Work through and IN

Can I get a show of hands? Have you ever clearly heard the Lord direct you some place that you didn’t want to be?

If I had 10 hands I’d raise all of them.

Ok, put your hands down. Next question- did you obey?

Now I’d probably only be able to raise 7 of those 10 imaginary hands.

Put your hands down.

If you didn’t obey, did God make you do what He was directing you to anyway?

I’m raising hands again. Not happily. But raising them.

Last question, in that (or those) circumstance(s), did God work through you or in you or both?

You might need to think about that question for a bit. And that’s ok.

I’m in a situation right now that God clearly told me to put myself into. Like writing on the wall kind of clarity. (Daniel 5:25) Initially, I thought it was because God wanted to use me in this new place to reach others. So, I obeyed, showed up, and started doing exactly what I thought He wanted me to do.

But this week I noticed I was becoming discouraged and stagnant. In fact, I felt like I maybe I was just obeying for just my kids’ benefit, not for anyone else’s, including my own.

Then yesterday I let my kids have a movie-morning, and my son wanted to watch the VeggieTales Jonah movie.

No problemo! Let’s learn about God while we’re having a chill day.

Have you ever watched it? I love how they wrap it up. “Jonah was a prophet, but he never really got it.”

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read Jonah or listened to a sermon about him, and every time I think, “How could he NOT get it. He was swallowed by a fish and spit out for crying out loud. Wouldn’t that have shook him up???”

Not really. He still did what God wanted him to do by going to Ninevah and delivering God’s message. (Jonah 3:3-4) But, in no way was his heart softened. (Jonah 4) He was still selfish and mostly concerned with just doing what God told him to do.

It got me thinking, our desire and prayer shouldn’t only be that God will work though us in our obedience, but that God will also work IN us.

Not to bring the brimstone out, but even the demons know who Jesus is. (James 2:19) Even they obey when commanded in His name. (Acts 16:18)

Showing up and doing what God wants us to is what’s right to do. But we miss out on so much when we don’t allow Him to work inside of us at the same time.

What is God calling you to do that you’re just showing up to? Are you asking Him (or allowing Him) to work in your life through that obedience? Through the experience in which you find yourself?

If the answer is NO, I encourage you to ask Him to work IN you, not just through you. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be like Jonah, a person who just obeys with no heart change, a person who people remember as “not really getting it.” That isn’t the impact I want my life to have. What about you?

Until next time,

❤ Lindsay

This post does contain an affiliate link. However, my opinions are always my own. Thank you for clicking through. 

The Bush is on Fire

Mistakes…I just keep making them.  When God called me to start this ministry, I knew with certainty that He called me to step down from my previous position.  In my heart, I felt God wanted me to focus on reading and studying his Word.  However, seeds of doubt regarding our finances were being planted by the enemy.  Worry and fear crept in and I even said, “I need a real people job to pay the bills while this ministry grows.”  The more I looked, the more stressed I became.  I had several Godly folks tell me to wait and see what God was going to do.

I applied for a job that I really didn’t think I would enjoy.  The on-boarding process was excruciating.  Everything felt wrong and my stress level was so high, but it was a “good job” with “good benefits”.  So, I kept pushing and striving to get it.  (Psalm 46:10 Be still and know that I a God.  In the New American Standard this verse is translated “Quit striving”).  I finally got the offer and official start date.  I wasn’t excited to start the first day, but prayed and went on.  Tears and more tears flowed when I got home that night.  I knew I had gotten ahead of God, but now what?  Do you stay and tough it out or quit.  Each day was painful.  I was praying and wondering.  My husband said to quit.  But, who wants to be a quitter, right?

We live in this new society that tells us to push, strive, keep going, succeed, make a way, find a way.  Judgement looms at every corner from all the “successful” people pushing the “if you have a positive attitude, it will all be perfect.”  I’ve got news for you today.  I am “positive” that if you are not in God’s will, you will be miserable.  Now, I am not saying we are not to have a positive attitude.  “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7  However, positivity will not keep God from shutting the door.  We are to be joyful and joy-filled when he shuts it!

My pastor reminded us in a sermon a couple of weeks ago that the scripture says, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21)  It does NOT say “my good and successful servant.”  In God’s eyes “faithful” is true success.  That right there should make you shout!

So, back to the story…Sunday evening at church, one of God’s saints prayed with me.  I had told her that I didn’t want to make another mistake by quitting if that wasn’t God’s will.  She prayed and pleaded on my behalf for God to make His perfect will clear to me and to give me a “burning bush” moment.  Knowing me the way she does, she knew it would have to be big and clear like the burning bush story in order for me to get it.  True friendship.

Let me just tell you, when you pray and ask God for a burning bush moment, you better grab a fire extinguisher.  My day was so difficult that I started feeling dizzy.  My head started to hurt and I took a glance in the mirror to see that my face was beet red.  Now, I am a full face make-up gal.  So, for the redness to shine through that much makeup meant one thing.  High blood pressure.  It was dangerously high as was my resting heart rate.  Fight or flight is a thing!

I don’t work there now.  God answered the prayers of my Saintly friend and that burning bush all but singed my eyebrows off!

The boss called and offered me the opportunity to come back and transition into another position.  Again, my worldly desire for money tempted me.  After the conversation, my blood pressure went back up.  Another Godly sister reminded me of the story of Lot’s wife turning  into a pillar of salt when she turned back to what God had called her from.  Thank God for Godly sisters in our lives.  God speaks to us through his still small voice, through the Bible and through people.

How many red flags do you see in this story where God was trying to get me to pay attention?  It’s easier to see when it’s someone else’s story or when we are looking back. He was with me all the way but I wasn’t getting it.  Have you ever been there?

Learning and growing our relationship with God is what He wants first for us.  Now, I am not saying that we shouldn’t have jobs.  But, impatience often leads to making decisions without God’s will.  I am thankful that I know now.  I will mess up again, but am diligently seeking His direction.

I believe that God provides.  He has never let us go without before and I believe He will continue to provide our portion.  Again, the world’s view of success is so different from God’s.  If I have less material things and less money, but am in His will and have peace; then, I am rich.

Be encouraged today that you do NOT have to live by the incessant “strive to be wealthy” garbage being fed to you through social media memes.  God is looking at your faithfulness.  Are you reading your Bible?  Do you spend time praying?  Are you telling others about Jesus?

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  Matthew 6:19-21

 

#proofthatgodcanuseanybody

If you have had a burning bush moment, drop it in the comments.  I want to hear from you.

Beth

 

Traditions, Healing and Hurting

We like to keep it a secret, but Christmas can be hard.  Social media posts of beautiful decorations and perfect family pictures mixed with the oozing-with-love Hallmark movies can overwhelm you at this time of the year.  If you have suffered a loss of a loved one, a broken relationship, or difficult financial situations this year, you may not be the first in line to scream, “Ho, ho, ho.”  This Christmas will be my first one without my daddy.  As each day draws closer to Christmas, the small details tug on my heart and my tear ducts.

When I was a little girl, my daddy started the 12 days of Christmas with us kids.  He didn’t grow up with much at Christmas or anytime of the year, for that matter.  So, he worked hard to provide a good Christmas for us.  Now, I do believe the 12 days of Christmas gifts were to help my mom get us out of bed, to the breakfast table and to keep us out of her hair.  Each morning, there would be a simple dime store (dollar store in today’s world) toy in our plate. I still remember the excitement of jumping out of bed to see what toy I would get.  As I got into high school, there would be a gift in a stocking for me to get before school.  My high school friends enjoyed and looked forward to seeing each days little gift too.  Daddy continued this until I was grown and pregnant with my daughter, Shelby.  That year, the gifts switched to baby gifts for her.  He, then, continued this tradition for Shelby until she got married.

This year in his memory, I decided to start this tradition with my sweet little grands.  As I have shopped for these small items, I purchased some of the same gifts that Daddy gave…nail polish, dime store games, and M&M’s.

 

Oh, these inexpensive gifts flooded me with warm, happy memories and then a flood of tears flowed.  Along with Daddy’s gift traditions, came his wrapping of gifts.  Bless his heart, his intentions were great but his wrapping was not.  Isn’t it funny how the thing that used to drive you crazy, is now one of the things you miss the most?  This is how one of my husband’s Christmas gifts came wrapped from Daddy a couple of years ago.

 

These packages have been the source of laughter for years.  There was nothing as fun as watching Daddy come into the house and explain how his wrapping took a turn for the worse.

So, when I started wrapping the grandbabies’ 12 days gifts, I decided to do it how it did it.  No box.  No tags or bows.  Just wrapping paper and their names written with a sharpie.  Each gift was numbered and gift #1 was always M&M’s.  As I wrapped for Audrey, the flavored chapsticks that Daddy always got for Shelby and for me, I wiped tears.  Daddy would be so proud that we are remembering him with this tradition.

package 12 days

So this year, as we celebrate the birth of the Savior; we remember those that have gone on to be with the Savior.  Continuing the traditions keeps their memories alive.  So many memories have swirled through my mind, some that hurt to the bone and some that brought healing.  I am grateful for growing up in a home where we were taught about Jesus and all that Christmas means.  My biggest prayer is that I carry the traditions and the message of Christ’s birth on with my kids, grandchildren and future great grandchildren.

“They say” that it gets easier with time and the firsts are the hardest.  We will see.  From my heart to yours, today we take comfort in knowing that God is the father to the fatherless.

Merry Christmas.  Hug your loved ones and make those memories.

Beth

Fudge for the Generations

Food, family, fellowship….awe the Holiday Traditions tend to center around food.  I won’t share my age, but by first Christmas away from home was at the ripe old age of 18.  That year my mom sent me a prized Christmas gift that I still cherish and use today.  It was a photo album full of pictures of me from birth to 18 and hand written recipes that were my favorites that mom made.  On that first Christmas away from home, my cooking skills included popcorn, homemade fudge, cornflake candy and hamburger helper.  I needed this book!

cookbook intro

Memories and traditions are held inside these pages.  The old school magnetic album started to loose its hold on the pictures.  So, I found a scrapbook to keep the memories alive.  Mom also used some old drawings of mine and the Christmas card sent to my parents from the doctor that delivered me.  This cookbook is out and on my kitchen counter for daily reference.

One of the first things I learned to make was fudge; not the marshmallow or easy fudge, but the old-fashioned kind like my grandmother made.  The smell alone takes me back to childhood and the memories of being with my grandma McCain.  In my teen years, I asked Granny to teach me how to make fudge.  She was ill and couldn’t be in the kitchen with me.  From the living room, she told me to get out the “big stir” (pronounced steer).  For those of you not from the south, that means big pot.  Her measurements are where I got lost.  She told me to scoop out 3 handfuls of sugar and add enough cocoa to turn the sugar to a pretty brown color.  Blah!  Ok, so this turned into a pan of goo, but not fudge.  So, I turned to my mom.  She measured it all out for me and that is the recipe that we will work from today.  Before I start cooking at Christmas, I need a few things:  Christmas decor, Christmas music, my hair up and out-of-the-way and a cute apron.

beth apron

Ok.  I am ready.  Are you?  Grab your tunes, apron and these items…

fudge ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of cocoa
  • 3 cups of sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of whole milk (I mix evaporated milk and water)
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 tsp of vanilla

In your pot, combine the sugar and cocoa with a whisk to get the lumps out of the cocoa.  Then, add the milk and whisk.

fudge 1

Turn on the heat to high until the mixture comes to a full rolling boil.

fudge boil

Reduce the heat to a very small simmer.  Depending on your stove, this may cook for quite some time 30-45 minutes.  But, we don’t measure fudge in time.  This type of fudge is done when you can form a soft ball in water.  The consistency will change as it cooks.  It will have a glossy look as it gets close to being done.

To test it, put cold water in a small cup.  Pour a spoonful of the mixture into the water.  If it just spatters around the bottom of the cup and you can not move it together into a ball, it’s not quite ready.

So, wait a few minutes and repeat that step.  It’s ready when you can move the chocolate around in the water and form a soft ball.  When you can form the ball, remove the pan from the heat.  Add the butter and the vanilla flavoring and let it sit while it cools.  Give it a few minutes to cool before stirring.  Stir with a wooden spoon until the butter and flavoring are well blended.  Pour into a greased 8×8 pan.  DO NOT REFRIGERATE!!  Let it cool at room temperature.  Can you smell it?  Now, the best part is scraping the fudge off the sides of the pan and having a taste.  Yum!  I hope this one brings you and your family the joy that it brings our family.  It wouldn’t be Christmas at our house without a few batches of this being made from Thanksgiving until Christmas.  Family traditions are so important in this fast paced world.  Being in the kitchen with your family, the smells of chocolate simmering, licking the spoon…these are the memories that are handed down through the generations.

 

 

Not this year, Satan

When I was growing up, Thanksgiving was not my family’s best holiday. The week was usually pretty stressful, and the enemy sure knew how to use that to his advantage. (In case you didn’t know, the enemy hates families. Especially families who love and serve the Lord.)

In time, I think my parents learned that one of the best ways for our family to manage the stress of that week was to get out of town. So, we started traveling for many of our Thanksgivings when I was in my early teens. Something about not being in our house diffused some of the stress. When I got to “working age,” I volunteered to work on Thanksgiving if it was a year when we weren’t traveling. (I worked at a gym, and they’d open for a couple hours in the morning.) I guess I’d caught onto the “get out of the house” strategy.

When I got married I carried some of that dread surrounding Thanksgiving with me, even though my first several Thanksgivings were spent with my in-laws and some of my anxiety surrounding the day manifested itself in ways I’ve wished it hadn’t.

So, a year or so ago, I finally got the bright idea to start praying as soon as November started… Pray over Thanksgiving, pray over my spirit, pray over my attitude, pray over my mouth, pray over my husband, pray over my family, etc.

By this time I’d shared a little bit with close friends about how much I used to really dislike Thanksgiving, and to my surprise, it was not an isolated-to-Lindsay feeling. Lots of  my friends (who are like-minded in many ways) also dread the day.

I started asking the question, “Why?” I listened to their answers, blogged about it, and hurt a lot of people’s feelings in the process.

I missed the mark.

I hit the target but not dead-center; I was way on the outer most circle.

The truth is Thanksgiving is complicated- I think I could write a blog series on everything I’ve learned about why this is such a hard week for people.

Fast forward to present day. This morning I realized I was irritable for no reason. “Why?” Why did I feel this way? I had no reason to be stressed or irritated. Then it donned on me… Thanksgiving is coming.

For me Thanksgiving symbolizes a humongous cacophony of feelings- complicated feelings and hopes and desires all mixed in with the reality of somehow needing to simultaneously survive AND enjoy the season WHILE maintaining the every day requirements of my life (wife, work from home mom of 2 kids, Bible study, etc).

I desperately did not want to fall into the old pattern of my stress manifesting itself in ways I would either regret or that would simply ruin the holiday for others around me.

So I prayed.

There are a lot of practical strategies for getting through the holidays successfully, whether it be financial strategies (stay within budget, don’t go into debt), emotional strategies (like my family opting to get out of town most Thanksgivings), or logistical strategies (getting all the presents purchased, parties attended to, and turkeys roasted). But, I’m finally realizing that my only hope this season that covers every single facet of it is fully and wholly in Jesus.

The older you get, the faster these holidays just blow right by us. I want every opportunity to enjoy these special times of year (which is my primary argument for decorating and listening to Christmas music as early as I do). But, I just can’t do it on my own. Because when I rely on my own strategies, they won’t overcome all the complications this time of year brings. However, when I ask Jesus to get involved, when I opt to do things His way instead of simply relying on my own good-sense, I have a much better chance at not giving the enemy a foot-hold.

He hates families. He hates gratitude. He hates giving. He hates people gathering around the table and giving thanks to God before they break bread. No duh, he hates Christmas. But, I think he hates Thanksgiving too. So, he uses everything he can to wreak havoc on the day, so he can wreak havoc on families.

Will you join me this year in telling him, “Not this year, Satan”? Because Thanksgiving may not be about Jesus, but we’re going to prepare like it does. We’re going to pray, and we’re going to keep our eyes and hearts fixed on the One for whom we are most thankful, our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Until next time,

❤ Lindsay

Introducing… Lindsay

Hey y’all, Lindsay here. I’m honored and excited to be joining the GTM team as a blog contributor!

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Most current pic of me with my hair and make up done!

The Lord has been speaking through my fingertips, as I like to say, for over a decade now. I found my passion for explaining truths about Him while I was just a teenager in high school serving in my church’s children’s ministry. Since then He’s used these fingers to share many messages about His character and providence through letters printed and mailed to hundreds of people, drama scripts performed for both children and adults, and blog posts on my own personal blog(s) and other ministries’.

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We manage to get a picture of all four of us about every 6 months. Anybody else in this boat?

I’m married, work from home, and have two young children. My full testimony would take an entire memoire to cover, so I’ll have to share it with you in bits and pieces. But the anthem of my life is God is always faithful to make good out of the hard stuff.

One of the things that first struck me about Beth, and confirmed that hers was a wagon I would be willing to hitch mine to, was her dedication to take everything back to Scripture. That is exactly how my parents’ raised me, yet this is opposite to our learn-everything-through-social-media culture where context is irrelevant as long as it looks pretty and sounds catchy and 100k people re-post it.

When Beth shared with me that God was calling her into this ministry whose focus would be to teach women the Bible, she was speaking my language. And little did she know at that time, God had been priming my heart to join such a force in this very forum where you and I are currently meeting.

Until next time,

❤ Lindsay

Don’t Know What You’ve Got Until It’s Gone

If you are a child of the 80’s, you might be humming a rock ballad right now.  However, that is not where I am headed.  Many of us make the statement, “Don ‘t know what you’ve got until it’s gone,” when someone divorces, dies or looses a job, etc.

Today, this thought came to me in an entirely different light.  Gratitude has a way of changing how you view things that otherwise would depress you.  I have some of the most profound thoughts when I am driving or when I am in the shower.  That is proof that God has a sense of humor.  (There’s nowhere to write when driving or taking a shower.)

While in the car,  marveling in the beauty of fall leaves, gratitude filled my heart.   Sometimes, God closes doors.  We fight it.  We wrestle with God to keep us somewhere that we think we need or want to be.  All the while, God is shutting door after door; sending message after message.  We get so caught up in what we don’t have, that we forget to be excited about the exact same thing.  Today, I am thankful for what is gone.  Oh my! I am elated over the peace I have because things are gone.  What I had, was stress, dread and anxiety.  Constant nagging of not being good enough riddled my mind.  Dread of time passing, because a deadline was looming, guilt of over-zealous ambition and reminders of past failures have weighed me down for years.  Thank you Lord for shutting the doors.  So often, what is gone is the biggest blessing of them all.

As I reflected on my life today, I saw so many times where God shut doors.  Just in time, God spared me.  Jobs, relationships, life choices….I battled to keep doors open that God shut.  Time after time, I looked back and saw God’s provision through the slamming of doors.  Not only does he shut the door, but he heals us of the hurts of past decisions.  In today’s world, we can so easily be confused by the messages coming at us at the speed of light.  Messages that are sold to us as positivity, sometimes wrapped in a couple of scriptures, cripple our thoughts. The world wants you to be wrapped up in you and what you want.  The scripture teaches that we are to focus on what God wants.

Today, I heard comedian Steve Harvey talk about passion and gifts.  He reminded his audience that passion is not what we should chase, but work with the gifts that God has given us.  Way to go Mr. Harvey!  Thanks for that reminder.  God has gifted us with certain talents and means for us to use them for His glory.

“Self-love” is a common term thrown around in self-help books disguised as Christian. You may also be hearing messages of “you come first” and “your happiness is up to you.”  Stay at home moms are attacked for not jumping on the ambition and dreams bandwagon. Let me tell you, raising your children in a Godly home is the ultimate success. God comes first and  your happiness and joy come from the Lord.  That’s good news.  If it was all up to us, we would fall flat every time.

Today, I am thankful that God has cleared my head of the muddled up mess of lies that I was believing.  Just because scriptures are sprinkled like rose petals in a message, doesn’t mean that the message is from the Lord.  Be diligent to read and know His Word.  Pray for discernment so that you will not be sidetracked by the world’s messages.  “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

Don’t know what you’ve got until it’s GONE.    The lies of the enemy wrapped in pretty paper are GONE!  No longer do I have to feel “less than” because I didn’t go all in on a materialistic goal set by man instead of God. Those distracting thoughts are now replaced with “a peace that passes all understanding.”

If you hear some doors creaking, maybe it’s time to watch in joy as God shuts them.

#proofthatgodcanuseanybody

Beth

Little Things

When I was a kid, my daddy had a firm rule that if you got up to go tinkle in the middle of the night, you better turn on a light.  He knew that a burgler wouldn’t turn on a light.  So, that was his litmus test for who to shoot if there was a bump in the night. That sounds a bit scary, but it was the 70’s and we lived in the south.  We had fear but it was of our parents and for the Lord.

Now, in this Jetson’s day in which we live, we all use our phone flashlights for our middle of the night potty visits to keep from waking the whole house. We are not abiding by Daddy’s rule these days. We use one small beam to keep from breaking a toe rounding the corner of the bed.

Last night, while at the 10th Avenue North/Mercy Me concert, I was reminded that if only one person shines one small beam of light it could be lost in the darkness of a large space.  However, if we all shine our lights together, they can quickly illuminate the darkest of spaces.  When asked to turn on our phone flashlights, maybe a third to half of the attendees participated.  Little things can produce large results.  This otherwise dark arena was shining with light.  Oh what would it have been if everyone participated!Mercy Me lights

The Lord has provided us with his Word to teach of his light. Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

“This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine…..let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”

Those little lights illuminating the arena in the early part of the evening, served as a reminder to open up my heart more as the worship continued.  It’s so easy to loose your light in this ever darkening world.  It’s easy to give up.  But, God.  But, God uses seemingly small things to move our hearts.  Watching Christians lift Holy hands to Heaven in worship lifted my heavy heart. Mercy Me hands

The universal sign of surrender is to lift your hands in the air.  When we lift our hands in praise to the Father, we are surrending to Him all that hurts us, burdens us and the sins that bind us.   1 Timothy 2:8 “Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.”

What a blessing to see him at work in all those around me.  Little things like phone flashlights and raised hands created a visual for what Heaven must look and sound like.

We are surrounded by little things that mean so much.  The sound of a child laughing, a grandmother humming while she cooks, the bubbling of soup on a cold day, these are the little things that God has given to keep our hearts and souls lifted when the days are dark.  “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds” (Psalms 9:1).  “So I will bless You as long as I live; in Your name I will lift my hands.” (Psalms 63:4)

Shine your light.  Lift your hands.  Praise the Lord!

Beth

 

 

A Day in the Pig Pen

close up of hand feeding on tree trunk
Photo by Leah Kelley on Pexels.com

If cleanliness is next to Godliness, then, I was wallowing in the pig pen today.  Is my house dirty?  Yes, but that’s not the point here.  Can I be real and honest?  When God calls you to something, the enemy flips out.  Discouragement, doubt, fear, anxiousness, anger…..he sends it all.  I have a scarred past and a forked tongue!  The ugliness of my past reared its nasty head and yanked me square in the mud today.  Ugh.  The enemy works overtime and I hate to give him credit.  Me.  It’s my fault.  I got side-tracked before finishing my devotional time this morning.  Smack, he nailed me.  The Bible says to arm ourselves in the Word.  I didn’t have on the helmet of salvation and I have some spiritual mud in my hair!

You know that you have reached a level of awareness, though, when you hear yourself yelling, “Get thee behind me Satan in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Better to be screaming at the enemy than just screaming.  Things are hard.  There, I said it.  I resigned my “position” with my company and decided to follow this call to teach and speak His Word to women.  My checkbook and my mind tell me that I need a job to support this ministry and our daily life.  My heart and faith tell me that God will provide my portion in his due time.  Things are hard.  Yep, I said it again.  It is easy to teach (with words) that God is faithful and provides for the call.  It’s a whole different story to teach that with actions; and, today I fell in the mud.  I lost my spirit, my control, and my mind.

Tomorrow will be better.  Why?  Because, it has to be.  Because, God is bigger than my obstacles.  Because, I will arm myself in the Word before doing ANYTHING else.  Because, He says to live by faith and not by sight.  Because God is equipping the call.  “Because, because, because, because, because of the wonderful things he does.”  Sing it.  That quote will make sense then.  Yes, I know that was from the Wizard of Oz.  However, I was singing it about Jesus.

That’s all for now.  Thanks for letting me spill my heart all over your shoes.

#proofthatgodcanuseanybody

Beth

Proof that God Can Use Anybody

I have walked the valley of the shadow of death and even set up a tent there.  For four years, the ups and downs of life have been more downs than ups.  Searching and praying, I have sought the Lord’s will for my life.  Through a new Bible study that I have been teaching, God answered my four year prayer.  I left my job of nine years to start a new ladies’ ministry.  Welcome to Grace Time Ministries.  

My husband Brad is an ordained minister and we serve as the music ministry at Old Austin Baptist church.  I am a mom to my grown daughter, Shelby and her husband Shane.  My grands, Audrey and Benjamin, call me Zsa Zsa (like Zsa Zsa Gabor, just not so many husbands).  I am a story-teller, a people person, a relationship builder, and have a flair for saying what my friends call “Beth-isms.”  I truly believe that studying God’s Word is how we hear from Him.  I want to share what He has been teaching me and encourage you to listen to Him.  Mercy, we talkers have to work hard to learn to listen.  Shhh.  He likes to whisper.

I accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was eleven years old and was blessed to be brought up in church.  I have sinned, made messes in my life, and thank God for His sweet forgiveness.  My husband was not a preacher when we married.  However, a few years of living with me ran him straight to Jesus to surrender!  I have a sharp tongue and quick wit, neither of which serves me well.  Hence, the “proof that God can use anybody” hashtag was born.  Pray for Brad.  Living with me is no small task.

Coffee is a must and new coffee cups make me happy (and Brad sad).  I start my mornings with Jesus and coffee.  You will find my daily devotions recorded and shared on my Facebook group and Facebook page @gracetimeministries.  Please join there as I work to build this site.  Speaking to ladies’ groups is where I strongly feel led.  Pray with me that God leads this crazy, southern, Bible toter to the groups that need some laughter through the tears.  Drop a comment, send an email, and follow me on Facebook and Insta.  You will be a part of sharing God’s Word, and I thank you.

Have a great day in the Lord,

Beth