God Is Greater

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“For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.” 1 John 3:20-21

In the past, I allowed my feelings to rule my life. I would be happy one minute and in tears the next. My emotions were dependent on varying circumstances around me. And no matter what anyone said, I treated my feelings as the truth! I will never forget the day that I found 1 John 3:20-21, in my Bible. I later researched the word “heart” in the Strong’s Concordance, and it means “emotions and thoughts.” So, let’s read the verse again, but this time I will replace the word “heart” with it’s Greek meaning, “emotions and thoughts:

“For if our emotions and thoughts condemn us, God is greater than our emotions and thoughts and knows all things. Beloved, if our emotions and thoughts do not condemn us, we then have confidence toward God.”

Isn’t this good? The truth is, when our emotions and thoughts contradict the Word of God – we have a choice to make: Are we going to believe our emotions and thoughts or the Word of God? For years I lived my life in double-mindedness. I would read the Bible, but then allow my emotions to rob my faith in God! But not anymore!

We must choose daily to believe the Word of God no matter what is going on in the natural! We need to often declare a scripture out loud and proclaim that our emotions must submit under the Word of God. We must choose to believe that according to 1 John 3:20-21, God is greater than our emotions and thoughts and HE knows all things! By not allowing our emotions and thoughts to condemn the Word of God, we can remain in faith and perfect peace:)

Prayer:
Lord, I choose to believe Your Word no matter what is going on around me. I declare that according to 1 John 3:20-21, You are greater than my emotions and thoughts and that You know all things. I will no longer allow my emotions to rule my life. You have good plans for me – with a future and a hope. I worship You Jesus and thank You for leveling out my emotions and giving me the mind of Christ this day.” Amen

PS: Check out a new blog by my friend Stephanie: www.broken-n-restored.blogspot.com This blog discusses everyday issues and the restoration power of God. It’s so good:)

Picture above is from: www.freefoto.com

HALT!

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“And the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness…..This shall be seen when the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening and in the morning bread to the full; for the Lord hears your complaints which you make against Him. And what are we? Your complaints are not against us, but against the Lord.” Exodus 16:2,8

Recently, I have been under a lot of stress. God is truly blessing my family, but “good stress” – is still stress! My days have been filled with to-do lists, phone calls and never-ending appointments. I realized that I had reached my limit when I broke down crying to my friend, Angel over the phone. I was exhausted and needed rest. The next morning during my quiet time with God, I felt the Lord speak the following to me: “Tracy, I have parted the Red Sea (done a miracle) for you and your husband. I am taking you to your next promise land, but you must stop grumbling and complaining or I will have to take my hand off of you.” Immediately, I repented and asked for God’s grace and strength in order to endure the journey to reach my promise land. He was right – I was being just like the Israelites who praised God when He parted the Red Sea on their behalf, but only a few days later they began to grumble and complain about various obstacles they had to conquer to get to their Promise Land. I had fallen for an old, but familiar trap of grumbling and complaining and I needed to HALT!

You see, because I was overly tired – I let down my spiritual guard and allowed my mouth (through grumbling and complaining) to get me into trouble. As a counselor, I am aware that negative thoughts and speech cause extreme fatigue and frustration! I once heard Pastor Charles Stanley share a powerful acronym with his congregation. He stated the need to H-A-L-T whenever we are:

H-Hungry
A-Angry
L-Lonely
T-Tired.

Pastor Stanley explained that when we are experiencing any of these physical or emotional deficits, the devil will try to pull us into fleshly temptations (i.e. – fear, over-eating, addictions, worry, doubt, negativity, grumbling, etc).

No matter what you are going through at this time: H-A-L-T and take care of you! God is continually taking us from glory to glory! He is leading us each day to greater things. So go ahead, take a nap, eat a big steak, forgive the one who has offended you and ask for God to fill you with His awesome love this day. Trust me, I did all of the above, and I am in a much better place! God can meet whatever need you have today. He promises that He will never leave you or forsake you. Rest in the simple fact that His mighty hand is upon you:)

Prayer:
“Lord, thank You for Your mercy and grace. I ask that You give me wisdom on how to take care of myself. I give You my hunger and ask that You feed me. I give You my anger and ask that You replace it with a heart of forgiveness and love. I give You my loneliness and ask that You pour out Your love upon me this day. I give You my tiredness and ask that You give strength to my mind, body and spirit. Jesus, I want to reach my next promise land and with Your grace and strength, I can even enjoy the journey! I love you Heavenly Father ask that You fill me to over-flowing.” Amen.

Picture above is from: www.freefoto.com

Where Can God Find You?

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A picture of Michael & me celebrating 8 years of marriage!

“Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice. He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me, for there were many against me.” Psalm 55:17-18, New King James Version

Is there a place everyday where God knows He can find you? Maybe it’s in your living room as the sunrises or in the evening just before bed. But where can God find you? I know that our lives are hectic and having a dedicated time to spend with God each day can be difficult. But, if we do not have a designated time to spend with God, life circumstances often get in the way. Personally, I love to wake up each morning before my daughter gets up (around 6:30 am). God can find me sitting on my sofa with a cup of coffee in my hand. I usually begin my time just talking and thanking God for His goodness. I lift up the various tasks of my day and I read my Bible and pray. This is my FAVORITE part of the day! There are mornings when Alyssa wakes up early and I have to re-arrange my quiet time. But just having this set time each day helps keep me on track and full of faith.

Depending on your personality type- you are either a morning person (like me) or a night owl. It is never a good idea for a morning person to try and read the Bible just before bed (trust me on this one – you will just find drool marks on your pages) and a night owls should never try and get up at 5:00 am (I have heard that this will put you in a very bad mood)! It is important to find the right time and place for YOU. You do not need to feel that you have to spend your time with God just like “Sister-Suzie-Q!” You may need to try out a few different times and places to discover what works best for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to help show you the best time and place to spend time with Him. Trust me, He will show you – He LOVES spending time with you!

Prayer:
“Lord, I want to spend time with each today. Help me to not let life circumstances get in the way. I need You desperately each day and ask that You fill me with Your grace and mercy. Holy Spirit, show me the best time and place to fellowship with You. Open my heart to the Word of God and teach me how to pray and enjoy getting to know You more. I am so thankful that You love spending time with me! You are an amazing God!” Amen.

How Are You?

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(A Girls Night Out with my friend, Angela)

“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” James 1:19, New International Version

Three simple words can change a person’s entire day. Three simple words can communicate that you care. I think we all have been guilty of talking “on and on” about ourselves and failing to ask the person on the other end, “How are you?” Truthfully, we can become all consumed with “self” and forget that a living, breathing person is on the other end of our conversation. Who knows, maybe they are hurting or in need of encouragement. If we do get past our self-focus and actually ask the question, we then face another dilemma of getting the “AUTOMATIC RESPONSE.” I can’t tell you how many times I have asked, “How are you?” only to here the quick response, “Oh, I’m fine.” Yet, if we were honest that “automatic response” is not always the truth! Why do we insist on pretending that we have it all together when God knows that we are about to fall apart?

So let me be the first one to ask you today:
“How are you?”
“No REALLY, How are you?”
“How can I pray for you?”
“How can I minister to your needs?”

Take just a minute and answer these questions – Go ahead, I’ll wait right here until you are finished. Okay, now that you have shared you heart with me: “How do you feel?” Some of you may have tears in your eyes and others of you may be smiling. But, no matter the response – know that I genuinely care. I want to know how you are doing today. If you need a listening hear, please feel free to click on my contact page and send me an email. I would love to hear from you and I will agree with you in prayer.

My genuine care is my gift to you this day. Now it is up to you to pass it on!

Prayer:
Lord, please forgive me for being self-centered and failing to see the needs of others around me. Help me to pour into someone’s life today. I commit to tell You everything I am feeling and thinking deep within my heart. Thank you for always being available to me. And by the way Jesus, How are you today? How can I pray for the concerns on your heart and mind? Jesus, You are always there for me and I want to be here for You today. I give you permission to use my life to be a blessing.” Amen.