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New Year Equals New Opportunities (Beckah Shae~Life)

Prayer of jebez

New Year equals new opportunities, new outlook, and new chances! I love the beginning of a new year as it provides a chance to start over with a clean slate and positive outlook!! Just as each day provides a clean slate, so too does each new year. This year…expect the best, prepare for the worst, love boldly, laugh out loud, cry deeply, hope eternally, and live fully!! You never know when your life or the life of a loved one will be taken for none of us are ever promised tomorrow! Each breath is a gift! Don’t waste this year spending your life in anger, envy, strife, conflict, blame, guilt, shame, anxiety, or bitterness for they take away the joy and beauty of each day and take a physical, spiritual, mental, and emotional toll on the quality of your life.

1. If you are angry, pray for peace and surrender to the Lord your anger.
2. If you are envious, try being thankful for what you DO have, for many others have much less than you.
3. If you are in strife or conflict with someone, apologize and make things right….even if you aren’t the one
who made things wrong (after all God forgives and makes things right with you everyday, even when
He was not the one who sinned or made things wrong!–just saying’).
4. If you are spending time blaming others for where you are and who you have become, decide to take responsibility for yourself and the direction of your life for only you have the power to change it!!
5. If you are stuck in a life filled with guilt and shame, pray, seek counsel, change your ways, and surrender it to God– it was Christ’s sacrifice that has covered ALL your guilt and shame with love, mercy, and grace at the cross!
6. If you are filled with anxiety about whatever you are facing, be it finances, family struggles,
employment, death, health, or anything else out of your control….rest in the arms of God.
Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you (more than you may ever know!!).
7. If you hold bitterness towards someone who has wronged you…let it go!!
It doesn’t hurt the other person, but it destroys you from the inside out!
Forgive and find strength in God to show mercy and grace, just as he has so freely given it to you.

Strive to make this year a GOD centered year, instead of a ME centered year and look forward to all that you will be blessed with! When your focus is love and peace, the world is so much better off….and so are YOU!

All my love ❤

Alone {Hollyn}

There are days when we just feel alone midst an all-consuming world! However, we can stand firm in the promise that God is with us always…he will never leave you or forsake you. Yes, there will persecution and suffering (John 16:33, John 15:19-20).

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
~ Deuteronomy 31:8

Are YoU LivInG?

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
~ John 10:10 ~

yolo

YOLO! Yep, that’s right You Only Live ONCE!!  What are you doing with the life that God has so richly blessed you with? Are you looking at all the bad in life and letting it bring you down, or are you choosing to see the rainbow midst the storms? Do you let the world drown you with its waves of chaos and despair, or do you call upon the One True God that can cause you to walk on the water? Do you sit on the throne of selfishness and greed, or do you humble yourself in the joy of giving and loving?

Life indeed throws us turbulence and turmoil frequently, and we often have exceedingly difficult choices to make, but we as Christians know that there is more than the insanity this world offers us, and we assuredly know that all the choices we make have lingering consequences both here and now that echo into the eternity to come! When the Lord leads your life, there is hope, there is freedom, there is mercy, there is light, and there is overwhelming love!

Yes, there will be sad times, times of anger and pain, and times where the mind is downcast, but Psalm 126:5 states, “Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.” God is true, just, and holy, and all that he allows to occur while we walk the face of this fragile world are to mold and shape us into the righteousness of Christ! He fulfills his promises of joy, peace and comfort daily….all you need do is trust and lean on him!

My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments;
For length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you.
Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.
~ Proverbs 3:1-8 ~

No matter what you face, no matter how big the storm, no matter how hindering the mountain…God has you! He is in control and he will bring joy each and every day!  Choose to praise despite the chaos.  Choose to see the beauty and blessings of life instead of dwelling on the disparity and ugliness.  What you choose will bring you life or it will destroy your life!

Sing praise to the LORD, you His godly ones,
And give thanks to His holy name.
For His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for a lifetime;
Weeping may last for the night,
But a shout of joy comes in the morning.
Now as for me, I said in my prosperity,
“I will never be moved.”
O LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong;
You hid Your face, I was dismayed.
To You, O LORD, I called,
And to the Lord I made supplication:
“What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your faithfulness?
“Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me;
O LORD, be my helper.”
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness,
That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
~ Psalm 30:4-12 ~

Be the light of God’s love and the beacon of eternal hope to a desperate and hurting people! Choose to LIVE and live FULLY. Choose to LOVE and love DEEPLY. Choose to HOPE and hope ENDLESSLY. Choose to REJOICE and rejoice with SINGING. Choose to SERVE and serve HUMBLY.

May God grant you joy every morning and hope each day! May he bring you peace beyond measure and shower you with love overflowing! May your heart and mind always be set in eternity and not the here and now, and may you find the strength and courage of Christ to help you through the trials and persecution.

All my love!

Holding You – Matt Hammitt

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.
“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.
“For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30

Life can often be confusing, painful, and filled with chaos, but there is hope, peace, and healing that comes from the One who is always holding you through it all! Even when you are in your darkest hour, God is there. When the pain of life leaves your pillow soaked with tears, God is there. God never leaves you. He will always be there to hold you through the harshest storms of this life. Let go and let Him bring you rest and peace!

All my love ❤

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 ❤

Synchronous Difficulties

I wait upon the Lord, my soul doth wait,
and in His word I hope.
~ Psalm 130:5 ~

Synchronous Difficulties

Chaos
Trials
Struggles abound
Healing heart exposed once more

Despair
Anxiety
Shifting sands
Perfect illusions shattered

Circumstances
Tribulations
Exploding bombs
Rigid expectations shot down

Prayer
Friendship
Synchronous difficulties
Hoping for peace to come

Light
Strength
Never ending love
God’s mighty hand reaching within

Waiting
Listening
Splintered heart
Standing with bated breath
Be still and know the loving God

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 ❤

Peace Please Come Soon

Do not be anxious about anything,
But in every situation,
By prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving
Present your requests to God.
And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding
Will guard your hearts and minds on Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

Peace Please Come Soon

Tired and frail
Running in the dark
Reaching for air
Peace please come soon

Waiting for the light
Praying fervently
Seeking the still small voice
Peace please come soon

Inner turmoil
Fear an ever present reality
Floundering hope
Peace please come soon

Holding tight to God
His truth singing over me
Though I am weak, God is strong
Peace please come soon

How God Works in Your Life

A couple of Sundays ago pastor did a sermon on how God works in your life. It really stuck with me and as the weeks have progressed, and I feel compelled to share what God has put on my heart. God is a just and wonderful God who can work all things for the good of those he loves and calls according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). Even in the darkest of days and the worst of nights, his loving hand is behind the scenes tirelessly working to bring good in your life. You may not see it, you certainly won’t feel it, but God is always with you, through every storm and fire.

God fulfills his promises…every single one…be it the good and the bad. God brings encouragement, love, guidance, wisdom, and peace, but he also brings judgment, conviction, and vengeance. When you are walking in the light of his love, you tend to feel his presence so greatly, feeling blessed, joyous even. However, when sin is done to you or you are walking in sin, you often feel like God has abandoned you, left you to your own devices. There is a bit of truth to that, but his word still stands true. Let me explain. If you are living in sin, God cannot be in that sin with you as he can take no part in sin. There is a rift between God and human when we sin; a curtain between you and the perfect, holy God of the universe. With that said, there is still hope, as even in your sin, God is faithful to continue to draw you near to him, to seek you out, and bang on the door of your heart with conviction and judgment. Scripture states that he will never leave you nor forsake you, and that though we are all sinners, he still sent his son that we might have atonement and restoration.

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
~ Deuteronomy 31:8

But God demonstrates His own love toward us,
in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood,
we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
~ Romans 5:8-9

Know that no matter your life circumstance, no matter the path you are walking at this very moment, no mater where your journey has taken you, God is always watching, knowing all that is going on and working to fulfill his promises to you. Remember, when you are rebellious and living in sin, God will provide consequences to draw you back to his throne of grace and mercy and when you are obedient to his call you will find peace, joy, and hope.

Life has a way of beating up even the strongest person, and this is a constant reminder that we live in a sin filled world where pain, hurt, and destruction come at each and every person daily. Again, you may create some of this pain and destruction yourself or it may be done to you. Either way, God is taking the opportunity for Satan to sift your life like wheat. Take comfort in knowing you are not alone in the sifting!!

One of the most infamous people in scripture that were sifted by Satan was Job. Job’s servants were murdered, his herds of animals destroyed, his children killed, his house collapsed, his health taken from him. Job was stripped of everything that made him who he was. He lost all comforts. He lost all his provision. He lost his health. Yet still he chose to praise the Lord, saying “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” ~ Job 1:21. His wife left him, his friends accused him of sinning in some way to bring such great destruction on himself. Yet, even then, Job did not blame God, but rather stated: “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” ~ Job 2:10b

Through his darkest of times, through the hardest struggles of his life, in the time of loneliness, God was still with Job, orchestrating blessings for his child. Though all was taken from Job with the Lord’s permission, he was blessed twice over what he had originally. He was prosperous again, he had silver and gold, more livestock than he had in the beginning, and numerous sons and daughters. His cup was filled to overflowing. Out of misery, pain, heartache, hardships, destruction, and fear, God brought good back to Job, making his life better than it was previously.

Peter also was sifted by Satan, and forewarned that it was coming by Christ himself. Christ told him that he would deny Christ three times and Peter indeed did just that (Luke 22:31-34, 54-62). Despite his failure, Peter moved on to become one of the foundation stones in the creation of the early church. God used his failure, this sifting of Satan, to reveal to Peter that he was not as strong as he thought, which enabled him to surrender and find freedom through the power of Christ to build the church.

So though God is sifting you, know that he is shaking up your security to help you examine your life and realign with God’s purpose for you. Sifting also reveals to you what you are made of. When your life hits bumps in the road and chaos or destruction ensues, your weaknesses and strengths come to the surface. Your fears and anxieties that hold you back are brought to light. Your insecurities and the darkness that lies in the heart are shown. God does his best work in your life when you are free from the frailties of the flesh! When you are holding onto the very things that draw you away from God, you will never find restoration and freedom in your life. Therefore, God allows you to be sifted, for you to fall, for others to bring sin into your life. For it is in those times that he brings meaning to who you are, depth of understanding to your heart, freedom to live unhindered, and deep cleansing from all that holds you back from the good things he has planned for you.

Know my friends that God loves you as you are but he won’t let you stay that way, for he is always refining, renewing, and making you more like Christ in all things. He will repair what is broken, but you must remember that sometimes to heal you must hurt. Just as without stitches, an open wound will cause you to bleed to death, but the stitches hurt, so too when God heals the wounds of the heart, soul, and mind, he must stitch them, which brings pain for a moment, but health for a lifetime.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for
and certain of what we do not see.
~ Hebrews 11:1

For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord
Plans to bring you good and not harm
Plans to bring you hope and a future.
~ Jeremiah 29:11

Have confidence through life’s trials, knowing God is working all things for your good. He will bring healing, restoration, and peace beyond understanding. Trust in him and have faith that He loves you more than you can ever comprehend. He is faithful and will enable all the pain, trials, and devastation of life to make you stronger, healthier, and wiser than you were in the past.

May the peace of God shine upon you and his love remind you that he is with you always. God bless and keep you and may you endure the hardships of life, knowing there are good and better things to come!

In Christ’s love ❤

He is God

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed;
We are perplexed, but not in despair;
Persecuted, but not forsaken;
Cast down, but not destroyed.
II Corinthians 4:8-9

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He is God

When the world appears hopeless
and all of life is falling apart
When dark skies loom ever closer
and burden are too heavy to carry
Always know that someone is there
He cannot be seen and often is not heard
But to those that need Him most
He will surely reveal Himself
With compassion, He gently caresses troubles away
With love, He encourages through the tough times
With sympathy, He lets you now He understands
He too has walked the trials of this world
He is pure
He is peace
He is hope
He is your guardian and your source of light
when none can be found
Your comforter and companion for life
He is God