Friday, January 06, 2012

my FAITHful friend

Yesterday I had my girlfriend over. And while I knew it would be everything and more than I could have ever imagined... it was even better than that!

Chris is my kindred-spirit, Christ-loving, faithful friend... and I was about to hear her life story that would inspire me in ways that only God could have known I needed to hear.

After a delicious lunch that she insisted on bringing, we sat like this for 6 hours. I'm not even kidding you. Ok, so we occasionally ran to the bathroom because of all the lemonade we had consumed. And yes, I actually set the camera timer and ran back for this photo op, so I would remember, and never forget how this moment made me feel.

And just as Chris was leaving she showed me these vintage Valentine postcards she got on Etsy, that she will make into a banner to hang across her mantle. Seriously, some of these postcards are dated at the turn of the century, with one-cent stamps, along with the sweetest personal handwritten notes.
I was going wild with questions about how I could order some myself, when she whips out my very own set wrapped in pink ribbon. I cried again... and then hugged her.

These are the banners we're planning to make, by hanging our vintage postcards on ribbon or string with tiny clothes pins... so as to not compromise the integrity of these precious treasures. 

Oh and if that wasn't enough, Chris gives me this necklace. Oh my gosh.

This will now be my word for 2012 ~ Faith

And on the back of the necklace are the words ~ Courageous Attention

When I googled those three words I found this ~

James 3:2-3 tells us, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 
because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” 

Through this Scripture, we know that God allows trials and tribulations in our lives to strengthen our faith and to develop perseverance. Think over the trials you have been through lately in your life. Consider the following reasons that God may be taking you through that trial and think about whether you are facing the trial courageously, strengthening your faith, and developing perseverance.

Faith trials draw our attention to Him. Sometimes worldly pursuits coerce us to drift away from Jesus. If we encounter a situation for which we have no solution, our focus comes back to Him as we begin to pray and look for a way out of the trial.

Faith trials teach endurance. We develop the stamina to bear up under heavy loads without discouragement because we trust that God will see us through. He increases our capacity by applying slight pressure. When we prove we can handle a little, He adds more, constantly working on our witness until we shine brightly for Him.

Faith trials train us for higher service. We must endure and keep our attention on Him so that we are prepared to work anywhere in His kingdom. God designs opportunities for every believer, shifting us to more responsible areas of service as we grow in faith.

Faith trials glorify God. The greatest praise we can give to our heavenly Father is to walk hopefully through a dark valley. It is then that we are a living example of His faithfulness and trustworthiness for everyone to see.

Wow, maybe trials aren't so bad :) And get this, we are studying James this semester in our Tuesday morning Bible Study at our church. We're using the Beth Moore video and study materials and I know God is going to use it powerfully in this season of my life... along with FAITHful friends that I let come along side me in my journey.


Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

Sounds like a wonderful day....we need to get together soon...ok??

MommaMindy said...

I just told a friend the other day that I am losing faith through my trials of 2011. I started 2012 with a heavy heart.

However, I never put the two words together, FAITH TRIALS. The Scriptures say if you lose heart, your faith is small. My faith has decreased, not increased. Thanks for the encouragement. I read this twice. Blessings to you!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

How wonderful Linda! But I had to chuckle at the napkins that say Let it Snow,.... in Phoenix? lol!
We don't even have snow here it's been so amazingly warm for us.