Out Of The Darkness -  A Ministry Of Hope
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Devotionals

Tumbleweed Christmas Tree

My memory wanders back to a much simpler time, when life for this six-year-old child was one of great wonder. It was the winter of 1970 and my family had only recently moved to the Southwest. Snow covered the landscape and it seemed the wind blew constantly. With Christmas just around the corner, I worried as there was no tree in our living room, and no gifts to wonder about. As a small child my understanding about finances was slim, nor did I consider where the gifts might come from.

Christmas morning dawned as I crept quietly to the living room.

The Proposal

     Many years ago I dreamed of getting married again. So much so that I made my wedding dress in anticipation of this event. There was not a man in my life, nor was there one in my immediate future. Boyfriends came and went, yet no one stood out as one I would want to marry. I agonized over the lack of a husband in my life. My hopeful searching for the perfect husband turned to bitter disappointment as the years went by.
     Depression took over my life as one loss led to another and soon I gave up the search for the husband I was certain God had promised me.

When Fear Is A Factor

False
Evidence
Appearing
Real

What do you do when life just turns completely upside down? What do you do when you really don't know what to do? Yesterday was one of those days. My head hurt, I was a nervous wreck and my anxiety level was at an all time high. Not only am I working at a new job, I haven't done this kind of work in over twenty years. On top of all of that I had to give a speech at Toastmasters.

I got through the day OK, with only a few minor mishaps, but when it came time to give my speech my mind froze.

My Middle Name Is Joy For A Reason

    My middle name is Joy. I have always liked my middle name, although I have not always felt the presence of joy in my life.
     I have always had a plan. I have always had a project that I was working on and a plan for my life. Recently my plans have become harder, and harder to focus on. The joy has seeped from my bones and I am having a hard time getting it back. It is in those moments that I know Jesus is carrying me.
     I have stepped back from my own plans in an attempt to let Jesus lead in my life.

Come In Out Of The Cold

    I love the look of snow on the trees. Their beauty transcends many things, yet driving on snow packed roads brings fear to my soul. Neither do I care much for being cold.
     As I sit at my computer pondering what I should write today, I think of being cold. It is not a cold winter day or having to bundle up with extra blankets with a chill in the air. No, it is the cold of not knowing Jesus that brings shivers to my soul.
     My memory takes me back to the day my oldest son was born.

Tumbleweed Christmas Tree

One of my favorite devotionals that I have written is also the favorite of the devotional editor at www.cbn.com. She has re-posted this devotional and here is the link. I hope you enjoy "Tumbleweed Christmas".
 
This is not a picture of the tree my Mom did, but it was the one I found online.
 
Danni
 

My Favorite Gift

   So many things run through my mind this time of year. It is a time of thankfulness and rejoicing, yet it is also a time of sadness and regret.
     This is the second Christmas since the passing of my Mother. I miss her during these times more than I normally do. Her life and mine were intertwined more than the life of a typical mother and daughter, as she needed someone to care for her and I was the one she called on the most.
     Her life was one of many problems.

God Answers Prayer

    "God will answer your prayers, beyond your wildest dreams, and in a way you never thought possible." I smiled as I listened to my friend share these words with me. They were words that she felt compelled to share with me. In my infancy as a Christian I assumed those words meant God was going to give me a really great relationship with a man. I assumed that God was going to bring a husband into my life in a way that I never thought possible.
     Someday God may bring that husband into my life.

Look Ahead

    There is a reason why I have a windshield to see out of when I am driving, and only a rear view mirror to see what is behind me. The view in front of me is what I need to be focusing on. Not on the past hurts of those people who have done me wrong. No, I need to focus on what God has for me now.
     A rear view mirror is a reminder of what is behind me, and I only need to look into it so I don't back up and hit something that is behind me.

Giving Up On A Dream

    Have you ever had a dream? A dream that kept you up at night? A dream that you and God talked about alot? I have had a couple of dreams like that. Dream's that I wanted so badly they consumed my thoughts and kept me up at night.
     One of those dreams was to have my own restaurant. I could see it in my minds eye, and I could see myself cooking good food for my friends and customers. It's good to have hopes and dreams, but I have learned to let God take the lead with my dreams.
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