Good morning my friends! What a beautiful day! This morning I was reflecting back on the last several years of my life, and I realized the ONE fundamental change that God made in my life.
Almost five years ago, on June 23, 2014, God gave me the desire to read the Word of God every single day.
I was on summer break from my college classes, and God laid it on my heart to read every page of the bible from beginning to end and date each time accordingly in His book. God stirred something powerful in me from that moment on, I couldn’t get enough of His Word!
I have done this several times since then, and I love to reflect back on the different dates in each book (from several translations), notes /prayers I wrote on those days, and I am SO thankful to God for giving me this desire.
Let me say this was purely a gift from God, and obedience on my part. Praise be to God for the work HE is doing in me. I am eternally grateful!
This is the revelation I had today:
Reading the bible everyday and applying its principles and Truths is similar to the fountain of youth, in my opinion. Let me explain, when looking at pictures of my self now and from years ago, I look remarkably different!
There is a sparkle and lightness to my eyes, and a “softness” to my features. My smile is deeper and more inviting. My heart is lighter, yet more full of love and compassion. I sleep better, no longer carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. I have a spring in my step, knowing the God I read about daily is walking beside me and holding me by my right hand. He is my Creator and I trust Him with every day of my life.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read the bible throughout my life in a sporadic pattern until that beautiful June day when God told me He wanted more of me. He changed me that day, in every way.
I believe there is definitely a strong correlation between a well-worn and read bible and a more youthful, less stressed person! I know, because I see it in myself!
Reading the bible everyday, has become a necessary part of my morning routine, and it keeps me healthy, much like brushing my teeth does. 🙂
I encourage you to start reading your bible everyday. God wants more of You!! He wants all of you!! It’s your spiritual vitamins! When used and applied daily, it will reduce anxiety, calm your mind, and change your life from the inside out like only God can!! Amen!!
Happy summer everyone! My husband and I had an amazing weekend away for our anniversary. We walked the beach, strolled the town, and watched, from the balcony of our hotel room, a beautiful beach sunset!
Do you prefer the sunrise or sunset? I’ve got to confess, I looove my sleep! So, I’m sure I have missed several beautiful sunrises! However, there is one that I made my family get up for when we were staying at the Yavapai Point, South Rim area of the Grand Canyon. We got up at 5am, bundled in blankets, and walked over to the center of the railing to get the best view of the canyon.
We were not alone, several other families joined ours as we waited for dawn. As the sun slowly emerged, it was as though I could feel the rotation of the earth moving me slightly forward as the rising sun took over every crevice of the Grand Canyon. The sunrise in the Grand Canyon penetrated my soul in such a deep, spiritual way that has never left me. The all empowering light of Jesus met me at that sunrise!
Have you ever heard the phrase, “It’s always darkest before the dawn?” I have. What I recently discovered is that there is no truth to it; it is just a myth. I equated that phrase to the darkest of night being my “problems” and the dawn being my “breakthrough” or “answer.” In my mind, that phrase gave me hope that even through the darkest of night, the light of day will slowly emerge until it outshines the darkness, bringing about the glory and brilliance of a new day.
When I found out it was just a myth, the Holy Spirit shined a light on a new way of thinking for that phrase. 🙂 As believer’s, Jesus IS the light in our lives.
I am not surprised that I felt Jesus so strongly at the Grand Canyon sunrise. He IS the light of the World. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. He has always been with me, even:
In my darkest moments when I felt unworthy and unloved
During my darkest emotions when anxiety and depression isolated me
In one of the darkest places I went where death, in my mind, was taking my mom away from me, and as hard as I tried to see the light, the darkness seemed prevalent
Looking back over those trials, I know that in spite of what I was FEELING, God was always with me. I was treading lightly and feeble in my walk with Jesus in those early days, but He was there! It is in those darkest moments that God can really move mountains, break strongholds, perform miracles, and reveal Himself to us. Complete surrender allows the Holy Spirit to do only what He can do.
After my mother’s death, in exhaustion and complete surrender to Jesus, He showed me all He had done and how present He was during the last few months of my mother’s life. He healed her paralyzed body after her stroke, stopped her from going blind, she had a “vision” of my future family, and all of her medical bills were paid! God did so much, but it was only revealed to me when I surrendered to Jesus and allowed the Holy Spirit to work in my life. I was too focused on my circumstances or the trial I was going through to see what God was doing and had done.
It was in that “darkest hour” that I TRULY first saw the LIGHT of Jesus. The foundation of my relationship with Jesus was built on this tragedy. My mom, a true servant of Jesus, would have loved the fact that God’s goodness was revealed to me in such a special way after this difficult time.
We live in a fallen, dark world but we have a choice on what we choose to focus on: the light of Jesus or the darkness of the world. Since my mother’s death 28 years ago, I focus more and more on Jesus. Is it easy? No. But I realized, I can either give power to the problem or power to Jesus. If I focus on the problem, how can I focus on Jesus? Jesus needs to be first, my friends!
In the song, “God of All my Days” by Casting Crowns I am reminded of all God IS for ME:
In my worry, God You are my stillness
In my searching, God You are my answers
In my blindness, God You are my vision
In my bondage, God You are my freedom
In my weakness, God You are my power
You’re the reason that I sing
‘Cause You’re the God of all my days
Happy Friday!! It’s going to be an amazing weekend! My husband and I are getting away, just the two of us, to celebrate our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. 🙂 Actually, our anniversary date is July 24th, but he will be in San Francisco for business all next week, so this weekend is ours! Praise God!
I did it again. I couldn’t help myself, I read ahead in my devotional today and stopped on July 21st, which really spoke to me.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit…” (Matthew 5:3).
I don’t know about you, but I have read the Beatitudes several times and have been inspired and encouraged by the blessings listed by Jesus on the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus’ message, to a large group of potential followers, is what it really means to follow Him and be a part of God’s kingdom. Of course, living up to these standards is possible only through faith in Jesus, the son of God, and through the power of the Holy Spirit.
This is where Chamber’s devotional titled, “The Doorway to the Kingdom” really kicked Matthew 5:3 into a whole new way of thinking for me:
“‘Blessed are the poor in spirit…'” This is the first principle in the kingdom of God. The underlying foundation of Jesus Christ’s kingdom is poverty, not possessions; not making decisions for Jesus, but having such a sense of absolute futility that we finally admit, “‘Lord, I cannot even begin to do it'” (Chambers, July 21, emphasis mine).
Friends, I am humbled to say that at times I have left several things at the altar of God and taken back portions of them to help them move along, without trusting God’s provision and timing. Anyone else like me?!
*I’ve taken a job when I didn’t have peace in my Spirit. Guess what? The job wasn’t right for me, but God was faithful in working it out for my good in spite of the fact that I was the one that put myself there in the first place!
*Another time, my Spirit let me know that a friendship of mine was not on the healthy side anymore and that I should take a step back and re-evaluate with prayer. But, I rationalized that we had been friends a very long time, so I gave her the benefit of the doubt. Feelings were hurt, trust was broken, and the friendship was severed in a wearisome way. Clearly, the Holy Spirit was trying to take a different path that would have ended in a more positive way, but I failed to heed the warning.
Those are two examples of how “poor” I really am and how much I need Jesus every day to begin to do everything He created me to be: submitted to Him, relying on Him and His timing, and allowing Him to accomplish His work in me.
“Then Jesus says, “Blessed are you…” (5:11). This is the doorway to the kingdom, and yet it takes us so long to believe we are actually poor! The knowledge of our own poverty is what brings us to the proper place where Jesus Christ accomplishes His work” (Chambers, July 21).
Are you poor? I am! I desperately need Jesus every day to “make me what He teaches me to be” (Chambers). With perseverance and the Holy Spirit, I move forward like the Apostle Paul, “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14, NIV).
Thank you Jesus for all that You do and all that You are!
Chambers. Oswald. “My Utmost For His Highest.” July 21st, “The Doorway to the Kingdom.” Discovery House Publishing. Updated edition, 1992.
Fire Bible: Global Study Edition. New International Version, Life publishers International, 2009.
I apologize that my post is a few days later than usual. I have not been feeling well lately and was a bit overwhelmed by the end of the school year chaos. Phew! God is Amazing and blessed this school year and (shhh…just between us) I’m already praying for next year: the teachers, students, and staff that will be coming together for the fall term. My youngest daughter would say, “Summer barely started, Mom, let’s not talk about the next school year yet!” What do you think she would say if I told her I’m already praying for her future marriage and husband? 🙂 We need to pray ALWAYS and WITHOUT ceasing, right?! AMEN!
What a blessing church was yesterday. It’s amazing how God knows exactly what we need to hear and His timing is perfect! The whole message was an answered prayer to me but, the beginning really penetrated my heart:
I really needed the simple, yet profound, meaning of that message. A gift is something that is given, willingly to someone, without payment. I’ll admit, especially on days of good health and ease, it is easy for the days to fly by without giving much thought to the gift (a new day) from the Giver, God.
God did far more than give us a new day, though. God gave us the ultimate gift: Jesus!
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Jesus died to give you and me the following gifts willingly, without payment:
Grace: But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. (Ephesians 4: 7 NIV)
Salvation and Faith: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—( Ephesians 2:8 NIV)
Righteousness:For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! (Romans 5:17 NIV)
Peace: And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7 NIV)
Joy:I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. (John 15: 11 NIV)
God’s Word:For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. (John 17:8 NIV)
Holy Spirit: Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38 NIV)
Eternal Life:For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 NIV)
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift! 2Corinthians 9: 15 (NKJV)
Talk about the Ultimate gift-giver!! God wrapped up unconditional love, peace, joy, eternal life, faith, grace, mercy, and so much more through the gift of His son, Jesus Christ, all for you and me. Wow!!! Have you opened the most life changing, love giving gift that our Creator has for YOU?
I pray that you have, if not a heartfelt, sincere prayer combined with a surrendered heart is the next step.
Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died for my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I now invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
I encourage everyone (new believer’s as well) to keep seeking God, praying, loving others, and spreading the JOY of Jesus to others.
Today is a gift from God. How will you spend today? The two greatest commandments are to Love God and Love people (Matthew 22:37-39).
Love God: I encourage you to spend time in prayer, the Word, or outside in the splendor of His Creation thanking Him for All His blessings. I spent my morning praying, reading my devotional/bible, and writing my heart and soul for Jesus. All the glory to God! My favorite companion, Sasha, our German Shepherd snoring by my desk. A treat, a little love, and she is in puppy bliss for a short while. 🙂
Love people: Love on your family, friends, and all of the people God has placed in your life. Help and encourage others. Smile. Make eye contact when you speak to others. Ask God whom you can bless today. First and foremost, I’m going to ask God to show me who I can bless today, there is so much hurt in the world and many people need extra love and attention. Spend time with family and friends as much as I can. 🙂
Enough about me, how are you going to spend your day? I’d love to hear it!
Thank you for coming to the table. Jesus has many seats available and He has saved a seat for you. Accept His free gift of salvation and invite others. All are welcome, no one is turned away.
May God bless you,
“Everyday is a gift from God.” Image from Pinterest.
“Jesus, the gift of God.” Image from Share a Verse wordpress.com.
Hello my friends! Wow, we are already past the middle of June! I pray your month has been filled with blessings, hope, and most importantly God because He is love, mercy, truth, holiness, and faithfulness. He is a good, good Father.
The month of June has been very chaotic for me and a lot things have been taking place. Some good and some difficult. The amazing thing is that through each situation, I have been able to have JOY and peace in spite of each circumstance.
Last weekend, was our first full weekend camping in our new (used) travel trailer. We didn’t travel too far from home, only 111 miles away. It rained the whole weekend, which living in Washington state, could be expected.
However, the weekend went like this:
Friday night: Two hours into the evening, around 9pm, we completely lost power. It was pouring rain, with a capital P. Since we were new to the trailer camping thing, we didn’t figure it out what was wrong until morning. 🙁
Saturday: After my husband woke up, he figured out what happened. Power surge last night, the trailer blew a fuse. He looked through all of our extra fuses to fix it. Unfortunately, we had multiples of every other fuse but the right one.
He drove our truck out to the nearest city to buy fuses, a travel trailer surge protector, and anything else he could think of to fix our current situation. He left at 8am.
Hours, yes hours, go by and my daughters and I make the most of the time by playing games, hanging out under the canopy with our German Sheppard, and simply resting.
Around 11am, my husband gets back and tells me he has a story to tell. In my mind I felt like he was saying, “But wait, there’s more!?”
He set various bags down on the picnic table and preceded to tell me what my heart already knew: another problem.
“The truck radiator is busted. I realized it on the way to town and had to stop. So, I not only bought the supplies to fix the trailer, I bought the things I thought we’d need to “mend” the truck to get us home tomorrow.”
Wow, ok. God is big and God is good. Several miles and several stores were needed, but my husband fixed the trailer and power was back on! Praise God!
We made the most of the day by going on several hikes near Mt. St. Helens National Park, barbequing steaks on the grill, and making s’mores. Perfect ending to a not so perfect day!
Sunday: Woke up to a rainy day. Made eggs, turkey sausage, and monkey bread for breakfast. Oh and coffee, lots of coffee! We rested for awhile and decided to head out around noon.
Through the rain, we worked hard to get the trailer and truck packed up and ready to go. After I pulled in the slide to the travel trailer, my daughter noticed we had a flat tire on the trailer.
As if on cue and while I was telling my husband, it started to rain hard. I grabbed the biggest umbrella we had and held it over him as he replaced the tire with a spare. Our only spare.
Sunday 12:30pm: Finally we are on our way! I told my husband there was a restaurant down the road that I wanted to stop at for lunch and he thought that was a good idea.
The place we were stopping was only twenty miles down the road. We pulled into the gas station that was near the restaurant. While my husband was topping off the gas tank, he told me to take the girls inside, find a place to sit, and order food for all of us.
Twenty minutes go by and he joins us. Bad news. The spare tire he just replaced is now flat. Praise God we stopped! He bought Fix- a -Flat and prayed it would work to get us home. Only 91 miles to go.
About five miles in, a truck signals to my husband that we have a flat tire. Apparently, the “band aid” we used to fix it didn’t work. We pulled off and into a Denny’s parking lot. My husband spoke to the manager and asked if we could unhook our trailer, leave it there, so we could find a tire store to get two new tires. They agreed.
The only place that could help us was Wal-Mart. And praise GOD they had two tires left that would fit our trailer. Two hours later we were able to get our trailer and get back on the road. Yay!
Sunday 3:30pm: Unfortunately, the rest of the way home is full of hills and inclines. Our radiator does not go more than a few miles at a time without needing us to pull over. To make a long story short this happens every few miles and several times, but Praise God we made it off the freeway every time and into a parking lot. Three hours go by of driving, stopping, cooling the engine, and getting back on the road. It became obvious that we needed extra help.
Sunday 6:30 pm: We pull off the freeway and called our friend, Dan. My husband and Dan work out the following plan: Dan would use his truck to pull our trailer and without the weight of the trailer, our truck should make it home. We are still about 60 miles from home, so it would take Dan about an hour to get to us.
After Dan arrives, we set the plan in motion. Steve drives the truck home. Dan, my daughters and I follow Steve in Dan’s truck and our travel trailer.
Sunday 9:00pm: Praise God, we are finally home!! There were no other problems with the truck or trailer! I have never felt so incredibly blessed and thankful to be home, safe.
Let me tell you that was a long day. However, God’s presence surrounded us in a way that, by human standards, is unexplainable. I truly experienced a supernatural peace and Joy that can only come from God. I knew, beyond any doubt, no matter what happened, God was with us.
Philippians 4:6-7 New Living Translation (NLT)
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
I was also so incredibly thankful that we were all together and God was at the center of it all. My daughters, husband, and I will carry this testimony of God’s faithfulness in our hearts and minds forever and it will help us through other trials. ALL the glory to God!!
Friends, God is ready and able to help you through ALL you are going through. I was reminded in my “Jesus Calling” devotional, dated November 11th, about the power of Jesus:
“Do not let any set of circumstances intimidate you. The more challenging your day, the more of My Power I place at your disposal. I know what each of your days will contain, and I empower you accordingly. Look to Me for all that you need, and watch to see what I will do. As your day, so shall your strength be” (Young, Sarah 330).
Don’t wait, pray, and go all in to the power of Jesus! Experience peace, joy, love, patience, kindness, goodness, self-control, gentleness, and faithfulness.
Several people I know have had challenging, fearful situations lately. Job loss, health problems, disabilities, and family emergencies are some of the difficulties they have faced. Fear can easily take root when we are dealing with a case of the “unknowns”. “What if I can’t find another job?” “What if I need surgery?” “What if…?” One of things fear forces us to do is to decide to either put our faith in action according to God’s promises or regard the scripture as simply words on paper, “simply repeating what God says” (Chambers, June 4th).
Hebrews 13: 5b-6
“God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'” So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?'” (NIV).
In my daily devotional by Oswald Chamber’s, “My Utmost For His Highest,” I was reading today, June 5th, about God’s Assurance:
“The only way to remove the fear from our lives is to listen to God’s assurance to us. What are you fearing? Whatever it may be, you are not a coward about it–you are determined to face it, yet you still have a feeling of fear. Take hold of the Father’s assurance and then say with strong courage, “I will not fear.” It does not matter what evil or wrong may be in our way, because “he himself has said, ‘I will never leave you or forsake you…'” (Chamber’s).
I was in a situation last week where several difficult hardships were happening and I felt fear start bubbling up inside of me. For a short time, I found myself getting caught up in the “what if’s?” I decided, at that moment, not to go down that road because I have gone that way too many times before. God has been working hard to break that stronghold in me and through His grace and the promptings of the Holy Spirit, I am getting better at “catching” myself before that happens.
Two things help me move my fear to faith in action:
1) I pray out loud for as long as it takes– boldly, courageously, and full of faith. Even if I do not feel strong initially, I keep praying out loud until the fear is gone and faith prevails. I repeat this cycle as needed, and believe me, sometimes that is several times a day! Amen!!
2) I play my favorite Christian music and sing loud, sometimes off-key, and declare boldly the truth of Jesus. And yes, I move to the music. I cannot stand still when the spirit moves me! So, if you ever see me bopping around my house, singing loudly to Casting Crowns, you know the Holy Spirit is coming alive in me to conquer the fear that the enemy is trying to have take root in me.
Do you have an action or a go-to prayer that helps you the most when you feel doubt or fear creeping into your life? The most important thing we can do is start putting our faith in action. Like anything, it may take practice until it becomes a habit. Our natural, sinful tendencies want to take over and allow us to worry because it is what we may be used to doing. I see “faith” as a muscle that will only grow when used or exercised. Begin in baby steps or jump right in to the biggest fear you are facing right now, but start now. Remember who holds you by the right hand and will never leave you nor forsake you: God.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (NIV).
God gave me an amazing revelation the other day. Imagine driving down a dirt road, across beautiful farmland, in a truck with Jesus at the wheel. You are a newly saved Christian, leaning right against Him on the truck bench seat, absorbing every parable and Living Word He shares with you.
Oh no, serve left! There is a pot hole in the road! You grab onto Jesus and while you do that you look down and notice He is also holding you tightly by His right hand. You settle down as you realize just how safe and secure you feel holding His hand and in His presence. Like a Father with His child. A few more content and Word inspiring miles go by.
You spy a herd of cows up ahead, blocking the road, but do not feel afraid because of how close you are to Him physically and spiritually. Two peas in a pod, your Savior and you. The cows easily move out-of-the-way as the truck moves further down the dirt road.
Time and miles go by. Feeling pretty confident in yourself, you scoot a little bit down the truck bench seat, but still in reach and hearing distance of your Savior. Danger ahead! A car just swerved right in front of the truck! Just in time, you grab onto His robe and also hear the whisper of His voice, “I am with you.”
Settling down, your mind reassures you that you are okay, even though you are not as close physically and spiritually to Jesus as you used to be. Because of this, you feel okay to move a little bit further away. God is still with you, your mind reassures you.
This time you scoot to where you are on the edge of the seat, ready to grasp the handle on the door. You are farther from Jesus, but closer to the door that opens up to the world that is based on your confidence, independence, and decision-making. Jesus will not be behind the wheel of your life. You will be.
Ah ha! Now, you are driving your own truck, making your own decisions, and Jesus is somewhere in the backseat of your life. When you are lost, you may ask Him for directions, but for the most part you navigate your own life. Your will be done. Right now you are feeling pretty proud of yourself.
One day you decide to throw caution to the wind and drive without much thought to where you are going. Or who you are going with. No cares in the world. Independence feels great and the miles are moving right along. Driving along, humming to yourself, you realize you made a wrong turn. Flashing lights and road blocks signify the end of the road up ahead. Your life flashes before you. What happened? Where did I go wrong? Jesus take the wheel….
Jesus, take the wheel
Take it from my hands
‘Cause I can’t do this on my own
I’m letting go
So give me one more chance
And save me from this road I’m on
Jesus, take the wheel
I am so thankful that Jesus gave me this revelation. Several times, over the course of my life, I have been in this particular situation. I give Jesus complete surrender and control in my life only to find myself inching away or even trying to gain some of the control back when life gets hard, doesn’t go my way, or I get tired of waiting for His will or timing. What Jesus showed so clearly to me is that He never changed or moved. I did. He was always behind the wheel of my life, from the beginning of my salvation, and waiting for me to surrender to His perfect will and timing.
Thank you Jesus, that YOU have never given up on me (and You)! Your mercies are new every morning and You are always ready for us to turn back, repent, and be in complete surrender to You. Your promises and truths are evident in your Word:
Deuteronomy 31:6 New International Version (NIV)
6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 New International Version (NIV)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 New International Version (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Hebrews 13:8 New International Version (NIV)
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Isaiah 41:13 New Living Translation (NLT)
13 For I hold you by your right hand—I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.
I was brought to tears a few minutes ago while listening to “Some Gave All” by Billy Ray Cyrus.
All Gave Some, Some Gave All
Some stood through for the red, white and blue
And some had to fall
And if you ever think of me
Think of all your liberties and recall
Some Gave All
My heart is filled with love and pride when I think of all the brave men and women who died while protecting and trying to uphold the rights to freedom. Memorial day is a national day of remembrance in honor of all of the amazing men and women who died while serving in our county’s armed forces. These women and men are brave, patriotic, and honorable.
My mother’s first husband was one of “the few, the proud” –a Marine. Corporal Jackie Lee Denny was just 19 years old when he died during his final mission in the war. Here is an excerpt from his page on the Vietnam Veteran’s memorial website:
CPL Jackie L. Denny was a rifleman serving with G Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines. At 0725 hours on February 4, 1971, CPL Denny was on patrol with his unit in the vicinity of Thang Binh in Quang Nam Province, RVN, when he triggered a booby-trapped 81mm mortar round rigged with a pressure detonator. Denny was fatally injured in the blast. His unit was then taken under enemy small arms fire from their southwest. They returned fire but they were unable make visual contact with the enemy firing on them. They requested an aerial observer over their location who arrived on station at 0740 hours and remained overhead until 0825 hours. A medivac (medical evacuation by helicopter) was called at 0730 hours to retrieve Denny and was completed at 0830 hours. A later sweep of the area uncovered another booby-trap, a 250 lb. bomb rigged with a pressure detonator. [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org and 5th Marines Command Chronology for February 1971]
My mother, Sue, became a widow at 19 years old and my sister, Melanie, lost her father at six weeks old. I do not recall my mother talking much about the hardship and pain she must have endured at such a young age. I can only imagine how much harder that pain must have been because of the protests and unwelcoming attitudes that greeted the servicemen that came back from the Vietnam War. Jack was a very brave man. He enlisted to fight when many people were leaving the country rather than be selected to serve. To all I say, “Welcome home, Vietnam Veterans.” Thank you for your bravery, service, and selflessness in a war you didn’t start and duties you were told to carry out.
I cannot think of “Some Gave All” without thinking first of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. “And if you ever think of me, think of all your liberties and recall, some gave all.” Jesus died and gave all to show His own love for us (John 3:16; John 15:13), to reconcile us to God (1 Peter 3:18), and to give eternal life to all who believe in Him (John 3:36). There IS glorious, awesome freedom in Christ Jesus.
2 Corinthians 3:17
“Now the Lord is the spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (NIV).
Are you experiencing the Life and Love giving freedom of Jesus? He is waiting with open arms to love you. If you are ready to trust Jesus with your life, pray something like this:
Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died for my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I now invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
I encourage everyone (new believer’s as well) to keep seeking God, praying, loving others, and spreading the JOY of Jesus to others. Love God, Love people!
Keep praying for our troops and their families. Freedom isn’t free. God Bless America!
Click on “Some Gave All” for a song honoring the sacrifice our servicemen and servicewomen.
This has been a very hard week for me. I have come face-to-face with insecurities I thought I had worked through. Self-doubt. (Can you really do this?) Perfectionism. (I want to know how to do it all right now and do it well.) Self-judgment. (Assessing my lack in regard to others achievement.) At that time, my day-to-day life was comfortable, and I knew what to do when each of those insecurities tried to creep into my mind and derail what I was doing or working on. Also, I learned to avoid situations or set limitations to people who were negative and/or critical. Essentially, I used the tools necessary to become the best version of myself. What I didn’t realize, is that when God calls us to higher expectations, old doubts may surface as well.
God had new plans for my life. I guess you could say I’m under construction, every day striving to be more Christ like. Getting me out of my “comfort zone” and into the realm of the unknown was the biggest challenge He has given me. It shook the very foundation I was on. Believe me when I say that I did make progress where I was and I did change for the better. But God was taking me to a new place and a new level.
“Just write what the Holy Spirit prompts you to,” I’ve told myself a lot. Got it. I can do that until the enemy steps in, “You? Technology is not your friend, remember? You don’t know your widgets from your…and besides who’s going to follow you?” Lies, lies, lies and for a short time I actually gave some of those thoughts consideration. I’m not going to lie, I got a little defeated and lost the joy God was bringing to my life through writing.
I have heard it all from the enemy this week and I have decided to fight against his condemnation in several ways:
1) I am going to fight with the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. I am committing these particular truths to heart:
Philippians 4:13 “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (NIV).
Philippians 1:6 “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (NIV).
Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,” (NIV)
I need to remember Who I am working for: Jesus. As much as I would love to have a broad audience, I have to write for Him first and let Him invite those to the table that He wants to. I need to rely solely on Him and keep Him first in all I do.
2) JOY!! “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy down in my heart, Where? Down in my heart…” (Child bible songs). Do you remember that song? In my prayer time yesterday, God placed it on my heart to meditate on it and I decided to take it one step further. I wrote Joy, in red, on the inside of my left wrist as a daily reminder. Writer’s block? JOY! Indecisive teenager at home? JOY! Widgets and technology problems? JOY! Joy above all circumstances and emotions because joy is a central part of our spiritual salvation and personal relationship with Jesus. Luke writes, in Acts 2:28, “You have made known to me the paths of life; you fill me with joy in your presence” (NIV).
3)Keep on, keeping on. You know what? I do not know it all. My writing will not be perfect. I have so much to learn. I am committing what I do to the Lord every day, seeking Him first and asking the holy spirit to guide me. Also, every day I plan to work on something new and develop the skills necessary to complete what God started in me. 🙂 I love, love this quote from Steve Harvey:
“The higher you climb there’s going to be opposition. New level, new devil. Just keep rolling and pushing through. What God has for you is yours if you don’t quit before the finish line” (Pinterest).
Thank you, thank you for being on this journey with me. We are all learning and growing together, which is why God wants us to share stories and fellowship with each other. Love you guys! It wouldn’t be an awesome ending if I didn’t share a song with you. Casting Crowns, Voice of Truth. Listen here.
All the glory to God. ~ Shanon
Casting Crowns, “Voice of Truth.” You tube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwsvqVmFV6Y
“God at work construction tape.” Fun Express.com. https://www.funexpress.com/god-at-work-construction-zone-tape-13743109.html
“I’ve got the Joy in my heart.” Child Bible Songs. http://childbiblesongs.com/song-04-ive-got-the-joy-in-my-heart.shtml
Ministry Quotes. Steve Harvey. Pinterest. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/235735361719480813/
Anger, despair, and deep pain once overtook the eighteenth year of my life. I would love to tell you that those feelings were only directed at myself, but they weren’t. Those arrows of deep affliction were pointed at my mom because I was scared and helpless to “save” her from the cancer overtaking her body and to the God I loved for not healing her. Three months after my mother was diagnosed with cancer she died, at the young age of thirty-nine years old.
Her death was so hard for me and it hurt very badly. I carried those feelings around with me for awhile, along with a lukewarm relationship with God–going back and forth in prayer and sin. I was a mess and I knew I desperately needed God. I remember speaking out loud to God one day, “Why didn’t you heal her?” In a soft whisper to my heart God spoke to me, “I did. She’s here with me.” The soft spoken words of my Savior that day started my path to healing.
All that time I had prayed for God to heal her and He did, just not in the manner I had hoped. That life changing moment with God opened my eyes and heart to a faith in Him that continues to grow. What I realized that day is, as hard as it was, that was God’s will for my mother’s life. God could have kept her on earth and healed her body, but it was her time to go Home. On November 7, 1990, she met Jesus face to face. The picture I imagine of my mom’s homecoming to Jesus is reminiscent of a picture I have in my house. Jesus’ arms securely and tightly wrapped around my mom in an embrace unlike any that she had ever had. Pure love and light.
Psalm 139:16 has encouraged me the most in regard to losing loved ones. “… your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (NIV). God does heal, miracles do happen, but what God taught through this hardship is that He is always with me through all the hurt, pain, and brokenness I experience in this sinful world. He can teach us through the eyes of faith.
What we see as hardships, God sees as opportunities to heal, redeem, restore, and grow through His grace, in His time. I encourage you, when you are in the deepest pain or despair, reach out to Jesus. Talk to Him, He longs to hear your voice and all you have in your heart. Rest in Him. Pray for God’s power and provision to be released into your life through the Holy Spirit.
“Do not let any set circumstances intimidate you. The more challenging your day, the more of My power I place at your disposal. I know what each of your days will contain, and I empower you accordingly. Look to me for all that you need, and watch to see what I will do. As your day, so shall your strength be” (Young, 330, emphasis mine).
What are you waiting for?! Pray. Seek God. Look through the eyes of faith and see what He will do!! I took that prayer to heart and rested in the power of God. He answered in a mighty way! Next Friday, I share how God gave me a birthday card, from my mom, for my 32nd birthday. Stay tuned!!
Fire Bible: Global Study Edition. New International Version, Life publishers International, 2009.
Young, Sarah. “Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence.” Thomas Nelson publishing. 2004.
God is first and foremost in my life.
my husband Steve, daughters Suzanne and Savannah,
my AMAZING family and friends,
the majestic beauty of the Pacific Northwest,
traveling and camping,
a GREAT cup of coffee with my morning devotionals,
and my Sumner Family Church family. :)