Posted in devotionals, Growing in the Lord, making a difference

are you a joy giver or a joy stealer?

Have you ever been in a group of people when someone walks in and the entire mood of the room changes whether for the better or the worse?

Have you ever had a difficult day and someone crosses your path and makes it better? Or, alternatively, makes it worse?

How can we be joy givers rather than joy stealers?

Be on the lookout for those we can encourage.

Show gratitude.

Keep our focus on Jesus and spend ample time in His Word, which helps us keep our priorities, and therefore our attitude, straight.

Do everything without grumbling and complaining (Philippians 2:14).

Think of others as more highly than ourselves.

Assist someone in need.

Make it a goal to make someone’s day better. This can be someone random such as the grocery store clerk or someone you know and love.

Bear another’s burdens.

We’ve all been joy stealers a time or two, crabby because of a bad day or reacting harshly when we should have shown grace. But we should strive not to make it a habit. Rather, with His help, we can speak into people’s lives and be joy givers instead of joy stealers. Joy givers who realize that our joy is not from happy circumstances, but because of the hope we have in Him.

Posted in devotionals, family/marriage, for the family, Growing in the Lord, making a difference, top posts

10 encouraging blog post excerpts from the past 10 months

It’s hard to believe it’s already October. It seems this year has gone faster than any year in recent memory.

Below, in no particular order, are 10 encouraging blog post excerpts from the past 10 months. To read the post in its entirety, click on the “read more here…” at the bottom of the excerpt.

Which one did you find to be most encouraging?

5 things moms need

Being a mom is the best, but sometimes hardest job.

We yearn to make a difference in the lives of our children. To be the best mom we can be. We love our children with all that we are and strive to bring honor and glory to God in the way we raise them.

But motherhood can be a challenge, too. The baby who doesn’t sleep through the night. The temper tantrums of a toddler. The drama of junior high. The teenage years with all of the frightening things kids have to deal with in today’s modern world.

No wonder we moms can become worn out and tired. I look back at the photos from when my daughters were little, and my eyes are almost consistently closed in those pictures. I obviously tried to catch a wink of sleep any time I could get it.

So what can a mom do? How can she refresh and rejuvenate? What things do moms seriously need in the best, but hardest years of our lives?

Read more here…

how to be kinder in 2022

It’s hard to believe how fast this year is going. It wasn’t that long ago that we welcomed in a new year. And when a new year arrives, we make resolutions. Lose weight. Exercise more. Eat healthier. Stick to a budget. Declutter.

These are all excellent resolutions, but what if this year, we resolved to be kinder? More giving? More gracious? Less impatient? Not so quick-on-the-draw to find fault in someone who doesn’t see eye to eye with us? Less inclined to make others feel they have to align with our standards if we’re going to like them.

What if this year we made it a goal to be kinder? Here are 11 ways to do just that.

Read more here…

9 ways to show your kids you love them

When I first became a mom, I was shocked to discover the realization that God loved my children even more than I did. As much as I loved them—He loved them even more!

Of course, we, as parents, tell our children we love them, but how can we put actions to those words? Here are nine suggestions to show your kids how much they mean to you.

Read more here…

10 reminders of God’s enduring love

In a world of uncertainty, fickleness, and chaos, there is one thing we can always rely on…God’s enduring love. It is everlasting, true, and unending. Others may walk away, betray us, let us down when we need them most, but our Lord’s love will remain ever steadfast.

Below are 10 reminders of God’s enduring love.

Read more here…

10 ways to encourage others

In a world of struggles and disappointments, pain and setbacks, one of the most important things we can do for others is encourage them. Below are 10 ways to do just that.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “encouragement” as “something that makes someone more determined, hopeful, or confident.” In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, the Bible tells us, Therefore encourage one another and build one another up.

What are some simple ways we can encourage others?

Read more here…

conquering the joy zappers of life

All we have to do is live in the world for a day and it becomes evident there are joy zappers. We ourselves, other people, and even things that attempt to, while intentionally or inadvertently, steal our happiness seem to lurk around every corner.

Perhaps you recognize some of these joy zappers:

Illness. Ranking toward the top of joy zappers is illness. According to the National Health Council, “About half of all adults have a chronic condition”. Chronic illness, chronic pain, and chronic disease are tough and can feel unmanageable, frightful, and depressing.

Mean people. Mean people are akin to weeds in a garden of flowers. It can be beyond difficult at times to react in a God-glorifying manner with “weedy” folks.

Read more here…

10 ways to persevere through these challenging times

We live in a crazy world. Inflation is soaring, gas prices, groceries, and property taxes are all increasing. Violence is more prevalent. Things we never had to deal with as children are being thrust upon our own kids. The world is looking darker and darker everyday.

How can we persevere through these challenging times in our nation’s history?

Read more here…

are you an encourager or a discourager?

On the online thesaurus, there are over 50 synonyms for “encourage”. Words such as support, inspire, enliven, revitalize, and strengthen are just a few on the lengthy list. It seems a simple thing to, yet why is it often easier for us to discourage someone rather than encourage them?

Make no mistake, our words are powerful. But just how powerful?

There’s a quote that states “Words are powerful. Use them wisely.” They can either build someone up or tear them down.

Below are eight ways we can be encouragers.

Read more here…

14 things for girls to consider before dating

As a mom of daughters, we’ve had many great discussions about things to consider before they choose to date someone.

Everyone will have their own personal likes/dislikes. For example, my girls have mentioned they would never date someone who has a man bun, wears skinny jeans, or has body piercings.

While hair, clothing styles, and body piercings are all a matter of preference, some things are non-negotiable, and while we need to remember no one is perfect, being aware of the following attributes (or lack thereof) will help you make a more informed choice before you choose to date someone.

Below are 14 things to consider before dating that cute guy.

Read more here…

the importance of living out your faith

A friend recently told me a very inspiring story. When she first moved across the country for a new job, Lynn wasn’t sure what to expect in her new town. Her first Sunday there, she headed to a church, hoping to fellowship with like-minded believers and find a church home in the process.

No one welcomed her. No one said “hi.” No one even acknowledged her presence. And this was a small church.

Throughout the week, Lynn visited a local business. A woman who worked there invited Lynn to her church. “And I’ll be waiting by the front door for you so I can show you around,” she told Lynn.

Sure enough the woman was there. She showed Lynn around the church, introduced her to others, and encouraged her to come back the following week.

Lynn did.

When Lynn was diagnosed with breast cancer a short time later, the congregants of her new church drove her to her chemo appointments 95 miles each way, brought her meals, mowed her yard, and prayed with and for her. All with only knowing her a short amount of time.

Read more here…

Thank you for joining me today. Have a blessed rest of your week!

Before you go, check out these other posts.

Movie Monday: Sabina

tools to help your child succeed in life

Saturday Spotlight: Iron

how to become an undercover prayer warrior

31 songs to encourage you in difficult times

Forgotten Memories Blog Tour: Is Forgotten Memories the book for you?

Posted in devotionals, Growing in the Lord, higher purpose, the importance series

the importance of living out your faith

the importance of living out your faith

A friend recently told me a very inspiring story. When she first moved across the country for a new job, Lynn wasn’t sure what to expect in her new town. Her first Sunday there, she headed to a church, hoping to fellowship with like-minded believers and find a church home in the process.

No one welcomed her. No one said “hi.” No one even acknowledged her presence. And this was a small church.

Throughout the week, Lynn visited a local business. A woman who worked there invited Lynn to her church. “And I’ll be waiting by the front door for you so I can show you around,” she told Lynn.

Sure enough the woman was there. She showed Lynn around the church, introduced her to others, and encouraged her to come back the following week.

Lynn did.

When Lynn was diagnosed with breast cancer a short time later, the congregants of her new church drove her to her chemo appointments 95 miles each way, brought her meals, mowed her yard, and prayed with and for her. All with only knowing her a short amount of time.

She told me with tears in her eyes that these precious brothers and sisters in Christ had become her family.

Another friend, Sarah, in another town recently went through a nasty and unwanted divorce. Betrayed, broken, and hurt by the man she still loved, she stumbled into the church she had attended with her husband for the past year, sobbing and asking if someone would please pray with her. The secretary looked perplexed and called for one of the elders in the building. Rather than praying for her, he suggested she find a divorce support group, then ushered her out of the church.

Sarah has yet to find a new church home.

A blog post on how churches should welcome and support fellow believers?

On the contrary. Rather, my blog post is one about how important it is to live out our faith.

We, as Christians, have been given an important responsibility. To love Jesus and to love His church and to share the Gospel with nonbelievers.

Here are some suggestions on how we might better live out our faith.

Be the light. Sure, we hear this phrase often. But what does it mean to be the light? Consider the following verses:

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” ~ Matthew 5:14-16

“For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” ~ Ephesians 5:8

Ephesians 5 8

We are to stand out from the rest of the crowd. We are to show our light and be able to give an answer for the hope that lies within us (1 Peter 3:15). We aren’t to blend in and look like the world, but to look like one of His. Yes, there truly is a difference between us and someone who doesn’t proclaim Christ.

Definitely a tall order in a world that puts a high emphasis on things that are anti-Christian.

Be a doer, not just a talker. When we say we will pray for someone, we need to take that promise seriously and not just say it, but follow through and do so. Prayer is important and effective. People are hurting and struggling with a multitude of issues, from grief to serious illness; from job loss to homelessness; from addiction to the difficult road to recovery.

Reach out to those around you. Our world moves at a dizzying pace. We are ever consumed with busyness and a focus on our ourselves. What if we instead took the time to care for those less fortunate? To help someone in need of help? To lend a listening ear? To ask someone how we can serve them, and then offer to follow through with their request? To be a giver rather than a taker? Jesus consistently reached out to the less fortunate. He loved others with genuine passion. When we serve others, we serve Him. (Matthew 25:40-45).

In today’s world, it’s not always “popular” to be a Christian. We are encouraged to dim our lights or even put them out completely. Rather than follow the world’s demands, let’s  vow to live out our faith daily with the confidence that we are called to a higher purpose and live for Someone greater than anyone on earth.

As someone once said, “You may be the only Jesus some people see.”

it is impossible to

Check out these other blog posts:

the importance of perseverance

the importance of authenticity

Movie Monday: Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Road Less Traveled

Book News/Giveaways

surviving shingles – part 1

how to survive in an out-of-control world

how to be a Godly leader

Posted in devotionals, Growing in the Lord, making a difference, Miscellanous how-to

How to be a Godly Leader

We are all leaders. Whether we’re moms, dads, grandparents, older siblings, pastors, Bible study leaders, bosses, supervisors, teachers, coaches, mentors, or political figureheads.

No matter what our role, how can we be Godly leaders?

Seek to serve God in your leadership. When we make the mistake of serving man and being a people-pleaser in our role of leadership, it never ends well. Instead, remember there is only One to whom we must please.

Find a Godly mentor. Find someone who is mature in their faith and who can set an example for what it means to serve the Lord and serve others. Find someone who encourages questions.

Invest in others. As a Godly leader, we need to invest in the lives of those we lead. Find out what matters to them. What their concerns are.

Be different. One of the ways we, as Godly leaders can be “different” is to stand out. Many of us work in an atmosphere that includes those who don’t yet know the Lord. How can we show them we are not like the “world”? How can we set ourselves apart?

Lead by example.

Show grace. Everyone makes mistakes and has regrets. By showing grace to others, we mimic the grace God shows us.

Look for the potential in others. One of the things I admire about my husband, who is a supervisor at his place of employment, is that he looks for the potential in others. If one person might excel at a position they are not yet working in, Lon will encourage them to pursue that position. A Godly leader wants what’s best for others and will expound on their strengths.

Help those whom you lead to accomplish their goals. A Godly leader cares about the goals of others and doesn’t attempt to hinder them.

Don’t take others for granted. Show gratitude and humility.

Be a team player. No matter what leader position we are in, we can strive to work together, rather than against each other. Unfortunately in group settings, whether it be jobs, churches, or schools, we sometimes don’t see our role as that of being one unit with the same goal—to do best the task set before us. Also, we shouldn’t be afraid to get into the trenches and join those we lead. By being a team player, everyone benefits.

Don’t expect those who aren’t Believers to be Godly.

Being a Godly leader can have its challenges. Daily prayer for God’s guidance, His wisdom, and to see others the way He does, can help us to make a difference to those whom we are placed in a position of leadership over.


Before you go, check out these other posts:

serving unexpectedly

do you stand out?

6 suggestions for getting through the rough times in life

Ellis Creek happenings and a character quiz

10 Bible verses to start your day

the importance of healthy living

reading suggestions for kids of all ages

how to start a sisters in Christ group

the importance of respectful disagreement


This post was linked up to and shared on the Sweet Tea & Friends September Link-up and https://www.instaencouragements.com/blog

Posted in devotionals, Growing in the Lord

seeing the potential

I recently wandered into the garden section of our local grocery store. On a large rack with wheels were several drooping and withered flowers. “They’re on clearance,” the clerk told me.

I could see why.

But the daisies on the rack beckoned me to put them in the cart and attempt to rehab them. Give them a chance to perk up a bit.

I’ve never been one to give up on plants. The $5 spruce tree I purchased over a decade ago has grown into a tall and lovely tree. One could never tell the beautiful aspen was once a wilting $10 special.

Indeed, rehabbing wilting and withered plants in need of a good home has long been a passion of mine.

As I planted the half-dead daisies, I imagined their potential as part of a “daisy farm”. Lovely and vibrant white petals with yellow centers smiling toward the heavens. Green stems and leaves would replace the yellowed withered ones.

Over the next few weeks, I clipped off the dead parts, watered them, and kept the weeds from overtaking them. I saw little to no progress, but I wouldn’t give up. These flowers had the potential to be something beautiful.

Today when I did my daily watering, I noticed something both exciting and surprising.

A new daisy flower and a bud waiting to bloom on one of the plants.

I am grateful God sees the potential in us. That we are redeemable. That we aren’t hopeless. That He has a plan for our lives.

He tenderly and patiently nurtures us in our growth when we surrender our lives to Him. He patiently grows us as we strive to become more and more like Jesus. Not once does He throw His hands in the air and utter a “never mind”.

I’m grateful He doesn’t give up on us when we make mistakes, fail, don’t place Him in His proper place in our lives, or live like we’ve forgotten Jesus’ sacrifice for us. I’m humbled He cares for us and gently prunes us so we can better grow in Him.


Before you go, check out these other posts:

10 ways to persevere through these challenging times

leaving a godly legacy

do you stand out?

the top 10 blog posts of 2021

10 ways to encourage others

how to start a sisters in Christ group

how to build close bonds with your kids

a huge thank you to readers

Posted in devotionals, Growing in the Lord, Miscellanous how-to

10 ways to persevere through these challenging times

10 ways to persevere

We live in a crazy world. Inflation is soaring, gas prices, groceries, and property taxes are all increasing. Violence is more prevalent. Things we never had to deal with as children are being thrust upon our own kids. The world is looking darker and darker everyday.

How can we persevere through these challenging times in our nation’s history?

*Decide who and/or what is steering you. Where is your focus? The second we take our eyes off our Savior, we’re prone to succumb to fear, anxiety, worry, and depression over the current situation. If our focus is on the worldly events, suddenly things seem impossible to overcome. Instead, let’s fix our eyes on the author and the perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Let Jesus steer your life. He will never leave you, nor forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5).

Hebrews 13 5

*Soldier On. There is a certain challenging part of our family’s bike ride course that I especially love. Our family has nicknamed it “Hairpin Curve.” It’s a sharp curve, then a downhill sprint, followed by a steep uphill climb. My goal is to make it to the top of this steep hill while still in the saddle. Nine times out of ten, I achieve that goal. Heart pounding, quads burning, I keep my focus on what lies in front of me at the top of that hill (a quick break before I decide to tackle the whole thing again!) If I give up, my wheels will spin on the loose gravel, rendering me helpless to push through to the top without climbing off my bike.

Even when times seem bleak, we must soldier on. We can’t give up. Remember that God goes before us and stays with us the entire time. For those of us in Christ, it ends well, even if the “getting there” can be arduous at times.

*Reach out. This is a difficult time for many. Some people are struggling with keeping their jobs and paying the bills. Still others are facing serious health issues such as cancer. Reach out and check on family, friends, the people you know from church, work, and social media. Let them know you care.

*Improvise. When he was little, my brother devised a way to do his chore of hauling fireplace logs to the house. Rather than carry the logs in his arms to the house, he instead built a “rack” for the back of his on his three-wheeled, low to the ground, pedal-powered Big Wheel motorcycle toy. He even figured out a way to do “spin outs” on our driveway (with impressive skid marks) without losing his load. My brother may not have especially enjoyed the chore of hauling logs, but with his improvisation, suddenly it no longer felt like a chore.

Sometimes improvising means making a new budget and sticking to it. Sometimes it means carpooling with others or making less trips to town to save on gas. Other times it means turning off the TV or stepping away from social media for a time to recharge.

*Have gratitude. We can certainly find a million and five things to complain about in times like these. Instead, let’s focus on being grateful. How about making a Gratitude Journal? Everyday, add a few more things you are thankful for. Here are some ideas for starters:

Can you breathe? Do you have someone who cares about you? Do you have a loving spouse? Great kids? Do you have food? Clean water to drink? Are you healthy? Can your eyes behold the beauty of the blooming trees or the falling snow? Do you have a voice that can encourage others? Make a list of all the things, from “small” to big for which you are grateful. It won’t take long to see that the thankfulness outweighs the complaints.

*Intercede for others. We have been given a wonderful opportunity to be able to intercede for others through prayer. Of course, praying for our loved ones and friends is important. But how about even praying for random people? (Any neighborhood prayer walkers among us?)

*Keep your mind and body active. It’s easy to sit around all day and lament the happenings of the world around us. Instead, let’s keep our mind and body active. Put together a puzzle, play board games, do crossword puzzles, and even coloring has made a comeback in recent years.

In addition, focus on getting at least a half hour of physical exercise every day (please check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program). How about a walk around the block? Load up your kiddo in the baby jogger and head to the park for a walk before stopping at the playground. Or join a class at your local gym or senior center.

*Set goals and plans for each day. Keep a list of your goals for each day and cross them off as you tackle them.

*Find the funny. Reminisce with your family or friends (this can be done in person if you live with or near your family, via Skype, phone calls, instant messaging, or texts) of all the funny times you remember. Watch a humorous movie or short video.

*Spend time with Him. Most importantly, spend time with the Lord. Get to know Him. Read His Word. Rekindle your relationship with Him. Rediscover the One who gave His very life for you.

Philippians 4 4 (2)

Before you go, check out these other posts:

are you an encourager or a discourager?

10 reminders of God’s enduring love

putting minor inconveniences into perspective

14 items to include in a DIY emergency bin

resting in the arms of an unchanging God

13th blogoversary celebration and giveaway

13 verses for the fearful heart

Posted in devotionals, Growing in the Lord, miscellaneous how-to, Miscellanous how-to, what to do when series

what to do when it’s difficult to love others

Difficult coworker? Challenging neighbor? Formidable boss? Exhausting family member? Hurtful “friend”?

Relationships can be tough. God’s Word tells us to love others. To show grace. Extend mercy. But putting it into action can be difficult, if not impossible at times.

What can we do when it’s difficult to love others?

Pray for them. Yes, it may sound cliche, and sometimes we use the term flippantly. But prayer is powerful. God tells us to pray for our enemies, for those who are unkind, and for those we find most arduous to deal with. We’ve all found ourselves in a place where the last thing we want to do is pray for those who have hurt us or those who add a heavy dose of stress to our lives.

But prayer works. We can pray to see the difficult person how God sees them—through His eyes. And, if they don’t yet know Him, we can pray for their Salvation or spiritual progress.

Commit to praying for the unlovable person consistently for thirty days. And then another thirty days, knowing God hears your prayers.

Pray for wisdom in dealing with the person in a Christlike manner. In most cases, there is no way we can do this on our own. But we serve a gracious God who promises us wisdom when we ask for it.

Don’t seek out conflict with this individual. In other words, don’t cause strife.

On that note, sometimes even after attempting to handle an issue with a difficult person in a Biblical manner (Matthew 18:15-17), it is not resolved. In some cases, our best course of action is to keep our distance, to remain respectful when we see the person, but not to seek them out.

Forgive. If someone has wronged us, forgiveness can be the last thing we want to do. In many, if not most cases, forgiveness, especially if the conflict has been especially painful, can only be done with the help of the Holy Spirit. Seek His help to forgive.

Don’t seek revenge, however tempting it may be. God tells us in His Word to not take revenge (Romans 12:19) and not to repay evil with evil.

People aren’t easy to love. We are all sinful and all mistreat others at times. Dealing with relational conflicts can be grueling and stressful. But by leaning on our Lord Jesus Christ and seeking Him, He will provide the guidance we need to deal with the difficult people in our lives.

*Please note that if you are being abused in any way, please seek help immediately.


Other posts you may enjoy:

are you an encourager or a discourager?

6 suggestions for getting through the rough times of life

10 reminders of God’s enduring love

join the Forgotten Memories launch team!

tools to help your child succeed in life

resting in the arms of an unchanging God

subscribe to my newsletter

Posted in devotionals, Growing in the Lord, motherhood

leaving a godly legacy

Leaving a Godly Legacy.png

According to Webster’s Concise Dictionary, the word “legacy” means anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor.

Several summers ago at my grandpa, Papa’s, funeral, I was asked to write a lifesketch and speech in memory of him. As I began to work on the speech, I was convicted once again of the importance of the legacy we, as parents, leave behind for our children.

papa_and_maddie

Papa had so many people who loved him. In writing my speech, I gave a lot of thought to legacies and what they mean.

What kind of legacy will we leave behind for our children?

I once heard a quote from Austin L. Sorensen that went like this: “A child is not likely to find a father in God unless he finds something of God in his father.”

Austin Sorensen

Wow, that’s a powerful statement and something we, as parents, should take very seriously.

How can a child find something of God in his or her father? For example, are Daddy’s arms always open whenever there is a problem? Is Daddy a refuge in times of trouble? Is he a shield from the bad day at school or the fight with a best friend? Is Daddy loving, caring, and full of grace? Is he forgiving? Does he put the needs of others first? Is Daddy someone his child can trust? Is he an encourager, is he patient and kind?

God is all of these things, and these are just a few of the glimpses of God a child can see in her father. To see such things in her Daddy helps her to see that God is all of those things and more, only to perfection.

family 1.jpg

Parents (and grandparents!) don’t realize how important they are in their children’s lives and this is just another testament to this fact. I can testify as Papa’s granddaughter that I saw him exhibit traits such as being a pillar of strength, protective, loving, and caring. He was a hard worker, provided for his family, and desired justice, yet not revenge.

When I consider Papa’s legacy, I am inspired to consider my own legacy that I am building in my children.

In the song “Legacy” by Nichole Nordeman, she sings about her desire to leave a godly legacy.

As a mom, I want my daughters to remember me as someone who was compassionate, loyal, kind, one who loved Jesus above all else, was a faithful prayer warrior, a woman with a servant’s heart, and a fighter for the underdog.

Huge steps to fill. I pray I will achieve those lofty goals, but most of all, the eternal goal of sharing with them the priceless gift of our Lord’s sacrificial love.

When you reach the end of your life, will you have accepted the grace offered by the Lord Jesus Christ? Will God be saying to you, “Well done, good and faithful servant”?

Matthew 25 23

I am thankful for the blessing of Papa and the many years the Lord gave him to us. And I’m thankful for the glimpses of God that we saw in him.

Whether we are moms or dads, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, cousins, or grandparents, may we all leave behind a legacy that speaks of Christ and His saving grace that lives within us.

Before you go, check out these other posts:

5 things to do this summer

serving unexpectedly

are you an encourager or a discourager?

Ellis Creek happenings and a fun character quiz

10 reminders of God’s enduring love

5 ways to make your child feel loved

Saturday Spotlight: Deceived by Madisyn Carlin

reading suggestions for kids of all ages

subscribe to my newsletter

 

Posted in devotionals, family/marriage, for the family, Growing in the Lord, motherhood

tiny miracles

Tiny Miracles.png

In light of the recent Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, I wanted to revisit this post I first published three years ago.

To many of us, myself included, the Supreme Court decision was an answer to prayer. Most who know me know that I’m an avid supporter of life and a huge proponent for adoption.

There are many amazing articles about the topic of abortion, one of which is the article, “Is Abortion Always Wrong” by Donna Reidland. It’s insightful and well-worth the read.

“Walter’s short life was given a lifetime of purpose.” This quote is from a touching story about how one baby has changed the lives of many and can be found in the article about the precious Baby Walter. I would encourage you to read it, but do have some Kleenex at the ready.

And now for the post about Baby India, a tiny miracle of life.

On June 6, 2019, a tiny newborn was rescued…a baby girl who was destined for death when she was placed inside a plastic bag in Georgia.

Instead, upon hearing a noise, investigators found the baby, who had only recently been born. They filmed the dramatic event with a body cam.

As I watched this video, tears streamed down my face. This little baby, named Baby India, should not have survived. We all know the dangers of allowing children to play with plastic bags, let alone placing a helpless infant inside of one. A death sentence for certain once suffocation set in.

But Baby India didn’t die. She didn’t suffocate, didn’t starve to death, wasn’t found by a wild animal in the woods where she was placed. Instead, in God’s goodness and grace, He led rescuers to find her alive and seemingly healthy.

Indeed, even before Baby India was formed in the womb, the Lord knew her. Knew she would be rescued. He never left her side, not even once.

Requests to adopt Baby India have been pouring in by the hundreds. This precious child, whom someone determined shouldn’t live, instead has a future of life ahead of her.

In a world that condones and even promotes the killing of babies through abortion, this miracle baby survived. No, she wasn’t aborted, but rather someone attempted to kill her soon after her birth.

As I re-watched the video, I was reminded of God’s love for His Creation.

Indeed, He has a tender spot for children. We learn that children are a heritage from the Lord… (Psalm 127:3). Consider the words of Psalm 139:13-16:

Psalm 139 13-16

Miracles continue to occur each and every day—with full credit given to our Lord and Savior. Such was the tiny miracle of Baby India and her survival against the odds.

Posted in devotionals, Growing in the Lord

do you stand out?

As Christians, we are called to be different. To be set apart, to not be conformed to this world (Romans 12:2).

We are called to stand out. But do we?

As Believers, we uphold a higher standard. No, none of the things listed below will get us into heaven. Rules and good works don’t save us. Only putting our faith and trust in Him will.

However, when we have made Jesus our Lord and Savior, we should look different than the culture. We should do things differently. Respond differently.

Growing in Him is a lifelong process, one we won’t perfect this side of heaven. But we can, with His help, become more and more like Him everyday.

Would others be able to tell the difference between us and an unbeliever?

In how we treat others? Do we have empathy and compassion? Are we encouragers? Do we serve others and treat them as better than ourselves? (Philippians 2:3).

In the way we dress?

In the way we speak? Do we use crass words? Tear others down? Use His name in vain?

In what we watch, read, and listen to? Or are our entertainment choices the same as someone who doesn’t know the Lord?

In what we post online?

In how we spend our spare time?

In our thought life? In what fills our minds? In what consumes us?

In how we deal with temptation? It is always lurking around the corner. Do we give in or pray for God’s help to stand firm against it?

In how we react when someone tells an off-color joke or mistreats others in our presence?

Unbelievers do notice our words and actions. They are listening to what we say. Watching how we conduct ourselves. Whether we…

Walk in integrity.

“Walk the walk and talk the talk”.

Talk about our faith freely or hide it.

No, it’s not easy to look different. To stand out. To not give in to a culture that tempts us from every side. To care more about living for Him and caring what He thinks than what our friends or family think.

If we’re honest, we’ll admit it’s a struggle every day. Only with God’s help through constant prayer, worship, and the reading of His Word can we become more like Him than like the world.

May we glorify Him with the words we speak, our actions, and the words we write. May we be worthy of the calling He has placed on our lives. (Ephesians 4:1)

And may we stand out for Jesus.

This post was also linked up to The Sweet Tea & Friends Linkup.

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