Wednesday, October 31, 2012

God's GPS

"Deep down in every man, woman, and child is the fundamental idea of God.  We can find the Great Reality deep down within us.  When we find it, it changes our whole attitude toward life."

So many times in the past, I've given God the things I wanted Him to have, and kept in a corner of my life, on the side, in my hands, a thing, something or somethings that I wanted to control. "God you can have those things; but I got this one."  Looking back, was it that I didn't trust God to provide the outcome I wanted?  Was it that I wanted to force a certain desired result, outcome or continue in a behavior which wasn't God's best for my life?  Was it that I simply didn't want to let go and let God knowing that it might mean giving up something that had become important, close, or selfish to me?  The answer to all these questions---YES!  My inner God conscious, His GPS that guides my life was alarming the whole time and I knew the things I was keeping "on the side" weren't God's best, and living in this manner wasn't surrender to God's will and His best for my life.

I can't fully and successfully pray "Thy will not mine", and not fully surrender my will and my life to Him and mean it, if I'm holding onto things that I am trying to control and manipulate---if I'm not giving God everything and every aspect of my life.  Yes, that means everything, which I learned, the hard way after much pain, suffering, and wreckage.

 "In all of us there is an inner consciousness that tells of God, an inner voice that speaks to our hearts.  It is a voice that speaks intimately, personally, and often in a time of quiet prayer and meditation.  It is like a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.  We can reach out into the darkness and figuratively touch the hand of God."

What are you holding onto today?  What is your inner God conscious telling you, directing you, leading you to do?  Are you going against His lead, His best, His direction, His inner voice, His internal GPS that guides?  What are you keeping on the side, from God?

Today, trust God, His inner voice, the internal GPS that's built into to get you from point A to point B and lead you into the fullness of your Creator.  Today, give God the "sides" of your life that you've been holding onto, surrender it all, everything to Him.  Let Him do His perfect work in your life, be who He'd have you be, give it all to Him, and let the peace that passes all understanding take hold of your life and take you to the greater purpose and places He has in store.  Today, fully pray "Thy will, not mine", mean it, and gain the benefits and divine results that come in doing so and following God's lead in your everyday life!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

With every end...there is a new beginning.

"Be strong and of good courage.  Be not frightened, neither be dismayed..."

We've all experienced the "end" of something.  A job, the end of living in one place and moving to another, the end of school or college, the end of a relationship or friendship, the end of a friend or loved one's life..."the end".

With every end, there is a new beginning.  One of my favorite documented prayers is the prayer of St Frances of Assisi.  If I can live out just a small portion of this prayer in my everyday life, I'm doing pretty good.  One of the lines of this prayer says "For it's in dying, that we awake to eternal life."

"At the end of every storm is calm.  At the end of every argument is silence.  At the end of one relationship there is another.  Although life is composed of many endings, there are just as many "new" beginnings.  Life goes on."

Are you experiencing the end of something?  Maybe something for the better, maybe something you need to get rid of in your life, maybe something in which you're struggling with the loss of something dear.  Whatever the case maybe, take heart for with every ending, there is a new beginning.

Today, have you died to self in order to have the the new beginning God has for you?  God's grace is readily available to take you to the best life He has for you.  If you are experiencing the end of something, let go and let God take you to the new beginning.  Take heart in knowing the God of second chances is also the God of new beginnings.  Today, walk hand in hand, step by step with your Creator and let Him take you from "the end" to the new beginnings He has waiting and in store for your life!

 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Have you made room for God's favor in your life?

"I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the God in the land of the living.  Wait on God, be of good courage and He shall strengthen your heart."

Are you in a situation today that looks impossible?  Are you facing things in which you don't have the answers, know how something could ever work out, or struggling with laying something down, getting something out of your life, or letting go of something that isn't God's best for you?  Whether financial, legal, a relationship, a wrong that needs to be righted, an addiction, whatever "it" may be, God know's what's going on in your life.  He sees your struggles.  He sees your heart.  He sees your pain.  He sees you right where you are and wants to take care of the things that maybe concerning you, troubling you, or causing you pain, worry, fear, and concern.

Have you made room in your thinking, in your prayer life, in your belief systems, in your attitude and outlook on life that God's favor can work on your behalf?  Could it be that limited thinking or living in a manner in which you continue in old behaviors, going against who deep in your heart you know God would have you be, is blocking you off from God's spirit, favor, and the good things He has in store for your life?  There have been so many times in my life that I could not have penned on paper how things would work out; but, the answers came in ways I could have never imagined and God's faithfully seen me through.  It may have been in the midnight hour before an answer was needed; but, when I've kept the faith, not given up, and trusted God, He's always faithfully been right on time---not on my time---but His.

Today, no matter what you face, give it to God.  Get rid of the things that hinder, that bind you, turn them over into His hands and let the plan and design He has for your life begin to unfold.  Don't rule out that God's favor can work on your behalf!  He can open doors that can't be closed and close doors that can't be opened.  The answers may not come when you think they should. The outcome may be different than you think it will; but, if it's for your best and fulfills God's master plan for your life taking you to where you need to be, you can one day look back in an attitude of gratitude and thank God for seeing you through.  My friend, keep the faith, surrender you burdens, your problems, your concerns and the things that are weighing you down to Him.  Ask for knowledge of His will and the power the carry it out in every area of your life.  Today, make room in your life and your thinking for God's favor and begin to see the answers come, His hand work in your life, His greater purpose unfold, and things begin to work out for you in ways you never imagined or thought possible!  


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Anticipating God's goodness

Do you live daily anticipating God's goodness?  Do you wake each morning, thanking God for another day of life He's given, excited for the ability to live it to the fullest, or with your mind cluttered with fear, racing with the things that face you, fear of tomorrow, the unknown, the what if's, anxiety, lack of direction, morbid reflection of the past, or just a sense of impending doom that something bad is gonna happen?

"Do not be anxious about anything; but, in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.  The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hears and your minds."

God's got this, and He's got you if you let Him.  When I wake daily, thankful for another day, surrendering myself, life, and will to Him, asking for His divine guidance and protection---knowledge of His will and the power to carry it out prayed as a blanket over my day, and my life, I get the direction needed.  I feel a sense of His direction and power flow in my life.  I can live peacefully and excited in anticipation of what the day will bring and that God's gonna get me where I need to be.  I don't want to miss a moment. I can be guaranteed He's gonna guide my steps.  He's going before me, making the paths straight, and will not lead me astray.

Today, God's on your side.  Are you on His?  Be grateful for another day to live life to the fullest with greater purpose.  Anticipate God's goodness.  Look to see where He's at work.  Let Him show you what needs to be improved in your life.  Give Him your fear, worry, and the "unknowns", and let His guidance and "God doing" take you into the good things, better places, and divine purpose He has for your life.  Today, anticipate God's goodness, look forward to it, be aware of it, and rest assured you'll see His hand at work in your life.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

God pleaser or people pleaser?


"If you're going to overcome insecurities and be the person God's called you to be, you must have the courage to be different---to be you.  Unhappiness and frustration happen when we reject our uniqueness and try to be like or please others.

Am I a people pleaser or a God pleaser?  God didn't make you to live for other people's approval.  He knew what He was doing when He created you.  You are a unique individual.  It's time that you accept yourself and stop being insecure about who you are.

Today, I will not fear man.  God did not design me to live for the approval of others.  Today, I dare to be a God pleaser, not a people pleaser, living and being who He created me to be."

Friday, October 26, 2012

Out with the "OLD", in with the "NEW"

"For I know the plans I have for you...thoughts and plans for welfare, peace and not for evil...to give you hope in your final outcome."

What "junk" do you need to get rid of in your life, your mindsets, your way of living and your daily walk with your Creator?  What things in your life are you hanging onto that are keeping you from the "new" things God is trying to do in your life?  If God has a purpose and plan for our lives (and I believe He does) how will we ever find it if we are continuing to old behaviors, patterns, thought processes, and a state of settling where we are, if we don't let the "old" things go in our lives and make room for the "new"?

Can you see the "new" things God is trying to do in your life, His hand at work, God doing or are you so bogged down with "worldly clamors" that are mere distractions keeping you from focusing on the hand of God at work in your life?  Are you so involved in the "old" that there's no room, time, or place for the "new".

Today, don't be willing to pay the high cost of low living and sell yourself short by hanging onto the "old" and sacrifice or miss the "new" things God is trying to do in your life.  Rise higher, live cleaner, clean house, and open your mind and your eyes to see the hand of God doing in your life and in the things around you.  Witness Him working on your behalf.  Today, God has "new" things, higher places, blessings and a great purpose for you and your life.  Step up to the plate and don't settle for less than God's best.  Get rid of the "old" things that are holding you back so that He can do the "new" things in your life and take you to places you never thought possible!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Let not your heart be troubled.

"My peace I give you...let not your heart be troubled and do not be afraid."

What's troubling you today?  What troubles you repetitively in life?  Maybe it's frustration with a job in which you feel is a "dead end".  Maybe it's a romantic relationship that keeps you twisted?  Maybe you feel that you will never find the right romantic relationship and will be alone the rest of your life?  Maybe it's finances.  Maybe it's a family member or friend?  Maybe it's an abuse from your past or traumatic event in life in which you've never let God heal the wounds, and you've never moved past living in a victim mentality.  Maybe it's feeling less than because of past mistakes in your life and that your not good enough, ashamed, and can never amount to anything.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

If there's one thing I've learned in life, we are powerless over others; moreover, people, places and things.  I do have free will to do as I please; however, am I doing and living my life so God is pleased?  Am I involved in things that I know are not God's best for my life?  I no longer have to live my life twisted up over what someone says, does or doesn't do, a situation or circumstance, or an external force, IF, I'm surrendering my will and working to follow God's lead---His best for my life.  I refuse to let anyone or anything steal my peace, serenity and joy or sense of well being that come in a solid relationship at the core of who I am with my Creator---I've worked to hard and it's taken to long to finally get it.

Have you surrendered the things that twist you up and turned them over to God?  Have you asked His protection and care, His divine guidance, His will in these situations?  Are you going against the inner God voice in a situation in your life, knowing it's not God's best for you; but, doing it anyway.  If or when I do, I began to be troubled, life gets complicated, and things get off in my life.  Fear can even ensue.

Today, look at what's troubling you, the core of the issue, give it to God and let Him set you free from trouble, worry and fear.  His plans for you are good; but, you will never find them going it alone in self-will, running on your own willpower and thinking you know what's best for you without seeking His guidance.  Ignoring God's leading can cause you to live a troubled life with consequences and experience pain to such an extent that you can get downright miserable.  Today, "let not your heart be troubled".  Surrender your situation to God, and let Him guide you in the right direction, down the right path and experience His divine direction begin to work in your life ultimately bringing peace to calm the storms that may be rage within.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Should of, could of, would of... (shoulda, coulda, woulda)

"Dwelling on the "shoulds" of past years is fruitless.  We did the best we knew how to do at the time.  The past is gone.  Let's quit digging up the bones of old regrettable experiences.  All they do is cloud our minds when we're trying to respond to today's opportunities."

Morbid reflection:  Psychologically unhealthy or unwholesome;  Characterized by preoccupation with unwholesome thoughts or feelings.  

For a long time after God began to help and turn my life around a few years ago, I struggled often with morbid reflection over the things in the past I wished I had done differently.  It  was clear self-will run riot had caused so much wreckage in my life and relationships.  At times it was overwhelmingly unclear, early on, if I'd ever be able to right the wrongs of my past.  While there were some good things sprinkled in the mix of my past, there were tons of things that I knew I could have done better, harm done to others that I had to right and quite frankly at the time---many regrets.

"We do not regret the past or wish to shut the door on it."  Today I realize, while yes there are some things I could have done differently, I do not get a re-do, or an ability to turn back the hands of time.  Please don't get me wrong here, but my past is what has pressed me, pushed me, and motivated me to be better and who I am today.  Is it part of my life story?  Yes.  Am I proud of past mistakes and wreckage caused to friends and family by the way I lived and the choices I made?  No.  Is it what has pressed me to be better today?  Absolutely.

"But we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to others."  Today, I'm grateful that God's given me the opportunity to right the wrongs of my past, learn from my mistakes, and capitalize on them to become who I am today.  I had to let go of the life I had, to have the life I have today and today is what I have to work with.  I'm grateful I don't have to live life the way I did for many years.  

Today, are you living your live in "morbid reflection" of past mistakes?  Are you beating yourself up cause you are working to grow in your relationship with God and you can't go fix everything from your past overnight.  Give it time for in God's time, there will be opportunities to make new beginnings, mend relationships, and right the wrongs that need to be settled.  Today, don't let morbid reflection and regrets from your past block you off from God's spirit and keep you from living your best life now, today, this moment.  Seize every moment, and every opportunity God gives you today to the best that He calling, guiding, and instilling in you to be.  Don't let your past cloud today's vision!  Let your past mistakes simply be a motivation to be a better you!  Capitalize on the opportunities He's placed before your today as you fully embrace His grace and walk in the fullness of Him guiding you to live YOUR BEST LIFE NOW!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Free Will. What will you do with it today?

"Its obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time; repetitive loveless; cheap sex, a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness, trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat competition; all consuming yet never satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided lives, small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community...

...But what happens when we live God's way?  He brings gifts into our lives.  We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people.  We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely."

God gives each of us free will.  Each day we have choices.  We have opportunities placed before us to better ourselves, and be of service to God and our fellowman.  What are you doing with your free will?  Are you pursuing the things God would have you?  Are you in the relationship and/or in the company of who God would have you be in?  Are you building others up or tearing them down to make yourself look better or moreover, get what you want?  Are you working each day to use your God given free will to walk down the path of greater purpose, victory, joy, and happiness that comes in following His guidance in your life?  If God can create the beautiful fire red sunrise that I watched from my loft window this morning, I'm absolutely certain, without doubt, that He can direct my life and guide me to use my free will wisely.

Today, what will you do with your free will?  Will you use it selflessly to feed selfishness and self-contentedness or will you use it to make good Godly choices that take you to the next level of promotion God has in store for your life---to better things?  Will you take good orderly direction (GOD) and use it/HIM wisely?  The same mighty hand of Creation, the Spirit of the Universe loves and cares enough about you to reach down and guide you into better things in life. Today, the question is, will you let Him? Make good use of your God given free will today, the way He'd have you, and find yourself in the middle of His will reaping the numerous benefits that come in doing so!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Not who I've been; but, with God's help who I'm becoming.

"As a man thinks in His heart, so is He."

What are your thoughts about yourself?  What voices are you listening to?  The voices of men, "nae-sayers", or the thoughts in your mind that may have been instilled since childhood or a time in your life from the past, telling you that you aren't good enough, can never amount to anything or cannot overcome and live the life of victory God has for you?  Maybe it's the voices of critics, or "nae-sayers" who may look at you or your past saying "look at what they did in the past, they'll never change, they've always been that way, they'll always be that way", "they haven't changed", OR, are you listening closely to the voice of God letting it resonate deep within affirming that you are on the right path, working to be better, stronger, and growing more each day in your relationship with Him and becoming a little more each day who He'd have you be?

I'm grateful that I'm not who I used to be and that change, with God's help, continues to be for the better daily.  Those closest to me see it, realize it, celebrate my successes with me, build me up and don't tear me down.  Those distant from me, or who know very little about how I live my life, may not.  I'm grateful that God has freed me from the opinions of others and morbid reflection of mistakes of my past, and used my past to build an effective foundation and motivation for ongoing improvement, a state of remaining teachable, and a desire to be a little better version of me each day.

"It's not my place to worry about what others think about me."  Yes, I do work to have a good image today, to keep my commitments, to grow in understanding and effectiveness with God and my fellowman and work to build a good reputation; but, regardless of how hard we may try, there will always be critics, people who don't care for us, or people who think we will never change, can never change, or haven't changed.  It's OK for that's not mine to own, take own, or let burden me down.  I know who I am in my relationship with my Creator with a firm belief that He is guiding my steps and my path, and that He and I are good.  Hopefully, you can you say that today about yourself as well.  

Today, let God take your thoughts to a higher plain.  Keep your focus on the prize, not on the mistakes of the past, or even, if it happens, a mistake today.  Learn from them, grow from them, and with God's help move past them to be better.  Listen to what God says about you.  Take heart in the fact that He's guiding your path and leading you into the person He'd have you be, and into the life of victory that He has in store.  Today, take heart in knowing, it's not about who you've been; but, who, with God's help, you are becoming & let God take you to the better places of victory, happiness, freedom and greater purpose He has in store for your life!    

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Believe.

"Do I believe, or am I even willing to believe that there is a Power greater than myself (God)?  As soon as a man can say that he does believe, or is willing to believe, we emphatically assure him that he is (well) on his way.  It has been repeatedly proven among us that upon this simple cornerstone a wonderfully effective spiritual structure can be built."

Believe:  to have a firm faith; to accept something as true; to have a firm conviction as to the goodness or ability of something.

What do you believe in today?  We believe the lights will stay on if we pay the power bill.  We believe we will be able to communicate via phone as long as the bill is paid.  Maybe it's friends or family we believe in, that we can trust, that have proven to be there through thick and thin.  From a greater perspective, what do you believe in today?  Do you believe that there is a power greater than you, God, working on your behalf to get you from point A to point B if you allow Him.  One who can do exceedingly and abundantly above all we, in our human minds, could ask or think.   If not, why?  Do you struggle with the conception of God?  Maybe you've been jaded by hypocrisy of someone who claims God; but, their lives don't bear the fruit of what walking with Him can bring.  Maybe you feel angry with God because of a tragedy or a traumatic event in your life---that in reality, God had nothing to do with, yet you blame Him for it.  Maybe it's difficulty from a scientific background in being able to comprehend that God is out there, working on your behalf, because He can't be documented or fit into a scientific formula that on paper makes sense to you.

I may not truly understand God and all His ways, I may not be able to pen on paper how He works, His greater plan and purpose, why somethings happen and some don't; but, when I seek Him, no matter how, He's found and a few years ago when I truly turned my will and life over to Him, and His divine guidance by just a simple willingness to believe in Him in a state of surrender, I truly began to see things change in my life for the better.  I could see His hand at work in my life, getting me from point A to point B, working on my behalf to bring things about that I needed, not necessarily that I wanted, or thought I needed; but, what was, has and continues to be best for me.  It's an ongoing daily walk of spiritual progress that strengthens my relationship with Him and who He is and continues to be in my life each day.

Today, if you've struggled with believing in God, let your un-belief go.  Give Him and His grace a chance to work in your life and lead you into greater purpose, victory, and blessing.  He really doesn't make the terms hard for those who seek Him.  You don't have to feel worthy.  You may have a laundry list of wreckage in your past and feel you could never be in right standing with Him.  Nothing could be further from the truth for that's where His GRACE kicks in.  God's GRACE makes you worthy.  Today, give God a chance, a chance to work in your life, to work on your behalf, to take you to places you never thought possible.  Today, open your mind to God and begin living in the fullness, joy, and victory that are available to you as you begin to let the goodness and guidance that only He can give take you to places in life you never thought possible.  Today --- BELIEVE!      

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Compromise

"Compromise endangers you in ways you may not realize."

What areas of your life are you compromising today?  I'm not talking about a compromise from a business perspective where there's an impass in a business decision and those involved compromise to move forward for the betterment of a company or organization ( a meeting in the middle ).  I'm talking about compromise in your daily life, your walk with God, the following of His lead when that still small voice inside directs you one way yet you continue go another.

Today, is it a romantic relationship that you know isn't healthy for you and God is saying "no"; but, you keep saying "yes"?  Is it a friendship in which you compromise your actions, words, and deeds in order to gain acceptance, knowing, it's going against every fiber of who God would have you be, how he'd have you act and carry yourself; but, you continue acting in bad behavior and going along with "the crowd" to be accepted.  Is it denial that you have a problem or issue that needs to be dealt with, addressed, and/or resolved; but, you continue ignoring it, doing it your own way, blocking yourself off from the sunlight of God's spirit and the better things He has for your life?  Maybe it's going along with dishonesty in your job to keep the boss happy because you're in fear of standing for the truth and that it may cause adverse actions to your job and financial security?  Maybe your compromising your integrity because you need to be honest in a situation in your life with someone and you continue to walk in dishonesty and untruth.

Where are you compromising today?  What areas of your life is God leading you in one way, yet, you continue to go another?  "Compromise endangers you in ways you may not realize.  It breaks fellowship with God, and because you've ignored His guidance & leading, your strength to resist temptation is weakened.  It also impacts your integrity, your witness & your effectiveness to God and your fellowman."

Today, refuse to compromise yourself, values, your integrity or even more importantly, the divine hand of God's direction for your life---who He'd have you be.  It may mean that certain people are no longer in your life.  It may mean a new job.  It may mean "speaking the truth even if your voice shakes".  It may mean change; but, when you follow God's lead, and don't compromise His guidance in your life, you'll find yourself living your best life now in victory, blessing and divine purpose He has in store.  Take care of yourself, your relationship with God, follow His lead and don't compromise---you can't go wrong.  When you do, you'll find God taking care of you and all the people, places, and things that may concern you!


Friday, October 19, 2012

Pain inevitable. Suffering optional.

"What a different world this would be if people magnified their blessings, the way they did their troubles."

Pain comes to us all.  I'm not talking necessarily about physical pain; but, the pain that comes when life brings challenges our way and the heart breaking tragedies strike that can take us to our knees under the weight of a traumatic or painful life event. As children of God, we are not insured against life's challenges; but, we are guaranteed that our Creator will never leave or forsake us, He will be with us till the end.  He can take what could have destroyed us, taken us down, stamped us out, and turn it around for good, IF, we allow Him.

Every difficulty has a choice:
  • Waste your pain and/or suffering and be miserable.
  • Let God use it to transform and equip you to become more valuable, effective, refined, and more mature in character---a better you.  
"Many people never experience the joy of freedom because of a wrong mindset concerning suffering.  When we choose faith to be joyful while we are going through difficult transitions, knowing God loves us, we can rest assured that it will produce a good end."

No matter what your going through, God can use it to draw you closer to Him.  Today, let God turn your sorrow into joy and use the challenges life places before you as opportunities to grow more into who He'd have you be with better character, increased faith, and a closer walk to your Creator.  The sun will shine again, and when it does, if you keep the faith, it will be brighter than before and you'll find yourself a little stronger in the process.  




Thursday, October 18, 2012

The only inventory I need to take...is my own.

"If only His arrangements would stay put, if only people would do as he wished, the show (life) would be great. "  If only...

For years I lived my life manipulating, controlling, and pressing for desired outcomes to situations that I thought best.  Being in control & getting my way was top priority.  Professional training to drive results with people to implement change in corporate entities flowed over into personal relationships and those skills often damaged friendships that at one point in my life I considered important.  Manipulation and control became a specialty and when things didn't go "my way", the only choice for those who didn't meet my expectations, give me what I wanted, or do what I asked, was "the highway".

Thank God, I don't have to live my life that way anymore.  God's brought freedom in my life from this bondage.  In working with others who've overcome the same things, I've learned the beauty of loving people where they are.  Letting them find their way to God, while I work to be who I need to be---who I feel God would have me be.  At the end of the day, it's not my place to judge and the only inventory I need to take is my own.

Is my own house clean?  Am I working to better myself each day in my relationship with God, family, friends, co-workers & those He's placed in my life or am I "nit picking" the so called shortcomings of others, pointing out faults or shortcomings, involved in character assassination in an ego driven, spiritual hill-top mentality to make myself feel better because maybe I'm not struggling or dealing with some of the things others are, or because I'm not where they are or living my life the way others may choose to at this point in their life.

We all have shortcomings & things God works to fine tune in our lives.  Today, let God bring you into freedom from fear of people, from being twisted up on the inside when someone doesn't do what you think they should, act a certain way, give you what you want, or live life the way you feel God would have you live yours.  Let God help you focus in on you and what needs to change in your own life instead of what you think needs to change in the lives of others.  Only God can change people, I have no power to do that; but, it's possible to live life in a such a way that God can make your walk, your life, your words, come to life, and be a living example of what a difference truly walking in the Sunlight of His spirit can really bring to life.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

That's why I pray!

"The right answers will come, when, your own house is in order."

Adversity, challenges, opportunities for growth, the challenges that life bring, when allowed, always place me where I need to be on the other side of the "gray" times.  If I don't give up, give in, or give out; but, stay the course, I always can find good out of bad, see a greater purpose, and find that when the sun shines again. I am refined and moving closer to the overall purpose God has for my life.

If your living today, reading this post, breathing, God's not done with you yet.  He still has purpose for your life.  You may still feel as if your not exactly sure what that purpose is; but, as we seek God more is revealed and we begin to see the greater purpose for our lives unfold.

Today, it may be helping others.  It may be a shoulder for someone who just needs a friend.  It may be an unexpected phone call, encounter, something that many would consider "happenstance" may be the hand of God directing your life to the right place, at the right time for greater divine purpose.  It may be those bits and pieces of a greater vision God has given you for your life continuing to fall into place, slowly, piece by piece, until the overall plan is fulfilled.

Why do you pray?  "God is great, but sometimes life ain't good.  When I pray it doesn't always turn out like I think it should; but, I do it anyway..." and find the right answers come when I'm in tune with my Creator, the one whose hand gently guides my path through the twist and turns of life.  I find if things had always turned out like I wanted them too, think they should have, or the way I wanted, I would have sold myself short after He's delivered the right answers best for my life.  Today, let the one who gives staying power and sustaining grace get you through to the other side of adversity and land you right where your need to be, refined, polished up, and ready to move forward into His greater purpose, promoted to the next level, and ready to be of greater service to Him and your fellowman. Don't give up, give in, or give out.  God's not done with you yet!


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Given up on God? He's not given up on you!

"And so that you can know and understand what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe..."

Have you given up on God?  Are you facing things or do you find yourself in a situation where you can't see a way out, see an expected end, or see how you could ever rise above, overcome, or find yourself in a better place than you are today?  Where's your thinking?  Is your heart right?  Are you seeking God in all your affairs?  Do you realize that you need Him more today than you did yesterday, or are you devising plans, schemes and designs on your own power, strength and knowledge to try and "fix" what's broken in your life?

Your outward circumstances are never going to change, until your inward circumstances (your heart, your relationship with God, your thinking, the way you carry yourself and treat others) align to God's greater purpose for your life and the way He'd have you live.  You may in the middle of a storm of life, believe me, I can relate with the things life has brought to me and my family the last year; but, when my heart is right, my relationship with God is right, and I'm not going is alone, doing things on my own strength, He gives the ability to be OK regardless of the outward circumstances life may bring.  "The outward is improved, as the inward is improved."

If you've given up on God---HE'S NOT GIVEN UP ON YOU!  You may ask why should I seek Him, where has He gone?  He's not gone anywhere; but, if your not taking time to seek Him, your never gonna know if He's there or not.  Today, allow yourself to seek His direction that could ultimately turn your circumstances and life around.  It can happen in an instant; but, if it takes year, He can definitively give you the attitude, outlook, and strength to endure until His greater plan for whatever circumstance your dealing with unfolds.  "There is one who has all power.  That one is God.  May you find Him now."  Today, tap into the One who has all power to turn your outward circumstances around.   Allow Him to change the "inward you" and begin to see your outward circumstances turn around for the better as your attitude and outlook on life changes and His greater plan for your life unfolds!



Friday, October 12, 2012

He will carry you!

"God is able to carry out His purpose and do superabundantly, far over and above all that we dare ask or think, infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams."

Who carries you today?  Where does your true inner core strength come from?  What gets you through the tough times life brings, when on your on strength you feel like you may be reaching a breaking point?

Life is filled with unknown "why's?  I've written about this before; but, will say it again, I no longer squander hours trying to figure out the "why's" of life.  Why my step dad was taken with cancer when others have overcome, or been in remission, or even, if you will, have been miraculously cured.  Many have theories; but, one thing I do know today, just like I've seen in other tragic situations, God's hand and presence has been close, bringing good on the other side of loss, providing strength to the weary, and being as close as we hold Him.  His hand has been at work.

Where does your strength come from when tragedy strikes, or even more simply just to carry out your day to day life, working, family, friends, loved ones, the day to day stuff we do, where is your true inner core strength?  Is it based on something external, financial possessions, a relationship, a friend, a person, a chemical, a substance, or do you have the true inner core strength that only God can provide to get you through the ups and downs of life?  While help, support and a gathering of friends and loved ones are important during difficult times, what happens when they go home, back to work, and your left to deal with the reality of a tragic situation on your own, where does your strength come from?

It's a little late to try and get centered spiritually when tragedy strikes, that's why it's important to do it everyday.  God can provide the strength needed to get through whatever life brings---joy and celebration or grief, sorrow and pain.  We may not always know the why's and whereabouts; but, if we look closely and are relying on Him for the right things, at the right time and place, the answers will come, the strength needed will be there and we can see good on the other side of tragedy and His hand at work.

Today, where does your strength come from?  If tragedy strikes you or your family today and your brought to your knees with grief and pain, are you centered at the core of who you are with Him, strong in your relationship, knowing that all will be well and that you will have the strength, peace, and serenity to make it through?  Today, let God be your strength and you too will find that no matter what you may face, tragedy, loss, pain, or joy and celebration, you don't have to go it alone and can have the strength to make it though whatever comes.  Take care of yourself spiritually on the good days and then if or when tragedy strikes and life brings you to your knees, you won't be trying to play catch up, your homework will be done and you won't find your self trying to find God in the midst of an emotional battle cause He'll already be there to assist, provide strength, comfort and care.  When God & I are good, God & I can face anything!


Thursday, October 11, 2012

What if today is your last day?

"Love bears up under anything & everything that comes, is every ready to believe the best of every person, its' hopes are fade less under all circumstances, and it endures everything.  Love never fails, never fades out, becomes obsolete or comes to an end."

Over the past ~8 weeks, I've been watching my step-fathers decline in health after his diagnosis with cancer.  We never dreamed that this harsh disease would take him this quickly and I can hear the words of my mom over and over " I thought we'd at least have him during the holidays & never dreamed we wouldn't take him home from the hospital when he was admitted a few days ago. "

It seems the last 14 months of my life, I've been staring death in the eye, with this now being the 3rd family member lost since August of last year, not counting those other friends and acquaintances that have passed.  It never gets easier; but, with God's help it's possible to walk through.  It's difficult at times to endure, to watch our loved ones and friends grieve and experience the pain of loss, knowing that we cannot take that from them.  It reminds me of how fragile life really is.

Unfortunately, how often when someone passes, that there may be things left unsaid, undone and good intentions never carried out.  Things we intended to do; but didn't make time to do, didn't go out of our way to let those we care about know how we feel, or the little grudges that can often drive wedges between families and friends, that at the end of the day are not really important.

What if today is your last day & you knew it?  What if today is a loved one or friends last day?  Do you have things left unsaid, undone, or intentions not carried out?  Do those closest to you know how you feel about them and that you love them?  Have you righted those wrongs, made those amends, practiced forgiveness, and told people you care about how you feel, or are you still sweating the "small stuff" that doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of life? Have you followed through on those good intentions, or are they still on the lower scale of priority in looking at your "to do" list.

Today, if you were truly to "live like you were dying"; what would change?  If you seized every moment, took every opportunity, and went a little out of your way to show love to those you care about & encounter in life, made those phone calls, sent those messages, paid those visits, etc., wouldn't it make a difference?  We never know what today or tomorrow holds, we have the now, the moment, the hour the second.  Today, make every moment count, do the things undone, follow through on the good intentions, settle the accounts that need to be settled, forgive and forget and let God's peace that passes all understanding be with you, deep with in, now and forever, knowing you've done the best you can with what you have to work with, at the end of the moment, end of the hour, the end of the day and when it comes, the end of your life.


Friday, October 5, 2012

You don't have to be lonely anymore!

"We can be alone at perfect peace and ease."

Ever observed people who constantly have to be in a relationship or around certain people to seemingly be OK?   People seemingly always on the "prowl" looking for the right person, the right friend(s), the right companion, the right relationship, jumping from one relationship to another, yet when the relationship ends, they are devastated lonely, depressed, and maybe even resentful that it didn't work out and then are onto the next victim.  People who always have to have someone on their arm or certain people around them to make them feel better about themselves or OK.

For years I struggled with relationships, trying to surround myself with people to make me feel better about myself.  The entourages of folks I built around myself in an effort to look a certain way, keep a certain image, or try to be in the "in" or "cool" crowd, constantly worried about who I was going to show up or be seen with.  In the midst of being surrounded by people I could still feel lonely and alone inside.

I'm grateful I don't have to live or feel that way anymore.  For the first time in my life through a lot of work on myself spiritually at the core of who I am, I have learned the beauty of making sure I take care of myself spiritually to the point that there isn't an inner void in my life anymore.  The void that only God can fill.  That God sized hole, inside job that externals (people, places and things) can never fill---no person, no geographic change, no job, no material possession.  Several months ago, I was alone at home, and I kicked back in the recliner, no one there but me the four walls and God, and I realized for the first time in my life, I was OK, alone, in my own skin and at perfect peace and ease just me & God.  It was an "ah-ha" moment.  I was beginning to experience emotional sobriety and be OK with me regardless of people places or things.

While today I enjoy time with friends, family, co-workers, and various acquaintances and can adjust to any event, social setting or situation at peace, ease and confidence, I'm also OK at times of being alone and that's because the inner void is gone and I'm OK with myself & my Creator.  I don't have to wear myself out trying to surround myself with people or find that right relationship that only God can send my way.

Today, if you've struggled with relationships or maybe even co-dependency, check your relationship with God.  Is it what it needs to be or are you still trying to fix yourself with people or external solutions.  Are you still getting crossed up when people don't do what you want, act the way you want, or give you what you want?  Let God fill the void in your life, and find that those things won't bother you anymore, that you to can be alone at perfect peace & ease and even greater than all, you don't have to be lonely anymore!




Thursday, October 4, 2012

Power, Love & Sound Mind

" God has not given us the spirit of fear; but, of power, love and sound mind. "

Ever felt frozen in fear.  Fear of people, fear of "economic insecurity", fear of "(          )?  While I do believe we have some healthy fears that keep us guided in the right direction, overall, from everything I've read, studied, and been taught by those who mentor me, God wants us to overcome fear and fear usually isn't from God.

Maybe life has placed something before you in which you fear.  Job, money, family, an illness, something out of your control, something you really have no power over.  Fear often involves loosing something we possess or feel close to, or not getting something that we want.  Fear - "false evidence appearing real".  It's often human nature to allow our minds go to the worst case scenario in times fear is involved; but, in my experience those things are most likely fancied and not real, and when I fully place my trust in God, my Creator, asking his protection and care, guidance, direction and that He will see me through, and continue moving forward, the answers come in ways I could have never imagined.

Are you frozen in fear & at a stand still in life with something your dealing with, facing, or that's set before you to walk through?  "We ask God to remove fear, and show us who He'd have us be.  Our fears fall from us."  I'm gonna go out on a limb here; but, I think many of you can relate.  Often there are things that work to prevent us from being God's best, from stepping out in Faith to take that action that will lead us into the greater purpose God is trying to fulfill in our lives for greater blessing with family, friends, jobs---a new breakthrough in life.  You can call it the devil, enemy, spirit of darkness, an addiction, however you define it, I think you know what I mean.

Today, don't let fear keep you from moving to the next level God is trying to promote you to in your walk and relationship with Him & the fullness of life He desires for you.  Put your faith into action to cancel out fear and let God take your fear and give you the strength to face why lies before you.  He's promised to never leave or forsake you, to be with you to the ends of the earth.  You are His creation, His child, and He wants and desires good things and the best for your life; however, you will never find those things standing still, frozen in fear.  Today, tell fear to get out of your way, ask God to remove fear, and let it fall to the wayside.  Rest on the security and assurance that comes in practicing Faith over fear, and trusting God, the one that created you to see you through and let Him take you, His child, to the next level of promotion, goodness, and greater purpose He has for your life.  God's got this!  Will you let Him?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

It's OK to ask for Help!

"God invites us to cast all our care and worry on Him.  Why do so many of us refuse to let go and let God?  Apparently, we're not yet fed up with being miserable."

This past weekend spending time with family and the newest member of our family "J", an incredible, adorable little 3 year old, I was reminded of how early as a child independence becomes important.  "I can do it", he would say repeatedly when he didn't want help from his parents or me.  I can remember times when my children did the same.  One of the quotes we still laugh about today was when my daughter as a toddler would say "Chelsey do it." when she didn't want help from anyone.

While independence, becoming self supporting, growing and prospering are important to most all of us as we mature, why is it so hard as we get older into adulthood to ask for help?  Maybe it's that we want our way, want to be in control and downright just don't want anyone's help or interference.  We want to be independent---the "I got this" mentality.  One of the hardest things, yet the turning point for my life today, was realizing a few years ago that I was in a place of needing help and ultimately couldn't accomplish the things that faced me alone.  When I allowed God and others who were there for me in a really dark time in my life to help, my life began to turn around for the better and continues to today.

Is God trying to help you but your refusing His help, going it alone, doing it your own way, to stubborn to ask and yet wondering why your miserable, why you keep having the same repetitive problems, why things continue to get in a mess, why you continue to be full of fear and worry?  Why?  It's OK to ask for help!  God wants you to.  He's readily available to take the cares and burdens of life from your shoulders, the things that concern you, that face you, that trouble you and guide and direct you to where you need to be.  He wants to be the strong-arm of your life, and lead you into the greater purpose He has in store.  Today, it's OK to ask for help.  "Cast your cares on Him, for He cares for you."  He's ready, willing, able and available to help, all you need to do is ask!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Priority or Convenience ... His will or mine

"When we saw others solve their common problems by a simple reliance on the Spirit of the Universe, we had to stop doubting the power of God."

I can recall times in my life when I wanted something so bad, I'd do anything to get it.  Praying prayers selfishly to get what I wanted literally wore me out.  Forcing my hand to get what I thought best and giving God certain areas of my life yet not turning everything over to Him to keep certain things on the side that I wanted to selfishly control and manipulate the outcomes.  "God you take these things, I got this one." How may times I truly sold myself short, disappointed and in a hot mess.

"If we don't walk in God's obedience, then we can't complain we we wind up in a mess."  When I make seeking Him each day a priority instead of only doing it when it's convenient, I can feel the hand of my Creator guiding my steps, my paths, and providing the right answers, outcomes, and solutions to whatever I may face.  The days flow more seamlessly. I can adjust as unexpected events happen & I can maintain peace & serenity in the process.  In the gray times life brings, it's a little late for me to try to get centered spiritually; but, when I do it daily, inviting God into my day, asking for His diving guidance, protection and care, the gray times may be dark, tough, and sometimes downright difficult to walk through yet I have His strength at the core to get me through until the sun shines again.  I consistently come out on the other side better after the experience.  

Today, is God a matter of priority or just convenience when you have time, when you're in a bind, or when you need or want something and have no where else to turn?  Are you inviting Him in each day seeking His best will unselfishly?  Are you giving Him certain things, and holding on to others because you want it your way and you fear that you may not get what you want or something may not go your way?  "We realize that the things which came to us when we put ourselves in God's hands were better than anything we could have planned."  Today, "follow the dictates of a Higher Power (God) and you will live in a new and wonderful world, not matter what your present circumstances."  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Yeah...but...

"Other people don't set limits for your life, you do."

It often seems in life that no matter how hard we try, how much we've changed for the better with God's help, how much our lives have turned around etc., that there are often "nay-sayers" and/or critics, the "yeah, but..." crowd.  Those closest to me today, friends, family and co-workers, know me best.  They see how I live my life, they see the change that's occurred in my behavior as a result of a new found relationship with my Creator, the way I live my life, the things that are important to me, they see the new and true me.   

The more we move forward in life to the greater purpose God has for us & the dreams and desires He's placed deep within, the more critics and "nay-sayers" we may have; but, in reality it's not our critics that set limits on where God can take us, it's us ourselves.  I am always open to constructive, God sent criticism from those He's placed in my life for I truly believe that often God speaks through others; however, I must consider the source.  Is it from the one's who truly care about me and my life and where I'm going today?  In reality regardless of the criticism, true or false, validated or invalidated, my true self-worth, validation, and sense of security are not based on the opinions of others.  It's based on my relationship with my Creator.  He lets me know if I get off course.  He guides my path.  He will never lead me astray.  If God and I are good, then I'm good!

"God sees the hidden treasures that you have.  He wants to bring those out and make the dreams He's placed within you, those things of greater purpose, become reality.  As you get rid of old, defeated thoughts (whether placed in your mind by yourself or others) and replace them with what God says about you, you will remove the limits and live the abundant life God has in store for you."

Today, if you feel criticized, be careful whose criticism you listen to.  Is it from people who care about, you, want to see you succeed and be better, or really from people who know very little about you, or would like to see you crash and burn?  God will do for you what you can't; but He will not do for you what you can!  Today, lift up your head, chin up, and let your true validation and self-worth come from the one who created you and not others or their opinions.  Take the limits off God, and He'll take the limits off you, and lead you into the greater purpose He has in store for your life.