Seasons

This morning, whoever reads this and gets to share in this with me, I’m praying that in the midst of whatever season you’re in, God’s grace would just be overwhelming in it.
As love becomes our way of life as a believer, we must constantly be reminded of His strength in us. Christianity is not an addition to our lives, it is a new life to live. When we let go of the world and find our identity as children of God, His Spirit grows the character of Christ in our lives. Ephesians 2:10 says that we were “created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Keep this in mind for yourself today: I am God’s, and there’s work He has for me to do! You have purpose and whatever changes that are coming your way or even if it’s the people around you that have changed, God and His promises for you will never change.
Have a great day 🙂

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You make a difference

Good morning 🙂 I’m praying this morning that Jesus would just show you even more of who you are in him today and who he has made you to be. You make a difference.
“I’m always looking at everyone else having a good time and I’m not.” “I didn’t belong in my family, so why should I feel like I belong anywhere else.” “I may be included but I never really feel like I belong.” These are just a few things sweet younger and older friends have told me recently. They are sad parts of stories, but real. These are the voices of individuals who have shared deep loneliness and isolation—and continue to feel like outsiders. There can be a lot of experiences that we or other people experience in regard to feeling like an outsider, but what can we do as a follower of Jesus, to better include others?
“And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, ‘If you will, you can make me clean.’ Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, ‘I will; be clean.’ And immediately the leprosy left him, and the man was made clean. And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, and said to him, ‘See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for proof to them.’ But he went out and talked freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.” Mark 1:40-45.
In this story of the leper in Mark 1, a leper came and approached Jesus. He was taking a chance that Jesus might walk away as the Scribes and Pharisees did, or that Jesus might cast stones at him or make fun of him like others did. But, he felt that Jesus was different. He felt this man might just be the One who could seriously change his whole life. Man, was he right! Jesus loved this leper, and He took action when nobody else would. Jesus acted when the rest of society dispised and rejected this man. He acted when this man’s religion and the people who also worshipped like he did, ignored him. I wonder how many people in our community are like this leper and they think, “I wonder if those people at this church or in this place are different? I wonder if they will love me, accept me, and help me?” Just as this man came to Jesus, people come to us. 
It’s scary sometimes when people come to you for help because, in that moment we’re almost reminded that we personally have little to offer them. Especially, if we don’t understand their circumstance or feelings. I think that is why we have to have reliance on God through helping others. God is the One who changes hearts, not us. God has the answers and provides ultimate comfort and relief. 
You are so loved. Let that love include someone, make someone feel different about themselves, or even smile today.

Jesus is my fill

Good morning 🙂 I’m praying that the Lord does something absolutely awesome in your life today. Even if it’s something seemingly normal, that it would just bring you joy and that you would look at it as something awesome too!
“But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the Lord. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭68:3-6‬.
Psalm 68 says that God is a Father to the orphan, a Defender of the lonely and the hopeless. It’s easier to see this as truth when we hear about someone else who is going through something worse than we are. But, what if we were really an equal to them? And, God says that we are. God says that we are equals to the orphans, the lonely, and the hopeless. So He alone is our Father. All of us were once orphans, we’ve all been lonely at some point, and we’ve all been hopeless one time or another as well.
You don’t belong because you conform; You belong because you just do. Because in Jesus, every one belongs! 
We don’t all look the same, talk the same, even BELIEVE exactly the same… It’s not in those things that we find common ground with one another either – Jesus is our common ground. And I think he is big enough, expansive enough, to handle everything.
Our culture tells us something completely different from Jesus. Our culture doesn’t have common ground. Our culture says, “dress like this and you can be here”, “do this and then you can be happy”, “be this skinny/fit (sometimes anorexic/bulimic) and then you do what you want to do”, “eat this food and then you can be energized and ready for the day”, “don’t do this and then you can live longer”, etc. We know what culture and other people tell us because we’re surrounded by it all the time. But, since we’re surrounded by culture and other people almost all the time telling us things, that aren’t always right or true; do we really know what God tells us, instead, to those statements and remarks about who we should be and what we should do? 
Diversity should not be a threat to our faith. Comparison, judgement and exclusivity does the job of dividing quite well. Our culture and people create exclusivity enough. Faith should be different… We should be different. 
And I don’t know about you, but I see hunger everywhere I go. The world is starving on so many different levels a million times over.
But, Jesus gives us living water. He gives us life and love that can FILL us to the core! So, let him. Let Jesus be your fill. With him, you can do something great today. 🙂 Here’s another long message from yours truly. Haha. I’m praying that the Lord does something absolutely awesome in your life today. Even if it’s something seemingly normal, that it would just bring you joy and that you would look at it as something awesome too!
“But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the Lord. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭68:3-6‬.
Psalm 68 says that God is a Father to the orphan, a Defender of the lonely and the hopeless. It’s easier to see this as truth when we hear about someone else who is going through something worse than we are. But, what if we were really an equal to them? And, God says that we are. God says that we are equals to the orphans, the lonely, and the hopeless. So He alone is our Father. All of us were once orphans, we’ve all been lonely at some point, and we’ve all been hopeless one time or another as well.
You don’t belong because you conform; You belong because you just do. Because in Jesus, every one belongs! 
We don’t all look the same, talk the same, even BELIEVE exactly the same… It’s not in those things that we find common ground with one another either – Jesus is our common ground. And I think he is big enough, expansive enough, to handle everything.
Our culture tells us something completely different from Jesus. Our culture doesn’t have common ground. Our culture says, “dress like this and you can be here”, “do this and then you can be happy”, “be this skinny/fit (sometimes anorexic/bulimic) and then you do what you want to do”, “eat this food and then you can be energized and ready for the day”, “don’t do this and then you can live longer”, etc. We know what culture and other people tell us because we’re surrounded by it all the time. But, since we’re surrounded by culture and other people almost all the time telling us things, that aren’t always right or true; do we really know what God tells us, instead, to those statements and remarks about who we should be and what we should do? 
Diversity should not be a threat to our faith. Comparison, judgement and exclusivity does the job of dividing quite well. Our culture and people create exclusivity enough. Faith should be different… We should be different. 
And I don’t know about you, but I see hunger everywhere I go. The world is starving on so many different levels a million times over.
But, Jesus gives us living water. He gives us life and love that can FILL us to the core! So, let him. Let Jesus be your fill. With him, you can do something great today.

The drain/burn-out

Emotional drainage. Is that really a word? Drainage? Okay, maybe I’ve been to the point recently where I flat out just feel drained. Emotionally. I feel like my car has a flat but the only one who I know can fix it is Jesus.

I actually did see someone struggle with a literal flat tire recently. They were in the process of moving and it was blantantly obvious. The huge semi-like U-Haul and the trailer on the back of the minivan. But, there was a problem with the trailer. The back left tire busted on the highway and by the time they could pull over with all of the traffic, there was no tire left on the rim. They burned rubber. 

We burn out like rubber sometimes too. We reach the raw, emotional rim. 

What do you do when you burn out? Cry? Withdrawl? Are you more irritable? Do you feel alone? Do you feed your ego by doing stupid things to forget about the burn out?

What are good ways to deal with a burn-out?

Take some time to yourself. Removing distractions for a short time and learning to relax can take you out of the burnout situation for however long you need. Whether it’s reading God’s word, taking a nap, sitting down with a good book or just lying on your couch with soft music playing, taking a break and taking time for yourself to unwind can work wonders on the feeling of burnout.

Take a walk or a jog. Exercise has proven to be beneficial not only for physical health but also for mental health. It boosts serotonin and dopamine and creates a calming experience for those who exercise regularly. There’s also something about getting out in nature that seems to relax you. It also gives you ample time to think and go over the things that are bothering you. Maybe you can come up with a solution.

Keep in mind that these are all temporary fixes that can help in the short term. Ultimately God is the only One who can get us to where we can be. It may also be time to reevaluate things and make some life changes that have been waiting to be made anyway. The easiest way to avoid burnout is to enjoy what you do. Life can be enjoyable too. So, be grateful.

The moth and the person.

Hey, friends! This is a longer one, but I think the Lord wanted to use this to encourage someone today.
“The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Psalm‬ ‭121‬:‭5-8‬.
So, after the time that I spent at a Focus on the Heart session last night with a few ladies from a pregnancy care center, I was really emotional. God grabbed my attention in a way where I was reminded, once again, that he never leaves us and though everything else changes, he never will. God’s always working for our good. Jesus’ love crazily overflowed from the women there, the stories, and I just lost it. 
I left after sitting in my car for a little and as I drove I just kept crying. Nothing happened while I cried. I made it to a gas station and decided that I had to stop, process, and calm down again. So, I sat there and thought for a little bit and then, a moth came into my car. I kept swatting at it with random objects and literally encouraging it with words out-loud, while swatting at it, to fly out the window. But it didn’t budge. It just kept flying its wings like it was mad (it wouldn’t surprise me if it were mad at this point), going up a little, freaking me out by getting closer, and then back into the corner in between my windshield and passenger side door. It did what it wanted. So, I let it be and I had the thought that it would eventually fly out. 
When I decided to drive home from the gas station, it stayed in the corner and didn’t move much from what I could tell. I had my windows down all the way home from the gas station too. But, as soon as I stopped the car and turned my lights off in my driveway, I looked over and it flew out the window. Without me. Without me trying to encourage it or make it move. 
Sometimes people are like this moth. Stubborn. Lonely. Curious. But, like this moth, people ultimately have to make their own decisions. We can stay in our own corner with comfort and safety, go up a little and then go back to where we were, even try to fly. Or, we can totally, without boundaries, spread our wings and fly out of our metaphorical window. Regardless of other people, we still have choice. We can’t make someone have a relationship with Jesus, just like I couldn’t make the moth go out the window, but God surely does the heart work. This moth made a bunch of metaphors last night. Haha. 
Have a great day 🙂