Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Update, Encouragement, & a GIVEAWAY!!

"But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." I Corinthians 15:57

Update on Kelly:  

(You can find the original prayer request for Kelly HERE.)


This is the latest update I received from Kelly's family:

"Kelly is improving! They moved her from the ICU on Monday! They will do her swallow test, and she is having a second surgery today, (Wednesday, 10/21/2020), Lord willing. Please do continue to pray for her. We are so thankful for everyone’s prayers and continued prayers . She has a LONG road ahead of her and looking to the lord to continue to see her through."

Please keep praying, dear friends!  God is hearing, and He is answering.  It is such a miracle that Kelly is alive and doing as well as she is.  I believe God has great plans for Kelly's life and future, and there is a Divine purpose for her healing.  I really appreciate the way you prayer warriors rally and rise to the occasion when I post a prayer request here.  You all are such faithful friends and soldiers of the cross!

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How is everyone holding up in these crazy times?  Have you ever seen a year like 2020?  I hear a lot of people say they will be happy when this year is over.  I cherish time so much, I don't go so far as to say that, but it certainly has been a rough year for everyone I know.  I pray God helps me glean every lesson He is trying to teach me in these trying times.

As I was praying the other morning - very heavily burdened - the sweet, precious Holy Spirit slipped right in there beside me and brought the most comforting thoughts to my troubled mind.  I wanted to share them with you here, in hopes that they will encourage you.

1.  Imagination is a powerful force.

Did you ever stop and think that your imagination can feed your doubts, or it can feed your faith?  No matter what you are going through in life, you can imagine the worst-possible scenario and focus on that OR you can imagine the best-possible outcome and focus on that.  Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."  What "substance" are you hoping for, in your current situation?  What evidence would you like to SEE unfold?  Close your eyes and force yourself to imagine THAT very substance and evidence coming to pass in your circumstances.  Imagine it until you can visualize it.  Once you visualize it, hold on to that picture in your mind, and zone in on it continually.  Every time the enemy comes to you with fear and doubt over what you are facing, force that image (get it?  Imagination stems from image!) to come to the surface and stare upon that image in your mind.  What you focus on enlarges in your mind.  So, as the saying goes, "Feed your faith, and your doubts will starve!"  Use your imagination for good.  Use it to feed and fuel your faith in God.

2.  God is even bigger than your imagination.

Now, once you have imagined the very best, most wonderful outcome to your situation, know this:  God is able to do something far greater than even that!  "Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us..."  Ephesians 3:20  After we have imagined as high as we possibly can, God can do something exceeding abundantly above everything we can envision!  Even our best possible imaginations and wildest dreams are lower than what our God is able to do!  Don't focus on what you cannot do.  Focus on what God CAN do - which is anything and everything.  "But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."  Matthew 19:26

3.  This world is not our home.


Remember the old song, "This World is Not My Home?"  Here are the lyrics to the first verse:
"This world is not my home I'm just a passing through,
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue;
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door,
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore."
When things come in on you to the point of threatening to crush your spirit, just remember that we are citizens of another country.  I don't know how anyone anywhere could love America more than I do - I cry over the current conditions and call out to God SO often in prayer for His mercy upon us.  I hate seeing all that is happening, and my heart breaks over the sin and destruction.  But, as much as I dearly love the United States of America and as much as my heart yearns for things to be the way they used to be, I am finding that my heart yearns MORE for the "country" to which I am going.  "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself."  Philippians 3:20-21  Jesus is coming soon, and He will take us all away from here to that place of peace and rest and eternal worship around His throne!  Can you imagine?  Our citizenship is in Heaven!  What a glorious thought!
The other night, Zach introduced me to one of his new favorite songs.  It has quickly become one of mine, too, and we play it often.  LOVE this song and can't get enough of it.  I hope it blesses you, too.

"Fly" by Big Daddy Weave

Praise God, one of these mornings I will spread my wings and fly - straight into the arms of JESUS - the One I have lived for for SO long and for so many years have yearned to see!  Once I get there, all of this heartache, worry, and fear will be long forgotten, and I will never cry again.  I will finally, finally be home.

Be encouraged, dear friends.  This world is not our home.  It is not our eternal resting place.  We are bound for a better world than this.
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."
Revelation 21:4

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Speaking of Big Daddy Weave, they are one of our favorite, favorite groups.  We absolutely love them and their music, and God has used their songs to get us through some tough times around here.  So, in the spirit of trying to encourage in these discouraging times, we would live to give away not one, not two, but THREE BIG DADDY WEAVE CDs!!!! 
And, that's not all!!!

With each winner's CD, we will also include a copy of our new book, "Biblical Minimalism: Following Jesus from a Life of Abundance to a More Abundant Life."  


So, each of the three winners will receive our new book AND a CD that is guaranteed to encourage your heart and lift your spirits in these trying times!

To enter, all you need to do is leave us a comment below and tell us why you would like to win!  We would love to hear a bit about what you are going through and why you are seeking encouragement, if you feel led to share.  If not, just leave a comment telling us you would like to win.  Also, feel free to share any prayer needs in your comment, and we will pray for you.

Zach will draw three commenters' names one week from today on 10/28/2020.  Giveaway is open to ALL, including those who live outside of the US.  Anonymous commenters will not be entered into giveaway since we have no way of identifying or making contact.  If you are an anonymous commenter and would like to enter the giveaway, you will need to leave your name and contact information in your comment, please. 

God bless you all.  Keep your eyes on Jesus!
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 12:1,2

Please don't forget to pray hard about the upcoming Presidential and Senate election.  May God have mercy on us all.

18 comments:

  1. Amen and Amen my dear Cheryl. I have been praying about many of the things you've mentioned in this post. I sing "This World is Not My Home," at least once a day. I can't wait until the day I meet Jesus in Heaven and get to sing with the choirs of angels. Life is in such an upheaval these days.
    We've done all we can to prepare for winter but we have 5-7 inches of snow predicted for Friday and we're sure hoping we have our tiny home all prepared for winters blast. 11 degrees Saturday and Sunday! It's so early in the year for this. Doesn't it seem the weather and natural disasters are progressing quicker and quicker and more and more? Dennis and I talk about that often. The earth is groaning and the birth pangs beginning.
    I also like Big Daddy Weave but I don't have that CD but also like the song you gave the link to.
    Thank you for your sweet comment on my blog today. I'm going to persevere for awhile and hope the issues with blogger are worked out soon.
    Praying for a wonderful Thursday for you and your sweet family.

    "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

    Blessings,
    Betsy

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    1. Oh, my goodness! I can't believe you are to get all that snow already! I trust your tiny home will keep you safe and warm all winter, dear friend. YES, the weather surely does seem to be progressing quicker and quicker. And, they yap on incessantly about "global warming." I loved your thoughts on the earth groaning and birth pangs beginning - God will surely be true to His Word, and we are surely seeing so much of it fulfilled right before our very eyes. You are surely welcome for the comment - oh, my I would miss you terribly if you stopped blogging. YOu are such a blessing to me. Sending much love and many hugs your way today, and thank you so much for entering the giveaway!

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  2. It's so wise for us to remember, in these turbulent times, that we are citizens of heaven first, Cheryl. That gives us so much perspective as we navigate each uncertain day here on earth. Please know I'll continue to pray for Kelly, and don't put my name in the hat as I already have a copy of your amazing book, and want those CDs to go to some other deserving reader. Thanks for being so generous, my friend!
    Blessings!

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    1. Thank you for continuing to pray for Kelly. I am going to enter you into the giveaway, sweet friend. Even though you have our book, you are welcome to pass it on to someone as a Christmas gift or do whatever you want with it. I want you to have a chance to win it and one of the CDs. I hope you have a wonderful day!

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  3. I'd love to win your new book! I'm a "senior citizen" church musician (keyboard) & when I'm asked (or I volunteer) to play pre-service music for a home going service, I enjoy playing several of the old hymns, including a slow version of "This World is Not my Home!"

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    1. Aw, that is so sweet, Barb. I would love for you to have a copy of our book. I love those dear, old hymns, too. Their words are so comforting. I would love to hear you play your keyboard. I'm sure it is beautiful. Many blessings to you today!

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  4. Thank you for updating us on Kelly. It’s always wonderful news to hear that prayers are being answered.
    I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on us needing to look towards are permanent “country”, which is not of this world. It’s so easy to get caught up with all that we are living through. I did watch the debate and am praying for an election according to the will of Our Lord. 🙏🏻 🇺🇸 🙏🏻

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    1. Yes, God is so faithful to answer prayer! Thank you so much for your continued prayers, dear friend, and I am so thankful you are continuing to pray about the election. Such troubled times we are living in, but we know God is with us. Sending love and hugs to you today.

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  5. Cheryl, as always I appreciate your commitment to prayer and scripture as you share with us. I must remind myself that my citizenship is in heaven and this journey on earth is a blip compared to eternity. Praying for God’s grace and mercy.

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    1. Thank you ever so much, sweet friend. Yes, let's please keep praying for God's mercy and grace. He is our only hope. I so appreciated your kind words today.

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  6. I enjoyed your post today so very much dear Cheryl... the Lord is preparing our hearts for His kingdom of heaven, I do believe! This world is not my home... I'm just passing through.. one of my favorite songs to sing. Thank you for sharing about how the Holy Spirit shared those three things with you... our imagination is a powerful force, and it can be trained for good things, positive things! Too often, we let it go into areas of worry and fear. How like the Lord to remind that He has greater and bigger things planned than we can even imagine! Praying for our elections, for our country, and for the hearts of people, that they would turn to the one and only true Lord Jesus. What a generous gift for you to give away the 3 CDs! If I should win, I would love the CDs, but already have a copy of your book :) Will definitely be praying for Kelly, may the Lord grant her healing through His powerful touch! Much love to you today dear friend!

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet visit and kind words, dear friend! I so appreciate your support and encouragement and prayers. If you win one of the giveaways, maybe you can pass our book along to someone else - Christmas is coming, perhaps you know someone to give the book to as a gift! Sending much love and hugs back to you today and trusting your dear Gram is continuing to do well. God bless you abundantly!

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  7. DEAR CHERYL: LEYENDO TU PUBLICACION, AMBAS VIVIMOS EN PAISES DIFERENTES, VIVIMOS CASI LAS MISMAS PREOCUPACIONES, HAY TANTA CORRUPCION EN ESTE MUNDO EN EL QUE VIVIMOS, HAY MALDADES POR TODOS LADOS, HAY ANCIEDAD, PREOCUPACION, FUTURO INCIERTO, DINERO QUE NO ALCANZA, LA GENTE CRITICANDO A LOS HIJOS DE DIOS POR NUESTRA MANERA DE PENSAR, DE VIVIR HASTA DE VESTIRNOS, ¿HASTA CUANDO TENDREMOS QUE SOPORTAR TANTA MALDAD, EGOISMO, ORGULLO? LE PIDO A DIOS EN MIS ORACIONES, QUE ME DE SABIDURIA Y FORTALEZA PARA EMPEZAR CADA DIA Y NO VOLVERME LOCA CON TANTAS MALAS NOTICIAS, TANTO VIRUS, TANTAS MUERTES INOCENTES, TANTA GENTE PASANDO HAMBRE, TANTAS ENFERMEDADES........ ¿SABIAS QUE EN MI PAIS HAY GENTE QUE SE APODERA DE LA CASA O DE TERRENOS VACIOS QUE SON DE OTRAS PERSONAS? ES UNA LOCURA, HAY UNA OLA DE ADUEÑARCE DE LO AJENO Y EL GOBIERNO MIRA PARA OTRO LADO, SE QUE HAY MUCHA GENTE SIN HOGAR, SIN TECHO, PERO APROPIARCE DE UNA CASA QUE NO ES SUYA, ES UNA LOCURA TOTAL Y ES MUY DIFICIL PODER SACARLOS, NO SE EN QUE VA A TERMINAR TODO ESTO. SOLO ORO A DIOS PARA QUE NO NOS SOBREVENGA NINGUN MAL, NINGUNA PESTE, ES UN MUNDO DIFICIL. PERO COMO TU DICES Y ES CIERTO, NUESTRO HOGAR ESTA EN LOS CIELOS JUNTO A NUESTRO AMADO JESUS, QUE ESPERO Y VENGA PRONTO, Y EL QUE HA DE VENIR, VENDRA, SOLO UN POCO DE TIEMPO... BENDICIONES Y UN ABRAZO A LA DISTANCIA QUERIDA HERMANA.

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    1. Querida y preciosa hermana, Sí, seguramente estamos viviendo en tiempos tan peligrosos. Debemos mantener nuestros ojos fijos en Jesús, el autor y consumador de nuestra fe. Estoy muy agradecido por su aliento y fidelidad a Jesús. ¡Que Él te bendiga ricamente hoy! Enviando amor y abrazos a través de las millas.

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  8. Hi Sweet Friend! First of all. Praise God for the news about Kelly! This just makes my heart smile! I have lifted up her recovery again to the Great Physician and God of all Comfort. Believing alongside of you that she will make a full recovery!

    Your words, "OR you can imagine the best-possible outcome and focus on that. Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." " struck me with such power! It is sooo silly that I ALWAYS focus on the worst possible outcome. What a waste of time! Of course I should focus on the best possible outcome, because hope does not disappoint. And if it is the Lord's will that that best possible outcome doesn't come to fruition, having spent time focusing on what God can do will prepare my mind and heart to receive that which He purposed to prepare for me, and my heart will still be content. It's a win win really! And I LOVE how you said that even the best outcome we come up with doesn't even compare to how God will exceed that! And I know this from several experiences!

    Thank you for another wonderfully encouraging and edifying post! You are just such a blessing to all of your readers! Sending you much love and gratitude.

    P.S. (Since I already have your book, please take me out of the running for the giveaway. :-) Whoever wins, I know they will be blessed!)

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, dear friend. Your comments and encouraging words are such a blessing to me. I am continuing to pray for you and trusting Jesus to do exceeding abunantly above al we can ask or even think! He is able! I am going to leave your name in the giveaway, along with the others because I want you to have a chance to win the CD, and you are welcome to pass our book along to someone as a gift. SO grateful for you and your precious friendship and sending love and hugs your way today!

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  9. Cheryl, I love what you say about the imagination. I have a highly active one and many times it goes off down the wrong path. We do need to capture every thought, and this is a really good reminder. I have something right now going on that needs me to think on those things that are pure and lovely. Thankful to hear your friend is doing better. xo Deborah

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    1. Oh, my friend! I have a highly active imagination, too, and oh, how I can relate to all you said. I trust the dear Lord will give you peace and answer your prayers concerning the situation you are facing. Sending much love and gratitude to you today!

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