Waiting for Perfect (Guest Post on Inkspirations Online)

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I was waiting for perfect, but it never showed up. So I decided I’d better start the journey without it. I thought I needed to be the perfect Christian, wife, mom, have the perfect family, and coin the perfect phrases. Then I’d have something to say. Then God could use my writing. I mean, who am I?

But it’s not about who I am; it’s about… Continue reading “Waiting for Perfect (Guest Post on Inkspirations Online)”

Now (Guest Post on Southern Ohio Christian Voice)

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Some words get thrown around like confetti in January— “Happy New Year! What’s your New Year’s resolution?”

But what about when it’s not happy? What about when you don’t know which way is up, and what if you can’t see any resolution for issues in your life, much less make a resolution? While some began the new year with fireworks and hope, others look out on the future through the fog of uncertainty. What then?  Continue reading “Now (Guest Post on Southern Ohio Christian Voice)”

Threats to the Church & Keys to Revival

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The onset of the year is a good time to acknowledge the challenges we face, the changes needed, and to look to Jesus through whom we are more than conquerors. The last two articles in my 2018 series of interviews with pastors and pastor’s wives—have bled over into 2019. So, please, grab your favorite hot cup of comfort, pull up a chair, and let us listen to the words of wisdom offered by these mighty ministers.  

How do you feel about the spiritual and cultural climate where you are pastoring?

Pastor Kevin Obermeyer:  I think there is a huge spiritual battle going on, and Christians are losing ground rapidly.

Pastor’s Wife, Janet Foley:  I feel like the Gospel is often misunderstood and disrespected. I feel a bit intimidated here to share the gospel, more than other places. There is a lot of witchcraft, new age religion and political correctness here. A lot of ex-Christians, a lot of drugs too. Pot has been legal here for a few years so many people are hooked on it as well as methamphetamine. There’s also a lot of spouse-swapping, (married people who exchange for fun), which really freaks me out. Ugh.

Pastor Pablo Catala:  I think it has been diluted and stained with perversion and sin unimaginable.

Pastor’s wife, Sophie Foley It’s a breath of fresh air where we are pioneering. This is such a culturally diverse area, that most people have either not been exposed to Christ and so have no formed opinions and are open. Others have been raised with a respect for church so they are receptive and respectful of both the church and the role of the pastor.

What do you see as the biggest threat to the church today?

Anonymous Pastor, Kathmandu, Nepal:  Complacency.

Pastor Tim Schmoyer:  Consumerism is the biggest threat. Seeing church involvement as one of the many choices in the buffet of life.

Janet Foley:  Political correctness, compromise, complacency. Too much activity without true relationship with Jesus.

Pastor Kevin Obermeyer:  Secular worldviews, worldly attitudes, Biblical illiteracy, and ignorance.

Sophie Foley:  Emotional indulgence. People are so very fragile now, and when it comes time to speak a bit of caution or direction, the confrontation of it is no longer acceptable and they leave for churches that never confront.

Also, media. We are a generation so connected to our devices, and yet we are steeped with loneliness and depression, which causes us to withdraw and avoid dealing with the social interaction of church services. We have several people who want to come but are easily distracted, or too emotionally distraught, so they stay home and binge movies, and then feel terrible and it becomes a vicious cycle.

Pastor Pablo Catala:  The biggest threats to the church today are dead religion and homosexuality. Why do I say this? Continue reading “Threats to the Church & Keys to Revival”

Fire Fighters, Fire Keepers, Heart Healers

Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_Fire_Fighters_Fire_Keepers_Heart_HealersIt is my honor to feature Pastor Chad and Mindy who currently pastor New Hope Church, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Pastor Chad is the founder of Of the Word Ministries, a new ministry to pastors. Pastor Chad and Mindy have been married and pastoring for 22 years and they have eight children ranging in age from 6 to 21 years old. Five of their children are adopted privately from places such as the Ukraine and California. Two have Down Syndrome. Pastor Chad and Mindy have been homeschooling for 19 years. In addition, they have worked with 29 more children over the years in foster care. Oh, and did I mention that Mindy and their daughters Lizzie and Gracie are volunteer firefighters? Continue reading “Fire Fighters, Fire Keepers, Heart Healers”

A Parent’s Petition

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Sometimes as a parent your heart swells with joy, but at other times you labor in love with tears and a busted heart over your children. For those in a hard season, I thought I’d share some scriptures and re-post my poem, For the Prodigal’s Mom, in hopes of encouraging you.

Whether your child is faring well, struggles or has strayed, whether you just have the occasional hard day or more tough days than not—your work does not go unnoticed. God sees you, He feels your heart. He wants to come alongside and help and strengthen us. Jesus weeps with us and we can take joy in the shelter of Him. He cares for our children. Remember, He sets out in search of the one lost lamb.

We don’t have to walk this road or wage this war in our own strength. Jesus is the difference maker in our lack as we strive to find your footing and guide your children on the right path. We can petition Heaven and storm Hell with our prayers and partner with our Maker, the Good Father, for the needs of our children. God provides and equips for every task He calls us to.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9 KJV

For the Prodigal’s Mom

Mama,

Don’t you know Jesus loves your children

Even more than you?

Pound the gates of Heaven, Mama

Pray without ceasing

Know the God of Heaven, inclines to your cry

He shares your passion for restoration of the prodigal child

So go ahead and cry Mama

But, make every tear a prayer

An offering of hope and heart

Your prayers are the rain

On the soil of your prodigal’s heart

Your prayers are the rain

On the soil of your prodigal’s heart

Your prayers are the rain

On the soil of your prodigal’s heart…

Those who sow in tears 
Shall reap in joy.
He who continually goes forth weeping,
Bearing seed for sowing,
Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing,
Bringing his sheaves with him. Psalms 126: 5-6

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11 (NKJV)

Suggested posts:

Letters to My Children

The Measure of a Mom

Sometimes it’s a God Thing                                      A Perfect Mothers Day Gift

© 2016, 2018 Rachael M Colby                 Tattoo It On Your Heart

#whyiteach

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I received the following messages from a friend who is a teacher. She wishes to remain anonymous.

TEACHER:   Texting you this… Need people to help remind me why I teach when I’m having bad days.

Teaching is one of the hardest jobs. You rarely ever get kudos. You mostly hear what you are doing wrong.

So, in those rare moments when the smoke clears, and you see what truly matters, and you see the little things you do, and the impact they can have, that is the gold you have to hold on to—or you will quit.

*Per request, I have re-posted this article from 2017 in honor of  #TeacherAppreciationDay and #TeacherAppreciationWeek Please take the time to encourage teachers, not just this week, but throughout the year.  

So Far Today:

I comforted and prayed with a teacher who just had a miscarriage.

I’m standing in the hallway welcoming students, hustling the stragglers to class. Glancing in my classroom, I realize one of my boys is crying. I motion him to come into the hall and he tells me his aunt died from a stroke last night. We talk, I give him a hug and help him grieve. He gives me permission to share with the class. His friends quickly change seats and circle him. No talking or touching; they are middle school boys after all. They support him by just being there. They take out paper and write notes of encouragement—without any prompting. #proud #whyiteach

All before 9:30am.

11:20am Update

Another student running up and down the hallway screaming and crying. Counselor trying to help. He refuses… I step into the hallway, take his hands, have him take deep breaths with me to calm him down so he can talk to the counselor without screaming. #whyiteach

Teaching is never about the subject you are teaching. It’s about showing compassion, how to grieve, process anger, express joy. So much emptiness and anger in my students— they just don’t know how to handle life. Happy that I can be here to help them.

Remind me of this when I’m having a really bad day.

Anyone who becomes a teacher because they want kids to learn a subject is missing a huge piece of teaching. I went into teaching because I want to teach children how to successfully live their lives, process emotion, and become productive people. The subject I teach has so little to do with what I really do.

“When will I use this?” they say.  (Algebra, science, etc..)

The answer is: “Who really cares? Will you remember that I taught you compassion when your classmate’s aunt died, that I held your hands when you just couldn’t take another step, that I told you I care about you?”

And yes, of course, I’ll give you another chance when you screw up yet again in my class, because this is #whyiteach.

Update 1:00 pm

Two boys try to fight in my classroom. Calmed them down and talked to them. One of the boys tells me he’s not really mad at the other kid. He just watched his dad get arrested and he’s really upset… Sigh.  #whyIteach

At lunch, the boy whose aunt died comes up to me. “I’m doing better,” he says quietly, and dashes away.

Last Block:

The boy who was crying and screaming in the hallway comes to class. He’s smiling now, and we’re just figuring it all out. It’s a good day. #whyiteach

I know I could get a job in a better district. My family asks me why I stay all the time.

“Who’s going to teach them if I don’t?” I reply.

“Someone will,” they say.

“But will they care about them? Will they pray over their desks? Will they cry over them? Will they love them?”

I can’t walk away from these kids. Many of them don’t have adults that truly care. They are used to being thrown away, adults not sticking with them. I can’t be one of those people. Teaching is a calling, not a job. I have to teach them how to be cared for and to care for one another, to create community in the classroom. Once I’ve done this, and only then, can I actually teach them any academic content with success. This usually takes a few months to establish.

I have to teach them, I don’t know if someone else will care for them like I do. #whyiteach

A Few Weeks Later:

TEACHER:  Why do I teach again? My head hurts, my neck aches…

RACHAEL:  Because it matters—maybe for eternity for some of your students. Even though you don’t see it now.

Because they need you even when they don’t want you.

Because you may be the only love, the only Jesus, some will see today and over the next few months.

Because you have to. It’s your calling.  #makeadifference   #youmatter

Because it costs more to quit than to carry on. #whyyouteach

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37 NKJV

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strengthTattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_Heroes_Among_Us
is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my
infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2nd Corinthians 12:9 NKJV

 © 2017 Rachael M Colby       Tattoo It On your Heart

Important Announcement 

Dear reader,

It has come to my attention that those who read my post entitled, Herald, and also, What #BillyGraham Meant to Me, and perhaps prior postsin their emails rather than on my website, may not have realized that several of what appeared to be still photos are actually videos. If you click out from the email to read my posts on my website, there are arrows on the photos which indicate that they are videos. Apparently that doesn’t show in emails. I am so sorry I didn’t catch this sooner.

Also, the black box that says, Tattoo It On Your Heart, mid way through Herald is a podcast, (audio with music and sound effects and me reading my poem, He is Risen). 

In my Billy Graham post, there was no text with the link in the videos listed under Resources, so some may have mistook those for still photos as well. I did include a text link for the videos included in my actual Billy Graham story, as I usually do in all my posts, but I did not under Resources. Hopefully those who read my post in their emails noticed the links to those videos and all the others in prior posts.

To avoid these issues in the future and so you don’t miss out on any announcements, promotions, updates to posts, or content in the sidebar and other pages on my website, I will be changing the settings for posts received via email. In the future when you receive my posts by email, they will only include an excerpt of the post with a request that you. “Click here to continue reading this post.” This will take you out to my site which will give you access to the most updated version of my post and site and to resources on the other pages. I plan to add a Q&A and a Resources feature to my site soon.

Until I make these changes, please click the title of my posts in your email as that will also take you out of the email to my site to read posts.

*If you read my prior post, What #BillyGraham Meant to me, you may have noticed my whopper of a typo. If so, sorry about that. I’ve corrected it. Must be that staying up writing until 3 o’clock in the morning makes for a fuzzy brain. If you didn’t catch my error—whew! 😉

**If you haven’t yet read my Billy Graham post, or you missed out on some of the videos, please click here to link to:  What #BillyGraham Meant to Me

***If you haven’t yet read Herald, or if you missed the videos and podcast in it, please click here to link to:  Herald.  

Thank you for being a part of my writing journey. God bless you. You are in my prayers.

Rachael

Let the Light In

Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_Let_the_Light_InWe can’t always stop the demons from stalking us—ambushes happen. Sometimes they squeeze their way into our lives through the cracks we leave untended. Sometimes they batter down the door. Life happens. Depression, anxiety, fear, apathy, bitterness, anger, suicidal thoughts…. may show up at your house. Just don’t invite them under the covers and curl up in bed with them.

Get up! Cry out for help—from God and from others. Remaining silent when we are in need can leave us alone in a crowd. Isolation leaves us open to the enemy.

“Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up.” ‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭4:9-10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

God tells us in His Word to be anxious for nothing because He knew we would at some Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M-Colby_Abby_Let-the_Light_Inpoint find ourselves being anxious. Jesus said he didn’t come to condemn but to seek and save. The Word of God is meant to show us where we are and to instruct us how to get  to where we need to be.

The Word of God, prayer, time spent with with those who make us laugh and challenge us, positive spiritual things such as Christian music help bring clear vision, strength, deliverance.

“As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. Proverbs‬ ‭27:17‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

A good friend doesn’t ignore problems. Neither do they just point out the problems, but rather, they help with solutions. They walk alongside you literally and figuratively. Sometimes what’s needed is just being there and saying nothing; but sometimes it’s taking a stand and saying something. A good friend battles with you and for you. Be one. Find one.

Prayer, the word of God, and love are ultimate weapons against all we face. The love of God trumps all.

Billy Graham pic quoteBe anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV

Did you notice this scripture says everything and requests? God wants us to bring everything on our hearts, not just our needs, but our requests to Him. He wants to do life with us.

I aim to use whatever the devil shoves at me against him. 

“God, help me.”

Use struggle, pain, failure—to help someone else. That’s one way to win. 

Fight back!

He teaches my hands to make war, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze II Samuel 22:35 (NKJV)

When I can’t rejoice in my own circumstance, I find someone to rejoice with over their victory, or someone to help with their struggle. Count your blessings, one by one. Gratefulness is one of the keys to contentment, joy and peace within, and to intimacy with God and others. Gratefulness seeks to serve others. Our greatest service to others is to share Christ and the hope we have in Him, that they too can be a child of the King and make Heaven their home.

I fail and falter all the time, but Jesus loves me anyway. He loves you too. God said all things are possible to those who believe—not all things are easy. It’s a battle.

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Psalms 46:1 (NKJV)  

LINK TO SONG: Morgan Harper Collins— I Can’t Save Myself

“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the LORD.”
Isaiah‬ ‭54:17‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Seek wise counsel.

For by wise counsel you will wage your own war, And in a multitude of counselors there is safety. Proverbs 24:6 (NKJV)

Run from the shadows of the cares of this world and into the safety found under the shelter of the wings of the almighty God.

I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. John 14:18 (KJV)

Yet in all these things we more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37 (NKJV)

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Psalms 91:1 (NKJV)

Sometimes the way out is through. Jesus meets us in the midst of the raging waters and calms the storm. He will never leave or forsake us. There is joy in His presence.

SERMON: Helping Those Struggling with Depression & Suicidal Thoughts | Pastor Harold Warner | Door Church

LINK TO SONG: Shane and Shane— Psalm 46 (Lord of Hosts)

Light dispels darkness. So, let the Light in.

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)

Resources

Focus on the Family Counseling Services & Referrals:

To request a conversation with Focus on the Family’s Counseling Department with one of their licensed or pastoral counseling specialists at no cost to you: 1-855-771-HELP (4357) weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Mountain Time            https://www.focusonthefamily.com/…/counseling-services…/

Lines for Life:

Suicide Prevention Lifeline available 24/7 365 days a week here: Call 800-273-8255  Text: 273TALK to 839863 (8am-11pm PST daily)

Alchohol & Drug Helpline Call 800-923-4357 (24/7/365)
Text: RecoveryNow to 839863 
(8am-11pm PST daily)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

24/7/ 365 days a year Call:  1-800-273-8255

Being a member of and attending a good Bible believing, Bible preaching church is part of God’s design for finding the best help and support for navigating life.

FABRIC DELL

If you are not already connected to a church, please consider finding one. Here is a link that may help you find a church home:

https://www.cfmmap.org

http://www.worldcfm.com

 

© 2018, 2019  Rachael M Colby     Tattoo It On Your Heart