Are You Listening?

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. – Psalm 32:8 (ESV)

I have been through those deep, dark places of my mind.  I have been trapped in an anxiety/panic disorder so bad that I couldn’t talk to people in person or on the phone.  I sat in the car instead of going into the drug store or grocery store because I was afraid that something in the store might trigger a panic attack.

I kept crying out to God for relief.  I kept getting people to stand with me in prayer.

Little by little, God started leading me to write again, then He lead me to take over a Christian newsletter, which would force me to interact with people through the Internet, in the comfort of my own home.

Then I started to venture outside of the house, taking classes at the community college.

I made small talk with a few people, but my real relief didn’t come until God moved me out of that relationship that had striped me of my voice, striped me of my identity, striped me of my destiny.  A relationship I couldn’t get out of on my own.

Now I am a totally different person.  I talk to everyone.  My bosses call me the Queen of Customer Service.  My patients at my pharmacy love me because I am sociable and outgoing.  I remember them by name.

It was God who taught me who I was supposed to be.  It was God who lead me through the steps that brought me out of that disorder.  It is God and God alone that caused me to go from hermit to social butterfly.

God is teaching us and leading us through the landmines of life.  We have to just quiet down and listen to His promptings.  What is God saying to you today?

_________________________________________

Sign up for my weekly, inspirational newsletter at https://groups.yahoo.com/group/yourpurposeiscalling

What Are Your Dreams?

“But you do not know what will happen tomorrow! Your life is like a mist. You can see it for a short time, but then it goes away.” James 4:14 NCV

I am a social person.  When I go into a fast food restaurant and it is slow, I will make small talk with the person behind the counter before I go for the jugular.  I will ask them, “So what do you want to do with your life?  What are your dreams?”

I have yet to meet one of these people in their late teens, early twenties, who doesn’t have some idea of what they want to do.

I’m asking you that today.  What do you want to do with your life?  What are your dreams?

Forget about your age and the obstacles standing in your way.

What I find as we get older is that we stop dreaming.  We stop listening to the desires God has place in our hearts.  We dismiss them because we are forty-two or because we have a wife and children.

If those dreams have sat in your heart for a long time, particularly if the desire is strong and has been with you for years, it might just be an assignment from God.

If it seems impossible to do on your own and is of service to others, it is almost always a dream from God.

Life is just a vapor as this Scripture tells us.  It is here one moment and gone the next.

What are you going to do with those dreams in your heart?  Are you going to go for them?  At least pray about them?  Or are you going to ignore them altogether?

As for all those excuses that are going through your head, why don’t you surrender all that to God and let Him show up and show out in your life and your circumstances?

What if your decision to forgo your dream means that someone doesn’t accept Christ?  What if someone stayed stuck in their past because you weren’t there to help?

Yes, God doesn’t need us, but He chooses to use us to bring the light of Jesus Christ to others.

Are you going to go for those dreams in your heart and live the life God intended for you to live?  Be the person God created you to be?  Or are you fine living the status-quo life?  The choice is yours!

________________________________________________

Sign up for my weekly email newsletter filled with Biblical inspiration to encourage you at https://groups.yahoo.com/group/yourpurposeiscalling

Weary In Spirit?

When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way. In the path where I walk people have hidden a snare for me. – Psalm 142:3 (NIV).

God knows when you sit down.  He knows when you get up.  He knows your thoughts before you think them, your words before you say them.  He knows what your future is going to be like, the choices you are going to make.  He knows all about your past and can see your present circumstances

We get weary of our situation.  We look around at the business we put so much effort into that isn’t producing the results we want.  We see the kids that are rebelling.  We focus on our parents’ failing health or what our circumstances are.  We have ran the situation over and over in our head, not being able to come up with any viable solutions.  We are weary in our spirits.

We can’t see the whole picture.  We can’t see those little things, those foxholes, that are tripping us up, but God can.

God can see the business partner that might be misappropriating funds.  God can see the people with whom your children are associating.  God sees it all.

Instead of going to God and complaining about our situation, our problems, we need to surrender them.  We need to totally and completely surrender them to God, letting Him do exceeding, abundantly above all we can ask or think in those circumstances (Ephesians 3:20).

God will always turn whatever we put into His hands into something wonderful, something beautiful, something far better than we could have come up with on our own.

Surrender those problems to God today, and watch what He will with them.

In the comments below, tell me what God is doing in your life today.

___________________________________

About the Author:  Annagail Lynes currently lives in Arizona and is a pharmacy technician by day, author/speaker/life direction and writing coach by night.  She has authored many books, which can be found at http://www.amazon.com/author/annagaillynes

Letting Go?

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. – Isaiah 43:19 (KJV).

God is doing a new thing.

As much, though, as we love to see new things happen in our lives, we also like attach ourselves to the old.

We like to hang onto the old relationship that isn’t serving us any more, that is getting in the way of us moving forward.  Perhaps preventing us from receiving the better relationship that God does have for us.

We like to hang onto the security of our old job, our old friends, when God may be calling us out of average living to extraordinary living.

He may want us to venture out of our comfort zone–to start our own business, to seek a new job, to move to a new state, adopt those children.

God is a God who like to challenge us to be more than we think we can be.  God loves to put big dreams in our hearts that cannot be accomplished without Him and the help of others.

We also want God to show us the big picture, show us where we are going, but God knows best.  He only gives us one instruction at a time, only lighting up the next step of the staircase leading to His goal, what He wants to accomplish in our lives.

It is not our job to know where we are going or how to get there.  Our job is simply to believe in the One who does.

Maybe, like me, you have to go through your life and throw out the old, tired aspects, to make room for the new.  Perhaps it is time to do some major work in this area.

Remember that, in order to make room for the new thing God has for us, we have to let go of things that don’t serve us–old relationships, old thought patterns, even old clothes and books, resentment, guilt, sadness.

When we make room for the new, we will see the wonderful things and people God has in store for us.

In the comments below, tell me about a time you had to get rid of something old to get the new.

Restricting The Flow?

And God is able to make all grace [every favor and earthly blessing] come in abundance to you, so that you may always [under all circumstances, regardless of the need] have complete sufficiency in everything [being completely self-sufficient in Him], and have an abundance for every good work and act of charity. – 2 Corinthians 9:8 (AMP)

God favors you.  He wants to bestow His favor and blessings upon you.

Does He want to do this because you are just so good?  So righteous?  So perfect in and of yourself?  No.  Absolutely not.

We can never be or do enough to earn the blessings or favor of God.

God wants to favor us, to bless us, because of what Jesus did for us at the Cross when He died for and as us.

It is that Sacrifice that Jesus made at the Cross that puts us in right standing with God.  It is that Sacrifice that makes God want to bless us, to favor us.

This Scripture clearly indicates that God is not withholding from us.  It tells us that He is wanting us to have all abundance in all things, so that we can do the work of God, so that we can fund that homeless shelter or take in those foster children or build that new church in Africa.

The blessings of God are always flowing to us.  God’s favor, mercy and grace are always flowing toward us.

It is us that stops that flow from reaching us.  It is like a garden hose.  Once you turn on the water, the water is flowing through the hose.  If you grab it in the middle and clamp it with your hand, the water is still flowing, only now it is restricted.

We clamp the flow of blessing, mercy and favor when we worry, when we meditate on the bad that could happen instead of the promises God has made to us.

When we worry, we are saying, “God, I’ve got this,” but when we surrender the problem to Him and then rest in the Finished Work of Christ, meditating on the promises He has made us in His Word, then we see the blessings, the mercy, the grace flow to us.  This is also when we see God show up and show out in our lives.

Let go and let the blessings and favor flow into every area of your life.

In the comments below, tell us a time when God did exceeding, abundantly above all you could ask or thing in a situation you were praying about.

_____________________________

Have a book inside you that needs written?  A screenplay collecting dust?  Or are you stuck in a writing project?  I am the writing coach for you with ten years writing and publishing my own publications, fifteen freelance writing and being published in countless publications and having my books on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com.  For a project consultation, contact me at http://www.coachannagail.com/calling-all-writers/

Words Of Change?

Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” – Proverbs 18:21

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. I heard this when I was in elementary school.

This is not the truth, though. Our words can cut people to the very core. Words can be as abusive, even more so, than being beaten physically.

Our words have the power to heal, to encourage, to comfort, but our words also have the power to kill someone’s spirit.

Our words contain power. They contain seed.

The Bible tells us that we can have what we say (Mark 11:23).

What are we saying? Is it good? Is it bad? Is it discouraging? Is it encouraging?

When we get angry with our spouse or our children, is what we say constructive or destructive?

What would you like other people to say when they are angry with you? How would you like them to encourage you, to build you up?

How can you be more like that? How can you change your words on a daily basis so that you are building people up instead of tearing them down?

How can you be light to a dark world by choosing to use your words to heal people instead of wound them?

Think about the answers to these questions, and choose to change your words to change the lives of others today.

Question of the day: In the comments below, write how words have affected your life.

Letting The Light In?

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. – Isaiah 43:2-3 (NIV).

Ever been there? Ever felt like you were going through the raging rivers? That you were walking through the fire?

I have definitely been there. My life may not be as bad as some, but it is worse than others.

I have, however, been through very dark times of depression, an anxiety disorder, prolonged sickness and taking care of a mentally ill parent.

I have been in darkness so deep that I thought I would never come out of it, that I would never fulfill the dreams that God placed in my heart.

What I learned is that we rely far more on ourselves and others and not enough on God.

Instead of going to God first about our problems, we take an opinion poll. We call and text all our friends and family members, put it up on our blog and social media, to find out what other people think about the situation.

I learned to rely on God, to surrender everything to God, because He and He alone is the One is going to get me through rivers and fire without destroying me. He is the One who can turn the situation around and give me the wisdom to handle the situation. He alone knows the beginning from the end and can determine what will happen in the future.

The Bible tells us to seek wise counsel (Proverbs 11:14), but most of us do not seek out the opinion–and will–of the most wise counsel of all–God.

James 1:5 says if we lack wisdom, we are to ask of God, who gives to all liberally and chastises not.

If we go to God and ask Him for wisdom, He isn’t going to rebuke us, but give us wisdom liberally.

When we surrender the situation to Him totally and completely and ask Him for wisdom, our circumstances start to change.  It might just change our hearts at first, but eventually we will see a great difference.

We cannot do anything on our own (John 15:5). The more we try, the darker things become.

Why not let the Light into your situation by going to God and surrendering it to Him? No problem is too big or too little for Him to handle.

He loves you, and He wants to perfect that which concerns you (Psalm 138:8).

Question: what is your most pressing problem today?

Is That Your Opinion?

to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. – Ephesians 1:6

You may not be accepted by your parents. You may not be accepted by your husband or children, but you are accepted by God.

You are not accepted by God because you are a good person. You aren’t accepted by God because you have a great moral compass and do everything right.

You aren’t accepted by God because you have special skills or because you have charisma or a high intelligence.

You are accepted for one reason–and one reason only. You are accepted because of Jesus.

When you believe on Jesus, when you accept Him and what He has done for you, God accepts you. He is for you. You are engrafted into the Family of God.

You are accepted by God. How awesome is that!

If God accepts you, why worry about what the other people in your life think? Why worry about their acceptance?

God’s opinion is the only One that matters. Our self-worth, our acceptance of ourselves, should be rooted and grounded in God’s opinion of us and not others.

Today meditate on this Scripture. Get it deep into your spirit…and remember that God loves and accepts you. No other opinion is required.

In the comments below, write of a time that you let the opinions of others cloud your judgment.

Do You Believe?

Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. – 1 John 4:17 (KJV).

As Christ is so are we in this world. Let that sink in for a moment.

As Christ is so are we in this world. How can that be? He is God, and we–mere human beings.

When Jesus went to the Cross, He did a lot more than just pay for our sins.

At the Cross, the Great Exchange happened. God entered into Covenant with man once more.

God didn’t leave it up to us to fulfill our part of the covenant because He knew that we could never live a perfect, sinless life.

He send Jesus to Earth to live a perfect, sinless life, thus fulfilling our part.

When David made a covenant with Jonathan in 1 Samuel 18, we see them exchanging coats, a symbol that everything that was David’s was now Jonathan’s and vice versa.

This is what took place at the Cross, Jesus exchanged all of what He had for all of what we had.

He took our sins, our selfishness, our ungodly thoughts–all of our bad. In exchange, He gave us all of His good–His righteousness (II Corinthians 5:21), His grace, His mercy, His healing (1 Peter 2:24), His protection (Psalm 91), His abundance (John 10:10) and His blessings.

Think about that for a moment.

What if we believed that? What if we believed that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus? What if we believed that we are healed? What is we believed that God wants to prosper us and not to harm us (Jeremiah 29:11)? What if we were to believe what the Word actually says and not the experiences and the teaching of others?

What if we just simply believed?

I believe if we did that, if we just believed, our lives would change dramatically, that we might actually live the abundant life God promised in John 10:10.

I challenge you to simply believe what the Word says today. Start with believing you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21).  Meditate on it.  Mutter that Scripture over and over to yourself throughout the day.

Put in the comments below, a time when you believed the promises of God, and you saw a miracle happen in your circumstances.

Worried?

Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? – Matthew 6:27 (KJV).

Worry. It is the nastiest of all habits. It is doesn’t come with a warning label like cigarettes or alcohol, but it should.

Worry is the leading cause of anxiety disorders, and one of the most prescribed class of drugs is antidepressants.

Worry is a big problem.

Only worry is an unproductive activity. It is like being a hamster running on a wheel. We are exerting a lot of effort, but we are not getting anywhere.

All worry stems from a troubled heart.

John 14:27 tells us to let not our hearts be troubled.

How do we let not our hearts be troubled?

Two things:

Philippians 4:6-7 urges us to bring our requests before God and thank Him for what He is about to do in our lives. Then the peace of God will guard our heart.

Isaiah 26:3 says that God will keep us in perfect peace when our mind is stayed on Him.

I submit that after we bring our requests to God and thank Him for what He has done, is doing and will do for us, that we keep praising Him, keep thanking Him, keep meditating on Scriptures about His goodness, His faithfulness, His love, His mercy and His grace.

The more we meditate on God’s Word, the more we thank and praise Him, we crowd out the worry.

Worry is meditation on the bad. Why not use that same force for good by meditating on the goodness of our God?

It has to be a deliberate, consistent effort on our part.

If we do this, before long we will see a shift–in our attitude and in the unmovable circumstances in our lives.

Question of the day: What are you worried about today?