Today’s Devotional

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God’s Will.

Written By: Naomi Gantner
Have you ever wondered what God’s will is for your life?
Ever since I was a young girl, I always wondered what God’s will was for my life. What it really meant to be in “God’s will.” I didn’t really know then what God’s will was for my life and to this day I still have wondered.  I remember when I was younger and singing songs at church about God’s will and doing His will.
At a young age I knew that I wanted to do His will and I knew that it was hard but, I didn’t understand how hard it truly was.
For many years I felt like God wanted me to do something else but, I wasn’t sure what.
I had been praying for awhile asking God, that He would show me what he wanted me to do.
This past summer I had the opportunity to go on a missions trip. I didn’t know what to expect but, I knew that God was working in my heart, and the entire trip He continued to work in my heart a lot: more than I ever imagined was possible.
Almost to the end of our trip we were singing, praying and giving testimonies and sharing what God was showing each of us. He taught us so much during the trip.
One young man that I went on the trip with said…that he was never going to tell God “No” again, and he was going to do whatever God wanted him to do. That’s when it hit me. I realized and had felt that God was moving me somewhere else for awhile. To be honest with you, I didn’t want to go.
I was running away from what he had for me because I was scared. One of the nights as we were singing songs to the Lord and praying I just broke down and just started crying.  I asked the Lord to show me what He wanted me to do and it was then that the Lord showed me. He called me to Indiana. I remember being so scared and wondered why Indiana? I  felt like God wanted me to be involved in ministry there and to go to college at Hyles Anderson College.
I was so used to my ‘comfort zone’ and once your set in your ways inside your comfort zone. Its’s there that you feel safe, secure and don’t want even the slightest thing to change. Immediately when I returned home from my missions trip, I started packing up all of my belongs. I was terrified.
Questioning thoughts kept coming up like, “What am I even doing?” Even then, God kept reminding me that this is where he wanted me to go.  I continued to pray that if God didn’t want me to move to Indiana, that he would close the doors.
A moment of confirmation: One day as I was listening to the radio and the song “Lord I am ready” came on the radio and I knew that God was showing me that He really wanted me to take a step of faith and to follow Him with everything. Another time God directly showed me confirmation about the “big move” was while I was driving. I was at a stop sign, and there was a car in front of me with a Indiana liscense plate and then as I turned the corner there was another car with a Indiana liscense plate. I felt like that this was another sign that God was showing me that He truly wanted me in Indiana.
Several months ago, before I left on my missions trip I took some time off to be able to go somewhere. I now know that God knew all along where I would end up. I ended up in Indiana. He worked it all out for His glory. During that time off, I used that week to start my search to look for a place to live and ti find a suitable job.
Before I drove to Indiana that week, I already applied for jobs online and I already had a job within two days. I also looked at places to live. The house that I found has a hot tub and a jaccuzi tub! YAY!! For years I have always dreamed and wanted a hot tub and a jaccuzi tub. God is sooo good and cares about the ‘littlest’ things, and He daily reminds me of that.
When I got back from Indiana from my visit and got back to my home, I cried a lot throughout the weeks. I struggled with moving and going to Indiana.  Yet it felt so right and I knew that that was where God wanted me to go. I knew that I needed to follow Gods will.
Things got serious when, I quit my job and packed up everything onto the semi truck within under two months of returning home from missions. I am so very thankful that I followed the Lord and His will. Because His plans are always better than my own. There are days where I can not believe that I am in indiana but, I am very thankful that I am here and that I listened to the Lord. There is so much joy in serving Jesus. Amen?
I pray this encourages you sisters.
Until Next Time,
~Naomi
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My Story. {Pt. One}

Written By: Rachel Hamm

Hey everyone, its Rachel here again! Hope you all are having a blessed day so far!

This post is going to be very different from my last one, today I’m going to tell you about my own love story, or the first part of it anyway. So let’s begin….

My story begins almost 22 years ago, when I was born in Moncton, New Brunswick. I was adopted before birth by my wonderful parents, a pastor and his wife, who had been waiting for a child from God for many years. I was their baby girl, their one and only. They spent every waking moment focused on making my life the best it could be. They taught me at home so I would have a wholesome, God-fearing education, piano lessons every Wednesday from the age of 5 to the age of 19, and anything else they could do to enhance my education. Mom retired from nursing when I was born, so every moment was spent together, going on day trips, doing school, learning about God together. Everything was wonderful, until one day the news came that our tiny country church would have to close it’s doors. We were devastated, and Dad needed a new job and fast to support his family. So, he began applying to church’s all over the U.S.A and Canada. In the end, he got called to a little town called Cottam, Ontario. And that’s the beginning of my love story.

We moved to Cottam in October of 2004, not knowing anyone or having anything. I remember how devastated my parents were to leave our home, family, and friends to move somewhere completely new to all of us. It was a hard adjustment for sure, but after our first Sunday at Cottam Baptist Church we knew that we had a new family now, and friends that would last a lifetime.

I actually have no recollection of actually meeting Matthew strangely enough. My first actual memory of him is on new years eve of that year, something about drinking the entire water fountain at church between the hours of 9pm and midnight with him and his sister. Somehow he was just always around during our early years in Cottam. I do remember spending a lot of time at his house due to the fact that they were the perfect babysitters, already having 8 kids at home at the time. What was one more? From day one, I was one of the sisters, and suddenly I had 5 brothers around to protect me (more like tease me to death), and 3 sisters! It was like I hit the jackpot, pardon the expression! My memories of Matthew were of tears and annoyance after he made the 5th red head joke of the night or whatever he chose to tease me about on that particular day. He was definitely the most annoying of the brothers. Apparently I’m being told now that should have been my first clue as to the fact he liked me, but I never had that feeling growing up myself! 😉

Growing up I was a bit of a loner, being an only child I longed to be around people but I also loved my space because that was my familiar place. Matthew was almost the opposite, he spent a lot of time alone reading growing up, but almost every waking moment was spent in the noise of his siblings around him. He longed for the quiet I had and didn’t want. He was a tease and I was serious. Complete opposites. Opposites supposedly attract right?

Then there comes the time where I remember spending time with Matthew more, with his siblings and our mutual friends. We began to grow closer as friends, and spend as much time as we could together.

Matthew’s sister Victoria began to take music lessons from my piano teacher, who was conveniently about 4 doors down from our house. Matthew began to come with her to her lessons and get dropped off at our house. We lived on a retired farm with a bush behind it, so we would go out for walks to the bush and look for places to build forts and such, it became a weekly ritual, one we both looked forward to. We became best friends fast.

I remember the first time he called me specifically at my house. He had just passed his G1 test so he could drive on his own now, and it was in a complete blizzard, no idea how he actually drove for this test! Anyways, I remember my mom coming into my room with the phone, eyebrows raised, saying “Matthews on the phone for you..” That was the beginning of daily phone conversations, and email chains, some over 200 emails long.

He still has all those emails..

Matthew started air cadets when he was 16 years old. His dream was, and still is, to become a pilot someday. So every Wednesday night I would rush my parents home after our kids club at church so that he could stop by on his way home from air cadets. We always had to have a steady supply of Reese’s puffs cereal for him, that was his staple at the time, something my mother never would have bought otherwise!

The first time we ever talked about us being more than friends happened on one of those walks back to the woods. We had talked about maybe dating for a long time, but nothing had some of it. So one day I just put it out there. What are we? Do you like me or not? He told me he did, and he wanted to be more than friends. That scared me sufficiently not having ever been in a relationship, so I said let’s think about it for awhile. So we started slowly, things like holding hands secretly, talking about what we wanted our relationship to be, little things like that.

The first time he told me he loved me and wanted to marry me was September 16th, 2012. We had been at a friends wedding about 4 hours away from home. His family drove home that night, mine stayed for a week at a friends house. We texted his whole drive home, I was up all night that night. They got home about 2 am, and after he said I’ll be right back, just have to unload the van, I almost fell asleep. When I heard a chime from my phone, I barely woke up to turn it on, but I’m so thankful I did, because the message said: “I love you Rachel, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you wait for me and marry me someday?” I felt so happy and in love when I read that message, it brought tears to me eyes. And there was no doubt in my mind. Of course I would wait for him.

Our first kiss was at a youth group even at our church. We were playing hide and go seek in the dark, which was a favorite among us kids. I ran down to the basement with some of my friends, we all hid in different spots, and he found me. As we stood there in the darkness, he leaned over and said, “I love you,” and kissed me. It was a beautiful moment, and from that moment on we were inseparable.

Matthew has worked pretty much full time from the age of 16 years old, he started as an electrical apprentice at the age of 18, which meant a full-time job sometimes 80-90 hours a week, with school 2 nights a week on top of that. It was a rough 4 years, his working so much we hardly got to see each other, and during that time I began nursing school. Long hours of studying and clinicals on top of him being so busy made it hard. But we made it! Lots of late night phone conversations and continuous texting made it easier, and the time we did have together was wonderful. We cherished every moment.

Honestly neither of us can remember what we did on our first date, but I do remember him going to ask my dad if he could take me out. My Dad told him he respected him for asking permission to take his daughter out in this day in age. From that time on, he asked basically every time we did something. Something so small, but so big for my Dad.

We spent lot’s of time doing things with my parents. Road trips on weekends, one year on my birthday, my parents surprised me with a trip to Toronto the night before my birthday. Matthew took me out to the Keg that night, and I was goodnight that night thinking about how sad I was I wasn’t going to see him on my birthday. The next morning when I woke up and came downstairs with my bag, he was there. In my shock, he asked me to count the tickets for our boat ride again. And this time, there was 4. I was so excited, we spent 2 days there with my parents it was beautiful. One year, he went to New Brunswick with us to visit my family, he had broken his finger badly and had to have surgery so he had 6 weeks off work, and it just worked out to when we were going. All our family and friends were so accommodating, making a space for him to stay so he could come with us, that was one of the best week’s of my life.

We started talking about getting married early as I mentioned before. Matthew always knew that we were getting married. He even told me probably 4 years ago, the next time September 16th(the day he first told me he loved me) is on a Saturday is in 2017, that’s our day. I laughed at him, saying theres no way! We graduate that year, we wont even have our lives together, there absolutely no way we’re getting married in 2017.

The Lord had other plans. He spoke to my dad in January of 2017, and on March 4th, 2017, on a whirlwind trip to Niagara Falls, he asked me to be his wife. I actually didn’t say yes out loud, I just burst out crying and laughing at the same time and put out my left hand for him to put the ring on it. I think my actions worked as a yes! So many years as friends, then best friends, then our dating years, and now we were in another completely different part of our relationship, Engagement! It was so surreal for so long, I almost felt like it was a dream after so many years of waiting.

And so ends the first part of my love story, the long part! On to part #2..

-Rachel

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Commitment.

Written By: Daniella Coombe

Commitment. This ten letter word may not seem to have much of a meaning, but in the last few weeks, this word is something I’ve fallen back to.

The Oxford dictionary definition of this word is “The state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.”.

We are all committed to something, it may be your job, an activity, to your significant other, etc. Even when we say we’re going to be somewhere your committed to that. I myself is allocated to multiple things like school, my job, dance classes, volunteering at numerous places etc.

There have even been times in the last couple of weeks where I didn’t want to go two something, but I was committed to it. The most recent of this occurred when I was asked to work on a Saturday, but I’m also committed to dance on Saturdays, which I haven’t  been to in over a month. This is when we have to make tough decisions in our lives picking between which commitment to go to.

We even commit ourselves to loving God and by living by his words. Psalms 37:5 “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.” Without commitment this world would be chaos, things like at activities and clubs wouldn’t be able to run because no one is committed to running the activity or club.

When we commit our lives to something involving children, know that they count on you being there to build their relationship with you. Sometimes it may not seem like children really care if you’re there or not but in reality it can throw their whole week off. They may look forward to Wednesday’s as they get to see you, but if your not there just know you always have that one child who was looking forward to chatting with you about their week and telling you about the good and the bad.

 

Until Next Time,

~Daniella

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Broken crayons can still colour …

Written By: Beverley Deguire

The snow was falling as the car drove along the highway. As the car entered into its lane the driver didn’t see the patch of black

ice up ahead. And the car spun and slipped on the ice turning into the oncoming traffic on the highway… bright lights headed toward the passenger side and then …. I woke up in the ICU. That was January 31 2009.

I still can’t remember it to this day … but apparently the car was t-boned on the passenger door by an oncoming car and I was crushed between the console and the dashboard. The next thing I remember was being in the ICU, my parents, brother and aunt around my bed and nurses and doctors coming in and out.

Laying there I said to my parents that I wasn’t scared … if this was the time for me to die, then I would be with God. My faith was rooted in the promise of so much more and that God was with me. I really wasn’t afraid to die … but my time here on earth wasn’t finished.

The tally of injuries was extensive, I couldn’t walk, I could barely breathe and I lived in the hospital for 6 weeks and during that time all I could do was hold on to the promise that God was with me.

I got frustrated with myself, I was angry at the situation, discouraged from the pain, I often wondered if it was worth it, struggling to stay alive, fighting the pain. I felt completely broken and insignificant.

In one instant my life as I’d known it had changed. It wasn’t fair, it wasn’t right and there was nothing I could do to change what had happened. It was a miracle that I was alive… but the journey ahead was going to be a long one.

In those moments God and I had some pretty big talks … tears, frustrations, struggling with why, with physical pain, From learning how to walk again to bringing movement and mobility back to almost all of my body, to breathing issues … the accident had left me changed.

I came to understand that You can’t always choose your circumstance but you can choose how you will respond to it.

I had a choice to make … How was I going to deal with this? With the pain, with the brokenness with the change in me, who I was had been greatly impacted. My life had changed. What followed were years of painful processing … physical, mental and emotional. I loss my life as I had known it, I lost my job and I’d felt like I’d lost myself. I felt completely broken and worthless and couldn’t even recognize myself.

I struggled with my identity … who am I.

Am I what I do? Am I what I achieved? Am I the things I’ve done right or am I defined by the things I’ve done wrong? Does God really love me? Why would he let this happen?

My identity and self-worth had been shaken to the core … but somewhere in the midst of it all … I knew God loved me … as broken as I was … as shattered as I felt … God LOVES ME!

And I learned a lesson: How I identify myself determines How I approach life.

If I am what I do – I will always need to achieve more to find my value. If I am what other’s say I am – I will always try to please people instead of my heavenly father. But when I listen to who God says I am and embrace His identity in me – I find the freedom, the strength and the courage to live out all He has in store for me.

God shaped something in me that I couldn’t see, and He used the mess I was in for His Glory! All I had to do was choose to allow Him into my situation.  Let go and Let God … do his completing work in my heart and life.  I was able to respond to my circumstances with the understanding that I was weak and broken, but that God can still use me in my brokenness.

I love the quote “Broken crayons can still colour” because it reminds me that there are still things I can do and 2 Corinthians 12:9 reminds me of the source of strength and power found only in Jesus “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.’”

I have come to understand that God can use me in my brokenness … because in his strength I can do more, and the brokenness in my life lets His light and power shine through.

As I reflect over the last 9 years, this journey hasn’t been easy, but it has been worth it.

 

Until Next Time,

~Beverley

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I’m fine.

Written By: Marisa Dech

I hear a lot of conversations that go something like this…

“Hey, how are you?” “Oh, I’m fine. How are you?” “Good thanks!”

But are we really fine when we say that?

Why do we pretend we’re fine when we’re hurting?

-maybe we just don’t know the person well enough and aren’t comfortable sharing with them?

-maybe because we don’t want to draw attention to ourselves or attract the attention of eavesdroppers?

-maybe we just don’t want to feel judged or have people think less of us?

-maybe we think they won’t take us seriously or maybe they’ll laugh?

-maybe we will breakdown crying or become overwhelmed by explaining our situation?

If you are this person struggling, please tell someone you trust. Everyone has someone they can talk to whether it be a friend, a co-worker, a parent, a spouse or significant other, a teacher, a pastor, etc. You are not alone.

On the other hand…

Do we actually care how others are doing or are we just making conversation? What if that person were to actually tell you how they are doing?

Would you be prepared for an answer like the following:

-My marriage is falling apart

-I’ve been struggling with depression/anxiety

-My parents are getting a divorce

-I’ve been abused

-I’m not sure I can do this anymore

What if we stopped and really looked at the other person and said:

-Are you sure you’re fine/okay?

-Really?

-Do you want to talk somewhere private?

We as Christians need to be awake & alert and not coast through life. You could be there for someone that really needs help.

I’ll leave you with some lyrics to a song called “If We Are the Body” by Casting Crowns. It talks about our duty as Christians to reach out and be like Jesus:

“But if we are the body

Why aren’t His arms reaching?

Why aren’t His hands healing?

Why aren’t His words teaching?

And if we are the body

Why aren’t His feet going?

Why is His love not showing them there is a way?

There is a way, there is a way”

 

Until Next Time,

~Marisa

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Foundations of a Strong Christian Relationship.

Written By: Rachel Hamm

 

Hey there! My name is Rachel Hamm, and I am blessed to have been asked by my dear friend Kerrington to do some writing for Uniquely Yours Ministries. Kerrington and I have been close friends for 14 years now, ever since I moved to Ontario. All through grade school and high school we were homeschooled, which meant home school co-op was where we grew close in our younger years. Long story short, all the way from being the little red heads at co-op, to this year, where I was honoured to have Kerrington as my maid of honour in my wedding, it has been such a wonderful blessing to grow up with this beautiful woman, and it is again an honour to hopefully be able to bless you in some way through her ministry.

So, as I mentioned before, I got married this past year, September 16th, 2017. It was such a beautiful day where I got to marry my childhood best friend and the love of my life…but more on that later.

When Kerrington asked me to write for this ministry, she asked me to write about relationships, specifically to those young ladies and women out there who are waiting for God’s perfect man for them, or those beginning a relationship! Let’s face it, relationships are hard work. So, I have decided to branch off of that even more, because to have a good relationship, we first need a firm foundation to build on, and what better foundation could we have than our heavenly Father’s word. Through these posts, we will be looking at some strong ladies from God’s word and their relationships, to see what kind of relationship we should be having.

So first, what is the definition of a relationship? Well, my dictionary states that a relationship is: “The state of being connected.” Such a simple definition to define such a big word. And the word connection, a strong word in itself. People can be connected as friends, coworkers, neighbors, even simply acquaintances. A better definition for a relationship is the Lord’s definition of the love between a husband and wife, or a seriously committed couple. That definition is found in Ephesians 5 verse 25: “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ also loved the Church and gave himself for her.” This verse defines love in itself, Christ Jesus literally gave His life’s breath for His “bride,” the Church. Such a beautiful example of the ultimate love to begin. Obviously, the love between a husband and wife is based off of this love, but we as sinful humans could never achieve this kind of love without the help of the Lord Jesus Christ who gave us this example in the first place.

Now, to those who haven’t found someone yet, or for those just in the beginnings of a relationship, how do you know if this is the man for you? Sure, we can all catch a case of “feelings,” the butterflies in your stomach every time you see him, having a hard time talking to him because your afraid of saying something he will think is silly. These feelings are fine, and normal, but your feelings should NEVER be the deciding factor to start a serious relationship with someone. What should be the foundation of a strong Christian relationship?

The most important thing in any relationship is a mutual love for God, and the desire to have Him be first in everything in your life. Any relationship where both people do not have that desire, or one person does and the other doesn’t, is doomed from before it begins. And not to be a stick in the mud ladies, but be very careful what guys you attach yourself too. Looks and charm can reel you in so quickly, and there are men out there who can charm their way into your hearts and lives, and pretend to believe the same things you do, and love the same God you do. They will act like everything you hold dear in your heart as truth is also near to their heart, and they will go to Church with you and behave like Christian men. Only to never set foot in a Church again or pick up the Bible again after you are married and are committed to sharing a life with them. It is a miserable situation to be in, and I have seen it happen time and time again. Guard your hearts, and pray that God would lead you to the man of your dreams, one who loves and follows the Lord with all of his heart.

Another thing that is important in any relationship is mutual respect for each other and the clearly defined roles of a man and woman that God has set forth in His word. Ephesians 5 verses 22-24 says it best: “ Wives, submit to your own husband, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is the head of the Church; and he is the Saviour of the body. Therefore, just as the Church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”

Now I realize the woman in every one of us is saying, “In EVERYTHING? I can’t have a say in anything in my life?”

First of all, that point of view is very wrong. We have an equal say in our relationships, and make decisions accordingly and by following God’s word. This verse is not saying that women have no say and can’t speak up about any decisions in their married life, It is saying that we are to have respect for our husbands and their decisions, and that way there will be a mutual respect between a husband and a wife. The husband will feel respected and the wife will feel like she is loved and a part of the decision making, and they both make decisions together.

Secondly, remember it’s not just the woman under authority. Men are under authority as the heads of the households. They answer to the Church and to God Himself. Husbands who commit to Christ create a happy home where respect and authority have reached a happy medium.

The last thing I want to touch on that makes a strong Christian relationship is honesty. Proverbs 10 verse 9 states: “Whoever walks in Integrity (honesty) walks securely, but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.” If you can’t trust the person you are in a relationship with, even in the little things, there is no way you will be able to sustain a lasting relationship with them. Plain and simple. Having an honest man and being honest yourself is very important.

There are other things that are essential to having a strong Christian relationship, and we will touch on a number of them throughout these posts so I will leave them until then.

I hope and pray that this will provide some insight to you as to what is required for a strong, Christian relationship. Thanks for reading and have a great day!

-Rachel

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A four year old Miracle.

Written by: Alisha Berg

I’m Alisha and I’m a married mom of a beautiful four year old little girl. My daughter Regan is a very special little girl. In Novemebr of 2012 Regan was born. She came into this world the colour grey and not breathing at all. My whole world changed that day. Regan was whisked away to the NICU and stayed there till she could be transferred to a different hospital and we stayed there for about six months! So much happened during that time that altered my life, her life and my whole family life. Regan was intubated (had a tube down her throat towards her lungs) for almost 4 months and she was trached (had a tracheotomy tubed placed in her neck so she could breathe)in month 4.  She also in the beginning had a nasal feeding tube which was then transferred to a GJ tube (a tube in her stomach that connected to her jejunum bypassing the stomach). A month after she came home the GJ became a G tube with a Mic-Key button (a tube that allows food into the stomach). Regan also has been on a ventilator during her 4 years. She started out on it 24/7 during intubation period and the start of her initial trached period but now she only uses it at night because she has central sleep apnea (where her brain forgets to breathe every so often).

During the six months in hospital we spent may days wondering if she was going make it. They lost her heartbeat a few times, she needed a lot of oxygen in the beginning and so many other things happened along the way. When Regan was trached we then learned how to inline suction while she was vented, use a normal suction which is now our everyday normal. We learned how to use a feeding pump and hook it up to her tube and extension so she could get her nutrients in. Then there were the months of vent training. So in depth and so much to learn it was very overwhelming but the support I had was incredible and the prayer team covering Regan, my family and myself was incredible!

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harms you, plans to give you a hope and a future”

 

Until Next Time,

~Alisha