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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

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Daily Devo- Trust Fall

When I was a child in elementary school our school had a program called, ‘Challenge Ed’. Challenge education is a complex synthesis of a variety of therapeutic, educational, recreational, rehabilitative, and enrichment strategies. It was one of the best parts of every year.

We would take a field trip to a place that was set up in an obstacle coarse style. Each station had a goal to achieve as a class or individually. Each station was designed to help strengthen different strategies for approaching and solving tough obstacles.

One of the main lessons I remember that was consistently practiced and a lot of emphasis was given to is the trust fall. For those of you who may not know what the trust fall exercise is– let me explain.

It was a safety exercise that each person had to complete before each station was attempted.

The students were broke into groups of two– one as a spotter– one as the ‘faller’. The idea was to build trust with our classmates and learn that we all need someone reliable to catch us if we fall. The exercise went like this:

Faller asks: Spotter ready?

Spotter says: Ready.

Faller asks: Ready to fall?

Spotter says: Fall.

Faller says: Falling.

Then the faller– with arms crossed on their chest– falls back. The spotter is behind and catches the faller as they begin to fall back and help them stand back up. After that, the faller and spotter switch positions and the challenge repeats.

Once the trust fall challenge was complete– each student took their turn at attempting to complete the obstacle. The one completing the obstacle was the ‘faller’ in the trust fall example. Each spotter than surrounded the obstacle and would encourage and assist the faller in navigating their way through the obstacle– warning before missteps, and nearby to catch them if they fall.

The trust fall we did in elementary school reminds me a lot about the reality of life and the need we have for a spotter (a Savior) on a daily basis.

We navigate our way through life’s obstacles daily– some are easy– while others are rather difficult. Navigating through day to day life is a lot like navigating through a new challenge on the obstacle course– we are going to misstep, slip, or even fall off and have to start over.

The importance lies in our safety net– who or what is your ‘spotter’. When you slip, misstep, or fall off the wagon completely in your daily life– who is there to catch you? It is called a ‘trust fall’ are you putting your trust into unreliable people or things?

The Call of Wisdom

Proverbs 1:20-21 NKJV

20 Wisdom calls aloud outside;
She raises her voice in the open squares.
21 She cries out in the chief concourses,
At the openings of the gates in the city
She speaks her words:

The Excellence of Wisdom

Proverbs 8:1-4 NKJV

Does not wisdom cry out,
And understanding lift up her voice?
She takes her stand on the top of the high hill,
Beside the way, where the paths meet.
She cries out by the gates, at the entry of the city,
At the entrance of the doors:
“To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is to the sons of men.

The Way of Folly

Proverbs 9:3-15 NKJV

13 A foolish woman is clamorous;
She is simple, and knows nothing.
14 For she sits at the door of her house,
On a seat by the highest places of the city,
15 To call to those who pass by,
Who go straight on their way:

Hearts inclined to God hear wisdom. Hearts with little depth and no desire for God hear folly (lack of good sense; foolishness).

The tongue contains the power of life and death. (Proverbs 18:21) A good ‘spotter’ in life will always speak life and wisdom with the power of their tongue. The Bible tells us wise words bring healing (Proverbs 12:18), and a soft answers turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up strife. (Proverbs 15:1)

Choosing the Ultimate Spotter

We can choose a spotter that is of the world– people like friends, family, spouses– and they may be a ‘good safety net’ 50 percent of the time. Meaning half of the time or more– when you misstep or fall– there will be no one there to catch you and stand you back upright.

People fail us because we are human. We make choices daily that have an affect on us one way or another. Having a solid, unfailing safety net that works 100 percent of the time is essential.

So, who is the ultimate spotter- who is the one that we can trust to catch us 100 percent of the time when we fall- and the only one who is perfect- full of wisdom and speaks no folly. Who is the one who will guide you’re every step if you are diligently practicing the trust fall challenge?

Jesus- our one and only true Savior in this world.

Seeking wisdom through His word and exercising your faith- diligently practicing the trust fall challenge.

We are the ‘faller’- He is the ‘spotter’.

We ask Jesus, are You ready?

Jesus says to us: He is always ready.

We ask: are you ready to catch me when I step out in faith?

Jesus says: Step- I will catch you when you fall.

We say: I have stepped out in faith- and I am falling.

Jesus calmly, not phased, or surprised by our misstep– simply set’s us back up and encourages us to step again.

I have heard it said like this before:

It does not matter how many times you fall or misstep- what matters is that you get back up again.

Having the ultimate spotter- Jesus- with each step you take will ensure you have the support and encouragement to rise again.

Fall down seven times- stand up eight.

Proverbs 24:16 NKJV

For a righteous man may fall seven times
And rise again,
But the wicked shall fall by calamity
Note: (calamity is an event causing great and often sudden damage or distress; a disaster)

I encourage you today to evaluate your trust fall. Where does your trust lie- with people or things-or with God?

If you are not consulting God or putting your trust into Him- you will likely face an obstacle in life that knocks you down and you will struggle to get back up again. Leaving you feeling hopeless, helpless, and stuck.

I am writing this to tell you that you do NOT have to stay stuck in a rut. God will be your rope of hope that lifts you out of deep trenches and calmly sets you back on your feet to try again.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for being a God that we can trust. Thank you for being near to us and ready to catch us anytime we misstep or fall. I am thankful you are a God of encouragement and understanding- you take our missteps and use them for good for Your kingdom. Forgive me God, for putting my trust into the wrong things. Forgive me for not turning to you to lift me up and set my feet back upon Your rock of truth. I pray each person who reads this would hear the message You are trying to teach us. I pray each of us would evaluate who we have as our spotter for life’s daily trust fall challenge. I pray that each person’s eyes, ears, and hearts are opened and inclined to hear Your word. I pray that the voices of those who speak folly would be silenced as we seek to rise again in You. It is in Jesus name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- A Desperate Call in Crisis

Racing thoughts- elevated blood pressure- body sweats- and the sinking feeling in your stomach are common reactions when a crisis strikes in your life. Everything as you know it is about to change- your fearful and overcome with emotion- what am I going to do?

There are two options in this situation- Trust God or Do not trust God. Hand it all over to Him and let Him work it out or frantically start trying to ‘fix’ the situation yourself.

I will give you- a hint one works and one causes a lot more hurt and only further complicates the situation.

In 2 Chronicles 20:20 Jehoshaphat was faced with a serious crisis when he was attacked by enemies on all sides. This was a great moment of desperation for him and he ordered the nation of Israel to worship God and call on Him for deliverance.

Jehoshaphat said, “Believe in the Lord your God, and you shall be established, believe His prophets, and you shall prosper.”

He knew that he alone could not win the battle- so he focused the nations attention to the only One who really could deliver them- God.

The scripture goes on to explain that the Lord set ambushes against the people who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.

God does not always take us out of a crisis, but He will always see us through it.

If we put our full trust in Him and cry out for His deliverance- He will protect us and bring good to us through the battle. When we put our trust in the Lord- we can not lose- when God is in control we always win the battle.

A few years ago a crisis struck my life and shook my faith like never before! It was an extremely ugly custody battle over my son. I was being attacked on all sides- the court- my family- attorneys- work- and a toxic home life, I had yet to face.

To say it brought me to my knees would be an under statement. My son is my life. How would I go on if he no longer was with on a daily basis. I felt my world begin to crumble around me.

I began seeking and crying out to God like never before. I was a Christian but I did not know God like I do today. He began to expose many chains that had me bound. He exposed my inner self to me- He exposed the toxicity that I was living with daily from my father- He exposed how little trust I actually had in Him.

I have always said I trust and believe in God. That He is my Savior and watches over me. However, saying these things and truly living them with all your heart is two very different things.

As I began to seek Him for answers to the catastrophe of a life I was living- He answered! It was not the answer I wanted, nor the one I thought I would receive, but in the end it was exactly what I had been praying and begging God for.

He knows the desires of our heart and He hears every prayer- it is our job to listen to Him and trust in His response.

I thought I would share with you the battle prayer I wrote when going through some of the darkest- most difficult- times of my life.

My Battle Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Listen to me cry out for I am in desperate need. (Psalm 142:6) Lord God when they plot against me, they figure out how they can take my life, But I trust in you O Lord I declare “You are my God” you determine my destiny rescue me from the power of my enemies and those who chase me. (Psalm 31:13-15) Remind me you have not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) Indeed Lord God you are my rock and my fortress for the sake of your name lead me and guide me. (Psalm 31:3) Lord Jesus when I am surrounded by trouble you keep me safe you oppose my angry enemies and save me by your power, you will do everything you have promised. (Psalm 138:7) For when I am afraid I will trust in you, I praise God for his word I trust God so I am not afraid. What can human beings do to me?(Psalm 56:3-4) Lord God I pray for the blessing you promised of giving words of wisdom that none of my enemies will be able to prove wrong. (Luke 21:15) Lord you are there and know what I should do when I am ready to give up. (Psalm 142:3) Lord help us to remember the weapons of our warfare is not of the flesh but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. (2 Corinthians 10:4) Lord you said “the captives of warriors will be released and the tyrants will be retrieved for I will fight those who fight you and I will save your children” (Isaiah 49:25) and I pray this to be true over my life and my family. Lord God I pray you remind me of what you said in Isaiah 41 “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” “For I , the Lord your God will hold your right hand saying to you fear not I will help you” God I thank you for the blessing and power of prayer for Jesus answered and said, “Have faith in God, for assuredly I say to you whoever says to this mountain “Be removed and be cast in the sea” and does NOT doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you whatever things you ask when you pray believe that you receive them and you will have them. (Mark 11:22-24) I pray this to be true over my family and my current troubles Lord God. I pray you use this situation to turn bad into good to glorify your name and your kingdom. When we are feeling overwhelmed by all going on give us encouragement, when we’re running out of strength give us endurance. In spite of everything help us know your peace and joy. (Romans 15:5 14:7)If god is with us, no one can defeat us. But in all things we have full victory through God who showed his love for us. (Romans 8) Lord Jesus I pray you dress me in the armor of God having “girded my waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness and having shod my feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace, above all taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit which is the word of God’ (Ephesians 6:14-17) and stop all evil and allow your will to be done. Lord Jesus thank you for all these promises and all the guidance you provide. I pray this unto you in the name of Jesus.

– Amen

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Daily Devo- Got to have faith

To have faith means more than just believing in something. Faith is defined in Hebrews as ‘the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen’. Faith usually starts out certain. When people believe that God will fulfill His promises to us- they are showing true faith. True faith believes even when you can not see any evidence, despite trusting in God and His character.

True faith is believing in God’s promises and that His works are always good for those who love Him.

Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

John 20:29 NKJV

When people have faith in God, they know without a doubt that He will always keep His promises, He will always protect them, and He will never leave them.

Each day people of faith have to make choices in this world- usually doing so based on their unseen reality of their eternity in heaven.

People of faith preserver- despite pain, hardship, and persecution, because they know that God is with them through it all.

People claim to believe in God all the time- but do they really know who He is?

To know God intimately- faith is required. There must be a willingness to believe through the unseen that God exists and that His rewards are certain.

When having faith people discover how to unlock the power of having full trust in God and relying solely on Him. The power of salvation- through a personal relationship with Him.

Do you ‘believe in God’ or do you know God through a personal relationship with Him?

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

I want to thank you for this beautiful day and for Your message on faith. Lord, I confess sometimes it is easy to lose sight of my faith because of the burdensome and painful circumstances that can arise on any given day. Lord I pray that my faith would be increased, that we would keep our eyes on You and Your promises. Remind us Lord that seeing is not believing but believing is seeing. I pray each person would want to come to know You and learn about Your unfailing love and promises kept. I pray that You would increase thee faith of each person reading this in the mighty name of Jesus I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- Waiting to see the harvest

Coming to Jesus and building a relationship with Him is a process. Faith and trust in God doesn’t just happen overnight- they are fundamentals we learn as we study God’s Word. Often times it takes multiple exposures or experience’s with Jesus for someone to make a decision to follow Him.

We need to be sensitive about where those we are witnessing to are in regards to their walk of faith. Everyone learns and processes information differently. We certainly do not want to push someone away from God by being overbearing and not respecting their individual journey with Him.

Just as a farmer sows seeds and has to wait to harvest the crop- as do we when it comes to sowing spiritual seeds into the lives of others.

The old saying goes ‘you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink’.

Same goes for leading the lost to Jesus.

We can give them the information, share our testimony, and pray fervently for them. We can not make them accept Jesus. We were all given the freedom of choice when God created us. He longs for us to accept Him, His love and Salvation but ultimately it is our choice.

As Christians we are responsible for sharing the good news of Jesus with the lost. It is NOT our responsibility to “save them”- ONLY Jesus can save them. Each person must choose Him for their own life.

God has already chosen us from the beginning- when we were created in our mothers womb. He is waiting for each of us to reach out to Him. NOTHING we do is too much for God to handle. He only wants us to run to Him not away from Him.

We are called to sow seeds of faith, truth, and the good news of Jesus to those we interact with through-out our life. Then pray for the “harvest” of those spiritual seeds and be patient while waiting for them to metaphorically grow into foundational roots of truth in their lives.

Bible Verses about Sowing Seeds

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for this message on sowing seeds and being patient while we wait for the harvest in the lives of others. Lord I thank You for your continued guidance and discernment as I study Your Word. Lord I pray that each person who the message reaches would have You at the center of their life. Lord I pray that we would each be vessels for You to use- that we would all be willing to step out in faith and sow spiritual seeds into the lives of those around us. Lord I pray that You would give each of us the patience to allow the seeds to grow in others lives. Lord I pray You would lead and guide our every step. Give us the courage to step up and step out when You are calling us to do so. Lord Thank you for Your Word and many blessing. For being a promise keeper and never leaving our side. In Jesus might name I pray.

Amen

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Learning to rest in the Lord

Learning to pick and choose our battles wisely is not an easy task to do- but it is possible! Every household runs differently and our home lives vary greatly. Some households are constantly on the move, have high stress levels, and often consist of bickering- resulting in total exhaustion daily. While other households look very different- peaceful through the times of high stress, making a priority of time for family, and not bickering over the “little things” in life. Accepting the unknown and living in peace while waiting for God to fulfill His purpose.

As humans we are often high strung, stressed out, and always “busy” with what is happening in life- often times- neglecting the things that matter most- God, Family, and Peace. These things should be the ultimate priorities- the ones at the top of our list- to ensure we our living a joyful and prosperous life.

Have you ever heard the saying you need to stop and smell the flowers? This is often said to someone you are trying to tell to “slow down” and enjoy the little things in life. The smallest things can be the most beautiful experiences and memories. Things we will cherish for years to come.

So how do we do this? To find peace you need to know the author of peace- God.

Then you need to build your relationship with Jesus and learn what the word of God (the Bible) says about each area in your life that you struggle with.

Resting in the Lord begins with learning to trust in the Lord. True peace and rest comes when you seek God above all else. Looking to Him for guidance and direction. Accepting His peace, that surpasses all understanding- knowing that we are not in control-He is. If we trust in the Lord with all our heart and all our might- He will always bring us through, be our strength and our refuge in the storm.

In order for someone to enter in to true rest with God they have to know He is trustworthy and reliable. God is on our side- He has a plan to help us and not to harm us, to give us hope and a future.

Once trust is established and one accepts and acknowledges Christ as their Savior- He begins to renew us and strengthen us through Him. This enables one to not fret or grow weary in doing good and waiting on the Lord’s will to be fulfilled.

God’s will is ALWAYS GOOD. Once we put our trust into Him- resting in His promises begins to come easier as we seek Him. Knowing and trusting that in His perfect timing we will reap what He has promised us.

Nahum 1:7

The Lord is good, A stronghold in the day of trouble; And He knows those who trust in Him.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Psalm 62:8

Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.

Proverbs 29:25

The fear of man brings a snare,
But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.


Do you want more on Learning to Trust God?

Check out the Motivational Monday Video on Trusting God

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Daily Bible Verse- January 31, 2020

Psalm 17:7

Show Your marvelous lovingkindness by Your right hand,
O You who save those who trust in You
From those who rise up against them

Blog, Daily Bible Verses

Daily Bible Verse- January 23, 2020

Psalm 16:1

Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust.

Daily Bible Verses

Daily Bible Verse- January 2, 2020

Psalm 4: 4-5

Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed and be still. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And put your trust in the Lord.

Daily Bible Verses

D.B.V. – July 27 2019

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭3:13‬ ‭NKJV

“Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.”
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