Embrace the New Year With Peace and Gratitude!

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15)

Happy New Year, Beloved! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas holiday! I can’t believe we are in the new year. The year 2020, what a blessing! Every new year we tend to have a new vision. We analyze which areas of life we’ll focus on improving and we write down a list of personal goals we want to accomplish. Whether it’s improving fitness, getting a promotion, or spending more time with family, we all love to start the year motivated and with a new plan. This year, I plan to spend more time on writing, helping my husband grow his business, continuing to focus on fitness and spending more quality time with my kids.

With the excitement and busyness of it all, I want to remind everyone to be at peace this year! “The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.” (Psalm 29:11) While it’s great to have a new vision for a new year, it can cause us to become restless. It’s easy to get laser-focused on obtaining our new goals and sometimes we forget to focus on being happy with where we are at this moment. We make life all about what is ahead and that has the ability to affect our peace. We are encouraged and motivated in the beginning and then if results don’t happen quickly, we start to lose the joy of it all.

We feel like we “have” to reach these milestones we’ve set for ourselves and if we don’t, we’ve failed and feel a sense of despair. What’s worse is that we tend to compare our “personal goals” to the goals and accomplishments of others. Sometimes we look at what our family and friends are accomplishing and feel discouraged. It seems like those around us are checking items off their lists – being promoted, getting engaged or married, having a baby, or buying their dream home. If those are things we wanted for this year, we can feel envious and start to lose hope.

We can’t even truly be happy for our loved ones because instead of focusing on their blessing, we are focusing on our lack. We aren’t happy with our lives because we are too focused on what is ahead, what others have and where we “should be” in life. But the bible tells us to be at peace. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Beloved, please know that you are not defined by your accomplishments and achievements. Having dreams and goals is great! But reaching them or not reaching them is not the measure of who you are. You are royalty, a child of the Most-High God and even if you don’t get to the gym everyday, double your revenue, or get completely out of debt this year, you are still worthy, loved, and blessed. And if you’ve been waiting on God for a particular blessing, keep praying and believing! Be at peace and know that your blessing is on its way!

Do not look around and be discouraged when others are blessed with something you are longing for. You don’t have to compare yourself to others. You can rest assured that our Lord has more than enough blessings for everyone! He can bless your neighbor with a promotion and still bless your business to reach its highest earning potential. He can bless your co-worker with a healthy baby and still bless you with healthy twins! There is no limit to what God can do and through him all things are possible. Don’t be discouraged if some goals you set for this year, don’t become an immediate reality. Have peace in knowing that God has an amazing plan for you and that he wants you to have the desires of your heart. We have to trust his timing above our own and results will happen! Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Be filled with hope. God will deliver!

In addition to the goals I listed above, I am also going to focus on gratitude. Everyday, I want to thank God for all the blessings in my life. Even in the midst of struggle or sorrow, it’s amazing what being thankful can do. When you really stop and think about all your blessings from God, it has the ability to change your attitude from one of sadness, envy, and lack to one of joy, thankfulness, and peace.

Beloved, in addition to focusing on your personal goals this year, I encourage you to focus on peace and thankfulness for all your blessings (past, current, and those to come). Remember that the Lord will be with you through all the highs and lows of this year and that you are deeply loved, richly blessed, and highly favored. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)

If you have a prayer request, please reach out! I would be happy to pray with you or for you. Also, send this link to any friends or family members that might need a word from the Lord today. Be blessed!

Jesus Loves You,

Alexis

The Word of The Lord is Life!

Bible

 “My child, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.” (Proverbs 4:20-22)

Hi Beloved! I hope that you are having a blessed week! Things are getting a bit cooler in my neck of the woods, so it’s time to swap out the A/C for the heater and bring out the sweaters and boots! The crisp air also drives folks to the fireplace with a cup of coffee (or tea) and a good book. So, I thought I would write about the importance of reading “The Good Book”, as the bible is called. ūüôā

Beloved, how much of the bible would you say you’ve read? It can definitely take time to read. It has 1,189 chapters and it is an amazing story! I think this is an area where most Christians greatly differ. Some have read the bible cover to cover (perhaps even twice, I know people who have done it!). Others have read only the New Testament or only the Old Testament. Others have followed along with their church study group, read a random chapter here and there, or gave up after selecting the King James version and getting a headache after reading a verse like, “Study¬†to¬†shew¬†thyself¬†approved¬†unto¬†God,¬†a¬†workman¬†that needeth not to be¬†ashamed,¬†rightly¬†dividing¬†the¬†word¬†of¬†truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15) Pardon? Can you please repeat that one?

I fall somewhere in the middle. I haven’t read the entire bible. I have read the entire New Testament and am working on the Old Testament. Currently, I am reading 1 Samuel. Years ago, when I first started reading the bible, I started with Genesis 1:1. That works for some, but it didn’t work for me. I started to lose steam after a few chapters and stopped reading for a while. When I decided to get back to reading, I prayed about it first. I said, “Lord, I desperately want to read your word, but it can be so overwhelming! I don’t know where to start and sometimes it is hard for me to understand. Please give me wisdom and an open, hearing heart.”

When I prayed this prayer, I got the message to “see Jesus”. So, that is what I did. I went to the New Testament and I started reading all the chapters that had text in red. In most versions, the words of Jesus are in red. Reading about His grace and His miracles really motivated me. I started reading more and more and then I read the whole New Testament. I even started to truly understand and this kept me going!

Why is reading the bible so important? What are the benefits? Reading the word of God gives us hope, wisdom, strengthens our faith, improves our physical health and can be used as a weapon against the enemy.

Gives us hope: Romans 15:4 says, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” The word has many beautiful promises from God for both this life and after. When we read the word, our hope is renewed as we remember how much he loves us, that he will never leave us or forsake us, and that he is always on our side.

Gives us wisdom: 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.” The word of God teaches us and trains us in the way we should go. It gives us knowledge and wisdom to see and understand things differently than the world.

Strengthens our faith: Romans 10:17 says, “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” When we keep hearing the word of the Lord, we are encouraged by stories of David, Elijah, Elisha, and the Apostles. We remember that we can accomplish all things through Christ who strengthens us!

For our physical health: Matthew 4:3 says, “The tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.’ Jesus answered, ‘It is written, Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” Food alone cannot sustain us. The word of God is nourishment to our bodies. It’s life and health to our spirits and our flesh.

As a weapon: Esphesians 6:17 says, “..and take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” When we know the promises of God, we can stand firm against the enemy’s attacks. He is the Father of Lies, but with the word of the Lord in our arsenal, we have the power to speak life and completely shut him down.

Beloved, I encourage you to increase your bible reading for the rest of this year. Make a commitment, through the end of 2019, to read more. If you aren’t reading it at all, start by reading ten minutes per day. If you are already reading 30 minutes, increase to 45. If you are reading an hour, increase by 15 minutes. If we focus on the word, I believe we will see miraculous things happen in our lives. Our long-awaited prayers will be answered, we will see healing, and any mountains in our lives, will become mole hills.

I’m going to challenge myself as well. I have been falling behind lately. I have a reminder on my phone that says, “Read Your Bible” everyday at 9:00 pm. Usually, I snooze it because I am “busy” and promise to get to it later. Sometimes, later never comes. Then the next morning, I think, “Well, I just didn’t have enough time yesterday”. But then I remember the 45 minutes I spent on YouTube…..oops. The truth is that there is always time! We can wake up a little earlier, spend a little less time on social media, or go to bed just a little bit later. Spending extra time with the Lord in prayer or in His word, is never time wasted and something you will never regret. If you don’t have a bible, download a free app. If you don’t know where to start, pray for wisdom. If you can’t quite understand the language, switch to a more modern version. So, are you with me!? Let’s do this!

Beloved, I am always here to pray with you, for you, or even just to chat! Please feel free to reach out at any time. Remember, you are deeply loved, richly blessed, and highly favored.

Jesus Loves You,

Alexis

You Are Worthy and Loved

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)

Hi Beloved! I hope you are having a blessed week! I wasn’t actually planning to write today, but the Holy Spirit gave me a word that someone must need to read.

Beloved, if you are feeling depressed, feeling lonely, feeling rejected, feeling unlovable, or feeling worthless because of your past or recent failures, because of hurtful words someone said, because a relationship just ended, or because your life isn’t going as planned, let me tell you that YOU ARE VALUED! YOU ARE SPECIAL! YOU ARE LOVED!

YOU, reading this post right now, you mean everything to the Creator of the universe. He loves you so much that He sent His son to take your place and atone for your sins. In the Greek language, there are four major words for love: ag√°pe, √©ros, phil√≠a, and storgńď. They all have different meanings and are used in different situations. The bible says that the type of love the Lord has for us is ag√°pe love. This is the deepest form of love, unconditional love, self-sacrificial love.

The bible also says that Satan is cunning. Sometimes he works from the outside to bring destruction to our lives, but one of his favorite tactics is to attack our minds. He knows this strategy is effective. If he can drop negative, self-sabotaging thoughts into our heads or bring people into our lives that treat us harshly, try to ruin our self-esteem, or make us feel worthless, we can feel so insignificant that we destroy ourselves. He’s always trying to separate us from our Father’s love. When we don’t believe we are loved, we more easily engage in destructive behavior and develop habits that are harmful to our mental, physical, and emotional health. But Beloved, don’t believe Satan’s lies. When bad thoughts creep in, you have the power to say, Satan, get behind me! Get away from me! I’m not going to believe your lies! The bible says that absolutely nothing can separate us from the Father’s love and He is always with us. Matthew 28:20 says, “I am with you always, even to the end of the world.”

When you are feeling low, isolated, unworthy, ashamed, or like a failure, remember that the truth is you are perfect, you are righteous, you are precious, you are worthy. You are a child of the most-high God. The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, loves you so much that He sacrificed everything for you. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” (1 John 3:1) Beloved, because the world does not know him, they do not know your true worth. But don’t listen to what the world says about you. Meditate on the truth, declare the truth out loud and always remember that you are deeply loved, richly blessed, and highly favored. Amen!

Jesus loves you,

Alexis