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promo photo Kathy C Miller

 

You most likely know the old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Our mothers may have said that to us to try to relieve the emotional pain we encountered by our peers, but to believe that lie is to ignore the power of words which God created to communicate with us. He also intended His creatures to give blessings through words, not wound others. Jesus, “the Word” (John 1:1), spoke words to create our world and all the galaxies. That’s power!

No wonder God caused Solomon to refer frequently in Proverbs to the influence, damage, or blessing of our spoken and written language. We can grow in our ability to use words to bless others and glorify God by studying Proverbs.

Death & Life_words--from Kathy Collard Miller (1)

Solomon wrote through God’s enabling, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits” (Proverbs 18:21). God’s words are a warning that we should be careful and wise with every word we speak. Jesus would later state in Matthew 12:36, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.” If Jesus speaks of such judgment, we can be sure our words make a huge impact.

We may feel compelled to believe everything said to us as if those words are always life.#guardyourheart#proverbs4:23#heartwisdom Click To Tweet

The truth of Proverbs 18:21 offers two important perspectives—the perspective of those who hear the words of others and secondly, who speak words to others. First, Solomon is saying there are words of death and words of life, but when we hear the words of others, we often don’t recognize which is which. We may feel compelled to believe everything said to us as if those words are always life. But Proverbs gives us the other part of wisdom: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (4:23).

I recently shared these truths at a women’s retreat and a woman pulled me aside during the break explaining she was confused because her mentor had said some things that confused her. She felt like she needed to do everything this woman told her including the right time in each day to do her housework. I tried not to be shocked because it was such an extreme example. Yet I’ve heard similar stories of those who feel controlled by someone who believes they know what is best for every aspect of another person’s life. We must be so careful to not be controlled by the words of others and thus make others our God rather than seeking God’s wisdom and discernment.

On the other side of the coin for every one of us who teaches, leads, or mentors others, we must use our words to encourage another woman to seek God as her primary source. And we can also be aware of the wisdom of Proverbs 15:4: “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” Is the person we are guiding closer to God and living a more fruitful, abundant life? Or do they seem overwhelmed? Are we talking too much? Are we listening carefully? Do we “hear” the heart or only pounce on the behavior?

Often, we aren’t using wise words because of our motives. We might think our friend’s reactions are a reflection of us and we must control them for our own reputation. Or we believe we should be the only influence. Or she cannot fail. We must trust God enough to allow our friend to make mistakes and have a different opinion.

People may throw the sticks and stones, but we don't have to accept them as true.#dontpickthemup#wordsarepowerful#powerofwords. Click To Tweet

Yes, our words are powerful yet God’s work within a person’s heart through His Holy Spirit’s power is even more effective. We can give, share, and offer wisdom, but only the Holy Spirit can make a heart change within another.

And if we are the one who has heard unwise or hurtful words, we can ask and trust God to heal our wounded hearts. He can reveal His perspective of us as valuable and important to Him. People may throw the sticks and stones, but we don’t have to accept them as true.

promo photo Kathy C Miller

Kathy Collard Miller almost took her life over 40 years ago because she knew her words toward her toddler daughter were destructive. God revealed the solutions for Kathy’s abusive anger and she tells her story in: No More Anger: Hope for an Out-of-Control Mom (Elk Lake Publishing, Inc.). She has over 50 other published books including Heart Wisdom: a women’s Bible study on Proverbs. Kathy has spoken in over 35 states and 8 foreign countries. She and her husband, Larry, have been married 49 years and live in Southern California. www.KathyCollardMiller.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/KathyCollardMillerAuthor

Instagram: KathyCollardMiller

Twitter: www.twitter.com/KathyCMiller

 

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda ,Mandy and Michele, Kingdom Bloggers

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

Wednesdays   Recharge 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 , Embracing the Unexpected, Fresh Market Fridays

 

Women yearn to know, Do I make a difference_ Does my life really matter_ You matter in every area and during each season of every ordinary day. (1).png

Seventy-five pages populated the Amazon queue after I filled in the search box, “books about God and purpose.”

Women yearn to know, Do I make a difference? Does my life really matter? How can changing diapers, or shuttling children from one event to another, or moving out of active mothering and into an empty nest change lives?

Books line self-help sections of libraries and hit best-seller lists in the Christian market as eager buyers scramble to discover their purpose. But, the Father has scribed his purpose for us in his love letters and in the palms of his son’s hands

Remember Our Position

Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.”

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 (MSG)

The verses above are a key component to the Christian’s calling. They almost serve as a checklist in my own life.

If God was looking for a “somebody”, he wouldn’t have chosen me. I was a premature baby born to teen parents following a shotgun wedding. After a few short years of marriage, they divorced and life swung from one chaotic, abusive event to the next under the hand of my stepfather. But, God? He wiped it all clean. Gave me a fresh start through the wounds that pierced his own son’s flesh. And, now, because of Him I remember my position and humbly bow at the foot of the cross shouting, “Amen! You have rescued me, Jesus.

When you called my name, I heard you. May I remember the beauty and joy of my humble position.” Can you relate to these verses, as well? How do you see yourself in them?

Remain Faithful

“My Child is an Honor Roll Student” stickers adorn bumpers, Christmas letters share the latest news about elaborate trips and accomplishments, and we splash reality as we’d like others to perceive it on social media. Pride can be difficult to defend against, but it is our enemy. Perhaps that is one reason we’re to remember our humble position. Not only that, but scripture exhorts us not to chase after more. More doing. More being. More proving.

Instead, 1 Corinthians 7:20-24 exhorts us to remain faithful.

“Yes, each of you should remain as you were when God called you. Are you a slave? Don’t let that worry you—but if you get a chance to be free, take it. And remember, if you were a slave when the Lord called you, you are now free in the Lord. And if you were free when the Lord called you, you are now a slave of Christ. God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world. Each of you, dear brothers and sisters, should remain as you were when God first called you.” (NLT)

Remain.

In today’s high-paced, look-out-for-number-one, keep-up-with-the-rat-race-society, not many of us do well with just, well, remaining. But, remaining doesn’t mean “not doing”. It means continuing to be faithful in all situations–no matter the task. Whether we’re cooking one more casserole or scrubbing another dirty dish. Whether we’re driving to work again in rush hour traffic with a fussy toddler in the car seat. Whether we’re leaning across the table at the retirement home wiping our father’s chin as he asks once more, “Now, who are you?”

Remaining faithful to the calling to love God and to love others is more difficult than it seems.

Receive Power Through Prayer

Paul, Silas, and Timothy passionately addressed the Thessalonians about the power of prayer and its impact on their lives. Consider these words, “So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do. Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.”

Calling is not solely about an avocation, although it may involve one’s job. But, it is about the acts of service we are prompted to do for others. It the quickening of our spirit in response to God’s; when we sense him moving our hearts to respond to a hurt, a need, a situation. When we’re burdened to pray, give, weep, love. Those are the moments we become and live more like Christ—glorifying Him. Only through the power of prayer can we accomplish his work and fulfill his calling.

While Amazon may list seventy-pages of books about God’s purpose for our lives, the Bible outlines his purpose for all people. He sent Christ that all might be saved! But, we already know him and are meant to love the world as Christ. We are the workers, scattering seeds of hope in every area and during each season of our ordinary lives.

God will use each of his beloved daughters if we hold to the three truths about God’s calling on our lives.

1) Remember our Position

2) Remain Faithful

3) Receive Power Through Prayer

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays  Sunday Thoughts / InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda Mandy and Michele

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

Wednesdays   Recharge 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 , Embracing the Unexpected, Fresh Market Fridays

 

Tammy Kennington is a writer, speaker, and woman who believes there is hope for healing from the most difficult situations.

Familiar with the impact of trauma, mental illness, and parenting in the hard places, Tammy hopes to lead women toward a deeper understanding of themselves and their relationship with the God who loves them. Her work has been featured by MOPS, Thriving Family, The Upper Room, Light from the Word, and several other publications. You can meet regularly with Tammy online at her blog

tammykennington.wordpress.com or get a free copy of her e-book Moving From Pain to Peace: A Journey Toward Hope When the Past Holds You Captive

 

There is only one thing worth being concerned about ...It will not be taken from her.In a world of selfies and Pinterest-perfect images, it’s easy to succumb to the pressures of who we should be.

Maybe you feel the pressure to be that stay at home mom--every floor spotless,each child neatly combed and perfectly dressed. But, instead? You haven't had time to look at your own reflection since… Click To Tweet

Maybe you feel the pressure to be that stay at home mom–every floor spotless, each child neatly combed and perfectly dressed. But, instead? The dog left a trail of wet paw prints across the family room carpet and you haven’t had time to look at your own reflection since yesterday.

Perhaps you bear the weight of living up to the impossible image of the wife and mother who manages it all...all the while nimbly weaving throughout the day in a pair of kitten heels and a sleek pencil… Click To Tweet

Perhaps you bear the weight of living up to the impossible image of the wife and mother who manages it all. Working the nine-to-five job; carpooling children from one soccer lesson to the next; high-fiving your husband on the way out the door—all the while nimbly weaving throughout the day in a pair of kitten heels and a sleek pencil skirt.

It could be you long for less of busy and a lot more of Jesus.#fewersocialexpectations#fewerchurchobligations#balance#noisnotabadword Click To Tweet

It could be that you long for less of busy and a lot more of Jesus. While goals can be wonderful, they often seem misleading. Misdirected. Misinformed. Instead of taking me deeper into relationship with Christ, they pull me away from Him. Rather than guiding me toward connection with the Father, they pull at from every side. Social expectations. Church obligations. Family needs.

Before long, I'm struggling to find Jesus at the bottom of the pile. I know he's there; waiting patiently.#choosethebetterpart#restinhim Click To Tweet

Before long, I’m struggling to find Jesus at the bottom of the pile. I know he’s there; waiting patiently to push a bedraggled strand of hair from my face. I can almost see him smiling as I kneel at his feet, my head leaning against his knee as I sigh. The sort of sigh you can’t help letting go of once you acknowledge how weary you’ve become.

“You’ve finally chosen the better part.” I know the words. I’ve read them before, but today they’re meant for me. Do you hear his gentle voice speaking to you, as well?

“Choose the better part. Come to me…and I will give you rest. The Lord doesn’t see things the way people see them.” (Lk. 10:42, Matthew 11:28-30, 1 Sam. 16:7)

Take a moment, daughter of Christ. Pause. Breathe. There is no pressure with him. No person you must be or become. He loved you long before you existed and will love you far beyond the day time expires. The pressures of this world will soon pass away, but the promise of His holy presence will fill our hearts forever.

 

Challenge of the Week- This week, I’m inviting you to join me in a challenge! Spend 20 minutes (more or less) every day with Jesus. You might prayer walk, enjoy a praise and worship time, write in a prayer journal, or read the Bible. Whatever it is, I’d love to know how this practice impacts the pressure you feel to perform or be the “perfect” mom or wife. Send me an email at tammy.kennington@gmail.com or respond in the comments below to let me know.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays  Sunday Thoughts / InstaEncouragements/ Anita Ojeda Mandy and Michele

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

Wednesdays   Recharge 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 , Embracing the Unexpected

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.

Grief strikes at the heart like a viper; striking the revealed, vulnerable areas belonging to its unsuspecting victim–sometimes providing only the slightest of advance warnings. Then, a sudden sting, until the ache begins to settle low. Heavy. Burdensome.

Those of us who’ve impressed a footprint on Earth’s soil have either felt grief’s sharp pang or we will. And, while we assume grief is our enemy, it is really one of the clearest reminders to needing, bleeding, aching hearts that the world wasn’t meant to be this way.

Grief is one of the clearest reminders to needing,bleeding,aching hearts that the world wasn't meant to be this way.#grief#loss#notheendofhope Click To Tweet

We weren’t meant to know the grief of an unwelcome diagnosis.

Innocent children weren’t created to be bought and sold into lives of slavery vacant of love.

Death. Addiction. Depression. None of these were intended for God’s people.

Created as Paradise, this world has borne sin’s twisted power since the rich, sweet taste of what had been forbidden unfurled on the tongues and in the hearts of our first parents.

 Click To Tweet

In our grief, we know there is an unacknowledged reality far more powerful than that which is seen. We’re reminded of the grief the heavenly father experienced when his gift to men hung on a tree; bruised and battered as if he were refuse rather than Rescuer. And, because of his incomprehensible loss we receive a promise in process–not fully realized but as certain as the resurrection.

We catch a glimpse of the holy Shepherd's heartache when he wept.#Jesuswept#holygrief Click To Tweet

So we grieve our losses, but not in hopelessness. We are reviled by injustice, but rely on the Judge. We catch a glimpse of the holy Shepherd’s heartache when he wept, but know the victory has already been won.

Maybe you are grieving today. I know it’s painful, Friend, and I’m sorry.

Without minimizing the hurt in your heart, can I gently remind you that He understands? He will be with you whether you walk through fire or travel through the darkest valley. You may not feel as though it’s true, but He will never leave your side. One day soon, this world’s grief will be forgotten and replaced with joy unimaginable as we soak in the glory of Christ with all things renewed. Restored. Reestablished.

I’ve collected a few of my favorite Bible verses to pray over when your heart is hurting. Just click on the link below.

5 Printable Bible Verses for a Hurting Heart

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays  Sunday Thoughts / InstaEncouragements/ Anita Ojeda Mandy and Michele

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

Wednesdays   Recharge 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 , Embracing the Unexpected

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don't know, but He does. I can't fix it, but He can. I can't rescue anyone, but He already has.

I can’t sleep. Anxiety wakes me before dawn and I feel it’s vice-like grip wrapping around my stomach, pressing hard on my chest.  Thoughts roil and spin as my pulse quickens. Bile rises in the back of my throat as one silent message after another ticks across the screen of my mind like the captions of a silent movie.

Help me, Lord!I don't utter the words aloud, but they pour from my soul thick with worry and fear.#overcomingfear#anxiety#worry Click To Tweet

Help me, Lord! I don’t utter the words aloud, but they pour from my soul thick with worry and fear.

I know I’m meant to pray and I resort to intercession for the dear ones on my heart. I can’t imagine a good outcome. How could anything worthy or beautiful come from an ugly, sin-ridden situation like this one? How can God possibly bring something beautiful from the rubble?

So I continue whispering my prayers and sending them to the heart of the Father. I’m still restless throughout the day, even preoccupied at times. But the sensation of a weight sitting on my chest is gone. In it’s place? I’m reminded again and again of His faithfulness to His children.

When Naomi lost hope, God gave her Ruth.

When Mary heard of Christ’s impending birth, God sent her to Elizabeth.

When David faced the sword of the king, He offered protection through Jonathan.

When Shadrack, Meshack, and Abendego walked through the fire, the Lord stood with them.

When the waves washed over Peter, Jesus pulled him from the depths.

When the enemy laughed because He’d thought he’d overcome, Christ rose from the grave.

I am not the only one to experience both joy and sorrow, celebration and grief, or delight and despair. Because we live in a world designed by God but polluted by the enemy, time will oscillate between glimpses of heaven and encounters with hell.

For. A. Time.

Then Christ will scoop each of His children up in the arms of eternity. The sorrow? Destroyed. The grief? Overcome. The despair? Decimated. Instead, we will only know and remember the love, mercy, and grace of the God who brought us through it all.

I long for the timelessness of all that is good and beautiful, don’t you? In the meantime, our wrestling with worry, anxiety and fear can take a back seat to the faithfulness of God.

If He extended grace before the cross, what will He do for you now? You are safe beneath His wings.#loved#treasured#saved. Click To Tweet

If He extended grace before the cross, what will He do for you now? Oh, Friend, you are safe beneath His wings.

Perhaps you’re struggling this week in the same way I have. Why not recite these words of hope as a proclamation of God’s love for you. Complete the __________ with your name as a reminder that you are beloved by Him.

When _______________ lost hope, God gave her Jesus.

When ________________ knew of impending trials or accusations, God sent her Jesus.

When ________________ faced the sword of the king, He offered protection through Jesus.

When ________________ walked through the fire, the Lord stood with her.

When the waves washed over _________________, Jesus pulled her from the depths.

When the enemy laughed because He’d thought he’d overcome __________________ , Christ rose from the grave.

Then, print off this list of verses to pray over and recite when the enemy comes at you with fear and anxiety. You can print them here.

10 Bible Verses to Help You When You Fear the Future (1)

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays  Sunday Thoughts / InstaEncouragements/ Anita Ojeda Mandy and Michele

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

Wednesdays   Recharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/ Porch Stories

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

Fridays Dance With Jesus / Faith N Friends / Fresh Market Friday / Grace and Truth / Faith on Fire / Blogger Voices Network/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Father's Day

“I don’t know him.” My son’s words sting because they’re true. I tuck the Father’s Day card into its envelope and a sigh of undesired acknowledgement escapes my lips.

A twelve hour road trip has separated us for more than fifteen years. Nothing more. And I wish things were different. Like a child yearns to see the daddy who no longer lives at home, I still desire fatherly pursuit. A relationship of “I’ll be there when you need me” and “I’d cross the country twice just to see you.”

The father-shaped place in my heart hurts a little bit today. Perhaps your does, too.#Father'sDay#heartwounds Click To Tweet

The father-shaped place in my heart hurts a little bit today. Perhaps your does, too. This world can taint the most beautiful of relationships and leave us longing for more. More time. More meaningful communication. More love.

If every Father’s Day reminds you of what is missing in your earthly relationship with your dad, then I want you to know there is someone who loves you beyond your wildest imagination.

The perfect model of parental love, your heavenly Father demonstrated his love for you when he wove threads of life inside a woman and fashioned your soul. He envisioned the beauty of you. Wanted a heart-to-heart relationship with you.

Then, he called you his own. A child of God upon whom his love might be lavished. (1 John 3:1) A child that he delights in and rejoices over. (Zephaniah 3:17) A precious little lamb who is treasured as if she were the only one in the flock. In Him, you will never be  lost, overlooked, or pushed aside. (Matthew 18:12-14)

 In Him, you will never be  lost, overlooked, or pushed aside.#perfectlove#heavenlyFather Click To Tweet

Unlike the most loving of human daddies, the Father’s love is boundless. It reached beyond heaven to the hillside of Golgotha and extended from the grave to triumphant resurrection. This Father, dear one, loves you with such ardor that he descended into the depths of hell to lay rest to the enemy’s claim on your life.  No distance is too great. No obstacle too large. No circumstance worth losing you.

This Father’s Day, I pray you’ll be able to rejoice in the Lord’s incomprehensible love and allow him to fill any of those daddy-shaped places in your heart.

Consider taking the following action steps this weekend when your heart feels the loss of what you’re missing in your earthly daughter-daddy relationship.

  1. Recite Bible verses that remind you of God’s love and care for you. (Find a free printable of encouraging verses here.)God's Love
  2. Write a letter of forgiveness to your earthly father. Put it away for three or four days and then decide whether or not you’ll share it with him.
  3. Create a list of character traits that you appreciate about your father.
  4. Praise God for being the Father that He is to you. 

 

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays Sunday Thoughts / InstaEncouragements/ Mandy and Michele

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

Wednesdays Encouraging Word Wednesday / Recharge Wednesday / Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee

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

Fridays Dance With Jesus / Faith N Friends / Fresh Market Friday / Grace and Truth / Faith on Fire / Blogger Voices Network/

 

 

You are from God, little children, and have overcome them- because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world

Today, we celebrate the freedom that flooded the beaches of Normandy during WWII. To some of us, it’s a snapshot from history displayed on a screen or found between the pages of a dusty history book.

But, D-Day is not easily dismissed for men like Jim Radford. Now a ninety-year-old veteran,  he served on a tugboat during the invasion–leaving childhood and naïveté’ behind.

At the tender age of fifteen, a boy watched the red blood of men mingle with sea foam. He witnessed the ravages of evil inflicted on the innocent who willingly gave their lives for a greater purpose. A higher calling. A human right.

Along with the powers of three allied nations, Jim Radford and thousands of other men and boys trampled on the head of the snake. They felt his sting as the poisoned teeth of ruthless power and degradation penetrated marrow and bone. Still, they pressed on–armored up and willing to sacrifice their lives for the innocent.

These were great men fighting for freedom. For life. For those who had been born and for the generations to come.

The men of Normandy illustrate the terrible beauty of sacrificial love.#loveothers#purpose#sacrifice. Click To Tweet

The men of Normandy illustrate the terrible beauty of sacrificial love.

Two thousand years ago, another battle raged as Jesus invaded the enemy’s domain. The prince of the air slammed headlong into the true Overload, certain he’d earned the victory as heaven’s blood pooled at the bottom of a rough-hewn cross.

Satan dismissed the might of the godhead.He diminished the power of the Father to reflect his own limitations.#pride#folly#OperationOverlord Click To Tweet

Just as Hitler miscalculated the strength of the Allied army, Satan dismissed the might of the godhead. He diminished the power of the Father to reflect his own limitations. Denied the sacrificial mission of the spotless Lamb. And, dismissed the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.

But, the Holy Trinity couldn’t be contained.

The eternal version of operation Overlord began the day a refugee woman birthed a babe sent to rescue those bound by the chains of sin. Only a handful of years later, the enemy mocked and jeered. Celebrating at the noise of a blinded crowd, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” But, then?

The holy Warrior shook off the cold grip of death and rose triumphant.

The snake that stung the King's heal lay crushed beneath the terrible beauty of a matchless,holy sacrifice.#heavensvictory#holysacrifice Click To Tweet

The snake that stung the King’s heal lay crushed beneath the terrible beauty of a matchless, holy sacrifice. While death rattles the enemy’s chest, he still fights. He knows the war has been lost, but pride emboldens him. Determined to secure a territory of his own, he attempts to overcome the weak and vulnerable.

But, Christian, we are God’s soldiers. We are called to love and serve. To pray. To invade that which the enemy holds–a land teeming with people who need the hope of the one who can rescue and restore their lives.

We must be willing to leave our comforts behind.To engage in the eternal fight for souls.To live up to our calling.#eternityinthebalance#commissioned Click To Tweet

Our weapons, though, are spiritual. Designed to protect from the tactics of a skilled enemy and empower us to wage battle on our own behalf and that of others, we must be willing to leave our comforts behind. To engage in the eternal fight for souls. To live up to our calling.

Perhaps these words from Esther 4:14 are meant as much for this generation as they were for a Jewish queen. “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

 

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following bloggers:

Mondays Sunday Thoughts / LMM Linkup

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

Wednesdays Encouraging Word Wednesday / Recharge Wednesday / Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  / Grace Moments / Tune In Thursday / Destination Inspiration / Salt and Light / Five Minute Friday

Fridays Dance With Jesus / Faith N Friends / Fresh Market Friday / Grace and Truth / Faith on Fire / Blogger Voices Network

 

 

 

 

 

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With summer’s advent just beyond the next spring rain and another year’s worth of teaching behind me, I’m planning to soak in the words of authors for the next several weeks.

I’m imagining a warm cup of tea on the back patio as early morning is swallowed by sunlight, the crisp pages of a new book grazing my fingers.

While I’m compiling a new list of potential books, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite non-fiction reads. Maybe one or two will grab your attention and you can add them to your summer list.

 

More for Mom

“I want to get back to a place where I dream big and bold. I think you should too, because that’s the sweet spot where our excitement for life meets our pure, whole selves and we come alive.” -Kristin Funston, 

I want to get back to a place where I dream big and bold.#KristinFunston#realmotherhood#faith Click To Tweet

Kristin Funston’s book, More for Mom-Living Your Whole and Holy Life, is a relatable, humorous read for any woman immersed in mothering. Whether you’re a mother of toddlers or teens or you stay at home or deal with the daily grind at the office, you’ll discover fresh encouragement, tips, and spiritual inspiration in a book written with you in mind.

If you feel as though you’ve set aside your dreams, plans, or spiritual life in the messy, beautiful world of parenting, then you’ll want to get a copy of this book.

 

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If you have ever struggled to communicate well with your mother or daughter or if there are unaddressed hurts in your relationship, I highly recommend Mended-Restoring the Hearts of Mothers and Daughters. 

The mother-daughter team, Helen McIntosh and Blythe Daniel, share wisdom and word prompts that can lead to new, healthy ways of relating with one another. I particularly loved Chapter 9-A New Generation: Setting Things Differently.

Lean in as close as you can, and let God surprise you...#generationalsin#blythedaniel#healing Click To Tweet

No matter what patterns we’ve clung to or those present in our family of origin, Blythe and Helen invite readers to “lean in as close as you can, and let God surprise you with how you can come out with a deeper love for your mother or daughter than you ever expected.”

Unintentional Doug Smith

“When we spend so much time engaged with our screens and focused on what the creators want us to care about, our real lives, real people, and real needs around us can be sorely neglected.”-Doug Smith

I’ve just begun reading (Un)Intentional by Doug Smith, but as a parent raising children in the digital age this book has captured my attention.

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A software programmer, Doug asks the question, “What if our very ability to think clearly, and therefore, to be ourselves (is) at stake?” He addresses the consequences of the unfettered use of technology and its impact on our lives and those of our children within a spiritual, Christ-focused worldview.

If you want to dig into a thought-provoking, challenging book this summer consider (Un)Intentional.

Prayers of Jesus

Having never been discipled in prayer and always feeling as though prayer is an area of personal weakness, I loved Janet McHenry’s The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus-What Jesus Prayed and How It Can Change Your Life Today.

Janet reveals the different ways in which Jesus experienced and lived out his prayer life whether he was praying for daily needs, in moments of crisis, or with a heart of thanksgiving.

Our 'why' prayers are not insignificant. They breathe out humanity in the Father's direction.#whatjesusprayed#janetmchenry#learnfromJesus Click To Tweet

Each chapter ends with a prayer meant to be recited and personalized along with a Growing in Prayer section complete with questions and scripture references that lead the reader deeper in their walk with Christ.

This book is on my “read again soon” list.

 

I’d love to add some books to my summer reading list. What are a few you recommend?

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

 

 

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.

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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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