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Tag Archives: Religion and Spirituality

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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Found this on FaceBook today and wanted to pass it on. Sometimes it is easy to fall into wanting to receive love a certain way, but the best way is to give it. If we delight ourselves in Jesus and the things that He considers most important, we will have all of our needs and even many of our desires fulfilled. We will be fulfilled. This will find its way somewhere into my next non-fiction book, Delighting Daily in Jesus.

Pictures like these and more can be found on FaceBook.com/ACoffeeBreakWithGod.

May your day be one of victory that overflows with His Spirit housed in you!

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2012 in encouraging posts

 

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My husband said the most interesting thing the other day. He said, ‘The Lord wants us to become untouchable, but we want to remain untouched.’

Think about that for a moment. How can we ever be overcomers if there are never any challenges in our lives for us to overcome? I admit, I don’t like dealing with stress. There are days when I feel like I’m being pulled in about fifty different directions. Sometimes life is difficult. Homeschooling five kids is no easy walk in the park. Just being a wife and mother isn’t always easy either. It’s not always easy following the Lord’s call in my life. But, it’s good. I would never exchange my life for all the world has to offer.

It’s so easy to get annoyed when we think something unfair has happened. When we’re trying to get out the door, of course that’s the time the baby needs a diaper change (and complete new outfit!). When we’re tired, of course that’s the time that someone loses something (for the fifth time) and needs it right now! When we’re not feeling well, of course that’s the time a child is grumpy and frustrated with math.

God wants us to learn to not hold it all together ourselves. He wants to walk closely beside us. He wants to answer our prayers. How can we learn to delight in Him if we never bother to talk to Him? Or worse, we spend hours in prayer and walk away unchanged?

We’ve got to grow our faith. We’ve got to seek the Lord in our lives every day. If I don’t come out of my prayer time unchanged, I just wasted the Lord’s time and mine. If reading the Bible doesn’t change me, that time spent was hardly better than reading the latest best-seller.

What does it mean to walk WITH Jesus? What does it mean to DELIGHT in the Lord? I know it isn’t always easy or fun or even safe.Take a closer look at Psalm 23:

(v1) “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
(v2) He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. (v3) He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
(v4) 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.
(v5) Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
(6) Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”

Say what?! This has me walking through the valley of the shadow of death and sitting down with my enemies standing in the same room! We think of Psalm 23 as being so pastoral and ‘relaxing’, but it’s not. There’s tough stuff going on there. I’ve sung such lovely songs with those verses, but what’s the reality?

I want to draw ever closer to the Lord. I want to dwell in His house forever, but I don’t want to walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I don’t want to eat at a table before my enemies. Unfortunately, I can’t have one without the other. Pastor Forkpa said, “God cares less about your comfort than He does about your character.” If I really want to get close to Jesus, if I really want to become untouchable, then I have to do things His way. You know what, that’s really the best way!

Related article: ‘Mess…or Miracle?’

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2012 in encouraging posts

 

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Building Walls of Faith

Have you ever been hurt? I know I have. It seems the defense mechanism of choice is to build a wall, so you can’t get hurt again. The problem with walls is what do you allow in? And, what are you keeping out?

In prayer this morning, I realized that those walls are actually good things–when used properly. Instead of building walls of FEAR and keeping everyone and everything out, we need to build walls of FAITH. Let our Lord be our help and our hope. Let Him be our rearguard. Hide ourselves under His wings. Use that shield of Faith!

Instead of building walls because we don’t want to be hurt again or just simply don’t want to have to deal with things, we need to build walls in our lives to glorify the Lord. In fact, we need to work together with Jesus to build those walls–of faith, love, protection, hope, and joy!

When we set out to build walls by ourselves, they become defensive and keep out those who love us. These kinds of walls prevent us from becoming the people who our Lord desires us to be. Another problem with building walls by ourselves is that there are often holes in them that Satan’s fiery darts can get through, thus making us even more alone, and more miserable.

Recently, I’ve been purposefully allowing the Lord time every day to just love me. It’s not an ego thing, rather, it’s a reality thing. There’s no pride, just love. I can tell you that it is making all the difference in the world. Because I am getting a greater grasp of God’s love for me, I can give more and greater love to the people around me. The other night, as we sang ‘I’m not ashamed of You’, I realized that He was not ashamed of me. It’s so easy to have super high expectations of ourselves to the point that we think God is going to reject us, when just the opposite is true. He loves us with an everlasting love. He loves us in spite of ourselves. We know we’re not perfect and so does He. The thing is, He has the power to change us, if we’ll let Him. He doesn’t condemn, He loves and transforms.

Rom 8:1-2 “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death,” (KJV).

When we build walls of Faith with Jesus, rather than walls of Fear all by ourselves, we are set free. God’s kingdom has come into our lives and it keeps getting bigger. Those walls protect us and free us to create and build and do all those great things the Lord wants us to do. And, we get to do all this with Him and those precious people around us. We are fulfilled and energized to do more than we ever thought possible. We get to live the way we were meant to live, bold, joyful, hopeful, and fulfilled.

What has the Lord spoken to you about recently? How has He ministered to your heart? Let me know in the comment section below! 🙂

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2012 in encouraging posts

 

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God and the Golden Rule

Do you want a closer, more intimate relationship with the Lord? I know I do. I want to walk more closely with Him every day. I want to hear Him speak to me. I want to know His thoughts, His heart, His mind.

Recently, I’ve been reading the book pictured here by Dale Carnegie. Our pastor has assigned it to us to help us as a ministry team to be more effective in building our church, reaching out to others and ministering to the needs of those around us.

As I was reading some of the suggestions in this book, I got to thinking, what if I treated my Lord more like this?

For instance, in the first section, ‘Fundamental Techniques in Handling People’, Mr. Carnegie says

  • Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.
  • Give honest and sincere appreciation.
  • Arouse in the other person an eager want.

How often do I complain to my Lord? How often do I argue with Him and criticize His way of doing things? That’s not submission. It certainly doesn’t make His job any easier, and it doesn’t make my life any better. It’s a poor attitude and needs to stop.

How often do I give Jesus honest and sincere appreciation? Do I remember to thank Him? Do I praise Him for the innumerable blessings He has poured out on me? He has given me every breath I take. He has given me food to eat, water to drink, a warm house and warm clothes to wear. How can I not thank Him?

I don’t have to arouse in my God an eager want. He already wants nothing more than to bless me and make me more like Him. However, do I let Him? Do I submit to His will and follow His lead for my life? Do I even realize just how much He loves me and how much He gave to show that love? He has invested His very life into me (and you too!). What do I do with that knowledge? Do I work with Him or against Him?

As I ponder these things, I am humbled. I know I have a long way to go in blessing my God as much as He has blessed me. If I truly want to grow closer to Him, I need to check how I treat Him. As I apply His own ‘Golden Rule’ to the way I treat Him, our relationship grows and flourishes. You know the Golden Rule don’t you? ‘Do to others as you would have them do to you. So, why don’t we treat Jesus as we would like to be treated ourselves?

I would love to hear about your own journey in growing closer to Jesus. Be sure and tell me about it in the comments below! God bless you all!

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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