All posts tagged: encouragement

Am I quenching the Holy Spirit's work in my life, or in my children?

Don’t Pour Cold Water on the Flame

Last Sunday, our pastor preached on 1 Thessalonians 5:12-24:  Do not quench the Spirit. — 1 Thess. 5:19 He explained that to quench is here the same as we imagine water quenching. Water quenches our thirst, stifles an activity, even extinguishes a fire.  Sitting in my pew, I began to imagine a roaring fire. All around me, buckets of water overflowed with power, ready to dampen, cool, put out the flames. I shivered in apprehension. But what if that fire isn’t something dangerous, but rather something good, holy, right, and exciting? Maybe the fire in my heart is … a burden for souls, a guilt over bad habits, a compulsion to prayer, a longing for children, a calling to reach out in faith. That’s the Holy Spirit of God’s work in my life, a fire He starts with a purpose. But at my feet are buckets of laziness, or selfishness, or materialism, or mindless entertainment, or irresponsibility. How easy to splash those on the flames, to intentionally or unintentionally squash the warmth of God’s working in my heart. Then with a start, I realized I was sitting in a pew, …

Hands Free Life

Let Go of the Pain

  Let us not be so consumed with the past that we forget we are here now. Let us not be so bent on self-protection that we never speak our innermost hurts. Speaking one’s deepest regrets does not change the past; it does something far greater. It connects us to the One who loves us despite our faults and failings so that we are free to connect to the person sitting beside us. This type of vulnerable connection, born of a place of deep pain and authenticity, is the kind of connection that is strong enough to transform individuals, families, communities, cities, and worlds. Let us surrender the failures and pains of our past so that our love is not separated and weakened but instead united and strengthened. — Rachel Macy Stafford. Hands Free Life, p. 50 This post contains affiliate links, which help support this site. I’d love to keep in touch! I send a monthly email to my friends. It’s full of goodies like great books, interesting information, exclusive content, and coffee chats. Wanna’ …

the extraordinary thing God wants to make you

The Extraordinary Thing God Wants to Make You

There’s this voice inside, the voice that says nothing special, or not that great, or even failure. The voice that accuses, discredits, invalidates, and discourages. It’s a woman’s constant companion. And she fights it. Oh, every day, she must first silence the Voice just to plant her feet on the floor, shove the Voice aside to reach for her devotions, stop her ears from the Voice to go about her errands and appointments, strain to hear the sweet sounds of her own children and husband above the clamor of the Voice. It takes struggle to fight the Voice. Because it never, never stops. But for thousands of years, my friend, that terrible Voice has attacked not only women but flesh-and-blood men, as well. Jesus, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon, called Peter, and Andrew, his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. — Matthew 4:18-19 And then Peter said, “But we are just fishers!“ Not. Then Andrew said, “Fishing …

Top 8 Books from 2015

Top 8 Books from 2015

I love to read. Last year, I set myself a goal of reading 50 books in a year. When the year was over, I had read 47 books. ARG! Missed it by three! And I hardly read at all in December, so there’s where I missed the mark. This year, I’m going to exceed 50 books, just you watch. I was surprised by which books struck me this year. Out of the nearly 50 I read, the ones I expected the least from were the ones I couldn’t put down — and they stayed with me for months later. I couldn’t get these stores out of my heart, I couldn’t stop thinking about the morals each author communicated. These were the books that changed me in unexpected ways. So, while I’m sure you have your own “must read” list of titles for this year and the interwebs are flooded with “these were the best of 2015” articles, I decided to share my own list of shocking-but-share-worthy titles. Maybe some of them would surprise you, too. Regardless, …