Abundant life, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony

Practicing Gratitude Daily

One of the things my husband has always said, “Be grateful”.

If you are not grateful then it limits your potentials.  Practicing gratitude unlocks your potential in everything including your peace of mind.

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:18

I found this article from Anna P and wanted to share.

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Practicing gratitude leads to forgiveness, which honors love and compassion. Love is the true healing energy, and it always starts with self-love. It always comes back to the self.

We, us, you and me, as long as we really love ourselves, will live life from a place of gratitude. Words are submissions of intent, and even when we are not aware, we are sending out a message to God.

The energy of gratitude is a pure love energy. It is the vibration of constant positive change.

The 10 rules of practicing gratitude:

  1. Honor what you have.

Whenever you find yourself wanting something to change, start by being grateful for what you already have. There is always something to be grateful for. Even when we are down, feeling lost and depressed, we can search for the inner feeling of gratitude.

  1. Order more.

Being grateful is the same as ordering more to be grateful for. If you want your health to change, we must embrace and love the work that the body is already doing. Feeling gratitude for our breath, our vision, our hearing etc. If we want a better house to live in, we must be grateful for the home that we already have, or the couch that we are offered by a friend. No matter the status of our current shelter – giving thanks for what is already there, is inviting in more to feel grateful for.

  1. Say thank you out loud.

In your daily life, gratitude starts with mindfulness. Once you are mindful, aware of everything around you, you will be able to see the little things that will create a feeling of “thank you”. Those magic little big words, thank you. Start by giving thanks for the things that are beautiful around you, that you see every day. The flowers that you pass, and the air that you breathe. The subtle things like, thank you for these comfortable shoes or the sound of that bird I just walked by.

Giving thanks is the ultimate act of gratitude, even though it is merely an honoring of the energy through words. The power is in the feeling behind the words that we speak and behind the intention thereof.

  1. Be aware.

By being more aware, the gratitude effect will grow, slowly and steadily. From the self-talk and the awareness, there will grow an inner compassion for life as it is. What we put our attention towards grows, and what we hold as our inner energy will draw to itself more that will match it perfectly.

The Change will show itself as having a more positive outlook on life, wanting to give more, faster healing, depression, and anger disappears and more things to be grateful for keeps showing up.

  1. It is natural.

Being grateful is natural. When we strip ourselves of our hurts and our clutter, when we get back to our true balance, gratitude is a part of who we are. The trick is to be able to tap into that naked and honest bliss, even when we are preoccupied with life and its busy schedule.

Even when in the middle of what we might see as chaos, we can condition ourselves to feel the grace and the appreciation for all that we have. We can step into it like a state of being, knowing that it is truth.

  1. Gratitude is truth.

Anything leading us away from gratefulness is a lie. The hardest thing for many, and I know it was for me, is to stop measuring where you are when you are going after a dream. It is easy to get caught up in where you are at this moment, forgetting that every step along the way has value and something to cherish. I was so hungry for health, I often forgot to appreciate how much further I had gotten, or that I was alive and breathing. Keeping the eye on the ball, always looking ahead can also keep us from seeing what is right in front of us.

  1. Be in the NOW.

It is always about this very moment. The magic of the now. Someday, one day, soon, when only, are outlooks keeping us from seeing that this moment is the only one there is.

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. – Albert Einstein
  1. Gratitude comes from the heart.

Gratitude doesn’t come from the mind. It is not a thought, it is a feeling, a state of being. It is a heartfelt feeling, and it fills the entire body with a nurturing, positive, healing energy. It is very similar to love, but it is directed towards the recognition of all that is. We can be grateful for every single thing in our lives, good, bad and ugly.

  1. Gratitude will show you your true potentials.

Gratitude opens the heart, and it opens the portal for rapid healing and nurturing manifestations. The magic of life will flow towards us, and every cell in our body will align with this vibration.

When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around. – Willie Nelson
  1. True freedom.

Look at gratefulness as a gateway to freedom. The simplicity is mind-blowing. Everybody can do it, feel it, practice it and reap the benefits. The simple yet profound truths are the most powerful there is. We are all capable of tapping into that magical feeling of grace and appreciation that will change our whole lives. Nature reveals its truth by keeping it simple.

Let nothing take away your gratitude towards the life you are living right now. It is a gift. It is the light that will keep on shining when everything else seems lost and dark.

The challenge is this:

Gratitude does not come from the mind.

It is not a thought, it is a feeling, a state of being.

It is a heartfelt feeling, and it fills the entire body with a nurturing, positive, healing energy. It is very similar to love, but it is directed towards the recognition of all that is.

A few tips for practicing gratitude in your day:

When you feel alone, feel grateful

When you feel sad, feel grateful

When you feel hurt, feel grateful

When you feel discouraged, feel grateful

When you feel lost, feel grateful

When you feel defeated, feel grateful

When you feel hopeless, feel grateful

Whenever you feel lost in your own drama or chaos, stop and be still.

Take a moment and pull yourself back. This is not your truth, only your play. Connect with everything you are grateful for, and let the rest go. Let it center you and keep you focused on what really matters. Your center comes from a news and propaganda-free zone. No fear, no blame, no lies and drama is wanted. Keep it simple and keep it true.

Write of gratitude in your journal.

Such a simple and easy tool.

Express your intent.

As you keep looking for things to be grateful for, express them, live them, feel them and be them. Allow this feeling to come through you as you honor and acknowledge it. Incorporate it in your everyday life. Say hello to every day with the intent that it will be yet another day filled with gratitude and wonder.

Not that it is anything new at all. It is the language of God, from pure love. It is the connection to truth, unfiltered. It is not a thought, an idea or a philosophy. It is a state of being. It is a brainless place where we know that there is something so much bigger than us. Something bigger than life.

Saying thank you is not the same as being grateful.

Saying I love you is not the same as loving someone.

Saying I will, is not the same as doing.

Saying I forgive you is not the same as forgiveness.

Gratitude cultivates an appreciation for all things. It can be trained, by practicing every day.

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

The Church, Who, Where, What

JEFF AND MELISSA PHILLIPS PASTOR OF LEGACY OWENSBORO CHURCHI gave a message the other night with the intent of helping people know they ARE the church.  Here is my message. I also had a Powerpoint to go along with it if you want to leave me a comment, I can email it to you as an attachment.

Acts 16:5 So the churches were strengthened in their faith and grew larger every day.

Why does the world need a church? What is the church, who is the church and where is the church?

As believers: We are a regenerated people saved by the power of God for a purpose in this world.

The word “church” means: Ecclesia = “gathering”.

 

 

We sometimes misunderstand that the church is a gathering – (like an event) but actually “gathered ones” who builds their lives around Jesus as Lord, King and Savior.

It is not an event but the event of Christ saving people to Him.

Jesus builds his church thru his people, therefore everything we do counts, not just a couple of hours that we are in church but all life where we live as the church bringing glory to God in ALL things.

Jesus wants to saturate the world with his presence as the head building His church in every place.

When WE understand this, it changes the way you see yourself.

You don’t “go” to church you “ARE” the church.

MOST PEOPLE THINK CHURCH IS AN “experience” an event – listen to message, sing, pray and look as though church is way above us. People gather to look up to find Jesus when the Holy Spirit is everywhere.

We attract people to come into the church (a building to find God) but a building is just a place for us to be a part gathered to be the hands of feet of Jesus.We are the church...be the church, not a building but an example

To be a better church is not to form a better program, not to rely on pastor, staff, volunteer but to serve together becoming more like Jesus and be the “expression” of Jesus to many.

 

Mark 4: Once again Jesus began teaching by the lakeshore. A very large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat in the boat while all the people remained on the shore. He taught them by telling many stories in the form of parables, such as this one: “Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed.

As he scattered it across his field, some of the seed fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate it.

Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seed sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow.

But the plant soon wilted under the hot sun, and since it didn’t have deep roots, it died. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants so they produced no grain. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”

We are the church...be the church, not a building but an exampleMeaning: The farmer plants seed by taking God’s word to others.

The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away.

  1. Careless, thoughtless hearer are easy prey – satan robs the hearer. ( thinking of other things, zones off)

The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word.

  1. Hypocrites: Start out right, shows profession, many are glad to hear a good sermon but don’t profit from it because in reality, life is too hard to change – light of Jesus does not shine in them through actions and attitudes.

The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced.

  1. Hebrews 6:8 Worldly cares are great hinderance, trust is put in financial security – faith in money – status

And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”

 

Thirty fold: The number 30 can symbolize dedication to a particular task or calling. Aaronic priests were dedicated to serve at 30, in part because it was the age when a person reached both physical and mental maturity and could therefore handle major responsibilities.

We are the church...be the church, not a building but an exampleJohn the Baptist, began his ministry at age thirty. In the Fall of 26 A.D., at the age of thirty, Christ began to publicly preach the gospel (Luke 3:23).

Joseph, a type of Jesus, was thirty years old when Egypt’s Pharaoh placed him in charge over all that he ruled. King David also, when he began to reign over Israel, was thirty years old (2Samuel 5:4).

The number 60: which literally denotes to uphold, help or support. The widow ; who herself gave much support for the body of Christ in “every good work”:

The number 100: represent the fullness or completeness – accomplish a task, the glory that results from Grace, God’s miracles.

Think about this: Jesus Christ is not only willing to be known and to represent Himself, He is willing to be known and represented by us!

He asks us to be His representatives, His ambassadors.

To be sure, we do a poor job of this sometimes, maybe even often. He knew that we would, but chose to arrange things this way anyway. He knows you’re not perfect, and he invites you to represent Him anyway.

 

faith, Fear, forgiveness, Love and Life of a Testimony, Parenthood, prayer, Salvation

Shannon’s Story of Forgiveness

How many times does our Father or Mother’s sin effect our life as we grow up as children?  Sometimes we carry around the sin, the guilt, the blame and yes the feelings of rejection and un-forgiveness in life or even deal with the battles our parents never conquered.  This story was made purposely not to expose one family’s faults but in some way we may all have experienced this or know someone who has.  The ultimate goal of the enemy is always to kill, steal and destroy, however as Shannon met her sister for the first time upon her father’s death bed, Shannon found something she had been looking for her entire life….freedom and forgiveness.

Watch as Shannon tells her story of forgiveness…..

Matthew 18 Living Translation

21Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”

22“No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!

 

faith, forgiveness, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, marriage enrichment, Parenthood, prayer, Salvation, Sermon Notes, Supernatural

What’s Love Got To Do With It

Valentine's Day Flowers is a great way to show you love someone

Last night I got the opportunity to speak at our church about the facets of Love.  Since Valentines day is tomorrow and everyone seems giddy about the event planning on flowers, chocolates and cards, I decided to teach about Love.  Here are my sermon notes and in a few days, I will upload the sermon link so you may also hear the message.

I John 4:16 –

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.  We love each other because he loved us first. If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters.

This type of love that comes from God :

Daily Live in Love

There is love that is perfect love

Pursue it

Is forever love

Is Greatest love

Brings unity

Brings peace

Shows kindness

We have to receive it and put it on – abide in it

Sacrifices for sake of others

Love is a choice….

Greeks had terms of love:

  • Storge – affection that parents have with their children, (putting up with family members) Storge Lovers: life long friends
  • Philia – mental love of give and take – loyalty to others – general shoulder to shoulder friendship, Philia Lover: Philos love is a mutual, “give-and take” relationship,
  • Eros – Physical love – passionate love with sensual desire – love at first site – looks. It is based more on “self-benefit”.  Pure emotion without the balance of logic:

Erotic lover wants to know everything about the beloved from the first moment of their RELATIONSHIP, all of his or her experiences, joys and sorrows, who else he or she has loved in the past, how much and in what ways.  like to wear matching T-shirts, identical bracelets, matching colors, order the same foods when dining out, find out that their blood types are the same; they typically want to be identified with each other as totally as possible. Breakups are explosive and painful. Eros love can only succeed in the long-term if it progresses into a higher form of love. Otherwise, it will not last.

  • Agape – spiritual love – true unconditional love, expecting nothing in return –  no self benefit: Agape Lover: forgiving – “not a fall in love desire” but this love is always available for the opportunity to show that love.  They are patient, have the ability to wait indefinitely for the behavior of their love to change.

Other types of LOVERS:

  • MANIA (Possessiveness and Intense Dependency) (Eros and Game player )Mania is an obsessive love that, intimate  and intense, often includes jealousy, possessiveness and a lack of communication. Maniacal love can lead to domestic violence.   The constructed ideal of this type of lover is obsessed to where they are unable to sleep, eat, or even think logically around the loved one. The manic lover has peaks of excitement, but also depths of depression, with very few periods without a high or low, jealous – irrational.

A manic lover cannot tolerate loss of contact , even for short periods of time, and is distressed by a lack of the lover’s presence .

* crushed by real or fancied rejection, possibly to the point of suicidal ideation.

* manipulate the behaviors or feelings of the loved one,

* do not tolerate separation at all well.

The manic lover has a tendency to review past relationships and speculate about what when wrong – high level or anxiety,  have problems related to anxiety and associated with low self-esteem and a poor self concept.

  • Pragma (logical – sensible) a person who is unable to invest love in “unworthy” love objects. (You DESERVE ME) The pragmatic lover is keenly aware of the comparison level for alternatives that he or she has. Pragmatic lovers are inclined to look for a “deal – good bargin” A pragmatic lover typically assists the loved one to fulfill his or her potentials; for example, such a lover might make sure the love object finishes school, asks for deserved promotions, gets the attention or that he or she “deserves” from physicians, stockbrokers, or employers. And everything is planned – family
  • Ludus (game player) A ludic lover hates dependency, either in himself/herself or in others. This type shies away from commitment of any sort (does not like lovers to take him or her for granted). The ludic lover enjoys strategies, and may keep two or three or even four lovers “on the string” at one time. A ludic lover may even create a fictional lover to discourage a real one’s hopes for a permanent relationship. He or she avoids long-range plans. Self-centered and won’t listen

The Types of Love are explained.  The Agape is the highest form of love however culture continues to seek self gratification instead of selflessness.

1973 book The Colors of Love, John Lee compared styles of love to the color wheel.

Three primary styles:


1. Eros – Loving an ideal person

2. Ludos – Love as a game

3. Storge – Love as friendship

Three secondary styles:


1. Mania (Eros + Ludos) – Obsessive love

2. Pragma (Ludos + Storge) – Realistic and practical love

3. Agape (Eros + Storge) – Selfless love

The human brain supports falling in love, which is why we have such a strong physiological response when we are attracted to another.

Most people want love but believe self gratification is in there too.

  • make me ‘feel good’
  • Love  MUST nourish it. : feed it, to take care of it, to value it.

 True love is not about what you feel, it is about what you do.

*Euphoria Stage.  Emotion and feeling based but can be a long term with different value if love grows.

The more time you spend with a person the more you learn about their character and personality. The real test of love is being able to love someone when you know their flaws and short comings.

The ultimate goal is to love in Reality with some euphoric feelings and avoid the stage of ‘Offense’.

*Offense stage comes swiftly after the Reality stage because the relationship was built based on the feelings felt in Euphoria as opposed to a solid friendship.

The Offense stage is different from having hard times in a relationship.

The Offense stage: constant conflict and tension because of false expectations.

*Reality stage it’s not about how you feel, it’s about a choice.  The real test of love is being able to love someone when you know their flaws and short comings.

The ultimate goal is to love in Reality with some euphoric feelings and avoid the stage of ‘Offense’.

Humans have evolved three different brain systems to encourage mating: sex drive (lust), feelings of attachment (trust), and romance (being in love). Each of these systems plays a role in desire.

Lust. Sex drive is associated with a class of hormones called testosterone (even women have it) Playing competitive sports have been shown to trigger testosterone production; in fact, women get a bigger boost than men during a competition. Making love can also create the same effect. Studies have shown that sex raises testosterone levels, so the more sex you have, the more sex you desire.

touching someone brings more feelings of love because it releases a chemical in your brain to promote love

Trust. Feelings of trust and attachment are fostered by the chemical oxytocin. You can stimulate oxytocin naturally with touch. Hold hands while you watch TV, trade massages, or sleep in each other’s arms. Oxytocin, the love/hate hormone
.  Human and animal studies have shown that oxytocin plays a role in bonding;

While affecting positive behaviors of trust and bonding, it can also affect opposite behaviors like jealousy, envy, and suspicion. when the association is negative, the hormone increases negative sentiments”.

Love. The third chemical that drives relationships is dopamine, a key player in the brain’s reward regions that’s been found to promote romantic love. Research shows that —taking risks or trying something new—can trigger the release of dopamine in the brain.

 SONGS: MRI and PET scans reveal that when you listen to music that excites you, your brain releases dopamine during the most exciting moments of the song and even in anticipation of those moments.

Some things a person does can produce so much dopamine that over time, the dopamine response lessens, which means you can lose the ability to feel any kind of pleasure at all. The usual culprits of this dopamine dulling effect are things like cocaine and heroin, which is good news for the great majority of us who are not addicted to illicit substances. The bad news is that if you’re addicted to fatty foods, the same thing could potentially happen to you. If you let rats eat as much cheesecake, bacon, sausage, and other fatty foods as they want, not only will they become obese, but their dopamine responses will start to attenuate over time. So while a small slice of cheesecake once in a while may get your dopamine flowing, overdoing it may have negative consequences on your brain.

Feeling of intense romantic love lasts only about 18 months to—at best—three years.

Brains of these middle-aged men and women showed much the same activity as those of young lovers, individuals who had been intensely in love an average of only seven months. Indeed, there was just one important difference between the two groups: Among the older lovers, brain regions associated with anxiety were no longer active; instead, there was activity in the areas associated with calmness.

Sacrificing Love:  It is the foundation to every key relationship in life.

Revolutionizes marriage

Fortifies friendships

Business : we treat our colleagues, employees and customers

Communities : reach out to people and make their lives better

Love is sacrifice and has a lot more to do with being a servant than with being a hero. 

When you are concerned about the well being of others, you sacrifice.

  • Time
  • Energy
  • Money
  • Give up plans
  • Give up independence
  • Give up privacy
  • May have to part with whatever is most precious to you for the sake of someone else.

Hard because our Culture teaches exact opposite – Logic thinking doesn’t make sense or logic, it’s not fair.

True personal fulfillment never comes through self-gratification but opposite.

The right type of love never fails…. all other types of love will have you wanting but never satisfying.

 

Mark 8:34-35

Deny yourself

“Put aside your own pleasures and shoulder your cross and follow me closely.  If you insist on saving your life you will lose it.  Only those who throw away their lives for my sake and for the sake of the Good News will ever know what it means to really live.”

Matthew 20:26  … whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,” (throughout the gospels: the one who rules is the one who serves)

Luke 22 :28  The one who stands beside me in trials.  (Through everything you love)

It is only when we give ourselves to God and joyfully serve his people in sacrificial love that we find fulfillment and satisfaction that the world will never know.

In marriage = a lot of sacrifice

  • A good marriage enhances the life of each spouse, making it fuller and more satisfying than it would be if the marriage did not exist.
  • Loving marriage help both spouses grow into their full potential rather than squelching either persons dreams
  • Loving spouses put the other persons needs above their own

The highest form of love…..do you agree?

In friendship = willing to make investment in someone’s life

Why is it so hard?  Commitment

Try it – keep giving and giving – good actions not a feeling…. Some do good but then what happens when people come to the point they are running on empty? They get angry at people: how do you know, people become problems. (hermit)

God tells us not only to live sacrificially but also steadfastly. (persistent, loyal, consistently)

“I am done!”  I am burnout….

How do we get refilled?

Spending time alone with God – He is source of love.  Jesus did this many times, leaving the crowd and go pray.

(can’t depend us getting love from another person) Hosea 12:6 But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.

Want peace? 2 Corth 13:11 :  Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.

Satan. If he cannot destroy, he will try to disgrace or distress us If believers were left to themselves, they would fall; but they are kept by the power of God

Burn out 3 ways.

  1. Spiritually :  Love tank is low – daily time with God before the day starts. Listen to Christian music
  2. Emotionally: Feel uninterested in others – Life itself happens (bad days) . replenish yourself through relaxing or recreation
  3. Physically:  Won’t listen, no serving, no confront or encourage people, no energy, easily irritated, critical, short fused, defensive and negative.  It is hard to love others and equally hard for others to love them.

Act as Jesus would act and do in all 3 areas.….

I John 4:12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

I Corth. 13:1 : If I had knowledge, if I gave to the poor, moved mountains, but If didn’t love others, I would be nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind.

Love does not always want nor boastful, is not conceited, or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

slow to anger when abused, not quick of resentment, nor hasty to revenge when affronted; but exercises forbearance, suffers long, and bears much, and is ready to forgive:
Agape love is the highest form of love.  Do you think you could reach it?

Love suffers long.


Love is kind.


Love does not envy.


Love does not parade itself.


Love is not puffed up.


Love does not behave rudely.


Love does not seek its own.


Love is not provoked.


Love thinks no evil.


Love does not rejoice in iniquity.


Love rejoices in the truth.


Love bears all things.


Love believes all things.


Love hopes all things.


Love endures all things.


Love never fails.

So what does Love Got to do with it… Everything… because without love you are nothing…

Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, forgiveness, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, Patience, prayer, Salvation, Soul Winning

God Showers Us With White Snow

Backyard snow showered by God's loveJehovah is KING!

Let all the earth rejoice!  (The song keeps playing over and over in my head as I look across my back yard in the beauty of the white snow covering everything.  There is flurries swirling about as if God is sprinkling everything with powdered sugar – sweetness!) 

Back to center, back to roots, devotion first thing so I won’t get distracted with my social media, my writing and my business.  I love giving God time, the house is quiet and everyone is still asleep.  In fact all you can hear is the typing of my fingers and an occasional howl of the wind.  The smell of coffee, the warmth of the cup and the taste of God being with me warms my soul.

My reading comes from Psalms 97 today.  I read out of the Living Bible.  Its my favorite with it being paraphrased it’s like stepping into a story book and coming alive.  🙂

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne….his lightning flashes out across the world, the earth sees and trembles.  The mountains melt like wax before the Lord of all the earth, the heavens declare his perfect righteousness every nation sees his glory.

The Lord loves those who hate evil; he protects the lives of his people and rescues them from the wicked.  Light is sown for the godly and joy for the good.  May all who are godly be happy in the Lord and crown him our holy God……

 God is good all the time – righteous is from Him.  When we allow Him to come into our lives, our thoughts are righteous and our actions our righteous.  All of creation knows this.  God is not mad or evil.  There is no evil in God.  I sometimes hear people say, God did this to me to teach me a lesson or He put this burden on me.  This is not true.  God allows things to happen to us to bring out the glory of Him and the good in us.  It is us to choose righteous behavior or actions during the trial.   

Let us be thankful for the good and the bad because no matter what God is King and He is righteous.  We declare that by allowing Him to be in us, protect us and rescue us through life.  Will you let Him?  

Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, Made you smile, Salvation, Soul Winning, Weird Stuff

Contagious Smiling

Smiling is contagiousLast week I got to experience the film Compelled By Love starring Roland and Heidi Baker’s story.  I was proud to say that my son, Lyle was featured in the film.  The emotions I felt, the awe of being totally sold out to Jesus is truly phenomenal.  At the beginning of the film is an artist who starts painting a picture and you will see this throughout the film the stages of the piece, then at the end you see the final work.  The final picture is of Jesus with a contagious smile!  It makes you feel as though Jesus is happy, that He loves you and He wants you to smile.  Not only for His sake does He want you to smile but for your sake and the sake of others.  It’s contagious! Annalise Roth Phillips my granddaughter loves to smile!  Her smiling makes me smile.

Annalise our granddaughter is only 4 months old.  There is such a love connection when she totally trusts you to take care of her.  She looks at you with those blue eyes and as you talk to her and smile, she crinkles up her nose and smiles so big with her gums showing.  She smiles with her eyes.  It makes anyone talking to her want to get her to smile.  It is a smile that is rewarding even if it only last for just a few seconds.  I am looking forward to hearing her laugh and giggle throughout the house.  A smile, the emotion of trust and total happiness.

As a leader/pastor I love smiling.  I love smiling at people as I pass by, taking time to look into their eyes as if it is Jesus smiling back at me.  What a difference we can make if we just stop for the one regardless of how we feel at the time and smile.  Sometimes its hard for me especially because I am so caught up in the task or in my own thoughts of what I must get done I forget to look at the person in my busy schedule, however it is never my intention to ignore and I am learning to slow down and take time to the most valuable source on the planet… people!

This experience has made me realize how important smiling is.  It is important for at least five reasons according to Michael Hyatt.

  1. It helps others relax. When you scowl or look too intense, it creates a primal reaction in others. Their defenses go up. They become protective and guarded.

    This is the exact opposite of what you want to happen if you are trying to influence them. A smile communicates that you are safe and can be trusted.

  2. It draws people to you. Have you ever noticed how you are attracted to people who smile and laugh a lot? The positive energy is contagious. You instinctively smile in response.

    The simple fact is that people naturally want to be around people who are happy. If you want others to follow you, you can start by smiling more.

  3. It enables you to connect. Smiling is one of the best, quickest ways to connect with anyone from any culture. Even if you don’t speak the same language, a smile is universally appreciated.

    It opens the door, welcomes people into your world, and communicates acceptance. Even if people are frustrated or angry, a smile can often turn them around. In that moment you forge a connection.

  4. It creates positive culture. If you want to change the culture of an organization, change the behavior of its leaders. People naturally play “follow the leader.” When leaders smile, everyone smiles.

    Smiles communicate that your organization is a happy place to work. And who doesn’t want to work where people are smiling and happy?

  5. Why is smiling important for you to do?  Find out here! It elevates your mood. This is one of the surprising benefits of smiling. I had no idea. It literally affects you at a biological level, releasing endorphins and serotonin.

    Smiling has numerous physical and psychological benefits, including relieving stress, lowering your blood pressure, and boosting your immune system. And it’s much cheaper and healthier than drugs.

Seriously, set a goal to smile more this year. Recruit an accountability partner. Set reminders. Whatever it takes. As a leader, it will help ensure you have a positive impact on the people you are leading.  Relieve stress from your daily life right now… smile!

John 10:10…. Jesus said, “My purpose is to give life in all its fullness”.

Jesus is smiling always…. so why can’t we?…be contagious!

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

Your Behavior is Linked to Values

your actions are determined by your valuesLeading like Jesus my husband says, “If you live for Jesus hard, it is easy” but “If you live for Jesus easy, it is hard”.

Everyone of us must have a vision to know where we are going.  Most of us can have goals and try to achieve them in life.  Hopefully for all of us, our vision is heaven.  However in life we get distracted by life or get caught up in life we forget the ultimate goal.  Now don’t get me wrong, we should have life goals and achieve them, but we also should have a life full of peace and joy as we live it to see things accomplished .  Not only in that sense but to leave a legacy.  How will people remember you after you are gone?   Yes, life is not all peachy and roses but it is thru the tough times, Christ is there with us, leading us along the way to make right choices.  Those choices are determined by our values.

Seeing the ending in mind means we have a vision.    An element to the vision is our values, because values is linked to how you behave.  Values are nonnegotiable principles that define character in a person regardless if you are a leader or not.  Values is what drives behavior of all of us for our purpose and picture of the future.

true valuesIn Matthew 22:36-40 Jesus ranked two values and He put them in order.

  1.  Love God with all your heart, soul and mind.
  2.  Love your neighbor as yourself.

These are great principles for life but unless they are translated into behavior it won’t happen and they become good thoughts or just words on a paper that we all should live by.  In fact many people say they do live by these words, maybe not daily but try to.

We all  must make good choices and sometimes that means change.  Some of us are hot-wired for change and can adapt very quickly when others, change only is seen by heartache and pain.  We all want to be great leaders, in some form or fashion but to lead as Jesus, these two values must be put above everything else even if it means changing your environment.  The appropriate response for your circumstances will depend on what God has in mind for you.  Since we don’t know what tomorrow brings, that is hard I have to admit.  You see Jesus knows what is best for us regardless on how we feel, nevertheless He gives us a choice.

Our life and leadership are all about choices and the choices  made are based on our values.

I always said, “you are where you are right now in life because of the choices you made yesterday”  What do you stand for?

Before you can reach your goal, you must have a vision and the vision must compel and drive you to reach it.  Nothing should stand in your way.  Not circumstances, not change, not feelings or emotions, not hurt, nor life itself.  It’s called Living For Jesus Hard.  It’s being sold out to the cause.   Is it tough? Yes.  Is it hard to stay strong? Yes.  Do you feel like giving up? Yes.  Is it hard to keep the flesh under control and live by the Spirit under the name of a Christian. Yes.    what values do you hold

It is staying focused.  It is COMMUNICATION with the Most High and with people.  It is doing the right thing and having the wisdom for direction.  It is putting others first before yourself.  It is looking into the future to see the outcome: bettering people’s lives in reaching the ultimate vision.  It is determined by values.  Your choices in life always reflect your values.  Your behavior that you show has your value written all over your face and everyone will see it.

actions determine values

What values do people see written on your face?  They may not see it at first because of the mask, but they will see it in your actions.  Actions will always determine if you reach your vision (goals).   What is your life’s goals?  Do they reflect these two commandments?  Are you doing the right things in your behavior?  It’s kind of funny because sometimes I am hard-headed and aren’t we all sometimes when it comes to listening to the voice of God! Ha!.    Ultimately, I pray that my values will shine upon and through my life for the betterment of more people in influencing more than just a few.  How about you?

Abundant life, Emotional, Encouragement, faith, Fear, forgiveness, Leadership, Love and Life of a Testimony, marriage enrichment, Patience, Soul Winning, Weird Stuff

PooPoo Pie


Don't eat poop!  It causes stress, heartache and delusions!I had the best advice one time from a gal who may have not known how much wisdom she was spilling out to me.  I was struggling with lots of stress at the time because of the circumstances of transition and it all started with FaceBook.  Now keep in mind, I sometimes wear my feelings on my shoulders and grasp every perception that could be. I feel as though I am friendly to everyone and wouldn’t hurt a flea on purpose, so it just kills me if I think someone doesn’t like me.   My blood pressure was running high at the time and I was just sick of the so-called worry of what others think of us. I was talking about a post on FaceBook that I knew was about us but it didn’t mention our names.  She said to me, “Don’t own it”.  Those words forever changed my life and redirected my focus.

You see the enemy of our soul would love to continue to beat us down each day with negative remarks from gossip and lies.  People who I had loved for years were mouthing about our leadership, the church or whatever was told to them about us and not only did they believe it but some also continued with the remarks to others.  Sad to say, some still carry it with them.

Its time to "not own it" and throw out the poo poo pie!

 

God has a way to make us stronger as we continue to serve and depend on Him.  There was no unlawful or sin involved with us and in our eyes, we were doing the best of our ability to continue to move forward in what God wanted us to do, following after His steps.  As we continued our journey, we were pushed out of our many circles of people we loved dearly in who we had helped over the years.  It was a hard transition and I know that the past always tries to condemn and keep people from focusing on the future in winning lost souls.  With some is easier to point fingers rather than take responsibility sometimes.  I was taking responsibility with the words that was being said instead of ignoring them.

The “don’t own it” is what I call Poo Poo Pie.  You see when someone makes a remark about you or tries to control your thoughts or actions either through manipulation, control or gossip its like they are handing you a poo poo pie. Have you ever thought of it that way?  PooPoo Pie is nasty and although it may look good or not, you have the ability to receive it or not to.  If you take it, you own it.  You can put it on your shelf, on your counter top, in your bedroom next to your night stand or in your fridge.  Heck, in fact you can drive it around in your car, put it in your purse or take it on a date!  PooPoo Pie never runs out and every time you “own” the remarks or the gossip, bring it up in conversation or the hurt you are taking a big bite out of your pie!  You are in control of your emotions, thoughts and actions.  People may even throw the pie at you but you don’t have to own it!

Want a slice of poo pie?  This is not a recipe you want to share!  Don't own it!It’s time to throw out the pie, in fact, throw out the pie in the garbage and never look through the trash to own it again.  Move forward and don’t own it!  Poo Poo Pie causes high blood pressure, it causes stress, it causes you to have strongholds in your mind to distract you from what God is calling you to do.  It is deceiving.  It makes you sick and you share the poo pie with others and it makes them sick.  I say “stop passing the poo pie!”

Want a piece of POO POO PIE?

So here is my word of advice that I so wonderfully learned through the transition that I may pass to you…. “don’t own it” keep focused on what God has called you to do, because it is only HIM that you must deal with and He doesn’t eat poo poo pie, He has a buffet of life and life more abundantly, total goodness, health, peace and joy, most of all love.  I would rather eat from the buffet instead from the poo poo pie.

What do you think?  Had any pie lately?

New International Version
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

English Standard Version
But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.

English Standard Version
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ

2 Corinthians 10:4
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

 

Abundant life, Encouragement, faith, Fear, forgiveness, Leadership, marriage enrichment, Parenthood, Salvation

Fire Out Of Control

resentment is the cocaine of emotions.....
Resentment is the cocaine of the emotions.  It causes our blood to pump and our energy level to rise.  Like cocaine, it demands increasingly large and more frequent dosages.

There is dangerous point at which anger ceases to be an emotion and becomes a driving force.  A person bent on revenge moves unknowingly further and further away from being able to forgive, for to be without the anger is to be without a source of energy.

Hatred is the rabid dog that turns on its owner.

 

Hatred is the rabid dog that turns on its owner.

Revenge is the raging fire that consumes the arsonist.

Revenge is the raging fire that consumes the arsonist.

 

bitterness is the trap that snares the hunterBitterness is the trap that snares the hunter.

Mercy is the choice that can set them all free.

From the “The Applause of Heaven”

Abundant life, faith, Fear, forgiveness, Leadership

Would David Delete His Facebook Friends?

Why should you not delete your facebook friends David had many people who lied about him and spread gossipI always wondered why people delete their Facebook friends.  It is kinda sad but holds true to most people who delete.  Sometimes it is just to clean out your Facebook and start something new and sometimes it is just wanting to block the person from showing up in your news feed.  It used to bother me when someone deleted me, because that can really mess up your thoughts on who you thought were true friends, but now I don’t get too much drama in my head when someone unfriended me.  I know there is something more going on in that person’s head to feel as though they should delete.  For some it gives the person a type of control and makes them feel powerful with a press of the button to end a friendship.  Sometimes it is a hurt that is hard to deal with and instead of valuing the relationship with courageous conversation it is thought better to run from it.  It is a type of protective mode and I understand that.

I wonder how David in the Bible would have felt if he had a Facebook or used some type of social media?  Let us look at Psalms 57.

 

David starts out crying out to God and runs to Him for hiding as the storms of life surround him.  This is a good thing, yet notice David runs to God and not away from Him despite the circumstances of life or the chaos that is going on.  David realizes the power of God, the grace of God and His saving power with confessing his faith.  He also knows that God will rescue him from the liars who are so intent upon destroying him, using the words “I am surrounded by fierce lions, hotheads whose teeth are sharp as spears and arrows. Their tongues are like swords….”  David knew his enemies were setting traps for him and he was fearful of the future but knew he must stay faithful to God.  He then watched his enemies fall into the traps themselves.  He goes on to continue to praise God and sing Him praises for His loving kindness.  Davids wishes thru all of this time in his life , God’s glory be brought throughout all the earth.  David was hurt and he was scared of what people would think or view of him.  A natural response when you know people spread gossip and lies about you.

God is still faithful to those who run toward Him and His grace and mercy endures forever to either party.  The next time you get the urge to delete, if you value the relationship take time to ask yourself “why” you are deleting.  Is it because of unmet expectations, or hurt feelings or just a clean up.  Either or say a prayer over the person instead of hating.  Practice love instead of judgement.  Even in the midst of storms in your life, you can produce fruit for others to follow as God takes care of your enemies.

Facebook is network.  It links you to a person in years down the road could open an opportunity up for you.  I heard a man say once, “Don’t burn bridges or one day you may have no place to go”.

David continued to praise and worship God thru all circumustances!

What do you think?  Would David’s friends delete him or would David delete the people who were spreading lies about him?