Unspeakable Joy Devotional



Have you heard the saying “God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called”? Have you felt God calling you to do something and then backed out because it was out of your comfort zone or didn’t think God could possibly equip you to do it?

Moses was chosen by God to lead His people out of slavery in Egypt. But Moses gave five excuses why he was not the one to do it:

Excuse 1: I am not good enough. “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” Exodus 3:11

God sees past the man or woman standing before Him and sees eternity. He sees our potential for good and how our broken vessels can fulfill His ultimate purpose for our own and/or someone else’s life.

Excuse 2: I do not have all the answers. “Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?” what shall I say to them?” Exodus 3:13

Moses grew up in Pharaoh’s household. He had every advantage to learn and cultivate his intellect. He must have been a well read, well educated man, and yet he questioned his abilities. But, he missed the point. This call wasn’t about him-it was about God. Moses didn’t need to know it all because it was never about him in the first place.

Excuse 3: People won’t believe me. “Then Moses answered and said, “But suppose they will not believe me or listen to my voice; suppose they say, ‘The Lord has not appeared to you.’” Exodus 4:1

This excuse is a natural human instinct. Being vulnerable is scary-especially to a potentially hostile group. God didn’t let Moses hide behind this natural human fear. He gave him two miraculous tools to give him the confidence he needed. A rod that could turn into a serpent and his hand leprous and made whole again. He equipped Moses to overcome it.

Excuse 4: I am a terrible public speaker. “Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow to tongue.” Exodus 4:10

Perhaps Moses was being exceedingly humble, or perhaps God truly used a flawed vessel. I believe both are true. God doesn’t call the flawless to do His work. He takes the humble and works His flawless plan through our cracked and broken vessels.

Excuse 5: I am not qualified. “But he said, “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.” Exodus 4:13

Moses’ final excuse is desperate. “Please, anyone but me!” God responds with righteous anger and the excuses stop. God calls Aaron to serve alongside Moses.

God works with each of us where we are and takes us to where He wants us to be. We just need to be willing to leave behind the excuses.

Oh God, enlighten my mind with truth;
Inflame my heart with love;
Inspire my will with courage;
Enrich my life with service.
Pardon what I have been;
Sanctify what I am; order what I shall be
And then shall be the glory
And mine the eternal salvation
Through Jesus Christ my Lord.

Unspeakable Joy Devotional



Why did God give the Ten Commandments? “Then God spoke all these words, “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” Exodus 20:1-2

God gave the Ten Commandments for the personal well-being of His people. God had brought His people out of slavery from Egypt and now they were out on their own. He was giving them rules that would govern their lives. Nowhere in the Bible does it say we can earn God’s approval by keeping the law. The law was given for their personal well-being.

The Ten Commandments: Exodus 20:2-17

1 “I am the Lord you God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.

2 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.

3 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.

4 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work; you, or your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

5 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

6 “You shall not murder.

7 “You shall not commit adultery.

8 “You should not steal.

9 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

10 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s”.

The Ten Commandments not only tell us how we ought to live; they also remind us how far we fall short. No one has ever kept them perfectly, and no one ever will. We are selfish and sinful, and no matter how hard we try, we can never measure up to God’s standard, which is perfection.

This is why we need Christ, because he came from heaven for one reason: to make it possible for us to be reconciled to God. Begin your journey of faith today by asking Jesus Christ to come into your life, and he will. Then make it your goal to grow closer to Him every day.




Ecclesiastes 7:2 “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart”.

When we comfort those who are going through sorrowful times, we are reminded of the shortness of life and the promise of heaven. These are moments that help us realign our lives with God’s will and purpose for our lives. We waste less time on the fruitless pursuits of worldliness and charge forward towards holiness and righteousness. The house of mourning sets in place the reality of that we are ambassadors for Christ and the world isn’t our home.

In Revelation 21:4 we learn that in heaven, God will wipe away every tear and never will sorrow come to His people again. Yet while we are on this earth, we will suffer times of sorrow. Our solid hope is in the Lord to comfort, sustain, and restore us in those day of sorrow.

Revelation 21:4 “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Prayer. Dear God, I am mourning; send me Your comfort now. Wrap Your arms around me and hold me tight. Send angels of mercy to me. Shower Your comfort on me through those around me, and keep far from me those whose words and actions are no comfort. Amen.

“Then you shall call and the Lord will answer; you shall cry and he will say ‘Here I am’.”  Isaish 58:9



Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate


Enjoy this yummy treat!

Banana Bread with Dark Chocolate Chips and Pecans

This recipe is very easy and we love how moist the bread tastes and with a sweet treat of dark chocolate!




1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
3-4 ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips
½ cup chopped pecans, optional


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9X5 loaf pan. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together for about 2 minutes until smooth. Whisk in the egg then add the mashed bananas and vanilla. Mix until well combined. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and pecans.

Pour mixture into the loaf pan. Bake 55-65 minutes until a knife inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.


Unspeakable Joy Devotional



A recipe for life. 2 Peter 1:5-11 “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and goodness, knowledge and to knowledge, self-control, perseverance and perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

We all have our favorite recipes. For some of us it’s a family recipe and the ingredients are a well-kept secret. The first time you prepared the dish you examined it like a map to a hidden treasure, precisely measuring the amounts of each item. You knew the combination of the ingredients would result in something delicious.

In some ways, our lives are like a recipe. The difference is there are no secret ingredients. It begins with faith in Jesus Christ. Peter, a follower of Jesus and one of the leaders of the Church, gave us some ingredients for an even better, more fulfilling life in Christ. Here’s the recipe for an effective and productive life:

Begin with a personal relationship with Jesus.
Add goodness and an equal amount of knowledge.
Stir in self-control and perseverance.
Combine with godliness and a pinch of mutual affection.
Mix thoroughly and bake with an abundance of love.

God does not expect us to become instantly perfect in the qualities listed by Peter, but he tells us that we can “possess these qualities in increasing measure.” Growing in these areas because of our relationship with Jesus is the best recipe for a productive life.

Unspeakable Joy Devotional


IMG_9969                                 As I began work this past week on a new project, a friend shared with me a saying for a window pane I was preparing.  And then she shared with me where this saying came from and I had so many emotions and I wanted to share it.

This is a poem written during WW2, on the wall of a cellar, by a Jew in the Cologne concentration camp:

“I believe in the sun
even when it is not shining
And I believe in love,
even when there’s no one there.
And I believe in God,
even when he is silent.

I believe through any trial.
there is always a way
But sometimes in this suffering
and hopeless despair

My heart cries for shelter,
to know someone’s there
But a voice rises within me, saying hold on
my child, I’ll give you strength,
I’ll give you hope. Just stay a little while.

I believe in the sun
even when it is not shining
And I believe in love
even when there’s no one there
But I believe in God
even when he is silent
I believe through any trial
there is always a way.

May there someday be sunshine
May there someday be happiness
May there someday be love
May there someday be peace…”


We all go through trials on earth. We continue to ‘believe in God even when he is silent’. We know through God’s word that He is always with us, even when He may seem silent. Matthew 28:20 Jesus promised “I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
We can believe that God exists, but God wants us to come to know Him personally. And He has bridged the gap between us by sending His Son to remove the barrier of sin and become that “bridge”. To believe in Christ is to commit our lives by faith to Christ-to trust Him personally as our Lord and Savior.

John 20:29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

There’s always hope, even when you’re at the lowest point of your life.

Keep believing.



Cookbook Review


Thank you to everyone who has inquired about and bought a Simply.Southern cookbook.  I appreciate your support and for helping me donate to a worthy cause, Adam’s Angels Ministry.

I especially am thankful when I receive a comment or a review and I wanted to share this one that I got yesterday:

“Tina, I can’t tell you how much I love the cookbook you signed and gift wrapped for my Mom’s birthday!  I love everything about it, the great recipes, the beautiful photos, your beautiful poem and especially your personal testimony which is such an inspiration to us all!  And the large print on the recipes means I don’t have to find my cheaters.  If anyone is looking for a special gift for a birthday or Mother’s day I HIGHLY recommend Simply.Southern, a Southern Legacy.  It is much more than just another cookbook, it is truly a keepsake!”  by Denise Thomas

Thank you Denise for such kind words.  I am blessed by your friendship and support!

If you would like to get your own copy of this cookbook, please message me at or message me on Facebook through Simply.Southern.

God has truly blessed me through the writing of this book and I pray that it is a blessing to everyone who receives one.