Thursday, June 28, 2012

I Will Praise Him Still

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance. ~Psalm 42:5 NKJV

Have you ever been in the place where this Psalmist is? We're not sure who wrote this particular Psalm, but no matter who it was-he was in a time of despair. But I want to focus on one word. I want to focus on the word "yet." 

He was saying that no matter what I go through, I'm going to praise the Lord! He may not have felt like it in his flesh, but he knew that if he'd start praising God, his spirit would lift. I heard someone say once "when you don't feel like praying, pray. Let me rephrase that statement. When you don't feel like praising, praise.

Are you in a place of despair today? Do you feel like your world is crumbling around you? Let me encourage you to praise Him in the midst of it. A dear friend once told me that "when you can't praise God for your circumstances, just praise Him for who He is.

Father, thank you for giving us the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Thank You for giving us the strength we need for each trial in life. Lord you're worthy of our praise. In Jesus Name, Amen

Monday, June 25, 2012

Think You're Too Damaged for God?

By Vonda Skelton, Guest Blogger

I’ve learned a lot during my years of writing and speaking. And some things have surprised me. But nothing has surprised me more than this: we Christians have a hard time letting go of our guilt. Even if we’ve accepted God’s gift of grace and forgiveness, many of us still have a hard time believing He forgets our past. We still hear Satan’s condemnation as he whispers in our ears.

Christ followers voice their struggles everywhere I go. And it doesn’t matter whether the words roll out in a slow southern drawl or escape at a clipped staccato pace, the heartfelt cry is the same. It’s the painful reality that we’ve failed. That we haven’t measured up. That we’ve let God down. The names change and the circumstances vary, but the sad truth is, we still feel dirty, we still feel ashamed, and we think we’re too damaged to be loved and used by Him.

It’s another lie of Satan. The truth is, God doesn’t see us as we see ourselves. Our past failures don’t have to affect our future calling. And whether you’re a single woman, a mother of three kids, or a grandmother trying to make up for lost time, God can still use you.

In his book, God: As He Longs for You to See Him, Chip Ingram says, “. . . what you believe God thinks about you determines how close you grow toward him.” Want to grow closer to God? It begins by realizing how God feels about you.

Our Father truly has a personal, specific plan for your life, and He’s ready for you to grab hold of the vision. He’s ready for you to answer His call, regardless of where you are at the moment or where you’ve been in the past.

“It’s comforting to realize that God calls us from who and what we are,” says Nancie Carmichael, in her book, Selah. “You hear the call and present who you are–not who you wish you were–to see what he will make of you.”

The Lord wants to make much of you. He wants to give you the opportunity to be light in the darkness for Him. And He can, if you’re willing to start where you are today and look forward to becoming what He wants you to be.

Ashamed of your past? Join the crowd. Join the crowd of sinners at the foot of a bloody cross. Paul, David, and Moses were murderers. David added adultery to his list. Ruth was an idol worshiper. Peter denied Christ. Now if God was able to forgive and use these people for His glory, don’t you think He can forgive and use you?

The truth is, God doesn’t waste any scars. Whatever we’ve done, whatever we’ve gone through, He can use those very things to bring glory to Himself, if we let him.

So…are you willing to be used by God? It may require a transparency that hurts, but in doing so, it can release the power that heals.

I praise God that when He looks at me, He doesn’t see me as damaged goods. He sees me as His precious, forgiven child, called to follow and proclaim His Name. Called to be a writer and speaker for Him.

What does He have in mind for you? You can be sure it has nothing to do with your guilt...and everything to do with His grace.

This is what the LORD says--
“Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!” Isaiah 43:16a, 18-19b
See, He is doing a new thing in you!

Would you like to win a copy of Vonda's book, Seeing Through the Lies? Just leave a comment and you'll be in the drawing! Deadline is midnight on June 30.

Vonda Skelton is a writer and speaker, the author of four books, including Seeing Through the Lies: Unmasking the Myths Women Believe and the Bitsy Burroughs Mystery Series for kids 8-12 years old. She can be reached at

Thursday, June 21, 2012

There's Just Something About That Name!

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins. (Mathew 1:21, New King James Version)


There's just something about that sweet name!

One day, very soon, we will be saying that name for all eternity! Are you facing something today that you feel is overwhelming you? Just call on that name! It's the name that can calm the storm, heal the broken, and restore lives. It's that precious name of Jesus. When the angel came to Mary to tell her that she would be the one to conceive that child, wow! To think, you will be carrying the most precious gift - the gift of Jesus! That thrills my heart! So, let me encourage you, during this very hectic time of year, call on that name...the name above any other...Jesus!

Father, we worship you! Let us remember to call out that precious name... the sweetest name on earth. Lord we love You and we praise You.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Be Still in My Presence

"Be still and know that I am God..." (Psalm 46:10, NKJV)

How many times do we go about our day, totally ignoring the fact that God is trying to speak to us? The Lord has been teaching me lately to just sit still in His presence. Here's what the Lord has spoken to me, and I think it will encourage you as well.

"my child, why do you insist on running by me so fast? How can I pour my spirit's words into you in this way? Sit in my presence and let me teach you something new. Lay all your burdens and cares at my feet. Do this, and you will find the rest and restoration you long for."

Ladies, are we willing to just sit quietly in His holy presence? I know it will change our lives!

Father, help us to be still before You. Help us to slow down enough to taste of Your glory. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The More I Seek You

As the deer pants for the water brooks,
So pants my soul for You, O God. (Psalm 42:1, ~NKJV)

"The more I Seek You, the more I find You."

Like the deer longs for a drink of water to quench His thirst, are we taking advantage of the Living Water? Are we tasting the water? I don't mean getting a sip here and there. I mean, are we drenching ourselves in it? Ladies, drenching ourselves in the Living Water is the only way we're gonna grow. We won't grow by just sipping on it. So, my question, are we growing? I know these are hard questions, but we need to be honest with ourselves. More importantly, we need to be honest with God. After all, He gave His life so we can have an all access pass to Him, are we willing to give our lives back to Him?

Father, thank You for the Living Water that you so graciously offer. Lord You offer it but it's our responsibility to drink of it. I pray for each lady; that You'll help her drench herself in Your Water. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Nothing Is Impossible!

For with God nothing will be impossible.” (Luke 1:37, NKJV)

"I'm sorry, but you'll never walk again or be able to bare a child." Those were the words a lady heard when she was just a little girl. You see, this child had just been in a horrific car accident. Her face had gone through 3 windshields, her back was broken and her left leg was crushed in 32 different places. Not only that, but she had over 150 stitches in her face. Well, this lady prooved those doctors wrong! Not only did she walk again, but she had 4 children and she became Miss America! Now, you tell me ladies, is there anything impossible with God? I think this lady can say "no there isn't!" Whatever circumstance you find yourself in today, God can do all things! He can restore a broken marriage. He can heal a terminal disease. He can bring a lost child back home. Are you facing something today that man is telling you you can't do? Let me tell you something greater! Ladies, if God calls you to it, then He will give you what you need to get it done! For He says that "nothing...let me say that again...nothing is impossible with Him!"

Father, thank You that nothing is impossible with You. Lord if You call us to something, we know You'll give us the tools to carry it out. I pray for each reader. Let her know that no matter what she's facing, it isn't an impossible situation with You. In Jesus Name, Amen!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Part of the Plan

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11, NKJV)

It happened without reasonable explanation. It was a God-thing, no question! Let me take you back.

Picture the day before Thanksgiving of 2011, excepting a seemingly ordinary friend request on Facebook. But, it was anything but was extraordinary! From that point, that friendship has turned into something I will treasure for the rest of my life.

When we finally got to meet in person for the first time just over 2 months ago, that sealed it for us both.

My point to this story? My point is that God knew before either of us that we were going to be introduced on Facebook by a mutual friend, who in turn has changed both of our lives. He knew that over the months after Thanksgiving, we'd need one another's love and support like never before.

Do you have someone in your life that you know without a shadow of a doubt that God placed them there? You can't explain it, but they're there each time you need a friend? Ladies, let me encourage you that if you don't have someone like that in your life; ask God to send you that special friend you can call on at any time of the day or night.

Lord, thank you so much for the friends you've placed in my life. Thank you that it was by divine appointment that they're placed there. I ask for each of my readers that you send a special person that they can call friend and know they can call on her at any time. Thank You Lord! Amen.