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!
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!
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 Tidbitposts 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 oftenwe 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!
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.
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.”
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.
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:
See suffering and it bothers you?
Recognize evil proliferating the world?
Experienced injustice in your life or identify it in the lives of others?
Observe wrong things happening around you and want to right them?
Have certain people heavy on your heart and it concerns you but are unsure why?
Observe tragic situations happening to others and feel helpless to to anything to stop it?
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 meto 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
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.
“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.
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 Livinghe 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~
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?
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.
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 hereto subscribe.
John Maxwell Team Certified inspirational speaker and author