Monday, August 20, 2018

Two Words That Change Everything~

One night,
while I was getting ready for bed,
I tuned in to my favorite Christian radio station.
A woman was sharing a story
of God’s faithfulness.

I listened as she told of
God’s miraculous intervention
in her life during a time
when all looked hopeless.
As she recounted God’s goodness
and told of the supernatural way
He had worked in behalf
of her and her children,
she very casually spoke
two words.

Two small words,
and yet this phrase
completely captured my attention,
transforming my thinking
and ultimately,
my faith in God.

I don’t know how
her story ended.

As I tried to truly grasp
the implications
of these two words,
my mind became totally consumed
with this new knowledge
God was imparting to me
through her testimony.

I kept repeating the phrase
over and over,
out loud,
and each time the words
penetrated my ears,
the truth behind them
penetrated my heart.

I suddenly found myself
strengthened in my inner most being.

I literally felt the touch of God
on my heart.

I knew,
at that very moment,
my relationship with the Lord
had entered a deeper, more intimate, faith-filled level.

How could two small words
make such a radical difference
in my life?

Simple.

These two words change everything!
Most likely, they will change you, too!

But God.

But God.

Say it aloud
and let the truth and reality
of these words
penetrate your own heart.

But God.

No matter what is going on in your life,
or what you may be going through,
know and remember that
all things must surrender
to the power and authority
of our God.

Right now,
at this very moment,
stop and think about
what you are struggling with today.

Whatever it may be,
I guarantee it is
no match for our God.
The Bible is living proof of that!

The Israelites had Pharaoh’s army
breathing down their neck
and the Red Sea in front of them, BUT GOD…..

David had only a little bitty sling shot
with which to slay
a giant of a man named Goliath, BUT GOD…

Daniel was served as the main course
to a den of lions
known for their ferocious appetites, BUT GOD…

A widow was out of time and out of money,
with only a houseful of empty containers
she had collected from her neighbors, BUT GOD…

Jonah was sinking in his sin of rebellion
and headed for the bottom of the ocean, BUT GOD…

Jesus was crucified, dead, and buried, BUT GOD…

Time and time again,
when all looked hopeless
and those in the midst of the situation
felt most helpless,
God showed up
and did the seemingly impossible.

Does your situation appear hopeless?
Are you feeling helpless?
Take heart.
God is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Instead of ending
the circumstances of your life
with a period,
replace the finality of your thinking
with a comma of hope,
followed by your
declaration of faith!

Boldly look your situation
in the face
and speak the only two words
that are able to
breathe life into your faith
and power into your life.

I am (fill in the blank), BUT GOD…

I don’t see how I can (fill in the blank), BUT GOD…

I don’t have (fill in the blank), BUT GOD…

I am scared that (fill in the blank), BUT GOD…

So, what are you waiting for?
Go ahead!
Let God write
the ending of your story.

If you do,
I have no doubt
He will finish all things
that pertain to you
with a true exclamation
of His glory and His marvelous grace!



~Stacy


(Note: This first appeared on Heartprints of God on June 24, 2009. It was later published in the July 2010 edition of P31 Woman, a magazine published by Proverbs 31 Ministries.)


Sunday, August 12, 2018

Just Follow Jesus~



Some of you may recognize this photo.

It is the cover of my new book, IF ONLY I COULD.

It is also the exact spot
where my husband and I were married.

It's precious, indeed.

Each year on our anniversary,
we always returned to this spot
and renewed our vows
to each other
and to the Lord.

The last two years,
I've returned to this spot alone.

Last year,
I went to thank God -
on behalf of my man and myself -
for seeing us through our vows
until "death do you part".
Any one married knows
it is only by God's grace
that this is even possible.

This year,
last Tuesday as a matter of fact,
I returned again.

Knowing this book
was on the horizon,
knowing God
was doing a new thing,
I prayed for
unwavering faith and Godly courage
to walk this new walk,
now as a "me"
instead of a "we".

And while I still don't know
where I'm headed
or in which direction
I'm going,
I'm ok with that.

All I need to do
is follow Jesus.
If I do that,
I will be right where
I need to be.

It's the same for you.

Just follow Jesus.

Always and in all ways.~

For information about my book (which at the time of this post is ranked #1 in NEW releases in  "Christian Death and Grief" - thank you, Jesus!) or to purchase a copy - simply follow this link. 
Knowing many of you live outside of the United States, "If Only I Could" ,
is also available for purchase on Amazon's Europeans websites
including Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de. Amazon.fr, Amazon.it, and Amazon.es.


IF ONLY I COULD



Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Becoming One Again~

“You know what it is?”
I ask out loud to a living room of one.
“It’s the whole 'two are better than one' principle.
That’s exactly what it is.”

(And, admittedly,
talking out loud to myself,
is part of what it is, too.)

Two are better than one, 
because they have a good return for their labor: 
If either of them falls down, 
one can help the other up. 
But pity anyone who falls 
and has no one to help them up. 
Also, if two lie down together, 
they will keep warm. 
But how can one keep warm alone? 
Though one may be overpowered, 
two can defend themselves. 
~Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

One too many ice cream shakes.

Far too many sleepless nights.

Harder falls with even harder pick-me-back-ups.

Too much taking myself seriously
and not enough of you
to put my eyes back on God.

“Yes, this is what it is, Handsome.”

Marriage isn’t easy,
make no mistake about that.

Two lives,
two minds,
two hearts,
two dreams,
two opinions,
two “know it alls”
trying to mesh into one.

No wonder marriage is for life –
without a doubt,
it takes a lifetime
for the “two to become one”.

It takes a whole lot of dancing
to learn the steps
and to finally enjoy
waltzing through life.

But, what happens
when death cuts in
(unwelcome, uninvited, unplanned)
and leaves you dancing
on the dance floor
alone?

What happens
when one of the two
who have become one,
is now
one again?

Yes, two people becoming one flesh is hard.

The only thing harder:
Becoming one again
after having been joined as two.

Yes, I have family.
And, yes, I have friends.
And, yes, Handsome –
everyone has gone above and beyond
to encourage,
to comfort,
to support,
to be there for me.

But the thing is this:
No one knows me like you do.

No one understands my hopes
and is aware of my fears.

No one can predict
how I will react
before I react.

No one can hear
what my eyes
are saying.

No one can
talk me down,
talk me up,
balance me out
and keep me grounded
like you.

No one knows our history.

No one can sight
a leading of God in the past
to encourage me
to step out into the future.

No one can quote a scripture
with a memory
connected to it.

No one can
rekindle my faith,
reboot my courage,
re-ignite my passion
like you.

Except God.

And, of course,
God is always the exception
who is exceptional
at all of this and so much more.

But, I miss
the second best part of me, –
the part that was second best
to the best part of me,
God.

I miss my dancing partner.

I miss your words
and your humor.

I miss your look
and your hand in mine.

I miss your zeal
and your enthusiasm.

I miss your honesty
and your spontaneity.

I miss your hugs
and you wrapping me
in prayer each morning
and each night.

“The hardest part for me
was feeling like part of me
was missing.
Because, it was.”

My mom told me these words
a couple of days
after you were gone.

Kneeling on the floor in the hallway,
outside the bathroom door
where you took your last breath,
sobbing uncontrollably
and wanting nothing more
than you back,
she –
having walked this walk before me –
walked over to me
and said those words.

A couple of months later,
one night while talking with her
on the phone,
she said them again.

No wonder I feel so lost.

No wonder I feel so empty.

No wonder I feel so “not like me” anymore.

“Yes, that’s what it is”
I say out loud
to a living room of one.
“It’s the whole 'two are better than one' principle.
That’s exactly what it is.”

While the missing you is hard,
and while the trying
to become one “me” again
after years of becoming one “us”
is pulling me apart,
I lift my hands to Heaven
and thank God
for the better
I had with you.

A beautiful better.

A better beyond
what I could have ever
hoped better to be.

A better
I would choose to do with you
over and over and over again,
if only I could.

If only I could . . .



( August 7, today, our anniversary
and this - another excerpt from my book,
“If Only I Could”, releasing soon. )