🎶 I’m calling on the name That changes everything, yes God, turn it around God, turn it around God, turn it around All of my hope Is in the name The name of Jesus Breakthrough will come Come in the name The name of Jesus🎶
Whatever struggles or trials you are facing today let me remind you of this sweet, sweet promise – God can turn it around.
Call on His name. Believe in the power that His name holds. And whatever you do – don’t give up hope in Him.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.” Romans 12.12
Don’t you just love a good campfire? The sound of the wood crackling. The amazing smell (as long as it doesn’t get in your hair) and the peace that comes with quietly sitting and gazing into the flames.
Over the past three years I have traveled across the country with my family. During that time we have watched as words like “relationships,” “community,” and “gathering” have changed. While much of the country has been shut down, if I’m being honest, not much has changed in our lives. We were already homeschooling our three boys and working from home, but we were also already in the habit of working to create community around us.
And that’s part of the reason we love a good campfire. There is something about circling up your chairs that opens people up and helps them to drop their guards. We’ve seen it time after time. The fire gives people a little mental barrier, like that wall of fire is helping keep them safe. And because they aren’t gazing at a screen their mind is free to wander. So it does. The warm glow almost always leads to conversations that go deeper than the weather. It allows everyone that sits inside its influence to begin to dig into their wants and desires, their hurts and hangups.
You probably remember the command we are given in Hebrews 10:25:
“…not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near…”
But do you remember the verse before it?
“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,”
The gathering is a precursor to the love and good works. The two are tied together.
So today, let me encourage you to press in to your community. Let me encourage you to set up some chairs, gather some wood, stack up some rocks around them, invite some friends (or people you would like to become your friends) and light a fire in a real and a figurative sense. Be intentional about how you can build community where you are, and by so doing, how you can encourage others toward love and good deeds.
If what they are saying doesn’t align with what God has already said – don’t you dare listen. I would say in one ear and out the other, but the fact of the matter is you don’t need to let it in at all.
God within you needs to be bigger than human words.
God within you needs to be bigger than human opinions.
God within you needs to be bigger.
God’s truth is the only truth you need. Get in His word and soak it in.
And if someone says something about you that just doesn’t sit right with your soul – you’re gonna have to pull an Elsa and just let that mess go.
People are always going to pass judgement on you; however, there’s only one true Judge – one true King. And the judgement that He passes is the only judgement that counts.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
Is your mind troubled today with worries? Are you experiencing anxieties that you may not be sure how to handle? Do you find yourself feeling as though you are beating your head against the wall trying to stop the mental torments that this life on Earth can bring?
I recently read about how sheep can get their heads caught in briers, and then sometimes die trying to get themselves untangled. There are also insects that plague sheep by laying eggs in their nostrils, which then turn into worms.
The sheep are known to beat their heads against the rocks trying to kill the worms that are tormenting them, but in fact they are only causing injury to themselves. To help their sheep, a shepherd will anoint their head with oil, and therefore bring a calm and peace to the distress of the sheep.
Psalms 23 has been a favorite scripture of man, and it too refers to the shepherd and how he cares for his sheep. It begins with, “The Lord is my shepherd,” and so it places us in the role of the sheep and God in the place of our shepherd.
It states, “He anoints my head with oil,” and now this part of Psalms makes so much more sense to me. The Lord cares about our mental anguish and mental torments, and He is quick to anoint our heads with His spiritual oil bringing peace to our minds.
Today, do not allow the enemy to torment your mind with worms. Call on the Lord to anoint your head with oil, and pray over your situations.
Look for Him, and you will find Him. I can see him in the wind that is blowing through the trees this morning – in the birds and butterflies that fly around. I see Him in the faces of our children, and the eyes of my husband.
I hear Him in laughter – in the thunder and lightning of the storms. I hear Him in a small still voice, and strongly through the Gifts of the Spirit and ministers when I have needed Him the most.
Most importantly, I feel Him around me, His love, His comfort and His strength. Whatever is meant to come out of the trials of this life we may never understand, but one thing is certain – He will not leave you comfortless or alone.
If you don’t know the God I speak of, please find a way to meet Him.
He is waiting. He is worth it. His name is Jesus, and He already loves you.
Pray Psalm 23 today and invite Him to surround all areas of your life.
Psalm 23 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Life is full of choices. Take a moment and think of all the many choices you make daily.
Now that you have thought for a moment, I hope one of your choices each day is to walk with our Lord and Savior. I don’t say that lightly. You choose to do something with the relationship you have with Christ.
As a youth director, I have many students wonder what their purpose may be in this world. What will they do after they graduate, will they get to continue playing the game they love, who will they marry, what type of family they will raise, & yes it goes on and on. How I respond and encourage them is simply reminding them the Lord reveals our purpose to us. That’s simply to live out the great commission we find in Matthew; “Therefore go, making disciples of all nations”. Although that’s demanded, he leaves it up to us to act upon. Does that make sense? You choose to love others as yourself, you choose to be positive, you choose to put on your armor of Christ daily, you choose to share, & to put your full trust in him as your personal Savior.
Your choices matter. It’s time to be reminded of your purpose, and your mission.
Josh Wilson said it best, “I refuse to sit around and wait for someone else to do what God has called me to do myself.”
It’s deep, but we will all stand one day & either be told, “Well done, my good & faithful servant.” (Matthew 25) or “Depart from me, I never knew you.” (Matthew 7) That is why I do not take this lightly, and I hope you don’t either. Choose to be known by your fruit. Choose obedience. It’s not easy, and you definitely will not be perfect. That’s okay. Once you begin to choose his way, his path, you have a new peace and strength to face
this world daily. You realize the importance of choosing the Heavenly Father. You can’t make it without him.
He’s counting on you to go and make disciples. Today, begin doing what you were made to do, and that’s choose Christ.
Have you ever had a bouquet of your favorite flowers? I did- from my mom and dad on my birthday. Once the flowers got shriveled and dead looking, I had to throw them away so they wouldn’t stink up my room.
We can think of our hearts as the beautiful bouquet that God has created for us. Sometimes we can have happy moments or events in our lives that build us up inside and make us feel good about ourselves. Other times we can have sad moments that can tear us down inside that make us cry and make us feel bad about ourselves.
God takes us through hard events in our lives like the death of someone we loved, breakups , or stress and anxiety from Covid-19. (You know- getting your assignments for school turned in on time or your work’s projects/papers you have to get done and turned in on your boss’s desk by a certain time.)
The devil can use times where you are sad to get in your head and break you down even more. The devil can rob your flowers (your heart) of water and that can cause your flowers to shrivel up. If you don’t take control of the devil trying to sneak in your mind during these times, your flowers can start to stink and ruin your relationship with God. When we go through heartache, you need to turn to something to help you through the hard times. I encourage you to turn to God in prayer and to Christian music.
Psalm 119:28 says, “My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to Your Word!”
When I’m sad and I need to remind myself that God is always here for me and that he will never leave me, I listen to the song, Famous For by Tauren Wells. This song reminds me that God is great and that he is always working in my life.
God is still rolling stones in your life (just like Lauren Daigle sings in Still Rolling Stones) . When God gives you moments where He takes you from your best to your worst, just know and trust that God did that for a reason. He will be with you every step of your journey and it will make your relationship with God stronger than ever.
Keeping your heart fresh like that bouquet of flowers is a choice we can make. “And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Revelation 21:5
Spring time, my favorite time of the year. A time of new beginnings & blossoms, sunshine, and remembrance. As the little girl I once was I loved Easter – more so than any other holiday. I loved the big dresses with bright colors I wore on that Sunday morning to church. I loved gathering with family, and loved seeing the signs “He is Risen” throughout the neighborhood. For myself, it was a time of celebration and remembrance. Remembering the one who brought us from death to life. Only Jesus can do such a thing as that.
“I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after death. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die.” John 11:25-26
Before Easter was beautiful, it was once a dark time. It was once a tragedy. It was once heartbreak, cruelty, and difficulty – only until three days later. Many of us to this day experience dark, difficult, tragic moments and wonder when we will see the sunshine. When will we see easier times and hope. I feel Jesus wants to remind myself and others we already have our hope we are looking for. We have hope because He lives. We can face the fears we have because He lives. We can face the test results, anxiety, conversations, viruses, disorganization, busy schedules because He lives. Might I add that since He lives, so can you. Simply believe. Stop bearing your cross when He already took it up for you.
As we step forward into this Easter season, I hope you choose to truly live. I hope you are fixed in the reminder that He conquered death. Because He lives there is nothing you cannot do with His love, grace, and mercy. We find our life when we find the one who gives us life. What an honor it is to believe in his living power. With it, we get to truly live. Happy Easter. Always remember, He is risen.
Stop staring in the mirror picking yourself apart.
Seriously. Stop it.
God did not make you to dislike yourself. Those self-deprecating thoughts are not from Him.
God made you in His image.
Soak that in. Really think on it.
The devil is a liar, and he would love nothing more than to rip your self-esteem apart ounce by ounce. He would love for you to be so down on yourself, so focused on your flaws, and so deprived of confidence that you can’t step out and step up for God.
Girl, you are not flawed. You are flaw-some. Every little thing that you think is wrong with yourself is actually right, and that’s the truth.
Flip the script. Take the things that you perceive to be holding you back and use them to propel yourself forward for God’s Kingdom.
You are made in His image, girl.
And don’t you ever forget it.
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 5:10