Allowing your joy to be stolen

happy-women1The other day,, a coworker and I went for our early morning workout. When we made it back to the office we were happy, energized and giggling. We were talking about our lives and about the things we had to do that day. The day was sunny; we had just brewed the perfect pot of coffee. It was a good day.
As we sat to work, we started talking about a common challenge. As we discussed the issue, we both started painting the possibilities of the worst case scenarios and how we could handle those. The conversation continued for a little while, and all of the sudden there was silence.
Now, bear in mind we are both very chatty people and we continued almost until noonsad women working quietly, which is a very rare instance. All of the sudden I turned to her and asked her, “What did we just do? Did we just depress ourselves? Her answer was yes.
We had started the day energized and happy, but we had allowed negative thinking to enter into our lives. Even at that point when we had both agreed that even if worst case scenario played out we both believed that God would make everything work for what was best, we didn’t regain our joyful demeanor.
The truth is that in general we all have the tendency to do that. . We allow the enemy to enter our minds and guide us to the landfill of doubt and discouragement. We allow the fear, anxieties and doubt to take the place of faith and trust in God, leaving us hopeless.I had to go to the Word and remind myself that I need to stand in God’s promises. That just like Jeremiah 29:11 says, ” For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

I also had to tell myself that if I put my trust in God I have to know that  “we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28 (NLT)

What lie is the enemy feeding your mind today? What is making you look at your circumstances instead of the face of God?
Cast all your fears and doubts at the feet of Jesus. Remember, he already paid the price. He always loves you.

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1 Peter 5:7

Let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.

John 14:27

I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

Until next time, be blessed

FINDING YOUR WAY OUT OF A DARK ALLEY

by Lillian Duncan

James 4: 8

Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you.

We humans are not necessarily the smartest of God’s creations even though we think we are! We seem to go out of our way to hurt ourselves in so many different creative ways. At one time or another most of us end up in a dark alley of our own making through our own bad choices and actions. And sometimes other people put us in those alleys or at least lead the way.

It always seems so dark and so lonely there, but God never abandons us—it only feels that way sometimes.

And that’s what I want readers to take away after reading DARK ALLEYS. No matter what we’ve done, God never stops loving us. He is always there waiting for us to ask for His help. In James 4: 8 it says, Draw close to God, and God will draw close to you.”

To me that means, God is always there waiting for us to come to HIM.

One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29: 14, I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and will bring you back from captivity. Another way of saying draw close to God and God will draw close to you. Of course, His help may not come in the form we want or expect, but then again His ways are higher than our ways.

The important thing to remember is that God loves us and he won’t abandon us.

My latest book, DARK ALLEYS is a story about a woman who ends up homeless and alone in a dark alley on a cold winter night. She witnesses a murder while in a drunken stupor and almost becomes his second victim. She awakens in the hospital with no clear memory of how she was injured. She attempts to put her life back together but, of course, the murderer has other plans.

I wanted to write a story where the main character was the queen of underdogs and I think I succeeded. Tessa is a mess, just like the rest of us. She could give up and no one could blame her, but she doesn’t. She keeps going—putting one step in front of the other.

And some days that’s all any of us can do.

Those are the days we need to keep our eyes focused on Jesus.

And one step at a time He will lead out of that dark alley and into His light.

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ABOUT DARK ALLEYS: Being innocent and proving it are two different things, especially when a powerful politician is involved

Tessa’s life spiraled out of control after the death of her only child, and she finds herself in a dark alley on a cold wintry night. After she witnesses a murder, she almost becomes his second victim, but manages to escape—just barely.

Homeless and alone, she knows the authorities won’t believe someone like her, leaving her only one option—to run.

Lillian Duncanwrites stories of faith mingled with murder & mayhem. She writes the type of books she loves to read—suspense with a touch of romance. Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit: www.lillianduncan.net. She also has a devotional blog at: www.PowerUpWithGod.com