Posts Tagged ‘spiritual’

Faith Filled Friday with Ashley

Friday, December 15th, 2017

He’s able to take you out of your mind!

Come grab a warm cup of coffee and sit with me. Last week I shared a struggle I was going through and the how it taunted me. Today, I want to share with you how the dreaded event went.  Thank you in advance for taking time and joining me for Coffee Hour with Chicklit Power and Faith Filled Friday with Trench Classes United.

I prayed the night before for all the strength and courage for the next day. I woke up filled with unexplainable peace. I just knew today wasn’t going to be as bad as I dreamt up, although I was still a bit hesitant of what to expect, I put on the Armor of God and trusted this peace that I know only comes from our Abba Father.

I was greeted with love and kindness. I was a bit baffled to be greeted so lovingly and it showed me that I had really allowed the enemy to fill my head with dreamt-up things that just weren’t true. Every day, I learn to take my thoughts before the Lord. I ask, “Is this true, Lord?” And when He takes these thoughts from me I know they are from the enemy. I realize now that as far as this situation, that as He was telling me they weren’t true, I was taking back the lies and digesting them. The devil is a vicious beast out to turn us against each other, using his lies to make us feel less than, unwanted, or unlovable.

We’ll it worked for a bit, but our God is great! I stepped out in faith trusting and knowing I wasn’t alone; that my Abba was right beside me. That day that I dreaded so much that it kept me up at night, well, it turned out to be a wonderful day.  A day where I met new people and spent time with people I feared. I went in with God’s love and trusted Him. And you know what? He provided all the love I needed.

The Lord is faithful and He will strengthen and protect you from evil one. 2nd Thessalonians 3:3 tells us this.

He always wants the very best for us. He wants us to feel loved and cherished. He sees all the good in you and me. He knew that day was not going to be easy for me. He knew that my going was a huge step of faith for me, and because I was obedient and went, He blessed me more than I could have ever imagined. He gave me a great compassion for someone who has always been so difficult for me. Now I pray each day that I could love her today more than the day before.

Pursue the things which make for peace and the building up one another. Romans 14:19.

Coffee Hour Friend, I learned a big lesson with this past struggle: Don’t consume and digest the lies of the enemy. Don’t allow him to have that power over you. You see, he wants us to be divided, to dislike or hate one another.

Remember, we are broken vessels being restored by a great Father, and every day His grace, mercy and forgiveness are new to us. Why then shouldn’t it be given to those who once have hurt us? Prayer wakes us up with mercies from God that are “new every morning” Lamentations 3:23

We are called to love not just those who love us back, but the unlovable. I encourage you if there is someone who has hurt you and still does today show them God’s love and compassion. Give them that grace and mercy that you think they don’t deserve and watch what God does. It’s an amazing thing, but please know that I know just how difficult a task this is because I have been called to do the same. It is not by my strength or my love that makes this possible but through the Father’s love. All we need to do is ask and He will provide more than you could ever imagine.

Can you take this step of Faith with me today, and don’t forget to look up Ephesians 6:13-24  and apply Gods Armor over you today!

Love,

Ashley

 

Monday’s Mantra

Monday, November 20th, 2017

Today, I want to share with you a previously posted blog because I believe it’s worth remembering where we started in our journey with our God.

Is it mandatory to experience an “AH HA” moment when you commit your life to Christ? I sure hope not, because I didn’t!

 

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Megan’s Monday Mantra with Trench Classes United. Warm up that cup of coffee you’ve been carrying around all morning and join me in my salvation story.

 

***********

 

Jesus knew how much I needed Him, so He snatched me up early…

 

My Mother thought our neighbors were undereducated. In other words, STUPID!

She reluctantly let me play with Bobbie and Tom because they were the only kids in our neighborhood close to my age. I thoroughly enjoyed their company but Mom always wished I had someone more my “equal” to play with.

 

One Sunday morning, Bobbie and Tom’s parents asked my Mom if I could go to church with them. To my surprise, she allowed me to go. I will never forget pulling into the parking lot of a pink brick church. At the impressionable age of 6 years old, I had never seen a pink building let alone a pink brick church!

There were no Sunday School classes, everyone just filed into the church and filled the pews. I can still distinctly remember where we sat – 5th pew from the front on the left side facing the altar.

 

No one could ever accuse my neighbors of being a traditional prim and proper type of Christian family. They worked hard, played hard, and then some. My playmates, Bobbie and Tom, were always into some kind of mischief, which was what I liked most about them. Today was different though. Today they all sat in a neat row, backs straight, hands folded in their laps, and feet firmly planted on the floor, waiting expectantly for the sermon to begin.

 

The most colorful character I had ever encountered, up to this point in my short life, confidently approached the pulpit. His presence was so huge that the pink brick church could hardly contain it. His booming voice filled the city block surrounding him and he wore the largest cowboy hat I had ever seen. His name was Preacher Cowboy George!

 

I know he delivered a great sermon because the congregation was on fire. The only, and most important, part I remember is when Preacher Cowboy George asked, “Have you committed your life to Christ? Have you asked Jesus into your heart? If not, then come on up and we will do it together here, today!” My first reaction was to jump to my feet and head straight to the altar, but not before looking to my neighbors to do the same. There they sat, calmly watching and smiling at those who were making their way to the front of the church. UH OH! I didn’t know anything about asking Jesus into my heart, yet clearly my “undereducated” neighbors not only already knew – they already had! I felt ashamed.

 

I lagged behind on my way out of church. I had been too afraid to stand up in front of the congregation, to accept Christ, all by myself.

 

That lone “UH OH” moment led to a nightly prayer asking Jesus into my heart for the next 16 years.

That lone “UH OH” moment led to some very spectacular “AH HA” moments throughout my lifetime. That lone “UH OH” moment changed the path of my life forever.

 

So, as you navigate your way through the highs and the lows of the coming week, please keep in mind …

 

Oftentimes God’s “UH-OH” moments are actually “AH-HA” moments in disguise!

 

Enjoy this day that God has given you.

 

Lovingly in Christ,

Megan

Faith-Filled Friday

Friday, November 10th, 2017

It’s Faith-Filled Friday! Grab your coffee and your strand of faith for some great knot-tying in and for your faith! Jennifer has a thought-provoking question to ask us…and an answer, her answer to that same question! Come on in for a few!

How would it change your mindset if you suddenly realized that you were born to solve a problem? 

When I was young I would read history books or stories of people who did great things and marvel at what they were able to accomplish.  If only I could do great things.  If only I had a special purpose in life.  That hope was tossed aside by the realities of my life: Parents who often worked late and weren’t home, bullies at school, an abusive husband.  I have often felt unworthy, not good enough and that having a purpose in life was for someone else and not me. 

Then one day I heard… “You are a solution to a God problem.”  It wasn’t a voice from on high but from the pulpit. I had just moved to Florida and it was the second or third time attending this church.  The pastor went on to explain that all of us were created to solve a “God problem.”  Every hard situation, every joy was meant to fulfill that purpose.

Every person is born with purpose, to solve a God problem.

“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.” (Proverbs 20:5)

All people are made in the image of God. Each of us are born with a purpose and calling that we can discover… or completely miss. The influence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers gives us insight to His purposes for us.

I have an assignment from God specifically for me.  Jeremiah 29:11 states, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

This truth opened up a world of hope and a resolve to discover that plan and achieve it.   I no longer feel like someone tossed about by my experiences.  I feel free to walk out what God has called me to do.

How about you?  Do you feel bound up by the past and/or how you view yourself?  Do you believe God has a special assignment for you?  He does, and He is waiting for you to accept it.

Jennifer,

 

 

Wednesday’s Word

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

per·spec·tive

The interrelation in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed; also: point of view; the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance.”

Did you know that your perspective can be affected by your perception?  I know; I see you scratching your head so let me make a confession: I honestly thought they were the same thing! Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Wednesday’s Word with Trench Classes United. Come on in for what I hope will be a powerful blog that will clear your perception to positively affect your perspective, no matter where you are in life!

I can’t take credit for this breakthrough; it comes from Jason Frenn, the author of Power to Change.  Let me see if I can explain it to you in a way that brings clarity. As the definition states, perspective is where you are physically, emotionally and spiritually when you view something, or someone, and perception is how you interpret what you are looking at, perceiving with your mind and soul, from any given perspective.

For example, we have all read or heard of those amazing stories of a person born into poverty, or a not so positive generational cycle of any type; this equates to their perspective, position and/or placement in life. Now, how they rise above it and make something of themselves because of how they viewed and interpreted their circumstances is their perception. In other words, perception is how we take in whatever we take in.

Let me share a word picture that comes to mind: There are many arteries and blood vessels (little pipes) that carry oxygen and blood to and from the heart but they can’t do that if there are clogs in the pipes, so to speak. Life can clog those pipes –perspective—and receiving God’s love becomes really difficult, if not impossible for many. (John 3:16) It is NOT because God’s love isn’t powerful enough to clear the clog, but more because their perception needs to receive truth in order to unclog the perspective.

His love is what changes our perception so that no matter what perspective we are viewing our life’s circumstances from, or those of others, our perception doesn’t waver.

Perception can change your perspective.

But how do we change our perception despite our perspective?

God knew there would be so many of His kids born into unhealthy cycles,  incredibly unpleasant circumstances, which is why He left us the precious gift of His Spirit: to change our perception, despite our perspective.  Could it be that when we feed our faith, our perception is able to rise above our perspective?

What will you do today to positively affect your perception in a way that lifts you above your perspective?

Thoughtfully,

Evinda

 

Monday’s Mantra

Monday, November 6th, 2017

Have you ever told a lie? That is one of the questions on a sales assessment test. If you answer no, you are lying. If you answer yes, you are a liar. The best case scenario…you are an honest lair!

Welcome to Coffee Hour at Chicklit Power and Megan’s Monday Mantra with Trench Classes United.

When I was the age of five, my mother decided it was time to teach me about the consequences of dishonesty. One morning at breakfast she said, “Megan, do you know God knows every time you tell a lie?” “How does He know?” I asked. She answered, “because every time you tell a lie, there is a light that blinks on and off in Heaven.” I had to take a few moments to think about that … and then I asked, “Mom, do you ever lie?” “Of course not!” she proclaimed. “Mom,” I replied, “I think there is a light blinking on and off in Heaven!”

A comical childhood memory, yes, but not without thought-provoking implications. What is the difference between a half truth and a white lie? Are we able to speak the truth if we are not able to be truthful with ourselves? Can we be totally honest without sacrificing the feelings of others? Does saving someone’s feelings actually save them from the truth?

I am currently studying “Speaking the Truth in Love; How to Be an Assertive Christian” in my Stephen Ministry class. Speaking the truth in love means being genuinely honest, direct, and open when relating to others. Assertive behavior is built on the principles of respect, truth and honesty. We are called to be honest with God, ourselves, and those with whom we love, live, and work. When we express our thoughts, feelings and preferences, in an honest, direct, and respectful manner, we empower others to do so as well. The Christ-centered, assertive Christian is one of wholeness and integrity; a person whose words and behaviors are consistent with his or her beliefs and values – a person who accurately reflects on the outside what is on the inside… a person who lives his or her truth out of love and respect for God, themselves, and others.

I pray, Dear Lord, that we may grow and blossom into this kind of Christian, so that our behavior may bring honor to You and to the whole Body of Christ.

But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head – ChristEphesians 4:15

Your comments are always most welcome.

Lovingly in Christ,

Megan

 

 

Faith Filled Friday

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

 

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Faith-Filled Friday with Trench Classes United. If you are just joining us for the first time, you may want to read Wednesday’s Word as this is the continuation of that blog on divine appointments. Grab your coffee and come get comfy as I conclude my story of events that led me to a divine appointment.

With the help of my assistant, I had a rental car, and a new plan set in motion. I was going to miss picking up my granddaughter from the bus stop but I wasn’t going to miss my grandson’s choir performance, even it if meant putting on my big girl panties and driving there all by myself. This would require me overcoming my fear of driving on the Austin freeways that tend to make me feel as though I am riding the most twisting, spiraling roller coaster and ending up where I started off!

You would think that 4.5 hours would be plenty of time to relax, unwind and get over my unpleasant experience, and it was…sort of. I don’t even remember what I did during that “downtime” but before I knew it, it was close to time to board my new flight so I quickly went around the corner to get something to eat for the flight. As I was waiting for my order, an alarm went off in my head and I checked my watch! Terror filled my bones as I realized that I was supposed to start boarding ten minutes ago! My order wasn’t complete but I asked for it anyway, grabbed it and ran back to my gate…but there was no one there?

I began to look around me as if in a bad dream, looking to the left and then to the right and I bolted toward the left looking for an American Airline attendant. Finally, several gates later, I found one and quickly walked up, cutting right in front of someone. I practically pushed my ticket in her face and said: I CAN’T MISS THIS FLIGHT. She sent me to the wrong gate.” The combination of the look of panic on my face, and my tone sent her to her computer and within seconds she let me know my flight was at gate 47B, not 45!  THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING, I screamed silently to myself.

I didn’t even have time or energy to wonder if the attendant from earlier had sent me to the wrong gate on purpose, but of course, looking back, I wonder but I won’t waste my time or energy on that possibility.

I made it to gate 47B with maybe five minutes to spare! My heart was beating faster than a basketball being bounced down the court for a slam-dunk! I sat in my seat, right in the middle of two others – I hate the middle – I was close to tears and in no mood for talking. I got my seatbelt on just as the door was closing and they were preparing us for takeoff. I had all but forgotten about any sort of divine appointment!

But God hadn’t!

It took me just until the plane began traveling down the runway to realize that I was sitting right next to my divine appointment. It started with small talk at first, but picked up speed as we delved into each of our lives. I still can’t believe how much we have in common. But then again, why am I so surprised? By the time we were in the air, my soul began to sour as if on new wings of an eagle.

The proof of the divine nature of this appointment was the fact that her husband had recently lost his dad due to an unexpected tragedy, and my husband had just lost his mom in much the same way: an unexpected tragedy! We both cried as we shared our stories with each other, how hard it is to see our men hurting and how grieving changes a person, which ultimately can change a marriage…for the good or not so good.

The most encouraging aspect of this particular appointment is it wasn’t so much about me as it was for me! What I mean is He wanted me to receive more from this appointment than give. This appointment was for both of us, not just one of us. It was a cup of happiness to my sad and tired soul…just when I needed it most, and I received this medicine like a child yearning for candy. It was such a sweet, sweet time of connection, validation and preparation for the next…divine appointment.

Thankful for my Abba who goes ahead of me and has my back…

Evinda

 

 

 

Thursday’s Trench Truth

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

 

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power & to a beautiful Thankful Thursday with Trench Classes United. This is Kat Lange again…Let’s get real.

So put on some comfy clothes (preferably yoga pants, an oversized sweater and some slippers… my personal faves), grab a venti extra hot Pumpkin Spice Latte and stay a while.

Truth runs deeper than a lie so let’s just lay it all out. I have kept no secrets that I am bipolar and I have depression and ADHD. It is so hard at times to deal with this emotional and physical roller coaster but you know what I have discovered… mercy is waiting on the other side… if I am honest.  I truly feel that I was given this gift to be transparent and to tell my story. Too often we are hushed like it’s a bad thing. Why?? Why should I hurt in silence when I can voice it??  Since I have been diagnosed I have found that my mental challenges are so prevalent around me and it isn’t something any of us should be ashamed of. We aren’t doing anyone any favors by keeping it silent and in the shadows.

I have accepted that I have to work through this and learn to use it.  God has given a purpose to my pain and a reason for my struggle.  I consider it a gift to share my feelings.  And although at times I am hurting, I pause; take a deep breath and say a prayer to my friend, my God, my Father.  I thank God for showing me that I am alive, that I have a purpose and that it is ok to not be ok sometimes.

In this roller coaster life I have learned to have faith and trust in Him.  I have learned to be a transparent person; a person not emotionally blocked by the constraints of a culture thriving on the perfectionist blanket of any form of media.  I must always remember to thrive in diversity: difference in thought, emotion, appearance, motive, heart, faith and love.

Transparency is the key; hope is the way, and faith is the guiding principle.  Love…well, that is the universal language that unites us.  It is our words and actions are what make us stand out for things that matter.

Thank you, Lord, for my purpose.

For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to fulfill his good purpose.  Philippians 2:13

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.  Proverbs 3:5-6

And in everything you do… Let your faith be bigger than your fear.

Love,

Kat

 

Megan’s Monday Mantra

Monday, October 30th, 2017

“Trust me in the midst of a messy day. Your inner calm—your peace in My presence—need not be shaken by what is going on around you.”   (Sarah Young, “Jesus Calling”)

Welcome to Coffee Hour at Chicklit Power and Megan’s Monday Mantra with Trench Classes United.

I am not particularly fond of medical tests. As I rested on the medical exam table, shivering from the cold temperature of the room, I kept reciting, “I love You Lord; I thank You Lord; I trust You Lord.” By the time I got to the fourth repetition of, “I trust You Lord, I started to laugh at myself …

This past year has been a very challenging one for me. If it’s not my health issues, then it’s one of my dogs, or a loved one’s health issue. It’s been one thing after another. Every time I manage to gather my strength and energy, to face these challenges from a Godly perspective, another wave comes crashing in and pulls me under. It’s like being caught in an undertow – I just can’t seem to come up for air. I continue to express my love for the Lord and thank Him for these faith-growing opportunities. I continue to tell the Lord I trust him … yet, I find myself exhausting my own source of strength to conjure up the trust I need to have in Him. I am weary and afraid. There is no fear in trust, so I know if I am afraid, I am not fully trusting in the Lord.

Why is it so easy to put our trust in the electricity that turns on our TV’s, or in the “wisdom” of Amazon’s Alexa? Why is it so easy to trust people of human knowledge and accomplishment, or a test result without question? Why is it so easy to put our trust and dependency in our own strengths and abilities?  And why in the world, do we get so surprised and indignant when one of the above does not function the way we think it ought to?

Trust is only as good as the person or source we put it in.

God’s Word promises we can trust in Him. He is the truth and only speaks the truth. He never changes His mind. There is no problem, no debt, no illness or fear, too big for God to handle. I do not pretend to understand why it is sometimes so difficult to place our complete trust in God, but I do know, if we ask Him for trust in Him – He will answer.

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”  (Jeremiah 17:7-8 )

I have never asked for prayer in my blogs – but for me, it’s been a messy year.

Your prayers are always most welcome!

Lovingly in Christ,

Megan

Thursday’s Trench Truth

Thursday, October 26th, 2017

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and Thursday’s Trench Truth with Trench Classes United. Allow me to introduce myself and invite you into a few of the details of my life!

My name is Kat Lange and I am a freelance graphic designer, a connoisseur of coffee and all things sweet, a full-time mama to my little chicken nuggets (ages 6 & 7), a wife to an awesome Veteran Psychologist, and of course a big time cheerleader for the Lord.  I am super excited to be here with y’all sharing my little piece of know-how.  So put on some comfy clothes (preferably yoga pants, an oversized sweater and some slippers… my personal favs), grab a venti extra hot Pumpkin Spice Latte and stay a while. J

 

I am learning that learning to be more intentional within our interactions is a key to living a healthy life.  This is something I think many of us struggle with because we have our routines and our busy schedules so who has time to pause and think deeply?  We need to learn to switch off the cruise control of life and be more intentional in our relationships, interactions, with our confidence, goals, and dreams in life.

 

If you are lost and broken, take a moment to pause, reflect and realize you might need to change lanes and reset your direction.  Try to stay focused on that direction but know that even if you veer off the path, as long as you have a goal your course can be corrected.  It can be changed to an alternative route to get you back on the right track.

 

Always keep moving forward but know it is ok to stop and reset. Here’s a great verse that tells us how: Colossians 3:2: Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.

 

By being intentional about your life you are prioritizing what you value.  Value the good and ignore the toxicity in your life, for it will only mislead you if you play into it.  So many times in my life I have come to realize that I was feeling so icky and my emotional state was so “junked” up because I have not taken a second to realize where I was on my path.  My car was doing donuts in the dirt and my windshield was dusty with confusion.

 

By applying those brakes in life and cleaning my system – aka, my mind, I can inevitably clear my view to redirect myself.  This is a redirection away from toxic thinking and negative ways onto an intentional goal and a more fulfilling life. Here’s another great verse to tell us how: Romans 12:9: Love must be sincere.  Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.

 

These are a couple of valuable trench truths to take with us in the journey of Christianity and I love the fact that I get to share them here.

Have a blessed and Thankful Thursday

Love,

Kat

Faith Filled Friday

Friday, September 29th, 2017

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6

Welcome to Coffee Hour @ Chicklit Power and our Faith-Filled Friday with Trench Classes United. Today’s blog is written by myself and Jenn Woosley, a former Transformer of ours who has truly learned the value of transformation. I love what she shares about words, and their power…which are influenced by our attitude, aka, our heart! Grab your coffee and your Strand of Faith and join us for another Faith-Filled Friday!

What we say and how we say it is so important. It’s imperative to remember that others hear based on their life experiences. It’s the reason we get triggered by something that’s said. I was reminded of this in two instances yesterday

There are a lot of people out there who’ve been seriously hurt by the words, tone and actions of other human beings. If you find yourself upset by words, take a step back and understand why before responding. Realize that not every comment requires a response from you.

If a person is upset by your words, take a step back and understand where they may be coming from, why they are upset. And if you don’t know, ask. Often, your words triggered something in them about them, and their life experiences, not something you did or said wrong. If their anger or frustration is that of an abuser, then you have to step away because fighting back only causes more bad behavior.

There are two key ingredients we need to flavor our words with: Empathy and compassion. Both have gone missing in our society. All the anger, the hate, the backlash going on around us is largely caused by what I’ve written about above. We all want “my” say…

Words matter. How they are phrased matters. Sometimes it may be best to say nothing at all.

Think about it.

Jenn,