Festival of Nations

Spiritual Truth:
And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation ~ Acts 17:26

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the annual Festival of Nations in my city! For two straight days people from all over the area congregate in a large, historic park to enjoy great food, music, dancing, shopping, crafts and more.

Trend Alert!!!

There are over 125,000 in attendance each year which amounts to approximately a third of the city population!

God’s Power on Display

I am always amazed to see the greatness of God on display as the scripture says, “from One man” came MANY nations. This is proof God has the power to multiply anything.

From one man God created countless ethnicities. Each with a unique culture, distinct language, delicious cuisine, and interesting traditions.

Can you imagine that type of power working in your life?

Where do you need God’s Multiplication Power?

If God can multiply one man into many nations, He can multiply you! In what area of your life do you need to see His multiplication power? He can multiply your family. He can multiply your strengths. He can multiply your resources and talents. He can multiply your faith!

All you need to do is ask in His name. If your request is in line with His great will for your life, He will answer. “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:14). This is a powerful promise for all believers that should give each of us hope.

Praying the Word:

Lord, thank you for creating many different nations. I am in awe of Your great power that is on display throughout the earth. I pray You would continue to make Yourself known to each and every city, tribe and country all across the World. In Your name I pray that You would bless this nation and Your people. Multiply our resources, time, and talents in a way that brings you glory. ~Amen

Living Out the Fruit of the Spirit

Spiritual Truth:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulnes, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. -Galatians 5:22-23, NIV

God doesn’t just want us to read His Word then walk away and forget about it. He wants us to remain in Him 24/7. When we are filled with Christ we start to exemplify FRUITS of His Spirit living in us.

It’s Easy On Sunday

I find in my own life it’s easy to feel swept up by the Spirit and encouraged to live out the Word on Sunday, when I’m at church, surrounded by other believers with the same goal.

But what happens when the Monday morning grind comes? It’s back to school, work, sports, chores, etc… and the Sunday morning fever is forgotten.

All of the sudden, living out the fruits of the Spirit like patience, and gentleness can be as hard as buttoning up your favorite skinny jeans after a big meal!

Showing others kindness comes naturally if it is someone I like; who is regularly building me up. But I find it can be very difficult at other times.

Think about that one co-worker or neighbor who always knows how to get you fired up. Showing kindness to certain people during the week can feel like breaking in new high-heeled shoes. Somewhat painful!

And what about practicing humility? Is it easy to take the back seat and give others others the spotlight and credit they deserve? Or is it like trying to figure out how to wear the fanny pack trend… across the chest, or around the waist?

The scripture says these virtues are “fruits of the spirit” which means they grow and develop as a result of God’s Spirit working inside of us.

Just Choose One

The good news is, you don’t have to be everything all at once! Start by choosing one virtue you would like to see cultivated in your life like patience. Tell God your desire through prayer and ask Him to show you what it looks like. I guarantee He will give you opportunities to try it on.

Praying the Word:

Lord, I pray that You would help me to learn more about Your virtues: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Teach me what is means to live out the fruit of the Spirit in my daily life. Fill me with Your power that I will be able to live out the fruits in my daily life.

~Amen

The Anxiety Cure

Spiritual Truth:

Give all your worries and cares to God for He cares about you. ~1 Peter 5:7, NLT

God wants to take care of us. Plain and simple. He is interested in hearing about whatever may be concerning you today. Do you feel like you are running on empty?

God invites us to give all our cares and worries to Him.
He cares about every aspect of our lives, we can tell Him even the smallest details and concerns.

God Cares about the Little Stuff.

This week my daughter was worried she didn’t have the right outfit for soccer practice. #nothingtowear

I think this is a problem every woman faces on a fairly regular basis. God wants us to tell Him all our concerns in the same way my daughter reached out to me.

He has a solution to EVERY problem big or small.

How do we give our cares and concerns to God if we can’t text, e-mail, or call Him?

Recognize Anxious Thoughts

First, we need to pay attention to what negative thoughts show up in our mind. When negative, self-defeating thoughts of worry plague us with fear and anxiety, we need to turn to the truth from God’s Word.

I like to write down everything that is concerning me then ask God for His peace and guidance. Psalm 34:4 says, “I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.

Thank Him in advance and praise Him for His goodness. He will fill your cup! Watch carefully for the ways He starts to work in your life. God doesn’t always answer in the way we think He will, but He has good things prepared for us if we trust Him.

How Great Is God’s Goodness?!?!

The Bible says, “How great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You” (Psalm 31:19). He is the source of good, ready at any moment to provide us with relief.

Praying the Word:

Lord, You have searched my heart and know the depth of my burdens. Help me to take my eyes off off my current situation by giving you all of my worries. Teach me to trust in You to meet all my needs. I ask in Your name that Your Spirit with rest upon me, and that I will acknowledge You as my Provider, and Protector.

Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

Spiritual Truth:

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful I know that full well. ~Psalm 139:14, NIV

How often do you go around praising God for His great handiwork in His perfect design of you?

All of His works are breathtaking, from sunsets, and flower gardens, to mountain landscapes, and the ocean floors! How much more exquisite are we? We are His special creation made in His image. But do we go around praising God, or do we focus on attributes we feel are lacking, which leads to comparing ourselves with others and wishing we were different.

Comparison Kills our Authentic Self

When we compare ourselves to others we are killing our own authenticity. We are also doubting God in His master plan for our design.

Comparisons can cause us to shrink back and hide our true selves from the world. Have you ever found yourself shrinking away from an opportunity because you felt less then qualified?

Flowers Do Not Compete with Eachother

The flowers do not look at eachother comparing their beauty and purpose. They do not live in competition focused on which blooms the fastest, or has the brightest colors. My rose bushes in the front yard aren’t worried about the flowers in the back yard. Each flower is different, each serving a different purpose, each blooming in a different season, and each holds it’s own beauty and unique purpose.

Just Bloom

I don’t know about you, but I want to bloom as the flowers do, in full confidence I am fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator!

To understand who we are and embrace our true beauty, gifts, talents, and purpose, we must first understand who God is. We need to understand His greatness, and that is when we become the person He created us to be. We bloom and blossom!

Praying the Word

Lord, thank you for taking great care and detail in my design. I pray that you would give me a new understanding about the person You created me to be. Teach me how to find my true identity, beauty, and purpose in you. Help me not to fall into the comparison trap or stray from Your calling. Please use me as a vessel to which Your love flows to others.

#OOTD God’s Way

◇◇•◇Spiritual Truth◇•◇◇
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. -Colossians 3:12, NIV

What is your favorite hashtag? I think mine is most definitely #outfitoftheday or the shorter version #ootd. I spend plenty of time thinking about my next outfit and trying on new looks. I have always had a keen interest in fashion and throughly enjoy staying on top of the latest trends.

The scripture today is an important reminder that I should be putting the same effort into clothing myself with virtues!

Just as I wake up and get dressed physically to prepare for each day, choosing the right shoes and accessories, I also need to daily ‘cover’ my mind with the Word of God. If I want my appearance to reflect His holiness, I need to clothe myself in His teaching and choose compassion and kindness.

Have you ever spent time with someone who was incredibly attractive in their outward appearance, but when they open their mouth they are critical and negative in their speech and attitude?

A perfect outfit cannot hide what is in our heart, it might provide a temporary distraction to the human eye, but God sees the truth. “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

God is pleased when He sees I am choosing kindness, patience, humility, and compassion as my outfit of the day, and it is a reflection to others of His love in my life.

What does your ootd look like? Do you want to clothe yourself in virtues but find it is harder to live out in real life then it sounds? I know, the struggle is real! You can start today by praying with me, and check back later this week as I will be sharing a few strategies to add the virtues from God’s Word into your wardrobe! The best part is… His virtues are free!

Praying the Word:
Lord, help me to seek you first each day and cover myself with Your virtues. Take my old attitudes, thoughts, and behaviors of selfishness, impatience, and pride, and make me patient, kind, compassionate, and humble towards others. I cannot change who I am in my own strength but I trust You can make me new. Amen.

Hope For the Future

◇◇•◇Spiritual Truth◇•◇◇
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. – Jeremiah 29:11, NIV

Today, I’m talking to God about my future. God has given many promises in His Word that affirm He has a great future planned out for those who believe in Him. In 1 Corinthians 2:9 He says, “No eye has seen, nor ear heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”

Without vision and a clear purpose, we wander around aimlessly, sometimes walking in circles, repeating the same patterns. I have found that when I stay focused on God, He gives me His peace, and His guidance, and glimpses of His vision for my future.

When we spend time seeking God, He works to align our heart ❤ with His so our vision for our future is in line with His vision.

As a young girl, I had envisioned I would be the mother of a beautiful biracial girl, with light brown skin, and ringlets of curly hair. At the time I was only 10, and didn’t realize this was a vision from God about my future.

Fast forward to the present, I am now the mother of not only one, but two, beautiful biracial girls of my very own.

God put His plan and a vision for the future in my heart, and step by step, He led me down the path to fulfillment of that dream.

But God isn’t finished, He has more in store for me, and for you. He cares about even the smallest details of our life and has many wonderful plans. God in His great power “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20). He wants us to come to Him daily expecting great things.

Praying the Word:

Lord, I come before you today and put my future in Your hands. I ask that You would give me Your vision for my future, and total peace about the days to come. Give me confidence that Your plans for me are for good, and remove any anxious thoughts and all fear. Fill me with your love I pray, in Jesus name.

Walking in Step With God

◇◇•◇Spiritual Truth◇•◇◇
A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.
-Proverbs 16:9, NKJV

Have you made your plans for tomorrow yet? Are you ready for next week, or the month ahead? I love to plan so much so, “back to school” season is my excuse to purchase a new planner! Thank goodness I have kids so I can also justify my need for tons of stickers, pens, and highlighters that make planning even more fun!

How often do your plans go as scheduled? We all know to leave room for last minute surprises right!?

The real question is, how often do you talk to God about the plans you are making in your heart? Do you look to Him for help guiding your steps in the small, mundane, day-to-day plans as well as the big decisions and life events?

Learning to walk in step with God is a journey and it takes practice. His desire for us is that we become more dependent on Him for EACH STEP.

As the scripture says, in our heart we have a plan, God has given us dreams and desires that fuel our Spirit. Then we must give those plans to God, He wants to be the One that directs our steps, and make SURE we get there.

If you are headed in the wrong direction, there is good news, God will turn you around. If you feel you are at a stand still, God will get you moving again. When you give Him your plans and let Him lead, He will get you where you need to go!

Pray this prayer today!

Lord, go before me and lead me down the path you have prepared for me. I want to walk in step with You each day. Align my heart’s desires with Yours, and help me to put my trust and faith in You for Your direction and leading.