Saturday, December 29, 2012

Eyes Open to See {Something to Think About}

You hold your hand up high, God, but they don’t see it.
Open their eyes to what you do,
to see your zealous love for your people.
Isaiah 26:11 The Message
Without eyes open to see,
we miss God’s amazing works and ways.
                                               
I’m honored to be hosting The Sunday Community this week for my friend Deidra Riggs at Jumping Tandem! Please join me in linking up below with a picture, Scripture, and if you choose, a few words of inspiration.

All are welcome, so please add The Sunday Community button (found here) to your post so others know where to find us. Oh, and if you’re new to The Sunday Community, you can find more information on Deidra’s blog Jumping Tandem.

Thanks for joining me here! Next week, we’ll be back at Deidra’s.

In Christ,
Laura

Also linking with Fresh Brewed Sundays and Spiritual Sundays.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Coming in 2013

Welcome and Happy New Year! (a few days early)

There is a lot in store here to start off 2013, and I’ve been busy getting ready. Here is some of what you can expect…



I’m so pleased to be a part of author and speaker Holley Gerth’s God-sized Dream Team.

Each week, our encouraging team of 99 women will be writing about dreams—those audacious ones that make you a little nauseous in an excited and terrified way.

The dreams God plants in your heart…not for you to accomplish alone, but with Him walking along side you.

The dreams that seem impossible without Him—the God-sized dreams.

Do you have one—a dream in your heart?

Maybe you’re not even sure where it came from or when it started. God’s been planting it there, just for you. The size of the dream doesn’t matter. He carefully plans each dream personally for us, and in His time the dream unfolds.

Maybe now is the time for your dream...

If you’re wondering where to start, let me direct you to Holley’s blog where she’s been introducing us to God-sized dreams.
To help and encourage us to take that first small step toward our God-sized dreams this year, Holley’s e-book releases on January 1!


What’s a better way to start 2013 than with a new online Bible study?

John 8:36 says, “If the Son sets you free, you are truly free.”

So many don’t know about the freedom God has given us. While others of us know, but still live in bondage to fear, addictions, the past, and so many other issues that hold us back from all God offers. During this study we will journey with Kim Tabor to lasting freedom.

This 6-week study starts on Jan. 6, with only one chapter to read per week.

For more information, click here: Finally Free. 



I’m looking forward to sharing my One Word for 2013 with you soon.

Last year was the first year I decided to focus on one word throughout 2012. Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, the idea is to choose a word to focus on all year, keeping it in front of you every day.

My word was Trust. You can read about my year of complete and unquestioning trust in God here…Trust—My One Word 2012.

It’s not too late! Care to join me in choosing One Word for 2013?


Along with these new adventures, you can still find me monthly at 5 Minutes for Faith, and as a guest contributor for Gloria Dei Lutheran Church.

Last, but certainly not least, I’m happy to be hosting The Sunday Community this weekend for my friend Deidra Riggs at Jumping Tandem! Join me to link up a photo, Scripture, and a few brief words of inspiration.

May you see God’s blessings all around you as we move into 2013!

In Christ,
Laura

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Thank you for visiting me here this year 
and for your encouraging comments. Time seems so limited in our busy lives and I am honored that you would share some of your time here with me.
May you have a blessed Christmas!

In Christ,
Laura

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

My Top Ten Scripture Verses of 2012

Last year I wrote My Top Ten Scripture Verses of 2011. Some were favorite verses I cling to and some took on new meaning throughout 2011. That list is my most viewed post, with weekly views almost a year later.

So, I decided to pull together my top ten verses from this year. These are verses I rely on, and ones I felt drawn to during my time with God—verses I may have read in the past, but God showed them to me in a new and powerful way. 
(All verses are from the New Living Translation,
unless otherwise noted, and listed in Biblical order.)

My Top Ten Scripture Verses of 2012…

1) Lamentations 3:22 (NIV)
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.

2) Job 11:18
Having hope will give you courage. You will be protected and will rest in safety.

3) Psalm 31:24 (NLT)
So be strong and courageous,
all you who put your hope in the 
Lord!

Psalm 31:24 (The Message)
Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up.
Expect God to get here soon.

4) Psalm 138:3
As soon as I pray, you answer me;
you encourage me by giving me strength.

5) Isaiah 43:18-19
“But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”

6) Matthew 6:34 (The Message)
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

7) Romans 8:38
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.

8) 1 Corinthians 10:13
The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.

9) Philippians 2:13
For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

10) Philippians 4:13
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

May you see God’s blessings as 2012 comes to a close and we enter into 2013!

In Christ,
Laura


Monday, December 10, 2012

Trust—My One Word 2012

Trust.

To place confidence or depend; to commit or place in one’s care or keeping; to rely on the truthfulness or accuracy of. (Tyndale NLT Study Bible)


As the days of December fly by, I feel like I should write a recap of my year focused on trusting God. But a recap might imply that my year of learning to trust Him is complete, or that I’ve learned all there is to know. But nothing could be further from the truth.

Learning to trust God with everything, all the time, is an ongoing process because it’s so easy to fall back into depending on myself.

It takes a conscious effort every day to give it all to Him—and then leave it with Him. Not taking it back to worry a little more about it. Not snatching it away when He doesn’t act as quickly as I’d like.

Trusting God means waiting on Him, knowing that His Way is best.

It means seeking His Will for my life, asking Him for guidance and wisdom in every decision and situation.

It means spending time in God’s Word, growing closer to Him and learning all that He wants to show me.

Some days are easier than others. And some days feel like a test.

I’ve learned that when I depend on myself, I find myself confused, stressed, worried, distraught, and far from God.

But when I depend on God, He walks with me every day. He comforts and gives me peace.

Trusting myself leads me to act on emotions and feelings that are so often mixed up and out of control.

But trusting God leads me to wait on Him and act with His guidance and in His Truth.

Trust in God doesn’t mean everyday will be happy or a good day. But trust brings joy found only in the Lord.

I’ll have a new One Word for 2013, but my focus on trusting God first; instead of after I’ve exhausted myself will continue. Indefinitely.

You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Trust in the Lord always,
for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.
Isaiah 26:3-4 NLT

Did you have a One Word for 2012? How did focusing on one word impact your daily life?

In Christ,
Laura

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Life Changes…God Does Not

I’m excited to be at 5 Minutes for Faith today kicking off a December series of Christmas traditions, as shared by our team of writers.

However, before we get started with the traditions, I feel it’s important to address the fact that for so many, the Christmas season is not filled with joy and happiness, but instead heartache and loneliness. If this describes you, I want you to know that you are not alone.

There is One who understands our heartache and promises to never leave us. He is the One who brings hope to our hurting world.

Below is the beginning of my message. I hope you will follow me over to 5 Minutes for Faith to read more.

Life changes…God does not. 
Christmas family traditions bring smiles and warm memories of time spent together. For some, it’s hot chocolate by the fireplace and smiles as their children open gifts. For others, it’s the singing of familiar Christmas carols.

But for some, the Christmas season not only brings sadness, but also imagines of the joy and happiness everyone else is experiencing. Behind warm smiles are empty hearts and aching souls. Maybe that someone is you.
Life changes. 
Children grow older. They lose interest in family traditions or move away.

Hardships come and take over all we wish we could do. 
Loved ones are gone. 
Many times, traditions evolve over the years, adapting to family changes. 
But for many, the traditions are no more. Instead of warm memories, there are “remember whens” and “if onlys.”
Life changes whether we want it to or not. I don’t want to be depressing, but instead would like to go beyond the facade to tell you this… 
Life changes, but God does not.
Please join me at 5 Minutes for Faith to read more of my post. And if you know someone struggling this Christmas season, would you pass this message on to them? God works in so many wonderful ways to reach the hurting.

Thank you and God bless!

In Christ,
Laura
Photo: Matthew 12:19-21 NLT