Don’t Wait! Speak Life To Someone, TODAY!

IMG_20180721_181433_018

These words.
These words are my actual words from a very real conversation I had with an extremely close friend.
These words also happen to be the last words I ever had with that friend.
You never know what tomorrow holds, so always speak with love and hope and compassion…
Speak LIFE. ❤
I always say, if you feel something, express it. If someone is put in your mind and you can’t seem to figure out why, contact that person and let them know you’re thinking about them. If you feel overcome with love and gratitude for someone in your life, no matter who it is, TELL them. If you have memories of someone that pop in your head randomly, seek that person out and share with them. It may make all the difference to them. You never know what someone else is going through, but the good thing is you don’t HAVE to know to share your love and appreciation for them!
Much love to you guys ❤ xoxo
You’re never too lost that you can’t be found and you’re never too broken that you can’t be repaired!

Tell someone today that you love them, appreciate them and are thinking of them!

Accepting Myself

I listened to the first of a new sermon series today and it’s entitled Soul Therapy. The first sermon was all about accepting who you are. I am excited for this series because self-esteem and self-image are things I have struggled with most of my life and I feel I am not alone in that! I believe so many of us struggle with these issues and I hope that my notes and thoughts on these sermons may help someone reading in some way!

Screenshot_2018-07-15-09-22-31-1

Many times the greatest battles in our lives, both spiritually and physically, are from within our own minds. The enemy (the devil) can do more damage in our minds than anything else. If he is let in our mind, he can slowly gain control and ultimately change our perception of ourselves and hinder our relationships with not only other people but God as well. In the passage above, David was amazed with God’s workmanship. David was someone who was rejected many times in life, yet he often reminded himself that God made him and he has value!

We need to recognize the poison or poisons of self-rejection.

Insecurity-lack of confidence which usually leads to feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness. This can then lead us to jealousy.

Jealousy-When we are filled with self-rejection we can become jealous of others; what they do, what they have, how they look etc. Jealousy can lead us to anger.

Anger-Occurs when we are always comparing ourselves and believing we got the short end of the stick. This can then lead to selfishness.

Selfishness-Can be a result of poor self-esteem. It can cause us to become absorbed with ourselves and give us I-itis. Everything will be about “I, I, I” which can lead to the last of the poisons of self-rejection, fear.

Fear-We will end up living in fear. Fear of what might happen to us. Fear of trying. Fear of failing.

All of these points will poison our spirit and souls. We are all spirits and we all have a soul and our soul is our mind, will and emotions. If our spirit, and especially our soul is poisoned, the devil will use this against us. The devil will never hesitate to use self-rejection to control how we feel and destroy us.

The place of self-esteem.

Screenshot_2018-07-15-09-23-06-1.png

Many people have heard the verse above, yet don’t often focus too much on the last 5 words. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This is hard to fulfill when we don’t love ourselves. If we don’t love ourselves, we can’t truly love anyone else. We don’t need to become arrogant and prideful, but there is a balance between having too high of self-esteem and too low of self-esteem, and the balance or middle ground is ideal! Too high or too low of self-esteem are equally harmful.

Self image is how we view ourselves and that in turn determines our value. So we’ll never know or acknowledge our true values if our perception of ourselves is off. Self-esteem is how we value ourselves. I think it goes without saying that both self-image and self-esteem work hand in hand. We cannot have one without the other. David, whom we referred to at the beginning of the blog, had a great handle on self-image and self-esteem; often reminding himself that God made him and he found his value in that fact.

Our functional nature is based on what we can do. This includes our talents and abilities gifted to us by God. We ALL have been given a unique gift or talent and even some of us are given multiple gifts and talents. Our gifts and talents can determine our functional nature.

Screenshot_2018-07-15-09-24-46-1

Intrinsic nature has to do with who we are as a person. In Psalm 139:14 it states, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” David wasn’t boasting in pride but he was biblically and spiritually recognizing God made him. He knew he was special in the eyes of the Lord and that God does not make junk. We would all do good to remember that. When we are feeling down on ourselves in any way, we need to remember God created us the way we are and He does not make junk! We are all made unique and we should be confident in who we are and BE that person. BE YOU!

We need to change the way we think by accepting God’s viewpoint of who we are.

Screenshot_2018-07-15-09-25-48-1

In “our” image or in “our” likeness. Our or “us” refers to The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit! We have been given authority and part of God is in ALL of us. We were ALL made in their image. How then, knowing that, can we view ourselves in a negative light?

We have to stop comparing ourselves to other people. This is both unhealthy and unproductive. No two snowflakes or blades of grass are the same; they’re unique and such is the same with people. We are all unique and no two people are the same or have been equipped with the same abilities or talents. We need to compare ourselves to the Lord and strive to be like Him and NOT like others around us.

Screenshot_2018-07-15-09-26-56-1

Remember, your weakness doesn’t disqualify you! Moses gave about 5 different excuses to disqualify himself because he didn’t seem to think to highly of himself.

Screenshot_2018-07-15-09-27-58-1

What Moses didn’t realize is that we ALL have weaknesses but none of those disqualifies us from being used by God! We need to focus more on what we CAN do and less on what we CAN’T do!

We also need to separate our worth from our importance. We should always strive to do our best; try our hardest in all we do! We are never going to win every time and we will never be immune to criticism, but our failure or even our success does NOT define our worth to God!

I fully understand the struggle with self-esteem and self-image; I have never been one who thought highly of myself at all! I often told people if given a scale of 1 to 10 my level would be in the negatives! Many times it’s hard for us to reprogram our brains to see our worth when we were wired at younger ages to believe negative things others told us about ourselves. It will definitely be a challenge for myself, but I have never thought that the way I viewed myself basically insults God. If I don’t love who I am, am I not telling God He made a mistake? We all know God doesn’t make mistakes, therefore I (and you) are created just how we are meant to be created…we just have to nourish ourselves in the right way to grow in the right direction! Reflecting back, I think I allowed some things to happen in my life (maybe not intentionally) but I believe now that my lack of self-image and self-esteem caused my poor judgement in several areas in life. The good thing is that God doesn’t condemn me for any of it, but graciously accepts me and has confidence that I can always grow from these situations. Not all of us view negative circumstances in that way, but I believe all that happens to us equips us to learn, grow and then help others who need help that we once needed ourselves! I pray that everyone reading this acknowledges any poison of self-rejection in their lives and makes every effort to rid it from their lives, especially their minds! May we all recognize our uniqueness, special talents and differences as positives! You are exactly who you are supposed to be! Let us all love ourselves for who we are inside and out and let that allow us to love each other the same!

Remember, you were not made to be the same as anyone else, so don’t attempt to be!

Much Love and God Bless ❤

The Importance of Intercessory Prayer

Today I was able to listen to the last sermon in the short series on the importance of prayer, and can share my notes and pass along the message! While all prayer is of the utmost importance, intercessory prayer may just be the most important type of prayer!

If you do a simple search on the definition of the word intercession, you’ll see that it is defined as follows: To plead or make a request on behalf of another person. When we come before God in intercessory prayer, we are in agreement with God on not only the situation, but also on the solution to the situation. We agree on what the person’s needs are and we agree that God has the power to turn their situation around for good.

A big problem is, not many Christians take the time to intercede for others. When we come before God in intercession, we have an influence greater than we know! In Genesis 18 & 19, Abraham interceded for his nephew Lot; he prayed for his nephew to be spared. In Exodus 32:11-14, Moses interceded for the nation of Israel; he prayed for change and believed God had the power to change. In Ezekiel 22, we know God was going to bring judgement upon Israel, but we know God was looking for someone to come and intercede! It’s a simple task with a monumental reward! I can think of no greater reward than to know I am the reason someone came to know and believe in God!

Salvation is much more than just deliverance from sin; it also promotes us to sons and daughters of Christ and also kings and priests! We are priests in relation to God and kings in relation to satan. Priests represented the people before God; traditionally a priest was a man chosen by God who had authority we didn’t. There were certain rituals and places only priests were allowed to venture, but now we can all come before God on another’s behalf! As priests, we have the privilege of going before the Father and interceding for others, claiming the provision and power of His blood! We can ALL come before God not only on behalf of ourselves, but for others…especially those who don’t believe in God. Now, we take authority over satan! Not many of us really realize that fact; we tend to let satan bully us. Ultimately though, we are kings in relation to Satan. Kings exercise power and authority. Kings defeat their enemies and establish their will or desire in their kingdom. They are in control! In the same way, we rule over satan and we control what he can and cannot do in our lives, and by intercessory prayer we can come before God and do our part to stop satan in other’s lives and in the world around us. Some people will say, “Pray for me, Satan won’t leave me alone.” Nothing wrong with asking for prayer, but as believers we can also stop running, turn around and start chasing him! Satan will only do what you allow him to do in your life; if you give him the key, he will come in! God has given us a key to His kingdom and we can open doors we want open and close doors we want closed!

How do we effectively intercede?

1. We pray that God draws them (the non-believers) to Him. We pray He creates a desire in them.

2. We should pray that they would pursue God and seek Him out!

3. Pray for someone to tell them about Jesus; whether it be us or someone else! They cannot believe what they never hear about and they will never hear unless we become the messengers we are called to be and share the gospel with them!

4. Pray their spiritual eyes are open! For those who don’t understand, allow their eyes to open and for what they hear to make sense in their minds, hearts and lives.

5. Finally, pray they believe in Christ as their savior! Don’t just pray for them to simply open their eyes and believe, but pray for them to make the most important decision in their lives; to accept God as their personal savior so they may never be condemned but live eternally. Pray for them to get to that point where they can exercise their will to choose belief. God doesn’t want anyone perish; He always gives us a way out. One thing He will not do is violate a person’s free will! Everyone has been given the freedom to choose and we must pray for others who may not believe, to get to the point in their lives where they use their free will to choose belief in God. There should be no reason any of us Christians aren’t actively practicing intercessory prayer. We ALL have important people in our lives who aren’t saved. We should be concerned and care for them and all other non-believers the same! We should be excited to tell others about God and to share our story with them!

What if the only reason someone doesn’t make it to Heaven with us, is because you or I did not take the time to care enough to intercede on their behalf? What if we didn’t take our role and responsibilities as Christians seriously enough and it costs someone eternity? Intercessory prayer doesn’t take much effort, but it can have a huge return! What do you have to lose? As Christians, possibly not much…but what do non-believers you know or come in contact with have to lose? Eternity! Don’t cheat others out of what we have in God! Pray for the power to share with others and open doors for them! We have the key to the kingdom, let’s let them in!

God, we come before you today as believers in You, interceding for all non-believers we know well, have come in contact with or those we will come into contact with! Let us share our story of Your goodness with them, and may their eyes be open! May You draw them near and create in them a desire to pursue You and seek you out. We also pray if we aren’t the person who witnesses to them, that someone else finds them and does! Thank You for allowing is to come in front of You and intercede for ourselves and others! May we all make time for intercessory prayer in our lives! AMEN!

Remember it’s as easy as A·B·C!

·Admit to God we have sinned.

·Believe Jesus is God’s Son who was sent to save us and die for our sins on the cross.

·Confess your belief to God and allow Him into your heart and life.

Screenshot_2018-06-18-18-21-10-1

Much Love and God Bless 💚

Random Acts of Kindness

Today I’m going to shift gears a bit. I have been blogging more on serious issues, which I have no problem with, but sometimes you have to break it up a bit 😊 I think today shall be about kindness.

I often challenge others to go out and compliment at least one person; someone you know well or even someone you don’t. We never know what anyone else is feeling or what they’re enduring in the moment and our one act of kindness can have much more of an impact than we could ever comprehend. A compliment is just the beginning, but I am an advocate for any act of kindness. We can pay for someone’s lunch without them knowing, offer our assistance to someone we see who may need it, say something positive to someone, hand out “blessing bags” to people we see in need, hold the door for someone or simply just offer a smile to everyone we come in contact with or even pass by. The littlest actions can cause the biggest influence. It’s never about being recognized for your good deed, but imagine someone noticed what you were doing, it could potentially cause a ripple effect! What a wonderful tradition for not only adults to adopt, but children as well! Kindness is never overflowing in today’s world, but maybe that’s what we can aim for!

Not everyone will show gratitude. Not everyone will be thankful for your kindness, but my advice? DO IT ANYWAY.  Be a blessing that someone else needs in their lives.

We grew up with not a lot of money. We were on welfare at certain times when my dad would be in between jobs. We used the assistance until we could get back on our feet, then we would not use them any more. When we were younger it wasn’t as convenient either…no card. We had what looked like monopoly money that you had to tear out individually when you paid for your groceries and I believe had to sign each “bill”.  We would have only one car, never a working air conditioner and living in FL in constant heat, that’s a bummer. My parents would sometimes wonder how bills would get paid, but God always provided. My mom always somehow “magically” made the little bit of money we had stretch to feed our family of 5. So we were thankful to always have food on the table. My parents would be unable to pay a bill and all of a sudden a check would come in the mail and again, God provided. I bring this up because random acts of kindness made all the difference to us. We grew up near another family, a family of 7 I do believe 😝 and they were and are some of the nicest people I have ever known. They are always willing to help anyone in need. We struggled with cars a lot and working, dependable vehicles. One evening the father of the family came by and said to my dad, come with me. So I and I believe one of my brothers went with him and couple of his sons to head somewhere unknown to us. We ended up at a car lot where my dad was to sign papers for a used car this family had purchased for us. One act of kindness can change your whole outlook on life and how you view the people around you. I have no doubt that not growing up with a lot and having been witness to this family’s random acts of kindness resulted in my passion to continue and return the same to others, especially those in need.

I am thankful every single day for the life I have been given, even with all the good and bad. I am grateful beyond words and don’t take any thing for granted. I am blessed to be able to help others when they need it, and that’s one more point I’d like to add. Random acts of kindness can cost us money in some cases or examples I have you, but there are also random acts of kindness that cost nothing. You can offer your help and your time and that smile never costs a dime 😊❤ I would love you to take that challenge and comment back to this blog and tell me about your random act of kindness and how it played out. 💚🙏🙌

10592835_10152244751921179_3087110807169606541_n