Hello blog readers,
I’ve been wanting to share something with you for a few days. One of my church pastors shared something with me after bible study that made a ‘light bulb’ go off in my head… Maybe someone else will be encouraged to hear it too. It’s a quote by the late Manley Beasley.
“Faith is believing something to be so,
when it doesn’t appear to be so,
in order for it to be so,
because God said so.”
The last line in that quote is the most important, and has been altered over time. Here’s why it’s important:
It doesn’t matter how strongly you trust in something, if it’s a promise that God never made. You can claim it, speak it, place hope in it, and strongly believe in it — But if it’s not God’s will for you, He won’t compromise for your will to be done… or my will. God has the final say. His will be done always and forever.
The object of your faith is what saves. “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.”
Be encouraged knowing that if you believed in it, and applied works to achieve it…and it never happened — It wasn’t God’s will for your life. The experience may have been necessary to receive what He has for you. It could have been a decision that was completely out of God’s will for you — Everyone has made wrong choices. But take heart: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Don’t let life’s disappointments weaken your faith in God. He always delivers on His Word.
Numbers 23:19 God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?
He won’t ever forget you.
Joshua 21:45 Not one of all the LORD’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.
Hello blog readers! Last night, I posted one of my 2016 goals on Facebook. I’ve decided to read the entire Bible. After posting, I learned that many of you want to do it too!
I picked up a form at church that maps out a schedule to help me achieve the goal.
After posting it, I got lots of messages from people who want to make this one of their goals too. I spent a half hour last night sending the forms to inboxes — and woke up to messages of more people wanting them. So, I’m posting them here. I encourage you to start the new year in God’s Word. Commit to reading it daily, and pray for it to come alive in you!
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
Romans 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
Psalm 119:103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
(If you’d like your own card with the schedule on it, I got mine from Redemption Church in Saraland, AL) (next to Walmart)
Hello blog readers! We’re 4 days away from starting a new year, and I pray that each of you experience the fullness of God’s love in the days and years ahead. I encourage you to start the new year in His Word.
In my last blog, God placed in my heart to share a message of hope. He actually spoke scriptures to me about hope. It was amazing to hear from Him. (His timing is always Perfect) 🙂 Today’s message is full of scripture. His word is so good!
Psalm 119:103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Today, I feel He’s urging me to encourage you to have faith. He truly is Perfect in all His ways. Faith and hope belong together!
Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
(NLT) Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
Faith is something so powerful and critical for every child of God. I prayed to have my faith strengthened because so many things are attached to having faith. 1 Peter 1:7 describes faith as being “of greater worth than gold”. It’s very exciting to think about!
I’d like to list some of the reasons why we all should ask for a double portion of faith!
- We receive our salvation and our spiritual inheritance by faith.
1 John 5:13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.
Galations 3:22 But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
We are promised eternal life with God. Our faith in Jesus sets us free from the prison of sin that separates us from Him. It releases us from the authority of the enemy! Faith places us back under the authority of the One who loves and cherishes us — in the Kingdom of Light.
Acts 26:18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.
What an amazing free gift (Eph 2:8)! It’s your birthright!
John 1:12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God
- Our Helper, the Holy Spirit, is sent to us through faith!
Ephesians 1:13-14 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory.
- We’re shielded from the enemy’s attacks through faith!
Ephesians 6:16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Have faith in God’s protection over you and your family. Your faith is your shield! Pray for a double portion! No weapon formed against you shall prosper!
- The Holy Spirit can overflow us with hope by faith (as we trust)!
Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Imagine what it would feel like to overflow with hope! And to be filled with all joy and peace!! It can be done by the power of the Holy Spirit. What another exciting reason to have faith!
- We can’t please God without faith!
Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
The 11th chapter of Hebrews speaks about the many blessings that God’s people received by faith. These are people who pleased God very much — and they are commended for their acts of faith.
The enemy knows if he can weaken your faith, he can block many of your blessings! Stand firm against his schemes (Eph. 6:13).
Thank God for His promises — and have great faith in all of them!
1 Peter 1:3-5 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
The Bible tells us repeatedly to stand firm in our faith (1 Cor 16:13). Stand firm in the way of the Lord (Phil 4:1). Stand firm, be strong, and believe with all your heart that God is faithful in keeping His Word.
2 Corinthians 5:7 For we live by faith, not by sight.
God gives us everything we need to be victorious. You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. All things includes having mighty faith.
Fix your eyes on Jesus. He is the perfecter of faith! Who better to strengthen yours?
Hebrews 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
I encourage you to get in God’s Word in the year ahead. Hearing God’s Word brings forth faith — which comes with so much abundance!
I leave you with a prayer by the Apostle Paul. I pray this for every one who reads this blog. I pray that your faith in Jesus, and in all of God’s promises grows stronger by power of the Holy Spirit.
Have faith in Him — and He will do more than you can ever imagine.
Ephesians 3:16-21 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
**Some of the scriptures in this article are in parenthesis and not typed out. This is to encourage you to participate, and look them up in your Bible. You’ll find that the more you actively get in His Word and study it, the more it comes alive in you. I pray this blesses you!**
It’s been on my heart to share this blog for a bit, but for me, it hasn’t been so easy to share. My desire to not offend anyone has kept me from writing it.
Within the past 5 days, while out in public, 5 people or more have asked my son the same question:
“What’s Santa Claus bringing you for Christmas?”
That’s an absolutely normal question to hear in December. Last year, we would have had a list of things to reply. This year, as my son looked at me (slightly embarrassed), each time I politely smiled and replied, “He doesn’t believe in Santa Claus.” No one gasped, or clutched their pearls. One lady’s response was, “Oh ok! My kids are too big for that too!” I think it made my son feel better that she didn’t give him a pitiful look.
It’s not that my son is too old for Santa Claus. He wanted to believe in magical elves and reindeer who brought him loads of toys from the north pole. What kid wouldn’t? But I had to be honest with myself. Even though my intentions were loving — and I truly wanted my son to experience the most amazing Christmas experience — I was lying to him.
Proverbs 8:8 All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
Proverbs chapter 8 is one of my favorite chapters in the bible. One of the first scriptures I had my son memorize was Proverbs 8:8. I had him write it on an index card, and stick it on the mirror in his room. If I have an issue with him not telling the truth — Proverbs 8:8 is the scripture I will refer to.
When I think about how my Heavenly Father feels about telling a “white lie” so that my son can have a magical Christmas — in my heart, I can hear Him say “All the words of my mouth are righteous. Among them there is nothing twisted or crooked.”
My heart was convicted. I had to stop lying, in the name of a holiday that I proclaimed to be about His Son. He’s not a half-way God.
Leviticus 19:11 “‘Do not steal. “‘Do not lie. “‘Do not deceive one another.
I had to be truthful and admit that by lying — even with good intentions — I was following an example set by my Father’s enemy.
When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44
So, I told my son the truth. I think it hurt me more than it hurt him when he said with crocodile tears, “You promised you would never lie to me.” He was hurt over it — and I had to apologize.
I made him believe in magical elves — who he thought watched over him and reported back to Santa. I made him believe that reindeer ate the carrots and celery that he left on the front lawn. I made him believe that every year, he made Santa’s “nice list”, and Santa would reward him for it. For years, I fed his faith in a lie.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
The faith he had in Santa Claus is the faith I should have been pumping into him for his Heavenly Father.
Luke 18:17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.
Matthew 18:3-4 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven…”
Can you imagine the ways God can use us if we have faith as a child in Him? Children naturally believe with all their heart.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding
Children (who have not been robbed of their innocence) don’t doubt one word that comes from parents who love them. Children trust blindly that their parents know what’s best. When they’re hurt, lonely, afraid, joyful, excited, curious, or needy – -children run to their parents. They genuinely believe parents have all the answers. That’s the faith of a child.
Purposely misguiding my child’s faith is irresponsible on my behalf. It’s not innocent if I know better.
I thank God for what He’s doing in me. My heart thanks Him for drawing near. Our relationship has become precious to me. This holiday season, I won’t compromise. I won’t grieve His Holy Spirit by going against what’s in my heart for Him. No more Christmas lies. No more Santa Claus.
James 4:17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
God is a righteous God. He will never support a lie. He’s Perfect in All of His ways. He’s a Good Father.
Psalm 37:4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
This week is very special to me. I planted the first seeds for my garden and I am SUPER excited!!!!
If you’ve read my blog “God, make me a gardener”, you know why this means so much to me.
I promised to make the garden part of this blog.
Soon, I won’t be paying to have lettuce, spinach, basil, chives, or parsley! I thought I would have to wait until spring to plant, but I read that lettuce, spinach, and chives are ok in cooler weather. Once these crops begin to grow, I’ll decide what to keep in pots, and what to plant into the ground.
I have my eyes on some fruit trees too (and flowers). I just ordered my first olive tree, and it should arrive in a week!
I’m so excited to watch it grow!!
I’m thankful that God placed this passion in my heart. From what I’m learning, gardening requires patience, diligence, and faith. I spiritually need each of those qualities to grow into the woman He purposed me to be. I thank my Heavenly Father for making me a gardener. 🙂
Updates and garden pictures to come!
Isaiah 58:11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
5 days after seeds were planted, my babies started sprouting!!
After seeing my first sprouts, I went outside looking for a pot to plant more herbs. I searched the garage twice, and couldn’t find anything — and right before I walked inside I saw this tucked beside the house:
He showed me that I don’t even have to go out and buy new pots! I cleaned them up and planted some new seeds. Soon, I will have a few bricks of dill, a little extra parsley, and basil.
God is so good!
The lettuce sprouted so much overnight! So son wanted to plant something, so he got his own “brick” of basil. We’re starting the seeds off in eggshells (I saw it online)…and my first spinach seed sprouted! There’s been a fig tree in the yard for years that I never paid much attention to (I’m not a big fan of figs)… But now that I’m growing a garden, I’m adopting it as one of my babies too 🙂
I decided to plant lemon seeds. Hopefully, years from now, I’ll get a few trees from these!
My lone sprout of spinach woke up with neighbors! My first basil seed sprouted! And my lettuce is thriving!!
I planted my olive tree today, and got blessed with aloe vera plants!!! And, I started the growing process for my own avocado tree. 🙂
I’m experimenting with some of the lemon seeds. I peeled the shell of the seeds (carefully) and planted them in an avocado rind. I’m keeping the other unpeeled seeds in a moist ziplock bag until they grow roots. We’ll see how they turn out!
I thinned my lettuce for the first time. (still trying to get the hang of it) .. and the spinach is looking good!
My dill sprouted overnight!! And my chives are finally coming through!!
We’ve had two nights of rain — and my garden is loving it! I woke up to lots of new basil sprouts! Herb bricks of dill, chives, and basil….and 2 pots of tomato pots sprouting. A sweet friend gave me a pot of lavender and mint! And my first lemon seed sprouted a root!! I know I’ll get a tree from it! I’m excited because God is blessing my garden. It’s growing. It’s December. God is Good.
These roots really grew well overnight!! Getting ready to plant some lemon trees!! God is good!
Today, I added a beautiful grapefruit tree to the garden. I was looking at several videos last night about growing grapefruit! I walked into a store today and unexpectedly found this beautiful plant. I planted a grapefruit seed today to see how long it takes to reach the size of my new tree. I also planted some lemon seeds that had nice roots growing.
My lemon seeds are growing so well! I have about 10 that are potted and growing so well! I saw a bag of Meyer lemons in the grocery store. I hear they’re the best, so I bought them just for the seeds!! 🙂
I bought some herb plants from the grocery store too, and have been enjoying eating fresh herbs with breakfast and dinner!
I started a few more avocado seeds, and have some grapefruit seeds sprouting!
I also separated my lettuce, and am waiting for it to grow tall! And my dill is beautiful!