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He Won’t Let You Give Up!

Psalm 116

1-6 I love God because he listened to me, listened as I begged for mercy. He listened so intently as I laid out my case before him. Death stared me in the face, hell was hard on my heels. Up against it, I didn’t know which way to turn; then I called out to God for help: “Please, God!” I cried out. “Save my life!” God is gracious—it is he who makes things right, our most compassionate God. God takes the side of the helpless; when I was at the end of my rope, he saved me. 7-8 I said to myself, “Relax and rest. God has showered you with blessings. Soul, you’ve been rescued from death; Eye, you’ve been rescued from tears;  And you, Foot, were kept from stumbling.” (The Message Bible)

Are you feeling like you are ready to give up on yourself? Are you ready to give up on your hopes and your dreams?  Have you experienced so many disappointments that you just don’t care anymore? Do you feel like you are a disappointment?  When you reach these points in your life, what do you do? Sometimes your closest friends and family don’t understand how you feel or what you are going through.

Has someone betrayed you? Don’t give up!  Jesus was betrayed too but He did not let this stop Him from what He had to do.  Have the doctors given you a bad medical report? Don’t give up! God is a healer! Ask Him to heal your body.  Are you out of work and can’t seem to make ends meet?  Don’t give up! Trust God to supply your every need. Have you made poor choices and bad decisions that have pushed you into a dark corner? Don’t give up!  God’s love for you is unconditional.  His love is full of grace and mercy. Ask Him to forgive you and then seek Him for direction.

God wants you to know He is with you.  Take all of your troubles to Him. Let Him hear your cries and let Him wipe away all of your tears. He truly cares about you and your outcome.  Don’t give up!  Allow Him to bless your soul and your spirit. Let Him save you!  Tell God you trust Him.  He won’t let you give up!

Jesus said “Peace I Leave With You”

7 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 NIV

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This is what Jesus said to the disciples before He was to be crucified. He said. ” Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you”!  Jesus left  peace with the disciples knowing peace would comfort them and encourage them along the way.

This is what the Lord wants you to have as you embrace this New Year. He wants you to know that He has blessed you with peace.  He tells us His peace is not the peace that comes from others in the world.  His peace is more than a parting  greeting of good-bye; it is more than an ” I will see you later. ”

What the Lord wants you to know is that He has left you with peace during the good times, peace during the bad times, peace during your struggles, peace when you face disappointments and yes, even peace when you have to confront your enemy and your own negativity.

In 2012, most of us faced some hardships and a few challenges.  However, in order to move forward and to prosper in the New Year, we need to have the peace the Lord has left just for us. There are some negative people and even negative mindsets that we should have left behind and not allowed to enter into the New Year with us!   We can’t erase bad things that have happened and it may even take time for us to forgive others and to move on. But God wants us to be blessed! He wants us to be encouraged and He wants us to be victorious.  He wants us to have peace in all that we do and in all that we may go through in this New Year.

Philippians 4: 7 says ” And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  In all the trying and hurtful times we have gone through in 2012 and in all we have held onto from past years, we should not allow the enemy to rob us of our peace. We must embrace this gift of peace and take it with us wherever we go in this New Year and in this life.  We must take it with us on our jobs; we must take it with us to our schools; we must take it with us to the malls and theaters. Wherever we go, we need to take the peace of God with us. The peace of God should be deep within our hearts and minds.  And as Jesus said, “Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.”  He said this because He was leaving us with peace to handle whatever comes our way.

In the Book of Numbers Chapter 6 verses 24-26 the Lord gave Moses a blessing to give to Aaron and his sons.  I will leave you with my edited version of the words from this blessing.

“May the The Lord bless you and keep you in 2013. May the Lord make His face to shine on you and be gracious to you in 2013. May the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace in 2013”.

As you face each day and as trials come your way, do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.  He has already given you peace in every situation.

Give Thanks To The ONE!

Give thanks to the One who created you

27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them;

male and female he created them. (Genesis 1)

Give thanks to the One who loves you

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,

that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3)

Give thanks to the One who sustains you

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. (Psalm 23)

Give thanks to the One who forgives you

34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. (Luke 23)

Give thanks to the One who helps you

2 My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121)

Give thanks to the One who strengthens you

1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in  time of trouble. (Psalm 46)

Give thanks to the One who died for you

10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep,

we may live together with him. (  1 Thessalonians 5)

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Dear Heavenly Father, today and everyday,we want to thank You!   We thank You for your love.  We thank You for your grace and  your mercy. We thank you for your faithfulness to us even when our faithfulness to You falls short.   And Dear Lord,  we most certainly want to thank you for Jesus! (For where would we be had He not died for our sins?)  Dear Lord, we thank You for this day of Thanksgiving.  In the sweet and precious name of  Jesus, Amen!

Why Does It Have To Hurt So Much?

Have you ever experienced an excruciating physical pain and wondered why it had to hurt so much?  This is the type of pain that goes beyond a mere “ouch”.   And what about the pain that digs deep into your emotions?  The pain that breaks your heart and pulls at every part of your physical and emotional being. This could be pain that comes from a serious illness, a failed marriage or the loss of a loved one.  And how about that deep pain we feel due to our own bad choices and subsequent regrets?

Have you ever cried out to the LORD and asked why does it hurt so much?

The pains we experience in life will sometimes cause us to withdraw from a particular activity and/or withdraw from people. There are some athletes who become injured playing their favorite sport.  However, if they experience a torn ligament or broken limb, they may not feel up to returning to their sport for fear of being injured again and feeling that same unpleasant pain.

If you have ever experienced pain inflicted by another person, this could cause you to withdraw from building other friendships and keep you from trusting others.  I have been in this situation a few times.  I have believed someone was my friend only to find out they were doing things and saying things about me that would not meet the definition of friendship.  I have fallen in love and been married only to feel the heartache that comes from harsh words and hurtful actions that caused my heart to break and my trust to be broken.

When you experience a deep hurtful pain, it’s only natural to wonder why does it have to hurt so much? With any pain, whether physical or emotional, there is a healing process.  When you seek medical treatment you have to explain to the doctors and nurses what hurts and give them a level from 1 to 10 as to how much it hurts.   You also have to follow the directions and orders given by the doctors and nurses in order to assist with the progression of your physical healing.

When you have experienced the pain that digs deep into your emotions, you can also seek counseling from a trained professional.  Most of us tend to shy away from counseling because we feel it sends a message something is wrong with us.   This should be a matter of choice for you and perhaps talking to someone on a regular basis is just what you need to help with your healing.  Trying to go it alone may not be the answer for you, so hopefully there is  a ministry or a person within your church that you can call on to help with your healing process.

When I have experienced that deep pain and wondered why did it have to hurt so much, I have trusted in the Lord.  I know the hurt I feel will eventually go away, but I also know that it has also made me stronger.  I have survived the abuse; I have survived the ridicule; I have survived the disappointments and I have survived the dishonesty. I have survived the brokenness!  I can talk to God better than I can talk to anyone else and I know He listens to me even though He already knows what I am going to say.   I know He cares for me and He wants me to trust Him with all of my heart and soul.

Psalm 51:17  says “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou will not despise.”

When I have wondered, why it hurt so much, I am reminded of Jesus.  I know that the beating He took, the carrying of the cross and being nailed to the cross had to hurt.  I know that the sneers from the crowd and the crown of thorns on His head caused Him some pain.   But, He endured that pain for me.  So when I am hurting and I am wondering why, I pull my strength from my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  I know that although my tears are flowing, He will give me joy in the morning.  I can wonder why it hurts, but I know the pain is what will draw me closer to  Him.

I was broken and He restored me!

Your Help Is Already Here!

When there is an emergency situation occurring around you, have you ever heard someone say “Help, is on the way!”  This means there is a time of waiting for someone to aid, comfort or assist you. But when it comes to wanting or having a relationship with God, your help is already here!   When it comes to an immediate need or feeling of His presence, your help is already here.  When your body needs a healing, your help is already here. You just have to trust and know that God is able and that He is your ever-present help and He will take care of you!

Psalm 46:1

God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble!

Deuteronomy 31:6

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave your or forsake you!

Psalm 23:4

Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me!

Psalm 121:1-2

I lift up my eyes to the mountains, where does my help come from home? My help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth!

Psalm 139:7-10

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there.; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me; your right hand will hold me fast!

Matthew 28:20

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age!

When you need God, you don’t have to make an appointment, you don’t have to get on a list and wait your turn,  and you don’t have to “phone a friend”! You just have to call on the wonderful name of Jesus and tell the LORD you need Him! Just simply say, LORD, I need help. I can’t do this without you!

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My Dear Father in Heaven, I need You! I need Your grace; I need Your mercy and I need Your love.  I need You in the morning; I need You at noonday and I need You at night! I need You when I am at home and I need You when I am at work.  I need You wherever I go! I need You, O LORD, when I am full of joy and I need You in my brokenness.  I need You in my healing and I need You in my breakthrough!  I need You in my peace and I need You in my storms. LORD, I need You all the time! I know You are my ever-present help.  I call on You because You are strong and mighty.  I know that my help is You and You are already here.  In the wonderful name of Jesus, I say Amen!

Try Jesus!

  Do you ever give any thought to the fact that you are not promised tomorrow?

 Try Jesus!

 You don’t know the day or the hour when your time on this earth will cease to exist.

Try Jesus!

Accepting Jesus as your Lord and Saviour is the best decision you can make in this life.

 Try Jesus!

 When you  feel alone and think you have no one to talk to about your problems,

Try Jesus!

When someone you have loved breaks your heart and you feel you don’t know what love really  is,

Try Jesus!

When the doctor’s report gives you no hope of a complete healing,

Try Jesus!

When your friends turn their backs on you and your enemies are waiting for you to fall,

Try Jesus!

When your money runs out and there is no food on the table,

Try Jesus!

When your own negative thoughts and lack of confidence are tearing you down,

Try Jesus!

When you feel like you can’t go on any more,

Try Jesus!

When all else fails,

Try Jesus!

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John 4:6-7  Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  If you really know me, you will know my Father as well . . .”

Father, in the name of Jesus, I am praying for someone who does not know You.  I am asking You to speak to their hearts and let them feel Your love.  I pray they will know You are a forgiving God and You will accept them just as they are right now.  I pray they understand that they don’t have to try to fix themselves up or do better before they can come to You and ask You to save them.  I pray they will trust You with their brokenness and allow You to give them strength and hope for better days ahead.  I pray they will realize Your love is unconditional and You are waiting for them with open arms.  In the mighty and wonderful name of Jesus, Amen and Amen, again!

Wouldn’t you rather put your hope in knowing that you are heaven bound?

Try Jesus!

Her “God Light” Was Shining!

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:16 NIV

On this past Wednesday, I spent the day with one of my closest friends, Valencia.  It was not a day where we went shopping or out to eat with our other girlfriends; it was a day where I was taking her to receive one of her chemo treatments.   Although she has had a few treatments since she was diagnosed with breast cancer, this was my first time taking her. Due to the treatments, she has already experienced the loss of her hair, changes in her appetite as well as a few other changes in her energy and sleeping habits.

Prior to arriving for the appointment,  we got caught in a heavy downpour of rain.  We used the complimentary valet parking so that we did not have to get soaked trying to get into the building.   As we entered the treatment center, I really did not know what to expect.  I did not know how many other patients would be there.   I did not know how they would be feeling on this rainy Wednesday.  All I can tell you is that when Valencia walked into the waiting room,  she was a ray of sunshine!  She greeted the nurses at the receptionist desk as if they were old friends.  As we took our seats in the waiting area, she was smiling and at times greeting some of the other patients there.  She didn’t know them and that did not matter to her at all.  She did not seem to be concerned that some of them were probably there for the same reason as she was and not feeling quite as cheerful as she was feeling.

You could just see and feel Valencia’s  “God light” shining all over the place. There may have been dark clouds and rain outside and there may have even been darkness and tears within the  spirit of some of  those in the waiting area and in the treatment room.   That was definitely not the case with Valencia!  She was not allowing any of that to get in her spirit or to depress her.

You see, Valencia knows she has the love of God on her side and she truly loves the LORD.  She has a husband who adores her and beautiful daughters who consider her the best mom this side of heaven!  She has loving family members that extend beyond her siblings.  She has a church family that knows her faith in God and where the pastor and our members are praying for her healing.  She has a community of people, young and not so young, who know her and respect her with love and admiration. Valencia, has a circle of girlfriends who would do anything to help her  as she goes through what is just another test in her life.  Valencia knows she is a blessed woman!

Valencia knows she is blessed because of all the love and support she has from her family and many friends.  She is also a blessed woman because of how she is blessing others, especially me.  I am thankful that her “God light” is always shining and that she is victorious even as she goes through her medical treatments and future surgery.

As I watched Valencia the other day, I told her I was going to write about her.  I did not ask for her permission. I just told her I was going to do it. She looked at me with a twinkle of surprise in her eyes and a smile on her face and asked, “really”? And then she immediately said “ok”!  God had placed this in me a few weeks ago to write about my friend, but I guess He needed me to be with her on Wednesday so that I could truly write of her awesome faith in Him.   Valencia does not mind sharing her story with others.   She knows that in this life there will be times of suffering.  She knows that God is a healer and is in control of her destiny.  She knows that Jesus suffered on the cross in order for us to be saved.  She feels if He can do that for us, then she can go through this test in her life and be a testimony to others.

Valencia is already a living testimony just in the way she is dealing with the treatment and the changes she is experiencing.   She does not spend her time worrying  about what she has to go through in order to be healed.  Valencia has her good moments and her not so good moments.  Each day she gives honor to God for His tender mercies in her life.

When we arrived back at her house,  as she got out of the car,  she told me thank you and she said ” I had a good time today”!  Wow! We spent the day at the treatment center, but we were able to talk and enjoy each other’s company.   Valencia thought that I was helping her because I took the time to get her to her appointment and back home.  What she did not know is that she was helping me!  She truly is an inspiration in my life.

Valencia, I had a good time, too! Continue to let your “God Light” shine and inspire others.   Love you much!

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Dear LORD, I thank you for those you have placed in my life to encourage and inspire me. I thank you for allowing me to see a strong faith in others and how it helps them stay connected to Your word and to Your presence.  I thank you for strengthening me every day and loving me as your own.  God, I thank you that Jesus suffered so that I might live in this earthly life now and be blessed with eternal life in heaven.  God, I thank for the healing that comes when we have to go through times of suffering and pain.   I thank you that even in those times you are restoring us not only for ourselves but also for others to see!  I thank you for the “God light”  and I thank you for Valencia.  In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen!

He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she began to wait on Him.  Matthew 8:15 NIV

Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Your attitudes should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Philippians 2: 4-5 NIV

I can do everything through Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13 NIV