Posted in Living BOLD, My Faith

Peace, Joy, and Jesus

As a writer, I have been thinking of so much I could say. As a mom, I’ve been overwhelmed, and not sure how down deep and personal to be.

As A Citizen…

As most of you are well aware, this nation-wide, and pretty much world-wide quarantine is less than ideal. No one could have anticipated this happening in our world today.

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Our world has technology, several have access to medical care, and the ability to travel anywhere in the world in record time.

Why would a pandemic be a problem?

As a Christian, I truly believe God is using this time of uncertainty and chaos, to bring peace, hope, and strengthen our faith.

We are most secure when we dwell in the safety of our shelter and fortress, our Almighty God.

As A Mom…

For me and my family, this period of isolation has been both a blessing and a curse.

Right before this virus disrupted our lives, I had confessed to my husband a specific concern.

I was so worried we would be sucked into the busyness that comes with each spring season. Sports, drama, graduations, concerts, outdoor activities, and whatever else you can think of.

Blessing #1

However, because of the Corona virus and the mandatory quarantine, our schedules are wiped clean from last week, until the foreseeable future. I never imagined my prayer would be answered like this.

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Blessing #2

In addition, I have been struggling with maintaining my relationship with my school-age kids. For so long, I have been home with them, and having all the time in the world.

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Deep in my heart, I miss that so much, but God has not led me to homeschool at this time.

Now, I again have all the time in the world with all of my children, this side of Heaven.

I am thankful God has heard the desires of my heart, and is redeeming this time with my kids.

So I choose to see this time as a gift from God.

Curse #1

To be transparent, I am not going to sit here and pretend this time in our world is not scary, unsettling, and discouraging.

Yet, I never imagined it would be a grief trigger, for my son in Heaven.

For me, the mere suggestion or possibility I could lose any of my children, or my husband, took my breath away. This fear caught me dead in my tracks, and I wept with sorrow.

I have no more control now over life and death, than I did almost four years ago.

Defining Moment

Our pastor’s sermon this morning really challenged my heart. Storing up possessions doesn’t provide security, only God can do that for us. True peace can only come from the God of peace Himself.

I can’t stop our family from getting sick.

I can’t prevent my family from dying from the virus, let alone any other cause.

I can’t make toilet paper appear out of thin air, just because we ran out! (Yes, a little humor to lighten the mood.)

Resolution

God is God, not me. God is in charge, not me. God has everything under control, and I have nothing under control, in my own power and strength.

Everything we have is God’s, but He loves us so much, He gives us everything we need.

Yes, I said NEED not WANT really bad or WANT because someone else has it.

As a Christian, as a citizen, as a wife, as a mom, and as a writer, I urge you to take a stand in your heart and mind.

Choose peace. Choose to trust God will take care of you. Choose to find joy in the blessings of today, not live in fear of tomorrow.

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Choose Jesus Christ as your Savior, and you will never regret it, for eternity!

PRAY, PRAY, PRAY church! Don’t lose hope! We serve an all-powerful, mighty, loving God.

Encouraging Scriptures

Ephesians 3:14-21 ESV

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,

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that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith–that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

Hebrews 2:1 ESV

“Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.”

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2 Chronicles 7:11-16 ESV

“Thus Solomon finished the house of the LORD and the king’s house. All that Solomon had planned to do in the house of the LORD and in his own house he successfully accomplished.

Then the LORD appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people,

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if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways,

then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time.”

Proverbs 3:5-12 ESV

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

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Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.

My son (to King Solomon from his dad, King David), do not despise the LORD’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.”

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Posted in Living BOLD, My Faith

Habit Reflections

I have been doing a study lately, called “Habits” by Life Church, on the YouVersion Bible app.

Habits Devotional

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Though it is a short, well written devotional, it is so convicting! A sword of the Spirit piercing right through my heart.

Yes, I did choose to read this on purpose, because I know I needed to hear truth about my habits from God’s Word.

Our habits don’t just happen – they are triggered by a desire or need we seek to meet.

Habit Loop

Today’s devotional talked about the habit loop: cue, routine, and reward.

For example, you sit down to watch TV at night (cue), grab a tasty snack (routine), and your body feels better from positive chemicals released in your body (reward).

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Ouch!! So convicting! This has been a constant struggle for me to break this habit.

Since our bodies store more fat from food we eat at night, and the food keeps me awake, I’ve been reminding myself of a different reward. Better sleep!

However, when I get the snack craving, mint gum works for me. It actually tricks my body into thinking I’m not hungry.

Also, sometimes you think you are hungry, you are really just tired or thirsty – same chemical in the body is so confusing sometimes!

Scriptures to Reflect

1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

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James 1:12-25 ESV

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.

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But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

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But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.

For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.

But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

Ephesians 4:22-24 ESV

…to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Psalms 26:2 NIV

Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;

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Be Encouraged

Know you are not alone in having bad habits to break. Don’t be afraid to make the first step, just because you might mess up. Get back up, and try again. God is faithful to help you and give you a way out, to resist temptation.

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Remember, life isn’t just the here and now – with Jesus, it’s forever.

Helps put your life in perspective and ask yourself,

“Will this affect my eternity?

Will this still matter to me later in life?”

Be wise with the time you have in this life – don’t waste it.

Posted in Living BOLD

Challenge to Live by Faith

Too many times, we are running away in fear, when we have just the sword in our hand we need to claim victory over sin, death, and the Devil. Stand firm in your faith in Jesus Christ, and don’t look back.

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When looking at your life, how many unproductive things are in it that are fear based? How many truly stem from a firm faith and boldness in Jesus Christ?

Not This Way

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Don’t be deceived – busyness, stress, fear, sin slavery, and striving all of the time, isn’t what God wants for you.

BOLD & Beautiful

Don’t let the enemy deceive you into thinking you are doing “good” things and that’s enough.

God commands rest for a reason. We aren’t our best selves if we don’t rest, but resting in Him and His Holy Word.

Rebellion

What is God commanding you to change, but you refuse?

What is God begging you to give up, but you won’t?

Who is God showing you to impact, that you are ignoring?

What is God giving you that you have rejected?

Who are you?

Everything was made by and for Jesus Christ, for His holy glory – not yours.

BOLD & Beautiful
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When we refuse to obey God, we are rebelling.

We are acting as enemies of God, who have no inheritance or part in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Who are you to ignore the God of the universe?

Who are you to pretend you have control over your life?

Today, I challenge you to let go, and let God.

Let go of the passions and sins that enslave us, and cling to Jesus, who frees us from it all.