Remember the Good Past

by Kim McDougal

Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul, and forget not [one of] all His benefits. – Psalms 103:2 (AMP)

There’s definitely things in our past that we want to forget and some circumstances we do need to put behind us. But there are things done in the past by our God we should remember, especially when we’re in the midst of a battle or if we’re waiting on God for an answer to a long-awaited prayer. It helps build our faith to remember how the Lord delivered us in the past. And, it helps keep our focus on God and not on the situation. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore and it’s a wonderful thing for me to remember that when He helped me yesterday, there’s no reason to believe He won’t help me today.

Everyday has new challenges and our God is ready to handle them all. His mercies are new every day. You and I need a fresh, new anointing each day to deal with unforeseen circumstances. The Lord knows exactly what we need every second. If we go into our past to bring anything up, let’s bring up all the blessings, miracles, and answered prayers and nothing else!

Advertisements

Build Your Trust in God

by Kim McDougal

trust

photo by (c) Helene Souza

If there were a 7-step process of what to do to trust in God and automatically you would begin to trust Him no matter what, life would be much simpler. But you and I know life doesn’t work that way. Trusting in someone is a process. Just like when you first meet someone…would you immediately trust them with the keys to your car? No. It takes time to build that kind of relationship. We invest years into many of our friendships to get to a point where we can really be ourselves around our friends.

And building a relationship with God is no different, it takes time and effort. We don’t just read today’s scripture and poof, we trust indefinitely. Everyday has its own set of issues and we have to choose to trust the Lord as each day passes. The good news is that He isn’t fickle nor will He time us as we’re working on trusting Him more. He is patient with us and as we grow closer to Him, it becomes easier to build trust in Him.

You may ask, why should we trust God? My answer is simple. If you don’t trust God, you will trust in something. And God is the only one who does not change, will not betray you or I, will not leave us especially when we need Him the most, does not break promises, and we can never be separated from Him. There is a lasting peace and joy when you know you can trust Him, we feel that with some of our friends now don’t we? Well, think of God being 10 times what our beloved friends or relatives are…The Lord is the safest place I know and I’m choosing Him to trust in today. How about you? Will you begin today to build trust in God? He will be your refuge and no matter what, you can trust Him.

10 Prayers to Fight Discouragement

by Kim McDougal

I found this on Facebook and went to the site to read this and found these wonderful 10 prayers. I hope they encourage you as they did me.

1. Cast Your Worry
1 Peter 5:7

I will not worry about tomorrow, I will trust in my Heavenly Provider to meet the needs for today. For when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him. Thank you God for protecting me and caring for all of my needs. I am well taken care of; through Jesus Christ your benevolent Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, in Oneness and power, now and forever. In Jesus name, Amen.

2. Focus
Matthew 25:23

Abba Father, help me to recognize that you have called me to be faithful not successful. Help me to focus my efforts in pleasing You alone, not people. I will not take on more responsibility than You intend for me and I will be careful to humble myself as a faithful steward whatever the outcome; through Jesus Christ your benevolent Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, in Oneness and power, now and forever. In Jesus name, Amen.

3. Godly Thinking
Phillipians 4:8

Spirit of the Living God, correct my thinking. Help me to be strong and courageous in my thought-life.  Let fear and doubt be far from me. Instead fuel my thoughts with faith; in the name of Jesus Christ, who reigns supremely with You and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. In Jesus name, Amen.

4. Good Friends
Proverbs 12:26

Dear Lord, please send encouraging friends that promote Your Sovereignty in my life and remind me of Your goodness. Thank you for the friends I have now that encourage me, bless us with wisdom and favor always; through Jesus Christ your benevolent Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, in Oneness and power, now and forever. In Jesus name, Amen.

5. Guidance
Hebrews 4:10

Oh Heavenly Father, though I am dealing with disappointment and obstacles, I rest in the fact that You are still on the throne. Lead me to enter into Your rest Oh Lord and not be disillusioned by the current circumstances; through Jesus Christ your benevolent Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, in Oneness and power, now and forever. In Jesus name, Amen.

6. Praise and Thanksgiving
Romans 8:28

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for working all situations in my favor. Even if I can’t see it right away, I know that You are in the midst implementing Your Divine strategy on my behalf. Help me in times of trouble to magnify You and not the problem; through Jesus Christ your loving Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, in Oneness and power, now and forever. In Jesus name, Amen.

7. Preparation
Proverbs 6:6-8

Father help me to organize my day in a way that prepares me for unforeseen situations. Give me the grace to deal with problems in a loving way that honors You and others. Please be glorified through me; in the name of Jesus Christ, who reigns supremely with You and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. In Jesus name, Amen.

8. Refuel
1 Thessalonians 5:17

Father help me to maintain a consistent prayer life and be replenished continually by Your Presence. I know that as I patiently wait on You in this season, You will surely renew my strength. I will run and not get tired, I will walk strongly; through Jesus Christ your benevolent Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, in Oneness and power, now and forever. In Jesus name, Amen.

9. Remember
Psalm 103:2

Dear Righteous Father Holy and True, I will not forget Your benefits as daily You help bear my burdens. Though I’m facing seemingly endless difficulties, I will not throw in the towel. I will set my eyes upon the hills and look forward with confidence of the future You have prepared for me; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, in Oneness and power, now and forever. In Jesus name, Amen.

10. Trust
Job 13:15

God even if You slay me I will still trust You and maintain my integrity before You. Strengthen my inner man to rely on You more and more each day. I lean not on my own understanding of the situation, but trust continually in You; in the name of Jesus Christ, who reigns supremely with You and the Holy Spirit forever and ever. In Jesus name, Amen.

********************************

Original post found on BeliefNet.com by clicking here >>

Am I the Problem or the Solution?

by Kim McDougal

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts. -Psalm 139:23 (KJV)

We’ve heard it said before, “if you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem.” It truly means that if you see a problem but instead of looking for a solution, you egg the problem on then you’re not helping the situation. In our Christian walk, we should always take the time to examine our own heart and motives. God sees this and this is how He judges. He doesn’t care how good we look on the outside, He’s looking at our heart.

When we refuse to see that we may be causing distress rather than leaving our problems with God, we make life much more difficult. I had a real problem with complaining. I didn’t look at my blessings, all I could see was my trials and rather than tell God, ask Him to help me, I much rather complain and complain to other people which in turn caused them to retreat from me. For, who wants to be around someone who complains about how their life is so bad all the time? God had to deal with me on this, plus I brought on a lot of physical and emotional pain to myself and the more we won’t see ourselves and allow God to change us, the further we get from Him and from the solution.

Maybe someone has hurt, disappointed, or even lied about you. Possibly there’s a problem with a family member or friend. But, look at yourself today. You nor I are perfect. We sin, we make mistakes, we need God. If you’re pointing a finger at someone, don’t forget the three fingers pointing back at you. If you want a trial in your life to go away, you must first let God change your heart. The problem may still exist, but if you’re not reacting badly to it, it won’t have any power over you. And, when you’re not thinking about it, the problem usually vanishes.

Oh Lord, Let My Mouth Be a Blessing

by Kim McDougal

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)

Millions of quotes made by so many famous people, scholars, historians don many websites and books after these people have since long been gone. Yet, their words live on today for you and I to read to be inspired and uplifted. Words have life – eternal life if you will, whether good or bad. You might forget how you got that bump on your head when you fell out of a swing at age 10, but you may never forget the words of your 4th grade teacher who inspired you in some way.

If we say that we want Christ to work in us and through us and we want to mirror His life, shouldn’t that include the words we speak? It’s so easy to overlook the power that God has given us with using our mouth. We can use it for good or for bad and I don’t think we realize just how much power this little part of our body actually has. We tend to blurt out things that come in our head that really should never be spoken. Sometimes, we’re just gabbing making absolutely no sense in what we’re saying. Or worse yet, we’re reacting to someone or some circumstance in frustration or anger and these are the times that we should take a deep, deep breath and take a step back to calm down BEFORE we speak. Remember, we have the power of the tongue at our disposal and if we don’t want to receive nasty words thrown at us, then let’s not do it at someone else either.

And just as it is easy to tear down with the mouth, it is even easier to build someone up. It costs us nothing to sincerely encourage another person or compliment them on something. I get blessed daily by the people in my life, but how often do I tell them this? I have to sadly admit, “not enough.” And suppose I don’t wake up tomorrow…having never or hadn’t in a long time, told the people I care about, that I love and appreciate them? When was the last time, I spoke a word of encouragement to someone who needed it? Unfortunately, I’m so caught up in my own world that at times, I am completely oblivious to others around me. And if you look around even for a few minutes, you can tell there are people you who really need an encouraging word. You might be the last person they see with the power of Christ to speak a word of life into them. Don’t let those opportunities pass you by. They may NEVER forget your words and what you speak to them might keep them from making a drastic decision that could alter the rest of their life. When God spoke to me about all this, this morning, I suddenly realized how important our life is to Him. We’re so careful what clothes we put on, what accessories we wear to match, what products to use on our bodies, how we take care of our hair, and even the shoes we wear, but how often do we groom our mouths? Do we take proper care of our words allowing the Holy Spirit to speak through? We must do this to be completely immersed in Christ as He is our example.

Today, look for opportunities to speak a word of life to someone. If you sincerely love the Lord, know that He sincerely loves people and He doesn’t want a person who is hurting pass you by and you had the power of the tongue to help them but you were too busy that you didn’t even see them.

Let Go and Let God

by Kim McDougal

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 KJV

I’m writing this as much for myself as I am for all our readers. You may even know my moving to Oregon story and, if so just bear with me as I explain why I’m telling it again. Last night as I was praying, I realized that I had really experienced trauma that spanned close to five years. And I’ll explain what I mean later in this post.

Trauma comes in different ways: surviving a criminal attack, losing a loved one, divorce, physical/mental/sexual abuse, natural disaster, loss of income, war, health problems definitely qualifies as traumatic. But there are other events that fall under trauma too like: breakdown in a relationship with family, disappointments in life, problems on the job, not knowing our purpose, and many others. The thing is that we don’t always understand that when we go through traumatic experiences we MUST give our trauma to God. We must tell Him how we feel, give Him our tears, fears, anger, frustration, even confusion. He never minds us asking Him “Why”? Now, He may give a reason or He may not. I think of Job who didn’t know what was going on in Heaven at the time, but He just kept trusting God that there was a good reason for his suffering and at the end he was definitely rewarded. But, do you think he went on after that feeling like a victim? I’d like to think NOT!

Getting over bad experiences is hard for us humans. Our nerves are affected, we don’t quite see life the same way anymore. The past few years in Florida was incredibly hard for my husband and I. We lost our income after the economy decline. After that, a host of problems ensued:

  1. We got behind on the rent to the point of threat of eviction and we couldn’t pay our bills;
  2. Received threatening letters and calls that our truck would be repossessed;
  3. We didn’t have enough work coming in and;
  4. Hubby had severe health issues on top of all this.

We still tithed what money came in and we prayed and went to church. But I will tell you, it was hard to keep our head up everyday. We never knew from day to day if it would be the last day before we would become homeless. Then it seemed to get worse because of the neighbors we had. The cops were called nearly every night because of their fights and tearing up their apartment. This happened so often that we couldn’t sleep well. My nerves were shot.

We finally got our break to move away cross country and so we did. But, when we got to our new place, new neighbors moved in next door and guess what? Fights, loud music, screaming and cursing, banging on the walls, and a whole lot more that I won’t mention. I could be working at my desk when all of a sudden the neighbor screams out the window or hits the wall, there was no peace. This was trauma we were experiencing. We’d go for walks just to get away. What’s worse is that there was no help from the landlords, they simply didn’t care and refused to do anything about the neighbors. I heard the enemy whisper in my ear: “Here you go again!, why did you come out here to experience the same thing you just moved away from?” And at that moment, I was so weak in my spirit that I didn’t answer. Three months after that, God would deliver and move us to a much quieter and beautiful apartment.

Then our downstairs neighbor recently moves and someone else comes in and we heard banging noises from her place last night just before bedtime. She looks very much like the kind of neighbors we’ve been trying to dodge. Now…I know not to judge a book by its cover. Also, isn’t she allowed a couple of days to get her furniture moved in so it stands to reason we might hear some noise until she is settled in, but you get where I’m going?

Trauma speaks to us that when we see anything even remotely like what we’ve been through we instantly think we’re about to get hurt again. Our guard is up, our nerves panic, and we are frantic! I was last night, after having such a great day. So I prayed. God spoke. “You’ve experience trauma with bad neighbors before, with bad living conditions, but that is not the way it is. Let Go and Let God.” This means I have to let go of bad past experiences. We have been delivered from that. Our income is better, our bills are paid, we can sleep at night now. The car has been paid off, God delivered us from a bad neighborhood, He gave us a wonderful, supportive church with a new church family. All this He has done for us to have that peace we so desire. It’s up to me now to resist the devil when he comes a calling to try to tell me we’re about to go through the bad all over again.

I’ve got good news for you if you’re struggling to get past trauma:

  1. First of all, the devil is liar. He’ll never tell you the truth about you or your situation so immediately tell him to get behind you in Jesus name.
  2. Quote your favorite scripture out loud, tell yourself you are a conqueror in Christ Jesus. The word makes the enemy mad and he will flee!
  3. God said: in this world we would experience troubles but to be of good cheer for He has overcome this world.
  4. We are deeply loved by our God and troubles don’t last always.
  5. When we get through trauma, it is because God was there strengthening us and sustaining us to have the victory.
  6. God is BIGGER than anything and anyone we face! He’s not in Heaven making it up as He goes along, He knows the end from the beginning.
  7. If you draw close to God, He will draw close to you. We will NEVER be separated from God again!
  8. The Lord has promised NEVER to leave you comfortless! He wants your grief and pain so that He can replace it with peace, acceptance, love, hope, and joy!
  9. God has prepared a place in Heaven after this life is over that we’re going to be with Him forever and none of this pain will exist there!
  10. God loves you and I and nothing we go through is in vain, nothing! We are rewarded by Him for sticking with Him in times of troubles.

I know what trauma feels like, BUT I know what deliverance feels like too and I choose deliverance. What will you choose today, trauma or victory?

“Father God, for every brother or sister that has or is going through bad times, I know you know all about it. I know you are the great comforter and I ask that you would help them right now. Lift them up in a way that they can give their fear, anger, and confusion over to you. Comfort them right now and let them know they are so loved by you. Help them to let go of the trauma and let you heal them inside out. Rebuke the devourer on their behalf so that the trauma can no longer taunt or torture them again. We love you Lord and thank you for delivering us, we will praise you forever, in Jesus name, Amen.”

Do I Really Want to Do a “Do-Over”?

by Kim McDougal

“Just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.” -Romans 6:4 (NLT)

You’ve probably been asked this question at one time, “If you had to do over again with the knowledge you have now, what would you go back and change?” If you ask me this question, my answer is, “NOTHING“. Why? Well think about it for a minute…why would I go back and change the decisions in my past when it is my present and future that I need to be focused on and concerned about? What’s past is past. Sure, we all have moments in our life that we’d like to change. But the important thing to remember here is when we repent of our bad decisions and place these sins under God’s feet, it stays there for Him. He no longer brings these things up again and He doesn’t hold anything against us.

In my opinion, when you hold onto this idea of wanting a Do-Over, we’re in essence saying, “God, I don’t believe that I’m really forgiven.” It grieves the heart of God and I think it actually makes Him angry for us to live in the past when He did so much on that cross for us to have a new life.

Our scripture today says it all. Because our Savior Christ rose from the dead, now we may live a new life. To me, this is the ultimate Do-Over, I get to Do-Over everything from my past by making better decisions NOW with Christ. I get to talk to Him everyday and ask His will to be done in my life TODAY. What I do today goes into the future. It’s like my past never existed! That’s the best remedy to wanting to change a past mistake. Walk with God each day, listen to His voice, follow His lead. Let Him have full reign over your life. He wants to give you and me a brand new life with abundance. But we tie His hands when we won’t leave the past buried. And He won’t override yours and my will. He’ll simply wait until you and I are tired of living in the past and decide to do it differently.

A Do-Over from the past? NOT ME. I’m Living in the Present creating a New Future with Jesus Christ. Will you join me?

Never Alone

by Kim McDougal

“The LORD will not abandon his people – for it has pleased the LORD to make you his very own people.” -I Samuel 12:22 (NLT)

My friends and family don’t know exactly how I feel or what I’m going through all the time, but someone does – JESUS. He knows how my heart aches, He knows when my body is sore, He knows when trials come my way how to help me through them. I am NEVER ALONE. There are places in life my hubby can’t go with me, my best friend can’t go with me, times when there is no one in the room but me and I alone have to deal with a difficult situation. I can even be in a room full of people feeling alone, abandoned, even forgotten about…but NEVER with God. I can absolutely pour my heart out to Him, lay out all my feelings and sufferings to Him and He understands. After all, He made me. He made all of us.

He knows how your mind works. He knows how sensitive you are to things in life, He knows how much you can take upon yourself. He sees your wet pillow at night from crying, He sees your anger that you have hidden from the world. He sees how betrayal has turned your heart sad and now untrusting of everyone who wants to be genuinely close to you. He sees the bad decisions you’ve made and what it has cost you. He knows when you’re about to give up and what’s more, He cares.

Remember that God never promised that we wouldn’t be disappointed, hurt, talked about, betrayed, sick, poor, jobless, etc., but what He did promise is much better. He said He overcame the world! He took on all our weaknesses, hopelessness, sicknesses, hurts, and with His power working in our lives we don’t have to feel like or be victims…sad, lonely, and abandoned. He is our best friend for life. While others may walk away, you may even lose some so-called friends, God WILL NEVER walk away from you. All you have to do is believe Him, reach out for Him, and walk with Him.

I thank God today and forever I am NEVER alone again.

Praise God that He knows how I really feel,
And He’s always there when I kneel, 
I am not alone, I am not forsaken,
He even thinks of me when I awaken.
-Kim McDougal

Give Thanks for Everything

by Kim McDougal

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.” -Philippians 4:6 (NLT)

Can we really thank God for everything? I’m not just talking here about the blessings of God upon our lives, I’m talking about the conflicts and trials we go through as well. Can we really thank God for those too? I believe so. Let me explain. In our humanness, we wouldn’t want to go through sickness, depression, anxiety, financial woes, relationship problems, fear, betrayal, job problems, etc. We would want to avoid all these things and yet we cannot. However, the trials and tribulations we go through have a purpose and sometimes God is the only one who knows and understands that purpose. We are merely asked to trust Him and thank Him anyway. In my own life, we went through a 4-year battle with our income and health. We lost 80% of our clients, hubby got injured and couldn’t work, and we got behind on every bill. We nearly lost our livelihood many times during that period. Fear, anxiety, depression, frustration, and anger were sitting and having dinner with us every night. We prayed so much and so hard. This trial affected us in many ways that I wouldn’t want anyone to go through. Yet, after coming through all that still standing, and with the victory of having a more meager lifestyle that we are able to better afford, I realized something. I’m not afraid of poverty anymore.

You see God used that experience to rid me of my fear that we would be homeless. Not having gone through the financial strains, I might still have a lot of fear in my life. God had a purpose for that. So, though I don’t like problems….I know that when they come God has a purpose and a plan. I can thank Him for being with me through my troubles. I can thank Him in advance for hearing my concerns and taking care of the situation for me. I can thank Him for the many past trials that He won on my behalf. I can thank Him for taking care of me many times when I had no idea of how much He did for me that I couldn’t see. The enemy would have loved to take me out, BUT GOD wouldn’t let me be destroyed. My troubles brought me to my knees in prayer bringing me closer to my Savior so yes I can thank God for even the trials and tribulations. You can too.

Jesus is My Friend

by Kim McDougal

“Are not two [a]little sparrows sold for a penny? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s leave (consent) and notice. But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, then; you are of more value than many sparrows.” – Matthew 10:29-31 (AMP)

WOW!, the Lord knows how many hairs are left on my head and how many came out onto my brush! I’ve met many people in my almost 50 years’ lifetime and none have ever known me as deeply as Jesus does. He’s not just the Creator of the Universe and all that’s in it, He calls me His friend. There are times when I truly need a friend to talk to that will listen to me…let me air out my frustration or let me cry and Jesus lets me do this. He doesn’t use my weaknesses against me, He doesn’t keep score of my blunders, He doesn’t throw it back in my face, and He never tires of hearing from me. He lets me be me and I’m safe with Him. Sometimes, you can’t reach your earthly friends when you’re in a crisis. You may get their answering machine, or a busy signal, dropped call, no email reply, etc. Truly, there are just those times when you get to the point that the Lord is the only one to talk to and the only one you need to hear from.

Fact is, God sees us as important to Him. He loves for us to talk to Him everyday as we do each other. Our friendship with Him is even more important than any relationship we have on earth. He made us for fellowship with Him and He’s the only one that can truly fill the void left by sin in our lives. I feel lost if I go through several hours and I haven’t prayed. I have to stop what I’m doing and talk to My Friend. Do you feel alone? Are you lonely at times? Talk to the Lord. Tell Him what’s on your heart. Pour out your concerns to Him, just getting things off the chest makes a huge difference. The enemy would love to weigh you down with all kinds of problems, but your Friend Jesus wants you to give Him your weights so you can live in freedom. There’s nothing He can’t handle. He’s not in Heaven trying to figure it all out as He goes along. He knows the ending from the beginning and He has always had a plan for you and me. Let’s get even more closer to Him today. Jesus is your Friend.

Father God, I thank you this morning that you are truly our friend,
The one forever that all of us can depend,
You wipe away our tears, forgives us of our sin,
The enemy pounces, but in the end we win.

Help us Lord to talk to you day to day,
Listen to our cares and every word we say,
For there is no one anywhere so pure and so true,
No one that loves us so complete the way you do.

We are in such need of more and more of your touch,
You always give of yourself to us so much,
And there is no way to thank you than to offer you praise,
Worship, love, our arms we raise.

You are the one who knows us inside and out,
You know what our life is all about,
We may feel that our problems have no end,
But that’s when you come in to bind and to mend.

In you, we are complete,
And one day soon, we will all meet,

 But while we’re here, we’ll remember you are our friend.
In Jesus’ mighty name, AMEN.
– Kim McDougal