Tag: Prayer

Leaving an Intentional Legacy {Inspiring Women}

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan!

Whatever we do, we are urged to do it well. No half-hearted efforts. We are given the opportunity to leave a legacy, while we live as foreigners on this earth.

Whatever you do, do well, for in death, where you are going, there is no working or planning, or knowing, or understanding (Ecc. 9:10; TLB).

This Scripture is one I have never noticed before, but I have seen it in multiple places – as I have initiated my writing break. We are urged to give God our best, and to do our best while we can. All God wants to see is – our best.

What Kind of Legacy?

The legacy I want to leave behind is – a Christ-centered one. I want to make God well pleased with me, which I am given through Christ and His work on the cross. The other goal is to leave behind a life that leaves a pleasing aroma and screams –

“I live for Jesus Christ, because He is worthy.”

Such a legacy is one that will most assuredly lead others to Him with each word {spoken and written} and performed action.

The Life of Joseph

So when the Ishmaelites, who were Midianite traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to them for twenty pieces of silver. And the traders took him to Egypt (Gen. 37:28, NLT)

The Lord was with Joseph so that he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. When his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave him success in everything he did (Gen. 39:2-3, NIV).

I am reminded of Joseph. A man with difficult circumstances, but continued to succeed in everything he did. Why did he continually succeed? He was one who sought God’s favor.

When we make our relationship with God through Jesus Christ our top priority, we will want to live a well-intentional life where we do our best. A well-intentioned life means more than half-heartedly pursuing multiple opportunities.

Doing Our Best

We are urged to do well in what we do. It doesn’t mean seizing every opportunity we are offered. There will be times, where we have to decline our opportunities – in order to give our best in what we do say “yes” to (see The Best Yes).

As women, who have been changed by Jesus Christ, we need to be intentional in how we say “yes” to opportunities. In doing so, we can be at our best. This is how we inspire others and maintain a “blessed not stressed” attitude.

Let’s become women of prayer and intentionality, because this is where God wants us to be. After all, every word and action is part of our worship!

What kind of legacy are you leaving behind?

In Christ,

Signature

Psalm 17 {Summer ’17}

These past few weeks, I haven’t been able to write like I usually do. Life has become difficult, but I am moving forward. I may be behind in my Summer Psalms study, but it’s okay. It is okay, that it might take much longer than anticipated. It’s about the journey. Some journeys take longer than others.


Today, I was able to write out a little bit on the Psalms. What struck me the most was – Psalm 17. In this particular Psalm, it just really hit me – as I began to write out verses 6-12.

Vicious Enemies

Life with chronic illness is hard. It literally feels like, I am being surrounded by vicious enemies who seek to put me in danger. I face a real battle, but I don’t do it alone. I have God on my side.

In verses 11-12, it really just strikes like lightening.

“They track me down and surround me, watching for the chance to throw me to the ground. They are like hungry lions, eager to tear me apart – like young lions hiding in ambush (NLT).”

Seeking After God’s Protection

As I read through this Psalm, I am continually reminded about the protection God gives to His people – His children. As I continue my journey in following Jesus Christ, I am standing under His protection. God is the One who will guard my life, even when things seem a bit more messed up than I am used to.

I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God.
    Bend down and listen as I pray.
Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways.
    By your mighty power you rescue
    those who seek refuge from their enemies.
Guard me as you would guard your own eyes.
    Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
Protect me from wicked people who attack me,
    from murderous enemies who surround me.

What Happens Next?

13 Arise, O Lord!
Stand against them, and bring them to their knees!
Rescue me from the wicked with your sword!

God will arise, and touch us in the deepest parts of our lives. God will rescue us, and bring us to a place of healing. He can heal even the deepest wounds (or battles) we face. Even the ones that we feel are too big to hand over to God. God stands ready to act on our behalf. We need to be willing to cry out to God.

The beginning steps of gaining victory over these battles isn’t in striking down our enemies. It starts before that, as we step up in following Jesus and prayerfully share with Him what is honestly going on in our lives. And then, He acts in power – defending His people.

31 What can we ever say to such wonderful things as these? If God is on our side, who can ever be against us? 32 Since he did not spare even his own Son for us but gave him up for us all, won’t he also surely give us everything else? (Rom. 8:31-32, TLB)

Psalms #5

Psalm 108 –

(1) Have a ready heart. While we make sure to get dressed physically before leaving for church each Sunday morning, we need to become a people who get their hearts ready to enter into the Lord’s presence! It isn’t just a Sunday morning thing, either.

O God, my heart is ready to praise you! I will sing and rejoice before you (vv. 1, TLB).

(2) God’s Character. We see the reality of who the Lord really is. He is so great that the heavens cannot contain Him. His love and faithfulness is at such a high capacity, that it cannot be measured. This is how much God loves us, and the level of His pursuit for us.

For your loving-kindness is great beyond measure, high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches the skies (vv. 4).

Psalm 109 – 

Each of us need God’s help. We need God to meet us in our current circumstances, that are too much to bear. Let’s go back to remembering whose child we are. For the follower of Jesus Christ, we are His sons and daughters. He is going to share His resources with us, because He is so kind, and faithful.

But as for me, O Lord, deal with me as your child, as one who bears your name! Because you are so kind, O Lord, deliver me. . . Do it publicly, so all will see that you yourself have done it (vv. 21, 27).

But I will give repeated thanks to the Lord, praising him to everyone. For he stands beside the poor and hungry to save them from their enemies (vv. 30-31).

Psalm 110 –

The Lord said to my Lord, Sit by me at my right side until I put your enemies under your control.” The Lord will enlarge your kingdom beyond Jerusalem, and you will rule over your enemies (vv. 1-2, NCV).

This Scripture points to Jesus. This was a prophesy , that Jesus would reign as King forever – and He will! Not only will He reign as King, He is going to defeat our enemies. Having enemies is soo difficult, but God is going to give us the victory! He will be our help!

May our response to Jesus be to worship Him, and continually seek His help.

Healing a Broken Spirit

Hi friends! For the months of May/June, we will be using a reading plan given to us by Sweet to the Soul Ministries. Feel free to stroll through their Facebook page and blog. They even have a journaling kit and Bible study for this month’s plan!

Today’s verse cuts deep, because I have experienced its truth. I have days, where my heart is filled with joy. A joy-filled spirit that puts me in an exhilarating place. While this is true, my spirit is met with much grief too.

A joy-filled heart is curative balm, but a broken spirit hurts all the way to the bone (Proverbs 17:22; VOICE).

A broken spirit is one of the hardest things to face. I don’t think there are many words which accurately describe this place I get stuck in – where my soul is almost paralyzed {only I feel too much}.

Note: As we talk, just remember the struggle involved in these times. Celebrate the small steps, because it’s victory.

Take heart, God is with you! Keep trusting Him and relying on His strength!

Step One: Prepare for it. Knowing one’s triggers helps – immensely. You can avoid some of the moments of brokenness.

This Summer, I knew the need to prepare for what was coming. I didn’t want to be unprepared for the rough moments of Summer. So I am studying the book of Psalms, and using this group to help stay encouraged!

I invite you to come and join us for this time of seeking Jesus and His joy!

Step Two: Pray, pray, pray. Prayer is the weapon we need to utilize. Remember, prayer is a conversation between us and our Lord Jesus. Prayer is where we can “let it all out” and be built up. God wants to be the One helping us through this!

I want to take a moment to just share something with you.

God is real and loves you sooo much. If you haven’t met Him or talked in a while, pull up a Bible and just take time to sit with Him. Share with God what you are facing and feeling, because He wants to hear from you.

Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully (1 Peter 5:7, AMPC).

. . . present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV).

As you spend these moments focused on God. Put on some praise music. Keep reading your Bible (or Bible app). God wants to help us during these difficult moments, and these are tools.

Worshipping God is our greatest weapon against a broken spirit. Let’s give our broken spirit as a worship offering, and watch Him give us joy and heal our broken spirits.

Step Three: Stay connected to Christ’s church. These dark hours are when it is most difficult to reach out for support. Everything can seem like too much effort. Give it a try, as you are able to. Text a friend, and be honest. Find support within your spiritual family, the church, where you can be guided closer to Jesus and have your needs prayed for.

. . . And if you need someone, I am here for you too. It can be difficult to find support, where we can share honestly how we are. And truthfully, I am still learning how to apply step three. It’s an ongoing struggle, too.

In Christ,

Signature

Fighting Well When Weary

I have been sick for quite a while. Some days or weeks, are miraculously better than others. Then you have days like these, where there’s just debilitating weakness and nightmares (meaning: lack of sleep). Everything is snowballing. So, the question you habitually begin to ask is. . .

“Would someone else do a better job if they were placed in my shoes?”

You wonder if someone else would have more success, if they were in your exact shoes.  You begin to consider if it’s not your circumstances, as much as it is somehow you.

The Gift of God’s Grace –

Even as I wrestle with this question, there is something I know to be fully true.

I know, it’s by God’s grace that I have accomplished all I have. And I know that this same grace God gives, is why I can remain encouraged and endure through my circumstances. Because of Jesus’ work on the cross, I am not alone and He is carrying me and my grief.

I may struggle with how well of a job I am doing, but I am still here. I am still fighting. I am still staying where I am planted, and trying to be on the look out for something good to spring up from the ground of my circumstances – that makes it all worthwhile.

Even so, I still can’t help but wonder about that thing. That question. “Would someone else do a better job?” The question, I guess, we all find ourselves asking at one time or another. Even if it is not in sickness, we each face our own unique battles.

Let’s resolve to give this to God. May I give this to my God, with whom I have a relationship, because His knowledge and strength are far greater than my own!

I am what I am. I give what I give. I just need to keep my sword of intentionality nearby, so I fight this battle well. I need to be able to fight well.

Be Intentional –

I need to remember to be intentional. While I can’t break from my struggles, I can choose how I fight my battles. And some days, I will lose. But, I need to figure out how to win.

Our circumstances are not our choice, but how we fight is.

Many of us face circumstances, where we cannot pause our circumstances to regroup ourselves. There’s comfort in knowing I am not alone. The struggles are, as I said, unique for each of us.

I need to remember I am doing my best. Even when I am too weak to fight. Even when I am tired of fighting. I need to be careful in how I fight and learn to fight well.

The Tools –

And, fighting well means not giving up. Summer will be difficult on my body, but I can’t give up. I have to continue enduring and learning which weapons are best suited to fight my battles, which includes –

  1. Stay deep in the Word. As for this Summer, I am working toward reading through the book of Psalms and blogging as I go.
  2. Keep praying and fellowshipping with my Lord Jesus.
  3. Trusting myself and more importantly Jesus Christ. I need to trust that I am doing my best with what I have been given and that my Savior is well pleased with me – regardless of my sickness.