life beyond the well…


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Weekly Word- J

So, I (again) missed the last two weeks as things got busy and then I traveled home for family circumstances.  I’ll get us caught up over the next few weeks (expect 2 “Weekly Words” for the next two week).

All that said, it seems like for the past couple of weeks, I’ve mentioned how overwhelming the state of our country and our world can be (especially with our 24 hour news cycle and our level of connectivity through the internet and social media).  The more I hear (and continue to hear) of change upon change, whether it’s weather conditions or within our government, the more I appreciate consistency.  That said, this week’s verse is a reminder of that:

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. – Hebrews 13:8

While everything around me may be in transition, I can rest in the fact that Jesus is not.  He is the same–his promises are true, and He is faithful to do what fulfill that which He has promised.

In some circles, one might have you to believe that faith in God and His ability to cause things to act and move on your behalf makes you weak.  I believe that true faith is requires strength.  You have to be strong to believe beyond what you can see, knowing that God can (and will) move on your behalf while others may doubt.

As the old hymn would say, “On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand…” While it may be tough, I’m grateful for Christ and his faithfulness; his renewed mercies, and his consistent love towards me despite my inconsistencies.

Until next time…

Be encouraged! Peace and blessings!

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Weekly Word- I

Happy Wednesday! Over the past week, I was able to scale back some of my news intake and spend more purposeful time with my family; which helped me to focus more on the joy near me, as opposed to the chaos out in the world. This week, I’m continuing with a memory verse that I find to be encouraging, despite everything that is happening in our world.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33

When I consider the state of this world, I can absolutely see (and sometimes feel) the trouble.  I need to spend more time focused on the promises of Jesus and the fact that He has already overcome the world.  It’s encouraging to know that through Him, I already have victory!

Reflecting on this verse for this week, also reminded me of this song.  These lyrics stood out for me:

But when I fix my eyes on all that You are, then every doubt I feel deep in my heart grows strangely dim. All my worries fade and fall to the ground, ’cause when I seek Your face and don’t look around any place I’m in grows strangely dim…

I’m challenging myself to focus more on His promises and His victory in this week as I reflect on this verse.

Until next time…

Be encouraged! Peace and blessings!


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Weekly Word- H

There’s a lot going on in our world. I’m a self-proclaimed news junkie (I like being informed), but lately, I find myself overwhelmed with everything that I see and hear and feeling a little on edge.  This week, there’s a two for one with the weekly word, as I found that I needed more than just one verse to calm my spirit and rest in my soul.

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” – Revelation 21:5

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

As I wrestle with everything that is happening, it is important for me to be able to trust the word of God and hold on to what I’m believing for this year.  Not only that, I need to remember that God keeps His promises; so beyond what I can see right now, He is at work to bring those things to fruition.

When I started this year, I made a promise to myself that I would be fearless; that I would move forward with bold confidence. It is important for me to take hold of the command issued by God  to be strong and courageous with the reminder that God is with me wherever I go.  I need to rest in the fact that there is no need to fear because I am never alone.  Ironically enough, when I try to operate in my own strength is when I find that I am most afraid.

Until next time…

Be encouraged!  Peace and Blessings!


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Weekly Word- G

Happy Wednesday!  On this Valentine’s Day, as we think about love and the essence of it, I’m often reminded that love, when demonstrated well, allows us to be our whole selves and lets us feel safe.  With that thought, this week’s verse is:

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. – Psalm 46:1

The love of God is one that is compelling, but also one that is safe. We can truly find comfort and rest in Him, and in our weakness, He equips us with strength. I love that I can never escape the presence of God- whether it’s in times of trouble or times of joy.

I think we often utilize God has our place of refuge in times of trouble; however, I’d push us to think of using Him as a place of refuge even in absence of trouble.  We don’t have to be in trouble to “hunker down” and really spend time with God.  And it might just be that time spent “hunkering down” that helps to circumvent trouble.  I’m truly grateful that I don’t have to be in trouble to seek God or to experience His peace, help, or strength.

Until next time…

Be encouraged. Peace and blessings!


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Weekly Word(s)- D, E, F

Soooooo…I totally wasn’t expecting to get behind so early in the year! It’s true though, we set resolutions and goals, and usually by February, we’re off the wagon and on to something else.  I had a week of travel, followed by being back home and trying to get caught up with life after a week of travel (#firstthingsfirst), and so I missed a few weeks.  But we’re back!  And that’s what’s most important.  Also, shout out to my cousin and my mom with gentle nudges for accountability!  But without further adieu, here’s the THREE verses that I’m focused on:

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. – Isaiah 40:28

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. – 1 Peter 4:10

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7

I get really excited when I think of these verses, because it reminds me of God’s power to work on our behalf, and that which He places in us through the Holy Spirit.  My gifts and talents should be used in service of others, giving me the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those I encounter.  And while I may face things that are challenging, I have no reason to fear, because His spirit in me is one of power, love, and a sound mind (in other translations, self-discipline).

We’re at the point in the year where it’s easy to fall back into old habits as opposed to the new goals and resolutions that we had just a month ago.  I believe that if we truly lean in to God and His word, we will see the outcomes that we’re believing for this year.

Until next time…

Be encouraged! Peace and blessings!

 


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Weekly Word- C

This week there’s a two for one with verses, because I really wrestled with which one spoke most to my heart and which one I wanted to hold on to.  Truthfully, I need to hold on to both, and since that’s the case, that’s what we have:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28

“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7

Far too often, I find myself trying to hold on to things that are beyond my control, when what I really need to do is bring it to the Lord.  When I truly trust that He cares for me, it is easy to bring my burdens to Him and rest in His love and promises.

Until next time…

Be encouraged! Peace and Blessings!


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Weekly Word- B

Happy Wednesday! As I shared last week, I’m trying a new way to memorize scripture this year by finding a verse each week that starts with a different letter of the alphabet.  With 52 weeks in a year, I should go through the alphabet twice; and my hope is that this will challenge me to grow in my knowledge of God’s word (as opposed to relying on the same scriptures all the time.  Here’s the word for this week:

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. –Ephesians 4:32

When we recall the grace and mercy that God has so freely extended to us, and the magnitude of his forgiveness of our sins, we should be willing to extend that same forgiveness to others.

To be clear, forgiveness is difficult and messy. Forgiveness is a process.  Forgiveness does not mean that we excuse someone’s behavior, but it does mean that we stop holding grudges, and we actively pursue God’s healing so that we (and they) can be made whole.

In order to get where God is calling us, there are things that we must leave behind. Who do you need to forgive so that you can truly move forward?  I’m praying that in 2018, your heart won’t be burdened by previous hurts and wrongs, and that God’s strength and power will enable you to forgive and move forward.

Until next time…

Be encouraged! Peace and blessings!


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Only the Father Will Do

There’s a running joke in our home that the first person to grab BabyAlmondJoy and get him his milk/breakfast after he wakes is his favorite person for the day. It’s as if whoever meets that first, most immediate need for him is the best parent ever, and over the course of the day, he will generally indicate a preference for that person. We attempt to tend to his needs equally; however, there are days and tasks that lend themselves to one person over the other.  Parenting (in the midst of the many other things we have going on) lends itself to teamwork and an ebb and flow as it relates to who does what. That said, sometimes I am the best parent ever, and other days, Preacherman wins the award. We cheer for each other, and make sure that above all, BabyAlmondJoy knows he is loved and cared for by both of us.

BabyAlmondJoy and I recently had a bout of sickness (really the entire time from Thanksgiving until Christmas) that left us oscillating between feeling okay and terrible, but never at 100%. After multiple trips to the doctor, and a few rounds of medication, we both showed signs of improvement; however, just before Christmas break, BabyAlmondJoy encountered yet another virus (complete with fever, rash, and general irritability).  We took another trip to the doctor, only for them to tell us that, “It’s a virus” and, “You just need to give it time”. And so we did.

During that time, BabyAlmondJoy could ONLY be consoled by Preacherman. Despite my best efforts to be the nurturing mama, he let me know that in this moment, only his father would do. My attempts and desires to console and care for him were nice, but he knew that what he needed to feel better was wrapped up in the arms of his father.  And so, for about 36 hours BabyAlmondJoy stayed glued to Preacherman. It was only when he reached a certain point of restoration and wellness that he allowed me and his sister to really engage with him.

Though my mama feelings were slightly hurt, my soul was encouraged; and I was reminded that there are situations in life where only the Father will do. While there will be times that God will send people to work on his behalf, there are also times where I need to rest in Him until I reach a place of healing, restoration, and wellness before I engage with others. In those times, I need to press into His presence so that I can be given and accept the healing that is needed.

Until next time…

Peace and blessings.

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” – 3 John 1:2

 


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Weekly Word- A

In the past, I’ve tried a couple of different methods to encourage myself to memorize scripture and really take hold of what the Bible says.  This past year, I saw that one of my Facebook friends does a weekly bible verse with her family based on alphabet- each week they memorize a verse that starts with a certain letter of the alphabet.  It seemed to work well, and I liked that it could encourage me to find/identify verses beyond the ones that I already know well.  That said, I’ll be trying that method this year, and posting here on Wednesdays for accountability (so y’all hold me accountable!).

This week’s letter is A, and our verse is from Matthew 7:7

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

I love this as a reminder for starting the new year.  Friends, what are you asking God for this year? What are you seeking? Where are you knocking? I pray that in your asking, seeking, and knocking; you are led by God down a path that leads you closer to His purpose for your life.

Until next time…

Peace and blessings.


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Book Review- The Miracle in the Middle

I first heard Charlotte Gambill preach at Celebration Church in the Fall of 2014.  She was one of the guest speakers for their annual women’s conference, and both Preacherman and I really liked her message.  We left the service and stocked up on some of her materials, and on a road trip I found myself going through message after message.  To say that she is a phenomenal teacher of the word of God and biblical principles would be an understatement.

All that said, I was overly excited to get my hands on a copy of the book “The Miracle in the Middle”.  I’ve found myself “in the middle” of quite a few circumstances and situations, and wondering when/where/how the Lord was going to move me from the middle to the other side.  Gambill provides great insight for enjoying that uncomfortable middle spot, and recognizing it for the miracle that it is- as well as encouragement for us to press through to get to the other side.

I must admit that prior to reading the book, I had already heard her preach a sermon by the same name.  Despite that fact, I still found the book to be insightful, well-written, and a blessing to me.  My approach to my “middles” is much different, as I’m learning to look at it as an opportunity for growth as just a place where I’m stuck until something changes.  I’m also realizing that as I change my perspective, things around me change- regardless of if there’s an actual shift in position.

I would encourage you to check out this book, as well as some of Gambill’s other messages!  The practicality with which she delivers her messages makes it easy to understand and apply to your life.

Until next time…

Be encouraged! Peace and Blessings!

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are mine