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Quick Announcement!

My birthday is this Friday! To celebrate, my book, Violet Miracle, is free on Amazon Friday and Saturday, Sept 21-22. Enjoy!

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Posted by on September 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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How to Find Joy and Peace

Matthew 10:30-31 says, “And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows,” (NLT). The Lord doesn’t care so much about our accomplishments. He created each and every one of us to be unique and special. He values even our hair—whether it’s a lot or only a little! God loves me. God loves you. He loved you when you were only a child, with mud on your nose and peanut butter in your hair. He loved you when you succeeded and when you failed. His love is completely unconditional.

Take a moment to think about that truth. You don’t have to prove anything to God. He just loves you because you exist. God loved you before you were born. He loved you before you even knew Him. He loved you when you were lost in your sins and He came to take care of that! You don’t have to look a certain way or do a certain thing to earn His love. He loves you and He values you, more than you can ever fathom. Even when you mess up and fall flat on your face, He still loves you. Believe this truth. It will set you free.

Our world teaches that the only person you can really trust in is yourself. Unfortunately, that’s a lie. For one thing, the Bible teaches that you cannot trust yourself at all. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death,” (AMP). We, left to our own devices, are headed for destruction, death, and hell. However, Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take,” (NLT).

Sometimes, it’s really hard to trust anyone else, especially if you’ve been hurt in the past. Trusting in God can seem extremely difficult because of the simple fact that you can’t see Him or touch Him. However, anyone and everyone can EXPERIENCE God anywhere, anytime.

The great thing about Jesus (God) is He never lies and He always keeps His promises. He is completely reliable and absolutely faithful. If He said it, that settles it! Every promise written in the Bible is for you and me. The Bible was written not just for a few people, but for the entire world. Jesus does not force Himself on people; He simply offers Himself and His Spirit. He wants to walk with you. He wants a relationship with you. Matthew 11: 28-30 says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly,” (MSG).

I’ve heard it preached that the Lord wants to show you what a real Sabbath is. If you are living a life of perpetual fatigue, perhaps you are carrying around too many burdens. Jesus wants you to have a life that is light. He wants to show you a better, more joyful way to live. When we finally let go of our worries and believe the truth that God can handle our lives better than we can, suddenly we sleep better. We awake refreshed and energized. And joy quietly fills us. It’s there, exactly where it’s supposed to be, felt freely and fully.

Remember Psalm 37:4? It says, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart,” (AMP). This means that if you will walk with the Lord, He will make your dreams come true.

Excerpted from my book Allowing Joy Into Your Life coming soon.

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2012 in encouraging posts, Excerpts

 

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Characteristics of Living Organisms–Physical and Spiritual, Part 2

Written by: Vernon McCoy

Breathing or Respiration – All living things exchange gases with their environment. Animals take in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide.

Breathing is interesting in that we do it involuntarily. We don’t have to remind ourselves to breathe, we just do it. Not only do we just do it, but it happens all the time. It isn’t a one-time deal, so it just turns into something that we do. It is something you take for granted, until you no longer have the ability to do it. You don’t think about it, nor should you, but it is readily there. Breathing.

Also there is an exchange happening. It isn’t just one way, but there is two-way communication happening here.

We need God to breathe on us, and when He breathes on us, in exchange, we worship Him and give Him praise, and when we worship Him and give Him praise, then He breathes on us some more, and we worship Him and give Him praise, and it goes on and on, until we live a lifestyle of praise and worship. Praise is just who we are. Praise is what I do. We don’t just do this in the sanctuary, but even outside of these four (church) walls, we live a lifestyle of praise, because God is breathing on us.

Job 33:4 – The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.

God breathed into Adam and man became a living soul. We were made to give God glory. We have to understand that there is life in the breath of God. It should be our desire to have God breathe on us every day, all the time, until that is just who we are. We need to learn to live a lifestyle of praise, and that only happens when God breathes on us.

Unfortunately, the alternative is true. We live in a twisted and perverse world, and if we allow ourselves to breathe in the bad air of our society, then in exchange, we won’t be able to praise and worship the way we were designed to, and therefore we won’t live. I am talking about the characteristics of a LIVING Spiritual Christian. A living, healthy Christian is very apparent because God is breathing on them, and in exchange they live a lifestyle of praise and worship.

We have to be careful about what we allow our environment to breathe into our spirit and make sure that God is breathing on us.

Excretion – is the removal of waste from the body. All living things need to remove waste from their bodies. If this waste is allowed to remain in the body, it could be poisonous. It will become poisonous.

This is simple folks. Sin is sin. It needs to be removed from our lives. This is interesting in that it points out that all living things need to remove waste. This implies that you are already living for God, that it doesn’t matter how long you have lived for God. This isn’t the message for the new convert, or the sinner, but this is here for the saint, who has been in church for a while. There is always something that we need to shed.

Hebrews 12:1 – Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.

I like this verse because it makes a very clear distinction between sin and weight. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 6:12 and 10:23 that ‘All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient.’ Thank God for the man of God (the pastor) who will draw lines in the sand for my soul. Moses defined where the base of the mountain stood. The sons of Kora found out that you don’t want to be on the wrong side of the line. Let me say that if the man of God (pastor) draws a line in the sand, then we as saints need to make sure that we are on the right side of that line and as far away as we can be on the right side. Lines don’t get drawn haphazardly nor do they get drawn for fun. If the pastor draws a line in the sand and says that we are going to do this and not do this, then so be it. It might not be sin, but that doesn’t mean that it is good for me. Thank God for the Man of God who loves me enough to draw a line in the sand.

Our bodies are the temple of the living God, and we are to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. It is really just that simple.

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Also, just a quick announcement: my first inspirational romance book, Violet Miracle is now available on Amazon.com! It is the first in a series called, A Little Bit of Coffee, Flowers, and Romance. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Sweet, Simple Romance Book

 

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2012 in encouraging posts

 

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The Cure for Burn-Out–God’s Way

Me: “It’s impossible.”
•    Jesus: “And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God,” Luke 18:27.

Me: “I’m exhausted.”
•    Jesus: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light,” Matthew 11:28-30.

Me: “I just can’t do it anymore.”
•    Jesus: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” Philippians 4:13.

Me: “I can’t figure it out.”
•    Jesus: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths,” Proverbs 3:5-6.

Me: “It’s not worth it.”
•    Jesus: “And we know that ALL things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose,” Romans 8:28.

Me: “I’m afraid.”
•    Jesus: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind,” II Timothy 1:7.

Me: “I’m frustrated and worried.”
•    Jesus: “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you,” I Peter 5:7.

Me: “I’m just not smart enough.”
•    Jesus: “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ,” I Corinthians 2:16.

Me: “I feel so alone.”
•    Jesus: “…I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” Hebrews 13:5.

Me: “I’m burned out. I just don’t want to go on anymore.”
•    Jesus: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord,” Acts 3:19.

This is excerpted from an article called ‘God’s Cure for Burn-Out’. I do not have the source. If anyone knows who I can give credit to, please let me know.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2012 in encouraging posts

 

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The Way to Be Perfect

: A mirror, reflecting a vase. Español: : Un e...

: A mirror, reflecting a vase. Español: : Un espejo, reflejando un vasija. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently, I’ve been thinking about the issue of mercy and forgiveness and perfection. The Lord has been showing me that His idea of perfection is vastly different from the world’s definition—or even my own personal definition.

The world says you have to be perfect in every way, the perfect wife, the perfect mother, the perfect employee, etc. You have to be the perfect homemaker with a spotless house at all times, especially if people drop in with no notice. You have to be a gourmet chef making nutritious and delicious meals daily that everyone loves. Your children have to like vegetables (seriously?!). You also have to look perfect, with the world’s idea of a beautiful, flawless face and perfect body. (Don’t forget you must have perfect hair too!) You have to act perfect, never getting upset over anything at all, unless it would be politically correct to do so. You have to be brilliant, always having the right answer, able to do something new exactly right the very first time. You have to be talented, able to play several instruments—with no previous training! You have to be athletic, no klutzes allowed! Frankly, it’s a bit ridiculous. However, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that you are somehow of lesser worth if you don’t fit this impossible profile.

God’s idea of perfection is vastly different. His idea of perfect is simply…beautiful.

II Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

God’s idea of perfect can be found in studying and applying Scripture. His idea of perfection is having us be ‘thoroughly furnished unto all good works’. He wants our focus to be not on ourselves, but on ministering to others. He wants us to be holy, set apart, a beacon of light to a lost and hopeless world. He wants us to align ourselves and our lives with Him and His ways. What are His ways? He forgives. He loves. He changes us and makes us better, right. He gives hope—here and in the life to come. Through His Word (the Bible) and walking daily in a close personal relationship with Him we can learn how to truly live a life worth living.

II Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

We are to reflect His image. Like a mirror, we are to reflect Jesus to the world. We are to reflect His very glory. As we become more and more like Him, we are daily better reflecting His glory, from glory to glory.

However, a mirror can reflect nothing if it is faced the wrong way. As mirrors, we must continually turn our ‘mirrors’, our lives to face Him so we can reflect Him to the world. When we fail, instead of beating ourselves up, we must confess our wrong-doing, ask for forgiveness, and then simply ask the Lord what He would have us do next. Again, instead of reflecting our failure, we need to reflect Him. That is His mercy. And that is where we can find mercy.

 

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2012 in encouraging posts

 

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3 Thieves Keeping You From Doing God’s Call on Your Life–And What to Do About Them

Did you know that God has great plans for YOU? He has work for you to do that is fulfilling, exhilarating, and challenging. Do you know what your calling is? You probably do, but there are three thieves that will work against you fulfilling your calling. Here they are–and here’s what to do about them:

1. Distractions. It is so easy to get distracted with all that is going on around you. There are e-mails, phone calls, text messages, children, housework, jobs, church work, and the list goes on and on. Some of these are responsibilities that need to be prioritized. Some, not so much.

The solution to distractions is two-fold. First, pray. Ask the Lord to direct your day. Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths,” (KJV). The second solution piggy-backs off the first and is simply this: prioritize. That doesn’t mean you take over and figure out how to run your day. What it means is submit to the Lord your day and ask Him what and how you should prioritize all that is in it. As you work together with Him, you will see that you have plenty of time for all that He has for you to do. It will be a joy to you.

2. Intimidation/Fear. Sometimes, you just don’t feel qualified. Why on earth did God call me to this anyway? I can’t do this. Such and so would be a much better choice. And it goes on.

The solution to this is submission. God does not care so much about your ability. After all, if you can do it all yourself, you don’t really need Him, do you? Who gets the glory then? That doesn’t excuse you from working hard to learn new skills or practice to get better. However, the bottom line is the fact that God is more interested in someone who is WILLING than in someone who is able. He can handle your short-comings. He created you. Just as God helped Moses’ speech issues, He can help you with whatever you struggle with. Just obey Him. Someone once said, ‘God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.’ I would add to that, ‘He qualifies those who submit to Him and seek to do His will regardless.

3. You just don’t have the ‘want to’. Sometimes, you simply don’t feel like doing what God has called you to do. For instance, one of the things God has called me to do is play piano in church. There are days I just don’t want to practice. Sometimes, I even feel like running away from the call. After all, other people play much better than me. Who am I? I can’t do this.

The solution to this problem is a combination of the other two. Submit and Pray. It doesn’t matter how you feel. If you are called to play the piano or write or teach Sunday School, you need to submit to God’s call on your life and obey Him. Trust Him to work out the details. Pray about each step He wants you to take. He will show you. He will lead you.If you get stuck, pray. Ask others for prayer and godly counsel. Jesus will help you if you simply ‘trust and obey’.

Jesus loves you and has a purpose  for your life that is tailor-made just for you. As you grow in your faith, you will be amazed at all He does in your life. You will be amazed at the insights you gain. As you work to submit your life to Him and walk with Him, you will have a life filled with adventure and joy.

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2012 in encouraging posts

 

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How to Make a Difference in a Big Way–The Butterfly Effect

Recently, I’ve been reading up on the Butterfly Effect. This is a phenomenon in which a butterfly flaps its wings down in Brazil and influences the weather up in Chicago. Wiki says it like this: “The phrase [butterfly effect] refers to the idea that a butterfly’s wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that may ultimately alter the path of a tornado or delay, accelerate or even prevent the occurrence of a tornado in another location. The flapping wing represents a small change in the initial condition of the system, which causes a chain of events leading to large-scale alterations of events (compare: domino effect). Had the butterfly not flapped its wings, the trajectory of the system might have been vastly different.

“Note that the butterfly does not cause the tornado. The flap of the wings is a part of the initial conditions; one set of conditions leads to a tornado while the other set of conditions doesn’t. It’s possible that the set of conditions without the butterfly flapping its wings is the set that leads to a tornado.” (Taken from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly_effect).

So, at this point you might be thinking, all of this is interesting, but what on earth does it have to do with anything? Well, you are a butterfly. Therefore where and when and how you beat your wings is important.

Do you want your life to be better? Do you want to see the lives of those around you changed for the better? Then, let’s take a closer look at that butterfly.

Note, the butterfly does not cause the tornado, he is just part of the correct conditions in order for it to happen. How can we as Christians be part of the correct conditions for revival to happen in our lives and churches?

1. You need to be positioned correctly. You have to be under the anointing of the Lord. You have to be submitted to your pastors and the leaders the Lord has placed over you. You can stand right next to a waterfall and never get wet. You have to be underneath it in order to get the full effect. It’s not enough to just get misted a bit. If you want real change, you’ve got to get fully wet.

2. You need to be sensitive to the Lord’s timing. I may want all kinds of things and work with all my might and yet see nothing for my efforts. Remember, you don’t cause the tornado, you are part of the right conditions. If you allow the Lord to direct your efforts, it is then that you will see the change.

3. You need to have the right attitude. You can’t affect the kind of change you want with a bad attitude. You can’t affect the changes you want if you think you don’t matter. Each person is of tremendous importance. You matter. It’s not just what you do or say, it’s also how you do or say things.

4. You need to actually move those wings! It isn’t enough to be under the anointing and be sensitive to the Lord’s will and have the right attitude if you never actually flap your wings. The Lord has chosen to work through you to accomplish His will. As you flap your wings, you will see miracles begin to happen all around you and even on the other side of the world.

The Lord has great plans for your life. Partner with Him and see it all come together in ways you never expected. It is truly an adventure like no other.

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2012 in encouraging posts

 

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