Dec 10, 2013

Don't Lose Your Peace

Peace… it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work.  It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart. (Unknown)
It had just been an hour or so earlier when I’d texted a friend that I was having a good day.  A short encounter with someone shortly afterwards started to get me frustrated.  A little later and another conversation with another person and I got even more frustrated.  Before I knew it, my sense of peace began to dissipate.  I started to feel annoyed and actually called my sister to vent about a day that had for the most part gone quite well.

I'm at Laced With Grace today.  I'd love it if you stop by and read the rest of my article Don't Lose Your Peace

Trusting Him,

Nov 26, 2013

Eve of Awakening Book Review and Giveaway

Eve of Awakening is a futuristic Christian fiction book set in the United States which is separated by class and ideologies after the Second Civil War.  Eve Pallue is the main character.  This book tells Eve’s story and chronicles her journey and changes in thinking.

Eve, an Elite Efficientist is the daughter of Arthur Pallue, the man who helped create Life Efficiency.  Life Efficiency condenses everything down to the barest necessity to get optimal production. Efficientists even sleep in sleepers to reduce the amount of sleep they need each night.

Eve’s sleeper malfunctions one night and she suffers an awakening which almost kills her.  This experience sparks the beginning of Eve’s search for answers as she begins to experience flashbacks of a mother she had forgotten and a life that seemed to contradict her belief in Life Efficiency.

 Many interesting characters appear throughout this book to assist Eve on her journey.  From Christina who led her to Christ, to Jonah who protected her, to Esther and Deborah who took care of her and nurtured her, there was not a time she needed someone that God didn’t have the right person in place to assist her in her quest for answers and finding out more about her mother.

I found myself fascinated by Eve and drawn into her world as she embraced her new life in Christ although it meant leaving behind what many may have seen as an enviable life.

Eve’s story has an ending that satisfies my desire for closure and the tying up of loose ends yet leaves me anticipating the next chapter in her journey…

 Eve of Awakening is the debut novel written by my blogging friend Alisa Wagner.  Alisa is giving away a signed copy of her book Eve of Awakening to one lucky reader.  If you enjoy reading Christian fiction that has depth and meaning be sure to leave a comment. Check back next Wednesday to see if you're the lucky reader to win a copy of Alisa’s book.

Trusting Him,

Nov 5, 2013

Living in Fast Forward Mode

Have you ever watched a movie in fast forward mode?  Doesn't make much sense does it?  I've watched enough movies to know that in order to get the full effect and understanding of the movie, I have to watch it at its intended pace.  When I do fast forward through what I consider the boring parts of the movies, I actually find myself having to rewind because I don't quite understand what is happening and in those moments I realize that even the "boring" parts have its purpose.

Unfortunately, sometimes I treat my life with a little less respect and reverence than I do those movies. As I reflect on my life, the memories roll through my mind like scenes from a movie.  However, the scenes are all in fast forward mode.  

I'm at Laced With Grace today.  I'd love it if you'd stop by to read the rest of my post Living in Fast Forward Mode.

Trusting Him, ~Bernadine~

Oct 12, 2013

Not One Sin

I had a dream one night,
That the rapture had taken place.
And too my sad dismay,
I had been left behind.

I screamed and cried in disbelief.
Lord why am I still here?
I did everything I knew to do,
In preparation for your coming.

I’ve preached your word,
I’ve witnessed, to sinners everywhere.
Now I’ve found that you have come,
And left me in despair.

In my dream, I heard a voice
Speak sadly in my ear,
My child I love you dearly,
But not one sin can enter here.

On that note, I then awaken
Feeling shivers down my spine,
Determined within my heart,
To be ready at all times.

Trusting Him,

Oct 3, 2013

Stepping Out in Faith

Life is strange sometimes.  Just as you get to a place where life is going along seemingly well and you are happy inhabiting your comfort zone, you suddenly start longing for more.  You want something to change.  Maybe you have a “dream job” in mind that you would like to go after.  Maybe it’s moving someplace new or a million other scenarios. However with each one of them, risk is involved.

The big question is do I want to risk what I have now for something that may or may not pan out? Do I have enough faith to believe that it will work out?
I'm at Laced With Grace Today.  I'd love it if you'd stop by and read the rest of my post Stepping Out in Faith
Trusting Him,

Oct 1, 2013

Lessons From My Mother

Dear Mommy,

 Today makes exactly seven years since I got the news that you had gone to your heavenly home. A part of me died that day and for the longest time afterward I didn’t want to live. Life just wasn’t the same without you and I wasn’t sure I could cope. But I did. I had to put the things that you instilled in me into practice. I’m thankful for the lessons that I learned as I navigated through life without you.

 1. Talk to God always

Although I know I have a relationship with God there were times when I found it easier to depend on you for answers. I called you when I was hurt, depressed or had decisions to make that I wasn’t sure which way to go. You would always pray for me, counsel me and then tell me, “Talk to God Baby. You have to know how to talk to God for yourself because Mommy isn’t always going to be with you.”

 2. Keep my eyes on God.

 I get distracted sometimes Mommy. I worry about what others think about me and expect of me. But you always told me, “Don’t worry about what people think, keep your eyes on God. Do what he tells you to do.” It’s sinking in Mommy. I worry less and less about what others think the older I get.

 3. I am precious to God.

 From my earliest memory you always made me feel special and loved. Sometimes out of the blue you’d look at me and say, “You’re a pretty girl. I love you.” Then you’d tell me, :”God loves you. You are precious to him.”No matter how difficult life gets, even on the days when for whatever reason I’m not talking to God like I should, I know within my heart I’m precious to him.

 4. God keeps his promises.

 I haven’t changed much since you went to heaven Mommy. I’m still the same impatient person you knew me to be. I get tired waiting. I sometimes complain and often have doubts when I don’t see things happening like I want them to. However, deep down inside I know God keeps his promises. Even in my moments of doubts, I hold fast to that because I saw you live it out before me. You never seemed to doubt God’s promises. You always believed that God would do what he said he would do.

The list is endless of the lessons I’ve learned from your life Mommy. I’m so grateful to God for the time that he allowed me to have you in my life. You were my best friend, confidant, counselor, pastor and so much more. Until the day we meet again, I will always miss you.

Your baby girl

 P.S. Sometimes when I want to hear your voice I listen to this… It reminds me of the many messages I heard you preach and the many times you prayed for me.

Sep 21, 2013

A word for the discouraged

Through out time God has watched
And listened to his children as they
Came to him with tear streaked faces
And questioning eyes.

He has watched sadly and sometimes
Quietly as they left his presence
With heavy hearts and shoulders slumped
Thinking he hadn’t heard their petitions.

He has closed his eyes in quiet pain
As yet another whispered why Lord?
Why? Reached his ear.  He’s listened sadly
To the cries of when? Lord when will it all end?

The night has been long and hard.
The enemy has used the covering of darkness
To bring confusion fear, anger and depression.

In the darkness it seems as if you have nothing.
In the darkness it is easy to doubt God.
It is human to doubt in the darkness because
With the physical eyes you can’t see any way out.

But God has seen, He’s listened and now
He’s saying to someone, Morning has broken.
He is saying I am with you even in the darkness.
When all seem bleak I am here.  I will never leave you

Nor forsake you.  Trust in me my child.  Morning has broken.

Trusting Him,

Shared previously on my teen girl blog.

Sep 5, 2013

It's Gonna Be Alright

I jumped in my car and turned on the engine.  It felt as if the weight of the world was on my shoulders.  My eyes were heavy from tears that were so close I could feel them about to fall.  I had just gotten some distressing news and I wasn’t sure what it meant and how to process it.
Questions weighed heavily on my mind as I mentally prepared myself for the period of tears and questions I was about to enter with my heavenly father. However before the first tear could trickle down my cheek I heard the lyrics to a song coming across my car radio...
I'm at Laced With Grace Today.  I'd love it if you'd stop by and read the rest of my post It's Gonna Be Alright

Trusting Him,

Aug 19, 2013

Life Without Limits

During my summer vacation I always have my list of books to read and this summer was no different.  However I found myself pushing them aside and focusing on a book I randomly picked up at the bookstore.  I had seen Nick Vujicic many times on clips on YouTube and read articles that people had written about him so when I saw his book Life Without Limits I decided to buy it.

Part of the synopsis of the book states:
 Born without arms or legs, Nick Vujicic overcame his disabilities to live an independent, rich, fulfilling, and “ridiculously good life” while serving as a role model for anyone seeking true happiness.
As I read the book I was totally captivated by Nick’s attitude. I was also inspired by his determination to find his place in life in spite of his limbless body.

What I liked about the book is that Nick doesn’t hide the fact that he had times when he struggled.  He had times when he questioned, why?  He had times when he was despondent and considered giving up.  In fact there was a time when he actually contemplated suicide, but thankfully he never followed through.

Today Nick inspires many as a motivational speaker.  He reminds people that no matter what their circumstances are God has a purpose for their lives.

Nick’s message in this book is simply that you CAN live a life without limits if you trust in God.

Below is a short clip of one of Nick's motivational messages.

Trusting Him,

Aug 13, 2013

Everyday is a Day of Thanksgiving

I was listening to some music today when the song Everyday is a Day of Thanksgiving came on. The chorus of the song said,

Everyday is a day of thanksgiving.
God has been so good to me.
Everyday He’s blessing me.
Everyday is a day of thanksgiving:
Take the time to glorify the Lord today…

As I sang along with the song I was reminded of a New Year’s resolution I had made a few years ago...

I'm at Laced With Grace Today.  I'd love it if you'd stop by and read the rest of my post Everyday is a Day of Thanksgiving.

Trusting Him,

Jul 16, 2013

Second Chances...

“What if I made a horrible mistake?” 
“What if I missed God big time with that decision I made?”

I was talking to my sister Stephanie when I asked her those two questions I had been pondering for some time.  She knew the decision I was talking about.  It wasn’t a recent decision and there was no going back and changing it.  However, fast forward to the present and here I was wondering if the decision, that I felt was the right one at the time, had changed the course of my life.

I'm at Laced With Grace Today.  I'd love it if you'd stop by and read the rest of my post Second Chances.

Trusting Him,

Jun 26, 2013

Called To Be

I don’t know if I’ve been singing it as a vow to God
or a declaration to myself. Maybe it’s a combination of both.

 What I do know is that lately I’ve been constantly playing
Jonathan Nelson’s song, Called to Be.

 We know that God has a purpose for our lives but sometimes
Our lives get off track and we wonder if it’s ever going to happen.
Am I ever going to be who God has called me to be?

 This song reminds me, that if I continue to press,
through the mountains high and valleys low,
if I continue to keep my focus… I will be who he called me to be.

I will be what you called me to be
I say, Yes Lord I agree
My desire, passionately
 Is to be what you called me to be
 That's what I'll be  

Trusting Him,

Jun 11, 2013

Birthday Blues...

It was my birthday and I woke up that morning feeling happy and excited.  However as the day went by I began to lose some of my joy.  Everyone seemed too busy for me.  My sisters who I shared an apartment with at the time barely said, “Happy birthday!”  Everyone was extra distracted that day and didn’t appear to notice or care that it was my birthday.

I made the best of my day but I was sad inside... 

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

Trusting Him,

May 30, 2013

Daily He Provides

“Wouldn’t it be great if we woke up one day to find that all of our debts were paid and we had a daily allowance to live on?” I asked my brother recently.   
I’m reading through the Old Testament and had recently finished reading about Jehoiachin King of Judah who was released from exile after thirty seven years.  I was sharing some of what I had read with one of my brothers.  His answer gave me much to think about.  He replied that in his opinion we already have that on any given day.   
Our needs are met but we decide that we “need” more.  We have food in the cupboard but it isn’t what we want to eat so we say we have no food.  We have clothes to wear, a car to drive and a home to live in but sometimes our eyes are on “something better.”  It isn’t enough for us that we have sufficient to survive on a daily basis because often our eyes are on having a little more. 
As I later reflected on what he said I once again read the verses related to Jehoiachin’s release from exile. 
 29 So Jehoiachin put aside his prison clothes and for the rest of his life ate regularly at the king’s table. 30 Day by day the king gave Jehoiachin a regular allowance as long as he lived. 2 Kings 25:29-30
 It didn’t say that Jehoiachin lived extravagantly, or that the King gave him a huge sum of money.  In fact his lifestyle then probably couldn’t even compare to when he himself was king.  What the scripture said was that he had food to eat and a regular allowance for as long as he lived.  I’m sure Jehoiachin was grateful that he was no longer in exile and that God provided for him on a daily basis.  I hope if for one moment he forgot his time in exile or felt ungrateful he had someone who reminded him of God’s provision the way my brother did me. 
Father help me to continue to trust you on a daily basis, to not be so concerned about what I consider ‘tomorrow’s needs’ that I don’t take the time to acknowledge and thank you for the fact the each day you provide for me exactly what I need for that day.

Trusting Him,

This article was inspired by a conversation I had with my brother Robert.  I shared it at Laced With Grace a while back.  However I thought I'd share it here today in honor of Robert's birthday.

May 22, 2013


Dear God,

Sometimes I feel AFRAID, in big bold capital letters.

What am I afraid of?
I’m afraid healing will remain elusive when I need it.
I’m afraid your word won’t be manifested in my life.
I’m afraid that you may come in a moment when I’m 
feeling less than strong…

Like Martha the sister of Lazarus sometimes I’m troubled 
about many things.
I know I should not allow these thoughts to have free reign 
but, sometimes being strong is more than I’m capable of. 
 However I will continue to trust in you.

I know that your promises are sure.
I know that I don’t have to be strong on my own because you
 are more than capable of holding me up in your strong right arm.

I’m thankful God that when I run to you with my cares you never 
grow tired of reminding me that I don’t have to carry my burdens any more.  

You never fail to remind me to cast my cares, my fears everything on you because you love me more than I’ll ever know.

So Lord, when I am afraid, (as I'm prone to get sometimes) I will trust in you.  In you God, whose word I praise.  In you God, I trust.  I will not be afraid.  (Psalm 56:3-4 paraphrased)

I love you Lord!

Forever your daughter,

Apr 23, 2013

God's Transportation

You are God’s transportation
His voice to the world
You are the vessel he uses
To bring hope to the world

To tell them of God
And the son that he gave
Jesus Christ who died
For the sins of the world

You are God’s transportation
But are you in use
Or parked at the roadside
Your mouth tightly closed?

God wants to use you,
To carry his word
But the world will never know
How Jesus died and rose again
If your voice is not heard

You are God’s transportation
So promise him now
That you’ll tell about Jesus
Who died, rose again and now is on high

Inspired by Pastor Monvella McIntosh's sermon, "God's Transportation"

Trusting Him,

Feb 10, 2013

The Obedience Test

Do you still have that godly fear of God?  When His Holy Spirit is nudging you do you obey? I’ll be the first to admit, it’s not always easy to obey especially if what I’m being asked to do is something that is out of my comfort zone.  However, obedience is what God expects, period.

If we want God’s master plan to be fulfilled in our lives then we have to be obedient to His call. What is He saying to you?  What is he asking you to do?  Your success depends on your obedience. 

 The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. Genesis 12:1
 In the above verse God called Abraham out of his comfort zone, to leave behind all that He knew and go someplace he’d never been to set up a new life. However, I’ll admit He’s still working on me when it comes to obedience. It is hard to obey sometimes when we can’t see the end results of our obedience right away. 

If we know that when God impressed upon us to witness the person would accept Christ it would be easy to witness.

If we knew that the sick person He tells us to pray for would get healed immediately it would be easy to obey.

If we knew that when we gave the last $10.00 in our wallets to the person He told us to give it to that we’d get it back pressed down shaken together the next day we’d give it without flinching.  

If we knew the new ministry He laid on our heart would be successful and well received we’d go for it full force…

But we don’t.  We can only have faith in what He has promised.

However, God is not going to show us the end results of our obedience so He can get us to obey. In Isaiah 1:19 He says If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land.  Hence, He wants us to have faith in Him and obey… trusting that He will bring about the desired results. 

Abraham didn’t know where he was going and what he was going to meet when he got there but he trusted God and was obedient to his voice...

So Abram left, as the LORD had told him;  Genesis 12:4 (NIV)
 What is God calling you to do?

Trusting Him,

I shared this post over at Laced With Grace a few years ago and thought I'd share it here today.

Jan 31, 2013

Be Encouraged... God Loves You!

Be Encouraged… God Loves You!

This was one of my mom’s catch phrases.  She ended almost every conversation this way.  No matter what the situation was that you were going through she wanted you to be encouraged and trust in the God who loves you so very much.

On the days when it seems as if the cares of life are getting the best of me I hear the echo of Mommy’s voice in my head saying, “Be encouraged, God loves you!”  And you know what, I feel better.

It has been over six years since I said goodbye to my mom.  However, she has not been absent from my conversations.  I find myself saying often “as my mother would say…” or “my mother always told me…” So I decided that in 2013 I will blog once per month on the topic, Things My Mother Said because   I don’t want to lose the many pearls of wisdom that she shared.

Proverbs 31:25
She openeth her mouth with wisdom and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

Trusting Him,

Jan 24, 2013

Follow, Follow, I Will Follow Jesus

Follow, follow, I will follow Jesus,
Anywhere, everywhere, I will follow him
Follow, follow, I will follow Jesus,
Anywhere he leads me, I will follow him

I randomly started humming this old hymn recently.  It immediately took me back over twenty years into the past.

It was a chilly Sunday morning just after dawn when a group of us young people, all around the same age, followed our pastor and other ministers down to the waterside.

The pastor and congregation sang this song as we, a group of guys and girls, went to be baptized making a covenant to follow Christ.
 None of us knew then where following Him would lead.

We had no idea that following him didn’t mean that our life story would be written according to our perfect little plans.

We didn’t know then that mixed with the joys, there would also be tears of pain and disappointment as we navigated that narrow path in following Him.

It didn’t register then that there would be times we’d question His decisions.

No one could have gotten us to believe that we'd sometimes lose sight of Him as we followed.

At that moment, we were filled with excitement, wonder and expectation. We had decided that follow, follow we would follow Jesus.

Today I can honestly say I’m so glad for that teenage decision to follow.  It has made all the difference in my life. 

I’m also thankful that the most important thing that those who counseled us during our baptismal classes said stuck with me throughout my walk with Christ.  They told us that no matter what we encountered in life Jesus would always be there.

In the good times it’s easy to follow but in the difficult times, it’s not so easy.  So during those times I hold on to what I know and believe with all my heart, Jesus is with me.  He will never leave me so I will keep following, keep believing, and keep trusting him.

 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  Luke 9:23 

Trusting Him,


Jan 17, 2013

An Excellent Spirit... Hmmm...

 About five years ago I posted a series on Walking in the Spirit of Excellence on my teen girl blog based on a talk I had given to a women’s group at church.  I later reposted it to this blog.

Over a year ago I wrote a post, Things That Make You Go Hmmm…” on this blog.

There is no connection between the posts other than the fact that they’re written by the same author.  Wait, there is another connection…

Every single day there are people who find my blog by typing some variation of those two titles into a search engine.  So I thought I’d make it easy for those who search for excellence and those who wonder about things that make you go hmmm… and put my posts all on the same page for easy clicking.

So for you clicking convenience:)


Searching for Excellence

 Walking in the Spirit of Excellence - Introduction
What is Excellence?
Excellence - Rooted in Surrender
Excellence Exemplified by Obedience
Walking in the Spirit of Excellence - Conclusion

So those of you, who drop in by way of your search, take a moment, look around, leave a comment and do drop in again.  Let me know where you search took you and what you gained from it.

Trusting Him, 

Jan 13, 2013

From Dream to Reality

It’s pretty late to be writing a New Year’s post right?   Maybe, but the newness of the New Year has not worn off yet, at least not for me J.

A new year always seems to start with plans to change in some way and with the setting of goals. In addition the New Year comes with the realization that some dreams and goals from the previous year have not been accomplished.  So the thought then becomes, do I bury these old dreams and make new ones or do I find a way to make my old dreams happen?

I’ve decided that, I want to make them happen. I want my dreams to manifest, become reality this year. 

The question is… how do I make my dreams reality?  I still don’t really have a clue however this year I’m going to try a few things I’ve listed below.
       Do something different.

There are some dreams that may not have come to pass because I continued to do the same thing every year while expecting the end result to be different.  This year I plan to discard the old methods that did not work over the years and do something different.

 Get advice

Sometimes, try as I may, I get stuck and can’t solve a problem on my own.  The independent, I can do it on my own part of me wants to just keep at it hoping I’ll find the answer.  Unfortunately, the answer doesn’t always come.  This year I’m going to remind myself in the words of John Maxwell that, “teamwork makes the dream work.” So my bloggy friends, in 2013, I just may come knocking at your blog seeking adviceJ

Keep At It

      I’m often guilty of getting frustrated and putting my dreams on a shelf with the label, “hold for inspiration”. However, inspiration never seems to come for the dreams that are on hold.  So, I plan to re-label those on hold dreams with a priority label. This year I’ll stop holding myself back and work through the obstacles and achieve those dreams I’ve labeled priority.

      Realize that it’s up to me

As human beings we often crave approval and validation as we make certain steps in life.  Consequently we can become discouraged and give up when we don’t receive it.  This year I’m going to keep reminding myself that although the support, validation and even applause feel good, ultimately I determine whether or not I achieve my dreams.

 Seek God Always

Except the lord build the house they labor in vain that build it… Psalm 127:1
I believe that my dreams are God given.  However I still have to seek him every step of the way to ensure that I am following his plan and not doing my own thing.  So I’m going to consult Him even more as I travel the path to achieving the dreams that he have given me.

I truly believe that if I continue to trust in God and follow these few steps along with any others He places on my heart 2013 will not end with the same dreams gathering dust on the shelf.  In fact it will end with new dreams to replace the ones that have become reality.

How are you going about achieving your dreams this year?

Trusting Him,