Many hours were spent around the kitchen island talking about their lives, asking questions, and hearing about Jesus. Read the rest of the article here.
A friend recently shared the exciting news that one of her family members was water baptized. Yay Jesus! She explained that she had been praying a really long time and that she asked one of her prayer groups to pray with her. And then she told me that her prayer group told her not to get her hopes up.
I stopped her mid-sentence and asked her, “They told you not to get your hopes up? Why would they say that to you?”
Stop right here and think about some of your responses in conversations that you have. What are some of the things you say that are rote, off the cuff, or an automatic response? If we believe one way (in hope and expectancy that God is going to answer our prayers), why would we answer another way?
When we delight in the Lord by staying tethered to Him consistently (daily), offering up praise and worship simply for Who He is He gives us the desires of our heart. Why? Because He begins to lay His heart over our heart and His desires become our desires.
If Jesus Himself set the example and was water baptized why wouldn’t He answer our prayers concerning those we are praying to take the step of water baptism? I can guarantee you He will answer this prayer every time because it is the desire of His heart!
Precious One, choose your words wisely. Words are so very powerful. Our responsibility to one another is to speak truth and encouragement no breathe doubt. I don’t think my friend’s prayer group intentional or purposely told her not to get her hopes up but I do believe they didn’t think before they spoke.
Know God’s word, know His truth, know His promises.
In June I attended the SoCal Christian Writers Conference. I had planned three full days of mostly non-fiction writing workshops. During one workshop, which was actually on website building etiquette, I overheard another instructor mention her workshop was next and that it was on magazine writing. I felt God nudge me to change my plans and attend this particular workshop, so I did.
As soon as the instructor started speaking God began showing me an article He wanted me to write. The information was coming so quickly I had to ask Him to slow down! I ended up pitching God’s idea, quite informally, to the instructor who happens to be the editor for SoCal Christian Voice. She loved the idea and encouraged me to write the article.
Then the doubt set in. “You’ve never written a magazine article before” “You don’t even know how to write a magazine article.” “What does writing a magazine article have to do with writing Bible studies?” Lies, lies, lies, because my God knows all about writing magazine articles.
Throughout the remainder of the conference God kept creating opportunities for me to talk with this editor, to the point it was becoming a bit awkward for me. One of the last conversations I had with her was when I noticed one of her latest books (it was hot off the press!) she had written with three other authors, one of the authors was there with her. I exclaimed that this was my passion and her colleague handed me her business card and told me if I ever needed help to contact her.
And that is what magazine writing has to do with Bible study writing. You see, their latest book was a Bible study.
Here is my third published piece (first of many with SoCal Christian Voice) and I am as giddy as if it were my first and I hope I ALWAYS feel that way! I encourage you to subscribe to SoCal Christian Voice (its free) as well as their national site One Christian Voice.
All praise, glory and honor to my Savior Jesus and you know, BUT GOD!!!
Here is the link to the article Shepherd’s Gate|Living in a House of Hope.
Oftentimes, blessings find their birth inside adversity. Life this side of heaven is tough. Many times things go wrong more often than they go right. But when we choose to hang out with God He leads us in the right direction where everything goes right according to his will and we are filled with His peace, joy and comfort regardless of our current situation.
Choose peace, choose Jesus.
©2018 Terese Belme
Ancient of days. One of my favorite names of God. It resonates deep down in my soul as if I have always mysteriously known Him as the Ancient of Days. Infinitely ancient day after day. In Aramaic it is attiq similar to our word for antique.
I love old things especially those that tell a story. If the horseshoe crab in this picture could talk it would tell us that it is, according to science, prehistoric descending from lineage 450 million years old and predating dinosaurs by 200 million years and considered a living fossil.
Think about that. Hundreds of millions of years old and yet the Ancient of Days created them. Do you wonder what they looked like before they evolved into what they are today? Were they bigger, much bigger, like dinosaur big? Why did they survive yet the dinosaurs they predated did not? Why would God leave a creature that evokes an innate feeling of ‘pre-historic’ within us for us to witness?
The answer my friends is God’s sovereignty and His gentle, reassuring nature that ties all things back to Him. He is before all creation. He created the heavens, the earth and the sea and all that is in them.
The Ancient of Days revealing Himself to you through all His creation. Are you looking?
©2018 Terese Belme
Recently, I met a former band member of a popular Christian band. I had no idea while I was talking with him. I came across the information as I was looking at his wife’s website and it wasn’t because she had posted anything about this, but someone had posted to her site with this information. I was immediately struck with how humble they are.
I have learned that shame can cause us to overcompensate for our lack of confidence in Jesus resulting in pridefulness.
As we let the light of Jesus shine within us for the world to see the good works He has created us to do, let it be all for His glory and point the way to our Father in heaven.
I love to give gifts. I especially love to give gifts for no reason. There is something beautifully simple yet profound as I watch the expression of joy on the face of the recipient and their eyes light up when they open the gift that was chosen specifically for them.
We learn to be good gift givers from the One who gave the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ, the Messiah, Who died on the cross so that all creation would have the opportunity to choose Him and the hope of being with Him forever.
Imagine the delight of His disciples as they were rowing back to shore and they realize their beloved Jesus is standing on the beach waiting for them! They thought He was dead! Perhaps they had been fishing for many hours but caught very little. Jesus tells them to let their nets down one more time and when they pull their nets from the water their is a bounty of fish heavy enough to tear the nets!
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11.
Jesus loves to give us good gifts. Physical gifts and especially spiritual gifts. He has tilled the soil of our soul and placed goodness there and he has placed an eagerness to know Him in our heart. He wants to fill our nets to overflowing.
But His greatest desire is for us to know the Giver more than the given.
I am sitting in LAX waiting for my flight home and I absolutely had to take this opportunity to share with you THE most amazing worship experience I have ever had. I spent the last three day at Biola University attending the SoCal Christian Writers Conference.
I struggle to explain to you exactly what transpired but here we go!
Thursday night we had the opportunity to attend two solid hours of worship. Sandi Padilla, the worship leader, hinted earlier that morning that she would be sharing a part of her story as it relates to her current work.
After some familiar worship, Sandi began to share her story. She told us of the time when she was eight years old and excited to say her memory verse to her Sunday school teacher and receive the coveted gold star. She was also excited to tell her teacher that there was music for the verse. She asked her teacher if she knew what that music was and where could they find it. The way Sandi explains it, I imagine the look on her teacher’s face, one of compassion and love not wanting to disappoint her sweet, young student with her answer. No, she didn’t know of this music.
In that moment God laid a seed in Sandi’s heart that would eventually lead her to extensive research of the ancient Hebrew language and how it relates to worship. Sandi discovered that each letter of the Hebrew language is both alpha and numeric. The numbers of the letters that form the words of the verses in God’s word coincide exactly with musical frequencies when put together create a sound that I have never heard before but resonated so deeply within me.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11.
The word eternity in Ecclesiastes 3:11 in the original Hebrew translates to ‘the world’ and it means antiquity, forever, ancient. The Ancient of Days has placed ancientness in our hearts with His words and His music forever.
You can find Sandi at http://www.sandipadilla.com to learn more!
Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall. Which season is your favorite? I love everything about Fall. The bright, crisp days, the turning of the leaves from green to vibrant yellow, orange and deep red. The sense of accomplishment of the first half of the year and the readiness to hunker down for the shorter days ahead.
As we celebrate the seasons of the earth we realize that life has many seasons. Seasons that come and go. Some that are long and others that are much too short. Many of us are in a season of letting go. Some of us have been through this season before and find ourselves in the last of its kind. For some this is your first experience in this season.
Even as God has been preparing me over the last five years I find this final season one of the hardest. Yet, I know He will never leave me nor forsake me. The season of empty nesting is both sad and exciting at the same time. If you find yourself in this season I encourage you to embrace it as gladly as you do your favorite season of the year!
Precious One, your identity is found in Christ not the season.
Have you ever gotten into your car turned the key and nothing? No click, no sound, only silence. You realize you most likely have a dead battery. The solution is a new battery. In the meantime a jump start may bring the dead battery back to life.
Over the last several months my time with Jesus has not been the vibrant, exciting, can’t wait to meet with Him time it has been in seasons past. I have known for quite some time that I needed a jump start, something to propel me into new territory with Him.
Today I had the amazing opportunity to attend a small intimate gathering of women and learn some new and valuable ways to enter into some very sweet time with Him. I experienced Jesus on a new glory plane. As is His nature, he went above and beyond anything I can ever ask or imagine. He showed me wounds from my childhood that I didn’t realize were within me. He walked me through healing and reminded me of my identity and authority in Him.
He increased my freedom!
My prayer for you is that you would ask Jesus to meet you in new and unexpected ways and teach you to simply sit in His presence, listen for His voice and draw you ever closer through His word.