Every year I have good intentions but they tend to slip away with the dawning of a new day. Of course I've not abandoned my intentions purposely. Too many times it's only after much time has passed and I've gotten lost in the day to day when something stirs the memory and I disappointedly realize somewhere along the way I lost sight of my intention. Unintentionally this is a place we all find ourselves. We set goals, we mean well but the days, weeks and months roll by and before we know it a new year has been ushered in and we've found ourselves no closer to where we meant to be. Even more sadly we may even find ourselves further from where we envisioned. There have been times I've even purposely had no goals or intention just so I didn't have to go through the disappointment of what I deemed as failure. I would reason that doing such allowed me a pass and I wouldn't have any reason to give myself mental lashings for "failing to obtain". In reality those lashings still came because deep inside I still secretly wanted to be further. When I find myself in the exact same state I have nobody to blame but myself... When I fail to plan I am indeed planning to fail. Looking onward. Even if my plan, goal or intentions don't turn out as I hoped I will offer myself the same grace I would give to others. I would never berate someone for not achieving a goal instead I would encourage them to keep making steps to work towards their vision. I deserve the same encouragement so why shouldn't say the same to myself. So what am I going to do? I'm going to set some goals in writing. I will have categories, there will be: within 1 year, within 5 years, and before I die. Instead of just having good intentions I will with determination work towards meeting my goals. At the ending of each week or month I will (with grace) evaluate how well I am reaching my aim and readjust as needed. Everyday will offer new challenges and I may have to make allowances for change but I will be determined to not allow those challenges to become an excuse to remain stalled. Every day is new and given to us to begin again. Let's all make today and everyday count.
"This is the beginning of a new day. You have been given this day to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever; in its place is something that you have left behind...let it be something good. ~Author Unknown"
When I stop and think about it I’m often amazed at how things can make a connection for me and tie together. I began thinking about something a friend once told me, “Don’t stare at the closed door for so long that you don’t notice the window God opened for you”. I would see the closed door and stand there for so long waiting for it to reopen that I would fail to see the window and realize that the door was only what I wanted not what was best for me. I begin to understand that life may not have went the direction I wanted it to go or been as straight a road as I would have liked but it’s what was needed and I had to take some of the turns or I wouldn’t be the person I am today. I still have a long journey ahead of me but I see that God had a window open, a window that would put my focus directly on Him. The Ark Noah built had one window at the top so they would keep focused on God instead of the storm, I too need to remain focused on Him not my storms.
That status got me to thinking of one of the lessons I've had to learn and prompted me to reflect over this past year and my life as a whole. We should always strive to be better and doing our best even when it isn’t easy. It's always good to clean up, reevaluate a few things and move on.
Love ain't always easy or pretty but sometimes we are the only examples to a lost world. It's our choice, showing love will be modeled in our daily behavior, wither saved or unsaved. How can I win someone to the Lord if I can't say hey, I've struggled too, and show I genuinely care. How can people believe the love of Christ if you don't show them you love them first. God either sends or allows everything in our life, I've had joy and I've had heartache and trouble. Choices made by me and made by others around me are all developing me and teaching me what God would have me too know. All our experiences will teach us if we are willing to learn the lesson that is in them.
The above status is my prayer for my own personal life. I pray it applies to all I come in contact with. I pray everyone will set goals and strive to meet them. Don't just make a resolution to change in the upcoming year. Set some goals and work toward them. Judge whither you are meeting them in God's sight and continue moving on; do better where you need to and repent where you need as well, be honest with yourself. God knows your best and if you listen He will tell you what your areas of strength are and what needs improvement.
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. (Matthew 7:1-29 )
I don't know why he sends or allows certain situations into our lives but we are allowed to choose how we react to it. I myself know I haven't reacted very well during certain times but He has sent or allowed these things to teach me. (1 Corinthians 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;) Because I've had to go through it, someday I can help someone going through the same things. The lesson I'm learning is it begins at home and within our church families (John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.) Can people see and know you love them, can you see you love and value your family members?
In the church we are family and we are all members of one body that God has designed. (1 Corinthians 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.) 1 Corinthians 12:14-18 For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
Follow God's leading. We may fear an outcome, people may fail us but we have to trust in His ways and do what's right even when it hurts. We are living to please God and point others to Christ. We have to have faith and know Christ will get us through because in our weakness He is shown strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.) He knows the way and His judgment is best.
Galatians 6:7-8 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? (Matthew 9:4)
I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down. (Luke 13:5-9)
We will be known by our fruit. It can be seen in our lifestyle and our family.
Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. (Matthew 12:33)
Is your fruit good? (Galatians 5:22&23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.)
Or is it bad? (Galatians 5:19-21Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.)
"If you have a bad attitude with a capital A what kind of fruit do you have? -Eddie Kelso" Are you reproducing, have you won anyone to the Lord, talked about Jesus and led them toward the Lord. Are you unreachable or reachable, like Jesus? Are we saved and have a relationship or are we merely following law and keeping appearances? The situation can be bad but we aren't in it alone when we are saved.
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (Hebrews 13:5)
We all need to work on making our fruit better and it will start with our family (Matthew 16:25-27 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.) What does it profit if you win the world and lose your family? How can your family believe you love them if you can't show you love them, how can they believe what you say about Christ is true if they cannot see it in your life and behavior toward them. Will they know what you say is true because it's modeled in your life or will they laugh at you like Lot the one who seemed as if he mocked. (Genesis 19:14 And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.)
Don't fear the outcome, trust God and follow Him. It won't be easy but you'll never be alone. (Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.)
(1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.) He didn't say it wouldn't hurt! As a matter of fact sometimes hurt is just how you will reach others. It is only then that they can see what we've come through and witness that Christ has carried us in His strength. We aren't perfect all we can do is strive to be like Jesus and let Him live through us. We can show others our hurts but also show that in His strength we carry on. (Psalms 43:3 My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?) Can others see your God in you or do they see your gods; do they know where your strength comes from?
Stranger, family, church member, homeless, indebted, rich, free, prisoner he died for us all. We don’t think we deserve the uncomfortable times of life but neither do we deserve blessings in our own merit.
(Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.) We deserve death but instead He died so we could be saved; that's our greatest gift.
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:1-21)
It's all in God's hands. Trust in the Lord. (Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9)
For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. (Hebrews 10:30)
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? (Matthew 7:11)
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (Romans 8:15)
Christ died for us, He didn’t have to but to He valued us as His sons and daughters. (To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. Galatians 4:5)
Examine yourself and get your priorities straight. Have you put anything in your life above God? Whither it be yourself, your family, your possessions, your health, anything before God is like an idol. (Exodus 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:) & (Isaiah 42:8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.) God will do what it takes to get your attention and help you grow.
Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. (James 4:14)
Lord willing this will not be my last year, day, minute or second. Thank you Lord for both your blessings and testings, in both I am blessed. I am His child. Are you His child and are you making the most of your time on this earth? We never know when our time is up, so live as if your time is up, get things right and don’t wish you had or hadn’t done something. Today is the present so enjoy and make your tomorrows something to be proud of.
1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
"Be an encourager. The world has plenty of critics already. -Dave Willis"
Is your life a positive example? Are you modeling the right things? We all have to answer that question for ourselves. Were we a positive influence or were we a negative one?
I'm a wife of 20 years to a husband that consistently chooses to love me despite my flaws and a mother of 3 wonderful, loving and giving children. I have 6 babies waiting for me up in Heaven. I'm imperfect, often broken and learning; you will see many aspects of what makes me the person I am throughout this blog. You will find no condemnation from me. I have my fair share of problems and battles, I win some and lose some but by God's grace I'm continuing in the good fight. I'm attempting to live life authentically and I enjoy the many blessings God has given both in happiness and pain. I don't have any formal education in Biblical Studies and I don't claim to be an expert. I'm just sharing experiences and lessons I am learning or trying to learn as I go through life.