Tag Archives: Trusting God

You May Bend, But You Won’t Break!

Neat Imagery. Powerful Word.

FAITH | LOVE | SOUL

ChaleneJohnson_KeyPriorities_PalmTree.jpgGrowing up in Florida, I have experienced many powerful hurricanes.  Depending on their category, these hurricanes can carry very strong winds, some as strong as 156 mph. Watching this kind of power can be very frightening, to say the least!

One thing I’ve always wondered is how palm trees withstand these big, angry storms? While pieces of houses and large trees are tossed around like toys, palm trees are able to survive!  But what’s their secret?

PALM TREES ARE DESIGNED TO BEND!  When the storms come, palm trees can bend quite a lot, EVEN to the point of being horizontal to the ground.  BUT THEY DON’T BREAK! 

During the storm, you might look at the palm tree flattened to the ground and think it’s a goner.  But after the storm passes, the palm tree will be able to stand upright again.  And when the storm is over, the palm…

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When Tomorrow Comes

The Ninth Life

There have been times when I thought I wouldn’t make it. Times when I thought I didn’t have enough strength left within me to take whatever I was going through any longer. Times when life didn’t seem fair. Times when I wanted to throw in the towel, walk out of the door, and give up. Times when all I could do was cry out to my Heavenly Father, “Help me! I need you!”

But as I reflect, it was during the difficult times that God showed me His compassion and wisdom. Although I could not physically see His presence, He dried every one of my tears with the warmth of His Holy Spirit. He listened with open ears when no one else seemed to care or understand. And, He would always ask me the same question, “If you give up now, what will you do when tomorrow comes?”

My heartfelt…

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As Long As It Takes

As Long As It Takes                    

As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness (Ezekiel 34:12).

Scripture: Ezekiel 34:11–16

Song: “Rescue the Perishing”

We’d just finished loading the camp gear into the truck when the park ranger approached our now empty campsite. “Have you guys seen a small boy in a blue T-shirt and white shorts?” the ranger asked. “Well, he’s wandered off and his parents are worried.”

Sadly, we all shook our heads “No.” But as the ranger jogged to next campsite, he noticed the L.A. County Fireman’s sticker on my dad’s Chevy Suburban. Even before he returned to ask, Dad had tightened his boots, grabbed a flashlight, and was heading down the canyon.

They both understood the urgency. In a few hours, temperatures would drop to near freezing. In the pitch darkness and rocky terrain, the little boy’s chances of survival were slim. As Dad disappeared into the night, Mom called out, “How long will you be gone?” Dad yelled back, “As long as it takes.”

Likewise, whenever we wander away from the flock, our faithful shepherd, Jesus, will find and rescue us—no matter how long it takes.

Precious Shepherd, sometimes clouds of discouragement sweep over my soul, causing me to feel lost, isolated from the flock. Please rescue me, Lord; bring me back to the fold and into Your loving embrace. In the name of Jesus, I pray.

“As Long As It Takes” 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.

 

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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2017: The Journey

I love the “riding a train through the mountains” illustration in this blog post: helpful and encouraging. All of us, writers or otherwise, should try to ride our trains with the same mindset. All aboard!

WordServe Water Cooler

The writing life is as full of ups and downs as a train ride through the Rocky Mountains. For those of you who put your words to paper and send them out to the world to read, this is not a revelation. As I write this post, there are just four hours left in 2016, a perfect time to reflect on the year that was, and to look ahead to the one about to begin.

train3.jpg

Personally, it was a year of both peaks and valleys with my writing. I had two romantic suspense novels come out, the second and third books of a trilogy. The books, and the series as a whole, received great reviews and feedback, a definite mountain experience. Sales were somewhat disappointing, however, which at times was deflating.

I finished writing and am now in the polishing-and-receiving-critiques phase of a two-book series, which is very exciting. Not…

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