Pull out the streamers! Toss the confetti! There’s a party going on. Shantel’s on the single train! Finally free.
Hey 2017. You’ve been phenomenal. You’ve been incredible. You’ve been kind.
What a blast! My 2017 has been filled with leaps, twists, and many turns. I’ve witnessed and encountered many miracles also. Join me as I share my recap!
I’ve taken leaps of faith this year from leaving my previous job to teaching again and to starting the Promise Ceremony & Conference. Nothing is impossible with God! Be brave my friends! There is nothing to fear. If God has placed something on your heart, He is sure to help deliver.
There is so much more that I could share but this sums up the heart of 2017. It has been filled with sacrifice, healing, favor, and abundant blessings. Thank you for joining me on this journey. There is much more to come. Happy New Year!
I’ve embraced this journey. Not knowing half of what I’d be getting into, I boldly proclaimed Yes.
Yes to letting go. Yes to allowing my heart to heal. Yes to a life of surrendering. And yes to being vulnerable. Because being truthfully honest, 2017 has been a year of surrender.
I’ve had to put aside my pride and realize that God’s guidance is needed to get through this journey. Although I have had many foolish habits, I’ve learned that God still provides. Although at times I didn’t manage my time wisely I’ve learned that God still gives grace. While scraping my knees several times I have discovered a new beauty. A beauty in crying out for help.
O Lord, I cry out to you. I will keep on pleading day by day. Psalm 88:13
There is such a beauty in crying out to God. As our loving Father, He is truly compassionate and able to bring healing. When we embrace our child-like nature, we experience God’s fathering nature.
They will be my people and I will be their God. Jeremiah 32:3
God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him. John 3:17
Imagine having one child. Pouring into that child, instilling wisdom in him, and nurturing him. Imagine a crisis taking place. A crisis so terrible that you had to choose to send your child away to another place to restore order. Would you give up your only child?
For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
I began to shift my perspective when I discovered the strategy of the Father. He gave His only Son. There were not multiple children to choose from. Jesus was the only one. Christmas is all about sacrifice.
The Gift of Christmas
Christ gave up His home in heaven to become man and go through the process that led to our redemption. Christmas is more than the presents we place under the tree. It’s about giving yourself to bring healing to others. Laying down your life similar to how we lay presents down before Christmas trees. Give your all to God this Christmas. After all, he gave His all for you. It’s a holiday of celebrating the Father’s giving nature. So in return we give of ourselves.
Ways to Give
- Serve at a homeless shelter.
- Donate gifts to children/families in need.
- Be kind to others.
- Encourage someone.
- Volunteer at a community event.
- Donate items to the Salvation Army.
- Donate to organizations that are serving in your community or internationally.
Maybe you are preparing for this holiday season. Silver bells… I’m sure some of you have already put up the Christmas tree & lights. Well, as you are preparing the house and getting the list together, I’d like to share this reminder with you.
You are not of this world.
Jesus’ trial before Caiaphas ended in the early hours of the morning. Then he was taken to the headquarters of the Roman governor. His accusers didn’t go inside because it would defile them, and they wouldn’t be allowed to celebrate the Passover. So Pilate, the governor, went out to them and asked, “What is your charge against this man?” “We wouldn’t have handed him over to you if he weren’t a criminal!” they retorted. “Then take him away and judge him by your own law,” Pilate told them. “Only the Romans are permitted to execute someone,” the Jewish leaders replied. (This fulfilled Jesus’ prediction about the way he would die. )
Then Pilate went back into his headquarters and called for Jesus to be brought to him. “Are you the king of the Jews?” he asked him. Jesus replied, “Is this your own question, or did others tell you about me?” “Am I a Jew?” Pilate retorted. “Your own people and their leading priests brought you to me for trial. Why? What have you done?” Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.”
John 18:28-36 NLT
When questioned by Pilate, Jesus responded that His kingdom was not of this world. He knew that others could have defended Him but He remained driven.
Imagine, being wrongfully accused by thousands and having to give a response. How would you feel and what would you do?
Jesus was sure of was His identity and the ONE who sent Him.
You are loved, treasured, and favored by God.
Because Jesus knew the Father’s love, He was able to boldly give an account of His purpose for being here.
We also must be reminded that we are here to produce good fruit and share the Good News of salvation with others.
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.
John 16:33 NLT
Be faithful over what God has given you. Do what He has called you to do wholeheartedly.
Don’t be disheartened when people do not understand you. Do not be dismayed when they wrongly accuse you. Your heavenly Father is with you and His reward is greater.
Prayer for the day
Thank you Father for Your goodness. Thank You for Your bountiful mercy and endless love. When I am overwhelmed comfort me with Your steady hand. Remind me of your unfailing love and your kindness. When others do not understand me may I be content in Your approval.
*If you’d like to learn about Salvation, click here.
How can I continue? How do I go on? Is it safe to move on?
Imagine being in the face of a massive sea with your greatest enemies charging at you from behind. Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place! Moses and the children of Israel were finally free from captivity in Egypt when Pharaoh had a change of heart. He decided not only to pursue the Israelites himself but to align over 600 charioters to help anihilate them.
When word reached the king of Egypt that the Israelites had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds. “What have we done, letting all those Israelite slaves get away?” they asked. So Pharaoh harnessed his chariot and called up his troops. He took with him 600 of Egypt’s best chariots, along with the rest of the chariots of Egypt, each with its commander. The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, so he chased after the people of Israel, who had left with fists raised in defiance. The Egyptians chased after them with all the forces in Pharaoh’s army—all his horses and chariots, his charioteers, and his troops. Exodus 14:5-9
There Moses and the children of Israel were. Facing the great, Red Sea with their livestock, their young children, and all they had. Their promises suddenly turned into petitions.
As Pharaoh approached, the people of Israel looked up and panicked when they saw the Egyptians overtaking them. They cried out to the Lord, and they said to Moses, “Why did you bring us out here to die in the wilderness? Weren’t there enough graves for us in Egypt? What have you done to us? Why did you make us leave Egypt? Didn’t we tell you this would happen while we were still in Egypt? We said, ‘Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. It’s better to be a slave in Egypt than a corpse in the wilderness!’”Exodus 14:10-12
Some of us have been in a similar predicament. We’ve taken a huge leap of faith only to see that thing that we feared come upon us once again. It is in those times that I am reminded to trust in God. Breakthrough comes when something within us needs to be broken. For their sake, it was the Israelites’ unbelief.
1a :to have a firm or wholehearted religious conviction or persuasion :to regard the existence of God as a fact
- Do you believe?
—usually used with in
- believe in the Scriptures
b :to accept something as true, genuine, or real
c :to have a firm conviction as to the goodness, efficacy, or ability of something
Although the children of Israel had left Egypt, Egypt was still in them. That place of captivity had accumulated in their minds. In my opinion, it wasn’t the process of leaving Egypt that was the most difficult for the Israelites, it was the act of believing that they were actually God’s holy people and called to a greater destiny.
But Moses answered, “Don’t be afraid! Be brave, and you will see the Lord save you today. These Egyptians will never bother you again. The Lord will fight for you, and you won’t have to do a thing.”Exodus 14:13-14 CEV
It is imperative that we remember the One who has called us forth. He sees our greatest potential and propels us to move forward in victory. Regardless of where we currently are, it is our faith and God’s calling that will produce increase.
Instead of viewing your situation as a heavy weight to overcome, view it as a platform for God to display His greatness.
Stay firm and focused!
Without faith it is impossible to please God. I encourage you to make faith your first resort. It doesn’t have to make sense but it makes substance. God bless you on your journey to greater.
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.” Psalm 100:4
As the seasons change, I am reminded of the beauty of fall. The leaves have turned this beautiful, auburn color with golden hues and hints of green. Even the air has felt more crisp and inviting. Tis the season of thanksgiving.
a capitalized :thanksgiving day
:a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness
2:the act of giving thanks
:a prayer expressing gratitude
Upon swift walks to and from work, beauty has captivated me. It’s as if the earth has been trying to get my attention. Meanwhile, I have been somewhat engrossed in getting to my destination.
Children out of their seats. Running around the classroom. Laughing, shouts, and paper planes. Welcome to my Thursday morning. As I stood there raising my voice and demanding respect I began to feel overwhelmed. I had one goal at that point: Get home on my lunch break. As I whisked through the next class, I swiftly got my things together. I was almost through those doors.
When I stepped outside everything was at a stand still. There was warm air, birds chirping, a gentle blowing breeze, and colorful leaves surrounding me. I felt slightly disappointed that I considered the day to be horrible when it was actually abundant. God encouraged me to embrace the moment and to be grateful for it. I sat on a nearby bench and took it all in.
Thanksgiving is a spirit. You don’t have to wait for Turkey day to be thankful and grateful. Show gratefulness in your life today. Don’t miss another moment!
Here are some reminders:
- Embrace the beauty in each moment.
- Learn from your mistakes. Grow stronger, not bitter.
- Shift your perspective. Don’t be narrow-minded. Think of the bigger picture.
- Give thanks to God in all things.
- Stop and smell the roses (or shall I say pinecone this season?!)
“Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.” Matthew 6:28-29 NLT
* Read Psalm 100 for more on thanksgiving. Peace and blessings! *
Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. Martin Luther King, Jr.
When faced with a dire situation it is easy to result in fear. If you’re starting a new venture, you may be afraid it won’t be successful. If you’re moving without a job lined up, you may fear that things won’t work out the way you anticipated. What I am reminded of is how certain figures faced challenges and pivotal moments in the bible.
Abram, later named Abraham, was challenged to trust that God would bless him with innumerable descendants although he had currently had no children. Moses was entrusted with leading God’s people out of Egypt although he had a speech impediment.
The Lord spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great.” But Abram replied, “O Sovereign Lord, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. Then the Lord said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir. Genesis 15:1,2,4
Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!” And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith. Then the Lord told him, “I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as your possession.” Genesis 15: 5-7
All or Nothing
What happens when we embark upon a new journey? A new beginning? We try to conceive the outcome in our minds. But things don’t add up sometimes. Here are five points that you should remind yourself of during those times.
Our protection is in God. (Declare: My protection is in God.)
The Lord is our Shepherd and he governs our lives. We not need to forget that He is protecting us even in times when we don’t understand.
Although it seems easier said than done we must not focus on our physical circumstances. Tap into the presence of God through praying, meditating, and worshipping Him in your daily activities.
Our faith is moving things. (Declare: My faith is moving things)
Check out this passage of how Jesus describes the power of operating in faith! Faith is our currency. ‘In God we trust’ is on our money. We can’t move without it.
Recall what has already taken place. Sometimes it takes us going back down memory lane to be empowered. For me, it’s when I check through my journals and read testimonies of what God has done that inspire. Check this one out!
Sacrifice is important.
There will be times when you have to give up things you cherish in order to move ahead. Sometimes relationships, houses, and jobs but just know that with God it is all worth it.
“When she looked ahead she smiled because she knew the best was yet to come.”