Showing posts with label perseverance. Show all posts
Showing posts with label perseverance. Show all posts

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Grow Through It

James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Every flower must grow through dirt. 

I've grown zinnias everywhere we've lived. The tall green stems topped with an array of color danced in my flowerbeds all summeruntil we moved to the condo. The little plot where the lavender and black-eyed Susans thrive isn't good for zinnias. I'd given up trying to grow them from seed until a new spot opened on the other side of the porch. The HOA had removed a pine tree and left a gaping hole in the landscape. When the neighbor gave me several packets of flower seeds, I stirred the dirt, laid down some potting soil, and sprinkled the seeds with the hope of growth.

In about a week, little seedlings pushed through the dirt. Those tiny green sprouts brought me joy. Not all the seeds made an appearance, but the ones who did will show the colors of summer. I'm eager to see how they grow and bloom.

Like the seedlings, sometimes we have to push through the dirt to grow. The soil may represent a difficult time in our lives when our hearts are tested by sorrow, despair, or uncertainty. Or maybe we're in the wrong soil, like the zinnias. The dirt in the little flowerbed didn't allow for growth, but the other side had the nourishment the plants needed.

Maybe we're in the wrong place because we aren't listening to God. What if I've allowed myself to stop listening to the Holy Spirit, which means I've cut off my life's supply of grace and hope?

Regardless of where I am in life, I will continue to grow through as I go through. Whether I'm pushing through the soil or finding myself in the wrong spot, I need to seek Jesus and listen to the Spirit of God so my faith will produce perseverance and perseverance will bring me to maturity.

Have you planted your heart in God's soil?

Sunday, February 6, 2022

Historical Fiction: Ever Constant (The Treasure of Nome series, book 3) by Tracie Peterson & Kimberley Woodhouse

Book Description:

She's always determined to be the stable, reliable one. But now her commitment may destroy her.

On the surface, Whitney Powell is happy working with her sled dogs and welcoming the new additions to her family through her sisters' marriages and an upcoming birth. But her life is full of complications, including an estranged father, that have her on the edge of losing control. Growing up, she was the strong sister, and she can't give that up now.

When villagers in outlying areas come down with a horrible sickness, Dr. Peter Cameron turns to Whitney and her dogs for help navigating the deep snow, and they become close while ministering to the sick together. Peter has long recognized her finer qualities but is troubled by the emotions and secrets she keeps buried within. He wants to help but wonders if she is more of a risk than his heart can take.

As sickness spreads throughout Nome and another man courts Whitney, she and Peter will discover that sometimes it is only in weakness that you can find strength.

My Thoughts:
When I chose to read Ever Constant, I didn't realize it was book three of a series. It didn't matter, as I read, I learned enough about the other two books to understand this beautifully written story. Whitney is an amazing and strong woman, who raises sled dogs. She had taken care of her family for years and tried her best to always be strong. Dr. Peter Cameron is the perfect hero, flaws, fears and all. The two of them try so hard to make up for past mistakes while heading into difficult situations. I read the story during a winter snowstorm here in Ohio. While I can't imagine living in Alaska in the early 1900s, tromping out in the snow with my dog brought a better picture of what life might have been like for them. Peterson and Woodhouse have created memorable, strong characters, addressed an addiction, showed family love, and amazing faith in this wonderful story of perseverance. If you enjoy historical fiction with heart, you'll like Ever Constant. I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Pure Joy!

James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 

The pain in my knee nearly crippled me.

I hobbled into work each day from the handicapped parking spot. My good knee, replaced a few years earlier, carried the other swollen and pain filled knee, as I lurched down the hall. Every day, I persevered even as the pain shot through me, because I knew hope waited at the end of my journey. In a few months, this knee would also be replaced, and I'd regain my ability to walk pain free.

Two years later, after enduring physical therapy and exercise, I've taken walks in the neighborhood, hiked in parks, climbed hills, and kayaked. I thank God every day that he led me to the surgeon who could heal my knees, and that I was able to carry on despite the difficulty and endurance required. The trial of pain led me to a time of thanksgiving and joy.

As a follower of Jesus, I've endured trials, some of my own volition, some put on me by other's choices. The one thing I've learned isif I curl up in a ball and hide, I accomplish nothing. But if I pray and move forward as the Holy Spirit shows me, the testing of my faith produces perseverance and maturity in my walk with Jesus. Without the trials of this world, I wouldn't understand the joy, peace, and hope that fills my soul.

No matter the circumstances, if I continue to open God's word and seek him in prayer, my faith will grow. But if I choose to hunker down in fear and hide, I'll remain stagnant in my faith, with little to give. God wants faithful followers, prayer warriors, Bible readers, and folks who share His truth. Those all come through perseverance and learning to grow in this world, despite the negativity and stress.

When trials come, seek Jesus and embrace the time to grow in him.

Click to Tweet: Consider it pure joy!

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Seek Jesus

When the shadows fall, 
seek Jesus.

When faith is challenged,
seek Jesus.

When called to endure,
seek Jesus.

He is our refuge and strength in times of trouble.


Saturday, February 23, 2019

Pure Joy

James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

It's pothole season in Ohio again, that time between winter and spring when the snow and ice have melted and the blacktop gives way to winter's damage. After church Sunday, Tim and I noticed several deep divots chiseled out of the pavement. Some of them were crater sized. One wrong clunk into the hole could cause a tire puncture, damage to the wheel rim, problems with shocks, suspension or alignment. If the damage isn't repaired one problem may lead to another.
Pothole in the Road 

Sometimes in life, potholes are unavoidable and do a lot of damage. Some are deeper than others. Imagine traveling down a perfectly paved road, then all of a sudden a hole appears in front of you, but you can't avoid it; swerving around it would cause you to hit another car. So you drive over it and bumpety-bump you go. The tire blows, the rim gets bent and the suspension is a mess. Now what! You take the car to a mechanic who knows how to repair the mess.

Life's potholes are often unavoidable. We find out we have cancer, break a leg or have surgery. A friend disappoints us, or a child turns away from God. There are so many holes in the roads we travel. But like the mechanic, we know someone who wants to help us through the potholes. God's waiting to take your burden, he's waiting to hear from you. There's no magical shield to protect us from potholes. But we do have someone who loves us and offers comfort and guidance through the rough bumps of life. When we turn the troubles in life over to Jesus, we gain strength in our faith, perseverance and maturity which results in joy. Beautiful joy!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

My Heart Breaks

1 Peter 4:12-16
 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice in as much as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.

James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 

As part of my job as the marketing manager in our library, I follow Twitter so I can tweet and retweet college and library activity. On Thursday, I checked the feed and as I glanced through the list of words, my heart froze when I saw the headlines. Another mass shooting. This time at a community college. Later I found out the shooter asked what the victims believed. If they were Christians, he pulled the trigger.

My heart breaks for the families of the ones who died and for the perpetrator's family. I'm distraught by the hate, the tormented mindset, and Satan's victory. People ask, "When will it stop?" It won't. We live in a world filled with sin. But even in that there's hope. Christians will be tested. All over the world people are tried due to their faith. But what we have in Jesus gives us hope. Hope of salvation. Hope of heaven. Hang on to that. Praise God for perseverance.

Please pray with me for the folks in Oregon and those affected by this tragedy.