Hearing Jesus Above the Crowd

“And as they went out of Jericho, a great crowd followed Him. And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, ‘Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!’ The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, ‘Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!’ Jesus stopped and called them. ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ He asked. ‘Lord,’ they answered, ‘we want our sight.’ Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed Him.” (Matthew 20:29-34)

Have you ever been silenced by a crowd? Peer pressure, intimidation, rejection, rebukes…these can be powerful, strong forces and hard to resist! But Jesus has what we truly need and He is full of mercy and love.

“And as they went out of Jericho, a great crowd followed Him.”

A great crowd following Jesus. They obviously had seen Him perform miracles of healing, and whether they realized He was the Son of God or not, they knew He was special and powerful. They were curious enough to stop what they were doing and follow Him. They had a need, and they thought maybe, just maybe, He has the answer. I wonder how many realized He is the answer and He is all we need.

“And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, ‘Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!'”

Blind men, sitting by the roadside, possibly begging for food because they had no other options. They were at the mercy of others and dependent on them for their every need. Suddenly, they hear the sounds of a large crowd approaching. Perhaps they hear shouting as people rush past them running toward the approaching crowd, “It’s Jesus! He’s here!” Or maybe someone kneels down on their mat and whispers, “It’s Jesus. He can heal you.” They just know that Jesus is coming near and they are not going to miss this chance!

The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent…

What? The crowd following Jesus tells these men to be quiet. Why would they rebuke them and try and silence their cries of help?

Maybe they are more concerned with their own need than the needs of these two blind men.

Maybe they want Jesus to focus on them and are afraid these men will be a distraction.

Maybe they are enjoying following Jesus and they know if these men call out, Jesus will hear and probably stop. They want to keep following Jesus in a crowd and these men could stop their fun, end the excitement.

They are focused on following Jesus but missing the reason He came–to love people and save them!

but they cried out all the more, ‘Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!'”

They would not let the crowd silence them!

When the crowd said, “Be quiet,” they got louder. When the crowd tried to keep them from Jesus, they pushed their way towards Him even more. We must always do the same!

Beloved, don’t let the crowd keep you from the mercy and love you need. No matter what, cry out to Christ! Find quiet time and get away from the noise and distractions. Seek Him and rest in His presence.

And what did Jesus do?

Jesus stopped and called them. ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ He asked.

He knew what they wanted, but He also knew what they needed. Jesus knows our deepest desires. He hears us and He loves us. Always!

‘Lord,’ they answered, ‘we want our sight.’ Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed Him.”

Compassion, love, healing. Jesus is all we need.

Don’t let anyone or anything get between you and your Savior. Run to Him. And if you’re weary and can’t run, cry out to Him all the louder. Nothing can stop you from getting closer to Jesus. Cry out to Him today. He knows your pain. He knows your fear. He knows your heartache. He knows what you need and He is the only One who can make it all better.

Cry out to Him now and let Him fill you with peace and love, and ease your burden.

You are loved, my friend. Trust Him.

~*~

Lord, I need You. The crowds are yelling and life is hard. I’ve let myself be consumed with the cares and stresses of this life and I’ve let Your loving voice be drowned out by the noise of this life. Speak to my heart, Lord, and help me know the depth of Your love for me. When I’m tempted to be silent, help me cry out to You all the more. Thank You for loving me. Be near, I pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Feeling Loved and Loving Others

“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4)

~*~

People in our town are crazy, selfish, dangerous drivers. Everyone is in a hurry and there is very little, if any, courtesy or even obedience for the laws. It’s dangerous and now that I have 2 teenage drivers, it has definitely strengthened my prayer life!

I don’t think our town is an exception. When we travel, we see the same, “Get out of my way; I matter but you don’t; I’m more important,” attitudes. Not just on the roads, but practically everywhere we go.

When was the last time a stranger smiled at you? I mean really smiled? It’s rare. So rare, in fact, when it happens it stands out!

It’s a heartbreaking symptom of our busyness and stress…and our selfishness.

When was the last time you intentionally smiled, I mean really smiled, at someone else?—The stressed out cashier, the angry man in line who is grumbling and cursing, the mom with three screaming kids—they may smile back, or they might stare at you like you’re up to something and look away. They might not even seem to notice.

BUT…you just might change their day. One simple kindness, an acknowledgement they exist, something as simple as a smile can start a chain reaction effect that you will never see the result of.

AND…it will uplift you. You will feel better and lighter. Try it!

We are supposed to love, and we are also supposed to be loved. We are supposed to feel cherished, protected, truly loved, and we are supposed to make others feel the same way!

Where do we start?

  • First, we must keep God first. He is the only One truly capable of loving us the way we need. He is only One who has and is everything we need. He must be our source of completeness, wholeness, and fullness. Our identity is in Him!
  • Then, as our faith grows, our love grows. We start to develop the supernatural ability to think of other people and care about their needs, to love them.

We must be intentional about loving God, and loving others. Selfishness comes natural; real love is supernatural!

We spend much of our day craving, earning, and checking for “likes” and “shares” but we aren’t taking time to connect and encourage real, flesh and blood, emotional, eternal people!

Real life relationships are hard. They’re messy. They take time. But we need them!

Let’s be intentional about developing and growing our REAL relationships.

  • Smile at people. Talk to them. And listen.
  • Ask God to reveal people in your life who need an encouraging word. Then text, or even better, call them. Send them a card. Let them know they’re loved.
  • Be transparent—this one might be the hardest, but it’s so important! People can’t know you’re needs if all they see is your smiling face on Instagram or Facebook!
  • Be kind.

My friend, even if you can’t name or picture the face of a single person right now who puts your needs ahead of their own, remember, Jesus is the truest Friend. He is first and He is last and He is everything in between! He will never leave you or forsake you.

And, dear one, if you put God first and focus on your relationship with Him, He will absolutely, without fail, give you the desires of your heart! He will show you what you need, He will help you want what He wants, and then He will fulfill all your needs.

Those are promises, not from me, but from God Himself! Trust Him!

  • “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)
  • “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
  • “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)
  • “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)

You are loved. You are not alone. Lift your head and run to Jesus. He is with you and He will never, ever leave you. He loves you so much He died for you!

Let Him fill you and renew you to  go love others more than you love yourself, and let Him show you just how much you are loved!  

 

Adobe Spark (14)

Finding Strength in Discouragement

“And as they went out of Jericho, a great crowd followed Him. And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, ‘Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!’ The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, ‘Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!'”

Have you ever been silenced by a crowd? We all have! Peer pressure, intimidation, rejection, rebukes…it hurts. It’s scary. These real and strong forces can be hard to stand up to, hard to overcome.

But Jesus has what we truly need. He is what we need. When life is pulling us away from Him, and distractions are….well, distracting, How do we stand firm?

How do we silence the noise to hear Jesus? Let’s follow Jesus out of Jericho with those in Matthew 20 for encouragement…

“And as they went out of Jericho, a great crowd followed Him.”

There is a great crowd following Jesus. They have no doubt heard of His power, maybe they’ve even seen Him heal a leper or raise a boy from the dead. Whether they realized He was the Son of God or not, they knew He was special and powerful. They were curious enough to stop what they were doing and follow Him. They each had a need, and they thought maybe, just maybe, He has the answer. I wonder how many realized He is the answer.

“And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, ‘Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!'”

Blind men, sitting by the roadside, probably begging for food because they had no other options. They were at the mercy of others and dependent on them for their every need.

Suddenly, they hear the sounds of a large crowd approaching. Perhaps they hear shouting as people rush past them, running toward the approaching crowd, “It’s Jesus! He’s here!” Or maybe someone kneels down on their mat and gently whispers, “It’s Jesus. He can heal you.”

They just know that Jesus is coming near and they are not going to miss this chance! But, The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent…

The crowd following Jesus tells these men to be quiet. What? They know Jesus can heal. Why would they rebuke these men and try to silence their cries of help?

  • Maybe their own needs blind them to the needs of these two blind men.
  • Maybe they want Jesus to focus on them and are afraid these men will be a distraction.
  • Maybe they are simply enjoying following Jesus, and they know if these men call out, Jesus will hear and probably stop. They like being in the crowd, and these men could stop their fun, might end the excitement.

The crowd is focused on following Jesus while missing the reason He came–to love people and save them!

And what do these blind men do, these men who so desperately need Jesus, but are also dependent on the men yelling at them to “Be quiet”?

but they cried out all the more, ‘Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!'”

  • When the crowd said, “Be quiet,” they got louder.
  • When the crowd tried to keep them from Jesus, they pushed their way towards Him even more.

We must do the same! 

Beloved, don’t let the crowd keep you from the mercy and love you need. Whatever and whoever is pulling you away from Jesus, stand firm! They don’t have your best interest at heart. Whatever their motivation–pain, fear, loneliness, jealousy, or a host of other negative emotions–don’t let loud screams of negativity cause you to miss the love and hope that Jesus is offering. Nothing–no thing and no one–can keep us from the love of Christ… unless we let it! Don’t allow anything to keep you from the hope and joy that are yours in Christ.

Run hard after Jesus as if nothing else matters! He will take care of the crowd, and He will take care of you. Distractions, hardships, unbelievers…so many trying to silence or stop us from getting to Him. Run all the harder, cry out all the more…He is who we need!

Father, this world is loud and the distractions are constant. Please strengthen me to hear You above the noise of the crowd. Help me stand strong and firm against the forces pulling me away. Give me such a strong desire for You that nothing and no one can keep me from You. I cry out to You for mercy and I thank You that You love me and You hear me. Strengthen me, Lord, to follow You even when it is against the crowd. In Jesus’ mighty beautiful name, Amen.

Be alert

~*~

The crowd was discouraging the blind men from seeking Jesus. That is the opposite of love and friendship! We must encourage each other and push one another closer and closer to Him. What does this look like? In the next post, let’s look at that and we’ll see what it looks like to love others more than ourselves. Until then, I pray abundant blessings for you, and may we both run after Jesus as if nothing is more important…because nothing is!

Bearing Fruit, Looking like Christ

What does a Christian look like? As believers, what are we supposed to sound like? Who are we supposed to act like?

The obvious answer is, of course, Jesus! We are to be like Christ in every way. The Holy Spirit is constantly transforming us. Through every trial and struggle, every joy and celebration,  He is molding and shaping us more and more into the image of Christ.

So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

But do we look, sound, and act like Christ? Are we more like Him today than yesterday? What characteristics should be the most obvious, the most prominent, the most well-known?

Joy, peace, kindness, forgiveness…we know what we are supposed to be like. But, is this who we are? Who we’re becoming?

We absolutely cannot achieve this on our own. We will never become the people we are supposed to be without the transforming power of God in our lives–never. We can’t do it. And trying to follow the rules, or “faking it” to be someone we’re not won’t do anything but wear us out to exhaustion and reinforce the world’s view that Christians are nothing more than hypocrites. The more we try on our own, in our own strength, the less we look like Jesus.

We are the children of God, redeemed, restored, and brand new creations filled with the Holy Spirit, equipped for every good work God calls us to do. But we need His constant presence and refilling to be who we are supposed to be.

  • The world constantly bombards and attacks, so we constantly need God’s abiding presence in us.

Transformation and growth are the work of the Holy Spirit! The characteristics we desire and long for–love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control–it’s not our job to create these. These are fruits of the Spirit in our lives. It’s His job to grow the fruit. It’s our job to be fertile ground where they can grow. Our job is simply to let Him do His!

What a relief! It’s not as easy as it sounds though. We like to be in control and we like to get credit for a job well done. We want to do something, when we are simply called to be someone. We must surrender. That’s it. Simply surrender to His work in our lives and trust Him for the outcome. But oh how hard that can be sometimes! It requires trust, faith, and putting aside our own desires, knowing He is good and knows what’s best. Like a child trusting her parents, we must trust our Heavenly Father.

As He transforms us on the inside, His fruits begin to grow, then show, until we are known by His love.

The Holy Spirit will transform us into the image of Christ. He will produce in us the fruits of His love. But He works on us from the inside out. As we put aside our sinful desires and seek after Him, He will create the love, joy, and all the other outward displays of the inward transformation going on.

But please don’t miss the fact that the work, the sanctifying, transforming work of the Holy Spirit, is constantly going on in us, so His love can be seen through us.

We can’t obey enough, do enough, or ever serve enough to create these things in ourselves. we must give Him control to do it from the inside.

Just as a seed grows in the ground and is active long before anything appears above the ground, we must be actively seeking Him in private. We can’t enjoy the fruits if we haven’t planted, watered, and cared for the seed.

What does that mean?

We must…

Pray

Spend time talking with and listening to Him. He already knows our deepest thoughts and desires. We can’t hide. We can’t make Him love us more and He can’t love us less. Share with Him. Talk to Him. And most importantly, listen. His Holy Spirit will make known hidden things and reveal wisdom. He is our Comforter and Teacher. Listen and enjoy His presence. Every second in His presence is worth a lifetime!

Read

His Word is a living, life-changing love letter written to you. He knows your name and He knows your heart and He knows what you need. He will “speak” to you through His Word, and He has so much to say! Don’t let His letter sit unread. Every word is true and life changing. His will for you, His love for you, His desire for you…it’s all there. Deep wisdom and indescribable joys are ready to be discovered. He wants to reveal so much to you. Set aside a special time each and every day to read and devour His Word. It’s sweeter than honey and sharper than any two-edged sword. Read it. Study it. Memorize it. He’s in every word and it will absolutely change us from the inside out!

Believe

Simply believe Him. Beth Moore’s study “Believing God” has so many powerful, wonderful truths. If you’ve done it, this is familiar and worth memorizing: “God is who He says He is. God can do what He says He can do. I am who God says I am. I can do all things through Christ. God’s Word is alive and active in me.” (Beth Moore, Believing God). Just believe Him.

Trust

Trust Him. When we believe He is good and know He is faithful, we can rest in Him and just trust Him. We don’t have to live in fear and worry, scrambling to figure out the details. We can simply trust Him and know He is working for our good. Let it all go and rest in Him. Peace beyond understanding that can’t be explained in human terms is ours when we trust Him.

~*~

My dear friend, stop worrying. Stop trying to do everything in your own strength. You are already enough. Rather, rest in God and spend time in His presence. He will do a mighty work in you, and then He will do amazing things through you. Let Him be your strength and you will be stronger than you ever imagined you could be! His fruit will sprout and grow in your life, and you will look, sound, act, and love like Jesus!

Fruit of the

 

 

The Curse of Comfort: Does God Want Us Comfortable?

Does God want us comfortable?

In sickness, we pray for healing. In times of hardship, we pray for comfort.  In times of pain, we seek relief. We so often beg God, “Take this discomfort; give me peace and comfort.” Those are good prayers and God is able! He is our Healer and our Comforter! He wants us to feel loved. He desires we know His peace, His love, protection, and His blessings.

But… does God really want us comfortable?

I think the answer is no.

He wants so much more for us than just comfort!

He wants us holy.  He wants us righteous.  He wants us to be loving, forgiving, kind, compassionate, joyful people.  He wants us to be rested, strong, victorious, and living in freedom…but nowhere in Scripture does it say He wants us comfortable.  I don’t know of a single verse about our personal comfort.

Jesus Himself was anything but comfortable.  Quite the opposite–He gave up His comfort, His throne in heaven, to come to earth and be beaten, tortured, belittled, spit upon, and crucified on a cross just to save us.

He did not choose comfort and I don’t think we are supposed to either!

Comfort leads to complacency, and complacency leads to sin.  When our focus is on our own comfort, we lose sight of the very people we are called to love.  We can’t care for the orphans, widows, hungry, homeless, lonely…we can’t love like Christ loves us if we’re preoccupied with our own comfort.

Comfort must be an action verb!

As Christians, “comfort” must be a verb.  We are to comfort, not be comfortable!  We must give up our comfort to comfort another. We must give up our comfort to love others. We must give up our comfort, and follow Jesus. Jesus never told us to be comfortable. Quite the opposite. Jesus told us to take up our cross and follow Him!

When God is first in our lives, we will be less concerned with our own comfort; we will be consumed with the needs of others and the eternal comfort of the lost!

Rather than tossing and turning at night worried about ourselves, we will spend hours on our knees praying for those who don’t know Jesus.  We will wonder about every person we meet, “Do they know Jesus?”  “Is she going to heaven?” And we will have the boldness and courage to find out.

No more worrying about what people think.  No more fear of rejection. No more ignoring the eternal damnation for people who don’t know Jesus. If we truly believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we will love others enough to share the truth. We must love them enough to care what happens to them, both in this life, and in eternity to come. The consequences of rejecting Christ–eternal separation from God, eternity in hell–must overshadow and overpower any social etiquette rule.

So, are we called to a life of misery and pain?

Not at all! Yes, we will face trials, tribulations, and hardships. Jesus has told us that. But He also tells us we can find rest in Him. We have His perfect peace that surpasses all understanding and guards our minds and hearts in Him.

Through our trials we have peace. In our deepest pain, we find He is close to the brokenhearted. In our loneliness, we find He is our friend. In our weakness, we find out just how strong He is. And in our discomfort, we find out how deep, how wide, how complete, and how amazing His love truly is!

And this is a love and comfort we can share with others.

Comforting others brings comfort to us! 

The Challenge to Serve

Let’s stop fretting over our own comfort. In fact, let’s stop fretting at all! The more we chase it, the more it will escape us anyway. It’s only found in serving Christ and living for Him. Let’s joyfully surrender to the challenging, eternally rewarding life that God has for us. It starts with His love, and doesn’t end until He returns.

Let’s trade our desire for comfort for a desire to comfort others. The crazy thing is, when we surrender our desire for a life of ease and accept the challenge of living a life that glorifies God, loving others the way He calls us to love, we will find the comfort we so desperately need. Even better, we find fulfillment, joy, peace, and our weary soul finds rest. And the comfort we find in Christ is eternal and complete.

God not only gives us comfort, He is our comfort. We have to guard against the desire to be comfortable, and chase after God who is our comfort. And  let’s not get so comfortable we forget to share that comfort with others.

How Do I Change My Focus?

  • Pray for God’s wisdom on ways to comfort others…seek His guidance and strength to carry it out and do it!
  • Focus on the needs of others and be amazed at how completely your needs are met!

 

~*~

 

Thoughts to Ponder

  • How can I turn my current struggle into an opportunity to comfort someone else?
  • What is God asking me to give up? To pick up?
  • What is God asking me to do?

 

Psalm 62:1-2

 

 

Called, Chosen, Loved

A new year, a fresh beginning

As 2018 begins, take a moment to pause and reflect on God, His love for you, and your place in His Kingdom. It’s a new year, a fresh beginning, and God has an exciting plan for you!

You have an important, mighty, God-ordained, God-chosen purpose. You are loved by the Creator, and He is calling you, by name, to know Him more and trust Him, and He desires to do a mighty work through you in the days ahead.

Beloved, you are called, you are chosen, and you are loved.

You have a special purpose that God has designed for you and He is working to equip you to fulfill your calling. Don’t rush through life distracted and overburdened. Take time to get to know the Lord deeper and enjoy His presence. His Word is full of infinite wisdom and eternal blessings just for you–take time to discover them!

 You are called to…

Be like Christ

As followers of Jesus, we are called to have the heart, mind, and love of Jesus. We are called to be in this world but not of it, to be different, and to live a righteous, holy life that is a reflection of the life of Jesus. We must love, forgive, serve, and put others before ourselves–just as Jesus does for us!

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35, ESV)

Be Still

“Be still, and Know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10a).

God doesn’t expect us to work ourselves to exhaustion, live in fear, or wallow in worry. He wants us to be still in His presence so He can renew, refresh, restore, mature, and transform us. He doesn’t ask us to do more…He asks us to be more! And that only happens in His presence and in His strength.

 Be Fruitful

Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5, ESV)

God has designed you, molded you, and strengthened you to fulfill a special purpose. He desires you to be productive, effective, and fruitful–

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” (John 15:16, ESV)

Love

“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)

You are loved more than you know. It is not conditional. It is not dependent on anything you do or don’t do. You are loved-every moment of every day, at all times, no matter what. You cannot make God love you more and you can’t do anything that will make Him love you less. You are simply, completely, overwhelmingly, unconditionally loved by the Lord, your God. He even sings over you!

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

And God, who loves you so much He died for you, wants you to share His love with others. Show compassion to those hurting. Show mercy to those in need. Forgive others as we have been forgiven. Love others as we are loved!

Be the love of Christ today, and share the hope within you.May you feel loved and cherished as you love and cherish those around you. Love others, even when they are unloving, undeserving, and unworthy. For we all are unworthy, yet we are all loved with a fierce passion and devotion!

~*~

A new year is the perfect time to set new goals and prepare for the coming year. As this new year begins, commit to begin each day in His presence and let’s make 2018 a year of renewal, revival, and strong, genuine faith in the Lord Jesus! #lovelikechrist 

 

 

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

 

1 Peter 3:8 Brotherly Love

Father, thank You for Your love and countless blessings. Would You give me unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind in the days ahead? Remind me of Your great love for me, and teach me to love others as myself. I know I can’t do any of this in my own strength. I surrender my own desires and humbly ask for Your help. Transform me into the likeness of Your Son Jesus. Lord, bring unity to Your people and revival in our hearts and land. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Merry Christmas, 2017

My Christmas wish for you,

May the love of Christ, the joy of His birth, and the hope in His resurrection fill your heart and mind this season.

May the hope of heaven ease all pain as we miss those we love and long for the day we are reunited.

May the joy of the Lord fill you, and may you feel His presence in every moment.

May You enjoy peace and goodness and remember the Good News that has been delivered.

May His goodness and light surround you, and may every twinkling light be a reminder of His love.

 

 

MerryChristmas

 

From my home to yours, may your Christmas season be bright, merry, and full of joy and blessings!

Merry Christmas!

Seeking Joy and Peace

In Christ, our joy and peace have nothing to do with our circumstances! Our hope, joy, and peace have everything to do with Jesus! He is our hope, He blesses us with His peace, and He supplies us with unending joy even in painful, difficult times.

 

What’s trying to steal your joy today? Is a painful circumstance or a challenging situation threatening to rob you of your joy and peace?

 

The God of hope wants to fill you with all joy and peace! He wants to fill you so completely with His joy and peace, there isn’t any room for worry and fear! He wants you overflowing with His goodness.

 

Pray and seek Him! His strength is sufficient and He is stronger, bigger, and more powerful than whatever you are facing. He can bring healing, restoration, reconciliation, and peace, and He can bring those things in an instant.

 

He may remove the situation, He may fix it, or He may teach you through it, but He will supply you with the strength and peace you need. Trust Him believe Him, and watch Him do great things!

 

Hope, peace, and joy

 

Lord, would You strengthen me to believe You and trust You in every way, in every circumstance. In the power of Your Holy Spirit, would You replace my fear and doubt with assurance and fill me with all joy, peace, and hope in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Happy New Year 2017

new-year-fbimage

Happy New Year!

This year has quite possibly been the fastest year of my life. The entire year has zoomed by in a blur and tomorrow, we close the book on 2016. We welcome 2017 with anticipation, seeking God’s blessings and favor.

This year has been so tragic for so many, and yet, there have been many blessings too.

We have celebrated the “normal things,” birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Our family has also known indescribable loss and heartache this year. We have also celebrated “big” life-changing events. Our oldest graduated high school and started college, and our youngest will turn 15 in a few days and start driving!

Life is changing and we are entering a new season. 2017 will bring changes, some happy, some sad, but through it all, we will praise God.

I pray abundant blessings and incredible favor over you. I pray you come to know Jesus in 2017 in new, exciting ways and that the Lord’s presence is so thick and strong for you, you can see Him all around.

Happy New Year, my friend! May God bless you abundantly!

Love,

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Rest for the Weary

Christmas! Family, friends, lights, parties, cookies…special blessings we anticipate each year as we remember and celebrate the birth of our Savior. But every year, I forget just how exhausting Christmas can be!

Weeks of parties, special worship services, staying up late on Christmas Eve in anticipation, up bright and early Christmas morning with excitement, spending the day with family and friends…all wonderful–and all followed up by an energy crash on Christmas night.

Are you exhausted from the busyness of Christmas?

Jesus invites you to rest. His arms are open, He’s whispering your name, and proclaiming,”Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

 

rest-in-jesus

 

After weeks of rushing, planning, shopping, wrapping, decorating…it’s time to rest. In fact, Jesus wants to teach us that in those busy times, He still gives us rest for our souls. He supplies the strength we need and blesses us with peace in the storm, strength in the hardship, rest in the busyness of life.

There is rest for the weary!

In this busy season, I encourage you to rest. Quiet your mind, still your soul, and let the Lord sing over you. He knows how weary you are. Rest in Him today. Let Him revive your soul and renew your spirit.

Don’t rush through this week. As a new year is approaching, take some time to reflect over the past year, the joys and the pains, the highs and the lows, Jesus is in them all! His blessings surround us, His love comforts us, and His strength sustains us.

Let Him give you rest, filling you with His strength, quieting you with His love!