Beautiful Reminders

Jewel ZymurgyFaith, Redemption0 Comments

Sitting with Gwen, I was reminded of a time when I got to see where Jesus was in my past–when I hadn’t believed that God was with me at all. One of those incredible moments was a time when Sue walked with me into the darkness of my past– she loving helped me enter into a painful time that had a warped and drastically shaped me; a time that had plagued my dreams and left me feeling broken and abandoned. A time when hope was ripped away from me so completely that I felt like the only good response was too shut myself away… a time when the most logical thing to do was to close my heart to trusting people and to shut myself off to believing there was anything good to live for. I was already too tired, enduring day to day, to keep on fighting and hoping in something that I didn’t live. The circumstances in my life felt like they were crushing me and I fought to breathe in anything that seemed good. There was no hope for joy – there was only existence. As I began believing that I was too broken to fix I … Read More

A Love Letter to Alaska

Heather GillisFaith, Uncategorized2 Comments

It comes with mixed emotions and bittersweet feelings that my stay here in Alaska has come to an end. Oh how I have loved it here, the memories we have made will last a lifetime. But it is time for this military family to embark on our next journey. It seems we have just said hello and now it is time to say goodbye. This post will be a little different from my previous ones. I hope you have enjoyed reading the Monday messages God has placed on my heart each week. This is my love letter to Alaska—between hello and goodbye. I don’t think a person could ever really say goodbye to Alaska once they experience it. It’s a place I would like to return in one way or another. Alaska has been so good to us in every way. You can see how creative God is when he made Alaska. It is like no other place I’ve ever been.   My Love Letter to Alaska: Oh Alaska, I will never forget the first time Ilaid my eyes on you. The pictures I tried to take with my phone, never gave you justice of how mighty and great your mountains … Read More

What Does ‘Let Go’ Really Mean?

Jen CudmoreFaith, Womanhood1 Comment

“Let go and let God.” Such a cute little cliche. While it’s good advice, it’s also over-simplified. Because typically, letting go isn’t as simple as it sounds. I’ve asked God so many questions over the years. How do I let go of this issue that’s bothering me? How do I know when I have truly let go? Why is it so hard to let this go? While each issue we face is unique, the concept behind letting go is the same. Whether it’s a step of faith, a financial struggle, a strained relationship, the loss of a loved one, or a stressful schedule, at some point we have to learn to be okay in our junk. Letting go is not plastering a smile on our face and pretending we are fine – its actually getting to the point where we are fine, no matter how life pans out. And many times after we think we’ve let go, we find that we’re stewing over the issue again, and we have to do the process all over. The more we want our way, the stronger our desire to be right and be in control, the harder it is to let go of … Read More

Why We Need To Get Uncomfortable

Jen CudmoreFaith2 Comments

“I just didn’t see it.” How many times have we been looking for an object that was right in front of us, but our eyes somehow missed it? Over time we can get so used to a particular environment that everything tends to blend in. When we drive the same route to work each day. When we shop at the same supermarket every week. When we sit in the same pew every Sunday. We like routine because it’s comfortable. While there is value in a certain amount of routine when it comes to efficiency or success, there is also danger. When we do the same thing over and over, it becomes a habit. We don’t have to think about anything; we act out of reflex. We don’t realize the monotony is causing us trouble. We don’t notice the details anymore. We take the familiar for granted. We skip over the little things. When we’re comfortable, when we know what to expect, when there is no challenge – that’s when we miss out on God’s blessings. A couple weeks ago, I wrote about How to be Uncomfortable. As humankind, we prefer the smooth and uncomplicated things of life, rather than discomfort … Read More

The Stones We Throw

Heather GillisFaith, Redemption0 Comments

On a beautiful crisp morning, our family was walking along the rocky beach of Hope, Alaska. There were mountains surrounding us, sounds of waves echoing against the bank, and eagles soaring above us. There were millions of smooth shaped rocks underneath our feet that we could see for miles. It was a cloudy, rainy day, but it didn’t take away from the beauty that surrounded us. In order to get to Hope, we took the only road that led in and out of this hidden town tucked away in the mountains. Hope is an old gold mining town with less than two hundred residents. There is only one store, one restaurant and one post office in this small town. The only way to stay there is to either know someone or camp at the local campground. Even though we call Alaska our home, there is still so much to discover in this enormous state. Everywhere we go, we always discover something new. It has been two years since our family was stationed here, but we have barely broken the surface of experiencing everything Alaska has to offer. We have learned to listen to what the locals tell us. They know … 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

Contentment In Each Season

Jen CudmoreFaith0 Comments

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6 Lately I have struggled with choosing contentment. Usually the first week of the year, I have a conversation with God to discuss my goals, and sometimes He gives me a word to focus on for the next 12 months. I have yet to make time for that, and He hasn’t given me a new word, so right now, I feel as though I am floundering. Except that I already know what God wants from me right now. I’d just rather be doing something else… So here I sit, not having the time to do the things I wish to do, unable to fully enjoy the things I am currently doing. I feel like a bird whose wings have been clipped, like I’m not able to fly and be all that I was created to be. Like an animal stuck in a cage, I long to be free to go after my dreams. – – – This is right about the time when God reminds me that He wants me to remain right where He’s placed me, for now. And that current placement is a day job. I’ve been at this … Read More

TV Shows and God Moments

Jewel ZymurgyFaith0 Comments

The other day my daughter and I watched an older TV show when God threw in something that was unexpected and helped me get out of a negative mental funk that I was struggling with for a bit. I wanted to have a nice quiet night with my girl—watching a show that she enjoyed and sipping on some ice cold homemade limeade…what I was given was exceedingly more as I gained insight into my heart by a loving God that is constantly pursuing me! I don’t know if the reason why that episode struck a chord in my heart was because I was had heard a moving message earlier, if it was because it was the end of a long weekend of incredible insight or if it was because I have been wrestling with some pretty significant core beliefs as of late…but the episode made my heart break and release a torrent of tears that had my daughter thinking that we should probably turn of the show…which I whole heartedly agreed. However, not for any other reason than to share with her what moved my heart in that moment. The truth is that my mind and heart had been swimming … Read More

Choosing Unity: True Vs. God’s Truth

Heather GillisCurrent Events0 Comments

In the light of the inauguration of our newly elected President, I am postponing my New Year Goals post until next week.  Watching our newly elected President come into office, I have seen the rollercoaster of emotions on the news that have been sweeping across our nation.  I’ve watched the protests, the violence and the marches of people yelling “no justice, no peace.”  Animosity is rising to new levels causing division in our united nation. Our county has been founded upon liberty and justice for all.  Some of us may feel the election of our new president questions the integrity of justice and stability of our nation, causing fear among many because of our nations’ uncertainty.  These concerns may all be true, but they are not the basis of truth. We will always have a President come into office we like or don’t like.  We will always be a nation that agrees to disagree.  We will always have uncertain circumstances that we don’t know how they will turn out.  The fear of our concerns will be the very thing that causes us to become divided. Three Feelings that Divide our Nation:   True vs. Truth 1.  Animosity True-  It’s true many have expressed hurt over … 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

Blessing Bags

Jewel ZymurgyFaith0 Comments

For a couple of days I have had the blessing bags that our women’s bible study group made (well…they put them together…I was noticeably absent from the function, or so I’m told) They were made with the homeless in mind–they had toiletries and tissues, hand warmers and protein bars, cards of encouragement, a clothing item of some sort (socks or  scarfs or knitted hat , etc.) and a new testament bible. I may be missing something but you get the idea. I was given them a couple of days ago and since that day had been praying about who to give it to and when I could do it. The days following being given the bags the streets seemed oddly vacant of homeless people as I drove to and from work and so those bags were still in my pilot. For me there was a lot of thought and prayer that went into the when, where and how I was going to give away these bags–it made me sorely miss the fact that I wasn’t with that group of ladies. God knows I was a bit odd about the different “requests” that I made around what that time may look like…related to when I was … Read More

A Song of Gratitude

Madison RosserHoliday1 Comment

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Of course, it’s always a good time to be thankful, but this time of year offers us a more structured chance to reflect and rejoice. A certain song of Israel has been running through my mind this week as I prepared to write. The song is the 136th Psalm. It begins as follows: Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who spread out the earth above the waters, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who made the great lights, for his steadfast love endures forever; the sun to rule over the day, for his steadfast love endures forever; the moon and stars to rule over the night, for his steadfast love endures forever; The poet repeats for emphasis, over and over– the Lord’s steadfast love endures forever! After this … Read More

Power of an Invitation

Heather GillisFaith, Prayer & Fasting0 Comments

I will never forget the first time I attended my first Bible study in 2012.  I had been a Christian my whole life, went to church, read the Bible, but never attended a formal Bible study.  I could name a million reasons why I didn’t attend before then;  busy with motherhood, I worked during the week, I had to take care of the house, etc.  It’s funny how God has a way to always point you in the right direction.  I was at a point in my relationship with God where I knew He wanted me to take the next step towards a deeper relationship with him;  but I didn’t know how.  One day I was standing in the preschool parking lot talking with a friend, pouring out my heart to her.  I had just started to attend the same church as her.  As she was listening to me, she had opened the door to something bigger than I could have ever imagined.  She invited me to a Women’s Bible Study at the new church I was attending.  I immediately accepted the invitation.  I was excited, because I knew God had used her that day not only to invite me, but to … Read More

Return to Your Bethel

Renee DuncanFaith0 Comments

Here is another great video from Renee.  Has God shown up for you in a powerful way?  Have you wandered away from that moment?  What is your “Bethel” moment?  You can also view this video by clicking here.

When God Asks You To Do Difficult Things

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Motherhood0 Comments

Why is it, that God rarely asks us to do things that are easy? I mean, wouldn’t it be great if my conversations with God sounded something like this: “Rosalynn, eat 3 donuts before you get to work today…”  “Easy peasy Lord, challenge accepted.”“Rosalynn, sing some crazy song you made up off of the top of your head just to make your co-workers laugh.” “Sure thing Lord…you drop the beat, I’ll get the lyrics…”Instead it’s more like:“Rosalynn I want you to face difficult things in ministry that scare you to death and will make you cry..”“Uhhhh…Hold that thought, God…”“No worries my daughter, I’ve got time…”God works in mysterious ways, doesn’t He?! One thing you may not know about me is, that I volunteer in the youth department at my church. Every Sunday I spend an hour with 6th grade girls, trying to make an impact on their lives, the best I can with one hour a week. (And that’s if they come every week.) I’m not the only teacher in our class, so the other teachers and I take turns pouring into the hearts of these girls each week, praying that God will somehow make the most of the limited time we … Read More

Those days…

Jewel ZymurgyFaith0 Comments

Those days… You know the ones—when it feels like situation after situation it feels like you get pounded by the onslaught of living life in a fallen world. Maybe I just didn’t get enough sleep…maybe it was just my perspective…maybe it was a bit of both—I just felt worn out. It was an early morning and already I felt as I was trying to stand under a massive waterfall. Constant pressure was pounding on my back and it was difficult to breathe. I felt alone and as I struggled to stand—I was unsure of my footing. I was exhausted by the effort of trying to fight what felt like a losing battle. Slowly, the realization came that it was too overwhelming and should I keep trying to do this on my own I’m going to be crushed. Ok, God, I’m at the end of me—Dear God, why does it take me so long to give up my own will—my own desire to fight on my own? As I took a step back, somewhat in shock of just the sheer volume of the goings on around me, I couldn’t help but feel as if I was going to be thrown off … Read More