Wednesday, September 19, 2018

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Spirit of God Illustrated Bible

Let me introduce you to a new, illustrated story Bible, sweetly written by Doris Rikkers, and colorfully illustrated by Fernando Juarez. Before you start thinking, "Oh, its just another Bible storybook for children," let me tell you what's unique about this one.

The Spirit of God Illustrated Bible uses over 40 short stories, presented in a way that helps readers understand how God’s Spirit has been with us since the beginning of time and continues to be with us today.

The book starts out with the account of Creation, where it says in Genesis 1:2, "Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." (NIV) From there, we are taken through many of the accounts in the Old Testament - some of which will be new stories to the children (and even the adults) who read them. Then, after the building of the temple in Jerusalem is completed, we are taken into the New Testament where we are taught about the life of Christ, and the birth of the church. 

In my opinion, this storybook is a unique way of presenting the Bible to children of all ages, while also being appealing (and educational) for adults.

For more information and to view a sampler, click the "landing page" here:

GIVEAWAY:  I am happy to be able to give away a copy of this bible to one of my readers. If you are interested, you will need to do ONE of two things - either make a comment on this blog post and make sure I have a contact e-mail for you, or make a comment on the Facebook post on HHMRH MINISTRIES PAGE where I will contact you via private message if you are the winner. For all those who comment, a random drawing will be held on Saturday, September 22, 2018, at 8:00 p.m. Central Time.
 
~~~~~~~~~~

Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller/FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win. Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

TRUST #32: Remember His Wondrous Works (GUEST: Carolyn McIntosh)

At the end of July, before taking a blogging break, I gave a list of  TRUST posts that had already been published: TRUST #29:  A REVIEW OF TRUST POSTS 

In that post, I asked you all to share what your favorite posts have been to that point, or share a testimony of how these posts have impacted you.

My mom, the wonderful and great encourager that she is, jumped at the chance to write a note and share her thoughts with all of us. Here is what she wrote: 
One of the TRUST blogs Vicky has written, and I enjoyed, was the one about remembering how God has helped us in the past - TRUST #4:  Remember How God Has Helped You in the Past
In my late 30's, I was going through a real hard time emotionally. During that time, Vicky (a teenager then) made me a homemade verse card. It was Isaiah 41:13 - For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. I still have the card some 35 years later in my living room and I still read it, reminding me He does help us through rough times. It has become one of my favorite Bible verses. 
I also like Hebrews 13:5 - I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. Since losing my husband 16 months ago, this verse I say often. It is a promise I am never alone. There have been many things I have needed to do and, because of Him, I don’t have to do them alone. He has been there to help provide through my family and my church family. He is there to help me, and will continue to be there. He cares for the small things as well as the bigger ones. We have an awesome God!   ~ Carolyn McIntosh (Mom)

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Tori Kelly "Hiding Place" CD


You may know her as a fairly new pop-artist whose debut album "Unbreakable Smile" was released in 2015. You may remember her as the voice of "Meena the elephant" on the animated film SING. But, what you may not know is that TORI KELLY has had a lifelong passion for gospel music.

With the help of her manager, Scooter Braun, the L.A.-based singer/songwriter connected with Kirk Franklin, a 12-time Grammy Award-winning gospel artist and one of Kelly’s musical idols. “I flew to Dallas and Kirk showed me a few songs he’d written, and I fell in love with all of them,” says Kelly. So, with its R&B-infused take on classic gospel, Ms. Kelly's newest album, Hiding Place, will be released on September 14, 2018. It presents what Franklin refers to as “hope-pop.”

Kelly says, "One of the things I want for this album is for people to feel uplifted and encouraged when they listen." She goes on to say, "I want them to know that, no matter what they’re going through, there’s a God who loves them so much and so unconditionally, and there’s always a reason to feel hope. That’s what I really believe in, and I want everyone out there to hear my heart."

As I listened to the CD, I definitely noticed the R & B style, which is not my favorite style of music. However, Ms. Kelly has a beautiful voice, and the lyrics to each of the 8 songs bring out the importance of being real with God and with placing our faith, hope and trust in Him. My favorite is "Souls Anthem," the last song on the album. Check out these lyrics:

Teach me how to love you. Show me how to trust you,
more than with my words or with a song.
No, it's not been easy to live life down on my knees,
but with faith I know I'll carry on.

There is more to see than with my eyes.
Fear sometimes can leave me paralyzed.
I realize that I'm not in control, 
yet it is well with my soul.

The enemy's against me, arrows all around me, 
never knew the fight would last so long.
In seasons of depression, I plead for your protection.
Make me right, I'm tired of being wrong.

Every time there's hope, it seems to die, 
and the voices all around they feed that lie.
Everything I see tells me to let go, 
yet it it well with my soul.

This fight I'm in is not of flesh and blood. 
The weapons that I need are in your love.
Lord, don't you ever let me go, 
You make it well with my soul. 


GIVEAWAY:  I am able to give away a copy of this CD to one of my readers who are in the United States. If you are interested, do one of two things - either make a comment on this blog post and make sure I have a contact e-mail for you, or make a comment under the Facebook post on HHMRH MINISTRIES PAGE where I will contact you via private message if you are the winner. For all who comment, a random drawing will be held on Saturday, September 15, 2018, at 8:00 p.m. Central Time. 


Here is a video of Ms. Kelly singing "Never Alone." 



Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller/FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days on the same blog, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

TRUST #31: Ideas to Help Grandparents Share their Faith with their Grandchildren

Grandparents tend to have a special kind of love for their grandchildren, and can often have a significant impact in their lives. So, since today is Grandparent's Day, this TRUST post is for all of you grandparents who have the great opportunity of passing along your faith to your grandchildren.

As a grandparent, consider some of these ideas that may help encourage your grandchildren to live a life of faith:
  1. Pray for them on a regular basis, and also be sure to TELL them you are praying for them.
  2. Ask them HOW you can pray for them.
  3. Teach them how to pray and/or take them to church with you, if their parents will allow it. (It's always important to be respectful of the parents wishes.)
  4. For young ones, read stories to them that tell of God's love for them.
  5. For grandchildren of ALL ages, share stories from your own life about times when prayers have been answered, or when you needed to TRUST God to help you through a difficult situation. Share your stories in person, or over the phone; or go one step further and record them on a cassette tape, or ask someone to video tape you telling your stories. What a special gift that would be!
  6. If you enjoy writing, take the time to write your faith/trust stories in a notebook or journal in your own handwriting. This would be another great gift to give to the generations that follow you! Or, you could type up an entire memoir and get it self-published. If that is the direction you choose to go in, my friend Linda has a lot of helpful information on memoir writing over at her blog:  SPIRITUAL MEMOIRS 101
I am thankful for the blessing of wonderful parents and grandparents who have impacted my life with their faith. Here are a just a few photos of our kids with the grandparents who have shared in their lives over the years. These loving grandparents have not only talked about their faith, but have also shown by their actions what it means to live a life of TRUSTING in the Lord.

At Robin Hood Woods Campground with Grandma & Grandpa S. - July 2004

On our church playground with Grandma & Grandpa Mc. - 2005

Various photos with Grandma & Grandpa S. in 2007

Playing at a park while visiting Grandpa & Grandma Mc. - August 2009

Visiting Great Grandma Mac in her home - June 2011

Celebrating the Holidays with Grandpa & Grandma S. - 2013

Various photos with Grandma & Grandpa Mc. in 2014

Both sets of grandparents at our house for a visit - August 2015

Mother's Day with Grandma Mc. - May 2018

Visiting a covered bridge with Grandma & Grandpa S.  - May 2018

HAPPY GRANDPARENTS DAY!


Psalm 92:14-15 (NIV)
"They will still bear fruit in old age, 
they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, 
“The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, 
and there is no wickedness in Him."


Sunday, September 2, 2018

TRUST #30: He Will Carry Us Safe to Shore


I'm finally back after taking a one-month blogging break. How are you doing with placing your TRUST in the Lord?

While I was on my break, my family took a mini-vacation with David's parents to St. Joseph, Michigan. I was excited to see the lighthouses there along Silver Beach; and even more excited to tour the bigger lighthouse and climb to the top of the tower.

I love lighthouses. I'm sure I got the interest in them from my dad, since he was a huge fan of them also. I thought of him a lot as we were walking out on the pier and, I admit, a few of my tears were shed. He would have loved being there, and I wished I could have shared those moments with him. But, I'm thankful I was able to share the experience with my husband, our son, and David's dad. I was in awe at my first, up-close look at a lighthouse.

What is it about lighthouses that are so intriguing? For one, they are beautiful, have interesting architecture, and they come in all different sizes, shapes, and colors. But, more than that, they are great reminders of how God is a beacon for us in times of trouble. A lighthouse is lit up when it is dark or stormy to help navigate boaters safely to the shore. In the same way, God cares for those of us who TRUST in Him. He provides the light that navigates us through troubled waters, bringing us safe to shore.

What exactly does that mean? Does it mean nothing "bad" will ever happen to us? Does it mean we will never get hurt or scared? No. It means when we are lost, or going through a hard time - rough waters - the Lord is there to guide us and help lead us to a place of peace. Internal peace.

Hold that thought as you listen to and/or read the lyrics to My Lighthouse, a song by the Christian group Rend Collective. (JJ introduced us to this song when he came home from working at Youth Haven Bible Camp this summer).



LYRICS
In my wrestling and in my doubts
In my failures You won't walk out
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea

In the silence, You won't let go
In the questions, Your truth will hold
Your great love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea

My lighthouse, my lighthouse
Shining in the darkness. I will follow You
My lighthouse, my lighthouse
I will trust the promise
You will carry me safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore

I won't fear what tomorrow brings
With each morning I'll rise and sing
My God's love will lead me through
You are the peace in my troubled sea
You are the peace in my troubled sea

My lighthouse, my lighthouse
Shining in the darkness, I will follow You
My lighthouse, my lighthouse
I will trust the promise
You will carry me safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore

Fire before us, You're the brightest
You will lead us through the storms
Fire before us, You're the brightest
You will lead us through the storms
Fire before us, You're the brightest
You will lead us through the storms
Fire before us, You're the brightest
You will lead us through the storms

My lighthouse, my lighthouse
Shining in the darkness, I will follow You
My lighthouse, my lighthouse
I will trust the promise
You will carry me safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore (oh-oh-oh-oh-oh)
Safe to shore

Songwriters: Gareth Gilkeson / Chris Llewellyn
My Lighthouse lyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group


  TRUST in the promise that
He will carry you safe to shore.


Wednesday, August 8, 2018

A FREE E-book to Help Teach Children About Gratefulness

https://www.compassion.com/devotionals/free-ebook-for-kids.htm
Materialism, selfishness, and feelings of entitlement are being instilled into our children through the culture we live in. It is important to teach them, while they are young, to be grateful for the blessings God has given them, and to be generous in sharing those blessings with others.

Compassion International has a way to help teach these important lessons with their new e-book, Goggles of Gratefulness. It is a sweetly illustrated, 20-page book about a little bird who had an ungrateful attitude. Then, she had a change of heart while visiting a needy family member.

Download it for FREE at this link:

Sunday, July 29, 2018

TRUST #29: A Review of TRUST POSTS


I will be taking a blogging break through the month of August, and will plan to be back with more TRUST posts on September 2nd. Until then, take some time to read through the first 28 weeks again; and, if you get a moment, I would love to hear from you. Please share what your favorite posts have been so far, or share a testimony of how these posts have impacted your walk with the Lord. Thanks for reading.  ~Victoria

TRUST #1:  Focus for 2018: TRUST
TRUST #2:  My Unexplained Pain
TRUST #3:  God Works All Things for Our Good
TRUST #4:  Remember How God Has Helped You in the Past
TRUST #5:  Trust in God's Love for You
TRUST #6:  Trust God's Decision on Leaders
TRUST #7:  A Simple Plan to Help Us TRUST More and Worry Less
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)
TRUST #11:  Trusting Christ with a "Death Sentence" (Mike Phillip's Story)
TRUST #12:  The First Moment of Real Trust in God
TRUST #13:  Trusting God to Help Us Find Our Way (Daniel McIntosh's Story)
TRUST #14:  Trust God to Listen to Your Heart
TRUST #15:  How to Trust in God When You Don't Know How
TRUST #16:  Trusting God When Your Family Turns Against You (Rein Schmidt's Story)
TRUST #17:  Prayers Can Show Our Trust
TRUST #18:  What Faith Means to Me (Guest: Carolyn McIntosh)
TRUST #19:  "Trust" Quote from Chip Ingram
TRUST #20:  Romans 15:13
TRUST #21:  Twila Paris "Do I Trust You?"
TRUST #22:  "Trust the Engineer" (A Quote by Corrie TenBoom)
TRUST #23:  A Father Who Can Be Trusted
TRUST #24:  Allowing Our Son to Go and Do
TRUST #25:  Trusting in the Reliability of God's Word
TRUST #26:  Lauren Daigle "Trust in You"
TRUST #27:  EL is 2 Years Seizure-Free
TRUST #28:  'Tis So Sweet to TRUST in Jesus



Sunday, July 22, 2018

TRUST #28: Tis So Sweet To TRUST in Jesus


This lovely old hymn was written by a young missionary in 1882 after a heartbreaking, life-altering event took place. She wrote the words shortly after she watched her husband drown while trying to rescue a young child. Read the lyrics here, and click on the title to hear the tune:


’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
And to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus says the Lord!”

Refrain
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
O for grace to trust Him more!


O how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

Refrain

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.

Refrain

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.

Refrain

Sunday, July 15, 2018

TRUST #27: EL is 2 years Seizure-Free


Look closely at this photo and you can see people on top of the big rock. These people went on a journey to climb that rock in order to focus on the beauty around them. It reminds me of the climbs we have taken in life with our daughter, EL. Not physical climbs as we see in the photo; but emotional, developmental, and spiritual climbs - all due to EL's various health issues. Each climb we have taken has been used to help us exercise our faith, and to help us focus on the beauty around us.

It has been awhile since I have given an update on EL. Thankfully, that means she hasn't been having any major health issues lately. Yay! In fact, her last seizure was on July 15, 2016, two years ago today. After that seizure, her Pediatric Neurologist added an additional medication, which seems to have been the one that was needed to stop the seizures.

She started seeing a different Neurologist in February of this year - one that see's adults. We like her, and are happy her office is only an hour's drive from us instead of two. Next month, we will go back for a 6-month checkup and discuss weaning EL from the first medication she started taking and will see how things go.

Watching your child suffer through health issues is heartbreaking, to say the least. Through it all - her autism, her anxiety, her epilepsy, and her pituitary tumor - God has been a refuge for us. He has given us the wisdom, patience, and the strength we have needed for each and every climb we've come to. That is what TRUSTING in God can do.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

TRUST #26: "Trust in You" by Lauren Daigle


Lauren Daigle has a way of putting beautiful expressions of worship to music. I love this song she co-wrote about TRUSTING in the Lord. It reminds me that God is my strength and comfort; my firm foundation. He goes before me and is with me through every mountain and every valley; and I can be assured that His plans for my life are always good, even when things don't happen in the way I think they should.

(Click on the title to hear this song)

Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at Your feet
Every moment of my wandering
Never changes what You see
I try to win this war
I confess, my hands are weary, I need Your rest
Mighty warrior, king of the fight
No matter what I face You're by my side

When You don't move the mountains
I'm needing You to move
When You don't part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don't give the answers
As I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You

Truth is, You know what tomorrow brings
There's not a day ahead You have not seen
So let all things be my life and breath
I want what You want Lord and nothing less

When You don't move the mountains
I'm needing You to move
When You don't part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don't give the answers
As I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You
I will trust in You

You are my strength and comfort
You are my steady hand
You are my firm foundation
The rock on which I stand
Your ways are always higher
Your plans are always good
There's not a place where I'll go
You've not already stood

When You don't move the mountains
I'm needing You to move
When You don't part the waters
I wish I could walk through
When You don't give the answers
As I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You
I will trust in You
I will trust in You
I will trust in You

Songwriters: Lauren Daigle/ Michael Farren / Paul Mabury

Trust In You lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Essential Music Publishing, Capitol Christian Music Group

Sunday, July 1, 2018

TRUST #25: Trusting in the Reliability of God's Word

When my parents were working with CEF (Child Evangelism Fellowship), I was a young girl, around Kindergarten age. During that time, I can remember them asking my older brother and sister and me to sing some CEF songs and record them on a cassette tape to send to our grandparents.

LISTEN HERE TO US KIDS SINGING ONE OF THOSE SONGS:

THE WORDS TO THE SONG:
I'm glad I'm a Christian.
I'm TRUSTING the Lord.
I'm reading my Bible;
Believing each word.

The past is forgiven;
From sin I am free.
A mansion in Heaven
Is waiting for me.  

I chose to share this song with you today because it presents an important message about TRUSTING in the Lord. You can see it in the first verse, about how a big part of TRUSTING comes from  BELIEVING. But, its not just about believing God exists, its also about believing His Word (the Bible) is TRUE. In order to fully TRUST in God, it is important to believe in the reliability and inerrancy of His Word. It is the foundation of the Christian faith, and believing in its truth will make a huge difference in the strength of your TRUST.

If you are currently doubting the reliability of Scripture, I really don't think there is anything I can say to convince you of its truth. It is a matter of faith and worldview on your part, and something you will need to choose to believe in. But, if you are struggling with this subject and want some good articles to ponder, here are a few to get you started. I pray they will help answer some of your questions:


Sunday, June 24, 2018

TRUST #24: Allowing Our Son to Go and Do


As I look at the photo above (taken in 2008), I see my 5-year-old son, JJ, and smile. He was so little then, and was so dependent on me and David. We knew he could have easily fallen and gotten hurt while playing on this playground equipment; but we also knew we needed to allow him this time of play. Why? Because, as he was having fun playing, he was also developing a range of much-needed skills. He was developing motor skills, coordination, creativity, confidence-building, and independence - all necessary skills that have helped him learn, grow, and engage in the world around him. 

JJ is 15 years old now, and he is experiencing a new form of independence and confidence-building skills while spending a large part of his summer 6 hours from home. He is with my brother and his family at Youth Haven Bible Camp in the hills of Kentucky. The first week of June, he attended Jr. Staff Orientation, then spent a week of being a camper during teen week, and now he is working and serving as a Jr. Staff member until the middle of July.

If you are a parent, you can understand how difficult it is to allow a child to go so far away from home, and for so long of a time; but, I realize that allowing JJ to go and do new things is all part of the growing up process - for both him and for me (heh heh). So, I have been praying for JJ daily, and have been choosing to TRUST in God by placing JJ's well-being into God's hands. In fact, David and I have both been praying, not only for JJ's health and safety, but also for his spiritual growth, and for him to have learning experiences that will help shape him into the young man God wants him to become.

I remember back when I was barely 16, and I spent most of the Summer working as a "summer missionary" at Camp Good News in Minnesota. I have memories from that time of situations that have helped shape my life and make me the person I am today. I can only ask the same for JJ. So, although I miss him, I am thankful he has this opportunity to spend some time with his cousins, and to serve and work at the camp.

Playing in the park can help a young child's development. In the same way, being away from home for awhile can help a teenager's development. I am TRUSTING that this experience will be an exciting time of learning and growing for JJ, and I look forward to hearing about all he has done and learned during his time away.


Sunday, June 17, 2018

TRUST #23: A Father Who Can Be Trusted

On the day each of our children were born, David was a tremendous help throughout the labor and delivery process. He stayed near me the entire time, making sure all was going as well as it could be. Then, as soon as our baby was born, he quickly checked to see that I was okay, then went to be near the young ones as they were being cleaned up. At each birth, he had made an obvious transition from being a caring and protective husband to being a caring and protective father. And, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

David with our 1st-born child -1998

David with our 2nd-born child - 2003

A good father can be TRUSTED to love his children, protect them, and to care for them in ways that only a good father can. I am thankful and pleased to have that kind of a father for my children.

Unfortunately, not everyone in this world has had a father who has earned that same kind of trust. If that is YOU, don't be discouraged. We know from God's Word that you, too, can have a Father who can be trusted - a Heavenly Father. When you accept Jesus as your Savior, you are adopted as a child of God. He becomes the good Father you never had.
 
So, today, which is Father's Day in the United Stated, don't be afraid to open your heart to the Heavenly Father, placing your TRUST in Him. He is a Father who loves you, cares for you, wants to be a part of your life, and knows you better than anyone - even to the point of knowing how many hairs are on your head. He is a Father who can be TRUSTED.



Sunday, June 10, 2018

TRUST #22: "Trust the Engineer" (A Quote by Corrie TenBoom)

“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and TRUST the engineer.” 
 ~ Corrie TenBoom

Sunday, June 3, 2018

TRUST #21: Twila Paris "Do I Trust You?"


Way back in 1984, when I was a young teen-aged girl, a song came out on Christian radio by TWILA PARIS. This song, according to CCM CLASSIC was "written in response to Keith Green's untimely death in 1982."  Keith was also a well-known Christian musician at that time, who died on July 28, 1982. It was a plane crash that took his life, along with two of his four children.

Back then, when this song was new, many were blessed by the words. In fact, many are still being blessed by them. So, today, as we continue with the theme of TRUST, I am sharing the lyrics of this song with you....


DO I TRUST YOU?
(Click the title to hear the song)

Sometimes my little heart can't understand
What's in Your will, what's in Your plan.
So many times I'm tempted to ask You "Why?"
But I can never forget it for long.
Lord, what You do could not be wrong;
So I believe You, even when I must cry.

Do I trust You, Lord? Does the river flow?
Do I trust You, Lord? Does the north wind blow?
You can see my heart, You can read my mind
And You've got to know, I would rather die
Than to lose my faith in the One I love.
Do I trust You, Lord? Do I trust You?

I know the answers, I've given them all
But suddenly now, I feel so small
Shaken down to the cavity in my soul.
I know the doctrine and theology
But right now they don't mean much to me.
This time there's only one thing I've got to know

Do I trust You, Lord? Does the robin sing?
Do I trust You, Lord? Does it rain in spring?
You can see my heart, You can read my mind
And You've got to know I would rather die
Than to lose my faith in the One I love
Do I trust You, Lord? Do I trust You?

I will trust You, Lord, when I don't know why
I will trust You, Lord, till the day I die
I will trust You, Lord, when I'm blind with pain
You were God before and You'll never change
I will trust You, I will trust You
I will trust You, Lord
I will trust You, I will trust You
I will trust You, Lord
I will trust You, I will trust You
I will trust You, Lord

Songwriter: Twila Paris
Do I Trust You lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group


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)