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Beautiful, Beloved, Without Blame

With God, we can find our real identity. I have seen women move from lives of sorrow to lives of joy when they open their hearts to receive his love and forgiveness. In him they were truly remade. They tossed away any labels the enemy had them believing and raised their eyes to the Lord for a true picture of they are!

Scripture has a lot to say about who we are in Christ, and when we dig in to find the truth, we can expose the lies that we believed about who we are. Just look what scripture says about who you are in Christ.

❤️God loves you…”But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved)” Eph 2:4-5 NLT

❤️ You are God‘s masterpiece...”For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do good things he planned for us long ago”. Eph 2:10 NLT. God created you and has a plan for you. You need to understand that, no matter what lies you have believed. God sees you as his beloved daughter.

❤️ You are without blame… “Even before he made the world, God loved us and shows us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes” Eph 1:4 NLT.   When you allow God to erase the lies you carry from your past you will begin to see yourself as He sees you…without blame.

I hope you let the truth of those scriptures sink in. You are beautiful, beloved and without blame.

Have a Simply Blessed day.

 

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You Can Scale the High Places

Recently my family took a hike to Hunt Lake in northern Idaho. Every time I take that hike God shows me something. I have a chapter in my book that I wrote about our drive to hunt lake but, on this particular day God showed me something else. As we scaled the large boulders up to the lake I noticed that my knee that has had 2 surgeries was so much stronger. My ankles were also so much stronger and I scaled the rocks with a new ease. All my PT and working out had made a huge difference. This mountain of big boulders did not seem so big anymore and I knew the beauty of the lake would be worth every scrape on my legs and any soreness I would feel the next morning. As I climbed I remembered that God can give us feet like a deer to scale the high places. You need to trust God to get you up the mountain and… there needs to be some training from you. All of the PT and other exercising I did made my legs strong enough to climb that mountain. When you study the word of God you will find strength to overcome the mountains of life. I love what scripture says…

”Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. Habakkuk 3:18-19  And, here is another one of my favorites… “It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great. You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way. Psalm 18:32-36.

Dig in and study the Bible. Today I challenge you to grab your Bible and read one of the two chapters I have cited.

Keep pressing forward in faith and you will reach the mountain top.

Have a Simply Blessed day.  

 

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Taste and See

“Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.” Psalm 34:8 

Taste and see is an invitation to…Try this because you will like it. When we taste and see all that God has for us we will find that He is good. We will discover that…

💜God is kind, He is good to all and has compassion for all (Ps 145:9)

💚He can deliver us from our fears (Ps 34:4)

💙He can supply our needs (Ps 34:9)

💛He is our rock, our fortress and our deliverer (Ps 18:1)

🧡He is close to the broken-hearted (Ps 34:28)

💜He gives wisdom (Prov 2:6)

💚His forgiveness is given for all (Jn 3:16,17)

💙and His forgiveness is…”as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”(Ps 103:12).

When we dig into the word of God we will be able to “taste and see” all that God has for us.  Grab your bible and read Psalms 34 and share with me in the comments what awesome things you found because you choose to “Taste & See”.

Have a Simply Blessed day.

 

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Pruning is Necessary

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 NIV

Recently I learned that if the grape-vine is not pruned, after 7 years it will no longer produce fruit. Like the vine must be pruned to produce fruit, we also must be pruned. Though we have been saved our sanctification is on going. God in his perfect timing snips away the things that are not life-giving. It could be a certain kind of show or movies we have been watching. It may be a person or persons who are not healthy for us. God might even lead you to move to prune away many things.  Whatever it is that is removed…you can trust that there will be something better that will begin to grow .  Be patient new growth doesn’t happen over night. Trust God to be your master gardener. After all who wants to be like the vine that no longer produces fruit?

 

 

 

 

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How Beautiful are the Feet That Bring the Good News

Recently I got my toenails done. As I waited for the polish to dry, I admired my toes and the pretty color I had chosen. God got my attention as I looked at my feet and he reminded me of Romans 10:15…

”And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

The cross-reference to that verse is…

How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings the good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, “Your God reigns” Isaiah 52;7.

I was looking at my feet through the eyes of man or in my case a woman. As I waited for the polish to dry, God showed me how He looks at the feet of mankind. He doesn’t care if our toenails are polished. What is beautiful to Him are the feet that bring the good news.  Each and every one of us has been called to share the good news with those in the world around us. We have been called to be a light to our family, our friends, those we work with, those in our schools, and anyone we come in contact with. There is no special training we need to share the good news. We just need to know what Jesus did for us. It is that simple.

Enjoy getting your feet done if that something you like to do but never forget to have the kind of feet that look beautiful in the eyes of God. Have the kind of feet that bring the good news.

Have a Simply Blessed day and for more practical teachings like this order a copy of my 31-day devotional Simply Blessed, finding joy in the little things. 

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Deep Waters

The book of psalms is filled with so much wisdom. In times of pain I find that comfort can be found within the Psalms.

Psalms 42 is a prayer for rescue and a psalm for those who have been hurt or slandered.

I believe that when we dig into the word of God it allows for His goodness to wash over us. It is refreshing to our soul. One of the verses that stood out to me in Psalm 42 is…Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls: all your waves and breakers have swept over me” Psalms 42:7

As I am writing this I happen to be at the Priest Lake and the water level is extremely high. The ramp to our dock is covered in water and we have no beach at this point. The lake has crept across the grass of my dad’s cabin next door and the wind is creating waves that are crashing over docks and yards around the whole lake. All of us around the lake know that the water will subside and we will be able to fix the damage done by the high water and crashing waves.

There is nothing that says we won’t find ourselves in what feels like deep waters. As the storm rages around us and the waves come crashing in, we can cry out to God for help. We can count on Him keep us afloat.

If you are reading this today and your soul is downcast, I want to encourage you to grab your Bible and read Psalms 42. If you don’t have a bible with you here is the link to Psalms 42. Put your hope in God and praise him even in the storm. Let His truth sweep over you like the roar of a mighty waterfall and trust Him in the deep water and crashing waves.

Blessings and If you enjoy my simple and practical teachings order a copy of my book Simply Blessed finding joy in the little things. 

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Overcoming the Mountain

Today’s post is not deep theology. It is a simple reminder of the strength we can find when we are in the word of God.

Sometimes the mountain in front of us can feel overwhelming. With God we can find the strength to keep moving forward. If you find yourself with what feels like an impossible mountain to overcome, hold on to the truth of the word of God and keep pressing forward.  Psalm 18 is one of my favorite Psalms and it is the perfect scripture to turn to when you need strength to scale what is in front of you. 

“It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great. You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way”. Psalm 18:32-34
 
Have faith and trust God to give you the strength you need to get to the next mountain top. Lastly, don’t forget the power of prayer and the power in praying scripture.  If there is a mountain in front of you, this prayer is for you and it is taken from Psalm 18.  
 
Abba Father, Today I pray that you give my brother/sister strength and keep his/her way secure. Make his/her feet like a deer so that he/she can stand on new heights. Lord be his/her shield and may your right hand sustain him/her. Father, provide him/her with a broad path so that his/her ankles do not give way as he/she overcomes this mountain with you by his/her side.  In Jesus’s name, Amen.  
 
Today I hope you take a moment to read all of Psalms 18 and let the truth of God’s word fill you with strength.  Here is the link to Psalm 18 but I hope you choose to open your bible instead of reading it online. There is something so special about the feel of the Bible in your hands. 
Keep pressing forward and have a Simply Blessed day.
For more of my “Heartfelt Ramblings” grab a copy of my book Simply Blessed.
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Widen Your Tent Stakes

I am lucky to have been blessed with two beautiful children. Looking at them I am continually reminded of what a miracle they are. If I had to count the number of surgeries that I’ve had that dealt with my reproductive system, it would take two hands to count them. After one of my surgeries my doctor said, “I hope you believe in something bigger than you because there’s no way you should’ve carried one child, let alone two.”

When I had to make the critical decision of having a hysterectomy at a young age, the reality of never having another child came crashing in. We had toyed for years with the idea of adopting and when the hysterectomy became a reality the thought of adoption came back to mind. My children began saying, “Let’s adopt.” The idea of adopting sounded like such an awesome thing to do but in my heart, something didn’t feel right. I pushed back to God in prayer asking for Him to give me clarity.

Early one morning, I took a jog while I was serving at a YoungLives camp. Holding baby after baby while I served on the childcare team pulled at my heartstrings. The idea of adopting a baby had my emotions all discombobulated. During that run I asked God, “If You want me to adopt, put it on my heart to the point that it’s so overwhelming that I can think of nothing else. And if You don’t want me to adopt, remove the desire from my heart and show me what You want me to do.”

During my time at the camp God removed the idea of adopting from my heart and He reminded me of a scripture I had read in Isaiah. Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. Isaiah 54:2. The verse is in reference to Israel having so many children that her tent will need enlarging. God put it on my heart to widen my tent stakes and be a mother to others, as in teens and young adults who needed a safe adult they could talk to. I said yes, and God began to bring youth to my door asking if I would pray with them or asking me for wisdom. Before long I would be called Momma Chaffy.

As the years went by, youth came in and out of my life. Some of them I am still walking with while others just needed a moment to talk to someone. One Sunday in particular as I sat in church, my attention was drawn to a young adult who was new to my church. Each weekend I would find myself looking to see if she was at church and one day I said to my husband I think God is going to bring another young woman into my life to be a mom to. The very next weekend she approached me at church. Her name was Laci and she asked if we could go to lunch.

Over lunch Laci shared with me that she had told our pastor she needed a mom. She had a mom, but her mom was in no way active in her life. My pastor encouraged Laci to pray that God would show her who to go to. After praying, Laci felt that she was to come to me. That day would be the beginning of my relationship with Laci.

From the walks we’ve taken together, the long talks we have had, to the chick flicks we’ve watched and our many dinner and lunch dates, a very special relationship has grown between us. Laci graduated from college and I was thrilled to be sitting with her family during that special day. When I have volunteered in her classroom, she introduces me to her students as her mom. I can honestly tell you that watching her try on wedding gowns in the fall of 2017 was an honor.  Laci has met an awesome man and she will become his wife in August of 2018.

I have been given the color that Laci would like the mothers to wear. I will wear a dress in that color with pride as I watch Laci say, “I do”.  I am so excited for the wedding and also my husband has been asked to marry them. Laci has an amazing father, but she wanted to make sure that somehow my husband was also included in their special day.

As I said before, I cannot look at my children without seeing the miracle that they are. “With what’s going on inside of your body I don’t know how you carried one child, let alone two”. In man’s eyes, those words seemed so final. But in God’s eyes, those words just meant I have another plan.

Last summer my son was married, and I gained a beautiful daughter-in-law. This summer Laci, though not my biological daughter but the daughter of my heart, will be married and I will gain a new son-in-law. Someday I will get to plan one more wedding when my daughter finds the man of her dreams.

Children do not need to be your biological children to take up room in your heart. Laci is a perfect example of that.I know that there are many women out there who long to have a child and medical issues have stood in the way.  Take it from me there is plenty of room in our hearts for children that are not ours biologically. There are children to be adopted and there are teens that need someone that they can trust to speak into their lives or fill the void of a missing parent.

Programs like YoungLives need women who can mentor teen moms. Many of the youth that God has put in my life came through the youth programs in my church or my kids would ask me to reach out to a child in their school. With Mother’s Day around the corner I know that there are many women who are hurting. How painful it must be for them to watch other women celebrate the joy of motherhood every Mother’s Day.

If you are reading this and you understand the pain that I am talking about, please ask God to use you in a child’s life and be willing to widen your tent stakes.  You just might be the mother figure someone has been praying for.

For more information about use this link — YoungLIves to watch a video and learn more about how you can get involved with YoungLives.

Looking for more daily encouragement?  Order a copy of Simply Blessed (31-day devotional) from Amazon or Barnes and Nobel and christianbooks.com

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Comfortably Numb

I woke up with the words “comfortably numb” on my mind and it reminded me of the song by Pink Floyd.  Comfortably numb…hmm…have
I become comfortably numb? Have you become comfortably numb?  As the day went on, those two words continued to roll around in my head like the clothes being tossed to and fro in my dryer.  I was sure God was trying to show me something that needed to be shared with others.

The next morning at 4 a.m., I am wide-awake because I am still hearing the words “comfortably numb”.  As I lay in bed I say, “Okay God, I hear You, You have my attention. What are you trying to show me?” Any thought of staying in my warm bed was gone at that point.

Snuggled in my warm bathrobe with a cup of coffee, I sat down and got to work trying to understand what God was showing me. Thank goodness for Google because at 4 a.m. I was not ready to go looking for a dictionary. I looked up the definition of “numb” and its synonyms.

Numb when used as a verb means to “deprive of feeling or responsiveness”.  Some of the synonyms for numb are: apathetic, indifferent, callous, detached, aloof, disinterested, insensible, unconcerned, and unfeeling.

Ouch! The definition of “numb” should be enough to get our attention and the synonyms ought to pierce our hearts.  Have we as Christians become numb to the needs around us?  Have we become apathetic, indifferent, callous, detached, aloof, disinterested, insensible, unconcerned, and unfeeling towards those lost in the darkness?  Are we so “comfortably numb” that the depravity of this world no longer bothers us? Is it possible that we can make a difference?

In Ezekiel 22:30, God is looking for intercessors, people who will stand in the gap.

“I looked for someone to stand up for me against all this, to repair the defenses of the city, to take a stand for me and stand in the gap to protect this land so I wouldn’t have to destroy it. I couldn’t find anyone.” (MSG)

God couldn’t find anyone. Not one priest, not one prophet, not one prince, and not even one person who was willing to intercede in prayer.  Today God is still looking for prayer warriors who will stand in the gap. He is looking for those who have not become comfortably numb to the needs of those in their community and the world.

One person can make a difference with their prayers. Will you answer God’s call in Ezekiel 22 and pray for the lost. Can we join in prayer against the wickedness of this world?  Will you pray for our leaders and will you pray against the division in this country? Lets ask God to burden our hearts for the needs of this world so that we never become “comfortably numb”.

What was Pink Floyd singing about in their song, “Comfortably Numb”?  Some say it was drugs. Roger Waters who wrote it said it was not.  I really don’t think it matters.  What matters is that God is creative and he can use any means to reveal his message to us.  Let the opening lyrics of the song play in your head and listen closely for what God has to say to you.  They seem to go perfectly with Ezekiel 22.

Hello? Hello? Hello?

Is there anybody in there? (Or in this case, “out there”?)

Just nod if you can hear me.

God is looking for someone to answer the call to intercede in prayer for this world. Is that you?  Just nod if you can hear Him.

Until next time, may you be Simply Blessed.

Shares are welcomed and I would love to hear your thoughts on todays’ post. 

For more daily encouragement and Heartfelt Ramblings order you copy of Simply Blessed (31-day devotional) from Amazon or Barnes and Nobel and christianbooks.com

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Choosing the Block Option

Growing up I did not have social media or a cell phone that allowed anyone to get a hold of me through texts, social media apps or email any time they wanted.  When someone was hurtful to me, I would not feel obligated to hang out with him or her.  It was easy to just move on and not have to worry about what they thought or what they were doing. I remember breaking up with a boyfriend and he made one call to a friend asking her why. That was it and we moved on. There were no social media posts for him to see what I was doing. I did not know what he was up to unless we saw each other in person or a friend mentioned something.

Today cell phones, apps, and social media make it difficult to move on because technology has made it so easy for everyone to know everyone’s business.  In reality, we should have the right to choose who we let into our lives. Social media has turned that upside down. We should not feel a sense of obligation to have people who have hurt us or who make us uncomfortable watching us on social media. Watching those who have hurt us is not helpful either.

Choosing to press the block option on social media seems to be taboo. We are so worried about offending the person who offended and hurt us that we can’t block them.  We allow them to see our lives, to comment on our photos, to text us or message us through apps.

Why is that? It is my right to choose who I let into my life and it is your right too.  I have blocked people who have shown me nothing but hurt. If I wouldn’t want to spend time with them face to face because of how they hurt me, why would I want to give them access to my life on social media?  Why would anyone feel obligated to allow hurtful people to have access to their social media accounts?

Recently I blocked someone who made me very uncomfortable. My right to keep my life out of his sight on social media, far outweighs his belief that he has the right to know anything about me.

I think it is time we start looking at our cell phones, computers, and all forms of social media in the same way we look at our personal space.  We choose how close we let people get to us in regard to our personal space, right?  We are given the right to say no to unwanted hugs. We instinctively step back when our personal space is invaded.  It’s time we apply the same thinking to all forms of technology.  All of us need to understand that we have the right to step back from anyone on social media who makes us feel upset or anxious. It is time we throw out our sense of obligation that we need to be social media friends with them.

You do not have to allow someone who hurt you to watch your Snapchat story. They lost that privilege when they hurt you. Your life on Facebook is none of their business either. It is okay to choose the block option.  You do not owe anyone an explanation, just like you don’t owe anyone a reason why you don’t want them in your personal space.  Ask yourself today and be honest, who makes you anxious or upset when they are near you personally?  If you do not want to be around them, it is a good indication you don’t need them as part of your life through social media. Is there an ex-boyfriend or someone from school who is hurtful to you? If so, do you feel obligated to stay connected with them on Facebook or other forms of social media?  If you feel a sense of obligation that is keeping you from blocking someone, please talk to a parent or an adult you can trust.  Choosing the block option is okay.   As always I would love to hear what you think and feel free to share this.

This was originally written for the Whatever Girls Ministry

For more daily encouragement and Heartfelt Ramblings order you copy of Simply Blessed (31-day devotional) from Amazon or Barnes and Nobel and christianbooks.com