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Posts Tagged ‘truth’

I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

 

I’ve let you down.

The moment I ask the Lord to fill the page with encouraging words, my thoughts still. It’s as though the well leading to my spirit has been cut off and the life existing there is dammed up-cut off by the grief all around us.

One day, it is the grim story of a male flight attendant from Hawaii that squeezes tears from my heart. Such a generous person, a friend Tweets below a beaming photo of a handsome young man. I blink hard as the image moves in and out of focus. There is no mention of Christ or faith or hope—only misguided, human goodness and I wonder if he is another soul without the eternal hope of Jesus.

There is no mention of Christ or faith or hope-only misguided, human goodness...#hope #jesus. Click To Tweet

The next morning, I venture outside. Perhaps a change of scenery will help me to listen more intently to Him. To pray. To focus on the message He has for me to share. Instead, several crows settle in the trees and perch on the rooftop as if to jeer at my optimistic, heaven-focused thoughts.

Have the hate-laced headlines left you wondering if people will ever treat one another with care or even civility?#loveoneanother #thegoldenrule. Click To Tweet

Are you, too, struggling to remain hopeful? Have the hate-laced headlines left you wondering if people will ever treat one another with care or even civility? Do you even dare dream of a world free of hatred and upheaval?

["You can do more than dream. Believe! Jesus' words of comfort to His disciples are meant for us.#believeinGod #believeinMe"]

Friend, you can do more than dream. Believe! Jesus’ words of comfort to His disciples are meant for us.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.  My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going.”

We may feel as though the world has spun off its axis, but we believe God because His word reassures us He…

spoke emptiness into beauty,

walked with faithful men through the fiery furnace,

rescued a condemned babe from Egypt’s waters,

filled a virgin’s womb with holy Life,

strode across the Sea of Galilee,

and raised a dead miracle-worker to the throne.

We believe because God's word reassures us He filled a virgin's womb with holy Life.. Click To Tweet

The Lord is powerful. While the pandemic, social unrest, and political uncertainty may cause personal unease, we can take comfort knowing our Father who loves us is firmly in control. He is neither taken by surprise nor wringing His hands.

He knows the beginning from the end. Take a deep breath, dear one. Jesus isn’t worried. Let’s allow His peace to fill our over-laden hearts today. Will you join me?

Prayer

Lord, your word promises that when I seek you, I’ll be delivered from my fears. (Psalm 34:4) Today, I admit I’m afraid of ___________________. Lord, please strengthen my faith that I might glorify you. Teach me to believe in your promises without wavering. (Romans 4:19-20) In the powerful name of Christ, Amen

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

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

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_...whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” - Copy

The throbbing is real but intangible. Painful but unseen. It’s the shattering of a heart already broken experiencing one more journey in the wasteland. Have you been in this place before? In the same sort of circumstance where your dreams are dashed by reality and hope drifts away like dust in the wind? Are you searching for solace, but coming up dry? Does it seem as if even God is unreachable in this desert place?

The Wasteland

The wasteland is almost uninhabitable; barren of comfort, it lacks nourishment and sanctuary is difficult to find. Even your spirit seeks aimlessly, searching for rest but finding none; lying in the pale sand only to rise up again up with the residue of silt  clinging to it-a a reminder of your unchartered journey.

Some of you may be in a spiritual wasteland or on its horizon; others remember trials you’ve recently experienced-difficult circumstances that led you deep into the arid places of the heart bereft of comfortable routines or reassuring normalcy.

If you’re passing through the refining heat of the desert, there is comfort in knowing those of great faith have also journeyed along the same gritty path.

A King in the Wasteland

Imagine being a man of great wealth and power only to discover your oldest son has betrayed you. Charming and deceitful, he’s convinced some of your closest advisors to turn against you and, as a result, you lose everything-your position, possessions, and prestige.

Discovering a plot against your life, you gather a few trusted men and escape to the wilderness. Nourishment is scarce and the enemy, your son, haunts every weary step. Battle weary, you’ve managed many losses and setbacks. Undeserved hatred. Depression. The death of a beloved child. This is a new heartache…the betrayal of a precious son and separation from your place of holy Hope. The one sanctuary of your life.

While encountering his own wasteland, the shepherd-turned-king cried out to God and scribed his words into song as a testimony for us.

O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches.
Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.                                                                                                                                   But those who seek my life, to destroy it,

Shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
They shall fall by the sword;
They shall be a portion for jackals.

But the king shall rejoice in God;
Everyone who swears by Him shall glory;
But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped. (Psalm 63-NKJV)

 

Are you struck by David’s description of His parched soul? By the yearning he has to be in God’s presence? In these few, beautiful verses the believer reveals a path to joy in the most difficult of situations.

Focus on God’s Character

When I’m surrounded by the brokenness of the wasteland, I often fail to notice the stark beauty of the desert stars shining in an inky sky or the shifting shadows along the face of the rocky terrain. I’m consumed by the situation and begin to compare my unfair circumstances to other believers. Why this issue? Hadn’t I prayed enough? Why does God allow this suffering? The questions keep coming, but there aren’t any satisfactory answers.

Perhaps David felt the same way, but he didn’t resort to comparing or even complaining. Instead, he turned his thoughts heavenward and called out to the one who is unbound by circumstances. David cried, “O Elohim (the one true God), You are my El (the mighty One).”

Neither the barren surroundings nor the lack of protection garnered the king’s attention. God’s character was his focal point. When we find ourselves confused or fearful in unwelcome circumstances, our strength comes from the presence of the all-knowing, ever-loving El Elohim. Removing our eyes from the temporary and redirecting them to our Eternal horizon is the first step in rediscovering hope in difficulty.

Quench Your Thirst

As king, David knew the pleasures of fine feasts, silken fabrics, and celebrations. He was accustomed to being addressed with respect and surrounded by family members and doting servants. Now, David and a few loyal men were rushing from one cave to another without the simplest of comforts, and when crying out for his most basic needs what did he request?

More of God.

Despite his clear physical needs, David’s spiritual needs were far more acute. Body and soul, he longed to commune with God. Lamenting at being separated from the holiness of the sanctuary where he’d witnessed God’s glory, earth’s mighty king bowed before heaven’s King in humble submission asking that the Lord alone would quench his thirst.

What does your soul thirst after, friend? Is it His word? Worship? Communing with Him?  Go to Him for we need never thirst. Jesus said, “whoever drinks of the water I will give him will never be thirsty again”. (John 4:14 ESV)

Remember and Rejoice

Even though David is fleeing for his life, he recalls all of the good God has done for him. He recounts the joys, victories, and protection. Maybe David thinks of his best friend Jonathan, the rags-to-riches story of shepherd boy to king, the unexpected win of teenaged-boy over a ruthless warrior, or the birth of his son, Solomon.

Praise flows like a river from David’s mouth. As he thanks the Lord, gratitude wells up from inside his spirit and joy spills out.

Remembering God’s goodness leads to rejoicing. And don’t we all need more rejoicing-especially when we’re walking through the wasteland?

 

Leaving the Wasteland

Eventually, David was rescued from the wasteland. You will be, too, friend. Our Father promises to be your shield and protector, your rescuer and redeemer. He will quench your thirst and lead you by still waters.

Like David, we can cling to our Lord with steady perseverance and take refuge from any challenge in El Elohim-the one true God, the strong and mighty One.

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

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee

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,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Shadow of Shame

 

Your parents had to get married. Her words, rife with condemnation and mockery, penetrated my third-grade heart. I felt the stares of the other children. I blinked hard, forcing my humiliation to be quiet. Undetectable. But shame rose fast and unrelenting like floodwaters. Tears blurring my vision, I bowed my head and hurried toward the school cafeteria. That day, every bite of food tasted like shame.

That day, every bite of food tasted like shame.#shame #powerofwords #identityinChrist Click To Tweet

My struggle with shame began long before elementary school. It festered and grew in a home where words were weapons and hurtful labels were accepted without question. I was a burden, not a blessing.

(To continue reading, please visit my friend, Katy Kauffman’s blog, where I am guest posting this week.) http://lighthousebiblestudies.com/katy-kauffman-blog/christ-who-conquered-shame.

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,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee

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

 

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Woman.png

It is the terror that if our dark soul is discovered, we will never be enjoyed, nor desired, nor pursued by anyone. (Dan Allender)

Shame is that inner tormentor that whispers lies and accusations. It is the silent, insidious voice of self-contempt for one’s own need for love, relationship, and acceptance and is the seat of fear and rejection for the woman who bears its burden.

Introduced into my life at the intersection between my parent’s divorce, a stepfather, and a little girl’s desperate longing for love, I’ve been acquainted with shame since before my fifth birthday. I couldn’t have known that my new daddy’s affection and attention were the seeds he’d scattered in my life to engender trust in a lonely child’s heart. But once the abuse began, shame grew from those seeds–unloosing  self-loathing and self-disdain; always asking, What if I hadn’t? or What if I had?

Shame, though, doesn’t limit itself to only those who are abuse survivors. It invades the lives of women who were the first in their family to experience divorce.

Women who were bullied for their appearance or personality.

Women who experienced the pain of an absentee parent.

Women whose husbands indulge in pornography or flit from one affair to the next.

Women living with the trauma of a child’s death.

Do you, too, know the voice of illegitimate shame? Has its poison poured into the soil of your heart, assaulting you with cruel falsehoods?

You’re never enough.

You should have done something.

You shouldn’t have done anything.

You aren’t worth being loved. 

Some of us tuck shame behind our smiles; the great pretenders#nomoreshame#soulhealing#youareworthloving. Click To Tweet

Some of us tuck shame behind ours smiles; the great pretenders. Others of us hide behind success and performance, unhealthy relationships, food or alcohol consumption, or even closed hearts–certain we’re safer not being known at all.

Two thousand years ago, another woman lived with the shame of bloody discharge.

In the crowd that day there was a woman who for twelve years had been afflicted with hemorrhages. She had spent every penny she had on doctors but not one had been able to help her. She slipped in from behind and touched the edge of Jesus’ robe. At that very moment her hemorrhaging stopped. Jesus said, “Who touched me?”

When no one stepped forward, Peter said, “But Master, we’ve got crowds of people on our hands. Dozens have touched you.”

Jesus insisted, “Someone touched me. I felt power discharging from me.”

When the woman realized that she couldn’t remain hidden, she knelt trembling before him. In front of all the people, she blurted out her story—why she touched him and how at that same moment she was healed.

Jesus said, “Daughter, you took a risk trusting me, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed!” (Luke 8:43-48)

Imagine this women’s desperation. For twelve years she’d lived on the fringe of society as an outcast. The communities societal pollutant. Demoralized and destitute, the woman hid in the midst of the crowd–gathering courage.

Despite the possibility of ridicule or rejection, the woman pressed through her fear as trembling fingers feathered lightly against rough fabric. And in the moment she trusted the Healer, her shame was destroyed.

If shame is part of your struggle, God’s heart is for you to discover freedom from its lies that you, too, might “live well, live blessed.” But, how?

Let’s consider the example of the healed woman who tried to hide from Christ. She pushed beyond her pain, pressed into Jesus, and proclaimed the truth of her situation. These were the stepping-stones of faith that led to healing and wholeness. Relief and restoration.

These were the stepping stones of faith that led to healing and wholeness.Relief and restoration.#nomoreshame#speaktruth#soulhealing Click To Tweet

Oh, friend, this woman’s experience can be mine. Her experience can be yours!

Will you consider taking on a challenge? Starting today, I encourage you to stand up against shame by engaging in the following three activities until you begin to notice a heart change:

  • Push beyond your pain. Write an honest, raw letter or prayer to Jesus about the pain of your shame. What has shame told you? What words or actions have other people taken that have caused you to feel ashamed?
    Step out from hiding and reveal your heart to Him.He will never forsake you. Click To Tweet

    Step out from hiding and reveal your heart to Him. He will never forsake you.

  • Press into Jesus. Reach for the hem of his garment by seeking Him in scripture. Saturate your mind with the Word and replace words of shame with the Living Word that assures you of your identity and worth.
  • Proclaim the truth. Record God’s words of love and place them where you’ll frequently see them. Read them aloud, turn them into prayers, and claim them for yourself because God’s promises are for those who put their faith in Him. Consider inviting a friend, counselor or mentor into the places you need healing from shame. Or, message me and I’ll pray for you.

May you, too, “live well, live blessed.”

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following: Porch StoriesTea and Word Tuesday, Literary Musing MondaysTea and Word TuesdaysWorth Beyond Rubies Wednesday, Let’s Have Coffee, Soaring With HimPurposeful Faith, Encouraging Word WednesdaySitting Among FriendsImparting GraceDestination InspirationTune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementFaith and FriendsFaith on Fire, anitaojeda, Dance with Jesus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Explore the world..png

The nudging at my heart is almost imperceptible, like the butterfly movements an expectant mother feels when the blossoming life within ripples softly against the secret places.

I pause. Is this my imagination or has God gently prompted the thought? 

Still uncertain, I ask Him for confirmation, finish my prayers with a resolute “Amen”, and rush through the morning routine. The day’s demands hijack my thoughts and I continue from one hour to the next without considering my earlier conversation with the One who intercedes on my behalf.

Eventually, pale shades of rose unfurl as the sun retreats behind purple-hued mountains. I join women of all ages and colors in the building on the corner; the one whose bell peals in celebration each Sunday.

We read Matthew 28:19-20.

 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Go. 

One little word and I’m overcome by its gravity. It is the same word I’d noticed before the house emptied itself of activity. Go. The two letters spin in my mind.

Go-and make disciples.Go-and baptize.Go-and teach.Go-because I am with you. Click To Tweet#faith#sharehope

Go–and make disciples. Go–and baptize. Go–and teach. Go–because I am with you.

And, I finally realize what I hadn’t before. This…the Great Commission…is an impossible call to action. An insurmountable assignment. An unthinkable possibility.

I am one woman in a sea of Unreachables. But, the going isn’t merely my mission. The going isn’t relegated to only to you or me. No, this is a joint effort. We are commissioned ; on mission together.

When Christ assured that He is always with us,He meant with us in our going out.With us in our service.With us in our mission Click To Tweet.#trustHim#sharelife

When Christ assured that He is always with us, He meant with us in our going out. With us in our service. With us in our mission.

We are commissioned with Jesus to love the Unreachables. To go. Where will he send you today? Have you prepared for your Mission Impossible?

 Click To Tweet

Go with intention. Go without hesitation. Go in His presence.

I’d love to know where He’s sending you. Share if you have the opportunity!

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following: Porch StoriesTea and Word Tuesday, Literary Musing Mondays, Tea and Word TuesdaysWorth Beyond Rubies WednesdayLet’s Have CoffeePurposeful Faith, Encouraging Word WednesdaySitting Among FriendsImparting GraceDestination InspirationTune in ThursdayHeart EncouragementFaith and FriendsFaith on FireDance with Jesus

 

 

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spiritual warfare

The faintest light penetrates an inky sky as I awaken to the sounds of my husband shuffling about the house. I hear the clink of the coffeepot as it meets the edge of his mug and know that it’s time to ready myself for the day ahead.

Leaning toward the nightstand, I fumble for my glasses and then flick on the table lamp. My first impulse is to slip my fingers around the cool metal of the laptop waiting expectantly on my desk. I’ve been preoccupied lately, filling the first few minutes of the morning checking various email accounts and posting on social media.

None of these activities are wrong, but the quiet pre-dawn moments are the rare, uninterrupted  times I used to share with the Lord. Now, I’ve fallen into the habit of settling for less. Of forgetting that each day comes with its challenges. Of ignoring the importance of preparing for spiritual battle because I know I exist between the realities of the seen and unseen.

The sunrise my be beautiful, the house may be quiet, but the enemy is always prepared to infiltrate, attack, or ambush.

“The devil is working against (us). He is walking around like a hungry lion with his mouth open. He is looking for someone to eat.” (1 Peter 5:8)

Scanning Facebook instead of donning spiritual battle gear puts me at risk. Makes me vulnerable. And, worse, renders me useless as a woman living in her own strength rather than Christ’s.

If you’ve ever struggled to remain disciplined in prayer or Bible study, you understand.

But, there are souls walking around who need the hope we have. There are wounded hearts hemorrhaging for the love of Jesus. And, we are the ones called to serve as spiritual soldiers. With eternity hanging in the balance, it’s no wonder we’re told to put on the full armor of God.

I’m gearing up and strapping on, friend. Will you join me? Let’s get ready to stand our ground.

Action Step:                                                                                                                        Personalize the verses below as you pray them aloud by inserting your name in the blanks.

Finally, ______________, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you, __________,  can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For _____________’s struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, _______________,  put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Ephesians 6:10-13)

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We are God’s children set free from the bondage of slavery and delivered to a kingdom of restored hope and promise.

(This is an excerpt from the book I am currently writing. May these words encourage your heart. Blessings, Tammy)

A perpetual champion of the underdog, I regularly root for the outcast because I’ve always consider myself a bit of a David—a next-to-nothing-unknown standing in the shadow of a man who caused grown men to tremble.  A man without regard for others and even less for God.

Do you relate? Your giant may have a different name or even a label, but he is no more immune to the Father’s power and justice than the Goliath of scripture.

A Giant in the Land

You may recall the story. Goliath of Gath was the Philistine’s war hero. Arrogant and puffed up with pride, he and the other troops taunted Saul’s army for forty days and nights boasting of their strength. Stories of Goliath’s conquests were certain to have spread among the Israelite camp and God’s mighty men quaked at the sight of this giant of a man who stood nearly ten feet tall.

But, David, a pubescent boy and the least of his family, gathered his courage along with five stones and embedded a rock into Goliath’s skull. The great enemy? Conquered. The threats of the previous days? Eliminated. David’s future? Full of promise.

In the same way, I lived with a giant of my own—a 6’4”, red-haired stepfather with a protruding nose, handlebar mustache, and bulldog tattoo on his upper right shoulder. Invited into immediate fatherhood following a month’s long engagement and subsequent wedding, Doug inherited a toddler and preschooler in need of a daddy. With a penchant for randomly shouting Marine jargon, his voice boomed loud on the average day and rose several decibels when drunkenness or rage coursed through his veins like a prairie wildfire scorching everything in its path.

Like a Philistine warrior, he’d swagger through the door of our trailer house spewing curse words and condemnation. “Where are those little brats? I never wanted to be their father.” And my brother and I would squat in the furthest corner of my tiny bedroom hoping the blustering would stop with the traditional after-work six-pack.

If the ranting continued, we knew. The approaching evening would be one of continued slurs and violent combat—husband pitted against diminutive wife. Her face and body bearing evidence to the events of the night before.

Giants like Goliath and Daddy Doug have a lot in common. They raise their fists to heaven, defying God and abusing his people. Empowered by the fear of those around them, they mock the weak, defenseless or powerless; mercilessly punishing anyone foolish enough to challenge them.

The Mighty Warrior doesn’t stand idly by—cooly observing calamity and chaos directed at His children without intervening.No, He was and is your Defender and mine. Click To Tweet

Friend, the Mighty Warrior doesn’t stand idly by—cooly observing calamity and chaos directed at His children without intervening. No, He was and is your Defender and mine. The giant in your land and mine may have invaded in an attempt to overthrow hope.  Plunder peace. Steal innocence. But he is no match for the one who defends His children. Just as Goliath continued his rampage unhampered for a time, your giant and mine will one day stand before the true King—his threats nothing more than blustery words evaporating in the wind.

Just as Goliath continued his rampage unhampered day after day, your giant and mine will one day stand before the true King—his threats nothing more than blustery words evaporating in the wind.. Click To Tweet

Giants cast imposing shadows and only those who’ve lived within the darkness of that shadow understand the way it stretches far and wide, nearly engulfing the landscape of a child’s spirit. Much like Saul’s men, a little one learns her position. She recognizes her own powerlessness and at the rattling of the giant’s saber, remains on the sidelines—aware that venturing beyond the boundaries not only invites danger into the midst, but guarantees she’ll be its target.

And, while witnessing turmoil from the edges of the crowd causes her knees to knock, bearing the brunt of Goliath’s hate and fury invites brutality. Reprisal. Retaliation. So the child remains in the relative safety of anonymity, praying her nonresponse will assure tacit favor. Hoping she’ll discover safety in compliance, avoidance, or aquiesence.

The reaction of the child is expected and even justified. After all, she relies on others for survival. They are the faces in the crowd that should raise up in battle against the giant—fighting on behalf of those who depend upon them for safety and protection. The parents, church leaders, and teachers. The neighbors, friends, and family members.

You may not have realized it, but there is a champion who stepped in on your behalf to wage a war for you. A rescuer who overthrew the neighborhood bully and claimed you for his own. . Click To Tweet

You may not have realized it, but there is a champion who stepped in on your behalf to wage a war for you. A rescuer who overthrew the neighborhood bully and claimed you for his own. The one who envisioned himself the great conqueror fell in defeat—his plans crumpled at the foot of the cross. Every abusive word, foul gesture, and spirit crushing blow cast aside.

When you and I lived in the land of giants, we believed we were surrounded. Unable to vanquish the enemy. But, in the power of the heavenly Champion we are more than overcomers. We are God’s children set free from the bondage of slavery and delivered to a kingdom of restored hope and promise.

We are God’s children set free from the bondage of slavery and delivered to a kingdom of restored hope and promise.. Click To Tweet

Whether you are at battle with a giant from the past or a hidden enemy like depression or chronic illness, you can trust that the battle has already been won. The foe is vanquished. Victory is certain.

This is the promise of Christ,  In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

 

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following:

#Tea and Word Tuesday and…

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Gods love.png

She is the elderly woman in the polyester suit sitting alone in the church pew week after week or the frazzled young mother in the grocery aisle juggling a wailing infant and impatient toddler. She might be the middle-aged divorcee’ who envies every couple in a restaurant with their heads bent close in intimate conversation. She could be the friend who looks as if her world is perfect. The one who hides the reality of her pain behind a ready smile or encouraging word—wishing someone would reach out, speak up, welcome in.

These are the unseen ones. The women who live in loneliness, believing they are unworthy of being loved. That no one cares. That they are friendless. Forgotten. Forsaken.

Are you, too, chained to loneliness? Are you convinced you are unnoticed and unseen? I understand. I lived in loneliness for years hoping my husband or attainment or education might relieve the cry of my heart.

See me. Choose me. Love me.

But, neither nuptials nor knowledge are meant to satisfy the longings of our soul. That role belongs to El Roi, the one who sees the need of his beloved daughters. To the Shepherd, the one who never leaves us nor forsakes us. To the Helper, who guides us into truth.

Loneliness thrives when we nurture it with lies. But, God scripted His truth for us that we might receive it. Click To Tweet

Loneliness thrives when we nurture it with lies. But, God scripted His truth for us that we might receive it. Learn it. Live it. Friend, when we soak our hope-hungry hearts in His word we’re reminded of our position and His forever-faithfulness.

Today’s Challenge

If loneliness is your unwelcome side-kick, take action. Invite Jesus into your isolation. Pray. Listen. Combat the lies you’ve believed with the words of the One in whose power you’ve been raised. Then, allow your struggle in the now to motivate you toward investing in someone’s tomorrow? Just take one simple step–invite a neighbor for coffee, ring up an old friend, plan a date night with your husband. Ask the Helper to replace your false identity as the Unseen with a new capacity to see the needs of others.

Lie-I am unseen.

Truth-God sees and knows you.

Scripture-Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.  Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7

With peace and love,

Tammy

(This post was first published at Faithfully Following Ministries, faithfullyfollowing.com)

 

 

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Scandolous love

His birth announcement should have captured the mind and imagination of every pauper and king, servant and master, Jew and Gentile. If life were fair, he would have received recognition as the Appointed One from birth. Instead, the blessed event created almost as much scandal as his life, death, and resurrection.

Jesus.

Just the name of Christ invites reaction and has since the moment his first infant’s wail erupted from untried lungs; the heartbeat of heavenly love embodied in flesh. From birth, he was hunted as a prize by a king who resented the competition of a helpless babe born in a hovel to a teenaged mother and her working-class husband. Forced into hiding, Immanuel–the Prince of Peace and hope of all men–finally found home amongst an unbelieving family and a community of skeptics.

Jesus.

From infancy to adulthood, the Savior lived marked by God–innocence incarnate…divinity expressed…love revealed but also a man reviled by family, hated by society, abhorred by the religious elite.

<a href=”https://ctt.ec/ceeNA”>Tweet: From infancy to adulthood, the Savior lived marked by God–innocence https://ctt.ec/ceeNA+ https://ctt.ec/fa5eA+ revealed@tammykennington.com#theway#thetruth#thelife</a>

Jesus.

They say the more things change, the more they stay the same and today–2,000 years later–people continue to disregard, degrade, and debase a child birthed to a virgin in a lonely cave. Has any other infant created such controversy? Any other life such hope? Any other death such awe?

When He returns, Friends, all doubt will be destroyed. All degradation overturned. All foolish talk silenced. He came once as helpless babe, but will reappear as the almighty Alpha and Omega. He lived within the constraints of flesh and blood, but will rule with eternal power and might. He died a sacrificial lamb, but will reign as conquering king.

<a href=”https://ctt.ec/mSULp”>Tweet: He came once as helpless babe, but will reappear as the almighty Alpha and Omega. He lived within the constraints of flesh and blood, but will rule with eternal power and might. He died a sacrificial lamb, but will reign as conquering https://ctt.ec/mSULp+</a&gt;

In a season peppered with politically correct acclamations and a holiday that sometimes loses its meaning somewhere between the gift wrap and tinsel, may our hearts be fortified by the knowledge that thirty-three years after His birth the beautiful child unwrapped His righteousness on the tree and offered life to all willing to confess and believe in the beautiful name of…

Jesus.

 

Today’s Point to Ponder

How can we share the hope and joy of Christ’s birth with others while remaining sensitive to their individual world views? Are we willing to step out of the comfortable to plant seeds of the eternal?

 

Bible Verses for Reflection

(KJV) Luke 2-8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

 

Blessings,

Tammy

 

Kelly-Balarie-23

 

 

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If you’ve ever found yourself doubting God’s goodness or wondering if your faith can withstand the hard of your circumstances, then I hope you’ll find some encouragement today.

I understand, Friend. Just a few years ago, I grappled with my faith. Fought and wrestled with God about the overwhelming, painful reality of all that was beyond difficult. Mine was a faith at risk of being abandoned.

For close to three years, I alternated between fighting for and against my faith. The beliefs I’d held since girlhood stood withered and emaciated beneath the scorching heat of personal trial and all that came with it. Anger. Grief. Disillusionment. Doubt.

You may be in that place now. Your soul may feel as though it’s bleeding and if that’s the case, dear Friend, let me encourage you to do battle to remain in Truth. It may take times of wrestling in the dirt before you rise up–your faith strengthened and doubts replaced with hope.

I hope the following video brings encouragement as you walk through the hard of your journey.

 

Kelly-Balarie-23PatriciaHolbrook_RW_button3A-e1485727161169

FaithnFriends-RBGraceTruth-600x800Holley-Gerth-Button-250x250Heart-Encouragement-Community-Linkup-csFriday Link Up

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