When Jesus Finally Made Sense To Me

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Motherhood, Trials1 Comment

Months of planning had gone into one little camping trip with friends.  It seems so silly to plan months in advance to sleep outside on the dirt, but Alaskan summers are something we long for, and time off from work is much desired during the season where the sun doesn’t set.  If you want to take a day off in the summer time, you must ask long ahead of time, otherwise you’ll blink and it will be dark and snowy again.  A two hour drive, deep into the woods was on our agenda, and I looked forward to nothing more than a raging bonfire, and s’mores shared with some of the best people I have ever know. There’s just something about quality time spent with incredible people around a fire, that renews my soul.   It was the weekend before our big camping trip when I started to miscarry. Suddenly this trip we had planned so far ahead of time, seemed a little less ideal for me.  I didn’t want to deal with that out in the middle of the woods. I didn’t want to be a mess physically or emotionally in front of anyone. I didn’t want to be away from home.  My home is my … Read More

Are You Appreciating God’s Architecture?

Jen CudmoreFaithLeave a Comment

The other day I was listening to the radio and pondering God’s architecture. Specifically, human beings, and how God is personally invested in each one He creates. The scripture says He knit us together in our mothers’ wombs. (Psalm 139:13) That means we are so much more than a plan in the back of His mind that He threw together! Architecture takes careful thought. It’s not simply about building a structure – there are aspects of art and science to consider. There is a process to planning the design and putting each piece together in the right place at the right time. The architect must be intentional in order to create a magnificent structure that can fulfill it’s purpose. God built us all strong. Sturdy. Stunning. It makes me smile big when I think of how I am a work of art shaped by an amazing Creator! That I was made – with hands of love – into something special. I’m not ordinary; I’m unique. And I’m cherished by the Master Architect!  Then my pondering turned to reflection. I felt God questioning me. Was I appreciating all His architecture?    What about that person at work who is constantly annoying, … Read More

Nothing Can Separate You from His Love

Madison RosserFaith1 Comment

Do you ever feel like obstacle after obstacle arises when you are trying to accomplish a goal? Maybe your goal is something as big as landing a new job or as “small” as getting dinner on the table before 9 p.m., but for whatever reason, life seems to be working against you. We’ve all been there. Obstacles, however, are so beautifully incapable of thwarting God’s love towards us. His love is relentless, sure, steady, and constant. I was reminded of this truth as I read through the following passage in a Bible study last week. Romans 8: 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it … Read More

The Mistakes of My Mouth

Carol DunfeeFaithLeave a Comment

Has your mouth ever gotten you in trouble? Have you ever wept at the utter meanness of something that just rolled off your tongue? Have your words ever wounded someone you love? I am guilty. My words have tripped me up again and again. My resolve to speak kind words melts away when the frustration builds at having my agenda thwarted once more. Before I know it, I have raised my voice to bark orders. Earlier this year, I started writing a Bible study to define womanhood from God’s perspective. Life forced me to put it on hold for several months until just recently. The topic of taming my tongue has been heavy on my heart recently, so imagine my surprise when I reopened the file to find that I had left off with this verse…. I almost laughed aloud at God’s impeccable timing! He knew exactly when I would return to the Bible study and what I would need to study. So I dug in with eagerness, hoping that God would finally deliver me from the trap of my own tongue. As I was studying for the book, I looked at James 3, which addresses the mouth that tries to … Read More

Overwhelmed By Acceptance

Jewel ZymurgyFaith, Redemption, WomanhoodLeave a Comment

Just a couple of days ago I was listening to someone read and unpack a few verses and my heart and mind were just overwhelmed to the point of tears. I’ve heard the story before… It’s just that the words didn’t seem to come alive in my mind the way that it did with me this time. …the Word shared was so incredibly personal to me… We read about the Luke 7 woman— Luke 7:36-50 “When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them off with her feet, kissed them and poured perfume on them. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.’ Jesus answered him, ‘Simon, … Read More

The Value Of Encouragement

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Motherhood, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

Encouragement

I was having one of “those” days, where everything felt like a giant “mom-fail.”   I had made plans to help a friend fix her hair for her family portraits, but I also needed to run to Costco which made me late for my visit with my friend.   I went to Costco hungry (mistake number 1) so not only was I late to help my friend, I blew the budget too.  -FAIL   My friend was willing to come over a little later than we discussed originally, which gave me just enough time to get in the door with the groceries before she arrived.  My house was a disaster already, and then the explosion of my hungry Costco loot only added to the chaos.  There were boxes, and food items all over the place, and as I struggled to hurry up and put things away, I heard her voice from downstairs.  Welcome to my mess sweet friend, welcome to my mess.   As she made her way up the stairs, my toddler met her at the gate.  My friend said hello, and my toddler growled in return.  I was embarrassed to say the least.  What kind of mom has a toddler … Read More

5 Time Management Tips for Busy Women

Jen CudmoreWomanhood1 Comment

I’ve always been a busy person, juggling my family, day job, church commitments, and writing goals. But I recently reached a place where the pressure was unbearable. Below is what I learned from my recent struggles with time management. These items are essential to surviving those busier seasons of life.   5 Time Management Tips for Busy Women 1) Quality time with God every morning: I was shocked when I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to get up a half hour earlier every day. I was barely surviving on 6-7 hours of sleep each night – how could I possibly get up earlier than 6am? It wasn’t as hard as I anticipated. It didn’t take long for me to see that spending 15 minutes in a half-asleep stupor wasn’t good enough; I needed more. Focusing on my Creator first thing each morning helped set a positive attitude and made my days more productive. God is an energizer! 2) Day of rest once a week: My family has always tried to observe Sunday as a time of rest. God is clear that we need to observe the Sabbath, and while this may be a different day for each person/family, it must be a priority. … Read More

Gear Up: GOD’s WORD

Carol DunfeeFaith, Prayer & FastingLeave a Comment

Misconceptions are funny things. You don’t know you have them until they are corrected. I really thought that the armor of God was put on by saying a few words in prayer each day. Now I understand that this armor is a lifestyle of becoming more aligned with Christ’s character. It is a result of constant prayer, repentance, humility, and most importantly, of seeking the face of Jesus. The final part of our armor is unique it is the only part that is offensive. All other parts are for protection and defense, while this one is meant to attack, take ground, and cut down the forces of evil. I have always wondered why God didn’t arm us with catapults, tanks, and missiles! After all, Satan and his cohorts are relentless in their attack. Wouldn’t a few spiritual atomic bombs be more effective? What I have learned about this simple sword has convinced me otherwise… As a student, I attended schools where English grammar was a big deal. From first grade on, I remember diagramming sentences. Even in high school and college English, we had to reassemble our sentences on those lines that look like scaffolding and rocket ships. I didn’t … Read More

Send Me

Jewel ZymurgyFaithLeave a Comment

Where is your mission field

So many times I go through my days without even a consideration that everywhere I go I have the opportunity to be a light and to share the gospel. I catch myself thinking that those who are called to the mission field are those who go to Africa to build schools and feed the hungry…they go to be a loving presence to tribes of people who have never heard the name Jesus…they learn new languages and live in a place away from the home they grew up in. Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” It all seemed like such a great calling…to be one of those people who can be sent out and moves with the presence of God in those around you. To share with others about the amazing God that loves beyond measure, that provides and sustains everything we see around us. The opportunity to worship and praise a good good Father. The chance to feed, teach and love on those who otherwise would not know Him through you. To fulfill the great commission—what an incredibly gallant calling! Isaiah … Read More

Weary

Rosalynn LasleyMotherhood, Prayer & Fasting, TrialsLeave a Comment

I’ve found myself a bit discouraged lately. Physically I’ve not been able to keep up with all that I’d like to. My house is decorated with baskets of laundry as far as the eye can see, there are half-finished projects everywhere, and yet I find myself on the couch or in bed early in the evening because my body just can’t keep up.  On top of that, the kids were sick last week (so I missed work during our busy season) and now I’m sick from taking care of them. This means more missed work, more to catch up on, and I’m weary. It’s discouraging when you can’t do it all. I’ve battled this discouragement for close to a year now. I had my accident at the end of December and that left me physically unable to do all that I wanted and needed to do. That left me relying on others to help with daily tasks (thank the Lord they were willing) and sometimes the battle of my physical capabilities and what I’d like to do leaves me discouraged. Now I’m at the tail end of my pregnancy and as much as I’m trying to push through the aches … Read More

Voice of God: Hindrances to Hearing Him

Jen CudmoreFaithLeave a Comment

Why is it so hard for some people to feel the promptings of the Holy Spirit? While part of it may be inexperience or personality, part of it may also be the things we do, whether intentional or unintentional, that can block the connection. We’ve discussed tips on how to hear His voice and knowing it was really Him talking to us. But even when we do those things properly, we can still miss His whispers in our soul. What Hinders Us From Hearing Him? The Noise of the World. We have to let go of the things of this world that seem more interesting that the things of God. Entertainment has become an idol. We want to participate in that sporting event, watch that new movie at the theater, scroll through our Twitter feed, see who is going to win that reality TV show. There are so many enticing things to grab our attention, we don’t have the time – or the desire – to pay attention to God. The Lure of Relationships. We’ve all encountered situations where we’d rather spend time with human beings than with God. People are all kinds of entertaining and exciting. Why pick up … Read More

Gear Up: SALVATION

Carol DunfeeFaith, Prayer & FastingLeave a Comment

When you grow up in church, you can develop an odd vocabulary compared to the rest of the world. A pew, a vestibule, and a sanctuary mean completely different things to a church goer. We might think of a sanctuary as an auditorium dedicated to worship, while a non-church-goer might picture a wild bird refuge instead. And what on earth is a vestibule anyways? Can’t we just call it a lobby? Kidding aside, “salvation” is one of those words that gets an odd meaning in church circles. We think of salvation as a person receiving God’s forgiveness from their sins. This is truly one of its meanings, but not its original meaning. To understand the next part of our armor, we need to understand the meaning of this word. The Greek word for salvation, soterios, is based on the root word, soteria, which means: defender, defense; saving, bringing salvation; hope of future salvation. To gain a broader perspective of “the helmet of salvation”, let’s look at another passage talking about helmets and salvation. So what is this salvation? What are we saved from? According to this passage, we are saved from the wrath of God upon unrepentant sinners. Jesus is our defender … Read More

Maybe Not For Me

Jewel ZymurgyWomanhoodLeave a Comment

Over the last few days with a couple of different people, God has revealed a pretty interesting theme that kept coming up in conversation. Initially, it began with a statement that came from the lips of my daughter and it just caught me off guard enough to have me really pressing into her observations. Then I had the privilege of being in the company of some friends that love me so much that they inquire about my thoughts and let me know when it looks like I am spinning my wheels on anything. As I am in the wake of one of those moments…I am deeply thankful that those around me lovingly ask me why… I had been asked and then decided to volunteer to help out as a buffet server at a function. I thought that it was no big deal—it wasn’t the funnest thing that I could think of doing, but it was certainly not something I couldn’t do so I agreed and just moved on. I knew that God had been moving so mightily in my life that it seemed almost irresponsible to me not to give back…if that makes any sense. Unsure how to go about … Read More

Love Is In The Little Things

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Marriage, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

The garage door closed behind our vehicle, signaling my husbands departure for the day, but no more than 30 seconds later, my cellphone started to ring.   It was him.   He’s always my favorite phone call. I answered the call immediately, thinking he may have forgotten something (since he had just left) but it wasn’t him that had forgotten something…it was me.  His call was just to ask me, if I remembered to take my medicine for the day. UGH!!! Of course I didn’t…why can’t I remember that one simple thing?  I’m supposed to take it every morning, but mornings are hard, and often I forget.  Many days he will bring me my medicine, and my favorite jug of water, since I’m so forgetful, but he doesn’t just hand me the pills to take, he extends the straw in my direction, then drops the pills into my mouth. That day he didn’t bring me my medicine, so he called, because he loves me, and wants me to be taken care of.   His one little phone call, and his almost daily distribution of thyroid medicine remind me, that love is in the little things.   A different day, I stood barefoot on … Read More

Voice of God: Was That Really Him Talking?

Jen CudmoreFaithLeave a Comment

Have you ever felt confused or unsure when you thought God might be speaking to you? This happens to us all! Was it really God speaking? Did I really hear Him correctly? Last week we covered some tips for how to hear God speak.  Yet, even when we do all those things right,  it can be tough at times to really know for sure if the impression we feel is truly from the Holy Spirit, and if we understood it right. Some people can pick it up quickly, while others may be less confident. I believe it just takes a little practice! Over time as we learn to tune into the Holy Spirit, our faith is increased, we become less nervous and more excited. Our confidence grows and we recognize His voice more often. When you’re not sure if God was really speaking to you, ask these questions: Does it contradict anything in the Bible? This should always be our first question, because the enemy will do all he can to confuse us or make us quit trying to understand. God will never tell us to lie, steal or kill someone. He will never tell us to say something disrespectful … Read More

Insights in the Grocery Line

Jewel ZymurgyMotherhoodLeave a Comment

On occasion, I feel the speed at which my daughter has grown and the only appropriate response is to sit back and be in the moment with her. Last night was no exception. It’s her senior year of high school. She’s highly active in ROTC and in helping other students succeed and promote within that activity. With all of the senior year activities added onto the regular demand of the school year, I am incredibly thankful that at the present time, I don’t have a second job because it frees me up to honestly live life with her this year. I very much look forward to the time we get to have together. We talk and we laugh. We go shopping together (most of the time) and most days we get to spend at least a couple of hours together before she begins her bedtime routine. My daughter is old enough and grown enough to occasionally be mistaken as my little sister…or maybe that’s the snarky way we interact. (If I could, I would put right here that emoji with a half-smile which knows completely the happiness in my heart and the fond recollection of our silly time together.) The … Read More

This is really hard!

Rosalynn LasleyTrialsLeave a Comment

As we rounded the corner on that quiet little street downtown, my heart started to beat out of my chest, and I thought I might be sick. I’ve only been to a funeral twice before, but never like this, this was different. This one hurt the most of them all. I didn’t know what to think, how to feel, what to say. I wanted to be strong and brave, I wanted to smile and comfort others, but I truly didn’t know if I had it in me. That day we were going to honor my grandfathers life, now that all we have left are our memories of what life was like with him.   I took a few deep breaths, said a quick prayer, and put some gum in my mouth to try to calm my stomach. Then I slowly got out of the car and made my way into the funeral home. Time went a million miles a minute and in slow motion all at the same time. Grief is strange like that sometimes. As I walked inside, holding tightly to my husband’s arm, I scanned the quiet crowd of familiar faces. Of all of the people that were there, … Read More

Voice of God: Tips for Hearing Him

Jen CudmoreFaithLeave a Comment

How do we know when God is speaking to us? Everyone’s experience will be different, based on needs and personality, and it may feel daunting in the beginning. When I first started trying to hear Him, I found that learning to recognize His voice wasn’t as hard as I expected. I began to pray that He would teach me to hear Him, and soon discovered that He spoke more often than I realized – I labeled it as my own conscience. Over time, I have learned to pick out the subtle differences between a prompting of the Holy Spirit, and a prompting from my own conscience. The first time I remember distinctly hearing an exact phrase from the Lord was several years back when my daughter had head lice. She caught it 3 times in less than a year and a half, and I was quite upset. I may have even yelled at God a little bit. Yet His answer was perfectly clear. His exact words to me were “I have been trying to get your attention, and you are not listening.” Yes, I reluctantly admit, my first real encounter with the voice of God was a reprimand! The single … Read More

Rising Up 2017 – Join Our Prayer Event!

Jen CudmoreCurrent Events, Prayer & FastingLeave a Comment

“God is seeking women who will take up the mantle of prayer to release healing, deliverance and glory upon the earth … The Lord is mustering an army to cry out in prayer and intercession against the wicked schemes of the enemy in the land.” ~Michelle McClain-Walters Prayer is desperately needed. Fires and floods. Racism and entitlement. Disregard and disrespect. With the moral decline of our culture and the natural disasters hitting our country, our only hope is a Savior. As daughters of the King of Kings, we must intercede on behalf of our nation and our children. Alaska can make a difference! Let each woman of God rise up like a lioness with boldness and cry out to God to heal our land! This October, several organizations are coming together to initiate a Jesus movement in our nation’s capitol! For 4 days, Christians will gather at the National Mall. Praise music with 300 worship teams, round-the-clock prayer, street evangelism, 50 tents representing all 50 states – this will be an event like America has never seen before! Will you join the call and rise up? Those of us who cannot travel to Washington DC can still be a part … Read More

Balancing Rest and Rigor

Madison RosserFaithLeave a Comment

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. Colossians 3:23. Balance has never been my thing. Whether it’s a yoga pose or balancing my schedule, I always seem to topple over. At the same time, I love to work hard, to take risks, and to try new things, even if it means exhaustion, and if I choose to commit to something new, I’m all in. Do you see where “balance” gets lost in all of this? These past three weeks of starting school, coaching athletes, preparing for teaching in my classroom and the church, and loving family has left me sleep deprived and a bit stressed. When I committed to some new roles this year, I knew what I was stepping into; however, I have had my moments of doubt as I’ve let morning runs escape me, drank way too much coffee, and seen my husband for fewer moments than I’ve seen the mounds of paper chaotically spread across my classroom. The good news is: I know this season is brief while I adjust to a new schedule and finish out some short (but time-consuming) commitments. I know I am not the only one who … Read More