Dec 31, 2012

Thank You Lord, For Always Being There



Dear God,

It seems almost unbelievable that this is the last day in the year 2012.  It’s amazing that time can move so slowly and so quickly at the same time.

There were moments from the very first month in this year when it seemed like situations were going to get the best of me.  There were times when I felt that if I heard one more piece of bad news or experience one more disappointment I would totally lose it.

I remember a moment this year when I felt as if all of my hopes and dreams had come crashing down around me and in that moment God I questioned you.  I wondered where you were in those times when the pain went so deep that I couldn’t even share it.

But God, there were also moments this year where I experienced triumphs, moments where I felt hope ignite within my heart, moments where I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that you were with me.

I look back over this year and I see that you were there with me every step of my journey. There is not one day that I needed you and you did not show up.

So Father on this last day in 2012 I just wanted to say thank you!  Thank you for always being there for me, for loving me and working on my behalf even in those moments when I doubted that you would.  
 
This year it has been reinforced to me that
-you love me!
-I can always trust you.
-you’ll never fail me.
-I can depend on you.

Father, I look forward to 2013 with joy and anticipation, because I know that just as you were with me every step of the way during this year so will you be in 2013.

I love you Lord!
Your daughter,
Bernadine





Dec 24, 2012

Happy Birthday To You, Our Lord

Merry Christmas to all my bloggy friends and visitors. I hope you have a beautiful day filled with love, laughter and joy.

I love this old classic by Mahalia Jackson and I thought I'd share it with you.

 Happy Birthday to You Our Lord.


 Trusting Him,
 ~Bernadine~


Nov 26, 2012

God Knows


“You never did tell me why you made that decision,” he said quietly, completely out of the blue.  I stared at him in disbelief.  Was I hearing correctly? The decision he was talking about wasn’t something new, in fact it was quite a while back.  Why bring it up now?

For just a moment the old anger, hurt and resentment rose up inside.   The reasons and explanation regarding my decision had all been explained, discussed, dissected and discarded by others as trivial, including him.  Did I want to even try to explain again? Yet, I wanted to be understood.  I wanted to know that somebody saw my side. I wanted validation that my decision was the right one.

“The innate desire to defend myself battled fiercely with the voice of the holy spirit speaking softly to my heart.

“Be still, the battle is not yours.”

I sat quietly, almost frozen in that moment for what seemed like a long time but in reality was only seconds.  Why is it that I have trouble remembering this?  I often try to fight my own battles and end up with unnecessary battle scars in the process.  Why can’t I just automatically trust God to fight my battles?  As I thought about it, the answer was not really complicated.  I want immediate justice, validation, perfect endings with no loose ends.  But unfortunately, life is not perfect and often not fair…

Then finally, almost unconsciously two words came softly out of my mouth, “God knows.”

I said it again more assertively, “God knows.”

As I said it, I sat back with a sigh of relief.  I gave the desire to be understood to God. 

 The Lord is watching everywhere,
      keeping his eye on both the evil and the good. Proverbs 15:3 NLT

Truly God does know.  Nothing we do is a surprise to him.   

God knows the whole matter.

God knows what was said and what was done.

God knows who’s wrong and who’s right.

God knows my side, your side, their side and the unbiased truth.

God knows the back story that no one else is privy to.  He knows the heart of a matter.

Some decisions that we make will never make sense in the natural. There will always be those who feel that they are more qualified to make decisions about our lives than we are.   Often our decisions may be second guessed and dissected.  However the important thing to know is that you make your life decisions after much prayer and communication with God. 

 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
      do not depend on your own understanding.  6 Seek his will in all you do,
      and he will show you which path to take.  Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)      


The true measure of a woman shows when she allows God’s peace to fill her heart even in the midst of difficult situations.  It shines forth in her trust and confidence in God.  


Trusting Him,
 ~Bernadine~

I wrote this article for Sanctified Together a couple of years ago and decided to share it here after a recent conversation with a friend.  I needed a little reminder that, God knows!

Nov 12, 2012

The God Interviews Book Review


I was happy when I was offered the opportunity to review a copy of the God Interviews by Julie Allyson-Ieron.  It’s just the type of book that I enjoy digging into.  Many of the questions that are addressed in the book are actually questions that I would ask God if he was my captive audience.

Julie Allyson Ieron’s book The God Interviews Questions You Would Ask; Answers God Gives is a book designed to answer some of the most common and often heartfelt questions people often ask God. This book is set up in a style (as the name implies) in which God is actually in studio being interviewed and asked some rather tough questions.  In some cases women whose name reflected the pain of their questions called in to put their questions to the creator.

Disgruntled in Delaware wanted to know, “Why did you make me the way I am?”
Flummoxed asked, “Why have you allowed bad things into my life?”
Weeping in Westdale asked, “Why do answers take so long?”

I was impressed by the way Julie Allyson-Ieron wove the fictional interviews with God into this book based on scripture. I found much to think about as I read through the book.  What I also liked was the fact that although the interviews were fictional, after each segment the author adeptly ties in scripture instead of taking creative liberties with the answers.

I would highly recommend this book. This is also one that I will place on my reread list.


Trusting Him,
~Bernadine~

Oct 2, 2012

A Memory that Lingers...


I was at home one evening when I heard a soft but insistent knocking on my door.  I really didn’t feel up to having company but the person would not give up.  I quietly glanced outside to see who it was.  After seeing a little girl and boy standing there I opened the door.  I didn’t recognize the faces of the children but they looked at me with the saddest eyes...

I'm at Laced With Grace today.  I'd love for you to stop by to read the rest of my post, A Memory that Lingers




Trusting Him,
~Bernadine~

Oct 1, 2012

Thinking about you...


Mommy


We never thought we’d be left
With just memories of you
We never dreamt you’d be gone
From our lives so soon.

You always seemed invincible
Like nothing could keep you down.
You were like a spiritual super woman
On the battlefield for your Lord.

You never once got tired.
Of winning the lost for Him.
Your mission, your very life’s work
Was to spread the love of Christ.

You did an excellent job Mommy.
We all knew and felt his love,
Because it was always demonstrated
In your smile, your kisses and your hugs.

Your heart was as big as the ocean.
Showing love for one and all.
Making us all feel so special
Because you loved us faults and all.

We can’t believe we’ll never get
Another hug here on this side
But Mommy, rest assured we’ll see you again
Because we have Jesus on the inside.


We love you and miss you Mommy,
 six years after goodbye,
I'm still,
Your baby girl







Sep 9, 2012

Just for Me


Dear God,

For some reason today, I found myself humming the song, “Just for Me.”  I stopped and meditated on the lyrics for just a moment.

Just for me, just for me
Jesus came and did it just for me…

It was a timely reminder of all you have done for me.  I stand, as always, in awe of you.  When I think of the most special thing anyone has ever done for me it doesn’t even come close to measuring up.  What do you say to someone who has given his all for you? Somehow thank you just isn’t enough, but I’ll say it anyway.  Lord, I thank you for sending your son, just for me.

Love,
Your daughter
Bernadine.



Aug 13, 2012

Staying Focused



A few days ago I went to do some work in my classroom.  School isn’t officially opened yet but somehow a few of us teachers are always back early organizing and beautifying our classrooms as if we are hard pressed to stay away.

As I stepped through the door I immediately felt overwhelmed. Everything just seemed in such chaos that I wasn’t sure where to begin.  I’d come with a plan to simply organize my cupboard and put away some papers and books.  However, I saw so much other things that I needed to do that I was tempted to take on the whole room.  I didn’t though because I knew that I’d fail miserably and go home feeling as if I accomplished nothing.

So I grabbed a stack of papers, sat behind my desk and started putting them in order.  As I worked I blanked out the chaos of the room and refused to let it distract me from my goal.  At the end of the few hours I was there the room still looked a bit chaotic but I knew I had accomplished the one thing I set out to do instead of failing at many things.

So many times I am guilt of similarly wanting to take on the world.  There seem to be so many people hurting I wish I could help, numerous projects worth being a part of, countless inspirational books I just have to read… and before I know it I’m exhausted.  I’m burnt out and worst yet I can’t see what I’ve accomplished with so many incomplete projects before me.  So I take a break and ask my father just what is it I need to focus on in this moment of my life.

He directs, he guides, he tells me to focus on him because, Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it… Psalm 127:1
  

Trusting Him,
 ~Bernadine~

A few pics of  my class from  two years ago.  




Aug 6, 2012

The Ultimate Goal


I’m not an athlete, never have been.  In fact you can say I’m not much of a sports fan except on occasion.  However once every four years I become a total fanatic about the world of sports when the Olympics come around.   I love the fact that each country sends out its best to represent them at these games.

I enjoy hearing the life stories of my favorites at the Olympics.  Knowing the time, effort and sacrifice that enabled them to reach to the moment where they become Olympians makes me to a small degree understand how devastating a loss is and how victory can make all the sacrifices seem worthwhile.

The Olympics is a place where dreams become reality for some and come crashing down for others.  It’s the place where the favorite doesn’t always win and the most unexpected sometimes happen.   As I watch, I applaud, celebrate and commiserate with those who participate in these games.  I admire their dedication but most of all I am inspired by their passion...


I'm at Laced With Grace today.  I'd love for you to stop by to read the rest of my post The Ultimate Goal.











Trusting Him,
 ~Bernadine~

Jul 26, 2012

Using Your Gifts to Please God


You don’t give yourself enough credit.”

She said it quietly, without much emphasis, simply stating what she considered a fact.  Before I could respond she continued, “I haven’t tasted anything you cooked that wasn’t good.”
photo credit:  123rf.com

My friend Mandie visited me for the first time this summer.  It was a visit almost twelve years in the making.  Long before she came I made it known I didn’t consider myself the best cook.  I told her how well my sisters cooked but not me. I wanted to make sure I warned her in advance just in case she didn’t enjoy my cooking.   The fact is she did enjoy my sisters’ food but she enjoyed my own also.

Long after she left, her words played over and over in my mind.  “You don’t give yourself enough credit.”

Mandie’s words reminded me of something a church sister spoke in prayer meeting lately.  She said, “All God wants you to do is your best.  So, whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability.”  In the final analysis, God is not looking for the best cook, the snappiest dresser, the most creative homemaker or the most eloquent blogger. God is looking for people who will use their gifts and abilities whatever they may be, for his service and in service to others.

So even if we’re not what we consider to be the best at what we do, when we yield our gifts to God and allow him to use them He is pleased wit us.  And if God is pleased we should be alright with that.

What about you?  Do you often find yourself downplaying your gifts to others because you sincerely believe that what you do does not measure up? 


Trusting Him,
 ~Bernadine~

Jul 16, 2012

Dream Killers


What would you say if I told you that two killers were on the loose in your neighborhood and you were accused of aiding and abetting them? I’m sure you’d never do something like that… or would you? Well believe it or not it’s true.



 There are two killers on the loose and they are hiding out in a place you least suspect. These two killers are the best in the world. No matter how many times they are captured they always manage to escape.

They are more sinister than those behind the September 11th attacks, more terrifying than the deadliest diseases, and more intimidating than the fiercest bully.

These two always work together. In fact it’s in togetherness that they get their power. They have no respect for age; they kill young and old alike. However, they don’t kill the flesh, that’s much too obvious after all you may catch on and try to protect yourselves and your love ones.

These killers are after something else. If allowed to go unchecked they will destroy your dreams, your faith and your hope for a bright and beautiful future. They will reduce you to doubting your abilities, your purpose for being and your very worth as a person. These two assassins will not be found walking the streets, or hiding in bushes, in fact they hide in the most unlikely place… your mouth. These killers that I’m talking about are two simple words that we use countless times throughout the day.


The two assassins that I speak of, the killers of dreams, the instigators of doubt are the words I can’t.

What gives these words so much power is that they cause you to kill your own dreams without realizing. Every time you say I can’t a little piece of your dream dies because in essence you’re saying I’m not even going to try.

Many of us today are less than we should be, less than we want to be and less than God called us to be because we have allowed these assassins free reign over our lives. We have allowed it so much that many times we won’t even try anything new. Every time we are presented with a new challenge the first words out of our mouths are the words I can’t.

I dare you as of this moment to say something different. I dare you to stop letting those two dream killers have free reign in your life. I dare you to instead of saying I can’t say I’m going to try. You may not succeed at everything you try to do but at least you’re putting yourself in race.


This article was originally the introduction to a sermon I gave during a Youths’ Day service several years ago.  I’ve been thinking a lot about achieving dreams lately so I decided to share this again.  I’ll probably be doing another post about dreams and goals soon as I continue to think out loud.


Trusting Him,
Bernadine

Photo credit:  inmagine.com





Jul 6, 2012

I'll Do it Tomorrow...


Tomorrow,
I’ll do it tomorrow,
Next week,
Next month,
Next year…
I’ll get to it eventually,
I know I will.

And so another dream lies
In the corner
Covered with dust
Waiting for the right opportunity,
The perfect moment,
The right person to give her approval.

The weeks,
Months and
Years pass by.
Yet, dreams remain hidden in the corner and
Plans to achieve them remain the same.
I’ll do it tomorrow,
I’m sure the perfect opportunity will come.

What’s stopping you?
Why aren’t you working,
Building,
Achieving, today?

Dreams are resilient…
Go pick yours up.
Brush them off…
Shine them up…
Work at them,
Today!
Because the years are passing
And one day you’ll find
Tomorrow…
it really is too late!


Just thinking out loud today.

Trusting Him, 
~Bernadine~

Jul 3, 2012

Don't Miss the Moment


“I feel so good today!”

These heartfelt words came from the young gentleman who was helping me with my groceries.  “Really, did something special happen today?” I asked him.  He went on to tell me that he had gotten his report card that day and he was excited because he had done so well.  When we reached to my car he reached into his pocket, pulled out his report card and proudly showed it to me.  I’d never met this young man but I was happy to share in his excitement.  I told him to keep up the good work and that I was proud of him.  I had about $7.00 left after paying for my groceries so I gave it to him and told him to take that as a small reward for his excellent report card.  He left me with a bright smile on his face feeling happy that someone took time to share in his success.

As I got into my car, I thought about that short moment in time and I was thankful that I didn’t miss it. It took but a moment of my time to make someone’s day.  But, many times I’m guilty of allowing busyness to cause me to not be present in the moment...  

I'm at Laced With Grace today.  Do stop by to read the rest of my post  Don't Miss the Moment










Trusting Him,
 ~Bernadine~

Jun 14, 2012

Coffee With God

(Inspired by my goddaughter Lashaunna)

Last year my goddaughter Lashaunna started first grade at the school where I teach. From her very first day she started the tradition of stopping by my class in the evenings before her mother picks her up. Every evening she greets me with a sweet “hi Goddie Bernie,” and a big hug, then after a short conversation runs off happily to wait for her mother.

Lashaunna in her beautiful church dress

Some days when Shaunna comes I’m busy with a parent or colleague so she’ll stand quietly waiting for me to notice her then if I take too long she slips out because she knows her mother is waiting. However, after a few times I noticed her disappointment so I decided that no matter who I’m talking too I’d just excuse myself for a moment and give her for a hug. It really doesn’t take but a moment of my time and she leaves happy knowing that I’m not too busy for her.
My beautiful goddaughter and me
Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. Daniel 6:10

I was thought of Shaunna one day as I was studying the book of Daniel. She shows up everyday although there were days when I was too busy and she left disappointed. Daniel showed up for his set time with God even when it was dangerous for him to do so. He didn’t think, “Oh God will understand if I don’t pray today.” He knew that was the time he had set aside to spend with God and he was determined to keep the appointment no matter what. As I studied I was reminded of my set time with God. I usually get up at about 5:45 a.m. so that by 6 a.m. I can sit with my Bible and cup of coffee and spend some time with God before I start my day. However, there are times when I oversleep, or I’m feeling a bit tired or maybe just plain lazy so I’m not at our meeting place at the appointed time. He reminded me that he’s there every morning at 6 o’ clock waiting for me even on the days when I don’t show at the set time.


Morning Quiet Time

As I sat there I wondered, “God, do you leave disappointed like Shaunna on the days when I don’t give you the time I’m supposed to? Do you linger round when I oversleep hoping I won’t be in too much of a hurry that we can’t have our time together?” I knew the answer without him even saying a word. It made me more determined to keep my time commitment to him. I call my early morning devotion, Coffee with God, and truly it’s the sweetest part of my day and it sets the tone for the rest of my day.

Shaunna's 6th Grade Graduation
Trusting Him,
 ~Bernadine~

I shared this post at Laced With Grace in 2007.  However I thought I'd share it again in honor of my beautiful goddaughter Lashaunna's sixth grade graduation.  I'm going to miss her sweet smiling face popping into my classroom just to give me a hug. Also, I'm going miss to the laugh I got out of seeing her seeing her mom or big sister many evenings having to visit some of the classrooms and places my social little (not so little anymore) goddaughter just had to stop off to before going to wait to be picked up.

May 22, 2012

In God Alone...

I’m the youngest child in a family of eight.  Consequently, when I was growing up there were always people around that I could count on to be there for me when I needed them.  However, inevitably as happens in life there were times when they let me down in spite of their well meaning intentions.  To be fair I’ve done the same also.


But it just goes to prove that no matter how good our intentions are we disappoint others.  We are human, we make mistakes and we unknowingly cause pain.  Sometimes it’s not easy to let go of the pain that others cause us even when it wasn’t deliberate.  We often want to hold on to it and allow the hurt to grow instead of letting it go... 


I'm at Laced With Grace today.  Do stop by to read the rest of my post In God Alone...





May 10, 2012

Reflecting on Plan B...


From the first time I heard about Pete Wilson’s book Plan B: What Do You Do When God Doesn't Show Up the Way You Thought He Would?  I knew it was a book I needed to read.  So a few days ago I finally bought a copy.  

I haven’t had a book reduce me to tears in a very long time.  However this one has.  As I read I was reminded me of the lyrics to a Roberta Flack song…


I felt he found my letters
And read each one out loud
I prayed that he would finish
But he just kept right on


Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words


It may seem like quite a stretch, comparing Roberta Flack’s song to Pete Wilson’s book however his book Plan B struck a chord in the best possible way.  I found my story between the pages…  It’s difficult to reach to a point in life where it seems as if nothing is going according to plan.  You wonder where God is and why He isn’t doing those things you expect of him.

The book offers encouragement to people who find themselves in the midst of a Plan B.  Pastor Wilson emphasizes the point that although life may not have turned out the way you expect it to it’s not the end of the road.  God has a purpose in everything even the disappointing and terrible moments in your life.

Pastor Wilson interweaves stories of everyday people along with biblical characters who find themselves in the midst of a Plan B.  He emphasizes that even our biblical heroes like Job, Joseph and others had moments when they knew they did everything right but still life went horribly wrong.  Dreams didn’t materialize family and trusted friends let them down.  The unfathomable happened, God seemingly forsook them… but yet they stood strong.  Life didn’t miraculously become better but God used the terrible moments in their lives for his glory.

In spite of my many words I am only halfway through Pete Wilson’s book.  It’s not a book I want to rush.  I’m reading and stopping to let it sink in because this is exactly where I am right now in the midst of a Plan B trying to figure out what God wants me to do next…

Have you read the book Plan B?  What are your thoughts?

Trusting Him,
Bernadine

May 2, 2012

Look on the Sunny Side


photo credit: 123rf.com


There are always two sides
the good and the bad,

The dark and the light,
the sad and the glad--

But in looking back over
 the good and the bad

We're aware of the number
of good things we've had--

And in counting our blessings
we find when we're through

We've no reason at all
to complain or be blue--

So thank God for good things
He has already done,

And be grateful to Him
for the battles you've won,

And know that the same God
 who helped you before

Is ready and willing
to help you once more--

Then with faith in your heart
reach out for God's Hand

And accept what He sends,
 though you can't understand--

For our Father in heaven
always knows what is best,

And if you trust in His wisdom
your life will be blest,

For always remember
 that whatever betide you,

I found this beautiful poem in a book of Helen Steiner Rice’s poems a dear friend gave me today for my birthday. These words are quite relevant as I begin a new year… I’m reminded to trust God and look on the sunny side of life.  


Thank you Lord for another year and for daily reminding me just how much you care.

Trusting Him, 
~Bernadine~

Apr 20, 2012

Mission Impossible


One million one, one million two, one million three…

Photo credit:  123rf.com
As I counted I surveyed the area around me.  The beautiful sandy beach stretched on for miles and miles.  Then I looked at the little pile of sand in front of me, it could barely fill a sandwich bag.

It was at this point in the face of my insurmountable task that I finally threw my hands in the air and shouted “I give up!!!”

I knew then as I knew when I began that my mission was impossible, not Tom Cruise impossible but really impossible.  There were not hours enough in the day or days enough in my remaining time on earth to count the grains of sand on this one beach in the Bahamas so the world…? I think not.  








I'm at Laced With Grace today.  I hope you'll stop by and read the rest of my post Mission Impossible




Trusting Him,
~Bernadine~

Apr 14, 2012

Forever Home

The photos in this post were taken by me as I approached home after being away on vacation.

I love to travel when I have an opportunity.  However, there is always something exciting about returning home.  I have a sense of anticipation because I know I’m going to be back to a place and a people that I love.  But as much as I love my home, as excited as I always am to return I’m happy that this is not my forever home.

I’ve just finished reading Max Lucado’s book Traveling Light.  The chapter before the end was titled  Almost Heaven.  In this chapter he talks about longing for home.  I love the way he puts it so eloquently.
Would you treat this world like home?  It isn’t.  The greatest calamity is not to feel far from home when you are, but to feel right at home when you are not.   Don’t quench but rather stir this longing for heaven.  God’s home is a forever home. “And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6 NKJV) Traveling Light, Max Lucado pg154
I’m so glad that there’s nothing wrong with me feeling like a sojourner here because I am.  This is not my forever home.  This is just my temporary home and my forever home with Jesus is being prepared.

Trusting Him,
 ~Bernadine~

Apr 11, 2012

Almost


Almost

I almost gave up Lord
I almost let you go
For I couldn’t hear your voice
When I felt I needed you most

I had devised my plan
And how to follow through
I was going to pack it in
I’d decided I was through

But with one simple act
You’ve shown yourself to me
To let me know that
You had never forsaken me

I realize now Father
You were speaking all along
But I was too angry, bitter and hurt
To pay attention to your voice

For I knew if I had listened
You’d have said to let it go
For bitterness has no place
Within a Christian’s soul

You’d have told me, I’m sure,
That I was fighting without cause
For the battle is not mine
Jesus had already won it at the cross

But Lord I’m listening now
With a contrite and broken heart
Secured in the knowledge that
you’ll never give up
on this wayward child of yours
(2001)

Backstory
photo credit:  fotosearch.com

Have you experienced times in your Christian walk where it seems if you were the very last item on God’s agenda and he had barely started His list?  (Please let me know I’m not the only one). 

I was quite a few years into my walk with God when I was hurt to the point that I felt broken, bruised and quite forsaken by God.  So in my humanistic way of thinking I thought well if God doesn’t care why should I…?  Thankfully He didn’t give up on me and out of that experience I wrote the above poem.  I'm so glad that almost, doesn't count..


Trusting Him, 
~Bernadine~

Apr 7, 2012

Because he Lives


It was Friday evening. Heads were hung low. Unanswered questions echoed through troubled minds.

Did we make a mistake in following this man?” Is he really the one prophesized about by the prophets of old?” “What is he doing hanging on a cross?”

I can only imagine the questions of the disciples as they watched the events that took place unable to intervene. I’m sure Peter wanted to take on everyone on Jesus’ behalf and he did try;
10Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, cutting off his right ear.
However,
11Jesus commanded Peter, "Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?" John 18:10-11

Whenever I read the Easter story I am always in awe of the depth of God’s love for us. Jesus didn’t want anyone to fight this battle, to step in and be His savior because he was The Savior.

I can picture the disciple that Jesus loved. He must have felt helpless, lost, even forsaken. This man was probably a big brother, maybe even father figure to him and now there he hung beaten, bleeding and seemingly defeated on the cross. Probably knowing his sense of helplessness Jesus gave him an assignment, one that He would only give to someone He trusted completely.
26When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," 27and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home John 19:26-27
That beloved disciple must have held his new mother close and comforted her as Jesus cried It is finished." then bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
Darkness, despair, discouragement, total hopelessness… this is how that moment must have seemed to those who loved Jesus, the moment where all hopes, dreams and expectations came crashing down. We’ve all experienced those moments in life. But I am so thankful that moment on the cross was not the end of the story. I’m so thankful for resurrection Sunday, that an empty tomb stands testament to the fact that He rose again, that my Jesus lives.

photo credit:  Photobucket.com
10Then the disciples went back to their homes, 11but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?"
"They have taken my Lord away," she said, "and I don't know where they have put him." 14At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there… John 20:13-14

Oh the joy of that moment when a ray of hope cuts through the darkness, when the impossible becomes possible, when hope springs anew…

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth a living, just because He lives
Bill Gaither

Trusting Him,
~Bernadine~

Re-posted from my teen girl blog

Mar 12, 2012

Thanks for the Memories

photo credit: Photobucket
Dear God,

Every single day of my life you give me a reason to give thanks.  Sometimes it’s easy to thank you when it’s something tangible or visible to the eye. 

Likewise Lord, it’s easy to become ungrateful when I can’t touch or see the things you do for me on a daily basis.  However, Father I’m learning more and more every day that there is just so much more to you than what my eyes can see and what my hands can touch.

Today Father, as I sat memories ran through my mind of family, friends, love, laughter and happy times.  The memories brought a smile to my face and the thought to my mind that memories are a precious blessing, something for which I should thank my father up above.

So today Lord I want to say, thank you for the memories. 

Thank you for memories from childhood that still bring a nostalgic smile to my face.

Thank you for memories of family who inspire me to always give you praise.

Thank you for memories of friends who encourage me along the way
.
Thank you Lord for the memories of those who have gone on and those present still.  I consider them all to be blessings in my life.

Lord again I say, thank you for memories.

Love,
Your daughter,
~Bernadine~

Mar 11, 2012

The Gift of Prayer...

Have you ever thought about prayer as a gift you can offer as well as receive?
I'm over at my friend Michele's  new blog, Hidden in My Heart, talking about The Gift of Prayer.
I hope you'll stop by.

update

I've also shared this post, The Gift of Prayer at Laced With Grace.

Trusting Him,
 ~Bernadine~

Mar 7, 2012

A Quote I Like

Photo Credit:  Microsoft clipart

When a Christian shuns fellowship with other Christians
the devil smiles,
When he stops studying the Bible
 the devil laughs.
When he stops praying
the devil shouts for joy.
--Corrie Ten Boom


I found this quote recently and I thought I'd share it with you.  
I think I need this reminder for those days when I don't feel like doing any of those things.

Trusting Him, 
~Bernadine~

Mar 4, 2012

Let the Church Say...


Let the church say Amen,Let the church say Amen
God has spoken, so let the church say Amen

Let the church, let 'em say Amen
If you believe the word, let the whole church say Amen
God has spoken, so let the church say Amen


I can’t remember hearing the song Let the Church Say Amen before I heard Pastor Marvin Winans sing it at Whitney Houston’s funeral.



 Ever since then, it has been stuck in my spirit.

I’ve found the song and I’ve been listening to it over and over again because it ministers to my heart and I can never be reminded enough that God’s promises are sure.

Sometimes life can get difficult.  Dreams, desires and even the promises of God seem like a fairy tale, something that happens to others while you stand by and watch.

But I’ve been reminded every time I sang that song in the past few weeks that God has spoken and even though his word seem long in coming to pass I say Amen.

 I notice that I've been leaning towards the same types of songs lately.  Maybe God is trying to send me a message...



Trusting Him, 
~Bernadine~

Feb 21, 2012

The Gift of Encouragement

 I’m kinda quiet at times, especially in large groups.  I’m a bit of an introvert that way.  So navigating the whole blogging world is still somewhat of a challenge to me because even in the privacy of my home, behind the safety of my computer screen I’m still the girl who although she loves the Lord, loves to share him, loves to laugh, talk and voice her opinions, still find it easier to do so in small familiar groups.

Staying in a comfort zone is easy for me but ever so often God allows me to meet up with people who encourage me to go beyond my comfort zone... 

I'm at Laced with Grace today. Do stop by to read the rest of my article The Gift of Encouragement



Trusting Him,
~Bernadine~

Jan 25, 2012

God Will Do What He Says He Will Do

No weapons formed against me shall prosper it won’t work…

That song has been lingering in my spirit since this year began. I have practically worn out my Fred Hammond cd playing it.

God will do what he says he will do, he will stand by his word he will come through…

I have needed the encouragement and indeed it has encouraged me. So I thought I’d share it with my dearest bloggy friends… you.

Has God promised you something that he has not yet brought to pass?

Don’t give up! Hold fast to his promise, he will do what he says he will do.


Does it sometimes feel as if he has forgotten you? Continue to have faith, he will stand by his word. He will come through.

Do you find it difficult to accept the promises of God at times? So do I. I know it doesn’t seem a very Christian-like thing to admit but…

Sometimes I get discouraged to the point where I don’t want to hear anyone saying to me that God is going to keep his word.

I’ve read it.

I can recite it.

I know in theory (and by personal experience) that he keeps his word. He fulfills his promises, he doesn’t forget his children.

But some days I don’t want to hear what God is going to do I want to see him move on my time.

On days like that I get discouraged, I pout, I cry, I question him.

However, my pouting doesn’t cause him to move one moment faster that he planned to. It simply reveals to me that I have some more growing to do.

And so I encourage myself. I find solace in His word. I put my focus on the giver and not the gifts. I remind myself that I’ve come too far to doubt his promises now.

So I ask myself…

- What if Jairus had give up when the servant told him not to bother Jesus because his daughter was dead?

- What if the woman with the issue of blood had believed the report of the last doctor she’d seen and not trusted Jesus for a miracle?

- What if the man lying at the pool of Bethesda for 38 years had asked someone to take him home the day before Jesus came by?

They would all have missed out on their miracle.

I don’t want to be known as, “the one who missed out because she got discouraged” or “the one who because God didn’t do it in her time or in her way didn’t think he’d do it at all…”

So my dear bloggy friends, I’d just like to remind you, me, us… as January begins to wind down and the newness of the new year inevitably begins to fade that God is a keeper of his word.

His promises are sure.

He will do what he says he will do.

He will stand by his word.

He will come through.

Sometimes he answers “while we are yet praying” and sometimes he takes longer than we feel comfortable with. But however he does it be assured that he will do it.

As the enemy begins to send the weapons of doubt and fear to your mind don’t let it get inside of you. Remember the weapons will form but they won’t prosper… unless we let it.

My friends whatever promises God has made to you in this year hold on to them… He will come through.

I had no intentions of writing this lengthy post, I simply wanted to share this song with you but God had other plans.



I hope this song encourages you and gives you hope as it has done me.


Trusting Him,
~Bernadine~