Tag: self-improvement

One Sentence You Need to Let Go of Right Now

Choose Prayer gif



We all have times when we think our circumstances can’t change, or we think there’s no way this can work out. We have dreams no one else knows about, but we’re fairly sure they’ll remain just that: dreams. We struggle because we really secretly want that dream, or the change in that circumstance, or a solution to a problem. We want someone’s health to improve. We want our child to do well in school.

You know what really bothers me? When we say “I guess we’ll just have to pray about it.

As we say it, the shoulders sort of shrug and the posture’s a little hunched. “I guess…” is equivalent to saying, “I know this really isn’t a solution, but I can’t think of anything better at the moment.”

I guess we’ll just have to pray about it. I guess, until something better comes along, we can pray. Maybe that will hold us in place until we find the real solution.

And we’ll just have to. Just: a lowly place. Have to: something we don’t want to do.

You know what really bothers me? When we say “I guess we’ll just have to pray about it.”

So we’re shrugging, a little stooped, lowly, not really desiring to go to the Lord in prayer for our answer. Mumbling a stop-gap.

Now, wait just a minute. I’m a believer. I believe in God the Father. I believe, in fact I KNOW he can work behind the scenes and inside of people, inside the ones in this circumstance. Inside me, inside you – he can create change. And He’s there before we get there, working on that change. He knew the change was needed before you did. Before I even thought about it.

In Him there is strength and wisdom. He holds the knowledge – the key to this situation.

Now, God will let the circumstance or process go on if it means your disappointment, your struggle, your heartache will ultimately prosper you. It might help you grow. It might help you heal. It might help you see God differently. Faith sees us through that part.

And if you don’t give up – you will be prepared for the wonderful-ness that He has in store for you. (You weren’t thinking about giving up, were you?) He promises that with Him, all things are possible! That’s power. You have options – you aren’t stuck in that circumstance, or a hundred light years away from that dream. You can walk directly beside Him by trusting Him, by praying to Him about it and believing He will make the changes that are best for you, and praising Him throughout all the good and bad times.  Praise him when your spouse leaves a note on the table saying she’s moved out. Praise him when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer. Praise him when you with your human viewpoint can’t imagine how that addiction is ever going to be cured.

Choose to trust Him, and in choosing it you are also electing to live your life differently. You’re able to look for His goodness and “taste and see” what He has in store. You can relax, knowing who’s got your back. You know His strength, and you’ve put your trust in it.

When you have chosen this path, your posture will be a little straighter, your voice will be stronger, more commanding, and the next time “I guess we’ll just have to pray about it” will become “Let’s pray.”

Let’s take it to the Lord. Let’s find out from the Almighty, the Creator, the All-knowing, All-seeing One – yeah let’s see what He has to say about it.

There is power in the name of God.

Choose trust. Choose faith. Choose prayer.

Related Verse
“…with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26, NIV

 

 

Road to Happiness: 3 Ways to Experience Joy

I have a cockatiel that loves to whistle the song “If You’re Happy and You Know it, Clap Your Hands.” He of course, can’t clap his hands claws, so he clicks with his tongue. He likes that song so much he tangles it into most of the other things he whistles. As a result of hearing it 14 hours a day, I sing it a lot too. Sometimes I even clap.

I wonder how our lives would be different if we continually sang such a song? It could be out loud, or simply in our heads. It doesn’t have to be a child’s verse. It can be your own creation. It could be a hymn or praise song, or just a mantra.  Something to reflect the deep joy of being alive, being God’s creation…just being. We are promised:

1 Peter 1:8-9 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

True joy floods the soul. It overwhelms with a sense of comfort, of well-being, of love.

One reason we don’t feel that joy continually is that we don’t slow down. We’re overstimulated, bombarded with noise and offers and things that want to pull us in every direction all day, every day. Because of that, we are in such a hurried, harried state of mind that we miss the joy. What a tragedy!

Here are some ways to be sure you experience the joy:

Savor the existence of the Father.  Slow down to feel His presence, to appreciate His intervention.

“Your ears will hear a word behind you, "This is the way, walk in it," whenever you turn to the right or to the left.” Isaiah 30:21

Who else but us has this awesome private GPS signal?

Savor the blessings.  “What?” you ask, startled. As if there isn’t a blessing.

You’ve probably been so buried in work and home and church and life that you forgot about blessings altogether.

If one doesn’t come to mind immediately, try simply loving the moment. Spend today, just a day,  loving  your tiny patch of the world, with all its warts and turmoil and chaos and stuff. No, the world isn’t perfect. Yes, you wish your daughter wasn’t such a drama queen. You don’t understand why your friend talks behind your back, nor why your husband insists on being so loud.

But all in all, the world is a pretty good place and you are blessed.

Be the Optimist. You know that gal who’s always positive, who always sees the blessing in a situation? Be her.

To an optimist, obstacles are challenges. Waiting is God’s way of making you grow. She never sees loss as failure, but as a chance to change, and she opens her eyes for the next blessing headed her way.

People who think this way see life as full of opportunities. They tune in to God in order to see what awesome adventure is coming next. Their upbeat attitude is contagious.

You see, even non-Christians know that deep joy can’t happen until you are able to slow down, to embrace, to radically experience it. Sometimes the smallest things can bring great joy. Pause and allow yourself to encounter joy today.

Need More? Try the Get Closer to God ecourse.

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5 Ways to Humble Yourself Now

 

Humility (NOUN) The quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank, etc.

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” James 4:10

Recently I was writing a piece on humility, and immediately the Lord went to work on me. You need to practice it yourself.

Ugh.

So, off I went to do even more research on the practice of being humble. Here are some ways to humble yourself right now. I hope they are helpful.

Meditate on the greatness of God. When we truly submit to the One Who Is All That Is Holy, we realize that everything about us is from him and we have no control over anything in this world.

Be gracious. Ephesians 4:29 says, ” Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Is what you say building others up, or do you spend a lot of time in putdowns and gossip? Make a decision to only say things that will build others up.

Serve. Whenever you serve anyone in any way, you are building up the kingdom of God. Try to find someone every day that you can serve. This could be anything from bringing a cup of coffee to providing money to someone in need. You might find a senior who needs a ride someplace. Better yet, find a way to serve in secret, and never let anyone know!

Submit to all authority. This is difficult in today’s world, because we believe strongly in individualism. But we have many authorities in our lives – our pastor, teachers, and superiors on the job.

 Create a lowly place. Remember when Jesus said that if you go to your friend’ s table, you should sit in the lowest place of importance? Often, what we strive for is recognition when we need to strive for is honoring others. Look for the lowly place, and go there.

Pride comes to us naturally, and yet your mother probably always told you that pride goes before a fall (Proverbs 16:18). It is only by living as a conduit for God’s service that we become humble. Commit yourself today

For further reading: 1 Peter 3:8 – 17, James 4.

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