“Love’s Overshadowing…” (an Easter Poem)

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Easter is Christ singing over us,
overshadowing us with His love.
He tenderly gathers us under His pinions,
Held close to His beating heart.

Dying on a Cross and laid in the grave,
He gave His body in order to bear,
all the pains of our human suffering,
His life-blood poured out – through Him nothing was spared!

But oh, the glorious resurrection day,
as He burst forth from the tomb,
death and darkness could no longer hold Him,
as God brought Him forth from earth’s trembling womb!

New life! New Hope! Love and Joy abound!
Peace with God is here!
To all who trust in His saving grace,
Christ’s “freedom song” heaven joyfully declares!

All glory to the Father,
all praise to Christ His Son,
& bless the Holy Spirit —
accomplishing salvation’s plan with perfection!

What is our proper response to this…
to such love, such wisdom displayed?
God help us live with humble thanksgiving –
offering hearts eternally burning with impassioned praise!

~~~✨❤️✨~~~

“The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He takes great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

“He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge.” ~ Psalm 91:4

“They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered,
they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.” – Luke 24:2

“With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all.” – Acts 4:33

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” – John 11:25-26

“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” – Ephesians 2:4-7

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” – 1 Peter 1:3

~~~~~~

To learn how to have relationship with God – your perfect heavenly Father – the One Who knows you the best, and loves you the most, check out:

http://www.peacewithgod.net/

http://www.godlife.com/

For encouragement on how LOVED you are, check out: http://www.facebook.com/wonderfullyLoved/

God bless you this Easter, and always!

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Searching for Eden – Encouragement from Father God for those experiencing broken relationships.

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Relationally speaking, we all desire Eden, don’t we?!  There is an eternal place in our heart that pines for the perfections of God’s original intent for mankind in the garden: that condition of living and loving from hearts in full bloom; continually experiencing the perfections of unbroken family — warm, unconditional, loving connection – in the care and comfort of our perfect Heavenly Father’s love.

The reality is, this side of heaven, we all encounter the tragic results of the fall: varying degrees and personal experiences of fractured relationships, broken dreams, disappointments, and things that rend our hearts.

What do we do, when all our attempts to mend a particular relationship, or share the good news of the gospel, end in futility?  …when our best attempts to repair a relationship are spurned… when a loved one rejects the gospel?

We go to our Source. We go to Father God for comfort.

I don’t know about you, but when I experience relational breakdown with loved ones, (even despite full cooperation with God in attempts to resolve issues), and yet have been unsuccessful… the enemy often whispers and hisses lies of hopelessness:  “You are solely to blame. You are doomed to broken relationships.”

Whereas, God, the lover of our souls, says – Come to ME, all you who are weary, and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest…(Mt. 11:28) …. I will refresh and restore your soul. (Psalm 23:3)

Papa God reminds me, that He has given all human beings the gift of free will. Despite our best and most loving attempts, it is impossible to make all of our relationships an “Eden” right now – i.e. that place of continual, unconditional acceptance and love.

Does this mean we are to lose hope and give up?  No way!  Anything but!!!

I hear Heavenly Papa saying, “instead of looking upon the brokenness of humanity in your relationships as a “mirror” – and thus, YOU feel broken and tempted toward discouragement and despair — Instead, LOOK UPON ME to tell you who you are… and to restore you with My comfort and HOPE.”

In gentle heart whispers, I hear Father God say, “honey, this side of heaven, there will always be various levels of pain and brokenness…. but keep beholding ME, and I will tell you who you are, and I will change you, and make YOU My ambassador of LOVE in this world!”

2 Corinthians 3:18 (amplified version) says it this way:
“And we all, with unveiled face, continually seeing as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are progressively being transformed into His image from one degree of glory to even more glory, which comes from the Lord, Who is the Spirit.”

Dear beloved one reading this, don’t look to the broken or distorted “carnival mirrors” of others to tell you who you are, or to be your reference point for relationships! Look upon the God who is altogether brilliant and beautiful. The One Who created you in His image… the One Who IS love. Behold HIM and be changed more and more into His perfections – in order to become His missionary of LOVE  to an lost and hurting world.

What God spoke to my heart next, brought such a wave of JOY and encouragement. I heard His gentle voice say: “My precious daughter, you have a perfect heavenly family right now! There really IS an “Eden”. Set your mind on this eternal reality, and allow it to lift your heart, and spur you on with encouragement, perseverance, and hope!”

Colossians 3:1-2
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

Ephesians 1:3 – 5
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.

John 14:2-3 – (Jesus is speaking) “My Father’s home has many rooms…. I am going to make arrangements for your arrival.  I will be there to greet you personally and welcome you home, where we will be together.”

God went on to tell me:

“You have the Godhead, the holy angels, the great cloud of witnesses, and loved ones who have gone on before, who love you perfectly. We are “for” you, completely! You HAVE an eternal and perfect family in Christ, who is awaiting your arrival.  Through Christ, you have been born into a spiritual family, and given a spiritual bloodline that is holy, perfect and complete.  In the meantime, be at rest in the midst of this broken “in between” place – this space in time before My Son’s second return. Simply make it your aim to love others. Pray for others. But let go – knowing I alone can “fix” and repair brokenness, as you and others choose to open your hearts to my healing love. There is coming a day when ALL will be made right. In the meantime, abide and continually find your REST in Me, Your perfect heavenly Papa, in Jesus Christ My Son, and in the Holy Spirit Who has made His permanent home in your heart!  Keep spreading the fragrance of Christ wherever you go. Keep planting My seeds of love.  You cannot control the condition of other’s heart soil (whether dry, rocky, hard, or good)… but you CAN choose to keep spreading the seeds of love, knowing that I am the ultimate Gardener of hearts.”

Dear one reading this, will you allow me to pray a prayer over you? The very same prayer which Apostle Paul expressed so eloquently in Ephesians! I invite you to read it with expectancy! Take to heart God’s promises, in that He “watches over His Word to perform it” (Jer. 1:12)… The words in the below scripture are literally “LIVING and active, penetrating between soul and spirit…” (Hebrews 4:12)… His words are spirit and life (John 6:63), and are incorruptible seed (1 Peter 1:23) which will yield promised fruit as you stay connected, believing, and abiding in God (John 15:4-5)
May your heart be encouraged to not lose hope, despite the brokenness in the world.  You can be filled to overflowing with the Father’s love.  His love is a fountain that never runs dry!

Prayer From Ephesians 3:14-21, released in love and faith over you:

“I bow my knees before the Father…from Whom every family in heaven and on earth is named…
May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the Holy Spirit indwelling your innermost being and personality….May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love, That you may have the power and be strong to grasp with all God’s devoted people, the experience of that love, what is the breadth and length and height and depth of it;That you may really come to know through practical experience the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge without experience; so that you may be filled through all your being unto the richest measure of God’s divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself!Now to Him Who, by His power at work within us, is able to carry out His purpose and do…far over and above all that we dare ask or think – infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams—To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen”

One final benediction:
I bless you, and love you, dear brother or sister in Christ reading this right now. We are true family, inseparably and eternally united by the blood of Christ! I appreciate your place in the Body of Christ. You are irreplaceable and highly valued. And we are all children, loved by our true and perfect heavenly Father! We ARE the family of God!

For more hope and encouragement, check out:

http://www.facebook.com/wonderfullyloved/

For encouragement about how to begin a relationship with the One who knows you the best, and loves you the most, check out:
http://peacewithGod.net/ ;  http://Godlife.com/

 

 

Building better bridges of Communication.

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2-Hussaini-BridgeI don’t know about anyone else… but for me, I know I can ALWAYS grow in the skills of better communication! Healthy communication is an art!  It takes perseverance to learn …but the relational rewards are well worth it!

In prayer today, I had an interesting visual image… it was of a drawstring bridge spanning the chasm of a canyon. Many of the wooden slats were missing… some were severely damaged, so as to make the walk across the bridge very treacherous, and unsafe.

Then, I received impressions that I felt came from the Lord’s heart:

The bridge in the image represents the state of what many persons are experiencing in their relationships right now, when it comes to trying to connect heart to heart.  Communication is the way we connect to one another and feel acknowledged, understood and appreciated, etc.  The state of our communication “bridge”, will be the level to which we experience mutually supportive, life-giving connection with others.

Then, I felt like the Lord inspired this prayer:

“Lord, please help us to build healthy communication with others – whether it be with those in our families, with our friends, in our workplaces, on social media… you name it!

Lord, I see through the broken-down bridge image, that It makes it very difficult to connect heart to heart when we have faulty, damaged communication. Many times we come to a place where we feel that nothing can ever “bridge the gap” between ourselves and other individuals. But Lord, You are the “bridge-builder.” Nothing is impossible for those who seek Your way of doing things!

Lord, help us be humble enough to pursue education in healthy communication skills, so as to perform any necessary “repairs”, as well as strengthen our relational “bridges.”

Lord, help us bridge differences with others by communicating with respect — showing honor to others as we pursue clarity, kindness, understanding, and effectiveness in every day communications with everyday people… but particularly in the Body of Christ, if we are to work and minister effectively together, to accomplish Your purposes, and for Your glory!

Thank you, Lord, that You are the utter example of communication: You are the “Word made flesh”, and You came to reveal our Father’s heart of love for us. Help us to do the same, as we strive through the Spirit’s help to “not let any unwholesome talk come out of our mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)
~~~

I went ahead and googled on the topic of healthy communication.  The below link has some GREAT scriptures that will marvelously inform us in how to communicate in ways that build real, life-giving connections with others!

7 Bible Verses about Good Communication:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/christiancrier/2014/12/21/top-7-bible-verses-about-good-communication/

For more hope and encouragement, check out:

http://www.facebook.com/WonderfullyLoved

http://PeacewithGod.net , http://Godlife.com

Questions?  Feel free to contact me:  LovedChildofGod@yahoo.com

 

Two poems of encouragement when hanging onto His promises through prolonged seasons of pain or confusion.

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Never Give up – encouragement from your Heavenly Father

Never give up, My precious one, never give up,  I say.
There’s raw power in your perseverance,                                                                                    and its molding you as My dear precious “clay”.

Never give up, My precious child, don’t give up,  I tenderly say.
When your mind swirls with doubt and confusion–
forge onward, and continue to pray.

A precious surrender is worked within your waiting,
even in your pain, you become resilient, ever fresh,
Worked within, is a beauty as the golden olive,
which yields its finest oil in the deep crushing “press”.

But never err, thinking I delight in your afflictions,
that I simply do not care!
Nothing could be farther from the truth,
I feel your pain in the deep sufferings that we share.

You see, I do not ask anything of my children,
that My own Son did not bear.
Like Him, you too will overcome the world,
simply cling to Him, and rest in His care.

His grace you will find is sufficient,
He understands, with compassion, your pain,
Let me assure you all His ways are perfect,
There’s blazing glory awaiting you just ‘round the bend.

So, don’t dare believe the enemy who mocks you,
whose lies tempt you toward doubt and fear,
I expertly know what I am doing, my child…
in time it will all be made clear.

So keep pressing forward. Persevere onward.
Fight your fight with faith-filled prayers.
My very answer you are bringing forth,
as you continue onward in bold, steadfast prayer.
~~~
Hebrews 6:11-12
…We want each of you to show the same diligence to the very end, so that your hope may be fully assured. Then you will not be spiritually sluggish, but will imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.

James 1:2-4 
Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort …  Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out perseverance. (endurance and steadfastness and patience.) But let perseverance have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects – mature and complete], lacking in nothing.

Luke 18:1amp
Jesus told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not to faint, lose heart, and give up.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dig Deeper – Tap into the endless Rivers of Living Water — a poem from Heavenly Father

There’s something that I am doing,
the wait forces you to draw ever near.
You have a choice – will you continually choose to trust Me,
or will you give up in utter despair?

The wait forces your roots to forge deeper.
Its a “below the surface” kind of thing.
A work that isn’t readily visible to eyes
that are not perceptive to the mysterious workings of the King.

You see, those called with a mighty purpose,
are often vessels most crushed in the press.
Their foundation must be oh, so sturdy,
or they’d be utterly destroyed, when I massively bless.

Don’t give up on My Promises for you,
keep watering them in prayer.
Let the wait and the process, perfect you,
as you tend My Promises to you with great care.

I don’t waste a single heartache.
I see every hidden tear.
I hear your cries, echoing the very cries of My Son:
My “Father why have you forsaken me” here?

Trust Me, my chosen and precious child,
TRUST is the shiny golden thread.
Though it appears so very flimsy and fragile to you,
its tensile strength is tenacious, unbreakable, and fierce.

Trust me in the furnace.
Just like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
I am the fourth man in YOUR furnace of affliction,
TRUST ME, I know just how far with you I must go.

When your carefully timed journey in the kiln is through,
your faith forged strong & refined as pure gold,
your character will be able to sustain the glory that awaits you then…
so My child, keep pressing on in faith, hope, and love.

~~~

Isaiah 41:9b-10
I have chosen you and not rejected you.  Fear not, for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

~~~

Its as if I hear your heavenly Father saying to you — Trust Me, my precious and dearly beloved child.  I gave My very life for you. I will not abandon you. I will complete the good work I began. It will be worth it. Hang on.  I love you.

For more hope and encouragement, check out:

http://www.facebook.com/WonderfullyLoved

http://PeacewithGod.net;  http://Godlife.com

Questions?  Feel free to contact me:  LovedChildofGod@yahoo.com

Going Through Hardship? Let Patience do its Work.

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74ca8445ca66019200142c29d0231b85--bible-verses-about-patience-quotes-about-patienceTo any going through hardship or difficulties, and you’re tempted to lose hope, or feel you are fast losing the stamina to hang in there….  I thought I’d share what I am learning on patience, because I know it is a lesson that God teaches all of us at various points of our lives.

I hope it will bring encouragement that God has definite purpose behind the things we endure — It’s also reassuring to me, that He is not submitting us to any training that His own Son Jesus didn’t Himself have to undergo. Because Jesus was successful in His training, we can be too!  In fact, we have the Overcomer living on the inside of us, to help us do the same!

Here’s a bit of the back story that prompted this blog post. (pun intended. ha!) I have experienced a year and a half of ongoing levels of back pain, with it being the worst since March of this year. (to the point that it frequently would crescendo to a searing 8-9/10 severity in back pain radiating down whenever I rode in a car, or sat for a prolonged periods.)  I recently had back surgery to correct the issue of a huge herniated disc.  After smooth progression for weeks after surgery, I have experienced a post-surgical flare-up that is not quickly resolving.  And because the pain (and accompanying temptation toward fear/anxiety) has been going on much longer than I anticipated after surgery, a friend of mine was sharing some good swing thoughts re: choosing to keep my eyes on Jesus, not giving in to fear/anxiety, but looking to God in total TRUST & inviting God to work His PATIENCE in me, in the process.

God really highlighted the word “Patience” to me during my conversation with my friend, so I looked up the definition, and was amazed at what patience fully means.

As I began to study the definition, it seems to me that developing patience is a perfect and necessary work that God performs in us, if we are to look like Jesus. (and isn’t that the ultimate goal for us as Christians?  To be able to represent Him well?  The bible confirms that  we are “destined to be conformed to His image,” so Lord, give us grace to cooperate!)

DEFINITION OF PATIENCE: (the actual definition is in caps, in parenthesis are  adjectives to further flesh out aspects of the definition that I underlined. wow. eye opening.)

BEARING MISFORTUNE, DELAY, HARDSHIP, PROVOCATION, OR PAIN (physical suffering, distress/extreme anxiety, sorrow, state of physical strain or exhaustion; hardship/severe suffering or privation/loss or absence of a quality or attribute that is normally present, caused by illness or injury; mental suffering)

WITHOUT COMPLAINT (i.e.statements which say a situation is unacceptable)

OR IRRITATION, (impatience, annoyance, or anger)

& WITH FORTITUDE (mental and emotional strength)

AND CALM, (tranquility, freedom from agitation/state of anxiety)

QUIETLY, & STEADILY (not faltering or wavering)

PERSEVERING
(continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty, or with little or NO prospect of success! )
~~~~
MAN ALIVE! Now I see why people say not to pray for patience. Ha!

The first descriptive of Love in 1 Corinthians 13:4 is “Love is patient.”and 1 John 4:8 says “God IS love.” God is patient.

Jesus is our supreme example and role model…

He displayed His exquisitely developed patience as he endured all the hardship, slander, threats on his life, betrayal, etc. throughout His years of ministry.  In His final week of passion to fulfill His mission to rescue us, He went through the ultimate testing of patience in enduring the severe pain of being  scourged, beaten, then made to carry His cross along the long painful trail to Golgatha where He was finally brutally hung by nails to the Cross.

He patiently endured and completely fulfilled His mission.  In fact, He is the epitome of patience, fleshing out the very definition of patience, in that He “bore pain, without complaint, but with fortitude, and steady perseverance.”  What a Savior!

It just highlights to me that developing patience is such a supreme work of the Lord, that can only truly be done with reliance on the Holy Spirit. No one wants pain, hardship, trial, distress….but it DOES do a perfect work in us, if we cooperate with God.

The hardships that “patience training” involves certainly will, as James 1:2-4 says, “test our faith” and if we cooperate with God, it will “produce perseverance” which will “finish its work so that we may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

WOW. The end is worth it, if we hang in there, persevere and allow difficulties to refine us and let Patience have its way in the midst.

Thank God for our Holy Spirit who aids us, helps us, comforts us even as God is doing a perfect work through the trials He allows. It IS making us mature and complete, not lacking anything!

My prayer for all of us is that we will cooperate well with the Lord in this “patience training.’

Lord, help us look like You.

p.s. for any who would like to find out more about Jesus, the One who gives power to endure life’s hardships with hope and peace, and Who is the One Who secures an eternal destiny with Him in heavenly bliss – check out: PeaceWithGod.net and Godlife.com!

To remind yourself how LOVED you are, check out:  http://www.facebook.com/WonderfullyLoved

If you have questions and would like to dialogue about anything you’ve read here, feel free to email me at lovedchildofGod@yahoo.com. God bless you!

Want to Get Rid of Fear?  Then T.O.S.S. it!

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Have you encountered life circumstances that created the opportunity for fear and anxiety to crash like ocean breakers over your heart and mind?  There may be times when we are caught off guard by life circumstances, experiences, illness, you name it….and find ourselves amazed at the sheer velocity and quantity of fearful thoughts that threaten to wash us out like a huge Tsunami.

During one such season in my own life,  I took my weary heart and mind to Him, and asked God to help me deal with the onslaught of anxiety and fear I was experiencing.  

As clear as day, in my mind, I saw the words “TOSS” it.  I asked my heavenly Father, what does that mean?  Below I will share the flow of thoughts I began to journal.

What God gave me has tremendously helped me.  I hope it will help you too, whenever you are faced with fear or anxiety!  You don’t have to live with it.  TOSS it!

✨💖✨

Here is my journaling:

Lord, thank you that you hear my prayers….thank you that You are my compassionate and good Father, and will train me in how to overcome fear with faith and trust in You.
My precious heavenly Father spoke these words to my heart, using a clear thought that came to my mind: “To deal with fear: TOSS it!”

I asked Him what that meant, and the acrostic “T.O.S.S.” spontaneously came to me:

TRUST. OBEY. SURRENDER. SING (His praise!)

And thus began my adventure in journaling the thoughts I believe He continued to inspire, to expound upon what the above meant:

✨☀️🌈💛✨

TRUST – 

When fear-inducing thoughts strike, God challenged me to confess this: 

I believe that you are my good and compassionate Father. I trust your power, wisdom, and goodness toward me. I trust your nature. YOU are the answer to everything I seek. No matter what problem or question, the answer/solution is always YOU! You are enough for me! No matter what!

I believe Your Word which says, “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) and “in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

OBEY – 

God lovingly challenged me to take to heart His Word, which carries “the power of life in it” (John 6:63, Proverbs 18:21) 

Therefore, I told Him, I will choose to obey Your Word and cast ALL my cares upon you once and for all.

“Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.” ~ 1 Peter 5:7

I refuse anxiety about anything and instead turn my worries into prayers, praying from a thankful expectant heart. 

I align my heart with the scripture found in Philippians 4:6-9,

“Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state… being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

I choose to obey Your Word which tells me what to think on:

“whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely and lovable, kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]….and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.” ~ Philippians 4:8

I confess out loud that You “have not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7  Therefore, I choose NOT to be anxious, but to share my concerns with You, Papa God, and pray with thanksgiving, and trust– then I will experience Your glorious peace, which guards my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

I choose to obey Your two greatest commandments which are to LOVE YOU, and LOVE OTHERS. I will obey your call to live an other-centered life. 
Therefore, God, let every trial in my life, only serve to remind me to pray for others going through similar things.  Help me to “count it all joy” because any trials I experience are “developing patient endurance and steadfastness and making me mature and complete! ” ( see James 1:2-4)
Thank You, God, that You are the “Father of compassion and God of all comfort, Who comforts us in ALL our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
With Your help, God, I choose to “capture every thought and bring it into obedience to Christ.” ~ 2 Cor. 10:5

SURRENDER
You are God. I am not. I do not control outcomes. I yield to you. I make my requests known, but trust ultimately in your wisdom, power, and goodness…. so I release, surrender and yield my life and my concerns to You.
I turn my will and the entire care of my life over to You, asking only for the knowledge of your will and the power to carry it out.

SING (I choose to praise You)

I practice thanksgiving, praise and worship, flowing from my grateful heart.       I choose to worship You. 

(Definition of Worship: Focusing all of my mind’s attention and heart’s affection on you!)

I choose a lifestyle of worship, which is what I am created for – a relationship of loving adoration  and mutual intimacy, which fills me with joy and total satisfaction!  In You, “I am complete”! (Colossians 2:10)
I CRUSH FEAR with my songs of deliverance, thanksgiving and praise. 
Since no person can think two thoughts at the same time, I choose thoughts of praise and thanksgiving, which honors You.   I don’t praise You in order to feel better (to get rid of anxious thoughts….that is a byproduct) I choose to praise You, my KING, for who are….no more. no less. 

My sole desire is to love, adore, and honor You, my King.

~~~✨💛✨~~~

Lord thank you, that by the power of your Holy Spirit living in me, you have given me the authority and power to t.o.s.s. fear forever. I bless Your holy name. You are the God of faith, hope, love, truth & every good thing!
and Your “perfect love casts out all my fear!”  ~ 1 John 4:18

Now, precious one reading this, may I say a prayer for you?  💛🙏💛

Dear Lord, I pray that you will fill this dear one reading this with such a revelation in their hearts of your love for them, that they will become “rooted and established in love…filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Eph. 3:17)  May your love CAST out fear as they choose to T.O.S.S. it!  May their victory be sure and lasting, in Jesus mighty name!

P.S. For encouragement on how LOVED you are, visit:

http://www.facebook.com/wonderfullyLoved/

Release What You Cannot Control

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No person can forecast the future or outcomes… so do not try. Trust that you have a heavenly Father Who is perfectly caring for you…He’s doing the “busy work” of caring for you affectionately and watchfully.

We can choose to live as loved children, one day at a time. Our loving heavenly Father is perfect in power, wisdom and goodness! We can trust Him with every detail of our lives!

~~~✨💖✨~~~

“Cast the whole of your care (all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all) on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”

1 Peter 5:7 Amp

~~~

For encouragement on how LOVED you are, visit:

http://www.facebook.com/wonderfullyLoved/

http://www.PeacewithGod.net/

http://www.Godlife.com/

INTIMACY with God; HEARING His Voice

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hearing-god-blog-pic-300x225Enjoying deeper intimacy & companionship with God is as simple as changing your approach from thinking ABOUT God, to talking WITH God.

Our spiritual ears are created to hear God. He said so in His Word. As our Good Shepherd, He said, “my sheep hear My voice.”

God speaks through scripture (have you had certain passages just “jump off the page” as you read them, as they spoke directly to your heart and gave you insight into yourself, others, &/or direction to a situation you are facing? Your heart was suddenly buoyed with hope, peace, love….etc.)

He also speaks by placing His thoughts in your mind. You get more confident in hearing Him this way with practice. Some find it helpful to journal what He tells you, and check it with the Word. God, our Father, is very good about confirming His Word. Your heart will leap when He told you something, you journalled it, and then within that very day or two, you will hear similar words/counsel through a friend, the radio, the Bible, etc…. God gets very creative with making sure you know you are hearing him! He will make His heart clear to you. But the only way you will “see” these evidences and confirmations are if you are intentional about hearing Him and remembering what He says & looking for His confirmations! 😊

A hallmark to know if it is God speaking is this:
The thoughts He gives will never contradict the Word of God or Biblical principles.
His words spoken to you in your thoughts will be CLEAR, and produce increased FAITH, HOPE, LOVE and/or PEACE…never discouragement or condemnation.
Sure, He may convict us of needful changes, but they are ALWAYS buoyed up with HOPE, and assurances of His POWER for change.

In his book Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God, Timothy Keller states, “just as a baby learns how to speak, and learns language by being spoken to, and by being immersed in a sea of language….so, we too, gain more confidence in our ability to hear and speak “God’s language” by immersing ourselves in the Word of God, and by spending time listening for His still, small voice. We must be intentional, for the clamor of busy lives will often drown out His voice through our inattention to it.”

ENJOY your companionship with your heavenly Father. He is always speaking to us….its just we who need to slow down to listen…. and we will be oh so glad we did! Life goes smoother, when we let Him speak and lovingly lead us! Our hearts were created for the JOY of this companionship and LOVE.

Okay, now that you’ve read about hearing God, I have a fun application assignment for you to try!

Here it is!:

During this upcoming week, take some time to sit alone with God. Bring a notebook and pencil. Quiet your heart.  Ask God to help you focus, and to block any thoughts coming to you that are not from Him…then, as a beginning exercise, simply ask God to tell you what He LOVES about you.

Journal what He tells you. *** Do not analyze, critique, or modify what is coming to your mind — Just write it down exactly as it comes. You can re-read & evaluate after you are completely done receiving His words to you (coming in the form of His thoughts flowing into your mind). Lastly, evaluate and reflect. (Use criteria from “Hallmark to know if it is God” to evaluate what you have received) 🙂

You can have CONFIDENCE to hear Him, because Jesus said you can hear Him! (and He doesn’t lie!) Don’t stress or try too hard. Stay relaxed and just let His words flow to you. They will often sound like your own thoughts in your head…just write them down. 🙂 Notice how you feel afterwards. Did they produce peace? Sense of being loved?

If your first attempts don’t produce much, don’t give up!  Keep pressing in. God is an excellent communicator and teacher.   We can trust His teaching ability more than our learning ablity. ha!   EVERYONE can learn how to hear God. He will train  you to hear Him, if you don’t give up!

John 10:27-28
My sheep hear and are listening to My voice; and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and …no one is able to snatch them out of My hand.

* I would love to hear your feedback. What did you think about this experiment? What did God speak to you?

3/1/15 – update:  I came across another helpful article on this subject.  Check it out:

http://www.elijahlist.com/words/html/textonly-030115-Virkler.html

p.s.  For encouragement about just how loved and special you are, please visit my other links:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wonderfullyLoved/

YouTube-enter in search bar: “That you might KNOW you are loved!”  Http://youtu.be/zyDHmQ3JfKk  (browse my channel “Heart to Heart” to enjoy hope & encouragement)

Love Your Body ❤️  Restoring Healthy Body Image

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I recently submitted my completed questionnaire to Prevention Magazine in order to be considered for an upcoming feature re: healthy body image. (I have yet to know if I will be ultimately selected or not, but I thought I would go ahead and share my answers here as well, in an effort to encourage others toward healthy body-image and celebrating all that our beautiful bodies do for us each day.)

I will preface this blog by saying the below answers are honest, “raw”, and very transparent…. but I feel we must risk sharing from these places, so others may benefit, by not feeling “alone” in oftentimes very similar thoughts and feelings. My ultimate desire is that  others will be set free to a more holistic, healthy mindset!

God bless you!

~~~~~✨❤️✨~~~~~

Prevention Magazine – If you want to be featured in an upcoming issue of Prevention magazine and spread the message of self-love/body confidence, please answer these questions:

1) Describe yourself in three to five sentences!

I am a passionate, energetic woman, fully engaged in life and in loving God, self, and others! I am an RN, Certified Fitness Trainer, wife, mom of two beautiful sons. I am passionately involved in life – thankful to be a breast cancer overcomer – celebrating health, life and LOVE!

2) Have you ever been a person who did lots of self-body shaming? Did you waste energy and years of your life focusing on your body’s “flaws?” When did this negative self-talk start and why? How did it affect your life and make you feel? Please share details.

Sadly, it was at the age of twelve, that I discovered my fathers porn addiction (magazine and book stash) which severely damaged my self-esteem. Since my father was distant emotionally, and I always felt somewhat “invisible” to him — the fact that he had stacks of magazines that apparently had captured his eye, and the fact that he gave his attention to the “flawless” women, I think I subconsciously received the message, that I had to be physically perfect to warrant my fathers (or any man’s, for that matter) attention. I equated worth with bodily perfection.

Sadly, this warped view contributed, I believe, to my development of an eating disorder in my late teens and early twenties – bulimia – in my quest for the perfect body. This over-emphasis on bodily perfection stole alot of my focus and energy, which had become directed toward a never-ending pursuit of the thin and ‘perfect” ideal.

It also shaped my view of my worth so narrowly. I thought my “value” to a man, to myself, and ultimately to anyone, had to do with my outward packaging. Sadly, I deeply devalued and didn’t see the beauty of my total person, because I had defined myself by such narrow margins!

3) What did you have to overcome, or what changed in your life, to help you get to this place of self-love/body confidence?

Two life events dramatically healed my warped view on worth and body-image:

The first was at the age of 25, when I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. I learned that God loved me unconditionally. That as the Bible says, “God doesn’t look at what man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.”

I came to understand that God was my perfect heavenly father, that I am the “apple of His eye.” He constantly and affectionately watches over every detail of my life, and in fact, knows the exact number of the hairs on my head! Nothing escapes His loving attention and care over my heart and life.

I was still somewhat “tainted” by messages of worth equating with body perfection, in fact I was obsessively training and whipping my body into shape as I considered entering a figure competition. All that obsession changed when I discovered I had breast cancer.

Being diagnosed with Cancer was the second life event that sharply cut away my warped view on body image. Cancer caused me to stop dead in my tracks, and consider the weighty issues of life and death, and what really matters. My cancer journey ultimately involved undergoing bilateral mastectomies. Two things in that post op journey really sealed my healing on body image.

1. I came to a realization, through the persons that reached out to me after my diagnosis and visited me in the hospital, that I could CARE LESS about their outward physical appearance. It didn’t matter a hill of beans whether they were heavy or thin, or what the world, in its own bias would consider beautiful or less attractive — What glaringly stood out and impacted me MOST was their LOVE!!! This is what I FELT and EXPERIENCED, and was all that mattered! It was their caring “being” – who they WERE, and the love they SHARED that mattered! I was then able to transfer that perspective upon myself! What matters most, is the love I have to offer to others….not how “perfect” (or not) my outward “shell” is!

2. when I was sitting face to face with my husband in a t-shirt, which now hung loosely and completely FLAT against my chest, after my bilateral mastectomies….and he held me tenderly, and told me how deeply he LOVED me. WOW. It hit me like a pleasant “ton of bricks”. It didn’t matter if I was missing a couple pounds of flesh. He loved my HEART. He was married to the real ME, not just my physical “packaging” or “outer shell” — talk about healing my body image!!!!! oh….what a beautiful husband I am married to!!!!!

4.) What role did/does exercise play in helping you to appreciate and love your body? Please be specific. Tell us about how working out makes you feel and how that translates into better body confidence/self love.

I LOVE to exercise. I exercise about 5 days a week. It makes me feel strong and confident. I LOVE the feeling of health – the energy, the stamina, the confidence. During a workout, I love to breathe hard. to sweat. to have that pleasant feel of peaceful tiredness after a nice workout. I love that my body in all its predisposition, height, bone structure, etc… is what GOD chose for me. He designed it, and I’m happy with His design!
It feels self-honoring to take care of my body: feed it healthy foods. Give it the movement and exercise it needs. It makes me holistically feel better about my total person! I am actively participating in being the best I can be, with what I have been given! 🙂

5.) What do you love about your body now and why? It’s okay to think about how your body looks—if you love your killer arms or strong legs, tell us!—but go beyond that too. What does your body do for you or how does your body make you feel?

I’m grateful that my body is naturally wired for strength. I love that! But now, instead of narrowly working for some narrow definition of body-celebration, I celebrate my body in broad strokes: I approach healthy body esteem from the standpoint of celebrating everything my body CAN and DOES do for me on a daily basis!

This body bore two beautiful sons. This body carries my heart & my hands that reach out in love to others. This body carries me about, to my tasks at work, or play, or ministering to the needs of others. I view my body, and LIFE itself, as a precious treasure, which I care for.

I look at health as “stewardship” — Learning to honor and take care of this precious body that God has given me. It’s not about some goal of “perfection”, but of “HEALTH.” I’ve made peace with my thighs. ha! They will never be model thin. I will not be picture perfect, but I am healthy and feel great! I have energy to do the things that really matter — love others!

In a nutshell, what this whole body image journey has taught me, is that I am most proud of my “being”….my HEART – my love for God, family, friends, others, myself.

My body is the vehicle that carries around my true self. I don’t dismiss my body, but I keep it in proper perspective…. I honor it for the God-given vessel that it is….but I know that ultimately it is my HEART (and the HEARTS of others!) that matters most.

Freedom From Chains that Bind: Choose to live a Life of Purpose & Joy! ✨🌈💛

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Chains that bind the soul and spirit can actually be the most crippling of all. Chains of hopelessness, despair or a negative mindset can leave one paralyzed, tormented and feeling emotionally handicapped in life.

Christ came to set captives free. He gave us His very life and His promises, so that we can have a renewed mind full of life and hope anchored in Him. He offers the reality that we can experience an overcoming and fulfilling life no matter what the outward circumstance.

I have a friend who is paralyzed from the neck down, but I don’t think of him as disabled or limited. Because of his choice to live courageously optimistic, fueled by his relationship with Christ — he is one of the most expansive, growing, hope-filled and encouraging people I know.  Instead of lying in a bed of self-pity, he’s chosen to start a blog that now encourages thousands. He has been interviewed on TV, and is currently considering writing a book!  The feedback he has received has been enormous. His example of an overcoming life has encouraged and inspired thousands to choose, like him, to rise up with hope and newfound purpose, not letting anything hold them back.

(If you want to check out his blog, it is: http://flatonmyback.com/)

To share my own testimony….I remember when I was diagnosed with cancer. At the time, I did not know what my “path” would look like. Would I die, or would I go on living this earthly life for a bit more years?

When cancer suddenly caused me to face the reality of my mortality, I uncovered through reflection, and the removal of life’s distractions, the rock of solid assurance upon which I stand —  the reality that whether I lived or died – I WIN!

If I in fact, lived on – it would be an unspeakable blessing to continue to love and enjoy my family, friends, and the life I have been so graciously given. But if I died, I would be in the very presence of Christ for eternity! Bottom line: I recognized a reality that day — that either way, I can’t lose!

Though the thought of leaving behind my family would be tremendously heartbreaking…the unshakable knowledge that the separation would only be temporary, was a reality that anchored my soul, and therefore nothing could steal my joy and hope! (My husband, sons, and extended family members all have accepted Christ as their Savior, and we will spend our eternity together!)

I had made a decision from the outset of that cancer journey, that no matter what the road ahead, I would keep praising God, and share His hope and love with those whose paths I crossed, throughout my remaining days, whether they be many or few.

I wanted to demonstrate through my life, that with Jesus you can experience an unshakable hope in the midst of any of life’s uncertainties. Time on earth is short.  Eternity is forever.  When you settle the rock bottom issues of life, you can enter into a rest that remains no matter what.  You can live free from temporal chains that bind and choose to live a life of freedom and purpose through Christ!

If you have questions about how to begin a relationship with Christ, or would like to share any thoughts, concerns, prayer needs, etc…feel free to contact me at prayingwithfaith@yahoo.com. I will offer you a listening ear and a praying heart.

For hope and encouragement, check out these links:

http://www.facebook.com/wonderfullyLoved

http://www.twitter.com/@Jesusreigns

http://www.findingmyhope.org/