Testimonies are carved in the Darkest Valley

It is in the darkest valley where our testimony is carved. Every twist and turn (what we do, what is done to us and how we respond to it) is a pathway that will become our story.
If we “Choose” in that time to cling with our spirit and soul (mind, will & emotions) to Jesus, trusting and not doubting His words……we will see the deliverance of our God in ways that will astound us!

The flooding waters of God will come and fill every crack, twist and turn till that valley becomes a mighty rushing river. Making streams in the desert and an oasis for those in a dry and parched land.
DO NOT LOSE HOPE.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and are saved. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Prov 18:10

So they will fear the name of the LORD from the west And His glory from the rising of the sun. For He will come in like a narrow, rushing stream Which the breath of the LORD drives [overwhelming the enemy]. Isaiah 59:19

The Lord will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; he will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing. – Isaiah 51:3

I realized I have never copied this to my website blog . I had written this in April 2022 on my Live Life Out Loud For God Facebook page.

I will never forget writing this post after I took my kids to school about 1 month after we told our kids that my husband wanted a divorce. I’ll never forget pulling over on the side of the street weeping and crying out to God. I didn’t want to go home, I just wanted to be by myself and in my car. It’s in those times of deep anguish crying out to God where we can identify in the tiniest bit what Jesus went through in the Garden of Gethsemane. When we pour out to God in our deepest anguish he hears us and he responds to us.

This picture and word was God’s gift to me that day. It gave me such hope for my future that had completely been shattered of what I thought it would ever be. There’s nothing like spending time in God’s presence and allowing him to hold us and speak healing life back into us. I’m so thankful he speaks to us in the valley. Time for the rivers of heaven to flood us!

Abandoned & Rejected? Jesus Understands

When the enemy comes and reminds you in detail of your rejection, betrayal and abandonment…it’s a way to ruin a good day. When that happened to me, I started to look up verses on how Jesus understands what rejection and betrayal feels like! The Bible & Prayer alone breaks the power of the enemy to spiral thoughts and emotions out of control.

There is Power in applying the truth of the word of God! I’m so thankful we don’t have to walk this life alone. Here are some truths found from my short study. 💡

Isaiah 53:3
He was despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and pain and acquainted with grief; And like One from whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or esteem Him.

Mark 14:10-11
10Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve [disciples], went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. 11When they heard this they were delighted, and promised to give him money. And he began looking for an opportune time to betray Jesus.

Mark 14:66-72 Amplified version
While Peter was down below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came,
67and when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked intently at him and said, “You were with Jesus the Nazarene, too.”
68But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you are talking about.” Then he went out [of the courtyard] to the porch, [q][and a rooster crowed.]
69The servant-girl saw him, and began once more to tell the bystanders, “This [man] is one of them.”
70But again he denied it. After a little while, the bystanders again said to Peter, “You are in fact one of them, for [it is clear from your accent, that] you are a Galilean, too.”
71But he began to [r]invoke a curse [on himself] and to swear [an oath], “I do not know this man you are talking about!”
72Immediately a rooster crowed the second time. And Peter remembered what Jesus said to him: “Before a rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And thinking of this, he began weeping [in anguish].

😱In the Amplified Version it describes VS 71: In Judaism such a curse took the form of “May I always be afflicted if I am not being truthful,” or “May I bury my son if…,” or “May I never see the comfort of Zion and Jerusalem if…,” etc. (as found in the Talmud).

THAT IS A MASSIVE DENIAL FROM PETER when you hear it in that context! Jesus knew when he told Peter that he would deny him the level of that denial. Yet Jesus showed unconditional love to him. Absolutely shocking to realize what Jesus actually felt.

Mark 15:19-20
They kept beating Him on the head with a [c]reed and spitting on Him, and kneeling and bowing in [mock] homage to Him. 20After they had mocked Him, they took off the purple robe and put His own clothes on Him. And they led Him out [of the city] to crucify Him.

ALL OF THAT TO SAY THIS! ❤️Hebrews 4:15-16
For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin.
❤️
16Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].
❤️

JESUS GETS IT! HE UNDERSTANDS US. HE is the only one to heal and bind up our wounds. What a treasure of peace He brings.

Image from the movie The Chosen
(if you haven’t seen it, you are missing out!)
Click here to watch the free episodes

🙏Let’s Pray🙏
Jesus, thank you for loving us through it All. Thank you for the sacrifice you made coming to Earth even though you knew what was going to happen to you. Thank you for taking our wounded hearts and putting them upon your own heart. Thank you Jesus that you have power over every attack of the enemy that will come against our mind, hearts and souls (our mind, will and emotions) . Thank you that anytime the enemy comes against us, like a flood you will lift up a standard against him. There is power in your blood so we can declare over our lives that every chain of bondage that the enemy wants to keep us in is broken in the mighty name of Jesus. We declare your peace over our minds and hearts. We declare your peace over our homes. We declare a sound mind. That perfect love destroys all fear. Thank you Jesus that there is nothing too difficult that we can walk through that you don’t understand. We acknowledge our dependence upon you. You are source for everything we need. In Jesus name amen!

Beauty from Battered Rocks

After 4 weeks of tumbling these rocks from the beach they turned out beautiful.

OK it’s illustration time….. In Jeremiah 1 it says before I formed you in the womb I knew you , before you were born I Sanctified you, set you apart. I ordained you as a prophet to the Nations. Jeremiah said, who am I Lord? I’m just a youth! God said you will go to all those I command you and whatever I tell you you will speak. Do not be ashamed before them.

Here we go…. last year as I walked on the beach there would be times a rock caught my attention and I had to pick it up. What made that rock different from any other Rock? It was one that grabbed me and I chose it. If we only knew what God sees when he looks down at us even as were being formed in our mother’s womb. He knows every day that we will ever have. He knows every Victory and special moment. He knows every heartache and sees every tear. He calls us and gives us a destiny before we’re even born.

As we go through life we go through our own rock tumbler. In a tumbler there are four seasons (levels of grit) .The first one is coarse you add water to it with the rocks. It tumbles around for about 5 days. Afterwards they are nice but not all the way there yet. The poor things have to go back through another season. The next level of grit is added this time a extra agitation is added to the grit. It goes through another 5 days of even more intense rubbing against the grit. After that you take them out and rinse again add a little bit finer level of grit with an agitator like ceramic Pebbles. Five more days till the last level of grit is added which is almost like a powder. 5 more days till you open that canister and you look at these rocks who have gone through 20 days of being tossed around over and over endlessly with things pushing up against them.

They probably would have thought, “Hey I’m fine you can stop. I’m good enough the way I am.”
But the master wasn’t done yet. He knew there was another level of beauty under there. Those rocks have no power to get out from underneath that Tumblr and run away. Haha! They’re STUCK!
But after that last cycle, they are rinsed off and laid out to be displayed and shine in all their Glory.

There are so many times in life where we think we’re going through the hardest of season of our life, like when I had toddlers I didn’t think I was going to survive. That was the hardest time of being a parent for me. Until the teenage years which have been okay for the most part. But there’s deep emotional aspects that I never encountered with my toddlers.

Its been incredible to surrender myself to God’s process. All I can say is, thank you Jesus for your mercy and grace and tenderness as I’ve submitted myself to the process of being healed and refined through Him. to God be the glory.

If we choose to run away from the process, stay hidden in a cave, we will miss out on the treasure that God wants to bring out of us. This is where we, submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you (and all the layers of crud with him)

I Pet 2:9
You are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A CONSECRATED NATION, A [special] PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies [the wonderful deeds and virtues and perfections] of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Waiting with Hopeful Expectation

It is one thing to believe in God, it’s another thing to believe that He is a God of His word and that He keeps His Promises. For many of us, we have been waiting in expectation for God to come through in huge areas in our life. It means taking litterally the verse that says “Do not be weary in well doing, you will reap a harvest if you do not lose hope. (Gal 6:9)
This morning I woke up and the phrase of the song Way Maker was going through my mind,” Even when I don’t see it you’re working, even when I don’t feel it you’re working. you never stop you never stop working. Way maker, miracle worker, promise keeper, light in the darkness, my God that is who you are.

It started my day with my eyes fixed on the one who is in charge of it all. Nothing I can do in My Own Strength can make God’s will accomplish faster or be more perfect. He is all knowing, all powerful, always there. He knows my end from the beginning and if I walk with him he will make my path straight. I’m waiting with hopeful expectation that he will fulfill his word.

But as for me, I will look expectantly for the LORD and with confidence in Him I will keep watch; I will wait [with confident expectation] for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. Micah 7:7 Amplified

What are you believing God for right now? What can we pray for you for?

Power of Your Testimony

Do you realize that you can be forgiven from something but still hold on to the shame of that sin?

The enemies goal is to kill, still and destroy.(John 10:10) He can keep you bound in shame after you are forgiven by God by putting thoughts of condemnation upon you for something that is already under the blood of Jesus! The end of that verse says that Jesus came to give life, and life more abundantly.


The battle first is in the mind. When we Repent (turn and go the other way, not to do it again) we are forgiven by God. He throws it into the sea of forgetfulness never to be remembered again.
But the enemy does not forget and he will throw that in front of your face as often as he can to keep you buried Down Under the weight of a burden that is non-existent in the eyes of God.
One of the main ways you can break the power of that condemnation is by Sharing Your Testimony of what God has done in your life. The Bible says we overcome the Devil by the Blood of the Lamb, the word of Our Testimony and that we do not love our lives even into the death (Revelations 12:11).

We Overcome him NOW, not just at the end of the world. We overcome him daily in our thoughts by taking the blood of Jesus that has covered our sins and commanding the enemy to leave! Then by the word of Our Testimony, we share our freedom that we have received to others.

There are so many sins that are embarrassing and keep us full of shame because we don’t want anyone to know we ever struggled with that. But if we do not share what we have overcome we are robbing someone else of the hope that God can free them from their pit of shame! We are robbing them from the realization that they can take the steps to get freedom from the sin that so easily entangles them. If people don’t realize there are others out there that have walked their walk and have broken free from that sin, then they will never have the hope of a new life walking in Purity before God..

It’s time to get bold with our testimony.

There are hundreds of thousands of people out there who need the transforming power of the blood of Jesus to break chains that have held them in bondage.

Your testimony could be the chain breaker that could change not only their lives but the Legacy that comes after them.

The Accuser of our brothers and sisters thrown out, who accused them day and night before God.
They defeated him through the blood of the Lamb and the bold word of their testimony. They weren’t in love with themselves; they were willing to die for Christ.
Revelations 12:10-11

You can’t choose your Testimony… BUT

Yesterday morning was the first time I’ve ever been woken up to take the picture of the sunrise. On my photography page you can see the progression. It was without a doubt the most incredible gift from God to me.

Today I kept saying to myself, I never wanted the testimony that I’m going to have. Then God told me this,

✨”You can’t choose your testimony but you can choose how to respond to the circumstances that bring you to it.

When you’re going through circumstances that are beyond your control, that you never chose, it’s a daily decision to act, talk and think like Jesus. But if we can do that and keep our mind and heart right and pure before Him, He will give us the grace and strength to respond to those who hurt us with a supernatural Mercy. If I can do it, you can!

Peace Equals Trust in who God says He Is

Our level of Peace directly coincides with our Trust in who God says He is.

~Rachelle Hjertstedt-Layzell ~

I have been walking in a level of Peace lately that is supernatural despite my circumstances. It is because I know who God is. I trust and believe His character.

He is good all the time.
He has good plans not evil for me.
There is nothing that can separate me from His love.
If God is for me Who can be against me.
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
I am More than a conquer in Christ.
He who has started a work in me Will complete it till the day of Jesus Christ.
No weapon formed against me shall prosper!

Now that’s straight Bible right there! I have hidden it in my heart and it has become my anthem. My strength, my daily mana. Knowing who I am in Christ comes by reading the Bible and applying it to my life.

I just ordered myself the book, The Attributes of God by AW Tozer volumes 1 and 2. I want to dig deep into this because the way I view God has everything to do with how I view myself and life. Even after going to Bible College many years ago, there is always the opportunity to learn and grow more. Can’t wait to start sharing what I get out of that study!

No word of God will Fail!

“No freshly spoken word of God will come to you, that does not contain its own ability to perform it.”

The verse in the Bible that says it is impossible for God to lie is one of the most comforting scriptures.
Hebrews 6:18
“God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.”

If God says something he will do it. Piggybacking on yesterday’s post about faith, faith being complete trust in the character of God. Knowing that God cannot lie is a part of his character. He is trustworthy. That means if he says something I can put complete faith and trust in the words that he speaks. Those words can be what I read in the Bible or words that he speaks to me personally. Having an unshakable faith in his character means I can trust his words will come to pass.
When the angel came to Mary and told her that she would have a son and that Elizabeth was already in her 6th month, she asked “how is that possible?”. The angel said, in Luke 1:37  “Nothing (no rehma) will be impossible with God.”
Rehma in the Greek means:
rhḗma (from 4483 /rhéō, “to speak”) – a spoken word, made “by the living voice” (J. Thayer). 4487 /rhḗma (“spoken-word”) is commonly used in the NT (and in LXX) for the Lord speaking His dynamic, living word in a believer to inbirth faith (“His inwrought persuasion”).

I love Pastor Bill Johnson’s definition of this verse,

“No freshly spoken word of God will come to you, that does not contain its own ability to perform it.”

Bill Johnson, Pastor Bethel Church

If God speaks something to you that means he is not limited by circumstances, all he needs is a willing heart that trusts him and is ready to obey. This fills me was such hope and anticipation for what God is about to do. There are no limitations with him. He always tends to work outside of our box. It’s easy to trust in his character when I know He is good all the time.

He knows everything that is going on: He is Omniscient.

He is everywhere and surrounds me wherever I go: Omnipresent.

He is all powerful nothing is too hard for him: Omipotent.

He is the Apha and the Omega: the beginning and the end. He has already been where we are going.

What an Incredible God we serve!

How do you Measure Faith?

How do you measure faith? If it takes a mustard seed size faith to move a mountain (Matt 17:20), then how much faith to see someone healed?

Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen. 

Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].” Hebrews 11:1 Amplified

To me, Faith is trusting in the character of God beyond my own understanding.
When I pray for something and it does not happen, even praying with complete faith and trust, if I say this did not happen because I did not have enough faith, I put all the pressure and blame on myself.

That is exactly what the enemy wants to happen! When I don’t get what I pray for the enemy would want me to doubt my faith in God. As a result, the enemy’s goal would be for me to start doubting God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do.

When I pray for something in faith believing God’s will to be done above my own, something switches from me being responsible for the answer to leaving it in God’s hand and trusting HIM to have the answer in His timing.

When I pray, Father, Your Kingdom Come On Earth as it is in heaven, not my will be done but Yours be done (Matt 6:10). My focus shifts on Him and His kingdom which is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom 14:17). If I can have peace and joy while walking in righteousness (right standing in him) before Him, then I am experiencing the kingdom of God.
If I live in that mindset it puts my focus on Him for whatever happens in my life.

By praying this way, I am focusing my attention on the Father, instead of my attention on the problem. If my trust and focus is on Him, not just relying on whatever size of faith I have, it begins to take my focus off of the issue. That begins to remove fear, doubt and disillusionment that can take place when you are surrounded by circumstances outside of your control.

Again, if I pray and think my faith will get me this answer, then my attention focuses on myself. I believe that is the opposite of what God intends for prayer.

I want my focus to be on the immense love of God, that he has me in the palm of his hands and whatever life and people throw at me I can rest in confidence in him. His character never changes his word never changes, his promises never fail.
Happy Monday!

The picture in this post was a gift from God last year. I took it right down the street from my house when Mount Hood had the most incredible lenticular clouds over the top. It’s a treasure.

The truth of a Christian life

If you think being a Christian entitles you to an easy life, I’m sorry to say, that is a lie. However, one of the biggest gifts of a life with Christ is the privilege of tapping into all of the Power and Resources of Heaven through the blood of Jesus. When you are covered with the blood of Jesus you have everything you need to not only survive each day but experience true peace, joy and contentment.
In 1 Timothy 6, Paul says, Godliness with contentment is great gain. In the Amplified it says
“But godliness actually is a source of great gain when accompanied by contentment [that contentment which comes from a sense of inner confidence based on the sufficiency of God]. 1 Tim 6:6 Amp

I love that version! It describes that inner peace and confidence that we can have in Christ. Understanding the love that God has for us settles our soul like nothing else in this world! No matter the pain, betrayal or rejection you have encountered, allowing the love of God to fill every pore of our being is like taking a dry sponge and plunging it into water. If you let it soak in there for a bit, it fills up every single crack and hole.

When you bring that sponge out, what happens? It drips. What drips out of us if we soak in God’s love? The abundance of Living Water that Jesus Promised in John 4 with the woman at the well. He said, if she would drink of this water she would never be thirsty again.
And also in John 7:38-39
Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

In Psalms 16:11 it says, You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.

John 10:10, The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy: I have come that they may have Life, and may have it in Abundance.

Let’s drink from the well of Jesus today. Let’s soak in His presence
(in His Presence, there are Presents😂❤️) and in His unfathomable love. Let it sink into every single pore of our being until we drip his love and peace on all those around us.