Posts Tagged ‘Trials’

Ever Present Help

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You are so very loved.

Blessings,

Sarah

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You Before Me

Oh man, am I ever behind on reading all of your blog posts! I will set aside time tomorrow to catch up. I miss you guys! The last few weeks have been very busy with getting ready for school, and school starting. But this week I’m expecting to settle into the groove again.

Yesterday was our 18th wedding anniversary! We spent the day with the kids, went for pizza, and back to the place where it all started. We had our daughter take a picture of us, standing in the same place we did all those years ago and said, “I do!” Here’s the picture..

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We always talk about how we don’t feel like it’s already been 18 years (20 years if you count dating!), and how we can’t wait for the next 18. But, that doesn’t mean it’s been all peaches and cream, folks! We have definitely had our shares of ups and downs, and times when “goodbye” had sadly become an option. But, The Lord is good, and stayed ever faithful to work with us, and meet us where we were at. Without him, we would’ve been another statistic.

If your relationship is in a tough spot right now, I want to encourage you to remember the first days together, and get back to the puppy love stage. Seek The Lord in all you do..every response you give to your partner, every action you take towards your partner. It took us a long while to really put each other first (after The Lord) and focus on each others needs above our own. But once we did, things started changing fast.

Like Dr. Laura says, be your husband’s girlfriend..and husbands, be your wife’s boyfriend. It really makes a difference, friends!

Don’t give up hope, the change begins with you.

——

Philippians 2:1-11
Good News Translation (GNT)

Christ’s Humility and Greatness

1 Your life in Christ makes you strong, and his love comforts you. You have fellowship with the Spirit,[a] and you have kindness and compassion for one another. 2 I urge you, then, to make me completely happy by having the same thoughts, sharing the same love, and being one in soul and mind. 3 Don’t do anything from selfish ambition or from a cheap desire to boast, but be humble toward one another, always considering others better than yourselves. 4 And look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own. 5 The attitude you should have is the one that Christ Jesus had:

6 He always had the nature of God,
but he did not think that by force he should try to remain[b] equal with God.
7 Instead of this, of his own free will he gave up all he had,
and took the nature of a servant.
He became like a human being
and appeared in human likeness.
8 He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to death—
his death on the cross.
9 For this reason God raised him to the highest place above
and gave him the name that is greater than any other name.
10 And so, in honor of the name of Jesus
all beings in heaven, on earth, and in the world below[c]
will fall on their knees,
11 and all will openly proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

—-

Until next time,

Sarah

Attitude of Graditude

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What are you grateful for today? Are you in a place, spiritually, where you are able to praise Him regardless of circumstance?

“I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 34:1

Man, it can be so hard to stay in an attitude of praise when everything seems to be tumbling down around us. But, as I’ve said before, praise confuses the enemy, friends! And not only that, but praising also keeps our focus where it belongs..on Victory..on Him!

No matter what’s going on around you today, or how the storm rages, be grateful for Him and praise His holy name. Because He is good! And His mercies endureth forever, and ever. Amen!

Decide to make it an amazing weekend! Every day is a blessing, don’t forget it.

Onward and upward, Christian soldiers!

You are blessed,

– Sarah

Well, I sure Didn’t Expect That!

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How do you react when the unexpected hits? I’m not talking about finding a million dollars unexpectedly. I’m talking about finding out you have cancer. Finding out you or your spouse have lost their job. Finding out your power bill tripled, but is still due in full on the 1st. Finding out your child won’t advance to the next grade in school. Finding out your friend is cheating on their spouse..with your spouse. Going to start your car in the morning on the way to a job interview, and it’s dead. Finding out your child used the internet on their cell phone 24/7 in the last billing period and went over the data allotment by a landslide, leaving you with an outrageous bill to pay.

What do you do?

Do you call everyone you know? Do you post it on Facebook or Twitter immediately? Do scream and throw a fit? Do you punch a wall?

Or do you stop dead in your tracks, look up, and say, “Lord, help me.”

“Lord, I know You have a plan to turn even this for good.”

“Daddy, I’m in big trouble. I’m scared. I’m feeling very alone. But I know You’re here, and that You won’t leave Me. I believe You will make a way where there seems to be no way. I know that with You by my side, all of my battles are already won. And so, I will leave this situation at your feet, and continue to strive for the upcoming victory.”

It’s easy, when the unexpected slaps you upside the head, to deal with it in the flesh. I know, I’ve done it frequently!

But, does dealing with it in the flesh solve anything?

Does complaining to your friends, and posting sympathy inducing status updates on your social media feeds help anything? Is the problem solved now? Do you have peace now? I’m thinking not. Why?

Because you can’t find peace when you’re constantly focusing on, and elevating, the problem. Peace doesn’t exist in the flesh, it exists in the spirit.

Peace comes when we give our cares to Him. (Matthew 6:25-34)

So today, make a conscious decision: When the unexpected hits, I will look UP instead of out/down. I will call on His mighty name, instead of screaming my woes to the masses.

Let me say, also, there’s nothing wrong with sending out a request for prayer to friends. I’m not saying there is. But notice the difference in the two following prayers requests..

1. “PLEASE PRAY FOR ME! Stephen found out today (on payday no less!!) that he’s lost his job, then the vet called saying that the dog needs surgery and it “can’t wait”, the car is on “E”, so now I have to WALK to pick up my kids from school (how embarrassing is that?!), because the bank account is empty and I can’t fill the car up..AND, here’s the kicker, I have no food in the cupboards!! I don’t know what we are going to do. I don’t know why God is doing this, we’ve been faithful tithers, we are good people, we help others! I thought He wasn’t supposed to give us anything more than we could handle! Well, HELLO, I CAN’T HANDLE THIS!! Life sucks.”

2. “Friends and family, I’m writing to ask that you please keep our family in your prayers. We are fighting towards victory in a few situations, and would appreciate the “back up” of your prayers. Thanks so much! We look forward to sharing the praise report with you! As always, we will continue to lift you up in prayer as well. God is GOOD – ALL the time!”

Notice the difference? One screams of panic and drama. The other speaks softly, but directly, with power and belief for a better day to come. One says my God isn’t big enough. The other says my God is good, and my victory draweth nigh!”

One says, I choose to worship Satan in this affliction. The other says, I choose to worship my Savior God in this situation.

Choose wisely today, my friends! He loves you dearly. Give Him center stage. He deserves it. And He won’t disappoint. Life gets hard, just as He promised it would. But your story doesn’t end here. These earthly troubles will pass away. Your destiny involves dancing on streets of gold!

You are blessed! Focus on the victory, not the trial. In doing that, you give God the glory! My love to all of you as we continue on this journey to growth together! It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it!

– Sarah

Focus, Darling!

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The devo I’m sharing with you today started out by making me laugh, and ended up making me feel like I had been wrapped up in a nice warm blanket. Enjoy!

You are blessed,

Sarah

——–

Focusing on the Right Things
By Lisa Buffaloe

“Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us.” (Romans 5:3-5)

Several months ago, I walked across a parking lot and focused on the door where I would be doing business. A few moments later, I found myself sprawled on the sidewalk. Fortunately, my nose broke the fall. Unfortunately, said appendage sustained damage and still has a slight tilt to the left.

Amazing how a fall shifts the viewpoint. Who knew there was actually a curb?

When trials come there is a zeroing in on the things we hold dear. Immediately, the path warrants our attention opposed to the surroundings. Life’s difficulties readjust our focus.

Whether I live ten more days or fifty more years, I want to experience life to the fullest. God has walked me through the fires, through the raging waters, and never left my side. I may come out dripping wet or charred and smokin’ but I have found more of Him. I pray for health (and good eyesight), but more than that I pray and beg for more of Him.

God is faithful. He is big enough to handle whatever you face today, and whatever comes your way tomorrow. There is no illness, no diagnosis, no heartache, and no problem too big for God. The same God who created the universe, set the planets in motion, and placed the stars in the sky, is the God who knows the numbers of hairs on your head.

No detail is too small, nothing in your life is overlooked, and nothing is impossible for God.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father regardless of the difficulties of life, help me to stay focused on You. Help me keep my eyes fixed on You and not my difficulties. Thank you that You are over all things and always in control.

About the Author:
Lisa Buffaloe is a madly in love with God, Christ-follower, happily-married, mom, writer/blogger/speaker. God has helped her through molestation by a baby-sitter, assault, rape, divorce, cancer, death, seven surgeries, and years of chronic illness due to lyme disease. For more information, please visit http://www.LisaBuffaloe.com

Tired but Soaring

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*photo credit: http://www.godlivesandloves.tumbler.com/page/7

I found this devotional so comforting, especially right now. I’m tired. Physically and emotionally. But my spirit is soaring. And that’s because I know that I’m not alone. That no matter what the world brings, as long as I’m with Him, I will soar on wings like eagles.

Do you know that? That you’re never alone? That He’s always there with you? Ready to hold you through the night? He is. Always.

You are blessed,

Sarah

———
Today’s devo selection:

Are You Tired Lately?
By Tiffany @ www.teawithtiffany.com/

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend recently.

Everyone I talk to is tired. Tired of daily stress. Tired of busyness. Tired of summer heat. Tired of financial or health problems. Tired of praying. Tired of their loved ones. And tired of even trying.

Last week, my college-aged son and his two friends were in a ugly car wreck. Their lives were spared by only a second or two. Wow, as a mom that was hard to see. Thank God, they are not hurt. Anyway as I stood nearby the accident, one of the moms said, “I’m just so tired,” And as tears fell from her eyes, she repeated, “I’m just so tired.”

I understand because I’m tired too.

Lately I’ve thought things like, why bother and who cares. I’ve even considered about giving up on my dreams and running away from my responsibilities. You name it, I’ve thought it. I know this isn’t faith-filled thinking. More like destruction waiting to happen.

So how can we keep the faith when we are beyond tired, when weariness hits hard?

I think I found a clue as I reread a chapter in Isaiah. It’s chapter 4o, which is subtitled, “Comfort for God’s People.”

Who doesn’t need a little more comfort these days?

I know I do.

I won’t post the whole chapter here, but I will share the last several verses for your encouragement.

28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

Did you notice our God never grows tired or weary?

What comfort.

These verses also remind me that I cannot find new strength on my own or in anything. But I can renew my strength by hoping again. And not just any hope, but hope in the Lord. What a relief because hoping in Tiffany isn’t working.

Feeling hopeless is dangerous territory.

So today I’m focused on hope again.

Everlasting God, I’m comforted by reading that You never tire or grow weary. Please renew my strength as I once again place my hope in You. In the powerful name of Jesus I pray, Amen.

Thankful and feeling a little less tired,
Tiffany from Tea with Tiffany

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