Tag Archives: resolution

Choosing Joy

1 Jan

As we look forward to what comes next, we have to also know that what comes next isn’t always what we wish for, desire, or plan for.

I personally have family that is facing end of life. T is the bravest, strongest person I know. She is so inspiring to so many.  I have a close friend doing everything her little body can to rid her body of cancer. She is so strong and brave as well. Determined. These are not the things we plan for or wish for but they are as much a part of our life as the good.

Having had to face my own misunderstanding that life is always supposed to feel good; It isn’t and it doesn’t. The truth is, living gets really hard at times and sometimes we suffer deeply. Sometimes people do unkind things, sometimes people get sick, sometimes we are left out, sometimes relationships are really hard. … but God, but love.

Through all of the ups and downs, there is love. At the core of everything, love is there and love is truly all there really is. Some people may not treat us well or be kind to us and some may never love us, but there are those that do.  Hold on to those people.

Some people may be cruel, selfish, mean spirited. We may not want to love some people but do it, do just that! When we come from a place of love, regardless of other’s, we grow in peace and joy. We steady our hearts and minds. It isn’t determined by them, it is your heart that chooses to love no matter what.

Let go of control. We may make plans and we may think we drive this life, but at the end of the day, we really can’t control anything, and especially any one. We can only choose for ourselves how we react and respond to what we will never control.

As a woman seeking and thirsting for the truest lover of my soul, what I have learned most is this… God remains the same through all of it. When I stop comparing how I think it should be, or what I planned, to the way it really is, I can climb into the peace of knowing that through it all, He has it all worked out for my good. When we surrender to His omnipotent plans and power, then suffering last’s only a little while.

At the end of the day, we only have this very minute, to choose what we think on. To choose what we focus on. To choose if we cherish or complain.  We can choose to let go of our peace over things we can’t control, or we can gain peace by embracing what is good and steady in the face of turbulence.  We can love through the worst of times… because one day we will wish we had done more of that. I promise you that.

2019 will have it’s own wonder and it’s own trials… but today, I am centered on His Sovereignty.  Peace settles so well on my heart, knowing that through it all, He is there, working it all out for my good and for His glory.

Today… my cup overflows. This moment I choose joy.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28 

choose this day whom you will serve Joshua 24:14-15

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Re-Solution

30 Dec

Every year at this time, we talk about resolutions and goals.

In truth, 2018 was the year for me to heal. 2017 had so much loss, so much sorrow, so much crazy. I needed a year of peace and God was gracious. Though there were moments, some my own doing (and in some cases, my own undoing), some were completely out of left field but God in His amazing Love, truly walked me through quickly. He nourished me, refreshed me, tested me, and strengthened me. He made me suffer through my emotions and expectations to seek truth and to find Him, who He really is, not the God I had in my head.   I had to come to terms with what faith really meant to me, from the depths of hurt and disappointments and find what trust in God really meant.  What exactly are His promises and how do they apply to me.

At the end of this year, I can look back and see how much I have changed, how I have grown.  I can see the blessings.  Yes, I was able to do some really great things, a trip to Greece, trips to the kids, a trip to Minnesota.  I have been blessed with amazing friendships, a job I absolutely love, having a social calendar again.  But the greatest blessing is finding the truth that none of this matter’s without my full surrender to Him.

I have found the rest, joy and peace of knowing that God is sovereign.  My life will always have really difficult times. My life will have amazing gifts.   It is a constant receiving and letting go. The only true constant is God. He never changes; Never.

He tells us in His word -1 John 2:15- “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.”
Jesus told us in the Sermon on the Mount to build our foundation of our acknowledgement of just this truth. He is sovereign. Our faith is a vertical relationship that is not distracted by the things that other people have, say, do or what we lose or gain. (Matthew 5-7) It is solid in the trust that as long as we stay focused on Him, we are okay.  He is able to work on us, through us, and for us.

I have discovered all of my barriers to really surrendering to His Sovereignty. My lack of faith in areas that I think I can do better I suppose. I hold tight to my idea of what this world should look like, fairness, goodness. I had this idea of what happiness was, especially if you are doing it “right” such as marriage, love, family, constant peace, no issues, no loss. I have grown weary trying to make it better. I have found the very last stitch of control I thought I had.
The truth says, stop looking to this world to give you anything you need. This world is flesh, this world is false.  It doesn’t last. Nothing lasts forever.

But God.

The truest lover of your soul is calling you, wooing you, pursuing you to love Him. It is the LAW.
Love God. Love your neighbor as yourself. This doesn’t mean fit in, like run a 10k or drive a fancy car or be invited to the finest events. This means to love yourself enough to lose yourself completely, regardless of your circumstances.  He doesn’t just ask us to obediently surrender to Him every need for food and shelter; He asks for so much more. He wants all of it. .  He longs for every desire. Surrender every longing for popularity, fitting in, being loved, being accepted, success, things, beauty, adventure and of perfect joy.

From His perfectly designed place of surrender, knowing who God is, and who you are and are not, who can offend you? Who can speak against you, who can hurt you, what can shake you to your core?  Oh please let these trials shake off the lies and expose to you, God’s nature.

Why on earth do we think we should suffer less in this world than the one that sent His own Son, His Son that suffered so greatly , just for us?   If we get stuck in the place of trying to play God, trying to make it make sense, we become bitter or we lose our faith.

Our resolutions should be made, intentionally, to draw near to God. Our goal should be to shake of this world and the distractions and just Love God and Love People. Learn to draw near to Him at all times and in all circumstances. Grow in your trust that this is all for His glory and His purposes. These are healthy resolutions. These are the plans that do not direct our steps but give God the reigns to speak into our lives and direct our steps.

Surrendered.

James 4: 4-8 NLT

You adulterers!Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him.And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say,

“God opposes the proud
    but gives grace to the humble.”

So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. 

Time Spent

31 Dec

Today I finished reading the entire Bible. I had a couple of days, not many where I missed and had to catch up but mostly, I just read my bible every morning.

I walked through the beginning, I walked through the Books of Moses, I walked with Jesus, Paul, John, David, Daniel and Peter. I walked through the Prophecies and Revelations.

I thought I would be so much wiser! Able to quote a scripture or recall a verse or atleast a book in the bible. But, no. I still need God for that.

I am sitting here wondering at the wisdom of our amazing God.  No matter what we learn, which I thought reading the whole bible would empower me somehow, He humbles us.

Though I may not feel wiser, in looking back, it is not unnoticed by me that there was calmness, steadiness in this year I read the bible.

When I look back;  it has been full of many blessings (did I notice them enough? Did I praise You Lord, enough?) The trials and testing have been there too. Challenges to my character, to my wholeness, that can only strengthen or weaken my faith.

I can step back and observe, my faith is strengthened. Though I feel a bit less light. Less fun, less funny.

I remember in the early days of this incredible journey, people would call me a baby christian (it annoyed me! ha!). They would comment on my enthusiasm for Jesus. I was overflowing with Joy. It bubbled up from deep within me and just poured out. I prayed to never lose that, to never forget what that felt like to me.I do remember and still feel that at times.  I see now, there was a lot of drama in the emotion of my early days in mylove affair with Jesus and my salvation. What I share now is deeper. calmer.

I still have my moments of drama in the hardships, but today as I look back on my year in the bible, I see so much beauty. Beauty I was not even aware of yesterday, but see so clearly today. I kept saying I felt so held. I can see this in action now.

By reading the bible everyday, I stayed connected to God. I didn’t see that until just this moment. Even in the boring chapters! ha! (I am sorry, but honestly found all the measurement chapters of the Books of Law, difficult to read!) But I read them. And I posted scripture most every day to my Fellowship page on Facebook. Those days blended and the books of the law truly didn’t seem to be anything more than a history lesson. Good to know, but not vital. but wow! Looking back!

It is all so clear to me today. Over the year, I attended prayer studies and faced some very real attacks by Satan.  I didn’t finish a single bible study I began.But… I kept reading the bible every morning.

That is the only constant. The only truth.

The more I tried to analyze and “fix” my journey, or discussed how much more “held” I felt, I just kept reading the bible every morning.

In the end, it is not the human element of wisdom or  ‘I will find my answer in a scripture’ formula of reading the bible that I was accomplishing. It was the daily time with God and I that was building a resilience in me.  A strength of relationship.

That is what my Jesus Calling did for me a few years back; this is what any devotion will do for us.

I will begin a new journey for 2017. I know there are trials ahead and joys to be had. This life is a rocky road leading towards the goal of eternity. I will continue to keep my focus on God. My true north, my compass, my only hope. Even if what I read seems not to be essential in my journey, it is the journey itself, the act of time with Him that keeps me close.

There is the wisdom gained;This is the truth I sought to understand. If you want to strengthen your relationship with God, it just takes doing it. Spending time with him. Every single day.

Happy New Year! Love from this imperfect, God fearing, hope filled creation of His.

 

 So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and helpyou;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2041%3A10&version=AMP;NIV;KJV

Billboard Dream

2 Jan

Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will. ~Jonathan Edwards

When you look forward to the New Year, know that I am here in this minute. When you set your sights on your goals,you move about your life without Me. Instead, bring to Me in prayerful submission, all your hearts desires. Write them and leave them. Lay your dreams at My feet with reverence for all I Am. Trust Me with a heart that is grateful for all that you have, all you have endured and all you are enduring, because I am here. Feel my Holy Presence in all you do;Let that calm you and give you hope. Look forward to My blessings, because I long to shower you with many. You are My precious child. You are bought and paid for at such a great price because I love you. See your value, that I pursued You. You are My beloved, an heiress to the richest of blessings, beyond anything you can imagine, accept that and because of that: Be wise, be frugal, be content, be kind, be patient, be prayerful, but most of all, be aware of Me in all you do.

Prayer
Matthew 7:7-8(NIV)
Ask, Seek, Knock
7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
Philippians 4:6(NIV)
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Romans 8:26(NIV)
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
Romans 8:26(AMP)
26 So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.

Psalm 37:5(MSG)
5-6
Open up before God, keep nothing back;
 he’ll do whatever needs to be done:
He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day
 and stamp you with approval at high noon.

Philippians 4:6(AMP)
6 Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition ([a]definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.

Matthew 7:7-8(AMP)
7 [a]Keep on asking and it will be given you; [b] keep on seeking and you will find; [c]keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened.

Understanding your Inheritance and His Promise
Psalm 18:30(NIV)
30 As for God, his way is perfect:
The Lord’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him.

Matthew 7:11(NIV)
11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Psalm 54:4(NIV)
4 Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.

Psalm 16:6(NIV)
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.

Endurance, Hope, and Trust
Isaiah 26:4(NIV)
4 Trust in the Lord forever,
 for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.

Psalm 54:4(NIV)
4 Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.

Psalm 118:8(NIV)
8 It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans.

Psalm 37:5(NIV)
5 Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:

Psalm 62:8(NIV)
8 Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.

Gratitude:
Hebrews 13:5(NIV)
5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,“Never will I leave you;
 never will I forsake you.”

Hebrews 13:5(MSG)
5-6 Don’t be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,” we can boldly quote,
God is there, ready to help;
I’m fearless no matter what.
Who or what can get to me?

Colossians 3:23-24(NIV)
23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

If this is to be a Happy New Year, a year of usefulness, a year in which we shall live to make this earth better, it is because God will direct our pathway. How important then, to feel our dependence upon Him! ~Matthew Simpson

Meditations of a Christian mind on Resolutions and Goal Setting.

31 Dec

Revelation 21:5(AMP)
5 And He Who is seated on the throne said, See! I make all things new. Also He said, Record this, for these sayings are faithful (accurate, incorruptible, and trustworthy) and true (genuine).

As I was sitting down to write my resolutions, hopes and goals, I realized, I wanted to know what God has to say about these things I was planning. I wanted to know how He would like me to plan for the year ahead and much to my joy,I found the list was very long. I enjoyed this so much and found this so helpful for me, I thought I would share it. I pray for Peace and Hope for your new year.

Foundation for the New Year: Start from the basic understanding that goals are to be prayed over. Seek His wisdom in your Goal setting. Let Him guide you as you make plans to grow. But keep him at the Core. Begin by writing out your hearts desires, then begin to pray for Wisdom.

Philippians 4:4( NIV)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Matthew 6:33(NLT)
33 Seek the Kingdom of God[a] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

Proverbs 3:5-6(AMP)
5 Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. 6 In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.

Romans 8:38-39(NIV)
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Personal Growth and Living Better. The bible is full of perfect instruction: Start Fresh, We all have things we drag around like luggage. Scripture tells us to simply learn from the past, and move forward without it. Leave it where it happened. Let go of anger, learn to forgive yourself and others, learn patience, abide in peace, be a light, think before you act, be grateful and be present.
Ephesians 4:26-27(MSG)
26-27 Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don’t use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.

Proverbs 14:16(NLT)
16 The wise are cautious[a] and avoid danger;
 fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence.

Philippians 2:15-16(MSG)
14-16 Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I’ll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You’ll be living proof that I didn’t go to all this work for nothing.

Isaiah 43:18-19(NIV)
18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.

Lamentations 3:22-24(MSG)
22-24 God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
I’m sticking with God (I say it over and over).
He’s all I’ve got left

1 Peter 1:3(MSG)
3-5 What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.

Lamentations 3:22-23(AMP)
22 It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness.

Romans 2:1-29(NIV)
2 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

Setting Financial or Organizational Goals:
Proverbs 6:6 (NIV)
Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
7 It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler, 8 yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.

Luke 14:28(NIV)
28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?

Luke 12:15(AMP)
15 And He said to them, Guard yourselves and keep free from all covetousness (the immoderate desire for wealth, the greedy longing to have more); for a man’s life does not consist in and is not derived from possessing [a]overflowing abundance or that which is [b]over and above his needs.

Deuteronomy 8:18(MSG)
17-18 If you start thinking to yourselves, “I did all this. And all by myself. I’m rich. It’s all mine!”—well, think again. Remember that God, your God, gave you the strength to produce all this wealth so as to confirm the covenant that he promised to your ancestors—as it is today.

What does God say about Fitness and Diet:
1 Corinthians 6:20(AMP)
20 You were bought with a price [purchased with a [a]preciousness and paid for, [b]made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.

1 Corinthians 10:31(NIV)
31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

1 Timothy 4:7-8(TLB)
7 Don’t waste time arguing over foolish ideas and silly myths and legends. Spend your time and energy in the exercise of keeping spiritually fit. 8 Bodily exercise is all right, but spiritual exercise is much more important and is a tonic for all you do. So exercise yourself spiritually, and practice being a better Christian because that will help you not only now in this life, but in the next life too.

What does God say about how to choose a partner or loving our partner (In relationship, we are to better prepare our partner for meeting Christ, choose wisely, and love as you are Loved) :

Proverbs 4:20-24(TLB)
20 Listen, son of mine, to what I say. Listen carefully. 21 Keep these thoughts ever in mind; let them penetrate deep within your heart, 22 for they will mean real life for you and radiant health.23 Above all else, guard your affections. For they influence everything else in your life.
Proverbs 4:23(NIV)
23 Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7(NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Galatians 5:22-24(NLT)
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there.
( 2 Corinthians 6:14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? This doesn’t speak about different levels of belief. Just non-believers. )

Finding and growing in your Spiritual Gifts. We are blessed to be a blessing. If you don’t know your Gifting, this could be a great resolution.

Genesis 12:2(NIV)
2 “I will make you into a great nation,and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.[a]

1 Peter 4:10-11(NLT)
10 God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 11 Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.

Hebrews 13:7(AMP)
7 Remember your leaders and superiors in authority [for it was they] who brought to you the Word of God. Observe attentively and consider their manner of living (the outcome of their well-spent lives) and imitate their faith ([a]their conviction that God exists and is the Creator and Ruler of all things, the Provider and Bestower of eternal salvation through Christ, and their [b]leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness).

Ecclesiastes 3:11(AMP)
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy], yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

Mark 16:15(AMP)

15 And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the good news (the Gospel) to every creature [of the whole [a]human race].

1 Corinthians 12:5-11 (NLT)
5 There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. 6 God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.
7 A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other. 8 To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice[b]; to another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge.[c] 9 The same Spirit gives great faith to another, and to someone else the one Spirit gives the gift of healing. 10 He gives one person the power to perform miracles, and another the ability to prophesy. He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit. Still another person is given the ability to speak in unknown languages,[d] while another is given the ability to interpret what is being said. 11 It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.


Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.