Monday, May 13, 2013

Victim or Victor?

James 1:12 - Blessed (happy, to be envied) is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor’s] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him.
This morning, waking up much later than normal, I felt like my quiet time began with me crawling before the throne of grace with my head held down. It wasn't the first morning of me waking up late, but I was coming off a week of waking up late. I know that the repetition of good habits creates a good habit. The repetition of bad habits, creates a bad habit... and I know just what time I need to wake up in order to complete my whole morning routine before kids start waking up. Who knows, when kids wake up, there is NO looking back!?! :) In a good way, they are a blessing, but any sort of a "quiet time" with the Lord once kids are up would be laced with many interruptions.... and as you can imagine with a 3 year old and 1 year old, would be anything BUT quiet! :)

I know that the Slight Edge in being a mom, running a peaceful home, getting things that are productive done, ultimately HINGES completely around whether MAMA gets her quiet time with the Lord each morning. The mornings when it does not get done, I notice my patience is shorter, I feel like things are more chaotic, and often from a productivity standpoint, I feel like little gets done, short of having kids fed and dressed! Time with the Lord paves the foundation of a solid, peaceful, productive day!

Well, as I journaled I threw up all the "blah blah's"... you know, maybe you've done it too? All of the reasons "why" my actions could be justified. All the excuses. All the buts. I read a quote that was very fitting by Les Brown, "The only limits to the possibilities in your life tomorrow are the buts you use today.*" 

After I was done journaling my "justifications," I decided to listen to see what the Holy Spirit might have to whisper in my ear. Would it make me feel better about myself? Would it be a "that's ok, shake it off" sort of talk? Well... it went something like this...
Are you going to "allow" or "accept" circumstances? Are you going to justify sleeping in? Are you going to be on the fence about working out? You decide. You can be a victim & by doing so, you will give life to symptoms the world wants to give you. Or you can go about being productive, having energy, eating healthy, being fit, making this an amazing year. You decide! Last week was a bit of a funk. You basically fed into symptoms. You were a victim. This week, you decide. 
The Hebrew definition for "crown" is this:  A wreath or garland which was given as a prize to victors in public games.  

My daily actions determine whether I am going to allow life to treat me as the VICTIM to my circumstances or whether I am going to choose to be the VICTOR in my circumstances. My response to how I feel, how I handle good or bad reports, housework that has seemed to mounded up overnight, the "To-Do" list that seems never-ending.... my response to any and all of these things, in part determines whether I will be the Victim or Victor! At the end of the day, I decide whether the victors crown will be placed on my head, or garland around my neck (as it defines in the Hebrew). I decide whether I will win or lose. I decide whether I will respond as the Victim or Victor! Will I tackle the things that need to get done, or will I allow the guilt of not getting them done to tackle me. 

I decide. You decide. Will you be the Victim or the Victor today? You choose. 


* Quote 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

#256 - Do you LONG for a Real Life, In Person, Best Friend?

Proverbs 18:24 - The man of many friends [a friend of all the world] will prove himself a bad friend, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother (sister*)
Proverbs 31:20 - She opens her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her filled hands to the needy [whether in body, mind, or spirit]. 
Have you longed for a friend? Not just any friend, but a friend that can sit down at your kitchen table and just by the way you move around your kitchen, they know immediately that something is wrong. The kind of friend that can come over and see you without make-up on, and you're OK with it. The kind of friend who is OK just being bored at your house, even if you are cleaning, doing laundry, dishes, whatever needs done... while they either help, or talk while you work. Better yet, they listen while you work. They provide that listening ear for the thing you desperately want to get off your heart. They don't judge you. They keep you accountable if they see you overstep boundaries that a Christian woman should not overstep. They don't gossip. They build up, lift up and encourage.  They believe in your dreams. They are your biggest cheerleader.

Does this person to you, sound like an impossible figment of our imagination? The literal perfect friend and perfect relationship. An iron sharpener in the life of a mom, wife, sister, daughter, Christian woman. I think this person DOES sound like a dream friend!! BUT... this person is possible!!

As I was reading Proverbs 18:24, I decided to check out the Greek/Hebrew breakdown of who this friend really is. This was encouraging. Here are a few of my favorite depiction's from the Hebrew breakdown for the latter part of the verse: ...and there is a friend [that] sticketh closer than a brother.

  • there is = being, existence, substance, there is or are
  • a friend human love for another, includes family; human love for or to God; act of being a friend; God's love toward man
  • [that] sticketh closer clinging, adhering to
  • than a brother = each to the other (reciprocal relationship)
In the AMT version... otherwise known as the "Amy McCart Translation" :) ... this verse could break down this way, and it sounds so encouraging! 
There is in existence, an actual human being who is a God kind of friend. This God kind of friend loves you and is there for you adhering to you almost like glue! They are there! But it is a RECIPROCAL friendship. You give and they give. You are both there for one another building up, listening and encouraging one another. This GOD Kind of Friend, is really in EXISTENCE for you. 
So... that is my rendition of this Proverbs 18:24 friend. Our Proverbs 31 role model also fits the bill in this area. She reaches out with her filled hands to you as a friend. Her filled hands, encompassing whatever it is you need. Maybe it is just someone to listen. Maybe it is a shoulder to cry on. Maybe it is someone to just pass the day with running errands or letting your kids play together. Maybe this friend will fill your need of an encourager in your life, a cheerleader.

Friend, your best friend is out there. Today... maybe sow for her. Sow a seed for your best friend that you may not know yet. Maybe it is the seed of encouragement to someone. Maybe it is a text to a friend letting them know you are praying for them. Maybe it is the seed of an encouraging note to someone or phone call. If you are in need, sow a seed.

Share your thoughts! What does a best friend look like to you?

 *sister = the "AMT version" :)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Leviticus 6:13 - The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out. 
Revelations 3:16 - So, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth!
It really wasn't that long ago, we have grandparents who most likely remember these days. What days? The days of fire or coal being the primary source of heat, or maybe the only way cooking got done. Let's remember back.

The year was 1880 when Thomas Edison patented the electric distribution system, electricity. Before this time.... our great grandparents, and ancestors were cooking over a fire....

BEFORE YOU SHUT ME OFF thinking this is going to be a boring lesson of history... PLEASE READ ON.... it will not be.

I was listening to our pastors wife on Sunday and she shared for a few minutes on "fire." Before electricity, our great grandparents would get a fire going and continue to stoke it, making sure to keep somewhat of a flame going. Why? This was their ONLY source of heat for the home, and was how they cooked. If they let the FIRE GO OUT, it was much more work to get a fire started again. It took collecting more firewood, getting a flame going, stroking the fire, getting the fire really hot, and then, finally cooking after the fire was hot enough. IF the fire got COLD and went out, it was not impossible to get it going again, but it just took much greater work!

You are the same. This applies to every area of life. Think about it... when you are in the habit of working out every day, continuing the habit is relatively easy. BUT... if you go a few days or weeks without working out, it's easier to get colder and colder towards the gym, until the habit is gone and you have drifted back into an unhealthy habit of no exercise. The same could be said of drinking water, reading a good book, limiting time to social media, eating healthy, etc., etc.

Your spiritual walk is the same! DON'T LET THIS FIRE GO OUT! If your fire has gone out, maybe you haven't been spending time in the Word. Maybe life has gotten busy and you have gotten away from it. Sleeping in has won instead of waking up and extra 15, 30 minutes or even an hour early each morning. YOU CAN REIGNITE THE FIRE! It just takes a few good days of re-establishing the habit until the great feeling will WIN out. Choosing not to hit snooze, but getting up. Pouring your cup of coffee, snuggling in on the couch by lamplight and opening up your Bible before the day gets busy.

REIGNITE YOUR FIRE! Friend, it's worth it. When you have reignited your fire in the Word, I promise, you will find that every minute spent has been worth it. I believe you will watch as it's almost like God ADDS time to your day to finish things. He gives you supernatural energy even though you woke up early... you find yourself not being tired. He directs you to where you need to be and what you need to be doing. He PREPARES you ahead of time with the exact verse you will need for the day, so in "that" moment when it could be stressful, you don't get overwhelmed.

Sure... life still happens, but when you really have roots firmly planted in the Word, life sure is easier. And once you have your FIRE REIGNITED, DON'T LET IT GO OUT! Keep the fire lit! Like our great-grandparents, once the fire went out, their homes started to get cold. It took much more work and it was messy to get a new fire going. Imagine the black soot that would get on you trying to prepare the new wood to reignite the fire. Stoking it, ashes flying up, poking it with a stick, moving wood and sticks around. Friend, KEEP YOUR FIRE in the LORD GOING! Don't let it go out! I heard Joyce Meyer say the other day, even if it was just ONE prayer she said before leaving the house, she made SURE not to leave without spending some time with the Lord... even if it was just one sentence!

Commit today to REIGNITE the Flame! Reignite and KEEP IT BURNING!

Do you have any tips you can share that HELP you stay "ON FIRE" or keep you consistent in your time with the Lord? WHAT HELPS YOU? We'd love to hear your secret tips!!

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