• Spiritual Growth,  Test,  Trial,  Waiting

    The Upside of a Struggle

    The disappointment, the losses, the failures, the fears, the betrayals, the waiting and waiting. Why? What good is this in the life of a believer??  I’ve asked these questions many times. If I do get an answer to one, it’s not usually the one I want. It took 8 long painful years praying before the Lord brought restoration in a family relationship. But one thing I have learned over the years, nothing is ever wasted. The Lord uses it all. Scripture tells us: We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he…

  • Knowing God's Will,  Spiritual Growth,  Trial

    Are You Blooming? Update

    I blogged last July after purchasing a colorful new deck flag that said Bloom Where Your Are Planted. This year as I was looking at that flag for a second spring season, I was also reading 1 Corinthians with my D-Group and discovered something I’ve missed in the past.  Three times Paul says basically the same thing: Whatever circumstances God has called you into, stay in it! Check out 1 Corinthians 7:17, 20 and 24. This made me ponder the message of my flag. The current life circumstances are by design and I must stay in them, at least for now!   I am currently reading a book by Lisa…

  • Blessings,  Spiritual Growth,  Trial,  What I'm Reading

    If There Is Any Other Way

    Sunday morning we celebrated Easter, so in this follow up post, I want to share something I was reminded of a few days before Easter Sunday.  As I ponder Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, the agony He experienced, I am reminded through the study Navigating Gospel Truth (check last week’s post for more details) of His pain. Author Rebecca McLaughlin took us back to Jeremiah 25:15-29 to show us His agony wasn’t primarily the pain and shame of the cross. That was difficult enough of course! But it was the fact that He would carry the wrath of God for sin so that we don’t have to. This was…

  • Blessings,  Spiritual Growth,  Trial,  What I'm Reading

    Behold!

    As so often happens by “design providence,” I’m flooded with all things Spring and Easter. I’m soaking up every warm sunny day I can. I wrote about spring last week in Hope that Spring Brings. All I can think is, “Behold Him, the one who became our sacrificial lamb once and for all time.” I just finished reading the gospels with my D-group as we’ve journeyed through the Bible chronologically since January 2023. I’ve also been reading a couple of Easter devotionals. Then a couple of weeks ago, I started the study Navigating Gospel Truth by Rebecca McLaughlin. She does such a great job comparing and contrasting the 4 Gospels…

  • Blessings,  Lessons,  Spiritual Growth,  Trial,  Waiting

    The Hope Spring Brings

    Wherever you live, do you see it? The green starting to pop out in the trees? The early flowers showing their beauty? I do! I love getting to enjoy my neighbors peach tree each spring without having to take care of it! Spring is absolutely, hands down my favorite season! I cannot tell you what it does to my soul every single spring. In the winter I feel more lethargic, but let the flowers and trees start to wake up, and so do I! My energy finds a whole new level! I hate to say it, but I spend most of the winter waiting for the spring! After multiple losses last…

  • Blessings,  Leadership Lessons,  Spiritual Growth

    A Faithful Reflection

    I wanted to share this memorial tribute I had the honor of giving recently for a dear friend and ministry partner who walked into the presence of Jesus February 17. This woman truly reflected the image of Christ. One of the greatest gifts God gave me in ministry was Dr. Rhonda Kelley. When none of us knew much about effective women’s ministry, we were asking the questions and looking for others who were seeking answers. Rhonda was one who, very early, asked how do we effectively reach and disciple women for Christ? I found myself in the early 90s, a lay person in my church in East Texas, actually serving on…

  • Spiritual Growth,  Test,  What I'm Reading

    Christmas Peace

    Whenever I’m asked, “What’s your favorite name for God,” without hesitation I say, “Prince of Peace.” I praise Him for many other attributes, but this one comes to the top of my mind immediately. Perhaps it’s because I not only have peace with God eternally through Christ, but I also have experienced unexplainable peace on earth in some of my life’s toughest circumstances.  I’ve just started LifeWay Women’s The Wonder of Advent study to prepare my heart to focus more fully on Christ during the hurry of Christmas. This week’s topic is hope. That’s the foundation for my peace, and I’m thinking it may be yours as well. I’m also reminded…

  • Blessings,  Spiritual Growth,  Test,  Trial,  What I'm Reading

    Formed, Forgiven and Never Forgotten

    I recently re-read what may be for some a somewhat obscure passage in the Old Testament. It was for me, but I saw something that warmed my heart as I saw the connection between the Old and New Testament, between Israel and us.  Isaiah was prophesying what God told him to say to Israel. He would deliver this rebellious nation from their enemies. He’d made a covenant with Abraham and He would not break it, no matter what they did.  The section that stood out to me in Isaiah 44, that I found so comforting, for Israel, and for myself, was in verses 21-23: This reminds them God created them.…

  • Blessings,  Spiritual Growth,  Test,  Trial

    When God Says No

    I am typically upbeat and optimistic, but after this past hard season of loss, I have found myself struggling to find my normal happy self. I even felt some depression which is rare for me. And, this isn’t the first hard season I’ve faced! But this time, when I prayed for God to work a certain way, He said no.  That hurt, a lot.  So, would I still trust Him? Would I still walk in the truth of Romans 8:28-30? Would I say, His love and goodness are still true? Where would I focus my eyes and look for what sustains in the “even ifs” of life? For a couple…

  • Lessons,  Spiritual Growth,  Trial,  Waiting,  What I'm Reading

    Waiting with Patience?

    I’m not necessarily a patient person. I applaud those who are. Tending to work fast on most anything, I am a “get’er done” kind of gal. Waiting in line, waiting on answers, and well…just waiting in general, is REALLY hard!  This year the Lord directed me to memorize Romans 8. My verses for this week are 24-25. The context is how we were saved through our hope in Christ and now we eagerly wait for our full redemption when Jesus returns and makes all things new.  Read back a few verses in your Bible, or better yet, the entire chapter to get a better look at the context. My post…