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This week I had the joy of guest posting for Sherry Poundstone at Coffee and the Word. If you think you’re too broken for Jesus, I encourage you to visit and discover how there is blessing and value in our brokenness.

Christ was broken in order that we might be made whole..png

Shallow lines marked half-moons at the edges of my mouth and the first shades of gray had begun threading themselves through my hair when I encountered soul-rocking, spirit-deep pain. Not one area of my life remained untouched.

Click below to read more.

https://coffeeandthewordwithsherry.blogspot.com/

 

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following: LMMLinkupPorch StoriesTea and Word Tuesday, Grace and Truth Blogger Voices NetworkAnchored Abode, Worth Beyond Rubies Wednesday, Let’s Have Coffee, Soaring With HimPurposeful Faith, Encouraging Word WednesdaySitting Among FriendsImparting GraceDestination InspirationTune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementFaith and FriendsFaith on FireDance with Jesus   Anchored Abode

 

 

 

We are partaker's of the promise and participants in heaven-appointed work. (1)

Several years ago, I purchased tickets to a circus traveling through town. I imagined prancing horses and graceful women. Tightrope walkers and fragile towers of rope and wire. Gymnastic feats and side-splitting laughter.

Excited to share the experience with my two young children, I filled their minds with tales of daring stunts and amazing animals. When the day finally arrived, I shuffled my children through the narrow hallway of a second-rate performance venue. The nonexistent crowd barely filled the auditorium as the ring master marched confidently toward the middle of the arena.

His accent false and thick, the young man announced one act after another–each a poor imitation of those I’d seen as a girl during an awe inspiring Barnum and Bailey performance.

Sometimes I feel like an imitation circus performer; an imposter trying to be more than I am or ever could be.#identityinChrist#ourhopeissecure. Click To Tweet

Sometimes I, too, feel like an imitation circus performer; an imposter trying to be more than I am or ever could be. Unsure of myself, I stumble along convinced that what God is asking of me extends beyond my own abilities.

Loving my husband well? I make mistakes. I grumble. I speak words that hurt his heart.

Parenting perfectly? I’m gentle when I need to be stern. I lose my temper when I need patience. Forgetting to release my children to His care, I fret and worry.

I doubt myself, placing too much emphasis on my inability and not enough on His capability.#heisable#strenghtinChrist . Click To Tweet

Stepping boldly into a new calling? I doubt myself, placing too much emphasis on my inability and not enough on His capability. I envision people scoffing at my debacle of a self-created circus.

Who does she think she is?

What can she possibly do in her small life for the kingdom?

She can’t even manage the simple things. 

Maybe you struggle with the words of the inner critic or the enemy has initiated an abusive assault. These destructive thoughts are lies designed to keep God’s daughters from doing our kingdom assignments. Instead of great pretenders, we are partaker’s of the promise and participants in heaven-appointed work.

Preoccupation with sin,failure,and doubt creates a roadblock to the joy of experiencing God's best in our lives.#joystealers#midweekmotivation. Click To Tweet

Preoccupation with sin, failure, and doubt creates a roadblock to the joy of truly experiencing God’s best in our lives and limits our willingness to allow Him to work through us.

How are we to move beyond the comfort zone and lean into that which we are called? We reclaim our identity, assert holy authority, and pray for Christ to use us according to His will.

The following verses have been helpful to me during some of those times when I’ve most doubted I could fulfill the calling He’s placed in my life and heart. I pray they encourage you, as well.

 

                                           Reclaim Your Identity                                                                                                     

As a child of Christ, your calling flows from and through Him.  Where there is purpose, there is provision.

John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Assert Holy Authority

Kingdom work isn’t done out of personal ambition, it’s done for His glory.

Luke 10:19-20 (MSG) “See what I’ve given you? Safe passage as you walk on snakes and scorpions, and protection from every assault of the Enemy. No one can put a hand on you. All the same, the great triumph is not in your authority over evil, but in God’s authority over you and presence with you. Not what you do for God but what God does for you—that’s the agenda for rejoicing.”

James 4:7 (MSG) “So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time.”

Pray 

Our strength comes through words uttered on our knees.

Psalm 57:2I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.”

2 Timothy 1:7 “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

I often link up with the following: LMMLinkupPorch StoriesTea and Word Tuesday, Grace and Truth Blogger Voices NetworkAnchored Abode, Worth Beyond Rubies Wednesday, Let’s Have Coffee, Soaring With HimPurposeful Faith, Encouraging Word WednesdaySitting Among FriendsImparting GraceDestination InspirationTune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementFaith and FriendsFaith on FireDance with Jesus   Anchored Abode

 

 

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The sharp trill of the phone unsettled the still of the evening as I fumbled to retrieve the noisy offender. Midnight calls are never good news.

An unfamiliar voice responded to my mumbled “hello”.  Is this Tammy Kennington? I’m with the suicide hotline and I have your son on the phone. He reached out to us because he’s thinking about taking his life.”

I'm with the suicide hotline and I have your son on the phone.#mentalhealthawareness#fightstigma#hoperestored Click To Tweet

Suddenly alert, my heart beat erratically as I tried not to imagine the worst. I’d fought my own demons of depression and anxiety, but hoped and prayed my own children would be exempt.

A pain like I’d never experienced pierced my heart at the desperation in my son’s voice. Mom, I can’t take this anymore. The fear is too much. Why won’t God take this from me?

I recalled the moments he'd clung to me on the beach, little arms and legs twined around my body as if I were the safe harbor in the midst of a storm.#mentalhealthawarenessmont#fightstigma#hoperestored Click To Tweet

Images of the baby he’d been slipped through my mind as quickly as his childhood; I pictured the sweet infant sleeping soundly in my arms, his plump hands unfurled in contented slumber. I thought of the little boy with a shock of white-gold hair gleaming in the summer sun as he directed miniature cars and trucks through imagined detours and dangers. I recalled the moments he’d clung to me on the beach, little arms and legs twined around my body as if I were the safe harbor in the midst of a storm.

This time, though, I couldn’t rock the fears away or protect my son with merely a watchful eye. I couldn’t stave off the powerful ocean of emotions threatening to overpower him.

All I could do was to love my boy. Listen. Pray. And, how I prayed!

A few days later, our son returned home from a respite in the hospital. I hovered and fretted like a hypervigilant first-time mother; nothing escaped my notice. The nights were the most frightening. Life was tenuous and my husband and I knew our son stood on the precipice.

Now, a few years later, our son is more stable. While he still isn’t the laughing, affable child we once knew, he is gentle and merciful toward others–especially those who are hurting emotionally.

I continue to pray God will remove this thorn from my boy's flesh, but if He doesn't I still trust God know the plans He has for this young man.#mentalhealthawarenessmonth#fightstigma#hoperestored Click To Tweet

I continue to pray God will remove this thorn from my boy’s flesh, but if He doesn’t I still trust God knows the plans He has for this young man. Plans to give him a future and a hope.

If you or someone you know is on the edge of desperation, please know you are loved and seen. You are not alone. There is hope because of Him!

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5 Bible Verses to Encourage Your Heart

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Please share this post to help fight stigma and to promote love and compassion for others among God’s people and beyond. If you need prayer, please leave a comment.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following: LMMLinkupPorch StoriesTea and Word Tuesday, Grace and Truth Blogger Voices NetworkTea and Word Tuesdays, Anchored Abode, Worth Beyond Rubies WednesdayLet’s Have CoffeeSoaring With HimPurposeful Faith, Encouraging Word WednesdaySitting Among FriendsImparting GraceDestination InspirationTune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementFaith and FriendsFaith on FireDance with Jesus   Anchored Abode

 

 

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Sea foam swirls around my feet as it kisses the shoreline and then disappears,  leaving behind a haphazard trail of color. Ocean gems glisten, wet and bright beneath the sun. Some are sleek and black while others bear a pockmarked complexion. Still others expose their glossy interior, mother of pearl shimmering in shades of purple and green.

Stooping to select a seashell for my collection, I think of the creature whose life was once contained in one of nature’s smallest homes. Empty shells. Pieces of what once existed. Fragments of a life.

My mind wanders to the time he sat in the front seat of the car, bent over; the emotional weight of fear and anxiety pulling shoulders to knees and drawing cries for relief from youthful lungs.

I remember the way I longed to comfort him, but I had no words. I remember the anguished tears tracking across the precious face I’d soothed with a mother’s kiss when elbows and knees met pavement or unkind words left their mark. But, now? I had no comfort to offer other than my presence. Reassurances of love. Promise of prayers.

Sometimes I wonder if He hears?Why have the pleas gone unanswered?#whenwaitingisdifficult#takethiscup#thywillbedone Click To Tweet

Gazing at the shell in my hands, I’m struck by the beauty of what remains when something ceases to be and I beg God to take the fear. The depression. The origin of all of his pain.

But, years pass and the prayer goes unanswered. Sometimes I wonder if He hears? If He longs to see joy spilling from His child as much as I do? Why have the pleas gone unanswered?

None of life's hard places are outside of the power of holy redemption.#allthingsmadenew#wearehealed#answeredprayer Click To Tweet

Then God reminds me. None of life’s hard places are outside of the power of holy redemption. Jesus embodied hope that we might rise to a new life free of sickness. Suffering. Struggle. He is the one who will restore and renew.

You, too, may relate to the agony of mental illness. Maybe you battle chronic health issues. Or, you might long for the restoration of of a broken relationship. I don’t know what in your life pains you, but He knows. He hears. And, though you and I may wait longer than we’d like to see lives transformed by answered prayer, we can cling to our faith in anticipation of something beautiful being borne despite and even through the struggle.

I don't know what in your life pains you, but He knows. He hear.#somethingbeautifulbeingborn#clingtofaith#restoringhope. Click To Tweet

“The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.” (1 Peter 5:11)

One glorious day, God will empty our lives of the dross to reveal the beauty He’d intended for us all along. And what remains will be like the loveliest shell adorning the sand; a reminder of what once was and a testimony God’s transformative love.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following: LMMLinkupPorch StoriesTea and Word Tuesday, Grace and Truth Blogger Voices NetworkTea and Word Tuesdays, Anchored Abode, Worth Beyond Rubies WednesdayLet’s Have CoffeeSoaring With HimPurposeful Faith, Encouraging Word WednesdaySitting Among FriendsImparting GraceDestination InspirationTune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementFaith and FriendsFaith on FireDance with Jesus   Anchored Abode

 

d (1)

Her body lay motionless; unresponsive as my fingers trailed across the tender flesh of one small foot. There was no rise and fall of shallow breathing and I knew. My baby had died.

Grief and fear spilled onto my sleeping husband as I began shouting. She’s not breathing. She’s not breathing. Oh, God! Dave, you need to breathe for her. Thrusting innocence itself into her father’s hands, I desperately forced uncooperative fingers to dial the stiff buttons of the telephone.

Has the baby swallowed something? The calm, impersonal voice wasn’t listening.

I’d nodded off briefly as I shared a mother’s provision with my nursing infant. Alerted by nothing other than the grace of God, I was clear-headed and alert the moment I noticed my baby’s stillness. There were no sounds of satisfaction as newborn hunger abated. No twisting of small fingers in my hair or the steady tug and gulp of a private moment shared between mother and child.

Heather’s face shifted from the pale color of unblemished cream to a ghastly shade of blue. Releasing one gentle puff of air and then another into Heather’s premature lungs, my husband carefully and methodically followed the commands of the remote woman responding to a young mother’s call.

The minutes stretched toward eternity, thin and distant. Excruciating. Interminable. And we waited. One minute. Two. Three. Still, my husband breathed. Still, the baby lay motionless. Five minutes. And finally, her small chest expelled a haggard breath.

Martha and Mary felt the same despair. Their beloved brother had died–needlessly. Wasn’t Jesus able to save him? Hadn’t he restored sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf? Hadn’t he straightened crooked feet and healed outcasts from the curse of leprosy?

Mary and Martha felt the same despair.Wasn't Jesus able to save him?Why had Jesus ignored their plea?#youareheard#thereishope Click To Tweet

They knew the messenger had delivered the message. “Master, the one you love so very much is sick.” (John 11:3) But, their hopes had died the moment Lazarus took his final breath. Why had Jesus ignored their pleas?

If you’re at all like me, you’ve probably asked the same question. Why has Jesus ignored my pleas? Turned away from my prayers? Denied me hope in moments of desperation?

But, Christ was intentional in his slow response to Mary and Martha.

When Jesus got the message, he said, “This sickness is not fatal. It will become an occasion to show God’s glory by glorifying God’s Son.” (John 11:4)

After waiting for two long days, he finally set out for Judea–the home of his dear friends. But, death already owned Lazarus. Encased in a tomb and lost to his family for four days, hope seemed impossible.

When Jesus saw her (Mary) weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked. (John 11: 33-34)

Then, holiness and grief met when Jesus wept. Not the sort of dramatic, wailing-for-hire of the professional mourners who were present nor the inconsolable cries of family members forever separated from a cherished one. Jesus’ tears burst forth silently, a testimony of love preparing a trail from heaven to the cross; from the holy intersection of I Am to the unmatchable sacrifice of the man of sorrows.

Holiness and grief met when Jesus wept, a testimony of love preparing a trail from heaven to the cross.#thisislove#sacrifice Click To Tweet

He shed tears because death, sin’s ruthless result, had ruled for too long and indignation swelled from within as wetness expressed the love of the Lamb.

At the shout of Life, Lazarus emerged from the tomb. Resurrected. Renewed. Restored.

In the same way, our prayers and petitions may seem to go unanswered; empty words piled around the heavenly throne. But, He hears even the desperate, silent groaning of our souls. Not one request, despairing cry, or silent tear goes unnoticed.

The disease that plagues you? The depression that haunts you? The death that vexes your heart? Not one circumstance or situation is beyond the reach of Christ, who is the Resurrection.

Lazarus' experience was the first of many; a precursor to the promise of life eternal. Life abundant. Life unexplainable.#theway#thetruth#thelife Click To Tweet

Friend, He has overcome all of it. Lazarus’ experience was the first of many; a precursor to the promise of life eternal. Life abundant. Life unexplainable. May you cling to this hope today, no matter what today holds.

 

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

I often link up with the following: LMMLinkupPorch StoriesTea and Word Tuesday, Blogger Voices NetworkTea and Word Tuesdays, Worth Beyond Rubies Wednesday, Let’s Have Coffee, Soaring With Him, Purposeful Faith, Encouraging Word WednesdaySitting Among FriendsImparting Grace, Destination Inspiration, Tune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementFaith and Friends, Faith on Fire, anitaojeda, Dance with Jesushttps://www.rachelmarielee.com/ www.instaencouragements.comFresh Market Friday, Grace and Truth

 

 

 

 

 

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A habit of disobedience and rebellion led to forty years of aimless wandering in an inhospitable desert while the promised land lay only miles ahead. But under Joshua’s holy, ordained leadership the Israelites reignited their commitment to the God who had rescued them from four-hundred years of back-breaking labor, persecution, and poverty in Egypt.

Lingering in their pain and fearful of the unknown, the people refused to trust God.#heisforyour#donotbeafraid Click To Tweet

Lingering in their pain and fearful of the unknown, the people refused to trust God. Instead, they exchanged dry, dusty living for abundance. Anxiety for fear. Faith in the all-powerful God for empty trust in manufactured idols.

While it’d be easy to condemn the Israelites for their short-sighted, self-destructive choices, I admit I am more like the average wandering Hebrew than I am like the courageous Joshua.

Like Israel, I tend to question and complain. Why would God allow this in my life? Is faith in Him worth the hardship? (Exodus 14:11-12)

I weep and cry out, questioning God’s love or refusing to trust that the Promised Land is ahead. The giants in my life are too big for God to manage. And I fashion my image of the Creator into a small, incapable god.

Are you afraid to cross into the land of abundance because you know how to survive in the wilderness?#thrivenotsurvive#abundantlife. Click To Tweet

Have you, too, found yourself captured by the circumstances of an untenable situation? Are you afraid to cross into the land of abundance because you know how to survive in the discomfort of your wilderness? Do you question God’s good intentions and confine Him to the edges of your own understanding?

Oh, friend, can I encourage you to consider Joshua’s words of exhortation to a vulnerable people?

“…cling to the LORD your God.” (Joshua 23:8).

The word cling portrays the intimacy of a newly married couple cleaving to one another (Genesis 2:24). It is an expression of intimacy between spirits; a relationship of dependence and knowledge. An image of two people bound by love and joined in purpose.

What,then,is the expectation of the Husband of our souls?He longs for us to bind ourselves to Him...#thisisfaith#devotedtoGod Click To Tweet

What, then, is the expectation of the Husband of our souls? He longs for us to bind ourselves to Him with the passion and devotion of a woman devoted to her Lord. He desires to be known and to enter into relationship with His beloved.

Not because He lacks any good thing or is enthroned in loneliness, but because He longs to deliver those who are wandering in the barren places to a place of plenty and whisper words of comfort over those who tremble in fear.

It's time to trust the One to whom your heart clings.Time to ignore the distraction of doubt and fear.#fearnot#bestrongandcourageous Click To Tweet

It’s time to trust the one to whom your heart clings. Time to ignore the distraction of doubt and fear. Time to abandon the desert for a life overflowing with God’s goodness and grace. Time to loose the shackles of the past and embrace freedom in Christ.

This is your time to cling to Christ, dear one.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

Three Ways to Cling to God

  1. Practice Obedience  “..do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses” (Joshua 23:6). The New Testament tells us, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)
  2. Pursue Renewal “Do not associate with these nations that remain among you; do not invoke the names of their gods or swear by them. You must not serve them or bow down to them.” (Joshua 23:7) What does this mean for us? “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds.” (Romans 12:2)
  3. Place Your Trust in His Promises “…not one word has failed of all the good things that the LORD yourGod promised   concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed.” The Lord’s message to his people hasn’t changed. Jeremiah 29:11 assures every believer, “”I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you; plans to give you a hope and a future.”

 

I often link up with the following: LMMLinkupPorch StoriesTea and Word Tuesday, Blogger Voices NetworkTea and Word Tuesdays, Worth Beyond Rubies Wednesday, Let’s Have Coffee, Soaring With Him, Purposeful Faith, Encouraging Word WednesdaySitting Among FriendsImparting GraceDestination InspirationTune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementFaith and Friends, Faith on Fire, anitaojeda, Dance with Jesushttps://www.rachelmarielee.com/  www.instaencouragements.com, Fresh Market Friday, Grace and Truth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My world spun off its axis when a precious one revealed the trauma buried in his past. Pushing hard against the faith I’d clung to throughout my own embattled childhood and youth, I wrestled with God. I laid my heart bare, unflinchingly honest in my anger and despair.

What kind of God allows children to be devoured by this world? Could I even trust Him? Even more than that–did I want to?

Typically Polly Anna-esque , I almost felt my heart grow cold and hard. Hope drained from my life like color from an old photograph and everywhere I looked I saw the potential for loss, pain, and suffering.

It could be that doubt has swallowed hope; even your faith seems as though it may be distinguished.#hoperestored#Christredeemsthepain#novictoryfortheenemey Click To Tweet

Maybe you’re in a situation that has raised similar questions in your own mind. It could be that doubt has swallowed hope and you’re just existing moment to moment; bitterness twisting your thoughts until even your faith seems as though it might be distinguished.

Will you choose truth or be deceived into despondency?#havecourage#battleready Click To Tweet

This is the point at which you must make a decision. Will you choose truth or be deceived into despondency by this corrupt world? Will you invite Christ to redeem your pain or allow the “thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy” to derail your faith?

For months I wavered between one choice and the other. I struggled, wept, and screamed in anger; alternately searching scripture for words of comfort and then refusing to attend church.

I decided I wouldn't allow the deceiver an easy victory.#Jesuswins#hopeinChrist Click To Tweet

Finally, I decided. I decided I wouldn’t allow the deceiver an easy victory.

Turning to the truth bound up in the pages of my Bible, I poured over its promises and was reminded again and again of God’s faithfulness. While this world hasn’t been set right yet, it will be. Jesus’ return is sure and His justice and mercy will prevail. And, even more, we have the eternal hope of heaven; a place free of tear and trials and overflowing with the laughter and celebration of the restored and redeemed.

He is with us each step of the way; penning hope throughout until we reach our eternal happily ever after.#weknowtheendofthestory#thesetroublesaremomentary#heknowstheplansforus Click To Tweet

If you are in the midst of a battle and flanked by disillusionment and doubt, can I encourage you to turn to Christ? He won’t condemn you for your doubt, but will gather you in His arms as your tears spill like prayers in His presence. He’s waiting already, pleading and praying on your behalf.

“Who then is left to condemn us? Certainly not Jesus, the Anointed One! For he gave his life for us, and even more than that, he has conquered death and is now risen, exalted, and enthroned by God at his right hand. So how could he possibly condemn us since he is continually praying for our triumph?” (Romans 8:34 TPB)

Oh, friend, trust that He has more for you than what you’re experiencing right now. Jesus never claimed our lives would be easy, but as we move page by page through the story of our lives He is with us each step of the way; penning hope throughout until we reach our eternal happily ever after.

 

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following: LMMLinkupPorch StoriesTea and Word Tuesday, Blogger Voices NetworkTea and Word Tuesdays, Worth Beyond Rubies Wednesday, Let’s Have Coffee, Soaring With Him, Purposeful Faith, Encouraging Word WednesdaySitting Among FriendsImparting GraceDestination InspirationTune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementFaith and Friends, Faith on Fire, anitaojeda, Dance with Jesushttps://www.rachelmarielee.com/  www.instaencouragements.com, Fresh Market Friday, Grace and Truth

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love is when

My pastor calls it the Great Exchange; the way God gave everything in order that you and I might gain from His loss. As I read the scripture about Christ and the thief on the cross, I’m struck by the truth of the Great Exchange and the scandalous love God has for people.

For sinful, hell-bent, hurting people. For the blind, the bleeding, and the broken. For the promiscuous, the pompous, and the prideful. For the self-proclaimed righteous and the down-in-the-dregs criminal.

Christ exchanged his existence in the presence of the Divine for exposure to the depraved because of His overwhelming love for people in need of mercy.#hope#salvation#mercy Click To Tweet

Christ exchanged His existence in the presence of the Divine for exposure to the depraved because of His overwhelming love for people in need of mercy. His riches for poverty. His home for homelessness. His robes of righteousness for our redemption. His unblemished life for our salvation.

Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me inParadise.” (Luke 23:42-43)

In His last moments on the cross, the mercy of Christ's salvations ushered a repentant man into the arms of heaven.#thegreatexchange#mercy Click To Tweet

In His last moments on the cross, the mercy of Christ’s salvation ushered a repentant man into the arms of heaven. Oh, the beauty of this ultimate exchange! Christ’s own final, holy breath for the eternal redemption of a thief.

It was not by accident the criminal hung in agony by the Christ. There was a plan for his salvation from eternity past and it was death on a cross that brought him close to the heart of his Father.

The Great Exchange of more than 2,000 years ago fulfilled God’s design to invite you and me into the Kingdom, too. But, there are others. Others who are waiting to hear the name of Jesus in far off lands. Others who are familiar with His name, but only as a curse word. Others behind bars or self-made prisons of sin and sensual living.

The world is in need of hope, friends, and we must be the ones to share Him.

He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?

(Micah 6:8)

 

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

I often link up with the following: LMMLinkupPorch StoriesTea and Word Tuesday, Blogger Voices NetworkTea and Word TuesdaysWorth Beyond Rubies WednesdayLet’s Have CoffeeSoaring With HimPurposeful Faith, Encouraging Word WednesdaySitting Among FriendsImparting GraceDestination InspirationTune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementFaith and FriendsFaith on Fire, anitaojeda, Dance with Jesushttps://www.rachelmarielee.com/  www.instaencouragements.com, Fresh Market Friday

 

 

 

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Two hundred twelve people wedged carry on bags into the overhead storage space, bumping and jostling others in the narrow confines of the jet’s interior. Boasting tickets marked with their final destination, Kuala Lumpur, and convinced of the pilot’s knowledge and abilities, men, women, and children settled into stiff, narrow seats; anticipating the weather or thinking of family and friends they’d see again within a few hours.

Imagine their surprise when the flight attendant announced, “Welcome to Sydney (Australia). We hope you fly with Air Asia again.”

What?

On March 10th, 2015 the pilot incorrectly entered flight coordinates into the system which resulted in a “detour” of almost 7,000 miles. Ignoring “several message alerts and sounds”, the jet vaulted into the sky with its nose pointed in the wrong direction.

Eventually, the crew recognized the error. Sweating and cursing, they attempted to alter the course of the flight, but the navigation systems began to fail. Suddenly, what should have been a simple flight from Point A to Point B had become high risk.

“Requesting a return to Sydney.”                                                                                            “Negative. We have a low ceiling and thunderstorms.”

Unable to divert the flight or alter its course, the jet finally landed without incident in Melbourne.

Hopefully, none of us will ever be on such a wayward flight, but how many of us have ever felt as though we’re drifting through life just as directionless and misguided? Almost convinced our situation is unrecoverable or beyond God’s ability to make something of the mess in which we find ourselves?

Oh, the discomfort of feeling as though nothing is within our control. (Or, is this a just a personal issue?)  It’s been a process and I still struggle, but I’ve discovered comfort in living an “out-of-control” life.

I’ve slowly begun to understand that even when my plans fail to flourish, God is unsurprised. When my day or week or year takes an unexpected turn and life veers off course, He is the one who “gives light to my path” (Psalm 119:105). When I fail to heed the Father’s word or listen for His voice, He patiently redirects me (Psalm 23) and “plans my steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

Living an “out-of-control” life is all about surrendering to Him. It’s about inviting Christ to lead us in the direction He desires, listening for the warning signals the Holy Spirit prompts within, and finding joy in unexpected places while we’re on the journey.

Kualu Lumpur may never be on your itinerary, but God has a better destination in mind and He will ensure you arrive safely.

Please enjoy the pretty printable Bible verses found below if you need daily reminders that you are in His care.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

Reassurance Verses PDF

 

 

I often link up with the following: LMMLinkupPorch StoriesTea and Word Tuesday, Blogger Voices NetworkTea and Word TuesdaysWorth Beyond Rubies WednesdayLet’s Have CoffeeSoaring With HimPurposeful Faith, Encouraging Word WednesdaySitting Among FriendsImparting GraceDestination InspirationTune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementFaith and FriendsFaith on Fire, anitaojeda, Dance with Jesushttps://www.rachelmarielee.com/  www.instaencouragements.com, Fresh Market Friday

 

 

 

Neither the difficulties or joys of our todays can compare with what we'll experience on the other side of heaven..png

The man at the park glared at me, his expression communicating judgement. What kind of parent are you? Do something about your son’s behavior. Bending low to speak with his granddaughter face to face, he said, “You’re a good girl. You never behave like that little boy.”

Tempted to shout something in my preschooler’s defense, I scooped my son up in my arms to guard him from scrutiny and rushed away feeling helpless; shame and mama-guilt rubbing salt in the wound of unmet hopes and dreams.

I’d known something caused my little one to struggle. To hurt. To fear. And, after several years and a slew of visits to doctors, experts, and interventionists my precious one was diagnosed with both anxiety and a mood disorder.

My heart grieved–and still does–for what might have been.

Years later, a youth pastor addressed a concern with my husband. “I don’t think your boy should spend much time with Sara. She has bipolar disorder.”

The pastor’s response to mental illness stunned us. Fearful of the stigma attached to mental health issues, we hadn’t shared with anyone at church about the struggles our family faced. We’d been right to keep the information to ourselves. Our son had been protected from being ostracized by the people who should have demonstrated love and empathy. By those who could have opened the doors of communication and offered hope and help.

The man behind the pulpit communicated judgement. Mental illness makes someone unworthy and unsafe.

You, too, may understand the burden of watching a loved one suffer. Perhaps your heart aches as my heart does, wondering how God will transform the struggle into something that brings Him glory.

You may have felt judged in area of your life. You might carry a burden of shame you can’t seem to escape. Maybe the dreams you’d had for a relationship or a loved one have been crushed beneath the weight of difficult circumstances.

Oh, friend, the Enemy wants us to be paralyzed by our doubts and destroyed dreams. But, God promises us a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Neither the difficulties or joys of our todays can compare with what we’ll experience on the other side of heaven. Complete restoration of lives and relationships. Hopes and dreams surpassed.

1 Peter 5:10-11 (MSG) encourages us with these words,

You’re not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It’s the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won’t last forever. It won’t be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good. He gets the last word; yes, he does.

He has eternal and glorious plans for you, for me, and for those we love. And He, who is the Word, gets the last word.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following: LMMLinkupPorch StoriesTea and Word Tuesday, Blogger Voices NetworkTea and Word TuesdaysWorth Beyond Rubies WednesdayLet’s Have CoffeeSoaring With HimPurposeful Faith, Encouraging Word WednesdaySitting Among FriendsImparting GraceDestination InspirationTune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementFaith and FriendsFaith on Fire, anitaojeda, Dance with Jesushttps://www.rachelmarielee.com/  www.instaencouragements.com, Fresh Market Friday

 

 

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