Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I read about 50 women...you should read it too!

I remember when I first met Michelle DeRusha online. I stumbled upon her blog and she had been to the back waters (might be called something else, I don't know) of Minnesota and I was reading about her adventures. Let's see...she drives until the road ends, gets in a canoe and starts to paddle and finally stops at a place to spend the night....in a tent. I read her blog for a few days or weeks before I commented. I told her I thought she was really brave. She said, "it was just a couple of nights." Sounded like eternity to me.

Michelle, Deidra & Me - Allume 2011
Fast forward a few months and I got to meet Michelle in person at the Allume Conference (then Relevant) in October of 2011. She was warm and engaging and she was a real writer. And she was the first person to call ME a writer.

I saw her in person again at the Jumping Tandem Retreat in April of 2013, then again this summer I had breakfast with her & Deidra Riggs when John and I were passing through their town.

Deidra, Me (& Leroy), Michelle

Friends, let me tell you...Michelle DeRusha IS brave. And I don't just mean canoeing and camping in the upper Midwest! She is brave enough to write when she is afraid. And that bravery has lead her to her newest book, which releases today.

I found this book to be both interesting and surprising. I wasn't sure how one would write about this topic without writing a biography of each woman. But this book is not a biography of these women, it is a story of their faith journey, written in an engaging manner, sharing their story.  Sharing their thoughts and ideas. At times I would think, "I've felt that way." Michelle does a fantastic job of capturing some essence of the woman in the first paragraph of each chapter that made me want to continue reading about every one of them. 

I cannot imagine the hours and hours of research Michelle had to do to birth this book. But I am so glad that she stuck to the task and did not quit! This book should be read by every Christian...man or woman. It made me appreciate my faith and the path traveled by the Christian women before me. 

They were strong.

They were courageous.

They battled disease, loss of family and doubt.

They came out on the other side a stronger person. And I can learn a lot from all of them.

Michelle is giving away a personalize copy of the book on her blog today to celebrate.
Hop on over there and check it out.

By the way, I loved her memoir Spiritual Misfit too! 

I was on the launch team for this book and received a free copy.
All thoughts and ideas are my own.

  This post may contain affiliate links. You do not pay more for the item if you purchase through my link, but I will get a small commission.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Seeing the Savior...

You probably know the story about Jesus walking on the water and Peter walking on the water too.

Jesus had fed the 5000 with a few loaves and some fish.  Then Jesus sent the disciples across the lake and Jesus went off by himself.  A storm came up and I assume the boat was being tossed around and I envision waves crashing over the sides.  (Matthew 14:22-23)

The disciples saw Jesus walking on the water, thought he was a ghost and were frightened.  Jesus tells them not to be afraid. Then Peter says, 

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

The Lord said, "come" and Peter started walking.

All was fine until Peter saw the waves.

All was fine until Peter saw the effect of the wind.

Peter saw the storm, but failed to see the Savior. 

It is no different in my own life.  The storms of life will come.  How I respond to them is a direct reflection of my faith.

Is my God any different that Peter's? I say NO! 
I serve the SAME God as Peter. When He says Come, 
I need to go. With my eyes on HIM!

Faith is kind of like walking on water.  As long as I keep my eyes on the Savior and not on the storms of life, then I am going to be OK.  It is when I start looking around at other things, other people, at my own feet, that I get into trouble. 

Whatever you are facing today...
see the Savior, not the storm. 

Lord, I am praying for the readers of this blog post. The readers that are in the midst of the storm and can't see you or the shore. Meet them where they are and comfort them in whatever way they need.  I have friends that are going through difficult times, Lord, you know their needs and their issues. Please let them feel the loving arms of your embrace. Please let them know that you are near and have things under control, even if it doesn't look like it to our human eyes. Lord, thank you for the answers to prayers I've prayed lately, especially for my friend that is cancer free.   

Can I pray for you today?  
Please leave your prayer requests in the comments.

  This post may contain affiliate links. You do not pay more for the item if you purchase through my link, but I will get a small commission.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

When the road is long and dark...

Be still and know that I am God.

I love the being at the ocean. I love the sound of the crashing waves.

I love the sunrise.
There isn't anything that I don't like about being at the ocean. I see God's hand everywhere, everyday in my life...but it is evident on a grand scale at the ocean.  

The vastness of the sea is breath taking, especially on a crystal clear day when there is a distinct horizon line between water and sky.

But often the days are not crystal clear.  We cannot see a distinct horizon line.  On those days, it doesn't mean that the horizon isn't there, it just means that we cannot clearly see it.

If these days it seems that you can't see the horizon line, hold fast to His hand.  He is still there.

If these days it seems that you can't find his hand, reach for it.  He will take your hand in his.

If these days it seems that there is no way out of the mess in which you find yourself, don't give up.  He is there.

I often see and hear Jeremiah 29:11 quoted "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

But read verse 10, "This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.

Where the trials are over, he promises to bring them back.  We might have to endure our trials before the plans to prosper come to fruition.

Then verses 12 and 13 "Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

For the days when it seems like there is no answer...Jesus is the answer.

For when the days are long and the night longer and dark...Jesus is the light.

For when it seems like the rope will not hold and we are losing our grip...Jesus comes to hold us up.

For the days when we just. cannot. do. it. ANYMORE...we don't have too.  Jesus will.

Friend, I don't know your struggle, but I prayed for you today.  I prayed for everyone that will read this blog post once I push publish. I don't have the answers to your problems...but Jesus does. No matter how dark your days, how long your nights, how low your bank account, what medical test you are having, what job you are losing or can't get...Jesus has the answer.  I pray you find peace and comfort in His loving arms. 

I would love to pray for you...if you have a specific prayer request, please leave it in the comments.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

When it feels like your enough is not good enough...

verse taken from here, NOT an affiliate link

While these are not my original words, they reflect something that I need to think about.  My guess is you may need to think about them too.

It is easy for me to think that my gift is not good enough.

It is not big enough.

It is not bold enough.

I don't have the right clothes, the right house, the right shoes or drive the right car.

I am just a total wreck all the time.

But I. AM. NOT.

I repeat:  I. AM. NOT. A. WRECK. 

All I need to do is take what I have, right now, at this stage of my life and give it to Him.

He can sift through the junk and find the gem.

He made me to be ME.  Uniquely ME.

Not another me, not a different me...just my ME...the me He created me to be.

Jesus, help me remember that you are what really matters.  That everything I do in this life should be a reflection of your love for me.  You know my heart, Lord.  You know the things that are troubling me.  I let go of those things, Lord.  Today...I give it to you to uncover the gem and show me what I need to know and to do.

If you are caught in this same trap, let it go.  
Give it to Him to sift through and find the perfect gem.

Can you do that?


Monday, August 25, 2014

When I don't live up to the "standard"

Whose standard anyway?  Who is writing the script that I am following?

When I started this post, this was not the picture I was looking for in my file.  But, when I saw it and the quote I had inserted, I decided it was JUST what I needed.

God's love for me is not dependent 
upon my performance as a believer.

When did I write that?  I don't know, but I needed to be reminded of it today.

You see, I am a people pleaser.  I am performance based. 

I do "A" and you will like me and God will too.

I do "B" and you may NOT like me and God might not either.

I do "C" and I KNOW you won't like me and I'm pretty sure he won't either.

Since when? Where did I get THAT script?

I have found out that life doesn't work that way. I don't get to write the plan. I don't get to choose A, B or C. He does the directing, the only choice I make is to follow or not to follow.

Not following doesn't usually work out so well.  Oh, it might seem to work for a while, but not doing His will does not work for the long haul.

Today, I am embracing the truth that my performance 
as an individual has nothing to do 
with whether God loves me or not.

I'll do my best to live the life He has designed, but when I fail and fall short of that goal - and I WILL fall short of that goal, because I am human - I will remember that He loves anyway.

No matter what.  That is the truth I am clinging to today.

Join me?

Linking with Kelli and Laura