Thought for the day: Trust. Now it’s getting deep. We better put our floaties on. Trust. Who do you trust, and why? The real answer lies in the ‘why’. There could be many reasons why we trust someone. But, what would happen if one day that trust was shaken? Most likely we’d begin to doubt. What about Jesus? Do you trust Him? That is a loaded question. Many times I will say, “I trust you Jesus;”but then go my own way. Or try to control a situation. Is that really trust? No. I’m still a work in progress. You? For years my professional life was on the uphill, there were uncertainties at times, yet for the most part it was good. Then. One day, a few years back that changed, and it was like I fell from a mountain top. I suddenly found myself unemployed, struggling to find a full time job. It took a few years. My trust was split wide open like the San Andreas Fault. For you it may be something else. Yet, can you relate? However, during those years Jesus never left me. Oh, I promise, it may have felt and looked like it. You? Worry, fear of the unknown, all creep in. But. At just the right moment, things turned! And now my feet are on a new path with Christ! Trust. It can be difficult. Hang in there! He will not fail you. And one day, once again, we’ll say “See, God has come to save me. I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD God is my strength and my song; he has given me victory.” Isa. 12:2 NLT TRUST. Do you? #spreadthewordacrosstheglobe #trust #doubt #Hewillnotfailyou
One week of posting, it feels good. I didn’t have time last night due to final preparations for Hurricane Irma. So this Day 7 is on Day 8, but for yesterday.
In times like this you realize who your friends are. Who cares about you, and is concerned. I’ve had friends reach out to me and offer their homes, both in Florida and those that live out of state. God has given me good friends, and I am very thankful for all of you! To my friends out of state that offered, I won’t be there for Irma; however, I have you on my list as a vacation destination for later!
I will be watching the storm closely today as she is projected to make her arrival into Tampa in the wee morning hours of Monday, 9/11. By tonight I will have made the decision to stay hunkered down in my house, or go to a nearby friends home.
“..if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” Ro. 12:8b NLT
With the impends storm headed this way I’m thankful God had planted in me a week ago to focus on the positives in my life. A week ago the storm was headed for the East Coast of Miami, and Tampa would get wind and rain by the time she made it up the state. However, God already knew the path of Irma. He knew the panic that would set in within people. Yet, as I sit and type this I am so thankful He placed in my heart peace, and positivity, even in the midst of possible destruction.
No one knows the outcome. If you listen to the news, its Armageddon. I’ve been in contact with my family, and friends, in Southwest Florida checking on status. Getting real time updates.
Those that I know, we have done all we can do in preparations. We prepare for the worst, and pray for the best. It is in God’s hands. I’m thankful to know He is with all of us, watching and protecting.
Friends, look for God in the details. Not in the big things – life becomes an adventure when you see Him in the details.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Gal. 5:22-23 NLT
Gentle Whisper Ministries 2017
Today was rather adventurous. Each day when I think all the preparations for the storm are done, something else comes up. Incase you don’t know there’s this hurricane headed our way – Irma.
When there’s a category 5 hurricane headed your way it makes it difficult to focus at work. The list just kept growing. Things to do to prep.
Relief came at 12:20pm this afternoon. An email. It was the news everyone was waiting for. All offices were closing at 1:00pm. It was the extra hours I needed to get things done. For that I am thankful.
Later this evening, I am grateful the opportunity presented itself to be able to help another person. At first I declined the offer. Within a couple of seconds I saw the opportunity begin to pas away. Thankfully the Holy Spirit quickly intervened to have me change my mind.
I once heard my pastor say “your neighbor is anyone you have the ability, time, and/or resources, to help.” I am thankful I had the opportunity to help “my neighbor.”
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” Prov. 11:25 NIV
Gentle Whisper Ministries 2017
There’s so much going on in the news with Hurricane Irma that it’s easy to lose focus on things. People are evacuating, and preparing. Those of us that are riding it out are making final preparations.
In all of this, I am still thankful that God gives me the ability each day to get up, and go to work. He provides each day, and today was no different. There was food on my table, and clothes on my back. Part of me feels like I should be worried about the impending storm. Yet, I remind myself of His word:
“So don’t worry about these things, saying,’What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear? These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows your needs.” Mt. 6: 31-32 NLT
Tonight I had one last item to pick up in order to prepare. A bag of charcoal. Incase we lose power we can still cook food. Typically charcoal is easy to find, and no reason to ever think they’d be sold out. Not at the current moment. There are items that are now scarce, no where to be found: water, any non-perishable food, gas, propane takes for grills, lighter fluid, and charcoal. I stopped at a popular hardware store to see about charcoal, and the shelves were empty. When I left I stopped at the grocery store across the street. As I walked in I prayed that God would allow me to find one. To my left – two bags. To top it off, the kind that did not need lighter fluid! Immediately I whispered, “thank you Jesus!” Paid. Then on my way home.
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Th. 5:18 NLT
Thank you Jesus, even for the charcoal.
Gentle Whisper Ministries 2017
Today is day three of my posts on what I am grateful for.
As many of you may know, there’s a Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic right now. Hurricane Irma. As she moves towards Florida I am preparing for the possibility of being without power for a few days. Irma is projected to hit somewhere in Florida, and the city where I reside could take a direct impact.
With the Weather Channel giving updates in the background I am thankful for technology. At times it can be overwhelming. It can be frustrating when my electronic devices do not work correctly. But, without technology millions of people in Hurricane Irma’s path would not know about the impending storm. Evacuations have begun, gas stations are running out of gas, in the stores water and non-perishables are no where to be found. Yet, for some of us there is still time to prepare.
For all those feeling her wrath now my prayers to you, and yours, for safety. She’s nothing to play around with. Be safe.
“But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy.” Ps. 5:11 NLT
I can’t help but continue to feel, with all the chaos around me, peace in my spirit. When you begin to focus on what you’re thankful for Satan will try to deter you. Trials and troubles may come. Yet, instead of focusing on that. I am thankful that the Bible reminds me – Jesus is on my side. He loves me. And, He is always with me. That gives me peace. It does not remove the trial, worry, or concern. It reassures me that He is there. He has already gone ahead and worked it all out before I get through it. For that I am thankful.
“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you or abandon you.” Dt. 31:8 NLT
What are you thankful for?
Gentle Whisper Ministries 2017
Each day up until Thanksgiving I have decided to write about two things each day that I am thankful for. Why wait until November, or the week of Thanksgiving to start realizing what to be thankful for?
I have three reasons for doing this:
- It helps to keep my focus on God’s presence in my life
- Keeps me focused on the positive things in my life
- Gets me back into writing on the blog
My day started out with a no call, no show, from a potential contractor. Some morning plans were put on hold as we waited for his 11am arrival. The time for him to arrive came, and went. After an hour we proceeded with our plans. It wasn’t until 2:30pm my phone rang. It was the contractor. He forgot. At that moment I thanked God for keeping me from any future stress had I chosen to hire that contractor.
“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God.” Heb. 4:13a NLT
Later in the afternoon, my grandchildren and I had a few minutes to spare before they headed back home. We decided to do some window shopping. Fall season is here and we spent some time looking at Halloween and fall decorations. As we pulled into the parking lot a front row spot opened up. I pulled right in and said, “thank you Jesus.” My granddaughter said, “do you thank Jesus for parking spots?”
I am thankful that parking spot allowed me to share with her why we should tell Jesus “thank you.” He is in control over everything.
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” Ps. 107:1 NLT
There’s so much negative in the world today. If we focus on those things we lose sight of the good that is occurring all around us. God is not only in the big things, but also in the details of our lives – even parking spots.
What are you thankful for?
Nooooooo, not yet!! It’s too early! I don’t want to think about it. I don’t have any money.
I’m sure that as soon as you read the title one or more of those thoughts raced to your mind. Christmas seems to bring that initial response out in people. Retailers seem to be setting up right after Labor Day, while Halloween and Christmas share isles, and Thanksgiving’s corner gets moved each year to a single shelf, on an end cap.
At this time, I will challenge each of us to move towards Christmas with a new outlook and focus. We have nine months until Christmas, and within nine months another event is anticipated with joy and excitement. This year won’t you please join me as we await the arrival of a birth! A birth of a baby boy.
Awaiting the arrival of a new born baby can be the most exciting time, and the most worrisome time. Emotions can be all over the place. It’s been a while since my children were born, however just four short years ago my family anxiously awaited the arrival of the youngest of my grandchildren.
During this study we will focus on the meaning of “Christ”mas, and what the birth of Jesus brings to a lost world. What His birth did for us, and Who He is.
“But you, Bethlehem, David’s country, the runt of the litter— From you will come the leader who will shepherd-rule Israel. He’ll be no upstart, no pretender. His family tree is ancient and distinguished.” Micah 5:2-3 MSG
This is a nine-month focus. The same term as a pregnancy. We will begin in April and go to December. Each month we will focus on one aspect of anticipating the arrival of a baby. There will be an item that I will ask you to place in your house and scripture readings for that item. Each item will lead to the expected arrival of our Lord and Saviors birth. To the true meaning of Christmas and celebration behind the commercialized holiday.
“The LORD says, “Shout and rejoice, O beautiful Jerusalem, for I am coming to live among you!” Zech. 2:10NLT
This idea came to me as we just moved through Easter. We celebrated His resurrection from the grave, and how he conquered death. But, it all began with His birth. God becoming a baby, born to a virgin, in a manger, surrounded by animals, and wrapped in swaddling cloths. Notice I said cloths, not clothes. Big difference. There was no fancy hospital, skilled doctors, and blankets.
With that I quickly counted on my fingers and wondered – how many months before Christmas? What do you know – nine months. The number of months a woman carries her child before giving birth.
I then took my thoughts down memory lane. What did I do, prepare for, and start stocking up on? Then took my thoughts on a stroll through Babies R Us. Mary, Jesus mother, did not have the luxury of Babies R Us, or the local store to begin stocking up. There were no registries, or showers, to provide much needed items. However, like any expectant mother I’m confident she did some preparing, and planning. Even if it was only mental preparation.
If you’ve never experienced giving birth to a child, or are expecting a child, you know mental preparation is just as important. Your life is about to CHANGE. And that is exactly what happed to the world when Jesus was born. Life CHANGED. That is what happens to us when we embrace Jesus as our Savior – our life CHANGES.
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Zech. 9:9 LB
If you’ve not had children of your own that’s ok, because I’m pretty sure you have anticipated the arrival of other babies. Family, or close friends, all welcoming in a new member to the family. You have seen, heard, or been a part of the anticipated arrival.
“Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.” Jer. 23:5 LB
So, what is it we do when we are anticipating the birth of a child.
- Pick out names
- Start to prepare a room – paint, buy furniture
- Begin to purchase necessities – until we know the gender we keep it neutral
- We stock up on diapers, wipes, and all the things we know we will need
- Purchase a few starter toys
We will begin this week with the announcement – the news that a baby is coming! And, based on conception this baby will be born at Christmas! The greatest present we will ever receive.
The announcement has been made! A baby is coming!
“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.” Isa. 11:1 LB
Please join me in this nine-month focus as we are Moving towards “Christ”mas.
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2017
*picture thehaystack, littledribble, pinterest
Recently I saw the movie Florence Foster Jenkins. Even though the setting was early 1900’s the reviews had all been good, so why not see it. In the beginning I was a bit hesitant about it, but thankfully I had my popcorn to keep me busy as the movie progressed. I’m one of those people that have to have my popcorn. I could go to dinner before the movie, be completely full, but once I get in and the aroma hits my nose – I have to have it! Are you like that? Or you could be like one of my friends who has to have milk duds at the movies. I don’t know what it is about milk duds and popcorn at a movie, I’d like to think they help with concentration.
If you’ve seen it then you can picture the scenes in your head, if not I’ll try to paint the picture. She was a woman who was well to do, and had founded a music club in New York City. Her 2nd husband was the narrator of the performances. She held such a love of music that it spilled over into her own home, and eventually onto Carnagie Hall.
What’s the big deal you may think. Ok, fair. But she could not hold a tune, much less put several together. She had a well known vocal teacher conduct lessons. He would encourage her despite the shrills and shreks that viberated from her vocal chords. She had also hired an young pianist to play while she sang. Everyone was to encourage her. They told her she was spectacular! They told her she sang beautifully!
Is that wrong? If a person has no talent, but filled with courage and passion, should we encourage them to continue? Let’s sit on that for a minute.
As if being tapped on the shoulder I turned my attention to the Apostle Paul, and as if I were in the midst of the crowd at Philipi as his letter was read:
“Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News. 28 Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. 29 For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. 30 We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it.” Phil 1:27-30 NLT
I thought of Florence Foster Jenkins. She pressed on, fought the good fight to keep music alive. She was not intimidated, but instead pressed on to rent out Carnagie Hall! And, to top it off – gave 1000 tickets away. I must admit, like the others in the movie, I was shocked too. All of the encouragement she had received pushed her to do, what others only thought – the impossible.
“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crused. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair.” 2 Cor. 4:8 NLT
What is it in your life that you need courage for? What are you facing that seems by all standards – impossible?
Florence lived with syphyllis and with each day she had no idea if it would be her last, yet that did not stop her. With grace and passion she lived her dreams. She grabbed the moments and each word of encouragement and pressed on. With her as an example – aren’t we to do the same thing for Christ?
Christ does not call us to live by:
- Fear – “They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them.” Ps. 112:7 NLT
- Regret – ”For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.” 2 Cor. 7:10 NLT
- Anxiety – “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Pe. 5:7 NIV
- Worry – “People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” Mt. 6:32b-33MSG
We each have a ministry to fulfill while we are on this planet. I don’t know what God has called you to do? For Florence Foster Jenkins He called her to sing her heart out, enjoy the moment, and live life to enrich others with music. For me He has called me to teach. For now it is to teach in Corporate America. To use the gift of gab to encourage, coach, motivate, and guide others to know how to do their jobs. Along the way I can share the love of Christ thru my actions, and words. A smile here, kind word there. There’ll be no singing from me. No one would encourage that, trust me.
What about you? What’s your song?
I’ve had people say to me:
- “I just don’t know what I want to do with my life.”
- “I’m not sure what God wants me to be?”
- “How will I know?”
Friend, if that’s you, I can’t answer those questions. But what I can tell you is, the lesson I learned before seeing Florence Foster Jenkins. If the doors open by faith, as long as it is not immoral or illegal, walk through it. I thought I was to go to law school and become an attorney. But, after one year God said “not this my child.” The door closed. Had I not followed I would have never met great people whom today I call friends. Learned that I had more in me to give than I thought, and learned out prioritize as to what is important. For one year I sang my heart out.
To know what God has for you, you have to:
- Be IN His Word. Read it. Study it. – Daily.
- Pray – communicate with Him – Daily.
- Watch for those doors to crack open – Daily.
“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Jer. 29:11 MSG
With that get on your stage of Carnegie Hall. Perform like you are the only one in the room. As far as the question of encouraging someone with no talent is right or wrong, well, I will let God be the judge of that. For now you and I are just to follow Him, and perform!
And as the letter to those in Philippi was read we are encouraged by Paul to trust in Christ until the end. Our sustaining power.
“Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies. This will be a sign to them that they are going to be destroyed, but that you are going to be saved, even by God himself. For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. We are in this struggle together. You have seen my struggle in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of it.” Phil. 1:28-30 NLT
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2016
*pictures by clatl, suggest-keywords
A thought occurred to me today as I was browsing in the Christian bookstore. I ran in to pick up an item that has been on my list for a few months now, and with a 40% off coupon it was going to finally be in my possession. So I thought. Funny how we have an item in mind that we want, and when the time finally comes to get it we realize – I don’t think I need it at this moment. But, with a 40% off coupon I was determined to get something so I could just use my coupon.
My feet became planted in front of the New Testament Commentaries. My eyes scanned the shelves, all the editions, books, and titles. I picked a few up, looked inside as if to look for colorful illustrations, or scripted scenes, but none would say “You can’t live without me.” Ok, before anyone gets judgmental. I am a huge proponent of study materials. I have more than I actually use. And, I already have a set of commentaries. But still I wondered, which one would grab my attention? Which one would I use my 40% coupon on?
This questions will most likely be geared to the ladies. Have you ever had a coupon that you just wanted to use? You didn’t really need anything from the store, you just wanted to use the coupon? If so, then girlfriend you and I do not need to go to the store together. We would talk each other into buying something we didn’t even need – just to use the coupon.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been reading in the book of Jude. It is hidden in the pages towards the back sandwiched between 3 John and Revelation. If you’re not careful you can miss it. Jude is only 1 chapter with 25 verses.
That short book is packed full of wisdom, insight, encouragement, warning, and instruction. For those of us that like short messages Jude is perfect! Basically, he gets to the point.
As I continue to scan the commentaries my eyes travel back to Jude. I noticed that some of the commentaries combined Jude with other books. Yet, in the New Testament Jude stands alone with 25 verses. Combined with no one. Jude is Jesus’s half-brother. You may have known that. I don’t think I ever did until a couple of weeks ago. That’s the awesomeness of God’s word there is a new revelation every time you read and study.
I couldn’t stand in the store any longer, I had a list of things to do and needed to make a decision. What do I buy with my coupon? I had a new bible study in my hands. The coupon did not apply to that. It was my last circle around the store to see if there was anything else that would jump off the shelf and say “take me home!” As I browsed another section I felt in my spirit, that’s what Jude is. In twenty-five verses on a page right before the Book of Revelation stood the last attempt for Christians to stand firm for Christ.
God used the one that grew up with Jesus as a big brother to give the last warning against false teachers. Jude instructs us to defend the gospel. I wonder if he wrote from experience growing up, did he have to defend his older brother? Did he have to go toe to toe with naysayers? How do we defend the gospel if we don’t read and study it?
Jude had a 40% off coupon and instead of getting what he set out to get, he changed his tune.
“Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people.” Jude 3 NLT
With that thought I put my coupon away and headed for the register to purchase my new bible study. My thoughts scanned those twenty-five verses and as Jude reminds his audience about the past and the results that were related.
“So I want to remind you, though you already know these things, that Jesus…” Jude 5
I was reminded:
- He has entrusted me.
- He has entrusted me with this blog.
- He has entrusted me to share my stories, my hurts, and hang-ups.
- He has entrusted me to rebuild.
Has He entrusted you? If so, to what?
“But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ said…” Jude 17
Jude is referencing false teachers and those that will try to deter you from the gospel. Who is it that is trying to deter you? Who is it that when you are trying to study, or read, they distract you? Who is it that tells you God’s word is outdated?
As I paid for my bible study I realized that Jude was preparing me. Preparing me for what is yet to come. The title of my new study is “Entrusted” by Beth Moore. Her study will have us in 2 Timothy, yet I will bring Jude along with me.
As for my 40% off coupon, well, it went in the trash. I left with something far better than I had in mind -the remembrance of being entrusted.
If you too have been entrusted I encourage you to read Jude’s twenty-five verses. I challenge you to memorize them, and be prepared as you stand firm to defend the faith of Christ Jesus!
“…for they know I have been appointed to defend the Good News.” Phil. 1:16b NLT
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2016
*pictures by printablecolorpages, spanishdict, coolcatteacher
Just a few more weeks and summer will be over. Life will resume back to normal for families with children in school. It will be time for lunches to be made, homework to be done, and PTA meetings.
Those of us who have children out of school, or never had children, we move into the fall with increased traffic on the roads in the morning rush hour, school buses slowing our route, and pumpkin latte’s!
Nevertheless we still have a few weeks left in summer. I hope you are enjoying your time and have some memories with God that will go with you the rest of your life!
Feel free to comment and share some of your memories! I love to hear all about peoples summer memories!
This week we will focus on a verse that coincides with the bible study I’ve been participating in. I have to learn to say “no.” I want to help everyone, and because of that I find my plate is always too full, causing things to get pushed to the side. You? To remind us how to keep our time prioritized this week I will be asking God to help me through His word –
“Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.” Mt. 5:37
Going forward not to feel pressured to do, or go anywhere, I don’t want to. No matter who asks.
Going forward have the ability to stay the course.
Going forward my answer will be a simple “yes” or “no.”