On Our Knees

 

Abba Father, you are Holy, full of compassion and merciful.

An amazing God indeed!

We praise you for a new day filled with your grace, mercies, and filled with unlimited possibilities for our lives.

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We come to you humbly with an open heart and embrace all of your precepts. We want to know you better, learn more about your character, and grow much closer to you.

Encourage us to read, reflect, and hide every Scripture in our hearts so we may always have wisdom and discernment when navigating thru confusion, turmoil or chaos, and conduct ourselves in a manner that is worthy of the Gospel.

You are our Abba Father who provides and protects us. You are our only Savior, Deliverer, Healer, and most importantly the wisest Counselor who guides us thru the narrow path while we are finishing the good work you started in us.

We are rejoicing today as we stand firm on your Word. We celebrate your presence as You walk with us and we are forever grateful for the Peace and Hope We find in you alone.

We praise you for your never-ending Grace, forgiveness and faithfulness. 

We continue to nourish our souls with your precepts, renew our minds and set us free from strongholds. We are grateful for being the ‘chosen ones’ who were once lost yet convicted  by the Holy Spirit, and turned away from our sins and idols so we may serve you today and always.  

Help us to love others who may be difficult, maintain peace everywhere we go, encourage the disheartened, help everyone in need, be patient, strengthen our hearts so we may be blameless and holy in your presence, stand firm on your Word, and hold fast to your teachings. 

We want to be children of the light and children of the day today and always.

Deliver us from evil and protect us wherever we go. 

In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen

The Art of Journaling

Kathy Bornarth is the founder of nacjw.com, a Licensed Professional Counselor, and a published author who loves to journal!

In Kathy’s book titled, “Write Changes: Stories of Transformation Through Journal Writing”, you will find short essays addressing the benefits of journaling by ten different women including herself. Her published book was easy to read, informative and encouraging; it was 54 pages long. I highly recommend it for those who are considering journaling for the first time. Even though I have journaled in the past, Kathy’s book reminded me of the importance of self-examination and offered me fresh perspectives on the art of journaling.

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Are you considering journaling today?

Creative Bible journaling, prayer and gratitude journaling are three of my favorite styles. I love to be colorful, worship God and have fun coloring Scriptures too!

 

There are so many ways to journal. It all depends on your needs and focus.

I’m about to learn more about ‘verse mapping’; it will probably be an extension to bible and scripture journaling. Kristy Cambron offers Verse Mapping 101; her two new journals on the book of Luke and Acts will be released in May 2018.

I have found journaling to be quite therapeutic in nature. The exercise of writing down personal thoughts and emotions provides clarity, insight, and self-awareness over time. When I engage in creative bible, prayer and gratitude journaling, I deepen my relationship with the Lord.

Voila!

It’s an excellent way to interact with His Word at sunrise or at sunset if you’ve got a full-time job.

If consistency is an issue just know it takes approximately 28 days to establish a new habit.

‘Therapeutic writing’ was popular in 1960’s. In mid 1980’s, Dr. James Pennebaker researched the impact of ‘expressive writing’ on trauma, and Kathleen Adams (1999) published an article titled, ” Writing as Therapy” and acknowledged the therapeutic benefits of writing in the healing process.

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Newman added space for journaling after each devotional. Yes! it was an excellent way to navigate thru grief and loss. I’m still in the process of healing.

If you are in need of a journal, try the ‘sheic’ journals at sheicjournals.com. The colors are bright and perfect for any season. The size of the journal is convenient for a purse or tote, and it’s comfortable to carry all day long.

I just love the color of my new journal!

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Experiencing “Gethsemane” in modern times.

Throughout our lifetime, we will experience overwhelming circumstances even deep suffering that will bring us closer to God and strengthen the core of our souls and Faith.

In the book of Ecclesiastes 7: 14, Solomon reminded us how God created both adversity and prosperity in our lives. So, praise Him everyday regardless of our suffering or current state of mind. Today is a gift from God.

I view these harsh circumstances or adversity as life-altering “Gethsemane moments”.

Yes!

Adversity can be emotionally, intellectually and physically taxing. Uncertainties are stressful indeed.  These life experiences may be filled with agony, sorrow, grief, and/or despair.

In the book of Matthew 26, Jesus modeled a prayerful life. Jesus poured his soul to our Abba Father on a regular basis and maintained an intimate relationship. In His sorrow, He prayed not once but continually. He knew he was betrayed by Judas and was about to be apprehended by the enemy so he prayed with humility and surrendered heart for God’s will to be fulfilled.

He was a faithful servant!

“He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” Matthew‬ ‭26:42‬ ‭NIV‬‬
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Have you ever experienced “Gethsemane”, life-altering moments? Have you recently been diagnosed with a terminal health condition? Have you recently lost employment and don’t know how to pay the mortgage? Are you hopeless and even contemplating ending it all?

In moments of anguish and sorrow, life is overwhelmingly painful, vulnerable and unpredictable!

If you would have asked me what I would have done in previous ‘Gethsemane’ circumstances, You would have heard me say, “I’m done with it… I’m ready to quit… give me an easier task to accomplish instead…”

In these controversial or conflicting moments, we might not be able to discern what’s best or act wisely. We might act like ‘fools’ at times if we get isolated and not seek God’s wisdom.

We can either face these challenging circumstances humbly, prayerfully and ’in’ community or ‘escape’ from it all with an intent to soothe the intensity of our distress and even isolate ourselves.

By the way, Satan would enjoy us being isolated and helpless.

Jesus is reminding us today to seek the Lord for wisdom, strength and discernment with a humble and surrendered heart before we proceed with our next steps.

God’s Grace is sufficient when we are weak.

“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.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Lisa Bevere in her book titled, “Girls with Swords”, reminded us to ‘allow adversity to be a crucible in your life that tempers your strength’.

“Isn’t that the truth?!”

Every time I persevere thru life-altering Gethsemane moments, I develop effective strategies, establish new systems for both career and personal routine, build character and most importantly I witness God’s faithfulness, wisdom, unconditional  love and mercies thru it all.

Life gives us an opportunity to edify God in our good times as wells as in our Gethsemane moments, and share how much we adore Him in the midst of our deepest suffering…

 

Servanthood Leadership

A servant leader serves humbly, empowers others to take the lead and genuinely cares for the well-being of others. In servanthood leadership, there is no power differentiation just an opportunity to influence someone’s life and help the world be a better place.

Apostle Paul was a servant leader in mid-30s AD to mid-50s AD while he shared the gospel of Christ to the Jewish and Romans of his times and immediately forgave his executioner.

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The movie, “Paul, the apostle of Christ”, was released at the end of March 2018. In the midst of trials, suffering and murder, Paul loved, and extended grace unconditionally.

As soon as I finished watching the movie and dried up my tears, I asked myself “do I forgive and extend grace to evil-spirited people in my network as well as Paul did for his persecutors?  Would I have Paul’s inner strength and spiritual maturity to persevere thru suffering, and even endure imprisonment?”

In Christ, anything is possible.

Paul focused on an eternal journey instead of instant, temporary outcomes.

Paul was just like a sheep among wolves; he recognized his vulnerabilities, shared his wisdom and intentionally, innocently and lovingly served others well. Paul was clear about the intentions of his headsman yet he loved like Christ on Earth.

“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭10:16‬ ‭

When persecuted by prideful, wicked or arrogant human beings, he was prayerful and didn’t overreact. If others hated him, he served  lovingly and compassionately one opportunity at a time and influenced others to think about what was noble, trustworthy and admirable.

As soon as the movie ended and I walked away from the leather-recliner seat at Malco, I asked myself, “How could I ever love my persecutors well? I don’t think I will ever be able to… help me love well”

By His Grace, my life has been transformed in the past decade.  All I know is to pray over my weaknesses. Prayer is powerful and God answers our prayers in His perfect time.

”Lord, hear my distress. It’s tough to deal with prideful or arrogant people who have all the answers or those who have slandered me in the past or are capable to do so in the future. Please, give me a heart to  serve them, the humility to forgive, an ability to trust them again and hope for reconciliation. If I ever act prideful, hateful or vindictive, convict me immediately so I can repent and change my motives right away, in Jesus name I pray, Amen”

Reflections on The book titled, “Stronger than the Struggle”

Daily challenges unfold throughout the day unexpectedly, and that’s a fact of life.

We can either fight, flee or be paralyzed when faced with Satan’s attacks. I typically either fight or abandon my post! Yet God wants us to trust Him and learn from these unmanageable times. Cunnington encouraged her readers to search or discover life lessons or even hidden treasures during these times. Otherwise, we will be exhausted or burned out by the intensity of our challenge or even defeated by Satan’s lies or attacks.

From past experiences, I’ve learned more about the detrimental impact of fear and anticipatory anxiety. Every time I give myself the opportunity to explore or discover or grow in the midst of a challenge, I typically find at least one effective strategy to implement in the future and have yet to be burned out.

Praise the Lord!

In the book of James 1: 2-4,  James reminded all of us, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
‭‭ God didn’t promise us a trouble-free life yet He will be there in the mix of it all; the ugly, the bad and the worst!

His Word is not only comforting but will strengthen our inner beings, nourish our souls, renew our minds and encourages us to take the next step in love and hope.

Cunnington noted, ‘success is a filter through which we see life… we live this way by actively and intelligently living in a way that pleases God.’

We have to stand firm on His Truth and declare His promises over our lives so Satan will flee and leave us alone. When our minds are renewed with His Truth, we are empowered to overcome the enemy’s lies in all circumstances. Satan’s intentions to kill and destroy God’s plans will be forever restrained or chained when we declare God’s promises over our lives.

Cunnington noted, “the devil comes to shake you but God comes to steady you.” It’s comforting to know He is our Refuge and Rock indeed.

Satan’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy god’s plan for our future. God’s plan is to give us a rich and satisfying life.” (‭‭John‬ ‭10:10‬)

Let us stand on His promises one day at a time and fight the best  ‘fight  of faith’ ever…

I’m all ‘in’, a sister in Christ, who is ready for the battlefield of the mind one day at a time.

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A Rainbow in the East.

The power went out, winds picked up in speed, debris flew across the windshield, and rain poured heavily. I was then forced to lock up the car doors and search for shelter when the tornado sirens alerted everyone to take refuge.

”Where do I go now?!” I desperately asked myself.

As I ran across the street and was about to knock  at the third house, the storm door suddenly opened up. There was “Ralph” sitting in his leather, burgundy  recliner with an oxygen tank.

He was afraid of the stranger and so was I.

”May I come in?” I desperately asked.

He reluctantly & fearfully answered, ‘Yes’.

God provided both refuge and protection in the midst of a tornado, EF1.

Ralph benefited from a portable, oxygen tank and I benefited from shelter. We both rescued one another on a Friday late afternoon.

An instant friendship evolved among two strangers!

God orchestrates our daily encounters and demonstrates His gifts of Provision and Protection everyday. His faithfulness is undeniably noticeable in all of our circumstances.

In the Old Testament, God established a covenant marked by a rainbow; it was a sign of His undeniable presence to all Israelites.

On that Friday late afternoon, God reminded me of His unconditional and unfailing love as I drove on the highway. There it was… a colorful rainbow in the East reminding me of His eternal promises.

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“When the rainbow is in the clouds and I look at it, I will [solemnly] remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth”
‭‭GENESIS‬ ‭9:16‬ ‭AMP‬‬

A ‘Heart2Heart’ Note to a Faithful Father ~ Bible Journaling 2017 ~

My heart is filled with gratitude and hope after prolonged exposure to ‘spiritual warfare’ originated from a sinful world.

We live in a broken world. People’s mind are perverted, hearts are hardened and actions are undoubtedly conniving and evil.

Spiritual warfare is real. We can easily be sucked into it. It’s an on-going struggle.

Hearing the latest news on TV, navigating thru unexpected circumstances, facing adversity or adopting world’s views will either consume all of our energy or exhaust our emotional, intellectual and/or physical resources. If our resources are depleted, we will drift away from our close fellowship with Abba Father.

Be alert, a thief comes to steal, and destroy one’s relationship with the Lord!

I often pray, ‘Lord, guard my mind, heart and soul’. 

Because the Lord is faithful and merciful, I just wrote Him a “Heart2Heart” note today.

Dear beloved Father, you have been my refuge since I invited you to come into my heart. You acknowledge all struggles and distress, and counsel me when facing dilemmas. You are a shining light to a disturbed and chaotic world.

You know me by name and even pronounce it correctly with a Latin flavor.

Help me capture the essence of your promises so I may remember them in the midst of intense, unexpected  spiritual warfare. My deepest desire is to always be courageous, brave and stand firm in my Faith.

Spiritual warfare is real and is here to stay!

But, there is victory in the name of Jesus.

If I seek you, I will find you. You are my strength in my weakness. Your faithfulness is my shield in any given challenge, Lord.

Your love never runs out and I appreciate when you extend grace when teaching the hardest, life lessons. Yes, I heard you ‘loud and clear’ this afternoon when you highlighted the importance of being still and relentlessly prayerful right before entering the battlefield.

Shape my thoughts, mold my character and set my paths straight. I always want to act justly and walk humbly.

Direct my steps, and cleanse my heart from unforgiveness, bitterness and hatred.  I surrender my plan(s). Your plans are better than mine indeed!

I do believe so help me with  my unbelief. I’ve wrestled with you way too many times. I know you understand my struggles, dilemmas, and uncertainties. I repent for hidden sins in my heart.

I will trust you with all of my heart, mind and soul regardless of current circumstances.

Let your will be done always, in Jesus’ name I give praise and pray, Amen.


Bible Journaling refreshes our minds, hearts and souls creatively. The experiential activity will redirect our attention to what’s true, trustworthy, lovely, admirable and noble. When our minds are renewed, we can endure the next challenge, rejection and/or opposition. When fully engaged  in creative bible journaling, I love using a confetti-colored, royal blue pair of scissors to cut out the elements, strategically place them on a bible page, highlight a verse or two, reflect on His message and engrave it permanently in my heart. It’s a fun way to unwind at the end of a hectic day,  diffuse the intensity of toxic stress and preserve the fellowship with the Lord.

In 2017, I created at least 43 different page layouts and prayed over these Scriptures. God speaks to us thru His Word.

D0745453-1972-42C7-9CB5-9BED1DAA974E“Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.””
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭18:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬D9E69226-71F6-44AC-BD03-5E3207DA1562“I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies,”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭22:17‬ ‭NIV‬‬592A4AB0-6E10-4C8C-BE10-F6EAD77235A2“And the LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.””
‭‭Exodus‬ ‭33:17‬ ‭NIV‬‬ED4D2CDD-337D-49D1-A5AB-6AEA4CB73774“Then you will remember to obey all my commands and will be consecrated to your God. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the LORD your God.’ ””
‭‭Numbers‬ ‭15:40-41‬ ‭NIV‬‬90F241B9-FAA8-4E0F-8845-CC672F351343“But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.”
Deuteronomy‬ ‭4:29, 31‬ ‭NIV‬‬DD57E277-3228-463D-831C-459A618D8ECEAnd now, Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,”
‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭10:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬
DEF0A2A7-1D5A-4736-A3E5-8A91C23F987D“But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.”
‭‭Ruth‬ ‭1:16‬ ‭NIV‬‬CAF24EE1-1061-4E50-A134-002DA3416EA2“So he sent for him and had him brought in. He was glowing with health and had a fine appearance and handsome features. Then the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came powerfully upon David. Samuel then went to Ramah.”
‭‭1 Samuel‬ ‭16:12-13 NIV4D83828F-C281-44A3-AAE3-3231B10A81F4“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
‭‭1 Chronicles‬ ‭16:34‬ ‭NIV‬‬FCA94ED7-5E55-404C-B9E1-40757A76CE16“Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.”
‭‭1 Chronicles‬ ‭29:12-13‬ ‭NIV‬‬1FC00CBF-C94D-4D10-954A-DBD58750C0F6“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭7:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬611F6404-F4DC-49F8-A8BA-5304FA858CEFFor if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
‭‭Esther‬ ‭4:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬B8EA74C5-73BC-4AED-85C4-BEAE2B2B5B22“Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭4:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬671602E3-C0CB-4D97-B152-F8B30ADA4215“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭19:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬
BA83B8EE-3546-402F-9355-E0D4423A35D5“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭23:5-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬010CE9AB-46F6-491E-9830-6EE0D70E23F3“Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭25:4-5‬ ‭NIV030C5F26-66A4-4A41-9CC2-A5C352B3167D“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.””
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭46:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬
01314719-C794-4183-8D3D-4F59B60424CD“I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭50:11-12‬ ‭NIV‬1A4ADB5B-EDFF-4A30-894D-A5B020EC3489“In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me; turn your ear to me and save me.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭71:2‬ ‭NIV‬‬7664399C-2BF5-47F4-A11F-4DBF9D288F6A“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭91:4, 7‬ ‭NIV‬‬
5417558F-EE0E-425A-9483-0920E8CE9A8A“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭100:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬
DAB524DF-01F7-46EE-A2AE-111FBB38114A“Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭105:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬2B72F5EC-79E8-419A-866E-F2CAD2C67D15“Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in obedience to him.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭128:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬
6A07FC51-10F7-485B-A363-95B6FE85BB05“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬C2B8E7DF-812F-4FE7-8D96-D193ABC1783B“a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,”
‭‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬
C6BF5B2A-FD71-435E-B5A8-BEE361798A71“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭7:14‬ ‭NIV‬‬EC71DD35-7B9C-4A08-A72D-9409DF697FA7“Awake, awake, arm of the LORD, clothe yourself with strength! Awake, as in days gone by, as in generations of old. Was it not you who cut Rahab to pieces, who pierced that monster through?”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭51:9‬ ‭NIV‬‬E04ED18B-94C8-4C72-9A89-271F0139C24A“Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭64:8‬ ‭NIV‬880F71AE-FA09-4ADD-8616-16AA252C206A“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬B9A1E89A-73A7-410D-9447-5B0CFBED7671“Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.””
‭‭Hosea‬ ‭6:3‬ ‭NIV‬‬
596B33DA-2733-43D1-842F-6176296766D2“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
‭‭Micah‬ ‭6:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬930DB0B1-17BF-4A8E-BBA7-BC668D41C968“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.””
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭2:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬
8F944160-E25C-4FD1-91B0-76D33072AF97“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.””
‭‭Luke‬ ‭22:42‬ ‭NIV‬‬
9AC090B7-96B3-4085-911D-6DA7A770D352“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.””
‭‭John‬ ‭8:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬
17DA4EB9-DE3B-4053-ACE4-456D7AE87ECF“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭6:6-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬
D896ED53-1647-4B9A-BD13-95C0772D126ALove is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬
D437FA1F-2CCE-49EF-AF1C-72D7E43746B2“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭16:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬
722C42A9-7EFE-4AEA-AABE-28F19A16BFEF“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭5:17‬ ‭NIV
9FC03FE8-E62A-42AE-A411-9803A20BF7DD“Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord,”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭5:19‬ ‭NIV‬‬
D27707B3-564C-4E25-A791-EF4098E56136“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”
‭‭Colossians‬ ‭1:15-20 NIV
71094258-A666-4C1A-BC5E-0C43641A1816“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬
4B4E1D5C-6902-49DF-9070-8B6C6AD29CBA“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭6:19‬ ‭NIV‬‬
9CD2F9EA-9164-4CD1-842C-51CF3AF207AD“He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
‭‭Revelation‬ ‭21:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬
—————————————–  Bible layouts can be purchased from Etsy store titled “Lot95Designs”. There is also a FB community available for encouragement, teachings and ideas led by Lynn Shokoples. You may request membership at the following link: https://m.facebook.com/groups/1592533074392323

 

 

A Lifetime Learner

It’s a new year filled with possibilities and a fresh outlook on intentional goals. I just experienced an ‘aha’ moment when I heard a teaching video on YouTube.com

Chrystal Hurst, author of “She’s Still There”, is genuinely passionate about God’s Word, shares her life-altering experiences, and preserves her sense of humor in all of her teachings.

In God’s economy,  we are always in a phase of ‘preparation’. We are His sheep who need constant guidance. Our lives evolve and we are always learning from our life circumstances. Chrystal acknowledged an evolving  ‘process’ in our lives and reminded us that God does not let any adverse circumstances ‘go to waste’!

Chrystal warned us not to rush-thru ‘the process’ either; we may miss God’s plan and purpose for our lives.

In tonight’s teaching, Pathway to Purpose, Chrystal highlighted the importance of learning ‘how to handle’ our current position in life, ‘how to overcome’ past and current emotional hurts or pain, and ‘how to use’ our passions to glorify Him. These are all ingredients for a purposeful life in His kingdom.

She asked her audience a direct and profound question, “What sets you on fire?”

For the past 3 years, I’ve studied God’s Word at sunrise. I’ve written reviews for multiple authors who have published books and bible studies, and served in an international ministry as a facilitator, encourager, and prayer warrior in social media.

Yes! I’m an avid reader, an encourager and a lifetime learner without a doubt. These traits set me ‘on fire’.

In Exodus 3:10-11, “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt. But Moses said to God, Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

Our fears and inadequacies may hold us back or interrupt God’s plan.

Moses doubted and didn’t think he was capable of carrying out God’s command at first. Yet, he did not give up and was obedient to His commands. Moses glorified God when he faithfully relied on His strength, and most importantly trusted His plan.

How can we best glorify God?

When we read and reflect on His Word, rely on His strength in the midst of adversity, trust His plan, and mobilize our resources, talents and skills.Then, we can overcome daily challenges, and help others along the way.

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Courtesy Photo: YouVersion

We are all His masterpiece! I’m definitely ‘work in progress’.

 

Joy in the midst of Imprisonment

Time rapidly advances when we engage in purposeful work!

Prison ministry was a humbling, rewarding, and unforgettable experience.

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The prison inmates rejoiced, shared insights and joyful moments, and were delighted by the smell of ‘barbecue’, personalized keepsakes and ‘hot-pink’ table cloths. They listened attentively to each other’s ‘aha’ moments, and honored God for what He had done in 11 weeks.

An evening to be forever cherished and remembered.

Even though prison ministry season was over, I was thankful for the opportunity to serve prison inmates while they prepared themselves for the ‘free world’ once again.

“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gifts!”

2 Corinthians 9:15

An opportunity to serve is a gift from our Lord.

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Courtesy Photo: Koko Lopez Calderon

Discovering one’s strengths, passions, desires, and spiritual gifts is a lifetime process yet utmost critical when exploring one’ existence.

Have you taken some time for self-examination today?

Self-awareness is the initial step of a meaningful Journey.

Self-awareness is God’s indescribable gift so we may grow over time, become more like His Son, Jesus, and discover our mission in His Kingdom.

After my most recent, near-death experience, I’m currently revisiting interests in His Kingdom. I know I have been fearfully and wonderfully created to be so much more and continue serving Him.

Our journeys are always evolving.

Life experiences impact us so we need to be prayerful and ask God to show us our next step… surrendering agenda action steps, examining the motives of the heart, discerning and trusting His precepts will lead us to our next mission field.

Praising God for his indescribable gifts at sunrise!

 

 

 

The inevitable 60 seconds.

I’m in awe this morning for God’s protection and faithfulness.

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Courtesy pictures: Sheila Millinder

He is an awesome God!

“GOD guards you from every evil, he guards your very life. He guards you when you leave and when you return, he guards you now, he guards you always.” Psalm‬ ‭121:7-8‬ ‭MSG‬

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Last Friday, I had changed my schedule to accommodate several conference calls comfortably from office phone, achieved favorable outcomes throughout the work day, and was ready for an uneventful, relaxing, four days Holiday weekend.

It was indeed a productive work day and I  thought I was in full control.

It was pouring rain when I left the office, was pondering upon a leadership training in Florida while listening to soft music and was driving an alternate route home. I was quite elated then…

As soon as I changed gears at the green light, I saw half of an 18 wheeler truck, a Bob’s truck, spinning out of control and heading my way at a rapid pace…full force.

“Agh?! Let me get out of his way”

The inevitable took place,

It was the most horrifying moment in my life just to know I had limited time, and no exit plan.

I thank God for His strength. Fear did not paralyze my intentions to escape the inevitable.

The heightened focus, clarity and attention to the unexpected circumstances were God’s gift. He equips us with an adrenaline rush and dilated pupils to examine our surroundings and for us to react under the most extreme circumstances.

As soon I moved away a few yards, the truck hit the back bumper of the 2015 Juke and not directly to the driver’s door!

At impact, the car spinned a few times yet did not flip or crash onto property or anyone else.

There was extensive damage to the auto yet our lives were intact.

Yes! I will probably continue hearing the truck’s screechy brakes, and seeing the driver’s attempt to gain control over his truck’s wheel when I reflect back to this inevitable 60 seconds.

But, I choose to focus on God’s promise, He  never leaves us nor forsakes us.

He is an awesome God, he guards our very lives today and always.

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