Worrying is overrated…try praying!

 

If I am not careful, I can think too much on a situation of concern.  I have been guilty of overthinking things which leaves me spiritually and emotionally drained.   Someone offends me and I play the offense over in my mind.   I said something to someone, and later start to think if I said too much.  Did I say it in the wrong way? Has this ever happened to you?

Thinking too much opens the door to worry.  If I am not careful I can find myself worrying through the pain, instead of praying through it. Worrying allows your emotions to get the best of you.  Living in your emotions can be deceptive.  Trust me, I can tell you stories on this one.  Worrying is an insult to God.  It says, “I do not trust you.  I do not believe you have my best interest at heart.  You do not know what you are doing so let me worry my little finite heart out and come up with a solution.”  Worrying makes no sense!

The Lord invites us not to worry about ANYTHING but to pray about EVERYTHING!

Worrying is tragic while praying brings a peace that is out of this world.  Prayer says, “Jesus not only do I want you to take the wheel but I want you to pick up this vehicle and carry it.”   I cannot even sit in the passenger seat yelling out which way we should turn because I don’t know.  Prayer is a liberating experience.

  • It lifts burdens that are too heavy to carry
  • Brings order where there is confusion
  • Gives hope for what seems hopeless
  • Affirms me when human words have torn down
  • Gives strength when my strength has failed
  • Reminds me that nothing is too hard for God
  • Helps me to close my mouth and allows God to do the explaining

God’s word tells me to mix in thanksgiving with my praying. When I begin to thank Him, I am reminded of all He has done in the past. This builds my faith and creates an expectation for what He will do in the future.  Thanksgiving chases worry away and welcomes in the peace of God, one that will guard my heart and mind.

Worry too much?  Today I invite you to join me in changing those thoughts to prayer and get ready to be overwhelmed with God’s peace.

Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Be Blessed,

Anika

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guess what? I am expecting!

I am expecting!  I know you have questions, so do I?  When do I deliver?  How far along am I?  What am I having?   I am not sure of any of the above answers. I don’t know when or specifically what, but I know it is going to be big.  It is going to be great.  Bigger than what I can do in my own strength.

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The pain has been intense, at times unbearable. I have had moments where I thought miscarriage was inevitable and I just needed a hug.  I needed reassurance that it was going to be ok.

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But today the life within me kicked.  I am overflowing with purpose, infused with hope, running on faith.

I will give birth to this thing.  I will. I will.  I will.  In the name of Jesus I WILL. Speaking of will, that is all I want to give birth to, His will.   I am pregnant with the promises of God, I want His kindgom to come in my life.  I take on the best birthing positon ever…PRAYER! You did not know? Prayer births things.  Big things. Great things. Impossible things.  Don’t believe me?  Ask Elijah, Hannah, and my personal favorites Isaiah and Faith.

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Are you expecting as well?  I invite you to join me in prayer as you prepare to give birth.  Be Blessed!

Anika

 

 

Praise God Or Go Mad

Today was one of those days that I wish never happened.  It was hard…more than.  I cried till my eyes were swollen.  I tried to pray but could not even make sense of my thoughts.  Thank goodness He is able to interpret my tears.  It was not supposed to play out like this.  Shocked.  Numb.  A dark cloud was hanging over me most of the day.  I had three concerned ladies pray for me.  They prayed and I said Amen but the cloud did not go away.  All the “what ifs” ran through my mind and then the tears started to flow all over again.  I read devotionals, I put on hymns and back to trying to pray again. The cloud was still there.   THEN something happened, I began to praise.  Not because my circumstances had instantly changed but because I came to my senses.  God is good.  PERIOD.  And because He is good He is deserving of my praise.  As I began to praise, I was reminded that He is in control and I can trust Him.  COMPLETELY!  I can go mad playing out the ifs or receive His peace that comes through praise.  My praise brings back to remembrance how He has come through for me in the past, how He kept me even when He did not answer the way I wanted.  My praise put God in His rightful position and allowed me to take a seat in His peace.  Oh Lord, let your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Amen

A Servant Motivated by Love

I am STILL thinking about that conference I attended.  I know I have talked about it quite a bit, but it was THAT life changing.  I have been thinking about what Bob Gladstone said about taking on the position of a servant.  Hope it doesn’t sound like I am rambling but I feel compelled to share my heart with you.

Service to the body of Christ is good…very good. However each time I serve I must ask myself questions that expose my motives. Am I serving from a place of genuine love or serving with the expectation of getting something in return?  Am I using my God given gifts to further the body or to showcase myself?  Is my service about me or about God?  Wrong motives can pollute a good thing.  I must confess that I have missed the mark more than once but now more than ever I am asking the Lord to give me the heart of a true servant.  This is my desire and it begins with love.

In all that I do, I must be motivated by love. I want to silence the voices of this world and position myself to hear the voice God, even the slightest whisper.  I want greater revelation concerning this love thing.  I want to get to the place that the Apostle Paul speaks of, a place of true love.  I WANT THAT JESUS.  I don’t want to back down from what you called me to, but I want to be filled up to overflowing with LOVE.  JESUS LOVE.  That sacrificial love that made you freely give up your place of privilege and come down to earth only to be CRUCIFIED for sins you did not commit…divine love.

I want the love that causes me to intercede for my brothers and sisters until something happens because we are family.  I want to hurt when they hurt and be concerned about their highest good.  And if they offend me?  I let it go…all of it…immediately.  I want that love that makes me immune to offenses and the praises of men.  The love that makes me give without any announcements or need to be acknowledged, because I know you see and that is all that matters.  The love that makes me filled with joy about serving others, not looking to be served.    Birth that love in me, then I can serve your people with greater power bringing you glory!

Be Blessed!

Anika

A Weekend to Remember

I went to a leadership conference this weekend that shook me up!  Some of what the speaker shared confirmed what The Lord has been speaking to our local congregation….amazing!  Click on this link and listen to the messages from 3/20/15 and 3/21/15 by Dr. Bob Gladstone.  I heard biblical truths that challenged me on so many levels but left me hungering for more of God.  The speaker spoke with a passion that could not have been fabricated. He spoke from a place of authenticity and deep connection with God. The fire was contagious and I was stirred to the core of my being. I WANT THAT FIRE.  THAT PASSION.  THAT FOCUS.   He challenged us to become obsessed with the Gospel, which inevitably will leave us obsessed with Jesus.  The truths were simple, the very truths we try to accomplish through complicated means.  I was overwhelmed and didn’t quite know what to do. As the truths came at me, I wanted to worship, I wanted to cry. I wanted to repent for not always having the right focus.  I wanted to shout, “THANK YOU JESUS for revelation knowledge.”  Kingdom building, he reminded us can be risky, being family can be messy and we won’t always get it right but it is worth every effort.  WOW!  How often do we as the people of God gravitate toward what is convenient, what is comfortable?  How often do we measure success by the number of people in the church, even if the spirit of God is absent?  How often do we hinder the gifts from flowing because it means we lose control?  How often do we neglect the essentials like loving and forgiving our brothers and sisters in Christ but want to go out and be special? How often do we make it about us and not about HIS WILL?    Oh that the church will return to the traditions of God… the only ones that matter.  I want to live, breathe, and be the gospel.  I want His kingdom to come in my life.  I want His love, mercy and grace to ooze from my words and actions spilling over into the lives of everyone I meet, ultimately showing them Jesus.

And then Sunday came, we went to church and it continued.  The word was sung, preached and then demonstrated through forgiveness,  prayers of intercession for our brothers and sisters in Christ, warm embraces were exchanged saying, ” I am here for you, I am going to fight with you because we are family.”  We. Are. Family.   I was overwhelmed to see the word come to life.    How awesome is our God!

 

I am ready to let go and move on

There are parts of me that are fragile. Scarred from past hurts.  I love God. I do.  But sometimes I don’t look like He wants me to.  He has been showing me things.  About me.  Ugly things that I have been carrying. Things I need to let go of to go to the next level. To be promoted. Things that I didn’t want to let go of…until now.  Yes I have prayed about it before, but I still held on because I felt justified.  But I recently found myself crying and confiding in God, “I don’t know how to let it go God, but I want to.  I really do.  It is too heavy.  I don’t know how to let go of the pain, the offense, the hurt, the pride, false expectations, the jealously.”  But then He whispered, ” you don’t have to let go in your own strength you just have to desire to be purged of these things,  your desire for freedom invites me in to do my job….deliver.”

 

 

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So I wept real hot tears.  Tears of freedom.  I felt the weight lifting, and I am being transformed…again. Always another level to go to but promotion always starts from the inside.  It is freeing to surrender these insecurities and scars to God. No judgment, no condemnation from Him.  Only pure love from my daddy.  He is always gently confirming that He is worthy of my love.

So today I share my heart with you, not to glorify my weaknesses but to glorify a God who strengthens the weak.  A God who understands the complexities of our past but challenges us to live beyond that because the blood of His son made it right. Made me new.   I am making the choice to let go and move on.