Category Archives: A Little Encouragement

Lessons From This Summer (Final Part) — Do Not Fear

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So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

The school year is getting closer.  I feel like that is the ever-present thought on my mind.  It brings with it joy and excitement at the thought of seeing friends, having new classes, activities, and new memories to be made.  At the same time, it often also inspires feelings of panic as I consider the amount of responsibilities that are different and far greater than those that I have during the summer months.

When I focus on those responsibilities, I just want to curl up in my bed, lock the door, and hide in my room.  (Like that ever really solved anything for anybody).  But when I am afraid and overwhelmed, that is usually my first response.  Where can I hide?  How can I keep this from happening? Other times, I think to myself, “I know I am supposed to do this, but if there were any way to make it easier, less stressful, less expensive (fill in the blank with whatever usually applies to you)…”

I have mentioned in my previous two posts that this summer has been one of immense personal growth and learning.  I am not going to write a post about each of the lessons that I have learned this summer, but the lessons have been many.  I have learned about my relationships with other people, my view of God, many of my faults, how I spend my time, money, God’s provision and timing, as well as many others.

This past Sunday in church, one of the points of the sermon was, “When we stand for Christ we draw a line in the sand that is daring Satan to cross it.” It discussed how our enemy uses his tools against us to find what will eventually pull us away from putting our trust in God. One of the easiest ways for me to stop trusting God is to give way to fear.

This summer has been a time of me more firmly drawing my line in the sand.  As I learn these lessons and put them into practice I am choosing to stand for Christ.  Heading back to college and starting a new school year will be a time to really live out what I have been learning in a different environment than my home. When I fear everything that could go wrong before I even get there, it is so easy for me to take my eyes off of Christ and lose my firm footing.

This Sunday, the Lord gave me a special blessing which encouraged me to not fear and continue to stand for Him and live out what I have learned this summer.  After the sermon, we had a baptism at a lake and were blessed by the testimonies of people sharing what God has done in their lives. Walking back from the lake, I had a conversation with an older, wise sister in the faith whom I had never met.

She talked to me about her own life, issues the world and church were facing, and other topics.  Then she looked me in the eye and said,

“God will never leave you or forsake you. You are the apple of His eye. You do not need to be afraid. You are so blessed. You have everything that you need.”

My eyes welled up with tears and I thanked her for her words as we got in line for the church potluck following the service. I got my plate of food and sat down at another table with my parents and some other friends from church.

An older brother in the faith sat down who was my Bible study leader a few years ago.  He asked me about my life, and I talked with him about the many lessons I had been learning this summer as well as struggles and fears.  He reminded me,

“Isn’t it amazing how many times we are told not to fear. God has great plans for your life, Breanna.”

I got in the car after the service had ended and broke down crying in the car from the encouragement that I had received from the Lord through these dear people, one of whom  I had never even met.  It was so incredibly freeing to realize that the only thing that was holding me back from really living out what I have been learning was my own fear.

God reminded me in a very personal and incredibly loving way that He is with me always on this journey.  That He is standing beside me, helping me to fight the lies of the enemy with His truth. That He is all sufficient for me, and that He is taking care of me. That I have absolutely no need to be afraid.

I will honestly admit to you that all of my little worries have not disappeared, but they have subsided. I admit that there are still moments where the easier thing to do seems to hide from, rather than walk boldly towards whatever I am afraid of.

But in spite of my fears, I am drawing my line in the sand.  I will serve Christ.  I will live for Him daily.  I serve a God who is bigger than my fears and whose truth is more powerful than the lies that the enemy wants me to believe.

So to any of you who might be afraid today of whatever today, this week, this month, this year holds for you, I echo the words of my sister in the faith…

“God will never leave you or forsake you. You are the apple of His eye. You do not need to be afraid.”

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10

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The Influence of a Godly Mom

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Listen my son to your father’s instruction, and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.

Proverbs 1:8

Tomorrow marks a very special day in my life, the birthday of my mom.  If you asked me who the most godly woman I have ever met is, without hesitation I would tell you my mom.

And in honor of her birthday, I would like to tell you the reasons why.  These are some of the lessons I have learned from my mom.

She taught me that character matters.  And that nothing and no one should ever make you compromise it.

She taught me that wisdom first and foremost comes from the Lord.  Whenever I had any sort of problem, her first question would be if I had prayed about it.  If my answer was no, she would send me to my room to pray and ask the Lord for guidance before I sought hers.

She taught me to pray for wisdom, knowledge, understanding and discernment.

She taught me the value of time spent in the word.  Many mornings I would find her in bed doing her devotions.  The book was worn and torn from years of use.  When I went to college, she gave me her devotional book.   It is one of the most precious gifts I have ever been given.

She taught me to pick and chose friendships wisely, to look for friends that would push me towards the Lord.

She taught me that only one opinion of me really mattered, God’s.

She taught me that exterior beauty will fade, but inner beauty can only grow and mature.

She taught me that my family should be my best friends.

She taught me about sacrifice.  She would never put herself first.

She taught me that good relationships are worth waiting for and to never settle.

She taught me what a wife should look like.

She taught me how to manage my time, work hard throughout the day, and relax at the end.

She taught me to manage my anger, and to never let the sun go down without resolving it.

She taught me that sometimes I was wrong and needed to see a situation from another’s point of view.

She taught me to take healthy risks and try new things.

She taught me how to distinguish between Satan’s lies and God’s truth.

She taught me to pick my battles wisely.

She taught me to tithe.

She taught me to put others before myself.

She taught me to do the hard right thing over the easy wrong.

She taught me to go for my dreams and believe that if God was in it, it would eventually come to be.

She taught me to trust in the Lord as provider.

She taught me to be patient.

She taught me to listen.

She taught me gentleness, compassion, and kindness.

She taught me what it means to be faithful and loyal.

She taught me about my Creator.

And so much more…

So for those of you who are parents, setting a godly example for us, your children, is so very important.  It is the greatest gift that my parents gave to me.

And for those of you who are not, you still have a vital role to future generations.  What kind of legacy are you leaving?

Thank you, Mom for all you have given to your four kiddos.  We love you!  I wish I could be there with you today to celebrate!

 

 

 

 

Seeing God In Every Day

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Today I saw God at work in these ways…

  • An incredible  sermon which challenged me to let go of anything that is not of or from Him.
  • Amazing professors dedicated to Christ-centered learning.
  • The beauty of true friendships among the body of Christ.  How amazing it is that the Lord has provided people to walk alongside and lift us up when we cannot ourselves.
  • My daily food and water provided.
  • Clothing and shelter.
  • Watching junior highers write notes to encourage a friend having surgery.  20 personal notes were written to one girl going into a difficult surgery tomorrow.

Do you see God at work around you? What is He doing in your life? How has He blessed you?

A sermon I heard recently discussed how God has given us what we need for each day, food, water and Himself.  Everything else is a blessing.

So what are your blessings?

Leave a comment and tell me about them.

Thinking of You…

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Tonight my heart is with my friends all over the world.

I think of you in Africa.

I think of you in Asia.

I think of you in the Middle East.

I think of you in Europe.

I think of you across the beautiful United States.

I think of you in South America.

I think of those of you I only had the privilege to meet briefly, but oh what a blessing it was to know you in that time.

And I pray for you all.

I pray that God will strengthen you in your ministry. I pray that He will surround you with a complete awareness of His love.  I pray that He will bless you with strong friendships and good churches and opportunities to proclaim Him courageously and with boldness.  I pray that He will meet your needs in miraculous ways.  I pray for you as you go through the little things that will arise in every day life.   I pray for you that you will experience Him in new ways.  I pray that the wonder that God has filled you with will never cease.

I pray for those of you who have not met my Father.  I pray that you will find Him and seek Him with all of your heart.  I pray that His love for you will transform the way that you view your life.

May you know that there is someone here cheering for you, praying for you, and with you on the journey for the long run.

All My Love,

Breanna Reh

Friends

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I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ Jesus, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ-to the glory and praise of God.

Philippians 1:3-9

What an opening to a letter! Can you imagine receiving that in the mail?  Some of my favorite passages to read in scripture are the letters of Paul to the early church.  I love reading how he encourages them in their faith, challenges them to grow and to pursue God, and rebukes them when they have fallen astray. I can hear the passion and emotion that he writes with, urging his brothers and sisters in the faith to pursue Christ above all earthly things.

Paul often mentions specific friends by name in his letters and includes a special message for or about them.  He writes to each church with urgency and a knowledge of their struggles.  He continually encourages his brothers and sisters in the faith, in spite of what they are going through, to press on.

We need friends like Paul.  Friends who challenge us in our faith and hold us accountable for our actions.  Friends who can encourage us in every day life.  Friends who will walk with us through suffering.  Friends who can rejoice with us in our successes.  Friends who are not afraid to speak Biblical truth in a world that is often preaching the opposite.

Who are those people in your life?  Have you taken some time to encourage them lately?  Have you told them how much you appreciate them?  Are you aware of what is going on in their life?  Take some time to catch up or write them a little note to say how much you appreciate them.

How Awesome is Our God

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Who among the gods is like you O Lord? Who is like you–majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders

Exodus 15:11

This week has tested me in many ways, especially in the area of how much I am trusting and relying on God.  I found myself stressed out about paying for school this year, and overwhelmed by unexpected costs totaling close to 100 dollars that arose this week.  I felt anxious and tired and my mind was filled with scheming plans about how many hours I would need to work to pay for the rest of school and these added expenses.

In spite of these financial stresses each day was filled with challenging chapel messages about the definition of faith, the importance of setting our minds on Christ, and finally today a wonderful chapel by the senior class where the chaplain spoke about the importance of faith again.  During his message he quoted our campus pastor who has the belief of only using the word “awesome” when it pertains to God.

That struck me today. I thought about how very many other things that I have labeled “awesome.”  Let me tell you today that nothing is as deserving of this label as the Holy God.

Today, that reality hit me in full force.

I was stressed making sure a form got signed which would cost me 50 dollars if it wasn’t turned in today.  After countless hours of worry, the form was signed, turned in, and 50 dollars of the original unexpected 100 dollars that arose this week was eliminated.  I walked out of the office praising God, thrilled and relieved that a huge portion of money was taken care of.

As I left the office, I happened to look towards my mailbox.  I love checking my mail.  I usually check in the morning and after lunch.  I had already done that today and had no real reason to think anything was in there.  But an envelope caught my eye.  I walked over to the mailbox expecting a bill or a letter.

Inside was a envelope with my name and box number.  Inside the envelope was 300 dollars.

I was and still am in awe of our God.  Not only did He alleviate my major financial stress of the week when the form was turned in, He richly blessed me with finances that will cover a significant amount of what I have left to pay for school this year and eliminated an enormous amount of stress and tension.

You know, it is funny how much we can scheme and plan.  How much we think we are in control when God had it all figured out all along.

I cannot attribute this story to anything else but the AWESOMENESS of our God.

Who richly blessed me beyond what I could have ever imagined.

I hope this encourages you today that God is still doing miracles.  He is still very much alive and at work in this world.  He hasn’t forgotten you.  He isn’t leaving you to fend for yourself in this world.  He will provide.  He loves you with an everlasting love.

Our God is Awesome!!

You are a Masterpiece

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Just a little reminder because I think a lot of us hear a whole bunch of lies and forget that we were created by the God of the Universe who LOVES you with an everlasting love.

Take 10 minutes to watch this.

Only 10 minutes.

I think it will be worth it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhfUzodLRvk