Busyness and the Christmas Season

Busyness and the Christmas Season

During the Christmas season, the stress in my home can be overwhelming with shopping, cleaning and preparing. Christmas décor, Christmas trees, church rehearsals, over demanding projects at work and the list continues. Constantly, checking boxes to make sure everyone gets a least one thing on their list. It just doesn’t stop and today we ran out of toothpaste. This is so tiny, people are homeless and starving in this world and my household ran out of toothpaste big deal right. No, I’ll just get the backup toothpaste, the one no one really likes but is there for moments like this. Until I realized the backup toothpaste is missing. It does not have legs and cannot walkout of the bathroom. Where has the toothpaste gone? This simple question triggered a response that included yelling and an irritating attitude.

This afternoon, it dawned on me that maybe this attitude was not really about the toothpaste but about the fact that I did not sit at the feet of Jesus this morning. One can only find lasting peace and strength in His presence. Not making time for it only made my day more difficult. This song has been in my spirit for a few days; by your Spirit I will rise from the ashes of defeat the resurrected King is resurrecting me. I need his strength daily so I ask on this afternoon Lord fill me with your Holy Spirit today.

Don’t allow the busyness of the holidays to invade your time with the Creator, Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Author of our lives, Alpha, Omega, and Abba today. He can change our perspectives of the reason for the season the birth of His son Jesus.

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He Turns Things Around

He Turns Things Around

The Lord has given me a promotion and I must say it is not as easy as I thought. I’m passionate about doing a good job, it doesn’t have to be 100% perfect but it has to be good work. This week, I kept making silly mistakes and would not give myself a break because I want to make a great impression. Yesterday was an important day and the day I could not get into my desk to get my laptop. This situation was so stressful and a little embarrassing, I prayed for wisdom and ended up borrowing someone else laptop. This situation helped me see that its not always going to be easy, the situation may change and change rapidly but that does not mean He abandoned me. In those moments, we must look to him and lean on Him. He gave me strength and wisdom in that moment to work it all out. This situation reminds me of this scripture “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose Romans 8:28 NIV. He would not give you something and leave you there to figure it out alone. He is there; next time you face a tough decision, or difficult situation. Say a quick prayer as simple as Jesus help me and He will. I hope this inspires you today, have a great week!!

Love Chases

Love Chases

While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8 NIV). God saved us when we didn’t even know Him. He saved us at the exact right time. I can’t thank God enough from rescuing me, I was so lost and I’m so happy to be saved today. Love is something I have never experienced in my years on this earth until after accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior. A few years later, one day while fasting and praying the presence of the Lord was so strong that all I could do was love people, I mean anyone. His heart is so big that He truly loves us uniquely its so beautiful. My heartbeat was to a different drum.

Right before being saved, I was in a dark place. The people I thought I loved never loved me back. My self-confidence and esteem was literally on the ground. There was always an empty feeling like something was missing, I was hurting and so sad but could not see why. Even during that time God was chasing after me, trying to save me from myself but I couldn’t see or sense it. He chases after us, trying to rescue us from the chains. I always thought being a Christian would restrict so much of my life. It did the exact opposite and set me free from those chains and gave me a new identity and purpose.

If you’re not saved and would like Jesus to come into you heart and change you from inside out. Say the following. 9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved (Romans 10:9-10 NIV). Welcome to the family, find a local church and get a bible. Be encouraged today!! Have a great weekend!!

He Guides Us

He Guides Us

These last few months has been filled with ups and downs. The Lord has given me a promotion, what a blessing! I’m so grateful for it. At first, I was filled with excitement and ready for change. Then training began, my thought life was not as positive as it once was. I felt like I couldn’t measure up or complete the assigned tasks. Thoughts of not being good enough, messing something up and not being qualified began to cross my mind. These thoughts were not my own but the enemy throwing his fiery darts. It is so crucial; I cannot say this enough to hold every thought captive and obedient to God. Finally it dawned on me; I did not get here by myself, this door was not opened by any of my doing. His favor and grace was all over it. God himself opened this door and gave me this opportunity. This encouraged me to keep putting one foot in front of the other and trust that He will guide me through the process. I hope this encourages you today to remember where God has placed you and know that He will never leave or forsake you. He is truly guiding you thought the whole process. Be encouraged and have a great week!!!

God Can Use Anyone

I hope your having a great morning!!! It’s official I have read through the entire bible for the first time in my life it took about two years. This is kind of funny because it was suppose to be only one year. I’m back reading Genesis and it’s so good to read about how the Creator formed the Earth and man. There was something different about reading the story of Noah this time. Here you have the only man and family to receive God’s favor over an entire generation of people. He was given the opportunity to repopulate the earth by building an ark to save his family and 2 of every animal. Building an ark is a huge assignment and is cool because he is practically the first shipbuilding. Noah was faithful and obedient. God sends the rain and everyone dies except for those on the ark and God promises not to flood the earth ever again. A rainbow in the clouds is the reminder of the covenant between God and humanity. Noah plants a vineyard and one day gets drunk so drunk that his son Ham sees him naked. This was probably embarrassing to his children but instead of Ham covering up Noah, he chooses to tell his brothers about it. Noah cursed Ham because of his decision. (Genesis 6-9 NIV)

Noah may not have been setting the best example for his sons by getting drunk. But God still used him, I’m sure God was not surprised when this happened. I would call it perfectly imperfect, no one is able to be perfect only God is, we fail sometimes and sometimes we fail forward by learning from our mistakes. Sometimes we fail and repeat the same cycle all over again. But that does not mean God cannot use us for the greater good of the earth and others. Lets choose to live a life pleasing to God but if we mess up sometimes lets not condemn ourselves but ask for forgiveness and move on. Be empowered by the Holy Spirit living in us, the power of Jesus still exist don’t quit. He did not die for us to feel sorry for ourselves and fearful but to give us power, love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7 KJV.) Walk into your destiny by stepping out and trying something that may fail. You will never know if you don’t try. I hope this encourages you this week. Be blessed.

 

 

Keep Seeking

I want to encourage you today. Just because God is silent or not answering your prayers does not mean He does not hear them, doesn’t care or won’t answer them. The timing may just not be right. He truly cares about our heart and desires and I believe He wants to bring them to life in the physical world. Dreams really do come true please hold on to the promises He provides us in His word. “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 May you be encouraged to keep praying, being persistent and intentional. Most importantly don’t lose hope. Be blessed and have a great week!!!

God Qualifies Us

Writing is a passion that I believe God has given me. Sometimes I feel like I’m not qualified and make dumb mistakes all the time. He reminds me that it’s not about me and what I think there is purpose in this. Even though, I feel like I have nothing to say it’s not about me and I shouldn’t  focus on my feelings. Just because I don’t feel like doing something doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do it or vice versa. If God has called us to something in life but distraction and self doubt is in the way. Don’t give up and keep pressing forward because sometimes we can’t see the bigger picture. 

Car Troubles and Faith

Last week Sunday, the thought of putting oil in my car came to mind. I ended up forgetting and driving to work on Monday and then I heard a weird sound coming from under the hood and my car started stalling out. I pulled over turned the car off and then on again. It sounded like the noise went away for a second but after a few blocks it stalled out again. My car was making so much noise, but this time I was near a gas station. I pulled in and there was a mechanic standing there. He looked like he just stopped to get a snack and was willing to help. But me being so uncomfortable talking with a man alone, I declined saying I had some oil in my trunk. I put the oil in and the car does not cut on at all, it completely died. In that moment, I starting looking back and wondered if the Holy Spirit was warning me that this would happen but I ignored it. Did he then send me help (the mechanic) and I rejected it. Did I fail to see the warning signs? It’s possible and I’m sorry if that’s the case. I learned a valuable lesson that my negligence cost time, money and energy. God is gracious and merciful; He loves us so much and will forgive if we ask for forgiveness.

I am grateful that my husband was able to pick me up and take me to work. He also got the car towed to a mechanic. The end result was blown pistons and a repair cost of a new engine, which was more than the car was worth. We were able to sell the car to the junkyard for $90, which covered the expense of the tow and diagnostic. Praise the Lord, I’m faithful that God will provide a new vehicle for us and repair the issues with the van we are now sharing. I’m so grateful because I know everything I have is loaned. I don’t know how this story is going to pan out but I know I have a Father in heaven that cares. I can’t wait to share the update. If your facing a difficult situation, please believe that God is working on your behalf, He is with you holding your hand. I pray that God will sustain you and give you strength to keep seeking Him. If you would like prayer please comment or email me at effortministry@gmail.com.

“For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great.”‭‭ Psalm‬ ‭18:31-35‬ ‭NIV

See Truth

Have you ever misplaced something? Then spent hours looking for it when it was right in front of your face. This happened to me a few days ago early in the morning. I misplaced my glasses and had the whole family helping me look for it because I couldn’t see it. We moved furniture and everything. Thee only thing that got me out the house that morning was my last pair of one day contact lens. I knew I would need to find my glasses before I took them contacts out. After work, I got home and started looking for it again but still could not find it. The whole family got involved again. My pastor preached a great message this last Sunday about pausing, praying and then making a decision. So I said lets do this different. Lord, can you help me find my glasses because I need them Amen.

The crazy thing is that I have looked in my closet so many times but this time I saw them. Some may say what a coincidence I say no, my Lord revealed it. I literally could not see something that was right in my face. Sometimes the thing we need the most is right in front of us but we can’t see it because we are so blind. Lord, take the scales off my eyes and help me see your truth because without your truth I would be so lost. I walked around for so many years thinking life was all about the next party, drink, outfit, earning more money, purchasing a big house, looking better than others, trying to be perfect, etc. It’s all a lie because inside I felt like crap and didn’t even know whom I was or what I was placed on this earth to do. We all have a purpose in this life for his perfect and pleasing plan.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future“ Jeremiah 29:11.

Jesus gives me the opportunity and ability to see that less is more and without Him I‘m nothing. He is the truth and the life. I did not feel peace or know love until I started chasing Him with all my heart because I always knew there was more to life. I’m not perfect and have messed up so many times but I know one thing for sure. He is very real, heaven and hell is very real. The enemy wants to keep you away from God and his truth because once you start doing right; things start to change, and your life starts to change. The enemy is always whispering lies about what you did and what you can’t do, making you feel guilty and condemned. But God says everything is possible with Him. God’ word is truth, so maybe the truth is right there but some can’t see because they are too preoccupied with the world. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not real. Open you eyes; seek His truth read His word and have a blessed week!

Encouraging Faith

A few years ago, I started reading a woman’s guide to reading the bible in a year by Diane Stortz. A year has come and gone but I’m hoping to get to through the entire bible one day, no rush I want to make sure I understand what I am reading. So if you struggle with taking forever to read a book your not alone. But while reading Daniel for the first time, God does a miracle that gives me so much encouragement I want to share.

King Nebuchadnezzar makes a gold image and asked everyone to worship it when the music comes on. Daniel’s three friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refused and were summoned to the king. The king promises to throw them into a blazing furnace if they don’t worship his gold image.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us [a] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:16-18 NIV

They have so much faith and are bold to tell the king who God is, clearly the Lord of their lives. They believe with their heart and soul that God would deliver them. King Nebuchadnezzar heats the fire seven times hotter than usual and gets the strongest soldiers to tie up them up with all their clothes on. They are thrown into the fire and the flames were so hot that the soldiers who threw them in died. The king then sees four men walking around in the fire unbound and unharmed, one looks like the son of gods. He commands the three out of the fire.

27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them. Daniel 3:27 NIV

What!!! So you’re telling me they were walking around in the fire with someone else and nothing on them is burnt except for the ropes they were tied up with. This blew my mind, they were set free just like how Jesus delivered us from our chains of the enemy. When we accept Jesus as Lord, we are redeemed from the curse of sin, sickness and poverty. Jesus reminds me that we are healed by his stripes, free from the law of sin and death and that He will meet all of my needs according to his glory and riches in Christ Jesus. The God in the Old Testament is the same God yesterday, today and tomorrow, the difference is we have a new covenant that includes grace. He can rescue you from the fire and you can leave unharmed if you let him be the Lord of you life. I’m so encouraged this morning to let God guide my steps even when they seem so difficult because He knows what is best for me and will protect me. I hope this encourages you today!! Be blessed.