image Have you ever placed your trust in the wrong person or the wrong thing?  Have you ever been let down by someone or something?  I think we all have.  I'm pretty sure that at one time or another we have all experienced the pain of broken trust. I know I have.  Even as a child, I learned the risk that comes with putting your trust in people.  I came from a divorced home and I would often sit, dressed and with an overnight bag in hand, waiting for my Daddy to come and pick me up.  Sometimes I'd wait for hours.  It was a hard lesson that taught me that sometimes people will let you down.  They often do not intend to.  My Daddy never really meant to cause hurt.  People are broken and flawed and sometimes react out of hurt or to protect themselves.  Sometimes, even with the best intentions and with love in their hearts, they fail you.  As Christains, we are called to forgive and to continue to act in love regardless. We've all had friends that have failed us.  Maybe a confidence has been breached.  Maybe you've been betrayed.  Even the truest friend isn't infallible.  People simply can't be perfect.  We understand that basic fact of human nature and we forgive and move forward in love. Maybe it's a spouse that has broken your trust.  Marriage is hard, friends.  When two flawed people come together, there is bound to be some difficulties.  Even the strongest and most loving marriages have experienced some level of hurt. I adore my husband.  He is one of the best men I've ever met. He is so kind and caring and compassionate.  He is so forgiving and so loving.  He is generous beyond belief.  However, our marriage has been littered with issues that involve hurt or broken trusts.  Every marriage is to one degree or another.  We've both made mistakes and we have both caused hurt.  Regardless, of the challenges that we faced, we embrace our Christian duty to forgive, to be united, and to daily walk forward in love. Just maybe, it is your own self that you don't trust.  There may be some thing that you are struggling with that has caused you to be the one who breaks trusts or causes hurt.  Hurting people sometimes hurt people.  It's often unintentional.  I know I've been guilty of this.  I know that I've acted out of pain in a way that has caused hurt to people that I love.  But I also know that God can forgive, redeem, and restore. Here is where all of this gloom and doom takes a beautiful turn for the better.  People will fail us.  We will even fail ourselves.   It is a given.  We are sinful people in this flesh.  However, that doesn't mean that we should ever become hard hearted.  We should never allow bitterness or unforgiveness to take root in our hearts or in our relationships.  We should always seek forgiveness, restoration, and love. Our hope doesn't lie in people.  Our hope lies in a God who is powerful enough to walk us through any hurt or broken trust that we may face.  He is who we look to.  We know people will fail us, but we know that God never will. Psalm 62:8 "Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge." If you are in that place where your trust has been broken or your heart is hurting, look to the one who takes brokenness and makes it beautiful.  Pour our your heart to him.  Let Him be your refuge.  He has the power to forgive.  He gives the power to forgive.  He has the power to redeem and restore.  He has the power to change hearts and minds.  He specializes in taking situations and people that seem too far gone, and turning them in to a beacon of hope.  He is trust worthy. He does that in each and every one of us when we trust in him for salvation.  He promises that if we call out to him in our brokenness, ask him for forgivenness, repent, believe in Jesus, trust in His name, and follow him; he will save us from death and hell.  If He has the power to save our souls, He has the power to redeem any situation or relationship here on earth. He is worthy of trust.  He is strong and mighty.  He is good.  He is forgiving and loving.  He is merciful and full of grace.  He is the God who redeems and restores.  He takes our brokenness and makes it beautiful. And He desperately wants you to trust in Him.  First, He wants you to trust in Him for salvation.  After that, He wants you to realize that you can trust Him to redeem and restore other areas in your life as well.  He wants to heal broken hearts and broken relationships and broken people. The verses leading up to Psalm 62:8 are a beautiful example of why we can trust him.  As you read these verses, meditate on them.  Remember His saving power.  Think about the fact that He is the only rest for our troubled souls.  Trust Him to redeem and restore.  Turn all of that brokenness over to Him.  Trust in Him to make it beautiful. Psalm 62:5-8 Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Love and blessings, Bobbie
image My favorite book of the Bible is Esther.  I love the drama.  I love the story.  At the risk of sounding trite, Esther is a fantastic script with a twisting and turning plot, rich characters, deceit, love, betrayal, an underdog overcoming great odds, and a beautiful story of grace and mercy.  It's a script that could only be written and directed by our mighty God, and produced in real life through his awesome power. I love this biography of a young orphan girl, raised by her cousin, suddenly thrust into the palace with the chance to be a queen.  She must hide her identity because her people are looked down on.  She finds favor with everyone, including the king, and is made queen.  In the mean time,  her uncle saves the king's life by uncovering a conspiracy to murder him.  Simultaneously, the King's main advisor is planning genocide for the queen's people but he doesn't even know the queen is one of them.  It's scandalous and the intensity is palpable! In the face of her death and the death of her entire race, Queen Esther is warned by her cousin that she has two options.  She can choose to stand by, try to protect herself, say nothing, and allow her faithful God to send another deliverer for the Jews.  Or, she can rise to the occasion, and risk her own life for the chance to save her people.  It's a nail biter! All this intensity leads up to one of my favorite verses in the whole Bible.  I'm a sucker for a good plot, and when reading about these events in Esther's life, I'm always on the edge of my seat. "...and who knows but that you have come to the royal position for such a time as this?"  Esther 4:14b Wow!  What a thought for Esther to ponder.  Her cousin Mordecai reminds her that God has been in charge of this scene from the opening act.  He loves His people and will deliver them with or without her. But, Esther has the choice.  Will she just watch as God raises up a deliver from another place, or will she bravely step up and accept her divine calling.  After all, it's quite possible that this one moment is the entire reason that God allowed her to become Queen.  Every detail, every event, has been leading up to this climactic choice. Isn't it amazing when you sit back and really think about it.  This is a true account from the Bible.  It's not a script or a work of fiction.  God actually called this beautiful, young orphan girl into a royal position and gave her the awesome opportunity to provide deliverance for her entire race from complete genocide. Now, maybe God isn't calling you to something quite that intense.  Maybe it's a smaller step of faith and obedience  in marriage, your career, or your ministry.  Who knows, maybe He is calling you to something monumental.  Regardless of the fork in the road that you are standing at, God does give us opportunities for Esther moments in our lives.  He brings us to a crossroads of sorts and allows us to choose which path to follow.  We can meekly sit back and allow God to find another person to fill the role that He has called us to. Or we can boldly step out in faith and obedience. We can choose to let our Esther moment become the defining scene of our story where we choose to follow God's call regardless of the risk.  We can choose to bravely accept His plan and His will for our lives. My prayer today is that we will each come to our Esther moments with purpose. We will gladly accept the challenge to follow where He leads.  We will step into our calling, whatever it may be, without hesitation because we trust that it has been His plan all along. Esther did. Imagine that moment I described earlier.  The ultimatum is given by Esther's cousin.  She is forced with a heavy decision.  She can let God use her or watch someone else fill her divine calling. Now picture yourself there instead.  The ultimatum is given to you.  You stand at your own personal fork in the road.  You know that God has called you for such a time as this.  Sister, boldly step into your role.  Take courage, because God has a plan for you just as He did for Esther. Embrace your Esther moment. Love and blessings, Bobbie
image There are often times I sit before God in total awe of who He is and what He does.  Today is one of those days.  Today I bowed my knees in humble adoration before a God who loves so lavishly, gives so freely, and delights in redeeming even the most tragically broken and flawed. This Holy and Righteous God has taken a hot mess like me and has chosen to use me in spite of myself!  His love over comes my weakness.  His forgiveness, grace, and mercy redeem me.  He brings beauty from my big, dirty pile of ashes. And if he can do it for me, he can do it for anyone! Our Father doesn't require perfection from us.  He doesn't require us to be flawless, sinless, or righteous.  He knows we are dust.  He understands our weakness and our frailties.  After all, he created us!  Jesus walked among man and faced temptations and trials.  He didn't sin, but He understands that we are not God in the flesh.  His word says no one is righteous, so he doesn't hold out a measuring stick with unattainable standards to judge us. What He does require from us is a trusting and repentant heart.  He asks us to love Him whole heartedly and to follow His will.  He wants us to turn from our mess and turn to The One Who Is Able.  He wants us to be willing to be molded and shaped into His image and He understands that is a process.  I believe that He even understands that for some of us, myself included, it is looooong process! He is sovereign and mighty!  He is good and holy.  He is powerful.  He speaks life into dust.  He brings beauty from ashes.  He gives new hearts, new life, and new purpose. He can take our flaws, our imperfections, our failures, our frailties and use them for His honor and glory if we let Him.  He is a God who redeems. No one is too messy.  No one is too broken.  No situation is too difficult.  No one is too far gone. I'm so overwhelmed by His love this morning.  I'm floored that He would choose to love someone as messy as me.  I needed a lot of work.  Sometimes I still do. It would have been so easy for God to find someone who would have been an easy little project instead of someone who would be such a fixer upper. But He seems to delight in taking the biggest projects and doing a complete overhaul! Moses was a murderer with a bad temper.  Aaron let the people influence him.  Rahab was a prostitute.  Sarah laughed at God.  David was an adulterer.  Paul persecuted Christians.  Peter denied Christ.  The list goes on and on.  Sinner after sinner.  Failure after failure.  All repententlay turning toward God and bathed in love and forgiveness.  All then used in spite of their past. God uses the broken who turn their mess over to him and commit to loving and following Him. I'm just so thankful for that.  I'm thankful that we can look to our perfect Father and know that He looks at us with eyes full of love.  He sees our hearts.  He sees our love for Him and our desire to follow Him.  He sees our potential. And he knows His plan to bring beauty from the ashes of our brokenness. Love and blessings, Bobbie
Sometimes during my quiet time, word just jump off the page of my Bible and connect deeply to my heart.  They get me thinking and feeling and really understanding God's character. Yesterday, I wrote about wanting to have faith to just bravely step out into God's plan like Rebekah did.  I mentioned that sometimes I question and sometimes I even doubt. Then today, these two verses just flew off of the page and landed squarely in my heart.  They were like the part b to my thoughts from yesterday.  These verses were like a healing balm for a questioning soul.  They comfort me and remind me that God cares for me enough to encourage me when I'm weak.  I love when God does that! "...Do not be afraid, for I am with you..."  Gen 26:24b "...Surely the Lord is in this place and I did not know it..."  Gen 28:16b I will admit it.  I have trust issues.  My past has given me many opportunities to doubt people and their words.  However, God is not 'people'. God is God. His promises are true. He is faithful. He promises to be with us and he gently reminds us that even if we don't SEE or FEEL him, He has been there the whole time. I don't know about you, but those words cover any doubts that I might have.  They show me that I am completely safe in trusting My God in ALL things.  He is my constant and He has proven himself trustworthy. Love and blessings, Bobbie
Sometimes my faith wavers a bit.  It's not something that I'm proud of, but I have the tendency to look at hard situations and say "why me?", "why now?", "what in the world is the purpose of this?".  My first response to something is usually emotional and full of questions. This morning as I sat and read my Bible, I was floored by the faith Rebekah showed in Genesis 25.  She was just going about her day, drawing water from the well like she always did, when God rocked her whole world.  Everything changed for her in a mater of minutes when she was told that the Lord had a plan for her. She didn't question even once?  I would have grilled that poor servant to no end!  I would have needed him to go though and tell me again, step by step.  I would have had lots of questions.  This guy is trying to change my whole world after all!  Am I just suppose to trust him and trust that God has a plan at work here?  That's a big leap of faith! Rebekah did though!  She RAN to tell her household and they all welcomed this traveling servant in.  Without a second thought.  Because they knew he came with a plan from the Lord. As that servant laid out the events that led him there and told Rebekah's family of God's plan, they surely had to be shocked.  Didn't they have any questions?  Who is this son of your master? God wants to do what now?  You want to take her where?  And you prayed what right before Rebekah showed up?  Are you sure?  Maybe we should take a few days to think this thorough? But no.  That's not how it went at all. "This is from the Lord; we have no choice in the matter...Let it be as the Lord has spoken." (Gen 24:50) "They called Rebekah and said to her, "Will you go with this man?"  She replied, "I will go." (Gen 24:57-58) And she did.  Just like that. Even though it had to be hard to just drop everything, leave everything she had ever known, and walk into a situation that was very unknown and possibly scary.  She unwaveringly believed that God had a good plan for her, and she stepped out of all she had ever known into his glorious plan without a moment's hesitation. WOW! I want to trust God's plan like that.  It's easy when His plan is easy, but when that plan has me walking into something unknown or scary, I sometimes drag my feet.  I question.  "Why?"  "How?"  "Are you sure you've got me God, because this looks hard?" Oh, to have a faith like Rebekah!  As I'm walking though things that I don't fully understand right now, I am choosing to turn away from my norm and respond like Rebekah.  It may be hard.  It may be unknown and even a little scary. But I'm choosing to answer with, "I will go."  That's it.  Just, "I will go."  And then I will.  Completely trusting that God has a plan for whatever it is I'm being called into and He will work it all for His ultimate good. Love and blessings, Bobbie