Trusting You For This Day

Lord,

It’s like this. Whatever it is that you’ve called me to do this day, I shall do it. And not resent it. I shall happily accept whatever it is that you have laid before me, that you have put on my plate, with joy.

I will not be bitter.

I will not complain.

I will not wish I were elsewhere or cry out “why is this happening to me?”

I will not let my feelings govern my steps. I will not keep using the excuse “I don’t feel like it”.

Instead of repeating “I’m so tired”, I will change it to “I’m SO thankful”.

Lord turn my grumblings into gratitude.

from Panera. but cut like a heart <3 🙂

Help me be more forgiving of other people and see them through Your lens of compassion.

Oh, to have a Love like Yours.

Oh, to know You and be known by You.

What a privilege. What an honor.

Lord, in actuality, there are no words to describe what a gift. What a joy divine.

Leaning on the everlasting arms.

All I can do is worship.

“Everlasting Arms” by Iris DeMent

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
Leaning, leaning,
Safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
Oh, how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
Oh, how bright the path grows from day to day,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
Leaning, leaning,
Safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
Leaning, leaning,
Safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning,

Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Go and trust Him today. He is making you into a saint today. He is working to make you holy. In His perfect time, at His deliberate pace. Trust Him.

<3

Love you all!

xxx

V

People remember

kind acts.

Kind acts go a long, long way. This morning I was reminded of when some random people lent me and my BFF their $650 tent in the woods when we were backpacking the John Muir Trail in California in 2014. These two folks were observing our ginormous 8 pound, 8-person tent that the two of us were carting around in our already heavy backpacks and made a suggestion.

“Send your tent home and we’ll have our friend bring you guys a lighter tent when we meet up with him at the next food resupply in two days.”

We were so surprised and thankful for their offer! We agreed and borrowed their tent.

May be an image of 2 people and people smiling

It weighed only 14 oz and was perfect for the two of us. Okay, maybe a leeeeeeeeetle cozy ;-P

But we were so thankful to Jeanine and Craig. Who does that?

My BFF and I concluded that people over 10k feet are generally pretty cool.

I told this story to a new friend and she told me that it sounds like there is a “brotherhood” among the trail family. I thought that was a perfect description. But moreso, we will never forget their kindness.

To think that a single act of kindness would be forever engrained into our memories is a beautiful, powerful thing. It’s been 7 years since they lent us that tent, and the memory is still as kind and wonderful as when it first occurred.

Deep-seated, selfless kindness is an act of love. Real love. With no hidden agenda. No strings attached. No tit for tat. And it is long lasting.

I want to remember this! And pay it forward.

What a sweet memory. That still lives in my mind <3

Thanks Jeanine and Craig 🙂

xxx

V

I am not scared at all.

Of where my next check is coming from. Because God says this (please read each of these 2-3 times!!!):

“Be anxious for nothing, but in every situation, through prayer and petition, in thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

The daffodils praising the heavens.

He also says this:

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34

God is so detail-oriented.

And this:

“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:11

Strong and alive.

And this:

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

Just a cool teapot. LOL we each got our own.

And this:

“For the LORD will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance.” Psalm 94:14

A cherry in the city.

I hope this has encouraged you. Let the Truth soak in. And join me in this prayer:

Lord Jesus, thank you so much for your Truth. Thank you that you are my provider and have promised to always give me all that I need. Thank you for transitioning me from one day to the next, one task to the next. Thank you that your grace is sufficient for me. Your kingdom is all that I need, and I am already in it. Lord, thank you for joy, hope and excitement. Thank you that when we lift our requests up to you, they are heard. Thank you that when we ask for your peace, you give it to us. Thank you that it transcends our understanding. Thank you for being my Father and for loving me, your daughter. I rely on you for my well-being, health, sound mind, and to reach all of my goals. Thank you for teaching me to show up and do my part, and then coming in and doing what only you can do. Thank you for this divine, beautiful relationship. You’re so powerful and amazing. I can’t WAIT to see you move. Amen.

Love you all! 🙂

xxx

V

Stopping and Starting

I think we’re all a little bit guilty of going through the motions and not doing what makes us feel alive. We get stuck in defeating behaviors and just try to make it through the days. Things can seem hopeless when we yearn for change and don’t see it. But God gave us a brain for a reason: to use and to discern and to conquer. To choose what we think about and take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.

The following list has been created to help you discover freedom in being who you really are and doing what you really want to do. (Down below will be the “Start” list!)

Here we go:

Stop doing these things:

Doing and saying things to please other people and gain affection, attention, approval, validation.

Agreeing with somebody when you actually disagree with what they’re saying or doing.

Encouraging somebody to do something that you believe is wrong.

Saying you’re going to do something and not doing anything towards doing it.

Letting negative thoughts take reign over your emotions.

Staying sedentary when you know it feels good to move.

Settling for less than you deserve.

Choosing hopelessness, despair, depression.

Feasting on anxiety, worry, doubt. You’re not God. You don’t know what the future holds.

Start doing these things:

Plan a trip to the beach. You can get a really fabulous Air B&B these days for less than $100/night. The cheapest I’ve ever stayed in one was at $18/night in Orlando, Florida. 😉

Get hungry and cook something new. (f you’re like me, the hunger part might not be that difficult) But find a great recipe and try it out with friends. And then feast on it 🙂

Be honest; always…

Stand up for yourself.

Look in the mirror and tell yourself how beautiful you are, and thank God for making you that way!

Accept the circumstances you’re in currently and work with what you have.

Look around the room and list off all of the things you’re grateful for. Here’s mine:

-cellphone

-smart watch

-blue light glasses

-healthy body

-cute shoes

-cute sweatshirt

-sunny day

-opportunity to write

-opportunity to take pictures

-coffee <3

-bible

-being able to read my bible today

-being able to pray today, and journal

-just got back from a great walk

-the quiet <3

-actually, the subtle city sounds

-knowing the truth about God’s provision. He will a l w a y s take care of me and give me all that I need

-laptop!

-my hair 😀

-friends, family

-job opportunity

-being able to sing out loud and give thanks


SOoooo I could probably go on. There’s something about making a list of all the things I’m grateful for that makes me feel the weight of my blessing. I am extremely blessed and truly lack nothing. Nothing. I don’t need anything. Truly. Some aspects of my life are “up in the air” I guess, but that doesn’t bother me. “Worrying” is on the stop list. Stop worrying. God will take care of His children.

Do you know if you’re a child of God? Not all people are. Only those who confess and believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and is Lord of all. Do you want to have peace with God and be sure that you will always be provided for? Do you want to rest in the hands of Jesus forever?

I would love to walk you through what it means to put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ to be your Provider, Father, Friend, Brother and source of life and satisfaction. He gave me actual life and I would love to tell you how. Jump on my email list and I would love to talk to you personally about inheriting the peace of God 🙂

Xxx

Love you all,

V

christian thoughts on masturbation.

These are a few christian thoughts on masturbation. Masturbation is a sin. This is me describing how it makes me feel and why I decided to stop!

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Listening to God

requires stopping the ongoing thought train in my own mind and being attentive to what God is saying to me. Sometimes stopping the train is difficult, but I have found ways to help me listen to Him speak.

Velvet. I have something to show you. Will you come and eat with me? Will you join me for a moment so I can share my heart with you.

If God is everywhere, how come it seems so hard to hear Him sometimes?

I think it’s because we’re not waiting in His presence for long enough.

It’s like working out. You can’t go to the gym for 2 minutes a day and expect the same results as someone who goes for 2 hours a day. Building up our faith muscles takes time and effort. Distinguishing between God’s voice and the enemy’s or our own is a skill to be honed. And it happens through time spent with God.

“Where can I go from Your Spirit?
         Or where can I flee from Your presence?

If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
         If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.

If I take the wings of the dawn,
         If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,

Even there Your hand will lead me,
         And Your right hand will lay hold of me.”

Psalm 139:7-10

He is everywhere. When we are at home, He is there.

When we are at work, He is there.

At the grocery store, He is there.

At the gym, He is there.

Alone in the car, He is there.

At the beach, He is there.

In the dark, He is there.

And He is waiting to commune with us. We have the choice. To choose spending time with Him, or not. To choose hearing from Him, or not.

Lord, I thank you for your pursuit of me. I thank you for never giving up on me. I thank you for always sending me to the right places at the right times. I thank you for sending me the right people at the right times. I thank you for always taking care of me in the best way possible. Even with challenges and suffering. Thank you for making my ears attentive to you and for teaching me how to trust you. I wish I could trust you more easily. I wish I could believe your Word like I say I do. But I know that this will become easier the more time that I spend in your Word and in Your presence. Your word unto my ears and mind is like a fresh lens. The more I “put it on” and “put on Christ” and apply your teaching to my life, the more clearly I can see the design that you have for your people and for the world. Forgive me for always running ahead of you. Forgive me for choosing to focus on my problems and not trust you in this season. Forgive me for choosing to focus on what I DON’T have instead of all that I do. Thank you that you are my shepherd, and I lack nothing because of you <3

Listening to God. How could I not want to listen to Him!!! The Creator of the Universe… my goodness! The creator of all wants to commune with me. The God of everything is also the God of each person. My God. My Father. And He wants to commune with you too. He has a message for you. Will you carve out time today to listen to what He has to say? What is more important than communing with the One who knows you better than you know your self?

God Bless! <3

If you’re running away from God, He has a message for you

If you’re running away from God, He has a message for you. What are you willing to sacrifice to grow your faith in God? Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

 

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The Link Between Idolatry and Apostasy

I have a very literal brain, so when I think of “making idols” I picture a potter in a shop making things on the potting wheel.

Little cups and bowls, pitchers, vases. Some smooth and well-shaped. Others bumpy and misshapen. I picture the messy process of wearing the apron, hands covered in wet clay. The air smells earthy.

But when the Word of God talks about making idols, it is referring to the human heart.

Humans are very good at “making idols” on the regular. An idol is something you greatly admire and love and revere. Something you can’t stop thinking about. Something at the forefront of your mind. Think of how cartoon horses have been driven by a dangling carrot.

Our idols are like those carrots. Idols can be our motivation. It’s okay to have things that motivate us. People, goals… The problem lies in loving that person or thing or goal more than God. Because when that person, thing or goal becomes an idol, unbelief starts to take place.

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..

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So how do idols cause unbelief and how do we determine what’s an idol?

Idols cause unbelief in this way:

We start to put our hope in the idol. We start to attempt to glean our happiness and satisfaction from that idol. It becomes our catch-all. The thought we return to at the end of the day or first in the morning, or if we’re having a bad day. Idols actively fight to take the place of God.

When we’re living for an idol instead of for God, we are heading in the wrong direction. Our motives become catered towards our idol instead of God’s will. They become selfish and self-centered. Whatever it takes to uphold the idol.

When we’re living for God, everything else is secondary. Living for God means elevating Him to the highest position of authority. When we recognize His authority and have a reverence for Him, we bear obedience to Him, no matter what.

If we’re looking through a tainted lens, we might call an act of idolatry “obedience”.

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..

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So what determines an idol? I think the most simple way to understand an idol is this: anything that you think about more than God.

If you’re somebody who doesn’t believe in God, you might be thinking: well gee, I guess every thought that crosses through my mind is an idol. Let me be more specific.

An idol is your love for any person, thing or goal that is greater than your love for God.

Believer or unbeliever, you may be thinking: what thoughts and actions determine loving something more than God? Or you might be thinking: that’s ridiculous, I could never love something more than God.

My responses to those two hypothetical responses:

  1. When your motives for doing something is out of concern for this idol and not for the glory of God, you are practicing idolatry. For example, I am a salsa dancer. Let’s say that there is an event coming up that I really want to go to, but the Holy Spirit is giving me a nudge that I should not go. However, I am convinced that I NEED to go to this event. I am idolizing salsa over listening to God.
  2. If you think you could never love something more than God, think of the last time you committed a premeditated sin. That in itself shows a lack of belief and love for God. (Hey, we all sinners hahah I’m not the judge, there is only one judge!).

 

So.

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..

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The takeaways are this: idolatry is sin. God hates sin. We make idols. We mustn’t bow down. Every part of our lives should be continually offered up to God. People, things, goals. God wants to be in all of them. He wants to reign over them. He wants us to trust Him with them.

I dunno about you, but I do NOT want to be a part of ANYTHING that contradicts God’s will for my life. The way idolatry leads to apostasy is scary. And incredibly easy.

 

Will you join me in bringing every aspect of life before God and offering it up to Him? He is our sovereign Lord who will ALWAYS lead us in the way we should go 🙂

<3

xxx

V

 

Being Still

in your presence, O Lord, is so difficult.

I think of the story of Martha and Mary, and how Martha was running all over the place getting upset over this and that. Jesus told her that Mary “has chosen what is better” by sitting at his feet, completely attentive to all he was saying and doing.

Lord, it has been somewhat of a strange week. Today is Friday and it seems as though the week absolutely flew by in a sense. Some days feel so long and fruitful, and others… painstakingly mundane. I yearn for tomorrow, and hope that I find the greatest contentment in all that it brings.

Lord I guess the unknowing has gotten me down here and there. Even though you specifically spoke to me in a devotional saying that we are not to worry about what the future holds. That we are only to trust in you, Lord, keeper of our souls, finisher of our faith. What peace there is in that.

Lord, I thank you for the many conversations about you as of late. About the gospel, about the Truth. About the person of Jesus. Thank you Lord for history. Thank you for historians. Thank you for evidence. Thank you for proof. Thank you for all of the people that dedicated their lives to discovering the truth. Thank you for all the people that set out to disprove the truth and ended up being saved by what they found.

Thank you Lord, that you are unstoppable.

And that includes all of us that are saved. All of your children. Thank you God for saving me and giving me eyes to see what’s true.

And I thank you Lord, for leading others to your truth. Thank you for softening hearts. Thank you for making people ready to receive truth. Thank you Lord for fertilizing the soil. Thank you for planting seeds. Thank you for raining truth. Thank you for working, always working. For your great plans. For bearing fruit in season when the time is right. You’re the Only One who knows what the future holds. And I THANK you so much for holding my future!

Lord God, help me put You first. Help me do all of the things. Thank you for helping me take on new territory. Thank you for going before me and laying down each and every step that I will take. Even the confused ones where I go back and forth, sometimes literally, before making a decision.

Thank you for helping me decide what to do tonight. You put that obstacle in my path, and it was good. It was necessary. It was helpful. It was perfect. I am THANKFUL that You placed it there. Lord, please help me to see EVERY obstacle in my path as a blessing from you. Since I believe you are in all of the details. 100% of the details.

100%.

Not 99%, and the other 1% left to chance.

100. You are the God of everything. The One over it all.

I love getting to know you. Thank you for slowly teaching me how to love You and others better.

xxx

<3

V

Shine a light on it

God speaks in funny little ways sometimes.

So I just got home from work. I brought home a little container of ice cream that I had left in the freezer where I work for the past couple of days. I had a spoon in my glove box and decided to try a bite of the chocolate, chocolate chip ice cream right there in the car. Why didn’t I wait until I got into the house? Good question.

Maybe so God could show me what He showed me.

I only wanted to eat a tad of the ice cream.
I love eating the soft, melty ice cream around the edges when you’re eating out of a container (no shame. besides, this was just a single-serve-sized container, so no judgment. But even if it were a pint of a quart, no shame 😀 as long as you aren’t sharing during COVID season 😉 )

Because I was eating the ice cream in the dark, I couldn’t maneuver the melty parts onto my spoon that well. I decide to abort the mission and take that party inside.

I resume in the kitchen and breathed a minor sigh of relief.

Shining a light on something changes everything.

I could finally see.

*

*

*

A song that’s been on my heart lately is “Who You Really Are”. Here are a couple of lines from the song:

Who you really are, God and King

Who you really are, Lord of everything

Who you really are, teach me to see You as you really are

Who you really are, Risen and Living

Who you really are, Just and yet Forgiving

Who you really are, teach me to see You as You really are.

 

I want to see you God. And I want to see you as you REALLY are. Not just the fluffy parts. I thank you for being loving, and I THANK you for being just. I thank you for being patient, and I THANK you for being jealous. I THANK YOU for being Peace, Shalom, and I THANK you that you are a sword. 

Thank you Lord, for dividing families. Thank you for permitting sickness and disease. Thank you for your judgment. You are so merciful, so gracious… but you are NOT a rug. You will NOT be walked over. You will NOT be mocked.

 

“Do not be deceived, God canNOT be mocked. A man reaps what he sows”.

Galatians 6:7

A man reaps what he sows.

reap what I sow.

Be it seeds of anger, discord, mockery, scorn, hate, judgment, irritability, impatience, DECEIT, jealousy….

…or seeds of love, trust, truthfulness, honesty, integrity, patience, kindness, all for the glory of God.

Lord God, THANK YOU that YOU. CANNOT. BE. MOCKED. You see ME as I really am, and choose to lavish love and grace on me. And at the same time, you convict me of sin, let me experience the consequences of my sin, and teach me in my heart that You REALLY ARE TRUSTWORTHY. You really are FOR me. You really are FIGHTING for me. You really are CARING for me. You really are LOVING me when you discipline. When you prevent. When you protect. When you prohibit. When you prolong. When you provide. When you withhold. When you act. When you stay silent. When you seem distant. 

You are consistent. Thank you for making me more like you.

*

*

*

So, so back to the ice cream. When we look at God and see Him as He really is, we can ask God to help us become more like Him and less like us.

I looked at my spoon and thought about how God continually shines His light into the dark places in my life and reveals what I need to work on:

*being more patient with other people

*being more forgiving of other people

*not trusting God’s timing enough in any given situation

*not walking in the Spirit

*not actively seeking out God’s voice in the midst of the world’s voices

*not really believing in all of His promises in scripture
If I really did believe, would I not obey His commands fully? 2 Corinthians 12:9 assures us that God’s grace is sufficient enough to set us FREE from sin.

Free.

Totally, completely, 100% free. We can choose to say NO to petty, hateful behavior; selfish, angry thoughts, motives and intentions. We can truly lavish love and healing onto other people for the sake of God’s glory alone, and we no longer have to carry the weight of our shame and sin.

This is the power of Christ in us.

Do I really believe this?

Is that what God is saying to me? Is that what God is saying to US right now?

Be still? and KNOW? that He is God?

Do I really KNOW it?

Is it head knowledge, or is it heart knowledge also.

The truth is revealed in actions towards others.

 

 

 

Time is short brothers and sisters. Shine a light on your life… on all different areas. And ask God to show you what to work on. He is Faithful to do so, in Jesus’s name and for Christ’s sake. Amen

xxx

<3

V