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Showing posts from June, 2021

Verse

 14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? James 2:14 NIV https://james.bible/james-2-14

Day 2

  Real Faith is More Than Words In the United States, many people say they are Christians. In fact, several recent studies reveal about 70% of people make that claim. And, yet, many of these people appear to live according to their own rules, not by trusting in God’s Word. What they say about their faith and how they choose to live don’t line up. Real faith is more than just the words they say. For instance, I could say I’m the best dancer in the whole world, but that wouldn't make it true. And the moment I started dancing, you’d know it wasn’t true. Just because you say you have faith doesn't mean it’s true. This is what James is addressing in today’s verse: What’s the use in saying you have faith if it doesn’t show up in the way you live and the things you do? James isn’t saying we are saved by our works. The Bible is clear that we are saved by faith in Jesus, nothing more and nothing less. But our attitudes and actions should be evidence of our faith. This is the difference

Verse

 4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4 NIV https://matthew.bible/matthew-4-4

New Plan: A Faith that works when life doesn't. Part 1 (Day 1)

  The Best Way to Start and Finish Your Day During days of uncertainty and unrest, it’s important to start and end your day by refueling your soul—the part of you that determines the way you think, feel, and choose. Just like your physical body has to be fed every day to stay healthy, so does your soul. If you're not feeding your soul, you’re going to be drained emotionally and spiritually. So how do you refuel your soul? By getting into God's Word every day. Jesus said,  "Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God"  (Matthew 4:4 NIV). The Bible is life! You don’t just read it when you have a problem and need some advice. You don’t open it up only when you need a pick-me-up. You feed on it every day so that you are consistently nourished and growing in truth and love. Don’t begin your day by scrolling through your phone or listening to the news. And don’t end your day by filling your mind with something on TV. None of those t

Verse 4

 13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Psalms 139:13 NIV https://psalm.bible/psalm-139-13

Verse 3

 26 Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe. Proverbs 28:26 NIV https://proverbs.bible/proverbs-28-26

Verse 2

 3 ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:3 NIV https://jeremiah.bible/jeremiah-33-3

Verse 1

 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NIV https://john.bible/john-3-16

Day 10 (Last Day)

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The Choice of Intimacy with God We were created to have relationship and fullness in our Creator. Aside from intimacy with our ‘Knitter and Knower” we are living far below our Christian privilege as believers. However, we have a choice. Sin separated and broke our intimate relationship with our Creator. He loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die for us and restore that broken relationship. But alas, we still have a choice to accept that free gift of our Salvation and redemption through the restorative work of His Son, Jesus.  Once we are saved by receiving God’s grace and forgiveness through Christ, we still have choices to make. Daily decisions to die to our selfish nature and to live for His purposes and greater glory. This is a decision to walk in a daily relationship and intimacy with Him through His Word, worship and fellowship with the saints. Intimacy can be reworded as “into-me-you-see”. We need to gaze into the riches of a full disclosure relationship with o

Verse 5

 14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14‭-‬15 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/mat.6.14-15.NIV

Verse 4

 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 NIV https://1peter.bible/1-peter-5-7

Verse 3

 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:31‭-‬32 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/eph.4.31-32.NIV

Verse 2

 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13 NIV https://colossians.bible/colossians-3-13

Verse 1

 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 NIV https://1john.bible/1-john-1-9

Day 9

  The Choice of Forgiveness Are you struggling to forgive someone who hurt you? Or are you struggling to forgive yourself? Maybe you are curious about God’s forgiveness and even wondering if He could forgive you for something you regret. If you struggle with forgiving others or yourself, then you are not alone. We are not in charge of the behavior of others, but we are in charge of how we respond. It is only the through receiving the grace and forgiveness of God that we can extend the same to others.  The pain and hurt others cause us is a reality for many. But the pain of living with bitterness and unforgiveness can poison your soul and destroy you. When we forgive others, we are not saying what they did was OK, but we are letting go of their hold on us. Forgiving ourselves and others can be one of the hardest things we face in life, but it will lead to the greatest blessings and freedom as a result.  Despite the prevalence of unforgiveness in our lives, it seems that many of us have

Verse 3

 11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” Matthew 15:11 NIV https://matthew.bible/matthew-15-11

Verse 2

 20 From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied. Proverbs 18:20 NIV https://proverbs.bible/proverbs-18-20

Verse 1

 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 NIV https://philippians.bible/philippians-4-8

Day 8

  The Choice of Speaking Life-Giving Words Your thoughts are powerful. “For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he…” Prov 23:7 KJV Your words are powerful. “Life and death are in the power of the tongue...” Prov 18:21 KJV Our thoughts and our words determine the direction of our lives. Realizing this was another game-changer for the direction of my life. At LifeChurch, Pastor Craig Groeschel states that “Our life is always moving in the direction of our strongest thoughts.” Thoughts lead to beliefs, which lead to actions, which lead to habits, which lead to character, which leads to destiny, which leadsto legacy. Remember, in the plan, Voices and Choices Part 1, we discussed the battlefield going on each day. It starts in our minds and often show up in our words and our actions. This leads to life and death in our behavior and living. Scripture tells us to fix our thoughts on God’s truths and on that which is praiseworthy. If we change our thinking it can change our lives.  There is

Verse 5

 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Colossians 3:2‭-‬5 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/col.3.2-5.NIV

Verse 4

 5 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. 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV https://2corinthians.bible/2-corinthians-10-5

Verse 3

  11 What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” Matthew 15:11 NIV

Verse 2

 20 From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied. Proverbs 18:20 NIV https://proverbs.bible/proverbs-18-20

Verse 1

 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 NIV https://philippians.bible/philippians-4-8

Day 7

  The Choice of Speaking Life-Giving Words Your thoughts are powerful. “For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he…” Prov 23:7 KJV Your words are powerful. “Life and death are in the power of the tongue...” Prov 18:21 KJV Our thoughts and our words determine the direction of our lives. Realizing this was another game-changer for the direction of my life. At LifeChurch, Pastor Craig Groeschel states that “Our life is always moving in the direction of our strongest thoughts.” Thoughts lead to beliefs, which lead to actions, which lead to habits, which lead to character, which leads to destiny, which leadsto legacy. Remember, in the plan, Voices and Choices Part 1, we discussed the battlefield going on each day. It starts in our minds and often show up in our words and our actions. This leads to life and death in our behavior and living. Scripture tells us to fix our thoughts on God’s truths and on that which is praiseworthy. If we change our thinking it can change our lives.  There is

Verse 5

 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Matthew 5:9 NIV https://matthew.bible/matthew-5-9

Verse 4

 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 NIV https://john.bible/john-14-27

Verse 3

 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV https://john.bible/john-16-33

Verse 2

 3 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. 4 Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal. Isaiah 26:3‭-‬4 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/isa.26.3-4.NIV

Verse 1

 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Colossians 3:15 NIV https://colossians.bible/colossians-3-15

Day 6

  The Choice of Peace Amidst Confusion A dear friend of mine once gave me a placard that read “Choose Peace”. Huh? Can I simply just choose peace like I can choose a candy bar? Where is the ever-allusive peace that I can choose? I’ve spent years pondering how to find peace. How to choose peace. Choosing peace is closely related to the matter of choosing to trust. This is another area of my life that addresses and directly confronts my internal “control freak” nature. My own self upon my own selfish throne. Scripture says that the Lord offers us His peace and calls us to live as a peacemaker. Wow. Isaiah 26:3 KJV states, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.” When trust goes up, our peace goes up. When our trust goes down, we forfeit our peace.  Life can often feel so overwhelming or chaotic. Juggling a stressful job, multiple relationships, financia

Verse 4

 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3‭-‬4 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/php.2.3-4.NIV

Verse 3

 Last 2 verses are Written in Red.  1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:1‭-‬4 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/mat.18.1-4.NIV

Verse 2

 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” James 4:6 NIV https://james.bible/james-4-6

Verse 1

 2 Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the Lord. “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word. Isaiah 66:2 NIV https://isaiah.bible/isaiah-66-2

Day 5

  The Choice of Humility As C.J. Mahaney states in his book  Humility – True Greatness,  ”Humility is honestly assessing ourselves in the light of God’s holiness and our sinfulness. That’s the twin reality that all genuine humility is rooted in: God’s holiness and our sinfulness. Without an honest awareness of both these realities, all self-evaluation will be skewed and we will fail to either understand or practice true humility. We will miss out on experiencing the promise and the pleasures that humility offers.” What a powerful truth. I don’t want to miss out on any of those promises and pleasures offered by a truly humble heart. Our true size is only revealed as we stand at the foot of the cross and understand the goodness of our God. There is where humility begins. Another book I read, years ago, was the book  Humility  by Andrew Murray. He suggests that of all the things a Christian could do to be conformed to the image of Christ, we should seek humility because therein lies the t

Verse 4

 17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17 NIV https://john.bible/john-17-17

Verse 3

 160 All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal. Psalms 119:160 NIV https://psalm.bible/psalm-119-160

Verse 2

 11 Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. Psalms 86:11 NIV https://psalm.bible/psalm-86-11

Verse 1

 Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalms 25:5 NIV https://psalm.bible/psalm-25-5

Day 4

  The Choice of Truth So where is my solid ground in this shaky world? Where is the truth? My solid ground is not found in the opinion of my neighbor nor in my ability to perform well. It is certainly not in the headline news whirling around in our world these weeks! The news speaks of difficult stories, political battles, wars, suffering, unrest, uncertainty, disaster, violence, and evil. This information can leave us feeling overwhelmed with fear or worry for our children and for our future. Is this the truth? Perhaps the most famous verse about truth in the Bible is what Jesus said “…  I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”  (John 14:6 NIV) So Jesus is truth and Jesus is also the Word (John 1:1, 14).  He is our guide. As Christians we believe that every word in the Bible is true. This is the foundation upon which we live our lives. We need to know what the Bible says about truth. We need to hide God’s word in our heart to help us to

Verse 4

 Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever. Psalms 125:1 NIV https://psalm.bible/psalm-125-1

Verse 3

 You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3 NIV https://isaiah.bible/isaiah-26-3

Verse 2

 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord , whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7‭-‬8 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/jer.17.7-8.NIV

Verse 1

 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5‭-‬6 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/pro.3.5-6.NIV

Day 3

  The Choice of Trust I absolutely love referring to the Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary as many of Noah Webster's original word definitions contain references to the King James Bible itself; this was all before it was diluted into our contemporary dictionaries. Literally this is the definition found in that dictionary: TRUST ,  noun 1.  Confidence; a reliance or resting of the mind on the integrity, veracity, justice, friendship or other sound principle of another person. He that "putteth his  trust in the Lord shall be safe." Proverbs 29:25 KJV 2.  He or that which is the ground of confidence. ..."O Lord God: thou art my  trust  from my youth. Psalms 71:5 KJV Trust is a confident expectation. Trust, like faith, is not a feeling. It is a choice. I love that “he that putteth his TRUST in the Lord shall be safe” part of the definition above. Safe? Hmmm? In this world we simply cannot put our trust into imperfect humans. There is only One that cannot fail or forsake us.

Verse 4

 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17 NIV https://colossians.bible/colossians-3-17

Verse 3

 Give thanks to the Lord , for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34 NIV https://1chronicles.bible/1-chronicles-16-34

Verse 2

 I will give thanks to you, Lord , with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. Psalms 9:1 NIV https://psalm.bible/psalm-9-1

Verse 1

 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16‭-‬18 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/1th.5.16-18.NIV

Day 2

  The Choice of a Grateful Heart I have truly lived realizing the transforming power of a grateful heart. It is my greatest anti-depressant as I have learned that a grateful heart and an anxious heart cannot reside in the same person. Gratitude has been one of the most significant “game-changers” for my life. I started a gratitude journal years ago when I was drowning, feeling exhausted, overwhelmed and depressed. With time and consistency, it changed the course of my days and brought my joy back. This was a choice I made. You can make this choice too! You  need  to make this choice too! There is so much research about the impact of gratitude on our brain activity and wellness. This is a topic worth researching yourself but let me just share a few things with you here.  I believe that the Word commands us to “give thanks in all things” (not for all things) as a drawing card to a deeper place of intimacy and trust. However, at face value, even outside of scripture there are many quotes

Verse 3

 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear. Philippians 1:12‭-‬14 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/php.1.12-14.NIV

Verse 2

 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 NIV https://philippians.bible/philippians-4-7

Verse 1

 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 NIV https://philippians.bible/philippians-4-8

The Voices n The Choices Part 3 (Day 1)

  This is the 3rd part of “The Voices and the Choices” Bible plan. Part 1 describes “The Battlefield” by identifying the voices that we hear each day which lead to the choices we need to make. Part 2 describes the “Voices of the Enemy” and a few common lies that we believe. Part 3 describes “Life-Giving Choices to Make” to walk and live in fulness and truth. The blame game never works as we are ultimately responsible for the choices we make no matter what may have provoked us. Here are 10 choices that will always serve you well. The Choice of Focus/Perspective   We all have a perspective…a lens through which we see life and events. So, how do you “SEE” your life? Do you see it through the eyes of a victim living in a wretched world? Or do you see through the eyes of trusting a faithful God working all things together? Do you hold a positive or a negative worldview? There are as many answers to the question of perspective as there are people. Some would say that life is like a circus wi

Verse 3

 To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? 2 Corinthians 2:16 NIV https://2corinthians.bible/2-corinthians-2-16

Verse 2

 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22‭-‬23 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/gal.5.22-23.NIV

Verse 1

 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. 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV https://2corinthians.bible/2-corinthians-10-5

Day 5 Last Day

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  Other Voices of the Liar Our enemy is a liar and lives to deceive! There are real voices that cry out when we are making real choices. Be on guard! We must know the Truth! Not today, Satan! He only comes to steal, kill and destroy our joy, our family, our purpose. As a believer, our identity in Christ is full of life. The lies of our flesh often bring a feeling of death. Life in Christ can offer peace, patience, joy, rest, fulfillment, love, purpose and satisfaction. A life lived in the flesh often yields irritability, anger, bitterness, criticism, depression, judgement, anxiety, and other ugly emotions. A study of our identity in Christ as a believer is a study in His truth over the enemy’s lies. We must walk in the Voice of Truth. It can be found in the Word. We must know the scriptures, memorize the truths and hide them in our hearts. This equips us to live in this daily battlefield of the voices and the choices. Take a personal challenge to know your identity in Christ as a belie

Verse 3

 Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:4‭-‬6 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/2co.3.4-6.NIV

Verse 2

 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3 NIV https://2peter.bible/2-peter-1-3

Verse 1

 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV https://2corinthians.bible/2-corinthians-9-8

Day 4

  The Voice of Inadequacy I wrote a different Bible Plan call “The Lie of Not Enough”. It addresses my questions of sufficiency for God’s call upon my life. I even wrote a book called  Are You Enough?.  Crazy just how common is this lie of insufficiency. Now I am not talking about being capable of actually doing things beyond my ability...like running 100 miles. I am addressing the common lie of not being able to handle that which God purposes us to do. He calls us to love Him and love others. And to do it well. Sometimes this lie of inadequacy is a sister to the voice of comparison. We peak over the fence into another’s life and are hit with an onslaught of inadequate thoughts. We are not to be like others but like our BEST self. The Word says that we have all sufficiency to do every good work that He has called us to do. Don’t exhaust yourself taking on more than you are called to. Be wise and highly selective in your “YES'S”. As a wife and a mom, I often wrestle with an exhausti

Verse 3

 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; Romans 12:6 NIV https://romans.bible/romans-12-6

Verse 2

 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, Galatians 6:4 NIV https://galatians.bible/galatians-6-4

Verse 1

 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10 NIV https://galatians.bible/galatians-1-10

Day 3

  The Voice of Comparison Comparison is the thief of joy. Oftentimes, comparing ourselves to others also leads us into making poor choices. Each of us is unique. God created each of us fearfully and wonderfully and then signed us with our own unique thumbprint. We are not like other people. We were not designed to be them. Not to look like them or live like them. Not to carry their load. We have a unique call upon our lives to be totally and completely who He created us to be. Don’t get distracted by unnecessary and unwanted comparisons. Stay on your own path.  Comparing ourselves to others is an ugly game that we all have played, and it leads to the death of our happiness. Envy can often be the result of this comparison game, and God does not like envy. There is no win in this game. No finish line. No final satisfaction. Keep your eyes to yourself, your giftings and your call. Live for the audience of ONE. Listen to only His voice. Do not carry more than what you are called to do. Unl

Verse 3

 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10 NIV https://2corinthians.bible/2-corinthians-12-10

Verse 2

 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 NIV https://isaiah.bible/isaiah-41-10

Verse 1

 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6‭-‬7 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/php.4.6-7.NIV

Day 2

  The Voice of Anxiety The voice of anxiety can be a sister to the voice of fear, causing the same distress, uneasiness and restlessness. It can hit us from all directions, whether it be school, work, family or other unsettling circumstances. Anxiety is another crippling voice that can leave us feeling overwhelmed, panicked, nervous and uncertain. This is no way to live. Our control freak nature feels out-of-control. Did we ever really have control anyway? So often control is truly an illusion. We lose our peace as well as our peace-of-mind. What are we doing? As with fear, anxiety starts us on an exhausting cycle. When we feel anxious about something, we generally try to do all that is in our power to control the situation. When we can't control it, we become even more anxious. So how do we stop this downward spiral of anxious turmoil? We must turn to the One who is in control of all things. He is Sovereign, and we are not. God holds all of our lives in His hands and is the only O

Verse 3

 I sought the Lord , and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Psalms 34:4 NIV https://psalm.bible/psalm-34-4

Verse 2

 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV https://2timothy.bible/2-timothy-1-7

Verse 1

 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NIV https://joshua.bible/joshua-1-9

The Voices n The Choices (Day 1) Part 2

  This is the 2nd part of a 3-part Bible plan. Part 1 describes “The Battlefield” identifying the daily voices that we hear which lead to the choices we need to make. This Part 2 describes the “Voices of the Enemy” and a few of the common lies that we believe. Part 3 describes “Life-Giving Choices to Make” to walk and live in fulness and truth.   VOICES OF THE ENEMY  The Voice of Fear   Fear is a distressing emotion that is aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc. whether the threat is real or imagined. Fear can be a liar! Of course, the enemy of your heart wants you to be afraid! He wants you to live in fear as it is often crippling. Time and again we live life holding the nerve-racking hand of fear versus holding the peace-filled hand of the Father. Do we have a choice in this matter? Who are we to blame for the grip of fear in our lives? F.E.A.R. can be False Evidence Appearing Real. When this happens, my internal control-freak rises. When I realize that I cannot control the th

Verse 3

 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11:28 NIV https://luke.bible/luke-11-28

Verse 2

 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. Revelation 3:20 NIV https://revelation.bible/revelation-3-20

Verse 1

 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. Proverbs 3:6‭-‬7 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/pro.3.6-7.NIV

The Voices n The Choices (Day 5)

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 Last Day of Part 1 Day #5: The Voice Above All Voices We live in a noisy world full of voices and choices. But Jesus, our Shepherd, calls us by name and leads us in the paths that we should follow. As we are His sheep, we ought to be able to hear His voice. He stands at the door of our hearts and knocks waiting for us to invite Him into relationship with Him. We must quiet the noise, lean in and choose to hear THE Voice above all other voices. I wish that this was an easy proposition. Our hearts are still too full of the clamor of the world and its false values. Recognizing the true voice of the Shepherd is not so easy if you are not in relationship with Him. We recognize the voice of our spouse on the phone since we are in a daily relationship with them. It is a rich blessing to hear the voice of the One who knows us deeply and loves us unconditionally.  The Lord is always speaking. He longs to speak to us personally. He speaks to us in a heart language that we can understand. Won’t

Verse 3

 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. John 10:27‭-‬28 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/jhn.10.27-28.NIV

Verse 2

 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:27 NIV https://luke.bible/luke-14-27

Verse 1

 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”  The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ” Genesis 3:1‭-‬3 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/gen.3.1-3.NIV

The Voices n The Choices (Day 4)

  1)   Day #4: Who can I blame?   Blame and shame started in the Garden of Eden. These emotions were not a part of God’s original design of peace and harmony. We hear the old phrase “The devil made me do it.” That phrase carries an enormous truth. The enemy is a deceiver in every way! Even though the devil tempted Eve and Adam with the words “Did God really say…?”, it was their choice in response to the enemy’s voice that changed their entire world. They entered a world of shame and blame. We live in that world today. None of us really want to take personal responsibility for our poor choices. We might be embarrassed. Often, we have a myriad of excuses all leading to blame. God knows our human condition. He died to save us from death. We simply need to own up to our choices. We need to carry our “crosses.”  Most importantly, we need to hear the voice of The Shepherd as He intimately cares for each single one of His sheep. There is no blame for our lives. He knows. We know. We are sinne

Verse 3

 Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions. Proverbs 18:2 NIV https://proverbs.bible/proverbs-18-2

Verse 2

 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10 NIV https://galatians.bible/galatians-1-10

Verse 1

 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5‭-‬6 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/pro.3.5-6.NIV

The Voices n The Choices (Day 3)

  1)   Day #3: Vantage Points Years ago, there was a TV movie called “Vantage Point”. It was a fictional movie about the attempted assassination of an American President. The movie was replayed to the viewer from different “Vantage Points” and the story was different each time. Parlaying the vantage point idea into our own personal lives, have you ever remembered a personal story and have another person say, “That is not how it was”? My children often remember some of their life stories very differently than I, their mother. So, who is right? Is the story how I remember it to be or how they thought it was? Perspective is truth to the owner. This is a giant idea to ponder. There is a statement “Seek first to understand and then to be understood”. The wisdom gained from this statement enhances our understanding of the vantage point idea. Seeing things from the position of another person will enhance greater understanding and empathy. Not necessarily agreement. But certainly, more underst

Verse 3

 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, Ephesians 3:20 NIV https://ephesians.bible/ephesians-3-20

Verse 2

 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42 NIV https://luke.bible/luke-22-42

Verse 1

 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 NIV https://john.bible/john-10-10

The Voices n The Choices (Day 2)

  1)   Day #2: The Voices We Hear There are four voices that are raging in our heads on a daily basis. Another way to put it could be “The Battle of the Wills”. No wonder there can be confusion in our lives. No wonder people are at odds with one another. No wonder that there can never truly be “peace on earth”.  These four wills/voices are: 1. The will/voice of God the Father . God designed each of us ON purpose, WITH purpose, and FOR a purpose. He is the Knitter and the Knower of each day of our lives. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. He designed that we walk in harmony with His plan. He is knocking at the door of our heart always as He longs to speak to us. 2. The will/voice of the enemy . We have an enemy—a thief, who comes to rob, kill, and destroy our lives, our joy, our families and His will. He seeks death over life and has purposed to destroy all that is good and right. He is sneaky. He is real. The battle is on! 3. The will/voice of ourselves . Then we have to deal with

Verse 3

 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. 2 Corinthians 10:3‭-‬5 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/2co.10.3-5.NIV

Verse 2

 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:1‭-‬2 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/col.3.1-2.NIV

Verse 1

 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:10‭-‬12 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/eph.6.10-12.NIV

New Plan: The Voices n The Choices - part 1 (Day 1)

  1)   Day #1: Identifying the battlefield Do you know that there is a real daily battlefield going on in your life? It is a battlefield of good versus evil. Some days it is totally obvious but other days it is subtle or not even noticeable. The Word says that we are in a battle. It may not be one that we can see, but none-the-less, it is real. The Bible also tells us how to arm ourselves to win the battle. There are many fronts to the battlefield. Most of us engage in emotional battles especially dealing with love, pain or disappointment. Then there are the intellectual battles of the mind.  Also consider the physical battles of what to eat, how to eat and how to stay healthy in such an unhealthy world. Clearly the most significant is the spiritual battlefield. Ultimately this is an eternal life or death battle. Christians find their security in Christ; however, there is a real, day-to-day battle of flesh versus spirit which affects our peace of mind. Half the battle is the awareness

Verse 3

 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8‭-‬9 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/eph.2.8-9.NIV

Verse 2

 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NIV https://john.bible/john-3-16

Verse 1

 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NIV https://joshua.bible/joshua-1-9

How to Stop Fear, Worry n Insecurity (Day 10) Last Day

  Do you ever feel abandoned? Do you ever feel like no one is sticking with you? Well, you are wrong, because you have not been abandoned, as seen in today’s verse. A hungry tiger once caught a fox and was about to make a meal out of him when the fox spoke up. “Do not eat me, good tiger, for I am the most feared creature in the jungle.” The tiger did not believe it, so the fox said that in order to prove it, he would walk through the jungle in front of the tiger, and all the animals would flee from him. Sure enough, as the fox strode down the jungle path, animals fled in terror. Of course, they were fleeing from the presence of the tiger, not the lowly fox.  If we as believers love the Lord and walk with Him, as we walk, Almighty God is right behind us. Is there an obstacle that seems insurmountable? Has the new year gotten off to a bad start? We have a God of all power and might Who is backing us up, and He is not going to hold back anything. We need people who are strong and courageo

Verse

 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. Joshua 1:3‭-‬4 NIV https://bible.com/bible/111/jos.1.3-4.NIV

How to Stop Fear, Worry n Insecurity (Day 9)

  When God made His covenant with Israel regarding the Promised Land, He originally promised them 300,000 square miles of land. When Israel finally went in and started conquering, they quit at about 3,000 square miles. They only took possession of around 10% of what God had promised them. Even to this day, they still don’t have all the land that God promised them. One day, they will have all of it. When it comes to the things that God has in store, I think that Christians only take possession of 10%. Sometimes we might think that God wants us to be rich. Do not assume that God’s blessings are going to be financial blessings. God wants us to be rich, but that wealth might not be money. In fact, sometimes money can be the worst thing for us. God will give you something far better than money. He might give us peace, contentment, or the ability to minister to people who are hurting. He’s going to do those things for us, and that is the far greater blessing than any financial thing that God

Verse

 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. Joshua 1:6 NIV https://joshua.bible/joshua-1-6

How to Stop Fear, Worry n Insecurity (Day 8)

  I was recently putting together a table and chairs set for our patio. I had almost finished assembling the table and realized that I was missing one small crucial piece of hardware. I began searching through all of the packing material, certain that it had to be in there somewhere. Sure enough, I found the small washer in a plastic bag that I had discarded. This made me start thinking. I firmly believed that a foreign company could make the parts for a table in an overseas factory, ship all the pieces in a box, and include everything necessary to put it together. I have enough faith that they are not going to leave me short on table parts and that I will have everything I need to put the table together successfully. If I believe that, then why won’t I believe that the God of all creation would give me everything I need to overcome any obstacle in my life? Isn’t that how it is sometimes? We find ourselves trusting a random company more than we trust God.  Don’t do that. Say something