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 family/marriage, Growing in the Lord, Miscellanous how-to, motherhood, parenting

14 things for girls to consider before dating

14 things for girls to consider

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.

1. How is his faith walk? Is he growing in Christ? Is he living out his faith? Is he unashamed of his faith? Does he pray with and for you? Is his faith an important part of his life? Does he “walk the walk and talk the talk”?

Romans 12 2

2. How does he spend his time? We have become a world obsessed with technology. While that’s not bad in and of itself, if you are contemplating dating someone who has an addiction to video games or is constantly on his phone or social media, you might want to think twice about whether there would be any room in his life for you. As a matter of fact, a name has been given to cell phone addiction: “nomophobia”. According to techjury.net, “66% of the world’s population shows signs of nomophobia.” And gaming and cell phone addiction aren’t the only addictions to be wary of.

And while video games, social media, and time spent on a cell phone are fine in moderation, look for someone who spends his spare time doing productive things.

3. What is his standard for music, books, and movies? What does he allow to fill his mind? What does he allow his eyes to see and his ears to hear? What goes in will come out in his attitude, personality, and the way he treats others.

4. Speaking of how he treats others, how does he treat…

Your family? A guy who wants nothing to do with your family is a guy to avoid. In addition, a guy who won’t allow you to spend time with your family could have possessive and abusive tendencies.

His family? Some people come from dysfunctional homes, and as such, the guy you are considering dating may not be close to his family. That is tough and there are many logistics involved in that. But is your potential boyfriend respectful to his family? Does he care about their wellbeing? You can be estranged and still care about those you are not close to.

Children? It has been said many times that how a guy treats little children and babies is a huge indicator of the type of person he is. Is he hateful, rude, and sees little ones as a burden? Does he believe babies should be aborted because they aren’t worthy of living? Notice how he treats not only your siblings and his siblings, but also children at functions, such as church.

The elderly? Does he view them as precious creations of God or as wasting society’s resources?

Animals?  Your potential guy doesn’t have to be a dog or cat lover to be kind to animals. But you don’t want to date someone who mistreats or abuses animals.

5. How does he treat you when you can’t do anything for him? Does he take care of you when you are sick? Is he there for you?

6. How does he handle disagreements? Does he withdraw, get into a raging fight, or blame everything on you? Guaranteed that if you date (and later marry!) anyone for any length of time, you will have disagreements. It’s natural for two people to not see eye-to-eye on every subject. How he handles conflict speaks volumes.

7. How is his work ethic? Is he lazy and unmotivated? Or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, a workaholic?

8. Is he loyal? Will he defend your honor?

9. Is he honest? Does he keep his word? Does he do what he says he’ll do? Is he honest when speaking with authorities?

10. Does he have a servant’s heart? There are multiple ways to serve others and it’s not a one-size-fits-all. But is he using his gifting to make the lives of others better?

1 Peter 4 10

11. How does he handle your concerns or fears? Lightly? With care?

12. Does he respect you? Or does he coerce, guilt-trip, pressure, or force you to do things that are against your convictions, make you uncomfortable, and/or aren’t safe?

13. Does he show any signs of an abusive temperament? In other words, how does he treat those he is no longer friends with or girls he formerly dated?

One thing my daughters and I have discussed often is the high rate of abuse suffered by young women in “romantic” relationships. A horrifying statistic from the website loveisrespect.org states “Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year”. Further, “Nearly half (43%) of dating college women report experiencing violent and abusive dating behaviors”. The rise of cyber abuse has contributed to the problem.

As a mom, this frightens me more than I can express. We can’t see all of the warning signs in a potential abuser, but we can be aware that abuse does exist and be on the lookout.

14. How is his overall character and integrity? One of my favorite quotes is that assessing one’s integrity is done by seeing what they do when no one is looking.

C.S. Lewis

Webster’s defines integrity as “adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty”. Character and integrity are crucial and a huge part of someone’s personality. Does your potential boyfriend stand for what is right?

Stand even if alone

In our house, we put an emphasis on intentional dating. Not dating just to date, but rather seriously contemplating who to date and whether that person could be a potential long-term prospect. This helps to “weed out” those who could never be potential mates for a variety of reasons, and helps eliminate the emotions, heartbreak, and problems that arise from failed “romantic” relationships.

Other posts on this blog that you may enjoy reading:

4 ways to reconnect with your spouse

10 ways to help your kids choose good role models

Looking to homeschool? Here are 7 things to consider.

7 tips to help safeguard against an entitlement attitude in your kids

Movie Monday: Chronicle Mysteries – Recovered

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 family/marriage, Growing in the Lord, Humor posts

the power of prayer: surviving Papa’s driving

One of the things you’ve likely noticed about my blog is that it truly is random. I blog on a variety of topics and today, I’m taking a trip back to the “olden days”. Back when life was simpler and less stressful, and things moved at a slower pace. Well, everything but my grandpa, Papa’s, car when he drove us to and from church.

It was during those times that I truly began to believe in the power of prayer.

It was just like any other Sunday. My sister, cousin, and I climbed into the backseat of Papa’s vintage automobile. It was already an antique even in the 80s. Lengthy with four doors, it wasn’t any stretch of the imagination (no pun intended) to be able to fit your entire household into the backseat.

Fortunately, only three young girls needed to sit comfortably on the blue bench seat of the 1960 automobile. There were no seatbelts in Papa’s old car, which made the ride all the more exciting.

In the front seat, Papa rode with his bride, Nanie (my grandma), by his side. All was relatively calm as we drove through town and headed toward the highway. As a former police officer, Papa always intended to obey the speed limit.

It was just that, well, his mind was on other things as he drove, like Nanie, the woman who had captured his heart in the 1940s.

My sister, cousin, and I geared up for the upcoming curvy and excessively winding roads through the canyon. For Papa, there was no reason to take corners slowly. After all, the old white car had a sturdy engine and ample power. And to Papa, it was the epitome of a streamlined and aerodynamic race car.

It was in those moments when the front of the car veered around the corner, leaving us girls still around the bend waiting to catch up, that we watched the scenery pass by us at an alarming rate of speed. We were, in trio tandem, sliding from one side then the other as Papa navigated the corners.

Never mind the nausea that threatened an upheaval of Mom’s pancakes we’d eaten for breakfast only minutes before.

Papa slung his arm around Nanie and whistled, alternating his gaze from Nanie on his right to the scenery on his left, and once in a while on the road ahead. His other arm rested on the window frame and simultaneously steered the wheel.

I was grateful for those whistled tunes, as it did help at least temporarily, to take my mind off the times he accidentally went too close to the shoulder of the road.

Nanie giggled and hummed a few tunes in sync with Papa’s whistling. And Papa gave her adoring glances as if they’d just met. They shared in pleasant conversation, seeming never to run out of things to say.

The ride lasted forever, and I closed my eyes around some of the sharpest turns. While I hadn’t yet committed my life to Jesus, I knew from previous church attendance with Nanie and Papa that God heard our prayers.

And when God delivered us safely to the church, I knew for certain prayer is powerful and that He does, indeed, hear us.


Before you go, check out these other posts:

the great prune escapade

10 ways to encourage others

fantabulous pumpkin muffins recipe

book news/giveaways

how to become an undercover prayer warrior

the importance of a good work ethic

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.

Before you go, check out these other posts:

11 verses about God’s unfailing love

Movie Monday: Play the Flute

surviving shingles, part 1

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