Monday, June 19, 2017

Making Peace Over Petty Situations

Everyone experiences a “falling out” with someone they care for at least once in their life.

Sometimes relationships end for legitimate reasons and other times, they end for petty reasons that aren’t even memorable.

2017 has taught me that it is sometimes better to be kind than it is to have pride.

There really is a reward for being the bigger person.

Forgiveness is good for the soul. Holding on to negativity is poisonous and can even lead to health problems.

But letting go of grudges and making amends with people is a wonderfully peaceful experience.

So today I’d like to encourage my followers to make amends with someone that they no longer speak to.

Of course, there are relationships that are better off ending.

Sometimes we love people the best when we love them from afar.

However, if there is a relationship that meant a lot to you… a relationship that ended over something silly; I encourage you to reach out to that person and start anew.

Make someone’s day. Be kind. Be a peacemaker.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Feeling Inadequate

Do you ever doubt your gifts?

Do you ever doubt that you deserve recognition for your talents?

It’s tempting to fall prey to feelings of inadequacy when we feel like we don’t measure up to the world’s standards.

But we fail to realize that when we doubt ours gifts, we are actually doubting God’s ability to give us exactly what we need.

It’s like receiving a gift and being unappreciative of it because you don’t know how to use it.

If you don’t know how to use something, what do you do?

You learn how to use it!

If we pray and ask God to help us use our gifts, He will bless us with abilities we didn’t even know we could possess.

Let any doubts or fears that you have dissipate in the presence of God’s giving Hand.

Food for thought: God was able to use Moses regardless of the fact that he had a speech impediment (Exodus 4:10).

Think about that. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

When It's Hard To Let Go

Loss is something that everyone on earth experiences at least once in their life.

Loss comes in many forms; the loss of a job, the loss of a loved one, the loss of a relationship, the loss of a house…

There is no quick fix solution to letting go of what you love without feeling pain.

But the Bible does say in Isaiah 26:3 that, “Thou wilt keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed in thee.”

The storm may last longer than you expected it to. The winds may be stronger than you anticipated.

But if you trust in God, He will give you the peace, wisdom and understanding that you need to get through the trials of life.

He will give you the strength you need to keep living when life beats you down.

Faith in God is a powerful thing and when you put your trust in God, He will give you the courage to face your problems and stand strong when they threaten to destroy you.

Trust in God and He will give you perfect peace.

He will give you the strength you need to get through the process of letting go.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

For Such A Time As This

The biblical story of Esther is one that most Christians are familiar with.

Esther is a story of a Jewish young woman, Hadassah, who becomes queen of Persia due to a series of pivotal events.

One of the main lessons that I feel can be taken away from this story is that, when it comes to God’s plan for our lives, no event is simply random. Every single step we see Esther take leads her to a purpose that is greater than even she knows.

The first two chapters of Esther are like a prologue as they give us insight into the political climate in Persia where Hadassah lived with her cousin Mordecai, who lived in the palace, having been carried away as a captive when Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar took King Jeconiah of Judah into exile (Esther 2:5-6).

At the end of chapter one, we find out that the current queen, Vashti, has been stripped of her title because of her refusal to come before King Ahaseurus’ court during a feast (Esther 1:12-19).

In the beginning of chapter two, the king is being advised to send out officers throughout his kingdom to gather fair young maidens and bring them back to the palace so that they can be purified and brought before him.

One maiden will be chosen out of this group to become the new queen (Esther 2:2-4).

The decree goes out and Hadassah is gathered up among the young maidens that are chosen. But when Hadassah goes into the palace, she doesn’t reveal that she is Jewish because Mordecai has told her not to. It is believed that her name, Esther, was given to her for this reason.

The process begins for the king to choose his queen (Esther 2:12-13) and Esther, who has obtained favor by everyone she’s come across at the palace, is chosen (Esther 2:15-17).

To some people this would be considered nothing more than favorable happenstance, however, we learn later on that it was all in God’s plan because a plot is eventually devised to destroy the Jews (Esther 3:8-11) – but God already had a representative in the palace to save His people.

You see, Esther didn’t know exactly why she was chosen but God will put us in positions that we never imagined we’d be in – all for His glory.

You never know what you will be asked to do when God brings you into high positions of favor and we must be ready to say “yes” when God asks us to move in certain directions.
When Esther first finds out about the plot to kill the Jews, Mordecai charges her to go before the king and plead for mercy for her people but she is fearful because to approach the king without being called means death.

Mordecai responds with, “Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews. For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13-14)

These words are enough to change Esther’s mind and she tells Mordecai to gather all the Jews of Susa to fast in solidarity with her.

Esther then comes to the conclusion that if she dies, she dies (Esther 4:15).

But God, once again, brings her favor when she goes before the king (Esther 5:2).

Esther invites the king and Haman, who hates the Jews (Esther 3:5-6), to a banquet.

At the banquet Esther makes her plea for her people (Esther 7:2-6).

Can you imagine what would have happened if Esther had completely ignored Mordecai’s words? Imagine what would have happened to her? Imagine what would have happened to the Jews?

When your time comes and God places you in a position that He will use as a vessel for His purpose, plan and glory – will you say yes? Will you sacrifice? Will you take a step forward regardless of the risks?

God was not going to forsake His people. He was with Esther when she went before the King, He was with her when she faced the man that wanted to destroy her people and He was with her when the king granted her request to undo the evil that had been written against the Jews (Esther 8).

God was with her even as she was being taken into the palace.

God did not send Esther to step out on faith alone, He held her hand the entire time.

Just as He held her hand, He will hold yours.

But you have to step out and trust His plan.

You never know what palace you could end up in.

You never know if you were created for such a time as this.

Image source: (Bradley Hook)

Monday, June 5, 2017

When Life Looks Bleak

Isaiah 40:31 says, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint”.

Suffering is, unfortunately, a common occurrence in the world.

Sometimes the trials that we face cause us to feel like life is completely against us.

But we have to remember that God will never give us more than we can bear. He will always save the people that love Him and we’re never alone, even when we think we have no one on our side supporting us.

Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit”.

God saves those who are crushed in spirit. No matter how bleak life looks, rest assured that God will save you.

God is a just God and if you are facing something that feels unfair, wait a little longer.

Your redemption is nigh.

Image source: (Klappe)

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Who Are You Inspiring?

Is there someone in your life that inspires you?

Someone that you look up to? Someone that inspires you to chase your dreams and go after your goals?

Someone that will never truly know how much they have impacted your life?

Did it ever occur to you that you are that someone for someone else?

Someone right now is holding on because you are motivating them to.

Whether it’s through triumphing over your struggles or refusing to give up hope – you are motivating someone to keep the faith.

You might feel as though you aren’t affecting anyone’s life but you don’t realize that every day your existence serves as a shining light that assists someone in crawling out of a hole they may be burdened with.

So keep working, keep believing, keep doing good.

You never know who’s watching.

Image source: (Miguel Á. Padriñán)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Quality Over Quantity

In today’s society, almost everyone you meet spends their free time on some form of social media platform.

The main purpose of most social media websites is to allow users to share thoughts, life events and milestones with friends, family and sometimes acquaintances.

However, more often than not, people become enamored with the idea of becoming “social media famous”.

The more likes someone gets on a post, the more “popular” they are considered.

Sometimes people become so obsessed with social media popularity that they forget how important quality is over quantity.

If you find out you’re having a baby and you make a post announcing your pregnancy on Facebook, what’s more important – the amount of likes and comments you get on that post or the fact that friends and family are taking the time out of their day to congratulate you on this new milestone in your life?

We can get so caught up in the logistics of social media that we forget to focus on the true purpose of it – to connect with the world around us.

At the end of your life, the amount of followers you have on Instagram is not going to matter.

What will matter is the lives that you have positively impacted during your time on this earth.

That is what will be valuable to you.

That will be your true legacy.

Image source: (Robert Katzki)