The Power of a Word


power of word

 

In 2014, my good friend Gennie* challenged me to select a word (and a verse) to focus on for the year, a word God would lay on my heart. Within moments God gave me that word – perspective. I prayed and worked on having God’s perspective in all matters and I think the challenge made a difference. I repeated that challenge again this year and selected the word perseverance; Hebrews 12:1 is my verse for 2015.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.

And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” Hebrews 12:1 (NIV)

I chose the word because perseverance is more than determination. It means “a steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose…especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.” It also means “continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation.” God is full of grace and love – He shows it constantly. Grammatically, perseverance is noun, but to me, it’s a verb. It’s a word that requires action. It means to constantly remain focused on the plan God has for me, and for me to work toward achieving that plan.

My verse for the year, Hebrews 12:1, reminds me that my brothers and sisters in Christ are available to support and encourage me, if I need it. One of the beautiful benefits of fellowship is knowing you can go to your brothers and sisters for prayer. We encourage each other.

Focusing on a theme, or word, is important and helpful because it gives us a clear purpose and direction. If we remain focused on what God has in mind for us we remember our work and trails are for God’s glory, and we don’t spin our wheels focusing on something that doesn’t matter. It also puts the focus of our life back on God and reminds us to pray (without ceasing – 1 Thessalonians 5:17). Focusing on what God has planned for us reminds us that we are not alone in the journey; He is constantly by our side.

Finally, focusing on a word affects your thoughts. Frank Outlaw wrote:

“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

 The year is still young. You can pick a word or a theme for your year, one that will bring you closer to God. It will give you spiritual refreshment, strength, and peace, and give Him glory.

*Gennie’s blog is “journey to the hills.com.” I highly recommend it.

 

Blessings on your day.

Scripture: www.biblegateway.com

Image: google images

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Confidence


confidence

Sometimes I struggle with being confident in my abilities, despite recognition and accolades about jobs well done. Sometimes I compare my successes with the successes of others. Perhaps you do too. God has given each of us gifts and talents (Romans 12:6-8), and we know He is with us always (Matthew 28:20). So why do we often lack confidence?

I ran across a passage in the Book of Job that holds a key to that answer – surrender. It seems counterintuitive to surrender ourselves, but God is the one who gives us strength, hope and renewal.

 Job 11:13-19 (CEV)

Surrender your heart to God, turn to him in prayer,
and give up your sins—even those you do in secret.
Then you won’t be ashamed; you will be confident and fearless.
Your troubles will go away like water beneath a bridge,
and your darkest night will be brighter than noon.
You will rest safe and secure, filled with hope and emptied of worry.
You will sleep without fear and be greatly respected.

Surrendering to God is a Christian concept I struggle with. How do I let go and give it all to God? The word surrender is associated with the military idea of giving up and being taken prisoner, but is that all that the word means? I turned to the dictionary and found an additional definition “to yield or resign and office or privilege in favor of another” (dictionary.com). When we surrender, or yield, to God we are placing control of the problems in the hands of the one infinitely more qualified to handle all matters. It’s so hard to let go and let God handle our situations, but we must remember He is the only one who is qualified to bring about the right solution.

As I pray for the courage to surrender every problem to God, I feel a renewed sense of confidence in the ability to handle various situations because I’m not dealing with them alone. I have the infinite power of God by my side in everything I do. If I let Him take control, the outcome to every problem is sure to be the right one.

Blessings on your day.

Scripture: www.biblegateway.com

Image: Google Images

 

 

Jeremiah 29:11


i_dont_have_time_to_be_this_busy1

I was pondering one of my favorite verses again:

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Let’s pick that verse apart for a moment. I looked up key words in that passage (Dictionary.com)

Plans are a specific project or definite purpose

Prosper means to be successful or fortunate, especially in financial respects; thrive; flourish

Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best.

The future is something that will exist or happen in time to come.

Wow! God wants the very best for us.

 

So why isn’t the best happening?

I think we are the ones that get in God’s way. We take our eyes off God and listen to the crazy, busy noise of this world. We can’t be focused on two things at once. If we take our focus off this world, and put it squarely back on God, we can listen to our Lord, and then will realize His plans for us.

How do we do that? I think the answer lies in Psalm 46:10a

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

 

It’s time to shut out the busyness and noise of this world, and listen to the only one who really cares for us.  That’s hard. Who has time to take a break?

The fact is our daily quiet time is so vital to living a healthy Christian life. We need that time alone with God each day. We will get more done if we spend a precious few moments with Him each day.

Those precious few moments will lead you to realizing the plans God has for your life. Plans to prosper you; and plans to give you a hope and a future.

Blessings on your day.

LIGHTHOUSES


lighthouse

Navigating by the stars was how sailors found their way in ancient times. But what happened when it was dark and clouds blocked the stars? After many a shipwreck, lighthouses were built along coastlines to aid seamen in guiding them to their destinations.

2 Corinthians 4:6

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

The most famous and enduring light house is perhaps the lighthouse of Alexandria, Egypt. It stood in the Island of Pharos, in the Harbor of Alexandria, Egypt. It was finished around 280 BC, meaning it was standing at the time Christ was on earth. It was approximately 350 feet tall. This lighthouse lit up the harbor of Alexandria for 15 centuries, until it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1303 AD. Think about how many were saved by that single lighthouse over the centuries. How many more can be saved by the love and sacrifice of our Lord and Savior? Lighthouses are representative of the Christian faith for many reasons. Lighthouses represent God’s: Strength Lighthouses represent strength as they are able to withstand the elements of nature.

Philippians 4:13

I can do all this through him who gives me strength 

Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” 

Hope Lighthouses represent hope; hope that we will soon reach safety. With God there is always Hope. 

Psalm 33:20

We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. 

Proverbs 23:18

There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. 

Endurance Lighthouses withstand the extreme elements of nature. God will stand firm against every adversity we face. 

Psalm 100:5

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. 

Guidance The light from light houses guides sailors home just as the light of Christ guides people to their salvation. 

John 14:16

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 

James 1:5

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 1:5

Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance— 

Love Those light houses would not have been put along the rugged coast lines if someone didn’t care about the safety of those sailors. God’s love is infinitely greater than man’s love for each other.

Romans 8:38-39

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Sharing We are lighthouses. We are to share the light and be a beacon of hope in this dark world. We’re commanded to do this by the Great Commission, found in two gospels:

Matthew 28:19

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 

Mark 16:15

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

Isaiah 6:8

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Go Be A Light!

Scripture is from www.BibleGateway.com Image is from google images Note:  if ads are appearing anywhere on this page it is because they are placed there by WordPress, not by me.  I have read the information on ads and in order to be ad free now, WordPress charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you, and if they are inappropriate please message me. Thank you.

 

God’s Baseball Team


Baseball-Gods

Here’s a fun little baseball story just in time for championship games.

God’s Baseball Team

Bob and the Lord stood by to observe a baseball game. The Lord’s team was playing Satan’s team. The Lord’s team was at bat the score was tied zero to zero, and it was the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs. They continued to watch as a batter stepped up to the plate whose name was Love. Love swung at the first pitch and hit a single, because Love never fails. The next batter was named Faith, who also got a single because Faith works with Love. The next batter up was named Godly Wisdom. Satan wound up and threw the first pitch. Godly wisdom looked it over and let it pass. Ball one! Three more pitches and Godly Wisdom walked, because Godly Wisdom never swings at what Satan throws.

The bases are loaded. The Lord then turns to Bob and told him He was now going to bring in His star player. Up to bat stepped Grace. Bob said “he sure doesn’t look like much!” Satan’s whole team relaxed when they saw Grace. Thinking he had won the game, Satan wound up and fired his first pitch. To the shock of everyone, Grace hit the ball harder than anyone had ever seen. But Satan was not worried; his center fielder let very few get by. He went up for the ball, but it went right through his glove, hit him on the head and sent him crashing to the ground. Then it continued over the fence for a home run!

The Lord’s team won!

The Lord then asked Bob if he knew why Love, Faith, and Godly Wisdom could get on base, but could not win the game.

Bob answered that he did not know why.

The Lord explained, “If your love, faith and wisdom had won the game, you would think you had done it by yourself. Love, Faith, and Wisdom will get you on base, but only MY Grace can get you home. MY Grace is the only thing Satan cannot steal.”

Author Unknown

Note: I’m not picking a World Series winner, just looking forward to some really good baseball!

Treasured Possessions


Today is my Grandmother’s birthday. She went home to be with the Lord twelve years ago. Thinking about her reminds me of the gifts she gave me. One of those gifts has become a treasured possession. It is my great-grandmother’s Bible.

This Bible is one of the few possessions she had when she left Ireland and traveled by ship to America in 1898. With a broken spine and tattered pages, the Bible really is falling apart. But it represents the hopes, dreams, and courage God gave her to build a life in this new land for future generations.

She married and had eleven children, including my Grandmother. She went to heaven in 1950, but not before she left a godly legacy, that has been passed down to my children.

Some treasured possessions can’t be touched.

 Luke 12:34 ~ For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Blessings on your day.

 

 

Note:  if ads are appearing anywhere on this page it is because they are placed there by WordPress, not by me.  I have read the information on ads and in order to be ad free now, WordPress charges a fee.  I apologize for any inconvenience these ads may cause you, and if they are inappropriate please message me. Thank you.

Hope and a Future


My husband and I have been discouraged lately. He was laid off 6 months ago, and is still looking for work. We pray every day for the right door to open. But we trust in God’s timing. One of my favorite promises from Scripture is this:

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Have you ever noticed that many passages of Scripture can be interpreted for several different times? Words God spoke to Moses, Joseph, Hannah, the Prophets, and the Disciples have just as much meaning to us today. That’s the power of God’s living word.

And the hope and future promised in Jeremiah 29:11 is not just for this life. It’s for our eternal life too.

God graciously gives us a glimpse of what heaven will look like in various places in Scripture.  Scripture tells us what the New Jerusalem; our future home will look like:

Revelation 21:18-21

18 The wall was made of jasper, and the city of pure gold, as pure as glass. 19 The foundations of the city walls were decorated with every kind of precious stone. The first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third agate, the fourth emerald, 20 the fifth onyx, the sixth ruby, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth turquoise, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.[f] 21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls, each gate made of a single pearl. The great street of the city was of gold, as pure as transparent glass.

The passage goes on to tell us about God in our future home:

Revelation 21:22-27

22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. 25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. 26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

We’re promised an eternity of love and living in paradise (Luke 23:43). Today’s troubles won’t even be a memory.

Walk in His Light,

Julie