Great is thy Faithfulness

I am firmly rooted, built up, established in my faith and overflowing with gratitude. Col 2:7

A few years ago, I started a gratitude jar on New Year’s Day. It was similar to a gratitude journal. I had written one thing I was grateful for each day and penned my experience on a small piece of paper. Then, I dropped it in the jar.

Well, each day whether it was morning or night, I would add something to the jar I was grateful for. I didn’t exactly collect 365 pieces of paper by the end of the year but I did manage to fill up the jar at least three quarters of the way.

On New Year’s Eve, I dumped the jar and all the folded pieces of paper scattered across my bed. I began to read all the things that I did or went through the whole year. I had a flood of emotions of how faithful the Lord has been to me. I acknowledged the richness that life has to offer despite the challenges and difficulties. I even forgot some of the events and activities that took place such as the funny moments as well as the unexpected surprises. it gave me a fresh perspective on how to approach life and how to appreciate every moment given to us.

When you shift your perspective, it can transform your attitude. I’ve learned to appreciate the little things as much as the bigger things in my life. When you change your perspective on how you look at your life, you change your world. As the saying goes, “Gratitude is all about your attitude.”

I’m sure we all have something to be grateful for as we finish off the last quarter of this year. Hold onto your faith and keep trusting the Lord for whatever you need in this season. He is faithful.

Fear Not

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The definition of fear:  (noun):  An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or a threat.

(verb):  Be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening.

synonyms: terrorfright, fearfulness, horroralarmpanicagitation, trepidation,dreadconsternationdismaydistress; More

 There are two little words in the Bible that Jesus often reminded his disciples throughout their ministry. It was also embedded in Jesus’s ministry and teachings. “Fear Not,” a statement that is opposite of such a strong emotion that is often hard to control when it strikes and grips your mind and consumes you.

There is a lot of fear going around:  You may fear of a natural disaster, economic collapse, and terrorist attacks. Fear can block your actions. It intimidates. It paralyzes. It stifles. It can stop you from moving forward or taking the next step. It may become a prison in meeting different people than they are accustom to.  There is a fear of success or failure. You can have a fear of the future or fear of dying. You may even have a fear of public speaking or afraid of snakes or spiders.

Fear is disguised in many forms. Fear is a spirit from the enemy. It is ugly but has no power once you confront it. However, it will grow if you do not take control over it.

With so much going on today, it’s hard to ignore that the world is living in fear. The world is in chaos. It is out of control. It’s hard to speak to fear when there is a real presence of harm that threatens lives on so many levels.

On whatever form it may appear in your life, you have authority over fear. Many people are not aware of how to regain control over their feelings and experiences. I cannot promise you instant results, but you can subdue constant fear, anxiety, and worry and replace it with faith, peace, and love.

I’m no expert, but can only share my own experience with how I handle fear. First, you must acknowledge what you’re afraid of. Be specific. Write down every possible thing that could happen that you are fearing. “F-E-A-R” is False Evidence Appearing Real so once you acknowledge why you are afraid and picture the worst-case scenario, you have acknowledged the fear. Confronting fear is liberating and it is the best way to overcome it.

Reading the Bible scriptures is a powerful way to overcome any type of fear you struggle with. Meditate on scriptures related to fear and research stories where people in the Bible faced various obstacles and challenges and focus on how they overcame their plight.

Having a strong relationship with the Lord in prayer and communication is one of the best ways to overcome fear. Seeking His guidance and wisdom in circumstances that are beyond our control will ease our minds.

When you understand and know the character of God, you know that He loves you. You are aware of His promises. You can rest knowing that He is protecting and watching over you.  Psalm 91.

There is an assurance that even though you can’t figure everything out at the time, you know that the Lord is working behind the scenes. While He is working, you need to be in preparation for whatever instruction He provides and follow through without hesitation. Many times we may second guess ourselves which is only having doubt and unbelief. This may steer us off our path or delay the progress due to our actions.

At times, our environment has influence over our specific circumstances or enhancing a fearful mindset as a whole. Unfortunately, we cannot control other people, weather conditions, or other devastating elements that affect our lives, but we have the ability to walk in peace or comfort others who are struggling with fear and anxiety due to loss, grief, and difficult circumstances. We must seek opportunities to comfort one another.

In every season, there is constant change. Being flexible to change is challenging. Obviously, fear plays a big part in unknown present realities, anticipated futures and dangerous environments that the Lord may place around us, but we should rest knowing that whatever state we find ourselves in, we should be content in every circumstance and decision we face and walk in faith knowing that God will protect and rescue us in due season. You can adapt to rapid changes with faith, not fear.

God is not a God of chaos and mass confusion. The world may feel like it’s spiraling out of control, but God is in control. He has a purpose and plan for each of us.  Instead of looking to the world for solutions, we need to seek Him for direction.

Just put your trust in Him. He will lead you beside the still waters. As we enter 2016, seek Him with your whole heart and leave the fear behind.

Peace be unto you.

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” Romans 8:22

ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURES:

Matt 8-24-26

Psalm 23:4

Psalm 27:1

Psalm 112:7-8

Prov 29:25

Isaiah 41:10

Isaiah 54:14

Luke 12:32

2 Tim 1:7

Heb 13:5-6

I Pet 3:14

I John4:18

 

Four Important Steps to a Spiritual Detox

When we engage in a food detox or cleansing, we rid ourselves of all unhealthy foods in our diet. We purge the bad bacteria and toxins that have built up in our system. Once you begin this process, it gets easier to keep a regular routine that transforms your diet into a healthy lifestyle. Your body gradually adjusts and you will find yourself not often craving junk foods as you once did.

One.  Get Rid of the Heavy Baggage

Much like our bodies, our spirit needs to be detoxed on a regular basis. We should take time out to purge all negative thoughts and influences in our lives. Pay attention to your environment and the people in your life that you call friends, not everyone, including family members are in your corner.  It’s very challenging to get rid of the negative voices in our heads and the bad influences that surround us on a daily basis, but you can slowly eliminate people, places, and things that are not working for you in your life.  If you can’t get rid of certain people, keep them at arm’s length, but always walk in love.

Clearing our minds from worry and stress, problems and even our to-do list have an impact on our daily experiences. Taking the time to fine-tune your life is a priority to creating a healthy, spirit-filled life.

Two.  We Are What We Eat

Feeding your mind with God’s word, affirmations and powerful words of motivation will provide you with the strength to overcome challenges, obstacles, and your daily grind. What we pour into our spirit determines how we act and react to situations and circumstances. It affects how we speak and treat one another. Be mindful of what you watch and listen to in the media. Your eyes, ears, and mouth are powerful instruments that will influence how you think. What you tend to mediate on will eventually manifest into your reality. If you watch and listen to trash, you will eventually produce or live out the drama in one way or another.

We live in a negative world. It is much easier to focus on negative thoughts or acts. When we abstain from negative influences, we gain enthusiasm and energy. Negative influences will always drain your energy.

Although temptation will constantly linger and be a challenge to ignore and overcome, you will be much stronger to defeat any temptation that comes your way. You will be able to distinguish between right and wrong.  It takes a strong-willed person to stand alone in their convictions and beliefs. It is much easier to follow the crowd but it takes a person of integrity and a clear conscience to be comfortable in their own skin to make the right choices.

“When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.”

James 1:13-14 (NIV)

38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Mark 14:38 (NIV)

Three.  Be Obedient to His Voice

Spending time alone is also part of a healthy spiritual detox. Solitude is the best time to reflect on your past, present, and future. You can celebrate your victories, revisit your past mistakes, analyze your present, and also uncover the lessons learned and reevaluate your future plans and goals. It’s a place where you can grow closer to the Lord and commit to intimacy in relationship with Him, not only in prayer but in listening to His voice for guidance.

It’s that distinctive nudge or intuition in your spirit. It’s the silent whisper when scripture jumps out at you on the page. It could be a song that you hear on the radio, a long-distance phone call when you were thinking of calling that person the same day. It can be a classmate or neighbor that speaks a special something that you need to hear exactly at that moment.

In whatever way He speaks, listen. In this time, we need discernment and the direction of the Holy Spirit to guide and protect us from the everyday changes life brings our way.

Mark 6:31 (KJV)

Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest for a while.

I Corinthians 7:5 (NIV)

Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

 Four.  Cleanse Your Body

Eating healthy does play an important role in your spiritual detox. It is highly beneficial to focus on a nutrient-filled diet while on a spiritual detox. Eating green, leafy veggies, and a variety of fruits and pure juices and smoothies will heal the mind, eliminate stress, and boost energy levels. You can eliminate meat for a period of time, however, you should consult a physician before changing your diet or fasting.

As you learn to surrender your desire for fleshy appetites, you will heal, restore, and rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul. You will be open to receive answers to difficult problems. There are no quick overnight solutions to life’s dilemma’s but if you’re consistent and don’t give up or give in to the difficulties and temptations in life, you will eventually see positive results. Most of all, you will connect and strengthen your relationship with the Most High, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Love & Blessings,

Yolanda

Your Sister in Christ

Prayer

Lord, I (we) thank you for your love and protection. Help me(us) to be an expression of your love in my (our) daily walk with you. Give me (us) the strength and ability to resist evil and negative influences in my (our) lives. Forgive me (us) for anything that is not pleasing to you. We honor, praise, and glorify you with our whole hearts. I (we) ask for your wisdom to make the right decisions in my (our) lives. Guide and protect me (us). In Jesus Name, Amen.