There’s a testimony waiting to come out of your story. I made a mess of things, but God knew what message was coming from it. I remember being pregnant out of wedlock, focusing on my mistakes and the mess I had made. I remember the pain and disappointment. I remember thinking that my child was a mistake that I had made. I remember the feeling of being a single mother with a child whose father was nowhere in the picture. I remember someone calling my baby a bastard as I held her. I remember the look of embarrassment and shame. I remember the fear and the pain.
But I also remember God sending a stranger to remind me that my child was a blessing from God and wasn’t a mistake. She looked and saw the pain I was carrying and helped me to see my situation, my baby, through the eyes of God. At that moment, God sent a messenger to remind me that He still had a plan for my life and my child’s life. There was purpose coming out of my pain.
When I laid my mess at the feet of Christ, He cleaned it up and reminded me that there’s no failure in Christ because He makes all things new.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. ~ Romans 8:1
He knew what you would be tempted with, the failures, the setbacks, but He also knew what was deep inside you waiting to be released at the appointed time.
Is anything too difficult for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” ~ Genesis 18:14
“For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.” ~ Habakkuk 2:3
We go through the valleys to climb to get to the hills. Look to the hills from whence cometh our help; our help cometh from the Lord. God has mountaintops ready for you, but you must be willing to push through the storms of life to get there. On this journey, you will have storms that arise. The word says, “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
When Christ died on the cross, He gave you victory over all circumstances because He rose over it all: sickness, pain, grief, trials, lies, fears, and shame. Whatever you are going through, remember there’s glory coming out of it. There’s glory in your story. By Iris Pelton-Hamlett
It has been a dream of mine to share my writings in a published book with others and share what led me to Jesus! I have been blogging for a few years and as I have accumulated my written blog posts, I have felt growth in my walk with Jesus and His people. I have had trials, joys, challenges, health issues, and heartbroken moments and I have learned more and more about the importance of walking with Jesus. I hope to inspire other people to seek Him for all wisdom and guidance. We are all His beautiful people, created in Christ for a mighty purpose.
This book can be accessed through Amazon. Consider a gift purchase of an ebook on Kindle for your reader family and friends or a paperback option. Many of my own friends do not have a WordPress account. If you purchase the e-book, it is amazing: the digital copy has links to the songs I have used to tell stories in many of my posts. If you feel prompted to buy, thank you so much! If you feel prompted to leave a review on Amazon, thank you. Share the link below with friends.
Regardless, You are a child of God and He wants to know you personally, we must reach out to Him. God bless you! Mary
What is that old idiom, “Can you- not see the forest through the trees?”
What does this mean? Merriam-Webster describes: not understanding or appreciate a larger situation, problem, etc. because one is considering only a few parts of it.
We may not have a full picture of any situation, but many times we have to make our best guess. Scary proposition!!
Where are you looking for guidance? Is it built on taking steps through the forest without direction? We have to consider where we place our trust. Are our roots of wisdom found in seeking the Living water that provides nourishment to our soul and sustenance to grow our faith?
Photo by Mary Mesikapp
Just as a tree needs a good soil environment, we as humans, and as parents, need solid Godly teaching and love.If you have not had a compassionate, loving Christlike personal experience, I am so sorry. In this day and age, you can access church messages online to consider whether their instruction aligns with the Bible. It can feel like a risk to take a step into a church, I remember the fear after relocating to a different state and feeling uncertain. I asked the Lord to give me peace or show me the next option. He did, and after a few visits to different churches, I was able to choose and was blessed with sisters who were like-minded in Christ. Even though we may feel ill-prepared to parent, if we seek God to give us wisdom, He will share it.
So where do we need to place our minds, and trust to grow into the best wisdom? There is no better place than the Creator of the universe. This is a powerful scripture, Colossians 2, it has been helpful to me as a sister, mom, wife, and friend. Paul was talking to the Laodicean church, he was encouraging them to be strong in love. There are steps to grow roots of wisdom and understand God’s mysterious plan. It is not a quick process but a slow meaningful time well spent.
Colossians 2:1 - 10 I want you to know how much I have agonized for you and for the church at Laodicea, and for many other believers who have never met me personally. 2 I want them to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love. I want them to have complete confidence that they understand God’s mysterious plan, which is Christ himself. 3 In him lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.4 I am telling you this so no one will deceive you with well-crafted arguments. 5 For though I am far away from you, my heart is with you. And I rejoice that you are living as you should and that your faith in Christ is strong.6 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. 7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.8 Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. 9 For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. 10 So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.
Just as nature is built by Him, our lives can be molded by Him. Don’t let empty philosophies and loud voices distract you from the still small voice of God. Christ is the head ruler and authority over all things. In the end, what we put into our time with Jesus will be a great reward to our lives and for generations. We can break the generational habits that bind us to unhealthy responses and actions, with God all things are possible.I am more grateful with each passing year, God is good and His treasures are priceless.
Football is a visual of offense and defensive strategy. It can easily be a metaphor for life. Quick responses to offensive and defensive actions can impact the game and our lives. Who is our coach?
During the playoff games, Logan Wilson, number 55, is the Cincinnati Bengals player who knocked down the ball at a crucial time. Wilson loves Jesus (A personal friend shared this truth, she is a relative of Wilson).The final minutes of the game can be exciting and life-changing. This weekend, Wilson’s defensive play caused the opponent to lose the game. One team won and the other team lost.
Our decisions in life can be played in a similar way. Are we receiving the pass of temptation with open hands or deflecting the pass for better things? Are we being led into impulsive sin by pride, anger, or bitterness or are we deflecting those prompts for a better response? Do we allow the audible of the still small voice of God to penetrate the roar of the crowd? It really is a matter of seeking wisdom to direct our steps for a long journey, not just one game.
The future is not in our hands at the end of the game. But where we put our trust matters. Seeking Jesus first, not being afraid to share His love with others matters, and being willing to listen to His instruction takes effort and we can be amazed at the results.
In the strength of God, we can knock down the enemy’s attempts to bring loss and an uncertain future. We get the choice of victory in life. This victory isn’t only physical like success on a sports field, it’s emotional in providing a sound mind, peace, and clear direction. It is in a spiritual connection to the Master Quarterback on the field, Jesus! He really has the best insight. It can guide us into eternal peace and relationship.
The Lord has plans, however, we must be discerning in the game of life, to be patient with the plays called. We must be on the offense and the defense with the Word of God as our playbook. We must seek like-minded teammates that hold us accountable to the Word. We want to get to the endzone and celebrate a heavenly touchdown. Think of the family of God all together whooping it up. Think of the roar of the crowd in the heavens, with angels and saints making a joyful sound, it will probably blow our minds.
Just as Logan Wilson had to fix his eyes on the prize at the time, the football, we must fix our eyes on Jesus! No longer do we have to be spectators in life. See an opportunity to receive the pass of salvation. Get real with Jesus!
Colossians 3:1-4 MSG So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ-that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective. [3-4] Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life-even though invisible to spectators-is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too-the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.
With age comes wisdom and poor eyesight. I didn’t end up needing eyeglasses until I was in my 40s. Turns out that I always had a problem with each of my eyes. Unfortunately, when I was in my 40s, my eyes no longer compensated for each other. One eye had a distance issue and the other had a reading issue, they had worked as a team for 20/20 vision.
Today I experienced what it feels like to be unable to see well. As I rushed out of the house to get my kid to school, I realized while I was driving everything looked a little foggy. And then I remembered the eyeglasses sitting on the counter at home miles away. I squinted along the highway a bit more cautiously.
I was thinking, this is a metaphor for when I take my eyes off my Savior Jesus. It’s an unsettled feeling. My blurred vision can bring a foggy mind. Blindness to the outside world, blindness to God, or today, blindness to my texts.
It is essential to know where to turn and where to keep our focus for the day. So I asked a stranger for assistance and she showed me how to increase the text font and add boldness to my cellphone. I was able to see my texts again.
My distance and reading problem eyes can bring blurry vision without correction.
I feel like my vision in life is the same as my walk in faith. I seek distant answers to circumstances before I can readily see. I need to spend quality time seeking the answers as I read His Word and let outside influence blur.
Proverbs 7 1-5 Dear friend, do what I tell you; treasure my careful instructions. Do what I say and you’ll live well. My teaching is as precious as your eyesight—guard it! Write it out on the back of your hands; etch it on the chambers of your heart. Talk to Wisdom as to a sister. Treat Insight as your companion.
When I adjust my focus on quality time with God reading the Bible and being with others who seek Him, I can see His direction more clearly.
This morning of blindness is resolved. I found my glasses and gained clearer vision. No more squinting for me today. I must walk in the Light of insight.
12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” (John 8:12 NLT)
I feel drawn to share this October 2021 blog post today, we live in a crazy time and Our Children need our love, the Word of God, and hope. I hope you read this post and find it as timely as I did today.
Thanksgiving can be a day of wonderful family memories or hard, depressed lonely times. We can act in love regardless by praying for the Lord to illuminate our purpose and give us the ability to pray for God’s children (whether we have one or not). Sharing hope and love, our job is to get to work and pray for His people. You are not alone the Lord sees you and loves you. Peace, Mary
Amy Carmichael was a 19th century missionary from Ireland. Amy opened an orphanage at the age of 28. At this time, women were not on the mission field alone. She loved children and sacrificed her life by serving India’s children. She felt the call of God and left her home of comfort to make a difference.
God delights to meet the faith of one who looks up to Him and says, “Lord, You know that I cannot do this–but I believe that you can!” -Amy Carmichael
Modern day parenting is a challenge, however, Amy was a single woman and God used her in a mighty way. Her quote showed what can happen when you trust God, we are called to speak truth and share our faith in Jesus with our own children. We are called to trust God with the unknown. God calls parents to teach their children His ways…
Could it really be as simple as knocking on the door? I used to think being perfect was a prerequisite to being a follower of Jesus. I could never measure up to the standard. But I am learning to seek His truth for myself. No barriers, no false teaching from others. It starts with a knock on the best door.
I love this conversation from Jesus to His best friends, the disciples as He shared this parable.
Luke 11:5-13 NLT. Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him,  ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’  And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’  But I tell you this-though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.  “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.  “You fathers-if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead?  Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not!  So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.”
Initially it may seem as though Jesus words to the disciples were a rebuke. He shares our need for persistent relationship building in seeking Him for the answers.
Please reread the scripture, Luke 11, consider the text again it is metaphorical. People can understand it’s parable message in different ways.
He shares with the disciples His provision however, whoever knocks on the door needing help must ask for His protection. His love is free. His promises can be received only when we actively pursue Him. His gift of love, mercy and forgiveness are available for taking.
Jesus does not force His relationship on any human. He wants to pour blessings on His children. We have to push aside any worldly idol that we may think can fill the God shaped hole in every human heart. No material or human thing can fill this hole. Only Jesus!
Leeland sings “Waymaker”, such powerful lyrics. Trust the Waymaker!! I have been singing this song in the way to school, our kids can hear the words reminding us to hold onto Jesus! We can be an example in action of our faith in God! Words and worship aloud can connect to the angels in heaven. We all can make a joyful sound to the King.
Lord, we want to listen as You speak. Thank you that you are patient. My heart overflowed with love for our God as I listened to this song, “I’m Listening” by Chris McClarney and Hollyn. ” When you speak confusion fades,just a Word and suddenly I am not afraid,” amazing lyrics. Listen as He speaks to you.
 LORD, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine.  The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance!  I will bless the LORD who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me.  I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
How are you using your words, blessing or cursing? It matters to God how we treat those He places along our path. No one is perfect not one of us!
My current self reflection is: are my words encouraging, speaking truth in love or in frustration, snarky, unthinking babble?
What is my main purpose when speaking is to be right or to cause more destruction to someone who is struggling? Have you ever thought about how your words impact people in your sphere?
Matthew 12:34-37 NLT  You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.  A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.  And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak.  The words you say will either acquit you or condemn you.”
Do you want to acquit or condemn another person who is created by God? Gossip or slander tears down, it does not build up, even in asking prayer for someone. Go to God with concerns, He knows the details of His children. There are times you feel prompted to share your struggles, the Lord will guide you to safe, Loving, Godly brothers and sisters in Christ.
Titus 3:1-2 NLT  Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good.  They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.
Do you want to be known as the quarrelsome, judgmental Christian or a gentle, humble servant of Jesus? If you are a parent, our kids watch how we use our tongues. Troubles come when we speak without thinking. I am guilty of this character flaw. It’s as if my tongue has a mind of its own. James is a solid book of the Bible, here are a few pearls of wisdom I turn to often.
James 1:2-12,26 NLT  Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.  For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.  If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.  But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.  Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.  Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.  Believers who are poor have something to boast about, for God has honored them.  And those who are rich should boast that God has humbled them. They will fade away like a little flower in the field.  The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.  God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.  If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.
Reread James 1:26: If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and our religion is worthless. Wow, that hurts, it is a conviction in your heart meant to bring a pause, and lead you to repent, ask forgiveness from Jesus and for help to break this flaw, in the Name of Jesus. We can’t do this on our own, our flesh gets the credit for impulse control issues. We need to grow in self control, a fruit of the spirit!!
Galatians 5:22-25 NLT  But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.  Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.
Those who parent, mentor, or feel the call to share wisdom with others are called to a higher standard. Their loyalty must be in God alone. We live in a world with trial and daily we get the opportunity to hone our faith in Jesus. We must be humble and seek the Lord for all things, too.
James 3:1-10,13,17-18 NLT  Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.  Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we would be perfect and could also control ourselves in every other way.  We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth.  And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong.  In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.  And among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.  People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish,  but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison.  Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God.  And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!  If you are wise and understand God’s ways, prove it by living an honorable life, doing good works with the humility that comes from wisdom.  But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.  And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness.
The tongue can bless or curse. Do you want to start a forest fire? Our tongue and words can be restless and evil, especially when you are Hangry. I remind myself to evaluate for H.A.L.T.: Hungry, Angry,Lonely,Tired. Even still, there is no excuse for lack of self control.
On my own, I may not be gentle, peace loving, or willing to yield to another. But with accountability of fellow believers in Christ, time in stillness speaking with my best friend, Jesus and asking Him to help me change character flaws, I am hopeful of healthy communications. Grateful to those who speak truth over my circumstances so I can grow in Christ and in community of His people.
I want to be known as a peacemaker and an example of a fruit bearing Christian, how about you? It is a new day, start to tame your tongue and may the words we speak be pleasing to God and encourage others.
Psalm 19:14 NLT  May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
When I was a teen, I helped decorate the high school gym for a homecoming dance. I was so new to that experience, totally insecure, as a high school freshman, and yet I wanted to learn how to decorate for Homecoming. The homecoming committee leaders were able to visualize the finished product before even seeing it. I don’t process life this way.
The potential of a central light with a small little globe that had mirrors hoisted up in the center of the gym seemed insurmountable. A part of the preparation was using a horrendous amount of heavy-duty string and making what appeared to be a spiderweb on the ground.
Yes, the volunteer high school students and I were going round and round attaching strings by knots from one string to the next in the fashion of a spider as if we were making a Web. The next step was attaching a little tiny mirror to each piece of string and strategically placing them all over this huge spiderweb.
When we completed this process, the spiderweb of string and mirrors was lifted up and attached to ceiling beams high above the teen’s heads.
As a newbie at this decorating thing, I just couldn’t picture it and the upper-class men with more wisdom under their belt were excited to see the amazing creation come into view.
We taped huge black butcher block paper to all the walls in the gym. I questioned, “why would you do that?” They looked at me like you’re such a stupid freshman but when they explained the walls will be dark and the mirrors would reflect from the light in the center, I understood. Stars would magically shine all over the room.I was beyond awe.
Isn’t this a wonderful description of preparation as a believer in Jesus? Life is a tangle of strings and knots with the occasional shiny mirror reflection of kindness and character traits of Jesus.
We have work to do in order to see the finished product. However, it is not our human actions but Jesus’ supernatural power that makes the Light shine in a dark world.
Ah yes, pick up your scissors cut off the mistakes, tie knots to join the places of new beginnings, and add a mirror tile straight from the hand of Jesus. It is a visual reminder of repenting turning back to Him asking for forgiveness and Letting His Light shine.
Pick up the spider web of your life, and let Him craft you into an amazing reflection of His character.
Psalm 27:1 MSG  Light, space, zest- that’s GOD! So, with him on my side I’m fearless, afraid of no one and nothing.
Matthew 5:14-16 MSG [14-16] “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand-shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.