Sep 27, 2010

Encourage Yourself

Have you ever had those days when you have to give yourself a motivational talk? Everything around you may look not so great but you tell yourself;

“It’s going to get better.”

“I can do this!”

“Today is going to be a great day!”

In other words, you had to be your own cheering squad of one and encourage yourself.

If you’ve done this before, congratulations you’re in good company.

And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. 1 Samuel 30:6 (KJV)
In this particular chapter David and his men returned home to find that their homes had been raided and all their families taken captive. The part that got my attention was the fact that everyone went home to find the same situation yet some got bitter. David’s two wives were taken captive but the men didn’t think about that. They wanted to stone David as if he had caused the calamity.

I’m reminded that in life sometimes situations play out the same way it did in David’s day. We all suffer loss, we all experience hurt but in the midst of it all some people become bitter and ungrateful. However there are some who find strength in the Lord their God. They find comfort in him and hold on to his promises. Like David they encourage themselves in the Lord their God.

I love the way Donald Lawrence puts it in this song.

Sometimes you have to encourage yourself.
Sometimes you have to speak victory during the test.
And no matter how you feel,
speak the word and you will be healed;
speak over yourself,
encourage yourself in the Lord.

How do you encourage yourself? What’s your favorite “self talk” for the days you’re not quite the joyful Christian you’d like to be?

Trusting Him,
 ~Bernadine~

Photo credit:  Photobucket.com

Sep 24, 2010

He's Written Our Life Story



“I wish I had made different choices,” she said to me head hung down.

“What do you mean?” I asked because we were just chatting, not really talking about anything serious.

She didn’t respond, just continued what she was doing so I said to her, “Do you know that none of the decisions you made in your life even the ones you considered your biggest mistakes surprised God?






She stopped and waited for me to go on. I shared the following verse with her,


You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book.  Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. Psalm 139:16 (NLT)

We’ve all probably wondered a time or two, “Did I make decisions that threw my life off the course God set for me?”

Don’t despair. Nothing that happens in our life is a surprise to God. Our life story was written in His book before we were even conceived.

He knew every decision we were going to make and he had a plan in place for when we didn’t choose his predestined path. The place you’re at in life is not your final destination. There is still more that you are capable of, still more that God has planned for you if you would just trust him.

At the end of our conversation she said to me, “I think I need to keep a copy of that verse so I can read it daily and let it sink in.” I was only too happy to make a bookmark with the verse on it to present to her. I made one for myself too as a reminder that there is nothing about me that God doesn’t already know and he loves me just the same.

Trusting Him,
~Bernadine~


Photo credit: 123rf photos

Sep 14, 2010

No Ship Like Friendship....

9 Two are better than one,

because they have a good return for their work:

10 If one falls down,

his friend can help him up.

But pity the man who falls

and has no one to help him up!
Someone once said when God wants to bless you he puts a person in your life. I agree, friends are truly God’s gifts to us.

Here are some of the things that come to mind when I think of friendship.

-Over 15 years ago I was a broke college student, no cell phone, no internet and what felt like far away from home. A dear friend said to me, “Whenever you need to talk you can call me collect.” I did, often.

Nine years ago, about a year after I started Girl Talk magazine I asked a friend to help me pick out a copier so that I could print the magazine myself. She not only helped me pick it out but paid for it as well. I still have it today.

About six years ago I met my sister-friend for the first time after four years of online friendship. We were about to leave a restaurant when it started to rain. She ran through the rain to get an umbrella because I refused to get my hair wet. I'm still amazed by that selfless act.

Almost four years ago after my mother died I fell apart. A friend at work stepped in and did everything except teach my class until I was able to function on my own.

“You meet people who forget you. You forget people you meet. But sometimes you meet those people you can't forget. Those are your 'friends.'”Anonymous
Four different friends, four different acts, all equally special and all forever etched in my memory.

What memories does the word friendship bring to your mind??

Trusting Him,
 ~Bernadine~

Photo credit:  Photobucket

Sep 9, 2010

A Repentant Heart

What is your Christian life like? Is you walk with God easy, a piece of cake? Or do you have days where despite your best effort you fall short? Do you have times when you thought you were beyond certain temptations in your walk with God and found yourself caught up in them again? In spite of our best efforts sometimes we don’t get it right, we stumble, we fall, we fail and one prime example of failure was one of my favorite biblical characters David.

I remember reading Psalm 51 and wondering what had happened to make David write such a heartfelt Psalm that completely exposed the innermost feelings of his heart and left him broken before God. It was then that I began to study the back story.

You can find the beginning of David’s story in 2 Samuel chapter 11. David had sinned and then tried to cover it up. David suffered many repercussions because of his selfish act, the most serious being the damage he did to his relationship with God because God was very displeased with his actions.

God sent the prophet Nathan to warn David. . It was only after the prophet Nathan spoke to David that David saw what damage his selfishness had done to his relationship with God. David was a king but his reaction to the rebuke of the prophet Nathan shows that he had a humble spirit. He was able to take the chastening of the Lord.

It’s hard to take rebuke at times. If a pastor, a boss or supervisor, a parent or friend rebukes us in some way we immediately become defensive or worse offended. We do not want our faults to be pointed out to us. However this was not the case with David.

 David’s heart was broken when he realized what he had done. It was out of his brokenness that David wrote Psalm 51

1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. 2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. 10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
David’s sincerity, his passion, his pain is palpable as he pours out his heart before God. He came before God broken. He made no excuses he didn’t say the devil made him do it. He didn’t tell God about the kings who were committing worse sins than he did. David accepted responsibility for his actions. He had a repentant heart.

I hope I’m just a little like David. I hope I still go before God broken when I sin and not just as a formality. True repentance comes from the heart and not just the lips. It is a genuine commitment to change the sinful behavior and refrain from doing it again. When we sin it causes separation between us and our heavenly father and only true repentance can restore the relationship back to its original state.

Trusting Him,
~Bernadine~

Photo credit: 123rf photos

Sep 6, 2010

Use it or Lose it... It's Either One or the Other

I love to write. I’ve been writing poems, pouring out my innermost thoughts in my journal in the form of letters to God and writing short devotions on and off since I was a teenager. However, as much as I love to write I never wanted to share my writings.

I’d write a poem and then two days later read over it and decide, “there’s no way I’m going to share this. It exposes everything I feel inside. I don’t want anyone seeing that deeply.”

For years I did it. I wrote and hid it away. The notebooks with my scribbled thoughts filled up and the amount of poems in my folder grew.

I wrote when I was happy and I wrote when I was sad.

I wrote when I heard sermons, read books or listened to songs that inspired me.

Then one day I grabbed my notebook and pen and I started to write a poem, and nothing came. ..


Stop by Laced With Grace today to read the rest of my post... Use it or Lose it


Trusting Him,
~Bernadine~
Laced With Grace

Sep 4, 2010

Are you living by faith?


4 "See, he is puffed up;
his desires are not upright—
but the righteous will live by his faith [d] – (emphasis mine)
Habakkuk 2:4


But the righteous will live by his faith…

As I read this verse today the old song living by faith comes to mind

Living by faith in Jesus above,
Trusting, confiding in His great love;
From all harm safe in His sheltering arm,
I’m living by faith and feel no alarm.
By James Wells

I remember belting out this song in church when I was a little girl. It still brings back memories of our old choir director who started every song with his gruff voice, little old ladies beating tambourines and an excited congregation clapping their hands and stomping their feet as they passionately offered praises unto God.

I didn’t really understand the concept of living by faith when I was a child. However as I go back and revisit some the words of the songs we use to sing I realize the old hymns of yester year really get to the heart of the matter.

If I’m a child of God I should be living by faith.
If I am living by faith I shouldn’t be alarmed by the things I see (or don’t see) happening in the natural realm.

Living by faith means living my life and making my decisions based on what God’s word says even when it doesn’t seem to make any sense to do so. His ways are completely different from ours so He expects us to follow him, believing that his plans for our lives will come to pass.

Trusting Him,
 ~Bernadine~

Photo credit : 123RF (Royalty Free Stock Photos)

Sep 1, 2010

Trusting Him with Today

Some days I’m afraid,
I think about the future and wonder if
My dreams are going to come true.

Other days I hurt,
I cry about the past as I examine my scars
Asking God to heal the brokenness in my heart

Today I heard my father say…
My daughter, the past is best forgotten
And the future left to me,

What I want you to do is simply…
Trust me with today!

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matt 6:34 (NIV)
*******

Welcome to my new blog Trusting Him with Today. Thank you for stopping by. The title of this blog reflects my heart. I've found that sometimes in life there are more questions than answers and it’s easy to get bogged down in the uncertainty of it all. However, I know that if we would simply trust God with today,
The pain of yesterday will fade…
The joy of today will bubble in our hearts…
And the peace about tomorrow will flood our souls.

Are you trusting Him with today or does yesterday and tomorrow sometimes interfere?  I'd love to hear from you.  I'm not a daily blogger but I do hope you'll stop by and visit sometimes.

Trusting Him,
~Bernadine~