Your Life Story

theatereI love going to the theater. It’s magical seeing a story come to life. If the actors are exceptionally good I get lost in their story. Their performance becomes real to me and I’ll cry when they cry or laugh when they laugh. It seems there’s something special about a story.

We each have a story that we’re telling right now. People read our stories by watching us and we tell our stories to others by what we do and say. You may not like this chapter of your life, but once it’s written, it’s written. Don’t get me wrong I do believe we can change our stories, but it’s from the point we’re at. In other words, we can’t change what has happened in the past, but we can change much of the future. Even so some things remain beyond our control, but we can control how we react to the unforeseeable events that happen in our lives. Many people keep their trials to themselves. Maybe you’re one of those people. You may be struggling right now and feel alone yet there’s someone who knows your story from beginning to end and every page that’s lived in between. Matter of fact, he’s fascinated by your story and wants to be apart of it. God knows you very well. He knows why you do the things you do and why you say the things you say. He knows how you got the tiny scar on your chin, even if you’ve forgotten. God knows you intimately and he loves you despite the nasty parts of your story, when you weren’t so nice. God is your audience of one and is fascinated by you and your story even if others may find it boring, painful or sad. God is your audience and not only does He enjoy watching your life unfold he wants to participate in it. He wants to be involved in your life as you write out the remaining pages.Why not join with God and finish your story with Him as the leading man? The promise of Heaven and eternal life with God, well that’s an exciting story.

Stop and Give Thanks

1209407_15765517I’ve had a very busy week with all sorts of activities. All of it is good, so I’m not complaining at all! It’s been a very rewarding week because I’ve learned a lot concerning a new career endeavor that I’m embarking on. That’s always good!  I also won a fabulous prize at a Trade Show I attended. What a surprise it was. Who wouldn’t want to win an iPad??  Being that I’ve been out of my regular routine this week, I’ve noticed how hard it is to spend time with the Lord. I’ve missed my quiet time. I really have. It’s so easy to not make the time when you are always involved in non-stop activity. Some people live a non-stop lifestyle that’s always full throttle ahead. How do they keep the love light of the Savior burning within? I wanted to be a reminder for everyone that has a particular busy life to “remember” to spend time with the Lord. Keep the lines of communication open with him and let him know how grateful you are for all that he does for you. Stop and give him thanks today.

 

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;

Psalm 46:10a

What’s It All About?

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Have you ever found yourself wondering what life is all about? All the work that becomes repetitious, the chores, errands and responsibilities that continue day in and day out can sometimes make us feel like it’s pointless to even try to get caught up! I think it’s safe to say we’ve all felt like this from time to time. How could you not? When you’re changing a diaper that marks your 500th, I’d wager you’re not feeling excitement. Or when you’re making the bed for the two thousandth time, it’s not really an event your likely to remember as special is it? I hate to admit it, but when we feel like this it’s really because we’re being selfish. Selfish in how we view our time. We feel our time is being wasted on a menial task. We get bored with the mundane day to day activities and long for something greater to fill our days. We have a desire to experience and be involved in something that will make a difference, something to be remembered for. The problem with all of these desires and feelings is we’re focused on ourselves. We need to refocus on the bigger scheme of things. Like Christ and what He wants us to do. What is Jesus asking you to do today? Maybe, just maybe changing diapers and making beds is what he’s asking you to do? How radical! When we take care of others needs we become his hands and feet to those that are needing help, help with things they can’t do on their own. When we serve our families needs we become Jesus to them. And Jesus didn’t grumble and complain! Even while facing death on the cross. Ouch! That hurt a bit as I typed it. If you or I had ever had a privilege taken away from us, such as the ability to make our beds or cook our food, we would joyously do these things again. So many people can’t take care of menial tasks without help. The thing is, life isn’t about all our wants and our needs. Life is about Christ. I think this scripture says it all:

 

“Everything got started in Him and finds its purpose in Him.” Colossians 1:16b

 

The Christian Life: It May Not Be What You Think

holdWhen I was a new Christian, I had the common misconception that once I accepted Christ as my Savior all would be well. All my problems would be a thing of the past. Life would be smooth sailing from here on out. You see, I had a distorted perspective of what Gods blessings are and what my purpose is. It didn’t take long before God revealed Himself to me and straightened out my flawed thinking. I learned that my comfort and desires were not the most important thing in life. I had thought of my life as just that- “my life”, but my life is more than that, it’s Jesus’s life. My physical discomfort, the trials, the areas of weakness and my heartaches are that what drive me to God, keeping me close by.  All these things are a witness to others, and as they see me, hopefully they will see Christ in me as well.  In this way, a lost world can be reached for God’s kingdom. As others see God provide strength and comfort and grace in my life, it is a testament to His faithfulness. When something great is done and I’m involved, it is despite my flaws and a testament to Gods power and glory. It’s easy to want to give up when life gets tough, but if I remember that my life isn’t all about me I can be strong and on fire for God. God is also using your situation to reach, teach, comfort and glorify Himself to you and those in your area of influence. Don’t lose heart when things get tough. Just know that it matters in Gods kingdom work. And he loves you enough to keep you close to his heart.

http://www.melissajoelliott.com

Are You Suffering From Soul Sickness?

Prescription Bottle - blank labelJust got back from a doctor’s appointment. I never like going, but I know it’s necessary. Especially when I’m sick with an ailment that will need antibiotics to clear it up. I hate to take medication, but when it’s an infection I do what is necessary. Thankfully that wasn’t the reason for my most recent visit to the Doctor. It was just a routine exam. I thank God for doctors and nurses that help to keep me well. Yet there are only so many things that they can do.They treat the physical body, yet the soul can also be sick. Symptoms such as; emptiness, loneliness, loss of purpose and a cold heart are all indications of a broken relationship with God. You can’t be cured by taking the newest “happy” pills that the pharmaceutical companies put out or by going to the most knowledgeable doctor. To be cured from “soul sickness” you need to go to the Great Physician, God the Father, and ask His son Jesus into your heart, admitting that you’re a sinner. Confess it before others and live your life with God at the throne.  When you accept Christ as your Savior you will be filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit and this will give you relief from the emptiness you may feel. You are then a usable vessel of God himself as he fills you with His Spirit. This is what really satisfies. This is ultimate healing and wellness that you just can’t get from a pill or the best doctor in town.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

 

Are You Being Shaken?

743804_38310135Has the bottom of your world fallen out? Are you wondering what may happen next?  When your world turns upside down, it can be a frightening thing. It may feel like you’re the only one with such unfortunate circumstances, but all of us are subject to problems at least at some point in our lives. It’s hard to find anything positive in a troubling situation, especially while you’re in the midst of it.  Anger or bitterness may fill your heart. Anger at the situation you find yourself in or anger at God for allowing it or anger about everything. It’s easy to be shaken to the core of your being when illness, death of a loved one or even loss of financial resources, fall upon you like a dark cloud. But, there’s always hope. Hope that is based on God and the belief that something good will come of your hardship. Having trust and faith in God’s loving kindness and believing that He will use your situation to produce good in your life, will bring back the joy you may have lost. Then you are in a position to be fruitful for God’s kingdom more than ever before. The very thing that you thought to be insurmountable may be your launching pad to enable you to reach a new level of trust, faith, service and intimacy with God. You just need to climb atop of your situation and let the crisis become your blessing in disguise.1100439_65458582

Sometimes your medicine bottle has on it, “shake well before using.” 

That is what God has to do with some of His people. He has to shake
them well before they are ever usable.
–Vance Havner

What Do I Do With This Trial?

1022427_30637656Having been through my share of trials, I know it can feel overwhelming when you’re in the midst of a trying situation. I’m here to tell you to hold on and remain steadfast in your faith. Cling to God with all your might and keep claiming the promises of His word. The promise that he will never leave you or forsake you, and the promise that if you’ve asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, all things will work together for good. Things have a way of working out in the long run.

1108723_76812844You will feel joy, hope and peace again. Not only will you experience those good things, your relationship with God will grow as you’ve been through the valley with Him and you learn that He has been by your side the whole time. Trials only strengthen the walk we have with God or show us something in ourselves that we didn’t know. Something that God knew we needed to see. The trial you’re in right now will help you feel true compassion that you can share with other people who you encounter in your life. Other people who are walking in a similar valley that you have walked or are continuing to walk in. You will become a minister of grace to others when you truly understand, pardon and cry with them in their situation. You can comfort them from a heart that is non-judgmental, because you’ve been in their shoes. God will use your particular situation for His kingdom work. Just keep on trusting in Him.

 

Are You Growing Weeds?

1161347_69352244Are problems overwhelming you? At times most people have felt burdened down with the problems or trials they were facing.When feeling this way, it’s far to easy to think on the negative side of things. Hopelessness can set in, which leads you to feel that nothing will ever get better. When hopelessness sets in you stop moving towards positive change and growth. It isn’t long before despair enters and then you are really in a bad place emotionally. When feeling like this, because of the negative mind-set you’re in, it’s hard to sense God’s presence. God is love, truth, light and peace. All of God’s attributes are positive and hopeful, and stand in opposition to negative feelings, such as hopelessness, despair, fear and worry. When you let the negative side of things take root in your mind you drown out the voice of the Holy Spirit. You mistakenly feel that God has left you, but He hasn’t. If you’re in right relationship with Him, you can be assured that He hasn’t left. The problem is, that you have let the cares this world choke out the word God has spoken to you. The word that promises to give you a hope and a future. The cares of this world have grown like weeds in the garden of your mind, so much so that the negative thoughts you’ve been thinking have overtaken the positive thoughts and God’s promises.1390045_49605298 Focusing on God’s promises and trusting that He means what He says will grow a lush green fertile garden in your mind. With a focus on God’s word you can experience hope, love and peace once again in your thought garden. To keep your garden free from the negative weeds growing up you need to weed daily.You may not like yard work, but it will keep your from being over run with nasty negative thought weeds and that is something I’m sure you’ll like.

A Prayer For Guidance

SONY DSCFather God,

I ask for your wisdom today. Help me to discern your voice and apply your wisdom to my life’s circumstances today. While forgetting all that I know or think I know, I’ll rely on what you do know. Help me see more clearly the path ahead and establish my steps as I take each one in submission to you. Relaxing in the knowledge that my steps are those that you have for me to take. May I humbly press towards your will and purposes for your kingdom. Draw me closer to you as I walk and keep me forever inside your will, which is a safe haven for me.

Forever your daughter.

 

Proverbs 16:9
The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.1194493_83204466