Saturday, September 22, 2012

We Are Not Defeated!

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?” (Romans 8:35)

The book of Romans contains some of the best news you and I will ever hear, and in the closing passage of Romans 8, Paul reflects on the real meaning of our lives on earth, and how nothing can separate us from God’s love. We have all had to face hardships in many forms, and there are times when it causes us to feel like we have been abandoned. But in order to rise above adversity, we have to face misfortune that threatens to knock us down. Only through God’s power and strength, can we climb and soar above our problems. When we are overwhelmed and feel abandoned, we have the greatest potential to soar, for when we are fragile God is strong.

“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)

We can live through sickness and through health, happiness or sorrow, or any pressures and anxiety that we may have with joyful confidence~ knowing and anticipating, with appreciation, what He has planned for us. We must be inspired to deepen our relationship and dependence on God instead of relying on ourselves to figure it all out. One of the greatest and most comforting promises in all Scripture is the assurance of eternal life, and our eternal life begins when we rely on Christ and join God's family; Jesus is the truth we have been seeking all along! Regardless of the hardships we face in this life, we can live with the expectation of eternal life, and living with Christ forever.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38)

·         Neither death nor life~whether we live or die; nothing can separate us from God’s love…He won’t ever let us go…

·         Neither angels nor demons~even though they are still creations of God, He has already won His victory over their spiritual powers…

·         Neither the present or the future~passing from present to future on this earth has no bearing on our eternal life, and can’t separate us from God’s love in Christ…

·         Neither height nor depth~God is not limited by the highest or lowest depths of the earth; there is no where we can go where His love can’t reach us…

In Christ we are super conquerors, and the bottom line is that He has given us eternal life; His love expresses itself to us forever. There is nothing that can separate us from the God of our salvation; we will not be defeated!

“If God is for us, who can be against us?” 

Linking up on Spiritual Sunday and Sharing His Beauty

Beauty in His Grip Button

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Greener Pastures

“Happiness isn't something that depends on our surroundings...It's something we make inside ourselves.” Corrie Ten Boom

Just how happy are you with the place you are in right now? Are you always wishing for more or waiting to start living your life to the fullest before you are truly happy? I think that many of us think that there is always something better just around the corner; “if only I had so and so”, “if only I had a different job”, or “if only I had more money”, etc…the list goes on and on. We may even feel that we have missed opportunities and joys that can never be recovered. Often we fall short, and even if we arrive at a desired location, on arrival, we still feel that there is more. This is referred to as the “Greener Pasture Syndrome”; a feeling of deficiency, envy, and persistent desire. And if we feel we are not in the right place, we may find ourselves in a bottomless pit. It can seem like a lifelong task to find out where we really belong, and how we are going to reach that perfect place in our lives.

…happiness is just right around the corner…we are almost there but just need one more thing…

“God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.” (Hebrews 11:40)

The problem is that many times our happiness is based on the false idea that we are missing something, that we need something more. But God desires for us to walk in His plan; He has not left us by ourselves but has called for us to remain in that place where He has brought us. Now, I don’t think that this means we shouldn’t have goals or not want to do our best, but no matter where we have been or where we are right now, it’s all about being content and grounded with what we have and where He has us.  He wants us to be where we are right now because He has a purpose and when we walk in His will He will prosper us and make sure our needs are met. He has a plan for us to follow from this day forward that is absolutely perfect, and If God wants us where we are right now, there are no greener pastures!

"Wherever you are, be all there! Live to the hilt of every situation you believe to be the will of God."--Jim Elliot

Even when things are looking bad, there are still so many positives in our lives, so instead of focusing on what our lives are missing, we have to be grateful for what we do have. We should never look back with regrets, or always be looking for greener grass on the other side. Preoccupation with previous mistakes or desires for more, more, more will only contribute to future failures. We can’t let the past deprive us of present blessings. We should follow the example of the Apostle Paul: “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)

“In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.” (1 Peter 5:10)

Following  Charlotte and Joan on: 

Beauty in His Grip Button

Sunday, September 9, 2012

An Angel in Disguise

“At once an angel from heaven was at his side, strengthening him” (Luke 22:43)

Imagine if you will that the next stranger you come across might actually be an angel sent especially for you. How might you react differently to them? I'm a firm believer that God is always putting people into our lives to help direct us and get us through lonely and difficult times. He puts these angels into our lives to help grow us and make us better people, because sometimes our own efforts fall short of what we need. That is when angels appear. Haven’t you had someone special who made a difference in your life? Someone who encouraged you, nurtured you, and inspired you? God sends the right people at the right moment when we least expect it to encourage and strengthen us. Angels in disguise; they are the people around us whose love, joyfulness, goodness, and light brighten our life. Angels sent from God. It happens all the time. More often than we realize.

“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2

Just as God sends people into our lives to encourage us, you never know when a visitor will be sent your way to give you the opportunity to administer to, physically, mentally, financially, or even spiritually. Take a moment to think about how you treated everyone you came in contact with just for today. How many times have you passed up the opportunity to help someone who spilled their groceries on the way to their car, how did you treat the rude waitress who was unkind to you in a restaurant, or how many times have you stopped for someone whose car is broken down on the side of the road? Do we turn away these opportunities to love and serve because we are afraid, or because we just don’t want to interrupt our schedule and take the time to help? Treating others with hospitality and love that goes over and above is what God commanded us to do; every day we should try to get the attention of someone we meet and make an attempt to make one person’s day a little brighter.

“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full-pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back” (Luke 6:38)

Two of the most dominant forces in our lives are kindness and encouragement. Not only for the person who gets it...but also for the one who gives it. And if you have a hard time accepting kind-heartedness, inspiration, and praise, it’s mighty hard to give it! God’s angels may come to us disguised, so each day we need to practice receiving and extending love to all people because you never know who you will encounter. You never know that the person standing in front of you could be an angel!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Celebrate You!

              I rejoice and celebrate my life…my life is good!


When is the last time you patted yourself on the back or celebrated who you are? I think for many of us, negative thoughts and doubts about who we are, what we have done, or what we haven’t done, can cloud the image we have of ourselves and hold us back from living out loud and recognizing our distinctive personalities. We may even hide in the shadows and find it hard to step outside of our comfort zone.

But God created only one you…

…precious in His sight, and we do not have to try harder, be better, be perfect, or be anything that we are not.  Absolutely no one can take our place! We are worth celebrating because God created each of us as a unique masterpiece, and with each passing day we should we should gain a new appreciation and rejoice for who He made us to be. Celebration is a high form of praise and gratitude to God for the beauty of His creation, and we need to seize the day and believe that God has something special for us to bring new hope, purpose, meaning and direction to our lives.

“I will praise you; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are your works; and that my soul knows right well.” (Psalm 139:14)

Knowing we are original and exclusive should humble us and make us realize how much God loves us. It’s up to each one of us to make time each day to celebrate our many positive characteristics and boundless potential, and remind ourselves how far He has brought us and where He is leading us. We need to rejoice in our triumphs, our development, and our accomplishments. The Lord has us right where we are meant to be and we should never shade the light that comes from our faith and trust in Him.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9)

The beauty of being able to celebrate and love ourselves is that it enables us to do what we can, with what we have, where we are, and just be enough! We can start with spreading our joyful spirit and smiling as often as we can, live our life with a purpose, utilize our full potential, and rejoice in who God made us to be.

Celebrate all that is in your life. Rejoice in all that is good.
Celebrate you!