Who inspires you to do your best?

When I think about doing my best, I first think of my parents. I suppose that is because they were the first, that I remember, to tell me to do my best. Whether it be in school, making friends, or playing well with others. (The latter has not always been my strong suit.) But as we learn to live with Christ, we know that we should do all things to glorify God.

Colossians 3:23 (ESV)  Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

Not only are we to do all things as well as possible in order to glorify God, we are also to give thanks to Him. It takes some work for me to be in constant remembrance that every single opportunity, every single day of my life is all thanks to God.

Colossians 3:17  (ESV)  And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

When our lives are going sideways or things just don’t feel right….we get frustrated and flustered. No matter what we are doing, if we are disciplined to do all things that glorify God and give him thanks, we can truly never be disappointed.

“The price of excellence is discipline. The cost of mediocrity is disappointment.” William Arthur Ward.

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No Matter Where You Go….You Take Yourself With You!

James 3:16  For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every evil practice.  

For many years I spent my time and energy coveting what others had achieved.

Instead of trying harder, I spent more energy feeling slighted that others were smarter than me.

Instead of cherishing the relationship I had with my parents, I resented their attempts to provide for me and love me.

Instead of recognizing intimate relationships required constant effort and compromise, I was ungrateful of any attempts made on their part.

Instead of focusing on my ability to be a valued employee, I was convinced that I was not being treated fairly or respected.

Instead of cultivating strong friendships, I walked away at the first unpleasant feeling or truth.

Instead of balancing my finances, I was bitter towards others who had nicer cars, bigger houses, more money, or better jobs.

Over many years, I spent so much time quitting colleges, seeking surrogate parent figures, going through divorce, changing jobs, and walking away from friendships. It didn’t matter what I did to try and satisfy my feelings of loss and inadequacy. No matter where I went, I took myself with me.

Hebrews 13:5  Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Once I turned my life back over to Christ and started living my life “with” Him again, all my desires for MORE were gone. My struggle was no longer searching for happiness through my own experiences or circumstances. I was again thankful for what God has provided for me. A great desire to be content in all areas of my life came over me. Not only in the good times, but as well and more so in the bad times. Relief is found in trusting that God is in control.

Proverbs 14:30  A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.

Being content glorifies God.

2 Corinthians 9:15  Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

There are so many things to be thankful for. My family is healthy. We have everything we need. We truly want for nothing.

Philippians 4:11  I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 

No Matter Where You Go, You Take Yourself With You! But when we are living “with” Christ we will end up exactly where we are supposed to be. Taking on the new self and putting off the old.

Matthew 6:21  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

 

Celebrate Your Season of Singleness

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1

For some, being single is a lonely, desperate and sad way of living. That’s how I used to feel about being single. I have been divorced for seven years. But, it wasn’t until recently that I’ve accepted what it means to be single. Our culture tells us that we should be married. At minimum, we should have someone “special” in our lives. The world tends to see single people as lonely, desperate, broken, dysfunctional, or less than whole. We shouldn’t care what society thinks.

We do not dare to compare ourselves with those who use themselves to measure themselves and they judge themselves by what they themselves are. This shows that they know nothing.                  2 Corinthians 10:12

Our concern should be centered on what God wants for us.

Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well. Matthew 6:33

Our season of singleness is a beautiful gift from God. What God withholds from us can be our greatest gift. Only God knows when we are ready to meet our spouse that He has chosen for us. His timing is perfect.

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

So, what are we to do while we wait?

Here is a list of some things to do while we are in our Season of Singleness.

  1. Learn Contentment    God will always give us what we need. We can focus on increasing our trust and broadening our knowledge that God knows what is best for us, that He is providing for us and that He is protecting us.
  2. Learn to Live     During our season of singleness we should use our free time and freedom from additional commitments to grow closer to God. Become planted in a church. Join a Bible study group. Serve others by finding somewhere to volunteer or ways to mentor others. Practice spiritual discipline by developing spiritual habits. These could include reading the Bible, making prayer a practice and learning to apply the character of Christ to our lives.
  3. Cultivate a Solid Support System     We need to develop good, strong friendships and learn to let go of toxic relationships. This is a great time to focus on family and getting to know our loved ones better.
  4. Learn Humility     Stop looking and reaching outside of yourself and start looking and reaching within yourself. Stop viewing everyone in the room as a possible candidate. For this leads to lust. Stop looking for those that may be interested in you. For this leads to being prideful. Start viewing people with the value they deserve as they too are created in God’s image. This leads to being respectful.
  5. Prepare Yourself     During your season of singleness, prepare yourself to be the best you that is possible. Begin exercising and develop better eating habits. Map out short and long term goals. Master your finances and budget. Take time to become more educated.
  6. Give all Glory to God     Acknowledge His greatness and give Him honor through praise and worship. Recognize His essence of glory. Listen to and agree with Him. Submit to Him and obey Him.

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:36

Being a woman, I have gotten caught up in “waiting for my Boaz”. I’ve caught myself wasting valuable resources searching for the “one”. This includes money, time, energy, thoughts and emotions. All single women should really study the book of Ruth. We should all strive to live our Season of Singleness as Ruth did. Her focus wasn’t on searching or seeking Boaz. Her focus was on glorifying God. She was content. She was living her life. She was focused on family. She did things with humility. By the time Boaz arrived, she was prepared. Ruth’s life glorified God. This is what we should all strive for during our Season of Singleness.

Rejoice always, Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances.                                                1 Thessalonians 5:16-22.

 

 

Playing Hide and Seek.

Once again, I’ve gotten away from my core values. It’s been a long time since I’ve taken time to reflect on what is really happening in my life. A lot has happened over the last three or four years. Well….I would like to think a lot has happened… but in reality nothing has been happening.

In reality, I was hiding. From myself. From my church family. From my biological family. From my friends. Everyone except God.

Have you ever tried to play hide and seek with God? It doesn’t play out real well. We can hide from just about anything or anyone on this earth….but not God. Most people will give up on us…..but not God.

While I was hiding….God made sure the right people remained in my life. My sisters and brothers in Christ. My family. I knew all along the He was protecting me while I was hiding. I just couldn’t make myself come out of hiding.

So what happened? How did God finally get me to stop hiding? I really cannot say at this time. For the past couple of months I have been hyper focused on what has been missing in my life. I’ve been hyper focused on listening to Him. And basically, He let me know that He needed me to be something to someone else. It was time to give, not take. It was time to stop hiding and start living.

“Can anyone hide from me in a secret place? Am I not everywhere in the heavens and earth?” Says the LORD. Jeremiah 23:24

GAME OVER!

“He has made everything beautiful in its time…” Ecclesiastical 3:11

Building a Prayer Life

Learning has always been difficult for me. My A.D.D. tendencies can derail a good idea, quickly. Things need to be organized and in their proper place. Reference points are needed to guide my thoughts. As I began meeting more and more people through my faith, I found it difficult to keep track of the prayer requests, or the Bible verses I wanted to study, or my own goals. I needed a way of simplifying my prayer life.

I believe that our prayer life is how we build our relationship with Jesus. This has become most important in my life…to build a strong relationship with Him.

So, I set out to learn how to build a fulfilling prayer life. The following is what I came up with.


We are commanded to pray.

Ephesians 6:18 (AMP)

Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).

We are commanded to pray without fret or worry.

Philippeans 4:6 (AMP)

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything by prayer and petition [definite requests], with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.

We are commanded to never cease praying. To pray all the time and to do so earnestly.

1 Thessolonians 5:17 (AMP)

Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly]

Colossians 4:2 (AMP)

Be earnest and unwearied and steadfast in your prayer [life], being [both] alert and intent in [your praying] with thanksgiving.

The Bible guides us and teaches us not to ramble or only pray by repeating memorized prayer. We are to be specific, with few words.

Matthew 6:7 (AMP)

And when you pray, do not heap up phrases (multiply words, repeating the same ones over and over as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard for their much speaking.

Ecclesiastes 5:2 (AMP)

Be not rush with your mouth, and let not your heart be hasty to utter a word before God. For God is in heaven, and you are on earth; therefore let your words be few.


My desire to learn how to pray led me to search for an organized way to strengthen my prayer life and my relationship with God. A prayer journal or a prayer notebook was just the answer. Using the creativity God gave me, I made my own prayer journal/notebook. Now you can make one too.

Step One

Photo 1 Photo 2 Photo 4

I purchased a photo album at the local Goodwill for $3.00.

Additionally, I purchased some scrapbook paper and stickers.

Anything will work. Colored paper; wrapping paper….or nothing at all.

Lastly, I purchased some colored index cards.

Again…this doesn’t need to be about expense or color or making the Prayer Book fancy. Plain paper or notebook paper works too.

I chose the photo album because I can move things around fairly easily. Others have used three ring binders. This gives them even more flexibility. A journal or composition book will work as well.


Step Two

My prayer book is divided into the following sections:

Photo Adoration          Adoration – Give God praise and honor for who he is.                

Photo Confession          Confession – Examine yourself before God and honestly deal      

                                                                                     with the sin in your life.

Photo Thanksgiving            Thanksgiving – Verbalize what you are thankful for.

Photo Supplication               Supplication – Pray for the needs of others and yourself.

Photo Proverbs 31               Proverbs 31 – Become a Godly woman.

There’s also a section for Goals and Books of the Bible.

Each section has multiple spaces for note cards. As I grow in my prayer life, I can add and subtract information in the Prayer Book. As I learn new Bible verses, I can add them to the sections where they apply.


Step Three

Start using your new Prayer Book. The Holy Spirit will assist you while you design, make or purchase your Prayer Book. As well, the Holy Spirit will be with you through your entire prayer process. No matter what that may be.

Romans 8:26 (AMP)

So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.

When Life Happens……Praise God!

It has been a long time since I logged into my blog. I haven’t published anything in months. I haven’t forgotten why I started this blog. I haven’t been lazy. Just the opposite actually. As this year dwindles down through the last quarter, I would like to reflect on the things God has done for me and my family this year.

The best lesson I learned this year is that Jesus wants to know me as an individual. He wants to be in a relationship with me. His relationship with me is the most important relationship I have and He has equipped me with all I need to survive this world.He has provided for all of us a breastplate and helmet. With full protection and knowledge we are better equipped to stand strong before the evil one (in general or specifically Satan). God’s Word provides us the readiness and firm foundation we need to fight against ‘flaming missiles’….spiritual attacks. Paul says it best in Ephesians.


Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God, And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace. Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God. Ephesians 6:14-17. (AMP)


An equally important lesson learned this year has been learning to truly be thankful. In all circumstances, regardless of the results. To be thankful and trusting that God’s will is sufficient.


Be happy [in your faith] and rejoice and be glad-hearted continually (always); Be unceasing in prayer [praying perseveringly]; Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will]. 1Thess. 5:16-18. (AMP)


PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I am truly excited to be under your protection. As well, Lord, I am so very thankful for your guidance this past year. Lord, you know my struggles and weaknesses, and Lord, I thank you for walking along side me (often carrying me). Thank you, Lord for the wonderful people you have placed in my life to help me grow and serve in Christ. For the first time in my life, I truly look forward to tomorrow. Because I look so forward to learning more and more about You. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen!