Friday Favorites: Rewrite Your Story

Rewrite Your Story – Defy The Ending

 “Our job is not to deny the story, but to defy the ending…to rise strong, recognize our story and rumble with the truth until we get to the place where we think, yes. This is what happened. This is my truth. I will choose how this story ends.” Brene Brown

Yes, it is entirely possible. But only through transformation. Here’s how it works. Let go of your expectations. Release your plans. Submit and commit to loving God above more than anything or anyone else. He is your perfect Heavenly Father. My story began with the consistent love of my own strong and helpful dad. I remember when I first learned to ride a bicycle. “Be careful, sweetie,” my dad’s strong voice cautioned me to avoid the object in the road. He’d just removed the training wheels on my Schwinn; so even though I was seated securely on the banana seat, both hands on the handlebars, the front tire still wobbled a little. I focused intently on the path ahead, “Yes, Father,” I said. I veered to the left just a little and swerved to avoid the obstacle. Father is one of the most familiar and commonly used name of God.” (quote from newest devotional: Experiencing God Through His Names)

However, some cannot relate to God as a caring, tender and involved dad, like mine, because they’ve been disappointed by their own negative personal paternal experiences. So what’s the big deal about ‘spiritual fatherlessness’? A lot. According to a recent study, ’15 million American children — one in three — live without a father. In the past decade, families with two parents in the home has dropped significantly.  From poor academic achievement and teenage pregnancy to drug use and crime, most social problems cannot be properly understood without considering the absence of fathers in homes. Many of the social problems we face are a direct result of the fatherless home. Even as the country added 160,000 families with children, the number of two-parent households decreased by 1.2 million.’ http://www.commdiginews.com/life/studies-reflect-the-damage-of-the-one-parent-fatherless-family-17573/

‘Spiritual fatherlessness’ causes a breach between the natural father, spiritual father and heavenly father. The devil destroys harmony between our most valued relationships.  This is not necessarily a physical breach, but a spiritual battle waging war against those that mean the most to us. I am the first born of four children, my dad always called me princess. I was the apple of his eye. However, for a few years, dad and I exchanged only harsh words, disagreement and disconnection. Unfortunately, I was unaware of the enemy tactics to divide our family. I was rebellious, un-submissive and could not respond to my father’s attempts to show me his love. It’s interesting that this is one of the final verses in the Old Testament: “and he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their father lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:6 Truly a sign of the times.

At seventeen, I was sinking deep into drug addiction. I stayed high as much as possible, trying to fill the emptiness in my life with the highest high or the cutest guy while my need for affection only increased. I couldn’t wait to move out of my parents’ home. My family pulled strings to get me a volunteer summer job at a Christian camp. The camp staff assigned me lists of chores, such as washing hundreds of dishes in the mess hall, raking piles of pine needles around the campgrounds, and even moving logs around the outdoor campfire ring.

Whenever I complained or threw fits over doing my chores or smoked cigarettes and dope, the camp staff said, “Love covers over a multitude of sins.” (I Peter 4:8 [NIV]) Their words, repeated over and over, immersed me for two weeks. The words rang in my ears, I couldn’t get the five-word phrase off my mind. The staff didn’t tell me to change anything about my appearance, attitude, or addictions. Instead, they showed me what the invitation of love looked like. They were kind; they offered the true love of God without forcing me to accept it.

As a youngster in Sunday school, I’d learned Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” After two weeks of experiencing how “Love covers a multitude of sins,” I embraced it. Submitting to the overwhelming love of God, I allowed His abundant love to cover my multitude of sins. One night in my cabin, I submitted to the overwhelming love of Father God. He had reached out to me, and I, a most unlikely choice, finally grasped His hand. His abundant love did cover my multitude of sins. I accepted the invitation to live a new life. My life was transformed, I was given a fresh start and the divine connection to my Heavenly Father was restored. But there was still work to do.

  1. I had to communicate with God as my Perfect Father.

The breach in my relationship with God could only be restored through the Son. The blessing came when I came to know God as my Perfect Father. I began to believe God’s love could cover the things that held me captive: drugs and alcohol, lying and stealing, promiscuity and drug dealing. It was finally clear: I didn’t need to clean up my act before coming to God; He loved me passionately just the way I was. James 1:17 “Every Good and perfect gift comes from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

  1. .

I was searching for meaning, purpose and identity in things and people that could never fill my God-shaped void. In God there is no lack. God does not want the enemy to rob us of blessing, destiny, purpose. I asked God heal my father wound caused by my own decision to turn from my earthly and my Heavenly Father’s will. God showed me how to release every disappointment that had been imagined or feared and to put my trust in Him. We cannot go back and re-write history but we can get to the place where we allow God to heal us. This takes trust and transparency.

James 5:16 “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

  1. I had to ask God to help me find a spiritual father, be a father.

Once we allow God to heal our father wound, we will want to share our joy with others. It helps to keep accountable and also to share our victories and defeat. We get to choose our own spiritual parents. Let God help you find a father and be a father.

God wants us to show the world of ‘spiritual fatherlessness’ what it means to be included the family of God. So let’s share how wonderful it is to be loved by a Perfect Heavenly Father. And it will make all the difference in our destiny and theirs, too.  Psalm 68:5-6 “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing but the rebellious live in a sun scorched land.”

Worldwide Wednesday: Pray for India

Welcome to Worldwide Wednesday: Pray for India

I was supposed to be in India right now! But since my travel visa was not approved, God has shown me He wants me to gather prayer partners for the Esther Movement/Global Sharing team ministering from March 10 – 24, 2017. Are you in?

“Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race market out for us.” Hebrews 12:1

Here’s a detailed account of

http://fromashestobeauty.com/2017/03/march-2017-from-ashes-to-beauty-news/  I hope you will take time to print the prayer guide and pray through the various needs of the team day by day. Thank you!

The Dalit women of India are overlooked and marginalized members of society. They work long and grueling hours in the tea plantations. The Esther Movement/Global Sharing team is bringing hope and healing through God’s word and their presence. Please pray for open hearts to God’s work in their lives for the Dalit women. Pray for strength and stamina for the team. Pray for healing and hope through Jesus.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Transformed Through Truth Launches March 2017

Transformed Through Truth Launches March 2107

The Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network: http://hsbn.tv/_deploy/index.html

Me too. Join me for the launch of our brand new program, Transformed Through Truth: www.hsbn.tv  I am delighted to offer new insights and practical examples of how real God is. You might wonder exactly how this will work? I invite you to join me each and every week. We are going to get to know God’s word and each other very well. Why should you make it a point to meet me? Very Simple. Everything is better together. You don’t want to miss out on anything God has for you.

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good and pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

Each program will be an exciting and unique time in God’s word, filled with practical applications. We are going to study the Bible together and

We are going to hear testimonies of how God has worked in my life and the lives of others. I love to share my testimony – I am so thankful for the amazing things God has done. I am a delivered drug addict, a stage four cancer survivor and a former widow. Don’t miss out on any of the life lessons God has taught me. Stay connected through watching Transformed Through Truth here or check out the archived versions http://hsbn.tv/_deploy/index.html

Let’s pray – Heavenly Father, thank you for each one you have drawn to be transformed by the renewing of their minds. Help them come against deceit as they cho0se truth. Let them find truth in You and know you in a deeper way. Thank you, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Worldwide Wednesday: Pray for Greece

“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask in prayer.”

Matthew 21:22

G – Pray for Greece

Thank you for praying through the alphabet with us in 2017.

We are going to focus on praying for Greek refugees around the world. Thank you for your choice to pray for the lost to be found – that they would find Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Pray for them to believe God has a plan even for their desperate situation. Thank you.

Greece is a country in southeastern Europe with thousands of islands throughout the Aegean and Ionian seas. Influential in ancient times, it’s often called the cradle of Western civilization. Athens, its capital, retains landmarks including the 5th-century B.C. Acropolis citadel with the Parthenon temple. Greece is also known for its beaches, from the black sands of Santorini to the party resorts of Mykonos.

Why is the country of Greece important to Christians?

Greek culture was introduced throughout the world of the New Testament by Alexander the Great during the intertestamental period. A young military genius, Alexander conquered the entire Persian Empire and more through a series of brilliant campaigns. Alexander’s vision included not only the conquest of the world but the propagation of Greek culture, i.e., the hellenization of all peoples.

Upon his death at the age of thirty-two, his kingdom was divided among three of his generals. The important point here is that the population of the area was subject to direct Greek rule for more than 150 years.

During that time, the Greek language was imposed on the Jewish nation and became, furthermore, the lingua franca of the entire New Testament world. The NT was written in Greek, though Jesus, Paul, James, Peter, and John all doubtless spoke Aramaic and read Hebrew as well.

https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/asbury-bible-commentary/Greek-Culture

Geography

Area: 131,957 sq km

Southernmost part of Balkan Peninsula in southeast Europe and 150 inhabited islands in the Ionian, Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. The islands constitute 20% of the land area.

Population: 11,183,393    Annual Growth: 0.22%

Capital: Athens

Urbanites: 61.4%

Peoples: 46 (22% unreached) All peoples

Official language: Greek    Languages: 24 All languages

Religion

Largest Religion: Christian

Religion                 Pop % Ann Gr
Christians 10,228,331 91.46 0.0
Evangelicals 41,376 0.4 1.6

Prayercast

Challenges for Prayer

Literature has proven to be a useful tool in the past, but greater variety would be a blessing. Pray for the seed-sowing work of the Greek Bible Society and the Gideons in disseminating the Scriptures and SU in producing Bible reading aids. AMG founded the publishing house O Logos and operates five Christian bookstores around the nation; other publishing ministries include Pergamos and Anogeion.

http://www.operationworld.org/greece

  • Pray for the financial meltdown to drive people to Jesus for lasting peace and security.
  • Pray for the Church to be purged of any heresy, syncretism, or division.
  • Pray for a clear presentation of the Gospel to reach a nation where very few have heard the Truth.

http://prayercast.com/greece.html

  1. Pray for protection for refugees as they travel.
  2. Pray for separated families to be reunited.
  3. Pray that refugees would be welcomed and befriended by Christians in their new countries.
  4. Pray for the wars and unrest in the refugees’ home countries to end.
  5. Pray for wisdom and compassion for world leaders as they face this crisis.
  6. Pray that God would sustain the Christian workers who are serving in refugee centers and camps.
  7. Pray for funding for the refugee outreach center in Athens that is struggling in the current economic crisis.
  8. Pray for our team going to Greece soon, that God would direct our steps.
  9. Pray that fruit would be born in the lives of those that we meet and share with.
  10. Pray that many refugees would find a new hope and home in Christ.

http://www.servantgroup.org/10-ways-to-pray-for-refugees-in-greece/

http://prayforgreece.net/

 

Monday Motivation: Stillness

OK Monday Let's Do This

Monday Motivation: Stillness

Our best Monday Motivation begins with a choice to turn to God. When we focus our eyes on him, we can process and actually do what Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know I am God.” Being still before God means to cease striving, stop activity, to rest in him. Our Heavenly Father loves it when we invite his presence and take time to sit completely motionless before him. In our cessation of activity, we anticipate his voice to speak into our lives. Let’s pay attention to Him. Here are a few wonderful verses to help you get through your Monday. Won’t you take five, be still and listen?

Meditate on these five verses as you seek the Lord on a Monday morning:

  1. The Lord will give you rest when you feel tired.
    Come to me, all of you who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. ­Matthew 11:28-29
  2. The Lord will give you strength when you feel weak.
    Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard?
    The Lord is the everlasting God;
    he created all the world.
    He never grows tired or weary.
    No one understands his thoughts.
    He strengthens those who are weak and tired
    . –  “Isaiah 40:28-29
  3. The Lord will give you peace when you feel anxious.
    The peace that Christ gives is to guide you in the decisions you make; for it is to this peace that God has called you together in the one body.  “Isaiah 40:28-29”]
  4. The Lord will give you confidence when you feel uncertain.
    Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way. “Proverbs 3:5-6 ”
  5. The Lord will give you hope when you feel hopeless.
    May God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace by means of your faith in him, so that your hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit. “Romans 15:13”

http://news.americanbible.org/blog/entry/bible-blog/5-bible-verses-for-beating-the-monday-blues

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for reminding me to be still. Quiet my mind, heart and soul to rest in you. Give me supernatural energy as you share my yoke. Give me strength when I feel weak. Give me peace when I feel anxious. Give me confidence when I feel uncertain. Give me hope when I am lost. Thank you Lord for motivating me on this Monday. In Jesus’ name, Amen

 

Friday Favorites: Solutions Magazine Features Zur:God Our Rock

My Solutions magazine Feb 2017

Solutions Magazine Features – Zur: God Our Rock from Experiencing God Through His Names by Sheryl Giesbrecht

Check out the article here: http://mysolutionsmagazine.com/february-2017/

What’s in a name? A lot actually. Names are powerful. A person’s character and destiny can be influenced by his or her name. What expectant couple hasn’t planned and prayed for the name they would give their child? This thoughtful naming concept is also true about God – God has chosen specific names to identify Himself. In fact, God’s attributes and personality support His unique and distinct names. If we understand the meanings of His titles, we can know God more intimately.

Some of you may already be familiar with a few of the many names of God – Father, Abba, Yahweh. You’ve sung Good Good Father and Yahweh Yaweh – And each one of these names reveals something about His character. It’s a great thing to take time to examine these special names of God, one by one.

Studying the names of God one by one, is like looking at a postcard of the Grand Canyon. The solo shots each show a segment of a breathtaking view. When we absorb truths about God one at a time, we can better understand the reality and certainty of His character and the capability of His presence in our daily lives.

When you understand God’s names, you see how God reveals Himself to the person or group where he showed up. These specific names reveal His purposes, character and His commitment to us. The names of God give us practical handles for life applications. Like tools for our tool belt, it is so helpful to know God wants us to remember His names and His character. There is no one like our God!

God does not hide from us. In James 4:8 it says, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.”

There are many ways to draw close to God as we study His word. Spiritually, something exciting and personal happens when we study God’s names, we find out about His unique character qualities and experience His Holy Spirit presence.

I can’t wait for you to experience God showing you more of His power and presence. I am very excited to share my new book “Experiencing God Through His Names” has been getting noticed. In fact, this month one of my devotionals from the book is featured in My Solutions magazine http://mysolutionsmagazine.com/february-2017/

Did you know you can still order your own signed autographed copy of “Experiencing God Through His Names”? Send an email here: sherylgiesbrecht@aol.com  It is my prayer that you and I will journey together in study and fellowship as we get to know God in this way.

If you have purchased a book and studied it yourself or even been in one of my “Experiencing God Through His Names” Private Facebook Study groups, why not share the news with someone you love? Or even buy a book for them? Or go directly to Amazon now: https://www.amazon.com/Experiencing-God-Through-His-Names/dp/0692743014

Its exciting to remember the names of God each reveal something about His character. Understanding God’s titles reveals His purposes and His commitment to us and gives practical handles for life applications. There are many ways to draw close to God as we study His word. Spiritually, something exciting and personal happens when we study God’s names, we find out about His unique character qualities and experience His Holy Spirit presence.

0 Zur Sheryls meme

When we study the names of God, we:

  • Experience God’s power in fresh ways
  • Increase our desire for intimacy with God
  • Apply our experience with God to other areas of life – parenting, marriage, marketplace and personal communication

Exodus 20:24 says, “Wherever I cause My name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you.” God wants us to understand Him as we study His character through His names. Take a minute to underline Exodus 20:24 in your Bible, and let’s pray:

“Heavenly Father, I honor your name, I bless your name, I praise your name. I pray for your wisdom, discipline and insight as I embark on the journey of knowing you by Your names. Lord, I want to experience you more. Thank you for your willingness in allowing me to find you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

 

Worldwide Wednesday: Pray for Ecuador

Pray Around the World!

Pray Around the World!

Worldwide Wednesday: E – Ecuador

Pray for Ecuador

Ecuador

Republic of Ecuador

Latin America

Ecuador flag

Geography

Area: 269,178 sq km

Amazon jungle in the east, high Andean Sierra in the centre, fertile coastal plain on Pacific Coast. Also the Galapagos Islands, 1,000 km to the west.

Population: 13,774,909    Annual Growth: 1.07%

Capital: Quito

Urbanites: 66.9%

Peoples

Peoples: 31 (6% unreached) All peoples
Unreached Peoples Prayer Card

Official language: Spanish    Languages: 25 All languages

Religion

Largest Religion: Christian

Religion                 Pop % Ann Gr
Christians 13,010,402 94.45 1.0
Evangelicals 1,170,089 8.5 4.9

Ecuador map

Prayercast

Challenges for Prayer

Missions. The largest groups are HCJB, MAF, AoG, CB/CMML, AV, OMS, IT. Many opportunities remain for missionary recruits in supportive ministries, church planting and pioneer work in the groups mentioned below. Pray for good church-mission relationships. The ever-present danger of administrative and financial paternalism threatens to impose Western patterns and stifle Ecuadorian initiatives.

The less-evangelized:

  1. a) The slum-dwellers of Quito and Guayaquil. Over 60% of the latter’s population are extremely poor, and many live in slums built on a polluted marsh. Few Christian workers have a vision for these deprived people.
  2. b) The upper and middle classes are relatively unresponsive (CMA, OMS and others).
  3. c) University and school students. Over eight agencies are involved in campus ministries among the 250,000 students (on more than 300 campuses), including CCCI, CECE (IFES), YFC, LAM and four denominational groups. There is still much room for growth.
  4. d) The Afro-Ecuadorian people are only 0.03% evangelical. Although there are many Catholics among them, Spiritism is the true spiritual power at work in their midst. Pray for a breakthrough among this unique group.
  5. e) The 28,000 people living on the distant and barren Galapagos Islands now have a growing ministry in their midst through MVI. The islands host many eco-tourists who, through Darwin’s legacy, are often hostile to biblical Christianity.
  6. f) Loja province is isolated from mainstream Ecuadorian life and is only 0.1% evangelical. Operation Esperanza is a multi-agency effort to see fruit in this region through prayer, radio, evangelism and holistic ministry (SIM, OMS, WV). Good Shepherd Radio broadcasts the gospel to many isolated villages otherwise difficult to access.

http://www.operationworld.org/country/ecua/owtext.html

April 2016: Franklin Graham is asking for prayer as Ecuador sorts through the rubble from a deadly 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck its Pacific coast on Saturday. The South American country, nestled on the equator between Colombia and Peru, is getting help from Samaritan’s Purse and other relief organizations.

“Samaritan’s Purse is responding to the people of Ecuador who are suffering as a result of the devastating earthquake that shook their country this weekend, killing hundreds and injuring more than 2,500,” BGEA and Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham posted on Facebook. “We have Samaritan’s Purse staff on the ground in the affected area with more on the way, including medical personnel.

“Please remember the people of Ecuador in your prayers as well as our teams working to bring help.”

Franklin Graham has preached to more than 8 million people since conducting his first evangelistic event with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in 1989. In 2006, he held the Festival of Hope in Ecuador’s state capital of Quito where a record crowd joined him and more than 14,000 indicated decisions for Christ.

Galo Vasquez, a native of Ecuador, was the associate director at that Festival, and vividly remembers watching God work. After extensive planning for a three-day event, the Festival had to be condensed to two days due to a scheduling conflict with the venue.

Quito, Galo said, is located in a valley, so people didn’t usually venture out in the evenings because of the weather. But for the two nights of the Festival, a record crowd attended.

Among those in attendance was a delegation of pastors and leaders, who wanted to invite Franklin Graham to their city of Guayaquil. Plans were made, and in 2007, the Franklin Graham Festival of Hope was held in the port city. Another record crowd turned out and thousands more made decisions for Christ.

“The most influential cities of the country were really impacted with the Festivals and a large number of people heard the Gospel, and there were many that responded,” said Galo, who now serves as BGEA’s Director of Latin American Festivals.

Galo was born in Ambato, Ecuador, but moved to Quito with his family when he was 9 years old. The majority of his family, including his 92-year-old mother, still lives there today.

“I was having a hard time connecting with them because the lines were oversaturated, but I was able to talk to them yesterday morning,” Galo said. “They’re in shock. The whole country is in shock with the circumstances because they’re just beginning to see the actual damage. They felt the earthquake that lasted over 30 seconds, but by the grace of God they’re doing fine.”

This isn’t the first major earthquake for Ecuador, which also experienced a devastating one almost 30 years ago. Galo’s hope is God’s people will see the opportunity within the natural disaster.

“This is not the first time we’ve seen this,” Galo said of the earthquake. “The last big one was in 1987 so it does bring people into a process of reflection about the supernatural and consequently, an exercise of thinking more about God. As they seek for God, they become more sensitive to the spiritual things and messaging so now I wouldn’t be surprised if the people would be open to going to church.

“I would say we do need to pray that God’s people would be wise. This is a good opportunity to go and demonstrate the love of God.”

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your love for all mankind. You are sharing with us your heart for people all around the world. Thank you for your grace and mercy. We ask for you to reach into the depths of destruction, despair and discouragement and send forth your healing and hope. Send your complete and total restoration of the land, repair the broken streets, build up the ruined walls. Mend families, broken lives and broken hearts through the power of the love of Jesus. Thank you for recovery and renewal. May your kingdom come and your will be done. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Monday Motivation: Get More From Monday

Monday Motivation: Get More from Monday

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Ah, Monday morning. Remember the song the Mamas and the Papas used to sing? Let’s reminisce some of the lyrics:

Monday, Monday. Can’t trust that day.
Monday, Monday, it just turns out that way.
Every other day, every other day
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me crying all the time.

Sounds like a bleak beginning for our work week. So, let’s welcome Monday morning with a few attitude and schedule adjustments.

1. Begin preparing for Monday on Sunday night

My senior year at Biola University, I fulfilled a requirement for a Christian education class called “Education Administration,” which outlined the psychology and techniques for executing successful programs in the church. A key concept in producing life-giving events, small groups, and opportunity for believers to grow in their faith is the concept of planning ahead. I’m still driven by the phrase “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” So even if you take just five minutes to plan ahead, Sunday night make a list of a few essentials you must complete on Monday. 

For our family of four with our kids in elementary school, we posted a large 5″ x 8″’ bulletin board in the “Grand Central” meeting place: our kitchen. This common daily calendar was a place everyone’s schedule could be seen, so each could know where and when the other family members were going to be at different times and days of the week. Some of the items on your list might overlap and be the same things every week. Pinterest has many printable options for this and even some on a smaller scale. Or if it works for you, a desktop calendar or computer laptop or tablet can be very functional. The point of using a calendar is to bring intention to your time, so you can harness more of it for your use. If you have ever said, “I just didn’t have enough time,” (as all of us have), you can now say, “I am using the time I have more effectively.”

“Be very careful then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” —Ephesians 5:15–16

2. Start Monday morning asking God for help

“I’ve got so much to do; I don’t have time for devotions.” Yes, I, too have used this excuse. When I didn’t make time for God, I ran out of time, resources, and energy to complete the tasks that lay ahead of me. And I wasn’t a very nice person to be around, either. However, when I made spending time with God my daily habit, He helped me manage my time and my schedule. It was like making a huge bank deposit; as I spent the early minutes of my day with Him, He actually helped me do everything He asked me to do in the time He gave me. In the end, I actually accomplished more than I thought I would or could.

David wrote in Psalm 63:1, “O God, you are my God, early will I seek you, my soul thirsts for you.” Moses noticed God’s handiwork in through the burning bush: “I must turn aside, to this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.” Abraham walked with God alone under the canopy of night; God used the twinkling stars as an object lesson to show him the numbers of his descendants. “I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars of the sky and will give them all these lands.” Genesis 26:4

“It is better to be sleep-deprived, than God deprived,” says Jill Briscoe

Jesus was busy meeting needs—teaching the crowds, leading the disciples, healing the sick, comforting the broken—yet He made time for His Heavenly Father. Mark 1:35 says, “Early in the morning, while it was still dark, He went out and departed to a lonely place and was praying there.” It was our Lord’s custom, His habit, to meet with His Father before He did anything else. “And He came out and proceeded as was His custom, to the Mount of Olives,” says Luke 22:39. If Jesus made meeting with God His first priority, shouldn’t we do the same?

3. Write up an hourly mock-up schedule for Monday

A daily appointment book, iPhone calendar, or even piece of binder paper helps you actually see the day and more effectively plan the time you have to do the tasks ahead. To put activities into slots, it takes about ten minutes every day, but as you get into the habit of doing it, often your daily calendar is done by the time your day begins. This is referred to as a time-log, which can provide you with a motivation to finish a task on time or at least provide a little competition for you and your family as you are completing tasks. When you can “see the day” on a daily calendar, you also “seize the day” instead of letting the day grab ahold of you.

“I wish I could stand on a busy street corner and beg people to give their wasted hours.” (unknown)

Most people waste up to two hours of time every day; although few people realize it. That’s why it’s a beneficial habit to write up your own personal hourly tentative mock up schedule. It’s such a great feeling of satisfaction—the reward you get when you are able to complete a task successfully or make it to an appointment on time. The rush of accomplishment in checking off the tasks that have been completed actually motivates us to want to achieve more to gain the same results.

“I delight to see how orderly you are.” —Colossians 2:3

4. Rewards give positive reinforcement for success

Rewards help motivate successful follow-through, especially when we stick with a schedule. What rewards will motivate you and your family? M&M’s, french fries, a trip to Disneyland? Although these might be successful motivators, these are definitely not healthy for your body or realistic for your family budget. So, ask your family what rewards will motivate them and figure out what works well for your group. For our family, a Wendy’s frosty for each of us was the reward at the end of a successful week. The kids kept track of points they’d accumulate every day for assignments completed, chores finished, and positive behavior. The weekly “Frosty Fiesta” benefited our little foursome in many ways: We looked forward to it, we planned for it, and we could afford it. Plus it provided an actual family outing that all of us liked. Score!

Now, the work motivation rewards I grant myself are not as indulgent as a Wendy’s frosty. After completing a task, I might allow myself a limited amount of time on one of my favorite sites: Pinterest. (It was two years ago this Thanksgiving I planned my wedding to second husband Jim by using Pinterest.) I love to read books. And on any given day, I’ve also got lots of books going and must limit myself to only one new book a week. (So many books, so little time.) Another reward after successfully completing a sizable writing project or an event is clothes shopping. (Hmm, there’s a new trendy clothing store at the mall.) Now that’s a reward worth waiting for.

Okay, how do you feel about Monday? Is it still . . . Monday, Monday, can’t trust that day?

Or do you agree: Instead of mistrusting your Monday, you can begin this first Monday in the month of November by pressing into it? That’s right, just lean into the pressure. No need to feel anxious about trying to get more accomplished. Instead choose to be thankful for the time we have and the work we have to do, and thank God for the people He asks us to share it with.

“Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 3:13–14

Can I pray for you?

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you so much for your plan for us. Help us to use the time you have given us to accomplish your purpose. Help us love well and serve well those who need you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Speak Your Mind


 

WELCOME TO WORLDWIDE WEDNESDAY: PRAY FOR DENMARK

Pray Around the World!

Welcome to Worldwide Wednesday – “D” for Denmark

Greetings, friends – thank you so much for joining us today to pray around the world through the alphabet.

We are going to pray without ceasing. God is working. I love this reminder from Abraham Lincoln:

“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for the day.” Abraham Lincoln

Denmark flag and country

Denmark

The most southerly of the European Scandinavian countries. See separate entries for Faeroe Islands and Greenland, which are autonomous regions of Denmark.

Population: 5,481,283

Capital: Copenhagen

Largest Religion: Christian

Religion Pop % Ann Gr
Christians 4,674,986 85.29 -0.2
Evangelicals 193,344 3.5 0.2

“The effective,  fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16

Denmark map

Challenges for Prayer

Old non-missional theologies are devastating for the Church, since they fail to equip the Church in effective discipleship and mission in a secular realm. Pray for theological and missional renewal in all seminaries and Bible schools that will encourage a vibrant missions vision. Pray also for leaders to be raised up who are able to communicate Christ with the Danish postmodern youth culture.

There is a shortfall of pastors, especially for Free Churches of all types. Even with a number of fresh and new ministries and church planting efforts, many evangelical congregations, especially those without a pastor, are in stagnation or even decline. Pray for the provision of capable, godly leaders and for the revitalization of these evangelical congregations.

http://www.operationworld.org/denm

Denmark

Prayer Points

  • Pray for the Holy Spirit to bring revival to the Lutheran Church where many have become disillusioned.
  • Pray for biblical thinking to replace the secular, postmodern worldview prevalent among the youth.
  • Pray for financial support for full-time pastors and teachers who are anchored in the truths of the Bible.

http://prayercast.com/denmark.html

Thank you Heavenly Father for your care for the people of Denmark. We ask for your presence in every church where the word of God is taught. We ask for your strength for the pastors and leaders there who know you as their personal Savior. We ask for you to take them to a deeper walk with you as they study your word and teach what you say to us through the Bible. We ask for you to send new pastors and leaders to Denmark to strengthen the believers there. We ask for a fresh anointing and equipping of the leaders as you send them out to revive the work that was begun. We bless you and praise you, Lord, for what you will do in Jesus’ name, Amen.

January 2017: New Year News!

New Year - New Beginnings!

New Year – New Beginnings!

Greetings, Friends – I hope you are having a great Monday.

One of my very favorite things is seeing lives transformed. In the photo above, these are the women graduates from my Freedom In Christ class at the one year residential treatment program. Wow, look at the smiles, expressions of relief and excited hope for the future. Yes, they got it! Want to know more about new beginnings? Want to find out how you can be a part of transformation? Check out this verse: “Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” Colossians 3:9-10

Find out how you can get involved, take a peek at my monthly newsletter here:

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1101848206109&ca=564ae56f-34e4-41b0-aedb-acdb1a095653

Enjoy this monthly update and

Blessings,

Sheryl