Celebrate The Day It All Began

I recently celebrated my wedding anniversary. Four days before that, my son was blessed to marry the love of his life. And on this same day, my sweet in-laws celebrated 57 years of wedded bliss. WOW!!!! I thought, what an accomplishment. So, here they are 57 years later, celebrating the day is all began.

That’s what we really celebrate isn’t it? The day it all begins? A birthday celebration takes us back to the beginning! So here we are, approximately 2000 years later, celebrating The Beginning; celebrating the greatest gift to all mankind; celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

Let’s be sure to go back to the beginning, and celebrate the glorious gift of God with Us….Emmanuel! He came to give us the gift of His favor, of hope, of peace, of joy, and best of all His Salvation.

If you’re a bit lost in this journey we call life, and you feel like you don’t have hope or joy; go back to the beginning, and start all over again. Jesus is waiting.

We celebrate Jesus’s birth, because without His life we would not have life. Jesus said, “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance-to the full, till it overflows”. John 10:10 amp

THIS IS WORTH CELEBRATING! This Christmas, celebrate the day it all began…..the day Jesus came into this world to save us, to give us a blessed abundant joy filled life!

I recently celebrated my wedding anniversary. Four days before that, my son was blessed to marry the love of his life. And on this same day, my sweet in-laws celebrated 57 years of wedded bliss. WOW!!!! I thought, what an accomplishment. So, here they are 57 years later, celebrating the day is all began.

That’s what we really celebrate isn’t it? The day it all begins? A birthday celebration takes us back to the beginning! So here we are, approximately 2000 years later, celebrating The Beginning; celebrating the greatest gift to all mankind; celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

Let’s be sure to go back to the beginning, and celebrate the glorious gift of God with Us….Emmanuel! He came to give us the gift of His favor, of hope, of peace, of joy, and best of all His Salvation.

If you’re a bit lost in this journey we call life, and you feel like you don’t have hope or joy; go back to the beginning, and start all over again. Jesus is waiting.

We celebrate Jesus’s birth, because without His life we would not have life. Jesus said, “I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance-to the full, till it overflows”. John 10:10 amp

THIS IS WORTH CELEBRATING! This Christmas, celebrate the day it all began…..the day Jesus came into this world to save us, to give us a blessed abundant joy filled life!

When I’m in the Valley, He Points To The Mountain Top

I went through one of the darkest most difficult times in my life over a decade ago. I was deep in the Valley, suffering grief, loss, and  financial hardships. I literally could not see my way out: no light at the end of the tunnel. My ship was sinking, and I was desperate!

What I learned was….I was desperate for God! Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I got on my face before my loving and compassionate Father. He held my hand through every challenge; through every pain; through every shed tear; through every fear; through every attack; through my grief, anger, resentment,un-forgiveness, and isolation. He held my hand while I experienced every hard emotion of my rock bottom.

He taught me how to pray; how to find contentment and joy in the smallest of things. He taught me how to read His Word, and the Holy Spirit gave me understanding. He would encourage me every day to not give up. His grace taught me how to brush myself off as I made mistake after mistake. He taught me how to forgive, how to love Him, others and myself.  NO, my situation did not change right away, but my outlook did. He turned my focus from the valley toward the mountain where He was taking me.

“But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” Psalm 3:3

God held my hand in the valley, all the while lifting my head toward the mountain top. I want to encourage you today.  If you are walking in the valley, you are not alone! Your Father is with you! I can assure you that this” valley season” will not last. Hold fast to hope! Hope fast to your faith! There is a mountain top waiting with your name on it!!!

“God Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not,  I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down relax My hold on you! Assuredly not!” Hebrews 13:5 ampc

“Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because God, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 msg

Feeling like Jupiter

The planet Jupiter’s iconic red spot is actually a storm of monumental proportions. This red spot has become a distinguishing characteristic for children trying to identify planets. Imagine three Earth’s put together….that’s how big this storm is. Furthermore, it’s been raging for hundreds of years with winds that reach 425 miles per hour!!

In 1969, Camille, a category 5 hurricane brought 190 mile per hour sustained winds when it made landfall in Mississippi. And who can forget 2005 when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast states with winds reaching 174 miles per hour.  Just days ago, Hurricane Florence hit our Southern East Coast with wind gusts up to 105 miles per hour.

These furious winds, combined with atmospheric pressure changes, force the ocean to rise beyond its borders creating what we call storm surge.  This results in devastating and destructive flooding. These catastrophic storms are deadly and costly, but thank God they do not last for hundreds of years like Jupiter’s red spot.

Over the years many scientists have pondered not only the size of the red spot, but they are curious as to why this storm hasn’t fizzled out after a few centuries. From start to finish, the average hurricanes here on Earth are measure by hours or days.

Hurricanes always form over the sea, and take days to develop, and grow in size and strength. The warm moisture from the ocean actually fuels the storm. So what eventually stops the hurricane? Without fail, the moment it makes landfall, the storm begins to degrade and lose momentum because it has lost its fuel. Secondly, the solid ground creates friction, further compromising the storm’s structure. Conditions become unfavorable for the storm. Simply put, it falls apart, and will soon come to an end.

Solid ground! That’s the answer! That’s the reason Jupiter’s storm has been raging for centuries. Jupiter: this giant ball of gas, has no solid ground and no defense against the raging storm.

Thank God that HE is our Solid Rock! He is our defense and safe place!

The Lord is my solid rock, my fortress, my rescuer. My God is my rock—I take refuge in Him!—He’s my shield, my salvation’s strength, my place of safety.” Psalm 18: 2 ceb

He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.” Psalm 40:2 nlt

He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I’m set for life. My help and glory are in God —granite-strength and safe-harbor-God—So trust him absolutely, people; lay your lives on the line for Him. God is a safe place to be.” Psalm 62:6-8 msg

Are you feeling a bit like Jupiter?  You may be weary from the storm, and your flesh and your heart may fail….. but God will be your Rock and He will give you strength….. always.  (Psalm 73:26 ampc)

Draw near to God (your solid ground), and He will draw near to you, and the pressures of your storm will dissipate. “He will heal your broken heart and He will bind your wounds!” (Psalm147:3)

I thank God that He is our firm foundation, and our solid ground! He makes our storms fall apart!

On The Way To The Trashcan

“I’m all done,” said three year old Stella, referring to the partially eaten school lunch in her hand. She stands up to leave the table. Grabbing her plate, she starts walking over to the trash can but does something odd…..she continues to eat food from her plate. All the while she slowly walks to the trashcan.  “But I thought you were done,” I laughed to myself. That’s when it hit me.

Don’t WE do the same thing? We say, “I’m all done” what that bad habit….that addiction…..that negative talk……that unhealthy lifestyle.  “I’m all done” with fear and insecurities. “I’m all done!!!”  All the while we continue to partake or participate or engage in the very thing we are trying to dispose of from our lives.

Oh that we should be patient with one another as those around us make attempts to turn over a new leaf: saying I’m all done, yet succumbing to it one more time. Even more, we should be patient with ourselves.

We need to forgive the failed attempts, and encourage that long slow walk to the trash can! Hebrews 12:1 tells us “. . . We must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially sin that distracts us, and run the race that lies ahead of us and NEVER GIVE UP!”

Making life changes can be immediate for some, but most of the time it’s a process. In other words, THE STRUGGLE IS REAL! Don’t be quick to judge yourself or others. Mom & Dad, don’t be so harsh on your children as they struggle to make the right choices. God has equipped us to turn over a new leaf…….as many times as it takes us to get it right.

We can do all things through Christ because He gives us strength, because he wants us to succeed, and because He has good plans for our lives.  He is patient and kind to forgive our failed attempts, and He extends to us the power of His grace. Furthermore, He says to you…..NEVER GIVE UP!

I Thessalonians 5:11 Encourage & build each other up

Ephesians 4:29  Don’t say hurtful things to each other. Find something good to say & help when you can

Galatians 6:2 Share each other’s troubles & burdens

Hebrews 10:24-25  Come up with ideas to stir up love & do good things; be encouraging

I Peter 4:8-10 Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love makes up for many of your faults. . . God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other, passing on to others God’s many kinds of blessings.

 

He is Thinking About You

“How precious it is, Lord, to realize that YOU are thinking about me constantly! I can’t even count how many times a day your thoughts turn toward me. And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!” Psalm 139:17-18 tlb

What a beautiful scripture! Let this sink in. Take a moment right now to realize that God IS Thinking about you today!!! You’re not just a social security number. You have a name! And God called you by your name. He knows the number of hairs on your head, and He is thinking about you and loving you today! You are NOT forgotten!!

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 nkjv

If the Creator of this universe and the Savior of this world thinks about you …….you are special and treasured beyond imagination. Don’t let the enemy convince you that God has abandoned you as a hopeless cause. This is simply not true.  Today and everyday, God thinks about you…..loves you…..forgives you……showers you with mercy and grace.

Today I pray that “you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is.” Ephesians 3:18 nlt

 

Not Forgotten

“Praise be to God who has not rejected my prayer or withheld His love from me” Psalm 66:20

I used to love to try out new recipes. Ya know, from scratch: the ones that don’t come in a box.  I would be excited to shop for every ingredient; thrilled to make sure my kitchen was clean and prepped; and then I’d make sure my day was dedicated to the big task ahead. I’m all in….fully invested. Before long, the kitchen is messy again, and I begin to wonder if this was such a good idea after all, not to mention my growing concern about how this new dish will turn out. Or worse, what if I neglect to turn the timer on and I forget it’s in the oven?

Sometimes we approach our prayers like this! We toil and labor over prayer and we don’t get desired results, or we simply forget about it.

Prayers can be like meals: some are done in 15 minutes, some are take hours in a slow cooker. You may even think God is the one who has forgotten about your petitions! He has not!

Isaiah 49:15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though SHE may forget, I WILL NOT FORGET YOU!”

Wow that is powerful!! Not only that, but He keeps all of His promises (2 Chronicles 6:14)! Whatever He has spoken WILL come to pass! No Word from the Lord will ever fail (Luke 1:37)!  He cannot tell a lie (Hebrews 6:18)! And He has not rejected your prayers (Psalm 66:20)!

God has not forgotten you or your prayers! So cling to the promises in His Word; cling the Words the Holy Spirit has spoken to you about your circumstances; These Words from God will come to pass, it’s only a matter of time.

Long after we’ve forgotten, God has NOT forgotten!
Rest assured that when the time is right, you will see the evidence of God’s faithfulness!!!

Isaiah 60:22 “When the time is right, I the Lord will make it happen.”

When The Time Is Right

Isaiah 60

The Holy Spirit knows just WHAT we need; WHEN we need it; and HOW to supply it. On top of that, He knows just how to comfort us. Lately, I’ve been comforted by this scripture.

I trust that God’s ways and thoughts are higher than mine…..therefore, I know that some things in my life will be beyond my understanding, yet I will trust Him.  I know that He has good plans for me and my family…..therefore I can expect God’s favor to make that happen.  I know that the Creator of all I see, can create solutions in my life where I see none. I know that I can’t always trust in my limited reasonings and rationale, so I put my trust in an All  Knowing and All Powerful God.

But sometimes, waiting for my circumstance to change is hard.  I want it now!! Waiting for that break-through can be hard. I want it now!! Waiting for God’s timing can be hard. I want it now!!

I recently was reading thumbing through a notebook where I’d shoved various scraps of paper. At date was written on an old bank envelope: 2012.  The date took me back in time, to a place where I’d seen God grant me “desires” I had longed for….for over 10 years. Yet in 2012 I found myself struggling  because I had “needs” that were not being met.  But God didn’t get mad at me, He spoke a gentle yet firm reminder of His power and love to me. So I grabbed what was handy and wrote down what the Holy Spirit was telling me:

“If I can grant the desires of your heart, I will certainly meet your needs.”

Oh is it so wonderful to know that our God will not only meet your needs, but will grant the desires of your heart. BUT, we must wait on the timing of the Lord.

So encourage yourself in the Lord. Fill in the blank with the thing you have been waiting for…..the need…..the change…..the dream……the breakthrough…… the miracle…. and quote Isaiah 60:22.

When the time is right for _________________________, I, The Lord,  will make it happen.

DON’T GIVE UP!!! God has not forgotten you!!
DON’T GIVE UP!!! God is working on your behalf!!
DON’T GIVE UP!!! The Creator is still creating for you!!
DON’T GIVE UP ON GOD’S TIMING!!! Wait on the Lord and be of good courage!