The Healing Garden: How to Find Beauty in a World of Chaos

Often we miss opportunities to capture the reality of the beauty that surrounds us because we are too caught up in our busyness. It takes a conscious effort to take notice of the little miracles and unlimited beauty that unfolds all around us.

Whether you live in a city, suburb or in the country, we are part of a collection of beauty.  Embrace the kaleidoscope of color that is found in a field of flowers or the silent whistle of leaves on a tree. Take notice of the backdrop under the night lite sky or a chiseled, sculpture of an architectural work of art in the heart of the city. Observe the colorful personalities that make up the tapestry of a community or region. Listen to the city rhythms of sirens, horns, or loud conversations. Gaze upon the choreography of weaving traffic.

When we embrace our natural environments and even our own circumstances, we release tension, resistance and stress. We can transform how we see our world. In the midst of chaos, it can be a place of acceptance and harmony.

It’s realizing that although we can’t change every area of annoyance and distraction in our lives, we can learn to perceive the discomfort through a different lens. We might be contained within our boundaries but understanding that things will eventually change because life is constantly evolving and shifting. 

Grounding yourself in peace is a life skill that only comes by a relationship with the Lord.

There is also healing that takes place when we don’t build up a resistance to it. Whether in solitude or a bustling crowd of people, we can find our center which surrounds us in peace and tranquility.  Just by taking a moment to pause, we can capture our lives in motion instead of a selfie.

There is beauty in living in the moment. If you blink, you’ll miss it.

Scripture Readings:

But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. Psalm 131:2

The fear of the Lord leads to life; then one rests content, untouched by trouble. Prov 19:21

I saw a man who had no family, no son or brother. He always worked hard but was never satisfied with what he had. He never asked himself, “For whom am I working so hard? Why don’t I let myself enjoy life?” This also is very sad and useless. Eccl 4:8 (NCV)

Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

Haven’t Seen It Yet by Danny Gokey

Don’t underestimate the power of words. Words can change the heart, elevate the mind and transform lives. The Lord spoke the world into existence. You have the same power as the Holy Spirit that lives inside of you. Let your words be light, hope and encouragement that strengthens the soul.

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.

The Little Things in Life

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 18:3  King James Version (KJV)

When we think of the characteristics and qualities of a child, most people focus on the pure innocence and curiosity of a child. We think of the playful nature and free spirit that a child carries as well as their mischievous ways.

The Bible states that we must become as a child to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. What exactly does that mean?

We tend to lose the basic traits as we become adults through the process and experiences of life.

A child lives in the present moment. They often do not think about the past or worry about the future. They are focused on the present moment. In Matthew 6:25-34, it states that we should not worry about our life because if the Lord takes care of the birds he will take care of you (See below for scripture reference).

A child depends on their parents to care for them. They believe all their needs will be met. They seek security and acceptance. Unfortunately, in the world we live in today, their needs may fall short of being met however there is grace and protection over children. An adult will most likely step in to help, guide, nurture and protect a child that is in danger.

Just like our loving Father, the Lord will help, guide and protect us from harm. He will shield us from unknown dangers that we may not even be aware of at the time. Sometimes it seems as if our prayers are left unanswered but it’s the Lord’s will to protect us from all things that are not pleasing to Him or may cause us harm in the long run.

A child has a trusting heart. They don’t think that the world is out to get them. They are not concerned about all the extras and pressures that life brings. They do not seek power or status. They are contented with the simplicity that life offers. They find joy in the little things. They laugh and smile easily and cry when necessary. They’re not afraid to release emotions. They believe almost anything someone tells them but questions everything around them while they constantly try to figure out the world around them.

A child is quick to love others and does not harbor resentment or unforgiveness. Since they have no prior experiences, they do not fear of getting hurt emotionally. They easily open their hearts willingly through innocence and trust. They are not perverted or worldly. Their hands are clean as well as their hearts. They speak boldly which may even cause public embarrassment to others with the brutal honesty they give.

Overall, the reflection of a child’s nature is made of trust, love, peace and contentment. There are many other qualities that you may take notice of as you reflect on this message.

As you go about your week, take mental notes of the child-like qualities that the Lord has required for us to have and work towards transforming our rigid ways to mirror the characteristics of a child.

The wonders of life are enduring, wholesome and pure.

Psalms 131:2

Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.

Mark 10:15

15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

Matthew 7:13-14

  13 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leads unto life and few there be that find it.”

Matthew 6:25-34

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? Or, what shall we drink? Or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

How to Trust God in Difficult Times

“Blessed is the man that trusts in the Lord and whose hope is in the Lord.”  Jeremiah 17:7

 As we entered 2014, we also entered into one of the coldest weather conditions in U.S. history. Meteorologist explained this strange weather patterns as, “The Polar Vortex.”

It’s a very thought-provoking term, “Vortex” which is defined as a “Whirlwind” which includes a second definition meaning, “A condition that you can’t get out of.”

depressed man

Have you ever been in a situation or circumstance that you just don’t know how to escape? It’s like you’re wrapped in a spider’s web of confusion, fear, despair, isolation, discouragement,  hopelessness, depression, frustration, pain, or worry. You don’t have the answers and the future looks bleak. You have tried to consult friends, family possibly even professionals with no resolve.

It’s very hard to trust the Lord when you’re life has flipped upside down and turned inside out. It’s even harder if you don’t know God,  his promises, or His character. “That I may know Him, and the  power of his resurrection” Philippians 3:10

Your life may have exploded and you’re left to pick up the pieces. When facing challenges, it’s hard to focus on the positive or have an optimistic attitude. I’m not going to lie but it’s a struggle we all face. The only difference is those who have experienced the Lord and those who have not. People tend to believe in coincidences, luck, or happenstance without acknowledging the spiritual forces at work in their lives. We are living in very dangerous times in which it will require the power of God to overcome problems, situations, and circumstances.

praying hands

You may not feel like God is listening to your prayers but God is working behind the scenes. You may not understand why it is taking so long for your prayers to be answered but God is not under our time table or calendar. He is working things out according to His will and plan for your life. You were designed for a special purpose. The Lord wants a relationship with you not just sudden requests when things go wrong in your life. “And we know that all things work together for good to them  that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

The Lord allows certain things to happen in our lives to prepare us and shape us for His purpose. Of course, not all of the things we experience is God’s will, but He will turn things around for our good.  We must develop faith and patience in prayer and our daily lives. “That you be not slothful, but f    followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. And so, after he had  patiently endured, he obtained the promise.” Heb 6:12, 15

Back to the “Polar Vortex,” The snowstorms have caused major disasters, increased depression, stress, isolation, and unfortunately roadside deaths.

All activity was frozen for a period of time. People were either stuck in their homes or on the roads. Somehow, I feel God was slowing us down so we would do absolutely nothing so He could get our attention! We were stuck, isolated, and frustrated! But, we still did not pay attention. It was time to yield and cease all activity. However, we continued to go about our business and let the weather stress us out.

Once we release the stress of dealing with cold, miserable weather and other things that we can’t control, we will free ourselves of things that we simply can’t change. By coming to this acceptance, we enter into peace. In the process, seasons change, and flowers bloom. It’s through this process, we gradually come through whatever storm we may be dealing with in life. Unfortunately, the whole process may be postponed, delayed, or slowed down. Although it may be an inconvenience or an uncomfortable situation, we will get through it and obtain victory in the end.

How Do You Like Your Meals….Hot, Cold or Lukewarm?

Last night, I went to heat up some leftovers in the microwave. When I took it out, it was lukewarm. I instantly popped it back into the microwave. I feel there’s nothing worse than cold spaghetti.

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