How to Have Life-changing Faith

Very few of us will have a book written or a movie made about our lives. Most of us will go from day to day living out a normal (whatever that means) life with its undulating highs and lows. The vast majority of us will never have even as much as a one-column newspaper article written about the space between our birth and our death.

So, why should we be too jacked up over our legacy?

I believe the answer lies between Hebrews 10 and Hebrews 12. In Hebrews chapter 11 we find what most Christians know as God’s Hall of Faith. A beautiful recounting of the lives of God’s servants beginning with Abel and ending with nameless individuals whose acts of faith were worthy of mention in Scripture.

Check out a few:

Abel offered a sacrifice that pleased God’s heart. (11:4)

Enoch pleased God and was raptured. (11:5)

Noah acted in faith when God told him about the coming flood. (11:7)

Abraham, whew, Abraham just flat out left home and family and set out to only-God-knew-where on faith. Abe also set the bar high for obedience when he was willing to sacrifice Isaac, just because God said so. (Try that one on for size!) (11:8-12, 17-19)

Isaac, Jacob, Moses, the Israelites, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, David and so many others acted in faith and believed that God was who He said He was and that He was able to do what He said He would do.

Heart-pounding, life-changing faith.

Legacy-building, life-changing faith isn't just for the biblical heroes of old, it's for us today, too! Find out how everyday, ordinary faith leaves a godly legacy that lasts!  christian faith, godly legacy, leaving a legacy. faith legacy

 

The thing about all of the folks named in Hebrews 11 is that they were just ordinary people going about their ordinary lives doing ordinary things when God said, “Hey you!”

These people were not stained-glass saints when God called them. For heaven’s sake, Rahab was a prostitute, Moses was a murderer, and Gideon was a wimp. These were people, exactly like you and me, who had a heart set on obedience to God. They were willing to trust that God knew what He was doing and had a plan that was for their good, even when it was crazy-scary.

Heart-pounding, life-changing faith.

It is what God calls us to when we decide to set Jesus up as Lord and Savior over our lives. Jesus said that all we need is faith as tiny as a mustard seed in order to do the impossible (Matthew 17:20). Do you know how small a mustard seed is? It is teeny tiny, yet that is all the faith we need….just enough to say ‘yes’ to whatever God is calling us to, then He will add to our faith so we can do the thing in obedience.

Heart-pounding, life-changing, legacy-building FAITH.

Faith that just might one day have our portrait hanging on the walls of heaven.

Faith that might encourage someone else to use their mustard seed.

Faith that pleases the God of heaven immensely.

Faith that leaves a legacy for those who come behind us.

Where is God asking you to use your mustard seed of faith today? Share about it in the comments. I would love to pray for you.

Speaker, Author, Mentor. Bible teacher. Jesus-follower. Wife. Mom. Friend. Daughter of the King.  Leah Adams writes at leahadams.org to point others to Jesus. You can also connect with her on social media: Facebook (Leah Adams), Twitter (LeahCAdams), Instagram (leahadams64), and Pinterest (leahcadams).

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Leah is generously offering the readers of Being Confident of This a chance to win a free copy of her newly released Bible study, Legacy: It’s What You Leave Behind. Woohoo!

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Let me tell you why I’m excited about this study. First, I have known Leah for several years now and have witnessed her passion for reaching women for Jesus, particularly through sound teaching and lots of grace! Second, I worked closely with Leah on the design of Legacy, so I’m very familiar with the material contained within these pages – it’s meaty, grounded in scripture, and exactly the message we need to be spreading in the world today!

Leah’s book uses scripture to teach you how life-changing faith leaves a lasting legacy.

So, who wants to win a free copy?? :)

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Enter to win a free copy of Legacy by Leah Adams! Want to learn how to leave a godly legacy that lasts? This biblical approach to leaving a legacy is for every Christian! godly legacy, Christian legacy, faith legacy, legacy of faith

How to Overcome a Bad Day

Some days just getting started in the morning is the most difficult challenge we’ll face all day long.  It’s hard to overcome a bad day, especially when it starts out rough from the very beginning!

You know, the days when:

  • the kids wake up way too early
  • you feel overwhelmed by your to-do list
  • you didn’t get enough sleep
  • you’re so grumpy you feel out of control
  • it’s dreary outside
  • all you want to do is get back in your comfy bed and hide

Overcoming a bad day seems nearly impossible once it has already started!

What do you do when you wake up with zero motivation?

How do you get past a grumpy mood so early on in the day?

What do you do when you wake up with zero motivation?  How do you get past a grumpy mood so early on in the day? Try these 10 tips for turning a bad day around.

10 Ways to Jumpstart Your Morning (and overcome a bad day):

1. Go to bed earlier the night before! I know, I know – that’s the most obvious advice ever.   But it’s true.  When the twins were infants, I forced myself to go to bed not long after they did. I knew that if I didn’t go to bed right away, the next day would be miserable and difficult.  However, now that they are a little older, I’ve gotten out of the habit of early bedtime.  One of my work-in-progress goals is to go to bed earlier so that I can get out of bed earlier the next morning, (overcome the bad day before it even starts)!

2. Shower (or at least splash some cold water on your face). I know there are many mornings that showering first thing just isn’t an option, especially if you have little ones in the house.  I have found that on the days when I have to wait for my shower (or even go without), washing my face goes a long way toward helping my sleepy eyes stay open. The more awake I feel, the easier it is to overcome a bad day.

3. Spend time…

To read the rest, follow me over to Sharing Redemption’s Stories here!

You woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, and apparently the little people who live with you did, too. All you want is a few more minutes of sleep, but the to-do list beckons. How will you overcome the rough start? Try one of these 10 tips to jumpstart your morning!

 

 

 

 

The Truth About a Faith That Stumbles on Water

A few weeks ago I posted the verse below from Galatians 6:9 about not growing weary of doing good, which has become my anchor in this season of busy schedules and church planting challenges. It’s perfect for this season because it easily applies to every area of my life in which I desire to remain steadfast.

Do not grow weary of setting aside time to abide in the Vine.

Do not grow weary of loving and listening to my husband.

Do not grow weary of training up my children.

Do not grow weary of being a good friend and neighbor.

Do not grow weary of keeping my home tidy.

Do not grow weary of eating healthy and exercising even when….maybe especially when… the scale doesn’t budge.

Do not grow weary of…

The list could extend for pages, really.

We've all heard the story of Peter walking on water, yet we often focus on the miracle itself rather than what it teaches us about faith. We want victorious faith - the kind that leaps and soars. But sometimes what we really need is a faith that stumbles on water. Click through to read more about why you need this kind of faith! Why You Need a Faith that Stumbles on Water

 

So, I posted this verse on the blog facebook page and after seeing it there a few times, kind of forgot about it.

And wouldn’t you know that after weeks of not having a single new visitor (and very few actual attendees), we had not one… not two… but three unexpected guests last Sunday! In fact, one couple has been invited nearly every week by my persistent husband since the church plant opened way back during Easter.

There’s more. After prayer walking that same Sunday afternoon, we had almost a dozen extra visitors during our bread ministry that week and actually ran out of bread!

Do you think maybe the Lord was trying to teach us something? ;)

Here’s the thing: Sometimes we’ve prayed for something so fervently, and for so long, that we quit waiting expectantly. And then when the answer comes, when the need is met, we fail to recognize the significance.

As a daughter of the Most High, I often grow childishly impatient. I want an answer right now. I want clarity. I want an inkling of the Father’s plan. I want some sort of tangible evidence that we are on the right path.

If I’m honest, I want miracles.

And this is where I can most relate to Peter, who asked to walk on water with Jesus and then stumbled, nearly drowning in his own doubt.

Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  Mt. 14:28-29

I’m sure that first step was a mountaintop experience, a spiritual high like none other. I’m sure Peter was elated, soaring on faith-wings that yearned to stretch wider and swoop higher!

Yes, I’m doing it. I’m doing it!

I’m equally certain that the floundering steps that followed were terrifying.

Maybe it felt like too big of a leap of faith. Maybe the wind and waves increased in size and ferocity. For whatever reason, his confidence wavered.

Wait, am I really doing this? What if I can’t keep it up?  What if my faith is too small?

But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Mt. 14:30-31

What right did Peter have to walk on water in the first place?

Who was he to make such a bold request?

He was no one.

A nobody.

Yet in the eyes of Jesus, he was worth an abundant amount of time, effort, and instruction. He was worth forgiving even as he was busy betraying.

And before Jesus left this earth, He claimed His Church would be built upon Peter. Imperfect Peter with the imperfect faith (Mt. 16:18).

You see, friends, we need a faith that leaps – yes, we do, but we also need a faith that stumbles on water.

We've all heard the story of Peter walking on water, yet we often focus on the miracle itself rather than what it teaches us about faith. We want victorious faith - the kind that leaps and soars. But sometimes what we really need is a faith that stumbles on water. Click through to read more about why you need this kind of faith! Why You Need a Faith that Stumbles

We need that sudden sinking, that floundering fear that drives us straight into the arms of our Savior. Because when we are weak, then we are strong (2 Cor. 12:10).

It’s when we begin to think that we can do it on our own, when that smidgen of self-righteousness and self-sufficiency sneaks its way in, that  we should truly be frightened. That truth has never been more clear to me than these last few years of struggle.

Friends, if I only talked about the faith that leaps, I’d be remiss.

I’d be painting only half of the picture.

The truth is that these last few months have been full of walking-on-water moments followed by sudden sinking and ultimately a return to the truth that trumps all others – we need Him.

We need our Father God.

We cannot do it alone as much as our perfectionism preaches to us that we can, for even our very faith comes from the Lord and not ourselves (Eph.2:8-9).

We need to keep believing that He will “show up” for us. We need to keep waiting expectantly. We need to look for the work-in-progress He is completing in us.

So, if you’ve had some of those moments of stumbling on the water lately, take heart and look to Jesus just as Peter did.

And in the words of Toby Mac,

“Keep walkin’.”

Jen :)

Sharing with: Grace and Truth, Faith Filled Friday, Tell His Story

The One Time You Want to Be a Fool

I have a little confession to make:  I am afraid to fail, to look a fool.

Recently I realized I’ve been afraid to get excited about our church plant opening in less than two weeks.  Yes, me, a church planter’s wife. Afraid.

It all sounded so exciting back in the beginning and even leading up to the planning for our opening Sunday. But as the time draws nearer, I feel that familiar fear creeping up on me. What if we fail?

You know that fear, don’t you, friend?

Often we fear to take important steps forward in God’s plan for our lives because we might end up looking foolish if things don’t work out the way we think they will.

So we remain paralyzed, stuck.

I believe it’s the enemy’s favorite tactic when God’s people set out to serve and obey Him.  If he can overwhelm us with fear, then maybe we’ll freeze in place or start stepping backwards instead of forwards. Maybe we’ll even turn around, tuck tail, and run like Jonah in the opposite direction.

Maybe we won’t want to be fools for Christ.

But what the enemy doesn’t want you to know is that no effort is wasted when it is done in the name of the Lord. There is no such thing as failure in God’s economy when we walk forward in obedience!

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Gal. 6:9 NASB

Often the Lord asks us to do things that just don't make sense to the world or even fellow believers.  Throughout the Bible we see the evidence of such "fools for Christ." Are we willing to risk that label? And if so, what are the consequences? The One Time You Want to be a Fool. fool for Christ, fool for Christ quote, willing to follow Christ, Christian encouragement, followers of Christ

Consider these biblical “fools for Christ”:

Abraham sacrificed security and uprooted his entire family with no final destination in mind, then became the father of nations.

While building the ark, Noah preached for 100 years with zero converts, but his family was saved.

Daniel spent the night in the lions’ den, risking death rather than giving up prayer and changed the law of the land. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walked into a fiery furnace rather than bow to an idol and influenced the heart of the King of Babylon.

Mary faced a world of scorn for the miraculous conception of the child within her, yet she gave birth to the Son of God.

And consider Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, who had every right to strike his enemies dead rather than suffer on the cross for us.  Even as he strained for breath, those around him taunted:

And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.”  Luke 23:35 NASB

If Christ Himself was willing to look the fool for laying down His own life, why are we so hesitant to do so when laying down ours?

Why am I afraid to look a fool for the sake of His call?

Pride.

My own stinkin’ pride.

I’m learning that I’ve got to get over that silly pride issue if I want to be an effective servant of the Lord.  And you need to, also, friend.

This quote from recently departed Justice Scalia really speaks to me:

“God assumed from the beginning that the wise of the world would view Christians as fools … and he has not been disappointed. … If I have brought any message today, it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world.”

You've heard the phrase "being a fool for Christ," but what does that really mean? See how these 5 biblical fools teach us to have faith! fools for Christ, Christ followers, Christian encouragement, the cost of following Christ

Pride is the enemy of Courage.

If we want to be courageous, we must be willing to put our pride at risk, yes?

Listen, friends, maybe we can’t all have the influence of men like Abraham or Justice Scalia, or women like Mary, but we can all be everyday fools for Christ.

We can be fools for Christ by…

  • choosing forgiveness when the world would hold onto anger
  • raising children God’s way even if those around us scoff
  • remaining in a wounded marriage when friends advise divorce
  • sacrificing time to live on mission right where we are
  • following Christ into ministry even though we feel inadequate
  • packing up and moving when He says to go
  • writing when God says write or speaking when led to speak even if we’ve never done it before

We can be fools for Christ in a million other ways by simply following Him moment by moment, day by day.

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot

Don't let naysayers keep you from God's plan for your life! Being a Christ-follower requires sacrifice, but you'll find yourself in good company with these other "fools."  fools for Christ, Christian encouragement, following Christ, trusting God's plan, jim elliot quote

We can leave jobs, and homes, and families, and possessions, all for the sake of Christ and count it as gain! We can look naysayers in the eye and say with confidence, “I aim to follow the Lord – that’s the best I can do.”

“But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ…” Phil. 3:7-8 NASB

Don’t be afraid to lay down your life like a fool no matter what anyone else has to say about it because the rewards are both now and for eternity.

What is it that the Lord wants you to do for Him?

Will you follow no matter the cost?

Be fools for Christ!

Jen :)

Sharing with: Tell It To Me Tuesdays, Wholehearted Wednesdays, A Little R & R Wednesdays, Grace and Truth

Look to Jesus: A Review (and giveaway!)

If someone asked me if I trust God, I’d most likely answer yes, but I haven’t always trusted God in every circumstance.  In fact, during certain trials in my life when I felt I was drowning, trust seemed very hard to come by.

I’m certain I have more lessons in trust ahead of me, too.

That’s why Dawn Klinge’s new book Look to Jesus is so important.  My friend Dawn recently shared with us about how trusting Jesus is related to the joy we experience, but her book delves even more deeply into the topic of trust.

Klinge’s suggestion to trust God by looking to Jesus sounds so simple on the surface, maybe too simple. However, Klinge takes the reader on a journey to discover how looking to Jesus through various seasons of life leads to a deepening trust, one not easily shaken.

Along the way, Klinge takes time to explain basic doctrines that even seasoned believers may not fully understand, such as the Trinity.  I appreciate that the author lays this groundwork because if we don’t understand God’s character or how He operates, then we don’t really know God, do we?

And if we don’t really know Him, how can we trust Him?

In the first few chapters, Klinge rightly points out that we cannot generate trust on our own.  She encourages the reader to understand this truth by using her own life experiences.

“I’ve never needed to literally walk on water. But I have had storms in my life. In some of those storms, I’ve kept my eyes on Jesus and in some, I’ve looked around at my circumstances and started to sink – and I’ve called out to Jesus and he has rescued me. He wants to do the same for you.” ~Dawn Klinge, Look to Jesus (pg. 31)

But my favorite part of the book takes place in Chapter 4, when Klinge gets down to the nnitty-gritty of how we become conformed to the image of Christ, yet she also makes an important distinction between legalism and grace.  It’s this grace-filled approach which permeates the book that really resonates with me!

Dawn Klinge's new book, Look to Jesus, gently leads the reader to an understanding of how to trust God even during the painful trials of life.  Read here for a review and enter for your chance to win a copy of this new release!

Throughout Look to Jesus, Klinge supports her own words with a wealth of Scripture as well as well-chosen quotes from other authors and famous people from all walks of life. The reader will appreciate how the author weaves all of this knowledge into her own story of learning to trust God.

Out of all of the quotes chosen, however, the Oswald Chamber’s quote on page 58 is my favorite because it falls right in line with the purpose of this blog. The point of our faith journey is the process – the work-in-progress of being remade into His image, moment by moment, day by day.

I always enjoy a reminder of my work-in-progress status! :)

Another favorite moment took place in Chapter 6 when Klinge speaks to trusting God when life is hard.  I applaud Klinge for being brave enough to tackle this issue by sharing from her own pain.  I also agree with the author on her conclusion that pain has a purpose, one we cannot realize if we try to deny the pain of a difficult season of life.

More than that, I respect that Klinge points the reader to the truth that Jesus understands human pain because He endured pain himself!  Not only does he understand our pain, He wants to sit with us in the midst of it.

What I admire most about Look to Jesus is that any person who reads through the book will find a clear presentation of the gospel and what it means for us. In the final chapter, Klinge writes:

“Think of the high price God paid for you.

You are precious to Him and it doesn’t matter what you’ve done or how terribly you’ve failed – because it’s not about you. It’s about Christ in you.  How could we possibly doubt that God would ever give up on us, ever fail us, when we consider what was done to earn our place in His family.” ~ Dawn Klinge, Look to Jesus (p.95)

What better way to close than to remind us that looking to Jesus, trusting God in every circumstance, is rooted in our identity in Christ.  He who paid the price for us will not turn away in our times of need!

Dawn Klinge's new book, Look to Jesus, gently leads the reader to an understanding of how to trust God even during the painful trials of life.  Read here for a review and enter for your chance to win a copy of this new release!

Although the tone of this book is more conversational in nature than some readers might be used to, the nuggets of truth throughout make it a good read for anyone.

If you haven’t already read Dawn’s book, I hope you’ll take the time to do so.I have no doubt you’ll find wisdom and encouragement that applies to your life.

And if you’d like a chance to win a free copy of Dawn’s book (PDF version), be sure to enter the giveaway below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can also  visit Dawn at her blog, Above the Waves, where she writes on life and faith.

Because of Him,

Jen :)

*A proof copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the author for purposes of review. However, all opinions are my own!  Also, this post makes use of affiliate links. For more information on the affiliate links used by this blog, visit Being Confident of This’s homepage.

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Being Steadfast ~ Grace and Truth Week 35

Being steadfast isn’t easy in an ever-changing world, one where we “debate” over dead baby parts and watch children lose their heads for the sake of Christ. A world where twin towers haunt our memories, teaching us that even in Amercia, we are not untouchable.

Our world is full of sin and evil, and not just the kind that lives halfway around the world, but the kind that touches you and me everyday.

I’m talking about the kind of evil that destroys countries and churches and marriages and children and people….so many people.

It’s enough to make a woman heart-weary and numb.

When we face such trying situations, whether personal or not, what will our response be?

Will we stand firm in the Lord?

Or will our feelings overrun us?

Ifeoma from Purposeful and Meaningful shared some lovely words and scriptures on this topic last week.  Be sure to stop by and be encouraged!

Don’t be moved, friends. Now more than ever, we need those beacons of light to pierce the  encroaching darkness. We need steadfast hands and steady hearts to bring a balm of comfort and peace to a broken and hope-hungry world.

Don’t be moved, my sisters in Christ.

Not now.

Jen :)

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Listening for His Voice ~ Grace and Truth Week 31

Hello faithful readers and friends!  It’s our favorite part of the week when we share and find all sorts of encouragement in the Grace and Truth Christian Living link-up. :)

Since I missed sharing a feature last week due to our lovely and relaxing family time away, I thought I’d share two features this week!  (Okay, truthfully I just really liked more than one, haha.)

I found encouraging words that really spoke to our current in-between status as we wait for approval to begin church-planting from Christi over at The Cheerio Trail.  Have you ever thought about learning to recognize the enemy’s pattern of attack in your life so that you can more easily head it off? Love these tips – especially number 2!

 

You can also follow Christi on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, as well as hear her voice via podcast.

I also really enjoyed this week’s post from Sarah at Abiding in Grace.  Sarah reminded me that the key to waiting is really rather simple. If you want to know, you’ll have to read it yourself. :)

 

You can also find Sarah on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Thanks to all of you for continuing to share quality Christian Living content with us each week. We appreciate you!

Listen for His voice this week, friends.
Jen :)

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2.) Leave 1-2 of your most recent CHRISTIAN LIVING posts. Please do not link DIY, Crafts, Recipes, etc. Links of this kind will be deleted. We also reserve the right to delete posts that don’t align with the theme or that are deemed by the hostesses to be inappropriate.

3.) Visit 1-2 other links and leave a meaningful comment! We want to encourage community, so please don’t link and run!

4.) All links are randomly sorted – feel free to link as early or as late as you’d like. The playing field is even!

In order to be featured next week:

5.) Grab a button or link back to encourage new linkers. This is not mandatory to participate, but is required to be featured.

6.) Each host will choose one link to feature and promote via their social media channels next week.

7.) By linking up you agree to allow the hosts to use your featured post image if you are chosen as a feature for next week.

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When You Need Showers of Blessing

In the few weeks since my husband resigned his position as pastor of our previous church, he has filled out many a job application.

He’s even had several interviews.

But still….

nothing.

And I have to be honest, claiming God’s promises to provide for His children was a lot easier when we still had extra money sitting in the bank. It’s easier to trust Him for showers of blessing when we’re not quite in drought yet.

When needs arise, what is your first course of action? Often we neglect to ask for showers of blessing that our Heavenly Father is waiting to provide. What if we tried a different approach?

I knew that this moment would come when our faith would really be put to the test.

Now is the time.

Now is the time when the money is no longer coming in, the time when the savings account is running woefully low.

Yet now is also the time when we see the very hand of God act on our behalf in both big and small ways!

There shall be showers of blessing…

It’s true, friends, that in the midst of this season of trial, we are reaping a multitude of blessings.  Not just mercy drops, but showers!

I’ve been longing to keep record of the showers here in this space as stones of remembrance that I can look back on. So here goes.

A record of our showers of blessing:

~ unexpected income from a funeral my husband preached and I sang for

~ taking a family vacation we were planning but hadn’t paid for yet (not even a need, but purely a want)

~ Church Camp for our middle son

~ Missions trip for our oldest son

~ miscellaneous food for a family get-together

~ a tank full of gas

~ a Kohls gift card for some of our back-to-school shoe and clothing needs

~ new backpacks and school supplies from a local back-to-school carnival

~ a local church’s generous love offering to cover the rest of our school supply       list (from mostly strangers…people who don’t even know us, friends!!)

~ Overlapping coupons saving us a bundle on a pair of much-needed           running shoes for the oldest boy who is currently in cross country training        (hey, this isn’t the first time this bargain shopping mama has asked the Lord  for help to find a good deal on necessities)

~ free eggs (I know it’s small, but every bit helps, right?)

~ vacation extras this past week, like cheese fries, ice cream, and a boat ride

~ income from this blog (which has never, ever produced income before last month!)

Specific answered prayers for church-planting needs:

~ donated pews

~ an offer of building space to use for gatherings

~ smooth sailing through the church-planting application process with NAMB     thus far

Not just a handful of blessings, friends, no – showers of blessings!

When needs arise, what is your first course of action? Often we neglect to ask for showers of blessing that our Heavenly Father is waiting to provide. What if we tried a different approach?

So often I am quick to ask the Father to provide for big, noble, spiritual needs – like funding for church planting or for a missions trip, etc. Then when it comes to smaller needs or things that might just be selfish wants, I’m afraid to ask.

I fear that  my reasons aren’t “spiritual” enough, so He might choose not to provide for them. How about you, friend? Are you ever afraid to ask?

This is the promise of love…

When I think on the line above, I’m reminded that God is my Heavenly Father and a father’s main role is to provide for the spiritual and physical needs of his family.

My husband certainly desires to meet all of our children’s needs whether big or small and yes, even some of their wants, too.  Yet we are earthly, human, imperfect parents.

“Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!” Mt. 7:9-11

 Too often we are busy trusting in our own ability to provide for ourselves to see our Father already at work on our behalf. 

When needs arise, what is your first course of action? Often we neglect to ask for showers of blessing that our Heavenly Father is waiting to provide. What if we tried a different approach?

It’s only when we are incapable, when we have no way to meet our needs on our own, that we finally turn to Him and ask.

When will I learn? When will we learn that God is the Father who is not only capable, but also willing to provide all that we need, and even some things that we simply want?

Maybe as James wrote, we don’t have because we don’t ask? (Js.4)

I’m not talking about asking the Father to make us millionaires or provide for worldly extravagances (although sometimes He likes to blow our socks off with an extravagance, doesn’t He?!).

I’m talking about asking Him to meet our needs first…

before we step into problem-solving mode,

before we launch into penny-pinching mode,

before we sink into panic mode!

What if we just asked Him first and trusted in His character as our loving Father, as Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides?

There shall be seasons refreshing

Sent from the Savior above…

I’m betting we’d see more miraculous answers to prayer than we’re used to.

Next on the list?

The right jobs for us and a partial new roof before winter.

Praise the Lord along with us, friends!

Mercy-drops round us are falling

But for the showers we plead!

Jen :)

Sharing with: Grace and Truth, Tell His Story, A Little R and R Wednesdays, Wholehearted Wednesdays

There is No Shame in Truth-telling

I can tell you from personal experience throughout my life that being falsely accused of acting in an unloving manner just plain hurts. Like most other women (and quite a few men), I like it best when people like me. :)

Yet there have been times in my life when I have been conscience-bound to speak truth into a tough situation even if I expected it might not be well-received.

What makes truth-telling even more difficult, however, is when fellow  brothers and sisters in Christ ask us not to “rock the boat” for fear of repercussions.

I do not refer to those voices who caution us to speak God’s truth gently or even intelligently (that message is needed, too!), but those who would ask us to quit speaking truth altogether.

Many grow weary of debate in current Christian circles, and some even ask for silence. Yet the example of Christ gives us reason to risk offending others for the sake of the Gospel!

Sometimes false accusations about our character or motives (not just the words we speak) dissuade us from truth-telling. They work just as the enemy intends by effectively shaming us into silence.

Sometimes we simply feel alone in our truth-telling, and so after a while, we simply give up.

According to Billy Graham, “Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are stiffened.”

We need courage now more than ever, my truth-telling friends!

I’m reminded of this recent favorite from Galatians 1:10:

“For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ.”

As a bond-servant of Christ, I am willing to cause offense, even at great personal cost, not because I despise others or believe I am so much better, far from it. If you’ve read this blog, you know without a shadow of a doubt that I fall short of perfect.

I eat when I shouldn’t,

I disrespect my husband,

I choose anger instead of joy.

I sin.

I’m a miserable sinner saved solely by grace, Praise be to His Name!

In spite of my own imperfections, I am willing to take the risk of offending because I believe God’s Word enough to bear the wound of potential rejection.

The wound is worth it because I know the power of both grace and truth in my own life for affecting change from the inside-out, and I want others to experience that same power, too, all for the glory of the Lord!

Furthermore, I believe Jesus when He says in Matthew 5:11-12, “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (emphasis mine)

My brothers and sisters in Christ, if you are bearing the brunt of a difficult stance, whether public or private, please realize that you are not alone. In fact, according to Jesus, you are in excellent company!

You see, the world would have us Bible-believing Christ-followers to accept that truth-telling isn’t just un-kind, it’s downright un-Christian.

It’s another Screwtape reversal in which something that is based on a little bit of truth sounds right and good but is really twisted, insidious and destructive.

The world would have us believe a lie.

There is no shame in truth-telling, friends.

Because being a Christian is being a follower of Christ, and Jesus had no problem speaking truth in love, even to the point of death itself. Likewise, his disciples followed his example to their own gruesome deaths, all for the sake of a gospel that the world around them found offensive.

I applaud what Answers in Genesis has to say on the issue:

“As Christians, we need to have the utmost integrity in all areas and be careful not to be a stumbling block to a fellow Christian. We should make every effort to live at peace with others (Romans 12:18). This does not mean, however, we will never offend a fellow Christian if, for example, a rebuke is needed. Even though we speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), we might still offend. We must live by the truth of God’s Word, and those people who are living contrary to the truth are often offended.”

And here’s what Jesus had to say to his followers on the issue:

“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” Jn. 15:18-19

We can and should expect persecution because of the gospel we are so aligned with!  Not only that, it’s our badge of honor, in a sense.

By all means love one another, but in so doing, don’t become salt-less in a salt-needy world.

Many grow weary of debate in current Christian circles, and some even ask for silence. Yet the example of Christ gives us reason to risk offending others for the sake of the Gospel! Read here to learn why there is no shame in truth-telling.

Instead, put your lamp on a stand for all to see.

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Mt. 5:16

So this is me,

lifting my lamp,

and praying,

praying that by it, others will see!

Jen :)

Sharing with: Saturday Soiree, Grace and Truth

The Growing Identity ~ Grace and Truth Week 25

You know what Friday means, right? You’ll find lots of encouraging words here at the Grace and Truth Link-up! :)

I’ll get right down to business because I have so much to share with you this week.  Last week we had unplanned visitors, so I failed to choose a featured post, but I’m making up for it this week.

First, Christi at The Cheerio Trail took me back to my blogging roots when she wrote about growing in grace about our own expectations. I just love being reminded of that work in progress going on in me. Visit her post below where you can either read OR listen to the podcast! :)

Second, I want to mention Kathryn’s post, The World’s Less Than or God’s More Than, because it goes right along with Christi’s post from above! Stop by and find more encouraging words about your identity in Christ.

Third, Cheryl’s grace-filled post, When Your Child Feels Misunderstood, for parents really had something in it for us adults, too.  Whether you have children or not, this one is a must-read!

And finally, Bestsy shared some parenting advice for those teenage years in What Does My Teen Girl Need From Me.  If you’re not to that stage yet, be sure to save it for later. (This is why I love Pinterest so much!)

And the Emmy goes to… 

Sorry, I couldn’t resist. :)

I blame it on my prednisone-induced insomnia.

In all seriousness, though, I could have shared every post I read here this past week because the quality was just “that” good. Thank you all for sharing with us each week.

We appreciate you!

Jen :)

 

Thanks for linking up with us last week. If you were featured, feel free to grab a featured button below!

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Grace & Truth : A Weekly Christian Link Up

Grace & Truth exists to point people to Jesus! We hope this link-up will be a source of encouragement each and every week. If you’re a blogger our hope is that you’ll use this space as a way to meet new friends within the Christian blogging community. If you’re a reader our hope is that you’ll meet new bloggers that love Jesus just as much as you do! Most of all, we hope you’ll meet Jesus here.

Meet Your Hosts

Satisfaction Through Christ
BLOG
| FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER |G+

Kaylene Yoder
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

The Brown Tribe
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Arabah Joy
BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | PINTEREST | G+

A Divine Encounter
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | G+ | STUMBLEUPON

Being Confident of This
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Busy Being Blessed
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Sharing Redemption’s Stories
BLOG | FACEBOOK | PINTEREST | TWITTER | G+

Grace&Truth-Rules2

1.) Follow your hosts via their blog and/or social media channels. This is not mandatory, but appreciated!

2.) Leave 1-2 of your most recent CHRISTIAN LIVING posts. Please do not link DIY, Crafts, Recipes, etc. Links of this kind will be deleted. We also reserve the right to delete posts that don’t align with the theme or that are deemed by the hostesses to be inappropriate.

3.) Visit 1-2 other links and leave a meaningful comment! We want to encourage community, so please don’t link and run!

4.) All links are randomly sorted – feel free to link as early or as late as you’d like. The playing field is even!

In order to be featured next week:

5.) Grab a button or link back to encourage new linkers. This is not mandatory to participate, but is required to be featured.

6.) Each host will choose one link to feature and promote via their social media channels next week.

7.) By linking up you agree to allow the hosts to use your featured post image if you are chosen as a feature for next week.

Grab A Button

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