TAKE A LEAP OF FAITH!

The idea of the unknown can be scary. It is unfamiliar territory and it can lead us to second guess or doubt ourselves. We feel troubled with the many thoughts that come into our mind such as “What if” scenarios. These scenes in our head can lead down hundreds of different paths that make us feel overwhelmed, uncertain or confused.

I’ve had to take many leaps of faith in my life and each time was more difficult than the last. Each decision to take a leap faith, I asked myself these 3 questions: Is this what I need or want? Will this be in my best interest? Is God telling me something?

It is important to weigh out the pros/cons when decision making. Feelings can be easily influenced by the flesh and we must be able to decipher what we NEED vs. want. I needed to continue schooling but was rejected by several colleges in Florida. In a moment of desperation, I prayed and The Lord lead me to apply to a college in Houston, T.X, a place I’ve never been. I knew I had nothing to lose by simply applying and honestly, I was expecting another rejection. When I received an acceptance letter, I was overjoyed until . . . reality set in. This meant I would have to move from my home state and take a leap of faith. I knew it was in my best interest to pursue my Masters degree as it was a requirement for my career field. I knew it was God telling me because I received rejection after rejection and this was the only University that accepted me.

It was one of the hardest decisions of my life. I needed to leave everyone and everything I had known to start my life over. Looking back on this moment, over 6 years ago, it was one of the best choices in my entire life. After one semester at school, I was awarded a full ride scholarship for $60,000. GLORY TO GOD! Through this experience, I made life-time friends, found a home church, grew in love and was lead closer to God. The best part of it all was during that time, I created SmileWithFaith.com!!!

Today, you may be faced with a tough choice and you are uncertain in the next move. I encourage you to ask yourself the same 3 questions I did. Through prayer and faith, The Lord will speak. He will guide you along the journey and His path will ALWAYS lead to righteousness. In Psalms 32:8, The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”

ASK YOUR SELF:

  1. Is this what I need or want?
  2. Will this be in my best interest?
  3. What is God telling me?

 5 WAYS THE LORD HAS CHANGED ME!

5 WAYS THE LORD HAS CHANGED ME!!

  1. Patience – Whenever I became impatience it meant that I was not trusting in God. I know that His time is the right time all the time! If I were to get what I wanted, when I wanted, most likely …. I would not want it. Patience is a virtue and a spiritual gift that comes from The lord. We need patience to get through life and without it, life can be filled with frustrations, anxiety and negative feelings. The more I grew in faith, the more patience developed within me. A lack of patience is a lack of faith.
  2. Empathy – The Lord revealed to me that empathy can go a longgggg way! We must be mindful of the difference between sympathy vs. empathy.
  3. Understanding – We must learn to understand one another without taking things personal and avoid assumptions. When we take the time to listen to someone with an intent to understand rather than listening to respond, we show understanding. When a person feels understood, validated and accepted they are more likely to receive the advice or response you have to give them.
  4. Forgiveness – We forgive others not because they ‘deserve’ it but because we are forgiven. God reminds us of Jesus and the sacrifice on the cross so that we could be made right with Him. How can we live with forgiveness and not extend it to others? When we live with grudges or animosity, it will turn our hearts into stone. Forgiveness is an act of trusting in God. Also, keep in mind that revenge is The Lord’s and we do not need to hold onto any un-forgiveness. If God is for us, who can ever be against us?
  5. Love – When I learned how much God loves me, I was able to view myself from his perspective. Although this is a daily struggle and I have my moments of insecurity and doubt; I am reminded that God loves me no matter what! I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord [Romans 8:38-39].

Last night, I was lead to film the video below. I shared 5 ways The Lord has changed me. Before 2015, I lived my life as an atheist and dabbled in many different religions such as Judaism, Hinduism and Islam searching for meaning. Yet, I was always left with many unanswered questions and a void in my heart. There is no doubt it was Jesus who saved me and renewed my heart, mind and soul! Check out the full Interactive Bible Study Live on IG!

THE WORLD WON’T LOVE YOU

Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God [2 Corinthians 4:4].

Satan is a liar and speaks his native language, lies. If you are not aware of The voice of your Heavenly Father, you will be mislead to believe the father of lies. In this world, there will be temptations but no temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it [1 Corinthians 10:13].

I encourage you to seek The Voice of God. Whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith [Matthew 21:22]. Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened [Matthew 7:7-8].

Pray with me,

Lord, thank you for your Grace! I have been made right with you through the blood of Christ and am no longer a slave to sin. I am free from guilt. I am free from shame. Thank-you for the gift of The Holy Spirit whom, brings clarity, guidance and truth. In a world full of lies, let your voice be the only sound in mind. Thank-you for the power of discernment that I may know your ways above all!

In the name of Jesus,

Amen

Perfectly Loved #MusicMonday

Song by Rachael Lampa

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Lyrics

Who said that you weren’t beautiful
And that you didn’t belong in your own skin?
Who said that you were all alone
And that you’re never gonna find love again?

So many little words, so many little lies
That have followed you all of your life
Looking for the truth, look into your eyes
And you’ll see it’s been there the whole time

Ooh, even when you were running
Even when you were hiding
Never been a moment that you were not perfectly loved
When you barely believed it
When your eyes couldn’t see it
Every single moment, you’ve always been perfectly loved
Ooh, perfectly loved
You’ve always been perfectly

In the hands of the Infinite
As the wounds of the world became His
See the kindness Heaven has for you
And how He’s always been drawing you in

So many open doors (so many open doors), so many miracles (so many)
That have followed you all of your life
Looking for the truth (looking for the truth), look into your eyes (oh)
And you’ll see its been there the whole time

Ooh, even when you were running
Even when you were hiding
Never been a moment that you were not perfectly loved
When you barely believed it
When your eyes couldn’t see it
Every single moment you’ve always been perfectly loved
Ooh, perfectly loved
Ooh

You’re not a problem
You’re not a mistake
Don’t need fixing or solving
In the arms of His grace

You’re perfectly human
Made from the dust
You’ve got a heart, broken and scarred, yet perfectly loved

Oh, even when you were running
Even when you were hiding
Never been a moment that you were not perfectly loved
When you barely believed it (when you barely believed it)
When your eyes couldn’t see it
Every single moment you’ve always been perfectly loved
Perfectly loved
You’ve always been perfectly loved

Ooh
Perfectly loved
You have always been perfectly loved

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HELPING AND ENABLING PEOPLE

To help is to assist and possibly make something easier for someone. They may have difficulty getting out of bed and you may need to offer a hand of support. They may have financial problems and you may loan money to help pay a bill. We are called to help one another. The Lord reminds us to be generous givers and help those in need. However, there is a thin line between helping and enabling. So, how do you determine which side you are on?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Am I putting in more work than the person?
  2. Do I feel drained after helping?
  3. Have I made more attempts to make a change than they have?
  4. Have I been putting their needs before my own?
  5. Do they have difficulty with accountability?

If you answered Yes to any of these questions or all of them, you or more likely enabling than helping. The problem with enabling is that it never solves the problem. If anything, the person enabling will begin to feel overwhelmed and may reach burn-out.

Today, I encourage you to be mindful of the position you are putting yourself in to ‘help’ someone else. Think of it this way, you can provide a fish daily to someone or teach them to fish so they can provide for themselves. When they learn to fish, they can now teach others to fish. The best thing you can do for yourself and others is avoid enabling. The feelings of guilt, shame or regret may occur but remind yourself of the long-term solutions. It is better to help than to enable.

LET THE ONE THAT CREATED YOU BE THE ONE TO DEFINE YOU!

The world will label you. People will judge you. Overtime, the opinions of others plant seeds and will define who you are. This can be misleading because these definitions are not rooted in truth. Doubt, insecurities or previous negative experiences play a role in how we view ourselves. We may live with guilt, shame or trauma but keep in mind, these moments do not define you.

You are not defined by the world. You are created by God and you must always remember how He describes you. Don’t be a victim to self-defeating thoughts as these intrusive thoughts are sent to be a distraction, keeping you from purpose.

GOD DEFINES YOU AS . . .

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

[Matthew 5:13-16]

You may have read this scripture and felt “this is not me!” but let me remind you, this is the truth, whether you believe or not. His word is alive and active. The Lord is the same today as He will be in 100 years and was 1,000 years ago. It is the human mind and sin living within that keeps us from receiving His truth.

STRUGGLING WITH ADDICTION: GIVE YOURSELF GRACE!

The struggle of addiction is a cycle. An urge plants a seed in the brain and thoughts influence behaviors. Paul reminds us of this spiritual warfare that takes place in our minds and hearts in Romans 7:18-20  “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”

Today, give yourself grace. You may want to do Good but find that you fall. God expects this. In fact, He is excited about showing out in your life and when you are at your lowest, He is at His highest. Remove self-doubt, guilt and shame from your thoughts as they do not serve you. The struggle is REAL. The Lord knows and that is why He gave the greatest gift to the world, Jesus.

Stop self-defeating thoughts and start speaking positive affirmations! Repeat the following:

I AM LOVED BY GOD.

I AM FORGIVEN THROUGH CHRIST.

I AM CREATED WITH A PURPOSE.

I AM UNIQUELY DESIGNED FOR GOD’S GLORY.

I AM SURRENDERING MY DESIRES TO GOD’S WILL FOR MY LIFE.

I AM CHOSEN FOR GREATNESS.

I AM COMMITTED TO LOVING MYSELF.

I AM DISCPLINE TO ACCOMPLISH MY GOALS.

I AM BLESSED SIMPLY BECAUSE . . .

I AM A CHILD OF GOD

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