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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.

 Click To Tweet

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.

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

 

 

God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him..png

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

 

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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