Category: Faith Notes

Faith Notes ~ Tara Archibald: He Shined His Light on My Cold Darkened Soul

Today’s guest on Faith Notes is a precious young woman named Tara Archibald. I actually met her through my blog. Tara had commented on another Faith Notes post with guest Sandi Miller. I knew immediately this little light for Jesus had a story to share.

This is what she said on Sandi’s post (Where is God When Your Childhood … Just … Isn’t?) after I invited her to share her story with us, “Wow! I would love to share! Honestly it scares me but God has impressed the word “courage” on me this year to step out of my comfort zone, to share my story, to love on others, to speak the truth in love, and, believe it or not, to write! I’ve been struggling with what and how. I’ve been sensing my story, but didn’t know the how. I love that He does.”  And we do too, Tara!

Thank you for saying yes to the Lord.

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Faith Notes ~ Nikolai Khamara: Where is God When Torture is Imminent?

In today’s Faith Notes, I’m sharing an excerpt from Jesus Freaks about a young Russian named Nikolai Khamara who, because of the faithful witness of Christians sharing space in a Communist prison, Nikolai came to know Jesus and to ultimately die for his faith.

Over the years I have often asked myself if I could remain faithful while facing down a gun barrel, or feeling the threatening prick of a sword. It’s easy to say, “Well, of course I would remain faithful to Jesus! Of course!” —  very easy while sitting at my desk with my Pioneer Woman’s coffee mug warming my chilly fingers and my ears tingling at the sound of quiet praise music filling the atmosphere of my study. “Of course I could do that!”

But could I? Could you?

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Faith Notes ~ Cynthia Lott Vogel: Hidden Treasures in Mental Illness

Cynthia Lott Vogel has been a believer in Christ since childhood but abandoned her faith temporarily in her 20’s. Since her return to faith in Y’shua (Jesus, my Salvation), she had taught a large ladies Bible study and headed up the missions committee in her church until her health forced her to resign. She no longer can drive a car and lives a rather isolated life — social media online being her outlet and source of friendships. Illness and heartache have schooled her in the discipline of suffering and her faith has allowed her to endure and to appreciate the many gifts the Lord brings to those who wait on Him.

Aren’t you thankful I brought Cynthia your way today? She is a walking testament of grace. You will be touched by her honesty as she describes the suffering she has endured. You will be strengthened by her faith as time and again, the Lord reveals Himself to her in her darkest moments.

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Faith Notes ~ Kristi Carden: Would My Protective Wall Ever Come Tumbling Down?

I met this remarkable woman several years ago. Kristi Carden and I were both taking our first step out of the boat in the sea of writing at a writers retreat in Todd, NC. She made my heart smile from the very first hug inside that mountain cabin.

Over the years I’ve watched Kristi handle life’s tragedies with courage and grace. I’ve laughed at her shenanigans with her boys, and I’ve been blessed by her love for her husband, Cliff. I believe you will be encouraged by Kristi’s transparency as she struggled for many years to let down her wall that kept others out and allowed her own heart to remain in isolation so she could survive.

Jesus made a difference in this girl’s life. We both pray He will make a difference in yours too.

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Faith Notes ~ Corrie Ten Boom: When Cockroaches Are a Blessing

Corrie ten Boom is a hero of my faith. Words do not adequately describe this woman and the way she lived out her simple faith. Corrie is the one who taught me to hide beneath the shadow of God’s wing. She taught me to open my eyes to see the Lord in the midst of horrendous circumstances.

I am forever grateful for her.

Corrie and her family risked their lives by hiding Jews in occupied Holland during World War II. They were eventually found out, arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Ravensbruck, a notorious Nazi death camp. Corrie survived. Her family did not.

The following is an excerpt from the book of Corrie’s story, The Hiding Place.* May you be inspired to endure life’s hardships and find the goodness of God in the midst of broken places when life does not make sense.

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Faith Notes ~ Pamela McCormick: God, I’m Not Worthy

It’s been said that everyone has a story. I believe that to be true. We all have a journey in this thing called life. Some skip through fields of happiness with only a few scraped knees from sorrow, while others endure unimaginable pain and heartbreak.

“It’s not fair!” we exclaim.

But life is not fair.

And we live in a fallen world where bad things happen to good people.

This is one such story. Pamela McCormick clings to the hem of His garment as He heals and restores her life. The Lord teaches her she is worthy of His love. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s very hard, but above all, she wants her life to glorify God.

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Faith Notes ~ Mrs. Charles H. Spurgeon: When Fires of Affliction Cause Songs of Praise

Charles Haddon Spurgeon was a great preacher from the mid 1800s. His wisdom and insight into the things of God have touched multitudes of people over the generations. One of my favorite quotes of Spurgeon is “God is too good to be unkind. He is too wise to make a mistake. So when we cannot trace His hand, we must trust His heart.” Isn’t that good?

Well, of course we all know that behind every great man is a great woman. Charles’ wife, Susannah, was a faithful wife and encourager of Charles for thirty-six years. She is best known for creating the Book Fund which provided books for struggling ministers who, in England at that time, could scarcely feed their families.

Much of Susannah’s adult life was spent suffering from many physical afflictions leaving her weak and bedridden for long periods of time. The following is a glimpse into her life as shared in my favorite devotional, Streams in the Desert.*

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Faith Notes ~ Tasha Brown: Finding God Through Unimaginable Loss

I know that I know God crossed my path with this amazing young woman. Her name is Tasha Brown. Worship oozes out of her as easily as she breathes. I suppose that happens — no, I know that happens — when God reveals the depth of His love for us through our difficult places.

In today’s Faith Notes, Tasha shares about the death of her identical twin, Tonya. I can’t fathom what that kind of loss feels like. I’m sure it must be like the actual ripping of your heart in two. It was a rough season in Tasha’s life, but her God was faithful and restored her hope of glory through a dream — a dream the moment Tonya died.

God goes out of His way to make His love known to us. Tasha and I pray that through the words of her heart, He will lead you to a place of healing there at the foot of the cross.

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Faith Notes ~ Marcie Bridges: Mercy Revealed in the Shadow of Surrender

It is with great joy that I introduce you to my bestie, Marcie Bridges. This is one of those friendships that began online and blossomed into the real deal. Marcie has cried with me, schemed with me, traveled with me, and laughed with me — oh mercy! The laughter. She is affectionately known among friend circles as “Miss Pollyanna” because she can always find the silver lining in EVERYTHING.

Marcie is a very talented poet — in fact, poetry oozes out of this girl. Seriously. She included a poem at the end of her testimony that commemorates her day of surrender to the Lord.

To know Marcie is to love her. I know the words of her heart will give you strength for the journey.

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Faith Notes ~ Latoya Mayberry: A Life Redeemed After Spiritual Abuse

Latoya Mayberry is a beautiful, spunky, on-fire-for-God young woman that I admire greatly. In fact, she had to go through the fire of spiritual abuse from church leaders to come to this place of solid footing on the Rock of Christ — her refuge.

After reading Latoya’s testimony, the Holy Spirit reminded me of one of my favorite verses: Lamentations 3:22-24, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion’, says my soul, ‘Therefore I hope in Him!'”

I believe these words of Jeremiah resonate in Latoya’s heart for she knows the One in whom she has believed. She has found Him faithful and trustworthy. She has wept as He redeemed the abuse of those who should have known better than to cast their stones in an attempt to destroy this young woman of God.

Maybe you have been hurt by church people. Unfortunately, it happens — not because we wrestle with flesh and blood, but because we wrestle with principalities of darkness. The bad news is that all too often these principalities come with skin on, but the good news is that our God is the Redeemer of our lives. Through Latoya’s testimony I pray you will find encouragement and healing.

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Faith Notes ~ Callie Daruk: Sometimes God Gives Us More Than We Can Handle. Yes … Really

In a cluster of new friends on Twitter, this little light was shining. Her name is Callie Daruk. Seven years ago, Callie found herself face-to-face with the reality that her 32 years of professing Christ was merely lip service — that she knew about Jesus, but she did not know Him. What an eye-opener! How many others have come to the same realization?

Callie discovered this during an excruciatingly painful time in the life of her family. She discovered that sometimes God will give us more than we can handle, simply to help us realize that we can’t handle it without Him.

When I asked Callie if she would share her story on Faith Notes, this is how she responded: “Well hi there sweet Nan. Thank you so much for taking time to read my blog and for your sensitivity to follow the Holy Spirit. Yes, hon, oh boy, did Christ ever find me in a time of darkness. I am seven years on the other side and I am still as hungry for him as the day I was at the end of my rope. I would be delighted to allow God’s goodness to flow, for truly it is really His story and one He’s simply allowed me to be a part of.”

She had my heart at “Well hi there sweet Nan…” I know you will be touched by Callie’s beautiful story of redemption.

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Faith Notes ~ Eliza Downer: You Give and Take Away. Blessed Be Your Name

For starters, what a great name! Eliza Downer. Eliza is one of those connections that absolutely would not have happened without the hand of God orchestrating our meeting, albeit online. She had commented on a thread I was following on facebook and the Lord pointed His finger from heaven and said, “That one. Ask Eliza to share on Faith Notes.” So I did.

And I’m so glad I did.

What a precious, Godly young woman she is.  Eliza has lost it all to find Christ. She is learning the hard lesson of surrendering her dreams with complete abandon to the One she trusts, because trusting Him is all she can do in her circumstances. But Jesus is her sure place and He is great at wiping her tears when they freely fall. #FaithNotes

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