Blog, Devotionals, Home, Life, Family, Encouragement

Daily Devo- 7 Keys to Building Good Relationships

In a study conducted by researches about what tops the charts as a success– the consistent answer was close relationships. So, what can we do to build good relationships? Truth is not much. Relationships that are good and healthy evolve out of ‘being’ a specific type of person.

Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor.

Ecclesiastes 4:9 NKJV

Who we are in a relationship is far more important than what we do. This is why no matter how hard you try– you can’t change what someone does or does not do. Changing their actions because you told them too, does not change who they are– their core being is what makes them who they are.

People can choose to change their core being but it does not happen on its own or overnight. It is not something you can just tell someone to change and expect in an instant it is all different.

7 ways of ‘being’ in order to help build good relationships

1. Be someone who listens

Being an active listener in a relationship is important. Each person in the relationship needs to feel heard and understood by their partner. Those that have good relationships– friends, family, children, or spouses– take the time to hear what the other is saying. Not interrupting, judging, or jumping to conclusions, but being slow to speak and quick to listen to understand.

2. Be someone who is safe

A close relationship is built on feelings of security. People need to feel safe or they will not be willing to open up. Keeping your word and promises create a sense of security. Once someone feels safe– trust is earned– and the relationship flourishes.

3. Be someone who helps others

Healthy and happy relationships are rewarding. People that have security in one another also help each other out. Sometimes by helping with tangible things such as household chores or a ride to a soccer game– and sometimes by giving encouragement and support. Regardless of the help we give– we should be doing it because we want to not because we feel like we have to.

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Philippians 2:3-4 NKJV

4. Be some who puts yourself in the other persons shoes

Empathy is the fancy way of saying seeing the world from someone else’s perspective. To build a good relationship there is a need for the balance of empathy from each person. This helps us to understand why the other person may think, act, and feel the way they do in any given situation. Forming effective empathy takes time and effort. It is a decision that we must make with each interaction– intentionally choosing to show empathy for another person. The hard-work and investment of showing empathy is well worth the effort!

5. Be someone who can receive

When the scales are unbalanced in a relationship– one is always receiving and one is always giving– both people will end up feeling less than happy, lacking in different areas. In a healthy relationship there is an even balance of give and take– we need to allow others to care for us– just as we do them. Being a good friend, spouse, parent, etc. does not mean we have to do all the giving.

Think of it like this: There are two glasses of water each half full. Glass A is the giver and Glass B is the taker. If A steps up and helps B, some of the water from glass A is poured into glass B– leaving glass A with a little less water each time and glass B with a little more. If this pattern of giving continues– eventually glass A will be empty and glass B will be overflowing. However, when each take turns being the giver and taker they both will remain balanced– neither empty and neither overflowing.

6. Be someone who can withstand the storm

13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

Colossians 3:13 NKJV

Almost every relationship will eventually encounter some rough patches. The storms of life come rolling in with no warning and their path of destruction in our lives vary in severity. In a healthy relationship there comes a time where both parties need to dig deep below the surface and talk about the ‘hard’ things. Talking about true feelings, likes and dislikes, the good and the bad.

If we are mature enough to talk with each other about these things the storm can bring a deeper, more genuine relationship and unlock a whole new level of intimacy. Conflict is a rough season but is a temporary price to pay for building solid, healthy relationships.

7. Be someone who knows how to say no or walk away.

Some relationships cannot work. Unfortunately there are people in the world who no matter what you do will not be pleased. Every relationship needs nurturing, but some are doomed for disaster– due to one or both parties denial or lack of effort.

If we are in a relationship that is causing us to do something we do not want to do, likely this is not a healthy relationship. If we are in a relationship that is consistently toxic and leaving us feel rejected or ‘not good enough’– this is not a healthy relationship. When this is the case we need to call it quits– this type of behavior is damaging to our own health and limits our usefulness to God.

In summary, building good, healthy relationships is complex and requires specific fundamental elements, time, and effort from both parties. When we are attempting to build good relationships or maybe even trying to shift our current ones– it is most fruitful to start with yourself.

Examine the person you truly are at the core. Do your actions, reactions, and choices reflect the type of person you want to be? Focusing on our own ‘being’– the person God called us to be– will help us to form and grasp on to the good relationships God has given us or will give us.

As the saying goes ‘change starts from within..’

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for the freedom to choose the relationships we form in our life. Thank you for sending Jesus to be the ultimate example of your love. I am so grateful for the relationship I have with You. Forgive me for the times I do not take the time to look within and examine my own intentions, feelings, and desires. God expose to me the type of person I am at my core and help me to transform any areas that do not line up with your Word. Give me discernment when forming new relationships and guide me in the ones I currently have. I want to know you more and be an example to others of your love and forgiveness. It is in Jesus name I pray

Amen

Blog, Devotionals, Home

Daily Devo- Imagination

Imagination is define as the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects not present to the senses. There are three classifications of imagination– things we should not imagine– things we can not imagine– and things we should imagine.

Luke 1:51 NKJV
He has shown strength with His arm; He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

Things we SHOULD NOT imagine:

  • Things evil in nature
  • Worrisome thoughts
  • Fearful thoughts
  • Lustful or perverted thoughts

Did you know?

Worry is a misuse of our imagination and it also activates fear.

Somethings we CANNOT imagine:

  • Heaven
  • Plans God has in store for us
  • Blessings
  • Miracles

Did you know?

Some people do not believe in Heaven, because they can not imagine it.

Things we SHOULD imagine:

To possess and exercise a healthy imagination makes the impossible things–possible.

Imagination is essential to living by faith. Hebrews 11:1 tell us that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Great lives are built around great imagination God’s dreams are bigger than my dreams. Ephesians 3:20

Don’t plan your life and set goals around what you see or your circumstances. Let the size of your God, determine the size of your goals. Remember, God can make the impossible- possible. Let God’s spirit and His word guide you and fuel your imagination.

Satan comes to put doubt in our mind.

Mark 9:23-24 NKJV
23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”


Doubt is meant to be doubted and beliefs are meant to be believed.

– Pastor Phil Willingham Sermon 2017

As believers we have a helper in life– someone who is trustworthy and loyal– someone the world does not have because they do now know Him, and cannot imagine His existence.

John 14:16-17 NKJV
16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

The key to a stronger and healthier imagination is spending daily quiet time with God. Read His word– listen for His voice– study in your areas of weakness– and trust in His promises.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for being our helping hand and guiding as through Your word. Lord, forgive us for our times of doubt and for our misuse of our imagination. Open our eyes so that we can see the wonderful ways of Your law. Help us to understand so that we can meditate on Your works. I pray that you will stir up our spirits so that we will want to seek You more. I pray You will help us as we seek to have a stronger and healthier imagination. Guide our quiet time in Jesus name I pray.

Amen

Blog, Devotionals, Home

Daily Devo-Compromising Peace

Are you a people pleaser? Do you often put your own wants, beliefs, and needs to the side to keep peace among friends, family, or co-workers? Maybe you feel your worth comes from what others think, say, or feel about you. Who do you live your life striving to please- God or others?

I am a people pleaser. I know this is not what God has called me to be and I am working hard on learning to stand up for myself and God.

For many years I was living my life under the control of my father. Day after day I willfully gave him all the power over my life. Allowing him to control every decision I made- from when I do yard work to how I raised my child.

It was totally unhealthy!

The worst part was it went on for many years and I didn’t even realize it was happening. I was 30 years old when God showed me CLEARLY what He was doing in my life.

I was going through a period of trials and heartache lasting about four years that finally ended when I became FULLY obedient to God. When crying out to Him about the situations going on at the time God asked me, “Are you going to serve Gary your earthly father, or Me, God THE father? You can’t do both!”

I wept. I knew EXACTLY what God was saying to me.

There were countless times that I did the opposite of what God was telling me to do to please my father and avoid any verbal abuse, physical abuse, or confrontation of any kind.

I longed for my father to be loving, positively involved, and simply proud of who I was- not who he wanted me to be.

The mentioning of God would make his skin crawl. Unfortunately, my father had many demons that he carried throughout his life starting in his own childhood. This made it very difficult when trying to serve God- yet please him.

God wants us to be fully obedient to Him- He doesn’t want sacrifice’s or partial obedience- He wants us ALL IN. I would pray and ask for direction and wisdom- God would show me something and tell me to take action- then I would try to compromise with Him to be obedient yet not upset anyone else.

We can NOT only do a small part of what God tells us to do. When we know He is leading us we have to be bold in Him. Stepping out and standing up in love and not compromising our own morals or relationship with God so others won’t be upset.

Living in a compromised peace is not what God wants for us. We are not to me conformed to this world but TRANSFORMED by the renewing of our mind through Jesus.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Romans 12:2 NKJV

The world is becoming harder and harder to be a Christian in but we need to be sure we are making our own decisions and not allowing others to influence them. The Bible tells us to stand FIRM on His word and put on the whole armor of God. Our only responsibility is do what God wants us to do.

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.

1 Corinthians 16:13 NKJV

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

Ephesians 6:11 NKJV

When we spend time studying God’s word and seeking Him- He lights a fire within our heart that can not be put out. You should know however, when you are on fire for God, people in the world will reject you- BUT He has overcome the world and we should not fear.

Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

2 Timothy 3:12 NKJV

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 NKJV

We are not created to blend in with the world. In fact, it is quite the opposite- we are created to standout- to be bold and courageous- and to lean NOT on our own understanding.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;

Proverbs 3:5 NKJV

God promises if we stand firm in our faith-seek Him above all else- and love with all our heart, mind, and soul- than we will have a peace that surpasses all understanding.

and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:7 NKJV

God is with you wherever you go! We do not have to live a life in compromised peace. It is time to stand-up, stand-out, and stand-frim on the truth.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9 NKJV

Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

Isaiah 41:10 NKJV

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for this beautiful day and for offering us peace that surpasses all understanding. Lord, the world can be such a sinful and misleading representation of You and our destiny, help us to have discernment and knowledge. Let us not lean on our own understanding but trust in You with all our hearts. It is election day Lord, and the stress and tension is very tight. I pray each person would be lead by Your Holy Spirit and remember regardless of the outcome, You are still in control.

Lord I pray that each of us would have the courage to stand strong on Your word and stand up for what is right and true in You. Lord, help us to remember that we are all children of God and You want the world to choose love over hate- peace over strife, and truth over deceit.

Guide our steps and show us the way as we move forward through the election process. I pray Your will be done and the hearts of people all over the world would be open to see You.

Lord I pray for both candidates that each would hold themselves with grace and dignity. That you would protect each of them and their families. Lord I pray people would find love in their hearts and choose to support and uplift regardless of the outcome. I pray for the safety of America, guidance moving forward, and that love would fill the hearts of Your people all across the world. In Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

Blog, Devotionals, Home

Daily Devo- Let your light shine

Philippians 2:14-16

Do all things without complaining and disputing,15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.

In a world that is so corrupt, twisted, and perverse, as Christians we need to be mindful of the fact we are a beacon of light for the lost. We should clearly stand out among those who live in the ways of the world.

We aren’t perfect and we certainly do not have all the answers. BUT we do have God on our side, which should give us rest in knowing that He is always in control.

The local church in an imperfect institution full of imperfect people resulting in many non-believers believing that church goers are hypocrites.

When we are not within the “box” of the church, we need to remember that the only introduction or experience with Jesus that some people have is by watching us.

Although we are not perfect and sinless, there should be a definite difference between our actions, reactions, and life choices than that of one who does not have a personal relationship with Jesus.

Strive to be the light in someone else’s otherwise dark world.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for being the beacon of light in my life. Thank you for lighting my path, directing my step, and working on my behalf. Lord, I confess that there are times that I get wrapped up in the ways of the World and Your light within me dims as I unintentionally ignore opportunities to be someone else’s beacon of light. God I pray that You would ignite a fire in me that I can’t ignore or miss. Use me Lord to be the light for those I interact with each day. Help me to be a better example of You. Let Your love that shines so brightly in my soul, burst through each broken crack in my life. Teach me how to share Your light with others in Jesus mighty name I pray

Amen

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- January 25, 2018

Philippians 4:8- 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.

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- January 22, 2018

Philippians 4:7- and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- December 8, 2017

Philippians 4:6- Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- November 28, 2017

Philippians 2:14- Do all things without complaining and disputing.

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V. August 17, 2016

Philippians 1:28- and not in any way be terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation.

 

 

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V.- June 27, 2016

Philippians 1:6- being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.