The Purpose and Plan Behind Storms in Life

To the people finding this post who are in the path of hurricane or typhoon, here are some notes from a little over a year ago when Hurricane Harvey had just come ashore prepared for massive destruction.  These notes are from my own pastor, from Pastor David Fleming's sermon, given by video from his home,  on August 27, 2017. The complete teaching and words of comfort can be found in full in the video archives at 

I also share more in the video below at YouTube:

Here are some notes and promises that helped us; that we'd like to share with you who are now facing a big, destructive storm:

God does have  a purpose to every storm  in life, and there is also a purpose and a plan beyond every storm.

Storms refine our faith. Adversity stretches us, and causes us to trust more and more in Christ for our needs and for our strength. 

Trials are the “classroom” for our spiritual development.

Storms are not always due to 
disobedience. Sometimes we go through a storm because  God has larger purposes for His kingdom plan. 

God may take you to a storm, and He made take you through a storm; but he never leaves you in the middle of a storm.

Through the storm, God is always working. He is always there.

God will not leave us in a storm. God would not have led us to it, if it was His intention to leave 
 us in it.  

Promises from God in the midst of a storm:

With Him, we can weather any storm that comes our way. Nothing that comes our way will overcome us if we stand in the power of God. Paul said, “Whatever it is, I can get through it, through Christ who gives me strength.” (paraphrased)

There is no promise of a storm-free life; but we are promised His presence in every storm. Peace came to the disciples when they turned to Christ during the storm. Sometimes we just have to sit and watch the destruction happen, knowing there is nothing we can do. But we never sit there alone.

Somehow God will use this for His glory. We probably don't want to hear this now; yet it is a definite
 promise from God. Romans 8:28 tells us,  "All things work together for good for those who love Him and are called towards his purpose."

He will use this storm, and all storms we encounter, in order to grow our faith. We will be able to use this experience as a future testimony. "He turns our tests into testimonies."

We cannot see it now, but God is using this to build a foundation for something that we cannot see.

Fear is the opposite of faith. We can be fear-filled or faith-filled, but not both.

We cannot control the outcome, but we can trust the One who does.

Storms in life can be of all kinds: financial, medical/health related, or family or job troubles.

God is the God of any and every storm.  

---------<end of notes>----------------

One year ago I shared these notes for those of us in Houston. As I wrote, the rain had picked up tremendously and we went to bed that night, not knowing what the morning would bring or what we as a city would be facing in the days ahead.  We held on the the following truth:

We cannot control it. We cannot stop it.
 We cannot even get out of it.
 We have to go through it.

 We don't have to go through it alone. 

God is the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the same comfort we ourselves receive from God.
  - 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

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What is "Active Faith" Anyway? Should I Worry If I Think I Don't Have It?

What is active faith

Active faith? Most of us don't have time for that, do we?  It sounds like something that takes a lot of time -- like volunteering regularly for a good cause sponsored by a church or ministry. It definitely sounds like a big committment. 

Active faith, however, at its basis, is very simple. The spirit of deception has allowed us to believe that demonstrating active faith is a whole lot harder and more time consuming than it actually is. Why? Because the enemy of God knows that active faith is the strongest tool a Christian can develop for the purposes of Christ and the kingdom of God. 

If you study the words of Jesus in the entire book of Mark, you will learn that active faith is the faith that enables you to “see God” working in your life and in the lives of those around you. You will also see that people were praised by Jesus for their faith when they did nothing more than this: they made an effort to come to Jesus for help. 

We frequently complicate the idea of active faith in our churches. We think, and sometimes we are instructed, that active faith means we are volunteering somewhere in our community or in our church. Although these acts of service could represent acts of faith, they aren't necessarily so. Much of this could merely be "going through the motions;" or "checking something charitable off our to do list."

There are many instances in the New Testament where people were praised for their great faith - a crippled man, a bleeding woman, Jarius the father.  In every instance, the action these persons were praised for was this: they believed enough to actually come to Jesus and to ask Him for help. 

How does that apply today? Have you ever thought, "I don't pray, or won't pray, because it's not going to help anyway." Obviously, that would not be active faith. That would be active doubt.

Instead,  we demonstrate our faith by coming to Jesus in belief,  through authentic daily prayer. The quality of our prayer life is probably the number one indicator of our level of active faith. We are told over and over again by Christ, and then later by his disciples, that we should bring all of our concerns to God. Not just the big concerns. All of them. (1 Peter 5:7)

Sounds easy, right? Shouldn't it be easy?  Then why do I have to admit that I still frequently tend to overreact and “stress-out” first, and then pray later? I do this even though I definitely know I should go to God first. The act of taking our concerns to God is not necessarily basic human nature.

I am certain of this:  we will not have the privilege of seeing God working around us if we do not have a regular, meaningful prayer life. And the converse of that is true too – it is through an active and authentic prayer life that we live our faith and build our faith, and are enabled to see the very active works of God around us. 

Personal Application:
Until now, what has the term active faith meant to you? How would you define it now? Are you capable of demonstrating active faith in such a manner on a daily basis? How do you think your life might transform if you do? 

Take a few minutes to really think about those questions above. Even write down your answers. 
Do you take all your concerns to God daily? Or do you fret and stress for hours or even days first? Do you wear yourself out before you finally realize you need to talk to God?

Tip: If you haven't started a prayer journal yet -- start one today. It is a simple record of your prayers which you track and then date when and how they were answered.  Having a prayer journal supports the growth of great faith! How can you deny what God has done for you if you have kept, and are keeping, an ongoing record of prayer results in your life? If there is one thing I want to encourage my readers to do, it is to keep a prayer journal and update it regularly. I cannot stress enough how much this will empower both your prayer life, and your faith life!

If you would like to learn simple, practical ways to walk with God every single day, then you would really enjoy Closer to God: Simple Methods, Starting Today

If you want to learn more deeply and fully about what Jesus taught, then you would enjoy He Called: 56 Daily Studies and Reflections with the Words of Christ. There are also 14 videos that go along with this book on this blog here: Teachings of Jesus videos

The author also interacts with her readers on Facebook at

Author's other books can  be found at:

When Those Around Me Have Rejected God, How Does That Affect Me?

This one is for the person who is the only Christian in their family, or one of a few faithful Christians in a secular workplace or school. For myself, I am returning to work in a few days into a near-crisis staffing and funding situation in my school district which employs me. I've been freaking out about the situation for the past 24 hours, (instead of praying about it)... and I was talking to my husband about it this morning. He said, "Remember that the Lord helps the righteous even in those type of situations. Pray about it and He will help you even in the midst of that situation." Truth and hope were spoken to me, and I immediately felt better. "For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His." (2 Chron 16:9 NASB). Then I remembered about this post I researched and wrote nearly 3 years ago...when Jesus was able to heal a few among the many unbelievers in one town. More of the post is below.....

Let's begin with Mark 6:1-3.  It tells about a time when Jesus himself encountered a town of people who took offense to him and his teachings.

Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? ....

And they took offense at him.

Now let's move down to Mark 6:5-6 to discover the results in this situation. 

He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.

So what was the result in this unbelieving, rejecting town -- Jesus' hometown? 

Jesus could not do any miracles there. Verse 6 explains he couldn't help people who needed help,  due to their lack of faith.

However, there is still a positive aspect in this account. Did you see it? The positive message is this:

Jesus still healed some of those within this unbelieving, accusing community. Verse 5 tells us that Jesus was able to “lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.” Even in the midst of the culture of scoffers, Jesus still was able to heal and help those who did have faith.

This example shows us that, even if we are living in the midst of an unbelieving community or culture, we can still experience the Lord's work in our own lives based on our own personal faith and trust. 

The ability to receive a personal miracle from Christ is based on our own individual direct response, our individual acceptance, and our personal trust in Him.

What everyone around us is doing doesn't matter. We are not punished nor neglected based on the acts of others around us. We are noticed by Him and assisted by Him,  based only on our individual response to Him,  in spite of surrounding influences. 


Are there any external factors in your life or situation that you think are keeping God from working in your life? For example, are you a Christian within a family of unbelievers? Do you ever blame unbelievers for difficulties in your life? I've heard common sentiments spoken such as, “We are all going to 'hell in a hand basket,'" or "This country will no longer be blessed by God because the culture, as a whole, has rejected Him, and even thrown Him out of our schools and institutions." 

Well guess what?   You are probably right! 

It is likely that the “country as a whole” will not be blessed by God in such a situation, when the majority of the country's citizens seem to no longer have reverence nor active faith in God.

But that doesn't mean that you as an individual are also excluded from God's help and grace! 

Romans 3:3-4 asks and answers, "What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? Not at all!"

God can pull you out of a godless situation and refresh your life.   

God can also bless your life alone, even though everyone around you doesn't trust Him nor live according to His principles. 

Don't be so concerned or angry with the culture around you. Make sure you are trusting God and following Him.

Write these words in a journal and review them whenever you are frustrated by the world's ways:  “My personal experience of God's works depends only on me; it depends only on whether or not I come to Him with my concerns in faith.”


If you would like to learn simple, practical ways to walk with God every single day, then you would really enjoy Closer to God: Simple Methods, Starting Today

If you want to learn more deeply and fully about what Jesus taught, then you would enjoy He Called: 56 Daily Studies and Reflections with the Words of Christ. There are also 14 videos that go along with this book on this blog here: Teachings of Jesus videos

The author also interacts with her readers on Facebook at

Author's other books can  be found at:

I'm Worried That My Specific Sin Will Not Be Forgiven!?

In the past week alone, I have come across three different people who were or are struggling with a belief that their past sin was so bad that it probably won't  be forgiven by God -- or at least they believe He won't forgive it right away.

Many people feel as that they are "so dirty inside", or that their past sins were "so bad" or
"so rebellious" that they will never receive God's promises. This is either a self-inflicted lie,
or it is a lie from the enemy of God. 
So today, I want to share one teaching that helped me during a time when I also questioned, "Have I possibly committed an unforgiveable sin?"

One of my former pastors, Jeff Schreve, explained it this simply: "If you are actually worried that you have committed the unforgiveable sin, then you can be certain that you haven't committed it." I think that is one of the top ten sermons I've ever had the privilege of hearing and receiving. See, the very fact that you are worried about possibly committing, or having committed, the unforgiveable -- this fact reveals the state of your heart -- and it shows that you are in a place where you reverence and fear God with humility. You are humble because  you are acutely aware that you do not deserve His forgiveness.

I've written more on the teaching of Jesus about the unforgiveable sin in Chapter 12/Day 12 in Discovering God's Will and in He Called: 56 Daily Studies and Reflections With the Words of Christ . However - for now, I wish to provide to you some verses and Biblical thoughts to meditate on. Return to these whenever you have truly confessed and repented, yet you are still concerned that you are not, or will not, be forgiven. First we have some of the prophecies of the Old Testament which proclaim the way God forgives, even though we don't deserve it:

  • God doesn't only forgive little, careless, unintentional sins. He also forgives deep, dark, secret, wicked sins. In Zechariah God speaks and says, "I will forgive their wickedness and remember their sins no more." -Zechariah 31:34  
  • God does not treat us as we deserve, nor repay us according to our iniquities. Instead, His love is so immense for those of us who fear Him. His love for those who fear Him is as high as the heavens are above the earth. (Psalms 103: 10-11)
  • God will cleanse us of all our sin, and will even forgive rebellion against Him. - Isaiah 38:17. We are given this promise at least twice. For again, in Daniel it is written that The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against Him and have not obeyed His voice or followed His laws.  - Daniel 9:9
  • The prophet Micah tells us that God practically "stomps on our sins" and throws them into the deep sea! God does this (metaphorically of course) each time we confess. Even Micah the prophet seems to think this is an almost unbelievable attribute of God, a gift that can be found no where else and in nothing else. Micah writes: Who is a God like you?....You pardon sin and and delight in showing mercy? Once again you will tread our sins underfoot and throw them into the depths of the ocean!" - Micah 7:18-19

The above verses even come to us from the Old Testament - before God even sent His Son, Jesus, to further provide assurance that we are fully able to be forgiven.  Here are some of the New Testament examples of this:

  • The first New Testament example: Let us not forget that the apostle Paul himself claimed that he believed that he was the worst sinner of all in the world. (1 Timothy 1:15-16) Personally, I agree with Paul's self-evaluation -- he was extremely wicked! Paul was one of the leaders who rounded up Christians and had them persecuted and killed. Paul (who was still called Saul at the time) stood by and watched with an evil smirk as Stephen was stoned to death. (Acts 7:58) However, God not only quickly and fully forgave Paul, He also used Him as one of the greatest examples of evidence that the mercy of God is readily extended even to the most wicked. Paul basically said, in paraphrase, "The reason God pursued me and forgave me, is to show everyone that His forgiveness is available to all who come to believe in Him -- even the worse of sinners, like I was."(1 Timothy 1:16)
  • The apostle Peter, one of the very first Christian preachers in all of history, proclaimed, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." - Acts 2:38. Peter then later declared, "All the prophets testify about him, that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name. - Acts 10:43.  Peter's sermon is one of the earliest sermons ever preached at the beginning of the formation of Jewish-Christian church of people. Even if you are skeptical and think that the message of God's forgiveness has been "watered down" over the centuries, look back and see that the original message in approximately 33 AD was the proclaiming of forgiveness available to all; and Peter further proclaimed that the consequence of confession was not punishment -- but a gift - the gift of the Holy Spirit! This should motivate us to confess to receive the gift; it should not frighten us to believe we will confess and be further punished or unanswered. 

Here are a few more New Testament assurances:

  • So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Jesus Christ. -Romans 8:1
  • If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord; and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. - Romans 10:9
  • Finally, Jesus himself clearly stated His purpose near the beginning of his ministry. He declared, "I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners." - Matthew 9:13. Jesus stated that he did not come to reward people who were behaving and acting like good followers of God. He came specifically for sinners. Why did he come to sinners? To punish them? No -- Jesus himself said, even early in His ministry -- that He came in order to give mercy to sinners.
  • Ultimately,  do not forget the great mercy of our Lord Jesus, that even upon His own death at the hands of the Roman guards, He begged God to forgive the Roman men who had put Him to death. "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." -  Luke 23:34

Do you desire to be closer to God, but feel like you will never be able to overcome busyness, distractions, or lack of actual motivation to really spend time with Him? Author Sherry Elaine Evans shares her journey in Closer to God: Simple Methods Starting Today. 

On This Brief Life, Happiness, and the "Bucket List"

I used to have what might be called a preliminary "bucket list" - a list of things I wanted to do while still on this earth. The list was mostly travel related - places I wanted to visit around the world - some on mission trips; some just for an amazing vacation.  I truly longed and hoped and yearned to have these travel experiences some day. Sometimes I would spend hours researching and planning and budgeting for the next unique vacation destination.

Then one day, in my time of prayer and quiet time, I felt the Lord reveal to me this truth in my heart and in my soul - "When you come into the Kingdom of God, you will be able to have all those experiences, if you even still wish for them, plus so much more. The experiences you desire are nothing compared to what I have planned for you."

Needless to say,  I don't have a bucket list of vacation and travel plans anymore. I have no "must see," nor "must do"  nor "must experience" list.  The desires for those experiences literally evaporated on that day; and I no longer yearn for earthly travel experiences any longer...not even a drop of yearning remains.

I do want to be clear that this is just my personal testimony, and I'm sharing one way by which God worked in me for His purposes. It is not a judgment on anyone who still has a bucket list of experiences they want to have in this life. See this list of travel and vacation plans was not merely a wish list for me; it was a focus of pursuit that God knew wouldn't ultimately provide the joy of experience or satisfaction I was thinking it would provide.

However - too often, even as Christians, we still treat this life as if it is all there is; even though we know the truth and the promise that there is more, much more - beyond our comprehension. We then spend much of our time toiling for things that have no real eternal meaning or significance.

There is a field of study in research psychology on how to find happiness. One of the conclusions these psychologists have come to is this: we are most happy when we are seeking a goal; but very shortly after we gain that goal, we tend to experience a renewed sense of dissatisfaction. This is a cycle of desire and dissatisfaction that seems to be embedded within us. We need a new goal then to continue the pursuit of happiness; which will be followed by a loss of that satisfaction. Rinse and Repeat.

 It is the cycle of pursuing satisfaction, reaching whatever it was and feeling satisfied for a time; but then realizing that the joy does not last.

I wish I could explain how I was able to escape this cycle. I wish I could share a step by step plan for you. I wish I could write a book titled: 6 Steps to Being Fully and Deeply Satisfied in Life and Finding a Deep Peace and Unshakeable Joy.  But I can't give you a road map. Because I didn't do anything within my own abilities to escape this pursuit-satisfaction-disappointment cycle. I did not overcome it on my own.

One day, the Holy Spirit pricked my heart during a Wednesday evening church service. (You can read about what happened to me in my  book, Closer to God.) I decided to truly seek the Lord with all my heart and with everything I had. I had already been identifying myself as a Christian for many years.  On this day,  I decided to fully seek the Lord and His Ways, and He rescued me from any desire to participate in this ongoing cycle. He rescued me from it by deeply embedding in my heart and in my soul a different perspective. And He gave me this gift - this new way of seeing - in a single day. The amazing thing is this: I did not even know that I needed to be rescued from this cycle. But God knew; and He rescued.

I write this to encourage any one who believes in Christ to stay close to God, and to never wander far from Him. As much as possible, practice His presence. If you do not yet believe, seek Him. If you feel a pinch of wonder about what I have written here; then consider that the Spirit is prompting you...and seek out what it is God wants you to know. We think we know what our problems in life are; but we have problems and mindsets and ways of thinking that we don't even realize we need to be rescued from. And these mindsets and ways of thinking are actually what we most need to be rescued from. We cannot change what we do not see nor perceive. We need God for this type of rescue.

When we just seek Him - he leads the way to a deep and permanent joy and peace that cannot be taken away. Over time, he gives us everything we need and desire; and surprisingly, we come to learn that what we truly need and desire are not the things that we once thought.

"Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, 
and He will give you everything you need." - Matthew 6:33

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined 
what God has prepared for those who love Him." - 1 Corinthians 2:9

If you would like to learn simple, practical ways to walk with God every single day, then you would really enjoy Closer to God: Simple Methods, Starting Today

If you want to learn more deeply and fully about what Jesus taught, then you would enjoy He Called: 56 Daily Studies and Reflections with the Words of Christ. There are also 14 videos that go along with this book on this blog here: Teachings of Jesus videos

The author also interacts with her readers on Facebook at

Author's other books can  be found at:

When We Are Blindsided by Unexpected Events

A few weeks ago I attended a Christian women's conference at my home church with the theme Unexpected.

The conference day was very powerful. God touched our hearts.  I shared my notes with someone who recently experienced something unexpected in her life.  The notes alone nearly brought her to tears, and she said that just reading the notes made her want to draw closer to God.

So I wish to share my notes here; as I'm certain that some of us have also recently experienced something "unexpected," and these notes and thoughts may touch a place in your heart too.

Always remember this verse:  And we know that God works all things together for our good, for those who love Him. - Romans 8:28

Sometimes, as Christians, we think "the unexpected" won't happen to us. Sometimes we cause others to believe this too. They think that if they become Christians, their lives will be wonderful and painless, and unexpected things won't happen to them. 

However, we must remember that God's entire plan for eternity came through events that were unexpected to those experiencing them. 

We all experience the unexpected.  But Jesus knows exactly what we need for the moment we are in. (Psalms 27:5)

Jesus hears when we pray. Psalms 18:6 tells us that when we stay with him, our cries come to his ears.

If we stay before the Lord through it, He will meet our His time.

When will the unexpected happen?
The unexpected always happens, of course....
 when we least expect it.

The blow can be softened by walking with the Lord every day – the blow can be softened, but its not eliminated.

Proverbs 16:9 tells us, "The heart of man plans his own way, but the Lord establishes his steps."

How do we deal with the unexpected? As women we want to talk to our moms, grandmoms, friends or anyone who will listen. But Jesus is the only one who can provide what we really need. Even when we don't know what we need or what to ask for, the Lord knows us better than we know ourselves.

When the unexpected causes something that deeply hurts us or harms us - Remember this:
What the enemy uses for harm, the Lord will use for good, when we walk with Him, return to Him, or stay with Him through it. (Genesis 50:20)

When things happen that we do not understand, remember 1 Corinthians 13:12 – "Now we see imperfectly, but then we will see clearly."  We don't understand now why the unexpected happens. But we will, in the future, see how God uses all the events in our lives to weave our lives together.

God knows the next chapter in your life, and He prepares you for everything you will face. Sometimes He uses "the unexpected" to accomplish this.


If you would like to learn simple, practical ways to walk closely with God every single day, then we recommend Closer to God: Simple Methods, Starting Today. 

If you are looking to learn more deeply and fully about what Jesus taught, then we recommend, He Called: 56 Daily Studies and Reflections with the
 Words of Christ. There are also 14 videos that go along with this book on this blog here: Teachings of Jesus videos

The author also interacts with her readers on Facebook at

Find all books and ebooks from this blog author at:


How To Cast Your Anxieties to Him this Easter, Or Any and Every Day of the Year...

It is Spring and my life is hectic. Easter has come early this year....I was in the middle of beginning a typical Easter-themed blog post, but instead....I somehow came across this Peanuts comic strip:

(Peanuts comic strip credit to Peanuts Worldwide @

And it struck a chord with me.

See, I can remember periods in my life when I would live by this philosophy.  I didn't choose to live this way; it just seemed to be my default setting when life got tough.

If only I can make it to Friday afternoon, the weekend will be better.
If only I finish grad school, I can get out of this boring job and get a really good one.
If only I can find a better job or get a transfer to a better school,  or a better area, or closer to home; things will be better.
If only I can survive my child's terrible two's, or four's, or twelve's, or teen's;  things will get easier.
If only I can get caught up on these work deadlines; my days will be more relaxed.
If only I can get past my required daily routine; I will have time to rest.

I could go on and on...but the point is...that I was living during those times by just "mentally surviving" day by day. My hope was in some potential future state of "better."

Maybe  I am only one of a small percentage of people in the world who ever lives this way. Though, I suspect I'm not. I suspect there are many who put on a happy face sometimes; but inside they are just dreading things, day by day.

If only I made more money....
If only I could find the right boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse....
If only this bad thing hadn't happened in my past...
If only I could make time to go on vacation....
If only someone hadn't left me....or passed away....

Stop. Just stop.

I finally discovered a better way, a better daily philosophy. And that philosophy is based on this:

"Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you." - 1 Peter 5:7

And that is exactly what I do. When I wake up, and as I'm getting ready for the day, I just cast it over to Him. I usually don't even ask for anything specific. I don't ask for any particular outcome. I literally just cast -- or toss -- all my concerns to Him. Sometimes I imagine myself with a large sack, like a stuffed laundry sack, tossing it over to Him.

He asked for my anxieties! So I let Him have them! If I don't give them to Him after He asked for them; then I'm just responsible for making my own mess in my own head.

The reason I typically do not ask for a particular outcome is because I can trust that He already knows the best outcome -- and if I give it to Him; with no strings attached, and with no demands for a particular outcome, then He will work out what He wants -- in His way - without my interference.  

And His way is much better than mine. It develops within me a better attitude. His way helps me to focus on the positive and on the small victories and pleasant moments within each day.

At the end of the day, I find that:

My way brings me overwhelm and stress.
His way brings me peace and rest. 

I typically pray something simple, like this near the beginning of the day:

"Lord, I wake up. I don't even know what to ask for or what to look for today. I'm starting to feel stressed about all I have to do, and I'm becoming overwhelmed. I just give it to you. Go before me and work things out according to what you know is best. I know it may be a tough day; but I am trusting you to get me through...and with a right attitude."

So this ended up not being a typical Easter post at all. However, if you really think about it; it is what Easter's Resurrection Day is all about, isn't it?

turning dread into joy;
turning sorrow into purpose;
turning restlessness into rest; and
knowing that our hope is not in a future "better;"
but that our hope is in the risen Lord, who overcame everything -- even death -- in a way that only He can do.

And He is with us in in spirit in our day by day.  When we remember that as often as we can throughout the day; we are "practicing His presence," and everything changes in perspective.

"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life." -Psalms 143:8 (NIV)


If you would like to learn simple, practical ways to walk with God every single day, then you would really enjoy Closer to God: Simple Methods, Starting Today

If you want to learn more deeply and fully about what Jesus taught, then you would enjoy He Called: 56 Daily Studies and Reflections with the Words of Christ. There are also 14 videos that go along with this book on this blog here: Teachings of Jesus videos

The author also interacts with her readers on Facebook at

Author's other books can  be found at:

Who Are the Spiritual Fools? Easter and April Fools Day Thoughts

This year, Easter Sunday falls on April Fool's Day.  The last time these two dates coincided was in 1956.  So of course, it is proper at this time to consider some biblical teachings on the characteristics of being a spiritual fool.

Below is a list of some of my favorite Biblical teachings on "foolishness." Many times, I read these and I think to myself, "Oh, I know so-and-so acts like that a lot!"  I start thinking about all the other people I know who act foolishly. But if I'm truly honest, there are areas where I act foolish too. So when you read over these, read them twice. The second time, ask yourself, "If I'm honest with myself, am I acting like a spiritual fool in any areas?"

If I wrote on every single Biblical teaching of foolishness vs. wisdom in the Bible, it would likely run more than 400 pages, so here are just a few of my favorite teachings on what to avoid as foolishness.  Perhaps they are my favorite teachings because they are the very habits I have had to ask for God's help in correcting these areas most in myself?

First, here are some Old Testament proverbs and teachings on foolishness:

"A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion." - Proverbs 18:2 (ESV)

"A fool is quick tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted." - Proverbs 12:16 (NLT)

"A fool's way is right in his own eyes, but whoever listens to counsel is wise." - Proverbs 12:16 (CSB)

"Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools." - Ecclesiastes 7:9 (ESV)

"Doing wrong is fun for a fool, but living wisely brings pleasure to the sensible. - Proverbs 10:23 (NLT)

Now, enjoy some New Testament teachings on foolishness vs. wisdom:

"For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened." - Romans 1:21 (ESV)

"But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?" - James 2:20 (NASB)

"And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?" - Luke 12:19-20


If you would like to learn simple, practical ways to walk closely with God every single day, then we recommend Closer to God: Simple Methods, Starting Today. 

If you are looking to learn more deeply and fully about what Jesus taught, then we recommend, He Called: 56 Daily Studies and Reflections with the Words of Christ. There are also 14 videos that go along with this book on this blog here: Teachings of Jesus videos

If you would like to read posts like the ones from this blog in book form, then you will enjoy the author's title A Key Question for All Life's Problems available as a Kindle book. The excerpts in the book may be read for personal spiritual growth, or used as sermon starters or lesson outlines. 

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You Can Look Forward to Confession in Prayer

Let’s look at some specific reasons and some Biblical teaching on why it is necessary and beneficial to have a regular time of confession in our daily prayer.  Confession is often the most difficult part of prayer for us, as it is a time of being genuine and honest and contrite before the Lord.  The Bible tells us that confession is important in order for us to be near to God and for God to be able to most effectively guide us:
In James 4:1-7, we are told that when we are in an ongoing state of daily confession, the devil will flee from us.  Therefore, by maintaining a habit of confession, sin and temptation cannot maintain a grasp in our lives! 

In Mark 11:25, we are given an example of how confession is necessary for our prayers to be effective. We are told to forgive and release the grudges we have against others, and to do this at the beginning of our confession time.  See, our prayers may not be effective if we have not confessed areas of unforgiveness in our lives. On the other hand, the confessed heart is a heart that is effective in prayer.  

In Acts 2:38, we are clearly told that we must confess and repent to receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit guides us through life, helping us to avoid some of  the troubles that may be lying in wait for us. Do you want that type of guidance in your life? Then get excited about genuine confession! 

In Hosea 14:1, it is prophesied that the people of God will stumble if they remain in their iniquity - in a state of non-confession. So how do we escape from our iniquity?  We do so through ongoing confession. 

Those are just four huge benefits of confession. When you think about it, you may actually get excited about having the opportunity to confess and be forgiven each time you go to God in prayer. 

  • Ongoing confession causes evil to flee from you!
  • Regular confession is one of the keys to effective prayers. 
  • Confession and repentance enables the Holy Spirit to regularly guide you. 
  • Regular confession helps us to avoid troubles and stumbles in life.

Maybe now we can all look forward to holding a regular confession time with God. It brings us closer to Him and causes temptations to flee from us. 

This post is an excerpt from the author's latest book: Closer to God, Simple Methods, Starting Today

Closer to God: Simple Methods, Starting Today - New Book Release

I've been quiet on my blog for the past month; and it is not just due to the busy holiday season. I have been writing and editing with the goal of releasing this book this first week in January.

My new book release is titled Closer to God: Simple Methods, Starting Today. So much thanks to those who have already grabbed a copy. It's available now on Amazon, and if you have Kindle Unlimited you can read it for Free this month! This is my story going from distracted, doubtful, mediocre Christianity to discovering and being mentored to a true and steady walk with the Lord. Reviews are always appreciated! Thank you so much to all who follow Gospel Life Learning and follow my little ministry over in this corner of the web. However you found me, please know that I write and blog because of the grace of the Lord and because of you! And please consider sharing with any friends you know who may wish to know more

Six years ago, in January 2012, I was inspired to find a way to keep God on my mind, as much as possible.  First, I was unexpectedly inspired by a biblical promise, a simple biblical mystery that hides in plain sight for so many of us. Next, I learned methods of spiritual growth from others. I wasn't good at most of the spiritual growth methods, because I tend to procrastinate and often have a scattered mind in things like prayer. So I pared the methods down and found ways to make time with God, to make it simple, authentic, focused, and effective.

 Now, I am sharing my story with you.

The result is my newest title, Closer to God: Simple Methods, Starting Today.  It is available exclusively on Amazon at this time. If you are a member of Kindle Unlimited, you can also read it for Free this month!  Click here to grab your Kindle or Paperback copy.

Learn simple, effective methods for focused prayer, journal keeping, and walking with God through each day. Find closeness with God, starting today with this new release .

Just released Closer to God: Simple Methods, Starting Today for at Amazon and read for
Free if you are a member of Kindle Unlimited.