Monday Motivation: Eyes on Him

Monday Motivation: Eyes on Him

What motivates you? As we plan for the week ahead, let’s consider what God has planned.

Here’s how it works: I remember when my kids were toddlers; I didn’t let them out of my sight. It’s a parent thing – we keep our children or grandchildren in range of sight so we can try to protect them from evil and attempt to keep them out of harm’s way.

In some ways our God’s care and concern over us, his blessed children is similar. Yet his true desire and passion is much more than we can ever comprehend. 2 Chronicles 16:9 explains God’s constant watch care over us, ”For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” In my mind’s eye, I picture the Lord’s scope of vision like a 360 degree camera, nothing and no one can escape his view. God’s eyes are on us all the time, we are never out of his sight.

Psalm 33:16-19 reminds us, “No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine.”

His eyes on us, but are our eyes on Him? Refuse to take your eyes off of the only One who can direct your path, keep you safe and prosper you. For those of us who are parents or grandparents, we can relate to watching over our children or grandchildren with care. However, we can learn additional lessons from the art of archery:

  1. Clearly see your target – keep your goal in mind. Make your main goal be to spend the first hour of your day with God.
  2. Notice external factors that could affect hitting the target – eliminate external barriers or distractions that could prevent you from reaching your goal. Plan ahead — the night before, make sure you have your Bible, journal, study materials and even a pen ready for your time alone with God.
  3. Be aware of your own readiness to ensure you are ready to hit the target – Eliminate distractions, set your alarm and your coffee pot to ensure success. Speak truth over yourself and your time alone with God. Plan ahead for the opportunity to walk close to God. Celebrate your victory and remind yourself of your identity in Christ. Failed in the past? You have overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony.

What are you aiming for? I hope you are keeping your eyes on Him. By understanding and implementing just a few things will make all the difference in how we work, play and live. You will find others will ask you how it’s done. And that brings us back to the reason for it all. That all eyes are on Him. Give Him glory. Here’s a closing prayer from Psalm 25:14,15.

Dear Lord, thank you that you “confide in those who fear you; you make your covenant known to us.” I pray that “my eyes are ever on you Lord, for only you will release my feet from the snare.” I choose to keep my focus on you. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

Friday Favorites: Hopelessly Devoted

I love chocolate. I am an expert in seeking out and finding great (not just good) chocolate.

…filled with not only ‘chocolate sightings’ like the luscious semi-sweet chocolate cake in the photo but also lots of ‘chocolate tastings.’ Are you a chocolate lover, too?

Here’s my thoughts from my latest article my blog with Lead Like Jesus: http://www.leadlikejesus.com/blog/hopelessly-devoted

Even the wallpaper at the Hershey Lodge was covered in semi-sweet chocolate kisses. Sorry, I didn’t check to see if it was chocolate-flavored!

Enjoy – have a great weekend. With love and prayers, Sheryl

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

Luke 16:13

 

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

Romans 12:10

 

Transformed Through Truth TV Program Launches March 1, 2017

Dear Friends,

I am so excited about the launch of our brand new program:

Transformed Through Truth with Sheryl Giesbrecht.

Please join me – Sunday, Tuesday and Thursdays at http://hsbn.tv/[on-demand]%20transformed-through-truth.html

To watch on your mobile device, just go to your app store and download the app: Holy Spirit Broadcasting Network.

Why should you make it a point to meet me? Very simple.

I love to share my testimony – I am so thankful for the amazing things God has done.

Sometimes life seems unfair, lonely and frustrating. We need each other.

John 8:32 (NIV) says, “Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” It can be a process to trust God enough to let go of our own emotional, relational and physical brokenness.

It’s only possible to move from bondage, that is, from captivity to freedom when we choose to believe God and take Him at His Word. We must dedicate ourselves to find out what God thinks, God helps us untangle the knots of deception so we can intentionally walk in our identity in Christ. The result will be transformation into the best version of ourselves we can be. And this complete makeover is what gives God glory. Imagine the how the freedom will feel! When we trade our bondage for spiritual breakthrough.

In the first show – The Great Exchange – I will share my testimony of how God broke through the lies of my unbelief through loving believers at a Christian camp. And after two weeks of experiencing how “Love covers a multitude of sins,” I embraced it.

I began to believe God’s love could cover the things that held me captive. 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.

“Love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8 NIV)

I didn’t know how to let go of my feelings of shame, blame and unworthiness. I didn’t know what it meant to literally let the blood of Jesus cover my sin, accept God’s forgiveness and learn how to walk in victory through my identity in Christ. I didn’t understand how to abide in the truth of what God says about me and act accordingly.

There’s a big difference between who you are in yourself and who you are in Christ.  “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3 NIV)

In Christ – You are LOVED, You are SAFE, You are IMPORTANT

When you know who you are, it makes all the difference.

You are free from your past, to live on purpose in the present!

Romans 12:2 says, “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.”

I am so excited for you to join me at Transformed Through Truth.

Together, we will learn how to apply God’s word to our lives.

See you soon! Love you – Sheryl

http://hsbn.tv/[on-demand]%20transformed-through-truth.html

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

 

An Interview with Carol McLeod

Imagine reading a book that is so much more than written words on a page, but instead it is an invitation to experience exuberant joy! Joy for All Seasons is that book! It’s specifically written for the downcast, drained and dumped on by life’s messes by best-selling author, blogger, speaker, radio host, TV host, and Bible teacher Carol McLeod.

Joy for All Seasons cover

Carol’s perspective on life serves as an invitation to live life with gusto and at full-throttle! Joy for All Seasons is a weekly devotional that includes Bible verses to consider and questions to ponder. It is perfect for a personal devotional handbook or for group discussion. This is a “once-in-a-lifetime” book that will be read and re-read year after year after year.

I was honored to interview Carol McLeod at ICRS in Ohio last month. I know you will be revived and renewed by listening to our time together.

Check it out here.

To find out more about Carol McLeod, go to www.justjoyministries.com.

Are you new here? For more encouragement, interviews, and music, check out my blogs: From Ashes to Beauty and Transformed Through Truth. You might want to subscribe to my email updates by inputting your email address in the box on the right sidebar, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

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Take a Joy Break

joybreak

Whew! Thank God it’s Friday. Really. It’s the end of a very stressful week. According to my plan, I should have been on my way to the Congo right now. But unfortunately my plans have changed. When I found out we were unable to obtain the travel visas, I began making phone calls to cancel airline tickets and the airport bus reservations and attempt to recover some of the finances I wired to the Congo country director to prepare for our team’s arrival. The decision to deny our visas was made because we were unaware of certain immigration documents needed for our entry to the country. Please pray for the recovery of our passports, reimbursement of funds, and the conferences that will be held without our Freedom In Christ 2016 team. So what’s next on my calendar? Not sure. For today, let’s focus on rediscovering joy, accepting our next assignment, and stepping into our re-appointment.

I’ve found when Iaugh at my mistakes or misfortunes, I can get back up and start over again. Nehemiah 8:10 says, “For the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Let’s take a “joy break.” Here’s some help from a poem called Ode To January:

‘Twas the month after Christmas, and all through the house nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.

The cookies I’d nibbled, the eggnog I’d taste At the holiday parties had gone to my waist.

When I got on the scales there arose such a number!

When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber).

I’d remember the marvelous meals I’d prepared; The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared,

The cider and the rum balls, the bread and the cheese And the way I’d never said, ‘No thank you, please.’

As I dressed myself in my husband’s old shirt And prepared once again to do battle with dirt –

I said to myself, as I only can ‘You can’t spend a winter disguised as a man!’

So – away with the last of the sour cream dip, Get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip

Every last bit of food that I like must be banished ‘Till all the additional ounces have vanished.

I won’t have a cookie – not even a lick.

I’ll want only to chew on a long celery stick.

I won’t have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie, I’ll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.

I’m hungry, I’m lonesome, and life is a bore. But isn’t that what January is for?

Unable to giggle, no longer a riot.

Happy New Year to all and to all a good diet!

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Joy to the World

Blog #3 - Joy to the World

“Joy to the World” is one of the most celebratory Christmas carols we sing. It emphasizes the elations that Christ’s birth brought to mankind. The carol was written by Isaac Watts and was originally titled “The Messiah’s Coming Kingdom.” It first appeared in 1719, adapted by Lowell Mason and used some of the phrases in “Handel’s Messiah” in 1742.

For centuries, hearts had yearned for God to reveal Himself personally. “Joy to the World” is a paraphrase of Psalm 98, which reminds us to “make a joyful noise unto the Lord all the earth.” When God’s promise of a Savior was fulfilled in the birth of His son, joy to the world exalts the Babe of Bethlehem. Be filled with rejoicing as we receive God’s Son, His gift to us.

 Blog #3 - Joy_To_The_World-Antioch[1]

Joy to the World, the Lord is Come! Let Earth Receive Her King!

Let’s listen to Stephen Curtis Chapman sing “Joy to the World”!

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Joy to the World

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Joy to the world, the Lord is come.” The verses of the familiar holiday carol waft through the holiday rush at big box stores, yet for many the holiday season is not a joyful one. In his final prayer for the disciples, Jesus promised the full measure of His joy. Jesus prayed this heartfelt prayer before he died: “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them” (John 17:13). Then why are folks discouraged, disappointed, and depressed? What does it mean to have real joy? You might be familiar with the concept of it. Imagine the jam-packed jubilation of Jesus. It’s a stretch, huh?

Joy, like any other attitude, can be here one day and gone tomorrow. Joy is not a sure thing just because we know Jesus as our savior. According to Dictionary.com, joy is “the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying.” If so, couldn’t we experience a sense of joy just by eating a hot fudge sundae (without the calories)?

Joy is not an emotion that can be forced, fabricated, or faked. But the good news of great joy came when Jesus was born.

“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.’” — Luke 2:10-11

For years, I was looking for joy in all the wrong places. As a teenager, I was angry, rebellious, and promiscuous. I thought I could find joy in substance abuse of many kinds: tobacco, bottles, chemicals, or the favorable opinions of others. As I became more addicted, I was deeper entrenched into an unhealthy lifestyle. I chose illegal methods to support my rampant drug habits. At age 17, I went to work at a Christian camp in Lake Tahoe, surrounded by believers who loved me in spite of my weird hair, anger issues, and bad habits. God allowed me to experience His desire for me through this amazing staff who loved me. They chose to love me with God’s help, showing me God’s patience and grace by their daily service to me. And the best part? They regularly spoke 1 Peter 4:8 over me: “Love covers a multitude of sins.” Through their lie-penetrating passion for showering God’s love over me, God allowed me to receive the gift of His son. I repented from my sin and accepted God’s gift of salvation. So this Christmas, it is my joy to share how God’s love has changed everything in my life. And that love of God has activated my joy to overflow.

Christmas is all about the love of God. God loves you and has a plan for your life. God’s love is unconditional. God’s love is perfect. How do we know God loves us? Romans 5:8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Jesus Christ is the only answer to the problem. He died on the Cross and rose from the grave, paying the penalty for our sin. He provided a way for us to have a relationship with God. 

ReciteJohn 3:16, and at the pause, say your name aloud and fill in the blank. John 3:16  “For God so loved _______ (and put your name here) that He gave His only begotten son, that if ________ believes in Him, ________ should not perish, but have everlasting life.” What AMAZING love! 

Can I ask you a personal question?  Is there any reason why you cannot receive Jesus right now?

God has loved you since before the beginning of time. He gave you a gift; His son Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and rose from the grave. He has a plan for your life; don’t miss out on the life God has for you!

We can’t clean up our act ourselves. I know—I’ve tried. God has allowed Jesus’ blood to cover our sins so we can have fellowship with Him.

1 John 1:9 says, “If you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 

Do you want joy? Have you asked Jesus to forgive you for your sins? If not, then why not do it now?

Let’s pray.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your son, Jesus, to be our savior. Luke 2:10-11 says, “But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.’”

Thank you Lord, for promising the full measure of Jesus’ joy.

“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.” —John 17:13

I know I am a sinner and need your forgiveness.

I believe You died for my sins.

I want to turn from my sins.

I invite You to come into my heart and life.

I want to trust and follow You as Lord and Savior.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her.” —Luke 1:45

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Enjoying His Presence

Enjoying His Presence - FromAshesToBeauty.com

I love being re-married. After my first husband tragically died in a motorcycle accident, I didn’t think I would ever be married again or my broken heart could be healed.  I had been widowed for over three years; God generously blessed me with a godly man to love and care for me. It’s fun to share my new husband’s company. We can sit still, walk the dog or ride in the car together and we don’t even have to speak.

Sheryl Giesbrecht and her new husband on their wedding day! - FromAshesToBeauty.com Sheryl Giesbrecht and her new husband on their wedding day! - FromAshesToBeauty.com

Psalms 84:5 - FromAshesToBeauty.comOne of the best things about loving someone and being in love is enjoying being in their presence. The same is true of our relationship with God. Our enjoyment of God will lack complete fulfillment if we don’t walk in relationship with Him every day. Isaiah 33:2 reminds us, “O Lord, be gracious to us, we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress. God wants us to walk with Him, to ask Him for directions and to let Him lead.

When we choose to spend time with God and obey Him, He gives us daily strength. Psalm 84:5 reminds us “Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage, as they pass through the valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs.” God also offers us the treasure of His sure foundation. I Cor. 3:11 says, “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid which is Jesus Christ.” This is where obedient lives are found – from days of obedience. God offers us the treasure of wisdom and knowledge – that is “what to do with what you know.” Psalm 119:105 says “His word is a light to my feet,” that is a guide to the steps I’m taking. And “His word is a light to my path,” a guide for my immediate future.”

Let’s pray, “Father, we love being in your presence. Thank you for your love and strength. Thank you for the treasure you give us when we spend time with you face to face. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

In His Steps

B3 7 5 fold prayer

Trying to keep up with someone who has long legs can be challenging. But trying to lead them can be nearly impossible especially if we don’t know the way. Sometimes when God is leading us a different way than we have planned, we may feel like we can’t keep up. And then we think, I know a better way, so we try to step in front of God and attempt to lead Him. Each time I have thought my way is better than God’s, I end up falling flat on my face. I am reminded of Jeremiah 10:23:“I know that a man’s life is not his own, it is not for man to direct his steps.”

B3 5 in step with the spiritRecently, my life took a different turn than I had planned. About two years ago, I opened up to friendship with a man who was fellow widow. Through sharing our lives and losses, we became inseparable comrades, and we fell in love with each other. I was excited about the feelings I had for Jim Turner, yet wondered how this new relationship would fit into God’s call on my life. When Jim asked me to marry him, I really wanted to say yes, but I felt guilty about my happiness and was confused about my future being altered. I prayed I would hear from the Lord, yet it seemed like He was silent. I sought the advice of many counselors, but their advice wasn’t what I wanted to hear. My questioning mind and anxious heart pushed me to seek peace and rest for my soul. One day, God said to my spirit,” To hear from Me; you must believe me. Believe I am working and trust Me to lead you in My ways. “A man plans his way but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).

B3 6 in his stepsLittle did I know how perfectly God was providing for me through my recent marriage to Jim Turner. Our fairytale wedding took place at my home church in Davis, California, on April 12, 2014. Both of my parents and my two adult children with their spouses participating in the service. A mere ten weeks later, my beloved father unexpectedly passed away in his sleep. I am thankful for God’s care and provision for my emotional, spiritual, and financial needs through a man who loves God, His word, and, of course, me.

As we let God lead us, through uncharted territory, we must allow Him to lift us above our own will. The poster that comes to mind is “Footprints,” when there was only one pair of footprints and the Lord was carrying his child through the rough terrain.

Let’s pray, “Dear Father, our prayer is for you to “let us keep in step with the spirit” (Galatians 5:25). Let our will be your will and let your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Help us not to run ahead of you, but to stay close to you, trusting that you know the way. Let our footprints be as one, “that we should follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:21). In Jesus’ Name, amen.

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