Sunday, October 25, 2009

Quote from Sex and the City

The most important thing in life is your family. There are days you love them, and others you don't. But, in the end, they're the people you always come home to. Sometimes it's the family you're born into, and sometimes it's the one you make for yourself.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Quote on Cancer

Cancer is not always a death sentence, but an invitation to live, a wake-up call to be present in the moment, a permit to love without holding back, a chance to forgive, a reason to be accepting of all people, and an order to slow down to take time to really see and smell the flowers.

You Win

Another poem from "Restless Mind"

For as long as I can remember,
You kept me at arms length,
A little window here, a little crack there,
but never the full open view.
You invite me in your life
but never let me in.
You built walls around yourself
I can only dream of crumbling.
You wear a impermeable armor,
I can never take off.

I pushed and I pulled.
I loved and I hated.
Opened my senses,
learned to compromise.

Try as I may
all my efforts are futile
You win.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Here's Hoping

Hope sees possibilities,
hears a melody,
smells fragrant flowers,
tastes sweet candy,
feels magical beyond belief,
lives inside of me...

Hope stays, lingers,
blossoms like Spring,
remains in my heart
like magic stuck in my brain.
Stubborn, persistent like a Suitor
standing in the rain.

I hope you come,
I hope you stay,
I hope what we have
lasts forever and a day.

posted by "Restless Mind"

Friday, October 2, 2009

How to Succeed at Being Yourself Part Six

In order to succeed at being ourselves, we must be faithful to God all the way to the end. We can never quit or give up.

In simple terms, faith is knowing that if God has said He will do something, He will do it. Even if it doesn't look like He is doing it right now, it will come to pass in His timing, if we will remain confident in Him.

In Christ, we can remain standing firm on the inside because we know that our real life is in us, not in the people or circumstances around us.

The only way we ever reach our final destination and succeed at being our true selves is to take many, many steps of faith. Stepping out into the unknown - into something we have never done before - can leave us shaking in our boots.

Because of feelings of fear, many people never "step out," therefore they never "find out" what they are capable of.

Many people are missing the will of God for their lives because they are "playing it safe." I don't want to come to the end of my life and say, "I was safe, but I'm sorry."

The world has a little saying: "Better safe than sorry." I am not sure that always works in God's economy.

I am not suggesting we all start doing a bunch of foolish things that are unwise, but I know for a fact that not everything God wants us to do makes sense to the natural mind. You and I must learn to be led by discernment in the inner man (the spirit) and not by our carnal minds, or what other people suggest to us. When we step out, we should do all we can to be sure it is the voice of God to which we are responding in faith and obedience and not just some wild thought we have picked up out of the atmosphere where it was placed by Satan to try to lure us into destruction.

People who get into serious trouble usually don't do so in one big jump; more often it is the result of many wrong steps. God has warned them along the way and tried to keep them out of trouble, but they have pressed on it the flesh (following their own carnal desires), trying to make what they want to be God's will.

Some people get into trouble simply because they are unable to admith they made a mistake and find a new direction. It is very difficult to get into serious trouble stepping out one step at a time. But those who won't step out are already in serious trouble because they will never accomplish anything in life.

Some people get into trouble because they do what other people think they should do. Others do things to get attention or to imitate what they see someone else doing.

Other people can want things for us, but we must want them ourselves or we will never press through the difficulties that come with giving birth to a new thing.

God has His own way!

The Word of God tells us that we will have persecution. Satan bring opposition, trouble, trials and tribulations in the hope of driving us away. If we intend to succeed at being ourselves and being all God wants us to be, we must be prepared to stand strong in times of persecution.

If we will keep standing up on the inside, God will take care of the outside.

When we think of sacrifice, we must always remember that what we sow as a seed, God uses to bring a harvest. When we are called upon to make a sacrifice, we should not feel deprived, but privileged.

We don't have to be comfortable all the time. In America and many other parts of the world, God's people are addicted to "comfort" and "ease". It is time to shake ourselves into reality and start doing what He asks us to do, no matter what the cost.

We cannot expect radical harvest in our lives is we sow seeds of disobedience.

God is not interested in our starting things that we never finish. It is easy to begin, but it takes great courage to finish. In the beginning of a new thing we get all excited. We have a lot of emotions (ours and everyone else's) to support us. When the emotions wear off and all that is left is a lot of hard work and the need for extreme patience, we find out who really has what it takes to truly succeed.

In God's mind we are never successful if we stop somewhere along the way. He wants us to finish our course and do it with joy!

If you have been tempted even recently to give up - don't! If you don't finish the thing you are currently involved in, you will face the same challenges in the next thing you start.

Some people spend all their lives starting new things and never finishing anything. Let us make a decision that we will be more than a statistic that never reached its full potential.

There are many plateaus along the way that require greater faith than the last one we reached. God is always taking us up - never back and never down! He is always calling us up higher. We must leave the lower life and press on toward the high places.

If you and I want to move into new levels of glory, we must do so by moving into new levels of faith. Remembering that faith is confidence in God, we can say then that we need to move into new levels of confidence. We should be confident in every area of life.

I have often done things that I felt good about, until Satan started accusing me after I had finished. I finally realized that if I was doing the wrong thing, God would tell me ahead of time, not after I had finished and could do nothing about it.

We need to take a bold stand and declare, "I believe I hear from God. I believe I am led by His Spirit. I believe I make good decisions. I believe I have a powerful prayer life. I believe people like me, and God gives me favor."

This kind of boldness does not mean we will never make mistakes. Making a mistake is not the end of the world as long as we are teachable. We dwell too much on the negatives and not enough on the positives.

Instead of worrying about what we might do wrong, we should keep standing up on the inside and pressing forward, attempting to do something right. We can be so afraid of making a mistake that we end up never doing anything.

The Bible says the just shall live by faith, or confidence. We are going to interchange these words to make the message more practical. Sometimes faith seems so spiritual that we cannot see exactly how to apply it practically. It helps me to think of it in terms of confidence in God. So faith is confidence, and confidence is faith.

It does not pleasure God when you and I lose our confidence. Why? It saddens Him because of what we lose. It saddens God if we lose our confidence and let the devil steal from us the inheritance that He sent Jesus to die for us to have. God has done His part; now He wants us to do our part; which is to believe - to put our confidence in Him and His Word and live from faith to faith, so He can take us from glory to glory.

When I pray about or simply meditate on all the people who are hurting, I have a strong desire to help them all. I sometimes feel that my desire is bigger than my ability, and it is - but it is not bigger than God's ability.

When the thing we are facing in our life or ministry looms so big in our eyes that our mind goes "tilt," we need to think in the spirit. In the natural, many things are impossible. But in the supernatural, spiritual realm, with God nothing is impossible. God wants us to believe for great things, make big plans and expect Him to do things so great it leaves us with our mouths hanging open in awe. James 4:2 tells us we have not because we ask not! We can be bold in our asking.

Sometimes in my meetings, people will approach the altar for prayer and sheepishly ask if they can request two things. I tell them they can ask God for all they want to, as long as they trust Him to do it His way, in His timing.

When you pray, do it standing up on the inside. What I mean is, do it respectfully, yet aggressively and boldly. Don't pray fearfully, and don't pray what I call "just" prayers.

God regularly promoted plain, ordinary people into positions that they could never have gotten for themselves. The very word prosperity indicates more than what is needed. God wants us to prosper in every area, not just financially. He also wants us to have social, physical, mental and spiritual prosperity.

It is not God's will that His people be bored and lonely. He wants us to enjoy great fellowship and companionship. He wants us to feel great physically, not just drag our bodies around every day. He wants us to be vibrant and energetic, to enjoy life and live it to the fullest. He also wants us to be sharp mentally, have good memories and not live in a confused and worried manner.

You may be thinking, "Well, if that is God's will, why don't I have all these things in my life?"

Maybe you have not been asking for enough. Perhaps when you pray, you don't do it boldly, standing up on the inside. Don't pray "just" prayers, pray for all you can dare to ask, think or desire.

When our desires seem overwhelmingly big, and we don't see the way to accomplish them, we should remember that even though we don't know the way, we know the Waymaker.

God has a way for us to do everything He places in our heart. He does not put dreams and visions in us to frustrate us. We must keep our confidence all the way through to the end, not just for a little bit and then when it looks like the mountain is too big, give up.

It is untold what people can do - people who don't appear to be able to do anything. God does not usually call people who are capable; if He did, He would not get the glory. He frequently chooses those who, in the natural, feel as if they are in completely over their heads but who are ready to stand up on the inside and take bold steps of faith as they get direction from God.

We usually want to wait until we "feel ready" before we step out, but if we feel ready then we tend to lean on ourselves instead of on God.

Know your weaknesses, and know God - know His strength and faithfulness. Above all else, don't be a quitter.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

How to Succeed at Being Yourself Part Five

Forgiveness takes care of our sin, and mercy blesses us even though we don't deserve it. Forgiveness is actually a manifestation of God's mercy. He forgives us because He is merciful and long-suffering.

Mercy is another word that is in close relationship and even interchangeable to a degree with grace and favor.

I don't know about you, but I am extremely happy about God's mercy. I cannot possibly imagine where I would be today if it were not for it. I know for sure I would not be anywhere pleasant.

We all deserve punishment, but instead God gives us mercy. What an awesome God we serve!

I am sure that if I were perfect I would expect everyone else to be perfect also. When I have a memory lapse concerning my own faults, I sometimes find myself being too harsh with others. At such times, God is obliged to remind me of my own frailties once again. He has a way of hiding in the shadows and allowing us to get into enough trouble to keep us humble and therefore useable. He stands back and allows our weaknesses to surface so we must trust Him and not ourselves.

Under the old covenant, when people sinned, they had to make sacrifices to atone for their sins. Jesus became to perfect and final sacrifice for all those who would believe, and He now instructs us to receive mercy from Him for our failures and to give mercy to others who fail.

This does not mean there is no correction or punishment for sin, but God always tries to draw us into righteousness through His love and mercy before dealing more harshly with us.

It pays not to be stubborn. Repenting and receiving God's mercy is much better than enduring His chastisement.

Some people cannot appreciate the mercy of God until they have experienced a bit of His wrath. God is never wrathful against His people; His wrath is always against the sin in their lives. He hates sin, and we must learn to hate it also.

Like God, we must hate sin, but love the sinner.

If we do not receive God's mercy for our failures, we will not have any to give others when they fail us and disappoint us. We cannot lead people into powerful relationships with the Lord through harshness, hardness, rigidity and legalism. We must show them that the God we serve is merciful, patient and long-suffering.

God is love, and all of these things we are discussing are facets of His love. Walking in love is the high call on the life of every believer. There is no possibility of true ministry without walking in love.

In a certain sense the word receive is synonymous with the word believe. We cannot receive something if we don't believe in it.

The Lord is willing to take every negative thing that has happened to us and turn it into something positive, if we will only believe.

Believing is the key to receiving from God!

No matter what has happened to you in the past, if you believe, you can receive the good fortune that is set aside for you in Jesus Christ Who came to do the will of His Father in Heaven.

You and I can only realize and experience the glory of God in our lives because of Christ in us. He is our hope of seeing better things.

The glory of God is His manifested excellence. As the children of God, we have a blood-bought right to experience the best God has planned for us. Satan furiously fights the plan of God in each of our lives, and his primary weapon is deception. When we are deceived, we believe something that is not true. Even though it is not true, it seems true for us because that is what we believe.

When we look at ourselves and our own ability, we feel defeated, but remembering that Christ in us is our hope of realizing the glory. It keeps us encouraged enough to press on toward better things. We limit ourselves when we look to ourselves alone and fail to see Jesus.

We can be excellent people with excellent attitudes, excellent thoughts and excellent words. God's glory can be manifested in us and on us, but only as we believe it is possible.

God is looking for someone who will believe and receive. Start expecting more of His glory in your life. He is waiting to manifest His glory - to you and through you.

God asks you and me to put our faith in Him and to believe that we can do whatever He asks us to do. He is mighty to uphold us and make us stand. He will support us and keep us from failing.

God's strength is readily available to us. We receive it through believing in it, and the promise God has made to give it to us. If we believe we are weak, then we will only manifest weakness...When we can say we are strong with a heart of conviction, even though we are weak in ourselves, the Lord will be strong in us - we will experience victory in our lives!

Just because we don't feel strong when we think about a situation does not mean that we won't be strong when we need to be. God's strength comes to us by His grace, through our faith, but He rarely gives us the strength we need before we actually need it. In this way we must trust Him, which our part, God asks us to trust Him, and as we do, He does the part we cannot do.

When we awake on any morning, we don't know for certain what may happen to us that day. We all hope for easy days in which all of our desires are being met, yet we know from experience that is not always the case. We live in a real world, with real problems. Our enemy, the devil, is real and he is working through everyone he possibly can to bring discouragement, fear and failure to us because we belong to God and put our trust in Him.

When you and I need to be strengthened, we should spend time with God and with people filled with His Spirit. Spending time in God's presence is like sitting in a room filled with sweet smelling perfume. If we sit there long enough, we take the fragrance with us when we leave. It will be in our clothing, in our hair and even in our very skin.

We can receive from satan by believing what he says, or we can receive from God by believing His Word. We all believe something, it may as well be something good.

Always remember that it does not cost anything to believe. Try it, you will find your life changing in an amazing way.

When our strength is in God, even the difficult places in life can be turned into blessings. That's why we need to constantly keep our minds and hearts focused on Him and not on our circumstances.

I have discovered that when I am unhappy I have a temptation to start blaming my unhappiness on some circumstance or person in my life who is not giving me what I feel I need.

Most of the time when I am unhappy, it is because of some wrong thinking on my part. Even if I have negative circumstances, I can stay happy by having right thoughts toward them. If people are not giving me what I need, I can either be angry with them or I can look to God to meet my need.

Satan wants us to think that nothing will ever change, that things will only get worse. He wants us to inventory every disappointing thing that has ever happened in our lives and think about how mistreated we have been. We will absolutely never fulfill our destinies and succeed at being all God has planned for us if we don't think properly.

God has satisfaction, fullness and completeness in mind for us. Fullness only comes through being in the center of God's Will.

Those with a sad past need to be able to believe in a bright future. The writer of Proverbs says that where there is no vision, people perish.

A vision is something we see in our mind, "a mental sight" as one definition puts it. It may be something God plants in us supernaturally or something we see on purpose. It involves the way we think about ourselves, our past and our future.

Some people are afraid to believe. They think they may be setting themselves up for disappointment. They have not realized they will be perpetually disappointed if they don't believe.

I am challenging you to start believing good things. Believe you can do whatever you need to do in life through Christ. Don't have a "give up easy" attitude. Let your faith soar. Be creative with your thoughts. Take an inventory: what have you been believing lately? An honest answer may help you understand why you have not been receiving what you have wanted to receive.

Standing up on the inside does not mean being rebellious or having an aggressive attitude toward those who don't understand us. It means having a quiet inner confidence that takes us through to the finish line. It is knowing inside that despite what is going on on the outside, everything is going to be all right because God is on the scene, and when He's present nothing is impossible.