Oct 11

Let me start by saying I love yoga. I love it because it stretches you, helps you slow down your breathing, and keeps the blood flowing without having to break much of a sweat. So this is just my experience on this particular day.

It was Wednesday morning and I was super excited that it was finally yoga day. This was my first day back as I hadn’t done it for years; and my body was aching to feel like a wet noodle again. So in I went armed with my purple yoga mat in hand.

The class was full but thankfully there was enough room in the back for me to sit and hide. We began with some meditation. Usually during this time I tune out the instructor for a bit, use the time to pray, or just be still. This day was different.

The instructor began in her breathless, peaceful voice, “Lets all begin by quieting our bodies ….being still and acknowledging that we are present. Let us begin to be aware of the thoughts that we might be carrying with us, worries of work, concerns of our health, stress….. any thoughts that you might have let’s just release them now. Acknowledge that they are there, but do not address them…. simply know they are there, above you. Be still… relax…. and observe as you watch them float by.”

Watch them float by!! Lady, we can’t watch our thoughts float by. Immediately my very still moment was now my very upset moment. I kept thinking, “This is really bad advice. Our thoughts have power in them, they direct our feelings, and then our feelings direct our actions. Most of the time our thoughts are going all hairy carie, totally out of control. And you want us to just sit still and watch them float by?”

2 Corinthians 10:3-5

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For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

From this verse I think it’s safe to say that watching your thoughts float by is not a good idea. And although you may think you don’t do this, I believe most of us do when we find ourselves upset, angry, depressed, or fearful. It begins with one small destructive thought that we allow to live. This thought then gives way to another and before you know it the captive one is you.

In order for us to have victory in our lives, every thought needs to be accounted for. We need to check our thoughts and ask, “Does what I am thinking go against what I know of God and His word?” If the answer is yes, for the sake of everyone around you including yourself, bring that thought captive to Christ until it agrees with God.

Just like a soldier would do when taking an enemy captive, we also need to take out the weapons we have when we are battling our thoughts. Prayer, the Word of God, praise, Godly books, devotionals, a Christian friend who will point you back to Christ; whatever God has taught you or shown you, (Philippians 4:9), use them until your thoughts are obedient to Christ.

Now for all the perfectionists out there, myself included, this is not an easy task. You don’t just wake up one day and have this mastered- I know because I too am a work in progress. Just remember God is on our side, so keep trying, don’t give up, and you will see changes in your thought life you never realized were possible.

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Oct 11

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I think her name was Gwen. She was a nice woman, with a strong robust voice, and a southern accent.

And at 10:00 yesterday morning I was yelling at her.

Well maybe yell is to strong a word (I guess that depends on who you ask). Let’s just say I was raising my voice at her because the gifts I ordered for my mom and nieces online for Christmas had still not arrived on my doorstep, as promised. Christmas by the way was on the 25th and it was now the 28th!

Now when I got on the phone my plan was to speak directly to the supervisor. But “Bless her heart Gwen” wouldn’t let me. She insisted I tell her the problem first. That automatically put me in a bad mood. I wanted to speak to a supervisor, I wanted answers, I wanted a refund of some kind, I wanted heads to rollllllllll. Clearly I was no longer being led by the spirit.

But even in my snippy tirade over retribution of some kind, the feeling that I was being mean to a lady I had never met in my life was starting to bother me. I did not know anything about her but she was starting to get some ideas about me. And I don’t think they were pretty.

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John 13:35

“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

I am not saying that because we are Christians we are perfect. We are not. We are going to mess up. We cant achieve perfection in these bodies but we can achieve the ability in Christ to open up our mouth and say sorry when we do blow it. I had already failed at the showing love part so I knew I was now in the area of somehow apologizing (Ephesians 4:31, 32). And I knew God was telling me I better do it before I got off the phone.

The other thought God was pressing on me was what if I ever met Gwen, like in real life. (That happened to me this year at a Christmas party. I ended up talking to a woman who had randomly helped me find a dress in a department store about a year ago). There I would be meeting Gwen, she might be in her Kohls t-shirt and I would be in my I love Jesus t-shirt. And I think she might be a little shocked to see that I knew Jesus at all.

And what about after this world. I often imagine what it might be like in heaven. I suppose since it is eternity we are going to have a lot of time. First we will meet God and spend time with Him (after we can pry ourselves away from Him), then we will see our loved ones and spend more time with them.  Sooner or later we are going to get around to seeing who else is up there. I very well could bump into Gwen. We never know who we are speaking to in this world, when we encounter the postman, the store clerk, the pharmacist, the person on the the other side of the phone. The bible even says that the stranger we are encountering today could even be an angel (Hebrews 13:2)!

Apologizing to Gwen wasn’t easy. I was embarrassed and still feeling like I could justify my anger. I literally felt sweat coming off my forehead as I pushed out the words. But as soon as I did the anger left, and I crossed over to the good side once again and I was home. I told her I was sorry for getting so heated, and I knew it wasn’t her fault. She was silent but then finally said “It’s okay dear, I understand. And you know what, I really do hope your packages show up today. I hope they are sitting on your front porch as we speak.”

And with that we said goodbye and wished each other a good day. I was smiling once again and I think she was too.

Oct 11

From the beginning of time
Even before time began
it has always been about you
Jesus.

It has always been about you the Messiah
who would one day come
to break the captive free
to heal the broken hearted
to make beauty out of our ashes
and praise out of our despair.

It has always been about you the Saviour
who would one day save us from sin and death.
To take the burdens off of our shoulders
that we were never meant to bear.

There is no one out there who holds that one sin that your death did not cover.
Nor lived a life so clean that your blood was not for them.
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you were crucified for all of us.

That we would accept you one day as our redeemer
not just for the eternal
but for here on this earth.
That we would have an abundant life
and be called the righteousness of God.

So if you decide to trust Jesus and take His open hand,
hold on tight.
Because as promised in His word
He will set you free.

Jesus has been waiting for you.
He has been there for you yesterday,
He is here for you today,
And He will be there for you…….

Always.

Oct 11

So you won’t believe what happened to me at Costco. To be more specific, standing in line to get a hot dog at Costco.

Remember that scene in “It’s A Wonderful Life” where George Bailey gets rescued from bankruptcy? When his community and friends rally around him and give him the money to save his life. Remember that touching moment? Okay, so hold that thought. Hold it. Hold it.

It was one of those days. Those days where everything that could go wrong was going wrong and in order to keep it together I just kept muttering, “I may be hard pressed but I am not crushed.” over and over, again.

On this not so great day my mom, having perfect timing, came over and deciding to make things just a little better pronounced we should hop over to Costco where she could treat me to lunch and a little shopping. Hebrew National hot dogs, smothered in ketchup, mustard, and relish, accompanied by a diet coke, in my world equals a bit of happiness. Yes folks, sometimes that’s all it takes.

So there we were, my mom and I waiting patiently in line as I was getting really excited because my turn to bite into a hot dog was approaching very quickly. Finally we were up and we placed our order.  The grand total came out to $3.28, my mom pulled out her debit card and before you knew it all heck broke loose.

“We don’t accept debit cards M’am.”, the cashier said with a smile.

My smile on the other hand completely evaporated. Because I knew two things.

1. My mom had zero cash and neither did I.
2. My mom freaks out and gets embarrassed easily and I knew “flusterville” was right around the corner.

“What do you mean you don’t accept debit cards, you can’t be serious, that’s all I have and…”  her breathing was starting to become a bit labored.

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“I am as serious as a heart attack lady.”  he said, still smiling.

Important note here: My mom was born and raised in Peru and some sayings she just doesn’t understand.

“What do you mean a heart attack, Huh? What Gerita? What is he saying? Oh my gosh, let me see how much change I have, Oh my gosh!” Her voice was cracking.

And with one frantic move she pulled out her coin purse and out sed all of her change onto the counter. Which  mostly consisted of pennies and a few dimes.

Mind you, its 12:00 in the afternoon, there is a huge line behind us, there is a huge line on either side of us, and we are now becoming the center of attention on a very hot day. Then out of nowhere I see this hand coming toward our pile of change with a quarter in it. This blond woman from the line next to us was donating a quarter to our cause. After that the lady behind her dropped in a quarter and said, “We can’t let you go hungry; its lunch and you should have your hot dog.”

All of a sudden I was in “It’s A Wonderful Life” and all these strangers began happily pitching in and within minutes and a few quarters and dimes later, we made it to 3 bucks! Without missing a beat, the still surprisingly happy cashier said he would put in the last .38¢ , completing what we owed.

Proverbs 3:27
Do not withhold good from those who deserve it,
when it is in your power to act.

This proverb came alive to me on that one Costco day. Many times we are going to find ourselves with the ability, the power, to do good for someone else. It could be making an encouraging phone call, offering someone a ride, helping someone who is lost, visiting someone in the hospital or something as simple as donating a quarter to some strange girl and her mom so they can eat a hot dog at Costco.

God is telling us in His word, that when it is in your power to act,

Act.

Oct 11

“So how did Chuck E Cheese with Grandma go? What did you end up buying with your two thousand, five hundred and five tickets?” I asked my son with great anticipation because that’s no typo he really did save up 2505 tickets and it took him 4 years!

“I didn’t buy anything mom. I just couldn’t let go of my tickets.” he nervously added “I want to keep saving and see how much more I can get.”

It’s times like that when I am just flabbergasted that he’s my child. Because if you give me the means to shop, I will shop.

“Okay I understand.” I answered, making sure he knew I supported him. “Well, why don’t you give me the ticket stub and I will put it in a safe place.”

“I don’t have it. I gave it to Grandma.” he said plainly and ran off.

Cue the dramatic oh no something terrible is going to happen music, as you imagine my eyeballs begin to dilate and my heart begin to beat faster. Because…

First, let’s begin with the fact that Grandma is the best grandma in the world. She is giving, loving, caring, selfless… the list goes on and on, but lets also just briefly say Grandma is not the kind of person you want to give your nouveau casino en ligne bonus sans depot legal Casino’s Online Casino Top hislut.com
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2505 ticket stub to in the middle of blaring, loud, kids running all over the place, Chuck E. Cheese and not realize that Grandma just might accidentally throw away or misplace the ticket stub you have been holding onto for FOUR YEARS!

Immediately I called Grandma and the fear instantly became a reality because she had no ticket. She said Matthew had it. He said, he saw her put it in her purse. She said she saw him put it in his wallet… she said and he said until tiny beads of sweat started forming on my forehead. After hanging up with a now panicked Grandma, Matthew and I started ransacking the house hoping that just maybe, somehow the ticket had made it home in his pocket and had fallen somewhere. I also called Grandma back and had her look through all her stuff, then I called Chuck E. Cheese and had them look through all their stuff and then I called the National guard ~well, I wanted to. Because all I kept thinking of was how totally bummed out my son would be if we couldn’t find the ticket he had been saving for so many years, faithfully, never spending it, all to have it gone just like that.

Then came the voice of wisdom and it was my son walking up to me saying these words.

“Mom, remember last night when we were doing our devotional and we learned that we need to cast all our anxieties on God. Well, I want to do that now Mom.” He paused “I don’t want to feel like this anymore, I feel bad and I just want to cast this away and be happy again.”

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I was proud and stunned all at the same time. Proud, that he had actually been listening to the devotional and stunned because now he really wanted to apply to his life what God had taught him.

It wasn’t easy at first because it’s really hard to do a 180 when you are that emotionally charged. But he was right and I knew I had to support my son in what God was calling him to do and what God was calling me to do. So we prayed together. And as I prayed for his care, I threw in one of mine that I had been holding on to since the morning ~ because by now I knew that this lesson wasn’t just for him, it was for me too.

A couple hours later Grandma called, and before I could even finish saying hello, she ecstatically shouted “Guess what? Guess what?” To tell you the truth, hours after having launched our cares away, I had no idea what she was talking about. But as God would have it….

She found the ticket! And you will never believe where it was.

She found it in her purse, tucked away between the pages of her promise book, the one she carries with her everywhere she goes.

There nestled between all of the promises of God, was the care that my son had cast away.

Oct 11

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For those who are “waiting on God” read this devotional by Oswald Chambers, take your time reading it for it is full of wisdom and inspiration. Take in every word.

It may seem an easy thing to wait, but it is one of the postures which a Christian soldier learns not without years of teaching. Marching and quick-marching are much easier to God’s warriors than standing still. There are hours of perplexity when the most willing spirit, anxiously desirous to serve the Lord, knows not what part to take. Then what shall it do? Fly back in cowardice, turn to the right hand in fear, or rush forward in presumption? No, but simply wait. Wait in prayer, however. Call upon God, and spread the case before him; tell him your difficulty, and plead his promise of aid. In dilemmas between one duty and another, it is sweet to be humble as a child, and wait with simplicity of soul upon the Lord. It is sure to be well with us when we feel and know our own folly, and are heartily willing to be guided by the will of God. But wait in faith. Express your unstaggering confidence in him; for unfaithful, untrusting waiting, is but an insult to the Lord.Believe that if he keep you tarrying even till midnight, yet he will come at the right time; the vision shall come and shall not tarry. Wait in quiet patience, not rebelling because you are under the affliction, but blessing your God for it. Never murmur against the second cause, as the children of Israel did against Moses; never wish you could go back to the world again, but accept the case as it is, and put it as it stands, simply and with your whole heart, without any self-will, into the hand of your covenant God, saying, “Now, Lord, not my will, but thine be done. I know not what to do; I am brought to extremities, but I will wait until thou shalt cleave the floods, or drive back my foes. I will wait, if thou keep me many a day, for my heart is fixed upon thee alone, O God, and my spirit waiteth for thee in the full conviction that thou wilt yet be my joy and my salvation, my refuge and my strong tower.

Oct 11

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