Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Inner Views of Beth Willis Miller

"He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou trust: 
His truth shall be thy shield and buckler."
Psalm 91:4
(KJV)

I never cease to be amazed at the way God orchestrates, connects, and interweaves the lives of His trusting children, who are yielded to Him and His will.

The lady I am interviewing today is a fellow-blogger and Christian sister
who has blessed me abundantly through her wonderful blog,
and also through our personal email exchanges.

Some of you know her already; for some, this may be your first introduction.
All of you are in for a blessing, as you read her precious testimony.
This post is long, but oh, so worth the read!


Meet Beth Willis Miller, M.Ed., author of Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ with illustrator Krista Hamrick; contributing author of three books: Under His Wings: Truths to Heal Adopted Children's Hearts; 21 Stories of Generosity: Real Stories to Inspire a Full Life (A Life of Generosity); A New Song: Glimpses of the Grace Journey (an anthology of essays, poems, stories and photos celebrating God's grace on life's journey); and member of AWSA, the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. Beth has a Master's degree in Education, in curriculum, instruction, and supervision. She writes articles on a variety of topics to inspire and encourage others. Her expertise as a creative and critical thinking specialist is steeped in years of experience as a writer, presenter, educator and former Florida Department of Education State Consultant for Gifted Education. Seeing others' lives transformed by the truth of God's Word is her passion and purpose. She is married with two adult children, and two adorable grandsons.

I present to you the
of wife, mom, grandmother, author, beloved child of God, overwhelmed by grace,
Beth Willis Miller, M.Ed. 

Cheryl:  We would love to hear as much about you, your past life, and current life as you would like to share.

Beth:  In many ways, it’s still a mystery...how I came to be. During a visit to Ellis Island's American Family Immigration History Center, I was delightfully surprised to be able to locate and obtain an authentic copy of the ship manifest page from the ship, Princess Irene, which brought my maternal birth grandparents, Olympio and Vincenza from their home in Scontrone, Italy, through the port of departure in Naples to Ellis Island on August 30, 1906. Just seeing their two names listed, one underneath the other, on the ship manifest page gave the mystery such a tangible basis in reality. She was only 16 years old, he was just 24, and they were on their way to live with cousins in Chicago. What compels a 16 year old girl to board a ship in Italy, facing days on the ocean in most likely uncomfortable, even dangerous, conditions for a destination yet unknown to her? Somehow she and her fianc√©, Olympio, were so motivated to start a new life in a new country that they left their home in Scontrone, Italy, and traveled to New York City, eventually settling in Chicago. They married and had a daughter, Lydia, in 1911.

I met my birth mother, Lydia, in 1983, when I was 30 years old, and Lydia was 72. Lydia explained to me the circumstances of my conception, birth, and adoption. During a Memorial Day holiday get-away weekend with a gentleman in 1952, Lydia, at age 41, became pregnant with me. When she realized she was pregnant, she told the gentleman with whom she had spent the weekend, and he was unwilling to help her. Her mother, Vincenza, did not want her daughter, a single mother at age 41, to disgrace her family with an illegitimate child, so Lydia left Chicago to live with a relative in Miami, Florida. In October, around the time of Columbus Day, she went to a back-alley abortionist to abort me, but when the abortionist examined her and realized she was over four months pregnant, he told her the abortion might kill her, and he refused to do it. Lydia made arrangements with the Salvation Army hospital in Jacksonville to give me up for adoption. On Friday the 13th she gave birth to me, and signed the papers giving me up for adoption on Valentine’s Day 1953.

I believe there are no “accidents” and every conception and every birth is part of God’s Sovereign Plan. I rest and find comfort in these life verses: “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” (Psalm 139:13-16)

My prayer, the desire of my heart is, “Lord, I want to delight in you! Center my heart in knowing you more and loving you more day by day. Help me to discover that there is fullness of joy in your presence and to take great delight in my relationship with you. May my heart desire you above everything else.” It’s been many years since I first began to pray this prayer in March 2000 after returning from my trip to Israel in which I walked beside the Sea of Galilee and on the Mount of Olives, to all the historical sites in Jerusalem, Capernaum, and Bethlehem. During this time in my study of the Scriptures, I came to a place in my life where I wanted, more than anything else, to love God more. I began to pray, “Lord, I want to delight in you!” God is so inconceivably good. He’s not looking for perfection. He already saw it in Christ. He’s looking for affection. That’s why every lasting change will invariably be a change of heart. He’ll even supply the heart, if we’ll ask him.

My daily prayer continues to this day, “Lord Jesus, give me a heart which yearns for Your Presence, a yearning for You that draws me over and over into Your Presence, a yearning that makes only a few days without time in prayer and Your Word seem like an eternity. Give me a heart which is motivated first and foremost by a desire for You, not for what You can do for me, but a yearning for Your Presence. Give me a heart that wants You more than anything else You could give, to love You and know You more than anything in life. Give me a heart that takes what You have made known to me and makes You re-known to everyone else, a heart that makes Your name and renown the desire of my heart. Give me a heart to feel Your Holy Spirit woo me once again to the place where I meet You. In the simplicity of my prayer time, give me a heart to be suddenly confronted by the majesty of my Redeemer—the One Who is responsible for any good in me. Lord, each morning, give me a heart that seeks Your forgiveness for past sins, and welcomes Your fresh mercies which fall like manna from Heaven, and once again move my heart. I surrender all. Morning after morning.”

My daily relationship with our living Lord Jesus reinforces my belief in the sovereignty of God, that nothing comes into my life that is not filtered through God's hands of love. I believe there are no “accidents.” I believe God planned who my birth parents would be and who my Mom and Dad would be, and both influences, plus His, are needed to help me become all that He created me to be. I believe that God sees the end from the beginning. He knows me intimately, He knit me together in my mother's womb, one day I will see Him face-to-face and I will know as I am known...until then, I will expect a mystery. It is His plan that’s important, not my desire. I didn't bring myself into this world, and I can’t take myself into heaven. I really don’t know what is best for me or for those I love. I ask God to make me sensitive to the reality that He is in control, and that He is using this—even this—to conform me to the image of His Son. I want that most of all. I train my mind to acknowledge God’s hand in whatever it is I'm living with. I practice words like, “I don’t know,” “I will trust,” “I can’t explain,” “I release it all,” because God is sovereign. He is the beginning, He will be the ending, and in between, by His grace, He lets us be part of His perfect plan, for His glory and for our good. In the meantime, I will expect a mystery.

Cheryl:  How did you come to know the Lord? When did you become a Christian, and what most influenced that decision? How has Jesus changed your life?

Beth:  I was adopted by loving Christian parents. I grew up in church, active in Sunday School and missions organizations. I prayed to receive Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior at the age of 10, and was baptized by immersion following my salvation. During an awe-inspiring trip to Israel in March 2000, I was baptized in the Jordan River as a recommitment of my faith. I grow closer to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ every day through prayer, worship, and the study of His Word. 

Cheryl:  Can you share with us about those who have mentored you in your Christian walk? Who has had the most influence upon you, spiritually, and what are some of the lessons they have taught you? Is there anyone you would like to give special honor to?

Beth:  My adoptive father, Eston Willis, was the most influential person in my life, spiritually. He felt called to the ministry the same year I was saved, 1963, but because he was the sole wage earner in our family, he didn’t feel he could financially afford to risk his salary as a general manager at a car dealership. He poured himself into teaching Sunday School to adults, and serving as a deacon in our local church. He would prepare his Sunday School lesson all week, and on Saturdays he would have his Matthew Henry Commentaries out studying for his lesson. One year when I was a newlywed, Daddy taught a Bible study in our home. I remember the text was Romans Chapter Eight, and every week he began the lesson by repeating several times the opening Scripture, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Even now, when regrets start to flood my heart, I hear his gentle words, and I remember once again what he taught me, that I am the righteousness of God in Christ, the blood of Christ covers all my sin—past, present, and future. I am under the new covenant in His Blood, loved unconditionally, blessed with every spiritual blessing, accepted in the Beloved Son of God, adopted as a child of the King, chosen before the foundation of the world, redeemed by Christ’s blood, forgiven by His Grace, loved with an everlasting love and underneath are the everlasting Arms of my Savior, Jesus Christ. My Daddy went home to be with Jesus in 1989, and I know I will see him again one day in heaven.

Cheryl:  What are you most passionate about, and what are the causes closest to your heart?

Beth:  Two causes I am most passionate about are children with special needs, and children who have been adopted. Adopted at four months of age, I had been an only child until my adoptive parents adopted my little brother from different biological parents when I was 12. We moved eight times in the seven years from 1961 to 1968, and although I felt greatly loved by my adoptive parents, I was reminded often that, “if there had been anything wrong with me, they could have given me back.” My empathy for children with special needs was born with that awareness. What if there had been “something wrong” with me, where would I be now? I made friends quickly in my advanced classes at Sebring High, becoming one of the editors of the school yearbook my junior year, and being elected as the first female president of the student body my senior year. At the same time, we had a sweet neighbor, Ralph Shuckford, who was an adult with developmental disabilities. I would often think as I spent time with him, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” I led Bible studies at my church before school, and was a volunteer with a community group that planned parties and special events for mentally handicapped adults in Highlands County on the weekends. It was a natural progression when I completed two years at the community college to major in exceptional student education. I was participant in a college student group which completed the “Admitted-for-a Weekend” immersion program at the Sunland Training Center near Gainesville. I was brought in and admitted on Friday as if I was one of the mentally handicapped adults in one of the cottages with locked doors and house mothers. I was told only to observe and not speak for the weekend. On Sunday afternoon, we had a debriefing session, and I wrote my reactions to the weekend as a stream-of-consciousness term paper for my college English class. Now all these years later, after earning a BA in exceptional student education and a M.Ed. in gifted education, serving as the Florida Department of Education State Consultant for Gifted Education, in various teaching and supervisory roles in education, and as a staff liaison for a church ministry for children with special needs, the lyrics of the song, “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,” still express the passion I feel for individuals with special needs … “The road is long, with many a winding turn that leads us to who knows where, who knows where. But I'm strong, strong enough to carry him, he ain't heavy—he's my brother. So on we go, his welfare is my concern. No burden is he to bear, we'll get there. For I know he would not encumber me, he ain't heavy—he's my brother. If I'm laden at all, I'm laden with sadness, that everyone's heart isn't filled with gladness of love for one another. It's a long, long road from which there is no return, while we're on our way to there, why not share? And the load, it doesn't weigh me down at all…he ain't heavy—he's my brother.”

As an adoptee, I found that I had stuffed many of my feelings of rejection and abandonment over the years. In 2011, I met Sherrie Eldridge, a fellow adoptee who has published many books. She asked me to join her in the publication of the book, “Under His Wings: Truths to Heal Adopted Children's Hearts.” This book provides a post-adoption growth experience for adoptees, ages 9 and upward! As adoptees read about Moses from the Bible, defensive hearts melt and adoptees realize they are just like Moses who was an adoptee, but went on to be one of the world's greatest leaders. This gives them hope and helps them to realize that there is a way to get through seemingly impossible sadness, depression, and anger. Sherrie and I wrote this introduction for the book, which explains why I am passionate about adoptees: “Ever get angry? Ever feel uncontrollable rage? Ever wonder if your level of anger is pathologic, that there's something inherently wrong with you? Ever feel like your emotions are out of proportion to the circumstances? Like us, you may weep longer and louder at stranger's funeral than the deceased person's family. Where does all this seemingly uncontrollable emotion come from? Why do many of us see life through a lens of rejection? Why do unanswered phone calls, emails, and letters spell R-E-J-E-C-T-I-O-N to us? Will we ever get over it? Why is our self-esteem not low, but non-existent? Why do we try to be like others instead of being ourselves? Do we even know who we are? Why are we afraid we'll be too much to handle and why are goodbye's so difficult? Why do we have meltdowns on birthdays when everyone is kind? Why aren't their efforts ever enough to please us? Why do many of us go from therapist to therapist and not find the help we need? Is there anybody out there who "gets it?" Can anyone hear? Yes! There are many that fit those descriptions and you will hear their voices as you read the pages in this workbook. You will discover that you're not alone. You will discover that being in their presence just one hour is better than years of therapy. Finding fellow strugglers on the journey is not enough, however. It's a huge step in the right direction toward healing, but what about our deep wounds? Wounds that we may not be able to describe? Wounds that make us feel crazy and unapproachable? Wounds like hearing we were conceived in the worst possible situation. Wounds that cloud our belief system to the point that we believe our lives are a mistake. Wounds that tell us we were never worth anything, anyway. Wounds that tell us that we deserve rejection from our first families? How can we know the reason why we've had disruptions in our families? Can we ever have peace when we've experienced such a painful past? There's only one way to find peace with a painful past and that is through a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. He alone, through His Spirit, can place a healing balm on our deep wounds. The Bible says: "You can't heal a wound by saying it's not there!" (Jeremiah 6:14 TLB). We (Beth and Sherrie) have found that in the places that hurt the most, God brings a promise from the Bible to our memory at just the right time. We have experienced comfort and growth through our growing relationship with Jesus and how we long for the same growth for you! You may be thinking, "Fine for Beth and Sherrie, but I know nothing about a personal relationship with God. I've never picked up a Bible, let alone know a verse well enough to bring it to mind." That's okay. Wherever you are in your journey is exactly where you should be and the fact that you've picked up this workbook shows that your heart wants to be healed. The Biblical account describing God as an eagle teaching his eaglets to fly is exactly the process you'll go through as you work through the chapters of the workbook. "Like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them on its pinions." (Deut. 32: 11). Now, let's apply this verse by envisioning God as the eagle and yourself as one of the eaglets in his nest. First, he stirs up our nest by taking away the soft things in life. Losing our first family, being passed by in foster care or the orphanage, or being rejected when you finally find your birth mother. We complain to God and everyone within earshot. We don't like the pain. Why did we have to hurt like this? Why can't we have a normal childhood? Why all the chaos and change? Then, God the eagle hovers over us, showing us the magnificence of his wings--his strength, majesty, power, and sovereignty. If little eaglets could talk, they'd say, "We never knew you were so big and powerful." Notice that the eaglet's attention is drawn away from the painful nest to God's wings. Like eaglets, we want to know him more when we begin to discover his awesomeness is the pages of Scripture. After we have rested beneath his wings and allowed healing to begin, God invites us to ride on His wings, away from a painful past into an incredibly wonderful future. Are you ready to rest under his wings? Wherever you are in your journey, we are honored that we can walk with you for a while! With Love and Hugs, Sherrie and Beth”

Cheryl:  Please tell us about your new book, “Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ.” 

Beth:  Krista Hamrick's beautiful original art print, Name Above All Names Alphabet, so inspired me that I wrote a devotional focusing on each of the 26 individual Names of Jesus Christ. Each of the 26 illustrations which Krista identified are so special, almost like stained glass windows, as Krista intricately painted each one with its Scripture reference. My heart was drawn to write a devotional word study based on the Scripture reference for each of the 26 Names. Combining the beauty of Krista's artistic excellence with my research of the Names, this devotional is perfect for individual quiet times or small group Bible studies focusing on the Name Above All Names--Jesus Christ--and His attributes and characteristics. Each of the 26 devotionals focusing on the Names of Christ closes with a practical application and personalized prayer, ending with reflections and takeaways.

Example from "King of Zion" Practical Application:

What does it mean to trust the Lord, the King of Zion? It means looking to Him as the source of our security and putting our faith in the grace, love, power, and protection of God when the inevitable pressures of life come. It means knowing as the psalmist did that as the mountains surround and protect Zion, the city of Jerusalem, God himself surrounds and shields His people. When we trust the Lord, we don't have to focus on the wicked and what they are doing or might do to us. We don't have to rehash our own woes. Even though there are problems the size of mountains facing us, we can cry out to the Lord who created the mountains and is able to move them. As we sing praises to Him, and focus on Him and His truth, He will encourage our hearts and help us to tell the nations about the great things He has done!

Example from "King of Zion" Personalized Prayer:

Lord Jesus, King of Zion, I put my trust in You today. You are my security and protection, my shield, my fortress, and my hiding place, and I sing praises to You. When enemies surround me and troubles multiply, help me to remember that You are ever faithful and that You surround and protect me, both now and forever. Thank You for the free gift of salvation, that we are justified on the basis of Your finished work on the Cross. Thank You that, right now, we are under the completely sufficient imputed righteousness of Christ. Because we have placed our trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ, we are redeemed by Your precious blood. The threat of failure, judgment, and condemnation has been removed. Knowing that God's love for us and approval of us will never be determined by our performance is the most encouraging promise to which we cling--what great things You have done! In Your mighty Name Above All Names--King of Zion, we pray, amen.

Example from "King of Zion" Reflection and Takeaways:
Look Up--meditate on Psalm 9:11
Look In--as you meditate on Psalm 9:11 pray to see how you might apply it to your life.
Look Out--as you meditate on Psalm 9:11 pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others.

Cheryl:  How did the book come about? What inspired you to write it? How can we purchase it?

Beth:  In the past year, I have been drawn to incorporate beautiful artwork as a focal point in my blog posts to wrap my study of Scripture and prayer around. After requesting and receiving permission from Krista Hamrick to feature her artwork on several of my blog posts in 2015, I was captured by the intricate beauty of her beautiful original art print, Name Above All Names Alphabet. My heart was drawn to write a devotional word study based on the Scripture reference for each of the 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ. Krista provided the illustrations, and we published the 144 page devotional on February 21, 2016.  It can be purchased on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle edition HERE.

Cheryl:  Have you written other books? If so, can you tell us about them and describe the events that led to the writing of them?

Beth:  I was the co-author of Under His Wings: Truths to Heal Adopted Children's Hearts with Sherrie Eldridge. Sherrie and I are both adoptees, and we were active in an on-line All Adoptee Growth Group in 2011. Sherrie asked if I would like to work with her to publish Under His Wings, and we spent a week working on it together in the summer of 2011, and then via email until we published it on Amazon in November 2011. Writing the book helped my feelings come to the surface for healing. There's only one way to find peace with a painful past and that is through a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. He alone, through His Spirit, can place a healing balm on our deep wounds. The Bible says: "You can't heal a wound by saying it's not there!" (Jeremiah 6:14 TLB). Sherrie and I both found that in the places that hurt the most, God brings a promise from the Bible to our memory at just the right time.

I was a contributing author to the book, 21 Stories of Generosity: Real Stories to Inspire a Full Life, in which my chapter was entitled “The Generosity of Adoption.” I found out about the opportunity to collaborate in this book through a local Christian Writers Group.

I was also a contributing author to the book, A New Song: Glimpses of the Grace Journey, in which my essay, “Comfort Measures Only” was published. I found out about the opportunity to collaborate in this book when I attended the Florida Christian Writers Conference.

Cheryl:  How long have you been blogging, and how did God lead you to start your blog?

Beth:  I have been writing my blog http://bethwillismiller.blogspot.com/ since 2009. I had been writing a journal all my life, since I was in high school. I started by writing about subjects I had been familiar with in previous careers. I also posted the photos and my journals from an awe-inspiring trip to Israel in March 2000 for the filming of Beth Moore’s Bible study, Jesus the One and Only.

Cheryl:  Can you name at least one childhood dream that God has fulfilled in your life?

Beth:  I never remember having any specific childhood dreams, but I always thought of myself as a writer, writing for school newspapers beginning in 5th grade throughout high school, and writing as a part of nearly every career I had, including writing very successful grant proposals. In many ways, the writing I am doing now is the culmination of all those childhood and young adulthood passions.

Cheryl:  We are living in the perilous times prophesied about in the Bible. How do you stay encouraged in these dark days? What are your favorite Scriptures to turn to for support and motivation to continue in the fight against wrong? What words of comfort would you like to offer those who may be struggling with discouragement and despair?

Beth:  During these dark days, I stay encouraged by praying God’s Word, these are my favorite Scriptures, which are my words of comfort for anyone struggling with discouragement and despair:

When you feel rejected, God says: You are ACCEPTED
"According to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. (Eph. 1:5-6)

When you feel abandoned, God says: You are ADOPTED
“Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will. (Eph. 1:4-5)

When you feel betrayed, God says: You are BLESSED
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” (Eph. 1:3)

When you feel inadequate, God says: You are CHOSEN
“You are my witnesses,’ declares the Lord, ‘and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he” (Isa. 43:10). “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him.” (Eph. 1:4)

When you feel afraid, God says: You are REDEEMED
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine” (Isa. 43:1).

When you feel condemned, God says: You are FORGIVEN
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us.” (Eph. 1:7-8)

When you feel forgotten, God says: You are REMEMBERED
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands.” (Isa. 49:15-16)

When you feel insecure, God says: You are SECURE
“Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders” (Deut. 33:12).

When you feel worthless, God says: You are CALLED
“You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light” (1 Pet. 2:9)

When you feel unloved, God says: You are PRECIOUS, and I LOVE YOU
“You are precious and honored in My sight, and . . . I love you” (Isa. 43:4). "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

When you feel unable or unstable, God says: YOU ARE ABLE
“The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!” (Hab. 3:19).

When you feel it’s impossible, God says: ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE
"Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God” (Luke 18:27)

When you feel exhausted, God says: I WILL GIVE YOU REST
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

When you feel you can’t go on, God says: MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT
"But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

When you feel you don’t know what to do, God says: I WILL DIRECT YOUR STEPS
"Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

When you feel you can’t go on, God says: YOU CAN DO ALL THINGS
"For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13)

When you feel it’s not worth it, God says: IT WILL BE WORTH IT
"We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." (Romans 8:28)

When you feel you can’t forgive yourself, God says: I FORGIVE YOU
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)

When you feel you can’t manage, God says: I WILL SUPPLY ALL YOUR NEEDS
"God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19)

When you feel worried and frustrated, God says: CAST YOUR CARE ON ME
"Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”(1 Peter 5:7)

When you don’t know what to do, God says: I WILL GIVE YOU WISDOM
"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5)

When you feel all alone, God says: I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU OR FORSAKE YOU
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

As I pray God’s Word, fear, doubt, and discouragement leave and His peace renews my heart and mind. As I experience His peace, I recognize when I have been held captive by controlling thoughts. As I stand in agreement with God, saying the same thing God says about my specific thoughts, I see the lies I have believed as wallpaper in my mind. I ask God to help me tear down the lies wallpapering my mind and re-wallpaper my mind with the Truth of God’s Word...to starve the flesh and feed the Spirit. I ask God to help me see situations in my life the way He sees them. The more I see the way God sees, I become saturated with the favor of God, seeing His view of me through the blood of Christ, I become favor-minded, re-wallpapering my mind with Truth.

Cheryl:  How can we pray for you? Are there particular burdens upon your heart that we can help to carry to the Father?

Beth:  Thank you so much, Cheryl. I know you are a prayer warrior. I would just ask you to pray that regarding promotion of , “Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ,” all glory and honor and praise would go directly to our Savior, Jesus Christ—the Name Above All Names—from Whom ALL blessings flow.

You may follow and connect with Beth in the following ways:
God bless you, Beth, for sharing your wonderful testimony with us here!
I know it will bless others, as it has indeed blessed me.

As Beth and I have corresponded back and forth, sharing with one another,
she sent two links to articles she has written that have been especially helpful in the trials my family and I are now walking through. 
I want to share them with you here, in hopes that you can find the time to read them.
You will be abundantly blessed.

Beth so kindly sent me a copy of her book to read.
I am currently reading
"Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ",
and I am enjoying it so very much.


It is reminding me of the glorious power of our dear Lord Jesus and everything He is to me.
When we say He is our "all in all", do we realize the depths of the truth of that statement?
Beth writes about and Krista illustrates 26 of the names of Christ that prove, once again,
that He is every, single thing you and I will ever need in this world and in the world to come.
Jesus, our Lord and Master, is everything we need!
Besides the beauty of Beth's writing and Krista's drawings,
I love that, at the end of every few chapters, there is a lovely blank page to record notes,
Beth included a lot of commentary from other authors,
but truly the parts I am enjoying the most are the parts that she herself wrote towards the ends of almost every chapter.

You may order your own copy of the book HERE!

Thanks for reading, and may God bless all of you dear readers!

To read previous

48 comments:

  1. Wow. What a testimony. I'm always so amazed at how our Father can use the things that most of us run from to bring about His perfect, will, glory, and grace in the lives of His chosen and the ones He's calling.

    Praying for both of you. Touching interview. A couple of obedient hearts in action. Awesome.

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    1. Floyd, thank you so much for your comments. It is a blessing to share our love for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the work He is doing in our lives. Cheryl has been so kind and encouraging to me, I am so grateful. Many blessings to you!

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    2. Thank you ever so much for your kind words, Floyd and Beth! You both are such an amazing encouragement to me on this Christian path and blogging journey. God bless you both abundantly. :)

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  2. It was such a blessing reading this interview. I have a peep into how adoptees feel and I believe I am better equipped on how to relate with them and also share God's love with them.
    I pray her book sells rapidly and blesses everyone that reads it.

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    1. Ugochi, I appreciate so much your kind comments, and also leaving a comment on my post which Cheryl mentions above, "encouraged by a question"...many blessings to you!

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    2. I know what you mean, Ugochi...it really helped me have a better understanding of how an adoptee feels, too. So thankful for both of you, Beth and Ugochi! Sending you both much love and gratitude. :)

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  3. Hi Beth and Cheryl! I think I have visited Beth's blog, and we might be Twitter friends? I'll have to check!
    My two children are adopted, so I read with interest about your experience, and how your heart is dedicated to adoptees. My experience was before the onset of open adoptions, so my kids have not been successful in locating their birth parents, although both pursued it. It would be nice if they could gain some sense of personal history and medical too of course.

    Very interesting interview as always Cheryl. You always have such probing questions!
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. Cheryl, thank you so much for sharing your heart. Many blessings to you and your family ❤️

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    2. Thank you, dear Ceil! So very thankful you enjoyed Beth's inspiring testimony! I appreciate your kind words and visit, as always. God bless you abundantly!

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  4. It's nice to meet you. I love to read about your passions! Congrats on your book. It sounds like a must read

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    1. Caroline, thank you so much for your encouraging words. Many blessings to you ❤️

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    2. Thanks so much for visiting and reading, dear Caroline! It is always such a blessing to see that you have come by. God bless you!

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  5. My dear Cheryl, thank you for having Beth on your blog. My, what a testimony! And dear Beth, thank you for sharing your self with us. I can't tell you how much this post blessed my heart and through it brought sweet encouragement.

    "When you feel you can’t go on, God says: MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT." Ah, how I NEEDED to read these precious words.

    Love and hugs to both of you lovely ladies!

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    1. Stephanie, what a blessing you are to me! It is a joy to know that you are encouraged by what the Lord has used to encourage me! Many blessings to you!

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    2. I, too, surely needed the reminder by sweet Beth that God's grace is sufficient. It is hard to comprehend that sometimes, but it truly is, and we can look back over our lives and see that there has never been a trial that He could not see us through. Sending you much love, dear Stephanie!

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  6. What a joy to see my friend Beth's face here and to hear her story! Her new book is on my night stand and I'm working my way through for the second time, this time slowly and savoring.

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    1. Oh Michele! I'm so glad you received my book, and are reading it for the second time...that warms my heart! Many blessings to you sweet friend :)

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    2. So thankful you are enjoying Beth's book, Michele, and for the 2nd time, too! I am still on my first time reading, and it is proving to be such a blessing to me! Thank you for your sweet visit and comment! :)

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  7. Cheryl thank you for sharing this beautifully inspirational testimony!

    Beth has been such a sweet friend to me in her comments, always lifting me up, and now I see the story behind the dear spirit making those comments. What an example of a consecrated life, one that continually searches for God and His ways.

    The following statement she shared brought great encouragement to my heart and one I hope to practice.

    " I ask God to help me see situations in my life the way He sees them. The more I see the way God sees, I become saturated with the favor of God, seeing His view of me through the blood of Christ, I become favor-minded, re-wallpapering my mind with Truth."

    Cheryl, I am so thankful that you are sharing these testimonies. It is always so edifying to see how the Lord is working through His people.

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    1. Karen, thank you so much for reading my "Inner View" and taking time to leave such an encouraging comment. I just read your "Inner View" also! Isn't Cheryl great at asking questions that bring our memories and life stories to the surface? You are both such sweet sisters in Christ...so glad we met through blogging! Many blessings to you!

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    2. Oh, Karen, thank you so much! And, thank you, Beth, for your kind words, too. It is just a huge blessing in my life to have so many wonderful, Godly blogging friends who walk beside me and keep me encouraged. Love you both dearly!

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging comment. It is a blessing to be one of Cheryl's "Inner Views"...many blessings to you!

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    2. Thank you so much, dear Denise. God bless you. Praying for you, sweet friend!

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  9. These Inner Views Interviews are a good read. Thank you Cheryl.

    God bless you and your interviewees.

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    1. Thank you ever so much for visiting and reading, Victor. And, by the way, we are REALLY enjoying your book, "Visions". Thank you for being such a blessing in our lives!

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    2. Thank you, Victor! Many blessings to you too!

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  10. Hi, Beth and Cheryl:
    Wow, Beth, God's purpose for you is beyond what any human can conceive. I love your heart for adoption and special needs. Your innerview is outstanding and motivating. I am sure the Lord is smiling down on your life's work for His kingdom. I am praying for your new book to be the tool God can use to help many draw close to Him! Thank you so much for this post! I am blessed.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging comments. It is a blessing to share with others what our Savior has used to encourage me. Many blessings to you ❤️

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    2. And, we are both blessed, by your visit here, sweet Mary. May God's most abundant blessings continually fall upon you, dear friend!

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  11. Beautiful testimony. Amazing to see the thread of God's grace woven throughout Beth's life. Blessings to you both!

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    1. Joanne, I appreciate you kind words...truly, all is grace...thank you so much for stopping by...Many blessings to you, too!

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    2. Thank you ever so much, Joanne! God bless you for stopping by! So happy to meet you. :)

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  12. Beautiful testimony Beth! What a treat to get to know you even better. I love that we share being educators in common. Your heart for children shines through. You are a gifted writer and encourager of God's word. Thank you for sharing that with all of us.

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    1. Thank you, Mary...without Christ I can do nothing...all glory and honor and praise to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ--the Name Above All Names--from Whom ALL blessings flow. Many blessings to you!

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    2. Thank you for stopping by, Mary, and for leaving such kind encouragement here. :) God bless you!

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  13. God is so good, what Satan meant for bad, God turned it around for His glory. Most of us regardless of our birth circumstances have at times felt "Rejection." It is probably Satan's favorite tool to upset our emotions. Yes, taking scriptures that affirm who we are in Christ is an excellent way to overcome - - but the most effective way is to in our thoughts to face the person who "rejected" us and FORGIVE them. We can forgive through Jesus who is the ultimate forgiver. Thank you Cheryl and Beth for sharing this with us here at Tell me a True Story Blog Party.

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    1. Thanks for your visit, Hazel. Beth's story and testimony is SO inspiring to so many, and it is wonderful how God has given her grace and courage to forgive and overcome all she has been required to face in this life. She is a shining example of Jesus' love! It was truly an honor and blessing to share her precious story here!

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    2. Thank you Hazel and Cheryl, it is so true that the Holy Spirit floods us with Himself--love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control--when He is in authority over our flesh and our emotions, we don't have to "work up" forgiveness--it just flows out of our innermost heart. Truly, all is grace. Many blessings to you both!

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  14. Hi Cheryl, firstly I want to say thank you for linking up with me. Starting a bloghop from scratch is going to take time and seeing you there makes it worthwhile. Secondly, I love this interview. I hope others get to read it when visiting over at Winsome Wednesday. Thirdly, even though we only "connect" out here in cyberspace occasionally, I want you to know you are a huge blessing to me.
    God bless
    Tracy

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    1. Tracy, thank you for stopping by! I clicked over to your Winsome Wednesday and linked up too! Many blessings to you!

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    2. Dear Tracy! Oh, how your precious words touched my heart! I am so honored to link up with you again. I missed doing that, and I am so thankful God led you to start it up again. I do trust He will abundantly bless your efforts and cause it to grow and blossom and become a blessing to many. I am so glad you enjoyed Beth's interview, and I can't thank you enough for your encouragement. You are a huge blessing to me, too, dear friend. God bless you!!

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  15. Such a wonderful interview, and it was such a blessing to read about Beth's testimony! Oh, how God had His hand on her life, and still does! And her beautiful Scripture verses included some of my very favorite. May God continue to bless her ministry.

    Thanks for this series, Cheryl. I truly love reading these *inner views* so much.

    GOD BLESS!

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    1. Thank you so much for your heart-warming comments, Sharon. I so enjoy your writing ... such Truth and wisdom and wit! We have a beagle too, such a sweetheart! Many blessings to you and your ministry also!

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    2. Dear Sharon! I am SO grateful you are enjoying the inner views. I surely enjoy doing them and getting to hear these wonderful testimonies and stories of redemption. They just bless my soul and give me so much hope. God is so faithful! Love you, sweet friend, and thank you ever so much for your support, encouragement, and friendship. God bless you1

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  16. Beth: So lovely to hear from you here on Chery's blog and learn a bit more about your God story! Beautiful :)

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    1. Lyli, I so appreciate you stopping by to leave such an encouraging comment! I so enjoy your writing at your "3-D Lessons For Life" and linking up with you for your "Thought Provoking Thursdays"...many blessings to you!

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    2. Thank you for visiting, Lyli! God bless you, sweet friend. :)

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