Category Archives: Trusting God

Follow the Leader

Follow the Leader

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me (Psalm 23:4).

Scripture: Psalm 23
Song: “He Leadeth Me”

Stretching about 140 miles between two mountain ranges—Sylvania in the north and Owlshead in the south—lies a daunting geographical obstacle: California’s legendary Death Valley. Temperatures in this valley can range from 130 degrees in the summer to below freezing in the winter. Water from the salt flats is undrinkable, rainfall uncommon.

When you add the mountain lions, coyotes, bobcats, rattlesnakes, scorpions, tarantulas—it’s easy to see how this valley earned its name. A foot traveler, facing these elements unprepared, would be in danger from the start. Obviously, a seasoned guide, a few maps, and a pathfinder compass would be helpful.

As Christians, we sometimes face daunting circumstances. These spiritual valleys contain perils and pitfalls that we cannot navigate by ourselves. Thankfully, we have an experienced guide who can lead us through these valleys unharmed. He carries the right equipment too: a shepherd’s staff and hobnailed rod. What assurance and comfort!

Dear Shepherd, thanks for guarding my soul as I venture through the valleys. Most of all, thanks for leading me safely to pastures of eternal life. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“Follow the Leader” by Charles Earl Harrel. First published in Devotions® © 2011 Standard Publishing. Reprinted with permission from the publisher.

Purchase current printed issue of Devotions or 365 Devotions.

 

Faithful to the Fragmented

Those who have been broken by situations and circumstances will find spiritual encouragement in this author’s post.

A Necessary Pain

Putting refurbished praise to rest, I shovel through the negative emotions, deceptive devices of the enemy, laziness, and distractions and excavate authentic praise. God desires to flow through each of us. He instructed that we are as carboniferous limestones, in that we have permeability. In a spiritual sense, God sees us porous, readily available for Him to permeate through. He is shaping and forming our spiritual selves in the shallow but exceedingly deep waters of our lives.The Author of the Universe desires to flow freely through His people. Researching geology, I was intrigued with the uses and composition of these stones. Interestingly, limestones are comprised of dead aquatic life particles, namely the shells of tiny ocean dwellers.  God already knows that our beings are teeming with dead weight; however, He has various uses for us. These amazing stones are compressed, scorched, produced, and grounded for a myriad of purposes.

“But…

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Believe It Forward 

believe it forwardWe have all heard the phrase, “Pay It Forward.” Perhaps some of you have done this for someone in a grocery line or at a drive-through. But to “Believe It Forward,” now that’s something we all should do. This blogger’s post is worth reading.

You Can Save Your Marriage

I saw an interesting user name the other day, believeitforward. My first thought was wow that’s kind of a weird name to choose to be known by on social media, and I scrolled on by. My thoughts soon however returned to that odd name. Believeitforward. Believe it forward.
My mind was racing as I tried comparing believe it forward to pay it forward. Most of us are familiar with the term pay it forward. As I think of pay it forward I remember stories I have heard about someone paying for a coffee or meal for the car behind them while going through a drive through. I also vaguely remember other stories in different settings with the same concept of doing something nice for someone else with the expectation they will do something nice for yet another person.
Pay it forward. Believe it forward. Can the pay it forward concept…

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The Battle is the Lord’s

I recommend this post. You will find much encouragement here. I sure did. Blessings!

Beholding Him Ministries

2-chronicles-20-15Exodus 17
8Then Amalek came and fought with Israel at Rephidim.9So Moses said to Joshua, “Choose for us men, and go out and fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hand.”10So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill.11Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed.12But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.13And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with…

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The Difference of His Presence — Cory Lebovitz

An uplifting post by Cory Lebovitz—worth reading—and he’s right. It’s not about our skills, efforts, relationships, or previous experience. The difference maker is the reality of God’s presence among us.

One person can make all the difference. For instance, a quiet night alone at home can be a boring couple of hours trying to find something to do. However if my wife is there suddenly it is a calm and peaceful night with a person I love. Her presence makes the difference. A solo walk […]

via The Difference of His Presence — Cory Lebovitz

Surviving the Valley

Encouraging advice for writers, authors, and everyone else who has traveled down the valley of shadows. When we see shadows, we know that light is in the valley too—His light.

WordServe Water Cooler

You hear a lot on the writing journey that it’s filled with highs and lows—probably more so in publishing because it’s rapidly changing and I personally wouldn’t consider any part of the industry stable or predictable.

valley-of-fire-1390258_1920The problem is the valley is hard. What exactly do you do? Do you give up writing? How do you readjust to keep your writing career moving forward when seemingly no one wants the words you’re putting on the page?

My writing valley (really—the deep dark hole of despair) started after my first trilogy was published. I worked really hard marketing those books, had great reviews, and two out of three of the books were each nominated for multiple awards. I was even told by my publisher that I was (at one point) their second-bestselling fiction author.

I thought there was no way my next proposal wouldn’t be picked up—by somebody. Well, it wasn’t…

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Depend on Christ

philosophy-1Depend on Christ

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ (Colossians 2:8).

Scripture: Colossians 2:1–10
Song: “Do Not Worry”

Philosophy comes from the Greek word philosophia, which means the “love of wisdom.” Therefore, philosophers were those who studied and debated the finer aspects of wisdom as they searched for the meaning of life. In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul noted that the Jews sought after signs while Greeks looked for wisdom. No wonder Greece gave birth to three of the greatest philosophers: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

There’s nothing wrong with searching for wisdom; even the Bible tells us to ask for it when we lack understanding. But philosophy based on purely human ideals, apart from divine revelation, can lead us astray. Such philosophy can leave us empty and hollow, like a hole dug for no purpose.

So let us pursue Christ today—His wisdom, His righteousness, and the theology of the cross that the apostle Paul so masterfully proclaimed. This school of thought always leads to eternal life.

Father, You gave me the greatest textbook in the world. My Bible has everything I need: wisdom, hope, and the words of truth. By reading it daily, I feel prepared for every situation. Thank You, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

“Depend on Christ” by Charles Earl Harrel. First published in Devotions® © 2010 Standard Publishing. Reprinted with permission from the publisher.

Purchase current printed issue of Devotions or 365 Devotions.