Friday’s Friends #17

Today is Friday, and this is the day I get to share a new blog with you. I always love this time, because there are so many wonderful blogs out there to be shared! These blogs have inspired me, encouraged me, or simply challenged me, and I hope for you, they’ll do the same. 😊

Joyouslyhopeful is a great blog where you’ll find encouragement and an incredible story of survival. She wrote Broken Pieces last year, and if I remember right, that’s how I found her blog. I love the picture in this post and the symbolism it gives. We are all broken pieces which make up His beautiful masterpiece. Her personal story is one of broken pieces becoming a magnificent masterpiece. 

I hope you will check out her blog today. Enjoy! 

Advertisements

Eternally Grateful

Have you ever just gone up to someone who hurt you and given her a hug? What about you when someone was cussing you out, did you just walk up and give her a great big bear hug? Or what about the time someone punched you or slapped you? Did you smile, put your arm around him and tell him you forgave him?

Do you realize, Christ did this for us AND more? He made an eternal decision for an eternal life. We were guilty. We were condemned. We were on our way to an eternity of death and destruction, without any care or concern for Him. We were destined to bust hell wide open; yet, He decided to leave His glory, come to earth as a man and die for us! He didn’t do this, because we deserved it. He didn’t do this, because we were worthy. In fact, we caused this destiny of death to even exist; yet, He made the decision to change it all. 

Why did He do this? Because, He loves us and longs to be with us. Can you imagine a greater King? Can you imagine walking away from a love like this? He offers it freely to you today. Not one cost involved. Not one cent. Not one sacrifice. It’s all been paid. Paid in full

…ps. And by the way, He’s not still dead. When you decide to serve Him, you’re not serving a dead god, a statue or some inate object that has no connection or life. He’s a risen King who cares about and loves you in real time! 😉 He’s just awesome that way!

Merry Christmas 2016!

Pinterest

Maybe it’s because we’ve had warmer temperatures this year, or maybe because it seems to have come so quickly, but it still doesn’t quite feel completely like Christmas to me. Today is Christmas Eve! I guess, I better start feeling it, or I’m just gonna miss it this year! Haha. 

So, MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND YOURS! We hope you have a wonderful time with family and friends! We pray your Christmas is blessed with making wonderful memories and joyous moments together. 

Ariniel DeviantArt

It Is Our Story To Tell

“…that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:19-21

I have a friend who is dealing with the pain and agony of cancer that has spread across her body. Last month, I was notified of a friend who lost her 16 year old son in a house fire. Just last week, I ran across a FB post from a past church member who lost his wife tragically in a car wreck. It seems more and more I hear of friends going through a divorce, family members who are faced with illnesses and children who are lost and undone.

These stories hit close to home. I am a wife. I have a 15 year old and an 11 year old. Living is hard sometimes, and I find myself wondering why it’s so sorrowful at times. Yet, these tragedies make me realize so many around me are hurting. These moments of grief remind me that we weren’t made for this. We weren’t meant for these illnesses, these tragedies, this death. We are here but for a season…  

This world is dying for peace, for healing and for love. If we will just look around us, we will see so many hurting souls right in front of us. Christ came to this earth that their stories might end differently. The story of Christ’s birth, life, death and resurrection are the very thing that can bring healing to their brokenness. These details don’t somehow miraculously make all things perfect. This account doesn’t instantly change your circumstance or your plight.

Yet, when you find Jesus, and you believe in Him, He does one special thing for you. He brings you HOPE. Hope to face the storm and come out on the other side. Hope to face one more day. Hope to see the sun on the horizon. Hope to breathe again. Hope to live beyond this current life.

His story is one of HOPE, and if we know Him, we should be sharing this with everyone we meet. You never know, that person beside you might very well need it the most!

Fall Into It

Ahhh, it has finally begun to feel like FALL around here! I love this time of year. It’s the time for cooler weather, beautiful blue skies, crisp, clean breezes and the change of colors on the leaves. Then, they will begin to fall. I’ve not always enjoyed falling, for sometimes, it can cause pain, injury and long recovery times. However, as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realize, if done right, falling has its advantages. In this season of change, turmoil, and the unknown, I’d like to encourage you to fall just a little…or maybe a lot…

Fall into PEACE

Fall into peace like you’re falling back onto your incredibly soft pillow top or down mattress. You’re about to get the best night’s sleep you’ve had in your life! Perfect peace doesn’t depend on the situation or persons surrounding you. It is a quiet knowing of the soul that says, “Everything’s gonna be alright.” It’s a settling within that is beyond the storm that may rage on the outside. It’s that moment when “all Hades” has broken loose, and you sit back and just breathe, because you know within your heart and soul that no matter what may come, “All is well with my soul.”

Fall into JOY

Fall into joy like you laughed as a child, when you “turned over your tickle box,” and couldn’t stop laughing if you tried. True joy is not only laughter, it’s attitude. It’s a perspective. It’s an outlook on life that looks past the circumstance. When true joy bubbles up, it can’t be contained. It can’t be hidden. True joy changes your mood. It changes the way you see things, the way you see the future and your destiny. The Word of God says Jesus came to give us “joy unspeakable and full of glory.” This kind of joy changes hearts, changes sight and changes lives.

Fall into GRACE

Fall into grace like a refreshing stream or swimming pool on a hot summer day. It’s a gift. It’s totally free. We can’t earn it. We can’t work for it. We can’t do anything to get more or less of it. It allows us to breathe freely, and it helps us to continue breathing when we’ve lost a loved one, and we feel there’s no more air left to take in. It helps us stay on the straight and narrow when hell is knocking at our door, and it gives us strength to stand when we feel the enemy has busted down that door and is about to overwhelm. Grace gives a way of escape, tenacity for the journey, and  a rest for our weary souls. 

Fall into LOVE

Fall into love like you fell into a piles of autumn leaves as a child, or maybe, those snowbanks to make snow angels. Either way, you wanted nothing more than to keep falling over and over, and there was no fear of pain or injury. You wanted nothing less than to get right back up and fall again. That is just how our love should be, falling deeper and deeper with each new day…with God…with our family…with our spouse…with our children…with LIFE!

Do yourself a favor this autumn, fall a little deeper into PEACE, JOY, GRACE and LOVE. You’ll be amazed at where you’ll land.

 

*Originally shared here (and the next 3 days), just “tweaked” a little. 😉

 

What Will You Choose?

What are you choosing today? Are you choosing life, or are you choosing death? Are you choosing joy, or are you choosing sorrow? Are you choosing peace, or are you choosing chaos?

You might say, “Well, you don’t know my circumstances. I can’t choose anything! I am a victim.” Yet, I have to disagree. You may not have control of your circumstances, but you do have control of YOU! You can choose how you handle those circumstances, and you can choose how you react to whatever you are facing.

Just as you cannot control or change the wind and the storms that come, you may not be able to control or change bad things from happening around you or even to you. However, you have complete control over your emotions and your actions. You can decide, right now, how you will react to those bad things. Will you “flip out,” refusing to be consoled or comforted? Will you become angry, lashing out in anger? Or will you take a deep breath, step back and assess the damages, and approach the situation with peace and wisdom? Will you handle the chaos with the kind of strength and grace that helps someone else along the way?

You have the ability to choose today. Choose life. Choose peace. Choose joy. Your choices not only impact those in that present situation, but they can impact others for generations to come.

What will your choices leave behind?

Don’t You Realize?

Don’t you realize?

It’s a long, long journey with lots of twists and turns.

It’s a wide, wide path with lots of scrapes and burns.

Where do you go when your way is busted and broken?

Where do you run when you find your future isn’t quite the token?

Don’t you realize?

It can be a journey of much peace, joy and love.

It can be a path of many blessings from above.

All you have to do is turn around and walk into His open arms.

All you have to do is believe He will never bring you any harm.

Don’t you realize?

He loves you.

He gave His life to prove it.

Penned – MG – 10/6/16

Daily Prompt: Realize

How Do You Do It?

I watch as a mother holds the hand of her 12 year old battling cancer in a children’s hospital day after day. I look on as a wife says goodbye to her man of almost 60 years. I wipe a tear as I read a story of a family that’s dealing with the death of two grandchildren, a son and daughter in law, all in the same week, and I wonder how you do it?  

How do you survive in this world without the love of Christ to sustain you? I wonder how you make it through these darkened days of tragedy and pain. I can’t imagine living my life with no hope, no joy, no faith in a Higher Power than myself. 

Maybe you’ll think I am just weak, that I simply need a crutch to walk through this life…well, I have found I can’t even walk without holding His hand! When I am leaning on His everlasting arms, I realize I can climb a mountain or walk through a valley! I have strength, because it’s no longer my human strength that I am relying on. It is the strength of my Creator and my God. He laid the foundations of this earth, and He breathed life into my very being; so, why would I ever think my strength is better than His? 

To top it all off, He loves me so much that He died and rose again for me. His plans for me are good plans, and He wants to give me a hope and a future! Believe it or not, He longs to do the same for YOU, because He loves you, too! Why would you ever want to deny that kind of love or reject that kind of power in your life??

Paving Their Path

 

Once a child reaches the age of accountability, every child must make his or her own choices, and every child is responsible for what he or she does. However, I have found that we, as parents, do have a part to play in helping to pave the path they choose in life. We can’t make their choices, and we can’t be accountable for their decisions. However, we do have the ability to make those choices easy or hard to find.

You see, our children walk down their own paths into the destiny of their own choosing. They will be faced with the good and bad consequences of their actions and with the fruit from the seeds they choose to sow. However, we can pave that path with the “asphalt” of faith, the guard rails of love and the road signs toward joy and fulfillment, or we can lay down layer upon layer of rock, rubble, nails and thorns from the bitterness, foolishness, enablement and even pain of our own lives, layers through which our children will have to fight and claw just to find those good decisions they long to choose.

 

When we live as good examples for our little ones, make good decisions for our own lives as we try to raise them the best way we know how, and strive to correct in front of them the mistakes we are sure to make along the way, their paths will be lined with the good substance they need to not only survive this life, but it also will build the foundation upon which they can thrive through this life!

If you realize your children may have a rocky road ahead, I have good news for you! You can begin TODAY picking up the stones of hatred and anger that have been thrown along their path. The rocks and rubble of foolishness and enablement can be pushed aside. The nails of spite which have been dropped and the thorns of pain which have been sown can be picked up, cut back and removed as you reach out with repentance, forgiveness, truth and love.

This process can only begin with a right relationship with God, a daily seeking of His Word and a continual reaching out to your child with loving kindness. It may not be an instant reconciliation, but with Christ, it can be an instant healing within your own heart and mind. He can help you to clear the path and to make things right again. He can guide you and your child to a better way.

In Whom Do You Trust?

source: unknown


Walking through life without faith is like standing before a mighty wave, looking at its beauty yet never realizing the peril that rises before you. Traveling this journey without God’s guidance is like gazing at this wall of water believing it will simply recede and never bother you again, because you are human and you can avoid the ocean rushing in. 

No, the tide comes in slowly but surely, and the mood of the sea can change in an instance to leave you broken and desolate. If you are not prepared, and if you do not have the proper lifeboat, you may be swept away, never to return. 

Does redemption save you from all the heartache in the world and make your little orbit perfect? By no means, but it sure does give you peace through the storm, and it pours out strength in the valley. 

pinterest.com

So many taunt and say, “Your cross is just a crutch, something you lean on, because you are weak.” I can declare boldly, and without reservation, “I can’t even walk without holding onto His hand!” I am stronger with Him than I am alone! He is my Redeemer. He is my Joy. He is my Peace. He is my everything. 

If you doubt Him, I challenge you to simply ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Just say His name. Once you give Him a shot, you’ll never be the same. I promise.