Week #47 John 15:5

John 15:5John 15:5
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5 I am the vine. You are the branches. He who remains in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

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“I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate the bountiful harvest of  life; the fruits of our labor, the blessings of family and friends, and most importantly the grace and mercy from our Lord.   As we take time to reflect on 2017 I’m sure we will find the principles of John 15:5John 15:5
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5 I am the vine. You are the branches. He who remains in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

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very true in our harvest blessings.

I realize that we will all be looking at 2017 from different perspectives.  Some may be scoffing at the word bountiful from their vantage point of pain.  Others may be questioning where to begin because there basket is overflowing.  Either way, I believe if we take a prayerful reflection from God’s perspective He will reveal the greatest harvests of the year were  produced when we remained in Him not when we were creating on our own.

Our greatest treasure is not that which we experience on earth but what awaits us in heaven (Matthew 6:19-20Matthew 6:19-20
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19 “Don’t lay up treasures for yourselves on the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consume, and where thieves don’t break through and steal;

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).  So let’s reflect on our transformation blessings.  Let’s give thanks today for our bountiful harvest of “spiritual fruit”~ love,  joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:23Galatians 5:23
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23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

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)

Happy Reflecting!!!!

 

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 4:23Proverbs 4:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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

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Week #46 Proverbs 4:23

Proverbs 4:23Proverbs 4:23
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23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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

Happy Veterans Day to all of my Veteran friends!  I thank you dearly for your selfless service to our country and pray for your continued peace and protection.

It is hard to believe we are in the middle of November already!  For many, this time of year for many marks the preparation for the amazing holidays ahead and for reflection on all the memories already made.

Part of my reflection is the journey of these weekly “Wisdom Wellspring” page posts.  Each one has taken shape in a way that reflects where the Lord is taking me that particular week.  This weeks verse, Proverbs 4:23Proverbs 4:23
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23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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, is the verse I chose because putting the Word of God at the forefront of our minds creates a mighty fortress; a fortress that will guard our hearts above everything else.   Our heart is a wellspring that our choices, our attitudes, our responses, and our wisdom flow.

What is the overflow of your heart?

How is your security system?  ~~  Do you need an upgrade?

Philippians 4:6-7Philippians 4:6-7
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6 In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.

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is a good place to start when looking for guidance on a security upgrade.  Check out this related “wisdom wellspring” post.  Click here.

Keep the wellspring of your life vibrant with the living water of God’s Word and watch your life  and those around you flourish!

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 4:23Proverbs 4:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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

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Week #45 Colossians 3:2

Colossians 3:2Colossians 3:2
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2 Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are on the earth.

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“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

Everyday is full of choices.   We get to choose our attitude, our thoughts, and our responses as we navigate the bombardment of each days activities and responsibilities.  Would you agree that our attention is given to the things that we place the greatest value on?  It is challenging to keep our minds set on any one thing for very long.    To set our mind is a deliberate choice to direct our thoughts with fixed attention, with or without care  I know it is a challenge for me to remain diligent with my mind set how about you?

Where is your mind set……

the things of of God or the things of this world?

What do we value most?

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 4:23Proverbs 4:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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

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Week #44 1 Corinthians 16:13-14

  1 Corinthians 16:13-141 Corinthians 16:13-14
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13 Watch! Stand firm in the faith! Be courageous! Be strong! 14 Let all that you do be done in love.

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“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.”

What does it mean to do everything in love?  Let’s apply this to our relationships.  Why would I take that leap? I am doing it because  here in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians he starts and ends addressing relationship issues within the church.  1 Corinthians is full of rich instruction that crescendos with his description of what love is meant to look like in our relationships.

How do we apply the “Be” and “Do” statements in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 to our relationships?

Be on our guard in love…….

Stand firm in the faith in love………

Be courageous in love……….

Be strong in love………….

Our relationships have times that call for us to be on guard,  to stand firm in our faith, to be courageous, and to be strong is part of living a life of love like Jesus.  All throughout his ministry on earth he left examples of how to love people well with strength, courage, and standing as a firm guard of the faith.   Love fulfills the greatest commands and knows no boundaries.

 I have room for improvement how about you?

Love is….. kind, patient, it rejoices in truth, it always–protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres– never fails.

Love is not…… boastful, envious, prideful, self-seeking, angered easily, or delight in evil.

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 4:23Proverbs 4:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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

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Week #38 Isaiah 40:31

Isaiah 40:31Isaiah 40:31
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31 but those who wait for Yahweh shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.

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but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

 

A life lived with hope in the Lord is one marked by strength and endurance. When our hope is secure in the Lord we are able to see our life from an eagles perspective and recognize the temporary as minor and the eternal as important.

 

Our hope also empowers us as we trust in the Lord in every situation. Let’s live lives marked by strength and endurance as we secure our hope in the Lord.  

Click here to dig deeper:

 

 

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 4:23Proverbs 4:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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

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Week #34 Joshua 1:7

Joshua 1:7Joshua 1:7
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7 Only be strong and very courageous, to observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded you: don’t turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.

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“Be strong and very courageous.  Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; Do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.”

I wonder, am I the only one who has said this “well that didn’t work out like I planned it.”  How often has that been the case in life for you?   Personally, it’s true more often than I like to admit.  The best failures are the ones that I was honest with myself and chose to learn from.  Maybe you can relate.

Usually my disappointing outcomes have one of these common factors: a lack of focus, not being diligent along the way, or not continuing in strength and courage.  Joshua 1:7Joshua 1:7
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7 Only be strong and very courageous, to observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded you: don’t turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.

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shares the Lord’s advice to Joshua for success as he started his leadership journey of the Israelites.

~Be Strong

~Be Courageous

~Be Careful to Obey

~Do Not Turn to the Right or the Left

What will happen if we follow the advise of the Lord today?  I think like Joshua we too will experience greater success through a strong and courageous relationship with the Lord.  Then He will daily help us to be careful as we follow His commands(Love the Lord above all and love others as yourself.  Matthew 32:36-40Matthew 32:36-40
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Izbrano poglavje ne obstaja!

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)  Then we will be prepared in strength and courage we will remain focused in challenges and not turn to the left or right.

Let’s choose today to apply the Lord’s advice:

Be Strong~  Be Courageous ~ Be Careful ~ Be Focused

In the Lord ~ For the Lord ~ Through the Lord

 

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 4:23Proverbs 4:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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

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Week # 29 Philippians 4:6-7

Philippians 4:6-7Philippians 4:6-7
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6 In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.

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“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Prayer is our anchor that secures the peace of God in our lives.  We  are able to rise above the circumstances of life through trusting thankfulness with the Lord’s peace guarding our hearts and minds.

 

Anxiousness is a weight that pulls us away from the amazing peace of God.  Let’s remember to stay anchored in prayer through ALL the circumstances of life and rise above!

 

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 4:23Proverbs 4:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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

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Week # 26 Proverbs 29:25

Proverbs 29:25Proverbs 29:25
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25 The fear of man proves to be a snare, But whoever puts his trust in Yahweh is kept safe.

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“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 4:23Proverbs 4:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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

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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 3:11Ecclesiastes 3:11
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11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in their hearts, yet so that man can’t find out the work that God has done from the beginning even to the end.

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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 12:1-3Hebrews 12:1-3
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12 1 Therefore let us also, seeing we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him who has endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, that you don’t grow weary, fainting in your souls.

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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 7:14-25Romans 7:14-25
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14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am fleshly, sold under sin. 15 For I don’t know what I am doing. For I don’t practice what I desire to do; but what I hate, that I do. 16 But if what I don’t desire, that I do, I consent to the law that it is good. 17 So now it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwells no good thing. For desire is present with me, but I don’t find it doing that which is good. 19 For the good which I desire, I don’t do; but the evil which I don’t desire, that I practice. 20 But if what I don’t desire, that I do, it is no more I that do it, but sin which dwells in me. 21 I find then the law, that, to me, while I desire to do good, evil is present. 22 For I delight in God’s law after the inward man, 23 but I see a different law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity under the law of sin which is in my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will deliver me out of the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord! So then with the mind, I myself serve God’s law, but with the flesh, the sin’s law.

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. 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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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 8:38-39Romans 8:38-39
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38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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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 8:38-39Romans 8:38-39
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38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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). Nothing. It takes courage, Warrior-Princess to win each daily battle (Ephesians 6:12Ephesians 6:12
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12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world’s rulers of the darkness of this age, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

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).  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 6:12Ephesians 6:12
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12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world’s rulers of the darkness of this age, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

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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 5:14Ephesians 5:14
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14 Therefore he says, “Awake, you who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

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)  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 25:4-5Psalm 25:4-5
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4 Show me your ways, Yahweh. Teach me your paths. 5 Guide me in your truth, and teach me, For you are the God of my salvation, I wait for you all day long.

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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!!

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

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Can we be REAL?

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What is your wall?

Is anyone else tired of the walls and distance between who a person is and who others believe they are? Can we please just be REAL?  Life is tough no matter at what stage you find yourself. When we chose to build walls and keep others at a distance it hinders the growth of authentic relationships.  The extent to which barriers are built can even lead to losing the ability to know how to be “you”.  Leaving the builder, you, with the question to answer: “Who am I?”  Have you ever experienced a struggle within to identify and express your personal opinions and beliefs?  You strain to acknowledge them.  But they are blurred by the mask you’ve worn for the world.  Emotions try to emerge but they are blocked.  All you can feel is fear, numbness and confusion.    curtain-203714__340Reinforcements come to the rescue.  “What will they think of me if I’m really me?”…  “No one will like me anymore.”… “No one has to know I’m struggling…I can just keep hiding.”  The questions and rationalizations are indicators that your chameleon walls are thick and the reinforcements are strong.

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“Chameleon”

How do I know?  I was a chameleon for most of my life.  Growing up I struggled with who I was, so I lived in safety of my camouflage skills, like a chameleon.  My natural instinct was to keep harmony, make others happy, and stay out of trouble.  The expectations of others ruled my world.  I adapted and changed based on who I was with and what their expectations were so I would be accepted and keep the peace.  I thought I was in control.

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“It might not be easy at first glance to recognize it in yourself. “

Do I have any chameleon friends out there? It might not be easy at first glance to recognize it in yourself. Why? Because to an extent that is just part of surviving in our world of ever changing norms and expectations.   I realize it is safer to live with walls.  I’m an expert builder myself. But I have been challenged to tear my walls down and build REAL relationships: Relational through Encouragement, Authenticity, and Love! That means sharing the struggles of life and letting the light of Jesus shine through my weaknesses as my source of strength.

 

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“Can you trust God?”

I  was most challenged with tearing down my walls while living in Germany. Our family was preparing for Daddy to deploy for 15 months and suddenly I found myself facing a medical diagnosis that required emergency surgery with an extended recovery time. Many decisions needed to be made. One decision was “will this be a private walk or a public walk?”

Public was what the Lord required. In 2 Corinthians 1: 4-52 Corinthians 1: 4-5
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4 who comforts us in all our affliction, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound to us, even so our comfort also abounds through Christ.

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the Apostle Paul encourages us that we go through challenges to prepare us and give us opportunity to edify and relate to others through our experience. So there I was on the receiving end of much encouragement and support from newly made friends and strangers. I was learning to live out Proverbs 27:10Proverbs 27:10
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10 Don’t forsake your friend and your father’s friend. Don’t go to your brother’s house in the day of your disaster: Better is a neighbor who is near than a distant brother.

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where it tells us that when we are in need of assistance we should get our help from those nearby rather than distant family. Living in Germany didn’t leave much choice.  It was out of my control

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2 Corinthians 1:3-52 Corinthians 1:3-5
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3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, through the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound to us, even so our comfort also abounds through Christ.

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Through that experience I gained friendships I never would have had the opportunity for and my witness for Christ grew. At that time I was also a leader in the community so for those who were watching my family and I handle this challenge it strengthened the message that we need each other in the good times and the challenging ones too.   As I let the Lord tear down some of my walls and trust him to be in control I grew in amazing ways.   It  became clear that I was telling women through my actions that a “strong woman is one who knows when she needs help and seeks it out”.   I have witnessed so many women, especially military wives, struggle in their own strength.  They chose to stay behind their walls and fake that they were in control and just fine. slide1 In reality, inside their walls at home, they were falling apart. I had a front row seat to my own struggle. When I let go of my control to the Lord. He broke me free!  I chose to be REAL first with Jesus and began doing life in his strength.  Then I found the freedom to be REAL with the people he placed in my life.

Can you relate to being a wall builder? Do you struggle to appear to have it “all together” when the world looks at you? Are you ready to live in REAL community?    Where do you want do go in your freedom of being REAL?

 

I hope to hear about your REAL Journey!

Armor Up, pride down, 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 46:10Psalm 46:10
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10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.”

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“Be still and know that I am God…” ~ Deuteronomy 7:9Deuteronomy 7:9
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9 Know therefore that Yahweh your God, he is God, the faithful God, who keeps covenant and loving kindness with them who love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations,

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“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: 17-211 Peter 1: 17-21
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17 If you call on him as Father, who without respect of persons judges according to each man’s work, pass the time of your living as strangers here in reverent fear: 18 knowing that you were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from the useless way of life handed down from your fathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a faultless and pure lamb, the blood of Christ; 20 who was foreknown indeed before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of times for your sake, 21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead, and gave him glory; so that your faith and hope might be in God.

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“…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 1:7-8Ephesians 1:7-8
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7 in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,

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“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 4:16-182 Corinthians 4:16-18
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16 Therefore we don’t faint, but though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is for the moment, works for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory; 18 while we don’t look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

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“ 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: 13-14Philippians 3: 13-14
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13 Brothers, I don’t regard myself as yet having taken hold, but one thing I do. Forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

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“…Forgetting what is behind and straining…I press on toward the goal…for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” John 14:26John 14:26
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26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and will remind you of all that I said to you.

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“…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 4:6-7Philippians 4:6-7
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6 In nothing be anxious, but in everything, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.

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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 16:18Proverbs 16:18
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18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.

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“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 3:7Proverbs 3:7
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7 Don’t be wise in your own eyes. Fear Yahweh, and depart from evil.

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“Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.” 1John 2: 16-17John 2: 16-17
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16 To those who sold the doves, he said, “Take these things out of here! Don’t make my Father’s house a marketplace!” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will eat me up.”

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“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 3:5-6Proverbs 3:5-6
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5 Trust in Yahweh with all your heart, And don’t lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, And he will direct your paths.

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) 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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Week #43 Proverbs 17:24

Proverbs 17:24Proverbs 17:24
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24 Wisdom is before the face of one who has understanding, But the eyes of a fool wander to the ends of the earth.

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“A discerning person keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth.”

How do we know if we are keeping wisdom in view?  In this day and age of focused attention difficulties I know I struggle to keep wisdom at the center of my attention.  Honestly, I struggle to stay focused on a regular basis but does that make me a fool?

I don’t think so.  I think this proverb is probing us to be discerning and have wisdom detection sensors activated to help keep us from falling into traps.  Similar to the newer cars that have the sensors that warn drivers when they are drifting from their lane or getting too close to other vehicles or objects.  The last rental I drove even informed me when the car in front of me had moved forward.

What program level do you have your wisdom detection sensor on to keep you on the path of righteousness?

Does the system need an upgrade?

Keep wisdom in view— don’t get lost wandering!

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 4:23Proverbs 4:23
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23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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

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Week #42 Psalm 27:13-14

Psalm 27:13-14Psalm 27:13-14
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13 I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of Yahweh in the land of the living. 14 Wait for Yahweh. Be strong, and let your heart take courage. Yes, wait for Yahweh.

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“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

Last week we talked about having to wait and this week we are again being encouraged in our waiting.  I love it!   Psalm 27:13-14Psalm 27:13-14
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13 I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of Yahweh in the land of the living. 14 Wait for Yahweh. Be strong, and let your heart take courage. Yes, wait for Yahweh.

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inspires me to remember why I can be confident in the Lord, why I can be strong, and why I should take heart in the Lord even as I wait for the Lord.  How can I do it?

Be Confident:  I have to take time to recall the Lord’s faithfulness in the past and reinforce my attitude of thanksgiving.  Sometimes when the waiting has been lengthy or the situation isn’t looking very good I have to literally write out my list.

What do you do?

Be Strong:  I get my strength from the Lord and do my best waiting when I keep myself in a prayerful mindset.  I usually turn to a verse that speaks to what I’m waiting on the Lord for and personalize it in prayer.

What do you do?

 

Take Heart:  I keep my heart connected to and focused on the Lord.  The word “take” gives a picture of capturing and controlling my heart as an act of power to continue to turn to the Lord for strength as I wait on him to lead me through my situation.  Again, it calls me to turn to the power of the Word of God to fortify my heart with his truth. Usually, I start with Philippians 4:8-9Philippians 4:8-9
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8 Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honorable, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think about these things. 9 The things which you learned, received, heard, and saw in me: do these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

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.

What do you do?

However we do it we must~

Be Confident, Be Strong, and Take Heart in the Lord alone!

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 4:23Proverbs 4:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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

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Week #41 Romans 8:25

Romans 8:25Romans 8:25
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25 But if we hope for that which we don’t see, we wait for it with patience.

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“But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”

We live in a “insta” this and that world.  “Wait” is not a word that is well received as a answer to a request.  How do you typically respond or feel after being told to wait?  Maybe it’s like the response of my silly rescue dog ,Sol, when I tell her to wait and sit patiently while I get her food.   Patiently is not how I would describe it.  She sits, then she lays down, and when she is really patient she rolls over and sits back up wiggling and adjusting her weight as she licks her chops.  It’s not easy to wait when we can see what we are hoping to receive let alone remain hopeful for what we can’t see.

The previous verses in Romans 8 bring to mind the waiting state that all of creation is in still today.  A state of longing to be restored to God’s original perfect creation.  When we have the hope of eternal salvation living in us we too are challenged to wait patiently for our promised completed transformation for eternity, the completion of our ultimate promise.  But in the meantime we are to also find ourselves needing to patiently wait for the Lord in other areas of hope in our lives.

I don’t know what you are waiting on the Lord for but I pray you are strengthened by Him to wait patiently with hope for that which you have not grabbed hold of.   Maybe you are waiting in hope for—- healing, justice, direction, provision, protection, confirmation or ……….be encouraged to not lose hope in the Lord for He is faithful and His timing is perfect.

What does our waiting look like?

Is it patiently enduring life or wiggling and readjusting?

Most importantly we have hope!!!

 

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 4:23Proverbs 4:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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

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Week #40 Matthew 11:28

Matthew 11:28Matthew 11:28
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28 “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.

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“Come to me , all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

I love to help people. What about you? Are you as eager to receive help as you are to offer it?   I know it took some work for me to openly and regularly accept an offer from others help carry my load.

Are you weary today? Maybe you have been carrying a load that is above your weight limit.   If that is how you feel I want to remind you that there is hope for each of us. We have an open invitation from our Savior to come to him many times in scripture. Each invitation is extended to us based on his recognition of our needs and offers at valuable exchange.

Here is Matthew 11:28Matthew 11:28
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28 “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.

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he acknowledges that life on earth is not easy and we will find ourselves tired and weighed down by the circumstances of life. In those times, when we are struggling to find the strength to face each new day, or a reoccurring challenge, or a continual disappointment, that is the day we need to say “YES” to Jesus’ invitation to “come to me.”

His invitation offers an exchange of our burdens for rest. His rest comes as we lay down our worries, our concerns, and our frustrations at his feet in prayer. Choosing to express trust in him. Acting on our belief that he is here to give us rest and to help us face our situations in life with renewed strength, a greater hope, and deepened faith in Christ’s promises; to never leave us or forsake us no matter what happens in this life.

Let’s remember to respond, “YES” to his invitation and do our part in the great exchange~ accept the offer and receive his treasured rest. I know there are times his gift of rest came through my response of  “YES” to someone’s offer to help at just the right moment.  How about you?

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 4:23Proverbs 4:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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

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Week #39 Romans 12:11-12

Romans 12:11-12Romans 12:11-12
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11 not lagging in diligence; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope; enduring in troubles; continuing steadfastly in prayer;

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“Never be lacking in zeal , but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

As followers of Christ we best represent our Savior when our life is lived out with zeal and spiritual fervor as Paul shares here in Romans 12:11-12Romans 12:11-12
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11 not lagging in diligence; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope; enduring in troubles; continuing steadfastly in prayer;

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. He suggests zealous living is evident in those who serve the Lord. Our zeal shines through as evidence of our joyful hope, our patience in affliction, and our faithfulness in prayer.

Self reflection is always good.  Let’s do a zeal heart check.

Heart Check Questions:

Are we serving the Lord?

Are we joyful in our hope in the Lord?

Are we patient in affliction?

Are we faithful in prayer?

 

Our heart check helps us to refocus and help us be more intentional about staying plugged into our power source for zeal and spiritual fervor.

 

 

Click here to dig deep with a look at staying connected with our power source

 

 

 

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 4:23Proverbs 4:23
English: World English Bible - WEB

23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it is the wellspring of life.

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

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John Maxwell Team Certified inspirational speaker and author