Looking Toward Heaven

“Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with Him and learn a life of love.” Ephesians 5:1-2, The Message

Lately, Alyssa has been repeating everything we say. Therefore, my husband and I have been extra careful to mind our “P’s” and “Q’s.” And while our scripture today clearly states that our children learn proper behavior from us, I will admit to a recent “slip-up” with my daughter just this past week. You see, out of nowhere, Alyssa let out a huge burp and without thinking, I began laughing and said out loud (to myself – or so I thought) “Good one Alyssa.” Well, to my dismay, now every time Alyssa lets out a burp (which seems to be a constant occurrence right now), she breaks out into laughter and declares “Good one, Alyssa!Ugh!

When circumstances come our way and we don’t know what to do – we simply need to look toward Heaven and ask ourselves, “What would Jesus do?” God will always give us proper wisdom and guidance for the situation at hand. The best news for us today is that even when we make wrong decisions, God still loves us! Let that truth sink into your spirit….”God loves me.” No matter how much we mess up or say the wrong thing, God loves us! Depending on the situation, God may encourage us to ask forgiveness or turn away from a wrong behavior, but all the while He loves us! Selah (pause and think about that).

Needless to say, I am working with my daughter to say “excuse me” when air expels from her tummy through her windpipe, ☺ but no matter what Alyssa says or does, I will always love her! I pray that you will receive God’s love for you this day. And may we all continually keep company with Jesus and learn how to love as He loves!

Prayer:
Lord, thank you for loving me no matter what! I get so frustrated with myself when I make wrong choices, but you always love me. Please give me peace while working things out in my life. I am amazed at your grace and mercy! I long to love as You love and give an as You give. I choose this day to look toward heaven and keep company with You. Amen.

Follow Me

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” Matthew 16:24-25

Have any of you had a dream that you knew was from God? I know that sometimes our dreams are a result of the pizza we ate the night before, but I have found in my life that God still speaks to His people through dreams from time to time. Today I would like to share with you a dream that has greatly impacted my life these past few months.

One night I had a dream that I was lying on the beach on a hot sunny day. I was alone and simply drinking in the beautiful views of the ocean, when all of a sudden I noticed that God was standing behind me. And although I was a little perplexed as to why He seemed so distant, I did not let this bother me and I continued soaking in the rays of the sun. Then I decided to go for a walk on the beach and once again I noticed that Jesus appeared to be following me. Puzzled, I turned to Him and asked Him, “Why are following me? And why were You standing behind me earlier?” Jesus replied ever so sweetly, Tracy, I love you so much and I long to sit and talk with you, but you expect Me to follow your dreams and plans for your life, instead of what I have for you.” Tears filled my eyes at His response and I was so grieved by the fact that somewhere, somehow I had lost the art of following God. I did not realize that I was requiring God to bless my plans, my way and my dreams. Needless to say, I told Jesus how sorry I was and then we took a walk together. This time I followed Him 🙂 He led me to a beautiful cliff overlooking the majestic ocean. I turned to Him and stated, “This is so beautiful Lord and I never knew this view was here.” Jesus looked me straight in the eyes and lovingly told me, “Tracy I have so much I want to show you – if you will follow me.”

This dream has changed my life and I pray that it will encourage you and me to continually surrender everything to God. I cannot leave our time together today without asking you: Are you following Jesus or are you expecting Him to follow your plans and aspirations? We serve an awesome, loving God who is just waiting to show us amazing things – if we will follow Him.

Prayer:
Lord, I give you my life. I surrender my dreams and desires to you this day. Please forgive me for expecting You to follow my plans. My greatest passion in life is to follow You Jesus and fulfill my destiny on earth. I choose this day to embrace what is before me. I may not like all that is going on around me at this time, but I trust that according to Romans 8:28 – You will work all things out for my good. I know that as I follow You that my best days are yet ahead! I love you Lord and thank you for your grace and mercy. Amen.

Dear Jesus

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Dear Jesus,

I find myself overwhelmed this morning with gratitude for the Cross and all that it represents for me. I have always been thankful for the Cross, yet it seems that the older I become the more I am aware of exactly what You did for me that day on Golgotha. And while I cannot fully understand nor comprehend why You would willingly lay down Your life for me, I cannot help but wonder, ….what if You hadn’t? What if You had ordered ten thousand angels to come to Your aid? What if you decided that following God’s plan for Your life was more than You could bear? What if…. Jesus, what if?

But because You willingly GAVE Your life for me, I cannot help but willingly GIVE You my life in return. If it were not for You, I would not be alive today and I can honestly say without hesitation that I can never repay You for what you did for me on the Cross. I love you Jesus and I give You my life – Everything I am and everything I am not is Yours Jesus. Take my life and may You be glorified through me.

Thank you for shedding Your Precious Blood for me. Thank you for conquering the devil, death and every disease for me that day. Thank you for eternal life that is now available to all believers and me. Thank you for the resurrection power that abides in all believers to overcome every obstacle that comes our way because of Your Precious Blood.

May we all be full of thanksgiving for the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus this Easter season. While the world is consumed with it’s commercialism of Easter, help us Lord to not become entrapped in the world’s way of thinking. Let us always remember that Easter is about You. It is Your day and I choose to acknowledge Your willingness to give Your life on the Cross that I may live forever with You in Heaven- Now that is something to celebrate! 🙂

Many Easter blessings to you and your family!

Tracy


Will You Believe?

What if I were to tell you that God loves you, He created you and He thinks you’re gorgeous? Would you believe me or would your mind quickly come up with all the “reasons” why this cannot be true? Statistics state that 85% of Americans struggle with low self-worth. And if you are one of these individuals you may have a hard time believing that God loves you, created you and thinks you’re gorgeous! Unfortunately, many of us treat our “feelings” as truth rather than God’s Word. And it is our “feelings” of low self-worth that can cause us to stumble in life over and over again.

Why is it that we receive the lies of the devil, but we resist the truth of God’s Word concerning our worth? I am here to challenge you today – I want you to press into God’s Truth concerning you. It is time to receive from God and resist the devil and his pack of lies! Let’s start by declaring these truths over your life today:

1. God loves me.
John 3:16 states, “For God so LOVED the world that He gave His only Begotten son that none should perish, but have everlasting life.”

2. God created me.
Ephesians 2:10 states, “For you are God’s workmanship, CREATED in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that you should walk in them.”

3. God thinks I’m gorgeous.
Psalm 45:10-11 states, “Listen O Daughter, consider and give ear; forget your people, forget your father’s house. The King is ENTHRALLED WITH YOUR BEAUTY; honor Him for He is your Lord” (NIV Version).

IF you choose to meditate on these truths today – you will have an awesome day! Although low self-esteem will not go away overnight, if you choose to daily meditate on God’s Word concerning you and determine that what He says about you is TRUTH – you will be walking in worth before you know it!

Prayer:
Lord, help me to receive Your Word as truth and resist the lies of the devil. No matter what man says about me, I can rest in the fact that You love me. I ask that you reveal to me any mindset that is contrary to what the Bible says. I want to walk in worth and fulfill my destiny. I declare today that God loves me, He created me and He thinks I am gorgeous! Amen.

*I’d like to give a “shout out” to the precious women of FBC of Alpharetta: Thank you for the honor of being with you for your 2008 “Girl Talk” Retreat. I love you ladies and hope you always remember that: God loves you. He created you and He thinks you’re gorgeous!

Photo above is from: www.freefoto.com

Where is your hope?

“For You are my hope O Lord God; You are my trust from my youth. By You I have been upheld from birth; You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb. My praise shall be continually of You.” – Psalm 71:5-6

A while back I was asked to speak to a group of teenagers at a local community center. I was thrilled to receive the invite due to my life being radically changed at the age of 16 when I surrendered my life to Christ. As the anticipation grew I began to seek the Lord about what to convey and after a few days of prayer, I had no doubt what God wanted to say to these young adults.

Upon my arrival, I entered a huge great room filled with chairs and young people engrossed in conversations and laughter with one another. I could see the remains of pizza boxes on a nearby table and the smell of pepperoni still lingered in the air. I found a vacant chair to sit and listen to the teens as they talked about the challenges of life and love. I was later formally introduced and to my amazement these teenagers sat at attention as I shared my personal story of being a depressed, suicidal teenager and how God transformed my life. I could tell by their eyes they understood the hurt and pain that I had gone through. I found out later that many of them also had gone through deep pain themselves.

I informed them that God wanted to convey something to them that night that could radically change their lives – I encouraged them to always place their hope in God and not the things of this world. This opened up conversations on how we can place our hope in other things, such as: people, circumstances, our performance, greed or selfish desire rather than in God. And as we discussed these faulty avenues of hope, it was unanimous that when we choose to hope in the things of this earth that we end up feeling more disappointed, fearful and anxious. We resolved that the only way to find true peace and satisfaction in life is by placing our hope in God. It was such an honor to share with these precious teenagers that night about fixing their eyes on God and I am thankful that each young adult prayed to draw closer to God and to place their hope in Him.

The truth is, no matter our age, it is a constant struggle for us to place our hope in God each day. As a rule of thumb – if you’re feeling frustrated, disappointed, fearful or anxious – your hope is probably in something other than God. As we choose this day to place our hope in Him, no matter what your circumstances may be at this time, you can have a confidence that God will perfect that which concerns you and you will experience a supernatural peace as you trust in Him.

Prayer:

Lord, I choose this day to place my hope in You. Help me to keep my eyes fixed on You and not my circumstances. I speak over my mind, body and spirit this day, “Be still and know that God is in control and He is moving on my behalf today.” I let go of fear, frustration, disappointment, unforgiveness and I grab onto The Hope that never disappoints – Jesus! Amen.