Monday, January 11, 2016

modern day queen's

Courage: the ability to do something that frightens one.

The ability - that word is important! How many times do we not do something because we don't think we can. The definition of courage is THE ability, in other words THE I can to your I can't. The story of Esther is all about courage and the perfect time and place God placed her in. 

Esther was chosen by the king of that day to be one of several women that were basically trying out to be the queen. For 12 months, they were gifted all the make up a girl could want (literally), plus perfumes. Anything that would make a girl feel like a million bucks. The king loved Esther and found her more favorable over all of the other women. Esther could have used this to her own personal advantage and lived only for herself. But, she didn't.

Esther was a Jew, (the king did not know this), and a hated group at the time because they would not follow the Kings orders - they refused to go against God's law. Word came to Esther that there was a massacre in place to kill her people. Esther understood that God had appointed her as queen and she had to do something. 

Esther 4:14, Esther's Uncle told her: "If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?"

Wherever you are in life. Whatever struggles your dealing with. Whatever frustrations, confusions, scares, whatever it is. God has appointed you for such a time as this. God has given you the courage you need to take care of the situation(s) in front of you. Esther didn't want to talk to the king because she was afraid she would die, or that her family would. Sometimes we don't want to confront the issues around us because we are afraid of the outcome. Maybe it's a relationship, maybe it's the future, maybe it's school, life, etc. 

Courage is the ability to do something. When Esther faced the king with her situation, he rescued her and her people. He didn't kill her, or hurt her. Satan will try to discourage you from whatever it is you are needing to do or take care of. If you don't exercise your courage, you will miss out on what lies behind the fear. It's tough, and maybe the outcome will be tough, or maybe the outcome is the answer to the prayers you have been praying... either way, God WILL honor you and keep you!

 Because of her courage, she saved the lives of thousands . What could your courage do? 

Friday, January 8, 2016

baking cookies

Don’t quit. Don’t stop. Don’t give up. Don’t lose hope. Don’t walk away. Don’t throw it in the trash. Don’t give it back.

Stay. Stay the course. Stay a little while longer. Keep it in your heart. Keep praying about it. Keep thinking about it. Keep pursuing. Keep pushing forward. Keep going.

Hold on to it.

Hold on to the promise that God has given you. Hold on to the call that God has placed in you. Hold on.

No one goes into war without a weapon to defend themselves. God has given you his word as a weapon to use against those times the enemy is yelling in your head. Use it. It will sustain you. It will protect you. It will keep you.

If you don’t believe me – try it! There is a reason God says to “hide his word in your heart.” (Psalm 119:11). It is alive. It’s not just words on thin paper. The battle between your mind and heart is never ending.  Your mind thinks one thing, but your heart feels another. When your mind begins to tell you that you’re forgotten about, you’ll never make it, you’re not good enough, listen to what your heart says. Don’t just keep his word in your heart, think on it. When you begin to think about those scriptures you’ve read, your mind will be transformed. We control what we put in our minds, it doesn’t just appear there. We feed it life or we feed it death by what we allow to enter it and stay. The enemy is REAL. He is constantly trying to speak things in our minds and we choose to let it stay or reject it.

Keep holding on. Keep believing; keep his word alive in your life. The wait or the journey will become one you look back on and appreciate, one you’ll find growth in, one that will change you. More importantly, it will prepare you for the promises, dreams, calling, or whatever it might be that God is stirring within your heart.

God knows exactly where you are. He sees you right where you are. He knows exactly what he is doing, too.

You don’t bake a cookie in a cold oven – it has to be cooked at a certain degree. The oven doesn’t heat up to 350 degrees in an instant; it’s a process of going from cold to hot. When it’s at the right degree it’s ready to go. In other words, you may be feeling the heat, and it may get hotter, but God knows the right degree you need to be at. He loves you more than you love cookies or whatever else you love.  

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Beauty in the chaos

Life is beautiful. Your kids are beautiful. Your marriage is beautiful. Yet for some reason you don’t feel beautiful. You see beauty around you, but feel chaos within you. You see happiness in those you are surrounded by, but feel loneliness and sadness on the inside. You see love, you give love, you know you are loved, yet you can’t feel it.

What is wrong with me? Why am I not normal? Why, why, why? You say.

But Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest.” (Matt. 11:28 ESV).

Too many times are walk around feeling so repressed that we totally miss out on the beauty around us and in us. When Jesus was carrying his cross and suffering, he saw the beauty in the chaos because he knew that, that chaos would someday give you beauty, or his splendor.

Why is this important? Because. You are important, and God has a reason that you’re still breathing.

There is a real enemy against you. His number one goal in your life is to rob you of any and all joy.  It isn’t always life’s greatest heartaches that leave you feeling empty. Sometimes it is ourselves and the moments when we listen to those voices that say, “You’re not enough.” Maybe it is life’s biggest struggles and heartaches, but whatever it is for you, there is more – you are worth more.

God wants to crown you with beauty, instead of Ashes. Ashes represent something that is dead or burned and in Christ, we are made new and alive. He wants to give you joy instead of mourning and praise in your heart instead of despair. All of this so you can be a display of HIS splendor, and feel his beauty instead of your chaos.

(Isaiah 61:3)