The Loft Link-Up ~ Knowing God’s Will

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We are a topic driven link-up, which means that we link posts that pertain to the topic of the week. Posts that are not on topic will be deleted.

We will offer a month’s worth of topics each week so you can plan and prepare for a post that helps you enter into the conversation. Here are the topics for the next month:

August 10 ~ Knowing God’s Will

August 17 ~ Social Media

August 24 ~ Books

August 31 ~ Pot Luck

Just a reminder that the link-up goes live on Wednesday morning at 5am and will stay live until the following Monday at 5pm. If you link up at The Loft, please do not link-and-run. We want to create conversation and community, therefore, we ask that if you linkup one post, please visit two others. There are some beautiful people who link-up each week, and visiting their posts is the best way to get to know them.

Now, it is time to get to today’s link-up. Our prompt today is KNOWING GOD’S WILL. You will find the linky at the bottom of my post. Enjoy the fellowship at The Loft.

 

The Loft

 

#TheLoft

 

The Loft

 

Now it is time to linkup!

[inlinkz_linkup id=654523 mode=1]

The Loft Link-Up ~ Pot Luck

THE

 

We are a topic driven link-up, which means that we link posts that pertain to the topic of the week. Posts that are not on topic will be deleted.

We will offer a month’s worth of topics each week so you can plan and prepare for a post that helps you enter into the conversation. Here are the topics for the next month:

July 27 ~ Pot Luck

August 3 ~ Back to School

August 10 ~ Knowing God’s Will

August 17 ~ Social Media

Just a reminder that the link-up goes live on Wednesday morning at 5am and will stay live until the following Monday at 5pm. If you link up at The Loft, please do not link-and-run. We want to create conversation and community, therefore, we ask that if you linkup one post, please visit two others. There are some beautiful people who link-up each week, and visiting their posts is the best way to get to know them.

Now, it is time to get to today’s link-up. Our prompt today is POTLUCK. Share a post…any Christian post.  You will find the linky at the bottom of my post. Enjoy the fellowship at The Loft.

 

The Loft

 

#TheLoft

 

The Loft

 

Now it is time to linkup!

[inlinkz_linkup id=650789 mode=1]

Encouragement for When Life is Hard

As I prayed into today’s post, the Lord brought to mind one of the quotes from Bob Goff’s book, Love Does.

“When Jesus invites us on an adventure, He shapes who we become with what happens along the way.”

 

I am a fan of political thriller novels, which always involve a main character that perseveres through deception and danger to emerge the hero of the story. This type of novel is packed with hold-your-breath moments where you are not sure if the hero will make it out alive (of course, they will because they are the HERO of the story).

If we were to interview the main character in the middle of the storyline when they are being shot at or tortured, ‘adventure’ would probably not be the word they would use to describe their current circumstance. They might say that life is painful and hard, and they would probably want to quit. Ultimately, though, they persevere, and who they are at the end of the novel is the sum total of what they have experienced in the preceding pages.

Without exception, life for humans can be hard, and it does not always feel like an adventure. There are times of joy and pleasure, as well as times of pain and trial. Some days flow over us like a gentle breeze, while others twist us like a tornado. But, there is hope.

 

 

Encouragement

 

 

For the Christ-follower, there will be a day that you will look back on our lives and become fully aware of what God was doing in the tough times. Until that day, however, you may need a bit of encouragement to keep on keeping on. I want to offer you that right here, right now.

Your Trial Did Not Take God By Surprise

God is not a detached, grumpy grandfather who sleeps most of the time. He is very involved in our lives, orchestrating circumstances and times. When bad days hit, when there is more month left at the end of the money, when the ‘D’ word comes out your spouse’s mouth, when all manner of trials beset us, God is not sitting in heaven saying, “I never saw that one coming.”

In Ecclesiastes 3 Solomon tells us that there is a season and a time for everything under the sun. The good and the bad, everything has a season planned out by God.

Does that mean that God causes bad things to happen to you? No, but He does allow them. We live in a fallen, sin-stained world where bad things are a consequence of that fallen state. None of it is because God hates us, and none of it has God wringing His holy hands in angst. He is a loving Father who has our ultimate good in mind.

There is Purpose in Your Trial

In Romans 8:28 Paul assures us that all things work together for our good if we are followers of Jesus. All things. For Christ-followers.

Romans 8:28 does not say that all things that happen to us are good. It says that all things work together for our good. So, whatever God allows into our lives…physical illness, divorce, death, wayward children, job loss, mental illness, natural disasters, financial problems….whatever it is, God will use it to grow our faith and mold us into the image of Jesus.

Does it hurt? Flitter, yes, it hurts! Is it worth the pain? A thousand times YES! Regardless of what I have to go through, if it makes me more like Jesus, bring it. Trust me, I do not say that lightly. I’m not out signing up for trials and heartache. But, if God has to take me down a path of trial in order to draw me closer to Him, then I bend my knee to it because I trust Him completely.

God Never Wastes a Trial

Not only will your trials grow your faith and conform you more and more to the image of Jesus, they will be something that you can use one day to encourage other people. In 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV) Paul tells us:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

I’ve seen it happen time and again. A woman who endures a divorce she never wanted ministers to another woman going through the same thing. A man with a cancer diagnosis comforts another who has recently heard the C word applied to his situation. A mother with a wayward child is comforted by another mom who has traveled that same path.

We can comfort one another because we have traveled a similar path. God never wastes a trial. Do you need encouragement for when life is hard? Turn to Scripture and begin meditating on the passages I have referenced here. Pray and ask God to give you reassurance that He loves you and is walking with you. Ask another Christian to pray for you.

It would be my honor to lift you up in prayer. Please email me at [email protected] with your prayer need.

Christian Bloggers BootCamp Registration Opens on Black Friday!

When I began writing in 2002, I had never heard of word “blog”. In fact, email was pretty ‘cutting edge’ for me in those days. By 2006, the number of people receiving my weekly email had outgrown what my internet service provider was comfortable with, and many people were not receiving the email. I happened upon an article about ‘blogging’. What in the world was that?

I soon learned that with a blog I could write and share my thoughts in a space that was available for the world to see. I immediately swapped email for blogging and I’ve never looked back.

Over the years the look of my blog has changed a few times, but the purpose never has. My purpose has always been to share the love and grace of Jesus through the teaching of Scripture. That will remain my purpose until Jesus tells me something different.

As one called into ministry, I believe that it is my responsibility to be the best writer, the best speaker, the best follower of Jesus that I can be. To this end, I enrolled in my friend, Arabah Joy’s, course, Christian Bloggers BootCamp, that teaches authors and bloggers how to maximize their impact in the blogging and social media world. Arabah Joy’s heart is for helping writers and bloggers be the very best they can be as they share the message that God has given them.

 

Photo courtesy of Death to Stock

Photo courtesy of Death to Stock

 

 

Are you a writer? Are you a blogger? Do you want to start a blog or have a website?  

If so, this course is for you. Here is why I am such a huge fan of Christian Bloggers BootCamp:

  • It helped me double my blog traffic!! (More traffic means more people hearing about Jesus!!)
  • The PINTEREST material I learned in this course helped me have a post that went viral!!!!
  • The assignments are simple and clear.
  • You learn about the power of social media and what it takes to get noticed in a social media world.
  • The cost of $75 is very reasonable. (I’ve taken blogging courses that cost hundreds of dollars in the past. Not this one. In CBB, you strike gold for about it costs to have your roots touched up at the salon.) NOTE: The price for the course will go up significantly in 2016, so now is the time to sign up!
  • I know Arabah Joy personally, and I love her heart for helping bloggers.
  • The course is a work-at-your-own pace, so there is no high pressure involved.
    • It is focused on CHRISTIAN writers and bloggers, but any writer and blogger can benefit.
  • There is a money back guarantee. If, after fully engaging in the course, you do not love it and see results, AJ will refund your money. You cannot lose, friend.

Want to learn more about Christian Bloggers BootCamp? Here is what another blogger says about it:

 

Photo courtesy of Death to Stock

Photo courtesy of Death to Stock

 

 

I believe in Christian Bloggers BootCamp so much, that I want to offer you, my fellow blogger, an incentive to sign up for the Black Friday session. The price of the course for this Black Friday special is $75. The price will go up in 2016, however. So, how does 10% off the cost sound? Registration begins on Black Friday and is open for only 5 days. You can take advantage of my 10% off offer for these 5 days. Simply use code LCA10 to get your discount on the cost of Christian Bloggers BootCamp.

 

Photo courtesy of Death to Stock.

Photo courtesy of Death to Stock.

 

I do need to tell you that I am an affiliate for Christian Blogger BootCamp, which means I will receive a small commission when you use my code to sign up. However, I would not recommend this course if I did not believe in it 1000%. Friend, I promise you will not regret signing up for it. Click here to learn more and sign up for a notification when enrollment opens on Black Friday.

DON’T FORGET TO USE MY CODE AND RECEIVE 10% OFF!

A Few Moments of Your Time – Survey

Hello dear readers,

 

I hope this finds you doing well. We are full-on into summer here in the south, and I make no bones about it. I’m ready for autumn. I am not a fan of summer. Period. But, God didn’t consult me on my preference of seasons, so summer it is.

I’m popping in today to ask a small favor of you. My desire is for the words I type out in this space to: 1) point to Jesus, and 2) be useful, encouraging, and edifying. To that end, I would like to ask you to complete a short survey. If you have been a reader of my blog for more than a day, your thoughts are valuable to me. There are less than 10 questions, so it should be fairly simply. I would be so grateful for your honest, constructive thoughts about my blog and website.

I want to serve you well here in my little corner of the WWW. Please click on the link below to complete the survey. It is completely anonymous, by the way.

Thank you for your time.

 

Click here>>>>>>>>>> SURVEY

Five Minute Friday ~ Notice

TGIF! I look forward to Fridays because that means it is time for Five Minute Friday (#FMFparty). Five Minute Friday is a writing prompt offered by Kate Motaung over at her blog. She tosses out the one-word prompt, and a bevvy of beautiful bloggers proceed to write for 5 minutes on the topic. I begin praying early in the week about the writing prompt, asking the Lord to give me the words He wants me to share. He already knows what the prompt will be, and He knows what I need to tap out here at my space in the WWW. So, let’s get started.

Today’s prompt is NOTICE.

 

So she fell on her face, bowed down to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favor in your eyes, that you should take NOTICE of me, since I am a foreigner?” Ruth 2:10 (NKJV)

Everyone wants someone to notice them.

The two year old who repeatedly says, “Mama, mama, mama, mama”, trying to get his Mother’s attention.

The middle-schooler who giggles and talks incessantly.

The 16 year old whose shirt shows a bit too much cleavage.

The student who works hard to excel and become Valedictorian.

A wife whose husband hasn’t told her she is beautiful in a month of Sundays.

An employee working hard to get the coveted promotion.

The Christian speaker desiring a big speaking gig.

The author whose manuscript is begging for a publisher.

The visitor to the church who simply needs a kind word and a handshake.

Each of us long to be noticed by someone. We want to be important, needed, and loved. It’s how God wired us, and there is nothing wrong with it…..unless we seek to be noticed in the wrong ways, and by the wrong people. You see, you and I are noticed by God. All through the Scriptures we are offered reminders of the attention that God gives to His beloved dust-bunnies.

God noticed a mistreated young man who had been sold into slavery by his brothers.

God noticed Gideon who was hiding out in the barn.

God noticed the glimmer of faith in the heart of a prostitute. She ended up in the lineage of Jesus.

God noticed a shepherd boy who was the runt of the litter, and made him King of Israel.

Jesus noticed the Samaritan woman at the well.

Jesus noticed the woman caught in adultery.

Our God notices YOU! Though you and I may feel forgotten at times, we are not! God takes notice of our every breath; He knows our every thought. He loves us deeply.

You are NOTICED, friend.

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