Monday, September 16, 2013

Take the Thankful Challenge

We can take our mind off of the negative things by placing our thoughts on the positive. Sounds easy, right? Sometimes it is easier said than done. I know. However, if we begin to do little acts such as the one I am going to share with you it will bring about a joy in your heart for bringing joy to someone. I am a firm believer in what I make happen for someone else God will make happen for me. Ready, Set, Go! Here is your challenge.

Thankful Challenge for the week:

How many people have blessed you recently and you need to thank them for it? Is your child's teacher in need of a 'thank you'? How about your Pastors? How about the grocery lady or the crosswalk guide at school? How about the bus lady or man who wakes up at 4 a.m. every day to make sure your child is picked up on time? Or, perhaps the friend who called to encourage you?

Tell them 'thank you' this week. It doesn't have to be anything fancy or expensive. A simple THANK YOU goes a long way.

God's Truth Vs. The Lies of the Enemy

The Bible says in John Chapter 8 verse 32, "And you will know the truth and the truth will make you free."

One of the factors that puts us back in life are lies. Lies others tell us, lies we tell others, and lies we tell ourselves. I know for sure that there have been many times I have been lied to from friends, relationships, and even family members. I can even remember the lies I told myself. Recently, I was given the opportunity to teach a children's church. This was the scripture for the lesson. While teaching them the basics such as we should not lie to our parents or to our teachers I found myself going in a different direction that lead us all to understand that there is one very important person who we also lie to. That person being us, ourselves. When we begin to say these things to ourselves we will start to feed on it and say another lie and another and another. We then begin to believe those lies.

Let's look at the scripture. It says that when we know the TRUTH the TRUTH will make us or set us free. Well, what is the truth? The Truth is the Word, God's Word. It is the truth that Jesus came to teach us. How do we know what we are saying to ourselves is truth or a lie from the enemy? Well, is what we are saying over ourselves, our friendships, our relationships, our children from God's word or lies of the enemy. For example, God wants me poor is a lie from the enemy. God gave me sickness to teach me a lesson is a lie. I am depressed. I can't do anything without failing. Those are all lies from the enemy. Who is the enemy? The one who is against you and all the good that God Is.

Jesus is telling us that once we understand this truth (God's word) we will be freed. Freed from what? Sin also known as the enemies lies. When we understand who God created us to be, how we are to live, what we are to do in this world the enemy loses power. He has no hold on us! It is very important for us to read God's word, hear God's word, and then apply what we are learning. Putting those things in our lives, our minds is what will get the stinkin' thinkin' out!

Instead of feeling depressed we can now confess every day that the joy of the lord is our strength. Instead of feeling broke down, busted, and disgusted we can confess that we are victorious and prosperous in Christ Jesus. All you have to begin doing is recognize the lies of the enemy and replace it with God's truth, His Word.

Keep in mind that as you begin to change the way you think you may not feel so awesome. I assure you, the more you do it the more it becomes you! Keep doing it! Keep speaking it!

One last thing, the Bible says in John 8:44 that Satan is the father of all lies. There is absolutely NO truth in him. Our Father, if you are a believer in Jesus is God the Father. In Him there is life.

:) Patty

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

That Faith

I want faith like Abraham! Check this...

Romans 4:18-25 talks about the faith that Abraham had. A few key things to remember are 1) even though Abraham's promise from God (He was to be the Father of many nations) seemed "utterly impossible" the Bible says that his faith NEVER weakened. 2) He had never wavering faith. Waiver means to voluntarily surrender. He never had the thought to surrender, to... give up, to walk away from, to turn from that which God had promised him. In not giving up or giving in, his faith grew stronger. 3) v. 21 says he was ABSOLUTELY convinced of God's promises. Are we as believers today absolutely convinced to believe fully and solely in God that he will always do what he has promised? Are we so convinced in His word that no matter the circumstance, no matter how utterly impossible it may be we are going to remain in faith!

If you find yourself today or lately stuck in a rut with your faith don't question God. He has called us to be in faith. Find faith in his Word. Read the word. Evaluate the words you say over your life because you just might have started to believe them. When a situation arises that is bigger than you take it to God and let him do what He does bet. God didn't call us to a life that we have to figure it all out, rather He has called us to believe Him. Faith believes God. Faith speaks His promises.

Friday, May 31, 2013

We all have a story......this is part of mine.

This morning while I was getting ready for day in the usual hair and make up routine I was listening to
Pandora. The regular stations for me just didn't work for the mood I was in. I decided to look up Mandisa. There's somethin' about this girl. She can sing! I love hearing her music (which isn't all of the time) because it just hits you in the right place, your heart. So the music starts and it is a new song I haven't heard before. The name of the song is called "He Is With You". Wow, what a song. I had to stop putting my make up on and just stand there and hear the words. Hearing the song brought me to tears as I reflected on my life at one point. 4.5 years ago now  Hector was laid off from his long term position at a company. Our lives drastically changed. We went from always being the ones to help our friends and family in need to one day needing that same help. We went through so much disappointment, heartache, ups and downs, feeling like no one could understand what we were facing or where our next meal would come from. It seemed like no matter how hard we tried things would never work out in the end for us and we had to start all over. At times , it felt like we were all alone in this. I just couldn't understand why "we" were the ones going through all of that. After fighting to keep our home, the home we bought and moved in to two weeks before our 1st born came we were faced with another obstacle. Hector had a heart attack two weeks before his 40th birthday. We had taken more than two steps back. We were back right where we started. Working for yourself is a great blessing, but when you can't work it seems like a curse. He was out for a while so he could recover. Enough money wasn't coming in to make our payment on our new mortgage (we were the lucky ones who were able to get a modification). We weren't able to make our 1st payment with the bank and they foreclosed on us. I remember laying on the floor of our living room (because we had given our bed to our daughters so they could have a place to sleep on) and hearing a knock at the door. Hector woke up and answered it. It was the constable giving us a letter that we had 3 days to move out. My heart sank. I knew that time would come because we had done all we could do to try to save our home one more time. None of that worked. We had to get up and start packing up the house.

One thing you need to know is even in the midst of all the pain we were going through we never stop walking by faith. We never stopped believing that God had a bigger plan for us. We never stopped believing that we were destined for greatness. We kept serving, giving what ever we could whether in money or serving others. We knew when keep our eyes and heart set on Him every thing else WILL work out. He will not let us down. Never stop serving, giving, or trusting God. Sometimes it does feel like you are all alone. Let me reassure you that the Bible says in Hebrews that He WILL NEVER leave you nor  forsake you. Never.

As I began to pack up the dishes I had my music playing on my radio sitting on the counter. It was on  KLOVE and the song that came on was "You Never Let Go" by Matt Redman. That was another moment like today. I needed to hear that song, at that moment. I have heard it many times before but this time it was sung differently to me. It became my heart's cry to my Lord. The lyrics at the end say this,
 "Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You"

I remember vividly the moment I heard that bridge in the song and I stopped packing my dishes, become overwhelmed with tears, wondering Lord only you know where we are headed next, and lifting my hands up right there in my kitchen giving all I had to my Lord, my Provider. He always provided every thing we needed. He did it by people bringing us groceries just because, people inviting us to dinner, or unexpected checks in the mail. He did it.

Friends, let those words sink in today. Maybe you are reading this right now and only God knows exactly what you are going through. Maybe you feel like giving up. Maybe you feel like you are sinking. Is your marriage sinking? Is your job security sinking? Or are you sinking in failure in any other area of your life? Be encouraged today that God is truly with you. He has not left you. Call unto Him and He will hear you.

It has been about  a year and a half since that day and I am so thankful for the trials we went through to get to where we are today. God has miraculously brought increase to our lives through relationships we have with people that has set us up for success. Things only He can do for us he has done. My children are blessed and healthy. We are getting ready to move to a place I would not have imagined we would be moving to, and with another amazing church with people who love us. Most of all, we have remained believers in our faith and no one or no circumstance can ever take that a way from us.

If you are in need of someone to pray with you please know I am here for you. God loves you, He believes in you, and don't ever forget that He is for you!

He Is With You by Mandisa

In Him,

Thursday, May 23, 2013

May I see your identification, please?

Have you ever been pulled over by a police officer? One of the questions they will ask you is, "May I see

your identification?" This is a question we as believers need to ask ourselves. Does it seem that when everything in life is going right for us we absolutely know who we are? Our walk is confident. Our words are powerful. Our thoughts are in line & uplifting. We think better about everyone around us. We might even sing with the birds during that chilly spring morning. How about when our world takes a turn for the worse? That moment we get the call we've been waiting for and it is bad news and immediately we take a turn. Do you treat others differently when you're the one now going through something? How about our family? Have we become the irritable mom and not to mention the nagging wife, because we didn't get what we wanted? Oh gees, I hear that loud and clear for me. Sometimes we just need to be reminded about our identification.

I don't know about you, but I don't even have my DL# memorized. Every time I need my number I have to pull out my wallet to look at it. (I can see my hunny bun nodding his head in agreement.) I have had it for a long time now, but because I choose not to memorize it I just hope I have it on me when needed. Are you like that with God's Word? Is God's word hidden in your heart so tightly that when a situation occurs you can quickly respond to it with what His word says? When that report comes in from the doctor's office, are you telling everyone the bad news or are you declaring to yourself the report of the Lord? When your finances are so far gone, are you pulling your hair out trying to figure it all out? Or, does your identification card say "Daughter of the Most High God", "He meets ALL my needs"? If you're not sure, let me give you two examples of people identifying themselves. One is identifying with the problems. One is identifying herself with God's promises. Which one are you?

In Chapter 1 of the book of Ruth you will find two women named Naomi and the other named Ruth. In the midst of their adversity each of these women made a choice in which identification they were going to take on. Naomi took accepted her identification in her problems. She couldn't see past the hurt and disappointment life gave her. She couldn't see a new tomorrow. Some of her characteristics were one who had no hope (a positive expectation), she lost all confidence in who she was and who her God was, she pushed people away who could help her and keep her grounded and rooted in God, she began to have the wrong picture of who God was. She saw God as angry and one who hated her and that was why she experience all that she and her family did. She was wrong! Naomi even changed her name! What!? I know. Crazy. When the people of the town called her by name, which meant "Pleasant one" she told them to call her Mara, or the "Bitter one". What are our friends, family, co workers, and strangers identifying us as? Weak,  backbiter, pity, broke, depressed, unfriendly, ungodly, selfish, bitter? Or, are they saying good things like warrior, happy, joyful, strong, confident, content, church go-er, witness of God's goodness and faithfulness, and overcomer?

Let us take a moment every day to check ourselves. Pull yourself over, look in the mirror, and ask yourself if how we are living our life today is going to be a witness to someone else in need. If you have a hard time finding out who you are in Christ, read the Bible. Start with Ephesians 1, 2 and 3 and you will begin to see yourself as Christ sees you. If you are living your life as a modern day Naomi, repent. Change the way your thinking, acting, and believing. Bad things happen to good people, trust me. I've been there and had many opportunities to get bitter. That does not do anything for us! You are a child of God, you are blessed, you are loved, and you were redeemed from the curse of the law! God has a plan for  your life. Keep your head up, ears open to hear God's word, your heart pure, and be willing for God to change you where change needs to take place.

In Him,

Monday, April 22, 2013

Good Things Are Coming

This photo sums up the advice I would give to someone who is fighting something in their lives right now. The
past 4 years were hell for my family. We battled some tough things. There were days that felt like there would be no light at the end of the dark dark tunnel we were in. If you're thinking of giving up, don't. If you're feeling alone in this world, know that you are not. If you feel like you're sinking, sink in God's grace. If your head is lowered to the ground, lift your head up to the ONE who brings all good things your way. If you are a child of God and it seems like you've thrown the net in for the hundredth time, do it again! We know, we believe, and we have seen that when you truly walk by faith and not by sight you will soon see the victory. Don't give up! Keep breathing! Keep loving! Keep giving! Keep sowing! Keep serving! Keep speaking! Good things are coming!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Come to Jesus

Matthew 11:28 (The Message) Lets Break It Down:

28-30"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
In Him I find my peace. 

#1. Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion (rituals of man)? Then come to Jesus. Are you tired of doing your way and not getting good results? How about going to church just out of obligation, because that's the right thing to do? Or maybe you're going because you want everyone to think you have it all together? Or how about you're a believer going to church, or should I say, going through the motions of Christianity?

Well, whatever walk of life you are at right now, take a break. Evaluate where you are and ask yourself, Am I on the road to the good life or the stressed out life? Is it time you come to Jesus?

#2. I love when Jesus says, "Get away with me and you will recover life". See, it isn't necessarily that you haven't found your life, maybe we just got away from it. Lost it. Well, Jesus is saying that you can recover it. And one awesome thing about that is, he won't leave you where you left off at...he will keep pushing you to the better life. So get rid of all the distractions that are keeping you from getting focused.

#3. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

Oh this is good. Walk with HIM, WORK with Him....WATCH HOW HE DOES IT? WOW, some of those words can be hard to swallow. Have you ever done something out of desperation? Well, when we go against the will of God, rub shoulders with him, or simply ignore the way he is telling us to go, we fall into those desperate times. We'll try to do anything to make something work out.

The best way, although not so easy, of living the good life is to simply Walk in God's ways, Work with him and the plans He has for us, and watch How he does it. How can I watch how He does it you might ask? Well, that's when we need to be in God's word. Look up the Life of Jesus in Matt. Mark, Luke, and John. There will be many examples there for you.

#4. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

This is good! Learn the Unforced rhythms of Grace. I like to think of GRACE as being my "Shout it out Pen". Grace removes the stain that makes me imperfect. Although we may never acheive that perfection, we sure can do the best we can and just accept God's Grace for our lives. So I say, don't just Learn Grace, ACCEPT it too.

And as it lists last, God is the God of Good Things to come. So anything that is put on you and comes with heaviness or confusion, it is NOT from God. Go in Peace. Follow Peace. Walk it out in Peace.

Be Blessed,