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When Fear Suffocates You

By the time I was 21 years old, I had suffered a lifetime of disappointments. Both of my parents were dead, and all my grandparents and most of my aunts and uncles. I had seen more death than most do in a lifetime. I was pregnant multiple times outside of marriage, which carries its own shame and embarrassment. I had been homeless, lived on government assistance, and struggled to put food on the table as a single mom. I had already parented alone for several years. I had no way of knowing that I would go on to parent even more years alone. And all of those things shaped me and molded me with fear. The journey I embarked upon a few years back was far worse than I could have even imagined. Eight years ago, I decided to walk away from Corporate America and accept this call on my life to minis...

August Scripture Writing Guide (2021)

Scripture writing plans are incredibly simple, yet incredibly effective for helping us read, interpret and absorb the Word of God. Rather than simply letting our eyes pass over a verse and perhaps miss its full meaning, writing Scripture down helps us absorb each word and really think through what the passage before us is saying. Each day in August you’ll have the opportunity to write down a verse. We suggest using a journal where you can add any additional mediations or prayers that the verse brings to mind. Click here to download the August Scripture Writing Guide! Join Our Telegram Group : Salvation & Prosperity  

A Story about a List and Some Spoons

It wasn’t a conventional list—my list of things I fear. I didn’t write down my fear of certain places—the deep ocean, outer space, being trapped in a small area with no way out. Or my fear of things outside my control—Justin and my kids dying, my body getting older, my family not being happy. It was a list far less important. But it was interesting to me, and I felt compelled to write it all the same. At the top of a clean journal page, I wrote, “Things I am Not Good At (So I am Afraid to Try)” It is a list of things I have feared doing because I’ve always assumed I won’t be good at doing them. A list of things perhaps trivial—and probably not life-changing. But it felt important somehow—empowering even—to write them down. Ice skating; playing chess; hosting people last minute; learning a ...

We Have Power

Read –  Revelation 1:10 “On the Lord’s Day I was in the spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet.” Charles Spurgeon once said, “Without the Spirit of God, we can do nothing. We are as ships without the wind, branches without sap, and like coals without fire, we are useless.” John was in the Spirit and heard the voice of the Lord, loud, like a trumpet. Being in the spirit is a phrase used to describe a supernatural encounter with God in our lives, and it is often portrayed in the scriptures.  The Spirit led Simeon and revealed that he wouldn’t die until he saw Jesus (Luke 2:26, 27). The Spirit filled Joshua, which equipped him to lead the Israelites to the Promised Land (Numbers 27:18). The Spirit of God filled Bezalel, which allowed him ...

Wandering Through an Unknown Tomorrow

I love to learn. The process of asking questions and finding answers exhilarates me. However, the speculation surrounding the pandemic paired with constant outrage from every side has been the catalyst for overwhelming societal confusion. Personally, one lesson has been louder than all the others—get comfortable with mystery. Make conclusions, and walk in wisdom, but do not attempt to know it all. I cannot explain why people do the things they do; I will not understand how people cross certain lines; I struggle with why God allows it. The mysteries of life should be commonplace for humanity. They are present in my story and the stories of every soul. As much as we try, we fail at predicting what tomorrow will bring. There will always be secrets hidden in tomorrow. I choose to stop fig...

Forgetting What’s Behind

Do you know how to reset? Sometimes short-term memory loss makes us resilient.  We all have setbacks, disappointments, dashed expectations, false starts.  Sometimes we mull over past disappointment to our detriment. We stay in the past, forgetting that we’re allowed just to be present and move on.  In the semi-final heat of the 400m hurdles at the Olympic Trials, there were three false starts; you may have planned for one or two, but not three. We all deal with false starts in life. When Sydney McLaughlin was asked after the race how frustrating it was to deal with those false starts, she acknowledged the potential frustration and said she focused on what she could control – her response while trusting the process. So she regrouped and went back into the blocks. S...

Staying Connected to God When Life Gets Busy

(Photo Credit: Canva) www.courtnayerichard.com I know that with the rat race of life, sometimes it can be tough to stay connected to God’s Word on a consistent basis. With the demands of work, trainings, family, chores, church responsibilities, issues of life, and the overload of online information these days, it’s easy to unintentionally begin placing God on the back burner of our busy lives. I know this from experience because I’ve had times when I have been so engulfed with my work or a special project, that I literally asked God for a “rain check” on spending time with Him. I know that sounds crazy! Right?! But it happened and I’m not proud of it. I mean think about it. Putting the God of our universe on hold while I’m trying to fulfill His purpose for my life? It’s insane!...

Wander Not Alone

John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’” John 1:23 NIV I wander in the wildernessOh my body of flesh and boneHaunted by crushing lonelinessAs despair grips my heart of stoneYet onward and onward I press Oasis in this wildernessAppears unbidden in my sightIn its shade I find peacefulnessThe bounty of God’s holy mightAs over and over I’m blessed I am called back to wildernessWandering again I must goNo longer alone in distressGod’s grace ever with me I knowIn His way I will acquiesce Are you dear one in wildernessTroubled and trudging in great fearLook up and find hope to professRemember that Jesus is nearYou can trust in His faithfulness Linda L. Kruschke is the author of My Name ...

Your Words Have Power

      “Mom, do you remember that time you called me the devil?” my son said over dinner one night. He was home visiting, and we were enjoying a rare dinner with the entire family. We were laughing and sharing old stories of times gone by. Between mouthfuls of potato salad and barbecue chicken, my young adults were laughing about all the things they had “gotten away with” as teenagers. The question seemed to come from out of nowhere, although I laughed it off, it secretly stung a bit as I remembered an argument we had had some six years prior. In retrospect, it was a small incident at school, but at the time, it seemed much bigger, and I lost my temper. In the heat of the moment, this exhausted mom screamed hurtful things at my then-teenage son. I instantly regrette...

Hope at Camp

I got away from my little city and drove through even smaller towns to reach the wilderness and find camp. I retreated into the forest shade to find quiet that soothed my mind from the intensity of creating summer fun for four young children. As I prayed and prepared to teach workshops to women, coming from all parts of the Pacific North West, I looked out upon the lake which boasted a giant inflatable slide, kayaks, and paddleboards. I envisioned the fun my kids could have here, and the ways they might encounter God in this sacred space that whispers shalom. Many of my friends experienced camp as teens. In the church, I’ve heard the term “camp high” tossed around as though it were an experience universally shared in high school. I remember the people I knew at that age, my ...

Turning Bad Memories Upside-Down

We can be awfully hard on ourselves sometimes. We may not even realize our struggle to accept God’s grace. We can look on back at that girl of our past and feel so sad for her. Or angry. Is that me? Did that really happen? Did I really make that choice? Listening for God’s words in our hearts can sometimes feel just so hard. It can be overwhelming to experience, even in little tastes, just how much God loves us. We hear about Him never leaving us, how He walks with us during the most difficult experiences of our lives (Psalm 147:3, Psalm 34:18, Psalm 23). He has been with us in our mess. And He loves us more than we can understand. Yet, when we see ourselves as more broken than loved, more of a mess-up than a daughter of be...

Staying Focused On Your Own Lane

(Photo Credit: Canva) www.courtnayerichard.com Hey there! I am so glad that you clicked onto this post. Get ready to sit back, buckle up, and enjoy this encouraging ride. Are you ready? I hope you said or thought, “Of course! That’s why I clicked on, Courtnaye. Let’s go!” I love it! Okay, well then, my response to that thought or statement would be, “I’m with you, Sister!” Because guess what? It’s time for you to stay focused on your own lane as you step out to do what God is calling you to do. Now, let’s dive in a little more. Think about when you’re driving your car or truck, you’ve got to stay focused on your lane, right? Either that or you could risk veering over without much attention and getting hurt (or hurting others in the...