Monday, November 25, 2013

Encouragement For You w/ Guest Blogger

You are a child of the Most High God!

Don't be discouraged, friends. Turn your problems over to our heavenly father. He has your back. I promise. His words tell us so. 

"Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; 
he will never let the righteous be shaken." 
Psalm 55:22

Don't doubt what God can do for you, to you, and through you.

Friends, there was a time I doubted myself like you would not believe. Always thinking that no matter what I tried to do, I wasn't reaching achievement. I felt like I was failing as a wife, failing at teaching my children, and shortcoming myself. At times, I even toyed with the idea of sending them to public school, because my fear of failure was so deep. Yep, pretty absurd. How was I allowing these lies to accumulate and impact me so strongly? I'll tell you how, it's because I was listening and believing them. I mean after all thoughts aren't powerful are they? Oh Boy! Yes, more powerful than I'd like to imagine. 

 Turn away from bad thoughts, friends. If your thoughts aren't building you up, then they are tearing you down. Your thoughts have the power to kill your joy and leave you feeling defeated. 

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
John 10:10

Be encouraged today, friends. Stand your ground as a child of God. Keep your head held up because your help, your affirmation and confirmation comes from and through God

You are very special!  

God cares enough about you to open doors that will bless you beyond measure.

Change your thoughts and align yourself with the word of God and you will change your life. 

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."
Philippians 4:8

I'd now like to introduce to you to my dear friend and mother-in-law, Debbie Wanker.  Thank you so much, Debbie, for sharing such amazing and encouraging words. 

Years ago I started a journey that I was invited to go on. I was so excited, but I had no idea what I was going to encounter and how I was going to grow and be changed by my travels.   I had a destination and my goal was to get there! I was ready and faunching at the bit to go.  Well you know how it is with any trip you begin. You leave on your journey and then you start thinking. You think did I turn off that iron, did I lock the door, did I put a hold on the mail etc?  When I walked over the threshold of my door I KNEW I was ready, but once I started toward my destination I had fears,began second guessing myself, thinking to myself will they like me, will I be good enough, will I measure up? Who did I think I was?

On and On it went and pretty soon I was disheartened and discouraged, but I kept plugging away putting one foot in front of the other.  My thoughts were stealing my joy and I was letting peace fly right out the window! Not only that, but my baggage seemed to get heavier and heavier the longer I traveled. I tried to do all the right things, see all the sights, read all about them and study them and attempted to act first and think later . Some days it worked. Then I would hit a snag and someone would say something to me either I didn't understand or that made me feel ignorant. I tried   to pretend I was with it. That I knew how to travel and I knew the ropes, but the truth was I was new at this traveling gig. I hadn't yet realized I was listening to the wrong people part of the time. People who had never really traveled or who had stopped traveling and were outside my traveling circle. I looked like a traveler on the outside, but on the inside I was not yet grounded and confidant, secure in who I was as a traveler.
I made so many mistakes along the way at the beginning of the trip I came near to being left behind by my fellow travelers! Yes, I undertook a journey with other travelers! They weren't going to force me to continue and they let me make up my own mind to continue or not.  To make matters worse I was traveling with foreigners and at first I just did not understand a lot of what they did or said. They had funny ideas too, and they were always reading. Not to mention, many times they would break out singing. That always threw me into a panic, because I didn't know the words, the tunes or the songs. I would try to sing along, but most of the time I just sat there like a bump on a log trying to sing, but only managing every fifth word or so, or the chorus of the tunes.
My fellow travelers had meetings too. At first I couldn't fathom why they regularly got together like they did, but I went along with it. Getting up early or staying late, and getting to those meetings on time and studying what they discussed so I would be presentable and could participate was at first a lot of work for me. After a while of traveling together though I began to notice a peculiar thing. I began to understand their ideas and thoughts. I also learned the words to the songs they sang and began to sing with them. I even understood their language! Getting to those meetings on time was becoming less and less of a chore and more and more of an anticipation that made me feel excited and eager.
Another thing I noticed was my memory improved and my fears subsided. I worried less and less  about what I had done, about my past,  if others liked me or if I would be good enough. MY joy stopped being stolen and started to increase. It increased and increased until it over-flowed and I felt compelled  to share it. That’s how it is with joy. It’s contagious and you can’t help, but share it. It kind of just rubs off on others.
By now you might be thinking my journey was all peaceful and without problems for the rest of the trip by this point. Not so, in fact I can’t begin to relate how many awful and grievous things happened. Things so out of the norm of everyday life that no one expects to have to deal with them in daily life let alone while traveling.  Those problems or road bumps as I might call them didn't deter me from my final destination goal though.  I sometimes traveled slower and I sometimes sought out a shoulder to cry on, but you know what? My fellow travelers were amazing! They held me when I cried, gave me a shoulder to cry on, shared sound advice and pointed me in the right direction and helped me keep on the right path. They taught me how to talk to my father about life’s hurdles and it really helped. I didn't always have a relationship with him. My fellow travelers knew that and encouraged me to spend time with him during my journey.  All along the way they also laughed with me and shared good times and joy too. Eventually I began to read also and the more I read the more I wanted answers to my questions about this trip. I also wanted to know who I was and what my purpose was.  Who did I think I was? Well from the beginning of my journey to now, who I think I am changed.
In the beginning, when I stated this trip I had no idea who I was. Not really who I was or why I was.  I thought I was traveling with foreigners, but I came to understand I was a foreigner too.  I am so glad my fellow travelers are still traveling with me on this journey! Read on and be encouraged!

All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. And indeed if they had been thinking of that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead they were longing for a better country – a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. Hebrews 11:29 

WOW! So God wasn't ashamed to be associated with me.  It matters not so much how the world defines me or who they say I am. Who am I? Who does God say I am?

I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,  says the Lord Almighty. 2 Corinthians 6:17-18
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!  1 John 3:1
Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:17

I have the privilege of being a daughter of the King! I am one of his heirs! I am a child of God, one of his own!  I am NOT an orphan and I am NOT alone! My father is the King of Kings.

Sisters and brothers take heart.  Don’t be discouraged, be encouraged. Don’t be disheartened, be heartened. Cast off the cares of this world and don’t let the baggage this world would heap on you with suffering  cause you to doubt your salvation and who you are. Be assured you are a child of God and have been adopted into his family. He is your father and you are his child.

 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath, but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.  1 Thessalonians 5:9

If you don’t know him yet and think you have to get cleaned up first put that fear aside. Christ died on the cross so that all may be forgiven of sin and he did that before you or anyone else ever attempted to get cleaned up.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son,  that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal  life. John 3:16

 All the cleaning in the world that I ever did on my own to make myself presentable and look good never wiped away or absolved one smidge of my sin. That would be a monumental and overwhelming task that I can never achieve on my own no matter how clean I get, how good I am, how much good I do, or how pious I appear.  I have had tragedies happen and I have grieved and been wounded, but God never once looked at me and said you are HOPELESS!
Scripture says,  
You will be secure because there is hope; you will look  about you and take your rest in safety.  Job 11:18
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my savior, my God will hear me. Micah 7:7
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.  Hebrews 10:23
And hope does not disappointed us because, God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom he has given us.  Romans 5:5

Who do you think you are? God says you are His child, you are forgiven, you have hope, you have a future, you will be secure because there is hope, and you are saved! You are most precious, a rare jewel and YOU were worth dying for.  

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