Am I living … life or death?

Why am I still living in sin? It is no longer to be my way of life. Interestingly, I think this is the life of the average follower of Jesus Christ, which means most of us. Yet, there is a difference between “living in sin” and sinning still from time to time.

Habitual sin will block us from God and the life He has  planned for us.

Motivational influencer, Darren Hardy, recently spoke on copying the proceedures and activities of the successful people we want to emulate. In other words, we should mimic their focus, discipline, their action and their activities.

Have you ever heard that you should read the autobiographies of great people so you can learn what and how they rose to fame?

Well, when we call ourselves Chrisitans, we are claiming to follow Jesus. In order to do that, we must read His biography- the Bible. As a follower of Jesus, we are announcing to the world that we are going to do what He did and pattern our lives after His. That is what we are saying outardly.

But, do we commit to it internally? Do we actually feed upon the Word of God, reading the gospels and the letters, to find out exactly what our actions should be?

The Bible says we need to be careful lest we be like the man who looks in the mirror then having walked away- immediately forgets what he looks like (James 1:23-24).

I am trusting as a follower of Christ you have at least heard how He lived and know what is His will for you life. Yet do you actually, on a daily basis, take it to heart and purposely attempt to live like Christ and avoid sin? Or do you live life assuming you are a good person, for the most part, and stop there? 

What are your guiding principles as you  go about your day?

We can be proactive and purposely live out the postive actions of Christ and the faith. We can also plan to take the day as it unfolds without a plan. The choice is ours. 

We can be intentional to avoid sins we strugge with and thereby be hyper vigilent when temptaions arise. When the opportuinity for sin comes up we will be alert and it will not sneak into our actions and thoughts. 

If we are on guard and ready for temptaions then we will not be taken aback the next mornng wondering how in the world we gave in again to those sins that frequent us the most.

Today remind yourself that sin no longer lives in you (Galations 2:20). When the temptaion to sin presents itself…walk away, think of something else, confess that you live as Christ within you. Live out your new nature, not that old self that was crucfied with Christ. Walk as a new being set free from sin and death.

Until Next Time-
Bleings, Kate

A prayer for you 1/20/20

Today:

(I) “ask God to give you complete knowledge of His will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you  learn to know God betteer and better.

Colossians 1:9-10

Until Next Time-
Blessings, Kate 

Perhaps its the enemy who is winnning right now

That fight with your daughter- was not a fight with her.
That struggle with your finances- is not about money.
Those flashbacks to bad mistakes you made- are not your mind’s fault.

We do not wrestle flesh and blood (Ephesins 6:12).

Boy, but it sure seems like it!

How often we forget (hourly, every 30 minutes, etc.) that at the root of our trials is an enemy that seeks to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10). He longs to rile us up and get us into an ungodly emotional state– any ungodly emotional state.

Every minute we are distressed is a moment we have turned away our trust from God. We have taken everyhing into our own hands and resonsibility. We see things only as they are, right in front of us, from our own perspective.

My guess is when you do this it takes a while to disengage these negative emotions and shake them off. In fact many times we let our feelings get carried over into our very next encounter with someones else…anyone will do.

So we snap at our family carrying over our frustrations from work. We cut our call, to a friend in need, because we are too preoccupied about a bill that isn’t even due til next month.

It takes practice to turn sitations over to God and to surrender our attitude to His Holy will at all times. It just isn’t going to happen 24/7. But one thing will help:Remember that there is ALWAYS the possibility to view our situations from more than one perspective.

I’m not saying that when a Prius cuts you of in traffic that is is Satan everytime.

What I am saying is that it is within our control how long we’re gonna give the devil what he desres.It is not God who wants us sad, angry, stressed, disturbed, jealous, or coveting.

There are skills that are easily accessible online to learn how to adjust your emotions in a timely manner. The goal is to disengage and get a calmer, more peaceful, well rounded perspective.

Try:
meditation
cleaning
exercise
reading
listening to music   or
repeating praise lyrics in your mind.

Stay away from:
journaling — unless it is to see another perspective. Do not just write down your side and further get upset.
(same with) venting to someone
 These activities just further embed your own view of the situation and further stir up & increase the same emotions…only do these activities if your goal is to HONESTLY see the situation from a healthier perspective asking how it might be viewed from a different angle.

Try to get in the habit of asking yourself: Who is winning when I am in this mood

When you are in a bad state you are not winning, God is not winning. The enemy is winning.

(Even if you feel justified and self -righteous, you are not winning because you are in a broken state with another person.)

Remember- ask:   Who is winning right now? How can I change my emotions and attitude right now?

Until Next Time –
Blessings, Kate

What is you super power?

 

Super heroes always have a secret identity. They go through the world and their days un-noticed. This is the way they can do their special talents without anyone knowing.

One of Gods’ super hero adventures was to come to this world in the form of Jesus of Nazareth. He went throughout the region as a regular person, living life like all the other people…yet he had the ability to perform miracles and reconcile the lost back to God, Himself.

In the movies the local people can believe in the super heroes because the identity of the hero is unknown. If word got out that a hero was just another guy from town—the people would not believe it. And that is what happened to Jesus.

It says in Matthew 13:53-57:
When Jesus had finished telling these stories and illustrations, he left that part of the country. He returned to Nazareth, his home town. When he taught there in the synagogue everyone was amazed and said, “Where does he get this wisdom and the power to do miracles? “

The scoffed, “He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, his mother, and his brothers – James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas. All his sisters live right here among us, where did he learn all these things?” And they were deeply offended and refused to believe in him.

 

And then Mark 6:4 records:
Then Jesus told them, “A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.”

 

You may or may not have a secret identity. People may or may not know what your gifts are and how/when you use them. But I ask you all the same: What are your special gifts? What do you do to make the world a better place?

You are just an average person, yet, you have a calling to make the world a better place. How do you carry that out?

To whom much is given, much is required.

In the parable of the talents, a master gives out talents to 3 servants. He was going away and would collect what they had left over when he came back.  One got 5 talents, another got 2, and the third got 1 talent.

The first two doubled what they had been given. They were rewarded.

But the third buried his and produced no profit. He is then thrown out into the darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

We do not want to be like the 3rd servant: Holding our talents to ourselves, afraid to take a risk to develop and increase them. We are going to be accountable to our Master and Savior Jesus Christ.

We each have a unique set of skills we can use for the kingdom:

  • Maybe it is to mentor a child
  • Maybe it is to be an encourager
  • Maybe it is to run a business that helps others or that brings in money– that you can use to help others
  • Maybe it is to be an amazing parent or son/daughter.

Take some time to ask yourself, and God, what your unique skills are and how you can live that out. You may get accolades or you may go un-noticed. That isn’t the point.

The point is that you, as an average citizen in your town, are called to do something to make life better here on Earth.

Thank God for the gifts and blessings He has given you. Ask Him for the power to carry out His will.

Until Next Time~
Blessings, Kate

You have been chosen! You are called and loved by God.

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Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

Are you walking around this life feeling lost? Unloved? Unseen? You are none of those things. There is one who knew you before you were born and anxiously wants to love you.

I believe that scripture speaks best for itself. Repeatedly it points out that we are chosen by God. This post will be Scripture intensive because it is a topic that comes from God, not from a nice sounding piece I am coming up with, on my own, so you just feel good.

I want you to know you are called; you are chosen.
Whoever you are, where ever you are right now, God wants to have a relationship with you.
He chose you before you were born and is waiting for you to come to him or return to him if you have walked away.

Here is what the Bible says:

Jeremiah 1:5 (NASB)
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, And before you were born I consecrated* you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
Consecrate:
Make or declare sacred
Dedicate for a divine purpose
Devote irrevocably to the worship of God

Isaiah 43:1b-2 (NASB)
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!  “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you.

 *All scripture from here on out is NLT

 Ephesians 1:3-6
 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.  Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.  God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.  So, we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.

Jeremiah 29:11
 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

 Romans 8:28-30
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.  For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.  And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory.

 THIS MEANS YOU!!

You have been given the glory of God. You have been chosen. You have been called to be God’s special treasure. You already are, and always have been loved by God. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done!!!—

Ephesians 2:10
 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

John 6:37
(Jesus says) However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them.

Deuteronomy 7:6
For you are a holy people, who belong to the Lord your God. Of all the people on earth, the Lord your God has chosen you to be his own special treasure.

Exodus 19:5
(God Says) Now if you will obey me and keep my covenant, you will be my own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth; for all the earth belongs to me.

Deuteronomy 14:2
 You have been set apart as holy to the Lord your God, and he has chosen you from all the nations of the earth to be his own special treasure.

1 Thessalonians 1:4
 We know, dear brothers and sisters, that God loves you and has chosen you to be his own people.

 John 15:16
(Jesus says) You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.

 Ephesians 1:11
 Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.
………………………………………………………..

Look, I could research and find you a bunch of YouTube videos by Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer that tell you how much God loves you and has chosen you. (And I will if you ask me to) But I find that sermons get a point across and a couple snippets remain in our memory of stories or phrases used. But this, above, is the holy Word of God.

If you are having trouble accepting God loves you, please pray for God to open your heart to God’s truth. Then read and re-read these verses a couple times (morning and night) over time. Then they will sink in and begin to take hold of you.  Ask God to confirm his Word in your heart and mind. Trust and believe. What have you got to lose? Nothing. But you have eternity to gain and a love that can uphold you, encourage you, carry you through difficult times and never leave you alone. You will also have a community of like-minded believers to welcome you into the family of God.

Until next time~
Blessings, Kate

Guilt Calls for Accepting Forgiveness

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Do you ever feel guilty for things you only guess and assume are an error?

  •  I mean, have you ever said something and later thought it was stupid and you should have said something different?
  • Has your child ever had a playground accident at school and you beat yourself up because you are not a stay-at-home, home-school mom so that this wouldn’t have happened?
  • Do you ever feel guilt because you feel insecure about an action that you have taken—even when no one else has commented on it?
  • Do you feel guilt over things you have no control over but are inconvenient to other people?
  • Do you ever feel guilty because you can’t make or keep someone else happy?

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary has a few definitions of guilt. Today I want to speak in regard to this one:” feelings of deserving blame especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy.”

I find it amazing that Webster’s definition uses the word imagined offenses.

We can beat ourselves up for hours/days over something we perceive we did wrong even if no one has said we did anything at all. We suffer inside. It creates turmoil and depression. We lose the ability to connect to others because we are caught up in the guilt situation. We are afraid of what others think and how that will affect us.

No matter where we grew up, there were social rules we were raised with. Some were spoken to us. Some were unstated, but we learned them from watching others around us. These became our “shoulds” in life. Some people harden their hearts against these shoulds and just live anyway they want. Other people have softer consciences and take it to heart when they break a should or should not— even if they don’t agree with this “rule” of society.

Guilt is appropriate if we actually do something wrong such as steal from the office or drive drunk, or yelling at a loved one. But, what about taking time out for yourself even though you have 4 kids and a spouse that want your attention every moment you are not at work?  What about when your child wants money for something specific, but your budget is not big enough to afford it right now?

The lower someone’s self-esteem the more perfectionistic their ideals for themselves are. They believe they should not be making mistakes, or blunders. They believe that they should be able to keep others happy, that it is their responsibility. This is unrealistic. But sometimes we grow up in families that make us feel guilty for just being ourselves. We feel we never get it right. And there are plenty of adults that bully their friends and partners into feeling false guilt (just so the offending party can feel momentarily better than someone else).

So what can we do with our guilt?

Step 1) recognize if it is rational or imagined.
Did we do something that we actually made an error of judgement on? Or are we just afraid we did? Are we taking other people’s wants and desires too personally as if we are the only ones on earth that can help?

If it is a real error-

  • accept responsibility and ownership of the error.
  • Ask for forgiveness
  • Set things straight
  • Try not to repeat it again
  • If you cannot fix the error or the situation- share your regret and your feelings with the other person.

If it is imagined

  • Quit with the guilt!

You might never know if your words were taken as insensitive. Also, you are not the only person in the world that can help others. Other people have their own internal issues that effect their moods and attitudes. And after all we are not responsible for how others choose to feel. (there are a few exceptions)

Step 2) Allow for forgiveness

Once you have set things straight and apologized (only when real errors were done) …Once you have or have not received the other person’s forgiveness… it is time to forgive yourself.

  • If someone forgives you- MOVE ON! Your guilt at that point is not helping you and, in most cases, ongoing guilt doesn’t prevent someone from repeating the same mistake. Accept that the other person has released you from the event.
  • If you do not need forgiveness because truly nothing bad was done, or if the other person had not forgiven you—it is still time to move on. But how?

Self- forgiveness -admit
A) you are not ever going to be perfect
B) you are going to make errors because we all do
C) you are never going to make/keep others happy—its not your responsibility anyway.
If you have done your part to make things right then acknowledge that, be satisfied with that, and again try not to repeat it.

If you are a believer– confession, repentance, grace, forgiveness = record wiped clean. Get to it!

So there are 3 types of forgiveness to diminish guilt.

  • Forgiveness from others when we truly have caused the harm or made an error.
  • Self-forgiveness when we acted on a way we wish we hadn’t and also when we have done all we can to make it right.
  • Forgiveness from our higher power– to clear the record, to gain strength to not repeat our error, to know that though we messed up we are still truly loved. We are in the process of growing Holy and we will make mistakes along the way. This was foreseen. That is why there is a merciful pan in place so we can start again.

Are you still walking in guilt? Run it through this process and set yourself free!

Until Next Time~
Blessings, Kate

 

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Quote of the Day 01/05/2020

I am new to blogging. I started November 2018, so just a little over a year ago. I wish it were as easy as just logging in daily, typing something awesome on the page and pushing publish all with ease. HA! So much more goes into it.

books 1

I am also in the process of writing a devotional book. Again, it is not simply taking a text and expounding on it, repeating that 30 times, and sending it off to a publisher.

So I came across this text while reading this morning. It aptly applies to all of us pursuing our goals:

Individuals who understand the principle of having to make an investment in their lives before they can expect success are far more productive and proactively seek out the information and assistance they need to be successful in their endeavors. Individuals who keep growing in their knowledge are the ones who succeed.
Born To Win by Zig Ziglar  pg 79.

Until Next Time~
Blessings, Kate