Category Archives: Parting Words from The WORD

Parting Words From The Word…Following His Lead When I Don’t Want To

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

I don’t know why I don’t always follow His lead. I don’t know why I dare to question, or ignore, or put off responding. After all, I’ve experienced a lot of years walking with the Lord, some more closely than others.

But it wasn’t until recently that I realized I can look back on my many years and see that some of my most life-changing, spiritual-growth events came as a result of things I didn’t want to do.

For instance, way back in 1997, I didn’t want to share my marriage testimony with the women of my church. These women saw me as an upstanding Christian woman who had a long, happy marriage and who loved their kids. They didn’t know about how I had bulldozed my way through the first 15 years of my marriage. They hadn’t seen the dangerous repercussions of that experience. They didn’t know that event had propelled me to submit to the Father and seek to change who I was.

They didn’t know . . . and I liked it that way.

When God told me in 1997 that I had to share that experience with my church friends, I was quick to let Him know exactly what I thought about His great idea. It was a plain and simple “No way!”

I won’t go through all the gory details, but I’ll just say that His details were miraculous, parting-of-the-sea, a line-in-the-sand moment I couldn’t ignore. And I will say God took me kicking and screaming into women’s ministry through that experience. My life has never been the same. (If you’re interested, you can read about those details here and here.)

So, what if I had never obeyed, albeit defiantly? What if I had stuck to my guns, kept my secret, and never come clean? I don’t know that the world would be that much different, but I sure would be. I would have missed out on close to 20 years of serving Him as a Christian speaker.

I would have missed out on a lot.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

What about you? Are you hearing His voice, but saying no? Are you standing your ground, defying His plan for your life?

You could be missing out on a lot.

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…This Is The Way, Walk In It

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

 

I don’t know about you, but I used to love to make things happen. I thought of myself as a mover and shaker. I’d get an idea, figure out a way to do it, and then fill with pride at my ability. If I set my mind to it, I was sure I could make it happen!

But as I’ve gotten older (and hopefully wiser!), I’ve discovered that’s not the best way to live life. Believe me, that’s not to say I never fall back into my old habits, but I am confident in this one thing:

I’m no longer confident in my ability or my wisdom in trying to make things happen. It’s a lose-lose situation.

As my hair gets grayer and thinner and my skin gets wrinklier and droopier, my heart gets calmer and more satisfied that God’s got it all under control.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21 (NIV)

Oh, that you and I will hear His voice . . . and then walk in it.

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…Just Follow Jesus and Life Will Be Easy, Right?

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

This year I’m using a new book for part of my quiet time with the Lord. The Imitation of Christ, by Thomas A` Kempis; Classic Devotions in Today’s Language, compiled and edited by James N. Watkins is shedding new light on what it means to follow Christ, to be His disciple.

Kempis on Suffering: “Jesus has many lovers of his heavenly kingdom but few bearers of his cross. He has many seekers of comfort but few willing to face trouble and trial. He finds many companions at his table but few with him in fasting. Many desire to rejoice with him, but few are willing to undergo adversity for his sake.”

God’s Word: Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

My Revelation: There have been times in my life when I’ve been teased, insulted, and made to feel like a child for being a believer and follower of Christ. But I realize now I have no idea what true suffering for Christ, taking up His cross, really means.

~~

Kempis on Peace: “When you have no desire for outward things, only then you will enjoy internal peace.”

God’s Word: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

My revelation: How many times have I thought I would have peace, not worry, be happy…if only my circumstances were different?

~~

Kempis on Shining His Light: “Some have much of me on their lips, but little of me in their hearts.”

God’s Word: “…let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

My Revelation: How many times have I done good works–good deeds–so that others would see me?

Yes, we’re followers of Christ. We love the Lord and thank Him for His sacrifice and grace. But are we–am I–giving Him my all?

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39 NIV

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…Does the Bible Say What You Think It Says?

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Do we know what we think we know about the Bible?

Please understand I’m not saying that we need to know everything there is to know about the Bible–none of us will ever be able to do that!

But I am saying we need to be sure that what we’re saying is in the Bible really is in the Bible. Before we write or speak words of encouragement, admonition, or explanation and state something as fact, we need to make sure it is indeed that: A fact.

We can’t depend on what we’ve been told.

A few years ago, I wrote a blog post, Christmas Chaos? Check Out Mary’s First Christmas. In that piece, I addressed a couple of misconceptions that were cleared up the first time I really studied the scripture regarding Jesus’ birth instead of depending on what I’d been told.

  • Remember when the angel appeared to Mary and she was greatly troubled? I had always thought she was troubled because the angel told her she was going to have a baby. But the Bible tells us she was troubled because an angel had appeared to her. She hadn’t been told the good news yet.
  • Remember in Luke 2 where it talks about Mary pondering all those things in her heart? I had always thought she was pondering the Wise Men’s visit and all that entailed, but in reality, it was the shepherd’s visit that she tucked away and treasured.
  • And after that post ran, my friend Edie Melson pointed out another frequent misconception I had never noticed: The angels SAY “Glory to God in the highest,” they don’t sing it.

But Jesus’ birth isn’t the only thing I’ve been confused about through the years.

  • I had always envisioned Adam off playing with the elephants or something when Eve was enticed and seduced by the serpent. But the Bible says, “She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” That definitely puts a new light on the subject.
  • Until I actually studied the Word I thought becoming a submissive wife meant I would have to become a doormat. But God’s Word is overwhelmingly clear that submission has nothing to do with a doormat! And if you need to find out more about that, just look at the word “head” in Ephesians 5 and 1 Corinthians 11. God is head over Christ and man is head over woman. The word head is the same Greek word in both instances. Is Christ a doormat to God? I don’t think so.
  • And did you know:
    • Eli didn’t tell Hannah she would have a son?
    • Job wasn’t patient?
    • The Holy Spirit Himself thwarted Paul’s missionary journey plans?

    The truth is, the Bible is Truth. But our tradition or recollection of it can be innocently misguided. Before we share the Bible as Christian writers and speakers, we must be sure that we check our instruction and our interpretation against the Truth within His Word. After all, His Word is the only one that matters.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your heart,

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…I Thank God for You

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

As 2016 begins, I’m reminded again how blessed I am that you’ve joined me on this journey. My first Christian Writer’s Den blog post was January 15, 2008 and I had no idea if anyone would even be interested in what I had to say.

But here we are, eight years later, and we’re still gathering week after week. Thank you.

During these years, we’ve shared over 1000 writing opportunities, seen hundreds of readers get published, celebrated our successes together, and prayed for each other. We’ve learned from published authors and won their books. And in the past several years, Christian Writers Den readers have written well over a million words on their own books in the MoGo7000 Challenge…and somebody’s gonna winl $100 next week! In the year 2011, ChristianCommunicators.com was born to help women develop or expand their speaking ministries.

And, of course, we’ve talked about writing. I’m thankful we have each other on this crazy, wonderful, scary, frustrating, satisfying, God-appointed journey.

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the
day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:3-6 (NIV)

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts in 2016.

Vonda

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Parting Words From the Word…Trust His Plan

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

Laughing Jesus by Robert Wilson, Sr.

 

How do you feel as we begin the first week of 2016? Did you accomplish what you had hoped last year? Maybe you’re like me and you can see progress, but also see the things that didn’t get done.

So what do we do now? As for me, I think I’ll simply toss anything that whispers of failure and rest in Him and His great mercy.

And then trust His plan for my life…again.

…let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1

I pray God’s blessing on the work of your hands and your hearts,

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…Jesus is Born!

Christmas gifts FDP Feel Art

As we celebrate the Gift of Christmas today, let’s remember Him as

…the Son

…the Sacrifice

…the Resurrected Savior

…the Almighty God.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  John 3:16

I pray God’s richest blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver.

Vonda

(Image courtesy of FeelArt/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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Parting Words From The WORD…Happy Birthday, Jesus

Baby footI’ve heard and read many messages the past few weeks about Mary’s pondering. I even wrote one piece on it myself.

Before I studied the Bible for myself, I thought Mary had pondered the visit and the gifts of the Magi. Then I discovered the Wise Men didn’t even visit the manger!

Now that I’m a mother and grandmother, I personally know about pondering as I held those precious babies in my arms. What would they look like? What would they become? Of course, Mary had a little more insight than we do as new mothers. After all, an angel came to her and told her she would be the mother of the Christ-child.

But as she pondered that dark and chilly night, did she really understand that her baby would change the world? Did she understand that 2000 years later, we’d still be celebrating His birth?

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch precious little 4-year-old Avery Winter as she sings Happy Birthday to our Savior. Believe me, you’ve never seen it performed like this!

YouTube Preview Image

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  Luke 2:19

Happy birthday, Jesus…

Vonda

(Photo courtesy of ChristianPhotos.net)

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Parting Words From The WORD…A Baby Changed Everything

During the Christmas season, it has become my Christian Writer’s Den tradition to post this beautiful video and the life-giving words it proclaims. I’ve done it now for several years, and each time I hear it, I still get chills and my eyes fill with tears.

When Jesus was born, everything was changed.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch the beautiful images from the film, The Nativity, and listen to the words of this powerful song sung by Faith Hill.

YouTube Preview Image

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:11-14 (KJV)

During this blessed Christmas season, I’m especially thankful a Baby changed everything for me. And He wants to change everything for you, too.

I was lost but now I’m found! Hallelujah!

Christmas blessings as we celebrate the Gift and the Giver,

Vonda

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Parting Words From The WORD…I’m Thankful for What I Haven’t, by Nancy Lohr

Pumpkins Cornucopia PixabayDuring this season of thanks, many of us focus on the bountiful blessings God pours out on us all year long. Let’s face it, most of us are blessed here in America. I know my family and I are. And we try to remember to thank the Lord for all He’s given us.

But what about the things we DON’T have? Do we remember to thank Him for those?

This post, written by Nancy Lohr on the Just18Summers.com website, offers powerful insight. I hope you’ll click on this link and read Nancy’s words–a new take on Thanksgiving blessings:

Click here for Thankful for What I Haven’t, by Nancy Lohr.

But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
Psalm 3:3 (NIV)

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,

Vonda

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