Welcome

Welcome

I'm a redeemed child of God and the momma to four vivacious daughters. I'm passionate about finding hidden blessings in the trials of life, living it out in an honest and open way, while encouraging those around me to believe in better.

23 Jan

the one thing … part 2

I want to do what is good, but I don’t.
I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.
Romans 7:19 {NLT}

I believe each of us walks a different path to our own personal truths. And I believe the Holy Spirit–our Friend, Advocate, Encourager, Comforter, and Counselor–leads us into those truths differently.

Easier said … what’s right for one person, could be wrong for another.

Outside of God’s commandments, the gray area if you will, I believe our individual “wrongs” are uniquely different. God has created us as unique individuals and we each respond uniquely to situations we are in and live out.

Our individual convictions are different based on the way we’ve been created.

An easy example might be a family who feels convicted to homeschool their children. The Holy Spirit is leading that family into their own personal truth. God has the master plan for that family and knows what path they need to take to get there. And so the Spirit nudges until they listen.

A more difficult example, is that of an addict or alcoholic … their truth is to stay far away from what they’re a slave to. One person is able to have a glass {or two} of wine or beer and it’s no problem at all. While another struggles with demons inside knowing it’s nothing they should be indulging in. But not everyone has this battle. The Spirit nudges each of us differently based on the way we’ve been created.

What’s important in all of this is that we listen to the nudging or conviction of our Guide. We need to stay keenly aware of the still small Voice leading us into our personal truth. Remember, that Voice is a Friend, Advocate, Encourager, Comforter, and Counselor. Equally important to remember is the other voice competing for our choices is the voice of an enemy who’s come to kill, steal, and destroy.

I’ll share an example of something {among many} in my own life … I heard a message once that convicted me to my core. Out of that message, I made the decision not to allow witchcraft, black magic, or wizardry into our home {in the form of TV shows, movies, games, toys, etc.}. It was a conviction I had and shared with my girls. It was a personal conviction I needed to obey. As my children grow and are on their own, they may not share that conviction and may turn away from that teaching.

That’ll be their choice, with no judgment from me. What’s more important to me is that I’m teaching them to listen to the Holy Spirit and their personal convictions.

So when does sin enter in? When do we become a slave to sin and do that “one thing” we don’t want to do? I believe, for the most part, it’s when we’re not obeying the Spirit. The disobeying is what becomes the sin.

I think if we put our defensive hats and excuses aside, and get really real and brutally honest, we could each admit there’s that “one thing” we know–in our heart of hearts–we know we shouldn’t be doing … but we do it anyway.

Disobeying is what becomes the sin.

And when we don’t obey, the Lord can’t bless.

Friends, as I’m about to hit “publish” on this post, I’m praying for you. As unique individuals with all your complexities and convictions, I’m praying you’ll feel the Holy Spirit … your Friend, Advocate, Counselor, Encourager, and Comforter … come alongside of you and guide you into your own personal truth. And if you already know what that truth is, and you’re a slave to it–to that “one thing” you don’t want to do–I’m praying He gives you the strength and courage you need to close the door of your “one thing” forever.

If you’re ready to take that step, might I offer the following prayer for you?

Father,
You know my heart, You know I don’t want to do this one thing I’ve struggled with for so long. But Father, I can’t do it on my own. I don’t want to carry this anymore, but I’m not strong enough to give it up on my own. Lord, give me the strength and courage I desire to surrender it to You today. Lord, take this burden … take it from my life. Let me live fully in You and the blessings You have in store for me in this life. Thank you for hearing my prayer. In the mighty name of Jesus Christ I pray, amen.

Tomorrow I’m going to talk about the difference between conviction and condemnation, or guilt. Join me?

This is part two in a four part series:
Part one
Part three
Part four

want to stay connected?
sign up to get each post sent right to your inbox!


Posted in deep thoughts, encouragement, overcoming, series


22 Jan

the one thing …

I want to do what is good, but I don’t.
I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.
Romans 7:19 {NLT}

So you see how it is:
In my mind I really want to obey God’s law,
but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
Romans 7:25 {NLT}

You know that “one thing” you don’t want to do? But you do it anyway? You know it’s wrong–not because someone told you it’s wrong, not because God’s Word says it’s wrong, and not because the law says it’s wrong–but because your spirit tells you it’s wrong.

But when the Friend comes,
the Spirit of the Truth,
he will take you by the hand and
guide you into all the truth there is.
John 16:13 {MSG}

When Jesus left earth, God sent another Counselor–the Spirit of truth, the Holy Spirit. {John 14:16,17,26} The word Counselor, in some translations read as Advocate, Comforter, or Encourager. God has given us our very own personal coach and guide in this life.

Our only job is to listen to that still small Spirit living inside of us. You know that thing we call our conscious? Those voices that battle, “Do it!” “Don’t do it!” That’d be the Holy Spirit guiding us to Truth. And the opponent would be the enemy who wants to trip us up!

John 16:13, up there above says, a Friend–the Spirit of Truth–will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is.

John 10:10 says, there’s an enemy who’s come to kill, steal, and destroy.

As your spirit battles that “one thing” you don’t want to do … who’s hand would you rather take? The one leading you into all truth? Or the one who’s come to kill, steal, and destroy?

This is part one in a four part series:
Part two
Part three
Part four

want to stay connected?
sign up to get each post sent right to your inbox!


Posted in deep thoughts, encouragement, overcoming, series


18 Jan

great things grow out of dark places … part 3

War broke out in Heaven. Michael and his Angels fought the Dragon. The Dragon and his Angels fought back, but were no match for Michael. They were cleared out of Heaven, not a sign of them left. The great Dragon – ancient Serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, the one who led the whole earth astray – thrown out, and all his Angels thrown out with him, thrown down to earth. Then I heard a strong voice out of Heaven saying, Salvation and power are established! Kingdom of our God, authority of his Messiah! 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 witness. They weren’t in love with themselves; they were willing to die for Christ. Revelation 12:7-11 {MSG, emphasis mine}

Did you have a chance to watch yesterday’s video? If there’s an area of your life you’re struggling with, I pray, I pray, I pray you take the time to watch it and let God begin to chisel into every {secret} area of your life.

At the beginning of this short series, I asked a few questions:

  • Are you sitting in darkness and shame?
  • Maybe there’s something you’re hiding from?
  • Something you don’t speak of aloud?
  • And because of it … you feel you’re all alone in a corner?

Many of us have been there. Heck! for that matter, many of us are there right now!! And we desperately want to know how to, and desire to, overcome!

But how do we do it? How do we find the path from paralyzing shame and darkness to victory and light?

I believe we need to speak truth into our situations. And it starts with talking about our situations. Even if it’s to one single person. And uttered in a barely audible whisper.

It’s a step.

A step into the light.

A step into His light.

Friends, God can’t heal what we keep in the dark. <– click to tweet

God can’t bring His light into our dark places if we let the enemy continue to keep our thoughts and actions held captive with his lies and games.

Revelation 7:11 tells us the enemy was defeated “by the blood of the lamb and the bold word of their testimony!”

The next part of that verse says, “They weren’t in love with themselves; they were willing to die for Christ.” For me, that verse poses a bold question. Am I so in love with myself that I don’t trust God with my situation? I don’t trust God to heal my dark places? Am I so in love with myself that I have the gumption to think I can deal with my pain and not seek His face?

Or am I willing to die to myself and let God come in, shine His healing light, and lift me out of my despair?

Matthew Henry says, “The servants of God overcame Satan: By the blood of the Lamb. By the word of their testimony, by a resolute, powerful preaching of the eternal Gospel and by their courage and patience in suffering for that preaching. They loved not their lives unto the death: their love for their own lives was overcome by strong feelings of another nature.” {bolded emphasis mine}

How do we overcome? We overcome by:

The blood of the Lamb. Trusting in His desire to love us, nurture us, and guide us through our despair.

The word of our testimony. Speaking and bringing out of darkness what the enemy wants us to keep hidden. By our courage and patience in the suffering we’ve endured and trusting {preaching} the eternal Good News of our Lord and Savior!

Friends … great and beautiful things … grow out of dark places! Join me in believing this truth today?

Friend, could I have the privilege of covering you in prayer? Are you in the middle of a struggle or situation that has you feeling alone? Do you need courage to speak aloud of your dark place? Do you desperately desire God’s light to shine in your situation? If so, I’d be honored to lift you in prayer today. If you’re not comfortable leaving a comment, please email me at tracie @ tmstier.com.

Father God,

Thank you for your great love, for your tender mercies, for your healing light, and for your sacrificial blood of the Lamb. Lord, I ask that you send your sweet Holy Spirit to touch the inner most hurt of those who read these words today. May they feel your presence and love enter into their pain today.

Thank you Lord for hearing my prayer. In Jesus’ precious and mighty name I pray, amen.

This is part three in a three part series:
Part one
Part two


Posted in encouragement, overcoming, series


17 Jan

great things grow out of dark places … part 2

The average statistic says to keep someone’s attention while watching a {somewhat} unsolicited video it shouldn’t be longer than three minutes.

Well … Ima gonna break that rule big time, cuz the one I’ve got to share with you today is just over eleven minutes!

But friend … if you’re struggling with something today … if you need God to touch you, or to reveal Himself to you today {or anyday}, I urge you to take the time to watch this crazy, amazing video.

If we learn to trust God with our secret, dark, and painful places … He promises to nurture us, to be faithful to us, to meet us where we’re at.

And here’s the thing … He’s God. He already knows what’s going on. We can’t keep anything from Him anyway. So instead of hiding, how ’bout we let go and surrender it all to Him and let Him chisel …

{if you’re reading via RSS or email, please click here to view a life-changing video}

I’ll be sharing the rest of my thoughts tomorrow … please stop back and join me!

This is part two in a three part series:
Part one
Part three


Posted in encouragement, overcoming, series


16 Jan

great things grow out of dark places …

They won the victory over him because of the
blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony.
Revelation 12:11 {GW}

Are you sitting in darkness and shame? Maybe not literally. But maybe there’s something you’re hiding from. Something you don’t speak aloud? And because of it … you feel you’re all alone in a corner?

Can I whisper some truth and encouragement to you today?

We have an enemy that wants nothing more than to kill, steal, and destroy! That’s not the encouraging part … that’s the truthful part.

There is a spiritual battle being fought over our lives each and every day. Wars are being waged for our souls!

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 {ESV}

Satan wants nothing more than for us to sit alone in a dark, empty corner of depression. He tells us:

  • we’re the only one
  • people will judge
  • we’ll lose the ones we love
  • and on and on the lies go

He leads us to believe–if we ever speak aloud the things we’re hiding and ashamed of–these things are truth.

Let me throw a word picture your way …

Do you know what lives and the very bottom of the abyss layer of the ocean? Creepy, ugly things. Those are the things that thrive WAY down there in the darkness.

You know what grows in our dark, lonely corner? Creepy, ugly things.

God didn’t create us to live in a dark, lonely corner.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12 {ESV}

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5 {ESV}

To give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” Luke 1:79 {ESV}

For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.  1 Thessalonians 5:5 {ESV}

We are not of the night or of the darkness! Jesus came to bring us out of darkness. He came so we could walk in the light … His light. He desires to shine His light into our dark places.

I’m pretty passionate about this topic and gots me lots more to say about it. Join me tomorrow as I share my thoughts on how we can allow God to shine Light into our darkness?

This is part one in a three part series:
Part two
Part three


Posted in encouragement, series