Posts Tagged ‘perserverance’

Are You up for a Challenge?

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Get out there and do that thing you’ve been putting off!

Today is your day!

You are fully equipped!

You can do it!

Blessings,

Sarah

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Die, Flesh, Die!

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Are we willing to walk the walk, or are we satisfied just talking the talk?

I’m currently in a situation (an email war of sorts) where my “flesh man” wants to take over. I have to constantly (and I do mean CONSTANTLY) choose whether or not I will allow the “flesh man” to choose my words for me, or if I will let my “Spirit man” speak.

I find myself writing sentences that make my flesh feel good (REAL GOOD! In a “Take THAT!” Sort of way.). But they make my spirit hurt. As a result, the backspace button gets it’s workout! Delete, delete, delete!

It’s not always easy to submit to the “Spirit man”. But, when we do, we find peace. A fleshly response/action may feel good on a pride level, but a spiritual response will feel good on a much deeper level, if we allow it.

Where the enemy (flesh) brings temporary satisfaction, The Lord (Spirit) brings lasting fulfillment.

Lets put on our Spirit shoes today, and leave the Flesh shoes to rot.

Blessings,

Sarah

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Today’s devo selection:

Empty Shoes
By: Patricia Day

In church yesterday, a little boy fidgeted in his seat. He wanted to move to another place rather than sit quietly in his seat. As minutes ticked by he gave up his efforts and resolved instead to remove his shoes. I suppose he thought if he couldn’t walk then why keep them on?

So off the shoes came and he curled up in his chair eyeing all who were around him instead. The shoes sat empty on the floor – he had no use for them if he couldn’t get down and move around. He chose to give up – which in this instance was probably a good thing; he could have been distracting as he did things his way.

Jesus longs for us to follow Him in all His ways. He asks us to walk in His shoes! He wants us to walk His way because it will lead us to a better place and yet, so many of us choose not to. We want to walk on our own chosen path in life, whether it is comfortable or not! We won’t persevere in doing things His way because we feel it would be too hard for us. We prefer to remain in our unfulfilling lives, in other words we give up!

The shoes that Jesus gives us are always a good fit, the trouble is we won’t know it unless we try them on and walk in them. Just as the little lad discarded his shoes because he no longer felt a need for them, we do the same to Jesus as we decide to go it alone and do things our way.

Proverbs 10:9 He who walks with integrity walks securely, but he who perverts his ways will become known. (NKJV)

Prayer: Abba, we don’t want to remain empty and unused. We want our lives to be meaningful and worthwhile. We choose to follow You and we choose Jesus to lead us to the path designated for us alone. In His mighty Name, Amen!

Being Rocky Balboa in the Spiritual Realm

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Rocky has always been one of my most beloved film heroes. He just kept fighting. He persevered. I want to be like that in my spiritual life. I often say that Christians are like Weebles, we wobble but we don’t fall down! Lets fight the good fight. Like this devotional selection says, war gets tough. But take heart, we’ve already won the battle by choosing the right army to be part of!

Have a great day. 🙂

Blessings,

Sarah

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Today’s devo selection:

Battle Wounds from the Good Fight
By Jennifer E. Jones

“How much can you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight? I don’t wanna die without any scars…” – Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club

I was thinking this morning about what it means to be in a fight. As a woman, it’s not quite the rite of passage as it is for a man. However, I fought enough with my brothers as a child that I’m aware of the mechanics of it.

Most people agree that a fight that’s one-sided isn’t really a fight. That’s just a beating. That’s a bully taking advantage of someone weaker than he or she is. A real fight is back and forth; you trade blows.

The keeping of one’s faith is similar. If you want to be a Christian or even remotely God-conscious, this life will fight you for it. It’s going to hit you, and as noted in the last Rocky movie, nobody hits harder than life. The world tries to take your joy and your peace with every unwanted circumstance, every unexpected tragedy, and every unforeseen pitfall.

So what do you do? You can curl up in the fetal position, block your face and just take it. Truthfully, there are times when that’s the only thing you can do. Some hardships are simply tests of endurance.

You can help the enemy by inflicting wounds on yourself. That’s when you just agree with every negative thought that comes in: “I’m not good enough, not smart enough, etc.” Your opponent doesn’t have to do anything then. You will beat yourself up.

Then there’s the third option: you can fight. You fight by remembering God’s promise that no weapon formed against you will succeed at taking you down (Isaiah 54:17). You hide His words in your heart and wear them out on your sleeve. You stand up against the lies that seek to sink your ship.

And it’s going to be rough. You’ll get wounded. You’ll get dazed. The enemy doesn’t fight fair, and he’s very aware of your weak points. Don’t think for a moment that he won’t sucker punch you right where it hurts.

It’s difficult to imagine emerging from any fight without scars. Even Jesus has scars. He showed them to the disciples after His resurrection (Luke 24:39). In fact, His scars were proof that He had died and came back to life. I think our scars bare the same resemblance. They are the evidence that we are overcomers. They qualify us to speak to those in pain and say, “I’ve been there.”

So, keep your head up. You’ll lose a few battles, but remember that you’ve already won the war.

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. — I Timothy 6:12 [NIV]

Disappointment…It Lasts As Long As We Let It.

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Boy have I had a rough week! It seems like one wave of disappointment after another. Sometimes it’s hard not to give in and get downright crappy to those around you. And I have fallen into that, but I’m workin on it! And that’s what matters. We can’t hope to grow without trials. Here’s to growing, keeping perspective, and choosing joy!

-Sarah

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Today’s devo selection:

A Devotional on Discouragement
By:
Lysa TerKeurst

“He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart.” Ecclesiastes 5:20 (NIV)

The other day a friend asked me if I ever get disappointed.

I said “yes” and threw out a spiritually sound answer of how I process disappointment. It was an answer that would make most preachers proud.

And then the next day happened.

The day where a really big disappointment whacked me upside the head and sent my heart sinking. I’d been asked to speak at a really big event – one of the biggest of my life – and then things fell apart.

Invited- thrilled- excited- honored-included

turned into

Uninvited- bummed- sad- disillusioned- left out.

And while I still have solid spiritual perspectives to hold on to, my flesh just needs a minute to say, “Bummer!”

Sometimes things that come our way are a major bummer.

But right when I wanted say, “bummer” a few more times, I spotted a bowl that’s been sitting on my dining room table for weeks now. Brooke found some caterpillars a while back, put them in a bowl, and has been holding them hostage ever since. I mean she’s been lovingly admiring them underneath a layer of cellophane.

Wouldn’t you know that those caterpillars formed cocoons inside that unlikely environment. And then today, as I was muttering “bummer,” I glanced across that bowl and sucked the word back down my throat.

The cocoons were empty.

Expecting glorious butterflies, I had to chuckle when I got right over the bowl and closely examined the product of my little girl’s hopes for new life.

Moths.

I just had to chuckle. Yet another thing in my day that wasn’t quite right.

Or was it?

When Brooke spotted the moths, she was beyond thrilled. Grabbing my hand, she led me outside, ripped off the plastic barrier, and watched the beauty of tiny wings beating- beating- beating and finally fluttering into flight.

As I watched Brooke’s sheer delight with the rich evidence of life before her, she couldn’t have cared less if it was a moth or butterfly. A creature that once only knew the dirt of the earth had just been given the gift of flight. Reaching- soaring-up- up- and away.

And with that, this simple creature pulled the corners of my mouth up into a smile.

Disappointment only stings as long as I let it.

You’ve Got The Power To Change What You Put Up With – Be Bullied No More!

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I think if we are honest with ourselves, we can admit that at one time or another we have all been bullied AND we have all been the bully. But what have we learned from it? Hopefully we’ve learned how to ask forgiveness, and also to forgive. And in doing so we can then help others who find themselves in the same situation.

There’s no bully in your life that can’t be overcome with God in your corner. Believe it, and act on it! There is also no better moment to implement change in your life than right.now. Come on, friend, you’re MORE than a conqueror! Don’t settle for another day of feeling “less than”! Inside of you lies the Holy Spirit inspired power to change from victim to victor! 🙂

Have a blessed day!

– Sarah

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This morning’s devo selection:

Cure for the Common Bully
Nothing beats knowing someone bigger than you has got your back.
by Jarrett Stevens
Justin Griffin–Holtz. A name I will never forget. He was the first bully who ever picked on me. I was in fourth grade, he in sixth. From what I remember, he stood about 7 feet tall, maybe 8. His mouth was filled with braces that, if necessary, could be used as a weapon.
One day while I was playing H.O.R.S.E. with some friends, Justin Griffin–Holtz started saying that I couldn’t make the shot, that I was a loser and a bed–wetter (standard bully talk). Something in me snapped. With ball in hand, I took my shot. Not at the basket, but at Justin Griffin–Holtz’s big bully face.
It was a bold move. And a dumb one. The moment was beautiful, though. Three months of torment answered with one single word, “Spalding,” written backward across Justin’s face. He came charging at me, braces locked and loaded. I did what any self–respecting fourth grader would do. I screamed. As Justin Griffin–Holtz’s body slammed into mine, I heard a familiar voice above my howls. It was my older brother. He and two of his eighth grade buddies had heard my screams like a bat signal sent out over the kickball field. They grabbed Justin Griffin–Holtz and carried him to the recess lady. From that day on, Justin Griffin–Holtz left me alone.
Nothing beats an older brother. Nothing beats knowing someone bigger than you has got your back. The Bible tells the story of Gideon, a guy who discovered someone was there for him, too—even in the face of an entire army of bullies, the Midianites.
The Midianites constantly threatened to destroy Israel. They were big and bad enough to do it, too. To many Israelites, even to Gideon, it felt like God had forgotten them. But God told Gideon in Judges 6:16 not to worry because “… I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man” (NLT). It was hard for Gideon to believe, but in faith he put together an army of around 32,000 soldiers.
But God told Gideon with an army that big, Israel might take the credit and forget God was the one who won the fight (Judges 7:2). So Gideon pulled the troops together and said that if anyone was scared, they could go home. So 22,000 soldiers packed up and left!
With 10,000 soldiers remaining, Gideon probably still stood a chance. But God had something smaller in mind. So Gideon downsized again, cutting his army to just 300 people! That night God sent Gideon to spy on the enemy. He overheard a Midianite describing a dream that apparently had only one interpretation: Israel would beat the bully! Gideon ran back to his camp, woke up his 300 soldiers and set out for the attack.
But instead of packing swords or shields or ninja stars or grenade launchers, Gideon had each soldier take only a trumpet in his right hand and a lit torch hidden under a clay jar in his left. Gideon and his 300 soldiers surrounded the enemy camp. At midnight, they blew their trumpets and smashed their jars to reveal the light. The Midianites were so freaked out they began fighting each other and nearly wiped themselves out. Gideon’s men just stood there, watching God do what only God could do.
Imagine having that kind of confidence. What if you no longer had to hide behind the false strength of popularity, or good looks, or quick put–downs, or gossip, or having to be the funniest, or the toughest? What if your strength and confidence came from God and his unconditional love for you? What if, instead of relying on your own strength, you actually asked God to go before you and with you into each day, each problem and each fear? I bet you’d begin to see things like Gideon did. You’d begin to see God a whole lot bigger than you thought and your personal “Justin Griffin–Holtz” a whole lot smaller than he seems.
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