WF: Losing

When we are worn out with the challenges of life, usually life just throws us another curve. I tend to tell myself that’s what life uses to keep me on my toes so that I don’t get bored. I’m never bored. And when that extra curve comes; have you noticed that it’s usually related to the ones closest to us?

Our loved ones have the key to our hearts, and what they do, don’t do or what happens to them, tends to hit us harder. A harsh word makes us evaluate how could this be happening after all the love that we have given? A painful incident makes us feel powerless from being able to protect them. A bad choice makes us feel helpless to the fact that there’s nothing we can do about other people’s choices.

Somehow it makes us feel like we are losing the battle…

But remember that when Jesus went to the cross, he went for the same reasons. He was able to DO something, die for our sins. But it also hurts his heart when we make bad choices and because of the freedom we have he is powerless of doing anything unless we decide to turn to him. After the love that He has given us, he too experiences rejection, neglect and abandonment from us.

nailsBut in the hour that counted, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:24). At the moment where we were attacking him the most, he begged for our mercy in spite of his pain.

Don’t we want to be more like Jesus? Then let’s pray that he helps us be graceful with those who hurt our hearts. Worship with me today and until next time… Be Blessed…..

Hurry, I Have a Plank in My Eye

The other day I was talking to a friend whom I appreciate but who complaints a lot about other people. Some days she tells me all about how good this person is with her. A few days later she tells me how terrible this same person is towards her. Now if we allow ourselves to be honest with ourselves we all have those same moments with people in our relationships. Everyone has its good days and their bad days. The reality is that we don’t feel the same way about people all the time.

I remember long time ago I was working with this lady who had been married for a long time. I asked her what her secret was. She told me that in love, in any kind of love, you have to love someone everyday and that doesn’t mean you like them every day. I’ve thought about that statement and it’s very true. We are called to love one another, not to like one another. We may not approve of someone else’s behavior, but we are still called to love them. That is exactly what God does with us, that’s the expression of unconditional love, to love people in spite of how they think, act or behave.

But this is not a post about unconditional love. It’s about searching our souls for what it is that annoys us about the other people around us. I’ve learned through my journey to become closer to Christ is to become the 4yr old and ask why, why, why? I don’t do that to annoy my Heavenly Father. I do that to learn a lot about myself.

As someone who works in the behavioral health field, I understand that some of our thoughts and behaviors are not always conscious and mostly are a result of our heritage and life experiences. So when something happens, before jumping to a decision on how to deal with the situation, I want to know, why it bothers me so much? Most of the times I’ve had to discover that there’s a part of me that acts exactly the way of whatever it is that annoys me.

How is it possible that something that really bothers me in others, is also a behavior that I display? I have come to the conclusion that God presents us with those situations, so that we can see ourselves in the mirror and know how annoying we can be to others. I know that I complain about that same person that I was talking about at the beginning of this post. I complain about the way some days she’s very negative and complaints about others. But some days I talk about how much of an instrumental key she’s in my life. You see… I do the same thing that she does and that annoys me.

The bottom line is that I can’t change anyone, but I can change me. I appreciate every opportunity the Lord gives me to show me who I am to perfect me into a closer image of Jesus Christ.

Until then, be blessed

WF: Your Love Never Fails

The thing we should never forget about being a Christian is that our walk doesn’t come without pain and sorrows. Actually Jesus tells us in Matthew 10:34 that he didn’t come to abolish the pain. So what’s the difference between living a life for Christ and not, HIS LOVE…

Those of us who have chosen to believe in the Lord of Glory have discovered the peace that reaches all understanding. We know that even in the darkest of nights, we are not alone. There’s always a light inside of us that will show us the way out. Each of our tears will be held and comforted. We know, because he has said so, that even when we walk in the shadow of the valley of death HE will be with us.

On our loneliest day, we are not alone; we are always comforted by the Holy Spirit. The world can’t understand why we can smile in the middle of tragedy. They can’t understand how we can forgive the most awful of transgressions. How it is possible that we can let go of shame, humiliation and fear? Because Jesus took that all to the cross and that burden is not for us to carry anymore.

My friends, I don’t know where you are today. I don’t know what you’re feeling, but I do know that the God of Glory will lift those ashes and bring you through and every promise will be fulfilled. When you are so weary that you can’t even stand, kneel.

Lamentations 3:22-23

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.

 Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.

Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,

who have been called according to his purpose.

A House Divided

For the most part, we tend to believe that those around us have a similar mindset as ours. Isn’t that the reason why they are our friends, family or who we chose as spouses? But that is not true all the time. There are times in our walk were we are exposed to other ideas and personalities and they do not conform to our ways of thinking.

It is harder for us to deal with those situations when the person having the different mindset is someone very close to us. The reasons for this are endless. Sometimes someone in the equation is wrong. Someone may not be listening well. Someone may just have a different opinion.

The Word of God tells us clearly in Mark 3:25 that “A house divided against itself, that house cannot stand.”  This is something that we don’t want. We want our relationships to grow and flourish. We want them to be peaceful and loving. So what are we to do?

Stop and Listen- Maybe there are some valid points to the other point of view.

Ask questions-Sometimes we get stuck in our positions due to not understanding what is being presented to us. If we get clarification we will be more equipped to form a different position.

Be Loving and Graceful- Even when we disagree, we will not be able to keep the lines of communication open if we present ourselves in a hostile manner.

Remember Ephesians 4:15 “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”

Consider if any position goes against the Word of God-If the position of the other person goes against the will and Word of God you can explain that. Not by hitting them on the head with a bible, but once again telling the truth in love. From that point it would be the other person’s responsibility to either continue on the wrong path or make changes. Always remember to love the person and not the sin.  But what if it’s you who are wrong (*gasp*) then maybe it’s you who needs some alone time with God, set aside your pride and decide to either follow God’s will or your own.

Agree to disagree- You can still love a person and have a harmonious relationship knowing that you don’t agree about something but still love and respect each other. It is too boring to agree on everything sometimes. LOL

Until next time, be blessed.

CrossReads Book Blast: Found Adrift by Pauline Creeden

Found Adrift By Pauline Creeden

About the Book

Welcome fellow drifter. I don’t know about you, but I’m easily distracted. If God set me in a rowboat on the water and told me to pay attention and not let myself drift too far from the shoreline, I’m sure I’d be in the middle of the lake before I realized I’d drifted from the shore. Then sitting in the middle of that lake, I’d realize I didn’t have a paddle. And sometimes I feel so far away that no one on the shore could possibly hear me. Have you ever been there? If you have ever been distracted by your daily life and suddenly looked up and found yourself far behind where you should be in your walk with God, then you are a drifter like me. This devotional is your paddle.

Found Adrift: 40 Days of Recovering Grace On Kindle Found Adrift: 40 Days of Recovering Grace in Paperback

About Pauline Creeden

Pauline Creeden picIn simple language, Pauline Creeden breaks down Biblical stories and applies them to real life in new ways. Her methods of teaching have brought new light to old scriptures. In her fiction, she creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long.

Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy.

Follow Pauline Creeden

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This book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

WF: God of this city

I heard something preached at my church that stuck with me. The words were “ You are the only God that pursues us instead of us being the ones chasing you”

It stuck with me because if you think about things like idolatry where people kill or break things to please their god. It’s usually the people who are chasing the favor of their god. But in this date and age idolatry is more than statues and bizarre rituals. Our gods can be our addictions, our sins, our relationships.

1 John 1:6

If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.

If you are an addict, you are making the thing that you are addicted to your god and it’s you  who chases that god in search of the feeling of your next satisfaction.

That sin that has you bounded and keeps you going back to it over and over, it could have become your god. It is you who has not made the decision to turn it over. If nothing else remember the words from Paul in Romans 7:18

 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out

Yes, it true you can’t, but God can if you truly surrender and stop worshipping that behavior.

How many times you have compromised your values and the things you know to be right to please the person you are in a relationship with? So has that person become your god.

John 14:23

Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

The good news is that God is always waiting for us. He is the God of this city and every city. He’s different. He doesn’t need you. He wants you.

Romans 5:7-9 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him

Join me to day to Praise he who died for us, out of love for us.

Until then be blessed.

 Season’s Greetings From Amelia

clip_image002_thumb.jpg“This book is in a class by itself, you will not be able to put it down! The characters pull you in and you begin to feel their emotions. Excellently written. The title fooled me, the saying goes” never judge a book by the cover “and this is one of those books.” By Duezette

First Encounter with Faith

I grew up in church. I heard about God all my life, but the God that was portrayed to me was not a loving God. To me he was this big eye in the sky waiting for me to make a mistake and pulverize me at any minute. I was quite involved in church growing up, but it was out of the sense that I needed to keep that God happy to avoid the pits of hell.

I had gone to a retreat and I was pulled to the side and asked if I would take Jesus as my Lord and Savior. In my mind I remember saying: Lady what kind of question is that, are you trying to get me killed?  So obviously I said yes, but nothing changed in my life. A few years later I felt the calling from God and I did give my life to Christ, but I was attending a church that didn’t explain about the journey of a born again Christian or the love of God; it was all about his wrath.

So as a human I sinned and I thought that I was already condemned for life, so instead of running to the arms of Christ, I ran to the arms of the world. I found more sorrow and pain than before. Eight years later (you can’t deny that God is patient) I came back home. I came just like the Prodigal Son, telling my father that I didn’t deserve to be back and that I knew I needed to sit in the back, that I was not worthy of serving him, but if he would only have mercy I would appreciate it.

He sent a young lady in my life to tell me that all those thoughts were claims from the enemy. She told me that God and the angels were rejoicing to have me home. From that point on I felt like I had met God for the first time. I was finally truly born again. God has never left me and has loved me more than I could ever imagine.

“I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there.’ And it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. ” Matt 17:20

Share with us, What was your first encounter with faith? I’m glad to hear it.

If you are looking for a good read, The Road Home is for you. Find out what was Desiree’s first encounter with faith and see if you can identify with her.

Until next time, be blessed.

The Road Home 

TheRoadHomeFinal-2.jpg

 This book certainly held my interest straight through to the very emotional ending. Mary Anne Benedetto

 “With the ever-constant presence of her closest friend, Aimee, Desiree slowly makes her way to God and learns the greatness of His power and love. Cynthia

A very engaging story about faith, love, and friendship, and the trials and tribulations that life can bring you. Jersey Gina