Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for April, 2014

My 100,000th hit just happened!!  :-O

I was sitting here watching X-Files and refreshing my stats page waiting for the # to budge off of 999,998, hoping to get a screen cap of 100,000, and then 5 hits came in 20 seconds (!!!) and suddenly I was at 100,003…  don’t ever say that God doesn’t have a sense of humor, lol.  Anyways:

I used to check my hit counter once a week to see if I’d gotten A HIT for that week, and now, despite having done ZERO promotion of this blog, I’ve reached this astonishing milestone.

With amazing timing, I currently have 99 subscribers;  I’ll be hitting that magic 1-0-0 there soon, too…  thank you to all who have come along for the ride so far!!

I always hope to have something clever to say at times like this;  maybe by the time I hit 200,000 I’ll have something figured out.  All I can say is what I’ve said before;  through God’s blessings, this little blog keeps showing up at the top of Google searches, and that keeps bringing people here.  It means more than I can say that He allows me to offer up a little comfort and food for thought to folks from all over the world.  Here’s to the next 100,000!!

Edit:  A hair under 24 hours later, I got my 100th subscriber!!  AND, the system shows them joining 1 day and 1 hour ago, so the 2 milestones happened just over an hour apart!!  God never ceases to blow my mind.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Are you listening?

from JO’s sermon tonight:

right now, there are hundreds of radio frequencies in the air, hundreds of television signals all around us, yet we’re not receiving any of them. the reason is, we’re not tuned in. if we were to get a radio, and tune to that frequency, we would hear what the station was saying. in the same way, God is constantly transmitting to us; He wants to lead us, guide us, protect us, give us insight, but too often, we’re not tuned to His frequency. you have to pay attention to what you’re feeling down in here; God doesn’t speak to us, most of the time, out loud, like you see in the movies, He speaks to us through subtle things. you have an unrest, an uneasiness, you don’t feel good about something; that’s not just your nerves, that’s God saying, “go slow, be careful there’s danger up ahead.” it can be a prompting, a suggestion:  all of a sudden, you have the desire to check on your child, to call a friend, to start a new class. it’s easy to think, “I don’t need to do that,” no, you’ve heard the phrase, “trust your gut”? a better way to put it is, “trust your censor”; that’s God telling you what to do. there are times that God will give you intuition; you just know something. you can’t explain it, you don’t have facts to back you up, you just know that you know that you know.

don’t override that, don’t talk yourself out of it, that’s God giving you inside information, helping you to know things that you wouldn’t normally know. some people say, “that’s the universe talking to you.” I like to add 2 words; “that’s the Creator of the universe talking to you.” that’s your heavenly Father; He didn’t just put you on the Earth, and say, “good luck, you’re on your own, I hope you make it.” no, He’s given you a helper, a guide, a counselor; His spirit lives in you. the question is; are you listening? God knows what’s best for us. He knows what you need, and when you need it. He knows how to put you at the right place at the right time. He knows where the danger is, where the good breaks are. I’ve learned to trust my censor; I won’t go against what I’m feeling down in here. in my mind it may seem impossible, all the odds are against me, I don’t have the qualifications, but if I feel good about it in my heart, I’m going to move forward. on the other hand, if there’s an unrest, an uneasiness, I don’t have peace, it can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I’m going to pass. don’t ignore the promptings, impressions, knowings; that’s God talking to you.

Proverbs 3:6 (MSG)

6 Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.

God wants to help you in your everyday life. not just big decisions, but even small things. I wonder how much more favor we would have, how much less frustration and heartache we would see, if all through the day we would be sensitive to what we’re feeling, the promptings, the suggestions, the uneasiness. at the mall, we don’t feel good about that purchase; no big deal, we put it back. at the office, we feel an unrest toward a certain person; we back away. at home, we feel a prompting to spend time with our child; we obey. at night, we hear that suggestion, “turn off the TV, go to bed, you need your rest”; we turn it off. in the kitchen, about to eat our 3rd piece of pecan pie, we hear the voice saying, “don’t do it”;  instead of saying, “get behind me Satan,” we walk away. pay attention to what you’re feeling; don’t ignore the impressions, promptings. God speaks to us in a still, small voice; it’s not thunder, He’s not going to boom out lightning to get your attention, He’s not going to flash it across your TV screen, it’s going to be subtle. if you’re going to hear a whisper, you’ve got to get close;  you’ve got to be tuned in, it’s got to be a priority. you’re not going to hear it by accident, with the busyness of the day, the stress of the office, running here and there. on purpose, you have to ask yourself, “what am I feeling, sensing?”

take time to get quiet.  develop this art of listening;  if you’re not tuned in, you’ll ignore it and move on.  if you’ll pay attention to these impressions, follow these promptings, you’ll see God’s goodness in your everyday life.  I pray each morning, “God, help my spiritual ears to be open and sensitive to your voice, help me to hear what You’re saying today.”  it’s not that God is not speaking, it’s not that He’s not giving us direction, it’s the fact that we’re not always paying attention.  if we’ll listen in everything we do, and everywhere we go, God will lead us down the best path.  He wants to give you wisdom, direction, protection, guidance;  it will save you heartache, make your life easier, give you breaks that will put you years ahead.  when you listen to the still, small voice, you’ll come across favor, good breaks, supernatural opportunities.  God will give you insight, to know things that you had no way of knowing;  you just feel it, you can’t explain it, you don’t have facts backing you up, you don’t have 20 years worth of research, but you do have the spirit of the most high God on the inside. you have a helper, a counselor, a researcher, an advisor, a protector;  He’s talking, make sure you’re listening.  God wants to make your life easier;  if you will listen in everything you do, and everywhere you go, God can save you from bad breaks, from heartache and difficulties.

all of us can look back and say, “I knew I was supposed to stay away from that person.  I knew I was supposed to start eating better.  I knew I was supposed to be more disciplined.”  we ignore it, and it ends up making our life more difficult.  don’t override the alarms.  when you feel uncomfortable, the uneasiness, the alarm is going off;  pull back and see what God is saying.  you may be in the middle of a conversation, and the alarm goes off;  you know you’re supposed to walk away.  don’t ignore it.  or you’re about to purchase something, or you’re about to make some plans, and you feel that check, uneasiness, alarm;  that’s not random, that’s God talking to you.  if you’ll learn to listen, God can keep you from trouble, danger.  the scripture calls these “promptings” (note:  I couldn’t find this anywhere);  in other words, God is not going to force us to do it.  He’s going to prompt us, and then it’s up to us.  “slow down on the freeway”;  it’s a suggestion, a prompting.  if we don’t obey it, if we just ignore it, it’s going to make it more difficult on ourselves;  we’ll miss the blessing, the favor, the protection.  we’ll have to deal with things that God could’ve saved us from.  God knows where the pitfalls are, where the danger is;  all through the day, be sensitive, pay attention to these promptings.  God won’t allow us to make a major mistake without first giving us warnings.  the scripture says:

1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)

13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

could it be that God is providing a way out, giving you wisdom, direction, intuition, protection, trying to keep you from danger, but you’re overriding it?  it may be when you’re around a certain person, you feel an unrest, uneasiness, that alarm is going off;  they seem nice, friendly, kind, you can’t put your finger on it, something is just not right.  don’t ignore it;  that’s God trying to keep you from heartache.  if you’ll listen, God will give you discernment.  a lot of people are not who they say they are; they may seem fine on the outside, but they have wrong motives.  they want to be your friend for what you can do for them;  they’re takers and never givers. once they use you up, they’ll move on to the next person. no matter how good they look, how fine she is, how much money he has, if you hear that alarm going off, you need to be smart enough to walk away;  all that glitters is not gold.  don’t override those warnings;  if they’re not the right person for you, that means God has somebody better in store.  too many people that overrode what they were feeling, years later there’s heartache,  broken dreams, pain; it all could’ve been avoided.  don’t be so set on having it your way that you ignore what you’re feeling.  that uneasiness is not just your nerves, not just you being overly cautious, that’s God saying, “keep your distance; stay away.”  and they may be a good person, they’re just not good for you.  this is one of the most important principles that you could ever learn.  if you will trust your censor, not go against what you’re feeling, not override the alarms, God will lead to you down the best path;  you won’t waste valuable time involved in things that you were never supposed to be involved in.  God can see the big picture for your life;  He knows what’s best for you.  don’t override the warnings, don’t ignore the unrest;  God is not trying to keep you from your dreams, He’s trying to keep you from heartache.  He wants to keep you on the best path for your life.  will you trust Him?

Colossians 3:15 (AMP)

15 And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts

an umpire calls us safe or out;  before you make a decision, see if you have peace.  before you get into a relationship with that person, check your heart;  do you have peace?  before you buy that new car, before you take that job, before you eat that donut, see if you have peace.  if there’s an unrest, uneasiness, then don’t move forward;  let peace be the umpire, it tells you yes or no.  how many people get into a relationship with someone that they didn’t have peace about, and they end up miserable?  they buy things they didn’t have peace about, and they end up in debt.  they take a job they didn’t have peace about, and they end up frustrated.  here’s the key;  if you don’t have peace before you make the decision, you’re not going to have peace after you make the decision.  if you don’t have peace about that person now, you’re not going to have peace if you get into a relationship.  if you don’t have peace about buying that new car, you’re not going to have peace when the payments come each month.  if you don’t have peace about taking that job, you won’t have peace when you go to work each day.  it may pay more $, be more influential, have more benefits, but if you don’t have peace, it means it’s not the right job for you;  God has something better. let peace be your umpire.  when you feel an unrest, uneasiness, that’s not God trying to keep something from you, that’s God trying to get something better to you.  don’t be hard-headed, don’t have to settle for second best, “I’m going to do my own thing my own way,” no, if you’ll let God lead you, He’ll do more than you could ask or think.

Job 33:14 (CEV)

14 God speaks in different ways,
and we don’t always
    recognize his voice.

God is constantly transmitting to you.  my question is;  are you tuned in?  are you on the right frequency?  pay attention to what you’re feeling down in here:  the promptings, suggestions, uneasiness.  remember, it’s a still small voice;  you’re not going to hear this by accident, it’s got to be a priority.  “God, what are you saying to me today?”  not just in the big decisions, but everywhere you go, and in everything you do.  be sensitive;  don’t override the warnings, don’t ignore the alarms.  let peace act as the umpire.   if you’ll do this, God promises He’ll lead, guide, protect you, show you His favor, give you inside information. you will rise higher, overcome every obstacle, and become everything God’s created you to be.

Read Full Post »

My mother’s neighbor called to inform me that the front door to my mother’s house was STANDING OPEN. My roommate had been there yesterday, so it was open less than a day, but that’s plenty of time for criminal activity to have occurred. Amazingly, nothing had been taken, damaged, or disturbed within the house.  Even more amazingly, at no point did I feel any of the anxiety or fear that one would expect to feel during the time between hearing the news and verifying the condition of the house and the possessions inside of it, especially for a person like me with a history of acute anxiety.  I had asked God to heal me of the anxiety problem, and clearly He did;  I am very grateful for this blessing.  Even someone with no history of anxiety would expect to feel SOME anxiety, or outright fear, under these circumstances, though, and, while my unshakeable faith that God will make things right for me played a part, I suspect that He was keeping me calm, just because He cares about my emotional state.

Now brace yourself for the REAL miracle: My mother has a double front door, the secondary door of which has a bolt that goes into the floor to secure it. The only time that door has been opened since my mother’s death was when they came to pick up her hospital bed, over three years ago; since it turned out that that door was not bolted down, it has apparently been unbolted all this time. What appears to have happened is that the wind blew the doors open, and the secondary door swung back into place, but the primary door could not because the deadbolt was protruding. My roommate verified that just pushing on the closed and dead-bolted doors caused them to swing open. So, in other words, for over three years, anyone could have just pushed those doors and walked right into the house, or any puff of wind, and there’ve been plenty of big windstorms over the past few years, could have opened up the doors, and they could’ve ended up with the primary door not too far from the jamb, so a neighbor might not have spotted it, but any minimum-wage earner coming to stick a flyer on the door would have. There were many chunks of weeks, and even MONTHS, during that timeframe when my roommate only went out there to take the mail out of the mailbox, usually at night, and he could’ve been there 50 times and never noticed that the door was slightly open.

Even in a nice neighborhood like that, there’s a pretty strict limit on how much time the front door could just be standing open with no criminals passing through it. Although I removed the valuables the night my mother died, there’s still a ton of stuff in there that could’ve been stolen or damaged, and the amount of vandalism that could have been done, especially if the open door was discovered by one of the teenagers in the neighborhood that knows the house is empty and rarely visited… the mind boggles.

There’s no confusion as to how disaster was averted;  God has been keeping that house safe.  I am so blessed…

 

Read Full Post »

Beyond forgiveness

We all know that God wants us, expects us, to forgive the people who hurt us, no matter what the harm is that they’re doing, no matter what the circumstances, no matter how much pain we’re in…  and to forgive immediately, not 6 months later.  When Jesus was dying in agony, having been betrayed, reviled, abused, and wrongly sentenced to a hideous death, he said:

Luke 23:34 (KJV)

34 … Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

I was watching a JM sermon, and she said that God wants us to do even MORE:

“God wants us to grow spiritually to the point where we are more concerned about what people are doing to themselves when they hurt us then what they’re actually doing to us.”

As soon as she said it, I knew it was true.  I’ll be working on it.  It won’t be easy, but God expects us to do things even if they aren’t easy, especially if they aren’t easy, to show our love for Him.

You can watch that sermon here:

 

 

Read Full Post »

Romans 13:6-7 (NIV)

This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes;  if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Not necessarily associated with Tax Day, I wanted to announce that I have added a page where you can ask for prayers and leave prayers for others;  it can be reached through one of the tabs at the top of the blog.  The more we pray for others, the more God answers our own prayers, so I thought it would be a nice addition.

I hope some of you saw the total lunar eclipse last night;  it was a fantastic reminder of the beauty and wonder that God has provided us with.

 

Read Full Post »

Living content

from JO’s sermon tonight:

it’s good to have dreams and goals, we should be stretching our faith, believing for something bigger, but here’s the key;  while we’re waiting for things to change, waiting for promises to come to pass, we shouldn’t be discontent where we are. maybe you’re believing to have a baby, a new house, to get married; that’s great, but don’t go the next five years discontent being single, with the house you have, not having a child.  learn to enjoy the season that you’re in. being unhappy, frustrated, wondering if it’s ever going to change, is not going to make it happen any sooner. when we’re discontent, we’re dishonoring God; we’re so focused on what we want, we’re taking for granted what we have.  the right attitude is, “God, I’m believing for a new house, but in the meantime I’m happy with the house I have. I’m believing to get married, but in the meantime I’m content being single. I’m believing for a better job, but I’m happy with the job I have right now.” the apostle Paul said:

Philippians 4:11-12 (NKJV)

11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

notice, he had to learn to be content; it doesn’t happen automatically, it’s a choice we have to make. being content doesn’t mean that we don’t want change, we give up on our dreams, we settle where we are; it means we’re not fighting everything, we’re not frustrated, we’re trusting God’s timing, we know He’s working behind-the-scenes, and at the right time He’ll get us to where we’re supposed to be. I’ve found, some situations will not change until we change; as long as we’re frustrated, stressed out, thinking, “why has it taken so long, why am I still dealing with this problem, why is my husband still aggravating me?” no, if God has us there, we must need it; He’s going to use it to do a work in us. when we’re content, we’re growing, developing character; our faith is being strengthened. you don’t grow in the good times, when everything is going your way, you grow when there’s pressure. you feel like being sour, but you choose to be happy. you could easily complain, but you say, “Lord, thank you for another great day.” all your dreams haven’t come to pass, but you choose to enjoy the season that you’re in; that’s passing the test, that’s what allows God to go to work. instead of trying to change the situation, let it change you. there’s something wrong if we’re always discontented; “I don’t like my job, I’m tired of this small apartment, these kids get on my nerves, when is my business ever going to grow?” that’s going to keep you where you are.

God’s plan for our life is not to just make us comfortable, but to grow us up, to mature us, so He can release more of his favor.  you may not like where you are, but you wouldn’t be there unless God had a purpose for it; make sure you pass the test. this is what David did. he spent years in the lonely shepherd’s fields taking care of his father’s sheep. he had already been chosen to be the next king of Israel; the prophet Samuel had already anointed him. David could’ve thought, “God, this isn’t right, I’ve got big dreams, You promised me great things, what am I doing stuck out here with a bunch of sheep?” no, David understood this principle; he didn’t live stressed, frustrated, he bloomed where he was planted. he knew God was in control, so he just kept being his best, going to work with a good attitude, grateful for where he was. because he was content in the shepherd’s fields, he made it to the throne, to the palace; he passed that test. but if you’re not content in the season you’re in, while you’re waiting for things to change, then even if you do somehow make it to your throne so to speak, your dreams do come to pass, you’re still not going to be satisfied. you may be happy for a little while, but here’s the problem; discontentment will follow you everywhere you go. that’s the way it is with discontentment; it follows us around.

God blesses us with a promotion, we’re happy for a little while, then the discontentment comes; we don’t want to work so hard, we don’t want the responsibility.  it’s not our circumstances, it’s the spirit of discontentment. seeing the wrong, complaining about what we don’t like, never having enough.  that’s why Paul said, “I’ve learned how to be content.” you’ve got to train your mind to see the good, to be grateful for what you have. life will go so much better if you will be content in each season: content when you have a lot, and content when you don’t have a lot. content whether your children are in diapers or whether they’re in college, whether you’re in maintenance or management;  you have the grace you need to enjoy each season. if your dreams are not coming to pass, that’s a test;  will you do like David and bloom where you’re planted? will you choose to enjoy that season, and not just endure it, thinking, “God, when is this ever going to change? I’ve been praying for two years.” no, maybe it’s going to change when you change. you’ve got to be satisfied with where God has you right now; it doesn’t mean you settle there, never expect anything good, it means you don’t live frustrated, always wanting something more. “God, I need more money, then I’ll be happy. I need a better job, need a bigger house, need to lose 20 lbs, I need my kids to make better grades, then I’ll enjoy life.”

no, if you get all that corrected, if you accomplish your wish list, something else will come up to make you discontented. you’ve got to put your foot down, and say, “that’s it. everything may not be perfect in my life, all my dreams may not have come to pass yet, but I’m not living frustrated, stressed out, I’m going to bloom right where I’m planted.” I’m content whether I’m driving a 20-year-old Volkswagen or  a brand-new Mercedes-Benz. I’m content whether I’m living in a small apartment or a beautiful dream house. I’m content whether my businesses is booming or whether it’s a little slow.” you cannot let your contentment be based on what you have or don’t have, on who likes you or who doesn’t like you; learn to be content in every season. content when God blesses you with a lot, and content when you have a little. content when the dreams are coming to pass, and content while you’re waiting. content in the shepherd’s fields, and content in the palace. the scripture says:

1 Timothy 6:6 (NIV)

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

life is very freeing when you can say, “I’m content with who God made me to be. I’m content with my personality, content with my looks, content with my gifts. I’m content with where I am in life: my position, my career, my relationships, my house.” this is the reason many people are unhappy; they’re always wishing for something different. some single people are not going to be content until they get married;  no, you need to enjoy being single, because when you get married, you’ll enjoy it more. there are married people that wish they weren’t married, wish they were married to somebody else. white people sitting in tanning booths trying to get darker. dark people put cream on their skin trying to get lighter. ladies with curly hair go to the salon to get it straightened, people with straight hair go to the salon to get a perm, people with no hair go to the salon to buy some hair. there is nothing wrong with improving, being your best, showing your style, but you shouldn’t always be wishing you were something different; be content with who God made you to be. it’s a tragedy to go through life always dissatisfied, wishing you had more, wanting to look like somebody else, waiting to be happy; I’m asking you to be content right when you are. think about Mary, the mother of Christ: when she was pregnant with Jesus, she had to ride a donkey to Bethlehem. Mary could’ve complained, “Joseph, why don’t you get me something smoother, this is hard?” when she got to Bethlehem, “Joseph, why didn’t you make us a hotel reservation? why didn’t you get me a hospital room?  you knew I was going to have this baby.” when the baby was born, “Joseph, why didn’t you buy the baby a new outfit? I’ve got to wrap my beautiful baby in swaddling clothes” (that was strips of cloth).

Mary didn’t have designer jeans, a fancy purse, a latte from Starbucks, but she never complained, she never found fault with Joseph.  she didn’t say, “God, if I’m going to have this baby for You, at least You could make it more comfortable on me.” no, she was content in the season she was in, content when the angel said, “you been highly favored,” and content riding a donkey pregnant, content giving birth in a barn with a bunch animals, and content when the wise men said, “your son is the Messiah.” it takes a mature person to be content on the mountaintop and content in the valley. God gives you the grace for each season. pass the test;  whether you’re abased or abounding, in your dream house or in a crooked-floor house, make a decision, “I’m going to be content. I’m going to enjoy my life. I’m going to be grateful for what God’s given me. I want to be the best I can be right where I am.” the apostle Paul, who said, “I’ve learned how to be content,” wrote much of the New Testament from a prison cell. when you’ve made up your mind to be content, prisons can’t stop you, donkeys can’t stop you, lonely shepherd’s fields can’t stop you; God will get you to where you’re supposed to be. this is the only life you have;  you can’t trade it in, you can’t become someone else. you may have 1000 reasons to live unhappy, but you’ve got to make this choice that you’re going to be content. if you’re sour, “when is it ever going to change?” you’ll get stuck. God does not promote discontentment; shake it off and focus on what’s right in your life, focus on what you do have.

most of us, when we woke up this morning, we could see the sunlight, our eyes worked, most of you could hear the birds singing, you had a roof over your head, you have opportunity, people who love you.  there’s a lot right in your life;  don’t take it for granted, don’t get so focused on the struggles that you miss the gift of this day. every season is not springtime, with the flowers, beautiful, blooming, sunshine, cool weather; that’s a great season, but you’re not going to grow if you stay in harvest. there’s got to be planting seasons, watering seasons, maintenance seasons, where you’re pulling the weeds, tilling the soil;  those are important seasons. without going through that process, then you’re not going to come into a new season of harvest. instead of being frustrated by the difficulties, have a new perspective; that season is getting you prepared for promotion. it may look like you’re stuck, you don’t see anything happening, but God is at work, and at the right time the season will change. winter always gives way to spring. it takes a mature person to be content, not only in the harvest season, but content in planting season, content in the watering season, content in pulling up the weeds season. you may be in one of those difficult seasons right now, raising a small child, or taking care of an elderly loved one, perhaps dealing with an illness; you feel like you’re riding that donkey. it’s easy to think, “as soon as I get through this tough time, then I’ll get my joy back. as soon as my kids get out of diapers, as soon as I make it through the busy season at work, as soon as I lose this 20 pounds,” no, this is the day the Lord has made. you’ve got to choose to rejoice today.  God has given you the grace you need, not to endure the season, that doesn’t take any faith, but to enjoy the season.

when you’re content, you see each day as a gift, you appreciate the people in your life, you’re grateful for what God has given you. that not only is making you stronger, developing your character, but you’re passing the test; you will come out of fall, out of winter, and you will come into your springtime. things will begin to bloom and blossom once again. don’t miss a great season in your life wishing you had more, complaining about what you don’t have. the real joy in life is in the simple things; making memories with your family, playing hide and go seek in the house, watching the sunset with your spouse, looking at the stars at night; simple things. you don’t have to have a big vacation to have fun;  learn to enjoy the simple things in life. a mistake we make too often is, we think when we reach a certain goal, then we’ll be happy: “as soon as I finish college, get the promotion, move into the new house, have this baby, then I’ll enjoy my life.” yes, you’ll be happy when you accomplish your goals, but there are challenges that come along with it.  I’ve heard it said; “with every blessing comes a burden.” you’ll never come to a place where you’re problem-free, no conflict, no bills to pay, everybody celebrating you; that’s not reality. if you don’t learn to be content where you are, you won’t be content when dreams come to pass. when God blesses you with that new house, what comes with it is a bigger yard to mow, more rooms to clean, more to maintain. when you’re blessed with that promotion, what comes with it is more responsibility. when you have that beautiful baby, nothing like it in all the world, but at 3:00 in the morning that baby wants to eat, they don’t do things on our timetable.

now don’t pray for a bigger blessing if you’re going to complain about a bigger burden. God wouldn’t give you the blessing if you couldn’t handle the burden; you have the grace you need for each season. do your part and choose to be content. you could be in one of the best seasons of your life right now, but you’re not enjoying it because you’re focused on the burden, on what you don’t have, on how difficult it is. because you’re waiting for things to change, you’re missing the beauty of this moment, the joy of today. don’t go through life always wanting something else; see the gift in what you have right now. can I tell you, we are living in the good old days; 20 years from now, you’ll look back and say, “wow, 2014 was one of the best times of my life.” don’t miss it living discontented. could it be that you’re at the right place for the season that you’re in, but you’re not enjoying it? maybe if you would step back and see it from new perspective, you would realize, God has you in the palm of His hand, He’s directing your steps, He knows where you are, what you like, what you don’t like. instead of living discontented, frustrated, always wishing you were somewhere else, embrace the place where you are. see the good, be grateful for what you have. remember, there’s a blessing and a burden for every season; don’t focus on the burden, you have the grace to enjoy the blessing. if you will make this choice, that you’re going to live content through every season, blooming where you’re planted, not always wishing for something else, then I believe and declare, you’re going to enjoy your life more, you will rise higher, overcome every obstacle, and you will become everything God’s created you to be.

Read Full Post »

Another great reader question:

 

“This might be a dumb question, but I don’t care. I read this a few minutes ago

(((Be honest with God. God doesn’t need you to put on a happy face. The book of Psalms is full of examples of God’s people pouring out their hearts to Him. One psalmist wrote:

In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord;
In the night my hand was stretched out without weariness;
My soul refused to be comforted (Ps. 77:1-2).

Pour out your heart to God and allow Him to encourage you (Ps. 62:8). Confess any frustration, anger, discouragement, or bitterness. If you refuse to express your genuine feelings to Him, you won’t experience the full measure of His comfort.))))

“Why do you need to pray if God already knows what really going on with you. Why do you have to speak it out… Sometimes, I think when you pray the enemy can hear it too and try to stop it. What if a person can’t really rely how they are feeling. “it’s better if God read our minds.” (kidding)”

 

Lead to this hopefully semi-great answer:

That’s not a dumb question at all!! Anything to do with our relationship with God is vitally important.

God does want us to be completely open and honest with Him at all times, as proof of our trust; He can read our minds and hearts, so He knows whether we are doing this or not.

So why do we need to pray? Because He wants us to.

WHY? Because He wants our focus to be on Him at all times, to show that we know Who He is and place the proper value on Him and His love. Because He wants us to show our total dependency on Him, our understanding that we can do nothing without His help. And, since His entire reason for creating us was to have people to love and to share our lives, He wants constant contact with us in the same way that most people crave constant connection to their loved ones; He does not have texting or Facebook, so we have to do it all with prayer.

And from a selfish perspective; when we pray, God rewards us with greater blessings.

The enemy does not have access to our prayers; God is in control. Evil people can cause you enormous harm without access to your communications with God, and the enemy, with millennia of experience in evildoing, can get you much more easily; your best defense against him is your rock-solid connection to God.

You don’t have to get on your knees, fold your hands, or use formal language when you pray; just talk to God all throughout the day as if you were talking to your best friend… because you ARE.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »