--- About Dena

“First and foremost, I’m a Daughter of the King and a long-time Christ follower. I’m also a dog mom who enjoys reading Christian books, cardio drumming, traveling often, and I’m a bit of a technology geek. My life has seen its fair share of curve-balls and I’ve found that I’ve become closer to Christ in each trial as He’s comforted me and shown me that I can solely put my faith and trust in Him. 2 Corinthians 1:4 NLT says “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” I feel thankful and blessed for the messes in my life – as they have brought me closer to God. Through the messes, God has given me a message to share with you.”
#NoMessNoMessage

~Dena

 

Christ’s Sacrifice for my Sins (EASTER)

Oh man… can’t we find ourselves in some predicaments in life sometimes??  When fumbles in life happen, when things I do go completely against what God is teaching me in the Bible, it just feels horrible, but admittedly, sometimes I’ll still make those fumbles.  Sometimes without meaning to, other times, I screw up completely and fully aware that I’m screwing up. Embarrassing to admit, but it happens. I think how in the world God can still love me after

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Dating God’s Way

As I go through life, I’m finding as I grow in Christ I’m setting a higher standard for myself when it comes to dating. No no, not in an arrogant way, but in a way that I know my worth in Christ and I know what He wants for me (His best), and I know what He wants me to look for as far as characteristics. Why would I not want to accept the standard He has set for me, His child?  Although the Bible doesn’t really talk about “Christian dating” in a direct way, we can look at God’s word and discern how we should approach “dating” in today’s world.
 
I’m finding that if I don’t set my standards in the right place right from the very beginning, that I’m going to have people that are not at my standard trying to enter my life (and this has happened). I’ve literally had to block a couple of people when it was clear that moving

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Emotional Energy

Have you ever been so mentally exhausted that you just didn’t have the emotional energy to be around people, places or things? Just so much going on in life, you just didn’t need ONE MORE THING? I’m not talking about diagnosed depression or anxiety (that’s something entirely different), but just the emotional energy that can get sucked right out of you from time to time.
 
Recently, a friend that I normally hear from every day kind of dropped off the face of the earth. After a couple of days, I became a little concerned. I had been busy and figured the same for them, but reached out to make sure. Their response – “Hey, been dealing with real

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Distractions and Diversions

Have you ever had a non-Godly distraction in life that was counter-acted by a literal diversion from God? I experienced something earlier this year that once the smoke cleared, I could undoubtedly see God’s hand at work.
 
Earlier this year when I began dating again, two new guys unexpectedly entered my life nearly at the same time, but the first guy (in my opinion, when looking back) was definitely a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He was a really nice guy, but the more I got to know of him, the more I realized he was not acting in any way, shape or form like the Christian he professed to be. Maybe he WAS a Christian, I just didn’t see the fruits of his Christianity and his actions were not something that screamed “Christian”, but admittedly I found myself intrigued by his charm.  I gave him the benefit of the doubt, but as I did, I found myself getting sucked into the shiny newness, but I could feel and hear God giving me a clear “Red Flag” warning – almost like a finger snap in my ear – to beware. (I must add – it wasn’t a beware as in “safety” for me, it was a beware as in a “this is not something good for you”). For a bit, I still ignored God’s voice, but it became louder and louder – but the distraction of this person (which I still believe was the enemy at work through him – I’m sure without him even knowing) continued.
 
“A tree is identified by its fruit.  If a tree is good, its fruit will be good.  If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad.” – Matthew 12:33NLT
 
This other guy entered my life just a few short days later. Now, when he (another professed Christian) showed up, I could see the fruits he had in the past and was currently cultivating. So, then I felt myself gravitating toward him because I knew he was a Godly man, and that’s my most important requirement when dating now – that whoever I date has a past with God, a current relationship with God, and is running after God.  All the while, God was reiterating to me how the other guy was just not someone who met my most important requirement.  Based on how everything happened, I truly feel this second man was sent to me by God to create a diversion to push me to cease contact with the first one.  I did – right away… and it felt amazing.  I was fully trusting God with something He’d asked me to do and it just felt amazing. 
 
Many times in my life, people have been positioned at the exact moment(s) to create these diversions, or to lead me closer to God and toward where I needed to be.  These diversions are imperative to keep me on the right path God has for me to follow. Isn’t that insane to think about? All I know is that my attention on the first man began to fade quickly – the shiny newness just fell away and it was like my eyes were opened that the situation there was not something I needed, nor should I be moving toward. I really do feel that God provided this diversion with this second person coming into my life for me to see my path more clearly – and it was up to me to take the correct path. As I stated above, I did. I know that was what God wanted me to do, and I think if it were a test, I passed it!
 
“I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you.  I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible. – 1 Corinthians 7:35 NLT
 
I’m finding it amazing how God can have someone enter my life simply to counter-act something the enemy was trying to do in my life with someone else. I’m so thankful that God uses diversions when we get distracted from Him to pull us back the right way. Yes, we can surely ignore them, like I did at first, but I’m so thankful that He keeps knocking and keeps letting us know when something isn’t right. I love knowing that if I begin to go astray, my Father in Heaven will gently reach down and guide me back to the path He has for me. I get an image in my head of a child and a dad, where the dad just positions his child the right way, and then gently pushes the child in that direction. I feel that’s what God did for me. I’m so thankful that I heeded the warning so quickly, as I’ve also found in life that if I don’t guide easily back toward where God is calling me, I’ve been known in the past to nearly get hit upside the head by a 2×4 from God – so I’m definitely thinking it’s best to heed His first calling and do it the easier way than the harder way – but hey, both ways are effective!
 
Things like this just solidify and strengthen my faith in God. Seeing how things play out in my life are so amazing when I’m able to look back over something that happened and realize how the enemy tried to get the best of me, but God safely guided me away from something that wasn’t good for me. I’m a proponent of saying “God wants to give me His best”, and it’s times like these that I’m reminded how true that statement is. I’m finding that consistency in my prayer, consistency in my walk with God and consistency in my involvement with my church and Christian brothers and sisters are helping me stay closer to God where I’m able to hear His still small voice. When things like this happen, it’s just solidifies how much God loves me and the lengths He’s willing to take when my path starts to go astray, swiftly leading me back to where I belong. The path where I belong is so important to Him, and He definitely goes out of His way to make sure I stay the course – even if He has to use that 2×4!
 
“You will be accepted if you do what is right.  But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out!  Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you.  But you must subdue it and be its master.” – Genesis 4:7 NLT
 
With God rooted in my life, and the more experience I get by walking with Him, I’m realizing how I can simply follow the peace of God so He can present to me His plan for my life. Nothing that I face today (or ever) is out of His control.
 
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*Dena*
 
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What God Left Out

Sometimes we can get so frustrated when we try to do new (or old!) things and it just doesn’t work out for us. I’ve tried skiing – quite a few times – it just doesn’t work out for me. Sure, could I try harder? I suppose I could, but the fear of going down that steep hill just terrifies me too much. How would I ever get over that initial fear so I could eventually go down that big scary hill again? Good question. I don’t know. I’ve done it, and it was terrifying for me. If you have a suggestion, I’m all ears. Until then, unless something miraculous happens, it’s the bunny hill for this girl.
 
But maybe God just left out “skiing” for Dena. Maybe God thought, “No.. Skiing isn’t going to be your thing, but _________ is”. Is it possible that there are so many things that we’re good at, we shouldn’t get caught up in the things that we may not be so good at?
 
We’re all not made the same way, just as a hammer isn’t made to make bread, and an oven isn’t made to build a house, neither are we made to do something that we’re just not made to do. We can watch our worship leaders at church singing beautifully, but try as we might, some of us just weren’t made to sing. Does that mean that God left you hanging, because He didn’t give you the “gift” of song?? No.. but what is it that you CAN do? Why not focus on what you can do, instead of what you can’t?
 
God made all of us the way He made us for a reason. We all are so different, and that’s what is so beautiful. Wouldn’t life be boring if He had made us all the same? We all have different temperaments and gifts, and they can be used to help each other. Where one is lacking, the other can provide. Just today, someone at work had a medical emergency, and since I’m on the First Responder team, I got a group text asking to go help. Although I’m trained in CPR and using the defibrillator and can provide basic first aid, I still feel quite inadequate with my limited training. There isn’t terribly much I can do in these situations, but I have a friend at work who is also on the First Responder team who is a Purchasing agent by day, but after her “9 to 5” job is done each day, she puts on her paramedic and Lieutenant Firefighter hat. She is on call and works at her city’s fire station doing ambulance runs, saving lives, and putting out fires in the evenings and the middle of the night. As you can imagine, she’s calm, cool and collected in times like this. Should I feel broken or think that God left something out in me because I can’t be the same cool, calm and collected as my friend is during a medical emergency? Or that I would run the opposite way than she does in a house fire? I surely could feel that way, but I don’t – because I don’t believe God made me to be a paramedic or a firefighter, but I know beyond doubt He made my friend to be one.
 
Psalm 139:14 NLT (A Psalm of David): “Thank You for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it.”
 
The Lord gave Jeremiah this message: “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5 NLT). As the Lord knew Jeremiah before he was born, He also knew us. He’s appointed us to be who He wanted us to be, not what someone else wants us to be.
 
So, embrace what God has given you, and also embrace what He didn’t. He knew you before you were born, and knew exactly what to give you to allow you to thrive in this life. Take hold of that knowing that He made you perfectly perfect in His eyes, and you were made perfectly perfect to be YOU. No one else…. YOU. You are who you are because that’s who God made you to be.
 
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago”. – Ephesians 2:10 NLT
 
God’s workmanship is always perfect – and never forget you are His masterpiece.
 
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*Dena*
 
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Being Happy Where You Are

Contentment. Ahhhhhhhh, yes! {Sigh of happiness}. Right? (Hmmmmmmm….)

Sometimes we really have to think about this whole “contentment” thing and what it means to us, and what it means to us with God as our Leader. Admittedly, this has been a hard subject for me at many points in my life. I’ve had many seasons where I’d just so badly want to be content, and would think that once I had or attained something, I would finally find solace, only to find that once I had it, I wasn’t content at all. If anything, I was the exact opposite of content – confusion and grief could’ve been my “motto” in these times where I thought I would be content, when I actually wasn’t.

Was it my fault that I wasn’t content?? Was it someone else’s fault? Or was it God just allowing me to go through a tough season of my life to learn some real lessons to get to a season where I’m finally, really content with life as it is? Period. Not “When I

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The Domino Effect

I recently saw a quote/post online that said “Someone somewhere is depending on you to do what God has called you to do”. I’m not sure where this quote originated, but it was on a ShineFM post. As I read it, I thought how true this is. It’s so easy to read things and just scroll by and not give them another thought, but sometimes, if you think on it, it opens up a whole new set of ideas and thoughts.
 
“SOMEONE SOMEWHERE IS DEPENDING ON YOU TO DO WHAT GOD HAS CALLED YOU TO DO”.
 
Of course, many things could be taken from this quote, but what came to mind when I read this was how important it is for us to listen to God and His calling on our lives. Have we ever thought on how something we need to be doing for God could possibly affect someone else? If we do what God has called us to do, it will in turn, have an effect on not only us, but also others. When

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When We Pray

My heart gets tired sometimes. Discouraged. Sometimes I just feel like I continue to pray for something and it’s just not happening. It’s not that I don’t believe that God will come through, or that God won’t provide – it’s not that at all. I know His promises are true and I know He wants to give me His best. I even know His best is coming, and I don’t doubt that for a second. I just think I get impatient as I wait, which makes me question sometimes if what I’m praying for is maybe the wrong thing.

We are told to “be specific” when we pray. Oh man! Have I ever been specific! Maybe God laughs at me sometimes with how specific I sometimes can be, but at times I find it difficult to discern if what I am

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Our God Given Purpose

I have Rick Warren’s “The Purpose Driven Life” book, and it’s been sitting on an end table in my living room for over a year. Every time I start to read it, I’m reminded that it’s recommended you read a small bit each day. Well, things tend to happen where there’s a day I can’t get to it, and then it falls by the wayside. When I read a book, I typically like to read it cover to cover as quickly as possible. I don’t like to read for 10 minutes and then set it down for a day and do it again the next – it’s just not my recommended way to read.

Lately, however, I’ve been pondering my purpose in life; wishing I’d have gotten through that Rick Warren book at least once so far. So, I decided to resort to YouTube to see what other people were saying about a “Godly Purpose”. The theme that kept coming up that these people

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Breakthroughs

I was listening to a podcast many months ago where the pastor was talking about breakthroughs. At the time, I felt like he was talking right to me, and now months later, I’m feeling the real peace that I believe comes before a breakthrough. I’m not sure when this breakthrough is going to happen, and I surely have ZERO idea what it looks like in my life, but whatever it looks like, I know it’s God’s plan. “Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting Him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been

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