I’m not brave by nature.
If I have a choice, I will run every time. But there are just some things worth fighting for.
My family is one of them.
I will not let the enemy have them.
I will not allow despair to overtake us, fear to bind us, hopelessness to sap our strength.
I will not let death win.
Read the rest here: I Will Not Be Moved
Our culture consumes death like candy bars-video games, violent television series and gory movies. Halloween is one of the biggest “holidays” celebrated in America.
We are desensitized to news stories of destruction and devastation because we’ve “seen” it all.
Yet we are a society that shuns mourning.
Read the rest here: Lesson From the House of Mourning
It’s a hard, hard lesson to learn.
It’s even harder to carry it like a precious burden in the bosom of your heart.
Because while it is oh, so true, it does not take away the pain when circumstances just don’t change no matter how hard you pray, how long you endure or how much you wish they would.
God’s ways are not my ways. His thoughts are not my thoughts. He is not required to fit into whatever box I wish to place Him.
Read the rest here: And If Not, He’s Still God.
I’ll be sharing more soon but let’s just say I’ve had more than a few moments in the past couple of weeks when I could have felt abandoned and forgotten.
And if I’m honest, some of the people I thought would be most likely to come alongside have been nowhere to be found.
But God’s Presence has been very real to me even then.
I talk a lot about Jesus as my Shepherd King because it’s one of the most precious images I have of the One who loves me, who saved me and who carries me every day of my life.
The thing about a shepherd is that he never walks away.
He never says, “Oh, well! I’ll just leave that wayward or injured sheep to her fate. I’m tired of looking for her, going after her and tending to her needs.”
He is absolutely, positively the God Who Stays.
God is the Faithful Father watching and waiting with open arms for the Prodigal to return.
He will weave even the darkest and most tangled threads of my life into a beautiful, redeemed tapestry if I let Him.
He’s the God who stays.
Read the rest here: The God Who Stays
Maybe what God has for me and others who suffer long is not a victorious tag line that can be slapped on a photo or shared on social media.
Maybe it’s only in the continued press of suffering that God reveals Himself in ways the non-suffering never see.
Maybe a dash to declare victory is actually rushing past what God has for us in deep pain and ongoing struggle.
Maybe waiting in hopeful expectation for what God is doing and will do in me and through me IS the victory.
Read the rest here: Not Ashamed to Wait
In the midst of a difficult week, we got some disturbing news that had the potential to make it even worse.
My fleshly response was to go down rabbit trails of “what if” and “why us”. But I know from experience that is a fruitless exercise.
So I literally took a deep breath, reminded my heart that in every storm we’d faced, our Shepherd King had been there. He had never abandoned nor forsaken us.
This storm would be no different.
It might be rough (probably will be). It might be frightening (most certainly). It might even end with hopes dashed or worse.
But no matter what, He is here. He speaks peace when all seems lost.
We are safe in His hands.
Life is full of storms.
Some are outside myself and others start in the secret corners of my own heart.
All of them make me wish for quiet and calm, peaceful waters where I can sail the ship of life and not worry about sinking beneath the waves.
When I’m afraid I remind myself that Jesus is the Peace Speaker.
Read the rest here: Sea Of Love And Goodness
I realize I’m venturing into fuzzy theological territory here but I truly believe that somehow, some way the hard things, the traumatic trials, the heartbreaking tragedies of our lives will be represented in Heaven.
But just like Jesus’ glorified but still scarred hands, they will no longer be ugly, misshapen reminders of pain and defeat; they will be beautiful, glorious testimonies to God’s amazing grace and enduring love.
They will shout “Victory!” over every single thing the enemy thought would defeat us and destroy our faith.
Sometimes people ask, “How can you cling to Jesus when He could have saved your son, but didn’t?”
I give the same answer Peter gave, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life.”
Read the rest here: There’s Hope in Every Scar
If we can keep the vision of how much mercy has been poured out on our own hearts and in our own lives, it is so much easier to pour it out on others. We don’t have to manufacture it-we only have to be a willing conduit of the mercy already overflowing from God’s heart to our own.
When the deputy delivered the news that Dominic was gone, my heart broke wide open, its contents spilled on the floor.
But I knew it would not remain empty for long.
It would be filled with something.
And I begged God to fill it so full of love, grace and mercy that bitterness, unforgiveness and anger would be squeezed out with no room to stay.
Read the rest here: Mercy
He said it, I believe it.
Not so simple when a plain reading of plain words seems to guarantee one outcome and life delivers another.
Read the rest here: Where The Problem Lies
The Bible says that “The Name of the LORD is a strong tower, the righteous run to it and are saved.” (Proverbs 18:10)
Clearly that does NOT mean that every person who calls on the Name of the LORD will be kept physically whole.
Many, many believers have suffered and died while the name of Christ is on their lips.
But I do believe that in a very real, very meaningful way, calling on the Name of the LORD has saved me.
Read the rest here: When I Don’t Know What to Pray: Praying the Names of God