Christmas Angel

Day 4: Christmas Cheer

Day 3: Christmas Cookies

Day 2: Christmas Shopping

Day 1: Christmas Planning

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What are you looking for?


In my life I have witnessed many who are wandering. They once knew where they were going but life is off track and now they just wander around. As a believer this saddens my heart to see people go astray just to wander. My question in my head is always, “What are you looking for?”

What is out there in the world that is drawing you in? What is it? Lack of motivation maybe, trial and tribulations, offense, heartbreak, contentment or a series of rebellion could that be it? With this question in my head and heart I need to share with you something that I can see from the outer perspective. What I mean is that I”m not in your head. I’m not in your heart but I know who wants to be. I know what you are looking for.

You are looking for love. You are looking for peace. You are looking for help. You are looking for companianship. You are looking for mercy. You are looking for joy. You are looking for satisfaction and desire.

If those are the things we want, why do we look for them in the bar, in another person, in our homes, in our work enviroments, in the woods, in our phones or social media, and in our kids? Why? Because the enemy has you confused. He has you thinking that the things here on this earth are eternal.

The things here on this earth are made up of vapor but we believe they are made of gold. Gold is in the heavenlies only. There you will find a Savior, a redeemer, a restorer, a hope, a joy, a future, a helping hand, a grace delieverer, and a newfound motivation that drives you to love people more than tasks or things.

So I’m writing this to encourage you! Stop looking out there! Look in the Word of God, look in the church doors and look past the mistakes of people into the heart of God. There you will find all you need!

The Bible says, in James 5: 19-20 that if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back from wandering will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins.

So what are you looking for? Ask yourself this question and humbly answer. I pray today that you will stop wandering and instead you will find the Lord today! He is there waiting for you. It just takes one humble answer.

 

S

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How do you find your way in the mazes of life? Jesus is most surely the answer, but as a child of God sometimes we lack direction and we are desperate for a voice to tell us where to go next. Sometimes, in the midst of the chaos we choose worldly voices over heavenly voices. The Holy Spirit is guiding us, but our feelings are detouring us. We get in the way sometimes causing the light unto our path to flicker off until we are standing in the midst of a very dark and terrifying maze of trespasses, mistakes and hopelessness.
When I was young I loved looking through the activity books that came in the birthday swag bags to find the MAZE!  I liked the mazes way more than connect the dots or color by number. I wanted a challenge. Searching for the path was my fuel. Life is complicated like a maze. The challenges we face, the walls that block us from moving forward, and the detours that misdirect us all are Satan’s master plan to distract you off the lit path to your purpose and calling.
That’s where I started searching for a path that would lead me through the challenges, over the walls and around the detours to the final destination of God’s perfect plan and will. I want to call this the “Grace Path.”
It’s simple I did a few things on my journey to find my way. I needed direction and His grace was there and sufficient for me. So this word Grace has five components that I feel like were pivotal in my journey to the Unshakeable.
Grace Path
G – Get Going – This step was the first stop because we all know how tough and mundane it becomes to get up early every morning knowing the circumstances that we may have to face. Everyday is a choice for me. Raven, get out of bed and get yourself together. I can’t allow myself to wallow in shame, guilt, or negative thought patterns. That sinking thinking will disrupt and sometimes even shut down the gateway to the grace path.
R – Reach for excellence not perfection – As a born-again perfectionist I have always aimed for perfect every time. This is exhausting to my emotions, my spirit and my family. If I don’t allow my weaknesses to shine some then I will burn out. But if I will reach for my best or excellence then I will burn up with new ideas, fire, and motivation. This means you have to let yourself off the hook sometimes. This does not mean you can be lazy but it means you have to let go of things you cannot control. Be okay with that. This is the toughest part of the grace path for me.
A – Act in love – Many times I saw myself operating out of anger. I wanted every one around me to pay for the pain I felt deep inside. This was not okay. This is the place where God’s first and most important commandment came into play. Love others! Love them when you are angry. Love them when you are sad. Love them when you are confused. Love them when you disagree. Once you start loving people, the world around  you becomes an easier place to abide and dine in. Why? Because now you are accomplishing the mission of the King. Not only are you on the path of Grace you are now carrying a torch to lead the way.
C – Create Fun – Here is where you need to let your hair down and enjoy. Yes, enjoy yourself. The path of Grace is not one where shame walks with you. No shame and fear are no longer there. The gift of creation was given to us by a God who saw greatness in us. He wants us to enjoy our lives. So create some fun with your family, create some fun moments with your spouse, create some fun with yourself even and don’t feel ashamed because you are laughing in the midst of a path that can sometimes seem discouraging. You are on your way to the finishing point!
E – Engage with God – This is the step everyday we should revel in. This is the place where we will receive true freedom. Every day take some time to engage in a conversation with the King. Talk to Him as a friend. Give Him time to talk back and listen for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. God always makes a way in the mazes we are in. This should be the place you find great comfort in. Engaging with God will Encourage you in God.
Psalm 23:3 He renews my strength, He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name.

 

Sink or Sail


1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)

33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”Sink or Sail

I’ll never forget senior skip day. Beautiful day with the glorious weather when I and my buddies jumped into a jeep and traveled to Little River Canyon for the day! Fishing, swimming and hanging out were our agenda. Every friend was present and we were excited about the fun we were all about to embrace. After much swimming, a few people had this great idea to swim across the water to the other side! It looked like a challenge, but I knew how to swim so this was would be just that “just a challenge.” So out into the water, we go swimming across. I guess you never know how deep, how wide and how great that current is until you start swimming out in the deepest part. All of the sudden I began to feel weaker and weaker as I was swimming. My legs were giving out, my arms were growing weary and my mind went into panic mode. I WAS SINKING! At that moment my friends are all on the bank watching me as I’m gasping for air, struggling to stay above the current, and screaming out for help. One friend was still in the water with me, so she struggled over to me and grabbed my hand to help, but unfortunately, this friend only pulled me further down. She was intentionally trying to help me rise, but her weight pulled me under. So about that time my rescuer, a great teddy bear like friend jumped into the water and pulled me back to the bank. Wow oh wow my life flashed before my eyes. More than likely this all happened because I was in the midst of disobedience since I should have been in Spanish class instead, but I sure did learn more that day in that instant than probably all the teachers could have taught me that day.
“Friends are like elevator buttons they either take you up or take you down.”
Friends will either help you rise above the deep waters of life or they will weigh you down under and cause you to sink under the currents of society. Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.
Many people consider finding good friendships something that you should do while in high school. That is very important, but I see something way more important than just during high school. I see finding a good friend, a confident, an accountability partner, a prayer partner, a trustworthy person as something we all need in every stage of life no matter our age. Our friends really determine our futures. Will we sink or sail?
Friends can be disease carriers or destiny carriers! Read that statement again! You need to look at your friends through this lens just for a moment. Your negative thoughts could be from all the gossip you have surrounded yourself with at work or on the weekend. Your positive thoughts could be from all the encouragement and Bible studies you have encountered this week with the people in your world. What are your friends carrying?
We like to Clorox and germ-x the diseases and germs that filter in and out of our homes, works, schools, and environments. Why not take that same method to your friendships. Remove the viral things that keep repeating themselves. Gossip, slander, negativity, hurtful words, depressing thoughts, abuse, sharp tones, are not for you! Those things are diseases. They will destroy your life.
When looking for a new friend at work, at school, and at church look for a destiny carrier. Someone who is looking to sail! Someone who has a desire to better their future, someone who loves to encourage and mentor, someone who is trustworthy and you can be vulnerable with. This type of person is a friend who will encourage you to rise. They will take you up to a better level! This kind of person will encourage your relationship with God. They will pray with you and for you.
Maybe you are struggling to find that friend. Well, friend while your reading this my prayer is simple. Lord, please give opportunities while we are are going in and out of our work environments, schools and churches to find friends who are destiny carriers. Help us Lord to discern what kind of friend circles to be a part of. Give us friends at church that lead us in the ways of the Lord and are trustworthy.
Now here’s the challenge. If you are lonely and seem to have a hard time finding friends. Examine yourself. Are you a disease carrier or a destiny carrier? Are you taking your people up or down? If you are disappointed with your answer then go out and start being that friend to someone else that lifts up, encourages and strengthens someone. When you hear that negative whisper in your head, rebuke it. Be a Sailor! People are drowning all around you, rescue them with good friends and help them find their way!
Proverbs 12:26
The righteous choose their friends carefully, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.

Through and Through


Today, something crazy cool happened to me that I would love to share with you. A friend of mine posted a message about a young lady who was graduating from high school and that she was in need of a pastel dress to wear on her big day. Well her size was mine, and it immediately caught my eye because I love serving teenagers.

I do not know this young lady at all…but I felt compassion and was moved by the Holy Spirit to respond. So I of course responded with I’ll look in my closet to see what I have…and right when I’m about to hit send and end that message…my fingers just wouldn’t stop typing. I kept typing…until this came out…but if not I’ll buy her one. WHAT DID I JUST DO? Looking through my closet is one thing…but buying a stranger a dress to graduate is something else.

I received a phone call later today, from my friend. She begins to share with me the details of this young lady’s story. I was immediately brought to tears as she shared the trials this young lady is facing in her life. Things I have never faced before, I can not understand what she is going through…but God does. I believe he has set this whole thing up…His Holy Spirit is at work right now.

I’m ready for whatever God has planned for this young lady, and I’m going to personally pray for her that God will give her the strength and she will find Him. God sometimes puts things in our way, he wants us to take notice. Jesus loves this young lady so much, that he cares about the pastel dress she will wear on her BIG DAY. Jesus wants her day to be the best day ever…and He gave me the opportunity to be a blessing. What a great God we serve.

Just thought I would share such a great story…remember God has an opportunity for you as well…will you let God use you so that he can love someone through and through?

 

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Unshakeable Marriage


When the marriage feels over what do you do then? What do you do when emotionally you feel like you are already divorced. You haven’t physically signed any papers and hanging in the back of your head is disconnection, grief and fear. Shockingly every marriage goes through these dark roads. Every marriage is faced with hard times, struggles and mountains that must be overcome! But how do we face them and not lose one another?

I believe God has intended for you to not only stay with your partner but to also enjoy the marriage. His intentions for you and your spouse come out of pure love. A strong love that I would call UNSHAKEABLE. To me this word describes the type of marriage I’m striving to have with my husband today. A marriage that is together, intact, in love, and in sync because it’s set on the right foundation! The Rock of Jesus Christ!

In 1 Corinthians 7: 14  it says “For the believing wife brings holiness to her marriage, and the believing husband brings holiness to his marriage…”

There is “ONE THING” here we must grab a hold of today!

  1. BELIEVING – God wants the wife and the husband to believe in Him, believe in His promises, believe in your marriage, believe God can heal your marriage. When you do this “ONE THING”  then there is a blessing that is tied to it! Give and take!

That Blessing is HOLINESS! Holiness means to be set apart. It’s purity, Godliness, and beauty in the eyes of God. When we believe we strike the goldmine of holiness! We now can each bring that to our marriage by faith! When we just believe we bring a purity and depth to our marriages that is UNSHAKEABLE!

God is Holy which makes His holiness UNSHAKEABLE! An Unshakeable marriage built on one thing…BELIEF!

Do you believe in the Healer? Do you believe in the Provider? Do you believe in the Way Maker? Do you believe in the Restorer? If you believe then you are bringing a great blessing into the marriage bed today! A blessing of holiness that will bring about a marriage that is built on the Rock of Jesus Christ!

When the marriage feels over…BELIEVE!

When the marriage feels disconnected…BELIEVE!

When the marriage is tough and mundane…BELIEVE!

THAT BELIEF IS BIRTHING HOLINESS WHICH PRODUCES UNSHAKEABLE!