Friday, May 25, 2018

How the New EU Law Affects My E-mail Subscribers

I don't really know a whole lot about this but, it is my understanding that a new European Union law requires me to give European Union visitors information about cookies used and data collected on this blog.

Basically, I take this to mean, if I use an email list to sell a product (like books), or provide a service or a program online or through my blog, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) requires me to let you know how I use your data. This pertains to those located in, doing business with, or making contact in the EU. The law protects against spam and unwanted data-sharing and goes into effect May 25, 2018.

So, for those of you who have signed up to receive my blog posts via email, please note how I intend to use your e-mails: I will not sell your e-mails, or share them with anyone else. I will not use them to send you newsletters. (NOTE: Blog posts are not the same as newsletters.) If you signed up to receive my blog posts via e-mail, Blogger will only use your email address to send you my new posts.

If you no longer wish to receive these blog post notifications in your e-mail, there is a link at the bottom of each e-mail that will allow you to unsubscribe.

Thanks for reading. 


Sunday, May 20, 2018

TRUST #19: "Trust" Quote from Chip Ingram

CHIP INGRAM is a Christian pastor, teacher, and author. He is the founder and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international discipleship ministry, and is also the senior pastor of Venture Christian Church in Los Gatos, California.

I like this quote about TRUST from Pastor Ingram:
Nothing will enter your life that God does not either decree or allow. And nothing will ever enter your life that, if you are willing to TRUST in him, he cannot work out for your good.



Sunday, May 13, 2018

TRUST #18: What Faith Means to Me (Guest: Carolyn McIntosh)


In 2009, I asked my mom to write down what FAITH means to her, and I shared it on my blog at that time. Since today is Mother's Day, and in honor of her, I want to share her article with you again.

Even though I am focusing on TRUST for this year's posts, you will notice below that FAITH and TRUST are very similar in definition.

FAITH:  Complete trust or confidence in someone or something. (In this case: God)

TRUST:  Reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; Confidence.

~~*~~*~~*~~*~~

What is Faith to Me?
By:  Carolyn McIntosh

I think of the words to a song, “FAITH is just believing what God says He will do. He will never fail you, His promises are true.”

FAITH is trusting in Jesus alone as the one who died for my and your sins. Believe He was buried and rose again from the grave. He promised He would forgive us if we believe in Him and ask His forgiveness.

FAITH is believing, if we have the faith of a mustard seed, we can move mountains (Matthew 17:20). God has moved many mountains for me and my family - both physically and financially. Why? Because He promised to supply our needs. Not our wants, but our needs.

I have a prayer journal and have had it for about 40+ years. I encourage you to do the same. Then, occasionally go back and read how God was faithful to you, in good and hard times, sometimes even giving you some of your wants. That’s how good God is!

God is faithful to us. We need to be faithful to Him. Believe His Word (His promises), read it and obey it. Cling to His promises every day and, if you are His child, believe His promises are true for you - because He said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5b)




Sunday, May 6, 2018

TRUST #17: Prayers Can Show Our Trust


It can be easy to say we are trusting (or relying on) God, but how do we truly know when we are relying on Him?

The answer to that question came to me when I read 21 Days of Faith Challenge by Christian speaker and author, Shelley Hitz. She has several books available on Amazon, and this was one I grabbed when it was available for free on my Kindle.

https://www.amazon.com/21-Days-Faith-Challenge-Life-ebook/dp/B00BSGL388/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1524432327&sr=8-1&keywords=21+days+of+faith
On DAY 14 of the faith challenge, Shelley tells of a time when she and her husband were doing missionary work and waiting for direction from God in a particular situation. During that waiting time, her husband wrote this quote and posted it on the wall in their kitchen:

Prayer is the proof we are relying on God.

Prayer is not just about asking for the things we want or need. It's about realizing we need God in our lives. It's about putting ourselves in God's hands. It shows we are relying on Him to help us through our circumstances, and not relying on ourselves. 

I encourage you to show you are relying on God by taking your requests to Him in prayer.

Then, TRUST HIM with the outcome.


Sunday, April 29, 2018

TRUST #16: Trusting God When Your Family Turns Against You (Rein Schmidt's Story)


I am sharing a TRUST story today from my friend, Rein Schmidt, about a time when his family and friends turned against him because of his decision to follow Christ. What a difficult thing to go through. Thanks for sharing, Rein.

I just turned 19 years old and my life was about to dramatically change. My view about the world, my friends and, yes, even my family would be seen in a different light. You see, God took a hold of my life. He opened my heart and my mind and showed me the truth of His word. The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 1:18 that the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. I was no different. I thought it was foolishness. Yet one day, it wasn’t foolishness anymore. Someone shared with me the Gospel and the Holy Spirit took those words and unlocked the hardness of my heart. The Gospel became irresistible and I couldn’t say no. So by faith I accepted Jesus as my Savior.

From that moment on, everything began to change. As I mentioned before, the way I saw the world, my friends, and even my life, changed. Over the next few months, my friends at the time no longer wanted to hang around me. I started going to a non-denominational Bible-teaching church every Sunday. I went to various Bible studies and made new friends.

One day, my parents confronted me about what had happened in my life. They were concerned about me reading the Bible and why I was carrying it around with me all the time. My father told me, “Reading the Bible all the time will make you crazy.” He wanted me to stop doing that. Several days later, all of this finally came to a head. They came to me and gave me an ultimatum. They told me that I would have to either accept them and their tradition (they were Catholic) and continue to live in their house, or I could continue following Jesus but I would have to leave and live somewhere else. At that moment, the words of Matthew 10:34-36 became very real, "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn 'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law, a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.'"

I was crushed and didn’t see this coming. I felt all alone. All I could do was TRUST in my Lord and my Savior, Jesus. As I looked at my parents, with tears in my eyes and a broken heart, I said, "I’d rather have Jesus!"


Forty five years later, I still have Jesus. Even though my parents never accepted my faith, they eventually did accept me again. It was my trust in the Lord that helped me through that difficult time.

~ Rein Schmidt





Wednesday, April 25, 2018

MOVIE REVIEW: "Like Arrows"

Let's face it - parenting is HARD! And, if God is not the center of your marriage and your life, it is even harder.

Like Arrows
is a new Christian movie produced by FamilyLife’s Dennis and Barbara Rainey and Bob Lepine, with the help of Alex and Stephen Kendrick. This parenting movie will release in theaters as part of a significant new parenting initiative called FamilyLife’s Art of Parenting™.

MOVIE SYNOPSIS: When conflict, rebellion, and resentment overwhelm their family, Charlie and Alice are forced to rethink their parenting strategy. In the process, they realize how critical intentionality and focus are when shaping and molding young lives. FamilyLife’s first feature film explores the challenges and joys that come with raising children. Through a journey that unfolds over 50 years, Charlie and Alice discover the unmistakable power of family. Together, they learn that knowing and living by God’s Word is what brings transformation and hope to any family.

Thanks to FlyBy Promotions, my husband and I were given the opportunity for a sneak peak of this movie before its release in theaters. Although the film seemed to "drag" a little in some places, it was overall a good movie. The main idea we gleaned from it is that many people think, as they go through life, they should just do "the best they can," and that includes raising their children. They think they  only need to turn to God when things aren’t working out for them. But, that isn't how it's supposed to be. Instead of only making God a PART of our lives, we need to make him the CENTER of it. There is a big difference.

If you get a chance to see Like Arrows, I would recommend it. It will be in select theaters for two days only - May 1st and 3rd. Click here to see if it will be playing in a theater near you:

FIND A THEATER NEAR YOU 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

TRUST #15: How To Trust in God When You Don't Know How


According to Dictionary.com, TRUST (as an action verb) is defined:
to have confidence in; rely or depend on : to believe : to expect confidently; hope
So, in reference to a Believer's trust in God, this means:
  • to have confidence in God, believing He is in control of all things
  • to rely or depend on God for help, comfort, strength and/or peace
  • to believe in God, or believe what He says in His Word is true
  • to confidently expect or hope that better things are on the way

Some of you, however, have been given bad examples of trust, or have been disappointed by someone you trusted, so you don't know HOW to trust anyone anymore... and that includes God.

How do you place your TRUST in God when you don't know how?

If you are truly committed to building a trust relationship between you and God, it WILL happen for you. But, TRUST isn't something that just automatically happens. It is a journey, and is something that needs to be consistently nurtured. Here are some things you can do to help you on your journey:
1.  PRAY and ask God to show you how to trust in Him. I truly believe He will honor that request if you are sincere about it. Consider Mark 9:24 that says, "Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” The man in this passage had faith that Christ could do miracles, but he knew his faith wasn't as strong as it should have been. He acknowledged his doubts here and asked for help with those doubts. In the same way, you can acknowledge your lack of TRUST, and sincerely ask God for help. 

2.  READ VERSES ABOUT TRUST. Look up all the verses about TRUST that you can find and meditate (ponder, reflect, think deeply) on them.  Here are just a few to get you started:
  • Psalm 56:3
  • Psalm 13:5
  • Psalm 37:5
  • Proverbs 3:5
  • Proverbs 16:20
  • Isaiah 26:3-4
  • Romans 15:13
  • Philippians 4:6-7
  • Philippians 4:19
  • Hebrews 11:6
3.  READ THROUGH THE PSALMS and write down all the attributes/characteristics of God that you see, and be sure to personalize them. Here are a few examples from Psalm 3 to get you started:
  • Psalm 3 is a lament - a song about suffering. It is a plea to God for help. I can be confident of God's help.
  • Psalm 3:3 - The Lord is a shield around me. He is the One who lifts my head. 
  • Psalm 3:4 - He answers me when I cry out to Him.
  • Psalm 3:5 - He sustains me.
  • Psalm 3:7 - He can deliver me from my enemies.
  • Psalm 3:8 - He blesses His people.
4. START KEEPING A PRAYER JOURNAL so you will be able to look back on it and see how the Lord has answered your prayers.

5. MEET WITH A MENTOR. Make the effort to find a follower of Jesus Christ that you look up to - someone you believe you can learn from - and ask him/her to meet with you on a weekly basis. Use that time to talk and go over questions you have about God and the Bible, to share prayer requests and concerns, and to pray together.

If you have other ideas that have worked for you, I would love to hear them. The main idea is to keep working on building a trust relationship with your Lord, and good things are bound to happen.


Related Posts
TRUST #1: Focus for 2018
TRUST #4: Remember How God Has Helped You in the Past 
TRUST #7: A Simple Plan to Help Us Trust More and Worry Less
GOT QUESTIONS:  How Can I Learn to Trust in God?
BIBLE STUDY TOOLS:  7 Daily Steps to Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart






Sunday, April 15, 2018

TRUST #14: Trust God to Listen to Your Heart

A few weeks ago, I was stressed - seriously stressed to the point of it affecting my health. I was feeling anxious, having headaches, and didn't sleep too well at night. There were several things on my mind at the same time - things that needed to be dealt with in different ways - things like settling a misunderstanding, feeling concern over a loved one's situation and making plans for some possible changes to take place, seeking answers from someone I wasn't very comfortable going to for help, having feelings of failure over raising and educating my children, and having feelings of being unappreciated. It was a lot to be dealing with all at once, and I came to the point where the only words I could mutter up in my prayers were, "God, please help me."

When two friends came over for a Bible study that week, I shared some of my struggles with them, and asked if one of them could say the closing prayer. I wasn't in the right frame of mind to be audibly praying at the time. Not because I quit believing, not because I believed God wouldn't hear me. I just didn't have the words.

A few days later, almost everything on my list was resolved, or in the process of being resolved, and I was able to pray more specifically again. But, I later found out, one of my friends' husbands was encouraged to hear about my lack of words for openly praying. It may sound odd that he was encouraged by my discouragement. But, he said it made him realize he is not alone when he goes through the same thing.

So, SOMETIMES, when we go through a hard time, it could actually be happening for someone else's benefit. But, no matter the reason for WHY these things happen, it is important for us all to remember how God understands what we are going through. He understands our hearts. He understands our needs. So, even when we cannot express ourselves in words, we can take comfort in knowing the Holy Spirit will do the praying for us, and God WILL listen and respond.

God is good.  TRUST Him to listen to your heart, even when you don't have the words.


Related Posts:
TRUST #1:  Focus for 2018
TRUST #3:  God Works All Things for Our Good

 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

TRUST #13: Trusting God to Help Us Find Our Way (Daniel McIntosh's Story)

Today's TRUST story comes from my brother, Daniel McIntosh. He and his family are missionaries with Kentucky Mountain Mission in Southeastern Kentucky. Thank you for sharing, Daniel!
I recall back in the 1970’s, living in southern Minnesota, and visiting a park with family and friends. This particular park had flat lands, cliffs, caves, and even a large flowing river. I was around the age of 9. My older sister, a couple friends, and I went on a hike in the woods. There was a part of the trail we could continue on, or we could hop across a bridge over the river where the path split off into two more directions. We hopped across the river and, after a time, the friends wanted to separate and go their own direction - a direction our parents told us not to go alone and without adult supervision. In the process, everyone got lost. We couldn’t find the way back to the picnic area, and fear began to creep in. I recall wondering if I would ever find my way out and back to my parents.
About that same time, I realized I needed to pray - and pray I did. I called out to the Heavenly Father in prayer asking for help, to show us the right direction back, and to be reunited with the rest of our family again. No sooner was my prayer over and the Lord brought to my mind the flow of the river. What direction did it flow when we entered the woods. What direction was it flowing now, and on which side of the river were we standing on now? When I was able to piece all of this together, I knew exactly where to back track on the path, cross the river, and head back to our family and friends. I shared it with my sister, we were able to cross back to the main path and, shortly after that, our friends could be seen across the water - still lost. We called to them and told them how to get back to our side. Then, we all walked out safely from the woods, back to everyone still in the picnic area, just in time for supper.
Until I called out to God, trusting Him to help us find our way back, we were lost. But in that moment of trusting Him, and asking for His guidance, He helped me realize what path I needed to take and how to get to where I needed to be. Everyday life is much the same way. We need to trust God for the small and big things -what college to go to, what job to take, where to live. Every task and routine in life should be accomplished through trusting Him first in it all.
~Daniel McIntosh


Related Posts:
TRUST #1: Focus for 2018
TRUST #4: Remember How God Has Helped You in the Past 
TRUST #8: Trust God to Meet Your Needs (Carolyn McIntosh's Story)
TRUST #9: He Never Leaves Us Nor Forsakes Us (Daneille Snowden's Story)
TRUST #10: Following God's Lead (Charity Vanderhoof's Story)

Sunday, April 1, 2018

TRUST #12: The First Moment of Real Trust in God

 
My brother, Daniel, a Pastor and full-time Missionary with Kentucky Mountain Mission in Southeastern Kentucky, recently shared the following paragraph with me about the first moment of real TRUST in a Christian's life.
I can think of numerous moments where trusting God was important in my life. Some for trivial events, others for life-changing situations. No matter how small or large things may seem, it’s always important to place full confidence and trust in the One who created all things, who breathed life into us, who granted us a second opportunity to be reconnected in fellowship with Him (through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ). In fact the first moment of real trust in Him comes when we realize we are sinners in need of a savior (Romans 3:23), admit Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9), and receive His gift of everlasting life (Romans 6:23). From that moment on in every believers life are unlimited opportunities and times to continue placing trust in the events that occur in our lives. 
~ Daniel McIntosh
I felt it was fitting to share this from Daniel, considering today is Resurrection Sunday (a.k.a. Easter), which is a day set aside each Spring for Christians to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the tomb. This occurred on the third day after he was nailed to a cross where He suffered, bled, and died for the sins of the world. When God raised Jesus from the dead three days later, it showed God accepted what Jesus did for us on the cross. It showed He accepted Jesus' payment for sin. His resurrection allows us to have victory over that sin, and to have the kind of relationship with Christ we were meant to have.

Check back next Sunday, when we will be hearing from Daniel again - this time with a personal TRUST story about a time when he and our sister were lost in the woods. Until then, have a great Easter/Resurrection Sunday, and a great week!

 
Related Links:
ALL ABOUT GOD: Resurrection Sunday
ALL ABOUT JESUS: The Work of the Cross
GOT QUESTIONS: What is Easter Sunday? 
GOT QUESTIONS: Why is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ Important? 
CROSSWALK:  What is Easter (Understanding the History & Symbols)