10 Ways to Grow in God’s Word

Grow in God’s Word

Reading the Bible

But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it. Deuteronomy 30:14

The Bible is a wonderful gift from God to us, yet we hardly make use of it. Although we claim to be Disciples of Christ, we can find ourselves more inclined to read everything else except the Word of God or be involved other activities that occupy our time leaving us with little or no time for the word of God. But this Word is really special.

The Word of God is …

  • Alive, full of power, effective, energizing and knows the condition (thoughts and purposes) of man’s heart. Heb. 4:12
  • Everlasting. There is no time limit on it. Matt. 24:35 & Isaiah 40:8
  • Sure. God holds His Word in high regard. He stakes His integrity on it. Isaiah 55:11
  • Full of truth and life. We can live abundantly by the Word of God. John 6:63 & John 6:63 (GW)
  • To be desired more than riches and is sweeter than the sweetest thing every tasted! Furthermore, the Word rewards the one who obeys it. Psalm 19:10-11 (AMP)

The word of God is so very relevant to our present and future but yet we take light of its importance. If you need direction or guidance on anything in your life – spiritual, financial, relationships, career, health or wellness, emotional, professional – you can look in God’s word for help. There are so many ways to feed ourselves with the word that we have no excuses for not knowing what God says in about specific aspects of our lives or for not living it out daily.

  1. Read the Word daily. Read it like a book – from cover to cover – and gain insight into life through the accounts of God relating to man. I try to read it through at least once a year. If I don’t succeed the challenge of finishing it by the end of January, I try to continue until I’ve reached the end.
  2. Pray the Word. Remind God what His word (His promise) is concerning you. However, you can only do this if you know what the word says about that area of your life.
  3. Speak the Word. I am not talking about praying here but about making God’s word a part of your everyday conversation with friends, family, work colleagues, and whoever you interact with in your day.
  4. Study the Word. If you want to know how to manage your money, how to raise your child, how to related to your family and friends and about anything pertaining to your life and your relationship with God; the answers are in the word of God. You can research specific passages, people, topics, etc. You can also adopt certain methods of study like in the inductive or manuscript method and others that would help you gain a better understanding of God’s word.
  5. Teach the Word. God commands us to teach our children His word. Through family devotions and classes at church we can teach them. But of importance is to teach them through our lives – what we say and do have great impact on how they view God. Therefore we must aim to live God-honoring lives and as we do God promises that training our child in His ways will help them to remain in Him.
  6. Memorize the Word. I never really took much effort in memorizing though it is highly recommended. I realize that the more you study the Word, you will remember it and the Holy Spirit will remind you of specific scriptures when you need encouragement and guidance.
  7. Meditate on the Word. In the Hebrew language “meditate” means to speak or to mutter repeatedly. When I read and I find a scripture that stands out, I would personalize that verse or passage and speak it out. I would put it on a cue card to visualize it throughout the day or I would do further study on it and write it out in a personalize way. I recently shared Psalm 91 with you.
  8. Believe the Word. If you claim that the Bible is written by men who were inspired by God to pen this message to us, then believe it. If you choose to become a disciple of Christ, take God at His word.
  9. Share the Word. God’s word is good news that isn’t for one but for all. Share with those who believe to encourage, exhort or even reprove. Share with those who don’t believe that they might come to believe and accept Christ as their Saviour and Lord.
  10. Apply the Word to you. The Word is not just for the purpose of gaining knowledge but it’s meant to change man to become like Christ. The Word is like a mirror but searches deeper the surface. It shows you who you in your heart are and gives you the insight on how you can change. Let the word enter your heart and bring the life transformation your need.

Once during Bible reading month challenge this verse above (Deuteronomy 30:14) really stood out for me. As I thought about it I realized that when this was said to Israel the Word (then the Law) was read to them on occasionally. Yet God said the Word is in their mouths, and their hearts and they should live it out.

What about us today? We have access to the wonderful gift 24/7 in hard-copy form in various translations, on our cell phones, on e-readers, in CD or audio format, in DVD format, on television and there are even programs that would help you by sending reminders to read the Word. Check out: Bible Gateway, You Version, Faith Comes by Hearing, and The Word of Promise. We can read, we can listen, we can watch the Word anytime.

God promises that His word will bring you all-round and ongoing success when rightly applied (or lived out) – Joshua 1:8-9. I encourage you to intentionally spend time in the Word of God and apply the methods above to make it a part of your daily living.

How near is the Word of God to you? This week, make a plan to study specific areas of the Bible outside of your daily devotional time. It will bless your life.

 

What Does Your Future Look Like?

The future

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams

And then God answered: “Write this. Write what you see.
Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run.
This vision-message is a witness pointing to what’s coming.
It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie.
If it seems slow in coming, wait.
It’s on its way. It will come right on time.

Habakkuk 2:2-3 (MSG)

Last year, I decided to do something I had thought of doing for years – to learn how to become a life coach. So I took the plunge and now I am a Certified Professional Coach. Praise God!

The effectiveness of coaching is in the ability of the coach to bring out the best in you. As a coachee, you’ll be asked some questions that if answered openly will bring to light a lot about yourself.

As I reflect on the coaching sessions I had, one interesting aspect of the program is the development of a client vision statement. This vision statement is created based on the discovery sessions with your client where questions are asked to understand not only the client’s present situation but his/her future dreams and desires. It is amazing that in a few short sessions, an attentive coach can write a vision statement that speaks truthfully to the client’s life and desires.

The vision statements are written in present continuous tense using the word imagery your client expressed during conversations with them. When a coach listens and then writes in unbiased non-judgmental manner using the client’s voice it’s amazement how clearly you can capture your client’s heart on paper. Each client is encouraged to read and / or listen to their vision statement on a daily until it became a part of them and they began to act towards their vision. You see, it’s how you condition your mind and think, is who you become – as a man thinks, so is he.

Some years back I have done a similar exercise for myself in creating a vision statement. However, there was one element missing that kept me from accomplishing any part of that vision statement – I did not make it a part of me – I did not read or listen to it daily. If I did those words would have made an imprint on my mind that would lead to actions that would make my dreams become reality.

You may not use a vision statement with active and vivid language to describe what your life looks like in the future but you may employ other methods. What I have done for many years is to write a list of 12 goals for each year. I then broke these down into smaller manageable goals. During the year, I would pray about these 12 goals regularly. I kept a list in my Bible and even on my smart phone as a constant reminder. This practice taught in our church and proved fruitful to many with great testimonies heard throughout the year. We were encouraged to look ahead and trust God both for the practical things we could do and our seemingly impossible dreams. I did not always accomplish all I had on my list – some were longer term goals and for these I would continue to include them on my list until fully seen and in other cases some were revised as I got a clear picture of what I wanted.

As we enter into a new season – do you know what your future looks like? Do you know what you want to do, have, experience in the New Year and beyond? Have you took time to imagine what your year would look like, how you would feel, what you want see or hear? Do you have a mental picture of what you want to accomplish a year from now, or in five years or ten years? In what area of your life do you want to see change?

  • Do you want a closer relationship with God?
  • Do you want to be more Christ-like?
  • Is there a desire to study the word of God more?
  • A better relationship with your spouse or other loved one?
  • Do you want to start your own business?
  • Is there a career promotion that you are hoping for?
  • What about seeing your children excel in the things of God and in life? Do you know what you can do help them excel?
  • What do you need to do the move into your God-ordained destiny?

The questions are many but the answers are in you and as a Christian, God’s Spirit will guide you. You just need to take the time to express them outwardly. Today, spend some quality time with yourself and examine these key life areas – Career, Social, Financial, Family, Physical, Intellectual, and Spiritual. Get a few blank sheets, a quite place and write down your dream list for this year and the years ahead. You’ll be surprise at what you write. Take time to digest the dream and make sure to read and pray on those things regularly. Act on what you have written by starting with small steps toward those main goals.

There is always room for improve and I certainly desire better. I desire to live out God’s purpose in my life – part of which is being an author, a good wife and mother and much more. I desire to help others serve the purpose of God in their lifetime too. I think we all want to leave this world fulfilled and complete – knowing what we’ve done pleased God.

What about you? What do you dream of? What do you want to do? What is holding you back from being a blessing to others? As we enter this New Year, don’t remain where you are but decide to be the better you – an empowered you, a successful you, a person who both you and God will be pleased with.

In this year, as you delight in the Lord, may He grant your heart’s desires. May you experience the blessings and favor of the Almighty God.

I look forward to a blessed, favorable and abundant year. Let this be our best year ever!

To Your Good Success

Pamela C

Living Success Goals Workbook

7 Ways to Make the Most of Your Life

tomorrow starts now_22836421_sLook carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is. — Eph. 5:15-17 (AMP)

It has been a while since I have submitted a blog post. Even though I had many ideas about what I wanted to write and even jotted them down, the inclination to write wasn’t there.

For months my family and I have been dealing with the care of my mother who recently went to be with the Lord. As I dealt with the passing of my mother, the Lord impressed upon my heart the importance of making the most of the time we have. During this time, two truths have stood out for me all the more:

1. No one knows the day, hour, minute when they will say goodbye to time and hello to eternity
2. We often have no idea what an impact we have on others but the ‘little’ things we do or by what we say

As I reflected on the above scripture and others, my question was, “How can we who are still here on earth make the most of our time?” Here a few things I have learnt from God’s word and from reflecting on my mum’s life:

  1. Live intentionally.    Eph. 5:15-17

We have to live purposely and act wisely in all we do. This decision alone can bring us to success. Having no purpose, living aimlessly and witlessly, it not what God intended for us. My mum was always looking ahead. She set her goals and worked, saved and prayed towards them and thankfully accomplished them.

We must also know and do God’s will. We have to start with the basics: acknowledge our sin, ask Jesus to be Saviour and Lord over our lives. This is the beginning of living intentionally. Live as He instructs you to do in His word. As you continue seeking Him, He will direct you into your purpose. Just obey because whatever God plans for you is good.

  1. Prayer effectively, fervently and always.          Jam.5:16-18

Mum always liked writing. There was a note for everything. Her view was that if you forgot you could always refer to your notes. But recently I discovered that she did not just write notes but she wrote prayers too. One prayer note I found read something like this, “Lord I need Your ability today to do whatever You need me to do. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.”

Prayer is a constant effort – pray within your heart, write your prayers, verbalize your prayers. But whenever and wherever you are, PRAY. God will certainly answer.

  1. Work hard but in all of it honor God.        Col. 3:17

We should make to best of what we have and be a blessing to others in whatever way God has called us to do. Mum worked hard all her life. We heard the childhood stories of carrying water and helping her mum press clothes. She worked her way from being a maid to an Executive Housekeeper and even after taking early retirement, she kept herself busy. But in all of the hard work, she loved her work and was ever thankful to God.

We have to nature of God and should also like and enjoy work. Whatever you do, when you do it, do it well and God will be pleased with you and bless your work.

  1. Play too. Enjoy life. Enjoy what God has provided for you.    Eccl. 3:13-13

As much as Mum worked hard, she also enjoyed life. Every opportunity to celebrate particularly with her family, she did. It does not mean she did not face her challenges, she certainly did. But she recognized God’s blessings on her life and her family’s and saw it fitting to enjoy and appreciate them.

  1. Give much and you will be blessed with more.  Acts 20:35

Mum was a giver, a constant one at that but yet she never lacked anything. What the scripture said in Prov. 11:24-25, it was true of her. She generously gave but yet had all she needed and wanted.

Mum gave to those she knew and to those she didn’t. As her child, I have seen lives blessed by her giving and for myself have learnt well the joy of giving to others. When you give, you are God’s hand of blessing to someone else in need. And you are blessed all the more for it.

  1. Fulfil destiny. Serve God’s purpose in your life time or generation. Acts 13:36

David served the purpose of God in his generation. I think my mum did too. Personally, I think she made a decision to leave this earth when she did. She wasn’t a pastor and even heavily involved in regular church activity but she served others well. As I looked into the congregation who attended my mother’s Farewell, and I listened to the stories of those who knew my mother, I saw a woman who served and blessed others. She provided for their needs in some way or listened as they shared their troubles and offered sound advice to those willing to accept it. Oh, that we would follow such example. Serve God by serving others.

  1. Love a lot. It’s the best gift from God to you and the world.  1 Cor. 13

My mum made it a point of saying, “I love you” to me and my siblings whenever she ended a conversation with us. She showed her love by always remembering the special days in our lives or by doing unexpected things for us. But she just didn’t show love to us but to others – there was always some assignment she had for one of us to take something for someone or do something for them if she was unable to do it. During her sickness she thought of others and sought ways to help them even if it meant asking one of us to help because she couldn’t.

One more point I’d like to add is this:

Give thanks in every thing and in every day.    1 Thess. 5:18

Life does not always go the way we want it to but every day we arise from our sleep is a new day God has given to us. He is showing us His new mercies to us every morning and displaying His faithfulness. For that, we ought to give thanks and make the very most of every opportunity to do good in whatever way the Lord would want us to.

As we make the most of every opportunity we will have success; we will fulfill destiny.

Are you doing the best with each day God gives you?

Sickness or Health – Which Do You Prefer?

Now at the setting of the sun [indicating the end of the Sabbath], all those who had any [who were] sick with various diseases brought them to Him, and He laid His hands upon every one of them and cured them.                                                                                                                                               —Luke 4:40 (AMP)

I have been experiencing the challenges of sickness especially that of a loved one. As I go through the process of nursing back to health, I have developed a hatred for sickness. Though that may sound harsh it’s a good hatred. Also, during this challenge I have been digging into the scriptures and praying the Word as it relates to healing. Indeed God wants us to be in good health just as much as He wants us to have a strong relationship with us. He too does not like sickness just like He doesn’t like sin but loves the sinner.

I heard someone said that we like to own our sickness. Oftentimes in the body of Christ, we are very accepting of sickness. We like to attach ourselves to the sickness, “I have diabetes.”, “My back is killing me.”, “I have this or I have that.” We tend to take ownership of sickness rather than hate it and banish it from our bodies by the authority we have in Jesus’ name.

Sometimes we even bring sickness upon ourselves. We may have bad eating habits. We may not exercise regularly or fail to practice good self-care. At times we even call sickness upon ourselves because we believe will have the same sickness another relative had and died from. Others willingly accept sickness as a part of life and always expect it. Yet some have the extreme thought that they will always be sick and therefore baby their sickness. But Jesus didn’t accept it. He fought against it. He healed many while He was on this earth. Many were and still are healed through the power of Christ’s resurrection.

Then why should we like or even entertain sickness. Sickness is not of God and carries many ill-effects in our lives. It in no way honours or glorifies God. Sickness:

  1. Makes our bodies weak and tired
  2. Reduces or brings our productivity to a halt. We are limited in how much we can do for ourselves or others
  3. Causes us to depend on others. Although the help is appreciated, any sick person longs to be able to help themselves
  4. Brings down the human spirit. Sick people feel weary in spirit and at times unwilling to keep going
  5. Has a negative impact on our finances in two ways – the inability to earn income and the increase expense due to medical care
  6. Disrupts or kills your dreams and goals. It is a potential destiny killer
  7. Limits our ability to serve God in whatever capacity we normally do

However there is much to be gained by having good health and this is what God desires for us. The prize of good health:

  1. Is strength in body, soul and spirit
  2. Frees us to do what we need to and want to. There is high productivity
  3. Gives us the opportunity to do good works for others
  4. Allows us to enjoy life to the full
  5. Impacts our finances positively because it is not decayed by reduced income or medical expenses
  6. Liberated to fulfill our God-given goals and destiny
  7. Brings glory to God because we are able to do good works that cause you and others to praise Him

Friends, which do you think is better? I vote for good health and with that long life. Just like Jesus does. So whether or not you or a loved one is sick, pray daily for good health. Meditate on scriptures that remind you what God’s heart is concerning your health:

  1. Jesus has already borne or sicknesses, weaknesses and distresses and carried our sorrows and pains, so why should be now. —Is. 53:4-5 (AMP) & 1 Pet. 2:24 (AMP)
  2. God can restore health and life to your body. —Rom. 8:11 (AMP)
  3. God willingly and freely give us all things including good health. —Rom. 8:32 (AMP)
  4. God sends His word to heal and deliver us. —Ps. 107:19 (NKJV)
  5. Speak the Word: “No disease, no sickness shall come near my dwelling.” Therefore, if not near your home then certainly not in your body. —Ps. 91:9-13 (GW)
  6. God’s desire is for us to prosper and be in good health and be in right standing with Him. —3 John 1:2 (AMP)
  7. If we are sick, Jesus wants to make us well. —Matt. 4:23-24; Matt. 8:5-7; Mk. 10:49-52; Jn 5:5-9; Acts 10:38 (NKJV)
  8. God wants to satisfy you with long life. —Ps. 91:16 (GW)
  9. He is the Lord our Healer. —Ex. 15:26 (NKJV)
  10. There is no limit to what God can do. He can heal any sickness. —Ps. 103:2-3 (NKJV)
  11. Since God is able to raise man from death (Luke 7:12-15, NKJV), He is well able to renew your youthful strength and perform a creative miracle in your body.—Ps. 103:5 (AMP)

May we all experience the kingdom of God in our lives and may good health and long life be ours. God bless you.

Success Is a Series of I Cans

I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]. —Philippians 4:13 (AMP)

success comes in cans

I can do all things through Christ my strength

When we see the outcome of someone’s efforts that cause them to be wealthy, well-known in their field or outstanding in some other way, we focus solely on that result. Most people tend to look at success as a one-time event but it really is a series of events that culminate into something outstanding. Success is a series of “I cans”.  Whether we are working towards a closer relationship with God or being better moms, wives, dads, husbands, siblings, children, business owners, employees, or students and so on – it takes a series of efforts to make it happen. Although we may have specific defined goals, success is ongoing positive progress in whatever area of life we are aiming to grow.

A successful life is a constant work in progress and through it we have many responsibilities. In the midst of the daily activities, many have a desire in their hearts to do something beyond the norm, to do the extraordinary for God or to fulfill their God-sized dream. Yet, many conclude that they can’t. `I can’t` become such a normal part of our conversation that we don’t realize it:

  • “My life is too busy. I have so much to do that I can’t possible fit in another thing. ”
  • “What’s the point; I couldn’t possibly get that done even if I tried.”
  • “It’s just too hard. I wouldn’t even know where to begin.”
  • “My uncle didn’t think it was a wise career choice, so this is what I ended up doing.”

Yet the question remains, since God put it on your heart to do something, if God gave you a dream, why do you think you can’t do it. It’s not that it would happen overnight, but it certainly can if you begin by saying, “I can. Yes, I can.” But you have to stop saying “I can’t.” When you say you can’t do anything, what are you doing?

  • Belittling God who imputed His grace and strength in us
  • Believing more in the circumstances around us than in the promises of God
  • Making our challenge or problem bigger than what it really is
  • Thinking lowly of ourselves and therefore making ourselves powerless to do anything good
  • Resigning ourselves to failure and a limiting, fruitless life

Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.

Henry Ford

Success is a series of “I cans”. This does not mean that we won’t fail at times but the wonderful part is that you’re still alive and well and God hasn’t finished with you and me yet. Every morning we arise from our bed we have another opportunity to do something great. We can honor God in whatever we do. We can minister to someone about Christ. We can help feed a hungry person or pray for healing of someone who is sick. We can work towards our life’s mission or destiny – that passion or desire that God has placed on your heart to complete.

When we say “I can”, we are:

  • Glorifying God in our lives and giving others to opportunity to praise God for the good they see us doing (Matthew 5:16)
  • Failing Forward and progressing toward our destiny. We are seeing the prize before it arrives and pressing towards it. We are focused on the goal (Philippians 3:14)
  • Relying on the strength and wisdom of God to do what seemed insurmountable at first (Philippians 4:13)
  • Walking in the abundance life Christ paid the price for (John 10:10)

You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.

Michael Phelps

Sometimes we think that when we move forward to achieve a dream that we have to give up – time, pleasure, relationships, money, certain foods or overeating, etc.  However, we are actually gaining in life rather the losing. The reward of daily success is far sweeter – what you give up cannot compare to what you will gain. From the experience of giving up you grow in character, in knowledge, in wisdom, in favor with others and if you embrace the success journey you will gain much more that the goal or prize you want to receive.

Success is doing what you have to do to achieve what you have dreamed.

Success is the ability to think soundly, speak confidently and act wisely while trusting and honoring God all the way (Joshua 1:7-8).

Success is a series of I CANs. You have a choice. You have the power to choose – success or failure. You have the power to say “I can”.

I hope today you will choose to say, “I can and I will” and therefore begin TO DO. Remember, you can through Christ being your strength. Recommit yourself today to the Lord and to the desire He has placed on your heart to do. He will give you strength to do it. Yes, YOU CAN!

Share a word – What have you put on hold that you need to say, “Yes, I can” to?

From Tenacity to Success

The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; but the soul of the diligent shall be made rich. —Proverbs 13:4 (NKJV)

It’s April already! Time flies. As my grandma often reminded me, “Time waits on no man.” So true, isn’t it?

Many of us started of this year with a bang. Full of excitement about what is ahead. We created our goals and looked forward to a productive and wonderful year, no doubt. Now we are into the second quarter of the year, and you may have slacked off from pursuing our goals or doing what the Lord has instructed you to do.  On the other hand, you may have become distracted or lost your focus. Maybe you faced with challenges that were unexpected or not anticipated. For me, it’s a bit of all the above but I am still excited. I feel encouraged rather than discouraged. Why, because the year isn’t over yet! It’s just the end of the first quarter. I believe that with God’s help I can keep moving forward to accomplish what He wants me to do and some of what I desire to do. You too can succeed!

Recently when preparing to lead a prayer session at church, the Lord reminded me of the need to remain tenacious. Life requires tenacity. A certain amount of stick-to-itive-ness is required in order to succeed in life or to overcome life’s hurdles, to solve problems (yours and others). An inward stubbornness (so to speak) or persistence is needed. I know that is easier said than done but we’ve got to make the effort. If we press forward, we will gain the prize we have long dreamed for.

Personally, one way I keep moving forward is by revisiting or re-evaluating my goals. That does not mean that I give up on them if they are not progressing as I hoped but I rework some of them in order to get the desired effect I want. This is the time that I also celebrate – I create my season every quarter – to be thankful to God for all He’s done and will do in my life. It’s a time for me to reflect on what I have done, where I am and where I want to go. It’s time to recommit myself to the Lord and His will for my life. Through this God imparts His grace to stay tenacious.

Jesus encourages us to be tenacious in prayer. We must always prayer and don’t give up until we have an answer from God (Luke 18:1-6). In Matthew 7, Jesus also speaks of the need to keep keeping on – always praying, always seeking, always knocking. Jesus promises that if we be persistent in these areas, we will receive, we will find what we are looking for and we will have open doors or opportunities made available to us.

Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened. —Matthew 7: 7-8 (AMP)

This tenacity in prayer affects every area of our lives. How is that? Prayer covers any and every thing pertaining to our lives and our walk with God. So what do you need to be tenacious about in order to reach your goal?

Looking for a promotion at work? Then be diligent in your work. Do your work well, seek to improve it in some way that benefits you, your co-workers and your employer. Promotion will come.

The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor. —Proverbs 12:24 (NKJV)

Do you need to pass your next exams? Then create and work a system of study – set the place, length of time, frequency. It may mean giving up television, socializing or volunteering for a bit. Remember, studying and anything else for that matter, is for but a time but the achievement of the certification or degree will benefit you many times in the future.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. —2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)

Do you need your business to grow? In this case, you may need to try new things, revamp an old method or business process. Think and move outside the norm and trust God for increased sales and profit.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. —James 1:5 (NKJV)

Do you want to build a strong family unit? Consider be persistent about having family times together regularly and consistently – maybe one-on-one special times with your children, going on a date with your spouse, or having family prayer times together. These both build you and your family’s faith and make the bond between all get stronger.

Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. —Proverbs 24:3-4 (NKJV)

This week, consider taking some time to reflect on your life over the past three months – give thanks to the Almighty God and asking Him for the grace to be tenacious in whatever area of your life you need to push ahead. If you need to revise some of your goals in some way – do so and persist in prayer daily about them. No matter what don’t give up. Your tenacity will lead to prosperity and victory.

Acknowledge God

Trust in the Lord

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Last year my great-aunt went home to the Lord at the age of 103. I considered her the bedrock of our family and a strong woman. I admired her love and faith in the Lord. She always had a word of encouragement to give and for sure she would always direct you the word of God. Proverbs 3: 5-6 was one scripture embedded in our minds because Aunt Manie would always quote it to you.

Looking back I realized that her words and her life have influenced me in my Christian walk a great deal. I have held to these words and even more so when life is extra challenging.

God wants us to acknowledge Him in all our ways. Yes, God wants us to seek His will in all we do. In every move we make, in every step we take, in every decision, in every thought, in every word, in every act – the Lord wants us to recognize His sovereignty over us and seek Him to direct us. He desires us to involve Him in every aspect of our lives – in all we do, our daily activities, and our plans. No aspect of our lives must be left to us alone.

As much as this scripture is so well-known and for us in this family we have probably heard it more than others, it is often taken lightly. We need to make sure that God is the central point of our focus. I may have said this before but if we expect to see daily success in our lives we need to know how to acknowledge God in all we do.

Daily connection through prayer: We need to rise up early and seek Him. Tell God your plans for the day, the week, the month, the year and beyond. He can handle it. Ask Him to show you the best way to go about living a life that pleases Him. Ask for His anointing to do the insurmountable things that he has called you do. Also seek His anointing to carry out your day-to-day responsibilities in your roles as parent, employer, employee, business owner, sibling, child or any task you do.

Let the Word be your guide: The Bible is your life’s compass. God designed His word to answer the simple as well as difficult questions of life. It is your navigator whether the seas of life are calm or there are storms raging. It will tell you what to do. Follow its instruction and you will succeed in whatever you do (Joshua 1: 7-8).

Seek Godly counsel: Our aunt was a woman of wisdom and at times she would have a word of encouragement or express the unexpected but timely advise you really needed to hear. Scripture tells us that there is safety in counsel of many. Through Godly relationships and the teachings we receive in our various congregations we can receive the wisdom we need to triumph through life’s challenges. When we see believe God’s word spoken through others, God will give us success (2 Chronicles 20:20).

Trust God completely: Consider your wisdom as nothing (Proverbs 3:7). Do whatever God says whether you like it or not (Ananias was not keen about meeting Saul). Do whatever God says whether it makes sense or not (Joshua walked around the Jericho’s wall in silence at God’s direction). My Aunt Manie still trusted God even after her legs were amputated. She still prayed, went to church when she could, didn’t complain, became more of an encourager to the family and others and still worshiped God every day and had the most positive outlook on life.

Seeking God’s will in all you do isn’t necessarily an easy thing to do but do it anyway. We can reap every day success if we rely on our Creator God to show us how.

Do you seek Him in everything you do?

Take It Easy! 7 Ways to Reduce Tiredness & Rest in God

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.    —Matthew 11: 28-30

woman relaxing in armchair_8251345_sLife can be burdensome. We can feel the responsibilities of life weighing on us so heavily that it brings a constant feeling of tiredness. That tiredness or weight is not how God wants you to feel. He wants you to be burden-free and tireless. Jesus wants to give you rest.

There is nothing good about feeling tired or burdened. When we are tired, we tend to get irritable and sometimes do and say things that we later regret.  The smallest little change or interruption in our tired eyes can be viewed as being extreme. We become unreasonable and hard to relate to when we’re tired. Not to mention that it could negatively affect our health if we don’t get it under control.

How can you feel less tired or burdened by the daily demands of life?

1. Come to Jesus. Prayer is essential to your daily living. Without prayer you can do nothing. The practice of waiting of the Lord will renew your strength and give you more energy that you thought possible to face life demands. In His presence, the spirit of God will quicken your mortal body.

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.       —Isaiah 40:31

2. Learn from Jesus. Not only will prayer revive our bodies but if you patiently wait on the Lord you will also receive direction from Him. He is willing to teach His ways; so ask Him for wisdom daily. He will show you how to meet your responsibilities and achieve your goals.

3. Acknowledge that God’s way is easier and better. Jesus’ yoke is easy and His burden is light. Jesus’ ways or requirements of living and serving God are not hard. Understand that you have no strain nor struggle when you walk in alignment to God’s word. God has good plans for you (Jer. 29:11).

4. Watch what you say. Stop telling yourself and others how busy and tired you are. The more you say it the more you feel it in your body. The more tired you feel the harder it becomes to keep moving forward in your life. Remind yourself that God is your daily Strength. In Him you live and move and have your being. Instead tell yourself (Phil. 4:13), “I can with Christ being my help and strength.”

5. Stop worrying. Live one day at a time. Like Jesus said, tomorrow have enough troubles of its own so don’t worry about tomorrow. Now that does not mean you don’t plan your tomorrows; you just need to plan but without worry. Anything you are anxious about, take it before the throne of grace and leave it there.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.     —Phil. 4:6-7

6. Avoid multi-tasking. Yes, you need to be productive. But doing several tasks at the same time does not mean you’re being efficient at your work. When you multitask you often feel divided, rushed and tired at the end of the day. Taking time to complete a task without being distracted by other things leaves you with a sense of rest and satisfaction. There are some things worth giving full focus to without interruptions or distractions.

7. Take 15-minute breaks to refresh. Take a walk or sit quietly with your eyes closed in a quiet place. Perhaps, if possible rest in bed (I like to do this sometimes, it’s refreshing). Relax. Refuse to think about your work. Think good thoughts (Phil. 4:8). In that short break you refresh your mind and you relieve tension from your body. When you resume your work, you will do it with renewed energy.

Today, let the word of the Lord penetrate deep within you. He wants you to have rest. He wants you to be well. He wants you to be healthy, fit and strong. If you choose to live without relying on Him you will likely feel over-burdened. Give all your worry, responsibilities, busy schedules, doubts, fears and anything that concerns you over to the Lord and you will find rest and peace in Him every day of your life.

How do you find rest?

Simplify Your Life: Remove the Clutter

As we continue this Simplify Your Life series, our focus moves from reducing the electronic load to being clutter-free. In this world, it is easy to accumulate more than we need. We overstock our homes with too much clothing, food, electronics, and many boxes of stuff that has not been used in years. We keep more than we need and as a result often feel claustrophobic and weighted down by all the stuff we have.

Clutter or disorder is not a part of God’s nature. Creation was the process God used to set the earth in order. He took great care in making this universe function in an orderly fashion – day and night, water and land, heaven and earth – were all created with a purpose. There is nothing chaotic or cluttering about creation.

This same order and purpose for everything is what makes life simple and free. Like our Father, we should have every area of our lives organized. We should rid ourselves of anything that encumbers us. Let look at some ways we can live clutter-free.

Simple Life Habits For Everyday Success
  • Take time over the next few weekends or take half-hour slots every day for a week to remove some unwanted stuff.
  • Apart from giving your home a lighter feel or look, you will know where to find what you need and certainly release a heavy load.
  • Clear your closets of the clothing you don’t wear, don’t like and that no longer fits. Give away the nicer ones and toss what looks worn.
  • Flexing your generosity muscles will make you feel good.
  • Reduce the paper load. For each piece of paper decide what you will do with it – file, read, action, or trash.
  • Controlling the paper giant will make it easier for you to find information when you need it.
  • Keep things where they belong (in their designated place of your home or office).
  • This will save time, effort and frustration especially when you quickly need to find something.

There are other areas that you may need to de-clutter as well. Do you receive newspaper and magazine subscriptions that you don’t have time to read? Take a look in your pantry – do you have expired and soon-to-be expired food stuff? What about your garage – is it overloaded with boxes? Consider your car – do you keep it tidy or is the trunk another place for storage?

Having moved from a three-bedroom house to a one-bedroom condo unit at one point, I know how it feels to have too much in a small space. When I did a major clearing of items I no longer needed, I felt a lot better – I felt relieved and free.

How do you keep clutter under control?

Simplify Your Life: Ask for Help

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. (Philippians 4:6-7, MSG)

The previous post in this Simplify Your Life series discussed a few life habits we can develop to remain focused on God. Peace and confidence are blessings which become evident when God is central in our lives. In this post, we will consider an often overlooked practice that can reduce our busy schedules.

Asking for help isn’t always easy. Pride can get in the way. We all like to know that we can hold our own. However, asking for help relieve feelings of frustration and pressure and prevent you from becoming exhausted.

I recall an occasion when I needed help. Every Monday I hosted and led a small group meeting in my home. At the start of a new school year my daughter’s school program changed and I needed to help her with homework. Those evenings proved challenging as I juggled meeting preparation and homework.  I discussed alternatives with the group members but changing the time wasn’t feasible.

Then I asked God to show me the best way to fulfill both commitments. Within two weeks, my daughter’s school introduced a homework program. This was the answer to my prayer for help! She was able to complete her work during the after-school program giving me the freedom to continue the group meetings as scheduled.

If you feel overwhelmed or think you are headed for burn-out, consider these simple life habits to get your life on track and receive the help you need.

Simple Life Habits For Everyday Success
  • Pray about everything in your life.
  • Doing this will release you from worrying. As you seek God’s direction He will show you what to do or send you the help you need.
  • Recognize that God is always with you.
  • This will certainly bring peace into your life. Knowing that God is with you provides inner strength.
  • Have weekly family meetings for open discussion, prayer and thanksgiving.
  • This keeps everyone at home on the same page and working together as a unit relieves the stress of going it alone.
  • Relieve yourself of full time duty. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help and accept it when offered.
  • It will create some free time rest as well as give you the opportunity to do something you’ve always wanted to do.

No man is an island. We are not here to go it alone. The Word constantly comforts us with the promise that God is with us always. From the beginning we weren’t meant to live in a vacuum. Embrace at least two of the life habits above that you know will make your life simpler.

If you’re the type to do it all yourself, I have challenge for you: Think about an area where you need a helping hand. Identify friends or family members you can ask to assist you accomplish that task. Then, ask them. You may be surprised to hear, “Yes.”

Until next time,

Keep life simple.