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Hope at Naptime

I was putting my four year old down for a nap, and she thought this was a horrible idea. I began to fluff her covers and nestle her in, and she kept flipping around and thrashing like I was tying straps instead of tucking sheets.  Then suddenly she freezes, stares at me intensely, and spits out, “Mom, why do you work out?” Not a completely random question considering earlier that day I had taken the kids to the gym with me and had yet to change out of my lovely sweat laced active wear. I told her, “So, I can be strong, healthy, and live a long time.” Apparently, still quite irate at my insistence of a nap, she grunts out these kind words escorted by an icy glare, “I want you to live with Jesus.” My jaw dropped. Her words felt threaded with poison, yet in them hope. I didn’t know ...

November 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 November 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 November Scripture Writing Guide! Photo credit: Unsplash/JasonLeemDesign credit: iBelieve.com/BethanyPyle Join Our Telegram Group : Salvation & Prosperity  

When You’re in a Battle

(Photo Credit: Canva Pro) www.courtnayerichard.com In this life, we will have battles and trouble. I know as Christians, we don’t ever want to go through anything. I know it. I’m guilty! In fact, most of us want life to go great all the time. But Jesus never promised that life would be a flowerbed of ease here on earth. Instead, He said through John 16:33, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.” Yet, here’s the encouraging part. He goes on to say in that same verse, “But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” That is good news! Jesus tells us right from the gate that He has overcome. And we know that through the cross, He overcame and now He is seated at the right hand of the Father in honor as He intercede...

Taboo Truth

One day Dinah, the daughter of Jacob and Leah, went to visit some of the young women who lived in the area.  But when the local prince, Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, saw Dinah, he seized her and raped her. Genesis 34:1-2 NLT. She said I couldn’t write about the trauma I went throughIn the Christian book market this subject was tabooNo matter that my true story portrayed God’s amazing graceShowing other lost rape victims that forgiveness has its place Her motive may have been to protect another book she reppedOr perhaps it was the torment of a secret that she keptNo matter her true reason, the powerless child in meBelieved her horrid lie, forgot the truth will set us free Then encouragement from others who suffered a similar fateReminded me from truth great healing would emanat...

Encountering God

When I was nine years old, I gave my heart to the Lord. I walked to the front of the church, told the pastor that I had accepted Jesus into my heart, went through some Bible classes on what becoming a Christian meant.  That was my very first God encounter.  It was simple and uncomplicated. In my heart, even at such a young age, even if I did not fully understand the magnitude of my own sins, I knew I needed a Savior. That Sunday began my journey with Christ. I was recently asked to share on God Encounters in my life.  I sat down to write some notes. I began to reflect on the first time I remembered encountering God and the timeline of miracles – both big and small – that was evidenced in my life over the last 30 years.  Beyond my salvation experience (which was a m...

God of the Deep

In the first year of my firstborn’s life, I remember sitting in the rocking chair late at night, scrolling my phone while I fed him. I remember headlines of awful happenings in the Middle East. I specifically remember reading a post about ISIS beheading Christians who would not renounce Christ. I can still see that picture in my mind, a lineup of men with their heads and faces covered, their executioners standing behind them. I doubt I will ever forget it. I remember feeling crippled by anxiety and fear for the world my child would grow up in. That very possibly, in my lifetime, we would see such atrocities committed against Christians, but this time, perhaps, on the continent on which we live. I would sing and pray over that child, asking that God would spare him from persecution, that so...

Who Are You, Really?

         Who are you? On the surface, it seems like a simple enough question, doesn’t it? But think about it for just a moment. Who are you? What are the first things that enter your mind in response to that question? When meeting a new friend or colleague, we tend to spout off a list of roles and titles we answer to.  I am a mom, wife, sister, aunt, or friend. In some instances, we answer with a job title. I am a teacher, hairdresser, administrative assistant, or business owner. Sometimes we begin by discussing a current or future project, such as I’m writing a book, joining the church choir, or launching a single mom’s ministry in my community.             When most of us are asked who we are, ...

October 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 October 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 October Scripture Writing Guide! Join Our Telegram Group : Salvation & Prosperity  

SEEDS

These days I feel as if I’m planting seeds waiting to see when they will blossom. Other days I’ve reaped the bounty from the seeds I’ve planted, especially as I look at my children. I’ve also seen it in smaller interactions. The thing is when you plant seeds, they’re so small you sometimes forget that you’ve planted them. And then you see a lonely neighbor who always pauses to speak with you because she enjoys your company. You’ve sown into her. Or you receive an email that magnifies your contributions to the team, although, to you, there were minuscule. Again you’re using what God gave you to honor Him. SEEDS. Seeds are the foundation for growth. Seeds are so tiny, minuscule, yet if there are taken care of, they yield an unexpected harvest. ...

A Choice that Changed Me

2020 changed me. Most of us can say the same. Our world became an unfamiliar place that few imaginations could have even conjured. But a decision I made on January 1st, 2020, before any of these unprecedented events were a reality, changed me the most. That New Year’s Day I read Genesis 1:1,  “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  And every day of 2020 I continued reading, until on December 31st, 1,034 pages later, I concluded with Revelation 22:20-21,  “He who testifies to these things says,  ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’  Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.  The grace of the Lord Jesus  be with God’s people.  Amen.” In God’s sovereignty, the Spirit moved me to commit to reading through the entire Bible in a year, while at the same time, this un-...

How to Live a Fruitful Life in Our Day

(Image Credit: Canva) www.courtnayerichard.com In these turbulent times, it’s time for the body of Christ to shine brighter in our homes, jobs, communities, churches, and online circles like never before! The world is getting darker and darker, and the Bible forewarned us that in the last days, there would be difficult times. We’re seeing it. Would you agree? I see it. So, as Christians, in order to shine even brighter in this dark and difficult world, we’re going to need to live fruitful lives in our day. So how do we accomplish this in our daily lives and in this critical hour? The simple answer – action. Yep! Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:20, “Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you identify people by their actions.” In Jesus’ own words, He tells us through John 15:8, “W...

Ministry Leaders Worn Out and Weary

Ministry Leaders Worn Out and Weary         I bumped into a friend a few weeks ago, and she asked how I was doing. My response was, “I’m tired.” We chatted for a while, and I began to think and pondered over how many times I had responded with that same answer over the previous months. How many times have I thought about my exhaustion over the years?  Often, I jokingly say that I haven’t slept in twenty years and hadn’t truly rested since I had kids. Although it is a joke, there is some truth to the weariness we can fall under as ministry leaders.        Ministry is different from anything else you will ever do. You cannot compare it to working a 9:00 to 5:00 job. Many of you still do that in addition to leading your ministry, bathing ...