Categories
Truth in Trials Updates

Study Update & Prayer Need {{Trials}}

Our weather is changing, and I want to make sure my blog is “prepared” for the season ahead. So from now, we are entering “Summer” mode. Some chronic illness bloggers, simply cannot blog during the heat months. Myself? I have played around with the idea. I want to keep blogging, but our Corinthians study will change as a direct result (I am truly sorry about that, for those who are following along with me). See: I want to continue the Bible study on Corinthians, but I cannot be expected to follow any timetable or order.

Nice thing is – my manuscript journal is very flexible, where I can roam wherever. Thank you, Jesus!

My Goal –

I am looking at my word count thus far (to make sure I don’t “go over” like a preacher in a pulpit might), but can I be honest with you?

My goal is still this: to draw nearer to our Lord Jesus Christ, make disciples, and build up each other. That’s all I want. It’s a bigger vision than completing a Bible study “on time”.

The Lord can definitely use these Summer months to bring out hard lessons I won’t learn otherwise. I just hope, I can continue to be authentic in sharing these hard lessons. I want us to be able to have this place of community, so we aren’t going through difficulties without other Christians to comfort us and point us to Jesus.

Ladies: Don’t forget about the Facebook group we have available.

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching (Heb. 10:24-25).


My secret weapon for the Summer is always this: the book of PsalmsPsalms is always part of the “spiritual glue” that the Lord has used to hold me together.

I may blog about different things this Summer. I don’t know what is in store for me, but I do know that I need to keep drawing nearer to the Lord and stay plugged into my places of support that lead me straight to Him.


Prayer Request –

I have a fairly important appointment on Tuesday (5/1), and I would love your prayer support for that meeting. I have been facing more hard moments of depression (too intense to deal with solo), and so Tuesday is the beginning of reaching out to see what kind of help there is available with my health insurance.

In the meantime, I am going to sit here and begin diving into Psalms 139 – which has always been “my” Psalm when it comes to depression. It is the one God chose to use, to reach my heart many years ago.

Thank you for listening and taking the time to read my posts. I appreciate you all very much!

Featured image by Toa Heftiba of Unsplash.

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Categories
Inspiring Women (05/17)

My Emotional Breakdown {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan

Each of us face our own battles, and it’s an ongoing struggle. None of us have enough energy or power to face these struggles on our own. This is why this Scripture is of such great importance {click here for part one of this message}. Even though we may lack every resource needed to fight our battles, God holds the key. God is the key to conquering these struggles. Join me, as we think on God’s ability to tackle our problems.

Finally, be strong in the LORD and in his mighty power (Eph. 6:10, NIV).

Throughout Scripture, we are reminded that God is all powerful. Not only is our great God all powerful, He uses His power to influence our lives – for the better. God wants to help us with the great hardships we are facing.

We face so many things on our own, and the crazy thing is – we don’t have to. I have assembled a small list of Scriptures that have something to teach us, in response to learning about our God’s great power and how He is our Hero who wants to save the day in our lives.

We are more than conquerors, because of Jesus Christ who has loved us. This is what we are taught through Romans 8:37. We can have victory over our circumstances, because of our great God.

God’s Emotions in the Storm

God has been teaching me lately about the truths of Hebrews 4:14-16. I have been going through an emotional breakdown due to the season of life I am in. Life gets unbelievably hard, friends. I know that you know that, but there is something else to add to this.

God is the One who grieves with us. He is feeling everything we are going through. So, we don’t have to endure all the stuff of our lives – all on our own.

There are countless individuals who are struggling and maybe on the brink of doing something big – like taking their own life. Because, life gets hard. And when life gets hard, we become convinced that we are in this all alone. But friends, this is far far away from the truth that we find in the Bible.

See, God wants to pour His strength into our lives. God wants to hold us, weep with us, revive our broken spirits, heal our wounds, and take us to a place of greater heights where we find His joy and peace.

Let’s resolve to stay close to Jesus Christ! Right now, in whatever you are facing, cling to Jesus. We have an amazing God who wants to be everything you need right now, but you have to be willing to seek Him.

“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. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:11-13).”

Feature image by Daryn Stumbaugh.

In Christ,

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Categories
Chronological Bible Study

Job 21-23

Chapter 21 – Job speaks

“Listen to what I say. Let this be your way of comforting me. Be patient while I speak. Then after I have finished speaking, you may make fun of me (vv. 2-3, ERV).”

All Job wants is – comfort. He is hurting on an intense level, and his friends aren’t showing much comfort or compassion toward him. He desperately needs to hear from God.

Even when we have been given good comforting friends, we still need comfort and to hear from God more than anyone else.

Jesus, as our Comforter, reminds us that we can draw near and allow our relationship with Him to be the most important thing in our lives.

Jesus Christ is the Comforter we stand in need of. No matter what kind of friends we have, our need for Jesus never changes!

We need Him to overwhelm our souls with His goodness, hope, and eternal salvation.

We have Jesus Christ as our great Savior. He came to give us a new beginning, where we dwell in the presence of our God. God loves us, and pursues us – daily!

Chapter 22 – Eliphaz Responds

Haven’t you done many evil things? Don’t you sin again and again? . . . That’s why traps have been set all around you. That’s why sudden danger terrifies you (vv. 5, 10, NIRV).

This is why Job’s friends have a bad reputation. They are convinced that sin has caused all of Job’s trouble. These men didn’t know about Job 1-2. This is where we learn that our relationship with God, causes the Devil to become angry and seek to devour us.

The closer Job got to God, the more the Devil wanted to try and destroy him. As we see from the last few chapters, Job gets even more prosperous as he sought God.

Let’s stay steadfast in our relationship with God through Jesus Christ. God is far greater than the Devil or anyone else, just like verse 12 teaches us.

You agree, don’t you, that God is in charge? He runs the universe—just look at the stars! (MSG)

Lastly, we have verses 21-30. This is a Scripture worthy of our attention, which teaches us three key points –

  • Obey God and be at peace with Him.
  • Let’s put away our sin and return to the Lord!
  • Make Jesus Christ your delight.

Chapter 23 – Job Speaks

But he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold. For I have stayed on God’s paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside. I have not departed from his commands, but have treasured his words more than daily food (vv. 10-12, NLT).

Amen! When the time of testing is over, we will come out as gold. Our time of testing shows where our faith has stood in our darkest hour.

How will we come out of our testing time, and will we cling to the hope found in Jesus Christ no matter what?

I want to live my life in such a way, so that after the testing I can feel unashamed about how I responded.

Featured image by Nik Shuliahin.

 

Categories
Thessalonians

Week 6: Friday Five (1 Thess 5:9-28)

This is our last week of meeting the Thessalonians through Paul’s first letter to them. We will be moving on to 2 Thessalonians. Are you ready? It will be a beautiful time of continuing to meet and learn alongside the Thessalonians!

(1) Through Christ’s death, we can now live with Him. No longer will we face separation from our heavenly Father. Whether we live or die, we are His forever and will stand in His presence. We have been justified by the grace of God, as we choose to accept His free, yet costly, gift of salvation through Jesus’ death and amazing resurrection!

“Jesus died for us so that we can live together with him. It is not important if we are alive or dead when Jesus comes (1 Thess. 5:10, ERV).”

(2) We are commanded to encourage one another, as we wait for Jesus’ return! I can see why this command is so important. As we walk through this life, we cannot go without the accountability, comfort, and urging of our faithful friends who help us to continue trusting in Jesus Christ – our living God! We are blessed to stand in Christian community, and this Scripture reminds us that it is still much needed.

“Therefore comfort one another, and edify one another, even as you also do (vv. 11, MKJV).”

(3) Consider how you treat others. We are reminded that we can’t hate people, simply because they hate us. This is not how Jesus “raised us”. Our heavenly Father wants us to do good unto others, even if they aren’t showing any kind of goodness towards us. Let’s remember this, as we wrestle with learning to love others as Christ has loved us.

“Don’t be hateful to people, just because they are hateful to you. Rather, be good to each other and to everyone else (vv. 15, CEV).”

(4) Keep thanking God for whatever happens. Through the course of our lives, we will see good and bad. While we may hate the bad seasons of our lives, it is part of living here on earth. Celebrate the goodness of our risen Lord. Raise your hands with thanksgiving that this life is not the end. We have our Redeemer’s miraculous resurrection power working for us!

“Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do (vv. 18).”

(5) Yield to the will of God. As we choose to trust in Jesus, we will enter a “sanctification process”. What this means is: God is going to continue working in you, as Philippians 1:6 teaches us. He is going to give us peace, but make us holy as well. Allow God to work in you, through how you respond to the Holy Spirit’s leading. Keep submitting to Him.

“I pray that God, who gives peace, will make you completely holy. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept healthy and faultless until our Lord Jesus Christ returns. The one who chose you can be trusted, and he will do this (vv. 23-24).”

Feature image by Ben Duchac.

Categories
The Overcomer Life

Allowing Gratitude to be Present

Life has a way of becoming increasingly interesting these days. With Summer over and now we are almost in Winter, I am still waiting/looking for the better days – as far as my health is concerned. I have my days that are marked by their difference, in comparison to where I was last year. This year is looking quite different. The bad days make it different, but there is good present as well. It just takes a while and serious focus, to note the good.

Gratitude is what allows us to turn our moments of sorrow into times of dancing and joy – even in the midst of suffering.

The good, being – seeing how God’s work continues on. I am looking to work on my blog over the coming weeks/months, as I feel able to. We are getting ready to kick off our new study. It will begin in January, so I am working toward fixing what will be the journal (which will be available for purchase on Amazon) for the particular study. It will be a bit less demanding, to help me to stay caught up on it (but very similar to what we have been doing). But, I am really looking forward to it. It will be such a wonderful time of digging into God’s Word together – as a community of believers. More to come on the study soon.

The bad – well, that is hitting kind of close to home. You don’t expect family members to be in a place, where their doctor suspects they have your number 1 health enemy. In fact, you hope they won’t ever be in that position. Then, it happens. Loved ones become sick with the same illness that plagues us. It’s hard to look at it any other way, than joking. It’s not really the kind of things to joke around about, but it helps the soul to not feel the sorrow over the difficulties you know – that your loved ones will face.

Yet, you remember that all you can do is keep them in prayer, be there for them, speak encouragement over them, and deliberately look for the good in your life. Find the really good things you can rejoice over!

Finding the Good

With chronic illness, you take the bad with the good. Is there honestly good found in chronic illness? I think so. I think, it can produce good. But, it isn’t going to be automatically on our minds – before the bad is. You have to be deliberate in seeking out the good.

We have to be deliberate in seeking out the things we can be grateful for!

The R E A L L Y  Good Stuff

(1) While my health may fail me on any given day, my God still reigns. Even on the most difficult days, God is still God, faithful, strong enough, and ever loving!

See Ps. 73:26

(2) We can be there, comfort, and remind others they aren’t alone in their struggles. Also, we can be a voice that fights for our family members. God has used my health journey, to help those around me who develop similar symptoms and I can offer help of some sort.

See 2 Cor. 1:3-4; Phil. 4:4

(3) God has chosen to go before me. He has fixed our broken relationship, by the way of the cross and His Resurrection. He understands my weaknesses, and helps me – so I can come boldly to Him!

See Heb. 4:14-16