Follow Him

There are times in my life that may not reflect that I follow Jesus and that I committed my life to Him. But this I know, Father God carried me and protected me through difficult times and truly loves me like no other. God loves you! He wants you to follow Him. He wants a relationship with you. He created your life and values you. The world is not enough. So I hope you decide to follow Him and commit to Him today.

Prayer

“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me of my sins, change and restore my life and live in my heart. I believe that you died and rose again for me to have eternal life. I receive you as my personal Lord and Savior. Direct my path from this day forward. In Jesus Name, AMEN!”

Congratulations!

Welcome to His Kingdom! This is the best decision you will ever make in your life time. So, now what? I suggest, you find a Bible and read it, pray for direction and find a bible believing church. Do not be stagnant in this decision. Pursue the Lord!

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I’m not the Only One -

I’m not the Only One

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified by His grace as a gift through the redemption that is Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24

In  September of 2002, my husband and I had been married about 6 weeks. We went to the Grand Canyon with some friends. We flew back to Los Angeles. He boarded an airplane with his friends to go hike Half Dome in Yosemite and I left the airport to go home because I had to work the next day.

I stayed with him until his flight left. There was a call for he and his friends to board their flight. I began to tear up because I was going to miss him. A woman saw me crying and walked over to me. She asked, “what is wrong, honey?” I told her, “we  just got married and this is the first night I will be away from him.” She said, “well, ain’t that sweet…but give it 10 years and then you will be happy when he leaves.” I didn’t laugh, I cried more.

Fast forward from that moment to the present, we had just celebrated 15 years of marriage.  My husband’s friend ask him to help their family move across the country.  He asked me if he could help him and I said, “have a great time!” So those woman’s words in the airport, kind of came true.

Part of me couldn’t believe I was glad he was leaving. Guilt set in and I thought I was a horrible wife for wanting some space. And then I wondered if he could take our daughter too. I love them both to the moon and back but for the love of God, I just wanted time alone.

The enemy began to tell me more lies. I began to think that I was the worst mother in the world. I see social media posts of friends with their children explaining about how much they love being home with them and how they do not want the summer to end. And I feel like the biggest jerk for feeling annoyed at my husband and daughter.

I expressed my guilt to my friends.   A lot of them said they were counting the days when school was back in session. Hmmm…so, it isn’t just me. Even my counselor told me that when her husband, who works from home, goes into the office, she feels like celebrating.

Maybe it is true, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

I wanted a close knit family, where we spent all of our moments together.  But that didn’t happen. I love them deeply but not enough to be around them all the time. Life is about balance. The enemy wants me to feel isolation, that I am the only one with bad feelings. He reminds me of my history of Postpartum Depression and how rotten I could be around others.

But God reminds me that I am not the only one going through life’s ups and downs. He reminds me that I have a lot to be thankful towards and I can go to Him with my bad thoughts and anger ANYTIME. I can ask for forgiveness and a grateful heart for my life to change this complaining attitude. And still I have God’s grace when I feel annoyed when there are dirty socks and dishes left out.

Lesson Learned: I am reminded that there is always someone going through the same or worse than me. And there is still plenty to be thankful for in my life.

Prayer:
“Dear Lord Jesus, forgive me for complaining about my life. But I thank you for your grace and mercy in the times that I fall short. Continually remind me of your goodness and blessing in my life. Give me a new focus when things are bad times and they are temporary. Remind me to fill myself up with your word and to go to prayer for help. (And thank you that school is starting soon…). In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!

Slow Down -

“When will you stop running? When will you stop panting after other gods? But you say, ‘Save your breath, I’m in love with these foreign gods, and I can’t stop loving them now.” Jeremiah 2:25

“Mommy, slow down so you won’t get so stressed,” says my daughter, as she is trying to catch up to me when I am walking. Her words stunned me. I stopped to breathe because I was holding my breath from rushing around so much. I can’t even remember why I was so frantic.

My daughter may only be 9 years old, but she seems to understand things better than I do sometimes. She said, “if you take your time, you won’t be so confused about what to do.” How does she get that and I don’t? Maybe because I believe the lie, that if I look and act busy, I will appear important and successful.

Just a few days later, I went to buy a bucket of paint for our fence. I had an appointment to attend in the next 15 minutes and decided to go to the hardware store beforehand to pick it up. All I needed was exterior white paint. How hard could that be?

I walked into the paint department and the sales associate was talking to a customer. No one else was there to help me. I began looking at my watch and let out a few deep sighs to get her attention. She ended her conversation and walked over to assist me. I told her all I need is a bucket of white exterior paint.

“Do you want flat, satin or semi-gloss?”

Huh? I just want to paint the fence, so it doesn’t look trashy.

I replied that I just wanted something that will last a few years on an outdoor fence. She went on to explain what each paint does and what would be best. I was looking at my watch, thinking about how I may be late.

We agreed on a paint and she said, “let me mix it for you.” She put it in the machine.

“Oh no, how long will this take?” I asked.  The salesperson replied, “just a minute and a half.” “Oh good, I have an appointment in 10 minutes nearby.” I replied.  She said, “Oh honey, you shouldn’t shop in a hurry.”

I laughed out loud. I said to her, “from God’s mouth to your ears.”

She proceeded to tell me how she sees customers all the time come in 5 minutes before they close and request 5 buckets of gallon paint, all in different colors. I told her how I have been hearing to “slow down and not be in a hurry” recently. She winked at me and said “then do it.”

I made it to my appointment with 2 minutes to spare.

Everyone is in a hurry. Life has become so packed, we can barely breathe, literally. Nothing good ever comes from being in a hurry. I even wrote a blog post about that too and I still forget and get caught up, like everyone else.

I was even advised by my doctor that I need to chew 30 times for every bite of food. She said that most of my digestive issues will go away if I eat more slowly and mindful, not in a hurry. That is without t.v., in a car or in front of a phone. I can’t remember the last time I sat down at a table and chewed a meal well. I usually gulp and then have a stomach ache every time I eat while I am watching television on at my desk at work while I work. And you know..it makes a huge difference. It is nice to enjoy a meal without indigestion or heartburn!

God is never in a hurry. There are reasons that good things take time. The busyness of this word, does not need to be the way we operate.

Lesson Learned: Being in a hurry may be the way of the world, but not the way it has to be for us.

Prayer:
“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive us for being in a hurry and forcing things to come about. Remind us that time is relative when it comes to how you operate. Let us be mindful of our behavior and help us breathe easily no matter how stressful things may get. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

Inner Activist -

“Seek justice, encourage the oppressed, defend the cause of the orphans, fight for the rights of the widows.”  Isaiah 1:17

 

This past weekend, I was feeling depressed.   Nothing in particular happened, I just felt my burdens and other people’s sadness around me.   There was a heaviness in the atmosphere that would not leave.  

 

Early in that week there were reports the talented musician, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, took his own life.  I read about a local man who did the same thing.  He felt the hopelessness and couldn’t find a way to go on.

 

I had nothing to write about that could encourage anyone, because I didn’t feel very encouraged.  That saddened me too and questioned why am I even trying to be a writer.

 

So, I asked some of my friends, if they were feeling what I was feeling.  They came from all walks of life.  And they all said, “I don’t know what it is, but I feel depressed.”  One said, she was so tired of people not being responsible and here I am trying to make a good life for me and my family.  Another one said, she was in so much physical pain that she just wanted to sleep all day.  

 

The world has always been in an upheaval, but it seems more depressive than in a long time.

 

I never wanted this blog to be a political one or tout one side over the other.  I believe that both parties want the same thing,  a thriving life for themselves and for their children.  We just believe in different ways in arriving to that outcome.

 

Helping others seems to be the way to help ourselves.

 

Here are some examples of doing something…

 

A friend of mine who loves nature and camping in the great outdoors wants to help an organization that serves in protecting the environment.  She is an amazing artist.  She has begun drawing and painting landscapes and sells them.  All of her proceeds go to the environmental organization.  

 

Another friend, donates her time and her awesome cooking skills once a month and feeds 100 people at a facility who are transitioning from being homeless.    I know she is  forever changed by her selfless action.

 

Living in a first world country, most of us have the means to help in some way.  Whether it is with our time or money, we can help bring light to the world.

 

I know that I can longer be complacent and hope that the government-city, state or federal brings forth the change.  I can pray for our leaders (I have prayed for every President, even if I didn’t vote for them) and remain vigilant.  If I don’t like something, I can learn about it and see how I can bring forth change.  

 

One of the reasons, I get depressed, is that I see so many problems.  This causes me to get overwhelmed and wonder how can I make any difference.  That is just another lie from the enemy to do nothing and stay depressed.  Taking to Facebook to complain and ridicule the other side, DOES NOTHING but create discord and muster hatred.  

 

I am taking a deeper look into what causes speak to me and start helping.  A few years ago, when my daughter was younger, I decided to clean the nursery rooms at church.  I saw a need and instead of complaining, I did something.

 

So, let’s evaluate our lives and a be a part of the greater good.   There is an inner activist in all of us!

 

Lesson Learned:  Complacency has no place in the Kingdom of God.
Prayer:  “Dear Heavenly Father, I bind and rebuke this spirit of anxiety and depression over this county and the world.  Help us realize you are our Living Hope.  Speak to us, what people or causes you want us to be a part of in our community or the world.  Protect us from danger and equip us with what we need.  Let us be your hands and feet.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

Unknown Meddler -

“He that passes by and meddles with strife belonging not to Him, is like one that takes a dog by the ears.” Proverbs 26:17

There are times where meddling is obvious. Then there are times where you mean well, but it ends up causing more problems. This is evident when we get in the way of God working in our lives.

A couple of weeks ago, I heard a fire truck pass my home. I looked out my window and it stopped in front of my neighbor’s home. As most nosy people, such as myself would do, I went outside. A lot of neighbors were outside. My next door neighbor asked if I heard a woman screaming. It thought there were children playing on the green belt behind my condo, but that was not the case. There is a space between condominium units that gives access behind our condo unit to that community green belt. Another neighbor pointed over to the large group of people who were surrounding a young woman sitting on the grass. She was in great distress, crying and sweating.

I saw an ambulance pull up behind the fire truck . I told the paramedics that there is a better area to park the ambulance and to access the situation. Another night or gave them directions and they drove off. A firefighter came out to the fire truck  and saw the ambulance driving away. He started waving his hands feverishly in the air and yelling for them to stop. I told him what the neighbor and I suggested. He gave me this glaring look that could have burned two holes in me. He angrily said, “NO! NO! NO!” And stormed off.

I thought I just messed up big time. Time is so valuable in emergency situations, a matter of life or death. Thankfully the delay didn’t cost the patient her life. The paramedics got her on the gurney and into the ambulance quickly.

I began to pray for the woman and her situation. But God spoke to me and said, “you do that sometimes…you get in the way.” Thankfully God is more patient than that firefighter.

However, I am sure God is a little frustrated at how little I trust Him and try to do it my way.

I give myself a lot of worry and stress figuring out the different scenarios of how a situation could go. More grey hairs and wrinkles.

There are many situations that I had no working plan where I saw God take care of it all. We just need to trust the all-knowing, eternal expert. Whether it is trying to solve an argument or a situation, wait and see what God is doing instead.

Lesson Learned: Don’t get in the way of God or emergency personnel.