• DANCE IN THE RAINLife is not about waiting for the storm to pass; it's about learning to dance in the rain.- Vivian Greene

power word+

 

 

Some days I wake up crying.

And when I do, I often don’t even know why. Perhaps it is the weight of unspoken problems that I’m too afraid to articulate. Coupled with a vague dread of what might come next.

Yesterday was one of those days. The day before, my arm had felt useless. I couldn’t drink my coffee. I couldn’t write. I couldn’t do what I wanted. I felt trapped inside my body which has become an all-too-familiar feeling. At times, it almost feels like a living death.

So, as I lie in bed, contemplating what the day might hold, I feel tears welling up inside me.

Stop, don’t do this,” I tell myself. But I can’t force the tears to stop and they start trickling down my face. Before long, my pillow is soaked and I feel hopeless.

“You’re a failure. You’re a burden. You can’t do anything for yourself,” are the ugly voices I keep hearing until I force myself out of bed.

I pull my robe on slowly and stumble into my prayer closet. I need this. This is my food for the day.

“Please God, help me. Show me truth,” is my only cry. I cannot muster anything more. Then I open the Bible and start reading.

Without this Word, I would start interpreting life on my own. By my experiences. My feelings. My finite perspective.

I know that this is the only place to find truth. If I judge life by my despair, my pain, my circumstances, I will always live life skewed. I will judge everything by what I see. But life is so much more than what I can see. There is a Reality that goes far beyond my experience.

And that reality is God. He is in me and with me and for me. The truth is, I have died and my life is hidden with Christ in God.

As I turn the pages of Scripture to the first reading for the day, I marvel. Yet I’m not surprised. God meets me through his Word. Without fail.

Sometimes it requires perseverance to understand what I’m reading, like digging for diamonds. And other times, like today, the Lord feeds me directly from his hand. View full post »

  • January 19, 2017 - 5:11 pm

    Kola Bowden - Thank you so much for being so raw about your real struggles. You have become such a humble role model that I need in my life. God is using you. Sister in Christ ~ kola sueReplyCancel

    • January 20, 2017 - 9:51 am

      Vaneetha - Thank you for your kind words, Kola Sue. I am so grateful the Lord is using this post.ReplyCancel

  • January 19, 2017 - 7:05 pm

    Kristi - Thank you for this!!!ReplyCancel

    • January 20, 2017 - 9:50 am

      Vaneetha - You’re welcome, Kristi. Thankful the Lord used it.ReplyCancel

  • January 20, 2017 - 8:56 am

    Michelle - Yes! As I waited these last two days for my CT scan results, I kept returning to His truth. It is a balm for my weary soul. Psalm 56 in particular. My heart could thank Him even before the results were back. The report this time was good. My cancer has not advanced any further. Thank you for allowing us to walk this road together.ReplyCancel

    • January 20, 2017 - 9:49 am

      Vaneetha - Thankful for good CT scan results and even more thankful that God walks with us through everything.ReplyCancel

  • January 20, 2017 - 8:59 am

    Erin Bergen - Thank you many times over for sharing your real and honest thoughts. God is working on all things and the timing of this post in my life is one of those things
    Thank youReplyCancel

    • January 20, 2017 - 9:50 am

      Vaneetha - So glad God used this post, Erin. He is indeed working on all things.ReplyCancel

  • January 20, 2017 - 4:43 pm

    Linda Swanekamp - Your words, if taken to heart and mind, about the Word would transform so many people’s suffering and attitudes. When we don’t take the time and attention to the life given in the Bible, we are hopeless and defeated. I have been to the end of my rope in suffering at times and it is only the grace and mercy I find in who God is as revealed in Scripture that has kept my head above the waters. I am sorry for all the suffering you endure, but praising God that He has shown you He is enough for no matter what.ReplyCancel

    • January 20, 2017 - 7:25 pm

      Vaneetha - I too am praising God that He is ever-sufficient!ReplyCancel

  • January 21, 2017 - 7:18 pm

    Jacks - I get frustrated with myself that I don’t use my limited energy for most important things always. Thank you for such an honest shove in the right direction… Godly direction.ReplyCancel

    • January 24, 2017 - 5:56 pm

      Vaneetha - So glad this was helpful. I need that shove too oftentimes!ReplyCancel

  • January 24, 2017 - 7:23 am

    Barb - Thank you so very much vaneetha for being an open book. I am hanging on by a thread to my Jesus and he is using your writings, life, transparency to reveal himself and his ways to me. Thank you my sister.ReplyCancel

    • January 24, 2017 - 5:55 pm

      Vaneetha - Oh Barb- I’m sorry things are so hard but grateful you are finding God in the midst of it all…ReplyCancel

  • January 29, 2017 - 4:53 pm

    Sheila - “I want to take the words, to eat them, to digest them and let them nourish me. They indeed bring light to my eyes. My whole view of the world, my life, my struggles are all changed in the light of Scripture. And in that light, my dark shadows disappear.”

    I love this! So true. When I hear God’s word preached, or sit to read it myself, my view of life is changed. Sometimes I walk away thinking how strange and wonderful what God’s word does to me! What a treasure to be fed by God, to see life for what it really is!ReplyCancel

    • January 29, 2017 - 8:43 pm

      Vaneetha - I completely agree, Sheila. Its amazing how God’s Word can change us!ReplyCancel

  • February 3, 2017 - 6:30 pm

    Juliemoemoe - Vaneetha I’m from the Philippines. I just want to thank you for your faith as it is literally travelling through continents! And such is the mighty power of God!! Your messge resonates. Channeling God’s love to me❤️ReplyCancel

    • February 3, 2017 - 7:44 pm

      Vaneetha - So thankful God is using this. Thanks for writing, Julie.ReplyCancel

  • February 16, 2017 - 9:51 am

    Nilanjana - So wonderful and encouraging to read and know that Jesus is preparing for things greater, through your writings and God’s word! God bless you and strengthen you. I have experienced His peace through disappointments. Three miscarriages in two years and I am afraid to hope.I accepted what God allowed to happen. I am content in His love. Thanks for your encouragement ….times when we feel like crying.ReplyCancel

    • February 16, 2017 - 10:46 am

      Vaneetha - I’m so sorry for your losses, but encouraged that you have experienced peace through disappointments. Praying know that God will continue to comfort you as you hope in Him.ReplyCancel

  • February 20, 2017 - 4:17 am

    Julie - The same verses have spoken so much to me! Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • February 20, 2017 - 10:22 am

      Vaneetha - That is a wonderful passage, isn’t it? It continues to provide me both courage and encouragement as I look to the Lord.ReplyCancel

  • March 17, 2017 - 8:56 am

    Sonya Joubert - Thank you Vaneetha for your honesty. I woke up crying this morning too because I spent the month of February watching my daughter Kathy, 42 dying of inoperable brain cancer every day. My family has been split in half emotionally and although Kathy is in the best place with Jesus we are facing many losses and it is hard. I was in the Slough of Despond when I read your first article on Lonliness in grief and you helped pull me out and focus on God. I read your story and some of your articles and I resonate with everything you write. I am so glad that I have found you because you pulled me out of the Slough again today and focused my mind on the straight road. God strengthen you and never stop speaking to you. I memorize Scripture by putting tunes to them and singing them and this Psalm is one of them. Praise God He is alive.ReplyCancel

    • March 17, 2017 - 11:59 am

      Vaneetha - I am so sorry, Sonya. I can only imagine how hard February was watching your daughter go through all that pain. I am thankful that she is with Jesus now, but I know being the one left behind on earth is incredibly hard. Praying for you as I write this that God will comfort and strengthen you today, and as you said, “never stop speaking to you” through his still small voice and through prayer.ReplyCancel

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available-2017+

 

Each January, I choose a word that I want to focus on for the year. And inevitably, the Lord chooses another word that he knows I need more.

Last year’s word was “charitable” and it’s still remaking me. I considered choosing it again, but when I jotted down this word, I knew immediately it was the one.

Available.

I knew it was my word for 2017 because I immediately chafed when I wrote it down. I mentally justified my current attitude and actions. I assured myself I was plenty available. As available as a busy person can be.

Yet my defensiveness revealed my deep struggle. I like things to go the way I plan them. I don’t like interruptions, no matter what the source. I like accomplishing the things I set out to do.

This desire was highlighted in a show I was recently watching. One of the characters talked about keeping a two-column journal when she was a child.  Each morning, she was to write on one side how she expected the day to be. On the other side, in the evening, she was to write how the day actually was.

As soon as I heard about this exercise I realized my struggle: a perfect day for me would have both columns look identical.

Even as I write this, I’m ashamed to admit it. Aside from having no sense of adventure, I know that wanting both columns to match is nothing to boast about. It assumes that I know best what is for my life. And that my plans are really the best for me. And more importantly, that my plans are the best for God’s kingdom.

Annie Keary, a 19th century writer, viewed the interruptions and impediments to her work as sent by God to keep her from being selfish. She found that the most important work she could do for God was often some minor random thing that was thrown into her day.  That “trifling haphazard thing,” as she called it, was often the best thing she could offer God.

Annie Keary knew what it meant to be available.

I do not.

I rarely see the interruptions to my work as anything more than frustrations and annoyances. While I know that God sovereignly governs my day, in the moment all I can see are the things I’m not getting done.

A friend of my husband once said, “the most important ability in the Christian life is availability.” Availability means setting aside my agenda, what’s convenient for me, what I want to do, to embrace God’s plans and direction. Even when I do not understand God’s plans or know where they are taking me. View full post »

  • January 6, 2017 - 6:40 am

    Miranda Bennett - This is so convicting in the best way possible. I have 4 kiddos and am quite “busy”. I too very much like for my days to go as I see best. Rarely am I happily available to interruptions. Thank you for this reminder that the Lord is sovereign over ALL things and that I can embrace interruptions and change joyfully.ReplyCancel

    • January 6, 2017 - 4:13 pm

      Vaneetha - So glad it was helpful to you…I’m praying the Lord will help me live into it since the “interruptions” to my day abound. 🙂 But I’m thankful for the way God so gently changes our perspective and priorities!ReplyCancel

  • January 6, 2017 - 5:55 pm

    Laurie Wright - I read your post today as I lay in bed sick for the 6th day in a row. Patience is not one of my virtues but God keeps bringing me back to it in so many ways. I have been caught up in the DOING vs BEING stronghold for most of my adult life and I get so discouraged when I see I’m not making much progress. My focus on DOING seems to bring out so many ugly character flaws, like expecting others (including God) to appreciate what I’ve DONE for them and feeling resentful and hurt when they don’t. DOING also has a tendency to nullify grace as it seeks to EARN God’s approval instead of accepting it as His gift. My word for the year is INTENTIONAL and to be intentional I’m going to have to be available to what God wants me to be intentional about :o) Thank you for your willingingness to be vulnerable in your posts. It helps me to know that other Christians struggle with the same things I do.ReplyCancel

    • January 6, 2017 - 6:40 pm

      Vaneetha - I’m sorry about your illness, Laurie, but so grateful for what the Lord is showing all of us through our weaknesses- that His grace is sufficient. Intentional is a great word to focus to too!ReplyCancel

  • January 6, 2017 - 7:25 pm

    Sarah Spencer - Vanetha,
    I was so encouraged by your post today. I started planning for Christmas while I was on vacation in September. The perfect Christmas!! Ha!! As soon as I set foot back in my hometown my plans started going haywire. One family situation after another. Finally, one day in December, while decorating my tree I just broke down in tears and started crying. My husband embraced me and asked what was wrong. I just whispered ” I just want a little peace in my life.” As soon as those words left my mouth? God reminded me that I can experience his peace in difficult circumstances. I think He is reminding me that His plans are different than mine. I began to understand that being present for my family is more important than trying to have the perfect Christmas. This post was so timely for me. Your words are do encouraging to me. Thank you for your honesty.ReplyCancel

    • January 6, 2017 - 8:02 pm

      Vaneetha - So glad this was encouraging Sarah! Its so hard to embrace plans that our different than ours- but it can be so freeing as well when we realize we can let go of having everything perfect. Thanks for writing.ReplyCancel

  • January 12, 2017 - 2:17 pm

    Dana - Thank you so much for this post! I work in retail and I am interrupted quite often as I am often doing a job on the sales floor the same time as being available to provide customer service. Your post was such great preparation the day before one of my shifts last week, and continues to be the most excellent re-focussing in both my job and my marriage. I really appreciate the comprehensiveness of your post and you are so right, how important it is for us to be available to God and to lay aside our own agendas. Last week ended up being quite an exciting week as time and time again God used me to bless others – it was one of those ‘top of the mountain’ experiences. With gratitude, DanaReplyCancel

    • January 12, 2017 - 2:48 pm

      Vaneetha - Thank you for letting me know, Dana! So glad it was helpful.ReplyCancel

  • January 14, 2017 - 9:35 am

    Jim - Vaneetha – Once again, your thoughts have provoked me. I am easily irritated and inevitably it is around an interruption of my plans… Blessings sister. Your thoughts here will form the foundation of my youth lesson tomorrow. In Him – JimReplyCancel

    • January 16, 2017 - 12:01 pm

      Vaneetha - So thankful this was helpful. Being available to interruptions is still a challenge for me…but He’s teaching me!ReplyCancel

  • January 16, 2017 - 9:46 am

    Kristal Mitchell - Reading your book now. What a blessing.ReplyCancel

  • February 16, 2017 - 1:16 am

    Sami - I think I’m your twin….as I read your post in Desiring God I saw the link to your blog….as I read both items you wrote I found myself smiling…I’ve found someone who sees life the way I do. After a 17 year battle, my husband died in Nov last year…then our dog died right before Christmas and I had surgery right after Christmas. The surgery ended up being a more difficult recovery than anyone had planned for and would not have been so difficult except for the fact that I am the primary caretaker or our son who is 23 and on the autusm spectrum….the days and nights of my recovery were so very very dark….I wasn’t sure I was going to make it through….but I did and then this week I learned that my employer is going to be facing some deep cuts 40% and layoffs are coming….I related so deeply to your article about life never getting easier and the paralell with Joseph….then I read this article and I knew you were a kindred spirit. My word for 2017 is …. empty …. yeah you read that right….empty…I wanted to throw it across the room when I first head it….even thought it might be drug induced….but it wasn’t and hasn’t been….it’s been everything you listed above. By BEING empty God can flow through me and bring greater glory to His name. He is also showing me His glory and power….so I’m right here with you in this 2017….empty as ever and the waves keep hitting….but I’m seeing God move….even though there are times when I’m terrified…I’m choosing to trust Him. Thanks for your words…they made me feel a little less crazy……ReplyCancel

    • February 16, 2017 - 10:51 am

      Vaneetha - Oh Sami… I can’t imagine how difficult these past four months have been. I am deeply sorry for all that you have been through, but praising God that you can trust Him even in the midst of all the suffering you have endured. Praying as I write this that 2017 will empty you of yourself because you are being filled with Him. Filled to overflowing. That He would do immeasurably more than you can ask or imagine and that you would be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.ReplyCancel

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incarnation+

 

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us… (John 1:14)

This Christmas, the magnitude of those simple words has been washing over me. God came to earth and lived among us as a man.

God, who has no beginning and will have no end, who exists outside time and space, who created the heavens and the earth and set the moon and stars in their place, willingly limited himself for us.

God whose glory is above the heavens and who created all things, who laid the foundations of the earth and told the ocean how far it could come, who commanded the morning and formed the dry land with his hands, became subject to his own creation.

God who needs nothing and gives life to everything, who upholds the universe by the word of his power, who is worshiped by the host of heaven, came to be a servant.

I had always focused on the ultimate sacrifice, the saving work of Christ on the cross. Indeed, that is why he came. But I often overlooked the enormous sacrifice inherent in the incarnation. Just as the crucifixion involved sacrifice and separation from God, so did the incarnation. Jesus enjoyed unending fellowship with the Trinity until he severed that union when he entered humanity. God came to earth as a helpless baby. One of the frailest of all creatures. Dependent on his earthly parents. Unable to take care of his own needs.

Jesus lived on the earth with the same limitations that we do.

This truth strikes deep for me, for I find myself growing more and more dependent on others. I can no longer consistently do the things for myself that I used to do. Sometimes I can easily put on my coat or pick up a glass to drink. But other times those things are impossible and I need to ask for help even to sip my coffee. I find that very difficult, partly out of pride and partly not wanting to trouble other people. View full post »

  • December 16, 2016 - 8:04 am

    Linda Swanekamp - What you wrote is moving, true, grounded, and very deep. I am grateful you were able to write it. May you have a day full of joy regardless of what physical state you are in. I suffer from chronic pain, nothing like yours, but enough to know limitations. Thank you for this message.ReplyCancel

    • December 16, 2016 - 3:02 pm

      Vaneetha - Thank you, Linda. May you have a day full of joy as well.ReplyCancel

  • December 16, 2016 - 8:54 am

    Becki - thank you, dear one…
    beautifully expressed…
    vulnerably real…ReplyCancel

  • December 16, 2016 - 10:13 am

    Veronica - I thank the Lord for your life and how He is glorified in it. It gives me hope to press on just today, for one day. God has encouraged me through you, a fellow christian.ReplyCancel

    • December 16, 2016 - 2:59 pm

      Vaneetha - So glad the Lord used this to encourage you, Veronica!ReplyCancel

  • December 16, 2016 - 12:16 pm

    MIke R - So true. And in this, I find myself thanking God for my affliction. I am reminded of Jacob, a very strong man, who rolled away the stone from the well. Then a divine wrestling match left him limping for the rest of his life, no longer able to depend upon his own strength.

    Thank you holding up the example of Jesus, a man who relied fully upon his Father while limited in the flesh. And now our High Priest. Fully man. Fully God.

    Unlike Christ, I did not go willingly into limitation. But my Shepherd loved me enough to bless me with it, anyway. Thanks be for the active obedience of Christ!ReplyCancel

  • December 16, 2016 - 3:50 pm

    David Kenny - Your dependence on Him is a blessing Vaneetha
    as is your clarity on seeing the cross
    and His resurrection as our focus for the
    love praise and glory our Saviour
    so richly deservesReplyCancel

  • December 16, 2016 - 11:05 pm

    Paula - Vaneetha, this is so good, the kind of insight you one cd only gain thru trial. Light is pouring through you, my friend.ReplyCancel

    • December 17, 2016 - 12:03 pm

      Vaneetha - Thank you so much, Paula. This means a lot coming from you – as your insights and writing have ministered to me so many times.ReplyCancel

  • December 17, 2016 - 10:10 am

    Scott - Thank you Vaneetha. Merry Christmas to you and your family, ScottReplyCancel

  • December 18, 2016 - 1:21 pm

    lily - This reminds me of the 2nd verse of one of my fav carols, written by Christina Rossetti:

    “Our God–heav’n cannot hold him, nor earth sustain,
    Heaven and earth will flee away when he comes to reign,
    But in that bleak mid-winter, a stable-place sufficed
    For the Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.”

    Thanks so much for writing. I have you in my feed reader, and always wait to read until I have time to read slowly and savor. Merry Christmas!ReplyCancel

    • December 20, 2016 - 3:16 pm

      Vaneetha - Those are beautiful words, Lily. Thanks so much for sharing them!ReplyCancel

  • December 19, 2016 - 11:36 pm

    Allyson - Precious words from a precious woman whom I admire so much! I’ve gotten together a small group of young women to read your book. I’m so thankful for the ways God has used your words and your suffering for those of us seeking clarity and searching for God in the midst of our own suffering.ReplyCancel

    • December 20, 2016 - 3:15 pm

      Vaneetha - I feel so honored and humbled that you would do that, Allyson. And so grateful God is using the book to encourage others. Thanks so much for letting me know.ReplyCancel

  • December 21, 2016 - 10:55 am

    Arlene - Good morning, dear Vaneetha:
    I am presently reading a book written by Jen Wilkin entitled, “None Like Him.” In her first chapter, she writes about God’s infinitude, that He is boundless, limitless, uncontainable. In reading your article, you write about the incarnation–that God, out of His great love for us, “willingly limited Himself for us.”
    It was a “wow” moment for me! What love and condescension! I also appreciated your comment about God being most glorified in our weakness when we rely on Him for strength. In referring back to Jen Wilkin’s book again, she writes, “When I reach the limit of my strength, I worship the One whose strength never flags. When I reach the limit of my reason, I worship the One whose reason is beyond searching out.” I just think it’s neat how God led me to Jen’s book and your article and the two are like “bookends” of the wonderful truth of the limitless God who willingly limited Himself in the incarnation, and is most glorified when we embrace our own weaknesses and limitations and rest and rely on His strength. May God continue to pour out His all -sufficient grace on you, dear Vaneetha. Thank you so much for being a conduit of God’s grace and blessing. Merry Christmas.

    In Him,
    Arlene G.ReplyCancel

    • December 21, 2016 - 4:18 pm

      Vaneetha - Thank you for writing, Arlene. Love that comparison with Jen Wilkins book. I’ve heard so much about it – I definitely want to read it. Have a wonderful Christmas!ReplyCancel

  • December 29, 2016 - 10:00 pm

    Deborah Arthur - Dear Vaneetha,
    would you consider depression to be a suffering for believers? I am in a dark place right now and so long to have peace and rest for my mind and soul. How do you lean into Jesus?
    I have been blessed by your posts.
    Blessings,
    DeborahReplyCancel

    • December 30, 2016 - 8:30 pm

      Vaneetha - Deborah – I definitely consider depression to be suffering for believers. And I know that it is a most difficult type because when we are depressed, it’s hardest to “lean into Jesus.” But leaning into Jesus to me means reading the Bible even when we don’t feel like it, praying, constantly crying out to God even with our sighs and groans too deep for words. It is trusting that God is in our suffering and looking for him in it rather than believing he is against us.

      I’m so glad you have been blessed by my posts. Praying as I write this that God will fill you with peace and rest for your mind and soul, that you would feel his presence even in the dark, in an breathtaking unmistakable way.ReplyCancel

  • December 30, 2016 - 8:46 am

    Whitney - Thank you for this beautiful post. I have been on a journey of my own. A journey to come to know Jesus Christ more personally and profoundly. It never ceases to amaze me how God works in each of our lives to bring us to know Him. He is real. He lives. He loves us. He wants to be our friend. Thank you!ReplyCancel

    • December 30, 2016 - 8:32 pm

      Vaneetha - Dear Whitney – thank you so much for that great reminder of how much Jesus loves us – personally and profoundly. What a great word to carry with us throughout life.ReplyCancel

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invitation present+

 

I found these words several weeks ago, and I’ve been carrying them with me ever since.

“There is nothing – no thing, no person, no experience, no thought, no joy or pain – that cannot be harvested and used for nourishment on our journey to God. What I am suggesting here is that everything in your life is a stepping stone to holiness if only you recognize that you have within you the grace to be present to each moment.”

Everything in my life can be a stepping stone to holiness. Nothing excluded. Joy and pain. Peace and turmoil. Fullness and emptiness. People who love and care for me. People who ignore or annoy me. And even people who hurt me.

But all those things don’t automatically foster greater holiness. To see God’s invitation, I need the grace to be present to the moment. I need to pay attention. Notice. Look beneath the surface. Pray. I need to be aware of the emotions bubbling up in me. To understand why I feel unsettled. And I need to ask God what he is showing me about myself.

These questions are important because God is doing something far more important and more lasting IN me than what is happening TO me.

Recently I was frustrated with a friend and felt annoyed at her thoughtlessness over a certain issue. As I was mentally cataloging my list of grievances, I suddenly stopped and pondered why God might have brought this situation into my life. It was a simple question, but the answers revealed more about my heart than hers. My friend’s actions were an opening for God to reveal a layer of sin in my life that I would have otherwise glossed over. As I saw the sin in my response, I was able to confess it to God and repent.

Whenever I feel annoyed or frustrated or angry, perhaps God is inviting me to examine my own heart instead of focusing my attention outward.  Perhaps my irritation is an invitation from the Lord to go deeper. View full post »

  • December 2, 2016 - 9:05 am

    Bobbi - Such true words! I certainly have found them to be the case in my life. And I am grateful to God that He taught, and is still teaching me, these important lessons about Him and about me. Thank you for this post. I see God’s handiwork so clearly in your life.ReplyCancel

    • December 2, 2016 - 1:19 pm

      Vaneetha - Thank you for writing, Bobbi. Isn’t it wonderful the way the Lord continues to teach us!ReplyCancel

  • December 2, 2016 - 10:11 pm

    Kim - This is beautiful yet hits too close to home as I battle relational strife that is taking quite a while to resolve. And I have asked God many times for His purpose in it all and believe I have received an answer or two. Thank you for these words and this Christ-centered perspective.ReplyCancel

    • December 7, 2016 - 6:11 pm

      Vaneetha - Thanks for writing Kim. Relational conflicts can be so very complicated, can’t they? I find I am constantly seeking to be understood more than to understand which makes it harder to hear God and the other person. Praying as I write that the Lord will bring clarity and direction to you.ReplyCancel

  • December 3, 2016 - 1:06 pm

    Effie Darlene Barba - So true and what I find even more amazing is how God can take all my struggles, my frailties, and my failures, wrap them in His Precious hands of grace, and return them as gifts of His Glory. Then, wrapped within His cloaks of righteousness not my own, He takes all my life and returns it as a gift of Grace to those I meet along this journey. This was a song I wrote for Thanksgiving which I thinks reflects that thought

    A Thanksgiving Day Song

    As I look back over all my years
    Amazing Joy or sometimes tears
    Each winding road, an Act of Grace
    That I might seek Your Glorious Face
    And as my life draws nearer to You
    I came to know Your words were True
    Those Words that drew me near your heart
    And bid me stay and ne’er depart
    Chorus:
    Oh let my joy then ever be
    A song of Grace that sets men free
    From all the chains that tightly bind
    Or foolish pride that makes hearts blind
    Thanksgiving would be greater still
    Each day conformed unto Your will
    A truly thankful heart be mine
    When Humbly filled with Joy Divine
    II
    How foolish I at times have been
    My faltering steps and wretched sin
    I searched this world in hopes to find
    A love so true, so sweet and kind
    I did not see the tears You shed
    Or consider that for me You bled
    No greater treasure could ere be mine
    As Your beloved, our hearts entwined
    Chorus:
    Oh let my joy then ever be
    A song of Grace that sets men free
    From all the chains that tightly bind
    Or foolish pride that makes hearts blind
    Thanksgiving would be greater still
    Each day conformed unto Your will
    A truly thankful heart be mine
    When Humbly filled with Joy Divine

    III
    Lord, hold me tight within Your arms
    Tis there I’m safe from all life’s harms
    My head pressed firm upon Your chest
    For just a moment let me rest
    And let me gaze at Your Sweet smile
    As on we walk each winding mile
    My dearest love, You are my King
    It is for You I must now sing

    Chorus:
    Oh let my joy then ever be
    A song of Grace that sets men free
    From all the chains that tightly bind
    Or foolish pride that makes hearts blind
    Thanksgiving would be greater still
    Each day conformed unto Your will
    A truly thankful heart be mine
    When Humbly filled with Joy DivineReplyCancel

  • December 6, 2016 - 8:05 pm

    Dana Lavelle - Thank you for sharing from your heart — it was convicting as well as encouraging. I am going through a season with a trial and needed to read this today.ReplyCancel

    • December 7, 2016 - 6:06 pm

      Vaneetha - So glad this was helpful Dana. Its something I need to remind myself of regularly! Praying as I write this that the Lord would encourage you as you walk through this trial.ReplyCancel

  • December 15, 2016 - 10:36 am

    Sandra Stam - Hi Veneetha,
    I read several of your blog entries and bought your book about suffering b/c I have been in quite significant pain for years as I live with several types of arthritis and it is always active, not giving me any reprieve. Last year, I was diagnosed with a 4.5cm brain tumor and had it surgically removed. When I read about you having questions through the tough parts of your life, I felt like I found someone who understands me. People sometimes look at me like I’m crazy because God has given me the strength and grace for each day and I am able, by His amazing grace, to submit to what He has chosen for my life, mostly because I know He never makes mistakes and that is such a great comfort to me. I’ve ordered the book “the scars that shaped me” and am very much looking forward to reading it! God bless you today for whatever your needs are.ReplyCancel

    • December 15, 2016 - 1:13 pm

      Vaneetha - I’m so sorry for all you’ve endured, Sandra, but so grateful to God for his amazing grace in your life. Thanks for writing!ReplyCancel

  • December 22, 2016 - 10:10 pm

    jacob david - Thanks for this reminder that there is reason for every little thing or major problem we face. God has His plan and purpose for our lives. This article encouraged me. This helps me understand the meaningless problems in mylife. God bless you.ReplyCancel

  • December 25, 2016 - 5:08 pm

    Veronica - Your post was what I needed at this very moment…God is so good. Yes, there are a lot of difficult situations that we must go through but I must let God use them to remove not their sin but mine. Please will you pray for me.ReplyCancel

    • December 26, 2016 - 3:59 pm

      Vaneetha - Love what you said: “there are a lot of difficult situations that we must go through but I must let God use them to remove their sin not mine…” Praying for you as I write this that God will give you everything you need as you walk through the difficult situations in your life.ReplyCancel

  • December 28, 2016 - 1:30 pm

    Sheri Matsumoto - Thank you for expressing what the Lord has been telling me for the past 2 years. I appreciate you sharing what God is teaching you in your journey!ReplyCancel

    • December 28, 2016 - 5:12 pm

      Vaneetha - You are welcome, Sheri. Thank you for writing!ReplyCancel

  • March 9, 2017 - 12:23 pm

    Beatrice - “Everything in my life can be a stepping stone to holiness.” – Indeed, EVERYTHING? God will use everything? Even my sin?..ReplyCancel

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