When You Don’t See Progress

“What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us,
even though we cannot see it up ahead.” Hebrews 11:1

This table….old, used, abused, painted and re-painted…currently adorned with the three different colors.  A table discarded by my daughter because it no longer had purpose.

Yet I had hope for this piece of abandoned furniture, and wasn’t giving up. Not yet anyway. But after sanding and sanding and not seeing the results I’d imagined, my frustration grew and my determination wavered as a new purpose emerged:  chunk this unchanged junk!!!

That’s the moment the Holy Spirit whispered an important life lesson to me:
“When you don’t see progress, trust the process.”

We all have a “table” in our lives that needs a change. And we’ve all experienced that moment when we’ve decided to give up all hope when we don’t see progress…..when things don’t change. But I’m here to encourage myself and to encourage you: DON’T GIVE UP! Don’t abandoned the process.

The process of faith, of prayer, of hope, of releasing your situation to our All Powerful, All Knowing God! This process works because God never fails!!

Don’t stop Praying!!
Don’t stop Believing!!
Don’t abandon Hope!!
Don’t throw out your unchanged junk!!

Something IS happening even though you may not see it just yet. God does have a purpose and a plan when you don’t see one. So I continued the sanding ‘process’ and sure enough, I began to see the result I was looking for.

When you don’t see progress, trust the process. God IS moving on our behalf. He IS responding to our prayers.


Here & Now

I am farsighted, which means I can see things off in the distance more clearly than things that are near. The closer something is to my face, the more blurry it becomes. I need glasses to clear things up. This is how many of us live life: we can see our distant future so clearly, but we need spiritual glasses to help clear some things up.

It’s good to think ahead; to set future goals; to have forward thinking. But sometimes that means we gloss over the ‘here and now.’ We could even find ourselves dissatisfied with the ‘now’ life, in great anticipation of the better ‘future’ life.

God wants us to enjoy every step of our journey even if it isn’t fully what we’ve dreamed for ourselves, our family or our ministry. Let’s face, every moment isn’t going to be peaches and cream, Yes, it’s good to be organized and plan, but we shouldn’t be so preoccupied with future planning that we miss out on the beautiful ‘now’ moments.

Let me be clear, I believe in setting goals, and planning for our futures. But there’s something called balance. We aren’t supposed to chase down our future, we are supposed to chase God.  Mathew 6:33-34 “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” 

In and of ourselves we are powerless to plan and fulfill the ultimate future for ourselves. We need God’s guidance and direction. He has the plans, and He holds the future. Psalms 31:15 tells us that our “times” are in His hands. God is in control of how and when our future manifests itself. Until then, He wants us to enjoy living in the now.

God will speak to us at every step of our journey: not just in our future. He’s speaking to you now about now things AND future things! He doesn’t just give us joy and contentment for our future: He gives it now! Paul says he learned to live a contented life regardless of his circumstances. This means Paul had a ‘now’ contentment. He did not live in the world of ‘what if….’ or ‘one day…..’ Paul’s contentment was not rooted in his circumstances or life accomplishments: it was rooted in God.

Let’s not miss vital ‘now’ moments and opportunities by racing through life at break neck speeds. God wants you to enjoy your life now AND in the future.


When You Are Unsettled, Pay Attention

Don’t settle for something that doesn’t settle in your Spirit. Let God’s peace be the deciding factor.

And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].” Colossians 3:15

Pay attention to that nagging unsettled feeling you may get from time to time. We’ve all been there, and it doesn’t feel good at all. Pray and ask God to reveal to you just what is stealing your peace. The Holy Spirit will show you.

Jesus said, “ Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

The boiled down version is this, God never intended for us to be unsettled, worried, anxious and undecided. The solution, He GAVE us peace. So pay attention when you get that unsettled feeling, and go to the Lord in prayer. He is faithful to us, and will reveal the source of what threatens to steal our peace. God has good plans for us, and does not want us to settle for less than His best. So let peace be your guide! Guard it! Trust this spiritual instinct, because God has given it to you for a purpose.


Greater Things Happen When You Let Go

“Let go of your concerns! Then you will know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

To hold onto “something” is to try to maintain your sense of control….to doubt that God can handle it. So we keep deceiving ourselves that WE got this! We don’t want to admit that we fear letting go. We are afraid to lose control: but in truth, we never had control.

God is in control. The buck stops with Him. He is Sovereign. Supreme. The Creator is in control of His Creation. Who better to release my “something” to than my Creator?

I can assure you that God is far more capable to handle life’s problems than we are. We are limited. God is not!

Look at it this way.

I’m restricted to natural ability, but God is unleashed in supernatural power.

I am lacking, but God is abundant and bountiful.

My knowledge is obstructed and hindered, but God is All Knowing.

I am limited in every way, but God is limitless in all ways.

I may be weak, but God is strong.

I fail, but God never fails!

I am faulty, but God is Perfect in all His ways.

From this perspective, the answer seems clear. Release your “something” to the Almighty, All Powerful, All Knowing, All Sufficient God, and allow Him to release the fullness of His power over your situation.

There is peace and comfort when we let go and let God take over. Greater things happen when we let go. I want greater things, don’t you? Unleash His fullness over your life today, and know that HE IS GOD!


Tell Your Faith To Believe Again

If you believe in the PAST moves and miracles of God,
why not believe in the FUTURE moves and miracles of God?

He has NEVER changed!
He is still God!

Stop reliving the old glory days, retelling the stories of God’s goodness AS IF it’s over……AS IF those days are gone…..AS IF God is dead!


He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow Hebrews 13:8. What He did back then, He will do again today!

Rekindle the flame in you! Hold onto your faith Hebrews 10:23! I dare you to trust in God again.

God NEVER NEVER fails Hebrews 13:5!
God NEVER lies Hebrews 6:18! Every word He has spoken, and every promise WILL come to pass Luke 1:37.

Tell your faith to believe again!! A man in the New Testament did just that. He brought his demon possessed son to the disciples of Jesus, but they could not deliver his son. Perhaps you have tried to bring your issues to the church, but nothing happened; you feel let down and disappointed; and maybe someone hurt you.

But then, he brings his son to Jesus. And although his faith was a bit shaky, he asked Jesus to help his unbelief, and He did. That man’s son was set free and healed Mark 9:14-29!

Don’t put your faith in church or man: anything or anyone other than Jesus Christ! He will not disappoint or hut you. Tell your faith to believe again!

Victory is in Returning to the Battlefield

Keep going back to your prayer room! It is where the battle is won! The Holy Spirit taught me this years ago.

Don’t give up!
Don’t give in!
Never Retreat!

The victory is in returning to the battlefield (Your prayer room).

Satan knows there is power in our prayers. Prayer is our defense AND our offense. No wonder his mission is to stop those prayers.

Like a raging battle, he is bombarding us with attacks to intimidate us and scare us into retreat. Satan shows us casualties of war, and tells us victory is impossible; but God says nothing is impossible (Mathew 19:26); and we are more than conquerors (Romans 8:37)!

Satan will make you grow weary in waiting on answered prayer, in an effort to get you to give up; but God says they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).

Satan makes us think we are outnumbered, and that we are fighting this battle alone; but GOD IS FIGHTING FOR US (Exodus 14:14)!  and He will never, never fail us or forsake us (Psalm 23:4, Hebrews 13:5).

Satan wants us to abandon all hope…he may tell you that there is no help for you or your situation; but God gives help just in the nick of time, and He gives us grace for every situation (Hebrews 4:16).

Satan wants us to feel like our prayers are useless and ineffective; but God says the prayers of the righteous avail much (James 5:16). AND we have been made the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus, so our prayers are mighty through God (Romans 5:1, 2 Corinthians 5:21)!

Remember: our enemy knows there is POWER IN OUR PRAYERS…..but do YOU  know there is power in YOUR prayers?. Stand on the truth of God, and rely on HIS promises. Every Word God has ever spoken WILL come to pass (Luke 1:37). No matter how bad your situation looks, no matter the odds stacked against you, no matter what…..always go back to your prayer room, it is where the battle is won!! You can’t take ground if you don’t return to the battlefield. Be strong! Be courageous! Do not be discouraged, for the Lord you God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9)!!!

Do you doubt yourself; think you don’t know HOW to pray?
Do you have negative associations or ideas about prayer?
CLICK HERE if you feel like: My Prayer Isn’t Good Enough!

My Dad Is Stronger Than Yours

“My dad is stronger than yours!!”

Working in a three year old classroom, this statement really surprised me. I honestly would expect this kind of thing from school aged children. Thankfully, they were too young to become offended by such a pretentious claim.

Why do kids do that: brag that my dad is stronger than your dad? Glad you asked. I’m no psychologist, but I imagine it has a lot to do with feeling confident that your dad is able to keep you safe and secure. My dad and I raised rabbits, chickens, and a couple of turkeys when I was a kid. My sisters didn’t care so much about that, but I enjoyed it. At one point we had approximately twenty chickens, and ten plus rabbits. One year, something awful happened.

We woke one spring morning to find the violent carnage of torn, bloodied and scattered rabbit parts. The wire flooring of their cages had been ripped downward with surprising force. I remember my dad’s shock at the dog’s strength, as well as the fact that it didn’t want to eat what it had killed. He said when animals engage in this kind of frenzy, they are out for the thrill of the hunt: and he was concerned about a second attack on remaining survivors. He was right.

It happened during the day while my mother was home. She was a quiet woman, but don’t let that fool you: she wasn’t easily intimidated. She went outside to put a stop to this mayhem. One poor turkey helplessly flailed what remained of his body. Interestingly the dogs were no longer attracted to him: mission accomplished…damage done. The pack moved their malevolent focus to the rabbits again, when they suddenly stopped in their tracks. Something caught their attention: my mama!! Low menacing growls emerged as they bare their dreadful teeth; they slowly stepped closer to her. My mom grabbed the closest thing to her, and ushered her promise by the help of God to inflict maximum damage with the red brick in her hand. At that moment, this vicious pack reconsidered, and ran off into the woods.

My dad was afraid for her, and told her to never put herself in harm’s way again…told her an angel of the Lord had stood between her and those wild dogs that day. They would be back, he said. And he was going to be waiting. This pack attack had awakened my dad’s protective nature, and he was now going on the offense. He was about to ensure that the threat to my mother would never happen again: to her or to us. So he watched and waited: wee morning and late evening. He let me sit out there with him one night after supper. Needless to say, I was more than afraid, and rightfully so.

I expressed my fear to my dad, and his response to me is what God says to us: “You don’t have to be afraid: *I’m* here!” While *I* was helpless and powerless to stop an attack or defend myself,  my dad was more than capable to do that for me.  My dad was stronger than the looming danger! So it is with God….He is stronger than anything we could ever face!

God’s power to defend us is limitless! Not only that, but He wants to defend us, because we belong to Him! He fights for His sons and daughters! We get to brag, “My God is Stronger!!”

I could pepper this devotion with various supporting scriptures, but Psalm 91 sums it all up nicely. I am confident in God’s ability to be my Protector and Defender!

Psalm 91 (GNT)
God Our Protector
Whoever goes to the Lord for safety,
whoever remains under the protection of the Almighty,
can say to him,
“You are my defender and protector.
You are my God; in you I trust.”
He will keep you safe from all hidden dangers
and from all deadly diseases.
He will cover you with his wings;
you will be safe in his care; Continue reading

It’s Never Too Late. Don’t Give Up!

We’ve all found ourselves in a situation that requires nothing short of a miracle. At some point, we have faced a harsh reality; some devastating news; or an impossible circumstance in which we were powerless to change. Perhaps all options have been exhausted, and it feels like it’s over; feels like time has run out.

I’ve got some great news:  it’s never too late to expect a miracle!!

God is not limited by time or severity of your circumstances. It doesn’t matter how permanent your situation may seem. In Acts 3 we meet a forty year old man that was crippled since birth. Yet he was instantly healed: walking and leaping after forty years of immobility. In John 11 we meet Lazarus who came back to life after being buried, and dead for four days.

None of this holds power over our God!

Nothing is impossible with Him!

It is never too late for that miracle you’ve been praying for.

God is not held to the limits of this world. He can reach beyond your disease; beyond your barrenness; beyond your finances; and beyond your broken family. God is saying to you today, “With man this is impossible, but WITH GOD all things are possible” (Mathew 19:26).

Be encouraged that God is not restricted by the passage of time. There is no situation that is irreversible or permanent in the eyes of God. Nothing on this earth is beyond His scope of power. DO NOT GIVE UP! It’s never too late to expect that miracle.

Come Out Of Your Hiding Place: It’s Not Safe There Anymore

Have you ever gone through a hardship, and you didn’t want to share it with anyone? But this trial dominates your every waking moment, and even invades your dreams. It seems to last so long, it has become part of you: changing your demeanor, steeling your joy and causing you to become impatient. You bring this crippling secret with you to work, and back home again.  It rides with you to church and back home again. You’re doing a great job hiding your storm.…your suffering…. And your burden.

This is MY story! Years ago I would hide my trials, and I did a good job of it. But WHY? Friends, that is the million dollar question! And I have some million dollar reasons! Don’t we all? By nature, I’m a relatively quiet person that doesn’t like a lot of drama. And I didn’t want to be THAT person that always has an issue. You know, THAT person you avoid when you see them coming? So there’s that.

But I was afraid of what people would think; afraid they would think I’m weak; afraid they would judge me harshly. And some pretty significant past hurts caused me to withdraw and distrust people. I basically kept everyone at arm’s length. When you boil down my million dollar reasons, only one thing remained: fear! Fear was driving me to hunker down behind a wall and harbor my storms and hardships like a dirty little secret. But hiding my trials wasn’t as safe as I thought it was.

I felt so alone! And boy was I tired. I was carrying a weight and a burden I wasn’t meant to bear. I thought I was casting my care on God (1 Peter 5:7); I thought I was doing the right thing by keeping this between me and God…….so I thought.

This is why we shouldn’t rely on what we THINK we know: rely on what God knows. (Proverbs 3:5)

I relentlessly pounded out my prayers and maintained my sleepy faith, so I just knew that change was coming. And it was, just not quite how I thought. I expected God to speak to my storm and tell it to be still, but instead He spoke to me and told me to be still and listen. Not once does He talk about my situation. Not once does He mention one single thing about the hard time I was going through. Not one thing.

Instead God tells me to let my walls come down, and to let others in during my trial instead of afterwards. God explains that it is important for others to see His glory revealed in the midst of my difficulty.  He tells me to stop hiding my storms, and that I’ve been depriving others of walking in their God-given gifts to encourage me and lift me up with prayer and spiritual support.

God will use whatever means He so chooses to help me, and in this case His gentle rebuke made me aware I was limiting God’s power by limiting God’s people. God used my storm to teach me before He carried me through to the other side.

I had to become vulnerable again, and connect with His people. It was a risky proposition that scared me to death: but it wasn’t safe to stay hidden behind my wall anymore. It didn’t mean that people wouldn’t hurt my feelings, and it could mean that someone might indeed think I’m weak. But remember, I’m not relying on man. I’m trusting in what God told me to do. So I did it.  It wasn’t easy, but it was extremely freeing. I began to feel the weights lift off of me. I didn’t have to bear my secret storm alone. I didn’t have to be perfect. Doing what God asked of me, took the pressure off that I had placed on myself…that fear had placed there. His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are higher than ours. Thank God for that, because what *I* was doing wasn’t working. Sometimes WE think we have it all figured out, and we are just too stubborn to make a change.

I encourage you to learn from my mistakes. Please don’t shut out God’s people: be still and listen to HIS strategy for overcoming trials. Galatians 6:2 clearly tells us to “Help carry each other’s burdens. In this way you will follow Christ’s teachings.” There are folks eager to help you in your time of need, just like they were for me, and God will lead you to the right people.


The Smallest Things Can Have The Biggest Impact

For those of you that don’t know me, I love coffee. I love the taste. I love the warmth. I love the smell. I love it in the morning. I love it in the evening. I love it here and there. I love it anywhere. I would not, I could not, go a morning without my coffee. And yes, I would drink it with Green Eggs and Ham!!

Are you ready for this?  I am not drinking the thing I love so much. I’m currently fasting coffee. I’ve been on strict fasts before, but this one has been a challenge. Not only because of my coffee addiction, but because my daily habits and routines have come to a crashing halt. My motivation to…..well….to do just about everything plummeted below sea level. The first few days I thought I might actually wake up in Heaven! Cause of death: coffee withdrawals.

While I take a light hearted approach to the narrative of my fasting woes, my heart was heavy with sadness regarding a personal matter…the matter I have taken to fasting and prayer. But I was still foreboding over the potential for an undesirable outcome. My mind was diligently trying to prepare me for ‘What If’ this, or ‘What If’ that. The issue I am praying about doesn’t seem like it will have a desirable outcome: not according to what I am hearing or feeling. So my husband says something I’ve heard a billion times before: simple yet profound; short and sweet.

“So stop looking at what you see, hear and feel. Look at this situation through the eyes of Faith.”

This resonated with me!! This commonly regurgitated notion of living by faith and not by sight was exactly what I needed to catapult me to freedom (2 Corinthians 5:7)! It was this small, simple sentence that has had the biggest impact on my mindset. Being anxious about it was bringing me lower than my coffee withdrawals, and worrying won’t change one thing. But faith will!

Faith gives me hope that no matter the outcome, God is in control; that He loves me and my family more than I do; that He has good plans for us; that all things work together for my good; that He knows the desires of my heart. THIS is faith speaking now. No more what ifs.

I don’t know what the outcome will be, but seeing my situation through faith gives me peace about an unknown future.

Don’t be afraid to share some short and sweet spiritual encouragement to someone. It’s bigger than what you might think. And don’t underestimate the ‘small’ sacrifices you make. Let’s get back to my coffee, shall we? I’m only fasting coffee: nothing else. To you, this may seem small: but to me it’s huge, and God knows it. Regardless of the outcome of my circumstance, I know that great fruit will come forth out this time of fasting, prayer and reading His Word. God recognizes and honors our sacrifices, no matter how small.

Don’t overlook the small things anymore: a listening ear, a compliment, a word of encouragement, a text of appreciation or simple spiritual reminders……$5 in the offering plate, one home cooked meal for a sick friend or fasting coffee.

“Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.” Mathew 13:32  Remember, smallest things can have the biggest impact!