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I'm Sooo Hot!!

I’m Sooo Hot!!!!

“I’m sooo hot! God if you don’t help me, I’m going to lose my mind!” I know at first glance it appears I’m talking about what all women will experience, perimenopause or menopause. I know the phrase fits, but what I’m actually talking about is the emotion of frustration that builds up when working in ministry, at home, work or dealing with our spouse, children and people in general. The unexpected, unwanted frustrated feeling that rises to a hot boiling point of they just don’t understand, when asked to do one more thing before any other task has been completed. Or when that person just gets on your very lasssssst nerve! Whew….Ok breathe, be calm.

As a woman have you ever been at a boiling point?  If not hold on to your lid, you too will have the unexpected, unwanted experience of saying, “I’m sooo hot!” When I feel myself “getting hot” I immediately stop what I’m doing and pray. {Ok…to be honest, not always. Sometimes I want to waddle in the anger}. I had to learn once I’m at the point of “getting hot,” to acknowledge that I have over extended myself, mismanaged my time, or someone has really gotten on my nerves {which takes a lot for me to get to this point} causing me to become anxious, thus the boiling point of “I’m sooo hot!”

I am a verrry calm person by nature and I don’t like how I feel when I get to a boiling point. For most people if they see me, they would never know I’m at my boiling point. But internally I’m on fire, and unfortunately my body lets me know by the way it adversely behaves.

Recently I was tested and I became sooooo hot. This blog (which is slightly edited...lol) I wrote years ago came to my mind. When I read it, not only did a calm come over me but a reassurance of God’s Word and a reminder God will oftentimes test you in an area you think you have overcome.

Philippians 4:6 states, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Prayer refocuses me, thus putting Jesus at the forefront of my mind so I am able to renew my mind, (Philippians 2:5) and die to my flesh (2 Corinthians 4:16). Praying allows me to intentionally think and meditate on his word to calm the “hotness.” My favorite scripture and the one I meditate on often is, Philippians 4:8-9. It reads, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Dealing with the issue of “I’m sooo hot” is a matter of discipline and self-control. I know you’re probably thinking the “I’m sooo hot” is warranted. That may be true, but we must remember we don’t want to be a stumbling block to another sister in Christ or a hindrance to a sister who has yet to accept Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be dominated by anything. (1 Corinthians 6:12).

I’m not saying I will never experience being “sooo hot. However, the following tools will effectively equip me to handle any situation that gets me to the boiling point of being sooo hot.
 
PEARLStoPONDER: When I get the unexpected, unwanted feeling of “I’m sooo hot,” the following three steps are essential to my cooling down process. I pray they will help you as well.
1. Pray: Ephesians 6:18; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; James 5:16
2. Meditate: Psalm 1:2; Psalm 19:14; Joshua 1:8
3. Self-control: Proverbs 25:28; Proverbs 29:11; Ephesians 6:12; 1 Peter 4:7
 
 
 
 

PEACE

Peace
 
Peace!  We all want it. Few have it and fewer know how to find it.

As women, we are made to believe it is our responsibility to take care of things. Thus, when things are not taken care of, we seem to not be at peace within ourselves.

Peace has nothing to do with our circumstances or the long list of things we believe we must do. Peace to me and for me is when you can have the assurance to carry on the day and sleep well at night when there is a long list of things to do or when there is a storm raging all around you.

Peace is knowing God never goes to sleep. Believing He has it all under control and trusting He knows what is best.

We often think peace is the absence of problems. That is not the case, peace is the PRESCENCE of God. At some point in life we will all experience problems, however we must learn to not allow the problems to rob us of peace.

Because of the world we live in, peace is not something that comes automatically. Peace is a learned practiced decision that can only be achieved when understanding God knows you and everything about your life.

Peace is relying on the knowledge of God’s love for you and accepting that nothing is coming your way without first passing through God’s allowing hands.

As women when peace is prevalent in our lives it often shows in our physical appearance. Everything about us seems to shine, our walk, our talk, our perspective on life and our confidence in who we are in Christ.

When peace is eluding you, instead of everything about you shinning, the glow will be dimmed or diminished.  Ask God to reveal to you anything in your life causing disorder that results in lack of peace and begin to eliminate those things. Ask God to change your feelings and reactions to anything you have no control over. Ask God to guide your heart to allow Him to be in control of what is happening around you, and for guidance through His Word to determine what His definition of peace is for you.
 
PEARLStoPONDER: Does your heart really know and understand who is in control?
 
Isaiah 26:3-4--  You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.

1 Corinthians 14:33--For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.
 

Captive Thoughts

Captive Thoughts
 
The enemy is constantly hurling lies at us and trying to get us to agree with the discouraging, destructive and dangerous words being said. This is one of the most common ways we experience spiritual warfare, in our mind.

The enemy isn’t creative in how he inundates our minds with lies. So, the best he can do is torment us with the same lies over and over. The lies the enemy attacks you with today are probably the same lies he has been attacking you with your whole life. News flash!!!! Those lies only have power if we choose to agree with them.

Agreeing with the lies of the enemy gives credibility to those lies. Once credibility is given, we then internalize them and allow the lies to become part of who we believe we are. You will know you have agreed with the lies because they will sound like your own voice in your head. Think about it if you heard an unfamiliar evil voice in your head how likely are you to listen and agree with that voice?

When we align our thoughts with God’s word, the enemy can’t lie to us. But this does not mean he won’t try. When the Apostle Paul tells us to not let our thoughts run wild, he is informing us to check our thoughts against the truth of God’s word with the understanding that are minds are a battlefield. Thus, encouraging us to cast out everything that doesn’t line up with God.

We can’t simply think “thoughts go away.” The enemy can’t read our mind. Therefore, we must be active as Jesus was when he when tempted by the enemy. Jesus spoke scripture and told the enemy to go away. We also have the authority to command the enemy to flee in the The Name of Jesus.

So, when the lies began to hurl around in your head. Remember God is all knowing and able to hear our thoughts. Therefore, the decision is yours to take your thoughts captive or let them run wild.
 
PEARLStoPONDER: The enemy can hurl lies, it’s up to you to bat them down.
 
Matthew 4:8-11--Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.
 
2 Corinthians 10:5--We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.
 

One Thousand Four Hundred Forty

One Thousand Four Hundred Forty
 
The blahs!!!! We have all had them. The blahs would not be defined as depression because we are in a state where we are able to function albeit it being lethargically. With the blahs we move from one place or errand to another still interacting with people, although our thought process and answers often seem muddled or incoherent. We are able to get up each morning but only functioning on half our potential in conjunction with mumbled words under our breath that confirms it’s another one of those blah days. Every day we set a strategy to beat the blahs. Yet we fall into the blah rut again. Usually when the blahs are in control we tend to indirectly “blame” God for whatever the reason we are in this state.

In this blah state we often think, something has got to change!  Hmmm…. Maybe at the stroke of midnight something will change and when I wake up all my blahs will be gone. You know what! That thought process is on point. One thousand four hundred forty. This number is very important in our lives.

One thousand four hundred forty and one second The Lord blesses us with the most powerful and priceless commodity. What is this commodity you ask? It is 1440 untouched and valuable brand-new minutes of our life.

So, on those days where the blahs are the boss. Say to yourself, I have been given a powerful and priceless commodity. It is up to me to determine how I will use it. Your capitalization of this priceless commodity is determined by your verbal and physical attitude. Positive capitalization will occur if you choose to make a conscious decision to turn your blahs into blessings. I’m not talking about you receiving blessings. But more importantly you blessing The Father through His Son Jesus. The first step in doing this is giving thanks for the powerful and priceless gift of 1440 untouched minutes given to you each day!

Even in the midst of your blah, remember if God had not given you 1440 untouched minutes you would not be able to sulk about the blah or should I dare say you would not know about the blah. So, praise God because your blahs are blessing.
 
PEARLStoPONDER: The priceless commodity of 1440
 
Psalms 57:10-11----For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!
 
Psalms 118:1---Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

Lamentations 3:22-23---The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;  they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
 

Word Fast

Word Fast
 
Have you ever noticed how you light up when someone speaks kind positive words to you or how someone else lights up when you speak kind words to them?

In today’s society you often hear “I’m just being 100 and telling you what’s on my mind.” But there are times in being “100” and speaking your mind encompasses damaging words. Once damaging words are spoken, they can’t be taken back. Do you think about the impact of your words prior to speaking? I am in no way saying you should not speak your mind and be “100” in doing so. However, I am asking are your prone to guarding your words or do you carelessly speak what’s on your mind when being “100?”

When I hear damaging words spoken, internally I cringe. Knowing the impact of how words can damage, I am very intentional and conscientious of my words to others. Yes, even when I am speaking my mind and being “100.”

I want to put a challenge out to all of my readers to participate in an exercise I call “Word Fast.” From the time you read this blog take one week to simply avoid speaking negative or critical words to or about anyone. I can hear some of you saying, “one week.. Oooo week.”  LOL!! Ok if one week seems stressful start with one day and increase it to one week. Oh, there is a twist to this challenge. This “Word Fast” should cause you to not only carefully watch what comes out of your mouth, but also the thoughts that give birth to the negative and critical words.

Throughout this challenge take notes on the negative and critical words spoken or thought about. Ask yourself in self-reflection what causes me to use negative and critical words? Have you ever thought about how those words negatively affected the one spoken to? Are you willing to make a change by using words to build in place of words that damage? And, how has this challenge affected you being “100” in speaking your mind?
 
PEARLStoPONDER: Think before you speak.

Psalm 141:3---Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!

1 Thessalonians 5:11---Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
 

Your Position



The game of football. Oh, how I so enjoyed watching my son play this sport. I miss the anticipation of visiting different stadiums and the enjoyment of my husband and I driving in the car talking for hours. This brought to mind a football analogy I used in a Pastor’s Wives & Ministry Mates meeting I facilitated a couple of years ago. As you read this blog have an open heart so you will be able to digest it within your Spirit.

If you know anything about football the role and position you play is vital to the team. In the game of football, you will get tired and depending on the team played you may become exhausted. Mental and sometimes literal paralysis can happen to the point where you don’t move at the specified allotted time, and the inevitable hit will occur.

The Cornerback, is part of the secondary group of players who make up the defensive backfield. In a nutshell, these players are responsible for preventing the opponent’s receivers from catching the ball. When you hear secondary you initially think of an afterthought or not as important. Although Cornerbacks are part of the secondary group on the field, their field position is very important. They must be agile, quick, have a great eye and they are responsible for defending the ball preventing the opponent from scoring.

Oftentimes the enemy makes us feel as if we are secondary, as if we don’t count or have any worth. News flash!! Just like the Cornerback position is vital to the function of the team, our position according to God’s Word through Jesus Christ is vital to the function of the team {His Kingdom}.
Like the position of Cornerback, we too have to be agile, quick, and have a good eye anticipating the route{direction} the opponent{enemy}will throw the ball{test}. In anticipation of where the opponent{enemy} will throw the ball{test} we have to be agile and quick enough to defend it. We must have great footwork and the ability to think off our feet, because at any given moment we might have to change directions to be in the best position to defend or catch the opponents{enemy’s} pass.

Cornerbacks have great instincts. They know how to read what comes their way and adjust to any situation. Thus, preparing them to be ready to defend the unexpected. Which often times mean taking a hit (the enemy shook you or knocked you down temporarily) or giving a hit (standing up to the enemy). The great instincts of the Cornerback keeps them ready and available allowing room to defend the opponent and be put in the position to gain a victory for themselves and the team {Kingdom}.

The Cornerback has a short-term memory! They may have several function/hats and have to be prepared on any given Sunday even at the expense of being hit, knocked down or injured. Their short-term memory keeps them from dwelling on the missed play, hit or knock down, yet heightens them to focus solely on the purpose of defending the opponent{enemy} from having the opportunity of scoring.

In the game of football, no matter how hard any player tries and regardless of what move he makes, at some point they will get hit. So, will we! No matter how hard we try to and regardless of what moves we make the enemy will come our way. The question is have you studied how to defend the opponent? You can tell what team has watched film of their opponent by the way the defense plays. So, I ask, how prepared are you to defend, discern and gain victory over the opponent{enemy}?

PEARLStoPONDER: We will get knocked down and have some bruises. But our short-term memory will not allow us to be engulfed by any hit but instead look to our position in Christ. Which will allow us to focus on the fact that we had enough strength (The Word) to withstand the hit and be ready for the next play.
 
Ephesians 6:10-18
2 Corinthians 12:10

 

R.E.S.T Restoring Emotional Spiritual Thinking

We naturally associate rest with sleep. When we are tired, the first thing we say is “I need to get some rest” and that rest usually consist of sleeping. After that, we’re feeling good and expect to be refreshed and energized to move on again. This type of rest is great and is needed. However, I want to talk to you about God's rest. Rest is one of the greatest gifts God gave to mankind and is synonymous to peace. God 's rest is deep and profound, superseding the rest derived when we are physically tired, sleepy or worn out from each day's labor.

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the verb rest as: "to cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength." The Bible speaks quite highly of rest. It is a repeated theme throughout scripture beginning with the creation week (Genesis 2:2-3). God created for six days; then He rested. Not because He was tired but to set the standard for mankind to follow.

When we talk about God’s “rest” it’s not just rest from physical work. But “rest” that allows a harmony between our will and heart being aligned with God’s purpose and will for our lives.

Our initial thoughts of rest are let me sit or lay down doing absolutely nothing and being fast asleep. Have you ever thought about all this resting we’re doing and putting ourselves in a rested position, yet our inner thoughts are wide awake? Is it due to the difficulty of finding time to rest in today’s culture? Or is it because we still struggle with God’s design for rest?

God’s design for “rest” is more than just being asleep or stationary, instead “rest” has to do with our inner man. God lives by the principles of rest. This principle is seen while He was creating the earth. On the 7th day God rested (Ge 2:2). God considers rest holy. Have you ever thought of rest as being holy? So, if God lives by the principle of rest and considers rest holy. How do we obtain rest the way God designed it?

The rest God designed requires faith: Hebrews 11:1
We need faith to understand that rest is holy. It seems easy to comprehend rest by just laying down and turning off all access. However, when you look around there is a race against time, people are scurrying around trying to meet deadlines, working longer hours and staying up on the latest whatever. The mind of man is set on achieving more and more, and the quest to bring out the next new thing because unfortunately man is never satisfied and gets so bored (even with self), thus the invoking of the never-ending cycle of “going”.

Now I am in no way against new creations and progression. What I am saying if these things take precedent over “resting” as God designed eventually there will be a breakdown of your emotional and spiritual thinking.

IF “rest” as God designed does not happen there will be a breakdown in our emotional and spiritual thinking, thus we fall captive to sickens, anxiety, fear, and frustrations. Since God designed our bodies for rest, and He sees “rest” as holy, if we don’t take heed to The Holy Spirit when he says “rest” our bodies will do what it needs to do to force “rest,” usually when rest is forced it is with some ailment we would prefer not to have.

God is serious about rest because resting requires us to have faith in Him as our source. When we stop working to “rest” for that period we give up control over the outcome of what’s going on. Because rest does not come naturally to us, we are reminded so many times in the Scriptures of the necessity of laying down our work. When we are overworked, we are more vulnerable to disobeying God. “Rest" not only applies to our physically body but more so to our spirit man.God longs to refresh our spirits and renew our strength. When we choose to rest as God designed, we are able to release anxiety and tension from our lives and have faith that He will take care of us,rendering dereased stress. When we are stressed, we are more inclined to let emotions overrule us and are less likely to allow our Spirit man to rule thus our thinking is out of line with God’s Word.

5 tips to R.E.S.T (Restoring Emotional & Spiritual Thinking) as God designed

1. Cast Your Care :1 Peter 5:7 --casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

We think that resting is 100 percent of doing nothing and that could be true. But as busy as we are, when we decide to rest…this little annoyance in your ear can have you believing you’re being lazy. However, this rest that the Bible talks about is an action to do between you and God, not an action between you and your bed. It is a partnership that you develop with God through Jesus Christ. It is entering into His rest and casting your burden on Him. In order to “enter” you must first “cast.” Ponder on this…when you prepare for bed what do you do? You “cast” …get rid of, take off work clothes etc. and you “enter” into a frame of mind or physical state that will prepare you for natural rest. So, in order to put yourself in the position to receive “rest” as God designed you must first “cast.”

2. Release Your Burdens: Matthew 11:28-30--  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Our problems are not a surprise to God. When we try to make things happen and work in the flesh to vindicate ourselves or promote ourselves, we will end up in trouble. We can lean on God and find the rest in Him. You’ve decided to “cast”, now “release”. You’re probably thinking isn’t casting and releasing the same thing….ponder this…..how many of you have gotten rid of (casted) items but yet haven’t released that item( you keep reminiscing about that item), you haven’t’ released it to the point of allowing room for something new. Scriptures says, take my yoke upon you and “learn” of me. Learning = something new. So, in order to receive the “rest God designed you must be willing to learn the difference between natural rest and rest for your inner man. In order to do that you have to release your burdens at His feet.

3. Surrendering Your Will:  Luke 9:23-24-- And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.

Surrendering to God’s Will helps you rest; this is done by giving up the ego and relinquishing to our way daily. You will know that you have reached this when you trust Him to work all things without your help. Surrendering to God is an intentional daily process.  The flesh wants what it wants and doesn’t take kindly to us telling it what to do. In order to receive “rest” as God designed it is imperative to understand His “rest” is for our own good.  The only way we will fully grasp the importance of God’s design for “rest” is if we surrender our will and be willing to learn by following Christ example. So, in denying ourselves let’s move from “I” (what I want) to Lord whatever your will is so you are able to experience “rest” as being holy.

4. Know You are Loved: John 15:13-- Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

God loves us unconditionally. His love does not fluctuate as it does with people. He gave us Jesus to atone for our sins. That alone is key to God’s design for “rest” in that we have “peace” in knowing we don’t have to be lost in this sin sick world. Remember God’s design for rest is synonymous with peace.

5. Finding Hope: Romans 15:4 For --whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

We need to hope in order to find peace. Hope is the assurance that He cares for us, and will provide for us moving forward. This is a blind faith, and it tests our very soul at times. The fact that we have God’s written Word as instructions and assurance that He will never leave us is a comfort that should lull us into “rest” as He designed. Especially on days when you don’t feel like you can make it, and battling voices that are condemning, or causing anxiety.
 
PEARLStoPONDER: When you think about REST, remember you are Restoring Emotional & Spiritual Thinking according to God’s design.

Hebrews 4:11-12----Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
 
 

Inseparable

Inseparable

Have you ever listened to a song hundreds of times, then all of a sudden, the next time you hear it the meaning changes?

 While running errands I often listen to specific bible teachings. But on this particular day I decided to listen to some music. The song that came up in my rotation was a song I had listened to hundreds of times. Inseparable by Natalie Cole. As soon as she sang the very first word tears streamed down my face.  You probably have this look on your face…aww she’s thinking about her husband. The answer is usually yes. However, in that moment The Holy Spirit changed how I heard the song and unusually loudly said “do you have an inseparable relationship with The Father?” My heart began to race extremely fast. {Remember I am running errands so all of this is happening while I’m driving}. Although I knew what the definition of inseparable is. I couldn’t wait to get home, so as soon as the opportunity permitted, I looked up the definition of inseparable. The definition stated--- Inseparable: incapable of being separated, parted or disjoined. In the midst of reading my hands went up in praise!!!!

I hit the repeat button and intently listened to what The Holy Spirit was saying to me while engrossed in worship.

As you read these lyrics, read with the mind set of you laying in the arms of God.

I don’t own the rights to the lyrics of this song.
Inseparable
That's how we'll always be
Inseparable
Just you and me
It's so wonderful
To know you'll always be around me

Incredible
What you are to me
Incredible
You bring out the woman in me
With your style of love
Inseparable
Yes we are

We're like a flower to a tree
Like words to a melody of love
There's no way we could break up
No words that could make us blow our thing
We are just~

Inseparable
That's how it is
Inseparable
For the rest of our years
It's so wonderful
To know you'll always be around
 
I listened to this song multiply times. The words of the lyrics that stick out….”there’s no way we could break up” and “for the rest of our years it’s so wonderful to know you’ll always be around.” When I intently listen/read those words it is SOOO powerful to me. Although I know God’ s Word said He’ll never leave me nor forsake me, but to hear this song and listen with my Spirit took me to another level in trusting that God will never leave me.

From that day forward when I hear this song a smile will surface on my face and joy unspeakable joy in my heart because I know……God, “we’re just “INSEPARABLE. That's how we'll always be Inseparable. Just you and me It's so wonderful to know you'll always be around me.” Sisters, I’m shouting as I’m writing!!!!! Can you feel these lyrics in your Spirit?!!!!

Think about if you viewed God in this manner how prosperous your soul would be. Your perspective on issues would change and your reassurance of His comfort will rise to a level unexplainable.
 
PEARLStoPONDER: Allow God space and time through Jesus Christ to bring out the Godly woman in you with His style of love!
 
Romans 8:31-39--- 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.[j] 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 

Choosing to Rejoice!

Choosing to Rejoice
 
In life we all endure circumstances and situations that are very taxing. “REJOICE ALWAYS!!!!” One of the shortest verses in the Bible. We quote if often, but do you live it often?

This radiant verse with heavenly light reminds us that God created us in HIS Image and crafted us with the ability to CHOOSE joy in the most taxing times in our lives.

When your mind is going down an unpleasant and gloomy path, stop it in its tracks with the glorious command of REJOICE ALWAYS!

REJOICING ALWAYS should not just be secluded to taxing times in our life. It is important to be joyful and be specific in your reasons for rejoicing. Unfortunately, we are conditioned to focus on the “negative” of our lives and giving minimal space to the things we should be joyful about. Are you joyful about your daily provisions, or do you think because you have this booming career that your provisions are provided by you? Are you joyful about your relationships, even the ones that may not be the best right now? In ALL things rejoice even when God is working something out of you because all the glory goes to God.

If you approach each day with REJOICING ALWAYS, the joyful thoughts will lighten both your heart and mind thus enabling you to find pleasure in spite of the taxing circumstances.

The taxing circumstances are called trials in the book of James. The author James understands that when properly understood we have great reason to rejoice when we encounter taxing circumstances. It is not the taxing circumstances that we are joyous in. But in how Scripture shows us the benefits that taxing circumstance can bring to our lives.

Taxing circumstances:
               *Gives us the opportunity to put grace into practice
               *Allows Spiritual good to be produced in our lives that will last for eternity
               *Produces greater righteousness for God’s purpose
               *Show’s God is with us and His glory rests on us
               *Glory is brought to God when we rejoice
 
Don’t let the taxing circumstance steal your opportunity to REJOICE ALWAYS!
 
 
 
PEARLStoPONDER: Choosing to rejoice not only will bless you and those around you but it will also strengthen your relationship with God thorough Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:16---- Rejoice always
Philippians 4:4---Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice.
 

Reactions! Reactions! Reactions!

Reactions! Reactions! Reactions!

We’ve all been in situations where we react/speak prior to thinking. Immediately we think, “why did I react/say that!!??” “Yeah they had it coming and I finally got a chance to get it off my chest.” All of that might be factual. However, as a woman (Believer) could you have reacted differently? My thoughts after reacting rashly, “What if what I said is a stumbling block to this woman and causes her to revert to old ways?” Or “what if my reaction prevents her from ever wanting to know Christ?

Words can and do hurt! Reactions can and will hinder not just the other person but you as well. You see a number pop up on your phone. Your heart begins to race and the adrenaline rises. You think, now is the time to prove how right I was, point out all her flaws and make her feel me. So, I let her have it!!! Don’t cringe… we have all been at that point in our lives. And at that point in letting her have it you also experienced a whooping headache or upset stomach.

Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying conversations should not happen, and I’m not saying the conversation may not get heated. But even in the midst of a heated conversation we should be aware of our aggravated intensified reaction and try to be intentional on not reacting or saying something that will be detrimental to self and the other woman.

Ok, I know none of us are perfect… it happened and our aggravated intensified reaction caused detrimental conflict. So now what? Instead of having the “I’ll show you” reaction, ask yourself the following questions:

1. What part of the issue/conflict can I own and apologize for?
Make peace with the part you need to and own it. Apologize for it and there is a greater chance the conversation will remain calm. (Proverbs 15: 1)
 
2. How can I soften my heart toward this person so I honor them despite how they react?
I know this one can be challenging. Oftentimes the hurt from the other person toward you has nothing to do with you. Softening your heart makes it easier to sympathize with the hurt you don’t see thus minimizing the aggravated intensified reaction. (Proverbs 29:23)
 
3. If you knew the conversation was being recorded and then shared with people you greatly respect; how would that change your reaction?
In today’s world you really don’t know if you’re being recorded or not. Do you really want your aggravated intensified reaction on display for the world to see? Even if the conversation was never recorded, somebody saw/heard your reaction. Do you want your reaction to be a stumbling block to self or the other woman? (Philippians 4:5)
 
With all that being said.  No two conflicts are the same and they all encompass unknown variables. The point I want to iterate is we want to be cognizant of our reactions in the short term so we don’t live in “reaction regret” in the long term.
 
PEARLStoPONDER: Conflicts will occur in life. What’s your reaction to conflict?

James 1:19-20--- 19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
 
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