Empowered by Jesus: Let Go of Control.

“See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction.” Deuteronomy‬ ‭30:15‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Lord,

Please, forgive me for thinking I could control today’s events by manipulating environmental conditions. I desperately wanted to expedite the timing and possibly the outcome(s) of all my circumstances. Help me trust in your character instead, and in your faithfulness, promises and most importantly in your eternal masterplan.

You are the One who has control over our lives!

You orchestrate the details of all life happenings then map out how new beginnings unfold.

You created the heavens and the earth, and every living creature in today’s world. God even breathed ‘the breath of life’ into the man’s  nostrils at the very beginning of biblical times! (Genesis 2:7).

Without you, I would not be alive today. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm‬ ‭139:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬- I praise you for the miracles and blessings in my life today. You are in control, not I.

Control is an illusion!

If I think I am in full control over my life, then I am living a lie. It is a subtle, recurrent strategy from the father of lies, our enemy, who wants for us to disregard God’s will. He is crafty in drafting an illusion; he is a con artist. He wants for us to remain in bondage to our sinful nature and be apart from you, Lord. The enemy is jealous of our intimate fellowship and wants to steal our joy, destroy our present and future and enslave us once again!

But, Christ has defeated the enemy on our behalf.

We have the gift to make a choice, thank goodness Lord! We have free will.

Our ability to make a decision is a heavenly treasure. God wants us to be intentional and prayerful when making choices. The Holy Spirit, our eternal companion and coach, will guides us in decision-making if we pray first.

Thank you, Lord, for being a reliable and trustworthy Helper.

It is our decision whether we surrender to God’s will or not, whether we are obedient to His commands or not, whether we partner up with Him in our day to day activities or not, whether we choose to engage in earthly distractions or fruitless habits like ‘retail therapy’ or not.

Ultimately, God wants us to partner with Him in today’s journey and in all of our decision-making opportunities.

God encourages us to choose wisely so we may not be enslaved to idols ever again. Idolatry is anything that pulls away from our intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Everytime I spend time in frivolous spending or complaining or even perfectionism, the Holy Spirit convicts me of what truly matters.

I need to repent, surrender my desires, and follow Him!

His desire is for me to be always free and alive; “Let me be clear, the Anointed One has set us free—not partially, but completely and wonderfully free! We must always cherish this truth and stubbornly refuse to go back into the bondage of our past.” Galatians‬ ‭5:1‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Jesús is the light to our path; “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John‬ ‭8:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬)

We do not have control in Life.

When tragedy occurs, God is already there on our behalf!

Several years ago…

My sister and I had it ‘all’ planned out prior to her international trip. We had mapped out the ‘perfect’ plan, the projected timeframe and all of the details for the action plan. We had explored all available options together in the best interest of our elderly parents.

We thought “we were ready to go.” We were wrong!

I was consulting 90 minutes away from home and was about to take a lunch break when I received a phone call from my sister. I was intrigued yet surprised by her unexpected call and even had a fleeting thought, “she must have forgotten to say something else about her trip…” I was calm and relaxed.

When I answered the phone, I heard her trembling and high-pitched tone of voice, “Dad just had a heart attack and died…” She was still in shock and I was too!

Our lives were drastically altered by the unexpected and overwhelming sense of grief and loss. She was in Venezuela and I was in the United States, many thousand of miles apart.

I felt helpless when I realized my passport had expired, and there was no available international flights at the time! I was unable to attend dad’s funeral. I was heart-broken, grief stricken and alone. Many even judged me for not being at dad’s funeral and only a couple of people reached out throughout the painful journey of loss and loneliness.

In my walk thru the valleys of emotional distress and sorrow, God was my only source of refuge, comfort and hope. The Lord is near the broken-hearted and to those whose spirits are crushed (Psalm 34:18).

Praising Jesus! He truly understands.

He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).

He even weeps with us  (Luke 22:62).

God does not waste our emotional pain ever!

The only control we have is in our decision-making process when we make choices today. We can believe in His promises rather than feeling hopeless, choose Hope over despair, be with Jesus instead of being lonely, and choose meditation rather than fruitless habits such as retail therapy.

“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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭NIV‬‬

After dad’s funeral, the intensity from family estate planning and challenging, work demands led to anger, fear and despair. My needless shopping spinned out of control for another season.

I did not handle my grief well at the onset of this major loss until I brought this hardship to the Lord’s attention one afternoon. I knelt down in front of the Cross, surrendered my heart and trusted Him with the healing process.

Out of angst and helplessness, I chose to dig into the book of Psalms one day at a time. I inscribed His verses at Sunrise and Sunset, recited selected verse throughout the day, journaled my mixed emotions and believed in His eternal promises one moment at a time. When I entrusted my emotional distress and grief to the Lord, my soul was refreshed. Only then, I was able to get a grip of my needless spending habit.

“From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.” Psalm‬ ‭61:2-3‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Praising Jesus for His healing!

How did I let go of control?! When I realized I did not have control over  my circumstances and allowed the Holy Spirit to guide me thru chaos, confusion and hatred one event at a time.

I was flexible and receptive to the soft whispers of the Holy Spirit and did not hold too tight my daily schedule, routine or agenda for the day.

When we choose to follow His ways, He sets us free.

I am choosing Life and Prosperity today, Lord. I want to be free for the rest of my life and not be enslaved ever again.

‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change… the courage to change the things I can… and the wisdom to know the difference’ (Reinhold Niebuhr)

in Jesus’ name I bravely pray and boldly praise you,

Amen.

Let us sit at the Lord’s feet:

Inscribe and meditate on 2 Peter 1:1-12

Memory Verse: 2 Peter 1:3-4 “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
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Weekly Challenge: Consider a budget for Holiday shopping this year and add it to your household budget. Review budget goals weekly. Track your daily expenses.

Tip for the week: Do not spend more money than you earn. Pray over your finances daily.

Photo courtesy: Iong Sitaula @Splasher

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Empowered by Jesus: Trust.

E180D773-CC22-48B9-BE1F-BD79C8F3D197Photo Courtesy: David Clode @ Splasher

Lord,

“I never knew you intimately!”

Please forgive me for not reaching out to you sooner. You always called me into fellowship but I was way too busy with all sorts of earthly distractions. Busyness is my worst enemy still today. You waited patiently for me to come to my senses.

“I am so glad you did!”

You are a Faithful God and my only constant source of fulfillment today. The Truth reminds me at Sunrise,  “God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Corinthians‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I believed in a forgiving, compassionate and merciful God but never took time to build a relationship. I just did not know where to begin. I was lost and dead in my transgressions for way too long.

Life was empty, purposeless and meaningless without Jesus Christ. I was a dead walking woman who had lost hope at the end of my thirties. I was living in desperate times. I was so desperate for Your living water and did not even know it back then. I drank from all sort of wells and was never pleased. I wanted more.

When I focused on temporary circumstances whether it was a shopping extravaganza, a relationship, achievement or perfectionism at work or career, I was never fulfilled. When the adrenaline rush would fade away, I would pursue for more. Some individuals described it as insanity; ‘doing’ the same thing over and over again, and expecting different outcomes. Even though I shopped often, I expected to build a retirement plan. I budgeted differently over the years and expected to budget well for retirement. Fortunately, the vicious cycle somewhat improved and it drastically had an impact on my financial future!

“My life was unmanageable for quite some time! How did the never-ending cycle begin?”

I am not sure but I still remember how much fun it was to shop with my folks back then.

As I was finishing graduate school in my late twenties, I remember telling dad I was exhausted and stressed out over time-sensitive projects. I was insecure, afraid and fatigued after a long week of work duties and demanding deadlines in school. I didn’t think I was going to finish the program successfully. I was a nervous wreck and anxious when I arrived at my folks’ home one afternoon.

“Do you have time to visit a car dealership?” Dad asked.

His invitation was unexpected but I was excited for another outing with my parents. I was emotionally spent over my academic performance and this outing was an excellent way not to think about any of my concerns.

Every time I spent quality time with both of my parents, life was uncomplicated and fun. I will always cherish our unforgettable memories from the past.

By the end of the evening, my folks had gifted me a brand new automobile. The leather smell of the interior seats of the vehicle made a long-lasting impression. I still remember today!

“How awesome was that?”   I was fortunate to have generous parents, I know.

The fruitless habit was then established. If I needed to relax or feel better, I would step out of the house and engage in ‘retail therapy’. I was careless about the budget and retirement plan.

”How insane was that?!”

I am not blaming dad for needless spending today or ever. I take full responsibility for my own actions and past insanity over my finances.

Have you ever noticed a pattern of thoughts or feelings or even circumstances you may react to? We usually experience a distinct thought, emotion and/or environmental trigger(s) prior to our action(s).

I recently identified a pattern in my thought life. The pattern changes depending on the time of the day and/or the circumstances. Some common thoughts, related emotions, and triggers were the following,  “I am exhausted (physical state/trigger), I worked hard all day long (thought) so let me browse the internet (action)” or “I am having a bad day (trigger) so let me take a break and check out the sale announcements (actions)” or “I have extra money (trigger) so why not shop?!” or “I love what I just saw on FB (trigger), I want one (thought).”

Were you able to journal your thoughts, emotions and circumstances prior to fruitless habit last week?

Once I have a thought about shopping an item or two, I tend to think about it often. I may even obsess over the upcoming sales or limited edition. I then proceed to think about the functionality (if any), value or the benefits of the desirable item, spend a considerable amount of time browsing the internet and comparing prices. By the time I am finished with my ‘due diligence’, I am convinced the item is needed or else I would think I am missing out. After the item is purchased, I lose interest shortly thereafter.  Sometimes, I even forget I own it and may even purchase it once again!

It all starts with an initial thought, emotion or circumstance to begin the cycle. Once it starts, the inability to stop is evident.  At this point, I’ve asked myself, “Who has time to budget?!”

”I hope you do, my friend.”

God encourages us to think about what is true, helpful, inspiring, trustworthy and ‘necessary’. (Philippians 4:8)

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans‬ ‭15:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

I am learning to trust you, Lord, much more today. I have been peaceful and joyful since I surrendered my heart.

I still remember the winter morning I repented of all of my sins, asked Jesus to come into my heart and began to trust in the power of the Holy Spirit.

“It was snowing on the date I realized… You were the only way, the truth, and the life. No one knows our Father unless we know you first” (John 14:6).

My life has been transformed since Jesus Christ has been the central focus of my life.

It has been like the metamorphosis of a butterfly. Butterflies evolve and change over time. My life has evolved gradually over the past decade. I am still work in progress though. It has been a transformation from a reckless lifestyle to a peaceful style of living.

EB979FE9-DC4B-4B49-8C00-5DC0B96BF5ADPhoto Courtesy: Andrea Reiman @ Splasher

My attitude, mindset, and perspective are being renewed every day when I read your Word at sunrise. The Holy Spirit is my Helper and definitely an empowering life coach, and your precepts are teaching me how to establish new boundaries in self-care and be a better manager of my finances.

Lord, I still need help with retail shopping.

https://youtu.be/Waitmz6C100

“My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word.” Psalm‬ ‭119:81‬ ‭NIV‬‬

“Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if only you would hear his voice,” Psalm‬ ‭95:1-7‬ ‭NIV

Yes, Lord!

You are my Salvation, Redeemer, the great King above all gods and my only source of Hope today.

I have been redeemed and transformed with a new purpose.

In Jesus’ name, I boldly praise,

Amen.

Let us sit at the Lord’s feet:

Inscribe and Meditate John 4: 10-26

Memory Verse:  John 4: 13-14 “Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Weekly Challenge

Consider identifying at least seven, relaxing activities that are available at work, home or in your local community. Give priority to free activities. For instance, an afternoon walk in your neighborhood with a neighbor, friend or spouse.

Personally, I enjoy adult coloring during controversial conference calls at work. It relaxes me and decreases the likelihood for me to shop online after the meeting.

Choose one activity every day, and Journal if you were relaxed or not at the end of the activity. If you were relaxed, did you have any ‘shopping’ urges?

Tip for the week: Consider throwing away ‘sale announcements’ before you open the mail correspondence.

Empowered by Jesus, First Step!

“He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭17:20‬ ‭NIV

Lord, I surrender a fruitless yet socially acceptable habit.

Yes, You heard me right! A fruitless habit.

The Holy Spirit convicted me of an endless, reckless cycle a couple of years ago. A cycle characterized by the adrenaline rush of excitement followed by a deep sense of regret, shame, and guilt.

The cycle repeats itself over and over again and it is out of control once again.

I surrender, Lord.

“I love to shop, Lord.”

I am sure you have witnessed a long-standing pattern of frivolous spending since early adulthood. Please forgive me for being prideful; I thought I could change the circumstances all on my own. “I was wrong!” I have been unwilling to pray over this never-ending cycle. I was in denial all along. I humbly surrender my heart once again. You have delivered me from other strongholds (2 Corinthians 1: 9-11) in the past so I am familiarized with the power of the Holy Spirit in my life.

I am finally weary and burdened over the endless cycle of reckless spending.

The more money I earn, the more I want to spend. I remember working four consulting jobs for three consecutive years so I could have the extra cash flow for online shopping. How did I do it? I am still trying to figure it out myself! It was insanity I assure you. I was emotionally and physically spent from working so many hours a day. Exhaustion fired up the needless shopping cycle and it repeated itself over the years.

“Yes, Lord! I admit I am powerless over online shopping and my finances have been out of control. I am craving for a change in lifestyle today. I do believe in resurrected life, help me with my unbelief.”

It is so much fun to shop rather than feel frustrated, alone, angry or exhausted. “Who has time to dwell on these emotions?! As a matter of fact, I am upset right now and I am already thinking about taking advantage of the 20% coupon readily available to me in my yahoo account.”

Please help! I have an urge to shop right now, Lord.

Many individuals find pleasure in drinking wine on weekends, others delight in baking desserts and some may even lose track of time and money at the casinos. Personally, I find satisfaction in shopping online; it is easy, convenient and available on my smartphone wherever I go. The best part of it all the stores are never closed.

At the end of the day, we all want to feel better and perhaps even forget about our most recent challenges, sorrows, and related distress. These recreational outlets give us temporarily relief and our emotions may be positively altered… When we are ready to pursue more pleasurable moments, we then anticipate the next shopping trip, or next exotic drink, or tasty midnight snacks, or another gambling escapade.

There is nothing wrong with any of these fun-filled activities as long as we do them in ‘moderation’ and it does not interfere with our quality of life and/or relationships, finance or health.

“What’s the common denominator?!”

These are all entertaining by nature and socially acceptable. These habits distract and relieve us from the discomfort of ‘day-to-day’ emotional stress.

Lord, I always thought I managed my emotions well. But, I realized not too long ago I thrive in busyness and this tendency helps me avoid processing my emotions in constructive ways.

I am going to need your support throughout the day until I find new ways of coping with today’s fast-paced, stressful work day! I don’t want to spend money unless it is necessary.

“I no longer want to feel repulsed after I shop either”, I scolded myself the other day.

Help me not find refuge in retail therapy but in your Word. Your truth guides me and is a light to my path when struggling with a challenge or adversity.

Some experts say it takes 66 days to build a new habit and others have concluded it only takes 21 days. I bet no one really knows how long it takes but you do, Lord.

No matter how long it takes, I am ready for the first step in recovery and I admit I have lost control over the budget.  Help me differentiate between the desires of the flesh and the real needs one day at a time, the antecedents of impulsive shopping, and creative exit plan when experiencing cravings. Your word reminded me at sunrise that there is always a ‘way out’ when faced with a temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13). So, Help me be less distracted by enticing marketing strategies and be much more focused on purchasing those items I truly need.

I am inviting you to walk alongside me.

Every time I surrender an area of my life, I experience a sense of loss of control; it is quite uncomfortable I must admit.

“Be patient. I am doing something new” (Isaiah 43:19), I hear you say every time!

I was taught to be confident and bold in childhood and not to be vulnerable or weak. So, I am establishing new boundaries as I am learning how to cope with adversity.

Setbacks are to be expected. I don’t want to be discouraged.

Just know I am committed this time around! Help me find strength and inner peace in you when faced with another opportunity for needless spending.  Your grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9) if I fail along the way. I know you will give me the strength I need to let go of this unproductive habit over time.

You have been refining my character gradually, and I truly appreciate your compassion, unconditional love, and never-ending Grace. Even though I am uncomfortable with these upcoming changes, I know saving money has a favorable impact on my retirement plan.

By trusting in you, I can let go and allow you to map out a new journey on my behalf. Your plan is always so much better than any of my other plans.

I know that well!

Jeremiah 32:27 reminds me of your mighty power and nothing is impossible for you, Lord. If the circumstances are difficult for me, you can relentlessly work it all out for my good.

In Christ, your beloved daughter is able to conquer any barrier and be free from wasteful habits. Nothing is impossible for you. I do believe so help me with my unbelief.

In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen

Let us sit at the Lord’s feet:

Inscribe and Meditate 2 Corinthians 1:1-11

Memory Verse:  “He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him, we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us,”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭1:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Weekly Challenge:

Consider journaling about your thoughts, emotions and/or circumstances prior to a shopping experience. You will discover the triggers or antecedents of needless shopping.

Label this challenge, the ‘needs vs. wants shopping extravaganza.’ Then consider the following questions; “Do I truly need this now? or can I wait for next month?” On the second column, “Can I afford it now or do I need to add it to the budget for later?” In the third column, “How am I feeling at the time of the shopping urge?” In the fourth column, what are the circumstances I am facing at the time of the urge? Record your answers in a notebook.

You are welcome to share with us your experience in the comments below.

Tip for the week: Declutter your email account by deleting ‘sale announcements’ before you read them.

53236182-AF02-4B53-A0B5-B19FAD74CD82Photo courtesy: Franciele Cunhan@ Splasher

Surrendering the Next Shopping Spree!

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6)

As I prepare my heart and mind for the upcoming Holiday season, I want to drink more of your living water, be refreshed and be led by the Holy Spirit (John 4:10).

In today’s world, I am easily distracted by online shopping!

“Lord, I have been thoughtless once again over financial decisions. Please forgive me” 

You then gently whispered, “I have the right to do anything,” you say —- but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything —but not everything is constructive.” 1 Corinthians 10:23

When I glance at my smartphone, I view all sorts of time-sensitive bundles and discounts. I even receive text messages on upcoming deals and exclusives from my favorite shops.

In less than a minute, I am able to select a vibrant color and/or suitable size on a clothing item or a trendy font for a monogrammed tote. By just clicking ‘send to cart’, the item can be fully paid for and be delivered in a matter of days. The free shipping alleviates the buyer’s remorse. The expedited delivery excites me to no end!

Yes, I’ve been careless with money, have recently disregarded the home budget and overlooked future, critical expenses! There is nothing I can hide from you. The struggle is real, Lord. I need the Holy Spirit to intercede on my behalf.

704D80FF-77B9-402D-8627-5360E1EE2B62Photo courtesy: Rawpixel @ Splasher.

I want to be mindful of how I spend every dollar I earn. I need more of you, Jesus, and less from today’s cyber world.

I am surrendering my heart this morning for the first time after wrestling with shopping urges for decades.

Change the desires of my heart, and teach me valuable lessons along the way. I want to be more mindful of sound financial decisions. I don’t want to incur debt. Decrease my worldly desires one day at a time!

I am ready to surrender shopping sprees. I’ve realized I am powerless over frivolous spending. I am saying “YES” to a monthly budget.

I want to think clearly and objectively before every purchase. Do I truly need the item?  Or can I wait for another month?

Help me make wiser choices during the upcoming Holiday season.

Thanks for steady employment, financial stability and a fulfilling career.

I believe in the power of Christ so transform my finances one day at a time.

In Jesus’ name, I pray Amen.

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