Warrior, Not a Worrier

WorryWow!  I wish that I could say that about myself – Warror – not a Worrier!  I try so hard, but I fail every day!  I worry that my shoes aren’t cute, that my hair doesn’t look stylish, that I look even bigger than usual….uggh!  I worry that I didn’t read my Bible long enough or that I didn’t pray the right things….I worry that family or friends are making wrong decisions or doing things the hard way…I worry that our country is becoming so divided, our press is creating fake news or only sharing clips to slant things wrong….I worry about life, death, taxes, money, sickness, driving… OH MY!   I worry about everything!

I know that worrying is not good for me and I have done many things to help alleviate the worry and I am doing a lot better.  You know – I worry primarily because I care.  I care that I make a good impression…I care that people are happy and people feel loved…I care that I make time for God and that I am an example to others….I care about the happiness of friends and family…I care about our country.  I care about everything. (Well not everything…there are a few things like tomatoes that I really don’t care for!)

I try to change my worry and anxiety into something positive.  In fact, one of my strengths is Positivity and I look at things differently sometimes than others.  I do see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  If you take your concerns and think of the better ending.  I try to put myself in the other person’s shoes to see their perspective.  I don’t always succeed but I am trying.

There are so many scriptures that mention, “Do not worry or do not be anxious” – God wants us to trust him and let him handle things – so –  is my problem that I don’t trust God?  I know that’s not true – however, my problem is – I’m sometimes scared of what God may say to me or how he will let a situation occur.  I want to control it – but I am learning to let God guide me.  I stumble, and I fall and I make mistakes but God always picks me up and helps me through EVERYTHING!

I have been thinking about the problems in the world, the suicides that have happened recently, the school shootings, the crazy political climate and I worry again!  I can’t fix it, but I know who can – GOD.  If people don’t have God and the peace he provides – it is so sad.  We as Christians need to speak up, reach out, share your faith, show your love, serve others.  Pray – you know a real conversation is between two people – do we ever just sit in prayer and listen to God?  If you need words of instruction and a plan – well there is no better one that the BIBLE – God’s inspired words.  These are a few scriptures that I read all the time because I love them and because I need to hear them over and over.

Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Proverbs 12:25 The Message (MSG)  Worry weighs us down;   a cheerful word picks us up.

Ephesians 6:10-18 MSG

[ A Fight to the Finish ] And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. …

I hope that when you want to be a WARRIOR and not a WORRIER – you will read these scriptures, listen when praying, dust off your armor and let God turn your little stone and slingshot into the best weapon against your “giants”.

If you ever just need someone to be there for you – count on me.  I do tell people that I pray for them – but I really mean it!  Prayers help, listening helps, scripture, church – all of those things.  Call, text, Facebook, twitter, Instagram or any other way – just know I will be there!

Blessings,

Leigh

Advertisements

Why should you choose a “WORD OF THE YEAR (WOTY)?

Last year during a devotional at my small group, Joelle, my good friend, shared that we should choose one word to focus on for the year – to gain inspiration from – to have others encourage you – to find Bible Verses about – just one word.  That sounded easy.  I always had trouble with my Resolutions at New Years but I think one word was something I could handle.  I never dreamed what an impact it would have on me.  What’s funny is that I remember all of my friends in our small group’s “one word” and can remind them, encourage them and pray for them with that one word.

My word came so quickly, while I was driving to work one morning and a song came on the radio – “I will Trust in You” by Lauren Daigle. I felt the word and TRUST became my WOTY.  I have shared in other blogs what it meant to me and how it changed my life.  Please refer to my blog entitled https://leighchristian.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/why-my-word-for-the-year-changed-my-life-trust/

From Wikipedia – The word(s) of the year, sometimes capitalized as “Word(s) of the Year” and abbreviated “WOTY” (or “WotY”), refers to any of various assessments as to the most important word(s) or expression(s) during a specific year. The German tradition, Wort des Jahres was started in 1971.

Choosing a Word of the Year helps simplify your life and helps you focus on one idea for the entire year.  It is easy to remember, easy to find inspiration, and easy to talk to God about.  I always had a hard time finding God speak to me in my Bible, but when I searched for my word – the scriptures seemed to come alive and talk to me.  It was so special!  It helped me and it guided me through the year.  Sometimes we make things so complicated with our to-do lists, our devotional books, our mind goes in so many directions and we get distracted.  Having that one word to focus on and to get us back on track is really a great way to grow.

There is a great book/website that can guide you in much more detail and I got many ideas from it!  http://myoneword.org/pick-your-word/     I started looking for my new word this year by Praying – talking to God about it and sharing what I wanted.  God didn’t give me any signs.  I was really starting to get frustrated.  I even thought God chose the word PATIENCE for me.  I googled, I looked up scriptures and I even looked for inspiration from Pinterest and Etsy.  After all this research I had written down words on a notecard by my bed.  I tried to figure out what these words all had in common; and I realized they all had a focus but I couldn’t find the right word yet.  All the words seem to focus on – impacting and inspiring the person I am with at that moment.  I continued to pray for the word and kept reading scriptures searching, then I decided I just needed to meditate and pray but most important – LISTEN.  I even thought that might be my word this year – I could see I needed to listen with God, and with others.  I am always in action mode and want to do something to solve issues; when sometimes I need to sit back and listen.  Listen – was not my word.  I wish I could say that I heard God speak the word DISCIPLE to me, but that didn’t happen.  The word just came to my mind.  It was not a word that I would have chosen because I really wasn’t sure what to do with it.  I went to the first verse that I knew included the word DISCIPLE.   Matthew 28:19-20

ffd986e50b6acea0a96c67fdd8b18e38.jpg

It became clear to me that DISCIPLE was my word.  My focus for the year, my inspiration, my guide and my vision.  In some of Jesus’ last words – this was his instruction to us.  This was important and I needed to get busy.  I received confirmation several times over the weeks after I chose my word.  One was big – our church had chosen a word for the year and it was DISCIPLESHIFT.  I love when God provides confirmation.  I get excited over the word now and know it is my word for the year (woty).

disciple.png

So I encourage you – choose your Word of the Year!  Pray, read scriptures, but most of all listen to God to give to you.  I would love for you to share with me in your journey for your word.  I would love to pray for you to find your word and most of all – I would LOVE to pray for you when you find your Word.  I hope this will inspire you and I hope that your word will mean something to you.

Always in prayer,

Leigh

 

Be Authentic!

static1.squarespace.com

Recently I was having a conversation with a friend over lunch, and we began discussing what we liked in people; and she said to me that she liked me, because I was authentic. I pondered that for a while and I realized that it has taken me fifty LONG years to get to that point. Seems like I have always been trying to impress someone – my parents, teachers, coaches, friends, bosses….well basically everyone. I wanted to look a certain way, have a certain title, be recognized for achievements, and was just really always trying to please everyone else. I am a People Pleaser – always have been…always will be. I did realize that I could get my feelings hurt sometimes trying to please everyone though! I am often taken advantage of; but I have a better understanding of myself lately. I have spent a lot of time reflecting on who I really am and what I want to be. Sometimes, I really don’t like how I turned out and sometimes I feel so blessed. I realized when I take the positive side of things – I am happier. I have learned to find the lessons or the best practices in a situation instead of having regrets over how I could have done better. My goal now is to be my best and I realized that I really just need to please one and only one – that is GOD! The Bible tells us in so many verses to do what is pleasing to God.

1 Thessalonians (ESV) 4 Finally, then, brothers,[a] we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.

Ephesians 5:10 (GNT) 10 Try to learn what pleases the Lord.

Well – that is always my intention but I make mistakes – sometimes, not only am I not pleasing to God but I usually make others frustrated or mad too! We are only human! I am striving to be a better “me” and I am not comparing myself or competing with others. I used to always want to be the best – not just the best me, but the best at whatever I was doing. Now I just want to be the best I can be! I am trying not to compare myself or allow myself to have a pity party. I take pride in who I am and what I stand for. I have become so much bolder in my faith and I love it. Someone asked me to pray a non-religious prayer for a large event – I stressed all day – how do you do that? I didn’t want to offend anyone so I used careful words – it didn’t feel right. That one thing really impacted me so much! I have as much right to pray to my God and Jesus as they didn’t want me too. I don’t want to offend anyone but I want to be authentic and stand up for my beliefs. This year has been a real life lesson for me. I have changed…maybe I am finally mature at 50 – I don’t know but I am a different person. In certain areas of my life – I am not the go to person or the most popular or the friend to everyone like I used to be. I often feel isolated and even like the weird person that people make fun of from time to time. At first, it bothered me so much – then I realized that I need to control me and only me, and the situation would work itself out. I continued to be friendly, and do my work. I am still not included sometimes and I am definitely not the go-to person anymore; however, I take pride in the fact that I help others and do my job. Funny thing – I am not stressed anymore!
Being authentic is just being yourself – not trying to be like someone else. Being authentic is standing up for your beliefs without pushing them on others. Being authentic is being the best “you” that you can be in every situation….be the best friend, mom, wife, etc. Always do your best and show your care and commitment. I hate to make generalizations but I am going to right now. It seems that our society is focused on “What’s in it for me, instead of what can I do to make this a better place…” We need people to step up and step out and be authentic and show what they stand for and live for each moment and be their very best.
Blessings to you and prayers that you will learn to be authentic!

authentic

Make a Difference…Like a Mustard Seed

I have always loved the parables of Jesus and found it interesting that he chose to teach us through his stories and examples. I can visually see that little mustard seed. So small and really just looks so insignificant – sometimes how I feel – small and insignificant… Jesus wanted us to visualize this and to personally relate – he was just cool like that!

mustardseed

Can’t you just see those little seeds being flung everywhere and falling into cracks, into weeds and even a few making it to good rich soil? Just like us being flung into this world, not knowing what to do or who to turn to…we make mistakes – we let the weeds smother us – ok well not weeds – but sin, whether it is lying, boasting, cheating, judging, – you know those things we do constantly but don’t realize it is really a sin… Then there are times when we get so excited for God and we are just on fire and we let ourselves get burned out – just like the scorched seed – we need to remember to have good soil, water, and sunshine to grow – a Christian needs accountability, prayer, Bible and worship – we need to be covered with good soil – and good Christian supporters. I want to be that good mustard see that lands in the right “soil” with the right amount of light, water and nourishment. I want to be that Christian who just grows every day for God. Jesus later stated in another parable, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field; which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches.” — Matthew 13:31–32, World English Bible
Interestingly enough…Jesus’ parable was discussed in three of the Gospels in the Bible. The differences between Gospels of Matthew (13:31–32), Mark (4:30–32), and Luke (13:18–19), are minor. Jesus could have used any seed or any tree to describe his thought; however he chose the smallest seed and described what a difference it could make by becoming a large beautiful tree that could even be a home for a bird.
In life – we feel small and insignificant but God can do so much with so little. We just need to open our hearts and let him work through us. Think of ways you can make a difference and start today! You never know if you are encouraging a new leader, saving someone’s life, inspiring a missionary to teach others…it only starts with a little seed…make a difference.

The Parable of the Sower (NIV) Matthew 13:1-23
1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.” 10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?” 11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “‘you will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ 16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. 18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 when anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Make a Difference Day – October 25, 2014 – This October 25th, millions of volunteers across the nation will unite with a common mission – to improve the lives of others. For more than 20 years, USA WEEKEND Magazine, in collaboration with Points of Light, has brought you Make A Difference Day, the largest national day of community service. So what do you plan to do?
http://makeadifferenceday.com/

Makeadiff
Hoping you plant that little seed today and many blessings to you.

Leigh

Lessons from Noah’s Ark

One of my favorite Bible stories is Noah’s Ark…I can’t believe Noah had the courage to just start building the ark with all of those critics.  I just can’t imagine having two of every animal in a big boat for 40 days and nights…well I can kind of imagine – I do have a teenager and there are lots of kids at my house begging for food…so maybe I can. I think 40 days and nights of rain being cooped up on a stinky loud and crazy boat would be a nightmare! I wonder how it felt that no one else was there to hear their amazing story of the ride in the boat, the animals, the rain, and the rainbow.

I found this great lesson from MYBIBLE.com and LOVED it.  These are some great lessons!

noahsark

1. Don’t miss the boat.  You know you just have to take that chance – listen to God and follow the plans he has for you. Imagine Noah building the ark – what a leap of faith!  Get on the boat or build your own “boat”.

2.  Remember that we are all in the same boat.  We all have the same chances – we just need to take them and pray about what God wants us to do.  This world has people that we may not like but we need to learn to tolerate, collaborate and cooperate!

3.  Plan ahead…it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark…My favorite saying is Plan your work, Work you plan.  One of my favorite Bible verses is  Jeremiah 29:11 New International Version (NIV) 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Planning is important…but follow God’s plans not just your own.

4.  Stay fit!  When you are really old, someone may ask you to do something really big.  Be ready – When God Calls, He also Equips. When God Calls, He Enables. When God Calls, He Provides. When God Calls you, He qualifies you. When God calls us, He equips, provides, qualifies & enables us.  Be ready!

5  Don’t listen to the critics, just get on with the job that needs to be done.  There are people that are jealous, they try to belittle you, they try to make you feel guilty – don’t let them.  Do what you know God wants and just keep on doing it.  Noah listened to God and not to the critics and it saved his life! 

6. Build your future on high ground. Live the life that Jesus would…he set the example and we need to follow it.  A favorite quote by Charles Spurgeon…if your Bible is falling apart – your life probably isn’t..this means that someone is using their Bible as their life instruction manual.  Talk to God…always. 

7. For safety sake, travel in pairs.   Two is better than one…you need someone to keep you on track, to encourage, to inspire…small accountability groups are great.  People tend to do much better when they know someone is keeping them accountable and monitoring them. 

8.  Speed isn’t always an advantage.  Snails were on board with the cheetahs.  Slow and steady wins the race.  Consistency  and commitment are so important.  Keep going and going and going…

9.  When you are stressed…float a while.  Just chill, meditate, focus – take time for yourself, time to relax and clear your head.  Just pray…

10.  Remember the ark was built by amateurs..the Titanic by professionals.  Give everyone a chance to express their ideas, suggestions…don’t feel like you always have to be the expert.  Brainstorming is a great way to get fresh new ideas and others buy in to your issues.

11.  No matter the storm, when you are with God, there is always a rainbow waiting.  A rainbow is a symbol of God’s promise to earth.  Look for God’s signs. 

My prayer is that we will listen to God and follow his instructions….I hope I don’t miss the boat…what about you?

rainbow

Blessings to ya!  Leigh

Oh you’ve got to have FRIENDS…

friends

Galatians 6 really reminds me about how important it is to have friends. Friends are a key element for success in  getting healthy!  You have to have support, encouragement and most of all someone to be accountable to!  I tried having a facebook page to provide support and to have a place to share ideas.  It was helpful and I still plan to keep it but nothing replaces true face to face friends asking you where have you been – since you hadn’t been to the gym.  Friends checking in with you about how you are eating and whether you need advice or help.  Friends are the real basis of success for me on a diet.  I know what to do – I just need encouragement, support and a hard kick in the butt sometimes!

Galatians 6  Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Help Each Other       Brothers and sisters, someone in your group might do something wrong. You who are following the Spirit should go to the one who is sinning. Help make that person right again, and do it in a gentle way. But be careful, because you might be tempted to sin too. Help each other with your troubles. When you do this, you are obeying the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to do this, you are only fooling yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Just look at your own work to see if you have done anything to be proud of. You must each accept the responsibilities that are yours.

Never Stop Doing Good  Whoever is being taught God’s word should share the good things they have with the one who is teaching them.If you think you can fool God, you are only fooling yourselves. You will harvest what you plant. If you live to satisfy your sinful self, the harvest you will get from that will be eternal death. But if you live to please the Spirit, your harvest from the Spirit will be eternal life. We must not get tired of doing good. We will receive our harvest of eternal life at the right time. We must not give up. 10 When we have the opportunity to do good to anyone, we should do it. But we should give special attention to those who are in the family of believers.

Paul encouraged his friends in Phillipi as shown here in Philippians 1:27-30  The Voice (VOICE)  27 So here is what I want you to do: conduct yourselves as true and worthy citizens of the Anointed’s gospel, so that whether I make it or don’t make it to see you, I will at least hear that you continue to stand, united in one spirit, single-minded in purpose as you struggle together for the faith in the gospel. 28 Don’t be paralyzed in any way by what your opponents are doing. Your steadfast faith in the face of opposition is a sign that they are doomed and that you have been graced with God’s salvation. 29 And now, you have been given the privilege of not only believing inJesus the Anointed, our Liberating King, but being chosen to suffer for Him as well. 30 You have seen me suffer for Him. Since I’ve been away, you’ve heard of the other agonizing conflicts I’ve had to face. Now you know firsthand the pains of this battle.

The Bible refers to so many friendships, mentors, groups and continually reminds us that we need to stick together.  Friends are so important to me.  I have had the best friends in my life time and still love each and everyone!  I know that God put each person in my life when I needed them.  I have some friends that I hadn’t talked to in a while but when we do facebook or see each other – it is like we have never been apart.

I encourage you to find friends, start a group, get a trainer…find someone to be your someone….to motivate, support, encourage and make you stay on track!  Go to The Daniel Plan and check out their site on Friends.  https://www.danielplan.com/friends

ecc910

Friends Forever…

Leigh