Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Have You “Blown It” Too?

Photo by DanielOines (Flickr)
“I’m pregnant.” Susie bit her lip to keep from crying.

Steve couldn’t say a word. He tried. He knew what needed to be said, but the unexpected news rendered him speechless. As a Christian, he really blew it this time.

Although the above story is fictional, we know people who have experienced that very situation. Or perhaps we ourselves can identify with that scenario, or with another difficult consequence to our actions.

The good news is we serve a gracious God. His mercy and love is abundant toward us every time we go to Him to confess our sins.

So in view of God’s great love for us, we have a decision to make:

Are we going to choose to follow God and live for Him each day with each choice? Or are we going to live casually and hope for the best?

We’ve all made bad choices. And we still do, don’t we? But I want to do better. Don’t you?

I’m looking for people who admit they “blow it, too” but who also have the desire to commit themselves fully to God – and who will help me do the same.

What can we do to help each other blow it less often? A lot less often.

By offering prayer, support and encouragement to one another, we are better equipped to fight the enemy and gain victory over sin (such as poor choices and addictions) and emotional instabilities (including procrastination).

And let’s not forget about God’s Word. If we spend time meditating on Scripture and/or committing verses to memory, we will see a dramatic improvement in overcoming double-mindedness. Plus we could become more Christlike in the way we handle relationships, choose correct priorities and how we deal with difficulties.

And best of all, we will grow in our knowledge of God’s incredible love for us – as we grow in our love for Him!

What do you think? Can we do this – together?

Father, You know everything about us including the disappointments we go to bed with each night regarding the choices we’ve make. I ask that we grow to know how much You love us, and that our love for You grows bigger every day. Teach us Your ways, O Lord, and give us a willing heart to respond.  Amen.

This week’s goal:
This week, I will choose a verse to meditate on (or memorize) and share it in the comment link, plus ask for support and accountability in an area I am struggling with. I will also pray and encourage those who share their struggles, too!

What about you?

  • What Bible verse will you choose this week to meditate on and/or memorize?

  • How can we help you overcome a sinful or bad habit? (Pseudonyms are acceptable!)
Note: This blog is for anyone who desires a deeper walk with Jesus. I have another blog for women only: CoffeeWithSheryl.com. (Once on the blog, click on the Current Goals tab to see several practical links regarding specific behavior issues, including: addictions, eating/exercising habits, being a better wife/mom, etc.)

Joshua 1:8 (Amplified Bible)
This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

What I Am Praying My President Will Do

Anytime I am at the end of my rope, or when I don’t know which way to turn, I am inclined to go to Someone Who knows exactly what to do every time.

And that is exactly what I am praying my president will do.

Photo by Teri Lynne Underwood (Flickr)

I try to imagine the stress President Obama is under. And whether I agree with 
his politics or not, he is my president, the leader of my country. President Obama is the highest representative of the country I love: the United States of America. That alone gives me reason to pray.

It is my hope that President Obama will recall (and gain encouragement from) the way some of the leaders in the Bible handled extreme stress:

David’s men were so angry at him that they spoke of stoning him. But David “encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God.”  He then “inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue this troop?”(1 Samuel 30:6, 8 Amplified Bible).

And when Jehoshaphat was facing a great army that was coming against them, he prayed as he stood before his people, “O Lord, God of our fathers, are You not God in Heaven? And do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations? In Your hand are power and might, so that none is able to withstand You.” And ended the prayer with, “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.” (2 Chronicles 20:6, 12 Amplified Bible).

David and Jehoshaphat made their choices after inquiring of the Lord.

One more thought: I can’t help but remember the many times God has used difficult times in my life to mold me to become more like Him. Therefore, I am convinced God can use anything – any trial, any occurrences – in Barrack Obama’s life to draw him to God’s love and for His purposes.

My prayer:
Father God, I pray President Obama will have the courage to do what is right and wise for all; that the leader of this wonderful country will ask You for wisdom and direction about what is best for the United States of America; that he will seek clear direction regarding when (and whether or not) the United States is to go to the defense of other nations. And, Lord, please help President Obama, during these demanding times, to grow in the revelation of Your Word. Help him to personally experience Your love, Your faithfulness, and Your purposes for him.

That is my prayer for my president. What is yours?

Monday, September 2, 2013

When I Stopped Denying I Was Scared

Photo by Demi-Brooke (Flickr)
I’m scared! I feel like I’m in trouble.

I caught myself falling into the familiar thinking pattern. but this time, I didn’t continue with that line of thinking. Instead, perhaps by a divine inspiration, I turned around and faced a different direction and said out loud:

“I do feel scared, but the truth is: I am not in trouble. No one is coming into my home to punish me.” Then, even more confidently, I continued, “God is in control of my life. I am safe because He loves me.”

With those reassuring – and true statements, I returned to the sink and continued washing the dishes (a miracle in itself during those days). But just a few minutes later, I had to repeat that scenario, and again a few minutes after that.

Thus began my journey out of chronic anxiety disorder. And now for more than ten years (and counting!), I am actually considered a stable person. At least, by most people. ;)

But I am convinced that my entry into the stable life could never have happened without my firm resolve to demolish the lies my emotions were telling me, and believing instead what was actually true. I had to be serious about taking captive every thought, making it obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV)
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

On the other hand, it was also important that I didn’t deny my thoughts (or emotions). If I had simply said, “I’m not scared” it wouldn’t have made sense to me because I was experiencing real fear. However it was when I began to validate my feelings, but challenge their validity, I began to experience a real breakthrough.

It wasn’t overnight, for sure! But nevertheless I began to experience more and more rational thinking and freedom from anxiety each day. (Honest!) Even the fear of looming anxiety attacks diminished. The key is to stay consistent!

Father, help me to discern truth from lies in my thoughts and my emotions. I pray to grow in my confidence in You and Your love for me as I continue to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Your Word.

This week’s goal:
To take captive every thought (and emotion) and make it obedient to Christ, as I continue to spend time reading and meditating on God’s Word.

What about you?
  • Do you struggle with anxiety, believing every emotion is based on reality?

  • How can we pray for you in this area? (Feel free to use a pseudonym.)
Note: There is a special link available for ladies at CoffeeWithSheryl.com. Click on the Struggling with Depression? tab (under header) for ongoing support.
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