Graditude changes everything

Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, thought the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, thought its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”

“Have an attitude of gratitude.” Life does on always go the way we what it to and in those times we can allow the negativity to consume our thinking. It is in these negative times that the critical spirit begins to take residence in our hearts and minds. If we are not careful this spirit will begin to become our normal way of thinking. In the midst of trials and trouble it can be hard to see anything positive. If all we do is focus on the negative that is all we will see, but if we work to look for the positive we have the power to change our situation from consuming us.

Yes, there is evil in this world and it seems as if that is all there is, but God brings hope to a hurting and to a hurting world. When we seek His face we will begin to trust Him. Proverbs 3:5 “Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on you own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” No matter what you are facing try to find something to be grateful for. Sometimes all we can do is thank God for the air we breathe, but that is a start.

Father in Heaven, this life is hard and there are times when all I see is negativity and pain. In these times remind me to come to You and dwell in Your presence. Change me attitude to gratitude and remind me that You are my hope and my strength in times of trouble. Help those who are hurting and bring them closer to You.  In Jesus Name, Amen

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Insecure or critical?

Psalm 139:14-15(MSG) “I thank you, High God- you’re breathtaking!  Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration-what a creation!  You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted form nothing into something.”

We have all meet those poeple who think there needs are more important than the needs of others.  May I suggest praying for these people?  They are suffering with a critical spirit.  A critical spirit makes them act in selfish ways, putting their needs above the needs of others.

This attitude also leads to people feeling insecure.  Their needs are not being met and they begin to put others down to make themselves feel and look better.  This becomes a cycle of behavor that is difficult to break and to be honest, without Christ’s help near impossible.

We all have days where it seems we are more critical than others, lets face it we are human and not perfect. This is why we have a Savior that gave His life for us.  So, If you are struggling with this critical spirit begin by praying.  We cannot change others; we can only change ourselves.   So, if you know that you struggle with a critical spirit, pray and allow God to change you from the inside out.  Remember a critical spirit not only effects the way you see others it affects the way you see yourself.

Father, thank you for Your word that keeps me grounded and teaches me not only how to treat others but how to treat myself.  I need to remember that I am fearfully  and wonderfully made in Your image.  I come before You and ask that You revel areas in my life where a critical spirit dwells.  I seek Your wisdom in replacing this critical spirit with a spirits of selflessness,  gratefulness, security, in You, and free me from any bitterness.  Open the eyes of my heart Lord. In Jesus Name, Amen

Compassion or corruption

Colossians 4:6 “Let your conversations be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

It is so difficult to remain strong in the midst of challenges.  When we are faced with situations where there seems to be unfairness we often want to blame, create a reason for this unfairness, and point fingers to find fault.

In the story of Job his “friends” continually tell him to repent of his wicked ways.  They tell him that he has to have sinned for all of these horrible things to have happened to him.  Job’s friends become obstinate and prideful: they accuse him of great wickedness.  One friend tells him that his suffering is a direct result of sin and that his sin is so great that it is no surprise that God is punishing him.  What is interesting is that God himself affirms Job’s unmatched integrity.  Through all of the heartache Job remains faithful and continually seeks God.

When we are faced with difficulties can we say the same thing?  Do we remain faithful to God and seek Him or do we become bitter and angry?  A critical spirit allows for careless words to be spoken.  These words cut straight to the heart and inflict deep wounds into the heart of another person.

In our world careless words are spoken way to often and criticism is plentiful.  Today allow God to use your words to bring healing and peace to those you encounter.  No matter what challenge you are facing today allow God to move through your words and your actions.

Heavenly Father, thank you for never leaving me even when I have turned my back on You.  Lord, You bring healing to the broken and light to the darkness.  May the words I speak bring compassion not critism and pain.  Walk with me as I face a broken world full of pain. Help me to walk with grace and surround me with Your holy presence.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Thankless or Thankful?

Romans 14:10 “You, then, why do you judge your brother?  Or why do you look down on your brother?  For we will all stand before God’s judgement seat.”

Have you ever noticed that we extend more grace to some more than you do others?  We seem to be nicer and more excepting of those that we are not as close to us. Those we are closest to we somehow expect them to be able to read our minds and know what we need or want.  If we are not carful this spirit will creep into our marriages and our closest relationships.  When it does it has the potential to destroy.  It is the thief in the night that comes to kill and destroy.  It is like a poison that slowly spreads through and if we do not stay alert it will consume and destroy.

If we are not carelful this critical spirit will make us a thankless person.  Instead of having a grateful heart all we will see is how the people around us fall short of our expectations.  It is difficult to live up to someone else’s expectations especially when you are not told what those are.  Remember, no human is a mind reader.  So, if you are hurting or in need you must tell those how are closest to you.  Don’t expect them to just know because they have been around you for a long time.  No relationship can be a thriving and happy one when a critical spirit is present.

We all fall short and have areas where we struggle.  God knows this and loves you anyway.  If you pray god will reviel areas in your life where you have or have th e potential to allow a critical spirit to take root.

Father in Heaven, thank you for opening my eyes to the things unseen.  Help me to replace areas in my life where a critical spirit resides.  I want to look at life with. A grateful heart.  Where a critical spirit resides, I pray that yYou will replace that spirit with one of gratitude and love.  I do not have the right to judge my brother or look down upon him.  One day I will stand before you and confess my sins, Lord, I don’t what this spirit to remain help me to overcome and live life with a grateful heart.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Nothing is impossible

Luke 1:37 “For nothing is impossible with God.”

We have all learned the effects of an acid, it burns and destroys. Because of its destructive properties we handle acid with care. It is corrosive, eating through most everything it come into contact with including our flesh.

We live in a world that also contains corrosive spirits. One such spirit is a critical spirit. This spirit presents itself in many ways but the effects are the same. This spirit is like acid and eats its way through relationsships destroying them in its wake or leaving deep scars.  Three common ways this spirit presents itself is through our words, our mind, and it takes up residence in our hearts.

Over the next several days I want to walk through the ways this spirit destroys and what we can do to over come of the areas in our lives where this spirit has taken up residence.  Once we are aware of this spirit we can pray and allow God to walk us to freedom, love, and acceptance.  This will free us to live the life God intended not only for us but for those we love and are being effected by this spirit.  Removing a spirt from our lives is a challenge, but all things are posssible with Christ on our side.  Once our eyes are opened we can learn to recognized and pray against this evil in our lives.

Father, thank you for being my strength and my slavaition.  Help me become aware of the areas in my life where I  have allowed evil spirits to take up residence in my life.  I ask You to cover me as I begin to walk to freedom and break the chains that bind me.  In these areas I ask that You take up residence and do not allow evil back in.  Open my heart and mind to the areas in my life where I have pushed You aside.    In Jesus name, AMEN

Lost

Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

There are times in my life when we feel as if it is me against the world.  Everywhere I turn there seems to be something to bring me down.  I am being attacked from all sides.  These are the times when I need to focus on God and let the things of this world diaappear by focusing my attention on the One who seeks to save.

Even when I feel alone I need to remember in these times I am being held by my Father in Heaven.  Only He knows what I need.  On matter what you are facing in your life today God is with you.  Allow Him to take control of your situation, heart, mind, body and soul.  Trust Him for He cares for you.

Father, thank you for always being a part of my life and holding me during the dark times.  I know that you and you alone will never leave me or forsake me.  You put people in my life to show me Your love, but people cannot take Your place.  Only You can heal the deepest hurts in my life.  Be with me as I face new challenges and chapters in my life.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Living Water

John 4:14 “…whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

As a gentle rain falls on the ground it is soaked up like water being consumed by a sponge.  Our souls need to be like a sponge willing and able to soak up all that Chirst has for us.  We are told to come to the alter and drink the Living Water.

When we sit in God’s presence, no matter the length of time, Chirst is filling you with His living water.  Our souls are seeking a connection with our creator.  When we take time out of our days to seek our Heavely Father suddenly the storms of life don’t seem so overwhelming.  There can be peace in the midst of our storms when we spend time with our Father.  Come to His altar as sit…..

Heavenly Father, Thank you for always being ready to hear me, no matter what I am facing,  you are ready to listen, comfort, guide, rescue, and bring peace to a weary soul.  Help me to seek you with all that I am because You created me for a purpose.  Give me the strength to live that purpose with You leading the way.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Daily Reminder

Psalm 23:2-3 “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul…”

On days when you feel forgotten or alone, know that God is with you.  He is leading you.  If you listen carefully you can hear His still small voice and the rumbling of quiet waters.

When I was a kid I remember lying down in the grass and looking up at the sky watching the clouds go by.  It is amazing what you can see when you allow your imaginiation to roam free while looking at the paintings God has created for you.  Every time you look at a sunrise, sunset, or clouds in the sky remember that the master of creation painted it just for you.  When we think this way, we allow God to restore our soul.

Father thank you for the simple things in life.  Thank you for the wouderous paintings you paint daily.  Help me to look up when I am feeling low, incomplete, frustrated, or just plan negative.  Remind me of the beautiful world you have created for me.   Allow these paintings to be a daily reminders of Your love for me.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Find the Good

1 Thessalonians 5:8-9 “But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.  For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation throught our Lord Jesus Christ.”

We are bombarded everyday with negativity.  Whenever we turn on the news there seems to be negative things everywhere.  In the midst of all the negativity there is usually one news story that is a bright light.  It seems sad to me that there really is so much good in the world that all we hear about is the bad stuff.  I heard once that positivity does not sell.  How dad that statement is to me.  What would our world be like is we focused on the good in people and included splash of bad?

Even in my own life I have noticed my self talk is negitive and not helpful. God tells us to build one another up, encourage one another, and to love one another.  How can we do this if all we speak is negative?  This starts with looking inward and knowing that you are loved, cherished, and special.  It seems to me that if we are thinking positively we will begin to spread positivity.   After all, God created us.  God loves us so much that He is willing to let us choose to walk  with Him or turn from Him.  There is a saying, “If you love something set it free if it comes back it was meant to be.”  I wonder if God feels this way about us.  He loves us so much that He is willing to let us choose.

In the mist of all the negativity I want to be a light to shine for God.  I know that I cannot do this on my own, I am in need of a savior, Jesus Christ, to walk with me and help me hold my thoughts captive.

Father You sis not appoint me to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through You.  Whether I am awake or asleep, I want to live for you and bring positivity into the lives of those around me.  This is not always easy for me because my selftalk it not focused on you but on the things I have done wrong or have been done to me.  Help me to focus on the good in my life and not the hurtful and “bad” things.  Help me to received Your love and salvation every moment of everyday.  In Jesus Name, Amen

God is my shield

Psalm 3:2-3 “But you are a shield around me, O Lord; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.  To the Lord I cry aloud, and he answers me from his holy hill.”

Lately there seems to be pain and heartache everywhere. Death and destructions for what? God did not intend for us to live with such heartache and anger.

I imagine walking in the garden of Eden. Adam and Eve walking with God. Everywhere they look is beauty. They don’t have to work for food, shelter, there’s no pain or anger, no heartache, no sickness. This is what God intended. At the same time He never wanted us to be puppets. We are free to choose and it seems as if evil will win, but God promises that He will win over evil. So, I will continue to hope, pray, grow, and follow Christ because He cannot break a promise it is not in His nature.

God is not human and we often want to humanize him so we can understand. There are so many things about God that we are not meant to understand. These things are mysteries for a reason. No matter what you are facing hold tight to God He is with you. He will use people around you to bring hope, peace, love, and truth. Pain and heartache can become overwhelming, go to God in the midst of your pain and cry out to Him He cares for you.

Father, there is so much hurt and anger in our wold today. Help me be a bright light to all those around me. Lord, I know that I am not perfect, you did not create me that way, but I do want to be your hands and feet to a hurting world. Help me to turn my negativity in to love, joy, and compassion for those around me.  In Jesus Name, Amen