Tag Archives: God

Tuesday Tidbit- Growing in Prayer

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

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

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

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

Do you have the heart of a prayer warrior:

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

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

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

Call to Action:

Read Ephesians 6: 10 -18

What verse stands out to you today?

Who or what are you burdened to pray for today?

Personalize this scripture as a prayer for you today:

Prayer adapted from Ephesians 6: 10-12; 18

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

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do,

and he will establish your plans.”

Proverbs 16:3

 

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Week #50 Ephesians 6:10-11

Ephesians 6:10-11

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

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

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

How is your power level?

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

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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

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

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Week # 28 1 John 5:14-15

1 John 5:14 -15

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.  And if we know that he hears us— whatever we ask we know that we have what we asked of him.”

He hears your heartbeat.  He will keep it beating to the rhythm of his will for our lives.

Will we trust him?

Will we believe him?

Will we ask him?

 

 

For deeper reflection read this related post The Journey Continues.

 

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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

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

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Week # 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, 7,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 1:7) and the “fear of man will prove to be a snare”(Proverbs 29:25).

What will we chose today trust or fear according to Psalm 56: 3-4?

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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

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

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Week #22 Romans 8:28

Pause with me this Memorial weekend to remember those in our Military that have died sacrificially in service for our nation’s freedom and the protection of those in pursuit of freedom.  I’m personally very thankful for the bravery and sacrifice of our fallen Heroes and their precious loved ones left to carry forward their legacy.  May we never forget their sacrifice as we live lives with honor and integrity in the freedom we have been given.

Am I the only one challenged by the statement by Paul that “in all things” the Lord works for the good of his people?   Really, all things in my life from the crazy, hurtful, disobedient, lovely, confusing, and …… he uses them all for good?  When I run into word challenges within scripture like this weeks, all and good, it leads me to dig deeper.  I will either do a word study, looking into the original language or compare translations.  I decided that we will look at this verse in multiple Bible translations to make sure we don’t lose or miss any truth that Paul is passing on to us.  So take a moment and read through the following translations and make not of common phrases and truth that runs through and we will meet again on the other side.

New International Version

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

King James Version

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

New Living Translation

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

New American Standard Bible

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

The Message

Verses 26-28 “Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along.  If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t mater. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.  He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God.  That is why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”

Did you see it?  I think it is pretty evident that Paul truly meant “all things” in God’s hands will be worked out into good for those who love him.  Does that settle it in your mind?  Or are you still challenged?  Let’s dig a little deeper because we are looking at this concept of truth with the backdrop of what is happening in our own lives and this world.  Part of my backdrop today is the aftermath of the Manchester Terrorist attack on their precious children.  How does that work out for good?  I don’t know!  I don’t understand it!   But I do know that when I don’t know and I don’t know how or what to pray the Lord has provided his Spirit to help me and pray for me, so that in the Lord’s timing and way I will find peace and even sometimes understanding.

Have you ever been encouraged that the Spirit was filling in your prayer gaps? Just incase you can’t recall a time I want to share a precious experience of a sweet friend who was facing many “why God experiences”.  In the middle of her circumstances she found herself one Sunday without her dear husband who had to remain home as he continued to recover for a series of unexpected and complicated surgeries.  Once again she was missing him by her side. Then, to prick at her heart even more it was announced that we would be celebrating communion.  She found herself overcome with the desire for her husband to be able to celebrate it too.  From the quietness of her heart she cried out her wish.  As she recalls it was just a thought— not a prayer.   She knew he would be missing it as he watched the service live from home.  Following church she gathered her children and they headed home.  As they shared lunch she shared with her husband her wish that he could have celebrated communion with her today.  With a big smile, he said “I did!”  She was speechless.  Then came the question, “but how can that be?”  Through his grin he shared with the family how their neighbor, a minister, stopped by to visit with him and serve him communion.  And he said, “If that wasn’t amazing enough he was serving me at the same time as you were having it at church.  I could see it on the screen behind him!”  She was overjoyed and full of amazement that the Lord would answer her wish.  Let’s just say when she shared her experience with me her face was beaming with gratitude and joy.  There was not doubt that she was refreshed by the Lord’s goodness and love He had showered over her family.    Sometimes we get to see and experience the good in all things and other times we continue to persevere believing that God has something good He is still working on.

Does her answered wish encourage you like it does me?  I’m so thankful for friends of the faith that share their faith builder moments with me.   I hope you have a few family or friends like this.  If not, pray and ask Him for some and keep your eyes open because the Lord will answer your prayer.  He didn’t design us to walk alone but in relationship with Him and fellow believers.

Each of us are responding to the truth Paul shared in Romans 8:28 through  different lenses of life based on two factors:  1. Our spiritual heart condition. 2. Our trust relationship with God.    If either of these factors are out of focus our experiences in life will also be out of focus according to how God sees them. Whether we are in a season of why God experiences like my friend, where are you God experiences, or wow God experiences, we have opportunity to look at them with clarity, confusion, or despair.    Clarity comes from looking through clear lenses of a spiritual heart full of love for God and His people and a trusting daily relationship with Him too.  It’s kind of like Night Vision Goggles(NVG).  When we find ourself in the darkness of this world we need to 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!

Let me know how you see the Lord working in your life this week!

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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

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

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Week # 20 Matthew 28:19 -20

Theses words of Jesus found in Matthew 28:19-20 are referred to as “The Great Commission”.  Jesus spoke these words to his disciples after His death and resurrection.  If we break down the verse for  simple memory and instruction purposes “The Great Commission” calls us: to Go, to Make and to Teach all nations as disciples who obey all Jesus has commanded.

What is our daily response to our call as Jesus’ followers to go, to make and to teach?

Maybe some of these responses cross your mind when you hear this question.  Who me?  You want me to go and to make others into followers of Christ, and  then to teach them to obey?  But I’m not a trained evangelist.  That doesn’t fall in line with my calling or my gifting.  I too can relate to these questions and the feeling of being unqualified.  So I want to encourage you and remind you that you are qualified to reach your world, one interaction at a time.

We are qualified for this kingdom work because of who we are in Christ and the renewing power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  We can move forward in confidence because Jesus reminds us in Matthew 28:20 that He is with us always.  Like we focused on last week to keep our “eyes on how big and faithful the Lord is” in relation to our circumstances in life which gives us the ability to see any of our obstacles in their “proper perspective, small in the hands of God.”

Let’s take time this week to honestly ask the Lord to show us how He has uniquely and individually equipped us to Go, to Make, and to Teach others about the love and hope found in Jesus our Savior.  We don’t need to be afraid because He is with us always and forever.  Let’s start today with intentionally living our lives to tell the story of the change the Lord has brought to our lives and being “prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope that you have(1 Peter 3:15).”

We each have a story that someone needs to hear.  A story of our changed lives in Christ.  A story of relationship, freedom, love, forgiveness, healing, release, adoption, belonging, courage, rescue, and ……

What is the theme of your story in Christ?

Pleases join the conversation and share your word.

Mine is relationship!

Be encouraged as you go to the Lord by this Big Daddy Weave song (click here)

“If I Told You My Story“!

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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

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

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Week # 19 James 1: 2-3

James 1: 2-3

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

Life + Trials = Pure Joy

How does that add up?  According to the world we live in it doesn’t.  Why would the writer of James even think to suggest pure joy as our response to facing trials that test our faith?  If you have time to read James 1:1-27 you will discover that James recognizes the benefit of the different trials in our life as a way of producing God focused perseverance that will achieve three things; mature us in our faith, make us complete in Christ, and  receivers of the crown of life prepared for those who love the Lord.  Our challenges in life have kingdom purpose even when we can’t see clearly while in the  testing of our faith.  Let’s not miss out on the benefits found in persevering through faith in Christ.

Would you agree that life is full of many kinds of trials?  You might be in the middle of one right now and thinking to yourself this concept is crazy.  I’m supposed to be joyful in this!  You don’t know what is going on in my life…..God can’t really expect me to be joyful!   Your right I don’t know what you are experiencing and I pray that you will find peace and joy in the Lord as we continue to explore this counter-culture call to seek after pure joy even in our storms.

What does it look like to either face a storm that is brewing or walk through a storm with pure joy?  I have a dear friend who I have had the privilege of watching and at times walking with her through a hurricane of life’s trials with her children.  I compare it to a hurricane because the intensity would change based on the winds and how close or far away she was from the eye of the storm.  When I first met her I was drawn to her warm smile and fun and relaxed attitude toward life.  There wasn’t any immediate outward appearance of distress.  She was joyful.  When I became aware of the intensity of her trials with her children I was taken off guard.  It was evident that the Lord was her strength and peace as she weathered the hurricane that was trying to destroy her family.  This storm hit land fall when one of her children began making a few bad choices in friends then it led down a path of disappearances, destruction of property, detention centers, and the waves and storm surge created from those events crashed down on the relationships within the family.   Just as she was able to get up to assess the damages from one wave the next child started  down their own destructive path.  As the storm howled and beat on her family she fought to subdue the storm of emotions within her own heart.  Why God? What did I do?  How did I fail?  Why won’t they stop?  Where are you God?  I should have……  Why didn’t I…….  How can I go on…..  Her only peace was found in her quiet time with the Lord and it was there that she found her pure joy in him that strengthens her as her storm rages on.  Her joyful verse is Nehemiah 8:10b “And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

My dear friend has been an inspiration to me to choose the pure joy of Christ to strengthen me and sustain me through my own trials in life.  She continues to preserver through what feels like a never-ending storm.  Her faith and trust in the Lord keep her anchored.  Her joy encourages others to trust and builds their faith and their love for the Lord.  She has defiantly kept her lamp lit and shinning brightly through her storm.  I’m so thankful for her light shining into my life and leading me to the strength of the Lord.

Many times the trials of life leave us feeling alone and in the dark.  When that happens we can turn the light on and strengthen our faith by remembering to turn to the truth of God’s word for encouragement.  Psalm 119: 105 reminds us that the word of the Lord is a lamp that shines on our path as we walk with the Lord through life.  So if we choose to keep our eyes on how big and faithful the Lord is then our circumstances will return to their proper perspective, small in the hands of God.  We are then able to consider life and it’s challenges through the lens of pure joy.  Don’t let your light burn out stay connected to the light of the world and our faith builder, Christ, and preserver as you shine brightly for him.  Does this mean we will be beaming with a smile all the time as we weather our storms?  No, it means that we can remain steady in the storm, anchored in our hope, able to trust we are secure in our heavenly Father’s care and able to be real with those who genuinely seek to come along side us.  When we are steady in our relationship with Christ it shines through when we find it hard to smile.

Even in the storms of life a rainbow can emerge if  His light is shining through the rain or the tears.  Keep a look out for His rainbows in your life!

Life + Trials = Pure Joy~ Make it true in your life!

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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

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

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Week #18 Colossians 3:17

Living a life with a thankful harvest!

Colossians 3:17

” 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 2:13-17).  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 14:26) and our power source(Acts 1:8) 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: 13 – 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 5:22-24

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

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Week # 17 Psalm 103:11-12

His love crescendos with his forgiveness of his people; those who fear him.  Our minds struggle to comprehend the vastness of the universe and the complexity of the heavens so no wonder we are left awe struck by the love of God for us.  I personally wander between the solid foundation of my belief in the Lord’s love for me and a slippery foundation muddied by my worldly doubts.  It is my thoughts that take me between the two and make me feel unworthy, undesirable, and unlovable to anyone let alone the King of Kings.  Maybe you can relate to having some of these feeling too.  What are we to do in the times of our life when we question if God really loves us or even wants us?

I have learned over the years that my feelings and emotions are not effective measurements of reality.  More times than I would like to admit my feelings and emotions have guided me to the wrong conclusion and clouded my judgement.  So I’m striving to become better at recognizing my emotional tendencies.  With the intent that I will then choose to redirect myself by asking “what is the truth in this situation?” and looking for the truth.  Often times my search begins with a little prayer to help me focus on seeking the truth over seeking to feel better in my situation.  Philippians 4:8 is a verse I turn to many times for redirection.  It is a great reminder for when we are feeling anxious or confused.  It tells us to think on things that are true, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy.   So when I catch myself questioning my worth to God I have to think on the truth of these two questions:

 Why do I think I’m unworthy?

 What has he told me about his love for me?

Answering these questions will set us back on our solid foundation with God. In most circumstances our feeling of unworthiness stem from some form of sin, confusing circumstances, or painful situation in life.   What is the truth about either of these possibilities?  Are they the answer to the first question?— Why do I think I’m unworthy?

  • Sin:  1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
  • Confusing Circumstances:  Romans 8:28 ” And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
  • Painful Situation in Life:  Hebrew 12: 7-8  & 11 :  7- “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children.  For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—- and everyone undergoes discipline— then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.”   11- “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

Each of these foundational truths of how the Lord interacts with his people will help bring clarity to our situation and remind us of the truth of Christ’s love.  This weeks verse describes his love as being “as high as the heavens are above the earth”.  So that brings to question just how far is that? According to a quick google search I found the following distances, at www.space.com, to get our minds going:

  • Earth to the Moon- 238,900 Miles
  • Earth to the Sun- 92.96 Million Miles
  • Earth to  the Andromedia Galaxy- 2.537 Million Light Years

Wow!  Let that sink in!  Just from those figures we should be able to say that the truth is ~ God is out of this world crazy in love with us!  So why do we struggle so much with believing him?   I believe it is because the Lord has an enemy, one of his own beloved creations, satan a fallen angel, who doesn’t want us to believe in God’s love for us.  When we believe and are secure in the depth of God’s love for us the enemy loses his power over us.  Satan will do all he can to minimize our relationship with Christ so he works overtime in the department of clouding our view of the truth about the Lord’s love and forgiveness.  He promotes his lies to get us to buy into his accusations against us leaving us feeling condemned and helpless.  Many times we are left feeling unworthy of  forgiveness from ourselves let alone from God.  That is when we need to address the second question— What has he told me about his love for me?

All throughout scripture the Lord has revealed through his people that his love is enduring and never ending.   Just last week we celebrated Easter the ultimate display of sacrificial forever love.  So what is your answer to this second question?  How do you know he loves you?  One of the many truths that comes to my mind is Romans 8: 31-39.  This amazing section of scripture is entitled “More Than Conquerors” in my Bible.  It is spells out these truths of our relationship of love and forgiveness with the Lord.

Who is the one who condemns?

No one, because Jesus intercedes for us.

Who shall separate us from the love of God?

No one and no circumstances, because we are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us.

His love is higher than the nearest galaxy, 2.537 Million Light years, for you and his forgiveness stretches farther than the east is from the west,24,874 miles, on earth alone.  Will you receive it today and for all 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 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

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Week #16 Wisdom Builder He has risen!

Happy Easter!  Celebrating the resurrection of our amazing Savior Jesus Christ!!  He is Risen!!!

Love, forgiveness, kindness, and compassion were expressed with unmatchable sacrifice through the life, shed blood, and resurrection of Jesus.  This week we are encouraged to live our life alive in Christ by extending his love to with the world around us.  Ephesians 4:32 inspires us to be kind and compassionate and forgive as the Lord forgave us.   Sacrificial love shown through kindness, compassion, and forgiveness draw others to Christ.  Why?  The very thought of forgiving and not making someone pay for the wrong they have done is counter to our human nature.  Choosing to be kind and compassionate to others who are not responding or treating you the same demands sacrifice and a love that is deeper and richer than the superficial love regularly experienced.    

I find my greatest challenges lie within my family relationships because it is too easy for me to revert to my selfish thinking and internally demand they should treat me differently.   Can you relate?  It’s a struggle that challenges my witness daily.  I’m so thankful that my Savior is perfect in all of his ways and loves me and forgives me through all my faults and failures.

This week let’s be kind and compassionate to others for Jesus just because he loves us so much more than anyone in this world ever can.  God is love and he is alive so we can love others sacrificially  with his love.

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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

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

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