Today’s picture is a Boy’s in Motion Link-Up.
The Lord said: It isn’t too late. You can still return to me with all your heart.
I didn’t start a countdown when I gave you the choice between life and death. There is no time limit on my love for you.
Wow, talk about powerful. We live in a world that basically says, “if you don’t come back to me within a specified time frame, I won’t be waiting.” So, we live fearful that anything with do against God will keep us from Him forever, even after forgiveness. Did you catch the last thing I wrote? Even after forgiveness…I grew up seeking approval from people…family, friends, teachers, etc. This translated into how I saw God. Now I struggle with reminding myself that He isn’t counting down how many sins I commit until I hit that magic number when He will no longer find favor me. I know I’ll still go to heaven, but I live in fear that I have lost His favor. But our God is such a kind, merciful and loving God; He says, “Come to me today, and I will do more than repair the damage done…I will restore what was lost.” Let me illustrate this for you…
When I was a little girl, I lived on an Air Force base for nearly most of my early childhood. In one of our locations, we had a house that butted up next to another house with our sheds attached to each other. My friends and I loved to play good guys and bad guys. One particular day, a good chunk of my team were “capture” by the bad guys and locked in the prison (storage shed). They must be saved! So, I rushed in to save the day, certain I would win. Unfortunately, the bad guys were laying in wait for me. Suddenly, one of them came through the door. I began backing up, telling my team mates we would be all right. I turned around and my leg got caught on the bicycle pedal (back then they were metal, not plastic) and tore a good-sized gash in my leg. Game over…I needed my dad (the doctor). He came home, cleaned me up and had to put stitches in my leg. To this day, I still have a scar. You see, I healed…my leg was repaired, but not restored…I still have the scar. God wants to do more than just repair our hearts…he wants to take that scar completely away, as if it never existed in the first place. Let me just tell you, that after all I have been through, I am finally clinging to the Scripture that says in Joel 2:25, “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts.” (I will have to do another study on that for you all soon; it’s so good!) I am working on trusting that He is working to take the scars away so that I won’t live with the pain anymore.
What wounds do you have that still need to be restored?To read more posts on hope, click on the picture below…
Checking out some new blogs late last year, I ran across a blog for an up and coming author, Amanda Stephan, who had written a book called The Price of Trust. The story line of this book really intrigued me and I knew I would want to purchase it the first chance I could. And because the book is also available on Kindle, it didn’t take long to buy it and was well worth the read!
The Price of Trust follows a young woman who is running from an abusive relationship that she had left years before. By God’s grace, she finds herself in a small town where she begins to finally feel at home and settle down. Just as things are almost perfect, her world comes crashing in. He’s found her and he’s not letting her go without a fight.
To keep from spoiling this fantastic story for you, I will leave it at that. One author stated:
“Amanda Stephan has managed to take equal parts faith, intrigue, humor, and love and turn them into a delicious recipe called “The Price of Trust”. This enchanting story of a frightened and lonely young woman fleeing an abusive ex fiancee kept me on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. The journey the main character Carly undertakes with the Lord turns her from a terrified victim into a confident, stand-your-ground, loved, and cherished woman. If you are looking for a christian romance with lots of spice and zest thrown in for good measure, then look no further than this book.”
~Aileen S. – author
I loved that the main character had faith in God from the very beginning, even when she had been on the run for so many years. Later in the story, when she thinks it’s time to run again, the author points out that she realizes that even though she “knows” God is in control, she hasn’t fully trusted Him in that.
The love story between the main character and her new beau is a beautiful story of two people who have to fight old demons from past relationships as well as her abusive ex and still find a way to trust each other and God in the process. They stay pure in both the physical and emotional sense as well as keeping all appearances of the contrary out of their lives.
This book is just a fantastic read! So good, that I finished it within about two weeks, even with my crazy schedule! To order your copy, you can go to Amazon or download it to your Kindle today!
Over at Faith Barista the question was asked…
Is joy easy or hard for you?
First, to really understand how I would answer this question, I have to take a good look at what joy is.
Merriam Webster’s Dictionary describes joy as:
a) the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires: delight: the expression or exhibition of such emotion: gaiety
b) a state of happiness or felicity: bliss
c) a source or cause of delight
Joy is hard if that’s the way the secular world looks at it! But the Bible talks about joy differently in many, many Scriptures. One of those is:
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. ~Romans 5:1-3
You see joy comes from faith. It cannot be obtained by circumstance. Joy is also, always there even during hard times.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such there is no law. ~Galatians 5:22-23
According to God, joy is a fruit of the Spirit. It is one of those fruits that should be in our lives even during the hard times. We are to have joy always.
So, back to the question…is joy easy or hard for me…to be honest, it’s hard; or maybe it’s feeling joy that is hard. Because I have Christ in my life, joy is part of me because the Holy Spirit dwells in me. But feeling that joy, believing that it’s there…that’s the hard part.
I have spent years dealing with bitterness toward certain circumstances/people. I was bitter at things that happened, bitter the fact that my life and the dreams I had for it were gone. I lost sight of my joy; misplaced it, if you will. I am working my way out of that place now and I am slowly seeing that joy does “come in the morning” as the Scriptures said. I can’t wait until I can find that joy again completely!
I have to tell you this is a very stressful time in our lives right now. After surgery, Christmas, shingles, and getting back to work, I’ve been overloaded. the house is a mess, the puppies are driving me nuts (though they are finally going away this weekend) and between school, Stephen and his activities and church, I am stressed to the max. Today I told my boss at my part-time/per diem job that I am no longer able to handle more than one facility with the work that I do. That felt good to get out there. He is in turn looking into options and will get back with me. I just needed something to give. I feel so far away from everyone this week. I haven’t been able to really dig into my friend’s blogs much less write on my own site. I haven’t been able to spend some time playing video games or board games with my son or even really take a few minutes where a puppy, child, dog, boss, co-worker isn’t asking me for something. So, if I’ve been a little distant and haven’t made it to your blog, Facebook page, Twitter, whatever, please understand that it’s because I’m just trying to stay above water right now.
I miss everyone and hopefully soon will see a light at the end of the tunnel.
The new 12 episode, multi-camera series follows Carli Mitchell
(Melissa Peterman), a single mom from a rough and tumble
background, trying to give her three kids a better life by moving them
to an upscale suburb. She quickly finds that making the transition to
“the good life” is harder than she thought. She’s unwittingly
befriended by her cranky neighbor, Hank (Ed Asner), her only
“career” prospect is a glorified deli job at the local grocery store, and
the man she falls for not only already has a girlfriend – but he’s also
her boss, Rob (Patrick Fabian). With her ladies-man brother, Nick
(Steve Kazee), to help her out (when he’s not acting like one of the
kids himself), Carli faces the challenges of parenting, dating, and
making friends in her new community by doing more with less,
staying true to herself and approaching each day with a touch of
working class. (from CMT release)
This premiere episode is a hoot! I love Peterman and Asner in this and the supporting characters are good as well! The episode walks us through Carli’s life as a single mother. The show follows her at home, work in the grocery store where she mistakes her boss for a co-worker, which turns around in her favor later, an embarrassing engagement scene, which is too funny, and back at home to be a parent again.
As a single mom, I can relate to her struggle to make ends meet, hold down a good job, parent her children and still keep her sanity. Peterman brings a touch of the quirkiness we all fell in love with in her role as Barbara Jean on Reba.
All in all, I am looking forward to this new series and hope that it proves to be as funny as it can be with characters such as Asner and Peterman. Also, I am looking forward to guest appearances in future episodes such as Reba, Ryan Stiles (Whose Line is it Anyway; Drew Carey Show) and Lesley Ann Warren (In Plain Sight; Desperate Housewives).