Blog

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://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-reading-plan/isaiah.html   71 Days in Isaiah

https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-reading-plan/book-order.html  Book Order

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

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

https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-reading-plan/classic.html  Classic

 

I recommend this devotional:

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

 

Spiritual Warfare, Trials, Uncategorized

The Shofar

Blowing  the shofar for the Feast of Trumpets

A beautiful sound like a trumpet or a chime interrupted our after dinner conversation. Wanting to investigate, all four of us left the Italian restaurant and walked across the courtyard near city hall. There was absolutely no one around. I thought to myself maybe it was a church bell or a clock chime.  Out of nowhere a man appeared and he was holding a long instrument. “This is a ram’s horn” the man said. “Do you know what it is?” he asked me. “Yes,” I answered. I had read about the shofar or ram’s horn in the Bible but I’d never seen or heard one before that. “We don’t want darkness here. So me and a few other men in the area blow the ram’s horn on the steps of the city hall regularly,” he said.

I knew right away what he was doing. He was taking spiritual authority over Sugar Land, our new home. I was blown away, no pun intended. At that point we were living in a hotel with not a lot of answers. My recent post Scraps of Paper tells more about our move. I felt something very different in Sugar Land, in a good way, and I couldn’t figure out exactly what that good thing was. After hearing the shofar and speaking with that man, I got my answer. Jesus was there and at work.

God had been working the whole time, I just wasn’t seeing a lot of evidence of His work. Maybe I wasn’t looking in the right place. Hearing the shofar was God telling me I’m here. I brought you here and I am working. It’s all going to be OK. That may seem strange to some of you. But for me, hearing a ram’s horn brought encouragement, comfort, and hope. Now, the keeping the darkness part out sounds a bit scary. I knew what that man meant. Spiritual darkness. Evil forces at work. Sounds spooky, but it’s the reality.

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12, NASB)

Our battles ultimately are spiritual in nature. We are not fighting people, though we may be in a disagreement with someone. The real battle is not in the flesh. What does this have to do with the shofar?

In ancient Israel the blowing of the shofar had many purposes. Some of it’s uses were to call people together, for battle, and to praise God. The ram’s horn is first mentioned in Exodus.

So it happened on the third day, when it was morning, that there were thunder and flashes of lightning, and a thick cloud was on the mountain, and a very loud blast was sounded on a ram’s horn, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.” (Exodus 19:16, AMP)

One of the most famous stories using the shofar is Joshua and Jericho.

Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.” (Joshua 6:2-5, NIV)

I’m not going to put the entire story on here. I highly recommend reading it either for the first time, or again for those of you who have read it many times. It is such an incredible story of God’s power. Joshua 6:1-20. Here’s the final verse from that passage:

20 When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. (Joshua 6:20, NIV)

The ram’s horn didn’t bring the wall down. The shouting didn’t bring the wall down. The marching didn’t bring the wall down. God brought the wall down. The shofar doesn’t have magic powers. It’s what it represents that brings the power and presence of God.

The shofar was used often for warfare.

“When you go to war in your land against the enemy who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the Lord your God, and you will be saved from your enemies.” (Numbers 10:9, NKJV)

Here are some of the military uses of the shofar:¹

  • Signaling and alerting: Ehud and Nehemiah use it to summon their men (Judges 3:27; Nehemiah 4:12-14).
  • Weapon for frightening the enemy (Judges 7:22)
  • Announcing victory (Samuel A 13:3)
  • Announcing rebellion (Samuel B 20:1)
  • Cease fighting (Samuel B 20:22)
  • Warning sign about approaching enemy (Jeremiah 4:21; Hosea 5:8; and other)

The mysterious man I met that night was drawing a line in the sand for the city. It was a battle cry. And even though I didn’t know the bigger significance of a ram’s horn then, I knew enough in my spirit to know it was a God thing. You know when you just know because of the Holy Spirit? I just knew.

The ram’s horn is still used by Jews today for many things like Rosh Hashanah, where 100 times it blasts. There are four main notes or sounds used when blowing the shofar. I could fill volumes on the shofar and it’s significance for God’s people.

My little interaction at the city hall was about spiritual warfare. There are other Christians today, using the shofar. I am not suggesting you need to blow a ram’s horn. But if God wants you to, then by all means go for it.

What I love about the shofar is it brings things into perspective. It points to God and we need more of that in our world. In the middle of my battle, God showed up and He will for you too. He’s working right now in your life. You may not see Him at work. Maybe you’re like I was, and you think He has forgotten you. He hasn’t. God sees you. God knows you. Trust Him.

 

Heavenly Father,

I lift up all those who are in a battle. Show up for them Father. Bring answers, provision, and the best thing of all, your presence. Encourage the battle weary that you will fight for them. We love you and praise your Holy name!

Amen

 

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

Photo credit: John Theodor

Footnote:

  1. http://www.shofarot-israel.com/index.php/the-shofar/biblicaltime/

Resources:

https://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Fall_Holidays/Elul/Shofar/shofar.html

https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-shofar

https://torah.org/learning/yomtov-roshhashanah-vol3no16/

http://www.racematters.org/shofarhasfoursounds.htm

https://www.shofar.co/?item=88&section=170

Marriage, Uncategorized

24 Years

10A66865-F402-4E69-8F62-D1BEA372F63F

This picture is from actual film, from an actual camera. Not a phone, and not a digital camera. Unfortunately, I had to take a picture digitally of this black and white photo, which doesn’t do it justice. I don’t even know if a wedding photographer would use film today. The point is, times have changed, but we are still in love. We may not look quite as shiny and new as that day, but we love each other more, and deeper than in 1995.

Twenty-four years ago, on September 30th, we made this covenant. I know, it sounds like a big scary word. It kind of is. I don’t think I would have even used that word then. But I get it now. It just took a whole lot of years, and God teaching me through my husband, what marriage really is. Last year I wrote about God’s definition of marriage and how it symbolizes Christ and the Church. You can read it here Marriage Is A Blessing

A few things I’ve learned about marriage:

“You complete me” is ridiculous. Thanks Jerry Maguire for putting that false mantra out there. It is not my husband’s job to be my everything. Tom does not complete me. Jesus fills me up, completes me, and is my everything. No person is designed to make another person whole. If I expect Tom to take care of all my needs, all the time, we will both be miserable since it’s not humanly possible. Younger me thought that on some level. That was foolish me.

God uses our spouse to grow us up in our faith, if we let Him. The fastest way to have your flaws revealed is to get married. It all comes out when you are married whether you like it or not. It’s what you do with it, when all the issues and weaknesses come out. Be honest when the ugly is sitting in front of you. We’ve all got some ugly stuff that needs dealt with.

It’s not my job to “fix” my husband. This is that age old stereotype of the wife wants to change her husband and the husband doesn’t want his wife to change. In our early years I made this mistake. I thought it was my job to be Tom’s fixer. Hahahaha! I am not the Holy Spirit. I can change me and that’s it.

Put your spouses needs above your own. We come into the world selfish and we bring that same selfishness into our marriages. Me, me, me. It’s all about me. I’ve got needs and my husband better fulfill those. What I have learned is to put Tom first even when I’m tired, even when I’m needy. God says:

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,” (Philippians 2:3, NIV)

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” (Romans 12:10, NIV)

God created marriage and it is so good. God ideas are the best. He made marriage and He knew exactly what He was doing. Anything God makes is excellent. Better than any idea I could come up with.

 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24, NASB)

Keep God at the center of your marriage. The only way to have a healthy thriving marriage is Jesus. We cannot do it alone, just the two of us. It takes three for success. Again, God’s design, not mine. God’s ways work. I can’t explain it, but I have experienced it in my marriage.

The couple that prays together stays together. You don’t need some lengthy super spiritual prayers with all the right words. Pray together. Simple honest prayers. That’s it. Tom and I pray every night before bed. Our prayers aren’t fancy, just real.

A lot has happened in our twenty-four years of wedded bliss. There have been moments of sheer joy, like the birth of both of our sons. There have been years of exhaustion, like when Tom went back to school. He was working at night, and going to school during the day. That five year period was us just surviving. Not a lot of time for romance and gazing into each others eyes. Those would have been blood shot eyes anyway. But God, in His goodness and grace, carried us through.

I am not a marriage expert. I am good at making mistakes, and sharing what I’ve learned along the way. Marriage is an incredible blessing. God gave Tom and I to each other. We take our marriage serious, and work hard to guard it, and let Jesus grow us in the process.

Happy anniversary to my wonderful husband Tom. You are the best person I know. It’s been the most incredible twenty-four years of my life. I love you always.

And…..I love all of you!

Meghan

Food, Uncategorized

Quick Pickles

IMG_1862 (1)

Have you ever experienced a pickle emergency? You needed pickles right then and there, but there were none to be found in the refrigerator or the pantry. Have no fear! You can now make your very own homemade pickles in ten minutes. That’s right folks, ten minutes! No boiling jars and prepping canning equipment. No waiting for days or weeks to eat that first delicious pickle. Just mix up the brine, slice a cucumber, and voila! Pickles. 

This super easy recipe is not your typical dill pickle. They are a bit sweet, a bit spicy, and a bit savory. So they won’t taste like regular ordinary dills, but still yummy. Pickling spice mix has mustard seed, cinnamon, ginger, bay leaves, red pepper, caraway, allspice, black pepper, coriander, and clove. The result of this delightful combination of spices is a much more flavorful pickle than just a boring canned cucumber.

Give this recipe a try. You won’t regret it.

Read the full article by clicking the link below. Enjoy!

 

https://www.mustardseedsentinel.com/post/meghan-s-corner-quick-pickles

 

Love you all,

Meghan

Authors, Uncategorized

Q & A with Author Patrick Egle

IMG_1122

Please welcome author Patrick Egle to my blog. His brand new devotional Renovating Your Mind just released last week. The title says it all. Our minds do need renewed. So many Believers are saved, yet stuck in their thinking. Salvation is the first step on our journey with Jesus. Then the real work begins. The transforming work of the Holy Spirit in each of us. So many battles are in our minds. Freedom comes through the truth of God’s word.

We need to be in the Bible every single day. A great way to do that is with the use of devotionals like Renovating Your Mind. This one makes it so easy for you. There are 365 devotions all marked by the day of the year. You can jump in on the day you receive your copy. There’s a Bible verse and an insightful illustration from Patrick. It’s relatable and will make you think, which I like and need. I also appreciate the male perspective, after reading so many female devotionals.

Patrick is the real deal. He loves Jesus, and his beautiful family. He’s kind, which has almost disappeared in the world, even among Christians. Patrick wrote this out of a love for God and his family. He poured himself into writing this and it shows in his words. They will touch you.

Take a few minutes and read about Patrick and why he wrote Renovating Your Mind. May it inspire you to go after what God is calling you to do. Purchase your copies today with the links below. Keep one for yourself, and give the rest away to new believers, non believers, friends, and family. They will be blessed and so will you.

Thank you for stopping by!

 

Q: How did you begin writing devotions? 

A: I didn’t sit down and decide to write devotions one day . . . in fact, the thought never even entered my mind. It all started with a conversation I had with my brother Chris. See, as a family, we always spent Sundays together at my parent’s house watching football, doing laundry, catching up with each other, etc. The problem was that I was saved and wanted to talk about God, and my family was not comfortable doing that. So one Monday morning, my brother and I got into a conversation about this over email and I told him that I couldn’t truly be who I was around our family because God was everything to me yet I couldn’t talk about Him to them. Chris was shocked, as it never even dawned on him that I felt this way. He apologized and said that I could talk to him about God whenever I wanted to, I just shouldn’t ever expect a response from him. So that morning I decided to send an email to the members of my family sharing with them what I learned in my devotional time. The following day I sent another email to them, but also felt I should send it to some guys in my bible study as well. The next day I included some Christians at my work. It was then that one of my co-workers, Keith Ricker, a faithful Christian brother, wrote me back and said, “Bro, these are really good . . . you should do this every day.” And with that, a ministry was born. I never imagined an email distribution list, a website, or a book . . . I just wanted to share God with those I loved so that they might come to know Him more. But God had a greater vision for these devotions, one that included saving my family and publishing a devotion book. 

Q: To help people get an idea of the kind of devotions that are in this book, let me ask you this . . . if your devotions were a type of food, what would they be? 

A: In Texas there is a restaurant that sells 72-ounce steaks for $72. The challenge is that if you can eat the entire 72-ounce steak in one sitting, you get it for free. I would say that these devotions are kind of like that. They are not light like a salad and they are not something quick like fast food; they are a substantial meal that requires you to sit down and really digest what is being said because you are going to be challenged to consider and apply spiritual truths that may not always be comfortable or politically correct in today’s society. At the same time though, you will encounter God in a deep and meaningful way through the explanation and application of His word. 

Q: How did God encourage you as you went through the process of putting this book together? 

A: When I first started writing devotions in 2008, I was given some really bad advice from a friend. I was told that if you read something, and you put it in your own words, then you do not have to cite the source. So when it came time to submit my manuscript to the publisher for editing, imagine my surprise when I learned that I had to cite every source I had ever read and wrote about. Some of these devotions were ten years old and I couldn’t remember if portions of them were given to me by the Holy Spirit, or if He influenced my writing through someone else, so, I went through every single devotion, line by line, verse by verse, using every resource I could think of . . . bibles, commentaries, devotion books, online resources, subject books, movies, etc., meticulously checking to see where I may have been influenced by someone else’s material. It was the most stressful, exhausting experience of my life. It got so bad that I actually quit publishing this book at least 10 different times. Yet God would not let me quit. Each time, within hours after quitting, I was spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally renewed and restored in such a powerful and complete way that I knew it had to be God. It literally felt like a reset button had been hit within me to where I just knew that everything was going to be ok. Once I realized what God was doing, my entire perspective changed as I now knew that God was fully in this and that He had a plan and purpose for this book that far exceeded the difficulties I was experiencing. 

Q: What would you like your readers to take from these devotions? 

A: I think that many times when we read the Bible, we forget to take it literally, kind of like it is just a book of stories and is not really for us today. We forget that the Bible is absolute truth that transcends time and culture; that it is alive and active and is fully relevant for every situation we will ever face. It is not just for certain moments in life, but it is for every moment in life as it instructs us how to act, what to say, and how to navigate life’s troubled waters correctly. I want readers to see the relevance of God’s word in their lives today . . . in the every day things, so that they may experience the freedom and joy that He desires for all of us to have regardless of the situation we are facing. These devotions are real life examples of how an average man saw and experienced God’s word move in and around his life. 

Q: Can you give us an example of a real life experience that led to a devotion? 

A: My wife, Michelle, and I love to go for long walks around our hometown of Redlands because the south side of the city has some amazing homes from the early 1900’s. With that though, the infrastructure is pretty old as well; the sidewalks are cracked, uprooted, uneven, and sometimes just stop, so you have to be very aware of your surroundings. So one Saturday, as we were out walking, Michelle pointed out something for me to look at. As I looked to see what she was pointing at, the sidewalk dropped because of a tree root and I missed a step causing me to tweak my back. About a block later, I pointed out something for her to look at and she about broke her ankle as the sidewalk suddenly stopped. Then, as I was looking at my phone to see how far we had walked, I hit my head on a low hanging tree branch. As we were laughing about our random misfortune, and talking about the “dangers of walking in Redlands”, I said to Michelle, “You can’t take your eyes off of where you are going for 2 seconds without getting hurt.” 

As soon as I said that, something clicked. A divine truth was revealed to me about our walk with God. See, I had always pictured the Christian walk as us walking on this perfectly smooth dirt path up and down hills and valleys. I now realized that along this path, on both sides, is the world with all of its temptations and distractions. As we walk along this path, keeping our eyes straight ahead, we do not stumble or fall. But, if we take our eyes off of where we are going, and begin looking at the things of the world, desiring them, we slowly drift off the path onto very uneven ground with lots of pitfalls and dangers. This is when we get hurt. I was reminded that we have an enemy and a world and a flesh that purposefully tries to sabotage our walk with Jesus by getting us to focus on all of these other things. 

Q: Why do you believe people should read this book? 

A: I once heard a saying, “If you write a message from your head, you will only reach a person’s mind; but, if you write a message from your heart, you will touch a person’s soul.” When I would receive responses from people who read these devotions, I would say 95% of the comments I received were, “You have no idea how much I needed to hear this today.” This book is kind of a divine appointment between God and its readers. To put it simply, I believe people should read this book because God is in it and He will speak to them through it. 

Q: Can you explain what you mean by, “this book is kind of a divine appointment between God and its readers”? 

A: A divine appointment is where God has prepared two parties for a specific time and purpose. Generally speaking, it is a time where one person can serve God by playing a part in the life of someone else. For example, one morning I was standing outside of the prayer room in between services at church; and as I was looking around the sanctuary, I noticed a young man sitting in the front row all by himself. It was then that I felt God say to me, “Go say ‘Hi’ to him.” “What?” I replied. “Go say ‘Hi’ to him.” The Lord repeated. “And then what Lord?” “Just go.” He said. My thoughts began racing. “This is dumb. Saying ‘Hi’ won’t change anything . . . it’s trivial.” 

But the Lord kept pressing on my heart to go, so, reluctantly, I walked over to this young man and said to him, “Hey bro, the Lord really impressed on my heart that I needed to come say ‘Hi’ to you, so . . . Hi.” Immediately his eyes welled up with tears. He told me that he had been to our church seven times, and not one person ever said ‘Hi’ to him. He said, “I was just praying that God would please send someone over to say ‘Hi’ to me.” We both rejoiced and praised our amazing God. That is a divine appointment, and that is what I have seen God do through these devotions over and over again as He has spoken into people’s lives at exactly the right moment. 

Q: How has your family supported you through this process? 

A: My family was really great throughout this process. They were our prayer warriors, our sounding board, our test group, and a great source of insight when we needed it most. My wife, Michelle, though, she really carried the heavy load and was amazing through it all. When I would vent, complain, or express all the hopelessness I was feeling, she would patiently listen and then would just pray for me. She constantly encouraged me when I was down and corrected my thinking when I was of the wrong mind. She wrote me notes daily expressing how proud she was of me, and would text me verses throughout the day reminding me of who God is and who this book was for first and foremost. She always gave me the right perspective when I needed it most. 

Q: So, who is this book for first and foremost? 

A: It is for our children, Kate and Joel. This was the answer God gave me when I was praying about the vision for this book. He reminded me that when they get older, and are able to read and understand the spiritual truths that are written in this book, they will get to read about us when we were single, when we became friends, when we were courting, when we got married, and eventually when the Lord gave us them. They will see our struggles, our failures, the lessons we learned, the victories we experienced, and more importantly, they will see how God was always faithful to us no matter what we faced. This book is essentially a diary of how God wrote our love story, formed our family, and walked with us through every season of life. 

Q: The title Renovating Your Mind is very interesting, what does it mean exactly? 

A: The title was birthed out of Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” One of the meanings for the word renew that is used in this verse is to renovate. As believers, there has to be a renovation of our thought process and how we deduce things. In other words, we have to change our thinking from the carnal to the eternal. No longer can we think and act like the world does, for we are no longer of the world. We are now of Christ and must think as Christ thinks if we are to become more like Him. That is essentially what this verse tells us, without renovation, there can be no transformation. This renovation of our minds only takes place when we read, memorize, and apply the word of God to our every day lives; for it is by doing this that we are transformed more into His image. 

Q: Is this book for men or women? 

A: In the spirit of the Galatians 3:28, and really the Bible as a whole, this book is written with truth being both universal and absolute which effectively breaks down the barriers that exist between gender, ethnicity, age, and social status. In short, this book will appeal to anyone who is seeking truth. 

 

 

EgleFam-2019-40

 

 

https://m.barnesandnoble.com/w/renovating-your-mind-patrick-egle/1130393300?ean=9781632695079

 

 

Jesus, Trials, Uncategorized

Scraps of Paper

C2C0ABA0-AE6D-49F1-B88F-94085E8B1E1F

December 24th, 2012 I crawled into Houston after a red eye with my then seven-year-old son. I was completely disoriented after closing on our house in Oregon weeks before. Exhausted, I stared out the window of my husband’s car in a daze. The sun felt wonderful after leaving the cool Pacific Northwest. Pick up trucks were a plenty and the Christmas decorations were over the top, which I loved. These were my first impressions on our drive to the hotel. I was tired but hopeful that this move was a good decision.

Week six of being stuck in a hotel, in a city where we knew absolutely no one, I was being brought to my knees. Everything took longer than it should’ve. My car was being shipped and took an extra week. I was trapped with two kids and our cat, and no car, since Tom had to work. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. We should’ve stayed in the hotel for about a month, and then moved into our house. Hahahaha!  It’s funny for me to think about now, but quite painful then. We were stepping out to the unknown, trusting that this was God’s plan.

When our loan fell apart for the home we made an offer on in November, I fell apart. That was the final straw. Tom and I were so sad. The home that we fell in love with was what kept us going as we waited. We thought we at least had a place to live taken care of in all of the unknowns. When that was taken away we were at a loss. Do we start all over looking for a new home? That would mean weeks more in a hotel. Possibly months. This sounded awful.

“Lord, where are you?”

“Why did you move us here?”

“Is anybody looking out for us?”

God was looking out for us. We knew it, we just didn’t feel it.

My Bible was packed away in storage so I would look up scriptures online. The scraps of paper are how I survived those weeks. I didn’t have real paper to write on, just whatever scraps were sitting around the hotel room. I scrawled out verses that encouraged me and reminded me of who God is. My youngest son even drew an adorable picture on one of the papers.

Sometimes we only have scraps to hold onto. It’s not pretty, but it gets us through. The amazing thing during those weeks of unknowns was that I had some of the most incredible moments with the Lord. That’s how trials work. When you’ve got nothing left but Jesus, He does remarkable things. I remember one night I couldn’t sleep and I told the Lord I’m just going to pack up my car and my kids tomorrow and drive back to Oregon. Back to what was familiar. The next day He brought some relief in my desperation.

Thankfully, God showed up in a huge way for us and fixed the loan on the house within a couple of days of it falling apart. We ended up staying in the hotel eight or nine weeks. There are worse things to deal with. Way worse. For me, it was a test of my faith as we were in the dark. I reached out and found Jesus standing there, ready to comfort and encourage me. My prayer times were in the tiny, gross bathroom during those weeks. Again, not pretty, but effective.

I keep those little scraps of paper on a memo board in my closet, which also doubles as my prayer closet. They remind me of God’s faithfulness. He has carried us through every trial and will continue to carry us. My memory can be short of God’s goodness to me. So, the trials come and flush out my doubts and weaknesses. And He shows up. And He does wonderful things. Things planned long ago. The trials will come until we go home to be with Jesus forever. Until that time, He promises to be with us always.

“And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20b, HCSB)

 

Love you all,

Meghan

 

 

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for your faithfulness, even when we are not faithful. You are good and perfect. I lift up all of those who are in the dark right now. The trial is painful as they wait for you to show up. Comfort them, carry them, encourage them. Remind them that you are still in control and you have a beautiful plan for them.

In Jesus mighty name,

Amen

Guest Post

Guest Post: Taste and See

backlighting-3799243_1920

Please welcome my dear friend Missy to the blog. She graciously agreed to share some of her story with us, and I know you will be blessed. Missy writes from her heart and heartache. She’s been through a lot, but she’s still standing. The reason Missy stands is because her feet are on The Rock.

Missy and I go way back. Like all the way back to college. We met at our tiny Christian college in Southern California a few years ago. It’s more than a few years, but in my mind we are still eighteen years old. I can’t recall the exact moment we met, I just know we were instant friends. When our dorm rooms were next to each other with connecting patios, the doors were usually left open so we could go back and forth freely.

We went off to Florida for the summer with our amazing friend Wendy. We were camp counselors and it was all Missy’s idea. Turned out to be a great idea and a fantastic summer with lifelong memories. It was a priority to be at each others weddings, all three of us, in spite of living thousands of miles apart. It’s that type of friendship. The kind you cherish. The kind you get once in a lifetime.

Missy has a contagious faith and a contagious laugh too. If you spent a few minutes with her you’d love her instantly. So my heart was broken when I got the news that she lost her beloved son Justin. He was twenty; a few months shy of turning twenty-one. There are no words to comfort a friend when the pain is unimaginable. I continue to pray for her and watch in awe as she walks out her faith while grieving. She’s a true inspiration.

It is my honor to have Missy contribute to my little corner of the world. Give her some love and leave a comment.

 

Taste and See

by Missy Linkletter

It was Sunday evening on July 9, 2017; Justin asked me if we could sit down and talk, just the two of us.

Plain and simple, Justin wanted a motorcycle, and I was 100% against it. We’d been having a friendly but serious debate for several months on the matter. He’d gone as far as obtaining his motorcycle license, and as far as I knew, he was on the hunt for the perfect ride. Regardless of my opinion, he was 20 years old, and it was his decision.

We sat down together in our front living room, he took a deep breath and looking into my eyes, he said, “Mama, you know how you are worried about my well-being if I drive a motorcycle? Well, in the same way, I am worried about you and your health.”

My eyes immediately filled with tears as he continued. “I am willing to forgo buying a motorcycle if you are willing to get healthy. I will get up extra early and go to the gym with you, I will cheer you on…” I looked into his bright green eyes, now with tears streaming down my cheeks and choked out, “Yes, I agree!”.

I told him I was proud of him and thanked him for saying hard things to me, his mama. The next morning, I hit the ground running and embarked on a new healthy lifestyle.

Unbeknownst to me, it would be the last Sunday we’d have with Justin on this side of eternity. The following Saturday, only six days later, we lost our dear boy.

Today, as I write, it’s been 112 Sunday’s since that pivotal conversation. The aftershock of losing him still ripples through our family daily. At times, I have felt as though I were eating the dust of the ground, the ache runs deep.

Through it all, I am awestruck and filled to the brim by the tender care of the Lord. I have considered what life would be like for me today had He not prompted Justin to have such a conversation with me. I am reasonably sure I would have indulged in the immediate comfort which food once provided me. Today, I am learning to sit in the ache and wait for the Lord’s healing balm.

Lasting change does not happen overnight; old patterns and habits don’t simply disappear. For me, it’s one minute at a time, once choice at a time, and a constant reminder of the grace upon grace which God provides.

King David wrote, “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.” Psalm 34:8 I have tasted of His goodness in my deepest heartache. I have known no greater joy than being understood by the Lord my God. He is the perfect refuge for my broken heart.

Dear Christian, I don’t know what trial you are facing today, but I am confident of this, God is for you. He longs to be gracious toward you; therefore, he will rise up to show you compassion. (Isaiah 30:18). He will not leave you alone in your trial; draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.

Do not lose heart, dear one. Since God is for us, who can be against us?

 

Check out Missy’s blog.

https://missylinkletter.com/

 

 

Image by Felix Wolf from Pixabay