When life is hard…

Help me (2)

It is easy to trust God when everything seems to be going great, but what about during the hard times?

If we trust Him during the hard times the victory is so much sweeter!

He may even use you to share your victory to encourage someone else during their hard time.

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Pray, Love, and Wait

prayer-post

16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:

17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.

18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

19 And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,

20 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,

21 And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.

22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.

23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:

24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.

27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.

28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.

29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,

30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.

35 And when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go.

36 And the keeper of the prison told this saying to Paul, The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore depart, and go in peace.

In the above story Paul and Silas were put in jail for praying and speaking deliverance over a young girl.  Her life was changed and her users were angry.  Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown in jail.  They started praying and singing songs of praise and well you read the rest of the story.  The prison doors were open and their shackles undone.  They could have ran and thought of their own well being.  But they did not do as most of us would do.  They shared the love of Jesus with the guard and his family.  How many lives were affected by this unselfish act?  I don’t know but it is a great example of loving others as we love ourselves. Paul and Silas were released by the magistrates from prison.  Paul was obedient and submissive to all the authority over him.  He did not whine and complain about his situation.  He just prayed and believed God.

My prayer is that if we were in the same situation we would act the same way as Paul.  We would be concerned with the salvation of our captors more than escaping.  Lord please help me to be more about others than myself.  Keep me from complaining and whining.  Help me to see every situation as an opportunity for you to work.

Keeping it real as always Michele

Rejoicing and resting in the blessing

Matthew-11.28-29

Have you ever been so busy with a task that you forgot how to rest?  The past couple of weeks I have been going non-stop preparing for our big move.  Well yesterday was the  big day for traveling to our new state and I realized everything I had been preparing for was finally coming to pass.  As I traveled all those miles my heart and mind started calming down and it was a wonderful peaceful time to rejoice and be thankful.  I just started praising God for all of the strength that He gave me to accomplish the big move.

Has God given you something to prepare for? Is it a lot of hard work?  Maybe you are having a Family Day at church or a community and clothing giveaway.  Whatever you are preparing for, don’t forget to rest a long the way.  Do not allow satan to get you so stressed out making you think you can’t finish the task.  If God told you to do it, He WILL help you.  Recruit others to help you.

Make sure you remember the day of you event when everyone is enjoying the benefits of your hard work that you just thank God for allowing you to be part of such an awesome blessing.  Thank Him and rest in knowing He did help you complete what He asked you to start.

Keeping it Real as always

Michele

Changes Part 2

It has been a few months since I have been on here.  We have been living life and dealing with lots of changes.  We have experienced many challenges and trials during this time.

Aren’t we suppose to be joyful about these moments?  James wrote about that.  But I need to be real with you.  It is hard during the trials sometimes to see the big picture.

I now see so many pieces of the puzzle that led us to where we are now.  During the past few months we have had to focus more on trusting God for His provision and guidance.  There were times we felt all alone and we leaned even more on God.  So the awesome part is all these trials did change us, brought us closer to God, and put a new fire in our heart.

We have grown in our walk with God in big ways because of these trials.  So yes now I do rejoice that we went through them.  By the way we have seen God do amazing things that only He could have done.

We now are getting ready to move on to a new adventure in North Carolina.  This means a new community and church to grow with and do whatever God has for us to do.

I am excited and yes a little nervous!!!  But I know it is going to be great!!!

Just keeping it real as always, Michele

count it joy

Every New Season Should Bring Changes

We recently went on a road trip from NY to northern Michigan.  It is always a fun experience when me and my husband are traveling together.  We try to enjoy the journey no matter where we are going.  I was noticing the beautiful fall foliage and was truly enjoying all the wonderful colors of the season, when I noticed something I had never paid attention to before.

The leaves on the sides of the trees where there was shade were still hanging on, unlike the leaves that were touched by the sun.  This made me think about our spiritual walk with God and how we should have new seasons and continue to change every year.

Spring should represent the new seeds of God’s Word being planted as we study and partake in hearing the Word.  Summer is when that Word is growing and bearing fruit and it is evident to everyone.  Fall is when all the old stuff that needs burn up starts coming off.  Most of the time this happens when we go through a time of testing and walking through the fire.  We are either going to draw closer to God and let go of the dead weight to make room for new growth or we give up and die.

This reminds me of a huge tree that is in my mom’s front yard and has been there for decades.  Every year it yields the most gorgeous leaves that turn a bright yellow in fall.  Every fall hundreds of leaves fall off this tree but the tree is still standing.  We have to let all of the stuff from yesterday fall off to make room for new growth.

Winter is the time when we just stand tall and strong.  We stand in being rooted and grounded in God’s Word and wait for the new growth that will take place as the season changes.

I want to keep changing and growing for Jesus.  Father please help me to let you make the changes you want.  I pray my stubborn attitude does not hinder all the great things You want to do in my life.

Keeping it real as always,

Be blessed

Michele

God’s got your back!

Do you sometimes feel like your enemy is in hot pursuit and you are not getting a break?  Sometimes we do not always see the Big picture.  We can’t see what God is doing on our behalf.  I was reading in the book of 2 Samuel chapter 17 and 18.  If you need some excitement in your life, read the bible.  There are so many great stories showing the Hand of God at work.

I encourage to read this portion of 2nd Samuel for yourself.  But I will give you a short version of what spoke to me in this portion of scripture.  King David and his army were being pursued by his son Absalom and his army.  Absalom wanted his father dead.  Absalom called for the advice of two different men.  They both gave him different advice. He was not satisfied with the advice of the first one so he asked another.  But God had a hand in that!  David was the King and God was going to protect him!
In 2nd Samuel 17:14 we read, Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The advice of Hushai the Arkite is better than that of Ahithophel.” For the Lord had determined to frustrate the good advice of Ahithophel in order to bring disaster on Absalom.

We are God’s servant’s and He has a plan for us!  The weapons of the enemy will not harm us!  The bible says so!

Isaiah 54:17 No weapon forged against you will prevail,  and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lordand this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord. 

Keep speaking The Word over your life and your family’s life.  The promises of God are for you and your children!  Know them and believe them!

Keeping it real as always,

Be blessed Michele

Saving money naturally

Have you seen all the “recipes” on Pinterest teaching you how to make homemade personal care products?  I always thought it was too much work and never tried it.  All that changed after I learned all of the harmful chemicals I was putting in my body from products I had used all my life.  I decided I would give it a try.  It really only takes a few minutes to make most of the recipes and I know I am not harming my body anymore.  It is just a way of life around here.

My husband is on board and loves it!  We are saving money and being healthier at the same time. I will be sharing “recipes” that we use in our home to live a Chemical Free Lifestyle.

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“Get busy living or get busy dying”

This is a phrase from a movie in the early 90’s called “Shawshank Redemption”.  It has been a statement that has stuck in my head for years.  The movie was about a young man who was accused of a double murder and sentenced to life in prison.  He held on to the fact that he was innocent and it would be proven.  He learned about prison life the hard way, but did not let that get to him.  He found favor with the warden and guards because of his accounting skills, helped to improve the library, and encouraged other inmates to be better.  This sounds like a similar story in the bible.

Genesis 39:20 Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison,the place where the king’s prisoners were confined.But while Joseph was there in the prison,  21  the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.  22 So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there.  23 The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.

Joseph had faith that he would be delivered, but in the mean time he lived.  He did not give up and live a life of someone who has been defeated.  The situation he was in he made the best of it.  I know so many people that are in situations that they have allowed it keep them down.  They are waiting for that one special day to come and then they will be happy. They have done everything but die because they are not living in the moment they are in right now.

Some people might not like what I am about to say.  But I am going to say it because I love you enough to tell you the truth.  I also have had this revelation to myself lately so I am with you and asking God to work on me and use me right where I am.  You are being self-centered if you are waiting for that one day for everything to be perfect here on earth.  My advice to myself and you is we need to get busy living AND get busying dying.  We need to live a life full of His Spirit and we need to die to our flesh.  I love what The Message Bible says in Romans 8:12-14  So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons. There are things to do and places to go!

We need to let God use us right where we are.  I pray you all have the strength to trust that our Father knows what He is doing.

Heavenly Father we thank you that you see and know where we are and how we feel.  I pray that you will help me to crucify my flesh and be content in knowing you truly are working everything out for my good.  Lord please remind me when I am acting self-centered and foolish.  Help me to be the best I can right where I am.  Help me to get busy living AND dying right where I am.  In Jesus name Amen

Keeping it real as always

Michele

live

 

When you are not here or there, just in between

    As I was thinking about life and how I along with many others live it, I realized most of my life has been “when I get there”.  You might think you don’t live that way, but you may be surprised.  My husband and I are always setting goals and live a busy life between ministry and our business. We have wall calendars, online calendars, and cell phone calendars filled with the next event or appointment.  Some of you may not be that “calendarized”.  I think I just made that word up.  Anyway I am sure you get the idea.  

    We all look forward to vacation every year.  We look forward to Friday at the end of the work week.  We look forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas with family (especially grandkids).  We get excited when we are going to see and old friend.  We get excited about Sunday’s because we get to meet with God’s people and enjoy the Word and fellowship.  You might be one of those like me when involved in a fitness challenge you have a certain goal you would like to reach.  

    We recently resigned from several ministry positions in our church because we were tired of being Martha and needed to be Mary.  There is nothing wrong with looking forward to those “there” moments, but it is important to enjoy the in between everyday not so exciting moments.  I have had some of my most creative thoughts on those days that have helped me get to the “there” moments.  I started writing a book for women 4 years ago and recently it became available on Amazon.  The in between is what got me “here”.  The in between is what helps us enjoy the “there” moments.  Let’s enjoy the in between because w whole lot can happen and change us that we can’t see.  I am certainly not the same person I was when I first started writing my book. The in between may not seem exciting, but a lot happens.  A great example is Esther becoming an orphan and being taken to be groomed for The King.  She was exercising her faith during the “in between” time and when she got “there” she helped save a nation.  Let God work on you during the “in between”, and you will be amazed when you get “there”. 

Keeping it real as always

Michele

 

Oh no I have an emergency, and I think my life is over!

Do you remember when you were younger and something happened at that time that was really no big deal seemed like a catastrophic event? I remember when my daughters were little and having to help them with whatever catastrophe they had. It might have been a broken toy or as they got older a friend was mad at them. Middle school was where the fun really began! There were girl issues like jealousy of each other and of course fighting for attention of boys. I remember one time in particular when my oldest daughter was in the 7th grade and she wanted to curl her own hair with my heated curling brush. I warned her to be careful because it could get tangled up and would be very hard to get loose. Well I am sure you know where this is going. I hear, “mama!!!!” From the bathroom so I went to see what happened. What do you know she got her hair tangled up. I had to be calm and slowly untangle and pull her hair from that heated hair trap. Yes we had to cut her hair and she had some “interesting” bangs for a little while. It was pretty “catastrophic” at the time. I have seen her now that she is a grown woman go through many things much worse than that. What has it done to her? It has made her so much stronger! She is a strong and powerful woman of God today! As we continue to grow in Christ the things that use to bother and upset us can easily be blown off as no big deal. I see myself as so much more patient than I was years ago. I don’t worry and stress as much as I use to because Jesus is refining me with every experience. Every trial and “emergency” has made me better and stronger because I go to Him for strength. The bible says, Praise our God, all peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. Psalm‬ ‭66‬:‭8-10‬ NIV.
I am not saying it is easy to face life’s challenges all the time. But I know where to go for strength to face those challenges. Jesus will always be my deliverer!