April 21, 2015

Don’t Let Anyone Steal Your Peace

PEACE

 “state of tranquility or serenity, cessation or freedom from strife and dissension”

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

But are we ever truly at peace?

Oh, how I want to be. But it’s so easy for circumstances and people to steal my peace.  Some days their actions, or lack thereof, make me grumble and complain. Other days their words cause me to scowl and roll my eyes. And sometimes I completely lose it.

Notice my word choice: “they make me.” I blame my husband, my sassy teenager, the irritating people on the highway, the rude clerk at the store, the demanding boss for stealing my peace. It feels better that way. Justified.

Yet after the looks flash across my face or the words spew forth from my lips, I hate it! I wished I hadn’t. I want to stop, to be kind, to be patient. But I can’t. I just can’t. Something in me just can’t stop myself! My heart cries, What is wrong with me??

Can you identify?

My comfort comes; my hope for peace returns when I read Paul’s words in Romans 7:15,

Listen, I can’t explain my actions. Here’s why: I am not able to do the things I want; and at the same time, I do the things I despise. (NIV)

Wow! Even Paul felt this way. The greatest evangelist that ever lived struggled with walking fully in God’s peace. He got angry. He lost his temper. People irritated him.

It’s called sin!

It’s our natural bent. Without Jesus we would live this way every day, every hour, every minute.

To overcome that natural bent, we must feed our spirit.

We forget that as saved children of God, we have two natures. Physical AND spiritual.

Without Jesus, we walk in the physical. We respond in the physical. We allow our sin nature to lead us.

When I lose my patience easily; when my tongue lets loose quickly, when I feel devoid of peace, it’s because I am allowing my physical self to control my thoughts, emotions and speech. And looking back, it’s those times that I’m not sitting at the feet of my Father … really spending time reading and absorbing His Word. Consequently, my peace dissipates, and I end up  angry. Restless. Impatient. Intolerant.

Jesus, our Great Shepherd, did not live a divided life. His physical and spirit united as one. And His Spirit controlled His physical. He allowed it to lead in all He said and did. He offered His total life to His Father. Scripture tells us

I have come down from heaven not to pursue My own agenda but to do what He desires. I am here on behalf of the Father who sent Me. John 6:38 (The Voice)

Jesus did His Father’s will … always.

Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10:31

Whatever you do—whether you eat or drink or not—do it all to the glory of God! (The Voice)

Jesus desired to glorify God in everything He said and did. And so should we. Really, every act of our lives should reflect His peace, His love, and His character.

Friend, let’s pray together with one heart to unite our natural self  with our spiritual self so that God’s peace and His presence will permeate our every word and deed.

Not perfectly. But consistently.

So when we lose it, and we will, our hearts are more prepared and open to repenting and asking forgiveness, thereby modeling again our Father’s character.

We must PRACTICE living a life of peace.

We must invite God into our every day. It’s when we include Him in our daily activities that peace will permeate our hearts and homes.

Isaiah26.3.PerfectPeace

IN CHRIST WE CAN DO THIS!! Not in our own strength, but in the strength of the Holy Spirit.

Do you have days like mine? Times where you can’t explain the lack of peace? Share them with us today and share how you find your peace again. It helps to know we are not alone!!

Sweet Blessings to you today!

April 2, 2015

An Easter Gift from My Heart to Yours

Easter Quiet Time

Guided Abiding Time with Jesus 

 

Easter is such a precious time in our faith. One of my favorite ways to celebrate is to simply sit and soak in God’s Word. Below please find a guided quite time that I pray tenderly leads you to a sacred meeting place with Jesus in the Holy of Holies tucked inside your heart. There are no rules…you can do it in one sitting or over several days.

Hear the Word of the Lord

Psalm 33:1-11

Donna'sCross

Praise our Abba Father…

a. Psalm 27:4

 

b. Psalm 84

 

c. Psalm 90:1-2

 

d. Psalm 145, especially 14, 17-20

 

e. Isaiah 43:1-7

 

Do you know He has called you by name, created you for His glory? Do you know He and He alone is your dwelling place? Journal your thoughts.

 

See how great is the love of God…

a. Isaiah 1:18 and Isaiah 53:1-12

 

b. Psalm 51

 

c. Psalm 139

 

d. John 8:36

 

e. Romans 8:1

 

f. 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

g. 1 John 1:8-9

 

 Spend a few moments praising God and receive the unfailing love of our awesome God.  Journal your thoughts.

John 3.16image

Our Savior’s sacrifice…

Jesus Christ… the Son of God…the Author of Life…the Anointed, Chosen One, stepped out of heaven and into our earthly realm, choosing to leave His honored place in heaven.  He was born into poverty.  He learned obedience.  He was hated by His own people, ridiculed and persecuted.  His own creation arrested Him, stripped Him naked, and forced a crown of thorns into His head.  They beat Him and knelt before Him, mocking: “Hail, King of the Jews.”

When He was so weak He could barely stand, they forced Him to the ground and onto the cross.  They stretched out His arms and drove nails into His hands and feet.  His blood poured forth onto the ground.  Upon crucifying Him, they divided His clothes and kept watch over Him through the night. As He hang dying, many stood at the base of the cross hurling insults at Him, mocking Him.

After hours of agony, darkness fell over the land.  Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me!”  At that moment, the curtain of the Temple ripped in two from top to bottom.  The earth shook, rocks split.  Tombs broke open.  Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands, I commit my Spirit.”  Upon speaking these words, our Lord and Savior breathed His last breath.

God could have stopped this scene. Jesus could have lifted Himself off the cross, but He chose not to because He saw my name.  He saw your name.  He saw my sin.  He saw your sin.  He knew the only price to pay for that sin was death.

Jeremiah 31:3

 

Romans 8:38-39

 

Pray this prayer:  Lord, Your Word says the sacrifices You desire are a broken and contrite spirit, and a contrite heart You will not despise. Today, I confess my sin, especially _______________. Thank You that Your Word promises that when I confess my sin, You are faithful and just and will forgive my sin and purify me from all unrighteousness. Thank You that Your blood, the blood You shed on the cross sets me free and Your Word promises that when You set me free, I am free indeed! Thank You that according to Your Word there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Thank You that You see me through the blood of Your Son Jesus. Thank You that all things old are gone and the new has come. Thank You that You have washed me white as snow and that my sins are as far away as the east is from the west! Today I receive Your forgiveness and cannot wait to live in the fullness of all You have to offer. AMEN.

Do you understand the depth of this love God has for you, the depth of the sacrifice He made for you and for me?  Tell Him so now.

 

The gift of new life…

As if forgiveness of sins was not enough, God gave us another gift.

The Resurrection

Three days later, an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, His appearance like lightning, His clothes white as snow.  He rolled back the stone at the tomb.  The tomb was empty!  The angel said, “Jesus of Nazarene, who was crucified.  He has risen!  He is not here.”  After Jesus appeared to His friends, He was taken up to heaven to sit at the right hand of God, His father.

Because of this gift, you and I receive the opportunity for new life and the gift of God’s Holy Spirit.

Read these powerful words from the Lord:

a. Ezekiel 36:26-27

 

b. John 14:16-21

 

c. John 16:13-15

 

d. Galatians 5:22-23

 

e. 2 Timothy 1:7

 

Do you know the joy of having the power and presence of the living God residing within you?  Speak to the Spirit and ask Him to fill you with the fullness of God at this moment, to receive all God has for you.

 

Spend time with the Lord and draw near to His heart…

DrawNeartoGod

a. Proverbs 2:1-15

 

b. Proverbs 4:20-27

 

c. Isaiah 55:1-3, 6

 

d. Hebrews 10:19-25

 

e. Phil 3:7-10

 

What do you need to consider loss, what do you cling to that keeps you from fully surrendering to Christ?  Ask Him to take it from you now.

 

Sit and soak in God’s presence…just you and His Word…

Scripture teaches that one day at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

a. Joshua 1:8-9

 

b. Psalm 1:1-6

 

c. Psalm 63:1-8

 

d. Isaiah 30:15-18

 

e. Isaiah 40:28-31

 

f. Exodus 33:14

 

Close in prayer…

 Thank you, Father, for this precious time to be still and know that You are God.  Father, take this time, bless it, take what I have offered to You, and continually remind me of what You have taught me and spoken to my heart.  To You alone I give all glory, majesty, power, and authority now and forevermore.  Amen

 

My heart fills with gratitude as I thank God for you! You are the most amazing community of women. Thank you for your prayers and your sweet words of encouragement through the years. I pray that each one of you will experience God in very deep, rich and personal ways as you sit at His feet during this Holy week.

If you feel led to share how the Lord speaks to you through your time alone with Him, I would love to hear from you!

Blessings,

March 25, 2015

Feeling “Stuck” in Life? Find Hope, Answers and a Giveaway Here!

Have you ever felt “stuck?” If so, this message is just for you!

I’m excited to share my friend Pat Layton’s new book, “Life Unstuck,” not only because of the beautiful heart behind the author but also because it is grounded in one of the most precious and beautiful Psalms in the Bible … Psalm 139. Using Psalm 139 as her guide, “Life Unstuck” takes us on a journey that equips us how to identify when and where we have gotten stuck so that we can move forward with great confidence and joy. It’s packed with personal stories and practical application that will truly help create forward progress in your walk with Jesus. LaunchFBGraphic.Pat Layton Q: Pat, what led you to write your book Life Unstuck?  Life Unstuck is the result of over 30 years of life transformation! My first time reading Psalm 139 as a new Christian, led me on a journey to personal healing from a very broken past that had climaxed in having an abortion at age 23. God used the 24 verses of Psalm 139 to show me His redeeming love and grace and those words became the roots God used to lead me into full time ministry. Very soon after receiving my own healing God led me to open Tampa, Florida’s first crisis pregnancy center and write what is now an international post abortion recovery curriculum called Surrendering the Secret published by Lifeway in 2008. A few years ago God began to stir the Life Unstuck message in my heart which resulted in this new book!

Q: What’s different about Life Unstuck compared to all the other books out there about God?  Life Unstuck is basically a life coaching, life FREEDOM plan using the 24 verses of Psalm 139! In this prayer/poem David addresses God in a direct and personal manner using the pronoun “YOU” 11 times twisted together with the use of the word “ME” 13 times! Life Unstuck breaks down this interaction between David and God and shows us how to apply it’s rich revelation to our own lives.

Q: Your book is filled with scriptural truth. Can you share a sample or two of these verses and why you chose them?  Verse one kicks off the rich depths of Psalm 139 and prepares us for a deep dive. “Oh Lord you have SEARCHED ME and you KNOW ME!”  David gets us at “hello”. God knows you, He sees you. Everything about you! How you think, how you talk, where go and who you go with! At first look, I was not so sure this was actually GOOD NEWS! I have done a whole lot of stuff in my lifetime that I don’t like thinking about being in front of a Holy God. As I have allowed God to work this verse out in my life and heart, I have come to find complete hope and peace in those words, God KNOWS me and Loves me Still!

Q: Who did you write your book for? Who can benefit from this message?  My dedication page is “for the woman who secretly suspects there is nothing more but desperately dreams there is. The bottom line is, this book is ONLY for those women who ever find themselves STUCK somewhere in life—relationships, finances, marriage, ministry, parenting….ONLY HER! J

Q: What do you feel is the greatest obstacle people must overcome in order to make a deep relationship with God a priority?  Overwhelmed schedules and misplaced commitment. In other words, letting life AROUND of God overtake life IN Him!

Q: How has Life Unstuck changed YOU?  The year of writing Life Unstuck was by far the toughest year of my journey as a Christian. I lost friends. I lost identity. I lost family physical closeness as each of my children and Grandchildren moved away from home. I even moved from my own home of over 20 years. My foundations were all rocked one by one, BUT GOD! As I dug into these verses every single day, by ORDER of a contracted deadline, God changed me. He unstuck me from many areas of bondage and burden that I never knew where keeping me away from my next adventure with Him. I re-learned that He sees me and has a plan for my life—a good plan. A God plan!

Q: What is your prayer for anyone who reads Life Unstuck?  My hearts desire is that every woman who reads Life Unstuck will fold the last page of the book with a smile on her face and a feeling of peace, purpose and passion. I pray she is a different woman from the one who opened the first page. The foundational truths found in Psalm 139 are never “mastered” this side of heaven. We always need to be reminded of them and to re-embrace them, regardless of our level of spiritual maturity or experience. I pray that the Unstuck Manifesto becomes worn from wear and a part of her very core!

Q: What are some practical ways your readers can implement the principles found in Life Unstuck  Life Unstuckprovide the reader with personal hands on tools and exercises that will help them gain deeper insight into the one of a kind woman God created her to be; provide very specific steps for confronting the past in a healthy way; offer her steps to take for developing a more intimate relationship with Christ; help her intentionally discover her purpose in life TODAY just as she is living it and stir her heart and mind towards dreaming big God sized dreams for her future. PatLayton.Cover

Giveaway

Pat, thank you for stopping by today!

Pat has graciously agreed to give away a copy of “Life Unstuck.” So please leave a comment today sharing a place you feel “stuck” and why, and we will choose one comment to receive a copy of her book. Stop back here Friday and check for a comment from me, at the end of the comments, to see if you are the winner.

If you want to learn more about Pat, visit her website by clicking here.

Blessings,