No One Likes Discipline ~ A 31 Day Post (day 21)


Discipline can seem like a nasty word, but the reality is that it really depends on the definition that you apply to the word.

I’m going to take a look at the word and a few of it’s definitions today.  (note: there are a total of 9 – if you are looking at discipline as a noun)  When most people think of discipline we go back to our childhood, thinking of times when we were put on restrictions or some other form of punishment by our parents.  That takes me to the first definition that I found on


The Bible speaks to this.

Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you. ~ Deuteronomy 8:5

Sometimes, like the good Father that He is, God must discipline us.  We misbehave in our spiritual lives just like we misbehave as earthly children.  And when we do, we must be disciplined.

The Bible says that discipline from the Lord is a good thing.

For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. ~ Hebrews 12:10

It says that we are blessed for receiving discipline from the Lord and that we should not detest it.

“Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty. ~ Job 5:17

Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? ~ Hebrews 12:9

The next definition speaks to a way of life.  Exercise, eating right, time spent in God’s Word.

And of course, the Bible speaks to this too.  Paul speaks of the discipline he has and Titus tells us that we should practice discipline.

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. ~ 1 Corinthians 9:27

…but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. ~ Titus 1:8

And then there is the definition that gives me the most encouragement.
My good friend calls it sanctification.  She’s right.  The “effect of experience” is what grows us and shapes us into exactly who God intends us to be.  He allows us to go through things so that we become more like Him in our Christian walk.   I’ll be honest and say that it’s the “adversity” word that I struggle with.  I often find myself whining and asking, “why must I go through this or that?”  OR “why do I need to learn this lesson?”
The answer is in Hebrews 12:11:

All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

I’ve been told for a very long time to “choose joy.”  And Hebrews even speaks to this.  These times of discipline are not when we will be joyful.  We may even be sad.  But it sanctifies us!  It molds us into the person that God intended when He knit us together in our mother’s womb.  We have to trust that the road of discipline He takes us down is for the advancement of His kingdom.  I remember when my dad had cancer.  He was a wonderful man that loved the Lord and served Him in many ways through his local church and also the Gideon’s International ministry.  Dad was just a few years from retiring and no doubt would have wanted to do missions, serve more in the church, etc.  But God saw fit for Daddy to leave this earth.  I didn’t understand it.  At some point during his illness, Dad and I were discussing this and he said something I’ll never forget.  He said, “This may not be about me.”  He went on to remind me that God has a plan.  That He numbers our days.  That sometimes we are the only Jesus others see.  “What if, “he said, “even one person comes to know the Lord because of my attitude and actions during this illness?”
I’ve thought of that statement my Dad made many times over the years.  In our time of transition over the last year, I was asked how I could be at peace when I had no idea where we were going to live or where my husband would be working or what opportunities I would have in a new place to help with our homeschooling?
Time and time again, I had to realize that I was in this time of adversity, because it really was hard, for the glory of God.  I have no idea who was impacted by my actions and attitude during that time.  What I do know is that God is sowing the “fruit of righteousness” in me.  I have a long way to go.  But He is good and faithful.
Until tomorrow…
Joy to You!

This post is part of a Write 31 Day Challenge


I’ve not shared my series landing page recently.

I’d be honored if you would check out a few more posts in this series


He Listens ~ A 31 Day Post (day 20)


Something I’ve been reminded of over the past year, is that God hears us when we earnestly and sincerely go to Him in prayer.  I’ve had it proven to me over and over again.  That proof has been shown over and over again in my Christian walk.  As I’ve written more than once during this 31 day challenge, we go through hard stuff.  And sometimes that stuff comes from other people.  Now it may not be from them directly but when they deliver news or do something that seems rude or mean, it’s hard not to want to strike back.

Psalm 66 speaks to this.  It says:

18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.

Iniquity means “a violation of right or duty; wicked act; sin.”  I mean, I’ll admit I sin.  But, I don’t think of myself as someone who does wicked acts.  My sins are what I would call little.  You know, a bad attitude or something like that.  Here’s the thing, if I hold onto bad attitudes or hurt from something someone said or did, I’m cherishing iniquity.

If I had stopped reading after verse 18, I would have missed the good news that follows.

19 But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.

20 Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me!

Psalm 66 recounts the things that God has done.  It speaks of how the author (speculated to be David) comes into the presence of the Lord.  It speaks of being tested by the Lord, like silver is tried.  The result is that God listens when we go to Him with a clean heart.  And He does not remove His steadfast love from us.

That is a blessing!

Until tomorrow…

Joy to You!



Always Quiet ~ A 31 Day Post (day 19)


We like movies in our house.  It’s not unusual for our family to settle in to a good movie – complete with popcorn, of course!

Anyway, we like all kinds of movies but especially like ones that share the message of the gospel.  One of our new favorites is “God’s Not Dead 2.”  Have you seen it?  Our family had watched it a few weeks ago and loved it.  We watched it again this past weekend with family visiting from out of town.  I always get something new out of a movie when I see it a second or third time.  That was the case with this one too.

Grace Wesley is the teacher on trial for sharing her faith in the classroom.  In actuality, she quoted the words of Jesus as a historical event but was still put on trial.  During the storyline of the trial, when it didn’t look as though she would win her case, her grandfather said something that I didn’t pick up on the first time I saw the movie.  He said:


This really resonated with me.  I thought of this series that I’m writing about encouragement from the Lord.  I thought about the times in my life when things were “really hard” and I felt alone.  I knew that God was in control and I knew that He had a plan but He seemed quiet.  Years ago, shortly after I graduated from college, I went through a difficult circumstance.  A friend of my dad’s knew I was struggling and he reminded me that I needed to pray and trust.  He encouraged me to memorize Philippians 4:6-7.  I did.  Recently I read a paraphrase of these verses.  I can’t remember where I got it from but this is what it said:

if we don’t worry and truly give it all to Christ, He will guard our hearts and minds and we are left with PEACE!  

While He guards our hearts and minds,  sometimes He is quiet.  Or at least it often feels like He is quiet.  That’s when I need to be still…when I need to listen…when I need to trust.  And then I am left with peace!   Next time I am in a difficult situation, and I will be because the road of life that we walk is not easy, I have to remember that He is with me and that He may be quiet.

Until tomorrow…

Joy to You!


Psalm 91 ~ A 31 Day Post (days 17 -18)


I missed posting yesterday and I’ve almost missed today.  Trying to get back on track.  Psalm 91 is what the Lord has laid on my heart to share.  It’s lengthy but oh so good!

I’m doing something a little different.  I am just going to write type out the passage below.   You will notice certain words or verses that are highlighted.  Those are the ones that have meant so much to me over the years as I have dealt with hard stuff.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
    nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
    and see the recompense of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—
    the Most High, who is my refuge—
10 no evil shall be allowed to befall you,
    no plague come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways.
12 On their hands they will bear you up,
    lest you strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the adder;
    the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

14 “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
    I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him;
    I will be with him in trouble;
    I will rescue him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation.”


When we found out that we were moving last October, a dear friend sent me this passage.  She encouraged me to read it again and again.  To let the words sink in.  She didn’t send it to me because bad things were being done or said about us.  She sent it because it’s  a beautiful list of what God does for us.  Here’s the thing, He doesn’t wait until times are tough to be all these things for us.  These are His character.  And His character doesn’t change.

In my Bible, the heading for this Psalm is “My Refuge and My Fortress.”  It fits.

Until tomorrow…

Joy to You!


All There ~ A 31 Day Post (day 16)


When you share with folks that you are leaving everything and everyone that is familiar to follow God’s call to Seminary and ministry, you get all sorts of advice.  At least that was the case with us.   I’ll be honest over the past 11 years, I don’t have clear recollection of most of the wisdom that was shared with us.  Not word for word anyway.  I have the concept of it all and the advice has been put to good use over the years.

One piece of advice that I have never forgotten came from a retired pastor’s wife.  She said not to be surprised if God’s plan was for us to be in two, three, even four (or more) places during our time in ministry.  And then she gave me a quote that I have never forgotten.


She told me to invest.  She told me to get to know the place and the people where we are.  She told me not to wish I was somewhere else. Her reasoning?  Because it’s hard to plug in, to be a part of a community when you are wishing you are somewhere else.  I have taken this quote up like a banner.  At least I try to.  Yes, I miss my hometown and yes, I miss being 15 minutes from our family.   But I also know that if the place, or just the circumstance, that I am in is God’s will then that is where my focus should be.

At some point, I looked up this quote by Jim Elliot.  I was looking for more information on what Jim Elliot was going through when he made the statement.  He was a missionary to Ecuador’s Quechua Indians.  Along with 3 others, Jim Elliot lost his life as he attempted to evangelize the Huaorani people in Ecuador.  In my short search, I didn’t find a lot of detail around the time and place of the quote but I did find that there was more to the quote.  Here is the rest of it:


Wow!   So what does “to the hilt” mean?  According to Webster’s dictionary it means, “with nothing lacking. ”  I could write a lot about the will of God and maybe someday I will.  Right now, I am working hard on focusing on “being all there.”

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.  ~ Psalm 37:3

This verse reminded me of Jim Elliot’s quote.  Especially in the situation of being in ministry.  Especially in the situation of moving from friends and family.  We are to trust the Lord.  We are to be in the land that the Lord has placed us in and there be faithful.

After living away from our immediate family for 10+ years, I still get homesick and I miss the friends, that became family, in the towns that we previously lived in.  But I am encouraged to live fully… “to the hilt”… “all there” in the place that I believe to be the will of God.

I have to remember that sometimes this isn’t just a place of residency.  It could be a situation concerning health concerns.  It could be the job that you find yourself in.  Or the school.   Whatever or wherever He has you, trust Him.

Until tomorrow…

Joy to You!


Shelter ~ A 31 Day Post (day 15)



something beneath, behind, or within which a person, animal, or thing is protected from storms, missiles, adverse conditions, etc.; refuge.

The word itself can be found in the Bible (ESV version) 19 times.  Five of those are in Psalm.  Four of them speak specifically of the SHELTER we find in the Lord.

For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock. ~ Psalm 27:5

In the cover of your presence you hide them from the plots of men; you store them in your shelter from the strife of tongues. ~ Psalm 31:20

Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah ~ Psalm 61:4

[ My Refuge and My Fortress ] He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. ~ Psalm 91:1

Over the past year…actually for my entire life…I have found comfort, refuge, SHELTER in God’s Word.  Comfort, refuge, SHELTER in God.  Psalm 94:22 describes the encouragement that I find.

But the Lord has become my stronghold, and my God the rock  of my refuge.

Today I find myself just needing the reminder of His shelter and refuge.  I hope that it encourages you.

Until tomorrow…

Joy to You!

He Gives and Takes Away ~ A 31Day Post (day 14)


One of my favorite songs (ever) is Blessed Be Your Name by Matt Redman.   I wrote about it HERE back in my very first 31 Day Writing Challenge.  Interestingly enough, that post spoke of the major change that our family faced when we went to seminary.  It seems I write about that a lot! {smile}  I guess when something impacts your life as much as going into ministry impacted mine, it comes up now and again.

Anyway, the first time I heard this song was in church on a Sunday morning. A friend, who has one of the most beautiful voices that I have ever heard, was the soloist that day.  I love anything she sings but this one immediately struck me as being a hard truth that I needed to grasp.  That was in 2004.  I had no idea that a year later, we would be uprooting our family and moving 7-1/2 hours away from everything familiar.

The lyrics list times in which the Lord’s name should be blessed.  I’ve listed a few below:

Blessed Be Your Name…     

  • In the land that is plentiful
  • Where Your streams of abundance flow
  • When I’m found in the desert place
  • Though I walk through the wilderness
  • When the sun’s shining down on me
  • When the world’s ‘all as it should be
  • On the road marked with suffering
  • Though there’s pain in the offering

The chorus goes like this:

Every blessing You pour out I’ll turn back to praise…When the darkness closes in, Lord, Still I will say…Blessed be the name of the Lord…Blessed be Your name

And then, the part of the song that can sometimes be hard to swallow comes


We don’t mind the giving part.  I don’t know about you but I am always grateful, thankful, and willing to receive a blessing…a gift from the Lord.

It’s the take away that’s hard.

If only I were like Job.  Remember him?  He lost everything and yet, he never cursed the name of the Lord.  Even when his friends and his, “ahem” wife told him to curse God.  His response to them is found in Job 1:21, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”

If Job can praise the Lord in times of plenty and want, then I know that I should be able to as well.  It’s just hard.  It goes back to me having my whole life planned and then the plans changing.

In the past year of writing down encouraging quotes, verses, etc., I ran across this one that made me run the gamut of emotions.

Sometimes God’s blessings are not in what He gives, but in what He takes away.  He knows best.  Trust Him.  ~ Anonymous

I know He gives good gifts.  And I don’t necessarily mean the in a box with a bow kind.  A cool breeze and a sweet text from a friend are just as valuable as a new pair of earrings.  I also know that He takes away.  I’ve experienced it time and time again.  Even when my dad passed away 17 years ago, I knew that ultimately the Lord needed to be praised. 

I expect that I will see this over and over again in my life.  I need to remember that His plan is perfect and in the giving by Him…and the taking away by Him…”He knows best.”

And yes, I need to trust Him.  Back on day 5, I quoted my friend’s aunt.  I’ll share it again because it’s so true and it applies:

if we knew the (His) plan, we’d mess it up.

I’m trusting Him in all things.  Or at least that’s my goal!

Until tomorrow…

Joy to You!