Joy comes in the morning!

joy comes in the morning

This life we live in is filled with many problems, where we seem to suffer overwhelming, emotional, pain. Where every second seemed like an hour, and every hour like a day, and every day like a never ending eternity. My Friends-It may not be this morning, or tomorrow morning, but the joy of the Lord will return to your heart and your circumstances will turn around for your good if you continue to seek the Lord. Don’t give up and don’t turn back. You’ve come too far to drop out of the race now, continue to run for the prize. Too much of you has been invested in Him, and He has invested His Son in you. His hand is outstretched still. In His favor is life, and that more abundantly.

“…Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” ~ Psalm 30:5

I know there are times my friends, when it hurts so deeply that trusting God is the only way to find life again. How often have you found yourselves in that very predicament. You see we’d like to think that once we come to Christ, once we ask Jesus into our hearts and choose to live for Him, that life will somehow be mountaintop experiences from that day forward. Friends, I’m going to be completely honest with you and speak from my own personal experience when I tell you it is not a mountaintop experience all the way, but when He takes you to the mountaintop there’s nothing else like it in the world. But choosing between living life with God or living life without God, I’d rather have God by my side every step of the way. For once the weeping has ended and His joy comes in the morning, there is no experience that compares to that. 

The more life hurts, the more I’ve learned to lean on Him and trust Him. In the face of failure I submit all the more and allow Him to get the glory, allow Him to use for good what the enemy meant for evil. 

So no matter what you are facing today, take it to the Lord, cast all your cares of it onto Him, and know that because of His mercy on you His kindness will not leave you and His peace shall not be removed. They’re yours if you can only believe. Life will throw curves on a good day, it will get really ugly and painful on a bad day, and the bottom may drop out, but underneath are the Everlasting Arms. Trust them today and find healing for your soul. Scripture says in Psalms 29:11- The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace. I pray He blesses each of you this day.

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Have a wonderful day in His presence. Love you all in Christ. Please share this blog and I pray that it will encourage others in their walk with Jesus!  Please find me on Facebook and on Twitter!  God bless you!

 

Pray God-sized prayers

dream bigger

You serve a big God — a God who wants to bless you in a big way. There is no need too great, no dream too big. The Most High God loves you, and because you walk with Him, He wants to flood your life with His favor, His provision, His goodness and so much more. He wants to take you higher than you ever thought possible!

Allow this to go deep into your spirit: His destiny for you is too great for you to settle for small, ordinary or just getting by. When we pray small, ordinary, get-by prayers, then that’s the kind of life we end up living. But if you’re willing to be bold and ask, God wants to supply. I ask you, what good, generous, loving father doesn’t want to bless his son or daughter with all that he has? So if we as earthly parents have this desire, how much more do you think your heavenly Father desires to bless you?

Not because you deserve it, but because Jesus made it possible.

It’s time to ask God for big things today…to pray God-sized prayers.

Ask Him to open doors of opportunity that only He can open.
Ask Him to restore a relationship that looks over and done.
Ask Him to touch that friend who’s been off course for 20 years.
Ask Him to give you the secret dreams of your heart.

When you pray God-sized prayers, you will begin to see the greatness and the goodness of His power. The key is having the confidence to ask, believe and receive — and then allow God to do what only God can do!

The Scripture says, Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours (Mark 11:24 NIV).

At every point in your life, I encourage you to always be whispering a prayer that seems impossible, far out, something you know there is no way you could ever achieve on your own. God meets us at the level of our faith. If you ask small, I’ve found that you get small. But when you dare to ask God to do BIGGER THINGS, and even what seems impossible, you’ll be amazed at what He will do.

Today can be the day that you begin to ask, believe and receive in a powerful new way!

Praying is so important! It Works!

girl praying

Prayer is focused time with God. It is time for us to bring Him all that is our lives – the sorrows, the questions, the worries, the uncertainties, the joys and the thanks. Do you ever feel weighted down and overwhelmed? I think we all have! It is usually because we are carrying our burdens. God wants to carry them. He wants us to give them to Him. He also wants us to confess our sins and receive His forgiveness. 

Praying is Important!

Prayer is also a time to listen. This is the part of prayer which I believe is most important, and unfortunately it something believers do not spend enough time to listen. It’s time for us to close our eyes and just open our heart to hear what God has to say. It is time to be quiet and let the Holy Spirit speak His truths and guidance to us.

Prayer is also when reconciliation occurs between us and Father God. When we confess our sins and He gives His mercy, we are able to come close to Father God again and the time is even more sweet.

I have tried to just “chat” with God throughout the day. But at night when I prepare to lay down, this is the best time, for me, to get quiet and really pray, confessing to Him, thanking Him, and just being quiet as the day ends.

Preaching, teaching, evangelizing are all important to building God’s Kingdom. But prayer is the all important ingredient in every facet of God’s plan. It cannot be neglected. Take the time and pray. 

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Have a wonderful day in His presence. Love you all in Christ. Please share this blog with others and I pray with all my heart that it will be encouragement to them all~  God bless you!

God is our Refuge is always Near!

Our soul can easily go to places of refuge that lack real peace, protection and refreshment. Worry is one of the suitors of our soul. What if lose my job? What if my friend doesn’t understand? What if my health doesn’t allow me to work long enough to care for my family? Like a confused dog, worry causes us to chase our tail in circles only leading to dizziness and confusion as the outcome. Worry is a weak refuge, but trust in God trumps worry’s waste of time. He is our strong tower that towers over our fears.

 

God is our refuge 3
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”  ~ Psalm 46:1

Self reliance is another refuge that bids our attention when times are hard. Our soul seeks to hide behind our hard work and determination, instead of dependance on our heavenly Father. Our frantic pace forgets to go to God for His rest, wisdom and resources. Unless we fight for an unhurried rhythm of work, we run right past our ever-present help–our heavenly Father. Our energy alone leaves us exhausted and lonely, but the Lord’s refuge replenishes and reminds us of His personal support. The refuge of self-reliance lacks the Lord’s loving help and creativity. 

We must be wise to remember it’s not about us but God. Our refuge is in Him. Self pity gives way to death of self and life in Christ. We look outwardly to help others, when inwardly we’ve been helped by the Lord. He is accessible and available to strengthen our souls.

How is your soul?  Does it feel scattered, because so many people are pulling on you? Smothered by your own unrealistic expectations or covered by Christ? Fortunately in each moment of the day, no matter how loud and loony, we can by faith create a sanctuary for our soul. We may close our office or bathroom door so we can close our eyes and look to the Lord in prayer. Perhaps we take a walk, so we can walk with our Savior and be empowered by His presence. God is our refuge always near.

 
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Have a wonderful day remembering that God is our refuge and He is always near. Love you all. Please share this blog with others and I pray that it will encourage others in their walk with Jesus!  God bless you!

Receive Love!!

hugging girls

I decided a few years ago to try and love the unlovable. When someone is very hard to love or even like, it usually stems from a heart that has been hurt or broken. It doesn’t matter if the hurt is real or imagined…it still hurts. The negativity and rejection they have built up in their hearts has caused them make themselves unpleasant to be around. But Jesus tells us “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt 5:43-44). As followers of Christ we are commanded to repay evil or insult with blessing. 1 Peter 3:9 says “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing”. Wow…this is powerful stuff….because you were called to do this so that you may inherit a blessing!

There was a lady at work that no one liked, she was mean and negative all the time. I was determined to make her my friend. I always spoke kind to her even when she was rude and hateful to me. I complimented her on the way she looked every day and told her what a valuable asset she was to our department and how much she helped me out. Eventually we became friends and I found out she was bitter because she had a very bad first marriage and she couldn’t have children. She said she was a Christian so I always tried to point out her blessings in life and eventually she because to see and acknowledge them herself. We went to different departments at work but after a few years, we were working together again. Everyone in the new department really liked her and talked about what a wonderful person she was to be around. I know that it was God’s hand because He sent people, including me, into her life to lift her up and help her to start feeling love instead of negativity.

A feeling of negative about yourself or your life can prevent a child of God from receiving love. But you are accepted in the Beloved, and whom the Son has set free is free indeed; free to choose love, free to give love and free to receive love. You can exchange negative energy for positive! The secret is to focus on the blessings in life and on the Father, who has provided those blessings. If you start loving Him with your entire being; then love others, then you can start to love yourself. Accept God’s love and forgiveness; He has lavishly bestowed His love upon you. Ask the Holy Spirit to heal the wounds and hurts from the past, and deliberately choose being accepted, choose feeling accepted, loved and cherished. Say to yourself “on the authority of God’s Word affirm: I am accepted, loved and highly favored of the Lord and I accept myself just as I am. I am free to love and receive love!”

You see once you grasp a hold of the truth of Romans 8:38-39 “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” your life will never be the same.

He loves us with an everlasting love and we are drawn to Him with His unfailing love. Jeremiah 31:3 says “Long ago the LORD said to Israel: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” Forgive yourself and others and accept that unfailing love Jesus has to offer. Look to the Father and receive the love He has for you!

light heart

Depression can strike anyone, even Christians

girl in pain

With all the focus being placed on depression lately due to the suicide of popular comedian Robin Williams, it makes many of us wonder what it takes to bring true happiness. Depression can strike anyone. Everyone feels sad sometimes but depression is more than sadness, it is complete hopelessness and deep despair.

Contrary to what some may believe, depression affects Christians as well. It may seem like a Christian is the last person that should be affected by depression but there are times when life and circumstances can seem overwhelming and we may feel like there is no hope. What we feel and what is reality are actually two different things. This is because God is always near us especially in our darkest times.

In the poem, Footprints, the poet dreams of walking along the beach with Jesus and seeing scenes from her life. The poet notices that during calm periods in the walk of life, there were always two sets of footprints in the sand. Those footprints belonged to the poet and Jesus. However, during times of deep trouble, the poet despaired that there was only one set of footprints in the sand. Jesus told the poet that the one set of footprints in the sand were actually made by him while he was carrying her. When we are in the throes of despair, Jesus doesn’t walk beside us, he carries us.

The Psalmist David knew about depression in Psalm 23: 4, he writes, ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’ Here circumstances that cause intense grief, suffering and depression are referred to as the valley of the shadow of death. Depression funneled by hopelessness has caused so many to take their lives it would seem that David describes it perfectly.

Jesus was not immune to depression, he knew what he was about to face on the cross and scripture tells us that he retired to the Garden of Gethsemane in order to pray. Before beginning his prayer vigil he is quoted as saying in Matthew 26: 38, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death’. Isn’t this the same valley of the shadow of death that David also spoke of? Jesus became so distressed that his sweat became drops of blood.

What a joy it is to know that even the savior of the world could feel this level of despair. He took on human form and understands all things. The Bible speaks about not feeling anxious about anything and releasing our mind from burdensome thoughts about what we will eat, drink or wear. It tells us that God feeds and clothes the birds of the air and about how much more he will do for his children.

Anxiety and depression walk hand in hand, the only way to conquer them is to realize that there really never is any reason to despair not when the creator is walking with us. David said, ‘thy rod and thy staff they comfort me’. Jesus received ministering angels in the garden of Gethsemane to ease his sorrow. The comfort given to David and Jesus is also freely given to us. We can be sure that in the most troublesome times there will only be one set of footprints in the sand.

sand footprints

You matter!!!

you matter to god

It’s amazing how many times people are un-thanked, un-appreciated, and unacknowledged.

 When I think of people who made the biggest impact in my life, it was not their expertise or accomplishments that provided me with the direction, guidance and reassurance I needed to accomplish my goals. It was their sincere belief in me. They let me know through their words and actions that I mattered. The people in your life want that same validation. In fact, every single person you will ever meet shares this common desire. They want to know they matter.

“The measure of a life is not what that life accomplishes but rather the impact that life has on others.” -Jackie Robinson

The ultimate present you can give another is your PRESENCE. How many times have you been in a conversation with someone, and you know their mind is in another place? How many times have you felt “un-noticed” when someone was looking right at you? You do not have to be available for everyone in every moment … but when you have someone’s time and attention; honor it with your presence. Really make that person the center of your attention and experience, even if only for a few minutes. It does wonders in the mattering department! Today I heard from a friend. It was a simple text message asking how I was doing followed by a :-)  It mattered.

It doesn’t take much to make someone’s day. It could be a smile, wink, or tweet. It could be an email or a pat on the back for encouragement. Or, a call to say, “hi – how ya doin’, you were on my mind. Almost always, it’s something small that makes a big difference. So, do sweat the small stuff.

 Mattering is a choice. Give yourself that option every day. It doesn’t matter how you do it- it only matters that you do it. You can say it, write it, tweet it, or deliver the message in person. Make the choice every day to tell, offer, thank, encourage, inspire, and let others know you notice and believe in them. It could be and often will be the most powerful thing you do all day. Is mattering on your TO DO list? I’ll leave you with this final thought and challenge. Can you imagine what kind of world we can create by each of us knowing we matter, believing in ourselves and supporting one another? Can you imagine how actions you take today could make a difference in some one’s life tomorrow? And that ripple would last for generations? I can, and I know this simple, clear message of “YOU MATTER” has the power to change lives and change the world.

Trusting God is what God wants us to do! No matter what!!!

trusting god girl falling

Life always brings us challenges, these challenges can shake us to the very core and cause us to question our faith. It is during these times that we need to lean on God even more. The Bible contains many scriptures that will help us weather any storm.

Here are five that are sure to help you find peace during any trial:

Matthew 6:25
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?”

Sometimes we worry more than we pray. Can you imagine what would happen if for every second that we spent worrying, we prayed instead? Imagine for a moment the kind of peace that would settle in our hearts and soul. This is exactly what God wants us to do, he wants us to trust, pray and believe that he will make a way even in the toughest situations.

John 11:14-15
So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.”

Lazarus was dead for days, his body had started to rot and his sisters were in despair. They had sent for Jesus but because he had taken too long to come Lazarus had died. They were distraught and disappointed. They did not realize that Jesus had deliberately delayed his arrival to create a miracle that would unhardened the heart of unbelievers and give them and their brother a testimony.

Do you feel that God has delayed your deliverance from a situation for too long? Remember that God is never late, he is always on time and he puts you through the test in order to give us a testimony.

Psalm 91: 1-3
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.”

Are you afraid? Why? All you have to do is rest in the Lord and he will deliver you from anything that will attempt to bring despair and misery into your life. He will protect you and give you peace as long as you trust in him. It doesn’t matter who or what rises up against you. He will deliver you out of their hands as long as you rest in him.

Matthew 5:4
“Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.”

Are you mourning? It might be the death a loved one, a broken relationship, a lost job or something that is bringing you deep grief. What a blessing it is to know that Jesus himself has promised to comfort us no matter what the heartache and what a blessing it is to know that Jesus never lies. Rest assured that the comforting hand of God is already reaching for you.

Prov. 3:5-6
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”

Throughout scripture the Lord admonishes us to trust in him. Think of someone you love very much and how much you enjoy it when they trust you and imagine how bad you would feel or have felt when they haven’t had confidence in you. This is exactly how God feels when we don’t trust him because he loves us so much. No matter what test you are going through believe and trust in the Lord and you will not be disappointed.

But I am Trusting You, O Lord!

I was led to this Psalm yesterday and I have been meditating on it since then, reminding me to continue to trust God. God is accessible and personal to those who call on His name by faith. He is not an aloof Almighty, but an engaging One. God governs the universe, and He takes time for those who come to Him. Trust in Him is a ticket to a personal relationship with Him. It is when we trust Him that we are positioned to know Him. Relationship without trust is incapable of intimacy and the feeling of closeness. 

i trust you o God

“But I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, You are my God.”~  Psalm 31:14

 

This is why we place our faith in Him and not in our faith. Our faith is undependable, but our God is ever dependable. We stay steadfast in our faith in God even in the face of suffering, temptation, and dire circumstances. He is still our God who can be trusted in our times of trouble. Our hope in God is so strong that we do not cease to call upon His name in our sorrow. When we know Him we trust Him.

 

Adversity and challenges, great or small, compete with our trust in God. When it seems as though our brand of Christianity is not working, we are tempted to give up. We want to re-brand God to fit our shallow beliefs. Because He is personal, we expect Him to bend toward our immature behavior. Actually, giving up can be good if it is giving up on our own solutions. But we cannot give up on God.

 

Christians will let us down, but Jesus never will. Christ’s care is personal and persevering. He is not going anywhere. Our anger may cause us to retreat from the tender touch of our Lord, but He patiently waits for us to come back to our senses and back to Him. Do not project your dysfunctions on your personal relationship with Jesus. Instead, ask Him to make you a reflection of His grace, mercy, forgiveness, peace, and holiness. Get personal with your God. You can laugh with the Lord and cry with Christ. You take on the attributes of those with whom you are personal with.

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Have a wonderful day as you bask in His presence. Love you all in Christ. I hope you will share this blog with others and I pray that it will bring encouragement to those who are in need!  God bless you!

 

 

 

Draw Closer to the Lord!

Most Christians do desire to know God more than they currently do. They sense their need for more of His presence and power in their daily lives. They feel an aching spiritual hunger in our souls for “something more” in our relationship with Him. And yet often many believers balk at doing the one thing that would bring them closer to Him—spending time in His presence. In their rushed life it’s all too easy to fall for the lie that it’s just not realistic to spend quality time at the feet of Jesus.

woman sitting with sunrise behind her

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you…” James 4:8

But in order to find the real and lasting intimacy with Jesus Christ that we long for, we cannot merely try to fit Him into our life when it is convenient. Instead, we must learn to build our lives around Him. If we truly want to know Him, we must put a high priority on spending time in His presence, praying, laying our burdens at His feet, meditating on His Word, worshiping Him, and letting His still, small voice speak to our hearts. Time in God’s presence very rarely just happens; instead it must be planned into our day and purposefully protected.

Be willing to do whatever it takes to make time for your relationship with Him, even if it means having less leisure time or less time on social media. Remember, nothing is more valuable than daily time in the presence of your King!

Plan a specific time every day for prayer and time in God’s presence. Treat it as seriously as you would any other scheduled meeting or appointment. It doesn’t mean you should never pray spontaneously, but having scheduled “appointments with God” each day will ensure that your priorities stay correct and will help you gain the closeness to Christ that you long for.

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Have a wonderful day as you draw closer to Him. Love you all In Christ.
Please follow and share this blog and I pray that it bring encouragement to you and bring strength to your walk with Jesus!