Bethany's BlogWords of Encouragement

The True Novel


Today I have been thinking about how the Bible is so much like a novel, one of those page turners where at times one might question how so much can happen in so few pages!  Think about it, God speaks and an entire world is created. God draws in the dirt and man is created. Man names lots and lots of animals. God puts man to bed, and woman is created. Woman and man visit a tree, everything goes downhill. Kids enter the world. Jealousy between siblings creates huge issues, and murder causes blood to flow upon the land.  The first mother has lost her son to a sin that not only kills our bodies but kills our souls. What a tragedy.

Before we have a chance to recover the world is so wicked that God can only find one man, and his family, that is loyal to him.  God decides he is going to destroy the entire earth and he tells this one man, Noah to build an ark, so they will be saved. In faith, Noah builds the ark, this is not a small project, then, when he , the animals and his family are safely on the ark, it rains. Everybody else dies. Everybody! The ark floats around, the water recedes, the earth dries out.  The earth repopulates, the people get afraid that there will be another flood and they build a huge tower.  It only makes things worse.

Then, enters Abram.  Soon to be Abraham. His story is pretty long, as he is really good friends with God. They talk a lot, even though Abraham doesn't always do exactly as God asks.  He still has a pretty amazing faith in God.  Abraham has a wife named Sarah, and they both finally get to have a baby boy named Isaac at a very old age.  God promised them they would.  After a few years passed by, God told Abraham to take Isaac and kill him on the alter, Abraham took Isaac, tied him up and proceeded to obey.  But, thankfully, an Angel stopped him.  See?  I told you, he had great faith.

So, then Isaac married a beautiful woman named Rebekah.  They had twins named Jacob and Esau.  And this is where things really start to get juicy....

And, through it all, God loved them all.

tune in next week!

Encouraging Words



"I am he" said Jesus. "You don't have to wait any longer or look any further."

John 4:26

In the last couple of weeks there have been many people speak words of life over me; it's been encouraging and uplifting. It's felt like Jesus has repeatedly been saying to me " I am he, you don't have to wait any longer or look any further."  This doesn't mean I won't keep seeking Jesus, it just means that He is becoming more and more visible to me through the encouragement and love of others.  I spent some time reviewing some of my journals from years ago, and one of the constant themes from each day was Jesus saying "focus on me."

As I have focused more on Him, my life has been surrounded with life speakers, and I'm learning to be a life speaker.  As I've listened to my Bible this year, I've marveled at the way God only has to speak a Word, and there is life.  And, He does it over, and over, and over again.

I love how Jesus knows who He is!  "I am he" said Jesus. "You don't have to wait any longer or look any further."  When the life of Jesus is totally wrapped around your life and my life, we don't have to wait or look any further than Him.  He brings all the life we need.  And, He enables us to bring life to others, real uplifting encouraging life.

When I was a child, about 5 years old, I needed surgery.  I remember being in the pediatric ward, and looking out the window. As I looked out that window the only thing I could think of was how much I wanted to jump out the window. I sat several stories high, and I knew that jumping would lead to death. Later, on my way to the operating room, two nurses stood beside me and spoke words of encouragement over me, they comforted me.  It impacted me greatly. There have been other times in my life that the thought of death has entered my mind, when that happens, God brings me back to those two nurses and words of life they spoke over me.

Look for life speakers and hang out with them. Ask Jesus to speak life over you and empower you to do the same. There is no other place to look, but to Him.

Through the Rain



Generation after generation stands in awe of your work; each one tells  stories of your mighty acts.

Psalms 145:4

One night last week it rained a lot at our house.  When I got up the next morning, I noticed that I had left a pile of books outside on our covered patio, they were topped with my Bible.  The wind had blown the rain over the table that my books rested on, and three of my books were completely drenched, as if they had been immersed in a tub of water.  My Bible, on the other hand was not wet!  I brought all my books inside, dabbed them with a dry cloth and stood them up as best as I could to begin the drying process.  One of the books lost its cover, and all of them became shriveled and wrinkled.  It was an interesting process to me to watch them dry, and to notice how long it took for them to get there.  It reminded me of life.

We all experience periods of time, some much longer than others, where the rain comes down and changes everything in our lives.Sometimes it takes a long time to recover, and when we have, the process still changed us forever.  My books look like a piece of intriguing art after the rain. They are still totally readable, but not at all flat.  They have many interesting creases and crinkles. Even though they were new books, they look like antique books now.  This is how it works, as the rain pours down on our lives we develop new creases.  We aren't destroyed, but instead we become more interesting.  The entire time, even when we don't recognize it, we are still being covered and protected by our Father.  His spoken word over us keeps us from total destruction, but grows us into someone new.

May each of your creases be blessed today and as you grow and learn, keep in mind that God will move through the process with you.

Mighty Warrior



The Lord is with you, mighty warrior. 

Judges 6:12

The day that God approached Gideon with the identity of "mighty warrior" Gideon was hiding in a winepress, threshing out some wheat. He was discouraged.  Everytime Gideon and his family made any progress, it was stolen away from them. Due to his circumstances he lived a life of frustration and doubt.  So, how on earth did God come to the conclusion that Gideon was a mighty warrior?  As far as Gideon was concerned that was the furthest thing from the truth.  He even asked the angel that approaced him, "if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? The Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian." Gideon's response did not deter the angel, he simply replied by saying, "Go in the strength that you have and save Israel out of Midean's hand. Am I not sending you?"

But, Gideon is NOT feeling strong, and he feels inclined to let this angel know.  "Pardon me, my Lord, but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family." Have you ever felt like Gideon? Gideon thought he knew himself, he had a clear definition of who he was....weak. He based his identity on performance, the past, and what other people saw and defined. None of this was "mighty warrior"!

God, on the other hand, created Gideon to be a mighty warrior, and that is exactly what He saw.  

So, of course, I ask myself, who did God create you and me to be, what does He see?  Does your identity that God has given you match up with the one you have given yourself?

Sometimes, God and I are not on the same page when it comes to this issue!  I know who He says I am, yet I believe something else.  This is not fun for me or anyone else.  So, today, I bless you with the knowledge of knowing and believing that you are exactly who God says you are. I bless you with steps to walk in this knowledge and to move in the heart of God.


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