests, pictures, or whatever else draws your heart to God.

My space is a desk in my living room my hubby bought me for Christmas and it’s set aside for one purpose, a Place for God and I to meet. What Place will you set aside for your Quiet Time?  It could be your kitchen table, a desk in a spare room, a nook in the laundry room or garage; I tried using my couch for a while…but found myself falling back asleep. You could add an empty chair, a picture, or light a candle to remind you of God’s presence there with you.

Plan

What will you do during your Quiet Time?  Will it be the same each day or will you change it up each time?  Here are a few ideas…

  • Begin with a prayer. It doesn’t have to be long; after all, the Lord’s Prayer only takes 30 seconds to say {I know, I timed it}. Simply ask God to join you and help you understand whatever He reveals to you in His Word.
  • Spend a little time each day memorizing Scripture. Need tips on how?  This post just might do the trick: Memorizing God’s Word.
  • Start a Bible reading plan or create one of your own. There are TONs of reading plans out there, from reading the Bible in a year to the top 100 passages of the Bible. Choose one and stick with it: YouVersion Bible Reading Plans
  • Purchase a devotion book or subscribe to a daily email devotional. I recommend the Proverbs 31 Devotions which include application steps, additional resources, and extra Bible verses.
  • Use those pencils and highlighters!  God isn’t going to be upset if you mark in His book; after all, it’s His gift to us!
  • Jot down your thoughts on whatever you read. Whether you read a devotion, passage of the Bible or answered a few questions from a Bible study, write down what it means to you and how it will affect your faith. Write down if it made you happy, sad, mad, confused, or whatever, but simply write your reaction to what you have read.
  • Close with prayer. Perhaps you have people who have asked you to pray for them, this would be a great time to lift them up to the Lord. Have a long list of requests?  Divide them up throughout the week. Wendy Blight has a great example how in week four of her study called Cultivating a Heart of Prayer. You could also dedicate one day a week just to praying; believe me you will be able to fill that time up quickly and wish you had more time!

Whatever your Quiet Time looks like, make it your own, the above are just a few ideas and suggestions to help get you started, they aren’t rules, must-haves, or requirements.

More of Heather’s posts you may be interested in reading: Memorizing God’s Word, Praying Back God’s Word, and Prayer 101. She also has an extensive list of faith resources on her Developing a Faith that Sticks! page.

Would you like to win a copy of Lysa TerKeurst’s NY Times Bestselling book Unglued? Click HERE to be entered into Heather’s August giveaway. Good luck!

So how about it? What does your Quiet Time look like these days??

An Old Tree Stump

I have some exciting news!!  Welcome to the very first “Fabulous Friday with Cheryl.” Fridays will now feature one of my bestest friends, Cheryl.  We have jumped into some adventures over the last couple of years ~ adventures that have thankfully turned out to be incredibly funny stories even through our own stupidity.  I am so excited that she has joined me on this adventure.  A few words that describe Cheryl.  Generous ~ Kind ~ Loving ~ Caring ~ Laughter ~ A Smile that Lights up a Room ~ Inspirational ~ Beautiful ~ Endearing ~ Jesus’ Light Shining ~ A Friend that Gives Everything.  If you have Cheryl in your life, you have more than a friend, you have a sister forever!  Please help me welcome Cheryl!!!

When I was a little girl, long ago, and needed time to myself, I would walk down past the stinky chicken coop into the garden, through the tall rows of corn and the tomatoes, finally past the potatoes and squash I would go. There it was, just past the hog fence, which was not the most pleasantly smelling place to sit, yet there in a small line of trees was a very large tree stump.  That was my favorite “alone” place.

I would crawl up onto the old stump, and talk to God.  I would cry out to Him “Why is this happening?  Why doesn’t anyone love me?”  I would yell, stomp, scream and cry. As usual I felt as no one heard me.  But then I would hear a voice in my head that would say “Are you done now?”  He would say “My child, I have never left you, I am always here!”  He would then dry my tears and want to see me smile.  He would say “look at those silly pigs playing in the mud!”  I would giggle until it was time to go back to the house.

I really believe that God met me there in the middle of that line of trees on the big old tree stump.  Why as an adult do I not feel free to find a safe place to yell,  scream, cry and ask God “Why?”  It may not be that old tree stump out by the hog pen, but it could be a room, a car or even inside my head.  I don’t allow myself to feel these emotions, in denying them I have hopes of being normal.

But what if it is normal to feel these things? What if it is normal to ask God “WHY?”  His Word tells us to come to Him as little children.  What if we all had an old stump that was waiting for us through the garden right past the fence of the hog pen? What if we took all of our troubles to Him even if it means yelling, screaming and asking “WHY?”  What if we were real with God?  What would happen?

I think I would be much happier with myself, my life and my choices if I were “real” with God.  He is still with me every step of the way.  When I remember that  ~ I smile!  What makes you smile?  Do you have your own version of an old tree stump?

And He said “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven…”  ~ Matthew 18:3