Tag Archive | Spiritual

While You Wait On God

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When you don’t know what to expect in your personal circumstances or what to expect in what is going on in the world today, expect God.  The definition of expect means to regard something as likely to happen.  Today, I encourage you to  expect God to show up and to work everything out on your behalf.   Expect God to make a way out of no way.  Expect God to be your Healer, your Provider and your Protector. While you wait on the Lord, you should wait with an expectancy.  Expectancy means the state of thinking  or hoping that something pleasant will happen.  While you wait on God, expect Him to be your Strength, your Hope and your Peace.

Psalm 130:5-6 says ” I wait on the Lord, my whole being waits and in his word I put my hope.  I wait for the Lord more than the watchmen wait for morning, more than watchman wait for the morning.” NIV

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Dear Father, thank You for being everything we need.  While we wait for You to do great and mighty things, we wait with a joyful expectancy.  We know that as we wait on You, Lord, You will move in a mighty way.  Dear Lord, even in the midst of chaos,  we still wait with an expectancy knowing You already have the victory.  While we wait, Lord,  we wait with our whole beings and we stand firm on the promises of  Your word.  Lord, we thank You that we can walk by faith and not by sight, confidently expecting Your promises to be fulfilled in our lives. In Jesus’ mighty and precious name, amen and amen again!

 

Have You Remembered The Lord?

There is no doubt this posture of social/physical distancing and quarantine is impacting most of us in the world today.  Do you believe God is doing something in the land to get our attention? As I asked God to give me something to encourage myself and others, He turned my attention to the book of Jonah. You remember the story of Jonah and the whale, don’t you?

The Bible tells us that Jonah had been given an assignment from God to go to Nineveh to preach to people who were in desperate need of a life changing revival.   In the 1st chapter of Jonah, we learn the people in Nineveh were evil and that Jonah did not want to go preach to them.  Jonah made the decision not to go to Nineveh, and he boarded a ship to Tarshish in an attempt to flee God’s presence and to get far away from the people of Nineveh.

Jonah was on a ship with men who worshipped other gods. When a storm arose over the waters, they started praying to their gods. When the storm continued, they went to Jonah who was asleep.  They insisted Jonah call out to his god in hopes they would not perish.  They even cast lots to figure out who on board the ship may be the reason for the raging storm.

After casting lots that pointed to Jonah, the men knew Jonah was the one who had brought trouble upon the ship with the storm raging over the waters.  At this point, Jonah had to tell them he was a Hebrew and he worshipped the God of the heavens, the God who made the seas and the dry land.  The men realized Jonah was running from God’s presence and this brought great fear on them. When they questioned what needed to be done as the storm grew worse, Jonah told them to throw him overboard.  He knew he was to blame and this was the answer to calm the storm.  At first the men tried to throw cargo overboard and head back to shore. However, the storm continued and they threw Jonah overboard, as he had told them.  This was great for the men because the storm was calmed, but not so great for Jonah! Jonah knew he had to physically distance himself from the men and the ship in order for the men to survive.  Because their lives were spared, these same men who did not know the god Jonah worshipped, began to fear the Lord and make vows of sacrifice to Him.

The last verse in Chapter 1 of the book of Jonah tells us that a great fish swallowed Jonah and he was in the belly of this great fish for 3 days and 3 nights.  Jonah was running from God and from a god-given assignment, when he got quarantined in a belly of a fish for 3 days!  This was a quarantine orchestrated by God. God had Jonah’s attention and Jonah had to decide what he was going to do.

Chapter 2 of the book of Jonah tells us how Jonah started to pray while he was in the belly of this great fish.  He says he was distressed, and that he cried out to the Lord.  He was in the realm of the dead and waters swirled all around him.  Jonah said when he saw his life ebbing away that he remembered the Lord and his prayer rose to the Lord’s holy temple. Jonah knew God heard his prayers and God answered him.  Then Jonah began to praise God.  He said “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them.  But, I with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you.  What I have vowed I will make good. I will say salvation comes from the Lord” (v.7-9).  Upon hearing Jonah’s prayers and praise, the Lord commanded the fish and it spit Jonah back onto dry land.

It would appear from Jonah’s story that he found himself in a situation where prayer was his best and only way to get God to answer him.  I truly believe this is where we are today.  We are in quarantined environments where the best thing we can do is remember God; remember who He is in our lives and pray so that He hears us in His holy temple.

During these past few weeks, have you remembered God?  Have you spent more time with Him? Have you opened up your Bible more and meditated on His Word? Have you remembered how He has provided and protected you over the years?  Have you remembered that He has never left you or forsaken you? Have you remembered He can speak to the wind and calm the storm? Have you remembered Who He is? Have you remembered He is Lord?

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Dear Lord, thank You for turning our attention back to You and reminding us of the love You have for us. Thank You for hearing our cries of distress and for answering our prayers.  Forgive us for clinging to worthless idols. Thank You, Lord, for giving us another chance to remember You.  Lord, we honor You with praise you so richly deserve.  In Jesus’ mighty name, amen!

Jonah 2:7 “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple.”

Why? What has He done wrong?

In my quiet time the past few days, I have chosen to read chapters in the Bible that lead up to Resurrection Sunday. These are the final chapters that take us through revealing the plot to kill Jesus and then to The Resurrection.  This morning, I have been reading Matthew 27 which tells the story of when Jesus was handed over to Pilate.

As I was reading the part where the shouting crowd chose to release Barabbas over Jesus, Pilate’s 2 questions to them in verse 23 resonated from the page.   Pilate asked the crowd “Why?”  And then, He asked “What has He done wrong?”   These questions seemed to incite the crowd more and they shouted “Crucify Him!”, yet they never answered Pilate’s questions.

In Luke 23:34 after Jesus was on the Cross between the 2 criminals,  Jesus said “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.”   When Jesus said to forgive them, He answered Pilate’s questions.  In my spiritual mind,  Jesus answered the questions in reverse order.

Pilate:  What has He done wrong?

Jesus:  I have done nothing wrong.

Pilate:  Why?

Jesus:  They have done wrong!  I am doing this for them.

Jesus’ dying on the Cross is the answer to what the people did wrong back then and to what we do wrong now.  On the day He was crucified, it was not about the wrongs that just occurred on that day.  Jesus’ death on the Cross was about our sins: the wrongs of our bad choices, the wrongs of our unclean thoughts, the wrongs of our sinful activities, the wrongs of our bad behavior and the wrongs of our bad attitudes.  Our sinful nature is the answer to the question Why?

Pilate’s questions were for that particular moment in time.  However, the reason the crowd did not respond with an answer was because Jesus had to get to the Cross for the answer to be revealed.   His answer was for all of eternity.   John 3:16-17 says “For God so loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.  (HCSB)

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Dear Heavenly Father,  thank You for Your Beloved Son, Jesus!  Thank You for the love You have shown us over and over again.  Jesus, we thank You for the precious blood You shed for each one of us.  I pray that as we prepare to celebrate Resurrection Sunday, that lives will be changed and souls will be saved as we give remembrance unto You.  I pray there will be a true understanding for many to the question as to Why You died on the Cross.  I pray more people will come to believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Please forgive us of our sins!  It is in  His mighty and precious name, I say Amen!

What Now, God?

It’s been well over a year since I published a post on this blog.  Many things have occurred in my life since I wrote ” Moving Forward”.  I have moved to another state, gone through a divorce, become an empty nester and most recently, I celebrated my 55th birthday!  Over these months, I have thought about writing, I have wanted to write and I have been blessed with many topics to write about. However, for some reason, I have not been able to write. Even when I have tried to write, I could get no further than a few sentences.  In fact, I am in awe right now that I have finished a complete paragraph.  Praise God!

I have been asking God when do I get to write again?  I have been asking, what now, God, for so many areas of my life which also include continuing with writing this blog. Over and over again, I kept hearing, “be still” or “not yet”.  I have been spending quite a bit of time alone talking to God and trying to declutter my own thoughts so I could clearly hear Him. From my own spiritual perspective, I felt like I was stuck! I’ve been reading the Word of God, listening to message after message, reading devotional after devotional, playing worship music and trying to utter prayers in hopes of moving things along. As much of this as I have done, I kept feeling like I was stuck, like I was not really moving forward.

So today, the question, “What Now, God”, arose in my spirit again. After I left church service and thought about the Word that was ministered to us today, I kept asking “what now?”  This was not the theme of today’s message at church, but as I thought about some of the things the pastor said, I kept thinking what now, God?  And now, this evening as I powered on my laptop, and I started to draft this post, I started to read 2 Chronicles, Chapter 20 verse 12 when Jehoshaphat said “we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You”!  Jehoshaphat was surrounded by his enemies. He was stuck, but yet He knew something had to be done.  He felt powerless, but yet he knew he could go to God and ask, what now?  (Of course, that’s not quite how he phrased it.)

And the Lord answered him with don’t be afraid or dismayed at how great the multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s!

Are you feeling powerless? Stuck? Is your back up against a wall? Heavy burdened? If so, it’s ok for you to ask, what now, God? Then, listen for His voice to say, my child, you don’t have to feel stuck, you don’t have to feel like I have left you alone, you don’t have to think that I brought you this far to leave you!  The Lord is saying to you, stop thinking that you won’t be healed, or you won’t overcome the depression or you won’t be delivered from the addiction or you won’t be set free from the shame or guilt.  Stop looking at how  the enemy has come at you with health issues, bad thoughts, family troubles and financial burdens.  Don’t let the enemy make you feel like you can’t finish school, or that you won’t get the job or the promotion. Let God work all of that out for you, let Him fight the battle for you!

In verses 16 and 17, God gave Jehoshaphat clear instructions about the next day. God said, tomorrow go down against them, you will see them coming up against you. God said, but you don’t have to fight, just position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord!

Did you get all of that?  When you feel surrounded by the attacks on your life, when you feel overwhelmed by your circumstances, when your flesh is getting weak, ask God “what now” and get in position for your breakthrough! Your enemy is not prepared for your “what now” prayer!

God says, He is going to ambush those attacks coming against you. He is going to move you from that place of being stuck to victory!  He is going to defeat your enemy and scatter your naysayers.  You need to start praising HIM this evening for what HE is going to do tomorrow!  In verse 21,  Jehoshaphat appointed some to sing  for the Lord and some to praise the splendor of His holiness.  Their praise was “give thanks to the Lord for His faithful love endures forever.”

This is your notice, you have been appointed to praise Him!  Tomorrow is your day of victory!

When we ask, what now, God?   He answers with  “This is not your battle, this is the Lord’s battle and God will fight for you!”

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Dear Lord,  I thank You for my “what now” moment and that I can look to You for guidance, protection and a strategy for my circumstances. I thank You for letting me know this is not my battle, but Yours.  I thank You for getting me out of this place of being stuck and surrounded, and for ambushing my enemy!  Lord, I am going to praise You right now for the victory!  Lord, because You are fighting my battle for me, I have a great expectancy for tomorrow!  In the mighty name of  Jesus, Amen!

 

 

 

 

 

A View Versus A Vision!

 

The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.” (Genesis 13:14-17)

We do not see what God sees.  We see what is currently in front of us and God sees our future, our destiny and our purpose. We have a view but God has a vision.  A view is the actual extent or range of your vision.  Vision is the power of anticipating that which may come to be! In the scripture above, Abram had a view of the land in front of him. The vision was in the length and breadth of all the land and the offspring to come.  The view to Abram was that he and his wife, Sarai, were too old to have children.  The vision was the offspring that would be too numerous to count!

Our view is so much different from God’s vision.  We see our current situation and God sees what will come to pass.

The view is the struggle; the vision is the victory!

The view is the cancer; the vision is the healing!

The view is the unemployment; the vision is the new business!

The view is living from paycheck to paycheck; the vision is the harvest!

The view is the  problem; the vision is the praise!

Abram was a man of great faith.  He made a decision to trust and believe in God’s promises to him.  As he walked through the length and breadth of the land, he experienced some setbacks and some situations, but he kept on walking in faith.   Are you focusing on your current view right now? Or has God given you a vision?  Continue walking in faith.  God has plans to prosper you and give you hope for your future!

Don’t give up!

Don’t let the view distract you!

The vision is so much better!

To the persecutors of Jesus, the view was death on the Cross.  The vision was eternal life and salvation!

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Dear Lord, I am thankful that you have better things in store for me than I what I can see right now. I am thankful that Your vision will bring me through this current view that I have.  I am leaning and trusting on You, Dear Father, as I take this walk of faith to get to where You would have me to be!  In Jesus’ name, I say Amen!

He’s Been So Good To Me!

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I am rejoicing!

He’s been so good to me!

I have unspeakable joy

He’s been so good to me!

I  delight in my Lord and Savior

 He’s been so good to me!

I have an overflow of praise

He’s been so good to me!

I am more than a conqueror

He’s been so good to me!

I am blessed beyond measure

He’s been so good to me!

I am the head and not the tail

He’s been so good to me!

I am fearfully and wonderfully made

 He’s been so good to me!

Again, I say, I am rejoicing

Because He’s been so good to me!

Didn’t You Hear Me?

The past few weeks have been very challenging to say the least.  It seems like I get over one hurdle and before I can get one foot on the ground, another hurdle is before me!  Today, when I got home from work I had to get to my prayer closet to have one of those heart to heart conversations with God.  Our conversation went like this :

Me:  Lord, what is going on?  Why do I feel like I am in several battles at one time?  Why do I feel that I am under attack?  Why do I feel such a heaviness is on me?

God: My child, you feel this way because you have not laid your burdens down. You have not trusted me to fight your battles!

Me:  Yes, I did turn all of this over to You!  Didn’t you hear my prayers the other night when I was crying out to You?  I laid it all down, every challenge, every struggle, every disappointment.  I gave it all to You.  You must have heard me!

God: Yes, my child, I most certainly did hear you crying out to me.

Me: Well, what’s the problem?

God: My child, as soon as you finished your prayer and said in the name of Jesus, you went right back to worrying about everything you prayed about!

Me: Did I do that?

God: Yes, you did do that! In fact, you did not give me a chance to let you know that I got this! I am God all by myself! I can fight all of your battles.  I can lift every burden!  I can wipe away all of your tears.  I can mend your broken heart.  My child, I can guide you safely through every storm!

Me:  Wow!  I didn’t even realize I picked my burdens back up.  Forgive me?

God: Of course, my child, I forgive you!  But now I need you to do something for me.

Me:  What would that be?

God: Trust me!  I got this!

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Dear Lord, I am trusting You with everything!  (The good and the not so good.) I am trusting You to work everything out.  I release all of my worries and struggles to You.  I release every distraction and stumbling block to You. I  put all of my trust and confidence in You to fight all of my battles! I declare peace in every area of my life!   In Jesus’ name I thankfully say, Amen!

5 Steps to Your Restoration!

worship_b_20-05-2012In a previous post I shared that God had placed three words on my heart for this year. Those words are  Release, Restore and Rejoice.  I have already written a post on Release entitled “Let It Go!” (See Broken-2b-Restored.com/Release)

Today’s post will focus on the word Restore!

When I looked up the definition of restore, I found several meanings.  Restore can mean to re-establish; or to put back; or it can mean to bring back into existence.  The definition that stood out the most to me was this one:  “to bring back to a former, more desirable condition.”

Are there areas in your life in need of restoring?  Have you been faced with an unexpected set back that nearly knocked you off your feet?  Are you holding on to some past hurts and disappointments that are hindering you from moving forward?  Have you been left with a broken heart and don’t feel that you can trust to be in love or to really be loved again?  In the midst of your setbacks, past hurts and disappointments, God can restore you and He will restore you!   Only He can restore you to a better place, a better position and a better condition than you were before!

Here are 5 Steps to your restoration:

1. Confess your brokenness! – God already knows what you are going through.  It’s just good spiritual therapy for you to get it out in the open with Him and to seek His forgiveness. Talking to God will strengthen your relationship with Him.   Isaiah 55: 6 says, “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near!”

2. Trust God – In your time of restoration, take direction from Proverbs 3:5 which tells you to trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  You may not understand why you have experienced your brokenness and you may not understand how He is  restoring you.  You just have to trust Him to work it out for your good and then you will be able to give God  the glory that is due to Him!

3. Forgive – Forgive yourself and be ready to forgive others.  Sometimes we think it is hard to forgive others, but I have also struggled with forgiving myself.  As I analyze the areas of my own brokenness, I have to admit, that in some cases, I was just as responsible as the ones who wronged me. I made some choices that led me down a path of being hurt and mistreated. There were times when I could have walked away before experiencing complete brokenness, but I chose to stay in the mess that I was in.  I have had to learn how to forgive myself.  As I am maturing in my relationship with Christ, I am also learning to be more forgiving of others.  It is not always easy to do but that’s when I talk to God and when I have to trust God.  I know I am being restored, when God will have me pray for the person who has wronged me.  Matthew 6:12 asks God to forgive us the wrongs we have done, and allow us to forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.

4. Stay prayerful – In your time of restoration, continue to pray.  In fact, pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)! In your process of being healed, delivered, and/or restored, continue to pray.  Being restored is a process; it won’t happen over night.  When you are in the Potter’s  hands, He is molding you into a better and stronger vessel than you were before you experienced your brokenness.  As you go through the process, cast all your cares and worries on Him because He truly does care for you. (1 Peter 5:7)

5. Be thankful – when you can praise God in the midst of your brokenness and in the process of being restored, you are being obedient to God’s word.  1 Thessalonians 5:18 says that you are to give thanks in everything; for that is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you!  Remember that trouble does not last always.  So this should tell you that even in “your process of going through the process”, your outcome will be one of victory!  Just knowing you will be restored, no matter the place your are in right now, is reason enough to give Him thanks!

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My Heavenly Father, thank You for all that You have done for me and all that You are doing for me.  Even in my brokenness, I know that I already have complete healing and restoration because of You.  I thank You for Your Word that I can meditate on day and night.  I thank You for Your continued blessings as I go through the process of being restored.  Dear Lord, thank You for making me better and stronger than I was before.  In Jesus’ precious and mighty name, 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