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Fake It Til You Make It

We’ve all heard fake it til you make it probably more times than we can count. We’ve probably all tried to do just that at some point or another. I know I’ve put a smile on my face when it seems the whole world seems to be falling apart. I’ve tried to hold it all together on my own, but that’s not what God tells us to do.

1 Peter 5:7 says, “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” When you cast something, you are essentially getting it away from you. Dictionary.com defines cast as “to throw or hurl; fling”. When’s the last time you threw your cares on God? That’s what He tells us to do.

If you’ve followed me at all, you know one of my favorite verses is Philippians 4:6-7, which says, “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 understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” If you want peace, you’re going to have to give it to God. You have to take the time to spend with Him. Not only do you need to be talking with Him, but you need to be listening for what He wants to tell you.

There’s a song by Chris Tomlin called “Home“. The first verse says:

This world is not what it was meant to be

All this pain, all this suffering

There’s a better place waiting for me

In Heaven

You can buy the song here.

This world is not going to be perfect. There will be hurts and pains. We have to remember that this is not our home. Our eternal home is in Heaven. We also have to remember that these things we are faced with are spiritual. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” And with these things being spiritual, we need to understand that we can’t face them alone or in our own finite power. We need the power of Jesus Christ.

We have to know where to put our hope and trust. Psalms 20:7 says, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.” Our trust is not in men. It is in the Lord. We have to know where to put our trust.

Quit faking it til you make it. Put your trust in the Lord today. Let Him fight your battles for you and receive His peace in your life.

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Peace in the Storm

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 understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

The thunder shook the house and my eyes popped open. I could hear the patter of little feet before I saw my middle child round the corner into my bedroom shaking in fear. As Thomas went to turn on her television to hopefully drown out the sound, I quoted one of my favorite Scriptures with her that I have tried to instill in instances just like tonight.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Still shaking with fear, clutching her bear and blanket, she said that verse with me. I then asked her if she knew what a sound mind was. My sweet little seven year old shook her head no, and I just whispered peace. Peace that passes all understanding. I told her that Jesus is the Prince of Peace. Then we prayed. I prayed that the mighty peace of God would wash over her and that she would experience peace that passes all understanding. She went back to bed a much braver little girl because she knew she had Jesus on her side.

So many times in our lives, we do the same thing as Ann Elizabeth. We start to focus on the storm in our lives instead of the Peace Giver. In Mark 4:35-41, we read the story of Jesus crossing over in a boat. Jesus was sleeping as the wind and waves became stronger. The disciples run to Jesus. The first thing He does is command peace (v. 39). Then He went on to question the disciples about their faith (v. 40).

It’s so easy for us to question the disciples and wonder why they didn’t trust Jesus, but don’t we do the same? If we’re a born again Christian, we have access to the peace of Jesus in just one simple prayer. However if you’re anything like me, you’ve searched for the answers in so many different places dwelling too long on the storm instead of the Prince of Peace.

I want us to look at our verse at the top of the devotional. If you’ve been following me for any time at all, you know this is one of my favorite verses. I have clung to this verse when the storm has threatened to toss me out of the boat. But today we’re going to look at it in a way I never have. We’re going to dissect and see what God is telling us.

That first part says Do not be anxious. I am anxious most of the time. I worry about things to the point of making myself sick. According to dictionary.com, anxious means 1. Distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune. God tells us not to dwell on those what ifs.

But in everything by prayer and supplication. So in this next part God is telling us that instead of worrying about it, we need to bring it to Him. Are you talking to Jesus about your storm today? Are you humbly coming before the throne of God with your request? We have to pray about our situation.

With thanksgiving. This part always gets me because I am guilty as charged when it comes to thanksgiving, especially in the midst of the storm. But dear brothers and sisters, you better be thanking your Savior. No matter how bleak life seems to get, Jesus went to that cross for you and me. If you can’t think of anything else to thank Him for today, start with your salvation. If life looks bleak everywhere you turn, thank Him for those past victories. Trust me, if you’ve been walking this journey for anytime at all, you have something to thank Him for.

Let your requests be made known to God. One thing I am convinced of is that we should pray specifically. You need peace? Then pray for that peace. You want Jesus to calm that storm? Pray He speaks to the wind and waves. Now, I’m not saying that He will always answer the way we want, but I know from experience that praying specifically may lead to God answering just how you ask.

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Never in this verse does God promise to fix it all. He never promises to grant every prayer request. No, he merely promises peace. But let me tell you, there is nothing quite like the peace of God. He holds us even when the winds and waves are threatening to capsize our boat. He gives us the confidence to rest in His arms no matter our circumstances, just like He did for Ann Elizabeth tonight.

If you’re facing storms around you today, why don’t you bring those to Christ. Thank Him for the things He’s done and present your requests to Him. Then watch as He fills your life with His peace.

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A Grateful Heart

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. Psalm 100:4

My family and I sat around the living room the other night. Witten was in my arms with his little head against my cheek. Ann Elizabeth sat next to me on the love seat. Olivia and Thomas sat together on the couch. The girls had their devotionals out and were starting to read. As I looked around at that scene that you can see most nights in my living room, I was overcome by thankfulness. I realized in that one moment just how truly blessed I am.

I’m not always that way, however. I become discouraged easily. There never seems to be enough money to go around. We need a bigger house. Everyone keeps making messes in our house. It’s as if they think we live here or something 😝!

And then there are some battles I face each day that are too personal to put on this page. Things I deal with that can get the best of me if I allow them to,and I’ll just be honest. I’ve let them get the best of me far too often. This morning, though, as I read my devotional, God spoke clearly to me through Scripture. The Quest

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 says, “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.”

No matter what we’re going through or what we’re facing, if we’re a child of the King, then we will not be crushed. We will not be destroyed. Life may not be easy, but in the end, we have the victory.

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Life may look real grim right now. The diagnosis from the doctor might be saying death. The checkbook may look bleak. Your marriage might be in shambles. But that’s not the end of the story. Child of God, you need to get on your knees and trust in the Savior. Trust He’s going to bring you through whatever He brought you to. And even if He doesn’t do things the way you think He should, He is still on the throne. He is still the Almighty God and still worthy of our praise.

James 1:1-2 says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.”

Not only is God working through you in those trials, but your trials are a witness to those around you. The world is watching us. They see how we react when faced with adversity. Let God use that test for a testimony. Let your light shine no matter what you’re facing.

I’m choosing today to have a grateful heart no matter what I’m facing. I’m choosing to use whatever God brings me to for His glory. I’m trusting His plan for my life.

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It’s All About His Grace

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8

I grew up in the church with Christian parents, but grace wasn’t emphasized very loudly in my life. I learned a set of rules, a ton of do’s and don’t’s for my life, and let me tell you, I worked really hard at trying to live up to that. After all, I did want to make it to heaven. I couldn’t mess up. I had to walk the line. And I sure would judge you if you weren’t walking the line.

Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

So eventually I messed up, and I messed up big time. My world was crushed in that one moment of weakness. Everything I had “worked” so hard for was gone. I felt like it didn’t matter anymore. God could never possibly love me again, right? But I was so wrong.

It took me almost five years to understand how wrong I was. It wasn’t until I faced the idea that I might lose my daughter that I realized how out of control of this life I am. When I first got the diagnosis that I would never bring my firstborn to term or even to life outside the womb, I knew that nothing I did short of turning to my Savior was going to change anything.

Galatians 2:16 says, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, for by the works of the law no faith shall be justified.”

In other words, it’s all about a relationship with Jesus. You can’t do enough “stuff” to win your way to heaven. There’s a song by Jason Gray called “More Like Falling in Love” and the chorus goes like this:

It’s gotta be more like falling in love

Than something to believe in

More like losing my heart

Than giving my allegiance

Caught up, called out

Come take a look at me now

It’s like I’m falling

It’s like I’m falling in love

You can listen to the rest of the song here.

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That song speaks so clearly in my heart and through the years, I have learned that this journey is about a relationship with Jesus. It’s not about a set of rules or things we shouldn’t do. The amazing thing is that through a real relationship with Jesus, you don’t want to do those things anymore! You are changed through His grace and mercy into who He designed you to be and He gives us the power to overcome temptation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to go live your life however you want to. I’m saying that you can’t live a life for Jesus if you aren’t truly following and trusting Him.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

Trust me, you won’t stay the same if you are in a real, true relationship with Jesus. However, if you’re trying to live by a set of rules, you will fail miserably.

If you’re out there and this idea of grace is foreign to you, let me introduce you to my Savior. Come fall in love with Him today.

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Leave an Inheritance

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

If you watch TV at all, you’ll likely see a commercial or two about being prepared for the future. And if you’re like most of us, you have life insurance and a retirement account. You’ve taken the time to invest in your future and maybe even your children’s financially, but what about spiritually.

One of the things I pray for each day for my children is their futures. Some days this prayer can become mundane and monotonous because it’s something I pray for each day. However, this morning it really hit me just how important these prayers are for my children.

I always pray that their feet will go where God sends them. Psalm 37:23 says, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way.” I want my children to be directed of the Lord. I want them to do what He calls them to do. I want Him to cover their lives with His precious blood, so that they follow the calling of the Holy Spirit.

I also pray for their future spouses. Now, I have two girls and a boy, so this calls for different prayers because God calls men and women to different roles. That doesn’t make anyone superior. That makes the roles Biblical. I pray that my children and their spouses have the wisdom to follow the roles God has clearly laid out in the Bible.

Ephesians 5:22-28 says, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be Holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.”

Children are a gift from God. I have been entrusted in taking care of them and leading them to Jesus. Part of that responsibility includes praying for my children and their futures. I want to leave a godly inheritance. I want to so cover my children in prayer that they can’t run from the love of Jesus.

I pray that you take time today to pray for your own children. Even if God hasn’t given you biological children, pray for the children around you. Maybe it’s the kids in the classes you teach at church, maybe you’re a school teacher, maybe they’re your nieces or nephews, or maybe just the neighbor next door. Our children need our prayers. Lift them up today.

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Put on His Armor

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Ephesians 6:11

First of all, I want to apologize for not writing in awhile. Life has been crazy and hectic. We have fought the flu and stomach bug as well as random fevers and sickness. I missed several days of work last week, and I still can’t seem to completely shake all of this, which leads me to today’s verse.

We live in a world plagued by sickness and evil. Everyday we are faced with obstacles. And if we aren’t putting on the armor of God, then we aren’t equipped for battle.

If you read on into the next verse (Eph. 6:12), it says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

These battles we fight and these obstacles we face are not just things life throws at us. There is a spiritual warfare going on all around us. We must be prepared each and every day.

Verse 14 tells us to gird our waists with the truth. Are you reading your Bible and filling your heart with the truth of God? Are you studying Scripture and memorizing His words? That’s where our truth comes from. We can’t rely on preachers to fill us up. We have to search the Scriptures for ourselves and understand God’s words and hide them in our hearts (Psalm 119:11).

Verse 14 also tells us to put on the breastplate of righteousness. Are you walking in God’s ways? Have you been made righteous through the blood of Jesus? Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

Verse 15 tells us to shod our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Are you feet standing firm in what you believe? Do you really believe that Jesus brings peace into your heart? Philippians 4:7 says, “and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” We have to be standing firm in this truth everyday.

Verse 16 tells us to take the shield of faith to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Are we really believing God will do what He says? We have to stand strong in our faith. We have to fill our hearts with His words so we can stand against the devil’s false accusations.

Verse 17 tells us to take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit. Romans 10:9 says, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Have you accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior? If not, today is the day!

Every day we need to get up and spend time with Jesus. We need to arm ourselves for the day ahead.

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Who We Are in Christ

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Lately I have been doing the Beth Moore Bible study The Quest, as well as reading Kyle Idleman’s book, Not a Fan. It’s so amazing to me how God speaks to me in so many different ways. Both of the chapters I read from each of these books today talked about our identity in Christ.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been told things about yourself your entire life. A lot of the times, they weren’t things that helped to shape you into a confident, self-loving person. If you read my blog yesterday, you know that I went through an abusive relationship. I was with this person for almost twelve years! There was a lot of emotional and mental abuse. I’ve been called every name in the book. And let me just tell you, after awhile, you start to believe those lies.

But God says, no. He says, “That is not who I created you to be.” And you have to make a decision. Are you going to believe the truth of God’s Word or are you going to believe the lies that you have been fed? This isn’t an easy decision to make because sometimes we are so broken down that we can’t even lift our heads to hear His Word. That’s why it is so important for us to spend time with Him everyday. You have to immerse yourself in Scripture and begin to stand on the truth of who God says you are.

Colossians 2:10 says, “And you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.”

Romans 8:2 says, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”

1 Corinthians 2:16 says, “For who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.”

1 John 4:4 says, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

Ephesians 2:19 says, “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.”

Begin to read His Word and believe what He says about you. You are more than a conquer (Romans 8:37). You are the head and not the tail (Deuteronomy 28:13). You have to choose to believe God’s truth.

He has made us new. Walk in His victory and freedom today!

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