Have you ever felt like you didn’t quite fit the mold?  Have you ever felt like you didn’t fit in?  I had the wonderful opportunity to share at iBelieve.com about how I’ve felt that way and what I’ve learned about being a part of the body of Christ.

Read more at iBelieve article


File Apr 05, 7 16 21 AM.png

Here it is.  This is what you have waited for your whole life.  Permission.  Permission to breathe.

This is the first post Funk blog entry, and there is something that I’ve really wanted to share with you.  I think the reason that it weighs so heavy on my heart, is because it is something that I needed to be reminded of as much as I needed to write it.

We don’t keep the world spinning.  We don’t run the show.  We are not responsible for everything nor do we need to be.

Whew!  What a relief that is!  Do you feel the weight lifted?  Can you breathe a little easier?

We have permission to put the brakes on when life gets a little too crazy and make a space to just breathe.  It is absolutely ok for us to take a moment to stop and settle ourselves.  Even if the world around us is running at full speed, which it always seems to do, we can break from the race and catch our breath.  Even if it feels like we are drowning under the weight of to dos and expectations.  We don’t have to stay on the hamster wheel and run.  We can hop off and pause for just a moment.

We have permission to breathe.

In that space, that pause, you and I have permission to call out to our loving Father and to ask, to question, to struggle, to wrestle, to rest, to be weak, and to just let it all go for a moment.  In life, so often it seems like we have to be so strong, but not with our God.  He is strong for us when we are weak.  He’s got our backs.  We have permission to crawl into the lap of our loving Father and lay our head on his chest and rest in his love, strength, care, and provision.  He will keep the world spinning while we just catch our breath and refocus ourselves.

He’s got us.  He’s got this.

File Apr 05, 7 19 12 AM.png

When we take that moment, when we allow ourselves the chance to break the cycle of constant motion, we are often worried that we will lose out.  We might get behind.  We might miss out on something.  We may not look like we have it all together.  We worry that if we don’t keep the world spinning, it might tilt right off its’ axis.

And sometimes, we run ourselves ragged trying to keep up.

That’s not God’s plan for us.  He wants us to come to Him with our burdens and our loads.  When we feel like the weight of things is getting too heavy, he wants us to Him and hand it over to Him.  He doesn’t want us to weary ourselves trying to bear everything alone.

And when we do that, the opposite of what we worry about happening actually happens.  When we hit pause and take a moment or two to stop the striving, we don’t fall behind.  We don’t miss out.  Instead, we are refreshed.  We are strengthened.  We are renewed.  We pause and take that time to renew ourselves through him and then we have the ability to jump back into life ready for the marathon.  We have the energy for the long haul now instead of wearying ourselves in the sprint.

File Apr 05, 7 17 14 AM.png

So, sweet friend, there it is.  There is your permission.  When it all gets to be a tad too much, allow yourself the grace to just take a moment.  Pause.  Climb up in your Heavenly Father’s lap and turn it over to Him.  Ask Him for what you need to keep running.  When you’ve received your full share, hop back in and finish strong.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


File Mar 16, 9 03 31 AM

Have you ever been in a funk that you just couldn’t seem to get out of?  I’ve spent the last several weeks in a fog that just hasn’t seemed to want to lift.  I’ve had some little health stuff going on and had to have a couple of little medical procedures done.  There are a few more little procedures on the horizon as well.  This has all left me feeling just plain worn out physically, but it has all left me feeling emotionally spent as well.

Have you been there?  Maybe it wasn’t a health related issue.  Maybe it was a relationship issue, a work issue, or just circumstances in your life that had you in that funk.  Whatever it is that put you there, Funkytown is really not a great place to visit and it’s even worse to settle in and dwell there a while.

And that’s what I was doing.  I was dwelling.

I was totally content to just sit in that foggy, hazy Funkytown and dwell there.

Last week I started to realize just what I was doing.  I started to realize that I had set up shop in Funkytown and gotten pretty comfortable there.  (Really folks, it shouldn’t have taken me so long to see the error in my ways.  A couple of weeks in, I went 8 days without putting on real clothes or leaving my house.  Which felt glorious at the time, but, looking back, might have been a tad much.  Not to mention that I binge watched a ridiculous amount of Netflix.  Which also felt glorious at the time, but wasn’t even remotely productive and kept me from doing the things I should have been doing.)

I knew I needed to pack it up and leave Funkytown, but it was just so comfortable there.  So, I did the only thing I knew to do to make a change.  I went back to God’s word and prayer because they are the things that have always brought me stability, strength, conviction, and  encouragement. I moved off the couch and back into my regular Bible study and prayer time (which had been mostly set aside for Netflix and naps).

And in his usual, glorious way, when I started moving back towards Jesus, there he was, just waiting for me.  Arms open.  Ready to draw me closer.

This morning, while I was reading my Bible, I came across something beautiful.

In Luke 15, Jesus tells three parables about someone being separated from something and diligently seeking it until it is found and restored to its’ rightful place.  He tells of a shepherd who lost one sheep out of a flock of one hundred, yet the shepherd left the others and went after the lost sheep to bring it back into the fold.  Next he tells of a woman who lost a silver coin and turns her house upside down to find it and add it back into her purse.  Then he tells the story of the prodigal son who left his father and lived a wild lifestyle, only to be brought low and return to the father seeking mercy.  The father lovingly welcomes the son back and restores him to a place of honor.

And God’s word remind us that He does that for us.

Separation.  Seeking.  Restoration.  It is kind of His thing.

I know these parables speak of Jesus seeking the lost, but today when I read these they had new applications for me.  Today they reminded me that no matter how discouraged I feel, or how deep into a funk I am, I’m never far from Jesus’ love.  When I feel discouraged and distant, he is right there seeking my heart and waiting for my return.  He diligently longs for me and doesn’t want me to be separated from him.  Just like the wandering sheep, the lost coin, and the wayward son, when I am separated from him, he is seeking me and wants my restoration.

So, today those parables have a new meaning because today the fog is rolling away a little and I’m leaving Funkytown behind.    (Not that I’m giving up naps and Netflix, people.  That would just be plain silly.  I will how ever be enjoying them in much greater moderation than I have been over the last several weeks. )  If you need me, you can find me back at the feet of Jesus.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


 

Matthew 14:22-33 is a lesson on faith from Jesus. He teaches Peter about real faith in the face of danger.

Source: Why Did You Doubt?

This article is my most recent post for Grace Centered Magazine.  It addresses issues of fear and doubt, something that I sometimes struggle with.

Why Did You Doubt?

Fear is the enemy of faith. We’ve heard it said a hundred times and it is so very true. I can feel God speak something into me during my quiet time with Him in the morning and I am fired up and ready to tackle whatever it is that He has for me. As the day goes on, and life’s troubles come at me, fear sets in, and my resolve wavers.

Have you been there in that moment when fear starts to creep in and dissolve away your commitment? I know I have and I also know I am not the only one. No doubt, you have been there. Peter has been there too.

The story of Peter stepping out of the boat to walk on the water to Jesus is one of my very favorite passages in the New Testament. I just really love Peter. He’s a little rash and bold. He is a little impetuous and reckless. Maybe that is why I like him. I can relate to him. He loves Jesus in a way that is beautiful and powerful, but he tends to act a little irrationally. Yep. That hits close to home. I also think there are a lot of practical applications that we can make about fear, our response to it, and Jesus’ response to it. Let’s take a look at Matthew 14:22-33 and see what we can learn.

I’m going to summarize that passage from Matthew. This is the Bobbie revised version.

Peter is in the boat with the other disciples while Jesus is alone praying. The waves and the wind have kicked up enough that the boat has drifted far from the land and is being tossed about. It is late and it is dark. I’m sure the disciples were getting a little nervous out there on the sea just waiting for Jesus. They may have even been squinting out into the distance wondering how on earth he could get to them.

Then they see a little movement and rub their blurry, sleepy eyes. They may have even wondered if their eyes were playing tricks on them due to the hour and the conditions. They look again and realize they were right. Someone or something is walking across the sea, right to them. They tremble in fear because they are sure it is a ghost. They were scared enough that Jesus had to tell them not to be and to calm down because it was only him.

Then, Peter acts in true Peter fashion. “Prove it Lord! If that really is you, call me out to walk on the water too!” Jesus obliged and called to him. So, out of the boat jumped Peter.

I can just picture it in my mind. He hops out and begins confidently walking towards Jesus and he is thinking, “This is awesome! I would follow Jesus anywhere and do anything that he told me to do.” But then a big wave crashes close to his feet, distracting him for a second. As he watches that wave, he notices the other waves around him. His ears become alert and he hears the waves crashing against the boat behind him. He hears the wind howling around him. He shakily looks down at his feet and fear over takes him. The more afraid he gets, the quicker his feet begin to sink into the sea. Sheer panic sets in as the fear of all that is going on around him overtakes him. Then he remembers Jesus. Out of desperation he cries out to him.

He raises his eyes from his situation and looks. There is Jesus right beside him. Jesus is close enough that all he has to do is reach out and take hold of Peter. Peter is pulled back up above the water and Jesus just gives him that tender look and says, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”

Jesus is basically telling Peter, ‘I’ve got you. Don’t worry. Just trust me. You don’t have to be strong because I’m strong enough for the both of us.’ Then hand in hand, they walk together to the boat where all of the other disciples are just standing there in sheer amazement of the mighty power and sovereignty of Jesus.

Obviously, I have taken a little liberty in the retelling of this section of scripture. I do that on purpose. I think we sometimes look at these disciples and think that they must have been holy and perfect men of God. We make them unrelatable and think we can’t learn from them. That is far from the truth. These men were everyday people and they often had to be corrected and taught by a patient and loving Jesus. That is exactly what happened here. Peter needed to be taught about fear and faith. His story is one that can serve as a model for us.

Here are some things that this passage of scripture can teach us about fear and faith.

Life is going to get crazy. It’s pretty much a given.
When we are trusting in Jesus, we don’t have to fear. We can just jump out of the boat.
When we take our eyes off of him and start to look at all that is going on around us and our inability to fix it, we get distracted and fear sets in.
If we give fear a foot hold, it can sink us pretty quickly.
When we get overwhelmed, our best bet to get out of our mess, is to cry out to him.
He can pull us out, no matter how desperate the situation.
He is strong enough to hold us and keep us steady.
He is capable of walking us through the trial.
Trusting him in spite of our fear not only builds our faith, but it builds the faith of others and brings glory to God.
Jesus doesn’t get mad at us when fear creeps in and we stumble a little. He gently reminds us that He’s got a hold of us and will bring us through.
I am so very thankful for this lesson. It is one that I need to remind myself of often. I tend to be a little like Peter. I dive into things with full faith. Sometimes, though, the troubles of this world distract me and for a moment and I take my eyes off of him and focus on my own incapability to fix things. It isn’t long before I cry out to Him because I can feel myself starting to sink. Every time, he is faithful to reach out his hand, hold me close, and walk me through.

I pray that if you are facing something that has you feeling like you are sinking in fear and helplessness, that you will focus your eyes on the one who can save you.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie
bobbiescahe.com


image.jpeg

*This article was originally published at GraceCentered.com

I think I’ve used the phrase, “I sometimes feel like a square peg in a round hole” to describe my feelings about how I fit in with “typical church people” more times than I care to admit. And it’s true. For the most part, I don’t really feel like the typical church goer. I think I’ve made the generalization that most Christians have been going to church their whole lives. They are good people with spotless pasts, perfectly happy marriages, well behaved children, and squeaky clean lives.

When I compare myself to that, I feel a little less than. And I feel inadequate. And maybe I even feel a little judged.

I think I feel those ways because I don’t fit the mold. I didn’t start going to church until my early 20’s. The ONLY reason I even started to go to church was because my life was pretty much a train wreck (entirely because of my own choices) and I was desperate for some kind of change. I had pretty much exhausted my supply of ideas to fix things and knew that I needed to turn to something bigger than myself to get me out of the pit I had dug.

Salvation wipes our past clean and covers it in the sinless blood of Christ, but sometimes there is still a mess left over from the sin and bad choices. My past was far from spotless and I had a big mess that took a little while to get cleaned up. There were things that I struggled with for a while. Not only that, but new things crept in too. My marriage hasn’t always been perfect and neither have my kids. My life has never been squeaky clean.

Instead, it has been a process. This coming to Christ and letting Him be the Lord of my life, has been a journey. Sometimes I make mistakes. Sometimes I fall. Sometimes I am faced with the frailty of my sinful flesh compared with the power of His holiness, and I am overwhelmed.

But Jesus walks with me. His love, grace, and mercy sustain me. He is the teacher through this process and he guides me along in this journey. He is patient with me. He loves me even though I am a slow learner and he understands my weakness apart from Him.

And do you know what else? He has shown me something so powerful lately that it rocks me to my very core. It makes me rethink my ideas.

I’ve had some wonderful conversations lately with some very dear friends. These friends are ones that I look up to. They are strong Christians. They are leaders and warriors and pillars. They reflect Jesus in a way that I find humbling and beautiful.

And sometimes they feel like a square peg in a round hole.

That makes me wonder about something that I haven’t ever really considered before. You see, I always thought that other Christians made me feel like I didn’t quite fit in. It isn’t always something that they do or say directly, but more just the indirect comparison of the way the story of my life looks versus the way their’s looks.

Maybe that has been very unfair of me. Maybe the reason I feel a little like a square peg in a round hole is because I was looking at the wrong people when I was doing my comparison. I was looking at other people and feeling like I don’t measure up to them. In reality, it is Jesus that I’m trying to be like. He is shaping me into something that looks more like Him. To do that, He has to weed out some things and sand off some rough edges. So that I fit His mold for me. So that I can become what He wants me to become.

And here is the kicker. The reason my amazing friends, who are stellar people, also feel like they don’t fit the mold either, is because we are all going through the same process. We, as a whole, collectively, as brothers and sisters in Christ, don’t fit the mold. We ALL feel like we don’t fit because WE WON’T FIT PERFECTLY into what He has called us to until we get to Heaven. It is going to be a journey and a process until we get there. That’s why it feels so uncomfortable sometimes. That’s why it feels like it doesn’t fit. It is the battle of the flesh to become more Christ like that makes me feel that way.

And just maybe I should quit looking at how I compare to others, and begin looking at how I compare to Jesus. And just maybe when I do that, I will realize those Christians, who felt so distantly perfect, have way more in common with me than I realized. We are on that same journey and going through that same process.

We are all trying to become just a little bit more like Jesus and we all feel the growing pains.

Love and blessings!

Bobbie


IMG_2666

I’m a home school mama. (Yes, that’s me in all my yoga panted, head banded, hoodied glory on a typical day.)   I have two sweet, wild, chaotic boys that I am beyond blessed to spend my days with.  Every Day. I love it.  Really, I do.   But, can I be honest, just like any other job, sometimes it is HARD WORK!

These boys refine me and test me and try me.  They challenge me and make me a better person, a better mom, and a better Child of God.  They question me… about EVERYTHING… and make me really think about things.  They stretch my patience to the limits.  They make me laugh and sometimes they even make me cry, because being a mama is a tough job!

Can I be honest again?  Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing it right and if it’s worth all the effort.  I know I fail a lot.  I know I get a lot right too.  I hope that the scales balance and that these boys get the best I have to offer more often than not.  These challenging and amazing fellas have been trusted to me by my Father and I desperately want to do right by them and by Him, so I just keep pressing on and praying hard and leaning on God for my strength.

But did I mention that it is hard work?

Things that matter typically are hard work!  Things that are meaningful take a lot of effort. They are difficult because they are shaping us, growing us, and challenging us to be and do better.  They require us to lean into Him for encouragement, support, and help.  I think that is kind of the point.

Do you know what I just love though?

When things get tough and I get weary and begin to question myself,  it is just like my loving Father to send me a little “hang in there girl, you’re on the right track” message.  He did that this morning.  (He does it a lot, but sometimes I’m too caught up in the craziness to notice.)

I was sitting at my usual morning spot, reading my Bible and writing out a verse in my journal that spoke to me, Zechariah 13:9 ironically enough, when my sweet 9 year old walked in with his Bible and sat down beside me and began reading from his.  He didn’t interrupt me.  I got a quick smile from this dimpled cheeked, bed headed cutie and he opened God’s word and dove in.  It was just what I needed this morning to give me that boost to keep on keeping on!

image

Zechariah 13:9 “And I will put this third into the fire,and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested.  They will call upon my name, and I will answer them.  I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”

So today, whatever it is that you are pushing through, whatever work God has called you to be faithful to; I just wanted to give you a little encouragement.  It can be tough.  It can make you weary and you may question yourself.  It is hard work and it is suppose to be.

Hang in there.  You’re on the right track.  Keep your eyes open for little messages of encouragement from God.  Keep on keeping on because he is refining you, growing you, stretching you, shaping you, and teaching you to lean into Him.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie

 


image

Yesterday was a hard day.  There is just so much sin and hurt in this fallen world.  There is so much pain. There is so much loss and grief and discouragement.  My heart aches for the brokenness that is so evident everywhere I look.  This whole earth is groaning and crying out for it’s Savior.

Do you see that too?  Do you see loved ones dealing with loss and grief?  Do you see sickness, pain, and suffering?  Do you see discouragement and hopelessness?  Do you see relationships falling apart and the scars left from that?  Maybe you are the one in the midst of all of the trials?  I’ve been there too.

I was confronted head on with all of this hurt in so many situations yesterday with several friends and loved ones dealing with very difficult tribulations.  My heart breaks a little with each situation.  And honestly, it’s easy to look around at all that is going on in this life and in this fallen world and get a little discouraged.  It’s tempting to turn my eyes away from God and get overwhelmed with the way sin and hurt is wrecking so much.

But, when I keep my eyes fixed firmly on my Savior, Redeemer, Comforter, Friend, Father, Deliverer, Strongtower, and Help; I can see His mighty hand at work in the midst of each situation.  He is right there.  He is in the midst going to battle for us.  He is busy working in our most difficult circumstances to soften hard hearts, reconcile broken relationships, comfort the grieving, and draw the lost to Him.  He is hard at work uniting believers, encouraging the weary, giving hope, and strengthening us.  He is pouring out grace, mercy, forgiveness, kindness, and love in our most desperate times.  He is wrapping His arms of protection around us.

He is so good that when they enemy seeks to destroy, God is at work on our behalf to reconcile and redeem.  He uses the schemes of the enemy to draw us closer to Him and build our faith.  He is so Holy that He is moving in each trial to work it out for our ultimate good and His ultimate glory.  His Love is so great that in the midst of our hardest battles, He provides comfort, peace, and joy.

As I sat this morning, reading in Psalms, I was reminded over and over again how God is with us through all that we face.  In case you are in that place, or in case you want to provide encouragement and direction for someone who is, I wanted to point out some scripture that really spoke to me today in my reading.

Psalm 25:15-17    “My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare. Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish.”

Psalm 25:4-6     “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. Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.”

Psalm 27:1     “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?”

Psalm 28:6-8     “Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.  My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.”

Psalm 31:24     “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”

Psalm 32:7     “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”

Psalm 33:11     “But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.”

He is there.  In the middle of all of the messes that we deal with, He is our hope.  I’m so thankful that He loves us that much.  We never face any situation on our own.  He goes with us, giving us strength, love, protection, power, peace, comfort, wisdom, grace and mercy through the journey.  Wow!  What a God we serve! (more…)


image

Yesterday I told you how much I love the book of Esther.  Today I began the book of Job.  Can I be honest?  It’s one of those books that I’ve always struggled with.  I just don’t really understand it.  I’m not a big fan of reading about how my good and loving God allows one of His finest men to go through such an awful time.

I mean, God himself, tells Satan that there is no one on earth like Job who is blameless, upright, fears God, and shuns evil.  This guy got up every morning and offered a sin offering to God for his children just in case they had sinned or cursed God the day before.  Every day.  He was that good.

I’m not that good.  Not even close.

But God still allowed the enemy to attack Job.

I just really struggle with that.  Maybe because I know I can’t really compare to Job.

I understand that God is righteous and holy.  I also understand that every one, no matter how good they seem, can’t stand before our righteous God.  He is so holy that even our most honorable and good acts are like filthy rags in front of Him.

But he also loves His children with a fierce love.  He is graceful and merciful.  He is good.

I think that’s where I get a little stuck when I read Job.  I have a hard time reconciling those characteristics of God.

I know that the book of Job kind of rubs me the wrong way, so I really prayed for understanding this morning as I read it.  When I got to parts of the life of Job that trip me up, I paused to pray again.

This time, as I read through the first half of the book of Job, I noticed something that I’ve never really seen before and suddenly things shifted in my thought process.

I want to share this thought with you in case maybe you struggle to reconcile the holy, righteous, blameless God in the beginning of Job with the God of love, mercy, goodness, and grace that we enjoy reading about.

It’s just a thought.  It by no means, makes this awesome and powerful and incomprehensible God understandable, but it does point out a truth that really spoke to me today.

Job 9:32-35   “He is not a mere mortal like me that I might answer him, that we might confront each other in court. If only there were someone to mediate between us, someone to bring us together, someone to remove God’s rod from me, so that his terror would frighten me no more. Then I would speak up without fear of him, but as it now stands with me, I cannot.”

Poor Job lived during the Old Testament times.  Before Jesus.  He feared God and honored God.  He accepted God’s blessings as well as God’s curse because He understood that God is God. He is awesome.  He is mighty.  He knew he had no way to stand before a holy and righteous and just God and ask for anything.

Our sins separate us from Him.  Even our most righteous acts fail in comparison.  He is righteous.  He is just.  He is holy.  Job was pretty awesome, but he knew he couldn’t even begin to hold his head up in front of God. On our own, we really can’t either.

BUT JESUS

We have something that Job didn’t have.  Job didn’t have an intercessor to come between he and God to arbitrate on His behalf.  He sure wanted one.  Look at that verse again.  He didn’t have the blood of Jesus covering His sin, making him pure and blameless before God.  He didn’t have Jesus, friend of sinners, to lay his hand upon him and reconcile him with the Father like we do.  He didn’t have anyone to bridge the gap between him and the Father.

No wonder Job begged for his life to just be over.  He loved God and knew of His majesty and understood that there was nothing he could say or do to deserve God’s grace and mercy, just like there really isn’t anything we can do or say on our own.

The difference is Jesus.

Once we trust in Him for salvation, we can stand pure and righteous before God.  It doesn’t matter how filthy we were before, or how good.  Christ’s blood covers us.  He creates the bridge between us and God.

God is good and if you know the story of Job, you know God blessed his ending much more than his beginning.  He restored Job and all he had and blessed him greatly.  But Job went through such a time of despair and hurt and pain.  Although he knew God was there and with him in his trial and he never cursed him, he didn’t have the same comfort that we can have.  He  knew, just like us, he didn’t deserve God’s goodness at all and he accepted his trails because he understood how he compared to God.

We may have trials too.  God doesn’t promise us an easy life just because we’ve trusted Christ as our savior.  Trials still come.  Maybe you’re there.  Maybe you’re feeling a little like Job.  I’ve been there.  I’ve felt like my world is crashing down and I’ve been brought low.

BUT JESUS!

One thing that we have that poor, old Job never had is the hope, comfort, and friend that we have in Jesus.  He’s on our side.  He stands before the Father and pleads our case.  He makes us righteous and pure because his sinless blood is on our account.  He stands in the gap for us, while Job had no one to do that.  No wonder he was in such a place of despair!

I’m so comforted by this truth.  It brings me so much peace to know that when things get hard, I don’t have to be in that place of total and utter despair like Job.  I may not always have an easy time.  Let’s be real here, life just gets hard sometimes.  After all, the book of Job tells us that Satan is in this earth just roaming through it and going back and forth in it.  He’s a trouble maker.

But, we have the hope that our Jesus is working on our behalf to arbitrate between us and God.  He’s bridging the gap.  He has made a way for us to stand in front our righteous and just Father and receive love and goodness, mercy and grace, poured out in abundance.

Because of Jesus, we can have a hope that Job never had.

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


Don’t judge me today because I’m just keeping it real.  I’m pretty sure that the m&m’s and the caramel that I just ate for lunch were totally a coping mechanism.  Comfort in an uncomfortable place.  Chocolate and caramel can do that for a girl.

Have you ever been in that place where you just feel a little out of your element?  Maybe you doubt your abilities.  Maybe you doubt you can do what you know you’ve been called and created to do.  Maybe you feel inadequate.  Maybe you are feeling a little insecure.  And just maybe you are more than a little tempted to comfort yourself with chocolate and caramel too!

You know what though?  That didn’t really work.  As a matter of fact, I’m a little hacked off at my self for eating that candy, especially since I’ve got skinny jeans laid out to wear this evening.

The thing that finally allowed me to get outside of my own head was a sweet and gentle reminder from God, my Father, saying that HE HAS GOT MY BACK.  I am exactly where He wants me and I am exactly who He has called me to be.  He has a specific purpose and a plan for me.  He’s lined up every detail of who I am because He wants to use it.  He will equip me for all that He has called me to.  If He has called me to it, He promises to walk me through it.   I just need to quit the worrying.

And so do you.  He takes that burden for each and every one of His children.  When we are walking in His ways, He promises to stand beside us and strengthen us for what He has called us to.  He doesn’t want us to stay bound in insecurity and feelings of inadequacy.  He wants to free us from that bondage and fill us with strength, boldness, and courage.

Man, that lifts my wavering heart and I hope it lifts yours too!

Deuteronomy 31:8

“The Lord is the One who will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”

Love and blessings,

Bobbie


Man, lately my life just seems to be hovering in the unknown.  Have you been there, in that phase of life when things just don’t seem to make a lot of sense?  I seem to be there a lot lately.  It’s not even a bad thing.  It’s just different for me.

I’m pretty good at just rolling with things.  Although I love order and a control, I’m not to shabby at just flying by the seat of my pants sometimes too.  This is different though.

This is not flying by the seat of my pants.  There is still a bit of control in that.  Most of the time, I still get the choice of where, when, and how to fly and when not to.

This is a little more out of my control than that.  This phase of life almost seems like a roller coaster ride.  There is a track and a destination and I’m barreling down it at full speed with lots of really high highs and some places where the bottom just drops out.  Sometimes I’m thrown for a loop.  There are some tunnels and some places where I get turned upside down a little, and sometimes I’m tempted to close my eyes when it gets a little scary.

But, I’m also tempted to give in to the ride.  I want to just throw my hands in the air and scream and enjoy myself.  I want to give in to the complete freedom!  I don’t know exactly how this roller coaster works, but I don’t really need to.  I mean, I am pretty sure I saw the end destination when I jumped on board, but every twist and every turn and every thrilling moment in between is new to me.  So I just hang on tight.   I mean, the operator knows what’s going on, so there is no need to worry.  I can just sit back and enjoy the ride, even if I’m a little scared and a little confused and a little nervous!

Been there?  Understand at all?

I know God has a plan and I can see where the destination might be, but I really don’t understand the path that’s leading me there.  There are a lot of unknowns along the way.  Sometimes I am at the peak and sometimes I’m down in that valley.  Sometimes I’m in that tunnel where things look a little dark and I can’t see my hand in front of my face.  At other times I’m turned upside down or thrown for a loop, but the operator of this ride is in total control.

After all, he isn’t just the operator, He designed the ride just for me with every detail along the way.  Each high and each low was put in place for a purpose along the journey.  He mapped out each turn just for me!

This roller coaster ride never surprises the operator.  He knows every twist and turn,  every peak and valley.  All of my unknowns and completely known by him.  I know he’s in total control and I trust him.

So, here’s to giving up control to the one who knows all, operates all, and designed each detail and JUST hanging on for dear life and enjoying the ride!

“Have you not heard?  Long ago I ordained it.  In the days of old I planned it; now I have brought it to pass.”

2 Kings 19:25

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


Do you ever feel like the more you learn, the more you realize that you don’t know?  Man, I feel that way that a lot.  The more I study something or try to understand a situation that I thought I mostly understood, the more I see its complexities.  I realize I didn’t know as much as I thought I did.  So, I keep trying to get a better understanding and as I study, some things become clear and some times I realize there is still so much I don’t know.

Can I be honest?  Sometimes I feel that way as I look at life and it’s situations.

I KNOW God.  I KNOW Jesus.  I KNOW what He did for me.  I KNOW His love.  I KNOW these things because I’ve experienced them.  I have felt His presence and I’ve experienced His hand on my life.  I believe and have faith because I KNOW, from personal experience, of His love, mercy, Grace, and forgiveness.

But, the more I read my Bible and study the character of God, the more I understand how much of a mystery He is.  His ways are so far above mine that sometimes I just have to trust in complete faith.  That’s a big part of faith, the act of just believing.

I love studying the Old Testament because I love learning about God’s character.  I’ve learned so much about His love, His mercy, His patience, His kindness and His long suffering.  I’ve learned how gracious He is to a people who just can’t seem to get it right and continually fail Him.  I’ve learned that He is true to His word.

I’ve also learned that He is so much more than I could grasp.  I’ve learned I can’t comprehend all He does and all He allows.  I don’t fully understand the plan.

BUT He sees the beginning and the end and works accordingly.  He isn’t limited at all by the tiny view of things that I am limited by.

This morning in my Bible reading, I was just awe struck by a couple of verses.  1Kings 12:15 says “…for  this turn of events was from the Lord to fulfill His word…”  And 1Kings 12:24 says…”for this is my doing…”

Wow!  What a powerful, mighty, sovereign God!  His hand can be seen in everything!  The good  and the seemingly bad.

Both of these verses reference situations that weren’t particularly pleasant at the time.  But, they show God working out His master plan to bring His people back to Him.  Because He loves them that much.  Because He is good and mighty and sovereign.

I can only relate it to this;  just like sometimes as a parent, I have to allow my kiddos to experience both the good and the bad of life to be a loving parent, our Father allows us the same opportunity.  Because that is a part of His character too.  He is rightous and just.  He is sovereign.  He is omnipotent.  He is a good Father who looks at the long term when He is growing and shaping His children.

So, even though I don’t always understand the situation I’m walking though, I can trust in Him because I KNOW the one who is in control of it.  I KNOW His plan for me is good and that His purpose is for me to grow closer to Him. I don’t have to understand or to have all the answers, because I trust the one who does.


Man, sometimes life can be difficult!  It seems like so many people that I love are under attack right now.  I’ve been under attack.  Sometimes things get hard.  It can be easy to feel a little overwhelmed by the chaos and strife that is just an ugly part of life.

Sickness, loss of loved ones, hurt, discontent, job loss, distraction, discouragement…  The list can go on and on.  And it often does.  Sometimes the casualties of life just pile up and we lose heart a little.

I was reading in 2 Samuel today and just felt really connected to David.  He just struggled sometimes.  This poor guy has gone through it all. He came from a poor family.  He spent the better part of his life under attacks from his king, his enemies, even his own family.  He failed God is some pretty big ways and had to deal with some pretty big consequences as a result.  He lost loved ones.  He was shamed and ridiculed and his people turned against him.  He just seems to be constantly dealing with life.  He had every reason to get discouraged and lose heart.  But through it all, God stood beside him and walked him through his trials.  God loved him, disciplined him when necessary, and blessed him when he did right.  And through it all, David kept his eyes on God and never forgot who He was.

This morning as I was sitting here just honestly feeling a little overwhelmed, I came upon 2 Samuel 22.  Phew!  If you ever need a little pick me up or some encouragement, read it and let it remind you who God is.

David reminded me this morning that God is flawless.  He is my rock, my shield, and my salvation.  He is alive!  He is my savior who delivers me and preserves me.  God is mighty.  He arms me with strength and stoops down to make me great.  He is God and He is worthy of praise.

He is my fortress, my refuge, my support, my stronghold, my salvation, my rock, and my shield.  He rescues me from my enemies.

He is faithful.  He is blameless.  He is pure.

With My God, darkness is turned to light.  With Him, I can advance.  With Him, I can scale the walls that hold me back.  He avenges me and gives me victory.

He reached down from on high and took hold of me.  He drew me out of deep waters .  He rescued me and delights in me.  When I call out to Him, He hears me.

God lives.  He is my rock.  He is exalted.  He is my savior.  He shows me unfailing kindness.

When I sit and read 2 Samuel, I’m reminded that He is in control of the chaos.  He brings beauty from ashes and He works things for my good because He loves me.  He is on my side and fights for me.  That discouragement and distraction that I was feeling just flee in the face of who He is.

Love and blessings,

Bobbie