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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IMG_0154 Gather Information Before I Spill My Guts -

“He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord.”  Proverbs 17:15

A counselor gave me a piece of wise advice, “gather information before you give any out.” I assume she said that because she saw my pattern of talking before I knew all the details. Unfortunately, I’m still making the same mistake.

There is a beautiful walking path around a little lake that I enjoy visiting. Sometimes, we stop at the play area for our daughter to get her wiggles out. As we walked onto the playground, there was another family. The mom seemed nervous and upset.

That mom came over to me and asked if I had a cell phone to call the association’s security. She began to tell me how she saw two teenaged boys, snuck through a hole in the fence, steal two kayaks from the rental area and they went out on the lake.  I looked up the association’s phone number and called their security. The other mom kept giving me more and more details.

Meanwhile, her husband comes over and hears his wife talking to me and sees that I am on the phone. He says, “they didn’t steal anything, someone was working at the clubhouse and assisted them with the kayaks.” She says, “what?! I didn’t see that.” He said, “I saw them, you walked off before you saw the employee come over.” I abruptly stopped the call and apologized to the security and hung up the phone. The woman looked at me and says, “Whoops…sorry!”   I held my tongue and walked away.

That situation may not have been my fault, because I didn’t make the initial assumption, but I could’ve asked some more questions. But for whatever reason, numerous times, I have assumed something and start spreading the word over a situation I did not have full knowledge. How many times do we see the news media do this over a developing event? To then have the information back tracked about what really happened?

I am very guilty of wanting to be the first to know.  However, after this situation at the park, I try to wait and gather more information. There is no reason to cause more problems.

Lesson Learned: Collect information before taking action.

Prayer:
“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for making the wrong assumptions and creating more problems. Give me discernment to know when something is fact or a lie. Help me to remain calm and make smart choices. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

BP#106 I'm terrible at perseverance I’m Terrible at Perseverance -

“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.”  James 1:12

 

The dictionary defines “perseverance” as “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.”  And I am terrible at it!  I have heard more about this subject in the last week, than in my lifetime.  God is telling me (and you all) to persevere!

 

It is difficult to fight or work towards something when most things in society are instant or takes minutes to receive.  How many times have I yelled at the microwave to “hurry up!” when only 30 seconds has elapsed?  Losing weight or exercising?  Ha!  Forget it, I want to lose 15 pounds in a week, instead of exercising and eating better for months.

 

While, I am learning how I need to embrace perseverance,  one of the pastors at my church had a sermon on this very subject.  He brought up several points as to why most of us cannot do it.  He gave the church a list as to why we “quit the race” (I have experienced and done these things to myself in any situation that seems difficult).

 

  • Fatigue and unbearable pain
  • A lack of support
  • Constant questioning from critics
  • Comparison of ourselves with others
  • A sense of personal inadequacy
  • A dryness in our soul

 

God reminded me of a time when I pursued something difficult and it was worth it.  In college, I took a class called, “Human Physiology”.  While I loved the subject matter, it is straight up difficult!  It was the hardest class I took my entire time in college.  But I had to do it.  If I gave up, my college career could suffer.  I studied more for that class in that semester.  The final was a killer too.  I ended up with a B+ in the class.  It was the hardest B+  I ever worked for in my life.  But the satisfaction I had for working hard for those 3.5 months was greater than taking the easy route and  just giving up.

 

Jesus is our greatest example.  Our pastor pointed out Hebrews 12:1-3.  We must keep our eyes set on Jesus.  We will stumble if we look at our circumstances or to ourselves.  Suffering is what brings us maturity in our Christian life.  So, don’t ever give up!  

 

Lesson Learned:  All good things take time to develop. Nothing good happens in a hurry. Pain is going to be there sometimes and it will end up strengthening us all the way.

 

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, give me strength to endure hard times.  Show me how I have come through with your guidance.  Forgive me for the times of giving up so quickly.  Show me when to pursue things and when to be done.  Thank you Father.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

BP#105 No Time for Pity -

“So God created man in His own image; in the image of God, he created him: male and female he created them.”  Genesis 1:27

 

The notion of celebrating our uniqueness seems alien.  There is an idea that is fed to us, that we must look a certain way, influences our thoughts about ourselves and others and how we spend our money to achieve beauty.  My daughter and I were inside a clothing store geared towards tweens and early teenaged girls.  I noticed a young teen looking in a mirror and fixing her hair.  She was probably 13 years old and I noticed that she had Vitiligo, a skin condition where you lose the pigment in the skin.  My heart sank, because I felt bad for her. I thought I wonder how often she hears bad comments or get weird looks.

 

But I heard God say, “don’t feel sorry for her, just smile at her.  She doesn’t need your pity.   She is NOT this condition.  People need to look past it and see her for who she is.”

 

In our earthly body, there is also a mind and a soul.  Our actions, the way we live our lives will be remembered more than our beauty.  Whether people have physical or mental challenges that brings forth attention, we treat them as God would treat them or how we would want to be treated.  

 

So, when I had the opportunity, I smiled at the girl in the store and she smiled back.  That smile helped me more than it helped her.  Having pity doesn’t solve the world’s problems.

According to psychologist, Dr. Aaron Ben-Zeév,  “Pity expresses a negative evaluation of the bad situation of others. Nevertheless people do not like to be pitied.”  

 

Look past disabilities of others or even our own troubles.  Treat people with love and have compassion.

 

Lesson Learned: Having compassion for someone is better than giving pity.

 

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, help us have compassion for others and with ourselves.  Give us the vision to see past hurts and wounds.  Forgive us for having pity on others and ourselves.  Give us wisdom and clarity on exactly what we need to bring us aligned to your will for us.

In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

IMG_0127 Little Victories -

“But thanks be to God!  He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Corinthians 15:57

 

Live one day at a time.  Anxiety doesn’t let you live one day at a time.  It has me thinking of days, months and even years in the past or in the future.  In 12 step recovery programs the advice of taking “one day at a time” is given.  I have never been a part of a 12 step recovery program, but I have learned how much value there is in being present with each day and living today for today.

 

My life overall, has been less anxious than it was a year ago.  But then there are some days where anxiety camped out in my mind.  My friend started a small support group for those dealing with anxiety.  I look forward to it, but ironically I get anxiety going to group.  The anxiety is from being vulnerable in front of others and for not overcoming anxiety once and for all.

 

Last week we met and I was having the hardest time settling in after we started.  The leader put on some worship music and wanted us to breathe slowly and think about a place in our body that felt calm.  But I couldn’t.  I did not like the song.  And I felt guilty for not liking a song about Jesus.  The song had a fast rhythmic beat which made me antsy.  I could feel a surge of panic because I knew I had to be still for the next 5 minutes until this song would be over.  There seemed to be no place in my body that was calm and settled.

 

For some reason, I looked at the palm of my right hand and noticed a vein that would pulse.  I began to focus on that and felt my breath slow and relax.  The following thought crossed my mind as I observed the pulse.  Even though I felt out of control, my body’s physiology was still working.  With anxiety, I feel like a floating head, a zero connection with my body.  But this time, my mind and body connected and I relaxed.

 

We went around and shared our experience with the song.  I shared my pulse story and the leader congratulated me.  It didn’t feel like a big deal to me.  But she explained how that was a victory for me and I found something to go to any time I felt anxious.  I finally found something to quell the anxious feelings.

 

Afterward this leader encouraged me to be thankful for the little victories I have won over these past years.  She reminded me how much I have improved on relaxing and have less anxiety.  I thought of those that deal with addiction to alcohol and drugs (or other things) and how each day is a victory when they don’t succumb to their former vices.  Praise the Lord for those good days and continued strength for the daily battle to live in victory and freedom!

 

Lesson Learned:  Little victories won every day, will beat the lifelong battle.

 

Prayer:

“Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for equipping me with what I need to win the battle everyday.  Thank you for the strength you have given me Father God.  Remind me what you have carried me through.  I thank you for the little victories you have blessed me with in conquering these issues.  Praise you and thank you Lord Jesus for the ultimate victory you won when you died for us.  In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”