Selah Grace Update Continued

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I figured I would just include a screenshot of my post on another social media page for today. ❀️

If anyone is interested in donating to Selah’s Recovery Fund, below is the link to her page! Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance! πŸ™ŒπŸ™β€οΈ

https://www.gofundme.com/f/selahswarriors?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet

Update On Selah Grace

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Above is an update from Selah’s Dad.

Selah did great during surgery and is now in the recovery phase. The doctors are amazed at how well she is doing and how great her stats already are! GOD IS GOOD! Thank you all for the prayers for Selah Grace, and please continue to pray for her and the family! β€οΈπŸ™ŒπŸ™πŸŽ‰

A Prayer For Selah Grace

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My baby cousin, Little Miss Selah Grace, has just been taken back to the OR for open heart surgery. Join me in prayer…
Heavenly Father, we come together in prayer this morning, to lift up Selah Grace. We know she has several heart issues Lord, but we also know You are The Great Physician! We pray that You would watch over the entire team in the room with Selah; we pray you guide the hands of her surgeon. Lord, we also pray that You continue giving Selah Your strength, the strength only You are able to give. We know she is very strong, but with You on her side, she’s even stronger! Thank you for watching over her since she was born 18 days ago and we trust You will continue watching over her. Only You know what is best for Selah; what she needs and when she needs it. We trust this is You intervening with the moving up of her surgery. May Selah Grace have a wonderful surgery and an even better recovery so that she can finally go home with her brothers and mom and dad and that they can all hold her and love on her ❀️ I pray for the entire family and most importantly Selah’s mother and father as they wait during surgery. Let Your comfort and peace be over them. Just as David went up against Goliath without physical armor, so Selah goes against her giant, both having You as their armor, strength and courage and we have faith that Selah Grace will be victorious! We pray this all in YOUR name, AMEN!β€οΈπŸ™ŒπŸ™πŸ’ͺ

Little Miss Selah Grace

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Hi everyone! This is my baby cousin (my cousin Kayla’s baby girl). Her name is Selah Grace and she was born on October 5th, 2019. She has always looked so great since birth, one would never know she was born with a few complicated heart issues. She has some leaky valves, among other things, but the main concern now is getting the leaks fixed. She was set for surgery this Thursday the 24th which is actually her mother’s birthday, however her surgery has been moved up to tomorrow Oct 23rd at 8:15am. She has been able to do things that most of the little patients in her position don’t normally do, so needless to say she is a very strong little girl! She was born a fighter and God has given her the strength every step of the way and we believe He will continue to do so! We believe very much in the power of prayer and I am asking all of you to please keep my precious cousin in your prayers! Please pray God will guide the hands of the surgeons tomorrow and pray for His comfort and peace to be over the family during the waiting period. They said it could be a shorter surgery or it could go up to 8 hours! Please pray for Selah to come out of surgery with wonderful improvement and be on her road to going home with her family! Let’s pray that Momma gets to hold her baby girl very soon, as she hasn’t been able to because of all the pesky tubes! This baby girl is already such a symbol of strength and I have faith that she will do wonderfully in surgery and after! Please remember Selah Grace today, tomorrow (especially during surgery time) and every day after! God bless you Selah Grace! We love you baby girl!β€οΈπŸ™πŸ’ͺ Please feel free to comment on this post your well wishes for the family! Let them know you’ll be praying!

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Reaction or Response

As I sat here in my semi-cleaned kitchen, chomping on baby carrots (straight from the bag because I like to live my life on the edge) and sipping my sparkling water, I came across a thought-provoking post on a social media outlet. The question posed to the readers was, do you mindlessly react to situations or do you thoughtfully respond? A rather deep question, it would seem, for a person in my current state who was just asking herself the equally deep question, “…should I get some ranch to dip these carrots in?” In all seriousness, this question did beckon a response from myself. I felt the response I gave wasn’t all too shabby, so it sparked the decision to blog! Here was my response,

“I would agree, reacting can be this reflex action sometimes, but I try to be more mindful. As you said, some days we will be more successful with responding than others, but at least we are making the effort to self-correct! In certain circumstances, reacting can be momentarily gratifying but that is always short-lived. It goes back to the old saying, ” Two wrongs don’t make a right.” I try to reflect what I want seen in the world. Although our mind may tell us, “react, they NEED to see my reaction!” I think simply responding speaks volumes. Our mindset can change many things in our lives, and the beauty is, it can always be reset! ❀ “

I would like to elaborate more on my response.

Certain times throughout our days, people may disrespect us or try to provoke us and if you’re like me, your mind tells you REACT REACT REACT. We can’t fathom sometimes the act of just thinking before reacting. Instead of taking a breath and contemplating a more intelligent and graceful response, we want to show we can go toe-to-toe with this person and possibly one up their actions. We don’t believe we should be disrespected, so we think we will teach the other person a lesson by beating them at their own game. While I’ll agree that I don’t usually extend respect to someone who isn’t extending it to me, we can most certainly stop and think of a better way to respond. I’m often hearing a voice in my head reminding me, ” …quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger…” which comes from James 1:19-20.

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Sometimes, this appears as a weakness in the eyes of others. They believe if we don’t meet a negative with another negative, that we don’t have any self-respect and we allow people to walk all over us. Not true! There is a healthy balance where you can respectfully be assertive while thoughtfully responding to what has just been done or said. As I mentioned in my response, there can be a momentary sense of gratification after “putting someone in their place” and trust me, I KNOW some people seem to need that reaction or don’t seem to be receptive to anything unless you do choose to react, but those same people also get gratification out of provoking you; when they see you react they know they have the ability to control your emotions. Although they may be somewhat offended by you putting them in their place, they still feel pride that they were able to disrupt your inner peace and joy. Those individuals will love knowing that although they may not have gotten what they set out to get, they still caused you to react which will likely spill over into the rest of your day and onto others you come in contact with. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t seem worth it. It’s also worth noting that these individuals are prepared to meet reaction with reaction, so a thoughtful response rather than a mindless reaction can truly throw a monkey wrench into their plans and really throw them off their game.

Some people we encounter may not even intentionally set out to provoke a reaction from us, so once their mindless reaction is met with a thoughtful response, this serves as a wake up call and reminds them that grace is better than retaliation. This could also serve as a reminder to believers that we are to be a reflection of God to others, and extend the grace He freely give us to others as well. To reiterate, you will be more successful some day than others, but the important fact is that you are acknowledging and putting forth the effort for self-correction. It will not happen over night, or even all at once, but over time you will see that the little corrections here and there will retrain your mind. I am in no way telling you not to stand up for yourself, but choose a wise way of doing so. There are usually always those extenuating circumstances, but normally those aren’tΒ  occurring on the daily.

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I loved what I had to say at the very end of my response and I think God gave me those words in that moment! “Our mindset can change many things in our lives, and the beauty is, it can always be reset!”Β  We like to believe that we don’t have the power to retrain our minds, but this is simply false. I can tell you that from personal experience with extreme anxiety, panic attacks, depression and more, that I truly have felt with all my being that “I cannot come back from this. I am too far gone.” Something I want everyone out there reading is to know you are NEVER too far gone! You can always come back to center and reset. Trust me, anyone who would have witnessed how bad things got for me, would have said there is no way to recover from this and certainly not without being heavily medicated. While I am in no way condemning getting help in the form of medication, what I am saying is you CAN get back! God allowed me to get so lost that once I was able to find my way back, I knew how to help myself and more importantly, how to help others! I found understanding and purpose! So, if you’re someone who feels that you cannot retrain your mind to be more positive, that it’s impossible for you, hear me tell you IT IS ABSOLUTELY POSSIBLE and if you truly desire to, YOU CAN DO IT! Self-correcting once a month, once a week, or once a day is all equally productive! It starts off small and over time will multiply and before you realize it, you are thoughtfully responding rather than mindlessly reacting! It takes no effort what-so-ever to impulsively react, but it takes true strength and character to be mindful of how you will respond.

Much Love and God Bless XO

Armor of God Series: Sword of the Spirit & Helmet of Salvation

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In Ephesians 6:17 (as seen above) you’ll notice the helmet is listed before the sword, but in this post I am going to touch on the Sword of the Spirit first. I hope everyone reading has not only found this series interesting but informative as well. My hope is that everyone take these words to heart and apply them to their own lives.

The Sword of the Spirit is a weapon belonging to the Holy Spirit. Not unlike in battle where a sword is used to protect ourselves, His Word is our protection against the enemies attacks; our sword. Whether in battle years ago or in our spiritual battle, in order to wield the sword properly we must first learn how to use it; we must go through training in order to receive it’s full benefits. All Christians need proper training to understand the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God; the Holy Scriptures.

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The Word of God (The Bible) is from The Holy Spirit and written by men. Only when understood and used properly, can the Word of God or Sword of the Spirit be effectively used as protection against evil.

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Hebrews describes the Word of God as a sword, and not just any sword but sharper than any double edged sword. Double edged swords are known to be easier to penetrate and cut in every way and in telling us that His Word is sharper, it is giving us the knowledge that His Word penetrates our hearts and gets to our very core where it reveals our true motives and feelings.

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The purpose of the Sword is to give us strength and allow us to withstand the evil attacks of the enemy. The Holy Spirit uses the power of God’s Word to not only save souls, but also to give us strength to become mature soldiers of Christ so that we may fight against the corrupt world we live in. The more we familiarize ourselves with His Word, the more useful we will become in carrying out His Will and the more effectively we can stand against the enemy.

Helmet Of Salvation

I saved the Helmet of Salvation for last because, quite simply, when putting on armor it would be the last piece to go on. When suiting up, our helmet would go on last, signifying our final act of readiness. In battle, the helmet is vital for survival as it protects the brain. If a soldier’s head becomes injured, the rest of the armor then becomes impractical.

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Our defense against the enemy is our assurance of salvation. In preparation, we must secure our Helmet of Salvation. The salvation which God gifts us is on-going; an eternal state which we can enjoy daily protection and deliverance from both Satan’s schemes and our sins.

The power of the cross cancels out the hold the enemy has on us. Satan is aware of this, but he also knows that not all of us are aware of that fact or that most of us don’t live as if we are aware. It is imperative that we learn to keep our helmet secure so that the enemy doesn’t enter into our minds. If we allow him into our thoughts, he will gain control of us. We can never fight against attacks if we are already defeated in our minds.

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Through the Helmet of Salvation we destroy every obstacle that hinders us from knowing God.Β  There are steps we can take to ensure that our helmet stays securely fastened and functional. We can renew our minds for starters. Our minds are our battlefields and the outcome of our battles determines the course of our lives.

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We must allow truth to erase all of our old ideas, opinions or world views and replace them with what we know to be right through His Word. Allow that truth to wash away the filth of this world, all of it’s lies and confusion from our minds, so that we may see how God sees. We can also reject doubts caused by our circumstances. Humans are emotional creatures by nature. We are sensitive and we tend to ignore anything we cannot come to comprehend through our senses. If we allow our situations to dictate our thoughts, they will likely convince us that God doesn’t love us and that His Word isn’t true. Where there is doubt, there is no faith and where there is faith, there is no doubt. You cannot have both at once. Through our faith, we choose to believe the appearance of the impossible.

Another thing we can do is, when life doesn’t seem to be going our way, we can look to Him and keep an eternal perspective. Salvation is the most priceless and precious gift we have received and remembering that can help us get through any of life’s storms. We would do well to remember that victory has already been attained.

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In knowing that we are dead to sin and alive in Christ, we rid Satan of his trap and opportunities. We cut off failure.

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We can find hope in Him. The Helmet of Salvation is most effective when we value what it represents. We have to treasure it more than any other earthly possession; it just not be regarded as such. We can phase out our enemy by making God our focus. Wearing out helmet daily allows us to guard and protect our minds from any tricks the devil tries to play on us. It will help us guard our minds from excessive worldly influence, allowing us to think of things which bring honor to God. The Helmet of Salvation protects our hearts as well as our minds.

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Don’t let this be the end of your Armor of God Series. I hope I can encourage you all to dive into His Word and study yourself. I have been a Christian for my whole life, being born again at the age of 9. Although I was baptized at an earlier age (a couple years prior) when I reached 9 years old I felt like I truly understood the gift of being born again and wanted to make it known publicly by another baptism. Not necessary, but symbolic. I’mΒ  almost to 31 years of age and I can assure you that the more I study God’s Word, the more things I see that I never did before. Imagine how many times I have heard some of these passages in my life and yet, each time (like us daily, through Him) they become brand new. What I am saying is, no matter what stage you are at in your faith/beliefs, you can always uncover something you haven’t before.

God, I pray over everyone who has taken this series journey with me, that they read my words and see You in them. I pray that they understand You more and what You have done for them and what You are willing to do for them. I pray every knows it is never too late to come to You and there is never a point in life where they are “too far gone”, they can always come home. Thank you for using me to reach so many and I pray that You continue to use me. I lift up everyone reading who is struggling or has things going on in their life causing them distress, may you comfort them, guide them and heal them. Thank You for the gift of Salvation through Your Son Jesus Christ. In Your name I pray. Amen.

One more thing.

I know I spoke a bit about being baptized, but I want to stress that you can become born again without baptism. If you accept Jesus in your heart, regardless of baptism, you are still saved. You still have a place in Heaven. Don’t think that because you haven’t been baptized or can’t for some reason that you aren’t truly saved. Baptism is a nice public show of being born again and if you are able you definitely should have that celebration, but know that it is not essential for becoming new. Anyone out there reading, from right where you’re sitting, can pray to God admitting that you are a sinner and have sinned, that you believe God is the one and only God and sent His son Jesus to die for our sins on the cross and confess that Jesus is Lord of your life and you commit your life to following His Word and you will be saved. Ask Jesus to come into your heart and you will receive the gift of salvation. That’s easily. We as Christians must commit to turning away from our old way of living, our old ways of thinking and embrace truth through His Word.

Since starting this blog and sharing His Word with others, I have felt a renewed sense of faith. I have always had what I feel to be a strong faith, but feel closer to God as I study His Word more and more. I want to publicly rededicate my life to Him today, right here on my blog. I want to become stronger if my faith and to continue seeking God in all that I do in life. I want to do more. I want to renew my heart and mind and reprogram it with the knowledge I have always had but may have not always put into practice. I don’t want to just simply be saved, I want to help save others and live my life in a way that bring honor to God. I want my faith in Him to be so evident that people who don’t know me know that there is something different about me! What a blessing for the end of this series. I wasn’t aware that I would end with this or feel led to do so, but how amazing it is πŸ™ŒπŸŽ‰

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Much love and God Bless πŸ’“

Armor of God Series: Breastplate of Righteousness

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Continuing the Armor of God series, we move on to the Breastplate of Righteousness. In order to wear the breastplate, we must first have the Belt of Truth securely fastened. As we discussed in the previous blog, the Belt of Truth is essential to the armor as a whole; without truth, the armor becomes futile.

A breastplate was often used in battle to protect the wearer from attack by covering the vital organs. We can easily agree that if we were made to go into battle in those days, we would ALL desire to wear a breastplate! Why do we view it as a necessity when it comes to physical battle but not spiritual battle? Putting on the Breastplate of Righteousness symbolizes our desire to seek God and His righteousness. We crave for our ways to become like His! We acknowledge that apart from Him, we can do nothing and we realize that regardless of our failures, His righteousness has already been given to us. God will often reveal areas in our lives in which change may be necessary and we should always answer that call. If we refuse to answer the call, or say no to God, we leave ourselves vulnerable to Satan’s weapons.

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As God’s children, we receive the Armor of God; each piece representing His strength. God gifts us with strength directly from Him! At the cross, Jesus died not only for our sins but for us to inherit righteousness from His Father. We receive the gift of righteousness through our repentance. This gift of righteousness is designed by God to protect our heart and soul from the evilness and deception of Satan and his followers. We are called to “put on” our armor thus implying that we are not always wearing it. Wearing the armor requires us to make a decision. Do we suit up, or do we try to go it alone? Our righteousness alone is inadequate, we need Him! When we make that decision to put on the Breastplate of Righteousness, we are then deciding to put into practice what we believe. In other words, we have talked the talk but can we walk the walk! Taking up the breastplate is a lifestyle change in which weΒ  strive to be more like God, in turn making more godly choices thus protecting ourselves from further temptation and deception.

Carelessness, unbelief, abusing grace and disobedience are just a handful of factors that can and will interfere with the effectiveness of not only the breastplate, but the armor in its entirety. With the armor’s effectiveness in question, our chances of standing firm against the attacks of the enemy are drastically reduced. If we choose to rely on our personal righteousness, refusing to forgive and tolerating sin, we start to permit earthly concerns to take up residence in our lives. Once we start allowing those concerns to settle in our lives, we give them permission to consume our time, which then steals away our time for God. In the end, we remove our Breastplate of Righteousness, minimizing it’s power to protect us and eliminating the purity we receive from it.

Wearing the Breastplate of Righteousness allows us to become fair, honest, good and humble individuals who do right in God’s sight. We surrender our heart to God, relinquishing control so He may protect it from the enemy’s attacks. Will you choose to wear the breastplate, leaving your old ways behind or will you continue to try and make it on your own?

Dear God, I lift up all of my readers to you today that they may have a better understanding of the Breastplate of Righteousness and its importance. I pray we all choose to make that lifestyle change and strive to make more godly decisions in our lives. May we never forget that You are always with us and You are always willing to help us. Please allow us to recognize that You have given us the gift of righteousness through the death of Your Son. May we all remember to put on our breastplate daily! Thank You for all You do for us and may You help anyone out there who needs You today. In Your name I pray, AMEN.

Much Love and God Bless!