Surround Yourself With Goodness

Surround yourself with goodness!

I enjoy fresh vegetables and fresh herbs for cooking, so I have a vegetable garden that provides me with fresh produce every year.

Mesclun growing in my garden!

But, there are always pesky animals that have a tendency to steal and destroy the vegetation if I don’t keep them out. I must take measures to discourage them because, not only will some of them snag the veggies, animals such as skunks, raccoons, foxes and bats carry deadly viruses that can be left behind to harm the vegetation or me, if I come in contact with them.

I put up fences to keep these animals out of my garden. I don’t want them taking away my harvest or depositing disease-ridden waste into and onto the precious vegetables I intend to eat.

I take care to keep harmful insects out of the garden because I want my produce to be healthy and delicious. Today, I started thinking about how much I do to protect my garden, which then led me to wonder whether or not I take the same level of precautions when dealing with my general welfare. Fortunately, most of the people I hang out with are truly righteous people. I think that is because I learned a long time ago, a very important biblical lesson.

Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.

Proverbs 22:24-25

We all make mistakes

Friends, I am not perfect and I certainly don’t expect anyone to be perfect. But, I know what is right and I know what is wrong.

We all make mistakes. There is no doubt about that. However, the positive side of mistakes comes from the times we learn from our mistakes and we don’t let mistakes hamper us down. Friends, where I’m going with today’s message is to say that the people we allow into our life, be they good or bad, are the people who are going to help shape our life.

I don’t let critters into my garden because I don’t want them to soil the garden. I don’t want them to pull up, chew up, or mess up the hearty growth in my garden.

Likewise, I no longer (knowingly) let “bad” people into my life. I don’t want them bringing me down, messing up my life, and steering me in the wrong direction.

Bad begets bad

I am generally an even-tempered person. But, at one time in my life I hung out with someone who had a really bad temper. We went shopping at the mall for new outfits for a New Year celebration. The store we chose to enter was a high-end store that had advertised 60% to 70% discounts. I was anxious to see what they had to offer. Upon entering, I was very happy with the selection of clothes and the prices were very affordable. But, my friend could not find anything she liked so she became boisterous and angry. She started yelling at the sales lady who was helping us… yelling about why they didn’t have a certain dress in her color and her size. Swear words were coming out of her mouth and whatnot. All I could figure doing was to pay for my outfit and then sit and wait for her outside the dressing room. While I was sitting, I kept thinking about how there were other stores in the mall and how, in any event, there was no need to be THAT upset over clothes. This person is actually a really kind-hearted person (so long as things are going her way). However, as I spent more time with her, I began to notice that I, too, started becoming a little short-tempered over the littlest of things. Thank the Lord that I finally realized it was time to cut ties with her. Friends, once we make a good decision, it is amazing how the Lord has a way of making things like this easy. As it were, I got married and moved out of the area. This made it difficult to continue our association. Thank goodness for the distance that was placed between us because I learned that my demeanor was better. I went back to putting life situations into perspective, realizing that I don’t have to be upset at everything that does not go my way.

Cutting this person out of my life was a good thing. Had I kept her in my life, who knows, today I might be living as an angry person like her.

Surround yourself with goodness!

Friends, don’t let bad people stay in your life, otherwise, like you read in Proverbs  22:24-25 you might end up becoming like them.

Psychologists say we become like the five people we hang out with the most. I urge you to choose your friends wisely. Look at them. See how they act. See how they make you feel. If they make you feel bad, delete them! On the other hand, if they fit into the righteous lifestyle you try to live, keep them! Learn from them! Strive to be like them!

Surround yourself with goodness so goodness surrounds you.

He Rose on Sunday

His love saved us!

In my blog post about Good Friday, I shared how Jesus died for our sins.

However, the story continues on the Sunday following his death when Jesus was resurrected. In other words, Jesus rose from death and walked among the living again.

The importance of the resurrection is in the fact that the Messiah, Jesus Christ taught much truth about life and made many promises that if we live a wholesome life, we would one day get to live in the Kingdom of God. One of the promises that Jesus made is that after he was crucified, he would be brought back to life. And, when he was brought back to life he would then be the avenue in which we could have a direct line of communication with God.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6

Video: Resurrection Sunday – The Anthem Praise Dance

The recital and dance interpretation seen in this video present a deep and dynamic rendition of Jesus’ resurrection. Death could not hold him down. He came back to life and now we are redeemed because of his sacrifice.

It’s a Good Friday!

Happy Good Friday!

In spite of the fact that the greatest person in history died on Good Friday, this is a day that many people celebrate.

Why? On this day, a most precious man took up a cross and carried it on His back to the place where He would die for our sins. In the days when living sacrifices (unblemished and pure) had to be offered to atone for our sins, a man, Jesus Christ (being the only living human who was sinless and pure) was chosen and lovingly agreed to suffer to death so that the sins of sinners could be forgiven.

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:15

After his death on Good Friday, Jesus rose to life on Easter Sunday. This is good news for us because after that day, we were no longer required to offer a living sacrifice to be forgiven of our sins. No, my friends, on that day, whenever we want to be forgiven, we only need to look to Jesus, our Savior, to forgive us.

Jesus has always been the way to our Father’s house.

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

John 14:6

Today’s Video is About a Story of Love

Jesus loved us so much that he gave His life for us. He suffered. He died on that cross so that we may be forgiven of our sins and have salvation and be worthy of entering into the Kingdom of God.

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:13
He laid down His life for us.

Video Credits

Title: Mighty Cross
Copyrights: Music by Elevation Worship Publishing, Open Hands Music, So Essential Tunes

Soulmate Connection — Dating

I discovered this blog post last week and felt so moved by it that I wanted to share it with my readers. It is found on the blog called “Soulmate Connection — Dating.

I hope you enjoy reading it.

Soulmate Connection We know there are magical signs once we meet our soulmates face to face. Expect it to be not ordinary. Imagine a fairy-tale coming alive. Most certainly, there would be sparks flying, butterflies in the stomach, stuttered sentences, ease of communication, physical attractions, love-at-first-sights, answered prayers, love remembered from dreams; in other words, […]

Soulmate Connection — Dating

Mary The Mother of Jesus

The birth of Jesus in a manger.

The season of winter brings with it a time of year that we call Christmas time. We come together with family and friends and share love in the way of hearty feasts and gift-giving. And, while it is a festive time of year, the true reason for the season is in recognizing the birth of Jesus.

Every year, I listen to a song that is probably my favorite song of the season. This song, “Mary Did You Know?” addresses the woman who gave birth to baby Jesus. This song asks the most profound question of the mother who gave birth to the greatest person on earth – Jesus.

Yes! Mary Knew

Yes. Mary knew that her baby boy would be the Son of God. Mary knew that her son would be our Savior.

In the Bible we read the story of the angel who came to the virgin Mary to tell Mary she was going to give birth to a king:

In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But, the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David, and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; His kingdom will never end.” “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will over shadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.

Luke 1:26-35

Who is the Great I AM?

In the song, you will hear the name, The Great I AM. I want to take a moment to explain that I AM is the name God gave himself. You can read more about God’s name by reading the story where Moses is at the burning bush and asks God to reveal his name, God replies “I AM.”

God said to Moses, “I AM who I AM.” And he said, ‘Say this to the people of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.”

Exodus 3:14

In the Hebrew language, I AM is the holiest name for God in the Old Testament.

The Song: Mary Did You Know?

In the following song, singer Jordan Smith, finalist in the television show called The Voice, sings a wonderful rendition of Mary Did You Know?

We Are Blessed

How awesome it is that we serve a mighty God, one who is able to see beyond the surface of who we display, but looks into our heart and sees the goodness of our soul.

There are times in our lives when we are going to stumble and fall. We are far from perfect, this fact we know to be utterly true. There are times when we are going to say things that hurt the feelings of others, times, whether on purpose or by accident, when we are going to do things that cause physical injury to ourselves or others.

Our hopes and dreams, whether pure or dishonorable, will expose our inner soul. We cannot hide from our God who knows every hair on our bodies, who has our numbers written in His book. He knows us through and through, yet, He still loves us, imperfections and all. Our sinful nature was borne into us, but because His son Jesus sacrificed His life to make up for our sins, we can now rise above sin. We can be whole again. We can become pure by our love for the Lord.

This morning I woke up singing this song in my head, “You are awesome in this place, Mighty God…” As I sang this song, I felt the Mighty Spirit of God surround me. And, it felt wonderful. So my hope for you is that as you go throughout your day today, that you may feel the Holy Spirit in your presence. No matter who you are; no matter what you do, you can always come home to a God who loves you. Always!

Our God is Awesome!

A Time for Thanksgiving

Thank you for the bountiful blessings.

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods.

Psalm 95:1-3

As we come together on Thanksgiving Day, gathering with family and friends, let us remember that each day is a day of thanksgiving.

Since the day Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, we have plenty to be grateful for. We have been forgiven of much for our past iniquities, no longer bound by our past transgressions. For our confession of faith in Jesus, we have been made new. The past is behind us. We are free to walk with pride, for we are a child of God, worthy to be loved by the most High.

God is with us always and we have been given much by His love for us. And, we shall receive bountifully by our love of Him.

The following video titled “Thank You” is a beautiful song that speaks of the wonderful blessings we have received from God. I think you will enjoy it.

Happy Thanksgiving! May you receive many blessings this day and forever.

GUEST POST: LEARNING TO SAY “NO”

The message in this blog post blessed me by helping me realize that I need to slow down a little by saying no more often. I hope it blesses you too.

The Godly Chic Diaries

The chaos or the unsettling feelings of situations in our lives sometimes come so that God can show us what it’s like to live in His freedom – it becomes a matter of having to BOLDLY choose to create that space in our days. When we make space for God, we follow, we connect, we experience Him in all spaces (all of it) that He becomes part of our lives. We run to Him over anything else, even when that might not be so easy. He specifically tells, ask us “Come to me”

MY BEAUTIFUL FEATURED GUEST BLOGGER IS COLLENE: She blogs at https://restandchaos.com. Be sure to give her a follow. She’s an amazing and talented writer.

Bio: My husband and I have been married for 14 years and we have three kids (9, 11, and 14). I grew up in the church but ran from God in my…

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His Name is Powerful

We who believe in the Name of Jesus are protected by His Power.

Father and son.
We are stronger when we team up with our Father.

We who believe in the Name of Jesus are protected by His Power. Our God is Almighty. He is awesome! He gives us the wisdom and guidance we need to live in a world where things seem to be falling apart all around us.

The enemy is busy creating disruption everywhere. He is working hard to confuse us, to disorient us in every way that he can. We only need to open our eyes to see chaos. He lies to deceive us. Those who believe his lies are subjected to his defective ways. He latches onto those who are gullible and easy to persuade. And, once the evil one snags a weak one, he is like a leech, draining them of their wisdom and their ability to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord. In their affliction, they, in turn, try to infect us with their faulty behavior, hoping we will join them on their downhill journey to the bottomless pit of the everlasting fire. They will only succeed if we let them.

We who believe in the Name of Jesus have the power to overcome anything and everything evil. Do you know that it is better that we not mind the things that are happening in our lives and in this world, but to mind our heart and soul? We are better to remember that our God loves us so much that He could no longer bear to see us struggling in sin. So, He sent His one and only Son, Jesus Christ to stand in for us. Jesus took on the burden of our sins so we could have forgiveness.

When I contemplate the depth of the love our Heavenly Father has for us… all of us… I just want to bow down and worship Him.

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

Matthew 6:6 (New International Version)

One of the most powerfully uplifting things a person can do is find a place in their home that is dark and quiet. And then sit in that place and pray. Sometimes when we sit silently and whisper the name of Jesus, it allows the Holy Spirit to surround us. These quiet moments are where we will find strength to ward off the evilness of this world. When we feel ourselves falling down, we can quickly gain strength simply by calling out the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior.

We can also find peace in music that worships the Lord. The following song is quiet and peaceful. It is a song about how there is no name greater than the name of Jesus. No name comes anywhere close to Jesus’ name. We are no longer slaves. We are daughters and sons of Christ. When we say His Name, we are blessed. We are lifted up in the Name of Jesus.

Song Title: Light Up
By:  Integrity Music – Written by Aaron Baxter, Sem Schaap and Hannah Waters
Year: 2019

His Name is Powerful and we are blessed because of Him.

God’s Voice is His Word

Find the voice of God in His words.

Searching for God’s Voice

No matter how far along we are in our walk with God, we are human beings. Human beings are not perfect and so it is expected that no matter how hard we try, we are going to make mistakes, and it is expected that there are going to be days in our life when we struggle to stay on top of our little world. These are the days when we must grab a hold of the promises of God, remembering that we are God’s children. God said he would take care of his children, and recently I had an experience that showed me that God truly does take care of his children.

One day, not too long ago, I was feeling particularly down-hearted. It was going on three weeks that my computer had not been working, I was in a lot of physical pain, and I was being hit with many unexpected bills at a time when my money was not flowing in as expected. I tell you the truth; I was feeling really down and out that day.

Fortunately, I know that when I am feeling low, I need to go to the Lord for comfort.

My Daily Reader

My Daily Reader

I have a daily reader that sits on my desk. Normally, I read it every day, however I had not been reading it lately. But, on this day, I desperately needed to hear God’s voice and in my desperation I cried out loud to him,  “God, I need to hear your voice right now. I need to hear your voice.”

I picked up the reader which usually directs me to a scripture in the bible. I turned the reader to the page for that day and here is what I read,

“One of the most priceless gems you will find in God’s Word is His voice. That’s because He speaks to us through His Word as we read it or hear it. In fact, we can’t really learn to recognize God’s voice whispering to our soul if we are not first hearing Him speak to us in His Word.”

Ah ha! It hit me like a hammer… The Bible is God’s word! I knew immediately, it was a message from God. The reading had not mentioned a scripture, so I opened my bible to read whatever page fell open. To my amazement, it fell open to Deuteronomy 8. This is the chapter that talks about how the Israelite people failed to be humble and took God’s protection for granted. As they traveled through the desert, God fed them, clothed them, and gave them shelter. Still, they didn’t appreciate Him the way they should have.

After reading that story, I closed my bible and again, spoke out loud to God. “God,” I said, “That was a nice story, but how does that story relate to me? What is it that you are saying to ME?”

I sat quietly for a moment, wishing I could have received some sort of message from that story. Feeling sad that I had not deciphered God’s message to me, I figured I would start over and so I re-read the day’s message from my daily reader. As I read, my eyes locked onto the phrase, “…God’s Word is His voice.” I picked up my Bible again and this time the page opened up to Isaiah 46. I read verses 3-4. These words jumped out at me as if God was pointing his finger at me saying, “Woman, didn’t I tell you that I would take care of you?” Isaiah 46:3-4 reads:

“Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

Isaiah 46:3-4

After reading that passage, I felt like I had heard God’s voice telling me not to worry about things. In that moment, I gave all of my troubles up to God. I asked him to handle everything. And, I tell you the truth, friends, since I let God have control of my life, things have been working out wonderfully. Even when it seems, in the moment, like something is not going to work out; I don’t worry about it because I know that at the end of the day, everything that needs to be handled will be handled.

The Lord, God is our voice of hope and His voice can be found in the Bible.

May you hear the voice of God this day and be blessed forever.

Song of Inspiration

The following song is very inspirational to me. It speaks of God’s voice being the voice of truth. We need not pay attention to the enemy who constantly tries to bring us down. But, listen to the word of God whose truth will strengthen us and set us free from the strife of life.

Song Title: Voice of Truth
Recorded by: Casting Crowns
Authors: Mark Hall, Steven Curtis Chapman
Publisher: Worship Together
Released:  2004