Eternity

I think the only way to make since of this life and the purpose we all search for is to view life in light of eternity with God. We cannot view our life as the end game but rather a dress rehearsal. Whether we are granted 40, 60, 80 years or more this is all in preparation for eternity. These years we have as individuals on this earth are just a blip in the time line of eternity. However, how we choose to live these years will determine with Whom we will spend eternity with. The enemy works so hard to entangle us in the affairs of this life, consumed with acquiring success, comfort, fortune as if that is the goal of life. We were created in the image of God, given the mind of Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit in order to walk in power and authority destroying the works of the enemy just as Jesus came to do. We have been anointed to bring forth the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. What matters in this life is not what we can add to our life in way of success and possessions but what we can add to other’s lives by how we live our life bringing glory to God. Our life is meant to be a sweet smelling aroma to our Lord, being His ambassador on this earth bringing forth His will. Keep your purpose as God’s ambassador on the forefront of your mind as you make your choices and set your priorities. Free will was a gift of God so that we, from a place of love for our Father, could choose to walk as one with Him displaying His glory, bringing light to dispel darkness.

So, when the enemy tries to tempt you with going with the flow of this world system or to accept something in your life that does not honor God, remember what future you are working toward.

Sheree Shannon©

The Bride

When I think of a bride walking down the aisle to wed the love of her life or the groom standing there waiting for his love to appear adorned in beauty, there is such anticipation in their hearts. No matter what has transpired in their lives leading up to this significant moment, it is now behind them. It is a new day, a start to a new life. The expectation is a life of love, devotion, intimacy, faithfulness and fruitfulness. Sure, there may be ruff days, days you may feel like giving up, but you won’t. You are both committed to walking this journey out together letting nothing come between you. Did you know that God wants to make us His bride? Have you stopped to meditate on this truth? Just imagine a perfect wedding day and it is Jesus at the altar. He is waiting for you to walk down that aisle and receive Him as your savior. Just remember, that He has the same expectation as the bride and groom mentioned earlier. This is the start of a new day. No matter what is in your past, once you repent and accept Him as your savior, you are now His. You begin your life of faithfulness, intimacy, devotion and fruitfulness with Him. Make that step or if you have already walked that aisle, re-new your vows today. Walk out this journey of love with the One who is fully committed to you and wants to give you abundant life as you fully commit and remain faithful to Him.
He is faithful, true and unchanging.

It Is Not Worth It!

I used to think this verse, “And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the Kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire” sounded so harsh (Mark 9:47). However, after years of observing the devastation of sin in people’s lives: destroyed marriages, relationships, families,health and all that sin leaves in its wake, I now feel that I can see the heart of Jesus in this verse. It seems to say, “sin is NOT WORTH IT; do whatever it takes to get it out of your life, nothing is too extreme in your pursuit of freedom from sin”. In His great love for us He wants to protect us from the destruction and devastation that sin brings. “For the wages of sin is death BUT the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Choose His gift of life. Abundant life is available for us as we choose Him and His way each day for He is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). Let’s say YES to walking with Jesus and determine to partner with Him in eradicating sin from our lives so that we can walk in His fullness. He gives perfect peace, joy unspeakable and full of glory, a sound mind and so much more as we learn to renew our minds to line up with His truth, His way and His life. Don’t settle for what sin is offering you because it is only temporal and in the end can only bring death and separation from God. Have faith in the One who gave His life for you, that He can also empower and enable you to live and walk in victory over sin.

Scripture references: Matthew 5:29-30; Mark 9:43-48; Philippians 4:7; John 10:10, 14:27, 15:11, 17:13; 1 Peter 1:8; Romans 12:2, 15:13

Your Choice Matters

Most of the ups and downs of life can be summed up in the choices we made. Which voice did we choose to listen to? Did we listen to the voice of peace or anger; negative or positive; life giving or self seeking. Did we choose to forgive or let bitterness settle in? Did we choose to build people up around us or tear them down? There are also other choices like, picking the bible up verses the remote control; choosing to take a risk verses taking the easy course. Did you have a “will see” attitude or did you crush fear under you feet and say YES? Every choice matters. Remember, whatever you feed the most thrives the most so, choose to feed on the things that will produce the results that you are longing for. Choose words of life, choose to have hope, to believe, to love. Choose to stand as the apple of your Father’s eye!

I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.
Concerning the works of men,
By the word of Your lips,
I have kept away from the paths of the destroyer.
Uphold my steps in Your paths,
That my footsteps may not slip.

I have called upon You, for You will hear me, O God;
Incline Your ear to me, and hear my speech.
Show Your marvelous lovingkindness by Your right hand,
O You who save those who trust in You
From those who rise up against them.
Keep me as the apple of Your eye;  Psalms 17:4-8

Jesus is the one constant…

Tuesday night I had an amazing evening with my son Joshua at a Blues concert he took me to. We enjoyed a nice Bart ride out to San Francisco then chowed down on southern creole while taking in such incredible talent. I enjoyed every sound, every smell, every taste and especially that I was sharing it with my son. I felt so blessed and that everything was right in the world.

Wednesday night I sat in a church surrounded by people in despair, full of questions and broken hearted as we laid to rest my friend’s son. A 15 year old boy that must have felt that nothing was right in the world because he decided to take his own life.  In this night I listened to the sounds of tears and songs sang to try and somehow bring comfort to a mourning mother. People drank mountain dew and ate pecan pie because those were his favorites. We watched a slide show of years gone by of a sweet boy who will never again share an evening out with his mother.

How can I have such a perfect evening followed by such a heart wrenching evening? Unfortunately, this is the pattern of life. We have good days and we have bad days. One moment we feel happy and full of life then a cross word is spoken and in an instant sadness can engulf us. Sometimes we feel blessed other times we feel cursed. Life at times can feel like a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. We try and cling to those moments of happiness praying they will last forever but deep down knowing they always come to an end.

So, what do we do? We cling to the One who never changes. We cling to the One- Jesus Christ that in happiness, sadness, confusion, or pain can always bring peace and sustaining joy in the knowledge that He will cause all things to somehow work together for our good if we will put our trust in him. Happiness comes and goes but the joy of the Lord becomes our strength. He promises us peace that surpasses all understanding. In the good and bad, place your life in His hand knowing that He alone can sustain us and bring hope in the midst of a world that is so unpredictable.

 

Joy: is a state of mind and an orientation of the heart.

Our joy remains because our minds our stayed on Him and our hearts are full of His love.

Happy: feeling pleasure and enjoyment because of your life, situation, etc.

Happiness comes and goes as we experience the special pleasures of life and love.

Only through Jesus can we have joy through all of life’s ups and downs….He will sustain us.

Put your trust in Jesus for He loves you with an everlasting love that can heal, restore and renew.

Jesus is the one constant.

The “Voice” of Life

Everything in our lives has a voice and the voices are vying for our attention. Our success greatly depends on which voice we choose to listen to.

Discouragement and Disappointment have a voice, they speak their thoughts to us BUT we can choose to not listen and instead choose to listen to Hope and Faith and Love as found in the Word of God.

The voices translated into our thoughts will either bring life or death to our emotions and future events. Thoughts of hope, faith and love produce energy, life and vision. Listening to the voice of discouragement and disappointment will only cause us to feel weakened, weary and defeated.  

So, today choose to agree with the voice of life and silence every voice that is contrary to what God says about you and your situation. For God makes a way where there seems to be no way.

Philippians 4:8-9 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”

A Good Day

It can be so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. Stressing out over how to be successful or, for some, just how to survive the seeming chaos. But, at the end of the day, as we nestle our head in our pillow, let’s ask ourselves, “Did I make someone smile today?” If the answer is yes……I would say, “It has been a good day!  

Finding Your Unique Rhythm

As creatures of habit we have a tendency to look for formulas, traditions or consistencies we can rely on or follow that will give us our desired outcome. At times these pursuits can be productive as they lead us to a balanced, disciplined and organized life. However, on the flip side, our reliance on these set formulas and traditions can cause us to miss out on discovering our own Unique Rhythm with God. We can’t base our life and walk with God solely on the experiences of others. God is essentially saying: … “I want you to know Me and how I want to live and move and have My being within you.” This can only happen as we learn how God speaks to us as an individual and as we learn about our own unique personality and what He has put within us to use for His glory. I believe God has a special Unique Rhythm for each of us to flow in with Him. Fall in love with who He is and who He is within you. I know for myself, I don’t want to live anyone else’s life; I don’t want anyone else’s experiences with God ~ ~ I want to live my life totally and completely for, in and with Him. I want the life He has specifically created me for! So let’s set aside all pretense and performance and begin to fully embrace who God created us to be and within that Unique Rhythm, live free and sassy.

Eternity Based Thinking

The do what feels good in the moment, wild, uncontrolled life, of ME & I that our current world system promotes can be very enticing when we allow our focus to be based upon the “present” instead of based upon “eternity”. When we look to fix things or people; feel good; or be entertained, right now, we tend to cut corners, neglect others, or just make poor choices all together. But, when we step back and look at our situation or our life from the perspective of spending eternity with our Heavenly Father, suddenly the enticements of this world system grow dim. This week at my women’s group we talked about the things that can entice us away from living a life fully surrendered to our Lord. We all agreed it is easy to lose focus when we get our eyes off Jesus and begin focusing on personal desires, concerns, or even disappointments which can cause us to turn to the world for a quick fix. At times it can seem easier to turn to comfort food, busyness (shopping or running around town), or checking out mentally with a glass of wine and a “chic-flic”. However, we have all learned that in the end these choices often, make us feel worse, not better. So, gather some friends together as I do on Thursday nights with the focus of keeping each other accountable to turning to Jesus instead of to this world system. Be honest about what entices you to turn to the quick fixes or what can get you off the course you desire to follow. We need each other, God never intended us to walk this journey alone. Life can be all the more sweeter when shared with a few sassy friends of like mind and heart. Remember, Jesus offers us the best life! 

Break Free!

Have you ever asked yourself “What keeps me from living in the moment; from truly embracing life and living it to the fullest?” My womens group had an amazing discussion about that very thing. We felt for us there were two main hinderances, the fear of man, (how others view us or what they may say about us); and taking on a false since of responsibility. As women, we can tend to take on the weight of the world; we feel a need to fix everyone and everything. When we take on  responsibility that doesn’t belong to us we end up taking things out of God’s hands and put them in our limited frame of reference and ability thus weighing us down and hindering us from fully living ourselves. We all agreed it was a much better plan to release everything into God’s hands asking Him to direct us in how to navigate properly through our “responsibilities” as wives, mothers, friends and co-workers. As we ask Him to teach us how to pray, what to say or better what not to say, and what is truly our responsibility in the situations that are keeping us bound up in fear, we will be free to more fully embrace life. Our only true responsibility is to obey our Heavenly Father as He leads, prompts us, and teaches us through His Word. Otherwise, we can get in the trap of just living life as a reaction to what is happening around us or based on what others say or do; instead we want to create the moments we want. We want to fully live in each moment getting every last drop of life out of each experience, lesson or encounter. We each agreed we don’t want to live for the next experience; we don’t want to wait for life to start; we don’t want to live according to someone else’s view of life or us but, we want to live TODAY to the fullest. So, we ended the night praying for each other, repenting for our self emposed hinderances. We said no more to coming underneath the cares of this world and fear based on past experiences that are robbing us of fully embracing life and living to the fullest.  It felt great to release everything to God and determine to begin to see life through His eyes knowing He has planned an incredible life for us as we break every hindrance off and go all in with Him. If it is your desire to fully embrace life, take time to think about what might be holding you back; discuss it with friends then commit it to God and allow Him to show you what He has planned for your life!