You Have Me by Kenika

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I do not know how people do life without a connection to the One who created it.  That statement is not intended as a criticism but rather a sincere curiosity as to how the world makes it without Him.  There is much available to me inside a relationship with Christ Jesus.  I never have to feel alone and peace, joy, salvation, security, love, you name it, is available to me just by knowing Him.  We understand people as resources through connection whether it’s for networking, business ventures, or a job search.  We’ve even coined the phrase, “It pays to know people”, to further prove this point of advancement, opportunity and promotion through who we have as contacts.

However, I’m not talking about an earthly connection or a person that can offer a “foot in the door”, I’m talking about a direct line to the Famous One.  The assurance that I have in that relationship is that He will always have my back, no matter what. When it’s convenient for Him and when it is a huge inconvenience, He will never let go.  I can do absolutely anything because He is holding me.   “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:27-28 NIV)  In my version of this verse, Jesus is simply saying, “I have them”.

There’s nothing to worry about, nothing to fear, nothing to concern yourself with, because He has you.  He has us in the palm of His hand and nothing can ever remove us.   Which means we can do anything, we can endure everything, and there is no end to what is possible to us, if we believe (Mark 9:23).   I love the line “I know them” from 1 John 10:27-28.  There is so much safety and security in hearing that He knows me.  Which means if no one else gets me, He does.  He understands me and He is concerned about me.  When all else and everyone else fails, He is still there holding us, encouraging us, letting us know He’s with us.  Once we grasp this reality and decide to never let go, we can boldly believe and declare the He has us and we can transform into the fearless beings He made us to be.

From One Tear To An Entire Bucket by Kenika

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I suppose every woman has felt overwhelmed at various points in her life.  It would seem that stress, drama, and confusion come with the territory of life here on earth.  The one thing that is constant is change and studies have proven that change goes hand in hand with stress.  Obviously we have a choice whether or not we succumb to the pressure or persevere through it, but we will experience it all the same.

I was having a conversation recently with my Ladies On Life sisters, and I was reminded of times when I sang certain songs during worship and they had a cute little meaning to me.  Songs like, “This is the Air I Breathe (I’m desperate for You),”  and other very similar songs came to mind. I explained to them that, prior to my current season, I sang that song with a half raised hand and a gentle and calm, but sincere look on my face.  It’s a beautiful love song.  Just imagine me with a little smirk on my face, eyes closed, gently swaying and singing this song to God perhaps with one precious little tear rolling down only one cheek on my face.  Can you see it?

Now enter heartache, pain, confusion, lack of direction, depression, anxiety, you name it!  Now that same song with the same words that have been sung thousands of times over the years, comes to life in a completely different way.  Hard times take your worship to a whole other level.  The simplest words in a song can provide the very lifeline that you need.  In an episode of true brokenness I went from the cute little worshiper, who didn’t love God any less mind you, to the sobbing, nose full of snot, puffy faced, can’t see out of my eyes, gasping for air with both arms fully extended worshiper.  In that moment I literally became desperate for Him and lost without Him, instead of just singing about feeling that way.

I found myself in a place where I fully embraced the idea that I cannot live without Him.  Whether physically, literally, spiritually, figuratively, emotionally, it doesn’t matter, I need Him in every way. I am sure there have been times when I subconsciously felt as if there were some things that I could accomplish on my own.  Perhaps you feel that way sometimes too.  We say things like, “Well if God won’t do that, then I’ll do this,”  but the truth is if He doesn’t do it, you don’t want it to get done.  One thing is apparent, our need for Him.  He has everything under control. Be humble enough to let Him know you need Him and He’ll show you why.

God Pleasers by Trish

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Recently at church, our music minister made a statement that was so simple, yet so profound. He made reference to people being “God pleasers”.  That phrase resonated with me and for the duration of our time of worship, all I could do was just focus on my life and the desire to truly please God.

For a lot of women we find great satisfaction in serving others and there tends to be great fulfillment knowing that we’ve done something to contribute to the happiness of another.  While we should all adopt the heart of a servant, we should not become enslaved to the affirmation of the service provided.

People-pleasing is such a trap. It presents itself in pretty packaging and we deceive ourselves into thinking we are being a good Christian by running here, there and everywhere all in the name of “servanthood”. If “serving” others depletes me then I‘ve not served well. My mentor used to tell me “if helping others hurts me, it is time to stop helping”.

We have a responsibility to serve Jesus, who Himself came to serve and not be served. However, Jesus also knew what assignments to take on and when to pull away to retreat.

I believe that God is more interested in our lives being pleasing to Him first and out of the overflow of what we’re investing in, our time with Him and ourselves, we have more to offer those we are connected to.

So then, how do we please God?

1)      A lifestyle of FAITH

Hebrews 11:6 states that without FAITH, it is impossible to please God.

 

Hebrews 11:6 Amplified Bible (AMP)

6 But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].

*Bible Gateway (www.biblegateway.com)

Our faith shows God that our dependency is on Him. We are showing that our confidence is in His Word and not our situation. In any relationship, is trust not one of the most important pillars? We please God by honoring Him with a lifestyle of FAITH!

 

2)      A lifestyle of OBEDIENCE

What is it that God has prompted you to do? While our actions can’t “earn” us more of God’s love, I do believe that God takes pleasure in seeing us, as His daughters, obey His Word. Our response to His commands demonstrates our love for Him.

John 14:15 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

*Bible Gateway (www.biblegateway.com)

 

3)      A lifestyle of WORSHIP

Intimacy in a relationship is created when the desire to know and be known takes priority. In our relationship with God He desires to have connection with us and for us to know Him all the more. In true worship we abandon ourselves for the sake of expressing our love for Him. In other words, we make time for Him; we make worship a priority in our life. I believe this pleases God because it is evident that our relationship with Him is worth an interruption in our schedule or sacrifice of time. Worship is not just singing songs during the music portion of our church service, but worship is a lifestyle.  I worship my God by how I live life. Worship also includes dedicated time of devotion to the lover of our souls. There is love so deep to be experienced and it’s only found in that place of worship. The awesome thing is that when we dedicate ourselves to worship and spending time with Him, our intent may be to just express our love for Him and we are the ones who walk away refreshed and restored because in His presence there is FULLNESS OF JOY!

 

Psalm 16:11 New King James Version (NKJV)

11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

*Bible Gateway (www.biblegateway.com)

 

Ladies, as you go about your day, aim to be a God-pleaser. The more you invest into your daily walk with Him, the more strength, grace and faith you’ll have for the journey!

Peace In The Storm by Trish

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Picture this with me: Storm clouds roll in, thunder so loud it shakes the earth and lightening so powerful it illuminates the entire sky. Now if you’re anything like me, I don’t mind storms so much if I’m in my house out of the chaos the storm can cause in outdoor conditions. Let’s take it one step further…imagine with me that not only are you in a terrible storm, but you’re outside IN A BOAT!  See, this is the part of the story found in Mark 4:35-40 that I can relate to, the fear of the disciples with Jesus.  Being in an “uncovered” environment with the waves crashing around you and the One you have decided to follow with your very life is SLEEPING!! In fear the disciples wake Him up and ask, “Don’t you care if we drown?” Jesus gets up, rebukes the wind and waves, and then asks the disciples “Why are so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

If I was to be completely honest with myself and with you, there have been “storms” in my life where I’ve felt (in my emotions) uncovered, fearful and terrified by the conditions around me. Not just any conditions but circumstances that were beyond my control. It’s easy to say you have faith and you trust God when you’re able to predict and navigate the outcome of a situation. But the minute a storm hits and you realize there is nothing in your ability to control what you’re facing, fear can set in and words of accusation such as “Don’t you care?” can be uttered towards God.

Of course God cares and yes, He will take care of you. Faith sees what the eyes cannot. Faith knows that no matter what I face in life, no matter what or who in life has left me uncovered and seemingly vulnerable to the conditions that could threaten my life, I’m connected to the ultimate covering.

My trust in God should not be dependent on what I feel in my emotions. My faith is exercised when I recognize a storm approaching but because I know who’s on my boat, I know there is no safer place for me to be.

Know that if you’ve accepted Jesus into your life as Savior, you too can have peace and rest in your storm.

Storms come but they eventually pass, don’t allow the storms of life to rob you of your peace. If you’ve entrusted your life to God, you can know that whatever you face in life, He’s there.  Just because you’re a Christian does not mean you’re exempt from storms, but there is a peace that is available to you when you put your trust in God.

If you are in need of peace in your life right now, I encourage you to confess daily some life verses on peace. While some things may be beyond your control, it’s never beyond His and you CAN control what you allow your mind to dwell upon and the choice to apply your faith!

 

Scriptures on Peace:

Philippians 4:7/Amplified Bible (AMP)

7 And God’s peace [shall be yours, that [a]tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace], which transcends all understanding, shall [b]garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:15/Amplified Bible (AMP)

15 And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].

Isaiah 26:3/Amplified Bible (AMP)

3 You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.

 

*Bible references from www.biblegatway.com (Amplified Version)