Food For Thought

Food for thought–words of wisdom.

I don’t know about you, but I love to eat–especially the foods that don’t have as much nutrition but taste ever so good! We have often heard that “you are what you eat”–if we eat the right foods that our body needs, then we will feel healthy and strong. But if we eat the wrong foods, then we become unhealthy. But what about our thoughts? Do we fill our minds with thoughts that are encouraging and uplifting or do we fill our minds with thoughts that are defeating and uninspiring?

Recently, I came across a site that talks about “The Other Serenity Prayer”–cPTSD and Me–which I would like to share with all of you:

The Other Serenity Prayer

Please grant me the serenity to stop beating myself up for not doing things perfectly,

The courage to forgive myself because I always try my best,

And the wisdom to know that I am a good person with a kind heart.

So many times we think unpleasant thoughts that cause us to react in negative ways–someone says something that hurts our feelings, etc. Instead of reacting negatively, think positively. Don’t beat yourself up over it; we are only human–we make mistakes–and we are not perfect. Always forgive yourself when you have done your best and feed yourself positive thoughts. We need to be kind to ourselves so that we will be kind to others.

Another food for thought that I found was on “Truthseekers” and it says:

Judas Had

…the best pastor

…the best leader

…the best adviser

…the best counselor

YET he failed.

The problem is not the leadership or the church you go to. If your attitude or character doesn’t change or your heart doesn’t transform, you will always be the same. Apparently, even though Judas knew Jesus, he really didn’t know Him. His heart was not transformed “by the renewing of his mind” and getting to know Him in a real life-changing way. Judas needed to open his mind and heart to Jesus but he allowed sin to take over instead.

The next “food for thought” is taken from a site entitled “WOW I love Christian music.”

10 Ways To Love

  • Listen without interrupting (Proverbs 18)
  • Speak without accusing (James 1:19)
  • Give without sparing (Proverbs 21:26)
  • Pray without ceasing (Colossians 1:9)
  • Answer without arguing (Proverbs 17:1)
  • Share without pretending (Ephesians 4:15)
  • Enjoy without complaint (Philippians 2:14)
  • Trust without wavering (I Corinthians 13:7)
  • Forgive without punishing (Colossians 3:13)
  • Promise without forgetting (Proverbs 13:12)

How do we do this? Through prayer and seeking the change necessary. By asking God to help us be used as “an instrument of His peace.” Colossians 1:9 says we are to “pray without ceasing”–not only for ourselves but for others. God can change our attitudes and hearts by trusting in His Word and believing that “all things work together for our good.”

We praise the One who is our Good Shepherd, helper, and friend who is loving and compassionate and gives us the desires of our hearts when we follow Him and listen to and follow His commands.

May the Lord bless you and help all of us to continue to read His Word–our guide, our strength, comfort, and shield–as we follow Him daily.

Blessings,

Yvonne

Come Unto Me

My yoke is easy
Take my yoke upon you and learn of me. Mathew 11:29

The scripture for Sunday’s sermon yesterday was from Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (NIV)

Before the scripture was read, however, we watched a video created by the Skit Guys entitled, “Baggage”, which used the above-mentioned scripture. It was a powerful video and spoke to our hearts about “the baggage” we carry around with us each and every day–words that cut to the heart from meaningful loved ones–that we take to heart which cause us to become burdened down by negativity.

Jesus said that if we come unto him, He will give us rest. But what does that entail? When we come to someone, it means we have to make a choice. In this case, when we come to Jesus, we are making the choice to leave our “old way of living” and repent and follow Him. We have an open mind and when our hearts are good, we make the choice to have something better in our lives–Jesus as our Saviour.

He also says to “take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle in heart and you will find rest for your souls.” You will notice that I have an image of a yoke. This is used around the necks of oxen when they pull a plow. It is to make their work easier not harder and to take some of the burden off of them as they plow the fields. In the same way Christ is telling us to take His yoke upon ourselves and in doing so we will find rest because His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He is the Good Shepherd who cares for his sheep and He will help us out from under the burden that we carry.

When I read the beginning of this scripture, “come unto me”, I could see Jesus reaching out His hand to me and saying, “take my hand, learn from me, and I will help you find quietness and rest in whatever you are going through at this time.” In the past–our youthful days–whenever my husband and I have gone hiking on a trail towards a waterfall and the path became quite narrow, I always found myself getting fearful from the height. He would tell me to take his hand as he lifted me up. I would then become more relaxed as we continued climbing. That is what Jesus does. He takes our hand and guides us over the “hurdles” that we face in our lives. He makes our burden lighter.

Jesus wants us to come to Him, take His yoke, learn from Him, and find rest in Him.

May the Lord bless you as you continue your walk with Him.

Blessings,

Yvonne

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