This site serves as an opportunity for CR encouragement, shared changed life stories, resources, and mini-testimonies.
Lessons Learned in the Garden
By Susan Nichols, Fellowship Bible Church CR Devotional Team 6/27/2018
Lessons Learned in the Garden
For many years, we had a huge vegetable garden where we grew tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, okra, purple hull peas, greens, and more. We loved growing our own food and sharing fresh vegetables with friends and neighbors. I must admit, however, that while caring for the garden was satisfying, it took continual effort to make sure it was productive.
One of the biggest chores was weeding. My favorite tools for this were my two hoes. The pointed ends of my crescent hoe (below left) were for precision work—reaching under individual weeds to pull them up, turning over the soil and exposing the roots in the process. My heavier grub hoe (below right) helped overturn larger patches of weeds or unwanted grasses whose roots ran deeper into the soil.
Just like that vegetable garden, we all have weeds—the effects of trials, traumas, and tribulations that have changed us emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. There’s no getting around it—these weeds must be pulled. Walking through the healing process is painful and it’s common to experience upheaval as we talk about issues, put up healthy boundaries, and give ourselves permission to feel (often, for the first time).
Disappointments threaten to choke out the life and hope of God in us, but God, our Master Gardener, knows how to coax good fruit from those disappointments. That fruit sustains not only us but those around us as well. His work in us is purposeful and He promises to cultivate us (to promote our growth through labor and attention):
“Jesus replied, ‘Every plant not planted by my Heavenly Father will be uprooted…’” (Matt. 15:13).
“The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.”
What incredible promises He has made to us! He knows we have no way of saving or fixing ourselves and assures us He will always work on our behalf. I understand how hard it is to be still and let Him have His way. If, however, we allow ourselves to rest in Him and to wait upon Him, the reward will be great! More peace, more healing, more gratitude, more hope, and more love for Him will quickly follow.
“Who will protect me from the wicked? Who will stand up for me against evildoers? Unless the Lord had helped me, I would soon have settled in the silence of the grave. I cried out, ‘I am slipping!’ but your unfailing love, O Lord, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.” (Matt. 19:16-19).
“So, let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up.” (Gal. 6:9).
You are All-Wise, knowing exactly what it will take to conform me to your Image. I’m so thankful that you understand what it’s like to be human. Please work in me, removing the pain of past hurts, anger, bitterness, pride, and all the other weeds that remain in my life. Help me, God, to hand things over to you as soon as you show them to me. Have your way in my life today! ~Amen!
Click HERE to listen to "Hard Love" by NeedtoBreathe (feat. Lauren Daigle)
By Kareena Holloway, Fellowship Bible Church NWA CR Women's Encourager Coach 3/7/18
Have you ever been doing something for so long you just get tired? Take running for example. What are some key components to running a long distance? You need to: dress the part! You can't run a mile in clothing that's too thick or doesn't breathe, and you want to have good shoes on! No flip-flops!"Therefore, put on every piece of God's armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm." Eph. 6:13 hydrate and fuel your body before and for the extent of the distance."But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life." John 4:14 get and give some encouragement as you go. You're not in this alone!"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.I will strengthen you and help…
By Susan Nichols, Fellowship Bible Church CR Devotional Team 7/25/2018
“I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called--his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.” (Eph. 1:18, NLT) Have you ever been a victim of identity theft? That’s when someone uses your personal information without your permission to gain some benefit for themselves. A friend of mine recently had someone charge hundreds of dollars to his credit card. He had to fight to clear his name and get his money back. What would you do if someone took out loans in your name? Or used your social security number to get a copy of your birth certificate? Would you let them take money out of your bank account? Would you let them steal your identity? I think you’d do whatever it took to protect your name and keep the identity thief from ruining your life. Now the question becomes this: If you’d do whatever it took to protect you…
By: Kareena Holloway, Fellowship Bible Church NWA, Celebrate Recovery, Women's Encourager Coach 5/16/18 Do cloudy, dismal skies get you feeling kind of cloudy and dismal yourself? I can relate! I admit, sometimes I forget to look beyond the clouds and to remember that the most beautiful blue skies are right on the other side. I catch myself forgetting that very fact. I focus on what's right in front of me, or what the sky looks like, and I forget. If I let it go too long, I start wanting to isolate, and I feel down.
How about those real-life storms? There are bound to be those days where you can't seem to lift your face because there is so much going on in your own life or the life of a loved one. In these times we need to reach out for prayer so that we remember God's truths. This is why God's Word is so vital to yours and my health. His truths and promises keep us on track, inspire us to reach out to like-minded people for prayer, and encourage one another.…