Straight Up!

18 Aug

Gracie - Park - August 2014

Gracie – Park – August 2014

Do you ever just need straight-up prayer?!  I mean you be the one doing it!

As in…”I just can’t see the end result of what I want or need,
and I seriously need to lift up every ounce of breath I have to the Lord above”.

As in…”Well, since I’m burying my head in pure frustration I might as well also lift up my requests to Him,
and turn that buried head into a bowed head in reverence to Him.”

Or in a more “positive view”…
“Man, I should be thanking the Lord above for ALWAYS bailing me out
and being there for me whether I’ve been giving Him the credit or not.”

See, sometimes we just need to stop and pray…lifting up requests and thanksgiving BOTH.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 says it best, “…pray continually…”.

Yep…all the time…about everything…every decision…every choice.
So, stop for a sec…say a prayer (and don’t close your eyes doing it if you’re driving;)).

Do You Have a Potty Mouth?

7 Aug
I'm not admitting this is me in a porta-potty...:D

I’m not admitting this is me in a porta-potty…:D  Lol…when you’re fishing the accommodations are not all that great necessarily.  I’d rather be in the woods sometimes.  Dirt is cleaner than some of these:).

I think we all can be guilty of using language that does not flatter us or lift up those we speak to.
When angry, upset, and hurt we can use words that are, plainly and simply – mean.

Do you cuss when you get mad and rationalize that it’s ok because you feel “wronged”?
Are you passive-aggressive, so, you really never say a nice thing to someone who upsets you?
(You’re going to make them suffer the way you feel you have suffered.)

When you say thank you to someone are you being sincere or are you really thinking “I told you so” on the inside?
Do you look pretty on the outside, but get nasty and look ugly after you just spoke angrily to someone (someone close or a stranger)?

Do you always feel you have to be right, so, you stink of resentment, anger, and bitterness?

There is a really good fix to the above – it’s in the below verses:

Ephesians 4:26, 27, 29-32
26 “In your anger do not sin[d]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,
27 and do not give the devil a foothold.29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths

(don’t say the “F” word at someone, don’t push their buttons),

but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
(That kind of covers it – wouldn’t you say?)
32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
(If God can forgive us, then how dare we not forgive others.)

Now let’s flush the potty mouth and be a breath of fresh air to those we speak to today, tomorrow, and the next and the next.

Yum Yum!

29 Jul
She's lickin' her lips cause she got to have a cheeseburger...she was very happy...:)

She’s lickin’ her lips cause she got to have a cheeseburger…she was very happy…:) – July 2014

As you get into the Word of the Lord you begin to crave it.
I find that I do.
I would say if you haven’t craved it then open the Word today!
Start with one verse a day.
The Word of the Lord IS sweet!
It satisfies.
If you feel like your floundering in life…pick up the Bible.
Open it.
You will find direction…
You will find purpose…
You will find peace…
You will find His will.
Not your will.
His will.
And His will is good.
Plain and simple.
Good.
Taste some of the honey!
Feel as good as Gracie did above:)
Lick those lips and taste His goodness.

Which Way?

23 Jul
Muskegon State Park - Gracie loving exploring:)

Muskegon State Park – Gracie loving to explore:)  This park truly is one of my favorites!

I love these verses!

A couple of key points which stand out…

1)  THINK IT THROUGH – SEEK THE LORD (give careful thought to choices you have to make)
2)  With careful thought be then STEADFAST (be consistent with your decisions)
3)  During the journey of making decisions about life the Lord REFRESHES us!  Who doesn’t need that every now and then?
I know I do. :)
4)  And, finally, HE’S GUIDING us as we seek Him and keeps us on the RIGHT path.

I think the above pic illustrates just that.
If you stop and look at your path it may seem narrow, precarious, a little scary or even downright scary, but
if you are seeking Him, being steadfast,
you’ll be walking along that path just as sure as can be knowing HE is leading you and that the path is RIGHT.

And, you can walk it with ease like Gracie above…carefree with a joy in your step:).
Keep your focus…she is.
She’s on a mission and we should be too.

A mission to love the Lord with our whole hearts.
A mission to be a blessing to others.
A mission to love our families.
A mission to be kind to those around us.
A mission give credit where credit is due.
A mission reach out to those who are hurting.
A mission to reach out to those who are floundering.
A mission to be a better person.

You can do it!
He will help!

Perspective and the Big Picture

16 Jul
I love my babies...in real life I'd never get away with dressing them:)

I love my babies…in real life I’d never get away with dressing them:)

The way we look at things in life really determines our day to day joy level.

How far we see into the future (the big picture) affects how we look at the day to day trials we come across.

I created the illustration above to give a visual of just that, and hopefully make you chuckle, but it illustrates a pretty deep message too.

The “Whoa is me.” perspective (see cat…lol), and the “By golly, it’s not great, but I’m going to see the positive in this.” (see dog…lol).
(By the way, their personalities are really like this:).

The better we see the big picture and not microfocus on the day to day frustrations, well, the frustrations really won’t feel so big.
Granted, I know we all go through various degrees of stressful situations, events, relationships,  etc. which can feel very overwhelming.
I am not taking away the fact we all feel stress, frustratation, (fill in the blank of whatever emotion you are feeling),
but it’s important to read the verse above when feeling those emotions.

Do you have a heavenly perspective?
This “stuff” we go through now…man, it’s going to be nothing when we see the glory of the Lord!

I ask you this then…
Since we do not know when the Lord is coming back (to heal this broken world but He is),
are you going to have the cat’s perspective or the dog’s perspective?

Look at yourself in the mirror.
Seriously look.
Let’s face it.
You can only control you.
You can only control how little or much you go to the Lord and ask for Him to give you strength, peace, comfort, etc.
You can only control how much you ask Him to show you the big picture.
You are the only one, with the Lord’s help, who can make you see the positive in whatever stress, worry, and frustration you feel.

The big picture is really bright even if you don’t see it just yet.
What happens today as life throws you curves?…
Well, I bet we will have wished we smiled a bit more when we look back a year from now,
five years from now, on this particular day or tomorrow, or the next day.

Happy Fourth of July Weekend!

7 Jul
Just a spattering of the fun over the July 4th weekend:)

Just a spattering of the fun over the July 4th weekend:)

You Can’t Do It Alone!

3 Jul
June 15, 2014 - GH - A wonderful preserve with a neat trail system to walk or ride bikes on...Hofma Preserve if I remember correctly.

June 15, 2014 – Grand Haven.  A wonderful preserve with a neat trail system to walk or ride bikes on…Hofma Preserve, if I remember correctly.

If you believe that you can do this life without the Lord you are being fooled!
Whether you’re in a state of mind of “happy” or “discouraged” – you NEED Him.
Period.

The biggest lie the devil wants us to believe is that “we know it all”…”we are smart enough”…”we don’t need anybody”…”every one else is wrong, but we’re right”…”we KNOW best”…”we’re strong enough”…that “well, I can’t “see” Him, so, why believe in Him?”.

Let me ask you, “How’s it working out for you?”

Do you feel good on the surface?  You say, “Life’s treating me pretty good.”
(Or do you admit that, man, you feel like you are being put through the wringer?)

Either way, let me ask you again, “How’s it really working out for you?”

Do you wish you had a little more confidence to make it the next job interview?
Do you wish you had a little more strength to make it through the work day?
Do you wish you had a little more clarity making decisions for you child?
Do you wish you could get over the fear of making it on your own without a significant other?
Do you wish you could stick to a decision instead of wavering and changing your mind?
Do you wish you had a little more energy to make dinner for the kids?
Do you wish you had a little more patience with your spouse?
Do you wish you had a little more time in the day to get things done?
Do you wish you more financially stable?
Do you wish you worried less?
Do you wish you trusted more?

Well, you can stop WISHING!
Stop thinking you can do it on your own.
He promises the following to us which is SO COOL!

1 John 5:14-15
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God:
that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.
And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”

See the action we must take is to APPROACH Him first…then ASK.
He provides!

This is also important…
just because YOU think you KNOW what is best for you the Lord knows the ABSOLUTE best for you, so,
He will do even more than our human minds could even dream up.
We sell HIM short so many times.

Like,
“Jesus, hey, yea, it’s me (sigh)…having a little concern about what to do, so, well (sigh),
I’m just praying for you to give me JUST a little relieve from (fill in the blank)…nothing too big for you, right?  Ok, well, I will trrrryyy not to worry, and I’ll do my best to trust you and to keep coming to you, but, well, (sigh) you know (my ex, my spouse, my boss, my situation, etc.) really is just alot, so, just know I’m asking you for help, buuuuut I know you’re busy and I’m not the only one asking for help, so, well, I will trust you just enough to hope for something good (insert – cause I don’t have enough faith to believe that you know what’s best for me).  Love you.  Over and out…peace…Amen.”

Then what do you do?
You worry, you fret…you forgot you even asked for His help, albeit, a weak prayer (lol).
See, He hears you no matter what and He’s going to do take care of you COMPLETELY!

This is a promise from Him:
Philippians 4:19
 
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

I think people who believe in the Lord forget this just as much as people who don’t believe in the Lord.

So, give a shout out to the Lord today…trust Him…He’s got your back:).

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