When I Pray, I Feel…

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Jeremiah 33:3, Philippians 4:6-7, Proverbs 15:8

When I pray, I feel connected.

Let’s get real, there are several types of prayer.  So when I say I feel connected, I’m not talking about the quick over the meal prayer.  I’m talking about the prayer where I’m not just going through the motion, but rather, heartfelt prayer.

When I stop and speak to my Heavenly Father, a connection is made.  A relationship deepens.  There is an unbreakable bond that strengths when I stop and just humble myself and speak to my God.  I’m connected to Him.

In the Philippians verse today, the Bible says: everything in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God.  God wants to spoil us.   It’s been a reoccurring message in the sermons at church.  Not the spoil brat who everyone is annoyed with, but rather the spoils of a good life.  Nothing is guaranteed.  Nothing is set in stone, but God doesn’t want to see his people struggling.  He promises many things to us, and he wants us to pray.  He will hear our prayers.  He will answer our prayers.

What do you feel when you pray?  Do you pray with a humble spirit?  Do you seek God with the right intentions?

 


 

 

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I Feel Closer to God When…

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Lamentations 3:25, Acts 17:27, Hosea 10:12

I feel closer to God when I am actively seeking Him.

As any relationship does, the one I have with my heavenly father takes work.  I can’t just expect to go about my day, my business and have a good relationship with God if I’m not connecting with him.  If I’m not reaching out to say Hi, I’m still your child.  I still want to be.  Now when I’m home, running errands, or doing my day-to-day activities.  It’s harder for me to do that.  So when I’m standing in my church, listening to the praise and worship music.  Making my whole body, spirit and mind focus on what I’m doing.  It’s the easier to feel close to God.

But just because it’s easier there, doesn’t mean that it the only place I feel him.   When I look at a sunset or see a rainbow.  There is something so wonderful about seeing the design in nature that comes from God that makes me feel him.  Makes my heart reach out to my heavenly Father.

It really comes down to wanting to be close.  That is when I do feel close to him.  It’s a matter of what I prioritize in my life.  Am I more concerned with Facebook or studying my bible?  The question becomes how am I going to spend my time?  Do I want to feel close to my Father?    Because when I want to, when I make the effort  I’m a close to my Heavenly Father.

When do you feel closer to God?

 


 

 

I Best Manage my Anger by…

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Proverbs 15:1, Proverbs 19:11, Ephesians 4:26

I best manage my anger by … um, … maybe.  … that thing.

You might have guessed by my lack of a true response.  That sometimes, most times my anger still can get the best of me.  The truth of the matter is a good majority of the time I can pause, count to ten and move on.  OR Call the Mommy and complain about the reason I’m angry and have her tell me to let it go, and I attempt to.  But sometimes I still just lose it.  Become a hot mess and the anger is ruling me.  Though it shouldn’t be that way.

Being angry has cost me a lot.  It’s cost me teaching moments for my kids, moments with my kids.  Being angry has cost me blessings.  Because I’ve been angry, I have lost out.  It’s not worth being angry or holding grudges which comes after the initial anger.

What I try to do to manage my anger is to step back and look at the big picture.  Is that comment really doing damage?  Is that action really going to destroy something?   I try to make whatever is making me angry little and insignificant.  To make it small so that it won’t bother me.

Anger is one of those topics that I can’t write with authority.  Because anger gets me daily at times.  There are times I’m stronger than my anger.  However, the one thing I can express is that it’s not worth it.  Anger is like a bomb, and when a person allows that bomb to explode there are casualties.  It’s just not worth it.  When you are angry and feeling like it’s going to explode. You have to find a way to defuse it.  My best suggestion is prayer.  Ask God to remove that anger from you.  I’ve done.  But allowed anger to come back.   Anger is an emotion, one you can control.  You just have to want to.  You have to want to let the anger go.

How do you best manage your anger?  Are you letting it control you?  Are you finding the right course of action?  Think about it, pray about it.  But don’t let it control you.

 


 

 

My Faith Grows Strong when I…

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1 John 5:4, Proverbs 3:5-6, Ephesians 2:8-9

My faith grows stronger when I trust it.

Trusting my faith isn’t easy for me to do.  I have had the benefit of growing up in a church where miracles have happened.  Where things are not impossible.  It should be easy for me to just believe in my faith.  But still completely letting go and just having faith in the impossible, having faith in God, having faith that the mountains will move.  Is extremely hard for me. So when I actually trust my faith, actually trust I am a child of the King and he will do the impossible for me.  That is when my faith grows.  That is when I am able to see the big picture of God’s work.

My faith also grows stronger when I’m in the storm.  I have found when things are going extremely wrong and the answer just isn’t there, is when I’m able to stand firm and know God’s got me.  When our money is negative.  I know God will provide a way.  When I don’t know where to turn next.  I know that God’s got me.  When things are terrible, I know that God’s there.  When the storm is brewing my faith is strong.  It’s when the storm is on the horizon I find myself shaky.

When does your faith grow stronger?

 


 

 

After Months…

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…I have made a change.

March 2018 was my last post of a devotional on this site.  While my devotional book was good and thought-provoking, something with me was off.  Something in me was not connecting with the book anymore.   For no real explanation could be given of why I felt that this devotional blog had become nothing more but a drag on my time, a tick mark on the to-do list.  It was hard to admit it, but my blog had become more of a must do than I want to do.  So I made the decision to stop doing it for a time.  While I was no longer working on this blog, I was doing other things.  I wrote a bit for my churches Facebook page:  The Garden, The Shaper of Shapes, and Faith Bucket.  I studied the word, I read, and most I treaded water until I was ready to dive back in again.   I was at the bookstore Thursday and I found two new books that just spoke to me.  And with the school session starting, I figured now would be the best time to jump back into the devotional blog again.  So today, I post about the new book I have for the site.  

One Thousand Promises, A Bible Promise Book Journal. The layout of the book is quite simple. Three promises found in the Bible, and then a question to write about.   So I think it’s pretty perfect for me and this blog.  I’m was pretty pumped when I found it.  And very excited to work my way through it with any and all audience that would like to read my responses. Now you did read correctly I found two books at the store that Thursday.  The other book is not really formatted for a response.  Personal reflection, but not a response. While it’s an amazing book, I can’t really figure out how to use it with the blog.  So I’m not.  However, I will be posting a question that I pull out of it on the Journey of Faith Facebook page.  The first has already been posted.  If you are interested.  Now I want to say this is exactly what I needed and I am going to post every Monday thru Friday without fail, but I can’t say that.  I’m human and a big bag of flesh.  Sometimes that flesh wins out.  Sometimes I don’t take the time for God that I should.  I’m on a journey, and I’m a bad traveler.  But I will do my best to feed my spiritual man.  I will do my best to post daily.  I will keep trying to make sense out of the life I have and find God in the daily grind.   So welcome back to the page.  Welcome back to my documentation of my journey.  Welcome back to my thoughts, insights and writing about my God.  Welcome back to the Journey of Faith.

 

 


Blog Post #754

Some Reflection

This morning I was in the shower, and since there is where I do my best thinking, I was going over different things in my mind. There was my to-do list, my random crazy thoughts, my brain badgering me over things I did in 1997, and some pretty hard questions about why I’m so stressed and frustrated here lately.

One of those hard questions was why my faith has been so weak. My head has been in a state of pain since Tuesday (maybe, the days have been fogging together this week) and it’s been so bad that I’ve been nauseated and fairly useless. I’ve been taking meds and praying a lot that God will just take this away. But it seems like God’s not hearing me. This morning, I texted my Mom, and within two cups of coffee, I noticed the pain had decreased greatly. I couldn’t help but think: Oh, good, Mom’s prayed. But that sort of hurt and really pointed out the fact that my prayer wasn’t working. I just felt like my prayer was ineffective.

Which is why my brain decided to start asking me the hard questions in the shower.

I have realized that basically, two months have passed since I’ve done a devotional, updated my reading log, read, journal in my prayer journal or really humbled myself down to be in prayer. I also realized I haven’t really felt the spirit of the Lord in just as long. And truthfully I’m not really sure what happened.

But I feel like I can boil it down to the fact that I stop putting forth the effort I needed to. I’ve stopped trying. Now I’m not off in left field going to bat with the hard-hitting lows of life. But I’m also just not in the game.

I have to say I’m pretty disappointed in myself. I know my behavior over the last few weeks hasnt’ been bad, but it hasn’t been good. So what I’m trying to put out here is that I know what is going on. I want to change it. But I am capable of just changing. I have to get back into my prayer closet and cling to the Rock. Find myself worshipping, praising, and clinging to God. Not the world. Not the things going on. Not to my frustrations. I have to speak the word, feed on the word. Listen to the beautiful words my pastor and teachers.

I have to keep myself in the try zone, in the game, in the desire to stay in faith. I have to be the person God made me be.

I have to put forth of the effort, it’s not just gonna happen.

So if you read this, pray for me. Because I’m human and I fail and falter. I’m taking a journey, and I want it to end with me reaching my heavenly Father. But I want to find the joy and happiness that he promises in life as well. I want this life to be good, full of God’s promises.

But that is where I am today. Where are you?

A Shining Light

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John 12:36

This devotional has a quote written by Billy Graham.

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Day 167:

Our devotional today is called a Shining Light, and that is what it is reminding us that we need to be.  I know being a human is hard, and the flesh is always a struggle.  But we need to keep the flesh at bay and work on keeping the spirit at the forefront of our days.  It’s my belief that when we keep the flesh in check, the spirit of God can guide us and when that is happening, we can be the light of the world.  Because when we let God guide our footsteps then we be the children he needs/wants us to be.  Meaning that we can be the light of the world.

We need to let our lives follow God’s path.  We need to show God’s love and light through our words and steps.   The world is full of sin and people who need to see how good God is.  God has sacrificed so much for us, it is seriously not that big of a hardship for us to share his love.

 

Are you showing God’s love in your life?

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Hope is Contageious

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1 Peter 3:8

This devotional has a quote written by Zig Ziglar.

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Day 166:

Today this is hard for me.  I’ve had a hard morning.  I’ve already been in tears once over things that are out of my control.  So to talk about how hope is contagious is not easy.  But it’s true.  I’m out of hope in the moment.  But I suppose that means all the more I know how easy it is to spread.

The devotional reminds us that has children of God we have every reason to be hopeful.  The entry says we should be beacons of encouragement for the world.  And I know it’s hard.  It’s very hard for me today.  But it’s important that children of God should full of joy. We should be because we have eternal life, we have all the promises of the Bible.  We have Jesus who died for our sins. We have reasons to be joyful.

The point I want you to take away from this mixed up devotional is that as children of God we have the reason to be hopeful.  We are being watched, whether we know it or not. And we need to be showing God’s love through our words and actions.  We need to lay aside our feelings and just live for God.  We need to put aside what we feel and do what God would have us do.

We need to find the good that we can in the day, and celebrate that good.

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An Awesome God

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Proverbs 14:27

This devotional has a quote written by Bill Hybels.

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Day 165:

There was an episode of “Last Man Standing” on TV recently, it was one where Boyd had apparently stolen something and there was a parental disagreement on how to handle it.  I didn’t catch the whole episode but somehow religion played a factor and the character Ryan said a line about how he didn’t want to raise his child fearing a God that would punish you for a small thing.  But that is exactly what he should have been doing.

Fearing the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. This is an old quote, but it still rings true.  Even when things change, like our society has, we should still fear the Lord.  Now does God go around punishing, smiting, destroying–NO.  He will.  He has.  He can.  But I can’t believe that my Heavenly Father, is sitting there waiting for me to fail so he can punish.  If that was the case, I’d be gone, burning in the fires of hell.  Because I have failed.  What I do believe is that God is there creating a path that will lead me to righteousness.  And when I divert (Because only I can remove myself from God’s hand; John 10:29) he waits on me to return, and he greets me like the father greeted the prodigal son from the parable Jesus taught in Luke chapter 15.  He’s not going to punish me.  Now he won’t be there, giving the blessing he gives his children.  So it might seem like a punishment.

Fear of the Lord is healthy.  It keeps up humble.  God can, had, and will do ANYTHING you can think of and things you can’t think of.  Blind men were given their sight.  By the touch of Jesus.  The woman with the blood disorder was healed.  Lazarus was raised from the dead.  These were just biblical healings.  Today I’ve seen women and men healed of cancer.  People who should have died, given years of health.   Tumors have been shrunken in front of doctors.  A three-month-old baby that was literally in the last hours of her life just turned ten this year.  Personally, for me, he’s helped me find rings in parking lots and yards, he’s kept me safe in car-accidents.  He’s provided a way when there seemed like there was no way.  (Financial blessings)  There is seriously nothing that God can’t do.  And that is unfathomable. It’s healthy to fear that sort of power.  But along with fear, there needs to be respect, humility, worship.

Yes, if God wanted he could smite us all. But he doesn’t because he is our creator, our father, our provider.  He wants good things for us.  Fear is wise.  But it’s not because he’s going to kill us if we sin.  Because in truth, we all sin and fall short. (Romans 3:23.)

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The Best Policy

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Proverbs 11:5

This devotional has a quote written by C.S. Lewis.

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Day 164:

I can’t think of ever meeting a person who was okay with someone lying to them.  In fact, lies are one of the most destructive things in any relationship.  So when our devotional today, tells us that God’s policy is honesty, we need to take that to heart.

No matter how small or well-intentioned a lie is a lie. It’s an intentional perversion of the truth.  Which, as Christians, we just can’t be a party too.  We just can’t.

When we lie, we give a foothold to sin.  Then next thing you will know sin has weaved its way back into your life, and you’ll need to hit your knees in repentance again.   There is no such thing, as a little white lie.  Just think about it as you go about your day.

Are you being truthful?  Are you spreading little white lies?  Are you being deceitful? What can you do to change that behavior?

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