Be Patient And Grow

A couple of years ago, I began raising chickens for eggs. Rocky, was one of the weakest chicks in my flock. The other baby chicks knocked her down and viciously pecked at her, if I would not have separated them, she would have surely died. I spent months caring for Rocky, keeping her separated from the rest of the flock. During this time we grew very close to one another. She clung to me, expecting me to care for her every need and as her loving mother I did.
When I thought she was strong enough to join the flock, I reunited her. Rocky, was once a weak baby, but she became the biggest, strongest and most faithful chicken in my flock.

Like Rocky, during our walk with God, we as Christians may need extra care.
There are times when things can get hard, when we feel alone or we haven't heard from God. Sometimes we begin thinking negative thoughts or get impatient.
I had to be sure Rocky was ready before I reunited her with the other chickens. I knew the dangers she could face if I reunited her too soon.   Appropriate timing was essential.

Our father in heaven has greater wisdom and his timing is always on time.

Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Rocky clung to me and grew. She grew not just in size and strength, but to trust and count on me as well.
Psalm 63:8 (ESV)
My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

We must cling to God, pray, fast, and read his word.  Acknowledge him in all of our ways and trust him during hardships.  If we allow him he will shape and prepare us. We too, will grow and be ready for what He has in store for us.


Submitted By: Freedom Curtis

My name is Freedom.  I am a freelance writer and a child of God.

6 Small Habits That Have a Big Impact on Marriage

I’ve often said that it’s the little things that couples do for each other that counts towards keeping a happy marriage. Of course the big things count too, I wouldn’t refuse to count a weekend getaway to NYC!

Doing small things with or for your spouse lets them know that you are thinking about them. Not only that but it makes your relationship stronger.

Here are 6 habits that my husband and I do every day that have a big impact on our relationship.

1. Goodbye and Hello – Sending my husband off to work with hugs, kisses, smiles, and maybe a wink starts our day off on a more positive note. Welcoming him home after work by meeting him at the door with a smile shows him that he is very important.

2. Talk about the day – Even though my husband and I are apart during the day, it helps me to understand and connect with him about the things he’s experienced. He also asks about how my day went. We really listen to each other and pay close attention to what the other is saying. (This is possible with 3 young and loud children!)

3. Communicate – Sending an quick email, text, or just leaving a voice mail on my husband’s phone lets him know that I am thinking about him during the course of the day. If I have fun/exciting plans for us later that evening this could be a great way to let him know about it.

4. Say “I Love You.” – I don’t know exactly how many times my husband and I say these words in one day but we say it often. This is not really a routine but more of a chance to verbally express our love. It is not only about saying the words but knowing what actions/specific thing “speaks” love to a spouse that can make a difference.

5. At Day’s End – Going to bed at the same time allows us to enjoy the quiet. Just knowing my husband is with me allows me to rest and sleep so much better. Couples who have the same bedtime can have a much easier time being intimate since they are both in the same place at the same time. We also make our bedroom a sanctuary; we leave all problems and situations at the door and focus only on each other.

6. Pray Together – Last but certainly not the least! We start our day and end it in prayer. Prayer brings us closer together because our hearts are open. There are no secrets or nothing too personal that my husband can’t hear about. We are united. We are man and wife.


Submitted by: Lois Robinson

As a Christian, wife, mother of 3, blogger, and student, I write short inspirational articles that are easy and convenient to read with the intent of empowering couples to take their marriage to new heights.

Effectual Prayers - Wisdom




“But I have prayed for you,
that your faith fail not”
LUKE 22:32

Not long ago I was waiting before The Lord on how to pray for a certain brother according to HIS WILL. As I did the above scripture was brought to my attention. So often we pray for God to remove the situation, bring healing, deliverance or whatever seemingly corrects the issue at hand. But here we see Jesus praying for Peter’s faith to stand in the midst of the situation that was about to unfold! He did not pray that Peter would not fail; it was necessary that Peter come to face his reliance on his own strength. He prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail. It takes faith, strong faith, to hold us in the crises that we must face. Faith to stand when we must confront our weaknesses and failures; for if our faith stands we will come forth in victory.

“And this is the victory
that overcomes the world,
our faith”
1 JOHN 5:4

We are to become, by the out-workings of the Holy Spirit in our lives, “Kings and Priests unto our God” (Revelation 1:6). As we grow we begin to see and understand the purposes of God in those around us. There will be times when, in order to pray effectually, instead of praying for the situation to change we will find ourselves praying for our brother’s/sister’s faith to hold strong. Faith is our victory; faith is also their victory. For faith is the power of God in us to enable us to live beyond our own resources. In so doing we discover the wonder of overcoming.

Effectual prayer is borne out of our hearts by sensing and knowing the will of God for others. Such things are not learned quickly but if we seek HIS Wisdom He will not withhold it from us.

“But if any of you lacks wisdom,
let him ask of God,
who gives to all liberally and with no reproach,
and it shall be given to him.
But let him ask in faith,
doubting nothing”
JAMES 1:5-6

Praying according to the will of God requires wisdom and wisdom is the fruit of the fear of the Lord. We seek His Will concerning the things for which we pray because we have learned, or are learning, that we can easily pray amiss by not seeing things clearly. In order for the true power of prayer to be restored to the people of God we must learn these things. Effectual praying is determined by the depth of Faith, Wisdom, Persistence, and the Love of God operating within our hearts.


Submitted by: Brian Troxel

Member of the Dad Bod Squad

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own…”  I Corinthians 6:19
My wife said the five dreaded words I have been hoping to avoid our entire marriage — “We should start working out.” Wait….what?!? Why? What did I do to deserve this? Apparently, there is this thing called running for fun. Yeah, I know. I had to look it up. Because it didn’t sound like a real thing to me either. I told her, “If you go running with me you better be prepared to walk…a lot.”
Crazy thing is, the more I did it the better I felt. The more weight I lost, and the longer I could run without my heart feeling like it would explode, the more it encouraged me to keep going. I still have my dad bod and I think that’s okay. I’m giving it all I have, today.
Your body is a fine-tuned machine that God created. He gave you the tools, the wisdom, and the resources to take care of yourself physically. Don’t worry about results, just do your best. All God wants is all you got today. It took you a while to get the body you have now so it will take a while to get the one you want. Stay focused.
He also gave you the tools to take care of yourself spiritually. Things like prayer, studying and memorizing His word, developing your talents, and listening to your exercise coach― the Holy Spirit. Use them.  Start off simple and stay focused. Let God work in you as He works out His plan to use you.  
God thank You for the wisdom and the resources you give to help me work out physical and especially spiritually. Please give me the strength and perseverance to not give up, and to press toward the mark. Thank you for your patience and Your love. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen
Go deeper: Do you treat your spiritual work out like a physical work out and become discouraged when you don’t see results as fast as you like? Who can you go to that can offer encouragement and tips to succeed?


Submitted by: Prescott Williamson

Prescott Williamson is a Bible believing Christian. He is a husband, a father, and someone who believes that there is a little humor to be found in whatever situation God sends your way. He was born in the small islands of the Bahamas but now lives in the Suburbs of Fort Worth Texas, which is basically the same thing. He enjoys TV, reading, blogging and serving in his church (especially on the days they serve donuts). You can see what I have been thinking about lately on my blog.

Hope for When You are Laid Low

A number of events, and some time in the good Word of God have all started to come together in order to show me something.  Something indistinct and yet, something sure.

And I cannot even begin to place the events out in a timeline for you that makes sense, but here goes.

»  A friend of mine, distant through many years passed, has lost her little girl due to cancer.  It has been a long journey which she has written about along the way.  And I have wept over that sweet little girl SO MUCH.  I have held my own two girls, girls who wore the same Old Navy pajamas she did, and thought I cannot imagine the pain of losing them.  To death, to cancer, to anything that would separate me from them.  And yet, my friend is intimately acquainted with that pain.  She shared a photo of her husband taken around the time of her daughter's death.  And the pain is so real and so raw on his face that it remains with me.  When I am changing the sheets on my bed, it will flash before me.  When I am brushing my teeth before bed, I will remember the look.  And each time I recall it to my mind, I am crushed just a tiny bit by the weight of the loss of this sweet child. She was 6-years-old.

»  A few weeks ago, just before the death of my friend's little 6-year-old girl, our local community was rocked by news of a car crash on a local mountain road.  A car went off the side of the mountain.  It was carrying a mother and a father and a baby (born just days apart from our own sweet little one).  The car held just two seats.  One for the mother.  And one for the father.  And not one for the baby.  That precious little life came crashing down the side of that mountain.  She was less than 6-months-old.

»  I watch documentaries in my free time.  I like a Netflix documentary at the end of a long week.  I will binge watch them in the middle of the night. My husband mentioned a documentary I might like the other day and so I put it on at the end of the day.  And watched it while my husband slept next to me in bed.  And I kind of wish I hadn't watched this one.  But at the same time, it was the release for so much of the emotion I knew was inside, but I was not letting out.  The documentary ended with the death of another precious life - this one just 13-months-old.  This one killed by his mother, mom, I am having trouble coming up with a word that appropriately describes her relationship to him.  She was the one whom the Father of the Universe entrusted to care for this little boy.  And she was the one who killed him.

I turned off the documentary when it was over.  I turned off the lights.  I turned over in my bed.  And I wept...

For the little boy in the documentary

 For the little girl in the car

For the little girl in the Old Navy pajamas

Crying out and talking to the God who made each of them and placed each of them in the care of each of their parents.  And weeping over the fallen world.  And fighting back anger.  And so many emotions.

I woke the next morning with all this still fresh.  And I thought about it all day, spoke about it with my husband, barely holding back the tears.

I woke up this morning to seek the LORD regarding the lives of little ones lost.  And to seek Him, the God of Justice and Righteousness.

I landed here:

The LORD is King forever and ever;
Nations have perished from His land.

O LORD, Thou hast heard the desire of the humble;

Thou wilt strengthen their heart, Thou wilt incline Thine ear

To vindicate the orphan and the oppressed,

That man who is of the earth may cause terror no more.

Psalm 10: 16-18

The LORD, in the Old Testament, when He wanted to remind His people of Himself, to draw them back from their rambling ways, would remind them of some things.

He would remind them of who He is.

He would remind Him of what He has done.

And He would remind them of what He will do.

He is King forever and ever.  He is in charge.  He rules over ALL.

He has brought down mighty nations.  He is powerful, more powerful than men, more powerful than armies of men.

HE HAS HEARD the desire of the humble.  He is not far off.  He is acquainted with the miseries of men.

He will give strength to the humble.  He will continue to listen to the hearts of men.


He will vindicate.  He will bring justice.  He will make sure all is right.

Men of earth will cause terror no more.

And thus, I run to my Refuge in the midst of the pain accompanying life on earth.  Knowing who He is, His marvelous deeds, and His sure promises.  And it does not make the pain go away, but it fixes my eyes on the future, my Hope.


Submitted by: Leah Hudson

Hi! I am Leah from Simple.Home.Blessings. I am a wife & mom trying to do homemaking without fussiness; seeking to find joy in the everyday things of life.
I write about raising kids, building a nest for my family, the pennies we get from heaven, & being devoted to God & one another.


Hundreds of Victories and Thousands of Defeats

Until that point, we had not promised forever. We had not created that official triune of me and him and God that was to be fused together by a lifetime of joy and warmth and trouble and pain.

There I stood before God and everyone, dressed in white and obscured by a veil, vowing things like "for better or for worse," and I meant every word, I honestly did, but how could I have possibly known what "for worse" had in store?

Until that point, I had only loved him with love songs and Hallmark cards and romantic dinners and changing my last name and picking out dishes.

I had no way of knowing “for worse” would find us battling soul-crushing disappointments, heartbreaking loneliness, and humiliating defeats in this journey called life. How could I have known as I stood there beaming from ear to ear that some of our most painful “for worse” would be the stuff we inflicted on each other?

I was clueless.

I stood there looking into his eyes, vowing to love him "in sickness and in health," and it was easy to repeat those words boldly because sickness was for other people or older people, but certainly not for me in my white dress and him in his rented tux with our whole lives stretched out before us as far as we could see like the horizon over the ocean that never gets any closer, no matter how far you go.

After all, I had loved him when he had a headache and when he threw up and when his allergies acted up, and I thought I was prepared to keep my vows with the best of them.

Little did I know "in sickness" would mean weeks spent lying in bed, job changes that would redefine normal and change the course of our lives, and an introduction to fear so gritty and profound it could not be chased away, no matter how hard we tried.

I was so very young.

I promised "for poorer," but I could not comprehend the gravity of medical bills I couldn't pay and car repairs I couldn't afford and wearing pants with holes that weren't there when I bought them.

Knowing those things as I stood there in my white dress would have terrified me. But God was gentle, and he led me tenderly by the hand through hundreds of victories and thousands of defeats, through layers upon layers of two lives being forged into one.

But when I stood there holding his hands and repeating these vows last Sunday, it felt completely different from that sunny September day almost three decades ago.

At that point, I completely understood what I couldn't begin to fathom back then.

I held his hands, and I felt the struggles and joys of so many years come together in one single moment that separated that day from this day by almost three decades, and I realized that one great truth those sweet young kids couldn't imagine and would never have believed.

You have to walk through "for worse" to reach "for better."

You have to wade through "in sickness" to enjoy "in health."

You have to weave through "for poorer" to experience "for richer."

Then, and only then, will you feel the full weight of the promises you made. Because those promises weren't for that day, or the next year, or even the next decade. They were an investment for years down the road when life has knocked you down but you have gotten back up and you are still here and still fighting and still hanging on

as long as you both shall live.



Submitted by: Beth Cullett

Beth is the imperfect wife of a Marine-turned-minister and mother to six beautifully imperfect children. She lives with her family and pets in the Midwest. She spends her days going to work when necessary, avoiding housework when possible, and writing when she is free from the former and successful at the latter.

Shine Your Light


1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

There have been times where I have been out in public and I have smiled and said hello or held a door for a complete stranger, to only receive silence as a response.

It can become discouraging when people respond to your good works with hatred, crude remarks and sometimes a bitter silence.  I don't know about you, but I have found myself wondering does my love and kindness make a difference in the world.

I had took this matter to God and it wasn't long before my eyes were open to a revelation.  The electric in our community had went out late one evening.  The entire road was dark, besides for the solar lights that lined my porch deck.  The little lights illuminated and gave off light to such a large space. I brought  the solar lights in and placed them around my house.  Each light lit up the entire room.  

I was amazed.  It was only days before had  my daughters and I discussed how generic the solar lights must be, because they let off very little light.  I hadn't replaced the lights.  They were the same lights that we had once doubted. Yet, they lit up an entire room in complete darkness.

We as Christians are similar to the solar lights.  At times it may not seem like we are making a difference to anyone or anything, but it's quite the opposite.   We shine and can light up a whole room in complete darkness.  

Matthew 5:14-16 KJV 14Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.


Submitted By: Freedom Curtis

My name is Freedom, Curtis.  I am a wife and stay at home mother of three.

Just Give Me Jesus!


We read in St. Luke chapter 2 of a man named Simeon who was at the dedication ceremony for the Christ-child.  Simeon was a man of God.  The bible says that the Holy Ghost was on him and revealed to him that he would not leave this world until he had seen the Glory of God in Jesus.  He had waited for years for this promise to come to pass.  Then one day he heard that Jesus had been born and was on His way to the temple for His own dedication.

Just give me Jesus!  We read of how, when the baby was brought in by His parents, Simeon held the child up and blessed God because he had now seen the Glory in the person of Jesus.  That was the moment he had lived for.  He waited and longed for the promise of God to be fulfilled and on this day, he was not disappointed.  He didn't give up at any time during his wait.  He prayed, served God, and waited.

The modern church could take a lesson from Simeon.  We don't have the steadfastness to hold on and believe God for years on end.  We get so impatient waiting for even a sandwich to be made.  We get impatient waiting in line at the bank.  Simeon waited for years just to see Jesus, the Glory of God.  He did not allow anything, or anyone to deter him from his chief desire.  But, us?  We get discouraged so easily if things don't happen exactly when and how we want them to.  

Just give me Jesus!  It's time for us to get a Simeon spirit about us.  By that, I mean that we need to stand up tall and make up our mind that nothing will hinder us from receiving the promises of God.  Yes, we're saved and on our way to heaven.  But we aren't totally convinced that the promises spoken of in the Word of God are for us.  We can believe for other people to be healed.  We can believe for someone else's relative to be saved.  But we have trouble believing it for ourselves.

We see others prospering in life and wonder why it's not us that are riding down easy street.  We see others getting healed and wonder why we haven't gotten our healing.  That's because of what I said in the preceding paragraph.  We don't completely believe the Word of God for ourselves.  And why, you may ask, do we not believe it?  We don't fully believe because we haven't totally sold out to Jesus the Christ, the Glory of God, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  We haven't fully sold out to the life-giver, the way-maker, the chain-breaker and the peace-speaker.  And until we devote ourselves totally to Him, our faith will continue to fall short of where it needs to be.

The bible tells us that faith can move mountains.  We tend to view the mountains from a pretty good distance away and by the time we get to it, we have convinced ourselves that it's too big for us to overcome.  If we were to learn a lesson from Joshua and the Israelites at Jericho, the closer we get to the mountain the stronger our faith would be, and we could just shout that mountain out of our way.  But we will never be able to do that until we sell out to Jesus.  He should be our number one priority in life.  Every day when we wake up, He should be the first name we call out.  His praises should continually be in our mouth, no matter the situation.  If we would develop that lifestyle, no mountain would be safe.  No enemy would be able to stand before us.  We must get back to our first love.  Just give me Jesus!


Submitted By: Scott Evans

I am a pastor, teacher, author, father, and grandfather who loves to encourage others with the Word of God. Whether it be by spoken word, the written word, or a living testimony, my desire is to see others grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ.



The Great Press of God
“And David said in his heart,
I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul:
there is nothing better for me than that I should
speedily escape into the land of the Philistines”
1Samuel 27:1

These are insights into the heart of David in the midst of a long and protracted circumstance. Saul’s relentless pursuit of David continued year after year in spite of the fact that David spared his life on several occasions. David finally came to the conclusion that Saul was not going to change. The situation seemed hopeless and David, now at the point of weariness, succumbed to a logical solution. For centuries the Philistines had been one of the chief enemies of God’s purposes; we see them even in the days of Isaac contending for his wells and God’s promises. The very meaning of “Philistine” “is to wear down, to roll or wallow in self (pity)”. Have we not all at one time or another been victims and sojourners in “the land of the Philistines”? We face situations with our health, financial issues, sins that plague us, temptations, struggles with relationships and many other circumstances whereby we are under assault often for years without any remedy in sight. Consciously or subconsciously we give in to a life of defeat and despair of ever knowing victory in a particular situation.

When Saul heard that David had moved into the land of the Philistines he no longer pursued him. So it is with the enemy of our souls. A defeated and hopeless Christian is no longer a threat to Satan’s dominion for we are dwelling in the place of his rule.

“And it was told Saul that David was fled to Gath:
and he sought no more again for him”
1Samuel 27:4

It is bad enough to move into the land of the Philistines but David went even further and asked the King of the Philistines to appoint a place for him to dwell!

“And David said unto Achish,
If I have now found grace in thine eyes,
let them give me a place in some town in the country,
that I may dwell there”
1Samuel 27:5

To which the King of the Philistines was more than pleased to give unto David Ziklag.

“Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day”
1Samuel 27:6

Ziklag comes from a Hebrew root verb meaning to “press (mentally) someone or something to reveal what is inside” (*see note). Ziklag is a spiritual land we must visit in our walk with God. It is a place wherein we find ourselves when the press is on, the situation is dire and we, in that moment, revert to our own devices and seek out a refuge from the storm apart from God. It is a necessary work of God to reveal to us our hidden reliance on other things rather than Him alone. It is here that David is pressed even further.

While David and his men were gathered to join in battle with the Philistines to fight Israel, the Amalekites attacked Ziklag and took all of the wives and children of David and his men captive and burned the city with fire.

“And it came to pass,
when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day,
that the Amalekites had invaded the south,
and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire;
And had taken the women captives, that were therein:
they slew not any, either great or small,
but carried them away, and went on their way”
1Samuel 30:1-2

David’s men had faithfully followed him into this place but this last compounding of the trial had brought them (and David) to a place of inconsolable grief.

“Then David and the people that were with him
lifted up their voice and wept,
until they had no more power to weep”
1Samuel 30:4

It is hard to even comprehend the depth of grief they were all feeling. In the midst of this great sorrow we read even David’s men began to speak of stoning him!

“And David was greatly distressed;
for the people spake of stoning him,
because the soul of all the people was grieved,
every man for his sons and for his daughters…”
1Samuel 30:6

The great pressing of God had come to David. The energies and strategies of all his natural ability had been thrown into the press of the Almighty God. The despair, discouragement and enormity of circumstance had been brought to bear upon this one who was called of God to rule and reign in Israel. What would become of him?

“…but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God”
1Samuel 30:6

“And David recovered all that the Amalekites
had carried away: and David rescued his two wives.
And there was nothing lacking to them,
neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters,
neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them:
David recovered all”
1Samuel 30:18-19

The end of man brings us to the beginning of God and His resources. Though the press seems more than one can bear, God knows our frame and His ways are higher than ours. Men who are called of God to walk in the high places must know of these pressings and ways of the Most High God. In the Old Testament men were born priests; in the New Covenant we are “…made kings and priests unto God and his Father” (Revelation 1:6). God’s end in our lives is to be made like unto Him to such an extent that “…as he is, so are we in this world”.

Well could David declare…

“O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:
Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.
For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.
Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water:
but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place”
Psalm 66:8-12

It is also interesting to note that Ziklag was originally a city of Philistine rule. As a result of David being brought low, and then rising up in the strength of his God, Ziklag became a possession of Israel! That which was meant by the enemy to destroy David became part of the inheritance of Israel. God’s intention is to bring us to the place of victory in Christ Jesus.

“…wherefore Ziklag pertaineth
unto the kings of Judah unto this day”
1Samuel 27:6

It is God’s plan and desire that all the things which are meant to crush us become a place of victory and praise unto our God. It is in these places that the overcomers in God arise and stand in the strength and faithfulness of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“He giveth power to the faint;
and to them that have no might
he increaseth strength”
Isaiah 40:29

*NOTE: Ziklag: Scholars have identified two separate roots of the form צוקiti
1: The verb צוק (suq I) denotes pressing someone (mentally) in order to bring out what’s kept inside. Thus enemies press the cities they besiege to surrender (Deuteronomy 28:53-57, Isaiah 51:13, Jeremiah 19:9). The Timnite pressed Samson for the answer to his riddle (Judges 14:17), and Delilah for the secret of his strength (16:16).
2: The verb צוק (suq II) also denotes the bringing forth of something contained internally, which is done either by applying pressure or by smelting. From rock copper is smelted (Job 28:2), but rocks poured/squeeze out streams of oil (Job 29:6). Likewise, Isaiah observes that in their distress (from צרר, sarar) the people of Israel visited YHWH and poured/squeezed out a whisper (Isaiah 26:16).


Submitted by: Brian Troxel

Blessed Assurance

I am sure we have all seen the ads for the buyer assurance protection plans, we all pay insurance on our vehicles and belongings (at least I hope we do), and we likely look for the warranty or some guarantee that what we invest in will be protected.

It is pretty sad when you stop to think about it. The only guarantee we have is that the thing we buy, the relationships we invest in, the homes we live in, are not going to be here forever. At some point in our lives something can happen to take any, or all of these things away.

In church last Sunday the pastor was teaching on Romans 5, which is the passage on peace and joy through suffering.  I must admit, growing up in church I have heard this passage preached many times and truth be told I don’t always pay attention – much less like what I hear.

However! Listening to my pastor preach this sermon made me realize something in a new way. As he read verses one and two of Romans 5, he made a comment (and I wish I could remember exactly how he said it but I can’t, so instead I will explain how it struck me.)  Therefore. since we have been justified through faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:1

HAVE been justified –  HAVE gained access –  in which we NOW stand as in – it is already done! When we step into a relationship with the Lord Jesus it is finished! We are redeemed, we are justified, we are saved! We can rest in the ASSURANCE of our salvation. This is the one thing, the one and only thing we can have complete confidence in, the one thing that will not change.

So as I navigate this life of constant surprises and unexpected endings I can joyfully continue to look forward and marvel at the love the Lord has for all of us in that He knew we would find ourselves stuck in sin, yet still He sent his one and only son to take our punishment, Jesus took our death penalty in order that those who have a relationship with Him can have assurance that life has purpose and that each and every experience is leading toward that purpose.

What an amazing knowledge!!


Submitted by: Amy Salzman

Amy has been writing for most of her life as a release for her pain, then in 2006 the Lord opened doors that have enabled her to help others who are struggling with recovering from emotional and physical trauma. Using stories, quips, humor, and examples she offers hope and encouragement to those stuck in the quicksand of discouragement.


Hustle for the Muscle

For while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come…I Timothy 4:8
Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired. And no one is better than me at resting before they get tired. I always see the buff athletes on tv and think, I can look like that if I wanted to, but it wouldn’t be fair if I looked like that and was so handsome at the same time. (At least this is what I tell myself, please don’t judge me).
Seriously, most of us need improvement, which takes getting up and getting regular exercise to build up our muscles. But what about our spiritual muscles? Why do we neglect those? Just like with working out it takes repetitions and consistency. And when we do work out the good muscles, we don’t do it often enough, or with enough intensity and eventually they go back to being weak. The more you work out a muscle the stronger it gets.
If you are like me you want to work smart, not hard. You must choose which muscle you want to work out. Do you have a problem with lying, and can’t figure out why it’s so hard? It is because you don’t spend much time working out your telling the truth muscle. Do you spend money indiscriminately and can’t figure out how to stop? It is because you don’t work out your saving muscle. You can’t stop thinking lustful thoughts. It is because you don’t work out your purity muscle.
The best part is we have a God-given coach. The Holy Spirit is the best trainer to help you pump up those spiritual muscles.
Heavenly Father please remove anything out of me that is not of you and replace it with everything you hold dear. Help me to work out the good muscles in my spiritual life so that I can be stronger in your Word. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Go Deeper: Have you hit a plateau in your spiritual workout? Lift something heavier. Give more. Serve in a new area. Spend more time with your spouse or your kids. Work out new areas to get stronger.


Submitted by: Prescott Williamson

Prescott Williamson is a Bible believing Christian. He is a husband, a father, and someone who believes that there is a little humor to be found in whatever situation God sends your way. He was born in the small islands of the Bahamas but now lives in the Suburbs of Fort Worth Texas, which is basically the same thing. He enjoys TV, reading, blogging and serving in his church (especially on the days they serve donuts). You can see what I have been thinking about lately on my blog.

The People You Meet Along The Way

Can I be honest with you? In regards to following where God leads, I miss the mark. There are so many time that I don’t listen to His still small whisper, and go on with my day as if His voice didn’t exist. However, sometimes I listen, and when I do, He moves.

The day before Easter was one of those days when I listened. Mike and Charlie were napping and I couldn't pass up a nice afternoon or some one on one time with Olivia. So we went to the beach for a walk.

It was a beautiful day, and as we walked to the pier there was a group of people there that were chatting with some others. Hmmm… I wonder what they are doing. We continued on our way, and I passed a couple more girls who seemed to be part of the group. They carried a sign that said "What brings you peace? #princeofpeace”. That peeked my interest, just as Olivia got hungry. So I chose a bench, sat down, and let her nurse.

I had been reflecting a lot of His faithfulness, and love over the days prior, and I was sitting there in front of the cafe where a year before (literally right before Easter) I was having dinner with a friend, and talking to her about the negative pregnancy test that I had taken the week before. During our conversation she encouraged me to take another test because I still could be pregnant. That was the night I found out I was carrying Olivia. As I was sitting there and reflecting on the past year I heard Him whisper "Tell them about Olivia". Um okay. Who?

I thought the people with the posters were going to come talk to me. They talked to everyone else, but they actually walked right past me. Strange. I guess I heard God wrong, and I do at times. I was about to leave, when two other girls came over from the group and started to talk to me. They ended up being from a religion that had a bit different beliefs than the faith I follow. They commented on how cute Olivia was, and I told them how she was my Easter gift from last year, and how a year ago I was sitting in the café right behind us only an hour before I found out I was carrying her. They asked me how I planned to celebrate Easter, and I shared with them my desire for my children to know the meaning of Easter when many people around us focus on the Easter bunny and Easter eggs. They sat down next to me and asked to show me a video. Then asked me what brings me peace. Do I tell them the quick answer, Jesus, or do I share everything?

I am not really a fan of talking to strangers, it makes me a bit uncomfortable. I don't go on walks to talk to people that I don't know, but that day through some tears I shared everything. I shared with them how we picked out her name when I was pregnant with Charlie but we didn't know he was a boy yet, and how God had placed on my husbands heart strongly to pray for our daughter during that time.

I shared about the miscarriage. I shared that Olivia’s name meant peace and her middle name meant God's most gracious gift, and how she is a constant reminder of His perfect peace and the gift of salvation. I shared with them that Charlie was a reminder to us of the joy that we have in Christ. And I shared of His love, how the baby we lost was a reminder of God's love. His love that was even more evident in the valley. God, who was good despite our circumstances being good.

"Wow. We want to write down so much of what you said. We just learned so much."

Life isn’t always beautiful, but God is always good.

“What I tell you now in the darkness, speak in the light; what is whispered in your ear, shout it from the rooftops.” Matthew 10:27.

When Jesus appeared to doubtful Thomas, Thomas saw His scars, but also saw that Jesus was alive despite the wounds from the nails that hung Him on the cross. When Thomas saw this he exclaimed “My Lord, My God!”

Jesus had the scars from the cross on His hands. What is in your hands? The day before Easter, Olivia was in my hands, and God gave her a story. She is part of my story and part of His story. Sometimes our lives are tainted by scars. But Jesus’ resurrection shows us that despite the scars, there is life. Life isn’t always beautiful, but God is always good. If God is always good, there is beauty in the scars.

His word encourages us to always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. I want to encourage you to always be ready to share of His faithfulness and great love.

What story has God given you? Are you willing to step out of your routine to share with those He puts in your path? Are you willing to be interrupted, in order to follow where He leads? I am praying that God puts people in your path this week that need to hear of His great love, and the joy and peace He brings. I am praying that you are bold and courageous in sharing in the ways that He has been faithful in your life. Ready. Set. Go.


Submitted by: Jessica Schneider

Jessica Schneider is a writer who has a deep love for Christ and a desire to follow where He may lead. In hopes to encourage women in their walks with Christ, she began blogging on her site The Path I Follow. She has a passion for her readers to know that they are loved by a beautiful Creator. Jessica currently lives in Norwalk, CT with her husband Mike, and two children, Charlie and Olivia. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, walks at the beach, helping with women’s ministry at her church, and relaxing on her parent’s boat. You can learn more about Jessica and read her weekly blog posts by visiting her website or FaceBook page.


Chicken Theology

“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for Me will find it.”
~Matthew 16:25, NIV

One of the complexities of life is that we are here as created beings, not creators. When life deals us blow after blow, it can seem like the universe is against us. For those of Judeo-Christian background, pain, loss, and suffering can be even harder to reconcile with our belief in a good and loving God. We hesitate to blame God for our trials, and yet if our faith is to rest secure, we must find some explanation for the problem of suffering in light of who He says He is.
I hadn’t expected to find an answer to these difficult questions this chilly New England morning as I sipped my steaming tea. But God heard my unspoken thoughts and gave me a glimpse of life from His perspective. It began when I heard the sounds of scratching outside my dining room window.


I knew immediately who was making those sounds. I own a small flock of chickens, and I had forgotten to close the gate over their caged run the night before. Since sunrise, they had been tearing up our gardens and relishing their unaccustomed freedom.
Never mind that I provided them daily with a warm, solid coop, plenty of food, and room to roam safely in their caged area. They seized this opportunity to be completely free; like us, it is just in their nature to do so.

The problem was that I was home alone, and catching one flying creature is difficult, let alone five of them!

I knew that in order to catch them, I had no other option but to restrict their freedom by blocking off a narrow path and then driving them into it. I could then use my own strength to corner them, lifting them gently back into their cage. If it caused them minor discomfort, so be it. The danger of leaving them exposed to hawks and predators was far greater than any pain they would experience resisting me!

I was able to catch all of them, but not in the same way. The first two members of my flock submitted, as hens to a rooster. They allowed me to gently pick them up, cradle them in my arms, and return them to their place of safety.

The next two ran away briefly, but I drove them into a “dead end” I created with leftover pieces of wood. Picking the birds up, however, proved to be a challenge. Neither of the chickens was interested in being subdued, and their struggles to escape me resulted in greater pain (and a considerable loss of feathers) for them. They dove into the wired wall of the cage, impaling their heads, and squawking noisily as I tugged at their feet and wings to get a grip on them. It did not have to be so. It was not my desire to harm them, but to protect them! Had they not resisted so defiantly, I would have been able to be gentle. Their own rebellion caused their pain.


I turned my attention now to the last chicken. She was hell-bent on maintaining her freedom, and smart enough (after what she’d just witnessed) to run the opposite direction from where I hoped to corner her. Master of her own fate, she headed for the hills (or at least, the edges of our property)! No human would dominate her!

Because I love her and wanted her safe with the rest of my flock, I chased her until other natural boundaries surrounded her; her “freedom ride” would not last long. I drove her towards the wall of another chicken run, and there I stooped to pick her up.

Everything in this chicken resisted me. Flapping her wings violently and screaming as if dying, she fought me beak and claw. Chaos! I was stronger, and won in the end, but even after my clear victory she fought, wildly forcing her feathered head through the cage, throwing her bird-body at the cage door, and making no small ruckus, as if to let all the neighbors know that I was as good as a murderer!

All her defiance earned her a day in isolation, separated from the rest of the flock. Her pain was unnecessary; it was her own stubbornness and lack of understanding that disrupted her life. If she knew the greater good to which I sought to conform her – protection from her enemies and a safe place to reproduce and fulfill her hen “calling,” she would more easily trust me. If she had the sense to remember how daily, I fed her, watered her, and laid soft bedding in her coop for her own health and comfort, she would not resist me. Her desire to go her own way blinded her to my goodness. Believing in herself as mistress of her own fate, instead of accepting her place in the order of creation, resulted in her pain.
I still love her, and will (after leaving her for a day to teach her a lesson!) still treat her as well as all the other chickens in my flock. But I wish, for her sake, that she were more compliant, since it would mean less of a loss to her of the blessings I would provide.


My morning chasing chickens taught me this: for created beings (whether chickens or humans), there is an order to life which, when followed, brings blessing. The heart of God can be trusted, just as my heart towards my chickens is for good, not evil. But we must yield to His ways or suffer the consequences.

God’s wish not to harm us or cause us discomfort is superseded only by His love for us, which will of necessity protect us from far greater pain than any He could inflict in our defense. He sees the dangers; we do not.

When life seems unfair, perhaps it is wise for us to consider if, perhaps, we have escaped the boundaries of God’s will for us somehow. By choosing to trust in His love and goodness toward us, we can submit rather than struggle, and minimize the pain and discomfort of transitions as He moves us to a better place, safe from danger we cannot see.

Faith requires trust; faith IS trust. The character of our Creator is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He loves us, He cares for us, He searches for us when we are lost, yet He hopes – for our benefit – that we will yield to Him, respecting Him as Creator and knowing that we are His beloved creatures.  We must lose what we think is our life in order to gain true happiness. And then, miraculously, we will find the wonderful life He intended for us to live.


Submitted by: Deborah Perkins

Deborah Perkins is a seasoned prophetic writer, speaker, and Christian leader with more than 30 years of ministry experience across denominations.  At God's request in 2013, she founded His Inscriptions, an online ministry devoted to helping people worldwide build life-giving communication with God. Through her website, inspired teaching and a weekly blog, Deborah offers discipleship to those who want to grow their relationship with God. Deborah is also fond of her hubby, 3 sons, and dark chocolate - in that order! You can order her newest Bible Study, How to Inherit Your Spiritual Promises, on Amazon.


Who is Jesus? - He is the Creator

" All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made." John 1:3 NKJV

When God created the world in the beginning, Jesus was there, and all things were created through Him, through the Word. Jesus is the Creator.

What does that imply for me personally? Jesus is My Creator, My Maker. Without Him I do not exist. He is the Potter and I am the clay. He designed me, He owns me. With great care, He has molded me and still keeps on molding me to be image-bearer of God according to the initial design.

Have I allowed Jesus to be My Creator? That means He should have all authority over me, He can do whatever He wants with me, He can have His way with me. This authority belongs to Him by right, and yet, He is not forcing it on me, He wants me to decide to invest Him with this authority. We serve a gentle and humble God!

Am I ready to surrender everything, my dream, my desires, my rights, my expectations, my plans, my agendas and let Jesus shape me as He desires? In the molding process, we know He will apply pressure to get the right shape and will reshape us over and over again. But we can trust in His great love for us, He will do the molding with great care. We do not know what the final product look like but we can trust in His higher ways and higher thoughts and His perfect design for us.

Prayer: Close in prayer thanking Jesus for creating you and designing you to be a perfect image bearer of the loving God. Thank Him for loving us too much to let us remain as we are and for desiring to mold us to be conform to the original design. Reflect on what it means to invest Him with the full authority to have His way in you and surrender yourself to Him.


Submitted by: Mia Randria

I am Mia Randria, a recently born again christian, a wife and a mom. And I need Jesus.
In my blog, I write devotionals and perspectives about Christian walk and learning from and about Jesus.


Sharing Our Christian Faith

As Christians, one of our priorities is to declare and spread our beliefs, our rich heritage, and the truth. "Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!" (Psalm 96: 2-3.) The faith is not a practice designated solely for within the walls of our churches. It is meant to be lived out to the fullest.

Christ and our faith should be the most important part of our earthly lives. Not only is it our duty to share our Christian values through social media and physical one-on-one conversations. But we also must be examples to the rest of the world in our deeds and actions. We must not be hypocrites; we must actively show that we are living what we believe and teach.

Lord Jesus, You are always ever present in every place on earth, but many do not know You or do not recognize Your face. Help us spread the good news in a friendly way to everyone we meet. Amen.


Submitted by: John Tuttle

I'm a young guy living in the little town of Cherry Valley, Illinois. I love God, family, and friends. And I am passionate about writing, photography, and video-making. I wish to pursue a career in the media.

faceinstoneinJesus (1280x851).jpg

How Helping The Poor Exemplifies GodHow Helping Th


Throughout The Bible, there are many passages in its various books about helping the poor. God always tells us in his words that we are to go out and help those who are less fortunate in the world. The precept has proven to be one of the cornerstones of not only Christianity but many other religions. While God has been active in various religions, he has spoken to Christians directly through his many prophets and disciples.

In Proverbs 22:9, God tells us very directly that we should seek to help others if we are fortunate: “Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.” The book states very directly that we should help those who have not had the good fortune we have had. Proverbs tells us again to help others who have not been as lucky as us in an earlier passage. In Proverbs 19:17, God told us: “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.” God's telling us to assist others is part and parcel of what he expects us to do every day in this world. If that means someone has a drug addiction and needs assistance from Christian drug rehab facilities, that is what God expects us to do

As humans, God envisioned we would lift one another up. He never wanted us to tear each other apart. He believed the support we gave one another could make us something extraordinary. With all the discontent in the world, Acts 20:35 is even more explicit in telling us God's message to the human race: “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” Jesus, who is God in human form, told us these that we need to remember that giving to others is more important than what we receive.

This whole impetus of God's grew into holiday celebrations such as Christmas, Easter and one another's birthdays. We, as humans, created these holidays to represent Jesus' message and to remind us every year that we need to make sure to give to one another. Even if people only do it for a short time, it's still better to give a little bit.  It would benefit us all to make the spirit of the holidays happen every day. This could include when someone struggles with substance abuse and needs help from Christian drug rehab facilities. If we did that, we might be able to reduce poverty and lift one another's spirits.

Submitted by: Tommy Zimmer

About the author: Tommy Zimmer is a writer whose work has appeared online and in print. His work covers a variety of topics, including politics, economics, health and wellness, addiction and recovery and the entertainment industry.

You will not be left behind

Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." John 5:8

In John chapter 5, we read a story of a sick man. It's a story we have been listening to since our Sunday school time. This man had been laying at the pool of Bethesda for a very long time. He probably spent the best part of life in despair and in a hopeless situation as he had been sick for 38 years. He was lying on a porch waiting for the moving of the water, but whenever the angel came down into the pool and stirred up the water, somebody always stepped down before him. He missed out last 38 chances to be healed. After waiting for so long and being disappointed each time, he probably gave up on himself. There was no one to help take him into the pool. He probably was tired of waiting for a miracle for himself. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he already had been in that condition for a long time, Jesus asked him if he really wanted to get well.

Expecting a miracle can be so challenging when we have waited for a quite long time being in a same condition. It’s very easy to believe that nothing will ever change; we will remain the same. We kind of find a compromise with our crisis. We give up on our lives, our dreams, and probably even we give up on God. It looks like we are just fine with our crisis. We let it go. It doesn't seem like we ever want a change, a miracle or a blessing from God.

He says to Jesus that he has no one to help him into the pool when the water is stirred. While he is trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of him. Many times we blame other people for our inability, our lack of progress and our problems. Other people goes ahead of us and we remain in the same situation. Someone else is promoted and we are often miss out on opportunities.

Dear friend, I don't know which crisis you are struggling with for a long time. You may feel like giving up, feel like compromising with it and feel like there is no hope, no one is there to help you out. You have missed out on many opportunities. Others have gone ahead of you and you remain in the same situation. It may look like you are just fine with your adversity.

Let me encourage you today. You will not be left behind. God is the one who defines your destiny. He has the answer for you. His ways are higher than our ways. In His time He will raise you up. You are probably still waiting for someone else to help you get into the pool, but the Lord himself will visit you. You were not created to drag through life constantly. He will raise you out of lack into abundance, out of sickness into healing, out of sorrows into happiness, out of curse into blessing and out of despair into His joy and peace. Hold on to your faith!


Submitted by: Elizabeth Livingston

I am Elizabeth Livingston. I love to share about Jesus and His Word to encourage others build their strong faith in Him in the midst of their challenges. I believe God has unique plans for each one of us and when we trust His promises for our lives, we can live a thriving life which brings Him glory. I am a wife, mother and a budding writer who wants to contribute her gifts to further God’s kingdom. I live in Trivandrum, Kerala the southern part of India.

mp2289 9847511505.jpg

Do You Know You Are God's Prized Possession?


Do you know that God considers you his prized possession?

Maybe you find that hard to believe. You may think that because of what you've done or what's been done to you that you are not special, that you are not worth much. You may have a negative self-image and you may compare yourself with others and believe they are so much better than you.

But the truth is that you are so much more than what you think you are. How do I know that? Because that's what the Bible tells me and if I want to know the truth about God and myself I go to the Bible. It's there I learn that being prized by God means that I am treasured, valued, cherished and much loved by him.

At the moment I'm reading the book of James, and rather than rush through it, I'm taking my time so I can really feed on it and digest it. It's taken me most of the week to read the first chapter, but it's been a good investment of my time. It's why today I'm writing about being God's prized possession. In James 1:18 it says "He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession." (NLT)

Why are you and I God's prized possession?
1. God lovingly created you and me. Who we are is no accident. God was deliberate about the way he made us, choosing our character, our nature, the skills and abilities we would have. No two of us are like. Each one of us is unique, specifically created by God and for God.  

"13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!  Your workmanship is marvellous—how well I know it. 15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. 16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book.  Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed."  Psalm 139:13-16 (NLT)  

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 8:6 "But for us, there is one God, the Father, by whom all things were created, and for whom we live. And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things were created, and through whom we live." (NLT)

2. Not only does God prize us, treasure us, consider us as special because he created us, he also showed how much he prizes us because he paid the highest price imaginable for you and for me. The cost was huge but God believed us worth the cost. What was the price he paid? He gave his son, Jesus, so that you and I could be his prized possession.  

Paul also wrote "Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honour God with your body." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT)

God sees us just as we are. He sees the image we give to the world and he knows us from the inside. He knows our flaws, our weaknesses, our strengths and our potential. Knowing all these things, knowing us as we truly are, God still calls you and me his prized possession.

We are not to live as though we belong to any other person, whether they are a friend, parent or spouse. If we do, we open ourselves up to being mistreated, misused and abused. We don't need to spend our life trying to win the approval or acceptance of others, or trying to be who they want us to be.

We do belong to God and as his prized possession we can trust him completely. He cares for us, protects us, watches over us and wants the best for us. He wants us to become the person he created us to be. He has our best interests at heart.

So, what is the outcome of knowing we are God's prized possession?  

First, I believe it gives us a right perspective of ourselves. We have no need to compare ourselves with others, to think less or more of ourselves than we should. Not only does it change the way we think about ourselves, it also changes the way we behave. We want to bring glory to God in the things we do, to choose to do those things which are honourable, good and right rather than mistreating our bodies or doing what displeases God.

The Message paraphrase of Galatians 5:4-5 says this "Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life."

Secondly, when we believe that every single one of us is God's prized possession, it has an impact on how we interact with others. Rather than being judgmental, critical, showing favouritism, or belittling others, we will see them as God sees them. We will recognise their worth and value, we will believe in their significance, we will accept them as they are. We will love and esteem them as God does.

To Think About:
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you believe you are God's prized possession. Today rest in that incredible truth.

When you know that you are God's prized possession what difference does it make to the things you say, the way you think and your behaviour?

What difference does it make to your interactions with others when you know that they too are God's prized possession?


Submitted by: Vickie Cottinngham

I live in the South East of England with my husband and our two teenage children.  God has blessed me with a love for His Word, for studying it and for sharing it with others.  He has also given me a joy of writing which led me to start my devotional blog a few years ago.

You Can Do It! We Did! Family Living and Disabilities

Are you living in a storm? Especially one of physical challenges? Wondering if you and your family can survive? We did: you can, too.
My husband, Joe, and I recently celebrated our 50th anniversary. Of those fifty years, only in the first 12 short years was our family able to live normally. Then came my first totally disabling “injury” which turned out not to be an injury at all. Rather, it was a neuro-muscular condition that healed then turned into a slow downhill slide. That slow slide picked up speed these last few years until now the limitations, all together, are quite disabling.
We worked hard to maintain a healthy family life for our boys who were ten and seven at the time. Both are now professional men with successful families of their own. Even with my limitations, we participate in our grandkids’ lives, adapting activities as necessary. Too many times, though, I’ve had to sit by and watch the fun. Our family has been great about altering plans so I can be included. Yes, our life has been difficult, but we have enjoyed it anyway.
“My” disabilities are not just my problem: they

are OUR problem. We have both had to grieve the losses; it certainly hasn’t been the life we planned.
We have both had to give-and-take a lot. Maybe Joe more than me, since much of the housework has fallen to him - not his favorite activity!
I love to read and do computer stuff to occupy my time, but I very much miss carrying out what I perceive as “my” responsibilities.
Joe misses me joining him in the outdoor activities we love. We still camp, compensating as necessary, but hiking together is no longer possible. My husband pushed my wheelchair for years, and we went some wild places. I now have a scooter, so we do still “hike” together - the accessible trails. Then Joe hikes while I stay in camp.  
There has been much compromising and cooperating through the years. We have survived - even thrived - and now have great memories of fifty plus years together!
So, it is possible to live a happy, fulfilled life in spite of life-altering physical challenges. Be proactive. Stay flexible. Be imaginative as you adapt and compensate activities. Keep spiritual lines open.
God is our bedrock, our encourager, our strengthener. He has enabled us to navigate the pain and grief. He has allowed us to see our sons succeed despite a dysfunctional family. He has brought joy in our lives. May God bless you in your stormy journey.


Submitted by: Carole Griffitts

Carole Griffitts and her husband live in eastern Washington. They love outdoor activities and seeing family. They have successfully lived with the limitations from her invisible disabilities for nearly forty years. Carole writes her website, Navigating the Storms, for those living with invisible disabilities and for those who care about them. She lists tips and helps for both groups. She includes links for further information. She seeks to provide encouragement and community for those who struggle. Her goal is to see interaction between visitors.

2013-273 - Glacier.gif

Imperfect, But Valuable

‘The world is quite skilled at assaulting us with countless messages—overt and covert—about how to measure our worth.’

I couldn’t agree more with Michele Cushatt, when I read the above words on her blog post recently. Moment by moment we are told to define ourselves by:
Where we live
What we wear
What we drive
Who we hang out with
How much our net worth shows.

Unfortunately, ‘too often we listen, we buy in. And we frantically try to do what is demanded of us.’ We do our best to fit into the mold, foregoing things that matter most in the process, only to discover either the mold is not what it is cracked up to be. Or a ‘better’, ‘enhanced’ substitute has been proffered. In frustration, masked and suppressed by a renewed resolve we strive on to succeed ‘against all odds’.

Life, yours inclusive, is imperfect. In spite of all the enhancements man cooks up it can never be perfect.
But who says imperfection is not okay?
'Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.'
- Annette Funicello

You are imperfect but very valuable, even if it is to just one person on planet earth. Your achievement may seem insignificant; you may even see yourself as a failure, yet you can add value to another.

It does not take lofty pursuits and grand achievements. Value is added mostly through seemingly insignificant actions and words. Their impact is far-reaching because they are carried out and uttered in love.

The task may be menial, and seem unimportant.
The gesture may be trivial and insignificant.
Provided it is done in love, It’s the wisest investment;
Based on the greatest commandment –
Birth in us from above.

Everyone is capable of love.
A penniless beggar can offer a smile. (This can achieve much more than you know).
You can offer a listening ear to a friend even though you are broke.
It does not have to cost you a kobo to be kind.

Don’t define yourself by what you have achieved or amassed for yourself. Decide today to make your life count by adding value to others. Intentionally. That is what makes you valuable.

'Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot.'
- Jesus Christ (Luke 12:15)

What are some of the ways life has been erroneously defined?


Submitted by: Jenom Makama

Jenom Makama is a Son-worshipper, husband and father of three, blogger and avid reader, food and people enthusiast. I inspire people to be authentic by choosing truth, through my blog.