Encouraging Word of the Day

“And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow; and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?”


Have you ever wondered how Jesus could be asleep during a storm? He sent them out into the sea knowing this would happen. He slept because he had peace. We can walk in that same peace no matter what storms are going on around us because we have the ultimate Comforter on the inside of us. He knows what we need before we even need it. Nothing is ever too small or too big for Him to handle. No matter how big and chaotic the storms may be today, my hope is for the peace of God be magnified more than anything else in your heart today.

Grief

This year has been heavy with grief. I have seen God come through SO much through all the pain. I’m still standing because He is faithful to remain no matter what and steps in to help any time I call on Him.

God has taught me a lot of how much the enemy uses grief:

  1. Making you feel like being alone is a great thing.
  2. Loss of identity.
  3. No one could understand (God especially)
  4. Thinking God has abandoned you and doesn’t care.
  5. Will do whatever it takes to feel distant from God.

No matter the amount of scripture I knew, I was still believing the lies of the enemy anyway for way too long. Grief is terrible and makes anyone stuck for way too long.

Then, here comes the true enemy of the cause of all the pain. What does the enemy do? Attack the most vulnerable in the most trying times. Who attacks a vulnerable person? Cowards, huh?

The enemy is a coward, using the same ole lies every single time. It’s annoying!! In case the enemy has forgotten, the enemy was already defeated.

I’m only still standing through all this pain is because of the Word of God. He is my rock, my encourager, my walking stick to keep me from moving forward.

Thank you Jesus for always being here and never going away.

Humility

Humility – the topic that is not very popular but I’m going for it anyway. It seems like everyone always has a different definition of what humility really is. I’m going to share my thoughts and opinions regarding what it is and why it’s important.

I think it’s just the act of seeing ourselves in a whole new light, the ability to judge our own selves to God. We are in a growing journey and relationship with our heavenly Father through Jesus Christ so which means, we are going to be wrong probably in more ways than we ever think. According to the Bible, God opposes the proud but favors the humble.

What I have learned from this past year alone, is that I don’t want pride in my heart anymore. I understand the importance of having confidence but there is a fine line between having confidence and just being filled with pride. Part of the reasons why I took a break from this is that I just needed one on one time with God. I wanted to get in the Bible more than ever before and got to know my Father in ways so deep.

I have played the victim card for much too long and that blame game got way too tiring. The constant game of “his fault” and “her fault” and “their fault” until finally I reached a point of exhaustion to God that I was tiring of that blame game and victim mentality. Nothing ever gets fixed with those. The more I talked to God and wanted His help, the more I saw myself differently. There I things I could have done differently or prayed about. I felt like a horrible person but I’m grateful for it. I didn’t have God First in many situations. I didn’t go to the Word to see what God thinks about what is right to do in a situation. On the surface, it would make perfect sense for me to be in the right in a lot of what I went through, but I don’t see it that way anymore. I’m not saying this to be hard on myself. I’m grateful that God has shown me a different perspective, and by that, I am loving people more. I’m understanding things more. My relationships are better. How I respond is better.

We all fall short of the glory of God and our hearts can be deceived no matter how good we think our intentions are.

If I ever have people disagree or people thinking I’m even more crazy with a lot of issues, I’m letting God be my defender because I rather be in right standing with Him than with the world.

It’s OK to put ourselves underneath that microscope and letting God in to work. One of my favorite quotes has always been “a different perspective changes everything” and that different perspective was from God’s way of view. I am SO grateful of my heavenly Father!!

It’s OK to be wrong.

The Ball

A weird title? Yes. But, for good reason.

Lately, I have been reminiscing over my years from college. I had no idea why because what’s the point to keep looking backwards? That was nearly 10 years ago. Then it hit me.

I minored in Mass Communication. Yes, the field of video, audio, and other fun stuff. I still have a lot of fun with this field! I’m definitely still taking that knowledge with me even today. When i took that video production course, we were required to do the video at sporting events. I am not a sports person at all and always got confused trying to figure out where the ball is. One tip we had was to keep the camera on the ball no matter what and no matter if your camera is on air or not. This was truly a major learning experience for me because i really had to learn to find and keep my focus on the ball. I may have been very confused on what was going on or what’s happening or where I even was (ha) but at least i had that focus on that darn ball!

It made me realize now that it’s the same thing with Jesus. Jesus is the ball! I have no clue what life is doing or even where I’m going so that focus point must be on Jesus. 

No matter what is happening in the world and no matter how weird or dark it gets, remember to keep that main focal point on Jesus. The best Guide ❤

Mistakes

Do you know what the hardest parts of recovery or making any mistakes in general? The world never lets us forget what we did. The world never wants us to forget our past.

The older I get, the more I see reactions to any news of a death that happened. The sympathy of a life lost is there of course, but the reminders of who they were like is always the same. The conflict with each other could have been YEARS ago but the mindset towards that person is still there like we’ve always known that person every day since their passing. A lot of positive change can happen in such a short period of time, yet the majority doesn’t see it. The common theme (myself included) is that whoever that person was like in the past is what caused their death in the future (example: drinking problems, etc). The world doesn’t want anyone to forget the bad stuff. The world wants us to stay in bondage.

And then I think about Jesus. He’s willing to forgive AND forget even when the world doesn’t. He died for all our mistakes and shortcomings and rose again because He loves us too much. That’s some kind of love, right?

I don’t know about you, but I had made a TON of mistakes over the years but I’m thankful for His guidance and correction every single time I mess up. I’m thankful that my mistakes don’t get to define me. He knows all about the times I will and have messed up yet He still chooses to be nearby and seek me out continually even when the world steps away. Knowing this, I will always choose to keep going after Him

Thank you Jesus.

Forgiveness

God has been teaching me about true forgiveness. I believe this is the start to healing, if not healing itself. I keep going back to the verse “By His stripes, we are healed”. He died for the sins of the world. He died for me. He died for anyone who wronged me. We have healing and Jesus paid the ultimate price for that.

This is what changed for me. Understanding the love of God at such a level that goes deeper and deeper daily it seems like.

He’s teaching me to forgive myself and others because how can He forgive me when I can’t do these things? They may not deserve it, I don’t either, but the love of God is worth it.

If I had a child who was hurting and struggling, I would want them to come to me. I would let them know that they have a safe place to go to each time when they feel confused and hurt. This is the same with God. He is a wonderful Father who wants to help His children. When my body and emotions are so confused, that’s when I reach out to my Father. He loves me no matter what and wants to help me with any issue I have.

When I started doing this, I felt so free. I received so much clarity and comfort just from running to my Father. I cry out in pain because I know only He can handle it. He provides the comfort I need that no one else can provide.

All I did was to go into the Word and seek Him above anything else. My life is changing because of this. He has taught me so much about forgiveness. To anyone who has wronged me, I honestly don’t care anymore because I have learned to love and see them the way God sees them. I love them all. Again, they may not deserve it but I don’t deserve God’s love either yet He still does each time and that will always be worth it to me.

Today’s challenge: forgive often, love daily, and bring it all to God. He’s a good Father who wants nothing but the best for His children.

Division

Has anyone noticed that churches are becoming more and more divided? Just one difference can make a pastor leave a church and start one of his own just down the street. Just one difference can drive members to leave a church no matter how good of memories they had. This has been heavy on my heart lately.

Back in August, during my 2 year church anniversary, I went back to the church of my salvation. I wanted to see if there really was any changes I’ve experienced in just 2 years. Wow! Definitely SO much! I felt so much peace that day. It’s amazing what God can do in such a short amount of time.

That sermon has been with me ever since. It was about conflict. This sermon has been with me ever since, much more now.

Have we gotten to the point where we’re just afraid to tell the truth? Even if we’re proven wrong later on, it’s just true of how we feel at the time.

I have created so much division in such a short amount of time just by expressing my side of the truth. I have felt God wanting me to express myself no matter what since salvation. I didn’t really start to fully obey this until March. I was terrified. What would people think about me? This can’t be from God, right?! After much trial and error, I have come to realize it was God after all.

What hurt the most recently is I kept getting rejection after rejection after rejection just for being honest. I didn’t understand. I was just following what God wanted me to do. I kept praying (pleading most likely) to God what was the point to all that?? What was the point of going through all that truth telling just to end up even more alone especially in a church?

I kept getting a comforted feeling of peace that it all needed to happen. He let it all happen for a reason. I was afraid because of people thinking I’m even more crazy than I am but not I don’t even care. I have a great Father who loves me and will be guiding me even when I mess up who does not only see the mistakes I make. He loves me and wanted me for exactly who I am.

He made me realize more that it wasn’t just me. It’s the brokenness of the world not accepting people as they are. It’s the brokenness of the world not trying to learn from other people and going by what they think is right instead.

I have made a ton of mistakes in 2020 but I’m SO glad God doesn’t focus on any of them.

There’s enough division in a church. We’re all different. We’re all created differently and unique. It’s time to embrace the differences and learn anything we can from others. Blood is thicker than water and that blood is Jesus. That’s why I will always try to go into churches I don’t 100% agree with because we are all family anyway in Christ. We’re not always going to agree just like in any earthly family. We all need each other now more than ever.

Today’s challenge – see others as they are, not who we think they should be.

Gratitude

I wanted to take this time to praise the goodness of God. I am SO glad that He doesn’t think as humans do. I’m grateful for my wonderful Father.

I’m grateful for His amazing love no matter how stupid I become.

I’m grateful for His forgiveness.

I’m grateful for His patience.

I’m grateful that He doesn’t look at the mistakes and circumstances of life. I’m grateful for His ability to correct and guide me even when I go astray.

I’m grateful that I’m never alone because I know without a doubt He is always nearby.

I’m grateful for His gentleness.

I’m grateful for His faithfulness to remain.

I’m grateful for how much He truly loves us.

I’m grateful for His compassion and dedication for His children.

I’m grateful for His discipline.

I’m grateful for His kindness even when I’ve gone sour.

I’m grateful for Him letting me be born in this day and age.

I’m grateful that I still have hope just from waking up this morning.

I’m grateful that I get to experience all four seasons and seeing the beauty that each season can bring.

I’m grateful that He provides me food even on days I have no clue how I’m going to eat.

I’m grateful that He’s helping me see things as He does instead.

I’m grateful that He’s renewing my heart on a daily basis.

I’m grateful that He never gave up on me.

Thank you wonderful Father for always loving me. I’m grateful to be His daughter. I’m grateful that despite everything, He still chose me. Thank you Dad.

Confrontation

What I have learned the most in 2020 is no one communicates anymore, if we ever did. I’m the least likely person to talk about the importance of communication because I was an introvert for many different reasons all my life. I am aware why people remain to be silent. Ever since I was born again, I began to realize things differently. I no longer see myself as an introvert. That fear is gone especially from this month all because of God and basically my ability to test out the Bible myself. I am a child of God who just wants to talk to anyone no matter how difficult it would be. I’m no longer afraid of confrontation. Confrontation doesn’t always have to be a bad thing.

From what I have learned in the Bible especially recently, Jesus dealt with confrontation seemingly every single day. He worked on the Sabbath and most of us are aware that many weren’t exactly thrilled at this concept. He cared more about the hearts of mankind and was on mission every day no matter what.

This is why I will never understand why people choose to believe how respectful it is to basically ignore others. Knowing my history before Christ, I understand the need to let go and move on from toxicity, but when someone is trying to make amends, where is the grace? Where is the deeper understanding? Where is the communication? Especially now as a Christian, I want to do more of these any chance I am able to because Jesus changed my life for the absolute better. I believe many churches are failing these very basic concepts. How can leaders teach on the importance of relationship building and communication when most leaders don’t even practice what they teach?

I was always fascinated with married couples, specifically the older generation. Even when I was a kid, I craved their wisdom. I enjoyed it. When people would seek out others the same age, I would seek out the elderly. They were nicer, more welcoming, and had a ton of wisdom. Whenever they often experienced conflict themselves, they would talk it out. They would try to understand their spouse’s thoughts and actions. What happened to this mindset? Besides the obvious level of intimacy, etc, with marriage relationships, I believe just these very basic concepts are essential with no matter what kind relationship we deal with in life – colleagues, friendships, God, etc. What happened to communication? Communication is both speaking AND listening, mostly listening, but unfortunately this is rare now. I understand the fear of COVID, but most of us has a cell phone and a laptop for video chats. What happened to this concept?

I have been around people of abuse my entire life. Opening up is difficult. Just in these couple years alone, I have opened up to the wrong people multiple times. Trust was often broken. I understand the heart but people often do things so terribly wrong that they don’t even realize what they’re really doing. It can be scary to come forward. I get this. I get why people choose to shy away. I get why people choose to remain in hurtful situations because many “wellmeaning” people don’t really understand.

Knowing this, I’m still no longer afraid of confrontation. When I did confront issues, I saw the glory of God be magnified. That’s why I’m no longer complaining about 2020. I have seen God’s glory SO many times that I am actually rejoicing that year. The Word of God is true.

Was I terrified to confront people? Oh yes, without a doubt, especially with others who had hurt me before. But I had felt in my spirit that I needed to and I’m so glad I worked through the fear. If I operated in fear instead, I wouldn’t have seen God’s glory. I wouldn’t have experienced all the healing and grace from those experiences. I am a witness of the goodness of God. He’s still answering prayers even in the chaotic 2020.

So I want to challenge you for 2021 – don’t be too afraid of confrontation this new year. I understand major cases when it’s just not safe to physically confront someone so just take those extreme cases to God instead. He can handle it. You never know what could happen. Judgement could be cleansed from hearts. Healing and grace could happen. Forgiveness could happen. Lives could change. Belief in God could be strengthened. Hope can be restored. The Word of God could come more alive than ever. Just pray and believe. This isn’t about us; it’s truly about Jesus.

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

Testimonies

Christianity (err – churchianity) breaks my heart more lately. It just seems like churches, pastors especially, are way too busy focusing on the business and worldly side of operating a church and totally disregarding God.

I have shared parts of my testimony at least 3 times this month because I’m just SO excited what God has done for me and my life. They only seem to focus on the bad stuff and direct me to counseling instead. I’ve had so many God breakthroughs especially this month alone but people only seem to focus on who I was before instead of what God has done.

It’s heartbreaking. If it’s heartbreaking for me, I can’t even imagine how God feels. I don’t even recognize who I was just a month ago because I’ve just done what the Bible says and literally took everything to Him. The Bible is true – I’m a witness to that.

It’s sad how many pastors are totally disregarding God. Why do they become pastors when God is literally the last thing on their list. It’s sad how many people are missing amazing testimonies by what they choose to focus on instead.

My depression is healed because I chose to focus on Jesus 100% and direct every thought captive in prayer. He’s my healer. Sometimes the enemy gets its way but thankfully God becomes quicker to remind me of it instead of many times before. It feels SO good to rebuke the enemy. The enemy doesn’t belong in my mind and my home anymore.

We need God (and prayer) back in main focus especially in churches.

Religion is a trap. Relationship with Christ is what sets us free. I’m 100% proof of this.