Trust and Be Encouraged

Pigeons eat a variety of seeds including fresh grains, oats, popcorn and sunflower seeds. I truly delight in watching all sorts of birds in my backyard and hear them sing their melodic tunes every Spring.

Right after dad passed away, mom relocated back to South America permanently since she needed 24/7supervision.  For years, mom had fed a white pigeon with bread crumbs in her balcony every afternoon. Mom never purchased any special blend yet the pigeon would always visit her once or twice a day for bread crumbs.  One afternoon she quietly asked me, “who is going to feed the white pigeon in my absence?!” My heart sank. I was speechless. I pondered for quite a while ‘how’ was I going to answer mom until God sang His rhythmic tunes straight to the core of my soul and heart.

His truth reminded me not to worry or fret over life circumstances. I was not in control of the pigeon’s future. Mom needed to move back to our home country and God was going to take care of both mom and the white pigeon.

Luke 12:24-25 “Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap; they have no storeroom nor barn, and yet God feeds then; how much more valuable you are than the birds! And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span?”

In transitions, we may feel vulnerable and out of control. In these moments, we may be in distress or anxious about the outcome(s) of the future.  The Lord walks alongside and comforts us along the way.

These unforgettable memories are engraved in our hearts and reminds us of all those special moments God speaks to our hearts. It was so special to think about mom and her white pigeon from South Florida earlier today.

The Lord reminded me once again not to worry or fret over current circumstances. His divine plans are going to prevail and for us to rest in Him prayerfully and peacefully. He is able and forever faithful. He is our Provider, Refuge and Peace. He is in control of all life circumstances. When we trust in Him, we will be encouraged.

Ephesians 3:20

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.

Psalms 33:20

Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our Help and our Shield.

Psalms 46:1

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Hebrews 10:23

Let us hope fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Photo Courtesy: Sandy Millar @ UnSplasher and Holger Link.

 

The Bible Reading Journal Illustrated.

Newsflash!

The “Bible Reading Journal Illustrated” is available now on Amazon ✍🏼

It can be used in a group setting or independently. It is the perfect journal for anyone who is just beginning to engage in “Faith Journaling.”

The journal explains the value of ‘Faith journaling’ and an illustration demonstrates the daily process. This journal will provide you with journaling space to record your personal reflections as you read Bible passages every 20 days.

You will find written prompts that will guide you thru five key spiritual disciplines: Obedience, Confession, Forgiveness, Thanksgiving, and Prayer.

Scriptures cross-references are also available for you to dig deeper into God’s Word.

The journal will help you reflect and pray over Scriptures whether you are sitting in a kitchen table, taking a lunch break, waiting to pick-up your child from school or drinking coffee at a local cafe. The portable size of the journal is convenient to carry in your messenger bag, tote, purse or backpack. This portable journal is perfect for anyone who tends to be busy in life or travels often.

You will renew your mind with His Word, strengthen your heart with His promises and refresh your soul with His unconditional and unfailing love.

Are you ready to establish these disciplines in your life? If so, your life will be transformed over the course of time. #thebiblereadingjournalseries #inscribehisword #journalingclass #discipleship #womenretreats #faithjournaling

The Bible Reading Journal Illustrated: Journaling In Pursuit of His Direction, Wisdom and a Closer Relationship. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1092772421/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_NCTWCbDCWDGJ5

The Cross Stands


“In the middle of the ashes, the cross still stands. A powerful reminder as we move toward Good Friday. No matter the devastation we face, no matter what is burned up, the cross is victorious and Sunday is on its way!”
Sheila Walsh




Photo courtesy: Sheila Walsh @ Facebook – social media post


#notredamecathedral #prayingforparis #HolyWeek #beautyfromashes #poweroftheCross

Practice Strengthens our Muscles.

When I was an adolescent, I practiced the piano at 4 a.m. every day. After a few years of consistent practice, I built finger dexterity, muscle memory for over hundreds of manuscripts and the tolerance to play piano for several hours non-stop. With practice and repetition, I was able to memorize strings of musical notes and play effortlessly. In competitions, I played well despite expected fears. If I would skip or forget a note, I would still finish strong in the competition and earn superior ratings. It was all the result of daily training, focus, and intentional planning. This daily routine led to a discipline in which I built character and maturity over time as a piano player and competitor.

Wouldn’t be nice to build our spiritual muscles for our next life interruption or tragedy or unexpected loss?

I want to stand firm in my Faith!

Even though we are not in a piano competition, we do need inner strength, direction, wisdom and most importantly a relationship with our Lord who is near the broken-hearted and comforts us in the midst of our sorrows, abrupt losses and life tragedies.

It is key to memorize and hide His Truth in our hearts so we may rest on His Word at the time of need. “…and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” ‭‭(John‬ ‭8:32‬ ‭NASB) For us to grow deeper in our Faith, we need to be intentional in our daily practice of Bible Reading, Repentance, Forgiveness, Thanksgiving and Prayer. Once we are able to establish the routine, it will then become a discipline and we will engage in these practices effortlessly and consistently. As a result, we will strengthen our spiritual muscles over time, build our Faith walk, character and maturity.

“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” JOSHUA‬ ‭1:8‬ ‭NASB

Building our Faith walk requires intentional scheduling.

If I don’t plan ahead and schedule time for Bible reading, journaling, and prayer, then I will be too busy with other commitments and neglect God’s Word. I have seen it happen too many times in my life.

Have you added your Bible Reading and Journaling to your daily schedule? If not, spend fifteen minutes in rearranging your daily calendar and schedule a time for His Truth and reflections today.

He is Able!

Because I no longer play daily, I am not able to compete or play as much. It is unfortunate I am no longer an advanced piano player. As a matter of fact, I am about to lose the abilities to play the piano if I do not go back this month with the new coach I recently hired.

Building spiritual muscles is much like building finger dexterity when playing the piano. We have to schedule it, establish the routine by daily practice and commit to it. Otherwise, we will lose the intimacy with our Lord and drift away.

Our Lord is waiting patiently for us to commit and worship Him all the time. He is a compassionate and forgiving God who is eagerly waiting for us to get closer to Him one day at a time.

Photo courtesy: Cristina Gottardi @ Splasher

In Pursuit of Wisdom

I truly delight in journaling.

Every time I sit down to journal, I pray for the Lord to open my eyes so I may see His commands, and promises He has for me (Psalm 119:18).

Moments of reflection provide clarity, direction, wisdom and most importantly these thoughtful moments will establish and maintain an intimate relationship with the Lord.

When I engage in Bible journaling, I keep the process simple and consistent.

Do you have a preferred time to sit at the feet of Jesus without distractions? Do you take time to write down your thoughts or observations when reading God’s Word?

My favorite time to read Bible passages is at Sunrise although I focus on His Word during work breaks, after work and at bedtime. If I am driving to the office or an appointment, I take the opportunity to worship with music, and establish communication with the Lord by prayer.

The opportunity to sit in my couch comfortably and read God’s Truth quietly is priceless.

I typically have a set of gel pens and highlighters available to me at all times so I may inscribe a verse or two, read the selected verses in different versions, and highlight key precepts or promises. Once I write down the key observations of the selected verse(s), I then pray over them so I may apply His Truth today!

Life gets in the way and it can get quite hectic. How do I typically handle distractions? When I read the Bible, I maintain a small pad next to the journal in case I’ve got distracting thoughts; things to do, appointments to be made or people to call in the week. I write these down immediately so it would not interfere with my time with the Lord. It alleviates some of the distress when I am focusing on God’s Word and calms my anxious heart as I proceed with today’s Bible readings.

There are many available methods in the market to show us ‘how to’ mark our Bible passages. But, I choose the one that is going to help me remember and hide His Truth in my heart forever.

After a couple of weeks of journaling, I reflect and re-read all of the lessons learned, blessings and answers to prayers. The most exhilarating moment for me is when I reflect back and witness how God has been faithful, forgiven, compassionate and has shown up in the midst of confusion, chaos, turmoil or grief.

My daily journal is definitely a keepsake!

Let me highlight some of the most recent reflections from the daily journal.

Lord,

Our Faith is growing abundantly (2 Thess 1:3) one day at a time. How comforting is to know the Lord is with us at all times (Zephaniah 3:17) and our Faith grows when we acknowledge His presence in the midst of our life happenings. He is our wonderful Counselor and Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:1-7). He is God, our everlasting ROCK (Isaiah 26:3-4). The Lord has begun ‘good work’ in our lives (Philippians 1:6); when we ask for direction, He will direct our steps. He chose us and loves us (1 Thess 4). His love endures (1 Chronicles 16:34). We are His beloved daughters indeed.
Seek His face (1 Chronicles 16:11). The Lord wants for us to press ON and move forward (Phil 3 13-14), stand firm (2 Thess 2:15), rejoice in the Lord and be grateful
(Phil 4:4-5). Let us be thankful in all of our circumstances (1 Thess 5:16-18). God protects us from evil (2 Thess 3:3). Let us please God, not men (1 Thess 2:4) when taking actions or making life-altering decisions. Rejoice in our labor whether it is at work, community, Church or at home (Eccl 5:19). Maintain integrity (Psalm 119:1).

Help us be a Light, His Love (Luke 8:16) so others may see Jesus in us always. Share the Great News to all in this dark world.

In Jesus’ name, we boldly pray. Amen.


Photo Courtesy: Hannah Olinger at Splasher