New Things to Come in a New Year


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Iron sharpens iron;
so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
Proverbs 27:17

Friends and mentors are such a blessing!

Have you ever met someone who made an impact on your life?

Do you have anyone in your life who has influenced you over the years?

One of the many blessings I received as a missionary kid was to travel and meet new people. Our family not only served on the Navajo Indian reservation for many years, but we also visited churches throughout the United States raising support for our missionary work. At other times our family would have to travel in order for my parents to attend meetings and classes as part of their missionary work. I met many people along the way of whom I have fond memories. Each state visited would bring about new experiences. Some of my favorite childhood stories come from our time on the road.

An unforeseen blessing of meeting so many new people was the chance to build lasting friendships. Often times we would meet people, spend a weekend in their home as we visited their church, and then move along to the next meeting. However, there were times when we would meet new people who would have such an impact on our lives that they almost became like family to us. Some of these people we have been blessed to stay in contact with over the years, even after leaving the mission field.

Today I want to introduce you to a man named Frank Martin. When my brother and I met him and his wife we were small children. They were introduced to us as Uncle Frank and Aunt Sharon. The honorary titles stuck and have carried on into our adulthood. Uncle Frank and Aunt Sharon have been great influences in our lives as missionaries and still are today. We were blessed to get to stay in contact with them after leaving the mission field. That blessing continues on today as we are able to keep in touch with them all these years later.MartinPhoto.jpg

I have asked Uncle Frank to join me on Encouragement for Every Day to share some of the wisdom God has given him over the years. As he began to share on social media the messages God gave to him, he titled them Frankly Speaking. I thought it fitting to keep the name as he shares here with us.

I am in the process of adding Uncle Frank’s biography to EFED’s page so you will be able to learn more about him and Aunt Sharon. I pray you will come back and visit with us as I begin to share Frankly Speaking with you. I look forward to all the blessings God has in store for us as we share in God’s word together and continue to sharpen each other.

I want to encourage you to be that friend that today’s Scripture talks about. Be the friend that adds to the lives of those around you. I believe that one of the greatest blessings we are ever given is the gift of Godly friends.

 

 

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Your Past Does not Define You


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“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
Isaiah 43:18-19

Do you ever reminisce? Do you like to sit with family or friends and talk about the way things used to be? Maybe you discuss experiences you have had or lessons you have learned?  Does your past ever trip you up? Maybe there are things that you would rather forget.

I would say I fall into both categories. I love to sit with family and listen to old stories being told. I enjoy the memories that go through my head as my brother and I reminisce about our younger years at home together. I laugh with my husband as we remember our dating years. Yet amid all the fun memories there are many I would rather not speak of. There are sections of my past which I am happy to leave right where they are. There are even some over which I still trip from time to time.

One of my favorite parts of a new year is the feeling of freshness that comes with it. For me it is like turning the page in a book and beginning a new chapter. Sure, you can go back and visit the previous pages if you would like, but oh the excitement that comes with the many blank pages that lie ahead, just waiting to be filled! The possibilities are endless.

Many times, however, the devil wants to steal that joy from us. Yes, he wants to hold us back, to bind us down. He reminds us of our mistakes. Often times he tortures us with our past. You see, satan has no hope. He was given a choice many, many years ago and he made it. His fate is sealed. Now he wants nothing more than to keep you down, to hold you back. Remember friend, the devil is the father of all lies. (John 8:44)

I want to encourage you today with these words. Your past does not define you. No matter what you have done, or what your past may hold, God loves you. He sent His Son in order that you may have a future. When you confess your sins and give it all to God, He makes all things new. He wipes your slate clean and gives you a fresh start. (Psalm 103:12) What better way to start a new year than with the realization that you are God’s child? The plans He has for you are amazing! (Jeremiah 29:11) Do not let your past failures hold you down any more. Do not allow the devil to fill your head with lies. Hold fast to Jesus and the promises that He has made you.

Will you commit with me right now to put the past behind? Can we lay down the weight of our past mistakes and boldly walk into the future that God has for us? My prayer for you today is that you will take hold of the hand of Jesus and allow Him to lead you to the things He has waiting for you in this new year. The possibilities are endless if we will let go and let God.

 

 

 

 

 

Looking Ahead to a New Year


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But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary;
and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

I learned a long time ago not to make New Year’s Resolutions. Do not misunderstand me. I have nothing against them. I have just learned that they do not work out for me.  Many times in the past I have started my year with a resolution to lose weight, eat healthier, or save more money only to bomb after the first couple of weeks. I was left feeling like a failure before my year even got started. I do not know about you, but that is not how I want to start a new year.

I have learned instead to take some time and sincerely pray about what God has for me in the new year. I center my prayer time around tuning into the areas in which God wants to grow me more. I also pray and ask God to show me the things on which He wants me to focus.

Earlier this year I ran across a quote that reminded me what my focus should be in the new year.

“If you look at the world,

You’ll be distressed.

If you look within,

You’ll be depressed.

If you look at God,

You’ll be at rest.”

~Corrie Ten Boom~

Even the most well thought out resolutions will mean nothing for us if we do not keep our eyes on Jesus and His plan for our lives. I pray as you prepare to start a new year that you will take some time and ask God what He has for you in 2017. You may be surprised at the direction in which He leads you.

Happy New Year, my friend. May God bless you in every area of your life.

Motivational Monday: A Change in Pace


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Therefore be ye also ready:
for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

Matthew 24:44

What if we could somehow know exactly when Jesus was coming back for His children?

Would that change your daily routine?

What preparations would you be making?

This week is bringing about a change in pace for our family. Stating today, we are making preparations, changing gears you might say.

School starts for us on Friday.

Every year, on the week of school starting back, we make the kids slowly get back in the routine of going to bed early, getting up early, and making preparations for a new school year.I have preparations to make myself. I make sure that my house is in order, that the cabinets are stocked with healthy foods for breakfast, snacks, and lunches. I make sure that I am prepared to get up, get my stuff done, and get out the door on time.

It never fails, however, that each year, when it comes time to prepare for school to start again, we are faced with the same questions from the kids: “Why do we have to go to bed early? Why do we have to get up early? Why do we have to make sure that all our school supplies are in our bags and ready for the first day of school?”

It is to make sure that we are ready. Changes are coming and I want us to be prepared. I do not want us to be caught off guard. We know the time is at hand, therefore, we make preparations for the changes.

We have the same responsibility when it comes to the return of Jesus.

We have preparations to make, and we have things to get in order.

The difference is this: We do not know when that time will be. That is why it is so important to make sure that we stay ready, that we keep an eye on the skies. The Bible tells us in 2 Peter 3:10 that Jesus will come as a thief in the night. Just as a thief would not announce his coming into your house, Jesus has not made the time of His return known to man. We simply must be prepared and ready to go in an instant.

Our family was coming home from Church last night and as we rounded a curve in the road, the trees thinned out and we could see the eastern sky. It was painted with blues and purples, all swirled together and the clouds were standing tall in a few different places among all the beautiful colors. As we drove, my husband and I began to talk about Jesus’ return, and I silently prayed, “Lord, will today be the day?” I began to think how amazing it will be, when that day arrives, to see Jesus split the eastern sky and come to take His children home.

Are you ready?

Have you made your preparations? There will be no time to make changes when Jesus comes back for His church. The time for preparation is now.

Are you keeping an eye on the eastern sky?

Jesus is coming back, and I believe that it will be soon.

I pray today that you are ready to go. I pray that you have made your preparations, that you have your house in order. If you do not, I pray that right now you will take the time to do this:  Accept Jesus as your Savior, ask Him to come in and dwell inside of you. Give your life to Him. With this done, you gain the assurance that when Jesus does return for His children that you will be ready.

If you have made preparations, if you do have your house in order and you are ready to go, Praise God! Let us keep working until He returns, but let us also keep an eye on the sky. I do not know about you, but I am ready to go.

I pray that you are as well.

God bless you today.