Category Archives: Reflections of Life

“Reflections of Life” is where you will find blogs that reflect the journeys of my life related and the scriptural principles I have learned along the way.

Pursuit!

Days run by like water flowing to the ocean- sometimes just a trickle and other times swiftly. Either way, they have an

creek-21749__480effect on the lives and landscape they run by and through. God’s natural design for the waters is to pursue the vast oceans as their ultimate destination. Likewise, His natural design for mankind is to pursue Him as our eternal destination. (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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Would you describe your pursuit as a trickle or a swiftly running stream? The easy answer is “not quite swiftly but much more than a trickle.” But what does that look like? As I consider the question.  My mind floods with even more questions— Am I pursuing Him at the rate He has designed for my life? Am I taking the path He has set out before me? Am I allowing His design to have the effect on me He intends? Am I allowing His design to have the effect on those He places in my life? Is it better to

water-1658021_1280landscape-1843128__480move at a swift pace or trickle? My heart struggled to discover a truthful response- one absent of rationalization. I desired a cloudless view of any part of my pursuit that wasn’t authentically centered on Christ. Not excusing areas of my life that I refuse to sacrifice in my pursuit of God’s call to “be Holy as He is Holy.”(1Peter 1:14 – 16)

Our pursuit of God is not measured by pace but rather our heart as we pursue a life that “finds out what pleases the Lord!” (Ephesians 5:10Ephesians 5:10
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10 proving what is well-pleasing to the Lord.

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) When we study the paths of water to the ocean, we discover it travels at many different speeds

heart-996157__480and has subtle and drastic effects based on the path on which it has been set.   Each journey looks different. Consider the contrast of a flowing mountain stream, a river valley, and a mighty river. In each season they have their purpose and shape the landscape as designed by the Creator.

Living our life in pursuit will look different for each of us. The key is to keep moving with God whether it is at a painfully slow or exhilaratingly fast pace. Continue the journey with an open heart to what pleases the Lord and be prepared for the effects.

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As our lives are lived according to His eternal design it leaves us changed for His glory and those in our life’s path effected too. Take time to read the rest of Ephesians 5. Paul gives a few examples of “what pleases the Lord”. (Ephesians 5:10Ephesians 5:10
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10 proving what is well-pleasing to the Lord.

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)   I will leave you with this challenge.

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Ephesians 5: 19Ephesians 5: 19
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19 speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; singing, and singing praises in your heart to the Lord;

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b- 20 “Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

I’d love to hear what song the Lord puts in your heart!

Please leave me a comment here or on Facebook.

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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ADORE Series: Eternal Peace!

Welcome to the final post in the ADORE Series: Eternal Peace—

Happy New Year!!! Did you know we are just days away from the Day of Epiphany? Friday January 6th marks the day to celebrate the day that  The Wise Men or Maggi arrived and worshiped Jesus the newborn king—“And he will be their peace.” (Micah 5:5Micah 5:5
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5 He will be our peace when Assyria invades our land, And when he marches through our fortresses, Then we will raise against him seven shepherds, And eight leaders of men.

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) Some traditions celebrate the combination of both the worship and gifts given by the Maggi and the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist where the “Spirit descended on him like a dove.”(Mark 1:10-11Mark 1:10-11
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10 Immediately coming up from the water, he saw the heavens parting, and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. 11 A voice came out of the sky, “You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

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). These events are both centered on the celebration of the peaceful kingship of our Savior. If you have never celebrated this holiday you can find more information at this link —https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/epiphany.

As we take time this week to reflect on the gift of “Eternal Peace”.   I think it is important to consider the gifts presented to the Son of God by the Maggi. These men had, in some cases, spent their lifetime searching for the foretold star to appear as prophesied hundreds of years before by the prophet Balaam (Numbers 24:17-19Numbers 24:17-19
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17 I see him, but not now; I see him, but not near: There shall come forth a star out of Jacob, A scepter shall rise out of Israel, Shall strike through the corners of Moab, Break down all the sons of tumult. 18 Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession, who were his enemies; While Israel does valiantly. 19 Out of Jacob shall one have dominion, Shall destroy the remnant from the city.

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). The star was declared as the sign of the rise of an Israelite King. After the “Bethlehem Star” (click for a short video) appeared in the heavens the Maggi began their journey to the Jewish capital city of Jerusalem. Each one anticipating their opportunity to honor and worship this long awaited king with gifts suited for royalty— gold, frankincense, and myrrh. All of these gifts spoke of Jesus’ position, purpose, and perpetual fulfillment of the prophecies that brought hope for “Eternal Peace” on earth.Let’s reflect on the gifts:

The First Gift~ Gold– A gift of great value given to royalty and those who have treasure. This gift speaks to the future position of Christ as Eternal King—the King of peace.

Micah 5:2-5Micah 5:2-5
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2 But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Being small among the clans of Judah, Out of you one will come forth to me that is to be ruler in Israel; Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting. 3 Therefore he will abandon them until the time that she who is in labor gives birth. Then the rest of his brothers will return to the children of Israel. 4 He shall stand, and shall shepherd in the strength of Yahweh, In the majesty of the name of Yahweh his God: And they will live, for then he will be great to the ends of the earth. 5 He will be our peace when Assyria invades our land, And when he marches through our fortresses, Then we will raise against him seven shepherds, And eight leaders of men.

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“”But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come from me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor gives birth and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. And he will be their peace.”

The Second Gift~ Frankincense– An expensive form of incense known for it’s sweet fragrance, healing properties, and being used often in sacrificial offering ceremonies. This gift speaks to his purpose to live a life that would reconcile the world to its’ creator.

Isaiah 9:6-7Isaiah 9:6-7
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6 For to us a child is born. To us a son is given; and the government will be on his shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, on the throne of David, and on his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from that time on, even forever. The zeal of Yahweh of Armies will perform this.

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“For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The seal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”

The Third Gift~ Myrrh– A balm that had a sweet aroma yet bitter flavor most used for it’s healing, preservation, and protective qualities. It was commonly used for Jewish burial preparation. This gift resembles the suffering and sacrifice that speaks to the perpetual fulfillment of the prophecies for “Eternal Peace”.

 Revelation 1:4Revelation 1:4
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4 John, to the seven assemblies that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from God, who is and who was and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits who are before his throne;

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“ Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father— to him be glory and power forever and ever! Amen.

Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, “says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.””

Let’s carry these gifts in our lives this year to share with our world around us!

Our Challenges~

  1. Share the gift of gold by sharing the Gospel of peace and doing our best to remain at peace with all. (Ephesians 6:15Ephesians 6:15
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    15 and having fitted your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of peace;

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    ; Mark 9:50Mark 9:50
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    50 Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, with what will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

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    ; Romans 12:18Romans 12:18
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    18 If it is possible, as much as it is up to you, be at peace with all men.

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  2. Share the gift of frankincense by spreading the fragrance of Christ’s love daily. (Ephesians 5:1-2Ephesians 5:1-2
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    5 1 Be therefore imitators of God, as beloved children. 2 Walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling fragrance.

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  3. Share the gift of myrrh by living selflessly and dying to our self-daily so Christ will live through us. (Philippians 1:21Philippians 1:21
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    21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

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    ; Galatians 2:20Galatians 2:20
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    20 I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me. That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.

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Prayer of Adoration: Oh Eternal King of Peace you are mighty and worthy of all praise. Your kingdom is never ending and your love endures forever. We seek to follow after you and be instruments of your peace, love, joy, hope, and grace this whole year through. Lord as we draw closer to you we ask that you would fill us with more of you so our lives will be a fragrant offering to you. Teach us to be imitators of you so where we walk we walk in your love and peace. Help us to live selflessly by faith. Empower us to choose to be salt and light encouraging peace among our brothers and sisters. We ask all of this as we long for your triumphal return to reign as The King of Kings. In Jesus Holy name, Amen

Here is a great song to listen to as you ponder the gift of Christ by Lauren Daigle “Noel(live)”.

Click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Vwu-t7QRaE&sns=em 

Leave me a comment I would love to hear from you!

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

For more study on the “Bethlehem Star”by Andrew Reese you can click this link https://youtu.be/k07DzOMjM to view the full length movie on the scientific discovery of the “Bethlehem Star”.

 

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ADORE Series: Rejoicing Hope!

Welcome to the fourth post in the ADORE Series: Rejoicing in Hope—

Happy Christmas Eve from my family to yours!   I’m looking forward to tonight’s traditional celebration of homemade Christmas Eve pizza and precious time with family and friends!   We have so much to rejoice for in this season of adoration!

Christmas Eve is a special time of year. Let’s seize this opportunity to rejoice in the anticipation of celebrating the hope of the world that came to dwell with us on earth. The birth of Jesus was foretold centuries before the angel, Gabriel visited Mary with the message of her virgin pregnancy and the birth of Jesus to be called the Most High (Isaiah 7:14Isaiah 7:14
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14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin will conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. “Immanuel” means “God with us.”

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; Isaiah 9:6-7Isaiah 9:6-7
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6 For to us a child is born. To us a son is given; and the government will be on his shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, on the throne of David, and on his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from that time on, even forever. The zeal of Yahweh of Armies will perform this.

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; Micah 5:2Micah 5:2
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2 But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Being small among the clans of Judah, Out of you one will come forth to me that is to be ruler in Israel; Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.

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; Luke 1:26Luke 1:26
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26 Now in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

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–38). Jesus is the hope of the nations who will reign in peace and justice. He is the hope that brought salvation to all people and our blessed hope of eternity in heaven! How can we not rejoice in Him!!

Rejoice in the hope that is reflected in the following scripture:  

Psalm 33:20-22Psalm 33:20-22
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20 Our soul has waited for Yahweh. He is our help and our shield. 21 For our heart rejoices in him, Because we have trusted in his holy name. 22 Let your loving kindness be on us, Yahweh, Since we have hoped in you.

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“We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.”(Bold and italics added)

Romans 5: 1Romans 5: 1
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5 1 Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ;

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“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Bold and italics added)

Philippians 4:4Philippians 4:4
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4 Rejoice in the Lord always! Again I will say, Rejoice!

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Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Bold and italics added)

1 Peter 1:211 Peter 1:21
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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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“Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” (Bold and italics added)

Do you have this hope in your heart this Christmas?

Does it cause you to rejoice?

Prayer of adoration:             Lord, we enter your courts with thanksgiving in our hearts, and we draw close to lift up your praises. You are the one true God in whom our hope is secure. We rejoice in the hope you give us that fills our hearts with joy and peace, for our trust is in you. We seek to overflow with your hope by the power of the Holy Spirit that you have given as a deposit for our salvation inheritance. Help us to rejoice in you daily as we persevere for your kingdom’s glory. May the hope of your return enrich our lives as we reflect on your glorious gift of Jesus our Savior.

Whatever your Christmas Eve brings into your life this year I pray you have a blessed Christmas Eve rejoicing in the hope of Christ!  Enjoy this Christmas worship by Chris Tomlin “Adore(Live) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=br-Ql1zVcUc&sns=em My Christmas gift to you! Your glorious name, Amen

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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ADORE Series: Outrageous Joy

Welcome to the third post in the ADORE Series: Outrageous Joy—

What comes to mind when you hear “Outrageous Joy”? Is it a loud memory or a quiet gentle one?   Is it a memory of a time experienced with others or a personal moment? I have experienced joy in so many ways it is hard explain the source of my joy at times. Especially when tears accompany it. This week let’s take a moment to reflect on the “outrageous joy” that Mary carried within her as the mother of our Savior. She gives a brief glimpse of it in her song found in Luke 1: 46-56Luke 1: 46-56
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46 Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord. 47 My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior, 48 For he has looked at the humble state of his handmaid. For behold, from now on, all generations will call me blessed. 49 For he who is mighty has done great things for me. Holy is his name. 50 His mercy is for generations of generations on those who fear him. 51 He has shown strength with his arm. He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their heart. 52 He has put down princes from their thrones. And has exalted the lowly. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things. He has sent the rich away empty. 54 He has given help to Israel, his servant, that he might remember mercy, 55 As he spoke to our fathers, To Abraham and his seed forever.” 56 Mary stayed with her about three months, and then returned to her house.

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. I wonder what it was like for her knowing she was blessed to carry the Savior of the world but unable to share her miraculous experience outside of a very small circle of relatives for fear of ridicule and a possible sentence of death.  Her life was marked by suffering, persecution, separation, and danger.  She experienced brief highlights of honor, acceptance, delight, and peace which she pondered and treasured in her heart.  What gave her the strength to continue?  I suggest that, like Jesus, she endured all the circumstances of her life for the joy set before her (Hebrews 12:2:3Hebrews 12:2:3
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)–  the fulfillment of the prophecy of the prophet Isaiah and the message given by the angel, Gabriel.  Her strength was born out of the presence of the Holy Spirit that released the power to create Jesus, God made man, and burst forth as “outrageous joy” that would sustain her and point her time and time again to “the joy set before her”.  That same Holy Spirit that sustained Mary and Jesus while they walked the earth is alive in us.  So no matter what we are facing now or in the future we need to tap into the strength of the “Outrageous Joy” only He can provide.  I hope you will experience the “Outrageous Joy” of Christ this Christmas!

May I suggest starting with this Chris Tomlin song “Joy to the World(Unspeakable Joy)”?  I personally think Mary’s joy is expressed well by the chorus lyrics—- “Joy, unspeakable joy. An overflowing well, no tongue can tell. Joy, unspeakable joy. Rises in my soul, never lets me go.” (check out the whole song on YouTube @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tC3SwhJsLqU&sns=em ) Be careful I have had this chorus in my head for about two weeks now it is very catchy!!!

 

As you read the joyful Psalm below reflect on the birth of our Savior and the “outrageous joy” His birth brought into our world for us each to experience.

Psalm 100

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.

Worship the Lord with gladness;

come before him with joyful songs.

Know that the Lord is God.

It is he who made us, and we are his;

we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving

and his courts with praise;

Give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;

his faithfulness continues through all generations.”

(bold added)

How will you keep his “outrageous joy” alive in your heart this week and all yearlong?

 

Who can you tell about the “outrageous joy” of Christ’s birth?

 

Leave a comment to let me know what brings you “outrageous joy”!

 

Prayer of Adoration:   We come to you, Lord, with thanksgiving in our hearts  and your “unspeakable joy” in our souls for all the ways that you love us.  Your expression of love is deep and never ending.   Your outrageous gift of salvation through your Son our Savior leaves us in awe of you.   We ask that you the God of hope will fill us with all joy and peace as we trust in you so that we may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit(Romans 15:13Romans 15:13
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13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

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).  We love you, Lord, even though we have not seen you.  We believe in you and know that you are the one who fills us with an inexpressible and glorious joy-— the goal of our faith, the salvation of our souls(1Peter 1: 8-9).  
Just as you filled Mary’s heart and soul with “unspeakable joy” as she carried our Savior and released Him for your glory.  May you be glorified this Christmas season as we seek to live joyful lives in reflection of your gift of eternal life!  Please strengthen us  as we fix our eyes on you, Jesus, and run the race you have set before us.  We want to live like you did enduring the things of this life for the joy set before us.  Help us to not grow weary and lose heart(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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but to consider it all joy that we will be made complete in you.(James 1:2-8James 1:2-8
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2 Count it all joy, my brothers The word for “brothers” here and where context allows may also be correctly translated “brothers and sisters” or “siblings.”, when you fall into various temptations, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 Let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach; and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, without any doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed. 7 For let that man not think that he will receive anything from the Lord. 8 He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

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In your holy name, Jesus– Amen

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

 

 

 

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ADORE Series: Deep Love

Welcome to the second post in the ADORE Series, Deep Love—

Through out the scriptures, God’s “deep love” for his people is described in many ways. When I think about his “deep love” a picture comes to mind of a precious stone that has many facets. It sparkles brilliantly as light shines on it. The reflection appears different for each of us depending on where we are standing to view the captivating sight.glass-blocks-425719__480
Come let us ADORE our Savior this week reflecting on his deep love. Let’s take time to reflect on how we experience daily the Lord’s “deep love” in our life. Then, let’s take it a step further and seek how we can reflect His “deep love” through our life into the lives of those near to us in this season of giving.

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     Reflect on the following scriptures:

 

John 3:16 -17John 3:16 -17
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16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him.

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“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”(bold and italics added)

John 15:13John 15:13
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13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

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“ Greater love has no one that this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”(bold and italics added)

1 Corinthians 13: 31 Corinthians 13: 3
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3 If I dole out all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but don’t have love, it profits me nothing.

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–8a & 11-13
“If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. Love never fails.”( bold and italics added)

“ When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three things remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” (bold and italics added)

 

Deep Love Reflection:
Throughout scripture the love of God is characterized in the following ways: Deep – Enduring – Everlasting – Great – Forever – Unfailing – Rich – Lavish – Faithful – Jealous – Abounding – Sacrificial -Commanding – Fearless – Gentle – Inseparable – Better than Life!!

 

What facet of his love for you do you most clearly identify with? —Thank him for his love!

How are you responding to his expression of “deep love”?

How is he calling you to express his love to those near to you this giving season?

Prayer of Adoration:
Thank you, heavenly Father; for your deep and never ending love for us. A love that nothing we do and nothing in this world can ever separate us from. You are our source of love. You are the lover of our souls. You desire us to draw close to you to be loved deeply by you. The realization of your sacrificial love is so overwhelming. You gave your Son and He gave his life so we could become your sons and daughters.  So that we could experience your love as you dwell in our hearts. Fill us each day with your love so our lives become an outpouring of your love into a world that is in desperate need of you and the hope that is found in your love. Open our eyes to see your sweet expressions of love for us in this season of giving. Thank you for your extravagant expression of love—- your Son, made man, born in a manger destined to be the Savior of the world.  And that you for the greatest gift of all—- salvation!
With adoration in Jesus holy name– Amen

 

I’d love to hear how you will be expressing our Savior’s love this season!

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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Oh Come Let Us ADORE our Savior!

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We are in the season of anticipation and adoration— Christmas and New Years! What is your natural focus around these Holidays? For me, I naturally get caught up in the anticipation. I am easily drawn into the business of preparing and experiencing all the season has to offer– from yummy treats, beautiful displays and programs and lovely music, to decorating, preparing, and the entire gift gathering (making and exchanging)—  in anticipation of Christmas. “The list” could go on for a mile. I’m sure just like me, you just remembered something else to add to your list. Amongst all the “Noise, Noise, Noise” as the Grinch grinch-02calls it; I find my inner soul anticipating sweet moments spent adoring my Savior. But “the list” seems to shout and demand my full attention, creating an unseen struggle to follow through on my desire for sweet moments spent with Jesus. My intention is to stay focused on celebrating his birth and preparing for all the New Year has to offer, without getting distracted by the “Noise, Noise, Noise”!

Can you relate? Would you like help staying focused? I invite you to join me this season in setting aside time for the next five weeks to ADORE our Savior together. Each week we will focus on an aspect of adoring Jesus Christ our Lord for the gifts His birth brought to all mankind. Together we will reflect on scriptures that lead us through the acrostic ADORE.

Amazing Grace
Deep Love
Outrageous Joy
Rejoicing in Hope
Eternal Peacebible-1806079_1280

 

 

 

 

This week’s focus is Amazing Grace:
Read and reflect on the following verses:

Ephesians 2: 4Ephesians 2: 4
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4 But God, being rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us,

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– 10(NIV) “ But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith— and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (bold and italics added by me)christmas-1010749_1280

Titus 2: 11- 14Titus 2: 11- 14
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Štetje svetopisemskih vrstic se za?ne z 1! Vrstica 0 ne obstaja!

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(NIV) “ For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in the present age, while we wait for the blessed hope— the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” (bold and italics added by me)

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Amazing Grace Reflection:

What do these verses reveal about God’s amazing grace?

What are the purposes of God giving us His amazing grace?

How will you express your adoration to your Savior for His gift of amazing grace?

 

Prayer of Adoration:

Amazing Savior,         We come to you with adoration for the amazing grace you have given to us. Your gift–the intentional atoning sacrifice that brought with it your grace to give our redemption and salvation. At Christmas time we are reminded that your birth was the gift that fulfilled your desire to dwell with your people.

hands-750281_1280This week we invite you to reign in our hearts and minds as we seek to adore you for the incomparable gift of your amazing grace—given to make us alive and raised up and seated in the heavenly realms with Christ. Your grace—was born out of your love for us, expressed in kindness, and given as a gift through faith in you our given Savior. Thank you for creating each of us for your purposes and supplying your grace that teaches us to live self-controlled lives and fills us with eagerness to do the good that you have destined for us to do.   We praise you for your amazing grace extended to all people that none might boast of their righteous acts for only you our Savior and Lord are righteous.

In Jesus Holy name we pray— Amen

 

Want to continue the ADORE series?

Be sure to subscribe to this website so you don’t miss next weeks “Deep Love” reflection.

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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What will they think?

 

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My sweet Sol and Kate.

Can you relate to my “Sol experience”? It’s all about the art of dog walking. My preference is with my sweet Border Collie Kate. It is a tranquil time of reflecting through the wooded trail behind our home. Now it has become a “Sol experience”. What is a Sol experience you ask? Well it’s walking the family rescue dog ,Sol–a “Jack-a-be”, or Jack-Russell and Beagle combo. The first time my husband and I walked her we were mortified. We had just become “those dog owners”.

You know them. You’ve seen them, and when you see them, you wonder, “Who is walking whom?” “Those dog owners” have no control over their dog. You consider turning around to avoid them altogether. It’s comical and scary at the same to time as they approach. Their dog is lunging forward with every step at the end of the leash no matter how long or short it is, huffing and puffing, straining to get to the next thing, zigzagging across the path, whimpering excessively, and barking. If you have experienced it then you can relate to my “Sol experience”.

Sol does it all, but everything becomes excessively exaggerated when we walk near another dog, she spots a squirrel, or notices a bird. The looks I get– and oh, the advice I get– when I’m trying to train her. All the time, Sol is barking and usually getting more aggressive looking by the moment. It is comical at times, because the advice is so important to girl-1245678_1280share they willing my agony of this incessant dog barking performance for what feels like an eternity. I nod my head and repeat, “She is a rescue in training.” I smile as much as I can through my complete embarrassment, all the time wondering to myself, “What does this person think of me?”

Growing up the same question seemed to always be on the grown-ups minds too. I would get questioned all the time. Should you being doing that? Should you say that? Why didn’t you________? With the follow on question/statement “because what do you think they think about you after_________?” I know the questions all came with the best intentions but they developed a habit I’m still struggling to break.
I wonder if you can relate? I became hyper sensitive to what I think people might think about my choices and behavior walking-349991__340big and small. It led to constantly evaluating and wondering if I was good enough in other people’s eyes. I became entangled in the web of real and perceived expectations in my mind. In our Christian walk it is important what others think of us to an extent. But I can get wrapped up in seeking to please others rather than the Lord. Especially when I worry about what they “might” think.

So let’s take a moment to be honest with our selves. How often do your thoughts wander to “What do they think, or will they think about me?” When you are deciding what to wear, what to post on social media, where to go, what to buy, etc., how often has that determined what you would do or not do? If you are like me your answer is images-25much more than I would like to admit. It is amazing the power other peoples’ opinions, perceived or true, that I will give others over my life–even a stranger’s opinion. At times I may even find my self fearfully making choices in hopes to not offend and disappoint people. This fear robs me of full enjoyment to experience life in freedom. 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 human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.” Since I discovered this truth images-27I have been growing in my ability to recognize my fearful thought patterns. It’s a work in progress but day-by-day I am getting more skilled at “taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ”(2 Corinthians 10: 52 Corinthians 10: 5
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5 throwing down imaginations and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;

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).

It is a transforming process. I’m thankful I don’t have to do in my own strength and knowledge. It is the Holy Spirits job to transform me from the inside out making me desire to be obedient to this foreign way of living (2 Thessalonians 2:132 Thessalonians 2:13
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13 But we are bound to always give thanks to God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief in the truth;

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). And just as I think I’m taking ground on this “fear of human opinion” disability I realize I have a long way to go. I need of a make over of my self-centered thoughts. The Lord wants to tree-84573__340completely remove this fear from my wardrobe. He wants to refit me with a style that is more flattering for His warrior-princess.

What woman would ever say “no” to a wardrobe makeover? Not me! The new designer label is “Fear of the Lord”! Just the name sounds fit for a warrior-princess. My first peak at the collection left me breathless. I would be stepping into a whole new way of thinking. He no longer wanted me to measure my choices and behavior by what others would think of me. He is asking me to be more concerned for what my choices would make others think of Him. Making this change would reflect righteousness from the hummel-1437243__340inside out. I would be putting on my spiritual garments of praise, robe of righteousness, and crown of salvation to send the message of love and hope found in Christ. My Christ- focused choices will spread His fragrance, thereby providing the opportunity to lead others in the direction to hope in my King. The new decision questions I will be asking myself are: What message am I about to send? Does it give others a glimpse of God’s love? Will it point others to Him? Can it send the fragrance of life in Jesus? How will it speak to those who need a loving God?

The way I live every part of my life sends a message. Will I live each part out in such a way that I send a message, giving off a fragrance that points others in the direction of their Creator to discover His love for them? Even in my “Sol experience” I need to turn my thoughts to the Lord. In what area of your life is he offering you a wardrobe makeover? Will you accept the invitation and receive the gift?images-2

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Together!

I’d love to hear about your “Sol experience”. Please pray for Sol and I in our obedience school!

Here are some other scriptures the Lord is using in my make-over process:

Philippians 4:8Philippians 4:8
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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.

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- “….think on such things…”
Romans 13:14Romans 13:14
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14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, for its lusts.

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- “…clothe self with the Lord Jesus Christ..”
Colossians 3:12-14Colossians 3:12-14
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12 Put on therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, humility, and perseverance; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, if any man has a complaint against any; even as Christ forgave you, so you also do. 14 Above all these things, walk in love, which is the bond of perfection.

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- “…clothe self with compassion…over all of these virtues put on love…”

 

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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Cooking on the Wrong Burner

Have you ever started preparing a meal and discover you have had your pan on the wrong burner? Once again I found myself wondering how in the world I didn’t notice sooner that nothing was happening in my pot that should be boiling any moment. As I reached for the handle it was very hot to the touch but the rest was not. That’s when I realized I had turned on the wrong burner and proceeded to increase the temperature as required only to succeed in heating the handle not the contents. After rectifying the problem I moved on the next item of importance. But as I looked back at the stove with my hand still stinging from grabbing the piping hot handle, I thought “ispot-820012__340n’t that just like life.” I wake up each morning with a basic plan and focus to spend my time and energy according to what I think is most important. Then I’m off and running.  The next thing I know I’ve turned on the wrong burner!   My energy is not directed where it is required to accomplish the necessary tasks for the day. Can you relate? I also thought of how quickly these “wrong burner days” can easily become weeks, months and sometimes years if I don’t seek daily guidance from the Lord on how to spend my time and energy He has given to me. His word tells me that he has “created me for good works” that He has prepared for me (Ephesians 2:10Ephesians 2:10
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10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them.

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).  I don’t want to focus my time and energy into a burner that isn’t warming His prepared task for me. In order to put the right amount of energy and focus into each burner I have to seek Him first.

Proverbs 16:3Proverbs 16:3
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3 Commit your deeds to Yahweh, And your plans shall succeed.

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“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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Shared previously with Planting Roots

Can I get an amen if you can relate???

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Courage to Reflect

 

I remember that Sunday morning well. The summer sun peaked through the bedroom blinds before my eyes were ready to greet the day. Sounds of a squirmy infant and toddler encouraged one more attempt at squeeze just 5 more minutes of sleep before I faced the activities of the day. Then it happened– the whimpers of a hungry little guy. Before I knew I was awake I found myself settled in the rocker with a nursing bundle in my arm and my snuggly brown eyed girl in my lap. After the morning snuggle we were off to the races to get everyone, Dad, Mom, and three kiddos under 4, ready and in the van for church.

At some point, I called out “Where is Erika?” Our brown eyed, 19month old was not under foot and too quiet for my comfort. After an unsuccessful, thorough search of the three story home, panic set in Brian’s and I’s heart. Then came the knock at the door. Brian opened the door to find little Erika standing there, hand in hand, with a wombonding-1407833_1280an he did not recognize. She proceeded to ask in a sweet voice “Is this your little girl? I found her wandering along the road.” He immediately lifted Erika into his arms and held her tightly while answering “Yes, thank you so much!” When he turned to follow-up with the kind woman, she was nowhere to be found. It was like she had vanished. He and Erika looked down the street and around the corner, but it was like she was gone without a trace. Brian was puzzled and smiled as Erika announced, “Bye-bye, all gone, bye-bye” in her sweet little voice.

He rounded the corner of the stairs to share the mystery of Erika’s morning adventure outside. After hearing the story of the disappearing lady, Sara, our 4 year old, declared, “She’s an angel! She brought her back!” Brian responded “Your right Sara. She must be an angel, because I’ve never seen her before and she disappeared so quickly.” We took a moment to say a prayer, thanking the Lord for protecting Erika and a blessing be given to the angel that returned Erika safely. Then off to church we went with full hearts.

Has your desire ever taken you on a dangerous adventure like Erika that summer morning? She had a strong desire to go outside that morning, and she was inspired by the sunshine to go explore. All she needed for her adventure to begin was the courage to open the door and take that step out. In my previous post, The Journey, I talked about having the “courage to take the first step”, following through on the desires and inspirations the Lord places in your heart. Today I want to follow up with having the courage to challenge your hearts desire. 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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instructs: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Have you ever let your guard down? Have you ever regretted doing or saying something? My answer is a resounding “Yes!” I have reduced the regularity of such regrets and moments of a lax guard over my heart and mind with the Slide4practice of self-reflection and others to help keep me accountable in my walk with Christ. It takes courage to be honest with yourself and listen with an open heart when you ask the Lord to search your heart and reveal any wickedness or pride that lingers. It takes courage to align your thought life to Philippians 4:8Philippians 4:8
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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.

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. Are my thoughts focused on whatever is true, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy? When I’m on a short time line and my family is on their own time line, my thoughts are not very lovely. Or when I’m driving and the drivers around me seem to have forgotten what it means to merge, yield, or go at a green light; I struggle to turn my thoughts to admirable truth. The natural human tendency is to pridefully elevate my needs above the needs of others. It takes courage to be selfless and keep my selfish desires in check.

I struggled with my desire to elevate myself above my husband in the situation of Eriblue-925209__340ka escaping on her adventure that summer morning. After all “He was responsible for her…she never would have got out if it was my responsiblity.” I’m thankful I had the courage to catch myself in the unloving thought pattern and to change it to one of praiseworthy thoughts before my thoughts became my words.

Luke 6:42Luke 6:42
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42 Or how can you tell your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck of chaff that is in your eye,’ when you yourself don’t see the beam that is in your own eye? You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck of chaff that is in your brother’s eye.

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“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”

 

Have the courage to guard your heart and reflect on the purity of your desire.

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 3:11Ecclesiastes 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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