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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Consider the Source -

“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” Proverbs 18:2

 

My father gave me a piece of advice that helps me every day.  He advised, “whenever you hear information, consider the source.”  We receive tons of information day in and day out. Filtering out what is correct or wrong, can be exhausting.  The same comes from people, especially those we know and love.

 

A few months ago, I did something I am not proud of.  I got furious at a friend for something which was minor, an emoji on a text.  That’s right, an emoji. There are formatting issues between Android and Apple phones.  In this case, a friend sent me a long group text on her iPhone, and I received it on my Android.  The text came in jumbled. In the past, I mentioned this to her, hoping she would remember.  But, again, of all things to get upset at, this is what I chose.

 

Unfortunately, I chose via text to unload on her.  She called me the next day to explain that she didn’t mean to ignore my request on purpose but to understand that I was out of line to be so rude to her.  This friend was also dealing with a family emergency that would stress anyone out. Instead of pausing and apologizing, I continued to get rubbed the wrong way.  The conversation ended without resolution and more anger.

 

The next day, the conviction of the Lord came down on me.  That advice my father gave me many years ago, “consider the source”  popped into my head. My friend loves me dearly and only wants to see me grow in the Lord.  She would never intentionally hurt me. The remorse I felt came like a wave crashing over me.  I tried to make things right and ask for forgiveness. I knew I would be crying, so I sent her another text begging for mercy.  Thankfully, she received the apology well.

 

The enemy knows where it hurts.  I have this fear of being accepted and loved by others.  Many times, I have been taken advantage of or severely disappointed.  So, I take every look, comment given to heart. My trust has been low.  But if we ask ourselves to consider the source before we comment, we can save ourselves unnecessary arguments or riffs and have open communication and not be afraid to say something.

 

Lesson Learned: Consider the source and before you make your decision to act.

 

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for overacting on comments made.  Help me to determine what is true and noble. Let the little things roll off of me, so they do not take root in my heart and mind.  Help to forgive these minor instances quickly and to communicate. Thank you, Lord, for wisdom and strength. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

 

Redemption in a Starbucks Drive-Thru -

“If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it; it is sin for them.” James 4:17

Sin comes in many forms.  We sin against others, ourselves, and God.  Jesus came to die on the cross for the reconciliation of our sins.  Making our wrongs right, is necessary, but pride and denial get in the way.

One rainy evening, my husband, newborn baby and I drove to the Starbucks drive-thru.  We were suffering from sleep-deprivation and wanted something warm and with caffeine. As we turned into the driveway, another car cut us off to go into the Starbucks drive-thru.  We were mad, but there was nothing we could do about it.

We gave our order and went up to the window to pay.  The barista said, “there is no charge. The customer before you paid for your drinks and said he was sorry for cutting you off.” My mouth dropped.  I couldn’t believe that it happened. Honestly, that cup of hot chocolate was the best one I had ever had. But that man did what we should all do if we sin/wrong someone, we make it right as soon as possible.  

Many times we are faced with disagreements with people or our sin, and we do nothing about it to make the wrongs right.  Making wrongs right doesn’t mean we have to apologize for things we didn’t do, but the act of forgiveness frees us from more profound trauma.  If we did the wrong, we need to accept responsibility and seek forgiveness from who we wronged. Do not let sin take a foothold in our life.

Lesson Learned: When you wrong someone, take responsibility and reconcile the best you can.

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for forgiveness of sin I have committed.  If there is someone I need to reconcile with, give me the right words to say and courage to make amends.  Thank you, Jesus, for dying on the cross to cleanse me from sin. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

 

Know Your Value -

“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.  How precious are your thoughts, oh God! How vast is the sum of them.” Psalm 139:16-17

There is so much pressure in the world today to be successful; it overwhelms us.  That pressure and stress have become unbearable for some. You can feel it in the atmosphere.  Sometimes you hear about it in the news because the story is about someone committing suicide and the aftermath.

Our niece is a high school senior.  She has many wonderful qualities: kind, intelligent, athletic and beautiful.  Her grades are perfect, and she has many extracurricular activities.  She wants to be a surgeon someday, so she has to be tough and be able to handle a lot at once.  Over the holidays, I heard her extensive schedule for the next semester, and it floored me.

A few days after seeing her for the holidays, I learned of a popular newscaster who died of a drug overdose.  Even though it was not a suicide, he allegedly used drugs to cope with the stress in his life. Sadly, many people deal with stress through the use of drugs, alcohol, smoking, video games, eating disorders, etc.  The pressure becomes too much to handle.

For some reason, God put our niece heavily on my heart when I heard about this newscaster. I felt like I needed to tell her that she is valuable, I was proud of her,  and no matter what, she would be successful in all she planned to do. I sent her a text. She responded that she needed to hear that.

Whether you are heading into college, getting a job in a career that you want, finding a spouse or even planning a birthday party, they are so many expectations-real and unnecessary.  The competition alone can bring people to their knees. In my daughter, just as a Fourth Grader, I saw the stress of the state testing week make her physically ill. I know she prepared the best she could, so I told her, that I did not care about the outcome of this test as long as you try.  She relaxed and tested at her grade level. I do not need her developing ulcers, worrying about a test score.

In January 2018, there was a suicide of a high school student in South Orange County, CA.  He wrote a letter about his discontent of living a pressure-filled life and trying to attain a perfect grade point average.  He enjoyed playing a sport, not the constant drive to achieve championships. It broke my heart.  He wanted to be a teen and have fun and try his best.  He felt he could not be himself.

Our worth should not be defined by the world, but by God.  God has a unique plan and purpose for each of us. Death and destruction are not a part of His purpose for us.  No matter how difficult life gets, God wants us to finish well. Let us relax the unrealistic pressure put on ourselves by the world.  Pursue God and seek His will. If we fail, then it will not be devastating. God loves us, and we are all valuable and worthy.

Lesson Learned: My value and worth are in the Lord, not the world.  In knowing that then I will be free.

Worry Accomplished Nothing -

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3

 

Worrying is not of God.  Yet, worrying is my constant companion.  Somehow, it brings me comfort. I believe that if I worry, bad situations will not catch me off guard and I am prepared in some way.

 

My only child, my daughter, recently went on her 5th grade Science Camp Trip.  I worried about this trip since she was in Kindergarten, approximately 5 years of worrying.  The worrying was not a daily occurrence. But some worrisome thoughts popped into my head every so often.

 

Last year, when my daughter was in 4th grade, the parents began to talk about fundraising for the Science Camp.  I began to collect information about the camp, with my thousands of questions to the teachers. Even with the information, I was negative about the camp.  I was subconsciously sabotaging any desire my daughter had of going to the camp. My husband, who knows me quite well, said, “your worry is ruining a great opportunity for our daughter, it will be great for her, and she will go!”  Not only was my husband right (don’t let him know that he was right…) but I did not believe that God would protect her. I had no trust in God.

 

My worry and fears stemmed from when I went to Science Camp in 6th grade and it was a terrible experience.  We had to take a boat to Catalina Island, about 26 miles from the Southern California Coast to camp. It poured rain the entire trip, the food was terrible, and I witnessed a classmate vomit about 10 times during that weekend.  It was the worst, but I survived. I knew I could not let that experience be a factor for my child. I decided to be positive about the trip, prepare her in every way: clothing for every type of weather, giving her anti-motion sick meds, write her notes, and pray.

 

The day arrived for the trip.  All the students attending were healthy and ready to go.  The parents watched their kids board the bus. When the bus engine turned on, I felt like I could not breathe. Then, I noticed one of the teachers come off the bus and get into her own car.  At that moment, I realized the teachers planned for every scenario, good and bad. Somehow, I relaxed and finally released the worry and trusted that everything would be fine.

 

The five days went by quickly and we were ready to have our children back home safe.  We received pictures every day, from the teachers, which I believed helped me out a lot.  The bus arrived and my daughter came off the bus. She came running over to me and gave me the biggest hug, I didn’t want to let go of her.  I asked her if she was glad that she went camping and she said, “Yes! It was awesome and I will tell the 4th graders not to miss the chance to go!”  Everything I was afraid of happening; motion sickness, homesickness, physical sickness or hurt, none of it came to pass.

 

Most of the time, the things we fear or worry about never happen.  My focus is usually on the bad, not the good. This made me realize how much better things can be when you trust the Lord and look forward to the adventure that lies ahead.

 

Lesson Learned:  Focus on the positive, trust the Lord, and know I am capable of adjusting to any scenario.

 

Prayer: “Dear Heavenly Father, forgive for not trusting you in all areas of my life.  I ask for guidance and wisdom. Help me adjust when situations change and not to lose my composure.  Thank you for your protection and provision. Restore my mind from negative thoughts. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”