Where is Courage?

“For the believer, fear is always God—fearful. If God is sovereign and His rule is complete, wise, righteous, and good, why would you fear?”

Paul David Tripp*

Hezekiah, king of Judah, knew in moments like these (Judah’s invasion by Assyria) God’s people were often given to fear; he knew where that fear came from.

Often in moments of challenge the people of God panic because they possess what we call “identity amnesias’. Today, really is no different. We too often forget who we are as children of God and we forget who God is in all His almighty power and glory.

We must not forget Hezekiah’s challenge to his people – listen!

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him…with him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God, to help and to fight our battles

(2 Chronicles 32:7—8).

We may not have the army of Assyria knocking on our door, but we all have an “Assyria” in our life…maybe two!

There will be a moment when you will ask, ‘Where is courage to be found to face what I am facing?

Hezekiah gives us the answer – “Look up and remember YOUR God.” As God’s child, you are never left to battle on your own!

12 I, even I, am He that comforteth you: who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; 13 And forgettest the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? and where is the fury of the oppressor? 14 The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail. 15  But I am the Lord thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The Lord of hosts is His name. 16 And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people. 17 Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem…” (Isaiah 51: 12–16 & 17).

*A special thank you to Paul David Tripp for walking in the spirit of God and sharing that walk with thousands. In this blog post there have been excerpts from his devotional called: New Morning Mercies (January 9). If you do not have this book I highly recommend that you purchase it. It has been an extreme blessing to my soul and you will be glad you did (he didn’t tell me to say that).

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Share Your Story!

What has God done for you?
Share your story!

“Joshua called for all the Israelite tribes at Shechem and summoned the elders, clan heads, judges, and officials of Israel. They presented themselves before God. 2 Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: Long ago your fathers—Terah father of Abraham and Nahor—lived beyond the Euphrates[a] and served other gods. 3 I took your father Abraham from beyond the Euphrates,[b] brought him through all the land of Canaan, and gave him many descendants. To him I gave Isaac. 4 To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau, and to Esau I gave Mount Seir for his inheritance, but Jacob and his descendants went down into Egypt. 5 “I sent Moses and Aaron, I struck Egypt down with all I did in their midst, and afterward I brought you out. 6 I brought your fathers out of Egypt, then you came to the sea. The Egyptians pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea. 7 Your fathers cried out to the Lord, and He placed darkness between you and the Egyptians. He made the sea come upon them and cover them. Your own eyes saw what I did to Egypt, and you lived in the wilderness a long time. 8 “I brought you to the land of the Amorites who lived on the other side of the Jordan. They waged war against you, but I gave them into your hand so that you might inherit their land, and I destroyed them before you. 9 Then Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and waged war against Israel. He called for Balaam son of Beor to curse you, 10 but I refused to listen to Balaam. Therefore he blessed you still, and I delivered you out of his hand. 11 “You crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho. The leaders of Jericho, along with the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites, and Jebusites, waged war against you, but I gave them into your hand. 12 I sent the hornet and drove out the two Amorite kings from before you, but not with your sword or your bow. 13 I gave you a land for which you did not work, and cities that you did not build. You live in them, and you are eating from the produce of vineyards and olive groves you did not plant. 14 “Now fear the Lord, and serve Him with sincerity and faithfulness. Put away the gods your fathers served beyond the River[c] and in Egypt. Serve the Lord. 15 If it is displeasing to you to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve, if it should be the gods your fathers served beyond the River[d] or the gods of the Amorites’ land where you are now living. Yet as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:1-15 mev).


If you could see me now, I have this smiley smirk on my face that I cannot get rid of. This passage just tickles my soul. As I read through these 15 verses, I cannot help but think…we too have a story to share. Just as Joshua rehearsed Israel’s life up to that point, we need to rehearse ours. Remember, we have been bought with a price therefore we must give Him all the glory (1 Corinthians 6:20).

The same God that was at work in Israel’s life is the same God that works in our lives today.

Israel made a choice that day. They proclaimed to Joshua, “It is the Lord our God we will serve, and His voice that we will obey” (verse 24).

  • Will you choose this day for God?
  • Will you choose what has been given to you by God and bring Him glory?
  • Will you share your God-given story? You know, there is only one you…so there is only one of your story. If you don’t share no one will know.
  • Will you declare this day that you too will proclaim God’s work in you as good?
  • Will you join thousands who have said and lived, “I will serve the Lord, and obey His voice?”

Your story is just that…yours. No one can fulfill, no one can proclaim, no one can decide whether you serve or love; or whether God is obeyed. We have only one life to offer…and yes, it is that seriously grand!

Maybe, just maybe one will join with Joshua and the Israelites and it be said of us, “___________ (insert your name here), served the Lord all the days of his/her life…and others knew of all the deeds that the Lord had done for him/her because of what he/she proclaimed” (read verse 31).

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered}

Live Courageously, Strong, and Bravely Free

Truly, this alone can One fulfill, that is God. I am bewildered at such great love, such affection for mankind — His children; such care and gentleness our Lord showers deliberately upon us. Purposeful. It leaves me speechless.

What a God of all comforters, giver of strength, hope, courage, leadership, direction and source of all resources…if only we believe, if only we trust. He cannot lie, therefore, we read truth.

To think, God, the encourager of my soul and giver of true life…desires this for us! Read Deuteronomy 31:6 again.

As wonderful and gracious as God is, we have been given the freedom to choose. The freedom to accept His strength, leadership, bravery, courage, We have been given the freedom to choose to trust and rely on Him rather than ourselves or others, therefore, we choose our outcome.

This greatness is within our grasp…the question is will I latch onto it or choose rejection and then continue to live in fear and be afraid?

To realize who we are, what we are, and understand the gravity of who God is…is priceless not demeaning.

This isn’t license to degrade, belittle or bemoan who we are or fester in what we’ve been though, but rather see ourselves with or without God placed in first place; at the helm.

It is true, without God we live defeated, fearfulness grows and takes root. We live alone, afraid, accepting intimation, doubts, and sin as the only way possible.

Today, will you trust in God’s best for you? Will you choose to live bravely, courageously, actively because you have taken the mightiest source available…God’s hand.

Today, will you trust God even against what your flesh commands your mind to think? Will you take the hardest step, the first step, and believe the God of gods, the King of kings, the Lord of lords and give Him your hand, your heart, your mind, your soul, your life?

We choose how we live…it is as simple as that.

Today, I consciously make the decision to trust in the One who gives courage, who gives strength, who gives insight, who gives life, resources and ability. I trust in the One who gives wisdom, bravery even when I don’t feel very brave or courageous. I trust in the One who gives true freedom.

Today, I choose to be courageous, strong and brave because I know He is the only One that can accomplish that in me…that isn’t weakness but strength.

Will you join me brothers and sisters in Christ? I would love to know: follow our WordPress page, like us on FB, write a comments…who is with me? Who is for God?

You are not alone. I am not alone. Let’s stand together in CHRIST!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

I AM THE GOD WHO SEES

It doesn’t matter how much we question. It doesn’t matter how much we doubt. It doesn’t matter how much we wonder. God sees! Trust that!

  • Hagar
  • Ruth
  • David
  • Jesus
  • Mary Magdala

Click Play. Listen & Be encouraged!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

The Opportunity

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I have pondered many things over the past several months; 2020 has allowed such time to ponder; the irony of it all is I haven’t had much to say, known how to write it, or simply watched.

I can say 2020 has flooded our minds with thoughts, opinions, reactions, anger, worry, fear, or spurred on an assurance that God hasn’t lost control.

I know, we have heard it all. We have seen it all. We have felt the effects — media confusion, articles that compel or disgust, arguments that frustrate, lives turned and our souls found in disarray, confusion, doubt, worry, and fear…and some have found themselves in sickness and/or death.

We wonder where truth has gone or what to believe? Where should we turn or go or how should we live? We don’t know what to do and we find ourselves restricted in what once was.

In July, I had the opportunity to be a sponsor at a camp in North Carolina with our two older children. Boy, I was ready! I had my week all planned out and I was ready to go.

Our trip was safe and the girls were settled into their cabins and enjoying life. I headed to my room.

I settled in. My room was nice, clean, and perfect for what I needed for the week, but I quickly found out that what I had planned was not the Lord plan.

I couldn’t believe it. Here I was ready to do my thing, close the world out and focus…focus on God (isn’t that a noble thing?), my business, and blog. Suddenly, sponsor life wasn’t what I thought it was going to be.

For three days, all my plans were up side down. I felt alone and aggravated that the internet was down. I kept asking different people on campus when and how to get internet, but every time I got no where, no answers. By day four, the Lord had done a work on my heart, mind and soul and what I thought was a wrecked week turned into what my soul really needed.

It forced me to sit. To be still. To read His Word. To write with a pen and paper…

Funny how after the Lord convicted my heart of its sin and self absorption He allowed the internet to work. Everything I was looking to do via the internet did get completed by the end of the week…now isn’t the Lord gracious!

He used those first three days to rip the layers of self, pride, and erase the noise that my soul was carrying. He knew what I needed that week and it wouldn’t be accomplished until my soul was silenced.

The past year (2020), the world has vied for our attention, creating combat decisions and warring for our very souls, churches, families and lives. We have listened long, we have listened hard, we have fought, we have grown tired and long for the “good old days” but we cannot forget to recognize that noise affects…even what seems good! It fills our minds, grabs for our attention, swamps our souls and takes over places in our heart that are only reserved for God Himself…and we have slipped into deafness.

Many of our churches have been either shut down, gone remote, or do both. Our Pastor’s and their wives have been thrown into situations and sudden changes that have both given awesome new opportunities along with many great sorrows. The life of God’s church is on a very slippery slope and will confirm spiritual death in the lives of the believers if we are not serious about worshipping God in the storm. I worry for the church. I fear the noise has filled us so much that we cannot see the affects…just like I didn’t!

We have forgotten how noise affects us? Have we forgotten to live Christ over everything — and in that everything we are to do everything to glorify God in that — even standing up for righteousness in our country, to its people, and for the next generation.

I told my husband the other day, hind sight 20/20, I didn’t realize how up tight or wound up I was or how distracted my soul really was until the Lord removed “the good, bad and the ugly” things from me and showed me what my soul looked like — sinful!

  • Are you distracted?
  • Have you forgotten God?
  • Are you filled with noise?
  • Do you live in fear?
  • Are you worshipping God?
  • Are you confused?
  • Do you find yourself filled with everything else, but God?

Let’s take that a step further — why don’t we turn the tide of 2020 by allowing 2021 to ignited us to obey God, to put God first above everything, to trust God, to walk by faith and not by sight, to actually step forward into God’s house and worship Him knowing that God is still on the Throne, able, alive, and calling us!

  • Why don’t we burn with passion to live life for God’s glory with compassion, integrity, rightness, godliness, obedience as the New Testament believers did?
  • Why do we not find ourselves bond to our brothers and sisters in Christ and put off our sinfulness natures and put on Christlikeness…and treat them accordingly?
  • Why don’t we find ourselves in the process of progressive sanctification and give the Light to those who are afraid, scared, and lost?
  • Only you can answer those questions.

Eternity is real. God is real.

Be what the world is not — Christ hasn’t changed in you.

  • Be the love instead of the blackmail.
  • Be the personal sacrifice instead of the extortion.
  • Be the kindness instead of the hoarder.
  • Be the time and care because isolation kills.
  • Be the light in the midst of the darkness rather than complain and act like the world.

The Lord has laid in our laps a fantastic opportunity to grow in Him, live like Him in human form to each other and the world.

Are you living?

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

The Change of God’s Grace

Today’s devotional from New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp was on the topic of change. Funny how timely this is with 2021 right around the corner. Over the years, I have read numerous articles on the topic of “New Year resolutions” – you know the do’s and the don’ts and the how-to’s, but so often that is actually what they are – a list. Now don’t get me wrong, it is not that “lists” are bad – I create them weekly to help me stay focused and accomplish tasks throughout the week – the problem is an unchanged heart. Our root problem isn’t lists, it is my unchanged heart issues. If my heart lingers in the unchanged, no list will help me…or you.

Here are some thoughts about “change” from today’s devotional. I hope it is an encouragement to you as it was a conviction for me.

CHANGE IS POSSIBLE – not because you have wisdom and strength, but because you have been blessed with the grace of Jesus. (Isn’t this comforting?)

Oh, how we cling – rapidly cling to the ideas, thoughts, beliefs that we are stuck; that our lives have hit the “dead end” and there is no hope. We encase ourselves in concrete and choose to live in the impossible. But change is possible. Change is possible even in the places where change seems most hopeless. Why? Because the Giver of transformative grace has made you and me the place where He dwells. Let me say that again, the Giver of transformative grace has made YOU and ME THE PLACE WHERE HE DWELLS! If you need to read that again, do so until you get it. You are His dwelling place – change is possible, my friends!

#1 – There is that work of personal growth in our lives (change) that we call progressive sanctification. This is God’s life—long commitment to actually make you and I what He declares, justified. Did you hear that — God’s life–long commitment. God is committed to you for life, for eternity!

We are declared righteous. Think about it – God is taking every situation, every location, every relationship, everything…EVERYTHING in our life and employs every situation, every location, every relationship, everything as His tools for our transformation by His grace.

  • HE IS NOT RESTING!
  • HE DOES NOT LEAVE THE WORK OF HIS HANDS.
  • HE TAKES NO BREAKS.
  • He is relentlessly working to change me in all that His grace makes it possible for me to be – and He does the same for YOU!
  • HE WILL NOT BE CONTENT FOR ME TO BE A LITTLE BIT BETTER.
  • He will work by grace until I am finally and totally free of sin, that is, molded into the image of His perfectly righteous Son.

#2 – This same zealous Savior, who is full of grace and work, is also a dissatisfied Creator. He is not content to leave this world in its present sin—scarred condition. He will return His world to the condition it was before sin left its destruction. Change really is the zeal, the heart, of our Redeemer. How?

  • Through personal change (Titus 2:11—14)
  • Through environmental change (Revelation 21:1—5)

When you become…disappointed in yourself, when you are grieved at the sin in your relationships, or within yourself; when you are upset with the conditions of your world and you cry out for change…you are crying for something that hits right at the center of the zeal of your Savior’s grace! Christlikeness is taking root.

  • Change doesn’t mean God will give us what we want, when we want, how we want.
  • Change doesn’t mean God will turn the hearts of people around us into who we want them to be.
  • Change doesn’t mean God will make our lives easier, wealthier, or more pleasurable.

Change, the grace of Jesus, isn’t selfish.

Where real change is needed – God will pour out His grace to those who believe it only comes from Him; He will then take, do, accomplish, use what He needs to accomplish – complete His work in YOU!

That is God’s grace!

Read Colossians 3:1—17.

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Video

YOUR New Mercies

…because it is worth sharing again.

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Don’t forget friend that today is NEW! God’s mercies are new every single day…with YOU in mind, which means today is fresh. It is a beginning. A fresh clean slate. Endless possibilities given to you by God Himself that you didn’t have yesterday.

Today, you have been given a gift…a day; a day in which you have 24-hours to unpack, find, fulfil, and know God’s will, blessing, help, care, love, and live your God-given ability and possibility…if we grab onto it. This gives me goosebumps! Child of God, you are more than a conqueror because of Christ in you!

Happy NEW day!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

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When Nations Die: Is America Next?

https://probe.org/when-nations-die/

The link given above is worth your read. The full article is provided for you, I encourage you to read it. Your time will not be wasted. Click the link.


How this information was brought to my attention was through our Pastor  several Wednesdays ago. He shared Scripture after Scripture along side with historical facts which began the process of shedding light upon my building questions since the outbreak of Covid-19, media coverage wars, politics, false news, real news, and most of all the despicable actions fellow Americans have committed upon fellow Americans.

I love my America. I am proud to be an America. I admit, 2020 has left me bewildered about much. I long for pre-covid days in and outside the church. But I know who holds the future.

I am thankful for a Pastor who stays the course and preaches the Word of God. That Wednesday night was a water shed event and I have been burning to share it with you. I know you too have had questions and seen things over the past year…I hope it helps.

That Wednesday night also spurred within me that complacency in the Christian life is an oxymoron. We need to call it what it is, sin….or even possibly a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

It is impossible for a child of God to live such a life when they know what they have been forgiven from.

We also know that this world is not our home…we are suppose to be passing though, right? A child of God knows their homeland, but many do no know where home is…and we must tell them!

Scripture clearly shows how nations raise and fall. We clare able to understand mankind and his rejection of God. History backs it…we see if history is not learned history will repeat herself. History reveals the “why” and “how” our amazing county began; how it ever changes and what will happen IF we do not understand, grip reality, take action and apply biblical Truths to our lives and our country.

This article was written 18 years ago; 18! That still shocks me. We have been warned over and over again throughout history and throughout the Word of God yet we find ourselves entering the lions den.

Click that link this is America today.

I find myself asking, “will you sit idly bye complaining and do nothing? Will you be the one to take action and do something — both spiritually as well as an American citizen?”

What about you?

“The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution.”

–Thomas Jefferson

“The greatest danger to any civilizations freedom is a people that ignore the Word of God.”

–Colleen Woodruff

In Jim Nelson Black’s book When Nations Die, he lists three aspects of decay:

1) Social Decay: there are three important trends that demonstrate social decay. They are “the crisis of lawlessness,” the “loss of economic discipline,” and “rising bureaucracy.”

2) Cultural Decay: there are four important trends that demonstrate cultural decay. They are the “decline of education,” the “weakening of cultural foundations,” the “loss of respect for tradition,” and the “increase in materialism.”

3) Moral Decay: there are three important trends that demonstrate moral decay. They are the “rise in immorality,” the “decay of religious belief,” and the “devaluing of human life.”

Stop and think about which ones you have seen…

  • As a child of God, we are privy to certain specific things because the Bible tells us so.
  • God wins! Period. End of story. This is the theme of the book of Revelations. If you doubt my statement, read Revelations.
  • We know we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us so. The cross proves that and the Spirit within us fulfills that!
  • We know God cannot violate Himself, therefore, what He says, He does. What He wills it, it becomes. Therefore, God can never not be in control…He reigns, period. God’s reign never rides on us. He is — whether we accept that or not. One thing God cannot do is sin. He reigns in righteousness.
  • God’s kingdom will never end, never fail, therefore, righteousness will prevail. Justice will be served and all glory will be given to Him.

BUT this does not give us license to rest on our laurels and grow complacent in our relationship with Christ. We are commanded to Go. Tell. Fulfill the great commission. We are ambassadors, therefore, we must obey; to rebel is to disobey.

Our nation was sought and founded upon biblical principles and thought, we, Americans, should have never taken what was given to us, what was fought, what was died for and disgrace it, try to rewrite it, dehumanize or seek franchise for personal power. We need to get real with God and repent.

Stand on Truth, my friend! Live Truth! The parallels to our own nation are bone-chilling. The article humanly scares me, but spiritually reminds me “A man of God in the will of God is immortal until his work on earth is done” (Dr. David Jeremiah). Your work isn’t done until your feet walk the streets of gold.  I pray the spur in your saddle is just as great as it has became in mine.

God is greater! May we be faithful!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

It’s Okay to Run

Sometimes you read something and instantly you know you gotta share it. When I read my friend Carol’s post on Facebook that is actually what happened. With her permission I share it with you now. Thank you Carol.


I was in my upper twenties, living in a southern state, hoping that this “single and satisfied” part of my life would soon be over. Things were looking very positive with my new boyfriend, Frank (not his real name). He was tall, nice looking, very smart, witty, funny, and a Christian. “A match made in heaven?” I wondered.

When my parents came to visit for several days I invited Frank over for a meal. While Mom and I were getting dinner on the table I kept one ear tuned to the conversation in the living room. I heard Dad ask a simple innocuous question followed by Frank’s sarcastic reply: “What a stupid question!” So much for making a good impression on my dad. That tainted the evening for sure and upset me greatly. A few days later I heard Frank go instantly from civil to ballistic while talking to his mom on the phone. That was my cue to exit the relationship with a heart of gratitude to God for allowing me to see Frank’s true colors.

Fast forward four years. I’m in my early 30s, still single, and now living on the east coast. A college-age girlfriend of mine was catching me up on her life. She had dropped out of college to work for a year back home in a western state. She began dating a guy from her church. She was excited when things got serious rather quickly, but then the verbal abuse started, followed by the physical abuse. She fled the relationship to go back to college. The more she told me, the more familiar it all sounded. You guessed it. She had been dating Frank! God had saved yet another girl from him.

I married my John after a storybook romance and my girlfriend married a godly man and has two fine sons. I don’t know what ever became of Frank.

Is there a lesson in this story?

Ladies, if you’re dating a guy who is unkind to his mother and other adults, RUN and don’t look back!!!


All to often the start of this story is far to common, but the end isn’t. Thank you Carol for this crucial reminder and for sharing your story with us! Your John and you are a precious testament of how God’s plan is the best plan; God’s way is the best way!

What I am about to say is easier said and much harder to be done (especially when one is in the midst of such a relationship), but we do well to understand the consequences are real nevertheless; it is better to be single than to marry the wrong person.

Whether abuse is verbal, mental, physical or emotional…it’s core is the very essence of opposite to who and what God is, therefore we will call it what it is SIN!

  • To those ladies who are dating such an individual, say NO! RUN!
    • Don’t accept the abuse.
    • To soften his sin is to accept his sinful behavior/character. Once you accept his behavior you have told him it is ‘okay’.
      • Maybe you have already told him it is okay…don’t think you cannot walk, run, or get away or end the relationship. You are free in Christ and not bond by his sinfulness…though he’d like you to think so. “You are bought with a price, let’s glorify God in our body and in our spirit — which are God’s (1 Corinthians 6:20)
    • He is not walking in fellowship with God (even if he says he is), therefore, is unable to love, cherish and lead you like the princess you are. You are worth more…God says so!
  • To those men who are dating such an individual, say NO! RUN!
    • Don’t accept the abuse.
    • To soften her sin is to accept her sinful behavior/character. Once you accept her behavior you have told her it is ‘okay’.
      • Maybe you have already told her it is okay…don’t think you cannot walk, run, or get away or end the relationship. You are free in Christ and not bond by her sinfulness…though a controller wills you to think so. “You are bought with a price, let’s glorify God in our body and in our spirit — which are God’s (1 Corinthians 6:20)
    • She is not walking in fellowship with God (even if she says she is), therefore, is unable to respect, love and follow you like the way you ought to be. You are worth more…God says so!

Jeremiah 29:11-14 tells us, “For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the LORD, ‘plans for peace and well–being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (12) Then you will call to Me and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear your voice and I will listen to you. (13) Then, with a deep longing, you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and you will find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. (14) I will be found by you,’ says the LORD, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and I will free you and gather you…’

You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You — in both inclination and character], because he trusts and takes refuge in You with hope and confident expectation. (4) Trust in the LORD forever [He is your fortress, your shield, your banner], for the LORD God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages] (Isaiah 26:3–4).

>>>The core of any abuse is from the pit of hell. It is sin. It is against the will and word of God, therefore, at enmity with God therefore we must not accept it or practice it. Abuse isn’t an option. <<<

We are to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16). “No” is not a bad word. God wants the very best for you (Jeremiah 29:11-13).

Don’t underestimate the powerful love Christ has for YOU! What the Lord has intended for you is far greater, far deeper, far more beautiful that we could ever imagine or think (Jeremiah 33:3), but it comes with personal responsibility: 1) we must call (seek) Him 2) we must listen to Him 3) we must trust Him (His Word, His time, His plan) by choosing to walk in obedience knowing that God already settled your goodness because He is good. Settle on Christ, not second best!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

New Morning Mercies: the Fruit of Grace

New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional (YouVersion)

Paul David Tripp

Sin does two very significant things to us all.

  1. First, it causes us all to insert ourselves into the center of our worlds, making life all about us. In our self-focus, we are all too motivated by our wants, our needs, and our feelings, and because we are, we tend to be more aware of what we don’t have than of the many wonderful blessings that we have been given. But there is more; because we are self-focused, we tend to be scorekeepers, constantly comparing our piles of stuff to the piles of others. It’s a life of discontentment and envy. Envy is always selfish.
  2. There is a second thing of equal significance that sin does to us. It causes us to look horizontally for what can only ever be found vertically. So we look to creation for life, hope, peace, rest, contentment, identity, meaning and purpose, inner peace, and motivation to continue. The problem is that nothing in creation can give you these things. Creation was never designed to satisfy your heart. Creation was made to be one big finger pointing you to the One who alone has the ability to satisfy your heart. Many people will get up today and in some way will ask creation to be their savior, that is, to give them what only God is able to give.

Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Psalm 73:25-26
  • These are the words of a man who learned the secret to contentment.
  • When you are satisfied with the Giver, because you have found in him the life you were looking for, you are freed from the ravenous quest for satisfaction that is the discouraging existence of so many people.
  • Yes, it is true that your heart will rest only ever when it has found its rest in him.

Here is one of the most beautiful fruits of grace—a heart that is content, more given to worship than demand and more given to the joy of gratitude than the anxiety of want. It is grace and grace alone that can make this kind of peaceful living possible for each of us.

Won’t you reach out today for that grace?


Please note: the above is an excerpt of New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional by Paul David Tripp. Source: YouVersion and all credit belongs to Mr. Tripp, writer. This book is available for purchase. You can also find this devotional on YouVersion.


In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Video

YOUR New Mercies

Don’t forget friend that today is NEW! God’s mercies are new every single day…with YOU in mind, which means today is fresh. It is a beginning. A fresh clean slate. Endless possibilities given to you by God Himself that you didn’t have yesterday.

Today, you have been given a gift…a day; a day in which you have 24-hours to unpack, find, fulfil, and know God’s will, blessing, help, care, love, and live your God-given ability and possibility…if we grab onto it. This gives me goosebumps! Child of God, you are more than a conqueror because of Christ in you!

Happy NEW day!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

The View from the Other Half: Pastor Appreciation

{team woodruff}

Pastor Appreciation Month

So, I know we are out a month from October, which many of you have celebrated Pastor Appreciation Month. My original blog was written back in September, but I never posted it. Actually, I thought of deleting it…but here we are. Even though the month has past I will share what the Lord is doing within my heart…

  • I grew up in a very large church.
  • I grew up in a healthy church.
  • I grew up with many wonderful pastors and pastor’s wives.
  • I grew up attending awesome youth groups, camps, and missions trips.
  • I grew up in a family that taught us to respect, honor, celebrate and give thanks for and to our pastors. 
  • I grew up loving, adoring, and wanting to be “just like them” (my pastor’s wives) when I grew up. They profoundly impacted my life for eternity – it is because of them and the working of Christ in my life that I find myself where I am today, serving alongside my husband/pastor.

Being in the ministry for all most two decades now, I still find myself struggling with the month of October — Pastor Appreciation Month. 

I have seen and experienced healthy churches; I have seen and experienced unhealthy churches. In every one I have had the same struggle.

My upbringing, my heart, my love, my God-given duty towards my pastor(s) drives me to want to shout, herald, celebrate — literally from the rooftops and I want everyone else to do the same.

But I can’t — people, the struggle is real! I feel awkward because well, I’m his wife. I am driven by God to support, cheer him on, love and follow his leadership at home and church. I praise him in front of others (he never asks for it) and at home, but this month leaves me with what to do.

  • I don’t want others to think that I am tooting my own horn. 
  • I don’t want others to surmise that I am somehow purposefully conniving to make something happen.
  • I don’t want selfish promotion.

Scripture is clear. Scripture in living. Scripture is real. We are to love our pastor and not muzzle the ox (1 Timothy 5:18; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Timothy 5:8; 1 Corinthians 9:11).

My husband is my husband, but he is also my pastor! I am growing under his godly leadership/shepherding. I love my pastor!

Healthy churches get it (praise God!). Unhealthy churches, if they remain unteachable, they don’t and therefore miss out on God’s blessings for them as a whole (a body of believers).

  • It is hard things to see, yet alone experience, when a body of believers do not want to walk according to Scripture. When they reject the Word and promote such living (yes, there are churches out there like this).
  • It is hard to live within a body of believers who do not want to see the spiritual gem they have been given by God for them (even though they voted for him).

I pondered these things. I have wondered over the years of ministry what God thinks. How it must break His heart when His love for them is so great. Some years, Pastor Appreciation Day has left me questioning what to say or how to respond. It has left me lacking for words (in joy and thanksgiving) and bewildered in sorrow, grieving in silence (I have learned to literally bite my tongue because my flesh is weak and I want to please God). 2020 was been no different. It came once again…  

But this year, something hit me:

Like I said, while growing up our pastors were celebrated — publicly and privately. We gave thanks, showed that thanks and simply it was a blessing. We loved showering them with gifts, money, love, surprises and we enjoyed every minutes of it. It was (is) good to be thankful and rejoice in God’s gift to us. It was good for our pastor(s) to know they were loved, cherished, and thankful for…they need encouragement too. Over the years we found was to be creative but the heart attitude and choice was rooted in Scripture, love and thanks. We also celebrated their anniversaries (wedding and the date/month our senior pastor became our pastor) plus their birthday. It was our highlight as a body of believers.

BUT what struck my heart most this year was this:

  • I’ve been blessed. Truly blessed!
  • I know what it is like to have such a blessings — a pastor and his wife (a godly team) — and reap those benefits.
  • I know that kind of blessing — not everyone does.
  • I’ve been given a gift to share, to tell, to show, to teach, that is biblical, godly, and right.
  • How can I keep it to myself? 

I am nothing special in and of myself, but I have been given this gift of experience, knowing what it is like to “appreciate” your pastor. Today, I am on the other side of that gift…I’m the other half.

The question I have found myself asking is:

“How can I not share?” How can I keep this to myself?” How can I help others grow in Christ, love the brethren so that we can rejoice TOGETHER in the gift God has given to us called “Pastor and Mrs. Pastor, his family” (because they are a team).”

God has given me fantastic preachers in my lifetime and today I celebrate the one the Lord has given to me and to us as a church – today and in the tomorrows to come!

Thank you, Lord for the gift of my pastor. May I be a blessing to him today and throughout this coming new year.

Sincerely, his wife 

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered}

5 Tips to Help Your Kids Handle the Disappointments of 2020

Today, I came across this article. It was truly a blessing to my heart and encouraged me as a mother. It is filled with helpful tools on parenting our children’s disappointments.

Just an FYI, it is not a long read, but worth your time to read…especially if you have children, care for children or have grandchildren.

⬇️⬇️⬇️Click the link below ⬇️⬇️⬇️

https://forthefamily.org/5-tips-to-help-your-kids-handle-the-disappointments-of-2020/

http://www.forthefamily.org

We have had similar conversations and discouragements in our home as well this past year. I am sure we are not alone.

  • Keep the faith, my friend!
  • Stand in the Word.
  • Keep those lines of communication open.
  • Don’t forget: be looking for ways the Lord desires to use you because of Covid-19 (for your personal growth as well as for His glory). Over the past 11 months, we never dreamed this year would become as it is, BUT God has also handed us, given to us, and placed opportunities, and has allowed us to do beyond our dreams…because it was His plan.
  • Enjoy fulfilling God’s plan for your life and see how God fulfills in your children’s lives.
  • May God bless you!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Be Kind!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Defeating Despair with Purpose

Viktor Emil Frankl was a physician and psychiatrist. He survived the World War II Holocaust. His Nazi concentration camp experiences led him to wonder how any human being could maintain hope under such extreme conditions.

He came to believe that our survival depends upon finding meaning, even in desperate circumstances. Frankl proposed that we have free will to choose our attitudes, even about torture, death, and dying.

He observed that those human beings whose core spirits chose to have faith in the future and who find meaning in the moment, often found the strength and the courage to face the most difficult problems.

“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way” (Victor Frankl. Man’s Search for Meaning, 1946).

It is when we find the “why” we want to live that we can endure almost any “how.” The “why” is our purpose.

Frankl found that people with a high purpose can find meaning even in the worst circumstances. In other words, once we have a high calling we will find a way to deal with the suffering that comes our way. If, as Frankl saw, someone decides his or her reason to live is to comfort others, then even in a concentration camp he or she will still have a reason for living.

When we lose our sense of purpose, we lose a sense that our lives mean anything; and we lose hope in the future, for there seems to be nothing worth living for.

What causes us to lose our sense of purpose?

  1. When our purpose is too small and too self-focused.
  2. When we experience suffering and/or inhumanity that is outside our image of how the world should work.
  3. When we commit acts or have thoughts that fracture the image we have of ourselves as being good, kind, and caring human beings under all circumstances.

There is, however, good news. Although we sometimes lose our sense of purpose, we can be restored to a larger sense of purpose. The Bible teaches us that we can be renewed in a life-giving purpose in the following ways:

  1. Make a confession: God calls us to see ourselves as we really are, not as we would like to be.
  2. Make a commitment to turn around: We are called not to wallow in guilt or be stuck in despair, but to step into the future with a commitment to find and live by a higher purpose.
  3. Make a connection to God, to others, and to ourselves: Our higher calling, our higher purpose is to be a part of the community of the faithful, choosing to live and serve as God leads us.

Devotional by: Armed Services Ministry
http://www.armedservicesministry.org


In Psalm 51:10-12 David prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right and steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Your Pit May Be Your Purpose

We read in Psalm 40:2-3, David writes about a symbolic pit, one that maybe you feel like you are in now.

Notice, that pit is not the end. It is not the final chapter of David’s story, nor is it the final chapter of your story.

  • It is only the beginning of the next chapter, where God hears your cry, just like God heard Jesus praying for Lazarus.
  • It’s where He lifts you out of the mud you are sinking in, just like Jeremiah.
  • It’s where He sets your feet on solid ground and steadies your steps as He did for Gideon and Benaiah.
  • It’s where He puts a new song in your heart, just like He did for Paul and Silas.
  • It’s where many will see what He has done and be amazed like Joseph’s brothers and King Nebuchadnezzar and Paul’s jailer.

And…it just may be where you find your purpose.

Portion of devotional: Purpose in the Pit

“…He to put a new song in my mouth; many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.”

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Slanders Goal Becomes Your Goal

Whether you slander your brother or sister in Christ secretly or publicly the end result is the same.

“Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will silence; the one who has a haughty look and a proud (arrogant) heart I will not tolerate. (6) My eyes will be on the faithful (honorable) of the land, that they may dwell with me; he who walks blamelessly is the one who will minister to and serve me.(7) He who practices deceit will not dwell in my house; he who tells lies and half-truths will not continue [to remain] in my presence. (8) Morning after morning I will destroy all the wicked in the land, that I may cut off from the city of the Lord all those who do evil” (Psalm 101).

🌱 Is slander on your tongue and heart today? 🌱 Does your mind fester and brew in preparation for its next opportunity to slaughter your brother or sister in Christ? 🌱 Secret or public displays are from the pit of hell. Which one do you serve? 🌱 Slanders goal becomes your goal.

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Broken Cup

I read this excerpt from a devotional called, Broken Crayons Still Color, today. May it be an encouragement to your soul.


Growing up, I was really good at hiding my brokenness. I thought that if people knew who I really was on the inside, they would reject me. As a result, I felt a deep ache and an emptiness that nothing seemed to fill. No matter what I did, the ache would not go away. 

Eventually, God gave me an illustration of my life – I was a broken cup. 

Several tragedies in my life that represented cracks in my cup and the brokenness that came into my life. However, instead of bringing my broken cup, my pain and brokenness, to God for healing, I was trying to deal with it myself.

  • I was trying to fill my broken cup with water from several sources to fill the emptiness I felt inside.
  • No matter what I did, it did not satisfy because my “cup” was equipped to hold only one kind of water, the living water of Jesus. The kind of water I tried to fill it with would simply drain out over time. So although I would feel temporary satisfaction, it never lasted.

I sensed God saying to me, “Shelley, you have committed two sins: you have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and no matter what you do, you will never be satisfied apart from me. I want you to come to my spring of living water that never runs dry.” (paraphrase from Jeremiah 2:13)

I am sure some of you have felt the same way!

I walked through a season in my life when God asked me to surrender my brokenness, my broken cup, to Him for healing. It was a painful season as I began to face some deep wounds from my past. However, over time, as I surrendered my broken cup to God, He put all my broken pieces inside His cup, His cup that no longer had any cracks and was able to hold water. As I chose to come to Him each day for His living water, my emptiness was replaced with true satisfaction in Christ.

If you put a mug underneath a waterfall, what will happen? The cup will fill with water and then eventually overflow.

And that is what began to happen in my heart. As I was filled with Christ each day, I was not only satisfied in Christ but His Spirit in me began to overflow.

Instead of being needy and going to other people to feel good about myself, I actually had something to give to others. I had love to give. I had joy to give. I had encouragement to share.

Psalm 23:5 says, “My [brimming] cup overflows [runs over].

May today be your turning point. God can take your cup, your mess, and turn it into a masterpiece! Will you let Him?

  • From this devotional, Broken Crayons Still Color, you can download 7 hand-drawn printable scripture coloring pages as a PDF for FREE at www.brokencrayonsbook.com

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Psalms 139:14

Does your soul know it? It is!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Gospel, You & Quarantine

In Christ I am SHE
{Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}