Today’s answer to yesterday’s broken heart !!

Encouragement for today. Oh, how I needed that message (after unkind words).

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires … and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:22, 24 (NIV) 

Within an hour of Jen sitting at my kitchen table, I had filled her with two cups of coffee and an earful of lies.

“I’m a disaster … I’m fat, I’m disappointing everyone, I’m …”

That’s when Jen placed her coffee mug on the table with a thunk, leaned in and asked, “Cindy, who said that to you?”

Her question stopped me mid-sentence.

Compelled by love, she pressed for an answer, “Really, Cindy, who said that to you?”

My thoughts rolled back through two decades, countless voices and one high school bathroom stall.

Scrawled on the chipped wall of the girls’ restroom were six words: “Cindy is a fat red cow.”

Those words pierced then and were still adhered to me today like a sticky name tag. “Hello, my name is Cindy. I’m a fat red cow.”

The restroom had new paint, I had new friends like Jen and most importantly, I had surrendered my life to Jesus. I was now a Jesus-loving girl, telling anyone who’d listen about how He’d set me free. All that was old was made new! He gave me a new identity and new names.

Yet here I was stuck in old muck. The lies hadn’t lost their stick!

Does this sound familiar? Have you surrendered your life but not your labels? Maybe you’re wearing name tags that read, “Hello, my name is Stupid, Rejected, Hopeless, Unloved …”?

If that’s your story, here’s my question: Friend, who said that to you?

Who told you you’re a bad mom, not good enough, not smart enough, fat or maybe even unloved?

It wasn’t Jesus! The voice of Jesus is love, and His words are always Truth.

Jesus not only receives us, but He also frees us. He sets us free from lies, labels and false name tags that wound but were never meant to stick.

He teaches us in His Word how to live a life set free. Ephesians 4:22, 24 reminds us “… to put off your old self … and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Here’s the thing. Lies don’t fall off; they are taken off. We must choose to peel them off one by one with His Truth.

The Truth is Jesus has named you from A to Z.
You are A — Accepted. Your worth does not come from appearance, accolades or achievements.
You are B — Beautiful. God knits us into His masterpiece!
C — Chosen. God picked you!
D — Delivered. He delivered us from old patterns and habits and made us new!
To Z — Zealous for God.

After Jen’s question, I went back to the basics, A-B-C style. And of all the Truth-filled names God’s given me, I have this one on repeat: L — Loved. Loved. Period.

Yes, I add a period to loved. I am loved, no matter what! No matter how I feel, what I’ve done or what anyone scrawls on the bathroom stall. I am Loved. Period.

And friend, so are you. When old name tags start to stick to your new life, remember it’s your choice where you bend your ear. And the Voice of Truth says you are seen, known and so very LOVED.

Dear God, thank You that Your voice always speaks love, life and Truth. Give me the strength to choose daily to take off lies and put on the Truth so I can live fully, walk freely and remember all You say about me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

1 John 3:1a, b, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (NIV)

Romans 8:39, “No power in the sky above or in the earth below — indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NLT)

Remind yourself and the tween girl in your life that she is LOVED. Period. The LOVED. U & ME Conversations Kit is an engaging, four-session Bible study that strengthens a girl’s relationship with God and her mom (or mentor). Check it out!

Get your free “A to Z Truth-Filled Identity List,” available for download on the GEMS website. For over 60 years, GEMS has been the go-to ministry for spiritual growth for girls through relationships and relevant resources. Stop by today for more encouragement.

Enter to win a free LOVED. U & ME Conversations Kit from GEMS by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 3 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Tuesday, July 7, 2020.}

Listen to the voices speaking to you. If they’re lies, ask God to help you put them off. (And if they’re too sticky, phone a prayer friend!) Put on Truth by declaring you are Loved. Period.

Who needs you to ask, “Friend, who said that to you?” Choose a way to share this today: “You are Loved. Period.”

Cindy Bultema is the executive director of GEMS Girls’ Clubs and has served in ministry for over 20 years. She is passionate about reaching girls and women with the life-changing message of Jesus. Cindy lives in West Michigan with her husband and their four children. When she’s not running her full household, you can find Cindy walking her two dogs, meeting a friend for coffee, attending her son’s hockey games, or trying to figure out what’s for dinner.

© 2020 by Cindy Bultema. All rights reserved.

Mixed message

We rarely remember a dream (right?). Well, last night, I had a vivid dream and it went on-and-on. I was alone in a room. I had a couple of bags but I remember that I was sitting at a table focused on “paperwork.” I was “proofing” or making comparisons in the paperwork. I was waiting for the train. Occasionally, I would walk into the other room to check to see if I missed the train. After an extended period of time, I moved into the lobby and someone asked if they could buy me a cup of coffee. I said, “it’s free.” It was then that I experienced an extremely painful cramp in my right leg. I awakened screaming in pain! “Oh Lord, oh Lord!”

Obviously, I was wide awake and limped into the kitchen for an Aleve. The kitchen and living room were so hot I was forced to turn on the air-conditioner.

“As seen on TV”

Remember those displays in retail stores? “As seen on TV.”  Perhaps those displays still exist but I don’t know because I rarely go shopping.

This morning I saw this item (or something similar) advertised on TV. The commercial sounded great–about a foot and leg massager–but I’ll suffer in (almost) silence. My feet and legs are really hurting this morning.

My legs hurt and my heart is broken!! There’s an old saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me.”  WORDS DO HURT ME!!

Encouragement for today !!

A comforting message. Encouragement for Today.

Appointed For Such a Time as This

I was seven months pregnant, sitting on the sofa in my family room, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. Two planes just crashed into the World Trade Center … on purpose.

My baby will be here in two months, I thought to myself. What kind of evil world is he about to enter? Will he even have a chance?

I called a friend. She was as stunned and heartbroken as I was. We processed our thoughts out loud … and we prayed.

Fast forward about 10 years.

Smartphones became the newest thing. Suddenly, the internet was literally in the palm of our hands and so was our access to sin. The thought of raising my boys in this technology-obsessed age began to overwhelm me.

I called my friend (the same one I called after 9/11). She understood my fears and allowed me to process my thoughts out loud again.

Even if my boys aren’t trying to look up something inappropriate, what if a classmate jokingly shows it to them? And then they’re hooked. What then?

“In what kind of world are we raising our children?” I asked her. “Will my boys even have a chance?”

God knew we would face the challenges we face today. If we continue to pray and stand on the principles found in His Word, God will give us the same wisdom and favor He gave Joseph.

My friend and I ended our conversation praying for our children.

Fast forward another 10 years.

It’s 2020. I’m driving home from work, still trying to process what I just saw. Empty milk, meat and toilet paper aisles, not to mention checkout lines winding halfway through the store. Perhaps you saw it too. It felt apocalyptic. What in the world? A pandemic?

I called my friend (yep, the same faithful one). I voiced my thoughts: “In two months, my baby is supposed to graduate from high school. What kind of world will he enter?”

We reminded one another of this truth: God knows all things. He knew this was going to happen … and that we would all be a part of it.

In Jeremiah 1:5, God says to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Before Jeremiah was even born, God knew Jeremiah would be the “weeping prophet” and speak out against evil during crazy times in Israel’s history.

God also created Esther knowing full well her plight would not be easy. He knew she would become an orphan and that she’d be in a beauty contest competing for the title of queen. But as Esther’s uncle reminded her, she was born “For such a time as this,” and so are we (Esther 4:14, NIV).

God knew my oldest son would be two months away from his high school graduation, and my youngest son would be one lesson away from getting his driver’s license — all during a pandemic.

God knew our plans, and He knew they would be changing. God even knew that racial tensions would erupt in the midst of a pandemic.

But God has given us and our children everything we need … not just to make it through this season, but to thrive and be His voice of hope.

As I pulled up to my house that evening after work, my friend and I did what we always do during uncertain times. We closed in prayer.

None of this fazes God.

Before He created you and me, He knew us and what was in store for us. We have been appointed “for such a time as this.”

Lord, thank You for the hope we have in You. When You created us, You knew the difficult times we would find ourselves in. Equip us and allow us to be Your voice of hope to the world around us. Please cover us with Your peace and protection. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (NKJV)

Esther 4:14, “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (ESV)


Humor me? While searching clipart for another blog message, I found this image. I love it!!  That’s my extended family; they are interwoven. I am trying to shed light in the darkness.

The faithful few who read my blog messages are undoubtedly weary of the narratives about “climbing the family tree.” Change of pace: Sending you love and virtual hugs.

Something old, something new !!

“Someone”  OLD, something new!! In all my years of TV viewing, I never had channels like MSNBC, CNN, and FOX news. Here in Waco, Texas, my TV-provider furnishes those (and Hallmark Channel) at no extra cost. I’ve checked out those news channels and I am horrified with what I’m hearing. There is so much hatred spewed from the mouths of reporterswith the exception of FOX news. I’m distancing myself from programs I’ve watched for yearsand leave the TV on FOX (or TBN). Honestly, the news has been so disturbing (to me), I seldom have the TV on!! Our President isn’t a perfect person but, in my humble opinion, he is treated badly by the media. (There was only one “perfect” man and the crowd crucified Him.)