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Tell Your Heart To Beat Again

By Kristen Entwistle

I rarely hear a new song on the Christian radio station that I listen to in the car.  It’s not that there aren’t new songs, but that there’s a pretty solid playlist that they cycle through.  But yesterday, I heard a new song – at least, new to me.

I don’t think I’m the only one who has been through difficult circumstances or been disappointed by life’s waves.  When things are going well and you get blindsided – by unforseen heartbreak, an unexpected diagnosis, the death of a loved one, the loss of an unborn child, rejection from a potential job, personal rejection by a friend – the list could go on and on.

When life’s waves hit me and knock me over, it’s just not that simple – to tell my heart to beat again.  But what I love is that this song doesn’t say is that I have to tell my heart to beat again right now.  Healing takes time.  But healing also takes a beating heart.

Let every heartbreak
And every scar
Be a picture that reminds you
Who has carried you this far
‘Cause love sees farther than you ever could
In this moment heaven’s working
Everything for your good

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday’s a closing door
You don’t live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you’ve been
And tell your heart to beat again

When God Says Go

By Kristen Entwistle

The next two heroes that we come to in Hebrews 11 may be less familiar to you and me. They aren’t really stories that you’ll find in the children’s picture Bibles on your kids’ shelves, but the writer of Hebrews commends them for their faith.  Gideon’s and Barak’s stories both start the same way – with the Israelites again doing evil in the eyes of the Lord (Judges 4:1, 6:1).  It’s a fairly common occurrence in the Old Testament, actually. The Lord gives the Israelites chance after chance after chance to follow His law, but they keep messing it up – by worshipping other gods and disobeying direct commandments from God.

Take a look with me today, and see how these two men acted in the face of adversity, and why they were commended for their faith.

Heb 11 32

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The God Of My Story

By Kristen Entwistle

He’s the God of every story,
He sees each tear that falls.
We may not understand but one thing is certain.
He is faithful, He’s a faithful God.

His ways are holier
Than we could ever comprehend.
When our world is shaking,
He holds us in the palm of His hand.

Do you ever feel like your life is crumbling around you, like the walls are caving in, like you are the only one in the world feeling the earthquake that is destroying your life?  Like the storms will never end, the waves never cease, the wind never still?  Like the words you sing on Sunday are infinitely far away on Monday?  Like God is millions of miles away when you’re struggling?

But sometimes we forget who is in the boat with us.

In our boat is the calmer of the waves, ceaser of the wind, Messiah.   In our boat is the one, true, faithful God.  In our boat is the One who formed us in our mother’s womb.  The One who knows the number of hairs on our heads.  The One who has gone before us, died for us, and lives for us.

He’s in our boat, and when it feels like it’s sinking, know that He is faithful to lift you up.  Perhaps your boat will sink.  But you will not drown.  Perhaps the winds will continue to howl for now.  But you will not be blown away.  Perhaps the steady leak will cause you to have to bail some water out.  But your boat will still float.

Because we have the Lord of Creation in our boat.

My boat certainly feels like it is sinking right now.  And it’s easy to forget that the Lord of Heaven and earth is in my boat.  But I’d rather sail the rough sees with Him than the calm waters without Him.  I may not understand it until I get to the other side of this life.  But He’s not going to let me sink, even though I am certainly not deserving of saving.

He is in my boat.  And He is the God of every story – the good, the bad, the ugly, the hard, the easy, the difficult, the seemingly insurmountable.  He is faithful in every stage of life, in every storm, in the calm and in the raging sea.  He is faithful, and I will forever trust Him.  He is faithful.

You’re the God of every story,
You see each tear that falls.
We may not understand but one thing is certain.
You are faithful, You are faithful.

You’re the God of every story,
No matter what I’m going through.
I may not understand, You are God and I am just a man.
Yeah I’m forever trusting in Your plan.
One thing is certain
You are faithful, You’re faithful God.

 

roughseas

When His Grace Doesn’t Feel Like Enough

By Kristen Entwistle

The morning after my last boyfriend broke up with me, I went to church, and sang the words to the song Your grace is enough as I held back the tears from my own breaking heart.

“Your grace is enough, God?” I thought.  “Enough for what?  Enough to heal my broken heart, enough to soothe my weary soul? Enough to be the One to take away the outward scars, and change this sinner’s heart?  Enough to fill the loneliness, the empty spaces, and the void I long to be filled?  Enough if what I long for never happens?  Enough if the desires of my heart – the desires I know You have placed there – never come true?  Is Your grace really enough for me?”

I know that His grace is enough to cover all of my sins.  That His grace is enough to pay the price for the punishment I rightly deserve.  I know that His grace is enough to prepare a place for me where I will live in His presence for eternity. But when my world seems to fall apart – be it because of a broken relationship, an illness, the loss of a loved one, or anything else – and I lose sight of the big picture, do I still believe that His grace is enough?

Deep down, I know that His grace is enough – for everything.  Not just the big, salvation things.  But also the little, every day broken pieces – the breaking hearts and scrapes and bruises from people’s words, the lonely places and the times of doubt.  His grace is enough.

It is not easy, for me, to sit and wait on God.  His timing and His will.  To accept that everything has a bigger purpose, one that I may never fully understand.  To see, sometimes, that His grace really is enough for my broken heart, the lonely places, and the times of doubt.

Because as time goes on, he continually shows me that His grace is enough, His love is enough, HE is enough.  That doesn’t mean that the unfulfilled desires of my heart are easier to bear, or the lonely nights aren’t still lonely, or that people’s words don’t still batter and bruise me.  But His grace is enough, even still.

So I look for the places of thanksgiving, the smallest things.  I look for the times when He is showing me that He is enough – in the two-year old running down the aisle at church to come see me, in the grace others extend to me, in the friends He has placed in my life, in the community I am surrounded by.  I look for the things that remind me that He is enough, so when I find myself in places of doubt and sadness, I remember that He is enough. 

Say Amen

By Kristen Entwistle

Beep!  Beep!  Beep!  As the alarm clock blares its unforgiving tune in the morning and I swing my feet out of bed, greeted by the cold winter air, I start thinking about all of the things I have to do today.  I start getting caught up by the to-do lists, the frustrations at work, the things I want to do but never have time for, the dishes waiting for me in the sink, the people who need my attention, the dozens of medications and therapies that lie before me that day and every day, the hurting people around me, the family obligations, the church and Bible study duties that require my attention, the run I need to go on, the foods I should be eating rather than the ones I am eating, and the time I should be spending in the Word.

I get so caught up in my own little life and what’s ahead of me that day that I forget what’s behind me, what I’ve come through.  What God has brought me through

Perhaps you can relate. 

In the busyness of life and the to-do lists a mile long, I forget that God has moved in my life, and that He has been faithful.  I have seen His power in my life and in the lives of others.  I forget, on the dark days, the hard days, that He who has led me in will be faithful to lead me out, and that He’s done it before.

I’m reminded of Christ’s faithfulness through the stories of others.  Through the lives of other people.  And that brings me out of my own little world of heartache and pain, raising my eyes to heaven, reminding me that He has done the same for me.

So shout it from the rooftops, tell your friends, family, and strangers on the street – because your story might just be the one that reminds someone else that He has been faithful, and will continue to be faithful throughout all generations. 

amen

Worn Down? Take Hope In Him

By Kristen Entwistle

It’s easy for many of us to become worn down by the things of this life – the things that are hard, unfair, difficult, and exhausting (physically and mentally).

Right now I am just worn down.  Listen to this and tell me it doesn’t ring some bells in your life, now or in the past.

My life is broken, and I need to know that good can come of it.  I’ve seen it time and time again, but sometimes I lose hope that this is all worth it.  That it is worth it to let people into the deepest parts of my life and let them see that I am not perfect, that I struggle just like anyone else.

I know I need to lift my eyes up But I’m too weak Life just won’t let up

I can’t do any of this in my own strength – I have to rely on God to get through not only each day, but each hour.

So, heaven come and flood my eyes 

Let me see that there is a light in the dark world, that in some small way, my light can join with others to shine brightly, no matter how dim my light feels right now.  Give me a glimpse here on this earth that something better is coming.  Help me to trust You, no matter what life throws my way.  For I know that you are my Rock eternal, and that you are working in my life for your glory, even if it’s hard to see right now.  Even though I’m worn right now, I trust You to give me strength to keep putting one foot in front of the other, day after day.
Take heart, my friends, for He is the everlasting God, the one in whom we trust, who will sustain us even in the most difficult of times.

You will keep in perfect peace
those whose minds are steadfast,
because they trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.

Isaiah 26:3-4