The Blossoming Dream

Have you ever randomly answered a question and wondered to yourself “Where did that come from”.   Then, follow it with a slight chuckle at yourself?   I have and I actually thought it was a joke until I began to see my “random” answer begin to unfold in my life.

The simple question I answered was; what do you see yourself doing in ten years? It felt like a joke because I’m an Army spouse so the most certain answer would be “moving”.   But to my own surprise I wrote down, laughing under my breath, I’ll write a Bible Study.   Then of course we had to share our answers with the group.   A funny feeling came over me as I spoke this random answer; “I’ll write a Bible Study.”   Little did I know at the time but speaking that out planted the seed to a dream I never thought could happen. See I’m not a writer! I’m not joking my English teachers would be nodding their heads vigorously right now if we could ask them.

The dream seed sat dormant in me for many years, completely hidden from my view. At the same time, the Lord was at work nourishing and watering the dream He had planted in my heart. Later it began to grow, blossom, and even bear fruit! It took ten years of cultivation but ten years later the Lord has brought forth the dream He planted with in me! In 2008 I jokingly answered the question and in 2018 I’ve written and am publishing a Bible Study~ “Royal Reflections- The Making of a Warrior Princess”. This Bible Study is a testament to never doubt the Lord because He uses the weak and foolish things of this world to show His wisdom and strength. (1 Corinthians 1:21 -31).

What dream do you have waiting to be spoken and cultivated in your heart that will bear fruit for the Kingdom of God?

What do you see yourself doing in ten years?

Write it down~

Share it with a friend today and be ready to see it blossom and grow!

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do,

and he will establish your plans.”

Proverbs 16:3

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Is This Really Necessary?

Who else has looked to heavens lately and asked “Is this really necessary?”  Maybe like me you already knew the answer was yes but just had to say it out loud to feel better.  If my plant had the ability to speak I’m sure it would have cried out the same thing to me as I began cutting away the dead leaves.  Pruning in necessary to maintain flower production and fruit production.  It is just God’s design.

My most recent experience with pruning came during a time of pruning in my own life.  I was struggling to see how the stormy events of the past few weeks were really necessary.  After my morning quiet time and spending time reflecting on what I was learning through these experiences my eyes were drawn to my hydrangea that had lost all it’s beautiful blooms.  It looked like the extreme weather had won the battle.  I wondered if there was any hope for it since I had neglected to cut back the dead branches earlier.    I felt this urge from within to go and do it now.  After all it still had at least one healthy branch reaching beyond the withering leaves.

I grabbed my scissors and headed over.  After cutting back just one branch it became clear that fresh shoots were beginning to emerge from the covered branches.  They just needed to get more light to grow to their potential.  I stepped back after cutting all the unproductive branches away and it looked awful.   Then I thought, “what does it look like for His perspective?”  I moved in close again to look at it from above.  It was amazing!  From the top view I could only see one healthy branch.   It covered all the branches that had just been cut back.  Taking in the heavenly perspective helped to see the good in the situation and stop focusing on the bad.    From God’s perspective He sees the beauty in all things even when they appear to be unnecessary, painful, and ugly from my point of view.

If we desire to live abundant and fruitful lives in Christ it will come with some pruning moments.  The pruning is necessary, painful, and many times ugly but is all apart of the process of our transformation to Christ likeness.   We can always have hope because pruning moments are followed by growth, blooms, and fruit.

My question in these moments needs to be — “Lord will you show me your perspective?”   How about you?   I don’t know what you are facing but I do believe the Lord does.  If we ask for Him to show us what He sees  from His perspective it will give us the hope we need to grow through it.

Lord please show us your perspective and help us to trust you and grow through our circumstances no matter what they bring.  Amen!

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do,

and he will establish your plans.”

Proverbs 16:3

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What’s Your Perspective?

The world we live in is desperate for us to see it’s point of view.  When is the last time you sat back to think about your perspective and how it affects your daily life? How much do you think our perspective influences our life?

Our perspective shapes our life. We develop our view of life through our family, our beliefs, our life experiences, our education, our work, and our community. That is why there are so many options and opinions surrounding us in our daily life. It is a beautiful thing!   God created each of us to experience and live life abundantly with freedom in Christ.

Our personal view is shaped by numerous factors.   When we add and subtract these factors our lens of life will be altered and in some cases it will by changed completely.   Consider this analogy. If we go to see a 3D movie without the proper glasses our view and experience will differ from those who have the proper 3D glasses.

Both will see the same movie but will have had a different experience based on which glasses they were viewing the movie through. Those who watched without the 3D glasses had a limited view and didn’t get to experience the power of the 3D movie experience. Can you see the power of perspective emerging?

A person’s perspective influences the freedom they experience in life. How does our view relate to freedom? Sometimes we develop limiting beliefs that will cloud our view and altar our perspective, which cause us to have a limited view like the people without the 3D glasses.   We make decisions of what to do and not to do based on our perspective. Basically, our choices in life are all filtered through our perspective. That is powerful! I challenge all of us to take inventory of why we have the perspectives we have.

I shared earlier in Tuesday Tidbit posts that I am doing a group study on Stormie Omartian’s book “Prayer Warrior”.   Recently, she challenged the group to consider our limiting beliefs about prayer and change our perspective in prayer. I want to share her insights and the response it lead me to for my life.

Here it is: “God wants to do miracles through us, but too often we either don’t pray for them, or don’t believe they can happen, or when they do happen we have trouble believing it.” Those words by Omartian jumped off the page at me. I can relate to each of those “too often” statements. What about you?

I want to put my “don’ts” behind me and be looking for the “do believe” opportunities.   I do believe God can do and does miracles. Yet I’m not initiating the prayer to release the power God intends to shower down through answered prayers. That is a limiting belief I need to bust right through. She points out that the enemy (the devil) wants to keep us from praying for miracles. He throws thoughts or darts of doubt and discouragement when prayers don’t seem to be answered and aims to detract and discredit miracles that do happen.   The devil tried to discredit the miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead (John 12:10).   Then he began his, long-standing discredit campaign, to discourage the belief in the miracle of Jesus being raised from the dead (Matthew 28:11-13).

Have we experienced a miracle that the enemy wants us to write off as a coincidence? Are we struggling to believe enough to pray for a miracle?   God’s word tells us to ask for faith and He will give it to us (Matthew 7:7-8).   Prayer doesn’t require us to be specific in how our prayer will be answered it just requires faith that God is powerful enough to answer our prayers in His way and in His timing. His way is far better than anything that we can ever dream of because He is the one who can create something out of nothing; “—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.” (Romans 4:17b)

God’s powerful perspective: that is what we need to ask for and embrace as our personal perspective. Then we will truly walk in the power and freedom of our life in Christ.

Call to Action:

Now I will ask you the question I asked my class a few weeks ago.

“What miracles is the Lord asking us to release to His power?”

In class we responded with a written prayer card that we each placed in our “Trust in the Lord” box.   I told them I would mail them back to them as a reminder in the future. I can’t wait to hear God’s miraculous answer in their life!

I brought the box home and set in on a table in my living room thinking I would move it to my office later.   Well it still remains there. Why, because I now pray many times a day as I pass by our

“Trust the Lord” box believing for the miracles He is going to do.

Let’s add your “miracle prayer” to the box.   Just leave me a private comment below (just write private prayer and it will not post). Your comment can be a brief word to represent your miracle prayer or an actual prayer that I will print out and put in an envelope for you– your choice. You can even add your address if you want me to mail it back to you at a later date.

I would love the privilege of joining you in believing God for your miracle. He is the God of miracles!!! It’s springtime; we have His miracles unfolding right outside our door everyday.

Music is a source of peace and reflection for me. I have included links to two songs for encouragement as you believe and pray!

  God Of Miracles Chris McClarrey

Miracles by Jesus Culture

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do,

and he will establish your plans.”

Proverbs 16:3

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Looking for an “easy” button.

Overwhelmed by the circumstances of life? Looking for a way out of the trap you are caught in? Wondering if prayers are even being heard? Most of us if we are honest have an area in our life that we really want changed. We might even feel trapped and almost enslaved like the Israelites in Egypt. There is hope for us, because God hears our prayers and He answers them too.

I think many times we expect to just be released from our circumstances and then life will be easy. I know that is what I want, the instant fix and the easy way out. That is what the world I live in tells me should happen. If I want something I just order it, click a button, and have it delivered today.   Then I think, “That was easy” all I need is my “easy” button.

God is not our “easy” button but He has given us easy access to Himself in heaven. Just like the Israelites He hears our prayers and cries for help. If you read the account of the Israelites rescue from Egypt, in Exodus, you quickly see that God did send help, He did make a way out, and the Israelite people were an active participant in their walk to freedom. Moses wasn’t their “easy” button to get out of Egypt.   They were full on participants in the process. (If you are not familiar with the story I encourage you to take time to read it (Exodus 3 – 12 & 32).)

To experience freedom they had to prepare to exit and build their trust and belief in God; a response to relationship.   They had to pack up, walk out, and trust and believe with each step, a response to relationship.   The Lord relates to us in this same manner.  He meets us where we are and invites us to a deeper relationship with Him.  He waits for our response in relationship.

I think part of our trap is we want to skip the process of relationship building and maintaining because we are focused on “easy”. Relationships are not “easy”. Christ’s ministry and sacrifice were not “easy” or simple. It was an easy decision for Him to make because he wanted us to have direct access to Him. The only thing “easy” about our relationship with the Lord is our access. The rest requires regular revenant, selfless, and obedient responses to His call to love the Lord above all else with all we are and love our neighbors as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40). We find freedom when we walk in daily relationship with the Lord. It’s not easy but it is so much better to walk with Him than to live trapped without Him.

How will we respond today?

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do,

and he will establish your plans.”

Proverbs 16:3

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Engaged in Prayer

Engaged in prayer.  Does that statement describe our prayer life?  What do you think it looks like to be engaged in prayer?  What does it mean for us to be engaged in prayer?

I was challenged with a new way of looking at prayer engagement in the current Bible Study I’m doing Prayer Warrior by Stormie Omartian.

According to Webster’s Dictionary the root word engage “is an offering of one’s life or aim as backing to a cause or aim.”  It further adds the following additional descriptions:  “to entangle or entrap;  to attract and hold by influence or power; to interlock with; to bind oneself to do something; to hold attention; to enter into battle.”    I took the time to share the definition because it adds insight to our quest for answers about  being engaged in prayer.

Praying as a prayer warrior is to be engaged in prayer.  It is a commitment followed by action.    The sole purpose of one’s action is serving God which makes them an instrument of releasing His power for His will to be done.  The prayers of a prayer warrior go beyond our personal experiences and ask the Lord what else would you have me pray for.

Of course prayer is a personal thing and most are very uncomfortable with their prayer ability.   Too often we will not pray or stop praying because we judge our prayers based on what we see and feel.   I love this point that Omartian made.  She said, “God sees your heart that you are willing to pray. ”  He is not judging your prayers.  Be encouraged because we might never know the full extent of the good our prayers have done or will accomplish, but God does!

So the next time you pray remember these two important points prayer warrior:

1.  Your God hears all your prayers.

2.  Your God is answering all your prayers in His way an His timing.

Watch out when you are engaged in prayer your relationship with the Lord becomes more engaging!

2 Corinthians 4:7

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do,

and he will establish your plans.”

Proverbs 16:3

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Tuesday Tidbit- Growing in Prayer

I have the privilege of leading a weekly woman’s Bible study.  We are currently going through Stormie Omartian’s book and study guide “Prayer Warrior”.    I don’t think many people regularly put these two words together, so it might seem like a strange book title to you.  Either way  I hope you will grow in prayer with me as I share how I’m growing in this study.

In the first chapter Stormie shares why our attitude toward prayer needs to be deeper than the basic morning, night time, and meal time prayers.  Life as a follower of Christ places us in the middle of a unseen battle that calls us to live as prayer warriors in Christ’s army. The apostle Paul writes about this battle in the book of Ephesians and goes into detail of our response in Ephesians 6:10 -18.  Where he describes the Armor of God we are given and the two weapons his warriors are given the sword of the Spirit(the word of God) and prayer guided by the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18).   If you are not familiar with Ephesians 6 take some time to read it.  I believe it is foundational for recognizing the battle of good and evil is real and continues daily.

Do believe there is an devil?  Do you believe he has plans for the destruction of you and your loved ones?  The most dangerous position to be in a battle is in-between two fighting forces- the impact zone.  We can find ourself there when we live our life in blissful ignorance.  Choosing to ignore the warning signs that we are entering a danger zone.  Please don’t ignore this sign today.  Step into the protected zone.  You might still be wondering what is a prayer warrior?

Stormie defines it as a person who “has a heart of compassion for suffering people and bad situations, and desires to do something to make a difference.”  The heart of a prayer warrior fulfills Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”  It is a person who prays for others using the truth of God’s Word lead and prompted by the Holy Spirit.  Here are Seven questions from “Prayer Warrior” that  Stormie proposes as insights into the heart of of prayer warrior.

Do you have the heart of a prayer warrior:

  1. See suffering and it bothers you?
  2. Recognize evil proliferating the world?
  3. Experienced injustice in your life or identify it in the lives of others?
  4. Observe wrong things happening around you and want to right them?
  5. Have certain people heavy on your heart and it concerns you but are unsure why?
  6. Observe tragic situations happening to others and feel helpless to to anything to stop it?
  7. Become grieved in your spirit when you see blatant disregard for God and His ways?

If you said “yes” to any of the questions you have the heart of a prayer warrior.  Are you surprised?   I’m not, I think because as God’s children, who are being transformed into Christ’s image we can’t help but have heart of prayer warrior.  Christ was a prayer warrior in John 17:6 -26 he prays for his followers both current and yet to come.  I don’t know about you but I think it is pretty clear we all have a role a prayer warrior.  The question is will we answer the call?

When we say “yes Lord I am willing to be your prayer warrior” we are taking a step closer to the Lord so we can hear his heartbeat.  I hope you are taking that step.  I know it is a scary one.  It might be overwhelming because you don’t feel prepared or ready to pray in this new way.   We can grow together.  Keep meeting me here as I share insights from my experience and the book.

Call to Action:

Read Ephesians 6: 10 -18

What verse stands out to you today?

Who or what are you burdened to pray for today?

Personalize this scripture as a prayer for you today:

Prayer adapted from Ephesians 6: 10-12; 18

” Lord help me be strong in You Lord and in Your mighty power.  Remind me to daily put on the full armor of God, so that  I can take my stand against the devil’s schemes.  For my struggle’s are not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, again the powers of the dark world and again the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”  “Please Lord teach me to pray according to your Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  Keep me alert and always praying for the Lord’s people.”  In Jesus precious name, Amen

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do,

and he will establish your plans.”

Proverbs 16:3

 

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Leadership Growth Connection #1 Leading the Leader

If we want to lead well and develop great teams we must start by leading ourself well.  Why? To keep ourself on the cutting edge of leadership with influence and impact.  Leadership is far more than having been given a position.  It is cultivated with character and influence.  That is why leaders looking to go to the next level must master leading themselves to the level of leadership they aspire to attain.  The experience of our own growth as a leader adds value to the words we speak while developing great teams and young leaders.  Leading ourself well produces a leader who leads by example and increases the value of any organization they serve.

What does it look like to lead ourself well?  It starts with honest self examination and intentional implementation of necessary improvements discovered in the process.   It requires doing the hard things, the uncomfortable things, and the right things when you are with the team or away from the team.   It is best achieved with a personal leadership growth plan designed to propel you to the next level.  Do you have one?  Are you ready to go to the next level?

As part of the John Maxwell Team I’m equipped to help you get there.  The first step is discovering what level of leadership you are currently leading.  John believes there are Five Levels of leadership: 1. Position- followed because team have to; 2. Permission-followed because followers want to; 3. Production- followed because of  results for organization 4. People Development- followed because of what have done for follower; 5. Pinnacle– followed just because of who you are and what you represent(very few achieve this Martin Luther King Jr. is an example).

Now it is time to start.  Let’s examine ourself so we can grow.  Take a moment to complete the small exercise below.

Intentional Growth Connection:  If you have numerous leadership roles please answer these questions with one particle role in mind.  It is possible to be at different levels based on the leadership role you are filling.

What leadership level are you at today?

What level do you aspire to rise to?    When do you want to get there?

For further evaluation score yourself on the following questions and submit.  I will follow up with your evaluation and a suggested way forward.

Congratulations for getting on the path to leadership growth!  I look forward to our time together at the “Leadership Growth Connection”.    Be sure to leave me a message of any topics you want to see discussed.   My hope is to stay relevant and real on this leadership journey.

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do,

and he will establish your plans.”

Proverbs 16:3

 

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Spiritual Growth Connection #1 Light for the Journey

Psalm 119:105

 “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

Welcome to the Spiritual Growth Connection!  This is a place you will be encouraged in your journey to grow and go deeper with the Lord.  We are always moving on our spiritual journey.  The direction we are moving determines effects our experience.

Which direction are we moving can be detected by the clarity we are experiencing along the path.  Personally, my path gets foggy when I don’t devote myself to regular reading of God’s Word.  When I intentionally spend time reading my Bible daily, even if it’s just one verse, it keeps my path light and me moving forward in my spiritual growth.

For those days when our path is a little foggy and our journey is missing the clarity we desire we need to remember to turn on the light.  Our light is the Word of God!  All we have to do is devote ourselves to reading it and it becomes a lamp for our feet and a light for our path.    I find the light get’s brighter the more time I spend reading it.  How about you?

Connection Challenge:    Want to see more clearly and experience more peace in your relationships?   Commit to reading your Bible daily for the next 10 days.  You choose will it be a verse, a chapter, or a book a day?   Either way you will be growing in the right direction!

I would love to hear your experience.   Leave me a comment.

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do,

and he will establish your plans.”

Proverbs 16:3

 

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Personal Growth Connection #1 What’s your “why”?

How did we get to where we are in life? Did we just arrive or was there some intention behind the process that brought us here? For some of us we just followed the natural progression through the local school system. Then we were off to higher education or right into the workforce. But at some point in the process we became aware that the more intentional we were with our time the opportunities available became more worthwhile. Personal growth in the right direction doesn’t just happen it requires intentionality and living with purpose.

Do you know what your “why” for living is? John Maxwell says often “the second most significant day in a person’s life is the day they discover there “why”. That is the day they start living intentionally.”

In his book Intentional Living he shares three clues that will lead us to our “why”. If we take time to reflect on and honestly answer these three questions, we are sure to discover and declare our “why” with confidence.   I want us to start here, to discover and declare our why, so we move forward with focus. Then our continued investment of time and energy in our growth will produce a lasting resource that will propel us in the right direction.

Intentional Growth Exercise:

Discovering your “why” questions~

  1. What makes you cry in life? Write about the things that break your heart and cause a rise of emotion. Are there things that bring waves of distress that motivate you to take action to better the situation?
  2. What makes you sing in life? Write about the things that make you happy, put a spring in you day, and might even cause you to break into song. These are the things that you experience or witness and you just can’t contain the smile that bubbles up from within you.
  3. What do you dream in life? Write about what you would do if you could do anything to create a better world? Write about your “what if’s” with no limits. Finish this thought…. If I could do anything in the world to make a difference in the lives of others I would……

Take time today to start answering these questions.   Keep them at the fore front of your mind over the next week. Watch for the answers to evolve with clarity and resolution. It might start with just a word or you will discover a common theme.   Once you have that aim to put it into a short phrase.   Like my “why” phrase: “To inspire and equip others to rise above”. Then share your “why” with me.   I would love to celebrate your “why” with you!

Rise Above Today!

SherryTo receive up to date with the “Personal Growth Connection”       click here to subscribe.

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3 Steps to Re-Start the Year

Does anyone else need a re-start for the New Year?   Today I feel like I missed the start due to the fog from a New Years cold. I just can’t seem to get moving in the direction I intended and feeling a little frustrated. Can anyone else relate?   Or maybe you’re frustrated because you haven’t been successful with the plans you determined to start off this year with a bang. No worries, we can still finish this year better off than we started. We might not be off and running like we planned and feeling passed by those who got out of the starting blocks quicker but we just need to remember a runner with a slow and steady pace also reaches the finish line.

In running events a re-start happens when someone has jumped the gun or a malfunction with the starters gun. So if you feel like you need a re-start maybe you just need to refocus on running this year like a turtle in a marathon rather than a rabbit in a sprint. I don’t know if you have the experience of participating in a marathon.   If you haven’t let me help you get the picture of what I mean by “running this year like a turtle in a marathon”.

Large events like a marathon start in waves, which are led out by the professional and competitive athletes right at the starting line. Then the rest of the participants are lined up based on expected completion times to keep the race moving efficiently.   If you are a walker you will be in the final waves of people.   Can you see it? The crowd of thousands gathered, each participant focused on their race and their plan to reach the finish line. Each person has prepared differently and holds a different vision of a successful finish, but all aim to cross the finish line. The announcer comes over the speakers and gives the 5-minute warning. Next the starter comes over the speaker “Runners on your mark, set”, and bang goes the gun. The race has started and the runners are off. Waves of runners, joggers, walkers, and buddy teams move forward and cross the start line, one wave at a time, for the race they intend to finish.

Whether our start was what we planned it to be or not we can still finish well if we keep moving forward one step at a time. That is what it takes to finish the race slow and steady not looking back but looking forward and moving forward. How do we do that?

Here are three steps to re-start your year. First refocus. Stop thinking about what you wanted to do and do what you planned to do. Start small if you have to scale back your plan. Choose to do one new thing today.  Second do it. Get up and do the one new thing today. Thirdly, celebrate your accomplishment and invite someone to join your re-start. Once you’ve done it tell someone, do your happy dance, and mark it off your list!

Okay, these three steps might sound simple but if you start to use them everyday you are on your way to “running this year like a turtle in a marathon”.   The finish line is calling you! The crowd is cheering for you! My favorite part of running a race is the encouragement and inspiration of my fellow runners!  So get a running buddy today.

My re-start consisted a revitalizing; with fresh bedding, a neatly made bed, and freshening up the house with disinfectant spray to keep the cold at bay. Then I did my happy dance, I told a friend about my need to re-start, and finished it off by sharing it with you.   I hope this spurs you on and encourages you to persevere no matter what comes your way this year.   Here are two verses that inspire me to keep moving forward one step at a time. I hope they bless and inspire  you too.

Hebrews 10:24-25

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another— and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Philippians 3:12-14

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Please share your three steps with me! Let’s keep inspiring one another on!

Looking for a starting point or investing in a successful finish check out “My Intentional Year”  See you at the next water point!

 

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do,

and he will establish your plans.”

Proverbs 16:3

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My Intentional Year

Each New Year calls us to keep moving forward. The old saying “time waits for no man” continues to ring true as the New Year rings in. Are you ready for it? Ready or not it’s time to embrace it and get in step with 2018!

Everyday counts, so step out today don’t wait for tomorrow.  Each new year brings with it  a newly determined  aspiration to be “better” at the end of this year than we see ourselves today. How do you see yourself?   What will it take to achieve “better” defined by you?   Maybe, for some of us, this “better” is the same picture we had last year. Either way, we have to keep moving forward with the purpose of being better today than we were yesterday. Taking one step at a time.

How can we do this? Through my experience it starts with changing my mindset: become committed to being intentional.  As a Military Spouse this comes with it’s own challenge of moving beyond the unknowns’ and what ifs’ that linger with each New Year.  Once I have navigated that minefield, then, I’m ready to write down my personal growth plan. Next step, I add some form of accountability to my initiative. Final step, I start, intentionally moving forward day by day.   What happens when I flub up?   I get up. I evaluate why I flubbed and keep growing. A great quote that keeps me going is “Action is a better regret than inaction”.   Do you agree? Would you rather regret flubbing up over never getting “better”?

Perseverance feels better than regret, so let’s get moving. We can persevere to “better” together this year. I would like to share “My Intentional Year “ planner (available at my website) so we can get in step together.  Each month I will be  focusing on a different area of my life to build intentionality into each day. The plan will gradually strengthen each desired focus area I am aspiring to become “better” in. Our plans will look different because we are unique, yet each will succeed because we are intentional.

What does it mean to be intentional? Webster Dictionary defines it with the following phrases: done by intention or be design; deliberate; purposeful; willful; intended; and knowing. Intentional is born from an intention; a form of directing ones mind and the action of proceeding on a planned course. Have you planned your course? Have you deliberately started out with intentional purpose? Have you flubbed up? What is your next step?

Maybe some of you can relate to wanting to focus more on your spiritual fitness.  That is always part of my plan for each year.  For example, a few ago years I had to tackle the want to become “better” at reading the Bible daily. In the past, I had many plans but they never seemed to work. Why? Because I had a plan in my mind: not written and no one knew my intention.   I realized that I needed to do more than just want to do it. I had to write it down and let others know how I was being intentional about reading my Bible daily.

I did it!   I was successful once I wrote out my plan and let my family and a few friends know my intentions. It started out small, with a verse a day and has since grown into two chapters a day and journaling.  This year my first intentional focus area will be eating healthy.   I’m excited to see where this step towards better health takes me.  Where will your next step take you?  I’d love to hear about your next step today.

Everyday counts, start today and join me on the intentional journey to “better”!

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do,

and he will establish your plans.”

Proverbs 16:3

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Accountability is the Key to success!

Are you ready to start the year off believing in your success?   Who wouldn’t be!   Let’s take this motivation and opportunity and put it to work for us.

When is the last time you were successful in accomplishing your goal without telling anyone what you where doing?   For me the key to success in accountability.  When I tell someone about what I’m doing I become that much more intentional about following through on my intentions.  Can you relate to that?

If you believe that accountability is key to your success like I do, then this opportunity is just what you are looking for.  You can start the year out using my personal growth plan, free download: “My Intentional Year”.   Add to it the additional bonus of a personal coach to encourage you and help keep you on track with your personal growth plan.  Contact me today for your complimentary coaching session.

Are you ready to invest in yourself to secure a purposeful life this year?     I would love to join you on your success journey.

“My Intentional Year” Personal Coaching Offer Details:

Let’s make sure I’m the right coach for you.  Take the first step.  Contact me today for your free coaching session.

Coaching will be via phone or zoom conferencing:

 

Proverbs 16:3

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”

 

 

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

 

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Week #53 Proverbs 16:3

Proverbs 16:3

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”

Happy New Year’s Eve!

Can you believe another year is coming to a close!  The end of the year also means this is  our final weekly verse reflection of the year.   I hope the weekly “Wisdom Wellspring” visits have made you stronger in the Lord.

This personal reflection journey through scripture has increased my strength and knowledge and I am thankful for the opportunity to grow in community.   Proverbs 16:3 is a fitting verse to close our the “Wisdom Wellspring” year.  This verse is a reminder of how we should start and finish each year, day, moment…… committing every part of our lives to the Lord.  The days that I am successful are the days I experience the most peace.  That is what is is like to live  according to his established plan for my life ~ a life of peace with God.   It doesn’t mean everything went smoothly.  A life lived according to his plan keeps my heart, mind, and body at peace with God through the expected and unexpected ups and downs of life.   I need more of God’s peace in my life.  How about you?

My daily peace is directly related to how intentional I am about living moment by moment for the Lord.  It is also directly effected by how intentional I am to redirect myself when I start getting off focus.    It is similar to navigating with a compass either for geocaching or land navigation.  Both require you to follow the plan and walk the correct distance in a pretty exact direction to make it to your desired destination without getting lost or hurt.  That requires what is called a regular azimuth check.  The practice of checking your alignment with the compass every so often to make sure you have not veered off course.   In life we are more likely to arrive at our desired  destination if we develop a regular azimuth check too.

Are you at the destination you set course for at the beginning of the year?  Where will your plans take you this year?  Are they your plans or the Lord’s?

We will get there with; intentional commitment to the Lord, intentional redirecting, and intentional perseverance with God’s peace

What do you think would happen if we close out the  year with a prayerful focus?

A few years ago I put into action the “Prayer Focus Planner” on New Years Eve.  It  helped me start the year with an attitude of gratitude and focused commitment to the Lord.    Are you ready to get started?  Let’s go!

Downloadable resources for the New Year:

Prayer Focus Planner for New Year’s Eve

My Intentional Year

 

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week #50 Ephesians 6:10-11

Ephesians 6:10-11

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

What does it look like to~ Be prepared for anything?  ~ Be strong in the Lord?

How do we build strength in the Lord?  The strength Paul is referring to in Ephesians 6:10-11 is developed through building our relationship with the Lord.   We are strengthened through gaining knowledge of who the Lord is, living in relationship with him per his design,  and recognizing and trusting his unmeasurable power and the protection he provides.  Paul shares these power building principles with us in his description of the Armor of God: the Belt of Truth,  Breastplate of Righteousness, Shoes of the Gospel of Peace, Shield of Faith,  Helmet of Salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit.  Each piece of the Armor of God represents us living strong in the Lord and his mighty power.

How is your power level?

This Christmas season remember to stay powered up with the Love, Joy, Peace, and Hope of Christ~ the reason for the season!I invite you to visit the Adore Series this Advent season for times of seasonal reflection.  click here.

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week # 26 Proverbs 29:25

Proverbs 29:25

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”

The quote from Lecrae says it all!  Trust in the Lord and live free and safe rather than living for people’s acceptance only to live caged in fear until who you were meant to be dies a slow death.  Live each day free in Christ living out God’s plan for your life!

This has been a personal struggle for me that I shared about in “What will they think?”.  Click here to read more.

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week # 11 Wisdom Builder Psalm 4:8

Did everyone remember to turn their clocks back this Sunday morning?  If not I hope you enjoyed your sleep.

Uninterrupted sleep in safety is a blessing most of us don’t consider very often.  Unless, we have been directly affected by the effects of not sleeping well we are most likely to take it for granted. Whether it’s due to an unsafe situation, environment, or in many cases a medical condition related to ourself or a loved one.  Wherever we are on the scale of our sleep experience taking a moment and recognizing that the Lord is the giver of sleep and safety  is time well spent.   It is estimated that nearly 40 million people within the U.S. alone suffer from chronic medical conditions linked to sleep disorders and another estimated 20 million live in unsafe home situations that prevent them from sleeping in safety.  King David who wrote this Psalm was very familiar with the looming threat of danger that brought the subject of sleep into many of his writings.  David recognized that the Lord is his source of peace, his sustainer, giver of sleep, and his protector that keeps watch over him as he slept.

This week as you treasure this verse in your heart I pray where ever you are on the peace, sleep, and safety spectrum that this verse will help turn your eyes to the Lord.  For he alone is the God of peace, the God who sustains, and the God who protects us and blesses us with sleep.  That is what Psalm 4:1-8 leads the reader to do—- “….let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord…… for you alone Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

 

How do you hope to experience God this week– as your peace, sustainer, or protector?

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

Welcome if you are joining me for the first time.  This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”.  Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and to view previous posts.

Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week #1 Wisdom Builder Psalm 25:4-5

Happy New Year!   Welcome to 2017 and a new section for this website~  Weekly Wellspring.  Come back week after week to find a new verse to add to your wellspring of scripture to treasure in your heart.  I was inspired to act on my desire to recall more scripture from memory including it’s address(book of the Bible, chapter, and verse number) this year.   The plan is to do a new verse every week.  I hope you will join me on this treasure hunt.

This weeks verse is Psalm 25:4-5.  This verse has been a rock on which I stand when embarking on a new path in life.  It keeps me focused on the One I need direction from and reminds me He is trustworthy.

 

 I will be using a journal too to write out the verse daily and capture any ways the Lord uses the verse in my life.   I’d love to hear any ideas you have.  It is exciting just thinking about how the Lord is going to work in our lives.

Leave a comment if you are joining the challenge and share how the Lord is working in your life.

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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The Journey Continues…

What are you doing with the heartbeats you have been given?  Where is your life journey taking you?   Some of us are enjoying the ride and maintaining a steady heartbeat.  While others are holding on wondering what is around the next corner, with hearts beating out of their chest.  Wherever you’re at along this journey of life I know we have a common beginning- our first heartbeat in our mothers womb. It was there life began, our first heartbeat, undetected by our mothers but heard with anticipation by our Creator, God.  Experiencing life, as we now know it began later, with an audience, as we were ushered into this amazing world and naturally inhaled our first breath.  Take a moment to soak in the miracle of life.   As I emerged myself in the miracle of my life I became captivated by the realization of the intentionalness of God  in my life!  He alone heard my first heartbeat,  he gave me my first breath, and he heard my first cry.  The very thought left me breathless.  I was struck with wonder to reflect on his intimate connection with each of us.  We are his first and destined to be his for eternity. He alone was there for my firsts and I know He will also be there to usher my soul into eternity after my final dun-dunt and exhale.  His love brings me to my knees. Each of us is between our first and last so the question is “what are we doing with the heartbeats in-between?”

The “heartbeats in-betwee”n is our journey lived out in this world that is not our home but preparation for our eternal home. It says in Ecclesiastes 3:11 that the Lord has placed eternity in our

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The Journey

hearts. What does that mean? Some would say it is the “God shaped hole” in our hearts and others it is the underlying “knowing” in our soul that there is more beyond this life.

The purpose of having eternity placed in our hearts is to spark the desire to seek after the Lord, ignite the inspiration to live in connection with Him, and the courage to take each step on our journey.  Eternity in our hearts leads us to relationship with our Heavenly Father. Relationship with him changes our identity and redefines our purpose as we live out our “heartbeats in-between”.

When your identity changes from how the “world” defines you to who God has made you in His Son, Jesus Christ, your purpose is refocused on eternal relationships. Discovering your identity in Christ opens your heart to the desire to follow after him. It inspires you to choose him over this world and awakens the courage to follow in his footsteps.

Hebrews 12:1-3 says it best. It instructs us to be strong on our journey that is “marked out for us” by throwing off all that hinders and entangles us. Encouraging us to remain eternally focused with our eyes fixed on Jesus following his example. He traveled his life journey, his “heartbeats in-between”, with the “joy set before him”, the redemption of the world and his glorification at the right hand of God the Father.   Jesus’ life provided a road map dotted with crossroads where he chose to live for eternal reward rather than worldly recognition. He lived a sinless life of love, was not entangled by the opposition from sinners, endured the cross, and perfected our faith pioneering the path marked out for us to follow.

Why is it so hard to follow Christ’s example? Apostle Paul answers that well in Romans 7:14-25. He shares the struggle to do what he desires in his heart,  to delight the Lord, but he doesn’t always win the battle. He describes a war waging between his body (a prisoner to sin nature) and his mind (delighting in law of God), which he loses more than he would like. Can you relate to Paul’s struggle? I can! Too often I find myself daily wanting to do what is right but then find myself doing the very thing I did not want to do. The influence of our sin nature doesn’t stop just because we have a new identity in Christ. The battle rages and we must fight and purpose to keep our focus on Jesus the perfect source of our desire, inspiration, and courage to take each righteous step toward eternity.

It is so easy to get off course and follow after wrong desires, of the sin nature. I find I must have courage to honestly assess the source of my desire and inspiration to make wise daily choices of the direction I will move.  Can you relate to any of these choices?

  • To buy or not to buy..IMG_2048
  • To say or not to say…
  • To do or not to do…
  • To stay or to go…
  • To look or look away….
  • Now, later, or not at all…

Depending on the day and situation some choices are easier to make and stay on course. I have found that the more grounded I am in my identity in Christ the clearer the right choice. When I am seeking in stillness with the Lord I have greater desire, inspiration, and courage to follow through with the God honoring opportunities set before me.

I encourage you to take time this week to be still with the Lord, breath in His goodness, and be infused with his strength for each moment. He hears your heartbeat and will guide your steps as you listen to His heart.

What are you doing with your “heartbeats in-between”?

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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Warrior~Princess Reflections

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             “you just need…”

Everywhere we turn from social media, TV, to magazines, and ads we find headlines aimed at self-improvement: “try the latest…”, “how to…”, “you just need ….”.  I’m sure you can add more to the list. We live in a world that bombards us with messages that speak to our desire for more. Do you think we would be constantly exposed to all these suggestions if there weren’t the need to satisfy a craving?  Are you familiar with it-  The unexplainable desire to search for “the answer” that fills the void within your soul?

The answers the world gives are appealing.  They soothe the desperate heart cry for meaningful life.

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Website Scripture Feature Info:

Felt in response to this need and the underlying message sent that we just aren’t good enough yet. One experiences oneself being drawn to each new captivating solution in search of their own  “answer” for them. I have caught myself entranced in the endless search for fulfillment. How about you?  When will this longing and quest be satisfied? What would happen if women were awakened from the trance of the world’s enchantment and recognize that the “answer” lies in  our identity in Christ?

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               Be ready!

Yes I’m guilty. I’ve been known to get caught up in the trance. But thankfully I was awakened to who I am meant to be in Christ- His Warrior-Princess. Not just His daughter or princess but His Warrior-Princess because I’m in a daily battle to walk in the power and truth of whose I am (God’s) and who he has made me to be (His Warrior-Princess). Maybe, like me, you wrestle with questions about God and His plan for you. Some of you might even be asking: “How do I measure up in this world? Or “ Does God really want me?” Or even “Would He ever use me?” Whatever your questions might be let me just say that it is okay to question because that is the beginning of naming “the need” and finding “the answer” to fill the void within.

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          “God doesn’t want me..?”
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Romans 8:38-39

One such question unexpectedly emerged during a heart to heart.  I was listening intently when it came gushing out through sobs that were ushered from the depths of her precious heart- “God doesn’t want me, He doesn’t, He can’t.  How could I be good enough for Him?” My precious daughter struggled to speak in the early morning hours. Her words bursting through her apprehension of the reception they might receive from her teary eyed momma.  But she was unable to hold her questioning back any longer. She released the hurt that was tearing at her soul. She collapsed into a tender embrace, reassured that it is okay to question-even question God.  She rediscovered his love and peace in her honest questions.   I encourage you like I did her, to have the courage to believe that nothing can separate us from him or remove his love for us (Romans 8:38-39). Nothing. It takes courage, Warrior-Princess to win each daily battle (Ephesians 6:12).  So take courage because you are never alone!

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“Let’s Journey Together!”

I invite you to join me in my Warrior-Princess journey. A journey I hope will be one of discovery, inspiration, and empowerment. Together we will find strength to live the life we were created to live. I say “together” because my prayer is that we will journey along side one another connecting through our stories. I believe we were created for relationship and need each other for encouragement, growth, and confidence along the way. We might not all be at the same intersection of our journey, or facing the same temptations or trials, but we are able to encourage each other with where we are and where we have been. Together that is what will enrich our life journey.  Let’s journey together!

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Ephesians 6:12

Life has a way for surprising me so to find myself launching a ministry website and on the edge of publishing a Bible study is uncharted territory for me and incredibly unexpected. I am truly humbled with this opportunity just as I was over 15 years ago when I began to serve in women’s ministry leadership roles. These service opportunities have directed my path to this unique threshold. The courage to take the first step into this uncharted territory comes through experiencing the Lord’s direction in my life. He has orchestrated sweet relationships with people who are strong in my areas of weakness and need for growth. It has been a true faith building experience. I’m very thankful for each person’s encouragement and sharing of their gifts and talents to further the Lord’s purposes in my life.

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         “Be a brilliant reflection of God’s love!”

I posed the question in the beginning:“What would happen if women are awakened from the trance of the world’s enchantment and recognize the answer is our identity in Christ?” I believe the answer is -we will live in a brighter world because we will become a brilliant

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Wake up! It’s a new day!

reflection of God’s love in this dim world. In my ministry and military experience I have witnessed first-hand how women strongly influence the spiritual and relational connections within community. “That is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”(Ephesians 5:14)  As the Apostle Paul said we must wake up and live for Christ. When he shines on us he radiates into the world and awakens his people. Arise from your slumber warrior-princess and shine his light!  Our world is desperately searching and in need of “the answer”- Jesus!

Are you ready to live out your identity in Christ: Warrior-Princess?

I’d love to get to know more about you! Will you quickly share a meaningful verse with me?

Psalm 25:4-5 has guided me to this place in my life. “Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”

Can’t wait to hear yours!!

Click here for more information my Bible Study……publishing soon!

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always
Warrior~Princess Sherrycrown-1539630__340

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The Power of Self

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“Time to reflect”

Can you walk in a straight line? How about with your eyes closed? With our eyes open and something to focus on, yes, most of us are able to walk in a straight line. But when the ability to see and focus on our destination is removed or interrupted we will end up off course.  Is your life still on course? Has your focus been interrupted?  When is the last time you purposefully carved out time to quietly self-reflect with the Lord? The most common time for us to pause to contemplate where our life is going and consider changing direction is when the year draws to a close. I am learning the value of taking this time more often than once a year.  For me, self-reflection is an effective tool the Lord uses to help keep my life on track and arrive at my destination without too many detours.

Recently, in an almost forced pause for reflection, I was faced with a question: Does the way I live reveal that my identity and self worth are established in Christ? The honest answer was that I’m not sure it is as recognizable as I would

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Psalm 39:23-24

like it to be-which meant it was time to get to work. In my heart I knew that my identity and value are in Christ. However, when I was honest with myself my outward behavior showed that I believe differently.  I was seeking acceptance from this world. In some areas of my life I had put greater value on other’s opinions of success (as measured by this world) than over my unmatchable worth in Christ. The source of my true identity and self-worth were in conflict. My heart was reminding me that I am secure in who God says I am; his child, enough for him, loved, and the list goes on. My mind was measuring differently and offering its own list “You are lacking compared to….”; “You are out of style compared to…”, “You don’t have enough  education to…”, People don’t really like you.”, and that list went as well. Do you ever experience this conflict?

What does the world require of you to achieve its standard of worthiness? By what standard   do you measure and align your identity and your worth?   The world’s or Christ’s?

Here are some verses to remind you of your identity in Christ:

Colossians 2:10 “ In Him (Christ) you have been made complete and He is the head over all rule and authority”

1 Corinthians 6:11 “And that is what some of you were.  But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Christ and by the Spirit of God.”

 Also-  1 John 4:4 ;   Ephesians 1:3-13;  Ephesians 2:2-13

Do you ever struggle to be truly honest with yourself and minimize your choices?  During my forced reflection time I wrestled with being honest with myself. I had to admit that trying harder was not the answer.  I had to finally surrender to the Holy images-22Spirit’s transforming power and fight the urge to rationalize my thoughts and behavior. Opening my hands and releasing control,  I chose to trust that he would gently show me the source of my weakening witness for Christ.  And he did. The honest truth was I had experienced a pretty painful rejection. Until that time of stillness, I had never named it, but that is what it was. Rejection.

Did you know that the fear of rejection is one of the greatest human fears?? Once I openly assessed my behavior and thought process it became clear, to me I had been rejected. Naming it allowed me to recognize how my thought life shifted from focusing on Christ’s best to my “best” according to the world. The transition blurred my unquestioned security in Christ. This lead to a search for cropped-IMG_2063.jpgreassurance of my value in this world. When the fog of selfish thinking was removed from my eyes, I could see clearly how pride had crept into a corner of my heart. Living in the haze of pride it gave me permission to behave and make choices that I never thought I would. Thank God nothing earth shattering occurred, but enough happened to leave me embarrassed and regretful as I look back. I find assurance and comfort in 2 Corinthians 7:10 “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”

I sought after and put more value on the acceptance and approval of people around me that at the end of the day, wouldn’t even remember we had crossed paths. (John12: 43 “for they loved human praise more than praise from God.”; Proverbs 29:25) I images-23pushed aside God’s unconditional love as my creator, the one who has great plans for my life (Jeremiah 29:11-12), and accepts me just as I am. I took my eyes off Jesus and put them on myself. Faced with this truth I was left  to stumble through the questions: How did I not see this happening? Why didn’t anyone say anything to me?

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“Love covers all.”

My answer:  I couldn’t see because I was living out of a place of hurt. It was easier to choose to justify myself and blame the people who were causing my pain for my poor choices.  This included making sure other people in my life knew I was being wrongly treated.  I responded pridefully, rather than trust God to heal my hurt heart and ego. I rationalized that my feelings were justified, and I ended up stuck in a cycle of rejection, hurt, looking for assurance.  Around and around it went. The situation didn’t change, but I became more effective in dealing with my response.  Many months later when I finally gave the situation fully to the Lord I had the strength to put  change in action. The most perplexing factor was that during this whole situation I had not drifted from my involvement with my daily devotions or Bible study. I was living in a false security and blindly choosing not to fully lay that corner of my hurt heart and wounded identity in His arms for restoration. I was going through the motions in that area of my heart.

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“Find your power in your armor!”

Have you ever caught yourself in a similar heart situation? If yes, then you can attest to the sense of peace that comes as you practice the process of surrender. I had to surrender my hurt and release my hesitation for future interactions. I had to forgive and release my need for restitution. I had to repent of pridefuly seeking approval of man and live for the approval of only my Savior.
The enemy is so subtle in his ways. This is just another reminder that we need to live our life as the Warrior-Princess we are and stand fully armed for battle everyday. “For our struggle is not with flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against he powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12

Remember~ Armor up and lay my pride down!

Take time to reflect with the Lord by focusing on Psalm 139:23-24 he will meet you in the stillness of your heart and lead you in ways everlasting.

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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BREATHE!

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“Oxygen is essential to life”

How is your spiritual breathing? Have you been holding your breath too long? Take a deep breath. Hold it…..keep holding it….okay BREATHE. Did just the thought of holding your breath make you anxious? I don’t like the feeling I get after holding my breath for too long.  My heart starts to race and I begin to feel light headed. Why do you think that is? Because breathing oxygen is essential to life and our breath rate is usually in rhythm with our heart rate. They are dependent on each other to do their job- provide O2 to the body.

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“Maintains strength in our spiritual life”

Like physical breathing is essential to our physical life, taking time to spiritually BREATHE is essential to our spiritual life. Living out my identity in Christ should be as automatic as each breath I take, right? But why isn’t it? Oxygen taken in with each new breath is essential to maintain the strength of life in our body– from all the tiny cells to, each major organ.  Likewise, the way we live out our identity in Christ maintains the strength of our spiritual life. I am challenged by the harsh reality that I am not as immediatly aware or alarmed when my spiritual breathing has been interrupted as I am when I am forced to hold my breath for more than 30 seconds.  I can begin to feel the panic rise up inside, as I desire to release the old air and receive the new to avoid loss of consciousness or ultimately loss of life.

So what do I mean by spiritual breathing? Well recently I’ve been challenged with principles to help maintain spiritual balance in my life or taking time to BREATHE. I tend to put principles into acrostics making them easier to remember and put into practice. Here is my BREATHE acrostic:

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“BREATHE”

Believe God is able ~Remember you are redeemed and release ~Everyday eternally focused ~Available and aware ~Trust with thanksgiving ~Humbly resist ~Exhale ~

When I keep each of these “BREATHE” principles active in my life I am strengthening my spiritual life through responsible relationship with the Lord by living my identity in Him. I notice that I become spiritually oxygen deprived when any of the principles are out of balance or rhythm. Let’s take a brief look at these principles.

Believe God is able. This principle challenges us to keep who God is in alignment with who we believe He is. Sometimes this looks like remembering that He is the great I AM who holds all that is dear to me in his all-powerful, majestic hands. This principle asks us- “What do you really believe about God’s ability to provide and care for you and all that you hold close?” This of course cramps the style of any of us control freaks, right? ~Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God…” ~ Deuteronomy 7:9 “Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God…”

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“He is faithful!”

Remember you are redeemed and release. Knowing who God is and remembering he has redeemed us as his daughters is the foundation of one’s identity in Christ. When I reflect on the power and sacrifice that were exercised for my redemption it calls me to a place of surrender and release. I surrender to his never-ending love where I am able to experience his gentle kindness. In this sweet relationship I release my hold on the shame of my sinfulness and allow him to wash me in his forgiveness. Remembering this also releases me from the snare and trap of the enemy leaving me free in Christ. ~1 Peter 1: 17-21 “…live out your time as foreigners here in reverent fear…. it was not with perishable things …you were redeemed from the empty way of life…but with the precious blood of Christ…He was chosen before the creation of the world… through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” ~ Ephesians 1:7-8 “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding.” ~ 1John1: 9-10 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us…”

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“A new day dawns with eternity at heart!”

Everyday is eternally focused. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”(Mathew 6:21) These words of Jesus ring true don’t they? Keeping our heart and head focused on where our real eternal treasure is difficult and takes determination. I struggle to fix my eyes on what is unseen because of the lure of the seen is so tangible and tempting even though it is temporary. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “ Therefore do not lose heart…outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day…our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen…what is unseen is eternal.”

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“Here I am Lord!”

Available and aware. This principle reminds us “it’s not all about me”. Though I will make plans for my days and weeks it is the desire of my heart that the Lord will direct my feet. Some days it is evident that the Lord has better plans for the day than I do. My response to his redirection reveals my heart attitude toward being available for the Lord’s purposes and determined to press on in difficult circumstances. It also is evidence of my sensitivity to the teaching of the Holy Spirit. I must remain available to do the good works the Lord has prepared for me in advance.  I also need to be aware of his leading and the needs of others in my life. ~Philippians 3: 13-14 “…Forgetting what is behind and straining…I press on toward the goal…for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” John 14:26 “…the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send… will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have said to you.”

Trust with thanksgiving. Philippians 4:6-7 sums this up. We are not to be anxious or worry about anything. Rather we are to trust God wholeheartedly with everything. To not be anxious means trusting God through petitioning in prayer and believing he is able with a thankful attitude. This is not easy but I do breathe more easily when I practice this principle.

Humbly resist. Resist what? The temptation of pride to take control and live like I don’t believe God is able. Pride is the root of all sin and it is the hardest for us to detect in ourself. A heart of humility helps us live selflessly and resistslide1 the tendency to control and capitalize for personal benefit. Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 3:7 “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.” 1John 2: 16-17 “For everything in the world- lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life- comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”

Exhale. Exhale everything into His hands and exclaim His excellence. “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) When we take time to exhale, we are able to maintain an attitude of worship and experience the peace of the Lord in relationship with him. I am able to see him at work in the big and little things of life. Then I am moved to worship him with my life.

Take the time to review the principle verses that speak to where you are in your relationship with the Lord.

Armor Up, pride down, Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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The Draw

What is it that first drew you to your Savior?  What draws you today to your Savior?   Theses are questions that I found myself reflecting on as Easter approached.    Our answers to these questions may very or they may be the same.  Either way each of us are most likely drawn for a  reason that falls somewhere in the realm of His love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, His bountiful fruit (kindness, goodness, gentleness, peace, patience, joy, faithfulness, and self-control), or promise of eternity with Him.

Personally, I find that my reasons change with the seasons of my life.  I was first drawn by His kindness to forgive.   As I grow in relationship with the Lord I find myself drawn to Him for ever changing reasons that are determined by my life circumstances.

As we travel the mountains and the valleys of life our needs in our relationship with God change.  It is on this journey that we experience the multi facets of our steadfast faithful creator God.  In this season of my life I am drawn closer to Him by His gentleness as He teaches me how to navigate some very tenacious terrain.  While navigating these uncomfortable unknowns I came across Proverbs 27:21; “The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but people are tested by their praise.”   It challenged me to choose to praise the Lord even through the unknown terrain of life.   Psalms is full of examples of David and others who were facing difficulties and chose to praise the Lord no matter their circumstances.   All throughout the New Testament we are called to rejoice, be thankful, be joyful, and be full of praise in all circumstances.

Why is praise so important?  I think it is because when we live a life of praise we raise the curiosity level of those around us.  It also magnifies our example of  living as Christ which in turn increases their draw to our Savior.  It all comes together when “we know and rely on the love God has for us”(1John4:16) to strengthen and teach us to navigate our experiences of life.

The final reflection question for us is~

Do we live our life in a way that causes others to be curious about what draws us to live our lives in Christ?   Does our life draw others to Jesus?

Where has this reflection taken you?  I would love to hear your experience and thoughts.

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do,

and he will establish your plans.”

Proverbs 16:3

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John Maxwell Team Certified inspirational speaker and author