Thursday, July 6, 2017

Praise

Oh the power of praise! 

My friends are you going through a hard time? Look up & praise. 
Are you having the best time of your life? Look up & praise! 

We must fight to always maintain our praise. We must not lose sight of God through the pain & we must not forget Him in the joy. 

I was inspired by Paul today. Always contented; always praising. He learned to be content in every circumstance. He learned to praise no matter what. 

Praise might not immediately change the facts about your circumstances, but it changes you & it changes your vision. Praise ignites faith & faith brings "steadfastness." If I'm being honest, I can't stop there...praise CAN change the facts immediately! It did for Paul & Silas! (Acts 16) Be it unto you according to your faith!

Emotions will convince you that your problem is big, but praise brings God back into focus. The closer you are to something, the more of your vision is takes up. Stay close to God, keep your eyes, your heart, your emotions on Him & you'll see your life, your family, friends, money, etc correctly. 

I love the Psalms because it deals with real life & it brings God into every situation. No matter who is against you or what is attacking your body, relationships, money, or any thing else - there is a song that you can sing & there is an answer from God. 

Praise is the moment your attention belongs to God. As you sing...whether it's a popular worship song or a new song out of your heart...it's about Him. You're not thinking about yourself, your problems, or anyone who might be listening. Your words belong to Him. Your heart feels like it could burst out of your chest because every word you sing holds such weight & yet they aren't enough. God is so worthy, so perfect, so deserving, so wonderful that all your words fall short, but love & awe are pouring out of you & you don't want to stop. Sometimes you can't even say a word & all you can do is stretch your arms high towards Him or dance or yell because how does a mere human express enough love & thankfulness & worship to his Creator, his Savior, his Deliverer?! 

Even as I wrote these words, my focus shifted to Him, to His majesty...I couldn't think about myself when I began to imagine Him, when I began to release my praise, & give Him my words & my adoration. It's like a floodgate. Once it starts, it's hard to stop. 

You might feel like everything within you doesn't want to start, do it anyways! Trust Him, trust His process. There is freedom waiting on the other side of your obedience. There is freedom on the other side of submitting your flesh to His truth. There is healing, there is breakthrough, there is more. 

Psalm 16:7-11 
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption. You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

5 things

Thankfulness.

It's a powerful tool - something that causes an effect whether it's on or off. What does that mean? 

If your thankfulness is on it's powerful & on the flip side, if your thankfulness is off...well that's powerful too. 

Thankfulness increases your heart, it re-aligns your vision, it brings you back into reality & it causes your faith to grow.

When it's "off" life tends to take over. You begin to feel like your missing out, you get critical & you stop wanting to help others because you want to help yourself. 

So like I said, it's powerful whether it's on or off. & guess what? Just like most other things in life, it's our choice! 

The Bible tells us that a cheerful heart does you good like medicine. (Proverbs 17:22) What does medicine do? It heals an ailment. If you have the ailment of stress, being unsatisfied or being critical, the remedy is thankfulness. 

So many times the trick of the devil is to get our eyes off of what we do have & on what we don't have. When the actual reality is that we are blessed with so much. This isn't even a faith statement, this is an actual tangible fact. No matter what you've gone through, are going through or what you do or don't have there is so much to be thankful for. 

Do yourself a favor & make a list. Why do you think God wrote the Bible down for us? Because it helps us to see things on black & white (& sometimes red 😉 ). Write down the first 5 things that come to your mind that you are thankful for. Everyone has got 5 things! You do too, even if it doesn't feel like it.

Here's mine:
1. God
2. My Husband
3. Family
4. Church
5. Friends

Once I started there were so many other things that popped into my brain that I was thankful for - I mean just life itself, being alive, healthy, breathing, walking, talking, seeing...seriously! Or you can go with things like clothes, house, car, furniture, etc! It might seem like a small thing to be grateful for, but it makes a big impact. Just like faith as big as a mustard seed can move mountains, so thankfulness - even for small things - can change your thinking! & isn't that what it's all about, renewing our mind to think like Jesus?! 

So my friends, what are you thankful for?

Saturday, April 8, 2017

lay it down

WOW!

Well, I've been walloped by the truth & challenged to make some changes. So I thought I'd share my revelation with you!

Here's the deal! We need to stop living from our own standard. We don't get to have our own opinions, truths or decisions because we've been saved from all that. Don't get me wrong, we're not robots, but if you take 2 seconds to stop & look at how the world has deteriorated because everyone wants their own way, you won't have a problem giving up your (my) finite opinions/desires. We serve the God of the impossible, from Whom every good & perfect gift comes. He holds the perfect standard & has called us to it & equipped us for it. When you remember this, it's not a scary thing to give up the idea of "making sure you get yours!"

What am I talking about? I'm talking about being commanded to forgive someone who's wronged you whether or not they ever try to apologize because releasing those feelings (as real as they are) releases you! I'm talking about giving into the Kingdom of God - your time, your money, your abilities - because God has set up the system of sowing & reaping and He wants to meet your every need according to HIS riches in glory. I'm talking about laying aside your ideals & goals to submit yourself to the Pastor of your church so that the vision God has for your community can be accomplished. God hand-picked your man of God, gave Him the call & put you in that church - so lets remember who's plan this all really is! Fight against the Pastor & I'll give you one guess Who's plan you're really fighting against. I'm talking about loving people & doing something about it. Jesus loved till it hurt. Do we? I'm talking about denying ourselves, taking up our crosses & completing our missions.

We all get to have different personalities, we all have different ways of seeing things & then we get to bring it all before God & say "what do You say about this?" We don't get to walk around as an island basing our decisions on what we think. Ask anyone who lives on an island - it's expensive. Living life as an island - as someone who can't be told anything or corrected about anything, as someone who makes it all about you, as someone who thinks they are always right, as someone who refuses to serve, forgive, love, or submit - will cost you & it will be expensive. It's truly a prideful person who never stops to ask God if what they're thinking is right. WOW! What a challenge. I know I'm definitely convicted to make sure that the way I think about my life lines up with what the Bible tells me to do!

It's time to stop pursing the American dream & start living the God dream - you know, the one where He says that if you seek Him & His kingdom first all the earthly things you need will be given to you. Oh & the one where He says that He'll give you the desires of your heart .... Wait don't forget the one where He said that He's given us everything pertaining to life & godliness. When did the American dream ever promise us that?

So don't be an island, Don't be consumed with yourself & "getting yours." Trust God that as you put Him first, He'll take care of you & cause your life to be more than your could ever dream or think. Being a Christian doesn't mean you have to forgo all the stuff you want to have or experience, it means that you trust your Lord enough to satisfy you. His plan all along was to bless you, so walk by faith, don't forget in the hard times, don't get lazy in the good times & see what God does!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy New Year

Happy New Year Everyone! 

There's so much to look forward to this year! Not because of what's going on in the world & not because of what's going on in your life, but because of what God says about you! 

His promises are good, they are true & they are certain. Imagine that! He's not only for us, but He's capable of coming through for us! This crazy world & the people in it might let you down, even the good ones who don't mean to, but GOD NEVER WILL! What a promise! 

Start your new year right & learn what God says about you & what is yours. Faith comes by the Word. Your faith can only be activated by what God says. It starts in the Bible! If we don't make time for the Bible we won't be making time for our faith to grow & nobody wants that! We all desire to grow & become better versions of ourselves. God has set up the simplest & most effective way to do that - discipline & sacrifice - but don't forget the immense reward that comes from those two things - being called a child of God & heir to all the promises that are YES & AMEN! 

Now that's good news & makes for a pretty darn Happy New Year! 

Wishing you all the very best & looking forward to what God is going to do in 2017.