On this Thursday afternoon, I was cleaning my kitchen. I was thinking about something the Lord put on my heart earlier this week.
Something that was keeping me from becoming all who He created me to be.
I didn’t even know how to change this characteristic of my personality, but as God showed me this. I was sorrowful and repented. I realized I was oblivious. I wanted help. I was miserable in my own flesh.
Some things seem daunting to try to change on our own. But I do know that all things are possible with God.
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26
I am grateful for the conviction to change and the grace of God to help me become what He wants me to be.
He never gives up on us. We are in a process. We are on a journey. We will always have something to work on in this life.
I was cleaning my kitchen… everyday I clean my kitchen and every day I still need to clean it.
Anyway, I went to wipe down the dining room table. While I used elbow grease on the messy spots from lunchtime (right where all the kids sit) I noticed a notebook my kids had pulled out to color on.
On the note book page was a prayer request from my sister. Her handwriting revealed she had written this prayer when she was much younger. I turned the page around and smiled at her thoughtfulness of others as she listed family and friends’ names. I decided to flip the page over.
To my surprise, was a note of encouragement, penned in my Mother’s beautiful handwriting.
During one of the most mundane tasks… cleaning my kitchen… It surprised me so!
It’s been nearly 10 years since my Mom’s passing and somehow my kids had come across this notebook. The page may be a little stained, but the message she wrote over a decade ago was just what I needed TODAY.
The words she was inspired to write then, ministered to me now. God knows your future. He is for YOU! He will be there when you call on Him. So make the call!
The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. Exodus 14:14
My heart is glad. My hope is in the Lord. I can be who God wants me to be.
He will be with me through all the hard times. He is our Hope.
During the war years we knew of a mother who regularly received letters from her son serving his country. Being illiterate she could not read them and depended on her neighbor to read her son’s letters to her. On one occasion the son asked his mother for money. The neighbor read the request in a gruff tone of voice, and when the neighbor finished the mother said, “Why that no good son of mine, I’ll not send him one cent.”
Later in the day I dropped in to visit this mother. Desperate to hear even bad news from her boy, the mother asked me if I would read her son’s letter to her once more. Unknowing that another had read it; I read it in a kind tone. Upon hearing the letter read in such a humble tone, the mother broke down and wept and said, “Bless my baby’s heart, he needs money. Of course I’ll send it to him.”
When talking to people concerning spiritual matters, continually remember this very illustration. Suppose our tone of voice is harsh to the soul we are talking to?
Although our words maybe true, they may be rejected because the tone of our voice is unsympathetic. On the other hand speaking to people with love, and showing genuine concern for them personally will do much and may even determine their eternity. Our manner of speaking may even have an effect on the sick. Be it good or bad; power is in the tongue. Our lips are the doors to our mouth. Our words become our guide.
Suppose we visit the sick and our words convey despondency, depression, pessimism or anxiety. Is that desirable? -Does anybody long to live a life like that? -Does any soul want to go into eternity with negative words fed to them? -Is that a reason to want to live?
If our attitude and our voice is kind and sympathetic, it could just be the encouragement that speeds recovery or encourages one in their walk with Jesus.
Proverbs 25:11-A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. KJV
Be very careful of the TONE of your voice. Physical wounds are not the only wounds one can feel and carry for life. Words hurt and can determine how a child grows up or the character an adult will have. Jails are full today because of souls who were destroyed with words alone.
-Your kind words today may be cherished by someone forever.
-Your words are the windows to your heart.
If you want your neighbor to see what Christ can do for them, let the soul see what Christ did for you.
When one is blessed with words; be it good or bad; words are burned in the heart and mind. People do not owe it to you to let you heap verbal abuse on them. If you have the sin of; well that is me; I am plain spoken; then you better lose that sin because it’s of the very devil. It’s not a quality it’s a sin and you claim to use it in the name of Jesus? Woe unto you.
Your spouse; children; public and dare I say it; your in-laws are watching you. Rest assure when you are your lowest your words will be visited back on you.
My continued prayer is Psalm 19:14- Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight…
Nona Freeman was born July 25, 1916 – December 26, 2009. She was an American Oneness Pentecostal preacher, evangelist, author and missionary.
In 1948 Freeman and her husband E. L. (Bug) Freeman were the first united Pentecostal church (UPCI) missionaries to South Africa. There they served 41 years!
Permission to use her writings has been granted by Kneemail.
On October 30th I went to sleep after a long day. We were tired after packing up and loading the UHaul truck with our boxes, appliances, and furniture. The next day we would say goodbye to our home of almost 7 years and embark on a new adventure.
The next morning at 4 am, I awoke to an audible voice say my name. “Tonya.” I was not scared. I had complete peace. (I would have freaked normally.)
When I heard my name I smiled. I was in awe. I crawled out of bed (literally because our 2-year-old was asleep next to me and my husband.)
I entered my “prayer closet” (my living room on my couch with a cup of coffee.)
I prayed to God, “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.” Like Samuel did when he heard the Lord say his name 3 times in 1 Samuel chapter 3.
As I prayed, my husband joined me. He knelt on his knees beside my feet. Soon after, I felt a strong urge to pray for America.
We began to “stand in the gap” for America. Interceding for our Beautiful Country.
We began to ask God to forgive us as a nation. For hatred, divorce, cheating, lying, bitterness, killing our children, stealing, our pridefulness, our arrogance… Etc..
We began to worship and praise him. We told Him how much we need him and LOVE Him.
We prayed for America fervently. And it was like we weren’t alone in our living room. I had peace.
I just want to tell you, God has this election. He is in control.
No matter the outcome. He’s got us.
Since you have plundered many nations, all the peoples who remain will plunder you — because of human bloodshed and violence against lands, cities, and all who live in them. Woe to him who dishonestly makes wealth for his house to place his nest on high, to escape from the reach of disaster! You have planned shame for your house by wiping out many peoples and sinning against your own self. For the stones will cry out from the wall, and the rafters will answer them from the woodwork. Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and founds a town with injustice! Is it not from the Lord of Hosts that the peoples labor only to fuel the fire and countries exhaust themselves for nothing? For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord ’s glory, as the waters cover the sea. Habakkuk 2:8-14 HCSB
Justice will be served. Sin will be exposed.
Our HOPE is in Jesus. He will reign. His Glory will be so brilliant in the world. God is going to pour out His Spirit like nothing we have ever seen before. And He’s going to do it through YOU and me as channels He can work through.
Jesus, help America come to your Light. Forgive our sin. Heal our land. In Your name we pray Amen.
Mercy. I need it. You need it. The world needs it.
Mercy means to extend help to the lowliest or the most undeserving.
It gives compassion instead of punishment, even when justice demands it.
His cup never runs out. His Word says He is rich in mercy.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us… Ephesians 2:4
Inside every mistake is the doorway of possibility. It can take you to another level that nothing else can.
There’s something hidden in mistakes you can find. You won’t make much progress without making mistakes.
There is no one beyond His saving power.
His mercy knows no limit.
His mercy flows from the highest mountain to the lowest valley.
It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 KJV
He’s not only the God of 2nd chances, but He is the God of ANOTHER chance. This is good news because most of us mess up on the 2nd chance fairly quickly.
One of the facets of God’s character is His incredible patience with us.
But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. Psalms 86:15
Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. Micah 7:18
The Bible is full of people who had 2nd chances, and even 3rd and 4th chances. Peter, Jonah, Samson, David, and other. All trophies of God’s grace.
Just as God is patient and forgiving, he wants his children to be patient with and forgiving of others.
Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, Colossians 3:12
Jesus gives a stern warning to those who refuse to forgive.
But if you don’t forgive people, your Father will not forgive your wrongdoing. Matthew 6:15
If someone is truly repentant, we are obligated to forgive.
Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how many times could my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times? ” “I tell you, not as many as seven,” Jesus said to him, “but 70 times seven. Matthew 18:21-22
Don’t stop at dwelling on your mistakes. Receive the mercy God has for you and give it to others.
*Notes were taken from Jeff Arnold’s message “Your mistake is not Final.”
Thanks for reading. I hope this brings encouragement to you today. It did me. -Tonya
We visited Milwaukee County Zoo last week. We entered the cat area where the gorgeous cheetah dwelled. She paced back and forth…Over and over. She had walked the same path so much that her paws had killed the grass and what was once soft green grass was now a smooth dusty thin pathway.
We read the facts sign about cheetahs. Did you know? Cheetahs can run up to 60 miles per hour!
My daughter asked me, “Is that fast? I want to see the cheetah run.”
Sadly, I realized the cheetah didn’t have enough room to even skip let alone run at 60 miles per hour.
This cheetah couldn’t run at all. She could only pace back and forth in front of the tall glass window where we stood waiting for her to do something interesting.
She was limited…
Only man can remove the limitations of the cheetah. Only God can remove our limitations.
God is an equipping God. He ALWAYS has more for us. He ALWAYS has better for us.
We just need the desire to be more.
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Ephesians 3:20
The cheetah was at the mercy of man. She wasn’t equipped with what she needed TO BE ALL that she was meant to be.
We fall short. God enables and equips us to be what He has called us to be.
We are simply NOT enough.
We need the help of God, it’s called GRACE. We need Him to change us from the inside out. We need him to open our eyes to see ourselves the way HE sees us.
Once we are all in for Him, He’ll take you further than you ever thought possible.
He will equip you for what He has in store.
Don’t give up yet. He’s got You! Reach for Him!
Pray with me: God, I give you permission to work on me. Help me see the way You see me. Nobody’s idea of me matters except for how You view me. Enable me to be the person (mom, wife, friend, leader, employee) You want me to be. Equip me with the right character, integrity, honesty, and love I need to impact my world. I make you KING of my life. In Jesus Name, Amen.
Cindee Lee Sweeney, my Mother. She had a contagious laugh. She loved to have a “good laugh” (which meant laughing until your belly was sore and your eyelashes were wet with tears.) She loved to chuckle, even if it was at the expense of herself, or someone else. She would much rather have a good time than do chores, but she instilled in us the following lesson: work first, then play!
Growing up, chores were to be done right away in the morning. Then we were free to do the things we loved to do IF we accomplished the things we despised first.
The chore I dreaded most was laundry. I hated putting clothes away, especially for a family of 8. It would’ve made sense to have everyone be responsible for putting their own clothes away; which did occur, but rarely. It was more work to be the “laundry coach”. This job included going around the house rounding everyone up and making sure they put their clothes in their appropriate dresser drawers.
I would get in trouble if my siblings left their clothes lying around. So it was a tough duty. It was just easier to put everybody’s clothes away yourself.
I have 3 brothers and 2 sisters. When you’re the oldest you automatically get a majority of the tasks.
Every eldest child knows that fact. I would hang the laundry out on the line. I would carry the bulging heavy basket up the basement stairs and out the back door, and down the deck steps. I hung the clothes over the clothesline using all the clothespins we had.
Now, this wasn’t an ordinary basket of wet clothes I carried. Oh no, not normal at all. Sometimes when I pulled them from the washing machine they would be sopping wet and dripping with water.
My mother thought it was necessary to stop the washer before the spin cycle was complete. She was savvy. She saved money and water, but at my expense (yes, I’m smiling)
Not always, but occasionally, the jeans would be hung and they would drip, drip, drip, with water because they had been interrupted during the spin cycle.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t do ALL the laundry in the house, but I did help with much of it. Mom would do at least 2 loads per day, if not 3, so she expected my help. If she skipped a day of laundry, the next day she would have to do 5, or even 6 loads. Occasionally I would refuse and battle it out. It didn’t ever go well.
I remember the laundry basket breaking on my way up the stairs. Not from accidentally dropping it, or being too rough with it. Oh no, this was because it was so full and so very heavy! The poor basket was literally breaking down in my arms.
My uncle Ryan would grip my biceps. He would ask how I got these muscles. My answer was always, “I don’t know, laundry I guess.”
Some early mornings the hill was covered with dew. I would be outside hanging up laundry. As I reached up to grab the clothespins I would be slipping and sliding down the wet hill.
My oldest brother would run and hide in the woods when chore time came around, not every day, maybe every other day, he thought that chore time was a good time for him to work on his tree fort. We wouldn’t see him for hours. He’d show up at lunchtime.
He was careful never to give away his hideout. When mom would start passing out chores, he would vanish, almost as if it was mid-step (like the rapture will be someday.)
One day my sister, Tasha, and I were determined to see where (and how) my brother got out of sight so fast.
Trying to catch our brother, we may have had Walkie Talkies to be more official spies and more dramatic. We needed to communicate with each other the details of Tanner’s plan.
He put to use the phrase “out of sight out of mind”. If mom didn’t see you, usually you got away with no chores… maybe, at least until our bedtime chore routine.
One day we caught him. He whisked outside with snacks out the basement back door and through the garage! We finally had the answers to his masterminded intentions.
We told mom of his scheme. She had a talk with him when he showed up hours later coming up out of the thick green forest. By that time chores were long accomplished.
Mom chose to show him mercy. She was good at that.
Was it fair? No.
I feel like I was one of the people with the stones ready to throw mine at the sinner woman who was brought to Jesus caught in the very act of adultery. Jesus said, “He who is without sin cast the first stone.” One by one, the people left. The woman covering her face in shame heard the sound of stones thumping as they fell to the ground instead of on her. By law, they had a right to stone her.Jesus showed her mercy instead of judgment. He said, “Go and sin no more.”
Was it fair? No.
I was eagerly waiting for my brother’s judgment. It was like I had my stone clenched in my hand and positioned over my shoulder ready to strike, but mom showed Mercy.
Was it fair, No
I’m thankful for God’s mercy on my life. His mercies are new every morning.
Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness! Lamentations 3:22-23
Thanks mom for showing me what it means to be merciful. Thanks for teaching me how to do laundry and the importance of self disciplines.
I miss her wisdom. I miss her smile. I miss her prayers. I miss her laugh. I miss her.
Thanks for reading! What chore was your least favorite growing up? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
Isolation. Addiction. Abuse. Fear. Anxiety. Depression. Whatever it may look like for you, there is hope.
In January of this year, my husband was preparing for bed. He felt impressed to go down by our furnace which is in the basement. He obeyed. He listened and waited. God’s still small voice said, “You will go through a struggle, but I will be with you.” As my hubby looked into the flames of the furnace . He questioned God, “Lord, how can I say no, but why do I have to go through a struggle?”
God replied, “What do you think I went through?” He was reminded of the cross. The weight he carried, not the weight of the tree. The weight of the sins of the world. My sin. Your sin. His back was whipped for our healing. He was spit on. Humiliated. Slapped. Thank you precious Jesus.
He was also impressed with the thought, air that goes through the fire is purified and expanded”.
God is stretching you during this time. It is not for nothing. He is always good. You will come out of this better. If you want to be better. You will come out of this as gold, tried by fire.
Another story, in February of this year, it was an hour past midnight. God woke me up so strongly with this name plastered on my mind, “Robert Tisdale”.
I began to pray for this minister. I had heard him preach only a time or two in Wisconsin. I would not have remembered his first name off the top of my head.
After I was finished praying, I searched for his messages. In all four messages I came across, he was preaching about the same thing…. Darkness.
It worried me a little. What was God trying to show me? What was He trying to warn me about?
God had shown us that we would be going through a time of darkness. I now believe A PART of it was this time of isolation because of COVID-19.
I believe he warned us firstly, to pray. Secondly, to be ready for unsettling times ahead. I was a little nervous as to what the “darkness” may look like, (okay maybe a lot nervous) but I knew God had it all in control. I just had to trust Him.
Little did I know we would have a world pandemic. This would cause everything except grocery stores to be shut down. I didn’t realize I was about to attend my last church service for 10 plus weeks. I had no clue what was about to happen, all I knew is that it would be “dark”.
Isolation. Addiction. Abuse. Fear. Anxiety. Depression. Whatever it may look like for you, there is hope. Jesus is the light. Call out to Him and He will hear you. Get in touch with YOUR Creator.
Tell Him your hurts. Tell Him your pain. He has already taken up the wooden cross to bear them. He shed His precious blood so you, my friend, can be free. Ask Him to show Himself real to you. He will do it. He breaks yolks. He sets captives free.
Isaiah 58:6 says “Isn’t this the fast I choose: To break the chains of wickedness, to untie the ropes of the yoke, to set the oppressed free, and to tear off every yoke?”
We are called to be the light because we have God in us and He is light.
His Word says, “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16
God gets all the glory when He shines through us. Be encouraged today. God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of love and peace. He is about to break through your darkness.
“Your appointment is greater than your disappointment.”- Robert Tisdale
“When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” Isaiah 43:2
What darkness has God helped you get through? What is an area in your life where you have been a light to someone? What light can you see as the dawn breaks?
I look forward to hearing from you in the comments. Thanks for reading!