We can’t avoid the stress in our lives. Those triggers and temptations will always be part of life.
The good news is that we can change our response!
My friend had a terrible day at work. Customers were nasty. A coworker didn’t show up and they had to work short.
Then to top it all off her new supervisor had a power trip and yelled at her. What a shift!
A big chocolate bar was just the treat she needed to calm her nerves and reward herself for a hard day.
But she said she had one of those of clarity of thought moments. “I realized that the chocolate bar was not a treat. It would sabotage by healthy eating plan and add unnecessary calories. It would also weaken my resolve – that one chocolate bar would make it easy to continue overeating for the rest of the day. I walked out of the store without the chocolate bar! I won!”
She told about her breakthrough at our weekly support group and we all cheered for her. Then she said, “I found my verse! I found the verse I am going to use when I am triggered or tempted to eat for emotional reasons.”
Her verse, “ And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap of harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up”. Galatians 6:9 New Living Translation
She said, “ I’m not going to give up on this healthy eating plan. If I keep it up it will make a difference. I’ll lose weight and be healthier and that will be my harvest of blessing”.
That is my challenge to you today – find a verse you can use when you are triggered or tempted to eat for emotional reasons.
God’s Words have power!
Jesus used scripture when Satan tempted him. Satan is no match for the powerful truth of God’s Word!
So we are going to follow Jesus’ lead. When we want to choose food for reasons other than hunger, we’ll claim the same power as Jesus did!
My power verse is “But as for me, I am filled with power, with the spirit of the LORD, and with justice and might”. Micah 3:8 When I meditate on this verse I realize that amazing power is available to me. Power that I need to access!
TODAY’S little STEP: Find a power verse to claim when triggered or tempted! Write it out on a card or put it on your phone or computer. Gods’ words have power!
Here are a few good verses.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and His mighty power. Ephesians 6:10
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Yet in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Psalm 28:7
Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
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What do we do when life knocks you down? When a phone call changes your life forever?
A few days before Christmas my husband’s brother Barry died instantly from a blood clot. He was only 58, in good health, and working daily as an Associate Pastor. His ministry to families and children in his community was vibrant. He was a superb husband and father. We were in shock and searching for understanding.
Trusting God when His plan doesn’t make sense is… intense.
Grief is very real! It’s messy, nasty and tougher than we ever imagined.
So how do we cope? What do we do?
I have learned that I have to trust God
for who I know Him to be.
God is loving. He cares about all the details of my life. As my loving Heavenly Father He can handle my raw emotions. I cry out in my pain. I rant and rave in anger. I rage about injustice and unfairness. He’s a big God. He can handle it. His love is unconditional. “pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:8
God is omniscient. He sees the whole picture. I only see my small part. He knows how this event will affect my life and the lives of many others. He knows how this will impact His ministry and who will come to know Him as their loving Heavenly Father. I watch for how God is at work and that helps me see some of His big picture.
God is wise. He knows that hard times teach me. He knows that hard times send me to my knees in prayer. Hard times send me to my Bible to search for His promises and His purposes. Hard times give me sensitivity to other people’s pain.
I trust God because of His promises.
God will never leave me. When life knocks me down I’m not in control. I don’t like uncertainty. It frightens me. But, I know God will never leave me! I hold His hand tightly but He never lets mine go! “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”. Isaiah 41:10
God will give me peace. Peace that helps me sleep. Peace that gives me patience to wait. Peace that helps me think straight. Peace that helps me cope with each new hour of each new day. Peace that gives me hope for the future. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”. Philippians 4:7 When I experience His peace I understand why the Bible says it is a peace that passes understanding.
I trust God because He will send help and hope.
I have seen God’s hand in many ways, the lyrics of a song that spoke right to my heart. A Pastor’s Sunday message that seemed written just for me. A friend’s invite for dinner, or the words in a letter or card that cheer me and give me hope. God sends His good people to reach out with loving acts of service.
I trust God because He’s proved He is trustworthy.
I am watching to see how God is at work in these hard days and what He is teaching me.
TODAY’S little STEP: Find one of God’s promises. Claim His promise. Memorize His promise. Believe His promise.
I’d love to hear how our Great God has been at work in your life. What hard time has God brought you through? What is He teaching you?
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Do you have a prayer notebook or binder? Make 2017 the year you make one.
I promise you won’t be sorry you did. It is one of best ways to really get serious about prayer and get excited about the Greatness of God!
Many years ago as a young wife and Mom, I was challenged to make a prayer notebook. Can’t believe it was 26 years ago. Yikes, I must be old!
My notebook has pages that are filled with heartfelt requests for me, the people I love and many others. I need lists and written requests to keep my mind from wandering.
My notebook has coffee stains and tear stains. One page has doodles from long ago when my young daughter practiced writing her name. My notebook pages are jam-packed with many answers; yes, no, and wait.
This notebook has become one of my treasures. It testifies to God’s love and power and His care for me and many other people. If my house were on fire this book would go with me!
There are many resources available. You can purchase a preprinted prayer journal at your local Christian Book Store. Or you can check out these links to setting up a prayer binder or a prayer notebook.
These ladies have done a great job of showing you all the details you need to get started. I leave it in their capable hands.
I didn’t get too complicated at the beginning.
I started with, and still have, a notebook that lies flat for easy writing.
I record the date and the request. I try to capture a little of the emotion surrounding the request especially if it is a bigger one. God encourages us to pour out our hearts to Him, and that’s what I do.
I leave a couple of lines so I can record answers too! That entry usually has more detail as I try to capture the fresh emotions.
We think that we will always remember how we felt but we don’t.
So capture them.
When God answers with yes, the praise is easy.
When God answers with no or wait, the praise is much harder.
I record the uncertainty and wait to see what God will do.
Sometimes God gives me insight years later. I feel like God gives me a little peak into His big plan for me and those I love.
I record those details too.
There are many entries were I asked God ‘why?’.
When I experienced the deep sadness of 2 complicated miscarriages. When my husband got laid off and we were a one-income family.
When dementia took away my father’s ability to talk.
When cancer struck and took my mother-in-law.
My most recent ‘why’ is the unexpected passing of my husband’s brother, Barry, age 58, just 4 weeks ago.
Those entries are the ones that challenge me to trust God. Trusting God when things don’t make any sense to me requires extra prayer.
Prayer that cries out in pain and asks for peace, the peace that passes understanding.
Some unanswered prayer requests will remain a mystery until I go to Heaven.
Then I may ask Him, so I can know what His plan was and how He used it for His glory. Until then I watch to see how God is at work and I record those details.
When I reread my Prayer Notebook I am always encouraged. I realize that God helped me through many hard things. 26 years of hard things!
It puts perspective on whatever the hard thing of today is.
I realize that God will be with me and He will be at work. I can trust Him because He has proven Himself trustworthy!
This January I am retiring my Prayer Notebook (it’s falling apart and worn out), and starting a new Prayer Binder.
I’ll update you later when I get it set up.
It will be exciting to see what the entries and answers will be in the next 26 years, I’ll only be 82!
TODAY’S little STEP: Start a Prayer Binder or Notebook! It is one of best ways to really get serious about prayer and get excited about the Greatness of God!
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I’ve tried to change so many times. I can’t complete or follow through with anything permanently.
I start well and then tucker out. I slip back into my old habits.
My own willpower isn’t enough.
We can’t do it on our own. We need God’s power!
Photo credit Zoe Magee
Consistency, discipline, willpower… whatever we call it, it’s hard work.But we have hope because of Jesus. Jesus adores you, girlfriend.He loves you more than you can ever imagine. You are His beloved daughter. No concern is too small for His attention. He wants to help. Call out to Jesus.
David knew what it was like to call out for help. He says “Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” Psalm 5:1-3
Calling out to Jesus is prayer. Not like the blessings we say at meals or the bedtime prayers we learned as a child. Not even the kind of prayer we say when others are listening. We can tell Him the depth of our struggles because He cares and He has the power to help!
My good friend wrote this prayer from her heart. We can pray with her.
“Jesus, it’s me again. I feel like I’ve come to you with same cry for help for years, and yet, you have never brushed me aside. I want you to know how much I long for your peace, your comfort and all that you have to offer me. I feel like a dumb sheep, running off and getting into trouble, only to have you search me out and pull me back to yourself. I know I don’t deserve this many opportunities, but you keep on giving them to me.
“Please help me today to reach for you first and be filled with your power. Then because of Your power, I will be strong enough to resist the pull of worry, anxiety and all the things that cause me to satisfy my hunger with anything other than you.
“Finally, I can’t forget to say thank-you for how you are going to work things out for good in my life. Yes. Thank-you. Amen”
Accessing Jesus’ power is the most important change most of us need to make in our journey up the Mountain of Health and Well-being. He is our Gentle Guide and we are attached to Him with the safety ropes of prayer. We don’t need to do this on our own willpower my friend. Let’s access Jesus power!
TODAY’S little STEP: Call out to Jesus in prayer. His willpower is available! When you feel weak or tempted, call out to Jesus! He will empower you!
Believe those good words my friend! If you have found this helpful please share it with your friends.
This past weekend my friend Cecile and I shared our stories at a Women’s Ministry Conference! It was so great to connect with some new women. Welcome to our mountain climbing team. Click on Base Camp to get started! Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you and connect!
What does everyday grace look like? Do you give grace when the waitress gets your order wrong? Do you give grace when someone cuts you off in traffic? Do you give grace when you receive poor service?
Graceis underserved favor. It’s a term that is used a lot in Christian circles. We talk about God’s grace for us. But when we need to give underserved favor to someone else, it’s hard. When someone doesn’t deserve our kindness, it’s much harder to give.
I’ve been praying and asking God to help me give grace to others. I should know that if I pray that kind of prayer – a test will be given to see if I really mean it.
Yikes! God did give me a test! I didn’t do very well. I think I got a C.
On Friday I went to my hairdresser. We have good discussions about God and she is learning about God’s love. I went in for a root touch up. However, when I returned from the sink I was shocked to see that my hair was much darker than I expected!
I was disappointed because I’m not really a risk taker when it comes to my hair. I like the change to be subtle, a change that only my family and close friends would notice. I chatted with my hairdresser as she styled it and she assured me that the darkness would fade. She told me I could come in on Tuesday if I didn’t like it and she would do something.
I went home with my dark hair. But every time I looked in the mirror I was surprised and I said, “it’s so dark”. My husband and children were very supportive and that helped.
I thought about my new hair color a lot those first 2 days. I thought about it too much. I was sure everyone who looked at me would notice the big change. (surprisingly hardly anyone noticed or commented) Guess I’m not that important after all. Tee hee!
I was pretty sure that I would call on Tuesday and complain. I would get her to do something to lighten it up. It was within my rights as a paying customer to get better service and she told me to call if I didn’t like it. My family said it would be ok to go back and complain.
But God reminded me that I wanted to learn grace. This was my opportunity to give undeserved favor to my hairdresser. This was my test, could I do it?
On Monday morning I read my devotional book by Oswald Chambers. There was one paragraph that seemed to written just for me.
“Is my life exhibiting the essence of the sweetness of the Son of God, or just the basic irritation of myself? No matter how difficult something may be, I must say, ‘Lord, I am delighted to obey You in this.’ The moment you obey the light of God, His Son shines through you in that very adversity.”
Wow, this was my opportunity to exhibit the sweetness of God or just focus on myself and my wants.
This was my test, could I give grace? Could I be obedient?
I decided to keep my darker colour. I wanted to have a different reaction than other customers; I wanted my Christianity to make my response different. So I gave her grace – undeserved favor, she didn’t even know. But I do and so does God!
When I look in the mirror it will be a prompt. I will thank God for His grace for me and I will thank Him for teaching me. I think I will smile too at my Heavenly Father’s sense of humor.
TODAY’S little STEP: Be sensitive to God’s leading in your life. Watch for opportunities to display everyday grace to the people you come in contact with. But, be careful. You may get a test real soon!
Just for your information the darkness did fade and I really have grown to like the new colour.
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I wanted to thank you for letting me speak into your life every week.
I consider it an honour and I do not take it lightly.
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Thank you for your comments. I still feel like a beginner and your comments are so encouraging for me!
I started this blog a year ago and it has been an amazing learning experience! With God’s power I worked through the technology stuff and was able to post every week! God has been at work! I had no idea how many people would actually visit and read this blog and God blessed me more than I had hoped! There have been 1600 visitors to this site!
Before I write and post I think of you. You, my reader, are in my daily prayers. I pray that our Great God will be at work in your life. I pray you will be encouraged as you take little steps to be healthy. I pray you will access God’s power and feel His love. I pray God uses my words to encourage you and bring you closer to Him.
Thanks for climbing the Mountain of Health and Well-being with me! Let’s keep climbing together and see what our Great God does!
TODAY’S little STEP:
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How do I pray? Can I really pray about everything? Does God really care about the little details of my life? He sure does! God loves and adores you, and me, more than we can ever imagine. We are His beloved daughters. No concern is too small for His attention. He wants to help.
This January I was challenged to just choose one word for 2016. My word is prayer.
I would usually go buy a new book on prayer. However, this year I went straight to the Bible to read and study by myself. I’m not a Bible scholar. I’m a regular woman just like you. It has been an amazing learning experience. I have been studying where, when, and why Jesus prayed when He lived on earth. Here’s a just a little of what I’ve learned so far and how I’m applying it in my life.
Where? He often went somewhere to be alone. A few times it was on a mountainside or an olive garden. He went somewhere quiet. Jesus needed to be alone with God.
Jesus prayed somewhere quiet and where He could be alone.
When? Jesus prayed before and after events in His life. He prayed after He found out that His cousin John the Baptist was murdered. He prayed after He ministered to groups of people.
He prayed before and after He performed miracles.
He prayed before He chose His disciples.
He prayed for the future ministry of His disciples.
He prayed just before He was going to have to die.
He prayed early in the morning before His day with people began. He prayed for most of the night, about 8 hours, on occasion.
Jesus prayed before and after events in His life and ministry. He prayed in the morning before His day began. He sacrificed sleep for the priority of prayer.
Why?Now this is the hard part to understand. He was God’s perfect Son so He didn’t need to pray for the same reasons we do. Or did He? He prayed about the details of His life because He needed to have a conversation with His Heavenly Father.
He prayed because He was very sad when John died. He was also very concerned for John’s disciples.
He prayed for the people He ministered to. He knew their needs.
He prayed before He chose His disciples because He wanted God’s input into that important decision. He prayed for His disciples and the important role they would have in His ministry.
He prayed before He died when He was in great distress. He prayed that God would be glorified even though He was dreading the crucifixion and the separation from God His Father.
Jesus prayed because He wanted to have a conversation with His Heavenly Father. He sought direction, He interceded on behalf of others and He listened to the Father.
What am I doing?If Jesus needed to pray when He was here then so do I!
I’m easily distracted. If I sit a the kitchen table to pray I notice the placemats and wonder if I should get some new ones for spring. Before I know it I’m thinking about what color they should be and where I will buy them. Uh not good!
I’ve switched to another room with fewer distractions; it’s my War Room. I need to be alone and where it’s quiet.
I try to get up a little earlier so I can pray before my day gets too busy. It really sets the tone for the whole day. I’m praying for people and ministries. For direction in the big and little details of my life and those I love. I’m praying thorough out my day for patience, wisdom and grace.
I’m learning that prayer is my opportunity to talk to my loving Heavenly Father. As I spend time with Him I’m getting better at being quiet and listening. I’m not doing all the talking.
How are you doing? Are you calling out to God in prayer? Accessing God’s power is the most important change most of us need to make in our journey up the Mountain of Health and Well-being. Our health journey needs to be something we pray about. God will empower us and strengthen us when we ask for help.
God says,“Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:12
TODAY’S little STEP: Talk to God in prayer. He loves you and He wants to help with all the details of your life. Access that power!
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