Not today, Satan!

“Here’s my life motto, the truth I live by I will guard my ways for all my days. I will speak only what is right, guarding what I speak. Like a watchman guards against an attack of the enemy, I’ll guard and muzzle my mouth when the wicked are around me. I will remain silent and will not grumble or speak out of my disappointment… !” Psalms 39:1-2 TPT

Lord,

I am disturbed at times when I encounter mean-spirited people in the community.

Help me overlook people’s evil intentions and immediately forgive them. Give me the inner strength and a pure heart to pray for the renewal of their minds, and for their hearts to be softened and souls to be refreshed!

I cannot change their hidden agendas or actions but I definitely can change my reaction.  Lord, help me think of what’s noble, trustworthy, admirable and sing praises to you all day long.

I will stand firmly on your Truth and boldly cry out “NOT today, Satan!”

The Truth reminds me… “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12 NIV 

I know the spiritual warfare is real and it’s an on-going struggle. I know this well!

Help me withstand both non-verbal and verbal darts when these are heading my way…

The enemy likes to distract us away from His Kingdom work. The enemy is sure crafty and subtle yet destructive.

I still don’t like when others highlight one’s character flaws…when the wicked humiliate others in front of an audience, valuable time is wasted. The truth reminds me how fearfully and wonderfully we are all made (Psalm 139:14).

“Not today, Satan!”

Last Friday, I witnessed someone rolled her eyes when she heard my name for the presentation! Thank you for supplying the strength and the ability to move forward with a successful team presentation. You are always my strength and defense (Exodus 15:2).

“Not today, Satan!”

Yesterday, I heard others laugh when I incorrectly misused a legal term! The enemy uses mockery as a distracting strategy. Thank you for allowing me to successfully complete the task at hand and did not stumble thru the decision-making process. You kept me safe (Psalm 140:4).

“Not today, Satan!”

Jesus was the most influential, servant leader yet he was ridiculed, mocked, tortured and eventually crucified by His enemies. I may very well be scrutinized, mocked and even tortured in the midst of controversial, heated discussion and tough decision-making proceedings, but I will have victory in Christ today and always (Psalm 20:6).

At the end of the decision-making process, help me remain objective and professional in order to render the best decision on the best interest of a child.

Forgive me if I have an ounce or two of unforgiveness or bitterness in my heart this morning.

Help me grow to be an influential servant leader so I may serve children and their families for years to come regardless of the enemy’s creative diversion.

In Christ’s strength, I will lead courageously.

So, “I am saying YES. YES. YES to Jesus.”

In the name of Jesus, I pray.

Amen

Photo courtesy: Jennifer Marvin @ Splasher

God of Second Chances!

Father,

Thank you for being unwavering in a world that is constantly changing and evolving.

You are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8).

You have yet to disappoint me, Lord!

Please forgive all of my unrealistic expectations and insane demands.

You are the Greatest Teacher whose patience never runs out.

No matter how stubborn I have been in the past…you have nudged me in the best direction and waited fervently for me to grasp a lesson or two along the way.

“For the Scriptures encourage us with these words: “Everyone who believes in him will never be disappointed.””
‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:11‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Photo Courtesy: Jordi at Splasher.

When I left home at a young age, you softened my dad’s heart so he would welcome me back  home with open arms. I now cherish unforgettable moments with my dysfunctional  family, the hidden treasures in family traditions and most importantly their  unconditional love!

When I was lost in the wilderness, you adored me and never gave up. I bet you were thrilled when I acknowledged your ways and surrendered my heart. I now value the narrow road filled with inner Joy and Hope!

When I was in imminent threat, you protected me from a head-on collision, and allowed me to walk away without physical injuries… just minor collateral damage! I am now confident of your generous love and protection.

When I left my home town, you opened up new horizons and helped me settle in a foreign country far away from family and friends. I am now much closer to you than ever. Our intimate relationship will be nourished for years to come.

When I left the last employer, you reserved the career opportunity so I may be rehired in less than two months. I now appreciate all the hidden blessings in the midst of chaos, challenges and confusion!

https://youtu.be/6iK-Nq9tla

Help me be still so I may listen to your soft whispers filled with wisdom today and always.

You are my God of ‘second chances.’

in Jesus’ name I praise and I’m forever grateful,

Amen

 

I will not Fear!

“So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

Hebrews 13:6 ESV

Lord,

You are my Refuge and Prince of Peace in the midst of mind-boggling circumstances.

Please forgive me for having an uptight heart this morning. I will not fear.

When I read today’s newspaper, there was an article on a young, athletic female who was raped and killed at a golf course.

When I spoke to a church member who was on a mission trip, she witnessed children dying from starvation.

When I heard about the latest ‘happenings’ in Venezuela, innocent people were imprisoned unjustly so their freedom would be exchanged for a ransom.

Lord, there are so many lives in danger, children dying and innocent people being murdered as I am elevating my face in worship today!

I‘m praying continually for the protection of my brothers and sisters around the globe (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

8631014D-F19B-43DA-A7B9-8C3E883582B4Photo Courtesy: Vil Son @ Splasher

I am sobbing in affliction,

I don’t need to understand the root of evil or the wicked ways of my enemies.

The lost world needs you, our Almighty Savior! Please soften their hearts, bring them all to repentance, penetrate their souls in Truth and transform their lives.

 

Help me forgive these evil souls today and always.

Help me trust in your promises when nothing seems to change in today’s fallen world.

I will continue looking up to the Cross so I may always be kind and forgiving to those who have lost their way.

In Jesus’ name, I pray.

Amen

In need of physical rest, Lord!

Lord,

I’ve been sitting next to a window appreciating the crisp Fall air.

I finally realized how exhausted I am!

img_9731Photo courtesy: Church of the King @ Splasher

Life rhythm accelerates when faced with unexpected or expected circumstances. I thrive under stress and this is not a healthy tempo to maintain.

Fast-paced lifestyles have an adverse impact on our bodies. Stress will immediately release the “stress hormones.” If these hormones keep firing, day after day, our health will be at high risk for all sorts of physical issues.

Emotions may even go unchecked… I am emotionally and physically drained!

I’ve been ‘on the go’ for way too long. I need rest for my soul today.

You are always encouraging me to come to you when weary and/or burdened so here I am staring thru the window and sharing my deepest thoughts (Matt 11:28 NIV).

I hope in the Lord today and always.

I need stamina, energy and good health to embrace the Fall season. It is my favorite season indeed.

Life is filled with transitions and adjustments need to be made. You want for me to rest so I may be refreshed (Exodus 31: 17). I am honoring the Sabbath today.

Help me slow down!

Help me to exercise on a regular basis so I may strengthen muscles, release toxins, and delay the aging of the brain. Heal all physical ailments so I may enjoy the Holidays with family and friends.

I look forward to a new season filled with Holiday celebrations.

In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

“but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Isaiah 40:31 NIV

Forever Rescued.

“He has rescued us completely from the tyrannical rule of darkness and has translated us into the kingdom realm of his beloved Son.” Colossians 1:13 TPT

Praising Jesus boldly at sunrise…

When I cried out in my distress, He immediately answered. The Lord is always near to all who call on Him (Psalm 145:18) and heals the broken-hearted (Psalm 147:3).

He is my Lord and Savior who rescued me from darkness and snatched me away from the hand of evil.

I’m His beloved daughter who stepped out of the darkness and never looked back…

Lord, penetrate my heart and expose any pride, bitterness, envy or unforgiveness that may reside in the core of my soul. I want to be more like Jesus, your Son who is filled with Truth and never-ending Grace (John 1: 17).

Photo courtesy: Anita Austvika @ Splasher

If I drift away from our intimate fellowship, just know it is not intentional. It may just be a subtle drift back to the world’s view, old habits or the desires of the flesh. Forgive me if I do. Just nudge me and I will immediately be back in your arms.

Jesus bathes us with His mercies, never-ending grace and unfailing love every day. When I drift away, His Creation reminds me of His priceless existence. John 1: 3 says, “All things were made through him…”

Thank you, Jesus, for your Creation!

Chosen. Forever rescued.

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

I’m privileged to be breathing one more day. I am walking with the King today and always will be.

In Jesus’ name, I praise and pray.

Amen

Help Me Expect the Best Again!

“He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.” Job 5:9 NIV

Lord,

You are our Everlasting Father who performs wonders in our lives and never fails us.

As much as I wanted a ‘change in pace’ at work, I realize the new arrangement was not the best fit for me. Forgive me if I changed my mind way too soon!

I was so blessed in the past yet did not appreciate those ordinary moments. I was blindfolded by negativity in my surroundings. I was acting  just like the Israelites back in biblical times who were chained to negativity, grumbled their way thru the wilderness and lived with ungrateful hearts.

Because I never paced myself at work, I was exhausted towards the end!

Once I settled at the new work space, I was able to breathe, reflect back and recognize the need to change my ways. Yes! I am the one who needs to make lifestyle changes. I now know not to grumble, complain or consider others’ negative thoughts or toxic ways.

“I cannot change life circumstances, but I can change ‘me’. Help me, Lord, to draw near to you with a sincere heart. I know you are faithful.”

Last week, my unsettled heart was unable to take another step ‘forward’ when I realized  I had everything I ever wanted in the past.

Picture Courtesy of: Pete Bellis @ UnSplash

I heard your whisper one morning and it gently reminded me, ‘stand alone in a crowd and fix your eyes on Jesus! (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Life is an adventure. It may even be short-lived for many.

Be encouraged. Be strong and courageous (Joshua 1:5-7).

“Lord, help me enjoy the harvest of a grateful heart. I want to walk thru the land flowing with milk and honey filled with opportunities, treasures and blessings.”

Help me expect only the best, Lord.

Give me the courage to make lifestyle changes so I may always take care of my health when handling challenging situations and give me the wisdom to prevent burn-out symptoms… Nutritious diet, regular exercise and adequate rest at night are just a few key ingredients for self-care.

I will meditate on your Word day and night, I will not neglect your Word (Psalms 18:15-16), breathe fresh air regularly, and be mindful of the beauty in my surroundings throughout the day.

You are in control of it all not I. So, help me expect the best once again.

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen

Slow to Anger

Photo courtesy: Viet Vang @ Splash
“Do you want to be a mighty warrior?
It’s better to be known as one who is patient and slow to anger.
Do you want to conquer a city?
Rule over your temper before you attempt to rule a city”
Proverbs 16:32 TPT

Lord,

Did I just heard him say…?!

Every time I hear him say negative comments about others, I respectfully ignore.

Every time I hear him loudly say, ‘shut up’, and claim to have all of the answers, I respectfully follow his cue.

Every time I hear him make unreasonable demands, I respectfully listen then share a fresh perspective.

Every time I am crossed-examined, I respectfully answer.

Every time I notice confusion, I respectfully slow down the rhythm of speech.

Every time I hear a condescending remark, I respectfully ignore.

Every time I transition to a new task, I forgive past offense.

Help me let go and forget both subtle and obvious hostile acts, Lord.

Capture his attention, soften the heart, and protect his life.

He needs a Savior!

Help me extend grace for every one of his offenses.

I will not tolerate abuse. I will be a Light to the lost world before I walk away.

I’m wonderfully and fearfully made by our Creator and no one changes His Truth.

In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen

The Strength of my Heart

“My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Psalms 73:26 NASB

Father,

A shift in one’s career, finances, lifestyle or even in a daily routine, whether it was planned or not, is laborious to accept at times!

Transitions are quite a challenge the older we get.

If you would ask me, how is the new season going? I would honestly say, “It is going well yet I am worn out with all of the changes I’ve recently experienced”. I even wonder if I made the right decision. “Is it normal to doubt in the midst of life-altering beginning?”

Life changes will undoubtedly stir mixed emotions and ‘letting go’ will bring a sense of loss that needs to be dealt with one day at a time. It is okay to rejoice about opportunities and cry when reminiscing on treasured moments from the past.

Jesus understands. He has wept.

Lord, I’ve been reminiscing about unforgettable moments, and I ’ve been recently melancholic. Help me and settle my heart once and for all! I need a shift in attitude so I can successfully overcome emotional distress. Grant me the courage, inner strength and joy to move forward with the new journey.

You are the strength of my heart when I am weak!

I’m trusting in you, Lord, you are my anchor of Hope. I know there is a purpose behind doubt, loss, and fear. ”The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all” Psalm‬ ‭34:19‬ ‭NIV‬‬.

 

25D23A2B-C12E-47E3-8DA3-49FB8ABE2B5D Photo courtesy: Anastasiia Tarasova at Splasher

I may not like the uncertainties of today’s journey. But, I won’t be discouraged, anxious or distressed.

“Yes, living before your face is my saving grace!” (Psalms 43:5 TPT).

Take this heavy burden ‘off my shoulders’, doubt from my mind, and help me rest at night. Bring me joy in the morning, Lord.

I honor your celestial ways and will serve you faithfully one change at a time.

In Jesus’ name, I praise.

Amen

 

When Self-Care is Being Weak

When Self-Care is Being Weak

 

“I don’t want to live,” she said to me.

Her red stained pupils tried to hold back the tears from pouring onto her well-kept mascara. As the words spilled out, I saw the monster of despair weighing down upon her shoulders, whispering to her that she wasn’t going to win the battle she was facing.

She was doing well on the outside.

She had a roof over her head, food in the refrigerator, and her health was intact. She was checking off her list of self-care tips given to her by numerous 12 step meetings and self-care groups, but nothing was helping. No self-care steps would drown out the screams that lay within her.

She was weak. She had no more strength in her, no more fight.

Recently, Depression has been trying to get it’s nasty claws into those dear to me, and some days it seems to want to pick fights with me as well.

Have you ever seen that Facebook meme that says, “God gives His greatest battles to his toughest soldiers?” I think I might have re-posted that before. One day as I was sitting down just thinking and praying for others and myself,  I realized that the quote might not be entirely true. I say this because I know I have been weak many times. It was then that God decided to speak to me, to use me, to heal me, to encourage me, to strengthen me. So, I have come to the conclusion that being weak is a pre-qualification for being strong; not in our own strengths but in His strength. One favorite verse among many is

Matthew 11:28-29,“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Another great verse is Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. He writes to them a letter to help encourage them and help them understand that in his weaknesses, God makes him strong.

2 Corinthians 12:7-10 says, “ Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

The National Institute of Mental Health defines Depression as a severe reaction/symptoms that affects everyday activities. For example; losing your appetite, persistent emptiness or sadness, not wanting to go out in public or go to work, easily being irritated, thoughts of suicide or death, and for some, it could be physical aches and pains. An online article in the Washington Post written by Amy Ellis Nutt entitled, “Suicide rates rise sharply across the United States, a new report shows.”  This article stated, “Nearly 45,000 suicides occurred in the US in 2016- more than twice the number of homicides- making it the 10th leading cause of death. Among people ages 15-34, suicide is the second- leading cause of death.”

That is huge!

I have lost friends and relatives to suicide. All of them had someone in their life that wanted them alive, that needed them to live, that still suffer greatly because of their absence. This is my plea to those who are struggling in their depression.

To my Beautiful Sister in Christ who said she did not feel like living anymore, and to those who’ve lost someone to suicide and are still struggling with weakness—it is okay to be weak.

Go to God and ask him to reveal to you His strength in your weakness. Know that many people love you and God can use you in your weakness.

Nutt quoted a medical director of the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention named Christine Moutier in her article. Moutier said this, “I think this gets back to what do we need to be teaching people- how to manage breakups, job stresses, what are we doing as a nation to help people to manage these things? Because anybody can experience those stresses. Anybody.”

We, at one point in our lives, will experience stresses that can lead to depression. In those times know that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than we could ask or think. According to the power that is at work in us (Ephesians 3:20-21). 

And part of us caring for ourselves is recognizing that it is okay to be weak, feel powerless and that it is okay to not be okay. I leave you with these two quotes I feel sums up how sometimes self-care is being weak and being weak is being strong. One is found in  1 Corinthians 1:27  “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” The other one was a Facebook Meme by TobyMac #SPEAKLIFE series.

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His Designed Purpose

I  know the fascinating works you are masterful of doing. I am trusting you, Lord,  in all circumstances whether I like them or not. I know there is purpose in the midst of heartbreak or unexpected loss. I know it will all work out at the end of the day.

I will wait patiently and observe closely how your divine plan unfolds. Just extend grace as I wrap my mind around these difficult circumstances!

“So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.”

Romans 8:28 TPT

Your unchanging character is the foundation of my Faith. 

I don’t need answers to ‘why’ questions but I do need a tight hug from you right now while I weep in love and hope.

I know time is limited on earth. Lord teach me how to live out my Faith fully amidst the sorrow and pain of these startling moments.

You are a revitalizing God in our defeats, and a festive God in our victories. I’m moving forward one step at a time.

You are my Sunrise who is about to do much more than I can ever envision. 

I am giving thanks to God, the Father for everything, and give you all the glory for what you are about to do in my life. (Ephesians  5:20 ) 

In Jesus’ name, I praise.

Amen.

F29260BC-8F22-4D39-87A4-48443BBE232CPhoto Courtesy: Emma Simpson @ UnSplash