Galatians 2: 20 I have been crucified with Christ…
I remember when I first read that and thought what in the world? How in the world?
Welcome to Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Faith-Filled Friday with Trench Classes United.
Have you ever seen that movie The Passion? I’ll never forget when I did and how I finally understood why all the bad that happened on crucifixion Friday really led to what we celebrate as Good Friday. It is true that we won’t ever endure what He has in all aspects of life; however, we are afforded, on a daily basis, at a minimum, the opportunity to partake in His crucifixion.
How? I’m glad you asked.
Each and every time we die to the desires of our flesh that are not pleasing to Him, in other words, things that we wouldn’t do if He were in front of us, things that we would never do, say or even think if we saw Him looking, we participate in that crucifixion and validate the necessity of all He did on the cross and off!
When we participate in His crucifixion, we can say with joy the rest of this verse: “--and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
May this Good Friday be the beginning of a true understanding of what it is to be crucified with Christ.
“I didn’t know that things were so bad that we had to take a class,” she repeated for me. I sat and listened as she recounted the rest of her reasons for not returning to our current class, seriously wanting to scream with exasperation…but I didn’t. J
Welcome to Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Invitation Thursday with Trench Classes United.
What came out of my mouth was the cry of my heart: Why do we think we have to wait until things are really bad to try and make them better?
The truth is we can never over-understand the ones we love, and there’s always someone in our world needing a little bit more of our understanding. There’s no such thing as a “perfect” relationship, but there are tools to use to get you closer.
Join us for a eye-opening, heartwarming, life-changing relationship event:
It’s that time of year when we look to the cross with more intensity and appreciation to reflect upon all that our Father sacrificed, all that Jesus endured before getting to the cross, on the cross and even afterwards as He descended into hell to pay, once and for all, the debt for us despite us. Why? So we may dwell with Them when we finish our race here on earth.
Thanks for joining me today for Wednesday’s Word and our Coffee Hour! Grab your Coffee, journal and your Strand of Faith and join me for what I pray will be a knot-worthy sharing for you in your faith journey!
Have you ever said you’ve forgiven someone for an offense only to find that the next time that anything that even remotely reminds you of it, resentment, re-ignites the flame of un-forgiveness? Of course, it was all in the name of “just sharing,” right?
And what about challenging circumstances: when something comes up that reminds you of your current dilemma and frustration takes the reins of your thoughts and runs like a champion thoroughbred, do you ever realize that before you know it, everyone knows about it? And suddenly that little hill of a trial becomes a mountain!
If there’s one lesson I seem to be forgetting more than I’m getting, especially lately, is that the more I talk about a problem the bigger it gets until I no longer see the Cross!
Oh, don’t you ever feel like your mind and heart need to be spiritually, scripturally sanitized? That’s what is so awe-inspiring about His Word, because it not only sanitizes, but revolutionizes the soul and brings all that was accomplished on the Cross back into focus.
In the beginning of this week, I used this same verse to talk about gossip, but then He gave me this life application as it relates to faith-ing through our circumstances. What a beautiful way of saying let go, let God, and gently but quite firmly reminding me that I don’t need to keep adding wood to my tough circumstances by talking about them – in the name of venting. Sometimes we can get so caught up with venting that we lose sight of all that was done on the Cross to provide, protect and prevail over each and every one of our circumstances and relationships!
Let’s have some fun with the NIV version of this verse, Proverbs 26:20a:
Without wood a fire goes out – think about it; can a fire burn without wood? Of course not! This part of this instruction is telling us to minimize what we tend to maximize, and it can be applied to relationships and circumstances!
Maybe it’s time to minimize what I tend to maximize, and keep my eye on the Cross!
Oh, the beauty of scriptural sanitization and the power of His Words to us underlined with the gift of grace, all to bring us closer to Him, not push us away.
He loves you and me so much, He died for us!
The more we talk about somebody to somebody when that somebody isn’t there, the more wood we add to the fire of unhealthy relationships. How does gossip contribute to unhealthy relationships? Those who speak it spew out the poison of gossip for the listeners to drink it.
Welcome to Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Invitation Tuesday with Trench Classes United.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could just go right to the person we’re talking about and share what we’re talking about? Why stops us from doing that? Why do we feel the need to gossip? Is it to “feel” accepted, part of something bigger than you? Perhaps the way you were loved didn’t prepare you for healthy relational interaction. It’s not too late to learn! Join us for this one-day seminar that is guaranteed to better your significant relationships through understanding your own story!
“How did you end up here?” the Oncology Nurse questioned, after reviewing my unremarkable medical history. “Divine intervention,” I replied. Her eye brows frowned at me over the rim of her glasses. “You must have had some symptoms,” she replied...
Welcome to Coffee Hour at Chicklit Power and Megan’s Monday Mantra with Trench Classes United.
Truth be known, I did have one significant symptom – and that was the Lord prompting me to get off my hind-end and go to the doctor for a chest ex-ray!
My seasonal allergies did feel worse than normal and I was a bit more tired than usual, but
“In the World According to Dave” (that would be my husband), these were just normal signs of aging. Plus, I was still mourning the loss of my Mother. I credited feeling less than my best to emotional distress or depression - until one early morning, when the Lord’s prompting broke through.
After a heated argument with my Doctor who believed that my stuffed-up nose and congestion-free lungs did not warrant a chest ex-ray, he relented and wrote the order. Forty-eight hours later I was summoned back for more tests. The diagnosis of probable early stage non-smoker’s lung cancer and major lung surgery was the result.
I was healthy - I was symptomless - and it is rare to detect early stage lung cancer.
WHAT IF I HAD FAILED TO FOLLOW THE PROMPTING OF THE LORD? I would not be cancer free today.
How do we know it is God prompting us and not just something we conjured up ourselves? That is always my biggest concern. Scripture tells us we were created to know God in a personal way. In John 10:27, Jesus says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” We were created to have a relationship with God, through His Son, Jesus Christ. Everything starts and ends with our relationship with Him.
It is through our personal relationship with God, that we become sensitive to the promptings of His Spirit.
“I will bless the Lord who has counseled me; indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.
I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 16:7-8 NASB)
Your comments are always most welcome.
Lovingly in Christ,
Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United and our Faith-Filled Friday. I decided to have a little fun with you today and give you an exercise that’s sure to change your perspective. Come on in.
It was a Thursday morning, trench class day, and as I not so springy sprung out of bed, my mind began racing with the ‘to-dos’ for the day, so much so that by the time I made it to the coffee pot, my adrenalin was already running as if I’d had my morning dose of caffeine! I made my two cups anyway, grabbed my rice cake with almond butter and raspberry jam, and off to my writing room I went.
I sat down, grabbed my little I-Pod, scrolled through the list of music, chose an album and as the music filtered out into my soul I realized I needed my quiet time more than anything. So I just sat, allowing the words to penetrate and thereafter flood my soul, inviting the presence of the very One I was there to worship. As I called out for Him, I began to call Him names…names that had significant meaning to me! Surely you didn’t think I meant naughty names? J Speaking these names of adoration out loud is a form of a powerful creation within us, just like when God spoke creation into existence (Genesis 1:1-5)
This name-calling type of worship not only ushered in His presence, it reassured my soul while reminding me of all that He has become to me, through it all, every single circumstance, life change, trauma, illness, birth, death, and despite having my almost two cups of coffee, my soul began to quiet down and my mind’s focus redirected to the moments with Him. The funny thing about this exercise is if you’re really in it, you don’t want it to end!
So can I encourage you to try and sit through one song, write down the names you have for Him, names that have significance to you, names to describe His love for you, or even names that express your need in certain areas, names that describe how He’s provided for you what He has provided for you. My name calling session went something like this: Abba, because He is my ultimate Daddy! Lover of my soul, because I truly love Him above everything, my Mountain Mover, because He has and will continue to move mountains that rise to block me in any area of my life, Provider, because He does provide for all my needs, Dependable because I can always count on Him to be there, even if I’m not always there.
I could literally go on for hours, but it’s your turn. Spend some time calling Him names, and feel your soul fill with quiet strength and confidence and your spirit lift!
What does that word even mean? Welcome to Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Wednesday’s Word with Trench Classes United.
Gentleness: (Noun): 1.The quality of being kind, tender, or mild-mannered. 2.Softness of action or effect; lightness.
Have you ever wanted something so bad, and gotten so close to receiving it and then swoosh, just like that, in one circumstance, what was within your grasp moves farther and farther away like a balloon flying higher and higher until it is removed from your sight?
As I let my eyes stare at the entire word and focus on each syllable, I am like a child wanting one thing with all of my being, praying for the ability to not lose sight of this word, this characteristic I have longed for all of my Christian life. Sometimes I can come so close only to forget about it as circumstances pull it into the background of my life and then in a blink of an eye, the bull-in-the-china-cabinet mentality overtakes me. Why, I wonder to myself, and how do I grasp this concept of gentleness and not let it go?
Philippians 4:5 gives this instruction: 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
In other words, He’s right there with me, with you…not like a detective waiting to catch us doing something wrong but one who guides us from wrong.
Philippians 4:6 gives us the reason behind the inability to be gentle in our interactions: 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God
Ugh, anxiety…a real thing, right?
And Philippians 4:7 gives us the why of gentleness, the reward, if you will: 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Could it be that when I’m feeling the least gentle I am so busy doing me I forget about Him?
Longing for gentleness…
“Dear Lord, if you will grant me this one request, I will never ask you for anything again.”
Welcome to Coffee Hour at Chicklit Power with Megan’s Monday Mantra and Trench Classes United.
How many times have you made this bargain with God? I certainly have. Like most of us, my life has been littered with unanswered prayers: prayers for the health of a pet; prayers for an important job, prayers for a relationship, or prayers for the outcome of a circumstance.
At times, I have felt like God turned a deaf ear to some of my most desperate pleas, yet, with the perspective of time, I learned many of those unanswered prayers were blessings instead of disappointments. If God had answered those prayers the way I asked him to, I would not be enjoying the life I am today. I am thankful.
God wants us to bring our every need to Him. Our unanswered prayers can simply mean He has something better planned for us. That relationship we wanted, that neighborhood we wanted to live in, that career we wanted to pursue, whatever it is, it’s not meant for us or it is not where we are needed. Our loving God does not settle for second best when it comes to our welfare. He wants greater things for us than we are able to ask for. Can we trust that God has reasons beyond our reasons? Can we trust His plan is better than ours?
“Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers.
Remember when you're talkin' to the man upstairs,
That just because he doesn't answer doesn't mean he don't care.
Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.” - Garth Brooks
When was the last time God closed a door and you thanked Him?
Your comments are always most welcome.
Lovingly in Christ,
Happy Friday beloveds and thank you in advance for faithfully joining me each Friday for Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Faith Filled Friday with Trench Classes United.
I love this truth from 2nd Timothy 1:7 (NLT) 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
What a beautiful verse that I need to tie around my fingers to help remind my mind and flesh to stay in line with God’s truth. The enemy is seeking and prowling to destroy, tear down and devour us. Have you ever noticed that it only takes one little thing for him to come in and wreak havoc over our minds and emotions? The smallest comment and/or mistake can send us down a downward spiral of lies.
This verse reminds us that we are to also take all our thoughts captive before the Lord and let Him sort them out. In other words, gather them up and dump them out because our chaos is better dealt with in His hands than in ours. A spiritual war is raging all around us and though we can’t see it, we surely can feel the blows of it. 2nd Corinthians 10:3-6 reminds us of this very truth: 3For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
Are you experiencing spiritual warfare that has come out of nowhere? Is it bringing you down or causing you to just feel down, and/or speaking negative things over yourself? This has happened to me. I have fallen prey to his many lies and the constant storm cloud over me. The Lord reminded me of His perfect truth of what he has given us: He has given us His perfect word that is equipped with the Armor of God for you and me.
Coffee Hour friends, we are adored, loved, and cherished by our Abba. He gave us His only son; He gave us His perfect word equipped with the Armor of God to keep us safe and protected. We all forget, goodness, I forget all the time. He is so faithful to remind us and to encourage us. He speaks life and love over you and me. He is our beloved and we are His.
Sometimes we need to focus inward to realize we need to look upward! Reflecting on how you treat others is a form of propelling you spiritually forward EL
“You’re so uptight”; “You need to loosen up! “People are afraid to come to you because you always seem so stressed.” “You’re always so busy”! These are the comments I have heard consistently over the last two weeks. I think He’s trying to tell me something and using several people to bring the message!
Welcome to Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Wednesday’s Word with Trench Classes United.
Have you ever received honest criticism from more than one person but about the same thing? If so what do you do? I know for me, the first time I heard it, my tendency was to defend myself, but after the third and fourth time, I took a step back and realized maybe there was something to learn from in all of this. I began to banter back and forth with God in the days that followed the last critique. This is what I read one morning as I was pondering this dilemma of loosening up without letting go of my convictions: Psalm 106:3: “Blessed are those who keep justice; and he who does righteousness at all times!”
Uh, how in the world is that supposed to help me my soul cried out. At all times means all the time; sounds pretty rigid to me and yet, our God is not rigid, I argued with myself. If people see me as rigid, then they may see my God as rigid. Ugh, I could just groan without ceasing because of the picture that began forming. In many instances, I was handling situations like a bull in a china cabinet! Isn’t that a scary but funny picture? I must admit, my first glance at this picture didn’t make me laugh.
I realize I may sound a bit crazy having this conversation with myself, but that’s why I’m writing from my heart to yours, Coffee Hour Friend, because if you don’t understand the depth of the dilemma then you won’t appreciate the victory I’m beginning to experience.
Over the last few weeks, our organization has gone through something pretty difficult, something that would destroy most organizations, but we have come out of it more determined than ever, and stronger in number. But – this is a big but – unconsciously it has buried my joy and my love for laughter. It was as if, for a short time, I had the weight of the world in my heart and it pushed all the joy out of sight.
How did I get my joy back? God used others to speak into my life and He does the same for you. They may not always be people we trust for whatever reason; and that may be why we don’t hear the message at first, but if we quiet our souls, and seek Him with our whole heart, we can hear the message He’s trying to convey.
Hearing these things from others did help to snap me out of myself and make me realize that I needed to focus upward instead of inward and yet, I needed to focus inward to realize how desperately I needed to look upward. In other words, taking time to reflect on how you may be coming across to others can be spiritually healthy. How else do we learn and move forward.
Learning and unlearning