Tell me about your daddy

Rosalynn LasleyPrayer & Fasting, Redemption, Trials1 Comment

Jesus Love

I have been avoiding writing this post for a very long time.  The title alone is one that can elicit a wide variety of responses.  For some people the thought of their dad will cause a visible smile to spread across their face, thinking of all of the lovely things that make their dad who he is.  For others it may cause their eyes to well up with tears because their dad is no longer on earth.  There are others who may get a sinking feeling in their stomach because their relationship with their dad isn’t a good one.  There are some who may not know their dad at all.  There are some who think of a stepdad or foster dad when thinking of their dad.  There may even be some who won’t read this post at all because it has to do with dads.  That’s why it has been so hard for me to write this, it’s hard for me to talk about my dad. When people talk about God as The Father, its is often hard for me to comprehend that.  I don’t have a good relationship with my dad so my view of what a father looks like is cloudy.  I … Read More

Unexpected Easter Blessings

Heather GillisFaith, Holiday, Redemption, Trials4 Comments

Have you ever received a blessing from God that was beyond measure than anything you have ever received? Easter in itself is a blessing that I cherish as a day where God gave his only son for us. But there are two Easter blessings that will forever be engraved in my heart. Last Easter, it was our second year living in Alaska. Last Easter was also my husband and I wedding anniversary. The day started out like any other day for me. I got up early intending to go to the sunrise Easter service then come back and all go together as a family. This morning however everyone got up early and somehow someway we all got dressed and made it to the sunrise service at the chapel on base on time. On this particular day it also had been snowing. I had experienced white Christmases before but never a white Easter. Have you ever had one of those amazing moments orchestrated by God? Well this day was one of those moments. As the choir started to sing, they started singing a song about how much Jesus loves us and washes our sins white as snow. It was snowing outside on Easter … Read More

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

What If?

Carol DunfeeFaith, Redemption, Trials3 Comments

The dark night of the soul. Yes, I’ve been there. In those times, I have to concentrate on each breath. Breathe in. Breath out. Put one foot in front of the other. Those moments whittle all of life down to surviving the present moment and then the next and the next. The pain is excruciating. My heart threatens to stop beating for the emotional pain, the exhaustion, wracking my body. In those dark nights, I chastise myself for not having more faith. If I were a better Christian, a better wife, a better mom, I could handle the pain better. If I were stronger, this wouldn’t be so hard. After all, my night is not a dark as hers or his. So I deny myself the luxury of pain and thus make the darkness even deeper. Looking back, I see how God brought me through these seasons of hopelessness. I can trace His hand in hindsight. So I ask, “What if?” What if our dark seasons were sent by the enemy to harm us? Maybe he sees where God is leading us and wants to stop it before we became a threat to him. Maybe he just wants to hurt God … Read More

Clouds of Discouragement

Jewel ZymurgyTrials0 Comments

Work was pretty normal and went by rather quickly as Fridays are concerned. I was on my way to an afternoon meeting with a beautiful friend of mine, looking to share some insight on questions that had to do with learning how to recognize a healthier way to respond and engage in relationship. When I become conscious for the umpteenth time in the last week or so that I had this rather obstinate and in general irritable non-cooperative disposition rising inside of me. Once again I found myself pushing it away thinking that later I needed to look at what in the world that was…that feeling of…well…I think it was discouragement. Trying to will myself to focus instead on the upcoming time with my dear friend, time which has always been bathed in the scriptures. Her insight has and I believe always will, include the beautiful way she weaves the loving word of God into whatever topic we discuss. I look forward to our times together with childlike excitement because I know that God’s Presence saturates that time and in it I will receive a treasure from Him, a gift to unwrap, meant just for me. That time to me … Read More

A Holy Love That Makes Us Complete

Heather GillisFaith, Redemption, Trials0 Comments

Happy Monday!  Last Monday I posted about how God’s holy love makes us new. God’s holy love has the power to transform our hearts and lives. Surrender is the first step to our transformation. Today we are taking a closer look at how God’s holy love makes us complete. We may not always like when tragedy or struggle enters our lives, but God is all-powerful and able to do so much more with our struggles than we ever could. In God’s holy love we are made perfect. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” 1 John 4:18 God’s holy love never punishes but disciplines us.  God’s love isn’t meant to get back at us but for us to have the best life ever in Him.  God knows our needs better than us–He encourages holiness. To get where God desires us, He requires our obedience and discipline. We may not always like what God desires for us, but that’s okay, we don’t have to.  The fruit of self-discipline doesn’t come from us but from God Himself and reaps great rewards … Read More

A Holy Love At The Cross

Heather GillisFaith, Trials0 Comments

I hope you enjoyed the love poem and prayer of God’s agapé love for us from last week. God’s love is a holy love. One that forgives and selflessly gives eternally forevermore. There is never an end or amount of God’s love. But sometimes God’s love doesn’t feel very loving does it? Let me explain. Six years ago my husband and I endured the biggest tragedy parent’s could ever go through—the loss of our son. He was born with an undetected kidney disease that was incompatible with life. He lived only two short weeks on this earth before he went to heaven. When he died I couldn’t believe God didn’t heal our son. We prayed so hard for him to be healed, didn’t God hear our prayers? If God loved us then why didn’t He heal our son? As time went by, I went before God with this very question and His response was “I did heal your son just not in the way you asked me to. He indeed is healed and living a life that is free from disease, pain or sorrow, he is no longer suffering.” Wow, God was right, He answered every single one of my … Read More

Choose to Bring Life

Jewel ZymurgyFaith, Trials0 Comments

A tremendous life lesson that I have learned this year is the impact and responsibility that I have in the words that I say. It is and always will be my decision whether or not my words bring life or death. Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” I have been the one who has given way to both death and life. Though for a long time I allowed the sickness of my past and the pain of my hurts to taint the way I spoke to others. I rationalized in my own head that such negative speak was tolerable from me because I have been hurt deeply. A hypocrite, I judged harshly those who would speak to me in the same manner, caustically labeling those who looked just like me. Matthew 15:18 “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.” I knew what it was to hurt others with my words; it was one way that I kept others away. My verbal lashes kept people away from my heart, away from the things that I truly thought … Read More

Giving God Access

Jewel ZymurgyTrials0 Comments

I have shared before how the last few years of my life has been radically different from the majority of the life that I have lived prior. This last week though, God gave me a glimpse into a different plan for me than the one I had (which was to compartmentalize and keep my “following Jesus” life and my life prior to that separate). There was no miraculous booming voice nor did the waters of the Cook Inlet part to show me the way…however, the miracle that happened in my heart may just have been that big…or at least it was to me. Almost the entire time that I have been on this crazy adventure with Jesus, I have been told over and over that I need to forgive those people in my past that had hurt me so deeply; which is perfectly true and in fact biblical. Though…how do you convince someone who has been living in a world of pain and survival that the ones who hurt you the worst are in most need of forgiveness, “not for them, but for you…” The more that I was willing to know and learn and seek who God is…the more … Read More

When Mercy Meets You In Your Mess

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Redemption, Trials0 Comments

This weekend I was blessed by a friend with a ticket to the Vicki Courtney retreat and REALLY enjoyed all that she shared with us.  One thing that really stuck with me was when she talked about when life gets messy.  It wasn’t necessarily just what she said that stuck with me, but also the reactions of the women who were attending.  The conference was filled with many different women, many different age groups, many different churches and denominations, many different seasons of life and heritages.  There was a wide variety of women present but based on the tears and the tissues one could gather that there are many who are dealing with hard things in life, a life that is messy. As I looked around from time to time I found myself wondering what could be causing so many women to weep? So many walked in with bright, shining, smiling faces and now those faces are streaming with tears. What does their mess look like? Each of us either have a mess of our own, or have just recently gone through the process of cleaning up a mess. Some of the messes may seem “small” in comparison to other messes but … Read More

At A Loss For Words

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Trials0 Comments

This week is one of the many times lately I have found myself at a loss for words.  I’m generally a pretty chatty person, so when I’m left with nothing to say it’s hard to know what to do with it. Have you ever found yourself at a loss for words? I mean REALLY at a loss for words? I’ve found myself at such a loss for words at times that I didn’t even know what to pray.  I couldn’t offer up not one sound to the Lord, not one.  My prayers came instead via cheeks that were wet in silence.  All I could even think was “Lord, hear my heart.” Maybe you’ve found yourself at a loss for a words in your own circumstances. Maybe you don’t even have the words to pray.  Maybe a friend has come to you and shared something leaving you nothing to offer in return, no advice, no encouragement, just silence.  Sometimes the best things we can offer in times like these come in silence.  Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this adversity that had come upon him, each one came from his own place—Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. For they … Read More

There’s only room for one of us

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Trials0 Comments

I think it’s a little bit funny how God works sometimes.  Well maybe not FUNNY funny, but it’s late and a better word escapes me right now.  Last week my Wednesday blog contribution talked about how I often try to carry more than I should, and how my burdens often get VERY heavy before I hand them back to Him. Wednesday was a good day for me.  When I got home from work I told my husband how well I felt for the first time in a really long time, and so I got started on some small chores before we left for church.  That might not seem very significant to you, but it was a big deal for me. What some of you may not know is that in December I was in a sledding accident that resulted in 19 different fractures in my body (4 vertebrae, 14 rib fractures, and a broken shoulder blade) once I was a few months into healing from my accident, the Lord blessed us with a baby who is expected to arrive later this fall.  Combine injury and first trimester and I haven’t felt so great in quite sometime. I’m not complaining, I promise I’m not complaining, I’m just saying that Wednesday … Read More

When Christmastime Is Difficult

Rosalynn LasleyHoliday, Trials1 Comment

Christmastime is said to be the most wonderful time of the year, but there are times when Christmastime is the most difficult time of the year too. Most of us try to muster up all the jolly we can, and force a smile to carry us through this time of year, but truly, the most wonderful time of the year can sometimes be a difficult time of year too. Maybe your Christmastime comes with an ugly diagnosis, or bills you can’t pay. How are you supposed to afford gifts when you’re not sure how to put food on the table? Maybe the cupboards are bare and the lines at the food bank are long.  This isn’t how you imagined life would be right now.  Maybe there has been a recent job loss or lay-off. Maybe this means there are very few gifts under the tree this year, or no gifts or tree at all. How can you afford to light up a tree, when you’re not sure how you’re going to pay the electric bill?  Maybe your Christmastime is spent in a hospital room, or visiting a loved one in jail. That’s not an ideal way to spend Christmastime. There’s no … Read More

…it’s still raining

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Trials0 Comments

Text after text flooded my inbox, and it wasn’t until I was just about to go to sleep for the night, I realized it wasn’t coincidental.  Early in the morning, a close friend talked about her newest baby, and how greatly she misses the one she lost. It’s been four years, but it still hurts just the same. Evening came, and my sister sent me a picture of the scenery over my nephews soccer game. There was no rhyme or reason for the picture, she just thought it was pretty so she shared it with me.   It wasn’t until a really dear friend asked me an innocent question, that I realized that maybe God was trying to get my attention. After all,  I have been asking Him what I should write about, for over two weeks now.  The question was:  “I was wondering how you are, with life with your rainbow?” When she said rainbow, she was talking about my baby, my rainbow baby.If you were to google “what is a rainbow baby?” the response you would get is this: A “rainbow baby” is a baby that is born following a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss. In the real world, a beautiful and bright rainbow follows … Read More

A season of wait

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Trials2 Comments

We are a part of a generation that is used to instant satisfaction. With modern technology we have a multitude of things instantly at our fingertips. The only waiting we really do, depends on our internet connection or wi-fi speed. I haven’t really existed too long in an era where people had to be more patient. We’ve always had an electric washer and dryer (although my mom did use a clothes line every once in a while.) We had a telephone, and sometimes cable TV. We had polaroid’s and one hour photo.  We had processed foods, TV dinners, microwaveable everything, so waiting is something that has had to be extra learned, and is something I’m not necessarily good at. God doesn’t care how far technology has come. God doesn’t care that we’ve become a society focused on instant satisfaction. God allows seasons of wait in our lives to teach us to depend on Him and not ourselves. We are refined during our wait. Sometimes waiting brings out the worst in people. Think of long post-office lines at Christmas-time, or a more than 10 minute wait at your favorite restaurant during the dinner rush. Many people would rather leave, drive across town, and … Read More

Sometimes It’s Hard For Me To Love You

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Trials0 Comments

Sometimes it’s hard for me to love you. I know that sounds ugly, but it’s true. I know it’s wrong, and I’m sorry. I promise I’m trying to be better about that.  I know what the Bible says. I’ve read it many times before.  “Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31 NKJV The Bible tells me to love my neighbors (which means coworkers, siblings, parents, customers from work, actual neighbors, church members, inlaws, distant friends, my spouse, my children, my boss, the people in line at the grocery store, our police, our political leaders, ex boyfriends… The list goes on and on.) but  sometimes it’s … Read More

How Do We Fight Our Adversary?

Jen CudmoreFaith, Trials0 Comments

Have you ever wanted to be a hero? Most little girls dream of being a princess who lives happily ever after. We dream of our white knight rescuing us from the evil dragon and whisking us away to utopia. But sometimes, we dream of being the hero. Beating the odds. Saving the day. And ladies, God is giving us that opportunity. We can be a hero for His Kingdom! We can break chains and free captives. We can go and make disciples. We can pursue unity and forgiveness in our relationships. We can love, unconditionally and with abandon. Yet, we have enemies. As mentioned in a previous post about fearing opposition, we have to be wary of the world, our flesh, and the devil. Which means we are opposed, and we must stand strong if we want to be a hero. To be a hero, it’s essential that we fight to keep satan from infiltrating our space, the territory God has given to us as wives, moms, teachers, employees – all of it. He will try to meddle anywhere he can. He initiates division in relationships. He appeals to our flesh. He targets weaknesses and tempts us. He convinces us … Read More