Faith

Meditate on Scripture Series: Feeling Unworthy

MOS

At one point in our lives we’ve suffered from the “not good enough” syndrome. The enemy wants us to think that we aren’t [blank] enough. He wants us to feel unhappy with who we are.

Then we begin to search for that “something” that will make us happy, satisfy our innermost needs, or help us feel better about ourselves. For example, I grew up not feeling pretty enough so I started to spend money on products and services marketed to make us look or feel “beautiful”. I believed the lies of the enemy.

We no longer have to feel unworthy. Scripture tells us that we are God’s masterpieces.  

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

Continue reading “Meditate on Scripture Series: Feeling Unworthy”

Faith

You will never be ready to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior

Image courtesy of Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Often, I hear people say, “I’m not ready to accept Jesus”.

Truthfully, you will never be ready. There will never be a right time.

Why wait?

Prior to accepting Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I thought the same. And I didn’t find the following appealing: church services three (plus) nights a week, wearing skirts , and not be able to cut my hair. I didn’t want to stop living the life I lived.

I was comfortable where I was (for the most part!) and I didn’t want to leave the “old man” behind. And that’s exactly what the enemy wants. He wants us to feel so comfortable where we are, that we never want to leave. He paints everything else, but Jesus, as perfect and beautiful. He deceives you! That’s his specialty.

“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

However, God has plans for me. And He has plans for you, too!

At that time, my thought was that I had to make changes to my way of living right away. That was overwhelming and I wasn’t ready for that. Hence, “I’m not ready to accept Jesus.” The devil lied to me and he is lying to you!

How do you become a born-again Christian?

It’s simple. Let me explain.

You confess with your mouth that Jesus is your Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9).

Click on the image below to read a “profession of faith statement”.

walkwithjesus

 

Once you repent of your sins and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, a few things happen:

Then you begin the “cleansing” process. God begins to purify your heart, mind, and spirit. That means that God is getting rid of all behavior that isn’t pleasing to Him. It’s a slow process that lasts a lifetime.

When I committed to Jesus, shortly after, I began to read the Bible and pray. My thoughts began to change and so did my heart. I noticed the change in me. I was no longer angry, irritable and I no longer cursed. (It took a few years!) To God be the glory!

The Holy Spirit is the only One who can do that. He changes you. It doesn’t happen overnight.

I am not going to lie to you. It is an uncomfortable process. You will question many things, you will cry and you will want out. The enemy will try to discourage you, remind you of your past, and guilt-trip you. I encourage you to hang on. God’s got you!

For example, in 2011, God spoke to my heart and He asked me to stop listening to secular music. Of course, I wasn’t ready. It took me two years to understand why I had to stop. It was my life! How can I leave all that  behind? My career choices were in music. It’s all I ever wanted. At that time, I wanted it more than God. Idolatry.

However, I was honest with God– I asked for His forgiveness because I was disobedient. I told him that I would be ready to leave secular music behind, eventually. (God is a merciful God! He understands. He is patient. He cares.)

A year later (2012) I destroyed all of my CDs (ancient, I know!) and I deleted music from my iPod. It was tough, but I survived. And if I did, you will too!

Reality is that we will never be ready.

It is scary and overwhelming.

Change doesn’t happen overnight (unless God wants it to!).

The time is now.

You will be fine.

I’m living proof!

If you have committed your life to Christ, please share encouraging words below with those who don’t feel “ready”.

God bless you & yours,

Ivette

 

 

Faith

Busy life? Start your day in prayer.

With an active toddler at home, full-time work and a family to care for (including parents), it can get pretty hectic for us. This is why I start my day in prayer.

I have learned to balance work and life. It’s not perfect and that is okay. I  accept that it will never be. Instead,  I’ve learned to lean on God more and more each day. Without Him, I just couldn’t survive my daily schedule.

Granted, I’ve removed many activities from my schedule that I don’t have time for anymore or that didn’t edify my soul, such as sitting on the couch binge-watching movies. (I guess this is another blog post!)

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Phillipians 4:8

My focus is to develop a deeper relationship with God. Once I spend more time with Him, I can hear His voice and He sets conviction upon my heart. As a result, I have made changes to my way of living. While not perfect, I slowly have begun to understand what His purpose for my life is. Aware that it will not happen overnight, I am patient (not easy!).

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to  work-life balance, I choose to do what works best for my family.

I begin my day in prayer.

One of the Commandments says to honor God and love Him with all our heart and all our soul. If we love Him as we say we do, then we act. Love is something you do, not something you say. For examples, I hear many people say they love God, but they never pray, visit His Holy temple, worship in spirit and in truth, or read the Bible.

But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart  and with all your soul. Joshua 22:5

It’s simple, actions speak louder than words.

 

While I am not a perfect Christian, I’ve learned that honoring God first thing in the morning, in prayer, is important.  Why?

I honor God by giving Him priority. He is first on my list. Not of a to-do list, but priority in the sense that He matters. He comes first in everything.

I build a relationship with God. A good relationship. He gets to know me– my inner thoughts and frustrations. And I get to know Him and His will for my life. It’s an investment that is worth it. One that has eternal consequences.

Prayer sets the mood for the day. He already knows what my day will be like, the challenges, frustrations and happy moments that I am going to experience.  He desires to spend time with me so that I can go confidently about my business.

He provides the direction I need to face whatever the enemy is going to throw my way. God alerts me when something isn’t quite right. And I can confidently say, “no” to the enemy’s trap.

Even if my day appears to fall apart, God is right next to me giving me peace and comfort. He gently whispers, “I got this!”. I don’t have to worry because He’s got it all under control.

He gives me perspective. There’s nothing else in this world that’s more important than spending time with God. And there’s nothing that he cannot handle.  Every so often, I hear, “Let go. Let God.”. I challenge you to try it.

Prayer changes everything. It’s changed me.

Let me share my first, real experience with prayer.

When I first became a Christian, I rarely prayed. It wasn’t a priority. Besides the times that I kneeled during a Catholic service, the first time I ever got down on my knees to pray was sometime in 2009 or 2010. My best friend’s father (whom I love dearly. He is like a father to me.) was very sick (heart condition and tumor) and he almost died. I got down on my knees,  I prayed and cried. That’s when I learned that there is power in prayer. He made it out okay. He is still living today. Praise God!

God answered my prayer.

Through my “perfect storm”, I learned to pray. Isn’t that how it always seems to happen? God breaks us down and we surrender. God is good!

Since then, the Holy Spirit has led me and shown me things. He is my mentor, my guide, my everything. He continues to show me how to pray.

There is power in prayer.

I don’t know what you are facing, but whatever that is, give it to God in prayer.

I am an “imperfect Christian”. I make many mistakes. I don’t have a perfect prayer life, but I do have one. And yours is not perfect either, but make sure that you are staying in touch with our Heavenly Father, every day.

It’s one investment that should take priority in your life.

Let’s keep moving forward in our “walk with Jesus”!

Would you like to share your story? A prayer tip? Testimony? Please comment below.

I’d love to hear from you!

God bless you & yours,

Ivette

 

Faith

Meditate on Scripture Series: Fear

We all have, at least, one fear. While the type of fear is different, a fear is still a fear.

Up until a few years ago, I had a fear of public speaking. During my college years, I did it because I had to, but I hated it. I would sweat profusely, my face red as a tomato, my voice would crack or sound “shaky”, and I’d find every excuse not to speak publicly. Can you relate? Well, just as the woman on Daystar (read here), I took control and did something about it.

I meditated on scripture, prayed and God delivered me from this fear.

Since God broke the chain that was holding me back, I’ve preached at church, I sing a cappella freely (for God’s honor and glory) and I can give a presentation at work. Many years ago, that would not have been possible. Instead of jumping at the opportunity, I would make excuses. Sound familiar?

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Christian Life

6 things you can do when life gets in the way

 

It happens, that every so often life gets in the way. Can you relate?

Whatever your goal may be, sometimes priorities have to be reshuffled. It’s not ideal, but you don’t have a choice at that moment. I get it! You have a set goal, you are driven and you really want to make progress.

What are you going to do?

I’ve learned not to stress. Just go with the flow. Things may not always work out the way we expect them to, but we have a great God who is in control. He knows all things and His plans are perfect.

Not long ago, someone said, “enjoy the process!”.  And today, I say the same to you– Enjoy the process!

While life events may not always meet our expectations, there are a few things we can do to stay on track.

  1. Stay close to God via prayer. Always. This is so important and it’s the last thing on our to-do list. Prayer helps us stay focused, hopeful and moving along in God’s purpose for our lives.
  2. Keep a calendar handy with the understanding that many appointments will change. It happens! All will happen on God’s time, not ours.
  3. Don’t be too hard on yourself. This is life. You get only one, on this earth. Do the best you can with what you have. Learn to live for Christ. It’s the best decision that you can make!
  4. If you didn’t get it right yesterday, there is always today. God’s mercies are new every single day. Why worry or get angry?
  5. God’s plans are perfect. We don’t always recognize that His plans are perfect, but they truly are. Leave it in His hands. He knows what’s best for you and me.
  6. Stop trying to be perfect. There is no such thing as perfect. All will work out the way God wants it to. Let go and trust Him.

Find Perspective in Scripture

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Psalm 1:3

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” Matthew 16: 24-25

For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” Romans 9:15-16

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.” Psalm 116:5

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” Deuteronomy 32:4

God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.” 2 Samuel 22:33

 

What else do you do to stay on track? Please share in the comments.

 

God bless you & yours,

Ivette