Category Archives: Following Christ Has Changed My Life

When Gratitude Becomes Your Miracle

Fallen tree Christmas 2015

After a lifetime of hardships and tragedies, including the death of my only son four years ago, I’ve had to work hard to keep a positive outlook. The last couple years have taught me to try to find something worthwhile, even if only a splinter of goodness, when things go terribly wrong.

The word gratitude for me stands for: “Graceful attitude.”

I’ve learned that when our attitude includes bits of thankfulness it somehow transforms an otherwise miserable situation into gratitude, and that very gratitude can help us find a miracle in every situation.

My version of looking for the silver lining.

The Monday before Christmas a huge section of my neighborhood experienced a power outage for about an hour and a half which doesn’t sound too bad, except that I was babysitting a 2 year old child, and each power outage means no community-well water (that’s country living). The power continued to go off, then pop on as many as 8 hours later until we went completely black for good December 23rd. This time the power company predicted power outage for several days. A massive snow storm hit our heavily wooded Northwest area downing hundreds of trees, knocking down power lines, and leaving thousands of homes in the dark. Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Awed by His Love and Grace, Following Christ Has Changed My Life, Holidays and Special Days, Inner Sruggles and Heartache, The Miraculous

Camo Bible Totin’ Mom

Camo Bible Toting Mom

I’m a Camo Bible Totin’ Mom. I have my own beautiful, and downright girlish, teal covered Bible with the giant butterfly on the front, and I am still the makeup sporting, very light makeup at that, lady who wears feminine apparel to church while carrying a camouflage covered Bible.

I can tell you I have gotten a couple of odd looks and double takes when someone sees my camouflage Bible cover, but that’s completely okay with me because I treasure that Bible. I read from it daily and will hang on to it until my last breath. You see, I have the pleasure of doing my reading from a Bible that once belonged to my son, Jonathan. Ironically, I originally purchased it for someone else who didn’t seem to value it much and so I was going to keep it for myself, mainly because of it’s large print, but when Jonathan, barely a teenager in those days, asked me for it I couldn’t say no.

I now own that Bible once more, the one Jonathan had placed in a camouflage cover being the all-boy that he was, since he no longer needs it now that he’s in the presence of the Almighty for good. This year, September 24th, will mark four years since God took my 27 year old son home by way of a motorcycle accident. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Awed by His Love and Grace, Faith, Following Christ Has Changed My Life, Hope

Weighty Luggage

Crystal Andrus's photo.

When our lifetime of baggage becomes heavy clutter, it’s time to take inventory of what to keep, what to give away, and what to discard. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Everythingelse, Faith, Following Christ Has Changed My Life, Inner Sruggles and Heartache, Life and Relationships, Life Lessons

God is Love

“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.  God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.  This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.  Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other.  No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us. Furthermore, we have seen with our own eyes and now testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. All who confess that Jesus is the Son of God have God living in them, and they live in God.  We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.” 1 John 4:7-16

By ~ Elizabeth Yalian 2013-2015 ©http://hiseyeisonthissparrow.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Awed by His Love and Grace, Following Christ Has Changed My Life, God and Jesus

God’s Laws, Fence or Guardrail?

We tend to believe God’s commandments exist to restrict joy out of our life but in reality they exist to keep joy in our lives by restricting heartbreak and tragedy.

I wish I’d known and understood this pearl of wisdom when I was much younger.

By ~ Elizabeth Yalian 2013-2015 ©http://hiseyeisonthissparrow.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Everythingelse, Following Christ Has Changed My Life, Life Lessons

Letting Our Light Shine

In Matthew 22:36-39 a Pharisee, hoping to stump Jesus, comes and asks: “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 36 

The Pharisee thought Jesus should say all of the commandments came from God and all of them were great, right? I mean, that does make sense, doesn’t it? However…

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 37-39 

Jesus gave the Pharisee those two commandments because they cover all the other commandments combined. That’s what made them so great. If we love the Lord God with all our heart, soul, and mind, it should be naturally easy to also love our neighbor as our self. And if we happen to not like ourselves very much, we know we are valuable because we are made by God, and made in God’s very image.

However, in our fallible and errant condition, that’s not so easy at all. We often struggle to just be nice to our own family and friends. Yet as followers of Christ we are told we must demonstrate love and respect to all people, including those we don’t like, love, or agree with.

It’s God’s way.

Even those who rub us wrong? Yes!

Well then, they should be nice back to us if we are nice to them. Isn’t that common courtesy? Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Everythingelse, Following Christ Has Changed My Life, God and Jesus, Life and Relationships

Stunted Faith

Yesterday I wrote God’s Delay on Answering Prayers is no Delay , and discussed that when we pray mightily over something we want, and God seems to be procrastinating on the answers to those prayers, it doesn’t mean that His delay is a mistake.  The more I thought about that, the more a new concept came to life for me. Do we stunt answers to our prayers thinking we know better?  Yes God, I want you to answer this prayer but you really have to go about it THIS WAY!  Do we expect answers with only partial faith?

The concept of our expectations from God and how often they intermingle with our incomplete trust in Him floored me as I examined Lazarus’ death closer.

In the death of Lazarus, his sisters’ (Mary and Martha) discuss their frustration with Jesus that He had shown up too late to heal their dying brother.

 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” John 11:21

Martha didn’t quite get what Jesus meant when He said to her:  “Your brother will rise again” 11:23. She thought Jesus was referring to the end of time resurrection.  Yet her words show she expected Jesus to do something about her brother’s death when she said,

“But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” 11:22 Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under Awed by His Love and Grace, Faith, Following Christ Has Changed My Life, Life Lessons, The Miraculous

God’s Delay on Answering Prayers is no Delay

I had just left my house and was on my way to a walk-in lab for some extensive blood tests the new doctor I began seeing required. I talked to the Lord about my level of frustration, concern, and anxiety over my health issues. As I always do when I drive, I turned on Moody Radio Station KMBI 107.9.  Within a few minutes a new program came on. I’m not even sure which program it was or who the person was, but he was talking about the death of Lazarus, and his sisters’ frustration that Jesus had showed up too late to heal their dying brother.

 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” John 11:21

I was surprised by what came on next.  The man on the radio said these words: Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Awed by His Love and Grace, Following Christ Has Changed My Life, God and Jesus, Hope, The Miraculous

Never a Loss in Prayer

Kenny Stills's photo.

I saw this on Facebook and decided to use it here because there is so much to this quote.  When you turn to God and give Him your worries, you can only gain.

What the man lost through prayer became his richest gain.

In losing anger, he gained self-control.

In losing ego, he gained selflessness.

In losing greed, he gained charity.

In losing depression, he gained hope.

In losing insecurity, he gained confidence.

In losing fear of death, he gained peace of mind.

Coming to God in prayer is a win-win situation, all the time.

By ~ Elizabeth Yalian 2013-2015 ©http://hiseyeisonthissparrow.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Following Christ Has Changed My Life, God and Jesus, Hope

CHRISTMAS: To Celebrate or Not?

image

I’ve given Christmas a lot of thought this year as there’ve been articles circulating Facebook and the internet for several months about Christmas being a pagan holiday that originated with the celebration of the birth of a sun god, and that the Catholics broke away from the Roman pagan sun-god roots and declared December 25th a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus instead. And much more. (I apologize for this being a little long, it’s a complicated subject.)

Then there’s the one of a tree taken from the forest and being covered with silver and gold. Of course, most think of Christmas trees, tinsel, ornaments, etc. I read those verses before in Jeremiah 10:3-5 and looked them up again. It speaks of the god(s) of that culture, a wooden statue carved in the image of a being or an animal then literally overlaid with melted silver or gold, and Ta-dah, it’s a god! (Insert tongue in cheek here) These carved images were actually worshiped. I agree, if I did that with a tree, or anything, I would definitely offend God.

I do understand the articles. People who write them have strong convictions and I don’t hold that against them whatsoever as I have my own strong convictions. That being said, I’ve been trying not to rationalize Christmas, but rather weigh out the celebration of Christmas as Jesus’ birthday against not celebrating it at all, and took a close look at what Christmas means to me. Continue reading

9 Comments

Filed under Awed by His Love and Grace, Christmas, Following Christ Has Changed My Life, God and Jesus