Hey there!

Welcome to Faithlife365. C.S. Lewis said “The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become. My goal is to show you Jesus in the details. My experiences with God turned into a deep, moving faith. Come and see how God reveals himself in my everyday life so you can grow your faith too!
The blog

Faith for Grief

Friday, December 2, 2022

 

The holidays magnify grief.

The waning grief seems to be unearthed and dug up again when any holiday rolls around, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas.


I'm not sure why death seems to come calling more often during the holidays. I've attended three funerals in the last two weeks. I cry at every funeral. My heart breaks for the families. These three funerals were "good" funerals or rather, celebrations of life. The three individuals professed hope in Jesus so we know we will live with them forever in heaven. Until that glorious reunion, please allow me to share a wonderful message I heard at my uncle's funeral recently. I pray the words comfort you during your grief as they have me. The minister used the following scripture in his delivery.


Romans 8:38-39 

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature,  shall be able to seperate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


His message is "Nothing can seperate us from the love of our loved one", just as nothing can seperate us from the love of God. The love of Christ in us binds us with others for eternity. We can appropriately insert the name of our loved ones into this verse...


For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to seperate us from the love of ___(insert name here)___, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


The comfort of knowing love remains is powerful. I Corinthians 13:7 (paraphrased) assures us that love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. Certainly, love helps us grieve.


Much love,




Five Basic Elements of Unconditional Love

Thursday, April 28, 2022

merry go round


Life has thrown some pretty big challenges at Steve and I. I'm sure you have plenty of your own. We are thankful the carousel stopped before the dizziness got to our stomach. The constant ups and downs of the ride churned our beings. We hung on for dear life. When Steve and I married, 36 years ago, he planned to take care of me. I was the one born with a congenital birth defect. He nor I, never, for one minute, considered my health would ever be better than his. My perpetual limp, coupled with my basic need for prostethics for both feet, was quickly overshadowed by Steve's need for a double lung transplant in 2020. Life, in general, for everyone, necessitates the five basic elements of unconditional love. Love is what makes our worlds go round. 

Before his transplant, I watched Steve struggle to fit in with his new requirement for oxygen, unable to walk 10-20 feet without stopping for air. People stared at him and his tank. I've almost overcome the stares from curious people, although, some days I'm off my game. I wish Steve never endured the breathlessness of a chronic lung disease or felt inadequate. God grew both of us through his illness and transplant recovery. Praise the Lord Steve is back now! We've come full circle. I'm the one trying to keep up with him again. 

Everyone wants unconditional love. These are the five basic elements of unconditional love we embrace and practice: 
  • Different is good. Diversity was cool in our home before it became a popular buzzword. 
  • Compassion not pity.  Compassion and pity are synonyms but aren't the same. Both convey sympathetic feelings for others, but pity creates cause for regret or disappointment. Pity comes across as sadness or misfortune. Advseristy encourages strength, adaptation and courage. Those valuable charcter traits desire compassion not pity.
  • Wear a smile. A smile is so much more comforting than that furrowed brow frown; no sad faces allowed. Caring is revealed with a happy face. Show your love for ohters by greeting them with a warm smile. 
  • Do not stare, gawk or crane. When I share my story with groups, I laugh at myself. I've become so used to people staring at me, I get offended when they don't. I wonder what's wrong with these people? LOOK at me! (That is a joke, of course.) I really don't enjoy being stared at for the wrong reasons. 
  • Take time for all. Individuals are put into our lives for various reasons. We will learn and grow from every person we meet if we invest wisely. Understanding people is a full-time job.  Friends are a blessing to cherish.
Faith is unconditional love. Our faith sees inner beauty. Our value lives on the inside. Grace and mercy are always unconditional.. Paul, a popular disciple, struggled with his problems until he found Jesus. His attitude changed completely. He accepted his physical plight. Paul wrote the following scripture. I think he began to practice the five basic elements of unconditional love. 
  
2 Corinthians 12:8-10. "For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Lovingly,


Faith and Pickles

Monday, April 25, 2022

pickles


Summertime means pickling and canning season for a lot of gardeners. Harvests are preserved for wintertime feasting using many different methods. I'm not a big pickle eater although they appear appetizing in a jar. Sealing of the jar is probably the most important step of canning. If you've ever canned, you're familiar with the "pop" the lid makes when the jar is sealed. I remember canning with my mom as a kid. My favorite part was counting the sounds as I heard the comforting pops as the jars sealed. Sealing preserves pickles to be eaten later, months later. If the jar doesn't seal, the food isn't preserved for later and will spoil if not eaten quickly.

Are you beginning to notice Jesus in the details of your life? I'm not sure if it's a gift or simply from meditation and seeking that I find God everywhere, in everything. He inspires me! As I ate a pickle from a jar the other day, Ephesians 4:30 came to me, "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

The similarities of faith and pickles are: 
  • Pickles start in a raw perishable state. We are born into a perishable state.
  • Pickles need someone to perserve them. We need a Savior to preserve us.
  • Pickles take time to obtain their unique flavor. We take time to obtain robust faith.
  • Pickles are "ready"-to-eat. We are "ready"-to-go.
  • Pickles must be thrown out if not properly sealed. We will hear "Depart" if not sealed by Jesus.
We are like pickles; a simple cucumber transformed by salt and sealing! Jesus is the only perservative that can keep our faith "in a pickle"!

Lovingly,


How to Use Your Faith to Find Something You Lost

Friday, April 22, 2022

keys

Do you allow God to help you in your life every single day? Do you ask him for help? I've heard eye-rolling comments such as "I don't want to bother him", "He's got more important things to do than fool with me" or "He's busy enough, I don't want to add to his list". Are you serious right now? YOU are God's number one priority! God loves to help us. He cannot wait to help us. The "key" to receiving help from The Almighty is to simply ask. I want to share our story of "The Lost Keys" to illustrate how powerful prayer is and how to use your faith to find something you lost...instantly. 

Our family was vacationing in Mexico Beach, Florida. We drove seperately but stayed together. My daughter, Sydnee lost her keys in the house. Losing her keys is not an unusual event for Sydnee, so the rest of us didn't get too excited. Her Dad, Sydnee and I looked for the key for at least an hour. My first line of action for anything, especially problems, is to pray and ask Jesus for help. I began my half-hearted, frustrated praying about five minutes into our search because honestly, I didn't want to be bothered looking for the keys. They were not MY keys. I didn't misplace them. 

Sound familiar? You may be better at being human than me. I'd be all in if I'd lost my keys, But, I didn't lose my keys. Sydnee did.  Humans always jump to blame others, me included. Humans also think others should pay for their shortcomings, me included. My human heart didn't care if she sweated a little over the ordeal. On the other hand, my momma heart began to get worried the longer the search . went on. We looked the house over. The sparsely decorated house should have coughed up the key easily. But it didn't. NOW, I'm concerned...
too hard for God
I've always taught my daughters to trust God, rely on God, ask God for ALL things! "Use your faith" I enourage them. The best way to increase your faith in God is to ask for his help with small things like finding your keys. Jesus loves working in the details of your life. He will blow your mind with his knowledge. Your faith and trust in Jesus will build with the small things. Your faith will increase to believe God can do the unimaginable, the insurmountable, the IMPOSSIBLE! That sentence gives me chills because he's done the impossible for our family. 

The keys are still lost. I got serious with my prayer. I went into the bedroom alone and closed the door. I got humble. I began my prayer with thankfulness. I praised God for being the all-knowing, omnipotent Creator. Please tell me where the keys are. Is there anything too hard for you? I got my answer immediately. I didn't question him saying, "Are you serious? No. That key can't be there." I walked directly to the WASHING MACHINE, opened the door, rummaged through the unwashed clothes and there they were, Sydnee's car keys! Thank you Jesus! The sight of those keys made my heart skip a couple of beats! My heart raced at the magnificence of God. He speaks to little 'ol me! Jesus, the son of God, talks to me. I am all heart eyes! My friends, that is how to use your faith to find something you lost. 

I began to think about what might be too hard for God. Here's what I came up with :

Nothing

Not One Thing is too hard for God!

Lovingly,

His Fault

Thursday, April 21, 2022

clouds


His Fault
by Tammy P. Stafford


It's not our Creator's fault his creatures abuse, refuse and cry.
It's our fault we reject, have no affect and despise.
The Creator didn't create murderers, jealousy or greed, 
deception, bankruptcy or aborting his seed.

It's not our Creator's fault his creatures are unkind, rude and dry.
It's our fault we mock, ridicule and act unwise.
The Creator didn't create sickness, lies, cancer or death,
corruption, brokenness or meth.

It's not our Creator's fault his creatures want, live reckless and pry.
It's our fault we bicker, blame and wear a disguise.
The Creator didn't create divorce, alcoholics or fatherless children,
malice, chaos or poor economic trending.

My Creator God is responsible for
The miracle of birth and loving me first
Helping me walk to my husband who does not gawk.
Gives me a song and causes doctor's prognoses to be wrong
Took my place, saved me by his grace.
Hung between thieves on a tree
Defeated death and took the keys
Died for me and rose on the third day free
He gave me life, eternally.

This is his fault...