But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace, you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus...Ephesians 2:4-6 ESV Have you ever had a dream about Heaven?… Continue reading The Heavenly Places
Today, I have guest blogger--Penny Cooke. She is an author, Certified Biblical Life Coach, and has been a women’s ministry leader for over 25 years. Her passion is to encourage and equip women with the Word of God and see them empowered by His Spirit through prayer for this battle we call life. I met… Continue reading Pursuing Prayer
If you had lived in the Garden of Eden, what do you think your offering or gift to God would’ve looked like? Would the offering have been the most beautiful flowers from your flower garden, or vegetables from your vegetable garden, or maybe the most perfect animal you raised? Have you ever thought about why… Continue reading The Offering
After four months of dating, my then, boyfriend, got all our friends together and planned a three-day cruise. There were eight of us total, four guys and four girls — two rooms (one for the guys and one for the girls). Then off we went to the Bahamas. We had a great time together. On… Continue reading The Betrothal
The godly care for their animals....Proverbs 12:10 NLT My German shepherd, Mia, had surgery almost a month ago to remove a growth on her back foot. She injured it a couple of years ago by jumping our fence. She had a nasty wound that we cleaned and sprayed with an antibiotic and thought it had… Continue reading Wounded
Growing up, I loved Easter Sunday. We dressed up in our new dresses, ate the candy from our Easter basket, went to church, and spent the day with family eating a lot of food. I grew up hearing the same story every year of Jesus' crucifixion, death, and resurrection. I'm not sure how much it… Continue reading The Passover Lamb
For the past eight weeks, we have been looking into the Beatitudes from the Sermon on the Mount. The other day, I read Psalm 32 and noticed it begins with the same wording as Matthew 5. Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the… Continue reading Happiness is….
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.Matthew 5:10-11 ESV Years ago, a recruiter contacted me because he saw my resume online. He called asking me to come… Continue reading Happy are the Pursued…
How blessed are those who make peace! For they will be called sons of God.Matthew 5:9 CJB I am a middle child. I have three older sisters and two younger. My oldest sister, Cindy, is nine years older than me, while my youngest sister, Melanie, is nine years younger. The term most often applied to… Continue reading Shalom
How blessed are the pure in heart! For they will see God.Matthew 5:8 CJB I read a great quote on the Beatitudes by Skip Moen, PhD. He says, "[A Beatitude] is not a “blessing” that implies one party granting a favor to another party. A Beatitude is really a macarism, an announcement of an existing state,… Continue reading The Pure in Heart Sees God Everywhere
How blessed are those who show mercy! For they will be shown mercy.Matthew 5:7 CJB One of my mom's favorite expressions of surprise is "Mercy!" (Imagine a Southern accent with that) 🙂 My youngest son, Michael loved to imitate her by repeating it when she visited. My mom always got a kick out of it.… Continue reading Mercy!
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.Matthew 5:6 We are continuing our series in the Beatitudes. Today, we will examine the fourth Beatitude found in Matthew 5:6. You can go back and read the last three posts if you haven't already. We didn't have much growing up. My… Continue reading Do you Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness?
We are continuing our series on the Beatitudes. You can go here and read about the first Beatitude called The Poor in Spirit and here to read about the second called Joy Comes in the Mourning. Now, we will look at the third Beatitude found in Matthew 5:5. O the blessedness of the meek! For… Continue reading O the Blessedness of the Meek
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.Matthew 5:4 When was the last time you mourned over someone or something? There are days my heart is heavy over the things I see in this world--in politics, in the church, or in our country. I have mourned over the death of family members and… Continue reading Joy Comes in the Mourning
Are you on Twitter or heard of #Healthyfaith Twitter chat? You can find it when you click on Explore and enter #Healthyfaith. The topics on #Healthyfaith vary from night to night, but each leader has a different topic for at least 8 weeks. Recently, on Thursday nights, we led our #Healthyfaith chat on the Beatitudes.… Continue reading The Poor in Spirit
And His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD.Isaiah 11 Happy New Year! 2020 was a rough year, let's expect 2021 to be better--Lord willing, it will be. It has been a while since I have been on my blog. So many things have been going on. My publisher released my Bible study, Jewels… Continue reading Smelling the Fear of the LORD
You may have heard "Fear not!" is said 365 times in the Bible--one for every day of the year. Fear is a stronghold. A stronghold is like an iceberg--the sea of our thoughts and emotions hide the majority of it. The ten percent we show to those around us is no indication of its depth… Continue reading Fear has a Voice, but We don’t have to Listen to it!
Signing my book contract! I am so excited, and I wanted to share it with all of you who have not seen my FB page! I wrote about my Bible study, The Jewels of Hebrews, last week in the post called Gift of Gab. Mt. Zion Ridge Press will publish it in December 2020. Yay!!… Continue reading Signing the Contract!
A few years ago, I had some genetic testing done through 23 and Me, a branch of ancestry.com. In addition to finding out I have a few enzymes missing, I found out I am 87% Irish/English. My great-grandfather came from Ireland to the United States, but I had no idea I had that much Irish in me. Throughout my… Continue reading The Gift of Gab
As I was driving home this weekend from my sister's house, I saw a sign on the overpass with the words, "Are you breathing?" Obviously this sign referred to the senseless death of George Floyd. But, as I thought about it, I also realized that Covid-19 took away the breath of many people. As we… Continue reading Breathe
Has God healed you from an illness, injury, or some other condition? Do you believe God heals today? In my Bible study, Jewels of Hebrews, I wrote about Jesus/Yeshua healing us body, soul, and spirit. I had someone proofread two chapters for me and surprised me when she suggested I remove the part about Yeshua… Continue reading Is Healing for Real?
This past weekend was Pentecost or the Feast of Shavuot. It is celebrated fifty days after Passover and the death of Jesus/Yeshua. In the Christian church we think of it as the day the Holy Spirit was given to the disciples waiting in the upper room. But the first Pentecost occurred for a different reason.… Continue reading A Sign and Seal
Today's post is a little different for me. It's a poem which comes from a friend, Brita Alaburda, who is very artistic and has a love for words. She loves God, people, poetry, and chocolate cake (: among other things. She is also a fellow Word Weaver. Please let her know what you think of… Continue reading When I Sin
Have you ever had a very sick child? Or maybe you found out your child would be diabetic, deaf, blind, autistic, or have some type of disability. Since my son was premature, he didn't hit developmental milestones on time. He was taking his time crawling; he rolled everywhere he wanted to go. We held his… Continue reading Lord, help my unbelief
Did you see the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding? It has been my life. In 1992, I married my Greek husband, Mike (aka Minas). Little did I know what I was getting into. On our wedding day, An Egyptian friend brought a pan of his famous baklava to our reception as a gift. Watching… Continue reading Is it All Greek to You?
When is the last time you had a good fight? Not a fight with your spouse, or your kids, or even a friend, but against the forces of darkness? Wow, you weren't expecting that, right? For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers… Continue reading The Struggle is Real
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 ESV At twenty-five years old, I had a stomach ulcer from the unbearable stress of my job. I had found a laboratory who would hire an inexperienced college graduate with a B.S. in biology. The VA hospital needed… Continue reading Tribulation in the Lab
The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense. Proverbs 27:9 NLT I didn’t know I needed a friend like her, but God did. I liked her as soon as I met her. Fifteen years older than me and married with children, Marilyn was a charming woman who smiled with her eyes,… Continue reading More Than a Friend
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For… Continue reading Will the Real Sabbath Please Stand up?
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV. I like the King James version of this verse because it uses the phrase "sound mind" instead of self-discipline or self-control. Fear tends to make us conjure up a lot… Continue reading Don’t Give in to Fear
With the current state of our world, many are thinking this is the beginning of the end. While Scripture tells in Matthew 4:8, "All these are but the beginning of the birth pains." What does that really mean? Unfortunately, this world is not getting better. People are inherently selfish and evil without God. The Bible… Continue reading Is this the Beginning of the END?
Have you ever been in a difficult or dark time when you felt all alone? Did it feel as though everyone you knew had forsaken you? Maybe it was a crisis in your family or marriage and your friends didn’t know how to handle it. A difference of beliefs or conviction can drive a wedge… Continue reading Deserted, but not Alone
If you have read many of my blog posts, you may already know my husband and I have three children, two being twins. Two weeks ago I wrote on a dream involving the pregnancy of my twins before I knew I was pregnant. You can read that here. By the time my twins were a… Continue reading Matthew’s Story
A knock on his door woke him. As he got up to answer it, he realized how late it was. “Who could be here at midnight?” he thought. As he opened the door, there stood a friend who had traveled a long way and was both tired and hungry. Realizing he had nothing in his… Continue reading Never Give Up!
It was night, and I was in the middle of a forest when I saw him. It was difficult to make out his features; I only saw darkness—evil. He had something in his arms. What was it? It was small but moving on its own. It was a baby! I knew it could not be… Continue reading A Fight for My Babies
This is my devotional on Psalm 18. It is my favorite Psalm. You can read my article plus many more devotions in the book, Feed Your Soul with the Word of God, a compilation by Beebe and Katy Kauffman. He was in a fight for his life! He knew who he was—he would be king.… Continue reading Because He Delights in You
Do you know the meaning of your name? My name, Stephanie, comes from the Greek word, stephanos which means crowned. Revelation 19:12 (ESV) says of Jesus: "His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems [stephanos], and he has a name written that no one knows but himself." I… Continue reading What’s in a Name?
This is an updated excerpt from my Bible study The Few, the Humble, the Church; A Study on the Book of Ephesians and Spiritual Warfare. I watched my dog, Agape transform into a predator. From my front window, I could see a herd of twelve deer, all does, walking up my long driveway. We have… Continue reading The Predator
Two years ago yesterday, we lost our sweet dog, Olivia. It was a very warm winter day. She went out onto our pond (that was frozen the day before) and fell in. We were at a funeral for a family member and no one was there to rescue her. I was heartbroken and inconsolable. I… Continue reading Brokenhearted
I feel as though it's been a while since I have written on my blog. I hope you had a great Christmas and I pray blessings on your new year. This past Sunday I was talking to friends after church and one commented on my husband's leather coat. She said it reminded her of the… Continue reading The Coat, the First Couple, and the Lamb
Do you ever find the Bible difficult to read or understand? I think most of us could answer this with a 'yes'. The Bible was written over a span of 1500 years by Jewish men who lived in a Jewish culture and spoke Hebrew, Aramaic, and sometimes Greek. No wonder we can have trouble. The… Continue reading The Aleph and Bet of Christianity
This week's blog post is by suspense writer, Leanna Sain. Her book, Hush, just released and is available on Amazon. Her bio will follow along with a link to purchase her book. It looks so good; I can't wait to get my copy. Please check it out! How well I remember the day. My dad… Continue reading Hush
Today's post is by my friend Diane Virginia. She is a wonderful storyteller and I love to read everything she writes. This story was first used on www1.cbn.com for a Memorial Day post. Since it is Veteran's Day, I thought is was appropriate to use it. I hope you enjoy it. In Ronald Reagan’s 1986… Continue reading Fallen Heroes
I am almost finished writing my Bible study called The Jewels of Hebrews. It is a study covering the New Testament book of Hebrews while helping Christians understand the Hebraic roots of our faith. It's called The Jewels of Hebrews (JOH for short) because each chapter is named after a gemstone such as a sapphire,… Continue reading Approaching God
Love makes us do crazy things. We sing more love songs than any other song. We hear Country songs about what a man will do for his love, and pop singers singing about the love of their life. And who doesn’t like a great love story? Hallmark movies, romance novels, and magazine articles all boast… Continue reading From Daddy, with Love
A filter is a common word in today’s vernacular. Growing up, it meant a white, paper thingy you used in your Mr. Coffee to keep the coffee grains from getting into your cup of caffeine. Now, we have the French press and the Keurig, and there is no need of the big, white filters anymore.… Continue reading Which filter do you use?