Blog, Home, Life, Family, Encouragement

Is Your Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

I am sure you have heard the famous question of, “Do you see the glass as half empty or half full?” This question is usually asked when trying to determine if a person is pessimistic or optimistic.

However, I recently heard another pastor (I don’t remember who) state that what people are forgetting is that the glass if refillable!

WOW!

Such an obvious yet deep statement; one that I never really looked at before now.

It is typical of the world we live in to make you believe there are only two options; in this case half empty or half full. In other cases, it may look like; we are to believe what the government and the ‘majority’ are saying or stand against them.

Pushing an outrageous agenda that an individual is either supportive of the misguided opinion or you are a hate filled bigot who must be stopped is another example of today’s society deceiving you to believe it is one or the other.

BUT GOD! There is ALWAYS going to be the original set standard of truth, morality, purpose, and creation. The Bible warns us of the days that the world will perceive lies as truth and truth as lies. We must remember our roots and stand strong like a tree that is planted by the water– we shall NOT be moved.

Going back to the cup analogy; there is another popular saying that comes to mind and that is, “You cannot pour from an empty cup.” Referring to self-care, if you continue to pour out your love, patience, understanding, and so on, but you never refill the cup eventually you will have nothing left to pour out; your glass will be empty.

The point is, you do not have to be conformed to the worlds’ view and perception.

The glass is neither half full nor half empty– the glass is REFILLABLE!

When you are feeling down and like your glass is half empty, I encourage you to dig into scripture and fill your glass back up with good, pure water (the Word) and have confidence in knowing that the Lord knows we all need a ‘refill’ that is why His Word tells us in Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

God knows that the world is going to persecute, distort, and attempt to leave you feeling empty. That is why His Word, the Bible, is full of encouragement, truth, and promises you and I can count on.

We must be careful not to buy-in to the lie that our cups are half empty and we definitely do not want to be refilling our cup with the ways of the world.

If you don’t refill with the correct pure water (truth, the Word of God, and Jesus), your cup will contain filthy, tainted water of the world; which can leave you feeling more empty than ever before.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Lord, I come to You this morning so thankful and humble for Your promises and that You are a promise keeper. Father, sometimes we see our glass as half full and other times half empty. God, You know our hearts and struggles, forgive us for quickly falling trap to lies in the world. God I pray You help us to remember that You are our cup and our cup is refillable! God remind us that we cannot pour from an empty cup and that we need You, Your Word, and Your faithfulness to refill us with good and pure water. Lord help us to remember to call on You when we are feeling weak or empty. Help us to not allow the world to fill our cup with dirty tainted water that will only poison our souls and those around us. Lord, I cry out today fill our cups! Give us the renewed strength, patience, and love we need to continue to spread Your love and kindness to others. I thank you for Your many blessings and claim these promises today in the name of Jesus.

Amen


Bible Stories, Blog, Home

Three visitors of Abraham

This Bible story comes from Genesis 18:1-15 and Genesis 21:1-7.

Abram and Sarai were now known as Abraham and Sarah. God had told them to change their names. They were living in a tent and just as Abraham had before, he sat outside the tent wishing that he and Sarah could have a child. Abraham remembered what God had promised, “I am going to give you children, Abraham.”

This was so long ago Abraham thought. Is God going to keep His promise? Abraham really was hoping so, since this was what he and Sarah both wanted badly.

When Abraham lifted his eyes, he saw three men next to him. He ran to them immediately, and bowed. He asked the men to allow him to get them water to wash their feet and prepare them a meal and drink, while they rest under a tree nearby.

The men agreed and told him to do as he has said.

Abraham hurried back into the tent and told Sarah to prepare three fine meals. He then hurried to the herd and got a calf; the meal was prepared and set before the men under the tree.

It’s obvious these three men are not just any men, since they just appeared. The Bible later explains that two are angels and one a manifestation of God.

The men asked Abraham where his wife Sarah was at and he told them she was there, in the tent.

The men then told Abraham that his wife Sarah would bear a child within a year.

Sarah was listening nearby and knew she had passed the age of child bearing. So, she laughed to herself,  “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”

The Lord asked Abraham why did Sarah laugh and say she was too old to bear a child. Is anything to hard for the Lord? I will return to you in a year, and Sarah shall have a child. You can always trust in what God says.

God fulfills His promise.

One year later the Lord visited Sarah and He had done what He had promised. Sarah and Abraham had a child, his name was Isaac.

Sarah was 90 years old and Abraham was 100 years old. Sarah was so happy, she laughed. Sarah said, “God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me.”


This story shows that God always fulfills His promises. It may not be when or how we think He should do it but God’s Word can ALWAYS be trusted. He is in control and it’s never too late for God to fulfill His purpose and promises in You.

Blog, Home, Life, Family, Encouragement

Fear of Failure!

Failure is something we all experience and it’s hard to face due to the pain and fear it can cause deep within us. Failure is defined by dictionary.com as the lack of success or the omission of an expected or required action.

DID YOU KNOW?
Some people have fear of failure so badly that there is a medical term for it? Atychiphobia is the fear of failure.

Fear of failure could be linked to many different causes. For instance, having critical or unsupportive parents is one.

As a child, I often heard, from my father- I was a failure, a let down, and that I only caused more problems for him. He literally told me I had been nothing but a disappointment to him.

It’s important to understand– I wasn’t an out of control teen, I wasn’t out repeatedly breaking rules, and I didn’t dare talk back to him. I was in NO WAY perfect, but he was miserable and wanted everyone else to be also.

To be clear, there is never a good reason to speak to your children or anyone else in such a manner. We all have failures in our life- moments we are not proud of- mistakes we have made- but we are NOT defined by these moments.

Just as many children do, I wanted more than anything to make dad proud- to hear some form of approval for all I had endured. As a child and even in to my adult years– I strived over and over to “make my father proud of me.”

It was only about two years ago that I finally realized- it wasn’t me- it was him. He would never be proud of me- never acknowledge how hard I had worked or how far I have come despite all odds against me. He was miserable.

This formed a deep root of fear of failure and lack of self-worth within me. Something I still struggle with today.

It’s hard for me to get started on something new. A new idea– new career path– new relationships– basically, new anything. I get intense anxiety about being around new people or in a new environment. To the point, that I use to avoid it all together.

Things really began to change for me when I started soul searching and trying to find out WHY I am always fearful. As I began to dig and research, I found that it was likely due to the abuse and constant negative talk from my father. Which then developed into full blown negative self-talk.

Yikes!

Reality check!

Change starts within You!

So what do we do to overcome this?

First, realize this is not something that will just magically go away overnight. I have been working at breaking these chains for two years. Everyday gets better and closer to the ultimate goal of living a FEARLESS life.

4 things I found to help me overcome my fear of failure:

  1. Pray. Anytime you are feeling fearful, stop and pray. Ask God to break the chains of fear over your life. Ask God to give you courage, strength, and clarity. Ask Him to remind you that you are His and He has NOT given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
  2. Find the benefits of past failures. Appreciate the growth that comes with failure.
  3. Change the way you view the circumstance. When failure is possible, view it as a challenge.
  4. Eliminate bad self-talk. Treat yourself kindly when you experience failure.

Failing at something is a stepping stone to success.

I have missed over 9000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games, 26 times I was trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.

Michael Jordan

We need to learn to embrace the concept of doing it afraid. Often times, our biggest successes come from something we were afraid to do in the beginning. The key is to do it even if you are feeling fearful.

The Bible tells us that God has not given us a spirit of fear. It does NOT say we won’t feel fear. It is our choice on how to react, when the spirit’s of Satan creep into our inner thoughts, causing us to feel fearful; we must kick him out!

Stop the downward spiral of Satan’s lies and begin to declare God’s word over yourself and the situation.

2 Timothy 1:7 is a great weapon against fear.

There is truly nothing to fear, except for fear itself.

Take a moment to think of something you have felt compelled to do or even wanted to do but ultimately didn’t because of fear of failure or fear of any kind.

Have you always wanted to ride a roller coaster, but you’re afraid of heights? Maybe you want to sing karaoke, but are afraid to be in front of people. Is there somewhere you want to go, but you’re afraid to fly? Perhaps, it’s something most might think is simple, like visiting a local church for the first time, but you’re afraid of what people may think. Do you want to start a new business– new hobby– new relationship?

Do you have it? Good!

Write it down. Seriously, do it!

Now, on the same paper, write why you haven’t done it yet. The associated fear– confess to yourself and God the fear(s) that has prevented you from doing what you wrote.

Next, I want you to do some research in the Bible for yourself. This can easily be done on a Bible App. or at biblegateway.com. Write down one or more scriptures to declare over that fear.

I recommend memorizing 2 Timothy 1:7, so that you can easily access this scriptural weapon to declare when Satan attempts to attack you with any form of fear.

I challenge you today to complete the activity above (if you haven’t already) and be courageous, go do whatever it is you wrote down.

Don’t give up on anything and don’t let Satan use his lies to keep you bound in fear.

My prayer for you

Heavenly Father,
Thank you for Your word. I pray that you use this blog article on fear of failure to touch each person that reads it. Give them understanding and clarity. Help them to remember your promises and to declare Your Word, when they begin to feel fearful. Open their hearts and minds as they research and complete the activity above. God, I pray that you would expose their fears to themselves and give them the scripture and strength to overcome each one. Your Word says we can do ALL things through You who gives us strength! In Jesus mighty name I pray.
Amen

Blog, Home, Life, Family, Encouragement

Pain comes with a lesson to be learned.

Pain comes in all forms, emotional, physical, mental and relational– all of these are equally difficult to deal with when they arise in our own life. Pain is a powerful teacher, we must be careful that we are learning the right lesson and not falling into Satan’s trap of lies and deceit.

Throughout our life we go through many storms, each of which comes with it’s own destruction path of hurt and lessons to be learned. We must be very careful and aware what “life lessons” we are learning through each of these experiences and carrying with us throughout our life.

As we go through these storms, often starting at a young age, it begins to form lies in our mind about ourselves and our love from God. No matter how big or small these storms may seem to those around you, they do impact our life in ways beyond our understanding. Often times this is happening without us even noticing the hold these experience’s are forming in our life.

Proverbs 23:7 says For as he (she) thinks in his (her) heart, so is he (she).

This is a battle I have fought for myself throughout my entire life due to the amount of abuse (of all kinds) that I have endured from the time I was a very young child until about a year ago.

I had many lies form against my character, things I am sure many can relate to. My life experience’s, mixed with the influence of those in my life, I quickly began believing the lies that I was not worthy- not lovable- not wanted- not good enough, just to name a few.

I also began learning “life lessons” from these experience’s, later discovering it was all the wrong lessons to be learned. From the surface and perspective I was looking at my life I learned you can’t trust anyone- you depend on no one but yourself- everyone is out to hurt others- God must hate me to make me go through all of this, again just to name a few. Y’all I was a hot mess!

As life went on and I continued to go through massive storm after massive storm these lies began to subconsciously replace the truth’s about what God says about who I am. I was one that truly believed good things don’t happen to me.

To be clear, I was going to church I knew what God said about me, but unknowingly allowed Satan to replace what I knew was true, with lies he formed to destroy my life, faith, and future.

Our thoughts typically derive from our circumstances regardless if they are recent or distant past. You see we were all designed in the image of God, we are all perfectly and wonderfully made with a great purpose in His kingdom but our adversary, our enemy, Satan, plots against us and our life from the time we are born, he does not want us to live the life God has planned for us.

John 10:10 says The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

So I ask you today how many lies do you believe? Prior to reading this article had you ever thought about your thoughts? Depression, Anxiety, PTSD and more are all related to our brain chemistry and thought life, these along with many other mental health issues derive from our life experience’s and the lessons we learned from them.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common lies we believe and the absolute truth from God.

Lies we believeTruth’s about who we are in God
I am unlovable.I was designed for love and God loves me.
– 1 John 4:19
I am not good enough.I am fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of Christ.
I am good enough.
– Psalm 139:13-16
I am unwanted.I am chosen by God.
– 1 Peter 2:9
I am a bad person.I am created by God to do good works.
– Ephesians 2:10
I am a failure or will fail.I will succeed. I can do all things through Christ.
– Philippians 4:13
I have to be perfect.EVERYONE sins and falls short of the glory of God.
– Romans 3:23
God is mad at me.God is NOT mad at you! Nothing can separate you from the love of Jesus.
– Romans 8:38-39
I am permantely damaged.God will renew your mind.
– Romans 12:2
I am discouraged, fearful, and alone.God is with you wherever you go, you do not have to be afraid.
– Joshua 1:9
I am weak.I am strong.
– 2 Corinthians 12:10
I am defeated.I am an overcomer!
– 1 John 5:4
I am powerless.I have all the power over the enemy, I am Powerful.
– Luke 10:19
I have no value.You are valuable- established, anointed, and sealed by God.
– 2 Corinthians 1:21-22

It is important to be aware of what we are thinking about and pondering on. Just as the Bible says in Proverbs- what you think in your heart is what you are or become. So I encourage you today to take inventory of the feelings and emotions you are holding in. Are they negative or toxic? Is it time for you to ask God to help you let go of what’s holding you back? Let’s pray and ask God to expose our hearts to ourselves and replace the lies we have been believing with His truth.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

You are an amazing father of love, patience and forgiveness and I am so thankful for the freedom I have in You. Lord, forgive me for falling trap to the devils lies and holding them as truths in my life. Lord, I pray you examine my heart and bring to my attention the areas in which I am believing lies and may not even know it. Expose my heart to myself so that I may see where I need to begin searching Your word to renew my mind in Your truth. Lord I ask that you give me clarity and understanding of this message from you. God help me to see Your hand working in my life. Protect me and guide me in the way you want me to go. Lift me up and shelter me under your wings of refuge. Show me Your love and how to live and love according to Your plan. Thank you Lord for your never ending patience, love, and understanding. Thank you Lord for working in my life even when I don’t see You or feel it. Thank you Lord for the blessings you shower upon me each and every day. I pray you continue to help me grow and become more like You and who you designed me to be in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

Blog, Home, Life, Family, Encouragement

Hope in His Mercy

A feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen, a feeling of trust is the definition of hope.

Compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm is how mercy is defined.

The action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil this is the meaning of redemption.

Now let’s take these three definitions and replace them in the scripture for the words used. This will give us a more clear understanding of what Psalm 130:7 is telling us.

O Israel, expect or desire a certain thing to happen,have the feelings of trust in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone who it is within His power to punish,
And with Him is abundant action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil.

The Bible is telling us in Psalm to expect or desire a certain thing to happen that we should trust in the Lord. That God is compassionate and forgiving towards us and that He will save us from sin, error, and evil– abundantly!

That alone should bring us peace and give us a great reason to put our hope in His mercy. God is patient with us and always by our side showing compassion and saving us from our sins and the errors in our ways. God knows we will make the wrong choices from time to time and find ourselves in a mess and He is already there waiting to save you– to rescue you from the evil.

We have to keep our hope in His mercy in order for us not to become defeated and choose to give up instead of pushing through. The Bible also tells us in Psalm to be of good courage and He will strengthen your heart as you keep your hope in Him.

Psalm 31:24
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the Lord.

God wants us to come boldly to His throne– to ask Him for help in our times of trouble. (Heb. 4:16) Without God we can often get wrapped up in trying to solve our own problems in the ways of the world– only to leave us feeling hopeless. With God we can be of great courage, confident, peaceful, and full of hope in His promises and His mercy!

Prayer

Heavenly Father,
Lord I want to thank you for your mercy and redemption. My hope is in You alone Lord. I am thankful you have called us to come boldly to Your throne and I ask You today to fill me with Your Holy Spirit– let me be filled with Your hope and love. God, forgive me for trying to solve my problems in my own strength. Forgive me for allowing myself to feel hopeless in my efforts and not seeking Your guidance first. I pray that You will strengthen my heart as I hope in You, in Jesus mighty name I pray.
Amen

Blog, Life, Family, Encouragement

Faith while you wait

Keeping faith while you wait is extremely difficult when referring to waiting on God’s timing. We have to remember in our impatience that His timing is perfect– never early and never late. This means when you are praying and asking God for something; regardless if it is materialistic or spiritual, God is not going to give us something that we are not ready for.

If what we are requesting from Him is going to cause us more harm or heartache, God is not going to give that something to us. God knows the desires of our heart and even though we may think we know what we want or need God always knows better. God’s plan is to help us not to hurt us, to give us hope and a future.

Let’s be honest– No one wants to wait but we all have to do it.

According to a Timex survey, Americans wait:

  • on average of 20 minutes a day for the bus or train
  • 32 minutes whenever they visit a doctor
  • 28 minutes in security lines whenever they travel
  • 21 minutes for a significant other to get ready to go out
  • 13 hours annually waiting on hold for a customer service
  • 38 hours each year waiting in traffic
  • those living in Big cities wait in traffic more than 50 hours annually

= about 37 billion hours each year waiting in line somewhere
Human beings spend approximately 6 months of their lives waiting in line for things, it means like 3 days a year of queueing up. The average person spends about 43 days on hold with automated customer service in one lifetime. Those who take the bus will wait about 27 days of their lives waiting around on the platform or at the bus stop. (view the full article here)

Waiting is going to happen weather we like it or not. The sooner we accept it and learn to embrace the wait while we keep faith, the happier we will be. It could be waiting in traffic, at a restaurant or for an answered prayer from God, regardless prepare to wait.

Let’s look at one of the examples above, waiting at a doctor office. When we have to wait to be seen and feel as if it is taking too long, we don’t try to rush the doctor or convince other patients to leave. Although we may be a bit frustrated, we wait. We have faith that when it is time, a nurse will come to get us.

If we do not try to rush the day to day things – why do we try to rush God’s hand?

As you read per the timex survey waiting is inevitable, so why not learn to have faith while you wait in all things?

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

We have faith that even though we have to wait in traffic we will eventually get home. We have faith when we flip the switch in our home the light comes on. We have faith that we will work and at the end of the pay period we will receive a check. These all come very naturally for us– we don’t often wonder if things will “work out” in the above day to day scenarios, we just have faith and know that they will. This is the kind of faith we need to have in God and His promises.

When God tells us to wait– there is always a reason– even if we never get to know it. If we would have faith in God during our “Biggest Storms”– as we do in the examples given– we would be able to live a much more peaceful, enjoyable life. Not spending our days worrying about things we can not change nor prevent. Instead spend them embracing the journey knowing God is by our side and already has everything worked out for our good– we only need to trust in Him.

Romans 8:28
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.

Turn your worry into worship, your fear and fearless, and have faith while you wait! God’s got you!

We are often tired, worried, and purely exhausted during the most trying times in our life– but when you put your faith into God and allow Him FULL CONTROL over your life we will not grow weary.

Isaiah 40:31
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Having faith while you wait doesn’t mean you are doing nothing. In fact, you are actively praying, trusting, and having faith that God has a good plan and you do not have to worry.


Want more? Check out these bible studies designed to deepen your faith and grow your relationship with God.