Prayers that won’t give up!

 Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them they should always pray and

never give up- Luke 18:1

 

At a certain point in life, we all have a limit.

For example, I have a “three call back” phone rule. If I call someone over three times and they don’t return my phone call, it’s likely I won’t call them back anymore. ( okay maybe four times, but who’s counting)

Have you ever had a friend who cancels consistently? It’s pretty hard to trust them to show up at future events.

It’s easy to transfer our human limits onto our relationship with God.

When we experience disappointments with human relationships, it’s easy to expect those same disappointments from our relationship with God.

In our limited minds, we can compare God to a friend who doesn’t call us back or show up when we make plans.

Jesus must have known this after being around his friends on earth. In Luke, he tells his disciples a parable to help them stop seeing God like a human.

In the parable of the persistent widow,  a unjust judge that finally gives into a request by a widow repetitively knocking on his door, insisting to be have her justice. He only gives in because she is pestering him but it’s not because he cares about her or about anyone but himself.

Jesus breaks the comparison trap with this verse:

And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly.

We are not just annoying people, we are God’s chosen ones….Let that sink in while hearing this –

As God’s chosen people we will receive justice and quickly!

As humans tempted to believe God doesn’t hear us, he does. He will defend our cause and bring about justice for those who love him.

We must persist in prayer and not give up! Click To Tweet

You are a chosen one of God! He hears you- He knows you-

He will send what you need even today as you trust him!

 

Todays prayer:

Lord, I will persist in prayer for _________________________. I will believe that you are listening and that you deeply understand my heart for this situation. Give me the grace to walk in confidence that you are at work on my behalf. You will bring justice to my cause and light to my path. You will not give the enemy of my soul the ultimate victory. You will victorious in your good and perfect plans for my life and the lives of those I love. 

in Jesus name-

amen-

 

 

 

 

 

My Resting Place

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A poem that inspires you to find rest in the hope of heaven!

When at last

I am hard pressed

I take flight

in chaotic stress

I travel to

the resting place

I seek the presence

of unseen grace.

I go and walk to

a space of green

when my spirit is  low,

my endurance lean.

I rest upon

the

holy ground

where remains below,

are only found.

No more laughter

no counsel to share,

only silence,

I find there.

All my hopes

beneath the ground

unending  joy,

in a smile was found.

I can no more,

relive this past.

I must move on,

as shadows cast.

and yet I have

within my heart

a flame afire,

where longs part.

Standing up

upon my feet

I return

to life’s long street

I found not rest

nor comforts love

it’s only found in

heaven above

The epitaph’s

silent refrain

eternal hope,

my only gain.

Golden sun

sets on the day

I slowly turn

to walk away

This resting place

tells me to live

I now return

with more to give

Until I depart

from earthly space

 heavens door gives me

 My resting place.

At Morning’s light

At Morning’s Light

a poem for those who grieve with hope

by Tracey Russell  images-1

In deep despair

of darkest death,

I fear the cease

of every breath.

Grief uncontrolled

I try to veil,

the sorrows cry,

of mourners wail.

Alas, my victory

came into sight,

arriving swift,

at morning’s light!

The final hour

released all pain,

suffering ceased,

as Jesus came.

 

 Lifted high

within His grasp,

no more tears,

the old now past.

Behold He won

the journey’s fight,

 Heaven revealed,

at mornings light

Holy City

 magnificent,

no more pain,

as souls ascent.

Radiant Glory

everywhere,

praise overflows,

arriving there.

Finally home

healing found,

before the throne,

true love astounds!

As  flesh and heart

will surely fail,

the strength of God,

can now prevail!

Peaceful rest

 faith now sight,

death overcome,

at mornings light!

Do it Afraid!

Do it Afraid !

Do it afraid !

A poem written for you by Tracey Russell to help you jump into action!

You’re all set and ready to start,

then something happens in your heart-

Paralyzed, you just can’t jump

 Motivation hits a slump!

Something tries to push you back

hold you down, turn you back!

Is it the thought you won’t succeed?

Will God forget to meet your need?

Emotions swirl and grip you tight,

but this is when you need to fight!

Do it Afraid!

Hold your nose, if you must!

leap with faith, learn to trust!

DO it Afraid, jump in the air

You’ll always find God waiting there!

He gives you strength for each new day

He rewards your effort along the way

Do it afraid, Push back tears

Don’t give into gripping fears!

Remember a time within the past,

You made it through, when you couldn’t last?

You are stronger than you know

God uses risk to help you grow.

So do it afraid, whatever the call

It’s better than not doing “it” at all!

 

 

Tracey Russell –

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Encouragement for today from an Oak Tree!

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Today, I was encouraged reading this poem written in a Halmark Card. The card was entitled,” The Oak Tree” a message of encouragement. I hope this poem helps you dig deep in God’s love for you today and reminds you that you are deeply rooted!

A mighty wind blew night and day.

It stole the oak tree’s leaves away,

Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark

Until the oak was tired and stark.

But still the oak tree held it’s ground 

While other trees fell all around.

The weary wind gave up and spoke, 

“How can you still be standing, Oak?” 

The oak tree said, “I know that you 

Can break each branch of mine in two,

Carry every leaf away,

Shake my limbs and make me sway.

But I have roots stretched in the earth,

Growing stronger since my birth.

You’ll never touch them, for you see.

They are the deepest part of me. 

Until today, I wasn’t sure

of just how much I could endure.

but now I’ve found, with thanks to you,

I’m stronger than I ever knew.”

Fear is a trick and treat!

Fear Not !

Fearan unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat

Fear is a trick? 

Our minds think fearful thoughts – a lot!

Minds are wonderful at thinking lots of thoughts. Thoughts love to attach themselves to emotions! One of our survival emotions is fear. We see a fire and think, ” fire is hot and it burns! ” Then, we feel the emotion of fear that the fire might burn us. Of course this thought and emotional reaction happen very quickly.

Fear can be a protective mechanism but it can also become an overprotective menace! Click To Tweet

The problem is that sometimes we can feel fearful of things that are not dangerous. For example, imagine a fire is in a self-contained grill. There is little chance that the fire could really hurt us or burn us. The fire can actually help us cook food, stay warm and roast a marshmallow.Do we need to be afraid of all fire?

Our minds can trick us into believing every fearful thought is true, when most fearful thoughts are false! Click To Tweet

Heres my real life example:

This year, we made a lot of educational changes for our kids. Basically, everyone is in a new school situation. This summer, I made myself sick with worry and doubt about our decisions. I treated our school change like a life-threatening illness! What is it doesn’t work out? What if this is a bad decision? What if I make a mistake?  I felt so afraid of the changes, when in reality:

Did I really have something to fear that was dangerous? NO!

The worse thing that could happen would be that we tried something and it didn’t work out. We could make another change and find a new solution.

I carried that sick, fearful feeling around for weeks until I encountered this truth:

Fear is a treat! 

It’s okay to admit you feel afraid. Fear is a valid emotion and can be met with self-compassion.

If you feel fearful, give yourself a hug and not hammer! Click To Tweet

Stop beating yourself up for feeling fearful and do a little research on why you feel this way. Maybe there is something in your heart that you need to think about with some reassurance from God?

Fear can actually be a catalyst to make me take my anxious thoughts to God in preparation for an act of faith.

Fear can be a signal that God is calling me into a time of deeper Faith! Click To Tweet

Fear makes me dig deeper into God’s bag of treats in His word: ( look what I found!)

Psalm 34:4 says

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears!

Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand

Seriously, I love how generously God reaches out to people who feel fear!  I praise God for the faith I am walking in today. I have to admit, I did fear this summer- Well, okay I more like stressed my entire family out and had a complete melt down…. but the point is that now….today, I am walking in faith.

I may slip into the trick of fear, but God provides the treat of truth to give me faith again. Click To Tweet

Hey, and let’s face it ! A treat from God’s word is a whole lot less calories than the treats my kids bring home!

Blessings to you !

Tracey

 

Welcome to the Compassion House in Tanzania!

Come and see the home we helped to build !

After years of fundraising, our Freeride 836 effort was combined with the Women of Compassion annual fundraiser. Together, along with many other generous donors, the Compassion House in Tanzania was built, at three times it’s original size! Because of this home, 30 orphaned girls in Africa will have a family.

Dedication day was a glorious celebration of the completion! 
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The home is so much bigger than I expected and the first 10 little girls have moved in!

Here’s one, meet Zawati!

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Zawati giggled as I painted the bottom of her feet for this picture.

I wanted to capture an image

of her “small steps” in life !

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Zawati’s Story

Zawati  was orphaned as a very little baby and was taken to a local orphanage. In African orphanages, children are subjected to poor living conditions and malnutrition. Zawati’s condition began to deteriorate. Her grandfather heard that she was dying of malnutrition in the orphanage. He went to the orphanage and brought her home to live with a relative. The relative was unable to care for her. The grandfather contacted Juma, who is the local operations manager of the Compassion House, in Tanzania. He told Juma that a beautiful little girl needed a home. Juma visited Zawati and brought her to her forever home at the Compassion House.  She was confused and cried when she was taken away from her relative. She didn’t know what was going to happen to her as she was loosing the person she thought would be her caregiver.  Within minutes of stepping into the Compassion House, she was laughing and giggling with her new sisters and house mothers. She realized she was in a safe and secure home, where all her needs would be met with love. I enjoyed watching her play during my stay in Tanzania. Seeing the joy on her face, I could tell she is happy to be a part of the family at the Compassion House.

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This home is not your typical institutional orphanage.

Inside this beautiful home you smell the scent of fresh baked bread each morning.  Life-giving sounds erupt with joy from little girls laughing and playing. Food is served fresh and hot on a family style table where the girls gather to say grace and share three delicious meals a day.

Jerry and Christi Haag,  Florida Baptist Children’s Home President and wife,  came to the dedication in Africa !

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They toured the grounds to see the beautiful self-sustaining property-

The property grows coffee, vegetables, bananas and fresh fruits.

There is a community well and a Tilapia fish pond for protein.

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Scripture is written above the door of the home.

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We are so grateful for the partnership of  Orphans Heart and Florida Baptist Children’s Homes.

We continue to appreciate their care and concern for orphaned children in this world,

and especially the ones in Tanzania.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony! 

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Just remember today,

every small step of compassion matters in your life #smallstepsofcompassion Click To Tweet

You never realize the impact of generous giving until you see the faces and smiles of the children you have helped.

 

When a dream becomes a reality! Thanks for making my dream come true

There is a good chance if you are reading this blog post, you have helped me in some way.

Maybe you heard me speak in a church ?

Maybe you donated to Freeride 836?

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In all these ways and more, you have helped us make this dream to build an orphanage become a reality!

In less than 3 days I will be boarding a plane to travel 24 hours to Africa.

My eyes will see a dream that was planted in our hearts- My feet will touch dusty African ground that held our hope that God could use us to do something to help children in this world. My mind will finally comprehend the needs of orphans in Africa.

Home being constructed !

Home being constructed !

So is there a chance you have a dream in that heart of yours?

Here is my encouragement to you today 

Expect doubt, discouragement and disappointment. They tend to plague people with a dream to pursue

And Yet

On the other side of a dream is a reality Click To Tweet

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Dreams require a journey of small steps and big leaps of faith Click To Tweet

God is looking for people who live different and surrender security

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We can't activate kingdom change in the comfort zone of our own self protection Click To Tweet

Risk becoming overwhelmed and do it anyways!

In memory of Philip, my nephew

When we release our own control, we find the freedom to pursue a God-sized dream. Click To Tweet

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 When you help the cause of the poor, the needy and the weak, You served the king, himself. Click To Tweet

Girls who will live at the home when it is completed!

Girls who will live at the home when it is completed!

Please continue to pray for the safety of Mark and I as we travel and I will be updating on Facebook and twitter.

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Again, thanks for making the dream a reality!

Restless and discontentment : A Place of Progress!

Rest-less

Thomas Edison

Is restlessness and discontentment always a bad thing?

According to Thomas Edison, it was the creative fuel that kept him trying new things.

He had an endless curiosity, even as a small child. When he finally learned to speak at age four, his favorite question to ask adults was” Why? “.

Thomas Edison’s life was full of ups and downs. On his road to success, he encountered restlessness.

His restlessness and discontent lead him to new discovery and invention.

This story was found on a Edison Biography website:

“Deeply in debt and about to be fired by Western Union for “not concentrating on his primary responsibilities and doing too much moonlighting,” Edison now borrowed $35.00 from his fellow telegrapher and “night owl” pal, Benjamin Bredding, to purchase a steamship ticket to the “more commercially oriented city of New York.”

During the third week after arriving in “the big apple” Tom  was purportedly “on the verge of starving to death.” At this precipitous juncture, one of the most amazing coincidences in the annals of technological history now began to unfold.  Immediately after having begged a cup of tea from a street vendor, Tom began to meander through some of the offices in New |York’s financial district. Observing that the manager of  a local brokerage firm was in a panic, he eventually determined that  a critically important stock-ticker in his office had just broken down….

    Noting that no one in the crowd that had gathered around the defective machine seemed to have a clue on how to fix it, he elbowed his way into the scene and grasped a momentary opportunity to have a go at addressing what was wrong himself…. Luckily, since he had been sleeping in the basement of the building for a few days – and doing quite a bit of snooping around – he already had a pretty good idea of what the device was supposed to do.

After spending  a few seconds confirming exactly how the stock ticker was intended to work in the first place, Tom reached down and manipulated a loose spring back to where it belonged.  To everyone’s amazement, except Tom’s, the device began to run perfectly.

The office manager was so ecstatic, he made an on-the-spot decision to hire Edison to make all such repairs for the busy company for a salary of $300.00 per month…. This was not only more than what his pal Benjamin Bredding was making back in Boston but twice the going rate for a top electrician in New York City. Later in life, Edison recalled that the incident was more euphoric than anything he ever experienced in his life because it made him feel as though he had been “suddenly delivered out of abject poverty and into prosperity.”

I am learning to rest in my restlessness because :

Restlessness and discontent can be the birth place of new discovery in our lives.

Maybe the feeling of restlessness in your heart is about to reveal an unexpected opportunity –

The story of Thomas Edison helps shed a little light on the fact that restlessness can reveal rewards!

 

 

 

Do you feel Restless ? The ugly little word guaranteed to make you feel uneasy

Are you feeling a little restless right now?

Rest-less


rest·less

  • unable to rest or relax as a result of anxiety or boredom.
  • synonyms: uneasy, ill at ease, restive, fidgety, edgy, on edge, tense, worked up, nervous, agitated, anxious, on tenterhooks, keyed up; More
  • offering no physical or emotional rest; involving constant activity or motion.

 

Does this describe a few feelings in your heart?

Unsatisfied? 

Shaken with the meaningless and mundane?

Too much routine and not enough rest?

I feel the same way right now.

Ive been traveling all around this summer and seeing my beautiful friends. Most of them are lifetime friends that I can never replace. When I visit, their lives seem to be rich and full of friendships. Every time I return home, I feel as though my life is not what it should be. I return to my home feeling alone and isolated.

I should live closer to these friends…

My husband Should get another job

I should not be feeling so restless and should be grateful !

DOUBLE SHOULD!!!!

The first cause of my restless heart is an ugly word called should! Click To Tweet

Have you been should “ing” on yourself?

In an article from Psychology Today, author Susan Heitler explains:

Should sometimes gives good guidance.  More often it just sets unrealistic expectations, induces guilt, and decreases your desire to do what you otherwise might want to do.

A backwards-looking should also can be problematic blocking learning.

This word can cause the strongest heart to rest- less and worry more .

Inserting the word “should” makes a judgment on your life. It invalidates what you have and implies your life needs to be different in some way.

Have you been should ing on yourself too?

Is there a situation that is really bothering you?

One Quick Solution: change the sh to a c! 

Another point from the article stated:

Eliminating shoulds toward yourself will enable you to stay personally empowered.

Eliminating shoulds directed toward others will block the inappropriate sense of entitlement that provokes anger in both you and in others.

By contrast, using the words could and would like to sustain personal well-being and positive relationships.

Change the word Should to Could or even Would> This changes your perspective! Click To Tweet

Take that stinky little word and toss it right on out! It’s a good sign that your mind is not open to alternative ways to feel in your given situation.

Today – Just make one simple word change to help you stress less and rest more!

Life requires a lot of flexible thinking and choices.

I ” should” know that by now…..( just kidding)