It has been a long time since I last posted. A lot of things have happened in my life since January of 2016. I shared my post on how I began to de clutter things in my home and get better organized. It is sometimes difficult to prioritize but essential for our whole well-being. Some of you shared with me how the post had spoken to you and began doing some de cluttering as well in your homes.
I have been going through some trials with illness within my body. My body was feeling weak and I was dragging myself to places. I decided to go to the Doctor only to find out I had bronchitis. I began on medication and I was not getting better. The Doctors gave me more medicine and I was hospitalized in April for tests. This was the beginning of a whirlwind where surgery and two other hospitalizations occurred. It is June and I am still recovering from what the Doctors thought was a simple surgery to complications.
I went from being an active woman to someone who became totally dependent on my daughter, hospital staff, Church family and friends to take care of my basic needs. I could not work, drive or stand on my own. I am now feeling better, knowing I will be stronger tomorrow, praising God for each new day and waiting for Him to unfold His precious beauty around me. “I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 16: 7-8.
Most importantly during this time of illness, I have become solely dependent on God, His love, strength, joy, compassion and provision. Trusting in Him, believing and declaring His promises over my life. Prayer has been so essential during this time. I will not be writing if it was not for God answering my prayers and of those who prayed and continue to pray over me. “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:22
I thank God for my beautiful daughter who has discovered more of herself during this time. She became God’s instrument to provide for me and be my caregiver. She took care of me while juggling a new job. I am truly proud of her and thankful to God for the woman she has become. She is my treasure. “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” 3 John 1:4
Something that has not changed during all of this time is my longing to do God’s will in my life and guide others to the heart of Jesus. I have been constant with my devotionals. All you need to do is sign up with your email to receive my weekly devotional. You will receive it in your inbox every Tuesday. I have gotten feedback from many of the subscribers who have told me what a blessing the weekly devotional is for them. “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advanced for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
I will continue to write once a week about this challenging time, the Church community, family and friends that have walked with me along this time. I pray it be a blessing for you to grow in the love of Christ.
In Christ’s love,
As I entered into 2016 the words that resonated in my mind and heart were unclutter and organization. I have been praying to God to give me physical strength to get rid of many things I have stored away for a long time. I literally need to open boxes I have had closed for a long time. It just seems I need days to do it all and maybe another pair of hands.
As this has been tugging at me, I sensed the Holy Spirit saying, “Just as you have stuff to get rid of, you also have thoughts that have been weighing you down. Unclutter your thoughts and feelings of unworthiness, insecurities, what if’s and fears”. Bam! I understand this is why maybe the boxes have not been opened for not wanting to face what is inside and dealing with what to do with the “stuff”.
I want to let go of all that is tugging at me and as I fast and seek God all I want is His peace and comfort. I want more of Him and less of me. I feel a sense of accomplishment as I go about uncluttering my home. I am realizing that what I do in the physical has an impact in the Spiritual.
I want to honor God and I know that by seeking Him more and more, my thoughts are becoming transformed with His Presence. As I listen to His Word and less to what the media is constantly bombarding of “what my needs are”, the more peace I feel. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
Join me this 2016 to seek more of God, listen to His voice, His sweet whisper. Let the presence of Jesus fill you. Jesus is the perfect role model to follow. Allow the Holy Spirit into your life. He comforts and empowers you with His gifts. “… the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
In Christ’s love,
Life consists of making choices every day. Some decisions are easier to make than others. How many times do we put things on a balance, the pros and the cons of what we need to decide? How many people do we call or go to so we can seek their counsel to help us decide what choice will be better for us? After some or little consideration, we make a decision to later realize it was not the correct one. We panic, worry and cry out to God to help us after the decision has been made.
We have done things backwards. As children of God, we need to seek Him first, seek His divine counsel. How? We seek Him through prayer, reading His Word and listening to His voice on what He wants for us. We were created for a God given Purpose. Every decision we make will be to walk in God’s purpose or it will be to alienate us from what God wants for our lives. God’s Word says, “For the plans I have for you will be to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future…” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
I can tell you I have not been exempt of the above. I used to do things backwards but once I realized my error, my decision-making has become better. I am happier because I know I am walking in God’s will. Believe me life is much more bearable because Christ is my life. I put everything before Him and “His Word is a lamp to my feet and a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105 (NIV)
Decisions also take courage, patience and discernment. These are BIG words in what they represent. Courage is stepping outside of our comfort zone, being bold. Remember to walk out in the presence of God, not in your own strength. You cannot do it alone. Patience, because sometimes we just need to be still and listen for God’s voice as the Word says in Psalm 46:10 (NIV), “He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” We glorify God when we make good decisions and walk in His will. Discernment, knowing when it is the perfect timing, knowing when to act and not react.
Remember to pray, go before God, ask Him what does he want you to do, be still, listen to His voice, be patient in your wait and step out in God’s perfect timing. You will see transformation in your life for greater things.
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In Christ’s love,
Have you thought about what makes you get up in the mornings to begin your daily routine? Would you rather stay in bed longer, go into work much later or maybe have a four-day workweek? Well, I have thought about it. Truthfully a four-day workweek does not sound bad at all. In fact I experienced this time frame at work during the summer. It was nice to have a three-day weekend. But back to reality. I need to know that when I get up in the mornings, I will live my day as someone whom God created to be His reflection of love, joy, peace and excellence to others on this planet. I have an opportunity each day to live, laugh, enjoy with others, knowing work is simply a means to plant and reap the essentials of life.
So how do I live my life? I live it by first giving thanks to God when I get up for blessing me with a new day. I give Him a big smile. I then offer the day to Him by putting it in His hands, because I cannot handle all that life throws at me in my own strength. I need God. “…He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him…You give me your shield and your right hand sustains me.” Psalm 18: 30b, 35 (NIV)
I have learned the importance of honoring God throughout the day by respecting the authority in my home, work place, organizations I belong to and Church. I honor Him by valuing and nurturing my relationships. I strive to work in an excellent manner, “straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13b-14 (NIV)
I am so grateful to God for loving me in spite of all my flaws. I know I am beautiful in His eyes. This is why I want to honor Him with all of my heart. He fills me with favor and grace as I step out in faith to begin my day.
I urge you to honor God in the simple things as you get up and begin your day. He honors us when we focus on Him, read His Word, accept His Son Jesus into our lives as Our Savior and live out a life reflecting His love. Enjoy your day walking in the love and presence of God…
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In Christ’s love,
The past weeks have been intense for me. I have had situations that have made me uncomfortable, distraught and without energy. I had to make a decision and take a risk. I had to trust in what was right. Doing what is right is not always a comfortable thing to do. So how do you know what the right decision is? You know when you focus on the things that matter.
You see, I realized a long time ago when I need to make a change in my life or a decision, I cannot rely on my emotions but I need to go before the ONE who can “direct my paths and make them straight.” (Proverbs: 3:6) “ I began to close the door to my bedroom and sit before God and put it all at His feet. I focused on Him. I read His Word and asked the Holy Spirit to illuminate my mind on how to react, walk or decide whatever I needed to do. I found the more I did this the more confident I became. I began to memorize small verses of the Bible that would help me to keep focused. You know how fearful and anxious you get when you are not sure of something? Well, I began to memorize Philippians 4: 5-6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (NIV). As I read this passage and memorized it, I truly began to feel peace. Peace helps us to put things into perspective.
I have to be vigilant of my time with God because I can so easily get distracted with work, TV, activities, things that make me lose my focus. My relationship with Him needs to be continuous and work on it everyday just as I have to nurture my relationship with my daughter, family, co-workers and friends.
The more I seek God, in my quiet time in my bedroom, put the day He has blessed me with in His hands, and think of Him and His Word through out the day, the better it becomes to live out my day. It does not mean I am exempt of troubles, it means I am not alone and whatever decision I need to make, I wait for God’s peace to take over my being and walk in the direction He is leading me.
I invite you now to focus on the things that matter. Follow God’s purpose for your life. God loves you so much and wants to build a relationship with you. Put your cares before Him… Give Him the opportunity and your life will be transformed.
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In Christ’s love,
Jenn Johnson (Bethel Church), God I look to You