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The River ~ Jordan Feliz

Know you have the power of angel armies behind you! Claim them for your life and have peace in all that you face. May you find salvation in the hands of God, and ultimately eternal peace and joy despite the circumstances. Be changed forever ❤

Teen Scriptures :-)

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
~ Proverbs 22:6 ~

World-of-Teenagers

As I journey down the path of parenthood with a teenage son in my midst, I am finding that my patience is much shorter than I thought and my tolerance is, well, very limited these days. God is continually reminding me that my son is not my own, but belongs to him and I need to entrust him into HIS hands. I have brought him up in the ways of the Lord, taught him scripture, prayed with him (and still do, even when he doesn’t want to pray!), and have tried diligently to be an example of God’s grace and love (never perfect, but always striving!).

With that said, there are many a day I need some encouragement and days where I need to find scripture that will tune into his heart strings and be something he can relate to when he is tired of listening to me!! I stumbled onto this lovely website with scripture verses for teens and youth and figured I would share it with all y’all. Praying that I make it through the teenage years with my mental health in tact, and praying for my son to learn and grow as God desires.

BIBLE VERSES FOR YOUTH and TEENS

If you have any great websites, books, or other resources, feel free to share them with me!!

All my love and blessings to you and your family ❤

Toby Will – Wake Up Call to Christian Living

sunset-heart

There are just some times when a sermon resonates and shoots right to the heart! Today was one of those sermons for me–a call to WaKE Up and stay FoCUsEd on scripture rather than the circumstances surrounding. I have been struggling in the desert of my walk with God recently and just doing surface prayers and daily devotions, but not really SinKIng into the WORD and mEdiTAtiNG on it in a way that I can walk away completely fed and spiritually renewed.

Our guest pastor today, Toby Will, brought my heart and mind back to the core of Christian living–actively, passionately seeking a deeper, meaningful relationship with my Lord and Savior and being a light in a sea of darkness. Since it struck me so strongly today, I decided to post Toby’s message for anyone else who wants to have their FIrE ReGNitEd. One caveat…it is not a feel good, light-hearted message, but rather a convicting, God breathed message to draw you back to the fundamentals of your walk with the Lord.

May it bless you as richly as it has blessed me! All my love ❤

Click the image below to hear the sermon
make-the-most-of-every-opportunity

Something in the Water – Carrie Underwood

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord,
are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18

Rain

God is constant–never shifting with the tides, not changing with the times. He is always God–perfect, righteous, holy, and pure. However, we can be so completely changed by a single moment spent with Him. We can be transformed from the weak, broken vessel of flesh to a strong, healed, and renewed child of God.

What a blessing it is to know that God loves us so deeply that we are made complete in Him! So take up your cross and follow Him! Be still and know that He is YOUR Lord, the Savior of YOUR soul, the Healer of YOUR heart, and the everlasting Love of YOUR life.

Be changed into His Image! Be changed!

All my love

Yes or No?!?

But above all, my brothers, do not swear,
either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath,
but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no,
so that you may not fall under condemnation.
~ James 5:12 ~

yes-no-signs

I have been attempting to get my prayer and study life back in order after the chaos of last year. You know, there are just times when I struggle with both, feeling that I am wandering in the desert, but none the less, God beckons me to his side time and time again!!

In the Bible study I am attending on Wednesday evenings, I am reading Danny Silk’s book titled “Keep Your Love Light On”.  I have just finished the first chapter and am already convicted! Thus far we are discussing the difference between powerless and powerful people–not as the world defines power, but as scripture defines power–and how both dynamics impact relationships we are in.

We were discussing the attributes of both types of people, but the powerful one resonated with me. The powerful person is one who chooses to manage and take responsibility for his or her life. A powerful person does not blame others, or play a victim role, in life. A powerful person chooses to love unconditionally, for his or her love does not hinge on that love being returned, or on what the other person says or does. The powerful person creates a safe place to know others and for others to know him or her. The final thought that struck home with me tonight was that powerful people choose yes or no.  There is no I’ll try, I have to, or I can’t.  There is either YES or NO. Simple right?!? Aha, but there must be a balance, therefore it is not always so simple–or so I thought until tonight (had one of those aha moments!)

yes no

I tend to be a “YES” person in life for a variety of reasons, one of which being that I like to help people. I like to be around others, lifting them up, encouraging them, and helping them in a myriad of ways, from moving to playing to counseling to just listening. However, saying yes all the time is not always internally felt. There are times I am tired, have other obligations, or just don’t feel like being there, but somehow, I still say YES. In James 5:12, we are told “…let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ be no…” If I say YES, but my heart or mind or body is screaming NO, then I am not in sync with what God is calling me to do. I become a walking contradiction!

So the epiphany for me tonight (and please don’t laugh)! I actually have to say NO sometimes. A powerful person is able to choose to say no because he or she needs time to rest, meditate, and enjoy life. When I say YES to everyone, I find myself stretched thin and of little help to anyone…including myself! When I say YES to everything, I don’t have the much-needed time to spend with God, learning and growing in my knowledge, understanding, and relationship with Him and His Word. When I say YES to everybody, I have to admit, I become bitter or resentful because sometimes I just want to say NO, but I don’t. When I say YES to everyone, I end up drained and empty.

no

I am just now really learning to say NO because I cannot be everywhere, with everyone, at every moment. It just isn’t possible. So, as I practice becoming and building the skills necessary to be a powerful person as scripture defines, I have some choices to make:

1. Quality time over quantity of time!!
2. Meaningful and deep relations with others over empty and shallow ones!
3. Lingering, intimate time with God over rushed moments here and there!

Ah, so much to learn and so far to go on this journey to becoming Christ like, and so very excited to see where God leads me!

Praying that you too will be true to your heart, to the calling of God, and to building a deeper, more intimate, stronger relationship with God. Take time each day to devote to Him, saying NO to the things that interfere. As the Psalmist says in Psalm 139:23-24:

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.

Let the Lord reveal the things in life you need to let go of, the things you need to say NO to, and let Him lead you to the things you need to say YES to.  All my love and may your week be blessed to overflowing ❤

New Year, New Creation–let go and let God!

Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation.
The old things have passed away.
Behold, all things have become new.
~ 2 Corinthians 5:17 ~

With a New Year comes the promise of a fresh start, and for that matter with the dawning of each new morning comes the chance to start with a clean slate! What better time to cast off the past and cling to a hope filled future. Put away the bitterness, anger, and strife, exchanging it for forgiveness, joy and peace. Let go of the grievous sins that hold you back from fulfilling your God created destiny, and jump into God’s plan for your life. Today, with the promise of a New Year ahead of you…..let go and let God.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord.
Plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and future.
~ Jeremiah 29:11 ~

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined
according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will
~ Ephesians 1:11 ~

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God,
to those who are called according to His purpose.
For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son,
so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;
and these whom He predestined, He also called;
and these whom He called, He also justified;
and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
~ Romans 8:28-30

Don’t fret or fear the unknown, which lies ahead when you surrender and take the leap of faith to fulfill God’s plan for your life this year. Instead rest in the promise that he will never leave you nor forsake you! The path may not be easy, as a matter of fact I can guarantee it will be filled with trials and tribulations, but know with unwavering faith that God is with you through it all and can provide the strength you need to make it through. The past can hold you down, bury your heart in darkness and shame, even keep you mentally locked into depression and suicidal thoughts, but take heart….God will be there when you open the door to let him in. All you need do is let go and let God.

Be strong and courageous.
Do not be afraid or terrified because of them,
for the LORD your God goes with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Then Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel,
“Be strong and courageous,
for you shall go with this people into the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them,
and you shall give it to them as an inheritance.
“The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you.
He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
~ Deuteronomy 31:6-8 ~

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations,
knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;
and perseverance, proven character;
and proven character, hope;
and hope does not disappoint,
because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts
through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
~ Romans 5:3-4 ~

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
~ Philippians 4:13 ~

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels,
so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;
we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not despairing;
persecuted, but not forsaken;
struck down, but not destroyed
~ 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 ~

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think,
according to the power that works within us,
to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
~ Ephesians 3:20-21 ~

There truly is no better time to cast off the old burdensome ways, and press on toward hope, renewal, grace, joy, peace, and blessings beyond imagination. No matter what your choice this year (keep the old ways or adopt something new in Christ) you will always have trials and persecution. What better way to go through them than with the power of God! After all he did sacrifice all he had to reconnect with you, and provide you a future filled with hope and promise. Ask, seek, and knock at the door of your heart and soul, and I can guarantee God will answer and fill you with all he has to offer if you simply…..let go and let God.

For God so loved the world,
that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish,
but have eternal life.
For God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world,
but that the world should be saved through him.
~ John 3:16-17

All my love and may you drink deeply of the promises of God this year, finding hope and grace beyond measure, and resting in the one true love that will keep you going for years to come, no matter the stormy trials you encounter. Blessings my friends ❤

Related Readings:

The “What If” Factor – Dangerous Mind 
Trust the Lord! – The Christian Gazette
Beautiful Forever – Flourish
Faith Child, You won’t Escape Adversity – ChristianBlessings
Is Your Cup Filled with Hope – My Spiritual Breakfast

Growing Pains

As another crazy, yet blessed year comes to a close, I find myself glancing back at what I have accomplished, how far I have come, and how much I have grown. I think it is truly amazing how God uses all things to bring growth and glory in my life, and in the lives of all his children (including you!).

This past year, like so many before it, has seen its share of pain and anguish: the death of my father, my uncle, and a close friend, family chaos and fighting (which often sadly occurs when death comes), broken relationship and a shattered heart, an unexpected move, and financial strain. Yet, oddly enough, this year brought beauty, healing, love, and provision through it all.

You see, despite the pain and suffering, God was in it all, working his will, his plan, his glory through all of it. Pain and suffering is a normal part of life and an integral part of spiritual growth.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.

Hebrews 5:5-8 So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, “YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU”; just as He says also in another passage, “YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.” In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.

Jesus Christ Himself was not exempt from the pain and suffering of this world. Pain and suffering in your life is one way that God prunes you, building you up and making you stronger. Much like a great work out at the gym, there is often pain afterward (even during the workout as you push yourself), but the results are wonderful in the long run if you keep working out and building up muscles that increase your strength. Another example is the olive tree. A farmer must cut (or prune) the branches back in order for the tree to produce a more abundant crop the next season. If it is not pruned, it grows unkempt, producing less fruit, and therefore yielding less profit for the farmer.

John 15:1-3 I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.

You and I are the branches on the tree of life, and if we are not pruned, we tend to not bear the fruit of righteousness, purity, or holiness. We become weak, wild, and unkempt, losing sight of what we are here for–to produce fruit that brings honor and glory to the Lord, bringing others into his kingdom, showing the light of God for all to see.

Pain and suffering in this life are also motivators for growth. When you get stuck in the mundane routines of life–work, family, home, friends, etc., it is easy to get comfortable and not change or stretch outside of your comfort zone. Going back to the workout example, if you keep doing the same exercise routine day in and day out, you will see results, but eventually they will plateau and your workout routine will be only for maintaining, rather than continued strengthening. Even weight loss will fade if the workout routine stays the same. You have to change things up to see continued results, to build more muscle mass, to thin out more, and to tone consistently.

Spiritual growth is similar. If church and scripture become mundane routines, the same thing day in and day out, you will get stuck, your spiritual growth will plateau. God wants your spiritual growth to excel, to continue to grow each and every day. This means that you have to be forced out of your comfort zone sometimes, and often the only way to get you to do that is through pain and suffering. When life is grand, going smoothly, and you have no worries or stress, God tends to be put on the back seat. Ever notice that your prayer life and devotional time picks up a great deal when there is pain, suffering, trials, or tribulations in your life. That is because during those times, your reliance on God is stronger and more evident. You can’t fix things, make them better, or change them, and thus you seek God, seek His will, His discernment and wisdom to handle all that you are facing. You may even reach out to others in your community–church, work, home, neighborhood–for help and guidance.

Often during the most painful times in our lives, we are forced to take responsibility for our failures and learn how to adapt and change so as to not make the same mistakes next time. Other times, we are confronted with requests that take us out of our cushy comfortable place to become a witness and light for God. It may be that you are asked to forgive someone who has hurt or betrayed you. Perhaps you are being called to share your pain with someone in order to show the glory of God as he brings you through it. Maybe the pain in your life is building perseverance, patience, or other spiritual fruits in your own life. Whatever it may by, God is using the pain and suffering to motivate change and growth in your life.

James 1:2-4 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

James 5:11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

Romans 5:3-5 And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ

Though I faced my share of pain and suffering in 2014, I can look back on each and every moment and see God’s mighty hand at work through the entire event. Through the deaths that came into my life, I was able to find courage and strength to do what was right midst the chaos and family fighting. Though my heart was broken and a relationship ruined, I was given comfort and wisdom midst the storm, making a few of the toughest decisions of my life, which ultimately brought peace to me and my son. Even through the financial difficulties, God changed my view of budgeting, helping me save more than I have before. In the moments of pain and suffering, I didn’t always see his mighty hand at work, but looking back on the year, it is evident he was with me, guiding, building, refining, and growing me into the woman of God he designed.

So, my friends, fret not when you are facing pain, trials, tribulations, or suffering, for in time, God will produce an abundance of fruit, helping you change the old patterns of life, enabling you to grow spiritually! With that said, I look forward to another year and what may come–the good, the bad, and the ugly! Bring it on, for with God, we can all rest assured that good will come, hope will be renewed, and the future will be bright.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

God bless and keep you in the coming year and always! May you rejoice midst the pain and suffering, knowing that God is working all things for your good! He is with you always and forever, and will never leave you nor forsake you, providing all you need to face all that comes your way.

In Christ’s Love ❤

Hope in Front of Me — Danny Gokey

When life appears dim, and circumstances are beyond your control, there is always HOPE!!

HOPE in God
HOPE in change
HOPE in beauty
HOPE in kindness
HOPE in grace
HOPE in mercy
HOPE in forgiveness
HOPE in tomorrow
HOPE in faith
HOPE in love
HOPE in Christ

Guide Me!

It is in the moments of chaos and uncertainty that I am reminded that my life is not my own. I surrendered my life to God years ago, yet I continually try to hold tight to it, trying to go down paths that are not mine to claim. As the Lord continues to orchestrate events in my life, I have come to realize that more and more in one way, shape or form, he is guiding my footsteps in the path he designed for me. Though I have fear and doubt, though I don’t always understand his ways, though I cannot see clearly what he is doing in my life, I shall continue to place my trust in the Lord and the knowledge that he has great plans for me and for my son. Remember to let go and let God, cause he will never let you down. All my love and blessings ❤

Today

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect,
but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
~ Philippians 3:12-14

The beautiful thing about walking with God is knowing he does not judge the past. He doesn’t stress about where you have been, what you have done, or the skeletons you hide in the closet. He cares about where you are going and what your future holds. God desires to make each and every one of us new, drawing us into his presence, making us righteous and holy. When we accept the sacrifice of his son Jesus Christ and repent of our sins, God forgives us for what we have done and buries our sin in the depths of the sea, never to be remembered again. YOU are made new!!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:
The old has gone, the new is here! ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His loving-kindness toward those who fear Him.
As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. ~ Psalm 103:10-12

Who is a God like You,
who pardons iniquity and passes over the rebellious act of the remnant of His possession?

He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in unchanging love.
He will again have compassion on us; He will tread our iniquities under foot.
Yes, You will cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. ~ Micah 7:18-19

As you journey through this world, take some time to seek the Lord and know that though there may be things in your past that you have to deal with or get help to overcome, God washes them away from his thoughts. You are free in Christ and made new! Trust in the promise and revel in the joy only he can bring to your life.

Jonathan Thulin has a beautiful song and the lyrics remind us that it is today that counts, not what was done in the past.

All my love ❤