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10 Characteristics of God

10 characteristics of God to encourage and strengthen you.

God can’t get tired.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary.
—Isaiah 40:28

God can’t take on a job he can’t handle.
Ah, Lord God! Behold, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for you.
—Jeremiah 32:17

God can’t be unholy.
And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
—Isaiah 6:3

God can’t be prejudiced.
In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears him and works righteousness is accepted by him.
—Acts 10:34-35

God can’t break a promise.
My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of my lips.
—Psalm 89:34

God can’t remember sins he’s chosen to forget.
I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake; and I will not remember your sins.
—Isaiah 43:25

God can’t make a loser.
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ.
—2 Corinthians 2:14

God can’t abandon you.
Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, he is the one who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.
—Deuteronomy 31:6

God can’t stop thinking about you.
How precious also are your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand; when I awake, I am still with you.
—Psalm 139:17-18

God can’t stop loving you.
Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.
—Jeremiah 31:3

 

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Come to Me

Are you spiritually bankrupt? Have you gotten to the end of your rope only to find that the know is untied? Are you fighting an uphill battle with no end in sight? Here’s hope…. Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Our lives are like a car wreck. Sometimes we spin out of control. Our worlds are flipped upside down. We lose control of the wheel because we didn’t see another car coming. Sometimes the music is too loud that we cannot focus on the road. Stopping the spinning is what God does best. He can make sure the seat belt is tightened and readjust our focus. Sometimes we must have the wreck so that He can get our attention. We must rest in the promise that no matter what happens, God is still in control. He doesn’t want to be the co-pilot but rather the pilot. He doesn’t want us drifting around on the water but rather He wants us to anchor to Him. Once we stop and sit at His feet for a while, we can see the other car coming and we can focus on the path that we are on so that the distractions of life do not get in the way of our worship. Because of this, we can have hope in Him. We place our hope in many things. Our family (they will always disappoint us), our friends (some have their own agenda), our jobs (everyone is replaceable). What if we placed our hope in Someone who truly deserves it? Fire, earthquakes, famine, war…. after these take place, what is left? Put your faith and hope in God Almighty. Put your faith and hope in the One who truly deserves of our time and energy. He created us to worship Him. He created us to have hope in Him.

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I Will Sing Praise

I Will Sing Praise
Psalm 104:33-34
“I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord.” The Psalms are full of versus proclaiming how we should praise, how often we should praise and how genuine we should praise.
1. How we should praise? Praise can be defined as gratefulness in words or song. You don’t have to be great singer to sing praise. God wants us to admonish Him with our voices. Just simply recognizing that a blessing situation or experience came from Him is praise. In all things praise Him for He gives us things to bless us and strengthen us.
2. How often should we praise? One word…. continuously. Everything we have everything we feel, everything…. comes from Him. He created us to be able to work to supply our basic needs like food, shelter and clothing. He created us to be strong in Him no matter our situation in life if we lean on Him. Every moment of everyday we should praise in some way shape or form.
3. How genuine should our praise be? Don’t straddle the fence. 1 Kings 18 talks about Elijah and Ahab. There was a famine in Samaria possibly caused by Ahab and his family’s practice of idolatry. Elijah stood on Mt. Carmel proclaiming God and His provision. IN the face of adversity, Elijah stood firm and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him”. V21 The people didn’t answer. It is so easy to straddle the fence. We are caught in a world where we flip from one side to another. The pressures of life can easily find us on the “greener” AKA easier side. So, what does this fence story have to do with genuine praise? Everything! Elijah, in the middle of a struggle, in the middle of pain, in the middle of heartbreak; or on the fence, so to speak, spoke out for God! His praise was proclaiming the source of his strength. Ours may be the same. Ours could be teaching, singing, writing, raising your hands, building, giving…. if you believe with all your heart that you are living on the right side of the fence all the time and every time. With God, there is no in-between. Honestly, praise doesn’t come natural. Praise and thanksgiving should bookend our days. First thing in the morning and last thing in the evening. We should thank Him and praise Him for everything. Our praise is music to His ears and He rejoices when we rejoice. Others need to see His love through us. Drink in His spirit from the well of Living Water and find rest and freedom in His peace.

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Toxic Relationships

Toxic Relationships

I believe that God has a sense of humor.  Let’s face it, He puts a bunch of humans with different personalities on a fiery ball in the sky and tells us to all get along.  It’s like watching my daughter with her children, stepchildren and nieces in one room and she is in charge.  Part of me wants to just sit back and watch her figure it out and the other part of me wants to help her guide these precious faces to mind their manners and eat without smearing food all over themselves and the floor.  It’s comical.  Very comical.  It’s a ‘good luck with that’ moment.  On the other hand, my daughter should have the skills to deal with the different situations that will arise from raising these precious souls.  As I watch, I wonder to myself, did I really give her the tools?  Raising respectable, honest, well-behaved children is a series of strategic negotiations and sometimes can result in hostage type situations.  Bottom line, we are all failed parents.  We have all done things that result in our children misbehaving or their less than stellar acts.  Why?  Because we are not perfect.  God, with His incredible sense of humor, made us less than perfect.  You may think you are, but you aren’t.  Nowhere near.  Don’t even go there.  So, because of our imperfections, sometimes we find ourselves in toxic relationships.  Relationships with our parents, spouse, children, friends and even co-workers.  It happens because we are human and not necessarily because we are the quote unquote bad parent.  We want to give something more to our children that what we received from our parents.  All of us do that.  We can all remember times where we thought that our own parents were being unreasonable, dishonest, narcissistic or even abusive.  There are always two sides to the story.  Simply put, perception is reality.  Some people have skewed perception but to them it is a reality.  I’m not making light of any situation because your pain is very real.  Time does not heal those wounds yet diminishes the appearance of the scar.  You get used to a new normal.  Normal is never the same when dealing with toxic relationships.  You can never go back in time before toxicity, only forward in a different direction.  With that being said, let’s look at several aspects of a toxic relationship. I’m sure you can identify with several of them.

 

  1. A relationship is between two people, not one.  Oftentimes there is one person who takes control, makes final decisions and even leads the relationship.  When those lines get blurred and the one in “charge” becomes bossy or makes decisions without consulting the other person, then there is a problem.  A relationship is a two-person sport.  Think of a tennis match.  One serves the ball and the other receives to bounce it back.   A healthy relationship is one where both people serve and both parties receive.
  2. Have you ever been in a relationship where just talking to an individual hurts your head? You dread the conversations and try to avoid them at all cost?  I’m not talking about your mother-in-law.  I’m talking about the person who talks a mile a minute and you cannot seem to process the information quickly enough.  When talking to someone becomes a physical chore, you may need to reevaluate the relationship and decide if having them in your life is mentally healthy for you.
  3. In my opinion, trust is earned. You can say all the right things to someone but if they don’t completely trust you, then you need to move on.  I’m talking about the person who calls your phone repeatedly until you answer or sends texts one right after another.  It will drain you eventually.
  4. Have you ever deal with someone who is hostile? I mean mad for absolutely no reason.  We all have disappointments in life but how we handle them makes all the difference in the world.  I always taught my children to handle themselves with dignity and grace.  Did I always display those qualities in front of them?  No, more than likely not, but I attempted to and apologized when I failed.  We all have triggers but you shouldn’t have to be around a person that is the proverbial loaded gun that could go off at any moment.  Do not be a pushover but do not be a loaded gun.  Find people that are willing to live in the happy medium and share your life with them.
  5. People are just so judgmental. People are willing to offer an opinion for anything at any time for any reason.  If you would have done this, then you could have had a different result.  You should have done it my way or I told you so.  Any of those things sound familiar?  I believe in guiding people.  Not to a result that is beneficial to me personally but rather to an end that will better their lives.  Don’t we all want to help others along this crazy path of life?
  6. People will let you down. That fact is 100% correct.  If you are human, you will or already have let someone down.  My girls knew that when I said, ‘I promise’ that I would fulfill what they asked for or a task that needed to be done.  I rarely said I promise because I never wanted to let them down.  The reality is that people are unreliable no matter how hard they try.  Don’t be a victim of a constant unreliable person.  They are just saying what you want to hear.
  7. Please do not get me started on narcissism. It is the excessive interest in oneself.  A healthy interest in oneself is normal, excessive is not.  Narcissistic relationships involve two people.  One person stands still and the other revolves around them.  The revolving one exists to adore and admire the person standing still and if the one stops revolving, the consequences are that of manipulation and despair.  Have you ever severed a relationship with a narcissistic person?  If you have, my hats off to you.  It isn’t easy but it is totally worth it.  It is truly a form of abuse.  It’s akin to having your insides ripped out, stomped upon and then shoved back inside.  They never work right again but you can heal and they will work differently.  If you have ever been a victim, you can spot a narcissist from a mile away.  When you do, change directions.  It isn’t worth it.
  8. Negative people. I call them Eeyore.  Winnie the Pooh spend a lot of time building Eeyore up and the poor thing still didn’t get it.  He was a pessimistic, depressed and gloomy character.  We all have someone that is an Eeyore.  Like Eeyore, negative people generally like being alone.  When they are among people they call friends, they spread their gloom and despair.  They are people who don’t expect much of themselves. They are constantly looking for someone to listen but cannot seem to put their feelings into words.  Negative people need compassion but be careful not to let them zap your good mood.  It is easier to pull someone down than it is to lift someone up.
  9. Have you ever made a toxic person mad? One guess as to what type of retaliation you received.  No communication.  They think they are proving a point but really, they are doing you a favor.  You can take a deep breath and know that they will soon reach out to you.  In an unhealthy way of course, but they will reach out.
  10. I believe Aretha said it best. R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.  I think it means everything.  I think someone who doesn’t respect you should have no part of your life.  If someone respects you, they think highly of you and will treat you well.  Showing respect is just being polite and kind.  If you cannot have respect from someone, they do not need to be in your life.  One important thing to remember though, you must be worthy of their respect.  Carry yourself in such a way that deserves respect.
  11. Have you ever played chess? Dealing with a controlling person can be like a chess match.  They are waiting on you to make a move so they can counter act in a way that is beneficial to them.  They wait until you are backed into a corner and then come towards you with a vengeance.  Controlling people do not care who they run over to get what they want.  They will make your life miserable until they get what they want and when they want it.
  12. Ah drama. It’s such a way of life for people now-a-days.  The bigger the tantrum, the more the drama.  We live in a world of self-entitled people.  Instant world full of self-gratifying people who will not stop until they pull you into their chaotic lives.  It’s a show and they want you to feel sorry for them.  Stop the drama, you will be much happier.
  13. We fear the disapproval of others so we squash our own dreams, personalities and desires to become someone that another person can love unconditionally. We change who we are to become more desirable.  You must get to a point that you really don’t care what other people think and grasp with both hands who you are and what you stand for.  Don’t let others tell you how to live and do not allow them to treat you like a doormat.  You are worth it.
  14. Speaking of unworthiness, stop…just stop. You are so worthy.  I used to tell my daughter, ‘you are worth so much more.’ There came times in her life where she just needed to hear that.  She changed for others.  She became what they wanted instead of who she really was and desired to be.  Just stop…. you are totally worth it.
  15. Toxic relationships make you feel trapped. I used to watch Fear Factor.  I always thought it was interesting to see people stretch themselves to the limit.  I seen an episode where they had to scurry in an underground series of tunnels full of mud, rats, snakes and spiders.  Some tunnels let to another but some were dead ends.  I think when you are trapped in a relationship you found the dead end muddy tunnel that is full of undesirable creatures.  If it doesn’t feel right, or if your morals are compromised get out before you reach the dead end.
  16. Undermining is gradually damaging or weakening someone. Although I do not understand why someone would want to do that, it happens.  It is like whittling a stick.  The whittler (toxic person) starts with a whole stick and chips away until there is nothing left.  An abuser will chip away at you slowly.  You will eventually compromise your character and morals.  If faced with someone like this, take the whittler’s knife and walk away.  No one is worth compromising yourself.
  17. I remember once I tried out for chorus at school. I was so nervous and I’m sure I sounded awful.  I wanted so desperately to be a part of the music department.  After I auditioned, the music teacher looked at me and said, ‘you are awful’.  To a 6th grader, I was devastated.  Unfortunately, I still had to attend music class but I remember not being able to get past those words.  It took me years to attempt to sing again.  I know I’m not the best singer but I can carry a tune.  Every church that I have ever attended, I’ve been a part of the music department.  I just love that ministry.  But those words, you are awful, still ring in my head.  I am good enough and so are you.  You are worthy of someone who believes in you no matter what.
  18. This one is close to #14 but I must say it again. Do not deny who you are.  Do not deny who God created you to be.  Do not allow someone to tell you what you are not worth it.  Do not sacrifice so much of yourself that there is nothing left for you.  You are worth so much more!