Silent Obedience

The book of Acts is full of brave, honorable tales following the great Paul.

Paul’s conversion from murderer to missionary is prized and celebrated,

often overshadowing the obedience of Ananias.

The incredible, silent champion, Ananias.

God called average Ananias to seek out and speak to Saul, the infamous murderer.

Instead of making excuses or running in fear, Ananias responds, “Yes, Lord.”

He wasn’t distracted by the noise around him or fear within him.

He wasn’t concerned with receiving credit or glory.

He only wanted to obey God and impact eternity.

So, he followed orders, found Saul, and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you might regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

Ananias didn’t walk on water, survive a furnace, or defeat a giant,

but his silent obedience set off a series of events that changed the world.

Ananias changed the life of Paul who planted churches and penned parts of the Bible.

So often, we believe that our service is ordinary and our obedience is unimportant.

The underlying truth is that Ananias was a silent champion who changed history…

and we are chosen to be silent champions too.

You were chosen for the family that you serve day after day…after day.

You were chosen for the classroom that you show up for every single day.

You were chosen to obey in every avenue and assignment that God gives.

✨That silent obedience often has the loudest echo.

The prayers you pray over your kids before bed every night.

The early mornings you spend reading your Bible.

The tiny ways you serve your husband.

The times you give and serve and love.

They may not be seen or heard by man,

but they are echoing into eternity.

I’m in.

Unpopular opinion here. I’m full of ‘em though.

Y’all, we are gonna have to get rid of our 2020 defeatist attitudes – and I’m talking to myself, too.

I’m serious.

This isn’t toxic positivity. This is reality. This is our reality – and it’s hard.

But we can do hard things.

We can do hard things because Christ did hard things, and He is living within us.

I guess what I’m trying to say is let’s make the best of a bad situation. You can be smack dab in the middle of the worst storm of your life and still have joy. This is illustrated all throughout the pages of the Bible – most beautifully modeled by Jesus himself.

Let’s be intentional about this.

Plan time to rest.
Plan time for recreation.
Plan time for therapy or venting to a friend.

But plan to have joy.
Pray for that joy.
Look up verses about joy in the Bible.
Meditate on those verses.

Today let’s plan to start a joy revelation.

I’m in.
Are you in?

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13

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Be Blessed

We use the word “Blessed” a lot – especially down here in the good ol’ south. In fact, I’m wearing a shirt right now that says “Blessed”. Coincidence?? I think not!

God Knows exactly what He is doing! We hear “Bless your heart!” or “Blessed and highly favored.” Or we say “I’m so blessed because of: high paying job, new boat, nice car or house, an accomplishment, good health, the list goes on. We see it used every single day. But what matters most to God is faithful obedience from the heart. Let’s look and see who Jesus says is blessed and what that means for them.

Matthew 5:3-12

Blessed are…

the poor in spirit = theirs is the kingdom of Heaven

those who mourn = they will be comforted

the humble = they will inherit the earth

those who hunger + thirst for what is right = they will be filled

the merciful = they will be shown mercy

the pure in heart = they will see God

the peacemakers = they will be called children of God

those who are persecuted because of righteousness = theirs is the kingdom of Heaven

Jesus continues on saying, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad because great is your reward in Heaven.”

Nobody wants to be sad, and it’s not natural for our flesh to want to be humble. It’s not natural to want to be a peacemaker or pure in heart all the time. We don’t usually go through hard times and persecution and immediately think, “I’m so blessed.” But we totally should! These things are HARD, and we need our savior who fulfilled all these things perfectly to help guide us.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to say that you’re blessed. There are many reasons to feel blessed! But my prayer is that when I see this word, hear this word, or use this word, I would be intentional and be reminded of the characteristics of the person Jesus says is blessed.

That’s exactly what He wants from us. For us to lay it all down and ask for help, and have that one on one relationship with Him. So go and mourn, be humble, be merciful, be a peacemaker, be pure in heart, and be Blessed.

Jesus is Better

Jesus is better

A lot of the time when we get around to the new year we try to better ourselves. We seek the desires of the world trying to get skinnier, get richer, or get happier. But the question we need to ask ourselves in this coming year is how can we strengthen our relationship with Jesus?

In a world that is constantly letting us down we need to know that we can find our strength and hope in a Savior. We have gone through pandemics, protests, and a countless number of different things that show how fallen our world is. We can find peace in knowing the One who really knows. We may see things fall and break and disappoint us but just like Job says “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth.” Job 19:25

Just like Asaph writes in Psalm 73:26, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Even though we may get let down and the world fails we find strength in God our redeemer. When we put our focus and trust in Him the world letting us down doesn’t worry us because we know that He has us in His hands.

I know that we can get caught up in trying to please ourselves and trying to impress others, and we can forget what our true purpose is. There’s no amount of money we can save, no amount of weight we can lose in this new year that will ever compare to the joy and peace we can get from a close relationship with our creator. Our Jesus is better than anything the world could ever try to give us or we could try to give ourselves.

2022

Happy 2022 🤩

I’m so excited for this New Year. I feel so much hope within my soul. I feel refreshed. I feel renewed.

Last year my word was “Focus”. This year God gave me the following words “Focus on the Mission”.

I immediately felt like I failed for a whole year because ummmm that’s the same word. My teacher’s pet self hung my head in shame until I truly listened to what God was speaking to me.

It is the same word.
But it’s not.

Same word.
Different focus.

I’ve been diving into 1 Peter 2:9 this morning has my focus verse for the year and just wow. It’s packed full of beautiful promises and a charge to proclaim those beautiful promises.

I’m excited for 2022, y’all.

Let’s open our eyes to what God has already given us, done for us, and the promises He will not break.

And let’s tell everyone.

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” 1 Peter 2:9

If you have a word or verse I would love for you to share it with me. 💛 I would love to write it in my prayer journal and pray over it and you.

Keep Going

As we look back at our 2021 resolutions slash goals slash unreachable nemesis that we will never obtain – insert whatever emoji that made you feel right here – what grade are you giving yourself?

Pass or fail?

A+ or F-?

And what is that grade based on?

Is your mindset more grumbling or more growth?

If I’m being honest I think we should all get an A for surviving this crazy Covid era – end of story. I think we should all get an A for just showing up. For not giving up. For not losing our ever loving minds through all of this mess.

I digress.

I personally do not do resolutions anymore. Reason being, about 12 years ago I decided that every single year my goal every single day would be to get over myself.

Nowadays, I think that’s what we call “an unpopular opinion”.

To get over SELF. Listen y’all, when we do that – when we are truly putting others first like Jesus did – then we will find the true joy and peace that only comes from God.

Put others first.

Put self last.

Do I fail at this?

Absolutely. 100 percent.

Do I still keep working on it?

Absolutely. 100 percent.

Another thing I do every year is choose a “word” to focus on for the next 12 months, which makes my little word loving heart so very happy. I’ll share mine tomorrow, and I hope you’ll share yours as well.

I’m all about goals, and I’m all about growth. But more importantly, I’m all about grace.

As 2021 comes to a screeching halt, maybe you’re feeling like you didn’t quite measure up to what you set out to do. Maybe you’re even feeling a little bit of that two step forward three steps back mentality.

Just remember this, as long as you’re going then you’re still growing.

Keep going, sister.

Keep going.

“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.” Proverbs 3:5-6

Jesus stays

Anyone else get the Christmas blues? I mean we’ve built this celebration up since September thanks to the Walmart and Hobby Lobby.

Christmas everywhere. Christmas explosion.

I love it. The lights, the devotionals, the poinsettias filling church sanctuaries and the Christmas hymnals that go right along with them.

Then December 26th hits and moms all

across America start losing their minds – ripping the decorations down quicker than they put them up. Raise your hand if that’s you.

But don’t let the abruptness of the Christmas crash let you feel down, sister. The celebration shouldn’t stop. The lights are coming down but the one true light will never stop shining. The poinsettias will wither, but the love Jesus has for us never will.

Let that light shine within you all year long.

Let others feel that Christmas glow radiating from every pore of your body all year long.

December comes and December goes, but Jesus stays.

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” – John 1:4-5

All He Wants

All He wants is your heart!

Many people feel as though God, the Creator of All things, is so far away and that He couldn’t care less about them or their needs; God has so many other “important” people to listen to. To hear their individual prayers wouldn’t be worth His time. They believe to speak to the Almighty is for people who are “worthy” and for some reason those who aren’t have to “work” to somehow be just that.

The amazing truth to break down those lies is that God so loved the world that He sent His ONLY begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting LIFE!

God loved us then, and He still loves us now! Jesus paid it all, that through His sacrifice we can have peace and oneness with God! That through His blood we are equal heirs to the kingdom of Heaven! None of us are worthy, but when we accept Jesus as our Lord then His worthiness becomes our own!

When we give our whole hearts to God then can we truly break down those lies of the enemy that have made us blind to all the goodness of God! – Faith Sanchez

Let us adore him

Adore: to love and respect someone deeply.

Y’all know I love words, and this word is one I will always hold close to my heart. Way back in the day – long before Frank Marino mustered up the courage to say I love you – he told me that he adored me. Therefore, that word probably means more to me than any other word in the English language.

It’s Christmas Eve Eve, and all I can think about is how lucky we are to have Jesus as our King – how lucky we are to get the opportunity to adore Him.

I know that today you’ll be wrapping it all up – no pun intended.

🎄You have last minute shopping.

🎄You have last minute wrapping.

🎄You have to get that grocery order in.

🎄You’re cleaning.

🎄You’re not so patiently waiting on amazon.

🎄Guests are arriving.

However, in the midst of all the madness don’t forget why we are celebrating in the first place. Don’t forget to ADORE Jesus – because we GET to. It’s such an honor and a privilege that we often take for granted.

🎄Turn on praise and worship music.

🎄Read the Christmas story in Luke.

🎄Journal about Jesus.

🎄Set time aside and don’t let it be interrupted.

🎄Read a devotional with your family.

Adore Jesus today.

Adore Jesus everyday.

He adores you.

He adores you so much that He came to earth and sacrificed His entire life just so that we could be saved.

and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. Luke 2:7

🎶 Sing choirs of angels

Sing in exultation

Sing all ye citizens of heav’n above

Glory to God

Glory in the highest

O come let us adore Him

O come let us adore him

O come let us adore Him

Christ the Lord🎶

Every Season

As Christians, we have devoted our lives to God. He takes us through our yearly seasons with endless blessings and more grace than we could ever ask for. But more than this, he takes us through our seasons of life. Whether this be our highest highs or lowest lows, he doesn’t “sit out.” He doesn’t make it to be with us once or twice a year. He is there continuously. Matthew 28:20 “… lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world”

While we can never do anything to deserve His mercy and grace, we need to be celebrating, worshipping, and being near to Jesus all year round. Not just when it’s convenient for us or when we’re in the holiday spirit.

“Jesus is the reason for the season” is a quote that hasn’t always sat right with me. While I 100% agree that Jesus should be celebrated and worshipped, the fact of the matter is, Jesus is the reason for every season. This means summer, fall, spring, winter, the Christmas season, and our seasons of life.

During this time of the year, many people find themselves in churches for the first time in months to celebrate this holiday. And while this is an awesome thing, this should be happening every first day of the week year round. Hebrews 10:25, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another…”