Against All Odds

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I’m sure I am not the only one who has seen an increase in problems and sufferings that people are facing today. Some things are in our control to make a change, while others are not. Often people will question why something is happening and from a biblical perspective I can tell you there is a great deal of spiritual warfare going on.

The Bible tells us we have an enemy, the devil, who is seeking to devour us. He came to kill, steal, and destroy God’s creation. From the moment we are conceived, birthed, and until we die the devil and his followers are on a mission. That mission is to make sure we either stay as far away from any desire of a relationship with God through Christ Jesus or to try to make our lives miserable if we choose to live our lives for God. (John 10:10 AMP, 1 Peter 5:8-11 MSG)

We are not the first to experience such troubles in life. The Bible is filled with many examples. Job is one of them. He lost all his children, his business, his wealth, his health, and friends all within a very short time. He overcame it all though and stood his ground still giving God praise and honor during His situation and God turned everything around for Job giving him double blessing for all his trouble. (See the book of Job)

Friends, I am so sorry if you are hurting today because of any difficult situations, physical or financial challenges in life, painful choices you have to make, or problems that seem to be piling up….I understand your pain and frustration. I really do. We may have Job-like trials in life but let me reassure you and remind you of the hope we have in God and His promises. (See Jer. 29:11-14) God does not desire any of us to fail, be discouraged, nor depressed with our life. He wants to see us rise above our situation and become who He created us to be. (1 Peter 5:10) He desires us to live to our fullest potential and enjoy life. What He did for Job, He will do for us when we take a stand against the enemy.

We need to cultivate our faith and tap into His grace daily. Grace empowers us to succeed in life. The Bible also tells us that the same power that rose Christ Jesus from death is the same power that is in those who believe in Him and have received Jesus as their Lord and Savior (See Romans 8:11).

We also need to pray in the Spirit and be led by the Spirit of God and not by our flesh. God tells us that the battle is not flesh and blood so we need to put on the spiritual armor He has provided for us. (See Eph. 6:10-18)

Some people choose to give into the enemy’s tactics and give up. While others, as if by some miracle, push through against all the odds stacked against them. These are the life & world changers.

Life and world changers come in all shapes and sizes…young and old…girls and boys… women and men. Every person is as unique as their situation. Some are born right into calamity & God knows… The Bible tells us that He knew us while we were yet formed in our mother’s womb. (Psalm 139, Jer. 1:5) He knew all along what situation and life challenges we would face right from the start. Some of those challenges are because of the devil’s devices and others because we suffer from the consequences of our sinful nature and choices and those around us.

Life and world changers are people who despite their lot in life have made a choice to press in and press on (Phil 3:12-14 MSG). They inspire and impact others sometimes without even knowing it just by their life and their testimony. They refuse to give up on life just because of a bad doctor report, loss of a loved one through death, abandonment or divorce or a severe trial such as a job loss or bankruptcy. They are truly overcomers. (2 Cor. 12:7-10 MSG, 1 John 5:4-5 NLT)

Now I am not saying they don’t experience discouragement or disappointment from time to time. Or even get angry and question God in certain situations. Many of them do, however, they do not allow trials and tribulations to dictate their future, their potential, or the possibilities in life. They take life one day at a time and are grateful for it. Gratitude, thankfulness, and trust in God goes a long way.

What about you? Are you a person that is fighting against all odds? Are you a life changer…A world changer? Can people say of you…”Your testimony inspires me…It changed my view of life….I know I can make it now….You gave me hope and now I believe” I don’t know about you but I want to see lives transformed for the better!
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If you have a personal testimony of coming through a trial or overcoming a challenge or have a story of someone who impacted your life because of their testimony please share it here in the comment section. Nothing is too small. If you have overcome anything at all it’s a victory to be celebrated. Also keep in mind, what may be small to you may be something quite bigger to someone else. People need to be encouraged and know their live is not in vain. God uses people to reveal His plans, purposes, and wisdom to others.

Thank you to everyone who shares! God will use you to bless someone’s life today!

 

Just in case anyone has a birthday and you are reading this…. I pray you have the most amazingly blessed birthday ever! May your day be overflowing with joy, laughter, love, and lots of hugs. May you experience the hand of God in your life like never before. May your love for Him and knowing Him personally increase more and more. May you be debt free and have increase wealth, time, and walk in divine health so you can bless others. May you see your dreams come to pass. So dream BIG & don’t stop dreaming! May you walk out God’s perfect plan for your life. Happy Birthday!  

 

My friends, if you don’t know Jesus I declare this is your day. Simple prayer…

Father God, I want to know you personally …for myself. I understand in order to come to you I must go through your Son, Jesus… Because that is Your plan.. You sent Your son as a gift and a sacrifice to redeem my life. I ask for forgiveness of my sins, my mistakes, those known & unknown. I thank you that Jesus died for my sins so that I may reconnect with you and be saved. I believe. I receive him as my Lord & Savior that I may enter into an eternal relationship with you than can never be separated. I will not question it. It’s settled in my heart, mind, & spirit. I am now your child and I am destined for greatness. When trials & tribulations come my way I will trust in you to see me through. I will make a habit of reading Your Word and living it. I will talk with you, not at You. & not just in times of troubles. I will wait and listen. I will pray in Jesus name. I will praise You for who You are. I will learn what it means to walk by the spirit and yield myself each day to walk in the spirit and not by my flesh. I will read Your Word and learn more about You and also how to be obedient to it and live out the Word on my daily life. I will trust Your promises for my life and know that You are for me and not against me. I thank you Father God, for my salvation & life. In Jesus name. Amen.

If you prayed this prayer, tell someone! You have just been reborn! Celebrate your new life in Jesus! The angels in heaven are! =)))))

Shalom! Shalom!

I’m Back!

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Hello my friends. I’m sorry I have not posted to my blog for a couple weeks now. I just wanted to let you know that I have not stopped blogging. I was just experiencing some pretty challenging flare-ups of fibromyalgia which made it rather difficult to concentrate, sit, or do just about anything really. But the flare-up has calmed down and God gave me an awesome word that I am putting together. It might be a little longer post than I have normally shared because of the topic and it’s a great topic too! So I am looking forward to sharing it with you as soon as I get it done. Just watch for the updates!

If you haven’t already subscribed to follow my blog, you can do so by clicking the link on the right that says “Follow Blog via Email.” That way you will get an email letting you know when I have a new posting. Thank you so very much to all those who are doing it already! I pray that my postings will encourage, bless, and inspire you in some kind of way.

Until I can get the new posting up (which I am praying will be either end of today or sometime tomorrow) feel free to go back and re-read my other postings. Maybe something new will stand out to you that you needed to be reminded of or there may be something you can share with a friend that will bless them. Something else that would really help me out as well is, if you could please let me know if the blog postings have been a blessing to you by leaving me a comment. I really appreciate all your support my friends.   

I pray that the love of Jesus overflows in your life today and always. Don’t forget my friends it’s not just about you and your needs. Someone out there that crosses your path, whether it’s a fellow believer in Jesus or someone who has yet to met Him, needs to be hugged, acknowledged, encouraged, or blessed in some way. You just might be the answer to someone’s prayer or heart calling out to God! Be a willing vessel. Yield to Him today. You will be amazed at what God can do through you, for you and in you. Just think about it! There is something exciting and exhilaratingly adventurous in being a blessing to someone when they least expect it and especially without them knowing. Just a little over a week ago I spent some time in prayer in the morning. Part of my prayer was that God would use me to be an unexpected blessing in some way to someone that day. Later that afternoon I was with my daughter getting a haircut and a young woman with her two little daughters were at the salon getting her hair done too. She sat in the chair next to me. When I was finished I moved to a chair across from there while my daughter got her haircut. The young woman was trying to get to keep her little girls still the best she could and she seemed pretty stressed. It was all over her face. Then there it was. I heard the voice. The voice of the Holy Spirit telling me to get a gift card for this young woman and pay for her haircut. I won’t lie at first I said is that me out of just wanting to do something or is that You God? I even sort of began to question Him about where the money would come from and of course I am always reminded that He is my provider. Then as clear as day God showed me a vision of me praying to Him earlier in the day about wanting to be an unexpected blessing to someone who needed to know His love. This was the person He had in mind. And wouldn’t you know, as soon as He said that she had to excuse herself from her haircut to take one of her daughters to the ladies room. I jumped up and asked if they had gift cards available and the amounts. I then grabbed my wallet and I asked what gift card designs they had. To be honest they were quite ugly, I didn’t like them at all. But then there it was! A single card hidden behind all the plain ones. It was a decorated envelope, it had an area for me to write “Jesus loves you!” and it even had a little hair clip that had some bling on it! Oh yes! Cannot go wrong with a touch of bling! So I purchase the gift card, sign it, and run over to her stylist and ask her privately to please give it to the young woman who’s hair she is cutting but not to give it to her until we left because I didn’t want her to know. The hairstylists standing around her were even blessed and encouraged by that one random act of kindness! Their faces lit up as they said “Wow, God bless you!” I know in my heart, I have absolutely no doubts that she needed to be reminded that God loves her and that she felt it that day. Carry-out-a-random-act-of-kindness-with-no-expectation-of-reward-safe-in-the-knowledge-that-one-day-someone-might-do-the-same-for-you

Now I am not saying go out there and spend all your money. But trust God to use you in various ways and trust also that if He has you use finances that He will return to you in some way.35958496995708719_6RMjQ4xn_c

Just say this prayer: Father, I yield myself as a willing vessel to be used by you to show Your love to someone, be it a need, encouragement, a hug, or a kind word. I know that I am blessed to be a blessing. Help me to be sensitive to know what to say and how to move or act in obedience to your promptings. I pray that I can impact someone’s life for the better and bring a little sunshine to someone’s dark or lowly day. I give You all the glory Lord because I understand that it You working through me, for me and in me. In Jesus name. Amen.

I would love for you to check back and share what God did through you today! Testify! God is sooooo good! Sending HUGsssss your way and reminding you that you are loved by God too! Have a fabulous day my friends!raok-logo1 

A Father’s Love for His Daughter

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This was given to me many years ago from a sister in the Lord. It came at the most amazing time. I was going through some insecurities and doubts about my calling. She had absolutely no idea. She simply said she heard the Holy Spirit tell her to give this to me. I came across it when looking for some prayers my husband asked me to print up for our daughters from my notes. I don’t believe anything happens by accident. I know He wanted me to see this tonight.

I pray it blesses you as much as it did me.           

My Precious Daughter

My precious, beloved daughter, you are the very delight of my existence, the joy of my innermost being. You are my temple, the home where I abide. I live in and through you. You are my dwelling place. There is no other place I would rather be. you are my favorite one.

I want you to hear and receive my declaration of love for you today. I want you to journey into the innermost places of my heart and hear my thoughts about you. I think of you constantly, without interruption. So many thoughts; so much love. There is no place you can go. There is nothing you can do or not do to keep my thoughts at bay. My heart is always springing forth like an eternal fountain. Drink deeply from this fountain and your image of yourself will change. Your image will become the same as my image and likeness.

Let me touch your eyes, your ears. I am enabling you to behold yourself with my sight, as your ears hear the conversation of love spoken about you in the heavenly realms. Yes, you are increasing from one state of glory to another and you will view me in all my fullness. Every time your thoughts rest upon me and my goodness, my faithfulness, I am filled with glee. You must know I am pleased with your thoughts towards me. (Psalm 104:33-34)

Today I am reaching out my feathers, my wings and gathering you close to my heart, deep within the immeasurable recesses of my love for you. (Psalm 91:4) I am bringing you close; close enough to hear my heartbeat, pulsing as it beats out the rhythm of your life. My desire is for you. Today, like all other days, is filled with new mercies. The old is passed away. The new is come, not might come, not will come, but is come. I am an ever present god. I am always in the present tense.

As I look at the reflection of light in your eyes I see the beauty of the sun rising in the sky. I see the depth of its setting displayed in the deepening hues of color flashing a personification of beauty beyond compare. When you rise up in the secret place, speaking my name into the situations of life, I hear an exhilarating deafening sound, like the Niagara, as it plummets over the cliffs. It ascends with power to my throne; there is power, anointing, and protection in the secret place. There is security here for I shield you all the day, all the night. My adoring gaze Is ever upon you. (Duet. 33:12)

When I watch you rest, it is like gentle winds blowing across the fields of grain waiting for the harvest. Many times I lead you besides still waters and cause you to lie down in green pastures bringing peace and replenishing your soul, your spirit. I love for you to rest. I am filling you, preparing you. Sometimes you get anxious during times of rest, feeling you should be busy. There is no need to do so. Remember, I often went away to rest and pray. Our Father rested on the seventh day. Rest is a good thing my beloved. Even now my wind is blowing, anticipating its journey through your heart. When you rest, I am at work preparing ground for the release of seed I have planted in you, all while placing new things in your heart. I am always doing a new thing. I never rely on old manna and neither should you.

Look up my daughter, look out to the horizon and see your fields are ripe for harvest. I have planned new manna to fill your life each and every day. There is always enough.

Today, I am handing you a new portion of victory in areas where you have seen defeat, in areas where you have dreamed and not seen victory. You see, when you are enfolded, encapsulated within the wings of my presence nothing else but victory is possible. Everything is possible to those who believe. (Mark 9:23) I will impart faith to you. I am close; close enough to envelop you in the very core of my being. My breath is upon you. You have captured my heart.

Remember, all creation groans, even longs for the revealing of the Son of God. Creation in all of its beauty, in its magnificence, stretching out across the earth and heavens can’t compare to your beauty, to the unfolding of your destiny. Creation longs to see you in all your fullness, o daughter of Zion. I will not let it be denied. I will not let my own heart be denied.

Arise my beautiful one. Arise and shine in the splendor planned for you before the foundation of the world. You are the apple of my eye, my beautiful, radiant one….right where you are…right now. 

Extravagant Love

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I got up to spend time with “Daddy” God this morning in prayer and reading His Word and He led me to Psalm 63:1-4 (MSG)
“God—you’re my God! I can’t get enough of you! … I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for God, traveling across dry and weary deserts. So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open, drinking in your strength and glory. In your generous love I am really living at last! My lips brim praises like fountains. I bless you every time I take a breath; My arms wave like banners of praise to you.”  ♥
Wow! I LOVE these verses! God knows my heart so well!
 
I just wanted share my heart with you today. I really have a strong desire to take my walk with God to another level. I’ve been walking with Jesus for a while now but I want to know Him much more than I did last year, last month, last week, and even yesterday. I want to know Him like never before. I desire to go to another level in my worship, in my praise, in my dedication to the Lord. I want to grow and keep on growing more and more.
I want His light to shine through me and for me to be a true reflection of the love of Jesus in every situation. I want every aspect of my life to bring glory and honor to Him.  
It cannot be just lip service or a thought. I want to eat, breathe, sleep, and live in Him with such zeal and passion that there would be no mistaking me as His daughter.
It’s truly my ♥’s desire. I want to dance with my “Daddy” God. I want to be consumed by His love at all times. I want my love for Him to increase and keep on increasing! Even the thought of it makes my heart rejoice and I feel so alive! & I can’t help it! He is so amazing! So incredible! How could I not want to be closer to Him and know Him more?
 
What about you? I really want to hear from you and know your heart too. So tell me. What do you desire in your walk with God?
What about those of you who are not walking with God at this time or maybe have never have walked with Him? Don’t feel bad or ashamed. We have ALL been there at some time in our life. It wasn’t until I was in my early thirties that I returned to God and took my relationship with Him seriously. It’s not too late for you to turn to Him now. It is about a relationship, not religion and a relationship takes getting to know each other and growing in affection for one another. I cannot help thinking and knowing just how amazing your life will be! Once you experience and begin to know His love for you, you will never be the same. You will have a joy, love, and peace that you have never known before.
It’s as simple as this… just talk to Him. He will speak to you in different ways but most often through His Word the Bible. Get to know Him through His Son, Christ Jesus (Romans 10:9-15). You can learn about Jesus throughout the Bible. If you don’t have a Bible you can always use a resource such as www.biblegateway.com which has different and some easy to read versions. A good place to start is in the book of John. It’s a short book that would take only 21 days to read if you break it up and read a short chapter each day. You will learn about God’s love for you, about the life and character of Jesus which is a reflection of God, and a great deal more. You will love it!
While you do that take a little time to tell the Lord how you feel and what you desire. He longs to hear from you & just a little secret… He knows your heart. He is just waiting for you to go to Him and tell Him yourself. He will not ever force himself into your life. You must invite Him in. Then He can open up the windows of heaven and pour out His extravagant love in you! 
 
There is a few verses I have been meditating on found in Jeremiah 29:11-14 (AMP)… Often times people hear or see verse 11 quoted but there is so much in the verses that follow. I believe you need to read them so you can know His heart and promise to you. Read each one aloud and think about what the Lord is saying to you today.

11 For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.

12 Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you.

13 Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.

14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will release you from captivity and gather you from all the nations and all the places to which I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I caused you to be carried away captive.

Not only does He promise that He has a good plan for your life but He also promises to be found by you when you seek Him in prayer. Yes! He promises to show up and be there for you. To bring you through and out of things that have kept you in bondage, in captivity. Another thing you should know about Him…is when you let Him into your life He will never leave you. EVER! Look at what Romans 8:31-39 (MSG) says about that:
 
“So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture: They kill us in cold blood because they hate you. We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.”
 
Wow! God promises that absolutely nothing can get between His love for us! That is so relieving and exciting!
So what are you waiting for? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain! Call on the Lord today! He is willing, ready, and waiting for you now!
 
I pray that where ever you are in your walk with God now, whether you are a “seasoned” Christian or just beginning your walk with Him that you will experience His incredibly extravagant love today and always!
 
To all who read, follow, and share my blog with others…Shalom! Shalom!
 
 

13 Going On 40

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I haven’t told too many people about this but I have been in the process of writing two books. One is about my life experiences and testimonies of my personal walk with God. The other is a mother/daughter devotional that my daughter, Julia, and I are writing together. I was talking to her friend who was visiting today about the devotional book and saying how we still need a title for it. I also discussed how I was writing a blog and another book about my life when God spoke through my daughter, Kalina confirming the title for my personal book. After we laughed for a minute I told her I loved it and that I am totally going to use it! It works so well for the book.
I attempted to blog about it but then I began really getting too much into the book. So I had to stop and start over. Without giving too much away I will share just a little about the book and I’m sure you will agree that the title, “13 Going On 40” is a great choice.
I have been through a whole lot in my life, some good and some bad. We all have a story, a testimony. This is simply a glance, an overview of mine.
I was just 13 years old when I got pregnant with my firstborn son. I’m sure you can only imagine what led to that happening and what took place after having him. Within three months I turned 14, had my son and then married his father. We had three more children, another son and two daughters together. We were married for 13 difficult and painful years. We divorced and I became a single mom at age 27. I have raised all four of my children pretty much on my own with very little to no help or support from my ex-husband. I did some things right but also made many mistakes. I look back and the only real regret I have is not raising my children to know the extravagant love and grace of the Lord from a young age. We were part of a religion for several years that did not believe or teach the grace of God (as well as many other things) and that mislead us in the teaching of the Word of God. Maybe if I had been able to teach them the true Jesus and not be scared to tell them what the Bible had to say then they wouldn’t have to struggle in some of the areas I did over the years. But we can only teach what we know and I did not know Jesus then like I do today. One of the things I was told was that I could not pray for myself and so I didn’t. I stopped praying because I was told God would not listen to my prayers because of my sins. I became so confused, angry, lost, and sick while “out in the world” for a few years separated from the Lord. I resubmitted and yielded my life to God when I was at my most broken point after watching a few nights of Joyce Meyer’s messages in middle of the night. I don’t believe I could get any more low than where I was at and I don’t ever want to be there again. I was lost and confused when God opened my eyes and heart to understand and receive HIS amazing love and grace. Oh how I thank Him for that day when I no longer believed the lies and refused to listen to them any longer. I began to call out upon the name of His Son and study the scripture for myself. My life has been such an incredible journey ever since then. God has answered every prayer I have prayed in some way or another.
One of those prayers was to remarry to man after God’s own heart. God answered that prayer three years ago when I married my best friend and awesome man of God. He has loved all of my children as his own and been a wonderful father figure to them despite never having children of his own. I credit that to God as well because my husband continually seeks God in prayer in all he does.
Fast forward a little more and here we are. It’s now 2013 and my youngest daughter is turning 18 this March. I can’t believe it! My little girl, 18! I have been a mom since I was 13 years old, just a child, and now all my children are grown. To top this all off, next month I am turning 40! Of course I will always be a mom and I still desire to have more children with my husband. We both love children and it is truly a blessing to be a parent. We are just waiting on God’s timing now.
At the same time this is also an entirely new chapter in my life & I am extremely excited about it and all that it will bring. Part of this chapter includes writing the books (as well as a song, but that’s a whole other story!). I have never done anything like this before. I did not go to high school. I did get my GED in my 30’s and have taken some college courses and Bible Ministry classes. Oh, but there is so much more. I have always said I would write a book about my life some day and that day is now here. This has been a long time dream and vision of mine and now I am working on it! I have so much to share from my heart that I hope will inspire and encourage others!
I will announce when I am finished writing the entire book and let you know when it is to be released. I am praying, God-willing, I will finish it this year. You will want to get it too because I know it will bless you to hear the whole story. There are many gaps and missing pieces here. It is a true story, my story, about overcoming trials and tribulations and experiencing victory and triumph in the Lord. It is about how He desires to hear you speak to Him and how He not only wants to answer you but will.
So what do you think my friends? Do you love the title as much as I do?
“13 Going On 40”
Life’s not ending it’s only a new beginning in an already extraordinary life.

Thank you to all who read my blog. May God Almighty show up in your life in unexpected ways and may you experience an overflow of blessings like never before. In Jesus name.

Thank You Lord For Friendships

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Friend.

When you see that word or hear it what do you envision? What picture comes to mind? What kind of emotions do you get? Do you laugh, cry, get excited, become frustrated? Do you recall fond memories made throughout the years? Are there things you would like to forget or regret doing or saying?  

Do you think about the number of friends you have? How many friends do you need? Does everyone have to be your friend? What is the quality of your friendship? What kind of friends do you have? Better yet what kind of friend are you to others?

www.dictionary.com defines a “Friend” as: A person attached to another by feelings of affection personal regard. A person who gives assistance; a supporter. A person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile. A member of the same nation, party, etc. A person associated with another as a contact on a social-networking Web site like Facebook.

I have friends that fit into each of those categories. I have those that are really close to me. They know my heart and have experienced me on a regular enough basis that know me very well. Our love for each other is like family.

I have those friends that I can depend on in my time of need. I know if I need an encouraging word, accountability, prayer, or assistance with anything else I can call on them and they will help to the best of their ability.

I have those in my life that I may not see often at all but we keep in contact and when we talk it is as if we have been in each others life the entire time.  

I have friends I have gone to work, school, and church with that I do not know so personally but none the less I have a caring for them in my heart and enjoy giving and receiving hugs and encouraging words.

I have friends from my youth that I have reconnected with through Facebook. I love it because I have got to be a part of their lives in a small way. I enjoy learning how their lives turned out and seeing the pictures of their beautiful families.

God never intended us to be alone. We all have a need and desire for friendship. I am grateful for every person that has come into my life. Even if it may have only been for a short season.

I want to encourage you today to thank God for your friendships. Pray over each of them. Each one is a unique person, with special gifts that add to your life in some way. Ask God to bless them. Pray for their needs.

If there are people that are difficult to love in your life or there is conflict submit them and the problem to God. Don’t become bitter. Friends hurt friends too, sometimes without even knowing it. Be forgiving! People make mistakes! Do not carry bitterness in your heart towards anyone. I guarantee you it will carry over into other relationships. When possible talk out the issue with your friend and resolve it.   

Ask God to remove anyone who should not be in your life and when they leave let them go. Be realistic. You don’t have to be close friends with every single person in your life. It’s not a popularity contest. Don’t deceive yourself that you don’t have friends at all or feel rejected just because there are some who don’t respond to you the way you want them to. Sometimes when we go through issues in life we can feel abandoned and rejected by people we want to reach out to us. That is just not the truth. God places the right people in your life if you simply ask and be open to the gifts they have to pour into your life.

Also remember in any relationship it is give and take. Not just take. While we should give without expecting or demanding anything in return, we can’t be selfish and just expect the other person to cater to all of our needs and not look to see how we can bless them.

Think about it, who wants to give all their energy, love, time, and devotion into someone who does not want to be in your life. It is like fighting against the wind. Wouldn’t it be much more beneficial for you and those friends in your life who need you and what you have to give to use all that and pour it into them?

I also want to encourage you to ask God to reveal to you what kind of friend you are to others. Be ready because you may not like what you hear. I am not saying to go out and talk to every person you know now and ask them what they think about you as a friend. But God can definitely speak to your spirit through a word, an experience with a friendship, and through conviction in your spirit when you are making an error. Just be open to make changes and grow where you can. You can’t be everything to everybody but you can be a blessing to someone.

God lead me to submit each of my friendships to Him at the beginning of this new year, praying for each, and declaring the blessings of God over their lives. The picture above is only a few women whom are like sisters to me. My friends mean the world to me. Some have seen me through various, sometimes challenging, stages of my life. Some are from my youth, others I only recently met, and there are those that are yet to come. Regardless of who they are I love them and thank God for whatever part they have played in my life. I also pray that I have been a blessing to each of them in some way as well and that I continue to be throughout our lives.

With all that said, I would like to honor each of my friends today. I wrote this poem a few years ago using the word of God. Many of them have read it because I usually repost it each year. Thank You Father God for Your plan regarding friendship.

 

Your Friendship

My friend this is a simple poem written just for you.

I hope it helps you understand, at least a little, what you do.

I have sought God about what I should be, as well as, look for in a friend.

& His words are all true is what I have found in the end.

I started in the book of Proverbs where you can find words inspired of God Divine.

I learned there that a friend is one who forgives & seeks love in Proverbs 17:9.

There is the friend that loves at all times & is born as a brother for adversity. Proverbs 17:17.

That is someone who sticks by you even in the hardest of times…You know what I mean?

Then there is also a friend that sticks closer than a brother found in Proverbs 18:24.

My friend, in our case it’s closer than a sister. Please bear with me there’s more.

The Bible does warn us that evil company corrupts good habits so we must be on guard.

Being wise and careful in choosing our friends can sometimes be hard.

We should avoid those prone to anger and perverse talk because it could cause us to do the same.

Instead we should seek out friendships that glorify and honor God’s Holy name.

Proverbs 27:9 describes the counsel of a friend as sweetness.

God’s Word says that giving counsel should be done with meekness.

Iron sharpens iron, so sharpens the countenance of his friend is what God’s Word tells me.

Encouraging, edifying, joyful, patient, forgiving, and loving is what we should be.

We ought to be able to depend on each other through times both good and bad.

Spending time laughing with great joy and weeping together when sad.

Able to trust each other with our burdens and willing to share.

Lifting each other to God in prayer, really showing that we care.

My dear friend and sister in Christ after all my study and research I have found,

That the qualities & characteristics of a true friend in you greatly abound. 

So when I pray to my Father in Heaven I can’t help but thank Him for you.

For your friendship has blessed my life richly by all that you do.

There is a season, a time for everything, every activity under heaven according to Ecclesiastes 3. And with all this said I just felt this was the time to tell you what your friendship means to me.

By JulieAnne Hollist

June 11, 2008

A Little Getaway With God Is All It Takes

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If you have noticed the theme of most of my posts have been how God has answered prayers, often in unexpected ways. God truly desires to be involved in every aspect of our lives even down to the smallest detail. He doesn’t always answer them when we may want or even in the way we would expect. But He does answer. You simply cannot put God in a box. I believe after experiencing and recognizing His hand in some of the things you pray about you will not want to either.

As I mentioned in the blog before, my husband and I were about to celebrate three full years of marriage. Whenever we are able to, we usually make a trip back to San Antonio where I lived before we married. We would go visit friends and family while there, attend church services at our old church if we stayed over the weekend, and we would never leave without stopping at Tiago’s at The Rim. They have the most amazing chocolate cake with cinnamon ice cream and whipped cream! It has become a tradition of ours to do that when we have a chance to get away. Since that was what we usually do we began researching hotels on the Riverwalk Downtown where we had our first official date. As I researched locations nothing sat well in my heart. So we really began discussing doing something different for our anniversary this time. I started looking up Bed & Breakfast locations in San Antonio but everything was extremely priced or booked on the day we would be able to go. So I looked in Austin, Georgetown, and even up north. Then my husband said, “Babe, why don’t you try College Station?” I typed it in and turned to him and said, “We haven’t really prayed about it like we would normally do.” So we stopped for a moment and we prayed.
Just as I opened my eyes and turned back to the computer the paged loaded for Abigaile’s Treehouse. It is located in Bryan, Texas. The first thing I did was read the reviews and they were all so amazing. But honestly it only took the first one to get me because the couple praised and thanked God for leading them there. They had stayed in the Eagle’s Nest which is the room on the top floor. I looked through the pictures and fell in love. 
We began the process to book the room and decided to call to ask some questions. After speaking with the owner, Lisa Ketchum, I just knew this was where God wanted us to go to relax, get rejuvenated, and prepare for the upcoming year. She is such a beautiful, loving, and welcoming woman of God.

We planned to leave right after church service on Sunday. I woke up very sick so I stayed home from service and took some medicine in hopes it would go away before we planned to leave. I had the beginnings of typical flu symptoms. Unfortunately they didn’t go away, but we still decided to go and at least get some much needed rest. I am so glad we did!

Lisa was as great in person as she was over the phone. She walked us through and shared her personal testimony about how Abigaile’s Treehouse came to be. (I will leave that out so if you ever get a chance to stay there you can hear for yourself. It’s awesome!) I loved her passion for the place, for people, and for God’s plan for her life.

Even though we weren’t feeling our best we still enjoyed the hot tub that is in the room. There is a loft you climb up into to spend time reading and in prayer. The breakfast, fresh baked cookies, and bread Lisa left for us were amazing! There is Christian artwork and materials throughout the room. Without a doubt, the peace & love of God flows through that place. One day is not enough to stay! I really wish we could have stayed two days to really soak up everything. But even being there just the one night was so relaxing and such a wonderful experience.
One of the things I really loved was reading through the Guest Book in the room. People from all over the country and as far back as 2011 shared their experience and reason for visiting. Some were recently married, some just getting away to get refocused, and others married many, many years. Each one unique and each a beautiful testimony! Most believed that God sent them there just as we did.
My husband and I spent time together praising and worshipping God. We sought His direction and we thanked Him for our marriage (Psalm 16:11; 95:2). We honored God together because He is the foundation of our marriage. He is the one that brought us together and He is the one that will keep us together. Then my husband prayed an incredible God-lead prayer. He spoke blessings over me and declarations over our marriage and family. We connected on a greater level, strengthened our marriage, and increased our love for one another. God is so very good!

My hope and prayer is to do this a few times a year. I know it is very beneficial to my mind, heart, and spirit and I want to be my best me not just for myself but for God, my husband, and for those that are a part of my life.

I would highly recommend to make a point of taking time for yourself with God and getting away from the external noise of everyday life and get before God whether you are married or single. Pray and ask Him today for an opportunity and provision to get away to seek Him. Get His direction and guidance for your life. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, or costly. You don’t have to go to the Caribbean or travel afar. It could be in the next town over. You don’t have to go for a week. Just a day or two. Trust me, God wants that time with you. So He is more than willing to make it happen, if it is your desire to spend time rejuvenating your relationship with Him. All you have to do is ask and then step out and do your part. Don’t pass up the opportunity. Stop putting limits on God and putting Him in a box. Believe that He will do something special and wonderful for you. He loves you.
When you get to the place that God leads you to, limit your activities so you can truly spend time in His presence worshipping Him and meditating on His word and promises. Then receive His love, joy, and peace. A little getaway with God is very beneficial to your life! You will be so blessed and happy you made the time and stepped out to do it!
I am already envisioning every person who may read this and praying for each and everyone of you that you will have a special God-experience. That God meets you right where you are and blesses you in such a special unique way that is designed just for you! I am praying that you grow in your love for Him and for others. I am praying that you will truly know how much He loves you and wants to spend quality time with you. I pray that your mind and spirit will be rejuvenated and refocused. Please be sure to stop by and share your testimony. I would love to it! God bless everyone who reads this blog.