Making Sense of a Senseless Act: Church Shooting in Texas

After another recent horrific tragedy this week, we are reminded of many things. None of us are promised tomorrow. You never know what the next day; let alone the next hour will bring. But, many want to know where God was in the midst of this disgusting event that occurred at a Texas Baptist Church this week. Why didn’t God stop the shooter? How could He let all of those innocent children and adults die? Isn’t God supposed to keep all of this bad stuff from happening?

People are angry. People are scared. People are grieving. People are already pointing fingers at everything from gun control to the lack of reporting from the military court marshal and the way the government works. More importantly than anything right now are the families at the center of this nightmare. I read this morning about one man who lost eight family members including his pregnant wife and three of his children (four include the unborn child). My heart breaks every time I see a report with new information as we watch the stories continue to unfold of families touched and a small, loving community so confused by it all.

So, how does one make sense of this? I was reading posts yesterday from people claiming that “these people don’t need more prayer, but they need gun control.” On the contrary, these families are in desperate needs of prayers for God to overwhelm them with His peace and comfort. We can’t expect unbelievers to understand how one can feel a peace among this great loss. We live by faith, by things that are unseen. We hold tight to the truths of the Scriptures and the hope that one day we will all see each other again in heaven as God has promised to those who believe in Him.

These are a few scriptures that come to mind today as we ask God why this happened.

John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me,  you will have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart, I have overcome the world.

Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted

Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord‘s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.

Lamentations 3:31-33 For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men.

Isaiah 57:1-2 The righteous man perishes, and no one lays it to heart; devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from calamity; he enters into peace; they rest in their beds who walk in their uprightness.

I could go on and on with the words Christ gives us about these times. We know that we live in a sinful world. We know that because of the sin of man, we have to deal with the evil that occurs daily. But, we also know the goodness of our God and that He was right there in the midst of that church holding onto each baby, child, teen, adult, and grandparent. How can the pastor and families find the strength to go on? If you have read their words after this happened, you will see a strength like no other. Because their strength comes from the Lord; not human strength. I don’t know if I would be the same right after the loss of my child, but I do know that the Lord would have to give me the courage and strength to move forward. A day at a time.

We can’t always understand why people do what they do. We live in a very dark, depressed, angry, and selfish world. It is for this reason why we need to draw closer to the Lord even more so. None of us are promised tomorrow. This could happen at any time or maybe a health scare, car accident, injury, or a violent act against you or your family member. The question is… do you know Jesus? Do you have the hope that these families have that one day they will be able to see those lost in heaven? If not… I pray you will seek Jesus today. Find His peace and His love that is more than this ugly world could ever offer you. We need you more today than ever Jesus!

Dear Samara – New blog/podcast coming soon!

Oh my goodness! Have you ever had a frustration or situation that you really needed to talk about, but also didn’t feel like you could because it was super personal?

We are talking marriage issues, parenting questions, relationships, dating, sex, peer pressure, etc…
I’m going to be starting a blog and eventual podcast called “Dear Samara” where I will be taking every day questions and responding to them via my website. I have already received so many private messages concerning family and marriages and would love to be able to take what we discuss and share it with others who can be encouraged through it.

Eventually, I will have guest speakers, bloggers, and counselors who have a testimony to share from their own life or profession. Submissions to “Dear Samara” can be sent via my CONTACT ME button. Click HERE to send a question or situation.

Living a Life of Faith – A Message of Hope

Once upon a time there was a little girl. She was just 7 but came to realize that she was missing something BIG in her life. She gave her life to the Lord, but didn’t quite understand just yet what that would mean for her life later on.

As she grew, this girl became a teen. She always felt different than what she saw around her. She didn’t seem to “fit in with the crowd”, but she was ok with that. She grew in the Lord, but still didn’t know how much this would impact her life later on. Even at a young age she didn’t know a stranger. She loved to smile and give hugs.

College, marriage, and babies came next. Life was good. Until one day her life was turned upside down. She went from one way of life to a single mom of 2 in what seemed like a split second. No one could console her, but there amidst the chaos she found peace in her relationship with the Lord.

She was reminded that she was strong. She was reminded that she could conquer even this hardship when it felt like her world was crumbling.

And she did.

God honored her with a new beginning later on and blessed her with more children. Still she always knew God would use her in a different way. Still she felt like she was made for more.

She continued to ask the Lord to lead her in all she did. Many times this meant learning from failures, but then her faith grew even more despite the failure.

As she grew older she came to realize that God wanted her everything. Even her security and her comforts in the little things. She took a step of faith and gave up her work to stay home. But God blessed her family. He brought them through hardships because they remained faithful to Him.

Then one day, God decided it was time for more. Would she be obedient even when others might think she is crazy? Would she be BOLD even when it wasn’t the “normal” thing to do?

With the support of her hubby and God’s promises in scripture she remembered “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Today SHE (yea it’s me lol) is living a life full into FAITH and promises of the Lord. No, I have no idea what tomorrow holds.

Nope, I have no idea sometimes how the bills will get paid or how God will provide the needs for HIS plan for this cafe ministry. But, I do know that He has given me a mission and I’m to see it through.

The Harvest Cafe is my challenge for this time in my life. I am not qualified. I may fail at times. I may have to learn an entirely new field of work. But, God sees a willing vessel and I want Him to use me NO MATTER WHAT!

I know my story may come across cheesy and that’s totally fine by me because like I said I’ve never been any part of “normal” as far as the world goes. But, I really want to encourage YOU to step out and live a life worthy of the calling He has for YOU!

Be BOLD and stay strong in the Lord no matter how old you are. He has great plans in store!!!

Broken To Blended – Now Available

I am so thrilled to announce that my first book is now published and available! Broken To Blended: Encouragement For Blended Families is a devotional/journal for those parenting children other than their own. It is difficult enough dealing with issues in marriage and family, but when you throw in the complexities of blended family life, issues can escalate.

Sammi final cover

There are so many emotions involved. There are so many PEOPLE involved in your life that sometimes you feel like you don’t have a place in your own home. This book takes you through my own life. The REAL and RAW parts and I am able to share how I came from brokenness to my own blended family. There is no sugar coating the issues in family life.

I want people to understand that there are so many people who can relate to their struggles and find encouragement from scripture and prayer. So, with that said… please share this with your family, friends, or anyone you know who may be feeling a little lost or hopeless in their own situation. I promise you they will receive a blessing after going through this 30 day devotional.

The book is now available on Kindle or Createspace. Click links to view. Also, it will be available on Amazon.com by the end of the week!