I have known for a long time that writing books was a part of my purpose. I would start and then stop. I would either get distracted or discouraged. I finally made up my mind to sit and focus and write my first book but there was one problem, I didn’t know where to start. Which book do I write fist? The week I was praying and asking God for clarity was the week that a sweet friend invited me to a service at a local church. At that service, the Lord prophetically used the speaker to answer my prayer. I came home energized and encouraged. The Lord helped me to see that the material for my first book had already been written and it was just a matter of editing it and putting it in book form. I hit some bumps along the way, but I was determined to complete what I started. When I got serious, God sent me the help that I needed to complete it…and I really needed help! One of my biggest sources of help came from the author of this award winning book.
I am so happy to announce that as of this week, my first book, “Lessons Learned Along the Way: A 40 Day Devotional,” has been released. I took the content that I wrote for my 40-day reflection before my 40th birthday and created a devotion with reflection questions and scriptures for meditation. You can find it on Amazon in both kindle and paperback form. If you choose to purchase it and are blessed by what you read, I invite you to leave a review on Amazon so that others would be encouraged to get it as well. This is indeed a dream realized!
Reflection Question: Is there something God has called you to do but you have put it to the side? Do you need clarity on how to pursue that purpose? I encourage you to earnestly seek the Lord and respond in obedience to His directives!
We live in a culture where greed and the abundance of material things are promoted. However, as of late, the minimalism movement is of interest to many. Why is that? Could it be that people are finding out that material things don’t bring lasting satisfaction? I was watching a video on minimalism by a Christian youtuber and she made a powerful statement. In reference to minimalism she said that it was the “giving away of stuff to find that more!” That statement hit me to my core because it is so easy to misdiagnose what we need more of. Therefore, some continue to grasp for joy in material things, but it is all in vein. The only “more” that can truly satisfy is Jesus! In the moment, material things are great to have but they quickly lose their luster. However, a relationship with Jesus fills us to satisfaction, again and again.
Take inventory of your actions and your priorities. What is the “more” you have been seeking after? Is it more of Jesus? Or is it more of this world and its possessions?
John 6:35 NIV
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
1 Timothy 6:6 NLT
Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.
God often calls us to do things that scare us or make us uncomfortable. Previously I abandoned some of my God given assignments because they were hard. We have assumed that the call of God is easy. This is often not the case. You don’t believe me?
Ask Moses how he felt standing before Pharaoh repeatedly.
Ask David how he felt running from Saul, the one occupying the position God called David to.
Ask Esther how she felt standing before the King, risking her life because she had not been summoned.
And my favorite, ask Jesus how He felt in the Garden of Gethsemane agonizing because he felt the weight of what was before Him.
In this season, I am stepping out and doing specific things I’m called to, and quite honestly it is difficult. Being stretched is uncomfortable. But I am learning that God is more concerned with my obedience than He is with my comfort. And while it is difficult, I am seeing His grace show up as I move in obedience.
Have you been putting off what God has called you to do because it is difficult? Are you waiting for it to make sense and become easy? I encourage to move in faith and obedience and the grace of God will meet you in the hard.
We fight from a place of defeat when we don’t know our identity and we are then unaware of what is rightfully ours. We must first know who we are, what we possess, and then fight accordingly! 1 John 3:1-2 and Ephesians 1:5 both remind us that we are children of God. As children of God, victory is our inheritance. Deuteronomy 20:4 says, “For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” If we walked in that reality, our response to the attack of the enemy would be so different. We would fight from a stance of victory and not one of fear and defeat. We would put down our carnal weapons and instead put on the armor of God and face the battle with confidence. Think about it, what do we have to fear if God is with us in the battle? Reflect on all the battles before you, how have you been approaching them? Be reminded of who you are and fight knowing the victory is already yours!
I am a huge advocate for teaching children scripture and encouraging them to hide the word of God in their hearts so that they do not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11). Music is great way to accomplish this goal. Select the scripture you want to memorize and sing it to your favorite tune or make up your own beat. You can also create your own “instruments” with household items like my children did in this video. There are so many fun things you can do to help children memorize scripture. Repetition also helps them remember the selected verse. I typically review the scripture at least three times each day when they are first learning it. Once the scripture is memorized, we rehearse it at least once a day in addition to the other scriptures we have memorized. I desire for my children to know the word and also LIVE IT! How do you help your child memorize scripture? Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.
I love talking to my 91-year-old Jesus loving grandmother. When I share what the Lord is doing in my life or something connected to my pursuit of Him, she begins to rejoice and rehearse a story that I have heard many times. It goes something like this, “Many years ago the Lord told me that He was going to multiply my blessings and I told Him, ‘not natural blessings Lord but spiritual blessings.’ “
The blessings she wanted from the Lord was not a bigger home or more money. Instead, she wanted to see her family members saved. Every time she sees proof, whether big or small, of that promise coming to pass, she praises God and rehearses what He promised. In a recent conversation with her, it finally struck me how powerful this was. Once God answers my prayer and His promise manifest, I rejoice. However, with the passing of time, that excitement and thanksgiving wanes. The answered prayer and promise don’t excite me as much, and I may even forget about what God did. My grandmother has tuned her heart to always sing a song of thanksgiving when she is reminded of what God has done! This fills her heart with confident hope that He is faithful and that He will do all the other things He has promised! I have also observed that she does not often complain because she is too busy thanking God for His many blessings. Her praise and keen awareness of God’s continued faithfulness is contagious and is worth imitating.
Is it easy for you to forget about the promises of God that has been fulfilled? List at least three prayers that God has answered or promises that He has fulfilled. Are you still praising Him for what He did or have you become discontent because you are waiting for Him to do more?
Scripture for meditation Deuteronomy 7:9 NIV Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.