Monday, August 25, 2014

DAILY DEVO....closed doors

Sometimes the things we pray for aren't always the things God has in store for us. In fact, we often don't see that God has bigger things waiting for us.

When God closes one door, He will open another. Closed doors are not God's way of punishing us, He may simply be saying He has a different route for us to take to get to where He is leading.


? for today...what roadblock has you feeling like giving up?


Revelation 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hears My voice and opens the door, I will come to him."

Be encouraged and know that God has a reason for everything and He, and He alone, holds the key to ALL doors.

Guest post from Heather Strickland

Today, I welcome my friend and newly published author, Heather Strickland, to my blog. I have worked with Heather on several different websites writing devotions and recently she published her very own devotional book, for the first time! I am so proud of her for chasing a dream and following God's leading. Please welcome her and take time to check out her new book!

ABOUT THE BOOK

This devotional book provides encouragement in various ways. It examines numerous scriptures in the Old and New Testaments to gain wisdom from above. Some devotions have personal stories to help you relate to the author while showing you that we all have struggles. While we are in the midst of trials and joys, triumphs and defeats, good and bad - we can turn to God's Word for encouragement. Heather invites you to sit at the Master's feet, as Mary did, and learn from Him.

A LOOK AT THE BOOK

-ENCOURAGEMENT FROM GOD'S WORD-
_______________________________________________________________________________
 
Trials can often leave us breathless and wondering why did this have to happen? We look around at others who are untouched and we grieve. No matter how big or small the trial truly is, to us, its always big. We all go through hard times at different stages of life. Trials will always exist here on earth. So how do we deal with them? What do we do when they come our way?
 
One thing the Holy Spirit has been dealing with me about is trying to see the good in the trial. Is that possible you may ask. I have pondered that at times too. I have wondered how can good come from losing a loved one or coming down with a serious illness. It all involves so much pain that it seems not much good can come of it. I am learning otherwise though. We should ask God to help us see things through His eyes and not our own, for He sees the whole picture.
 
It's still so hard to go through trials even though I am trying to find some positive in them. I've been looking back on the trials I've been through the last couple of months and I have actually found some positives in them. God has a reason for them. More than anything I think He wants us to draw closer to Him through the trial. He longs to have a close relationship with us and to refine us to His image. Trials just tend to do that to us. We can either pull away or draw near to God when tragedy strikes.
 
I love to encourage others and I encourage you to seek God in your hardships. Do not stray from Him. For He is the only One who can comfort you and give you the peace that you desire.
 
This is something that's really been on my heart and mind lately. Many of my devotions came from trials I have endured or my family has endured. They may seem minor to some, but to us they were very big. They were roadblocks that God used to draw us closer to Him.
 
You can purchase the kindle version of my eBook here on Amazon. I pray you are encouraged to dig into God's Word.
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 
Mississippi born and raised, Heather Strickland is a stay-at-home wife and mother with a passion to encourage others through writing. God planted this dream in her heart when she was a teenager, began to grow it during her early adulthood, and now - with the help of many dear friends - God has made that dream a reality. She enjoys sipping coffee on her front porch, flipping through the pages of a good book, and holding hands with her love. When she isn't serving her family, Heather blogs regularly at Becoming Titus 2Women, Laced with Grace, and The Imperfect Wives. But her primary ministry is to her husband and three boys. Not only is Heather crazy about them, they give her an abundance of writing material. Through them, God has molded her and taught her many life lessons. Heather is forever grateful for God's grace and guidance in her life.
 
You may contact Heather on Facebook at Becoming Titus 2 Women or email her at the.stricklands06@gmail .

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

LACED WITH GRACE...every story has an ending.

I have shared the following with the readers of Laced With Grace today. Check www.lacedwithgrace.com out for daily devotions.

***

It really frustrates me when I am watching a good movie or reading a book and then all of a sudden it comes to an end, and the ending is not AT ALL what I had expected. Have you ever just wanted a movie or a book to go on and on, not wanting it to end?

Unfortunately, everything in this world will eventually come to an end. Whether it is bad or good – all things do come to a screeching end.

No matter how much we wish for it to not happen, it happens. And most likely, it will happen when we least expect it. In a blink of an eye, each one of us will be standing by the casket of a loved one, wondering how in the world did we get here?

Just two weeks ago, I found myself in such a place. All of us wish for life to go on and on, and often times, we cannot even imagine ourselves doing anything differently or living in this world without that special someone. But then the call comes and the “happily ever after” becomes a sad, empty feeling. I remember thinking to myself, as I stood at the side of my Mother two weeks ago, that all of this was just a bad dream and at any moment I would wake up and hear her call out my name. If only I could have just one more chapter to live out with her. One more page to write or just simply one more word to speak.

But I didn’t wake up. This was real life.

The people passed by her side and told me all of their stories of her goodness and then they left. The flowers wilted and fell away. The cards and the calls stopped coming. It was time for me to realize that there were no more chapters in our story. No more pages to write. As much as I wished it away, the emptiness I felt deep in my soul was indeed the realization that God had chosen a different ending to the book Mother and I were writing (living out) together.

There was no warning. In one moment Mom was here talking and laughing and the next moment she was gone to see her Jesus. No time to say good bye. No time to say “I love you”. No time to put our finishing touches on our final chapter. Mom never liked half read books, in fact, like me, she did not like bad endings either.

But you see, as a Christian, Mom’s ending wasn’t so bad. In fact for her, it wasn’t the end at all, but only the beginning. She is experiencing things in heaven now that none of us can even imagine. No more pain. No more sorrow. No more tears. Thankfully, thru the cross, Jesus interjects hope for those of us left behind. Words like “the end” are replaced with “forever”. Paul assures you and me that “we shall all be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51) and when the end comes knocking at our door, Paul reminds us that because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ we can confidently say, “Oh death …where is your victory? (v.55)

I don’t know how many of you reading this have already experienced the end of a loved ones life here on earth. Or perhaps someone has death crouching at their door right now. I want to encourage you that each of us have our own stories to write and even when the ending is not quite what we expected or planned, God can wipe our tears and give us a glimpse of how the ending of our story may just be the beginning of a new one.
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” -Psalm 30:5
Thanks Mom for the chapters in my life. I will reread the pages often and remember that every story must have an ending. And a beginning.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

DAILY DEVO..remembering the good calls in life, not just the missed ones!

Regret is an awful friend to have. In fact, for most of us, it is an unwanted friend but yet one we let into our lives.

All of us have that one, two or three things they wished they could do differently. ("If I knew then what I know now..) Don't worry my friend, life is full of missed opportunities and full of people desiring do-overs.

Sometimes there just aren't second chances....

Every day, since last Wednesday, I look at my phone and see a missed call from my Mom. Every day, since Wednesday, I'm filled with great remorse and regret. If only I had picked up the phone one last time. If only.

But God reminded me of all of the awesome phone calls I had with my Mother. So why do I dwell on that one that I missed? Regret is not my friend. And it's not yours either!

Romans 8:37 "In all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us."


? for today...Got regret? Give it to God, He will make you a conqueror over it!

Think on the good calls in life, not the missed ones!

**I haven't written since losing my Mom last week, but she would not want me to stop writing. It is the one thing she was so proud of. This one is for you Mom!

Monday, July 28, 2014

LACED WITH GRACE...oh, to have childlike faith!

Today, I have shared the following devotion with the reader of LACED WITH GRACE! "Oh, to have childlike faith!" Coming off of  4-day kids crusade, I share just a few conclusions that I have from watching our little people worship God. Please visit www.lacedwithgrace.com where you can read awesome devotions from godly women daily.


(Click the link to read my devotion entitled Oh, to have childlike faith!)



Thursday, June 26, 2014

DAILY DEVOTION... having a bad day?

How do you handle stress?

In Matthew, chapter 14, extraordinarily stressful events happened one day in the ministry of Jesus...


*The unjust execution of His good friend John the Baptist.
*Demands of over 5000 hungry, uninvited guests looking to Him for their next meal.
*A violent windstorm that threatened to capsize His Disciples boat.

But Jesus did not panic. He didn't yell, stomp his feet or let His bad day get the best of Him. Instead, He took charge of His situation.

It isn't easy to stay calm, is it? It's easier to lay on the horn in backed up traffic, or yell at the coach when he calls our kids out, or slam our phones down when someone hacks into our bank account and the bank hasn't fixed it.

Alot of people even lash out at God when they feel stressed. "Why God, why God?"


"Have mercy on me, for in You my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of Your wings until the disaster has passed." -Psalm 57:1

? for today...how do you handle stress?


God said "I am with you always, even to the end of the age." What a great thing to know that God remains with is even during the storm. May we be like Jesus and take charge of our bad days...and watch something good come from it!

Hope everyone is having a "good" day today!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

LACED WITH GRACE...What are your family ties made of?

Today I have shared the following devotion with the readers of LACED WITH GRACE..."What are your family ties made of?"



"THWACK!! The sound that does not sound good in anyone’s home, especially where there are children present. That sound usually is followed by hollering or crying. The kind of noise that sends any momma running to the next room to see what happened!
Our three sons were always getting into mischief at a young age. If mischief couldn’t be found, mischief found them! This particular day, ..."








CLICK THE LINK ABOVE TO READ THE REST!