A Gospel According to Moi?

Q:        What is Five Minute Friday?

A:        It is a 5min free write blog event hosted by Kate Motaung. Every Thursday Kate announces a one-word prompt at 10pm EST. The link-up is open for a full week, until the following Thursday evening. For further details on how to participate click HERE

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Five Minute Friday Prompt: ANOTHER

It took me a little while to come up with something to fit this theme – ANOTHER!

In the beginning nothing suggested itself to me. Nothing came immediately to mind. What can I write about that would be personally meaningful to me as the writer and to you, as the reader?

I looked up the Oxford dictionary meaning to see if this would give me some inspiration and do you know what? It did!

I saw that one of the meanings of this word is: something different and then Paul’s words came to mind about “another gospel”. Now I have an idea of where to take this theme!

Do I, do you, believe or live our lives according to another gospel?

A gospel not according to Christ, or even according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John but according to my, or your convenience. A gospel that fits in with our ideas of who God is and who we want him to be, not as he actually is. And a gospel that makes less demand upon us than that which the true gospel requires.

No?

You think?

Let’s see.

For instance, the gospel according to Jesus demands that we forgive. Not just once, or even three times, but 70 times 70!

END OF 5 MINS

So, if you examined your life, if you were absolutely honest with yourself (not the sanitised honesty that you present for the scrutiny of others), but the true, raw honesty of “it-is-what-it-is!” would you emerge squeaky clean?

I know when I look at my heart and assess myself in the light of God’s Word in this particular regard, the picture I see is not so pretty. It’s a picture marred by the stain of an unforgiving spirit. A picture that presents a detailed record of wrongs against others. A picture that ought to have been cleaned with the emulsion of forgiveness, mercy and compassion and should have been repainted with the brushes of obedience.

Instead it’s a picture that has built up a steady film of grime and dust. And instead of that picture being framed by the beauty of humility and mercy, it is stretched upon the canvas of a critical and judgmental spirit.

This picture is the result of a gospel according to moi… a gospel according to Carol. A gospel that is man-made and mixed, prompted by the devil’s goading input, along with my rebellious and self-righteous response to those who offend me.

Another gospel!

But as I examine my heart and life in the uncompromising light of God’s Word, as I look within my conscience at the picture of Jesus hanging upon his cross, as I regard the image of his marred face, his broken body, as I recall all that he suffered, so that I can enjoy a new destiny, a happy-ever-after scenario of complete and utter peace, yeah, everlasting joy in Heaven, I feel convicted. I feel ashamed.

How could I continue to behave like the protagonist in Christ’s parable of the ungrateful servant? How could I fail to forgive those who have trespassed against me, when God my Father, when Christ my Saviour, has forgiven and continues to forgive me of so much more?

No matter how big, how deep the wounds of those offences, what deception, what seed of arrogance could cause me to choose this other gospel—a gospel according to my sanctimonious standards, a standard which fell far, far short of God’s measure of righteousness in the first place? A standard which failed to satisfy God’s wrath, who required the shedding of innocent blood, the burden-bearing of an entire world’s sin and depravity before he could be appeased, before the atonement for Adam’s act of treason could be accepted?

Father-God forgive me (there I go again – needing forgiveness!).

Lord Jesus forgive me. Thank you for your wonderful example of forgiveness towards those who hated, humiliated and killed you.

Holy Spirit help me. Remind me to take up my cross and die daily to the ungracious demands of my flesh, to my unmerciful requirements for personal vengeance, to my unforgiving heart.

Help me to walk God’s highway of holiness with humility and help me to paint a Christ-like image over the offences of others, even if it requires me to do so, seventy times seventy each day, even each hour!

Friends and followers, have a blessed weekend and may God’s divine peace and protection rest upon you and upon your loved ones, as we negotiate the paths of these unprecedented times.

Best wishes,

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

Are you looking for a resource that will help and encourage you to develop a consistent and confident prayer life? If so, don’t hesitate to check out the links below.

 

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Tomorrow Never Comes!

The above CC0 Image comes courtesy of Gerd Altmann at Pixabay.com

 

Q: What is Five Minute Friday?

A: It is a 5min free write blog event hosted by Kate Motaung. Every Thursday Kate announces a one-word prompt on her blog at 10pm EST. The link-up is open for a full week, until the following Thursday evening. For further details on how to participate please visit her blog at: Heading Home.

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FIVE-MINUTE FRIDAY: Word prompt – TOMORROW

My immediate thought when I saw this prompt was of a title: Tomorrow Never Comes. I thought it was a book I’d once read by Sidney Sheldon, but a quick check shows me I am wrong.

My mind then turned to Pharaoh in the book of Exodus, who had suffered a plague of frogs, yet when Moses asked him when he’d like this plague to stop, he answered: “Tomorrow”.

Can you believe it?

Why would anyone who had suffered a nasty plague not want it to stop immediately? What on earth was he thinking?

Which then led me to think about procrastination and my problem with it. I’ve tried to break free. I think I have improved. But it is still an issue.

Take this Covid-19 virus that has descended upon and changed our lives. There were things I’d wanted to do and could very well have done, before this plague came on the scene.

Now that it’s here, I cannot do these things. Not without incurring risk. Because it involves going out and mixing with people in close proximity. I cannot, and do not wish to take this chance. Besides, measures are now in place which restrict the movements of UK citizens, so I couldn’t, even if I wanted to.

So now I’ll have to settle for second best. I’ll have to figure out a way to proceed, without doing what I should have (and could have) done earlier.

Procrastination costs. And the time and opportunity that has been lost, cannot be redeemed.

(End of 5 Mins)

Procrastination has been my unfortunate song for as long as I can remember. But I so hate those lyrics. I absolutely despise the melody. I no longer want procrastination to be the rhythm of my life. In fact, you can read my post here where I made public my decision to break with this tiresome habit.

God says we are to redeem the time. I often believe for, and ask the Holy Spirit to help me redeem (make effective) whatever time I may have left. And when I ask this, I mean in terms of how long I have left to live in this world. I mean in terms of available time left, to work on my writing projects. I mean in terms of the time I have left, to network with others, to sow seeds of loving kindness, mercy and forgiveness, or to serve his purposes.

I feel the need to do this, because I often take time for granted, along with the opportunity it affords. I’m prone to forget that any presumed window of opportunity is not guaranteed to remain open, just to fit into my schedule. A schedule of “tomorrow”, which never comes!

As we have seen with the Corona-virus, nobody knows what’s around the corner, which could completely scupper our prior plans.

People die, or leave your life for various reasons. Situations change. Things you can be depending upon, may suddenly be taken out of the equation. And then the opportunity to do that which you wanted to do, or which God had asked you to do, disappears. Puff!

This happened to me recently.

I waited to do something good for someone. I delayed because of a mixture of procrastination and hard-heartedness. I’d failed to act because I allowed offence to lodge within my heart and dictate my inclinations.

And now, the opportunity to show God that my love for him, exceeds my desire to satisfy capricious whims, has gone. Puff! Because the person in question has now departed from this world.

So, now I have to deal with the fact that I allowed stubbornness to stop me from reaching out, offering an olive branch, renewing acquaintances.

I acted no differently to Pharaoh. Instead of grabbing the opportunity to be rid of the emotional frog in my life, and be free from accusatory thoughts and wrong attitudes that plagued me, I procrastinated. I held onto them until “tomorrow”.

In my heart, I was resisting God’s Word and clear requirement. With that resistance, my mind whispered “tomorrow” whilst my stubbornness decided “Not yet!”

God warns us about rebellion. He says that those who are often reproved but harden their hearts, will be cut off without remedy (Proverbs 29:1).

Of course, I don’t want this to be my lot. I don’t want the story of my life to be written with the quill and ink of selfish and disobedient conduct.

God’s Word also warns that “…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2 KJV). There is a finite window of opportunity for you and me to walk in God’s ways… to be obedient to his will. Nobody knows when that window will close. So, waiting until tomorrow, a tomorrow that may never come, could work to our detriment.

If you are procrastinating about something you know you should do, or something God has instructed you to do, please pay heed dear reader, and learn a valuable lesson from me.

I pray for myself and for anyone else who struggles with similar issues. I pray that God will work within our hearts… that he will change us and bring us to that place where we both desire to obey His will, and actually do so, without delay.

Wishing you a peace-filled and victorious week.

With love,

Carol (aka Lady Cee)

Author of: Petitions From My Heart

AMAZON UK – Print: click here; E-book: click here

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Pursuing Genuine Godliness

 

The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

What springs to your mind when you think of the word “godliness”?

Do you think of religious people who have a “holier than thou” attitude?

Do you think of weird biblical characters, such as John the Baptist, who lived out in the wilderness and dined on locusts and wild honey?

Or do you think of modern-day saints, such as the late Mother Teresa?

Have you ever considered yourself as “godly” and if not, why not?

Having checked my dictionary, I note that the word “godly” is defined as follows:

religious,

pious

(Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)

 

To me, those two words have negative connotations.

The late Bob Gass, writer of the UCB Word For Today* devotional, said this:

Godliness is an inside job. And the longer you think about it, the more convinced you become that a truly godly person is one whose heart is sensitive to God, who takes God and his Word seriously, and who desires more of Him.

 

And so dear friends, godliness is not an outside job!

Contrary to how others may have defined it, godliness is not determined by whether or not you wear hats, make-up, jewellery, or dresses that cover you from throat to toes. It is not embracing a poverty mind-set and maintaining a frugal or permanently penurious existence.

Godliness is a matter of the heart, a matter of your will.

Now God’s Word tells us that his eyes move throughout the earth, seeking those whose hearts are perfect towards him.

For the eyes of the Lord search back and forth across the whole earth, looking for people whose hearts are perfect toward him, so that he can show his great power in helping them.

2 Corinthians 16:9 – The Living Bible

 

Now that word “perfect” does not mean faultless, never making any mistakes in our relationship with him or with others. It points to a fundamental mindset, desire and drive, to love God with all our hearts, live aligned to his Word and purpose and make him the “be all and end all” of our lives.

On the basis of these two definitions, how do you measure up?

And, if you were to consider a biblical character that lived up to these ideals, who springs to your mind?

I don’t know about you, but the person who immediately impresses me as someone who loved God unreservedly and served him wholeheartedly, is David.

The following extracts from the Bible, grants us insight into David’s relationship with God:

As a deer pants for the water brooks,

So pants my soul for You, O God.

(Psalm 41:1)

 

Do not cast me away from Your presence,

And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

(Psalm 51:11)

 

Because your lovingkindness is better than life,

My lips shall praise You.

(Psalm 63:3)

 

Search me, O God, and know my heart;

Try me and know my anxieties;

And see if there is any wicked way in me,

And lead me in the way everlasting.

(Psalm 139:23-24)

 

The Psalms is littered with many more expressions similar to the above extracts and just reading these reveal David’s utter commitment and devotion towards God. They form a picture of his godliness and portrays what a godly heart and mindset entails.

We see that it incorporates, a love and hunger for God, a passionate and perpetual desire to please and honour Him, entwined with a holy reverence for Him.

If you would like to explore the subject of godliness further, I recommend this excellent article. Please click here.

I conclude today’s post with an extract from the above recommended article, written by the author, Jerry Bridges:

This is the heartbeat of the godly person. As he contemplates God in the awesomeness of his infinite majesty, power, and holiness, and then as he dwells upon the riches of God’s mercy and grace poured out at Calvary, his heart is captivated by this One who could love him so. He is satisfied with God alone, but he is never satisfied with his present experience of God. He always yearns for more.

 

If you enjoyed the article, or would like to read the book from which this extract has been drawn, you can purchase Bridge’s book, The Practice of Godliness, from Amazon – here.

 Now let us pray.

 

Prayer Focus:

Let’s ask God to stir up within our hearts and within the hearts of our brothers and sisters in Christ, a fervent, genuine and increasing desire for godliness.

PS: Now don’t forget to put on your spiritual armour before entering the battlefield of prayer!

 

PRAYER:

Father God,

Again and again, throughout your Word, I see your heart’s desire is to enjoy an ongoing fellowship with your people.

I see it as you walked in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. I see it in your relationship with Enoch, where you both enjoyed such a rich and rewarding fellowship with each other, you decided to bring him home with you to heaven!

I see it in your forming a nation for yourself from the enslaved children of Israel and I see it in your abounding love and amazing generosity of heart, in purchasing my redemption and setting aside a group of people similarly redeemed, which make up the Body of Christ.

Father God, I don’t want to be like those whom Paul decried as having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.

I want to experience every facet of godliness and I desire genuine godliness to be the hallmark of my relationship with you. I pray that my brothers and sisters in Christ will have a similar burning desire.

Holy Spirit, I’m aware that this is not going to happen through my own might or willpower. And so I’m inviting you to come alongside me and help me.

I’m asking that you create an ongoing and increasing hunger and thirst for the knowledge and presence of God, both in myself and in my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Father God, I’m asking that you stir up within me and within your set-apart saints, a heart that reverences you, honours you and ever seeks to please you. May we, as members of the Body of Christ, pursue you and the things pertaining to your kingdom, far more than our own selfish desires and personal aspirations.

Lord God, deliver us from the Evil One. Thwart Satan’s blatant or subtle attempts to discourage, distract, or derail us from a godly mindset and lifestyle.

Enable us to adopt David’s strategy and cry out to you in openness and honesty, seeking your help and daily motivation, regarding our commitment and devotion to you.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

© Carol Hind

 

FOR REFLECTION & SCRUTINY :

Has today’s post changed your concept of “godliness”?

What action will you take this week to become one whose heart is “perfect towards God”?

 

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 Sunday’s Supplications

Sunday’s Supplications invites you to not only read the posts but also participate in the prayers. Why not become a part of the WoW! community by participating in these prayers?

Let’s pray for ourselves and for each other. Let’s obey God’s command to watch and pray for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18)

Please note, you do not have to be a blogger to join this praying community.

 

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Women of Warfare followers and visitors I wish you a blessed and victorious week!

 

*Free postal copies of UCB Word For Today are available from: FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF (UK and Republic of Ireland only).

For the online version visit: http://www.ucb.co.uk/word-for-today.html

 

You are Served!

 

 

Ever been watching a film or TV drama when someone going about their business is approached by a stranger, or hears a knock on the door? They are asked their name and when they reply, an envelope is thrust into their hands whilst they are told: “You are served!”

I don’t know your name but I know you are either a follower or visitor to my site. And since you are, I suspect you have come for a reason. Whoever you are, and wherever you may be, I have a message for you. You are served!

You’ve been served with a summons to pray… to build yourself up on your most holy faith… to walk confidently in life as a victorious over-comer.

So what’s your response?

Don’t delay – take action TODAY!

And before you rush off, may I invite you to visit God’s throne-room?

 

Women of Warfare followers and visitors, have an abundantly blessed week!

 

CREDIT: The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

Encouragement for Your Journey (5)

 

Each year, each month, each week, each day, even each hour, we are presented with an opportunity to change, to aim for a better, higher expression of ourselves as a child of God, as a spouse, as a parent, as a colleague, as a human being with a unique personality.

Why not aim to make this year, a year of significant achievement or breakthrough, in terms of drawing closer to God, in terms of our relationship with others, in terms of our areas of weaknesses, in terms of our dreams?

 Is it possible?

Can anyone who has ingrained bad habits, a negative mind-set, a propensity to start but not finish their projects, change?

YES THEY CAN!

Dear reader, perhaps you are entertaining doubts. Perhaps your doubts are singing loudly from the rooftop of your being, or perhaps they are quietly niggling you at the back of your brain. However they may be troubling you, don’t ignore them and certainly don’t accept them!

Instead dismiss them. Address them each time they show up and say: doubts – come out! Serve them notice. Evict them. Refuse to give them free board and lodging in your life anymore.

Perhaps you are thinking: that’s easy for you to say Lady Cee but I’ve tried in the past and failed.

So have I, dear reader – so have I! But that is not going to stop me from continuing to try until I succeed.

Listen to me – I heard a man of God speak the other day and the gist of his encouraging message was that every champion, every president, every entrepreneur, every man or woman who has achieved significance, had wanted to give up.

What you and I have to do, is purpose in our hearts, no matter how long it takes, no matter what obstacles we face, WE WILL NOT GIVE UP! As a well-known proverb advises: If at first you don’t succeed TRY, TRY, AGAIN!

So about those doubts. Why might they be there?

Perhaps you had parents, or school teachers, or a spouse, or some other significant person in your past, who said you were not going to amount to much. Listen, there is historical evidence that such figures of authority have been proved wrong. Very wrong!

 

Stop Doubting Yourself!

 

They were wrong about physicist and Nobel Prize winner, Albert Einstein. They were wrong about successful business magnate, Richard Branson. They were wrong about renowned motivational speaker, Les Brown. And they are wrong about you!

Decide in your heart that no human being (other than yourself) is going to have the last word in your life about your capabilities or prospects. God says you are his creative masterpiece. Listen to him and accept his assessment of you.

Perhaps you have a past record of beginning projects and not completing them. I know I have. And the memory of these unfinished projects, these unfulfilled “vows” with yourself, sit smugly within your consciousness and point accusatory fingers. The devil himself makes sure to give you his unsought opinion. And the little demons that attach themselves to these memories, scoff and taunt about your ability to change, to be diligent, to discipline yourself, to sustain interest until the point of completion.

Am I right? But more to the point, are they right?

Don’t let them have the last word. You can change. The Word of God says that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. So ask God, believe and expect mental and emotional strength. Ask for, believe and expect to receive an ability to withstand the pressures of your life, to overcome those forces designed to distract and deter you.

Again, the Word of God says all things are possible to him that believeth. I understand that the “eth” at the end of words in biblical text signifies a continuous tense. So to achieve your heart’s desire, it’s important that you not just believe whilst the going is good but continue to believe – today, tomorrow, next week, next month, next year – regardless of what happens and for as long as it takes. Are you willing to believe and believe and believe? Are you willing to do whatever it takes?

And about those obstacles, whether within yourself, or outside of yourself, you have a choice of whether to allow them to win, or whether to soar over them, plough through them, or wrestle them into submission to your dreams, goals and strategic plans.

If human beings, severely disadvantaged in life, refuse to let those disadvantages deter them; if disabled people can paint with their feet, successfully compete in races, and achieve extraordinary results; if individuals so beaten down by life they’d planned to dispose of themselves, can come back from the dead, so to speak, to effectively change and empower themselves, then we as blood-bought children of God—who’ve been given the requisite supernatural resources to enable us to endure, to overcome and win, and enjoy abundant life—have absolutely no genuine excuse!

Dear friend, the following is a short video which concludes today’s pep talk. If you need to watch it again and again and again throughout the coming weeks and months, until that message sinks in, until those doubts do not even dare to peep out of your soul, then please do so.

 

 

WoW follower and visitor – you can do it BUT you have to choose to do so! So choose today to be a victor. Choose today to be a victorious over-comer. Choose today to follow your dreams, to pursue your goals, to make this year, your year of jubilee!

With love,

Carol ♥♥

 

CREDIT: all the above CC0 images come courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Encouragement for your journey (4)

Success is a journey – not a destination!

 

It’s been said that these modern times have produced a generation of people who’ve grown up in a negative culture – the blame culture!

With this kind of mind-set, this kind of perspective, those so afflicted can point the finger at someone else for their failures or misfortune.

 

My parents didn’t love me!

No one gave me a helping hand!

I came from a broken home!

I didn’t attend the right school… college… university!

I didn’t grow up in the right neighbourhood!

I don’t have the right skin colour!

I wasn’t given the same opportunities!

I…    I…    I…

 

Godly warriors and victorious over-comers, if we want this year to be a year of supernatural success and consistent achievement, we need to take responsibility for our thoughts, attitudes and actions.

Let’s cast an eye on a few biblical examples where people, who could have felt justified for going down the road of anger, bitterness, self-pity, or revenge, chose instead to trust God, to be patient in tribulation and to forgive those who’d wronged them.

  • Joseph did not blame his brothers for putting him in a pit, for selling him as a slave
  • David did not blame his family for dismissing him as someone with the potential to be king, with the potential to succeed
  • Ruth did not blame her mother-in-law, or life in general, for ending up a young widow
  • Daniel did not blame God when his faithfulness in prayer, caused him to be thrown into the lion’s den

 

 

Dear WoW! follower and visitor,

May I encourage you to adopt the same attitudes as those individuals in my examples above?

May I invite you to watch the following motivational video and to pay heed to its message?

I hope it will inspire you to change (if applicable). And I hope it will inspire you to pray for yourself, and/or to pray for anyone you know, who’ve become entrapped within the gall of bitterness.

 

 

With heartfelt good wishes for you, that this will be a year of tremendous blessings and significant breakthroughs.

Love,

Carol

 

CREDIT: The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Prayer Gem 12

 

  • PRAYER is a mountain – climb it!

 

  • PRAYER is a discipline – work at it!

 

  • PRAYER is a weapon – use it!

 

Have you sent Jesus your knee-mail today?

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CREDIT: The above image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

Quotes of my heart — Manić Teodora

And don’t forget.. You are so much loved.

viau Quotes of my heart — Manić Teodora

 

To every WoW! follower and reader,

I wish you an exceedingly blessed day and weekend.

And to all those who may be hurting, crushed by circumstances, disappointed over dashed dreams, confused about their faith, I pray the love of God will be revealed afresh to you, the intercession of Christ will bring release and liberty and the comfort of His Holy Spirit will minister grace and hope for your future. Amen.

Friends, followers, forlorn ones – you are loved unconditionally! 💖

I hope these quotes will bless and encourage you.

💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖

 

CREDIT: CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

 

Press into Passion

 

Last week, we looked at the heart-breaking truth of people who for some reason cannot accept the reality of God, yet desperately wish they could. We learned through the testimony of one man that there are agnostics who wish they could believe, who wish they could experience the comfort and confidence that our faith in God provides.

Which brings me to today’s theme.

Often, as Christians, we can take our faith, our salvation for granted. Sometimes we fail to appreciate what we have.

Relationships take hard work. We know this from our own experience with others—whether it’s a family member, a partner, a work colleague, a neighbour. And so when it comes to our relationship with God, things are no different. We have to work at it!

Now the Bible reminds us that sometimes we can allow affection for God and our commitment to things relating to his kingdom, to slide. Other things get in the way. Other things become a priority.

In Revelation 3:14-22 we read that the Laodicean church received a grave warning. They’d become blasé and lukewarm about their faith and their walk with God. Not cold. Not hot. Lukewarm. And God was having none of it.

Priscilla Shirer in her excellent book Fervent  suggests that stealing our passion for God is a deliberate tactic of Satan. She says when our passion dims, our resistance to temptation is lowered, whilst our discouragement levels heighten. When passion dims, our faith in God is weakened.

Again, if you’ve ever read though the entire Bible, you will be aware that there were instances in the history of the Children of Israel when they served God with all their heart. But there were also times when they allowed themselves to be drawn away from their vows of adoration, commitment and faith. Despite all the miracles they witnessed. Despite all the victories they experienced. Despite the many instances of God’s miraculous provision.

And so we can see clearly that even though we are committed, born-again Christians, as human beings, we are prone to making the same mistakes as the Children of Israel and members of the Laodicean church.

So let me ask, where are you in this regard? When you look back to the days when you first committed your life to Christ and compare it to now, has your love for God increased, or diminished?

If the latter, recognise that whilst you do have a responsibility for where you are at in your relationship with God, you also have an Enemy, who is actively seeking to break your focus, undermine your faith, and sabotage your relationship with the Lord.

So, what should you and I do when we examine our lives and note we are not where we should be in terms of our relationship with God?

We should:

  • Recognise
  • Resist
  • Re-connect

Recognise our state. Recognise the danger.

Resist the Enemy. Resist our own petty inclinations.

Re-connect to God. Reconnect with the spiritual resources and godly people, which help to fuel our passion for the Lord.

Dear believer, there are people out there who envy what you have in terms of your relationship with God—so cherish it, nurture it, celebrate it!

 

This Week’s Prayer Focus:

For ourselves. For our brothers and sisters in Christ. That depending on where we are in our relationship with God, our passion will increase, or be rekindled.

 

Father God,

I am so thankful that you are who you are. I am thankful that you are an unchanging God and that your love for me is everlasting and unconditional. You deserve that I reciprocate this love.

I want to obey your command and love you with all of my heart, mind, soul and strength. Forgive me for the times when I fail to do so. Forgive me for the times when I allow other things, other people to take first place in my life. Help me to recognise quickly when my commitment to you has waned, and whenever this happens, create a fervent desire within me to rectify this.

Father God, I recognise that I cannot maintain my passion for you, for the things pertaining to your kingdom, in my own strength and ability. It is you who works within me to both will and fulfil your good pleasure, satisfaction and delight.

Lord God, I don’t want to be cold. I certainly don’t want to be lukewarm. Help me to emulate those people in the Bible such as King David, or St. Paul, whose passion for you and commitment to your purpose remained constant.

Heavenly Father, just as I pray for myself, I wish to pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ, particularly those amongst my readership. I ask that you create within them a strong, steadfast spirit. I ask that you open their eyes, so that they may see and recognise every attempt by the Enemy to sabotage their faith in, and relationship with, you. I ask that you grant them the ability and the tenacity to resist Satan’s tactics within and against their lives.

Father God, if disappointment, discouragement, disillusionment, or disinterest has set in, I ask right now that you break through the lies and false accusations of the Enemy and enable those affected to refocus their thoughts upon the truths of your Word. I ask that you minister hope, assurance, comfort and peace to their souls. I ask that you renew the passion and commitment they once enjoyed. I ask that you both remind and influence them to wear their spiritual armour, so that they can protect themselves from the fiery darts of the Enemy.

Father God, we thank you for your daily mercies and ongoing patience. May we be ever grateful to you for your goodness and loving-kindness and may we not take your grace and our salvation for granted.

In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

© Carol Hind

 

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Sunday’s Supplications

Sunday’s Supplications invites you to not only read the posts but also participate in the prayers. Each week, I hope to introduce a new theme and prayer focus. You are welcome to print off and use each prayer provided, either verbatim or adapted for your particular circumstance. Even better, you can construct your own prayer and share with others by linking to this post. Please note, you do not have to be a blogger to participate.

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Women of Warfare followers and readers have a wonderful week!

 

CREDIT: The above CC0 image comes courtesy of Gordon Johnson at Pixabay.com

Choosing a Journey of Joy

 

There was a song I used to sing in Sunday school that went something like this:

I’ve got joy, joy, joy, joy

Down in my heart,

Down in my heart,

Down in my heart,

Yes – I’ve got joy, joy, joy, joy

Down in my heart,

Down in my heart today.

 

As mentioned above, I used to sing it in Sunday school, yet if the truth be known, I really didn’t know what joy was. I suppose I thought it was just another word for happiness. I now know better.

I’ve since learned that joy is an ingredient of the fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22). I therefore now understand that JOY in the biblical sense can only be experienced by those who are born-again (i.e. who have committed their lives into God’s hands and accepted Jesus as their saviour and invited him to be their Lord).

Even so, I still didn’t have a full grasp of what JOY is, or what it looked like, other than I believed it was a higher, deeper expression of happiness.

Well, I recently came across a wonderful and insightful definition of this quality.

Bob and Debbie Gass, writers of UCB Word for Today  shares the following:

  • Happiness is external
  • Joy is internal
  • Happiness depends on outward circumstances
  • Joy depends on inward character
  • Happiness depends on what happens to us
  • Joy depends on who lives within us
  • Happiness is based on chance
  • Joy is based on choice.

Now it is obvious to me that happiness is an unstable emotion because it fluctuates. The pursuit of joy is therefore a wiser move. Why? Because Jesus says that the joy he gives, is a joy that remains:

These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

(John 15:11 NKJV)

 

As a woman of God, desirous of reigning in life through the power of Christ and aiming to walk each day as a victorious overcomer, I’m making a conscious decision to choose joy.

What do you choose?

 

CREDIT: CC0 image from Pixabay.com 

Ditch Oppressive Opinions!

 

Dear precious woman of God,

  • Don’t remain a victim of past failures or hurts.
  • Don’t let the negative lens through which others see you influence how you see yourself.
  • Don’t let the negative words that others speak over, or about you, be the words that you say over, or to yourself.

Listen to what one man of God advises:

Your self-esteem must be based on God’s opinion, not someone else’s opinion or even your opinion. Your self-esteem is to be based on what God thinks. And God thinks you are fantastic!

Dr Charles Stanley – In Touch (April 2001)

 

So let me ask you dear woman of God – whose opinion will you choose to believe?

Ditch those negative beliefs and oppressive opinions.

Choose to be a victor!

 

CREDIT: CC0 Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

Don Your Armour!

 

If you know your Bible and are familiar with teaching on prayer and intercession, then I’m sure you will have come across Paul’s direction to the body of Christ in Ephesians 6:10-18.

You will know that as members of the body of Christ, we are encouraged to put on the whole armour of God.

How do we do this?

Pretty much like everything else we have to do when it comes to the supernatural things of God’s kingdom. We do so by faith and through confession (speaking God’s Word).

How did you get saved? You spoke (confession), when you invited Christ into your life and asked him to become your Lord and Saviour.

You believed (faith) that he would hear you and respond.

Whether immediately, or eventually, you experienced the reality. You received an inward witness. You knew that you were saved. You knew that you were changed. You knew that by some marvellous and mystical act, the Spirit of Christ had taken up residence within you.

And in a similar way, that’s how you put on your spiritual armour.

Put it on daily. Put it on before you go out into the fray of daily living. Put it on before you enter the battlefield of prayer. Put it on through confession. Put it on in faith.

If you’d like help in doing this, here’s a prayer you may use.

Victorious overcomers, prayer warriors and prayer interns – have a blessed weekend!

 

Do you agree with this post? Let me know your response in the comment box below.

 

Prayer Gem 10

 

Prayer is our spirit making live contact with God’s Spirit

 

Have you sent Jesus your kneemail today?

 

Behind some of the greatest spiritual awakenings in history was an unseen, unsung force known as ‘intercessors’. Many of the victories we celebrate in the open are first won by such people in the secret place of prayer.

(From: UCB Word For Today – 11 December 2016 – written by Bob & Debby Gass)

 

*Free postal copies of UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from: FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

For the email version please sign up at: http://www.ucb.co.uk/word-for-today.html

 

 

Warriors and prayer-interns, be sure to put on God’s protective armour before going into battle! Here’s a prayer you can use.

 

CREDIT: the above CC0 image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

 

Heartfelt Praise

PRAYER PRAISE & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

 

Praise

PRAISE the Lord!

Praise the Lord, O my soul!

While I live I will praise the Lord;

I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

(Psalm 146:1-2 NKJ)

 

Whoever offers praise glorifies Me;

And to him who orders his conduct aright

I will show the salvation of God.

(Psalm 50:23 NKJ)

 

Prayer

Father God,

Right now we come into your awesome presence to honour you – not just with our lips but with our hearts and souls, with our entire being.

We come to offer you the praise and worship that you deserve because you are so worthy. We love you Father God. We want to love you more. We want to know you more. We want to understand your ways better because we want to glorify you, both in and through our lives.

Lord Jesus, thank you for your example of honouring our Father whilst you walked on this earth. As your disciples we want to do likewise, so we thank you for your ongoing prayers and intercession on our behalf. We realise this will not happen by our own efforts or willpower but by your Holy Spirit.

Holy Spirit, we call upon you as our Helper. Thank you for your anointing within us that teaches us. Teach us how to honour Father God, not only with our lips but also with our lifestyle.

Thank you Father God for hearing our prayer and granting our request. Amen.

 

(References: Matthew 15:8; Revelation 4:11; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:24; Zechariah 4:6; John 14:16, 26; 1 John 5:14)

 

 Worship

 

Women of Warfare followers and visitors, I pray that the Lord will draw you into a deeper experience of Him.  I pray your hearts will overflow with inexpressible joy as you spend time in his presence and take time to express your love for him. Share those secret desires of your heart in prayer, knowing he listens and knowing he loves you and desires to fellowship with you.

Have a victorious week!

PS: If you are reading this and you do not have a relationship with God but would like to, may I invite you to accept Jesus as your Saviour? To do so, you simply have to repeat the following prayer and God will do the rest (please don’t hesitate – your eternal destiny depends on whether or not you take this next step!).

 

A Prayer for Salvation and a Relationship with God

Father God,

I want to have a relationship with you. I come to you today in the name of your Son, Jesus. Thank you for making it possible for me to be reconciled with you. I realise I am in need of rescuing from the penalty of sin. I believe Jesus died for me and I accept He is the only way through which I can escape eternal punishment. I therefore repent of my sins and ask your forgiveness.  Jesus, I invite you into my life as my Saviour and my Lord. Amen.

 

Dear reader, if you prayed the above prayer, congratulations and welcome to the Family of God!

The following links will help you take your next steps in your new life and provide the guidance you need. I’d also suggest that you talk to a Christian friend and find a church to attend and receive support. You may also find the following post at my other blog site enlightening (Paradise Lost or Paradise Regained?), as this explains why the step you have just taken is vital for safeguarding your eternal destiny.

If you accepted this invitation to commit your life into God’s care and prayed the above prayer, please share the good news in the comment box below (don’t be shy!) 🙂

WoW! followers and visitors – no need to feel left out! If you’ve been encouraged, inspired or uplifted by this post, don’t hesitate to share your comments below. I look forward to hearing from you.

 


 

 

Be Vigilant – Use Your Satan-Repellent!

 

Every amateur gardener experiences the frustration of planting their garden only to later find holes chomped into the leaves of their prize plants. It looks unsightly and it’s annoying!

There are many ways of getting rid of the pesky slugs and snails but the quickest and to my mind, the most effective, is to use slug repellents.

Many a time I’ve looked out of my bedroom window only to espy one of these creatures moving with focused determination towards a patio plant, to feast on its lush green leaves.

Quick as a flash I dive down the stairs, rush into the kitchen, grab the salt and make my way into the garden. It’s amazing how quickly these snails can move when the motivation of a nice succulent plant propels them!

Now, I know they’re God’s creatures but I didn’t invite them into my garden and if these creatures do decide to gate-crash, they should at least have the decency to see and not touch—certainly don’t have the temerity to chomp and chew. How dare you! My garden is not a free, eat-as-much-as-you-want salad bar!

So, you can understand why I have no compunction about pouring salt upon the cheeky blighters and watching them (with no small sense of satisfaction mixed with a tinge of disgust) turn into a yucky patch of slime. No compunction at all!

Why am I telling you this?

Because dear women of warfare, as victorious overcomers, we will often encounter situations in life that seek to chomp and chew its way into the succulent leaves of our spiritual growth. Satan, our Enemy, is the equivalent of these garden pests.

Any chance he gets, he will attack our minds, and try to destroy the fresh green foliage from all those positive Word-seeds sown into our hearts. He wants us to remain his victims.

So, don’t be passive. Don’t be complacent. Use your Satan-repellent. Use the Word of God!

 

Push A Different Button!

Those of you who have read my posts for some time know that every now and again I share something from an excellent devotional resource that I use, the UCB Word for Today, written by Bob & Debby Gass.

I cannot recommend this highly enough. Even if you don’t get on with daily devotional books (for a long time I didn’t!), you can read it as a straight forward book, or dip into it from time to time (as I started out doing). Before you know it, I’m sure you’ll become a fan (as I have!).

The following is an extract from last month, which I feel led to share with you all.

 

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MIND-SETS ARE patterns whereby your mind automatically operates a certain way. That means you can set yourself up for misery by reacting to the same people and circumstances in the same way, and expecting different results.

Maybe you are saying:

‘After all these years I thought he’d change…’

‘No matter how hard I try, my family doesn’t appreciate me…’

‘How come I’m the only one who makes an effort to stay in touch?’

 

It’s easy to blame your problems on others.

‘Look what he’s doing.’

‘Look how long I’ve waited.’

‘Why doesn’t she call?’

 

We think the answer lies in getting the other person to do what we want, but that kind of thinking is self-defeating; it gives control to others.

Your happiness isn’t determined by other people, even though you’ve convinced yourself it is.

An experienced counsellor writes:

‘If you don’t like the same results… try pushing a different button. Look at your relationships. Is there a situation that’s going downhill despite your best efforts? Are you waiting for something to change, instead of doing something different? Stop pushing the same button, and ask God for clarity to see the situation honestly and to act with wisdom and responsibility.’

 

You’re not a victim of circumstances; you don’t have to stay stuck or keep going in circles.

Paul says, ‘Put off… your former conduct… and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.’

The word for you today is: you can change!

 

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WoW followers and visitors, I hope you find the above useful, even timely. If you enjoyed reading and know someone who could benefit from this post please do not hesitate to share it. And why not drop me a line and tell me what you thought about it in the comment box below? I’d really appreciate your response.

*Free postal copies of The UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from: FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

For the email version please go to: http://www.ucb.co.uk/word-for-today.html

 

The above CC0 images used are courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

Pick Up Your Cross!

 

What is your cross?

It is any situation that calls for you to die to the dictates, desires and demands of your flesh… that requires you to take the route of suffering knowing that death to your flesh will enable you to minister God’s life-giving spirit to someone else.

The “flesh” represents not just your body but also your appetites, inclinations, impulses, negative and contrary responses.

Now the cross we are expected to carry, the path we are expected to tread will be unique to each one of us.

In my case, crucifying my flesh requires me to remain silent in the face of lies, false accusations, scorn and ridicule. It demands that I walk humbly through the gates of self-denial and submit to the punishing nails of humiliation as my name, reputation and self-esteem are nailed mercilessly to my cross. It also demands that I bear this cross of perpetual shame with the right attitude, knowing that my Father God knows my thoughts and sees my heart.

A bitter pill to swallow?

Yes. Absolutely!

Now whilst studying the Bible, or listening to stirring sermons, God’s Word may at that time rejoice my heart. However, when later required to walk that word out, when faced with the reality of practicing God’s kingdom principles in the context of hatred, rejection or sabotage, the sweet experience of hearing that word or receiving that revelation, can become bitter.

Bitter because I’m now required to chew, swallow and digest an unpalatable portion. Bitter because God’s word is no longer a neat theoretical discourse filed away in my mind but a distressing practical experience to be suffered, to be endured.

I wonder how many of us choose instead to spit out the offending morsel. Love your enemies? Nope! Don’t fancy that! Rejoice during persecution? Sorry – no way! Turn the other cheek? You’re kidding me – right?

I wish I was but I’m not. I wish carrying my cross was as simple as fastening a piece of jewellery around my neck. But it’s not. Carrying one’s cross is not easy.

Yet carry it I must, since this is what Jesus did for me (and for you) from the time he was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane to the time he was cruelly impaled upon that cross at Golgotha.

Whether you believe it or not, whether you care or not, the truth is Jesus willingly suffered so that we can be reconciled to God, so that we can be free from the clutches and influence of Satan and, so we can be delivered from spiritual death – the devastating penalty of SIN.

 

For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully.

For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God.

For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps (1 Peter 2:19-21 NKJV).

 

So are you prepared to follow Jesus’ example? Are you willing to obey Christ’s command?

…If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me (Matthew 16:24 NKJV)

And he who does not take his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me (Matthew 10:38)

 

The choice is yours whether you eat God’s manna of obedience, or consume the meat of self-indulgence.

As his disciples, Christ expects us to take up our cross daily and follow him. Have you picked up your cross, or are you avoiding and disobeying his command?

Without the cross there can be no crucifying of your flesh (please note I am speaking metaphorically here). Without crucifying of self, there can be no experience of Christ’s resurrection life and power, and therefore no partaking of his glory.

 

…we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together. (Romans 8:16-17 NKJV)

 

Dear readers, be aware that between the stages of grace and glory lies a road of personal pain and self-sacrifice. Those who choose to skip this route will not be seen as overcomers in God’s eyes. Those who refuse to walk this narrow pathway will not earn the victor’s crown.

Spiritual warriors, prayer interns, brothers and sisters in Christ, your cross will be specific to the path and purpose God has ordained for you. Have you decided to emulate Jesus? Then pick up your cross!

 

Wishing all followers and visitors a happy Easter!

 

PHOTO CREDIT: CC0 image courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

 

Too Busy? That’s A Poor Excuse!

Let me ask you a question. Are you too busy to pray?

I read a post recently at JOYFull Inspirations, which brought to mind a book I’d read some time ago by Bill Hybels, TOO BUSY NOT to PRAY. Hybels is the senior pastor of a large church in Illinois, USA.

The following is an extract from this book:

Prayerless people cut themselves off from God’s prevailing power, and the frequent result is the familiar feeling of being overwhelmed, over-run, beaten down, pushed around, defeated. Surprising numbers of people are willing to settle for lives like that. Don’t be one of them. Nobody has to live like that. Prayer is the key to unlocking God’s prevailing power in your life.

Dear WoW follower or visitor, if you feel life’s too busy for you to regularly set time aside and pray, then I have a challenging question to put to you – Is God a priority in your life? Be honest and search your heart.

We make time for the things that matter to us. Relationships. Parenting. Work. Business. Blogging. Even serving in the church! So, all things considered, do you really have a bona fide excuse?

Let me remind you of Susanna Wesley, mother of 19 children. You may recall that in one of my posts last year (We Salute You!), I shared how:

The difficulties and busyness of Susanna’s life, meant that her only means of escape to the prayer closet was to throw her apron over her head, warning her large brood of children that whenever they observed her in this state, she was praying and therefore not to be disturbed. Given this wonderful example from a woman who bore 19 children, dare we say of ourselves, that we do not have enough time to pray?

And, to give you another modern-day example, the post at JOYFull inspirations which caught my attention, was written by Letticia, a busy mum with 6 children.

Dear readers, let me encourage you to draw closer to God, to spend time in His presence.

I wish you an abundantly blessed and victorious week.

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For those of you who might be interested in purchasing this book visit: https://www.amazon.com/Too-Busy-Pray-Bill-Hybels/dp/0830834753 OR

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Bill+hybels+too+busy+not+to+pray

 

CREDIT: The above CC0 image is courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

Prayer Gem 7

prayerreenablack-pixabay-1308663_960_720

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank him for the answers. If you do this you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7 (The Living Bible)

 

 

Prayer is the portal that brings the power of heaven down to earth. It is kryptonite to the enemy and all his ploys against you.

(Priscilla Shirer)

 

Have you sent God your knee-mail today?

 

Prayer Gem 6

ReadingBible (Unsplash)-945422_960_720

 

The only currency God trades in is faith, and ‘faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God’ (Romans 10:17 KJV). As you immerse yourself in Scripture, faith takes root and begins to grow. And faith is what makes your prayers effective.

(Bob and Debbie Gass – 2016-17 UCB Word For Today).

 

 

Have you sent God your knee-mail today?

 

 

Psst! Have You Heard…?

Carol, you are a sweet positive minded soul that I’ve been fortunate to connect with in this place. I would like to thank you for all your support, for your beautiful posts infused with wisdom and love. It’s been a pleasure relating with you. A Bit About Me My name is Carol and I am […]

via Getting To Know Beautiful Carol — a cooking pot and twisted tales  (before you click – please see intro below – Thank you).

INTRO:

For those of you who would like to have a personal insight into me the individual, the person behind the blogger, I hope you will visit Jacqueline’s site to read this interview.

If you have not already come across her name on your cyber-travels, I would be most surprised, as nearly everywhere I visit, her Gravatar image is already there amongst the likes, or the comments.  As I’m always telling her, Jacqueline is one of the hardest working bloggers I know (as a visit to her site will soon reveal – there are sooo many posts!), and her desire to collaborate with and support other bloggers, is just cause for admiration.

Promises, Prayer, Preparation

prayerreenablack-pixabay-1308663_960_720

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)

 

 The following devotional is taken from UCB Word for today (May-July 2016), written by Bob and Debbie Gass.

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The famous evangelist R. A. Torrey said two of the greatest secrets to effective prayer lay in:

  1. Studying the Word of God and finding His will as revealed in the promises.
  2. Taking these promises and spreading them out before God in prayer, with the unwavering expectation that He will do what He said.

Don’t tolerate prayerlessness in your life. Don’t allow the stress of so-called progress to dictate how much time you will sit at the feet of your Saviour. Crave those times. Schedule those times.

Grace L. Naessens puts it like this in her poem, The Difference.

I woke early one morning

And rushed right into the day

I had so much to accomplish

That I didn’t have time to pray.

 

Problems just tumbled about me

And heavier came each task

“Why doesn’t God help me?” I wondered

He answered, “You didn’t ask.”

 

I wanted to see joy and beauty

But the day toiled on, gray and bleak.

I wondered why God didn’t show me

He said, “But you didn’t seek.”

 

I tried to come into God’s presence

I used all my keys at the lock.

God gently and lovingly chided

“My child, you didn’t knock.”

 

I woke up early this morning

And paused before entering the day.

I had so much to accomplish

That I had to take time to pray.

 

If you are wise, you will stay ‘prayed up’ and prepared for the inevitable crises of life. It’s foolish to wait until trouble shows up at your doorstep to begin this essential spiritual discipline.

 

***     ***     ***

*Free postal copies of The UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from:

FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

For the email version please sign up at: http://www.ucb.co.uk/word-for-today.html

 

CREDIT:  The above CC0 Image comes courtesy of Pixabay.com

 

PS: It’s my birthday today and I’ve just discovered that I shared a birthday with R. A. Torrey!

Our Magnificent Father

PRAISE PRAYER & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

(4th Wednesday of each month)

 

crossgeralt-574746_960_720

 CC0 Image courtesy of Gerd Aldmann – Pixabay.com

I recently read an excellent book on prayer, Destined For The Throne, by Paul E. Billheimer. In it he discusses the place and importance of praise. In a nutshell he says that praise develops our character, is good for our mental health, decentralises self and contributes to inner peace.

Billheimer also points out that both heaven and earth are engaged in one grand, uninterrupted chorus of praise to our creator.

If our life on earth is a dress rehearsal for the life to come in heaven, we’d better get with the programme. Praise and worship is not just for Sundays or mid-week meetings. Praise, prayer and worship needs to become an integral part of our daily lives.

 

Praise

20 . . . Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for he alone has all wisdom and power. 21World events are under his control. He removes kings and sets others on their thrones. He gives wise men their wisdom, and scholars their intelligence. 22 He reveals profound mysteries beyond man’s understanding. He knows all hidden things, for he is light, and darkness is no obstacle to him. 23 I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers . . .

(Daniel 2:20-23 – The Living Bible)

 

Prayer

Father God, we want to thank you for the privilege of being able to enter into your holy presence and fellowship with you. We come with boldness into your throne-room, to enjoy your presence, to present our needs and petitions.

Lord Jesus, you said a time would come when men’s hearts will fail them for fear. As we listen to and read the media reports, there are world events that could perhaps instil fear in our hearts. Thank you for your peace that surpasses natural understanding. Holy Spirit, minister that peace to our hearts and minds today and in the coming weeks.

Father God, in obedience to your word, we pray for our leaders and particularly for those who hold key international roles. We commit their lives into your hands. We ask that you direct their decisions. We pray that you will grant them wisdom, knowledge and understanding and that you will help them to rule with integrity and in justice.

Summon your power O God. Show us your awesome and miraculous might. Let your will be done on earth, as is being done in heaven. Our eyes are upon you, as we wait for the revelation of your grace and glory.

We ask this in faith and in the mighty, matchless name of Jesus. Amen.

 

Worship

 

 

 WoW! followers and visitors, have a blessed and victorious week.

 

 

Prayer Gem 4

Morning by morning, O Lord

You hear my voice;

Morning by morning,

I lay my requests before you

And wait in expectation.

(Psalm 5:3 NIV)

 

 

woman-praying-waldryano-pixabay1935186_960_720

 

 

Praying is communicating with God. Through prayer we come to know the all-powerful and loving God, and who He is. Through prayer we allow God to direct our lives. I believe that how we pray (or how we do not pray) changes our lives far more than you can ever imagine.

Prayer shapes our lives.

Canon J. John (www.canonjjohn.com)

 

God awaits you in his throne room!

 

PICTURE CREDIT: the above CC0 image is by Waldryano at Pixabay.com

The Gift of Words

 

GIVE A GIFT OF PRAYER

I recently read a beautiful blog post that inspired me. I am reblogging it below. Although the post is Christmas-related, I feel its message is still pertinent and, what’s more I’d like to challenge followers and readers to take this concept in another direction and give a gift of prayer this year to your loved ones (or even to your enemies!).

My challenge is to all but particularly to those who do not pray regularly, who see prayer as a dry difficult exercise, or last-ditch resort when afflictions arise or catastrophe seems imminent.

The Bible is replete with examples of people, who motivated by love or concern for others, used their words to send our Father God precious parcels of prayers. People like Moses, Abraham and Paul the apostle. And those gifts of prayers averted judgment, saved lives, strengthened believers during their trials.

I love receiving gifts. I also enjoy the pleasure of giving gifts to others that are appreciated, particularly when that person least expects it. Most of all however, I love to know that someone is holding me up in prayer. To me, when someone sacrifices their time to send petitions to God on my behalf it is like a precious gift.

Is there a friend, a family member, a work colleague, neighbour, or fellow-believer whom you could bless with the gift of your words in prayer this week, this month, this year?

Have a blessed week!

 

Two Drops of Ink: A Literary Blog

By; Michelle Gunnin

I am a natural encourager.  I am also a teacher.  It is not clear to me which came first.  Am I a teacher because I am an encourager, or is it the other way around? Either way, I have found great pleasure in building others up and helping them to feel valued.  I do this in several ways, but mainly I write notes.  They started off as handwritten expressions of appreciation.  Never underestimate the power of a good thank you note.  From there I started writing little memos just to brighten someone’s day.  When the internet was invented, my note writing grew to a whole new level. The speed with which my words traveled was amazing!  Notes turned into letters at the point when my typing speed surpassed my handwritten scrawl, and while I still love a handwritten note, the ability to communicate instantly has made inspiration…

View original post 1,098 more words

To All Fellow-Bloggers, Followers and Visitors

 

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HAPPY NEW YEAR – WOW FOLLOWERS AND VISITORS!

 

As the old year retires and a new one is born, we commit into the hands of our Creator the happenings of the past year and ask for direction and guidance in the new one. May He grant us His grace, His tranquillity and His wisdom!

Peggy Toney Horton, Does God Want Us to Be Happy

 

A New Year has tiptoed in. Let’s go forward to meet it. Let’s welcome the 365 days it brings. Let’s live well with love in our hearts towards God and all people. Let’s walk through its corridors with praise songs on our lips.

Anusha Atukorala

 

Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.

Brad Paisley

 

No, dear brothers [and sisters], I am still not all I should be but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God is calling us up to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for us. Philippians 3:13-14

 

Lord, as the New Year dawns today,

Help me to put my faults away.

Let me be big in little things;

Grant me the joy which friendship brings;

Keep me from selfishness and spite,

Let me be wise to what is right.

A Happy New Year! Grant that I

May cause no tear to any eye.

When this new year in time shall end,

Let it be said: “I’ve played the friend,

Have lived and loved and laboured here

And made of it a happy year.”

Edgar Guest (1881–1959), “Prayer for the New Year”

 

Thank you dear followers and readers for supporting me with your visits, comments and likes. It is truly appreciated.

May the Lord bless and keep you throughout 2017. May the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. And may the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace. Amen.

Best wishes,

Carol

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https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com

https://plus.google.com/collection/Qw96cB

“…If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer

 

Prayer Gem – 2

 

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That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything.

And when you assume the posture of prayer, remember that it’s not all asking. If you have anything against someone, forgive—only then will your heavenly Father be inclined to also wipe your slate clean of sins.

(Mark 11:24-26 The Message)

 

God awaits you in His throne-room!

 

 

 

Que Sera Sera?

What are you doing to help mend our broken world?
What are you doing to help mend our broken world?

 

Have you ever looked at this world in despair? I can relate!

It is a rare event when media reports on international issues raise a smile from me, or a sense of belief that all is well with the world. I think I can honestly say that most times after listening to a news channel, or reading a newspaper, I feel disgusted, disquieted or depressed. And sometimes I can even feel ashamed to admit that I belong to the human race – in fact, somebody stop the world – I wanna get off!

When I see reports of police brutality against the mentally ill, or against black men, young girls and women, I feel outrage. When I hear stories about a high-ranking official’s debauchery and betrayal of trust (having participated in child abuse, or corruption or paedophilia), I feel sickened.

But however indignant and self-righteous I may be, it cannot compare to how God must feel about these things. Consider His response to Sodom and Gomorrah. Consider his attitude to the antediluvian days.

Are you troubled about these things? Are you concerned that the world seems to be getting darker and people more depraved, less tolerant?

If so, are you doing anything about it?

Me? (you ask). What can poor, inconsequential me do about this humongous issue?

Well, for a start, you can pray! You can stand in the gap for those individuals that touch your heart. You can intercede for those situations that vex your soul.

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There was a time in biblical history, when God’s heart and compassion moved him to do something. He wanted to bring healing, peace and restoration to the offending circumstances that he saw. However, he could find NOBODY who cared enough to stand in the gap and mediate between Him and those people, whose lives were at odds to his standards, whose lives were being insidiously influenced by the Enemy.

Do you care? And if you do, do you care enough? Are you willing to take time out of your charmed lives to pray? Are you willing to set aside your own disappointments, discouragement or despair to send God fervent petitions on behalf of others?

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If you are a member of Western civilisation, are you able to acknowledge that you are better off than a great many others?

Consider refugees living in cramped muddy conditions in a country that does not really want them. Consider those fleeing torture, or risking their lives and the lives of their children in vessels that are not sail-worthy, in order to preserve their lives, in order that they may enjoy liberty, freedom of speech, or freedom of religion. Consider parents in the developing world who don’t know where their next meal is coming from, who don’t have the means to feed and nurture their family properly.

 

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And moving closer to home, think of the homeless sleeping on a piece of cardboard in freezing weather, think of parents whose children have gone missing, think of those parents who’ve suffered the anguish and pain of children who have been murdered.

Perhaps you are thinking: Lady Cee, prayer is not my calling. I leave that sort of thing to my church prayer group, to those who feel called to the ministry of intercession.

Well, my response to you dear fellow saint is: poppycock! If that is your honest belief, then you are mistaken.

Listen to this:

Then He [Jesus] spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1)

…when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (Matthew 6:6)

Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41)

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18)

Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving (Colossians 4:2)

Pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Now to whom do you think the above writers were addressing these words? To whom do you think Jesus was speaking? Is it only to those who feel called to prayer and intercession? No my dear friend. If you are a born-again, blood-washed child of God, if you consider yourself to be a member of the body of Christ, then God’s Word is being spoken to you!

Only deception by Satan, or ignorance of the Word of God and of who you are in Christ, or utter selfishness, or slothfulness, stops us from obediently taking our place on the battlefield of prayer.

So now you know!

And now that you know, what will you do? Will you care? Will you allow compassion for people and outrage against the Enemy to propel you to your prayer closet?

I am praying and trusting God that it will.

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WoW! followers and visitors, to those of you for whom this message is pertinent, my prayer is that you will not just read this post and go on your merry little way. My prayer is that you and I will hear the cry of our Father God’s heart and respond to his desire for someone to stand in the gap.

Today, I am challenging you and I am challenging myself to make a choice. Choose to be a mediator! Choose to stand against the exploits of the Enemy! Choose to care and pray!

And for those of you who are diligently praying, be encouraged – your efforts will be rewarded. Just continue the good work.

 

QUESTION:

How do you respond to disturbing world events? Has this post inspired you to act differently? Please let me know your response in the comment box below.  I look forward to hearing from you.

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PHOTO CREDITS: all the above photographs are CC0 images – courtesy of Pixabay.com

SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: the above biblical texts have all been taken from the New King James version

 

Prayer Gem – 1

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My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord;

In the morning I will direct it to You,

And I will look up.

(Psalm 5:3 NKJ)

 

 

Let my prayer be set before You as incense,

The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

(Psalm 141:2 NKJ)

 

Have you prayed today?

 

Whether you have or you haven’t may I encourage you to read the following poem written by yours truly, about the benefits of daily prayer?

God awaits you in His throne room!

 

All Types of Prayer – Part 1

Hello WoW! followers and visitors, I’d like to spend some time focusing on prayer for the next few posts. After all, as prayer warriors and victorious overcomers, prayer should be an important feature in our lives.

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CC0 Image courtesy of Manfred Antranias Zimmer (Pixabay.com)

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

Ephesians 6:13-18 The Message

The following is taken from the UCB Word For Today* devotional, written by Bob and Debbie Gass.

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DIFFERENT TYPES OF PRAYER (1) – Extract from: 19 November 2015

In scripture there are many different kinds of prayer. Let’s look at some of them and see what we can learn:

1) The prayer of surrender 

When Paul met Christ on the Damascus Road he prayed, ‘Lord, what wilt though have me do?’ (Acts 9:6 KJV). That’s like signing your name to a blank cheque and saying, ‘Here I am, Lord, do with me as you please. I hope I like what you choose, but even if I don’t I’ll do it anyway; Your will be done, not mine.’

You’re deciding to voluntarily follow God rather than trying to get Him to follow you. As a result He will do the work that needs to be done in you, so that He can do the work that He desires to do through you.

2) The prayer of commitment

The Bible says, ‘Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him’ (1 Peter 5:7 AMP). As long as you keep trying to control everything, your stress levels will keep mounting. But once you learn to hand things over to God, you’ll wonder why you spent even a single day worrying.

3) The prayer of intercession

The prophet Ezekiel writes, ‘I looked for someone… who would… stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land’ (Ezekiel 22:30 NIV 2011 Edition). ‘The gap’ is the distance between what is – and what can be. And when there’s a ‘gap’ in someone’s relationship with God due to a particular sin, as a believer you have the privilege (and responsibility) of placing yourself in that gap and praying for them.

(to be continued)

*Free postal copies of The UCB Word For Today (UK and Republic of Ireland only) are available from:

FREEPOST RLTX-ABUL-GRAR, United Christian Broadcasters, Westport Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST6 4JF

For the email version please sign up at: UCB

Don’t Be A Fool!

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“Count your blessings and be grateful not a great fool.” ― Habeeb Akande

 

 

Hello dear readers,

Thank you for joining me on the final leg of my 6-day “thanks-fest”. I trust by now you are aware of how much I appreciate you all for taking the time to read my posts and interact with me. Given the amount of great content on the web and in the WordPress Reader, I count your continued interest and support an honour. Thank you!

And now to the task in hand.

Gratitude. Or its ugly and contrary opposite twin—ingratitude!

Whilst doing some research on this theme, I came across the following:

The Discipline of Gratitude means we are practicing and producing an attitude of gratitude, of being thankful, even when we cannot see what we have. This is an aspect of our worship of Christ—expressing to him our appreciation and reverence for how he has benefited our lives. We are grateful because his blood has redeemed us. This also has a relational application in that it helps us deal with others as we show our support, appreciation, and benevolence to them for how they have benefited our lives.

Dr Richard J Krejcir

 

Dr Krejcir’s observation, brought to mind the biblical story of Nabal. Are you familiar with it? If not, and you’d like to read it for yourself, or refresh your memory, the account can be found at 1 Samuel 25:2-38.

Nabal is a man who benefitted from the kindness of David and his warrior men, when they provided free protection to his herdsmen. This is a man who is wealthy and could afford to offer a gesture of appreciation without it affecting him materially. But this mean ingrate, not only refused to do so, but decided to slander David. Nabal acted true to his nature and the meaning of his name, which is “Fool”!

The biblical account provides us with an example of both gratitude and ingratitude. Nabal’s churlish behaviour, provoked outrage and almost cost the unnecessary and violent loss of life. In the end, only his life was lost!

Abigail’s generous expression of gratitude not only saved the day but prompted praise and thankfulness to God from David. He appreciated her generosity and wise intervention, which prevented him from taking matters into his own hands and seeking revenge for Nabal’s insults.

 

Ingratitude is a crime more despicable than revenge, which is only returning evil for evil, while ingratitude returns evil for good. William George Jordan

 

Ingratitude is an insult. It diminishes the ingrate. Gratitude opens the door to favour and goodwill.

As I have sought to encourage over the past few days, we are to reflect upon the goodness of God and thank him for the benefits he has bestowed upon our lives. However, we should also remember to thank those who’ve sown positive seeds in our lives.

Have you recently benefited from someone’s kindness? Have you thanked them, or thanked God for them and asked him to bless them?

 Women of Warfare! followers and visitors have a blessed week.

 

And the award goes to…


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Lady Cee’s trophy of appreciation for blogger support

 

 

Hello dear readers,

This is the final leg of my 6-day “thanks-fest”. I do apologise for the delay in producing my final post. And whilst I am on the subject, can I say how much I appreciate and admire those of my blogging peers who produce a regular diet of uplifting and positive posts, almost daily and some even several times a day?!

I would also like to thank the following bloggers who have demonstrated their kind support by reading, liking or commenting on my posts relating to this theme on gratitude:

@humanity777 (x 3)

@ellisnelson

@Mack (x 5)

@Robert Lambert Jones III (x 3)

@Jonathan Camac (x 5)

@arm5

@Chris Nicholas

@mitchteemley

@Scarletpiper

@beautybeyondbones (x 4)

@thepearlsisters (x 2)

@The Bellezza Corner (x 2)

@thisisyouth

@Julius

@Dustin Meyer

@cedricramey (x 2)

@havau22

@beholdinghimministries

@LenelnJapan

@begintobelieve

@Bonsai

@Frank Solanki

@Sailing a 34’ Catamaran Named Chiron

@conversationcat

thank-you-pixabay1434501_960_720My sincere thanks to all of you for not only giving me your ear but also taking the time to respond with your precious likes and comments. Thank you!

And because I truly appreciate you and think you deserve a post to yourselves, instead of combining this ‘thank you’ with my final post (as originally intended), I am keeping the two separate. My final post in this series, is therefore yet to come.

Have a blessed day!

 

Minted or Bankrupt?

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CC0 Image – Gerd Altmann (Pixabay.com)

 

Hello dear reader,

Thank you for joining me on day 5 of my “thanks-fest”.

 

And now just as you trusted Christ to save you, trust him too for each day’s problems; live in vital union with him.

Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all he has done.

Colossians 2:6-7 (The Living Bible)

 

goldpixabay-744468_960_720None is more impoverished than the one who has no gratitude. Gratitude is a currency that we can mint for ourselves, and spend without fear of bankruptcy.

Fred De Witt Van Amburgh

 

SELF-SCRUTINY:

Are you minted or bankrupt?

 

Best wishes,

Carol

 

 

Reasons to be thankful (Part 3)

CC0 Image – Pixabay.com

 

Do you know how blessed you are?

You have made it this far in the year – others planned to yet they have not!

If you are celebrating Thanksgiving today with family and friends, I wish you a joyous and memorable occasion. I pray for peace, unity and journeying mercies for you and your loved ones.

 

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Welcome to day 4 of my “thanks-fest”. Thank you so much for joining me here.

In my posts (Reasons to be thankful Part 1  and Part 2) we saw that when it comes to our relationship with God, it is vital we develop and maintain an attitude of gratitude. We discovered that when we habitually express our appreciation to the Lord, we are able to make a sober assessment of ourselves and our achievements.

We learned that the practice of thanksgiving magnifies our Heavenly Father’s ability, attributes and authority above our personal circumstances, enabling us to transfer our focus from pressing needs, overwhelming fears and personal limitations, to the one who is the ultimate solution to our dilemmas, distress and disappointments.

Today, I’d like to get on with the business of thanksgiving.

Dear Father God,

I want to thank you for the following:

  • For watching over me throughout last night and keeping me safe from harm, danger and evil

  • For waking me up this morning to greet another new day

  • For your unconditional, everlasting and extravagant love

  • For accepting me as I am, despite my failures, faults and shortcomings

  • For rescuing me from the realm of darkness and translating me into your kingdom of light

  • For your promises to supply all my needs

  • For miraculous answers to my prayers

  • For divine protection in accordance with Psalm 91

  • For sending your Son to die for me, redeeming me from Satan’s clutches and from the curse of the Law

  • Because you have given me power (authority) over the Enemy and you’ve promised that when I exercise this authority, absolutely nothing shall hurt me

  • Because you have promised that no weapon forged against me will prosper (i.e. be successful in its intent to destroy me)

  • Because you are a covenant-keeping God

  • Because you are the only true and living God and yet you deign to visit me, help me and pursue a relationship with me

  • Because you are my God!

  • Because you have promised you will never leave or forsake me

  • Because you have promised that when I am fearful, you will be with me to strengthen and uphold me

  • Because you have promised to keep me in perfect peace, if I keep my eyes on you

  • Because you know the plans that you have for my life and those plans give me hope for my final outcome

  • Because you are able to do super-abundantly above all that I would even dare to ask or think. You are able to do infinitely beyond my highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes or dreams

  • Because you are able to cause ALL things to work together for my good (i.e. for my benefit, progress and welfare), no matter how bleak or impossible to resolve those situations may seem!

thank-youoberholstervenita-971644_960_720Finally, I thank you Father God for the everyday blessings of shelter, food and clean water. Thank you for my husband, our house and our jobs, which enable us to maintain our home and bless the work of your kingdom.

Thank you for your gifts and abilities invested within my life. Thank you for the opportunities (both current and future), to use these abilities and gifts for your glory and in service of your kingdom.

I am grateful that I live in a country where I am free to worship you without fear of persecution and that I have access to the Bible and other resources, which aids my growth and development as a follower of Christ.

Lord God, for all the above I thank you.

 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 

Best wishes,

Carol

https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com

https://plus.google.com/collection/Qw96cB

“…If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer

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I do hope you are enjoying these posts. Why not share your response with me in the comment box below? I look forward to hearing from you.

Reasons to be thankful (Part 2)

 

Hello precious readers!

It’s day 3 of my ‘thanks-fest’ and we are half-way through this 6-day event. Thank you so much for popping over to my corner of cyberspace. I invite you to join with me in celebrating the goodness of our Heavenly Father.

Yesterday, we looked at how expressing our gratitude to God on a regular basis, stops us from taking his goodness and undeserved mercies for granted. It stops us falling into pride, walking through life with blind arrogance, believing that our status and good fortune has been acquired solely by our own efforts or greatness.

Today, I’d like to focus on another aspect of gratitude.

When we take steps to reflect on God’s provision and protection, this allows us to magnify the Lord in our hearts and minds. We also stir up our faith and expectations regarding fulfilment of outstanding prayer requests and regarding those promises upon which we may be standing.

Now don’t get me wrong here—when I say God is magnified, I do not mean that our praise and thanksgiving makes Him any bigger. He is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. You can’t get much bigger than that!

No. When I say we magnify God, I mean that in our own hearts and minds, we have an increased perception and awareness of his greatness, goodness and glory. I mean we have deliberately chosen to enlarge and elevate our perception and experience of God, above our egos, petty whims, disappointments and undesirable circumstances.

When we think of a magnifying glass, it is designed to make something you cannot see clearly with the natural eye, appear magnified. But has that item you are observing been made physically bigger? No! It is the instrument used that increases our capacity to see the item better. In the same way, our praise and thanksgiving to God, our expressed gratitude does not make him bigger. Our praise and thanksgiving increases our capacity to see him better! Our praise and thanksgiving shifts our focus from the stuff we own (which can lead to pride of life), or the stuff we want (which promotes discontent).

When dealing with the Children of Israel, God orchestrated special times of remembrance, so that his chosen nation would not forget who He is and what He had done for them. Perhaps we should do likewise and set up our own mechanisms for memorialising personal milestones.

If you are familiar with the Bible, you’ll be aware of its many accounts regarding the nation of Israel and how they’d forgotten what the Lord had done for them. As human beings, we tend to have short memories! There have been times when I’ve looked back through my devotional diaries to see accounts of breakthroughs and answered prayers, which I’d completely forgotten about. Some of them have been so meaningful and momentous to me, I would never have believed that I could have forgotten them. And yet I did. The evidence testifying that I had done so, was recorded in black and white.

Now, if they hadn’t been documented, those wonderful acts of God, those precious answers to prayers could not have been recalled, and would not have been remembered. But because they were recorded, I was able to give my amazing Father God, jubilant thanks for past triumphs and miraculous answers to prayer. And that same evidence, enables me to give thanks in anticipation of His miraculous intervention, or wonderful provision in the future.

Before I close, I’d like to worship the Lord with the following song, which goes some way to expressing my gratitude to the Lord, for his unconditional love, abundant mercies and faithfulness. Won’t you join me?

 

 

Dear reader, do you have a way of memorialising significant milestones in your walk with the Lord? If not, may I challenge you to consider setting something up? It could be a journal, or a “forget-Him-not” jar, or whatever you wish.

Please share your response to this post in the comment box below. I look forward to hearing from you.

With heartfelt best wishes,

Carol

https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com

https://plus.google.com/collection/Qw96cB

“…If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer

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Reasons to be thankful (Part 1)

 

 

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 Welcome to day two of my personal ‘thanks-fest’. I appreciate you joining me.

Without further ado, let’s jump right into those reasons why we should be thankful to God.

The following pointers provide us with a biblical perspective for maintaining a heart of gratitude.

 

Reason 1:

The failure to be thankful darkens our hearts and causes us to entertain confusing and futile thoughts.

…because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Romans 1:21)

Chambers 21st Century Dictionary defines futile as follows: unproductive, unavailing, foolish, vain, or pointless.

Actions, are in effect, enacted thoughts, so if your efforts are consistently unproductive, or unsuccessful, perhaps the underlying cause is an unthankful attitude.

 

Reason 2:

A habitual failure to be thankful encourages a murmuring spirit, which God hates (see Numbers 21:5-7). God sees grumbling and complaining as ungodly traits (Jude 1:15-16).

 

Reason 3:

A thankful heart keeps us humble. We recognise that it is because of the goodness of God that we are able to enjoy whatever benefits and blessings we have. We acknowledge that if it were not for his breath within us, keeping us alive, we would not be in a position to work, or possess the capacity to make our efforts fruitful and productive.

Again and again, the Bible clearly shows that pride will deceive us into thinking that our achievements and accrued blessings are the sole result of our own efforts. We should take warning from the stories of Nebuchadnezzar and his son, Belshazzar.

Although both were influential Persian kings with great wealth, they were each humbled by God because of their boastful failure to acknowledge and glorify Him as the one who had exalted them (see Daniel chapters 4-5).

In direct contrast, we see that Daniel was accustomed to praying and giving God thanks, so God prospered him. (Daniel 6:10, 28).

God instructs us to:

…remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth… (Deuteronomy 8:18).

How do we remember him? By expressing our thanks and appreciation. By maintaining an attitude of gratitude.

 

Reason 4:

A thankful heart moves us towards wholeness and opens the door to experiencing the miraculous. Remember the 10 lepers? I love reading this account in the old King James’ authorised version. It reveals that whilst the 9 ungrateful lepers were cleansed from leprosy, the one who returned to express his thanks, was made whole.

To me that means those who were cleansed no longer suffered from the cause and accompanying symptoms that marked them out as lepers (i.e. rashes, sores and infection). However, I believe the one who was made whole, probably experienced a supernatural miracle – the re-growth of lost fingers and toes! And all because he expressed his appreciation to the Lord. What a wonderful fringe benefit!

 

Reason 5:

Finally, thankfulness when combined with praise or prayer requests, produces a dynamic and effective spiritual life and promotes confidence in the presence of God (Psalm 100:4; Philippians 4:6).

The Bible is replete with exhortations to thank God. In Psalm 107, the following words are repeated four times:

Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!

 

In light of the above, I would encourage anyone who does not currently maintain an attitude of gratitude to the Lord, to repent and make immediate amends.

Meanwhile Women of Warfare! followers and visitors, may the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; may the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Amen.

Best wishes,

Carol

 

“…If you love what you are doing, you will be successful” – Albert Schweitzer

https://apurposedrivenachiever.wordpress.com

https://plus.google.com/collection/Qw96cB

 

My 6-day Thanks-Fest

Dear Father God, I thank you!

 

CCO Image - Gerd Altmann (Pixabay.com)
CCO Image – Gerd Altmann (Pixabay.com)

 

Hello dear readers,

I’m pretty sure that many of you are engaged with preparations for your Thanksgiving meal. Since we in the UK do not celebrate this holiday, I (thankfully) am not occupied with such preparations!

However, I’ve decided that I will join you all with my own brand of thanksgiving celebrations and to that end, I intend to post daily for the next 6 days on the theme of gratitude. I do hope you will find time to check in with me and that you will enjoy the thanksgiving fare I plan to dish up for your consumption.

But before I leave you with today’s offering, may I confide in you?

I hope by now that people who are familiar with my posts will agree that I’m generally a thankful person. For those of you who are new followers, let me hasten to say that I’m truly grateful to God for his goodness and I do appreciate the kindness and thoughtful deeds of others toward me and my loved ones. I express that thankfulness to God, daily.

However, on reading past entries in my writing journal, I discovered that most of these entries reflected on the negative aspects of my life. I noted that my attitude of gratitude (a good thing), was being undermined by a habitual mindset, which leans heavily towards negative thinking (a not so good thing).

Now, since maintaining an attitude of gratitude is supposed to improve my general outlook on life, I don’t want this state of affairs to continue. Perhaps there’s someone out there who, having examined their life, feels similarly? If so, why not join me on my 6-day thanks-fest? I’d appreciate the company!

Without further ado, I have pleasure in serving you with our first course. Enjoy!

 

 

WoW! followers and readers – until tomorrow, au revoir!

Five Minute Friday: LIFT

Q: What is Five Minute Friday?

A: It is a 5min free write blog event hosted by Kate Motaung. Every Thursday Kate announces a one-word prompt on her blog at 10pm EST. The link-up is open for a full week, until the following Thursday evening. For further details on how to participate visit her blog at: Heading Home.

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Five Minute Friday Prompt: LIFT

 

I will lift up my eyes to the hills—

From whence comes my help?

My help comes from the Lord

Who made heaven and earth.

(Psalm 121: 1-2 NKJ)

 

The above declaration implies that the writer has made a decision to change his focus.

How many times have you felt despondent… felt bereft of hope because life stood up and slapped you in the face instead of gracing you with the smile and gifts of fortune and favour? And how many times have you dwelt on your circumstances and decided that life is hard and unfair?

I recently felt this way.

I’d taken a blogging break and had planned to use the time to work on a long-standing project. My mother’s health suddenly deteriorated to the extent that she was eventually hospitalised and, following discharge, needed full-time care. I decided to take a break from work in order to provide that care.

Daily hospital visits, stress, weariness and the further demands upon my time meant my project was once again consigned to the back burner. The little scrap of time left to me late in the evenings meant I only wanted to eat and relax before going to bed (here read watch TV, or check and despair over my dismal blog stats!).

Added to this, I felt completely overwhelmed by the extra responsibility and was also concerned that I might not be patient enough, mentally or physically strong enough to follow through with this commitment.

My eyes were on my circumstances, on the enormity of my problems and not upon the greatness of my God. It’s easy to do right? To preach it and write or blog about it, but when it comes to the crunch, forget God’s commands and promises and fail to walk in his peace and strength. And before you know it, all the prayers and meditation and bold confessions, all the effort you’ve put in to familiarise yourself with God’s Word and endeavour to submit to his perfect will, have retreated from your consciousness and disappeared from your vocabulary.

“Hath God said…” whispers Satan within your mind and before you can say: “Get behind me!” you have fallen victim to overwhelming doubts, fear and even unbelief.

Dear reader, if these words speak to you where you are at right now, please join with me by lifting your heart and the eyes of your understanding and refocus them upon Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith. Please join with me by discarding your constrictive cloak of heaviness and don your glorious garment of praise and thanksgiving.

Let’s wholeheartedly lift our eyes to our Father God in Heaven (who graciously loves, protects and provides for us) and let’s declare our trust, faith and confidence in Him without reservation.

WoW! followers and visitors may you experience the peace of God that transcends human understanding throughout the coming weeks and may you rest in his comfort and abide in his presence.

 

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DID YOU…?

Have you sent Jesus your knee-mail today? (Image by: Gerd Altmann - Pixabay.com)
Have you sent Jesus your knee-mail today? (Image by: Gerd Altmann – Pixabay.com)

 

Did you…?

Have you spent time in the throne room today?

Have you spent quality time with Him, or did you rush away?

Did you linger at His feet?

Linger in His presence, so pure, so sweet?

 

Did you let Jesus soothe your soul’s pain?

Did you let him refresh you, once again?

Did you accept His Word’s healing balm

Whispered with love and authority

And with a voice so cool, so calm?

 

Did you give Jesus sufficient time?

To tell you about his love—

Unfathomable, unconditional,

Tried and true,

Ready at your bidding to be lavished upon you?

 

Or did you rush absentmindedly away?

Not give Jesus ample time today?

Ample time – for him to remind you

That he sees far beyond your limited view,

That his unfailing mercies

Are prepared and packaged just for you?

 

Did you pause in his holy presence?

So he could explain,

That you need not agonise,

Despair, or nurse that pain?

 

Dear wounded, weary, hurt or searching one

Relinquish your load,

Rejoice, and trust God anew

For the road to victory,

The key to your breakthrough,

Lies not in confusion, questions or tears

Lies not in rebellion, anger or fears.

 

Let me tell you dear daughter,

The solution you seek

Is available this hour, this day, this week!

Yes, the answer is found

In His presence profound,

In tarrying in His throne room,

Trusting His Word,

Waiting for his voice of wisdom,

Waiting patiently – not perturbed!

 

And should that answer come winging

From heaven’s miraculous sphere,

Remember to thank him,

Remember to praise,

Remember to worship the Ancient of Days.

 

© Carol Hind – July 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walls! Walls! Walls!

CityWalls(tpsdave-David Mark)-164825_960_720Photo image from David Mark – Pixabay.com

 

Whilst listening to a teaching by Joyce Meyer, she made an observation that went something like this:

“In order to wall others out, you are walling yourself in. Let God be your wall of protection.”

Her statement set me thinking, which then motivated me to find out what others had to say on the subject of walls. Here’s what I discovered.

For reflection

1)

We build too many walls and not enough bridges.

(Isaac Newton)

2)

Before you were born,

And were still too tiny for

The human eye to see,

You won the race for life

From among 250 million competitors.

And yet,

How fast you have forgotten

Your strength,

When your very existence

Is proof of your greatness.

You were born a winner,

A warrior,

One who defied the odds

By surviving the most gruesome

Battle of them all.

And now that you are a giant,

Why do you even doubt victory

Against smaller numbers,

And wider margins?

The only walls that exist,

Are those you have placed in your mind.

And whatever obstacles you conceive,

Exist only because you have forgotten

What you have already Achieved.”

Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

3)

“We all build internal sea walls to keep at bay the sadnesses of life and the often overwhelming forces within our minds. In whatever way we do this—through love, work, family, faith, friends, denial, alcohol, drugs, or medication—we build these walls, stone by stone, over a lifetime. One of the most difficult problems is to construct these barriers of such a height and strength that one has a true harbor, a sanctuary away from crippling turmoil and pain, but yet low enough, and permeable enough, to let in fresh seawater that will fend off the inevitable inclination toward brackishness.”

Kay Redfield Jamison, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness

4)

With no consideration, no pity, no shame,

they have built walls around me, thick and high.

And now I sit here feeling hopeless.

I can’t think of anything else: this fate gnaws my mind –

because I had so much to do outside.

When they were building the walls, how could I not have noticed!

But I never heard the builders, not a sound.

Imperceptibly they have closed me off from the outside world.

(Constantine P. Cavafy)

5)

For by you I can run against a troop,

By my God, I can leap over a wall.

(Psalm 18:29)

6)

“But love is much like a dam: if you allow a tiny crack to form through which only a trickle of water can pass, that trickle will quickly bring down the whole structure, and soon no one will be able to control the force of the current. For when those walls come down, then love takes over…”

Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

 

7)

Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.

(Maya Angelou)

 

For self-examination

Women of Warfare followers and visitors, let me ask you this:

  • Are you building walls, or have you already built walls around yourself, which are not only shutting others out but also cutting you off from potential opportunities?
  • If (like Cavafy), you believe that others have built imprisoning walls around you, are you willing to call out to God and ask him to give you the desire, energy and wisdom to leap over those walls that are keeping you captive?
  • According to Romans 5:5, God’s agape love has been poured out in our hearts. Given Angelou’s statement, do you accept God’s love can penetrate or dismantle any barriers erected as a response to past offences? Are you willing to humble yourself and ask God to make this happen and allow Him to do so?
  • Consider Kassem’s depiction of us as warriors. Does it enable you to see yourself as a victor, or an overcomer, despite any undesirable circumstances you may currently face?

 

Prayer:

Father God, deliver us from unhealthy thoughts and attitudes and emotions that drive us to erect walls around ourselves. Enable us to extend the hand of love and motivate us to build relational bridges. Amen.

 

Further Reading:

Want to explore this topic further? The following short post (There is no safety behind emotional walls) may be of interest.

 

Did any of the above quotes speak to you? Please share your thoughts and responses in the comment box below.

 

A Celebration of Motherhood and Tribute to my Mother

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 Image credit: Omar Medina Films at Pixabay.com

 

Today is Mothers Day, or Mothering Sunday in the UK. I’d like to take this time to celebrate Mothers and Motherhood. I’d like to take this opportunity to pay special tribute to my mum, who is the dearest of all mothers (forgive me for my bias).

 

A mother – when you’re a child she walks before you to set an example. When you’re a teenager she walks behind you to be there should you need her. When you’re an adult she walks beside you so that as two friends you can enjoy life together.

(Author unknown)

 

The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness. (Honoré de Balzac)

 

Earlier this week I read a newspaper article about pop singer Adele, who began her world tour in the UK at the end of last month.

The article reported on Adele’s surprise visit to a 12 year old girl in Belfast, Ireland, who suffers from cerebral palsy and epilepsy. This heart-warming act of kindness, captured in a photo of Adele smiling tenderly at her young fan lying in bed, whilst the girl (Rebecca) gazes up at the singer with adoring eyes, makes a cute human interest story indeed. The Brit Award winner’s impromptu visit so thrilled Rebecca’s mother that she remarked “…It’s made me feel like I’m the best mummy in the world”.

Well, I can fully understand why she would believe this but sorry – I beg to differ. The crown for ‘Best Mother in the World’ has already been awarded and this went to my mother! And, I have it on good authority that once awarded, this title is irrevocable.

My mum is the best mother any daughter, indeed any child could wish to have. I don’t know how much longer I will have to enjoy her company on this earth but whilst she is still around, I want to celebrate and serve her to the best of my ability. I love my mum to bits. She is 86 years old and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease a few years ago.

When I was much younger, there were times that I did not celebrate my mum. I was rude and disrespectful both to her face and behind her back. How I regret this. How I wish I could claw back those unpalatable thoughts and words I’d dished up for my mother’s consumption. I was wrong and I was very much out of order!

One never knows what lies ahead of us. I never dreamt my mother would be any less than the active, capable and strong woman that she used to be. My mother was (still is) a god-fearing, prayerful woman of God, who loved and was most loyal to her pastor and fellow church members. She loved her children and regularly prayed for us. Ill? Prayer was her response. Discouraged, or depressed? Prayer was her response. At the end of our tether? Prayer was her response. Any adverse situation we encountered, or problem we confided, mum faithfully brought to the throne room of God.

As teenagers this was rarely appreciated. There would be eye-rolling from deep within the inner recesses of our unregenerate hearts. As young adults, we felt sheer embarrassment as we left the house for work and witnessed startled, or curious passers-by glancing up at my mum’s bedroom window because her voice, lifting up passionate pleas to God in prayer, could be heard.

But when I re-surrendered my life to Christ, how I appreciated this rich legacy of prayer. How I appreciated my mother’s induction into a spiritual climate and lifestyle of fervent intercession and prayer.

Mum is very family oriented. She celebrated our birthdays with lavish dinner parties, cooked up a mega-fest of culinary dishes at Christmas – year, after year, after year and was a supreme example of generous-hearted hospitality.

My mother may no longer be the woman she once was but as far as I am concerned she is one in a gazillion! Let me reiterate – my mum is the best (nay the bestest!) mother in the world!

 

A Mother’s Love

A Mother’s Love is like an island

In life’s ocean vast and wide,

A peaceful, quiet shelter

From the restless, rising tide …

A Mother’s Love is like a fortress

And we seek protection there

When the waves of tribulation

Seem to drown us in despair …

A Mother’s Love’s a sanctuary

Where our souls can find sweet rest

From the struggle and the tension

Of Life’s fast and futile quest …

A Mother’s Love is like a tower

Rising far above the crowd,

And her smile is like the sunshine

Breaking through a threatening cloud …

A Mother’s Love is like a beacon

Burning Bright with Faith and Prayer,

And through the changing scenes of life

We can find a Haven There …

For A Mother’s Love is fashioned

After God’s enduring love,

It is endless and unfailing

Like the love of Him above …

For God knew in His great wisdom

That He couldn’t be Everywhere,

So He put His Little Children

In a Loving Mother’s care.

(Author unknown)

 

Happy Mother’s Day mum!

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May he make his face shine upon you. May he be gracious to you and give you peace. Amen.

(Adapted from Numbers 6:24-26).

 

Is Your Life-Metaphor Flawed?

Motivation(Alexas_Fotos)-954599_960_720

MOTIVATIONAL MONDAY

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Metaphor:

  • An expression in which the person, action or thing referred to is described as if it really were what it merely resembles (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)

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In his book, The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren states that the way we see our lives will shape our lives. He says, whether consciously or unconsciously, our life-metaphor (the internal image we have of life) will influence how we conduct our lives…

Interested in reading more? Please visit my PDA blog.

Not yet read part one? Follow this link.

 

PS: If you wish to like this PDA post, or leave a comment, I’d be grateful if you would kindly put these on my purpose-driven achiever site. Thank you.

 

We Exalt and Worship You O Lord

  PRAISE PRAYER & WORSHIP WEDNESDAY

 

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Praise

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and the earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and Yours it is to be exalted as Head over all.

Both riches and honour come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hands are power and might; in your hands it is to make great and to give strength to all.

Now therefore, our God, we thank you and praise Your glorious name and those attributes which that name denotes.

1 Chronicles 29:11-13 (Amplified Bible)

 

Prayer

Awesome God, I come into your Holy Presence with heartfelt praise and thanksgiving. Thank you for making me worthy through the precious blood of your Son, Jesus. Father God, I choose to magnify you today. I choose to magnify you above those circumstances which have distracted and broken my focus. I choose to hand those situations over to you, to trust you and not lean on my own understanding. I choose to recall that your mercies are new every morning and to remember you as a covenant-keeping God. I choose to exalt you above my fears, inadequacies and insecurities. I choose to worship you in the beauty of holiness. Be exalted O Lord God most High. Thank you for welcoming me into your throne room and thank you for hearing my prayer. Amen.

 

Worship

 

Women of Warfare followers and visitors, may the Lord bless you and keep you safe, may His grace and favour surround you and may His peace that surpasses all understanding be yours throughout this week.