Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony

Fear Is Only A Thought

After Earth Fear QuoteWill Smith or maybe the guy who wrote this screenplay but yesterday as my husband preached he played the clip from the movie After Earth. The clip goes as is:

“Fear is not real. It’s a product of thoughts you create. Now do not understand me, danger is very real. But fear is a choice.”

I loved the thought of how just like anger, fear is a choice.  Worry, fear, negative thinking, these are all allowing the mind to focus on what you don’t want, not what you want.  Focusing on the fear will drain your energy and it is counterproductive. That is why fear is so destructive and why despair and hopelessness must be avoided in fear thinking.  My husband also calls this “Stinking Thinking”.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10201270319948927

Watch this clip above from our church service!

We should make up our mind to believe the Word of God when it comes to fear and the promises God holds for us.  His perfect love will cast out all fear.  What should we focus on?  Him and Him alone.  As we do, the fears of life will disappear as we grasp the mighty Hand who has it all under control.  Our faith grows as we walk with Him.  Our trust grows as we depend upon Him and not ourselves.  Miracles happen, flesh dies and success follows as we focus on the living and what we can do for His Kingdom.  Fear comes from depending upon oneself. The battlefield is in the mind.  What we allow in our mind yesterday, creates the reality of today.  When negative or fearful thoughts come, we must put our minds to rest because thoughts or what we perceive to be real may be only an illusion.  Rely only on one thing, Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

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Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, Love and Life of a Testimony

There is NOTHING

romans 8Sometimes when we show our own little pity party and listen to the lies of our enemy “God doesn’t love you  or He wouldn’t have let this happen to you”.  We believe God doesn’t love us.  I mean how could He love us when this or that has happened… we listen to the thoughts, however it is when we stand on the Word that results in overcoming faith and puts out the lies.  God actually let this happen to us to make us strong, to make us depend upon Him, to strengthen our walk with Him to help others.  It is all a part of His plan for our lives.  We don’t base our lives on powerful feelings or emotions in which we feel at any given time but trust God with His Word.

My thoughts are centered around the last part of Romans 8.  If God is on our side, who can ever be against us?  Since he did not spare even his own Son for us but gave him up for us all…Who then will condemn us?  Will Christ? No!  He is the one who died for us and came back to life again for us!…  Who can ever keep Christ’s love from us?  When we have troubles or trials, or when people turn against us, is it because he doesn’t love us anymore? No! If we are hungry or broke, in danger or threatened with death, has God deserted us?  No!  Victory is ours because through Christ who loved us enough to die for us.  Nothing can separate us from the love God has for us!  NOTHING! Death cannot, life cannot, angels can’t and all the power of hell itself cannot keep God’s love away.  Our fears for today, our worries for tomorrow, where we are at the moment, there is nothing that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God demonstrated by our Lord Jesus Christ when he died for us.

You see God loves!  He loves you, He loves me and nothing…. NOTHING…. will ever be able to separate His love from us.  He is not mad or angry at us, He loves us.  His love goes beyond what we can comprehend.  Regardless of what the enemy throws our way, we must filter it through the Spirit, look to the Word to determine truth and stand through the circumstance regardless of what we are feeling or hearing the enemy say.

When you are feeling down or trying to determine IF God truly loves you… remember His Word… there is NOTHING that can separate you from His love, now that is strong love.  That is the kind of love that cast out all fear.  That is the love that is pure.  That is the love that shows forgiveness.  That is the love we all should show, have and have overflowing in our lives. 🙂

Abundant life, Educational and Informative, Encouragement, faith, forgiveness, Leadership, Soul Winning, Supernatural, Weird Stuff

Bit By A Viper – Poisonious Results

Last night when I came home Spencer and Eli was watching clips about snakes.  Eli hates snakes.  As McKenzie and I watched the snake eat baby squirrels, we expressed how disgusting it was.  Animals, reptiles, insects, and humans share more than we realize.

Image

We all try to survive in this world, share this world and learn to live daily.  Life, funny thing isn’t it? The difference between us and the other creations of this world is we have emotions and we can think and reason.  We have this wonderful ability to be so different and unique but yet so quick to turn on our own kind instead of protect and nurture as other species do.  Today, I write about the effects of the Viper.  Whether you realize it or not we all have been bit by poisonous snakes.  What is the remedy or quick action we can take before the poison sets in and leaves a scar for life?

Words and actions from people can be very poisonous and the effects from the venom can be quite disastrous.  When you look at the general symptoms of a snakebite, you will notice several things.  First of all lets compare the physical to the spiritual after being bit by a snake (spiritually speaking = a lie from the enemy of our soul).

The Central Nervous System is affected.  There is dizziness, increased thirst and headache in the physical sense.  From the Spiritual side point being dizzy means having no sense of balance with the potential to fall.  In other words, life will be going in circles without any relief from mind battles with no clear thoughts only nauseated worry.  An increased thirst is from the lack of the Holy Spirit’s guidance and leading, comfort and the ability to receive teaching.   A spiritual headache is comes from refusing guidance of authority with prideful selfish thinking.

In the Systemic, there is fever and severe pain.  Spiritual fever is the result of a wake up call to an infection that is foreign to your soul as a born again believer, resulting in unresolved pain and lack of thankfulness. High temperatures reach potential dangers of damaging the ability to think, act and reason.  A spiritual fever demands hitting the rewind button from the past, dwelling on the past, or living in the past.  Because of lack of prayer and lack of faith the spirit of fear sets in…. resulting in spiritual sickness.

Notice in the picture how vision is affected with blurriness.  When we look into the spiritual there will be no clear vision or direction to go.  Panic with a sense of urgency causes one to run for help usually in the wrong direction as he or she experiences pain, panic and fear.  Many times people run instead of allowing or receiving help from the ones who are capable of helping.

The condition of the heart in the physical or spiritual is not as noticeable to the natural eye.   Rapid pulse, blood pressure and shock usually comes upon the initial bite yet it continues to be experienced after the bite. Most of the time when we get bit spiritually, these things also play out in our body through stress resulting in fatigue, weight gain or loss, no energy, addictions and other sought out pleasures to escape this world.

The Muscular system is affected with convulsions, loss of coordination and weakness.  Spiritual convulsion is throwing your body into a tantrum of anger, bitterness and an unforgiving attitude. It is acting out through actions everyone will see and notice.   The loss of coordination is making wrong decisions during this time and weakness is just that, spiritually weak.

The Gastric and Intestinal system is affected with nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  Spiritual sickness results in regurgitation and dispelling waste on everyone around through contact which stinks up the entire area.  Everyone is affected by this not just the bitten. It is seemingly having the right to spout off negativity, gossip, back biting all because of the infection of a viper bite (lies believed).

What do you do when you get bit by a viper?  Education and knowledge will prevent you from doing what you shouldn’t do.  Remember in the movies you would see people cut the wounded bite with a knife and suck out the poison?  Not a good idea.  (Spiritually speaking this would mean we TRY TO PUT THINGS INTO OUR OWN HANDS IN TRUSTING IN SELF INSTEAD OF GOD – doing the opposite of what God wants you to do.)

In the physical they say you should remain calm, wash the bite area, wrap the area to constrict blood flow and  have someone to carry you for treatment.  The less you move is the best.  Spiritually speaking:  the less you move is the best.  Wash the area with the Spirit and Word of God, constrict by not allowing the poison to affect other parts of your soul and allow Jesus to carry you through this difficult time with treatment of Love, forgiveness, mercy and grace. (In other words – wait on God!)

Better yet, do as Paul did.  Shake the snake off into the fire and continue to live, teach, breath, go, preach and walk as Jesus to a world of people who continue to get bit by vipers.  You now have the antidote!  Shake it off and you won’t have to worry about experiencing all these results in the spiritual sense.

As Christians, vipers, poisonous bites from talk or actions from people should have no affect on us.  Words, actions, expectations of others should only cause us to stand in the gap for those who are victims of this biggest trick of the enemy.  Yes I agree it is hard not to fall prey to a viper when they bite in the most unpredictable time and season of your life but I choose to be thankful under this pressure, count it joy while yet passing through this world to get to eternity.  I must remember not to let the venom affect me or those around me.  Lord help us all.

Matthew 12:34 New Living Translation (©2007)
You brood of snakes! How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.

Romans 3:13 New Living Translation (©2007)
“Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies.” “Snake venom drips from their lips.”

Mark 16: 15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16“He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. 17“These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; 18they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Acts 28:3-8 3As Paul gathered an armful of sticks and was laying them on the fire, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, bit him on the hand. 4The people of the island saw it hanging from his hand and said to each other, “A murderer, no doubt! Though he escaped the sea, justice will not permit him to live.” 5But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed. 6The people waited for him to swell up or suddenly drop dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw that he wasn’t harmed, they changed their minds…..

Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, Leadership, Soul Winning

No Peer Pressure

Peer pressure is a hard thing to conquer when in the teen years but it also still somewhat tries to control us even as we grow older.  I am guessing around the age of fifty do we really get over the fear of peer pressure, at least I think it might be completely gone by then.  All during this time in our life you’re figuring out who you are, what you believe, what you’re good at, what your responsibilities are, and what your place in the world is going to be.  Peer pressure comes when you want to be liked, to fit in because we worry that other people may think about us.  These remarks or perceptions may influence some to leave their better judgment, or their common sense, behind and also hinder our own goals and choices we want to make in life.  We must pay attention to our own feelings and beliefs about what is right and wrong so we can choose to do the right thing. Inner strength and self-confidence can help you stand firm, walk away, and resist doing something when you know better and this help comes from knowing God and having a right relationship in faith with Him.  It can really help to have other people surrounding us with the same beliefs. This takes a lot of the power out of peer pressure and makes it much easier to resist. It’s great to have friends with values similar to yours who will back you up when you don’t want to do something. That is why when Jeff and I came into the church to live a Christian lifestyle we made new friends in the church.  We no longer spent time with others who continued the sinful lifestyle that we wanted no part of in fear of falling back into old habits. It wasn’t that we befriended them or no longer cared for them but it was a way to strengthen our own walk with Jesus as a new believer.  We knew we would struggle with temptations if we didn’t sell out to obedience to Christ completely.

When you were a little kid, your parents usually chose your friends, putting you in play groups or arranging playdates with certain children they knew and liked.   As one gets older, you decide who your friends are and what groups you spend time with whether Christian or not.  You and your friends make dozens of decisions every day, and you influence each other’s choices and behaviors. This is often positive — it’s human nature to listen to and learn from other people in your age group or those who you are around most.  The old saying goes, “If you hang out with dogs, you are going to get fleas.”

I find it quite interesting when people come into church and continue to wallow around in sinful ways that they know better.  They continue to hang around old friends who have bad morals or do things that are contrary to the Word.  These are the ones who still have a problem with knowing who they are in Christ and dealing with pressure from friends, or fear of rejection from others.   Their lives are far from having internal peace or joy but filled with pleasures of this world to try to fill the void.

How do we turn this all around for the good.  Unity and fellowship with other Christians is a must.  You might not hear a lot about it, but peers have a profoundly positive influence on each other and play important roles in each other’s lives, for instance, a lasting friendship, positive examples or accountability partner, feedback and advice, encouragement and new experiences.

In Romans 4 and 5 we read about God’s promises was for Abraham even before he was obedient with the covenant and all he needed was faith.  The same is true for all of us.  God has promises waiting for us and it starts with faith to believe in Him.   It comes in hoping things will get better and better in life.

Faith Brings Joy New Living Translation (©2007)

1Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.

3We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

6When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.

Prayer:  Lord Jesus I pray as we discover you more and more, our faith will increase, our lives will change and we will know who we are and what we are called to do for your kingdom.  Give us others to help us along the way with positive influence.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Abundant life, Encouragement, Fear, forgiveness, Salvation, Soul Winning

Sword Fighting

My husband and I was talking the other day about how so many people struggle to fully surrender to God on a daily basis or live for God without fear.  We see how hard it is for people to change lifestyle and habits or how they live in the past or present and not for the future, especially for eternity.  We were brainstorming ideas on how to help people come out of controlling environments or how to break free from guilt or condemnation.  Many times people who are non-christians either don’t know how to be a Christian or they see other Christians who live a life that is no different from their own, chaotic and full of drama, sad or needy.

I asked him if quoting the Word helped.  We all are taught to memorize Scripture and how the Word is our sword but when faced with temptation to do wrong, we can quote all we want and still commit the act.  The Word is good, it is the letter of the law and yes it can be a weapon, however if it is just words flowing through our mind or out of our mouth it unfortunately cannot stop you from doing what your heart wants to do.  The Word of God is a double-edged sword, one side to cut, the other to heal.  We choose which side to use.  We must learn to change our heart and our heart cannot be changed with knowledge only.

As Christians, we can seek and know the Word and have great knowledge but knowledge is not the same as having a relationship.  Knowledge is not what saves you nor keeps you from sinning.  Knowledge can be thoughts in your head that you have read, learned or have been taught.  The law of the word kills and judges, it condemns and places guilt upon us especially when we sin, so we must know what the word says in order to obey it.  Guilt can also be placed on us by someone else trying to control us.  The Bible is not meant to control us into making us robots of obedience but given to us to help us live a life of abundance.  Some people say they don’t want to know the Bible, so they won’t feel obligated to obey.  However, the law is the law regardless if you know it or not.  For instance, if you were going 55mph down the highway and the actual speed limit was 35mph you would be speeding.  An officer has the right to give you a ticket for speeding and breaking the law no matter how many excuses you may come up with.  It is the officer who decides if you get a ticket for breaking the law or if he gives you mercy, grace and allows you to drive off with a warning.  If we don’t have the knowledge of breaking the law or knowledge of the Bible of what it says, we are all still guilty.  As Christians it is our duty to know the Word and to obey it to the best of our ability and use it for our advantage.  Knowledge is what keep us obedience focused instead of relationship focused.

What I have seen in the past is the issue people use to control others with the knowledge they may have making others focused on obedience.  When people feel guilty or condemnation it is not always from God unless a sin has been committed and the law broke.  This is why many people fall away from God so quickly because guilt is place upon them so heavy after failure, regardless if the failure is sin or not. They are sometimes led to believe it is a sin, therefore feel judged and beaten down they would rather not live a Christian lifestyle to escape condemnation from others.   If people place guilt or condemnation on others in a way to control them or get them to do what they want them to do, is not of God but of man.  Fear, greed, and pride in man makes a person use knowledge (and unfortunately also use the Bible) to control people beating them into submission. The sad thing about this is the cycle continues.

Knowledge for knowledge sake has no redeeming qualities.  A love based knowledge is a knowledge where you can apply compassion. If our focus is based on knowing God’s love and being more like him, the breaking the law will fade away.  Our conclusion in this matter of helping people be set free, is that we should be focused on establishing a relationship with Jesus.  When a person makes up their mind to have a heart-felt relationship with someone, they will do everything in their power to please, not condemn or manipulate.  If our focus is making everyone like us in obeying the law, it only forms bondage guilt however if our focus is on forming a relationship with Jesus and loving Him, then freedom and peace will come.  It takes a made up mind to establish which side of the sword you want to be on.

Prayer:  Lord, as we continue to grow in your love and in your word, let us seek to enhance our relationship together.  Forgive me so many times for using the Word to beat people up and not show them your love.  Your love is the greatest, your love is what brings me peace and joy, your love is what holds me together, your love is what saves people and your love is everlasting.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Romans 8:1-2  New Living Translation (©2007)
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.

Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, Fear, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, Parenthood, prayer

Feeling Safe

feeling scaredHave you ever felt scared or fearful?  When you were a child, what did you do when you felt scared?  Did you run to momma or daddy?  Did you run and hide under your covers of your bed? feeling safe with mom Many times our fears if not conquered will follow you into adulthood.  I constantly reminded my children that God did not give us the spirit of fear as found in II Timothy 1:7.  Every time they woke in the middle of the night with a nightmare, they learned to quote that Scripture to eradicate the fear.  I tried my best to protect them from fearful attacks or anything that promotes fear.  I wanted them to know that God wants them to have love, peace and a sound mind.  I wanted them to trust in God and that He wants us to feel safe.    God doesn’t promote fear but quite the opposite.  Fear is the opposite of faith. Fear can also manifest itself in different ways.  This includes, worry, anxiety, terror, horror, panic or dread.  It also creates judgmental attitudes toward others, along with jealousy and slander.  These all have a spiritual root of fear.  If you can impart into your children at an early age to trust in God through everything and be the example to them of faith living, then they to can run to the Lord and feel safe when confronted with enemies, attack from people or fearfulness in general.  As a wife I feel much safer when my husband is at home.  I also want that reassurance from him if I am feeling overwhelmed or threatened.  God wants you to feel the same way toward Him.  He wants to reassure you with His Spirit of comfort and a feeling of safety.

fearful emotional crisisWe have many promises when it comes to knowing that God is with us through it all.  He is our rock, shield and our refuge.  He saves us from violence.  He is our deliverer, our salvation, our strength, our tower and protection against the enemy.  It is Him who we should trust.  When we trust and have faith we will be exalted and we can put our fears under our feet because of Jesus Christ!

If you are feeling overwhelmed with worry or anxiety, be rest assured that God doesn’t want you to feel fearful about life or any given situation.  He wants you to trust in Him and His direction as you live for Him.  We may not understand how or why but we can find safety in His arms.   Fear not but have faith that all things will work together for good who live for Him.

Prayer:  Lord, even though I may not understand your direction, I will follow in faith and feel safety trusting in you.  Help me to lean upon you when I am overwhelmed in life’s situations.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.

Proverbs 18:10  The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it and is safe.

Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, Fear, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, Salvation, Soul Winning

Hello, My Name is …. and I Am An Addict

Hello, My name is….I Am An Addict

Addictions result from inadequate relationships or inability to solve problemsPeople often seek pleasurable experiences through drugs, smoking, sex or alcohol for the purpose of giving themselves a sense of temporary relief from life’s stress.  People also seek pleasure when faced with painful personal experiences of perceived threats to their acceptance by others.  Whether we call it peer pressure or stress it is certainly not the devil that makes us do things of sinful nature in which causes harm to our bodies.  These little pleasures which may or may not lead to addictions still impact all of us in this world whether we want to admit it or not.Alcohol gives people false sense of courage to overcome fear

Addictions are not just a substance as much as it is as an addictive lifestyle.  Substance or sinful activities is used to support the role that the person would like to play in relationships with others and with God.  It is a role that the person desperately attempts to reproduce.  Here are some examples in which I have learned through counseling.

  • People you know may be addicted...Sexual addictions are used has a shortcut for a sense of fulfillment in relationships without the commitment with building wholesome relationships with other people.
  • Alcohol gives people a false sense of courage or encouragement to overcome fear or anxiety of his or her inadequacy in relationships.
  • Narcotic drugs are used for the reduction of emotional pain that people feel in relationships to produce happiness despite the pain.
  • Marijuana produces anti-motivational attitude that is later used to reduce the need to achieve what others are urging them to do.
  • Hallucinogenic drugs create an altered euphoric state to avoid the reality of failures in relationships.
  • Uppers like amphetamine, cocaine, or meth destructively and temporarily lift people from their mundane existence to make the feel excited and wonderful when they know their lives are often just the opposite.
  • Sedative drugs are used to reduce sense of stress and restlessness that people experience in relationships without have to face or solve any of the problems that caused the stress in the first place.Addictions in life

After being saved for over twenty years, sometimes it is hard for me to understand the new believers lifestyle when they struggle with past habits that are contrary to the Word of God.  Seeking pleasure is a failed substitute for personal spiritual growth and is only a temporary shortcut of relief.  Stress or painful situations in life happen.  When a believer is faced with these realities, it is an opportunity and also a challenge for one to experience positive change and adjustments to life with God.  Personal conflict could instead provide direction of really learning how to solve problems and gain spiritual benefit of knowing what God is revealing to that person through the difficulties.  We sometimes don’t understand how God can use painful experiences to shape and mold us for the betterment of our character.   Instead, some use pleasure to overcome the heartaches, (along with guilt from the conviction of the Spirit) hoping to bypass the pain but yet it only makes it worse than better.  When a person fails not only themselves and now God as a believer, positive outcome is replaced with greater personal degradation and the decline of the person’s character.   Because of this feeling and overwhelming emotion, people stop giving their all and go back to the addictions to relieve them from this ongoing conflict or as we call it, spiritual warfare.  However, once a person who once gave their life to God now cannot be relieved by these substitutes and find themselves even more lonely and stressed in a repeat cycle.

find true happiness with JesusHow can all this be solved?  There is no high like the most High!  No drug or substitute can compare to knowing and experiencing this ecstatic state.  My name is Melissa and I am an addict of Jesus Christ.  It is my lifestyle, it is my habits, and it is my daily activity to have a relationship with the Almighty.  I do not view God as a safe haven only during times of stress or as a source of doing good in religion.  I see Him as my love, in which I live with, talk to and walk beside.  I am confidant in which He resides in me, with me and goes everywhere I go.  I believe He speaks through me and my hands are His hands working to produce fruit.  It is through selling out to Him that helps me deal with relationships, conquers my fear, anxieties or worries, and erases all pain of the past.  It is through His Spirit that pushes me beyond my limitations as a human with failures.  He forgives and never holds grudges or belittles me.   It is through His daily guidance and wisdom in which helps me solve problems and situations I may face.  It is Him that I can live with excitement in knowing there is nothing impossible He cannot do.  He gives me strength to face all circumstances in life, the power and victory to overcome and live a life of abundance full of peace and joy!

Greatest Addiction for lifeI call all of those who have never tried this type of addiction.  It will never run out or give you a false sense of fulfillment.  It will never leave you with a hangover, in bondage to fear or broken.  It will however make you hungry for more and empower you with miracle working abilities to walk in the Spirit victorious.

Prayer:  Lord, even when I fail, You are there ready to forgive because your grace and mercy endures forever.  I thank you for walking and living with me, for your love you bestow upon me.  I am proud to be a believer full of your spirit and power.  Help me to help others find this favor.  Nothing can replace you!  In Jesus Name  amen.

John 16:33  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” NIV

I John 5:4  …for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.

Luke 19:10  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.

John 8:51  I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.

Galatians 6:8  The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.

Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, Parenthood

A Teen and A Butterfly

Many people know I am a photographer and I recently took pictures of a girl who is a senior this year in a neighboring county.  As she was changing, her mother opened up to me and began to tell me a story.  I am always interested in people’s lives, so I quietly listened.   Two years ago, she was a mother of three who had never gone on vacation.  She left her teen-age children for a few days with a caretaker and headed off for a mini vacation in which was much needed, although she was quiet apprehensive about leaving.  She explained there were a curfew, however the rules had been changed and the caretaker provided a little more freedom than this strict mother.  As her seventeen-year-old daughter drove her boyfriend home she lost control of the car and crashed.  The boy died instantly with a broken neck.  Neither of them was wearing their seat belts.  Her daughter only lived minutes but had the opportunity for a bystander to come and pray with and for her during these last few seconds of her life.

The mother went on to explain briefly the emotions a parent goes through when you lose a child.  She didn’t leave the house for three months but she pulled herself through knowing she had two other children to raise.  Her daughter was scheduled to get her senior pictures the following week after that vacation.   She relived some of the memories as we drove around looking for photo locations.  She talked about how her daughter  was full of energy and life.  So here she is today with her other daughter getting her pictures made.  It has been a very rough and a struggle two years in letting her children go anywhere, living with the thought something might happen to them.

She had always told her children if something ever happened to her as if she died unexpectedly, when they see a butterfly, remember her. During the graveside service a butterfly flew by and landed on the top of her casket.  It was a sign as if to say, ‘remember me’ as her mother had once told her.

During our photo shoot, we went to my daddy’s flower garden that he plants for me every year just so I can take pictures.  There are always butterflies there and I was hoping to catch one flying by in one of her daughter’s pictures.  Below is a picture in which I created for her mother in memory of her daughters.

butterfly 2A butterfly is a beautiful creature however it must look as though it has lost all life before it truly finds freedom.  It is changing from one form to another.  It is a promise that life has only begun when you reach this stage in life.  As I reflect on this story, my thoughts when I see the butterfly will never be the same.

Jesus Christ paid the price for each one of us to find this true freedom.  It is an example, although one may appear to be dead, one can be alive in Christ, not only here on earth but also for eternity.  Treasure your memories with your loved ones now and be thankful for the time you have with them.  Give no thought of tomorrow for it may never come, remember life is a vapor here on earth.  Plan for eternity for it is there we will be reunited with those who have gone on before us.  Set our eyes on Jesus Christ and live for Him, it is the only way to find peace and comfort through difficult times.  We must remember His promises and the butterfly.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, I never cease to be thankful in what life you have brought to me through knowing and experiencing you.  I treasure the life you have given me here but I yearn for your presence in eternity.  I thank you for this story about the butterfly and the promise of life.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

Give no thought of tomorrow.

Life is but a vapor.

Jesus came to give us life and freedom.

James 4:14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.

Romans 8:11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

Abundant life, Encouragement, Fear, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, Soul Winning

Fear Zone

fear zoneThere is a fear zone, an imaginary place in which seems real and it tries to control us.  It is a place in where we agree with the enemy to hold us captive.  It is a zone in which we have created to protect from our own insecurities.  Somehow we must learn to get past the fear in this challenge.  Many people don’t want to even admit they have a fear zone and I will be the first to tell you, I don’t fear anything because I have the protection of God.  However, there are times when the fear zone, no matter how hidden or small, it is there, waiting like an empty room to be filled.  You fill it with your thinking and with the power of your mind and with the words you speak.  Some zones are higher than mountains in which were created with years of labor, adding to the fortress wall.  The zone consists of fear of the what ifs and of what people are saying or thinking.  Along with the fear of getting out of the box, of trying something new, breaking a tradition, pulling out of the comfort zone, and the fear of failure.  As I sat there in church yesterday listening to my husband’s sermon, he has a way to motivate people and pull them through the fear zone.  He screams passion with his entire body as he proclaims the message of “Greater things shall you do!”  Getting through the fear zone is a place where you can turn people and the world upside down.  It is where you can make a difference in the Kingdom of God.  It is bringing alignment to His will to our lives with purpose.  It is by faith you move this mountain or fortress wall or even the substance in which you have painfully created in your fear zone.you create mountain of fear

One of the Scriptures in which I taught my boys at a very young age was 2 Timothy 1:7 where it states:  God didn’t give us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and sound mind.  Wow, doesn’t that Scripture wrap it all up for us!  God has given us the power to push through the fear zone.  He doesn’t want us to compare ourselves to others or to our circumstances but to His power. It is through the power that knocks down the walls of fear and dissolves the fear zone.

It is through His power we gain strength for a new day and conquer.   His Spirit in which lives within us, wants complete control of our entire world.  IF we allow His Spirit to move on our behalf and IF we allow His Spirit to be in absolute control, there is no stopping a move of God. 

He wants us to push through the fear zone with His love.  When you have His love, it rids us of fear.  When the love of God creates passion you will say and do those things beyond the fear zone being an example of His love.  It is with the power and love that God pushes you toward reaching out to others.  Praying for others, laying hands on them as their soul awaits in their fear zone hoping that someone will help them knock down walls. 

He wants us to have a sound mind.  A mind that is free from worry, doubt and torment from our thoughts, our past or what lies ahead.  God has given us the ability to escape the fear zone.  We don’t have to exist in fear for it is not of God nor is it His will for us to remain there or even agree with it. 

busting up fear in our livesGod has given us the power, the love and a sound mind, which will carry us through opposition to triumph over the fear zone.  By His power it gives us the ability to bust up the fear zone.  Will you be willing to come out and change the world?

Prayer:  Lord, I want no fear zone in my life.  I want you to have complete control of my very soul and world in which I live in.  I want to meditate on you and your will for my life with your promises of your word.  I thank you for giving me power, love and sound mind.  Jesus name, amen.

I John 4:18  There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. NIV

2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. NIV

Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, faith, Fear, God Speaks, marriage enrichment, Parenthood, Patience, prayer

Storms Don’t Last Forever

depressedPlead with God, implore His mercy and pour out your troubles before Him.  You may be overwhelmed and desperate but God alone knows which way you need to go and turn to.  He will keep you from your enemies even though you may think no one cares about you or what happens to you.  When you pray to the Almighty God and trust that He alone is the only place of refuge and safety, it is He who hears your cries and rescues you.  When He brings you through it all and brings you out of the mess in which you have entrapped yourself in, He wants you to be thankful.  Others will rejoice with you knowing it is God who brought you out.  God is faithful to His promises and He knows none of us our perfect for we all fail and fall many times in this life.  You may feel like you have lost hope and are paralyzed with fear but you can still remember the miracles God has done for you in the past.  Do you reach for Him?  Do you thirst for Him?  Are you depressed and feel as though you will die if rescue doesn’t come soon?  Kindness will come because you trust Him.  Depend upon Him to show you where to go.  Be sincere with your prayers and hide in the presence of God because He is the only one who can hide you.  His Spirit is the best for it tells you where you must abide.  You may not feel saved but being saved brings Him glory and you must trust in His word.  It is He who rescues you from all trouble, doubt, fears, worries and anxieties.  He is true to His promises, He loves, is kind and He is full of forgiveness, mercy and grace.  We are His servants.

As I studied this morning in prayer and thought, God gave me Psalms 142 and 143 to type.  If you feel as though this message is for you today, smile because God has spoken to your heart and soul to trust Him and allow Him to work in your life.  We cannot do things without Him, even though there are times where we will try and carry the burdens ourselves we don’t have to.  Many times we want to blame someone else for our state of mind and the circumstances around us but it is us who are unwilling to change and accept responsibility for the way we feel.  Take charge for yourself, let God be in control, let your emotions be sound, let your mind not wander.  Speak good things over your life, your marriage and your children.  Do not be weary but be determined with God all things are possible.  Joy comes after the storm, and storms don’t last forever.storm