The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who can know it?
Thanks for joining us for Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Wednesday’s Word with Trench Classes United. Grab your coffee and your strand of faith. Trust me when I say that this Word definitely tied a knot in my faith…and in my heart! I actually wrote this last year, but oh, its truths are timeless!
Have you ever bought into the lies your mind tries to speak into your life?
A couple of weeks ago, it was crunch time; everything was coming at me at once, just like every other time right before jumping into the trenches with others to get better at life and love. This time was different, though. My heart was heavy, and had been for a few weeks. It wasn’t until the day of class, just hours before it was supposed to start, that I realized why. One by one all of the silent questions I had been asking myself over the preceding weeks began to surface, questions that planted seeds in my heart: “Why is this so hard?” “If this was really of/from God, surely I wouldn’t be this stressed out so maybe – well more than maybe -- I’m on the wrong path.” “Maybe I made this whole crazy journey up. Maybe I’m supposed to just go back to working as a court reporter and forget this whole ministry thing.”
Before long, I was convinced of all the lies I filled my heart, and it didn’t take time until my heart had convinced me they were true…and I began to “feel” these truths! What an incredibly sneaky process. The heart really can beat against you!
I did drop to my knees before class, asking Him to help me, to get me thru this first night, to reveal HIS heart to me, entwine His heart with mine so I could test if all I was “feeling” was accurate…or not. I surrendered all the questions and showed up for class, despite all the lies I had bought into and not wanting to or feeling like it, and let me tell you, so did HE…show up that is!
We had 43 registered and five walk-ins! It was amazing, encouraging and a great way to give the enemy a sucker punch!
It wasn’t until sitting in church the Sunday after that I got sucker-punched with this verse, a verse I had always questioned, and not fully understood. How could the heart be wicked? Isn’t that where love resides? I just love how He ministers to us just the way we need it, when we need it for the reasons we need it!
See, the heart only knows what we tell it so therefore, if we buy some lies and deposit them in there, the heart will take them, just like a thief, and deposit them into our emotional being and rob us of so much…so very much.
Are you catching what I’m throwing? Oh, let me tell you, my heart was definitely depositing every last one of those stinking-thinking thoughts and questions and dropping them in there like a swooshed-in basket ball, nice and heavy they dropped right in! Before I realized what happened, my heart had taken those lies to the bank, and robbed me of all my joy and confidence in my calling.
What sort of lies is your heart trying to get you to buy? Oh, that we wouldn’t even lend an ear to things that are not of Him, and not be fooled by the robber who waits to steal our joy and derail us from our calling. Instead, may we be a people that drop to their knees and give those lies up!
With my heart cleaned…
Faith is not a denial of painful circumstances; it’s the ability to trust Him to work in and through them EL
Tuesday’s Trench Truth
Join our group at www.facebook.com/trenchclassesunited
I’m so excited to introduce you to a new writer for us…not new but new to be featured in our blog. I’ve known her for years and let me tell you, God speaks to her and through her so without further ado, come on in for Monday’s Message with Chicklit Power and Trench Classes United, a love letter for YOU!
~Love Letter~ Good morning My chosen one. I have made everything beautiful and appropriate in its time. I have also planted eternity, a sense of divine purpose, in your heart, a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except Me - yet man cannot find out, or comprehend or grasp what I have done or My overall plan, from the beginning to the end.
I have no limitations, so I am able to work all things out for your good and My glory. It is okay that you don't know the "how" I will work all things out, but that I WILL. For I said in My Word that I will never leave you or abandon you, and that I will supply all your needs according to My riches.
Don't be limited by what you think and don't limit Me, but believe what I say and trust in Me.
Beloved, I love a good challenge and I know you think things may be impossible, but nothing is too hard for Me. Believe in Me! Trust in Me! Let go of limitations and let the eyes of your heart see what your physical eyes cannot. See My love; concentrate on My love; be filled with My love and walk in the fullness of My love.
Written through Debra Dolce
Faith Filled Friday
John 8:32-33 And Jesus said to those Jews who believed, if you abide in My Word, you are My disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.
Have you ever gotten lost on your way home? I realize that in today’s era, with all of our technology available, any sort of directions at our fingertips just by asking Google or Navigation or our factory-installed GPS equipment in our cars, it’s a little more difficult to get lost. And yet, I have found myself lost a time or two as I don’t always remember to rely on technology! I’ve even been known to go to the wrong law office for a deposition before, having put in the wrong number or even worse, getting the wrong information! Wow, is that ever embarrassing!
Welcome to Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and faith-filled Friday with Trench Classes United.
Getting lost is a horrible feeling, and I don’t just mean physically lost. I run into so many hurting people who are not lost, per say, overwhelmed with suffering of some sort. The waves of life have tossed them to and fro, and they have lost their way, their hope.
Talk to the wife who has just discovered her husband’s having an affair…either with another woman or with an addiction of some sort, and then there’s the parent(s) hurting over the choices their child is making, choices that surely are going to cause so many unfavorable consequences. It’s like being lost in a sea of hopelessness for there is nothing to do but watch the unfortunate consequences come and do whatever they’re going to do. And what about the one just given a life sentence via a medical diagnosis with a prognosis revealing the end is around the corner?
Friends, life is happening all around us and if it’s not happening to us, it’s happening to those close to us. What are we doing for them? What kind of directions are we giving when they reach out for help? Where do we send them or do we even stop to notice they’re a bit lost in their sea of life and the circumstances swimming around them threatening to overwhelm them, toss them to and fro that they may lose their way?
See, no matter the circumstance, there is a place to abide where we will never get lost, a place that will shed new light, a fresh perspective, a location that is filled with peace and hope, a foundation built with grace, a place that if we would only turn to, land in, abide in, we would find freedom from all that has us overwhelmed: His Love Letters to you and me!
It’s time to stop being one of those who don’t ask for directions and abide in that place that we will be found, never to get lost again because when we abide in His Word, and invite others to join us there, it is there we are found, and freed!
Abiding in His promises and principles,
Have you ever been pretty annoyed or irritated by an issue and you’re pretty sure that no one around you is comfortable either, but you all suppress the urge to address it? The more you suppress it the more it bugs you and consumes your thoughts, especially if you’re anywhere near it and the people involved… almost like there’s an elephant in the room.
There’s still time to join us in a location near you!
Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art.... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Love
Welcome to Wednesday’s Word. Grab whatever you are having for your break and come on in and join me for what I pray will be a knot-tying time for us! Don’t forget that strand of faith, because friendship has a lot to do with our faith!
The last several weeks, there are two struggles that keep running into me, or should I say I keep running into them in my journey: Conflict and forgiveness! Ugh, sometimes I just want to blow right by them like I would an unseen stop sign. However, when I take the time to stop, HE never fails to grant me a new lesson, a new revelation. Granted, there are times I think, why do I always have to be the one to change? Well, because God has granted me the courage to know that the only one I can change is me! The illustrations He gives, the lengths He goes to in order to bring me through this lesson victoriously are…well, simply astounding!
Have you ever watched children in conflict? There is actually something to be learned by observing their struggle with innocence and their juggling of their little cups of pride that spill out onto the one they are conflicted with or by. There is this sort of bittersweet thing about them as they wiggle through their own frustration.
My grandchildren amaze me…fill my heart with so much love I never thought I had and at their young age, they teach me more than I thought I needed to know. When I watch them struggle in their childish conflicts, I realize that they still have a blanket of innocence around them that comes out after a few minutes of struggle and helps them to get over conflict so much quicker than you or I!
To watch children wiggle and wrestle with conflict is to witness the ingredients to what it takes to live out Colossians 3:12-13 which tells us “to put on tender mercies, kindness humility, meekness, long suffering, bearing with one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against the other, even as Christ forgave you, so you must do.”
Let me try and paint this picture verbally: At one of our grandson’s birthday party, there was a little girl whom he was in conflict with and as the party progressed, this girl, who by the way little B says “She’s a girl and she’s a friend, but she’s not my girlfriend” J – rather aggressively demanded her way continually.
At first he ignored her; that didn’t work. Then he tried appeasing her; that worked for a New York minute. And then as these things didn’t accomplish her desired goal, the conflict escalated and they began to sort of toss their point of view across to the other in hopes that the other would catch it.
But then, a burst of innocence would happen and one of them would stop it with a hug, or a simple “I’m sorry,” and the conflict was over. All was forgiven…until the next time she, or he, didn’t get their way, or the other felt slighted or ignored and not special and then the tug of war began all over again.
His other grandma, whom my heart loves, and I were talking about it and she called them “frien-emies” and that stuck with me; you can’t be an enemy unless you’ve been a friend first!
Think about it; we aren’t nearly as hurt or offended by a stranger’s behavior as we are by the behavior of one whom we love or care deeply for. Why can’t we be more like children, and get through the conflict with a simple “I’m sorry”? Why does it seem to require so much more as we get older?
Maybe it’s time to consider the value that that frien-emy brings to our life…and if there’s more conflict than caring, maybe it’s time to evaluate the amount of space they take up in our hearts without paying rent…
True transformation can only happen with another and that’s the value that a friend brings!
P.S. I’d like to wish one of my very best friends Janine Andriese Peace a beautiful and happy birthday. Love you so much, you amazing lady of God!
Tuesday’s Trench Truth
When I say “elephant in the room,” what’s your first thought?
This phrase originated in the early ‘50s and is a metaphor for an obvious truth that is either being ignored or going unaddressed. This expression also applies to an obvious problem or risk no one wants to discuss.
All kidding aside, life wasn’t meant to be walking around elephants in the room!
I hope you’ll join us in one of our locations
Proverbs 26:20 Where there is no wood, the fire goes out;
And where there is no talebearer, strife ceases.
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?
Thanks for joining me for Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Monday’s Mantra with Trench Classes United.
What about when you’re going through challenging circumstances? When something comes up that reminds you of your current challenging circumstance 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!
The truth is that the more we talk about a problem or a conflict, the bigger it gets!
Looking at the first line of Proverbs 26:20 which says “Where there is no wood, the 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 the beauty of this word is that it can be applied to conflicts and circumstances!
Do we add wood to the conflict by having the last word? Or to the circumstance by telling everyone we see of our struggle?
Perhaps it’s time we practice minimizing what we’ve maximized that He may become larger than it all!
Thanks for joining us for Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Faith Filled Friday with Trench Classes United. Today we feature Megan and I know, especially you dog lovers, you are going to enjoy this blog. Come on in.
For those of you who have never had the privilege of tracking a dog, it is difficult to describe the wonder of the experience...
Welcome to Coffee Hour at Chicklit Power and Megan’s Monday Mantra, with Trench Classes United.
Curl up with your favorite fur-kids and find out how my dog and a tracking test gave me an invaluable peek into how God works!
The tracking test is specifically designed to demonstrate a dog’s natural ability to follow a scent.
Picture a stranger walking around a large field. He makes a few left turns and a few right turns, going 50 to 120 yards between each turn. By the time he has finished, he has covered almost 500 yards of the field. An hour later, you and your dog arrive at the field and are expected to re-trace the exact footsteps taken by the stranger - site unseen!
On an early November morning, in the agricultural fields south of San Diego, I stood at the start line of a track with my Boxer, Huckleberry. To calm my nerves, I decided to equate following Huckleberry over paths unknown to what it might feel like to follow God’s will. After all, when you track a dog, the dog is completely in charge – only he knows how to use his nose to follow the track. Only he knows where he is leading you!
The Lord has a sense of humor. Since I was willing to experience how it felt to follow His will, He graciously included some of the stages one goes through as they attempt to discern His will…
Once Huckleberry picked up the scent of the track, my confidence surged. As he gained momentum, I found it more difficult to keep up, even though I had a firm hold of his 30-foot tracking line. As one turn led to another, I worried Huck might track us over the Mexican border. When it took more time than I expected, I questioned the Lord as to how much longer would it be. Eventually the track did end … another 110 yards away! We passed the test and Huckleberry got his Tracking Dog Title.
Blindly following my dog over paths unknown and having to fully trust in the direction he was taking me was a powerful experience in learning what it truly felt like to follow and trust God’s will.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV)
Faithfully trust in God’s will - and He will certainly direct your paths!
Your comments are always most welcome.
Lovingly in Christ,
In answer to what is becoming a common question, why does God allow suffering, I found a profound explanation from Wm. Paul Young, author of The Shack, and the book I am now reading, The Lies We Believe About God. He says:
“We are surrounded by distress that is common to broken humanity.”
Would you like to learn how to rise above the stress so it can’t take you down?
Then join us for a powerful six-week interactive study to live fueled by hope, coming to a trench near you!
Monday mornings: Yucaipa
Monday evenings: Beaumont; Yucaipa
Wednesday evenings: Redlands/Loma Linda
Wednesday evenings: Pomona
Thursday evenings: Redlands
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Looking forward to meeting you