Last Minute Miracles

by Christina Rose

Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” (Matthew 19:26 NLT)

It took years of falling flat on my face by doing things my way that made me realize that God’s ways are far better, yet they often require patience. The waiting time purposely stretches our faith to build our confidence in Him.  “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen”  (Hebrews 11:1 ESV).

When God called me to leave my home in California a few years ago and move to Florida to care for an elderly aunt, it required huge faith. I assumed this obedience would lead to a great reward, yet instead, it led to more testing. I was frustrated and felt like the puppy who performed the trick and never got the treat. I couldn’t understand what God was up to.

One day I was racing through Costco, checking things off my list. I was grumpy that everyone seemed to be dawdling and in my way, like they had nothing better to do than wander around the aisles looking at stuff.  I breezed past a man and his young son whom I overheard say, “Wow Dad, that lady’s in a big hurry.”

The dad responded, “Yep, she must be from California.”  

I went for a walk on the beach and tried to relax. I was finally beginning to see what the treat was. My high-pressure, 13-hour workdays in California had been ripped out of my hands, and now God was trying to show me a better way, if I would just let him. I then realized how blessed I was to be strolling along the crystal white sand and turquoise waters of Siesta Key Beach.

As I learned to let go and trust God’s daily plan for me, I began to see how many blessings He planned for me along the way. I also began to see that if things didn’t happen when I wanted, it usually meant that something better was on the horizon. “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps” (Proverbs 16:9 ESV).

I am now in Denver, continuing to grow in faith along with the rest of the world, as we face the global pandemic and political unrest. bible stories of last-minute miracles can give us hope as we wait for God’s plan to unfold. Last minute miracles are miracles that happen when faith is almost or completely lost. They happen in the nick of time, beyond expectations or feasibility. They show us that God has a perfect plan and is never limited by time and space.

When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, they became trapped between the sea and the pursuing army. At the last minute, God parted the Red Sea for the Israelites to cross and once they were safely on the other side, he closed the sea over the Egyptian army thus destroying them.

When Jesus arrived at the home of Jairus, his young daughter had already died, yet Jesus told the little girl to wake up to show the glory of God. She was fully restored back to life to the amazement of everyone around them.

When Jesus was called to heal Lazarus, who was gravely ill, he purposely waited for days to arrive. “But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it” (John 11:4 ESV).When Jesus arrived at the tomb, Lazarus had been dead for four days, yet he raised Lazarus from the dead. He walked out of the tomb, fully restored to life, and all the people were amazed at the glory of God.

There is no substitute for the peace that comes from knowing that God has it all figured out and all we need to do is trust Him. While we may not understand the testing and it may seem long and severe, these times can be merely a setup for God to perform last-minute miracles that will amaze and bless us all.

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression,   you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.  Isaiah 43:2 NLT

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Christina Rose is an author, trainer and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership.  She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. She is a world traveler, surfer, foodie, cappuccino loving chocoholic and a devoted mom to kids and dogs and auntie to many nieces and nephews who live around the world.

Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story. With her young family on the verge of falling apart, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself.  After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening and miraculous empowerment. That power is available to us all, especially those who need hope and freedom.

Join the conversation: Has God ever done a last minute miracle for you?

Faith to Soar By

by Christina Rose

“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 NLT

This morning, as I walked about the nearby lakes, I noticed a group of people looking to the sky and taking pictures with their phones.  As I followed their gaze, I saw the source of their interest, two large, majestic eagles perched high on a lofty treetop. The eagles’ piercing blue eyes were focused intently on the lake, searching the water for prey. One could sense their impressive power as they perched on alert for the sign of fish, gripping the branches with huge talons.

Eagles have long been considered a symbol of freedom and strength. Rather than retreat from a storm, the eagle uses the adversity to its advantage. When a storm hits, the eagle positions its wings above the wind so that it will lift it up to soar above the storm. While the storm rages below, the eagle soars above it. 

Last year the Pandemic unleashed storms throughout the world with loss of life and income, closures and cancellations, sending waves of anxiety and fear around the globe. At times, it feels like we are all in some weird Twilight Zone movie that can’t be real. My church of several thousand attendees endured closures for months and services were streamed online.  Shortly after reopening, the lead pastor announced that he and his wife would be leaving to start another church. We were unsure if they truly wanted to leave or were asked to leave, but for many of us it was just another loss during this time of great change.

Our pastor and his wife had relocated from another state to serve at this church for almost 10 years. They have three small sons, one of whom has special needs. Since they both worked for the church, leaving meant that both would lose their salaries which required big faith. There was no guarantee that this new venture would succeed, and they risked losing everything.  As the pastor addressed the congregation on his last sermon, he expressed his gratitude and then broke down. He started sobbing while his wife tried to comfort him and after some time, he looked up with tears streaming down his face. We could feel his love for the church and how sorry he was to leave, along with concern for what the future would hold. He was just a young dad trying his best to trust that God would provide for him and his family to move forward. He exemplified the emotions that many of us feel during this time of great uncertainty.

One month later, the new church opened its doors to fully packed Christmas services. Many members of the former church had chosen to follow the pastor, and they donated time and money to convert an abandoned restaurant into a welcoming church, beautifully decorated for Christmas. That first weekend as we sang Christmas hymns, familiar faces smiled at one another as the room was filled with joy that our pastor had succeeded in making his dream happen. He stood in front of the congregation, radiantly beaming and announced that they had received enough donations to build a larger church that would accommodate the 2,000 people who had chosen to follow him. 

There have been many storms in the past year as our lives have dramatically changed by the Pandemic. We have been required more than ever to have faith and trust God for all our cares.  Just as the eagle positions its wings to fly above the storm, if we position ourselves to trust God for every need, he will carry us safely above the storm as he delivers us to our divine destiny.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”  (Matthew 6:25-27 NIV)

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

christina rose

About the author: Christina Rose is an author, trainer, and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership.  She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. She is a world traveler, surfer, foodie, cappuccino- loving chocoholic and a devoted mom to kids and dogs, as well as auntie to many nieces and nephews who live around the world.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is cover.jpg

Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story.  With her young family on the verge of falling apart, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself.  After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening, redemption and restoration. Christina hopes her story will encourage others who are in need of hope and freedom.

Join the conversation: Are you soaring on wings like an eagle’s in this time of uncertainty?

Arise Under the Sun

by Christina Rose

“I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity, a futile grasping and chasing after the wind.” Ecclesiastes 1:14 AMP

King Solomon asked God for wisdom when he ascended to the throne, so that he could rule the people justly. God favored Solomon by giving him more wisdom and wealth than any other king of the earth. During his 40-year reign, Solomon wrote many proverbs and songs, amassed tons of gold, completed many building projects, including the Jewish temple, and built a fleet of ships.  Unfortunately, among the 700 wives and 300 concubines he had were many foreigners who led him into idolatry in his old age. This became a diversion that he reflected upon as he neared the end of his life.

Solomon considered his many accomplishments and the years of earthly striving. “But as I looked at everything I had worked so hard to accomplish, it was all so meaningless—like chasing the wind. There was nothing really worthwhile anywhere” (Ecclesiastes 2:11 NLT).  He had finally realized that after a lifetime of chasing everything the world had to offer, obeying God and fearing his word was the only thing that made sense. Once we put God first, we are free to enjoy the gifts of life he has bestowed upon us.

“So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life. That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 8:15 NLT

In the early years of my career, I enjoyed a glamorous life in San Francisco. I worked in one of the most prestigious offices in the city and was treated to extravagant restaurants, parties, and events. One evening on a dinner cruise under the Golden Gate, I noticed the colorful sails of windsurfers racing back and forth. Within weeks I had signed up for lessons, and before long, I was flying across the waves under “The Gate,” where I met and married another surfer. We were addicted to the thrill of chasing the wind under the sun until we learned we were expecting our first baby. My carefree life changed instantly when I was confined to bedrest out of concern for her. I was now slowly turning into a baby whale while I laid in bed, often alone, praying for my baby’s safe arrival. In the silence, I relentlessly searched for God and asked for his help.

Labor completely humbled me. I thought I had been so fearless surfing the waves, but as Solomon points out, there was a vanity in chasing the wind. It was easy to be fit and strong for all to see, but now I was a vulnerable, young mom in labor, hooked up to a monitor, dependent on those around me to help me give birth. Hours later when I laid eyes on my new daughter was the moment that I knew God was real.  There was no other explanation for such an exquisite miracle. Her birth was the beginning of learning to understand the greatness of God which continues to be an amazing journey each day, many years later.

Over time, many of my windsurfing friends stopped windsurfing.We came to see that we were just going back and forth across the waves but not accomplishing anything of significance.  Those years long ago of youth and adventure are glorious to remember, but having that life ripped out of my hands and confined to bedrest made me rethink everything. It was during those times of darkness and doubt that I searched for God and prayed for his help. He answered me with a perfect baby daughter that was a blessing far greater than the life I had been living.  

During this time of the Pandemic many, lives are being drastically altered. People are searching for answers in darkness and doubt, just as I did many years ago. They may be wondering if God is real and if he hears them. For those of us who know that he is real and hears our every cry, we are being called to arise to be a light to help others walk through this time of uncertainty.  In the process, God will birth something new and wonderful that one cannot see in the darkness as he draws us into his light.

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. Isaiah 60:1-3 NIV

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Christina Rose is an author, trainer and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership.  She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. She is a world traveler, surfer, foodie, cappuccino loving chocoholic and a devoted mom to kids and dogs and auntie to many nieces and nephews who live around the world.

Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story. With her young family on the verge of falling apart, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself.  After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening and miraculous empowerment. That power is available to us all, especially those who need hope and freedom.

Join the conversation: For what answers are you searching in this season of darkness?

Angels on a Midnight Clear

by Christina Rose

“And I saw another angel flying through the sky, carrying the eternal Good News to proclaim to the people who belong to this world—to every nation, tribe, language, and people.  “Fear God,” he shouted. “Give glory to him. For the time has come when he will sit as judge. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all the springs of water.” Revelation 14:6-7 NLT

Yet another sleepless night, tossing and turning over the unrest in our nation amid the pandemic, which continues to steal lives and our peace.  I, along with countless others, wake up in the middle of the night to check my phone, social media, and the news for the latest updates. Never has our nation been so divided that riots, destruction, and hate are filling our streets. For those of us walking in faith, we continue to pray and trust in a faithful God.

The Christmas carol, “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”, was written in 1849 by Edmund Sears, pastor of the Unitarian Church in Wayland, Massachusetts. This Christmas, millions of people throughout the world will be singing this carol as they have for many years. The song describes how, in the middle of the night, angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold, singing God’s blessings of peace and goodwill to earth. The carol describes the angels flying over the weary world with peaceful wings singing their heavenly song to take away the suffering that comes from not knowing our Savior. 

The song calls for all of us to silence the battles among us and to rest beside the weary road of life to hear the angels sing. It tells us that the golden age is coming where all people will gather to sing the songs the angels now sing to us.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could see with our physical eyes the angels swooping down over cities with their giant wings and hear their heavenly songs? Imagine the riots and hate in the streets being halted by looking up to the sky to see these heavenly messengers flying overhead. 

Angels are mentioned over 200 times in the Bible and were created by God to serve him.  They are described as intelligent spiritual beings with an instant, unquestioning obedience to God’s commands. In these uncertain times, we are called to be like the angels in their obedience. We are to share our faith and stand firm, knowing that God is in control and has the final say.

King David was on his death bed when his son Adonijah began boasting that he would make himself king. He recruited fifty men with chariots and charioteers to parade before him, announcing that he was king. He put on a huge feast for many officials to celebrate his self-proclaimed victory. David’s wife, Bathsheba, and Nathan the prophet shared what was happening with David, who declared that Solomon was anointed to be the true king.

And the king repeated his vow: ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who has rescued me from every danger, your son Solomon will be the next king and will sit on my throne this very day, just as I vowed to you before the Lord, the God of Israel.’” 1 Kings 1:19-30 NLT

Adonijah was drinking and feasting with many celebrants when he was admonished for his lie.  He was told that he did not have the authority to name himself king; Solomon was anointed to be king. 

In our current waiting time, like Adonijah, people are boastfully claiming what does not belong to them. Those who walk in faith are peaceful and confident, knowing that God will decide the outcome of every battle. He calls us to be stand firm in prayer to honor His will.

I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown.” Revelation 3:11 NLT

As we approach Christmas, it is a comfort to think of the angels who are singing over the earth. Rather than toss and turn, let’s sing praises knowing that they will bring us the peace we are seeking. Let’s rejoice with one another and celebrate the Kingdom of heaven.

“May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10 NLT

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

christina rose

About the author: Christina Rose is an author, trainer, and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership.  She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. She is a world traveler, surfer, foodie, cappuccino- loving chocoholic and a devoted mom to kids and dogs, as well as auntie to many nieces and nephews who live around the world.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is cover.jpg

Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story.  With her young family on the verge of falling apart, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself.  After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening, redemption and restoration. Christina hopes her story will encourage others who are in need of hope and freedom.

Join the conversation: What is giving you hope this Christmas?

Peace on Earth, Good Will Towards Men

by Christina Rose

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:13-14 KJV

It was a peaceful night in Bethlehem long ago where shepherds kept watch over their flocks.  An angel of the Lord appeared in the sky and told them that she had come to bring great tidings of joy. She announced that on that day the Savior, Christ the Lord, was born in the city of David. Suddenly a heavenly host joined the angel, and the sky was filled with praises glorifying God, declaring peace on earth and good will to men. When the angels returned to heaven, the shepherds left the fields and found Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus in the manger.

“And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those  things which were told them by the shepherds.” Luke 2:17-28 KJV

It was a peaceful night, many years ago, on Christmas Eve at our quaint little church in rural Massachusetts. I snuggled up to my mother’s soft blue coat with a silver fur collar that smelled of her perfume. The snow was gently falling outside while the church was filled with the glorious sound of the congregation singing Christmas carols. At the end of the service, lit candles were passed around as we sang “Silent Night.” This moment is etched in my memory of the perfect peace I felt as a child. I felt loved, safe, and protected.

As we approach this holiday season, many have forgotten the peace that Jesus died to give us. The heated Presidential election has incited riots, destruction, killing and anger. Our news and social media are filled with hate and attacks on our President, police, and anyone with opposing beliefs. Businesses and properties have been destroyed. Jobs and income have been obliterated by the Pandemic that has taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Our children are living in isolation and fear. They have been born into a time where they do not know the peace I felt as a child long ago in rural Massachusetts. Those of us who have been privileged to know this peace have a duty to stand firm and remind all around us that peace is our birthright and to trust in God’s word.

It is significant to note that the angel who announced Christ’s birth appeared to shepherds who were located on the lower rungs of the social ladder, and that Jesus was born in a manger emphasizing how God lifts up the humble. Rather than be fearful and angry at this time, we must be humble and trust that God is in control and has a great plan for the world.

When I worked in San Francisco a few years ago, we often ate lunch outside on sunny days. Many homeless people would wait on the sidelines for leftovers. One day someone handed an unkempt woman in rags a bowl of hot noodles. She broke into laughter and started singing. She held each noodle up and sang to it as she slurped it down, laughing and giggling at the sky. She had no home, no job and walked in rags, but she blessed us all with her delight in unexpected noodles. Her humility and gratitude exemplified the peace that Christ died to give us.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 NIV

With all the unrest that is happening in our world today, we must model Christlike love to encourage those around us. We must give faith and hope to our children. We must trust that the peace Christ gave us is greater than any unrest that may be raging about us. We must think back to that perfect holy night in Bethlehem when Christ was born to give us a peace that surpasses all earthly understanding.   

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 NIV

This article was brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Christina Rose is an author, trainer and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership.  She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. She is a world traveler, surfer, foodie, cappuccino loving chocoholic and a devoted mom to kids and dogs and auntie to many nieces and nephews who live around the world.

Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story.  With her young family on the verge of falling apart, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself.  After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening and miraculous empowerment. That power is available to us all, especially those who need hope and freedom.

Join the conversation: What thoughts of God bring you peace?

The Best Thanksgiving

by Christina Rose

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed

you were called in one body. And be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15 NIV)

When Jesus and his disciplines were traveling through a village, they were invited to the home of Mary and Martha. While Martha was obsessed with preparations for making the perfect meal, her sister Mary sat at the Lord’s feet listening to him. Martha became vexed and said to Jesus, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (Luke 10:40 NIV).

Jesus turned to her. “Martha, Martha,” He answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her”(Luke 10:41-42 NIV).

Sometimes we get so caught up in the preparation that we forget its purpose. We make elaborate lists and get so lost in the details that we can’t enjoy what the ceremony is all about. One can only imagine what Thanksgiving would have been like at the home of Mary and Martha. Mary would be welcoming the guests and devoting her attention to conversing with them, while Martha would be stressing out in the kitchen sweating over the turkey, resentful that no one understood how important it was to have the perfect meal.

My mother’s name was Martha, and she lived up to what it represented. Her father died when she was young, and her mother went to work full-time. As a child, my mother’s holidays were often spent with relatives or in boarding schools. She dreamed of one day having the perfect home and family to make up for all the years she felt alone on the holidays. As a result, when my grandmother arrived two days before Thanksgiving, we were not allowed in the kitchen while she and my mother created an elaborate feast.  On Thanksgiving Day, we were served the perfect holiday dinner on a beautifully decorated table.

As a young wife and mother, I strived to serve the same perfect holiday dinners my mother used to make, but soon realized the impossibility of this with babies and toddlers underfoot. One year my husband’s relatives were visiting, and my toddler proudly announced, “My mom makes the best mashed potatoes. She makes them out of a box!”

Over the years, I continued to strive for holiday perfection, trying gourmet recipes and decorating ideas, mistakenly thinking that all my efforts would make everyone happy. One year I counted six hours in the kitchen with preparation while everyone was laughing in the next room, watching movies, and playing games. While I know everyone appreciated my efforts, the following Thanksgiving, we ordered “The Box”.

“The Box” contains a precooked Thanksgiving dinner that merely needs to be heated up.  My kids opened “The Box” excitedly as they pulled out the pie, the turkey and the rest of the trimmings and helped me prepare them. We spent time playing games while the dinner heated up in the oven. They felt so proud of the dinner as if they had cooked it all themselves. I invited my elderly neighbor who lived alone, and we spent time with her. Friends from down the street stopped in and I was able to relax and enjoy their company. That Thanksgiving, as we sat around the table, my daughter announced, “This is the best Thanksgiving we’ve ever had.” I had learned how to be a “Mary”. 

Society and tradition may call us to standards of perfection that we find impossible to attain, but we must keep our eyes on what matters most. While Thanksgiving is a time of feasting and celebration, most importantly it is a time of giving thanks to our Savior for the opportunity to spend time with those we love.

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”  (1 Peter 4:8 NIV)

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

TWEETABLE
The Best Thanksgiving – insight on perfectionism from author Christina Rose on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

christina rose

About the author: Christina Rose is an author, trainer, and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership.  She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. She is a world traveler, surfer, foodie, cappuccino- loving chocoholic and a devoted mom to kids and dogs, as well as auntie to many nieces and nephews who live around the world.

Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story.  With her young family on the verge of falling apart, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself.  After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening, redemption and restoration. Christina hopes her story will encourage others who are in need of hope and freedom.

Join the conversation: What do you do to keep Thanksgiving from being overwhelming?

When God Speaks, Things Happen

by Christina Rose

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NIV

When God speaks, walls come down, the heavens shake with thunder and lighting, galaxies are born, the seas part, and billions of new beings are called into creation.  When Joshua fought the battle for Jericho, God spoke to him and gave him specific instructions on how to bring down the fortress walls. Joshua and his men were to march around the walls for six days. On the seventh day, they were to march around the walls seven times and seven priests would sound the trumpets. The people were then to give a great shout, and the walls would collapse.

When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city.”   Joshua 6:20 NIV

When God speaks, and we follow His direction, He rewards us with victory. When we choose to ignore Him, there are consequences.

God called Jonah to preach to the Ninevites, but he ran in the opposite direction, boarding a ship bound for Tarshish. The Almighty followed Jonah and caused a violent storm on the seas. When the shipmates learned of Jonah’s disobedience to God, they tossed him overboard, believing him to be the source of the storm. Jonah was swallowed by a great fish. After three wretched days in the big fish, Jonah repented and prayed that God would give him another chance. The fish spat out Jonah, who went to Nineveh where his message from God was received.

“The Ninevites believed God. A fast was proclaimed, and all of them, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth.” Jonah 3:5 NIV

It would be awesome to get directions from God each day. There are weeks that no matter how hard I pray, I hear nothing. Yet I know that despite His silence, He is there. The times that I have heard God speak to me, His words are so profound that I realize I must respect His reasons for sometimes being silent. Constantly listening for His voice keeps me humble and devoted.  

A few years ago, I was called to embark on an Abraham test. I left everything familiar behind to live in temporary quarters, far from my beautiful home on the Pacific coast. While this time of prayer, studying and writing has been invaluable, surrender can be scary. One day God put a task upon my heart that seemed impossible. I told Him I had given up on that a long time ago. A soft whisper answered, “I didn’t.” Once I realized a new plan was unfolding, I started packing my bags, but he did not immediately open that door. One sleepless night I called out to the sky, “What am I still doing here?”

The soft whisper answered, “You’re getting to know me.”

God keeps his promises even if it feels like we are waiting forever. Abraham and Sarah were given a promise, but it took twenty-five years of waiting for it to happen. God told Abraham and Sarah that a son would be born to them even though they were elderly and barren. They got impatient and took matters into their own hands. Mayhem ensued when Sarah’s servant, Hagar, bore him a child. Ultimately, the promised son was born to Abraham and Sarah, and Abraham became the father of many nations just as God had promised that he would.

“God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”  Numbers 23:18 NIV

When God speaks, miracles happen, fortress walls come down, cities are saved, lives are restored and the impossible becomes possible. When God speaks to you and promises to fulfill a dream that is far greater than you ever imagined, be prepared to be amazed.

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26 NIV

TWEETABLE
When God Speaks, Things Happen – insight and encouragement from Christina Rose on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

christina rose

About the author: Christina Rose is an author, trainer, and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership.  She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. She is a world traveler, surfer, foodie, cappuccino- loving chocoholic and a devoted mom to kids and dogs, as well as auntie to many nieces and nephews who live around the world.

Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story.  With her young family on the verge of falling apart, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself.  After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening, redemption and restoration. Christina hopes her story will encourage others who are in need of hope and freedom.

Join the conversation: Has God fulfilled a promise to you? Please share!

Secret Petitions of the Heart

by Christina Rose

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.”                                                                                                              Psalm 37:4 AMP

One summer day many years ago I planted a secret petition in my heart. A thunderstorm had sent me and my cousin Susan racing from the pool to the cozy den where we plopped down with bowls of ice cream to watch a movie. “The Sandpiper” was filmed on the wild, central coast of California. I was overcome with awe by the spectacular Pacific coast. As I watched actress Elizabeth Taylor paint a canvas of sandpipers by the ocean, a bold dream was born in my heart. I knew I belonged there on that beautiful wild coast and that somehow and someday I would find my way there. For a little ten-year old girl who had never traveled west of Maryland, this dream seemed so big and impossible that I kept it to myself.

As years went by I forgot this dream amid the busyness of life. After college, I moved to San Francisco where I was married and had two children. Each summer we would drive down the coast to camp under the redwoods in Big Sur. We would spend hours on the beach, exploring tide pools and enjoying the surf. We would often stop by Nepenthe restaurant for an early dinner on the way back to camp.

One afternoon, as I was exploring the gift shop at Nepenthe, I noticed a huge poster of  “The Sandpiper” movie. Further inquisition revealed that the movie had been shot on the very beach I had been taking my children to every year. I learned that the stars in the movie often came to Nepenthe after filming for dinner. As the wonder of God’s grace in fulfilling a child’s secret dream from more than 30 years ago flooded me, I was filled with awe at how great God is. He never gives up on us or our dreams. He knows our every secret, even if we have buried them so deep, they have become secrets to ourselves. God actualized my childhood dream in a way far greater than I had imagined. He blessed me with a beautiful family with which to enjoy it all.

God’s greatness in restoring dreams is evidenced throughout the Bible.

Elisha was a prophet in the Bible who often traveled through the town of Shunem. A local woman wanted to honor him as a man of God, so she and her husband built a room for him in their home. Elisha wanted to repay the woman for her generosity, but she insisted there was nothing she needed. When Elisha discovered she had no children, he promised her that she would have a son within one year. She had kept her dream of having a child a secret, as she had given up on it many years ago. While she dared not hope again, the secret petition of her heart was granted when Elisha’s promise came true; she was blessed with a baby boy within the year. (2 Kings 4:8-17)

As a young teenager, Joseph had a great dream of being a powerful leader. When his jealous brothers sold him into slavery, he may have felt that this dream was just an illusion. For all the years he toiled in prison, there may have been moments when he wondered if his dream would ever be realized. All the while, God was not punishing Joseph, he was merely preparing him. Joseph’s dream came true, and he became the leader God called him to be. (Genesis 37, 41:38-43)

Have you given up on a dream that seems impossible? With God all things are possible, including granting the secret petitions of our hearts.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.  (Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV)

TWEETABLE
Secret Petitions of the Heart – encouragement from Christina Rose on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

christina rose

About the author: Christina Rose is an author, trainer, and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership.  She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. She is a world traveler, surfer, foodie, cappuccino- loving chocoholic and a devoted mom to kids and dogs, as well as auntie to many nieces and nephews who live around the world.

Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story.  With her young family on the verge of falling apart, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself.  After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening, redemption and restoration. Christina hopes her story will encourage others who are in need of hope and freedom.

Join the conversation: Has God fulfilled a secret dream of yours? Please share!

What the World Needs Now

by Christina Rose

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love;
    I have drawn you with unfailing kindness
.” Jeremiah 31:3 NIV

Our world needs everlasting love and unfailing kindness more than ever as we face the fear of the global pandemic. Having faith during this time is a protective shield against the waves of panic that threaten to steal our peace. We take comfort in knowing that God will never leave us or forsake us.  When we trust that He loves us with an everlasting love, it cancels out all fear.  How can we fear when we believe that God is sovereign and rules above it all? By walking in God’s love, we can help everyone around us to choose faith over fear.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love  (1 John 14:18 NIV).

My journey to find peace was long and tumultuous, yet I am grateful to share my testimony. My parents married young and came from broken homes. They had the best intentions to create the healthy, loving family that they never knew, but our lives were marred by the damage of their unresolved childhood wounds. Abuse, addiction and abandonment were constant themes in our family. I learned that hurting people hurt other people, yet God is the restorer of the broken. Nothing is impossible for Him; not only can he restore anyone and anything, He will bring you out better than before. As I learned to turn to God for guidance during my trials, I found peace in nature where I felt enveloped in His love and greatness. Hiking, camping and surfing in God’s magnificent creation makes me feel free and safe. 

Now that I work at home, I have time to enjoy a daily two hour walk around the nearby lakes. In the last three months four geese couples have given birth to a total of 9 goslings. I marvel that both parents never stray from their babies as they continuously nurture and protect them. In the almost 200 times over the last few months that I have strolled around the lake, I have never seen either parent take a break to wander off on their own for a swim or to feed. Both parents work together as a devoted team to care for their babies.

When the geese enter the lake to swim, the moms lead the babies while the dads bring up the rear, always on the alert for a predator. The moms teach the babies to feed while the dads stand protectively by, standing guard. While each of the four geese couples gave birth to their goslings in different parts of the lake, recently the little families found one another and are now inseparable. They feed, nap and swim together in perfect harmony. I have never witnessed competition or quarreling among them, just perfect peace and serenity. They intuitively know that they were designed to live together in harmony and cooperation.

God shares beautiful stories like the geese family to show us how he intends love to be and how we are to take care of one another. Just like the geese families seek other geese families to create community, God created us to seek one another for community. He created us to live in peace with one another and to love each other the way he loves us. Demonstrations of God’s everlasting love and unfailing kindness are all around us in his perfect creation.  When we walk in the perfect love of God, we cast out fear wherever He may lead us.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  Jeremiah 29:13 NIV

TWEETABLE
What the World Needs Now – encouragement from Christina Rose on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

christina rose

About the author: Christina Rose is an author, trainer, and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership.  She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. She is a world traveler, surfer, foodie, cappuccino- loving chocoholic and a devoted mom to kids and dogs, as well as auntie to many nieces and nephews who live around the world.

Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story.  With her young family on the verge of falling apart, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself.  After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening, redemption and restoration. Christina hopes her story will encourage others who are in need of hope and freedom.

Join the conversation: Have you seen other examples in nature that demonstrate the love of God?

Father Knows Best

by Christina Rose

As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless;
    he shields all who take refuge in him
.  Psalm 18:30 NIV

Memories of long road trips as a child evoke thoughts of red vine licorice, flashcards, counting license plates, and tormenting my parents with, “Are we there yet?” or “I have to go to the bathroom again!”  On one such dreary drive I was relegated to the rear of the station wagon after my tantrum over having to share my McDonald’s French fries with my brother. Since dad was driving, and I was well out of arm’s reach to be spanked, I took advantage of this and howled for hours from Canada to Massachusetts.

Waiting on God’s timing can sometimes feel just as aggravating as an endless road trip in our fast-paced society that wants everything yesterday. If an unexpected glitch derails our plans, it is easy to become unglued. Knowing that God is in control and often intercedes to interrupt our plans for our benefit can ease our frustration.  God is sovereign and his plans always supersede ours to ultimately show us that “Father Knows Best”.  

When our prayers seem to go unanswered, our faith can wane. We may wonder if God is listening and worse yet, wonder if He even cares. Yet time will prove that God is always listening and does care. But He will always provide in His way and His timing, not ours.  When we trust Him like a child, knowing that He has our best interests at heart and is in control over every creature, event and circumstance, we learn to wait in peace.

I make known the end from the beginning  from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’
(Isaiah 46:10 NIV)

A few years ago I had a long, stressful commute to San Francisco.  One morning I could not find a seat on the ferry and in exasperation, I leaned against the wall looking out over the sea of 450 passengers.  They were silently engrossed in their electronics and were seriously somber as if they were all on their way to a funeral. I thought, “Everyone looks as miserable as I am. I guess we’re all in the same boat.” Through constant prayer and surrender, God delivered me from this bondage. Six months later, I found myself on a sunny beach in Florida for an extended vacation.

Many divinely guided adventures have happened since then, as I have learned to let go and let God. He wants us to enjoy the life that Jesus died to give us.

I confess that I have struggled with worry over my children, even while knowing this does not serve them. One day as I was praying yet stressing unnecessarily over my daughters’ futures I heard, “They are my daughters and I have good plans for them. Thank you for taking care of them for me.” I was reminded that my daughters are God’s daughters first. He just gave me the privilege of helping Him to care for them while they are on earth.

God knows what He is doing, and we must trust Him. When we believe that our Father knows best, we learn to wait on His timing knowing that all things work for good to those who love God.

TWEETABLE
Father Knows Best – encouragement from Christina Rose on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

christina rose

About the author: Christina Rose is an author, trainer, and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership.  She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. She is a world traveler, surfer, foodie, cappuccino- loving chocoholic and a devoted mom to kids and dogs, as well as auntie to many nieces and nephews who live around the world.

Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story.  With her young family on the verge of falling apart, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself.  After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening, redemption and restoration. Christina hopes her story will encourage others who are in need of hope and freedom.

Join the conversation: For what do you have a hard time trusting God?