Are you down in the dumps? Need a mood elevator?


“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4 NIV)

Are you down in the dumps? Need a mood elevator?

Put down the piece of chocolate cake. Don’t have a pity party. Pick up your Bible instead.

You need a Word break.

God gave us the Bible to encourage us. One way you can think of the Bible is as a mood elevator.

The Bible says in Romans 15:4, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope” (NIV).

Everything in Scripture is written for our encouragement. That’s a big statement — but it’s true! Even the tough parts of God’s Word are there to ultimately encourage our lives in the right direction.

That’s why we need to spend time alone with God every single day. Whether it’s your daily devotional, your quiet time, or your personal inspiration time, you need to be getting alone with God, reading his Word, and talking to him.

The Bible says in Psalm 119:114: “You’re my place of quiet retreat; I wait for your Word to renew me” (MSG).

If you’re discouraged and have lost hope, I can tell you one thing about your life without ever meeting you: You’re not spending time in God’s Word. If you were, you wouldn’t be discouraged. The more you read God’s Word when you’re down, the more he lifts you up.

So the next time you feel discouraged, don’t come home and turn on the television. Instead, open up your Bible and read it

God’s Word has the power to change your life. It has God’s power in it. Nothing else does. The Bible will give you the “real stuff” — true encouragement.

Talk About It

  • What are some of the things that you turn to when you feel discouraged? Do those things really offer you encouragement or give you hope?
  • We can fit anything into our schedules if it’s really important to us. Have you carved out a time in your day for “quiet retreat” so that God can renew you?

Are you wondering if God is listening? Or, are you asking where are you God?


Did you know Jesus speaks to us continuously? He speaks through sunsets in the sky day after day. He speaks in the faces and through the voices of our loved ones. He caresses us with a gentle breeze that just refreshes us when the wind blows, feeling as if the spirit just washed over us. He speaks to us within our spirit which is where He lives. We can find Him in each and every moment when we have eyes that see, and ears open where we can hear. We should rejoice each and every time we discover His presence. Practice looking for Him and listening for Him in our quiet moments. Gradually, you will see Him more and more in each and every moment of your day. Continue to seek Him today sweet friend, even at those times, when we feel he isn’t there. He is there just open your eyes, open your heart, open your ears, and He will speak to you in one form or another.
Jeremiah 29;13 ” You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Doing Life Together,

Have you got an issue you would like for us to discuss in one of our daily devotions? Send us your question, thought, struggle, it can be about anything. We would love to give you some answers and guidance from someone who has been through it themselves. Email me at Hopeknowsyourname@gmail.com and Let us hear from you, we want to do life together with you!

Please visit my website at hopeknowsyourname.com

To Book Christie to speak at one of your next events please call us so we can get you on our calendar . Any churches, women’s conferences, small groups, conventions, retreats, or just any type of event. I would love to come and share with you how I was Shattered and Broken, but by God’s Grace, Forgiven and Whole!

You have never messed up too bad.


Get a $20.00 Bill and ask someone how much it is worth and would anyone like to have it.

Take the bill and crumple it into a tiny ball.  Ask if anyone would still like to have the twenty-dollar bill.  After they all say “me!”, Remind them that it is now crushed and wrinkled.  Ask – “Does it still have value?”  “How much is it worth now?” …  “The same as before?!”

Ask if anyone has ever found money just lying on the ground.  Give them a moment for them to tell where and what value of the money they found.  Ask – Was it clean?”  “Was it still worth the value that was printed on it when it was made?”

In the beginning, God created us in His Own image.

Genesis 1:27 – “So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female.”

God created us… In His image…But…

Sin (our disobedience, our not believing & trusting what God said and Who He is) caused us to become damaged and His image in us distorted.  We became crumpled just like the money.  We became dirty like the money you found.

Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
And although sin made us no longer look like God, and it caused us to be separated from God because He is Holy, it never changed our worth and value to Him.

Romans 5:8 reminds us that “But God demonstrated His own love towards us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”

God does not just throw us away because we are no longer perfect like Him. We matter so much to Him that Jesus came and died to provide a way back to God for us!

He offers us the gift of His grace – the gift of His image in us again through Jesus Christ!

Ephesians 2:8-10
“For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works so that no one can boast.  For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.”

So when Satan tries to tell you that you messed up too bad for God to ever forgive you much less love you…remember the object lesson from the crumpled money.  It never lost its value or worth, and neither have you to God.  He is our loving Father waiting with open arms for us to return to Him for forgiveness and to be made new!

Ronnie and Christie Bruce

Anger: right or wrong?


Today’s Scripture
Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life. Ephesians 4:26-27 MSG

Thoughts for Today
Anger: right or wrong? The answer is that anger is right … but it can be wrong. Anger is a God-given emotional energy designed for good. The expression of this anger-produced energy can lead to sin—but it doesn’t have to. With God’s help, we can control our thoughts and actions.

The Bible tells of many times when anger was a positive force for good. Moses’ anger when the Israelites worshipped idols resulted in their repentance (Exodus 32:19-35). Jesus’ anger motivated him to clear abusers from his Father’s temple. (Luke 19:45-48).

Our anger can also lead to sinful acts of selfishness, unkindness or even aggression. It is our responsibility to use our anger-induced energy in positive ways—even if it’s just walking around the block to cool off.

Consider this … 
Our anger can be a positive force as well. Appropriate anger at our children’s wrong behaviors can motivate us as parents to exert firm but loving discipline. Anger against injustices and wrongdoing in our communities can motivate us to do something positive about the situation.

The next time you feel angry, remember that it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’s your choice.

Prayer
Father, forgive me for the times I’ve used my anger in sinful ways instead of as a positive force. Help me control my thoughts and actions and to use my anger in positive ways.
In Jesus’ name …

Living Free

 

Do you Struggle with Anger?


Today’s Scripture
Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent.
Psalm 4:4 NLT

Thoughts for Today
Anger is one of the most common emotions we experience. It’s part of being human. All of us have lost our tempers and lashed out at God, ourselves or others. Many of us have silently boiled in rage or frustration.

We might not want to admit to being angry—we would rather have people see us as calm and controlled. But let’s face it … try as we might to avoid it, we do get angry. The good news is that we don’t have to let it control our lives.

Consider this … 
The first step to ensuring that anger does not control your life is to admit that you do get angry. Letting anger simmer beneath the surface, refusing to admit even to yourself that it is there, only leads to problems. It is important to deal with it as soon as possible.

The Bible encourages us to find ways to manage our anger. As we accept anger as a common part of life, it is vital that we learn how to deal with it. Pray for God’s guidance in discovering where you are in accepting your anger and in making it your servant, not your master.

Prayer
Father, forgive me for the times I’ve been controlled by anger and have responded to people with unkind words and thoughts. Forgive me also for sometimes just holding the anger in and letting it build into serious resentment and even bitterness. Teach me to deal with anger and not be controlled by it. In Jesus’ name …

Living Free

 

Forgiveness or Unforgiveness?


Wow, these past two weeks have been a whirlwind for our family. We initially went to visit our mom in the hospital, and little did we know she would not be going home. For a week we watched her go downhill quickly and passed away there at the hospital on February 13th. It has had me thinking how fast life can be over. Everyone I have ever been mad at, I am not anymore. Life is to short not to be talking to friends or family that you have been estranged from. I hope everyone can learn to forgive those who have hurt you and make amends with them. Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to do. I have always heard that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. There are people not speaking to me that I have tried to make amends to, but some of these people will not accept my amends. But you know what, that is ok because I still feel free in my heart because I know I am not in bondage from unforgiveness. We go to the phone to call mom and then remember, she is not there anymore. It has broken our hearts losing her, but once again even in her death, she taught us to love well. Her last words were “keep the family together.” What a fantastic statement that was, she wanted her family to stick together and love each other well. I think that should be the first thing we want to do every day we get up, love each other well. This is precisely what Jesus wants us to do. Now that I sit back and read some of her notes from her teaching Sunday School it just touches my heart, making me want to be a better person. I want to start living my life with all the fruits of the spirit just as our mom did. Get up every day and decide to let the fruit of the spirit guide your day! How we live our lives here on earth is what matters, because it is amazing when your gone how people explain what all you did and what kind of person you were, what would people say at your funeral?

 

Galatians 5:22-23 New Living Translation (NLT)

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (John 13:34)

Do not take revenge on others or continue to hate them, but love your neighbors as you love yourself. I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:18)

Above everything, love one another earnestly, because love covers over many sins. (1 Peter 4:8)

Be under obligation to no one—the only obligation you have is to love one another. Whoever does this has obeyed the Law. (Romans 13:8)

Love,

Ronnie and Christie

A story of Helpless and Hopeless, But God!


Wow, what a horrific past few months. You know sometimes God wants us just to be still and know that He is God. I have had that opportunity to do just that when I had to have major back and neck surgery. I was also having so many other issues in the hospital such as not being able to swallow, my breathing due to a rare lung disease, my leg turning to the right due to my surgery leaving me in a brace to straighten out my leg, and the nerve pain. The doctor said I completely quit breathing during the surgery. I was in the hospital 9 days and then went to rehab for 3 weeks, then began in home therapy, and now just started out-patient therapy. It has been a long haul, and still have a way to go. But, through this process I have got so much closer to the Lord it’s amazing.

I had never been so helpless, and hopeless. I was working from home at the time, even though I was not supposed to be, I was still under doctors care. But, I did it due to me not wanting to leave him in a mess and getting further behind. In excruciating pain the whole time, I got all the books caught up and all the work that I had missed, then was terminated for not being able to get back to work sooner than I was able to.  I was only paid half my pay for all the time I worked even though I was on salary. I have had to repent on how I reacted, I was very upset and reacted, instead of praying about it first before responding back.

Then I felt even more helpless, I could not even look for another job due to me still recovering. I went into panic mode, what are we going to do, how are we going to pay these bills, which left us not being able to pay our bills because we really depended on my salary. With all this going on week after week, and night after night not sleeping due to worrying and the stress it placed on my family in the midst of me trying to recover. A few weeks later, I started to have a calm over me like no other.

I truly have forgiven my boss, and now I can even pray for Him. God wanted me to know, take my hands off the situation, and let God be my vengeance, Romans 12:19  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 2 Thessalonians 1:6 Since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you,

He does a much better job than I ever could. I started walking outside for some of my therapy with my walker. One beautiful afternoon while I was walking I sat down on my walker to look at the lake and rest. While I was there, I noticed the fountain and how the water would recycle. It goes through a filter cleaning it then it comes back out the top looking just beautiful. I felt like the Lord showed me that He wanted me to see that is what is happening with me right now. He is refining me cleaning out my filter so I can come out on top and be beautiful to show how He has worked in my life through this process.

Now everyday when I walk by that fountain, I smile and say “refine me Lord, make me come out even better. And still share and minister to others how you showed up in my life. I am in a position now that all I can do is trust in Him, I have no control over anything at this point, and I am right where God wants me for now, learning to lean on Him, and put my trust in Him alone. Now, when I walk I look at that fountain, then I look on the other side of the lake, and it is so calm and peaceful. So, for now I am in the fountain process, but I know after this, God is going to bring me to the peaceful and calm side, I love seeing how God works in my life. Keep your head up sweet friends in the middle of the fountain and know God has a calm and peaceful time for you also.

Ronnie and Christie

Doing Life Together

Can you be a Christian and struggle with depression?


Can you be a Christian and struggle with depression? Click here to watch live video.

We have started each day doing a live feed devotion. We want you to do life together with you everyday. Please email us any questions you may have to hopeknowsyourname@gmail.com. It can be about what you struggle with, addiction, praise report of how God has worked in your life, or just anything from everyday life you would like to ask us or share. We want to be your blog and your voice and talk about things that are not talked about, that need to be addressed. We want to hear from you sweet friends so keep those questions coming and we will address it live.

Doing Life Together

Ronnie and Christie Bruce