Today my car was written off after an accident earlier this week. Thankfully, no one was hurt, and as we were not at fault, our insurance fully covered everything. As I was praying over the loss of my car, I felt God say quietly; everything’s alright.
Taking the attitude that “everything’s alright” can change our perspective completely.
Instead of spending your day just surviving and getting anxious or stressed, you can look at the circumstances of your day and choose to smile, trust God will work in every circumstances and choose to enjoy life because He ultimately in control, will work all things together for our good and promises that everything’s alright.
He promises, “That if He is for us, who can be against us. That neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God” (Romans 8:31, 39)
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
As you think about everything being okay today, instead of focusing on the negatives, disappointments or fears, you will be able to start smiling at your day, and peace will replace your anxious thoughts.
EVERYTHING in our lives when we walk with Jesus will be okay. He is for us, with us, and Heaven is cheering us on.
You are going to be okay. You may hit a few potholes on the road along the way; maybe even get a few bumps and bruises, BUT YOU WILL BE OKAY!
So today, choose to have a positive attitude and hold onto and rest in the truth that EVERYTHING’S ALRIGHT!
Prayer: Lord, thank you that you are with me, and because of that, everything is alright and going to be okay. Please help me to remember that so that I can smile at my day. In Jesus name Amen
I’ve discovered something about answered prayer over the years. It’s that we need to ‘frame up” what we are asking. Meaning we need to see it just like we can see a picture within its frame.
I spent a few weeks working in a picture framers as a teenager, and I learnt that there is a fine art behind framing; the measurements, colours, mount boards and the frame itself. It takes time, effort, skill, thought and imagination to frame up artwork well.
Likewise, it takes time, effort, and allowing ourselves to see what God sees and to “frame up” what we believe in prayer. We can rush the process and then wonder why we don’t see the spectacular and complete answers to our prayer requests. However, I’m discovering that when we properly “frame-up” our requests and take time to seek what God is saying about our future and what the blueprint He is releasing from heaven is, then amazing things happen.
God is a good God, and He loves us more than we can imagine. When we honour Him for who He is and choose to “frame-up” – to see and dare to ask and believe in the power of God, then we will begin to draw these things into our lives.
What are you “framing up” today? Are you believing, speaking and “seeing” the miraculous and best for your life, or are you “framing up” disaster, strife and lack?
Jesus said some pretty astounding things, and one such statement he made was, “I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them.” (Mark 11:22) In other words, “frame it up”. Seek God, see it, believe, ask, and you shall have it.
Take some time and “frame up” something fantastic today.
Prayer: Lord, help me see how you see and begin to frame up the world how you want it to be so that I can then start to believe for that to happen. I’m choosing to “frame up” something amazing today. In Jesus name Amen.
Today I shared with a friend about an issue close to my heart, who then used their influence to inform and motivate others to take action. It reminded me of how important our voice is and that we can all make a difference and be an instrument to bring change.
History records many men and women who made themselves available and chose to impact the world for good.
I love the story of one such man named Dwight Moody. He was born in 1837 to poor parents in a humble farmhouse in Massachusetts. At 17 years old, he left home to move to Chicago as a shoe salesman.
Dwight Moody was known for his surrendered life to God and a man of prayer. He was a greater prayer than a preacher and knew in the depths of his soul that nothing is too hard for God. So he would pray.
But what always inspires me most is that Dwight Moody understood the value of one person to God. Every day he determined to speak to at least one person about Jesus, even if that meant getting back out of bed late at night and going out on the street to find someone to share.
He was one ordinary man, but in God’s hand, his life impacted millions of lives, and his spiritual legacy continues to impact the world today.
Life is full of good things; jobs, families, careers, cars, houses, holidays etc. But if that is all our life consists of, then perhaps we have missed it. They may all be good things, but how many of what consumes our thoughts and time is lasting?
The bible says, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever” (1 Peter 1:24).
What if you used your time each day, not just on the immediate but on what is of eternal significance. What a difference you would make in the lives of people around you and the world. If you just stopped and asked God, “What would you have me say and do today?”
Today seek God for His purpose and cause for your life because one person can make a difference. Make that one person you!
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
Prayer: Lord, help me see the difference and eternal significance I can make. Speak to and lead me today Lord, I’m listening and available. In Jesus name Amen.
Today I had a conversation with one of our sons about the state of the world. As we discussed certain matters it was clear that it would be relatively easy to become despondent and very concerned, especially if you study current affairs, politics, religion, and the general condition of the world.
However, I believe we are born for such a time as this and that God empowers us for anything we may be required to walk through. With Him we can all be instrumental in making a positive impact and difference to those around us.
As I chatted with my son, I asked him what he has in his hand that God has gifted and equipped him with that with God’s enabling and guidance could be used to bring change, encouragement and help stem the tide of negativity and fear.
Jesus said, “Your lives light up the world. For how can you hide a city that stands on a hilltop?And who would light a lamp and then hide it in an obscure place?Instead, it’s placed where everyone in the house can benefit from its light. So don’t hide your light!Let it shine brightly before others so that your commendable works[will shine as light upon them, and then they will give their praise to your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16 TPT)
We all have something to contribute that God can and will work in and through us to make an impact. It could simply be a word of encouragement, a smile, a helping hand or using our talents and abilities to restore and renew hope; to be a light in the darkness.
In the middle of every difficulty lies an opportunity to grow, learn and make a difference.
Make yourself available to help and encourage others where you can.
Take the time to encourage yourself in the Lord. Remind yourself of his promises, and look for the good and potential both in yourself and those around you.
“There are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened.” Be a person who makes things happen for good in your world.
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:37)
“If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? (Romans 8:31)
Prayer: Lord, I look to you today for my encouragement and rest in your promises. Thank you that you have a plan, and nothing surprises you. Please help me to trust in you today and to encourage and be a light in the dark. Use me to make a difference today. In Jesus name Amen.
This morning, I sent a message to a friend and didn’t notice the typo I’d made before I pressed send. As a result, I asked someone, “How are your guts”, which was kinda weird, rather than “how are you guys?“
It reminded me how easy it is to miscommunicate and that we can all inadvertently say the wrong thing or offend people whether we mean to or not.
My husband and I have been married for 31 years this year. We have six children, and with our busy schedules and that many people in a house, you learn, often the hard way, how to navigate one another, give each other space and seek to hear the other person’s heart and not just their words.
We constantly have to be aware of our tendencies to transfer emotions from other relationships or experiences onto the situation in front of us; when we don’t watch this space, what entails is yelling, division, strife and chaos.
Over the years, I’ve discovered that peace and strength in our relationships comes from consistently choosing to be patient, kind, humble and forgiving. To put into practice what God says in that “Love covers a multitude of sin, so love each other deeply.” (1 Peter 4:8)
It takes effort and being a student of good communication and a desire to hone our people skills that enables us to get along with people because let’s face it, people can be hard work, plus we all want our own way.
Relationships of any sort take work and time to develop, but in putting in the effort with others, we grow our skills to communicate and develop into the person God made us to be.
It’s also in relationships that our personality and character is either sharpened up or sanded back to bring out the best in us. “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” (Proverbs 27:17)
Today I encourage you to take a breath before you speak or press send on a message (proof reading is a great thing), and especially if you’re feeling annoyed with those around you.
Most of all, I encourage you to ask God to fill your heart with His love which never fails. Determine to seek to hear other people’s hearts regarding what they are doing or saying, rather than jumping to conclusions about what you think they may have meant. As I say, “presumption is the mother of all stuff up’s”, so don’t presume you know what other’s mean when you may not. Find out what people mean (especially if you get a weird text message), examine your reactions, and seek to walk in love.
“The intentions of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out.” (Proverbs 20:5)
“Don’t say anything that would hurt another person. Instead, speak only what is good so that you can give help wherever it is needed. That way, what you say will help those who hear you.” (Ephesians 4:29)
Prayer: Lord, please help me to communicate better and to make myself understood. Where I fail or make a mistake, please cover it with your love and grace and help me to trust you with my heart and relationships. In Jesus name Amen.
Mankind has been created with a great capacity for joy. You could say laughter is our birth right, as natural to us as breathing. Babies begin smiling during the first weeks of life and laugh and chuckle within a few months of being born. They just know how to smile and laugh!
The sight of someone laughing uncontrollable is contagious. My husband is particularly hilarious when he laughs as he ends up practically rolling on the floor with tears streaming down his face, unable to speak as he first chuckles and then roars with laughter. You can’t help but laugh along with him and at him.
Laughter like that draws people together and increases happiness and intimacy. It also triggers healthy physical changes in the body, strengthening our immune system, boosting energy levels, diminishing pain, and protecting us from the damaging effects of stress. Laughter also brings our mind and body back into balance as it lightens our burdens, inspires hopes, reminds us of the joy of being alive and connects us to others. God knew what He was talking about when he said “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” (Proverbs 17:22)
However life at times can try to beat the laughter out of us. We can find ourselves rarely smiling, much less laughing. But there is a remedy.
I have discovered that if I set aside time to seek out humor and laughter and to do things I enjoy then laughter and joy become part of who I am, especially if I allow Jesus to restore and heal my heart, exchanging my tears for His joy. Jesus said, “The thief (devil) comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].” (John 10:10)
“You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.” (Psalm 30:11-12)
Here are some other ways to help laughter become part of your day:
1.Count your blessings. Give thanks for what you do have and don’t focus primarily on the problems of your day because most things are only momentary struggles. I have a saying. “If we won’t remember it in 20 years it probably isn’t worth stressing about”.
2.Smile. Smiling is the beginning of laughter. Like laughter, it’s contagious. It’s possible to laugh without even experiencing a funny event. The same is true for smiling. When you look at someone or see something even mildly amusing, practice smiling. Look for small slivers of joy in your day. The world and it’s inhabitants are really quite hilarious.
3. When you hear laughter, move toward it. Most often, people are very happy to share something funny because it gives them an opportunity to laugh again. When you hear laughter, seek it out and check out “What’s so funny?”
4. Spend time with fun, joyful people. Spend time with those people who laugh easily, both at themselves and at life’s hilarious moments. St Teresa of Avila stated rather bluntly, “May God protect me from gloomy saints”. Misery loves company, so make sure you aren’t always keeping company with it.
5. Bring humor into conversations. Ask people, “What’s the funniest or best thing that happened to you today? We regularly ask this at our family dinner times. Kids especially can be very funny with their view of the world and people, so give people opportunity to share the joy.
6. Laugh at yourself.The best way to take yourself less seriously is to talk about times when you took yourself too seriously. We all have embarrassing moments, but some of them are truly hilarious when shared. Plus hopefully when we share them with others and have a good chuckle, we end up laughing instead of cringing when we think of those moments in the future.
7. Surround yourself with reminders to lighten up, and be more spontaneous. Surround yourself with things that make you smile; a funny poster, a screensaver or ringtone that makes you smile, and memories of family or friends having fun. Watch a funny movie regularly, spend time doing fun things, try something new and renew your passion and joy for life. We all struggle to find joy when we have nothing to look forward to, so find things that you enjoy and then do them.
8. Keep things in perspective. Many things in life are beyond our control, but they are not beyond God’s. Spend time with Him, and give Him your burdens on a daily basis. It will keep the any stress under control, and lift the weight off your shoulders.
Charlie Chaplin wisely said ” a day without laughter is a day wasted”, so let’s not waste any more days. “Cast all your cares upon Jesus, for He cares for you”, then look for things to smile at, laugh and embrace the gift of your day. (1 Peter 5:7)
Prayer: Lord I want to thank you for the gift of laughter. Please lift off any burdens and concerns I have and fill my heart with laughter and joy. In Jesus Name Amen.
I’m discovering more the simple act of listening with my heart, and centering in on Jesus, who if we invite Him is always present with us. It’s quiet in that place with Him. Some call it the “prayer of quiet”, where we bring our mind down to our hearts, and here wait and listen.
We are not listening to the sounds of the outer world, but to the stillness that is within. We find Jesus more intimately there, and it’s in the quiet, even silence, that we can discover a deepening relationship with Him that nourishes our souls.
When we take the time to learn how to centre and quiet ourselves, then our outer everyday life becomes more and more grounded in Jesus; it becomes less hectic and we find we carry peace with us.
If we want to live more often in this peaceful calm space, and to be aware of God’s presence 24/7, I’ve found it’s helpful to learn the habit of the “prayer of quiet”.
A centering prayer of quiet enables us to turn our attention towards God. We take a few moments or more to find a quiet comfortable place and:
1. Settle down and let go of any thoughts, tensions and negative feelings we may be carrying. We allow ourselves to rest in God and His love. God says to us, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10)
2. Sometimes its easier to keep our minds focused on Him if we have a word to say to keep ourselves surrendered to God’s presence. That word is something that will draw our attention back to God; such as Jesus, or Holy or Pappa. When you become aware of other thoughts or feelings arising take this as a prompting to return to that chosen word.
3. When thoughts subside and we find ourselves aware of God’s presence, we can let go of saying the word and just sit in the quiet with Him. In the stillness we know Him. In Mark 4:39 we read where Jesus “rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” Jesus has the power of stillness. When we take time to be still with Jesus, we know peace, calm, and our lives begin to slow down.
In the stillness we find healing and our lives restored.
(If in the midst of this quiet, distracting thoughts or sensations start to stir, gently return to your chosen word to keep focused on God).
4. At the end of this “prayer of quiet”, (aim for 10 minutes to begin with) we can “step back into the day” so to speak, and give time to express our thanks to Him, and take the opportunity to pray for others, and bring to Him whatever needs we may have.
It takes practice to “be still” especially when we can be so busy, and the “noise” of the world is constant, but its worth the effort. Take some time today to sit with God in the stillness. His peace and rest are found there.
“Then God said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire;and after the fire a still small voice. (1 Kings 19:11-13)
Prayer: Lord thank you that you are with me, and that you want to be part of every area of my life. You are not far off or distant, but closer than the very air I breathe. Help me to take the time to learn to be quiet, and to discover you in the stillness. May I be more aware of your presence with me. In Jesus name Amen.
We can learn a lot about ourselves while we wait for things to happen in our lives. Are we trusting God and being patient. Are we waiting with a good attitude or losing heart and getting distracted. Are we being pulled onto the wrong path, doing unproductive and even harmful things?
Regardless of what is happening (or not happening), I’ve discovered it’s our character and what sort of man or woman we are becoming that God is interested in, just as much as what we’re waiting for.
God knows everything has an appointed time, and rather than grumble, complain or have a bad attitude, he wants us to grow in the wait, learn to lean on His goodness, and trust Him even when the answer or dream looks long in coming.
God’s promises can come to pass in a moment, suddenly and seemingly out of nowhere.
But it’s in the wait that our characters are sharpened, refined and worked on. However His work is done much easier when we don’t keep running off doing our own thing or throwing a hissy fit because we think everything is taking too long.
“Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.” ( Proverbs 14:29)
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)
Today, whatever or wherever you are in life, I encourage you to grow in the wait. Choose to trust God’s appointed timing and that when you have finished waiting, it will be all the sweeter for the testing and proving of your character and your increased appreciation for what you’ve waited for.
Prayer: Lord, I’m choosing to trust your perfect timing and to have a great attitude as I wait. Please work in me and create a right heart and attitude in me today. In Jesus name Amen
Picking up a bible will reveal that God looks at people’s hearts above all else. We’re prone to look at outward appearances; how intelligent, attractive, clean living, successful, and even “spiritual” people are. But that doesn’t seem to be all that God sees when you examine some of the accounts of the men and women who became friends of God.
Take, for example, men like Abraham, a pagan sun-worshipper who God called to follow Him, Rahab, the town prostitute, King David, who one minute was playing worship songs and then the next chose to commit adultery resulting in getting a married woman pregnant and then organised to have her husband killed in battle to cover his tracks.
Mary Magdalene, who was demonically afflicted, Zacchaeus, a thief and a cheat, Peter, a loud, sometimes bumbling fisherman, and a crazy possessed man who hid naked in a cemetery. (Gen 12; 2 Sam 11:1-27; Joshua 2; Luke 8:1-3; Luke 19:1-10; Matt 14:18-22; Mark 56:1-20)
All these people were not the type you would expect to be wanted and chosen by God to be or do anything, and yet their lives are recorded as precisely whom and what God wanted in a relationship with Him.
Why? Because God looks at the condition of our hearts and He sees who he has made us to become. That is what is most important to Him, and all He asks is, “Do you want me and the life I have to offer you?”
Because He offers it with an outstretched hand for you to walk with Him step by step. He doesn’t expect you to be perfect or never make a mistake but to do your very best to follow and get to know Him and then learn from Him how to live the abundant life He wants for you. (John 10:10)
Today, choose to follow Him with your whole heart. Let God know you want Him in your world and His type of life, and then invite Him to show you how to live that out everyday.
“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29 NLT)
Prayer: Jesus, even though sometimes it’s difficult to understand why you would want me, I’m choosing to believe you do because you gave up your life for me. Help me choose the life you offer me, and then please help me walk with you every day. In Jesus name Amen.