Faith, God, Uncategorized

Do It Afraid

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The room was filled with seemingly perfect looking young moms.

They have it all together.

They are the perfect Christian moms and wives. 

You don’t belong here.

I walked up to the check in table where I was met by a smiling face. After sticking my name tag on my shirt, I took a deep breath, and walked into the unknown.

That internal dialogue went on for many weeks. I can recall walking into that Mom’s Bible Study and hearing the same words each time, You don’t belong here. Yet, I walked in, afraid. In spite of my feelings, in spite of my fear, I kept coming. I was afraid of rejection. A group of women is intimidating. For an introvert, a large unknown group of any type is panic inducing.

Why did I do it? Because the potential reward was greater than the risk. Because God was calling me to it. I needed a mom-community. I needed friendship, discipleship, mom-help.

And guess what? Doing it afraid paid off big time. It was the best group of Christian women I had the privilege to be a part of, as a young mom. It was run like a small church service with weekly worship, teaching, Bible study, small group time, and prayer. There was intimacy, accountability, and a whole lot of fun. We became like family to each other.

When God is leading you somewhere that makes you uncomfortable, trust Him. God is a good, faithful, loving God. He is going to ask you to step out of your comfort zone. It will stretch you and stretch your faith. But, there are rewards and blessings waiting on the other side of the fear. If I never came back after that first visit to the Bible study I would have lost out on so much that God wanted me to experience.

We gotta do it afraid, with God’s help.

This does not mean we stay afraid all of the time. It just means we don’t let our feelings dictate our decisions. God knows we will be afraid sometimes. For some of us, it’s a constant state of fear. He knows. The Bible talks about fear hundreds of times. It’s how we respond to our fear that matters.

There is not a single fear we have to face alone if we’ve got Jesus.

So we can say with confidence,

The Lord is my helperand I will not be afraidWhat can people do to me?

Hebrews 13:6 (NET)

Another big fear I had to confront was writing a book. I was terrified. I avoided writing for years because of my fear. God called me to write, and I ran. I didn’t know how to write, let alone a children’s book, and I was definitely not a good enough Christian. Come on Lord, you know there are better people out there to do this. He was unrelenting in his pursuit of me to write for Him. I could not live with myself if I didn’t do it.

I faced my fear of completing the huge task of writing a book one step at a time, one day at a time. And yeah, it freaked me out most of the time. Honestly, writing still scares me. It’s vulnerable, especially blogging. I have gotten stronger, thicker skinned. I have learned that God will give you exactly what you need. We have to step out first though.

God-sized things require God to accomplish them. We can’t just pull ourselves up by the boot straps and do it alone. Sure, you can do quite a bit that way, and many people do. When we rely fully on God to carry us, way bigger things can be accomplished. It’s quite freeing. It’s not all on me. I just step out with God, and He’ll keep guiding me and leading me. Step by step. Not running ahead of God, and not taking God out of the equation entirely. Just He and I together. That’s my awesome God. He loves us that much!

What have you been afraid to do that God is calling you to do?

Write it down. Pray about it. Step out. Even if it’s one teeny, tiny baby step. You are not alone. God is with you every step of the way. It’s O.K. if you feel afraid, do it anyway. Do it afraid. God is 100% with you and for you. Remember, the Lord is your helper!

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

Father God,

Thank you that you are always with us and we don’t have to be afraid. Please give an extra dose of courage to the person who needs to step out and do the thing you’ve asked of them. Bring comfort, peace, and confirmation of your will for them. You are a loving God who cares about every detail of our lives. Help us to trust you more, and follow where you lead.

In Jesus name,

Amen

 

 

Why Did I Write A Children’s Book?  by Meghan E. White

It Only Looks Scary by Meghan E. White

 

My interview with Kids Stuff Podcast.

http://kidsstuff.libsyn.com/interview-with-childrens-book-author-meghan-white

 

Photo credit enriquelopezgarre fromPixabay

 

Faith, U.S. Military, Uncategorized

Thank You Veterans!

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My grandpa, Michael T. Whitney, served in the U.S. Navy during WWI. He was just a kid, like so many of that time. Enlisting at 16, he lied about his age, also a fairly common practice of young men in those days. Grandpa was the son of Irish immigrant parents, one of nine children. Maybe the Navy was his chance for adventure. I can only speculate since he died before I was born. I do know that he was on a troop ship, which brought troops to Europe. Grandpa worked in the engine room. That must have been grueling work. There was plenty of danger for him in the Navy during the Great War as German U-Boats sunk many U.S. ships.

All three of my grandpa’s sons, including my dad, served in the U.S. Military. Uncle Tom was in the Army during WWII. He was part of The Battle of the Bulge. Uncle Tom was injured in battle, getting hit with shrapnel on his arm. I remember Uncle Tom’s scar tissue on his arm. I don’t recall if it was his right or left arm, but I do know he couldn’t straighten his arm out. The few times I was around Uncle Tom as a child, I always looked at his arm. It was slightly bent up with a large amount of scar tissue at the elbow.

Uncle Mackie served in the Marines during Korea. My dad, Lee, served in the Marines during Vietnam. My cousin Tommy, Uncle Tom’s son, was in the Army during Vietnam and did two tours. My brother Michael served in the Navy during The Gulf War.

My husband Tom is an Air Force Veteran. My brother-in-law Steve is also an Air Force Veteran. My husband’s Great Uncle James served in the Army during Vietnam. There are records of U.S. military service on Tom’s side of the family dating all the way back through the Revolutionary War.

I just named the few Veterans that I can recall off the top of my head, there are many others throughout my family. I love Veterans, so much so that I married one. I love our current active military. U.S. soldiers have a special place in my heart, and they always will. As you can see, it’s in our DNA to serve, though I have never had a desire to serve, I am so grateful to all who have. Especially my family members.

When my oldest son Dylan was in Cub Scouts they would place American flags at the Veteran’s cemetery in Portland, Oregon for Memorial Day. This was my absolute favorite thing they did when he was a Scout. Each Scout swept off the grave marker, placed an American flag, and saluted. Some of the graves were fresh, as this was in the middle of The War in Afghanistan. Some of the graves were from WWI. It didn’t matter though, they all are worthy of respect and admiration.

A very tiny percentage of Americans serve in our military. It’s a big deal if you have served, you are among a small group. So today Veterans, I honor you.

Thank you Veterans! I am grateful for your service to America.

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13

 

 

God, Holy Spirit, Uncategorized

When God Whispers

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“I have had enough, Lord

Have you been at your wits end? You can’t take another moment of trouble, trial, pain, and hurting. I have been there countless times. I have cried out to God in pain I can’t take it anymore! Every time, God meets me right where I am at. He comforts me, encourages me, and speaks to me. God is faithful to respond to our pleas for help. He is not going to turn us away. How He responds to each of us may not always be the same.

God spoke to Moses in a burning bush. There are days when I would love that kind of certainty. Only God is going to talk from a bush that’s on fire. If that doesn’t get your attention I don’t know what would. I have not had that experience, and as far as I know, only Moses got that privilege. Moses also had the huge responsibility of leading the Israelites, so the talking bush makes sense.

God can and will speak to us in many different ways. Through His word, through Jesus, through other people, through circumstances, through nature, through the Holy Spirit. I see no limit to how and when God speaks to us. The issue is, are we listening?

I love the prophet Elijah. I’m kind of in awe of him and the hard things God had him do. Elijah came to the end of his rope. He told God he had enough. Elijah had killed all the prophets of Baal and when Queen Jezebel got word of this she was irate.

Now Ahab told Jezebel everything Elijah had done and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah to say, “May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.” 1 Kings 19:1-2

When you hear someone use the name Jezebel negatively this is why. She was not a nice lady. After marrying King Ahab, Jezebel became queen of Israel but still worshiped Baal. That’s a big no-no in the eyes of God and Israel, so she was despised. Jezebel also took Naboth’s land and had him stoned to death. Let’s just say as a woman, you don’t want to be called Jezebel.

Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 1 Kings 19:3-4

Elijah was done. He was tired and worn out just like we all get. Of course Elijah had the massive responsibility of being a prophet and God’s mouthpiece. So Elijah had given up and even prayed that he would die. But God didn’t give up on Elijah.

Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again. The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night.” 1 Kings 5-9 

What happens next is one of my favorite experiences in the Bible. I love reading this and it always encourages me and I hope it does you as well.

And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

10 He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”

11 The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” 1 Kings 19:10-11

A powerful wind comes by tearing up rocks. The wind is so strong that it shatters rocks. That has got to be God, right? Nope. The Lord was not in the wind. Then an earthquake happened. Surely God was in the earthquake. Nope. Then there was a fire. OK, this must be it. God is showing up big in the fire. Nope. All this crazy stuff happens, and still no sign of God. (1 Kings 19:11-12)

And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 

13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. 1 Kings 19:13

God was in the gentle whisper. The King James Version says “a still small voice” to describe when God spoke to Elijah. God was not in the wind, or the fire, or the earthquake. He was the still small voice. How kind and loving of God to speak to Elijah, who was worn out, in this manner. It’s calm and you have to pay attention when God speaks quietly.

God can speak any way He chooses. God loves each of us so much, and has so much to tell us if we stop and listen. I have found that hearing God’s voice takes me stopping everything around me, and just sitting quietly at His feet. Not easy to do, but so rewarding. Hearing the Holy Spirit speak is powerful because it’s God. Those of us who know Jesus as Savior have the gift of the Holy Spirit living inside of us. We have God’s Spirit in us! Incredible.

Sometimes, we need to be worn out and burned out to seek out God’s voice. Just like Elijah. If you are at the end of yourself, stop and rest at the feet of God. Ask Him to speak, and then wait and listen. He will not contradict His word, and it will more than likely be that still small voice. So quiet yourself before God, who holds you and the entire universe in His hands, and listen.

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

 

Lord,

Thank you for your amazing love and grace. Thank you that you speak to us. Please help us to listen and know when you are speaking. Teach us through your Word, and the Holy Spirit, and whatever means you choose to speak. Give us wisdom and discernment to know your voice. Let us hear your voice above all the noise. We love you and praise you God.

In Jesus name,

Amen

 

 

Living Water  A post I wrote last year on the Holy Spirit

All scripture was taken from NIV Copyright © 2011

Photo credit: Christine Sponchia from Pixabay

 

 

God, Jesus, Trials, Uncategorized

Get Back Up

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Though a righteous man falls seven times,
he will get up,
but the wicked will stumble into ruin.

Proverbs 24:16

When our oldest son, Dylan, was thirteen he asked to play football. We were brand new to Texas and thought that may not be the best idea. After all, kids in Texas are born holding footballs. He would have to catch up. Dylan was so sure of what he wanted that we agreed, and in no time he was at workouts and then spring football camp. I’ll never forget how excited he was when tackling started. It was a huge adrenaline rush for him.

Time and time again Dylan would get tackled and taken to the ground. We would ask him, “Did you get back up?” And he always answered, “Yes”. That’s what we wanted to hear as parents. We didn’t tell him you will never get tackled or don’t get taken down. We knew he would take some hard hits as he was learning, and that more than likely, he would end up on the ground. The key was to get back up. Keep going.

We all take some hard hits in life. Sometimes we get hit so hard we can’t get back up. We get tired of taking the hit. We may even lay there for a while. Some of us took a hit and we decided that was it, we aren’t getting back up again. The hit was devastating. Job loss, divorce, death of a loved one, bankruptcy, disease, homelessness, abuse, addiction and so many other painful things.

If you’ve been laying there for a while too afraid and too weak to move, would you consider getting back up today? Because you aren’t laying there alone. You see, Jesus has been with you the whole time. He will never ever leave you. If you’re ready to get up, He’s reaching His hand out to you. He will help you get back up. Yes, it is scary to know that we will get hit again. It’s inevitable in life.

But, God is in control.

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. (Matthew 10:29-30, ESV) 

It can be difficult to understand how and why God allows painful circumstances. His ways are not our ways.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9, NIV)

I can’t pretend to have it all figured out. I have plenty of questions, but I choose to trust God. He’s God, and I am not. If you have questions, it’s O.K. It’s normal. Bring those hard questions to the Father.

He is working things out for you and me.

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28, NASB)

This verse in Romans gets quoted a lot, but it’s true. I love that it says and we know. That’s a sure thing. We can count on the God of the universe to work things out for our good. Every time we get tackled by life and get back up, we get a little stronger. Our faith gets a little bigger. When we grab Jesus’ hand as He pulls us back up, we are reminded that we aren’t doing it alone. Those of us who follow Jesus have an advantage. He equips, calls us, carries us, cleans us up, makes a way, does the impossible.

With Jesus, we have all we need to get back up.

“I was pushed hard, so that I was falling,
    but the Lord helped me.

The Lord is my strength and my song;
    he has become my salvation.” (psalm 118:13-14, ESV)

 

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

Heavenly Father,

I lift up all the hurting to you. Those who can’t get back up. They are stuck, afraid. Give them courage and faith to take your hand and get back up. Comfort them and bring healing. And remind them that you are working out something beautiful through their pain. Let them feel Jesus’ loving arms.

Amen

 

 

Photo credit: Elle Dee from Pixabay

Food, Uncategorized

Pumpkin Bars

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It’s that time of year. Pumpkin time. Pumpkin everything is everywhere. It wasn’t that long ago that the only big thing happening pumpkin-wise this time of year was the now infamous pumpkin spice latte. If you got your hands on one of those, then you felt pretty special. Now, pumpkin has taken over all aspects of food from yogurt to cereal, and even candy. We are pumpkin obsessed for some reason. For the non-pumpkin eaters, I’m sorry. For the rest of us, yay!!

In honor of all things pumpkin, I give you pumpkin bars. You’re welcome.

The bars are really more like a moist delicious cake. The pumpkin flavor is there, but it’s subtle, not overpowering. And, the piece de resistance, cream cheese frosting. The combo of the scrumptious cake and sweet icing make this dessert irresistible. It’s hard to stop at one. Pumpkin bars are addictive. You’ve been warned. 

For the full article and recipe, click on the link.

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/post/meghan-s-corner-pumpkin-bars

 

Love you all,

Meghan

God, Trials, Uncategorized

How Soon We Forget

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“Remember the goodness of God in the frost of adversity.”   Charles Spurgeon 

Oh no! Panic! Panic! Panic! What’s gonna happen to me? Will God help me? Where is God? How quickly I forget when things go wrong. My first reaction used to be fear. Not anymore. The Lord, in His grace and mercy, has taught me to trust Him. That did not happen overnight. That took years. Now that doesn’t mean I don’t have short term memory problems when it comes to God’s faithfulness. Sometimes I forget, we all do.

What triggers those feelings of fear and abandonment? Trouble. Life stops going our way and we may assume God has left us. Where did we get the crazy idea that life is supposed to be problem free, and if we do have problems, that God must have left us. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Trials will come. I know, not exactly what you want to hear. But, it’s the reality of living in this world.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NIV)

Jesus tells us that the trouble will come, but he’s already overcome the world. He will take care of us and get us through any trouble we face.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6, NIV)

God will never leave us. Ever. Trials will come, but He will be with us. Guaranteed.

Sometimes we forget what God has done when things are going great. It doesn’t mean it’s intentional, but it happens. It happened over and over again to the Israelites in the Old Testament. God warns them in Deuteronomy 8 not to forget Him.

“Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.” (Deuteronomy 8:2, NIV)

“Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day.” (Deuteronomy 8:11, NIV)

But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.” (Deuteronomy 8:18, NIV)

When we forget God a nasty thing slips in. Pride. At first we aren’t even aware of our pridefulness. But it can take over before we know it. Everything is going well. Do I really need God? I’ll just call on Him when I’m in trouble. And there it is. I’ve done it many times. I don’t recommend it.

Remember what God has done for you. That same God will do it again. He loves you so much. You are His precious child. God takes care of His own.

“I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.” (Psalm 77:11, NIV)

Years ago, I started writing down all the times God showed up in my life and did the impossible. If you’ve never done it, you may want to try it. Take a few minutes and think back on all the times in your life you were up against a wall and God made a way. This is important to remind us of His faithfulness.

God is not a person. God is reliable, dependable, and will always come through. Maybe not the way we expect or exactly when we would like, but He will make a way. We are the creation and He is the magnificent Creator so He knows best. Trust Him.

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

Father God,

Thank you for your faithfulness, even when we are not faithful. Thank you for your perfect love and care for us. I lift up all those who are afraid because of their circumstances. Remind them of your faithfulness in the past. Give them peace as they wait on you. Nothing is too hard for you. We praise and thank you and remember your goodness.

In Jesus name,

Amen

 

Photo credit: Strikers

 

Bible, God, Jesus, Uncategorized

Jesus & Coffee

CHIANGMAI, THAILAND, February 4,2015. Reading The New Internatio

Every morning I grab my Bible and stumble into the kitchen. I grind those beans and pray for the water to boil quickly so I can get that first cup from my French press coffee pot. Yeah, I’m fancy like that. Not really, but I do like good coffee. I plop down on the couch and say, “Thank you Lord”. I thank Him because I’m alive. I thank Him because I’ve got a nice roof over my head, plenty of food to eat, and coffee. I thank Him for three incredible men in my life; my two sons and husband. I thank Him for saving me.

I begin each morning spending time with Jesus. It was a discipline I started years ago out of necessity. I need Jesus in my life every moment, of every hour, of every day. I am not super spiritual or special in any way, just hungry. This is what works for me to strengthen my relationship with God, and keep me focused on what really matters in this life.

I start my quiet time, or Jesus time, or God time, whatever you want to call it, by reading my Bible first. I say a short prayer asking the Holy Spirit to speak to me and teach me what I need to learn. I always have paper on hand to write notes, which I do often. I have a prayer journal as well. I write in that throughout the month, but not daily. Bible reading plans have been helpful. Devotionals are also something I read as well. I’ve got three going right now.

You can read about the Bible I use here My Bible It’s broken in and comfortable, sort of like an old sweater. It’s marked up with highlights, and notes. I recently had to tape the binding of my Bible. It’s not pretty, but well loved. I have many reasons why I read the Bible. The more I read, the more I learn, the more I want to know. Only Jesus truly satisfies, and when I meditate on His word I am changed. Little bits at a time, I am being transformed by His word.

What does the Bible say about being in the Word?

“Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105, NKJV)

“Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4, NIV) 

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1, NIV)

“All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, HCSB)

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24:35, HCSB)

“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11, NIV) 

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17, ESV)

This is not an exhaustive list. But these few scriptures tell us how important it is to study the Word of God.

Prayer is how I end my time with Jesus in the morning. I have a list going of prayer requests from family and friends. I lay my requests before Him knowing He will answer in His time, in His way. It is freeing for me to let go of whatever is weighing me down. I don’t have to carry it. After I’ve had my coffee, and read the Word, and read my devotionals, and prayed, I can face whatever lies ahead with confidence.

There are a few things I do to protect this quiet time with the Lord. I do not check my email or any social media when I wake up. It’s coffee to wake me up, and then the Word. If I get online or do anything else it’s very distracting and I lose my focus. This is what has worked for me.

Mornings may not work for you. My husband listened to a podcast every day that went through the entire Bible in one year. He was also going to school and working full time back then, and that’s what worked for him. Maybe you’ve got a night time routine that’s effective for you. Maybe you have no time alone with Jesus, squeezing in a quick prayer here and there.

Jesus and coffee is what starts my day but one of those I can live without. I would get an awful headache, but I can live without coffee. I can’t live without Jesus. I may start my day with Him, but He and I are talking all day. Jesus Christ is not only my savior, He is my friend, and constant companion through the Holy Spirit. The most important relationship I’ve got is with Jesus, so I try my best to make Him the priority to start off my day.

Do you have daily quiet times with Jesus? What works for you? Please feel free to share any ideas for alone time with God.

Love you all,

Meghan

 

Here are some Bible reading plans that can be a starting point:

https://static.crossway.org/excerpt/reading-plan/3-esv-mcheyne-reading-plan.1.pdf

https://static.crossway.org/excerpt/reading-plan/6-esv-chronological-reading-plan.1.pdf

https://static.crossway.org/excerpt/reading-plans/2-esv-a-psalm-a-day-reading-plan.1.pdf

https://static.crossway.org/excerpt/reading-plan/5-esv-a-proverb-a-day-reading-plan.1.pdf

https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-reading-plan/chronological-new-testament.html

 

 

I recommend this devotional:

Renovating Your Mind. Read about it here: Q & A with Author Patrick Egle