Hope Minus The Less

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Letchworth
During this season of life where it feels as if our Nation is crumbling, it’s easy for our emotions to take a ride on the rollercoaster of hopelessness.

Proverbs 13:12 says “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.”

This is a verse I have read many times but it really jumped out at me today. There have been times in my life that my hope has been “deferred” or postponed. When I have allowed other things to draw my hope away. You know the story, your heart gets weak, sick, tired, and grieved.

BUT when the desire comes — those things that you wish, dream and long for — it is a tree of life.

When we allow hope to be activated in our lives those things we desire become lively and active in our lives.

Many people set goals or resolutions for the New Year. If that’s your cup of tea, let me add some sugar to it (the healthy kind of course). Make a daily choice (I’m talking to myself as well) to allow hope to be activated in your heart.

Each of us has specific things that we are called to do in this life and with hope in our heart, we can’t be stopped!

I challenge myself and you to have HOPE minus the less!

Have a Victorious New Year! Thanks for reading!
Joyfully His!

MyLifeFlashedB4Me

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I was recently chased by a BIG black dog. Did I mention that it was a BIG dog? I wish I could say that I faced that big dog with a fearless, in-your-face stance, however, the truth is…I ran screaming. I did thoroughly analyze the situation and according to my calculations I could make it back into my car before the dog got to me. Thankfully the owner yelled the dog’s name, and he ran away from me.

My. life. flashed. before. me.

I was reading Exodus 14 and I remembered the Israelites had experienced the whole “life-flashing-before-them” too. Except they were being chased by the Egyptians. They said to Moses “…have you taken us away to die in the wilderness?” (Ex. 14:11).

Yep, they were pretty much preparing to die.

Moses said some pretty amazing, life changing words…

“Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” Exodus 14:13-14

These verses are life-changing, especially when facing a problem, a BIG dog, or a ton of people chasing you.

This chapter has encouraged me to stand still–hold my ground, not move due to the circumstances I may face because the Lord will deliver me from the problem (a.k.a. Pharaoh and the Egyptians).

I love how God spoke through Moses and said “…the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again NO MORE FOREVER.”

Not only can God deliver us from the problem, He can make it so that we don’t see it again!

Plus, He will do the battle for us.

That’s “all that AND a bag of chips”.

I LOVE THIS! I hope you were encouraged today! This so encouraged me!

Thanks for reading!

PerSPECtive

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I have unfortunately run into walls, furniture and other stationary objects. Yep, that’s right, I’ve run into objects that don’t move!

Don’t judge me. 🙂

I wouldn’t define myself as a klutz or a disaster waiting to happen. I just need my “specs” if I’m going to accomplish anything, especially if it’s in the dark.

Many of us at some point in our lives need a new perspective. A new outlook — we just need to look out of the box.

Some of us get stuck day after day looking at the same walls. The same situations. Blah. Blah. Blah.

I see things so much differently when I’m not wearing my contact lenses or glasses. Things appear dull, blurry, fuzzy or non-existent (hence walking into furniture).

Need a glimpse of hope? Put some specs on or get a new prescription. 🙂

It’s like the girl who put on someone elses glasses and thought she was petting a cat when in reality she was petting a sewer rat.

When I think of perspective, I can’t help but think about the story of the paralytic that is mentioned in Mark 2:1-5.

“And again He (Jesus) entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house.  2 Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. 3 Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. 4 And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven you.’”

This man and his friends changed their position and their perspective.

They had a SPECtacular view! 🙂

If you are feeling dull, hopeless, helpless, you name it — try changing your view.

I hope you were encouraged! Thanks for reading!

Joyfully His!

Need A Place To Hide?

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Do you need a hiding place? Maybe from the craziness of life or from crazy people (oops, did I type that)? 🙂

Today my daughter made my heart jump. She’s good at that for sure! Never a dull moment.

I was at the gym, just finishing up my workout, when I noticed that my daughter was nowhere in sight.

I got up and started heading towards the open bay door, hoping that she hadn’t made it outside.

I caught a glimpse of her when she peeked her head out from behind a punching bag.

The bag completely hid her.

Psalm 119:114 says“You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in Your word.”

When I checked the Strong’s Concordance, the word shield in this verse is also refered to as buckler. I looked up the word buckler and it said “A kind of shield, or piece of defensive armor, anciently used in war…On the middle was an umbo, boss or prominence, very useful in causing stones and darts to glance off. The buckler often was four feet long, and covered the whole body.”

The shortened version — God’s got us covered — Literally!

You can’t get a bigger shield than God.

As we dwell (live) in the secret place (hiding place) of God, we will abide under the shadow (shade, protection) of the Almighty (Psalm 91).

I LOVE this verse. There is so much to it. I feel like I just scratched the surface of it!

I hope this encouraged you as much as it encouraged me!

Thanks for reading! Joyfully His!

Dung

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Once again my two-year old has inspired me and it was with the word “dung”. I am clueless as to how she even knows the word. It’s not really a household name.

Little Z (my two-year old) asked me to sing the chorus of “Beautiful Things” (by Gungor) with her. We actually don’t know any other part of the song.

The chorus says “You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of the dust. You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of us”.

So as we sang I heard her say “You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of DUNG”. I laughed and said “Sweetie, it’s dust”.

Well, she is convinced it’s dung. Period. She will be running for president in 2044.

I started thinking, it’s true, God can make beautiful things out of poop. He can fix anything and anyone.

We have all experienced situations that have been unfair, ugly and well, poopy! (For my proper friends, I’m sorry for using the poop word).

I love the verse Matthew 19:26 and have been thinking about it and praying it over situations in my life. It says “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, ‘With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'”

We all know that there is nothing beautiful about dung. And we know that making something beautiful out of dung is impossible. Although I am sure that someone has made a sculpture out of poo and has sold it on Ebay for buku bucks.

To those dung sculptures out there — I’m sure it’s lovely BUT only God can truly make something new out of poo AND take the stink away! 🙂

I encourage you to stand on Matthew 19:26 for those situations that seem impossible.

I hope you were encouraged today! I was for sure! God is so good!

Joyfully His!

Love myself?

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Do you know what I just did…the mistakes I have made…sound familiar?

This is a continuation of “I Love Me Too”. Feel free to check out that post too. I mentioned how important it is to love ourselves. Many of us don’t know who we are. So how can we love ourselves if we don’t truly know who we are?

Typically, when people begin dating, they don’t say “I love you” on the first date. They take time to get to know each other before they use the ever so meaningful three-letter word.

You may say: How can I love myself? I know every wrong decision I have made, every rude comment I have said, every possible imperfection I have.

A phrase my Pastor has said is “Separate your WHO from your DO“.

Think about it.

Now obviously, if you rob a bank every day, you need a little help with your “who” and “do”. Know what I mean?

Just because we make mistakes doesn’t mean that we are a mistake.

The best place to help us with our “who” is the Bible. There are so many verses that say who we are.

For example, Romans 8:37 says that we are “more than conquerors”. To be a conqueror is wonderful. To be MORE than a conqueror is amazing!

Ephesians 1:6 says that we are “accepted in the Beloved.” Philippians 1:6 says that God has started a good work in us! There is good on the inside of us and God wants to complete it!

Romans 8:31 – “…If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Besides, how can we not love ourselves, God is on the inside of us and He “is” love. God defined is love (I John 4:8).

The One who can do anything (nothing is impossible for God – Matthew 19:26), fix or change any situation lives on the inside of you and me. That’s the wonderful benefit of being a Christ follower.

Joyce Meyer had this as her status on Facebook – “Choose to see yourself in Christ today.” (Ephesians 1:7). That pretty much sums it up! If we see ourselves in Christ, what’s there not to love?!?!

I hope you were encouraged today! I know this encouraged me!

I Love Me Too!

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I remember when my husband and I would say to our 2-year-old “I love you” and she would respond in her sweet voice “I love me too!”. Naturally we would giggle.

Then I started thinking about her response.

When God tells us that He loves us (through His Word) we should respond “I love you AND I love me too”.

Not in an arrogant way. It’s ok to love yourself. I mean you’re stuck with yourself for the rest of your life so you might as well love yourself. Right?

Many of us have forgotten to LOVE OURSELVES too!

Mark 12:30-31 says “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’This is the first commandment.  31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

If we don’t love ourselves, we’re going to have a hard time loving our neighbor! Right?

Sometimes we wonder why it’s challenging to love those around us…maybe sometimes it’s us and not them?

Trust me, as I’m typing this I am saying “ouch” to myself.

We have to learn to truly love ourselves if we’re going to truly love others.

How do we love ourselves? I’m glad you asked!

Keep an eye out for my next post!

I hope you were encouraged today! Thanks for reading!