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Start Your Day With Gratitude

Sometimes when we are under stress it’s hard to see anything to be grateful for. Maybe you overslept because your alarm clock didn’t wake you or perhaps you had repeated nightmares or maybe one of your kids was up sick all night.

Psalm 100: 4 says, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” On the mornings it’s hardest to praise God or practice gratitude, that’s when it’s most important that you do it! If you’re struggling to be grateful, try one of these activities:

Journal. Dial into your five senses and use them to help you journal. Make a list like “I’m grateful that I can hear…” then list 4-5 things you can hear right now. For example, you might put the birds chirping outside your bedroom window, your child’s laughter, or the hiss of your coffee pot as it brews.

Create a gratitude jar. Each morning, take a second to write down something you’re grateful for. Focus on just one thing and write it down on a slip of paper. Put your slip into your gratitude jar. Then at the end of the year, you’ll be able to read through 365 things you gave thanks for.

Practice the ABCs of gratitude. You can do this exercise anywhere and it doesn’t require much time. Simply start listing what you’re grateful for by letter. For example, you might say, “I’m grateful for the cool morning Air, the warmth of my Bed, the feel of my soft Clothes, etc”.

God, help me to use the mornings to focus on my blessings. That way, I can approach each day with a grateful heart and a thankful spirit.

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Can You Resist?

My devotional reading this morning had to do with the story of Joseph and how he resisted Potiphar’s wife when she tried to seduce him. In case you are not familiar with the story, it goes like this: Jacob had twelve sons and the second youngest was called Joseph. Jacob loved Joseph more than the others because he was the son of Rachel, the wife whom Jacob adored. To show his love for Joseph, Jacob made him a special coat of many colors. This show of favoritism caused Joseph’s brothers to hate him.

To make matters worse, Joseph often taunted them by telling them his dreams. He told one dream in which he saw them bowing to him. This made them hate him even more. One day when they were tending the flocks in the field, Jacob sent Joseph to see how they were doing. When the brothers saw him coming, they plotted to kill him, but Reuben, the oldest, balked at the idea. They eventually ended up selling Joseph to a caravan of Ishmaelites who were passing by, and Joseph ended up in Egypt.

Not only did God spare Joseph’s life, but he gave him favor with Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, who put him in charge of his household. Potiphar’s wife took one look at the handsome young man and decided she must have him. The Bible says every day she tried to tempt him to go to bed with her, but Joseph refused. Then one day when no one else was in the house, “She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house” (Genesis 39 : 12). 

So, to my question above, can you resist temptation ? Can you run from it the way Joseph did ? In the story, Joseph ran from sexual sin, a sin of the flesh. There are other fleshly temptations that may not be sin, but they can be harmful to us in some way. Gluttony, alcoholism, drug abuse, smoking, all of these can get us into trouble if we don’t run from them. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a glass of wine now and then (Jesus made wine at the wedding feast – John 2: 1 – 10), but if you know you are given to alcoholism you should refuse.

Learning to resist temptation can help you build character and live a life that pleases God and frees you from harmful impulses. Have you tried to resist some temptation or habit and failed over and over again? Maybe you need someone to help guide you through the process. If so, why not fill in the form below and let’s have a chat? I’m waiting to hear from you.

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Wait For It

Image by James Wheeler from Pixabay

Last week I was forced to do something I dislike – wait. I was traveling by plane to New York for my brother’s funeral and since I always try to make my life as stress-free as possible, I arrived at the airport exactly two hours before my flight. To top it off, I checked in online, uploaded my boarding pass to my phone – very convenient, this technology thing – and since I had no luggage to check, I breezed over to security and then to my gate. I felt very proud of myself, until I sat and began the tedious business of waiting.

Waiting is inevitable

Do you enjoy waiting? I guess not. But in life there are so many things we have to wait for. The bus, the plane, an answer to a job application and so many others. It’s the same when you’re trying to achieve a goal. A person doesn’t enter medical school and become a doctor right away. Or, you don’t climb into a cockpit and become a pilot. You have to go through years of study and tests before you become a doctor or a pilot or whatever you’re aiming at.

Waiting is good

Yes, you read that right. Waiting is good. The Bible says, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40: 31). What does this mean? It means while we’re waiting on the Lord to accomplish His will in us, we’re gathering strength. We’re preparing ourselves to meet that goal head on so when the time comes, we will not fail. We cannot fail.

Waiting in faith

Whatever you are waiting on, whether it’s to lose weight, find a job, find the right man or woman, you must wait in faith. Know that God’s will for your life will prevail, if you trust Him. So, while you are waiting, relax. Do not worry or fret because the answer seems long in coming. Do not worry or fret if the answer is ‘no.’ I know that sounds discouraging, but not everything we pray for is right for us. Think of the way you respond when your children ask for something. Sometimes you say, “wait,” and sometimes you say, “no.” It’s the same with our Heavenly Father.

The wait will end

As I waited for my plane in the airport, I checked my emails then leafed through a book I planned to read. By the time the boarding call came, I was relaxed. No more of the anxiety I’d felt on the way to the airport as to whether I would get there on time and whether my documents were in order. The wait had ended, and I was ready for my flight. Are you ready for your flight? Are you ready to “mount up with wings like eagles?” If not, maybe you need to wait some more, pray some more and trust God.

Are you getting tired of waiting to achieve your health goals? Maybe you need someone to help you while you wait. Why not fill in the form below and let’s chat?

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Walking In Love

Her face radiated joy as she spoke about the change that came over her when she accepted Christ as her Savior. She said, “Before that, I was a mess. I knew I loved my daughter and those around me, but I had no idea how to express that love. As a result, my marriage broke up, and I almost lost my daughter as well.” Thankfully, Judy (not her real name) is learning how to give and receive love.

The Bible has a lot to say about love. In fact, some call it God’s love letter to us. When you read the Bible, you see how much God love us. He loves us so much that He sacrificed His only Son to redeem us back to Him. And He teaches us how we are to love.  In John 13:34, Jesus states, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” He continues, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (13:35)

There are many more verses in the Bible concerning love. One of the best known – 1 Corinthians 13 – forms part of some wedding vows and is usually referred to as the Love Chapter. In verse 4 it says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” Look at how many qualities it covers in just one sentence. If we observe and try to live out those qualities in our daily lives, think how much happier we would be.

As Judy spoke about learning to love, she shared about her bout with depression. By not walking in love, we can become impatient, unkind, envious, boastful and proud – factors that contribute to us making bad decisions that can eventually lead to ill health. Have you noticed how angry some people are? They are obviously not walking in love.

As you move along your pathway to health and wholeness, examine your love life. Oh, I’m not talking about romance. I’m talking about what’s in your heart. Is it full of love for your fellow man? Or is it full of pride, envy and all the negative qualities mentioned above? We may not be aware that we are carrying around these things, but if we ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what we need to get rid of, He will reveal them and He will cleanse us of them. Try it. God bless.

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monday motivation – but god

While searching for an idea for this morning’s blog, I came across a Facebook post by one of friends with the title above – “BUT GOD.” Since my friend made her post public, I know she wouldn’t mind me mentioning it on my blog. She had gone for a mammogram – not the usual routine one – but one ordered by her doctor because they found a 1 cm mass in her breast.

I had to read more because (1) this is my friend and former co-worker, and (2) I had a similar experience almost six months ago, only it wasn’t my breast, it was my kidney. Like her, like any woman who has to go through this type of thing, I left the doctor’s office in a daze after he gave me his findings. I had a 2 cm mass in my left kidney, and unlike my friend, mine was malignant. The good news was since it was so small, it could easily be burnt off.

Like my friend, I kept thinking, He doesn’t give us more than we can bear. The procedure went well and my follow-up tests so far have showed no further growth. I am due for my six-month screen in a few weeks, and I’m trusting God that everything will be all right. #But God.

I know He’s awesome. He doesn’t give us more than we can bear. “No weapon formed against us shall prosper. ” If you have had any kind of diagnosis, remember God is able. Just trust Him. Do what you need to do and leave the rest to Him. Eat right. Exercise. Follow your doctor’s orders and – schedule your mammogram. This is my friend’s advice and it’s mine to you.

Bad things come across our paths everyday, but God. He is on your side. Won’t you trust Him today? If you enjoyed this post, share it with your friends and on social media. If you need further help, please fill in the form below. God bless.

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monday motivation – be careful who you listen to

Dr. Martin Luther King

Dr. Martin Luther King had the gift of oratory. When he spoke, people listened and acted upon what he said. Jesus Christ was able to sway the multitudes with His powerful words and is still doing so today through His written word. In today’s culture, both these men would be called influencers.

Many of us listen to the advice of others. They may be influencers or just friends and family members. In the Bible, a man called Job had some friends who came to sympathize with him after his misfortune. But after some days, they began to blame him for the terrible things that had happened to him. Do you have friends like that?

Fortunately for Job, he did not listen to them. He refused to give in to their words of blame and discouragement. Instead, Job replied, “How long will you torment me and crush me with words? Ten times now you have reproached me; shamelessly you attack me. If it is true that I have gone astray, my error remains my concern alone” (Job 19: 2 – 4) NIV. 

While Job acknowledged that God had turned against him, he didn’t know why, but he did not lose his faith in God. He said,
“Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face” (13: 15).

So, who are you listening to? Do you have people in your life telling you to give up, you will never achieve your goals, you are wasting your time? Don’t listen to these naysayers. Do what Job did. Continue to trust in God and He will help you in His way and His time.

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monday motivation – do you want to be well?

Image by RD LH from Pixabay

Jesus asked this question of a disabled man who had been sitting poolside for thirty-eight years, “Do you want to be well?” It was believed that an angel came during a certain season and troubled the water and whoever got into the pool first after the angel had stirred it up would be cured. Jesus’ question was not a sarcastic one.

Rhetorical, but not sarcastic. Just as He is saying to you right now, “Do you want to be well? Do you want to be free of diabetes, high blood pressure, low energy, depression? Do you want to look and feel your best? Then follow Jesus’ advice to the disabled man: “Take up your bed and walk!” You have been sitting by the pool for too long waiting for someone to put you into the water. But no one will do it. Everyone is too busy looking after himself.

Today is the day. Take up your bed and walk! Get into that pool! Do what you should have done a long time ago. Your life depends on it.

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Monday motivation – stop comparing yourself to others

Recently I read a very interesting piece of scripture in my morning devotional. Jesus had just asked Peter if he loved Him. This was after Jesus’s crucifixion when Peter had so shockingly denied knowing Christ. Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved him. The third time Jesus asked the question Peter felt hurt and replied, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you” (John 21: 17).

A very interesting conversation followed, in which Jesus charged Peter to “feed His sheep,” and indicated the kind of death Peter will suffer. “Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go” (v 18).

The scripture goes on to say that Peter looked back and saw John, known as the disciple whom Jesus loved, following them. Peter asked, “Lord, what about him?”  Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me” (v 21 – 22).

Profound words from a profound Master. Peter’s destiny was not John’s destiny, in the same way that your destiny is not the same as your best friend’s or your sister’s or anybody else’s. So, stop comparing yourself to others, whether in your weight, your home or your success in life. Just try to be the best you can be, and leave the rest to God.

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Monday motivation – rejuvenate yourself

Rest is essential

When you are physically tired, what comes to your mind? A relaxing bath, your nice warm bed,  a quiet place? After a long day of preaching and teaching the crowds who followed Him, Jesus often invited His disciples to retire to a quiet place to rest. If Jesus needed to rest, we do too.

Rest is more than a good night’s sleep

Sometimes, a good night’s sleep is all we need to help us recover from a hard day’s work, a long trip or a mentally exhausting task. However, it doesn’t always work. While your body may feel rested, your mind may still be restless, wandering from one thought to another. On such occasions, you need to find your place of rest.

Finding perfect rest

Reading and meditating on God’s word can quiet your body and mind and help you find perfect rest. Jesus said, “Come unto me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11: 28).  Listening to soothing music, engaging in a hobby or taking a walk around the block are other activities that can leave you feeling rested and rejuvenated. What is your favorite way to find rest?

Today is World Cancer Day. Read  this post and see how you can help in the fight against this debilitating disease.