Sunday, May 14, 2017

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, MOM!
              
 FOR THIS IS WHAT THE LORD SAYS: "AS A MOTHER
 COMFORTS HER CHILD, SO WILL I COMFORT YOU."
                         ( ISAIAH 66:13 *NIV )


     
 We can not measure the tremendous love that God
  has for His Children in human terms.  However, I do
  believe the closest thing on Earth to that great love, is
  the love a Mother has for her child!

      Therefore, on this day we honor that special lady in
  our life, our Mother.  So,
 LET YOUR FATHER AND YOUR
  MOTHER BE GLAD, AND LET HER WHO BORE YOU
  REJOICE, ( PROVERBS 23:25 )  
and may she
  be filled with God's Love, Hope, Faith, and Peace today
  and everyday!

      The following was sent to me by one of my Sisters-
  In-Christ.  I feel that it is appropriate to
  share it with you today.  It is called:                   
 

Why are you crying, Mom?

 "Why are you crying?" he asked his Mom.  "Because I'm a
 woman" she told him.  "I don't understand," he said.  His
 Mom just hugged him and said, "And you never will"..........

 Later the little boy asked his father, "Why does mother
 seem to cry for no reason?  "All women cry for no reason"
 was all his dad could say........

 The little boy grew up and became a man, still wondering
 why women cry...

 Finally he put in a call to GOD; when GOD got on the phone
 the man said, "GOD, why do women cry so easily?"
 and GOD said.......

 When I made woman, she had to be special. I made her
 shoulders strong enough to carry the weight of the World;
 yet, gentle enough to give comfort....

 I gave her an inner strength to endure childbirth and the
 rejection that many times comes from her children......

 I gave her a hardness that allows her to keep going when
 everyone else gives up and take care of her family through
 sickness and fatigue without complaining......

 I gave her the sensitivity to love her children under any and
 all circumstances, even when her child has hurt her very
 badly...

 This same sensitivity helps her to make a child's boo-boo
 feel better and shares in their teenagers anxieties and
 fears.......

 I gave her strength to carry her husband through his faults
 and fashioned her from his rib to protect his heart.....

 I gave her wisdom to know that a good husband never hurts
 his wife, but, sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve
 to stand beside him unfalteringly.....

 I gave her tears to shed. They are hers to use whenever she
 needs them.  They are her secret strength.  They make her
 more like ME.....

                                                                Author Unknown

Happy Mother's Day!


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mountain-Top Challenge


©Cheryl Howard Photo by Cheryl Howard
©Cheryl Howard - Photo by Cheryl Howard 

Hope, like love, transcends all time.


Mountain-Top Challenge

  • Let go of fears
  • Let go of the past
  • Infuse power, a positive mental attitude, enthusiasm and motivation into everyday thinking and way of life.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Things I learned in April




This April has been filled with challenges but through is all my faith in God has strengthen and I know my family is there for me. I am truly blessed with a wonderful family and great friends. No matter what God is faith! Being diagnosed with and having surgery for a Macular Hole; I've had lots of quiet time. Learning to be still for someone who's always on the go was not easy. But I was determined and I persevered.

It was during this time I took on and completed the 30 Day Creative Basics Challenge. Each day was a new assignment and challenge...and it was so much fun. I learned some new skills, discovered some new websites(Unsplash, Pexels), a new app (Mixgram - love this one!) and rediscovered others that I hadn't used in a while (Canva, PicMonkey). After completing the daily challenges - here's my cool certificate!



Here are some of the images I created using images from Pexels and Unsplash but my own images as well. Some were text only graphic. Some of these were used to update my Social Media sites and will also be used in the future on this blog. I also learned how to use a feature in Photoshop to place multiple images on one page with or without the file names called "contact sheet" seen here below.





Looking forward to creating more fun graphics and posting them here and on my social media sites! 

Have a fun creative day!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Attitude



Stay in the Game and Fight to Win

Attitude and Determination

Use time wisely - manage it

Have a great attitude because whatever you give out always comes back to you. Have an all-the-time great attitude. An Attitude of Gratitude

Our attitude determines our altitude.

Character: who are you when no one else is looking. 

Change is a choice. When you change everything around you changes.

Put God first in your life and in everything you say and do.



Be blessed and be a blessing!

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Power of Prayer



The Power of Prayer

As believers, Christ-Followers (CF’s), we are not immune from attacks from the enemy – spiritual warfare – but we have the power of the Father. God’s power to defend and stand against the assaults by the enemy. His resources are limitless and we as CF’s can draw on these resources.

Paul wrote Ephesians largely for the purpose of unveiling the strength inherent in every person who is in relationship with God through Christ (CF’s). In Ephesians, Paul highlights one of the most important yet overlooked aspects of our spiritual armor: prayer



Paul deemed prayer so critical in gaining victory over Satan’s power in our lives that, as one scholar observed, “Ephesians has proportionately more than 55% as many verses directly related to prayer” as Romans, Paul’s longest letter. He knew prayer was able to change the trajectory of their whole lives. Victory in spiritual warfare is inseparable from prayer. 

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.  Ephesians 1:18-21 (NIV)
The hope we have is not some vague feeling that the future will be positive, but it is complete assurance of certain victory through God. This complete certainty comes to us through the Holy Spirit who is working in us. God’s great power is available to help us; there is nothing too difficult for Him.

For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19 (NIV)
We all have the fullness of God available to us in union with Christ, through His empowering Spirit. We must appropriate that fullness through faith and through prayer as we daily live for Him. Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians is also for you and for me. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill every aspect of your life to the fullest.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21(NIV)




Friday, April 28, 2017

Through My Eye



Journey Through My Eye

Many of my family and friends know that I was recently diagnosed with a Macular Hole (yes, that is the official medical term for it) in my right eye. I went to the eye doctor because I was seeing spots and floaters in front of my eyes; and it was increasingly difficult to put my eyeliner on. Before this, I had never heard of "macular hole" but as I talk to family and friends it's not as uncommon as I thought. 

One day you’re doing fine and in an instant your life is dramatically changed. I know that God’s plans for me are good even though, at the moment, they didn’t feel good.  HE is at work.

It was discovered by my eye doctor, who referred me to a Retina Specialist in my local area. After doing some research and my husband also searching the net, we decided to go to a provider outside the area.  I met with a specialist at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Palm Beach Gardens and they then recommended I see their top Retina Specialist at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami – who is considered the best in the field. The diagnosis was confirmed and surgery was recommended sooner rather than putting it off.

Macular Hole Right Eye

There is no known cause for macular hole and nothing I could have done to prevent it - I'm just one of those lucky people it happens to. God is in control and He always has a plan and my life is in the best hands - His!!! We know that all things will work according to the purpose and plan He has established. We are thankful for His grace and mercy.

Knowing that the only effective treatment is surgery – it was schedule for April 20, 2017, in Miami.  I don't mind the surgery but the recovery is about 2 weeks and another 2 months before my vision will be back to almost normal. I'm told it will never be completely restored and my chances rapidly increase of developing a cataract in that eye which will require another surgery. Also, no plane rides or general anesthesia for the next 2 months - may cause blindness. In case I forget, I have this nice bracelet to remind me. 

  
So, during the recovery I have be facedown for most of the 24 hours of the day. The surgery all things considered was a breeze. Have you ever tried being in a facedown position or looking down constantly? Well, let me just say – it is not easy; it’s a pain in the neck, literally. My back never ached so much. There are medical devices you can rent to help but after a few days – you just get tired of looking at the floor and at your feet. It becomes harder and harder to find a comfortable  position.



I’d like to send a shout-out and thanks to all my family and friends for their unending prayers and words of encouragement; daily phone calls and IM/text messages. The wonderful friends, who supplied us with delicious food, who came and sat with me to brighten my days. A special thanks to the CCM Production Ministry staff and volunteers for the Meal Train!!!

My husband has been so wonderful throughout this whole experience, he has not left my side. He’s been with me every step of the way. We are praying for complete healing, we serve a BIG God, who still works miracles, who can do great and mighty works. This is just a test and I’m praying that God will use this for His glory.



We never know how or when God is going to use us, we just have to be ready. Faith is an action word, requiring us to act so He can act. How we respond to life’s challenges has a tremendous impact on those around us because we don’t always know who’s watching – but be sure, someone always is.

Be Blessed!




Macular Hole Info link

Friday, April 14, 2017

Good Friday




God’s love is not static or self-centered, it reaches out and draws others in. In John 3:16, God sets the pattern of true love, which is the basis for all love relationships – when you love someone dearly, you are willing to give freely to the point of self-sacrifice. God paid dearly with the life of His Son, the highest price He could pay. Jesus accepted our punishment, paid the price for our sins, and the offered us the new life that He had bought for us. When we share the Good New (the gospel) with others, our love must be like Jesus’ – willingly giving up our own comfort and security so that others might join us in receiving God’s love.

Let’s put our trust and confidence in Him, only He can save us.

Be blessed and be a blessing!





Monday, February 27, 2017

Brokenhearted




How Do We Get Beyond to Brokenhearted



In Chapter 11 of the Uninvited Book, Lysa Terkeurst tells us, “We must praise God, seek God, look to God, call to God, experience God, fear God, learn from God, honor God, draw near to God, and take refuge in God.” To help us practice this, she gives us “ten things to remember and proclaim.” Which of these do you need most to help YOU get beyond brokenhearted? With God, in your journal or notebook, work through the list of applications for what you need to remember and proclaim most.

    1.  One rejection is not a projection of future failures (pp. 130-131)
What rejection is causing you to project future failures? On page 130 of the uninvited book, Lysa shares four “No, but…” statements. Write out your own “No, but…” statements for each of you rejections. “No, ________________. But that doesn’t mean ____________________.”

    2.  Rejection doesn’t label you; it enables you to adjust and move on (pp. 131-132)
What label(s) has rejection given you? Write this out, filing in the blanks: “This rejection doesn’t mean I’m _____________ [whatever negative label or shame-filled feeling you are having]. It makes this _______________________ [opportunity, person, desire] a wrong fit for me right now.”

    3.  This could be an invitation to live in expectation of something else (pp.132-133)
Let’s live in expectation of God’s invitation! Journal a prayer, asking God to show you the plans HE has for you and what HE would have you spend your time on. Then listen and watch, with great intentionality, for those good things to be revealed to you!

    4.  There is usually some element of protection wrapped in every rejection (pp.133-34)
Past rejections are a great learning tool and motivator to help us get through current and future rejections! Reflect and journal on your past rejections, looking for possible protections from God. How does realizing God’s past protections help you face rejection today?

    5.  It’s good to ask the “what” questions but less helpful to ask “why” (p 135-136)
Are you stuck in the “whys” from your rejection? Like Lysa says, “What questions increase our ability to become more self-aware, while “why” questions only focus on things out of our control.” Work through the helpful “what” questions Lysa provides in this section.

    6.  Don’t hash, bash or trash on the internet. Remember, the internet never forgets (pp. 136-137)
Do you have past “venting” on the internet you regret? Like Lysa writes, “Don’t let today’s reaction become tomorrow’s regret.” What action/step can you take to prevent venting you’ll regret?

    7.  There’s much more to you than the part that was rejected (pp. 137-139)
Rejection have you feeling less than? Take some time to discover new things about yourself. List the things you’ve tried that didn’t work out. Then pray for God to reveal common threads you can learn them. Like Lysa, you might find clues of what you were made to do instead!

    8.  What one person sees as your liability, another might see as a wonderful asset (pp. 139-140)
Did someone point out a perceived “liability” in you? What can you learn from their opinion by putting yourself in their shoes? How can you make sure you extend grace and honor God in your reaction?

    9.  This is a short-term setback, not a permanent condition (pp. 140-141)
Has your rejection tried to take up permanent residence in your heart? Are there “triggers” that cause negative thoughts, words and actions in you as a result? Take some time to identify and eliminate any reminders that are triggers for you.

    10.             Don’t let this heartbreak destroy you. Let this breaking actually be the making of you. Let God use it in good ways to make you stronger and take you further. (pp. 141-145)
Is rejection causing you to feel brokenhearted? Like Lysa says, “Don’t let what breaks your heart destroy your life. Hold fast to Jesus and remember: This breaking of you will be the making of you. A new you. A stronger you.” Take some time to reflect on past and current rejections. Where can you see how God has used the “breaking of you” to be the “making of you?”




Be blessed and be a blessing!





Taken from the Uninvited Book by Lysa TerKeurst



Monday, February 20, 2017

Uninvited Online Bible Study




The enemy wants us to feel rejected . . . left out, lonely, and less than. When we allow him to speak lies through our rejection, he pickpockets our purpose. Cripples our courage. Dismantles our dreams. And blinds us to the beauty of Christ’s powerful love. 

Uninvited will help you:

  • Stop feeling left out by believing that even when you are overlooked by others you are handpicked by God.
  • Change your tendency to either fall apart or control the actions of others by embracing God-honoring ways to process your hurt.
  • Know exactly what to pray for to steady your soul and restore your confidence in the midst of rejection.
  • Overcome the two core fears that feed your insecurities by understanding the secret of belonging.

Through the pages of Uninvited, you will be taken on a journey of finding the acceptance and love you’ve always longed for and start to pick up the pieces that maybe you’ve been trying to put back together for years. You’ll laugh, cry, and best of all discover that with Jesus you are safe, forever accepted, forever held, completely loved, and always invited in.

Join me right here as we take this life-changing journey!

Blessings!



Week One - Living Loved


Week Two - Empty or Full


Week Three - The Yoke of God is Freedom



Week Four - Set Apart



Week Five - Remembering God's Presence


Week Six - Lessons from the Olive



Week Seven - The Wrap-Up



Everything has it beauty, but not everyone sees it. — Andy Warhol



Be blessed and be a blessing!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Forgiveness





Choosing to forgive is hard, but the truth is it's good (and biblical) to extend forgiveness to those who have hurt us. Even when those roots go so deep, especially if the hurt is from someone we love or close to us, or you feel has treated you unfairly.

When we release the offense into the hands of God, we can begin to make room for healing in our hearts.
Forgiving someone is making the decision to choose mercy and grace over bitterness and resentment. To love God is to cooperate with His grace. Luke 6:36 says,



Here are 3 things to remember when forgiving others is the last thing we want to do:

We have an enemy, but it’s not each other.

Truth proclaimed and lived out is a fiercely accurate weapon against evil.

Forgiveness doesn’t justify them, it frees YOU!

...do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. — Luke 6:27b–Luke 6:28

Giving grace helps me. It sets me free.


Today I will:

Speak with honor in the midst of being dishonored.

Speak with peace in the midst of being threatened.

Speak of good things in the midst of a bad situation.


Forgiveness releases an offense into the hands of God so that you can heal.


Lift up your hurt and honest feelings to the Lord through prayer, whether it’s written or verbal.

Love & blessings!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Hope



We have hope, we can know God’s fullness – 

A Prayer for the Ephesians

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Paul prays that you will be strengthened with power through the Holy Spirit in your inner being (v. 16). What will this accomplish (v. 17a). Why is this important?
We have the power to grasp the fullness of the love of Christ…for we then we be filled with the fullness of God. It is impossible to grasp the fullness of God without grasping the fullness of the love of Christ.

Paul prays for power again in verse 18. What power does he ask for this time?
What will that power accomplish (v. 19)?
We have the power through Christ, who is over every power, including the pull of the flesh. When we have Christ, we are full – fully loved and accepted and empowered.

If we live rooted and established in His love, we don’t just have knowledge of His love in our minds, but it become a reality that anchors us. God’s love holds us and His love grounds us.

Each day is a new day, deciding not to live uninvited but to live in God’s fullness.



Be blessed and be a blessing!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Gifts...We All Have Them!





Carry on…in unity

The Sharing of Gifts

Pray that the body of Christ would be built up and unified




Read Ephesians 4:7-16

Paul continues with the theme of unity (see 4:3-6) by discussing the different gifts given to believers. While there is one body, Spirit, hope and Lord, each believer receives a different measure of grace. In the context, “grace” refers to spiritual gifts or ministry roles (see 3:2, 7-8).

In 4:8, Paul quotes Psalm 68:18 – a psalm celebrating God’s victory over His enemies (see Psalm 68:1-3, 11-14, 19-23) and the resulting victory procession (see Psalm 68:17-18, 24-27). He employs this psalm to illustrate Christ’s victory over sin and death (see also 1 Cor 15:54-57).

God gives each of us spiritual gifts, but He doesn’t give us these gifts for our own personal pleasure. His gifts are meant to be shared with others. Spiritual gifts are the means by which we serve others and build up the body of Christ.


Diving Deeper

Paul lists several gifts – types of God-given abilities, titles or church offices – in Ephesians 4:11. What is the purpose of these roles (see 4:12-14)? Make a list of your gifts and how you could use them for building up the body of Christ. Read Romans 12:3-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:4-14, and compare these passages with Ephesians 4:7-16. How are these passages similar? How are they different? What does Paul focus on in Romans and Corinthians?



Paul stresses that these offices and/or gifts are intended to help believers grow in maturity – a theme he emphasizes in Ephesians 4:13-14. How does he characterize immaturity? Earlier he emphasized knowledge of the love of Christ (see 3:18-19). Here he stresses that knowledge of Christ Himself is a means to gaining maturity. How does knowing Christ bring maturity? What are some ways you have matured as you have grown in your relationship with Christ?




In concluding this section, Paul again draws on the description of believers as a body, with Christ as the head (4:15-16; compare 1:22-23). How does the body grow? How can you, as a “single part,” make sure you are working for the growth of the whole body?




God not only gives us a purpose, but He also give us the gifts we need to fulfill our purpose! God gives us gifts so we can give to others. Our spiritual gifts are never meant to draw attention to ourselves, either. Gifts are never a means for self-glorification. All gifts are from God and for other and God gets all the glory.


Write it out – While writing Ephesians 4:7-16 today, give thanks for the gifts God has given you.


Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, for giving me specific gifts that I can use to build up others. Help me to grow in these gifts. Help me to understand how to share my gifts with others in fruitful ways. Forgive me when I’m tempted to draw attention to myself through my gifts. Help me to remember that all gifts come from You. All glory is Yours. Forever and ever. Amen.

May God give you the Spirit of wisdom & revelation so that you may know Him better. Have an awesome day in the Lord!! Ephesians 1:17


Be Blessed and Be a Blessing!






.

Denise J. Hughes, “Word Writes: Ephesians”




HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, MOM!                 FOR THIS IS WHAT THE LORD SAYS: "AS A MOTHER  COMFORTS HER CHILD, SO WILL I COMFORT YOU.&...