Bethany's BlogWords of Encouragement

Thanksgiving

As a child we celebrated Thanksgiving at my grandmother's house. My favorite part of the day was eating the rolls my grandma made. Everybody loved her rolls, they were the best. I remember watching her make them, and then carefully guarding them as they would rise, then smelling the aroma as they baked in the oven. It was delightful.  When my three older boys were little, I would make my grandma's rolls every Thanksgiving, and they too loved  them. But, now as Thanksgiving has become a little busier for us, I haven't made grandma's rolls.  Still, I love Thanksgiving, and I love having friends and family to celebrate the day.

I am so thankful for today! God blessed me with the gift of family and friends in my home and each one of them filled our home with love and laughter. I am so thankful for the life I've been given and the opportunities to celebrate with others.  I love the traditions that we have carried down from one family to another, and the meaning it holds to each one of us.  I love how my children come home and eat with us. 

I'm thankful for today and for the days ahead.  May blessings flow over your life today and gratitude fill your hearts with hope as you thank God for life and each day He brings to you.

The Little Light

I've heard it described as the dark night of the soul, and for me, that's exactly how it felt. It started in the car one day. I was minding my own business when I was bombarded with a loud thought that my brother was in trouble, a lot of trouble. The thought was repetitive and would not let up. I had spent enough time in prayer that I knew it was the Holy Spirit speaking to me. He was not just telling me that my brother was in trouble, but he was prompting me to go to him.  My brother lived 2000 miles away.  I quickly drove to my husband and told him my thoughts and that I believed it was the Spirit prompting me to drive 2000 miles to visit my brother, he agreed, and the next day my son and I were on our way.

Indeed, my brother was in a lot of trouble.  Eventhough I was prepared for what he was going to tell me, I was not prepared for the spiral it would send me into, the very dark night of the soul. My brother had always been my hero, the one person I looked up to the most growing up, the person I always believed I could go to for strength.  Now, it felt like I was the only one left standing, my family of origin had fallen apart in every way, and God was sending me down a spiral that was dark and scary because of it.  My grief over my brothers choices and the way they impacted everyone around him ripped my heart apart. 

I went to my church desperately needing someone to talk to, only finding that there was push back and lack of compassion. The spiral continued, and my crisis worsened. My relationship with my brother became very strained. My relationships within my church family became problematic and painful. I continually clung to the very small glimmer of light as I cried out to God for truth and revelation.

This place of deep questioning, deep sorrows, pain and angst hung on to me for several years. Day after day my heart pled for relief, yet it felt like God did not hear me. It felt like the people in my life did not hear me. The spiral and the depth of it all was endless.  The small light was getting smaller and smaller, through the rejections, the loss, the financial crisis, the physical pain,  family, etc....and then, God began to broaden the light so I could see. 

The anger and bitterness were gone.  Through that spiraling darkness I had learned to forgive.  The fear of loss had dissapated, for I had learned to surrender.  The ability to accept who I really was had surfaced in my heart, and through that true friends had been made.  Reconcilation had become a practice, as well as faith and daily time with Jesus.  The value of legacy was recognized and put into my life as a priority. Boundaries were set in place to guard my heart and my family. Laughter lifted my spirt and hope danced with Jesus daily.

This is how the little light transformed me; it never went out.

Do You Believe?

 

The story of Thomas, the guy who had to actually touch the wounds in the hands of Jesus in His side before he could believe that Jesus was alive again, is a lot like me.  Except, sometimes I can touch, see, and still not believe! As I prayed for God to reveal truth to me, He revealed to me that there are just some things that I simply do not want to believe! It can be right in front of my face, all the evidence right there, but my unbelief is stronger than my belief. So, my prayer has changed, and I am asking God to give me the Spirit of belief, and with that Spirit of belief, I too will heal the sick, raise the dead, and have the power of His Spirit in such a way that there will never be any unbelief!
Thomas believed as soon as he touched the wounds of Jesus, that's all it took! And, then Jesus said, "So, you believe because you've seen with your eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing."
He closed my eyes last week and asked me to walk by faith. He asked me to believe! And, I have had to pray for Him to heal my unbelief! To believe, at all times, to be sightless and walk  along His path with my hand in His hand. His leading, His calling, His way. Only He can see the future, but I will believe it turns out well, for the outcome is eternal.

What is He asking you to believe?

Killing Giants

 

 

David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the Armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give all of you into our hands."  The Story
Even though I've read the story of David many times, this morning when I read it, I was struck by his words. David was able to prophecy!  He told Goliath what God was going to do.
Goliath was the big huge enemy of Israel. They were terrified of him. But, David knew that God was bigger, so he  was able to walk up to Goliath and simply say to him, "the Lord will deliver you into my hands." 
This is true for me, and for you, too. God is greater. The Lord Almighty will deliver his children from the enemy that comes against them, and the whole world will know that He is God!

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