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.

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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


Distractions: The Enemy's Toys

I have found it takes more effort to make sure I have my time with Jesus. Distractions seem endless.

I don't have a busy  life with a work schedule,  or children to care for like many of you. I have a home to manage, a husband to keep happy and a mini farm for pleasure which requires the responsibilities of caring for animals. It is a joy, not work.

However, I want more than anything, to keep the Lord first in my life in all I do. But there seems to be those days that every time I am giving my devotional time to God... "things" crop up.

Unexpected visitors, text messages that could come at any other time of the day. A phone call which isn't important. The long list of "to-dos" for the day. Before I know it, the day is almost to its end, and I have only managed light conversation with the Lord, instead of the deeperror times where all is quiet and I  become aware of His presence.

A time that is sacred, set apart for only Him and one through which I am renewed, regenerated, and reaffirmed that "All is well with my soul". A time where I  am caught up in the beauty of His presence and He speaks to me of all that is on my heart. Appealing time I  feel enveloped in Him, and never want to  leave that place.

As I take notice of the things which distract, I quickly assimilate them to gnats at a picnic. Nothing big, but just enough to take your mind off of the joyful time at hand. I then realise it is my old nemesis, the "mini-god" of this world using his pitiful annoyances to steal my time with God.

His objective? Create enough subtle distractions so I can't start my time with the Lord, because he knows as I don't fill myself with God and the things of God,  which keep my spirit fed and my soul at rest, I become vulnerable to him. Susceptible to his attempts to steal all that God wants to give.

So, now, the phone is off. A sign on my bedroom door which reads "Prayer in Progress ", and as for the unexpected visitors... they are learning to call in advance.

No day can be its best without the Creator of it orchestrating first.

Don't let the enemy play with his toys on God's time... which is all the time

Submitted by: Kristal Dollar


Finding Perfect Peace In A Perfect Storm

His marriage was going through a massive storm. Financially, well, let’s just say he was living by faith. Did I mention that he had just buried a teenage daughter? But every time I met him, he was smiling from ear to ear.
I was confused. I knew what he was going through. He wasn’t supposed to be smiling. If anything, he had the right to be bitter at the world. He was entitled, dare I say, to be angry at God. But he wasn’t. And that’s what  baffled me.

The Secret to Perfect Peace

I just had to ask. And so I did. I wanted to know his secret, the secret to perfect peace in the midst of such turmoil.
His answer?

Isaiah 26:3
You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.

I was still  perplexed. So he explained it to me as a father teaches a child the basic elements of life.

#1 Have a Steadfast Mind

Perfect peace comes from a steadfast mind. A mind that is always focused on the ultimate and not the immediate. A mind that is concerned about the eternal outcome and not the temporary distractions.

A steadfast mind is focused on the immutable word of God.
A steadfast mind understands that the storm is around me, not in me. Therefore my peace remains intact.
That all sounded good but I couldn’t understand how one develops that steadfast mind. He took me to step 2.

#2 Have Unshakable Trust in God

A steadfast mind comes from trusting in God. That trust is developed through an intimate relationship with Him. This is the crux of the matter; a relationship with God.
It is impossible not to trust God if you know Him. No matter how fierce the storm may be, it’s always comforting to know that your life is in the hands of He who is greater than any  tornado. That is why Jesus could sleep despite the  tempest that was ravaging the boat.
Trust in God is  centred on love. Not our love for Him, but His love for us. If He could love you so much as to protect you by giving up His Son, surely He can’t allow a storm to destroy you.

Perfect Peace Is A Reality

It is very possible to have perfect peace in a storm. No matter how fierce the  blizzard may be, have a stead fast mind. God WILL see you through. A mind and unshakeable trust will anchor your peace.
I learnt a lot from that conversation that day. I  learnt to have perfect peace in the midst of storms. It is my prayer that you too will find the peace many of us have found in Jesus. That peace is real. You too can enjoy it.

Father in Heaven, thank you for the peace that you have made available to me through Jesus. Help me to have a steadfast mind. Help me to have unshakeable trust in you.
In Jesus Name I pray.


Kato Nkhoma is a seasoned teacher of the word with exceptional biblical insight. He has been pastoring full-time for over a decade and is a husband to one wife, Alakanani, and father to two wonderful children.

Kato is currently serving as a missionary in the northern part of Botswana. He has authored 2 books on Amazon and also dabbles in freelance writing.

Little Leaks Can Become Big Problems

About a month ago I had to do a job on my house that was no fun.

I had to re-shingle my roof. And when I say I had to do it, it means that I was the one who physically re-shingled the roof. I did not pay someone else to do it for me, though I wish I could have done that.

Inside the house we had several locations that were leaking some in the ceiling. One spot was so bad that if it rained very much at all, there was a steady stream of water dropping down. This had been occurring for nearly a year. Some of the 'small' leaks had been occurring for over a year, and for the most part were just ignored. My wife and I talked with several companies that does roofing and each cost way more than we could even think about paying any time soon. The cost of doing it myself was about one-fourth of the cost of the lowest charging company. Definitely worth doing it myself.

I was a little nervous about doing the job myself.

The roof has several sun lights, bathroom vents, a heater vent, fireplace vent, and attic vents. That is a lot of things to work around, even though the roof is not steep at all and easy to work on.
Along with that, I have done re-shingling only two or three times in the past and those times were under the supervision of someone who was experienced, and the most recent time was about 15 years ago.
After praying a lot about it, I felt that I needed to do it myself and trust God to guide my hands in the job. Looking at the job, it originally looked like a two-day job. In the end it took two days of sunup to sundown work, plus several six to eight-hour days of work to complete the job.
I was blessed one day with about fifteen college students being there to help out. Each day I had several of my own boys and one of my girls helping out. I also had a few days of some of their friends helping out.

As we began to pull up the shingles, which should not have been difficult, we started to have problems.

The shingles were stapled down, so much harder to pull up, and then we had to go through and pull all of the staples up. A very slow painful process.
Underneath of the shingles that were pulled up, we started to have to remove may different pieces of the decking that were rotted out, several of which a worker stepped on and it broke.
With a lot of back-breaking work, the job was finished. The roof is now re-shingled and is in good repair. There are no more leaks, and we have had some very severe rains to prove that.
Now why do I tell you all of this story? What is the purpose of this posting?
Glad you asked!

Looking back over time that we have lived in this house, we have seen signs of leaks for several years. There were little wet spots in several locations whenever it rained extremely hard. Since it did not leak every time it rained, or at least did not appear to leak, the leak was ignored. I did take note of it, and knew it would be a problem some day, but did not do anything about it, just left it.

One thing to note was just because I did not see the sign of leaks when it was a light rain, did not mean it was not leaking.

It was just that the attic area was not wet enough to let it seep through to the ceiling and be shown. The attic area was still getting wet and causing damage.
The damage being done was slow, but steady. Little by little the decking was being rotted away until it would fall apart and be worthless.
How does this apply to life?
Again, glad you asked!

If I would have taken time to find the leak on the roof and make the minor repairs, the major repairing of the entire roof may not have been needed.

It was in ignoring the small problems that the major problem came up. In life, there can be small problems that creep into our lives. Little things that come up and begin to create damage in our lives. Paul tells us to not give the devil a foothold. Although this is talking about holding onto anger, it can be in many other areas in our lives.
Allowing yourself to have a little taste of sinful pleasure can lead to a greater following of that sin. Each time you tell a lie, it becomes easier to tell another one. Each time you look at something you should not look at it, it becomes easier to look at it again. Each time you say something you should not, it becomes easier to say it again.

All of these things may not look that bad in the moment of here and now, but they will cause problems later in life.

Letting little sins in your life, will make room for larger, more open sinning. In the end it will pull you away from God further and further. There can come a point when you will no longer hear from God. When that happens, you begin to no longer live for God. The 'little' problem has become a major problem. As in the case of my roof, the small leak eventually caused major damage.
Starting today, be willing to throw off the sin that can entangle you. Embrace Jesus and His ways of living. If there is any 'small' leak in your life of sin, get it taken care of immediately. Do not allow it to build up in your life and cause major destruction and destroy you.
Jesus is here today to forgive you of your sins. The Holy Spirit is here today to guide you and give you strength to turn away from all sin. They will make the needed minor repairs now if you let them.

Submitted by: Tom Arn

Tom is happily married to his wife for nearly 25 years and has been blessed with eight wonderful children. He has been writing a daily devotional blog that goes systematically through the entire Bible for several years. His desire is for you to know Jesus and His Word more.

Faith, Love & Celibacy

We all want that special person, the person God has made just for us!

We also want to be prosperous and live our best lives being successful in every area! We want it all! In order to have all we desire in life we must live in a way that leads us to all God has for us.

Everyone’s life is different, we walk different paths to get to where we are supposed to be in our journeys. We learn lessons, we gain wisdom, we figure out what we truly want out of life, well most of us. There may be some people in the midst of figuring things out, where they are supposed to be, what they want to do and in what direction their life is headed. God is there is to lead and guide us along the way even when we choose a path that may not be good for us. When we look to Him He helps us to make good choices leading us to the life He designed just for us! When looking to God for guidance we must first have Faith!

Faith comes from God, this is not something we have to come up with ourselves.

God gives us Faith to help us believe what we cannot see. My faith started off very small, I had plans, things I wanted to do and most of the time I believed I could. Along the way a lot of my plans were not working out the way I planned so I made new plans. All along I was doing what I wanted and including God in some parts but not fully. Because of my plans I made a lot of mistakes, hooked up with some people who I probably shouldn’t have been hanging out with and learned some lessons the hard way. But even after all of that I had Faith that life had to be better, I knew there was more to life than what I had experienced. At this point I looked to God to include Him fully in every area of my life and not just some parts! I figured out after being hurt many times by so called friends, boyfriends and even family that I wanted to live the life God talked about in the Bible. The life He said He has already given us!

Seeming that I was at a turning point, holding on to past hurts and experiences God first taught me how to forgive. I am not just talking about saying “Sorry” or accepting someone’s apoli-lie! I mean really forgiving someone just like God forgives us! He wipes the slate clean, let’s go of the wrong we have done once we come to Him asking for forgiveness. This was a hard one for me, I am a strong believer in Karma and although I am not revengeful I couldn’t wait for those whom I felt had wronged me to “Get Theirs!” God showed me that forgiveness was not for the people who hurt me or treated me unfairly, it was for me! I was the one holding on to hurt and bad experiences. In order to live out the better life I had in mind, the life God designed just for me I had to forgive and let go!

Although I had learned to forgive, I closed myself off to people and my heart was hardened. God knew in order to live life His Way, Not My Way, His Way, I needed an open heart!

This is when God showed me what true Love is! The God kind of love is unlike any other Love I have ever thought I experienced in my life! It is everything you would look to a significant other for, a family member for or a friend for but end up disappointed time and time again. God’s love is enormous and unending! I now look at God’s love as a very special gift! God showed me before I experienced His love I never really knew what Love was and is! I am still overwhelmed when I think of how much God Loves me! He has proven His Love for me over and over again! Because of the Love God has shown me my heart changed and I now am able to receive things from Him that someone with a hardened heart would not be able to!  Love is an action and God taught me that!

Being guided by God through this transition I remember what it is was like to live my way and the difference of the life God was showing me He had for me! I remembered, starting in middle school when I was criticized for my looks and how that had somehow carried into my adulthood. I would be easily offended if someone said something about my size, my dark skin or worst of all the label “The Big Girl Who Can Dance” UGGGGHH!! I may not have said anything at the moment because at this point I was trying to change my flesh along with how God changed my heart but those things upset me.  God showed me my true self! Who I really am! Beautiful, Confident, Bold, Smart & Talented! If anyone said something different than what God said then I knew they were liars! Now I get compliments on the very things I was criticized for! I have even had encounters with jealousy because others wanted to look the same as I do! Who Knew!?! With this change in my heart, my characteristics and my life as a whole came self Love! I got to know the woman God created me to be and boy do I love her!!!

Once I got to know and really Love myself I begin to realize my worth and how much I had short changed myself over the years.

Dating & Relationships, I was always in one or doing the other but I would always end up alone. So after I had been hurt for the last time by someone who claimed they loved me, I decided to be Celibate! Woooooh Chill, Chill, that’s not a curse word, lol, maybe foreign but if you don’t know what that is Google it. I decided me giving my body to someone that I would not wind up with in the end was pointless. I was tired of getting hurt and being lied to just so someone else could get what they wanted! What about me? I want things too! I want a husband, my life partner, the man God made just for me! And in order to get to Him I have to be ready in all areas of my life! I have to be myself, knowing who I am and what Love really is! I cannot be caught up with another man  who is not my husband just to pass time and then as a result miss my husband! It has now been 5 years, yup that’s right 5 years and I must say I am on the right track! I do not regret for one second getting in partnership with God. He has and continues to increase my life in ways that I never imagined! He has and continues to protect my heart, so I do not fear being hurt! He has put me right where I am supposed to be at this appointed time! The people who are in my life are there for a reason!

No matter what the normal thing to do is, remember there is always something better! If it is within God’s plan then it is possible! Everything I have and am working for are coming to past! My hard times are minuscule and my success is great! God knows what He is doing! I trust Him to continue to help me along this wonderful journey! Stay Tuned! This is only the beginning!


Submitted by: Jessica Blount

31 years old single woman of God,Originally from Louisiana now located in Texas began blogging in 2014. Sharing my spiritual journey and life experiences, hoping to encourage others and help them see what living for God is! Promoting positivity and doing my best to be a good example in the earth! :)

It's Going to Be OK

If I could tell you just one thing and have you really believe me, it would be this: “It’s going to be OK.”


Imagine what that would mean for your fears, your busyness, your perfectionism, your grief, your depression, and your anger. Imagine what it would mean in your daily life if you knew at the center of your being, in your very bones, that no matter what happened or what circumstances appeared to indicate, that things would really, truly be all right.

We know that kind of comfort sometimes as little children.

The first shock of our own red blood issuing from a brand new hole can be tamed by a parent’s calm reassurance that it’s going to be OK. Mom can mend the rip in your favorite shirt. Jimmy will get over the measles. Dorothy really will get back to Kansas. It’ll be OK. But somewhere before adolescence we learn that it isn’t always so. We learn that if we don’t fix it ourselves, it might not get fixed at all. The “C” stays on your report card. The broken window earns you a spanking. Your parents never do get back together. We learn that we live in a fallen world which can’t always be pounded into submission with a little more elbow grease and imagination. But we keep trying. Hence the fears, the busyness, the perfectionism, the grief, the depression, the anger.

Good news, friends. It’s going to be OK. It really is.

If you believe that God has spoken in the Bible, then you must believe this truth. Whatever has happened, whatever might happen, it all comes right in the end. It doesn’t matter whether you can see the solution for your particular tragedy; there is one, and your Father has it all in hand. A hundred years from now, you will see it, too, and you will laugh at your attempts to fix what God had already promised to redeem. Cry your tears and mop up the blood, but then crawl into your Father’s lap and know His gracious promise: it’s going to be OK. Our God ensures the end from the beginning, and because He does, we can live a life of confident hope. It’s going to be all right. It really is. "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom." (Luke 12:32-33) Encouraging Reading: Romans 8 Psalm 33 Psalm 139: 1-16 Rev. 21:1-5

Submitted by: Louise Holzhauer

Louise Holzhauer, M.A., LMHC, LMFT, is an experienced counselor, wife, mother and cancer survivor whose own story propelled her into counseling later in life. She is a graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary with Master’s degrees in Biblical Studies and Counseling, she is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the State of Florida and is qualified to supervise interns in both fields. She currently works with two churches in the Orlando area and enjoys teaching women’s Bible studies, leading small groups, reading and babysitting her granddaughters. She blogs at, and you can reach her at

True Beauty

All beauty is only reflection.”  I read that today in Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts and it struck me as an incredibly profound but rarely verbalized truth.  Our culture worships beauty – never more so than now.  And whatever we were born lacking, we can purchase on a payment plan.  We can change shape, size, eye color and hair color.  We can dewrinkle, fluff up, pouf out, and pay to look like we kissed the back end of every bee in a hive.

This kind of beauty – the kind that comes from a bottle or a syringe or a surgery – is it true beauty?  What about the beauty of a not-so-perfect looking, exhausted mother, tenderly caring for her special needs child day after day?

What about the beauty of utterly impoverished folk in a Third World country, walking mile after mile with no shoes to gather with other villagers and worship in grateful adoration?

What about the beauty of those who suffer for righteousness, whose stories and tears we will never know this side of Heaven?

These, I propose, are the faces of true beauty.  And if “all beauty is only reflection”, as the moon is but a reflection of the glory of the sun, then of WHAT is it a reflection?  Or perhaps, of whom?

I believe the answer lies in a seemingly paradoxical ancient writing by the prophet Isaiah.  He writes prophetically of the coming Christ, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.” (Is. 53:2)

Isaiah had not yet seen this God Man who, pierced and beaten, staggered under the weight of the sins of the whole world.  Under the weight of MY sin.  He hadn’t seen the weary trudging of dusty miles, the nights of no roof overhead, the aching loneliness.  He wasn’t there when this Man of no physical beauty gave life and dignity back to the woman with the issue of blood.  He didn’t get to watch as, with love in His eyes, He reached out and touched the shunned and miserable leper and made him whole.  Isaiah wasn’t there when the muscled back was laid open by a cat-o’-nine tails, only to then have a crude, heavy wooden cross placed on it.  The bleeding brow, the agony of slow suffocation…here, my friends, is beauty.  He endured that for you.  He endured that for me.  Oh, how beautiful He is!  Had Isaiah been granted just a glimpse, surely he would have asked how we could see anything BUT beauty in this consummate love and self-sacrifice.

Here is the beauty from which all other true beauty radiates.  And no matter what our past or our physical appearance, “We who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory” (2 Cor. 3:18).

So there you have it.  As you reflect the Beautiful One, you are beautiful.  True beauty – beauty of spirit that far outlasts fleeting physical perfection.

Beautiful friend, go do some reflecting today.  The world needs to see you shine.

Written by:  Christine Sakwitz
Christine is the author of The Beautiful Journey blog, women's Bible study writer and teacher, and homeschooling mom of two critter-loving children.  She has been happily married for 23 years and is passionate about equipping and encouraging women to live full, joyful, high-impact lives.

She would love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter (Live_Fully_Now), or via email at

Searching for Significance

Wycliffe Bible Translators has released a new free, 7-day devotional, "Searching for Significance", and it is available to download here!

We’re all searching for something in life. Whether you want to call it significance, purpose, meaning or something else, there is an innate desire in each of us for our life to matter — to have significance and purpose.

We want to explore that desire with you from a biblical perspective and dive into God’s view of your worth. That’s why we created a seven-day devotional, “Searching for Significance.” Each day we’ll explore a different part of God’s perfect plan for your life, and how he ultimately wants you to find purpose and significance through bringing him glory.

Download the devotional here.

Written by: Annie Monson

Wycliffe Bible Translators is the largest scripture translation organization in the world, with a widespread mission network internationally and in the United States. They endeavor to have begun a translation of the Bible into every language by 2025 while fostering Christian community, providing educational material and fellowship resources.

Living Hope

The definition of hope interests me. It isn’t an expectation of something random to happen. It’s not a blind belief. It’s not even about a doubtful this-or-that outcome. Hope is an expectation or belief in the fulfillment of something desired! [1] Hope is looking forward to something we desire and long for, something good and believing that it will happen, despite how the current situation might look like.

What is our hope anyway?

Our hope is in God who will raise us from the dead. Our hope is in the life eternal. (Titus 1:2) Resurrection power might seem ridiculous to the world, it did in Paul’s time and sadly true even now.

6 And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made by God to our fathers. 7 To this promise our twelve tribes, earnestly serving God night and day, hope to attain. For this hope’s sake, King Agrippa, I am accused by the Jews. 8 Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead? Acts 26:6-8

Many people think heaven and hell are just fictional places. Because in order to be there we must be resurrected, just and unjust alike. (Acts 24:15) A judgement awaits us. Maybe they are too scared to face it, that they deny the reality of life after death.

God has a name called “Hope of Israel” (Jeremiah 14:8) and “God of Hope” (Romans 15:13). How wonderful that His children can call Him by the name of Hope. He is our hope.

How did we obtain this hope?

Christian hope is a life knowing God and His faithfulness. Because we too were before “without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” (Ephesians 2:12) If we didn’t know God and what He is capable of doing, how He has been faithful in fulfilling His promises since the beginning, we too would be hopeless. God cannot lie and so His promise of eternal life will also come to fruition. (Titus 1:2; Hebrews 6:18) We obtained our hope when we put our faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That is the key to our hope. Because Christ is our forerunner we look up to Him, filled with hope, that God who raised Him from the dead will fulfill the same promise in our lives.

What does hope look like?

Hope is looking forward to something in the future. So how does it pan out in this earthly life? Hope is worked out in our lives by patience, perseverance and remaining faithful to what we believe. Life is so full of challenges, miseries, trials and heartaches. But we press on, hoping that one day we will go to a place where there is no more tears! When sinful thoughts entice us and cause us to stumble, we look at Hope and we say no to sin. Because this sinful pleasure is temporary, our hope is eternal.

…but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4

Hope is endurance (Rom 15:4), hope is continuing in the faith (Col 1:23), hope is patience (1 Thessalonians 1:3).

Wow, the riches of His grace and the Hope of eternal life blows my mind. And the word of God that brings it all to us, incredible! Let’s remember these three elements as often as we can in a spirit of thankfulness.

Written by: Alice William

I enjoy learning from God’s word, it amazes me, the wisdom and treasures of God and the way He reveals them to me day after day in a profound manner. In this space I share with you what I’ve learnt through my time with the Word. I earnestly believe that learning alone isn’t sufficient but walking in the word is crucial in a believer’s life. As much as I desire to walk in the word, it’s not always easy. My hope is to encourage you, my dear friend, in your walk with God with words that He has used to strengthen my own walk with Him.

Being Grateful

I work as a substitute teacher in a local public school. It is a very rewarding job to work with the students, however, when there is no school I have no job. This creates a great concern to be living without a paycheck and having a large family.

In the past, I have been able to secure short-term temporary jobs for the break time. This last break, however, I was unable to get one for the entire break. My wife and I did a lot of praying about it and were still very concerned, ok, very worried about it. In spite of what we saw, God had a different plan for us.

During the break I did get to work for a couple of days for someone for a little pay that did help a lot, but not enough. It also was hard to not be able to do any big family trip during this time, at least that is what we thought would happen.

On the Wednesday right after Christmas, my oldest daughter (an adult who lives with us), had won a pack of four tickets to a Six Flags park in Arlington, Texas. On Thursday, she was then given a four pack of tickets to the San Antonio Zoo.

Since I have a very large family, eight children, we had chosen to split up to use all the tickets we were given. My daughter brought herself and three other siblings with her to the Six Flags Park on that Friday. While she went north, my wife and I brought the three youngest to the zoo.

Both of these trips were a blessing to everyone that was able to go to the place they went. The older ones did not want to go to a zoo, and the younger would not have been able to do much at the park.

As my wife and I left for the zoo, we planned to be back home about 7pm. It was a three-hour drive to the zoo and we planned to leave the zoo when it closed at four.

The younger children had a great time at the zoo seeing all the different animals.

We left as planned to go home. We expected to be home several hours before my daughter and other children would get home.

As we were driving home, we got to about 30 miles from home, when the traffic came to a dead halt. There had been a major accident up ahead. I had decided to sit and wait for the road to open up, since it would have been about a 40 mile turn around to go a different direction around the accident.

As we sat there waiting, we did not know how long it would take. Time kept passing and nothing seemed to be happening. After about 30 minutes of sitting, we saw a helicopter come in and land. It was a medical emergency helicopter. At that point we knew that whatever happened, it had to have been very bad.

It was getting very frustrating to be sitting there, so close to home and, yet, not be able to get home. In just the time we had been sitting there, we could have been home already. The children were starting to get very hungry and tired of sitting.

While waiting there, we saw several people come running up from behind our vehicle to where the accident was. A few moments later, several men and ladies came back wailing very loudly. They stopped just near our vehicle and were holding each other crying.

My wife's and my heart went out to those people. We did not know what happened, but knew it had to have been bad. (The news the following day, stated that it had been a head on collision of two vehicles, and two others were also hit. One person was killed, and all the rest were hospitalized, several were children. Several were in severe critical condition.)

It was at that point, when we saw the people crying, that we started to be grateful for our own lives and protection. We ended up sitting at that one spot for about 1 1/2 hours. When we did get home, we were home only about 40 minutes or so before my daughter got home.

As difficult as it was to sit there, being very tired and hungry from a long day on the road, it was better than what the other people were going through. Several were in the hospital and one never made it home. Families were destroyed. Loved ones were lost. Lives were changed, and not for what seemed the better.

Instead of complaining about having to sit there, we prayed for those people. We prayed God's touch in their lives. And we gave God praise for taking care of us and allowing us to make it back home safely. If we had been just a few seconds faster on that road, we could have been the ones in that accident.

In our lives, there a times that things will occur that will be a major inconvenience or disruption in our lives. In those times we need to look at how the lives of others are going. We need to be grateful for what God has given us, instead of complaining or worrying about what we cannot have or what we are going through. Things can always be better or they can be worse.

During that Christmas break, I was able to spend a lot of time with my family, since I could not work anywhere else. Along with that, money came in from different sources that totaled up to almost exactly what I would have made at my normal job. God had a plan that was to support us and meet all of our needs. We were blessed in many more ways than having a temporary job would have been.

Give God praise today for what He has blessed you with. Be grateful for what God has given you or spared you from.


Written By: Tom Arn

Tom has been happily married for nearly 25 years and is blessed with eight wonderful children. Over the years he has learned many things from many different experiences with  God. He desires to share some those experiences and things he has learned with you. His prayer is that you may know God more and be more like Jesus everyday. You may see his daily devotional blog at