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You’ve Been Made To Last

I still have outdoor chairs that belonged to my parents. They’ve been painted and repainted but they are still sturdy and able to be used. How old are they? At least 50 years old. I also have the folding type lawn chairs, at least the newest ones my hubby has bought. They are not so old because they weren’t made to last that long. Oh beloved, God speaks to my heart. You were made to last. This season is rough. It’s like a hurricane in many ways. It has blown us around. It has turned things upside down and crushed …

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Be Stirred Not Shaken

      “Not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word..” 2 Thessalonians 2: 2-3 (ESV) All I can say is that it has been an interesting few weeks. I think we all can agree that life as we know it will NEVER be the same. It can rattle the mind and distress our spirit if we are not careful and over the last few days as I watched the news, read social media posts and studied the statistics regarding the rate at which this virus is increasing, I thought to …

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Courage in the Crisis

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1: 9 (ESV) “One man of you puts to flight a thousand, since it is the Lord your God who fights for you, just as He promised you.” Joshua 23: 10 (ESV) “And now I am about to go the way of all the earth, and you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one word has failed you. All have come to pass for you; …

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Lord, Take my Chaos

          You know those days when you are reaching for that third cup of coffee or scrounging through the kitchen to find even a little bit of chocolate…even if it is a crumb on a day like this, you’ll take what you can get. Everywhere you turn negativity is clouding your brain, the noise seems to be at an all-time high and the struggle feels super real. Picking up your phone means one more text or news notification that makes your stomach lurch. Walking through your house feels like a death trap because that last Lego …

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Speaking Words of Encouragement

Recently I went for a much-needed walk around my neighborhood. It was one of those nights when my mind was swirling with the details of life and my heart was heavy. As I walked, I saw an elderly couple that lives down the street. I visit with this couple from time to time, but we are not close friends. We talk about their health (which isn’t good), my kids, and we let our dogs sniff noses.   When I saw this sweet couple in their yard that night, I decided to stop and visit. It was a short visit but …

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The Ultimate Encourager

  Encourage~ to inspire with courage, spirit or hope; to spur on, give support; to help When I look at the definition of encourage, all I see is Jesus.  He is the ultimate Encourager; He never stops spurring us on or dampens His encouragement for His children.  As believers and followers of Him, He has sent us a “helper” too, His Holy Spirit. “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever.” John 14: 16 (ESV) With this “Helper” inside of us, we, too, are able to be a source of encouragement for …

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Fixing Hope on Jesus

Through Him [Christ] we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5: 2-5) Hope. It is something that we have all experienced in our lives, whether it’s hoping for that one particular birthday gift, …

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Finding Joy

It was in the Chihuahuan Desert of West Texas, Ft Bliss, that I first met Judy. Perhaps it was the heat, the lack of any color beyond melted butter and toasted cacti, or the distance to the nearest lake that masked the joy of the adventure, but the desert brought out the worst in me. I fell victim to a depleted spirit as we left the lush landscape of Arkansas and the closeness of family for our first duty station at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas. With deployment looming and the day-to-day difficulties of being a mom with three …

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Restored and Redeemed: A Marriage Story

We all have a story to tell. I would like to think that mine is not much different than yours, but I know that it probably is. As I think about celebrating 41 years of marriage, I know there was a time that the word “celebration” would not have been a part of my vocabulary in speaking about my life with my sweet, precious, ever patient husband. God knew when I married this man that my relationship with him would be filled with so many ups and downs, so many trials, but also so many joys….and He knew that this …

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Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Somewhere over the rainbow, blue birds fly… Birds fly over the rainbow, why then oh why can’t I? These words, from the song made popular by Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz, were sung to me by my mother when I was a young girl and when I was a new mother anytime I got discouraged or down. No matter what I was dealing with, she knew when to spontaneously start singing, and it always brought even the slightest smile to the situation. Today I don’t hear my mother’s wonderful voice as often…guess we thought I out grew it, …

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The Weather of Relationships

Just like the weather in Arkansas, things change. Sometimes they change quickly. Just this evening the weather was hot and dry with dust blowing in from Africa of all places. The weatherman had warned us, but really? Africa? Sure enough. Then the thunder and lightning began just at dusk. When we went out to wave the last of our children good bye for the evening my hubby noticed the rain gutter bucket was full of muddy water! A relationship that seems clear and perfect can run aground without anyone really doing anything. Personalities, differences of opinions and just plain humanity …

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Taking Time to Connect

I always say when God wants to minister to someone, He orchestrates a relationship! People are often more receptive when they are in a non-judgment zone. God sends people into our lives to prepare us, minister to us and sharpen us as we travel on our journeys. Proverbs 27: 17 (NIV), “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” As I reflect on my own personal relationships, I just begin to thank God. I have had the awesome opportunity to encounter some wonderful people on my path. I have been the one encouraging and have been the recipient of …