Fear is a trick and treat!

Fear Not !

Fearan unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat

Fear is a trick? 

Our minds think fearful thoughts – a lot!

Minds are wonderful at thinking lots of thoughts. Thoughts love to attach themselves to emotions! One of our survival emotions is fear. We see a fire and think, ” fire is hot and it burns! ” Then, we feel the emotion of fear that the fire might burn us. Of course this thought and emotional reaction happen very quickly.

Fear can be a protective mechanism but it can also become an overprotective menace! Click To Tweet

The problem is that sometimes we can feel fearful of things that are not dangerous. For example, imagine a fire is in a self-contained grill. There is little chance that the fire could really hurt us or burn us. The fire can actually help us cook food, stay warm and roast a marshmallow.Do we need to be afraid of all fire?

Our minds can trick us into believing every fearful thought is true, when most fearful thoughts are false! Click To Tweet

Heres my real life example:

This year, we made a lot of educational changes for our kids. Basically, everyone is in a new school situation. This summer, I made myself sick with worry and doubt about our decisions. I treated our school change like a life-threatening illness! What is it doesn’t work out? What if this is a bad decision? What if I make a mistake?  I felt so afraid of the changes, when in reality:

Did I really have something to fear that was dangerous? NO!

The worse thing that could happen would be that we tried something and it didn’t work out. We could make another change and find a new solution.

I carried that sick, fearful feeling around for weeks until I encountered this truth:

Fear is a treat! 

It’s okay to admit you feel afraid. Fear is a valid emotion and can be met with self-compassion.

If you feel fearful, give yourself a hug and not hammer! Click To Tweet

Stop beating yourself up for feeling fearful and do a little research on why you feel this way. Maybe there is something in your heart that you need to think about with some reassurance from God?

Fear can actually be a catalyst to make me take my anxious thoughts to God in preparation for an act of faith.

Fear can be a signal that God is calling me into a time of deeper Faith! Click To Tweet

Fear makes me dig deeper into God’s bag of treats in His word: ( look what I found!)

Psalm 34:4 says

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears!

Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand

Seriously, I love how generously God reaches out to people who feel fear!  I praise God for the faith I am walking in today. I have to admit, I did fear this summer- Well, okay I more like stressed my entire family out and had a complete melt down…. but the point is that now….today, I am walking in faith.

I may slip into the trick of fear, but God provides the treat of truth to give me faith again. Click To Tweet

Hey, and let’s face it ! A treat from God’s word is a whole lot less calories than the treats my kids bring home!

Blessings to you !

Tracey

 

The Universal Prayer for purpose: The prayer of St. Clement

 

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Have you ever listened to the words of a prayer that infuse your heart a new purpose?

The first Christian radio station that listened to was a Catholic radio station in Tampa. This little radio station was like a voice of an angel whispering God’s truth to me all day long. I loved the contemporary praise music they played but especially the prayer I would hear at noon every day.

At the same time every day, the radio stations played this recorded prayer that touched my heart. No matter what I was doing, I looked forward to hearing it, memorizing it as the words sank deep into my soul.

Sometimes on the journey toward purpose, our hearts need to hear prayers that we can not speak for ourselves.

It was soothing to me and beautiful. I hope you enjoy this prayer to day that is attributed to Pope Clement.

And to my Catholic friends, may the peace of Christ be with you always.

 The Universal Prayer

Lord, I believe in you: increase my faith. I trust in you: strengthen my trust. Click To Tweet
I love you: let me love you more and more.
I am sorry for my sins: deepen my sorrow.

I worship you as my first beginning,
I long for you as my last end,
I praise you as my constant helper,
And call on you as my loving protector.

Guide me by your wisdom,
Correct me with your justice,
Comfort me with your mercy,
Protect me with your power.

I offer you, Lord, my thoughts: to be fixed on you;
My words: to have you for their theme;
My actions: to reflect my love for you;
My sufferings: to be endured for your greater glory.

I want to do what you ask of me: In the way you ask, For as long as you ask, Click To Tweet
Because you ask it.

Lord, enlighten my understanding,
Strengthen my will,
Purify my heart,
and make me holy.

Help me to repent of my past sins
And to resist temptation in the future.
Help me to rise above my human weaknesses
And to grow stronger as a Christian.

Let me love you, my Lord and my God,
And see myself as I really am:
A pilgrim in this world,
A Christian called to respect and love
All whose lives I touch,
Those under my authority,
My friends and my enemies.

Help me to conquer anger with gentleness,
Greed by generosity,
Apathy by fervor.
Help me to forget myself
And reach out toward others.

Make me prudent in planning,
Courageous in taking risks.
Make me patient in suffering, unassuming in prosperity.

Keep me, Lord, attentive at prayer,
Temperate in food and drink,
Diligent in my work,
Firm in my good intentions.

Let my conscience be clear,
My conduct without fault,
My speech blameless,
My life well-ordered.
Put me on guard against my human weaknesses.
Let me cherish your love for me,
Keep your law,
And come at last to your salvation.

Teach me to realize that this world is passing,
That my true future is the happiness of heaven,
That life on earth is short,
And the life to come eternal.

Help me to prepare for death With a proper fear of judgment, But a greater trust in your goodness Click To Tweet.
Lead me safely through death
To the endless joy of heaven.

Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer Practice 5: Believe!

40 Powerful prayers blog post

James 1:6

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt,

because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

To believe is to accept something as certain and true.

Belief in God is essential to answered prayer! Click To Tweet

When answers to our prayers don’t come quickly, it’s easy to begin to doubt God.

In our times of waiting, negative emotions can often become like waves of doubt that toss my thoughts back and forth.

In my human mind, I wrestle  to believe God and not allow my emotions to wash away my faith.

Will God let something bad happen to me?

Will God protect me?

Will God forget about me?

If prayer requires that we believe God, then we must know for certain what God will do for those who seek him.

God does nothing except in response to believing prayer. John Wesley Click To Tweet

When you need to believe what God will do, read this verse for reassurance against your doubts :

Remember the “WILL” of GOD

Psalm 91:14

Because he has loved Me, therefore

I will deliver him;

I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name. 15“He will call upon Me, and

I will answer him;

I will be with him in trouble;

I will rescue him and honor him.…

Prayer Intention: Believe!

Lord God,

I believe that you are the one true God, maker of heaven and earth. Because of your unfailing love for me, you promise to deliver me, to secure me, to answer me, to be with me in trouble, to rescue me and honor me. Thank you God for all you WILL do for me today and everyday. I ask that you remind me of what you WILL do even when I can’t see the answers and the time feels delayed. Strengthen my belief

I pray in Jesus Name- Amen

40 days for an answer to prayer

answers to prayer

 

 

Join me for 40 days of prayer and intersession for an answer to your deepest prayer need. Click To Tweet

I will be blogging a short meditation with a verse phrase that you can pray all day-

Prayer Requests can be entered below on any blog post that touches your heart.

I will be praying and knowing you will find an answer to prayer!

Blessings -Tracey

Living on Purpose!

Psalms 138:8 

The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me: your steadfast love, oh Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. 

monday blog postI just came back from the most amazing women’s retreat.

When I first showed up, I was so nervous about the facility, the message and my purpose for being there! So many things kept happening that were NOT according to plan-

The audio visual equipment was not working-

The microphone clip was not working and I had to run up in the middle of the program to change clothes to accommodate putting a remote devise in my pocket.

The message I had prepared didn’t seem to be working in my head. (even though I have done it before)

Basically, I just felt like so many things were not working right except for one….GOD!

GOD had a purpose for me in the midst of all the things that were not working right in that moment.

On Friday night, over 15 women accepted Jesus as their savior for the first time and numerous women, too many to count, recommitted to the call of God in their hearts. God was at work regardless of my failing sound system, audio difficulties and message preparation.

Its encouraging to know that regardless of all the things that go wrong in our lives,

It’s God that empowers our purpose and not us! 

Here’s some Monday morning inspiration from the Bible:

For it is God who works in you to will and act in order to fulfill his good purpose! Philippians 2:13 Click To Tweet

 

As you begin a new week, be reminded that it is God who is working in you to make sure that HIS purpose is fulfilled in this world. You can trust God even when the events and plans in your life seem to be turning into a POW-! POW stands for “Plan Outta Whack!”

A POW in life can only be changed to a WOW in life through prayer. So here is my prayer for you this am-

Dear Jesus,

I ask in your name that today and everyday you remind me of your purpose you have me. It’s a purpose that you will accomplish in me and through me, not of my own doing. I believe that every detail of my life will be made right as I surrender to your will. I thank you in advance for changing the POWS of my life, the human plans that seem outta wack, to a WOW in life that will show your glory to others, even in my failures.

Amen.

Have a Jesus-filled week Friends!

You , my darling, are a God-shaped container !

You my darling are a God-shaped container!

You my darling are a God-shaped container!

I know you have probably never been told this but you are a container: a beautiful, God shaped container created in God’s image to reveal His amazing glory in this world.

Okay, I know God did not form us to look like a Mason Jar, but we are definitely a container that has life-giving qualities, necessary essentials for our very existence.

Don’t believe me?

Remember back in Genesis?

After the creation of the animals, a hush fell over creation…Shhhhhhh!

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7

God himself began to mold the dust of the earth like a potter with clay, gently forming and designing every part and piece of a human body. When our physical body was complete, God gently pressed his lips against the mouth of mankind.

With one deep inhalation, God breathed into the container of our body!

The breath of life swirled into man and he received life  physically and spiritually.

centerpiece of beauty

You have a heart, soul, mind, emotions and will inside the container!

A container of a spiritual heart and soul

In that one breath, God breathed an eternal soul into our spiritual heart. The spiritual heart is considered the control center of a person and the ultimate container of our eternal soul.

Jesus speaks of the soul of man when he says in Mathew 16:26, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and looses his very soul? “There is nothing in all of creation that contains the value of your soul.

A container of emotions

God breathed multi-colored emotions in our heart so we could experience life with more that just black and white feelings. We can express joy seeing the glory of God in the rising sun and watching moonbeams sparkle on the water. The tears you cry and the deep sadness of your heart are also precious to the God who saves every tear in a bottle. All our emotions are directly connected to our thoughts and beliefs.

A container of Thoughts

God filled you with a mind that is capable of understanding and learning. In the complex circuitry of your mind, you possess thoughts and reasoning ability to act upon knowledge. He gave you a will with the ability to choose to believe and trust Him. That same will is capable of making you stomp your feet when you don’t get your way and then fall to your knees in prayer when you realize you need God’s help.

A container of the real you.

Most of us live our lives only seeing and measuring a person by what they look like on the outside, when the inner contents are what really matter most. Our hearts are a divine birth place of the inner self, the real you. 1 Peter 3:4 calls this the “hidden person of the heart.” The verse goes on to tell us that contents of the heart, the real you on the inside, are “precious in the sight of God.” I Samuel 16:7 “The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”NIV

Precious things must be preserved

Because of the value of the workings of the inner man, scripture tells use to guard the contents of our heart. Above all else, guard your heart for it is the well spring of life. Our hearts are not just any old container, but one that needs to be sealed properly with protection.

In all of creation, God put the most valuable contents of life, right inside of you!  Because of the necessary elements inside our hearts, God began to design a way to preserve the contents of our lives.

Keep reading more each day to discover how our hearts are similar to a mason jar.

Today , just know, that you are a container designed to hold the most valuable eternal qualities on earth!

Do you see the inner you as a person of value in God’s eyes or are you focused on the outside of the container?

bE-You- tiful!

I saw her this morning in the school parking lot.

I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but I could tell by the neat state of her children, she had it all together. I glanced at her while my children fumbled with their books and bags and half packed gear. Inside, I felt a wave of inferior fear that caught me by surprise, just like the lost agenda my child forgot to bring to school.

In that moment, every mother I saw looked better than me:

She was in work out clothes with legs like a twenty-year-old

She was perfectly manicured from her freshly highlighted hair to her french pedicure

She was wearing designer clothes while I still had on running shorts. Sigh-

It’s a challenge as mothers to see our real value and beauty that only we possess when we compare ourselves to others. I’ve learned over the years, that in this moment of focusing on everyone else, I loose sight of the unique beauty I possess for my family.  I am not talking about my external beauty that seems to be fading like a forty year old flower, but the internal beauty that can stay alive and fresh for years.

 

1.) Inner beauty is unfading, thank you God 

I Peter 3:3-4

Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

 

2.) Comparison is not a great mirror for beauty!  

2 Corinthians 10:12

We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.

 

AS I write this blog in my running shorts and pony tailed hair, I’m  curious if you are need a make-over in your heart today?

Do you need to remember that beauty comes from the inside out?

 

Hopefully, like me you will be encouraged to be your own kind of beautiful today-

real beauty, just be you

Creation is a giant container for God’s glory! Part 1

Isaiah 6:3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”

 

creation, design, God, inspiration, creation container of glory

Summer 2014 was coming to a close…..I stood in awe of a moment on the beach at our family reunion, pictured above. Magnificent colors floated over the water. A giant canvas was painted, just for me. As the final beams of light from this golden  sunset spread across the sky, I felt like I received a giant goodnight kiss from God.  In my heart, the beauty confirmed scripture that declares creation is a manifestation of God’s glory.

How exactly does creation do this?

1.) Creation contains His signature :Psalm 19:1

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” 

Our universe is brimming with the glory of an intelligent creator. David, who wrote the book of Psalms, marveled as he looked into the ancient skies of earth and saw the work of God.  The sky is similar to the signature of a famous artist that authenticates His prized handiwork.  Each morning and night, we have been given a daily opportunity to observe God’s signature of authenticity on creation with each sunrise and sunset.

2.) Creation contains His goodness ! Genesis 1:31

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. 

From the dawn of the first sunrise, God filled the world with His goodness and immeasurable amounts of unending love through his creation.  He scattered stars across the sky and set the sun and moon in place. His universe would contain His finest expressions of creative majesty. Multi-colored planets swirled in the heavens while oceans teamed with living creatures. Mountains would reach toward the sky while streams glistened with sunbeams dancing. God blended the color palate of flowers and fields that would produce vegetation. Birds sored with feathered wings as creation was almost completed. God surrounded us with His beauty and glory in all of delight of creation. This process was not just good, but very good!

3.) Creation contains His power : Isaiah 40:26

Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing

Have you ever experienced the power of a wave knocking you over in the surf or a rapid pushing you forward out of control? Nature has power flowing through it that can’t always be controlled by men.   In 1994, our family experienced Hurricane Andrew as we lived in Miami during that time. Even with the best hurricane shutters and supplies, our home was almost completely destroyed. We learned, first hand, that nature is a powerful force that humans can not control. Yet, God’s power created all of  nature. He alone knows all the intricacies of the universe.

4.) Creation contains His divine nature: Romans 1:20

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

The creation of the world was meant to display God’s power and divine nature to every human. The word divine means “God like. ”  Our world  spins at the perfect distance from the sun for light and life to exist.  It’s almost egoistical to presume that creation came from a giant explosion from an unknown force.( And by the way, when was the last time a giant explosion created something of beauty? )

I found this quote in on the Creation Institute Website:

Two different conclusions can be drawn from the data which have been presented. The data indicate either that an omniscient Mind planned and designed our amazing planet,or that it originated by a fortuitous accident without plan or design. There is no middle ground! One must decide either God or chance!

What words come to your mind today when you think of the world as a giant container of God’s glory.

Does your heart agree with the words of the Bible or do you still wonder if this is all just chance?

In order to fully grasp our unique role in the world, we must grasp that creation is a giant container of God’s glory.

 

Do we declare like the scripture that the whole world is full of His glory?

Do you support your friend’s ministry?

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Here is a little check list to find out if you support your friend’s ministry–

1.) Do you give your friend little tangible reminders of your support?

As I mentioned in my other post, my confidence was drooping before a big event and a friend drove some flowers to my doorstep. They encouraged me so much, that I put them in my car and took them to my upcoming event. It felt like I had a little reminder of how much my friend was standing beside me in prayer. Your tangible support could be a small piece of candy with a note or a text message with a picture. It doesn’t have to cost a lot, it just needs to be some way that you let them know you notice what they are doing for the Lord. Let’s face it- Ministry outside the comfort zone of your church family can be scary- Find a tiny way to say- GO FOR IT!

 

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2.) Do you help promote your friend’s ministry to others?

At the conference I had a book table and placed the flowers there to greet anyone who might want to talk! I loved hear ing all the responses from the ladies about the flowers. I proudly announced that my sweet friend gave these to me and I wanted to share them. It was an instant connection to the women meeting for me for the first time. They knew someone at home was supporting me and that says a lot. Do you ever post a wonderful comment on facebook about your friend’s ministry? Do you tweet her cool quotes? Do you talk about her to people who might have a connection? Do people around you know you stand to support your friend? Your praise and appreciation open the door for others to see your friend as a valuable ministry worth investing in. You are your friend’s living seal of approval. Wear her ministry with pride!

3.) Do you realize that your friendship has a vital role in the advancement of God’s kingdom?

At the conference, I was nervous but so much more confident with the prayer support of my dearest friends and the knowledge that they were” holding up my arms” in love. Many sent me text messages, prayed over the phone with me and sent me notes. Exodus 17:12-says When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up–one on one side, one on the other–so that his hands remained steady till sunset. When Moses grew weak, he had his friends help hold up his arms to ensure the victory of a battle that faced God’s people. In a spiritual way, when you support a friend in ministry you hold up her arms and help God’s kingdom advance through her efforts. Never underestimate the importance of critical friends around you in ministry. You may just be the Aaron sent in to help “hold up a friend” to win the battle for the souls of people.

I cried when I read this card today sent by the ladies from my first women’s conference:

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Is your confidence wilted?

Wilted

 

I stared through tears at the flowers on my coffee table in the room where I go to meet God each morning…The weeks events were hard and not what I expected. The flowers seemed to represent my wilted confidence and my drooping hope for the future. As my head drooped too, I muttered a prayer,” God, I feel so sad- just like these drooping flowers”

Of all things, I am leading a women’s conference this week and I was feeling ill-equipted to lead anyone at the moment.”Wilted Flower Woman” can’t lead anyone at the moment, including herself!

Ministry is hard like that on people who are getting ready to share what is in their heart. It seems like the week before each talk or presentation I am faced with difficult situations that seem to rattle my self-confidence and stir up feelings of self-doubt and fear. “

As I was about to enter into another difficult conversation and confront a painful relationship,( gulp)My tendency is stuff my negative emotions inside because I am afraid of confrontation!  My door bell rang. Who in the world is coming over now? Unsuspectedly, I looked at my front door step and found a fresh bouquet of flowers. Shocked, It took my mind a minute to understand what was going on? Flowers? It is March, not Valentines Day, so it couldn’t be from my husband? I reached for the flowers as I saw the delivery person scampering quickly into their car. Suddenly, I realized the delivery person looked quite familiar….yes, I know this girl…..

She jumped out of her car and laughed, ” You answered the door so quickly and I couldn’t run fast enough.”

“She” was a precious friend who drove over  to give me flowers with a card that told me how much God loves me, not even knowing about my drooping roses in my prayer room.

I gave her the biggest hug and ran back in the house feeling refreshed. My sadness turned into joy as I realized the truth of my wilted flower prayer:

If the God of the universe has the power to hear me tell Him I feel like a wilted flower and send a friend to bring me fresh ones, then He is able to help me work through my painful relationships.

This display of His power wrapped my heart in the renewal of my confidence that it is God’s work alive and active in me and not my own! It is His faithfulness in me that will speak to women at the conference.

He can refresh my communication skills to give me words of love and not condemnation

He can take away the fear that makes me want to run from difficult conversations

He can send me people to love me even when I feel unloved

He can make a message come alive with His spirit even when I feel like a mess!

Maybe you need some fresh flowers today to remind you that your God can and will be with you to perk up your joy?

I am sending you a picture of the ones my friend gave me, so I can be the friend to you that says,

Philippians 1:6(GNT)

And so I am sure that God, who began this good work in you, will carry it on until it is finished on the Day of Christ Jesus.

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