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Bring it On!

Bring it On!

Bombs.

School shootings.

Thousands upon thousands of babies murdered before they are ever allowed to experience a breath of air.

Yikes!  Maybe turning on the news isn’t the best idea to start my day on a positive note.

So, so many things happening in our world today that are completely senseless.

Sadly, I can’t say all of this tragedy and depravity is only out there in the world.  It also resides in our communities, schools, and yes, even churches.

Making sense of it all is nearly impossible.  You can quickly find yourself losing faith in mankind.  Even those who walk in Christian faith, strong one minute, can quickly collapse as if shifting sand is beneath them.   Satan is a truly a master destroyer…..and his ultimate goal is to destroy as many Christian lives and churches as he can.

Overwhelming, isn’t it?  It almost seems hopeless.

Last night, as I was driving home from a long and completely stressful day, I was having quite the pity party.  My faith in man was at an all time low.  Troubles have invaded my comfort zone all week long and I was ready to throw my hands in the air, fall in the floor, and throw a fit.  I finally turned the radio up to distract my thoughts, as I was quickly spiraling into a ‘woe is me’ attitude.

That’s when it happened.  One of my favorite oldies came on, “How Can I Keep From Singing Your Praise”,  I was quickly reminded that no matter how man might disappoint me…. no matter how depraved and tragic our society becomes, no matter how much I disappoint myself…. one thing remains true and constant.

don't panic

God is on His throne.  And He is unchanging.  He is the same in the valley as He is on the mountaintop.

Trials and trouble may be ready to devour me and those I love and care about.  But God is on our side.  Though I feel as if I’m on sinking sand, I will find, when the sand has all blown into the wind, that I safely land in the palm of my Father.  He has a firm grip on me and He is NOT letting go.

So what do I have to whine about?  My faith lies in my Savior, my Creator, my Rock.  Man will always disappoint.  I will always disappoint.  We are only human.  We all struggle with temptation and often, we lose the battle.  But we cannot quit.  We cannot let Satan win.  In the book of James, we are told to consider it pure joy when trials are heaped on us.  After all, we are about to be given the chance to grow in faith and perseverance.

So, this morning, as I wake and find my circumstances to remain the same as they were last night in the pit of the most pathetic pity party ever, I will have a cup of coffee with the Lord, put on my big girl panties, and tackle this day knowing He’s got this. Troubles and trials??  Bring it on!!  The world can sink around me, but I am loved by the King.  And it makes my heart wanna sing!!

God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.   – 1 John 3:20, MSG

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.   –Hebrews 13:8

Only God knows how it all turns out, and for those who belong to Him, it turns out well.   –Romans 8:28

 

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2013 in Daily Devotions, Scripture

 

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Let. It. Go.


As I was reading my Bible this morning, I came across a scripture I have read many times.  In fact, I went back through four different Bibles and I had highlighted this scripture in each one.  Although I have obviously read the scripture and it apparently stood out to me, this morning….on this day, it was as if I read it for the first time.

 

You see, I’ve had a rough year.  So much has happened this year.  Heartbreaking, life-changing things have happened.  It would be easy for me to look back on all I’ve been through and allow myself to get stuck in the trials.  To throw a big ole pity party.  Nurse those wounds just enough to function, yet keeping them open to the pain, hurt, and anger.

The problem with nursing those wounds, hanging on to hurtful words, clinging for dear life to each and every instance you feel you have been mistreated……….is that it takes over your life.  Your problems and trials aren’t something you are dealing with for a moment.  They become who you are.  They claim your joy and can rob you of peace.  When your spirit is filled with bitterness, anger, and malice, there is no room for love.

And it’s not just the actions and hurts of others that can gain this victory over us.  Often, we inflict these feelings on ourselves.  Maybe we have made poor choices.  In recognizing them, we inflict a punishment of self-loathing and self-condemnation.  We can with-hold forgiveness from ourselves for our poor choices and sin in our life.

No matter the source of your struggle, it’s important to recognize this is not all there is.  Life is about so much more than holding on to hurt.  This verse I stumbled across by chance (I was reading in Psalm and came across it in Isaiah as I was flipping through pages.) tells us not to dwell on the past.  To forget the former things.  I see this as explicit permission, even a command to let it go.  Why?  Because freedom is found in forgiveness.  Freedom for your soul.  It frees you up to move on with your life.  To look forward to a positive, hopeful future.

The scripture then goes on to say that God is doing a NEW thing.  He has something NEW for us waiting.  And I assure you, when God has something for you, it’s something good.  No, something AMAZING.    The key is looking forward, taking a step away from the hurts of the past, and finding hope.  God has something better for you.  Are you ready to receive it?

I urge you to search your heart for those old hurts that hold you back.  Pray for freedom and forgiveness so that you will be ready for the new things God has waiting for you.  Pray for me as I set out on the same endeavor.  Victory is found in following Him.  And I’m ready for it!

 

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2012 in Daily Devotions

 

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Priority Check!


Life is busy.  Hard.  Chaotic. Frustrating.  Overwhelming.   When I feel get stuck in the busy-ness, I often kick into survival mode.  Just getting through the day, the week, the month.  Before I know it, time has slipped away and I wonder where it went.  During these times, it’s easy to let things go.  Important things.

Many times,the first thing we let go is time with God. Our Bible is little more than a dust catcher on a table.  Our thoughts rarely turn to Him.  Then, we suddenly need Sunday morning to play catch up around the house…. or to finally take a moment to sleep in and rest.  Next thing you know, your relationship with Him consists of hardly more than a verbal acknowledgement that He is Lord.

In order to experience a true relationship with Him, to experience His power in our lives, to feel His presence in our hearts, we must be willing to draw to Him.  And that means spending time with Him, praying with Him, reading His word, and, yes, even serving Him.

Overwhelmed at that thought?  I understand.  But if you can, just for a moment, look past the commitment required, and ponder over the possibilities of living with Him as the center of your life.  Peace.  Comfort.  Contentment.  Joy.  Excitement.  Grace.  Mercy.  Love. Security.  Assurance.  I could go on and on…

Today, take some time to reflect on your life. And your relationship with Him.  The Bible is filled with promises.  Do you believe them?  Do you believe God can and will do what He says?  Where does He truly stand in your list of priorities?  What keeps you from moving Him to the top of the list where He belongs…. and keeping Him there?  Believe it or not, even in the midst of trials and chaos, you can have comfort and peace.  But a real relationship with Him is required.

You must seek Him.

You must be thirsty for Him.

You must long for Him.

Seek Him with your whole heart, your mind, and your spirit.

Commit your time and your life to Him.

He will not let you down.

He is your God.

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2012 in Daily Devotions

 

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Hello, World!!


Hello, My name is Robin.  You may or may not remember who I am at this point.  Shoot, I’m not even sure I remember me either.  I’ve been MIA for months now.  But, you see, my life sort of….. fell apart in many ways at the beginning of the year.  And although many things are still floundering a bit, I’ve decided I’m gonna make it. 

I would share some of my stories from the past few months, but it might cause a surge in Prozac prescriptions, maybe even a cry to mainstream it in the water for all to reap the benefits.  I would hate to be the reason you need anti-depressants. 

Although my life has gone through some major changes the past six months, what I know to remain true is this:  God is good.  All the time.  Even when walking through hell on earth.  During the happy times.  Even through the sad and angry times.  I know this because He has never left me.  And for this I’m thankful, because I have learned to lean on Him more than ever.  He is a mighty Savior!

I’m jumping back into the blogosphere!!  Hello, World! 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2012 in It's my life.....

 

It’s not Burger King….. Have it ‘His Way’, not ‘Your Way’!


Even when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He still stayed two days longer in the same place where He was.   —John 11:6, AMP

So many things about God are a complete mystery.  The choices He makes…. in His time, not ours.  His will and plan oft times confuse us to our very core because it simply makes little sense to us.  After all, if He would just listen to us, let us tell Him what we need, when we need it, everything would be a bed of roses, right?!

God is like a breeze that blows in.  You may not see where He comes from, but there is no mistaking He is there.  His timing IS always perfect.  So why, is this perfect timing often so frustrating?

When times are hard and you feel like you cannot endure, the knowledge that just one word from Him could completely turn your circumstances around and solve all your troubles……..yet He doesn’t move??  Frustrating!  God is completely unpredictable.  He is not a fast food restaurant where you can order what you want and have it ‘your way’.  You can’t just say a prayer, ordering your needs or desires, and He delivers in less than thirty minutes.

This is so hard for us to accept and embrace when we are in the midst of trying times, heartache, and sorrow.  We cry out to Him for help, to fix our problems.  To rush in and rescue us.  When He is silent, our hearts wonder, “Why?”.  When we want so desperately to trust Him, but He seems to be quiet in the midst of our problems, it’s easy for feelings of betrayal to creep in.

During these times, it’s important for us to remember the greatness and majesty of our God.  As challenging as it is to wait on Him and His timetable for our life, do we have the right to expect Him to be at our beck and call? Who are we to question His ways and His timing?  The trials and problems we are faced with just might be part of His plan to teach us a lesson along the way.  Maybe it’s patience.  Faith.  Trusting in Him completely.  If He jumped in and fixed every situation for us immediately, we might miss out on the big plan He has for us.  As much as it hurts in the moment, hardships and trials are opportunities for exponential growth in our relationship with Him.  But it begins with trust.

We cannot anticipate what God will do next in our lives.  We cannot see all He sees.  But we know we can rely on His heart.  Even in those times we aren’t getting our prayer ‘orders’ filled as quickly as we would like, He is there to comfort us and calm our anxious thoughts.

His character is unchanging.

His love is un-moving.

His goodness is ever-present.

His mercies are new each day.

Even when you can’t see His hand at work, keep trusting His heart.  Have faith in His timing.  Because it will never fall short of what is best for your life.  It’s not over yet!

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in Daily Devotions

 

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Just Keep Swimming!


When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.  When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.  When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end.     –Isaiah 43:2, MSG

In over your head.

An analogy of an inexpert swimmer who has encountered water that is too deep.

Oh, how often I have found myself ‘in over my head’!!  It’s a common problem for all of us.  Even the Bible had some troubled swimmers.  Eve never expected talking to the serpent would lead to the fall of man.  Joseph never imagined he would be thrown into a pit when he shared his dream with his brothers.

Sometimes we get ourselves into these situations.  You volunteer to help the coaches with the team, but you end up being THE coach.  You make a bad financial decision and now financially, you’re sinking.

Often times, we can look back on the situation and see a decision we could have made differently.  We see how we should have known better.  Others, we are completely blind-sided.

Even with the best of intentions, we can find ourselves drowning in the burdens, cares, and disasters of life. Circumstances can quickly spiral out of control and although we feel our self quickly sinking, we can’t muster the energy, even the breath to call out for help.   It’s easy to feel alone.  Frozen in fear.  Hopeless.  Abandoned.

During these times, these trials, it’s so important for us to remember the word of God.  His promises to His children.  

When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there.  You are not alone.  No matter how far you fall.

When you are in rough waters, you will not go down.  You will not be given more than you can bear.

When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end.  There is light at the end of the tunnel, be it ever so faint!  He will always give you a way out!

During the past week.  I HAVE felt like I was drowning.  The waters of my life have been so rough, that each time I managed a small breath, I was once again overcome by rough waters…. too deep for me to find a foothold.  My rock and a hard place was more like a huge boulder and a brick wall…. so large I could not see a hint of daylight.  My circumstances and situation have not changed.  In fact, as each day passes, I can feel the situation becoming more hopeless.

But then, I randomly opened my Bible, and this scripture is what I found.  God speaking to me.

I am not alone. I will not drown.  He is my foothold. He will be my light to find my way out.  No dead ends!  Satan can take his hopelessness and flee because God is at my side.  And He never fails!!

Today, I urge you to memorize this scripture.  I surely am.  What a wonderful promise of God to claim in times of despair!   And in the famous words of my friend, Nemo…………..

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2012 in Daily Devotions

 

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Reality Check!


What do you spend most of your free time doing?

What ‘thing’ in your life gets the most attention?

Who does your heart truly belong to?

Where does your mind go when it wanders?

What hobbies consume your time?

What are the desires of your heart?

Who do you serve?

Look back over these questions again. Be completely honest with yourself.

We live in a society that is busier than ever.  Life is non-stop.  I often have trouble sleeping at night simply because that to-do list that is ahead for the next day overwhelms me.  How will I get it all done?  It is very easy to become consumed by the busy-ness of life and it’s demands.  But once we have managed to take care of all the ‘gotta get it dones’…..things such as work, keeping your home in order (yes, you DO actually NEED clean clothes), helping the kids with their homework….. What takes over?

For many, hobbies consume our time.  Hunting, fishing, shopping, sports, crafting…. the list can go on and on.

For others, it’s activities our kids are involved in.  Or if you are a kid, activities YOU are involved in.   Dance.  Music lessons.  Cheer.  Football.  Basketball.  Band. Softball.  Raising animals for Ag.  Baseball.  Twirling.  Track.  The list goes on and on and on.

We pour ourselves into these things passionately.  And they aren’t bad things.  We want to be the best…..we want our kids to be the best, so we pour our time and energy into getting them to every practice, getting them equipped with training camps and equipment, practicing at home between games/events.  Whatever it takes to help get a win.  Success, victory will be ours!  Um, I mean, theirs!

But the Bible tells us very clearly, we cannot serve two masters.  We cannot devote ourselves to two masters.  And although there are many, many good quality things available to fill our time, I can’t help but wonder, do these extras…..become our master?

The answer lies in our priorities.  Is your first priority to God?  Or is He placed on the back burner during ball season?  Is your utmost concern on your spiritual condition or the spiritual condition of your children?  Or are you more concerned over winning the next game?  Making the next practice?  Do you simply know and believe God or do you experience a real relationship with Him?  When faced with the reality of choosing church over these things, what do you choose?  How often do you skip out on church because you are tired and exhausted from pouring yourself into these extras??

So often we wonder why things don’t go right in our lives.  We question where God is when trials come our way.  Where are all those blessings He promises when our lives are unraveling?  Yet, we often have not given Him full reign in our daily lives.  We want His blessings.  We pray for Him to pour them into our lives.  We cry out to Him when our lives fall apart for help.  Yet, we neglect our relationship with Him.  In fact, so many times, we practically have no relationship with Him at all.  We try to get up and go to church, but we neglect to walk with Him through prayer, reading our Bible, and simply spending time with Him during our week.  We claim to be His, yet we neglect to be obedient to Him in even the smallest things.  We want Him there when we need Him.  To swoop in and rescue us.  But we aren’t willing to devote ourselves to Him.

Sometimes we need a good reality check.  Take inventory of what’s important in life.  God doesn’t want halfway Christians.  He wants you devoted to Him.  Following Him first.  Before ALL other things. He wants you to experience Him daily.  Not just to know Him, but to love Him.  Live for Him.  The greatest happiness you will ever find is in learning to balance what’s important in life and devoting yourself to Him first.

 

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.  — Matthew 6:24

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2012 in Daily Devotions

 

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