Facing Change

By Major Beth Desplancke

June is finally here! As a child June was probably my favorite month. It meant the end of school, and the beginning of summer vacation! I loved school, don’t get me wrong, but I loved the change that summer would bring: a change in pace, a change of schedule, and a change of habits (summer meant not waking up so early to get to school, lots of sunshine and for me lots of swimming).

Sometimes June doesn’t feel like a good change. The June I finished 6th grade (the end of elementary school where I lived), there was already anxiety about what 7th grade was like. How would I ever get used to going to 6 different classes with 6 different teachers each day?

In The Salvation Army, June is also a month of transition for a lot of the corps (local churches). I remember many Junes as a kid, where I was having to say goodbye to a corps officer that I knew and loved, and either at the end of June or the first week in July, we would be welcoming someone new into our church and into our hearts.

No matter what kind of change takes place – change is scary. And to be honest, we have all endured a lot of change the past two years, since the words “COVID” and “global pandemic” became buzz words in our daily vocabulary.

I don’t know about you, but the amount of change that was taking place at such a fast pace was becoming exhausting. At one point, I felt completely overwhelmed, anxious and fearful about what the future held. The rules seemed to change daily, so I turned to what was familiar to me – the Bible.
As the world began to shut down in March of 2020, I decided to camp in the book of Psalms. Over the past two years, I have lost count of how many times I have read the 150 chapters of Psalms. I simply started reading at chapter 1, and would go through until the end, and then begin again. Some days I read several chapters, and others maybe a few verses. Early on in the pandemic I had trouble sleeping and, too many nights to count I actually read all 150 psalms.

One of my favorite psalms is Psalm 46, v. 1-3 says this: God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. And in verse 10, which most of us probably know well, says, He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Change is inevitable. Even though change is hard, there is one thing I can do – I can obey what verse 10 says and be still and know that God is God. I do this by focusing on who He is. First, God is constant! No matter what changes life brings, God does not change. He is constant in a world of never-ending changes. Hebrews 13:8 says He is the same yesterday, today and forever. everything else changes, He does not. He is my constant source of help, refuge and strength.

When life changes, I can also be still and know that God is in control! God was and is and always will be in control. He is never taken by surprise or caught off guard. When changes seem sudden to us, He is unfazed. God was and is and will always be on the throne. COVID did not usurp His authority as Creator, King and Ruler of all!

John C. Maxwell writes, “Change is inevitable, but growth is optional.” Changes come in our lives whether we like it or not, but how we respond to change is up to us. Any change feels uncomfortable and even chaotic. Whatever changes we will face this month, we can be still and know that God is a God who is constant and in control!

Spring Forecast…. Let Good Things Grow!

By Colonel Donna Igleheart

One of the things I have learned living in the West is that anything is possible in the spring. This past week we experienced 90 degree plus temps in Southern California and a few days later I woke up to snow in Oregon! Both were a surprise to those who forecast the weather and made for extra cautious news alerts, heat warnings, delays and cancellations in the Northwest.

Spring typically means that warmer temperatures warm the ground which may have frozen over the winter months, as it grows softer and more yielding to plants. Spring is often marked by increased rainfall, which helps to water the infant seeds taking root in the ground. Spring is often referred to as the season of new beginnings, even referred to as the favorite season of the year with its transition into life and beauty before the heat of summer sets in. It’s said after a dreary winter, spring brings forth mood improvement, even causing people to be happier! So many good reasons to embrace the spring forecast and watch and see good things grow.

Whether it’s the bud of a tulip planted the previous fall or one of the earliest crops breaking through the soil, that first sign of new life in the garden shifts our attention to the season that is upon us. No matter how long or cold the winter has been, a new chapter is here.

So as women of God, how can we too harness the goodness of this fresh start and season? We can start with the smallest change to plowing deeply! Be still! Set aside time to spend in the word of God. Listen to music and immerse yourself in the melody and lyrics. Look around at God’s beautiful creation. Be more intentional about showing gratitude. Ask others about their story and share yours!

If you desire to have fellowship and Bible study and are waiting for someone to ask you for a seat at the table and it hasn’t happened, invite yourself! Perhaps God is calling you to be the very one to break forth new ground for someone else or many!

It’s been a dry and weary season for most. What if we forecast for ourselves with God’s help, to grow good seeds of hope, nurturing relationships, patience in the waiting, forgiveness in the hurting, healing through bitterness, or peace over anxiety? Just as the gardener or farmer sets her eyes on the prize and hope of a fruitful crop, so can we harness its hope and strength to then nourish the parts of our life that might be craving a fresh new start. Each of us has an opportunity to plant, fruit to bear, and in return Jesus will bless! There’s never been a greater time for a forecast of strong, brave, and flourishing women needed to burst forth in confidence and step into spring so that others might be revived and flourish too.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, Encourage one another and build each other up. These words alone would make for a beautiful spring forecast and in return good seeds will grow.

Keep shining, beautiful women of the Western Territory and keep your eyes on Jesus! Blessings of grace and peace.

He is Risen!

By Commissioner Colleen Riley

He is Risen! It’s April and this month I am reminded more profoundly than ever before, of the goodness of God, the sacrifice of Jesus, and the precious and perfect gift that was given on the cross for me and for you.

I am struck by the fact that one moment, men and women were proclaiming “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” (John 12:13) and shortly after, Jesus was carrying His own cross to His death. I am not sure that I can fully comprehend the moment of triumph and the moment of seeming defeat in its fullness. Yet, I know that this was all in the plan from the very beginning. This gift was for me, even before I was born. This was and is a gift for you.

The resurrection is the foundation of my faith. Jesus came in flesh and blood as a man, died and rose again and confirmed that He is the Son of God. His rising from the dead was real and physical and miraculous. He tells Mary Magdalene and the other Mary that He is alive, and I love this – they clasped His feet and worshipped Him. They knew it was Him, they believed He was alive, and they worshipped Him. (Matthew 28:9)

This Easter, I want to have such deep faith every day, that no matter if the grounds shake or the waters roar, I will clasp the feet of Jesus and worship the Risen King. I don’t feel worthy of the sacrifice that Jesus made for me. But I know that I serve a God who in His infinite love for us, gave us this perfect gift so that we can have eternal life with Him. I don’t have to earn it, it is a free gift.

So let us celebrate and sing Hosanna to the King of Kings and thank Him for this gift of life He bestowed on us. If you, or someone you know doesn’t know the Savior, reach out so that we can share the infinite gift of grace, forgiveness, love, and a promise to be with us always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:20)

International Women’s Day

By Colonel Donna Igleheart

March 8, 2022 is recognized as International Women’s Day. It’s an opportunity to pay tribute to all the women who have stood up against an unjust society, paving the way for the freedom of future generations. It’s a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. It’s a day to celebrate women from around the globe for their contributions to the world! It’s a day to celebrate our Creator for His love and His plans for every one of us. It’s a day to celebrate YOU!

In Acts 16 we find a beautiful story of a woman named Lydia. I would encourage you to read once again this story of obedience on Paul’s part that led to a transformational life for Lydia.

We find her story here because God had a specific encounter for her, He had a plan to use her in a way she never could have imagined. The story of Lydia is a reminder that God shows up in unexpected places and He uses women in all walks and seasons of life. Her story becomes quite extraordinary and transformational for generations to come.

Lydia by trade, sold expensive purple cloth. She must have had a reputation as someone of influence, wealth, and who was educated. However, she was lacking the most significant detail in her story…she didn’t know Jesus. She was a woman of prayer and as she heard Paul speaking about Jesus, she didn’t waste time to kneel and open her heart. The Word says that she lost no time in confessing her sins and was baptized in the same river where she had gathered many times to pray. We read that members of her household were also saved!! She immediately opened her home to Paul and the other missionaries. This conversion had even greater purpose for the story continues that Lydia became the first person to share the gospel in Europe. God uses women!

Lives are transformed when people see the image of God through you and me. Lydia could have said, someone else can open their home, someone else can go to Europe and share Jesus, but she realized her purpose and allowed God to use her. People need to see God being used in our lives; our lives must be so transparent that others see the heart of God through our actions and love for others, even though we may feel like it’s not enough! You may be searching, doubting or questioning your purpose. Your circumstances may feel overwhelming today. Every woman before us has faced her battles, but God will use you where you are when your heart is opened to His leading. Some are called to a riverbank, some are called to Africa, some are called to the communities right where they are.

We are all called to make a difference for the Kingdom. We are to be Kingdom women! Thank you for loving Jesus and preparing the way for others to follow. I’m blessed to call you beloved sisters in Christ!

Check out this LINK to learn more about how The Salvation Army is celebrating International Women’s Day!

God’s Love Letter

By Major Beth Desplancke

Back when my husband and I were dating, early on in our relationship, Frank had to go out of town for a conference and was gone for almost two weeks. In that time, I remember receiving a long love letter from him. In this letter he talked about his dreams for our future, including marriage, family, and our life as Officers together. It was several handwritten pages filled with messages of love.

I was surprised to receive something other than a bill in the mail. The fact that he had written his letter so neatly, which meant he took some time to make legible (I did not fall in love with him because of his penmanship), and he openly shared his heart with me was thrilling. At this time, we had only been dating a little more than 2 months (to be honest, we had dated without dating for a lot longer, but two months was us “officially dating”), so what he wrote was things I had never heard before. He is much more guarded with his words in person, but on paper he was so open and so free, and everything he wrote oozed with love for me.

What did I do with that letter after I read it? You know, I read it again and again and again. I absorbed every word that was lovingly written on the page. I laughed at some of his ideas, cried tears of joy that God had finally led me to the “one” whom I would spend the rest of my life. I carried that letter around with me for weeks (it was tucked in my Bible so I could read it during class since it was while I was a cadet at CFOT). I prayed over it. I dreamed about it. I shared tidbits from it with my close friends! I still have that letter in a special box of treasures 25 years later!

I didn’t treat it like it was junk mail. It was not thrown into the trash unread. It wasn’t casual correspondence that I read once and then moved on with my life. It wasn’t a bill that I dreaded receiving. It was a beautiful letter filled with words of love from someone who is very dear to me.

God did the same thing. He gave us a love letter – His Word! We have 66 books filled with messages from Him about His love for us, and His desire for us to have a relationship with Him. And just like the love letter my husband sent me 25 years ago (he has sent me more since then), I didn’t just look at it once and then discard it. I treasured it! I meditated on it! I cherished it!

Let me share with you just a few of my favorite love verses from our Heavenly Father, who loves us more than any human possibly could love us. Hopefully we will treasure these words, cherish them and meditate on them!

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

For God so love the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:16

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are. 1 John 3:1a

Have you taken the time to read God’s love letter to you lately? May we be women who know God and His love, and love to be in a deeper relationship with Him through reading His love letter to us daily. May we read God’s Word, memorize it, think on it, chew on it, devour and digest it, and most importantly may we take what we read in God’s amazing love letter to us and live it out in our daily lives. May these words be true of each of us:

My passion and delight is in your word, for I love what you say to me! I long for more revelation of your truth, for I love the light of your word as I meditate on your decrees. (Psalm 119:47-48, The Passion Translation)

New Year Letter from Commissioner Rosalie Peddle

By Commissioner Rosalie Peddle
World President of Women’s Ministries

Dear Women of God,

Greetings to you all in the strong name of Jesus!

We are celebrating a new year, 2022 is upon us! We take time to reflect on the past year and many of us will continue to experience emotions beyond our understanding. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to grip the world with force, and our various losses cause us to carry deep pain and an overwhelming feeling of helplessness.

Yet through it all God remains faithful. His promised presence continues to surround us. His love is deep and full and wide, reaching into the very depths of our world and our hearts. His grace is indescribable, incomparable, and amazing. God still has the whole world in his hands and if we take time to rest and reflect, we can see evidence of his miracles all around us.

So, as daughters of the King, we lift our hearts and heads to God. We lift our eyes to the Creator who saw us while we were still being formed. We lift our eyes to the Sustainer, who knows when a single sparrow falls, clothes the flowers in the field and anticipates our needs and worries. We life our eyes to our Saviour, who invites us to be a part of his Kingdom work here and now. His word equips us to see our world through his perspective and recast all our days in light of eternity. We remember who God is, and in him we find renewal and confidence. He is the Resurrection. He is the life. The best part? This is all available to us if we take hold and believe!

In Philippians 3:12-21, Paul shares that the future holds out hope, and we need to reach for it. We can reach out in hope because the future belongs to God, and we belong to Heaven, not earth! As women who serve Jesus faithfully, let us also be a forward-looking people. As we look upward to God for strength, courage, and hope, let us look forward to the new things that God is going to do in our lives and in the lives of others. The prospect of the new is what motivated Paul, and I trust it will motivate us today to aim for the highest when it comes to our mission and ministries. As we welcome in the New Year, I believe that God is calling us to a lifestyle of spiritual awakening. With a fresh faith and the help of the Holy Spirit, we can push through whatever obstacles stand in our way. We can penetrate the barriers Satan has built to bind us, breaking free and moving forward in faith and victory! Let us stop allowing our failures to cloud the glory of what God is doing in our lives and daily practice the presence of God, setting our hearts on Heaven.

Friends, I charge you to march forward into this new year with confidence, no matter what is ahead. Now is the time to make a difference in this world.

It’s time to love God more.
It’s time to love one another more.
It’s time to go the extra mile.
It’s time to reach the lost, least, and lowest.
It’s time to work harder for the Kingdom.
It’s time to worship the Lord.
Now is the time for us to be the Church.

We want the world to see Jesus in and through us, right now today! We pray that as we embrace others with love and compassion and as we fight the injustices that plague our world today, we influence others to seek the Lord. May God help us to be women of influence today.

I wish you a blessed and happy 2022! God is with us!

Shine for the Light Has Come

By Major Beth Desplancke

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. Isaiah 60:1

Satan filled the world with sin – a victory he thought he could win.
Heaven opened, the Son He did give, so that whosoever may live.
Immanuel – God with us- came; the world would never be the same.
Now those who have been walking in darkness, have seen a great light.
Eternal life is available – a future that is bright!

Shepherds disturbed in the night, by a bright, shining light.
Heavenly angels sang of this wondrous gift; the Savior has come to give the world a lift.
Interested they went, to encounter the Savior that had been sent.
Near to the Lord they came; they left, never the same.
Excited and eager to proclaim, their encounter with the Savior – Jesus is His name!

Seekers from afar, came searching, by following a star.
Having worshiped on bended knee, they knew who He would be.
In humanness He came, in order that the world would never be the same.
Not seeking fame or His own story, but did all for the Father’s glory.
Eternal life I give. Through Me you may live.’

Son of Man came to save the lost; not once did He consider what it would cost.
His needs and comfort He did not care; my sins He came to bear.
In agony and pain, never once a word did He complain.
Nailed on a cross, He suffered death and loss
Easter morning came!  The world would never be the same!

Satan was defeated; Christ’s work was completed.
Heaven’s door is open; salvation is available for everyone.
Invite Him into your heart and He’ll change you from the start.
Now go, and proclaim His love; share this amazing gift from above.
Exclaim Him!  Reflect Him!  And the world will never be the same.

In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:16

Thanksgiving Verses and Quotes

As we focus on the celebrating Thanksgiving, let’s remember that Thanksgiving isn’t just about one day where we join with family and friends for lots of delicious food, fellowship, and a good football game (or two). May these verses and quotes remind you about what true thanksgiving is.

“Be thankful. God has commanded it – for our good and His glory. God’s command to be thankful is not the threatening demand of a tyrant. Rather, it is the invitation of a lifetime – the opportunity to draw near to Him at any moment of the day.” Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2

“As a matter of fact, God isn’t asking you to be thankful. He’s asking you to give thanks. There’s a big difference. One response involves emotions, the other your choices, your decisions about a situation, your intent, your step of faith.” Joni Eareckson Tada

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Psalm 107:1

“The thankful heart sees the best part of every situation. It sees problems and weaknesses as opportunities, struggles as refining tools, and sinners as saints in progress.” Francis Frangipane

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“A spirit of thankfulness is one of the most distinctive marks of a Christian whose heart is attuned to the Lord. Thank God in the midst of trials and every persecution.” Billy Graham

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise him name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:4-5

“Grumbling and gratitude are, for the child of God, in conflict. Be grateful and you won’t grumble. Grumble and you won’t be grateful.” Billy Graham

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6-7

“It is one thing to be grateful. It’s another to give thanks. Gratitude is what you feel. Thanksgiving is what you do.” Tim Keller

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

“Genuine thankfulness is an act of the heart’s affections, not an act of the lips’ muscles.” John Piper

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. Psalm 9:1

“Thanksgiving with the mouth stirs up thankfulness in the heart.” Joh Piper

I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High. Psalm 7:17

“God doesn’t want us to just feel gratitude, but for us to show it by giving thanks to God with our lives.” R.C. Sproul

…Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:19b-20

If there was ever a secret for unleashing God’s powerful peace in a situation, it’s developing a heart of true thanksgiving.” Lysa TerKeurst

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

Take It to the Lord in Prayer

By Major Beth Desplancke

This morning on the news I heard story after story about one crisis or another: the continuing COVID pandemic, the situation in Afghanistan, political fireworks regarding masks and vaccines… the list goes on. It sometimes feels dark and hopeless. But what do I do with the information? Yes, I am upset, but does it stir me to action? Does it lead me to my knees? To be honest, I might discuss it with others briefly, but after the initial shock of the news story, I go on, unaffected and untouched.

Nehemiah responded differently to a crisis in his time. He served as cupbearer to King Artaxerxes. On a visit from his brother, Nehemiah asked about his fellows Jews who had survived the exile and about the condition of Jerusalem. Nehemiah got news he probably wasn’t expecting. I am sure when he asked, he was hoping to receive a great report, but in Nehemiah 1:3, he is told some sad news, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the providence are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”

Nehemiah didn’t just say, “Oh, that’s too bad. I am so sorry to hear that,” and then quickly change the subject. No! It stopped him in his tracks! Verse 4 tells us that he sat down and wept and for some days, he mourned and fasted and prayed. The news he had heard touched his heart enough to take it to the Lord in prayer.

Notice, in a crisis moment Nehemiah didn’t panic. He didn’t talk to a lot of people about the situation. I had a Sunday school teacher that always said, “Before you go to the phone, go to the throne.” Instead of grabbing the phone and calling one of your friends to discuss your problem or situation, you should first go to the throne of heaven and talk to God about it.

Instead of talking about the problem, plotting and planning a way of action, fretting and stewing over it, or stress eating and shopping to deal with the feelings, he prayed about it. He turned to the One who could do something about the situation. He doesn’t focus on the problem in front of him; he chose to focus on the One who is big enough to handle this big problem. He begins his prayer with these words, “Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments” (v. 5).

Nehemiah didn’t just pray once and move on, but it says he prayed for days. In verses 1 of chapter 1 the Bible tells us that it was the Jewish month of Kislev, which occurs in November-December on our calendars. In chapter 2, verses 1 we read that is now the month of Nisan, which is March-April. That is about 4 months that Nehemiah prayed over the situation and what was to be the God designed solution. Nehemiah didn’t simply pray one panicked prayer but had a pattern of prayer. He prayed continuously and consistently over the situation. I know I am guilty of praying a prayer once, and then moving on as if the situation no longer matters.

Nehemiah is often described as a great leader. He approached the king with a plan, and the king allowed him to go to Jerusalem and provided him with resources, and Nehemiah lead the people to rebuild the wall in 52 days. But Nehemiah’s leadership, plans and skills are secondary. The major thing needed was a deep commitment to prayer. Nehemiah viewed himself as a humble servant, and he was dependent on God for his direction and instruction.
Joseph Scriven penned these familiar words:

What a Friend we have in Jesus,
  All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
  Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
  O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
  Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
  Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged,
  Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
  Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness,
  Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
  Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
  Take it to the Lord in prayer;
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
  Take it to the Lord in prayer;
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
  Thou wilt find a solace there.

What problems are you facing whether personally or corporately that has stirred your heart lately? How have your responded? May we be women who learn from Nehemiah’s example, and when problems arise, may we be women who pray instead of panic, who focus on the Problem-Solver rather than the problem, and who persistently bring the situation to the Lord until He provides an answer. Whatever burden or care that is on your heart today, take it to the Lord in prayer.

Happy Hopeful Fall

By Commissioner Colleen Riley

Happy Fall!! For some of us the colors of the trees are starting to change, and the mornings bring a fresh crispness as we take in the air outside. School is beginning again for our kids, a new program year is ahead of us, and the excitement is mounting! Or is it a little fear and trepidation mixed with the excitement?

I used to just want things to stay the same and predictable. Change was hard and I didn’t care for going out of my comfort zone. And then, for all of us, these past 18 or so months have happened; and we have all had everything become different and unpredictable, taking us far out of our comfortability in every way possible. Fear of today and for the future as well, has been foremost on our minds.

However, there is hope! Hope for today and for tomorrow. Hope for healing and well-being and that hope is found in our relationship with Jesus. I truly believe that God has something amazing right in front of us. He has used this time for a reset if you will. In speaking with others, they are seeing a new perspective on life and in how they relate to their family and friends. They are no longer taking advantage of the opportunities to spend time together and to tell each other that they love and care for one another.

For me, I see it is a new opportunity to grow in our relationship with Jesus. It is a chance for us to take that relationship, grow it and then help others to see the beauty in connecting with the Savior. And then out of all of that comes the ministry and discipleship opportunities in our Corps and in our communities.

Isaiah 43:19 says: “Behold, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. For I am about to do something new.”

Do you see it? He is doing a new thing in our lives and in our Church. He is making a way in and through the wilderness that we have been through and will give us Living Water! I believe that there is far more in front of us than what we are leaving behind. A hope, a future, and a life of fullness with Him.

As we head into a new season of the year, let’s go forward together in the promise of His unfailing love, that He will continue to raise us out of darkness and into His Holy light! He is doing a new and beautiful thing for us, if we can only see it and embrace it! He has already done it for us. And when we get nervous or anxious, be reminded of the promise in Deuteronomy 31:8 The Lord himself, goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.