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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Never be in a Relationship that You Cannot Talk About -

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

When I was in my early 20’s, I entered into a relationship that was toxic and unrighteous. He paid attention to me in a way no one had. I entered into the relationship because I did not see myself as able to be loved or valued. Every Sunday, I would go to church, torn by conviction and guilt. Yet the next day, I was emailing and talking to him. This carried on for many months. Then one Sunday, it all changed.

I was hanging out with a friend one Sunday after church. I was suffering from this relationship emotionally and physically. It was taking a toll on me. She noticed that I was distraught. The Holy Spirit prompted her to keep pursuing a conversation with me about it.

I drew in a big breath and confessed to what I was doing it. I bawled my eyes out, condemning myself and asking why would I let this happen. She listen to me and said the relationship ends today. We prayed and she would hold me accountable.

God gave me the strength to stop and end it. I told him to never contact me again and he actually did. He had too much to lose, so I think that is why he did. I spent the next 5 years of my life afterward, still living in guilt and condemnation. I wanted to be free and receive my forgiveness wholeheartedly. But I felt if I did, I would be condoning it. I felt I didn’t deserve to be happy.

The enemy still uses our past to slap us in the face and remind us how much we have sinned. I know the Lord forgave me the first time I asked and each time after that. But I just felt this torment, that I still deserved punishment. When I met my future husband, I knew I was going to marry him. I told him what I did because I felt I had to. He was so loving and understanding about it. God used him to show me what a true and pure love should be like.

This time in my life reminds me to continually pray for protection against temptation. This situation has given me mercy and grace over those who have made serious mistakes. I can see past the initial sin and look deeper to why they may have done something bad.

I felt genuine remorse and wish I could go back in time and stop it from happening. But I cannot. I am blessed by His love that He forgave me and restored my heart. If you find that you are in a situation that is causing you to sin, stop and get help. Live a life of purity and truth.  On this Valentine’s Day remember that you are valuable and lovable.

Lesson Learned: God wants us to not be a slave to our sinful nature. He wants us to be victorious and been in healthy, stable relationships.

Prayer:
“Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for carrying me out of mistakes I have made. Thank you for giving me the strength to end mistakes before more damage is done. Please guard my eyes from being deceived by the enemy. Show me my worth and value. Give me discernment and conviction when I am doing sinful things. Thank you for restoring those deep hurts and filling them with your love. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

There is a Unique Purpose for Each of Us -

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”  John 10:10

 

Patience is a difficult concept.  We know good things come to those who wait.  Yet we live in a world that demands things instantly.

 

Despite my own efforts, I don’t feel like I haven’t found my ultimate calling.  My efforts aren’t growing as fast as I would like and I get discouraged.  My doubts seem to be what grow instead and I wonder, where is my breakthrough?  Where are you God?  One Friday evening, I was driving to pick up my daughter at a birthday party.  This drive would change my life forever.  

 

I was approaching a very busy intersection and I had the green light.  My phone was mounted its holder near the dashboard.  I glanced down because I heard a notification. This glance was no more than 2 seconds.  All of a sudden I felt my car slam on its brakes.  I looked up to see bright lights and a car moving across the front of my car.  They went so fast through the intersection that my car shook.  That driver went through on a solid red light.

 

There was no collision. I drove out of the intersection and slowed down to about 20 miles below the speed limit. If my car was any father into the intersection or if I was in a different lane, I would have died.  As I realized what had happened, I shook and cried.  My life was saved.

 

I said, “Father God, I will never ever doubt that you have a plan for my life, because you saved me.”  My car does not have automatic braking, I didn’t brake when I saw the car.  God slowed my car down.

 

Many of us believers have a bad habit of wanting to know the exact plan God has for our lives.  We want to plan out every aspect of our lives.  There are reasons God hasn’t revealed every detail.  We have to grow, mature finish things and be content exactly where we are at.

 

There is a saying, “Bloom where you are planted.”  Wherever I am, I will do our best and for God’s glory, even though it may not be my true calling.  I will be thankful for everyday I wake up.

 

Lesson Learned: Be thankful for everyday we wake up and lovingly await God to reveal His purpose for us.

 

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for everyday you have promised me.  Give me peace and endurance during those times of waiting.  I wait in great expectation for all you have promised me.  Let there be a hedge of protection around myself and my loved ones.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

Don’t Go Down the Rabbit Hole of Anger -

“Control your temper for anger labels you a fool.”  Ecclesiastes 7:9

People in the world seem quick to anger.  There are situations where having a cool head is better than being a hot-head.  Yet, people exhibit explosive anger over everyday mishaps or misunderstandings.

A week ago, I went to the mall in the evening to return an item.  I began to smell the aroma of the food court and decided, I need pizza now!   I walked over to the pizza place.  After I placed my order, I sat down at a table nearby.  

I began to hear a person yelling and using foul language.  There was a young mother, holding her child’s hand and she was yelling at an employee.  She began to slam down her belongings on the counter and pointing at the man’s face.  I thought, she was too petite to be so aggressive. She stormed off with her child and brought her over 6 foot tall, muscular,  tatted up husband.  He began yelling at the employee too.

This employee remained calm.  His co-worker, another young woman, was visibly shaking with fear.  The man started knocking over items on the counter and the caution pylon on the floor and telling the crowd behind him that this place was closed until he got what he wanted.  

I walked over to the pizza place and told them to get security or call the police, because it didn’t look like it would end well.   I wasn’t privy to the conversation of what started the initial argument.  One can speculate what happened, but no one will truly know.  But I knew it looked bad on the part of the couple.  

My order was ready and I got out of there as quickly as possible. I got into my car and took a deep breath.  I thought, “that couple lost their minds at Hot Dog on a Stick!  They looked so bad!”  Then, I heard the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit say, “you’ve done that too and it is foolish.”

A few weeks before that incident, I was driving in the neighborhood around my daughter’s school.  I park behind the school because there are less crowds.  After I parked my car, I walked towards the school and noticed a woman walking her dogs and she was giving me some serious stink eye. I didn’t  know her at all.  

There was a dance at the school that night and we decided to help out.  My daughter walked with her friends to the multipurpose room and I got back in my car alone and drove towards the front of the school.  As I was driving down one of the residential streets, this same woman, was now walking down the middle of the street towards my car.  I had to literally stop my car for her to pass me.  She yells at me “slow down b–!” I yelled back at her “what the he–?!  I am going 15 miles an hour, you shut the “ f” up!”  and drove off.

“How dare she say that to me?”  I hate being accused of something that I didn’t do.  My emotions were in overdrive.  I kept thinking of all these things to say and thought about driving around to look for her.  Really?  What is the point?  It took me hours to calm down.

She was probably tired of people speeding around the neighborhood and decided to speak up. I just didn’t like her tone.  Regardless, there was no reason for me to lose my mind.

The enemy loves to give us interactions of conflict with people.  No one wants to be civil or apologize, everyone wants to be right even if they are not.  We act like this and our children or loved ones see us and think this must be the way to deal with things.   Every situation we are in does not have to end up in “fight or flight” mode.

There are times, it will be necessary to have an angry reaction.  However, my hope is that I chose to respond calmly and not sin from my anger.  Rage doesn’t look good on anybody.

Lesson Learned: Collect one’s thoughts before responding to a difficult situation. And sometimes we have to be like Elsa from “Frozen” and “let it go”.

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for being in a rage over insignificant things.  Holy Spirit control my thoughts and calm me down before responding.  Remind me how we are the hands and feet of Jesus and a light for the world.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

 

One Day (or hour or minute) at a Time -

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.” Matthew 6:34

Jesus instructs us not to worry. Yet, this world is full of anxiety. All that we see in the world, in our country or even on a city level, seem tense. However, all of this worrying does not add one moment to our life.

There have been many nights where I lay awake. My thoughts over power my sleepiness. I think how I could have handled something better or how my family and I could be healthier. The downward spiral gets deeper and longer. Now, I am awake 2 hours instead of 2 minutes.

I have never personally been in a 12 step program, but I have heard the term “one day at a time”. There was a fictional show I was watching on tv and the main character had a traumatic experience. She was telling someone who was dealing with anxiety, her way of coping. She explained how getting through one day was so much, that she had to get through just 10 seconds, then another and another.

It sounds funny but sometimes you can only muster the strength to get through a short period of time to strengthen yourself for the next amount of time. And that is okay. God knows our story. He wants to swoop us up in His loving arms and carry our burdens.

We can rest in the fact God will help us in our situation,  if we let Him. God doesn’t always give us an instant miracle, it can take days, months, years. So, living one day at a time is better than living our lives in the future.

Lesson Learned: Let us be present and live for today.

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, I surrender all to you!  Give me strength for this journey.  You know my every need and desire.  Holy Spirit, guide me through difficult times and instruct us.  Give me your peace.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”