Encouraging women to live their lives with happiness, unwavering faith, powerful optimism, and cheerful expectancy.
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I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn't receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.
Research from Samaritan’s Purse shows that 64% of Christians
accept Christ before age 18.The
majority accept Christ as a child.Jesus
points out how important children are to Him repeatedly.Children aren’t afraid to ask for what they
want.They do so without any pretense,
and they believe they’re going to get it because they have confidence that
their every need is going to be met.
is giving us a clue in this verse not to let the world destroy our faith.We tend to let rules and religion get in the
way of having faith like a child.When we
allow, fear and worry to take over, that is an act of pride. It’s like saying, “Hey,
God, I got this one.You sit back.”In contrast, God wants us to cast our cares
on Him as an act of humility, understanding that He is in control.It is only as we become adults that we lose
the ability to believe like a child.What happens:
·Do we become too educated to believe the unseen?
·Do we become too sophisticated to embrace the
·Do we become too hardened to love?
·Do we become too scared to hope?
·Do we become too sinful to acknowledge grace?
·Do we become too worldly to accept free gifts?
Let’s look at Mark 5:25-34. Note the faith of this woman and Jesus' response to her.
A woman in the crowd had suffered
for twelve years with constant bleeding.She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she
had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better.In fact, she had gotten worse. She had heard
about Jesus, so she came up behind Him through the crowd and touched His
robe.For she thought to herself,” If I
can just touch the hem of His robe, I will be healed.”Immediately, the bleeding stopped, and she
could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.Jesus realized at one that healing power had
gone out of Him, so He turned around in the crowd and asked ,” Who touched my
robe?”His disciples said to Him, ‘Look
at this crowd pressing around You.How
can you ask, “Who touched me?”But He
kept on looking to see who had done it.Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had
happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of Him and told Him what
she had done.And He said to her,
“Daughter, your faith has made you well.Go in peace.Your suffering is
This woman knew that if she could just touch the hem of His
robe that she would be healed.She had
to be brave enough to fight through the crowd to get near Him, and she had to
be brave enough to speak up when Jesus asked who had touched Him.She did it!She simply believed that He would heal her, so she took that risk, and
what was His response?He wasn’t
bothered or annoyed.He was pleased with
her and told her that she was healed because of her FAITH.She simply believed!
I encourage you to:
the worst thing that can happen if we just trust that God will do what He
says?Children believe what their
fathers tell them.They don’t argue with
him or try to prove him wrong.We should
be the same way with God.He is our
love their parents and praise them without even thinking about it.God deserves our praise in every circumstance
because He knows the end of the story.Believe!
Explore-Remember being unafraid when
you were a child?Kids see new
experiences as adventures.Be brave and take
a new journey with Him.Believe!
Forgive-How many children do you know that hold grudges?Read books, see counselors,
join support groups, cry..whatever it takes to loosen the bondage of a
grudge.Ask God to help you let go of
out your heart’s desire to God.Do it
over and over and over.We let the adult
in us rationalize ourselves out of coming to our Father because we think that
what we want to pray about isn’t as important as so many other prayers going up
for other things such as cancer, or job loss or any other number of
things.The truth is if it matters to
you, it matters to God.He cares about
every little thing that you care about.Don’t
let someone tell you that what you’re praying about isn’t important and it will
just all work out.He cares!Believe!
Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for.Keep on seeking, and you will find.Keep on knocking and the door will be opened
to you.For everyone who asks,
receives.Everyone who seeks,
finds.And to everyone who knocks, the
door will be opened.
Psalm 116:6- The
Lord protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death and He saved me.
Mark 9:23- “What do
you mean, ‘If I can’?”, Jesus asked.“Anything
is possible if a person believes.”
Contributors: Karen Bromby, Kathy Derda, Kim McClure and Kristy Tolley
It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.
Can you imagine this
world without love? This verse is in a passage that is read at many
weddings.This kind of love is not only
helpful for marriages, but in every relationship.The
Greek word for this kind of love indicates a selfless concern for the welfare
of others, not because they are easy to love, but because we are called to love
people out of obedience to God no matter how unlovable and selfish they may be.
Selfish people are
rude, they demand their own way, they are irritable, and they don’t forgive
easily, because their world is centered on themselves.
·Have you ever been busy doing something and
someone interrupts you?I have, and my
response has been rude. I have cut that person short or said something hurtful
just because I want to get back to what is important to me at that time.
·Do you have someone in your life that chooses to
do things their own way even though it doesn’t match up with the way you would
do them?I do.Even though, I’m sure my way is best, and I
can’t understand why anyone doesn’t want to do it the way I do, I can’t demand
things to be done my way all the time in a healthy relationship.
·Do you have someone in your life that doesn’t
live up to your expectations?I do, and
it makes me irritable.I have also been
the person in someone’s life that doesn’t live up to expectations. I know the pain
that causes. I need to remember that perfection only exists in God.I can’t be perfect, nor can anybody else.
·Have you ever been betrayed or hurt by someone
you trusted?I have, and it’s hard to
forget about.Harsh words are going to
be said in any relationship.God wants
us to forgive any words or actions done against us, and move on leaving the
past in the past.
I don’t think of myself as a selfish person, but if I
measure myself against this verse, I seem to fit the characteristics at one
time or another in my life.While I
might find it hard to love someone who exhibits these traits to me, I am called
to love like God does and He loves me unconditionally… even when I am being a
I need to get over myself sometimes, do you? The world wants
love to feel good, and if that means sacrificing morals or the feelings of
other people, then so be it.That’s not
how God wants us to love.We have to be
selfless.Love is not only a feeling,
but it is a choice.I need to choose to:
·Treat others with kindness, even when they’re
rude to me.
·Compromise with people, and refuse to pout
during the process.
·Stop nagging when people don’t do things the way
I want them to.
·Stop bringing up past mistakes
Today, I am going to praise God that He loves me no matter
how unlovable I am, and ask Him to help me love others the way He loves me. That’s
a tall order, because I am human, self-centered and weak, but I’m going to
try…really I am.
Passages to Ponder:
I John 4:12 No one has ever seen God.But if we love each other, God lives in us,
and His love is brought to full expression in us.
Philippians 2:3-4 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress
others.Be humble, thinking of others as
better than yourselves.Don’t look out
only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.
James 3:15- For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind
of wisdom.Such things are earthly,
unspiritual, and demonic.
Bromby, Kathy Derda, and Kim McClure
James 1:26- If you
claim to be religious, but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself,
and your religion is worthless.
Babies come into this world totally innocent.Parents get excited when the first milestones
are reached, and a big deal is made when a baby says their first word.Then before you know it we are saying “If you
can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” to them.Where did these innocent babies and kids
hear the “not nice” words they are using? It could be the tv, but most likely
it’s from us.Words are powerful.They can build people up or tear them down,
and we can turn people on to God with our words, or completely turn them off.
Have you ever seen the look on someone’s face when your
words hurt their feelings?Even in the
closest relationships where we encourage and pour positivity into people, one
statement that is hurtful can tear down the good things that have been built
up.We lose our patience with ones we
love due to their behavior and our expectations, then words are said that can’t
be taken back. We might find ourselves saying, “Did I just say that out loud?
Yikes!”.It’s important to make sure
that we take the time to be humble and apologize when we see that we’ve hurt
someone that we love.
Gossip is worthless. Gossiping means sharing information with the
intent to harm or embarrass someone.The
line between sharing information out of concern, and sharing it out of gossip
is a fine one, and sometimes it is easily crossed. God gave us all free will and the ability to
judge what we should or shouldn’t be a part of. This measure of judgment can be
nothing but the Word of God.The tricky
part is listening to the Spirit when He is trying to tell us “Ssshhh!!”.Self-control is a fruit of the spirit.Our amount of self-control is a way we can
measure our growth in Christ.By
exercising self-control, we proclaim who we belong to.
Beth Moore said, “The key to self-control is the refusal to
allow our enemies (the flesh, the world, or Satan) to rule or hold us captive
in any way.Christ has given us victory
over our flesh, our world, and our accuser.They cannot presume authority over us.”Whatever is in your heart flows from your mouth.Just like a lion pursues its prey, we must
pursue godly speech.It doesn’t just
happen.How can you live this victory?
·Feed your spirit with the word of God
oRead your Bible. When Satan tempted Christ in
the desert, Christ resisted by using the Scriptures.
oParticipate in a Bible study
oDiscuss your thoughts with people who share your
·Pray as we move about in your day
isn’t a formal ritual, it is a conversation between you and God. He is ALWAYS
listening, and available.
like to grow in this area, go to the page on the blog titled A Praying Life book study, click on the eventbrite link and
join us as we learn and grow together.
oThink before you speak.
to help you capture any words that may be harmful and keep them in.This takes practice and self-control.
Guess what? We are still going to fail.We are human.The beautiful thing is that Christ experienced every temptation that we
have, and He is able to sympathize with us.God loves me! God loves you!He
knows we won’t be perfect, He knows what I said that was hurtful and worthless..and
He still loves me.Focus on His words of
love and His perfect and unending grace for messed up people like me (and you
too).He can lift the weight of our
words from our shoulders and let us start over through His forgiveness and
Passages to Ponder:
Romans 7:18-19 “For I know that good itself does not dwell
in me, that is, in my sinful nature.For
I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.For I do not do the good I want to do, but
the evil I do not want to do- this I keep on doing.
Psalm 19:14- May these words of my mouth and this meditation
of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer
Luke 6:45- A good person produces good things from the
treasure of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the
treasury of an evil heart.What you say
flows from what is in your heart.
Contributors: Karen Bromby, Jodi Dunbar, Jamie Leary, Kim
McClure, Marla McDonald and Kristy Tolley
Isaiah 41:10 “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I
will strengthen you and help you.I will
hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
Life is full of obstacles.We can be happily strolling down the road of normalcy, when all of a
sudden a hurdle appears.What are you
going to do? Gather strength and jump over it, or just sit there and hope it
will disappear? We don’t know what the future holds for any of us, and what we
consider normal can change in the blink of an eye.God wants us to come to Him instead of being
scared and discouraged.We can only see
that hurdle from our viewpoint.God sees
the whole thing from every angle, and from beginning to end.Understanding the heart of who God is will
make relinquishing control to Him much easier.Giving it up to Him will require faith.
God will allow those hurdles to be put in our paths because
just as our bodies need exercise to remain strong, so does our faith.We have to use it to make it grow
stronger.It’s only in the most
difficult times that we are challenged to put our faith into action.He is able! He is good! He will hold you up!
Read these testimonies about dealing with a chronic illness, unexpected changes,
and trusting as a parent to help build your faith.
Dealing with a Chronic Illness
unpredictable illness, since 2008, has truly tested my faith and continues to
do so.There are days (and weeks) that I
could drop into the abyss of discouragement and never again rise up.Things like:
family on our annual beach trip without me
home instead of attending a 50th birthday celebration
our small group Bible study disintegrate partially due to my unreliability
yet again, on friends for dinner
church for the 7th week in a row
down incredible jobs one after the other
another procedure/test prove nothing
the 8th doctor say, “I’m afraid there’s nothing we can do for you.”
even begin to cover it.I could easily
slip into the fear that I will be like this for the rest of my life…BUT God
hold me up with His victorious right hand! He strengthens me and helps me every
single day.Through His presence, His
word, and His people, He lifts me up and gives me faith that this isn’t the end
of my story.He is my portion and He
sustains me.I fear not!- Karen
I have pleaded with
the Lord to take me home or take away the relentless pain.I have felt like a drain and a burden on my
family even though they have done nothing but love me unconditionally.It is limiting in so many ways.It requires using a pencil, not a pen, when
writing in your planner. It changes your perspective.He is never surprised- He goes before me!
Even though I am limited, I have a Father who is limitless.- Jodi
Rich and I had been
married for five years when he felt he should go to Law School.He already had a Masters Degree and was
working full time.In order for us to do
this, we would have to pick up our life and move to Morgantown, WV.We had two small boys (aged 4 and 1), and I was
about to finish my teaching degree.I
was not happy about it.When the notice
came that he hadn’t gotten accepted within the first round of applications, I
was thrilled on the inside.I kept
thinking, “God, why would you move us into the unknown when we are finally
getting settled into our lives.”Weeks
passed, and a letter came in the mail.I
can still remember where I was standing, and where he was sitting when he
stared at the letter from the Law School.Before he opened it, I looked at him and said, “We are moving to
Morgantown.”He opened it and asked how
I knew.I told him that God had given me
peace and the faith to know that everything would be okay.He will provide the food, shelter, jobs, and
anything we need.Rich moved within two
weeks, the boys and I followed within the month.Doors opened there for great ministry
opportunities for both of us and I never looked back- Tammy
Trusting as a Parent
I have always been
gently reminded by my mother that I was the least likely one of her five
children to be a parent due to my “self-interest”, but I pleasantly and surprisingly
got over myself and have raised three children and helped with two
nephews.The struggles of parenthood are
real.God gave me an extra challenge
when he blessed me with my second son, who has Asperger’s Syndrome.His future has always been unknown, but it
has been placed in God’s hands.I am
ecstatic to say that he will be returning to WVU this month for his senior
year.Hooray!That accomplishment is monumental in my eyes.-
Whether you are struggling with chronic illness, unexpected
changes, problems in your family, infertility, job loss, or another hurdle in
your life, know that He is victorious!The same power that is in Christ is in us.We just don’t always use it or believe it.The Bible doesn’t say to live by writing out
pros and cons, it says to live by faith.Think how different life would be if you had the faith of a mustard
seed. Jesus said that’s enough to move a mountain if we believe it!That tiny mustard seed is the smallest of
herbs, but it can grow up to 20 feet tall however, we won’t see the fruit of
that mustard seed and see how far it can grow unless we sow it.I would really like to move mountains,
wouldn’t you?The first step might be
trusting Him to help get you over that hurdle in your life. Jump! He will hold
you up. Believe it!
Passages to Ponder:
Lamentations 3:22-24 The faithful love of the Lord never
ends!His mercies never cease.Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin
afresh each morning.I say to myself,
“The Lord is my inheritance; therefore I will hope in Him.”
Matthew 6:34- So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow
will bring its own worries.Today’s
trouble is enough for today.
Matthew 17:20 You don’t have enough faith, Jesus told
them.I tell you the truth, if you had
faith as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain. ‘Move from
here to there’, and it would move.Nothing would be impossible.”
Contributors: Karen Bromby, Monica Brown, Kathy Derda, Jodi Dunbar, Tammy Holtzapfel, Jamie Leary, Kim McClure, Sherri Payne and Kristy Tolley