Embracing a New Season

Embracing a New Season

Seasons come and seasons go. Each bringing distinct characteristics. Each bringing change.

Lately I’ve been embracing a new season in my life.

In this new season…

It’s normal for my eldest son to be opening mail from prospective colleges. We’re talking about college programs instead of just sporting events. And, we’ve even started to visit campuses.

In this new season…

My “baby boy” measures four inches taller than his mother, and he’s gaining height at unimaginable speed.

In this new season…

My fig tree (which was seemingly destroyed by Hurricane Gustov) has completely recovered. My careful nurturing is no longer needed. I’m now enjoying harvesting, peeling, and eating it’s ripe fruit straight off the tree. There is no evidence remaining to show the tree was ever even damaged.

In this new season…

I’ve been marveling at the vast potential of a single seed. I’m reveling in “the process” of cultivating seeds into plants that are producing a harvest. I’ve passed along what used to be my favorite part of gardening (the harvest) to my husband. Now I am content and even fulfilled pulling weeds and watching him gather the fruit of my labor.

In this new season…

I’ve been pondering the life of Sarah, Abraham’s wife. God chose her, a barren woman, to birth what was promised to her husband. Because she couldn’t do it on her own. As I read her story captured on a few pages (Genesis chapters 15-21), it’s easy to forget the years that passed between the promise made and the promise fulfilled. Patience. It had to be added to her faith. Just when Abraham and Sarah had no hope naturally, God was faithful to do supernaturally what they could not. Fulfillment came entirely through HIM.

In this new season…

I’m excited to be making new friends from all over the country. I’m grateful for the extended hand of a dear familiar friend as I step out of what is comfortable and into something new. My first She Speaks Conference is on the horizon.

In this new season…

Some of my heartfelt dreams seem closer than ever before. If I lift my hands towards heaven and tiptoe and stretch with all that I am, a dream may be within reach. I hope that YOU will reach up with me and grab hold of your dreams too.

 

Do Right

Do Right

Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous. 1 John 3:7

Lately I have been pondering this scripture. a lot. Mulling over my actions and actions of several people in my life.

Sometimes the people in our lives we expect to do right… well, they don’t.

And then, there are people in our lives that we don’t expect to do right… and yet, they do.

Kind of like the disciples with the Good Samaritan.

In reply Jesus said: A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denariiand gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:30-37

Do Right

In this parable, the priest offered no help. The Levite offered no help. But the Samaritan {though looked down upon by the religious Jews} was the man who did what was right by offering help to the hurting.

In my own life, I have noticed a similar scenario. Observing the least likely person was the one who did right and offered help. I have to admit this observation sent my brain on tilt. This event has prompted a self examination of my own actions and my own life. Searching my heart and striving to line my behavior with the truth from God’s Words.

Because I desire to do right. ALWAYS. IN EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE. I desire to have mercy on those who have been injured. I desire to please God. What about you?

I must admit. I asked God to show me if there are actions I need to adjust. And guess what? He did. Yes, I do have some adjustments to make. Thank God, He provided a Helper for that very reason. He knew that we would need Help in our endeavor to do right.

It’s not always easy to do right. Especially in the times when others have done wrong first. Those times can be most challenging. Those times, we must draw nearer to Our Divine Helper who causes us to Be Strong In Him even when we are weak.

Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. Luke 6:28

Yes, I have had to BLESS those who CURSED me. . .

Easy? Not at first. I wish I could report that I passed that test the first go round. But, I didn’t. First I followed my natural instinct and blamed my “less than Christian” response on the one who cursed first. Thank God for the ability to repent and find grace. I have grown. The closer I get to My Father, the more I bless and the quicker I bless.

Yes, I have had to PRAY for those who despitefully USED me. . .

I can not report that I prayed immediately. First, I held a grudge. But I love My Father too much to allow challenged people to hinder my communion with Him. Eventually I yielded. My yielding gets quicker and more complete with practice.

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14

Yes, I have had to FORGIVE those who sinned against me. I forgave even though it hurt and even though they were never sorry.

That one may have been the toughest on my feelings. But I am well aware of my own faults, and I desire to be forgiven.

The original choice to bless, pray for, or forgive another may be difficult. However, the abundant peace and love and joy that floods the spirit afterward is worth every effort. His Way of doing things may not seem easy, but His Ways are always best.

Instead of passing on a reason for somebody to do more wrong, our right action passes on something completely opposite. When we stand up and do what is right, we break the pattern of wrongs. We become empowered and possibly even enable the next person to rise with us and choose what is right.

What will Your Father say about your actions? Will He say you did right?

I end by asking you ponder with me. Search your own life and strive to do right. Let’s take the high road, together.

Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 1 John 3:7

 

 

Take Responsibility for Your Actions

Take Responsibility for Your Actions

The “Blame Game” goes back really far. As a matter of fact, it began in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, the very first man and woman.

God’s command was simple.

but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die. Genesis 2:17

It was evident to both Adam and Eve that the fruit on that particular tree was off limits. They were commanded not to eat of it. They knew it was wrong. Both of them.

And, they went against God’s command anyhow.

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Genesis 3:6

bite the apple

There was no doubt, each of them broke the command of God. When God called Adam out, you would think he would “man up” and repent. You know… something like, “Yes Father, I know I did wrong. You said do not eat, and I ate. I am sorry. Please forgive me.” Tears running down his cheeks while he displayed true heartfelt repentance. But no. Not even close. Here’s the real story.

God asked:

“Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 3:11-13

 

Do you see that? Adam blamed Eve. Then, Eve blamed the serpent. Neither took responsibility for their own actions, though they were face to face with God Himself! Both faced serious consequences for their wrong actions.

Now I must admit… Many times my first instinct when I did something wrong has been to blame or justify. It would go something like this…. {you can fill in the blanks if you like…}

“well, if he wouldn’t have _____ then I wouldn’t have _____” OR

“because she did _____ then I had a right to do _____”  OR

“if you wouldn’t _____ then I wouldn’t _____”  OR

“she said _____ so I said _____”

I am sure you get the picture. It sounds quite childish, doesn’t it.?. But when feelings and emotions are raw, it’s an easy pattern to slip into. If you have not been guilty of similar, then I am sure you have at least heard someone at one time or another operate there.

But honestly, the Bible is very clear. I will not give account for any body’s actions but my own.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10

When I stand before the judgment seat, there will be no opportunities to bring up another person’s wrong actions toward me. God will judge me for my behaviors, and my behaviors alone. The behavior of others will not be discussed. Not at all. Those who wronged me will give account of their actions to Him.

No matter what other people choose, I must choose right. Because that is what My Heavenly Father expects of me. And He will be my judge.

I will not be able to justify my wrong actions based upon the fault of another. and neither will you. Either we have done what is good and right. Or, we have done what is bad and wrong. According to what we have done, we will be recompensed.

We have a choice to make. When others are choosing wrongly towards us, we have the responsibility to choose the better way. Goodness is exactly what Our Heavenly Father expects of us.

When we do wrong, we must not point our finger at the wrong action of others. We must rise up to take responsibility for our own actions.

Then, something supernatural happens.

Then, we repent.

Then, we are forgiven.

Then, the pattern of wrong behavior stops. AND maybe even begins to REVERSE.

Let’s stop playing the blame game. Let’s take responsibility. Let’s do what Our Heavenly Father expects. ALWAYS.

 

The Tongue Cuts … Handle Carefully!

The Tongue Cuts … Handle Carefully!

Words are powerful little things. With them we can bless or we can curse. We can build up or we can tear down. We can encourage or discourage. We can build faith or reinforce doubt. The Bible is clear that the words formed with our tongue are powerful, a matter of life or death.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21

In the following verse below, just after we find out the weapons formed against us will not prosper, we read about condemning every tongue that accuses in judgment. Isn’t that interesting!?

No weapon formed against you will prosper; And every tongue that accuses you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their vindication is from Me, declares the Lord.  Isaiah 54:17

Could our tongue form weapons? Could the words of our mouths be used in warfare? Could our words defeat an enemy? Or…. Could our words accuse and judge and condemn and defeat our brothers and sisters, the very ones we are called to join and build and unify?  hmmm…

The Word of God is referred to as a sword on multiple occasions.

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17

Use the sword against the enemy. The sword cuts . . . Handle with Caution.

Use the sword against the enemy ONLY, otherwise handle carefully!

As children of the Most High God, sons and daughters created in His Image, our words have power.  Our words are a sword with power to cut and kill. Let’s use the sword boldly and accurately to defeat the enemy. Let’s handle it with caution to never use words to cut  or harm His Precious People.

When we speak about people let us use the tongue to produce life. To bless and not curse. To speak victory and not defeat.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? James 3:9-11

Let us carefully consider how we handle this small but powerful member of our body. Our words, which can be as sharp as a sword, should be chosen with extreme caution. Never should we use words to aid the enemy in defeating a brother or sister.

No person is perfect. God created us each uniquely ON PURPOSE. Each of us have our own strengths and weaknesses. We were not made to be able to live successfully on our own. We were made, AS A BODY, to depend upon other different parts. We were made to use our strengths to build each others weaknesses.

If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

You are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

1 Corinthians 12:15-27

We should never curse our brothers and sisters because of an obvious weakness or apparent difference. It just should not be so. None of us have obtained perfection just yet. When we notice a weakness in a brother or sister, we have a responsibility.

A responsibility to pray.

A responsibility to believe the best.

A responsibility to build up and not tear down.

A responsibility to strengthen.

We have a responsibility to guard what we allow out of our mouths. Even during our private conversations. We can hope and believe and speak VICTORY right over the weak member. Or we can agree with the weakness and hinder the progress of His Body. Or worse, we can actually aid in their DEFEAT by heaping up condemnation as we speak in judgment. Each part of His Body is important and we should have equal concern for  each other.

So I ask, when you observe a brother or sister in weakness, what are you choosing to speak? Will you consider your words a little more carefully? Will you handle the weapon of life and death with extreme caution? Each of us will give account for careless choices.

But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. Matthew 12:36

The Tongue Cuts speak

This post is linked to Thrive At Home and Homemaker’s Challenge.

 

Faith For Fitness – Daily Dose #68 Seek and Find

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.   Matthew 7:7-8

 

His Word promises that IF we seek, we WILL FIND. And I find that fact very comforting.

As I read this scripture, I am glad that God doesn’t play HIDE and seek with us. If we seek Him, we WILL FIND Him.  We don’t have to wonder IF we will find. We just have to seek. He wants to be found. His Word points us in the right direction.

If we seek Him for wisdom and diligence to improve our fitness, that is exactly what we will find. We may need to add some persistence to our seeking, but He will help with that too. If we ask, we will receive direction. He will provide specific steps we are well able to take to make progress.

Our Heavenly Father is not hiding from us today. He is ready to help us on our journey.

Are you seeking Him today?

If you would like me to pray for you personally, please leave a comment. I would be honored to stand with you.

Faith For Fitness – Daily Dose #67 His Word Stands Forever

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of God stands forever.   Isaiah 40:8

 

The Word of God stands forever. He has given us His Precious Word to apply to every area of our lives, including our fitness. As we speak the promises of God’s Word, we release His creative power to work for us. His Word empowers us to overcome every obstacle.

Let us believe and speak His Word. . . When we call on Him, He will answer. If we seek Him, we will find Him. He will be our ever present help in time of need. As we ask, He fills us with the wisdom needed for our journey. We are strong in the Lord and the power of His might. As we trust Him, He will guard our course. God has Victory in store for us.

Have you found a scripture verse to speak over your fitness?

 

 

If you would like me to pray for you personally, please leave a comment. I would be honored to stand with you.

Faith For Fitness – Daily Dose #66 He Heals and Rescues

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent forth His word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men.   Psalm 107:19-21

 

No matter what our fitness level is now, The Lord will help us to make progress.

Even if our heath is in trouble. When we cry to Him, He saves us from our distress. His spoken Word heals and delivers. His Word empowers and enables. Read and speak His Word over your body, your spirit, and your life. His Word never returns void, it always accomplishes!

He will give us the strength to put some ACTION to our faith. As we focus and begin to do what we can, He will cause our strength and ability to increase. His love is unfailing. He will do wonderful deeds, even for us!

Do you know to cry to Him in trouble or distress?

 

If you would like me to pray for you personally, please leave a comment. I would be honored to stand with you.

Faith For Fitness – Daily Dose #65 Give Yourself Fully

Therefore, my dear brother, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.   1 Corinthians 15:58

The main reason I began Faith For Fitness is to improve my fitness for His Service. There’s just no way around it. We must take care of ourselves in order to take care of those around us. If we don’t feel up to par, it can be hard to give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord. It’s just easier to be kind and compassionate and full of grace when you are feeling healthy and energized and strong.

No more putting our fitness last on the mile long list of things to do. It’s time to be purposeful about improving our fitness. Not just to see the numbers on the scale decrease, but also to improve our quality of life and that of the people nearest us.

Let’s improve physical fitness. . . so our bodies will be stronger, better able, and full of the energy necessary to labor in the Lord.

Let’s improve spiritual fitness. . . in order to live an inspired life, always ready to provide encouragement, love, patience, and kindness to those around us who need it most.

Do you give yourself fully to the work of the Lord? How can you prioritize your fitness in order to give yourself more fully?

 

If you would like me to pray for you personally, please leave a comment. I would be honored to stand with you.

Faith For Fitness – Daily Dose #64 It will be Yours

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

 

Our Heavenly Father is a Good Father.  He desires for us, His beloved Children, to be fulfilled in every area of life. He desires to shower us with His Blessing. He wants to give us our heart’s desires. He never wants withhold good things from us.

This verse demonstrates that there are two simple keys to answered prayer. 1. Ask Him. 2. Believe.

Some things are easier to believe than others. Our belief for the harder things grows as we draw closer to Him. The closer we get to Our Heavenly Father, the more we are able to believe. It’s really not a formula, it’s a relationship.

He promises whatever you ask for in prayer, if we can believe, it will be yours. Let’s take the time to ask Him for a stronger relationship, for more self-control, diligence, patience, and kindness.

What are you asking for today? Do you believe He hears and will answer?

 

If you would like me to pray for you personally, please leave a comment. I would be honored to stand with you.

Faith For Fitness – Daily Dose #63 Speak to the Mountain

I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, “Go throw yourself into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart but believes what he says will happen, it will be done for him.   Mark 11:23

Our words carry creative power, when we believe and speak. It is time for us to use our voice to speak to the mountain of extra weight and less than fit. If we believe what we say, it will be done for us!

That’s right! Watch what comes OUT of your mouth {as well as what goes in it}! If you are talking about how hard the journey is, how much self control you don’t have, and how you will never see change. . .then you will feel discouraged and defeated.

We can use our voice to declare victory. We can say. . . THIS TIME is different. This time, we are activating His help and His strength, and we will see His victory. This time, we are guarding what comes out of our mouth as well as what goes in it. We are exercising and growing the fruit of the spirit: self-control, faith, perseverance. Our mouths will be satisfied with good things. Our bodies are getting stronger and healthier and full of energy.

Are you speaking to the mountain?

 

If you would like me to pray for you personally, please leave a comment. I would be honored to stand with you.