Don’t Just Say It

Just say it.

Just say it.

Just say it.

Those three words [playing on repeat in your mind] can cause a lot of trouble.

The thing is, you are the only one with the power to control what comes out of your mouth.

Stop and ask yourself are the words that are about to spew from my mouth noble? Are they true? Are they pure? Are they admirable? And if those words are right how can I speak the truth that they hold in love?

Y’all, it’s hard. Trust me – I know. But self-control is a fruit of God’s Spirit. I want to grow with God, not go – go with the world that is.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

Gaze at Jesus

Guest Post by Mrs. Taylor Shoats
  • Wearied by his long journey, he sat on the edge of Jacob’s well. He sent his disciples into the village to buy food, for it was already afternoon. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink of water.””
  • ‭‭John‬ ‭4:6-8‬ ‭TPT‬‬
  • Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink of water.” When He asked this of her, He was asking for her devotion, her simple devotion. He told us to drink from his well which meant receiving everything He had to offer. Him drinking from her well meant her giving Him her everything. Her time, her interest, He was asking her to look at Him, to gaze upon Him.Oh that we get to gaze upon the One who is so worthy of our devotion!
  • Devotion: commitment to; being ardently dedicated and loyal
  • Ardently: an expression of zealous support
  • Loyal: faithful to a person whom faithfulness is due
  • Are we zealously committed and faithful to the one who deserves all of our faithfulness? Jesus is so committed to us, are we committed to Him? I prayed out loud a few months ago, Jesus thank you for your commitment. When I said that I literally began to weep over the gratitude in my heart for his constant commitment to me. Greater levels of gratitude lead to greater depths of intimacy. He’s committed to gazing at us. We always have His attention, but does He always have ours?
  • In the secret place, are we more concerned with how long we were in there or what took place while we were there? I’m not talking about marking off a check list while we were in the secret place, but did you gaze at Him? Did you commune with Him? This is real kingdom success, to be totally devoted to the one who is totally devoted to me. We must never confuse kingdom success. We often think our kingdom success is measured by how many ministries we start, but in all reality, its measured by how well we gaze at the Father, how committed we are to Him. True success is does the Father know me & do I know Him?
  • “Here’s the one thing I crave from God, the one thing I seek above all else: I want the privilege of living with him every moment in his house, finding the sweet loveliness of his face, filled with awe, delighting in his glory and grace. I want to live my life so close to him that he takes pleasure in my every prayer.” Psalms‬ ‭27:4‬ ‭TPT‬‬
  • Is the ONE thing we crave gazing at His face? To gaze means to look steadily upon. Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe in going into prayer and warring and tearing down darkness but we can’t do that if we don’t first look at the one who gave us the authority to do that.
  • Are we devoted on the mountain, are we devoted in the valley? Is He our everything when our plans and dreams aren’t happening fast enough? Is He our everything when we’ve been in the wilderness and we’re tired & weary? Do we GAZE when its not convenient to GAZE?Do we gaze when what we’ve prayed for doesn’t happen? Is He worthy of our attention when your season doesn’t totally make sense yet? How devoted are we? How steady is our gaze? Is it wavering based on circumstances or is it steady?
  • There’s a true satisfaction that comes when we give Him our full, unwavering, simple devotion & gaze. A true satisfaction in the Father, and in you.
  • She was so satisfied in Him that she ran back to town and told everyone what Jesus had done. She left her sin. One moment with Jesus, and she left her sin. She became one of the greatest evangelists for Jesus. She was looking for affirmation through those men & in a moment was affirmed by Jesus. That was enough for her. Her value was raised by His response. She then valued his affirmation over mans.
  • Jesus was also filled. In verses 31-34. He says I’ve eaten a meal that you don’t know about! He was saying, I’ve eaten from the devotion of my bride and I’m satisfied! He was pleased with her devotion, her commitment, her zeal. Know the pleasure we give our Father when we’re simply devoted, when we gaze upon Him with no agenda other than to be with Him.
  • Become excited again by being in His presence. He’s excitedly waiting on you. You’re not wasting His time daughter. You’re not wasting His time son.

In Everything

Guest Post by Kasey Bell

What do we do in times of uncertainty? 

This year has brought so much fear and uncertainty to almost everyone.

During this unprecedented year, I have found myself dealing with more anxiety than ever. As an educator, I have watched my colleagues face unbelievable challenges, criticism from every corner, and fears and anxieties that are paralyzing–so paralyzing that it sometimes makes it hard to even focus on prayers and presenting our requests to God.

Philippians 4:6 is one of my favorite verses because it reminds me of so many things when I am anxious about EVERYTHING! Repeating this verse aloud, slowly, can bring my head out of the fog.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. – Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

Read it slowly, and contemplate every phrase.

Come back to “with thanksgiving,” which essentially means to be thankful.

Be thankful…

It’s easy to forget that part of the verse. 

Even when things go dark, and your attitude needs a huge adjustment, thank God. In every situation, even the scary, world-is-turning-upside-down-pandemic, we must reach deep inside to remember the things for which we are thankful, big and small.

Thank you for this day.

Thank you for your love.

Thank you for dying on the cross for me.

And when I can’t think of anything else, when my mind won’t slow down, sometimes my only prayer is “Thank you, Jesus!” I meditate on these three little words, and they bring me peace.

Thank you, Jesus!

Thank you, Jesus!

Thank you, Jesus!

When we are thankful and welcome the holy spirit into our hearts, we can face anything!

Yet

Yet.

Tiny word. Huge significance.

I’m currently studying the Pslams with a dear friend. First of all this study is hard. Hebrew poetry – enough said. Secondly, the Old Testament Israelites make me mad. Why do they keep making the same mistakes over and over and over?

It’s easy for me to read about the Israelites and be all kinds of judgy-judgy towards them. I quickly say I would never do that or that or that all while coddling and repeating my own little sins.

We are all sinners. The Israelites. Me. You. Every single one of us. We all have something we keep circling back to.

Yet.

Yet God forgives.

Yet God loves.

Yet God still roots for us.

Yet.

I’m so glad that word exists.

“Yet he was merciful; he forgave their iniquities and did not destroy them. Time after time he restrained his anger and did not stir up his full wrath. He remembered that they were but flesh, a passing breeze that does not return.” Psalms 78:38-39

God knows Best

Guest Post by Miss Kylie King

I don’t like change, and the human in me gets upset when the vision in my mind doesn’t become a reality. But do I really want my vision? My wants? Is that what the Lord wants for me? As tough as it is for the vision in my mind not to come about at times, I simply cannot compete with the Lord’s will. The more I dig deeper I realize I don’t want to. “You can make many plans, but the Lords purpose will prevail.” Proverbs 19:21

We may tell ourselves:

“This is everything I’ve ever wanted.” He wants more for you.

“Nobody knows myself like I do.” He knows you better.

“This is the perfect timing and I would love it so much.” He loves you more.

He knows what’s best. His plans are to redeem you. To restore you. No matter how hard you try to compete with your personal desires the sovereign God reigns over them.

Lord, today I ask for your reminder that I cannot compete with your will for my life. Your will is the best, even when we do not realize it. I may believe I have the most beautiful, perfect timeline for my life. But if it’s not yours than I do not want it. You truly know what’s best for me. I will trust in that, even when I do not understand. Thy will be done, Lord.

Life’s not Always Easy

Guest Post by Mrs. Beth Holder

It is a common misconception that the life of a Christian should be easy. I’m not sure where that idea came from since even Jesus didn’t live an easy life. The Holy Spirit actually led Jesus into a place where He would be tempted, 40 days of no food and living in the wilderness. He was faced with temptations from Satan himself. As God’s children, should we expect any less?

Difficult times are not enjoyed. I’m sure Jesus didn’t enjoy those 40 days of battle. I believe He saw the difficult times through the lens of eternal victory rather than temporary trials as He used the Word as His weapon. Because He fixed His eyes on the eternal victory, He was able to not give in to the temptations.

A year ago, I faced a difficult journey. I had 30% of my kidney removed fully believing along with the doctor that the mass being removed was malignant. Over 2 months we lived in the “what ifs”. We were tempted to give up, to be angry, to question, to live in fear, but God…. He faithfully reminded us to not lose heart. He reminded us to keep our eyes focused on eternity. As His children, we could look on the difficult times through the lens of eternal victory rather than the temporary trial. It was quite a journey where the Word was our weapon. Praise God, my difficult journey ended in a miracle. The journey itself, though, left me with a greater trust in God and a greater vision of looking at difficult times through the lens of eternal victory.

Let’s not expect life to be easy. It wasn’t for Jesus. Let us use the Word as our weapon and view difficulties as temporary times of growth leading us to eternal victory! The lens of eternal victory gives great strength, courage, and hope!

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.—Matthew 4:1

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.—2 Corinthians 4:16-18

I’m Learning

I’m trying to be more spontaneous. Monday when I got home from work I cleaned my bathroom floors. I know, right! Pretty crazy. Usually I only do that on Saturdays. As you can tell I’m really shaking things up.

The thing is I am such a rigid, routined person I can easily get caught up in my to-do list and miss out on what’s happening right in front of my face.

There’s nothing wrong with having a list – with being routined. There is something wrong when that list totally dictates your life. There’s something wrong when YOUR routine trumps God’s WILL.

Sometimes we need to stop the checking off of the list and just look around us. We need to look beyond ourself and our checklist.

I’m learning that it’s ok to veer off the list sometimes. I’m learning that some things can wait. I’m trying to learn that I can in fact grocery shop on a different day of the week.

I’m learning.

I hope you are, too

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21

Awesomely Awkward

Y’all, I’m awkward.

Always have been. Always will be.

I’m ok with it now, but that hasn’t always been the case. The thing is the more God becomes my center – my focus – the more I realize it doesn’t matter if I’m awkward. After all, He made me this way for a reason. For a purpose.

I said that to say this – don’t let who you think you are hold you back. I spent a long time too scared to post, too scared to speak, basically too scared to be me.

My list of awkwardness is a mile long, and in the past when I would walk into a room that list would play on repeat. Not anymore.

I don’t know what hang-ups are holding you back from doing what God needs you to do – but I’m gonna say this in my best momma voice, “You stop it right now!”

Get to steppin’ girl.

Be brave.

Go for it.

Someone needs you to be you.

God made me awkward, but everything He makes is awesome. I guess that makes me awesomely awkward.

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

Life’s Busy, but God is Good.

Guest Post by Mrs. Ashley West

Life is busy. On top of having a two, soon to be three year old, AND a two month old- add 2020 to the mix and BUSY is an understatement.

It seems like there is just not enough hours in the day- can I get an amen?! But in the midst of the hustle and bustle of life, I want to take a moment and reflect on how GOOD God really is.

I don’t want to overlook the fact that I’ve seen God’s hand in every aspect of my life and how He has provided peace in the midst of many a storm. I want to always have a spirit of thankfulness. It’s unsettling for me to think about what life would be without Jesus. I’m so thankful for his unfailing, steadfast love.

My prayer is to every day be more like Him- let those around me see Him through me. I’ve found that by putting God FIRST above all things, He makes a way for even the busiest days to go smoothly. Where are your priorities today? Trust me- I’m preaching to the choir on this one- because life is, like I said BUSY.

It’s easy to get caught up in our to-do lists. I want to encourage you to just take a moment every morning to thank God and worship Him. Every chance we get to do so is a blessing. I pray that everyone has a wonderful week and may God bless you and keep you! Happy day!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

God Is.

Guest Post by Mrs. Tracy Baker

I asked people for words to describe their emotions after 9/11. The top three were fear, anger and sadness. These are all justified emotions that my flesh wants to put on and wear around like a coat of armor. Is that how I should be??

If I scroll through my social media accounts today I see the same emotions on display. Now instead of coats of armor they are weapons being used to lash out at others. Definitely not how I am supposed to be.

It’s awful to feel out of control, scared for the future, and overwhelmed by my circumstances. Thankfully, as a Christian I have somewhere to turn for answers. In Philippians 4:11 Paul says he has learned to be content in all circumstances. Learned……not supernaturally granted. …….learned. Yikes 😳, That means I can learn to be content in whatever circumstance I’m in ( 9/11, crazy pandemic world, or insert problem here ) but I have work to do.

Those that know me know what’s coming next. I have to Philippians 4:8 those thoughts of despair. I have to intentionally capture them ( 2 Cor. 10:5 ) and replace them first and foremost with truth – number 1 being I may not be in control, but my God certainly is.  After that truth bomb, peace begins to flow back in and I can dwell on all the goodness of God.

Thank You Jesus for being our hope in the hard times. 🙌🏻