Monday, February 23, 2015

A Purpose And A Promise

"Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed,
but let him glorify God in this matter. - 1 Peter 4:16

Tammie with her husband, Bob,
and their three children - Joshua, Daniel and Olivia

Often we wonder if God does truly have a purpose in the trials, sufferings and challenges we face. Sometimes the heartache and physical suffering seem to eclipse God's goodness and His plan for our lives. We ask, Does God really have a purpose in all of this suffering? Will He truly work all things together for good?

In my sweet, down-to-earth friend Tammie Dowd's new book A Purpose And A Promise, she invites you to share in her journey as she watches her courageous mom, Joanne, battle stage four breast cancer for many years. Remarkably, as she walks with her mom through her battle, she sees God at work in the hearts and lives of the each family member. 

Tammie shares her joys and her honest struggles with her faith as she journeys through season of physical illness with her mom. Unpacking the truths of scripture, Tammie invites you to discover with her that the hardships God allows in our lives can also bring the greatest blessings. 

Through Joanne's brave battle with cancer and Tammie's candid and disarming perspective, A Purpose And A Promise will remind you that God's faithfulness is unwavering, and His care is perfect.

In celebration of Tammie's book release and in honor of her mom, Joanne, I am giving away an autographed copy of the book. Just leave a comment here or simply "like" the post on Facebook. You will be entered to win! The winner will be announced the end of this week.

Oh...and if you LIKE Tammie's Facebook page, you will be entered twice! Just click here: A PURPOSE AND A PROMISE

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Choosing Shoes of Peace

"How beautiful your sandaled feet,
O prince’s daughter!"
~ Song of Solomon 7:1

I do love how God moves in our hearts to bless one another. When He impresses things on our hearts to do to bless and encourage each other, it shows HIS tender care for us in very personal, detailed ways. He moves in ways to touch our hearts and deepen our faith. And only He can get the glory through these sweet miracles!! I know when He whispers to our hearts and we obey, He is up to something very good.

A few years back, the Lord was speaking to my heart through His Word about my shoes and my feet. Seriously, I am a foot girl. I love foot rubs, pedicures and shoes. They are my love language. I loved seeking scriptures on shoes and feet during that season of life. I quietly journaled the shoes-and-feet scriptures, which I called "pedi-scriptures"! 

One thing God was reminding me through the pedi-scriptures was to always wear shoes of peace. ~ Ephesian 6:15: "For shoes, put on the readiness to preach the Good News of peace with God." He was gently calling to my attention to always have feet that proclaim peace and salvation and bring Good News.  ~ Isaiah 52:7:  "How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation...!"  

During that season of Him faithfully admonishing and growing me in His Word through the pedi-scriptures, He blew my socks off one Wednesday morning.

Wednesdays have long been my Bible study days. At that time, I attended a Precepts Ministry Bible study in the mornings, and then I took a 20-minute drive to do a study at my friend Shannon's home in the afternoon. I had missed several Wednesdays in a row due to my mom being hospitalized.

After things settled down for my sweet mom, I was excited to get back to my studies and to enjoy fellowship with friends I had not seen in several Wednesdays. As I walked into my Precepts study, my friend, Robin, greeted me warmly, holding something in her hand. 

Sharon, I wanted to get you something to encourage you. I have missed you at Bible study and have been praying for you, but I wanted to give you something tangible. I asked the Lord what I should get for you and He kept impressing the same thing on my heart: "Get her shoes." He kept whispering to my heart, "Buy Sharon shoes." When I pulled up in front of DSW, He confirmed it in my heart again. "Buy your girlfriend shoes." I wasn't sure of your size or what kind of shoes you would really like or need right now, so, here you go...I got you a gift card to DSW. You can pick your own shoes.  

I pick my own shoes. I choose if I will put on and wear shoes of peace.

Tears bubbled over and splashed down my face. I was the recipient of His grace and goodness.  

God wants me to have shoes. Shoes of peace. Shoes that have in them feet proclaiming peace and salvation, bringing Good News and good tidings. Those are the kind of shoes God wants me to have. Those are the kind of shoes I want to wear. 

He confirmed through the kindness, generosity and obedience of Robin the message He had been speaking to my heart about shoes and feet. With obedience comes the blessing of seeing God at work. Robin heard God's still, small voice. She obeyed and was part of God's work in another person's heart. How sweetly humbling for me to receive such a beautiful gift. How encouraging for Robin to know she had indeed heard and obeyed.

Thank you, Robin, for being His vessel to tangibly remind me to wear His shoes of peace...or, in that case, wear cute sandals of peace! I chose stylish Rocket Dog summer sandals, which are still a constant reminder of His goodness through you. And I promise to wear them with a heart that is pursuing peace. 

"Seek peace and pursue it."  Psalm 34:14

"Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be poured into your lap. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you."Luke 6:38