Category Archives: Inspirational

Gentle as a Butterfly

Be gentle as a butterfly

We are all fighting some type of battle. Relationship issues, job issues, too many bills and not enough money, sadness, brokenness, hopelessness, and on & on it goes…

You & I have the opportunity every day to make a positive difference in those around us.

Look at our butterfly friends. Butterflies gently land on a flower, take a drink and in doing so, they help to pollinate the flower. Then they leave without causing any harm. Wouldn’t it be a better world if we could gently come along side of someone, give them a kind, encouraging word and do no harm?

God’s Word encourages us to do the same thing:

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

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Peaceful Confidence

We are faced with things in our lives that challenge our faith, that bring us to our knees. I have been facing a particularly difficult storm in my life. A valley of the lowest kind. Have you ever been there? When it feels like this is a storm you may not make it through? Perhaps you are there now.

Everything around you giving way. My world twisted & shook. Rocked to my very core, like nothing I had ever encountered. Does it seem like the mountain top just seemed too high to even try to get to, the valley too great a distance to travel? I’m so weary. Are you weary? What could we do? Do we give up?

No. It took some time to figure things out but as God walked with me…I began to have a peaceful confidence.

I have peace, peace given to me by Jesus. Peace given to you. His very words are:

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27 (NKJV)

Peace is a fruit of the Spirit. (Reference Galatians 5:22) Instead of fear or anger, I choose to have peace reside within me.

I have confidence. Confidence that I will get through this. That you will get through this. Hold on. He will be our confidence.

“For the LORD will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught.” Proverbs 3:26 (NKJV)

“Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in the time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 (NIV)

I believe that GOD is well aware of all things and that includes my situation (yours too) and He will protect us.

“But the LORD is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3 (NIV)

He will give you and I strength to stand up under the pressure of our trials and He will not give us more than we can bear.

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful; who will not allow you be tempted beyond what you are able. But with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)

He will give us His peace as we wait for His timing to restore all things that were taken by the enemy, satan.

“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten….” Joel 2:25 (NKJV)

He will equip us to work with Him at what He wants to accomplish through each of us according to His will & purpose.

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”Romans 8:28 (NKJV)

I will keep reading His Word. I will keep pursuing my relationship with Him. I will keep praying and asking for strength & wisdom. AND I know this sounds so weird…I will thank Him for this trial, this storm, this thorn in my flesh right now. (Reference 2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

This storm had brought me to my lowest place however, it has raised me up into a relationship with my Lord that I would never had found! The closeness I share I am most grateful for. I am not liking this storm but I can bear it. I am not strong, but He is! I will boast of His strength!

I am enjoying this peaceful confidence I have in knowing GOD is STRONG & TRUSTWORTHY. You can have the same peaceful confidence. Just ask Him. He is a good Dad!

Wonderfully Made

iguana-e1559870761392One afternoon when I was in Aruba, I met this girl (I think she’s a girl). She was hanging out at the pizza place and when I walked by, she came over to the edge of the deck and watched me closely. I took a couple of pictures and this one makes me think she is saying, “Hey, this is my good side!”

It makes me think of how wonderful God made all things. The creativity in this iguana, all the iridescent colors, the spikes, and the scales. As I was looking at the scales, I noticed several different types on the same iguana!

Doing research I learned that Iguanas have varying types of scales covering different areas of their body, for example, there are some large round scales scattered around the neck area and they overlap.  The scales on the top trunk of their body are thicker and more tightly packed than on the belly. The scales have a variety of colors that seem to glow in the sunlight. I noticed a white button sized bump under her neck area. What is that? It is a round scale known as a sub-tympanic shield or helmet scale. Some biologists speculate that it is used as a ‘bluff’ eye to ward off predators. Neat!

God created this iguana with such beauty but also equipped her to survive the Aruba heat. She finds shade under bushes or uses her razor sharp claws to quickly climb in the trees. She is far from defenseless. Part of her defense is her tail. On average over half her length is her tail. She uses it for balancing when climbing, as a wavelike propellant while swimming, and as a formidable whip-like weapon. She is also a master of disguise, using camouflage to hide from predators. So cool!

Wonderfully made and equipped to thrive in her environment. So are you and I.

We are wonderfully made. Our Father God says so.

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
    my soul knows it very well.”
Psalm 139:14 (ESV)

Created in His Image. God’s Image.

“So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.”
Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

I will praise God for all the beauty as I look around this earth He created for us! I am thankful I got to spend some time really looking at the beauty in this girl and she was happy to show me her best side!

 

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Wonderfully Made

via Wonderfully Made

Fear is a Liar

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

I love the song by Zack Williams called, “Fear is a Liar.” It is about all the lies that the enemy tells us to try and break our spirit, to make us get off track in our walk with the LORD and to eventually cause us to give up. If Fear is talking louder than the TRUTH, read on and … look it up this song on YouTube. It is a really good song. Some of the lyrics are as follows in quotes Lyrics from Fear Is a Liar by Zack Williams

“When he told you you’re not good enough
When he told you you’re not right
When he told you you’re not strong enough
To put up a good fight
When he told you you’re not worthy
When he told you you’re not loved
When he told you you’re not beautiful
That you’ll never be enough”

Fear tells us we can’t do it. It stops us in out steps. Fear tells us we have messed up too many times. LIES! LIAR! LIES! Fear is a liar!

God says He did not give us a spirit of fear. Fear is the absence of peace. Fear wears us down. Fear makes us believe things that are not true about ourselves. Fear tries to belittle & hide the TRUTH of GOD. Where does fear & doubt come from? It comes from the enemy of God’s children, from the evil one, the devil, Satan.

In John 8:44, Jesus said this about Satan, “…He (Satan) was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he (Satan) speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Why do we so easily fall for the same old tricks, the same old lies? The lies the powers of darkness puts in our minds discourages us, and if we continue to listen, it can ruin our soul. How can we stop the voices that tell us awful things?

As a child of GOD, you can choose to listen to your Heavenly Father. Listen to GOD. Look into the love letter He gave us..His Word, the Bible.

How about if we answer each line with what GOD says!

“When he told you you’re not good enough” What a LIE! We are created in GOD’S Image. (Genesis 1:21 & 1:31)
“When he told you you’re not right” 
Don’t you believe it! Our wrongs are forgiven! We are made righteous in Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21)
“When he told you you’re not strong enough
To put up a good fight” 
It is a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:12) Our strength comes from the LORD (Psalm 46:1, Psalm 22:19, Psalm 28:7-8, Isaiah 12:2 & many more!) and the battle is His (1 Samuel 14:47)
“When he told you you’re not worthy” 
Jesus died for you & me while we were against GOD (Romans 5:8)
When he told you you’re not loved 
GOD loves us so much He sent Jesus to die in our place (John 3:16)
“When he told you you’re not beautiful” 
GOD says we are beautiful (Song of Solomon 4:7)
“That you’ll never be enough” 
We are GOD’S Masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10)

Call fear what it is…A LIAR.

His Eye is on the Sparrow

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs on your head are numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value that many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31

 

My husband, Michael and I were sitting in our living room recently. We have a big picture window with bird feeders attached on and around the window. A sparrow was sitting on one of the feeders and kept looking in. It would fly up to the glass and put its feet on the window like it was trying to fly in. It did this over and over. I had to put a decal on the window so it wouldn’t hurt itself.

 

 

Michael said , “God’s eye is on the sparrow and I know He’s watching me.” I had heard that line before. I looked it up and it is a song written by Civilla Durfee Martin in 1905 and music written by Charles Hutchinson Gabriel in 1905. Part of the song goes like this…

 

“Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

 

Refrain: I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.”

 

“The eyes of the LORD search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9

 

It got me to thinking about how much God loves us and thinks about us. He is watching me. He is aware of my situation. He searches the whole earth for us, for me and for you. He protects and strengthens His children. We are valued. The very hairs on our head, He has counted and He knows!

 

Not one thing happens in our lives that He is not aware of, that He is not in control of, or that He cannot help us with. I am full of joy to be called His child…how about you?

 

Read the whole story about the song at https://www.blueletterbible.org/hymns/h/His_Eye_Is_On_The_Sparrow.cfm or listen to it here Cyber Hymnal Website

Laugh, it is Good.

I was feeding my grandson, Kaleb some carrots. He really likes them! I was giving him a bite and my face was close to his. We were deep in conversation as he enjoyed his lunch. He was making faces and smiling at me. That’s when it happened…

No time for me to react. As he smiled so sweetly at me, he sneezed. A BIG sneeze. Aaaa, ahhh….choo! Carrots went flying all over my face! I was covered with orange carrot freckles & baby spit!

I just had to laugh. I laughed so much my belly hurt. It makes me think of all the blessings I have in my life. All the times I can choose joy!

“A man (or woman) has joy by the answer of his (or her) mouth and a word spoken in due season , how good it is!” Proverbs 15:23

How we react to situations effects the outcome. I know this situation is silly, is light and invokes laughter. How can I not laugh. Kaleb had the biggest grin..not knowing what was so funny. Buy Grammy was laughing and that made us both happy.

Sometimes things happen to us during our day and perhaps we react in anger or another emotion and that makes us miss the moment to speak or react in JOY.

JOY, JOY, JOY…I choose to speak and react with JOY

Strength in the Storm

Are you going through a storm?  A fierce trail or heartache that seems like waves of sadness & defeat are slapping you again & again and not letting up.  You are not alone and MORE IMPORTANT…you DO NOT HAVE TO GO IT ALONE!  I will share the comfort that our amazing Heavenly Father is giving me.  It is yours for the taking too!

When one of the biggest emotional storms hit my life, I fell to my knees. When my whole life was shattered like a pile of broken glass on the floor, I needed hope.

When my heart was so broken and I slid to the floor, I cried out to God.  In the quietness of my heart I heard His reply, this is how the conversation went,

Me: “God, I can’t take this. There is no way that I can get through this.”

God: “Yes, my child, you will.  I will help you.”

Me: “No Lord, it is too much.  I can’t bear it.  I don’t have the strength.”

God: “You are right.  You do not have the strength, but I DO.” 

Me:  “I don’t understand Lord.  What must I do?”

God:  “Lean on Me.  I AM your strength, don’t let this shake you.” 

He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.” (Psalm 62:2)

Me:  “I’m scared Lord.”

God:  Shhhh, little one, I am here.  I will never leave you.  Trust Me.”

He is right.  All my struggles did not go away but leaning on God and trusting that He is working on my behalf gives me peace…I will get through this in His Strength.

You may be going through difficult times.  Maybe you have felt lost and without hope. When we are dealing with missing loved ones who have passed, broken families, wounded relationships, and the stresses & storms of life…Lean on Him.  Trust Him.

“I wait eagerly for the LORD’s help, and in His word I trust.”  Psalm 130:5

God is trustworthy, steadfast and sure. He is the strength of my heart. May He be the strength of your heart too.

Give It Over

When I go through struggles, disappointments & heartache and I want it to be OVER NOW, I am faced with choices on how to handle things. Here are some I’ve tried:

I can try to resolve things by forcing an outcome, by fixing it myself, doing whatever I can do in my own strength to “fix” it.

I can crawl into a pit of despair and wait & see if it “magically” gets resolved.

I can have a temper tantrum, blame others and feel sorry for myself. Holding many pity parties for myself as the “why” scenario plays in endless loops in my head.

OR I CAN GO to our HEAVENLY FATHER, confess any wrong I have done, tell Him what is on my heart and ask Him to help me. (This has been my best choice!)

“Truly my soul silently waits for the God, from Him comes my salvation. He only is my rock, my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.” Psalm 62:1-2 NKJV

Some versions say, “I will not be greatly shaken” I love that! Don’t let the things that are going on to shake you up too much. Remember Whoyou belong to. He is our place of refuge, where we can safely run and confide in Him.

He is our defense. The BEST defense attorney in history…sorry Matlock…lol

If I can trust Him and wait. He is working things out to benefit His Kingdom, so many will be saved. How I want things to work out usually benefit me the most and they are not forever. God fixes things the BEST and for ETERNAL VALUE!

I don’t think of is as giving in or giving up…instead it is all about GIVING IT OVER. Giving it over to my Dad and trusting Him and allowing Him to resolve things in His way & in His time.

Thank You Father, that You really do know best!

The Burden

The burden that I carry is so heavy on my back,

I am stumbling as I try to move forward, it is strength I lack.

Down again I fall as these trials get me down,

If only someone would help me get my life turned around.

 

I cry to the Lord, please help me, but He seems nowhere in sight.

My path is oh so dark, like the blackness of the night.

I cry again for hope, a faint cry that seems so weak.

The lying voice inside my head’s so loud I can’t hear You speak.

 

You say, “be still” and come to Me and lay it at Your feet,

I cannot seem to let it go, I’m afraid my expectations You won’t meet.

Oh how I wish to raise my head and say I will obey

But fear has got me in its’ grip, and on the ground I lay.

 

Get up my child, you gently say.  Get up and take my hand

I will work out all your trials, just not the way you planned.

I wove it all together before you were in the womb.

I paved the way so you’d be free, I even cleared the tomb.

 

So trust my child, I Am The Way.  I will not let you down.

I Am The Truth , it is not a lie,  I can turn your life around.

I Am The Life you seek to know, the path that sets you free,

I want so much to hold you close, if you’d just trust in Me.

Tami Cole April 2018