Posts Tagged ‘strength’

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Embracing the Seasons

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Sometimes I go to my old blog for inspiration, or a good laugh, or to see how far I’ve come/regressed.. I was there tonight and found a few I’d written that I want to share with you. So here is the first one! Have a great day.

It’s a rainy day here in Kuna. But it’s a rainy day in SPRING, so I’m ok with it 🙂 The trees are starting to bud. There are a few flowers showing their beautiful smiles. The seeds were planted..there was a long period of dryness, then storms came and covered them, then the sun came out for a few days to warm them, then the rain came, and now they bloom. 🙂 Just think on that awhile..you might find it applies pretty well to our lives as humans 🙂 Seeds don’t grow instantly..they have to go through a process which involves many different seasons. But just when you think you can’t stand another day of “winter”, the seeds start to sprout into a plant..and if it’s a well taken care of seed/plant, the roots are deep and strong and the plant thrives. Hmm..this works either way…with rotten filthy plants, and with beautiful plants. We better be careful which seeds we plant and nurture!

Dwell on beauty. Focus on the upcoming victory, don’t get caught up in the temporary defeat of the moment. It’s just a season. And your season of harvest is coming! Oh, I pray it’s a harvest of a beautiful, well rooted plant for you. Not one that will need to be plucked.

Remember..even beautiful plants need pruning. 🙂 It may hurt for a season, but soon you will grow even bigger and more beautiful than before.

Have you ever noticed that not all of the plants/flowers bloom at the same exact time? Hmm Must mean that their perfect timing hasn’t arrived yet. If they bloomed prematurely they would die b/c they wouldn’t be in an atmosphere where they could thrive. If they bloomed too late, they wouldn’t have lasting beauty because their season was cut short and they didn’t have time to fully grow in to a strong healthy plant. It’s important to wait..in the promise is the victory. We wait with the promise. Believing in the victory. And, just at the right time the bud opens up into the flower..VICTORY!! But what do we do in the waiting? In the “promise” period? What we need to do is trust that the victory is coming. And we need to prepare for that victory. By fertilizing. Get in The Word. Fertilize your soul with the truth. Have faith in the promise and wait with expectation for the victory! Cuz the big victory IS coming friends. And, it will be just on time. Don’t rush it. Prepare for it.

In the Promise season there are many tiny victories..which lead to a magnificently huge victory. Oh I love huge victories. 🙂 Tiny victories are like a chocolate chip cookie. They’re yummy, but you want more. And the huge victory is like a magnificently gooey goosebump inducing Lava Cake. Overflowing with decadent richness and filling every cell of your body with extreme passionate joy like nothing else you’ve experienced. Victory..it’s sweet. It’s here in little bits at first, and then, when we are strong enough to handle the wave, it comes gushing forth in a magnificently flowing abundant flood! Yahoo! The Lord is the perfect “baker” and “gardener”!

Blessings,

Sarah

The Ministry Opportunity in Heartbreak

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If you’re struggling today, know that my love and prayers are with you. The sun will shine on you again, this isn’t the end of your story. Look up!

Blessings and love,

Sarah

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In Love’s Service, Only Broken Hearts Will Do
Written By Sheila Schuller Coleman

“(Jesus) answered: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” -Luke 10:27 (NIV)

I have heard my father say throughout my lifetime, “In love’s service only broken hearts will do.” In other words, we can only empathize with others who are going through heartbreaking times if we have had our hearts broken, too. We can empathize, we can be sensitive, we can truly understand – or stand under them and hold them up while they are going through their heartbreak.

So very many people today are going through heartbreaking times. And they need someone to lean on – someone to stand under them – understand what they are going through. They do not want someone who has had an easy life, who has not walked in their shoes. They want someone who truly knows how they feel – someone who has been there – lived to tell about it.

What is your heartbreak? That heartbreak is your ministry. God did not allow you to go through it just to get through it – He helped you go through it – He helped you grow through it – so you can stand under others who are now going through something similar.

Your divine purpose is to use your broken heart in love’s service. You are uniquely qualified to provide loving service to others who are going through the same heartbreak. In so doing, your heart will become stronger at the broken places – you’ll heal even more as you reach out and love, and someone will make it through – because you were willing to let God use you!

* * *

Prayer:

Lord, I didn’t want this heartbreak. But I can’t turn back the clock. I can, however, choose how I will react to it. I can resent You. Or, I can trust You to use it to help others. My heart has been broken. Show me the person You want to heal through my heartbreak. Amen.

* * *

Reflection:

What is your heartbreak? How can God use it in love’s service to help others?

One Step Away

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When we let go of ourselves and grab hold of Him we can get through anything. We are never alone, He’s just one step away. Will you take that step into His arms today? Or are you determined to survive on your own?

Live the blessing,

Sarah

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Devotion: The Gain From the Loss, Finding Blessings From The Journey of Illness
By Lisa Buffalo

“Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:25-26).

In the late 90′s, I stayed active, moving, running, and playing. There was so much to do, so many places to go, people to see, fun things to accomplish.

Then illness hit, and life stopped.

Too weak and ill to move, I was relegated to the bed or recliner. Even watching television or reading was too taxing. The things that once gave confidence–my strength and my abilities, slipped from my feeble fingers. I could do… nothing.

And yet in the stillness, in the complete stop of life, I found abundance. Through illness, I gained far more than I could imagine. Getting “me” out of the way, resulted in a closer walk and deeper faith in God. During the quiet journey, God blessed me with internal healing as I faced things long hidden in my past. New friendships were formed, and new opportunities opened for writing and speaking to share God’s goodness. What I had lost was found in new God-given gains.

God became the source for strength and unending abilities. I went from self-confidence to God confidence. And in His confidence, whether running, walking, or crawling, our God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ask or imagine.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me not to focus on what illness has taken, but on what You have given. Help me to let go of what holds me to the earth, so I may fly free with You. Help me to hold onto nothing but You, because with You all things are possible.

What Can We Learn From Our Friends?

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I’ve had my fair share of friendships, both short lived and long lived. Some I was sad to see end, others I couldn’t wait to shut the door on! Some I still hope will remain forever. Regardless, no friendship starts or ends without having presented the opportunity for growth.

Sometimes the best way to grow is to say, “This relationship is poison for me, I love you, I pray the best for you, but it’s time we part ways.” After all, what good are we doing for someone else if we are continuing on in a relationship that is doomed? Healthy relationships are lasting relationships! That being said, every relationship requires work and goes through rough patches. There is a very clear difference between a poisonous relationship that needs to end, and a good relationship that just needs work.

Are you just floating along in your friendships, or are you being engaged? Are you learning something from that human you’re spending so much time with? Are they learning anything from you? And are those things being learned of any real value? Let’s focus today on being a friend of value, and making a positive difference in the lives of those we hold most dear.

Blessings,

Sarah

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When Friendship is Tough
By Lysa TerKeurst

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3 (NIV)

One of the wisest pieces of advice on friendship I ever got was from one of my daughters. She was in middle school at the time. You know that awkward place where insecurities run rampant, hormones rage, and your best friend one day becomes your worst enemy the next? So lovely.

She got in the car one day with tears filling her eyes. She waited until we pulled out of the school parking lot to let all her hurt leak down her cheeks.

“Rough day?” I asked.

“Awful,” she replied.

I turned down the radio, waited until we were at a red light, and reached for her hand. “Wanna talk about it?”

“Nope,” she whispered as she turned her face away from me toward the window. The rest of the night she sulked around the house. And no matter how many times I tried to get her to talk, this normally very vocal child wouldn’t open up.

The next morning, I was surprised when she bounded down the stairs with a smile on her face.

“Well hey! You sure look happy this morning,” I said as I lifted up quick thank you prayers to God for whatever had brought back the sunshine to my girl’s life.

“Mom,” she said with great authority, “I’ve decided something about friends. They all have good stuff and bad stuff. Things you like and things that really annoy you. So, you just have to decide if you can handle their package deal.”

How wise. How true.

Friends are a package deal. And sadly, not all friendships will stand the test of time. Some friendships are for a season.

But other times, we have to be willing to deal with the messy stuff to fight for our friendships.

Recently, I had something hard happen with a friend I dearly love and greatly respect. A misunderstanding. Hurt feelings. Frustration.

Part of me wanted to distance myself because it was hard to sift through the hurt. But as I prayed through it, I had to remind myself this person is a package deal. Part of what makes them a great friend that I love being around is their tenacity and passion to accomplish tasks with excellence. But because they are so task oriented, they are less relationally sensitive.

And if I’m honest with myself, I can see that I’m a package deal too. With good stuff. And annoying stuff.

They have issues. I have issues.

We’re both messy people, willing to work on our not-so-fun stuff, who are fully aware we’re going to hit some muddy little potholes along our friendship path.

But we’ve decided the package deal is worth it.

Dear Lord, thank You for my friendships. I know some will last a lifetime, and some will fade after a short season. Please help me be completely humble and gentle, patient, bearing with my friends in love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Choose Joy!

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Sometimes situations in life don’t seem to warrant a whole lot of joy. But in His word, it says, “Count it all joy when you are tried and tested, for the trying of your faith will bring patience to your soul.” To me, if He says to count it all joy, He’s letting us know that it’s a choice we make that brings joy and results in newfound patience. His Word also says, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” So, if you need patience today: choose joy. If you need strength today: choose joy. If you need JOY today: choose it! In Him, we find all we need, and them some.

-Sarah

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Today’s devo prayer selection:

Joy: Just Open Yourself

Holy Spirit I open myself to You.

I allow JOY to move through me in this moment.

I align with all that You are and all that You have ever been.
I know that JOY is here when I just open myself to all that life has to offer.

When I just open myself to having fun with my friends and family, I feel JOY.

When I just open myself to working with passion, I am JOYOUS.

When I just open myself to service and acts of kindness, I experience JOY.

When I just open myself to being silly and playful, when I don’t take things to seriously and when I open myself to creativity, I know JOY is here.

God, I know that I do not have to go anywhere or acquire anything, I just open myself to Your Magnificence and Grace and JOY is here.

JOY is my natural state.

I confess that I sometimes get so overwhelmed with trying to do everything and please everybody and be perfect, that I block my JOY.

I know that in an instant I can experience JOY.

I just open myself to You God and thank You for moving through me in a mighty way.

Thank You for the JOY that is present right now, here in this moment because I choose YOU.

I let it be so and so it is.

Minister Matt Cartwright

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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