Tag Archives: Control

Week # 24 Psalm 56:3

Fear has the power to grip us to the point of making us believe we are powerless.  Our response to fearful situations reveals our power level and our level of vision clarity  provided by our life lenses that we learned at over the past two weeks.  I know this all too well.  I vividly remember the day I was gripped by fear in a way I had never experienced.

It was a beautiful Summer day in Germany, we woke up that July morning to news of fresh snow fall on the mountain we would be exploring, the Zugspitze.  We took the train up the mountain with great anticipation of the fun and beauty that was before us.  The train alone was exciting for the kids, who were 10, 7re 10, 7
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7 The anger of Yahweh was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the children of Ammon.

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,and 6 years old at the time.   They were excited to see snow since we had just moved to Germany from the state of Georgia.  We were not disappointed.  Everyone was able to walk in the snow and through snowballs, it was joyous.  Then my husband spotted his reason for making the journey— the summit.  He wanted to climb the rock face and touch the cross at the summit.  I gladly supported him.   The children and I remained on the safety of the observation deck where we could enjoy the view as Daddy made his climb and take pictures to record his triumphant accomplishment.  He returned to us so excited and he wanted to take our oldest with him.  Reluctantly, I let her go.  I was trying to convince myself to trust that this was a good decision.  I’m married to a natural risk taker and adventure seeker, unlike myself, and our measure of safe is determined on far different scales.

So against my better judgment off she went with her Daddy.  She returned safely and full of smiles.  Her excitement was contagious so of course her little sister and brother would not be left behind.  One by one they went, with each one it became much harder for me to watch as they climbed the rusty ladder leading to the summit rock face.  My fear grew as I noted the safety precautions that other local families had been using as they climbed.  They linked everyone together with ropes and wore helmets.  I struggled to believe this was still a good idea and began to let fear cloud my vision. I could see my petite 6 year old stretching to reach each bar until she climbed onto the rock face.  Then she took hold of an iron rope that served as protection from falling off the edge.  It started about her waist level as she moved closer to the summit her arm stretched  higher and higher until it was fully above her head holding on.  My heart raced, I was pacing, and gripping my son and daughters hands very tightly.  Then, she let go of the rope.  Now making her way holding only her Daddy’s hand.  At this point I was struggling to verbally encourage myself that it was going to be okay.  She might be on the edge of a mountain summit but she was going to be just fine.  Right Lord, just fine, you are going to keep her safe?  And He did she returned to me full of smiles and excitement that she did it!  She was a big girl!

Then it was time for me to release my baby boy to this adventure.  You would think at this point my trust would have been greater since there were two successfully completed trips.  Rather than trust my husband and the Lord I continued to look through my clouded lenses of fear. The view of what I believed to be true— this was dangerous and my husband is not recognizing the serious hazards he is exposing our children too without any safety equipment.   I just knew the other side was even more dangerous than the side I could see.  I wanted to have control but I wasn’t in control.

Zugspitze summit

That is when it happened.  He crested the top of the ladder and stood up on the rock face.  As he took each step on the mountain, I found myself pulling my girls closer to me and the wall of safety behind us.  I became glued to the wall and forced my daughter to do the same not letting them move to watch them climb.  In my mind somehow this was keeping the situation under control.  I was gripped with fear.  I was acting irrationally.  Tears were swelling in my eyes and I felt breathless.  I was angry that my husband would do this to me.  Why was he willfully putting our children is such a dangerous situation?  My oldest remembers trying to assure me and tell me it was safe up there.  What was keeping me from hearing her and from believing her?  Fear.

Looking back I can see that I was living in low battery mode since we were busy moving overseas and trying to get some exploring done as a family before my husband’s unit deployed.  I was fortunate to have a few moments to myself let alone find time for a regular quiet time and my prayer life was sporadic as well.  My focus was not on my daily relationship with the Lord leading to my blurry vision that opened the door to fear.  I missed out on experiencing the exhilarating moment of the Zugspitze summit as a family because I forgot to recharge my night vision goggles(NVG’s) and they lost there power.  If I had them powered up they would have helped me look at life from God’s perspective—-to live life unafraid of mere mortals.  A  life lived with God in focus and the world slightly blurred.

If I only would have had my NVG’s powered up then I would have been able to view the truth my daughters were trying to help me see.  I was so gripped by fear I wouldn’t let myself even consider what they were telling me.  As I held them tight against the wall they were trying to encourage me— saying: “It’s safe Mommy.  You can’t see it from here but it is flat up top with lots of room to walk and the view is really cool.”

Being bound by fear left me closed off from the truth that was right in front of me.  It is very scary to think I was open to such paralyzing fear.  It truly wasn’t until months  later that I realized how I had masked the truth of the situation.  I was sure that I was the only one with the truth.  How could I be wrong?  But I was very wrong.  That situation opened my eyes to some very serious trust issues I had.   I thought I trusted God, but did I fully trust Him with everything?  I thought I trusted my husband, but did I truly trust him with our children?  The truth remains, only when we are fully trusting and believing in God’s sovereignty  are we able to walk through the darkness of this world unafraid, cross the tightropes of life with balance, and climb to the mountain summits with confidence and courage.

Let’s live our lives abundantly on full power with our “spiritual heart full of love for God and His people, and a trusting daily relationship with Him.”   Remembering to recharge and “strap on our NVG’s to help us clearly see the Lord at work and keep trusting that He does and will work all things for good” when we wander into the fearful places of life.  Fear has no grip in a heart and mind that trust God to work all things for good.  Let’s practice our self defense moves—- powered up with trust in God with clear vision allowing us to avoid and escape the assault of fear.  We will reverently fear the Lord alone because “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”(Proverbs 1:7Proverbs 1:7
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7 The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge; But the foolish despise wisdom and instruction.

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) and the “fear of man will prove to be a snare”(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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).

What will we chose today trust or fear according to Psalm 56: 3-4Psalm 56: 3-4
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3 When I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. 4 In God, I praise his word. In God, I put my trust. I will not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?

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?

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 #18 Colossians 3:17

Living a life with a thankful harvest!

Colossians 3:17Colossians 3:17
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17 Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father, through him.

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” And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Do all things for Christ with thanksgiving.  So what does that look like in our lives?  This thought made me pause to take inventory of the things I have said and done today.  Would my inventory reveal a Christ focused motivation weaving throughout my interactions and activities?   What would your personal inventory reveal today?

Here are the basic results of my inventory(On a scale of 1 – 10 with 10 equal to all Christ focused).

Spoken Word Related Inventory:

  • My prayers~ 7
  • My family ~ 5
  • My friends ~ 5
  • My texts ~ 3
  • My dogs ~ 3

My honest inventory revealed that I have room for improvement.  I recognized that some of my words were spoken after I actually paused to choose wisely my tone, my words, and my motivation.  The times I did this I actually considered if my words were representing the Lord well.  I have to admit the sad truth is I spoke on my own accord most of the time.

Deeds Related Inventory:

  • My prayers and devotion ~6
  • My workout~ 6
  • My meal prep and consumption ~ 4
  • My house cleaning ~ 3
  • My flowerbed weeding ~ 7

No surprise my deeds matched my spoken word.  I’m left with the realization that I’m not purposeful in my doing daily life for Christ.  Even when I sit down to do prayers and devotion I struggle with complete focus on Christ.  During my inventory this question spoke softly to my heart~ “But even in your devotion time is your motivation and attention ALL on Christ with thankfulness?”  The honest answer is no.  There are times when I am more focused on what I want Christ to do for me than on strengthening my relationship with Christ in prayer and his word.  So is it possible to “do all things for Christ with thanksgiving”?  This side of heaven there is a slim possibility to do all things Christ focused, but each day provides another opportunity for improvement.  Our ability to gain ground in this struggle depends on our cooperation in God’s sanctification process(2 Thessalonians 2:13-172 Thessalonians 2:13-17
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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; 14 to which he called you through our Gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers, stand firm, and hold the traditions which you were taught by us, whether by word, or by letter. 16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish you in every good work and word.

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).  Notice it isn’t dependent on us trying harder.  It is God’s process that he leads us through.   Our part is trusting and obeying him day by day.

Sanctification is the process where the Lord teaches us and empowers us to become like Christ as his witness to the world.  The Holy Spirit, which we each receive as believers in Jesus, is our teacher(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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) and our power source(Acts 1:8Acts 1:8
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8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. You will be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth.”

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) that helps us bear fruit that blossoms through the things we say and do for Christ with thanksgiving.  This is living life by the Spirit.  Which is what the Apostle Paul was talking about in Galatians 5: 13Galatians 5: 13
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13 For you, brothers, were called for freedom. Only don’t use your freedom for gain to the flesh, but through love be servants to one another.

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– 26.  When we stay in step with the Holy Spirits teaching and walk in his power we live for Christ not ourself and the evidence is our changed lives that are full of Christ’s love~ the fruit of the Spirt and thankfulness.

Galatians 5:22-24Galatians 5:22-24
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22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts.

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“The fruit of the Spirit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.” 

How inviting is our fruit basket today?  If we are living in step with the Spirit our fruit will be fresh and inviting.  If we do ALL things for Christ with a thankful heart.  Then, others will be nourished by the abundant fruit produced in our life by the Spirit working through us.  Our attitude of thankfulness is what helps to keep our fruit fresh.   If we are full of thanksgiving we recognize that the purpose of producing fruit in and through our words and deeds is to glorify God who makes it all possible.

What are you thankful for today?

Are you living your life with a thankful harvest?

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 # 13 Wisdom Builder Isaiah 26:3-4

How often do you experience perfect peace?  We live in a world that moves at a breathtaking pace that leaves many at the end of the day feeling further behind than when it began.   This weeks  “Wisdom Wellspring” verse Isaiah 26:3-4Isaiah 26:3-4
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3 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you; because he trusts in you. 4 Trust in Yahweh forever; for in Yah, Yahweh, is an everlasting Rock.

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reminds us that perfect peace is found in our mindset, not necessarily the circumstances of life.    Take a moment and read the verse out loud and make note of who will receive perfect peace and who provides it.

Those whose minds are steadfast” God keeps in perfect peace.   What is the key to a steadfast mind?  According to Isaiah the key is trust in the Lord.  So if we really do trust in the Lord, why do we spend so much time feeling anxious for the day and our future?  We are failing to use the key to peace and a steadfast mind.  We don’t believe enough in the Lord to trust him with everything.

Guilty as charged!  I have to admit the times I am not at peace are completely linked to the times I’m not trusting God with every area of my life.  It’s hard because it isn’t natural to let go and trust.  But when I withhold my trust it reveals an area of unbelief or lack of faith in my Rock.  Can you relate to this struggle to believe and trust?

Currently our family is in a big trust season.  Many Military families can relate.  It is the waiting period just before my husband will be told where our family will move next.  Sometimes we are given options ahead of time and others we just know it’s coming.  Over the many years of this process and fretting over the what if’s, when’s, and how’s that start to race through your mind when you don’t have control we have a solid belief that God is always in control.  Our confidence in God grew through the experience of looking for how God’s purposes for each location drew us closer to him.  We now are able to have a steadfast mind securely trusting in the Lord to put us exactly where he can use us for his purposes.  It has taken many moves to build our faith and trust in this area of life but I can honestly say the Lord is keeping us at perfect peace as we wait and trust him for the outcome.I don’t know what you are experiencing in your life right now but I hope you find encouragement to trust in God like Jesus did during his time on earth.

As I reflect on this verse I keep being reminded of the story in Mark 4:35 -41Mark 4:35 -41
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35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let’s go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the multitude, they took him with them, even as he was, in the boat. Other small boats were also with him. 37 There arose a great wind storm, and the waves beat into the boat, so much that the boat was already filled. 38 He himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion, and they woke him up, and told him, “Teacher, don’t you care that we are dying?” 39 He awoke, and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? How is it that you have no faith?” 41 They were greatly afraid, and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

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(hover over the scripture reference to read it) where Jesus calms the storm for the disciples.  Take a moment to read it as a refresher.

Who made the decision to travel across the lake?  Jesus did.  Why do you think the disciples and Jesus were having opposite experiences on the stormy waters?  I believe Jesus was trusting his Father completely to watch over him as he rested through the storm and the disciples minds were not steadfast so they were easily overcome with fear based on their visible circumstances.  Oh how I desire to have a steadfast mind like Christ in all my circumstances of life.  What was his response to the panicked cry of the disciples?   His response was one of perfect peace.  He didn’t respond to their emotional babble rather he spoke to the situation in the power the Lord gave him- “ Quiet! Be still!”  Then he questioned the fearful and faithless response of the men.

Like the disciples we too are in a daily battle for a steadfast mind.  The original Hebrew word for steadfast provides a visual picture of a laid siege or depending on protection.  So if we think of our trust in the Lord being the key to secure the laid siege in our mind— the belief in the sovereign power of God in all our circumstances.  We are locking into God’s perfect peace.   Isaiah says God will keep us in perfect peace when we are locked into trusting him.  The hebrew word for keep speaks to watching and guarding.  It even describes the meaning of keep as to guard with a military camp within as a protection from penetration.  This is a very exciting visual.  Can you see it taking form in your heart?

Our faith comes from God who gives us the ability to believe in Christ our Savior.  An individuals belief and acceptance of Christ puts us in a new position of peace with God(Romans 5:1-2Romans 5:1-2
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5 1 Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; 2 through whom we also have our access by faith into this grace in which we stand. We rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

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).  That leads to a personal faith increasing our belief and trust in the Lord’s sovereignty.   Which then reinforces our protective siege of God’s truth in our heart and mind.  We secure our steadfast mind with the key of trusting the Lord.  When we trust on the Lord and not ourself then God is able to complete his work.  He will keep us in perfect peace by his guard within~ our peace with God himself our eternal Rock!

Do you trust in the eternal Rock to provide you with perfect peace?  If you are struggling today with answering with an honest “yes” then take a moment to reflect on what Jesus meant in John 14:27John 14:27
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27 Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, give I to you. Don’t let your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.

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when he spoke of peace.  He was not leaving and giving peace as the world defines it.  An absence of war or fighting.  The peace Jesus refers to is the peace experienced in closeness with God and the security provided by him that creates an atmosphere of tranquillity beginning within.  He is all about transcending the limited experiences of this world.  If that isn’t enough then consider the symbolism of the Hebrew word for Rock in Isaiah 26:4Isaiah 26:4
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4 Trust in Yahweh forever; for in Yah, Yahweh, is an everlasting Rock.

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.  Begin by imagining a steep cliff that is used for a personal refuge.  It is a place that symbolizes one of  security and defense.  That are provided because it is known to be inaccessible and it’s foundation is immoveable.  That is what God is for you~ your refuge, your security, your defense, your immovable foundation, and your eternal perfect peace!

Will you trust the eternal Rock with your today, tomorrows, and eternity?

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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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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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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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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The Journey

You can take the first step!

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“Listen to your heartbeat”

When is the last time you took a moment to be quiet and listen for the sound of your heartbeat….dun dunt – dun dunt? Or experienced yourself breathe…the still air drawn in as it lifts your chest and extends your abdomen before the release…awe. I think it takes courage to be still with yourself.  I believe we don’t take enough time for stillness in our overstimulated lives,though that is just what we need.  Stillness before the Lord. Have you ever considered that our very life began with a heartbeat, followed by a breath of life that awakened the anticipation of our first step in life’s journey. I have learned the importance of being brave and taking the first step to be still with the Lord.  Because it is there that I find the courage for the next step of each journey even when the path is difficult or unclear.

Much like a child learning to walk, we are driven by the desire and inspiration that power our courage to take each step and keep get up when we fall.  I’m sure we family-822558__340each have an image in mind of a precious child taking their first steps. For me, it’s the twinkle in her eye that reveals a desire within to just get to her daddy’s hands. Because she’s inspired to be swept up into his safe and loving arms to celebrate her accomplishment or pick her up when she falls, she is courageous.  She trusts her daddy.

How trusting are you of your Abba Father?  I know the level of trust that I have of my Abba Father is reflected in the courage with which I live my life. Maybe you can relate?  It’s not a natural thing to be still before the Lord. But as I shared earlier I have learned to “just do it”, like the Nike motto inspires us.  I remember a time when

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“Just Do IT!”

I had to do just that- choose to be courageous.  The choice became evident one day when I was wrestling with the feeling that I was missing out on life. Part of me argued that missing out didn’t make sense because I was involved in so many “good” things for the kingdom. That argument won the first round.  I let the feeling linger just setting it aside as I trusted that it would pass while I kept doing “good” things.”  Then, unexpectedly, came round two as I was reading in my devo time.  There it was!  A message from Christ himself about how abundant life with him is intended to be something we experience now. (John 10:10John 10:10
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10 The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.

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). I was missing out!  I was not experiencing much joy in my life, no matter what I did.

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John 10:10John 10:10
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10 The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.

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To my knees I went.   I chose to be brave, to pray, and seek the Lord about why I was missing out on the abundant life he has for me. The feeling I had was a nudge to reflect and be still with the Lord. When I did, it become clear I had been letting the thief rob me without putting up a fight. I needed to be still with the Lord and delight in Him so He could refocus my desire, he could inspire me for His Kingdom, and cultivate my courage to step out with confidence as he shows me his ways. A verse that I turn to often is 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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. One day it literally kept me from a complete breakdown…but that faith adventure is for another time.

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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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What is your desire?  Listen for it.  Where is your inspiration found?  Experience it as you breathe.  Are you living with courage? What steps are you taking to live out the desires and inspirations the Lord has placed in you?  No matter what your answers are, know that   you can find courage in the Lord.

We can be courageous and take the next step!   We need to just come to the Lord with childlike faith (Luke 18:17Luke 18:17
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17 Most assuredly, I tell you, whoever doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a little child, he will in no way enter into it.”

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) even the size of a mustard seed (Mathew 17:20) and trust our Father in Heaven. In Psalm 37:4-6Psalm 37:4-6
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4 Also delight yourself in Yahweh, And he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to Yahweh. Trust also in him, and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteousness go forth as the light, And your justice as the noon day sun.

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we are reminded that when we delight ourselves in the Lord he gives us the desires of our heart. How will you delight in the Lord today? This week?

Are you looking for renewed desire, inspiration, and more courage for your journey?

Can you relate to needing to be still with the Lord and just breathe? He is waiting!

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“You can take the first step with God!”

Please share how you spend time delighting in the Lord.

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess  Sherry

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The Power of Self

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“Time to reflect”

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

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

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Psalm 39:23-24Psalm 39:23-24
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like it to be-which meant it was time to get to work. In my heart I knew that my identity and value are in Christ. However, when I was honest with myself my outward behavior showed that I believe differently.  I was seeking acceptance from this world. In some areas of my life I had put greater value on other’s opinions of success (as measured by this world) than over my unmatchable worth in Christ. The source of my true identity and self-worth were in conflict. My heart was reminding me that I am secure in who God says I am; his child, enough for him, loved, and the list goes on. My mind was measuring differently and offering its own list “You are lacking compared to….”; “You are out of style compared to…”, “You don’t have enough  education to…”, People don’t really like you.”, and that list went as well. Do you ever experience this conflict?

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

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

Colossians 2:10Colossians 2:10
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10 and in him you are made full, who is the head of all principality and power;

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

1 Corinthians 6:111 Corinthians 6:11
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11 Such were some of you, but you were washed. But you were sanctified. But you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and in the Spirit of our God.

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

 Also-  1 John 4:41 John 4:4
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4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world.

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;   Ephesians 1:3-13Ephesians 1:3-13
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3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ; 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and without blemish before him in love; 5 having predestined us for adoption as children through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his desire, 6 to the praise of the glory of his grace, by which he freely bestowed favor on us in the Beloved, 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, 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in him 10 to an administration of the fullness of the times, to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things on the earth, in him; 11 in whom also we were assigned an inheritance, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his will; 12 to the end that we should be to the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Christ: 13 in whom you also, having heard the word of the truth, the Gospel of your salvation,—in whom, having also believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

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;  Ephesians 2:2-13Ephesians 2:2-13
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2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the powers of the air, the spirit who now works in the children of disobedience; 3 among whom we also all once lived in the lust of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ , 6 and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus; 8 for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, that no one would boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before that we would walk in them. 11 Therefore remember that once you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called “uncircumcision” by that which is called “circumcision,” ; 12 that you were at that time separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off are made near in the blood of Christ.

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

Did you know that the fear of rejection is one of the greatest human fears?? Once I openly assessed my behavior and thought process it became clear, to me I had been rejected. Naming it allowed me to recognize how my thought life shifted from focusing on Christ’s best to my “best” according to the world. The transition blurred my unquestioned security in Christ. This lead to a search for cropped-IMG_2063.jpgreassurance of my value in this world. When the fog of selfish thinking was removed from my eyes, I could see clearly how pride had crept into a corner of my heart. Living in the haze of pride it gave me permission to behave and make choices that I never thought I would. Thank God nothing earth shattering occurred, but enough happened to leave me embarrassed and regretful as I look back. I find assurance and comfort in 2 Corinthians 7:102 Corinthians 7:10
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10 For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation, which brings no regret. But the sorrow of the world works death.

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“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.”

I sought after and put more value on the acceptance and approval of people around me that at the end of the day, wouldn’t even remember we had crossed paths. (John12: 43 “for they loved human praise more than praise from God.”; Proverbs 29:25Proverbs 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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) I images-23pushed aside God’s unconditional love as my creator, the one who has great plans for my life (Jeremiah 29:11-12Jeremiah 29:11-12
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11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says Yahweh, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope in your latter end. 12 You shall call on me, and you shall go and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

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), and accepts me just as I am. I took my eyes off Jesus and put them on myself. Faced with this truth I was left  to stumble through the questions: How did I not see this happening? Why didn’t anyone say anything to me?

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“Love covers all.”

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

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“Find your power in your armor!”

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

Take time to reflect with the Lord by focusing on Psalm 139:23-24Psalm 139:23-24
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23 Search me, God, and know my heart. Try me, and know my thoughts. 24 See if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.

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he will meet you in the stillness of your heart and lead you in ways everlasting.

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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