Attitude of Gratitude

By Evelyn Horan

joyDo you have an attitude of Gratitude?  Do you count your blessings when you say your prayers, or are you like me?  Most of the time I talk to God about my wishes more than I thank Him for what He’s done for me.

Many times, later on, I’m glad my wishes weren’t all granted–like the time I knew I couldn’t live without a certain party outfit I’d seen in a teen magazine. Then when I saw it in real life in a department store,  the color wasn’t right and the material was scratchy!

Another time I wanted some stylish boots.  Everybody was wearing them.  Well, when I tried them on, they made my feet look really big.  Because I’m “only human,” I compare my life with friends, neighbors, and even favorite celebrities.  I have to admit, I often feel less fortunate. That’s when I get really, really depressed!

“Everyone is so much better-off than I am!” I complain.

In my self-pity I envy the girls who are prettier and more popular, the ones who makes better grades and are more successful leaders.  There is always someone more coordinated on the drill team, or a cheerleader with fantastic spirit. My “woe-is-me” list can go on and on.

I’m sure guys go through the same thing.  There is always someone stronger, more athletic, more popular; someone who drives a hotter car, has more spending money, a better job; and someone whose parents are more “understanding” because they let him stay out late, and so on.

Though it’s easy to think of people in better circumstances than we are, that’s not a helpful activity for those of us who want to be like Christ and follow Him. A good way I’ve found to change my self-pity is to inventory the good things God has done for me.  Some of His blessings I take for granted are my good health both physical and mental.  In contrast  we think of all the people who have a life threatening disease, or a serious injury to deal with.

So the first blessing could be good health, both physical and mental.  The necessities of life are other things to be grateful for. This includes a warm place to live, adequate clothing to wear, enough nutritious food to eat.; and plenty of clean water to drink. Having these things should make us even more thankful when we think of the millions of people in the world who don’t have even these necessary things.

Any personal possession and benefits beyond life’s necessities are a blessing.  For some it’s a room of our own, a cell phone, a place to study,  a TV, a computer, DVD player, music lessons, trips to amusement parks, family vacations etc.  Other kids can be more or less fortunate, but we can compare our possessions to the homeless in our communities.

After a few minutes of reminding myself of how blessed I am in so many ways, I feel foolish and selfish for pitying myself or getting depressed over some little things I don’t have. I should remember God loves me, and He promised He’d always meet my needs as He sees fit.

But I must remember, also, He didn’t promise to grant me all my wishes, but He did say He’d meet my needs–that I’m not to worry.  If He cares for the birds and the flowers, He surely cares for me.

Where is my attitude of gratitude?  It’s time I count my blessings and thank God for His goodness!  I should praise Him and say, “Thank you, God, for all You’ve done for me, and for all You’re going to do.”

I think I’ll begin right now!

The Girl above the Bar

by Kelsi Barkman
She’s hurting
She’s breaking…
Longing to be loved,
and for the void to be filled.
This, This is the girl who lives above the bar.
She’s tenderhearted
and merciful
To anything or anyone being bullied,
A misfit among some-
Loved by others…
This, this is the girl who lives above the bar.
Depressed,
Wanting more
And finding it in the wrong places,
This, this is the girl who lives above the bar.
Life isn’t easy.
It has brought tears and pain,
And it has scarred. Deep scars.
Parents fought.
The family split.
She can’t find love there,
So she tries to find it in the streets.
More pain. More scars.
This, this is the life of the girl who lives above the bar.
Where is healing?
Where is peace?
Is there any hope in this big, wide world?
Running,
Trying to bury heartrending emotions,
Desperate to block what hurts to bad to feel.
Does anyone care?
Is anyone there?!!!
dear, dear, girl. No matter what you are going through or who you are…yes, there is hope. Yes, there is Jesus who heals, who loves and who cares more about you than anyone on earth. Life-we will never comprehend , but know this. Jesus will never leave you. Wherever you go, wherever you run…He is there. He knows your heart. He knows your pain. So stop running and surrender. Give it all over to the one who will heal your heart and who will fill you a greater love than you have ever known. Trust him even though its hard. There will be peace.
The words of the psalmist…
“Where can I  go from your spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
If i make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
If I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
Your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’ womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everylasting.”
Psalms 139:7-16a;23-24 NIV

God Has Promises for Us

by Evelyn Horan

praying-handsSometimes we are so busy at school, at home, or with our friends that sometimes things pile up on us, and we feel that our problems are too big for us to solve if we depend only on ourselves. But when we remember our Bible verses, we know we can turn to God for help, because God has promises all stored up for us when we need them.

GOD HAS PROMISES

I SAY

GOD SAYS

BIBLE VERSES

I say:“It’s impossible.”

God says:   All things are possible.

(Luke 18:27)

I say:  “I’m too tired.”

God says:  I will give you rest.

(Matthew 11:28-30)

I  say:  “Nobody really loves me.”

God says:  I love you.

(John 3:16 & John 3:34 )

I say:  “I can’t go on.”

God says:  My grace is sufficient.

(II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

I say:  “I can’t figure things out.”

God says:  I will direct your               steps.

Proverbs (3:5-6)

I say:  “I can’t do it.”

God says:  You can do all things.

( Philippians 4:13)

I say:  “I’m not able.”

God says:  I am able.

(II Corinthians 9:8)

I say: “It’s not worth it.”

God says:  It will be worth it.

(Roman 8:28 )

I say:  “I can’t forgive myself.”

God says:  I Forgive you.

(I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

I say:  “I can’t manage.”

God says:  I will supply all your needs.

( Philippians 4:19)

I say:  “I’m afraid.”

God says:  I have not given you a spirit of fear.

(II Timothy 1:7)

I say:  “I’m always worried

God says:  Cast all your cares on ME.

(I Peter 5:7)

I  say:  “I’m not smart.”

I say: “I have sinned.”

God says:  I give you wisdom.

God says: Repent and find  forgiveness.

(I Corinthians 1:30)

(I John 1:9)

GOD’S PROMISES FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT

GOD WANTS  US TO BELIEVE AND REPEAT HIS PROMISES

Genesis 28:15
He is with me and will keep me in all places wherever I go.

Isaiah 41:10
Fear not for  I am with thee. He will strengthen me, Yea he will help me.

 

Psalms 23:1
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Psalms 23:4
Thou are with me, thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.

Psalms 91:11
He shall give his angels charge over me, to keep me in all my ways…

GOD’S  PROMISES FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT

Matthew 7:7
Ask, and it shall be given you.

Matthew 19:26
With God all things are possible.

Philippians 4:7
The peace of God shall keep my heart and mind.

It’s You

by Nadia Gyane

smile-winterDid you know that you can ignite someone’s gift, by being your very best?

 

You can encourage people to give their best wherever they are, just by what you do and what you say. What you carry is what you can promote in others.

 

Being excellent at your job, in your school, in your college, in your home, in your life, in your relationships and in your world. You can motivate people to do the same and it all starts with you.

 

Make a choice today to do your best, because God deserves it, in all areas of your life, because He gave His very best for you.

The Audacity of His Love

by Nadia Gyane

 

neon-loveEven when we make mistakes Gods love is there. It never goes away. His love is so relentless that it will never quit chasing after me. I sometimes wonder if it was not for the Love of God where would I be.

I could make one of the biggest mistakes in my life and feel guilty and ashamed and still He will beckon me home. His love, grace and mercy would all turn up to take me home.

He is always ready to forgive me when I do things that I know and don’t always know is wrong.

The audacity of His righteous love towards me, an unrighteous person. Who would have thought that  such a great God would have such great love for me. I can do nothing to increase or decrease His love, it’s exactly at a high level which is so unfathomable to me.

His love is so strong and forgives me of my wrongs, just because it’s love.

This wonder is so far beyond me that even when I try and turn away, it’s his love that keeps me.

What Great love, the sheer audacity of it overwhelms me to make me want to love Him so much more.

Let It Go

by Nadia Gyane

 

free-fallingThere will be times in your life when God wants you to let go and I mean really let go. Let go of the hate, the hurt, the disappointment, the temptations, the bitterness and the resentment. Let go of the past, your bad friends and bad attitude and move into all that He has for you.

Letting go of all the bad things is more than reasonable in most cases, however there will also be times when God wants you to let go of something you see and know is good. That good job, that good girl or that good guy. That good home and that good friend. He will want you to let go of it in order to give you the very best. The best job, the best guy, the best girl, the best home and the best friend.

We must let go in order to receive something better from God and it won’t always be easy. It is difficult to let go of something we know is good for us and instead trust God that He has something better in store.

It is hard to look back at what was and believe that there will be something more than what we had. God knows better and only has better things in store for you. Which is why He tells you to let go and trust Him.

It isn’t always easy and at times you will have to cry as you let go. But what sweet, sweet joy comes as we obey and receive that better thing that God has in store for those that trust Him and choose to let go.

Let it go, today!

Who Am I?

Who am I? Gambill_CharlotteIs an unspoken question we can all struggle with over time as we navigate the different challenges and seasons of life. Just when we think we know who we are, our situations change, relationships alter and we realize yet again we have allowed people and things to identify who we are.  But your identity is not in what you do or where you are, it is in whose you are.

Do you remember the story of Jacob in the bible? His name literally meant deceiver. His mother pushed him to strive after his brother’s inheritance. Never content with where he was or who he was, he wore disguises, lied and eventually had to flee from his home as a result. Jacob can be a picture of our own identity struggles. Just like Jacob we can become driven by peer pressure, society and others agendas, but our true identity can only be found in our total surrender to God. In Genesis 28 Jacob becomes separated from all that is familiar and comes face to face with the power of his turnaround God.

Jacob goes on a journey where he moves from deceiver to becoming a diligent worker in Laban’s fields; he turns from striving to please others, to being secure in who he was. One night as Jacob is about to return to see his family, there is a wrestle that takes place and in it God asks Jacob this question: ‘What is your name?’ He answers, ‘Jacob.’ Then God replies, ‘Your name is no longer Jacob. From now on it’s Israel; you’ve wrestled with God and you’ve come through.’  In Genesis 32 God renamed Jacob in accordance with his true identity. Jacob gained a limp that day that gave him his own unique walk. Maybe as you read this article you need to begin your own Jacob journey, maybe it’s time to step away from all the labels, agendas and peer pressures and allow god to rename you. Don’t settle for a life that is less-than when you serve a God who is more-than.

Allow God today to turn your life into all He predestined it to be.

 

turnaround-god-discovering-gods-transformational-powerBIO: Charlotte Gambill has an infectious love for life, a deep love for people and zealous love for God’s House. Her passion is to build the local church across the earth, to see people reach their full potential and to develop and strengthen leadership. Charlotte is known for her practical, humorous and passionate application of God’s word. Her messages of life and purpose are rallying a generation to embrace the broken and become ambassadors of hope. Charlotte is an author, speaker, pastor and mother; she leads Life Church in England with her husband Steve and together they have two children, Hope Cherish and Noah Brave.is the author of Turnaround God: Discovering God’s Transformational Power (Thomas Nelson, Inc.). Visit her website at CharlotteGambill.com

Remind Me

by Nadia Gyane

 

prayLord remind me when I’m having a bad day of your blessings and provisions you have given me for the day.

When my hair doesn’t look its best, that I am still beautiful.

When I feel unworthy and unloved that I am truly and unconditionally loved by you.

Remind me of your blessings that you send me each and every day, your caring hand upon my life and your gentle voice that guides me all day long.

Lord remind me of your forgiveness and your mercy’s which are new every morning. Remind me even when things don’t go my way that you are always there, and that you care.

Remind me that you are my Rock, my Life and my Salvation.

Remind me of your precious gifts sent to bless me.

Please Lord remind that you are my everything, my all and all and that I love you, because I may forget, so please Lord remind me.

Choose the Back Seat

by Nadia Gyane

backseatWhen you want to elevate yourself and be seen and praised by thousands even millions of people, choose the back seat.

The Bible tells us that we are to take the lowly place, the furthest seat at the wedding so that we can be elevated to our rightful place. We should not get so big headed and think so highly of ourselves that people need to accommodate our ego and pretentious ways.

You are going to have to choose who you are going to please in this life, your flesh or your God. Your flesh will want one thing and God will want another and neither one are willing to compromise. You will need to make the final deciding vote. If the praises of men is what you run after and you want to be spoken well of and seen to be doing good things in front of people, then you have chosen your flesh, and that will be your only reward. However if you want to please God and hear your Heavenly father call you out by name and lift you up to greater heights, you need to place yourself on the back seat and start to get real comfortable there, because God is no respecter of persons. He can raise up one and set down another at any given time. In pleasing God your reward will be great, but your flesh will have to die and that is something that a lot of us Christians are not yet willing to come to terms with. Needless to say you make the decision every day and either look to seek the praises and approval of people or the approval and praises from a great God and King.

The decision is yours, but I recommend that you take the back seat.

Modesty

by Haley Norris
sweaterHello, friends! Lately, I have seen several articles or blog posts on modesty circling the social media I’m on, so I decided I may as well jump on that bandwagon and put my two cents in! Modesty is something that I have found to be very important, especially as I’ve gone through my high school years and grown as a daughter of Christ. The way I dress is a reflection of who I am. When I think of the many reasons I have decided to take a stance on modesty, I think my future husband is one of the most important. I’ll admit it, I’m a dreamer. I think about my future husband often. What he will be like. What is he doing right now? This very moment. I don’t like to think that he is being tempted to lust after another girl. Especially regarding what she is wearing. So why should I dress immodestly, tempting other young men to lust after me? In talking about the wife of a noble character, Proverbs 31:12 says: “She honors him all the days of her life.” Notice how it says all the days of her life. It doesn’t say just some of them, or just the days she knows him, but ALL the days of her life. I feel that the way we dress can bring honor to our future husbands. Wearing clothes that don’t flaunt our bodies and tempt our brothers in Christ is a statement of respect. It says that we respect ourselves enough to not seek attention in that way. It also says that we respect our future husbands enough to not dress in a way that attracts ungodly men. Above all, it shows that we respect our Maker! He made us so beautifully! We are to embrace that beauty, not by revealing everything, but by dressing in a way that makes us look like the young ladies He has called us to be! I want the way I dress and the way I present myself to point others to Him.  I want to set an example for younger girls around me! I want to show them that it’s OKAY to not dress in revealing ways. That the short shorts don’t add points to your popularity. I know there are several younger girls that do look up to me, and I want more than anything to set a good example for them. I want them to see that modesty is a good thing, no matter how much society looks down on it. I will say, the term “modest is hottest”, is quite literal in the summertime. Modesty is not always the most comfortable option. And the cutest swimsuits are often the most revealing. Yes, modesty does take sacrifice, but it is so worth it! And dressing modestly doesn’t mean losing all sense of fashion! You can still look cute and dress modestly! In the long run, the sacrifices made to dress modestly are greatly outweighed by the good that comes out of it! Think of what the world would be like if more women took a stand on modesty! If we all dressed in a way that showed how much we respected ourselves, as well as our brothers in Christ! I hope to see more girls striving for that! Thanks for reading!
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 1 Corinthians 6:19