Moment By Moment

There are times in my life when I’ve experienced huge miracles, but my response to those miracles has been a trifle lukewarm.  For instance–whenever I’ve been pregnant–I’ve been aware that a tremendous miracle was taking place inside of me.  A child was literally being formed and grown inside of me.  (I used to love to read those books that showed what was happening month by month–and then there was the ultrasound–where my husband and I could actually see our little one moving inside me.)  

However, I usually had terrible morning sickness, (that lasted all day long), and sometimes I thought I was so sick, I could actually die.  (Yes–I might be a trifle melodramatic).  I did not “feel” like a miracle was happening inside of me—I felt miserable.

This past month, I have been aware of another miracle happening.  God is healing my body.  I am doing all the things the doctors are telling us to do, but they are amazed with how fast my body is healing.  One of my doctors even did a little shout, and hand fist, when looking at my progress.

However, I have been battling the same kind of malaise as I did when I was pregnant.  I haven’t been able to “do” much.  

That is difficult.  I often confuse my value and significance with what I do, instead of who I am.  I often confuse who I am with how I feel.    If I “feel” sick, or tired or discouraged—I also feel out of touch with the Lord.  It is hard to focus on Him.  It is difficult to connect with Him.

Even though He is connecting with me, even though He is doing a miracle within me.

Every time I go through one of these times, where I am sick, or incapacitated —  I struggle with my value, and my worth.  I struggle with malaise—not quite depression–but the same kind of sinking that depression brings.  (After I had my third son, I struggled with depression–so this malaise wasn’t/isn’t that.)

So what do I do?  Honestly, I don’t have a lot of energy to remind myself of God’s truths–of how He says I am valuable, and significant in Him.  Or of how He says I am loved and I belong in Him. Yet, God uses these times to remind me, : It’s not what I can “do” for Him but what He has done for me–that brings me all of the afore mentioned blessings.”

Sometimes I think, when I go through these down times, when I am so very weak–this is when I most experience the strength of God. This is when I see how much He carries me step by step. He stays with me, moment by moment, He has not and will never leave me. He holds all of His children, and will never leave any of us.

God continues to work His miracles—for He is and ever will be a wondrous, faithful and loving Father.

May We Be Encouraged!!

Difficult People

Difficult People

Difficult People—Everyone has them–they are the people we find hard to love– hard to even be around,  They don’t mesh with our personalities.  They don’t get our jokes.  We sense that they don’t really like us either.   Or maybe, they like us too much, if you know what I mean. 

Difficult people–how do we navigate “difficult people”?

When I was in college, I was involved with a Christian group and I read a booklet called, “How to Love by Faith.”  It was about not relying on our feelings, but choosing to love and act out love, and relying on God to give us the ability to do this. This booklet was so helpful to me–you can click here to read it yourself.

However, in spite of having all this great information—there was a person in my life–that I found hard to like–in fact–  she was a difficult person for many people.  She was in a leadership position, and she used that position to bully people, not serve them.  I sensed that she did not have many friends.  She seemed to take joy in intimidating others.  She would verbally bully others to do her will.  

I have wondered over the years, why I found it so difficult to, “love her by faith”–why did my feelings keep winning in regards to her.

This is my breakthrough thought—it was because of how I felt about myself around her.  I felt powerless.  I felt like a victim.  I felt inadequate.  I felt……lesser than.

Why did I feel these things?   Because I was believing lies about myself—–lies that the father of lies is eager for all of us to believe—lies she was probably also believing about herself—

What are these lies?.

  1.  My value is based on my position, possessions, power or personal appearance.
  2. I have to be perfect to be loved.
  3. I’ll never really belong.

However, that is not what God says is true of me–

He says I am valuable:  “Look at the birds of the air, they do not reap or sow or gather into barns. Yet your Heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not worth much more than they?” Matthew 6:26

“Indeed the very hairs on your head are numbered, do not fear, you are more valuable than many sparrows.”  Luke 12: 7

 God says I am loved:  “…the Son of God, who loved me and died for me.” Galatians 2:20b

 “….the love of God has been poured out in our hearts…..” Romans 5:5b


God says I belong, “ You belong to Christ…..” I Cor. 3:23a

“But you are a chosen race, a royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation, a people of God’s own possession…..”  1 Peter 2:9

  The Evil One would like me to believe that I am worthless, unloveable and worth rejecting and whether this person knew it or not, by the manner in which she treated people–she was conveying all those lies.

So, here is the real question, “Do I now love this person by faith?”  “Yes, I do!”  And it is fairly easy to do, because I never see her anymore!!  🙂  LOL

However, God has brought other ‘difficult’ people into my life–and because of my experience struggling to love her, I am able to love them, as I abide in Christ, and focus on Him and His truths.

Honestly, God’s love—it will transform our world!!

So Be Encouraged!!

Faith and Feelings

Do you remember the story of the Centurion Soldier as written in Luke 7:1-10.?   That’s the one about the Soldier who was really generous to the Israelites—he helped build their synagogue—and he had a servant who was dying, so the Jewish leaders came to Jesus, and asked Him to come and heal this man’s servant.  When Jesus got close to the house, the Centurion sent others to Jesus to tell him, that he didn’t need to come to heal his servant, that he, (the Centurion), was not worthy of Jesus entering his home.  The Centurion said, “only say the word, and my servant will be healed.”

The Centurion said, “I also am a man placed under authority, and I have soldiers under me.  And I say to this one, “Go!” and he goes, and to another, “Come!” and he comes…..”

Jesus said, “Not even in all of Israel have I seen such great faith.”

This Centurion Soldier was under authority, and others were under his authority.  I imagine as a soldier there are very few feelings involved in obeying your commanding officer.  This ability to obey—to act out what someone over you tells you to do—this is what Jesus calls ‘faith’.   Faith is the ability to take God at His Word.

Our first step of faith—is to believe that Jesus is the Christ, that He died to save us and give us a relationship with God.   This step of faith brings us into a relationship with God, and then God reveals His will to us, as we read His word, spend time with Him in prayer and spend time with other believers.

My husband reminds me a great deal of the centurion soldier in the Bible.  He also is a “soldier” type of person.  He obeys God—not because he “feels” it is the right thing to do, but because he “thinks” it is the right thing to do.  There is a big difference.  

When we were young parents, (with one child), we were both working.  I had read a book about the importance of mothers- mothering.   I went to my husband and said, “I want to stay home with our children.  I think this is what God would have us do—and I shared with him why I thought that was the path for us.”

My husband thought and prayed about what I shared.   Then—we had a bump in the road—suddenly—my husband no longer had his job.   Now, he could have said, “well you’re the only one who has a job—you need to keep working.”   Instead, he said, “why don’t you quit your job.”

We went back to his parents’ home.  We went to a career counselor—which is where he realized he really wanted to have his own construction company.  (This dream would not be realized for quite a few years after this—but it was realized.)

He was offered another job—which he took—and for the past 30 years he has been the main provider of our family—because this is what we both believed God had called him to do.  It has been a walk of faith—not sight—as there were many, many times– circumstances “looked” very, very bad—times we faced bankruptcy.    You can read more about this story in,  “The Gift of Hindsight.

Faith Is Not a Feeling.  That actually is a name of a book written by Ney Bailey.  You can listen to it for free on Open Library—you have to sign up for an account to do so.  Here is the link for that:

The concepts of faith not being a feeling have helped me tremendously in my relationship with God. 

When you read through the 11th chapter of Hebrews—it is helpful to have this concept in mind—many of these people, “believed” God and obeyed Him, despite their feelings.

In other words—feelings are not necessary for obedience—but obedience is necessary to live a life of faith.

May we be encouraged!!