Sabbatical 2017 –

Hi friends!

I am currently on a sabbatical from the blogging world for the next few months (well, aside from book reviews). Honestly as resistant as I can be, this season of life is more needed than I could say.

Ways to stay connected, while I am away –

  • Gracefully Overcoming’s Facebook page is going through a study of its own. From now until Christmas, we are studying Psalm 119. Yes, that extremely long Psalm, you might have meant to study at some point.
  • And if that doesn’t grab your attention, Indoor Outreach is going through the book of Luke.

Feel free to pray for me, as I go through this season. I am loving my time away, but miss you all tremendously! Maybe, we can stay semi-connected on Facebook. =)

In Christ,

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Praise Before Panic {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan.

We can apply today’s Scripture to any area of life. While I was contemplating on if I was well enough prepared to write on this Scripture, I now know this is an important truth for any area of life.

Also it is not good for a person to be without knowledge, And he who hurries with his feet [acting impulsively and proceeding without caution or analyzing the consequences] sins (misses the mark). – Prov. 19:2, AMP

As I previously mentioned, I underwent a medical test. Any medical test can have the ability to be over-analyzed. I am thankful for the reminder to spend time considering my spiritual needs too. Before my big test, I sought out how to remain encouraged and Spirit-filled.

Typically, I prepare for specifics in regards to medical tests – by choosing a Scripture to focus on. Without this plan, I would be left in a dangerous spot. Without choosing to deliberately focus on our risen Lord, I might be unfriendly to the medical staff or inconsolable.

As I write this, I am in awe of what our God can do. Just as it is not good to act impulsively or fail to plan, we have to remember the goodness of our Lord. When I was placed into the MRI machine, I was not feeling very encouraged. To God be all glory, honor, and praise: He placed an ideal song on my heart. I didn’t belt out lyrics or move, but it encouraged my heart so much.

“Fearless” by Travis Ryan is likely one of the best songs to heart sing, in the midst of a medical test that is as tight in space as a coffin. It gets me a little bit emotional as I share this, because heart singing praise music isn’t something I would have expected. This was the best way God could have met me in the midst of my great need of remembering His presence and promise to stay with me.

Fearless, make us fearless | Give us courage for You are with us | Fearless, make us fearless | Come and mark us with Your boldness

God is in the details of our lives. While He was in total control during my medical test, I don’t want to consider my joy level had I not prepared.

Friends, let’s be lovers of Jesus who want to prepare and remember that we are forever His!

We need to seek His face and act wisely. Whenever we act impulsively, it can draw us away from our Lord and cause us to sin.

This is a testimony of how God meets us right where we are. Even in deep needs, God will meet us and act on our behalf – through His Holy Spirit.

Soul Tied {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan.

Yesterday I underwent a medical test, and my body shared its unwellness with me and others. While the outcome of my test is unknown, I am reminded of the eternal hope found in our risen Lord Jesus Christ.

The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” (John 4:28-29, NLT)

The hope of Jesus Christ remains strong, despite our earthly circumstances. Friends, we can become women who are made complete in Jesus Christ.

This Woman

Jesus spoke with a woman, known only by her past sins. Jesus offered her the same gift He offers to us – eternal hope, forgiveness of our sins, and an identity of being His!

We know. . . God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people (1 Thess. 1:4).

Jesus met her in the unlikely place. As she searched for drinking water, her soul finally found what it was searching for: Jesus Christ, the One who cleanses us and redefines our identity – based on who He is.

She didn’t know what {or who} was waiting for her, as she went to the well. This heavy hearted woman went to the well at noon time, which was an ideal time to gather water without the presence and chatter of other women. She knew the glances well, because everyone knew she was a woman with a scandalous past.

This precious woman left behind her past, as her satisfied soul lept for joy and entered an exclusive relationship with Jesus.

From this moment on, she would stop running from others. She would quit forcing her eyes to look no further than the sandals on her feet. Instead of hiding away like an embarrassment to God and others, she did something quite different:

She became a woman whose heart was found in Jesus, her Savior, and told others about the God they had to come and see for themselves.

We have our own past, but remember Jesus can use these moments and bring glory to the Father. While I don’t know your story, I know our Lord. He can bring a testimony out of our mess, and fill it with His eternal hope.

During my test, all I could do is pray in the presence of distractions and remember “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. . . to Him we belong. . . They are weak, but He is strong.”.

Remember, friends. Souls tied to King Jesus can leap for joy and have a desire to tell others about Him. How can we tie our souls to His?

Let us spend time in prayer and worship.

In Christ,

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Impact #2

My last impact entry was about 2 months ago. A lot has happened in that time. Health scare, which was relieved by a less serious health problem. Good news! (Bad news is: POTS is the reason for worsening symptoms. All before Spring.)

Feeling – Lately, I have felt a myraid of things. Home Sick. Loneliness. Frustration. (Dis)Contentment. Peace. Joy. Laughter. Mmmm, variety of emotions. Good, Bad, and in between. POTS has been rough, but I am still here. So, that is good news. I am not hooked up to a hospital bed with monitors. I am finding joy in unlikely places of chronic illness.

While all days aren’t joy-infused, I have the hope of my Savior Jesus Christ to remind me who I am. . . in spite of illness. Looking forward to Heaven, but trying to make the most of my time on earth to do something worthwhile.

Studying – Since my last impact, I have nearly finished studying 1 & 2 Thessalonians. Last week, I began the book of James. I am really enjoying it. One of today’s verse hit home for me, and is found at the end of this blog post. I have been reading and studying using The Living Bible found on Bible Gateway, which is a paraphrase like the Message. I am absolutely loving it! It is soo nice to have the privilege to open up the Bible in a new translation, using different wording, but having the same meaning. The Word of God is coming alive!

Reading – I am not quite sure that I am reading anything right now, since I have gotten out of the habit of reading actual books. Desiring God and reading the Bible in chronological order (that things happened) is what I am reading. Our church is reading the Bible together in a specific schedule. We have gone through Job, Genesis, Exodus, and are in Leviticus. Even with the audio Bible, my reading track record isn’t perfection but who says it has to be?

Listening To –

Celebrating – Many things.

  • Jesus is the top celebration. He loves me, and stays with me no matter what!
  • Doctors who care about their patients.
  • Good music that speaks God’s truths
  • Seeing how God can revive my broken spirit.

Loving – the gift of streaming biblical teachings, for anyone to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the biblical truths we need to know.

Praying – for my health, family, and a new blog series idea.

Holding Onto – Jesus! I am holding onto Jesus. Jesus is the One who is holding me, through all of life’s storms.

But when I am afraid, I will put my confidence in you. Yes, I will trust the promises of God… (Ps. 56:3-4)

Other Scriptures – James 1:9 (found below)

A Christian who doesn’t amount to much in this world should be glad, for he is great in the Lord’s sight (James 1:9).

Loving Like Jesus {{Week 6}}

Short note: There is an error in this week’s journal. The Scripture reference for our memory verse is actually… Matthew 5:46.

Welcome to today’s blog, where we will be digging into day 36 of our study! To me, it is mind-boggling to see how far I have come. In the beginning of the study, I struggled to get to each day’s reading plan. Have you all faced the same sort of problem? Maybe not this time, but another time? But the last few weeks, I have absolutely fell in love with the way Jesus is teaching and revealing Himself to us – through the book of Matthew. It’s like I can’t get enough. And, I don’t want my study time to end when this study concludes in a few weeks. I want to keep going, keep seeking, keep growing through what I read here in Matthew.

The Scriptures – Matthew 5:43-44; Proverbs 25:21-22

You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor. (Leviticus 19:18) Hate your enemy.’ But here is what I tell you. Love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you (Matthew 5:43-44, NIRV).

If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat. If he is thirsty, give him water to drink. By doing these things, you will pile up burning coals on his head. And the Lord will reward you (Proverbs 25:21-22).

Devotion

This passage shows us how much different God’s ways are. He does things much differently than you and I would, in any given situation. The situations with our enemies, are no exception. Jesus instructs us to love, not hate, our enemies!

While the world teaches us to conspire and get revenge, Jesus is the One urging us to take a different approach. Instead of hurting them, we need to love them. This is where God is glorified in our situation.

When tempted to show less love, remember the depths of your Savior’s love.

For each of us, the temptation to show less love is very real. It could be easy to limit the amount of love we are willing to show them, but no argument is good enough to justify disobeying God.

The Scriptures give us a brightly shining example of this kind of love. It is found in Jesus Christ. It is found in the love of our Father. While we were still enemies of God, He came and redeemed us. He redeemed us, even when there wasn’t anything “right” or “good” about us. This reveals how deep the love of God goes. We caused Him tremendous pain and heartache. We even did more than that, but we have experienced the tender hearted mercy of God. While it is difficult to fathom, God came to earth, carried our sins, and paid the ultimate price we couldn’t ever pay. This is the God we serve. He laid everything down, so we might enjoy a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ!

Jesus is why we can love our enemies.

This is the hope we hold onto, as believers in Jesus. This is why we can love those who seem impossible to love. While it is difficult to love those who do us harm, it is made possible because of Jesus Christ!

Lord Jesus, Help us to remember our need to love others – even when they try to hurt us. Keep pointing us back to the wonderful work of the cross and Your powerful resurrection. You are the One who pours out new life and reconciliation into our lives! Amen.