Devotional Topic: God is our healer

This devotional focused on Psalm 147: 1-3

Have you ever read something, It just made you give a sigh of relief. You could feel yourself exhaling (as if you had been holding your breath for hours) and then taking a deep breath. You feel your body relax, and fears drop to the side. You see things coming back into focus. Well, that is the feeling I often get when I read my bible and my devotionals. God’s word always centers me and brings me back into focus.

If you have never known a safe place. If you have never had someone who when they hugged you, all fears dropped to the side. If you never had someone to wipe away your tears, this may be difficult to relate to, but trust me it is real.

Broken souls, broken bodies, broken sisters, be reminded of his power in these moments and do not turn away.*

As I read this devotional it reminds me of when you are younger and something terrifies you, maybe it is a dream. Our scary sound in your room and you run into your parent’s room for safety. This devotional was to remind me (and you) that is who our God is.

Whatever hurt. fear or pain we are experiencing, we can seek refuge in God. In Psalms 147 it says “He heals the womb of every shattered heart”. That is indeed what He does. I want to point out that it doesn’t say He prevents the wound (although He can do that). This scripture reminds me that some times God will allow me to (or I make bad decisions so I must ) go through difficult situations that may wound me. It may break my heart. The beautiful thing is He is a healer. The devotional put it very nicely, it said, “There is no requirement or need too great; he will piece you back together.” (From A Little God Time For Women; Page 253)

* (Source) A Little God Time For Women: 365 Daily Devotions (New Faux Leather Gift Edition)

Additional reading on knowing God as your healer.

Devotional Topic : Seasons of Change

I know that I have heard this topic talked about a lot over the years in the church. But as I grow in life, and experience new things…this concept of Season in your life really speaks to me. ( I think it is also evidence of how God teaches us not only through His word but through the things He allows us to experience in the World)

If you look at nature, it is constantly shifting through seasons. The different changes to the weather and the appearance of nature. It can be incredibly hot in the summer, freezing in the winter months. In the fall we may experience some brisk days balanced with comfortable breezing evenings. And the spring just makes you want to live outside. (Now, of course, this all depend on where you live, that is what South Carolina). However, the point is I think…no I know life is exactly like the seasons.

As usual, this devotion topic is right on time for me. As I find my self-enjoying the new normal of being a single mom. I see that while my life is very different from what it once was, it is better. I have lost a lot. But I understand it was necessary for me to be where I am now….it is a seasonal change.

With the start of a new school year, I look at my 16-year-old. (a Junior in high school). I fully recognize that we are nearing the end of a season, as he begins to shift into adulthood. When I look at my eight-year-old. I see the immaturity starting to lose its grip as he prepares for the transition into early ten years. …it is a seasonal change.

I sit and think, as much as I have loved many aspects of my life, so much so I would love to freeze time and just rest in it, that is not God’s will. It is His will that we go through the season of life, to experience His perfect will and plan.

“Seasons can be challenging. They require bravery, obedience, dedication, and sometimes total upheaval of everything comfortable in our lives. …. In those seasons of life, the one who won’t change, won’t back down and won’t leave us stranded is our heavenly Father” (From A Little God Time For Women, Page 250)

The devotion today encourages me to be courageous in the midst of a seasonal change. Some times the change can be scary and overwhelming. If we are not careful, the only thing we will see is the change. The key is to remember there is an author of the change. God. And that is where our eyes should stay.

Get Access To This Devotional (Click Link Below)
A Little God Time For Women: 365 Daily Devotions (New Faux Leather Gift Edition)

Scripture Reading Reflection (Genesis 1-2)

My overall insight:

This is a very familiar scripture for me. If you grew up in the church this is a scripture that is taught to almost every year child. In Genesis it is where the word of God makes it clear that God is indeed the creator of all life. Now as a biology major, I am well aware that this is one of the most challenging hurdles for individuals to overcome in the belief in God. In a rational persons mind you can’t help but think, “How can a person do this, create the world?” Well I think that is the point. God is not a person…..He is God. You can not apply the limitations of man to God.

I found this particular scripture reassuring and encouraging today. Today is the first day of 2017. As I sit and think about the goals I have laid out, I can’t help but feel a little bit overwhelmed. In my mind I begin to think….How can I do this? Then as I read this passage there are a couple of  phrases that are repeated over and over… God would speak the word “Let” followed by what ever His command was. And if you continue to read you will see the word of God says “And it was so”…here is an example:

 ‘And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so.’ (Genesis 1:11)

All God has to do is say… “Let” and it will be. Why does this comfort me? I believe the goals I have laid out are really things that God has called and created me to do. In my heart I believe He has said, “Let Shantell do …..” and because He has declared it it will be so. That means whatever obstacle God will allow to come into my path, He has already created a way for me around that obstacle. That means there are no worries, no fears. All I need to do is trust and have faith in his plan for me.

Another phrase that I saw that was repeated was “And God saw that it was good” whenever God created something, when He stepped back, He looked at it and saw that “It was good” Let’s look at the example from verse 11:

‘And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. ‘ (Genesis 1:11-12)

You see not only does God just speak it into existence and it comes to be, He sees that it is good! When God finished creating everything (that includes man and woman) He declared it good. Now I realize that there are “bad people” in the world, however when God created man…He said it was good. Now we know later that mans actions will change things, but what encourages me is Gods intention for us!

New Insight:

One thing I love about God’s word, it never gets old! While I have read this scripture many many times, and I have heard it preached many times, today a passage finally clicked with me. As a women this truly resonated with me. Starting in chapter 2 verse 18 begins the the details about how woman came to be. God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (Genesis 2:18)  So God began to bring all the animals before Adam for him to name them. That is what Adam did, however this scripture just jumped at me….verse 20, “The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.” (Genesis 2:20) You see Adam wasn’t just naming the animals, he was looking for a helper among them. Adam did not see one that was fit. It is because of this God created woman, because of all the wonderful things he created, there was nothing suitable already made to help man!

How awesome is that! There is so much that can be said here. But I think the most powerful is Gods intention for the partnership. God was letting Adam choose his helper, and Adam was so picky that God had to create one! I think very often we miss this. It was God’s intention that man and women come together as a partnership of sorts. He gave them a big job to do, and He trusted them with it.

How can I apply this in my walk with Christ

This scripture reading today reminds my of God’s intention for me. They are great. He truly desire great things for me. As a matter of fact, He has already laid them out. The only thing he requires is that I believe in Him and His Son and to trust Him. That is what I will do. So as I go through my day today. When I look at the things God made (the animals, sky, trees and people) I will remember that God created it all, and ultimately is the on in control. And that is good!

How to walk in your purpose

I am not going to drag out the answer to the question, “how to walk out your purpose?” There is no point because I don’t believe it is a secret, and I think we all know deep down inside. The only way to walk out your purpose is to step directly into it!

What is success?

puzzle-1686918_1920I use to think of success as more of a destination. Perhaps when I make X amount of dollars. Our when I am living in my dream home or driving my dream car. How as I get older, and as a learn more about God’s purpose for me, I have a new definition. I know see it differently and define it differently. I use to see success as a destination, but now, it is truly a journey. I use to define success by my accomplishment but now I define my success by my walk. True success, I feel, is when you are walking in the purpose that God has created you for. Success is your constant movement in that which God has called you for, and created you for. (Ephesians 2:10)

4 Misconceptions I continue to overcome.

woman-1209866_1920I believe walk in your purpose is a continuous process. You are continually moving over hurdles, avoiding stumbling blocks. However sometimes you fall, and all you can do is get up, move forward and try to do better next time.

However I realized there where for misconceptions (lies) floating in my mind that really would hold me back. (And usually if I am ever frozen in fear it is one of these thoughts keeping me there)

#1- I don’t have a divine purpose.
In such a huge world, with so many people it is hard to believe that I was created with a specific purpose, but I was. The whole world may never know it, maybe just a small circle will ever see it. But what really matters is that I was created for it and I walk in it.  For example this very post. At the time of this I believe there are about 5 of you reading it a month….and that is perfect. You are the five I that was suppose to see it. This post may trigger you into action that may effect thousands!

#2- I am not ready yet to walk in my purpose
I know that God often shows me a vision of things he wants me to do. At first glance I think to myself…”I don’t know how to do that”. “I can’t do that”. The thing is God created us, and He had a purpose in mind for us. That means He will guide us to the resources we need. He will make sure we have everything we need to walk in the purpose He designed us for. For example I have now been teaching youth for over 15 years. While I enjoy it sooo much! It was something I was afraid to start. I felt that I didn’t know enough to teach the word of God. However God didn’t require me to know the whole bible. I just needed to know Him. That was enough. Over time, as I study in preparation to teach God provided everything I needed. That means you have have everything you need right now to start! ….so start!

#3-I don’t have the right background ( I have messed up to much)
I often feel like I am not good enough to do the things God has called me for. As I told you, when I began teaching youth I did not feel like I should be there. I have messed up, done things wrong, what kind of example is that for the youth. Turns out it is a good one. What God desires everyone to know He is very aware of your past, it is your future He wants to help you with (inspite of your past). It is not where we came from, it is where He wants to take us!

#4-I can’t get it right, I keep messing up
sand-768783_1920There is something all Christians have in common, we know we are flawed and need Jesus Christ in our life. It would be awesome if ones we choose Christ, we could walk perfectly. But that is not the case. Being a Christian means we will mess up, but now we are not on our own. Now we have someone to turn to. We have someone to help us do better. Jesus Christ is living in us, and He is continually helping us to walk in His will. Our walk doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be purposeful. It has to be for Him.

Are You Too Busy? | Children’s Ministry Blog

This article from Children’s Ministry Blog mad me think. They asked a few simple questions to help you evaluate if you are really utilizing you time effectively.

“Did I send a card of encouragement to someone this week? Did I meet with a volunteer or parent last week for coffee? Did I edit curriculum this week to fit the needs of my kids and students?” These are the question the article suggest you should ask yourself to determine if you are to busy to manage your ministry. I can truly relate to this, and I must admit I often feel this way, scrambling for time.

Suggesting that “Finding a rhythm for your ministry is essential. Plan your week out and do not forget to find time to Be Still and Know He is God. It is perfectly fine to schedule personal time to rejuvenate.”

Check out this article and see if their suggested tips work for you!


Just Pause And See Him

Take a minute and just pause and see Him

As I sit on my swing I take a minute to pause. When I do, I hear the birds, far a near. I hear the crickets and all the other little bugs that make that collective bug sound. I look out my porch, and amoung all the house I see the trees, against the backdrop of the blue sky and white clouds. You can do this too, just pause and see Him.

…..I hear the sounds of my children inside the house, arguing of something, beckoning me back inside to face the responsibilities of the world….but I need just a few more minutes. You can too, take a few minutes just pause and see Him.

I pause again looking at the sky, listening. Seeing all the evidence of Him. What is the evidence? The trees, the birds and all the other living creatures, even the sound of my bickering children. When you look at, and listen to nature it is amazing ! Everything exists day in and day out. Everything is being taken care of, all their needs are being supplied. Each day God supplies everything they need.

Green FrogThere is nothing in existence that God did not create. When you take any creature, say a frog a look at its anatomy, its make up, its existence, you should become amazed!  (I mean really check out what Wikipedia says) However it is when I go beyond that thought and realize that God has provided for this frog to survive. Amazing!

I need that reminder today, as the thought of overwhelming bills, responsibilities of life are heavy. I pause right now to see him, to hear and to realize I took can live dependent on Him. I to just pause and see Him and to Hear Him, so that I too can Trust Him.

Just pause and see Him and consider this Romans 1:20, “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.”

Was blind but now I see

Today’s Verse of the day

John 9:3,”Jesus answered, ‘It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.


Story of Jesus Healing The Blind Man

When I read today’s  verse of the of the day, the many thoughts and questions flooded my mind. First of all I wanted to know,  “What was the question?” The verse reveals Jesus’ answer but, I wanted to know the question. I was also curious about the “works of God”, what was going on here that that would allow “the works of God” to be displayed. I had no choice, I had to many questions, so I went to John and read the entire chapter (John 9:1-41)  and discovered I knew the story. This is the story about when Jesus made the blind man see. It is the scriptural reference in a popular hymn, Amazing grace, with the famous line, “was blind but now I see”.

Whenever I hear that phrase, “was blind but now I see” I think of the miracle. I also think of the metaphor, you know Jesus revealing the truth, and allowing everyone to “see”. But after reflecting on the verse of the day, and reading the chapter. I understand there is so much more to this. The fact that the miracle was performed was mentioned several times in this one chapter. The neighbors talk about it, the Pharisees talk about it, his parents talk about it even the once blind man says “I was blind but now I see”. Today’s verse helped me see the power in the miracle. It was more than about Jesus making Him see.

In the verse of the day Jesus said the man’s blindness was so, “that the works of God might be displayed in him.” On this day Jesus gave this mans years of suffering a purpose. (The purpose was always there, God knew it from the beginning). But on this day, the blind man became aware of it’s purpose. Because he was blind all his life, since birth, everyone around him knew it. So to see this man go from blind to sight was a miracle to behold. The people were so amazed, the went one step beyond the “what”, which was the miracle, to find out about “who”, which was Jesus.

Time and time again the people around the man asked about the miracle. Time and time again this gave the man the opportunity to not only say, “I was blind but now I see”. It also gave him an opportunity to talk about the one, Jesus Christ, who changed him for life. I can see in my own life, challenges that God permitted so that His works may be displayed in me. I am grateful today that God gives purpose to our pain and suffering.