Friday, June 28, 2013

Facing Trials

Being able to help others deal with the issue of trials and suffering is an important issue in life. Job's situation is a good example to examine. After Job had gone through SO many trials, Job feels like, it finally says in 31:35, Oh, that I had someone to hear me. I sign now my defense - let the Almighty answer me; let my accuser put his indictment in writing. Job 31:35

Do not ever be hesitant to admit that you are worn out and perhaps disappointed with God. You may have done what is right and for the right reasons. You might wonder how God could have permitted such a thing? Because God is good and fair, compassionate and loving, we anticipate His responding in ways we think He should act. However, we can't comprehend God and can't see things from His perspective.

After verse 31, one of Job's friends gives a speech. Then, God's message to Job began in ch. 38 and does not finish until the end of 41. He asks where God was at the foundation of the earth, and He takes a tour around the universe. He asks Job if he provides food for animals or when animals give birth, who made the wild donkey free, why the songs of the ostrich flap joyfully and who gives the horse its strength.
Sharon Beougher

Then, Job - in gentle submission - rests his case in the Father's will. He says, "You instruct me and as a result of Your instruction I will willingly submit and accept it." There is no hint of personal rights. There is no demand for God to understand him. There is no self-pity or depression. He is completely at rest.

At the end of God's speech, with NOTHING changed and with NONE of his questions answered, Job says essentially "I am Yours." I am totally amazed and challenged to see Job's submission without getting answers.

Then, he continues with, "I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eyes see You; Therefore I retract and I repent in dust and ashes" (see Job 42:4-6). Job sees God and knows that He is enough.

If you have time, read through the book of Job and be amazed at Job's response throughout his whole series of trials.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Words That Build

"For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with Him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing" (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11, ESV).

As believers, as we believe Christ will come again, let us not hesitate to encourage someone else. It can make a huge difference in their day and their week. Words that are full of truth and that lift others up can help all of us remember our Lord and Savior. He can bring life everyday.

Kelli Martin
Earlier this week, a Bible study I am a part of gathered and then went to Wal-Mart and Target in groups. We bought a few things, met people we didn't know and got to pray for some of them. It opened doors for several people to discuss who God is.

We met before and after and were reminded of God, His Word to us and His presence. We discussed sharing our faith and encouraged each other in it. It was neat that later, we got to try to encourage others at Wal-Mart and Target. God gave us the words to say. It was inspiring to hear the group's stories after the trip.

How can you encourage someone this week? Let's praise God that He brings life. We can pray that He fills us up and then overflows to others, so we can lift them up with truth, encouragement and the reminder that our Savior offers life so freely.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Many Flowers With One Gardener!

"There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.  There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.  Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good....All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.  Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.  For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.  Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many."  1 Corinthians 12:4-7, 11-14

During this season of blooming flowers, sunflowers are blooming in our garden right now and I love the word picture message God laid on my heart!  As a part of the body of Christ, there is one body with many parts.  The same is true in this picture of a bouquet of flowers; there are many flowers created by one Gardener, the Lord! 

As you look at a bouquet of flowers do you see yourself?  Do you see your giftedness?  Do you see your unique personality?  Do you see purpose?  You are in there!  You may be the beautiful background flower, the tender accent flower, the colorful complimentary flower, or the sunflower that leads them all (someone has to be the sunflower and God never intended the other flowers to be jealous or envious of anyone).  Every flower is necessary for the common good and purpose of the bouquet.  Every flower is meant to bloom the unique ways that God planted them and created them to bloom.

As the body of Christ, each member needs to be included, needs a place to belong, needs to be accepted for the unique ways that God has gifted and created them.  When everyone is embraced for different service but with the same Lord, you will have a beautiful bouquet of ministry taking place for the common good of people knowing Jesus, sharing Jesus, and leading others to do the same!  I have seen this kind of ministry in action.  I have experienced God take a group of people that are embraced for their uniqueness and watch Him mobilize them for God's Glory and the saving of many lives.  This is a beautiful work of the Lord.

I have also seen the downside of ministry when the enemy tries to get members in the body of Christ to favor one over the other, leaving out members that have gifts to give, turning ministry into a competition or popularity of one over another, and abandoning members that may not in their in crowd....the results of the enemies tactics is not may look something like this
one flower left standing alone, wiped out from being alone in ministry, lacking the ministry life and beauty that God intended through many flowers with one Gardener!  
I love the differences in the body of Christ, I love to surround myself with others that have gifts that I do not have so that they build strenght and beauty into the beautiful bouquet of ministry that God has called us to!  I love how God says it best in 1 Corinthians 12:15-26 "Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.  And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body.  If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?  But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.  If they were all one part, where would the body be?  As it is, there are many parts, but one body.  The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”  On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it."!!!!  ("You Are For Me" by Kari Jobe)

Excited about encouraging women to know Jesus, share Jesus, and lead others to do the same:-)!!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

press on press on press on press...

12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14, NASB

I don't have hold of it yet, I have not become perfect and my assurance is that I never will! But fortunately, God just wants me to press on! These verses in Philippians 3:12-14 remind me that I am to press on, reach forward, and keep following God's call in my life. I often need to be reminded of this truth.

Tonight I find myself still working on tasks that never seem to end. Just when I think I have finished a project, I find still another error or realize that the artwork is not the correct type of file or that God is correcting my direction. It is easy to be discouraged when the pressures are great. Every day, I feel like I am on The Apprentice and that if I don't figure it out, I will be fired. My hat is off to those who are in the publishing business; I now understand why it takes so long (don't like it, do understand)!

God is reminding me that He has not left me, but He does not want me to leave Him either. He wants me to press on! I just need to look for Him for direction and correction, and depend on Him to help me at every turn. I'm going to forget about what didn't happen today, sleep and press on and trust Him again tomorrow. Will you join me?

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Different Kind of Trial

Jan Dravecky is the wife of the baseball player, Dave Dravecky, who lost an arm to cancer. Jan wrote a book called A Joy I'd Never Known where she described her personal experiences as she walked through this with him. As she dealt with this trial she wrote, "At the prime age of thirty-four my life took a detour - not one that I planned. My journey took me into the valley of panic attacks, anxiety and depression. I have never known anyone who had ever experienced something like this, and as a committed Christian for over eight years, I did not understand how this could be happening to me. I wondered what was wrong with me. Guilt engulfed me. I felt alone, confused and scared....I needed a lifeline. God did throw me that lifeline pulling me out of the dark hole and into his light."

"A Journey Not My Own"

As a youth with plans and dreams I set my course ahead.
Sharon Beougher
I owned the world and all its worth. Not following - I led.
I often sought new travelers and helped them find their way.
So strong was I, they did not know my vessel was of clay.
Not one was more prepared than I for raging storms at sea.
But I ignored small leaks and cracks within that vessel - me.
I drifted in deep waters far away from those I love,
Convinced that I was all alone and God somewhere above.
And in the darkness of my sea I heard a soft voice say,
"I'm by your side to mend your ship, my precious one of clay."
It's then I had realized though God was at my side, I was the one who set the course with all my senseless pride.
I now have found an inner peace - my journey's not my own.
With Jesus at the helm I have a joy I'd never known.

Each of us have different journeys in our lives. We need to hang onto the lifeline Jesus offers us and model our response to difficult circumstances so that we might "appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain." (Philippians 2:15b-16).

(Excerpt from A Joy I'd Never Known by Jan Dravecky)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Horseshoes and Victory

"The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord." Proverbs 21:31. 

I admire the stamina and grace that horses seem to show when they move. Stories about their help in battle, their beauty and even their companionship draw me in. Simply, I admire strength and beauty. Yet, God has greater strength and beauty than anyone or anything else I can find.

Nothing compares to His love and might. God not only is courageous and victorious over darkness, but also He has this reputation of displaying great heart as He relentlessly pursues people to come to know and trust in Him. This Savior King who rules over all things invites us into a real, growing relationship with Him.

Kelli Martin
By Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, the invitation is there for us to be forgiven, to be in God's presence and to be His people. As we are His and give Him the reins, we can trust He will be true to His word and that we are under His watch. We can be strong and courageous because we trust in the great I AM and His lead.

So, don't get me wrong - I still have a wide-eyed love for horses. I just am happy to be reminded that God is stronger and more beautiful than anything else. Pray with me thanks to God for who He is. Let's pray that we see times to share more about our strong and beautiful God with someone this weekend.

"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God." Psalm 20:7

Verses related to this: 2 Corinthians 3:4-6, Genesis 3:14-15, Exodus 14:14, Deuteronomy 31:6.

Loving these music videos by Citizens: "Made Alive" and "I Am Living in a Land of Death."

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Teach Us To Number Our Days

"Teach us to number our days, that we may present to You a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12
Kari Beougher

There are so many different endeavors that fill our time. For me this week, I feel as though every single moment of my day is accounted for- church activities, work, school, social events, family, relationships- all these occupy our days. I love this verse because I am reminded every time I read it of how much I truly do need the Lord to teach me to purpose my time and to make sure I am honoring Him with my use of it.

Ephesians 5:15-16 says, "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is." The days are evil. None of us know how much time the Lord has ordained for us. James reminds us, "You do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that" (James 4:14-15). On our own, we do not have the wisdom to appropriately plan our time or make proper use of it. We need the Lord's help in structuring and filling our time in a way that glorifies Him and accomplishes what He has planned for us.

Today, may we seek the Lord for wisdom in how to manage our time and "number our days." May we entrust our time, days and endeavors to His keeping. Today may we make the most of our day and purpose our time well to the glory of God.

Monday, June 17, 2013

HeartCall Tract

"HeartCall Tract"
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16

When God calls to your heart, answer Him. He loves you, cares for you and wants the best for you. He sent His only son, Jesus Christ, to die so that you might have life. God wants to forgive you of all sin, but you have to let Him. He can give you a new start.

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come." 2 Corinthians 5:17

Jaye Martin
The "HeartCall Tract" walks the reader through the gospel message using a heart for HOPE, a cross for BELIEVE, an arrow for TURN, and the word HeartCall for CALL. It is God's plan that you can hope in Him, believe He sent Jesus to die on the cross for you, turn to Him and away from Him, and call on Christ to be your Lord and Savior. These simple truths can and will change your life. Will you trust Him? He is calling from His heart to yours?

Order a package of 50 of the "HeartCall Tract" to give your friends and to use at your church. If you want to know more about being a new believer, download the new believers guide, HeartCall New Heart: What it Means to Believe. You can find both these resources at

Friday, June 14, 2013

Blessed Be the Name of the Lord

"Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Through all this, Job did not sin, nor did he blame God." Job 1:20-21

If you don't know the story of Job, let me tell you that he lost everything he had in the matter of a very short time. He lost 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, 500 female donkeys, many servants, but also ALL of his children - seven sons and three daughters. After 35-40 years of marriage, Job's entire family, except for his wife, was wiped out.

The verse above shows Job's response. He blesses the name of the Lord! And God never did explain the answers to WHY all of it happened.

Sharon Beougher
Later on in the book of Job in chapter 23, verse 10 he says, "But He knows the way I take; when He was tried me, I shall come forth as gold." What a response to an unbelievable trial and tragedy."

People noticed how he handled his situation. Who could bless the Lord after all that had happened? Job could, because He knew that God knew the way he took and it was not without purpose. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path" (Prov. 3:5-6).

May we all handle trials like Job and trust that He indeed knows the way we take!


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Step by step

"The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9

Throughout countless situations in my life over the years, I have seen the truth of this verse. From picking a college and then a major, from relationship decisions to career choices, from summer plans to living situations, I have made my plans and the Lord has accomplished His. Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." Again and again, I have been frustrated as the Lord has upset my plans and the way that seems right to me. And yet, again and again I find myself  abundantly thankful because the Lord truly does know best. How comforting to know that the God who "works all things together for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28) is also the God who "establishes" our steps (Psalm 37:23).

Proverbs 20:24 says, "Man's steps are ordained by the Lord, how then can man understand his way?" After years of trying to understand my own way and pursuing "the way that seems right" to me, I can honestly say I take great comfort in knowing that it is the Lord who directs, establishes and ordains my steps. I am content to trust in Him with all my heart, leaning not on my own understanding but allowing Him to direct my paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).

 God knows of all of the days that were planned for us "when as yet there was none of them" (Psalm 139:16). Today, may we confidently trust in His character, purposes and plan. May we entrust our steps to God's leading and seek His guidance, trusting that He has a plan to prosper and not to harm, to provide a future and hope (Jeremiah 29:11).

Friday, June 7, 2013

Consider it Joy

James 1:2-3 is a challenging verse! How do we consider hard times joy? Yet, that is what we are told to do by the Lord. Some questions that may help us during these times are to ask:
  • What is God trying to teach me during this hard time?
  • How can I see this situation from God's viewpoint?
  • How can I trust God in the middle of this trial?
  • How do other people perceive me during this suffering?
God does teach us through trials; if we go to Him, He will draw us close and be near to the brokenhearted. But we also need to realize that others are watching us and observing how we are handling the trial. 

We had a church member whose nine year old daughter fell out of a tree onto a concrete driveway, causing a serious concussion and coma. The doctors could not guarantee that the daughter would survive or that she would not have brain damage. My husband, Tim, asked the mother how she was holding up. Her response has challenged us ever since. She said, "I told God I was going to praise Him if she lived and I was going to praise Him if she died. He is my Lord, and He knows best."

Her reaction to this trial was not based on a momentary feeling. She made a decision that she was going to trust God no matter what. Her faith impacted the nurses, doctors and all who came to visit her.

People are watching how we handle adversity. Let us determine to handle it, trusting our Lord and God.

(By the way, as Tim and the parents were praying over her, she opened her eyes and said, "Hi, Mom." God healed her completely.)

(Cartoon from

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Gifted2Go Living From A Garden!

Isaiah 58:11 "And the Lord shall guide you continually and satisfy you in drought and in dry places and make strong your bones. And you shall be like a well-watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not." (AMP)

I love how God leads us and speaks to us as His witnesses and disciples.  He can even speak to us through a garden!  There are some specific steps you take to grow a garden, just like there are some specific steps you take as His witness.  Let's compare 5 steps of the two:

Step One:  Choose a location to plant.  Just like you choose a strategic place to grow a garden, it is also strategic when you choose specific people to share Jesus with!  The main point of this step is to take the first step, perhaps out of your comfort zone, and talk to people.  I pray that Mark 13:11 will give you courage to speak to others that you may or may not know that need Jesus, Mark 13:11 says, "...don't worry in advance about what to say. Just say what God tells you at that time, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit."

Step Two:  Prepare the soil.  Just like the hard work it takes to plow the soil to grow a garden, it can also be hard work to prepare to plant seeds of the Gospel as you prepare your own heart and life to be His witness.  As His witness, it takes daily preparation in prayer, Bible study, training, growing as His witness to be prepare to share Jesus with others.  Just like a garden will not grow on its own without good soil, as His witness you will not grow on your own without good soil in your heart, you must depend on God and the specific steps it takes to be His witness as you prepare to share Jesus with others, but the rewards are His Harvest of Hearts, just like the rewards of a garden are His Harvest of Vegetables.  Think about your heart as His soil, what condition is your heart in?  God's Word helps us understand and prepare the soil of our hearts, Mark 4:1-9 "Again He began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land.  And He was teaching them many things in parables, and in His teaching He said to them:  “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow.  And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it.  Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil.  And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away.  Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain.  And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty fold and sixty fold and a hundredfold.”  And He said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Step Three:  Plant and water the seeds.  Just like planting and watering seeds in a garden produces vegetables, planting and watering seeds of faith in the lives of people that need the Lord is important for them to grow towards a believer.  And guess what, God causes seeds of faith that we all plant and/or water to grow in the heart of those that need Jesus, it's all about Him and that takes the pressure and pride off of you and I!!  I love how God's Word says it best in 1 Corithians 3:6-9 "I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.  So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth.  Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.  For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field..." (NASB) 

Step Four:  Pull the weeds.  Just like weeds in a garden will choke out the life of the plants that you are trying to grow, weeds of sin in the life of you as a witness will choke out the desire to share Jesus!  Daily pulling any weeds of sin out of our lives as His witness is vital and important!  Throw off any sin that easily entangles you and keep sharing Jesus.  Confession is good for the heart of His witness just like weed pulling is good for the growth of a garden!  Hebrews 12:1-3 says it best; "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

Step Five:  God blesses His Harvest.  Just like a healthy garden produces a harvest of vegetables, a healthy growing witness will be blessed by God for sharing Jesus with others!  Oh, it may not be material blessings and it WILL NOT be easy, but the rewards from God through the sense of joy God gives to His witnesses for saying YES to His Gifted2Go calling is one of the greatest blessings you will ever experience!!  Psalm 126:5-6 says it best "Those who cry as they plant crops will sing at harvest time.  Those who cry as they carry out the seeds will return singing and carrying bundles of grain."

Please always know that we are praying for you as you keep stepping out of your comfort zone, preparing, planting, watering, pulling weeds of sin out, and get ready to be GOD will make all evangelistic seeds grow!!  You are Gifted2Go Grow & Share Jesus!!  "I Bless Your Name"  Selah

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

No Greater Love

"When you were DEAD in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you ALIVE together with Him, having FORGIVEN us all our transgressions, having CANCELED out the certificate of DEBT consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, NAILING it to the cross." Colossians 2:13-14.

What a precious truth to think about this morning. What a humbling reminder that there truly is nothing good in us apart from Christ and it is through His sacrifice that we have forgiveness and life.  I love this verse in the song, O the Blood, "Oh what love, no greater love, grace, how can it be? That in my sin, yes even then, Christ shed His blood for me!"  

 Romans 5:6-8 says, "For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." How incredible. 

Today, take time to think about what God has done for us in Christ Jesus. Thank Him for His grace, forgiveness, salvation and sacrifice. May the truth of God's amazing love awe, humble and excite us and lead us to share Him with others.

Monday, June 3, 2013

New Heart

"Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17, NASB

 Having a new heart doesn’t mean anything is easy, in fact it can make things worse. Your old heart and desires are being replaced but it is a daily struggle against the things of God and the things of the flesh. Last night, I saw the play, Sister Act. At the end, the play added that God and the human spirit are equal and are one. Oh my, don’t buy into that untruth! God’s new heart is stronger. He is stronger! Read the Bible: Jesus is all-powerful, Jesus wins!

 If you follow Christ with a passion, you know what it means to believe and have a new heart. God’s promise, found is 2 Corinthians 5:17, is that if we are in Christ (if we have placed our hope in Him, believed God send Jesus to die on the cross, turned to Him and away from sin, and let Him be our Lord and Savior), we have a new heart. We are created by God but return to Him as He recreated us for His glory. Old things are gone, new things are here.

 This week, we are thrilled to release the long-awaited new believers’ guide, “HeartCall New Heart: What it Means to Believe.” This 62 page, eight-day downloadable resource is a workbook designed to help anyone with the basic steps to the faith: hope, believe, turn and call, as well as the next steps to walking with Christ: share, church, pray and Bible. You will find it on our new website, in our shop:

I pray that if you don’t have a new heart, you will ask God to give you one.

You know you are loved.