God Can Use ANYTHING!: Be Alert and Ready

God can and will use ANYTHING to speak to our hearts.  Join me this week as I share one of His creepy crawley visual aids!


Be Alert and Ready

“So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.” 

Matthew 25:13 (NLT)

clouds-5Ever since our uninvited guest graced our clean, freshly painted and well-organized garage, I find myself scanning the steps and surrounding area looking for snakes.  I think I’m obsessed!  It literally took more than a few days to open the door and not feel like my chest was going to explode from a racing heart!  I realize that some of you, dear Readers, probably think I’m the biggest baby on the planet and that’s OK. But it would probably be an accurate assumption to say that there is something that causes your blood pressure to rise and your heart to pound!  I tell you these crazy snake stories so you will know that we’re all in this boat together … these Doses of Encouragement are meant to encourage me as much as they are meant to encourage you!

Not long ago a group of us completed an in-depth study of the Gospel of Matthew, and it was interesting to see how Jesus progressively revealed truth to His followers, specifically to His disciples.  His initial message echoed that of John the Baptist and the other Old Testament prophets: ‘Repent!’ but as time moved closer to the cross, Jesus shared more of what was going to happen to Him and what HAD to happen in order for the Scriptures to be fulfilled.  On the heels of sharing details concerning the end of the age and His return, Jesus had a new message: Stay alert and be ready! 

Watching for snakes is certainly not as important as staying alert spiritually and being ready for Jesus’ return, but I’ve asked myself what my life would look like if I were as diligent about being ready for Christ’s return as I have been about watching for slithery critters.

Would I care more?  Would I give more?  Would I share more?  Would I keep less?  Would I witness more?  Would I judge less?  Would I obey more?  Would I love more?  Would my life be a picture of constant and consistent worship?

What about you, Friend?

From my heart to yours,


Trusting God in Tough Times: When God Seems Silent

It’s inevitable. Tough times will come along during our lives. A pastor friend once told me something along these lines: “You’re either coming out of a time of struggle, in the midst of a difficult time, or heading toward a challenging time.” The Christian life (or any life) is not always a bed of roses—and the Bible doesn’t promise us a life free from trouble. This week, let’s take a Scriptural look at trusting God through difficult circumstances.


When God Seems Silent

“Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer. Every night I lift my voice, but I find no relief. Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.” 

Psalm 22:2-3, NLT

Prayer_Statue_WEDNESDAYI have experienced seasons in life when I felt like God was completely silent. I poured my heart out in prayer to God and nothing happened. I struggled to feel God’s presence, even though I clung to His promises to never leave me. There have been other times when I felt intimately close to God, like He was sitting right next to me.

How do we explain those times when God is seemingly silent? What happens when our prayers appear to go unheard or unanswered?

Yesterday, we talked about how God’s ways are different from our ways. This is one of those instances where we can’t read God’s mind. We may need to accept a season when we’re not hearing God as clearly as we have in the past. Through His silence, He may ask us to wait on His timing. Waiting can be very challenging, though, especially if we focus on our own plans and timetable.

Waiting is difficult, but it always has a purpose. Waiting has taught me to rely on God more fully. In some cases, my faith is stronger because some desires weren’t immediately fulfilled. I didn’t hear God for a time, but I didn’t give up on Him. We can learn to depend on God to give us peace and trust Him to bring good things, even if those things look different from what we expected.

In times of silence, it’s important not to become impatient and take matters into own our hands. I’ve made big mistakes when I chose to act rashly because I was tired of waiting on God to give me direction.

In the Bible, David sought God and had an intimate relationship with Him. Even though David made mistakes and sinned, He always ran back to God seeking forgiveness and restoration. Even considering David’s close relationship with God, he still experienced many instances of God’s silence (Psalm 109:1, Psalm 28:1, Psalm 83:1). Through it all, David praised the name of God and remembered His holiness. And God didn’t abandon or forsake David. In God’s own timing, He revealed His plans for David’s life.

Learning to trust God even when He is silent can be a huge step in our faith journey. And when we see the outcome, we can give all the credit to God:

“Let them see that this is your doing, that you yourself have done it, Lord.” Psalm 109:27, NLT

Learning to trust more fully,