Posted in devotions, encouragement, Melanie, sisters

Upside Down~Inside Out

Our lives have been a little topsy turvy for the last few months.  

Life has been turned upside down and inside out for me with the death of my best friend and baby sister, Melanie.  We are home now and I am working to find my ‘new normal’.  

I found this devotion in my email and it gave me some encouragement today.  

Everyone can use a little encouragement……


This is from Christine Caine’s First Things First email devotion:

Life will eventually turn every person upside down, inside out. No one is immune.

The day that I unexpectedly found out that I was adopted was one of those times. For thirty-three years I thought I was someone else, and then, just like that, I discovered I was not who I thought I was.

But just as life will upend us, so will love.

God’s love, which knows us and claimed us before we were even born, can take us beyond ourselves, as it did Jesus, who left heaven to go to the cross and pass through the grave in order to bring us back home. His love can bring us through emotional earthquakes.

Love like Christ’s can lift us out of betrayal and hurt. It can deliver us from any mess.

Lean into and receive the unconditional, unfailing, indescribable love of our precious Savior. When all else is shaken and fails, HIS LOVE never fails.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)

His Love never fails!

~Winnie~
Posted in devotions, encouragement

Farewell 2014….

It’s our final day of 2014….my mind is having a hard time with this.  The time seems to be flying even faster now that we are in 21st century. Or maybe it’s because I have crossed the 50 yard line, either way, it’s flying by. 

‘They’ say time flies when you are having fun….maybe I have been having more fun these last 14 years!  Whatever the reason, 2014 is ending and I look forward to what 2015 has for me. 

I have already set some goals…no resolutions, only goals.  One of those goals is to read through the bible…I have never done this….God bless you if you have! There are books that always stall me, like Numbers. This book is impossible for me to get through.  I know there is well meaning and necessary information in that book, but I typically call it quits when I get there. There are times when I have skipped past it…and somewhere else along the way, I quit. But this year, I am determined. 

After making this decision I started looking for ways to actually get it done.  I found many suggestions for bible reading plans, but the Chronological Bible peaked my interest. It is set up in 15 minute daily readings that take you through the bible in the order the events actually happened. No more being stuck in the book of Numbers reading mindlessly. I purchased one in the NLT, because I like the way this version reads. I am excited to get started tomorrow and believe this is an attainable goal. 

I have a few other goals, but this is the one I want to be held accountable for.  Actually I think if you set too many goals you are more likely to fail, so I have limited my goals to under 5. The others are join a community group, start a small business, get in better physical shape and spend quality time with my family. 

Do you set goals?  I would love to hear what they are.

Wishing you a blessed and prosperous New Year!

Winnie


Posted in devotions, encouragement

First Things First

First Things First is an email devotion by Christine Caine that I receive in my email each morning. Her words are always encouraging and challenging; they push me towards becoming all He has purposed and planned for me.


This is from earlier this week, but I found it encouraging and challenging.   Definitely worth sharing!!

One year for my birthday I got the most wonderful, bright pink Vespa, which I absolutely adore, and Nick booked me on a riding course to ensure that I learned to drive the thing safely! The course was spread over two days, and the whole time the instructor kept telling me, “Keep your head up. You’ve got to look in the direction you want to go.”

When it comes to the purposes of God, our instructions are no different! It’s all about perspective. Many of us are locked in the prison of our current circumstances because we have lost perspective regarding His promises for our lives.

We need to lift our heads and look forward in the direction in which we want to go. God has a promise for our future that is much greater than where we are right now. He has promises for our marriages, our children, our health and prosperity – every aspect of our lives – all of which are much bigger than we can currently see or understand. We need to look up and begin to see what God has for us, because He has so much more!

Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. (Proverbs 4:25)



Look up! Set your gaze directly before you……


Winnie


If you are interested in receiving Christine Caine’s First Things First devotional in your email click here.
Posted in devotions, encouragement, love

It’s all about LOVE

It’s been a while since I sat and read, really read, I Corinthians 13.  I know it’s not something you would necessarily turn to, but this morning ‘they will know we are Christians by our love’ kept running through my mind.

So I sat and read it this morning…several times…

I encourage you to read it….insert your name in place of ‘I’.  


If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.

If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.

It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!

Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture!

But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.

When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.

All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

This is a reminder to me that I need to be careful, mindful, of my words and actions. God wants to shine through me, use me to be a a beacon of His love.  I am not called to judge, but to love…unconditionally…be Christ like.

It’s all about LOVE!

Winnie
Posted in devotions, encouragement, faith

Hang on!

Are you going through a storm right now?  Or have you been through one and wished you had some wisdom to hang onto.  Well, this morning I read a devotion written by our company Chaplain, the words she wrote were so relevant that I felt I needed to share them.  
Here is an excerpt:
Life happens to us all! We all go through storms. We all have bumps in the road! We all have dark clouds that seem to engulf us at times! We all have stories! Thank God for life experiences that remind us ready or not, tomorrow comes. How we face it is our choice.


Isaiah 43:1-3

But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. 
I have called you by name; you are mine.
 When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty, 
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression, 
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
 For I am the Lord, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior

Today, as a passenger who has been through some of life’s bumps, hear my story! GOD IS FAITHFUL!  He will never leave those who call on Him and who invite Him to be the Lord of their life! Through the storms of life…. Because of Him there is still a song of praise!
May God’s Peace be so real to you today!
If God is faithful for her, He will be faithful for all of us!  He is not selective and doesn’t show favoritism. (Acts 10:34)  The next time you find yourself in the middle of a storm stand on the words in Isaiah 43:1-3 and don’t be afraid, He is still God!
My heart is praising Him!

Winnie
Posted in devotions, encouragement, faith

Steadfast~Loyal

In my quiet time with God this week I keep ‘hearing’ the word steadfast.  

Steadfast…unwavering…committed…firm…constant.

I searched scripture for the word steadfast….there are many verses, but the one that spoke loudest to me is:

‘Create in me a pure heart, O God, 
and renew a steadfast spirit within me’~Psalm 51:10


Everyday is a new start….forgiveness…grace…mercy…all through God.

He is always rolling out His plan…but I make the choice whether I walk in it or make my own path. Keeping my eyes always on Him….steadfast.

I am reading Lysa Terkeurst’s new book ‘The Best Yes‘. There is so much knowledge and encouragement in this book.  Here is a tidbit of her encouragement!

If your heart and your mind are aligned 
in the direction of God, 
you don’t have to agonize to the point of paralysis 
over the decisions before you.  
We will steer where we stare. 
So stare mightily at God and His plan.  
And if you don’t know His plan, 
stare mightily at living out His Word in your life
 and His plan will unfold day by day.  
Decision by decision.


Steadfast is what I want to be for Him. 

Unwavering in my loyalty to Him. 

Committed to being all He has designed me to be. 

Firm in my faith that He will take care of me. 

Constant in believing He has a plan and purpose and wants me to have His best.

I believe I will stare mightily at living out His Word and watch His plan unfold!

Winnie

Posted in devotions, encouragement, faith, family, keeping it real, Thank You Jesus

Behind the Scenes

Keith and I have had several conversations lately about the future. We know that God still has great plans for us and we want to be sure that we are doing all He has called us to do.  We have committed it all to prayer and know that God will give us the direction and answers that we seek. 

His purpose and plan…not ours.
If there is one thing we have learned over the last few years it is that change happens. Sometimes it may sting for a while, but He has something better in that change.

My biggest  problem is that I am not much about waiting…but I have learned that in the waiting God is working. Quite often I need to be reminded though.

This morning I opened my email to read First Things First with Christine Caine

I love my early morning quiet time with God.  I love that He speaks to me and gives peace to my anxious heart!

“Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear” 
(Isaiah 65:24).
Maybe you feel you have prayed and prayed and yet the 
heavens are like brass. Perhaps you feel that God is ignoring you, 
that He hasn’t heard your prayer.

NO, God is not ignoring you! He never ignores His children. 
The fact is, we have no idea what God is 
doing on our behalf in the heavenlies.

Think of it like this: we may ask God for one thing, but He has to
 rearrange ten thousand other things in order for our 
one thing to come to pass.

God is working on your behalf behind the scenes. 
Your answer is on its way!


The words that stuck out to me the most are ‘God is working on my behalf behind the scenes’. When I am waiting and wondering “when, God, when”, He is working…on MY behalf.
Did I know that already? Yes, I did.  However, God knew I needed that reminder today. 
Peace for my anxious heart!
Winnie