Nana’s Corner: Adapting and Resilience

Adapting
Train up a child in the way he should go and he will never depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

Today is Mother’s Day 2021. Over 20 years ago, I lost my mother who suffered and died from lung cancer. Although there were 12 children in the family who needed a lot of attention, my mom tried to take the time to talk and laugh with all of us and I always knew I could talk with her about anything. She always listened. She was resilient and adapted to any situation within the family. She taught me valuable lessons that I have carried throughout my adulthood. Mom was crafty and could turn any piece of material into something special, and she could also fix anything that was broken.

Children can also teach us valuable lessons. Most of the time they can adapt to a new environment and have the ability to recover from or adjust easily to change. This past year children have had to adapt to a new way of learning–virtual classrooms, in person classes for either 1-2 days per week or another schedule that the school district set up, and wearing masks in the classroom as well as grocery stores and other public places. Some businesses have taken advantage of this situation and have thrived financially on this situation by creating “fun” logos on children’s masks and/or for adults to wear.

This past school year, my daughter opted to home school her oldest son who would have been in kindergarten this past year. At the beginning it was a struggle to get him to learn vowels and recognize words. Now, one year later, he is now reading and loves math. He is looking forward to going to first grade and wants to make new friends and experience the school setting. Although he will be placed in a new environment–bigger school and more students–I know after he learns what is expected in this new environment that he will adapt and hopefully adjust to all the new changes. The middle grandchild will be attending a church preschool for the first time and he is excited to attend there as well.

If I look at my own life, I can truly say that adapting and resilience to new situations has been a challenge; yet as a Christian I have learned that God is in control of my life and He works all things out for our good.

As a mother, I can look back at the lessons I learned in raising our daughter who is now a wonderful mother to her three young children. She is expecting baby #4 in only a few more days and the grand children are so excited about welcoming a new baby into their home–boy or girl. I know that she and her husband will continue to impart their values onto their children. Proverbs 22:6 says that we are to “train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” (NIV). Parenting is not an easy-peasy job but with God “all things are possible” and He will help us continue to adapt and be resilient to understanding His will.

May the Lord bless each and every mother today on her special day.

Blessings,

Yvonne

Mind, Body, and Spirit: Being Transformed

God's Grace
God’s Grace.

Several months ago as I was searching the scriptures on what it meant to “be transformed and renewed” in God’s Spirit, I re-read Romans 12:2 which refers to our being a “living sacrifice” in which we live our lives as “sacrifices to God.” When we do this, we are no longer masters of our bodies and minds, but God is. In other words, it is God who is in control of our lives.

Let us take a look at some of the scriptures that guide us in living our lives every day with our mind, body, and spirit.

MIND (NIV):

Romans 12:2: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Isaiah 26:3: “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”

Ephesians 4:22-24: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

BODY (NIV):

I Corinthians 6:19-20: “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”

Romans 12:1: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.”

I Corinthians 12:27: “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”

SPIRIT (NIV):

Ephesians 3:16: “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.”

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.”

Galatians 5:25: “Since we live by the Spirit (fruit of the Spirit), let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

Living our lives with our mind, body, and Spirit is an act of worship. If we try to grow and change spiritually without the Holy Spirit, we are actually conforming to the pattern of the world. We are told to be “transformed by the renewing of our minds–change our way of thinking”–and we can do this by our actions (in our everyday lives). We please God when our minds are renewed.

It is the same with our body and Spirit. We have put off “our old self” to serve God in all areas of our lives. By being transformed, the scriptures tell us that “we will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)

This is an act of faith as we believe that God will show us his good and perfect will as we continue to conform to His directions in our mind, body, and Spirit.

Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Whatever your have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” (NIV)

Be transformed–be renewed–be diligent–be kind and loving–be filled with the Holy Spirit. In doing so God’s hands, His words, and His grace will live in and through you. This gives us the power to “be transformed” and live for Him every day. My prayer is that my grandchildren will learn to do this throughout their lives as well.

Remember, “mistakes are made; promises are broken; but God’s love and forgiveness are sure.” (Anonymous)

Blessings,

Yvonne

The Power of Words

The tongue is smart yet powerful!
“The tongue is the only tool that gets sharper with use.” –Washington Irving

Every day words that are spoken (and unspoken) make an indescribable impact on our lives. Scriptures teach us that our “tongues” can be used for good or for evil. They can convey words of hope, encouragement, and support or words of destruction towards one another.

I am reminded of the words that Jesus taught us and spoke regarding healing the brokenhearted (Psalm 147:3); setting the captive free (Luke 4:18-19); making the lame to walk again (Mathew 11:5-6); and causing the blind to see (Luke 18:40-42). He spoke of healing those who were less fortunate, forgiving one another, and loving your neighbor as yourself. As our example for Christian living, He used kind, gentle words with all of the people whom He met.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” (NIV)

The Book of Proverbs is called the Book of Wisdom because it describes how we are to live our lives but also how we are to conduct ourselves in every situation. It gives us instructions on fearing and trusting the Lord, and we are to seek his wisdom in decisions we make every day.

Ecclesiastes 3:7 says that “there is a time to be silent and a time to speak.” When I was growing up in a dysfunctional family, there were many times when my tongue got the best of me, especially if I was accused of doing something that I know I did not do. There were a lot of dynamics going on in a household with 12 brothers and sisters and sometimes unkind words were spoken to one another. It wasn’t until I became a Christian and began reading the Word of God that I finally realized that what I said could either hurt someone’s feelings or I could try to be an encourager. It wasn’t easy (and I certainly was not perfect), but the Lord really helped me “hold my tongue” in a number of situations that arose within my family.

Proverbs 15:1 tells us that “a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” We have it within ourselves to rely upon the Holy Spirit to become wise in the use of words. There were many times my family noticed a change in my attitude towards them, especially my alcoholic father. Little did I know that my actions toward him would actually convict a “once born again Christian” who later gave his life back to God. One by one, my brothers and sisters gave their lives to God as well. I tried to be a “light in the darkness” because I definitely felt God was using my relationship with Him to help my family turn to Him.

You never know what a day will bring–the moments we have with one another that will not come again. James 3:5-6 talks about “taming the tongue”–“Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” (NIV)

Scriptures that give us guidelines on the importance of using gentle words are from Proverbs. Verse 15:4 says, “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit”; Verse 16:24 says, “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones”; Verse 18:4 says, “The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook”; and Verse 18:20 says, “From the fruit of his mouth a man’s stomach is filled, with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied.” (NIV)

In conclusion, I want to end this post with Matthew 12:34-37: “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” (NIV)

May the Lord bless and keep you in His loving care.

Blessings,

Yvonne

Defined by God’s Design

When God changes our lives, we yield completely to His calling in our lives.

Last summer I began reading a book entitled, “Defined” by Stephen and Alex Kendrick with Lawrence Kimbrough, which was about living a life of purpose/meaning, value, and love and being who God created you to be and that “what God thinks of you and can do through you is much more incredible than you think.”

Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” God was talking to Jeremiah who prophesied in the kingdom of Judah as Jerusalem is being destroyed and God’s people are being carried away into Babylon because of their sin. It is a time of judgment and of suffering for all the people and for Jeremiah personally. But Jeremiah also cites God’s promise of restoration. Sin has its consequences but also that through Jesus, our mediator, God’s last word is about forgiveness and eternal life. (NIV)

How many of us have quoted Jeremiah 1:5 during times of indecision, changes going on in our lives, and whenever we have sinned against God? But God knew us before we were born and set us apart and appointed us to be a light in this darkened world. Each of us were created in His image to live a meaningful life, but we need to discover who we were created to be.

Before a construction worker begins a job, he has to make sure he has the right tools in order to get the job done right. After looking at his blueprints, he then begins to tear down an old building or whatever his task may be before he creates something new.

This past week, our home has been undergoing some demolition in two bathrooms. There has been a lot of tearing out of the old vanities, light fixtures, a tub, and old tiles that were cracked in order to create better bathroom spaces. The process of the renovations is supposed to take two weeks, but somehow after the project began the general contractor discovered some issues that needed to be taken care of first before he could resume his original plan. Programs on HGTV showcase these types of projects.

God has a plan for us as well but oftentimes we deviate from what God created us to be by straying off the path to “do our own thing” until we realize something is not quite right and God has to steer us back onto the right path again.

As Christians we need to have the right mind-set and believe that “with God all things are possible” and that He knew us before we did. He already has a plan laid out for each and every one of us to follow. We just need to continue to seek Him for His direction. Life happens and things happen along the way, but we need to continue to keep our eyes on Him.

We are therefore not defined by what others think of us but we are “defined by God’s great design” for us so that we can live a life full of purpose/meaning, value, and love. May you continue to seek His will and follow His calling for your life–not the life someone else says you are to have. He is our potter and we are the clay to be molded in His image.

Blessings,

Yvonne

Sharing-Caring-Praying

Pray without ceasing.

Beginning in December, 2019, I began a prayer journal (Sharing-Caring-Praying) for the sole purpose of recording prayer requests that came across my FB news feed as well as those that I received from our church’s prayer vine. Often, these requests came from people that I only knew through a special painting group or DYI group that I joined on FB, other than our church requests.

While keeping this prayer journal, I was able to continue to pray for those who had suffered the loss of a loved one and/or for those needing comfort and strength for other needs beyond their control. I recorded daily or weekly updates as they came across my news feed.

This past year I have learned a lot about prayer–what it personally means to me and how it has strengthened my faith in the One to whom hears all of our needs and meets them on a daily basis–and I will endeavor to share some of these “prayerful things” that I found in God’s Word.

What is prayer and what can it do for each of us? Do we only pray when we have a need and our world has been shaken from a devastating loss? Or are we commanded to “pray without ceasing” in all things?

Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” In other words, we are to let our requests be known to God by “prayer and petition”–telling God what our request(s) are and thanking Him for answering no matter what that answer might be.

Someone once said that “When life is rough, PRAY; when life is great, PRAY!” In the good and the bad times, God is the same; He never changes; He never fails to hear us.

A. W. Tozer said that “the hard work of prayer is getting yourself in a state of mind in which you prefer the will of God over your own.” I think all of us can identify with this statement. All of us want our “own will” over what God wants for us. He is the potter and we are the clay to be molded after His will for our lives.

So then what is prayer and what can it do for us? Let’s take a look at some of the things that prayer can do for all of us. Prayer can:

  • CHANGE People: II Corinthians 6: 17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” We become a new creation in Christ. Our lives are changed and we are made into the image of God.
  • GUIDES People: Psalm 32:8: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” God knows the path that we need to take to accomplish His will in our lives and He will direct us in the way that we should go.
  • DELIVERS People: Psalm 34:17: “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.” God hears, delivers, and is with us in all of our circumstances throughout our lives.
  • HEALS People: James 5:14-15: “Is any one of you sick? He should call for the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven.” We need to claim our healing and believe that He has touched us and made us whole.
  • COMFORTS People: Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” God will comfort us and give us rest when needed.
  • STRENGTHENS People: I Timothy 1:12: “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.” When we do the Lord’s work, he strengthens us to do His will.
  • PROTECTS People: Psalm 5:11: “But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.” God continually protects us as we take refuge in Him.
  • INCREASES FAITH in People: Hebrews 11:1-2: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.” The Word of God is filled with those individuals who were found faithful, even when their circumstances looked dire. By following God’s calling and commands, their faith in God led them through the wilderness and many circumstances placed in their paths. They followed the will of God over their own.

There are more ways in which God can change our lives through prayer, but I also want to say that during the past four weeks as I have battled with tendonitis and less use of my left arm and hand, I have called out to God numerous times to “heal” me. His response was to “continue to believe that He touched me.” If we pray and ask God for anything, we need to believe in our hearts and minds that He has answered and continue to trust in what that answer will be. This can be hard to do sometimes but it should not allow our faith to waiver in the God who loves us and continues to change us, guide us, deliver us, heal us, comfort us, strengthen us, protect us, and increase our faith in Him every day.

W. Clement Stone said that “prayer is man’s greatest power.” We need to continue to pray without ceasing–when life is rough and when life is great.

“Sometimes all it takes is just one prayer to change everything.” (Anonymous)

Blessings,

Yvonne

A Letter to God

The Spirit of the Lord

A few years ago my husband was a part time pastor in PA and had decided to extend a spiritual learning challenge to members of our congregation. He handed each person an envelope. There were two things inside: a letter from God and $10. They were instructed to find someone that week who they thought needed their help in some way by using the money that they were given and to report their results back to the congregation the following Sunday.

Many used the money to purchase items such as groceries, hats/gloves, a meal for a homeless person, or gave a donation to a worthy charitable cause. Many were touched by their generosity and blessed by their outpouring of love. They had made a difference in someone’s life that week.

The letter inside the envelope began with “My Child,” and contained many scripture verses taken from the promises of God in His Word. It was signed “Love, Your Dad–Almighty God.” This reminder of God’s love blessed not only me, but members of the congregation as well who read it and claimed God’s promises.

It was because of this letter that I wanted to write a letter back to God to thank Him for His promises. My letter is as follows:

“Dear Father God,

Before the world began, you knew me. You created the world one day at a time and then you formed me in my mother’s womb at just the right moment so that I could become your child.

You gave me a purpose and a direction to follow, as well as strength to go through any unwanted circumstances that came my way. I was not alone. You walked by my side and continue to walk with me every day. My life has been changed because you love me unconditionally.

Your love reaches higher than I could ever imagine and your Spirit lives within me to continually guide me in the knowledge and wisdom from above. Romans 8:16-17 says, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ….”

Thank you for saving me, and allowing your Son to die for me, so that one day I will be able to meet you face to face and spend eternity with you.

Your Grateful…Thankful…and Blessed Child”

What a wonderful privilege we have as Christians to serve a mighty God who tells us throughout His Word that He does care about us more than we could possibly imagine, and that it is important that we share that love with others and “make a difference in Jesus Name to all those who are hurting and who are unaware that they matter to God”. Let us make a difference in someone’s life today.

May the Lord bless you, keep you, and make His face to shine upon you forevermore.

Blessings,

Yvonne

Secret Things Uncovered

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:29

Several years ago Rhonda Byrne wrote “The Secret”, followed by “The Power” and “The Magic.” Her intent was to impart “the secret” to millions of readers so that they could believe it’s principles, learn them, and use them to gain whatever they “attracted” from the universe. After all, “you are what you think”, right?

Dr. Henry Cloud then came out with a book, “The Secret Things of God”, written to “unlock the treasures reserved for everyone” but found in the Word of God. Although his book was not intended as a “Christian argument for or against “The Secret”, he pointed out that her book affirmed “the deep spiritual hunger” that a number of Christian’s were seeking but could not find. His intent was for Christians to go to the Word of God and seek out God’s commands for every day living and to listen to them.

When I was a child, oftentimes when my friends wanted to get my attention, they would ask, “Do you want to know a secret?” and would whisper something in my ear. We would end up giggling over what this secret entailed. Adults tend to play this game by whispering something in their friend’s ears from time to time.

Growing up in the 60’s and as a star-struck teenager, I often listened to music by the Beatles, a popular boy band, who wrote a song entitled, “Do You Want To Know A Secret”, which was a love song. The one thing you had to do was “listen to the secret and promise not to tell.”

As a Christian, I am often reminded of how Satan tries to whisper in our ears by making a lot of promises in order to get us to do something contrary to our very own Christian principles. A perfect example is how he tried to tempt Jesus in the wilderness but Jesus knew the scriptural teachings and did not succumb to the many promises Satan enticed him with.

Let’s take a look at some of the “secret” scriptures in God’s Word in order to understand it’s definition. (NIV translation)

  • Job 15:8: “Do you listen in on God’s council? Do you limit wisdom to yourself?”
  • Psalm 25:14: “The Lord confides in those who fear Him; He makes His covenant known to them.”
  • Psalm 27:5: “For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.”
  • Psalm 25:21: “My integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you.”
  • Matthew 6:6: “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Another song that I really enjoy singing is “In The Secret…I want to know you. I want to hear your voice…I want to know you more.” Shouldn’t this be the desire of every Christian–to truly know God and to hear and listen to His voice no matter what is happening in our lives.

Psalm 18:30 tells us that “As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him.” This is a reminder that God will be with us no matter what circumstances we come up against in our lives. He is our strength and shield.

Psalm 18:2-3: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call to the Lord, who is worthy of praise and I am saved from my enemies.”

Let us all seek out the teachings in God’s Word with an attitude of gratitude and being thankful for all that you receive from God whether great or small, good or bad. He is our refuge, our strength, and shield in whom we trust. This is a “secret” uncovered by untold millions who listen to His voice, His teachings, and His direction and drown out the wrong whispers.

May the Lord strengthen you as you read His Word and continue to follow Him daily.

Blessings,

Yvonne

Alphabet Faith Stories: eXtraordinary Women (A-Z)

Women of faith and action

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary definition of extraordinary:

  • Going beyond what is usual, regular, or customary
  • Exceptional to a very marked extent
  • Employed for or sent on a special function or service

For several weeks, I have written about a list of extraordinary women who had a personal story to share about how God spoke to their hearts about making a difference where they lived and/or around the world. Many of you could probably identify with one or two of the characteristics from each of their personal stories because of your own experiences. These extraordinary women included:

  • A: Awesome Annie
  • B: Believing Betty
  • C: Compassionate Charlotte
  • D: Determined Debbie
  • E: Effective Emily
  • F: Forgiving Fran
  • G: Grateful Gwen
  • H: Humble Helen
  • I: Intentional Iris
  • J: Joyful Josie
  • K: Kindhearted Kathryn
  • L: Loving Lily
  • M: Mature Martha
  • N: Neighborly Nancy
  • O: Obedient Opal
  • P: Patient Pam
  • Q: Quiet Quinn
  • R: Respectful Rachel
  • S: Steadfast Stephanie
  • T: Trusting Tammy
  • U: Understanding Ursula
  • W: Wholehearted Wendy
  • Y: Yielding Yvette
  • Z: Zealous Zelda

Each of these women had three things in common:

  • Each woman had a calling on their life;
  • Each woman prayed and asked God’s direction for their life (purpose); and
  • Each woman put their faith in action and trusted that His will would be done.

Let us all be fervent in prayer asking for God’s continued direction for our lives, and let us be faithful by putting our “faith in action” as we continue on the journey that He has set before us.

My prayer is that each one of you have enjoyed reading about these incredible, eXtraordinary women, and that their stories have touched your life in some special way.

Blessings,

Yvonne

Alphabet Faith Stories: Zealous Zelda

Do all things for good

Scripture: Romans 12:11–“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.” (NIV)

Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of zealous:

  • Marked by fervent partisanship for a person, a cause, or a belief, or an ideal
  • Filled with or characterized by zeal

Phrases and/or quotes for zealous (Goodreads.com):

  • Living a daring life is zealous pursuit.
  • Be zealous for good works.
  • Truly, it is easy to sing that we would follow Jesus regardless, but all that zeal is lost at the slightest sign of inconvenience for some.

Z: Zealous Zelda’s Story:

“Zelda patiently stood in line behind a woman with a young child at the grocery store checkout, when all of a sudden the woman burst into tears. She heard the clerk tell the woman that her total bill was $27.72. As the woman frantically searched her purse, she could only come up with $25.10. She frantically looked at the items she was about to purchase and was trying to figure out what could be taken away so that she could quickly pay her bill and get out of the store.

At that moment, Zelda walked up to the woman and handed her a five dollar bill so that she wouldn’t have to leave any of her groceries behind. Shocked by Zelda’s generosity, she reluctantly took the money, thanked her, and quickly left the store. Zelda was not far behind the woman and caught up with her just as she strapped her child in her car seat.

As soon as Zelda approached her, she threw her arms around her and proceeded to tell Zelda the story of how her husband lost his job and they were desperately trying to make ends meet; but this particular week her child had been sick and needed medication which took a big chunk of their grocery monies. Before leaving, however, she promised to pay Zelda back. Zelda enthusiastically told her that she did not have to do that and began to tell her the following story of how someone had helped her out when she needed it the most.

‘Zelda was told that she could pay her back by being “zealous about doing good works”–by paying it forward to another person who needed help. From that time on, Zelda began doing and showing random acts of kindness to whomever needed her help. Without wanting or asking for anything in return, Zelda began helping her neighbors by bringing in their garbage cans, sending get well cards when they were ill, picking up groceries for them, and occasionally helped with babysitting for mothers in her neighborhood who needed an occasional, well-deserved break.’

Zelda’s zealous attitude to “do good works” and pay it forward without asking for anything in return gained her many friendships and wonderful memories with everyone.”

Being zealous for the Lord and doing good works by showing kindness and having an attitude of concern for each other is what we are commanded to do. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind; and love your neighbor as yourself” is what Jesus has commanded us all to do.

Blessings,

Yvonne

Alphabet Faith Stories: Yielding Yvette

When God changes our lives, we yield completely to His calling in our lives.

Scripture: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28 (NIV)

Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of yielding:

  • Productive
  • Lacking rigidity or stiffness
  • Disposed to submit or comply

Phrases and/or quotes for yielding (Goodreads.com):

  • Yielding your inner life to God will empower you to live the kind of outer life that honors the Lord and blesses others.
  • When you yield yourself in complete and wholehearted obedience to God, He can do great things through you.
  • True wisdom is marked by willingness to listen and a sense of knowing when to yield.

Y: Yielding Yvette’s Story

“Yvette listened intently as her pastor talked about the importance of ‘yielding your life to God so that He could empower you to live the kind of outward life that would honor the Lord and bless others.’ She had been trying to do this by volunteering at the soup kitchen once a week, but somehow she felt something was missing.

After much prayer and getting advice from her parents, Yvette decided that she wanted to go on a short-term mission trip to Haiti with a group leaving from her church the beginning of June and returning back to the U.S. the end of September. She discussed her desire and willingness to do so with her pastor and he suggested she contact the trip’s group leader.

He was pleased that she wanted to join the group and explained that each person going along would have to raise their own funds: round trip airfare, hotel accommodations, and food expense monies. She also had to apply for her passport. Since Yvette only had six months before they would depart from La Guardia Airport, raising funds and getting her passport on time would be cutting it close. Since Yvette’s parents had gone on several missions’ trips, they helped her send out fundraising notices to family and friends and helped her apply for her passport at the nearest Consulate.

As Yvette prepared for her first assignment, she learned about the Haitian culture and the people. Everyone in the group would be helping to build a small church in a village where there was a newly appointed missionary who had been there for less than a year. Assignments included assisting with small group Bible study, VBS for the children, helping with music during worship, and giving personal testimonies.

With the Lord’s help, Yvette raised all of her funds and her passport came one month before her departure. She left on June 1 for Haiti. It turned out that ministering in a small village in Haiti was exactly what Yvette had been missing in her life. She made so many memories with everyone and vowed to return to Haiti again the following summer.

Yvette’s willingness to yield to God’s calling on her life and then follow through with His leading proved to be the start of her continued working with the Haitian people for a number of years.”

One small act of “yielding to God” can turn our lives completely around and change our lives forever. We may not be called to be a missionary in a foreign land, but God commands that we love our neighbors and be willing to help those who need God’s love. May we yield to His calling in our lives by telling others about the Good News.

Blessings,

Yvonne