Impact #2

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My last impact entry was about 2 months ago. A lot has happened in that time. Health scare, which was relieved by a less serious health problem. Good news! (Bad news is: POTS is the reason for worsening symptoms. All before Spring.)

Feeling – Lately, I have felt a myraid of things. Home Sick. Loneliness. Frustration. (Dis)Contentment. Peace. Joy. Laughter. Mmmm, variety of emotions. Good, Bad, and in between. POTS has been rough, but I am still here. So, that is good news. I am not hooked up to a hospital bed with monitors. I am finding joy in unlikely places of chronic illness.

While all days aren’t joy-infused, I have the hope of my Savior Jesus Christ to remind me who I am. . . in spite of illness. Looking forward to Heaven, but trying to make the most of my time on earth to do something worthwhile.

Studying – Since my last impact, I have nearly finished studying 1 & 2 Thessalonians. Last week, I began the book of James. I am really enjoying it. One of today’s verse hit home for me, and is found at the end of this blog post. I have been reading and studying using The Living Bible found on Bible Gateway, which is a paraphrase like the Message. I am absolutely loving it! It is soo nice to have the privilege to open up the Bible in a new translation, using different wording, but having the same meaning. The Word of God is coming alive!

Reading – I am not quite sure that I am reading anything right now, since I have gotten out of the habit of reading actual books. Desiring God and reading the Bible in chronological order (that things happened) is what I am reading. Our church is reading the Bible together in a specific schedule. We have gone through Job, Genesis, Exodus, and are in Leviticus. Even with the audio Bible, my reading track record isn’t perfection but who says it has to be?

Listening To –

Celebrating – Many things.

  • Jesus is the top celebration. He loves me, and stays with me no matter what!
  • Doctors who care about their patients.
  • Good music that speaks God’s truths
  • Seeing how God can revive my broken spirit.

Loving – the gift of streaming biblical teachings, for anyone to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the biblical truths we need to know.

Praying – for my health, family, and a new blog series idea.

Holding Onto – Jesus! I am holding onto Jesus. Jesus is the One who is holding me, through all of life’s storms.

But when I am afraid, I will put my confidence in you. Yes, I will trust the promises of God… (Ps. 56:3-4)

Other Scriptures – James 1:9 (found below)

A Christian who doesn’t amount to much in this world should be glad, for he is great in the Lord’s sight (James 1:9).

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Good Gifts {{Week 8}}

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Most of us are given good examples of how God can love. While this is not true for everyone, I think God gives each of us some sort of example of how loving and caring God can be. In humanity, we are given but a glimpse. We all fall short of His glory of heavenly defined love. Today, let’s talk about the love of our gracious God!

The Scriptures – Matthew 7:9-11; Psalm 84:11

Would any of you give your hungry child a stone, if the child asked for some bread? Would you give your child a snake if the child asked for a fish? As bad as you are, you still know how to give good gifts to your children. But your heavenly Father is even more ready to give good things to people who ask (Matthew 7:9-11, CEV).

Our Lord and our God, you are like the sun and also like a shield. You treat us with kindness and with honor, never denying any good thing to those who live right (Psalm 84:11).

Devotion

For me I have a mom who raised me on her own, but she is continually giving good gifts. She shows me a glimpse of His love and readiness – often. Tonight, I was feeling utterly sick but determined to go to church. My mom graciously stopped everything she was doing, to take me to church. This is my glimpse.

God gives us good gifts. Unbelievable gifts. Have you read these words in Ephesians 3:20?

Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us. . . (AMP)

I don’t know what you are going through, today, my friend. But I promise you, God is ready to do some mind-blowing things in your midst. His Word teaches us about the kind of gifts God gives. He gives us the gifts we need. He doesn’t see our need for one thing, and give us a useless gift. God is much better than that! God gives us exactly what we need at the moment we need it. He invented loved, so He knows how to give it.

For myself, I need to come and recognize God as my Eternal Father who is always doing a good work in my life. He promises to not abandon me, no matter what circumstances arise in my life. No matter how sick I get, God is always going to be there for me. No matter what happens, He will be there for me. The same can be true for each of us.

From the moment we begin to trust in Jesus Christ, as our Savior, we are never ever left alone. We are finally home, when we begin to tune into Jesus. He is the best Companion and Gift Giver there is! And, He keeps His Word. His love is true, regardless of emotions and circumstances. His love endures forever, just as Psalm 136 teaches us!

Lord God, You promise to give me gifts – good gifts – and I need You to help me to see the gifts You are giving me. Far too often I look for the physical gifts of blessings, causing me to miss too much of Your good work. Thank You for Your blessings. Help my heart to grasp the amazing love and good gifts You have for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

See Philippians 1:6; Deuteronomy 31:6; Romans 8:31; Exodus 14:14; 1 John 3:1

~ Stacey

Tuesday Link-Up: Gracefully Overcoming – Our Testimonies

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I have wanted Gracefully Overcoming to be a place, where we can vent, pray, and praise God – together. My story is a unique one. I began this blog, as the result of “coming down” with some health issues. This is “Testimony Tuesday”. I want us to be able to share how God is working in our midst. Maybe, it’s your own testimony, a Scripture you read, or song lyrics that encouraged your spirit. I invite you to share them with us.

Because the truth is, God is constantly on the move, working in our lives.

I invite you to share your story in our community of graceful overcomers. How is God moving in your life? I hope you will join me for “Testimony Tuesday”.

New Series: The Power of Spiritual Disciplines

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Choose Jesus

I have been reflecting on choices that could have radically changed my life. A choice, turned into another, and another, and… Well, you get the point.

When we make deliberate choices to seek and honor God with our lives, unbelievable things happen!

How much spiritual and relational growth do I want to see by my 30th birthday? (Wow! Am I really getting that old?) That is two years away. How different do I want to be? To think about how different, better, my life could be – is inspiring. Why? Because, I want to be a better me. In order to become a better me, I need to follow the words and resolve God gave John the Baptist.

He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30, ESV).

But, if I may, I love the picture on display when I read John’s statement in a more contemporary language.

He, the groom, must take center stage; and I, the best man, must step to His side (VOICE).

My Hope

To live a changed life, I think Sabbath is an important component of that. When we take Sabbath, our focus is shifted back to God. We get into a rhythm of spiritual growth and deliberate – intentional seeking. Beginning this week, I want to begin to utilize spiritual disciplines. They were given to us, to help our relationship with our Creator to prosper. We need to begin really nourishing our relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

For the next 62 months, that’s a little over a year, I want to focus on one spiritual discipline per a week. I will be doing this, as I slowly go through a neglected book that has sat on the shelf for most of my ownership. This is something that can serve as a catalyst.

To fuel our relationship with Jesus.

It will fuel much of the rest of our lives, too.

It would change our lives.

Radically.

I want my relationship with Jesus Christ to be changed for the better. How about you? This is choosing to intentionally seeking God each day – and week, as I apply biblical truths to my life and the way I spend my weekends on Sabbath.

Coming Soon –

With each week, my hope is to post a little bit from the readings before the Sabbath begins. For example: Perhaps tomorrow (or Friday), I will post a little bit from the section on “celebration,” which is the first discipline we will begin looking at. I will be using on the Spiritual Disciplines Handbook. If anyone wants to join me on this journey of intentional spiritual, emotional, and whole self growth, I encourage you to grab a copy of this book. Each week, we will focus on one discipline and go through the book to see how we can activate these disciplines in our lives.

How can we grow this next 62 months? We need to develop tools, to help us in our relationship with our Savior. Spiritual disciplines, including setting aside Sabbath, are part of these tools. Let’s begin unwrapping His gifts!

Music: Lord, I Am Ready

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Posted on December 31, 2014

This speaks to me. Maybe, it will speak to you too. While having a music therapy session (a quite good one at that), these words… they just jumped out at me. We can be so consumed with what we are not. Suffering from multiple medical problems, that are chronic illnesses that can rear their ugly symptoms at any time, it can be so easy to be caught up and reminded of every single thing that I am not. Reaching such a point of readiness is, I think it’s a process to be honest. I think, it’s a different process for each of us – as we all are in different life situations.

For me, it’s a process of laying down at the Cross everything that I am reminded I am not. It is choose to pick up all that I am, things…characteristics that I had once abandoned or was ungrateful for.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBUQqLp6N24

I’ve been such a mess/ But now I can’t care less/ I could bleed to death

You called my name/ I turned away/ But now I/ Am listening
I was so caught up/ In who I’m not/ Can you please forgive me?

Lord, make me ready to be who You created me to be. Help me to brightly shine where You have planted me. I ask this in the name that holds great power – the name of Jesus, Amen.