spiritual walk

27
Sep

Paul: A Man Changed by Love

I love to read the writings of the Apostle Paul. Here is an example of a person radically changed by the love of Christ. Following his Damascus Road transformation, he was willfully consumed  by the task of proclaiming the Good News. But to appreciate Paul’s new found attitude, we have to remember who Paul was before that extraordinary day.

Paul, formerly named Saul, was a Pharisee. This means he was not an ordinary Jewish citizen, but in fact a well-educated, highly intelligent student of the scripture. He knew the written laws of God intimately and would have strictly followed them from an early age. Yet, he lacked genuine knowledge of the Word made flesh.

Saul began his life as one of the most notorious characters of the Bible. Not only did he once hate the Church and all it stood for, he was determined to drive Christ followers out from among the Jewish people. He believed it was his responsibility to jail them, to terrorize them, and even murder them in the name of righteousness. He was someone to fear and someone far from Christ.

Then something miraculous happened –Jesus confronted Saul on the road to Damascus. In His grace and mercy, Jesus did not do to Saul what Saul had done to others. Instead, He speaks to Saul in a tone of offered forgiveness.

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13
Sep

Chick-fil-A Literacy Night 9/29

Book Signing

 Book Signing Event 9/29th

So excited to be participating in Literacy Night at Chick-fil-A (Main Street – Suffolk) on September 29th for 5pm-8pm. Come on out and support 3 local authors: Janice Holland, Nan O’Berry, and myself!

My book, Love Echoed Back, can be purchased 3 different ways: 

  1. Support a local business: Purchase from the Christian Bookstore of Suffolk (in the same shopping center as Chick-fil-A).
  2. Purchase on the internet:  www.amazon.com or www.barnesandnoble.com
  3. Purchase onsite at Chick-fil-A on 9/29th!!!

I will be available to sign books, discuss possible speaking engagements, and host a drawing for a gift basket containing items from the author, the Christian Bookstore of Suffolk, and Chick-fil-A.   

Come early – there may be free chicken involved!! (hint, hint) 

Remember, the holiday season is almost upon us, and this book would make a great gift!! Hope to see you, your family, and all your friends there!!!!  

PS: The message of Love Echoed Back is meant to encourage and inspire those who are going through the tough stuff of life! Will you help me spread the word? If you haven’t already, consider following me on Facebook by clicking the LIKE button!! 

Click here and visit my page:  https://www.facebook.com/LoveEchoedBack

I am almost at 500 followers – would you mind helping me exceed that number so I can continue to reach those who need to hear the message God has given me? A simple click could do just that!!! Your support is invaluable to me and I thank you in advance!!!  xoxo 

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31
Aug

Life Lessons – Reading the Word

As I sit here and write these words, I long to be back in Nicaragua. Why? Mainly because when I am there, I am able to truly disconnect from the distractions of this world, and I become focused on God like no other time.

As Americans, we are always busy. However, the truth is we make ourselves busy. We attend too many unnecessary events, watch entirely too much TV, and we keep schedules that don’t even make sense sometimes because they wear us out more than help us to relax. I am certainly guilty of this sort of thing and so, my goal is to purposely clear out some things from my life over the course of the next year.

Early this summer, I clearly heard God instruct me to engage in His word (the Bible) and make it a priority. So I began reading the gospels again, but more intently. I am using colored pencils to mark up the pages in order to draw out as much from the scriptures as possible. Right now, I am in Luke and as I read about the life of Jesus, it is amazing what pops out at me off the pages of this book.

Luke gives a very detailed description of Jesus’ life, and some things are unique to this chapter. So in light of our discussion, let me share 3 verses. To help put these verses in context, let me explain what is happening. Jesus has now grown from a baby to a child of 12-years-old. His parents have no doubt begin to let the glory of His birth fade a little. No miraculous events happen of late, and they have settled into life in the moment. The Bible doesn’t tell us much about these years, but we know that Joseph and Mary went on to have other children, and as good Jewish parents, they would have raised Jesus and his siblings in the usual Jewish traditions and customs.

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27
Aug

Walk in His Light!

Nicaragua Mission Trip 2015

Nicaragua Missions Trip 2015

We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love. 2 Corinthians 6:6 NLT

Wow! I can’t believe it has been a little over a month since we talked! It really went fast, and God has been so faithful! I have so much to tell you! Starting this weekend, I will begin posting again on a weekly basis.

Taking some time to refresh and ground myself again was well worth it. I definitely needed to drink deeply from the well of living water! Maybe today you do too!

On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me!  Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’ John 7:37-38

Of course, going back to Nicaragua this year was an incredible boost! Seeing the growth of the church, orphanage, and feeding center there in just two short years was amazing! And then, being able to share Love Echoed Back with some pretty awesome ladies just topped it off!

Love Echoed Back BeGroup in Spanish

Love Echoed Back BeGroup in Spanish

Can I say it again!  AWESOME!!!

So stay tuned. Lots of new things coming: new posts, a new look for the website, new speaking engagements, and work on my second book! Please share with your family and friends!!!

Until this weekend, walk in His light! Blessings!!


Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

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30
Jun

Tongue-Tied

So I recently read the book of James from start to finish for the first time in a while and honestly, I started to feel a little tongue-tied. Who knew so many lessons could be packed into five simple chapters?

From James, we get verses like:

 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.  (1:22 NLT)

So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. (2:17 NLT)

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23
Jun

Suffolk Christian Church – Speaking Engagement 4/2015

Speaking Engagement 3

Wow! What a busy couple of weeks it has been! Today, instead of creating a full blog post, I want to share with you this video clip from April 2015 when I spoke at the Suffolk Christian Church Women’s Rally! It was a great afternoon spent with some wonderful ladies. I am happy to share some of the footage with you this week! I invite you to come on over to my recently created YouTube channel and give it a view. As always, your reaction is welcome!!

Click on this link and enjoy: https://youtu.be/thF7CyLLZa0

To arrange a speaking engagement at your church, use my contact page and tell me how I can serve you!

While you are there, you can also view a short clip of video testimonials about my book, Love Echoed Back! 

I’ll be back with you in a few short days with a brand new blog post called Tongue-Tied!

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7
Jun

Home Run Series: Heading to Home Plate

Home Run

Wow! Here we are at the bottom of the ninth ending, and our series is coming to a close. We have rounded all the bases and are headed to home plate. Home plate represents “connection to God”. In others words, what is your relationship to God –are you connected?

Consider this, no one can get to first base without starting at home plate, nor can anyone finish a run without returning and crossing over home plate. The Bible says, Jesus is “the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.” (Revelation 1:8) In order to run the bases successfully, we need to align our lives in such a way that He permeates it from beginning to end. Every time we run the bases in order something amazing happens –we strengthen our walk with Christ, and our relationship with Him is more balanced. Life becomes less about us and more about Him. John the Baptist said it best:

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31
May

Home Run Series: Who’s on Third?

Today is the day we make it to third base! We have talked about first base (i.e., character) and second base (i.e., community or relationships). Now, we turn to the base representing competency, or how we see success.

How do you measure success in your life? Perhaps it is by how long you have been married or held a certain job, or by how well your children behave, or by how much you have financially. But consider this –have you measured success by how deep your life reflects Jesus?

Certainly, God wants us to have a successful life. Jesus stated:

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life. John 10:10

Jesus’ expectation, however, is that our success in life will be poured out on others!

I, like a lot folks, relied heavily on my own man-made success, which was my nursing career. By the world’s standards, I was pretty successful. But when my career took over my life, things got messy. God would ultimately use the experiences I went through to shift my focus. He would build both character in me and community around me so that when new opportunities came, I would be prepared to walk in His will and not in my own.

What most fail to understand is life lived for God is a win-win. Not only will we live a life on earth that protects us from utter destruction and blesses us beyond our beliefs, but we will also be rewarded in heaven. Whatever we are willingly to let go of God will multiply.

 “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, will be repaid many times over in this life, and will have eternal life in the world to come.” Luke 18:29-30

Once I allowed God to train me through personal Bible study, small-group participation, church sermons, and Christian fellowship, I was ready. Once I learned that God can be trusted, my life rose to a level of success that the world can never offer.

Let me wrap up this week with an excerpt from Love Echoed Back that embodies this thought (click on image to enlarge):

Paper and Ink

Are you ready to head to home plate? Next week, we will complete the last leg in our trip around the bases, finishing our home run. See you then!!


 Join Believers Church for our new series:  Home Run

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

 

 

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24
May

Home Run Series: Who’s on Second?

Last week, we talked about building our character, which was represented by first base. The week, we’re on second base discussing why relationships (founded in Christian love) are so important!

If God is anything, He is a God who is all about relationship. From the beginning of creation, God planned for us to be in relationship with Him.

Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. … Genesis 1:26

Notice two things:

1. God has always existed in relationship –God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost are represented in this verse by “us.” The Trinity is the most powerful display of relationship that exists.

2. He wants us to be like the Trinity, always in “relationship,” not only with each other, but most importantly with Him.

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15
May

Home Run Series: Who’s On First?

This week, get ready! Life is standing on the pitcher’s mound waiting to throw the ball, and it’s time to make a play that leads toward first base. First base represents our inner self and the work we need to do to get ourselves in line with God’s will for our lives.

Proverbs 16:2 states:

I know for me; on any given day, I have to fight what I think is right for me versus what God says is right for me. That inner struggle builds character. Will I do what needs to be done to stay close to God or will I do what I feel like instead?

The biggest pressure in a baseball game is in the bottom of the ninth inning, when the bases are loaded and there are two outs. Scoring a run can be the difference between winning and losing the game. Does life feel that way most days? Are your bases loaded? Perhaps you have a relationship or marriage on first, kids on second, and your job on third. Or maybe your bases are loaded a little different, but no matter how life stacks up for you–God’s will must be in it, in order for you to have the character you need to be a top scorer. When the pressure is on, whatever is inside you will come out! You can count on it.

When that moment comes, will it be self-control, grace, mercy, and compassion that you display or will it be arrogance, selfishness, or jealousy?

God wants to work on us from the inside out, but we have to be willing to stand in the moment. Are we willing to let Him make the call on which play will be next? Are we willing to swing the bat with all that is within us for His honor and glory? Or will we simply try to bunt the ball on our own and see how far we get?

God doesn’t promise this character- building stuff will be easy. Sometimes we will strike out, but if we let God work in us and through us, we will soon be on our way around first base and going to second.

However, our biggest obstacle to first base is pride:

Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us. Romans 12:3 NLT

So, humble yourself to the ultimate coach, and let Him steer you to first base and beyond! Let’s play ball!


Join Believers Church for our new series:  Home Run

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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