Our Identity IN Christ

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Our identity in Christ is a powerful position. No matter what, Christ is enough.

Proverbs 28:1- The righteous is as bold as a lion.

The enemy knows he cannot steal your identity and purpose. But, he can steal your confidence and boldness. Our enemy may have some power BUT he does not sit on the throne. REPLACE the enemies lies with truth.

Psalms 55:22- Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you . He will never let the righteous fall.

DO NOT FORGET WHO YOU ARE ~ WHEN WE KNOW WHO WE ARE IN CHRIST- WE WIN !
May each day we walk a step closer to the goal – To LIVE IS CHRIST. May we call out to God with as amazing posture of humility.

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21 Days of Prayer- Uphill Habits

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“Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”Joel 2:12

First morning of 21 days of Prayer and Fasting starts today.

I listened to the sermon twice yesterday titled, Uphill Habits. I encourage you to take the time to watch it at http://www.churchofthehighlands.com.  Pastor Chris reminds us that we are what we repeatedly do. We form habits and then our habits form us. Everything worth while is uphill.

There is something about giving God our first. Not just the tithes. The first of everything. The first part of our day. The first of your thoughts. He desires to be first in everything. As our Pastor said yesterday, If God is somewhere on your list, but, He is not first, He is not on your list. Or another way of saying it, IF God is not first in your life than He is not in your life. Give God the first and He multiples the rest.

So, this morning I think once again of the power of prayer. Don’t ever underestimate the power of prayer. May we confidently call on the one that sits on the mercy seat of heaven. May we ask for His mighty hand to move on this earth, in whatever situation we face. Pray outside the box. Think outside the box. IF we would only remember the words… BUT GOD to whatever it is that we are praying for today.

Our prayers in someone’s dark hour can move His spirit to light their path. Our prayers for someone who is hurting can usher in His comfort. Our prayers of protection over someone can send His angels to their aid. Our prayers are the evidence of His power at work in our world. One day, on the other side, we will see how our prayers affected and protected many lives while we lived.

May today we return to him with our whole heart. We all know what part of our heart needs returning. Whatever it is. remember God is willing to bless your life in unimaginable ways.

Pastor Chris reminded us yesterday of the first words in the Bible, IN THE BEGINNING GOD…  

May we truly grasp the truth that “God’s promises must drive us to His precepts as our rules and then His precepts must send us back to His promises for strength, for without His grace we can do nothing. ” Matthew Henry

It does not matter what you have done in your past. It does not matter where we are right now, just do a course correction starting today. Return to him with all of your  heart and start to see the generosity of our Lord begin to unfold. For the Lord always keeps his promises and He is gracious in all He does.

 

 

 

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Becoming Fearless

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2 Timothy 1:7- is my scripture. Notice I did not say it was my favorite scripture that would be Phil. 4:13, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

2 Timothy 1:7 is the scripture that if I turn to left, it is there, if I turn to the right, it is there. It follows me wherever I go. So much, that I humbled myself to  own it and put it on a bracelet as a reminder to me.  Most people, call me anything but fearful.  It is an Italian gene to be bold.  But, God knows my heart. I am fearful of many things, One, stepping up to the battle line where he has called me to be. Front  line and center. I am much more comfortable behind the scenes. When you are on the front lines, you have to be fit. Have to have a strategic plan. Have to drown out all the noise around you. Have to be focused at all times.  Have to act and not react.  Have to always be accountable for your actions and know  there are others behind you that you are accountable for if you stumble and fall. Sounds like a lot of responsibility.

He has sent so many confirmations. His reminders, His probing . His word that says, this is not about you, it is for others.  You are the tool, I am the  Mighty Craftsman. You are my princess warrior but I am the King. When you are not actively pursuing and stepping out  in faith into the will of God, it can be a very uncomfortable place to be living in. We say we like our comfort zone but he can make that very  place uncomfortable so we will move forward.

What are your fears?  We all have them inside. What is stopping you from stepping up to the plate ? Who is He crafting you to be? For we are all Princess Warriors Or Prince Warriors for the God in which we serve.

As I take this scripture to heart one more time, God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and self discipline. How I have to let that sink in.  Love, Lord, some people are just too hard to love. Discipline, Lord, do you see all what is asked of me already?   HE does and he still requires  discipline to not let my mood dictate my manners. Power, some days I am good to put one foot  in front of the other AND not kill someone who hurts me or others that I love  and they do it with no regard. I understand the bridle example in James so well after having horses. We all need duct tape. Guess, it was not around in the Biblical days. But, we all need lots and lots of cases of duct tape. For our mouth and hand it out to others when a brother or sister needs a reminder.

God calls things as they are in His eyes, not as we see things.  HE truly calls the things that are not as if they were. Just like Elijah seeing dry bones come to life.He called Gideon a valiant warrior when he was hiding and was afraid to fight. HE called him Valiant Warrior several times BEFORE he showed any attributes of a warrior. Gideon, was saying, “Who …me? You surely have me mixed up with someone else.”

God gave us the stories in the Bible as reminders. What a reminder it is! ,  The Lord whispers , I AM the same God who gave Gideon strength to win his battle AND I AM YOUR GOD.

I am still learning the only time fear , doubts, unrest, anxiousness, anger ( No, not the righteous anger, keeping it real)  will overtake my heart is when I have taken my eyes off of God, PERIOD. I looked up a word yesterday that someone shared with me to get the true grasp of it, Disquieted. It is to be worried, anxious, perturbed, agitated, unnerved, unsettled, discontent, troubled , upset. Boy does that cover a lot. So, what are you disquieted about? There is a list for me that I have to bring before the foot of the cross and nail it there !

This morning as I read my devotion,  I am reminded, as long as I am walking in God’s truth, I have nothing to fear. No matter what it looks like now, victory will be mine. So, I have to fear NOT, He will never leave my side, day or night, He is beside me. Equipping , guiding , I must simply listen and more importantly, quit over thinking , quit the why’s, quit the what if’s, simply close my eyes , step out in the unknown and obey.

May each one of us find time to spend  with the one that refuels our courage. With the new morning comes new mercies and grace. The old has gone and the new has come ! AND REMEMBER,  He is the King who removes every fear.

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Misfit Dreams

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Dream Big to the beat of what God has given you.

When God gives you a “misfit dream” we HAVE to put our “Spiritual Headphones” on when the critics are loud AND listen to the beat of God’s vision for your life.

Did this hit home for me. This morning I watched an archive sermon from two years ago from Pastor Matthew Barnett from the L A Dream Center. Please watch for this message will bring you back to the basics of what we are really here for. How easy it is to get caught up in the day to day worries of life. We have so many great plans and intentions but then here comes the distractions, the not planned for events and one after another comes. We get to the place where we are good to put one foot in front of the other.

We HAVE to LIVE like we have nothing to lose and everything to gain. We have to wear the right headphones. Our fight is not against people. We don’t fight people, We don’t battle people . We have a real enemy and his only job is to steal, kill and destroy. The greatest revenge we have is perseverance . With that, we outlast them ( critics, enemy) ALL.

I had lunch yesterday with a friend that I have not seen  in a while.  She was in a small group that I had in my home a 1 1/2  years ago. God showed up and God showed out at our lunch. We left the table and walked outside to leave and had another hour conversation outside. Our waitress walked out and said , “Girls, go back in and sit down”. We laughed and said we have not seen each other in awhile. She said she could tell, she did not even want to interrupt us because she can tell we tuned out everybody in there and we were so intense in our conversation.”

We were so intense that the waitress had taken our ticket off our table and my neighbor at the farm saw me in there and paid for our lunch and I did not even know it. I did not even see my neighbor in there. What a surprise and when I called to say thank you later, he said “I did not want to interrupt, y’all were in your own world. “HA

Which gets me to thinking. What if we acted like that everyday. Because really, we are in this world but we are not of this world. We are only passing through. IF we could only live so focused that we do not see the distractions. The critics, all the other loud voices in the room because we are so focused and goal driven to a Christ centered tune. IN everything…give thanks.  How different would my life be?  How different would your life be?

After yesterdays conversation and amazingly watched this sermon this morning, I have had a break through for the first time in a long time.

FACTS ! We were born to serve. EVERYTHING before me is … CHRIST. The more we grow in Christ the more living with simplicity should be our mission. EVERYTHING we do should be UP AND OUT. UP AND OUT. UP AND OUT. Up, meaning tell the story of Jesus. Out meaning… SERVE. The more…. the more we get the more goes out. This could be education, blessings, yes, finances can come into play but I am talking about everything. The more love, the more encouragement, the more peace of mind , the more blessings that come our way… Out ~

What gets in our heads, GETS IN OUT HEARTS.

I have a dream. The Lord gave me a wonderful dream. The enemy has tried to take it. But the Lord gave me the dream. I did not put my spiritual headphones on and listen to the beat of God’s vision for my life. BUT, one thing for sure, the play list on what is going into my head from my headphones has changes TODAY.

What is on your play list? Garbage in…. Garbage out. What are you telling yourself? What lies from the enemy are you listening to? What critics do you need to tune out?

DREAM BIG ~~~~ God has given YOU your dream for a reason. Live like you have nothing to lose and everything to gain and OUTLAST THEM ALL !

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What Is Your… One Thing?

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I do not write as much as I use to.  Why, you make ask? We all have seasons, seasons in the desert. Some are quick trips and some are more like the Israelites…years.  The last year and a half has been one of great mountains and valleys to a depth that is hard to measure. One thing I can tell you for sure during this journey,  without Christ as the center of my life, everything is meaningless.

I have asked myself for weeks, months,  what is the one thing? The one thing that is most important to me at this stage in my life? I have searched deep and finally have the answer and it is, a heart of worship. It  has to be  all about him, for he truly is the King of endless worth.

Zechariah 4:10 tells us, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin…” This is where I am in many of my dream being fulfilled. My dream with ministry  of horses and children. It has started but different than I had visioned.  Stepping back into Real Estate after being gone a few years and not leading a power team like before, stepping out on my own. It is where we are with the farm renovations  and all the visions I have for it. All are a work in progress.

How about you? Are you in the day of small beginnings?   What is your one thing? The Lord will help you every step of the way. He is rejoicing. We have to learn to rejoice with him IN ALL TIMES ~

I go back once again to my favorite, King David. Boy, did he have a small beginning. His Father did not even bring him in to meet Samuel when Samuel came to Jesse’s house to anoint the next King. He was the insignificant shepherd boy to many but he had the blessings of God on his life. Think of the desert he had to walk through, YEARS before the Lord said he is ready for the position that I created him for. David  the boy anointed  was thirty years old before he received the crown.  David made mistakes but God uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. David’s prayer of repentance in Psalms 51 is truly why we are told he was a man after God’s own heart.

So, as I tell you , I am telling myself, take heart, the Lord who called you to your  work, your calling, is faithful. He will strengthen us. HE is faithful to send other believers to help you overcome the enemies best shot. Faithful to send encouragement right when we need it. He is faithful to provide all our needs.

So, keep pressing towards the prize. Simply come to him, the one who calls you is faithful. God has not required a song, a big show, lots of noise and attention. He searches much deeper than the way things appear,  much deeper than that. He wants to know our heart is pure and we have a willing and obedient heart. With theses things the Potter will create the most beautiful vessel that will stand the test of time and the test of the enemy. Because of who he is, he will light the way and the prize at the end will be ours. Because the Lord has promised good to me.

Thankful that his mercies are new every morning . Thankful that the voice who calms the sea, looks on me with love and is watching  me rise again. The one whose voice calms the sea can calm the storm in me.   His mercy reigns, unending love is he and  he gives amazing grace which cannot be measured. OH, God, how I need you ~

 

 

Posted in Christian Inspiration, Daily Devotion, Encouragment, Endurance, Faith, Faithfulness, finding ourselves, Hope, Inspirational | Leave a comment

Choosing Your Battles

 

 

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that but the really great make you feel that you too can become great. When you are seeking to bring big plans to fruition it is important with whom you regularly associate. Hang out with friends who are like-minded and who are also designing purpose-filled lives. Similarly be that kind of a friend for your friends.” – Mark Twain

The older I get the more I understand that every day can be a fight with someone or for some thing if we chose it to be. Sometimes, the hardest  battle is in our own mind.

My thoughts are best expressed behind this computer screen. I know I am much better at writing than communicating in person. I need more time to process things and in writing it gives me the time and the luxury of reading my words before I ever say them out loud.

Here in Bama , it is 2 A.M. and my mind is racing. Racing and replaying conversations that I had with one that I adore. There are so many things I want to say, to do. But, sometimes the hardest thing is not stepping in and fighting a battle for someone. Sometimes the best thing is to listen and  encourage them . Give advice as needed and pray for them. Pray for protection and strength. Pray for wisdom and knowledge. Oh yes, and discernment.

The things that I will say publicly to this bubbly, talented and beautiful soul is this…

Everyone that says they are your friend is  not your friend. When you find yourself asking if this person is really your friend, many times that is a white flag , take notice. There are some friendships that you can embrace and some that you have to keep at a distance and some you have to let go. As Ecclesiastes  tells us in the Bible, there is a time for everything. We have to pray for wisdom and discernment when these times come because we have all endured them.

I think one of the hardest sins to overcome is the one of jealousy and a competitive spirit. They can be conquered but it truly takes the power of Jesus Christ to do it and the person has to want  and willingly  lay these traits at the foot of the cross. These two have done more than most any other to ruin a many of friendships.

Jealousy arises in relationships because of comparison, competition and the fear of being replaced. If we were busy counting our own blessings instead of counting others, this would not be an issue. If we maintained an attitude of gratitude, it would solve many relationship issues. Because as we have heard many times, There is alway, ALWAYS something to be thankful for. When we change our lens in which we view things and we can change our world.

So, when you are dealing with one that makes fun of you, cuts you down in front of others or is truly not happy when good vibrations come your way or better yet a compliment comes your way and not theirs ,take note, jealousy and competition has raised their ugly heads. When a friend steals your ideas, takes your work and says it is theirs, when it is always about their needs,  when they can never say they are sorry and when confronted always play the victim role, you can know that you are dealing with one or both of these spirits. So what do you do?

I have walked away from a couple of friendships in the last couple of years for some of these very reasons. Even at my age of fifty, it is still a really hard battle to overcome. So how do you do it?  Know, I don’t think I know it all, I am taking these steps myself as we speak. I have not arrived at the point when I hear their name and it does not bother me. Betrayal hurts.  I know,  I have to continually lay this hurt at the foot of the cross when I feel the sting.

What I do know is, chose your battles wisely and truly know who you are fighting. Yes, they are being used by the enemy and  at times, I  believe they are  being a willing participant. But. know our enemy , Satan and his evil posse is the real enemy. The Lord tells us in his word that we are not fighting flesh and blood but against evil forces in the spiritual realm.

We have to call on the Lord. We have to pray for wisdom and discernment. We have to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. But know that being gentle does not mean being walked all over, treated poorly and taken advantage of one too many times. Boundaries are needed. Ask the Lord to help you establish those boundaries.

Believe in the sowing and reaping principle. It is a Godly principle and no one gets a free pass on it. In God’s timing , the truth will come out and the Lord will bring justice to the afflicted. But, all in his timing and not ours.

In the meantime, do you. Be you. Don’t stop shining.  Be your own kind of beautiful. Watch what people do and not what they say.  Don’t look at yourself through their eyes. Know who appraises  your worth. God and God alone has that job. He sees us as his daughter’s. Royalty. loved, dearly loved . Know that enemies will come but realize that God and God alone is our strength and guidance and  through him, we will be victorious.

So, don’t waste your time fighting the wrong battles.  Lastly,  Never… EVER  forget that these spiritual wars are always fought and WON on our knees.

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#4 of 21 Days of Prayer

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#21daysofprayer

Pastor Layne- Day 4

Have you ever felt insignificant ?

I Corinthians 3:5-11 reminds us that are prayers are making a difference. They are working. Prayer is doing more than you think because God is doing more than you can see~

3 things we do when we pray !

  1. We are planting
  2. We are watering
  3. We are building

FOR THINGS TO GROW
5Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. 8Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.9For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. 10According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

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Now faith is the assurance of the things hope for , being the proof of things we do not see and the conviction of their reality. Hebrews 11:1 (AMP)

A reminder this morning for all of us …Let this season grow you. God is doing a work within you right where you are.

Lord, we are unashamed . Lord, we exhaust your name. You reign over all . Your presence tears down the walls we hide behind. We long for you Lord, search us and may we chose what is better. May we walk with you today Lord, yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not granted. Today, Lord, may our light shine for your glory !

In HIs Love & Mine,

Darla

 

 

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