Independence Day

Looking for freedom? For independence from things that have kept a darkness hovering over your life?

Today, in America, we are celebrating our country’s independence from being ruled by another entity. On July 4, 1776,  the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress,  declaring that the thirteen American colonies, then at war with Great Britain, regarded themselves as  independent of the British Empire. The people of these colonies formed a new nation—the United States of America. The price for their freedom was paid by others whose blood was shed on the battlefield.

Our lives as believers in Jesus Christ are much like this. After having lived under the sovereignty of  Satan, we make a declaration of independence from his rule, choosing instead to be under the sovereignty of Jesus. We transition from a kingdom of  heavy and burdensome darkness into one of  beautiful life-filled light. We regard ourselves as independent of the enemy of our lives. We choose to be dependent upon the One who loves us with an unfailing love. His love removes burdens and brings light and a lightness to our lives because He’s the One who keeps all His promises about doing us good.

Jesus is the One who wants us to be free of every influence of darkness in our body, mind, and spirit.

For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son. Colossians 1:13

Experience independence on a deeper level today, knowing that the price for your freedom was paid by another— Jesus. He gives you freedom from every bondage, addiction, and disease,  because the price for it has already been paid…on the cross.

Celebrate your independence!

Remember to pray that  America will be a nation truly “under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL.”

Focus Friday - Happy Birthday America

Focus Friday – You Are Not a Loser

As a trustee at my church, I sometimes go to unlock the property so that a contractor can get in and make repairs. Recently, a contractor lost his keys to his truck and got frustrated that he couldn’t find them. He retraced his steps over and over, trying to see where he had set them down while he had done his work. Finally his frustration came to its tipping point because of fear of not finding the keys. What came out of his mouth shocked me. No, he didn’t start cussing. He started calling himself a loser, a dummy, and an idiot. The negative self-talk that came out of his mouth grieved me. What must this 50-year-old man have been told about himself growing up that he would say those things to himself? It’s sad that someone thinks of himself in that way. How could he have gotten so comfortable with thinking and speaking negative words to himself that he would say those thoughts out loud in front of a stranger?

Ever found yourself thinking and saying negative things about yourself, even jokingly calling yourself a loser in some way? Watch this video then read Romans 8:31 (below) to focus on God’s love for you.

Here’s a quick Focus Friday visit from me to remind you that with God on your side, you are NOT a loser!

Romans 8:31-39 (The Message Bible)

“So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.”

The Rest of the Story

In case you’re wondering, the contractor found his keys…they had fallen under the rear bumper of his truck. They were right there all along.

Under what circumstances do you find typically negative self talk coming out of your mouth?

Is fear the trigger?

Monday’s Marinade – Light in Your Darkness

Monday’s Marinade is provided to you as a means of “soaking yourself” in the hope-filled Word of God at the beginning of your week. 

Start your week by meditating about how God lives in you and fills your life with His Life and His Light.

Repeatedly think about this and quietly say it to yourself.  

Marinate and season your week with hope and a confident expectation of good things happening!

 

Here’s your spiritual marinade:

Light in Your Darkest Moments

Focus Friday-Gratitude Again!

Here’s a quick note about gratitude.

Yes, I know I’ve had quite a few posts about gratitude lately but this theme just keeps whooshing through my mind like waves at the seashore.

I hope this repeated focus on gratitude is something that will encourage you to interrupt the stress of  your day by being grateful for some simple things. I like thanking out loud God for parking spaces close to the building I need to walk to (especially when it’s 113 degrees outside), the 7 consecutive  green lights I drove through so I could be on time, the opportunity to do a random act of kindness for someone, favor that I received from someone, etc.

Gratitude helps to lighten the emotional and mental load you carry and it gives you something to smile about.

What’s something that you can be thankful for today?

Gratitude - EV turquoise 2

Monday’s Marinade – Happy Camping

I’m not much of an outdoorsy kind of person when it comes to camping. Even though I enjoy being outside and taking in the beauty of nature, I don’t necessarily want to sleep in the great outdoors. If I had to sleep in a pup tent, I would not be a happy camper. I’d be worried about insects that sting/bite, creep-crawly bugs invading my personal space, and the possibility of larger animals coming into my camp ground.

But today, God has been showing me how I can be a happy camper when I camp out in His secret place.  I don’t have to worry at all! I would not have to be concerned about stinging and creepy enemies of my body, mind or spirit invading my personal space. In His secret place, there’s safety, provision, and joy! That’s where it gets much easier to be focused on His love for me. With Him, I can rest. With Him I can simply enjoy life, knowing He cares for me and that I’m in good hands.

What about you? Are you a “happy camper”?

Happy camping

 

Photo of tent courtesy of think4photop | FreedigitalPhotos.net

 

Focus Friday – Gratitude

I thought I’d keep the theme of gratitude going today since I’m still doing my gratitude challenge.

If you want to check your attitude of gratitude, here are some scriptures to keep in mind that can increase your level of thankfulness, especially in the midst of trials and troubles.

Gratitude Verses for blog

 

My Gratitude Challenge

Gratitude is the kick-starter for experiencing joy in life.

When I am purposely thankful, I tend to find that joy is just around the corner. It seems like being thankful gets the joy juices flowing!

gratitude - be thankful

I decided last week that I wanted to express my gratitude with more consistency. This past Monday, on 6/1/15, I started a fun and easy gratitude challenge for myself, for 7 days. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to share my challenge with others. To see if anyone else wanted to join me, I posted the challenge on my Facebook Page. The response was definitely more than I thought it would be!

I’m sharing the challenge here in case you’d like to join me.

Are you open to a fun and easy, but REALLY powerful 7-day challenge so that you can activate and experience more positivity and joy in your life?

When you wake up in the morning, 
find 3 NEW things to be grateful for and celebrate them. Do this for 7 mornings in a row.

Let me know if you’re in by commenting “Yes” below. Be sure to come back here to share the impact of your gratitude moments.

It’s not too late! Just start your 7-day challenge tomorrow when you wake up. I told you it’s easy! :)

I’m posting something on my Facebook Page each day to give my fellow challenge-takers an inspirational boost. Check out those gratitude notes here. Please LIKE my Page while you’re there!

No matter what you’re facing today, gratitude is key in initiating a breakthrough. It enables you to take your eyes off the immediate problem of whatever you’re lacking so that you can focus more on Who your Source is and what He has already provided.

I’m thankful that you stopped by today!

What are you thankful for?

You’ve Got to Get the Kinks Out for the Blessings to Flow

In an attempt to save a bush in my front yard from the scorching heat wave we were having, I pulled our water hose over to it to give it a good soaking. It did not turn out to be a quick and easy task. The hose had knots that I had to untangle (a sign that my husband was the last one to use it since he hates to neatly coil it when he’s done). The hose also had kinks in it, places along the length of the hose where it was bent and would restrict the flow of the water.

I tried to get as many knots and kinks out of the hose as possible, but it was 110 degrees outside and I was not going to take the time to make it perfect! When I turned the water spigot, water came out of the hose but not at the free-flowing rate I expected. The remaining kinks in the hose were restricting the flow to a trickle.

Life can be like that hose. Distractions and hardships in life (for example, infertility) can make us think that we have to do all we can to make something happen. They cause great stress in our minds and bodies.  Even our muscles can be like the hose and get kinks and knots in them when we are stressed. When we’re focusing on the problem and looking to ourselves or other people as the source of our solution, the resulting stresses can close off the supply of what we need, even though the supply is still freely flowing from the source, or should I say Source.

God really wants us to be blessed abundantly and He, as our Source, has made provision through Jesus to give us every good thing.  The Bible instructs us to look to Jesus– to move our attention away from the troubles and fix our attention on His love and provision (Hebrews 12:2). His supply is always flowing from Him but the kinks that we allow in our lives can restrict the flow to a trickle, or even just a drop, by the time it gets to us.

water hose kink

What would happen if we just relax in God’s arms and trust Him? What would happen if we rest in Jesus’ work as being sufficient? Could we more fully receive and enjoy His peace, faithfulness and provision? Surely the kinks in our lives would relax, opening up the channel of supply from our Source so that we can receive abundantly!

What kink will you remove from your life today so you can enjoy the blessings that are already freely flowing in God’s pipeline to you?

Focus Friday – Covenant

Covenant is defined as a bond, a mutual agreement, or a promise.

Biblical covenant is God-initiated. Biblestudytools.com explains, He determined the elements of the covenant and confirmed it with humanity. It is unilateral. Persons are recipients, not contributors; they are not expected to offer elements to the bond; they are called to accept it as offered, to keep it as demanded, and to receive the results that God, by oath, assures will not be withheld.   

Jesus died and rose again to establish a greater covenant than had previously existed. His is a love-based covenant.

Faith accepts that every promise made by God is certain to be fulfilled because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross.

His covenant assures us that He will withhold no good thing from those who trust Him to be loving toward them.

What will you do today to ensure that your words and actions reflect trust in God’s covenant with you?

 

Faith

Monday’s Marinade – PRAISE

As you begin this week by “soaking yourself” in the hope-filled Word of God, meditate about the importance and power of praise. Praising God gives you strength! Praise is powerful enough to silence the enemy and the negativity that he brings into your thoughts.   

Marinate and season your week with hope and a confident expectation of good things happening!

 

Here’s your spiritual marinade about Praise:

Praise