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Archive for September, 2019

Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name.

Ignoring conventional superstition, we prayed together beforehand; our hands clasped, heads bowed, and hearts beating in anticipation of what the future might hold. Folds of white silk and lace embraced the somber black of his suit as we offered our tender hopes and love for another to God, inviting Him to lead us deeper into devotion to one another.

Afternoon shadows stretched on the snowbanks outside until, finally, the strains of Pachabel’s Canon beckoned me toward the young man waiting beyond the rows of upholstered pews now draped with carefully crafted pink bows.

Fixing my gaze on the one I adored, I rejoiced. I’d waited for this moment. Prayed for it. Planned for it. Dreamed of it.

With reverence, I recited the vows…

I, Tammy, take thee, David, to be my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge myself to you.”

A hopeless romantic and head-in-the-clouds-idealist, I envisioned the stereotypical white picket fence sort of marriage. The kind of hardship-free-life that exists on old reruns of I Love Lucy or Family Ties. Life without messes–or at least messes tidily wrapped with a pretty bow and a carefree smile in less than thirty minutes of struggle and discomfort.

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Years later, I realized those vows were more than his and her towels or picnics on the beach. They represented more than shared holidays and long nights rocking babies to sleep.

The wedding vows weren’t merely a promise. They were words of sacrifice. The giving up of self. A precious gift requiring a daily choice.  Will I remain committed? Because despite love and laughter? Hard times came, too.

Choose Today Whom You Will Serve

As a little girl, I held my hand high when the Sunday School teacher asked if any of us wanted to know Jesus. I understood enough to realize His life had been given for me–a sacrifice offered on my behalf so that I might be with Him always.

Longing for the permanence of a daddy who always stayed, I knew my heavenly Father would care for me.

I couldn’t have known the cost of following Christ; the spiritual battles we’ve faced. The hours spent in tears crying out for newness of faith for a hurting prodigal or the countless prayers raised on behalf of a little one confused and fearful–dealing with Goliath-sized anxiety.

As I’ve grown in my faith, I’ve begun to grasp Hebrews 13:15, “Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name.”

When sunshine splits the sky and all is well, praise flows from my lips. I thank God for His abundant gifts. But there are times my soul has been crushed beneath the weight of brokenness. Shattered relationships, health scares and hospital visits, depression, and lives on the brink of being lost.

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Sometimes my faith wanes as troubles mount and I lose sight of the truth because Truth doesn’t feel real.

Doubt casts its long, dark shadow and gratitude slips away somewhere. At times, its words manage to lodge in my throat–the Spirit urging mine to speak life. Once in a while, I respond and I’m grateful. And even if my mouth is unable to speak, my heart is encouraged because the Comforter is teaching and guiding despite and through the wilderness.

Much like marriage, holding to faith in Jesus requires sacrifice on the part of the Christ-follower. There is a giving up of something precious and beautiful. A recognition that there will be moments of joy and celebration along faith’s journey. But there will also be hard times.

The question is the same as it is in marriage. Will I remain committed? This day, whatever your situation, who will you choose? Self or Christ?

Because every day…He choose you.

For Personal Study

  • Read Joshua 24:1-28

For Consideration

  • List some of the ways this scripture recounts God’s faithfulness to the Israelites. Now, consider the last 5-10 years of your life. In just three minutes, record how you’ve seen God’s faithfulness to you during that time.

As You Reflect

  • What is one action step you can take to offer your life as a spiritual sacrifice today?

Please don’t hesitate to let me know how I can pray for you. Intercessory prayer is powerful!

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

I often link-up with the following wonderful bloggers.

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,best-of-the-weekend Fresh Market Fridays

 

 

 

 

 

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2-corinthians-3-18

Moonbeams give way to the bolder light of morning; shades of fuschia, mauve, and coral brightening the shadowy landscape with the promise of a new day. Change is inevitable.

Sometimes, we can see it peeking over the horizon and remain unsurprised. At other times, there is an unexpected unraveling of the known and in its stead, the doctor shares an unfavorable test result.

Last week, my family physician confirmed that I have an autoimmune disease. A chronic illness. In typical fashion, I dove into research papers, studies, and statistics. My nuclei are spattered like a modern work of art when they shouldn’t be.Some of you face similar challenges.

Perhaps your marriage relationship is teetering on the brink of divorce. A prodigal seems beyond your reach. A family member or friend has betrayed your trust…again. Maybe you’ve received a diagnosis of your own. Cancer. Multiple sclerosis. Lupus.

Growth leads to a final, determined struggle...a new creation.#hope#beauty#newness Click To Tweet

While a caterpillar is encased within its chrysalis, its growth leads to an incredible transformation until one glorious day it emerges with a final, determined struggle…a new creation.

Our bodies may malfunction, our relationships struggle, our hearts ache. But in the midst of the worst, we can choose to look to the One whose own suffering led to ultimate healing. The Redeemer of all shattered dreams, dashed hopes, and lost years is not unaware of the struggle nor is he immune to your pain. Press into Him, dear one. Allow Him to wrap you in arms of comfort and grace as His word does an eternal work in heart and mind. Pray. Trust. Believe.

One day, you and I will be gloriously and completely transformed–shaped by our response to both the good and bad circumstances in our lives.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

Today’s Verse for Reflection-And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda ,Mandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire , Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth LinkupFresh Market Fridays

 

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