Tag Archives: Christian Author

New Year’s Resolutions We Need To Keep

New Years Resolutions We Need to Keep as Christians. Keys to victorious faith Inspirational BlogIt is that time again – time to put down the old, look ahead to the new, and make those New Year’s Resolutions. Everyone makes them but few keep them, at least that is how it seems to be. But as a Christian are we to make New Year’s Resolutions? I asked this question before, you can read it here. But today we are going to talk about New Year’s Resolutions we need to keep.

Paul in Philippians 3:13 gives us our first resolution. “…Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.”  Many times we are so focused on what is in our past. We focus on the should have, would have, could have. Now I know our past is important, for one thing, we learn from the past. But I want us to take a real good look at what we really are focusing on in our past. We need to let go of the hurt, pain and disappointment and move forward towards what God has for us. We cannot move on until we let go. It has been said, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize the situation is over, you cannot move forward. So start this year off letting go of the past. Take the lessons learned and refuse to keep focused on what you think or wish had taken place. Make this new year about what is ahead for you. Let go of the past and walk into the future.

Our next resolution comes from Enoch in Genesis 5:24 “Enoch walked with God..” Enoch was the first man to discover the delight of walking with God. He pressed into God and because of this he learned how to commune with God in every area of his life. This kind of relationship was worked on daily by Enoch and this daily walk will take some work from us as well. It is simple enough to spend time with God by reading our Bible and praying every day, however, I bet we all could admit we need more “daily” on this one. It is something which does take discipline and is a resolution we need to keep. Remember being a Christian is not a religion, a system or a belief, it is something which is active and growing, and only you can walk this out. It does take time and discipline, but why not start out by reading your Bible for 15 minutes and praying while on the drive in the car instead of listening to the radio. Make small changes and watch what happens. This year work on making a daily walk with God part of your new norm.

Our third resolution this New Year is following the advice of James in chapter 5 verse 19, “My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back.” Take this year and not only work on your resolutions to change your walk with Christ, but bring someone along with you. If you have a Bible study group, ask someone to come along. Ask them to go to church with you. Just ask. Now let me interject here, it is not our duty to give out the rules and regulations this new person needs to adhere to in order to walk with Jesus. Just invite them and allow the Holy Spirit to lead their day to day walk.

There you have it, a few simple New Year’s Resolutions we need to keep. Ones that may be small but will have a big impact in our life! You can make the changes you need. My prayer for you this year, May the Lord bless you and keep you! Happy New Year!

{Need a New Year Devotional? I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Stole from Me!}

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How Do You Talk To Yourself?

How Do You Talk To Yourself? Keys to victorious faith. Inspirational BlogHow do you talk to yourself?

Do you use the words “can’t”, “won’t”, “don’t need to”, “why try?”  Many people do.

Do you find that what you say to yourself turns out to be true? Why is this?

You see your brain is like a computer that you feed each day. It
doesn’t always know what’s real or not unless you tell it.

Example: If someone you love has hurt you, you may tell yourself that all people who love you will probably hurt you too.

Your brain just files this information for reference, its data, little zeroes and ones and no column that asks “true or not true?” Now your brain thinks, based on what you told it, that everyone you’ll ever love will hurt you.

How do you think you will respond the next time you get hurt?

Right!!

Now, what if we instead told our brain:

“Okay this person ripped my heart out – but that’s only one person.
I’m lovable and have many loving people in my life who are not out to hurt me. I know that the right people are coming into my life all the time. If someone hurts me, I will forgive them and bless them on their way.”

Words can be empowering.

I can
I love to
I want to
I will
I must
I am
We can reach a new level of living, if we feed ourselves empowering words and practice saying them until they become a habit.

I know first hand that it takes time.

And I also know that it’s worth it.

Use Empowering Words When You Talk to Yourself
{Whether you are speaking out loud or silently}

Try it for a week.

Catch yourself saying, “I can’t”, when you don’t really mean it and instead try, “I can”, and see how you think and feel about yourself.

Remember, the words you use to empower yourself will have a lasting effect, only if you practice them and they become a habit {an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed
until it has become almost involuntary}.

They say it takes at least 28 days to develop a habit. After a week, you will see that it becomes easier. It’s a mindset and you can control your thoughts. Be proactive and not reactive – give yourself some good words.

{From Motivating Moments}

Is this biblical you ask? They Word of God says,As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7. What you think about yourself and how  you talk about yourself is exactly who you will become – think about it! God made you wonderfully and fearfully {Psalm 139:14}! You deserve to talk about yourself as God would talk about you, and He would only talk good things about you! He made you because He loves you!

{Need more help? Help! I’m Alone with My Mind; A Guide To Gaining Victory Over Your Thoughts}

How To Trust God When Your World Is Falling Apart

How to trust God when your world is falling apart. Sandra Hersey Ministries “It is a poor faith which can only trust God when friends are true, the body full of health, and the business profitable; but that is true faith which holds by the Lord’s faithfulness when friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits are depressed, and the light of our Father’s countenance is hidden.” These words spoken by Charles Spurgeon are true, yet they sting. It is easy to ask God to do for us and bless us. We certainly do not like to think we have poor faith; at least I do not.

I know walking in times of trouble are hard and it is easy to fall into the “Why me God, and where are you God?!” moments. If it makes you feel any better our Lord and Savior Jesus, in his agony on the cross chose to quote Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” When in fact He could have quoted the 23rd Psalm, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”

Yet my friend, our promise from God is not freedom from pain, but companionship from our Lord and Savior; “Lo, I am with you always to the close of the age!” When our world falls apart, the great good news is we are not alone; Jesus IS with us!

I once heard a sermon that was prompted by a great skyscraper about to rise up into the heavens. The preacher continued to say over and over in his sermon, “the higher you want to rise the deeper you have to dig your foundation.” So if you want a 50-story skyscraper that’s one thing; but if you want to soar 100 stories, then the foundation has to be deeper, much much deeper.

It’s the same with our faith – the higher we want our faith to be, the deeper we must dig our foundation of faith. But how? Through His Word and prayer! Two very simple things, yet we do not always do it.

According to the Bible, the power of prayer is the power of God who hears and answers our prayer. We must remember in the tough times:

~ God Almighty can do all things; there is nothing impossible for Him {Luke 1:37}.

~ God Almighty hears the prayers of His children. He commands us to pray, and He promises to listen when we do. “In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears” {Psalm 18:6}.

~ God Almighty answers prayer. “I call on you, O God, for you will answer me” {Psalm 17:6}. “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles” {Psalm 34:17}.

~ God Almighty invites His people to pray to Him. Prayer to God should be made persistently {Luke 18:1}, with thanksgiving {Philippians 4:6}, in faith {Mark 11:23}, within the will of God {Matthew 6:10}, for the glory of God {John 14:13-14}, and from a heart trusting in God {Proverbs 3:5-6}.

When your world is falling apart, after you stop weeping, dig deep; make those foundations deeper, stronger, and unshakable through prayer and His Word. Trust God and wait for Him to move; because He will! Getting knocked down is not the worst thing that can happen to you; refusing to trust God and not getting back up is!

{Know someone who is facing hard times? The Drying Pot; And The Refining Fires Necessary To Become A Vessel Used By God}

Becoming A Person Of Unwavering Faith

How to Become A Person Of Unwavering FaithAs Christians we must be a people of unwavering faith – faith that is not compromised by what we see in this world, but a faith that trusts completely and totally what God says in His Word! The mother of Moses was such a person.

We are not told much about this woman; but her story is important because it shows how God respects and honors people of unwavering faith!

Hebrews 11:23, “By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.”

To protect Moses from Pharaoh’s command that every male Hebrew child be killed, Moses mother, Jochebed placed Moses in an ark of safety and sent him down the Nile river. After Pharaoh’s daughter discovered the baby Jochebed became his nurse. The writer of Hebrews places Jochebed in the Lord’s “Hall of Fame” gallery as a “Hero of the Faith!”

We see the quiet strength that comes from unwavering faith unfold in her life! We see her faith unfold as a mother: defying Pharaoh’s command, unafraid of the king’s power, trusting God to protect her baby, placing the child in a basket on the Nile River – knowing that He that is in her, is greater than he that is in the world! Jochebed loved God; and that love gave her strength to walk by faith in what seemed like an impossible situation!

Charles Spurgeon once said, “Faith and obedience are bound up in the same bundle. He that obeys God trusts God; and he that trusts God obeys God. He that is without faith is without works: and, he that is without works is without faith.”

It is hard to trust what you cannot see, but that my friend is what trust is all about. The definition of trust is “a person on whom or thing on which one relies.” When we cannot see what is ahead we must come to rely on God, and by relying on Him we can give our situation to Him and allow Him to work it out! Trust is not going back over and over again worrying and fretting over the situation. If you are missing peace then you are not trusting God! Trust is a calm in the midst of a raging storm; knowing He is faithful to take care of what we give to Him. God wants you to live by the knowledge that He loves you and will help you, not living by head knowledge. Head knowledge is walking by sight, and anytime we are walking by sight we are out of faith.

One of my favorite scriptures is James 1:4, “But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing!”

I do not want any defects in my faith and I for one do not want to be lacking in anything, so as James says as you let the work be done first, then you will be lacking nothing!

The more you trust Jesus and keep your eyes focused on Him, the more your faith will grow! Then you will be at a place just as Moses’ mom was, a mother trusting God as she placed her newborn baby into a basket to float him down a river! Now that is trust for sure! When we trust, it brings life to our faith and rest to our situation!

{Need more help? Help! I’m Alone with My Mind; A Guide To Gaining Victory Over Your Thoughts}

Being Equipped for Your Life’s Valleys

How to handle tough decisionsWe all experience different seasons in our lives. Seasons of greatness and seasons which we would rather skip all together. Psalm 84:6 says, “Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.” The word “Baca”, according to some scholars, signifies a mulberry tree. A mulberry tree grows in dry, barren, and sandy places. Which makes me think of a valley. A valley can be dry, barren, and even sandy as opposed to a mountain top which is refreshing, fertile, and bountiful. It is in the valley season where we look around trying to figure out how we got there. A season of difficulty is the signal we are in a valley. So just how do you equip yourself for those valley seasons in your life? You spend time building up your faith in the high seasons. You spend time reading the Bible, because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Your faith is only built up by hearing the Word of God. Think of it as preparation before a dreaded decent to the valley. It will help you remember the God of the mountain is indeed the God of the valley as well!

Since most associate the valley seasons with storms it makes me think about raging storms. In Florida we have hurricane season and that means when the TV weather person tells us a storm is coming we know we must prepare by buying supplies that we can use when our power is out for weeks and even covering our windows so we can be safe from flying glass and debris. Preparation for your daily walk is no different really. Yet most people tend to turn to God only when a storm is already in full force with no preparation at all.  However, the key is to learn to equip and prepare yourself before everything is shaking and breaking. If you grow your faith during the good seasons of your life, you are preparing yourself and becoming fully equipped for the storm or the valley. Not only are you equipped to come through the valley, but you begin your climb back up the mountain.

It all starts in your prayer and Bible time. If you do not have time for this in your life you are indeed setting yourself up for failure when the decent down the mountain starts. You can become dependent on Him but you want to prepare yourself to know what He has already done for you and what He will do for you now. It has been said that success is where preparation meets opportunity. I say you prepare on the mountain and then give God the opportunity to meet you in your valley.

{Know someone who is facing hard times? The Drying Pot; And The Refining Fires Necessary To Become A Vessel Used By God}

How do we endure and fight when we are feeling knocked down?

How to endure when you feel knocked down too many times. Author Sandra HerseyWe all have seasons in our lives; times when we are riding high on the blessings of God and then there are the times we are feeling as if Satan has won the first 11 rounds in the prize fight of the year! We must remember the more Satan views us as a threat the more he is going to come at us with all he’s got! And our Heavenly Father does not always step right in and take over for us, in order that we build up our faith muscles to win the so called “championship” fight in the future.

So how do we endure and fight to the end when we are feeling knocked down one to many times? James 1:2-12 jumps right in by saying, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all men generously and without reproach and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind, for let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. But let a brother of humble circumstances glory in his high position and let the rich man glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away, for the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed. So, too, the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away. Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”

The last verse is the summation of the point here. “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial.” Trials produce blessings-now we can shout here! I my friend am entitled to a HUGH amount of blessings with all the trials I have been through! I am sure this is true for you as well. One of the prize fights of the year for me was the fight for my youngest son’s salvation. Let me share with you a little bit of the story from my book about trials and how we overcame in victory:

“Surrender according to Webster’s Dictionary means to give up, abandon, or relinquish. Surrender is something we all like to think we can do but I can tell you from experience it is very hard to actually surrender something you love more than anything to God and allow Him to do whatever He sees fit to do with it. I had to surrender my youngest son to God. He had been walking on the wrong side, far away from God as possible since middle school. Then high school presented more and more problems taking him farther and farther from God. My son had gotten involved in many different ways of the world on a fast train to hell so to speak! No matter what I did in the natural it did not seem to change him. I would pray over this child every day, I would anoint his pillow while he was at school, and I would lay my hands on his clothes hanging in the closet and declare him into the Kingdom of God. Then one day a very strong woman of God, who had been where I was walking, told me I had to surrender my son to God. I was angry with her. I wanted to surrender him and I had told God “here he is; I surrender him to you,” however I would go back whenever something went wrong and start the ritual of what I had done in the past, trying to bring him to God. I knew I was afraid to give him totally to God because I had just watched my best friend surrender her son to God and her son went to prison! I did not want my son to have to go to prison! I was not really willing to surrender him totally and allow whatever God wanted to use to get to him; even if it meant prison. However, I did give my son totally and completely to God. I told God I trusted Him to take care of my son; no matter what happened in the natural. I would like to tell you once I gave over my son to God’s more than capable hands that all went well and He turned his life to Jesus. But that did not happen- at least not at first. First everything seemed to spin out of control in the natural. Literally it felt as if all hell broke loose and I did not know what was happening in the natural, but I trusted God and confessed I trusted Him every second of every day. Just to give you hope my son did come to God; he did get his life together. Now I watch this former drug dealing, pill popping, rebelling teenager go to his room to study the Word of God. I hear praise music and I hear him crying out to the Lord. He is now in Bible College and an anointed man of God. God has His hand upon him now as much as He had His hand upon him when I surrendered him to my Heavenly Father to mold him and to change him. (He has now graduated Bible College and is an associate pastor, married to an amazing woman of God and the father of my amazing grandson. Now I watch as he touches and changes lives! Blessed IS the woman who persevered under trial!!)” {Exert from The Drying Pot; A The Refining Fires Necessary To Become A Vessel Used By God}

How do you turn trouble into blessing? That’s really the issue here. James was concerned with such matters. In verse 3 he says, with the testing of faith – with you and I being put through a test – it will reveal the strength or weakness of our faith. We all have tests or trials. The Word of God is filled with others who endured tests, they are in there for a reason- to show us how to endure, to show us others had to endure and we are not alone! And to show us victory is always on the other side for those who are in Christ Jesus! (2 Corinthians 2:14)

The purpose for trials or these fights is so that we may know the strength or weakness of our faith and that in enduring through the trial we may be blessed. God has a perfect plan for us through our trials – to grant to us gracious and eternal blessings.

So how I hear you asking? Well strap on your boxing gloves because here we go:

First, the fight is to develop a joyous attitude! We have all heard the saying our attitude determines our altitude. We go up by changing our attitude. You and I were never promised no trials on this journey of life. We were however promised blessings as we persevere!

Second, we need an understanding mind. We have determined the key word in verse 2 is joy, so the key word in verse 3 is knowing. In Greek the word is “ginosko” which means to know, understand, perceive, have knowledge of. Personal knowledge gives us the information we need to evaluate the trial we are in, in order for us to look forward to the joy. When we come to know “this is only temporary” and “this is not the end, this is only the process to the victory!” James said the testing of our faith produces endurance. If you are like me there are many times I do not feel I can endure. However, what I have realized is that I can BECAUSE of my past trials I HAVE developed the faith to endure a little further – and most of the time a little further is all I need to go to knock out the Devil!

The final way  to turn trouble into a blessing is by using fighting words- The Word of God! Would a contender for the heavyweight title fight without training and developing skills? Of course not, but yet as Christians we run right into the ring with the enemy when we really don’t know how to fight. The Word of God is to be applied to our reality of life -it’s not just there to read – it’s to be acted on! The Bible tells us “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

When the enemy has stepped into the ring, that is the time we pick up the Word of God and fight with it! It is a weapon given to us according to Ephesians 6!  Notice Jesus shows us exactly how to fight; when the Devil came to tempt Jesus in the wilderness Jesus said, “It is written.… It is written.…It is written.” Jesus shows us- when the enemy has shown up as the contender for the title – we must get out our boxing gloves – the Word of God – and hit the Devil right between the eyes with it! There is no other way for the Christian to fight! The Word wins EVERY time! Yet it is our responsibility to use it as our knock-out punch!

{Want more devotions? I’m A Sword Wielding Devil Slayer; Declaring the Word of God and Taking Back What the Devil Stole from Me!}

How to Sing for Joy When You Have No Joy

How to Sing for Joy When You Have No JoyEach morning I start my time of prayer with Psalms and Proverbs before my devotional. For me Psalms is a way for me to express to God all I want to say.  I read the verses out loud as prayers to Him and add my own prayers along side. Then I move on to the Proverb of the day, if the date is the 2nd I read Proverbs 2 and turn it also into a prayer.

Today I kept coming to verse after verse which read “sing for joy.” Then I started to think about storms raging in my life and then I thought of you and what you might be facing right now. The Holy Spirit prompted me to remind both myself and you that we must sing for joy when facing obstacles which want to overtake us!

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. And these fruit are the very characteristics of God. He has given us joy however it is our responsibility to exercise this characteristic and make it grow. We must use this fruit of joy during the times when we are not feeling too much joy. How do we exercise this joy? Well one way is to sing for it! Look at Isaiah 12:

2 Behold, God, my salvation! I will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and song; yes, He has become my salvation.

3Therefore with joy will you draw water from the wells of salvation.

4And in that day you will say, Give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name and by means of His name [in solemn entreaty]; declare and make known His deeds among the peoples of the earth, proclaim that His name is exalted!

5Sing praises to the Lord, for He has done excellent things [gloriously]; let this be made known to all the earth.

6Cry aloud and shout joyfully, you women and inhabitants of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

We have reasons to sing for joy:

1. God is our salvation – verses 2-3

“With joy shall you draw water from the wells of salvation.”

For us Jesus is like the river which flows from the infinite divine nature – the one true God.  He is for us the only source, the inexhaustible source. The apostle Paul said it this way: “…They drank from the Rock which followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” (I Cor. 10:4)

The well was also the meeting-place in those hot lands where the shepherds came in from the fields and the maidens came from the tents and they met in the cool of the evening. I can envision laughter and talk was all around. Joy ringing out as they spoke of the day. So joyful is the heart of those whose soul is filled and feasted with God – our salvation.

II. God is our strength verses 4-5

We may recall God’s triumph for the Israelites over the Egyptians at the Red Sea; then Moses and Miriam led the Israelites into singing the praises of God and exalted His mighty strength (Exodus 15:2). The prophet Isaiah called upon Judah to do the same. Let’s move beyond Egypt and beyond the nation of Judah to our own deliverance in Christ.

We must focus on and be grateful for His mighty deeds and sing for joy. We must know that He is strong enough to handle all of our challenges in our lives – no matter what they are!  Notice also, that His mighty Name and deeds are to be proclaimed to all nations. We may not be called to a world-wide ministry to proclaim to other nations the goodness of God, but we should however never lose sight of the fact that God is the God of the whole world and He can and will move on our behalf! And we proclaim His mighty deeds and Name to our little corner of the world – our family and friends!

Unfortunately what happens is no matter how much scripture we can quote or how long we have been a child of God, we don’t really and truly believe deep down that God can help our difficult situation or even wants to help us! I’m not talking about our easy fixes – we believe He can fix those. I am talking about the really hard ones. The ones that are raging so strong we feel as if we are not going to be able to hold on much longer! Now let’s be honest here. We can sing for joy and walk in faith when it’s all good! But let the earth start shifting under our faith walk and bam! We start wondering what’s going on- and the longer this journey goes the less our faith and singing gets. We start buying into the lie of the enemy that we must have done something wrong which angered our Heavenly Father. God loves you and I so much He only wants what is good for us. Scripture after scripture tells of His goodness and His wonderful promises to us! But do we really, entirely, and wholeheartedly believe that when we are in the midst of raging storm?

Are we supposed to go through hard times as Christians? Of course we are! We were never promised a perfect walk. Walking by faith is having faith when it’s tough to see the victory; but you know it’s there! Singing for joy is not having the joy because of the natural circumstances but we sing praises to our Lord and Savior and exercise that joy while we are feeling defeated – hence; singing FOR the joy!

We must stop thinking our trouble is a sign that we are in sin or that God is unhappy with us! We must realize when we face times of trouble that we must dig our heels in deep – deep into the living Word of God and stand on it. We must lift up our voice and pretend we are the next American Idol and sing to the top of our lungs with songs of praise to our God who loves us no matter what! Sing my beloved friend – sing FOR the joy in the midst of your trial and feels His peace cover you!

{Know someone who is facing hard times? The Drying Pot; And The Refining Fires Necessary To Become A Vessel Used By God}