• time…
  • changes…
  • feelings…
  • pressures…
  • struggles…
  • determination to grow

We all deal with these words.  We have time.  Goodness knows, we have changes.  Our feelings react to what is going on.  Pressures?  Yes we have those often too.  God tells us we will have struggles.  What about a determination to grow?  Do we have that?  Are we determined not to stay in the pit some of us are in?  Are we willing to do the shoveling out that needs to be done in order for the changes to occur?

This is where my thoughts have been lately.  If I want any of the above to occur, I must be willing to take on the path of peace and joy.  I have to forget living in the past and what has been done to me.  I have to leave the hurts where they belong…in my past, and at the feet of Jesus.  Why?  Because God tells us that we are to give it ALL over to Him when we accept Him.  We don’t have to carry them anymore!  What a blessing that is!  And…when we do carry them, guess what?  We know that satan has entered the building.  He is the author of confusion, doubt, and disbelief.  Don’t let him rob you over and over again by reliving it.  Open the door wide and I mean WIDE open, and let Jesus take it on!  If its everyday you have to do it for a while, its everyday.  One day it won’t be that way.  A life surrendered, is a life of joy and peace.

It makes me sad to see believers getting big on hype only.  We run around in our lives seeking this and seeking that.  I see this, so I must worship like that.  I see that, and think, I have to do it like that.  That hype can even start looking like the Holy Spirit.  But I say it is not.  There is a big difference in celebrating what God has done for you in your life, and getting caught up more in the world then in the Spirit.  It isn’t about showing anyone else, for the sake of the hype, of how it looks to love Jesus.  It’s personal.  You know what people want to see in us?  They want real.  They want you to have something that is different from what their lives look like, but it isn’t hype and isn’t fake.  Give them a life that shows Jesus.  It should look the same in ALL areas of our lives.  What if we got real with God, and admitted that a lot of what we think is right to do, is not effective.  What if we ask God to come to us in a complete and personal way into our lives.  No hype, just plain relationship.  Not just raising our hands and then looking around to see who is raising theirs, or seeing what you think YOU should do based on what you see.  I believe it is what you feel when you come before God.  But more that, you are telling God in your very own personal and thankful way, how your love abounds for what God has done in your life.  It doesn’t have to look like Mrs or Mister Super Christian.  It just has to be authentic and true.  God knows any way.  Stop the hype and pretense and be who God has made YOU to be.

It sure takes the pressure off and you will find your heart more at peace with yourself.  Because God DOES love us, He wants to change us to be come more like Him.  It requires something of you though.  It requires you and me to live our lives in such a way, that they see Jesus in us in ALL circumstances.  All that you see out there in media world, is NOT the real world.  We DO however, have a chance to be a change agent; a steady example of how to live for Him.  The best thing is, you will have a relationship grow between you and God that is unshakeable.  What do you see?  What is your chosen perspective?  Do you trust God enough to know that He is with you through it?  Do you see it as a necessary journey or circumstance in order to push you through to the other side?  The more we feel shaky in our faith, the more advantage the devil has to plant those thoughts in your head.  Get with people of faith and share what God has done.  There is nothing more faith building than to hear and see God working in the lives of those around you.  Be honest with yourself about where your trouble lies.  It is the only way the Holy Spirit can do his work in you.  Go some place where you can have time alone to have a good conversation with the Lord.  Mine is the beach.  What about you?  Where do you seem to hear from the God the best?  Special place in your house?  On the deck?  In the mountains?  Go there and talk God’s ear off!  He wants to hear from you!

What NOT to do?  Be on social media so much and believing everything on there!  Live life!  Don’t buy into all this junk going around.  If you truly believe God is in control, then you know how the story ends.  If we spend so much time dousing ourselves with social media negative

stuff, it just arouses that in you, AND the people you are sharing it with.   We all talk to ourselves and there is statistics out there to show that we you say to yourself actually changes how you think.  And…it effects you immediately and has an impact on you.  So if you are speaking negative and bad comments, posts, or telling people off in your thoughts and words you say out loud, then you are changing your thinking and the feelings follow.  Then when ever you think about that person, you think about what they have done to you, or said to hurt you.  And THAT my friend, is just what the devil likes.  He is rubbing his hands together and saying, “This is actually working!!  Can’t believe they bought that one, hook, line, and sinker!!!”  *insert ugly snicker here*.

I want more and more to have God’s perspective as my own.  I want Him to keep shedding light on my path to guide me.  After listening to the messages the last few Sundays on James, that is enough to make me say, “Wakey, wakey, JoAnn!”  I have become more diligent to ask Him daily to show me what to say, what not to say, and how I need to act.  I don’t always get it right.  I can be critical of people at times.  I can get real down like this last week.  I can say things in a way to my hubby that doesn’t exactly show the kind of love I want to show.  But I don’t have to live in regret of that.  My pastor said last Sunday, “If we learn to control our tongue, then other bad habits will fall way”.  I have become very quick to ask forgiveness of God for those things.  And I am wanting to be quick to ask forgiveness of others.  Then, I can move on in joy and allow Him to take away those down feelings, and…take action!  I turn on the good music, read an uplifting book and scripture, working on a Bible Study, and God will bring me out.  Stop trying to do it yourself.  You can NOT.  You just beat yourself up trying.  Don’t look at things that take you there.  Don’t hang with people who take you there.  Don’t do the things in your daily life the same way anymore.  Do something different.  Ask God to show you what it is, and then do the thing!

I don’t know who this is for today, but once I started writing, it just came out.  So maybe it was just for me.  But I kind of doubt that.  So I hope someone finds help, encouragement, or a kick in the behind out there from this post.  I speak from a place of experience and have had to do all of the above at some time in my life.  Actually, I lot of times in my life.  But I have a Holy Determination to never give up and never give in.  And God, He has been my Rock.  Stay close to the Rock, and you will see your feelings of despair flowing down stream, away from you and in to God’s capable hands.

Until next time,



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