No! Not My Coupon Folder…Beth Farley

No! Not My Coupon Folder!!!securedownload-4

A few weeks before I moved to Texas my daughter gave me a crash course on extreme couponing. I took notes, clipped my coupons, browsed the web sites and became hooked. I didn’t think I’d become a “stockpiler” but guess what? I am. I am unemployed with very little means of money so this is a way of saving, BIG TIME. I only stock pile on things that we can use. Anything beyond that boundary is donated to the food pantry down the road.

I had an unsettling day this week. I was so distracted by the chatter in my head. I couldn’t settle down to my devotions or Bible reading time. I was bopping all over the house, trying to keep busy from my feelings. Have you ever been there?

There was one thing though that was pulling me towards sitting at the table; it was my desire to do my coupon clipping. I made a cup of coffee, started clipping and sorting and stacking. I began to feel peaceful and content.

Once this blissful task was done, which by the way, takes quite a bit of time, I went over to my desk to get my purple coupon folder only to find it wasn’t there. I went out to my car and checked under the seats, in the trunk and glove compartment. I retraced my steps for at least 45 minutes. My body was gripped with frustration and anxiety. I was frantically looking for my purple folder. All of the Sunday coupons were in that folder. I had not even redeemed half of them yet. I think I might have even spewed a few unnecessary words while in my crazy attempt at finding the folder.

Plopping on the couch and feeling deflated, I realized that I had been so engulfed in the tantalizing coupon folder that I kinda felt ashamed of my behavior. I had not done my devotions. I had not looked at my Bible. I had not prayed nor done any writing which God had called me to do. Why hadn’t I been as passionate about spending time with God this day as I had been about trying to find my coupon folder?

Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever been so engulfed in something that you just can’t wait to dig in? You know, the Sunday football game, your golf game, your pedicure, shopping or craft project; these are all great things and God wants us to enjoy them but we all know as Christian we need to find the balance.

John 10:10…A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance. HCSB

One of the greatest things about being human is our tenacity. Life goes on. Sometimes worse for the wear, sometimes better for our efforts, but it always goes on. God takes these things, these daily distractions and files them under the category of “GRACE”.

We are human; He is ALL. We make mistakes; He fixes them. We get distracted; He pulls us closer.

There are times where you just have to drop the whole thing and start again. The purple folder is still missing but today I’m writing. Today I’ve spent time with Him and today…I set out for a new folder….

Psalm 96:1
Sing a new song to the LORD Sing to the LORD, all the earth.

living by grace


Making an Oath


While camping out in chapter 5 of the Book of Matthew, a couple of things came to my mind while pondering verses 33-37…What does it mean to not break an oath or fulfill a vow to the Lord?

As a caretaker of those with Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease, you come to realize that during the progression of this plaguing disease, you become more and more their navigator in life; they count on you and trust you. I have taken care of many clients with this mind crippling disease and have never broken my vow to give them the best of care. I have always been honest with the client and their family. I do my best to fulfill my vow.

What does it mean to fulfill a vow to the Lord and how do we do this?

In Matthew 5:33-37 Jesus was referring to the ceremonies of which Jews took oaths. He even went on to say that it was considered an undesirable procedure because it was all about trying to pull the wool over other people’s eyes. They were making oaths that were designed to impress; indicating that the person swearing on the oath had power over the things that the oath mentioned. They were keeping promises or commitments that they were apparently not going to keep by taking a silly oath. Jesus said,  Do not take an oath by your head, because you are not able to make one hair white or black. vs36…He didn’t want any of this foolery to touch us.

I am in no way a perfect person. I tend to make mistakes every day. I consciously  set out to do things starting on the right foot but sometimes land on the wrong foot. My intentions are good though. I do my best to not break my commitments. I have been taking care of the most wonderful man with Alzheimer’s. He is no longer in my care but now in a memory support facility. Although I will be moving on, I will keep my oath to him to see him almost daily. I will read him the poems we used to say. I will sing with him like I used to and I will allow him to read the obituaries like he used. I will do all of this because I took a vow to help him in his disease. This also is my oath to the Lord!

Jesus took an oath for each one of us as he hung on that old rugged cross. He promised us eternal life with Him in heaven if we believe. He did not attempt to ever pull the wool over our eyes.

This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life. 1John 2:25 NASB

Have you broken a vow?


Matthew 5:31-32 Whoever divorces his wife must give her a legal document. But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman, commits adultery.

These two verses of Matthew 5 are always hard for me to read. I’ve read them over and over through my Divorced-Christian walk with God. I’ve heard several different preachers and Bible scholars preach and speak on the topic; but what does my own heart, mind and soul say on the subject of divorce? Remember, these are my thoughts. You need to go to God with your own failing marriage to God. I’m simply sharing from my own experience.

Divorced people want to feel justified and purified


criticized and chastised for their failed marriages.

There’s such a stigma about divorced people in the church and Christian community, even to this day when the divorce rate is running rampant. I don’t support divorce, but I don’t chastise it either.

I’ve been divorced twice and to this day I can say that neither marriage was a mistake. Were the divorces a mistake? I really don’t have an answer to that yet. My first divorce left me feeling abandoned and broken, empty and confused, angry and scared. I flew right from that marriage into the arms of another man. I didn’t skip or lightly tiptoe into another relationship-I RAN!!!

I flew with my bags filed with unresolved harsh-divorced feelings. It was wrong and unfair to both of us. His sins and failures trickled and then lingered into the relationship as well as mine. The second divorce left me once again, sad, confused, abandoned, scared and angry. One marriage lasted 23 years and the other lasted only two. Both divorces were awful.

So why does Matthew 5:31-32 convict me? Did immorality take place in one of the marriages?  Yes! What about adultery? Yes. Were they on my part? No! But for many years, I still wore the guilt of DIVORCE on my forehead. Why? Because people simply didn’t understand.

How can we remove the guilt and shame that we feel from divorce?

Does God want us to live in that shame?

Remember, these are my thoughts from pondering with God…I believe that we remove the guilt and shame from divorce when we truly repent. There are always two sides to every story; two sides to every feeling and fight. I had to spend many hours day-in-and-day-out on my knees asking God for His favor. I had to admit my faults and give them over for purifications. I had to cry out and saturate my pillow with my sinful tears in order to feel my shame being lifted.

The second part of having my shame removed was walking in forgiveness. No one is perfect and I had to climb down off of my own moral high horse and finally forgive. It doesn’t mean that I forgot the pain, but, I finally reached a point that I didn’t allow the anger and unforgiving spirit rule my day. Only through the help of the Holy Spirit, was I able to resist the evil thoughts that wanted to rear their ugly head every day.

God does not want us to live in shame but He will allow us to camp out there until our hearts are straight with Him. He tells us in Matthew 5:43, You have heard it said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and ‘hate your enemy.’ and 5:44 tells us that Jesus said, ‘But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you.’ That’s hard. I don’t want to love the men that absolutely broke my heart; but I had to allow God to put that love back into my heart. It’s not the love you have for a spouse but rather a love you have for a person. It’s a love instructed by God.

There can not be finger-pointing when it comes to divorce. We all can forgive somebody, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t consequences for actions.  It’s hard to think about standing in front of Jesus on judgment day and say, “I expect forgiveness, even though I didn’t  forgive so-n-so.” We all must forgive, and it’s not easy.

Mark 11:25 ESV

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

I wish I could give more solid advise to those who are thinking of divorce or are going through a divorce. All I know is that I had to come to my own conclusions on my own and do what I felt God was guiding me to do. Again, I’m not saying He is okay with divorce…But He is in the business of grace and mercy. He is loving and forgiving. Beth Oct 1 2015

Hitting the Unlike Button…Beth Farley


What makes us the object of God’s Favor?

Mocked someone lately? Unjustly judged someone lately? Forgot to forgive lately? Have you caught yourself forgetting to humble yourself before the Lord so that you can be the object of His favor?

Consider the proud Pharisee who thanked God he was unlike the sinning tax collector; now consider yourself, puffed up, thanking God you are not like THAT sinning woman! Yet, that tax collector, deeply became aware of his own insufficient righteousness and cried out, “Lord, have mercy!” Have you cried out for mercy lately?

The tax collector found himself humbled and in need of God’s grace and mercy. He became the object of God’s favor. (Luke 18:13-14 NIV).

“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

In order to be the object of Gods favor, we must depend on being rightly related to God, despite our external circumstances. How do we serve when we are riddled with our own sins? Ouch! That one hit home for me. How do you help serve communion when you despise the poor or judge the unwed pregnant woman?

Why do we think it doesn’t matter? Because most often we fail to see our own deep sins and our need to call out to the only one who can ultimately help us; Jesus. When we begin to think like Jesus, we begin to be the object of His favor. When we don’t cast stones or judgement, we begin to bridge over into God’s favor. This is so unlike what the world is telling us. On a side note, what do you think of the unlike button controversy on Facebook? Are we going to cast more judgement? Are we going to cast more un-forgiveness or blatantly mock others?

I ask myself and you to make a commitment to God…Do not partake in anything judgmental, or hit the unlike button without talking to God first.

His message of not blurting-out our dislikes would never fly on Facebook, but it can soar within your heart.

Join us today at livingbygrace as we talk about being the object of God’s favor.

Split in Two

broken heart

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you wished you could be in two places at one time? I remember when my children were little and I had to go to work for a year, I thought I would die. Taking care of my children was the only thing I ever wanted to do and when a second income was temporarily needed, I did what I had to do; but every day I desired to be home with them while I was in the office. I simply could not be in two places at one time.

This past week proposed to be a huge challenge for me and all I could do was cry out, “I need two of me right now.” Ever felt that way?

I remember watching the movie, A Walk to Remember with my daughter years ago. The female, Jamie said to Landon, the man who ultimately fell in love with her, that she had a wish list and of all the things she hoped for to do in her life, one was to be in two places at once. One memorable date had Landon taking Jamie to the state line. He excitedly positioned her on the line in just the right way, and when Jamie asked him what he was doing he tells her “You’re in two places at once”.

Life isn’t that simple though. We have so much tugging at us all of the time. People are demanding things, families are asking for help, friends are in need of assistance and jobs are pulling us  in so many different directions. We simply can’t be in two places at once.

I became a caretaker and had to make some decisions that made me feel awful. I had to be with her but how could I leave him? No one truly understood the predicament I was in. So many times I wanted to be in two places at one time and I was torn by the decisions I made; decisions that were unfavorable to some were favorable to others. 

Aren’t we glad God is everywhere? He is omnipresent. He can be with me the same time He is with you. He can be healing her cancer the same time he is with the doctor delivering a healthy baby. He can comfort your heartache while comforting another.  I’ve never understood that holy magical concept until I grew to know His grace and mercy; until I learned to trust in what God was placing on my plate.

When we can’t be somewhere else while we’re here,  we need to be reminded that God will take care of the “somewhere else” in our lives while we are tending to the “here.” He will always work things out and He will always be everywhere we need Him to be at all times.

Jeremiah 23:23,24
Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.

Panic Attacks Got You?

Fear of the Unknown

Today, the fear of the unknown gripped me. I was backed into the corner with a panic attack; briefly I was unaware of how to respond to a fearful circumstance. Many years ago I was diagnosed with panic attacks and thank God, throughout the years with some very good therapy and prayer, I’ve learned how to handle them when I feel they are welling up inside of me. But, why now?

When is the last time you felt fear gripping you; possibly even driving you towards a panic attack?

When we are feeling backed in a corner with fear of the unknown, it can be very bewildering and frustrating as the sensation of chest discomfort, weak legs and other discomforting symptoms take hold of our heart, mind and soul.

God, help me!!! Ever screamed that out in the middle of your fear? I know I have, over and over again and … over and over again, God has delivered.

The Bible does not speak of panic attacks by name, but it does present several situations that could provoke one. Many times the Bible reads that the people were “filled with fear.” Hello, that’s often followed-up by a panic attack. Look at Psalm 55:4-8, it describes how a heart is in anguish within.

The best way I was able to cover my panic attacks was to normalize them. I consumed many publications about panic attacks and learned not to fear them but rather to recognize them as non-life-threatening. If I become fearful of the unknown, I will usually draw closer to God and remind myself that He is bigger than the fear. That’s exactly what I did recently when I felt the panic trying to get the better of me. Jesus put my fear into perspective when He said, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” ( Matthew 10:28) Another words, most of what we fear is temporary and has no eternal consequence and aren’t we to focus on the things that are eternal rather than earthly things? (Colossians 3:2) I trust Jesus to take my fears and put them into perspective.

What is gripping you? Don’t go through it alone. God is there with you. If you are unable to feel His presence, call a family member, trustworthy friend, priest, pastor, clergy-man, rabbi, or crisis center for panic…Don’t go through an attack alone.

Psalm 23:4 NIV

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me

God’s Drenching Grace


We are in a state of drought. Our grass is going brown, the fields are drying out and the water levels are way below normal. The weatherman keeps promising us some rain but it continues to miss our area.

Finally, our earth received a drenching rain but was it enough? No, it wasn’t. It was a wonderful reprieve, but we need so much more in order to get out of danger.

I started thinking about God’s grace. I am so thankful that when I am experiencing a spiritual drought in my life, I can always rely on God’s drenching grace. He delivers right away; there’s no need to dry out, wither up and die inside.

Titus: 2:11-14(NIV)  For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

Why is it difficult for us to accept God’s grace?

Grace is mentioned 156 times in the New Testament; so as Christians if we believe in the Bible, then why don’t we believe that it’s offered to us for free? I’m not sure about you, but for myself, I feel I don’t deserve God’s grace when I feel as though I have done something so wrong and am not worthy of forgiveness.

But the truth is … Heavens grace is potentially available to all who care to access it by means of the diving plan of redemption. (Romans 5:1). Grace is NOT earned; if that were the case we would boast about it. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

So how can we tap into God’s grace?

First of all, it’s important to mention here that grace and obedience are not enemies. Paul affirmed that grace is accessed by faith (Romans 5:1-2) and yet, faith is of a loving response to God;. (James 2:21-26). I want to obey God; not man; not those who say they are believers but judge, gossip and hurt me behind my back. I want to obey God and accept His grace when HE points out my sins that need to be confessed.

Do you find yourself stretched to the breaking point today? If you’re trying to escape your gloom and doom and/or sins, please know you can’t escape God. Stay still and feel His drenching Grace. It is sufficient for your every need. He will help you out of any pit you’re feeling swallowed up by. You will find that His power is revealed and made perfect through your weakness. Never be afraid to cry out, confess whatever you feel is wrong with your heart today. You have a choice; accept the pardon that God offers. John


Endings…by Beth Farley


How do we know when to end something? Maybe it’s a relationship? Maybe it’s a job? Maybe it’s a church we’ve been attending for years? Making a change is always hard and ending things that are familiar is even harder.

As disciples of Jesus, we are asked to deny ourselves, take up our cross, and give our lives for Him? Is that a tough decision for you? How much do you have to give up? Jesus had predicted His death and Peter rebuked Him. Peter had shown a desire to follow his own will instead the will of God. ID-10083723

So, what changes do we need to make in order to follow Jesus?
1) We have to deny our selves
2) We have to take up our cross
3) We have to make the decision to follow Jesus

Who wants to deny their “self”? I know I don’t like to but have to. Denying my “self-desires” requires me to give up anything that would hinder me from doing the will of God. This does not mean that if we want something we can’t have it. It means that we have to place our wants and desires at the foot of the cross and talk them out with God. This also means that there is only room for one Master in our lives. It can’t be food, money, alcohol, pornography, etc. (Matt. 6:19-24)

Why do we have to take up our cross and what exactly does this mean? Do we have to carry all of our suffering for God? Hardships will come and go, but God is there with us. The cross that Jesus hung on was an instrument of death and total sacrifice for us. He bore the cross for us.

When we take up our cross, we then have to be 100% involved in our walk with Jesus. Our dedication has to involve our whole-being. Our whole body, mind and soul needs to be given to His service in anything He asks of us. This will eventually lead us to a willingness to deny ourselves. It does not happen over night and we don’t always get it right. (1Pet. 2:21)

I have not lost my life for Jesus. I have not learned how to live my life in TOTAL submission to Him. I have not figured it all out. But, what I have figured out is that Jesus suffered and died on the cross for my life; my failures; my burdens. He submitted his life on the cross for me, now it’s time for me to submit my life on this ground for Him.

Will you join me?

Are you in total submission to Jesus? Have you had to give up or end something in order to grow in His will? I would love to hear your comments as I host on

Salvation Combination…Beth Farley

Does Salvation Have a Certain Combination?


Have you ever had to figure out a combination to your locker, your home alarm or your bike chain? Recently I was given the task of letting myself out but was told to make sure I set the house alarm. Was it 6278 or 6782? Yup, I got it wrong. The alarm went off and the alarm company called him to make sure everything was okay.

Does salvation require a combination?

Some say you have to go to a certain church. Some say you have to follow a certain ritual. Some even say you have to sit in the same pew. All are wrong. There is no combination to salvation. Just three words will do it. “Faith in Jesus.”

Just three simple words with the belief that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross, rose again for your sins…And…it’s a gift. It’s the most important gift you will ever receive. Jesus has saved all of us who believe in Him.

John 14:6

Jesus said to him, I am the way the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father, but by me.

There is an assurance of Salvation. The Bible states that For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13 ESV

Again, no combination is necessary. We need to simply believe that Jesus is who He is and that He loves us with an everlasting love and will always forgive and save us. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

When cooking gluten-free, I don’t throw around the word “combination” loosely because the exact measurement of certain ingredients is very important for the perfect end result; but this is not so with our salvation. Our faith in Jesus guarantees us the perfect result; a place in heaven, where He awaits seated by the right-hand-of-the-Father. (Acts 2:33)

What combination are you trying to crack to receive salvation? If you are trying everything on your own and excluding God, please turn from your ways and have faith in Jesus. He will bless you with His grace and salvation. Joh 14:6 and Acts

Investing Time


Do you own something that is old, possibly an heirloom or antique? There are just some things that are incredibly rare and never go out of style. We headed to the ocean when he yelled back to me, “Wait. I want to bring the camera.” I thought he was talking about either a digital camera or his phone. No; it was a Fuji Film 27 exposure 35mm One-Time-Use Camera. I can not tell you the last time I used a disposable camera.  I have to admit, it was fun snapping a few picture and using the old crank winder.  Now, I’ll have to send it in to be developed. Oh the waiting!

As I played around with the old camera I thought about old relationships. I have had the privilege of taking part of rare relationships. I’ve also lost relationships that I thought were priceless but found out differently. I have also been blessed to have long-lasting, precious relationships that I’m very thankful for.

When I  filled up the whole roll with 27 pictures taken, I knew I would have to take the camera to a developing center and get them printed. Unlike the modern digital camera that show the results right then and there, I will have to wait for the results with the Fuji 33mm camera. This is also true about long-lasting valuable relationships. We have to allow the proper amount of time to gain trust. We have to wait for the relationship to almost age in order to become priceless and precious.

I’ve relocated to a new state and am making new relationships. I’m investing time into them because I want them to last. I want them to be healthy precious relationships because we were not created to do life on our own.

“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

                                                                         Genesis 2:18 ESV

How much value do you place in your relationships? Do you take the time necessary to invest in them?

Join us today and we discuss the value of relationships on

Canning or Writing


I’ve had a wonderful day watching some tomato-canning being done. When it comes to being domestic, I prefer to buy a jar of sauce and use a hot glue gun instead of a sewing machine. I don’t know why either because my mom taught me better than that. She has always been domestic, making her own bread and sewing all of my clothes.

No matter how many times I’ve attempted to bake bread, it has always come out lumpy and dense. I’ve made more meals that have been suited for the trash than the plate. It took me many years to realize that I’m just not that domestic. As I age I find that it doesn’t matter because there are things that I can do and do them well.             tomato jars

“What am I then if I’m not domestic?” I would ask myself. Why did it take me so long to realize that I’m not good at some domestic things? Because I was too busy trying to covet other women’s gifts and not seeing my own.

I am loving and giving. I am a writer and organizer. My green thumb is with inside plants not an outside garden. I can entertain with the best of them because I can color coordinate my plates to the napkins. But, don’t ask me to fill the plates with anything too difficult to make. This weekend I couldn’t figure out all of the equations involved in canning tomatoes but I could wash the dishes; it worked!

Do we feel that others owe us validation to make us comfortable with our own talents? If so, we are way wrong. We don’t need anyone to tell us we’re good at anything. If we know that we are living out our lives the way that God intended, then we will be successful in creating our own happy memories.writing while waiting

Take the time to celebrate in who you are. Go do some canning; if that’s your thing. While you do what you’re good at, I’ll write about it.