Thursday, February 28, 2013

God has a comeback for every setback!

"When God designed the plan for your life, it wasn't dependent on you being perfect, never making a mistake or never taking a wrong turn.  No, God knew we would all make mistakes.  He knows how to get you back on track no matter where you are in life.

Today, if you're feeling like you've blow it, if you feel like your too old, too far gone or too off track, know that nothing you've done, no mistake you've make---or ever will make---is a surprise to God.  He's already got it figured out.  He's arranged a comeback for every setback! " (borrowed)

#letgoandletGod



Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What company are you keeping?

"Do not be deceived.  Evil company corrupts good..."

In order to embrace the good plans God has in store for your life, you have to be willing to make some changes, to examine where you are and identify what's needed to move forward.  If you're not moving forward, you're standing still, and will eventually begin moving backwards.  Moving forward and making change may mean changing some friends that you've been spending time with.  Maybe they were fine for a season in your life (or maybe not); but, in order for you to rise higher and keep moving forward to who God would have you be, sometimes you have to break away from relationships that are limiting you, holding you back and pulling you down, and develop some new relationships that will pull you up,  inspire you to rise higher, be better, and press you to be all the God would have you be.

The flip side---maybe at some point God put some really good people in your life who pressed you to be better, who told you the truth even when it stung.  They had you're best interest at heart, cared about you and had compassion for you---they loved you; but, because they made you think and challenged you with change, you distanced yourself from them because you were not willing to hear the truth and/or face change---even if it was for your good.

Today, let God help you make solid decisions in your relationships.  Surround yourself with people who will press you to be better, who will cause you to rise higher, who will tell you the truth, even if it stings.  People who will help you be all that God would have you be, who will inspire you, support you and encourage you on the good days as well as the bad.  My experience has been when I pray for God to put good people in my life, He always has at the right time, the right place, and for the right season which sometimes ends up being a lifetime.  Today, don't let bad relationships hold you back, and keep you from being all that God would have you be, instead, let God put right relationships in your life that will press you to be better and be all He would have you be!  Today, trust God with direction in your relationships and let Him put the right people in your life a the right time, right place, for the right reason, the right season, and maybe even for a lifetime!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Are you expecting God's best?

"Those who wait for the Lord, who expect, look for and hope in Him, shall renew their strength..."

What are you expecting in life?  Good things?  Bad things?  Little things?  Anything at all?  God wants you to get your hopes up!  "Faith is the substance of things HOPED for."  Hope:  confident expectancy.  It's difficult and really impossible to have faith if you don't have hope.

Your expectations can set limits on your life.  I'm not talking about expectations on people---people will let you down; but, expectations on God, that He is going to see you through, give you that break you've been needing, or open that door that you've been waiting on.  If you don't expect things to get better, then how can they?  God promises to meet you at your level of expectancy.  "According to your faith be it done unto you.  Have what your faith expects."

Today, start expecting to overcome the challenges you face and for God to meet all your needs.  Live every day filled with anticipation that God is going to bless you abundantly above and beyond your wildest dreams!

Monday, February 25, 2013

What are you dwelling on?

"What you dwell on is what tends to get drawn into your life.  You can either focus on your problems or count your blessings.  The question is, do you want more problems or blessings?  Have an attitude of gratitude.  Let your faith say "thank you".  Praise Him throughout the day with a humble heart and watch what He will do on your behalf."

Every noticed that when we let our problems consume us and become the center of our focus, how they seem to pile up more and more---one on the top of the other.  Our attitude can become negative and if allowed to continue, it can seem we are carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders.  On the flip side, when we turn over those same problems to  God, giving them to Him, asking for His divine guidance and direction, and leave them with Him living in a consciousness of His guidance with what to do in each and every situation, our load is lighter, our outlook is brighter, and we don't feel like we are bearing the brunt of the burden alone.  We can keep our gratitude in tact, and continue throughout our day with a positive outlook on life.

Today, where are you dwelling, problems, or solutions?  Are you focused on the things that don't seem to be going right (or maybe the way you want them to) or living in a constant state of gratitude and awareness for the blessings in your life, what God has done, is doing, and is going to continue to do in you life as you follow Him?  Today, I'll choose to leave the problems in God's hands, seek His divine guidance and focus on the the blessings while remaining filled with gratitude for the things He continues to to do in my life!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Opposition

There will always be opposition when pressing toward a goal and/or doing the next right things as God leads you. There will always be opportunity to park and go no farther or turn around and give up. It is up to us to decide each time to give up or by faith go on. Press on with faith when difficulties come and you are tempted to quit. Even though we may not always do everything right, be determined to never quit---to never give up. We are often learning valuable life lessons as we continue to move forward. Be determined & never give up. God didn't ask us to be perfect & today I'm reminded "it's in His strength we are made perfect"! Thx God!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

When life is unfair, remember, God IS fair!

"And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them."

We all go through things that don't seem to make sense.  Things that seem so unfair, so unjust, and sometimes just downright unbelievable.  It's easy to get discouraged when life hits you with something that's unfair and wonder "Why"?  We will never understand the why's of life and why it's sometimes unfair; but, we need to understand that God is fair and He promises to work ALL things "together" (the good and the bad) for good to those who love Him.

Disappointments in life are not the end.  When one door closes, another opens.  Difficulties and challenges are merely stepping stones toward a brighter future. Be encouraged today because God has a plan for you to rise higher.  He has a plan for you to come out stronger, He has a plan to work all things "together" for your good so that you can move forward in the victory He has prepared for you!  Today, don't stay focused, down and discouraged in the why's of life; but, instead, take heart in knowing that somehow, someway, God is going to take those why's and cause them to work "together" for your good, and promote you to new levels of victory in your life!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Distractions

"Choose to be led by God's spirit so that you don't succumb to the selfish and self-centeredness of the flesh."

One of the things that work against us as children of God are distractions.  If we become sidetracked by the cares of the world, more than likely, we will begin to neglect our relationship with God.

Is your career, desire for money or social status more important that your relationship with God?  Is a relationship keeping you from spending time with Him and are you looking for that person's attention and approval more than God's?  The bottom line is, any situation or desire in our life that keeps us from being led by God's spirit or living for Him is an unhealthy distraction that is not for our good.

Are you distracted by something in your life today that's blocking you off from God's spirit?  Re-center yourself and get re-connected with God at the core of who you are and let Him guide you into the best life He has planned for you.    When you seek Him, you will find Him.  He's always there.  Today, will you choose to be distracted or will you choose to seek God's best for your life and enjoy the benefits of doing so?  God is either everything or nothing at all.  Today, which is He to you?


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Burned out?

Living a balanced life brings peace, joy and health.  God, others, then self; but, self has to be taken care of as well!

"Are there areas of your life that are not "kept" because you are taking care of everyone else.  If you're always on the go, constantly working, doing, and never taking time for yourself, you will end up stressed out, overwhelmed, burned out and you won't be able to enjoy life the way God intended.  Living a balanced life brings peace, joy, health and fulfillment."

Several months ago, I had multiple people telling me I was burning the candle at both ends and asking me if I was really taking time to take care of myself.  I had to take a strong look at this.  After multiple deaths in my family and adversities hitting back to back, I threw myself harder into being of service to others.  It was much needed for a while and a saving grace during difficult times; but, after a period of constantly being on the go, non-stop, sun-up to midnight, I became worn down, tired, and began to see myself become less effective.  It was taking a toll on me all the way around.  I had to step back and after much reflection, prayer, and asking God to help me find balance in my life,  He answered my prayer, cleaned my plate of a few duties, and has helped me give back to others; but also find time for myself, my family and time to rejuvenate.  Does it mean that I'm not still committed to helping others, to giving back, to going to work, to doing the task that God sets before me each day?  No; but, I have realized that if I don't take care of myself, and allow myself some down time to rejuvenate, to rest when my body say rest, etc., I can't be of maximum service to God and my fellowman.  I can't be my best.  I had to learn that sometimes it's OK to "no".    

Are you living like that today?  Do you spend all your time on other people; but, never any time taking care of you?  I don't mean this in a selfish manner for there's not another person on this earth that believes more strongly in the power of giving back to others than I do; but I mean it in a healthy manner with some balance in your life!  If you don't find time to care for yourself, spend time with God, stay spiritually connected and allow yourself some down time to relax and rejuvenate and to do somethings you enjoy, etc., eventually you too will burn out.

Decide today to begin investing in not only others; but, also yourself.  When you are spiritually connected with God, refreshed emotionally, physically and spiritually, you are able to give to others more effectively, you are more efficient, you are able to practice patience, tolerance, and love more freely.  As you allow God to help bring balance to your life, you will begin to enjoy every day to the fullest---the way God intended and become a better you in the process!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What if?

What if?  I wonder really how many times we in our human minds throughout the world think this thought each day---the what if's that bring anxiety, stress, worry, fear?  The what if's that set expectations for us to be let down if something doesn't go the way we'd like it to.  What if?

"In order to overcome the "what if's" of life, acknowledge your fear, choose to trust God, put your faith into action, ask Him to remove fear and show you who He'd have you be."

It often seems like human nature for our minds to play out the worst case scenarios when we are facing a challenge, waiting on an answer or outcome, or don't know what may lie ahead.  When we choose to practice faith over fear, when we choose to believe and trust God, when we stop being frozen in fear and look fear in the eye and say "get out of my way, I've got things to do", we are setting ourselves up for God to move on our behalf and be the best that we can be.

You don't have to be frozen in fear, squandering hours that could be useful to God, others, and yourself.  Today, tap into that can-do power God has placed inside you. Stand strong as you fight the good fight of faith remembering that God has not brought you this far to drop you.  Today, remember whose got you and the things you face and don't allow fear to hold you back, keep you frozen or prevent you from being the best God would have you be.  Today, choose faith over fear, put some good works behind it, and leave the outcomes to God, knowing that He's got you and has your best interest at heart!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Being put to the test?

"Learn to enjoy where you are on the way to where you are going."

Many times in life people associate the challenges that life brings, adversity, calamity, etc., with them having done something wrong, often thinking that God must be punishing them.  I used to live in this mentality and I'm grateful that God finally freed me from that.  He truly does enable us "to match calamity with serenity" for I've experienced it.

"Temptations, trials, and difficulties can strengthen us spiritually if allowed.  God can use each and every challenge that life brings our way for divine purpose, helping us grow each step of the way.  Trials test our character and help shape our faith."  Does it mean He's mad at us when we have a life challenge hit?  No.  Can He use it to help us grow in faith, trust, to strengthen us spiritually and to refine us more into who He'd have us be?  Absolutely.

Today, if life's thrown you a curve ball that's caught you blind sided, keep the faith and "work with God in the refining process rather than fighting against Him."  Trust Him to see you through and do His perfect work in you through the experience.  You will come out on the other side stronger, refined, and more of who He'd have you be.  For every time I've walked through pain, I've had growth, and found that understanding comes often only after the experience.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Release the past!

"...but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reach forward to what lies ahead, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God. "

"One of the main keys to overcoming disappointments in life is learning to let go of the past.  You let go of the past by choosing to forgive those who have hurt or wronged you by believing that God will restore to you anything that was taken (or lost).  When you receive God's forgiveness in your own life, you are released from the pressure to make up for past mistakes or failures.  You begin to experience the bright future God has in store for you.

Don't let the regrets of yesterday destroy the hopes of today or tomorrow.  No matter what has happened in the past.  God is a God of restoration, and He will restore what the enemy has stolen from you.

Accept God's mercy, forgiveness, and grace today, and look forward to the wonderful plan He has for your future!"  (borrowed)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

What are you expecting? God's best?

"God,  --- I'll wait as long as He says.  Everything I hope for comes from Him, so why not?  He's a solid rock under my feet, providing breathing room for my soul."

Praying in faith, believing God for right answers, releases God's power to work in our lives.  When we pray in faith, expecting God's best and being OK with His outcome, not worrying if it will work out the way we think it should; but, knowing it will work out the way God would have it, for our best, we can see mighty things happen in our lives.  We see God show up and move mightily on our behalf because the only expectation we have is that God WILL answer according to His best for us and according to His will for our lives.  Being OK with that sets us free to pray for His will, mean it, leave it, and receive His provisions as best.  

When we pray with doubt, demanding, justifying, and wearing ourselves out begging God for something we want so bad, deep down knowing it's probably not His best for us, and He will probably not deliver, we set ourselves up for expectations that are likely not going to be met.  Can you say "disappointment"?  

"Just think about a time when you were not really sure God would come through for you. You were not able to pray very powerful prayers, were you? Now recall a time when your heart trusted completely in God and you really believed that He would come through for you. You were able to pray then with a certain sense of power, weren't you? That's the power of expectation in prayer. Even if things don't work out exactly the way you hoped they would, trust God to know what is best and keep expecting Him to do great things."


Today, pray bold prayers of faith, trusting God to come through.  Leave it with Him and let Him do His job, provide the right answers and results.  Trust He knows best, and be OK with the outcomes and find yourself at peace, seeing the right answers unfold, the right things come to pass, and the right doors open before you so that you can continue moving forward in the way of God and the way He'd have you go.  "Through His mercies we are not consumed because His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning.  Great is His faithfulness!"

Today, I'll pray God's best over the many situations in my life, for my life is truly in His hands.  In doing so, I won't be disappointed with the outcomes He provides; but, trust that He has my best interest at heart and will prove the things needed to continue me moving forward in the direction He'd have me go, becoming more each day who He'd have me be.  Today, I'll pray for God's will in my life (all encompassing), and be perfectly OK with the outcomes.  

Friday, February 15, 2013

Whose will?


" Like many people today, I have big dreams and goals. I have desires in my heart. But my prayer now is, “God, not my will, but let Your will be done.” If a door closes, it’s no big deal; I let it go. If my plans don’t work out, no big deal; I know God has something better. I've learned to not get so consumed by a dream that if it doesn't happen my way, I get all bent out of shape.
Maybe you've gone through a disappointment. You don’t understand it. You could easily be bitter, live with a chip on your shoulder, and give up on your dreams. Realize today that God is at work in your life. He is directing your steps. What you thought was a setback is going to turn out to be a setup for a comeback! When you surrender your will to Him, when you humble yourself before Him, that’s when God can take you to another level." (borrowed)
" Praying only for knowledge of His will and the power the carry it out. "

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Straightening Out

"When we straighten out spiritually, we straighten out mentally, and physically."

I'm grateful today to have learned that the foundation of everything I think, do, say, the way I act and carry myself is based on my spiritual relationship with God.  Right thinking, produces right words, and right actions.  I get right thinking by allowing God to direct my thoughts each day, by inviting Him in each morning, and by allowing Him to replace negative mindsets that can easily form if allowed, with God directed thoughts, on a higher plain, that help prevent me from acting in old/bad behaviors.

While God created each of us to be unique individuals, I've learned that change is essential to growing spiritually.  "I must keep time apart with God each day and gradually as I do I continue to be transformed mentally and spiritually."   It there is not change, one remains the same, with the same thoughts, the same old/bad behaviors, the same actions that often hurt others, and the treating of people as if they were disposable objects; but, when I turned my will and life over to God a few years ago, change began to occur in my life.  Change for which I'm grateful.  It's been a gradual process; but one that I wouldn't take anything for as I like the person I'm becoming today, the person I see in the mirror, and who God is directing me to be.

So that leads again into the key, God directing me and that includes my thoughts which is where it all begins.  The tragedies that we've been witnessing on the news lately in the loss of life at one of our schools, the police officers whose lives were ended suddenly, the 5 year old taken hostage off a school bus for over a week and the bus driver shot to death in the process, all these tragedies began with a thought.  Thoughts that produced plans, and plans that produced actions in which lives were lost, and the loved ones and friends of those individuals who died are now hurting as they grieve the losses endured.  I've heard it called "the battlefield of the mind", and for good reason.  As children of God, striving each day to be better, one of the places we are often attacked the most is in our mind, and if we're not careful and spiritually connected with God asking Him to direct our thinking, then negative thinking and mindsets can ensue and the actions that follow are usually never good and unfortunately often someone gets hurt.

Have you straightened out, or are you still acting out?  Who's guiding your thoughts, and are you allowing God to take captive the ones that don't line up with who He's guiding you to be today?  Are you allowing negative thinking in and still justifying bad behavior.  "It's who I am, it's who I'll always be."  Nothing could be further from the truth for with God, all things become new and that means me and you---our minds and thinking included.  It involves change---for the better.  Yes we still have certain personalities, unique features, and things that distinguish us from each other; but the more we give ourselves to God each day, the more He shapes and molds us into who He wants us to be.  "Old things have passed away and all things have become new."

Today,  I will let God guided thinking, produce God guided actions, and God guided results.  I will run the race set before me with endurance, being who I need to be, knowing where my strength comes from and if I don't lose sight of who should be guiding my thoughts words actions and deeds, I should be able to hit my knees tonight with gratitude and thank God for helping me have another successful day and another day of doing things a little better than the day before.  Today---right thoughts, words, actions, and deeds!  Thanks God!      
 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Moving on!

"One if the most important keys to moving forward into the great future God has for you is learning to overcome disappointments in life."

When you do something wrong or fall short, don't hold on to it & beat yourself up. Admit it, seek forgiveness and move on.

When you suffer loss no one expects you to be an unshakeable rock. We are human. We grieve, feel emotions & suffer through loss. It's a natural part of life & being human. Make a decision that your gonna move on no matter how hard it is & that what your going through isn't going to get the best of you.

Don't live in regret, remorse or sorrow. They will interfere with your faith. Faith must always be a present tense reality, not a distant memory. God can turn your disappointments around & use them for greater purpose in your life.

Today, don't let your setbacks become your identity; but, a mere motivation to move forward, grow through the experience & become all God would have you be.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dependence on the consciousness of God

"My spiritual life depends on an inner consciousness of God and I must trust Him in all things.  My consciousness of God will always bring peace to me.  I will have no fear, because a good future lies before me as long as I keep my consciousness of God.  If in every single happening, event, and plan I am conscious of God, then no matter what happens, I will be safe in God's hands."

When somebody doesn't treat you right, you have a gold opportunity to let your God consciousness guide you into responding with kindness and love.  Hurting people often hurt others as a results of their own pain.  If somebody is rude or inconsiderate, you can almost be certain that they have some unresolved issues inside.  The last thing they need to promote healing in their life, is for you to respond angrily.

Keep taking the high road, be kind and courteous and led by your God consciousness.  Walk in love and have a good attitude.  God sees what you're doing, and He is our vindicator.  He will make sure that your good actions and attitude will help you overcome.  If you'll keep doing the right things and following your God consciousness, you will come out far ahead of where you would have been had you fought fire with fire.  Evil is never overcome with more evil.  "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."

Today, may I always have this consciousness of God.  May I allow Him to guide me into bigger and better things including my attitude and outlook on life, how I respond to others, and how I carry myself through the day in any given situation.  As a result of dependence on my God consciousness to lead guide and direct my ways, may I continue moving forward into a new and better life He has planned for me.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Don't lose heart. Trust God's timing.

"God often works the most when we see it and feel it the least."

Today's society loves immediate results.  Technology has taken us into the age where things are at the touch of our fingertips, or even the sound of our voice.  What about the things that aren't?  What about the things we've been trusting God for and have seen no movement?  What about that dream He's placed within which you've seen no movement?  What about the prayer you've been praying for sometime now that doesn't seem to get answered?  What about the recent door that's opened leaving you confused because that answer wasn't what you had in mind for God to provide?

Sometimes it can be frustrating to seemingly be in a holding pattern and for nothing to be happening when things have been placed in God's hands, or to get an answer to prayer; but, yet, it's not the answer we were looking for.  Yes, God answers prayer; but, it's not always in the manner in which I had in mind and it's not always when I think it should happen.  An unanswered prayer can in reality be an answered prayer and He just maybe downright saying "NO".

Today, no matter what you're believing and seeking God for, if you've seen no movement, keep trusting, keep believing, and keep praying.  Be conscious that God works behind the scenes on our behalf and often is at work most when we feel He's at work the least.  Today, don't lose heart.  Trust God's timing, keeping the faith, and when your answer does come, even if it's not what you intended, trust God and go with it and let Him take you into the greater purpose He has for you life and promote you to the next level of victory He has in store.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The wisdom to know---do you really want it?

" God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. "

A few years ago I prayed this prayer a thousand times a day.  I didn't know what else to pray and this became my "goto" prayer.  I often prayed it in times of stress, fear, anger, uncertainty, and dismay.  I'm grateful for this prayer; but I'm also grateful that I don't have to pray it as much today as I used to.

One of the biggest keys I learned about this prayer was praying for wisdom.  Wisdom in situations in which I needed direction, when I needed an answer, an open door, provision.  It's pretty clear today most times, what I can change and what I can't.  It's pretty clear when God is at work and a door opens for me to walk through.  It's always pretty clear when I'm going against His will and going it on my own.  When I pray for wisdom, do I really want it, or do I stubbornly want my own way, as His way may not always be the easiest?

God's will vs. my will are about as far as the east from the west.  Today, when I pray for wisdom, may I mean it, and sincerely be willing to receive it when I ask for it, taking action accordingly.  In doing so, may I find myself staying in the center of God's will and out of my own.  I know God has a divine plan and purpose for my life; but if I'm afraid to follow His wisdom, His will and walk through His open doors, believing and trusting His timing, even when it's hard, I may never find that greater purpose He has for my life, and look back 10 years from now in my own will, still sitting where I am today instead of being promoted to where He intended for me to be.

"Don't travel the road your on for the next 50 years and be at the same place you are today!"

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Words - complaints or gratitude?

"Complaining isn't based on your circumstances, it's based on the attitude of your heart."

Words are powerful.  They can build up, or tear down.  They have the power to sever a friendship in an instant, yet the power to speak blessings over someone, encouraging them they can go on and experience God's best.  God often speaks through words of others.

Negative words and complaining have the the power to take hold of your life, hold you back, cause you to have a bad attitude, block you off from God's spirit and keep you from His best.  Positive words of declaration and affirmation open the door for God's promises to come true in your life.  You can never go wrong with an attitude of gratitude and speaking positive words and God's promises over your life and the lives of those around you.

Today, instead of complaining, look around too see all the things you have to be grateful for.  Speak words of faith, victory, health, and success about your situations and over your life.  Speak words of encouragement to you fellowman, instead of words of gossip and slander.  Decide today to live a life of gratitude.  Don't allow the poison of complaining to prevent you from receiving all God has for you!


Friday, February 8, 2013

Be encouraged.

Sometimes, we just don't feel it.  Maybe we'd rather stay in bed than go to work.  Maybe we have a social event we'd really rather not attend.  Maybe we don't want to sit down and pay bills.  Maybe it's one of those days you just wanna pull the covers over your head and stay in bed, cause you just aren't feeling it.  "Often we have to take steps of faith even when we are hurting, grieving, or feeling like we are under attack from back to back challenges life has brought our way."

It's easy to have faith on the good days when things a rolling along like clockwork, everything is falling into place, and there are no challenges, problems, or issues facing us; but, the true test of our faith comes in the midst of living life on life's terms, whatever that means, whatever life brings, good or bad, celebration or hurting, rejoicing or sorrow. 

Faith is the evidence of things not seen, the substance of things hoped for.  Putting your faith into action on days we don't feel like it, is necessary to moving forward to better days, to the greater purpose, to the fuller life, to ultimately see come to pass all the great things God has in store.

You may say today, I'm sick and tired of hearing about all these great things God has in store for me, when all I get are seeming attacks from life day to day.  Nothing ever seems to go right.  I can't seem to catch a break.  My friend, be encouraged today, check your attitude and outlook which maybe blocking you off from God's spirit.  It's in some of those times, when I was about ready to give up, and feeling the same way, that right around the corner was my victory, my answer, my provision, my miracles, and if I had given up and given in, I would have missed the miracle.  It was darkest before the dawn!

Today, you may not feel encouraged; but make a decision to be encouraged.  Cast your cares on Him.  He cares.  He wants to help.  Surrender your problems to God and let Him begin to move those mountains out of your way so that you can walk into the greater things He has in store for your life.  Remember, you can't always go by how you feel, especially on the days we just aren't feeling it---we do it anyway.  Instead of looking at all that's wrong in your life, look at the things that are right and find some gratitude.  Today my friend.  Be encouraged, even if you don't feel encouraged.  Don't give up hope, faith, and courage, before the miracle happens, for right around the corner may be the break, miracle, provision, and answer you've been waiting for.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Bitterness

"...and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."

We've all heard and many have prayed this prayer in our places of worship, synagogues, and various fellowships.  Have you ever really thought about what it says though?  "Forgive us ... as we forgive."  Yes that's right.  Forgive me, you, us, as we also forgive.

How quick are you to forgive?  Some of the angriest, bitter, most miserable people I have met in life and even know today are those who get their feelings hurt, don't get their way, or who for some reason have been truly treated unjustly and they will not let go of it.  They refuse to move on.  They refuse to forgive.  It becomes a bitterness in their life and in their heart and it can affect their whole attitude and outlook on life.  It can also affect one's health.  We've all tasted something that's bitter, it's not very pleasant.  Well the same with bitter people, their not very pleasant.  "Many people attempt to bury hurt and pain in their hearts or their subconscious minds.  They may not even realize it; but much of their inner turmoil is because of the bitterness in their own heart."

You may have been done wrong.  You may have a good reason to have justified anger at someone.  Some of the most heart wrenching stories I have heard are when people have open up, cried, and spilled their heart to me about being sexually abused as children.  How the pain of this has held them back or caused them to overcompensate in others areas of their life to prove they were good enough, or that they were not some kind of freak because of the abuse.  How the abuse left them confused and feeling like a freak.  How often somehow in someway, they felt like they deserved it.  How on the other side of the abuse it left them angry, bitter, hurt; but, in fear of others finding out held it in for years, and developed a victim mentality.

Today, regardless of what you've been through, are you living with unresolved bitterness, anger and resentment in your life?  "You may have people in your life who have done you great wrong, and you may have a right to be angry and bitter.  You may feel as though your whole life has been stolen away by somebody; but, if you will choose to let go of your grudge and forgive them, you can overcome that evil with good and see God pour out His favor in your life in a fresh way and the bitterness be gone from your life.  God will honor you, reward, you and He'll make the wrongs right."  Today, may I live a life in awareness that to be forgiven, I also need to forgive and in forgiving, may I live a life empty of bitterness and full of joy!  Today my friend, there is freedom in forgiveness and in moving from a victim mentality you can move into the victorious life God has planned for you!


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Bless and be blessed!

"God will not fill a closed fist with good things."

It is extremely selfish to go around constantly dwelling on your problems, always thinking of what you want or need yet hardly noticing the needs of others.  One of the best things you can do when it seems you are up to your ears in your own problems is to get out of yourself and do something---to help someone else. When we reach out to others in need, God will make sure our own needs are supplied and our minds will shift often causing our own problems to seem minimal to some of the things others are going through.

Perhaps you feel you have nothing to give. Sure you do. You'd be surprised how much a listening ear, a call, a text, a hospital visit, a meal, etc., can mean to one hurting. You may have experience relate-able to a problem a person is going through and be able to share how with God's help you got through it.  Somebody needs to hear from you, somebody needs what you have to give away, somebody needs your friendship. God created us to give & I'm reminded that Faith without works is dead. As God places people on you heart or mind, could it be that He is gently nudging you to get out of yourself and reach out and do something for them?  Probably so.

Today, let your own problems become minimized in the process of helping others and giving away some of what you've been so freely given. "God will not fill a closed fist with good things." Open yourself up, get out of yourself and your own problems and help somebody and in doing so find your load a little lighter and yourself walking a little closer to God in the process. Today, bless & be blessed!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Who is the real loser?

I was in a crowd recently huddled around talking to many friends and acquaintances and a person who we really didn't know came up and spoke, talked, and tried to make conversation with the group.  We all know how awkward this can be when you don't really know anyone.  When the person walked away, a guy said they're a "loser".   It cut me to the core that so quickly, without even really knowing the person, one could make such a quick assessment.  Without any consideration of knowing the persons past, knowing the persons heart, knowing the persons current battles or really taking time to get to know who they are, that such a quick, poor opinion with brutal words could be spoken.  I felt empathy not only for the person who walked away; but, also the person who made the statement, that they could be so shallow.

Over the past few years, I've met many who have felt like "losers".  Often it's been instilled in them as children that they weren't good enough and would never amount to anything.  Maybe they had a sibling that was the star athlete or scholar and they never felt like they measured up. Sometimes it comes from mistakes made in the past and a feeling that they can never rise above them.   Over time they've struggled with acceptance and often just didn't feel like they fit in or would ever be good enough.  Whatever the case, this mentality and low self-image gets deeply ingrained inside when largely most of those who feel this way are great people who just want to be liked, accepted, fit in, want a fresh start; but, for some reason feel they don't measure up and will never overcome the obstacles of the past.

The media doesn't help.  TV, magazines, and the overall media influence in our society often complicates this issue for people who experience this, as we see daily airbrushed images of celebrities made to look their best---appearing flawless, fit and in shape, living lavish lifestyles that are seemingly unfathomable to many us.  The thing is, we don't always see them at their worst, when they first wake, before coffee, makeup, or a shower.  We don't always see their struggles.  We also don't often see their mistakes and when we do, it's headline news.

In reality, we are all God's children.  We are told and hopefully taught to treat our neighbor as we would like to be treated; but, in reality, are we really doing so?  If someone doesn't look a certain way, talk a certain way, have a certain status, etc., do you treat them differently, and shun them unlike you do those who meet your "criteria" or standards of being accepted, being what you consider a "winner"?  Are you "that guy" who mumbles "loser" ?

If you are struggling with a low self-esteem or a "loser" mentality, wondering if you could ever rise above, amount to anything or be as good as, know that you are perfect in God's eyes---which is what really matters.  He created you, has divine purpose for your life, and wants you to succeed, prosper and become all He'd have you be.  You are good enough!  One of the greatest gifts of becoming secure in a relationship with Him is realizing the strength, confidence, security and a positive self-image that come from Him and becoming free from the opinions of man and their acceptance or lack there of.

Today, I'm grateful God has given me a heart and compassion for people.  I'm grateful that I don't have to have everyone's affirmation to be confident, secure, and comfortable in my own skin.  May I always remember that we are all children of God and treat my neighbor as I want to be treated.  My past experience has been in doing so, I've met some really incredible people, some God sends who have been placed in my path for a reason, by not judging them on their appearance, loving them where they are, and taking just a few minutes to get to know them and see the real beautiful person they are inside.  In doing so, I've made lifelong friendships, been truly blessed, and have often heard God speak through them to say exactly what I needed to hear at the right time and place.  Today, if you're "that guy" who yells "loser", think about it, is that really God's best for your life, is that loving your neighbor as yourself and how in reality, you really look in front of your peers and those around you.    Today, if you're "that guy" who struggles with self image issues, let go, and let God set you free from that.  Let Him affirm you, and start living the confident abundant life He has in store for you!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Pile it on!

"For in your weakness His strength is made perfect."

Every felt like you couldn't catch a break. No matter how hard you tried to be who you feel God would have you, life seems to continue piling on one challenge after another. I can relate.

I used to feel like in times when life was bringing challenges left & right that it was because of something I had done wrong & I was being punished. I laugh at this mentality today, for nothing could be further from the truth. There's a difference in consequences we brought on ourselves for wrongs done & the day to day challenges life brings that are often unexpected.

So , yes life can be challenging at times; but God is faithful to see us through & get us through to the other side of the difficulty or challenges before us, helping us grow through the experience. Today, if you feel a little weak & shaky in the knees cause life's piled on the challenges & your not sure if your gonna be able to make it through, take heart my friend. The Father takes care of His children. Instead of looking at your circumstances, look to your God & let Him move the mountains & go to battle on your behalf.

Today God, though life's challenges may be great, I'm reminded your are greater & today I look to you for strength, guidance & solution. May you take the challenges of life, give me strength & help me to be who I need to be without loosing faith as I walk through what each day may bring. Today I'm reminded God that you are bigger than anything I may face.

#Hisstrengthisperfect

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Let God help. That's what He's there for.

"We often look at those who have wealth, position, power and consider them "successful."  Many people who are considered successful still lack peace, joy, contentment, and other true blessings.  Such people have never learned to depend completely on the power of God and His spirit to direct and provide strength in their life.  Many people who are self-sufficient often think depending on God is a sign of weakness; but, the truth is that by drawing on the ability of God and His spirit to lead them and provide strength, wisdom and insight, they can accomplish more in their lives than they ever could working on their own strength."

One of the most miserable times in my life was once when I had a Senior Management Position with a good sized company, making very good money.  The house, the car, the clothes, the material possessions were in tact.  From the outside all looked good and I was considered successful by myself and many; but, on the inside I was miserable.  Something was missing and that was was a true relationship with God.  I lived an "I got this mentality" and only used God to make 911 calls in times of crisis.  The temporary fixes with money and more and more material possessions always wore off and I would soon be looking for something more to make me happy.

Today, don't struggle needlessly.  Let God help you become all you can be by fueling up on His strength and letting His spirit guide you in every aspect and decision of your life.  Receive the help available to you.  Instead of looking at your circumstances and thinking "there's no way", look to God and let Him "make a way".  Depend on Him, not on your own strength.  Know that whatever you are facing, you don't have to go through it alone.  With Him, you will never be alone---never again.  Thanks God!


Friday, February 1, 2013

Are you living in the favor of God and anticipating it everyday?

"One touch of God's favor can completely turn your situation and circumstances around for your good and take you to places you never thought possible."

A few years ago I struggled thinking because of past mistakes, and choices that were less than God's best for my life, that I could never or would never be worthy of having a relationship with Him much less experience His hand and favor come alive in my life.  Fast forward to today and much has changed, a gradual growth in my relationship with Him, some work on myself, opening up my mind to His best for my life and letting Him give me new a new attitude and outlook on life, all while doing my best to be who I believe He wants me to be each day.  In doing so, I have come to experience the goodness of God and His favor at work in my life in ways I never thought possible.  Yes I've had tragedy, I've experienced loss, and challenges have come as part of life; but, I have also experienced the favor and goodness of God to see me through whatever the case may be.  The good news is, you, like myself and others can experience that too (if you haven't already)!  I have a friend who tells me from time to time, "Well Dwight, that's just the way things work out for you" and we usually laugh.  If it can happen for me it can happen for you too if it's not already!

Don't let negative mindsets, your past or a feeling of unworthiness or less-than hold you back from God's best for your life.  For so long, I thought I could never live up to what I thought at the time was required to be in right standing with my Creator.  I thought I had to do things perfect, and put a lot of pressure on myself to do so---beating myself up when I'd fall short.  I had to let that go.  I am human.  I too am learning this thing as I move forward each day.  Human beings are not perfect, we all make mistakes; but, making a mistake or falling short doesn't mean that we've lost our relationship with God or any hope that His favor and grace can still work in our life.  That's the beauty of His grace.  His grace forgives our shortcomings and as we learn, build and grow walking through each life experience.  As we work to stay in tune with God, He can use life-experiences to help us grow and become stronger in our faith and in our relationship with Him, becoming more each day refined, a little better and a little more of who He'd have us be.

Today, is your mind open to experience and receive the favor of God?  He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  He can send the right opportunities, unexpected blessings, cause you to meet the right people, give you the right breaks and breakthroughs that you need.  It may be when you least expect it; but, it can and does happen.  Today, do your best to honor God with your life, words, actions, deeds, and thoughts.  Be who He'd have you be as best you can and you too my friend can experience the favor of God on your life, working things out for your good, moving those mountains, providing for those needs, and giving you the breaks you need to become all He'd have you be and fulfill the greater purpose He has for your life.  It may not always be on your time table or the way you thought it might work out; but, it will happen.  God may not be early, it may be in the midnight hour when He comes through; but I've learned He's always faithful and He's always right on time!