Tag Archives: purpose

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.”

instagram
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Week # 21 Ephesians 2: 8-10

Did you have an opportunity to share your story last week?  If not, I’m sure an occasion will be presented soon.  I love the way last weeks verse, Matthew 28: 19-20, compliments  Ephesians 2:8-10(if this is your first time joining us click here to read more).  Both of these scriptures direct the focus in our life to Christ working in us for the purposes of God’s kingdom.  How does your story boast of God’s handiwork?

Sometimes that is an easy question to answer and other times it is difficult depending on the season of life we are in.  When our answer doesn’t come easy we should take time to reflect on how the Lord has worked in our lives in the past.  A purposeful pause might be just what we need right now as we are on the edge of entering the second half of 2017.

A good place to start might be with asking ourselves how has God’s free gift of grace impacted our lives?  Our answer to this question will reveal if we are accepting His grace freely and are living according to what He has created us, in Christ Jesus, to do.  An honest reflection requires us to start by defining God’s grace according to His standards.  Why?  Because, it tends to get muddled up when we try to define it within human parameters.  What do I mean by muddled up?

Well, we tend to want to continuously tie an “if– then” condition to grace.  For example, in my Sunday School Class, an illustration of restaurant tipping is often used to differentiate between God’s grace and an individual’s grace standard.  God’s grace standard is given freely without connection to if the individual deserves His grace.  God graciously provided salvation for us before we did anything to deserve it.  We receive God’s grace through faith, of any size, by accepting His offer and trusting His ability to freely gift us eternal salvation.

The tipping illustration places us in a service providing restaurant.  The person serving our table has a level of faith that their customer will provide a “monetary tip” for services rendered to the best of their ability.  What should our standard for tipping our server be?  As a paying customer we have been conditioned to measure the service provided by various personal standards.  How often are we trapped by our engrained service standards and “tip” based more on what they deserve rather than freely tipping with grace to bless our server?  From the conversations in my class I can tell you grace tipping is more of an acceptation rather than the standard. This topic is met by  some of the following comments:   “If I get bad service how is the person ever going to know they are terrible?”  or “I only give what they deserve, I shouldn’t have to tip, it’s the owners job to pay their staff.” This is meant only as an example— please don’t feel judged if your not a grace tipper.

I hope you didn’t get lost in this illustration.  The point I hope we will all take away is—- grace is given without consideration of merit and in many cases extended when by all measure when not deserved.  God’s free grace is absent of any “if or then” calculations.   But,  if we are focused on living life still trying to “deserve or earn” God’s grace.  Then, our understanding could be compared to believing that God is more like the paying customer who gives grace based on what we have done or are doing.  Does this belief align with scripture?  According to Ephesians 2:8-10 the answer is, no.  Paul states very clearly that we are saved by grace through our faith in God NOT by anything we do beyond freely receiveing it all, because even our faith comes from God.

If our very faith, is the basis of receiving grace, comes from the Lord what is our role?   I propose that it is to act on the faith we are given through belief in Christ and to obey his commands.  Jesus gave us our first step when he revealed the greatest commands of the Lord in Matthew 22:36 -40—  first, to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind and second to love your neighbor like you love yourself.  When we obey these commands(John 14: 23 -24) it leads us into deep relationship with the Lord, increases our faith, and pours out into our love for him, ourselves, and our neighbors.  When we embrace the faith He has given to us we are able to live out His commands in love through His free grace.

Personally the concept of free grace was not one that I embraced immediately when I first believed Jesus is my Savior.  I spent many years believing that I had to earn God’s grace.  As I held onto this belief I felt like I couldn’t measure up or do enough for God and others.  My feelings of inadequacy became the substance of the walls that I built.  Barriers that separated me from experiencing God’s free grace and who He wanted to be in my life.  I blocked His love because I didn’t feel like I was good enough.  I couldn’t forgive myself, so I questioned  how or why the God of the universe would forgive me, love me, or even listen to me?  It breaks my heart to think of all the time I wasted behind a wall of unbelief, fear, and insecurity.  Maybe you can relate to the walls I built in my life or maybe you have other walls built to keep God at a distance.  If you do and are still struggling with this belief my prayer is that you will chose to believe in His unconditional love for you, as His child.  That you will act on the mustard seed of faith He has given you to receive His free gift of grace today.  It is as simple as us telling Him we believe in Jesus His Son and we receive His gift of grace— the key that brings us freedom from our sin.  After that we are free to continue to act on our faith and seek His help to obey His commands.  Now, let the boasting begin— of how God’s grace has invaded our life and caused us to live as the handiwork God created us to be in Christ!

Does boasting always mean through words?  Let’s consider how we can boast of God’s grace by extending grace to others through forgiveness, unconditional love, kindness, and maybe even some grace tipping.

How will you express the free grace you have been given this week?

Who needs to hear your story of grace and freedom?

Join the conversation I would love to hear your ideas!

**If you find your mind wondering back to the question of our source of faith being God himself?  I encourage you to answer your questions.   Here are some digging deeper scriptures for personal study. (Acts 3:16, Acts 15:9-11, Acts 26:18, Romans 1:17, Romans 4: 1-8, Romans 4:16-17, Romans 5:1-2, James 2:21-22) **

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.”

instagram
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

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 26:3-4 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 -41(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 5:1-2).  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 14:27 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 26:4.  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 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

instagram
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

ADORE Series: Eternal Peace!

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

Happy New Year!!! Did you know we are just days away from the Day of Epiphany? Friday January 6th marks the day to celebrate the day that  The Wise Men or Maggi arrived and worshiped Jesus the newborn king—“And he will be their peace.” (Micah 5:5) Some traditions celebrate the combination of both the worship and gifts given by the Maggi and the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist where the “Spirit descended on him like a dove.”(Mark 1:10-11). These events are both centered on the celebration of the peaceful kingship of our Savior. If you have never celebrated this holiday you can find more information at this link —https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/epiphany.

As we take time this week to reflect on the gift of “Eternal Peace”.   I think it is important to consider the gifts presented to the Son of God by the Maggi. These men had, in some cases, spent their lifetime searching for the foretold star to appear as prophesied hundreds of years before by the prophet Balaam (Numbers 24:17-19). The star was declared as the sign of the rise of an Israelite King. After the “Bethlehem Star” (click for a short video) appeared in the heavens the Maggi began their journey to the Jewish capital city of Jerusalem. Each one anticipating their opportunity to honor and worship this long awaited king with gifts suited for royalty— gold, frankincense, and myrrh. All of these gifts spoke of Jesus’ position, purpose, and perpetual fulfillment of the prophecies that brought hope for “Eternal Peace” on earth.Let’s reflect on the gifts:

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

Micah 5:2-5 “”But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come from me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Therefore Israel will be abandoned until the time when she who is in labor gives birth and the rest of his brothers return to join the Israelites. He will stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they will live securely, for then his greatness will reach to the ends of the earth. And he will be their peace.”

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

Isaiah 9:6-7 “For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The seal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”

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

 Revelation 1:4b-8 “ Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

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

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

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

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

Our Challenges~

  1. Share the gift of gold by sharing the Gospel of peace and doing our best to remain at peace with all. (Ephesians 6:15; Mark 9:50; Romans 12:18)
  2. Share the gift of frankincense by spreading the fragrance of Christ’s love daily. (Ephesians 5:1-2)
  3. Share the gift of myrrh by living selflessly and dying to our self-daily so Christ will live through us. (Philippians 1:21; Galatians 2:20)

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

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

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

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

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

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

 

instagram
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Oh Come Let Us ADORE our Savior!

il_fullxfull-408474203_2w8j

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

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

Amazing Grace
Deep Love
Outrageous Joy
Rejoicing in Hope
Eternal Peace

 

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

Ephesians 2: 4 – 10(NIV) “ But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith— and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (bold and italics added by me)christmas-1010749_1280

Titus 2: 11- 14(NIV) “ For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in the present age, while we wait for the blessed hope— the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” (bold and italics added by me)

banner-1248181__340

Amazing Grace Reflection:

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

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

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

 

Prayer of Adoration:

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

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

In Jesus Holy name we pray— Amen

 

Want to continue the ADORE series?

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

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

crown-1539630__340

instagram
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

What will they think?

 

slide1
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 29:25 “ 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: 5).

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 2:13). 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

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 4:8- “….think on such things…”
Romans 13:14- “…clothe self with the Lord Jesus Christ..”
Colossians 3:12-14- “…clothe self with compassion…over all of these virtues put on love…”

 

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

crown-1539630__340

instagram
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

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 2:10).  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 16:3
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

crown-1539630__340

Shared previously with Planting Roots

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

instagram
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Courage to Reflect

 

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

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

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

Has your desire ever taken you on a dangerous adventure like Erika that summer morning? She had a strong desire to go outside that morning, and she was inspired by the sunshine to go explore. All she needed for her adventure to begin was the courage to open the door and take that step out. In my previous post, The Journey, I talked about having the “courage to take the first step”, following through on the desires and inspirations the Lord places in your heart. Today I want to follow up with having the courage to challenge your hearts desire. Proverbs 4:23 instructs: “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Have you ever let your guard down? Have you ever regretted doing or saying something? My answer is a resounding “Yes!” I have reduced the regularity of such regrets and moments of a lax guard over my heart and mind with the Slide4practice of self-reflection and others to help keep me accountable in my walk with Christ. It takes courage to be honest with yourself and listen with an open heart when you ask the Lord to search your heart and reveal any wickedness or pride that lingers. It takes courage to align your thought life to Philippians 4:8. Are my thoughts focused on whatever is true, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy? When I’m on a short time line and my family is on their own time line, my thoughts are not very lovely. Or when I’m driving and the drivers around me seem to have forgotten what it means to merge, yield, or go at a green light; I struggle to turn my thoughts to admirable truth. The natural human tendency is to pridefully elevate my needs above the needs of others. It takes courage to be selfless and keep my selfish desires in check.

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

Luke 6:42

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

 

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

Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always

Warrior~Princess Sherry

crown-1539630__340

instagram
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail

Warrior~Princess Reflections

abstract-1233873__340
             “you just need…”

Everywhere we turn from social media, TV, to magazines, and ads we find headlines aimed at self-improvement: “try the latest…”, “how to…”, “you just need ….”.  I’m sure you can add more to the list. We live in a world that bombards us with messages that speak to our desire for more. Do you think we would be constantly exposed to all these suggestions if there weren’t the need to satisfy a craving?  Are you familiar with it-  The unexplainable desire to search for “the answer” that fills the void within your soul?

The answers the world gives are appealing.  They soothe the desperate heart cry for meaningful life.

slide1
Website Scripture Feature Info:

Felt in response to this need and the underlying message sent that we just aren’t good enough yet. One experiences oneself being drawn to each new captivating solution in search of their own  “answer” for them. I have caught myself entranced in the endless search for fulfillment. How about you?  When will this longing and quest be satisfied? What would happen if women were awakened from the trance of the world’s enchantment and recognize that the “answer” lies in  our identity in Christ?

sword-790815__340
               Be ready!

Yes I’m guilty. I’ve been known to get caught up in the trance. But thankfully I was awakened to who I am meant to be in Christ- His Warrior-Princess. Not just His daughter or princess but His Warrior-Princess because I’m in a daily battle to walk in the power and truth of whose I am (God’s) and who he has made me to be (His Warrior-Princess). Maybe, like me, you wrestle with questions about God and His plan for you. Some of you might even be asking: “How do I measure up in this world? Or “ Does God really want me?” Or even “Would He ever use me?” Whatever your questions might be let me just say that it is okay to question because that is the beginning of naming “the need” and finding “the answer” to fill the void within.

woman-1006100__340
          “God doesn’t want me..?”
images-8
Romans 8:38-39

One such question unexpectedly emerged during a heart to heart.  I was listening intently when it came gushing out through sobs that were ushered from the depths of her precious heart- “God doesn’t want me, He doesn’t, He can’t.  How could I be good enough for Him?” My precious daughter struggled to speak in the early morning hours. Her words bursting through her apprehension of the reception they might receive from her teary eyed momma.  But she was unable to hold her questioning back any longer. She released the hurt that was tearing at her soul. She collapsed into a tender embrace, reassured that it is okay to question-even question God.  She rediscovered his love and peace in her honest questions.   I encourage you like I did her, to have the courage to believe that nothing can separate us from him or remove his love for us (Romans 8:38-39). Nothing. It takes courage, Warrior-Princess to win each daily battle (Ephesians 6:12).  So take courage because you are never alone!

hand-1592415__340
“Let’s Journey Together!”

I invite you to join me in my Warrior-Princess journey. A journey I hope will be one of discovery, inspiration, and empowerment. Together we will find strength to live the life we were created to live. I say “together” because my prayer is that we will journey along side one another connecting through our stories. I believe we were created for relationship and need each other for encouragement, growth, and confidence along the way. We might not all be at the same intersection of our journey, or facing the same temptations or trials, but we are able to encourage each other with where we are and where we have been. Together that is what will enrich our life journey.  Let’s journey together!

images-6
Ephesians 6:12

Life has a way for surprising me so to find myself launching a ministry website and on the edge of publishing a Bible study is uncharted territory for me and incredibly unexpected. I am truly humbled with this opportunity just as I was over 15 years ago when I began to serve in women’s ministry leadership roles. These service opportunities have directed my path to this unique threshold. The courage to take the first step into this uncharted territory comes through experiencing the Lord’s direction in my life. He has orchestrated sweet relationships with people who are strong in my areas of weakness and need for growth. It has been a true faith building experience. I’m very thankful for each person’s encouragement and sharing of their gifts and talents to further the Lord’s purposes in my life.

sky-214844__340
         “Be a brilliant reflection of God’s love!”

I posed the question in the beginning:“What would happen if women are awakened from the trance of the world’s enchantment and recognize the answer is our identity in Christ?” I believe the answer is -we will live in a brighter world because we will become a brilliant

blinds-201173__340
Wake up! It’s a new day!

reflection of God’s love in this dim world. In my ministry and military experience I have witnessed first-hand how women strongly influence the spiritual and relational connections within community. “That is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”(Ephesians 5:14)  As the Apostle Paul said we must wake up and live for Christ. When he shines on us he radiates into the world and awakens his people. Arise from your slumber warrior-princess and shine his light!  Our world is desperately searching and in need of “the answer”- Jesus!

Are you ready to live out your identity in Christ: Warrior-Princess?

I’d love to get to know more about you! Will you quickly share a meaningful verse with me?

Psalm 25:4-5 has guided me to this place in my life. “Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”

Can’t wait to hear yours!!

Click here for more information my Bible Study……publishing soon!

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

Save

Save

Save

instagram
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedinmail