Monday, January 27, 2014


If I've learned anything in my 34 years of life, it's this:


....when the storm rages on all around you
....when the night cloaks you in darkness
....when the wind blows so hard that it knocks you over


.....when the waves rise over your head
.....when the sound of their laughing behind your back haunts you
.....when every door closes in your face


....when the unthinkable happens 
....when you don't even know how to take one more step
....when evil looks like it's gonna win

Just....STAND FIRM on God's promises.
His word is faithful and true. (Psalm 33:4)
He does not lie. (Numbers 23:19)
He has given you everything you will ever need. (2 Peter 1:3)
He always comes through...even when we don't. (Romans 3:3-4)
He is faithful to the end. (1 Corinthians 1:9)

When you've done all you can, just STAND.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Flattery anyone?

Sometimes words get in the way of what we really need to say. 

I like to call it FALSE FLATTERY.
It can only get us so far....
And it really only creates an atmosphere of superficiality. 

Here's what the dictionary says about flattery- 
excessive and insincere praise, 
esp. that given to further one's own interests

The Bible even warns us about giving insincere compliments. 
Proverbs 29:6 (msg) says, 
"A flattering neighbor is up to no good;
    he’s probably planning to take advantage of you."

Why do we do it?
2 reasons:
We want her approval.
We want something from him.

It happens everyday.

 You feel tempted to "suck up" to your boss so you can get a raise.
You compliment the pastor's wife on her ugly sweater just so you can be seen talking to her.
You praise your children for every little thing 
because you're afraid they won't like you if you point out some things they need to work on.
You compliment your teacher's new haircut in hopes 
that she'll remember how nice you are when she grades your test. 

False flattery is a slippery slope.
You think you're climbing the ladder 
but in reality you're digging a pit for yourself.

Whenever I watch the American Idol shows, I always feel so bad for the kids who audition 
that think they are awesome but are really terrible.
I just want to bury my face in my pillow cause I'm so embarrassed for them.
Why did their parents not tell them ?
Why did their friends encourage them to try out?
Did anyone tell this person that singing was not their gift?

That's what false flattery does, my friends.
It tricks people into believing something about themselves 
that isn't true.
And then they're left wondering why they can't catch a break. 

You know what else?
I think about the women who sell their bodies everyday for approval and "love".
They believe the lies, the flattery, of the men whispering in their ear because it appeals to their flesh.
But that man just wants one thing....
And then baby girl is left out in the cold wondering if anything he said to her was true.

False flattery comes in lots of forms.
But, plain and simple, it hurts...the giver and the taker.

So, here's what I suggest:
Tell the truth.
And if you feel the tug to stroke someone's ego in an effort to gain their acceptance, 
remind yourself who you are:


We only need His approval.
We only need what He has to offer.
Nothing and noone in this world can ever satisfy. 
He will never lie to you.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Running the Race

Running is something that I've been doing pretty consistently for the past 8 years.

I love how I feel after a good run:

But I usually start out my run feeling a bit different:


Notice how I don't go into the run all excited and giddy?
BUT, I finish the run that way!

This running analogy can be compared to our life in Christ.

After all, Paul did tell us to  "run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith." (Hebrews 12:1-2)

I think we automatically assume that if we are tired, stressed out and feeling weak that we should just take a nap and let life pass us by.

Or, we dull our senses a little bit with mindless activities that don't really get us anywhere but temporarily take us away from "reality". 

Yes, we do this. 

All of us do it at some point.
But to live like this consistently only causes us to stay stuck right where we are. 

What if we decided to do something different next time we get tired, stressed or weak?
What if we just took off running?
What if we " throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles" us and run with flailing arms into all that God has for us? (Hebrews  12:1)

I believe that getting up is the hardest part. 
Because falling down inevitably leaves it's mark on our lives.

But, once we get up...

there's no stopping us!

Do you know what the physical benefits to running are? 

1. Healthy body
2. Stress relief

Putting our bodies through temporary pain could actually bring relief from permanent pain. 

It's the same with our spiritual race, ladies.

We might start off feeling sluggish from all the things we're holding onto in this world that can weigh us down. 
We might be stressed because we have so many obligations to fulfill and people to please.
We might be too frail to stand up tall after falling down so many times in our lives.

But, if we take the first step.....God will empower us through the Holy Spirit to keep going, and going and going!

Each step you take is one step away from what you were and one step closer to what God has called you to be!

You are strong because He is in you.

You are full of peace because He is in you.
You can do all things through Christ! (Phil. 4:13)

So, run my dear friends.

Run like your life depends on it. 
Because, well, it does. :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

"Grace" Expectations

How SMART are your goals for 2014?
Setting SMART goals makes success more achievable.

Ask yourself these questions:
Are my goals purposeful ?
Do I have them posted in front of my eyes to look at every day?
Am I giving myself a time-frame in which to complete them?

 Remember, making a mental note without putting pen to paper doesn't usually get you anywhere...
Motivational speaker and author Brian Tracey says,
 "Goals in writing are dreams with deadlines."

Let me extend some grace to you today, though....
BECAUSE our expectations almost always undermine our well-intentioned plans. 

That doesn't mean we shouldn't have plans....goals....resolutions...
It just means that we need to allow for life to interrupt them from time to time.

Here are some "Grace" Expectations for you (and me) to take to heart in 2014:

1. Give yourself grace if you miss a day on your new workout schedule.
Set your alarm clock for an early day tomorrow.
Start again.

2. Give yourself grace if you get writers block in the middle of attempting your first novel.
Listen to some mood music to clear your mind.
Then put down in words what God brings into your focus.

3. Give yourself grace if you eat that piece of cake after dinner when you are trying to cut out sweets.
Don't get discouraged and eat the whole cake in bed out of self-condemnation.
Get up the next day and eat a healthy breakfast.

4. Give yourself grace if you yelled at your little one last night when she spilled her milk at the table.
Remember that you, too, make mistakes.
Then apologize to your sweet baby and go drink some milk together. 

You see, we think that the beginning of the new year is the only time 
we can start over or begin again.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says,
"Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. 
The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"

If Jesus is your Savior then every day is a new day. 
We are constantly living a life of "newness" when we follow Christ.
Second chances are freely given. 

And let's face it.
We all mess up from time to time.
Inconsistency and flaws are part of being human.

Every single day!

So, in regard to those new year's resolutions and high expectations, 
here's my recipe for success:

Set your goals.
If you miss the mark on some days, it's ok. 
Forgive yourself.
Thank God for His grace and that His mercies are new every morning.
Start over.