Another great book

This is just an excerpt, as it is a 14 day reading plan from Christine Caines book Unexpected. It is comforting, and convicting at the same time. Lord, please give me your contentedness.


A new song…

He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.
Psalm 40:3 NIV

Lord, so many VLCS staff members are hurting… make me aware…. show me heart drops, in order to minister to them. Thank you for the song you have given me for your always present, even when I don’t feel it, spirit. May others see you, in me, and come to know you as their personal Lord and Savior.

Fight the good fight

I have never really stopped to consider “fight the good fight”. If we are told to fight the good fight, To fight means to

to put forth a determined effort

  • They were fighting to stay awake.

We need to put forth a determined effort to keep our faith. The bible app has a great 14 day free devotional by Christine Cain, from her book unexpected:

When I learned I had a cancerous tumor on my thyroid in 2015, it was so unexpected. But as I walked through that experience, I realized that if we stop and think about it, every day is filled with the unexpected. We make our “to-do” lists. We set out thinking our day will go according to plan. But it doesn’t, because interruptions that we never saw coming invade our lives and usher in the unexpected.

But as surprising as the unexpected is to us, we need to remember that our unexpected is never unexpected to God. God knew that day would come in my life, and he was already in that day waiting for me. Fear tried to grip me like it naturally does when we receive any bad news, but I knew I couldn’t let it overwhelm me.

I knew I had to stop my mind from going too far—thinking about Nick and our girls and the unknown future, if I would live or die, if it was curable or not. I knew enough to recognize the runaway train of thought in my head could speed quickly down a dangerous track and derail me into a dark place. I knew that I needed to be in faith. Like many situations I’d been through before, I knew there was a choice that was mine to make: Would I walk in fear or faith?

It was faith that had always propelled me forward through my circumstances in the past, so I chose faith. That didn’t mean, however, that the fear went away. It still tempted me, but I knew that being tempted with fear wasn’t the same as giving into it—and not giving into it was the only way I could overcome its grip.

I began walking in faith by encamping myself in what I call a “faith cocoon.” It’s when I proactively decide to stay diligent in the word, listen to worship music continuously, and only allow faith-filled voices to speak into my life about a particular situation. I knew to speak only faith. I had learned that we either feed fear or we feed faith, and that I had the power to choose which one I would feed—so I fed my faith. I ran to God and not away from God. I fought the good fight of faith.

You can dig deeper into this message of supernatural peace and complete trust in God even when life takes an unexpected turn through Christine’s newest book, Unexpected. Learn more about it here.

Adapted from Unexpected: Leave Fear Behind, Move Forward in Faith, Embrace the Adventure by Christine Caine. Copyright © 2018 by Christine Caine. Reprinted with permission of Zondervan Publishing. All rights reserved

Two things that struck me here…

1. nothing is unexpected to God.

2. I need to fight to keep faith, instead of allowing my thoughts to spiral out of control… (as I so often do).

Lord, I know on my own I can not win the battle to live in (or love in) faith. I need to be continually filled with your spirit. Thank you for always speaking to me through your word. Continue to answer my prayers…. showing my husband love, in a way that HE knows for sure that I love him. It is Interesting, as I do, how he responds, but what is even more interesting, is how even now, I can feel insecure in his love for me. I desire to fight for the good faith, that doesn’t allow my mind to spiral down to murkiness.

Season 7


Reading through Nehemiah has been a struggle. But today, as we close season 7, this is such a great reminder… As a leader, I need to remember that I can not create Utopia. Not everyone will like me, not everyone will follow the rules. I must stay in prayer, and be bold when I need too.

This has been a tough year, miscinceptions, down right lies…. but God has been good. In the last couple of weeks, God has been telling me that I need not defeand myself. Today’s verse, was that he would fight for me, I just need to be still. And in the midst of the action of one staff member, He has given me peace.

by Rebecca Faires

The Tower of London was built around the year 1000 AD, and it still stands on the banks of the Thames River today. But a castle that old needs tending to keep looking good, no matter how many famous ravens live there. The regular maintenance is never finished, and every task, once complete, needs to be done again every 75 years. The old castle is never really “finished.” It’s just going through its stages of the 75-year upkeep plan.

When Nehemiah returns to Jerusalem, the walls are still standing, but the people have fallen apart. They have forgotten who they are and what God has called them to do. It’s so discouraging after the celebration and commemoration ceremonies in the previous chapters. We all want a happy ending for these people who worked so hard and endured so much.

On this side of heaven, things will never be perfect. Because of the curse of sin, we will always struggle. But there are three things I think we can learn about the gospel from this passage.

First, notice what Nehemiah does before he lets his righteous anger fly. He gathers the whole community and reads the book of Moses. I think it’s safe to say that he read the Pentateuch—at the very least, the Ten Commandments, and at the most, he sat them down for hours and read the whole thing. Either way, before He brings them to justice for breaking God’s law, he reminds them of God’s law. He establishes their common ground. When we are struggling, we must return to God’s Word to remember who we are and to whom we belong.

Second, remember that Nehemiah is a man of prayer. He prayed before he even answered the king. He is a steady and continuous man of prayer. While he brings judgment to the people, he keeps stopping to pray. He cries out: “Remember me for this, my God, and don’t erase the deeds of faithful love I have done for the house of my God and for its services… look on me with compassion according to the abundance of your faithful love” (Nehemiah 13:14, 22). It’s clear that prayer is an integral part of Nehemiah’s actions. When we find that we are inadequate, when things have gone wrong, we must turn to God in prayer.

Finally, let’s notice that even Nehemiah, the guy who is known for prayer and Scripture reading, couldn’t get it perfectly right. He was a great leader and a true man of God, but he still wasn’t able to create a perfect city. He couldn’t totally stamp out corruption. He couldn’t get people to follow the rules. The people fell into the same sins that sent them into exile in the first place, and Nehemiah couldn’t fix them.

Christ is the only One who can complete the work. He changes hearts, He mends families, and He is making all things new. We are called to read His Word, submit ourselves to prayer, and realize that no matter how dedicated or good we think we are at self-maintenance, we cannot achieve a perfect utopia. We can barely keep the Tower of London from falling down! So we ought to do the work He has called to do, and rest in Christ who is the only One who can truly call a task finished.

List making

  • Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy.
  • Encourage those who are timid.
  • Take tender care of those who are weak.
  • Be patient with everyone.
  • See that no one pays back evil for evil,
  • but always try to do good to each other and to all people.
  • Always be joyful.
  • Never stop praying.
  • Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
  • Do not stifle the Holy Spirit.
  • Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said.
  • Hold on to what is good. Stay away from every kind of evil.

1 Thessalonians 5:14‭-‬22 NLT

I like making lists and checking things off. This list is not one that can be checked off one time. It is one that I must return to over and over.

The last line, could be one bullet, or two. It can also be interpreted in more ways than one. The first interpretation, is an action, but the previous sentence doesn’t appear to be an action. “Hold onto good things”. Hold is a verb. However, It seems that “what is good” is not really something tangible. So, my interpretation is that “what is good”, are actions, people, thoughts…which leads to “stay away from every kind of evil”, evil actions, evil (toxic) people, negative thoughts.

My thoughts tend to gravitate towards the “evil” or in this case, the negative. But, I think that is because I don’t always implement the other instructions in this list.

My struggle these last few weeks have been with three or four employees. 4 out of almost 100. 4% the bottom 4%. Instead holding onto what is good…. 96%, I have allowed these 4 people to take up residence in my head. Because they have taken up so much space, I have neglected the other 96%, I have neglected taking care of the other items in the list. Forgive me Father. Thank you for your word. Thank you for the 96% of amazing people in my life. Thank you for yesterday, where I didnt have the time to deal with the 4%, even when one was pretty much in my face, but behind my back. Confirmation that your spirit has lead me to the right decision. Please continue to lead me.

When I am easily offended by the 4%, I need to spend more time in the word.

The Heb. Translation, is they shall have no stumblingblock. I have allowed these 4 to be a stumbling block to me, and to others…. Father forgive me.