Three steps towards working on what lies before you

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My kids are still young enough at 10 and 13 to make birthday cards for me and this year didn’t disappoint. My daughter made a huge card out of 4 colored sheets of paper taped together with little tickets made for everything from back massages to washing my car. My son made a birthday booklet using three pieces of folded colored sheets of paper. The first page reads…Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Proverbs 4:25 Then in the middle of the card is said “Search for the Lord and his strength” Chronicles 16:11. He finished up with a verse in Psalm 118:4 Let all who fear the lord repeat, his faithful love and mercy endures forever.

I was amazed and thought to myself, wow, how does a 10 year old boy know how to do this and I asked him where he got those scriptures and how he picked them. He told me he found them in my bible and they just sounded good. He didn’t even know how much he was speaking into my life and to him it was no big deal, he was just loving on his dad.

I kept the card and take it with me when I travel, and find strength in my son’s words that day. And in thinking about the verses and the order they are in, it shares a commanding principle.

1-Focus on God, keep your eyes on Jesus (on whom our faith depends). Make your plans, God will determine our steps, and with his presence in our lives each day, we will journey in the right direction with his protection, guidance, provision, and favor.

2-Find your strength in HIM. Search for the Lord and his strength…, to mean that to journey on our own is a recipe for disaster but with God by our side and a daily walk with Jesus, when we are weak, he is strong and he will carry us during times of need. Jesus tells us if we need peace and rest to take his yoke for he is gentle and kind.

3-Find power in praise and prayer.., Let all who fear the Lord repeat “His faithful love (and mercy) endures forever.” This is a praise of all praise, and praise to God precedes victory in our lives. Praise him, thank him, glorify him, consider him, and fear him. You know, the kind of fear that makes you not want to disappoint The Father. This kind of fear is the beginning of wisdom, and this kind of wisdom from God lived out in our lives is the power of Christ in each of us.

I hope this word encourages and blesses you. Be strong in the Lord and look ahead to what lies before you, search for the Lord and his mighty strength, and continue to praise him and declare his goodness, grace, and mercy.., for there is more to come, and more God is doing with your special life.

Get filled today by the power in God’s Word

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I left the house yesterday for a run outside. When I left, I was fine, full of energy and ready to tackle my run. It was 99 degrees outside but no matter, I could handle it. About half way through I was getting a little more fatigue than normal and thought to myself how much has changed (the way I was feeling) in such a short time. I was tired and not feeling full of energy like I had when I had left the house.

The thought came to me that this is like “life”…, we can be full of vigor, energy, and confidence and we leave our houses to conquer life only to run so fast and so far, that we end up in situations and circumstances that sap our energy and rob us of our peace, joy, and security. I thought to myself I needed water when I get back home and also how God’s living water through the reading of his words is the true replenishment of my life.

With what and how do you replenish your life?

If you’re in need of being replenished, take up the sword of the spirit (your bible) and get full of the word of God.. His words will penetrate your heart and mind and will show in mighty and powerful ways. Besides HIS Holy Spirit, he left us His Word so we can know him and be in constant communion with him as we live out our lives for his purposes and glory.

Just a good reminder of how a daily walk with Jesus, includes getting to know him more. One of the ways we can do this is to read our bible with intent to get a special word from the LORD.

What is his word for you and me at this time? I can’t wait for us to find out… be encouraged friends. Oh how he loves us!

Keeping the pieces together

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I was jogging outside on a trial by my house and my sports watch fell to the ground. I realized the little metal bar that holds the watch bracelet link together was gone and fell out, and so my watch fell off my wrist.

On this jog, I was really seeking God, a word from him, a touch from him, anything from him because as I’ve learned.., there is nothing like experiencing or being in the presence of God. Much like this little metal piece that holds my watch bracelet together, so does God and his son Jesus hold my life together.

I thought about how many times (metaphorically) my watch (life) fell off (apart) and I didn’t notice until later. Like my life, my watch on my arm was moving fast, up and down, and the jolt of the run was shaking my watch until the little metal piece came loose and fell out. That can be life too, moving fast, good but messy, emotional, relational, work pressure, and just general life stuff. After a while, one day I realize “I’ve been doing it on my own, where is My Father?” The missing piece is gone.

As soon as my watch fell to ground, I realized what the missing piece was and I began searching for it but couldn’t find it at first. I searched for it with intent, and I thought to myself this is the same kind of passion, desire, and fervor our Heavenly Father wants from us in our search for HIM.

My takeaway! Without Jesus in my life to hold me together, I’m at risk for being lost, falling apart, or simply living outside God’s presence. With HIM all things are possible, all things are made new, and in HIM I am free. Free to live in the present with hope, free to live without the disappointments of yesterday.., and free to be led by the Spirit so I can be used by him for all the good purposes he has waiting for me. Where he is, is fulfillment of peace, love, and joy. This is where I want to be. This is where I was meant to be.

If you’ll seek him you will find him and be found by him. I hope this message encourages you today. Blessings….

What is better, obedience or sacrifice?

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After a little sabbatical from writing to clear my mind and get quiet enough to hear God’s voice in my life, this morning was the day to begin anew. When I woke up, it was on my mind to consider the difference between obedience and sacrifice. Here’s some thoughtful reflection for you…

Proverbs 21:3 The LORD is more pleased when we do what is right and just, than when we offer him sacrifices.

1 Samuel 15:22 Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams.

In praying and thinking about what this means in my own life; it’s simple. Instead of seeking God’s favor and love through offering him sacrifices throughout the week each month, he’d rather me be in communion with him in the form of a daily walk where I be led by the spirit (the Holy Spirit) than be led astray by the world.

At this time, I’m seeking a word from him in my life and the world is so loud and there are so many voices, how can I hear him? Jesus says in John 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

Do you hear him this morning? Do you need a word in your life at this time? Are you walking with the Father in Jesus’ name each day?

Life is fast, life gets busy.., let’s not give God the last and worst part of our lives – but let’s give HIM our very best. Let’s give God the first fruits of everything we make and possess and he will bless our situation(s)!

I hope this MountainTopper encourages and blesses you…

Winning the Battle of our Mind

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What do we think and why?
What do our words and actions say about us?
Do we live out the kind of character we ourselves would look up to and admire?

Thinking leads to talking, and talking leads to doing, and doing leads to living out who we are. Let’s start by giving God our hearts and minds so he can transform us into a new person today.

Romans 12:2
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

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Thanksgiving God’s Way

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What comes to mind when Thanksgiving is mentioned? Is it the food? The football games? Or does being family and friends come to mind? Whatever it is, it’s truly a time to think, reflect, and be grateful for who God is and the relationship we can have with him through his son Jesus.

Jesus is the foundation from which eternal thankfulness and gratefulness comes from. Want to live a life of meaning and significance? Honor God first, and you will see blessings in the areas of your life that you honor him with. Honor him at work and see the fruit of your labor with his direct hand in the results. Honor him in your marriage and it will thrive and be an example to others. Honor him as a blessed mother or father and blessing will flow through your children. With the Thanksgiving time upon us, let’s honor God in all areas of our lives and be in relationship with the Father.

Praise precedes victory in our lives
I Chronicles 16:8 Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done.

We are more like Jesus when we pray and give thanks
Acts 27:35 Then he took some bread, gave thanks to God before all of them, and broke off a piece and ate it. Then everyone was encouraged and begun to eat….

Embrace the Peace God can only give and thank him for who he is
Philippians 4:6-7 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Whatever is good in your life; thank your Heavenly Father today.
Whatever is trying and difficult; thank your Heavenly Father today.

For he knows the plan he has for you – “sayeth the Lord” – a plan to prosper you and not harm you, a plan to give you a hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 Seek HIM with your whole heart and he WILL direct your path. We only need to receive him, then believe him, wait on him, and do life with him. Your harvest is coming, your harvest is coming…, give thanks today for who’s you are, you are one of HIS.

Attitude and it’s relationship to the Father

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Is there anything more powerful than a positive attitude?

If you’re one that tends to have a good attitude, you know it can be a source of strength. For others who struggle in this area, it may be a ongoing challenge. It’s not always easy to be positive or have a good attitude, but the word says that “All things work for good, for those who love God and are called according to his purposes.” Romans 8:28 So if you’re one of HIS, choose a good attitude today and declare to the Father that you TRUST Him.

A couple questions for you today.

    Can and will God bless a bad attitude?
    What is your attitude today?
    Where do you want your attitude to be?
    What can you do about it? What’s your part?

If you’re struggling with anything that is holding you captive to an attitude that is less than Christ-like, surrender it to him today and be free from the negativity that accompanies that state of mind.

God’s word says you can ask for all things and in Jesus’ name, HE will do it!

John 14:13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, because the work of the Son brings glory to the Father.

If we learn to ask for things like patience, kindness, self control, and a good attitude; HE will honor that. My loving challenge to you today is for you to ask your Heavenly Father for a need in your life that is noble and worthy and then wait expectantly for him to answer. All things are possible with him and in Jesus’ name I pray that you will be forevermore the man or woman you are meant to be.

Keeping your eyes on Jesus

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With so much going on in our nation and world today, we can easily be sucked into the chaos and drama of our daily lives. How do we keep our eyes on Jesus while not letting the stress and worry of tomorrow rob our peace and joy today? Hebrews 12:2

There is a war and battle going on today and it takes place in our minds. It’s intended to confuse and worry us so we focus on things that don’t matter or things that will take us away from God’s presence. Don’t let this happen. If you’re away from God’s presence, run with haste back to the love and protection of the Father. Declare to him what holds you captive and give him permission by the power of the Holy Spirit to take over your mind so you can be led by the spirit.

Ephesians 6:12 says we are fighting against things we cannot see, the powers of the unseen world. In other words, we are fighting and warring against the thoughts of our mind. Therefore, whoever or whatever controls your mind controls your thoughts. Whatever controls your thoughts controls your speech. Whatever controls your speech controls your actions and behaviors? What does our actions say about us? Is our behavior congruent with our faith and beliefs?…, gut check time.

So how do we win this war on our mind? By inviting the Holy Spirit in and being led by the spirit. With this you will have victory over anything and everything in your life, on day at a time, one situation at a time, one challenge at a time. We can’t do it alone, but ALL things are possible in Jesus’ name.

Is there’s anything you need victory over today? If so, my prayer for you today is that you will allow God to transform your mind into a new person and change the way you think, so you can be free of all that holds you captive. When you can have peace regardless of your circumstances, you are living the life God meant for you to live as his children.

Romans 12:2 … let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will now what God wants you to do, and you will know who good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.

God has a plan

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Have you ever thought about why things happen the way they do? Has anything in your life ever gone in a different direction that you thought it would go? When it didn’t go your way, how did you handle it?

A good friend of mine once told me. he said, “Work on the things in your life like they depend on you and pray about them like they depend on God.” It was good and sound advice and something I’ve lived by and in times where our country seems so divided about so many things–this can be a way to do our best and let God do the rest.

How can this be applied in your life so you can enjoy more rest, joy, peace, and happiness?

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths.

Proverbs 16:3 Commit your work to the LORD, and then your plans will succeed.

Proverbs 16:33
We may roll the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall.

So today, together, let’s work on our things like they depend on us and pray about them like they depend on HIM. Surrender the outcomes of your harvest and just plant the seeds in the areas and places God asks you. Your harvest will come at just the right time and while it may not be what or how you thought, God has a plan and he is asking us to trust him….

Separation

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Is there anything that separates you from your Father today; your Heavenly Father? Is it something that you covet that keeps your from him? Is it un-forgiveness regarding someone or something that keeps you from him. Is there something in your life that precedes him? Right now, what are you thinking about; is there anything on your mind so heavy that it takes up most of your daily thoughts?

My prayer for myself and for you today is this: “Lord, if there is anything that is between you and me that is preventing me from knowing you more and pleasing you–please let me know and help me remove it.”

Identify that which is coming between you and the Father, and begin anew today.

Luke 12:34 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

James 4:8 Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.

Matthew7:7 Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who seeks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

Galatians 6:9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.

Philippians 1:6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished….

What great things does God have in store for you today, this month, the rest of this year, next year?

Put your hope, faith, trust in him, (in action), and allow him to be the bridge between where you are today and where he has you headed. It may be a different direction that you thought of, and if you’re right smack in the center of God’s will.., is there any better place to be? Don’t let anything come between you and the special relationship you have or could have with Father God; he is patiently waiting for you and I to have and continue a relationship with him….

Have a blessed week…..