Healthy Boundaries Creates Balance

For centuries, across all cultures and lifestyles, self-care has taken a backseat due to jobs, careers, family, ministry, and social obligations. Attending to life’s obligations can cause a vicious cycle, especially when you don’t take the time to care for yourself, and thus become even more exhausted, stressed, and inefficient. However, boundaries can create a healthy balance in our lives, families, workforces, etc. It is important to practice self-care for our physical and mental well-being. Sometimes, when we focus on the needs of others, our own needs become less of a focus. When we do this, we deprive ourselves of opportunities for future development and positive relationships.

On the other hand, there are people who create a need to be needed and sacrifice their own self-care. In an article called “Quora” it talks about people that develop a “need to be needed” mentality, and in doing so, cannot see themselves in any other capacity. Others may sacrifice self-care because their identities have intertwined with being “the reliable one,” or “the hero.” Without these titles, they have no identity. As a result, self-neglect can lead to dementia, brain damage, or mental illnesses like depression or psychotic disorders. You cannot allow yourself to run 60 miles per hour without fuel. Your self-care must also include exercise and healthy foods, just to name a couple, for improvement in your life.  Often, the seemingly slight changes to our lives can impact us in a positive way.

Although sometimes it can be hard to think about your own personal well-being, it’s always important to take time for yourself. Take some time everyday to reflect on your needs and do things that you enjoy, to include spending time with your family.  No one can possibly be attentive 24 hours a day, every day, and there is nothing wrong with taking time for yourself. In Matthew 11:26-30 MSG, it says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” We need to learn and understand how to take control of our lives. So, let us also pray because prayer can lead to increase benefits on our journey towards better health and well-being.

Here are some examples of work-life and home-life balance:

Work-Life Balance Strategies

  • Understand time management principles and theory
  • Understand the process of prioritization
  • Effectively plan your day/week
  • Be more proactive and less reactive
  • If possible “telecommute” a day or two out of the week 

Home-Life Balance Strategies

  • Morning Meditation and Worship
  • Communication
  • Exercise
  • Positive self-talk
  • Affirmations
  • Protect your family’s “private” time: “No office Emails, office calls or social media”
  • Weekly date night

Why should everyone have boundaries?

We need to learn to set, keep, and respect the boundaries of others and ourselves. We need to have limits that can help us avoid unnecessary stress and enjoy the peace God wants us to experience. For me, one of my biggest struggles as a Christian is where and when to set boundaries without feeling guilty or abandoning my Christian walk. After finding myself exhausted and burnt out, angry, and frustrated, realizing I had been trying to care for others with a care I didn’t really have for myself, I had to create boundaries. Although it wasn’t easy to say “no” at times, I have experienced increased happiness and gained more time and energy.

Furthermore, we’re blessed to have boundaries because they show us which responsibilities belong to us and helps us identify when responsibility belongs to someone else. Another way to view boundaries: they are fences that keep the good in and the bad out. Boundaries can help us strengthen relationships, allow us to be more Christ-like, and help us live happier and healthier lives. By setting boundaries, we are able to make reasonable changes and have confidence in ourselves, while still being respectful and responsible in decision making. Remember, boundaries are essential to a healthy life. Ignoring your needs might be your present norm, but now it is time to practice self-awareness and making self-care a priority. The more self-care you have, along with healthy boundaries, the more you can care for others, in an appropriate way, and the best version of you!

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The Power of Expectation

In life, we will experience things that have the ability to keep us from reaching our short or long-term goals. Unexpected situations may arise leaving us physically, mentally, and emotionally numb due to our trials, challenges, hardships, and disappointments. I have learned: any time there is a mutual dependency, expectations exist, and if those expectations are not met, conflict can occur. We have all experienced some sort of hurt or pain that may have forced us to stop expecting something great for our lives. But, don’t let these events cause you to lose your expectation for what God has for your future! Expectations are a form of focus, just as intentions are, but many times, expectations come from what we’re used to, or our own personality traits. Have you ever heard the saying, “You generally get what you expect”? There are no limits to what you can imagine, what you can desire, what you can dream, and what you can expect from God. He is ready to take us into another dimension! Where is your faith and hope to build your expectation? The key formula for “Expectation” is Faith + Hope + Expectation = Miracles.

Throughout the Bible, there are stories of many extraordinary, miraculous events performed by Jesus.

List of Miracles Jesus performed:

  1. Calming the storm — Luke 8
  2. Water into wine — John 2
  3. Feeding 5,000 — Mark 6
  4. Walking on water — John 6

Healing of Individuals:

  1. Woman with the issue of blood for twelve years — Matthew 9
  2. Man at the pool of Bethesda — John 5
  3. Man born blind — John 9
  4. Man with leprosy — Mark 1
  5. Man possessed with devils — Mark 5
  6. Lazarus raised from the dead — John 11

Shouldn’t these healings and miracles of Jesus, here on earth, increase our faith to the position of expectancy?

 Despite the miracles and healings, the disciples had seen Jesus perform, they still struggled with doubting Him. However, those that sought-after Jesus for deliverance, healing, and miracles came with faith and expectation and received their healing and miracles immediately. According to Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” God wants to be good to you, but you must be expecting Him to move in your life. Don’t rely on physical evidence. Look to God, having faith; trust Him. Your expectation is vital to your experience in life. I don’t know what you are believing God for, but the timing is now! In an article I’ve read, “What’s the real meaning of God Preparing a Table before My Enemy,” Psalms 23 is broken down. This shows us that God is more than enough and He has already laid the foundation for us!

 

The Lord is my Shepherd = That’s relationship.

I shall not want = That’s supply.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures = That’s rest.

He leadeth me beside still waters = That’s refreshment.

He restoreth my soul = That’s healing.

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness = That’s guidance.

For His name’s sake = That’s purpose.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death = That’s testing.

I will fear no evil = That’s protection.

For Thou art with me = That’s faithfulness.

Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me = That’s discipline.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies = That’s hope.

Thou anointest my head with oil = That’s consecration.

My cup runneth over = That’s abundance.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life = That’s blessing.

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord = That’s security.

Forever = That’s Eternity.

Whatever challenges you the most, decide now that you are going to set your mind for total victory. That means, no matter what obstacle you may face, you will stay in the position of expectancy! I have learned that prayer is the way in which we communicate with God, and receive His plan for our lives! If you believe and have faith in Him, then all things are possible for you! Through man, it’s impossible, but through Christ, ALL things are possible! We must stand on the promises of God. In Hebrews 6:13-15, it says, “When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, ‘I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.’ And so, after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.” He is a God that cannot lie. Therefore, the question becomes, “what’s holding Him back from blessing you”? Could you be lacking faith in Him and His Word, or could it be a legal situation resisting our prayers in the spiritual realm (read the Book of Daniel, Chapter 10)? We need to ask God to change our way of thinking, renew our minds, give us sense of direction, and renewed energy. Let your growing faith push you into expectation and cause you to take a fresh look at your life’s purpose. Let your expectations be so BIG that only God can turn them into reality! 

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PEACE BE STILL

I encourage you today to take a moment to pray and intercede on behalf of the victims of this horrible and destruction storm that’s taken place in the state of Texas because of Hurricane Harvey. We need the church and community, to pray for the families that have been affected by this devastating storm. Also pray for the safety and strength of the emergency volunteer and personnel workers. We pray for restoration, and that God will cover every city, county and community with His divine protection, mercy and grace.

In Matthew 25, KJV, Jesus said to His disciples, “For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 

This is a time that calls for a spirit of unity. Let’s join with people of faith as we pray together to provide whatever assistance possible to bring relief to lives have been greatly disrupted. Let us stand together in this time of need!

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Keep Going

Joyce Meyer, says “Sometimes when you’ve had a long series of disappointing things happen, you can get into the very bad habit of just expecting more of what you’ve already had. You’ve been through a lot of trouble and you’re simply waiting for more to come. I used to be like that, but I’ve discovered it’s not how God wants us to live.” Sooner or later, almost everyone faces fear, worry, stress, hardship, doubt, discouragement, and trauma. These traumatic episodes in life can cause us to not only withdraw or lose focus on our dreams but can, at times, cause us to come to a complete STOP. This reminds me of a childhood game called “Red Light, Green Light.” Here are the rules: To play, one person is chosen to be the traffic cop. All the players stand on the starting line, and the traffic cop has his back to the rest of the players. When he or she says, “green light,” players try to run to the finish line. When the traffic cop says, “red light,” he turns around, and players must immediately stop in their tracks. Have you ever had an event or situation that stopped you in your tracks? Well, I’m here to encourage you today! The enemy cannot hinder you from your dreams, destiny, or ability to “keep going!”

Furthermore, when we stop chasing our dreams, we are destined for failure. We must push, press, and pursue God’s plan for our lives. So, if we all have big dreams, why are so few people actively pursuing? Some people allow their own negative thinking to cause problems, mentally reaching back into their past instead of reaching forward into their future. How often do you find yourself digging up the past, replaying old, miserable memories, rewinding it in your mind, and watching it repeatedly? There is no future in re-living and staying in your past; you must get up and “keep going” towards the mark.

First and foremost, we need to understand that God has a plan and destiny for our lives. If you’re living and stuck in the past, then how can God use you for the BIG, NEW, and EXCITING plans He has ordained for your future!? Secondly, it’s your heart vs. your head. We need to plan and decide to leave a legacy, inheritance and generational blessings for our children, grandchildren, etc. God is opening our eyes and helping us to understand that the life we live doesn’t just belong to us. We need to know that when we “keep going” it brings harmony, balance, stability, prosperity and an exceeding joy!

If you are a woman who has ever experienced childbirth, you will understand “how it is to push.” That means you are expecting and preparing to birth something out of your being. The key is “expectation!” We ALL should be expecting from God! No matter how many times we screwed up, no matter how your finances may look, and no matter how hard life becomes, you must continue to EXPECT from God and REMAIN UNSTOPPABLE!

Did you know, as reported in a Newsweek special edition article by Seth Poppel, back in “1978, Michael Jordan was just another kid in the gym, along with 50 or so of his classmates, trying out for the Emsley A. Laney High School varsity basketball team. There were 15 roster spots.” Jordan a 15-year-old sophomore who was only 5’10” and could not yet dunk a basketball—did not get one of the spots? His close friend, 6’7” sophomore Leroy Smith, did. The team was in need of his length. “It was embarrassing not making the team,” Jordan later said. “He went home, locked himself in his room and cried. Then he picked himself up and turned the cut into motivation.Could you imagine what would have happened if Jordan would have given up? Many individuals give up too easy when life gets hard. Sadly, some people are buried by premature deaths and all their talents, gifts and dreams are buried in the grave with them. On the contrary, no matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities.

Although life is not easy, perfect, or may have tremendous obstacles coming your way, take a stand and “keep going,” letting nothing get in your way. There have been many times in my life when I have put one foot in front of the other, only to discover that the enemy is right around the corner trying to knock me back to the starting line. However, I believe God allows us to go through things to see if we trust Him even when we don’t understand. Isaiah 41:10 (NIV) says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” We must fight by praying against the wiles of the enemy. I have learned that leaning on God takes the pressure off myself. Just as Zig Ziglar says, When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal, you do not change your decision to get there!” You must REMAIN UNSTOPPABLE! Keep Going!

 

Trusting God with Your Destiny

Your destiny is your divine purpose, assignment, original plan, and a pre-determined future from God. But, why do most of us struggle in knowing the plan and destiny God has for our lives? He has wired you with unique ambitions, desires, and drives to play a particular role and have a specific and powerful impact. Did you know that the only person that can play that role is YOU? I have learned that I cannot have what everyone else has; I have not carried their pain, frustration, agony or the price they have had to pay to get where they are. God will not promote you to a place where your tolerance for dealing with issues is not able to withstand. He will not give you what you are not ready or able to handle. He will not give you more than you can bear. It’s not an abundant life, not if you must steal from Peter to pay Paul. Some of you are rooted so deeply in debt that you cannot enjoy the life YOU created for yourselves. But, what about what God has for you! We must live according to His will, plan, and purpose for our destiny. God is faithful to fulfill all His promises.

Even though God has a destiny for your life, He won’t force it on you. Everything happens for a reason and/or season. However, many of us try to rush ahead of Him, not realizing the importance of His perfect timing. Tony Evans, well-known speaker, says,Friend, if you learn anything at all from Scripture about reaching your destiny – learn this: Don’t go searching for your destiny. Go searching for your God. Furthermore, the Bible talks about Saul, “he was appointed king over Israel. Yet, this man began to fall apart. He had walked in his destiny for only a brief time. God fully intended that Saul live out his days with the Lord’s blessing. He had desired that Saul be remembered as the man who delivered Israel from the bondage of the Philistines. But Saul missed his “destiny!” He began to disintegrate, caving into his need for human applause and acceptance. He made compromises to attain these things and he missed the plan God had for him.”

 Some of us want God’s help, but we don’t want to go the route He desires to take us. If you don’t allow room for God’s plan for your life, you will find yourself heading for self-destruction, self-sabotage, self-denial, and unhappiness, which represents a dysfunction in your fundamental relationship with life and Jesus Christ. God is faithful to fulfill all His promises; He promises to provide for those who “believe” in Him. He will enable us to bear the fruits of genuine faith and perseverance to the end.

Furthermore, God will bring destiny helpers along on your path to help you achieve the promises He has shown you. It may take pain from a broken heart, help from family members and friends, even an enemy, etc., to push you to your destiny. But, also be aware of your destiny killers, too. They’re the ones who try to abort your purpose and dreams. No one can take away your dreams, but you. So, if you FIRST seek God, He will bring the divine connection to help elevate you to the place He has planned for you. Some of us have college degrees and careers, but are unhappy with our professions. I have learned that when your peace is gone, then maybe it’s time to move in a different direction.

Lastly, I too, struggled to find my destiny and I was frustrated for many years. Asking God, why are things happening for others, while I have yet to see Your promises for me? God revealed that I was allowing my emotions to control my destiny. I was afraid of stepping out into areas He wanted me to go because of fear of rejection, fear of failing, fear of public speaking, fear of making mistakes, and anxiety. I then found myself in a place of surviving, not living, and trying to plan my own destiny. Have you ever heard the saying, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired?” Finally, I realized I had to become humble and surrender everything I owned, believed, my way of thinking, my marriage, and my family to God. And at that very moment, He stepped in and took over. I’m so thankful for God’s purpose and plan for my life! I believe this is just the beginning, as I press forward on my journey towards my destiny. I don’t know how many talents I have, but I will maximize my potential dreams. The key: you must “believe” He can do it for you! I will live absolutely without limits. Just remember, “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny!” In Jeremiah 29:11 —”For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Are you ready to discover your destiny, the one that will give you that fulfillment, direction, purpose, mission, legacy, and allow you to live a life you love?

The Cost of Wearing the Mask

Ultimately, the “imaginary masks” we wear can cost us intimacy with Jesus Christ, His Presence, and His Abundance for our lives. William Shakespeare, well known Poet said, God has given you one face, and you make yourself another. Pretending to be someone we are not, drains our minds, bodies, and souls. Some people wear masks to protect themselves from vulnerability, pretending they have it all together and that everything is perfect. We occasionally hide behind alcohol, drugs, perfection, people pleasing, and other coping mechanisms. We have designed our masks to cover up our imperfections, allowing us to hide behind fake smiles, lies, unspoken sadness and loneliness, denied feelings of not being good enough, false validations, unseen tears and deniable fears, ignored emptiness or even the saying “fake-it-til-you-make-it.” I have learned faking is nowhere near the start line that leads to making it.

No doubt, faking is more like wandering through the wilderness, much like the Israelites, for forty long and unnecessary years. The Bible says in Joshua 5:6, “The Israelites had traveled in the wilderness for forty years until all the men who were old enough to fight in battle when they left Egypt had died. For they had disobeyed the Lord, and the Lord vowed He would not let them enter the land He had sworn to give us—a land flowing with milk and honey.”  Instead of vying for other people’s approval and trying to live a life full of people pleasing, live to please God, no matter what others think of you. I understand what it is like since I have also struggled with an approval addiction. Namely, people pleasing and approval, which was exhausting and robbing me of my joy. But, as I became more conscious of my people pleasing habits, I realized the only thing it was doing was making me more miserable. All my time revolved around taking care of other people.  For me, it became an intense need to please and care for others, and it was deeply rooted in fear of rejection and fear of failure. Thankfully, I have since moved forward by learning that I deserve to take care of myself, and it is nothing to feel guilty about, not now, not ever. Romans 8:5-6 says, “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.”

Accordingly, the most important stamp of approval comes from God. In the article, “4 Ways To Be A More Authentic Person,”  it tells you to embrace your imperfection and dare to be a bit vulnerable. You’ll be amazed where the right kind of vulnerability can take you. We are not anyone else, we are ourselves, and can only be ourselves. The Bible tells us in Luke 6: 22-23 “What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man.  When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets that same way.”

Take off the mask

Given these points, you can now begin to remove the “imaginary masks,” build your confidence and let go of trying to fit in, no longer having a fear of what others might think of you and most importantly, now having the ability to focus on your potential instead of your limitations. When removing the mask, you will gain confidence, peace, strength, vulnerability, more energy, the ability to be true to self, self-worth, self-value and authenticity. You must stop seeking validation from people, work, friends, or accomplishments. That doesn’t mean you forget about people altogether. However, you must remember that God’s love and acceptance are the keys to value and significance. Taking off your mask and uncovering your true self, requires effort and a commitment to change, but it can be done, and the rewards are well worth it. Are you ready to remove your mask and be that authentic person God called YOU to be?

 

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God, Where Are You?

Have you ever asked God that seemingly basic question before: Where are you? I have more bills than money, I have more stress than satisfaction, I have more instability than purpose, I have more problems than solutions, I have more weaknesses than strengths, I have more misery than joy, I have more hatred than love, I have more cloudy days than sunny, I have more bitterness than contentment, and I have more suffering than advantage. During these difficult stages in life, it seems we either turn to God or against Him. As a result, we either grow bitter or better: God takes no pleasure in punishing His people, but He does take pleasure in giving mercy. This is what the LORD says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be?” – (Isaiah 66:1). Our God is everywhere!

The Bible tells us, in 1 Sam. 1:15 (NAS) about a woman, Hannah, who was “oppressed in spirit.” She knew well what it was to cry for God’s blessing and not see immediate results to her situation. But, can wanting a blessing teach us to be persistent in our prayer life? Hannah soon discovered there was no one who could help her, except her Creator. I have learned that when we don’t deal with the matters concerning our hearts, we rob ourselves of the blessings of God. As soon as the emotions or awareness of resentment, hostility, hatred, bitterness, anger, being mistreated by someone or unforgiveness arises, deal with it immediately. Did you know that bad emotions can also be planted by the things you allow into your spirit? How about negative vibes and energy from music, TV Broadcast, people or even ill-spoken words? Many people allow bad emotions to attach to their hearts and then bury them, not realizing they’re still affected or enslaved to these emotions. Maybe that could be the reason you are not seeing any changes in your lives.

When viewing unforgiveness via Merriam Webster, we find the following: “having or making no allowance for error or weakness.” I have learned that forgiving people is not for them, but for me, and the same can be true for you, too. Here’s what Joyce Meyer says in an article she wrote about “The Poison of Unforgiveness”. “Another way that forgiveness helps me is that it releases God to do His work in me. I’m happier and feel better physically when I’m not filled with the poison of unforgiveness. Serious diseases can develop because of the stress and pressure that bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness put on a person.” I believe these bad emotions prevent the Holy Spirit from moving freely through you, preventing you from experiencing the intimacy and closeness to God. Many times our blessings are blocked because of OURSELVES, so don’t blame God because YOU can’t let something go. God did not give us the spirit of strongholds nor hindrance; these come from the enemy, the one looking to deceive and destroy us. Whatever the stronghold is that’s hindering your blessings, just LET IT GO.

Could God be trying to get my attention? Hearing from God is not always easy. When life is coming at us, and it’s hard to understand what is going on, we shouldn’t be afraid to ask for clarification. When I think of moments when God has tried to get my attention, at first, I think of times when difficult things happened. I would turn to God, dramatically, and seek His help in my life. We must listen intently and carefully, for His voice, through the crowd of noises in the world in which we live. No matter what you’re going to face in life, you’re not going to face it alone. God is with you, He is in you, and He is for you. Pastor Victor Ehiemere wrote a book called “Generous City,” and in the book, he summed it up nicely when he said, “When we deserved death, God sent His Son, Jesus, in our stead. When we deserved condemnation to darkness and sorrow, He brought us His light and joy. God doesn’t just love us in our worst; He makes us our best from our worst.” I have experienced unforgiveness, and it took the spirit of God to move me forward every time.  It’s not easy to let go. It’s not even natural. Once you learn how to forgive, you find that the prisoner has been set free. Could that prisoner, be YOU?

 

What’s Your Focus

I recently read a blog from Pastor Henry Fernandez, that talks about how the enemy sees us as the “The Living Dead.” Fernandez said, when talking about the enemy, “He knows you’re a Christian, but that doesn’t stop him from trying to get you over into his dominion of darkness. In fact, for him, it’s an incentive. He looks at your life, determines the level of your faith, and then attacks at your weakest point. His purpose is to make sure you never live in the abundance, fullness, and prosperity Jesus spoke of in John 10:10.”  That instantly grabbed ahold of me. It caused me to examine my heart, and to ask myself these questions: How do I live an abundant life? How do I change my mindset in order to have an abundance mentality? Can I truly proclaim that I have let go of the past? Have I completely forgiven and chosen to love those who have persecuted me and sinned against me? Have I fully allowed the Lord to heal my heart, or am I holding back in certain areas? Are my scars reminding me of the One who rescued me or the one who persecuted me?

To me, living an abundant life is not about what we have. It’s not even about what we get, seemingly on our own, nor about what we claim. Ultimately, abundant life is about what we receive as a gift from the Lord and to live knowing we are stewards of the blessings of God. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 the Bible talks about this life when it says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation. Old things have passed away and new things have come.” I have learned that stewardship is not measured by what we have received, but by what we have given. I think Ed Stetzer summed it up nicely when he said, “At the end of the day, perhaps that is how we know we have an abundant life—when we have shared our life with others. When we have enough of the blessings of God (mercy, peace, love, grace, wisdom, etc.) to share with our others, and then actually do it; that’s when we truly have abundant life.”

When viewing abundance mentality via Wikipedia, we find the following.   “Covey coined the term “abundance mentality” or “abundance mindset,” meaning a business concept in which a person believes there are enough resources and success to share with others, when looking at optimistic people. We can start by counting our blessings, being grateful for what we already have; identify our strengths, develop new skills and talents, be creative, be productive, enjoy our lives, and make the most out of every opportunity. One of the most important elements is gratefulness. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is. No matter how many pleasant things you do, if you don’t learn to be grateful, you will always see things negatively.

We are all presented with a choice: we can either press on in our relationships with Christ, or we can turn back, providing an opening for the old victim mentality of living hopelessly, and without truly knowing our Savior. As a personal testament, now, I can look at my scars differently. I can focus all of my attention on the One who rescued me and not the ones that prosecuted me. When I think about the goodness of God and all He’s done for me, then I can rejoice and feel good about who I am, and Whose I am. Our dreams can have a beautiful ending. We can end up making the right choices. It gives us hope that we really can stand up and proclaim, “I shall Live and Not Die. I will not be “the living dead.” And those choices must happen every single day that God breathes life into our lungs.

 

The Struggle Is Real

Whether we struggle with mental health issues,  forgiving infidelity, trying to conceive, thoughts of suicide, not believing in ourselves, weight, or substance abuse, it is possible to move beyond that place of hopelessness.   In the book of Romans 5:3-5 (KJV) it says, “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” He never promised that life would be easy for us, but He did give us His promises, in scripture, to help us when we struggle, no matter how insurmountable the issues seem.

Is it possible for us to miss the best life God has for us? Absolutely. I’ve learned that worrying, reasoning, and insecurity are some of the enemy’s most effective devices against us. We cannot allow our daily adversity and struggles to rob us of our peace, joy, and hope in Jesus Christ, nor can we allow the enemy to hinder the plans God has for our lives. “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). God’s will for our lives has reason and purpose. It is through scripture, that we find meaning and principles discerning God’s will.

What are you waiting for? The abundance is here! Don’t allow the enemy to steal from you. We need to learn how to fight! When you fall, get back up and brush yourself off. Learn how to have a positive attitude despite the situation at hand. If the enemy knows your trigger points, then he will attempt to lead you in that direction, whether that includes depression, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, etc.; he will continue to hold you back from what God has for you. In the Bible, it says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” In Ephesians 6:11, we are told to put on the whole armor of God that we might be able “to stand against the wiles of the devil.” The word “wiles” is sometimes translated “tactics” or “schemes” or “strategies.”

How do we fight? We need to pray against strongholds, binding up the principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world, spiritual wickedness and hosts in high places, the spirit of confusion, illusion and delusion. the spirit of infirmity, sickness, disease, pain, addiction, affliction, calamity, the devourer, the destroyer, the accuser, the deceiver, the corrupter and every spirit of poverty, spirit of strife and division, back biting and gossip, critical and judgmental spirits, spirits of resistance and hindrance, every spirit of retribution, revenge and retaliation, and the lying, seducing, deceiving spirit of deception, read and meditate on the Word. “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.”-Hosea 4:6 KJV. Don’t settle for less when you can live and enjoy the best that God has for your future! Hearing God’s voice changes everything. You’ll gain clarity, purpose, and direction for your life.

STOP surviving and START living!

Are you tired of masking your medical conditions with medication? Did you stop chasing your dream? Are you looking for a permanent solution? Did you know that toxic thoughts effect our physical, emotional and mental health? Our thoughts can activate our genes (DNA) in our bodies and causes mental illnesses. According to Dr. Caroline Leaf, Neuroscientist, our bodies reacts differently when we have Toxic thoughts. Some mental illnesses like ADHD, OCD, Eating disorder, Personality disorder, Mood disorder, schizophrenia disorder, and bipolar disorder comes from wrong thinking and living from toxicity. Also, we should never hold on to unforgiveness, bitterness, and resentment, etc. are another way of thinking and living with toxicity, which exposes yourselves to cancer, high blood pressure, etc. You can control your reactions to situations.

You are the one that makes your own decision. You are a powerful being and have a powerful mind that you can change. We have power over our minds and the Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Dr. Leaf says, no one forces you to be negative, feel sorry for yourself or stop your future dreams. You can re-wire your brain to create positive thoughts, which can boost your health, have success, upbeat attitude, creates energy, builds your skill set. In Psalms 139:14 says, “We are wonderfully made into the image of God,” therefore, we can align ourselves to be perfect in Him. In Romans 12:2, it says, do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. The question is: Are you willing to take the time to learn how? How bad do you really want to it?

Did you know a thought cannot be seen? However, negative thoughts can be dangerous to our bodies mentally, emotionally and physically. We cannot control or change the event of our circumstances, but we can control our reactions to it. Have you ever replayed a situation in your mind over and over again until it almost made you ill or depressed? Sometimes things are out of our control and we cannot change the situation, but accept it and move on. You must be determined to change! Our mind can limit God, keeping you from growing, from being successful, preparing and living your dreams. You are holding yourself back from dreaming BIG!  You can determine your future. In Philippians 4:8 says, 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.

 Anything that’s Good, think about it.

Anything that’s Pure, think about.

Anything that’s noble and just, think about.

Let’s get rid of the negative thinking pattern and fill it with God’s Word and positive thinking so we can STOP surviving and START living! Let’s learn together how to build heathy thoughts. You are designed to change, so let’s rebuild our brains to use our minds to change ourselves and help change the world.