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Friday, February 15, 2019

Do small things with great love

The moment that I decide to make a change in my life, the resistance shows up. My adversary wants to prevent me from doing good in my life. So he makes life just a little harder. Last night, I tossed and turned most of the night. Even when I fell asleep, I couldn’t stay asleep. So this morning, I wanted to sleep through my writing time. 

After all, what is one day? But then I remembered the promise that I had made to myself. I decided that I would show up every day and write the words on my heart—regardless of my circumstances. I can’t just show up when I feel like it. Because I know from experience that I would rarely feel like it. I have to commit to showing up because it is important to me. 

Some days the words flow onto the screen, and other days I feel as if I have to fight for each word. But, I still show up and do it. God blesses our efforts. He can take our small efforts and bless them abundantly. 

Therefore, I want to do the small things that He gives me to do each day with great love. So often we think that it’s the big things we do in life that makes the biggest difference, but I think it’s the small things. It’s the little decisions that we make each day that creates our life. If we can master the little things, then we can become the person that God created for us to be.

 P.S. If you enjoyed this please share it so your family and friends can read it as well. :) 

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Promote God's love

If we truly want to reach other people, then we need to promote what we love instead of bashing what we hate. The moment that we step into self-righteousness and start judging others, then we lose any chance of reaching them. As long as we are judging the sins of others then we can’t love them. When we decide to love them right where they are in their lives, then we can pray for them. And our prayers will reach them. 

We should be kind, loving, and compassionate to ALL people. Not just the ones who live according to our beliefs. Until we have walked a mile in their shoes, then we can’t understand why they do the things that they do. Regardless, God commanded us to love our neighbors. If we want to turn our country around, then we need to love others as God loves us. 

God doesn’t want us to fight about what is right and wrong. When I talk about God, it is because He is so great in my life that I want others to know Him as well. I want others to experience the greatness of my Lord and to feel His amazing love. 

Matthew 22:37-40 (KJV)
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Today, as we celebrate Valentine’s Day, let’s show others the love of God and focus on His amazing love. The Bible tells us that love can cover a multitude of sins. We need to remember that the battle is God’s, not ours. He is in control. Anytime we can show others love, instead of hate, anger or judgment then we gain victory. 

 P.S. If you enjoyed this please share it so your family and friends can read it as well. :) 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Just be you

Comparing ourselves to others steals our joy. It does not serve us in any way. When we compare ourselves to others then it either makes us feel as if we are better than they are or it makes us feel as if we are not as good. Either emotion is not good for us. Every day we just need to live our best life and not worry about what other people are doing. We need to do things for the joy that it brings into our lives. 

It took me a long time to enjoy the process of writing. For so long, I judged every word that I recorded onto the page. I wouldn’t allow the natural flow to happen because I held back. In my mind, I needed to do this to protect myself. Suppressing the feelings made me feel as if I was in control. But in doing that, I also suppressed my joy. When I was finally able to let go and just write, without judgment or suppression, then I was able to get into the flow of writing and actually create the stories of my heart. Now, I give myself permission to write whatever pops into my mind—whether it is good or bad. Knowing that I can always edit it later. 

While there are many people in this world more talented than I am, no one else can tell my story. Our uniqueness is in how we do it. I read lots of books and no two authors are exactly the same. Every one of them has their own unique style. 

Trying to be like everyone else takes away from our own uniqueness. One of the greatest things that we can do in this world is learning to be ourselves. God gave us all gifts. It is up to us to discover the gift that He gave us. It is a process. Learning to write from my heart, took me a while to discover. But if we show up every day, determined to use our gifts, then God will show us how to use them. I write every day. Not for money or fame, but for the joy it brings into my life. 

I used to write for other people. Therefore, I allowed their criticism to enter my heart. At times along this journey, I have even allowed the harsh opinions of others to cause me to stop writing. Then one day, I realized that I had to write for me first. When I write authentically from my soul, it helps me first, then I can share it with others. 

Every day, as I sit down to write, I ask God to help me to help someone else with my writing. And He always blesses me to write what I need. God is the one who can take a little and bless it abundantly. 

 P.S. If you enjoyed this please share it so your family and friends can read it as well. :) 

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Overcome life's hardships with the goodness of the Lord

How do you view the world, your life, and, most importantly, God? 

I went through a period in my life where I constantly put myself down. During this time, I saw everything as bad and in a negative light. I called myself worthless and focused more on the shame of being a sinner than I did on the beautiful gift of salvation. As long as I was focusing on my shame of sinning, then the guilt of what Jesus endured for me was heartbreaking. Therefore, I focused more on shame rather than joy. 

Now, I choose to focus on the joy. Yes, Jesus suffered for me. And knowing that makes me feel so loved by Him. It was the love of God that covered all of our sins. He doesn’t want us to dwell on the sin. He was us to focus on His great love for us and to tell of the hope inside of us. 

We need to strive to radiate God’s love every single day. God doesn’t want us to walk around with our heads down complaining about the evil in the world. He wants us to speak about our faith and how God helps us through our every struggle. Our conversations need to be so filled with God’s goodness that other people feel a sense of hope just by talking to us. 

So often we make ourselves miserable by what we choose to believe. As long as we walk around feeling defeated then we will be defeated. The battle is in our minds. Our God is mighty. He has never been defeated by the enemy. That is what we need to focus on. 

Right now I have troubles in my life. Each trial seems overwhelming to me. I have decisions to make and I don't know what to do. Therefore, I have two options. I can worry myself sick about my hardships or I can pray about them and turn them over to God. He knows exactly what I need to do. He knows the solution to my every problem. And it is His good pleasure to help us. I try to carry burdens that were never meant for me to carry. They need to be surrendered to my Lord. 

I want to live from a place of gratitude. I want to be so focused on the goodness of my Lord that His goodness is all I can see. Last night, as I went to bed the negative thoughts started running through my mind. I could feel my body tensing up. Then, I shifted my thoughts. I drifted off to sleep thinking about the goodness of my Lord. Every day I want to live well, love deeply, and focus on what truly matters. 

 P.S. If you enjoyed this please share it so your family and friends can read it as well. :) 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Follow God

We all go through periods in our lives when we just don’t understand why we feel a certain way or why we are going through a particular trial. As much as we want for things to stay the same, God has a plan for our lives. In order to follow Him, we have to be willing to do things differently at times. Stepping out in faith, when we don’t understand it all can be so scary. 

Before I follow Him, I want to see the whole picture. I want to know my next step before I take this one. Faith, however, means that we need to trust God—in all situations. Even when we can’t see the whole plan, we have to take the first step by faith. 

God has never let me down. Anytime that I have put my trust in Him, He has delivered me from my troubles. I am the one who makes a mess of things. But, I want to have a good life and to become the person God created me to be. Therefore, I need to follow Him. I want Him to lead me and to guide me the right way. I want to follow my Lord, even when it’s hard, and when I don’t understand it all. Because when I follow the Lord, He will mold me into a mighty vessel, capable of doing His work.

Job 23:10 (KJV)
10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

It is during my trials that God molds me and I get to learn more about Him. Instead of resisting Him through the hardships, I want to draw closer to Him and embrace the trial. When I embrace the whole process, then God can teach me. As long as I am resisting the trail, then I preventing myself from learning. 

I love it when I can surrender it all to Him and trust Him to do what is best. I love getting to see how He works. Every single time that I go through something challenging with Him, I feel a deeper connection with Him. When I come out the other side, I am changed in some way. The trial always gives me a beautiful gift. And when God blesses me to see how He worked it all for my benefit, my heart overflows with joy. God is amazing and I am so grateful for every opportunity that He gives me to grow and to learn more about His ways. It is during this process that I feel so deeply loved by Him. 

 P.S. If you enjoyed this please share it so your family and friends can read it as well. :) 

Sunday, February 10, 2019

God gives the increase

Have you ever found yourself in a place of misery and wondered how you ended up there? It doesn’t happen overnight. Each bad decision that we make takes us farther away from where we want to be. Until we find ourselves consumed by the darkness. The beautiful light that our souls desire seems so far away. We stumble around in the darkness, desperately seeking the light. Forgetting that the light is inside of us. It’s been there the whole time. 

When we have a problem, it’s only natural to seek outside solutions. After all, we are searching for something to dull the pain. The only one who can fix the pain, however, is the one who created it. We create our own pain, therefore we must search within ourselves for the answers to fix it. In my experience with God, He doesn’t just fix my problems. But, He gives me the wisdom to fix them myself. When we do everything that we can do, then God will do the things we can’t do. 

It is like a farmer who plants a garden. While he can plow the ground and plant the seeds, he can’t make it grow and increase the harvest. But if we fail to plant the seeds, then God won’t have anything to increase. It takes works combined with faith. If we are willing to work, then God will do His great work in us.  

Sometimes it is uncomfortable. When we want to change something about our lives or get closer to God, it will be hard. But the blessing is greater than the hardship. If we can just keep our eyes on the harvest, then we will be able to do the work. So often, I get discouraged because I want to reap the rewards before I have put in the work.

Today, we need to trust in the fact that God has a perfect plan for us. He knows exactly how to help us. God knows what we need when we need it. We just need to seek Him with our whole heart and wait for our instructions. Once He gives us the guidance we need to do whatever He tells us to do. Usually, the ways of God are easy. We sometimes miss His instructions because it is so simple that we stumble over it. I normally have to do it my way and fail before I will go to God. Then, when He tells me what to do again, I realize that I have caused myself so much pain and misery because I didn’t listen to Him the first time.

 P.S. If you enjoyed this please share it so your family and friends can read it as well. :) 

Friday, February 8, 2019

God, please bless me to help one more

It is a gift to be able to look into the eyes of someone in pain and to share a moment of understanding. Sometimes, one of the most powerful things that we can say to someone else is I’ve been there as well. Once we have walked in another’s shoes then we have compassion for them. We know what that kind of pain feels like. We know the heartache. Therefore, we can use the heartache, compassion, and love to pray for those who are hurting. 

I sincerely thank God for my years of pain. Every day I ask Him to bless me to help one person. Being able to help one of God’s children is such an honor. I love it when He gives me the opportunity. With each person that He blesses me to help, I ask Him for just one more. 

Then, all day long I look for the opportunities that He puts before me. It helps me to approach each person throughout my day as the one God selected for me to help. When I am helping someone else then I don’t think about my own problems as much. It helps me to direct my focus away from myself and on to God. 

Sometimes God moves in a mighty way and gives me a glimpse of who I am helping and a specific way to help them. Other times it is small things like a smile, compliment, 
or conversation that He blesses me to share with others all throughout my day. 

Today, I urge you to try it as well. It is such a blessing to be able to help someone else in any way. When we desire to serve God, then He will provide the opportunities. Serving others feeds my soul. It makes me feel as if my life matters and gives me purpose. One of the greatest things I have learned is that my life is not just about me. 

 P.S. If you enjoyed this please share it so your family and friends can read it as well. :) 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Loving ourselves unconditionally

I am really good at tearing myself down. I am guilty of speaking negatively to myself. Regardless of what I do or how much I try, I still find fault with myself. In my mind, I think that I should have done more or tried harder. This type of mindset discourages me. And I’m sure some of you, who will read this today will be nodding your head and understanding exactly how this feels because you do it as well. 

But what if we all decided to be an encourager instead of a discourager? What if we decided right now to give ourselves some grace? And to love ourselves right where we are in our lives. 

When we are already discouraged when don’t need tough love and to be hard on ourselves. What we need are grace and love. Loving ourselves, right where we are in our lives, is one of the greatest things that we can do. We don’t have to wait for the next accomplishment to be proud of ourselves. Nor the next pat on the back from someone else. We can give ourselves the encouragement we so desperately need right now. 

Talking harshly to myself never motivates me. It just makes me feel worse. Then instead of doing better, I do worse. Learning to love me unconditionally is so powerful. Because I am going to fail. I am going to make bad decisions at times. I am going to have bad days and bad moments. The key is to love myself through it and talk to myself as I would the ones I love so dear. 

I would never say the things to my loved ones that I say to myself. Actually, it is not even me. All the negativity comes from my mind. And the enemy is in our minds. It’s the voice that chatters constantly. Have you ever stopped to listen to that voice? 

The negative voice is filled with doom and gloom and has a problem for my every solution. Therefore, when I am down I need to be encouraged by the truth. I am learning to replace the lies of my enemy with the truth of God’s word. Here are a few scriptures that help me when I am feeling down. 

Luke 18:27 (KJV)
27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.

John 14:27 (KJV)
27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Philippians 4:13 (KJV)
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Joshua 1:9 (KJV)
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

 P.S. If you enjoyed this please share it so your family and friends can read it as well. :) 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

I am the problem

I am the problem. 

The majority of my problems in life are caused by my thinking. When a thought pops into our minds we have two choices. We can either choose to dismiss it or to believe it. Depending on the thought, it will either make us feel good or bad. The bad news is that usually, we accept our thoughts as the truth without even analyzing them. 

I have been caught up in the lies many times. My mind is kind of like a toddler telling a story. Once it has my attention, the story continues to get bigger and bigger. And it is filled with drama. The story is always told from the victim mindset. 

When we feel hurt or angry by the story being crafted in our minds, then we need to examine it. Are the thoughts true? Do we know for certain each one is true? This is the tricky part because at the time it can certainly feel true. And we can feel justified for believing it. 

In my experience, I can tell you that my stories are very seldom true. Because the enemy always wants to take us to the worst case scenario. Satan wants to hurt us. He wants us to be mad at our loved ones. He wants us to turn away from those we love. He wants to steal our blessings. And sometimes we allow him to take them without a fight. 

One day I came home from work and my husband and son both snapped at me within minutes. I thought I shouldn’t have even come home today if they are going to be mean to me. Then, I realized that they were both having a bad day. It had absolutely nothing to do with me. So instead of fighting back, I became the safe space for them. I loved on them and tried to be there for them. 

The greatest thing we can do when we feel hurt is to go to God and ask Him to help us see the situation as it is—not how we perceive it to be. God knows the truth. And when we ask Him to reveal it to us He will. We might not always like the truth. Sometimes it does hurt our feelings and show us that we are wrong. But once we see the problem, then we can work to fix it. 

When we love people, right where they are in their lives, and give them the same grace that God gives us, then life is just better. I want to live from a place of compassion and have eyes to see the best in everyone. That’s how God sees us. He looks at us through the lens of love. Instead of condemning us for all of our mistakes, He sees the goodness in us. Every day I want to try to live in His perfect will for me and to treat others how He treats me.  

Romans 12:2 (KJV)
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

 P.S. If you enjoyed this please share it so your family and friends can read it as well. :) 

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

I will praise my Lord

This morning as I was reading the first three chapters of Job, my heart sympathized with Job and all that he endured. While I’ve never suffered in the exact same way as Job, I have had enough sorrow to be able to relate to him. Especially when the heartaches stack upon each other and we can’t seem to catch our breath from one trial until another one comes. 

The one thing that he said, which really resonated with me was in these verses. 

Job 2:9-10 (KJV)
Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.
10 But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

Do I really want to be the kind of person who only praises God when things are good in my life? Or do I want to be the kind of person who praises God during the good times and bad? 

Sometimes God has a hedge around us—protecting us from all pain. And sometimes He also allows us to experience some pain so that we can grow in Him. We can’t get stronger and grow as long as everything is going great in our lives. It takes the pain for us to truly seek Him in our hearts. 

So often we want our way. We want things to be as we want them to be. But sometimes, God has a different way—an even better way. When we can surrender it all to Him and trust Him to take care of us, then we can praise Him through the storms. 

Walking through the valleys and lying in the trenches is where I have truly discovered God’s love for me. I remember one night, after my surgery, being in so much pain that I couldn’t sleep. It felt unbearable to me. Then, I felt God. He wrapped me in His arms and I drifted off to sleep. He didn’t prevent me from being in pain, but He helped me to endure it. 

Therefore, I want to praise Him always. When my heart is overcome with joy and it is overcome with sorrow, either way, I will praise Him. 

 P.S. If you enjoyed this please share it so your family and friends can read it as well. :) 

Monday, February 4, 2019

Fear not

The enemy is selling us fear and evil. Every day, in some way, we are reminded of the evil in this world. Satan wants this to be continually in our minds. He wants us to feel defeated. The more fear he can conjure up, the more we will focus on him. Our adversary wants us to fear him and to talk about him constantly. As long as we are talking about the evil in the world, then we are not talking about God’s goodness. 

When the enemy attacks and creates an abundance of fear, let’s go to God’s word. God tells us over and over in the scriptures to fear not. 

Isaiah 41:10-14 (KJV)
10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.
12 Thou shalt seek them, and shalt not find them, even them that contended with thee: they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of nought.
13 For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.
14 Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

The battle is not ours. It is the Lord’s. I have to remind myself of this truth constantly. God is in control. He is still taking care of His people. At any given moment, my blessings exceed my heartaches. 

The greatest thing we can do for our country is to walk in God’s love. We need to be a voice of faith and encouragement. The Bible tells us that love can cover a multitude of sins. Therefore, we need to be a source of God’s love. 

On the days when I smile, pray for others, and radiate God’s love, then my day is so much better. I love to talk about Him and to tell of His greatness. He’s been so good to me. I just can’t put into words what my Lord means to me. When I feel Him stir in my soul, the joy is unexplainable. The Creator of the whole universe is my Father. And He loves me. That is what I want to focus on today. 

 P.S. If you enjoyed this please share it so your family and friends can read it as well. :) 

Sunday, February 3, 2019

What is important to you?

What is important to you?

Every once in a while, we need to pause in our lives and ask ourselves this question. Life is filled with so many things to distract us and to steal our attention. If we are not careful, we will end up focusing all of our attention on things that don’t really even matter. 

When I align my life according to the Bible, then everything goes better and just feels better.

  1. God should be the very center of our lives. When I put Him first, then He helps me with all things. He teaches me how to live and to love. The more I read His word, the more that I love Him and His ways. Therefore, I make an effort to spend time with God each day. I want Him to lead me and to guide me according to His will. 
  2. My family should come next. To me my family is everything. Every day I make time to spend with those I love. I go to my Mom and Dad’s house every Sunday and spend the day with my family. I wouldn’t trade these moments for anything in the world. Sunday is my favorite day of the week. 
  3. Lastly, this is where my job comes in. I’ve been guilty of my putting my job before God and my family. However, that doesn’t work for me. It makes me miserable to put anything before my God. God knows that we need to work to provide for our families. He also knows when we desire Him or not. 

Not allowing anything to come in between me and God is hard. It takes a continual desire and effort. My flesh is weak. Therefore, it wants to go after things of the world. But, when I align my life according to my beliefs, then God blesses my efforts. He blesses my life in unexpected ways. Everything is more beautiful when we are close to the Lord. I can find joy in the smallest of things. But, when I am not aligned with Him nothing makes me happy. I complain about everything and see the world negatively. Therefore, if we truly want to find happiness in our lives, then we need to seek the Lord. He can teach us how to live joyfully and to love unconditionally. I love it when I can live with gratitude in my heart and thank my Lord for my life. It’s one thing to be blessed and another to feel blessed. 

 P.S. If you enjoyed this please share it so your family and friends can read it as well. :) 

Author shares message through Zippy the zebra