Sunday, September 22, 2013

For a Reason

Along with my "Favorite Scriptures" post, this one will be a work in progress too - a collection of inspiring and motivational quotes for when times get tough, lonely, or things are confusing :)  

Lysa TerKeurst:

  • "Whatever God says do, DO IT!!!"  
  • "Being a woman who says yes to God means making the choice to trust Him even when you can't understand why He requires some of the things He does.  It also means that once you've said yes to God, you refuse to turn back even when things get hard."  
  • "When you give up what's not yours, when you listen and respond to God, the blessings will be more radical and more amazing than you ever imagined!

  • "You can only attract what you already are.  So if you want it, become it!"
  • "When you are on the rise, some people are going to be left behind.  Not everyone's meant to go where you're going." 
  • "Beautiful is the woman who knows herself, loves herself, and accepts herself...just as the way she is."  
  • "Sometimes you have to move on without certain people.  If they're meant to be in your life, they'll catch up."  
  • What Does Letting Go Look Like?  
Other great quotes, etc:
  • "God knows change can make your life richer.  Live for today but hold your hands open to tomorrow.  Anticipate the future and its changes with joy.  There is a seed of God's love in every even, every circumstance, every unpleasant situation in which you may find yourself.  Don't get stuck in a rut or hung up on an outdated blessing.  You serve a God of change!"  ~Barbara Johnson
  • "Let go of the old, so you can completely take hold of the new."  Joyce Meyer 
  • Embrace the Wait 
  • Deuteronomy 2:3 - "You have circled this mountain long enough.  Now turn North."  
  • Romans 5:3-4 - "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope."  
  • Collection of scriptures for "Moving On"  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Testimony :)

This fall, I have the blessing of being a confirmation mentor for a group of high school girls at my church. I am so looking forward to working with them! One of the first things we have to do as a leader is share our testimony - a great thing, but yikes! Being transparent is scary enough, plus I've never actually thought much about why I believe or how I got to the point of having a strong faith. So I finally sat down and thought/prayed about it, and am ready to share it!

I have always believed in God. There is so much to marvel at in our world, from the miracle of human life to the mysteries of our universe that have always led me to think that there is something great orchestrating it all. Raised in a Baptist church, I made the decision to make my faith public and be baptized as a young teenager.

While baptism is good and He does want us to believe in Him, God does not call us to just believe – He’s called us to follow Him so that we can live the joyful, abundant life He wants to gift to us. It was easy to make the decision to profess my faith that I believed in God, but fully committing my life to God? I had far too many other plans of my own! So I continued to purse everything I thought I wanted.

Fast forward fifteen years. He found me broken, lost, and hopeless after crushed dreams: failed businesses, financial struggles, difficult and failed relationships, eating disorders, and other struggles. All those seemingly wonderful plans of my own had only brought me pain and suffering. He had called out to me many times before, but something stirred within me this time when He asked, “Will you pick up your cross and follow me to the abundant life I have waiting for you?” I finally made the decision to say yes Jesus, I will follow you.

Since then I have completely fallen in love with God as He has filled to overflowing the empty spaces within me. While I still have struggles, I enjoy my life so much more when I am focused on following Jesus. I make sure to read the Bible and pray daily, attend worship weekly, and stay active within the church (Bible studies, serving, etc). As I have studied, learned, and tried to emulate the life of Jesus, I have found true healing, joy, happiness, and contentment. Instead of waking up every morning trying to face the day for mere survival, I wake up knowing I have a purpose in this world – to glorify God in everything I do. It is not always easy to say “Yes God, where you go I’ll go, where you stay I’ll stay, whatever you want me to do I will follow you,” but I know that His ways are best for my life!

I can look back now and see all that I have learned through my struggles, and have seen how He has used everything for His glory. I am not at all where I thought I would be today, and I still fail Him often, but I am living an abundant life! In the ways of the world it may not seem like I have abundance, but I feel abundantly blessed – an amazing, healthy, wonderful family who I can’t spend enough time with; an incredible church; wonderful, supportive friends who inspire me and bless me more than they know; a cat that I absolutely adore (she is so great, I swear!); two jobs that I enjoy on most days  with co-workers who are good people; good health; food, clothing, shelter, and transportation; and so much more.

I am also incredibly blessed that He has put so many people in my life to guide me and strengthen me along the way, and who have helped grow my faith in ways they may not even know.  Whether it’s an act of service, replying to a tweet, getting to know them, or a simple smile, you never know how much something can have a huge impact on someone else’s life. I am so thankful and blessed – praise Jesus!!! 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Proverbs 3:5-6 Life Application

"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 3:5-6

While we want to fully trust in the Lord with all of our hearts, it is so much easier said than done.  Emotions cloud our minds and judgments, and the ways of the world make it easy to think that it's okay to do things our way once in awhile.  To live a life of abundance, which He wants to give us, we must trust and submit to Him completely!  

But how???

The Life Application Study Bible says this about Proverbs 3:5-6: 

"Leaning has the sense of putting your whole weight on something, resting on and trusting in that person or thing.  When we have an important decision to make, we sometimes feel that we can't trust anyone - not even God.  But God knows what is best for us.  He is a better judge of what we want than even we are!  We must trust Him completely in every choice we make.  We should not omit careful thinking or belittle our God-given ability to reason; but we should not trust our own ideas to the exclusion of all others.  We must not be wise in our own eyes.  We should always be willing to listen and be corrected by God's Word and wise counselors.  Bring your decisions to God in prayer; use the Bible as your guide; and then follow God's leading.  He will make your paths straight by both guiding and protecting you."  

"To receive god's guidance, said Solomon, we must acknowledge God in all our ways.  This means turning every area of life over to Him  About a thousand years later, Jesus emphasized this same truth (Matthew 6:33).  Look at your values and priorities.  What is important to you?  In what areas have you not acknowledged Him?  What is His advice?  In many areas of your life you may already acknowledge God, but it is the areas where you attempt to restrict or ignore His influence that will cause you grief.  Make Him a vital part of everything you do; then He will guide you because you will be working to accomplish His purposes."  

We must make seeking Him in every area of our life a priority!  Once we do this, we open our lives up to the abundant blessings He has for us!