Tuesday, December 10, 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!


Everywhere you look there is a feeling of Christmas in the air!  Songs like Deck The Halls, Jingle Bells, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, and Away In The Manger are just a few of the songs that will be heard over the next several weeks. 


I remember as a little girl being so excited the whole month of December with the hustle and bustle of busyness going on all around me.  There were choir practices to attend.  Christmas play practices to get through.  AND OH!!  Who can forget about all of the Scripture memorization to be done.  Then there were 4-H club parties to attend, and friends parties to go to.  On and on it went.........

One of my special parts about Christmas was the caroling we did!  I remember getting a brand new pair of leotards to wear with my new Christmas dress Mom had made for me.  I was so excited that I could hardly stand myself!!!  I loved wearing those leotards because they made me feel all grown up when put together with my new dress and bright and shiny black patent leather buckle shoes! 

Oh what fun we had sitting on bales of hay stacked on the back of a trailer pulled by a truck up and down the city blocks of town stopping here and there to jump off to go up to peoples homes and sing a special song or two!  Afterwards we were guaranteed some hot chocolate with marshmallows that were quickly melting deliciously in our cups.  But of course!!!  There were a delightful variety of cookies and sweet breads flowing freely to anyone who so desired a taste!  YUM!

The topper of all was on Christmas Eve at Grandma's house.  The whole Smith Family would sit down to a very full course dinner that seemed to disappear so quickly!  We had to be quick because then we would all run over to the Church for the special Christmas play and singing AND the handing out of the bags of candy!  Then we all rushed back to Grandma's house to open up our Christmas presents.  Oh the excitement that filled the room was contagious!!!  Of course, Santa Clause made his entrance to hand us a special present with our very own name written on it!

I remember how my Grandma would make our Christmas gifts.  One that stands out in my mind was a beautiful blond haired doll with the biggest and prettiest full skirted gown I've ever seen!  This dolls eyes would open and close as you tipped her back and forth.  So cool!!

I could go on and on with my memories.  Once I was still enough to let the memories flow they did just that, but it's time to shut them down.  It has been fun remembering and sharing just a few of my childhood Christmas memories with you.  I miss those old fashioned Christmases where families gathered together and got along with each other!   You lived close enough to your relatives that you got to hang out with your cousins!  We had so much fun!!!

At this special time of year please join me in focusing on taking Jesus out of the Manger and opening up our hearts to invite Him to enter in.  That will be an intentional choice you will never regret...........

From my heart to yours..........I pray the love of Jesus to the overflow in each and everyone of your lives!!!





Walking By Faith,

Deb

 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Gift Of Laughter..........


A friend of mine just lost his Mother the other day, and he was sharing that as one of the casket barriers was placing the casket on the frame that would lower the casket in to the ground he tripped, and if he had fallen it could have resulted in him entering the grave before the deceased Mother! 

As I enjoyed the laughter with my friend over that incident I am reminded of another Funeral I had attended.  Jerry and I lead Couples classes occasionally and one of the young men from our group had just lost his Mother.  Without a thought, Jerry and I knew we would go to the Funeral to offer support of his loss.

The Funeral was held in a Church that we did not attend, but we quickly found our way inside and sat near the back of the Church.  It was a while before the modest sized Church filled up with Family and Friends. 

As I was observing everything that was going around me three little old ladies walked in arm in arm took the seats in front of Jerry and me.  They were all sweetly dressed with a little too much make up adorning their sweet little faces.

The Mother was loved greatly by her Family and Friends, and many great things were shared about the life this Mother had left behind.  The stories that were told brought tears and comments from many of the people sitting around that Church.

The three little ladies were no exception to the tears that flowed so freely that day.  Their heads were bowed and I could hear one blow her nose softly as they sat listening to all that was shared.  Slowly but surely one little lady lifted up her arm to place it around the shoulders of her little friend.  As she made that loving gesture slowly but surely she knocked the wig off of her little friends head landing with a plop on the little lady's lap! 

Now.......what to do?  Well, very swiftly after a very slight hesitation of shock three little ladies grabbed at that wig and attempted to put that wig back in its proper place!  But that wig just would not comply and sat sideways on that little lady's head now!  I observed that now three little ladies shoulders are shaking trying to hold back their giggles at such a solemn time!  I could see their dilemma and for a second thought I could assist.........but I was trying so hard to hold back my own laughter!! 

I took a quick sideways look at Jerry but then quickly looked away when I saw he was also trying to contain his own laughter!  The rest of the service we fought hard to not laugh, because for the rest of that service those sweet little old ladies kept fussing with that wig!  It would just not behave itself!!

Well...........Jerry and I got out of the Church as quickly as we respectably could almost running to the car to fall into it and let our laughter that we had held back for so long fill the space.  I can tell you that our sides hurt from laughing so hard!

One of the things that I love about God is the gift of laughter.  I love the unexpected laughter that comes when our hearts are heavy.  When we are at the end of our rope.  You know............I think it's like a "hug" from God letting us know He's right beside us all the time........




Walking By Faith,


Deb












Sunday, November 17, 2013

What Is Normal?

Today it has been 25 years that have passed since the tragic ending of our daughter Bethany's life.  I never thought I could survive the instant loss and all that followed after her life was taken.  I didn't want to live passed the next minute, but here it is now 25 years later and I am still here and our family is ok. We are survivors. 

Back then I didn't know what normal was anymore.  The best way I can describe our lives after Bethany's death would be as if taking a 10,000 piece puzzle and throwing all of the pieces up in the air and then trying to find all of the pieces and put it together.  

The indescribable pain that followed continued for many years as our remaining family tried to find normal again.  Bad choices followed and consequences were paid.  More heartache followed until my heart had been broken in to so many pieces that even super glue couldn't hold it together.  

I had already started buying Christmas gifts for the kids.  They had been chosen with great care and wrapped in love.  Bethany wanted a Make Up Doll and a My Little Pony and a few other girlie things!  Bethany loved dressing up in tights, black patent leather buckle shoes, and beautiful lacey dresses.  With a heavy heart I went to each store returning each item. 

It's hard to trust God when at every turn there is more bad news.   I had a choice to make.  I could wallow in my pain and live in that darkness or I could take a stand of faith and trust God that no matter what was thrown at me next He would be with me step for step. 

The scripture that God gave me was in Ephesians chapter 6 where it says to put on the Armor of God from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet.  And then I was to stand firm knowing that God would fight my battles......and He has.  It wasn't easy, but knowing I wasn't alone and that I no longer had to walk in my own strength, but His strength. God was faithful in the process...... 

Without the loving support of our Church Family, Co-Workers and Friends I don't know how we would have traveled the roads as well as we did, because we had many, many long roads we traveled over the years.  We are so very grateful for each and every one of you that stood with us from day one!


Looking through all of the pictures that were taken over the years brings back so many wonderful memories even though bittersweet.  As I look at the pictures I can't help but wonder........if a choice wasn't chosen that day to take that life what would our lives look like today? 

There was a choice made though; and now as I had a choice to live an angry life or a life where forgiveness, grace, and mercy runs free as God has extended to me; you have a choice too.  I will choose forgiveness every time.  What will your choice be? 

Today I live free with a heart full of thankfulness for how God has so richly blessed Jerry and my life with our children.  We love our children and grandchild more than life itself!!  As I've heard many times and it's worth repeating........God turned our mess into a message!  He can do the same for you........


Walking By Faith..................

Deb







 

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Unraveling Of A Marriage

 

I came across this story from Lysa TerKeurst today as I was reflecting back on marriages and relationships.  Neither of the two are easy, but they are so worth the investment of time that you put in to them.  Great or even good marriages don't just happen.  There is give and take.......compromises to be made.  In my marriage do I desire to be right all of the time?  Is it really worth more than the feelings of my husband, children, or best friend?

As you read this story think about the question of what being right is worth to you and other questions that come up as you read.  Enjoy and be blessed.


I had a favorite sweater I loved wearing. It wasn’t too bulky but was still warm and cozy. The only problem was the threads were loosely woven together. It would snag on things, so I had to be ever so careful when I wore it.

I was always mindful of the delicate nature of this sweater so I could protect it, make it last, and enjoy wearing it time and again.

Until one day I was in a hurry. I grabbed some things I needed for a meeting and rushed to my car. I tossed all my stuff over to the passenger seat, including a spiral notebook. A spiral notebook whose metal binding wire had gotten caught on my sleeve. As I pulled my arm toward the steering wheel, the notebook came with it and pulled a huge snag in my sweater.

I unhooked myself and assessed the damage.

What I should have done was taken the sweater off, put something else on, and later taken the time to repair the snag the correct way.

But in the rush of all I had going on, I made the tragic decision to do what seemed easiest in the moment. I snipped the lose threads and hoped for the best.

That tragic decision started an unraveling process that ended the life of that beautiful sweater.

A few days ago, my husband and I got into an argument. In front of the kids. Over something so stupid. Right before we were about to head out the door to go on a date.

In the heat of the argument he announced the date was off. He no longer wanted to go.
And honestly, I no longer wanted to go either.

I wanted to go sit in a coffee shop by myself and make a mental list of all the reasons I was right. All the reasons he was wrong. And justify my perspective.

But it’s at this exact moment of resistance that an unraveling can begin.

Doing what seems easy in the moment often isn’t what’s best for the long term.

I pushed for us to still go on our date. It wasn’t fun. It wasn’t easy. There were tears. There were awkward stretches of silence.

But we pushed through the resistance we both felt, and eventually talked.

Talking through the snags. The pulls. The things that threaten to unravel us.

There is a delicate nature to marriage. It’s so easy to forget that. It’s so easy to take it all for granted and stop being careful. Stop being mindful. Stop being protective.

The unraveling can happen so quickly.

What’s something you can do today to invest wisely in your marriage? To be mindful of your mate? To protect your relationship?

For me? I have to apologize. The right way. By admitting I was wrong and asking for forgiveness. Repairing the snags the right way… tying a knot and tucking it back into the weave of our relationship fabric.

Isn’t it funny that when we get married it’s called “tying the knot.” For us, this wasn’t just an act at the altar. It’s something we have to do over and over again.


Walking by Faith,

Deb
 

PRECIOUS MEMORIES HOW SWEET THEY ARE..............


Looking out my back door first thing this morning to my surprise I see this darling baby bunny just about the size of these two white bunnies pictured below.  Only my baby bunny is shades of brown with the fastest feet on earth!!!  Unthinkingly, I opened the door for a closer look, and foolishly I thought I would have time to get a picture or two of him.  Yea, right! 

My mind is on the Bible study assignment I was given.  We are studying "Twelve Women Of The Bible"/Life-Changing stories for Women today.  The first session on Eve talks about how Eve was the first to be tempted by Satan.  She exchanged what she had in Paradise for what she didn't have there.  She was convinced by Satan that once she had what she was told by God she couldn't have in Paradise she would know everything God knows.

Each day this week I am to consider what daily miracles I will miss if I let myself focus on what I don't have.  Then I am to thank God for those blessings. 

Seeing that baby bunny in my back yard this morning reminded me of the times I would go with my Aunt and Uncle to the Cemetery's they would mow the grass at.  My Cousin and I would  search for anything interesting and would never be disappointed.  Many times we would find baby bunnies that their Mother had abandoned.  I would get to take one or two home with me to feed by dropper or a doll baby bottle until they got bigger and strong enough to be out on their own.  What sweet memories!

Memories of all of those baby bunnies I rescued over the years took me back to memories of time spent with my family.  Too many are no longer residing here on earth.  With a thankful heart I will see them again one day.  Until that time comes when I am once again reunited with them I am so thankful for all of my precious memories.     

Where is your focus?  Is it on what you're going through?  Are you at a place that you can shift your view?   Take a good look around you.  What are you thankful for today?  Thank God for your blessings!!


Walking by Faith,

Deb





Saturday, July 20, 2013

Who Are You?




 I am not being defined by what is happening to me, but how I am getting through it. That will be the person I become tomorrow.  I intentionally have rephrased this to the present for you to see what it is saying with different eyes. 

We can be going along just fine in our ordinary lives until the extraordinary happens.  It's unexplainable and unimaginable. It's not going to go away by wishing you could start the day over again.  There typically will be no redo's in life. 

In the flash of a second you will choose.  There is no time to think or form a plan.  This choice will be automatic.  It could bring life or it could bring death.

What is the foundation of your life built on?  Who can you go to and trust with your most intimate secrets?  Who fills your empty spots?  Who are you?  I  think these are some very good questions to think about.  
  
If you are walking through life thinking nothing will ever happen to you.  Then you need a back up plan with that one, because life happens in the blink of an eye.  I know because that is what happened to me.

One moment I'm at work where finishing a project was the main thing on my mind.  Seven miles away a trigger is pulled on a high powered gun.  In the blink of an eye a life is taken.  My daughter is gone.   There will be no more   swinging on the tire swing at school with her best friend Summyr.  There will be no more rocking in the rocking chair with my daughter on my lap enjoying a moment in time.

I am so thankful that I don't just have a religion with God.  I have a relationship with God.  I talk to him every day.  He is my refuge, strength, faith and hope.  He is oxygen to me.  I just call on his name and he hears me and covers me with his grace and mercy in to another day.

Another day begins and joy comes with the sunrise.



Walking By Faith,

Deb 





 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Experiencing ”Aislinn Hair Boutique”


Escape with me to a place where you can indulge yourself with a unique cut, style, color, or perm.  It’s a place where your stress fades away into a distant memory.  Comfort, relaxation and rejuvenation takes its place.

 



Allow me to introduce to you my friend Trish Gamez, with her daughter, Gabby.  For 27 years Trish has been dedicated to giving the utmost attention, courtesy, and high level of service to her clients.  Trish has been praying for some time for God to bless her heart’s desire to have her own shop. 


In time, God has not only blessed Trish with the perfect space for a new shop; He gave her the name.  As Trish was dreaming one day about what the name of this special gift from God would be she was curious about how the name “Beauty” would be described. 


As Trish typed out b-e-a-u-t-y, what followed left Trish speechless.  The word “Aislinn” popped up, (in Ireland it's pronounced as "ASH-lin").  To most of us that wouldn’t mean anything, but to Trish, what came next left her with no doubt whatsoever that now was the time to boldly and confidently begin designing her life-long dream. 


 
Aislinn is Irish for Dream, Vision, and Beauty.  Trish was born on Saint Patrick’s Day and Trish had a dream and a vision for a beautiful place where everyone who entered through her door would feel the presence of God.



On July third,  I had the honor of being Trish’s first "Client" to walk through her door.  I instantly felt at peace as I entered. My eyes traveled around the room trying to take everything in.  I was instantly drawn to this elegant red couch and had a strong desire to sit there a while and enjoy a cup of coffee.



The Shop is elegantly and tastefully decorated. It invites you in to have a seat and be pampered.   Aislinn Hair Boutique is truly a beautiful reflection of who Trish is, and gives testimony that you are never too old to have a dream come true.


May I present to you, Aislinn Hair Boutique, located at 900 E. Florence Blvd., Suite D3, Casa Grande, AZ   85122.  Hours are: Tuesday and Thursday 9AM-6or7PM, Wednesday and Friday 9AM-2:30PM, Saturday by appointment.  Although walk-ins are welcome, for your convenience, it is best to call for an appointment.  To reserve your time with Trish call 520-252-9655 (Cell).                                                                                                                              
 
 
I'd like to express my appreciation to my son, Paul Holway of "Holway Images" for presenting me with such lovely pictures to share.
 
 
 
 
 
Walking By Faith,
Deb

 

 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Learn How to Pass Your Tests In Life

I have just finished reading an article by Joyce Meyer that has given me a lot to think about.  John 16:33 it says, "In the world you have tribulation and trials"............reading the rest of the verse you get to the best part where Jesus says, He has overcome the world!!

Sometimes God allows or even arranges for us to go through difficult times in this life because it's during those times that we grow in our faith and develop more of the character of Christ.  Trials reveal what we really believe and what's really inside our hearts.  They test us.

As I have walked through some tough trials I had a choice to make in every single one.  Did I want to feel joyful as it says in James 1:2, "we should consider it wholly joyful when we experience a trial or face a temptation?"  Verse 3 goes on to say that "the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience." 

Do you all remember being told NOT to pray for patience?  I still have my training wheels on with that one!!  LOL!!!  BUT........my mind is recalling a saying......."when the going gets tough......the tough get going!!"  Now that spells steadfastness to me, which is a friend of patience!!  I don't have to like it.  I just have to do it.  Without the whining is always good!

I continue to be a work in progress........yes, I am progressing!!  To have more of the character of Christ takes lots of practice.  Some repeat testing is also normal so quitting is not an option, because the outcome will not be pretty!!  Temptations will visit us during our journey, so how do we pass our tests?  Here are some temptations that can come along where Joyce offers some great defense plans:

1.  We can be tempted to go back to an old habit or addiction, even though we've been set free.  If we  submit ourselves to God, humble ourselves before Him He will give you the strength to resist the temptation.

2.  We can be tempted to be angry with God and resent people who don't have the same problems we have or who have things we want.  When tempted, set your minds to praise Him instead and thank Him for His goodness in our lives.

3.  Trials can tempt us to become indignant and say things like, "Why is this happening to me?  I don't understand?!"  instead of wondering why and feeling sorry for ourselves, we need to say, "Don't panic...this is only a test!"  Because the truth is, this too will pass and we'll get through it with more peace and stability if we trust God.

4.  We can also be tempted to take matters into our own hands.  If you've ever thought, "I'm not going to put up with this any more!  I'm going to do something about this!"  When we take matters into our own hands, we delay or miss the blessing that God wants to give us.  Instead, we need to trust God and wait on Him to work things out. 

Walking through the days after the tragedy of losing our daughter Bethany at the age of 8 and all that followed was harder then anything I've ever gone through.  I went through yelling and being mad at God to coming right back to Him asking His forgiveness.  As I voiced my anger and I heard my words I realized right away just where I would be without God in my life. 

I realized that I don't have to "understand" the whys.........I just have to "Trust In God......"  This was my time of  testing of my faith and belief for me.  If what I believe is true then I need to walk in what I believe......."But because God was so gracious, so very generous, here I am.  And I'm not about to let his grace go to waste........"  I Corinthians 15:10 (Message Bible)



Walking by Faith...............Deb

Monday, April 22, 2013

SKIPPING, TUTU'S AND SINGING.......OH MY!!!

I was feeling a little stressed in the store grocery store today trying to get some last minute plans together for having guests for dinner that evening.  Cooking and even planning what to have for company does not come easy to me.  I certainly did not take after my Mother who would cook up a slew of food and then store it in the freezer ready for any company that might pop by that evening.  How did she find the time or energy for that?  I might have the time and the energy, but what about my "want to?" 

I remember one day when Mom thought it was time to teach me how to cook and she had me help her bake up some cookies.  Well now, my Dad was outside doing something much more interesting and I just knew I needed to be with him but Mom wouldn't hear of it! 

I was a Daddy's girl.  I loved hanging with him.  Dad would take me out with him to test drive a new/used car he had just bought.  That's just what you "did" when you got a different vehicle.  You just HAD to know how fast that thing could go!!  Why?  I don't know, but it sure was fun!!

So standing in the kitchen with Mom my mind was whirling with thoughts of how I could get out of learning how to bake cookies that day.  We had flour and salt mixed in among some other ingredients Mom had told me to measure in to the making of these cookies when opportunity presented itself!  I had already been goofing off and whining about not wanting to bake so when Mom told me to throw an egg in.........well........that's what I did!  I did throw that egg in.  The whole egg, and that was the final straw with Mom.  When Mom got mad......she got mad!  Her small brown eyes would snap and I swear they looked like an angry monkey's eyes!  I know that because we used to have a monkey and when she got mad at me I knew I needed to get out of her presence and fast!!!  That's another story though!!!

My plan didn't quite go as I had thought and hoped it would.  Instead of getting to go hang out with Dad I got to hang out in my room. 

As I'm formulating a plan for what to cook for dinner tonight I hear the sound of singing and dancing feet.  I turn around just in time to see a Father and his three little girls skipping up the aisle headed towards the beautifully decorated cakes and cookies.  The girls were dressed up in their finery of tutu's and lace and little ballerina shoes with ribbons and bows in their long blond curls.  Very girly - girl looking!  Their Father, thankfully wasn't.  He was dressed in blue jeans and t-shirt and not so ballerina looking tennis shoes!  The Father was not embarrassed at all over the attention he got with his skipping and singing.  He told me these were only three of the five girl's he had AND he had one son! 

All I can say is...........that is just precious!!!  It's not every day that you see a Father delighting his daughters in such a way. The smiles and giggling spilling out from the girls was contagious!!!  You couldn't help but be drawn in.  I wanted to go skip with them!!!  I wanted to go skip rope with them!!  Maybe even re-learn how to run that hula hoop!!  That would be oh so much more fun then going home and cooking!!!

With a renewed mind and a renewed spirit within me I skipped home to.......COOK!!!  THEN.........where did I put that hula hoop!!!!!!!




Walking by Faith,

Deb

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Got My Socks Blessed Off!!

I've been thinking over a conversation I had with one of the Cashiers at Wal-Mart.  As she was scanning my purchases she kept up a non-stop conversation with me.  She was so very proud of an Angel pin she was wearing that she had gotten from her Grandmother.  Several times she told me how old it was.  She would stop scanning a few times trying to look on the back of her pin as she was telling me that it was worth a lot of money.  On the back of her pin was just the first name of the Artist.  She couldn't remember the name so was trying to find it to show me. 

She proceeded to tell me about another pin she had from her Grandmother that was also very old.  This one she had to stop wearing because the clasp was breaking and she was afraid of losing it.  She told me that she had a customer that had approached her on several occasions offering to buy this one from her.  She would turn him down each time.  On his final approach he told her to please remember him if she ever decided to sell this pin.  She's not selling those pins!!!!  :)

She then told me something that I will not soon forget after I suggested that she might want to take out some insurance on all of the items that are so precious to her and hold so much value.  Smiling, showing her missing teeth, she looked me right in the eyes and told me she had lost her husband awhile back.  She had two dogs left and they were her family.  She cared more about keeping a roof over her and her four legged children.  They were now her family. 

She told me that if someone came to her home and broke in taking all of her valuable possessions that would be ok with her as long as she still had what was left of her family.  She figured that they must need the money that they would get from the stolen items more then she needed to possess them.  What goes around, comes around eventually.......God will take care of them. 

I looked closely at her to see if she fully believed what she was saying, because I could tell by the way that she was dressed and how she looked that she didn't have much money.  I was surprised to see that she meant what she said! 

She's got it right!  Her trust and faith is in God to take care of her and to provide for her and her babies.  I love visiting with people who love the Lord so much and they're not afraid to talk about their faith! 

I found myself wanting to hear more from this Woman of Faith.  She's got more stories to share......I can just tell...........

"When we trust God we are free to rely entirely upon Him to provide what we need."   --Richard Foster

"Belonging to God is liberating.  It sets us free and satisfies our longings."  --Mary Graham


Blessed by His Presence.........

Deb

Friday, April 5, 2013

Turning Fifty-Nine and Learning New Habits

On Sunday I begin my last year of being in the 50's!  I have never let age be a problem.  I've never thought.......Oh no!!!!  I'm like 59 and I know what comes after that number!!!!  I really don't think about it until the typical symptoms of stiff joints, flexibility something I used to be able to do comes up that I can still do, but I have to do it differently.  Still, I have made the adjustments and continued on.

I remember one Birthday year when I was in my 40's.  A friend had a Birthday just a couple of days before mine and I had taken a gift over to her to wish her a Happy Birthday.  I remember being filled with so much joy that day.  My heart was filled with so much gratefulness.  Even though I had walked some rough roads and still was walking in some of them I still had my joy.  My husband had been watching me walking down the hill and when I came in to the house he told me that I looked like I had the world by the tail!  He liked what he saw and I liked what he noticed!!   ;)

Lately I have felt like I have gotten a little too comfortable in some areas of my life.  I've been thinking that this is a good year to start breaking out of some of those bad habits that seemed to have become a permanent fixture in my life.  Some of my habits have been holding me back from living an even fuller life than I am at the moment.  Changing things up a little is good.............right? 

I knew that I would need some help with redirecting my old habits to make room for some new ones.  So I contacted Joyce Meyer and told her that I needed some help.  Well........she went out and wrote this book.......just for me!!!!  It's called "Making Good Habits Breaking Bad Habits!"   Well.......that's not exactly true.  She did write this book and I realized it was just for me because I needed to make the changes in such a way that I would have victory and not defeat!

A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.    Lao-Tzu

The biggest thief of success is procrastination.  I can think about doing the right thing, plan to do it, and talk about doing it, but nothing will change in my life until I start consistently doing what I need to do.  Someone said, "Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of."  (Joyce Meyer)

Procrastination is a thief.  It steals my time, my potential., my self-esteem, my peace of mind.

Here are a few quotes on procrastination that are in Joyce's book:

"Procrastination is like a credit card, it is a lot of fun until you get the bill."  Christopher Parker

"There are so many things that we wish we had done yesterday, and so few that we feel like doing today."  Mignon McLaughlin

"If you have goals and procrastination, you have nothing.  If you have goals and you take action, you will have anything you want."  Thomas J. Vilord

"Procrastination is the kidnapper of souls, and the recruiting-officer of Hell."  Edward Irving

"Procrastination is the seed of self-destruction."  Matthew Burton

"When there is a hill to climb don't think that waiting will make it smaller."  Author Unknown

"Procrastination is suicide on the installment plan."  Author Unknown

Many people will say, " I'm just a procrastinator," as if that were their identity.  We are children of God, joint heirs with Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit, anointed by God, gifted, talented, and able to do whatever we need to do in life through Christ (Philippians 4:1)

Today is a good day to make my list of what I know I need help with.  I will take one thing off of that list and work on it.  I know that by changing a few habits I will automatically add hours to my day.  I want to decrease the stress in my life so that I will be a better wife, mother and grandmother.  Let's face it, some habits come with a lot of excess baggage!

Today I will also make a list of the things I would like to do if I had the time and energy to do them.  God's Word encourages us to be active, and by being active we shut the door to laziness, procrastination, and passivity.  If we start doing the right thing, there will be no room for the wrong thing.  I like that!  What greater gift can I give myself?    :)

"This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it!"  Psalm 118:24

Blessings.........

Walking by Faith,

Deb

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

When Trust in a Marriage is Violated

Today I came across this devotional and it hit me right smack in the face!!!  Wow!!!  Is she talking about me?  It's true.......this is certainly a part of my story.  What came about to shed light on my deceit was a marriage conference.
Jer and I decided to go to the "Name" marriage conference that was being held locally.  We were new to Casa Grande and had not been to a conference such as this before. 
Everything started out fine and we were really enjoying the whole presentation.  I had taken so many notes and had really gotten in to the conference.  Right at noon when they were going to break for lunch they told all of us that in the afternoon they would be talking about finances.  Immediately I got tired and expressed to Jer over lunch that I would be ok if we didn't come back in the afternoon to finish off with the conference. 
Working full time and being busy and fitting in a conference was a challenge for us, and we can easily talk the other out of doing things because we are too tired.  In fact, we almost talked ourselves out of even going to this conference.
I believe that God gave Jer a strong spiritual backbone when I suggested we not finish the conference.  Of course, I did not tell Jer the underlying reason that I was suddenly tired and wanted to go home.  If I confessed that then I would have to confess all of it! 
I am so thankful that Jer said no, we're going to finish.  The speaker hadn't even gotten 15 minutes in to his speech and I was broken.  God had a meeting with me that day.  Face to face.  He told me it was time to lay my burden of deceit down and the burden of guilt down and the burden of the not enoughs down.........not to mention the burden of the what ifs down.........just to name a few. 
During break time with tears streaming down my face I confessed it all to Jer and asked him to forgive me and he did.  I also asked my Heavenly Father for forgiveness and to help me to keep these burdens right where they belonged.  At his feet.
Because of the choice I made that day with Jer and I working together we are now debt free except for our home.  Today I am intentional with my spending.  I think about what I am doing and how it will get paid for and do I really need it right now. 
Freeing up our finances allows us to help others.  If I added up all of the money spent just on interest alone look at the difference that could have made to someone who was really in need.
I do not live with a heart filled with regret.  I live with a heart filled with so much thankfulness!  I am forgiven and God has taken all of the burdens I left at his feet that day and drowned them all in the deepest seas never to be remembered again. 
Life doesn't get any better then to live your life forgiven. 
 
Walking by Faith,
Deb
 

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others." Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV)

Hide it! This was my first instinct. I was certain if my husband found out, he would leave me. So I rushed home at lunch every day to remove another credit card statement from our mailbox. My payments were late; fees were stacking up. I was sinking deeper and deeper into a financial and emotional abyss.

My husband was clueless about my debt ... now our debt. He never would have condoned my spending habits, as he is wiser with finances. So the spending was my secret.

Soon, it wasn't just letters in the mail, the phone calls began. I was either going to have to fess up or continue to try and hide it. But at that point, hiding was next to impossible.

I wondered things like, if I tell him, will he divorce me? Will he ever trust me again? Things are already bad, will this make them worse? They are just credit cards, right?

The regrets are many as I look back at this time. We pay high interest rates because of my choices. But even more, I regret violating my husband's trust. I created trust issues in our marriage that run deep and have required much time, effort, and grace to mend. What started out as just small pieces of plastic, ended up creating a gigantic rift in our marriage.

Trust issues in marriage can come in one form or another. There are the things that can knock us down quickly such as lying, committing adultery, and falling captive to an addiction such as alcohol or pornography. And then there are the things that chip away at trust over time like constantly showing up late, paying more attention to a phone or electronic device, cancelling date night repetitively, and refusing intimacy more often than not.

Most of us experience some combination of both major and minor trust-violating incidents unique to our marriage, resulting in trust gaps, and ultimately feelings of abandonment, anger, and rejection.

So how do we mend trust in a relationship as delicate as a marriage? Especially when we are the offender? A great place to start is looking at Philippians 2:3-4. In these verses, Christ calls us to imitate His humility. To do nothing out of selfishness, but value others above ourselves.

Imagine how your marriage would change if you and your spouse both chose to follow these principles. And even if your spouse is not on board, imagine how your life would change if you decided to consider his needs above your own?

This certainly is not a suggestion to be a doormat or endure an abusive situation. Healthy boundaries should be set if there is abuse of any kind. But what I am condoning is healthy humble behavior. Be cognizant of the words you speak to and the tone you use with your spouse. Do not disrespect him verbally. Encourage him every chance you get. Choose to consult him regarding the decisions you make, even the small ones.

Marriage is a partnership. Communicate the value and importance of your husband's opinions. The miracle of humility and respect is when we present it to others, it tends to come back to us in greater amounts.

My marriage is on the mend. I have submitted our finances to my husband. Not because he is a dictator or longs to be in control, but because he is wise in this area and leads in a way of spending and saving that looks out for the interests of our family.

Moving forward, let's choose to test our actions against Philippians 2:3-4 and try to look out for the interests of our husband, not just ourselves. A great first step is to ask for forgiveness from the Lord, be honest with our husband, and move forward together, learning from each other's trust-violating habits. Trust in a marriage is a beautiful, and attainable, thing.

Dear Lord, forgive me for hiding in the dark what should be in the light. Please prepare my husband's heart to hear what I need to confess, and give us the wisdom on how to move forward, together ... with You are our guide. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:

Purchase the NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women
For over 17 years, Proverbs 31 Ministries has been a trusted friend, offering biblical perspective on marriage, parenting, friendships and more. This wisdom has been recorded in 366 devotions that unpack Scripture and are interspersed in the new NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women. Click here for your copy!
Finances within marriage is one of the biggest stressors. If you can relate, join our newest Online Bible Study of Stressed-Less Living by Tracie Miles. For more information and to sign up, click here.

Visit Stephanie Clayton's blog for more hope and encouragement.

Reflect and Respond:
Are you violating the trust in your marriage right now? If so, make a plan to tell you husband. If you are nervous, pray about having a third party there to help mediate.

Power Verse:
Ephesians 5:21, "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." (NIV)



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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Not An Ordinary Day At Work..........

The phone rings and I answer it.  It's my son calling to say he's home from school and that he got in to some trouble at school.......again..........after a few words I tell him that I love him and we hang up.  Lord, what are we to do here?  What are we missing?  A little while later my daughter Bethany calls and wants to go play at her friends house.  She had been there a lot playing after school lately so I said no, told her where I had the snacks set out for them and that I loved her.

The phone rings and I answer it........it's my son again and he's telling me something that I just cannot wrap my mind around.  Something like "I shot Bethany?"  No way!  My mind tells me he's just teasing, but my heart sinks as I know it's true.  I can hear it in the tone of his voice.......... 

What do you with a day like that?  You have just received some unimaginable news.  Right here...... NOW is where you react with what is within you.  The question is now what is in you that is going to sustain you through over ten years of snowballing disaster?  In my case I lost what I valued the most.....my children.  One in death, one to lock-up for five years, one to drugs and alcohol addictions. 

Oh, the losses didn't stop there.  Five years later my sweet Mother was diagnosed with brain cancer right before her Birthday in September and she went to her Heavenly home in February.  My marriage could not sustain the pressure and it ended for two years.  I had lived in chaos for over ten years and I had a very over the top tired body.  There was one day I was ready and prepared to take my life.

God doesn't just allow tragedies to ravage our lives.  Because of what was in me (God's promises) I knew there was more coming besides the pain.  That's what stopped me from taking my own life.  God impressed his truth in me that day.  "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."  I John 4:4 (NIV)

Through all the pain and the ravaging God would send snippets of joy, laughter and renewed hope through many vessels.  Looking back I can see God's hand in every single detail.  Even now I can feel his love and his leading me to new and challenging walks..........."Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send?  And who will go for us?"  And I said, "Here am I.  Send me!"  Isaiah 6:8 (NIV)

I am so thankful that I have the walk with God that I do.  Every day I want my prayer to be, "God open a door of opportunity to be a blessing to someone today even when I don't feel like little Mary Sunshine.  Open up my heart to let the peace that is always there come flooding out and in to the hearts of those who need their peace restored and they need it today!  Do not allow me to become a stumbling block to those I've judged to have it all together.  I desire you to use all of my pain to be a sacrifice.  I surrender it to you Lord to be an example of who you are in me and what you can do to make a difference in the lives of many.  Everyday change my way of thinking to your way of thinking, my seeing to your seeing, my heart to your heart.  Cleanse my heart, mind and soul of anything that is not of you.  "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."  Psalm 51:10

Every day is a new day.  Each day will hold opportunities to be a blessing and a chance to sew some faith and seeds of hope.  I challenge you on this day to start going out and making a difference.  Do it wounded......don't wait until..........the until's will always be there.  Then I would ask one thing.  Come back here and share the stories.  I can positively tell you from my own experience that if you're operating wounded, through helping somebody else you will be getting some healing.  It's so freeing to be used by God to spread some joy!!!!

Walking by Faith,

Deb

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sticks and Stones May Hurt My Bones...What About a Cactus????

Don't you love it when your child invites you to hang out with them?  You, out of everyone else that could have been chosen have been asked to spend some time with them.  I love that!!!!  It makes my heart happy to get to spend that very special one on one time.

When I hang out with Brian, my older son I get to visit Harley shops and be teased with the newest and latest version of..........WHATEVER............does it really matter???  It's a HARLEY shop!!!  LOL!!!  I have to say though that I would love a Rhino or one of those grown up bikes with the three wheels on them that you could travel anywhere in luxury.  A nice cherry red would go a long ways!!!!

When I hang out with Paul, my younger son I get to visit the guitar stores and be teased with the newest and latest guitars.  They are all absolutely gorgeous!!!  What's not to love?  I'm a country girl at heart and I love my country songs.  Just not the whiny ones where somebody kicked my dog, stole my cat, killed my car, and through mud at me once.  Gives me the shivers thinking about those!!!  Off the rabbit trail now and back on track.  Grin!  At the music store I get to listen to people play the instruments sometimes.  Awhile back I got to hear someone play a ukulele.  Another time a guitar and they even sang softly while they played.  That's where you will find me hovering trying not to let them know that I am listening to them.  What talent some people are gifted with!

This was the day that Brian invited me to go riding with him.  No, I do not have a license to drive a bike and there is a reason for that.  I'll let you think about that one!  BUT I can ride out on the back roads on a four wheeler where there are lots and lots of trails to ride on.  It's beautiful out there on a chilly morning and I love to go for rides with Brian.

Now, Brian is beyond good on the back of his two wheeled bike I have to say......not only to brag, but it's the truth!  So while I'm riding ON the trail Brian is tearing off all around the trails spinning and turning and jumping way ahead of me.  BUT the cool thing is that while I could NEVER keep up with him he always comes back to check on me so I don't get off on the wrong trail.  There's a reason for that too.  :)

We got quite a ways down the dirt road with its deep dips and turns.  I had just turned to look at Brian over my left shoulder during a straight-a-way and something caught my eye.  Right there on my left backside was a softball size chunk of cactus stuck to it!  I had been so careful not to rub up against a cactus because they not only hurt, but are hard to get out!  So I stopped and Brian came over to me to see what had happened.  There was no way to hide a cactus stuck to your backside......you know???  So he assisted me getting that one off......and then another and another that I had not seen.  How they got there I'll never know!  LOL!!!

I was trying so hard not to seem inadequate on the bike for fear he would never ask me to ride again.  I love riding!!!  BUT......I had already been thrown off the bike earlier that morning.  I tried to scramble up off of the ground before he could see me and didn't make it.  Both times......yes I fell off of it twice....at least!!  Got caught each time.  He was keeping a closer eye on me than I thought.  LOL!!

We get a lot further down the road and I am so loving being outside and looking around enjoying the country that God has made trying not to miss anything AND keeping an eye out for Havoline's.  They are like a pig, but don't call them that at the zoo here because they will get mad at you and go in to a long teaching lesson with you telling you everything you didn't want to know about them!  LOL!!  AND give you dirty looks.  It's true!!!  Saw it happen and thankfully not to me.  LOL!!  Too funny!!

I'm driving now through a place where there are cactus's that jump on you.  True!!  Never heard of those until moving here.  They see you and say to their friends.....wanna jump?  Then they did!!  One hit and stuck on my leg a couple of places, my shoulder and then there was one that decided I needed a transfusion.    It had long sticky spikes on it and one of those spikes sunk in to my wrist right near a blood vessel.  I cannot describe the pain I felt as Brian and I tried to pull that spiked cactus out of my wrist.  I thought I was going to pass out at one point.  Not having the tools to pull it out it was a long process getting that big one out.  Beyond OUCH!!   :)

Isn't this the way stuff happens in life?  You're going along minding your own business and having a wonderful life and then the unthinkable happens.  You don't have time to formulate a plan.  You can't choose another door to go through.  You can only go forward.  How will you move forward?  Through all of the rough patches in life for me there is only one way to move forward and that is by holding on tightly to the hand of my Heavenly Father.

I won't leave you hanging......yes I did get invited to ride again with Brian.  On that ride about three hours in to the ride I got thrown off of the bike again and that time I just laid there.  I saw stars and couldn't breathe for awhile.  Do you know how hard a dirt road is when you hit your head on it after flying through the air?  It doesn't make for a good landing.  Brian got to my side before I could get up that time.  The bike was still running and took off a ways down the road, but thankfully it wasn't hurt.  :)  After catching my breath and resting a moment I got back on and finished the ride. 

I did all of these rides with a torn meniscus and thankfully being thrown around didn't cause any further damage to it. I had torn it in the first place when I was just walking at the zoo!!! Go figure......LOL!!!

Will I ride again?  In a heartbeat!!!!  YES!!!!  Brian tells me he has a bike for me to ride when I visit him in Colorado.   I was at the young age of 55 when I got thrown off the bike all of those times. I'm much more mature at the age of 59 and I will be putting super glue on the backside of my pants this time!!!!!   Can't wait to get on the back of it and check out those mountains!!!!  Come on......what are you waiting for?????

Friday, March 29, 2013

Words and Thoughts.......Thoughts and Words

Several years ago as the pain of all of the losses I have had in my life were whirling around in my mind causing me to feel unsettled, sad, lonely, un-valued, unworthy, etc.....etc........I found some of the words forming just made good sense.  Life is not fair, true.  Life can hurt, true.  I can live a life that is stuck, true.  I can move through, true.  It won't be easy, true.  I have help, true.
 
As all of these thoughts bumped in to one another I felt impressed to write a poem about some of my feelings.  As I started writing I felt all the emotion that you would expect to feel and then some!  My chest would feel so tight and then the tears came, but the need to write the pain out was stronger than my bruised and battered emotions I was experiencing.  What started out as painful turned in to a healing time, at least a start.........
 
As I am reading what I wrote I am amazed at how all the emotions I felt as I wrote it then come boiling right up to the surface again, but it's different.  I'm different.  I'm different because of the healing hand of my Heavenly Father who carried me through the storms that threatened to consume my body, mind and soul.  I didn't want to go on with life when pain came knocking at my door and stayed there for over ten years and then came back for more.  I slowly realized that I was trying to handle all of that pain on my own.  I couldn't do it and I was quickly drowning.  My masks were starting to crack and reveal what I was trying so valiantly to hide.  What will people think and say if they see the "real" me? 
 
God speaks to me a lot through song.  I love that!!!  I enjoy music so much.......it helps me to let go and let God as I let the lyrics wash over my ravaged body, mind and soul.  It soothes me in a way nothing else can because it is given to me by God.  It's so special to me.  A gift from God to me to show me I am his Princess and He loves me beyond what I can even comprehend.  That's the truth and I will cling to that truth and not be distracted with the lies that come knocking at my door.  I have pulled in the welcome mat on "Lies!"
 
As you read this poem my prayer is that it will bless you in ways that you didn't even know that you needed to be blessed in!!!  God is so good.  He is faithful!!!!  You don't have to run by your feelings anymore you can run by your believing that God is who he says he is......He is the GREAT I AM!!!!  He loves you so much and you are precious in his sight!!!
 
 
Lord, Yet Will I Praise You…

Even when You choose not to answer my why’s

Even when life doesn’t seem fair…

Even when my precious daughter is taken from my very arms…

Even when my two sons, that I loved so deeply, chose paths that led to destruction…

Even when the lies of satan are roaring, like the waves of an angry sea slapping up against the rocks, and whispering in my ears….and I believe them….for a season…

Even when there are "Secrets" that are hidden within my marriage…

Even when my marriage is terminated…

Even when my mother is suddenly taken from my life…there will be no more long conversations, laughter over the most recent prank she had pulled, wisdom she poured into my life…and the legacy of a beautiful life lived with my Dad…

Even then Lord, yet will I praise you!!!

I trust YOU Lord, and YOU alone to deliver me, because I have chosen to believe the TRUTH that you spoke to my heart through the words of a song…..that YOU will make all things beautiful in YOUR time…I receive that….

You have cloaked me with your armor…you have told me that when I have done all I can do…I am to stand firm and YOU will protect me…..and you have….

It is my JOY to HONOR YOU…in ALL I do. Lord I stand before you with my head thrown back and my hands lifted high to give you my life to be a reflection of your love and your grace and your mercy that will radiate out to touch the lives of others……..In Jesus most precious name amen and amen!!


Walking by faith,

Deb

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Memories...........

Those of you who are reading this blog probably already know a little of my history and faith walk over the years since the loss of our beautiful daughter Bethany at the young age of eight.  I've read and heard many peoples testimonies where they say "I am so glad that I have the testimony I do.  I wouldn't change a thing because of the power of it."  I've really thought about that.......to be honest with you.......I can't say that.  I'm a Mother who would love to have her daughter back to hug on, kiss on and to hold her hand.  I still remember how to do a mean french braid!!!!  :)  I miss doing that for Bethany!

I miss our laughter together and her silly jokes I had heard over and over again, but I played along.  She would throw her head back laughing and laughing that she'd gotten her Mom again!!!  Or the time that Brian, Paul, Bethany and I went up to the beaver ponds.  I brought clothes along for everyone but me...........yes, I was the one who fell in to the water and had to drive all the way home with a blanket wrapped around me praying that I wouldn't get pulled over and try to explain why I was wrapped all up in a blanket!!!  LOL!!!! 

This past week memories have flooded my mind.  Some good and some not so good.  Both bring tears to my eyes and a pain in my heart that will never be completely the same again.  This is all a part of living and all the events that happen in our lives make us who we are today.  We do have a choice through it all though.  We can choose a life of bitterness and say God, why did this happen?  We were good people.  We served you as best we could and knew how to do.  How many times have I heard......BUT..........we tithe!!!!!  Like that is some card we hold to pass on the bad stuff and waltz on to collect our $200 as we pass GO!!!!! 

What I am so thankful for is a faithful God who has preserved our family through the "bad stuff."  We are survivors only because of God who was with us even when we didn't "feel" his presence.  (2 Cor. 12:9-10)  If I have enough faith in my God then I will trust that he is always there right when I need him because his word tells me that he is an on time God!  "I will make all things beautiful in my time."  (Eccl. 3:11)  Our testimony has impacted I couldn't tell you how many lives.  God has honored that request.......that through Bethany's death it would make a difference.  With my whole heart I am so thankful to God for that!!

Because of all that I have experienced with God through his rescuing and delivering me I know God is who he says he is and he will do what he says he will do...........in his time.........because he knows the future and I do not!!!  He is my God and I will hold on tightly when the storms come by......and they do come. 

Will God find me faithful?  Will he find you faithful?  It's our choice.  Sweet times will come again......just differently.  Strength, faith, hope, and even peace will come again.  God's word says to cast all your cares on him.......he wants our burdens to be light.  (Ps. 55:22)

God has a plan and a purpose for your life(Jer. 29:11).......seek him for it.  Maybe he has already told you......act on it........just start moving..........(I think I remember seeing some footprints in the sand the other day at the beach.........)

Walking by Faith,

Deb

New Day Today........

Don't you love the start of a brand new day?  It's a day to start over, or a day to finish something, or a day to start something new.  This day has the potential to be whatever you want it to be.  You are in control........right?  You have a choice.  BUT the question is are you willing to turn this day over to God?  I don't know about you, but I have a very hard time of letting go.  I feel the job can't really be done without my hand in it.  Have I ever been wrong!!!!  LOL!!!!  Through doing things my way they don't turn out so well and I really struggle and get frustrated.  I've noticed a trend though.  When I invite God in to my day from the very beginning I get a lot more done and I'm even more content.  Proven fact over and over again........sometimes I can be a very slow learner!!!!  :)

This morning, even though I did not want to get up early.  I just wanted to roll over and get one more hour of sleep in so I would have a full eight hours of sleep.  I think that's good sound reason for not getting up, don't you?  I was just laying my head back down and settling down on my pillow and started praying as God placed people on my heart to pray for  and I got like this jolt of energy (I started to say from I don't know where, BUT I do know it was a jolt of the Holy Spirit!!)  So I listened to it and got up.  I'm a morning person so some of you maybe can't relate to this, but I do love the early morning sounds of a city waking up.  I could hear a train off in the distance, birds wings fluffing, cooing from the doves, cars driving by, a door slamming, voices from a distance.  I could go on and on. 

Then I love the visual light changes of the day as the sun is coming up so radiant.  It's still cool here on a Arizona morning so my windows and doors are open to let in the fresh air and cooling breezes while I can do that.  Hearing the sounds and seeing the birth of a brand new day makes me smile.  This day is going to be a good day. 

I am reminded of this scripture:  "Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.  Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.  Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples.  For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise.........
Psalm 96:1-4a

What is your song today?  What will you do with this brand new day?  How will you celebrate your life?  How can you make a difference in someones life today?  These are good questions..........By the end of the day God and I will have the answers!!!

Blessings and love to you all.........

Walking by Faith,
Deb

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Joyce Meyer in Phoenix, AZ

Hey Everyone,

I thought I would share with you all that I received from a weekend with Joyce Meyer.  It was incredible to sit in the presence of so many Women (and Men), look at their faces and watch the transformation.  What a beautiful sight!!!  First Assembly in Phoenix was completely packed and there were even people in some overflow buildings filled to capacity, and sadly some people had to be turned away.  We prayed that they would be able to attend Saturday's program. 


My notes:

We have the freedom to be who we are.  John 10:10 The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy.......Jesus came so we can have a life of overflow!!!!  We do not get things wishing for them.  We need to be pro-active and intentionally make a decision to go out and get what God has for you to get!  Just do something.........

We need to decide to lighten up.  The joy of the Lord is my strength!  We let fear rule and control us.  I have to decide, just as you do, to go out there and enjoy my life!  Focus on what good is going on.  Have fun doing what you're doing.  Quit having a war with yourself.  God has anointed us to enjoy our lives.

The word I had gotten from God awhile back was........just start!  That simple, keep starting.......do not give up.  I am not alone.......you are not alone.......you can do whatever you set your mind like flint to!!!  You have the power to overcome!!!  Get your armor on (Ephesians 6) and take it to God!!!

Did you know that life and death is in the tongue?  Words are powerful.  The Spirit of Offense is an evil spirit.  Like a hang nail in our Spirit.  It irritates us and doesn't go away easily.  It keeps offending and can make us grumpy.  What do we do?  We pass it on and on spreading the disease of Offense.

When I am offended I don't make spiritual progress.  Christians should not be easily offended.  Where there is strife there is a spiritual evil.  How can I draw close to God when I am like this?  Can I be a living example of Jesus Christ like this?  Remember, I might be the only Bible many people see.

Am I offending myself?  Maybe I don't have peace or joy about some things in my life.  Do I need to forgive?  The Word of God brings healing.  Where there is forgiveness there is no condemnation.  We need to do a conscience check.  The more we ignore our conscience the better we get at ignoring it.  Need to listen to it and honor it!

Sin is not my master.......unless I give it the right.  The devil only has authority that I give to him.  I need to ask God each day before leaving the house for strength.  Ephesians 3:16.  We need to know what we're not without God.  We then have to exercise our authority.  Get a lot mad at sin!!!  Sin will not rule me!!! 

We are not here to make you happy but to speak truth.  Get determined to have what God wants me to have.  Set your mind and keep it set!  I will not let this "thing" control me!  Things keeping me offended need to be violently thrown out!  Mathew 11:12.


Hey Everyone,

I hope you have enjoyed some of the notes I took at the Joyce Meyer Conference I attended on Friday and Saturday and I hope you are blessed through the sharing.  I pray that something spoke to your spirit here and that it will encourage you to go out and do something.....


Walking by Faith,

Deb

PS:  More Conference notes to come.....  :)