Monday, February 18, 2019

Hear His Voice

By: Joanne Viola

Recently I had to travel to a very new to me area of the city. We live in the suburbs and quite frankly, the city is not a place I go by choice. My husband set my navigation system for me and off I went, hoping to make it there and back with no detours, aka – getting lost.

All was going well, until in a panic, I got off the wrong exit. Quickly I called my husband on the phone, who in his calm tone said, “Do you see the blue line?” Looking quickly at my navigation map, I responded, “Yes.” “Stay on the blue line, stay on the line, follow the line.” He calmly kept talking to me until my navigation suddenly began talking to me once again.

And with her voice being heard once again, I said to him, “OK, she’s talking. I think I will be good now.”

Sometimes a new year does not unfold in the way we hope. The journey may take us on twists and turns unknown and dark. A fog can settle in over our minds causing us to feel unsure of what to do or where to go. Decisions can be weighty, and often more than we can bear.

What are we to do during these times?

 "Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, "This is they way you should go," whether to the right or to the left." (Isaiah 30:21, NLT)

God will always be with us in times of adversity, showing us that He is with us in all things. As our hearts stay in tune with Him through prayer and the reading of His Word, we become familiar with His voice.

"My sheep listen to my voice, I know them, and they follow me." (John 10:27, NLT)

We can come to know His voice and be familiar with the nudge of His hand. Sometimes we can know these verses by heart, having memorized them. But it is critical that we also come to know them by heart experience, knowing them to be true and powerful.

Much the way the voice of my husband and my GPS calmed my heart and brought peace to my anxious mind, the voice of our Lord will calm all our fears, keep us on the right path, and direct our minds.

Life is a journey and may we remember it is never a journey we make alone. Whether the days are difficult or mundane, God is with us every moment.

God is present and active in every moment of our lives.
He has no intention of leaving us now.
May we listen for His voice in our ears.  

Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Fully known and dearly loved...

 "For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim, (blurred), reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then, [when perfection comes],we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part, (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood by God."
 1 Corinthians 13:12 AMPC

This journey we have embarked on when we accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord is one of getting to know and grow in relationship with the God Who loves us and Who we have chosen to love in return. The most passionate of us in our pursuit to grow in our understanding of God will still only barely scratch the surface of the fathomless wonder of Who He is. When we enter eternity with Him, hopefully we will have come to know Him well enough that our greeting to Him is one of satisfied wonder, "I knew You were like this, and yet You are so much more!", and not one of puzzlement, "This is what You're like?" 

Meanwhile, here in our life on planet earth, while we are pursuing to grow in our knowledge and understanding of God, we can take comfort in this truth. Your Creator fully, wholly, and clearly knows you. He "gets" you. No matter what enneagram number you are, or what personality profile you are on the Myers Briggs test, no matter how quirky others think you are, or how you struggle to fit in and feel accepted, Your Creator understands you. He made you one of a kind on purpose. It was His kind intention to make you uniquely you. He dearly loves you. You! When He created you He clapped His hands in delight. It breaks His heart when you don't see yourself the way He sees you. It grieves Him when you don't love yourself the way He loves you. Rest is His acceptance and love. Are there areas in your life that He sees you struggle in, areas that He knows you need to change and grown in? Of course! Does He want you to grow in Christlikeness and to become more like Jesus? Yes, indeed! But, is He disappointed in the core of who you are, in the one of a kind you that He created? Never! Be you. Be the best you you can be. Be the you God created you to be. But never, ever, ever, waste your life trying to be a poor imitation of someone else. If God was into cookie cutter look alikes He could have created a planet full of duplicates. But He loves the diversity of His family, from our different shades of skin to our different personality types and everything in between. Learn to enjoy being you in the here and now and also the growing and learning and changing and expanding you that is to come. Learn to enjoy the journey of growing in accepting your you-nique-ness while at the same time pursuing Christlikeness. There is freedom when you quit fighting to be understood and accepted by others and begin to rest in the fact that you are fully understood, accepted and loved by Your Father God. 

Friday, February 15, 2019

Facing Fiery Trials With Faith

By: Sarah Geringer

Today I'm facing a trial that's been coming for some time. I've looked for a way out. I've prayed for a way around. But God is telling me, "The only way to move forward is through."

I don't want to walk through this tunnel of flames. I'm no circus performer who can tumble through without getting burned. I'm just a regular person. A woman of faith, yes. But made of steel? No.

Surely you have also faced situations that were unavoidable, painful and necessary, friend. Does one of those times come to mind right now? Whether it was a test, move, breakup, or job change, you probably bear a few scars from that trial.

Maybe you're headed into another trial as we speak. Maybe the scar has barely healed, and God is showing you another flame tunnel right ahead. You might be thinking you aren't strong enough to handle it. You may be digging in your heels and staying put. You may be worrying about the long-term effects after you pass through.

I'm there with you, friend. If I had a magic machine to fast-forward my life right now, I'd use it without regret. But I know that this flame tunnel has a specific purpose, and God will use it for my good.

This morning I read my One Year Bible, which provided a flame-retardant garment for me to wear today. I'll share a portion of the reading with you and pray that it offers you the same protection.

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare of the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
he is my God, and I am trusting him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
and protect you from the fatal plague.
He will shield you with his wings.
He will shelter you with his feathers.
His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

Psalm 91:1-4 NLT

Let's pull a few applications from this passage:

God gives us shelter. Like a baby bird is protected under her mother's wings, God shelters us in our trials.
God gives us rest. The trial does not last forever. He will give us rest from it after it passes.
God gives us safety. Our trials can be dangerous, but God is our safe place, no matter what.
God rescues us. We don't have to bear the trials on our own; he will provide rescue for us.
God protects us. He keeps the trial from destroying us. No flames will burn us down, because he offers protection.
God shields us. He goes before us with his shield, defending us in our earthly and spiritual battles.
We can cling to God's promises. By reflecting on his promises when we face trials, we can be protected from spiritual attacks and unnecessary wounds.

I know I didn't write this out only for my own benefit. I'm sure many of you are suffering today, and I hope that this psalm brings you the comfort and the strength you need to move forward.

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Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings and God's peace to you,

Photo from

Reflection questions:

1. What fiery trial are you facing now?

2. How has God helped you in past fiery trials?

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Love Is...

By: Jenifer Metzger

Valentine's Day is tomorrow. I am still not sure how I feel about this holiday. My husband and I firmly believe that we should show our love to our spouse 365 days a year, not just 1. We should do those little acts of love regularly, not just when the calendar tells us to. Yet on the other hand, it is nice to have that day to do extra things and go all out.

Whether you are one of those who goes all out red and hearts and lovey-dovey for the day or one who dismisses the day completely, this is for you.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails...
I Corinthians 13:4-8

The Bible tells us in I John 4 that God is love. So let's do this again a little differently.

Jesus is patient, Jesus is kind. He does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud.
He is not rude, He is not self-seeking, He is not easily angered, He keeps no record of wrongs.
Jesus does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres. Jesus never fails...
I Corinthians 13:4-8

Oh that describes Jesus perfectly! Jesus is all of those things. He is love. Well, we are supposed to be Christ-like. Correct? So let's try this yet again.

Jenifer is patient, Jenifer is kind. She does not envy, she does not boast, she is not proud.
She is not rude, she is not self-seeking, she is not easily angered, she keeps no record of wrongs.
Jenifer does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Jenifer always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres. Jenifer never fails...
I Corinthians 13:4-8


If I were honest with you, I would say that is not true. I am not always patient and kind. I am, at times, easily angered. And yes, I have been known to keep record of my husband's wrong doings. I do fail.

The Bible tells us what love is and it tells us that God is love. It also tells us that we are to be like God. Take out the word love and add your name. Does it match up perfectly? I would imagine it doesn't.

Friends, we need to commit to our spouse, and even to our families and friends, to strive to be like God and to be love. I want to encourage, this Valentine's Day and all the days that follow, let's be love. Memorize I Corinthians 13 and practice putting your name in there and striving to make it true.

I want to be like Christ. I want to be love.

*Please read below as our Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesday Link Up has changed.

The link up service we previously used now places ads on the link up. Some of the ads do not follow with our faith and we felt it was inappropriate. In order to remove the ads, we must pay and as a ministry with no income, we are not able to do that. So we are changing our link up! Each Wednesday we'd like to invite you to leave a link to your latest blog post in the comments. We still desire to connect women of God with one another and encourage each other in Christ. So grab a cup of coffee or glass of sweet tea, sit back and visit a few blogs. Be encouraged and share your own stories.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Let's Become Love

By: Joanne Viola

This week we will celebrate Valentine’s Day – a day when it is traditional to send a card or give a gift to the people one loves. I read a study which stated that the average person will spend $146.84 with an expected total of $19.7 billion. Can we even imagine all the chocolate, roses, jewelry, and cards purchased every year? 

The chocolate will be eaten, the flowers will fade and get thrown away eventually, and the cards may or may not get saved for years.

"Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection,and take delight in honoring each other." (Romans 12:9-10, NLT)

As in last Monday, the question again arises: How are we to love? Paul answers the question powerfully: 
  • Love does not wear a mask. True love is free from all pretense. Love will not disguise itself to gain something from another person. There is no personal agenda when loving from a pure heart. 
  • Love hates evil and holds onto the good. True love will not tolerate mean and hurtful behavior. True love will hold tightly, like glue, to acting and reacting in a just and merciful manner to others. 
  • Love is genuine. Do we love one another, deeply, as if we were a family? Love displays a mutual concern and a commitment to others. 
  • Love honors others. Love will not seek to outdo or outshine others. Love thinks of others as better than oneself, and seeks the best interest of others.
"God doesn't want us to just study Him like He's an academic project. He wants us to become love."
(Bob Goff, Everybody Always, prologue)

Love must rule in all our relationships in our homes, churches, and communities. Jesus put it this way:

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35, NIV)

Let’s make the love of Jesus recognizable to the world around us!

Photo by Will O on Unsplash