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Archive for July, 2011

John 1:12-13

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”

Are you having a bad day?  Stop for a minute!  Read that Bible verse again!  Do you realize who you are?  I am serious, take a minute and think about the fact that if you have accepted Christ as your personal Savior you are a child of God!  Girl, if that doesn’t get you just a little excited this morning then you need to stop right where you are and try this little exercise that I have been doing the last few days:  Bow your head for a minute, right now – what are you waiting for and start to announce to God who He is; The Almighty God, all powerful, The Prince of ALL Peace, the Creator of all, the healer of our broken hearts, the ruler of everything, the owner of all, the King of Kings, just let the Holy Spirit continue telling you the full description of who God is and if that doesn’t excite you then you may want to ask Jesus to come into your heart and forgive you of your sin and be the Lord of your life!

The reason it should excite you about who God is, is because whatever you are facing today, He is big enough to handle it!  It is not a big deal for Him to reach out and touch your situation and take care of you!  He can heal your wounded heart, your self esteem, your finances, your marriage, your wondering child, your frustrating parents, your job situation and the list goes on. 

The reason for starting your morning, every morning with praise for who God is, is to give you confidence in your day!  When we see God for who He is we know that He can handle whatever comes our way today and that is a reason for getting excited about your day!  Today is a new day, start it with the victory and confidence of knowing you don’t just have someone on your side, you have the Almighty God on your side and the best way to remember that is to remind Him of who He is because as you do He will be right there saying, “that’s right, that is who I am and I can and will take care of you today! I’ve got your back!”  Your day can’t get any better than that! 

Quote:  “It’s in the struggle itself that you define yourself.”  Pat Buchanan

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Psalm 8:9

“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.”

 So, how’s your prayer life?  I know you are probably thinking, “What does this verse have to do with my prayer life?”  It has everything to do with our prayer lives!  I have been praying for God to teach me how to go deeper in my prayer life because I feel like I am missing something in my “fast food prayers.”  And well Ladies, I have been missing out on a lot!  I truly believe in always keeping the door open for prayer throughout my day where I can pray to God about things as they come to mind, I believe that goes along with the verse in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 that says, “pray without ceasing” but that isn’t enough.

God has really impressed on my heart that I need to set aside time, other than just standing in the shower to pray.  I need to take the time not only for my devotions but I need to focus in on time to pray.

It was with great sadness that I realized that what I was missing in my prayer life was really the most important part – praising God for who He is!  I have been reading in Job lately and it is truly a tough read but when I got to the chapters where God decided to talk to Job and he was comparing the simplest tasks God does and the overwhelming power He has over things that frighten us and defeat us, I realized that the key to success in any area of our life and especially in our prayer life is to remind ourselves of who is in control and who you are talking to! 

Prayer must start out by praising God for who He is, His majesty and His power and whatever else He brings to your mind about Him!  My daughter asked me the other day why the great men of God always started out their prayers by going on and on about How mighty and powerful and great God was before they prayed; well my first response is because He deserves our praise and then God impressed on me that it is even more for us because as we realize the authority, power, grace and love of God as we speak it, it will increase our faith so we have the ability to pray in faith believing God hears us and is a Great God capable of handling anything we bring to Him.

If you struggle with the praise part of your prayers then start out by reading a psalm at the beginning of your prayer, there are several proclaiming how amazing God is you could even start with Psalm 19.  Ask God to reveal more of who He is so you can praise Him better and trust me He will!

God loves us and longs to communicate with us both through our devotions and through our prayers.  Don’t miss out on any level of growing in your communication with Him.  Start right now by taking a few minutes to just praise God, you can even just turn on some praise and worship music to get you started each day.

Quote:  “It’s not your position in life; it’s the disposition you have which will change your position.”  Dr David McKinley

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Psalm 18:23

I was blameless before him, and I kept myself from my guilt.

 Over the years Bill and I have both had several opportunities to talk to people about forgiving.  Forgiving others can be so freeing and it is necessary for healing and growth in your own life.  But now, God is working on both of us on a new level of this process, let me explain:

Do you have a situation where maybe you were wronged on some level and yet there seems to still be something that is holding you back?  Before I go any further let me also clarify that this is not something that in my mind would fit in situations of abuse and you will understand as I explain whether or not this fits your situation or not.  I went through a time in my life where I felt misunderstood, lied about, people close to me believed the lies instead of seeking truth and I could go on and on with how I perceived the situation and how hurt I was but I thought that it was all ok after a few years because I had “forgiven” everyone.  Guess what, that’s not enough!

While I felt good about myself and somewhat ok with the situation I was neglecting to acknowledge that they weren’t ok.  There was still a strain on relationships that needed to be healed and God impressed on me that I, yes I said I, needed to ask for forgiveness and it was very clear that I was not to defend myself or expect anything in return, I just needed to take responsibility for where I was wrong and for any hurt I may have caused.  I cannot tell you how difficult it was at first to think of doing that and God and I went around a few times when I would say, “but can’t I just explain why…….” And He made it very clear, “NO”.  Just take responsibility for where you were wrong and nothing else.  If Jesus didn’t defend himself then why should I be able to, he really had nothing to be sorry for and I did whether I liked it or not!

Take a good look at your life and any strained relationships you may have and ask God to reveal to you anything you need to take responsibility for and ask someone to forgive you.  I cannot even begin to explain the load that came off my shoulders after I obeyed and the healing God has brought to my own heart and to relationships that mean so much to me!  Don’t hold back because of pride or what you feel you may deserve even if you are right, you may find you have more to be sorry for than you realized and better yet you may find the healing you have been longing for!  Don’t prolong the pain, do it today!

Quote:  “Whether you think you can, or think you cannot….. you are right.”  Henry Ford

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Deuteronomy 8:2

Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands

Have you ever asked yourself “why is this happening to me?”  Why isn’t God doing something about all of this?  We all have tests that God allows in our lives just like the Israelites in this verse.  It’s like when we were in school, we learn and then we are tested to see what we have retained the only difference is; you don’t fail with God’s tests you just keep taking them over in life until you pass. Trust me ladies I know because I have taken some tests so many times over I could have planned them myself unfortunately.  

We don’t know what we really know until we are tested.  God tests us to show us the areas that we still need to work on.  The best thing to do when you hit tough times is to ask God to show you what you need to learn and to just tell yourself, “this is a test and I’m gonna pass it!”  As you pass tests God will answer those prayers and promote you spiritually.  It’s grow up time. 

One of the most important things for us as Christians where our testimony to others is concerned is how we behave during hard times.  There is always someone watching you to see how you will handle life and stability is attractive.  Stability comes through learning who you are in Christ and trusting Him with everything.  If you can do something about your situation then do it, if you can’t it is time to give it over to God and that is true even in little everyday things even.

You don’t have to go up and down with your circumstances.  It is your choice and there is hope and favor when you trust God and allow Him to work in you during the hardships of life. 

Some of you may be going through the toughest time of your life right now but let me tell you that you are just one step away from seeing God’s favor on the other side of all of this.  God will come through!  Now, don’t get me wrong, not everything we go through is a test sometimes life just happens because we live in an imperfect world, but anything you are going through can make you stronger and better suited to serve God and to have His favor and blessing on your life.  It is your choice whether you allow your circumstances to make you better or bitter.

Quote:”Progress involves risks.  You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.”  Fredrick B. Wilcox

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Hebrews 12:1

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,”

What is holding you back and weighing you down?  Is there an addiction, or maybe a “hidden sin”, could it be unforgiveness or maybe you are the one who needs to apologize?  We don’t always have to have some “major” sin in our lives for us to feel heavy and weighed down and it is just way too difficult to run life’s race if we are carrying all of that baggage!  Bill has been running for the last several months and I would think he was crazy if I saw him get ready to run and he came out in his heavy boots, winter jacket, some workout weights and dragging the dog (even if it is a Chihuahua) and yet how often do we try to get through our days doing basically the same thing?

Ask God today to show you what is holding you back.  Don’t allow Satan to hold you back because of your past, hakuna matata, don’t worry about it if it is forgiven it is in your past! (They do actually say that in Africa believe it or not and the first time I heard someone say it that song was stuck in my head for the rest of our trip!)  Don’t allow unforgiveness to weigh you down either!  The person you are not forgiving is probably not even aware or thinking about the fact that you are still upset so you are only punishing yourself – let it go!  If it is an addiction you are struggling with, take one day at a time and know that you have victory today! 

I know what it feels like to think, “I can’t do this anymore, I am tired and I don’t think I can continue.”  Don’t look at doing it for the next week or month, just know you can do it today and tomorrow when you get up, just do it “today”.  Victory comes one day at a time, God doesn’t call you to more than that and He will give you strength for the day you are in.  Do your part and get rid of anything holding you down or tangling you up!  Let it all go for today and start fresh today!  Go in God’s blessing knowing today is a new day and it is going to be great!

Quote:  “Life begins when you do.”  Hugh Downs

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Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

 Keep your eyes on God today, don’t get down thinking all is lost!  God is still on His throne and He hasn’t forgotten you!  Today is a new day and a fresh beginning and He can do mighty things if you will just believe! 

Some days I need to go to God and ask Him like the father of the child that was dying who said in Mark 9:24 “Lord I believe, help my unbelief.”  I don’t always have the faith I need to have but I know that God can give me that as well!  God knows your heart and He knows what is best for you as well as the timing and He is working even when you can’t tell He is!  Some things take time and developing someone else to the point of being able to work things out, but trust me He hasn’t forgotten and He is working on it even as you read this!

Hold your head high today and go in the confidence that God gives you that He is on your side.  Do your part by making sure you are following His leading and not getting ahead of Him in your situation.  I have a difficult time waiting sometimes and love to jump in to give God a little help and well, that seems to make things just take a little longer so wait, trust Him and let Him have your situation, He has your best interest at heart!

Let’s work today on our faith and trust in God and then watch as He does mighty things in our lives by growing us into the women of God He has called us to be!  Victory is yours today so start walking in it and claiming God’s favor over your marriage, your children your struggles and your finances.  Be obedient and seek His guidance in all you do so He can work and move in your life today.  Take one day at a time knowing that the best is yet to come and God will take care of it!

Quote:  “Without hope, people are only half alive.  With hope they dream and think and work.”  Charles Sawyer

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Psalm 119:60

I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.

 What has God told you to do that you are procrastinating doing it?  There are times we are seriously missing out on God’s blessing because we have failed to do what we are told.  What profit is there in putting things off that we know we are supposed to do? 

Bill and I have both had areas God has been working on in our lives in fact the funny thing is we both seem to be working on the same things at times and trust me some of the things He has told us we need to do have been things that were not easy and very difficult but if we truly want God’s blessing on our lives it won’t come if we delay obedience.  I used to tell my children when they were little that to delay obeying is a form of disobedience in itself.  I remember when they were really little counting to three like I have seen some parents do and one day I just stopped midway and thought about what I was doing; I was giving them up to the count of three to just be defiant and not obey.  They were pretty well trained that they could wait until I was on the verge of saying three before they would start moving so I changed it and said, “I will tell you once and if you do not obey immediately there will be immediate consequences.”  It saved me a lot of frustration and taught them that true obedience is done without delay.  The same goes for us with God; are you waiting for Him to count to three?  Why? 

I would encourage you to start today and get that thing done you have been putting off.  The load that will be lifted off your shoulders will be refreshing and you will be amazed at the freedom it will bring to your relationship with God.  Growth in our walk with God begins with obedience and trusting Him to not ask you to do something more than you can handle.

I have a book that I bought to read a few years ago about procrastinating because I struggled in that area and the book is titled:  “Eat That Frog” by Brian Tracy.  It is great because it takes humor and teaches the lesson of how to do what you need to do and do it now.  One tip was that if you had to eat two frogs (unwanted tasks you are putting off) eat the ugliest one first. 

The key is just do it!  Whatever God has impressed on you to do, just be obedient today and do it!  There’s no point in waiting any longer, the task isn’t going anywhere, and you are just delaying your blessing on your life.  I would encourage you today to ask God what you need to tackle today and ask Him for the strength and discipline in your life to get it done!  He will bless you as you obey!

Quote:

Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.

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