Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Feelings

We've all heard words like "They hurt my feelings" or "I don't feel like it" or "What about by my feelings" or "It hurt me when...". We've also heard "this to shall soon shall pass". Aren't you glad it will?

Feelings are temporary & just because we feel one way today, doesn't mean we'll feel that way tomorrow. Each day we have the choice to act on how we feel or do the next right things set before us. God gives us free will to do so. We may not always feel like doing the next right thing & it may not always be the easiest path to take or the path to least resistance; but, if we listen to God guide us with that still small voice inside, we always make the right choice & reap the rewards of doing so. It's easy to fall into the trap of "knee jerk" reactions based on feelings, but; when we stay centered spiritually with God each day, we find His guidance along with the character & discipline needed to do the next right things regardless of how we may or may not feel.

Today, I won't make permanent decisions or take permanent actions based on temporary emotions & feelings. I'll let God guide me into the rewards that wait on the other side of doing the next right things, even if I don't feel it! Today I'll let Him take me, guide me, & show me the way!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Peace

"Be still & know that I am God."

Peace: a state of tranquility or quiet; freedom from disquieting thoughts; serenity.

What do you do when the storms of life rage about you & you feel like your becoming battered from the wind & waves of life? Can you still find peace in the midst of life's storms? Can you retain your peace & serenity in the midst of life's storms, in the midst of emotionally charged situations that may break your heart? Can you be who God would have you be & remain at peace & secure amidst the storms life may bring?

Sometimes it may take slipping away to a quiet place in prayer. It may take stepping away from emotionally charged situation & taking a minute to breathe, pray & re-center with God. The serenity prayer may work. Whispering the words "be still & know", "God help", "knowledge of your will & power to carry it out" or another simple prayer may help.

Storms in life will come. When I stay centered & grounded in my relationship with God, I am able to hold on to peace in the midst of life's biggest storms. I remember I'm not going it alone for the master of life's sea, can calm the storms that may rage in me or in life around me.

Today, I will remember where my help comes from. Today I will retain peace in the midst of life's storms by staying centered spiritually at the core of who I am with God. I'll take time to be still & know that He is God & experience the peace & serenity in that comes in doing so!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Why!?!

"I will never leave you or forsake you."---God

Ever feel like you can't catch a break? Ever feel like the challenges that come at you are almost overwhelming & back to back at times? Ever wanna say God --- can I catch a break here & get a minute to breathe? Ever wanna ask Him why?

I am not one of those people who believes that God sends bad things to happen to people. I do believe that when bad things happen, God shows up to work & if we look around during & after a tragically seeming event in our lives we can see the hand of God at work bringing good out of bad, joy for sorrow. I believe God can use our experience during these times & how our sustaining faith in Him helps us endure heartache to potentially help others who may face similar events in their lives.

Why? So why is it even necessary you ask? Even though the facts are the facts, I don't have the answer to the deeper question of why? I stopped squandering hours & asking the "why" question long ago. When my former wife & children's mom tragically passed away a few months ago I couldn't tell my children why. When a close friends stage 4 cancer returned after remission & a seemingly successful operation, I couldn't answer why. When the parents of a young friend lost their son to a drug & alcohol overdose recently I couldn't answer why. I can't tell my family why my stepdad was diagnosed with multiple brain rumors yesterday.

I no longer squander hours asking why. Instead I dig deep in times of tragedy & ask God for help. I feel the emotion like everyone else, walk through the process, trust God & let Him sustain me with His peace & serenity at the core of who I am. I show up, suit up & look to see where I can be of service & if I look around I begin to see the hand of God at work bringing good out of bad.

It's a little late to get spiritually centered when tragedy strikes & you need to make a 911 call to God, that's why it's important to do it daily. When you go though situations in life you don't understand, don't become bitter, instead be who God would have you be, look to see where He is at work & trust Him for strength & to see you through. He is the only one you can always count on to never leave you or forsake you & He will faithfully see you through, if, you let Him!

Friday, July 27, 2012

It may not always be easy; but, it's worth it!

"Presenting faith in God & a relationship with Him as a safe haven from which to watch the world swirl past, the door keeping out hardship, and only letting in only obvious blessings might sell well in the marketplace; but, isn't real."

A relationship with God doesn't guarantee an always easy life. It does guarantee an ability to face life head on & successfully live life on life's terms with a sense of greater purpose. It gives the ability to match calamity with serenity. It produces the ability to be grateful for the blessings bestowed to us & reassurance & faith that God will see us through the challenges life may bring. It allows us to live up to our full potential, become who He'd have us be to ultimately fulfill a greater purpose in life.

I've experienced blessings & sorrows, times of joy & celebration & times of grieving & hardship. No matter what the day may bring I never have to doubt the power of prayer or the power of God. He can bring good out of bad, open doors that no man can close & provide answers & provision in a manner that can leave us baffled knowing without any other explanation that His hand is at work in our lives.

No matter where you are in life or what you're going through take comfort in knowing that God's got your back, He's by your side & will always see you through as you trust Him daily to fulfill the greater purpose He has for your life! Today, let your relationship with God cause you to live & experience a blessed life, regardless of what life on life's terms may bring!


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Problem or Solution?

"Grumbling is not based on our circumstances, it's based on the attitude of our heart."

Often when life brings challenges our way, many times back to back, it's easy to get overwhelmed, caught up in these things & begin to complain. In doing so we can overlook the good things going on around us, the things we have to be grateful for, the good things God is doing in our life & the many times He's faithfully seen us through. People not acting right? Relationship didn't work out the way you'd hoped? Finances not where you'd like them to be? Bored & stressed with the job or didn't get the promotion? Didn't get the medical report you'd have liked? Didn't get that grade you worked so hard for? I hear ya!

Have you ever wanted to ask someone "Are we still talking about this"? Today, are you in the problem or in the solution? Are you allowing God to change your outlook, attitude & perception or are you allowing negative thinking & constant complaining about the problem bring a bad attitude, strife , discontentment & ultimately steal your joy? Are you so focused on your problems that you couldn't find a solution if it was staring you in the face?

Today, I'll work to stay in the solution, not the problem. I'll look to God & where He is at work. I'll reflect on His faithfulness & let it replace doubt. I'll do the next right things before me, keep a positive attitude & remember that for every problem I face, God has a solution!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Trust

There are many things in life that can challenge our trust in someone or something. Often it can be the unknowns in which we are pressed to dig deep for faith that God will work things out for our best. Sometimes the tragedies in life can leave us with an underlying question of "why" in which from a human realm we will never know the answers. Our trust can be challenged when people let us down or make choices that are beyond our comprehension. It can e challenged by things that happen to us in which we don't understand.

"When circumstances seem overwhelming, don’t look at what’s happening around you; look to God. He is the author and finisher of your faith. Choose to trust that He is the one who is ordering your steps. Find security in knowing that He is making your crooked places straight and your rough places smooth. Trust in Him and live in the blessing and everlasting life He has prepared for you!"

Trust---a decision just like every other decision we make throughout the day. Today, make a decision to trust God whatever the case may be & let the His peace that passeth all understanding settle deep within your heart!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Judging or Loving

"If you start judging people you will be having no time to love them. If we cannot love the person whom we see, how can we love God whom we cannot see."-Mother Teresa

We encounter people all day everyday. Friends , family, clients, co-workers & people we may not know as we stroll through our daily lives at work, the grocery store, shopping malls, etc. We never know what types of battles people we encounter may be fighting behind the scenes. Can we love them where they are, even those that for whatever reason may be difficult to love right now? Can we speak words of love & encouragement in times in which we'd rather just walk alway?

"A kind word turns always wrath". You never know what a hug, word of encouragement, a phone call, a prayer, or even just a listening ear---a shoulder, might do for one who it might be easy to judge. It's simply not my place to judge others but with God's help to practice love & tolerance & learn to love people right where they are. When I spend time in God's presence, my mind is refreshed & renewed, my attitude & outlook on life changes & that includes my thoughts about myself & others.

Today, are you busy judging or loving? "Now abidith Faith, Hope & Love, but the greatest of these is Love". You never know who you may encounter today that God's put in your path who just needs to be shown some love. Today, spend time loving rather than judging & find yourself a little closer to God in the process.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Dependencies

"There is one who has all power, that one is God...may you find Him now."

For many years I lived my life with dependence on things that let me down. External things to make the inside spiritual void feel better; but, things that often left me in a constant state of disappointment. The jobs were never good enough, the friends came & went, the cars, houses, clothes etc., continually got bigger & more expensive. I would get what I thought I wanted & it would make me feel better for a short period of time & soon I would find disappointment again in my life. The new would wear off & the temporary fix would fade leaving me looking for the next one.

Where are your dependencies? Are they on external things (people, places, things) that can & will fail you & leave you with a sense of disappointment? Do you place unrealistic expectations on others & things only to find yourself disappointed...again & again?

There is nothing external that can or will ever fix an internal spiritual void but God Himself. No person, no place or no thing. I traveled around this mountain for years until one day someone took time with me & truly showed me that it really is an "inside job". Only a daily spiritual relationship with God Himself can fill that inner void & bring true peace, serenity, happiness & joy that can't be compromised by external things around you. I'm as close to God at any given moment as I choose to be.

Do you find yourself in a constant state of disappointment & let downs? Where are your dependencies? God is faithful. He never fails nor will He disappoint. There may be things in life that happen that I don't always understand; but, that's not God's fault. He may not always give me what I want; but, as long as I stay close to Him, He provides what I need & helps me find my way through the journey of life ultimately living with greater purpose & a sense of peace, serenity, joy & happiness that can't be taken away by external things.

Today, let God fill the void in your life & you'll find the external disappointments less disappointing because your dependency is on the One who faithfully never fails!

Thx God!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

"Every saint has a past & every sinner has a future!"

When I came into a spiritual relationship with God, I felt very beaten down, very unworthy & often couldn't see how God could take a twisted sorted past such as mine & use it for greater purpose. I couldn't comprehend God's grace; but, after I began to see God work in my life, I started realizing that He could do just that, take my past & turn it around to use it for good & greater purpose. That's grace right there my friend!

"A wonderful future can lie before any person who depends on God's power, a future of unlimited power to do good works." No matter your past & what you've done God can take it & use it for greater purpose. You may be able to help certain people when no one else can & it may just be because of your past experience good or bad.

Regardless of what roads have led you into a relationship with God, those roads & things you've been through are part of your story, part of your history & part of what may have just have pressed you to be better today. They are not in vain!

Your past can benefit others even if it includes somethings you may not be proud of. Don't let anyone make you think otherwise. Let God make your past one of your best assets, a driving force to be better each day. Let Him use it for greater purpose. The things you've been through & have overcome by God's grace may be just what He takes & uses to give someone else hope that they to can find a better way to live.

God has good plans for your life! His grace makes you worthy---regardless! Today, let God take your past & use it for greater purpose---to benefit others!

Thx God!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Let go. Let God. Let it be.

"I am learning to let go and let God, to have a mind that is open and a heart that is willing to receive God's grace in all my affairs; in this way I can experience the peace and freedom that come as a result of surrender."

Surrender is often associated with a state of defeat. Nothing could be further from the truth. When I surrender something to God asking for His divine guidance, I win, IF, I allow Him to guide my path & my decisions. I no longer have to carry the burden or squander hours worrying about something I can't change when I truly make the hand-off to Him.

Let God lighten your load & find yourself walking with a lighter load, smiling with peace of mind & skipping your way along the road to greater purpose in your life.

Today, surrender to win! Let go, let God & let it be!

Friday, July 20, 2012

- Good will hunting -

Do you have big decisions facing you today? Are you at a crossroads in life & your not sure which way to turn? Are you seeing doors in a certain direction of your life close left & right? You don't have to make big decisions alone. "God is an ever present help" and it's not just in times of trouble.

A few years ago I went from a place of spiritual bankruptcy to slowly but surely developing a solid relationship with God. The more I cultivate this relationship each day the more something deep within happens---it really is an inside job! Whether you call it your God conscious, that still small voice, that gut feeling, the Holy Spirit or however you describe it, when you develop a relationship with God you know what it is when He begins to guide you from deep within. That inner GPS that steers you in the right direction or alarms like crazy when you're about to make a bad decision.

Today, no matter what you may be facing, or what decisions you have to make, the question is...Have you prayed about it? Have you asked God for direction? Where is He leading you? Have you invited Him in to help you make the right decision or is it something you want so badly that your almost afraid to ask because deep inside you already know that it may not be God's best or His will for your life?

The attitude of "my way or the highway" often carries a hefty price tag. I've learned the hard way, I pay the price for selfish decisions that go against God's leading & sometimes the price isn't paid overnight, it can take months or years to recover from a bad decision that goes against God's leading.

Today, whatever you facing, know you're not alone. God has a plan for you life. When I follow His lead, my God conscious, my gut, I never go wrong. I continue to move in the direction of His best for my life. When I don't, I better be willing to pay the price & in the end, the price tag of self-will & selfish decisions that go against God's leading are likely gonna cost more than I really want to pay! Today, can you pray "Thy will, not mine" & mean it?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

- You've maxed out your number of chances at forgiveness. -

What if today God decided this for you? What if His grace was no longer applicable to you because you'd reached your maximum number of failed attempts. I'm grateful that His grace doesn't work this way.

"There's nothing more that defeats us than an attitude of indifference or intolerance."---love & tolerance our code. What about you? Do you practice forgiveness in the lives of your family, friends & neighbors, the way God has bestowed it to you? Do you treat your neighbor as yourself or do you sit in judgement of someone today in whom your refusing to forgive with a sense of superiority? Have you made a decision that someone in your life has reached their maximum attempts at getting something right with you & therefore they don't deserve another chance at love, tolerance, forgiveness or even your friendship? Have you become so perfect yourself that your simply intolerant of others who may fall short with things God has helped you overcome or that you can't relate to struggling with. Is an attitude of intolerance really leading by example the way God would have you lead? Is it really an example of God's grace that's been so freely given to you? Is it God's best for your life & the lives of those around you?

I refuse to live a life filled with resentment as I used to in the past. I'm grateful God has shown me a better way. The quickest route to remaining resentful is refusing to forgive & being bitter. What if God treated you today with an attitude of intolerance & unforgiveness? What if He finally just got tired of fooling with you & said enough---no more!

No one is perfect. Today, remember we all stand in the need of God's grace on the road of spiritual progress. Be quick to forgive, slow to speak & slow to anger & intolerance. God's grace is amazing! It never tires or gives up on you & in turn should you really give up on someone else?

"Our greatest glory is not in never failing but it's in rising up when we do with a determination to do things better the next time." Judge me not today for who I've been but who i'm becoming.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

- Frozen in Fear? There's an app for that! -

Fear---That "evil corroding thread", that sick feeling of impending doom in your gut that something bad is gonna happen, your not gonna get something you want or your gonna loose something you have? Fear that God, for some reason, isn't gonna see you through?

When you find yourself frozen in fear ask yourself, "Where's your Faith", the Faith that overcomes fear? The Faith that tells you to press through because God's got your back! The Faith that gives you the courage to walk through the fear knowing in doing so there are spiritual gifts & growth to be received.

"Courage is not the absence of fear but pressing forward when you feel afraid." Be courageous in facing your fears today! Don't let the enemy keep you from God's best by placing doubt in your mind that God's not gonna see you through or that you can't accomplish or walk through what you may be facing. Don't let fear keep you from going forward, doing the next right thing & being who God would have you be. God's bigger than "it", He's got "it" & He's got you---in other words He's got this! He's not new on the job & is highly experienced & faithful in seeing people through. He's your best advocate. "When in fear, we ask God to remove it & show us what He'd have us be."

Take courage in knowing God's bigger than your fears. What would God have you be today? What would He have you do? Keep your faith in check, hold your head up & be confident in knowing that God's not brought you this far to fail you now. Today know God's for you & "If God is for you, who can be against you?" Thx God!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Permanent Decisions on Temporary Emotions

We all get frustrated from time to time. If it's not traffic jams making us late for work, it's the barking dog next door, the friend or family member who let us down or a relationship that didn't work out. Life & the things in it can stress us out to the max IF allowed.

"Don't make permanent decisions based on temporary emotions." How many times ...in the past have I been guilty of this to only wish 24 hours later I would have paused, prayed & asked God for direction. God has been patient with me & I'm grateful He's used others to help me find emotional sobriety so I don't have to live that way anymore.

What are the road blocks that are keeping you from peace in your life today? What's the root of disturbances that seem to keep you bound? Is there an unhealthy dependence on something other than on God?

Today, don't make decisions based on emotions that make you feel like its a state of emergency & a crisis plan is required. Pause, pray & ask God for wisdom---He's always happy to give it. Be a keeper of the peace today & the bigger person regardless of the jams you may get in. God will be happy to help you do so, just ask Him & tomorrow you won't have to deal with the regret of not doing so. Thx God!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Looking for approval & a part-time God?

Ever desired the approval of others so much that you've been willing to make decisions & go against your God conscious just to be accepted? Ever let the fear of rejection outweigh God's leading in your life because you so desperately sought others approval & wanted to "fit in"?

What type of message does this send to your Creator---the one who loves you & diligently wants to lead you in the best direction for your life? What if He rejected you in the same manner? Are you really willing to say "no" to God & go against His leading in your life to say "yes" to others in an attempt to be liked by them?

When we follow God & His best for our lives we experience the rewards in doing so & get the best results. We experience peace & find Him placing the right people in the right place at the right time without having to people please or be "puppets" to be accepted by others.

Who's approval do you seek today? Don't compromise your integrity & put your relationship with God at risk. Don't set yourself up for failure. Take a stand & do what's right in your God driven life. Don't compromise your decisions, choices, standards or morals God's instilling in you. If you want a "part-time" God, then thats what you'll get & be prepared to get part time results as well!