The Curse of Silence
There is a silent monster in the room. It is so big and ominous, and holds such a horrid, almost palpable dread, that in order to cope we push it out of our minds.
There is a popular belief and picture of what a Jezebel spirit looks like. Many envision a bold, un-submissive, angry woman, with seductive eyes and with her face painted to the nines.
Women and Their Responsibility in Marriage
I grew up as a tiny girl on a dairy farm in an Amish Mennonite community in Canada. One of my main goals and dreams in life was to be the best wife that I could possibly be. I would always be willing to serve.
Bitterness of Soul
Bitterness and offense, sadly, are words I am well acquainted with. When I hear these words, I have a certain feeling in my belly and memories of a time I am so grateful to have moved beyond.
From Perfectionism, Performance, and Pride to Peace
As I sobbed to my friend on the phone, I shared with her that I just wanted a good life. I wanted everything to be okay. I wanted to be successful - but it felt like everyone was fighting me.
My Safe Place
All I ever wanted . . . just four little words, but those words are packed to the gills with meaning. When they dare to be uttered, their source is daring to bare their heart and soul to give you insight into their deepest desires. And usually following those words comes a story—a story of crushed hopes and dreams.
You Are Precious, Mother Mine
I wrote this poem as my mother lay on her deathbed.
Grieving God's Heart
Psalm 78:40-42 tells us how often the Israelites provoked God in the wilderness and grieved Him in the desert! Yes, again and again they tempted God and limited the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember His power – the day He redeemed them from the enemy. Often when we are in a wilderness experience we doubt and limit God. We forget the things He has done for us and others in the past. We speak many negative things with our mouths.
Fear and Control - Just Feelings?
May I talk with you about something close to my heart? There is a word I hear a lot of these days, and that word is anxiety. Anxiety, worry, and feeling scared are all the same thing. They can all be summed up in one word, and that is FEAR (false evidence appearing real!). Now don’t get me wrong, folks- I do experience fear. In fact, I recently became aware of how much fear has actually been in my life! I used to be irritated by the word “anxiety” and thought I was not much affected by it, but since my mother died, I suddenly became more aware of it and realized it was a bigger issue than I knew!
Healing and Trusting
I have a question for you today. If you had the choice between hearing the truth that could save your life and change your world, or hearing what feels good even though the implications could destroy you or kill you, which would you choose?
It sounds really simple, when you think of it that way, but what many people do not realize is that every day they persecute people who are trying to save them. Every day they reject people who are trying to give them truth that will change their lives forever for the better, trying to show them true love. This love doesn't always feel like love. Sometimes real truth hurts, but in the long run, we ought to be grateful for it.
No More Wasted Years
Just a simple line spoken over me, but such grace and wonder it held. "The things of the past, the pain, the mistakes, are not a waste. God will use those things in a wonderful way."
I always knew God was able to use everything in our lives for good, even the bad things, but I still had a mindset that suggested that some seasons of my life were simply wasted, thrown away, and irretrievable. I found myself unable to move forward as I wanted to because I wanted a do-over. God doesn't give us do-overs, my friends. He gives us something better! He gives us second chances, yes, but He gives us something much better than that. He has the ability to make something totally wonderful, beautiful and new from our mistakes and from our sin! The only thing we need to do is to confess it, repent, and give it to Him!
A Letter to the Fathers
am writing letter as a plea to fathers in this generation. My heart has been deeply hurt by the things I see happening in today's generation, even in churches and religious circles.
We live in a fatherless generation. Our children have absentee fathers (whose own fathers were too busy for them) who somehow feel that fatherhood consists of special privileges, sharing seed, and providing an income (if their families are fortunate). When they come home from work, they figure that their day's work is accomplished, and so they put up their feet and relax while the wife and mom, who has been working hard all day, giving emotionally, spiritually, and physically to the children and is ready to relax as well, dishes up supper and cleans it all up, while trying to take care of the children alone.
Mighty Warrior Princess
Good morning from gorgeous Kentucky! I have some things on my heart that I am excited to share with you! That being said, let's just dive right in.
I have a lot of friends in a lot of different places, and I have listened to quite a few women. As you know, many of us women face similar issues. Many of us feel trapped in various circumstances beyond our control. The enemy loves to make women feel trapped and unfulfilled.
The Power of Keeping our Eyes on God
The Lord highlighted these verses (Isaiah 51:11-16) to me recently, and with good reason. I have been afraid of what people will do to me. People! HE is my Maker. He set the foundations of the earth in place. He is the One I should fear, and not mere mortals.
Now, I'm not talking about being afraid that someone is going to hurt me, I'm talking about how blind we as humans can be to the thoughts and feelings of others. The interesting thing is that as we focus on how we feel as we are being unjustly treated, our anger and fear causes us to mistreat them, and we are completely blind to it.
To know that just one soul was blessed
Was offered peace and not distress;
To know that through my restless heart
One soul found light in place of dark;
God wants us to experience His pleasure in us and His smile on us. He is not a God who is sitting there with a stick, waiting for us to mess up, but is rather a loving Father who finds great pleasure in His children turning to Him. He has certain precepts or principles in place, that when followed, bring blessing into our lives. When we function outside of those precepts, we often experience shame.
A Fast Pleasing to God
Isaiah 58:11 caught my eye this morning. It says: And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
We all desire to have God guide, bless, and prosper us continually. But what does it take for this to happen? Many times we feel more like the people in verses 1-5. God's children were fasting and seeking Him, but they were not happy with the outcome. They asked; Why have we fasted and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls and You take no notice (verse 3)?
The Way of True Love
Two major components in relationships worth having are trust and communication. If either of these components are missing, there is breakdown.
If you cannot trust someone, usually you do not feel too inclined to build a relationship with him or her. On the other hand, if you feel that someone does not trust you, you often feel quite disrespected.
Relationships in the Body of Christ
Throughout our lifetimes, we meet a lot of people. We connect with many people, and develop relationships with quite a few of them. Seasons come and go, and people come and go. Sometimes we are ready to let go of someone before they are ready to let go of us, or maybe they are ready to let go before we are.
The Dance of Fear
The Dance of Fear
We circle each other, skirting around,
Edging closer, then jumping out.
Slowly advancing, the swiftly retreating;
It's our little dance of fear.
My Darling Daughter
My Darling Daughter, it is not My will that you go through this. My heart bleeds and cries with yours; but we won't let it go to waste, will we? Use this time to draw near to Me, with full assurance of faith, for I am faithful. You will not be in this place forever. I will not leave you comfortless. Listen for My soft voice in your ear as I lean over your shoulder in eagerness to share every moment with you, My love.
Give it to ME, Says the Lord
I have been learning a LOT about true surrender; what it involves, what it looks like, and how much it costs. What does true surrender involve? It involves truly letting go of someone or something (a situation, goal, desire, or dream) and giving it totally to the Lord. It does not mean giving up life or hope. It means realizing that God has a wonderful plan for us, if we are willing to give Him a chance.
I felt as if I had to work like crazy for every spiritual breakthrough I got, requiring a much higher standard than others, with God requiring perfection before blessing Imagine a wall. It needs to be torn down.
Crushed Down, but not Destroyed
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body (2 Corinthians 4:8-10).
This morning I went to our school for Grandparent's Day since Mark's parents (my in-laws) were able to come from Indiana to be with our school-age children. During worship we sang the song, "I'm Trading My Sorrows." It says, "I'm trading my sorrows, I'm trading my shame. . . . I'm trading my sickness, I'm trading my pain, and I'm layin' them down for the joy of the Lord."
Showing Respect To Those Who Have Broken Our Hearts
God has been working in my heart recently regarding relationships and respect. Did you know that we teach others how to treat us? Now, wait just a minute, before we take this the wrong way. We can all think of ways we'd love to teach others how to treat us, but those ways would not be beneficial at all. In fact, the results are actually contrary to what we think they will be. This little principle operates using the Golden Rule. If someone has treated me disrespectfully, my natural, human response might be to withdraw (or even to give them a little of their own medicine), because it doesn't feel very safe to be around someone like that.
Journey of Life
Life is like a journey where we learn a lot of lessons to prepare us for the life to come. These lessons come as experiences and tests along the way. God says that if we are faithful over a few things, He will make us ruler over many things.
A Content Mom
When we seek our own things first, and try to put them before our children, husband, or God, we only end up spinning our wheels and becoming exhausted.
God is Our Provider
Times are tough right now, and many of us are learning to distinguish what we really need from what we merely want. Many of us need to wait when we would like to DO something, like buy flowers or clothes. Sometimes we are at the end of the money, but not nearly at the end of the needs. Then one more need occurs to make the situation look even more impossible. Sometimes we become anxious and worried, and our blood pressure rises, and we cry out, "God, what are we going to do?"
Seasons and Times
It is November; the leaves are mostly down, and we are busily raking them. The smell of smoke can often be found in the air. The crisp outdoors gives us a sense of foreboding...cold, wintry days are on their way and will soon be upon us. We feel the urgency of preparing so we are not caught unaware.
Winter Seeds and Summer Roses
The last few months have been wild with the challenges, stresses, and hurdles that come with being a family of seven who are learning to grow and surrender to God's plan. Things can seem downright overwhelming as we all know very well, and it takes a lot of focus and determination at times to keep our spirits and courage up so we can keep going.
YOU Are Very Special!
Did you know there are as many different kinds of relationships as there are people? How can that be? Well, God is going to have a relationship with you that is tailored to meet your needs! His relationship with you, or your relationship with Him is going to be different from every other person's relationship with Him! That is how intensely personal our God is.
My Mess Is Turned to Beauty!
I'm in bigger trouble than I have ever thought possible, as I look over my life, my marriage. I see broken pieces of glass all shapes and sizes. They overwhelm my soul and mind as I stand here looking so helpless into this tin can, digging through it getting cut and bruised. In desperation I cry-hot tears streaming down my face. What am I to do "Lord", I silently scream. I can't fix this. It's to broken.
Come Unto Me
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. -Matthew 11:28-30
Commitment is a word packed with meaning. I used to think I understood the meaning of this word when I married my husband. But in time, I realize that commitment doesn't end when it requires something from us. Neither does it end when our spouse does something we don't like. It doesn't even end when they hurt us. And it doesn't end when we are misunderstood. In fact, sometimes it calls for great sacrifice.
Trust Me, My Child
This morning, I learned a simple, but also valuable lesson. Have you ever noticed how God uses our children to show us the kind of mess we ourselves are? Yeah, I thought so!
The New Me
When you realized you were a sinner and had no hope of a relationship with God without accepting the fact that His Son Jesus had to suffer and die to pay the price for your sin, you surrendered your life to His control, confessed your sins and repented-did you have a hard time believing you really are a new creation? Or did you feel like the same old person, especially when temptations came along and you succumbed to them?
Confess Your Sins And Be Healed
Why is it true that during times of struggle, we often look at those around us and believe they wouldn't understand what we are dealing with or would never struggle with something similar? I believe that way of thinking is very likely to be one of Satan's most effective tools in bringing condemnation and discouragement to God's children.
I Will Restore the Years the Locusts Have Eaten
I will restore the years the locusts have eaten.
I will make beautiful the things of the past.
I will cause your fountains to bubble with joy, and I will make you a blessing.
How Deep Will You Let The Arrow Go?
Imagine how you would feel if you saw someone who had been shot in the heart by an arrow. What would you think if you saw the wounded person, gasping in pain, grabbing the arrow and pushing it in, causing even more pain and damage.