Stress vs. Serenity

Stress!  It’s everywhere!  Am I right?  It can easily seep into every area of our lives.  It can create emotional breakdowns, physical ailments, mental confusion, and social stress.

Have you ever noticed that when dealing with others, we are much more impatient when we harbor stress?  Or that circumstances seem so much more overwhelming when we are in the midst of stress?

What is the opposite of stress?

Peace…. calm… clarity…

So how do we wrap ourselves in serenity? Read More

Finding Self vs Selfless

The more I ask myself “Who am I?”,
the more I realize it’s not about me-
because really, what are my dreams, goals, desires in life but to follow God’s will for my life.


Is it about me?

Is it….

I am amazing.
I am righteous
I am patient
I am kind
I am beautiful
I am powerful
I am productive
I am strong

The internet has an amazing resource of words you can fill in with positive affirmations… so many lists to fill in the blank of ” I am _______”


I am nothing without the great I AM. 

I am

Is it “I am amazing”
or “I can do amazing things through Christ Jesus”

Is it “I am righteous”
or “I can do righteous things with God’s guidance”

Is it “I am patient”
or “I can be patient when I see things through God’s eyes”

It’s a profound realization when I recognized that most of the list that provided words for self affirmation were really words that describe God.

But be encouraged my friends, for there are some firm truths in the Holy Bible through our relationship with Christ Jesus.  Here are some spiritual truths to stand on-

I am a child of God  (John 1:12)
I am forgiven (Ephesians 1:7)
I am loved unconditionally (Roman 8:35-39)
I am never alone (Deuteronomy 31:8)
I am chosen (John 15:16)
I am redeemed (Ephesians 1:7)
I am accepted (Romans 15:7)
I am created for His purpose (Jeremiah 1:5)

So let us selflessly remember to ‘Come near to God and He will come near to you’ (James 4:8a) as for us to truly find our self.

The 1 Thing to Know Before You Fast

Fasting can be a great thing for your health. However, Biblical fasting is even better. When we couple fasting with our prayers, truly wonderful and amazing things happen. Relationships you’ve been praying about for years suddenly begin to change; physical pains you’ve struggled against suddenly begin to fade; sin you have fought and failed in suddenly don’t seem so big. Biblically I am still trying to wrap my mind around this. I like to know the why in situations; explanations are a big deal for me. But what I do know is this: it’s all God. And for the moment, that will suffice for me. As I dig into this idea of prayer and fasting, I look forward to sharing what I find with you.

I want to share with you today what you need to know before you fast. My prayer is that this will help you figure out what it is you need to fast, for how long, and in what capacity. For every fast you do, it will be different. Because your relationship with God is never going to be like it was. Therefore, what worked yesterday or last year may not work today or tomorrow, and simply because God has had you fast one thing in this particular way doesn’t mean it’s applicable to your walk now. We are constantly changing, growing, stumbling, struggling and succeeding. But how beautiful to know that God never changes?

Before you begin your fast, consider this:

John330 image

What are you putting before God?

Exodus 20:3-6 “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall no make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love Me and keep My commandments.”

Are you choosing sin and death over life and righteousness, are you choosing to please your self rather than please God, are you choosing to satisfy the desires of your flesh rather than feeding the Spirit? We can even put good things before the Lord: family, serving others, work. Your priorities are God, family, work. Are you so busy, exhausted and overwhelmed that the joy of serving has vanished? Have you put God into a box? Are you limiting God’s power by believing lies, or accepting that the way things are now are as good as they’re going to get?

Ultimately, what is it separating you from God? This is the one thing you must know before beginning your fast.

What is stealing your joy, peace, and love?

Joy, peace and love are not feelings. Rather they are a state of being, and a choice. If you are not experiencing joy, peace and love in the Lord then something you are doing is blocking it. The enemy has a grip on you somewhere, and he is attempting to deplete your life of these attributes. If you prayerfully examine your life and your heart the Lord will reveal to you what is that you must rid your life of.

Is there an unequally yoked relationship in your life (2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1)?
Are you participating in activities that would not please the Lord (Galatians 6:7-10, Romans 8:12-13)?
Where are your feet planted (Ephesians 6:10)? Firmly in the Lord or on the sinking sands of the world?

Sowing to the Flesh or Sowing to the Spirit

Read Galatians 5:16-25 and Colossians 3:1-17. As you read through these lists, does anything jump off the page at you?

Flesh: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, enmity, strife, jealousy, envy, fits of anger, malice, lies.
Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, compassion, kindness, humility, thankfulness, worship of God, encouraging others, self-control

What has God been telling you?

Sometimes God has been speaking to us and we refuse to listen.

For years and years and years God has repeatedly shown me the idol I have made of tv. Allowing it to master me. Choosing tv over time with my family, choosing tv over my responsibilities as a wife, mom and home dweller, choosing tv over time with God.

Here’s another example from my life: when I was about 20, shortly before my 21st birthday, I was sitting in bed, spending time with my God. I came across Proverbs 23:29-35. Particularly it was verses 31 and 32 that caught my attention, “Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper.” I had a sense that God was telling me I was not to drink. But I convinced myself this was impossible because I wasn’t even of age yet, I had never legally drank, so how could God possibly know? Of course you can see how I was putting God in a box. Turns out God knew what He was talking about, go figure! I quickly became an alcoholic and struggled for years; yo-yo-ing between sobriety and drunkenness.

If you can’t imagine your life without it, it masters you. As followers of Jesus, our only master is the One True Master.

God knows what’s best for us, and He is consistently and constantly allowing us access to information that brings us closer to Him. If God has asked something of you then you must listen and obey. Maybe it’s time to begin a time of prayer and fasting in order to rid your life of ______________ [enter in your idol].

Can I confess something to you? I’m totally convicted right now. I have been choosing to eat food that is not nourishing to my body; in fact it’s food that destroys the balance in my body. Sugar. It’s time for prayer and fasting for me.

Repetitive Appearance

Another way to know if God is asking you to do something specific is if it continually is showing up in your life. What has been a repetitive appearance in your life lately? It’s what I have come to learn as God’s confirmation. God makes it undeniably clear to us His will, we just have to be paying attention.

Has the Lord repeatedly brought up a verse or Biblical idea?

Is there a trait you notice in people that irritates you? (Luke 6:41-42)

Have you been exposed to some new health truth?


I pray that this has been helpful in searching your heart and life for what God is asking of you. The most important aspect to remember in all of this is to seek God; for when you ask in the name of Christ, He is faithful to give it (John 14:13-14). May the Lord who knows all reveal His will to you, that you may live a full abundant life in Him.

If you are struggling to know God’s will for your life, take courage and have hope, seek Him, continue to ask Him. He will answer you. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and strength. Reach out to someone at your local church, a godly mentor to help you seek His will. Message us; we would love to help you along in your journey. Join our (W)holy 40 starting on February 14, 2018.

Knowledge is Power

The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge.

When you think of knowledge what do you think of? IQ, tests, computers, awards. Do you think of a person? A doctor, an astrophysicist, a philanthropist. Do you think of someone specific, perhaps? Did you think of yourself?

No, I would agree on most days that I don’t think of myself, but I should. Knowledge, the way God intended, is not the collective ideas that people spread, the inventions that are made, or the things that people know of this world. It is not simply being smart, or intelligent, or being labeled a genius.

Knowledge, as God intended, is so much more. It’s knowing Him, it’s loving Him, it’s learning everything you can about Him in your short stay on Earth. And how better to know someone then to spend time with them?

Do you have a relationship with God? How do you spend time with Him?

~Study His Word

~Talk with Him

~Sing songs to Him and about Him

~Enjoy His creation

~Obey Him

I do not believe that one can have true knowledge without first knowing the One who created the ability to have knowledge. Many people today would have you believe that being submersed in the political or societal issues of the day, or having a higher education would bring you the most knowledge. I would strongly disagree. [Please hear me when I say that I am not bashing on college, I am not saying “Nay” to being versed in the issues of today. These are very important things, if this is God’s path for you.]

Oh, knowledge. Do you feel full of knowledge? I do. And if you asked me anything about politics, or sports, or women’s issues, or anything going on in this world, I would look at you with a blank stare and probably say, “ I’m not sure what you’re talking about.”

Someone could easily argue that had I actually gone to four years of university study, or if I versed myself in the issues of the world I would understand more, be a better person, have critical thinking skills, etc. They could be right. But if a person doesn’t know anything about the One who created knowledge, how could they ever expect to have any.

Did you know that the first 30 chapters of Proverbs is a father imparting wisdom and knowledge to his son. And the last chapter is the child’s mother imparting her wisdom and knowledge. An entire book of the Bible dedicated to knowledge. It’s truly amazing.

At the end of your life, when you take your last breath, what good is that degree, all that studying you did, all the research, is it going to get you into Heaven? No ”But I used my knowledge for good. I helped people,” you might argue. To which I respond, “Thank you. But was it enough to get you into Heaven?” No. Because Jesus said, “I am the way, I am the truth, I am the light. No one gets to my Father except through me.” Being “good” is great. But it’s not enough.

In all your getting, get wisdom and knowledge. But remember that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. If you seek wisdom like you seek gold and silver, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.

God’s words are knowledge. Study them, know them, learn them.

Seek the Lord with all your heart, do not lean on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and it will be well with you for all your days.