Doing the right thing IS everything it’s cracked up to be!

http://timehop.com/c/fs:10101903351674808:2709390:2053998:518d9

A summary of the link above:

Sometimes you do the right thing and end up getting hurt.

Last night, I went to the bathroom, used the last of the tissue and thought I was doing the right thing by going to replace the roll (instead of being lazy and doing it later).

I grab a roll. Realize it’s the last one in the package and then I tell myself to do the “right thing” again….only to bump my tooth on the counter-top while trying to reach the empty wrapper. It’s slightly chipped, but thankfully I’m not in any pain!

I cried a little. Felt like doing the “right thing” wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. I was tempted to feel as if my efforts were in vain.

BUT then I remembered. ALL THINGS work TOGETHER for MY GOOD. Clearly God has somewhere I need to be tomorrow morning and it’s not at my desk.

We’re often tempted to see a problem, where God sees a possibility/protection.

Challenge yourself to shift your thinking. The next time something catches you off guard, instead of asking “Why me?” or “Why this?,” Let Romans 8 COME ALIVE in your spirit and say to God, “I’m EXCITED to see what you’re about to do with this!”

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That day, I went to the dentist, only to have a crying mother enter the waiting room. Her daughter cracked her tooth the day before on a ride at the fair and was in horrible pain. We were the only people there and when the mother came out from the service area, she sat down right next to me and sobbed uncontrollably. I turned to her and asked if I could pray with her. While praying, I remember telling that mother that her daughter’s smile would be the exact thing that would cause people to ask, “What makes this young girl so different.” By the time I finished praying, the dentist walked out with her daughter and her smile was so beautiful. Her name was Angel, I still remember.

What are the odds that my cracked tooth would put me in the dentist’s office with another person with the same issue? That was a divine appointment! Keep doing the right thing, no matter what. Your purpose depends on your obedience.

Press Through the Dark Place

This week, I was able to reconnect with a friend from grad school that I hadn’t seen in over 4 years. As we laughed and caught up, she said, “Fran, you ALWAYS made the most out of whatever season you were in.”

That touched me to the core. Grad school was a hard time in my life. My scholarship program’s funding got cut (I went from having a full tuition scholarship with a stipend to NOTHING), I was pursuing my passion of working with kids only to have a gun drawn on me at work, and I worked 5 different jobs while being a student full time and pursuing two degrees.

Not many people know those parts of my story, but it’s sooooooooooooo AMAZING how God will use people in your life to remind you of everything you’ve overcome and to speak even the smallest words of encouragement at the right time.

I never thought that about myself, but I see how the description is fitting. It’s easy to lean to the flesh when times are hard. To become discouraged and feel overwhelmed. But when I stand in faith, I truly adopt a resolve that “if this is where God has me during this point in my life, this is where I’m supposed to be to learn/experience something for the next part of my journey.”

I’m by no means perfect, and sometimes I’m slow to take on that mindset, but it NEVER fails me.

I started this post because I saw this image and felt overwhelmingly thankful, but I pray it encourages you as well. Even in the darkest hours, God will send those small reminders. I pray that you press through, understanding that the dark hours are not meant to destroy you. Rather they are intended to strengthen you and accomplish a greater purpose.

I also encourage you to thank those people that have been lights in your life. I like that phrase, “Give people flowers while they are living.” You may have thanked them in your heart, but thank them with your words. Let them know they made a difference. Sometimes, that in itself is a light that can help to keep them going too.

Seeds of Faith:

Proverbs 27:17
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

Philippians 3:12-14
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8
(Emphasis on verses 18-19; 37-39)
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.  For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Isaiah 41:10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

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Meditations of My Heart

This morning’s “Meditation of My Heart”:

When I was single, I had a vision for my life and the woman I wanted to become and God was at the center.

Now that I am married, we have a JOINT vision for our marriage and the future we desire to build–with God at the center.

Having a vision is KEY–it keeps your motivated and helps you push through those hard days, but without God, that vision won’t work (or will only get you so far)! He causes seed to bear fruit in its season. If He’s not in it–it’s not something you should want.

This morning, I challenge you to ask yourself: “What is my vision?” and “Is God apart of it?”

Proverbs 29:18
Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish; but he who keeps the law [of God, which includes that of man]—blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he.

Leviticus 26:3-4
“If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you the seasonal rains. The land will then yield its crops, and the trees of the field will produce their fruit.

Matthew 6:33
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

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Morning Inspiration

Last Sunday, I was talking to my youth about a couple of things and we got on the topic of “empathy” vs “sympathy.” I was thinking about that conversation just now and this thought came to mind. I pray it encourages you this morning.

We want God to only pour “good” things into us. Those things that make us happy and that are easy to bear.

That desire is shortsighted and overlooks the fact that our deepest burdens/moments of breaking equip us with a testimony that can empower someone’s breakthrough!

If you don’t get those good AND bad things poured into you–you won’t have anything to pour out. People aren’t just looking for someone that can “feel bad” for them, they need that person who understands the sting of defeat/discouragement, the pain of betrayl/failure, and the depth of sorrow/hurt.

It may not feel good, but God is equipping you for SO MUCH MORE! If you turn those broken places over, God will reveal their purpose to you. That’s my testimony. I see it every Sunday I share with my youth. In my day to day activities when a random exchange brings up a memory that no longer carries pain, but gives me an encouraging word to share.

Scriptures to meditate on:

2 Corinthians 4:15-18 ESV
For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.  So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Genesis 50:20
As for you, you intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. .

Isaiah 55:9
My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
    “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine….”

Romans 8:31-39
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Isaiah 61:3
To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.

Philippians 3:7-14 ESV
But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

#PURPOSE #BeautyforAshes #allthingsworktogether

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