Don’t Wait!

Over the years she had lovingly spent time writing her memoir. She wanted to tell her story of survival so others could know and experience the hope she had in Jesus. She was close to finishing [I had been praying for God’s miraculous healing on earth to be the final chapter she would write before being published] when my sweet friend went home to be with Jesus after a short illness.

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

Matthew 6:14.

The last time I saw my friend was when I went to walk her two beloved Goldens that were feeling a bit stir crazy because their momma hadn’t been able to take them to the park. I sat and talked with my friend for a few minutes and at the time she didn’t know the full extent of what was going on with her health except that her body was railing against her. My friend had the gift of prophecy which she knew and embraced. She also had the gift of evangelism and I’m not sure she realized that. She had no filter when it came to telling others about Jesus and why they ought to put their faith and trust in Him!

As I read Matthew 6:14 I thought about my friend which led me to think about how truly short life on earth is [none of us know when God will call us home]. I wondered, did my friend have any regrets? Were there people she had always meant to forgive or say sorry to and thought, ‘Oh, I’ll do that tomorrow?’ I don’t know the answers to these questions but I do know there is no time like the present.

God has given us the beautiful gifts of confession, repentance and forgiveness. Jesus is faithful to show us the sin and unforgiveness in our life and Holy Spirit is always ready to help us confess, repent and forgive.

If there are others you need to forgive or if you need to say sorry or if you need to confess and repent—don’t wait until tomorrow because tomorrow may never come.

Even in death on earth my friend leaves a ‘no filter’ unashamed legacy of loving and following Jesus.

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How Does Your Garden Grow?

The vines hung down like ropes with big green leafs and swayed softly in the light afternoon breeze. Some had large, deep red flowers while others were the palest of pink. Trees were tall and mighty and even fragrant. Some created a canopy along the path from here to there with just enough space to allow the sun to shine through in certain spots along the way. There was such peace there in this garden that was meant to be lived in forever.

The couple who lived in the garden took great care of it. They prepared the soil by pulling weeds, tilling, planting and watching with great anticipation as new life sprang forth from their efforts. It was as if this work they lovingly labored at was a connection to something greater than themselves.

One day they were in their garden and they sensed a subtle change. The vines had stopped swaying in the breeze, the flowers didn’t appear as vibrant and the trees weren’t giving off their fragrance. They didn’t think much of this change and continued with their daily work. That too, seemed a bit harder on that day.

The ground that once was easy to turn over had become hard like clay and took great effort to prepare. They noticed more weeds than usual and while they still watched with anticipation for new life to spring up, that appeared to happen more slowly or not at all. And their connection to something greater than themselves felt small and far away.

It wasn’t long before they started to quarrel with one another and they stopped going to their garden because they no longer felt any joy or anticipation. It had simply become a chore.

After an extremely long season filled with doubt, fear, worry and confusion, they went back to their garden which was completely overgrown and full of weeds. Weeds so tall they were choking what little life was left in their once peaceful garden that brought them so much joy. They chose to work in their garden once again and before long they cleared the weeds, tilled the soil and began to plant and something miraculous happened—their connection to something greater than themselves was restored. They decided that day, right there in the garden, that they would work a little each day tending their garden and cultivating the rich soil so it would never become hard as clay again.

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Wednesday Encouragement

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Little Christmas, Cardone and New Beginnings

Even though there was never a shortage of family and friends coming and going at our house and my sweet momma admonishing everyone to, “mangia!”

Even though there was never a shortage of family and friends coming and going at our house and my sweet momma admonishing everyone to, “mangia!”

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Your Hearts Desire?

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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.

Shalom!

#thereisalwayshope

©teresejmbelme2018

 

 

Living in Hopefulness

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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.

 

God’s Prehistoric Revelation of Himself

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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?

Shalom!
©2018 Terese Belme

Humility

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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.

Shalom!
#humility #lifegoals

©2018 TereseJMBelme