Though We Stumble..

My Weekly Featured Blog is written by a Bonnie blog called, “Though we stumble.”

“Sometimes when we have wanted something so much for so long, we become short-sighted. We trade our expectant receiving buckets in for tiny bowls that can’t possibly hold the gifts God wants to give us. If we will only just trust Him.

We miss the warning signs & stumble down paths headed hither & yon – thinking we are going the right way. Ignoring the small, still whispers to turn back. Please, just turn back.”

a Bonnie blog

When he falls, he shall not be hurled headlong; Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand. ~ Psalm 37:24

God rescues us from bring obliterated by our falls & failings when our hearts stay towards Him. It is rare for us as believers to be lessened to abject misery. God does not leave us. Though we may fall into the hands or arms of a tool of the enemy, & be sifted as wheat, God will not leave us there. I have seen it in my own life over & over.

Just last year I found myself surrounded by such darkness, so much so that it was other-worldly. I knew I had gone out of His will for me – with no doubt, even though it was a bit blurry up until that point. But the onslaught against me was not rivaled by anything else in a…

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A Special Prayer!

I feel like someone needs this prayer today:

God,

I pray you are real and relevant to me today who needs to hear your voice and feel your touch.  I pray you hold me so tight that I feel overwhelmed with your comfort and peace.  I ask you to give me the strength to get through any trial in my life.  I ask you to wipe away every tear from my eyes.  I need you more than ever.  I need your unconditional love!  I need your mercy!  I need you every day, every hour, every minute for the rest of my life.  I love you with all my heart!  I yearn to know you more each and every day!

Amen!

 

When discouraged, keep doing right things

My Featured Weekly Blog is written by Mustard Seed Budget Ministry called, “When discouraged, keep doing right things.” It is a great read to encourage you to do the right thing even when you are facing oppression.

Mustard Seed Budget

when discouraged

The bane of most is to succumb to discouragement, to compromise your values, to lower your sights, to throw out your dreams in search of pleasure instead of goals.

Keep believing in higher goals, even when others don’t believe in you, when others ridicule your dreams and scoff at your possibilities. Keep doing right things in the midst of overwhelming discouragement.

This is the trademark of Joseph, who, sold into slavery, kept serving his God with enthusiasm, who, next incarcerated for a crime he didn’t commit, continued in the straight and narrow. When his day came, he became vice president of Egypt and saved the very people who nearly killed him.

This is the trademark of Daniel, who was ripped from his homeland and taken captive to a foreign land. With no discernible future, he steadfastly served God and wound up distinguishing himself from all those who settled for less.

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The Real Me

Today, I will talk about something that is personal and that I struggle with every day.  I struggle with forgiving my past to step into the future.  Before I can have new beginnings, I must be at peace with my past.  I realize I cannot run away from my past, because it will cripple me for life.  I cannot ignore it, because it will always come back to haunt me.

We must understand that our past shapes who we are today, but it does not define us.  We can either allow the experience to help us grow as an individual and with God or let it destroy our lives.  It is a process to forgive ourselves and learn from our mistakes.

The last three months I tried to bury my hurt and shame by making changes in my life.  Some were good and healthy changes that I needed make to better myself.  Other changes hindered me from moving forward.  I am part of a new church since May, and I love how it feels like family.  The church has helped me to grow Spiritually and individually.  A few nights ago, I realized I have not allow myself to be vulnerable in the church and with my church family.  I put on a front that my life was perfect while inside of me was screaming for the truth to come out.  If I want to be a follower of Christ, I have to be transparent even when I’m struggling.

Casting Crowns has a new song called, “One Step Away.”  I heard it the first time on Facebook when a friend of mine posted a YouTube video on his page.  The song brought me to tears, and I cried for hours praying for God’s help.  The lyrics are below.  Please read each line slowly.  The meaning of this song is life-changing.

What if you could go back and relive one day of your life all over again
And unmake the mistake that left you a million miles away
From the you, you once knew
Now yesterday’s shame keeps saying that you’ll never get back on track
But what if I told you…

You’re one step away from surrender
One step away from coming home, coming home
One step from arms wide open
His love has never let you go
You’re not alone
You’re one step away

It doesn’t matter how far you’ve gone
Mercy says you don’t have to keep running down the road you’re on
Love’s never met a lost cause
Your shame, lay it down
Leave your ghosts in the past ‘cause you know that you can’t go back
But you can turn around
You’ve never been more than…

One step away from surrender
One step away from coming home, coming home
One step from arms wide open
His love has never let you go
You’re not alone (not alone)
You’re one step away
One step away

Lay down, lay down your old chains
Come now, and take up your new name
Your best life up ahead now
You’re one step away
[x3]

So come on home, come on home
One step from arms wide open
His love has never let you go
You’re not alone (you’re not alone)
You’re one step away

Lay down, lay down your old chains
Take up, take up your new name
[x2]

Lay down, lay down your old chains
Come now, take up your new name
Your best life up ahead now
One step away

Lay down, lay down your old chains
Come now, and take up your new name
Your best life up ahead now
You’re just one step away

REFLECTION:

We cannot relive yesterday, but we can live for today.  Our past mistakes do not hinder us from coming to God for forgiveness and mercy.  It is never too late to come to our heavenly Father!  Let me say that again: It is never too late to come to our heavenly Father!  Are you one step away from surrendering to God?  If so, embrace Him and “lay down the old chains.”  God will give you a new name and a new purpose for your life!

PRAYER:

God is asking you to “bring [Him] all your feelings, even the ones you wish you didn’t have.  Fear and anxiety still plaque you.  Do not hide from your fear or pretend it isn’t there.  Anxiety that you hide in the recesses of your heart will give birth to fear of fear: a monstrous mutation.  Bring your anxieties out into the Light of [God’s] Presence, where [God and you] can deal with them together” (Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace In His Presence by Sarah Young).

I pray you put your trust in God and allow Him to work through your past and emotions together.  You are never alone when God is in your heart!

Our Past Does Not Define Us

Our past mistakes do not define who we are, because our identity is in Christ. We are under God’s umbrella.  His love, mercy, and grace overwhelms us when we are living a Godly life.

A perfect example of God’s forgiveness is in the Book of Acts, chapter nine, where Saul murdered Jesus’ followers. Jesus redeemed Saul and made him into a powerful man of God.  God forgave him for being a murderer and used him to spread the Gospel all over the world.  If God forgave Saul, God can forgive us.

Acts 13:9 states that Saul’s name was changed to Paul after His encounter with God. God did not only transform Saul’s life, but He changed his identity to have a fresh start as a Christian.  Today, God does the same thing for us.  Hebrews 13:8 declares “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  God may not change our name when we start following Him, but he does transform us into His image.  He teaches us how to live a Godly life.  He changes us from the inside out.  God makes us a new person through Him – the Holy Spirit.

One of the most incredible characteristics of God is His forgiveness and mercies He has for mankind. The best way to learn how to forgive is by God’s example.

When Life Gives You Lemons: What Do You Make?

My Weekly Featured Blog is written by Jay Colby called, “When Life Gives You Lemons: What Do You Make?”

The expression “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” is used to encourage us when we’re facing adversity in our lives. When you face said adversity in a way you can feel satisfied with, you’re making life a little sweeter. Lemons suggest bitterness (an obstacle or hardship you are facing), while lemonade is sweet and pleasant.

Jay Colby

The expression “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” is used to encourage us when we’re facing adversity in our lives. When you face said adversity in a way you can feel satisfied with, you’re making life a little sweeter. Lemons suggest bitterness (an obstacle or hardship you are facing), while lemonade is sweet and pleasant. Staying positive and figuring out how to solve problems is much more advantageous than allowing yourself to go sour. We all have faced some type of adversity in our lives whether we like it or not. Those lemons (obstacles) in our life can cause us to be overwhelm and confused. But having obstacles are not the end verdict. It is what you do with said lemons that make the difference.

 Dealing with Adversity

When you hear the word adversity, what comes to mind? Whenever you feel yourself getting into adverse situations having a…

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New Beginnings

In the last few months, I have talked about change, and how important it is not to resist it.  When we allow God to make changes in our lives, we begin to see things in a new perspective.  God is giving us a fresh start in life.  Change leads to new beginnings.  New beginnings give us hope for the future.  It allows us to move forward from our past to live in the present.

In the Bible, God transformed many lives and orchestrated many events that led to new beginnings.  In the book of Genesis, God allowed a flood to cover the whole earth to remove sin and give humanity a second chance to live righteous.  In the book of Job, God allowed satan to remove blessings out of Job’s life to test his faith in God.  After Job proved his loyalty to God and crushed the devil’s schemes, God blessed him abundantly for his faithfulness.  In the New Testament, God gave Saul a second chance by transforming his life.  Saul turned from being a murderer to a devoted Christian who evangelized  wherever he went.  God gave Him a new name, Paul, to give him a new start in life.

The Bible is filled with God’s promises for new beginnings.  When we become a Christ follower, we are a new creation.  Second Corinthians 5: 17 declares “ that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”  God promises to give us new life through Him.  Isaiah 43:18-19, He promises to do something new for you and me: “But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.   For I am about to do something new.  See, I have already begun!   Do you not see it?  I will make a pathway through the wilderness.  I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” 

The Bible also promises us a fresh start every morning.  Yesterday is gone, and today is a new day.  Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “the faithful love of the Lord never ends!  His mercies never cease.  Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.”  We may struggle letting go of our yesterday to live for today, but God tells us we are new every morning through His mercy.

Revelation 21:4 gives us comfort to know that God wipes away our every tear.  He sits on the throne and declares, “I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21:5).  Let me repeat that: God is making everything new!  In the same verse, He tells us His word is “trustworthy and true.”  How incredible!  God does not only tell us His promises for our lives, but He can be trusted to follow through with His promises.

REFLECTION:
Do you need a fresh start in life?  Do you need to let go of the past to live for today?  Do you need to make changes in your life to have a new beginning?  I encourage you to pray to be renewed in Christ every morning!  God’s promises stay true each and every day!