Featured Posts from the RUBY blog
I made it!
I may hate it.
I may question it.
I may be confused by it.
I may get lost with it.
I may want to be over it.
I may hate it, but I made it.

I may struggle.
I may fight.
I may run.
I may hide.
I may struggle, but I made it.

I may stand.
I may sit.
I may crawl.
I may stand, but I made it.

I may cry.
I may get angry.
I may cry, but I made it.

I may be still.
I may be still, but I made it.

I may hate it, but by God. I made it!
My altar
Category: Member Blogs
I want to express myself in a way that I can get the point across without sounding harsh or careless. I have a new found respect for myself at this point. I have ran through this valley and passed all the main attractions. I missed the signs and wonders that were brought to my attention. I had no idea they were there until I missed the opportunity to go back and see them. I wandered this desert alone. I found myself in the valley of desperation. I thought it was torture, but it was sort of healing in a way. I thought it was sad and lonely, but it wasn't that at all. I found it to be freeing and encouraging to my soul. I found it to be exactly what I needed. I may have hated it at times, but that's life, right? I have come through this valley and I look back and feel such a strong sense of freedom in what I have found to be tried and true. My faith was made stronger. My soul found the rest it needed. My body is no longer restless. My mind is where I need it be! My hope is renewed. This valley wasn't the death of me, but the strength of me. It made me understand that letting go is part of the process. I wasn't going to stop it because it got hard. I wasn't going to give up because I couldn't take the pain. I knew it would be lonely. I knew that I would hate the process, but I made it! The valley was lonely and cold. I had darkness following my every step. I had fear looming over my head. I had doubt tripping me every move I made. I had unforeseen amounts of anxiety washing over me. It wasn't afraid and I think well, I know it bothered the enemy. I wasn't going to give in to his demands. I knew that if kept dwelling with it. It would eventually consume me. I had to push past my own fears in order to break free. I was in the way. I stopped myself from moving forward. I blocked my own blessings because I was afraid of the what ifs. I knew I had to keep going. I didn't like it. I, in fact hated it. I hated every moment of it. I felt alone. I felt sick. I felt worried that I wasn't good enough or strong enough to fight it. Man, was I so wrong! I found out what I was made of in the process and let me tell you this, the struggle was and still is real. God didn't abandon me. God didn't leave me nor did He forsake me in my time of need. God was there and He was watching over me. He was there every step of the way. He was the blanket that kept me warm in the coldest parts of the valley. He was the light I needed at night. He provided me with an incredible view of the sky. The stars danced with joy all across the night sky. I knew I was in for a real treat as they twinkled in the sky above me. I enjoyed the wind that cooled me off. I enjoyed the fountain of water at the base of the mountain. I found a new sense of purpose. I had more joy. I had more peace than ever before and I had faith that was stronger than ever. I am no longer in the valley. I have made it out. I am now at the base of this mighty mountain. I look up as I see the rocks as I brace myself for the trip upward. I know that I have the tools to keep me from getting hurt. I have firmly planted my gear into the mountain side as I say a prayer before I make the trek up this mountain. I will trust the Lord. I know this will be harder. I know this will hurt. I know that I may free fall to my death, but God provides a way. God will protect me every step of the way. I will have a longer process. I will have it harder and for that I am okay with because I trust this process. I want to grow. I want to be better, faster, and stronger than ever. I know this mountain will shape my future. I know this mountain will show me what I am made of unlike the desert, and the valley. I have to face my fears of heights. I am not going to fail. I know that with You on my side I will make it to the top of this mountain. When I am at the top I will make my altar . I will make it a place of remembrance. I will make it a place of beauty. I will make it a place of peace and understanding. I will make it a place of strength. I will make it a place of freedom for I know the Lord my God will be pleased with me. I will call this place chuphshah.
Three Tweets and a Hoot!
Category: Member Blogs

Three Tweets and a Hoot

 
My husband and I are morning people. We're up right before the sun rises, and we're in bed by the time the sun sets. So we figured when we had kids, they would follow in our early morning footsteps.

Well, one did. The other one? Not so much.

In the beginning he had to get up with us- at least when he started sleeping through the night. But once he became a teenager, things started to change. Especially now that he's graduating high school. 

Tweet, tweet, tweet...hoot.
 


There was an old cartoon of an owl family who had three eggs ready to hatch. They were classical birds in this case, and when the owlets hatched, two sang in perfect classical tones- but the third? He was all jazz. Oh yes, people, we classical birds are now living in the jazz era. Our son can't seem to rise before ten o'clock on the weekends, and that's when we wake him. Once we let him sleep in and he wasn't down the stairs before two o'clock in the afternoon. Yikes!

For you other night owls out there, two o'clock is when the morning birds' energy starts to wane. By the time he's in high energy mode, we're ready for a nap. This makes for some interesting family adventures.

Not to mention a challenge every school day. For twelve years. Ugh.

My daughter is the exact opposite- she's up before my husband and I are, and usually has her chores done before we're out of bed. This is a child born to love the early life of a rancher or farmer, and her love of horses is sending her right in that direction. She lives to be up at the crack of dark, and if she does work at a ranch, she'll fit right in. By the time we get up for a family trip (usually around six a.m.), she has breakfast made so we can all eat and move, move, move.

That's if we can get Hooty out of bed. 
Even the smell of freshly made breakfast won't stir him out of slumber at six in the morning! We wind up waking him up at least three times before dragging him out of bed (sometimes literally!) to get dressed so we can go. Nine times out of ten he's sleeping in the car on the way to our destination, while the three of us are chattering away with excitement.

Lunchtime is about when the energy levels equal out, and we can all get along for about an hour or so. My son will start to interact with us, and we morning birds still have the energy to belt out road trip songs as we go on our merry way. By the afternoon we're dragging while he wants to explore. By night time he's excited and full of energy and the rest of us are travelling zombies. 

Our not-so-little owl will be flying off to college this fall, and I can't help but wonder if he'll survive the morning classes. I also wonder how the family dynamic will change when there's three morning birds left in the nest. I suspect a lot less drama and earlier starting times in the future!

It's not easy for morning birds to raise an owl (and I suspect the opposite is also true of owlish parents raising a morning bird), but I think we did a pretty good job.

After all, if he can survive us, he can survive anything!
God is Able Tags: Faith Christian Living & Spiritual Growth.
The scripture admonish us to delight ourselves in the Lord and He would fulfil the petition of your heart. Also trust in Him. He will bring it to pass. Psalm 37:4&5

Dear friends God expect his people to obey and trust Him ansolutely , because the chains of obedience is the antidote to access God's blessing.

It is´imprative therefore to anchor our faith on the Rock of Ages. He is the same Yesterday, Today and forever. Heb 13:8 Keep fit in the Lord . Shalom - Emmanuel
4 Ways to Strengthen Your Faith and Family Every Day Tags: Faith family Christian life Christian family

No matter where you are on your walk with God, there may come a time in your life when you feel you need to refocus and strengthen your faith. Life comes with many ups and downs and it’s our faith that keeps us moving forward through the good and the bad. You don’t have to wait until your faith is tested during a trying time to renew your faith. In fact, actively working on strengthening your faith will help you have better relationships with your family and loved ones, inspire your family and loved ones to improve their relationship with God, and can help make the trying times feel less so.

The best part is that we are already equipped with everything we need to make our faith stronger – God is on our side! Here are four inspirational and practical ways for you to strengthen your faith and help others find and strengthen theirs.

Practice Prayer and Patience

When was the last time you spoke with God? If you’re not regularly speaking with Him, renew your prayer practice! When speaking about physical strength, experts recommend that you create and nurture a regular exercise routine, and the same can be said for your faith. Build spiritual strength by creating and nurturing a regular faith routine, including church and daily prayer on your own and with your family. Remember, prayers aren’t always immediately answered so practice patience in your faith and remember that He has a plan for you.

Practice Positivity

When the going gets tough, it can be incredibly difficult to not let doubt creep into your mind – doubt about your faith and your purpose. By practicing positivity, you can feel more secure knowing that you are already equipped to overcome difficulties, it’s a matter of knowing that God has a plan and is by your side every step of the way. Find small ways to practice positivity in your daily life– read verses that give you comfort, follow blogs and publications like RUBY with stories that inspire your faith, and lift your family and friends up with encouraging, positive, and faithful acts of kindness.

Spend Time With Your Loved Ones

Stay close to friends and family who you trust and share your values. Encourage regular conversations with your family about your faith and find teaching moments in everyday activities for your children. Remember, it’s important to talk to your children, but it’s especially important to listen to them. Children are full of curiosity and questions, so you will have no shortage of questions and discussions about God with them. Turn to other family-friendly resources, like Pure Flix, that provide value-driven and wholesome content to help instill your faith and values into your children. Plan a movie night with your family or your church and stream from their wide selection of Christian movies to spend time together and spark meaningful conversations inspired by stories with a great message.

Get Involved In Your Community

Renew your faith by taking action through community service. Giving back and helping others is a great manifestation of God’s grace. Choose to get more involved in your church or find another faith-driven organization in your area to help your family and church community get more involved with those who may need God’s ministry the most. Recently, Pure Flix partnered with Convoy of Hope, a faith-based, humanitarian-relief organization, to provide $100,000 worth of food, medicine, and general supplies to families in need. Involvement with amazing organizations like Convoy of Hope allows you to spend time with your family and teach your children valuable lessons about giving and sharing God’s word.

Convoy of Hope

These are just a few ways to focus on your faith today. Practicing your faith and focusing on it every day is what keeps it strong when you need it most. What are some other ways you choose to build your spiritual strength and relationship with God and your family every day?

“Spread Your Wings” by Pat Jeanne Davis Tags: Spread Your Wings Pat Jeanne Davis Spread Wings

I sat on our front steps that afternoon and watched with some anxiety while my husband showed our son how to ride his bike. We were so happy with our five year old’s success. Later I watched him as he whizzed down the street, both arms in the air. “Look, Mom, I’m flying!” he shouted. It was suddenly for him to spread his wings.

“Be careful,” I told him. “Look out for pedestrians, and keep your helmet fastened.”

Just yesterday, it seems, he was twelve months old and learning to walk. By the time he reached seven, Johnny was skating down the rough pavement in front of our home.

By eleven he began playing hockey. It seemed at each turn in the road I would instruct him, “Be careful, Johnny. Keep your helmet fastened and your eyes on the other players.”

Then at twelve, came skateboarding. By this time he wore braces on his teeth, and he had become more muscular and taller than his friends. As I observed him doing some basic moves on his board, again I warned, “Keep your helmet on! And remember, no jumping off high walls!”

Time marches on. At sixteen, Johnny stands six-feet, two-inches and continues to master new skills. He has a part-time job and may decide to go away to college when he graduates from high school.

Yet he really surprised me the other day when he announced, “Mom, I’m saving my money to take flight lessons this summer.” Why should that have surprised me? Since he turned ten, I’ve looked at pictures of aircraft plastered on every wall in his bedroom. Nevertheless, other sons fly—not mine!

My husband John tries to reassure me. “Flying is safer than driving a car,” he said. So now Johnny’s a junior driver. I thought he should wait a little longer to start learning this new skill. But his dad says, “Johnny’s ready. He needs to spread his wings.”

This morning, leaving the driveway with him in the driver’s seat, I’m confident he’ll be a careful driver—he had an excellent instructor in his father.

But again I lean over to instruct, “Johnny, have you fastened your seat belt? Watch out for those other drivers!”

As I look back over the past sixteen years since we brought Johnny into our home, I’m reminded of a time when my Heavenly Father nudged me to step out in faith and then to waited on Him.

After years of infertility, my husband and I made the choice to pursue adoption as a means of gaining a family.

There were many disappointments over several years, but at last we were successful. I was forty-six when we adopted Johnny as a newborn.

I knew next to nothing about being a mother, but I was willing and determined. I learned from daily experience with our little one. Johnny taught me how to feel like a parent for the first time. Now our family was complete—or so we thought.

I came to realize that God had His own timetable for my life when fifteen months after Johnny’s adoption, I learned that I was pregnant at age forty-eight. How will I cope with two babies at my age and will he be healthy? I couldn’t help but wonder after the initial unbelief and astonishment subsided.

My physician informed me that I was at high risk of giving birth to a child with a chromosome abnormality. But I knew we were meant to have this baby, too. I began to feel joy and wonder at the prospect. I declined to have an amniocentesis that might reveal any abnormalities.

I had an uneventful pregnancy and Joshua was born just twenty-two months after Johnny came to us. There has never been another time when I felt closer to God as my Father and sensed His presence as during our son Johnny’s first year and during my pregnancy with Joshua.

Today with God’s continual help, I’m meeting the challenges and triumphs of mothering. I find support and direction through reading God’s Word, Christian publications and programs and through my husband. Becoming a mom in my later years is a rewarding experience, and my faith in God has deepened as a result.

Little by little, I’m learning to “let go”—to entrust Johnny and Joshua to God’s care. As I look forward to Johnny’s graduation and the challenges he’ll face, I recall Isaiah 40:31, “But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

When it comes time for Johnny to take those flight lessons—to literally spread his wings—I’ll be ready. Watching as a proud mother, I can imagine myself saying, “Be careful. Fasten into your seat. Wear your harness.” “Spread your wings!”

 

Pat Jeanne Davis writes from her home in Philadelphia, Pa. She enjoys gardening, genealogy research and travel. Her work appeared in Guideposts, The Lookout, Bible Advocate, Faith & Family, GRIT Magazine, Splickety Magazine, Sasee Magazine, RUBY Magazine, Woman Alive and Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She writes historical inspirational novels and represented by Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Visit her at www.patjeannedavis.com

“History of Christian Hymns” by Lucy Adams Tags: History of Christian Hymns Lucy Adams Adams Christian Hymns

Hymn Stories

“Let there be Peace on Earth”

by Jill Jackson

A history of Christian hymns

Our troubled world longs for peace. We are bombarded with reports of violence in towns and homes. Our hearts are broken and we ask, “What can I do about it?” Here is just one story in the history of Christian hymns.

Often there are wonderful meetings of peace-loving people who join their hearts and prayers to understand this deep need. I praise God for them.

But what of the people who can’t attend these gatherings? All of us need encouragement and hope for peace in our troubled world.  At times, the best that can happen is that each individual seeks peace in his or her troubled heart. This is what happened to an amazing woman of faith some years ago.

Songwriter Jill Jackson wrote her answer to that question in the song, “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” As she wrote the phrase, “Let peace begin with me,” that was her personal solution, regardless of the world situation. Those words are the theme for the entire song.

Jackson wrote her thoughts in poetic form in 1955. She had just come through severe depression and had tried to take her own life. Through months of recovery, she found a new purpose for living.  It came while listening to a sermon on radio. The preacher’s text was based on John 14:27 in which Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you.”

Jackson’s heart responded to the invitation to accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. In her weakened condition, she said, “If I live, I will put my life completely in God’s hands. If I live, it will not be as the self-absorbed and tormented woman I have become. I will try to be a window glass through which the light can shine.”

God’s light shone in power as she wrote the words about her own desire for inner peace which she prayed would spread into the world.

The lilting melody was composed by her husband, Sy Miller, who worked for Jan-Lee Music in California.

In the 1960s, it was chosen as the theme song for UNICEF. Its popularity carried it throughout the world. All ages and nationalities joined in deeper bonds of unity each time it was performed.

We, too are filled with hope as we sing, “Let There Be Peace On Earth.” Our longing for peace is matched by our memory of God’s promise in Psalm 29:11, “The Lord will bless His people with peace.”

Hymn Stories

Jill Jackson and Sy Miller, circa 1956

 

 

Lucy Adams

Lucy Adams In 1984 in Nashville, Tennessee I began to write answers for the question, “Why do people write songs?” Those stories first appeared on a radio program that I created: THE STORY BEHIND THE SONG aired on Christian radio station WWGM.

The program began as I sang six words, “I Love to Tell the Story” and said: “Hi friends, this is Lucy Adams and I tell the story behind the song.” I continued the show for five minutes with a message that answered … who, what, where and why of the hymn – plus a verse or two of the music. These programs continued to play for many years in various towns in Tennessee. Visit my blog to learn more about the stories of our favorite hymns at https://www.52hymns.com/about.htm

Visit the RUBY community for more stories about the history of Christian hymns.

“Pedigree of a Savior” by Thea Williams Tags: Pedigree of a Savior Thea Williams Williams Savior Pedigree

Cross on Bible

My mother was exceedingly proud of her ancestry, which boasted two aristocratic English families whose roots went back to the Mayflower. My father, less than impressed with her credentials, once wryly referred to Mom’s genealogy as her “family twig.”

I received as a Christmas gift a calendar Bible, and as I ingest my daily helpings of God’s Word, I’ve been struck by God’s choice of flawed vessels to bring His Son into the world. For example…

Did you know that Jesus’s distinguished lineage included Jacob, who connived his way through life, lying to his ailing father and alienating his only brother? Also among our Savior’s illustrious ancestors was Perez, the illegitimate offspring of Jacob’s son Judah, whom he conceived with his widowed daughter-in-law when she was posing as a prostitute.

Peyton Place, anyone?

And let’s not forget David, the man after God’s own heart, whose illicit union with Bathsheba resulted in the murder of an innocent man in one of the most shocking cover-ups recorded in God’s Word. These two adulterers later produced Christ’s ancestor Solomon, whose liaisons with foreign women led the wisest king who ever lived into idolatry and compromise that besmirched his throne and ultimately divided his kingdom.

These are the some of the juicier tidbits in Jesus’s history. From a humble beginnings standpoint, Christ descended from Leah, Jacob’s unloved wife, who played second fiddle to her beautiful sister Rachel, and had to be pawned off on unsuspecting Jacob through her father’s trickery. God’s Son could also claim in His list of relatives Rahab, a member of the world’s oldest profession, and her daughter-in-law Ruth, whose widowed status forced her to beg scraps and marital protection from a stranger.

Truth really is stranger than fiction.

I can only conclude that Philippians 2:8 (“And being found in appearance as a man, [Jesus] humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross”) is the understatement of the century – no, the millennium. Better yet, the entire stage of human history.

Christ’s heritage, culminating in His birth to an unmarried teenager who just barely escaped being left at the altar on the strength of a dream given her disgraced fiancé, better qualified Him to land a role in As the World Turns than to head up the divine church.

And yet, this family tree was carefully, painstakingly constructed by none other than God Himself to serve as the vehicle by which He would introduce freedom to handcuffed humanity.

How fitting that the Son of God, who descended from such “colorful” ancestors, chose to grow up in an obscure town which His peers held in contempt. John 1:46 states that the thinking of Jesus’ day was “Can anything good come out of [Jesus’ home town] Nazareth?” Apparently, something good could – and did – come out of this humble, despised city.

Kind of gives you hope for the rest of us, doesn’t it?

 

Thea Williams’s short story, “Phoenix,” appears in 50 Over Fifty: A Celebration of Established and Emerging Women Writers. Her work appears in Focus on the Family Magazine and Al Anon’s The Rap. Subscribe to Thea’s blog at www.reflectionsbythea.blogspot.com  By day, Thea educates and prays for young minds at a local school district. Contact Thea at https://www.facebook.com/thea.williams.16 or https://www.youtube.com/user/theabwilliams.

Called on the Carpet
Category: Member Blogs

Called on the Carpet

 
 
Ever have one of those moments where truth hits you in the heart so hard you have to cry out 'Ouch!"?

I hate those moments; but I also love them. At least when I have a chance to step back and recover from the 'Ouch' part. 

Our deacon was talking about 'Ears open, Mouth Shut' moments- Times when we had a chance to share God's word, but didn't. I don't know about you, but just him mentioning that made me scrunch down in my seat a little bit.

He wasn't talking about us having open ears, but the uninformed masses that don't know God who are ready to hear about Him. They might be ready to hear, but fear freezes the words on our lips and we say nothing, losing a great opportunity to help them get to know God.

The deacon asked 'How many times have we had someone come up to us to teach us about Jesus? In a week? In a month?  In a year? 
Well, that was easy- no one. Not one person ever came up to me and asked me if I knew God or Jesus. Not for a few years, no less just one.

But his next few questions really hit home.

How many times have you talked to anyone about Jesus? In a week? In a month? In a year?

Ouch.

Scrunch, scrunch, scrunch.

Romans 10 talks all about it. Not only to hear and proclaim the Word of God, but to spread the Word to others who are willing to hear, like in verse 17- Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. 

Can't really do that if my lips are frozen shut...can I? Yikes!

Many times I felt called to say something to someone and I kept my yap shut. Oh sure, talk about writing, fabric crafts, or movies and I'm a talkaholic, but talk about God? Pass the superglue please!

It also didn't help that the deacon speaking was my husband

There was no way i could scrunch down further in my seat without hurting myself. And when I looked around, I noticed a lot of others scrunching down too. So it wasn't just me after all.

God created us to glorify Him- That's our one and only job on this planet. And as my eyes scanned the room, there was a whole churchfull of people who weren't doing their jobs- me included.

Double ouch!

Don't get me wrong- I'm in a good church, with good, spiritually driven people. We work together getting the church fixed up (we're renovating when we can), and we also adopted a day care center and donate food to them and the surrounding neighborhood on a regular basis. I run the bread ministry, as a matter of fact! 
But something important got lost in all of that giving. We're feeding people without teaching them how to feed themselves via the scriptures- and I think a lot of churches (and church people) are making the same mistakes. 

If you feed them, they will come...but only until the food runs out. People need to develop a taste for learning more about God before they come back week after week. We need to feed their ears as well as their mouths.

God called me on the carpet that morning. I'm more aware now of His call to action, and less fearful of obeying it. With God beside me, who can be against me? And if He's giving me the words to say, they'll be the right ones- as long as I keep that superglue in my purse where it belongs!
Heaven Sent Spring Blessings by Sharmelle Olson Tags: spring blessings Christian poetry

Heaven Sent Spring Blessings

by Sharmelle Olson

Heaven Sent Spring Blessings in parts of the world

that have the season of Spring this time of year in great depth.

May it become your place in your dream world that twirled,

from Spring Blessings to bringing a new spring in your step.

 

Heaven Sent Spring Blessings to us for a beautiful Spring

day; that can bring so much to be delightful in many different ways.

Which brings a spring in your step that makes you want to sing

Will this work while being able to give the Spring Blessings away.

 

Heaven sent Spring Blessings our way for us just to enjoy

the beautiful weather and the beauty in all of the blossoms.

We will bring the Spring Blessings to all of the hoi polloi;

that love to work with the chrysanthemums.

 

Heaven Sent Spring Blessings through lovely Angels

that bring us a lot of pleasure in a spring balance.

As we noticed our archangel with celestial

hierarchy around a biblical palace.

 

by Sharmelle Olson

April 2017

 

celestial hierarchy ~ a traditional hierarchy of angels ranked from lowest to highest into the following nine orders: angels, archangels, principalities, powers, virtues, dominions, thrones, cherubim, and seraphim.

hoi polloi ~ Common People.

chrysanthemums ~ The flower of any such plant.

You are everywhere
Category: Member Blogs
Here You go again being good to me.
Here You go letting me wander off again.
How can You stand there and watch me leave?
How is it possible that You still love me?
Where can I go now without You following?
Where can this new found freedom teach me?
Who am I without You?
Who am I trying to be?
What else is there left to say?
What else is there left to do?
When can I leave?
When can I be with You?

I am a running wild type of girl.
I am a flyby night type of girl.
I am a sarcastic type of girl.
I am a realist type of girl.
I am a girl who knows who she is on the inside

I give You my heart
I give You my soul
I give You my life

Find me in the hidden places of this valley.
Find me and I am Yours for an eternity.
Find me and hold onto me.
Find me and love me.

You are here
You are there
You are near
You are far
You are everywhere
God is Faithful
Category: Member Blogs

You know, I firmly believe that God is God of miracles. I know that and I keep reminding myself of it. The song reminds me that yes, we may go through hard times, but God is still there holding us through it. I haven't given up. I am kind of tired of being sick. It's like the enemy is doing his best to make my situation way worse. Well, I not ever turn my back on the One I need most right now. He sees me. He hears me. I believe this is the very last time I will deal with ear infections. I believe that this is the very last time I will have to be sick from an ear infection. I believe that God is going to show Himself strong. I believe that these times are hard and I feel like I am going to drown, but God I will fight to stay afloat. You see, the enemy wants me to freak out. The enemy wants me to doubt God and His abilities. I know that God is my Healer. He has proven that time and time again. I will not go under. I called the dr (ent) this morning and found out that for this type of bacteria infection that I need to take another round of antibiotics. It kind of was like okay, I need it. I will do it. Later on today I will go pick up my stronger antibiotics and take them for the next week. God is still there. God hasn't left me. Regardless of what Satan wants me to believe, God hasn't left me. He holds me. He knows that this suffering will end. I know that in the end all this will be worth it. I will be able to hear better. I think the enemy knows the good things that God has in store for me and is doing his best to block them. You see, what he doesn't know is that he may come at me in one way, but he must flee in seven different directions. I will fight to see this through and when it's finally over I may just have a breakdown. I haven't decided ha! But I know that I'm going to be okay. These past few months have been a real stressor for me. I have gained unnecessary weight. I have doubted myself and my faith. I have struggled so hard with this and knowing that God promised me that I wouldn't ever have a major ear infection again after my last one about 8 years ago. This isn't anywhere near as bad as the last one and for that I know God has given me medicine to keep it from turning into something major. I know that if I didn't take the medicine right then , then yes, my ear would be way worse. Faith has taken me to a new and uncharted place. Hope has given me a sense of purpose. Trust has shown me that God can and will do it. I have been blessed that I do not have to work. I can take this time to rest and heal. The last time I didn't have this luxury. I went to work in severe pain. I was struggling so hard to focus past the pain. I am thankful that God has given me a safe haven to rest and get better. I am going to have surgery. It will restore my hearing. I will also have my hole covered up by a graft. It's a two for one sort of thing and honestly, I keep focusing on the end result. God didn't bring me this far to leave me. When I look back at only one set it was then I knew He carried me. My body is weak. My spirit is exhausted. My mind is restless. My faith hasn't diminished. My hope has been restored. My fight isn't over. I will see my victory in due time. I want you to know this, faith, hope, and trust are what kept and are keeping me going. Had I not had faith, hope, or trust. I do believe that I would have fallen apart. I know who my God is and He is my Healer. I may go through this just to prove to you that God is still faithful. God is still good. God is who He says He is and for that my soul rejoices in the fact that I am safe. Fire is there to strengthen the faith. Fire is there to build me up. Fire is there to show me that with God all things are possible. I may want to wave my white flag. I may want to be over it. I may want God to take it all away, but what is the point of that? I need the fire. I need to be molded. I needed to be stronger. I needed to be brought through this process. I needed to learn to trust. So, in the mess of this post I want you to know that yes, this hurts, but I am okay. Pain is inevitable so is growth. I couldn't see past the pain, but God has and He knows that my life will be completely different after this surgery. I may freak out at first, but that's okay. I will be okay. Through the pain, the darkness, suffering, the endless medicine, and the fire I will be better, faster, and stronger than ever before and for that let the enemy know that I am not giving up. I will see God's promises come to pass. God didn't forget me. God is not a lair. God is watching and waiting. He is good. He is faithful. His love endures forever. So, to you my friend, if you are struggling in anything I want you to know this, it ain't over. Your battle is has yet to begin. For those who are in the fight, don't give up! Your Victor will be there soon! When you have done all you can do, stand still and the Lord your God will raise a standard against your enemy. Have faith and know that the battle is not yours, but the Lord's and all you need to do is trust and believe that God can do it. Have a blessed and beautiful day. Thank you for reading this and I pray that you find encouragement in these words.

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