Who is the King of Your Life?

Last week I had the opportunity to touch base with the Fresh Grounded Faith team, as well as other Local Conference Coordinators from around the country. For some of us, our events were rescheduled and we had unique information to bring to the table. Others were awaiting their conferences and they brought excitement to to our gathering.

Throughout the meeting, specific words began to emerge. Words like peace, trust and promise were just a few; but each word helped us to see that while we are in uncertain times, we have an Almighty God who is still in control.

Terrie, the National Conference Director for Fresh Grounded Faith, reminded us of Mordecai’s words to Queen Esther. “…for such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14) We were Women’s Ministry leaders who had come together to encourage one another and to prepare ourselves for such a time as this. In the midst of “this time” we know who we can look to for guidance. Jesus.

As we we prepared to close out our gathering, we had a surprise visit from Jennifer Rothschild herself! We suddenly perked up to hear what she had to say! Do you know she said? She told us that in the original Greek language, “corona” means crown.

We had been discussing Queen Esther and suddenly King Jesus took center stage. My dear sister, that’s exactly where He wants to be in your life. He wears the Crown. He rules the whole earth. He is provider of all we need. And He has all power over the cornavirus.

I was reminded of an old hymn. “I don’t know about tomorrow, I just live from day to day…But I know who holds tomorrow and I know He holds my hand.” Tomorrow is uncertain. And certainly we don’t know what August 14-15 may look like. But what we do know is we can trust that God has a plan and that He has gone before us to make our path straight. Our task is to trust, follow Him and acknowledge Him as King of our lives.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,

Donna

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BE: Word of the Year

Each year I choose a word that I concentrate on for the year. This word helps me to focus on spiritual development and deepens my relationship with Jesus.

This year I’ve chosen the word “be.” Originally I thought this would be a good word because I sometimes tend to get caught up in the prep, the details, the planning of an event or even my day. So this word would help me to take my focus off some of the minute details and focus on being. Right there. Right then. In the moment.

As my thoughts continued down this path, I wondered if I could add a word each week to focus on. After some deeper thinking, I knew this addition would be good for the year. So I set out to come up with 52 words or thoughts to add to the word “be.” Here are a few of them.

Be inspired

Be content

Be holy

Be alive

Be blessed

Be strengthened

Be hopeful

Be purposeful

Be teachable

Be prayerful

Be grateful

But then I took it one step further. For each of these I added a verse or passage of Scripture to help me through the week. I read my “be” word and then the Scripture each morning and throughout my day. For an entire week.

This has been such a blessing to me. I didn’t plan out the entire year, just around Christmas and Easter, but what I’ve loved is how God has placed these words exactly when I’ve needed them most.

The week a good friend passed away, my word for the week was “be strong.” The week I struggled with identity, my word for the week was “be enough.” The week I wanted more, my word for the week was “be content.” The week I was super busy, my word for the week was “be patient.”

Probably the hardest week to understand my word was when I was in isolation for 10 days. My word for the week was “be serving.” How could I possibly serve when I was in my bedroom completely isolated from everyone? How could God possibly use me under these circumstances?

That week I learned that there are many ways to serve. Phone calls, Zoom meetings, Facebook live, emails, text messages were all ways I could serve. So I took the verse for the week and did what I could. Ephesians 6:7 tells us to, “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people.” I was able to do everything that week with a renewed attitude and understanding of serving.

Perhaps you are struggling today. Maybe you don’t feel useful. Maybe you are lonely. Maybe you feel hopeless. Maybe you aren’t motivated. Whatever is happening in your life, I pray that you will look to the Lord for comfort, peace and purpose. Only Jesus can provide all that you need. 2 Peter 1:3 tells us that, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”

Lean into God’s Word to find encouragement today. You will find all you need. If you would like a list of my “be” words with Scripture, just let me know. I’d be happy to share it with you.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,

Donna

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The Wait

This is a repeat blog post, but still one that is relevant to our lives today. I pray that you find some encouragement through this post. Blessings!

It’s the day after Jesus was crucified, died, and was buried. Now the disciples and followers waited. Waited for the day they could prepare Jesus’ body for final burial. Waited for whatever might happen next. They certainly weren’t sure what was going to take place.

If you had been a follower of Jesus, what would you have felt on that Saturday after the crucifixion?

Despair

Hopelessness

Anger

Sadness

Disappointment

Helplessness

Uncertainty

Grief

Shock

Fear

Gullible

To be honest, these are all valid emotions. But how could it have come to this?

The followers of Jesus believed Jesus to be the Messiah! They believed God had sent Him to fulfill His promises! Why did God let this happen? How could He let this happen?

It was a sad day—how could they possibly know that this was part of God’s plan? How could they possibly know that Jesus would be alive the next day? How could they possibly believe that Jesus would be victorious over death?

Because they had seen it

They saw Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1-44). They saw Him bring the Widow’s son at Nain back to life (Luke 7:11-15). They had seen Jesus raise Jairus’s daughter from the dead (Matthew 9:18-19, 23-25; Mark 5:22-24, 38-42; Luke 8:41-42, 49-56). These were undeniable miracles. They knew it was possible.

Because Scripture had told them

The prophecies of the Old Testament gave them the hope that it was possible. Here are a couple of them.

Psalm 16:9-10 says, “Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.” And we can be assured that the believers knew this because Peter used these very verses on the Day of Pentecost while discussing the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 53 gives a description of the suffering Savior. Verse 10-11 says, “Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify any, and he will bear their iniquities.” Paul points to this and other Old Testament Scripture in relation to the resurrection of Jesus when he states “according to the Scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:4)

Because Jesus told them

On at least two occasions, Jesus said He would rise from the dead.

Matthew 20:17-19 tells us, “Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, ‘We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!’”

And also, John 2:19 says, “Destroy this temple and I will raise it again in three days.”

These same promises are ours today. There is no reason to feel any of the emotions listed earlier in regard to your spiritual life. We have hope. We have a future. We have the promises of God.

We also know that Jesus was alive on Sunday morning. For that, we can rejoice and be thankful.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,

Donna

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MIA

I’ve missed this! Missed writing. Missed sharing. Missed you!

So you’re probably wondering what’s been happening in my life to keep me from doing something that has been such a big part of my life. Well, I’m here to share some of the happenings in my world over the past year.

The last time you heard from me, I was enjoying some creative time with God. Creative Bible Journaling is still an important part of who I am. I write three new studies each year for the ladies at Rocky to enjoy. For the past six months we have been working through The Lord is My…Psalm 23. You can expect to read some of my insights on this topic soon.

Rocky also had a fabulous Women’s Retreat in February. 175 women gathered for a weekend to deepen their relationships with Jesus and friends. It was a blast!

I went to Israel! I’m not sure that I can express what this trip meant to m in words, but I’m gonna try. I’ll be sharing some insights on that adventure here as well. All I can say is, if you EVER get the opportunity to visit that special part of the world, DO IT! Forget all the details and cost, just go. It will impact your life.

My husband has had some health issues, but seems to be doing well right now. I’m so thankful for the prayer warriors who have prayed over him (and me) since August. We got hit by a bad hail storm in August. Still waiting for things to “get fixed.” I landed in the hospital with vertigo…still experience it on occasion. I’m thankful for medication and our medical folks. What a blessing they have been to us during this season.

Through all of this, depression hit me hard. It’s been a struggle and journey, but I am beginning to see some improvement. I am so thankful that God has been with me through this difficult time. I honestly don’t know how I would have made it through without Him. Again, you’ll probably hear more about this.

I’m planning two big events for 2020. Fresh Grounded Faith will be coming to Rocky on May 1-2. Jennifer Rothschild, Angie Smith and Shaun Groves will be hitting the stage to share how Jesus is impacting their lives and how He will do the same for anyone who is willing to surrender their life to Jesus. I am looking forward to this upcoming weekend (you can buy your ticket for the event at rocky.church/events).

In September 2020, our Lead Pastor will be taking another group to Israel. If you’re interested, there will be more information to come. I’ll try to keep you posted here.

Colorado is in a deep freeze right now. It’s cold and snowy and I’m listening to Christmas music. If I could sit here in my warm office and write all day, that would be pretty awesome, but alas, our late start at the office is about to come to an end, so I better finish up here.

Thanks for taking the time to read through my thoughts this morning. I’m praying that I will continue to keep writing. I need it. So for now, my goal is once a week. I don’t want to overcommit or get overwhelmed, so we’ll start slowly.

Y’all are so precious to me. Thank you for hanging out with me!

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,

Donna

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Me, Myself and God

 

I have had several hours to myself this morning. It’s been quiet. Lady didn’t even join me for the first hour. So, what did I do? I journaled. Sometimes my creativity is a little off and I just don’t feel like spending time with God this way, but today, it was precious.

 

Several years ago, a friend showed me the technique of using paper napkins and Modge Podge to create a beautiful, water color effect. As I was getting ready for an upcoming Creative Bible Journaling class, I found some fun napkins and thought I’d share the technique with my ladies.

 

But then, I saw the red poppy napkins! I smiled from ear-to-ear. Why? Because I love red poppies. Years ago, when I was into making Ukrainian Eggs, I learned that each symbol and color had a unique meaning. And that red poppies represented joy.

 

You see, joy has deep meaning for me. Yes, Scripture is filled with the word joy. I find great joy in being in God’s Word and deepening my relationship with Jesus. There is joy in serving Jesus. These are all so important in my life…the most important in my life.

 

But, “joy” has become a family name. My middle name is Joy. My youngest daughter’s name is Joy. And my granddaughter’s first name is Joy. Because of this, my house is filled with the word “joy.” Every time I see the word or see the symbol that represents “joy,” I remember.

 

I remember my daughter and granddaughter. I remember all the things that bring me joy. But most of all, I remember where my joy comes from. Jesus.

 

The Scripture I journaled this morning is Psalm 16:11. It says, “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (NIV) What joy I find in these beautiful words!

 

I pray that you will have a little time to spend with the Lord today. Find your special way to spend time with Him. Then pay attention to the joy that He brings to your life.

 

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,

 

Donna

 

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