Posted in Lessons He Taught Me

Praise & Thanksgiving

Do you find yourself stuck on negative thinking more than you are stuck on the blessings God has bestowed on you? Do you pray for God to renew your mind but wonder why it’s not happening? These verses are like a recipe to overcoming those feelings and thoughts. These verses have gotten me through some of the hardest times of my life because I was taught by some godly women to practice living this out. At times, I’ve had to force myself to thank & praise God aloud for every little and big thing that He has given me no matter how I was feeling. This includes thanking Him for my little 2 bedroom apartment which is our home & my oasis, thanking Him for my car that runs perfectly, for heated seats, my providing me with enough interpreting assignments to sustain my daughter & I, for time spent with my daughter scrapbooking, for the constant support of family, for the soothing salt lamp Mr. Drew got me for Christmas and the fresh aroma of french roast coffee brewing in the morning. And the list can go on and on as you know. After doing this and then beginning to pray for people He has placed on my mind, I feel like I am literally lite up, shining up at my Father as he’s shining down at me. My burdens are lifted and my trust in God is rock solid. Praise and thanksgiving is the best, but perhaps the most underutilized anti-anxiety medication out there. Just recently, I woke up feeling a little melancholy and I told myself, “Ok, I need to go sit on my couch and make time with God.” When I was done praying and thanking Him for every little thing I could think of, there was zero sadness left. Thanking Him reminded me of all the good things in my life from God and it pleases Him to hear me recognizing how he cares for me. We were created to worship Him. It keeps me connected to him and strengthens me to keep walking with Him. The worship is for Him but it’s for me, too. It’s pretty amazing when I think about all the things that are being accomplished as I sit on my couch to pray. This post is a great reminder to myself to do what I KNOW will help me connect with God and be healed every time the apprehension rears it’s ugly head. I’m so thankful to God, too, that he is healing the people he wants me to pray for as well. I pray this post will be an encouraging reminder to you also.

Love & peace,

Angie

Posted in Photo Inspiration

Procrastination (co-written with Joseph C. Bagatta)

 

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As soon as I get back on my feet, I’m gonna find good honest work, hold onto it and pull my own weight. The Lord whispered, “Come to me all you who are weary and I will give you rest.”

The man did not hear him. While sitting on the porch at the end of the next day, he thought to himself, “As soon as this dark cloud lifts, I’m gonna pay down all my debt. Then I’ll feel better.” The Lord spoke softly, “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.”

The man felt a slight stirring inside him. He had more strength to accomplish tasks that needed to be done.  He lay in bed that night, feeling good that his spirits had lifted, though he wasn’t quite sure where it came from. He drifted off to sleep thinking, “As soon as my luck returns, I feel like that might be soon, I’m gonna pay back all those who have helped me.”

The following week, after he was given a month of electrical work, he began dwelling on things that had gone wrong for him and he mentioned to a co-worker, “As soon as I get out from under, I’m gonna pay it forward, volunteer and help people around me.” His co-worker replied, “Why wait, man? We’re not promised tomorrow. This life is fleeting. We’re here one day and gone the next!”  That strange stirring danced inside his chest again and he walked off trying to make sense of it.

A month or two later, he was talking to a friend at the diner about life.  After a long conversation, his friend said, “I don’t know, bro, as soon as I can get this monkey off my back, I’m gonna pay all of my past-due child support, reach out to my children, and work on healing broken relationships. None of it’s my fault anyhow but maybe I’ll do something about it.”  The Lord gently whispered to his friend, “Forgive as I have forgiven you. I will help you.”

The man heard but convinced himself he was just tired and needed to get home and get more sleep.  As he was on his couch drifting off he thought, “I don’t know what that was all about but as soon as everyone gets off my back, I’m gonna quit drinking, drugs, smoking and gambling. I can’t do that now with all their nonsense.”  The spirit of the Lord hovered over him as he slept, giving him dreams of becoming a better man who sought the Lord and felt a new zeal for life. He didn’t yet understand that the Lord was giving him a glimpse of his future.

A year later, the man and his friend were talking on their way back to their trucks after work.  The man started out, “I don’t know what’s been happening this past year but something is changing me.  I’ve been seeing how I neglect my wife and how I put off reaching out to my kid from my first marriage.  I can’t stop thinking about it and I don’t know, man, I think it’s God leading me to do something about it.  I look forward to finishing work just so I can make it up to them.”  He stared at his friend for a second, thinking..  For the first time he told someone about his dream.  The Lord whispered to them, “Yes, do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

As the days passed, the friends found that their thoughts began to change.  There were fewer thoughts that began with, “As soon as this changes, I will..”  There was less blaming everyone else for their mistakes or putting off tomorrow to find ways to be better people and serve the Lord.  Amazing things were happening in their lives, no matter how big or small they appeared to other people.  God was moving, leading them to do the right things and they began talking openly about how God pursued them.  Gone were the days when they thought things like, “As soon as I’m living on easy street, I’m gonna..” The quality of their lives improved because they realized God was fueling them with strength. Each time their spiritual tanks ran low, God filled them up again, showing them the fullness of life.