Tuesday Inspiration 9.30.14

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Tonight I am tired. Exhausted. I don’t feel well. I feel frustrated with someone at work. I’m just all in all in a bad mood. It’s easy to let one bad emotion give way to a flood of other emotions. Tonight this simple quote reminds me that no matter how I feel–luckily God knows where it all leads. There is good ahead. In spite of the frustrations and exhaustion there is good ahead.

Psalm 56 MSG

1-4 Take my side, God—I’m getting kicked around,
    stomped on every day.
Not a day goes by
    but somebody beats me up;
They make it their duty
    to beat me up.
When I get really afraid
    I come to you in trust.
I’m proud to praise God;
    fearless now, I trust in God.
    What can mere mortals do?

5-6 They don’t let up—
    they smear my reputation
    and huddle to plot my collapse.
They gang up,
    sneak together through the alleys
To take me by surprise,
    wait their chance to get me.

Pay them back in evil!
    Get angry, God!
    Down with these people!

You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn
    through the sleepless nights,
Each tear entered in your ledger,
    each ache written in your book.

If my enemies run away,
    turn tail when I yell at them,
Then I’ll know
    that God is on my side.

10-11 I’m proud to praise God,
    proud to praise God.
Fearless now, I trust in God;
    what can mere mortals do to me?

12-13 God, you did everything you promised,
    and I’m thanking you with all my heart.
You pulled me from the brink of death,
    my feet from the cliff-edge of doom.
Now I stroll at leisure with God
    in the sunlit fields of life.

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

Monday Inspiration 9.29.14

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Today I feel sick. Just run down. I’m actually going to bed and it’s not even 9 pm. I like this simple thought that I can find refuge in His wings. My body may be weak but He is strong. He will watch over me as I rest. It is a comfort to remind yourself of such simple truths.

Photo credit: etsy.com

My Daughter is Here

Today has been a strange day. I woke up to volunteer for church early this morning and as I was straightening my hair I was thought-praying. The two things that were on my mind: my neck and my mom’s knee.

Several years ago, I was going to the chiropractor for adjustments. At the time I was working retail and on my feet a lot which would put a lot of tension on my neck and lower back. I had found out after an X-ray that the reason I had so much tension in my neck is because most people have a natural curve and mine doesn’t. I don’t know if I was born this way or what the reason really is. So I was pray-thinking about how cool it would be if God healed that. I was also thinking about my mom’s knee which is bone-on-bone. She doesn’t have cartilage left. She often says how God could grow her some if He really wanted. I don’t know why I was thinking about these things but all I remember is that instantly I felt like I was going to pass out. To the point where everything around me became pixelated. I immediately needed to lay down.

I don’t know if I’m just getting sick, or if it was some kind of Holy Spirit thing.

On and off I’ve just felt weird about the whole thing today. I’ve mentioned why before–sometimes because of “weird Christians” you become skeptical of anything supernatural. So often you see things like that abused. There’s definitely false prophets out there and people who fake moves of the Spirit for profit and for most of my life I’ve taken that sort of thing with a grain of salt. It’s not that I don’t believe it could happen, but sometimes I wonder what the point of it is. I fully believe God can heal but some of the things you see on TV or online where people are shaking like they are being electrocuted or laughing uncontrollably freaks me out. It looks like a scary movie. It looks demonic. It doesn’t look like how God would operate because to me God is gentle.

Has anything like this ever happened to you? I can totally see where the presence of God and His power on you can be too much for your body to handle and you might feel dizzy or faint or feel a surge of energy. But I can’t really find anything in the Bible about this.

Also during a promotional video for the A21 campaign, an organization fighting sex trafficking, I got the words “my daughter is here”. Now, I don’t know if God was merely telling me, His daughters are there. His children are there..and therefore our church backing this organization is a God thing because we are setting these people free by supporting the efforts there. Or if God was saying literally…my future daughter is there. Like in the future, I will adopt a girl from there. Out of sex trafficking in a literal way. Or if God was simply saying to me and over me during church that His daughter, me, was there.

I am a huge fan of these new ways God is speaking to me, but especially with the fainting incident I want a little context and would be 100% open for someone’s personal experience or Biblical counsel on it.

Thursday Inspiration 9.25.14

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Today I worked on a project for a famous movie company. Just working on something of that caliber with my limited experience was a huge deal. Having my manager trust me to do it was a big compliment. I remember not too long ago feeling overwhelmed and stupid even at work and praying for wisdom. I remember sharing those feelings with you all here on my blog too. And now here I am, right? It doesn’t seem like very long.

To top it all off tonight the owner of a celebrity news website gave me feedback on the ad for his page. I literally laughed when I saw his name thrown out in my e-mail tonight.

This is not to brag. This is simple amazement. In this job——skill wise——I am no expert. I am learning but I am not anything special compared to the people who trained professionally for this. I know I have my own special and unique work skills and personality traits that build the company but I find it absolutely WILD that Jesus not only answered my prayer for wisdom but made me feel like a big deal today. I worked on something important and I talked to someone who by the world’s standards is important. And as if that wasn’t enough–I am still unqualified by the world’s standards to be in this position at all.

I share this to encourage you that no matter what you face or what you dream–God can put you wherever He wants whether you are good enough, or talented enough, or qualified enough. BECAUSE. HE. CAN. He’s that Good.

Matthew 5 says in part:

” If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”

He didn’t put you on Earth to hide you. He’s decorating His kingdom with you. He’s like the universe–endless and expansive and He plucks you from Earth to have you shine like one of the many stars in the sky. He’s going to make sure you shine. And He’s going to make sure people see.

Photo Credit: Etsy.com

Wednesday Inspiration 9.24.14

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This week I’ve gotten a few different messages from friends–one’s mom lost a job, another was having anxiety, and the last was going to rehab for an eating disorder. Sometimes it can seem daunting to be surrounded by problems and have no solutions for people. But ultimately we can always remind them that God is in control. He withholds no good thing.

At the end of Psalm 84 MSG it says:

All sunshine and sovereign is God,
    generous in gifts and glory.
He doesn’t scrimp with his traveling companions.
    It’s smooth sailing all the way with God-of-the-Angel-Armies.”

Meaning. God is not making things go South for you. He’s not laughing maniacally at your struggles like a cruel tyrant. Instead He is generous and doesn’t hold back. If my friend’s mom lost her job–maybe God desires to get her out of complacency and into a job she always wanted but never thought she’d have. Or maybe he’s allowing her to rest. Maybe He’s reminding her that He is in control and she can just relax and stop trying to make ends meet in her own power.

For my friend with anxiety..God withholds no good thing. He is generous in His peace. He is a protector. Maybe she was used to being independent–relying on no one. And as life happens you begin to see that you really have no control over anything. Life happens and you are along for the ride sometimes. But God will anchor you. You might feel like you are in a whirlpool but He knows you won’t sink. In Matthew 11:28-30 it says:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

To sum it up. STOP WORRYING. Be anxious for nothing. Don’t be afraid. God desires to take you alongside Him and recover. He won’t run ahead of you, He wants you to learn from Him and watch closely how He does it. He is the Prince of Peace after all.

Finally for my friend. I’m assuming she’s in rehab again because I haven’t heard from her since last week but I look forward to her getting help. But I also hope during this time she remembers the true Healer is God. While therapy helps you work it out, God is the one that made us all new. In Him we can have hope of a new life. No where else. I think therapy is good to bring issues out of hiding but I know plenty of people who have gone into rehab over and over only to fail. It is a matter of the heart and the mind to me. And God, well He has authority to heal a bitter or broken heart and a mind filled with destructive thoughts. It is important to remember these things in HIs Word:

  • Genesis 1:27 — You were made in the image of God.
  • Psalm 8 — In the whole wonderful universe, He gives you a place of honor.
  • Proverbs 31:30 — Outward appearances don’t matter as much as what’s inside.
  • Zephaniah 3:17 — The God of the universe takes delight in YOU!
  • Romans 5:8 — God loves you enough to send His Son to die for you.
  • 1 Peter 3:3 — How you look is not what really makes you beautiful.

-http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/teen_booklets/truth-about-eating-disorders.aspx

I’m grateful that I’m in a season where I can remind people not to worry or to question God’s goodness in the bad times. Remember who you are and even more so remember who God is. You are stronger than you think and God is greater than you might believe in the midst of hardships.

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com

Tuesday Inspiration 9.23.14

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The cool thing about being a Christian is that you are no longer bound to the mistakes you made in the past. You don’t need to rehash them or beat yourself up for them. Jesus didn’t die to cover you in His grace so that you would continue to be weighed down by shame. You are a new creation and your experiences, even bad ones, will help set others free.

2 Corinthians 5:16-20 MSG

“Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.”

Ezekiel 16:63 MSG

“You’ll remember your past life and face the shame of it, but when I make atonement for you, make everything right after all you’ve done, it will leave you speechless.’” Decree of God, the Master.”

Isaiah 61 MSG

 “The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me

    because God anointed me.
He sent me to preach good news to the poor,
    heal the heartbroken,
Announce freedom to all captives,
    pardon all prisoners.
God sent me to announce the year of his grace—
    a celebration of God’s destruction of our enemies—
    and to comfort all who mourn,
To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion,
    give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes,
Messages of joy instead of news of doom,
    a praising heart instead of a languid spirit.
Rename them “Oaks of Righteousness”
    planted by God to display his glory.
They’ll rebuild the old ruins,
    raise a new city out of the wreckage.
They’ll start over on the ruined cities,
    take the rubble left behind and make it new.
You’ll hire outsiders to herd your flocks
    and foreigners to work your fields,
But you’ll have the title “Priests of God,”
    honored as ministers of our God.
You’ll feast on the bounty of nations,
    you’ll bask in their glory.
Because you got a double dose of trouble
    and more than your share of contempt,
Your inheritance in the land will be doubled
    and your joy go on forever.”

Isaiah 50:7 MSG

And the Master, God, stays right there and helps me,

    so I’m not disgraced.”

Photo Credit: becauseofgrace.wordpress.com

Monday Inspiration 9.22.14

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Sometimes I think we become to focused on what is on the outside. For me I can often worry about bad skin, or yellowing teeth, and maybe you worry you aren’t thin enough or attractive enough. It’s all of these lies about our outer self that distract us from our true value and which is our inner selves.

1 Peter 3:4 MSG “Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. The holy women of old were beautiful before God that way”

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 MSG “So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”

1 Samuel 16:7 MSG “Looks aren’t everything. Don’t be impressed with his looks and stature. I’ve already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.”

While our peers might overlook us or the opposite sex might choose someone more visually lovely, we need to remember our true beauty lies within us. Our bodies grow old and we will eventually shed these Earthly bodies for our Heavenly ones. When you think about it that way, we need to put what is temporary into perspective. And ultimately anything shallow like what we look like, pales in comparison to who we truly are. End of story. It does not matter in the grand scheme of things no matter what society tried to tell us.

So now that we’ve laid aside what is visual we need to look at our spirits–our souls.

We need to learn not to be held back by what has passed or be daunted by what has yet to come. Ultimately the only focus is Who dwells within us. The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in me. Lives in you. We are children of God and we are filled to overflowing with His power and love and approval. I often think the Enemy distracts us with things that are less than so that we are too busy focusing on what we are not that we never see what we actually are. He knows what he’s doing. And I would guess he also knows that someone’s outward appearance is a lie. But he also knows our human shallowness and need for validation and so if he can needle away at insecurities or create them in us, he will. We’ll be so dizzy chasing our own tails so to speak that we will miss what is more important. You see I am not a girl with bad skin, or yellow teeth, and you are a woman or a man that is too thin or too curvy. You are not a drug addict or baggage, or unloveable, or ugly, or a failure, or a loner, or anything else you have called yourself or allowed others to call you. Once we get past the garbage we can see clearly. No one drives with a layer of bird poop on their windshield. You can’t see anything that way. It would be ridiculous to just leave it there. Right? To just park under telephone wires or under a big tree full of birds and act surprised when more and more bird poop is flung at us. This is meant to sound funny, but it’s true. I see all of these things like piles of bird poop because all of these lies are gross and they doesn’t belong in your view. When you finally power hose that mess off, you will be able to see.

Think about it. You need to clean off your “car” so you can get where you need to go. So you can see where you’re going. So you can proceed without grime and filth and get to where you are headed. And since you’re cleaned off now you can pick up people along the way who haven’t cleaned up. And God? I think He would be more than happy to show you what He already sees. He would be more than happy to give you a good wash.

Miracles can happen. Be confident in who you are as you approach Him and allow yourselves to be free from the weight of the labels and preconceived notions of your shortcomings so that you can truly embrace who you actually are.

Thursday Inspiration 9.18.14

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I love this quote that I found online today. It reminds every one of us that we are unique. No one is quite like us. While we might have similar talents or interests or stories we are all hand crafted by God and made entirely different.

Before God created you, he decided what role he wanted you to play on earth. He planned exactly how he wanted you to serve him, and then he shaped you for those tasks. You are the way you are because you were made for a specific ministry.

The Bible says, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV). Our English word “poem” comes from this Greek word translated “workmanship.” You’re God’s handcrafted work of art. You’re not an assembly-line product, mass-produced without thought. You’re a custom designed, one-of-a-kind, original masterpiece.

God deliberately shaped and formed you to serve him in a way that makes your ministry unique. He carefully mixed the DNA recipe that created you. David praised God for this incredible personal attention to detail God gave in designing each of us: “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous” (Psalm 139:13-14 NLT).

Not only did God shape you before your birth, he planned every day of your life to support his shaping process. David continues, “Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed” (Psalm 139:16 NLT).

This means nothing that happens in your life is insignificant. God uses all of it to mold you for your ministry to others and shape you for your service to him.

God never wastes anything. He would not give you abilities, interests, talents, gifts, personality, and life experiences unless he intended to use them for his glory.

-http://rickwarren.org/devotional/english/god-made-you-for-a-specific-ministry


GOD IS into wild variety. Have you ever thought about God’s creativity? Every spe­cies of plants and animals is unique. Among the countless varieties of fish, for exam­ple, he designed some with spectacular coloring, some huge, others tiny. Marlin and manta ray, swordfish, shark, eel, and anglerfish all contribute to God’s rich, colorful world of water life.

If God and Jesus, his Son, find variety and contrast appealing, and if we crave variety ourselves, then there’s no way we should expect that God would make all of us alike. And all those stereotypes we create of who is “beautiful” or who is “better” they’re a lie!

You are unique. Of the six billion people alive right now on this planet, there’s no one just like you. If there’s only one you-out of all those billions and billions of people-why would you want to be like someone else? Multitudes go through life en­vying the build, hair, talents, or abilities of other people. So start fixing your thoughts on the fact that God made you one of a kind and, as one child put it, “God don’t make no junk.”

-http://www.josh.org/after-god-made-you-he-broke-the-mold-2/


You are God’s own masterpiece. That means, you are not ordinary or average; you are one-of-a-kind original! When God created you, He went to great length to make you exactly the way He wanted you. You’re not meant to be like everyone else; God designed you the way you are for a purpose. Everything about you is unique and everything about you matters. You may feel like your life looks ordinary today, but when you understand your value-not only who you are, but also, whose you are-then you will love yourself more, and you will also love those people around you in a greater way. Realize that because you belong to Him, you are extremely valuable.

I read a story one time about a man who lived in a tiny apartment and died in extreme poverty. At one point in his life, he had even been homeless, living on the streets. This man never had any successes to speak of, nor any noted victories. He lived and died as just another face in the crowd.

After the funeral, some family members went to his little run-down apartment to clear out his belongings. They found a painting hanging on the wall, so they decided to sell it at a garage sale. The woman who bought the it from the garage sale took it to a local art gallery for an appraisal and was shocked to discover that the painting was extremely valuable. The piece of art that hung for so many years in a little run-down apartment was painted by a famous artist who lived in the early 1800s. The woman decided to auction off that painting and ended up selling it for several million dollars!

Just think how that poor man’s life might have changed if he had known the value of what he possessed. He was a multimillionaire and didn’t even know it! So many people today are living with priceless treasure inside, and they don’t even know it. Sometimes we have to explore what’s on the inside of us to really understand what we have. Don’t settle for living a mediocre existence. You are a masterpiece, created by the most famous Artist of all, but if you don’t understand your value, you’ll go on thinking, I’m just average; I’m not that talented; I’ve made so many mistakes. Don’t allow those negative thoughts to play in your memory box. Instead, every morning when you get out of bed, remind yourself, I am important. I am handpicked by God, and I am a person of extreme value and significance.

Remember, You are God’s special treasure, selected by Him and for Him. You are created in the image of Almighty God. He made you exactly the way He intended, and He equipped you with everything you need. You have the strength to stand strong in the midst of difficult situations, and the wisdom it takes to make good decisions. Understanding exactly whose you are, and how you fit-in God’s plan, creates such purpose, confidence and such identity. You are a person of destiny. You have an assignment and you are full of gifts, talents, encouragement and love. You have rich treasure inside you that people need. You have more in you that you realize, and you can accomplish more than you ever though possible. Dare to be bold and believe that you are a person of destiny because you can leave your mark on this generation. Understand you are important, and out of your importance, know that you are called to add value to the world around you. No matter where you are in life today, you have potential to increase, grow, to be strengthened, and to move forward. God created you for His good purpose, and know that beyond the shadow of a doubt, you are His masterpiece!

-http://www.victoriaosteen.com/Pages/You.aspx

So in the times where we feel like we’re not enough, uncertain of our value, feeling overlooked by others, or feeling frustrated about why we are here in the first place, we need to sternly tell ourselves that God saw a deficit in His creation and saw fit to make us to fill it. We all have our place in His plan. If He saw our value in this life, so should we.

Photo credit: http://www.hplyrikz.com/

Wednesday Inspiration 9.17.14

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SO many times it has been hard to remind myself who I am and that I am valuable. This isn’t a low-self esteem thing. It’s a human thing. You have moments when life knocks you down so hard that it’s like the air leaves your stomach and you’re gasping for breath. In those seasons it can be disorienting a quite normal to lose sense of reality and who you are. The good thing is God never loses sight of who you are and while I might have felt like a “caterpillar” He continues to draw me out of my cacoon and show me who I am.

God does his deepest work in your life when he deals with your identity — who you are and the way you see yourself. You will always tend to act according to the way you think about yourself. So God does his deepest changes in your life by changing the way you see yourself.

He says, “Let me show you how I see you.” When you see yourself the way God sees you, it’s going to change your life.  -http://rickwarren.org/devotional/english/let-god-tell-you-who-you-are

Photo Credit: Pinterest.com