Monday, September 21, 2015
I recently was asked, as a Christian, what I thought my purpose was here on earth. I have heard many people answer that question and the answers are as different as the many types of flowers that are in my flowerbed. However, after much thought, my answer has to be simply to love God. I honestly think if I love God with all my heart, soul, and mind, then everything else will fall into place. If I love God, I will want to obey him, tell others about him, and share His love. Following rules in of itself is not love. If the main motive of my heart is to love Christ, then I will glorify Him in all I do. Love drives you to put others ahead of yourself and to trust the Father to meet your needs. True love can not be earned; it is a gift! There is true freedom when we simply love God and have our heart set on knowing and loving Him more.
So, how are you living this day? What is your heart set on? Is there anything you need to change while you still have the chance?
15 So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesian 5:15-20
Monday, September 14, 2015
Enough of that though. I want to lift up the name of Jesus and Who He is. He is more than a fairy tale, a good man, a prophet, etc. He is the Son of the Living God who came down to earth as a human baby. He grew up with earthly parents as well as His Heavenly Father. He walked this earth sinless and rocked the world of the religious and people who only followed man-made rules but do not love or obey the true living God. He was ultimately crucified even though he did nothing wrong. However, that was not the end of the story! He rose again on the third day and is living now! He can give you eternal life when you die and can give you abundant life now while you are living. He is real.
We are living in a time where confusion is rampant. People do not regard God's word as the truth anymore. We see people every day that call themselves Christians but do not follow Christ nor His Word. I do not claim to be a brilliant Bible scholar, however, I do know enough of God's word to know that in John 14:15, Jesus says if we love Him we will keep His commandments. Notice the link between love and keeping the commandments. It will be our LOVE for Him that will drive us, not just rules and laws.
If you find yourself discouraged and confused today, I want to remind you that God can clear up the haze that this world can leave in our minds. He is still the answer. He is still the Truth! He is still our Hope! We have to stay in God's Truth which is found in HIS Word. Romans 12:2 tells us the key to overcoming our confusion: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is , that which is good and acceptable and perfect. How do we renew our minds? We get into God's Word and we believe God's truth instead of believing what the world tries to feed us as truth.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Janet's story was one of much abuse and hopelessness. Being a very open and honest unedited story, there are times that this book is not easy to read. However, the message of how, through Christ, Janet found redemption and a second chance, can give hope to someone also struggling. I feel it took a lot of courage to share parts of her life that brought so much pain. If you have suffered abuse and depression, this story can give you hope that with Christ all things are possible. If you would like to purchase your copy of "Never Forsaken", click HERE.
Friday, July 24, 2015
As a Christian, I know God has a plan for my life and this country. However, I still have times of feeling rattled by the rapid changes life is bringing my way. People have a lot of questions during this time. Anxiety is high in this world and even in the church. Yes, I often struggle with anxiety. However, I have an remedy for my anxiety and fear. Before I tell you what my remedy is, I want to tell you what it is NOT. The remedy to anxiety and uncertainty is not found in alcohol, pills, spending more money, ignoring the news, going on a vacation, getting new clothes, saving up a room full of food, saving a "nest egg" of money, moving to Alaska, etc. My remedy to anxiety is knowing that I am the child of a living God and resting on the truth that He loves me and is in control. When I received Jesus as my Savior, He promised to finish what His Spirit started in me. (Philippians 1:6) He is not looking the other way when things go wrong. He has His eye on me and I can trust His heart. Although He is a patient and loving God, He is also a Holy God. There is coming a day that evil will be dealt with. However, God has a plan and as 2 Peter 3:9 tells us: The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Have no doubt that as a child of God, born-again Christian, that He is working all things in your life to your good. (Romans 8:28) So, the next time you see or hear bad news, get an unexpected bill, your car breaks down, your spouse gets ill, or you feel depressed; remember that God loves you and will hold you in the palm of His hand. (John 10:28-29) You don't have to fret and fear. You have a God that knows the future and will never leave you nor forsake you! In Christ there is peace, love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) As a Christian, I can choose peace over anxiety and faith over fear! As we approach this weekend, I hope you choose peace and faith! Keep your eyes on Jesus and His love for you. If you are not a Christian, God is calling you to come to Him and trade all the world has to offer, for what only God can give; true life and love. There is HOPE in Jesus!
Friday, May 22, 2015
When I was a young teenager I had a different view of sin. Sin was all the "fun" stuff. I just couldn't understand why the "fun" stuff had to be wrong. However, as I have grown older, I see that sin not only hurts us, it hurts God. Sometimes we want to see how far we can go without something being considered a sin. Often, our focus is on the sin and not the Savior. As Christians, we accept Christ into our heart and crown Him King of our lives. For those of us that have made a lot of mistakes and have a lot of shortcomings, we know in our heart that we MUST have Him. We our grateful and we praise Him. We love Him because He first loved us. He loves us. He wants His best for us. He hates the things that hurt us. So, when God says "Don't do that", He is really saying "Don't burn yourself". He knows that it only takes a second for the long-lasting effects of sin to leave a scar on our heart.
Is there anything in your life today that needs to go? Is there anything that is a part of your daily routine that God has warned you about? When we ignore God's Word and do our own thing, we always get wounds to the soul. I propose that we seek to agree with God and call sin what it is; sin! As we agree with God and get inline with His will for our lives, we can be filled up with His Spirit and have peace and joy. As burns to the skin, sin can leave ugly reminders that we thought we knew more than God.
You cannot fool God, so don’t make a fool of yourself! You will harvest what you plant. If you follow your selfish desires, you will harvest destruction, but if you follow the Spirit, you will harvest eternal life. Galatians 6:7-8 CEV
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
For me, the answer is tucked away in Philippians 4. The whole chapter is amazing and reminds us the secret of true peace; thanking, trusting, and obeying God. However, I want to zone in on verses 11-13: "Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. 13 For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength". There it is! Being content is being rooted in Christ. He gives us the strength, joy, peace, and vision that we need. HE is the one thing we MUST have. He is our sustainer and strength. If our worth or peace is based on things or people, we will be rocked back and forth on a sea of emotions. On the other hand, if we are anchored with God, through the Holy Spirit, we will be able to look down at our shattered screen and say, "oh well, it's just a phone".
I want to encourage you today to let God anchor your soul by His Spirit and His Word. Perhaps you can read all of Philippians 4 and let the words sink in. It is only when we are grounded in Christ that trivial things stay trivial and we can choose to be content and thankful, no matter what. By the way, I have decided to keep my new phone as long as it works. I want to use it as a reminder that God can take shattered things and use them to His glory; I know this well!
Friday, May 1, 2015
Do you have a problem with control? Maybe you feel like you don't have enough control; or maybe you feel like you must control for things to be okay. Do you feel like it's up to you to work out things for your loved ones and family? Do you feel like, if you try hard enough, that you have it in you to "fix" all your problems? I am the first one to admit that I have had a problem with control for years. Although I didn't understand it all myself, I had an intense drive to "take care" of everyone I loved. I personally felt responsible for protecting my family from any harm or failures. Needless to say, this has been a very heavy burden; a burden I was NEVER meant to carry. Jesus tells us in Matthew 11:28: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Only Jesus can give us true rest from the constant drive to be in control. For me, the driving force behind my need for control was fear; fear for my children, my family, my health, my future, and much more. If I am living in fear, then I am NOT living in faith and trust. (For more on that, see Trust Vs. Worry) The truth is, when I strive to control everyone and everything, I am trying to be "God" in their lives. Wow, that's a sobering thought! Instead of my loved ones growing closer to God, they were only getting more dependent on me! Ouch! I am not qualified to know all and to know what is best in every situation.
During this past year, God is doing a radical work in my heart and life. For the first time in my life, I am realizing this truth: I have never really had any control in the first place, I have only been getting in God's way when I thought He needed me to "intervene". However, as I have been able to give everything over to the Lord and trust Him, I am seeing more results than I have ever seen before. Now, I am not saying I have this trust thing 100 % down. On the other hand, I am saying that as I confess my fears to the Lord and trust HIS ways and plans, I am having a lot more peace and freedom.
Is there any area of your life in which you are "playing God"? Trust me, we were not meant to be everything to everyone. We WERE meant to be filled up with God's Spirit and let HIM do the ministering and loving through us. I have a good friend named Sandi that has already gone home to be with the Lord. Sandi would always tell me: Melaina, if you are "stressed out" and "worn out", then you are doing things in your own power, not the Lord's. Wow! Isn't that the truth? My prayer and encouragement for you, is to examine your heart and see if maybe you are clinging to a false sense of control. If you are, no condemnation; however, don't stay there! Give all your worries to the Lord and follow HIS leading! You will be amazed at the mountains HE can move as you trust Him.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Forgiveness has been on my heart a lot lately. Think about it, when someone forgives someone else, it is a powerful thing. I know many times in my life I have made some stupid decisions and later felt the heaviness of shame and regret. However, as I have received forgiveness from either God or the one I wronged, I felt a tremendous relief. Obviously God thinks forgiveness is important too. The Bible tells us what great lengths Jesus went to in order to offer us true forgiveness. He not only suffered abuse and ridicule, He actually suffered death. However, that wasn't the end of the story! He not only died but He rose again and won victory over death and sin. Forgiveness!
As good as it feels to be forgiven, it often feels even better when we offer forgiveness to others. When we remember our sin and how much we have needed forgiveness, it is much easier to offer forgiveness. Do you need forgiveness today? 1 John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away. Don't waste time on feeling shame and regret, go to God today and ask for His mercy. On the other hand, do you need to forgive someone else, including yourself? Unforgiveness can latch onto your heart like a parasite sucking all the life and joy out of your soul. Can you trust God with your hurt? Can you trust Him to heal the pain you have experienced? He will give you the strength to forgive and be free of this dead-weight of bitterness. Matthew 6:14-15 tells us that if you forgive others for the wrongs they do to you, your Father in heaven will forgive you. But if you don't forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.
When you think about it, forgiveness can unlock the door to true love and life. Receiving forgiveness from Jesus can give us a new life, hope and love. Through God's power, extending forgiveness to others can give us joy and freedom in the Spirit. Don't wait any longer; forgive and be forgiven!
Friday, April 24, 2015
Being a Family Christian Blogger, I have recently had the opportunity to review a newly released book entitled "Unafraid" by Susie Davis. Not only was I blessed to receive a complementary copy of this book, Susie's story was exactly what I needed to hear. Once I began to read the book, I couldn't put it down. She told her story that as a teenager she had witnessed a murder that left her very afraid. As the years went by, fear wrapped itself around her life until she felt powerless. Worry, fears, and anxiety were in full control of her heart. She loved God, however trusting Him was another story. However, step by step God led her on a journey of healing. In "Unafraid", Susie takes us along on this journey that ultimately led to her freedom from fear. My heart was uplifted and encouraged as I read page by page. God reconfirmed in my heart what He had previously revealed to me: He is TRUTH and IN HIM we can truly be set free!
I wholeheartedly recommend this book. In fact, I plan to purchase copies for my friends and family. If fear is something you have struggled with in the past or are in the midst of now, you will greatly benefit from reading "Unafraid". You can find this book at any Family Christian store. However, If you would like to order your copy online now , please click HERE.
Fear is the opposite of trust. Trusting God and living by faith is the only way to walk out the Christian life. Like Susie, we can find freedom and healing through Christ and walk in peace, victory, and wholeness. Christ in us, the hope of glory! Colossians 1:27
Tuesday, April 7, 2015
Recently, I was challenged, once again, as to how I can be so sure that God is real. The answer to that question is that I have experienced His forgiveness, His peace, His love, and His joy. No one can talk me out of believing there is a God and that His son Jesus died for my sins. He came into my life and made a new person out of me. I think differently, I feel differently and I love differently. Yes, I still make mistakes when I choose to not trust God and His Word and when I try to do things on my own. However, I am not the same as I was before. Before Christ, I was broken, insecure, needy, searching for a real love, working hard to be good enough, empty and sad. On the other hand, one day, at the end of my rope, I cried out in desperation to the One and only true God. I confessed with my mouth and believed in my heart that if He didn't save me, I was doomed forever. I was tired of trying to fill that bottomless pit inside of my heart. I was tired of searching for peace and love in undependable things. I just wanted Jesus. During that time, God had mercy on me and granted me repentance and gave me a new heart. I have joy, peace and hope now where there was once sadness, turmoil and hopelessness.
I am not called to answer all of the questions to life. I am not called to make sure everyone is happy, peaceful and joyful. I am not called to fill the hearts of all who are empty. However, I AM called to point others to the ONE who can exchange death for life, sadness for joy, shame for security, and weakness for strength. So, no, I don't have all the answers; but I know the ONE who does and His name is Jesus. Do you know Him?
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
I am just curious as to which topics in your Christian life are on YOUR heart. If you have an area in your life in which you are struggling or want to hear more about, please submit that info in the prayer request box. I want to remind you that ALL INFO submitted in the Prayer Request Box is CONFIDENTIAL. Thank you in advance for giving your input.
As we begin a new week, I want to remind you that we are not promised tomorrow. God has us here now for a purpose. Press into Him and seek HIS will for your days and how you spend your time. We are in a very desperate time in the world as there is so much confusion, hurt, pain, and evil. However, we have a God who has overcome this world and has a plan. Keep looking to Him for your answers to your questions. He loves you!
I HAVE TOLD YOU THESE THINGS, SO THAT IN ME YOU MAY HAVE PEACE. IN THIS WORLD YOU WILL HAVE TROUBLE. BUT TAKE HEART! I HAVE OVERCOME THE WORLD. John 16:33
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
We often start off whole-heartedly following God's plan for our life, however we find ourselves too busy and running so fast that we don't take real time to re-evaluate. When we stop and be still before the Lord, we might find that as all the "dust" settles, that we may in fact be on the wrong path. We started off surrendering everything to Him, but one choice at a time, we may be following OUR will and not God's. I want to encourage you today to "be still". Find a quiet place at a quiet time and just spend some time with God. Ask Him to look at what keeps you busy and to cull out anything that is not His will for your life. This will take more than 15 minutes. You may have to stay up later, get up earlier, turn off the TV, take a walk alone; but find this time. Often when we find ourselves in a place where we have no joy, no passion, and no strength, then we are seeking our own plans and not His plans. As Christians we have made the choice that our lives belong to Jesus. He has much more for us than we can even imagine if we would simply let go of our will and cling to His will for our life. I want to encourage you to let the dust settle in your busy life today and just be still before God.
BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD. I WILL BE HONOERED BY EVERY NATION. I WILL BE HONORED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. Psalms 46:10
Thursday, March 19, 2015
Trusting God is not simply trusting that only good things will come about, it is trusting that God is who He says He is, no matter what we face. In Romans 8 we learn alot about his heart. If we truly believe that God loves us, deeply loves us, then we can trust that He will have the final word in our circumstances. In John 16, Jesus tells us that we WILL have trouble in this world. On the other hand, He reminds us that He has overcome this world. So, no matter what you find yourself facing today, I want to encourage you to not doubt God's love for you. In Romans 8, we are reminded that NOTHING can separate us from God's love. Now, if He truly loves us, then we can trust that He will take care of us.
You may be walking through a dark time in your life; however, you are not alone. In Hebrews 13 we are reminded that God will never leave us nor forsake us. If we are His child, then we are in great hands. So, take heart! God can be trusted. Get into God's word today. He has given us many promises that we can trust and stand on!
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Congratulations Kelly, you are the winner of the $10 Gift Certificate to Family Christian Stores! Thank you all for entering the give away. We will have more giveaways in the future.
BY THE WAY, this post is the 100th post of Hopeful Heart!! Thank you all for reading Hopeful Heart and sharing it with others. We appreciate you telling others about this blog as our mission is to share Jesus with all our readers. God bless you all!
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
If you have trouble sleeping, I have some advice. First, stop drinking caffeine after lunch and try to eat supper by 6pm. Also, try taking a hot bath about 30 minutes prior to bed time. The bath will help you relax and settle down for a good sleep. Furthermore, if you want to go to sleep by 10, then make 9:30 your bedtime. At bedtime turn off all electronics, television, and cell phones. Spend that last 30 minutes of your day praying and reading your Bible or a Christian book. Try these suggestions for a few days and see if it helps you. For more suggestions, click HERE. I hope today's blog will serve as a helpful reminder to us all; sleep is important!
Friday, February 27, 2015
|Start your morning off with a healthy dose of worship!|
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
P.S. WE ARE STARTING ANOTHER GIVEAWAY THIS COMING FRIDAY!! Spread the word and be sure to sign up!
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Jesus is our hope in life and in death. He is the beginning and the end! Do you have this hope I am talking about? Have you ever experienced peace that passes all understanding? Jesus is the answer for that hope. My niece's husband, Josh, is currently teaching a series about Jesus being the Hope you need in everyday life. To hear sermons from his "So Much More" series, click HERE. I am very thankful I have hope in life and in death through Jesus and I pray you will find your hope in Him as well.
*Remember, If you need prayer, please fill out the prayer request form at the top right-hand side on this blog page.
8 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.
31 What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? 33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
Romans 8:28-37 (NLT)
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Monday, February 16, 2015
Thursday, February 12, 2015
This week I have been burdened about things I have seen posted on our social media that have left me confused. Now, I am NOT talking about people that don't claim to be Christians. I am talking about people who name the name of Jesus, and are identified as Christians, talking as if there is no moral absolutes. For example, several times this week I have read, "what may be wrong for some, may not be wrong for others". That message is a message of confusion and the Bible tells me that confusion is NOT from God. 1 Corinthians 14:33 (NKJV) says: For God is not the author of confusion but of peace as in all the churches of the saints.
I just want to speak from my heart: If you are a Christian, the Bible is our guide to what is right and what is wrong; not our emotions or preferences. Now, I agree that many Christians argue over what certain scriptures actually mean, but the Bible is God's Word and is the Christian's guide to life. Of course, the Holy Spirit lives in us and helps us understand God's word as well. I can hear some of you now saying, "I live by grace!". I live by grace also and I am nothing without Christ in me. (Galatians 2:20, Colossians 1:27) However, Romans 6:1-2 (NLT) says: Should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?
I want to say up front, I am not judging anyone by their social media posts. However, I do believe that some posts are causing great harm in the Kingdom of God. We all have opinions and we all have preferences, but if we don't submit these under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, then we can be used of the enemy. It is very confusing when we say we are Christians and then we are approving and even supporting things that God's word CLEARLY says is wrong. Last week in our Ladies' Sunday school class, we were studying in Judges at the time when there were no kings. As we read through the scriptures, I was shocked at how our generation today sounds so much like the generation then. Judges 21:25 (NLT) says: In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes. What do you think? Sound familiar? However, as Christians, we do have a King; His name is Jesus.
I just want to encourage us all to represent Jesus when we post, write, or speak. If our motive is to push OUR preferences and OUR opinions that contradict the Word of God, then we are not representing Jesus, we are just representing self.
23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Regardless of what view you take on HFCS; the fact is, it needs to be used in moderation, just as sugar. I personally don't feel good when I consume products with HFCS in them. I try to purchase products that have pure cane sugar instead. Either way, we must limit our consumption of these sweeteners. Last week we talked about sugar and how too much is not good for us. (For more info about sugar, see SUGAR 101.) Once you start really paying attention to what you eat, you will be surprised by how many products contain some form of sugar. I want to encourage you to try to satisfy your sweet tooth with natural fresh fruit. If you buy fruit in a can, be careful to read the labels. It would be best to purchase the "no sugar added" selections or just stick with fresh fruit.
As we strive to live an healthy lifestyle, be aware of what you actually are putting into your body. Be label smart and look up any ingredients that you don't know of. Press on!
So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God! 1 Corinthians 10:31
|Press On Wednesday is in Memory of my Dad, Troy.|
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
1- 12 ounce can of chopped white chicken breast
1- cup of broccoli slaw
1-small yellow bell pepper, chopped ( any color pepper)
2-Tablespoons of Pico de gallo
1/2 cup of Roasted Salsa Verde
1-tsp Creole Seasoning
1/2 tsp- cumin
1-tsp of black pepper (optional)
Romaine or Iceberg Lettuce Leaves
In medium-sized bowl, add chicken and spices and mix well. Next, add slaw, bell pepper, and pico de gallo and mix well. Lastly, add salsa and blend well with mixture. Add one tablespoon of Olive oil to a medium non-stick skillet. Turn on medium heat. When oil is hot, add chicken mixture to pan and "stir-fry" for about 10 minutes until veggies are tender and chicken thoroughly warmed. Remove from heat. Serve half cup of chicken mixture on one lettuce leaf. Top with sour cream, salsa verde or picante. Enjoy!
|Spicy Southwestern Lettuce Wraps|
Monday, February 9, 2015
What if you are a Christian who has drifted away or has believed a lie and pulled away from God? Sometimes we get in a place where we feel too far away from God to try to go back. This brings us to the word repentance. Repentance is a gift from God. We come to Him, admit our sin, receive His forgiveness and can be in full fellowship with God once again. 1 John 1:9 (NLT) tells us: If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. Satan wants us to believe its a hard thing. Christ will give us the power to do His will and it is His will we are in full fellowship with Him. Philippians 4:13 tells us that we can do ALL things through CHRIST who gives us strength. To be honest, recently I have found myself letting a negative attitude hang around in my heart and mind. First, I just started grumbling about some things and not being thankful. Next thing I knew, I was grumbling a lot and believing lies the enemy sent my way. Before I knew it, my whole outlook became negative. However, yesterday morning in church, I realized my negative attitude and ungratefulness was a sin. As I prayed and asked God's forgiveness for not trusting His love for me and doubting His promises, an amazing thing happened; my joy came back! It felt as if a load had been lifted in my heart. None of my circumstances changed, but as I asked for forgiveness God washed over me. Repentance is not a bad word. It's a gift from God!
If you are a child of God and have lost your joy, I want to encourage you to ask God to search your heart for any hidden thing that would be keeping you from full fellowship from the Lord. It's really not hard to do. God does love you and as His Word says, WILL forgive you.
Friday, February 6, 2015
Thursday, February 5, 2015
I am excited to announce that I am hosting my first giveaway courtesy of Family Christian stores! The prize will be a $10 gift certificate to Family Christian Bookstore. You can enter the giveaway by going directly to my blogpage. The last day to enter is February 11th. There are several ways to enter and each count for several chances. The winner will be randomly chosen and announced February 12th.
Although many physical changes are occurring during Midlife, I am getting more and more convinced that the Midlife Battle is more a spiritual one. We may very well need medications or hormones to help during this time. On the other hand, I don't believe medications will fix it all. I believe the Creator of the Universe, the One that created us, can help us walk this difficult journey. For most of us, we are transitioning out of the "full time" parent position to the "friend-parent" position. We talked about true surrender last week and how freeing it can be. (To read last week's post, click HERE ) I think everyone could agree that there is a battle happening at this stage; it could be a small one or a huge one. I am not sure what you may be experiencing during this shift of life. I have heard that when someone is journeying through midlife they often don't act their age; they either act younger than they are, or they act older than they are. Now, I think we have all seen someone in their mid-40's dressing and acting like a someone half their age. Furthermore, there is no doubt that you have most likely seen someone in their mid-40's acting like they are 65 already. They focus on how bad they feel and they seem to succumb to the idea their life is almost over. With Christ, we don't have to act either way. We can enjoy the age we are with all the gifts that come along with it. True, our lives are not like they use to be. On the other hand, God has prepared us for this stage and He hasn't left us alone to flounder and figure it out. Press into God. Seek Him with your whole heart and stay in His Word. His Spirit alone can fill the emptiness this change may bring. Seek out other Christians that may need encouragement too. If you feel you just can't adjust or move past this place, you may want to visit with your Pastor, a trusted Christian friend, or your doctor.
God doesn't want us to stall out at this place in our life! He wants us to have life and have it abundantly! In John 10:10, Jesus says, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." I want to encourage you today to count your blessings. Instead of looking back and pining away for what use to be, look ahead with excitement for God's plans for the second half of your life.
P.S. If you find yourself struggling and need prayer, please submit a prayer request on this blog page. All prayer requests are confidential and will be prayed over.
AND HE HAS SAID TO ME, "MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU, FOR MY POWER IS PERFECTED IN WEAKNESS." MOST GLADLY, THEREFORE, I WILL RATHER BOAST ABOUT MY WEAKNESSES, SO THAT THE POWER OF CHRIST MAY DWELL IN ME.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NASB)
Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
some of the inside bread leaving a small bowl-like place. (The scooped out bread can be used to make croutons, bread pudding or to feed ducks). Now, this is the fun part. You can fill the hollowed out area with anything you like! This particular time I used left-over spaghetti sauce with meat. (I recommend you prewarming the filling if need be) However, you could stuff your bread with left-over taco meat, chopped chicken, chopped steak, lunchmeat, cooked sausage, or bacon; the sky's the limit! Next, I would top with a generous helping of your favorite kind of cheese. I topped my spaghetti sauce with an Italian cheese blend. After that, top with anything you want: onions, olives, jalapenos, bell peppers, etc. Place loaf on a foil-lined baking sheet or pre-warmed baking stone in a 350 degree oven and bake about 20 minutes. Times may vary with different ovens. Basically, you want the bread to be slightly browned and.the cheese inside to be melted. When the bread is done, let loaf cool for about 5 minutes before slicing. You can serve with a big salad or your favorite veggies. My family liked to dip their bread in Ranch dressing! You can just be creative and have fun!! Your children may want to help also! They can help put their favorite toppings in the bread, etc.
Monday, February 2, 2015
Recently, as I was having my quiet time, I was discussing a situation with the Lord that I am not particularly happy about. I have been praying for weeks for this situation to change or for God to show me a way out of it. I began to pour over the situation again; complaining and asking God to open my eyes to how He's going to get me out of this. Suddenly, it's as if He spoke clearly to my heart: You need to stop fighting me and trust Me, because this IS my will for you right now. Wow! I was shocked. Maybe I heard Him wrong....surely I heard Him wrong! I know the Lord's thoughts are much higher than mine, however, in this situation I was sure I knew what needed to happen. Wait, did I just say that? Oh my! When did this creep back in? My will is not only alive and well but is off doing it's own thing apparently. How could I not trust God after all we've been through? He can part the waters of a river and leave dry ground for His people to walk on. He can raise a dead man back to life. He can take a lost sinner like me and make a new creation! He knows what He's doing! I can most certainly trust Him enough to line my will up with His.
It was as if a light bulb came on! The inner struggle I have been feeling was actually a battle of the wills; mine and Gods. However, as I repented of being rebellious and seeking my own will above His, the inner struggle melted into peace. I am not saying all my feelings have changed about this situation, on the other hand, I know and trust there is a purpose for it that I can't see right now. I often compare my life to an onion and God is continually peeling back layer after layer. God knows what He is doing. I am going to trust Him!
If you find yourself having an inner storm today, could it be there is a battle of the wills going on inside of you too? Take the time to talk to God and ask Him to show you whether or not your will is completely in line and submitted to His. Even Jesus submitted His will to His Father's:
"Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want YOUR will to be done, not mine." Luke 22:42 (NLT)
Friday, January 30, 2015
Think about it, what is the most important thing you could be doing with your life? Would it be to strive for success in order to make a name for yourself? Would it be to make a certain amount of money in order to feel that you have "arrived"? In my opinion, loving God and sharing His love with others would be the most important mission!
Sometimes we can get so caught up in our busy-ness and stress, that we find ourselves not making time to show others love. I want to encourage you today to take time to spread God's love. You may never know how your one simple act of love can be the answer to someone's prayer!
I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Don't forget to share God's love with others!
Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: "Love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:37-39 (NLT)
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Below is the link to that old song, Give them all to Jesus. (I am really showing my age here) Please take a minute and listen to it. Have a great Thursday!
Give them all to Jesus