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Monthly Archives: January 2015

January 29, 2015

Living in Victory Through Adversity (part 1)

7 ways to make the best out of adversity

Written By Judy Smith

Adversity can be defined as a misfortune, a state of hardship, or difficult circumstances. It seems everyone I talk to is in some sort of adverse situation. A spirit of hopelessness is in their conversation. People are just getting worn out with life. They are tired; Christian and non-Christian.

I am very well acquainted with adversity, but I have learned how to have victory over it, and in it. So let’s see if we can look at adversity with new eyes. No longer does adversity make me lose my joy or grow weary. The devil is a lie and he tries to destroy our faith, hope, and peace of mind. The Apostle Paul is a beautiful example of living in victory through adversity. He saw adversity as opportunity. In Philippians 1:12 Paul says, “But I wanted you to know brethren, that the things which happen to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel.” He learned how to use his suffering, and the way that he conducted himself, to witness for Christ and bring Glory to God!

In 2 Corinthians 12:10 Paul says, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecution, in distresses, Happy woman standing on long road at sunsetfor Christ sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” He knew how to think well and have a right attitude.

1.       Paul found that adversity can promote the progress of the gospel. Paul’s circumstances removed barriers to the advancement of the gospel.

2.       Adversity provides opportunities for witnessing. In Philippians 1:13 Paul was chained to a Roman guard 24 hours a day. What an opportunity to witness to a captive audience. For the two years of his imprisonment, Paul preached the gospel to the Roman guards, and anyone else that he had the opportunity to speak to.

3.       Adversity produces courage in fellow believers. Paul said in Philippians 1:14 “… and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains are much more bold to speak the word without fear. They saw Paul’s courage and it witnessed to them.

4.       Adversity proves the character of our friendships. In Philippians 1:15-18 we see that Paul’s goal was to deliver his message in a manner that would cause people to follow to Christ.

5.       Adversity brings growth in our lives. Philippians 1:19-20 and Acts 12:5 illustrate that God works through both prayers of friends and through our personal determination. In spite of his imprisonment, Paul has an attitude of eager expectation.

6.       Adversity purifies our motives. In Philippians 1:21 Paul evaluates all of his experiences through his life’s purpose as he states “to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

7.       Adversity prepares us to see life and death in perspective. (see Philippians 1:22-26) Life offers the most opportunity to serve the Lord more fully, while death offers the blessing of finally and completely knowing Jesus. We can’t lose!

 Now that we have seen Paul’s principles for adversity, let’s see how we can fare adversity and have victory over it in our everyday life! Of course the most important thing is being in the Word every day and finding scripture about the type of adversity we are facing, and then praying the Word over our situation. In our prayer time, we must ask the Lord to show us what we are to learn in the situation, and what we need to change in ourselves or within our life.

 We need to be faithful and involved in a church, and have the prayers and encouragement of brothers and sisters in Christ. It never seems to fail that the messages, preached during that period of time bring us encouragement, teaching, and wise counsel. Worship and praise lift the oppression and fear that come with adversity. God indwells the praises of His children. We are to offer up a sacrifice of praise; whether we feel like it or not. Ask the Lord for wisdom, understanding, discernment, and revelation, and guidance every day; and never forget: this too shall pass! Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope; be patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer.

 When we hear the news of problems in the world, when we face challenges that seem overwhelming, when we have problems that don’t seem to have solutions, we can feel hopeless. No matter how dark or depressing our circumstances, we can hope in God because 1 Corinthians 13:13 states that hope remains. In Acts 16 and Paul and Silas sat in stocks in a Philippian jail. They could have been in despair, but instead they sung praises to God. I have learned to do the same. I no longer lose my hope or my joy. Jesus is the source of hope. If we have hope we can be filled with joy and peace no matter is going on. Rejoice in the hope that God has given you. Proverbs 3:5-6 says that when we trust in the Lord with all our heart and do not lean on our own understanding, but in all our ways we acknowledge Him, He will make our paths straight.

 
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January 15, 2015

Moving Forward

Written By Lynn Waters

At the end of each year I work at finishing the tasks that I wanted to do for that year. By December 2014 the tasks that I had put aside throughout the year had piled up.  Fortunately, the reasons for not doing them had passed, and I had the time to work on these time-consuming items. I did not finish them all, however I completed most of them.

 Now in a new year, I am looking over the goals for last year and previous years to see what goals I really want to accomplish and which ones are no longer relevant. After I review the goals I want to accomplish, I strategize as to how to reach these goals because we can achieve more when we plan.

We all have personal goals that we want to accomplish. Do we want to change occupations?  Do we need to go to school for this new occupation? If so, research schools and programs and then register for school. It may seem daunting at first, but sometimes the hardest part is simply beginning the process. The time will go by in your life whether you accomplish your goal or not.  So if you start working on your goal today, you will have improved an area of your life and you will immediately feel good about this progress.

 When I was younger, I did not know anything about goals and I just lived my life.  As I look back I see places where IGoal signboard could have improved and changed my life if I had made goals, gone to school, or changed how I lived my life. I know I cannot change my past, but I can change my future.  I now make plans and work at accomplishing them. What are some of my plans?  Well, first of all I want my home to be a peaceful place: a place filled with love and joy. I want consistency; to plan the meals to be nutritious and fun; and to make foods that my husband enjoys. Other goals are to make the home clean and comfortable. I also do the yard work. I plan to keep the yard in good order and watered so the flowers and plants look good. A few other goals are to read my Bible every day and pray for those that are experiencing trials, and to keep up on the emails I receive about what is spiritually going on in the world. I also want to make my husband happy, have fun, and go somewhere at least once a month to enjoy the world.

This year I am planning to go to a Family Reunion. I have never been and last year my sister and I reconnected with my Dad’s family. There were seven children and they all had many children and now grand-children and great grand-children.  All my Dad’s brothers and sisters are gone, but their children and grandchildren are waiting to meet my sister and me. I am planning and getting information so that I will be ready for all of the activities and to remember everyone, if possible.  Now that is an exciting goal for me this year. I have many more goals, but I think you get the idea of what kind of goals you can have.  When setting goals let’s remember to spend time with our families.  Children grow up before you know it and move into their own lives. And they remember the time we spend with them. At Thanksgiving I visited with my nephew and his wife, and he reminisced about his middle school graduation. We did something special together, just the two of us.  I had to financially go out on a limb but I felt it was worth it to make it a special day for him.  I felt so good that he remembered it. We have so little time on earth, we should spend some of this time giving of ourselves and doing things we enjoy like visiting others.  When I was small, my next door neighbor was always having people over for coffee just to chat. It is easy to forget about the joy of simply spending time with others.

 Life Builder Seminars offers this joy. We go there; we meet new people and talk with old friends. It is a place to connect, and renew ourselves. I hope to meet you at the next Life Builder Seminar in Brea on Saturday January 24th

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January 8, 2015

Beauty in a Bag

Written By: Yvonne Galindo

As I was surfing through Twitter I came across a promotion for a website called “Beauty in the Bag” how about “Passport to Beauty”; secrets from throughout the world that women use for looking and feeling beautiful. Both these sights are associated with beauty necessities for a woman. It seems these days you can find what you need to feel beautiful by surfing the internet and YouTube. I should know, I myself learned a few beauty tips from YouTube. A friend and I were discussing handbags, I indicated to her the title of my next Blog; she then commented by saying “A purse can be such a Burden”. Now let’s think about this ??? A burden can be the amount of cargo that a vessel can carry. It can be if you look at most common items found in a woman’s purse. They are makeup, keys, wallet, cell phone, breath mints, gum and items needed for personal hygiene.

 Most recently women began to carry items for self-defense; such as  a knife, pepper spray, Taser/stun gun, not to mention women purchase larger bags to make room for an iPad or a light weight laptops. A burden can also be something that is emotionally difficult to bear, or a source of great worry like stress.  If you’re feeling burdened by what you carry like maybe a heavy burden of guilt, shame, unworthiness, then ladies I suggest it’s time to do some purging. Honestly, I don’t carry much in by bag; maybe wallet, keys, sunglasses, reading glasses and phone.  That’s it! NO MAKE-UP in my purse, tooo messy.

 I began to think about the importance of beauty within and not so much what’s in the bag. You can’t see what’s in the bag, right! Young woman with shopping walking up stairs So I ask myself, do I need what’s in my bag to feel beautiful? NO! The beauty lies not in the content of bag; but in the content of our character, your intent and your desires.  1 Peter 3:3-4 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. I am not saying don’t wear make-up; of course not. I love the bling!  I am just saying don’t be affected by our culture today where people become shallow and our only focus is on the external.  This can be a dangerous to your soul. Let’s not forget what brought Satan down; Ezekiel 28:17 “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom by reason of your splendor. I found that no matter how plain a woman you are or what designer bag you carry, if truth and honesty are written across your face, you will be beautiful.

 If you recall in the movie “The Devil Wears Prada” Meryl Streep wore designer purses, clothes shoes and jewelry. She personified everything beautiful, yet was the epitome of rudeness.  She hid her unmet needs and unhealed hurts behind her designer lifestyle. I can relate so very well. I catch myself hiding at times even now, not wanting people to know what I am thinking or who I really am. I have come to realize I am getting in the way of me! I am a work in progress. Always growing, learning and finding new things in Christ. Realizing that people and things don’t define who I am.

 I can understand women today have so many expectations placed on them that it’s difficult for them to discern if they are successful in what they want or do in life.  Women are on overload most of time and it shows.  Don’t over think!  Everything in life is a process. Your load should, and can be light. Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. A woman should carry herself however she feels comfortable and happy. It’s about Growing into Grace. God created you in His Image. Don’t get caught up in the world’s image or people’s opinions.  Allow God to purge you, and you shall be clean; let him cleanse you, and you shall be whiter than snow. I know He can- He’s done it for me.

For more from Yvonne Galindo please visit: http://www.godspearl.com/

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