Prayer Challenge

I want to ask you to say this prayer out loud, if possible.

“I belong to God. I am a holy vessel because I have the Holy Spirit of the Living God. The Lord of Heaven and earth has said to me; “I declare you holy!”. I commit to start believing what He says. I AM HOLY! Remind me daily, Spirit of the Living God, to treat myself as holy, open my eyes to every scheme of The Enemy to treat me as if I'm not. You, God, are Holy. Your word is the truth. This day Father, I chose to believe you! I ask this in the mighty name of your son Jesus Christ, who died on a cross for me so that I could be a coheir to the kingdom of God. Amen”

Monday, February 23, 2015

Psalm of the Week - Psalm 67 - Week of February 23, 2015

Psalm 67:1 NIV

1   May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face shine on us

2   so that your ways may be known on earth,
your salvation among all nations.

3   May the peoples praise you, God;
may all the peoples praise you.

4   May the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you rule the peoples with equity
and guide the nations of the earth.

5   May the peoples praise you, God;
may all the peoples praise you.

6   The land yields its harvest;
God, our God, blesses us.

7   May God bless us still,
so that all the ends of the earth will fear him.
                                                                      Psalm 67 NIV

Personal Prayer Application

May God be gracious to me and bless me and make his face shine on me that my ways may be known on earth, my salvation will be seen among all people. 
May I praise you, God; may all of the people praise you. 
May the nations be glad and sing for you that you rule all people equally and guide the nations of the earth. 
May I praise you , God; may all of the people praise you. 
The land yields its harvest; I have enough to eat. 
God, my God, blesses me. 
May God bless me and his people still, so that all the ends of the earth will stand in reverential awe of him.

Verse of the Week - Acts 2:42 - Week of February 23, 2015

My pastor has been preaching on the role of prayer in the early church using the Book of Acts

The Bible is my blueprint, or living plan for how to live a blessed and fulfilled life. I am to devote myself to the apostles' teaching(the Bible), to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer.

Prayer is when I sit before the Lord and converse with Him.
Sometimes my prayer consists of, "Father, I need you right now. Please help me." At other times, I ask Him to help others with healing, recovery for losing a loved one, or I ask Him to give me intuitive knowledge on how to handle a situation. He is available 24/7 and I turn to Him constantly.

Another important part of my prayer life is thanking God for my daily blessings. I am blessed with a home that is paid for. I am blessed with a husband who is a man of God. I am blessed with a bounty of food. I am blessed because my bills are paid. Thanking God for my blessings is an important part of my relationship with the Lord.

Praying for my church family, my pastor, the Sunday School teachers, my country,missionaries, and Christians in persecution is an additional part of my daily prayer life.

The bible contains many scriptures about prayer, and it contains many prayers for us to pray. Let's use our resources and pray, pray, pray today!

Have a blessed week!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Where Did All the Dirt Go?

I have learned that dwelling on what's wrong in my life is a sure way to magnify small issues into a mountain of issues.

I originally learned this concept in a twelve step recovery program. However, I have a story about how I actually learned this life lesson.

"I had been haranguing my family about how dirty the house was all morning. Shopping at Wal-Mart was the next item on my daily agenda. I left and no one volunteered to go with me -  No doubt because they were happy to be rid of me for awhile! As I drove through the beautiful, sunny day I felt happier and began to look forward to shopping. My focus was no longer on the dirty house. 
About two hours later I arrived home, beaming with happiness and carrying my purchases. As I walked into the house, I noticed that the wood floors were shining and there wasn't any dust on the furniture. I said to my husband,"The house looks nice." He stared at me like I had somehow sprouted a second head from my shoulders. So I said,"Didn't you guys clean the house? It looks nice." Guess what? That house looked exactly like it did when I left. My children and spouse had not done any cleaning."

So what changed? I changed. I wasn't focusing on the problem - a dirty house. The house did not change, my perception of the house changed. My attitude had changed and I saw a clean house, instead of a dirty house. I finally grasped the concept of mentally magnifying an issue just because I was focused on it. A valuable, life-changing lesson was learned that day. 

When I focus on an issue it appears to be larger than life. My mind magnifies the problem into a larger issue than it truly is. Continued focus on a problem puts me out of balance with my life. Instead of looking at what is wrong, I have to look at what is right in my life. The old saying,"Is your glass half empty, or is it half full?" applies to this change of focus, or attitude.

Today, my glass is always full, not half full, but full to overflowing. Why? Because today I am living in a state of thankfulness. Truly, I am just happy to be alive. However, I did not reach this point of thankfulness overnight. 

My attitude was extremely negative when I sought help with my addiction issues. The story I told you happened about three years after I had sought help. Truly, I have spent hours of self-work on changing my attitude from negative thinking to positive thinking. An analogy that I like to use is that my mind is like a garden. 

My mind garden contains flourishing plants of thankfulness, faith, positiveness, and willingness. Despite my best efforts, my mind garden continues to sprout weeds of stubbornness, doubt, and negativity that have to be removed regularly. However, the minute I see a weed sprouting in my mind garden, I yank it out, roots and all. Whenever I feel like the weeds are taking over, I turn to the Master Gardener for assistance.

The Bible contains a wealth of self-work tools from the Lord. The scriptures that I have used the most to develop my state of thankfulness and to enlist the help of the Master Gardener are listed below. 

Proverbs 3:6 NKJV In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Years ago, while I was sinking into alcohol addiction, I found a wall plaque at a yard sale that contained this scripture. I read that verse, and read that verse. In my heart, I knew this scripture was the key to changing my life. However, it is a good thing the Lord is patient, it took me about ten years to finally become willing to turn my life over to Him, or acknowledge Him in all my ways,  and let Him have control of my life, or let him direct my paths

Isaiah 64:8 NKJV But now, O Lord, You are our Father; We are the clay(garden), and You our potter(gardener); And we all are the work of Your hand. (He will pull the weeds from the garden)  

The words and thoughts in parentheses are mine. I took the clay and potter analogy and applied it to gardening.

I have been using this scripture regularly for about eight or nine years. The scripture is also one of my Siesta Scripture Memory Team 2015 verses. I cling to the Lord with these words and continue to let him change me.

Mark 9:23 NKJV Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

A faith building scripture. 

Mark 11:23 NKJV For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.

Removing doubt is also a faith builder.

Mark 11:24 NKJV Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

A biblical promise for each of us to claim.

Proverbs 16:24 
Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.
I use this scripture when I feel my temper begin to rise. Seriously, I have this scripture on mental speed dial! 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Verse of the Week - Matthew 22:37 - Week of February 9, 2015

When I read this scripture it reminds me that my walk with God has changed tremendously. 

My life is like a pie chart. Every week, a section is allocated to work, to family time, to my children's activities, to church on Sunday, and to God. An occasional prayer keeps me in touch with God. My relationship with God was just a section of my pie chart. I allotted him a certain amount of time and that was when I talked to Him.

Today, my life is still a pie chart, BUT there is a translucent circle that overshadows the entire chart. That translucent circle is my relationship with God. Today, God is over all of my activities, in all of my activities, and through all of my activities. God is no longer a section of my life's pie chart. God is in a direct relationship with me at all times, no matter where I am. I am never without Him. 

I Love the Lord
I love the Lord my God with all my heart, and with all my soul, and with all my mind. I want to be His servant and follow His path for me.

Are you allocating God a section of your life, or are you allowing Him to overshadow all of your activities? 

Psalm of the Week - Psalm 66:20 - Week of 9 February, 2015

February is an appropriate month to praise God for His love relationship with us. Give God a spiritual Valentine's Day Card that expresses your love for him.

Praise is an important part of my relationship with the Lord.
He loves it when I thank Him for his gifts. How do you feel when someone thanks you in person? He made us in his image, so he feels the same way we do when we  thank Him for loving us and listening to our prayers.

Give God a spiritual Valentine's Day Card from your heart. 
Praise the Lord for His love, for His blessings, and for sending Jesus to us that we might all come into a closer relationship with him. Praise him as you listen to Lucinda Moore's song, "Praise Him." Tell Him how much you love Him.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Verse of the Week - Isaiah 64:8 - Week of 2 February, 2015

I discovered this picture courtesy of Microsoft Word clip art files.

About 2009 I watched Joyce Meyer teach a great lesson using an unworked piece of clay.
First, she took the piece of unworked clay and emphasized its hardness by banging it on her podium. Next, she began to work it as she talked about how the Lord shapes and molds each of us. The clay became softer and more pliable as she continued to shape and mold it. As she continued, she flattened the clay and cut it with a gingerbread man cookie cutter. The newly trimmed clay "man" had been transformed from a hard piece of clay into a transformed child of God. Her lesson imprinted itself permanently into my memory.

I Am the Lord's Clay.
The Lord made it extremely clear to me several years ago that I am his clay. He revealed this to me after I talked back to him in anger and was rebuked through scripture. See Romans 9:20-21

After reading several scriptures about clay, my personal revelation became clear. I am his clay to shape and mold in accordance with his plan for me. However, I have to be willing to let him change me.

Still Willing
Today, I remain willing to have him shape me and mold me into the woman he wants me to be. At church today, our pastor included this scripture with his sermon and I knew that the Lord was reminding me that I am still his clay.