Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Winsome Wednesday - Joyful Joyful?

How many of you have chosen a word for the year and already had it tested?  Well my word is JOY and yes, it has been allusive!  I'm not saying I'm miserable or unhappy!  I'm fine!  Life is going on, there are no major issues happening and I'm trusting the Lord that we are in a season of peace and restoration.

But JOY.... inside..... can't feel it.  Now, I believe that inner JOY and peace is something that a person will feel ultimately.  But I think initially, one has to dig deep, spend time in the Word, focus on the Lord, submit your worries to the Lord....  You know, day to day choices on perspective!  The glass is half full, not half empty sort of thing.

I find myself mulling inside my head being bitter about something, or being small-minded about something, or moaning inwardly or judging or being critical!  Yep, the focus is all negative AND IT DOES WHAT?  IT STEALS YOUR JOY!



As I write here it is dawning on me that inner peace and JOY comes from a daily renewal of one's mind.  Replacing all the dark and negative thoughts with God's word and His truth!  So, on my goal towards HAVING and RETAINING JOY I know the thing to do is renew my mind DAILY with His Word!

Rom 12 v 2:  Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].

What has God been showing you about your word, or your goals so far?

God bless
Tracy

BLOGHOP TIME


This is a space to come and be encouraged.  You can link as many posts as you want so long as they bring glory to the Lord.  If you have time, please visit the person ahead of you and I am sure you too will be encouraged.  I look forward to seeing you here.
 Feel free to link up below:

Monday, 27 January 2014

Reading it through MY way!

Ok, that is not meant to sound prideful or anything.  Its just that if someone tells me to do something in a certain manner, my mind says NOOOOO!  I appear to suffer from a little inner rebellion, lol!  So, dieting is a blast NOT!  I have learnt (am learning) to find a way of eating that suits me without someone telling me how to eat and what to eat.  Silly I know...

The same sort of issue applies with regards to reading the bible through from cover to cover.  So I start looking for reading programs.  Read it through in a year, in 90 days, 7 days a week, 5 days a week, with or without weekends.  The options are endless and that is great.  I start out and already on day one I am annoyed.  Its more like a race to read today's stuff as soon as possible.  Then my normal quiet time suffers because I don't want to read more and I don't want to have a quiet time because I'm going to be reading pages and pages of the word anyway.


Am I the only one who does this kind of mental gymnastics?  Its so exhausting.  So, like with dieting, I have found a solution to my problem:

Problem - Read the bible through cover to cover!
Solution - Read it like I would any other book!

Yep, I am going to read the bible the way I would any other book.  Read until I need a tea, or when my chores are done.  The same way I would read a book I purchased or borrowed to, well, read!

And two weeks in I am already more than half way through Deuteronomy.  As soon as I start to aim for the next chapter, I remind myself I am reading this like a book, not chapter for chapter, but for the content itself!  What a pleasure thus far.  There is no pressure for "when to finish" and I am enjoying doing it this way.  I also am finding that I'm getting into the stories, like a novel.  Only difference to reading any other book is I sit here with my highlighters, lol!

Hebrew 4 v 12:  For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.


I would love for you to join me on my quest to read the bible cover to cover.... Let me know if you do and how you have chosen to do it :)

God bless
Tracy

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Winsome Wednesday - Thankful for each Gift!

I woke up today feeling thankful for the gifts given by the Lord.  I'm thankful for each breath, a gift!  I'm thankful for my health and even though my back is sore, I'm thankful I can trust Him for healing.  I'm thankful for my family, those near and far.  I'm thankful for my friends, they truly are a gift.  I'm thankful for forgiveness, a gift.  I'm thankful for God's grace and mercy, new every morning!  I gift that I don't deserve.


I'm thankful for my hubby who seriously has to put up with much emotional roller-coastering (at times)!  He is a gift!  And my daughters, I am overwhelmed by the gift they are to me and thankful.

I'm thankful for my washing machine, dish-washer, oven, fresh water, beautiful home, great weather, food on the table, my bed..... I am truly grateful for these gifts.

Ps 107 v 1:  O GIVE thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!

Eph 5 v 20:  At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.

What are you thankful for today?

God bless
Tracy

BLOGHOP TIME


This is a space to come and be encouraged.  You can link as many posts as you want so long as they bring glory to the Lord.  If you have time, please visit the person ahead of you and I am sure you too will be encouraged.  I look forward to seeing you here.
 Feel free to link up below:

Monday, 20 January 2014

Hard Heart Much?

I have been very angry at someone for a while now.  For a long time I kept trying to get this person and another to keep the lines of communication open.  And, well, slowly but surely their relationship is healing.  But the last time I spoke with this person we had words and I was so angry because after all my attempts to open her eyes to the truth, she still didn't get it!

Did you see what I said there?  After all MY attempts to OPEN her eyes!  Yes well, is it any wonder the Lord has encouraged me to keep my distance and leave the opening of eyes to HIM.

Now this person is seeking to amend relationships on her own steam.  And I'm mad about that!  Pride I think.  I'm trying to figure out if its pride because I wanted recognition for trying to keep lines of communication open in the first place or is it pride because well, God doesn't need me to fix things up!  Sigh!


I am coming to the conclusion that firstly: I need to come before the Lord and ask His forgiveness for my prideful attitude, and secondly: thank Him that the healing continues.  Thirdly:  I need to forgive this person, and offer the same grace and mercy that I long for from the Lord.  Its humbling right?!  On top of that I want to want to start a new relationship with her.  But right now, I don't want to.  What I do believe is that these feelings will change.  As forgiveness for her permeates my heart, I will start to see her differently and want to seek her out.

Until then, I will focus on the Lord and His word.

Matt 6 v 33:  Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.

My encouragement to you is that if you are dealing with hurt relationships, seek the Lord's will in it and focus on Him and He will do with the relationship what He wants, and it will be for your good.

God bless
Tracy

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Winsome Wednesday - Nothing!

Rom 8 v 35:  Who shall ever separate us from Christ's love?  Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation?  Or calamity and distress?  Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword?  

Rom 8 v 38-39:  For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, (39) Nor height, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


I think these scriptures pretty much say it all.  NOTHING separates us from the love of God.  Except maybe ourselves right?!  So, know today that whatever it is you think you have done that is too awful for God to consider or overlook, know the truth of these scriptures.... NOTHING separates us from God.

He loves us so much He forgives, so He can have relationship with us.

God bless
Tracy

BLOGHOP TIME


This is a space to come and be encouraged.  You can link as many posts as you want so long as they bring glory to the Lord.  If you have time, please visit the person ahead of you and I am sure you too will be encouraged.  I look forward to seeing you here.
 Feel free to link up below:

Monday, 13 January 2014

My Word for 2014 - JOY


My word for 2014 is JOY!  Just in case you hadn't guessed by now with all the JOY buttons and posts going on around here, lol!  I thought about what WORD I wanted to focus on this year and without hesitation JOY bounced into my mind.  I believe its because having been through a really tough and long draining and fearful season I was forgetting how to be joyful.  I have forgotten how to hold onto the JOY of the Lord and I want it back!

My sense of humour nearly vanished!  THAT is a very scary thing!  Slowly but surely the old me started to resurface but I want to practice JOY!  I want to be imbued with God's JOY.  I want JOY to be part of my every day.  I want to see JOY in the moment, JOY in God's creation, JOY in others and with others.

I have started a new page (button above) where I will constantly add verses on JOY so that they are always readily available and I have no excuses to tap into the source of God's recipe for JOY, His word!

When I decided to focus on JOY the first scripture I read about JOY was:  Psalm 126 v 5:  They that sow in tears, reap in joy and singing.  Usually I read this and am subconsciously confused because why would anyone want to sow tears?  Then it finally dawned on me:  When you sow seed even when you are in a season of tears (pain, hurt, hardship) you WILL reap joyfully, joy, a season of joy!  Isn't that amazing?

One of the things I believed when we went through a really tough season, was that the devil was trying to quench our sowing whatever it was... and we determined that we would continue to do as God wanted us to do despite the circumstances.  And now?  We are reaping!  But we are reaping with joy, in joy!

What a great encouragement to sow!  To sow good!  Even when things are tough, and we are inclined to go inward when things are hard.  Sow, sow, sow!  Look outside yourself and sow a smile, a hug, a coffee... Whatever it is you feel called to sow.  YOU WILL REAP IN JOY!

God bless
Tracy




Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Winsome Wednesday - Fear of Man

When I started blogging a few years ago I started out very anonymously!  I didn't show my name, only initials.  I didn't speak about my life, which I don't really do now either except to highlight a point about God's grace and mercy.  I wasn't on facebook, twitter or any other online forum unless you count having an email, lol!

And the reason for that was we were going through a very hard time being attacked from within shall we say.  I felt I had to protect my heart and my words and not let "those" people know I was here.  I was scared of giving the enemy any information about my life or my family's life.

Then my husband needed a facebook page for his business, which required him to have facebook.  So as I figured these things out I did a little "who is out there?" investigation and discovered that my enemies were living their lives.  Carrying on as if nothing of what was going on, was going on.  I was livid!!!  To say the very least.

But I was not angry at them.  No, I was angry at me for allowing them to "fear" me into hiding who I am, who God created me to be.  I was angry that I could not be me because of fear of them.  And in that same day I came across this scripture out of the blue (we all know God loves to do that!) Prov 29 v 25:  The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever leans on, trusts in, and puts his confidence in the Lord is safe and set on high.



So, immediately, I opened my own facebook page, and gradually I became me online.  I have strict terms for myself.  For example, only positive stuff and Godly and encouraging stuff on facebook.  My twitter account and who I follow, only Christian women and organisations and real family and real friends.  I felt a huge release and relief in that I was able to be me.

Funny thing though, once my enemies discovered me there, they started hiding themselves and their stuff.  Interesting!

My encouragement to you is to be who God created you to be and don't let someone else intimidate you or their opinion of you stop you from doing what God has put in your heart.  Mentally take that person out of the equation and then decide if you would then do it and if the answer is yes, you know its fear of man and not something else.

Looking forward to you linking up below.
(Next week, my Word for 2014...)

God bless
Tracy

BLOGHOP TIME


This is a space to come and be encouraged.  You can link as many posts as you want so long as they bring glory to the Lord.  If you have time, please visit the person ahead of you and I am sure you too will be encouraged.  I look forward to seeing you here.
 Feel free to link up below:


Monday, 6 January 2014

Follow Up on my word of 2013 - TRUST - part 2

Recently, in Follow Up on my word for 2013 - TRUST - Part 1 I wrote of how my word for 2013, TRUST, has turned out to be more than what I had thought it would be.  I was trusting for resolution for a BIG issue, which ultimately the Lord resolved in an awesome way!  But I find myself trusting for so much more....

Today's post is about how I am learning that it is all about blind trust.  I get to the point of blind trust WAY TOO late in the game.  I trust the Lord blindly when I have exhausted all other possibilities and, really, there is nothing else I can do.  Its almost a little fatalistic, isn't it?  But God is gracious, and He waits for us to give up trying to resolve the unresolvable in our strength.

I am learning it is not even about "fixing" a problem, or "resolving" an issue!  Its about praising the Lord, worshipping the Lord, looking up at Him, and not around us at our circumstances.  And it is in doing these things that the Lord comes in and changes our circumstances.


The trust is in the praising and worshipping AND in the waiting and what we do in the waiting!  Which is.... more praise and more worship!  Seems simplistic right?  But God's ways are not the ways of the world.  The world would apply a solution, appoint an expert, manage a problem, etc etc!  No!  God's way is for us to trust Him blindly for the outcome.  As a parent I want what is best for my children, as a parent I want to bless my children.  God is our Father, but He is WAY MORE clued up as a parent than anyone on earth.  Not only that, He sees and knows the WHOLE picture.  We need to trust him in that!

So, this week I encourage you to not wait until you have no other alternative but to TRUST!  TRUST first!  The growth that results from blind trust is so much deeper, sweeter, and more whole than last option trust!

Nahum 1 v 7:  The Lord is good, a Strength and Stronghold in the day of trouble;  He knows (recognizes, has knowledge of, and understands) those who take refuge and trust in Him.

God bless
Tracy

Next week:  My word for 2014.....

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