Faith

The Fatherless Find Rest

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Unfortunately, I did not have the privilege to grow up in a household with my Father. Some ask how did it change you as a person? Were you angry? Were you sad? Do you feel like you have daddy issues? The answer is no.

I never thought, growing up without a father would determine my fate as a human being. Fortunately, God placed specific people in my life to encourage me to know better and do better. To reach for things beyond my community. To want more out of life than what was around me.

I first recognized that I didn’t have a dad when I was about 6 years old. I cried, asked my mom where was my dad, and why wasn’t he here? She explained the situation and I later to came to understand through a series of unfortunate events that my parents did not stay together, and unfortunately my dad was not in my life. I honestly felt like after that moment, I never felt sad about not having my dad around again.

Much later, I developed a relationship with my dad and for me, it honestly felt like no time had passed. We didn’t miss a beat. I was never angry. Being angry never felt like the “right” emotion to have towards my father. True, he wasn’t there, but I never felt like I was missing anything. I always felt like I had everything I needed from my mom and the community around me. I always felt spiritually and physically taken care of.

Feeling close to God at a young age also gave me comfort. For as long as I could remember I was always drawn to God and I’ve always had a relationship with Him. I’ve always felt safe, protected, and guided. Although, I didn’t have my physical father, I’ve always felt the presence of my spiritual Father.

So the words of this song resonate with me so well. “The fatherless, they find their rest at the sound of your great name.” Jesus died so that we could be sons and daughters of God. God knew before we were created that¬†“though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.” Psalm 27:10

“For He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in His presence. In love¬†He predestined us for adoption as His sons through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will.” If that doesn’t bring you joy inside, I don’t know what will. If you are feeling abandoned and like no one loves you, no one cares, look to God. Cliche and cheesy to some, but very true. I am proof. You already belong to Him and He will never leave you no matter how many times you try to run away.¬†¬†Feel free to share your stories in the comments below.¬†‚ô•

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Faith

Praise & Worship

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Have you ever been having a weird day and decided to turn on some music, and after a song or two your mood totally changes. Well, that’s the power of praise and worship for me.

Sometimes it takes some convincing from myself to actually turn the music on, but when I do my spirit is immediately lifted. In Isaiah 61:3 it describes God giving us the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. We are constantly fighting this daily battle, to think positive, speak positive, do positive and be positive. This verse confirms that God knows us and loves us so much that he gives us an outlet to release all of that negative energy.

Praise not only makes us feel good but it makes God feel good as well. Psalm 147:1 The creator of all things loves when His creations worship Him and spend quality time with Him. Psalm 50:23 Praise and worship is a great way to commune with God and thank Him for who He is and what He has and will do in your life.

So I challenge you today, if you are struggling with anxiety, depression, or anything that’s keeping you down; turn on some music and begin to worship God. If you’re unsure where to start, I’ll list a few of my favorite praise and worship songs below.¬† Let me know in the comments below how your day has changed.

  1. Holy Spirit – Francesca Battistelli
  2. Here As in Heaven – Elevation Worship
  3. Do It Again – Elevation Worship
  4. The Anthem –¬† Todd Dulaney
  5. Fill Me Up – Tasha Cobb
  6. Heart Live Heaven – Hillsong United
  7. Oceans – Hillsong United
  8. Indescribable – Chris Tomlin
  9. Overcome – Tye Tribett
  10. Bless the Lord (Son of Man) – Tye Tribett

 

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Faith

My Problem with Forgiveness

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I have always been such a proponent for justice. In my mind things should always be fair and those who wrong others should always pay the consequences no matter what.

At 31 years young, I have come to the realization that I have a problem with forgiveness. Not only forgiving those that have wronged me, but those who have done wrong to those around me. In the past, if someone did wrong to me or my loved ones, it seems like God granted me grace and just removed them from my life. I no longer had to see that person or deal with that person again.

These days I feel like God is teaching me something. In recent years I have not had the pleasure of escaping those I feel have done wrong to me and my loved ones. I have had to see and interact with these people. So much so that I’ve actually had to be cordial and try not to let my emotions show about what they have done.

Injustice is such a hard pill for me to swallow. I know that eventually these people will pay for their sins against others, but it’s just difficult for me when I don’t see justice served sooner rather than later.

It’s such a hard concept for me to wrap my mind around. That God would allow people to get away with such evil and manipulative deeds. But thank God for Matthew 5:44-48. Love your enemies. Not only do we need to forgive others and show them the same grace that God has given us. We also need to love others as Christ loves us. Loving those who love us is easy, but loving those who are “hard” to love is something we can only do through the help of Christ.

Our greatest command is to love God with all our hearts and to love others. So instead of complaining about those who have wrong me and others, I need to be praying for them. My purpose is to spread the love of Jesus, not to judge and condemn people. Not to wish that I get to see them reap their comeuppance. Even though, to be honest, I really want to see justice served. I can only fully love everyone, the just and unjust, through God’s help. Through prayer and petition that He would soften my heart and win the souls of those who do evil not only to me, but to those around me.

If you can relate, let me know in the comments how you were able to overcome your personal feelings and forgive.

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Faith, Travel

The Trouble with Comparing

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Unfortunately, we now live in a society that revolves around social media. Getting as many likes and follows as we can. Everyone is so concerned about who likes them and who wants to hear what they have to say. What we don’t realize is we are fostering an environment for depression, self-pity, and self-doubt for those who feel like they can’t keep up.

I will be honest and say that I have fallen into the comparison trap before. Scrolling through social media, looking at the highlights of other people’s lives wishing I had what they have. Wishing I could be anyone but who I was. We can think someone’s life is perfect just by what they choose to show. Do you think people would choose to post their struggles? Most of the time, people only like to brag on their victories. It’s human nature.

The Problem:

The problem is perception. We perceive that the people we are “friends” with have better jobs, better money, better spouses, better cars, and just overall better lives than us. The truth is we don’t know what it took for those people to attain the things they have or if what we see is even really true.

Someone could post about the new home they bought. What we see is how we have failed at life because we don’t have a home (being facetious..lol).¬† What we don’t see is how much that person sacrificed for years, struggled to fix their credit, put off vacations and stuff they wanted to buy, just so they could have their dream home.

Someone could post about their fianc√©¬†or spouse and you feel like a failure because you don’t have one. The truth is you don’t know what goes on in their house behind closed doors. Their relationship could be a mess. They could have just settled on that person just so they could avoid being lonely. Just to have someone to post pictures with.

The Answer:

The answer is STOP COMPARING!!! We are all on different journeys in life. We just need to learn to appreciate the journey we are on. God has a specific path for all of us. It might not be the path we imagined, but we have to trust and believe that He will lead us to our desired end when the time is right.

We can never get to our future unless we live in our present. Our present is preparing and equipping us for our future. We can never be our best self in the future until we learn to master the small things that are building our character right now. Why rush God’s timing? I’d rather God develop me and take His time molding me than to end up in a situation that I regret or cannot maintain because I rushed into it.

Stop letting people’s highlight reels make you feel a certain way about yourself. No one’s life is perfect and no one has it all together. The only way to make yourself okay is to focus on God and focus on yourself. Start to work on the desires and passions God has placed in your heart now! Don’t wait until things are perfect, because they never will be. Don’t worry about how many likes and follows you get. Just keep going until you reach your goals.‚ô•

 

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Faith

Heal & Restore

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Over the past few years we have been dealing with an illness within our family. ¬†There have been good days and bad days. Experiencing one of the bad days first hand and the anxiety it caused to all involved, I immediately began to pray. God gave me the words Heal & Restore. I prayed, “Lord please heal right now in the names of Jesus, please restore strength and health.” God immediately began to work. Joy literally came in the morning. The person with the illness was full of energy the next day and was able to do things they had not been able to do in a while and felt better overall. This person is still dealing with the illness but I believe that if we continue to pray without ceasing, God will continue to work.

Heal & Restore can also apply to other areas in our life as well. Not just illness. I personally pray to God to heal and restore my marriage. I will be honest and say I don’t but should do it daily. We are not perfect and there is¬†always room for¬†improvement. There is no such thing as a perfect marriage. I believe God can heal us where we are stubborn and stuck in our ways and restore love, joy, peace and patience between us.

If you are having issues with depression or strongholds, pray to God to heal and restore your mind. Many times we feel depressed, because our minds are filled with so much negativity. We are constantly downloading negative images, speech, and music all day. We unknowingly set ourselves up for failure with the things we consume each day.  Pray to god to heal your mind of negativity and restore your thoughts with positive things. Things to consider are reading the word and renewing your mind daily, listening to inspirational music, speaking positive words and less profanity.

I believe these words were given by God to share and help someone that may be in need of these two simple but very powerful words. If you are struggling with an area in your life that needs healing and restoration, I encourage you to pray and ask God for it by name.

 

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Faith

5 Tips: How to have a Good Day

We all have bad days. Here are a few things I like to do to make my day go a little better.

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1. ¬†Pray- Being a Christian, prayer is very important to me. Praying can immediately put you in a peaceful mood. Communicating with God puts you in a different mindset. It takes living this life to a whole new level. A spiritual level. If you have never prayed before, it’s simple. All you have to do is talk to God like you are talking to anyone else. I like to say “God, I’m having a rough day. Everything seems to be going wrong. Can you help me to have a positive attitude about the rest of the day. Help me to show the love of Jesus no matter what the circumstance. In Jesus name, Amen.” See simple.

2. ¬†Meditate-¬† Meditation is really simple and easy. All you have to do is close your eyes, breath deeply, and think of something positive. Another way I like to meditate is to read a scripture and read it over and over until I feel it in my Spirit. My go-to scripture it Jeremiah 29.11. It reminds me that no matter what I’m going through , God has great plans for me. “Plans to prosper me and give me a hope and a future!” I also like to write the scripture¬†down to help with retention and reflect on what it means to me.

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3.¬†Count your blessings! – I guarantee if you count your blessings, you can instantly brighten your day. Reflecting on everything that is going right in your life instead of things that are going wrong, makes you realize how truly blessed you are. Of course, you are having a bad day, and it’s annoying, but at the end of the day you have a good life. It also helps to write your blessings down. Seeing all of your blessings on paper makes you feel good. Which brings me to #4!

4. Journal – Journaling is so peaceful. It allows you to be alone with your thoughts in a healthy way. You can write down all the things you are thinking and reflect on them. It’s also really cool to write down how you feel at the time and then go back and read it a few weeks later. It allows you to see how far you have come. It also helps you to realize that trouble doesn’t last always.

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My personal Journal.

5. Talk to Someone- It always helps to have someone to talk to. You don’t want to walk around with bottled emotions. You’ll explode! My go-to person is my mom. (I’m a momma’s baby, btw.) I love talking to my mom because she is so positive. She’s always reminding me “this too shall pass!” Whenever I am having a bad day she helps to uplift my spirits. You should have at least¬†one person in your life that you can talk with to¬†give positive reinforcement. Someone to let you know, you will get through it and it will ALWAYS¬†get better.

So those are my 5 tips on how you can have a good/better day! You can also check out my YouTube video on this topic as well 5 Tips: How to have a Good Day. If you have any suggestions or tips of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments. You never know who you may help with your suggestions.

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