God’s Friendship

Madison RosserFaith0 Comments

Any given day brings me about eight million opportunities to completely lose my mind. I am not what people would call a“chill” person. I like to be in control. You know, have my day go exactly according to my plans. Is that too much to ask? Apparently, it is. Not a day goes by that goes exactly as planned. If only I had learned to loosen my grasp by now. I am so thankful for God’s patience with me and my control issues. I believe God can work with me, at least that’s what He says. Lately, I’ve felt him chiseling away, molding me into a person with open hands, ready to receive what He has for me. (Keep in my mind, only this past Thursday did I break down in tears after a day gone wrong.) My pastor preached a sermon several weeks ago, focusing on Psalm 25. I’ll include some of the highlights, mashed together, below. But seriously, you should read the whole Psalm. Definitely worth your time. 1 To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. 2 O my God, in you I trust    let me not be put to shame;    let not my … Read More

Why Bother

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Trials0 Comments

I’ve had a bit of a bad attitude lately. It’s hard to admit that, but it’s true. I’ve felt defeated, discouraged, and simply like “why do I even bother?!” (I’ve even said that outloud.) I’ve attempted kindness and grace only to have it discarded. I’ve attempted courtesy and just had it overlooked. I’ve attempted to try harder, do more than what was asked if me, but it was only to have my efforts completely dismissed. It’s hard to have a good attitude when that happens. Have you felt that way lately? Have you felt like you’re doing the best you can, really giving it all you have and either no one notices, no one cares, or it doesn’t change the circumstances one bit? Do you have the “why bother” attitude like me? While in the midst of my pity party and bad attitude, God reminded me of why I need to bother, and why I need to do my best to have a good attitude while doing it. But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take … Read More

Prepare for Impact

Rosalynn LasleyFaith0 Comments

impact

Each of us have someone in the past, as well as in the present that have made an impact in our lives.  Some have had (or are currently having) an impact in small ways, some in large ways.  Some have impacted our lives in positive ways, and some in negative.  Some have impacted our lives in ways we had never imagined, and some in ways we will never ever forget.  Chances are that as you read this you’ve started mentally recalling a list of people who have previously and are currently impacting your life. But what about you? What about the impact you have in the lives of others? When you realize that you have a sphere of influence yourself, and you are currently impacting others around you it is both a powerful, and sobering thought.    What would other folks say your impact has been in their life?  Would you be surprised? Proud? Embarrassed? Ashamed? There may be some of us who would feel proud of the times where we made a positive difference in the lives of someone else. We might recall the times where we have given our all, in hopes it would make a difference.  There … Read More

The Message and The Miracle

Heather GillisBible Study, Faith, Trials0 Comments

Have you ever gone through a hard time in your life and questioned is God even there? Or does he even care? Sometimes I’ve caught myself questioning God and His motives when I’m going through hard times. I question God ‘Why is this happening to me? Don’t you even care?’ Then He so tenderly reminds me, yes He does care more than I’ll ever know. In my struggle I realize I’m not the one waiting on God, He’s the one waiting on me. If I just opened my eyes to see what God is trying to show me, His creations are all around me. He has made the heavens, the earth and everything in it. He has already sent Jesus to die for us. Do I really need him to show me another sign of what He is capable of doing? My unbelief and doubt isn’t so far off from the Pharisees and the crowd Jesus fed. The gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, capture the life of Jesus, His ministry, His death and resurrection. Each gospel captures Jesus’ messages and miracles he performed. Jesus didn’t perform a miracle without there being a deeper message at hand. When a … Read More

Where Do Unanswered Prayers Go?

Heather GillisFaith, Prayer & Fasting0 Comments

I don’t know about you but I have thought about this question many times.  There have been many prayers I have prayed my whole life, God still hasn’t answered.  Does that mean he doesn’t care?  Does it mean God isn’t listening?  I pray this post encourages you to know that God indeed is listening and he cares and loves you very much. I have heard many say ‘God didn’t answer my prayer, that must mean he doesn’t love me.’  Even though it may be true God doesn’t answer all of our prayers the way we want him to, he isn’t a genie in the bottle waiting to grant our every wish.  God doesn’t work that way.  He is our Father who loves us, who knows what is best for us, who sees the bigger picture and has the best plan ever for our lives.  To not answer our prayers may mean that God has something better waiting ahead. When our third child was born with a fatal kidney disease, my husband and I prayed for God to please heal our son and for him not to suffer anymore.   We had so many people praying for healing for him.  The day he … Read More

Why is Prayer so Important in Marriage?

Heather GillisFaith, Marriage, Prayer & Fasting, Trials2 Comments

Marriage is one of the biggest blessings in life, yet 40%-50% of marriages end up in divorce.  If marriage is such a blessing, then why do so many marriages fail?  I think there are many factors at play–a person’s background and upbringing, parents who had a loving successful marriage, children, poor role models, trials, dysfunctional habits.  But I think one of the most important factors that help couples STAY together is PRAYER. A study written by the National Association of Marriage Enhancement stated out of 1156 couples, those who prayed together on a daily basis less than 1% ended in divorce.  The study went even further to analyze what the couples did at home together.   Were they apart of the same denomination?  Did they attend church together?  Did they share the same beliefs and values?  Did they do any worship activities at home? The study found there was a higher level of marital satisfaction when the couples shared the same religious practices at home which included reading the Bible together.  Unfortunately despite knowing this information, only 4% of Christian couples pray together on a daily basis.  The important message from the study was if you want a strong marriage that … Read More

Grace: A Proper Response To Sin

Jen CudmoreFaith, Redemption4 Comments

He’s doing it again. Irritating and embarrassing me. That’s not what I wanted him to say. That’s not how I wanted him to behave. That’s not the place I wanted him to go. He knows what he ought to do, the right way to handle these situations, and yet he refuses to meet my expectations. He doesn’t see the harm in going his own way. God’s standard was broken, blessings are withheld, consequences ensue. Because, after all, we reap what we sow. My response is strong. I’m disgusted and disappointed. Righteous anger is justified, and I hold tightly to mine, because I know I am right. I know I am right. And then my pondering turns to God’s response. How does He look at this disobedient and disrespectful child? Like me, He must be so tired of all this! I picture Him wincing or shaking His head. That’s when God simply tells me He’s not mad. What? Not mad? But He’s been wronged! Shamed by this person who is not living up to His standards. How can He be so calm and quiet about it? Because I’m making enough noise for the both of us. And then He gently reminds … 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

The Victor’s Crown

Heather GillisFaith, Redemption4 Comments

Four years ago I had the unbelievable opportunity to participate in the 2013 Boston Marathon. It was unimaginable I was there. I looked around at the sea of runners thinking, how did I even get here? I didn’t feel worthy to be there, nor did I feel qualified even though I met the requirements to enter. This race was for elite runners and I wasn’t even close to that category. However, none of that mattered once the gun went off. Everyone started running full speed ahead to achieve the same goal—crossing the finish line. This is where we were put to the test. Were all the early morning training runs and nutritional diet going to pay off to get me to the end? Marathoners are a different breed. Who in their right mind gets up at 4 a.m. and runs 20 miles? I didn’t consider myself a marathoner, just someone who needed to put the pain to the pavement. I was searching for a place to heal and God led me to running. Running is where I spent time with God.  In my training God taught me so much. He showed me my hands and feet weren’t really mine anyway, they … 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

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

A Love that Never Fails

Heather GillisFaith, Prayer & Fasting0 Comments

  This post is a little different from previous posts I have written, mostly because I have written a love poem and prayer to share about God’s agapé love for us. If there was only one thing I could write about as a writer in the whole entire world, it would be about God’s love for us.  My hope and prayer is God would use the words we write on these pages to tell His story in our hearts, to shout above the noise of this world so we can hear and see how much He loves and cares for us.  I pray these pages of words tell about His goodness, His faithfulness, how He will and do anything for us.  There is nothing we could ask of God, He isn’t be able to do.  His love is the greatest of all love, an agapé love, one that can never be destroyed–one that never fails or ever leaves us. In the Bible, there are four different translations for love in the Greek language.  We can determine what type of the love the Bible is speaking of in the context it is used.  There is a term for brotherly love ‘philia,’ a term for … 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

The Best Christmas Gifts Ever

Heather GillisHoliday1 Comment

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”James 1:17 Tis the Season……Everyone is getting ready for Holidays.  Preparing baked goodies, getting ready for parties and buying Christmas gifts!  It takes a lot of time, preparation and planning to find the perfect gift for that someone special.   Have you ever received a gift so perfect you remember the joy and excitement you felt when you opened it?  I bet you could tell me what the gift was and how you felt when you received and opened it.   As a parent, I bet you can remember that special gift you gave your child and the joy you received watching them open it and their reaction after receiving it.   Giving Gifts is a great way of showing another person that they are special and how much you care for them.  A gift is only a gift if it is received, accepted then opened, otherwise it’s just a box with a gift in it.  What good is a gift if it is never opened and received? I am sure many of you have … Read More

Work to Enter Rest

Jewel ZymurgyFaith0 Comments

The challenge of having a correct perspective has been incredibly difficult for many different reasons and by far the hardest path I’ve had to travel is the path of that I never traveled down. Do you know by looking at me that many days it is such an effort to look you in the eye and smile? The far majority of the people in my life daily and weekly would say no. Sometimes making the incredible effort for most of my interactions to act as if that there is nothing of consequence going on in my life is so outrageously draining that I have spent all of what little energy I do have on looking normal to people who don’t even know me. What a strange predicament-what an odd idea to want to appear to have it all together-what an utter fail to attain that lofty goal of “perfectly normal”. Being a single mom I also feel that I have to do this to a large degree with my daughter. Many things I think about and struggle with are not things I would ever choose to burden her with anyway so it’s honestly not that hard to keep that continual … Read More

A Grief Observed

Madison RosserPrayer & Fasting, Trials0 Comments

It has always intimidated me to discuss grief, and by always, I mean since five years ago when I experienced it first-hand with the loss of my mother. What could I possibly tell you that would help you navigate a season that seems darker than the winters of the Northland? I feel at a loss when it comes to loss. As I was thinking about the reasons behind my lack of words for others, I thought back to the books handed to me when I lost my mom. I read a grand total of 1.75 of them; 75% of one book given to me, and the entirety of another I picked from a used book-store, pages worn from another reader, written by an author I’ll always trust. The first was a little daily devotional. I don’t even remember the name. Someone gave a copy to my Nanny, my sister, and me. Somehow, the short length of each devotional and its authors’ raw acknowledgement that grief is the worst allowed me to keep turning the pages day by day. Ironically, I never finished it, perhaps symbolic of the fact I wasn’t finished grieving in 80 days. I’m still not. Pretty sure … Read More

I’m Not The Best Mom Ever

Rosalynn LasleyFaith, Motherhood0 Comments

I sat down with my oldest daughter and asked her to help me prepare my blog this week. She didn’t know what my subject was, or how I would even use her response, I simply asked her if she would answer a series of questions for me and she agreed. I asked her to grab a pencil and a piece of paper and then I proceeded to asked her my list of questions. I had no idea how she would answer, and honestly, even asking her the questions made me nervous. Even though I’ve been her mom for 11 years, I still don’t feel cut out for this. I have no idea what I’m doing most days, and once I feel like I have finally mastered a season of life, the seasons change and we’re onto something new. As the next kid approaches the season we’ve just endured, it’s like starting from scratch. Different kids bring different versions of seasons. Some kids are like mild winters where the roads are manageable and the temperatures are tolerable. Other kids are like blizzards in Antarctica with white out conditions, hypothermia, and frostbite. You’re not certain how you’ll survive, or if you even … Read More

Why Failing is Good For Us

Jen CudmoreFaith, Prayer & Fasting0 Comments

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try one more time.” Thomas Edison Nobody likes to fail.  When we make a mistake, no matter how big, we risk losing respect from others. Many times we experience negative consequences. We worry that we’re messing up our kids, ruining our career, creating a bad reputation, etc. And we quit trying. But what if failing is actually good for us? A couple years back, I hit a season where things weren’t so good. Because I had over-committed, my schedule was so full I barely had time for my family, or rest. I needed to get a manuscript to my editor, write two short stories for my publisher, and keep up on my personal blog as well as the three others I contributed to, all while working my day job and staying active at church twice a week! Then, I had to deal with some miscommunication between me and my publisher, as well as make time to assist someone with a new baby. I had also been working on maintaining a healthier lifestyle and felt guilty that I wasn’t keeping up with the new exercise … Read More