“I sing the mighty pow’r of God that made the mountains rise;
That spread the flowing seas abroad and built the lofty skies. I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day;
The moon shines full at His command and all the stars obey."
2004 – 2008 God has brought me through the most incredible years of my life; by God’s grace, I have had victory over many areas; Discontentment, Complaining, Instability, Poor eating habits and a Victim mentality; my failures have become an opportunity for me to rise again more intelligently and… I have failed many times. It takes courage to admit you’ve been wrong doesn‘t it?
I encourage you as I encourage myself; “Don’t have regrets.” Cut your losses but don’t waste them without learning the lessons. We cannot control when God decides to poke His finger in our lives. What we can control is how we respond during those times and how we maintain our personal relationship with Him.
You are about to turn the corner of another year. What‘s the first thing in most of our minds on New Years Day? “My New Years Resolutions.” We set new goals; we reflect on our last year’s incomplete ones and we move forward with a desire to achieve what we didn’t in 2008, in addition to the fresh ones we set for ourselves. Sometimes it can be overwhelming!
I’m not afraid to show some of my weaknesses in an effort to show you Christ. Become what you need to become to be able to get done what you need to get done. I want to make a difference in someone’s life but first, I must be willing to let God make a difference in my life.
“He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” Deuteronomy 32:4
And that’s where the two months left in 2008, and where 2009 must begin - with God.
“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” Revelation 22:13
One of the incredible lessons I learned last year was - It’s not about me! I would like to share what I wrote in my journal on Saturday, September 17, 2005;
“When you come to Jesus with a broken heart, when you are prepared to say, “It’s not about me,” when you tell God you will not be bitter but would somehow, someway serve Him in the circumstances you are in; He lifts you up and you realize that the purpose of your life is far greater than your own personal fulfillment, peace of mind or even your own happiness. If you want to know why you are here and why you suffer anything, you must begin with God. You were born for His purpose."
“In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.” Job 12:10
What does this year bring to your mind? Do you have peace in your heart? Is home a happy place? Do you like your marriage the way it is? Are your children drawn to God through your daily testimony? Are you alone? Are you happy with the way your life is running and the choices you have made thus far? Most people are not happy? There is something that robs them of their joy. But one of the principle lessons I have learned is that the root cause, in most cases, that robs us of your joy is - ‘self.’
Start your day with God and allow Him to reshape your character and rebuild your courage. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and just as the clay requires work to create a vessel, your life requires God to carve your character, smooth out the roughness and refill the pot with grace.
Nobody is strong in every area, so be weak in the areas that will affect you the least. Learn to overcome the wrong weaknesses. Perhaps this involves your reactions. When you react to a person, whether it is your husband, your mother, sister, friend or child, it defines who you really are inside. What we believe at our core level manifests itself during stressful situations. The heart is filled with thoughts, and that pool of thoughts overflows into our speech. Are your words pools of praise or buckets of bitterness?
God tells us how we are to think; “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” Luke 6:45
A personal weakness I have been working on in 2008 is laying down a good book when my reading time is up. I have other weaknesses, but for the sake of illustration, I’ll keep it boringly simple. Whilst that may be a minor to you, it is a major one for me. I want nothing to captivate me to the point that all else is neglected.
What’s important for you to grow as a complete woman for God?
I went for an eye examination last weekend and the Doctor asked me, “Are you over the culture shock?” I looked at her and said, “Oh yes! I dealt with that issue very early in the picture.” She looked surprised and as I walked out of the office toward our car, I praised God and thanked Him for giving me the grace to overcome my shock - a shock associated with loosing the sameness of life. I no longer had the bed, the couch, the cooking stuff and everything associated with my life; including my precious girls. The daily sameness that you take so much for granted, had gone!
What got me through was CONSISTENCY - the sameness of God and His word.
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8
God has not removed the storm in my life; He has given me peace in the storm. I was told by a great man of God that a great Christian is a good Christian daily. God promises if you draw nigh to Him, He will draw nigh to you. Draw close to Him about your goals; draw close to Him with your besetting sins; draw close to Him with your marriage, children, loneliness, overeating, critical spirit, financial hardship, overcoming areas in your life, fear, perceived failures, and victim mentality. You can overcome and have victory this year – it’s not over! Allow the door of opportunity to finally open.
Some of us carry long-term sadness and I hurt for you. I have worn the shoes of despair many times. Thank God that happiness is a decision; a conscious decision to walk forward in obedience and He will give you an inner peace that people will notice.
I use my hardship as my crown of glory. That’s my testimony! Anyone can be happy when the going is good. It takes courage to make a decision to be happy, but the testimony of that decision is powerful and life changing. Don’t expect people or your circumstances to change. God has those people and those circumstances in our lives to teach us the lessons and to grow our faith. Joy is the result of a thankful heart and the only true character a woman really needs to possess is a grateful heart! That’s the seed upon which all fruit shall bear. It’s exciting isn’t it?
“But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” 1 Peter 5:10
If you want more stability in your life, start with God. He’s the only stable one I know.
You are not alone! Take a step at a time and if you fall, pick yourself up and continue on. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you one area in your life that needs balance, or transforming; when you overcome that, move onto the next area. Don’t give up because you have a lot of ground to cover. Be patient with yourself. Like a great pianist, you start with the scales and a lot of practice. Then after many errors and much practice, the rhythm is delightful. Your life will be delightful with God!
Keep practicing those keys and remember that a disciplined character also means the mastery of moods. A slight shift in the life of even the steadiest of characters will occur; physical weariness, a poor health report, a misunderstanding or perhaps a touch of nostalgia or loneliness. What do I do when a cloud settles down over my spirit or when I feel my sorrows? Well, what do you do when you are setting the table and a shadow falls across the room? Take a quick look to see if a serious storm is brewing and then go on with setting the table. When a cloud comes across your soul, take a quick look to see if sin has brought darkness. If you find no sin, just go on setting the table for the Lord! That is mastering our moods and that too, is maturing.
Has it ever occurred to you that most of the world’s work is done by people who ‘don’t feel like it?”
The best advise I can share with you will also nourish you as beautiful women for God‘s glory. This is my plan - have a plan and discipline yourself to persevere with it.
A Daily Bible Reading Schedule - enjoy the life lessons that God has given us through His word and saturate yourself! Set aside a time, preferably first thing, God commands us - “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness…” Matthew 6:33
Praise - Praise is perhaps the most powerful tool for a Christian to have victory over sin and temptation, and it is one of the best ways to draw closer to God. Every day, take a few moments to appreciate God’s creation, including YOU.
Hymns and Spiritual Songs - A hymn is a song that brags on God. A spiritual song is a song that lifts our spirits and encourages us or reminds us of good things in our lives. As you choose a hymn and a spiritual song each day, read the words, and think about the good things the song says about our great God.
Prayer - It is impossible to be a good Christian without a consistent prayer life. My prayers consist of choosing a Prayer Promise each day to claim as I say my prayers to God. They also consist of a Prayer List with the following categories;
- President, Congress, Supreme Court, Governor, and Mayor
- Parents and Family
- Pastor and his staff
- Principal, teachers and school staff
- Personal friends
- Potential - God’s plans for my future/Will of God/Home/Work/Decisions
- Power of God - Soul winning/World missions/Victory in Christian life
It is the presence of Christ with us all day long, that will be the secret of true obedience and lasting change; and that is the key ladies to achieving our goals, overcoming our weaknesses and becoming everything God wants us to be.
Get ready for a grand finale to this year, and a great beginning in 2009. I don’t know what a sinner you are, but I know what a Saviour He is!
I Love You