A Better View

standard March 20, 2019 Leave a response

Do you view God as hard to please or easy to please? 

In the parable of the talents Jesus details the responses of three men to their master. Each were entrusted with a portion of the master’s money according to their abilities. The man who hid the money in the ground rather than investing it had the same master as the other two men, yet he didn’t truly know the Master or His heart. 

He called the master a “hard man to please,” and this was his excuse for not even trying. However, if he had known God’s Word, he would have known that was not true of his Master.

Psalm 25:8 says,”When people turn to You, they discover how easy you are to please – so faithful and true!”

The enemy will always try to distort our view of God, telling us that He is ruthless and can never be pleased, so why even try? That is why we MUST stay in the Word of God, so that we know the truth and so that we can discover just how good and faithful He is.

He does not set us up to fail. It’s not in His nature to do so. But He does entrust gifts to us based on our maturity and willingness to try. 

Don’t let the enemy distort your view of God. There is a better view – one where we know His true nature because we know His Word. 

He is a God who is easy to please. He is faithful and true. 

Don’t Panic

standard February 27, 2019 6 responses

I don’t consider myself to be an anxious person, but every now and then I’ll get that flutter of fear in my heart and panic starts to set in. Have you ever had that feeling?

It’s totally normal to have feelings of worry and fear. After all, there are 365 Scriptures in the Bible relating to fear and how to combat it, one for each day of the year.  God knew that because we live in a fallen world, we will have to battle our fears along the way. The question is: will we overcome our fears or will we allow them to rule our lives? 

Isaiah 41:10 says, 

Don’t panic. I’m with you.

There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.

I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you.            

I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.

Oh, how these words speak to me! I immediately feel my spirit start to calm down knowing that God is right there with me, helping me, keeping me steady, giving me His supernatural strength. 

That doesn’t mean that all my fears are erased forever. It just means that I know that my God is greater than my worries and there is no need to fear. So next time I feel that anxiety start to creep in, I’ll remember His words: Don’t panic! 

Jesus in the Blood

standard February 4, 2019 3 responses

Today’s Reflecting Light is written by Adrienne Bridges, who has the most beautiful heart for the Lord. She is also committed to teaching her two precious daughters to know and love Him as evidenced by this post. Her story is such a sweet reminder of how far and deep Jesus’ presence goes…into our very bloodstream.

I tucked my lively three-year-old into bed one evening encouraging her to get some rest. Declaring she was not tired she firmly hugged my neck, insisting I linger in her bed a little longer. Ordinarily I would offer music or a nightlight, but this night I reminded her of Jesus’ presence simply being near. I assured her that He is near both of us, ready to hear all about our day even though we did not physically see Him.

It was then my larger than life toddler responded, “I know where He lives, in my blood!” As my initial gasp regained closure from the word blood coming out of my pint-size daughter’s mouth, I realized the depth she had revealed. She then went on to say, “He lives in my heart and it goes to my blood.” Wow. Thank you, little prophet baby.

How true her statement is!

When we ask Jesus to come into our heart and allow Him to reign over our souls, His Holy power infiltrates all our being, bearing His goodness. Jesus’ sacrificial blood isn’t secluded to one region of our heart nor should it be contained just within our mind, but rather our overall life. Yet, sometimes we forget this concept and only allow Him to work within the areas we are comfortable in.

But when we meditate on the entire image, then we see that the sacrificial blood flows freely into our bloodstream to give us life through Jesus. Galatians 2:20 paints a clear picture as it states, “My old identity has been co-crucified with Messiah and no longer lives; for the nails of his cross crucified me with him. And now the essence of this new life is no longer mine, for the Anointed One lives life through me – we live in union as one! My new life is empowered by the faith of the Son of God who loves me so much that he gave himself for me and dispenses his life into mine!”

Allow that love to sink in. Reflect on His offering to us. He desires to simply be near to us at all times. Whether it’s at an 8:00 pm bedtime or a 2:00 am struggle, He is a calming presence for both a restless toddler or an adult battling a carrying force during the darkest hour in life. He desires to communicate with us in every aspect of life, be it a work decision or guidance with a family member. May we rest in that and allow Him to reign over ALL of it.  

May we also have the mindset of a toddler, reflecting that His life starts in our heart and flows into our blood.

Adrienne has been married to Matt Bridges for nearly 10 years and is mother to Neely (age 6) and Camille (age 3). She loves mornings with God’s Word, a cup of coffee anytime of the day, her crockpot, grocery shopping, and the joy of making memories during this chaotic season in motherhood!

The Message

standard January 30, 2019 2 responses

If asked to explain the Christian message in a few short sentences, what would you say?

Eugene Peterson changed the world with his translation of the Bible called The Message. His easy-to-read, everyday life version has made God’s Word come alive in a new and fresh way for many readers and his legacy continues to touch the lives of many.

At Peterson’s memorial service, his son, Leif, said that his father had one predominate message, which was:

God loves you. God is on your side. He is coming after you. He is relentless.

How beautiful is that? These words touched my heart so much that I wrote them down with a note to self to repeat these words to my children often.

God loves you, Addie. God is on your side, Ella. He is coming after you. He is relentless.

But it’s not just my children that need to be reminded of these truths. It’s my own soul that needs them as well, and I bet yours does too. So, I speak them over you today and pray that it seeps deep into your spirit.

God loves you with an everlasting love. He has not forgotten you, He is right by your side. He is coming after you and wants you to feel pursued. He will not stop until you feel His goodness and unfailing love surround you.

Believe it, my dear friend.

Get Busy

standard January 23, 2019 Leave a response

There are times when I read Scripture and I feel uplifted and encouraged, and then there are times when the Holy Spirit gives me a healthy push in a different direction.

Such was my reality while reading the Old Testament prophet Haggai. It’s a short book but the main point is that the Israelites were supposed to be rebuilding the House of the Lord, but they got distracted by their own agendas and then they wondered why the Lord wasn’t blessing their efforts. Sound familiar?

Haggai 1:7 tells us that, “The Lord of Hosts says this: ‘Think carefully about your ways.’” (which is the Hebrew equivalent of “you better check your heart.”)

Then He says, “‘my house still lies in ruins, while each of you is busy with his own house.’” (Ouch!)

It’s not that God is against us building our lives. He’s not. It’s just that He’s more about us having obedient hearts. And if He has called us to build His house over ours, then He wants that to be our first focus.

What is it that God has called you to do? Start a small group, go on a mission trip, participate in a time of fasting? Then get busy and do that first.

After you’ve checked your heart and built His house, absolutely ask Him to bless your other efforts. I think what we will find is that He wants to bless us. We just need to get busy building His house first.

Getting the Hang of Things

standard January 17, 2019 1 response
January is always a special month for me because it is the month that my firstborn daughter, Adelene, was born. Addie is the first grandchild on both sides of our family and her entrance into this world was no small celebration. We had packed out the labor and delivery wing and everyone was instantly in love with this long-awaited blessing.
 
However, 48 short hours later I remember being discharged from the hospital and asking, “Am I really equipped to take this tiny human being home and care for her? Shouldn’t I stay another night or two?” The staff just smiled and patted me on the back on the way out the door. “You’ll get the hang of things,” they promised.
 
Well, it’s been twelve years and I’ve steadily improved in caring for our sweet Addie, but I wouldn’t describe myself as being “there” yet either. Right when I feel as if I’m killing it on the parenting charts, things get switched up and I’m back to square one trying to figure it out all over again. Not to mention everyone keeps reminding me that the teen years are right around the corner (Lord, give me strength).
 
Our walk with God can feel this way as well. We can be skipping along unhindered one minute and the next find ourselves in the middle of a storm. That is precisely why Paul wrote these words in 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we walk by faith, and not by sight.”
 
Paul knew that there would be days that we feel as if we have no clue what we’re doing, but that’s ok. We just keep the faith and put one foot in front of the other, trusting that because we are following Him, we will be fine. Admittedly, this is not easy, especially for those of us who like to have everything planned out, but it’s in these times that our faith grows the most.
 
One day our faith will be complete. Only then will we be able to say with certainty that we have truly “gotten the hang of things.” Until then, we walk by faith one day at a time.
 
 
Happy 12th Birthday, Addie! I love being your mama, even if I don’t always have the hang of things. May the Lord continue to grow you into a beautiful, wise woman as you seek Him. I love you, sweet girl! 💗🎉🎂1️⃣2️⃣

Heart of Wisdom

standard January 3, 2019 2 responses

I always like to start off the new year by asking the Lord to give me a word or phrase to focus on. This year I am asking for a Heart of Wisdom.

Psalm 90 is written by Moses, who was definitely a man of great wisdom. In verse 12 he asks the Lord,

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

I hear the urgency in Moses’ request, do you? Contrary to how we may feel, we don’t have all the time in the world. We have only one life on this side of eternity and we must make it count. We are wise to number our days and to live our lives with a sense of urgency. We do this by being a light in the dark, forgiving others even if they don’t ask for it, and telling those we meet of a God who loves us so much that He allowed His Son to die for our sins.

Gaining a heart of wisdom also means that we put aside the petty and selfish things, the things that distract us from being God-centered. And we focus on not just gaining more head knowledge, but letting our hearts be transformed which will result in greater wisdom. This will inevitably start to seep into every aspect of our lives.

Oh Lord, I ask just as Moses did of You. Teach me to number my days this year and to make each one count. Give me a heart of wisdom. Let it seep into every aspect of my life, especially as a wife and mother. May it transform me as I strive to reflect Your Light in 2019.

Be Merry & Filled with Light

standard December 12, 2018 Leave a response

How do you celebrate Christmas?

The spirit of Christmas brings forth the desire to be merry and light-hearted, hence the saying, “Merry Christmas!”  But Christmas is also a time for reflection of the most glorious of days when the Light of the World came down.

It’s easy to get caught up in the activities, but there is something about a Silent Night that also appeals to my soul during this time of year.

I long to take a moment to sit under the stars and contemplate that special night when the Savior of the world made His grand debut as a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Can you imagine what it would have been like to hear the angels singing, “Glory to God in the Highest!” heralding the best news that mankind has ever received?

Because Light came down that day, there is now the possibility for peace to exist on a war-stricken earth and the opportunity to extend goodwill towards others. If we seek Him out, then we come to the realization that we were put on this earth not for our own pleasure, but to glorify something bigger than ourselves. Christmas is a time to let our hearts receive the gift of the Messiah and all He represents, such as salvation and eternal life and His Light in our lives.

All of these things require a time of reflection and pondering, just as Mary did on that miraculous night (even though that night probably wasn’t so “silent” for her). Yet amid all the cattle lowing and the shepherds praising, the gospel of Luke tells us, “But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them.” (Luke 2:19)

So yes, we celebrate the season with friends and family, enjoying all the good food and festivities, letting our hearts be merry. But we also follow Mary’s example and slow down for a time of reflection on the wonder of it all.

May your days be merry and filled with His Light.

When It’s NOT the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

standard December 4, 2018 4 responses

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or is it?

Psychology Today reported that up to 45% of Americans tend to dread this festive holiday season. This high percentage is somewhat shocking, but at the same time it’s not.

Life keeps moving along whether it’s Christmas time or not and we all have things that we’re dealing with. For some it may be financial issues, work deadlines, broken relationships, or maybe even the loss of a loved one.  It could be that the thought of spending the holiday season alone is downright unbearable and it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

However, you have a God who knows this ache in your heart. He sees you and is concerned about you. He is there to wrap you in His faithful love and He whispers in your ear that you are not alone.

If this is how you are feeling this holiday season, allow the words of Psalm 36 to come as a healing balm to your aching soul.

God, Your faithful love is so valuable that people take refuge in the shadow of your wings. In Your light we see light.

While it may not feel like the most wonderful time of the year for some of you in this moment, believe that your God is still faithful. Find refuge in His presence. Turn your face toward the Light.

Spirit of Giving

standard November 27, 2018 2 responses

Do you ever wonder why gift-giving is a part of our Christmas tradition? It’s the time of the year when we find ourselves more mindful of the needs of others, and more generous with our time and money.

It seems that as soon as the Thanksgiving leftovers are put away, the air begins to shift. The perfect tree is selected and wrangled onto the car. Multiple trips are taken to the attic in order to uncover the lights and ornaments that were hastily stored away last January. A prayer is lifted that every bulb is still intact on the strands of Christmas lights. And when the final decoration is placed on top, it is time to stand back and admire the illuminated beauty of it all. However, that is just the beginning of the season. Now it is time to add the brightly wrapped presents to sit under the tree.

Why is it that the Christmas season brings out such a spirit of giving?

It’s because the season is centered around the truth that a great gift was given to mankind in the form of a tiny baby. Whether you are a Christ-follower or not, it doesn’t change the fact that the spirit of giving stems from the timeless truth that God gave the world the ultimate gift when He gave us His Son.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. ~ John 3:16

Who wouldn’t want to unwrap the gift of eternal life? I’m grateful to serve a God who showed me the true spirit of giving by giving me the greatest of gifts, His Son.