Out Of The Darkness

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18

There are so many Christians today that live in their painful pasts, shadowing the present that stands before them. Never moving forward for fear of falling backwards. Finding true freedom in Christ requires letting go completely of the past that binds us to the pain. Sadly, many of us aren’t able to do that. Though we know intellectually Christ has freed us, our memories haunt us, and we repeatedly revisit our past and all the things we did wrong. Some things we’ve kept to ourselves and pray that no one ever finds out. Some things have left us so damaged we cant see a way out. We tuck all the shame, pain and fears deep down inside our heart and pray that we can forget. When present events trigger a reaction in you that takes you back to that unhappy time and the pain returns, we forget we have been set free.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

Letting go of the past not only helps you to live your best life now, but also paves the way for future success. The past is gone, but every time you give thought to it you bring it back into the present moment and you loose sight of the way out. Unhappy or hurtful past events can bring heartache, depression, and destructive behavior into your life if you don’t learn how to release them and let them go. Whatever holds you hostage keeps you from enjoying a deeper, fuller relationship with Christ. Surrendering your past is not about dwelling on the things you did. It’s about putting it under the blood of Jesus and focusing on the One who looks beyond those things into your heart.

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and 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 3:13-14

Holding onto the mistakes and failures of our past stays with us and contaminates our future. To let go is to release the images and emotions, the grudges and the fears and the disappointments of the past that all bind our spirit. Peace of mind comes from living in the moment and not the past. We can’t focus our minds on Jesus and what He can do for us while we’re focusing our minds on our past and what we’ve done. Give your blessings the same amount of weight that you are tempted to give your troubles. Everyone has a past. The past can not equal the future unless you live there. By the grace of God lay your past mistakes at the feet of Jesus, walk into the light and begin a new life free of bondage to your past.

“Dear Father, help us to resolve any and all unresolved issues from the past and let go of any hurt, anger, grief, fears, and resentment. Help us to be free to fully live and fully love. Thank you for setting us free. in Jesus Name. Amen.

Sweet Blessings

Joy Comes In The Morning

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” Psalms 5:3

One of the most valuable spiritual habits that I am cultivating in my life is morning prayers. I have to admit that in the beginning it wasn’t so easy. While my spirit was wiling, my flesh was not! Once I made the commitment to talk to God each morning I quickly realized that He was already waiting for me for our special time together. I would wonder ‘How do I pray? What should I ask for? I realized that everything that God wanted me to pray for was suddenly present in my mind. There’s something about morning prayers that are different then other times of the day. Prayers don’t have to be eloquent or perfect in any way. It’s simply a conversation about what’s in your heart. Begin with praising God. You will be amazed how easy and rewarding this can be.

“Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!” Psalms 95:2 NIV

There is only one problem with this commitment to Morning Prayer. You know that you’re going to get Satan’s attention when you wake up talking to the Lord everyday and he is going to do everything in his power to interrupt your prayers. Prayers are a conversation between your Heavenly Father and You and believe me when Satan is involved ‘three’s a crowd,’ you know when you are talking to your children and you tell them “Now, look at me” you know, with the two fingers pointing at your eyes? This is a time for talking to God without distractions.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 KJV

Make a commitment to pray every day; start by establishing a specific time. Mornings are great; that’s what David chose, but choose any time that will work for you. Keep at it even if you miss a few times in the beginning. We are told that doing any activity for three straight weeks makes it a habit. The prayer habit is a very good one to have. Just think; God is already in the habit of listening for you. Shouldn’t you be in the habit of giving him something to listen to? Who doesn’t have a multitude of things to pray for? There is a beautiful promise in scripture that “whatever you ask of the Father in My name (Jesus speaking), He may give to you.” John 15:16. Wake up having a conversation with God each morning; it will fill your heart with joy and make a monumental difference in your life.

Father, thank you that your mercies are new every morning. Implant Your word in my heart. Let it take root and grow. Let it flourish and thrive. Let it change my desires and my thoughts from the inside out. Let it be alive and active, guiding my steps and directing my path. In Your name Lord, Amen.

Sweet Blessings

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.

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

Table Talk

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Busy, busy, busy! Many families today are on the go, so much so that it’s hard to get everyone around the dinner table long enough to share a meal, let alone hold a meaningful conversation…

Can you picture a family sitting around the dinner table with every family member present? No one is working late, playing soccer, on their cell phone, computer, or watching TV. The entire family has made this dinner time a priority. After enjoying the meal and pleasant conversation, everyone lingers at the table for family devotions. They are encouraged by reading from God’s Word, sharing their thoughts about it, and praying together. They are bonded to one another and each person relishes the security of belongingand knowing they are loved and valued.

“Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” 1 Corinthians 10:31

The dinner table is a great time for family devotions and good conversation. Dinnertime provides an opportunity to connect over food while having joyful, meaningful and faith-building conversations. Jesus often shared transforming truth with his disciples during meals together. As Christians, we should make the most of meals and share not only food, but also the life of Jesus. Slow down and take time for meals with family and friends, praying for each family member everyday. God might be saying something life-transforming during your family dinners. The rewards could truly be eternal.

Lord, thank you so much for the meals that you always provide for us but more importantly, thank you for your living word that feeds our soul. Help us to create time and a seat at our table for Your loving presence. We give you constant praise, Amen

Sweet Blessings

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

With everything around us constantly changing, we have the comfort of knowing that our Heavenly Father never changes. He is the only constant in our lives. His love and faithfulness are the solid foundation that we can build our lives on. People and circumstances change but his love and compassion for us never change. No matter how dark or discouraging our circumstances may appear, our Father’s hand is guiding and gives wise direction to every decision and problem that comes our way. We are greeted daily with His mercies…How great His faithfulness.

“He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.” Deuteronomy 32:4

Are you in the valley or are you praising Him on the mountain top? Do you see the glass half empty or half full? Have faith and believe He will see you through. Our Father delights in our trust in Him. His word is fresh everyday! His Presence is always with us no matter how alone or lonely we are! When we study and meditate upon His word, it fills us with hope and uplifts and encourages our wounded and broken heart. Through the Holy Spirit we have a future of hope and eternal reward. His word reveals this truth again and again. Open his word today and allow it to minister to what’s going on in your life.

“The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and He delivers them.” Psalm 34:7

If you are feeling alone and pursued by your enemies, turn to the One who is our salvation, our rock, and our redeemer…Hold on! He will see you through. God is still faithful. His word reveals this truth again and again. We are surrounded by amazing beauty and wonders that bear witness to His great faithfulness, mercy and love. We cannot help but give praise and thanksgiving to our loving, faithful and unchanging Heavenly Father. How great is His faithfulness!

Heavenly Father, thank you so much! No matter how difficult things are for us, You are always there. You do not change and Your compassions do not fail. Your faithfulness is great and your mercies endure forever. I praise Your name! Amen.

Sweet Blessings

Just Breath

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

The truth is, we aren’t weary simply because our schedules are full. We are weary because our spirits are depleted. Within each one of us resides a soul that desperately needs renewal and restoration, something an overloaded schedule doesn’t always allow. It is often when we are the weariest that our souls can be in the midst of chaos, storms and confusion. Sometimes God allows us to be put into difficult situations so our faith grows. It’s through these trials that we learn to trust God and draw nearer to Him.

“This is what the LORD says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls…”Jeremiah 6:16

God preserves a space in us to hear His voice He reveals the places we’re off track, and shows us what is unnecessary clutter. Quiet rest allows us to fill our cups back up. During the down time, we can deal with the mental clutter and focus on God. Resting gives us space to breathe. Inhaling and exhaling in a gentle rhythm set by God. We receive an inner peace that allows the heart and mind to cope when we are anxious. When we learn to rest in silence, patiently waiting, we find strength and joy in God Himself.

“My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.” Exodus 33:14

Invite God to restore your soul and receive a fresh filling of His love, mercy and grace. When you do, He will replace your weariness with strength, your resentment with thanksgiving, your irritability with patience, and your anxiety with peace. Meet with Him. He will refresh and renew you, enabling you to go out into the world to serve your family and friends filled with a newfound sense of His peace, love, and joy.

Precious Father I ask you to show us how to prioritize our daily schedules before our cup becomes completely empty and help us to always leave room for your presence. Help us to learn to listen for your voice and to recognize Your sweet spirit. Please help us to learn how to depend completely on you. I ask all this is your precious name. Amen

Sweet Blessings

Eagles Wings

BY Georgia (Jo) Kent

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Cancer… There is no word that strikes fear in people’s heart more then cancer. Thankfully, I personally, have never experienced having to hear my doctor tell me that I had cancer. However, I have recently had several very dear friends of mine face those horrific words. I have always thought that if I stood before a mountain too tall to climb over, that I would simply go around it. That’s very easy for someone who is cancer free to say. Applying it may be a different story. As I try to process what I think that my reaction would be, the only thing that I know with absolute assuredly, I would turn to my faith in God and his promises that “He bore the stripes for my healing” and that “He would never leave me or forsake me.”

”I told you these things so that you can have peace in me. In this world you will have trouble. But be brave! I have defeated the world!” John 16:33

Somehow we forget that life really is fragile and that radical destabilizing news is only a phone call away. A dear friend of mine shared with me her experience and testimony with learning that she was facing cancer…”I thought I would share I got my pathology report back. I’m stage 1 melanoma survivor. My doctor told me that if I wouldn’t have found it when I did, it would have invaded my lymph nodes and I probably would not have survived. I wanted to share that the Sunday before I saw the doctor I was in church and God gave me this verse to hold onto; John 11:44 “When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s son may be glorified through it.” His word is truth and I believed in what he said to me. And now I’m thanking my Lord and savior Jesus Christ for what he did for me. “You’ll have many mountains but you will rise on “Eagles Wings.”

Where do you go for peace and comfort in the midst of the turmoil that that kind of news brings to your soul? When you’re in a difficult place your spirit may know that God is trustworthy, but your emotions may stumble. If you have cultivated a growing relationship with God, great solace is found in His presence, love, mercy and grace. Learn to focus on God’s Word. Store it in your heart. You will never have to take that journey alone. When you’re in a dark place, know that God crawls into the darkness with you, tells you He’s with you, and then he holds you till hope begins stirring in your soul.

I have been so blessed and heartened to watch my friends on their journey’s with so much faith and grace. I want to take this moment to tell them…’Thank you’ for showing me what beautiful women of God you are, and for giving me such inspiration should I ever have to face this journey. You will ever be in my heart and my prayers!

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; be not frightened, neither be dismayed; for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Sweet Blessings

God Values You Beyond Measure

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“And God saw everything that He made, and, behold, it was very good.”
Genesis 1:31

God looked, He saw you, and He saw everything He created around you. He saw the reason for your being. He saw a specific need on this earth that you were to meet, He saw the full set of traits and abilities that you would need to have in order to complete your purpose for living. He knew what kind of environment you would need in order to develop your traits and abilities. God looked, and then, He created…He created YOU! And He looked at you and said; “This is good.”

It’s important that you learn to appreciate the way that God made you because other people are going to treat you the way that you treat yourself. If you have low self esteem, you will attract people who don’t treat you well. Several factors cause a loss of self esteem in women, such as abusive experiences, absorbed negative messages from others. Emotional, mental, physical, sexual and verbal abuse, all impact the way you feel about yourself. Many absorb negative cultural messages that erode their self esteem. Negative thinking is at the root of low self-esteem. It feeds your low self esteem and causes you to believe the criticism others make of you. It is vitally necessary to get out of the habit of thinking negatively.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalms 139:13-14

If you are suffering from low self-esteem, you may have difficulty opening up to others and it can cause you to withdraw and seclude yourself from healthy social interactions. The more isolated you become, the more likely your doubts and fears will become magnified. Low self esteem means poor confidence and that also causes negative thoughts which mean that you are likely to give up easily rather than face challenges. It has a direct bearing on your happiness and well-being. Self esteem is crucial and is a cornerstone of a positive attitude towards living. It affects how you think, act and even how you relate to other people. It allows you to live life to the potential that God designed you to be.

“And God saw everything that He made, and, behold, it was very good.”
Genesis 1:31

Satan wants you to focus on all your negetive emotions so that you won’t be able to see the beauty in yourself that God created in you. You can replace low self esteem and negative thoughts about yourself by switching your thoughts to God’s wonderful and perfect image of you!

Sweet Blessings

Spiritual Warfare

By Georgia (Jo) Kent

“Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prawls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 1 Peter 5: 8-9

Do you see yourself standing at the bottom of the giant mountain today. Do you feel small, unnoticed, not capable and unworthy? The work God calls us to do here on earth is often uncomfortable, physically tiring and emotionally draining. Some days we may be shouting, “Praise God!” while other times we may be crying out, “I need a miracle!” Whatever the day may bring, changes will come and we need to have a godly mindset in order to handle them. Satan wants to destroy us. He wants to keep us discouraged and beaten down. God called us to greatness. We have a job to do for him. We don’t have time to be defeated.

“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Luke 10:19

God understands that we all have limited time and energy and that much of life is about prioritization and balance. Use this as a reminder to be prepared for whatever may be ahead in your future. Don’t waste your time being complacent with where you are today. The believer lives a life of ongoing conflict, both physical and spiritual. We are engaged in the most noble fight of all…the cause for Christ. Remember God’s promise that no weapon formed against you will succeed at taking you down (Isaiah 54:17). Hide His words in your heart and wear them out on your sleeve. Keep your head up…You’ll lose a few battles, but remember that you’ve already won the war.

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27

Sweet Blessings

What Are You Expecting?

by Sis. Kim McDougal

“But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.” – James 1:6-7 (NLT)

Expectations have a lot to do with outcomes. What is faith if it is not an expectation that God is going to do what He said He would do and what is hope if it is not an expectation of good things to come? At one time in my Christian walk, I would pray about something but then about 30 minutes later, I would pray about the same thing again. I know now that I didn’t really believe that God would answer my petition. I wasn’t expecting that He would help me. I thought, “maybe I should just ask again.” As I studied the scriptures more over the years, I learned that God makes promises to us and that He himself wants us to expect that when we pray that He will answer according to His will. And, we can expect that as we live for Him each day, He will:

  1. Never leave us, never forget about us.
  2. Provide our every need.
  3. Keep every promise He has made to us.
  4. Give us the plans that are the best for us.

We have to be steady in our belief and faith in Him and not waver the way the wind blows. If we go back and forth like that, how can we expect anything from God? We should expect His favor on our lives, we should expect Him to answer our prayers, we should expect Him to demonstrate His power, might, and ability to carry us through our trials and tribulations, we should expect that He will give us beauty for ashes and the list goes on. The fact is that God so loves you and I. He wants to bless us. What we have to do is believe in His love for us. If we can get our arms around that fact, then we can come to His throne expecting the very best for our lives.