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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Making Godly decisions

Making decisions can be so hard at times. Especially when our decisions affect other people. I am a people pleaser. Therefore, I usually end up doing things that I don’t want to do because I don’t want to disappoint anyone else. Saying no for me is one of the hardest things to do. 

I have learned, however, when I say yes to something, then that means I am saying no to something else. For some things, this might not be a big deal. In order to know for sure, we have to examine it and check in with our feelings about it. If my decision makes me feel bad, brings dread upon me or makes me justify my reasons in any way, then it is probably not the best decision for me. However, if the decision feels peaceful and I feel good about all aspects of it, then that is probably the best decision for me. Sometimes just taking out a sheet of paper and writing it all down, the good and bad, helps me to see the whole picture. 

When things feel off, then I find myself praying continuously about my decisions. The pause is a good indication for me that I am trying to do something outside of God’s will for my life. I want to pray about it because I am usually trying to change God’s mind about it. In my gut, I can feel that it is not right so I want to pray and try to make it right.

The hesitation and feeling something is not right is a very good indication that we are going in the wrong direction. God is not the author of confusion. When we feel confused, irritated, or fearful, then those feelings are not of God. God’s ways are simple and He gives us peace with our decisions. 

Most of the time we know what we need to do. We just don’t want to do it. Therefore, we cause ourselves heartache and worry by continuing to stand in between two opinions. In this case, we just need to make a decision based on what we feel in the deep recesses of our soul. While the enemy tries to give us different options, and even change the situation on us, God does not change His answer. His ways are love, peace, and joy. 

Photo by Thomas Rey on Unsplash

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Monday, April 29, 2019

Just one more

From the moment I started writing, I have asked the Lord to allow my writing to help at least one person. Then, when He blesses me to help one person, I ask Him to please give me just one more person to help. The gift of being able to help someone else is a great gift, and I am so incredibly grateful for every opportunity. 

But I know my place. All I do is sit down in obedience, with the desire to help someone. God is the One who knows the words that will touch another heart. He is the One who puts the power behind the words. God can take a little and bless it abundantly. I love working with Him.

Writing and speaking and sitting with someone in the midst of their sorrow is a gift. Money nor awards can compare to the gift of helping someone else through their troubles or giving them a little glimpse of hope in the midst of darkness. Everything that God gives me to do is such a wonderful blessing. 

I hope and pray as long as I live that my words will be used to help other people. I want to be the kind of person who lifts others up—instead of tearing them down. I want to look for the good in each and every person. I want to use my light to shine the way to the Lord. And each time that God uses me to help someone else, I pray that my soul desires to help just one more.

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Friday, April 26, 2019

How to quiet the mind

Most of the time, we cause our own heartache. I can look back over my life and see where I have gone down the wrong path and caused myself lots of unnecessary grief. Other times the problem was in my thinking. My thoughts cause so much of my heartache. Therefore, I am learning to control my thoughts. 

When I allow my thoughts to run wild, like a toddler, then I stay in that place of drama and anxiety. Overthinking and allowing my mind to run around in circles is not helpful for me. All it does is wear me down and cause me to get sick. Controlling my thoughts, however, and looking for a solution to my problems is helpful. 

I am learning to control my thoughts by journaling and meditating. Honestly, I wish I had known this and implemented it in my life years ago. When I go out for a walk and just breathe, it helps me so much. The deep, focused breaths calm my mind and my body. Then, I can think more clearly. Especially when I focus my thoughts and release the thoughts of worry, fear, and negativity immediately. After I sort through those thoughts, then I can get to the ones that will truly help me. 

When my mind is troubled by worry and fears, then I feel like I am constantly coming unglued. And I hate that feeling. Monitoring my thoughts has helped me so much. It has relieved the stress and anxiety that I used to feel. Now my body and my mind feel calm.

Today, I encourage you to try it. Get a notebook, a scrap of paper, or even use the notes on your phone, but just journal about your day or your problem. Write it all down. Then examine it. So often when I put it on paper, then I can spot the lies immediately. Once I dismiss the lies then I can search for the truth. Ask God to help you. He knows our situation and how to help us. Meditation helps me to calm my mind. It stops the constant chatter in my mind and helps me to live in the present moment. When I work to quiet my mind, then I can hear the voice of my Lord better. 

Photo by Sylwia Bartyzel on Unsplash

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Thursday, April 25, 2019

Seeking the good

Today, I am going to focus on the good. God has an abundance of good things for us right now. The problem is we are usually so absorbed by the bad things happening in our world that we neglect to see the good things. Therefore, I want to consciously look for the good and choose to feel good. 

We are the creators of our own life. However, we see our world is exactly how it will be. When we are feeling bad, then we need to stop and examine our thoughts. What are we choosing to believe that is making us feel bad? 

Then we can go to the scriptures. Here are just a few of my favorites. These scriptures encourage me. Write them down and look at them often today. When we let God’s truth renew our minds then it makes us feel better. 

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.

Psalm 51:10 KJV
[10] Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Matthew 11:28 KJV
[28] Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Mark 11:24 KJV
[24] Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them , and ye shall have them .

Proverbs 3:5 KJV
[5] Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Joshua 1:9 KJV
[9] 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.

Romans 12:2 KJV
[2] 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.

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Abundantly blessed

How often do we think about the things that we don’t want in our lives? If someone asked what we would like to have in our lives, could we tell them? Or would we explain all of the things that we don’t want?

When we talk about the things we don't want in our lives, then we are giving our attention to those things. I have example after example of this in my life. When we focus on negative things, then they tend to show up everywhere. The same is true, however, for positive experiences. 

Before my Zippy books were published, I went to sleep every night imagining kids all around me while I read my books to them. At the time, I didn’t know how my books would be published, but I stopped worrying about how it would all happen and just believed that it would. The vision I had with the kids has been replicated over a hundred times. What started out as a dream became my reality. 

God will give us the desires of our hearts. Therefore, we need to allow our hearts the time to desire things. We need to spend our time focused on what we want and allow our hearts to feel the joy for the blessing right now. Before we could be saved we had to believe wholeheartedly that God would save us. The moment that we believed was the moment that He saved us—and gave us the greatest gift of all. 

An abundance of blessings is available to us. We just need to believe that God can and will bless us according to His will for our lives. So often we put God in a box and limit His power in our lives with our unbelief. But we need to remember that God is unlimited. He is powerful. 

Today, I want to focus on the power and goodness of my Lord. I want to choose His abundance for my life and feel the gratitude for it right now. Every day we can find the good in our lives or the bad. It is up to us which one we seek.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Are you really living?

Out of all the days you have been alive, how many of those days have you truly lived?

Yesterday that thought made me pause and think for a moment. Honestly, it makes me sad. So many of my days have been spent by merely existing and just trying to make it through the day. 

The days when I choose not to feel anything are the saddest days. On those days I end up emotionally eating, numbing my pain with social media, or sleeping more. Because I don’t want to feel the emotions of life or do the things that need to be done to make me feel better. Therefore, I stuff my emotions down inside of me. I stuff and then numb the pain that the stuffing brings. It’s a horrible cycle.

The only way for me to break through is to allow myself to feel whatever it is that I am feeling. Sometimes I just need to sit with the emotion and allow myself to feel it. Then when the emotion is strong, I need to pray about whatever is bothering me. When I give the Lord my troubles, then He gives me His peace. 

We have to get to the place in our lives when we will no longer accept our present behavior. Then, we can change it. Prayer always helps me. Just talking over my troubles with the Lord helps me to see them differently. The enemy wants us to believe that the desires of our hearts are impossible, but with God all things are possible. 

One of the best ways for me to fully live each day is to cultivate gratitude in my life. The more I search for it, the more things I can find to be grateful for. This gives me feelings of abundance and joy and helps me to live my best life. 

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Monday, April 22, 2019

God's will

It is God. He is the director of my life. Most of the time, I don’t know what to do. I don't know how to write words to help other people. I don’t know how to raise my children. I don’t even know how to help myself—not to mention anyone else. Sometimes, however, when I put my thoughts and feelings aside and when I allow the spirit of the Lord to guide me, then God blesses me to write something beautiful or to do exactly what I need to do. 

I love it when He moves. The tears flow from my heart as the words suddenly appear. God always knows exactly what I need—when I need it. Those thoughts and words bless my soul. Sometimes they pour out of me. I can barely type fast enough or see the screen for the tears. It doesn't always happen this way, oh but when it does. It is those beautiful moments with my Lord that brings me to this same spot, to try again and again. 

Nothing compares to the precious feeling of God’s sweet spirit. I love it when He stirs my soul. It makes me feel so much joy that my soul sings and rejoices. And it always takes me back to His amazing love. I wish that I could share it with everyone. When I allow God’s spirit to lead me and to guide me, then love is the center of my day. It makes everything better. I don’t get mad at other people or judge them because I am too busy loving them. 

Every day I desire to walk in God’s amazing love and to share as much of it as I can with others, and even myself. We don’t have to live in misery. All we have to do is choose God’s love each day. When we choose to be a beacon of light for Him and to love as He has commanded us to love, then our world will be better. Honestly, when I am walking in God’s love, then I don’t see all the bad. My mind is focused on the good and how I can serve and love all of God’s children. 

Today let's not let the news discourage us. Let’s let God’s word encourage us. God is always stronger than the enemy. His love is the cure for suffering in this world. Let’s give it freely to anyone and everyone we meet today. We don’t know the burdens of anyone else’s heart. We don’t know the troubled soul who is about to give up on life. We don’t know the broken heart who needs encouragement. But God does. Let’s allow Him to use us today for His will. 

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Sunday, April 21, 2019

He is risen

Luke 24:1-8 (KJV)
24 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
6 He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,
7 Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
8 And they remembered his words,

This is my risen Saviour. Even death could not defeat Him. I am so thankful that He fulfilled God’s plan. He overcame death and ascended to His Father in Heaven. Therefore, we can do the same. 

Every time I hear this story, I love Jesus even more. He's suffered it all because He loves us. When I think of Him and how He cares for me every day, my heart overflows with love and joy. Jesus shared His inheritance with us. We are loved by the same God. And we have the ability to love others as He has loved us. 

Even though the enemy tried to defeat Jesus, they had no power over Him. God was overseeing every detail. He gave His Son as a ransom for us. What amazing love! I am so grateful to know Him, to love Him, and to be loved by Him. 

One day as we close our eyes in death, we have peace in knowing that Jesus will raise us up as well. Because of His loving and selfless act, we get to rejoice for Eternity with Him. 

Photo by Soul devOcean on Unsplash

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Friday, April 19, 2019

We are loved

We are loved. 

Today is the greatest symbol of love my soul has ever received. Jesus carried us and our every sins—past, present, and future—to the cross with Him. He bled and died for our sins. Our Savior endured the pain because He loves us. 

Regardless of what we do or don’t do, God loves us unconditionally. He proved His amazing love as He died for our sins. In Him, I find my worth. He is my everything. 

Today and every day, I want to live my life in His amazing love. While I can never repay His beautiful gift of love, I can live each day in His love. I can share it with others and feel the power of it in my soul. Every day I can live in gratitude and praise Jesus for His amazing grace and for my personal gift of receiving salvation for my sins. 

Regardless of what happens to us, we are loved. Beyond anything, we can measure. Therefore my heart whispers, thank you, Jesus! Thank you, God, for sending your Son to save me. Thank you, Jesus, for paying the price that I could not pay. Thank you for loving me when I was unloveable and dying in my sins. Thank you!

Photo by Samuel McGarrigle on Unsplash

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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Standing still, waiting on God

God wants me to stand still. Regardless of how I try to fix this situation, I can’t do anything with it. Every day I look for a possible solution, and when I can’t find one, I hear the voice of my Lord—urging me to stand still.

My flesh, however, does not want to stand still. It needs to know every detail, and wants to do something. Even though I know what I need to do, the waiting patiently on my Lord is hard.

My mind screams at me every day to do something, anything to take care of this. In the depths of my heart, however, I know that God has something better planned for me than I can even imagine. This is the hard part. Just waiting on God to move. 

Our flesh needs to do something—right or wrong it wants to move. The blessings come in the stillness. If I could make it happen in myself, then it wouldn’t be a blessing from the Lord. Therefore, if I want to be blessed by Him, then I need to wait on Him. 

During these times, we have to realize and to know that God always does what is best for us. He can see the whole picture. We don’t know what tomorrow holds. Maybe what we want could hurt us in the long run. Walking with God takes obedience. When we decide to do whatever He puts on our hearts, even when we don’t understand, then He will bless our obedience. 

So, even though it is hard, I am standing still.

Psalm 46:10 (KJV)
10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Do you ever feel as if you are on the wrong path?

Do you ever feel as if you are on the wrong path? 

A while back, I had that same feeling. I just felt as if I was wandering around in the wilderness—going in circles. Nothing really brought me joy. I was irritated all the time. I hated when the anger bubbled up inside of me and I felt as if I was going to explode. I judged others and closed my heart to them. I didn’t give or receive love like I wanted or needed. The whole process made me so miserable. 

My relationship with God, as well as my loved ones, suffered. I allowed the devil to make me so busy that I didn't have time to do what God wanted me to do. Even when I accomplished things it didn’t bring me the joy that I longed for because I was trying to do it in myself. 

Having a relationship with God and doing His work is hard because the devil distracts us continuously. Satan will persuade us to worry about our problems instead of praying about them. When I’m aligned with God, my soul is peaceful. It’s when I try to do things on my own that causes my heartache. 

Now that I am closer to God I understand the fruit of the spirit better. Being obedient to God allows me to work with Him. We are co-workers. I can’t do it without Him—regardless of how hard I try. God can take a little and bless it abundantly. He has blessed my efforts so many times and made me look good. The fruit of God’s spirit is love, peace, joy, etc. 

Therefore, when I am feeling irritated with others or trying so hard, without anything happening, then I know that I have been disobedient at some point and left my Lord. When I realize this I can keep going in the wrong direction, bringing misery and heartache upon myself, or I can ask for forgiveness and then ask God to show me the place where I made the wrong turn. 

God wants to help us. He wants to lead us out of the wilderness. But we have to seek Him with our whole heart. We can’t hold onto our ways or walk stubbornly in the wrong direction trying to find our way. When we find ourselves in misery, then we just need to pray and wait for God to show us the way. 

Deuteronomy 2:1-3 (KJV)
2 Then we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way of the Red sea, as the Lord spake unto me: and we compassed mount Seir many days.
2 And the Lord spake unto me, saying,
3 Ye have compassed this mountain long enough: turn you northward.

Photo by Caleb Jones on Unsplash

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Sunday, April 14, 2019

God is with us always

God doesn’t always prevent us from going into battle, but He does go with us. Wherever we go we take the Lord with us. Nothing can separate us from Him. I love knowing this truth and feeling it in the deep marrow of my bones. 

Sometimes, however, God takes us through the battlefield to give others a little glimpse of our faith in Him. In the midst of our struggle, when we still seek after the Lord and proclaim His greatness, then we become a living testimony for Him. The loudest testimonies are those heard from the battlefield and by how we live our lives in the midst of adversity. 

I love seeing how God works in my life. Oh, friends, He gives me the deepest desires of my heart. When troubles come, God has a plan. I love it when I can turn my heartaches over to Him, and then become still and watch how He takes care of it all. So many times I just stand in awe of Him. Especially when I am close to Him and seeking Him with my whole heart. 

When I can surrender all of my heartaches and fears and trust Him to take care of me, then something wonderful happens. God can give me peace in the midst of the storm. The true joy of this life is to walk this journey with God. He can open doors that are sealed shut and make a way when there is no way. When my mind tries to doubt His power, then I just open my eyes and take in the world all around. God created it all. Therefore, He has the wisdom, knowledge, and power to take care of our every need. Turn to Him. He has grace for your every need. 

Photo by Timo Volz on Unsplash

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Friday, April 12, 2019

Finding the joy

Things are not always what they seem. On the outside, someone may appear like everything is fine. People often smile and laugh and act like they are fine when the turmoil is raging inside of them because they want to be fine. We all want to be loved, accepted, and happy. 

The problem is that we often look for happiness outside of ourselves. We search for it in things, people, and circumstances. This type of happiness is fleeting, and it doesn’t reach our soul. It is a brief interlude of what we desire. So we notice what gave us that brief moment of happiness and we try to reproduce it continuously. We want to live in a constant state of happiness. Then when we can’t achieve this long term, we feel as if there is something wrong with us. 

Being happy all the time is just not possible. Honestly, I don’t want to be happy all the time. Sometimes I need to cry. I need to feel compassion for others who are struggling. I need to become comfortable with being uncomfortable. Learning how to be in the present moment with my emotions has helped me so much. Allowing myself to feel the heartache and the sadness, without trying to push away has been so freeing for me. 

The worst thing that can happen to us is we might feel an emotion we don’t want to feel. But the emotion is there for a reason. Instead of stuffing down inside of ourselves, we need to be brave and feel the emotion. What is it trying to tell us? Usually, my anxiety is just my subconscious mind telling me that I am on the wrong path. If I continuously push the emotions inside of me and never explore them, then I will stay in the place of pain. If I write my emotions down and explore them, then I can understand them. 

Learning to silence my mind, even for a few minutes at a time, has been one of the greatest things I have learned. The more that I meditate and try to understand things, the more that I feel the love and peace of God in my soul. Living in the present moment has helped me so much. Noticing the world around me helps me to find the joy at this moment, and to release the heartache of my past as well as the worry of my future. This moment is all that we have. Let’s search for the joy in it. 

Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash

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Thursday, April 11, 2019

God loves us all

If you are different in some way and feel as if you will never have a happy life, let me take a moment to encourage you. Honestly, I don’t feel as if anything in my life is missing. Even if my scars were removed, I don’t think that my life could be any better than it is right now. 

Living with scars has taught me that I don’t need the approval of society. The love and acceptance that I need are within me. Everything that we need to have a happy life is inside of us. God loves us. He accepts our every flaw. We don’t have to be something different for Him to love us. God loves each and every one of us—just as we are. We have a place in Heaven and a spiritual family who loves us conditionally. As we walk through our daily life, we need to radiate His loving energy to everyone that we meet. 

It breaks my heart that anyone would be treated badly by others because they are different in some way. We are all beautiful flawed. Therefore, we should treat everyone we meet with love and compassion. Everyone—not just the people that we deem worthy.

Yesterday, I had a man approach me and ask me to buy him some food. Since I was going into a different store, I didn’t want to reroute my shopping trip. So I gave him some money. My son asked me later if I thought that he bought food with the money or something else. I have learned that it doesn’t really matter. He asked me to buy him some food. I had the money to help him. So, I did. I gave out of love for my fellow man. What he does with the gift is up to him. It’s not up to me to judge someone else for their actions. That is God’s business. And I felt the Lord as I offered him the money. Normally, I don’t share what I give, but this story was on my heart to share this morning. 

Anytime that we have an opportunity to show someone else love, then we should take it. I want to be a light in a world with darkness. Not because I am good, but because my God is good. We are His body on this Earth to do His work. And in God’s eyes we all matter. He doesn’t turn away from us because we are different or make bad choices. God loves us all unconditionally. And that is how I desire to love others. 

Photo by OC Gonzalez on Unsplash

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Author shares message through Zippy the zebra