I'm amazed at how my Savior can take any and every circumstance around me to show me more about him. My prayer has always been that this journey of life I'm on would continually bring honor and glory to him, so by using every opportunity; my mistakes, my successes, and my day-to-day adventures, he teaches me how to use it for his glory. This life he blessed me with is ALL about him! So, these are my thoughts, my heart cries, and my lessons from his glorious Word. These are the teachable moments from my Savior!

Psalm 25:4-5 "Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."

Monday, November 10, 2014

~ Down a Country Road ~


I love living out in the country! Now I am, by no means, a country girl, but I do love the peace and serenity of living out here in the country. I can look out my front window and see a beautiful field that grows different crops each year. The first year in our home, the field across the street was growing cotton and it was spectacular to watch it go through the different stages. At dusk you can see the deer congregating in large groups and it is just a beautiful sight! You see for me it is win/win situation. Out here in the country I have the beauty and peace of nature and spacious landscape but in as little as two shakes of a lamb's tail (okay, so I am a little bit of a country girl, haha!), I can be right in the heart of the city shopping at Mayfaire orTarget or sipping my “cup of joy” at my favorite little coffee house, Starbucks! How perfect is that?
As I ride down these country roads, I pass a number of old homes that have been abandoned. Some of those homes have been demolished recently and some are probably next in line for it, but I can only imagine that at one time, those homes had life in them. When I pass I try to make up a story for that home based on its character. I know, this may sound crazy, but I can’t help but think that at one time real people lived there and that home had a story. I just think one up myself. I passed a particular home one day that really caught my attention. It was so adorable and had so much character that I’m sure it had beautiful memories. I could almost here the laughter of children and picture a big family kitchen table where lots of family dinners were shared. I even imagined that the front porch definitely saw it’s share of guests as people congregated there maybe swinging on a porch swing and sipping sweet iced tea on a warm summer night. I could see families gathered there as they sang old hymns and prayed together to give God glory! I just knew that home had such happy memories! What a warm cozy feeling I had as I let my imagination run wild!
As I got home that day, the Lord started pricking my heart about the homes I pass by everyday that do have life in them now. From the outside that home could look completely normal. Beautifully manicured yards, white picket fence, nice cars in the driveway, but what really goes on behind those doors? Behind those doors, there could be heartache, pain, and lost souls. Do those souls know the real joy of living? Do they know my Jesus? I found that as I rode by I was convicted to pray for those who live in those houses. So many times we see people that look “normal” on the outside but on the inside could be in real pain and in need of a Savior. Appearance can be deceiving and I began to pray that God would open my heart to be more sensitive to those I pass everyday.
We live in uncertain times. Jobs are scarce, money is tight, the world is a mess but my God is a God of hope, joy, comfort, provision, compassion, love, forgiveness, and on and on I could go! What I do know is that my God loves the hurting, the broken! He desires to see those lives come to know him and love him. In these uncertain times, the ONE thing we can be certain of is that God has our futures planned for us. It is a plan of hope and joy. One of my favorite passages of scripture is:
Jeremiah 29:11 “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.”
Oh, if only people would know that they have real hope! That hope is my LORD! We need to be the ones that tell them! We who have experienced this hope, this joy, this forgiveness, should be the ones who shout it from the rooftops that there is HOPE and his name is JESUS! Hallelujah!
From a drive down my country road the Lord showed me that those I pass by daily need this hope.
Sweet Heavenly Father, may I be the vessel that shares and prays for those in need of you. May the hope and love that I have experienced through your forgiveness be the light that touches souls and helps them see that hope is there for them as well. Lord, mold my heart and use my words as a testimony of your unfailing love! You are the breath I breathe and life is so much sweeter being filled with your Spirit!
Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. "
As you begin your week, stay open to the Holy Spirit’s leading of a home in need of him. As you pass those homes daily, be in prayer for the souls that abide there. What awesome power is in prayer!
Blessings~
Allison

Sunday, October 12, 2014

~ God-Comfort After a Turbulent Week ~


I love those special moments with my Jesus! Time to get away from the craziness of life and just bask in his presence. O, how He is welcomed to this weary soul after an exhausting week!

It was one of those weeks where challenge was at every corner, fires were popping up everywhere and Satan's fiery darts took great aim at the large target on my back. Thankfully God has given us direction to be armed and ready for battle!

God's Word tells us how to prepare for battle:

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."
Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV)

I praise God for His Word that brings comfort and guidance. When trials and difficulties arise, He is quick to remind me of scripture to cling to. My heart sings His praises because I know that no matter how turbulent the storm is, He comforts this child in the midst of the storm.

There is no doubt that we live in a fallen world and the evidence of that grows more apparent with each day. But, today, I choose to cling to the hope I have in Christ that "greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world" (1 John 4:4) and look expectantly for the glorious return of my Savior!

“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End."
Revelation 22:12-13 (NIV)

No matter what lies ahead, I will serve Him faithfully and trust His ways. In him I have hope! In Him I have peace! In Him I truly LIVE!

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NLT)

Month of Church Homecomings!


This seems to be the month of church homecomings! I love looking at everyone’s pictures as they celebrate the amazing work of God that takes place at each church. We celebrated ours at SHBC last week and this week we get the privilege to celebrate with my family at their church, Coastal Community Baptist Church. For four years God has faithfully carried them through a church plant right here in Wilmington and the ministry is growing by leaps and bounds! Souls are coming to know the Lord and they are seeing lives transformed by the gospel as they reach out in the Wilmington area. Hallelujah!

This morning, I get to join my family in celebration and praise to God for who HE is and listen as my brother preaches a sermon that God has laid on his heart. What an honor it is to encourage them in the work of God and worship alongside them!  I am so thankful for each and every church in our area that carries out the work of God in a nation that so desperately needs to see and hear the message of salvation and hope that can only come from Jesus Christ.

Have a blessed day in the Lord as you worship and praise HIM!

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Hebrews 10:24-25

Sunday, October 5, 2014

"Daddy"


O, how I love this time of year! At this moment, I'm sitting on my front porch, Bible on my lap, dog at my feet, cup of coffee nearby and cuddled up with two blankets! Lol! It was only 46 degrees this morning when I headed for my porch but it is absolutely perfect! Summers here are pretty dreadful with scorching heat and high humidity but the fall is beautiful. I'm not a beach girl. Though I love waking up to see a beautiful sunrise over the ocean or seeing the magnitude of God's creation at the sight of an ocean sunset, I don't enjoy days at the beach baking in the scorching sun, with buckets full of sand in every nook and cranny, surrounded by more skin than should be visible. It doesn't appeal to me. I know I'm in the minority on this living in a coastal town and most of you think I'm absolutely crazy...but, it's just not my thing! I have no problem with those who love it; it's just not for me. Lol!
I'm more at home in the mountains. It has always been that way for me. Every time we visit, my soul sighs sweet relief when that first view of the mountains comes in sight. I, along with my daughter, feel at home every time we visit the Virginia mountains. But God has me and my family here in this coastal town of NC and I will continue to bloom right where he plants me! There is work to be done for the kingdom here in this coastal town and I want to stay focused on God to guide me where he wants me to serve. It's all about HIM!
The other morning, I was sitting at the breakfast table with Caleb as he was reading his morning devotion. He stopped and looked at me and said, "Mom, did you know that another name for God is Abba? It means 'father' or 'daddy'. I shared with him that, yes, I knew that and how we have the comfort of our Father, our Abba, every day.
Entering this fall season, I have so many things on my heart. But I'm thankful that I can take them to my Father...my Abba...my Daddy. There are days when I just want to crawl up in his lap as I share my heart because I know he listens and always has the right answers. It's only when I'm honest and still before him that I can hear his voice so clearly though. When I share the deepest aches of my soul or the longings of my heart with my Daddy, I KNOW that he listens. He doesn't always lead me to what I want to happen but he leads me to what he desires for my life. When I immerse myself in his Word and come to him in utter abandon, I can discern his sweet voice so much clearer and trust his ways are better. Being in the center of his will is where I long to be. Trusting in myself can be dangerous because my wants can be put before my needs. But trusting in my Father, my Abba, is where my soul finds rest and full contentment. He is amazing God!
I don't know where you are today. You may have burdens on your heart or are seeking direction in this time of your life. My friend, crawl up in the lap of your Father, and trust him completely to guide you to where he wants you to be. There is no safer place than in the arms of Daddy!
And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”
Galatians 4:6-7 (NKJV)
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take."
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)

Saturday, September 27, 2014

~ My Three Blessings ~


This morning I'm sitting here cuddled up with a blanket, my Bible and a cup of coffee on my front porch. The cotton is growing across the street and the sun is shining so beautifully this morning that I just sit and praise God in his majesty. The song I sing this morning in praise is, "How Great Is Our God". No matter how hard my week has been, I can ALWAYS sing that song in truth!

I sip my coffee this morning out a special mug....my "mom" mug! It was a gift from my sweet Callie a couple of years ago and every time I drink from it, God reminds me what an incredible honor I've been given to mother the three most amazing children in the world!

Right now, so many things come to my heart that remind me of just how blessed I am by these children and it would take me hours to share it all. But after an emotionally draining week, these are some things that blessed this mom's heart:

Ben, waiting out for the package of medication while I was at work and sending me a picture to offer comfort. Then coming home to find he had washed all the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen. Callie, my teenage daughter, reaching over to hold my hand while we're driving down the road and sending me words of encouragement. Caleb's sweet hugs and finding me in the mornings asking me how I slept the night before.

Those three blessings right there....Ben...Callie...Caleb! I feel so unworthy sometimes that God allowed me to be their mother. I absolutely treasure every moment of them. Though not every moment is easy and pleasant (because parenting is hard), I treasure every second because God, in His divine providence, created those special miracles and entrusted me to be their mother. Wow! I will continue praising God for them and looking for His direction in guiding them through life.

So, right now, I will sit and rock some more on my front porch. I will sip my coffee and praise the One who blessed me with motherhood. I will enter my house in a little bit and hug my kiddos tightly and tell them again, just how much I love them! I will hug their dad tightly too because...well, he is my man and I always look for opportunities to hug on him! Lol! ;)

Enjoy your Saturday, dear friends, and remember to praise the One who gave you breath this morning. Then hug your children tightly and tell them how much you love them. If they aren't near you today, then call them and tell them. Don't take that privilege for granted!

"Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him."
Psalms 127:3 (NLT) 

Friday, September 26, 2014

~ Finding Strength In God Alone ~


"But David found strength in the Lord his God."
1  Samuel 30:6b

There will always be some characters in the Bible who's stories just touch your heart in special ways. David is one of those for me.  David's life was definitely not without its mistakes and failures but he was also a man that God himself describes as a man after his own heart.   His life is one that has a lot we can learn from.

David became king at such a young age and is known immediately for his great courage in slaying the giant, Goliath. I was reading the through 1 Samuel this morning about his leadership as the Amalekites took captive all the wives and children of him and his people. They reach the land of Ziklag only to find it completely destroyed and their families are gone. They are all greatly distressed and scripture even notes in chapter 30, verse 4 that "David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep."  So here is David, trying to lead his men and has found out that all their families, including his own have been taken captive. He is distraught, but he still has to lead. Then his own men begin talking about killing David because they were blaming him for this tragedy.  David, in his own sorrow and feelings of inadequacies, could have just fallen to their schemes and died, but instead in verse 6 we see why he was a man after God's own heart,

 "David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God."
1 Samuel 30:6

He didn't let those that took blame on him stand in the way of completing the work God had before him.  He found his strength in his God and was able to lead his people through events that could have only been orchestrated by God himself. God led him straight to the Amalekites, destroyed them, and recovered everything that had been taken from them (verses 17-20).  The whole story is amazing and deserves time for you to read on your own.  Absolutely incredible how when we find our strength in God, he will equip us to do the work ahead, no matter how overwhelming it may seem.

O, how I needed this today! Nothing is impossible for my God!

Today, when you are weary and facing troubles that seem insurmountable, don't try and go it alone. There will be obstacles at every turn and people there to place blame on you because of their own hurt and feelings of bitterness.  Follow in the example of David and find strength in your God. Look to God for direction and don't yield to the enemy's lies. You were never meant to go it alone. Let God guide you through and be victorious in the fight against the enemy!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

~ The Greatest Love Of All ~

In our house we have a rule....when dad gets home, mom gets the first hug! Our kids know that when dad pulls into the driveway each evening and everyone makes a beeline for the door, they just need to make a path because no one gets a hug from dad until he wraps his arms around his bride. The kids are so ingrained to this now, that if I don't hear Matt come in, they will come find me to hurry and go give him a hug so they can follow suit. Our kids know how much we love them, but they also know that our relationship comes first.  They understand the love we have for each other is a priority and so amazingly special!

I began to think of how we view our relationship with Christ. When we wake up in the morning, do we go to our Savior first before we start taking care of all the other responsibilities and people in our day or do we put other things as priority over him.  As important as all the other things may be, do we show our great Love just how special He is to us by embracing him first in our day? Does everything else around us fail in comparison to falling into the arms of our Love to begin our day? Wow! Just a sobering thought this morning!

"How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty!  My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God."
Psalm 84:1-2

I want my Jesus to have my first embrace in the morning. I want him to be the One that gets my attention before the responsibilities and activities of the day get in motion. He deserves to be praised and loved on.  After all, he put all things aside as He stretched out his arms and endured the pain and agony of death on a cross for ME. That, my dear friends, is true love. 

My kids find comfort and stability in seeing that their parents love each other so much. They appreciate our affection toward each other. Think about the people we encounter daily, our families, our coworkers, our friends, etc. Do they see the love we have toward our Jesus? Because spending time with him daily will make us fall so deeply in love that it will be hard to go unnoticed! An intimate relationship with Jesus Christ is like none other. Do others crave that kind of relationship with Him because of the life-changing affect is has had in our own lives. 

Wow! What a thought this morning! 

Oh sweet, precious Lord. The love I have for you is indescribable. Waking up every morning and sitting at your feet is the very best part of my day. Soaking in the truths of your love letter to me make me fall deeper and deeper in love with you! I can open my heart to you as you welcome me just as I am. Lord, help others to see just how amazing you are through my testimony. May I be a light that shines your greatness and glory to a world in darkness. Let them come to you, Lord, and partake in the greatest love relationship they will ever have! 
All my love, 
Allison