Tag Archives: God’s Word

“Trust Me” -God

Trust.  It’s hard to earn and easy to lose. Who do you consider to be truly trustworthy? In our fast-paced world, dominated by social media, it’s easy to create a friendly facade.  How much harder to maintain trust.

The Bible talks a lot about trusting God.  Our relationship with Him is based on trust.  So if we struggle with trust, we probably struggle with God.  That’s nothing new.  People have struggled with trusting God since those fateful days in Eden.

I remember several years ago when I had one of those “mother moments.”  It all boiled down to this: I was having a hard time trusting God with one of my children.  Ever been there?  I was letting my imagination run wild with “what if'” scenarios.  I carried the anxiety to bed with me.  I was still worrying in my sleep, when an audible voice whispered these words: “I can be trusted.”  First person, singular.  “Who was THAT?” I wondered, now half-awake. Continue reading


Our Source of Strength-Day 11

Sometimes the journey to find strength is an uphill climb.  Especially when our hopes keep getting dashed, and we begin to wonder if this desire of our heart is truly from God.  My friend Bethany Kortekaas has watched God do amazing things to restore her strength in difficult places–especially during her hard fought hope of holding a baby in her arms.  Bethany has shared some of the heartaches and joys of her journey.  I believe you’ll be strengthened by her beautiful story of Resurrection Hope on this Easter Sunday!

GUEST BLOG:  Bethany Kortekaas

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1). 

“I would love to see Baby K grow into a young and beautiful version of the wonderful people that you and Adam are. We will be seeing you in just a couple of weeks now!” These were the words of the young lady who is giving us the gift of our baby girl.

Strength from the Lord comes in all kinds of vessels. There are no words to describe how I feel about this young mother who is willing to walk the hard road of a full-term unexpected pregnancy. In a time when everyone points to easy solutions, she was determined to bless us with this child regardless of what that meant for her.

See, strength is more than just muscles and a work ethic. Strength is the courage to stand when you want to hide. It is the willingness to walk when the way is not clear. It cannot be measured by outward appearance nor reserved for the privileged. It is turning everyday to something more than what is visible to others.

Adam and I have uncovered this strength in our path to parenthood. God provides Himself as a source of strength to each person. If you are willing to admit that you need it, He is willing to provide it. How do you cope with being single longer than you hoped to be? How do you respond to yet another round of infertility treatments? What do you do once you discover you have a brain tumor? Where do you turn when your adopted embryos die? When you miraculously get pregnant and then miscarry? Do you say yes to adopting a baby?

How do you keep praying, keep thanking God, and keep hoping? Our strength to answer these questions has come from God. He is the almighty, powerful Creator of all we know and the only trustworthy source of strength that can never run dry.

Our family has tapped into God’s strength through three main ways: reading the Bible, prayer, and community:

  1. There is a deep comfort when you pick up your Bible and read Jesus’ words in John 16:33, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” We read our Bible for encouragement, insight, and to learn more about our Father who loves us and wants the best for us even in the pain. The Bible reveals that there is more to our story than what we can see right now.
  2. Prayer is direct access to God. Because of Jesus, we have the freedom to talk openly with the One who created starfish, Jupiter, and all the synapses firing in our brains. In prayer is where we acknowledge that the world is outside of our control and we need more strength than we can muster up for ourselves. It is safe for me to cry, question, feel, and hope as I pray. Prayer is where we respond in relationship with a God who can provide strength in the waiting and in the wonder.
  3. God created community. He made it clear that it is not good for man to be alone and He reinforced this by how He instructed the people of Israel to work, worship, and celebrate together. Without our friends, family, and the community of believers around the world, we would be lost in this journey.

We have seen others adopt embryos because of our story. We have heard how God provided financially in other adoptions. We have felt overwhelmed by the love at our baby showers. We have even been strengthened by the very words of our future daughter’s birth mom.

God has given us vessels of His strength through promises like Psalm 46:1, through prayer, and through the give and take of community. By His strength, we can walk forward in confident hope toward our next adventure.


Strengthened by God’s Word-Day 10

Welcome to 21 Days of Strength!  We’re at just about the half-way mark.  I don’t know about you, but I’m always looking for words of wisdom on how to “do life” in Christ.  How to gain new strength for the journey ahead. My friend Donna always has just the perfect word of encouragement.  Hope you’ll be strengthened by her practical and powerful tips.

GUEST BLOG:  Donna Elyea

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making t bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:10-11).

Recently I had an emotionally straining week as I encountered some hard and new-to-me challenges. On one beautiful afternoon I realized I just needed to get out in the sunshine for some physical exercise and to clear my mind of discouraging thoughts. A friend had just commented that “nature is God’s best missionary.” I experienced the truth of that statement as I set out for a walk with hints of Spring showing themselves all around me.

 As I walked, I felt God restoring me and one specific Scripture came to my mind. I began to rhythmically recite it over and over again as I strode along, “Greater is He who is living in me than he who is in the world.” I drilled this thought into my spirit as my mind was renewed with every step. I think I recited that verse for at least a mile and a half of my walk that afternoon until it had become part of me.

 I returned home feeling rejuvenated by hope and stronger in both mind and body. I needed God’s Word to wash over me and, as it did, I felt cleansed of troubled thoughts, refreshed, and encouraged by His Holy Spirit speaking this verse into me.

 Isaiah 55: 11 tells us that God’s word will accomplish His purposes. I certainly love the way God has used His Word to wash over me, renew my mind, and thus strengthen me from the inside out!


Health Food for Your Soul-Day 9

Where do you find strength when you feel weak? When your hopes grow dim? King David faced a traumatic crisis—his village was plundered and all the wives and children taken captive. The Bible tells us he “strengthened himself in the Lord.” God filled him with strength and empowered David and his men to recapture all that had been stolen(1 Samuel 30).

So glad you’ve dropped by for 21 Days of Strength. I hope you’ll find a word or a suggestion that encourages your heart and helps you grow strong.

I asked several friends for practical tips on how they strengthen themselves in the Lord. All agreed on the importance God’s Word as a means of encouragement.

But their answers for what this looked like were as varied as their personalities. As on friend put it, “I like to read and meditate on God’s Word. But with my creative and artistic side, I find it helps to actually draw the verses. Sometimes I embellish them with designs and colors. I meditate on the words of Scripture as I do this.”

Another has a more musical bent. Listening to worship music feeds her soul. After all, many worship songs are simply the words of Scripture put to melody. One young man prefers to hear the Word of God through preaching. Still another friend feels especially close to God through nature. So she likes to meditate on a special promise from Scripture as she walks outside. You get the point. God has wired each of us in a unique fashion—so it helps to experiment to learn how best to nourish our soul.

My friends all stressed that encouragement from other believers is vital. One confessed that sometimes he tries to find strength on his own. “Finally, after going around in my head, I realize I need to get perspective from somebody else,” he admitted. “And after a few minutes of talking things over with a friend, I realize that this was what I needed all along.” The Christian life, we agreed, is not to be travelled alone.

Each has discovered that giving hope to someone else who is hurting brings strength. One friend sends encouraging notes to those whom God puts on her heart–she’s done this for years.   Writing notes, she admits, always lifts her own spirits.  I’ve personally been on the receiving end of some of her beautiful words of encouragement.

God’s economy is upside down. We give life away, only to get it back in return. We grow strong as we pour out our strength to others. I’ve discovered that encouraging the broken hearted brings strength and even healing—both emotional and physical. So Isaiah 58:10 has become one of my life’s verses: “If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday” (Isaiah 58:10 NIV).

How about you? What brings strength and healing, to your soul?


Doing Hard Things-Day 5

Welcome to 21 Days of Strength.  Let’s continue to explore practical ways to grow strong in the Lord. We saw how King David strengthened himself in the Lord after a devastating attack by the Amalekites. David first got alone and “strengthened himself in the Lord.  He sought God’s wisdom.  Then he courageously obeyed God’s instructions.

The brave warrior gathered his men and set out to attack the Amalekites–with God’s assurance of victory.  And sure enough, David brought back all the women and children that had been captured, as well as all the property.  He had experienced God’s power in battle before, so he was certain God could be trusted again. Click here to read how David’s obedience resulted in a thrilling victory.

In both Hebrew and Greek, the original Bible languages, the words for listen and obey are virtually the same. So hearing God implies that I will obey His marching orders.  If I want to grow strong in the Lord, it’s vital that I learn to both hear and obey.

But sometimes, God asks us to do hard things. What about you? Do you change your life to conform to God’s  Word?  Or do you look the other way–as I’ve been known to do.  Especially when He asks me to do something that calls for courage and self-sacrifice. Or prompts me to forgive someone who has hurt me.  Or give up my rights. Ouch!

Remember, we have an advantage over David when it comes to hearing God. For one thing, as believers in Christ, we have the gift of His Holy Spirit who dwells in us.  So we have access to God’s voice in a much more intimate way.  And second, we have the entire Bible available to us. Imagine how David would have felt if he had the whole Bible in his hands—complete with his own book of Psalms!

We must give God time to speak to us. A few minutes each day to read and reflect on God’s promises–letting them sink down deep–are nourishment to our soul.  God’s Word sharpens our inner hearing of God’s voice.   Jesus said believers will recognize His voice. “My sheep listen to my voice. I know them and they follow me” (John 10:27).

Has God ever asked you to do a hard thing? Did you say yes? How did obedience to God’s Word help you grow stronger? Perhaps He is asking you to do a hard thing today.