My Heart is Breaking:(

Friday, February 12, 2010

So today, I get a tweet from someone I follow that asks everyone to pray for this girl. He linked to a video. I actually follow her blog and it has saddened me! This girl has been battled life with CF(cystic fibrosis) and has not been well for weeks. She was informed this morning that her days are numbered! WOW! Makes me wonder why she hasn't received her transplant? Why hasn't God allowed for her to live longer? These are answers that we will never get! It frustrates me! I have had a rough day! Been praying for a new path for Mike and I. Been praying for a better job. Mike had an interview but didn't get the job! I was wallowing in my own self pity then I watched this video! Makes me to realize that our life is GOOD! Yes, God will provide in His time and not ours but I do sometimes feel like I have been forgotten! But to be told that your final days are here, WOW! WOKE ME RIGHT UP!!! I don't fully understand why people have to be born with CF! I don't understand why some have to die. I had a dear friend who died of CF years back! He had just had a double lung transplant and got to live with NEW LUNGS free of the gunk that he had lived with all of his life! He got to go skiing without having problems breathing. He lived about 11 months(can't remember the exact months)with NEW LUNGS! God gave him that FREE breathing time before He decided it was time for him to GO HOME with HIM! We don't know where life is going to take us but we do know that GOD will get us through!!

I leave you with this link to this wonderful story of a girl who, no matter what she is dealing with, can give LOVE!!! Pray for her! Pray for her family!


Is Ignorance Bliss? BY: Leslie Nease, She Speaks! Graduate

Friday, January 15, 2010

"Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn't worship Him as God or even give Him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused." Romans 1:21-22 (NLT)


A wave of regret swept over me as I looked up the nutrition information on the pumpkin muffin I'd just consumed. It had a whopping 530 calories, 20 fat grams and 80 carbohydrates! Stunned, I wondered why I would ever want to know this information? Why did I look this up? Now I wouldn't be able to eat my pumpkin muffin in good conscience!

Ignorance is bliss. Or is it?

If I didn't know this nutritional information I would eat the muffin thinking that because it contains vegetable, it must be good for me! I mean, honestly - have you tasted one of these? But the truth is, eating a pumpkin muffin every day for the rest of my life might lead to some serious consequences. Heart disease, obesity, lack of energy and diabetes could be in my future. Now that I'm in the know, I can't deny the potential negative affects this could have. I have a responsibility and a decision to make, whether I like it or not.

Similarly, it used to be easier for me to pretend God wasn't real--hell was made up and evil was something I could elude. But when faced with the reality that there is a God who I am accountable to, there is a hell, and evil is present; I knew I had some decisions to make. Instead of living in denial, I accepted that ignorance is not bliss and it was not doing me any favors. So I started to search for truth about God in the pages of His Word.

Scripture is the one place where we can be sure we will find all we need to know about God. However, many folks try to figure out God without the Bible; they want a god on their terms. This reminds me of diets that promise extreme weight loss while eating whatever you want without exercising. We would be in denial if we believed those promises. To lose weight, you have to know the nutritional value of food, work out regularly, and not eat pumpkin muffins every day! It's a conscious decision to daily invest in our health and there are no short cuts.

Denying God's existence is not going to change the fact that He is there either. Ignorance is not bliss - it is ignorance.

God makes Himself known to us through His Word. He says, "I Am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:5, NIV). We must make a conscious decision daily to invest in our spiritual health through learning about God through time in the Bible. We must connect and remain with Him. With God's Word lighting our path, we are armed with truth, so we can make informed decisions that will help us grow, not lead us into deception.

Dear Lord, I pray our minds and hearts will be opened and softened to the truth of Your Word. Help us embrace it and learn, grow and walk in the freedom of knowing that You are real and You desire a relationship with us. I pray we will take Your hand as we walk through this life. Instead of living in ignorance, may we walk forward, realizing that Your Truth is what sets us free. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:

Do You Know Him?

Pierced By the Word by John Piper

Perplexing Proverbs by Susanne Scheppmann

For more encouragement check out Hold It Up to the Light

Application Steps:

It's important that we surround ourselves with people who will be truthful with us. Having godly, honest friends can ensure we have the accountability and tools to grow in our faith.

Spend some time in prayer and in God's Word, asking Him to reveal any areas of your life you may be living in denial or deception. Be ready to respond to what He may reveal with humility and a desire to grow.


Is there a scripture that you find difficult to believe? Have you prayed and asked God to reveal the context and the reason He included this scripture in His Word? Spend time digging into different Bible Commentaries found on various websites to help understand God's Word.

Can you think of a time in your life when you believed ignorance was bliss?

Power Verses:

Proverbs 4:13, "Take hold of my instructions, don't let them go. Guard them, for they are the key to life." (NLT)

Psalm 119:105, "Your Word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path." (NLT)


Your New Identity BY: Sharon Jaynes

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Today's Truth:
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"

Friend To Friend
There's a game that I've played many times at conferences and retreats as an icebreaker activity. Each person has the name of a famous or infamous person taped to her back. The women in the room walk around giving each other clues about who they "are." "You always put off worrying until tomorrow." "You had so many children you didn't know what to do." "You were the queen of soul." The point of the game is to figure out your identity. Once you guess correctly, you take a seat.

As I watched the women play that game, I was struck with its similarity to real life. Many times we determine our identity, by what others tell us about ourselves. You are so smart. You are a loser. You are so pretty. You could do anything you set your mind to. You are so ugly. You are so fat. After a while, those messages determine how we see ourselves, whether true or false. It is only a mature person who realizes that just because a person perceives you a certain way, doesn't make that perception true.

One of the greatest blessings of becoming a Christian is receiving a new identity. In the Bible, when God touched and changed a person's life, many times He changed his or her name. He said, "You will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow" (Isaiah 62:2). Saul became Paul. Abram became Abraham. Sarai became Sarah. Jacob became Israel. Simon became Peter.

Likewise, when we accept Christ, God gives us a new identity and a new name. If we want to know our true identity, we need only look in the mirror of God's Word to discover it. It may be different from what you've heard others say about you, but which do you think is more accurate? Who do you think has a better perception of who you are, your Creator, or other creatures just like yourself? If you are a Christian today, the following verses describe your new identity.

My Identity in Christ

* Matthew 5:13 I am the salt of the earth.
* Matthew 5:14 I am the light of the world.
* John 1:12 I am a child of God.
* John 15:1,5 I am part of the true vine, a channel (branch) of Christ's life.
* John 15:15 I am Christ's friend.
* John 15:16 I am chosen and appointed by Christ to bear His fruit.
* Romans 8:17 I am a joint-heir with Christ, sharing His inheritance with Him.
* I Corinthians 3:16 I am a temple of God. His Spirit dwells in me.
* I Corinthians 12:27 I am a member (part) of Christ's body.
* 2 Corinthians 5:17 I am a new creation.
* 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 I am reconciled to God and am a minister of reconciliation.
* Ephesians 1:1 I am a saint.
* Ephesians 1:3 I am blessed with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places.
* Ephesians 1:11 I am sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit who has been given as a pledge of my inheritance.
* Ephesians 2:10 I am God's workmanship created in Christ to do His work that He planned beforehand that I should do.
* Ephesians 4:24 I am righteous and holy.

That is a lot to put on a nametag, but that is your new identity. Neil Anderson, in his book Victory over the Darkness notes, "The reason so many Christians are not enjoying the maturity and freedom which is their inheritance in Christ is because they hold wrong self-perceptions. They don't see themselves as they really are in Christ. They don't understand the dramatic change which occurred in them the moment they trusted in Him. They don't see themselves the way God sees them, and to that degree they suffer from a poor self-image. They don't grasp their true identity."

In that paragraph, Dr. Anderson described me perfectly. For the first twenty years of my Christian walk, I had no idea who I was, what I had, or where I was in Christ. As God opened my eyes to the truth, I realized that how I saw me and how God saw me were in stark contrast to one another. I came to a crisis of belief…who was I going to believe? And that, dear friend, is the same question you need to ask yourself.

Let's Pray
Dear God, I thank You that I am a new creation in Christ. I admit that sometimes I feel just like the old me and act like the old me, but I believe by faith that I am brand new. Thank You that my identity is based on my position in Christ rather than my performance on earth.

In Jesus' Name,

Now It's Your Turn
Do have any labels from your past that are in conflict with what the Bible tells you about who you are as a child of God?

Look at the above verses. Do have a difficult time believing the truth about who you are?

Now here's the big question. Are you going to believe what others have told you in the past or are you going to believe God?

Now, go back up to the list of verses again and read them to yourself aloud.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on today's devotion. Is this something that you have struggled with in your Christian walk? Let's talk… or

More From The Girlfriends
Someone once told me that faith is believing that God tells the truth. But many of us don't know the truth about who we are in Christ, what we have in Christ, and where we are in Christ. If you would like to learn more about your true identity as a child of God, read Becoming Spiritually Beautiful - Seeing Yourself Through God's Eyes by Sharon Jaynes. Also, on Sharon's books and resource page, you can find a laminated card of verses about your true identity in Christ to tuck in your Bible for quick reference!


The Colors of Emotion BY: Susanne Scheppmann

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything." 1 John 3:19-20 (NIV)


My feelings scoot across the emotion spectrum. Some days are happy days. Other mornings I don't want to crawl out of bed—I just want to wallow in misery and depression. I sigh and say to my husband, "I have the blues today."

I guess you could say I am a "colorful" person. Maybe you are too. Have you ever found yourself saying something like …

· I am feeling blue today.

· I am so angry; I'm seeing red.

· I am green with envy.

· I am in black despair.

Often our emotions are not based on reality, but on a temporary perception of reality. The prophet Jeremiah wrote, "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9, NIV). I don't always understand why I feel the way I do. My moods could result from weariness, hormones, or an unexpected surprise.

Fortunately, although our hearts are deceitful and trick us into colorful emotions, God is bigger and stronger than our weak hearts. Our key verse states, "This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything (1 John 3:19-20, NIV; emphasis added). This makes me shout aloud, "Hallelujah!"

We still hold some responsibility, however, for our thoughts and emotions. Proverbs 4:23 instructs, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life" (NIV)." How do we do this? We should take care about the books, movies and television that we allow to influence our thoughts. Listening to gossip, rumors and discontent from friends can certainly stir up negative feelings as well.

Instead of infusing ourselves with emotional junk food, we need to nourish our minds with godly influences. For example, read the Bible, chat with godly friends, or listen to praise music. The more joyful and contentment-filled influences we filter our thoughts through each day, the more we'll experience a positive emotional state—in fact, we'll be tickled pink!

Dear Lord, grant me the ability to recognize my emotions are not always truth. I thank You that You are bigger and stronger than my deceitful heart. Teach me how to be most effective in guarding my heart from fickle emotions. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:

Visit Susanne's blog

Divine Prayers for Despairing Parents by Susanne Scheppmann

The S.O.S for PMS: Practical Help and Relief for Moms by Mary M. Byers
30 Days to Taming Your Stress by Deborah Smith Pegues
Here are a few tips for A New Year, A Better You

Application Steps:

Memorize the following passages to help you gain control over colorful emotions:

Jeremiah 17:9, The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (NIV)

1 John 3:20, For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. (NIV)

Proverbs 4:23, Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life (NIV)


Do I rely on my emotions to determine the outcome of my day?

What circumstances influence my emotions?

Power Verses:

Romans 12:2, "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." (NLT)

Philippians 4:8, "Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse." (MSG)

Galatians 5:22-24, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." (NIV)


At a Crossroads BY: T. Suzanne Eller

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"'Who are you, lord?' Saul asked. And the voice replied, 'I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.'"

Acts 9:5-6 (NLT)


Lysa TerKeurst was on the stage sharing a message titled "Pursuing Excellence," but the Holy Spirit was center stage in my heart. That night at the annual She Speaks Conference was a crossroads moment, one of a handful in my life where I knew that God was speaking to me and asking me to turn either right or left.

Lysa challenged the audience to put aside anything that might stand between them and God's best. That night the gentle nudge of the Holy Spirit showed me something that could possibly hold me back from excellence. No big sin. No hidden motives. And yet it mattered to God.

Did it matter to me? And what would I do about it? I spent time in the prayer room that night and I left with an understanding of what steps to take.

When I returned home, I quickly realized that the battle was bigger than I thought. God had shown me that I had allowed something "harmless" to claim my time and attention, to distract me from what He was calling me to do - write more books, develop new messages, and just hang out with Jesus more.

It wasn't about trying to be a super Christian, but a discovery process. What did God have for me as His girl?

In Acts 9, Saul was on his own mission, bustling towards Damascus to arrest followers of Christ. A voice and a Light stopped him in his tracks. He fell to the ground and asked, "Who are you, lord?"

This was Saul's personal crossroad. Would he stay on the same old path, or would he stop and allow God to take control? It wasn't easy, but Saul gave over the reins of his life to God and the rest is history. Where would Saul have ended up if he had ignored the voice of God?

He was a prominent man, a Roman citizen. A man feared by many. He could have stayed on that road and enjoyed the power and prestige. Instead Saul emerged with brand new direction that led him toward his destiny. He uncovered new paths. He discovered exactly who and what God knew he could be all along.

Perhaps you've felt that holy discontent lately. Maybe you are at your own crossroads.

What helped me the most was to ask the same question Saul did: "Who are you, lord?"

I looked at my time. I looked at my dreams. I looked at my relationship with the God who loves and knows me best. What had become lord in my life?

When I answered that question, I found renewed direction. I'm so grateful for a God that will stop me right where I am and show me the way.

Dear Father, thank You for loving us enough to stop us right where we are. I am grateful that You know us. You know what we can do, and You know our weaknesses. Thank You for leading us to an abundant and full existence through You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:

Do You Know Him?

Making It Real: Whose Faith Is It Anyway by T. Suzanne Eller

What Happens When Woman Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst

Visit Suzie's blog where she offers a giveaway of Making It Real: Whose Faith Is It Anyway and shares a devotion you can download to help you at the crossroads.

Application Steps:

If you feel the same nudge from God's Spirit Suzie did, stop and:

Ask: Ask for clarity.

Anticipate: When God speaks to us it is not to condemn, but to motivate. What does God see that you do not?

Act: Turn in the direction God is leading you.


According to Miriam Webster, a crossroads is a crucial point, especially where a decision must be made.

"Let a man set his heart only on doing the will of God and he is instantly free. No one can hinder him." - A.W. Tozer

"The beautiful thing about this adventure called faith is that we can count on Him never to lead us astray." - Charles Swindoll

Power Verses:

Acts 9:19b-21, "Saul stayed with the believers in Damascus for a few days. And immediately he began preaching about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, 'He is indeed the Son of God!' All who heard him were amazed." (NLT)


The Three-Headed Monster Rears His Ugly Heads BY: Sharon Jaynes

Monday, January 11, 2010

Today's Truth
2 Corinthians 3:4 (NIV) "Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God."

Friend To Friend
The three-headed monster of inferiority, insecurity and inadequacy can paralyze a Christian into inactivity and leave him or her sitting on the bench during the game of life … afraid to get into the game. God's desire is to destroy the monster with the truth and render him impotent in our lives. Satan's desire is to feed him with lies until he's big and strong. Who are we going to believe?

Believing who we are in Christ destroys feelings of inferiority. Believing where we are in Christ destroys feelings of insecurity. Believing what we have in Christ destroys feelings of inadequacy. What a transformation when a Christian believes the truth. She experiences a confidence makeover!

I do not want you to think I am always victorious and never struggle with the three-headed monster. He still rears his ugly head every now and then. Let me give you one example.

It was my first large speaking engagement to about 450 women about thirteen years ago. My topic was "Unshakable Confidence in Christ." Two weeks before I was to speak to the group, I attended a luncheon. Two ladies whom I did not know were sitting at my table, and they were talking about a speaker they had recently heard at the church where I would be speaking in a few weeks.

"He was the most powerful speaker I have ever heard," one said.

"I cried all the way through his testimony. Just to think, he had to live with the fact that his son was an arsonist. Oh how God has worked mightily in the family. The pastor was so moved, he asked him to speak at the Sunday night service. That is highly unusual. I don't think we will ever have a speaker that good again."

On and on they sang the praises of this mighty man of God. They used words like dynamic, powerful, electric, and eloquent. I never mentioned that I would be the speaker for their next meeting. At that point, I wasn't so sure I would be.

As I listened to the ladies, my throat constricted, the tea sandwiches clung to the roof of my mouth, and my heart pounded wildly. Then Satan, the gatekeeper for the three-headed monster, let him out.

"Who do you think you are, going to speak at this event? Listen to the caliber of people they bring in. This man came from all the way across the country. You are coming from just across town. What could you possibly have to say to help these women? If I were you, I'd bow out now before you embarrass yourself."

You know what? Even though I knew it was the enemy whispering in my ear, I started to believe him. After all, what he was saying made a lot more sense than the "Who I am in Christ" statements taped on my refrigerator door.

After the luncheon, I decided to go by the church and purchase a tape of the previous speaker, just to see what I was going to be compared to. I walked into the church, paid my $5.00, popped the tape in the console, and braced myself for the hour of power.

Nothing happened.

I fast-forwarded the tape.

Nothing happened.

I flipped the tape over.

Nothing happened.

The tape was blank.

At that moment, I did not hear the dynamic speaker on the tape, I heard God.

Sharon, you do not need to hear what my servant said to these people two weeks ago. The tape is blank because I do not want you to compare yourself to anyone else. It doesn't matter what he said. I will give you a message for these ladies. I can speak through a prophet, I can speak through a fisherman, and I can speak through a donkey.

I gave him a message and I have given you one as well. Who are you "performing" for, my child, them or Me? Do not compare yourself to anyone. You are my child and I am asking you to speak to an audience of One.

It was indeed an hour of power. I didn't bother getting my money back for the defective tape. It was exactly what I needed to hear.

So the next time Satan said to me, "Who do you think you are?" let me tell you what I said. "I am the light of the world. I am the salt of the earth. I am a child of God. I am the bride of Christ. I am a joint-heir with Christ. I have the power of the Holy Spirit. I have been delivered from the domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of Christ. I am chosen of God, holy and dearly loved."

Two weeks later I spoke with confidence, and God blessed us all.

Let's Pray
Dear God, I know that without You I am nothing but an empty vessel. However, because of You, I am filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and have been blessed with every spiritual blessing! I can be confident because of who I am as a child of the King. I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me!

In Jesus' Name,

Now It's Your Turn
When is the last time you had a case of the "I can'ts?

Where do you think those feelings of insecurity come from?

Do you believe that the power of God lives in you?

Do you think there is any incident in which God would say "I can't?"

I hope you answered no! Look up these two verses and write them down. Post them in a visible place and look at them every time your confidence begins to wane this week.

Luke 1:37

Genesis 18:14

If you are struggling with insecurity, I'd like to hear your thoughts on this devotion. Visit my Facebook page and let's chat.

More From The Girlfriends
If you ever struggle with feelings of inferiority, insecurity, or inadequacy, then you'll want to study Sharon Jaynes' book Experience the Ultimate Makeover. The message of this book will help you to see yourself as God sees you!


Hoarding What You Have BY: Wendy Pope

"I was afraid I would lose your money, so I hid it in the earth. Look, here is your money back." Matthew 25:25 (NLT)


Reality shows are the craze today. You can watch children with problems set on the straight and narrow by The World's Strictest Parents. If you are not happy with your spouse, you can Wife Swap for another spouse while millions watch. The world is also even now invited into the private moments of drug and alcohol interventions.

One of the newest reality shows to hit the airwaves is called Hoarders. People on this show have made a lifestyle out of holding on to what they have. In Hoarders, individuals come face to face with the reality of their problem through intervention and encouragement to clear out their stuff.

Our key verse comes from a story of three servants who were entrusted by their master with his money while he was away. The first two servants pleased their master by multiplying or showing growth of what they had been given. The third servant disappointed his master. He had hidden the money, keeping it safe but also keeping it from earning interest. In other words, he hoarded what his master had given him. Why did he hoard what he had been given?

Scripture gives us the answer. The servant was afraid. He was so consumed by his fear that he did nothing. He was afraid of messing up. He was paralyzed by the thought of doing something wrong or reflecting poorly on his master. In fear, he hid the money and then gave it back.

As I pondered the events of this story my mind drew a picture, a picture I did not like. In the picture I was bowing before my holy Lord, giving back exactly what He entrusted to me, nothing more. I questioned, Am I responding to my Master as this servant responded to his master? Have I fully used or am I fully using, even developing, the gifts and talents He has entrusted to me? Am I hiding what He gave me in fear of messing up?

What about you? How would you answer these questions? It is easy to think we are not good enough or that we are undeserving of God's gifts. Our negative thoughts take us captive, leading us to believe we would reflect poorly upon our Lord if we dared to multiply and grow what He has given us. Today's devotion is our intervention. Now is the time to clear out what we've been hoarding or hiding. Praise God our intervention is not dramatized in front of millions of people. We stand before an audience of One - the only One who matters.

Dear Lord, I apologize for hiding and hoarding anything tat You have given me. Help me be a good steward of everything You entrust to me. I want to be used to grow Your Kingdom. Supply the confidence I need to clean out my hiding places. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:

Shaped with a Purpose Workbook and companion CD by Renee Swope

Living Free In Christ CD by Wendy Pope

Visit Wendy's blog - Experiencing the Real Meaning of Free

The Gift Giver offers more encouragement on God's good gifts!

Application Steps:

In a quiet place, read Matthew 25:14-28.


How will I respond to my intervention?

Am I responding to my Master as this servant responded to his master?

Am I fully using, even developing, the gifts and talents God has entrusted to me?

Am I hiding what He gave me out of fear of messing up?

Power Verses:

Romans 12:6a, "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us." (NIV)

Colossians 3:23, "Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men…" (Amplified)


The Benner Family

The Benner Family

My Princesses!

My Princesses!

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