family, spiritual

Faith Triumphs Again

Through fantastic faith, blessing comes. Of late I have been tested in my faith and struggling to let God guide my way. The good news for me is that I recognize what’s going on with me and don’t stress the way historically I have.

Pushing through, however, is tough. The lassitude this brings into my life is stifling. The aberrant lack in my life causes me more stress. Finding my way back to what is healthy for me is a struggle I believe we all suffer with.

Most importantly not losing faith, and hope, but staying in faith even when it seems out of reach. Circumstances overwhelm reason. If I don’t believe in a bad outcome and focus my attention to a happy resolution. This is the end of the field God plays on, and through our faith, his will shines through.

 

prayer, faith, hope, Chocolate Cake
You can eat some not so good stuff if you get this cake at the end. Think about it! 

 

What prompted me to write this article. Last night I was struggling through finances as I am sure you all do from time-to-time. Checking my email, I opened one from my credit card company with a new credit line increase. No, I don’t recommend living off credit cards.

My point to sharing the credit increase is the timing. I had let God know that I know he is working to bring the right jobs, the right new customers and my needs will be met.

Historically, I would be freaking out. Instead, I simply let God know I have faith in him to provide. I do the work every day, stay in faith, diligently do my job, I don’t sit on my duff and do nothing.

The increase came out of the blue; I had not asked nor applied for any assistance. In my heart, I believe God was letting me know he is there. This type of blessing happens a lot when I stay in faith. When I feel even though I can’t see any way out, I let God know that I believe he will pull me through.

God knows my heart; he knows my journey now includes him daily. Many times, my faith is tested where it would be easy to say “this doesn’t work, God does not listen to me.” It’s been my experience that when I do that things do get worse. When I believe all will be okay, then slowly but surely bumps in the road smooth out.

Somedays its big things and somedays you merely need to look for the smallest of miracles in your life. Big or small it’s a step forward. Be grateful at all time that God has taken the time to bless your day.

When you don’t see a way, this is when you have to trust that God is working behind the scenes to help you. Just because you can’t see any movement whatsoever does not mean that change is about to occur in your life. Stay in faith, as they say, this too shall pass!

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family, spiritual

New Day New Moment

It’s been a tough few months for me. Yesterday, was the end of a season in my life and today it’s time to let a new season unfold. I’m looking one more time in my rear view mirror to say goodbye.

 

self help, Bible, Faith, Hope
A new road, a new life, hope! 

 

What I choose to accept in my life today is that God is in complete control of my life. My one little struggle with that is letting God do his job, and I do mine. In my studies, I have come to learn that if I continue to look backward or in the rear view mirror several things are going to happen.

Looking backward:

  1. I will miss the exit God has directed me to take. The enemy will rejoice in that.
  2. I will inevitably crash if I keep my eye’s looking backward instead of what’s in front of me.
  3. I live status quo, miserable with no change.
  4. What was meant for my destiny will fly by me because I am not allowing my real chance to unfold. Why, because I am not looking forward to seeing my new life.

As you can see if we look backward nothing good can come from it. Yes, I never really wanted such a significant change in my life. On some fronts, I was very content and others in hindsight I was not me anymore, that was not good.

Even though struggle comes from looking into the past, it’s hard not too. What I have come to learn is that we must pray for the strength to look forward, we have to learn to become expectant of beautiful gifts the Bible has promised us and that Jesus paid for on the cross.

Today I trust you will make a pact with me that we will look forward, leave the status quo behind. God has a plan for our lives why not see what that will be!

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family, spiritual

Am I Praying Right

“Prayer is man’s greatest power!” –W. Clement Stone

This bright light of God, Mattie, while on this earth stood for what I call “the true life.”

 “It doesn’t matter how you pray. Pray. All religions are beautiful, and they all have one common belief. There’s something bigger and greater than us that can give us and take from us life. It is better than the here and now.” — Mattie Stepanek

One of my first questions. How do you talk to God and will he listen? Yes, he hears when you pray earnestly. What I mean by that is open and honest. Ask before it is given, in our lives we as humans say, “I will believe it when I see it.” God is the opposite!

Here are some cool things. You can talk to God anytime you want. Most of us speak directly to God when we’ve messed up. “Oh God please save me.” The good news is you can pray formally on bended knee, or you can talk to God on your way to work in the car.

prayer, God, Jesus

Here is the biggest thing you should remember when you pray: “Don’t Beg!” God knows your situation and does not need you to beg. He has already forgiven you. For example, God thank you for the restoration of my relationship with ______. God bless you for my healing, my body is better (even if you’re still sick). Thank him for what you want to have as though you have it already.

When you study your bible, you will learn that God has already given you an abundant, health-filled life. We must receive it through faith.

One thing I have found very useful. I lay down on my bed at night. Put headphones on and find meditation music that relaxes me. As I listen to the music, I close my eyes and imagine myself in the presence of God. I begin to thank him for blessing my life with abundance, financial blessings, health and joy in my life.

When I do this visualization, it helps me to feel my prayers are powerful. That I see myself during meditation. I see myself happy with my children. I see my boss handing me a big bonus check. I see me laughing and happy. Most importantly I see me standing with Jesus, standing in heaven with my lord. Peaceful, happy and full of all the love I could ever ask.

When you see your prayers in that light, it’s already yours. Then God will begin to move things in your life, so it is a reality. It won’t happen overnight, don’t have unrealistic expectations. Know that God is providing what you see in your prayers as though they are already yours. If you see yourself on top of Mount Everest, then have faith God will put you there if its Gods Work for you.

God will provide all the promises in the Bible that are yours. Through prayer that you give God thanks for already providing your answers. The answers will come. Patience will be the next chapter, but this is where patience comes in.

People also ask me does God hear better when I pray at Church or a holy place. God hears all prayers no matter where you stand. If you come to God with a humble, loving heart, God hears you loud and clear.

Another question I get all the time. How many times do I need to pray for a specific thing? Ask yourself this question, if someone keeps asking you the same question repeatedly what would you do? God is an intelligent soul so I would imagine with confidence that once you confess it to God, he has it.

In prayer, you need to confess to God your sins. If you want forgiveness, then you need to come clean with God. Prayer for me had a real cleansing feeling for me. When you ask for forgiveness, then accept it because you already have his mercy.

Prayer is like getting a new job. When you take the role it’s on the promise of pay; you must do the work first before you get paid. The easiest way for me to understand how prayer works. I had to do the job before God would begin to bless me.

Which stands to reason, something for nothing is always nothing. Earnestly, seek God’s promises in the Bible in prayer. The good news is, it’s everything you need and then some! Words without action are just that words. Faith is action.

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family, spiritual

Gratitude

“It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.” –Eckhart Tolle

Gratitude will be on the top of my list from now on. When you’re thankful for the little things, big things will come. Be grateful for all the blessing in your life, and I am about to tell you why.

  • Your body diagnosed with a terminal disease.
  • What do you have to be grateful for? Someone you love just passed away unexpectedly.
  • What do you have to be thankful for?
  • Everything in your life is fabulous. What do you have to be grateful for?

Tragedy strikes your life hard. Finding anything at that moment to be grateful for my appearance would be difficult. Hurt, anger, and emotion cloud our minds. We even curse God for what has happened. I get it, and it’s okay to be emotional, but we have to find our way back to peace.

family, grateful, gratitude

We all get hit in the gut with tragedy, divorce, job loss; you could make a laundry list of things that steal our peace. The most challenging part of this is to find gratitude. If we make it through something horrible, we can make it through anything. NO, some things are not fair. Life in many situations is not fair. The good news is God sees these things; it does not go unnoticed.

Where folks lose God in these moments is “how could God let my son or daughter get cancer” or some other tragedy befalls your life. If God’s all-powerful and performs these fantastic miracles how could he allow drama in my life?

I wish I had a right answer for why some things happen, and some things don’t. Why there is injustice in the world. Free will answers a lot of questions, but certainly not all. We must accept reality, work to find peace and move on with our life. I’m sorry if you have had a tragedy to befall your life. Over some time, the pain will abate itself.

Some loss we don’t want to know “nothing from nothing” leave me alone you don’t know my pain. Families have endured tragedy through the ages. How many sons have we lost to war? How many children have we failed to cancer or disease? None of it is fair in any sense of the word.

What we must with everything that we have in us is find gratitude. I get it you want to scream when you hear this statement. Some things that you must think about to find an answer. Let’s say you lost someone to death. Do you honestly in your heart believe that person would want you to suffer? I’m in no way negating your pain. You do have to ask yourself though would my loved one want me in extreme pain?

Of course, they would not! If I passed away, I don’t want my family to suffer. Yes, we all need to mourn and time will make the days pass easier. Don’t blame God for a natural occurrence. We all have a time that we’re going to die. It’s never going to come at the right time. Celebrate the time you did have with them.

So, we’ve covered the extreme. It’s the hardest thing in the world to do but finding gratefulness amid anguish won’t be easy. Life will go on even if you don’t think it will. If you can see the smallest of things to be grateful. Offer that to God. I wish I had better words to ease someone’s pain.

Being grateful in good times and bad will always be returned with a beautiful blessing or blessings. Life can kick you right in the gut when you least expect it. Remaining grateful will keep your life moving forward positively.

The flip side of this coin is stopping to be grateful when life is roses. Life could not be better work is excellent, the family is good, and your life is moving quickly. Taking time to stop and let God know you’re grateful for the harvest in your life. More importantly, than can imagine is to stop and thank God.

happy, family, joy, peace

Let God know that without him this beautiful life would not be possible. Stay humble in your praise.

For me during this season of my life. When I began to be grateful for my hardship with family, finance and personal experience. Finding the smallest thing to be thankful for was difficult. Then I’m reminded that my life is not as bad as others. You can lose your health in the blink of an eye, the same thing with your job. It can always be worse.

Taking time daily to thank God here are some ideas to get you started:

 

  • You have a job, may not be the one you want but you have a paycheck!
  • You have a car to get to work that runs!
  • If you have kids and they’re healthy. Imagine parents that just found out their child diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, only have weeks to live.
  • If you’re living, breathing, and healthy. Imagine the same scenario as a child above, but you.
  • Beautiful day outside.
  • The roof over your head.
  • Food to eat at home. You realize how many folks will go hungry today?
  • If you are a husband or wife, being grateful for your marriage.

If you try hard enough, you can find a lot more than just this short list. Plenty of things to be grateful if you search your heart. Keep in mind that if you can be thankful during the hardest times in your life. The blessings you will receive will indeed be life-changing. It’s been my experience that during one of the most challenging times in my life. Being grateful truly helps me find peace.

Coming from an incredibly dark place in my life where everything was in turmoil. By feeling happy again because I’m grateful for what I do have. Small things, big things it does not matter. What matters is that I feel so glad and the real kicker, most of my problems are still in full swing. With a calm mind, however, I am making real progress to cure my problems. Thank you, God!

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family, spiritual

Our Words Cut or Heal

“Words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness.” — Mother Teresa

Words have power and what you say out of your mouth can alter what is happening to you. If we speak negatively, that is what we will attract in our life. Positive words can heal, bring peace to our survival. Ask yourself to have you ever been around a negative person and just wanted to run away? The bigger question is, are you that person?

For me, this was and still is to a degree something I must work for change. Keeping negative words from racing through my head or spilling out of my mouth is a challenge. For most of us, it’s a challenge. If our lives have been a struggle most of the time, then this will prove to be work. Rest easy it’s good work!

When we learn to be gentle with our speech amazing positive things will happen in our life. Words have healing power. If you don’t believe that why does a child respond to your soft loving voice vs. a loud, forceful yell? Being honest with yourself have you ever said something you regretted saying? Of course, you have we all have at some point in our life.

More than any other area of our life this chapter will be in the top two of importance.

For years I would think negatively about so many things in my life. Especially about myself. To only drag me down but it attracted despair. We must learn to change the discussion that we have with yourself. Instead of “nothing ever works” “my life is total crap” start saying, “my life is blessed.”

self help, family, words

One thing I had a hard time buying into, was words could change my life. Words alone will not, but words with action behind them most certainly will. You can’t say I want a movie star spouse to sit on the couch and expect it to come to pass.

Nope, you will have to get off your butt and do something besides just talk. So, if you say, for example, I want to walk with God, be happy, then you might want to get to Church. You will also need to make these confessions to God on a regular basis. Until it comes naturally to you praying daily. When what you say is what you believe. Then hang on your life is about to change in surprising ways.

Let me forewarn you the enemy will come here with your positive thought, speech and see you become happy. “Incoming” enemy bombs are coming! The enemy will want to deceive you. Now he is afraid of you, what God will do in your life if you begin to speak with grace.  The attack will come hard! Dig in and confess you are strong that the enemy has NO dominion over your life.

Your head will deceive you, your heart, soul, will not. Trust in your spiritual belief over your noodle. The enemy lives in your head; God lives in your heart. For years I thought God didn’t like me that is why I suffered. Therefore, now I implore you to hear what I am saying. The enemy will attack hard; you can get through no matter how much you want to give up, DON’T! I promise it gets more comfortable with faith. Don’t lose it.

At the beginning of really focusing on changing my speech. Even though many times I didn’t believe the words I was saying. I said the words anyway. You will be amazed at how quickly saying positive things about yourself, where you begin to believe. Strength comes when you speak power to your soul. For a time if you don’t have faith in your words, say the words. Pray for guidance, and you will receive it.

No matter how difficult a time you’re having with positive thoughts. Keep speaking peaceful words to yourself. I cannot reiterate enough. The power lies in our speech. If you confess negativity, then expect the same garbage to manifest itself to you.

Here is a thought! Forgive yourself, remember these words “my past does not define who I can be today.” What I struggled with was forgiving myself for all the past things in my life that I was not proud of doing. Feeling undeserving of happiness. If this is you, stop it, your life does and has real meaning. Mistakes in life are NOT life sentences of despair.

It has taken me a lot of pain to get this point across in my head. It’s still a battle for me, but I am working on being gentle in my speech to myself. What I can tell you is it does get better and more comfortable to receive the words. I may have to say to myself repeatedly. Worth my time and effort. It will be for you as well. Commit right now that today you will be gentle in your conversation with yourself.

The same way you must be gentle in conversation with yourself. Be sincere with others in your life. Words we speak to our children, spouse or other loved ones will dictate our experience with them. One thing I have had to do with my son tells him I was sorry for telling him when he did wrong that he was terrible. His activity was awful; my son was just off the track.

In the how to raise a child owner’s manual that gets lost between the hospital and home. It would be nice to find the section that talks about the power of words. Breaking the generational cycle of garbage that gets handed down because of words stops now. For us to have a well-rounded life, we may have to have conversations with family to end the cycle of negative words.

My endeavor every day is to speak only uplifting, positive words. I choose to talk about peace in my life. No, it doesn’t work all the time, but that does not mean I don’t try anyway. When we stumble, that means we’re human. Mistakes will happen, recognizing them is a beautiful thing. Now you can adjust your course and get back on track.

Success with our words will take practice and most importantly patience with yourself. Negative words will pop up in your head fast. Confusing you in a false sense, it can manifest if you focus towards negativity. Like all things it takes practice. You don’t walk onto the Golf course with Tiger Woods and expect to beat him if you have not practiced as he has. Your game won’t be the same if you have not paid the same price he has.

The enemy will want you to stay status quo. Break the cycle of negative words in your mind and blurting negative words out of your mouth. Apologize to yourself and to anyone who is the subject of your foul mouth exercise. Bluntly speaking we all must curb our tongue on occasion. Be a blessing to someone, not a curse.

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