Time to Refocus

13 Nov

(Matthew 14:30 ESV) But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.”

My favorite disciple is Peter. I can really identify with Peter. Throughout the gospels, Peter was always getting himself into a mess; which is what I do pretty often myself.

I’m sure most of us know this story (Matthew 14:22-33). The disciples were out on the water in their fishing boat. The disciples saw Jesus walking on the sea. I’m sure they were amazed and astonished at such a feat. I know my mouth would have been wide open.

Anyway, the disciples thought that Jesus was a ghost. They were frightened about the figure that was fast approaching them. Jesus tells them, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

Well, Peter decides that he was go out and walk on the water with Jesus. I’m not sure I would have passed up that opportunity either; to walk beside Jesus on the water. WOW!!

Jesus tells Peter to come out on to the water. Peter gets out of the boat and walks on the water and goes to Jesus. The wind started blowing, and Peter realized the wind was blowing. Once Peter took his focus off of Jesus, he began to sink.

Like Peter, I recently took my focus off of Jesus. I started looking at all that was going on around me. There have been a lot of things that have transpired the last few months. It seems it has been one thing after the other. I spiritually and emotionally shut down.

I do take up my responsibility for taking my eyes off of Jesus. My relationship with Jesus is just like the relationship with my husband. It has to be cultivated on a daily basis. I have to do what it takes to keep the intimacy in the relationship.

I quit being intimate with Jesus. First, I quit reading my Bible. Eventually, I quit praying. I got depressed. I lost my joy. Everything about my relationship with Jesus was zapped. I know it was Jesus that moved; it was me. There was no one to blame but myself.

Now, I am trying to refocus on my relationship with Jesus. I am doing everything I can to produce the intimacy I had a few months ago. I am reading my Bible. I am praying.

Here recently, in Celebrate Recovery, we are being encouraged to keep a journal. The purpose of the journal is to a daily inventory. It is to helped me to see what I did wrong, where I went wrong, and if I need to make any amends. I am also using this journal for my prayer time, also. The people in the Bible wrote their prayers. That’s one reason why we have the Bible. Psalm is one of the books that has the most prayers. Like always, God loves nothing more than to hear his word prayed back to him.

Are you like Peter? Are you looking at the wind of your circumstances? Have you taken your eyes off of Jesus? Take time to refocus. Get away with Jesus. Have a date with Jesus every day. Set some time aside to talk to him and to listen to him. Love on Him and He will love on you. It has to be a priority. There’s no set amount of time to do it. Just take the time to do it. If you don’t, you’ll be like me, not having that personal, intimate relationship with Jesus. It takes a lot of time and effort to get that intimacy back. Refocus on Jesus.

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True Beauty

28 Aug

“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭3:3-4‬ ‭ESV

We need to remember not to compare ourselves to Hollywood’s or the world’s version of “beauty.” God sets us apart. We are foreigners in this strange land. We need to remember Who our creator is. We don’t have to look like a Kardashian to be beautiful. Are they really that beautiful?! Something is missing. They are constantly seeking attention. That’s just one example. They are seeking what we have…JESUS.

Dear Lord,

I pray that each of us remember that our beauty isn’t only on the outside but on the inside too. May we desire to be more like You and not the world. Set us apart, Jesus. Help our inward beauty of you shine through our outward beauty to lead others to You. For Your glory

In Jesus’ name, amen.
Listen to this song by Mandisa

A Way of Escape

22 Aug

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.”‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭10:13‬ ‭ESV‬‬
When it comes to temptation, there is always a way out. First of all, I have to listen to what the Holy Spirit is telling me. That’s why it’s important to have intimate time with Jesus on a daily basis. 

I believe the next step is asking myself some questions. “How do I feel about the situation? Do I feel guilty, ashamed, dirty? What are the consequences if I give into the temptation?”

As always, pray and seek God’s word. I can guarantee if I want to do something that is outside of God’s character, He will remind me in prayer and His word. God’s word will tell me what will cause me to be disobedient. 

The rest is left up to me. It is my choice what I do next. God will NOT force me to make the right decision. THERE IS ALWAYS A WAY OF ESCAPE. I have to be willing to take that way of escape.

Dear Jesus,

I pray that You will help me take my way of escape when temptation comes my way. God, I want to be obedient and follow You and Your ways. Help me to be aware of Satan and his weapons. Keep my eyes on You.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

Sacrifice of Praise

21 Aug

“Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise toGod…”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13:15‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Lately, this scripture has been on my mind. I was asking myself, “What does it mean to give a sacrifice of praise?” “How do I praise God in spite of my circumstances?”

See, when you sacrifice, you have to give up something. In the OT, it was the best of their flock or the best of their crops. Abraham offered a sacrifice of praise when he willing led Issac to be an actual sacrifice. David offered up a sacrifice of praise when he was being hunted by Saul and even when he was suffering consequences of his adultery and murder. Jesus offered up a sacrifice of praise. The night before His arrest He was in prayer.

These are just a few examples. It’s easy for me to praise God when things are going great. Yet, I fail to praise Him even if I don’t feel like it. Even if it seems like there are a lot of things going on at once, I am supposed to give a sacrifice of praise.

In Acts 16, Paul and Silas are put into prison for spreading the gospel. They were arrested and beaten. Afterwards, they were put in prison. Around midnight, they started singing hymns of God. Talk about a sacrifice of praise.

I don’t know about you, but I want God to teach me to give a sacrifice of praise. I want to learn to praise Him in spite of my circumstances. All of us need to learn to give God a sacrifice of praise.
Dear God,

Teach me to give a sacrifice of praise. May Your name always be on my lips. Help me to sing hymns of thanksgiving daily. May my sacrifice be sweet and pleasing to You.

In Jesus name, amen.


A Royal Diadem

20 Aug


A diadem is a jewelled ornament in the shape of half of a crown. It is worn by women. A diadem is considered to be very valuable. It is sown with pearls and gems surrounded by gold. It symbolizes royalty and prestige.

God, I pray that we all remember that we are distinct and priceless. You hold each of us tightly, yet gently in the palm of your hand. You will not let go because we are all priceless gems. Remind us of who we are in the coming days.

In Jesus name, amen.

Stay Connected to the Vine

9 Aug

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”‭‭John‬ ‭15:5‬ ‭ESV‬‬
There has been a lot that has went on the last couple of weeks. In the midst of it all, I have lost the connection to the vine. No wonder my emotions have been out of control.

A spiritual relationship has to be cultivated just as much; if not more, than a physical relationship. We must have that one on one time with Jesus. Even if it’s only for a few minutes. We need that intimacy with Jesus. 

Last night, I realized that it’s been almost 2 weeks since I’ve had some intimate time with my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It has taken a toll on our relationship.

 Can you imagine going 2 weeks without speaking to your husband?! What does that do for your relationship?! It surely doesn’t help it. Every relationship needs communication. One on one intimate uninterrupted communication.

No wonder the Bible tells us to go into a room and shut the door (Matthew 6:6). I have to get away from the world pressing in on me so I can have that intimacy with Jesus. My time needs to be uninterrupted from every day life. No TV, no cell phone, no computer, etc. Just Jesus & my Bible.

With me not having that daily connection with Jesus, it has affected other areas in my life. My emotions have gotten out of control a few times. So, that disconnection isn’t a good thing. 

I’m not going to “beat” myself up about it. I know how to connect to the vine. I have to get to myself and cry out to Jesus. He’s still with me. 

Are you connecting to the vine on a daily basis? Have you lost your connection? You must connect to the vine to produce fruit; good spiritual fruit. You need a daily connection to the vine. 

We can make time for TV, Facebook, games, etc. Yet, we don’t make time to connect with Jesus. I’m talking about myself, too. Jesus is the most important person in our lives. We must keep that connection!!!! Make time to connect to the vine today. 

Peter Pan

7 Aug

Peter PanKelsea Ballerini

Lyrics

The smile, the charm, the words, the spark

Everything, you had it

I guess I had a naive heart, cause boy

I let you have it

You said I was your only

I never thought you’d leave me lonely

You’re just a lost boy, with your head up in the clouds

You’re just a lost boy, never keep your feet on the ground

You’re always gonna fly away, just because you know you can

You’re never gonna learn there’s no such place as Neverland

You don’t understand

You’ll never grow up

You’re never gonna be a man

Peter Pan

Deep down, I knew that you were too good to be true

But every piece and part of me wanted to believe in you

But now it’s happily ever never

I guess now I know better
Ladies, I want to warn you that there are a lot of “Peter Pans” in the world. There are men who are still little boys on the inside. The thing of it is…they don’t even know it. More than likely, you won’t know it until he breaks your heart.

“Peter Pan” will seem sweet and innocent. He will say everything that you want to hear. He will give you just enough to make you keep coming back for more. 

He knows exactly what to say and how to say it. He knows how to get your attention. Before you know it, you’ve fallen for him. Now, your “Peter Pan” will just string you along. 

You may ask yourself, “Why would a man purposely do that to a woman?” He actually doesn’t know that he’s still a little boy on the inside; mentally and emotionally. Somewhere along the way, he was neglected. 

Men are just like women. They can  look for love in the wrong things, too. They have missed out on something growing up. So, he’s a little boy trapped in a grown man’s body. 

When you come across a “Peter Pan,” I’m going to tell you to run. Run for your life. Take it from someone who has learned the hard way. 

I came across a few of my own “Peter Pan’s” in my life. I didn’t learn my lesson the easy way. It took more than once. It took me a few bad relationships to finally realize that I wanted more than what “Peter Pan” could give me.

Peter Pan

Is not the right man.

He will break your heart

And tear your world apart.

He will make you believe 

Even though you are being deceived.

He will say all of the right words

And make you think you are his only girl.

Eventually, you see the truth

That he really is no good. 

Don’t waste your time on Peter Pan,

He’s not the right man.
Be sure to watch the video:


Don’t settle for Peter Pan. You deserve so much more!!!!