“I do not understand, but He does.”

Photo credit: Palm Beach, Florida by Ginna Holleman

by Tammy Phillips
November 14, 2022

 “Yes, God is mighty, but he despises no one; he understands all things.”  [Job 36:5 CSB]

The past three years…I do not understand.

I do not understand why so many parents I know have lost their child prematurely.
I do not understand why people are so easily deceived.
I do not understand why children are born with severe disabilities.
I do not understand why cancer is allowed to continue its thievery.
I do not understand why people call evil good and good evil.
I do not understand why zero sugar caramel macchiato is an endangered species. (comic relief)
I do not understand why people are not working, nor want to work.
I do not understand why God’s people die suddenly in car wrecks.
I do not understand why homelessness is rampant.
I do not understand why anyone would be so hopeless as to take their life.
I do not understand why (you fill in the blank).

Recently, I was sitting on the steps of First Baptist Knoxville with my prayer-warrior and sister in Christ, Kristi.  We were praying for revelation, restoration and revival for Knoxville, Tennessee. We prayed for the government, judicial system, leaders, police, schools, churches, hospitals, the river, roads, businesses, and all the people of the city.  We had just met a homeless women named Karen who told us her story and had encouraged us not to miss the free lunch in the park.  As we were praying and seeing the homeless pass, my heart broke.  Seeking the Lord, I cried out,  “I do not understand!” 

It did not take long for Him to respond.  He led me to Isaiah 40 for Kristi,  but also brought me to His answer for my plea in Isaiah 40:28:

 “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth. He never becomes faint or weary; there is no limit to his understanding.” [Isa 40:28 CSB] 

And then the focus verse… “He understands all things.”  [Job 36:5 CSB]

I thought, “I do not understand, but He understand all things.”  We are never going to understand, but He does.  We have to be ok not understanding, but have confidence in Him that He knows all things.  Did I love His answer? Not really, but it is the truth, and the truth will set us free!  The truth will set us free from thinking we will ever understand what is not understandable.  The world is broken and that is why He sent Jesus to reveal God to us, to restore us to good standing with God and to revive us.  He sent the Holy Spirit to tell us what we need to know when we need to know it.

“Great [is] our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding [is] infinite.” [Psalm 147:5 NKJV]

I enCOURAGE you to “trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight.”  [Proverbs 3:5-6 CSB]

Seek Him first. “For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.”  [Proverbs 2:6 CSB]

“Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth.” [Proverbs 4:5 NKJV].  Understand that it is ok not to understand because God does. This will eventually bring you peace in your brokenness.

In loving memory of Brandon Tharpe,  Eleanor Grace Crockett, Khandra Smalley, and all the many others who have taken an earlier flight.


“Raiatea: Far Away Heaven” by Tammy Phillips, 4/22/15

by Tammy Phillips
November  7, 2022

“How frail is humanity! How short is life, how full of trouble! [Job 14:1 NLT]

Life is short.
Tomorrow is not guaranteed.
Health is precious.
Wealth will fly away on wings.
God’s words are life and health.
Pay attention to them.
Guard them.

I enCOURAGE you…“don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ … 33Seek the Kingdom of God first, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.34 Don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. [Mat 6:31, 33-34 NLT]

Trouble will come.
Trouble will pass.
Enjoy every breath.
Rejoice always.
Life is short.
Eternal life is not.
Make each day count.


by Tammy Phillips
October 31, 2022

“And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.” (Luke 16:23 KJV)

I dream A LOT!  I have  good, bad, pleasant, horrific, wacky, and weird dreams.  I have dreams that I do not want to rouse from, and I awake in the best mood. I have some dreams I cannot seem to escape, and I will wake up really angry and exhausted.  Some dreams I recall and some I do not.

October 29,2022, I had a dream that I did not understand as I dreamed it and did not remember until I was sitting in church the next day.  I am not sure what stirred my memory.  When I recalled it, I was jarred!  It was short but not sweet!  Upon recollection and with extreme urgency, I exclaimed, “Lord, You are going to have to tell me what that dream meant!”  I am not in the business of telling the Lord He has to do anything, but I just blurted it out under my breath as I relived it. Thank God, I did not have to wait long for His answer.  However, I didn’t like the answer much, nor my assignment.  I got a pit in my stomach and hesitantly accepted His words, “I want you to share the dream tomorrow.  It is your encouragement.”   It has been weighty on me ever since.  So here we go…

Like I said, I have had all kinds of dreams.  I have had many dreams where  in a split second, I see Jesus, hear His call, and meet Him in the sky headed toward heaven.  I have had a dream where I saw Him in the sky in  front of the most gloriously colored city with His arms holding back the angels and saints and commanding them to , “Wait!’  My most recent dream was not so pleasant. I died. It was the blackest black I have ever seen. I cannot even explain with words.  I was expecting to immediately see the LIGHT, but I didn’t.  In a brief, petrified moment, I questioned, “What did I do wrong? I believed and loved you, Lord,”  In the horror-stricken moment that gives me great anxiety as I type, I thought I had punched my ticket to hell.  I did not understand and was beyond devastated, but then I saw a glimmer of light in the far distant. The dream stopped. The glimmer of light was all I need to restore the hope of my final destination, eternity with the Light of the world, Jesus.  

In Luke 16:19-31, Jesus tells a story of two men, one dressed, ate and lived luxuriously every day. The other lived as a beggar desiring just crumbs from the rich man’s table.  They both died, but with different destinations.  Lazarus, the beggar traveled north to Abrahams’s bosom and the rich man went to hell.  Sadly, the rich man knew exactly where he was.  He was in excruciating, tormenting pain and  He could see where the beggar was…far off.   He pleaded with Abraham, “‘Father Abraham! ‘ he called out, ‘Have mercy on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this flame! ‘  [Luke 16:24 CSB]

Abraham responded, ” ‘Son,’ Abraham said, ‘remember that during your life you received your good things, just as Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here, while you are in agony. Besides all this, a great chasm has been fixed between us and you, so that those who want to pass over from here to you cannot; neither can those from there cross over to us.’”  [Luke 16:25-26 CSB]

The affluent man who had lived as he willed and had missed God. He would forever live-in consuming fire, agonizing pain, and the darkest dark.  He would experience fear like that of forever falling, but never reaching the bottom. In the distance he would be tormented of how he could have lived eternity.  That my friends is the picture of hell.  You think you have regrets here on earth?  YOU DO NOT WANT TO EXPERIENCE REGRET FOREVER IN HELL.  

Jesus stepped from heaven, was beaten, spit on, died an unimaginable death on the cross as the only sufficient sacrifice to pay for our multitude of sins.  He rose again conquering Death and Hell so that we could live our best life now and eternally with Him. 

Further in the story of Luke, the rich man begs Abraham to send his family a warning message so they will not end up in the same place of torment.  Abraham tells him that they have been warned and it’s their choice to listen or not. Friends, this is your warning…

Hell, or heaven, it is your choice. Hell is real.  It is BLACK.  It is lonely.  It is more than the severest pain you have ever experienced.  It is crushing.  It is the worst, putrid smell you could ever smell.  The sounds of hell…there will be weeping, gnashing of teeth, snarling, and growling as spirits writhe in the unimaginable.  Nothing will satisfy.  The water is nonexistent to quench your thirst.  Forever, you will be in want, all the while seeing across the great gulf of what you could have had, if only you had listened.

“The Lord is not slack concerning [His] promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” [2Pe 3:9 NKJV]

God’s will is that none should perish!!!!!  He is a kind, loving God that gave us the choice to choose our Savior and follow Him into life eternal beginning at the point of surrender.  Life is a choice. Who do you choose to follow, Satan or Jesus?  You are following one or the other.  There is no gray middleman to follow. You are all in with Jesus or all out.  Now, salvation is a progressive.   It is learning who we are in Him and being transformed into His image.  Please don’t be fooled by the ONE-AND-DONE acceptance of Jesus as Savior  It is all about relationship.  Jesus cannot just be your Savior.  He also has to be your Lord.  Many churches, pastors and priests have committed a huge injustice to us all in preaching Jesus as Savior only.  Following Jesus is a relationship of hearing His will and doing it. It is complete surrender to Him.

 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!‘ [Mat 7:21-23 NKJV]

With everything that is in me, listen to this warning, I beg you to stop living for yourself and…

I enCOURAGE you to follow Jesus. Surender to His will and His way.  Make Him your Savior and Lord.   We cannot make this up as we go folks!   I do not want one person that I know to experience the darkness I saw in my dream. There is a dark, wrong way that leads to eternal death and darkness. BUT GOD…there is a right way and the Only Way whose name is Jesus. 

Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” [Jos 24:15 NKJV]

Allow the light of God to invade the darkness in your life and touch every part of the room that we call our heart. “I have come [as] a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.-Jesus (John 12:46 NKJV)


Ussery Road South, Clarksville, TN (10/22/22)

 by Tammy Phillips
October 24, 2022

“And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men…”[Col 3:23 NKJV]

My Pawpaw always told me, “The worst thing about doing anything is thinking about doing it.  Just do it.”  Starting it is half the victory.  Whatever you do, do it with all your heart for the Lord.  What are you afraid to start…

A new again?
A new project?
A new job?
A new book?
A new blog?
A new podcast?
A new journey?
A new relationship?
A new car after a wreck?
A new life after a divorce?
A new and very different life after a death?

How do you start?

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. [Pro 3:5-6 NKJV]

How do you continue?

” And you will seek Me and find [Me] when you search for Me with all your heart. [Jer 29:13 NKJV]

How do you finish?

“And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This [is] the first commandment.” [Mar 12:30 NKJV]

I enCOURAGE you to start with all your heart.  Don’t think about it; just do it.  The Lord will guide you on the steps to walk through it.  Trust Him. Love Him with everything you have got.  He will take you to places you have never even imagined. Whatever you do today, do for Him.  Where do you need to start? 

My starting confessions:

I will trust the Lord with all my heart.
I will not lean on my understanding, but His.
I will let Him lead.
I will seek Him first with all my heart.
I will love Him with all my heart.
I will love me big for Him. He died for me, and I am worth it.
I will start my healthy living journey…again… for the 578th time. 
I will eat right for Him and me.
I will exercise.
I will start cleaning my house for Him and maybe even my car.
I will start with all my heart.

And you, where will you start? 







“CONVERGE” by Bonnie H. Hurst

by Tammy Phillips
October 17, 2022

He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. [Psalm 23:3NKJV]

We would most often choose our paths to be straight, right?  Straight is not always the God way.  Do you ever feel like you are just going around in circles?  I have always had a negative view of “going in circles.” How about you?   After digging into the Hebrew word meanings in Psalms 23, my viewpoint has changed.  Look at verse three, expounded.  It encouraged me and  I hope it does the same for you.

He renews
He gives back
He refreshes
He returns
He repairs
He recovers

My soul
My mind
My body
My heart
My breath
My circle of  life

He leads me
He guides me
He transports me

In the paths of righteousness
Into the right tracks
Around the trenches of justice

For His name’s sake
For His fame
For His purpose
For His Intent

Psalm 23:3 definitely means the “paths of righteousness” could be circular and not straight. He is our transportation and most often the right tracks are around.  It’s it funny to think that God’s way may be to lead us in circles.  His ways are not our ways for sure.  Think about it. 

Life is circular. Ever heard of the circle of life? All are from the dust, and all return to dust. [Ecc 3:20 NKJV]   Our blood circulates through our heart and body to keep us living.   The  electric current takes a circular path to create a circuit which produces power for us to live. The earth moves in circles as it orbits the sun.  If the earth or the sun  stopped revolving, I assume life would stop.  Time revolves day to night and night today. Joshua  and Israel had to obediently circle Jericho seven times in order for the city wall to fall.  I guess going in circles is not such a bad thing.  I have actually learned that it is a God thing.  We all do it, go in circles, ,all day every day from the time we are born until the time that we leave this earth.

I enCOURAGE you to follow God wherever He leads you.  You cannot really help from going in circles.  Allow Him to lead you around.  Every year will be a great spin around the sun with Him, if you trust His leading.  He will take you the right way.  And not only that….“The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him and delivers them.” [Psalm 34:7 NKJV].   When you fear God, the angel of the Lord will circle all around you and deliver you, as you go around.  
I don’t mind going in circles so much anymore.  How about you? 





Kristi, Alli, and Me-Monday, October 3, 2022, Bristol, TN

October 10. 2022
by Tammy Phillips

When the Lord called me to write for Him, I agreed under one condition.  I told Holy Spirit, “If He did not give me what to write, I would not write.”

I started today surrendering it to the Lord.  I asked Him what He wanted to say.  I struggled for two hours this morning on how to encourage you all.  I heard nothing.   I reminded and asked Holy Spirt, “I got nothing! Help?”  He answered, “1 Samuel 2.”  I thought, “Well, ok, that’s weird.”

“And Hannah prayed and said: ‘My heart rejoices in the LORD; My horn is exalted in the LORD. I smile at my enemies because I rejoice in Your salvation.’” [1Sa 2:1 NKJV]

I could only laugh.  Last week, I had been on a prayer journey across Tennessee with a few sisters in Christ. The Lord had poured so much into us.  He had filled us to overflowing.  It was laughable that I had nothing to say because He had abundantly fed our soul with so many of His Words. 

I laughed at 1 Samuel 2:1 because Hannah smile at her enemies.  For the first few days of the trip my response to most anything or anyone had been, “That’s funny.”  I had said it so many times within the first couple of days that I was getting on my own nerves. I even attempted to quit saying it.   

On the third day of the journey I realized, “That’s funny” was indeed a word from the Lord.  The enemy had raised his ugly head in attempt to stop our progress.  Family and friends were getting sick, hospitalized, even one friend’s grandmother passed.  Other’s family members were just acting plain out crazy, stirring up confusion and strife.  The Holy Spirit showed me that if He called us to it that He would lead us through it. He showed me that our response to any spiritual attack in the face of the enemy should be, “That’s funny.”  With those two words we can take away the power of the attack. With B. I. G. belief in God that He is who he says he is and will do what he says he will do, we can paralyze Satan’s attempts to steal kill and destroy in our lives.

Just like our forerunner, Hannah, we can smile in the face of our enemies. We can choose to rejoice in God, our Salvation. We can boldly roar to the devil, the accuser of the brothers and sisters, the tempter, the thief, the one who walks around as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, “THAT’S FUNNY!”

We can say, “That’s funny,” with all confidence and smile in the face of the enemies feeble attempts to destroy us because we know the real lion, the lion of Judah! The imitation is laughable.

I encourage you to consider it all joy when you encounter various trials! The joy of the Lord is your strength. It empowers you to stand strong in him and boldly say in the face of the enemy, every trial, every tribulation, every pain, every sickness, and even death, “That’s funny!” I rejoice in my Savior. What the enemy meant for evil, My God meant it for good.  (James 1:2, Nehemiah 8:10, Ephesians 6, 1 Samuel 2:1, Genesis 50:20)

P.S.  What’s funny?   I had completed this encouragement and was ready to post it to you all.  Sadly, I was in the flow and had not stopped to save it.  My computer froze.  One hour and a half of work was gone.  I had a choice.  I could CHOOSE to get upset, rant, and rave, or I could declare, “That is funny.”  If the Holy Spirit gave me something to write the first time, I knew He would do it again and it would be even better. Got to practice what I preach.  “That’s funny!”


“Following Him through Kentucky” by T. Phillips, August 26, 2022

by Tammy Phillips
October 3, 2022

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”-Jesus Christ [John 10:27 NKJV]

Do you hear God’s voice?  Does He know you? Do you follow Him? Many people in the world claim to be Christians. What does that mean? The word Christian(s) is only used three times in the entire Bible.

“And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.”[Act 11:26 NKJV].

“Christians”  in this verse is the Greek word, christianos, simply meaning follower of Christ.  As you can see in Acts 11:26, Christians are what the disciples were call because they followed Christ.  Jesus did not say in Mathew 28:19, “Go make Christians of all the nations…” He said,

“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, [Mat 28:19 CSB].  

What is a disciple? The Greek word for disciple is mathēteuō,  which means to be the disciple of one; to follow his precepts and instruction; a learner; a follower who is  adherent to the doctrines of Jesus. 

So, I ask you again, are you a follower of Christ?

FOLLOW means to :

  • Accompany Him
  • Adhere to Him
  • Attend on a journey with Him
  • Be led by Him
  • Be in the same way with Him
  • Become a disciple of His
  • Chase Him
  • Cleave steadfastly to Him
  • Come after another Him
  • Conform wholly to His example
  • Continue to pursue Him
  • Copy Him
  • Go behind Him in same direction
  • Guided by Him
  • Have like opinions with Him
  • Imitate Him
  • Join Him on the road
  • Keep your eyes fixed on Him
  • Make Him your chief business
  • Move behind, but in the same direction.
  • Move in the same course or direction as Him
  • Obey Him
  • Persevere with Him
  • Practice His ways
  • Pursue Him
  • Ride with Him
  • Side with Him
  • Think or believe like Him
  • Track with Him
  • United with Him on the road
  • Walk the same way as Him

To be a follower of Jesus is not a simple click and like on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, when something about Jesus is posted. It is not just saying, “Jesus is my Savior and Lord.”    Being a follower of Christ is being a disciple.  It is learning what He said and did, and then doing the same thing.  It is following in His footsteps.  It is NOT a “one-and-done” decision.  Becoming a follower of Christ  is a process. We have to learn to be like Him and to follow His instructions.   I wish it was a snap and we were just like Jesus. 

“The disciples went and did just as Jesus directed them.” [Mat 21:6 CSB]. 

Do we go and do as Jesus directs?  I hate to admit that I try, but I do not always follow His directions. Do we look at the Bible, the instruction book, He left us.  Do we listen to the Instructor or the worlds voice?  Jesus said:

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life (zoe), and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”  [John 10:28 NKJV]

I enCOURAGE you to stop in your tracks and follow Jesus.  It is a life or death decision, really!   If we want to spend eternity with Jesus, we must follow Him. 

  “If anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed but let him glorify God in having that name. For the time has come for judgment to begin with God’s household, and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God?  And if a righteous person is saved with difficulty, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”  [1Pe 4:16-18 CSB]

“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. [Philippians  2:12 NKJV]


“Foggy Morning before Sunrise” @mamaartphotos

by Tammy Phillips
September 26, 2020

“Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” [Heb 13:8 KJV]

God shows no partiality.
God is no respecter of persons.
God does  not accept one face more than another.  
God does not have favorites because as His children, we are all His favorites.  

“Then Peter opened [his] mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:”[Act 10:34 KJV]

He is the same. He is the same.  He is the same.

Recently, I had a very powerful, very short dream in it the Lord spoke one specific  unusual word to me.  Three days later, He delivered a similar dream with the same word to my sister in Christ.  Then…it seemed like EVERY pastor, preacher, or teacher, I listened to was  speaking the same word.  I heard  “that word”  online from three different Christian men on a car ride home from Memphis.  It was amazing to me that Holy Spirit spoke a word to me that He also spoke to some of the current  “giants of faith” in the kingdom of God.  It was very clear that Holy Spirit was trying teach me, us, the body of Christ, something pretty important.  He has done this at other times before and it blows my mind every time.  I felt like He had let me in on a  big secret, but that was not so. 

As I was showering before church this Sunday, I was thinking if Pastor says  “that word…”  I am going to  be blown away.   Holy Spirit humbled and corrected me real fast.  As clear as a bell, I heard, “Why do think I would tell you something different than your other brothers and sisters? I do not favor them more than you.  You are all my children.  You are all my favorites.  I am telling you the same because I AM the same.  I am, “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” [Heb 13:8 KJV]

I can hear many of you thinking, “Well, God does not talk to me like that.” The Word  of God is always for all His kids. We just have to have ears tuned into what Father is saying.  My questions to you…. “Do you talk to Him like that?  Do you seek Him first?   Do you  pray with Him?  Do you read His word?  Do you spend time in His presence?  Do you surrender your day to Him?  Is He truly your Heavenly Father ?”  Is He your Lord? He has been knocking.  Have you opened the doors of your life and invited Him?”

He treats all His children the same, but He is not going to intrude in your life, He wants to be welcomed in.

He is the same.  He is equal.  He is not different.

I enCOURAGE you to open the doors of your heart to Heavenly Father.  Invite Jesus in.  Open your ears and listen.  Open your eyes to see.  Talk with Him. Laugh with Him. Live with Him.  He does not change.  He is the same.  He is eager to talk with you.  He wants to share  in your life.  He wants you to live amazed in Him.


By Tammy Phillips
September 19, 2022

I am stepping out in faith, as I tell you this story.  You will understand when you read to the end. 

You need to know, I have recently misplaced and lost two very important items to me on two different trips. Both trips required air travel and one included a rental car with many stops.

Last Tuesday, I compiled a prayer “hit list” for my Wednesday prayer team.  The list helps us stay focused as we pray.  It serves as an agenda for business meeting with the Lord.  The following excerpt was part of my declarations and petitions on the list I sent out at 6:09 pm before prayer on Wednesday:

  • I take every opportunity to lift His name high. He is faithful and true. I don’t know how He does “IT.” He just does.
  • For sure direction and answers. 
  • Return two lost items to me. I don’t deserve it, but I know He knows where they are. I am believing the impossible and I know He is working on my behalf.

I thought I had hastily tucked one of the items in my undergarments drawer as we were leaving for a trip to Chicago.  I had changed my mind about wearing my “Nanny’s ring.” When I got home, I could not find it. I had hidden it from myself.  A month passed and I began purging our room looking for it.  I cleaned out my closet and three different places where I kept my jewelry.   I still had more places to purge, but time, travel and commitments had not afforded me the opportunity to complete the purge. 

Remember, I sent the prayer request at 6:09 PM Tuesday night.  At 6:30 pm, I walked into my room and by unction of Holy Spirit, I thought, “Maybe I tucked the ring into Kris’ socks!” 

I opened his wardrobe and did not look in sock drawer.  First, I looked into a big change bowl. The ring was not there.  Then out of nowhere,  I reached and opened a square bow tie box resting beside the change bowl.  I find not one, but two rings I had hidden!   I do not remember placing them there at all.  If Faithful Holy Spirit had not led me to that place, it would have probably been May 2023 at our next scheduled formal event that I would have found them. 

I had declared God faithful, asked for His help, believing in faith that I would find my two lost items and within 30 minutes Holy Spirit led me to one of the lost items.

To tell the truth,  this story was going to be this week’s encouragement before I found the first items.  I wanted to publicly say, “I trust the Lord.  He is faithful. He is my help.  I know he will help me find my lost things.”  Before I could even make that confession, He had led me to Nanny’s ring my first misplaced item.  He blessed me with the discovery of two rings.  The second ring is not the lost item I was referring two in the beginning.

There is still a  second lost item.  It will require a lot more intervention from Holy Spirit.  It was a 3” x  3” frosty zip lock back holding three of my favorite necklaces and three pair of my favorite earrings. 

On the day we left for the second trip, I ran out the door barefooted at 6:00 AM to the car with my phone, shoes, socks, and this little baggy in hand.  I know I attempted to drop it into my backpack,  but when we arrived at our destination, it was not found.  I did not worry about it on our trip.  I hoped that I had just missed the opening of backpack and that I would find it on the floor of our car when we returned to the airport parking lot.  Things did not happen as I hoped. I was devastated.  I cried all the way home.

Upon arriving home, I contacted two airports, the rental car company, the hotel, a restaurant, a gas station,  and countless other locations where it could have fallen out.  I am believing, hoping, and expectantly waiting a good end.  I know you might think I am crazy.  And obviously, I hope I have learned my lesson and will be more careful.  Like I said, I do not deserve to find this little envelope of treasures.  Four of the six items could be replaced, however, two of the items were original pieces of jewelry—not expensive, but custom and priceless to me.  I am waiting on God to do the impossible for me and I cannot wait to share with you how He does it.

In the waiting…

I have received notifications from the airport and rental car company that they have not found my jewelry.  I still believe. I still have faith in God alone.   I am still waiting, and I will not give up.

I enCOURAGE you to count God faithful in your life. Be patient in the wait.  When you are in an impossible situation, He is the God of impossible.  No matter what you are going through or what you have lost,  He will leave the ninety-nine to find the one.  I know that verse is talking about souls.  However, I know how much He loves you and me.   He was a huge part of gifting me one of the items in my little bag, so I know He can and will return it to me.  He has done it before.  I know He will do it again, just so I can give Him all the glory and tell you HOW GREAT HE IS.  Actually, I will do that now because the Lord has answered three of the four things we prayed about within one week.  Glory to Him. God is great and God is faithful!  I will wait for the fourth…

It took  Sarah 25 years to receive her promise of a child.  David waited 15 years to be king.  Moses waited 40 years to lead the Israelites out of Egypt.  Caleb had to wait 40  years in the wilderness before finally entering into the promise land.   Rebekah waited 20 years to give birth to Jacob and Esau.  Noah spent 120 years building an ark and had never heard of rain.  God is faithful.  To be continued…


by Tammy Phillips
September 12, 2022

 “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer [made] in this place.”(2Ch 7:14-15 NKJV)

I LOVE when I seek the Lord and Holy Spirit gives me a title AND verse for these encouragements—that is gold.  The title is often the hardest  piece of the puzzle.  He did that yesterday.  And…He confirmed it within an hour when I picked an encouragement card from my box of encouragement scriptures, and it was the same verse.  Bam!  I was ready to go. 

Fast forward…2:22 am today!

I got a call from “Holy Spirit.”  It was more like a conference call. I was notified that we were changing directions for today’s encouragement.  As He was leading me in the new direction, He convicted me with the words of my husband. We were with some friends last night.  We were remembering 9/11/2001.   Kris said, “Yeah. We were all in church that night.”  We were and the church was full.

Why was I convicted by his statement?  Even though I spent two to three hours seeking the  Lord on Sunday morning and I received my encouragement direction for today, I was not exactly where I should have been.

Ready for the excuses? 

We had a really, really long week.  Saturday had been really long and taxing. The coming week was not going to be much better.  We had plans that would keep us out late on Sunday.  And, to top it all, we were going to have a Christian rapper at church. Well, that is what I heard from a young man who had asked me if we were going to be there.  I was not in a “Christian- rapper-way” on Sunday morning and chose to stay home with the Lord.  That is my confession!  I made the wrong choice.  I missed out.  I didn’t go to the assembly and a Christian rapper was not at church.  How did I get that so wrong? And, even if it had been a Christian rapper, I would have been blessed because I would have been obedient.

The word of God  in Hebrews 10:25 says,  “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as [is] the manner of some, but exhorting [one another], and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”

OUCH!  I hear you Lord.  Hebrews 10 :25 does not give exception.  It does not say, do not forsake the assembling together, but it is ok to forsake the assembly when you are tired and there is a Christian rapper ministering.  I sadly was one of those that was in church on 9/11/01 but not on 9/11/22.  I was the ONE  who needed this strong encouragement today.  You just get to listen in. 

What has changed since 9/11?  Are we better as a church? A country? A people?

Why is it twenty-one years later and my word from the LORD for this year is to “GO LOW AND SLOW?”   “GO LOW” means to humble myself.  “GO SLOW” means to endure, stand, wait, persevere…It is the same.  Have I not learned in twenty-one years to humble myself?  Have I not learned in twenty-one years to “not forsake the assembling?”  I know the Christian journey, the following Jesus, is a process, but how many times do I need to be told.  How many times do you need to hear it?

I  remember 9/11.  It was a wake-up call for America.  It was a wake-up call for me to quit playing “Christian.”  I am not playing anymore, but many are still playing and sleeping.  Many have not answered the call of the Lord.   I know that I am further along in my journey with the Him.  I know that I “walk by faith and not by sight.”  I know I pray a lot more, but do I follow the word of God  to a fault and “pray without ceasing?” Do you?  We have work to do. I still have a long way to go.  I know we, Christians, who are called by His Name, have a long way to go.  I know our country has a long way to go.  

We are called by His name.
We are called to be different. 
We are called to be separate. 
We are called to follow Jesus.
We are called humble ourselves.
We are called to pray
We are called to seek His face first.
We are called to turn from our wicked ways.

THEN…the LORD God will hear from heaven
THEN…the LORD God will forgive our sin.
THEN…The LORD God will heal our land.
THEN…the LORD God’s eyes will be open
THEN…the LORD God’s ears will be attentive to the prayer in this USA. 

I enCOURAGE you to wake up.  Quit playing.  I am not talking about being “woke.”  I am talking about being awake in the Lord.  I am talking about living a righteous life according to the word of God and not according to your will.  I am talking about living every day on purpose with His purpose.  We have to quit playing Christianity.  We have to get into God’s word and follow in the footsteps of Jesus. We are not guaranteed tomorrow.  We must make a difference today, so 9/11 nor anything like it ever happens again. We need to  humble ourselves, pray, seek Him, turn from our wicked ways and most of all love. 

It’s been twenty-one years since 9/11.  Do a little self-evaluation?  How have you grown in the Lord?  Do you even know the Lord? I will be happy to introduce you to my Savior.   We do need to remember, but maybe instead of  asking,  “Where were you?” We should be asking, “Where are you now?”  

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