Seeking God with Important Decisions

Over the next several posts I am going to talk about why seeking God is important.

Today I want to talk about a story in the book of Joshua, chapter 9. Let’s start off with a little back story first. The Israelites had been slaves in Egypt. But centuries before, God had promised them that they would have land of their own. So God delivered them for slavery and brought them out of Egypt. Unfortunately on their way to the promised land they did many things that angered the Lord. So they didn’t make it to their new home right away.

But finally when the time came for them to capture the land, God helped them and commanded them to remove the other people who lived in that land. They did so, region by region. First they defeated Jericho and then they destroyed Ai.

Some of the people living in the area heard the stories about the Israelites and how God performed miracles on their behalf. This made some of them scared. They knew the Lord was with the Israelites and would help them defeat their enemies.

One day the Gibeonites (also called the Hivites) traveled to see Joshua and the Israelites. They said that they were from a far away land and came to make a treaty. Joshua asked them where they were from. They said they were from a distant land. Then to prove it, they showed them how their bread had molded along their journey, how their wineskins had become cracked over time as they traveled, and they showed them that their clothing and sandals had a lot of wear.

So Joshua and the Israelites made a peace treaty with them. Unfortunately, they did not seek God before doing so. A few days later they found out that these people actually lived nearby. The whole thing had been a set up. The people feared that the Israelites would kill them, so they lied about being from a far away country. They purposely carried moldy bread, old wineskins, and beat up clothing.

We might think, “Oh well. What’s the big deal?” For one thing, they made an oath in the name of the Lord. If they broke that oath, they would have made themselves look bad and made God look bad as well. Also, it had been a command that they run off the other people who lived in that land. This was because many of them worshipped other gods and performed sinful acts. God knew that they would be a bad influence on His children.

God always has our best interest in mind. When He tells us to do something, He has good reason. And when we neglect to seek His guidance on important decisions, we might miss God’s best for us.

forest-path-1387064

(Photo by Boyke ten Broeke.)

Why Live Your Life With Gratitude?

Hi Friends! Check out this article which features my first book, Every Day is a Gift! I am so excited to share this with you! I hope you enjoy reading it!

Why Live Your Life With Gratitude?

Why Live Your Life With Gratitude?
— Read on 3womenvoices.com/2019/03/04/gratitude/

IMG_3359

Potholes in the Road

Hi Friends! It has been awhile since I touched base with you. I hope you all have been well!

I had some issues with my website, so I was waiting until all was resolved before I wrote again. I felt God telling me that I was paying too much money for my website each year. It might have been worth it, if I used all the included features. But I wasn’t using them, so I spoke to the company about downgrading my plan.

Unfortunately, when they switched me over, much of my content and media files were gone. So the company spent several days restoring everything. Small things like this can be frustrating. But I learned a few nuggets along the way.

1 – When we are obedient to God, it doesn’t necessarily mean the road will be smooth.

2 – Sometimes potholes in the road are a test to see if we will turn around and go back the other way, or keep forging ahead on the more difficult route.

3 – When we encounter potholes, and if we are on the path that God sent us down, we can trust God to fix the potholes that appear.

4 – In the end, when we are obedient, it is well worth it! God’s ways are always better than our ways!

(Photo by Karl-Erik Bennion.)

One Week In

Hi Friends! 2019 is already over a week old! Are you making progress on your goals or resolutions? If not, it’s ok! I always think that when the clock strikes midnight on January 1st, some miracle is going to happen and everything will be perfect. All my goals will come to pass. I will miraculously eat healthy and exercise every day.

Well the truth is that never happens. So far this year I have not exercised once. And we are still trying to get rid of the holiday leftovers. But sometimes the best changes in life are found in baby steps, rather than giant leaps.

As you might know, I chose to focus on the word SEEK for 2019, mainly because I want to Seek God more. I also chose a Bible verse to go along with it. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13.

With this in mind, my intent was to start spending more time with God each morning, slow down, eliminate trivial things in my day that hold me back, etc. But there was no lightening strike when we stepped into the new year. So not much changed. I did manage to squeeze a tiny bit of Bible reading each morning. I also avoided getting on my phone on my lunch break to play Words With Friends. But that was about it so far. However, the funny thing is that I still feel as though I have been hearing more from the Lord this past week.

So what am I getting at with this post?

1 – We have to be intentional about our goals, resolutions, progress, and path. We can’t just expect things to change on their own.

2 – But don’t beat yourself up if you aren’t quite there yet. Tomorrow is a new day to start fresh.

3 – Remember that baby steps will get us further than giant leaps, if we are more consistent with those baby steps.

4 – And last but not least, remember that God is faithful, even when we are not. Ask for His help! He will gladly oblige!

(Photo by Neil Vannett)

One Word for the Year

Happy New Year! I can’t believe it is 2019. I always love starting a new year. It feels like a clean slate, a blank page, a fresh start. I believe this is a great opportunity to make changes in your life, and paint a beautiful future for yourself.

Many people like making New Year’s resolutions. But on the other hand, most resolutions fizzle out before we make it to February. But there are other people who like to pick a word to get them through the year. They pick one word on something they would like to focus on for the year. And they keep this word in the forefront of their mind each day.

Some example words are: Peace, Strength, Healing, Brave, Love, Jesus, etc.

This is something I have enjoyed doing myself many times. And this year I am choosing to do it again. My word for 2019 is Seek because I would like to Seek the Lord.

I have many distractions in my life that keep me from growing in God as much as I would like. I admit that some of these distractions were put there by myself. So that is one reason why I feel this word will help me in 2019. I hope it will help me to remember to lay aside any unnecessary obstacles that are in my way.

I will also use this word to help me to keep my priorities in order. For example, I want to consistently get up early to read my Bible before heading to work. I believe if I start the day on the right foot each morning, this will bring me closer to God.

So I would like to encourage you to think of one word that you would like to focus on this year. Take some time today to sit quietly with God and ask Him if there is a word that He has in mind for you. Once you come up with a word, you can make sticky notes with the word on it, and put them where you will see them each day. Some great places might be your bathroom mirror, your computer screen, your coffee pot, your steering wheel, etc.

I would love to hear from you, so please share in the comments what word you picked for this year!

seek

 

Jesus is the Best Gift of All

Christmas is a magical time of year. The music and the lights. The fellowship and the food. The decorations and the parties. Everyone loves Christmas. It brings people together. Family members who haven’t seen each other in years gather round the table. Those who were foes now find themselves as friends.

I love Christmas too. Like many, it is my favorite time of year. The only thing I don’t like? It comes and goes so fast. It feels like you blink, and December has flown by. Wait! Put on the breaks! I want a do over!

Too often we don’t get to enjoy the season because we are so busy rushing around trying to get the cards in the mail, gifts bought and wrapped, pies baked, and decorations up. We want everything to be wonderful. But we miss it all in the whirlwind of perfection.

Sometimes we even forget the whole reason for the season. Jesus. No matter what gifts we get, Jesus is the best gift of all. No matter how Christmas dinner turned out, having Jesus is what matters most. No matter how stressful the season can be, Jesus is still there by our side.

And once the hustle and bustle is over, we can still keep Christmas in our hearts all year long. We might not be able to keep our tree up or the stockings hung, but we can still remember this season and what it represents.

When I was growing up, we went to a Methodist church which celebrated Advent. Advent is the anticipation of the coming of Christ. Many who observe Advent have a big wreath laying on a table with twenty-five candles in it. They light a new candle each day throughout the month of December. And the four Sundays prior to Christmas get a special candle representing Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. Or you can also just focus on the four candles and skip the other candles throughout the month. (If I remember right, I believe this is what my church did, which makes sense since the congregation met on Sunday.)

I suppose all of us who celebrate Christmas are inadvertently observing Advent. However, the key is to be intentional about it. When we slow down each day throughout the month to focus on Jesus and His birth, this makes the Christmas season so much more meaningful. Let’s take a close look at what each of those four candles represent.

Hope – The birth of Jesus gives us hope. In this crazy and fallen world we live in, what else do we have, if not hope? Hope that God will forgive our sins. Hope that we will spend eternity in Heaven. Hope that the Lord will walk with us each day while we are on this earth. And hope that Jesus will come again.

Peace – Jesus is the Prince of Peace. But what is so amazing is that He left peace for us as a gift. There is a lot of turmoil in this world. But we can choose to hold onto peace in the midst of it all. It doesn’t mean we won’t have difficulties. But we can rest in Jesus’s peace, knowing that our Father is on the throne, working things out in our favor.

Joy – God wants us to have joy. But the enemy is eager to steal this away from us. He will do whatever it takes to make sure we do not have joy. We have to make an effort to hold onto our joy each day. Don’t allow small things to bring you down. Don’t let tiny annoyances come between you and your family. Many of these battles are spiritual. So we have to hold onto the joy of the Lord and defeat the enemy.

Love – What speaks love greater than God wrapping himself in skin as a tiny, vulnerable baby in order to save His children? How amazing and awesome that He did this for us. The meaning of Emmanuel is “God with us.” I am in awe when I think about that. God with us. This love that He has displayed for us bubbles in my heart whenever I ponder the fact that God loves us THAT much.

I pray that you all have a very blessed Christmas. I hope that you enjoy the fellowship with your family and friends. Take a moment to thank the Lord for this glorious day. But on December 26th and beyond, I pray that we all can keep Christmas in our hearts!

advent

(Photo credit: huhu)

Gratitude Challenge Day 30

What?! Is it really Day 30 already? I can’t believe the Gratitude Challenge is coming to a close. But I hope this doesn’t mean that your gratitude walk is also going to end. Gratitude is a decision we have to make every day. And I hope you will choose gratitude!

Check out today’s Gratitude Challenge video HEREPlease share something that you learned throughout this journey!

(In case you are just joining the Gratitude Challenge, here’s the scoop: If you want to join the Gratitude Challenge, then I invite you to grab a copy of my book Every Day is a Gift on Amazon. Throughout the month of November read the chapter for that day, and then touch base with me here and on social media for a corresponding video and meme. Here are links to follow me throughout the challenge: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus)

Day 30

Gratitude Challenge Day 29

Jesus. Just Jesus. That is all we ever really need. If you have accepted Jesus into your life, then you know what an awesome gift we have. If you have not yet taken that step then I invite you to do so today! Click here to find out how: https://wpcom-104774390.mystagingwebsite.com/accepting-jesus-into-your-life/

Check out today’s Gratitude Challenge video HERE. And please share in the comments if anything in today’s reading or video hit home with you!

(In case you are just joining the Gratitude Challenge, here’s the scoop: If you want to join the Gratitude Challenge, then I invite you to grab a copy of my book Every Day is a Gift on Amazon. Throughout the month of November read the chapter for that day, and then touch base with me here and on social media for a corresponding video and meme. Here are links to follow me throughout the challenge: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus)

Day 29

Gratitude Challenge Day 28

Good Morning, Everyone! Today is Day 28 of the Gratitude Challenge! Check out today’s Gratitude Challenge video HERE.

I have found that spending time with God first thing in the morning helps to start my day on the right foot. Is this something that you currently do as well? Please share in the comments if anything in today’s reading or video hit home with you!

(In case you are just joining the Gratitude Challenge, here’s the scoop: If you want to join the Gratitude Challenge, then I invite you to grab a copy of my book Every Day is a Gift on Amazon. Throughout the month of November read the chapter for that day, and then touch base with me here and on social media for a corresponding video and meme. Here are links to follow me throughout the challenge: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus)

Day 28

Gratitude Challenge Day 27

Good Morning, Everyone! Today is Day 27 of the Gratitude Challenge! Check out today’s Gratitude Challenge video HERE.

Take a moment today to hand over all your worries over to God. He is faithful and will help you handle each one, if you allow Him to. Allowing God to have control of our lives is an important step towards finding peace. It might not be easy, but in the end, it is worth it. Please share in the comments if anything in today’s reading or video hit home with you!

(In case you are just joining the Gratitude Challenge, here’s the scoop: If you want to join the Gratitude Challenge, then I invite you to grab a copy of my book Every Day is a Gift on Amazon. Throughout the month of November read the chapter for that day, and then touch base with me here and on social media for a corresponding video and meme. Here are links to follow me throughout the challenge: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus)

Day 27