When You Know Your Hard Times Were For a Reason

When we’re going through hard times, we often wonder why God would let us suffer. At least, I know I have.

I just spent this weekend at a writer’s retreat where I had the privilege to meet with some amazing writer’s, authors and editors. I taught two classes and also had some time to bring Pioneering Today to the writer world with some “off grid” fun at the photo station.

As I pitched my novel and a brand new sequel of Pioneering Today, I got to listen to other writer’s talk about their books and stories. During our lunch we took out loud prayer requests. And as I listened to these stories, these moments of people’s lives, I noticed something. Continue reading

Where is God When Bad Things Happen?

Have you ever asked where God was when bad things happen? I asked this question when I lost a child to an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy. I’ve heard it asked when we’re faced with any kind of tragedy. When we get a diagnosis of cancer. When our children are hurt. When unfair things keep befalling us.

When the mudslide hit in Oso, many people asked the same thing. Where was God? Why did He let this happen.Where is God when bad things happen? He is right there with you.

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When to Ask For Prayer

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to offer prayer for someone else, but how much harder it is to ask for it for ourselves? I can ask prayer for others no problem, but when it comes to asking it for myself, I sometimes hesitate.

I think this comes from wanting to look like I’ve got everything under control. I suppose you could call it a matter of pride, even though I know how God feels about pride. He doesn’t care for it too much. Pride goeth before a fall.

But this past week, I’ve had to ask for prayer. Not only for myself, but for my husband and those of the crew that worked with him as the first responders to the mudslide in Oso. For those of you prayed for us, I thank you. I could feel your prayers lift us up when it seemed we had no strength left. When our emotions and hearts were so raw they seemed to bleed, God broke through and brought comfort and healing.

I also noticed something else. Continue reading

Is Your Faith Prepared? #1 Preparedness Mistake

How much time do you spend preparing for things? We prepare for college when we’re in high school, retirement while we’re working, food for winter during the summer, financial hardship before it happens, just to name a few.

Others of us spend more time preparing for natural disasters or emergencies when we can’t rely on the stores or the power grid.When a mudslide devastated our community, Jesus reminded us He should be the focus of our preparedness plans, because the only thing we can be certain of is where we're going when we die, not when.

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The Miracle of Nature and Gardening Giveaway

When you look at the balance of nature and begin to examine how intricately its design, you can’t help but see the miracle of God’s creation. At least, I can’t. It’s amazing how plants are designed to compliment one another, how animals enhance the soil, and the healing properties found in herbs. I only have to step outside and study nature to see God’s hand at work.

This past weekend I was stuck inside going over all of our paperwork for taxes. Now that I have a business, there is much more preparation involved. After three hours, my head was pounding. I stepped outside for a break. Within in minutes of watching the bees flit about my blooming heather bush, my headache was cured. The realization that I don’t take a break from my work to admire God’s handiwork nearly enough broke over me.Spring Bonanza Giveaway! Win compost worms, Amazon gift card, and a copy of Pioneering Today

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Do You Need a Good Wind Storm to See God?

We had a good wind storm whip through our area on Saturday night. The forecast predicted gusts up to 60 miles per hour. When it hit, I could hear the gust travel down our stove pipe into our wood stove. The tin on our covered porch rattled and the wind chime bashed against the post, all sweet chimes lost in the roar.

Immediately, I filled our coffee pot, tea kettle, and three Mason jars full of water. We have our own well, so when the power goes out, so does our water. I powered down the computer and unplugged it from the wall (I’m never sure I trust those power surge bars). When we remember God can fall a single tree or crumble a mountain with just the whisper of His breath, we remember how big He is and how small we are.

Then I settled down in my chair with a book. As I read, the rattle of the wind against the windows had me saying a thankful prayer for a sturdy home, a source of heat that doesn’t rely on electricity, and a God who cares about my protection. Continue reading

Are You Following God’s To-Do-List or Yours?

Last weekend I went on a horseback ride with two close friends of mine. This might not seem like much to you, but it was a big deal to me for many reasons.

One, it’s been a long time since I’ve done things with any of my friends. We send text messages every now and then, but with work, kids, and life, we rarely even speak on the phone, let alone get together in person. Do you relate to this one? Are you following your to-do-list or God's? Don't miss out on the view He has planned for you.

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Do You Need Faith That Moves Mountains?

I used to think this verse was just a metaphor. Do You Need Faith that Moves Mountains

I’ve certainly never seen a mountain move and I’m surrounded by them on all sides. See that picture above, it was taken from my front yard this weekend. And I’ve never seen it move, no matter how little or how big my faith.

But I’ve learned our lives are full of mountains. Mountains can be many things, sometimes they’re addiction, unsaved loved ones, scars, fresh wounds, miscarriages, infertility, broken relationships, or pride, just to name a few.  Continue reading

Are You Having Trouble Seeing God Right Now?

We just got back from a trip to the big city of Seattle. I had the privilege to teach two courses at the Northwest Christian Writers Tech Conference, so we made it into a mini one night family vacation. I have to tell you, this country mouse feels so out of place in the city.

To give you perspective, my home town’s population was 109 at the last census. Yep, we’re tiny. I know my way by landmarks such as mountains, back country roads, this creek or that slough. In fact, when we purchased our property, the banker tried to use their GPS to find us and it wouldn’t work, we weren’t loaded into the system.

When I’m in the city, I not only feel out of place, but I’m on edge in the crowds, not sure how to read the dangers as you would in the country. I know God is with me, but I always let out a sigh of relief when I get back to our little one lane highway. Having trouble seeing God? How to see Him in unexpected places. www.melissaknorris.com

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