Stand Tall

Remember…

You can do this hard thing that opposes you! You can persevere! So, stand a little taller. Hold your sword a little higher, and fight! Fight to win!

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31

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Why wait?

So, what will you do in the new year of 2018?

Don’t wait for tomorrow, for none is guaranteed tomorrow. We are not guaranteed our next breath. Make your decision. Make you plan. Make your choice. Get moving, and start today. You can do this thing! Just believe!

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4:13

What Do You Do In The Pit?

The story of Beniah, son of Jehoida, that is found in 2 Samuel, is always a challenging one for me. It’s not like he went looking for that pit, and it doesn’t appear he was expecting to find a lion when he fell in. Yet, when the adversity came against him, he was ready. He didn’t hesitate. He didn’t back up, and he didn’t cower in despair. He fought, and he fought valiantly, and only onlybecause of this response, he won!

This is really how we should approach life and adversity that comes our way. We are built internally with a natural “fight or flight” mentality; yet, if we approach every situation with a flight response, we will never learn how to persevere under pressure. We will never learn to excel despite the odds. We will never learn the depth of our strength and ability, because true character is produced through our perseverance in trials.

If Beniah had run in fear that day while in the pit, he would be dead, and his story could never be an inspiration to us today.

Something to think about… 😉

How Do you Start the New Year?

Regrets or Do-Overs?

Remorse or Recommitment?

Sorrow or Joy?

It’s all in your perspective. What will you do with the past? What will you make is the future? Your choices in these few things can and will determine your tomorrow.

Choose cautiously. Choose wisely.

Kingjamesbibleonline.org

Start Today

Happy New Year’s!

New Years Resolutions…

Almost everyone has an opinion on them or at least some thought toward them. Some get all geared up to make huge resolutions, change of habits, altering routines, plans to transform their health, appearance, attitude and lifestyles. Some get just as amped up at the declaration to NOT make resolutions, because (in their opinion) “those never really work anyway!” I’m not here to argue either point, but I am here to tell you, TODAY is the day to make a definitive decision and tomorrow may be too late. My pastor has this phrase, “You will never become tomorrow what you’re not doing today.” Whatever you put off till tomorrow, you will just as easily put it off again the next day and the next.

Let me bring this point home to our hearts by a question or two … what is a goal you set or maybe something you thought at the beginning of 2017 that you planned to accomplish? Did you accomplish it, and if so, how long did it take? What if your reality for tomorrow was only determined by what you did today? What if you were going to be blessed tomorrow by what you give today? Or better yet, What if you were guaranteed to get blessed in 2018, and that blessing was going to come in the form of a pay raise in the exact amount of the giving, blessings, or accomplished things you did in 2017? What would that blessing look like??

So, if you’re plan is to lose weight, stop smoking, start eating right or even go to bed at a better hour, don’t wait for the clock to strike midnight tonight to change your ways. Do it today! Do it NOW!! As the old adage goes, “There’s no better time than the present!”

Health.com

There’s no better time to start than right now, and if you’re one of those who are adamantly opposed to setting resolutions, there’s still something to be said about setting goals and doing a little self improvement. Start there for yourselves.

Set a goal.

Chase a dream.

Start TODAY!

How’s Your Time?

Every man, woman and child has the same amount hours in everyday. We are all given the exact same amount, but we surely don’t use it the same. I wonder if, at the end of our life, will there be a measuring stick (with a digital readout) that tells us just how much of our life’s efforts really amounted to something significant…

Think about it.

BUSYNESS OF LIFE: WORTH / LACK = VALUE

If there was, what would your percentage be? Would all your busyness in life amount to good stuff, quality efforts and true, needed changes and value placed into your life and the lives of others? Or would you find that the equation only equaled a pile of, what I call, “cotton candy?”

Lots of sweetness (or sickening sugar and stickiness, depending on your preference) but nothing substantial.

Think about it.

2017 is quickly coming to an end. What if just this year was measured.

What would your equation say about you?

Job 14:5, “Since his days are determined,

The number of his months is with You;

You have appointed his limits, so that he cannot pass.”

Ecclesiastes 1:3, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven”

Choose Well

I saw this post the other day, and I thought, “This describes exactly how I’m feeling and what I needed to hear today!” It was Christmas Eve morning. I had 2 church services to attend, songs to sing while on praise team, a devotion to share during offering, Christmas gifts to deliver, people to greet and names to remember, smiles to give and necks to hug. All that before 11:30 in the morning, and I’m not exactly a morning person… Really, it was no different than any other Sunday (except the gifts), and I really do love what I do; yet, that morning, I was feeling frazzled, stressed out and insecure.

Honestly, I had stayed up too late the night before, and I was feeling weary. I had been excited about Christmas coming, and I had gotten everything done about 11:00pm; yet, I just kind of piddled until I got sleepy, an hour after midnight, which doesn’t fare too well when you rise at 6:00am on Sunday!

I was, also, going through a bit of an emotional battle, feeling unworthy, insignificant and internally “bluesy.” All of this was adding up to make the day a very sour lemon! Then, I came across this pic that I had just saved the night before, thinking I might use it for a blog one day, (lol!) and it was as if everything came full circle right a that moment. I was reminded of my philosophy for living: Life is what you make it. It’s all in your perspective and the choices you make.

I didn’t need to let my circumstances rule my emotions. I didn’t need to allow my feelings to be my guide, and I could not permit my choice of lack of sleep and struggling thought patterns to dictate how I would worship my God, engage with people, and follow through with the commitments I had made.

I had a choice to make, and I decided to choose well. I chose to breathe it all in. I chose to slow down, be deliberate and be aware. I chose to have joy, to rejoice in our Savior, and to be thankful in my heart and my head. I chose to savor life and those around me. I chose to smile and allow the wonder and happiness of the moments to not only fill my smile but to fill my soul and my whole being.

It was Christmas Eve, and this one only comes once. More importantly, it was Sunday, and we live in a free country where we can still worship as a congregation. We serve a great God who is worthy of all our praise! I wasn’t going to miss that! It was, also, the day I get to see a lot of people who may or may not be there tomorrow, because after all, none of us are guaranteed the next breathe, and in this crazy world, you never know what might happen!

It was an amazing day, and I am so thankful I made the right choices. 😊

We all have choices to make everyday, every hour, and even minute to minute. What will you choose today?

Fears Have You?

As this year draws to a close, I wonder, what fears are you battling tonight? What fears have you overcome this year? Maybe there is a fear you are seriously trying to overcome, but you don’t know exactly how to “squash it?” There is Hope, and there is an answer…

Trusting in God doesn’t instantaneously wipe away all fear simply because we believe… yeah, I said that. Now, those of you who believe in Him, please, don’t pick up your rocks to throw, just hear me out…

He is a good God. He is a BIG God, and He is a God who loves us so very much that He sent His son to die for us to save us. He is a God who, when He says in His Word He will do something, you can be 100% sure He will follow through. He’s a God of absolute Truth. He IS Truth; therefore, He simply cannot lie.

So, when He says to fear not, because He is with you, He means it. He’s right there with you. Yet, sometimes, even when we pray, believe and trust in Him, that fear can linger, not because He’s not God anymore but more because, sometimes, our heart has to grow stronger in our belief…because sometimes, we are fighting a fear that has deep roots in our lives, and we have to slay that giant on the battlefield of our faith just as David went out on the battlefield with Goliath and struck him down…because sometimes, we’ve got to lay down that fear with which we’ve walked in agreement since our childhood and stand firm in our faith and believe in His sovereignty and grace regardless of what our feelings might be screaming at us…because sometimes, our faith has been weakened by our lack of preparation, or because our consistency of feeding the flesh rather than the spirit, or because our faith has been beaten and worn due to previous battles, and we just need to rely on Him more than our own strength and ability.

That’s what it all really boils down to: total reliance on Him rather than ourselves. That’s where He wants us. That’s where He does His best work, because that’s where our testimony isn’t how we did some great thing to conquer the fear, it becomes how our Great God did an amazing thing and conquered the fear in us and through us!

So, next time you’re battling a new fear, or you’re trying to conquer an old one, and it just seems that demon is gaining ground, just call on His Name, trust Him and believe; them, watch Him do what He does best! 😉

If You Are Over 30…

Ok, so, I’m going to kind of make a funny here with some hyperboles and be a little exaggerate simply to make a point…

ONCE YOU’RE OVER THE AGE OF 30, THERE’S SOME THINGS YOU JUST NEED TO LET GO OF, BECAUSE YOU’RE LOOKING KIND OF GOOFY AND REALLY MAKING YOURSELF OUT TO BE A FOOL. 😳😑

This though has probably been triggered, because I’ve come across a few of these lately, and I’ve been reminded what “immaturity in an old shell” really looks like. I guess, you could just call me old fashioned, or maybe you’ll charge me with too much conservatism. If so, that’s ok, but really, if you are guilty of the following and don’t think you need a little change, you might just want to step back and see yourself through the eyes of the older and younger generations.

If you’re over the age of 30, please stop:

1. Cussing out the cashier or waiter, because he or she didn’t do something correctly while ringing up your bill.

Are you telling me you’ve never made a mistake, especially after a long day at work?

2. Making a scene in public because your momma hurt your feelings, the teacher disciplined your child or someone just cut in line in front of you.

Really? Show some respect for yourself and other people. Take up the confrontation with whom it needs to be settled.

3. Miniskirts and midriffs.

The company you’re trying to attract will be on the prowl, regardless of your attire, and the company you need to be attracting won’t be interested in all that.

4. Various brands or quotations on your rear end.

Umm, no. Just simply don’t.

4. Selfies taken in front of the mirror of your bathroom.

You’re not 15, and this isn’t the glamour shots of the 80s. Somethings just need to stay in the past.

5. Partying all night and all day, especially when you have children who need care.

You’re a momma or a daddy now. Act like it. Their lives may depend on it.

6. Living at home with mom and dad.

You outgrew that baby bed for a reason. It might be tough, but you can do this thing called life.

7. Gaming all night and skipping out on your job.

The old proverb is true, “A man who won’t work won’t eat.” This culture’s society will try to convince you otherwise with the welfare and entitlement mentalities, but do not be deceived. We all need to work if we desire to eat.

8. Making out in the grocery store parking lot when you should just go get a room.

This was all fun and games in high school, but when you’re older, it just seems you’ve got way too much to prove or maybe you’re cheating on your spouse.

9. Skipping out on your family, because you just “wanna have fun” or “sow your wild oats.”

So much could be said here, but I’ll just keep it to two words: GROW UP! Yes, I did shout that, in case, you didn’t hear me.

10. Stealing, thievery, lying or cheating.

This is not okay at any age, but when you have crossed this threshold of life, you seriously look like a loser. Get a life. Get a job, and be a man not a parasite.

Yeah, maybe I am just “old school.” Maybe I am just a little bit of a “fuddy dud.” If that’s what I am, simply, because I choose to make solid choices for my life and my family, well, that’s okay with me. Call me what you will.

I’ll just settle to being a little traditional, a bit old fashioned and conservative, or maybe, I’m just secure in my decision to grow up, live life with determination and purpose, and move beyond those selfish motives and actions of my more youthful days.

A Curious Thing

Death is such a curious thing.

I want to weep and wail, scream and curse at no one in particular

Yet, I long to let my furry flow.

I want to punch and kick, run and stomp

at no person specific

Yet, I yearn to unload and unwind.

I want to tell every naysayer, “You’ll never know this kind of love.”

I want to tell every well wisher, “You’ll never understand the pain.”

But then,

I look upon Your face

Your whisper draws me closer still

Your eyes coax me to silence

Your hands comfort my tears

You remind me of Your sufficient grace.

You remind me of Your unending mercy.

You fill me with Your peace that surpasses all understanding.

You overwhelm me with Your love that is always without limit.

Where can I go from Your presence?

Where can I flee from Your shadow?

You see every corner of my world.

You fill ever space within my heart.

There will come a day I can breathe again.

There will come an hour I will see.

Until then, I will allow Your Hope to be my anchor.

Until then, I will dream of what could have been and what will be.

Heaven is going to be a beautiful thing.

Penned – MG – 9/19/17