Wednesday, September 20, 2017

5 Verses for When You Need Strength


Disappointment, discouragement, fear, daily struggles…some days take everything we have. When we rely only on our own strength and what we have to give, we quickly become worn out and discouraged. {Tweet this}

But when we turn to God for His strength and replenishment, we are able to keep moving forward. We are able to keep giving to our family and friends. We are able to keep hoping, not because of what we can see, but because of Who we know God is. {Tweet this}

5 Scripture Verses for When You Need Strength

Search for the Lord and for his strength; continually seek him.
God’s strength is available to us when we seek His presence in our daily lives.
The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.
God supplies the living water we need. When I get busy and don’t make time to spend with God and in His Word, I find myself parched and desperately in need of His restoring and strengthening. But, when I sit and rest with Him I feel nourished. He guides and gives strength, but if we don’t pay attention, we can miss it.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
God, in all His power, is with us ready to protect and save. He strengthens us day-by-day to withstand trouble, to wait, and to persevere.
Christ gives me the strength to face anything.
Whatever comes our way, whatever God calls us to do, we can handle it because Christ empowers us through His strength.
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
No matter what we face, God promises to be with us. He offers us comfort, reassurance, encouragement, and His support. Is there anything better?
In Christ,
Laura

[Photo credit: FreeImages.com]

Monday, September 11, 2017

Letting Go of a Dream


I’ve always struggled with the book of Job. For years, I couldn’t get past the beginning where God gives Satan permission to test Job. I didn’t like that part, so that’s where I stopped reading. But, over the years, it seems God has led me to the book of Job on several occasions.

While I was thinking about God-given dreams recently, I read this verse:

So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. 

I know I’ve read it before because I remember thinking, Yeah, but he lost so much before that! I got stuck in what happened to Job and couldn’t move forward. Much like we do in real life.

How often do we get stuck in the past, unable to move forward in the present?
{Tweet this}

I'm sharing at God-sized Dreams today. Please join me there to continue reading...Letting Go of a Dream.

In Christ,
Laura


Monday, September 4, 2017

God Knows


A couple of weeks ago, I spoke at a women’s event. There were around 70 women there and we talked about hope in the midst of difficulty.

When I finished speaking, I offered to pray for anyone who wanted to leave me a prayer request. Blank index cards were provided and each woman could write as much, or as little, information as she felt comfortable.

That afternoon, at home, I read through the cards. Some had names and details. Others had a simple sentence. Some were for themselves. Others were for family members and friends. I prayed for each as I looked through them, knowing that God knew exactly who I was praying for.

Earlier that morning, as I looked around the room of the event, decorated with quilts and flowers, and tables upon tables of food and sweet treats, I saw women with smiles. Women who looked happy to have a couple of hours to come together with other like-minded women. Women who didn’t look weighed down by life.

But, when I read through the cards, I knew that in the room that morning were women who were hurting. Behind the smiles were concerns and disappointments. There was the heavy weight of various diagnoses, loss of loved ones, difficult situations, and the desire to wait for God’s guidance.

It reminded me that we never really know what someone else may be struggling with. We don’t know if the smile is genuine or part of a mask, and we don’t know how deep someone’s pain may run. {Tweet this}

But God knows.

God knows when He intersects our paths that the one person you encounter today may be the very person who needs a kind word.

He knows when a story shared will be the encouragement someone needs to keep going and to know that she’s not the only one struggling.

He knows that a common experience may be the beginning of a new friendship.{Tweet this}

And He knows that when He brings us together, there is a strength we can draw from each other…even when we don’t know or realize it for ourselves.

In Christ,
Laura

[Photo credit: Unsplash.com]

Friday, September 1, 2017

2 New Books to Share

I love reading books written from the heart, that I can relate to, and that lead me deeper into God’s Word. Today I have two new titles to share with you. And they're both available now!

Is Jesus Worth It? by Stacey Thacker

When we dive deep into His Holy Word, He meets us on the page and in our hearts.

All summer I’ve been excited to be on the launch team for Stacey Thacker’s new book Is Jesus Worth It? It’s the first book in her new series The Girlfriend’s Guide to the Bible. (Meaning there will be more books coming. Yay!)

I’ve read Stacey’s Fresh Out of Amazing and Hope for the Weary Mom, so I already knew I liked the way she writes, and this book was no disappointment.

In Is Jesus Worth It? Stacey walks us through the book of Hebrews, while sharing her own personal story from her heart. It feels like talking with a friend over coffee. This book is great for individual Bible study or for a group study.

Here’s more about Is Jesus Worth It? (from Amazon):

Find Hope and Help for Trials and Testing
When you realize there's nowhere to go but into the arms of Jesus, you're in good company. Stacey Thacker, author of Fresh Out of Amazing, knows what it's like to feel like quitting. She invites you to join her in exploring the refreshment awaiting every weary soul in the book of Hebrews. Through these pages, you will...

  • understand how Jesus is the heart, help, and hope we need so you can endure through suffering
  • learn how to take God at his word to overcome fear with faith
  •  examine stories of faithful followers so you can look forward with great hope
When life is hard, your heart might ask, "Is Jesus worth it?" Come hear the responding yes ringing through every verse of Hebrews.


Deeper Waters by Denise J. Hughes

A Bible study doesn’t have to be complicated to be deep.

I had the pleasure of meeting Denise a few years ago at a retreat. She’s a word girl who loves her Bible (like me) so I was excited to receive Deeper Waters as part of her launch team.

Denise tells her own personal story while leading the reader deeper into God’s Word. When I read a book like this, I journal my way through, stopping to look up Scripture and reading the Bible story for myself, so it’s taken me a little longer to finish reading Deeper Waters.

But, that’s not to say it’s difficult reading! In fact, it’s written in a way that gives you time to pause, but also makes you want to keep going. I’d recommend it to anyone wanting a personal Bible study or to use as a group study.

Here’s more about Deeper Waters (from Amazon):

The Satisfaction You Seek Dwells in the Depths of God's Word
Do you come to God's Word with questions and doubts that arise from life's disappointments and hurts? Denise J. Hughes, author of the Word Writers Bible Study Series, has been there, yet she's found a peace that runs deeper than her circumstances. In Deeper Waters, she invites you to:  

1. Learn to hear God's voice through the pages of His Word.
2. Discover a joy you never thought possible when reading the Bible.
3. Make connections in Scripture that transform your way of thinking and living.

You don't have to be a graduate student in seminary to be a serious student of the Bible. God's Word is for everyone. Dive in and experience the joy that awaits in deeper waters.

If you’ve read either of these books, what did you think? What other books have you been reading? I love hearing about titles to add to my growing stack of books waiting to be read.

(For both Is Jesus Worth It? and Deeper Waters, I had the privilege of receiving and reading advance copies, in exchange for my honest review.)

In Christ,
Laura