Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

Waving the White Flag of Surrender

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Here are some thoughts (below) on surrender to start off our week! I’ve read through them quite a few times already..letting them sink in.

To some, surrender might sound scary. To me, it sounds like a Calgon bath. Finally, we don’t have to figure it all out, or try to control it. We don’t have to keep trying to push Him off the throne so we can sit down. We just have to surrender, and be His hands and feet. No more fighting, just peaceful surrendering. Yes, please!

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
Run to God!
Proverbs 3:5-7a

Have a great Monday, friends. 🙂 Also, please continue to keep my brother, Matt, and Chris’ Uncle Tim in your prayers. Thank you!

Onward and upward,

Sarah

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Here are the thoughts on surrender I spoke of, by Iyanla Vanzant:

Surrender allows us to face the thing we fear before it becomes a reality. The fear of being wrong. The fear of losing control. The fear of being found out. Most of the time, the thing we fear has absolutely no power, yet we brace ourselves for the worst possibility. In that defensive posture we keep our minds fixed on what could or might happen. The fear of facing that imaginary negative outcome is what keeps us paralyzed. Surrender places us in the offensive position. It gives us the opportunity to plan, and to move according to the plan.

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Surrender helps you to become willing to live through the experience, without giving your entire life over to it. It also makes room in your heart and mind for the Divine to give you a new idea. A new thought. When you surrender, give up the fear thoughts, and give up the control of a situation, you open the way for a miracle to take place.

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Your Promise is on the Horizon

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My Mom sent me this quote today. I hope you love it as much as I do!

“Seemingly ceaseless challenges can eat away at your confidence, demotivating you from pressing forward to the mark of the prize of your calling in life. While there are times when these challenges don’t seem to dissipate, there are equally times when they are absent, though your mind forgets this is so. Learn to recognize those in-between times. It is there where your horizon of vision reminds you of a promise ahead.” – Mark Chironna

Blessings,

Sarah

The 4th of July

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Happy Independence Day, friends! Use your freedom for good, honoring those who gave all they had in order for us to have it. Thanks to all who serve/served this beautiful country I love to call home, and to all of the family and friends who support them.

I’ve always posted this clip on Facebook for the 4th, but I don’t use Facebook now..so I will post it here for you instead! I still can’t figure out how to embed videos, so here’s a link:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QoLywiaM6PA&feature=related

Let freedom ring!

Blessings & Love,

Sarah

Cancel the Pity Party

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The pity party is on my nerve. I think it’s high time we all stop complaining, and start giving praise.

Yes, life gets hard.

But who do you serve?

If you serve The Lord God Almighty, you have reason to praise in every situation. He’s a GOOD God, and will turn every evil thing into good for those who love Him. That’s a great reason to praise! He didn’t bring your hard times, the devil did! Personal choices may have even played a roll. But He is not to blame. He desires good for you. His plans for you are good, and not involving destruction! So stop feeling sorry, and start praisin Him!

It’s time to stop giving our attention to the enemy, and singing his filthy praises. Whenever we complain, we sing the enemy’s praises. YUCK! We’ve got to get out of constantly dwelling on ourselves and our trials, and instead get our eyes on helping others, and being a light in this world.

So, today, lets all commit to seeing how long we can go without complaining or thinking of ourselves. Maybe even keep a tally of how many times throughout the day we catch ourselves in “self pity”. Counteract those thoughts by instead doing something for someone else. For example, if you catch yourself feeling “so sorry” or “so upset” about something, counteract that feeling of pity by sending a note of encouragement to someone!

In other news, I won’t be able to post again until next week. So let me encourage you to enjoy this week to congratulate yourself when you notice growth, and don’t give up on yourself when you miss a step. Just keep on keepin on, brothers and sisters!

We’ll chat soon..

Sarah

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Today’s devo selection:

Saying ‘No’ To Self-Pity
By: J.M. Farro

“The bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she (the virtuous woman) will not eat.” – Proverbs 31:27 AMP

I recently went through some difficulties that got me so discouraged that I found myself wrestling with feelings of self-pity. Years ago, I might have played some sad songs and cried my eyes out, deriving a sort of perverse satisfaction from my misery. But this time, I prayed and asked the Lord to help me resist these negative emotions. That’s when He reminded me about some teaching I heard years ago about self-pity. I once heard a godly man say, “God is concerned about your hurt, but He doesn’t want YOU concerned about it.” This man went on to say that the reason self-pity is so destructive is that pride is at the root of it, and it causes us to focus too much on ourselves. I looked “self-pity” up in the dictionary and found the following definition: “A self-indulgent dwelling on one’s own sorrows or misfortunes.”

Psychiatrists have an interesting name for people who habitually indulge in self-pity–it’s “injustice collector.” These are the folks who are constantly dwelling on their hurts and hardships – whether real or imagined – and they enjoy thinking about them and talking about them. They lovingly collect and number each and every offense that others commit against them, and they search out people who will sympathize with them and commiserate with them. All this keeps the focus on themselves, which is what they want most. But this isn’t God’s way. He instructs us to walk in the God-kind of love, which is “not self-seeking,” and which “keeps no record of wrongs.” (1 Corinthians 13:5 NIV) This is not to say that we should ignore or deny when we’re being mistreated, but that we should take constructive action to see that we’re treated with proper respect, or remove ourselves from harm’s way, rather than sit idly by, feeling sorry for ourselves.

Self-pity isn’t just nonproductive – it’s destructive. It can lead to bitterness, unforgiveness, and resentment. It doesn’t bring people together – it divides them. And these are some of the reasons why Satan works so hard to get us to focus on our wounds, rather than the cure – which is the love and wisdom of God. Throughout the pages of the Bible, God tells us again and again that He wants us to bring our hurts and sorrows to Him, so that HE can comfort us. He not only wants to be our Comforter, but our Vindicator. (Psalm 135:14) If we’ll let Him, He will defend us and fight our battles for us, leading us to victory every time. He tells us in His Word: “I, the Lord, love justice. I hate robbery and wrongdoing. I will faithfully reward my people for their suffering…” (Isaiah 61:8 NLT)

A good antidote for self-pity is forgiveness. As we forgive those who offend us, we can let go of our negative emotions and ill-feelings toward others, and we can receive the comfort and healing that can only come from God. Scripture says: “In all their suffering He also suffered, and He personally rescued them. In His love and mercy, He redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years.” (Isaiah 63:9 NLT) God hurts when we hurt, and He wants to be our Deliverer. But we can block His efforts to comfort and rescue us when we insist on holding on to our feelings of resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness. As we choose to forgive, we open the door to God’s involvement, and all the blessings and provisions that entails. Another good antidote for self-pity is thankfulness. The Bible says: “Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 AMP) No matter what is going on in our lives, we always have reason to give thanks to God and praise Him. Nothing is more offensive to God than our dwelling on our misfortunes and losses, and neglecting to recognize and enumerate all of the blessings He bestows on us daily.

Helen Keller said, “Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything good in the world.” We have been chosen by God, not just to live eternally with Him in heaven, but to make a difference for Him while we’re still here on earth. Let’s not allow self-pity to neutralize all the good we can do in this world in the name of Jesus.

Prayer:
Lord, please alert me whenever I begin to feel sorry for myself. Keep me from being overly-sensitive and self-absorbed, and teach me to bring all of my hurts and hardships straight to You. When I do, heal and comfort me the way that only You can. Give me the grace I need to forgive others quickly and thoroughly, and to praise You in all things. Thank You that as I resist self-pity in the power of Your Spirit, I will be rewarded by a gracious and grateful God!

You Have Everything You Will Ever Need

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No weapon formed against you shall prosper..unless you let it.

Wait, what?

Yes. It’s true. The weapons formed against you are worthless. They have no capacity to harm you. It’s a promise.

..Unless you let them..

Did you ever see a place in the Bible where the truth was forced on anyone? Where Jesus strong armed someone into taking hold of the truth? I haven’t seen that. I saw Him again and again present the truth and accompanying freedom, but never forced it on anyone. He was real big on free choice.

So..the TRUTH is, no weapon formed against you will prosper. But, that’s not a truth that you are required to take hold of.

You have a choice.

You can accept the truth and walk it out. Or, you can decide that every weapon formed against you is surely going to overtake and kill you. That you’ll never make it out of the current situation. That God’s not big enough to handle YOUR problem. You can choose to fall down and let the circumstances trample you.

You can effectively throw out the truth of the situation, and instead embrace the lie. You can reject freedom. You can reject safety. You can reject growth.

It’s your choice.

But in rejecting the promise, you also reject the truth. Succumbing to a life filled with deception and lies.

My daughter has been fighting pain in her tailbone after a fall this last winter. She told me, in no uncertain terms, “I will never dance again.” (SheLOVES to Dance to those video game dance things, and is amazing at it.)

I told her, “Don’t say that, you WILL dance. Just determine to do it. Your body will eventually line up with your thoughts.”

She replied something to the effect that she had tried, but it just hurts..so shes not going to do it anymore.

I heard The Lord say as clear as day, as if He were physically sitting right next to me, “She is allowing the weapon formed against her prosper.”

So I shared that word with her. Since then she has refused to “lay down and die,” and has seen a difference. She still has pain at times, but she’s realized it’s not the end of the world, and it goes away. It doesn’t have to effect her joy, or her life.

The devil wanted her incapacitated, hopeless, and depressed. The Lord says, “Pick up your bed and WALK!”

So, what weapons of the enemy are you allowing to prosper in your life today? We all have something. What issue is The Lord asking you to drop at His feet? What area in your life is He telling you, “Pick up your bed and walk”?

If weapons formed against you had to prosper, He wouldn’t have said that they won’t (Isaiah 54:17). If you couldn’t get past infirmities, He never would have said pick up your bed and walk (John 5:8). If He wanted you living in bondage, He never would have come to set you free (Luke 4:18, Galatians 5:1, John 8:36).

You are FREE. You are more than a conqueror. You are not required to continue letting the weapons prosper.

You can change direction.

Don’t wait around for someone else to make the changes for you, or bring the healing.

The healing is already yours.

The freedom is already yours.

The capacity to change is already yours.

The ability to overcome is already yours.

Every promise He ever gave was fulfilled at the cross, you lack for nothing.

He’s given you everything, you’re fully equipped for victory.

Right now.

This very moment.

Disease, sickness, depression, stress, anxiety, and hopelessness have no place in the mind of the believer. So pick up your spiritual weapons (Ephesians 6:10-17), kick those lies to the curb and walk out in victory! You’re a mighty warrior! Stand tall!

Blessings,

Sarah

* If you’re interested, here is the link to a great video that goes along with the devo. 🙂
http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pGy5c2bgiDo

Forgiveness Brings Freedom

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You can be shackle-free! Start the path to forgiveness today. You will be glad you did!

I pray blessings and peace over you today as you embark on this new journey. Freedom in Him is here for the taking!

– Sarah

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Today’s devotional selection:

A Place of Forgiveness
By Suzie Eller

” … Keep your eyes open to this Temple night and day, this place of which you said, ‘My name will be honored there,’ and listen to the prayers that I pray at this place. Listen from your home in heaven and when you hear, forgive.” 1 Kings 8:28-30 (MSG)

Claire sat on the floor with a wad of tissues in her hand. Her husband had left her three days earlier for someone else.

Sitting there crying, in her brokenness she sensed God whisper, “Pray for him.”

Fists clinched, she shook them at the ceiling. “It’s too soon, God. If You love me, You won’t ask this of me. You are focusing on the wrong person. He’s the one who should be kneeling and asking for forgiveness.”

In 1 Kings 8, we find the story of God’s temple being built, a temple where God’s presence would dwell. It took seven years, a labor force of over 130,000 and King Solomon’s leadership to complete the temple. It was built with cypress, olive wood and cedar, and inside the doors were overlaid in gold. When the temple was completed, Solomon stood in awe as God’s presence filled it (verse 10), and he began to pray.

He could have asked God for many things. That the temple be a place of power where his kingdom would shine. That his enemies, and those of his father, King David, would be slain. That the sinful man would walk through the doors and be condemned for his sins.

Instead he asked that God’s Name be honored in the temple, and the magnificent structure would be a place of forgiveness.

Scripture declares that we are His temple. Three days after discovering her husband’s secrets Claire hadn’t eaten. She hadn’t slept. Her temple was crumbling.

By asking her to forgive so soon, God wasn’t showing a lack of compassion over her pain or her husband’s abandonment, but a sign that He knew her well. By asking her to forgive, God was asking for a place to move into the demolished areas of her life.

Forgiving would allow Him to fill her with His presence, putting His Name there forever, no matter what her situation.

Daily, Claire walked intentionally in her relationship with God, reading the Bible, talking honestly with Him, listening to worship music. This became her sanctuary as she went through the most challenging parts of an unwanted divorce. The more she nurtured her heart and His presence inside of her, the less room there was for sadness, grief, anger, and loss.

And then the day came. She knelt on the carpet and she told God, “I forgive him,” and she meant it.

A deeper meaning to the word forgive is “to abide” or “to set free.” Claire experienced both of these as she made room within her heart, mind and soul for God’s presence and forgiveness to dwell.

It’s been nearly a year. She is still beginning each day with God and inviting Him to fill her up with Himself. Moments of joy now surprise her just as grief once did.

Dear Lord, I knew instinctively that one day You would ask me to forgive, but today I understand why. You want to move in to the demolished areas of my life and let Your presence shine. Help me to begin to forgive with Your help. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Bondage..It’s Not Mandatory

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Have you fully grasped the knowledge that you are FREE? He came to set the captives free. And you were captive! The second you accepted Him as your Savior, your freedom was realized. Walk in that freedom today! It’s time to stop gripping the chains of our past, and instead place our grip on the promises of God. You ARE free. Don’t allow yourself to become enslaved in a yolk of bondage ever again.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. – Galations 5:1

Have a blessed day!

-Sarah

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Today’s Devo Selection:

Set Free!
By Anne Graham Lotz

You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Romans 6:18, NIV

With blood flowing from His wounds and streaming down His face from the thorns in His brow, Jesus stood before Pilate. As part of the Passover celebration, it was Pilate’s custom to release any prisoner the crowd chose. It just so happened that “at that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas. So . . . Pilate asked them, ‘Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus Who is called Christ?'” (Matt. 27:16-17, NIV)

The rulers shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!” (John 18:40, NIV). Barabbas! Barabbas was a thief and a murderer and a rabble-rouser! The religious leaders of Israel were demanding that Barabbas be set free and Jesus be crucified. And so Barabbas became the first person to be set free by the death of Jesus.

Jesus died, not just in the place of Barabbas, but in your place and mine. Because He died, I am free! Free from my sin and its penalty.

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