God redeems. What a simple statement that is full of such amazing truths! We’re kicking off our “Wednesdays in the Word” series with the book of Hosea. If you’ve ever wondered about God’s faithfulness, His unending love, or His continued … Continue reading
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:12 Many times we … Continue reading
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 When I started … Continue reading
Sometimes, when I am going through a particularly rough time, I find myself less and less committed to spiritual disciplines. My quiet times diminish, my prayer life becomes rushed and shallow, and I fill free time with mindless distractions, instead … Continue reading
How many times have you told someone your story? Sharing mine is a relatively new thing for me to do, considering I was 20 years old before I discovered the freedom and the joy it brings. When I left for … Continue reading
Do you ever go through seasons of life that you think of death more often than others? I feel that I am going through those seasons more and more as I pass the “Alert” signs on 65 N/S that continue to update us on how many people have had fatal car accidents in TN this year. I pass by that sign at least 6 times a week. I can hardly drive by it without reading the sign, being in awe of how much the numbers have changed, and then thinking of how many lives were changed because of those deaths. Today marked 617 deaths… lets put that in perspective… let’s say that each death impacted only 10 people, I say “only” because that is a very low realistic number… it is probably more in the hundreds, but for example sake we will say 10. That means in the past 8 months in Tennessee alone over 6,100 people have been affected by a fatal car accident… not to mention all of the other hundreds of ways people can die. I don’t know about you, but this makes me immediately think of my own countdown.
After dwelling on this thought this afternoon I was cooking this evening and the song, “Live Like That,” by Sidewalk Prophets came on.
Sometimes I think
What will people say of me
When I’m only just a memory
When I’m home where my soul belongs
Did you know there are at least two documented cases (Baxter, Explore the Book) of men swallowed by sharks or whales who lived to tell about it? That and Jesus’ words in Matthew 12:39-40 prove to us that the story of Jonah is more than a fairy tale! What can leaders learn from his life and experience?
Jonah’s life was interrupted by God’s assignment to him to tell the city of Nineveh to repent. When we read the book of Jonah we see what happens to a man whose life was interrupted. What would yours be? Do you like interruptions? I don’t. But that means I am not open to divine intervention.
Three things we learn:
1. God didn’t need Jonah any more than he needs us to do His work. But we GET to do it. Continue reading
Called to GO! I’ll never forget meeting Emily Routh for the first time in our hotel room in Ft. Lauderdale in route to Haiti. It was in the middle of the night. I took separate flights from the team due to jumping on board this trip two weeks before departure. What an adventure we were in for during the next week. God called me a year earlier to Haiti and I had resisted. Had I been resisting to GO for Him? My sweet husband and son had been out of the country some ten times to build churches in rural parts of Brazil. Wasn’t that enough? And then on their most recent trip God worked it out so our daughter could go. Did I really need to go? Was I too closed-minded to hear His calling?
Finally in July of 2010 God knocked loudly on my heart. He had paved the way because when I called the church there was room for another person on the next trip to Haiti-and it was me! I didn’t even ask or care who was going on the trip. God said to GO! God had predestined for Em and I to meet and share a room together. Like me, she was going without anyone from her family and had been praying for someone to join the trip that she could room with and experience this journey. Emily’s husband, Jackson, had been earlier in the year to Haiti. Now it was Em’s turn. So I show up and bam-we hit it off! Em told me later that when I got up to flat iron my hair at 4:00 AM she knew we were going to get along just fine. (By the way, don’t take a flat iron to Haiti!) In fact, leave all of that girly stuff behind. I promise you won’t miss it!
From the time we met until the time we departed, it was as if we’d known each other forever. There are so many stories from our trip, but the most important one is how God unified our hearts for the Haitian people, and especially the little ones in the orphanage. Em and I wanted to bring all of them home with us. After the trip to Haiti, God worked it out for us to be in small group together. That’s when we learned that Em and Jackson were being led to adopt. My husband, David, and I were now getting to watch this unfold and unite in prayer with our small group for them as the weeks became months and the months turned into over a year. Continue reading
When you became a believer, did you think it would be easy? I am not sure I thought it would be easy, but I sure didn’t think it would be as hard as it’s been! I mean, we’re following Christ…why would that be anything but blessed all the time? Truly, the Christian journey has been more blessed than I dreamed it would be, but also more difficult than I ever thought.
If you scan the book of Joshua, you see so many incredible principles. Let’s look at three of them!
- Following Christ Takes Courage: Take a quick look at chapter one. You see several times God tells Joshua to “be courageous and strong.” Why does he tell him that? Must have been something scary going on…a difficult task. (You even see these words from Moses to Joshua if you back up one book and read Deuteronomy 31:6-7.)
Moses was commissioning Joshua to go take the Promised Land. He and the Israelites would finally face the giants who scared them off forty years before. This time they would make it; but it wouldn’t be easy. Don’t you imagine those under Joshua’s leadership were saying, “You want us to do what? Pack up and move in 3 days? How? There’s a big river and big giants over there.” But, the command was to go, and go they did. What “giants” are you facing right now? Be courageous as you walk in faith to conquer each one in HIS power.
- Following Christ Takes Obedience: It’s hard to be obedient in difficult assignments unless we have courage. In Chapter 1:16-17, the Israelites said they would do all that Joshua had commanded them to do. They repeat again the words, “be strong and courageous.” Maybe they are learning! In Chapter three they reach that first main obstacle, the Jordan River, in flood stage no less! Ok, how are we going to do this one, Joshua? God instructs the priests to go in front and step into the water. What happens when they do? (hint: Joshua 3:15-16) God provided as they obeyed, not BEFORE the priests put their toes in the water but AS they did. What river is God asking you to put your foot in? Trust Him to part the waters as you walk in obedience to whatever He has already told you. I love the comment T. W. Hunt makes in his study, From Heaven’s View, “When God gives us a command, we don’t need to understand His directive, we need to understand His authority!” Go ahead, put your foot in that river and watch God part the waters!
- Following Christ Takes Remembrance: In Chapter 4:1-7 we see what the people do after they all cross the Jordan safely. They build a memorial so that all who saw it would ask what it means. The people, and subsequent generations, would recount the story of God’s faithfulness and provision. They would remember from now on the wonderful works of the Lord. As women who love Christ, we must tell the stories of God’s faithfulness in our lives, through the good and bad times. How else will others see through us how God uses all things for our good and His glory? (Rom. 8:28) Lay down those memorial stones so that future generations will also know and follow Christ.
Learn from Joshua about courage, obedience and remembrance. Then tell others about it!
Senior Lead Women’s Ministry Specialist
LifeWay Christian Resources
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
~Micah 6:8 NIV
It happens fast.
He says, “Go” and I do. A crazy love for Haiti wrecks me and it leaves me with no words to describe it. I just know I have to go back again and again and again.
He reorders my professional life. He gifts me with a whole new world and a learning curve steeper than I’ve ever climbed.
He adjusts the timeline in my heart and keeps my kids in Korea an extra-unplanned year.
He gathers the whole family under one roof. He causes the balance to radically shift and with it the size of our hearts. A newborn baby changes everything.
He opens a door we didn’t know existed. He invites my husband and me to enter into a possibility we never imagined for our lives. We say, “Yes.”
You can’t grasp humility until you’ve been humbled. The push and pull between resistance and surrender are ever present.
Choices wait to be made in every moment. Each decision either brings you one step closer in your walk with God or sends you down a road filled with painful obstacles and messy detours.
There are two things I know to be true: