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Over time, I thought I knew what was mine
I accepted that fate made it what it was meant to be

I can’t claim to be the innocent party at all – that I confess
But I knew that it wasn’t right from start

Oh life, the more you live the more you learn,
That things don’t turn out the way you hoped it to be

Loving and learning goes hand in hand
Until it’s “you” who’s stopping yourself from doing the living

So, be your better half and learn to live with a good attitude
Don’t block the blessings and destiny, from getting to you

 

Love,

Sue

P.S. – It’s been a while, but I promise to write more. ^_^

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Change me, Lord

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It’s a new year, it’s a new season,

I pray that my heart, will be more like Christ

Change my heart Lord, when I get so blind,

Keep me accountable, when I get stuck in the ugliness of this world.

It’s simple to pray and ask that the Lord to change someone else’s heart,

But only to find out, that it was me who needed the changing.

Anger and bitterness often times cloud my view when I pray,

God says, “hold on child, it’s you who needed the disciplining.”

So here I ask again, change my heart Lord, change the way I pray,

And begin every prayer with, “Change me, Lord.”

I want to start off the year 2014 with only your blessings. In Jesus’ name, amen.

~Happy New Year to all the bloggers out there! May this year brings you lots of new perspectives, God blessings and a willingness attitude for God’s purpose. 🙂

Blessings,

Sue

~picture is not mine and credit to Proverbs 31 Ministries.

The Power of Assumptions

nice_flowers_2-wide~picture isn’t mine.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

Assumption, we all do it all the time and it’s costly.

The assumption battle is one I have fought most of my life. I’ve questioned friends’ motives, assuming they were against me. To avoid being hurt, I’ve detached from relationships with no valid reasons.

Perhaps you’ve fought the same battle?

Your friend didn’t sit with you in Bible study like she usually does; she must be upset with you, so you avoid her at your weekly meetings. Another friend is invited to several parties you aren’t; obviously the two of you are drifting apart, so you don’t reach out any more. Your sister hasn’t responded to your text and phone messages; she must have found another friend in whom to confide, so you stop calling her.

It’s easy to assume others are upset, have “more important” friends, or are too busy for us when their behavior changes. Anger and hurt can well up in our hearts and we may pull away from friendships in order to protect ourselves. There is a danger in assumptions: they can destroy relationships.

Before we know it, even without proof, what we assume becomes our truth. Our misguided feelings lead to misguided thoughts, which cause misguided responses. The result: ruined relationships.

Living under the havoc of assumptions isn’t the way God intended it though. Second Timothy 1:7 tells us, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (NKJV). Looking at the last part of this verse, we see God gives us the ability to think, reason, and understand.

Through Christ, we have a mind that is well balanced and considers things in context. Our sound mind is stronger than our feelings, but we have to give our thoughts time to catch up with our emotions. A good way to do this is to pause and think clearly about the conclusions we’ve made.

When an assumption rears its ugly head, simply take a moment to ask if this assumption is consistent with your friend’s normal behavior. If it isn’t, this would be a good time to ask a few more questions: Is my friend okay? Have I done anything to hurt her? How can I pray for her? Do I believe the best before assuming the worst?

Repeat the pause until the assumption passes. The result: positive relationships.

Ruined relationships can be prevented and assumptions can be put to rest when we stop and focus on our thoughts. God has blessed us with a sound mind to surrender to the truth and not allow our imaginations to run wild.

Before the power of assumptions ruins a relationship in your life, pause. Settle your emotions and consider what you know to be true about your friend. Take a moment to pray for her and plan how to reach out to her. She might just be struggling with her own assumptions that you could help her clear up!

Dear Lord, thank You for empowering me to overpower assumptions. I commit to believe the best before assuming the worst, and to not allow my emotions to jump to conclusions. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Would you like to bring the message of this devotion to the women of your church? Click here to find out more about considering Wendy Pope as your next retreat / key note speaker. And be sure to visit Wendy’s blog today as she shares how she overcame the power assumptions had on her life.

Trusting God for a Better Tomorrow Bible Study by Wendy Pope, available in a printable download, Kindle, Nook, and hardcopy.

The I Am His medallion necklace is a great reminder that we belong to Christ and His truths are ours to hold on to! Click here for more information.

Reflect and Respond:
What power have assumptions had on your life?

Reach out and make an attempt to reconcile with someone with whom you made an assumption.

Power Verses:
2 Corinthians 10:5, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (NIV)

Philippians 2:4, “Don’t be concerned only about your own interests, but also be concerned about the interests of others.” (GW)

~Credit to Proverbs 31 Ministries

Love for the enemy

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      When Jesus tells us to love our enemies, He Himself gives us the love that He demands from us.

   In Africa I visited the cell of a young man who was sentenced to death. His hands were chained and his dark skin had many red wounds, caused by lashes. Behind me stood three soldiers. The cell was absolutely empty; only a plank on the floor and high up in the wall a very little window. The prisoner looked very healthy and strong. The tragedy that this man had to die overwhelmed me.

I sat down beside him and prayed for a word from the Lord. “Have you ever heard of the cross of Jesus Christ, where He carried the sins of the whole world, also your sins?” He nodded. “Do you believe in Jesus Christ, that He will be your Savior too?”

“Yes, I love Him, but I have not always been faithful. Politics have taken up my time and attention completely, but now I have brought all my sins to Jesus. He has forgiven me. If I may live any longer, then I will serve Him with all my life.”

“Have you forgiven the people that have brought you here, who have your death on their conscience?”

“No, I hate them.”

“I can understand that. I will tell you one of my experiences. During the war in Holland, I helped to save Jewish people, because Hitler wanted to kill them. One day a man came to me who told me that his wife had also helped the Jews and that now she had been arrested. ‘She is in the police station and probably she will be put to death. Now there is a policeman who is willing to let her escape, if we pay him six hundred guilders, but I have no money,’ he told me. ‘I can help you,’ I said. ‘Come back in an hour.’ In the meantime I collected all the money from my friends and all I had myself, and it was exactly six hundred guilders. I gave it to him to save the life of his wife. But he was a betrayer. His wife was not arrested at all. The enemy had told him to find out whether I helped Jewish people. So this man thought that at the same time he could make some money out of this situation. He went home with six hundred guilders in his pocket. But five minutes later the enemy came and my whole family was arrested. Later, when I heard that this man had betrayed us, hatred came into my heart, just at it happened with you. I had given him the last money that I had. But then I read in the Bible that hatred is really murder in God’s eyes (Matthew 5:21-22).

“How glad I was that I knew what I could do against hatred. ‘The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin…If we confess our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’ (1 John 1:7,9). I brought my hatred to Jesus. He forgave me and cleansed my heart with His blood. After the war this betrayer was sentenced to death. I wrote to him: ‘What you have done through your betrayal caused the death of my 84 year old father, my brother, his son, and my sister in prison. I myself have terribly suffered through your fault, but I have forgiven you everything. This is just a very little example of the forgiveness and love of Jesus. He lives in my heart; that is why I can forgive you. Jesus will also come into your heart and will make you a child of God. Confess your sins to Him. On the cross of Calvary He has finished all for your sins and mine.’ Later he wrote me: ‘I have prayed: “Jesus, when You can give such a love for the enemy in the heart of someone who follows You, then there is hope for me.” I have indeed confessed my sins to Him. Now I know that I am a child of God, cleansed by the blood of Jesus.’

“So you you see that Jesus used me to save the soul of this same man I had hated so much. Do you know that if you do not forgive, you yourself do not receive forgiveness? Jesus said: ‘For if you forgive other people their failures, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you will not forgive other people, neither will your Heavenly Father forgive you your failures’ (Matthew 6:14-16). You cannot do that, neither can I, but Jesus can!” That same day, the prisoner sent a message to his wife: “Forgive my murderers. You are not able to do it, I am not able, but Jesus is able. If we are not willing, then we ourselves do not receive forgiveness.”

When Jesus comes and we have bitterness, yes, even hatred in our hearts, then we are not ready to meet Him with a clean heart: “Everyone who has at heart a hope like that keeps himself pure, for he knows how pure Christ is.” (1 John 3:3).

In the time of the final battle, many will be filled with hatred, then we do not stand on victory ground. It is very easy to belong to the masses of people. It is one of the laws of the kingdom of God that men receive peace only if they are always ready to forgive unreservedly. We never touch the love of God so much as when we love our enemies. “The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:5). He does the job. Hallelujah!

~Corrie ten Boom

7 Types of People Keeping You in Debt

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~picture is not mine

A great article for those who are trying to beat the odds by winning the battle of becoming debt-free. That’s one of my goals in life: to be debt-free. I hope you find this article helpful and enjoyable. 🙂

 

People. Sometimes you love ’em, and sometimes you don’t want to be anywhere near ’em.

When it comes to your money, people can be a wonderful influence—like Dave Ramsey or your grandmother who never took out a loan her entire life, even for those overpriced dentures she bought.

But people can also drag you down. They might look at you trying to improve your life and do everything they can to rain on your parade or make you feel stupid and out of touch.

You know those people. And while you might love them and care a lot for them, their negativity can eventually wear you down.

So who are the types of people you’re looking out for?

Some examples:

1. Your broke brother-in-law

He leases a new car every two years. He’s tried to pull you into some wacky multi-level scheme at least three times. He somehow convinced you that your couch in the basement would be a perfect place for him and your sister to stay “for just a couple of months” while he looked for a job.

That was a year ago. And he’s still looking.

2. Your parents

If it’s normal to be in debt, then that sadly means that a lot of parents are passing along bad money advice to their kids. If your dad encouraged you to sign up for a credit card the day you turned 18—to make sure you “build your credit”—then you should be extremely cautious about your dad’s financial advice for a long time.

If your parents don’t understand why you’re working so hard to get out of debt, then it’s best to just avoid the topic of money at Thanksgiving dinner.

3. Your adult kids

On the flip side, few things in life are as irritating as a “boomerang kid” who’s 27 and unemployed and has permanently taken up residence on your couch. You know what a boomerang kid’s financial advice might be? “Hey mom! Give me a money!”

These “kids” are like overgrown financial leeches who thrive on video games, Dr Pepper and living off your income. Look, we know you love your kid. But love them enough to push them off the couch and into a job. Give them a time limit to find their own place and stop mooching off mom and dad.

4. Your show-off friends

Did you read our recent article about Facebook envy? You know, all the friends who love to tell you about all their adventures in dining and vacations?

You’d be surprised at how many of those friends are going into debt to have all that fun. They’ll be paying later while your fun is just getting started.

5. Your college professor from 10 years ago (or now)

You can just hear his Ben Stein-ish voice right now, can’t you? He might have told you about adjustable rate mortgages or car leases or whole life insurance.

You bought that advice at first. You were young and naive. But now you should know better. When you hear that voice telling you how much sense it makes to take out an adjustable rate mortgage (“the interest rates are great!”), think about Dave Ramsey saying, “Don’t be stupid!”

6. Your government

If anyone takes the government’s advice on how to manage money, God bless their soul.Have you looked at our national debt lately? But every day, you’ll hear a politician go on and on about balancing the budget, paying off the national debt, and being more responsible with money.

The only thing that grows faster than our national debt is our national spending. So when you hear someone in D.C. give money advice, press the mute button.

7. Marketers

Look, there’s nothing wrong with marketers. We have a lot of them here on Dave’s team. But if you aren’t responsible with your money, good marketers can talk you into buying anything.

That’s why credit card companies make billions of dollars. They are extremely smart, and they know what they’re doing. If you stick to only buying what you can afford, then marketers will never get the best of you.

Now, ultimately, your debt is your responsibility.

You can’t blame anyone other than yourself if debt is weighing you down. The point here is that you can be influenced by other people, and it’s a good idea to keep a healthy perspective.

As you work toward being debt-free, keep an eye out for these people.

Join an inspiring community of like-minded people looking to get out of debt, find a Financial Peace University (FPU) class and sign up today! Who are some other people keeping you in debt? 

~ credit to daveramsey.com

 

 

God’s Discrepancy?

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I  found this article to be very enlightening. There are some issues in life that we contemplate about but never really took the time to read or pray about it. This is one of them. I pray that this article will help shed a bright light on you as you walk in the path of righteousness towards Christ. Be encouraged friends, God didn’t leave you or me here to fend for ourselves alone but here to bring us the truth and live an abundant life. May you continually always seek God’s truth until the day you’re taken up to Heaven. 🙂 Btw, picture is not mine.

 

By Dr. Charles Stanley

Luke 6:27-31

One area of confusion about war is the apparent discrepancy between Jesus’ words and God’s approval of battle in the Old Testament. Can such dissimilar teachings be reconciled? How can the God who told Israel to destroy the Canaanites be the same one who said, “Love your enemies,do good to those who hate you” (v. 27)?

To clarify this issue, we must distinguish between commands issued to nations and instructions given to individuals. The Lord has bestowed certain responsibilities upon governments. He calls them ministers of
God for good and entrusts them with avenging evil (Rom. 13:4). But to individuals, He says, “Never take your own revenge” (12:19).

People are killed in war, but this isn’t the same as murder. A soldier on the battlefield carries out his duties under the authority of his government (Rom. 13:1-2). Murder, on the other hand, is an individual’s vengeful response to anger or jealousy and is motivated by a desire to destroy another person.

When governments avenge wrong, innocent people are protected, but when individuals seek their own revenge, they destroy themselves and others. In Luke, Jesus was speaking about personal conflicts, not national wars. He knows that loving our enemies is the only way to protect ourselves from bitterness.

Would we prefer to turn the responsibilities around—are we quick to fight personal battles, but slow to affirm the avenging of evil nationally? Sometimes the only way for a country to have peace is to go to war, but we’ll never experience inner peace if we battle with individuals who wrong us.

Dear Friday

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Dear Friday,

Today is Friday. Another day of an 8-5 pm shift. Lunch at noon and back to my desk at 1pm. What does all this mean? What’s my goal? What do I want to accomplish? What do I want to do? Lord, what is Your dream for my life? Please awake what’s been tucked in my heart. Emerge those hopes and dreams that You want to fulfill in me. I feel that today is another ordinary day of living and working. I feel like I’ve drifted off course, away from what God intention for me. I also feel that my heart has grown cold to the things of God lately. Because I know that I’m drifting away from the Lord, I am having a hard time paddling my boat. I’m actually paddling against the current really. It’s hard, nearly impossible to win this water battle. And so, I give up. I sound like a broken record again. But yes, I give up. It’s tiring to travel this river alone. I’m getting back on course again. I’m guarding my heart and mind against attitudes and ideologies that would carry me away from God’s truth. Instead, I’m choosing to paddle my lifeboat towards the Lord by meditating on Scriptures, praying and  living obediently. Practicing discipline will help keep my heart warm towards God.

Love,

Sue

 

~I hope you’re inspired today. It’s not too late to get back on course. Thank you Lord for giving me hope. My hope in you never fails. (2 Peter 3:17 and Luke 15:11-32)

~picture is not mine.

 

Because It’s a Spiritual Warfare

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Today is a tough post, but it has to posted nonetheless. I believe that Christians do not realize the reality of the dark side. In fact, I believe that it’s Satan desire to keep Christians blinded to the reality of the spiritual darkness kingdom – Satan’s Kingdom. He wants to keep us chained to the Christian bubble world of happy endings and to continue to live in obliviousness until the day we die…Hey, I’m not here to scare you, but here to speak the truth to you. If you have time, please read this post. It’s that important to you, the well being of your family, your church families and friends.

Virtually all evangelical Christians and even many liberals agree that Satan is a living being who is responsible for the evil in the world today. Do you know that demons are alive and active in the world today? But Christians bristle, “Hold on there. I believe in the devil, but I don’t buy that stuff about demons.”

Well, How do you think Satan carries on his worldwide ministry of evil and deception? He is a created being. He is not omnipresent, omniscient, or omnipotent. He can’t be everywhere in the world tempting and deceiving millions of people at the same moment. He does so through an army of emissaries (demons, evil spirits, fallen angels, etc.) who propagate his plan of rebellion around the world.

Thus, you have most of God’s people who are spiritually stuck, running in place – expending a lot of energy but getting nowhere fast. Some are painfully aware of their struggles and yearn to be free from the guilt, shame, anxiety, fear, abuse and addictions that are suffocating their souls. Others are largely clueless … even complacent about their struggles … having accepted as normal a subnormal life in Christ, where faith is lived out on Sunday mornings but is largely irrelevant the rest of the week. To this day, there are many believers who are controlled by thought patterns, habits, and behaviors which blocks their spiritual growth in Christ. The sad reality is that, Christians are woefully unprepared to deal with the dark world of Satan’s kingdom or to minister to those who are in bondage to it.

The Bible does not attempt to prove the existence of demons any more than it attempts to prove the existence of God. It simply reports on their activities as if its first readers accepted their existence. Perhaps the best description of the spiritual host which harasses God’s people is found in Ephesians 6:12 :”Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

But wait. There is hope. Remember Jesus? You see, when we receive as our Savior and choose to live for Him, we no longer are slaves to Satan. Why? Because Jesus freed us from our sins. We are no longer in bondage to Satan’s desire but Christ’s instead. When we put on the armor of God we are really put on Christ (Romans 13:12-14). And when we put on Christ we take ourselves out of the realm of the flesh, where we are vulnerable to attack, and we place ourselves within the dominion of Christ, where the evil one cannot touch us. Satan has nothing in Christ (John 14:30), and to the extent that we put on Christ, the evil one cannot touch us (1 John 5:18). He can only touch that which is on his own level. That’s why we are commanded, “Make no provision for the flesh” (Romans 13:14), meaning “Don’t live on Satan’s level.” Remember, Satan is not Omniscient. He doesn’t know everything. He can’t read your mind.

And we, because we receive Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are adopted into the Kingdom of God the Father (Ephesians 1:5) we have the authority in Christ to rebuke Satan and his demons from our life forever. Here are some steps to Freedom in Christ:

Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, 

     We acknowledge Your presence in this room and in our lives. You are the only omniscient (all knowing), omnipotent (all powerful), and omnipresent (always present) God. We are dependent upon You for apart from You we can do nothing. We stand in the truth that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to the resurrected Christ, and because we are in Christ, we share that authority in order to make disciples and set captives free. We ask You to fill us with Your Holy Spirit and lead us into all truth. We pray for Your complete protection and ask for Your guidance. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Declaration

     In the name and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command Satan and all evil spirits to release (name) in order that (name) can be free to know and choose to do the will of God. As children of God seated with Christ in the heaven-lies, we agree that every enemy of the Lord Jesus Christ be bound to silence. We say to Satan and all his evil workers that “you cannot inflict pain or in any way prevent God’s will from being accomplished in (name’s) life.”

I do encourage you to read your Bible, do your daily devotions, grow in Christ and receive only His truths into your life and reject all that is not from Him. Be on alert, because the moment we declared that we’re followers of Jesus Christ, we’re a moving target for Satan and his demons. He is always waiting to bring you down with Him. Satan is the ruler and prince of this world (John 14) and he’s on borrowed time. His mission is to bring as many souls as he can to Hell with him before the second coming of Christ.

~Credits to: Freedom in Christ Ministries, Winning Spiritual Warfare: Steps to freedom in Christ by Neil T. Anderson

A Clear Conscience

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~Picture is not mine.

Our culture is so corrupt and debase that the consensus of the majority is not always right. It tends to lead us to death. Hence, having said that, how is your conscience? Is it aligned with God? Please read this article which I found to be very helpful and clear. 🙂

By Charles Stanley

When facing hard decisions, do you pay attention to your conscience? Is trusting this inner voice always wise?

God gave everyone an internal “moral compass.” In fact, reflecting His truth within all men is one way that He reveals Himself to mankind. The conscience is a divine alarm system that warns us of oncoming danger or consequences. Its main purpose is protection and guidance.

But sin warps perception and can lead us astray. So it’s important to understand the difference between following your heart and allowing a clear conscience to help with decisions.

To make a determination, ask, What is the greatest influence on my morality? If the world’s system of what is acceptable has infiltrated your heart, then your conscience cannot be trusted. But if you have allowed God’s Word to permeate and transform your thinking (Rom. 12:2), that inner voice is likely dependable.

The Holy Spirit, along with a divinely informed conscience, guides believers. In order to maintain a healthy internal compass, we should continually meditate on Scripture. The Ten Commandments are a solid basis for morality, and we are wise to internalize them—especially the way that Jesus summarized them: to love God above all else and to love others (Matt. 22:36-40).

What would you say has the greatest impact on your belief system? Is it the truth of Scripture? Or do the world’s standards of right and wrong infect your heart? Almighty God knows what is best for you, His child—and He gave you a conscience to aid in making wise decisions.

~Copyright 2013 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

This love is not right for you…

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~picture is not mine.

 

It’s an empty seat, and you’ve not return

Somewhere along the road, the anticipation has lost its charm

I hope you understand that I can’t hang around

The world’s too big for me to just sit and hope

My lips are sealed, not one word from my mouth

Your secrets are hidden, your truths has no meaning

I’m letting everything go, I’m letting you go

Please understand, I can’t wait around

Goodbye, my love

This love is not right for you baby

 

by Sue