Thursday, October 27

Cross my heart and close my mouth

If you clicked over from Encouragement for Today I’m glad you’re here. Below is an article I pulled from my book “Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl.” If you’d like to win 2 copies of my book, one for you and one for your friend, see below.

One day I got a phone message from a neighbor named Holly. She said that she knew I liked to run and suggested I give her a call if I ever wanted a running partner.

What I didn’t know until much later is that God had been prompting her to call me and wouldn’t let up until she did.

Holly and I did start running together and what began as a simple act of obedience on her part developed into a deep friendship. This was a huge answer to prayer, because I had been praying for a friend exactly like Holly.

Not only is Holly one of my closest friends, but she is also now my executive assistant. In other words, she keeps me straight on many levels, and I love every minute of it.

One day Holly gave me a unique gift that made my heart feel forever safe with her. Though it wasn’t costly to her, it became priceless to me. She committed to me that she would never say anything dishonoring about me. It was more than just a commitment to me; it was a covenant promise she’d made with God. I can’t even express what peace this brought to my heart.

It’s not that I feared my other friends were gossiping about me. I did not. And I can’t say that my other friends wouldn’t make this same promise. They probably would. But Holly verbalized this commitment boldly—in a way that has defined our friendship and built a beautiful trust rare between women.

Since we know the tsunami-type destruction gossip can cause, why is carelessly tossing out hurtful words about others so alluring? Gossip is easy to slip into and hard to walk away from.

If we just assume we won’t be tempted to gossip, we are fooling ourselves and potentially setting ourselves up for trouble. Verbalizing to a friend that she can trust we will never betray her puts action wisdom Bible teaches us about our words:

“He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity” (Proverbs 21:23).

Before I get together with friends, I do two things: I consciously decide not to utter a negative comment or “piece” of gossip I might have heard, and I prepare in advance some positive discussion items. Instead of hoping conversation with friends goes in a healthy direction, why not help steer the conversation?

Imagine the number of relationship issues that would simply vanish if we were all more committed to loving words. Why not commit today to make this kind of love a reality with those you care about?

Not only was I encouraged by Holly’s commitment to never say anything dishonoring about me, I was challenged by it as well.

Refusing to gossip is a rare and beautiful gift. Would you like to join me in accepting this challenge by making the same promise? It not only makes friendships richer but, more importantly, it makes our relationship with the Lord more authentic and believable. We honor God when we honor each other.

I’m giving away 3 friendship packs today – 2 copies of “Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl“. Please leave a comment below telling us who you are going to commit to making this same friendship challenge with.

 

Monday, October 10

When My Heart Feels Desperate

Today, I want to talk about asking the Spirit of God to lay across our heart.

For the past couple of months I’ve sensed I need God’s most tender mercies more than ever right now. It’s not that I’m going through any kind of crisis. I just feel completely desperate for Him.

If you’ve ever heard me give my testimony you know part of what I share is being a little girl twirling around next to my Daddy wishing I could know for sure that he loved me. I think in his own way, he did love me. But something was broken in our relationship that left me feeling desperate for reassurance.

Over the years, God has healed my heart in miraculous ways. God has whispered all those things I wished my earthly father would have said. I know for sure God’s love for me is deep, unwavering, and certain.

But there are still times I catch myself twirling again. Crying out again. Wishing I could feel totally secure. Hating my insecurities. And mad that this struggle I thought was over, surfaces still.

Maybe it always will.

And maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

For it keeps me desperate for a reassurance I can’t get any other way.

I can stand in an arena with thousands of people clapping for the message I just gave… and still feel my heart desperately twirling.

I can hear my husband tell me a hundred times that he loves me and no, my butt isn’t big… and still feel my heart desperately twirling.

I can conquer my food demons and finally fit back into my skinny jeans… and still feel my heart desperately twirling.

The only thing that stops the desperation, the uncertainties, the insecurities, the twirling… is for the Spirit of God to lay across my heart and make it still. The blanket of His presence and His protection is the only perfect fit for the deep creases and crevices carved inside me.

I don’t know what tough things you’ve been through in your life sweet sister, but I do know brokenness is universal. We all have things in life that trigger deep insecurities and our own personal twirling about looking for reassurance.

But here’s the amazing thing.

While brokenness is universal- with God redemption is also universal. No matter what cracks and crevices we have in our heart, if we seek the truth of God above all else He will work all things out for good. “Whatever is true… think about such things… And the God of peace will be with you,” (Philippians 4: 8-9).

Lord, may your spirit fall fresh upon each of us today. Remind us. Reassure us. Rest upon us. Help us to be still and know that you are our God.

It would be my complete honor and privilege to pray for you and whatever circumstance you are facing right now. Please leave your pray request in the comments box below. Throughout the day my team and I will be lifting you up.

This weekend I will be speaking in Fort Wayne, IN with EWomen at the Allen County Memorial Coliseum. I would be honored to meet you at my book table. Please click here for more info on this event.

 

Tuesday, August 30

Cure for the ugly “C” word

It’s a Holly Day today~

Lysa is once again tucked away in a quiet place making the most of her writing time for her next book. Thank you for your sweet comments yesterday. We were so moved by the words of one of our blog friends, that we wanted to share them with you today~

 

Lysa,

I read an article on CNN today about people who live in a garbage dump, my mind can’t even begin to grasp how they even survive a day.

To always be dirty, feel the pain of hunger, to dig through trash in the hope of finding something of value. Oh how God has convicted me of my behavior through your recent post and the article.

I have been comparing myself to others and coveting what they have. Coveting is such an ugly word yet it is the sin that puts a wall between me and my Heavenly Father.

I keep remembering your words in your book, “Becoming More than a Good Bible Study Girl”, that I am not equipped to handle their good or bad and that God has given me what I am equipped to handle.

But the struggle with Satan rages on in my mind as I allow myself to become victim of his whispered lies. “The life we waste everyday because we want a better one or because we are never satisfied with it, is the life that many wish and yearn to have and would give everything to have it” is a quote by the photographer in the CNN article.

I pray that I will never forget that quote and that when Satan whispers, I will not give him an opportunity to write his words on my heart. May I yell the truths of God’s word to Satan when he tries to weave his web of lies.

Perspective does change everything.

All of that to say thank you for your post about the Dream Center. I am so happy that you have challenged me to send a card with encouragement to souls who just need to know someone cares.

Thank you for allowing God to use you and your words to challenge and convict me. A challenge to focus on others instead of myself, a challenge to remember the blessings in my life, the challenge to be the hands and feet of God that I am called to be. I did not post a comment to the article but I will be sending a card with encouragement with one of my favorite verses.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

Amber