Philippians 4:8: Finally, ________, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things.
Welcome to Coffee Hour with Chicklitpower and Faith-Filled Fridays with Trench Classes United! Grab whatever drink you have for your break, a journal for notes and your strand of faith and hopefully you’ll leave with a couple knots tied and your faith that much stronger.
Have you ever caught yourself focusing on what’s wrong in your life, or in someone else’s for that matter, or what’s wrong about another person and their actions, especially as they pertain to you, instead of all that is right? Why does it seem to be so much easier to focus on the wrong instead of the right?
I don’t know about you but sometimes I can really be a negative Nelly. Funny, just writing about this is taking me back to when my mom used to call me Pollyanna! There were times she said it sarcastically – that was in our time of Exodus which was when I was 12 all the way to 49 -- but I’ll never forget the time she said it while she was in the hospital and I was coming to see her every day.
I was telling her she had to get better so we could spend time together when she got out, and she smiled the sweetest smile – something I had rarely seen – and said, “You are such a Pollyanna.”
It caused me to stop what I was doing and look at her to confirm she was really being sweet…she was.
It wasn’t until later that I looked it up and it made me weep and I do mean weep. My tears turned on like a faucet full blast and humility washed me clean of all the years where I had misunderstood her. See, the definition for a Pollyanna is “an excessively cheerful or optimistic person”!
I never did get to discuss that with her because she never did make it out of the hospital, but, oh, how happy I was to be sad…for God had finally made right what was wrong all those years.
See, all those years I thought she was focusing on something negative about me which kept her from me and it wasn’t that at all.
How many times have we thought incredibly negative thoughts of someone just because of what we think they’re thinking of us?
Coffee Hour Friend, God calls us to get our focus on what is right about any of our circumstances, or about that person we’re in conflict with, and get it off of what’s wrong. He calls us to meditate on things that are true, noble and just – which may not describe the situation or the difficult person you are dealing with but there is ONE who is all of these things. He calls us to mediate on anything that is praiseworthy, on things of any virtue.
This God-breathed command spoken to us through Paul reminds us to quit picking apart and looking for all that is wrong, for when we do focus on what is right, the guarantee we have is we will be changed!
When we are focusing on what’s wrong, we rarely have eyes to realize what’s right…and what’s right usually far out-weighs what’s wrong, especially when we let go of what’s wrong and let Him make it right!
Thursday’s Trench Truth
But why are we so afraid to do this? The truth about our past is this: It keeps coming up in your interactions with your significant relationships and we can’t disown something we haven’t owned. In other words, we can look back while leaning forward…and learn from it all.
Join our group for more encouragement 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
I went in there ready to get it done. I was looking forward to seeing Renee, the manager of the imaging department, and I just knew she was going to be as ready as I was to accomplish what the tech was unable to the week prior.
Welcome to Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Monday’s Mantra with Trench Classes United. Have you ever noticed that when we don’t know how something’s going to go, or how something’s going to feel, or why something is happening the way that it is, that anxiety rises up in you, especially if it’s about something serious?
I’m not going to lie and say I wasn’t anxious at all, but there was definitely a difference this time in that I knew a more about what to expect…at least I thought I did until they put me in a different room with a different mammography machine. “I don’t have to go on the table?”
“No, there’s an angle I forgot to try last week that Renee’s going to try.”
Just then Renee walked in and we hugged like we were old friends. Immediately I was at ease. There is something to be said about experience, and hers was definitely apparent when after getting me and my itty-bitty all situated…albeit painfully, she got the image she needed on the second try. “I got it! Stay right there while I go show the doctor.”
“Uh, it’s not like I can go anywhere,” and we both laughed.
The tech from the week before came over to me and placed her phone close by, proud of herself for remembering what genre of music I liked…Christian worship.
Renee came back with the doctor: “Okay, we’re going to get started.”
Again I was embraced and held by a song and suddenly the unknown didn’t seem so bad. The name of the song is “Oh, my soul” but these words sang at the beginning really calmed me: “There’s a place where fear has to face the God you know.”
I was once again blown away by the appropriateness of not just the powerful words of the song, but the timing it. I was definitely in that place, my itty-bitty squished and compressed, waiting for the needle that would numb just the top layer, and totally unprepared for the pain that came with the insertion as it went deeper, twisting and pulling, shooting a pain that brought immediate tears to my eyes.
This moment catapulted me into His comforting grace as I stared into the sweet face of Renee and she talked me thru it. Within moments the actual biopsy part of this procedure was finished. It was after that, while Renee applied compression to the wound that we sat and had the sweetest fellowship, exchanging mini testimonies and professing our love for God and His infinite grace displayed thru important people in our lives. I mean it was the sweetest relief after such a painful procedure that it truly made me move on from the pain faster than I ever have from any pain.
In recovery, Renee explained she would walk the sample over herself to the hospital and that I should hear something in 3-5 days. We hugged and I couldn’t help but smile as I left the imaging center that day because though my itty-bitty was bittier and minus some tissue for sure, my heart was full of gratitude.
Faith Filled Friday
I just love the simplicity of Jenn’s blogs and I know you will too! Come on in and thanks for joining us for Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Faith Filled Friday with Trench Classes United.
I saw this bumper sticker: “If you see me on the ground, please drag me across the finish line.”
I am assuming this person was a marathoner. At first, I chuckled because that would be me if I attempted to run a marathon. :) There's a bigger thought here however.
As some of you know, I am big on sharing my journey, the ups and downs, even my struggles with faith. I believe in being real, authentic. I am incredibly grateful for the prayers others send up, for the inspiration I find everywhere, and the family/friends who talk me off the proverbial ledge. I like to think I return that favor when needed.
The Bible says in Thessalonians 5:11 "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."
This is what we are here for. This is what we go through struggles for. So that in turn we can be of help and encouragement to a fellow runner.
Life is like a race; sometimes one of us lags behind, maybe even lays on the ground until another comes along and “pulls us towards or over the finish line.”
I’ll do it for you; will you do it for others?
It’s okay to not always be okay, but wouldn’t it be great to feel great even when life is hard?
Learning how to live fueled by hope even when life is trying to knock us down, coming to a trench near you…
Hope to see you there