Choices…

A close-up of a christian woman reading the bible.

Choices…choices and more choices.

Everything we do and say are a result of the choices we make.

What choices are you making today?

We are seeing it more and more today with the words of hate stirring up fires that should be extinguished. My heart breaks when leaders utter words that fuel hate and discouragement.

You know the sign of a great leader is one that builds others up and brings about peace not conflict.

Lord knows the elections this year have nothing but fuel hate and division. The media fuels the hate and racial tensions by uttering their half truths that people buy into. We watched the First Lady make a comment in a speech that continued to fuel racial issues here in America. The fists flew, the words of hate flew around her and more racial tensions were created. Our President does the same thing. We see movie stars and recording artists spew the same hateful messages. We see the media twist the truth to create more fear and hate.

What if they made better choices in their words?

What if instead of fueling the fires they tried to use words that would create unity not division?

What if we chose words and actions that would encourage others and bring a resolution to the hate?

What if one kind word could change the results of this hate?

What if?

You know we were not born to hate or be mean we learn it from those around us. It is like the old saying:

“Garbage in = garbage out.” 

What are we choosing to:

  • Watch
  • Read
  • Listen to
  • Speak

Who are we surrounding our self with?

Do they build others up or tear them down? Do they bring unity or division?

To hate or be mean to someone because of their race, religion or outer appearance is something you CHOOSE to do, you were not born this way. I do not understand this mindset of hate that is out there today. You see I was raised to show respect, speak truth and look at who someone is both in actions and words to determine who they were. I have friends that are all races, religions…etc… You see if folks are kind and honest we me we are good, I really don’t care what you believe or what your skin color is…my CHOICE is to love and respect people.

God tells us in His Word at least 10 times to love our neighbor:

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Galatians 5:14

What do you choose today?

Between You And God!

Amazed young woman shouting over pink background. Looking at camera. Wearing in shirt

I love when God takes a situation or circumstance and teaches a valuable lesson to me.

Don’t you?

Recently I encountered a situation that really shifted me off my tracks, lost my focus on what the Lord had called me to do. Have you ever been there? You are on a path directed by God above and someone throws a twig on the tracks and you become derailed?

This happens really quite easily, the key is to recognize it and shift.

I recently took my eyes off God’s plan and focused on a persons behavior. Oops!

I began to second guess what God called me to do, ignoring the fact that lives are being impacted as the stories are being heard from the women. I allowed the behavior of a person to impact and cause doubt. I began to focus on the uphill push to be obedient instead of the finish line. Have you ever been there? You know your calling and one person acts in a way you are derailed, even for a minute.

That weekend my devotional God showed me the danger of allowing such people or things distract from His calling.

Friday: “Whose opinion is most important? God’s or people’s?”
with Matthew 6:16 as the verse of the day

Saturday: “…If you are concerned about what others think,
then you aren’t really focused on God and acting in faith…”

Matthew 6:17-18 was that days verse

Compass with needle pointing the word vision with blur effect plus blue and black tones. Conceptual image for immustration of company or business anticipation or strategy

What a timely reminder where my focus was to be…I need to stay focused on God and what He has called me to do. I needed to stop looking at someone’s behavior and attitude, I needed to stay focused! All that other stuff around me does not matter if I am being obedient to Christ!

Have you ever been in a position where someone’s behaviors, actions or attitude has derailed you?

I challenge you ladies to keep your eyes on the calling Christ has for you and not allow all that stuff around you to derail you or discourage you. You are called and you are gifted…own it!

Would love to hear from you, have you ever been distracted from your calling? Please share below…

 

 

Comparison Highjacks Contentment…

I recently read this post from Girlfriends in God and felt it was an important message to share today with you. I thought about writing my own spin on the topic and decided this one was so perfect for each of us here that I would share their post with y’all! Enjoy, be sure to comment below.

 

A picture of a group of friends having fun in the city

“I will praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”
Psalm 139:14

We live in a culture of constant comparison. Someone tweets that they just had lunch at a fab restaurant; you had canned tuna and raw carrots. Not even baby carrots but a big ole carrot out of the bag.

Someone posts an Instagram of a gaggle of friends dressed in Lilly Pulitzer pink lunching by the lake, and you’re reading about it dressed in sweats, trudging down the grocery aisle with a snotty-nosed kid pawing at the cereal displays.

You pull up Facebook and read about Barb’s vacation in Paris, and you’re happy for her . . . sorta.

A woman looks at Pinterest boards, and comes away with her greatest fears confirmed: her kids look shabby, her house looks dumpy, and her clothes look frumpy.

Social media accentuates the culture of comparison by sending the false message that your monotonous tedious boring existence is a poor excuse for living compared to others whose lives are awesomely exciting all the time. Secretly you hope your husband never stumbles across Pinterest to realize what a loser of a wife he really has. Mercy!

Social media breeds instant comparison at the click of a button. Comparing who has more “Facebook friends,” “re-tweets,” “followers” and “re-pins” is maddening. The age-old comparisons of appearance, accomplishments, possessions, and position are still around. Technology has simply magnified the access to other people’s lives, even though you’re only seeing what others want you to see.

Then there’s Christmas letters. Photo cards of friends and family with letters detailing every wonderful milestone of the previous year. We read them and think, “My life stinks!” That letter doesn’t tell about Brian getting suspended from school for cussing in the classroom, Megan getting caught lying about studying at a friend’s house, Brie’s on-going battle with depression, Dad’s loss of a major account, or Mom’s twenty-pound weight gain. Just the highlights. Only the good stuff. We read it and say, “good for them.” All the while thinking, “what’s wrong with me?”

Comparison is the devil’s tool that he uses to undermine your confidence and kills contentment like nothing ever will. It magnifies insecurities and fosters a self-absorbed pre-occupation of your inadequacies. As one pastor said, “One of the main reasons we struggle with insecurity is that we’re comparing our behind-the-scenes with everybody else’s highlight reel.”

Comparison sullies the canvas upon which God longs to display His greatest work. Nothing will rob you of your confidence in Christ like comparison. The measuring stick will get you stuck every time.

I love what Jesus said when Peter asked about John’s future. (Yes, he was comparing his future with John’s) “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” (John 21:22) In other words, “It’s none of your business! Stop comparing!”

Have you ever wondered why Jesus picked such a ragtag bunch of blundering blubbering misfits to be his disciples? Even though they stumbled their way through much of the gospels, once they were filled with the Holy Spirit, this uneducated, unrefined, untrained bunch of unruly fishermen changed the world. A few days after Pentecost, the Jewish Supreme Court questioned Peter and John about their persistence in preaching the gospel and their audacity to heal a beggar lame from birth.

The dynamic duo preached a mini-sermon that struck the religious rulers to the core. But here’s my favorite part of the entire scenario: When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).

The Sanhedrin leaders were mystified at how this bunch of scrappy saw-toothed misfits could wax so eloquently. Then they had an ah-ha moment. They realized the men had been with Jesus. That explained everything.

That’s what I want people to say about me! She’s an unschooled ordinary girl. How does she do what she does? Oh, I get it. She’s been with Jesus! Can you think of any better accolade? I sure can’t.

Let go of the tendency to compare and take hold of your uniquely fashioned, pre-ordained, God-given talents and abilities. You are specifically equipped by God to do everything He has called you to do and to go through. Including being the mom your kids need.

Then when the world questions how you do what you do, they’ll say, “Oh I get it…she’s been with Jesus.”

Let’s Pray

Heavenly Father, help me not to compare myself with others, but to celebrate the way You created me! I will praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I know this full well. Now, help me to remember it!

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Think of all the ways you compared your life with others during the past five days.

Think of all the ways that others compared their lives to your life during the past five days. (You don’t think they did? Oh sister, they did. Believe me.)

Cain compared himself to his brother Abel. What did God have to say about that? Read Genesis 4:6-7.

Read Psalm 139:13-16. Spend some time thanking God for the unique way He created YOU!

 

More from the Girlfriends

Today’s devotion came from my latest book, Take Hold of the Faith You Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, Live Bold. Just as a trapeze artist who grabs hold of a second bar, but refuses to let go of the first, we can get stuck in our faith when we refuse to let go of all that holds us back. It’s time to let go of all that holds us hostage to a “less than” life…and that includes comparing ourselves to others. Let’s take hold of all that Jesus has already taken hold of for us and placed in us! Check it out at www.takeholdthebook.com where you can download a free chapter and watch a video book trailer. The book also comes with a Bible study guide. Make sure and sign up for my weekly blog to learn when the free on-line Bible study will begin in the fall.

 

 

The Missing Tooth

Much of what we think today comes from a misconceived perception
of what we are supposed to be or act like.

What does that mean?

 

13432199_10209262804145563_6309306215430419579_n

 

If we look today at what the media, television and the world in general have to say about who we are, we fall so short of “their” sorry expectations.

My husband made me stop to think a few weeks ago as we were heading to serve at our church for VBS.

During my journey this past year with my body not absorbing the calcium not only did I get a T6 & T12 back fracture, I also split one of my font teeth (same one in the photo above) vertically. The dentist could not save it and it had to be extracted. In my mind humiliating to have a front tooth gone.

I have a temporary partial I can wear and generally in public I do so folks don’t stare and point at me. Well one of the nights for VBS I was running out of the house and I forgot the partial, I was going to serve first graders without a front tooth. I panicked a bit and went back home to get it. I called my husband to let him know why I would be there late and to please let the teacher I was helping know I was coming.

I told him I was embarrassed to be there without my tooth. He so kindly and lovingly said to me, “Honey, missing a tooth does not define who you are.”

 

Beautiful spring background with Salvia farinacea Benth, Lavender flower, purple lavender flower

Wow! What a moment of eye opening awakening! I was allowing the “worlds perceived opinion” of me impact my evening. I stopped, took a deep breath and was gently reminded that I am:

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.

Psalm 139:14

If we as women of God are fearfully & wonderfully made, why do we look at what the “world” has to say about us?

It is time women of God to take your power back and act like you are the daughter of a King, you my friend are royalty! So put on your crown and show the world the amazing God we serve, the amazing Father we have in heaven and out loving Savior who sent His Son for you and I.