Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My Beautiful Life: Day 25

God is Always Moving
To give thanksgiving unto God we must recognize His hand in our lives. The hand of God is not speaking of a literal body part. Just as a father lovingly guides, helps, and patiently disciplines a child with his hand, so are we guided by the hand of God in different circumstances in our lives. What blessings has He given to you? What miracles has He led you to? It is easy to recognize a miracle when someone walks up to you and gives you an envelope full of money. But what about the miracle of life? What about the blessing of having a meal to eat every night? We have to train ourselves to see God moving in our lives in order to truly be grateful for all that He has done. A great idea is to get out a piece of paper and literally number your blessings one by one. As you count your blessings be specific. Name individual family members and friends. Think of your life, health, home, city, and country. Ask yourself what  exactly about your home or country is a blessing? How about your skills, talents, education, and job? Think about those times that seemed like a "coincidence". Did you overlook God's hand moving in your life? Did you think of God's greatest gift to us, His Son, Jesus Christ? You will be amazed at how many blessings you truly have. The more we recognize the hand of God, the better we will be able to follow His lead. Even you are not powerful enough to stop God’s plan for your life. Nothing can snatch you out of God’s hand; no accident or opinion of another can stop God’s plan. God is in complete control of your life. God is working behind the scenes, arranging things in your favor; He’s making a way where you don’t see a way. His hand is always moving in your life, even when you don't see immediate results. All you have to do is keep God first place in your life. Honor Him with your life, and you will come into these destiny moments where you see God supernaturally protecting you, where you’re at the right place at the right time, and experiencing the favor of God moving you towards your divine destiny. It’s not your lucky break, it’s almighty God saying, “I’ve got a destiny for you to fulfill, My plan will come to pass.” Through the study of God’s Word, a strong prayer life, and an having trust in God, we can learn to recognize quickly the hand of God moving in our lives. When you are able to recognize all that He has done, you can easily accept and begin to show thanksgiving towards God for all that he has done.

John 10:27-28
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.

A Prayer for Today
Heavenly Father, please forgive me for trying to run my life my own way. I forget to let go and give you control. When I wonder why things aren't going the way I want them to go, help me to remember you. Help me to stop and ask what you want, Lord. Please help me to give you control, Father. I want to have what You desire for me. Lord, let me accept each day as a gift. Let me follow the path You choose for me. Help me to be thankful for what you give me and not to worry about my needs. I trust you will take care of all my needs. I m confident that You have a plan for my life. Remind me daily that my role is to trust and obey You.

My Beautiful Life: Day 24

He Deserves Our Gratitude
When we are thankful for the goodness of God in our lives, it touches the very heart of God and encourages Him to shower even more blessings upon us. A thankful heart is truly a floodgate to the blessings and goodness of God in our lives! Let's say that you had a granddaughter, and you went out and bought her the prettiest dress in town. You spent thousands of dollars on it, and invested countless hours hunting to find the perfect dress. When you're all done, you gifted your granddaughter with her new surprise. She first screams with excitement and then she cries for joy, and gives you the biggest hug you've ever received. Then for the next month, she can't stop talking about how you surprised her, and she continually thanks you up and down for such a wonderful gift. When she wears the dress, her eyes light up from happiness. Wouldn't that make you feel good inside for blessing her in such a way? You would probably want to run out and do it all over again, just because she loved it so much and was so thankful for everything you did. Now consider if you went through all that work to spend all that time and money to find the perfect dress for her, only to have your granddaughter act as if she couldn't care less for the gift you had given her. Never once did she show any appreciation, or thankfulness for all you've done. She didn't even stop to say thank you when you gave it to her. Wouldn't that make you feel awful? Wouldn't that make you think twice before blessing her in the future? How do you think God feels, when He's done so much for us (He made us, gave us such wonderful bodies and minds, then when we messed up, He sent His son to die for us, etc.), and then we go throughout the day not even stopping to think about all He's done for us? We're too busy watching TV, too busy complaining, and countless other things...that we don't even stop to think about all God's done for us. How do you think that makes God feel? The good thing is that God is not like us, and  He loves us despite of what we do or don't do. He shows mercy to us day after day, and He continues to bless us, even when we don't deserve it. Take time to show love to your Heavenly Father and thank Him for all that He has done for you. He deserves it. 

Psalm 86:15 
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

A Prayer for Today

Thank You Heavenly Father for being patient with me. You continue to bless me with your grace and mercy when I don't deserve it. Please help me to show continuous gratitude toward you, and not take for granted my many blessings. Help me to have a thankful heart. You deserve all of my praise for all of the wonderful things you have done for me. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

My Beautiful Life: Day 23

Trusting God When We Don't Understand
Can you think of a time when you felt like, "What in the world is going on in my life? Why did that happen to me? When will I finally get what I've wanted for so long? Why, God, why? When, God, when?!" If we can be honest with ourselves, we have all probably had an experience like this at some point. We all understand the feeling; and you’re not alone. There is encouragement for you today. Here is something to always remember. Mankind is fallible; we fall short and at times we’re unable to keep our promises. Man can give you instructions that are misleading and imperfect. Thankfully, God is not like man. With God, all things are possible. God keeps His promises, God gives you right instructions according to His perfect will and He won’t mislead you. If He instructs you to do something, its for your benefit, even if you don't see immediate results. No matter how much you don’t understand life as it is right now; no matter how uncomfortable it may seem or how hard it gets, don’t give up. If God is with you - the same God who spoke life into you, the same God who IS and knows the beginning and the end, the same God who knew you before the foundation of this world -is with you. When you learn to trust the Lord, you will begin to have a sense of rest in the Lord knowing that He has everything under control even when life seems to be out of control. Mountain climbers could save time and energy if they reached the top of the mountain in a helicopter, but their ultimate purpose is conquest, not efficiency. Sure, they want to reach a goal, but they want to do so the hard way by testing their character and resolve. God could create scientists, mathematicians, athletes, and musicians and place them here on earth. He doesn't. He creates children who take on those roles over a long process. We learn to excel by handling failure. Only in cultivating discipline, endurance, and patience do we develop Godly character. God does not look upon trouble as we do. Where we see stress, He sees opportunities. Where we see crisis, He sees growth and betterment. God's purpose in times of crisis and trouble is to teach His children precious lessons. They are intended to educate, and build us up. And when we learn from them and ride out these storms of life, we will see the great promise He has fulfilled in our lives. When bad things happen, know that God has not abandoned you, and see it as a time to trust Him even more. When it is over we can look back and see that our learning lessons were necessary for His master plan for our lives.

Job 23:9-10
When He acts on the left, I cannot behold Him; He turns on the right, I cannot see Him. But He knows the way I take; When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

Isaiah 48:10-11
Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; For how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another.

A Prayer for Today
Thank You Lord for every trial and tribulation I have faced, it has made me who I am today. Thank You for bringing me out of the rough times with a testimony that will bring glory to You. I know that my helps comes from you in all situations. Please strengthen my faith and open my mind to the truth that everything is unfolding according to your divine plan. Let compassion and love for my brothers and sisters flow from me and may we all be uplifted by your glory. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

My Beautiful Life: Day 22

His Blessings Are All Around Us
God created  the heavens and the earth, the moon and the stars. He created all of the good, wholesome, enjoyable, and fun things we have on this earth as a blessing for us to enjoy. The key is not holding on to these earthly things too tightly. We should grasp and enjoy our blessings whether big or small. If we know Jesus Christ as our Savior, our best lives await us in heaven where we will spend eternity in joy, enjoying a life which is far better than the “best” we could ever experience here on earth. The wonderful thing about God is, He wants us to enjoy life now, and later. The truth is, God wants you to enjoy your life every day. Did you know that? If you didn't, or aren't sure whether God approves of people enjoying their lives, take a look at John 10:10. It says, “The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance.” This is an absolutely amazing scripture because it clearly tells us that God doesn't just want us to be alive, but He wants us to enjoy being alive. He wants us to live with joy – abundant, overflowing joy! As a Christian, you can enjoy life because your conscience is clear from sin. You can enjoy life because you are secure and confident within God’s love. You can have fun and make memories with the ones you love. Take time to watch the sunset. Listen to the birds sing in the morning. Watch the way the wind blows through the leaves of the trees. God has placed even these things here on earth for our enjoyment. Blessings don't always come as materialistic gifts, but rather as the simple pleasures in life. The world makes us believe that "God wants to increase you financially" and if we aren't "rich" we aren't living the "good life". The truth is, in Christ, everyday we are living the "good life".  It is us to recognize it, accept it, and live it. God loves us and he wants us to live the abundant life of everlasting joy that He has already given to us. 

1 Timothy 6:19
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

A Prayer for Today
Father God, Thank You for this earth, for the beautiful sky and the radiant sun, for the ocean and streams, for the towering hills and the whispering wind, for the trees and green grass. Thank You for our senses by which we hear the songs of birds, and see the splendor of the fields. Thank You that we can taste autumn's fruit, rejoice in the feel of snow, and smell the breath of spring flowers. Thank You for all of the wonderful people I get to share my life with.  Grant me a heart opened wide to all of Your splendor and glory, and help me from being distracted by the things of this world. Teach me how to love what you love, Lord. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

My Beautiful Life: Day 21

We Have Everything We Need in Christ
Do you have joy in your life every single day? This is God's will for you, and He has provided the keys that will bring contentment and joy regardless of your circumstances. What's holding you back? Do you believe that your particular circumstances make happiness and enjoyment impossible for you? Well, it’s not true! Learning to be happy with yourself and where you are is a very important key to enjoying your life. If you know that God wants you to enjoy life, why does it sometimes seem impossible? Could it be that you’re unhappy with yourself because of the mistakes you have made? God doesn't require us to be perfect—He made us, and He knows we’re human and will make mistakes. Our job is to get up every day and do our best to use the keys He has provided for us. And when we fail, we must get right with God, receive His forgiveness and go on. Quit worrying about what you're not or what you don't have and give God what you are. Jesus died for us so that we could live life, and live it more abundantly. That means we now have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) through Him. This means we have everything we need, in Christ, to live a victorious life. This way of thinking isn't natural to us, and it's common for people to believe their happiness is based on having their way, doing what they want to do, when they want to do it, and getting everything they want. We have to renew our minds by the Word of God and realize that God's love is the greatest gift we can receive in life. I want to encourage you to make the decision to spend time reading and studying God's Word. Hang out with Jesus, praying and taking time to be still in His presence, letting Him speak to your heart. Examine your heart and be honest about who you're living for. If you want to give up living for yourself and live wholeheartedly for God, you can start fresh today.

2 Corinthians 5:15
He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.

A Prayer for Today
Father God, please help me to create a balanced life. Help me to take time to enjoy my life, and to be a person full of gratitude. Help me take time to love, to extend my hand in service to those around me. Lord, remind me to take time to learn, to be disciplined and accountable. Help me to make a difference in the small and big moments of my life. Lord, help me to keep smiling, to be happy, and to try to be myself. Lord, infuse me with your spirit so I can create a life of balance, moderation, and simplicity. Today, whatever my challenge, let it be an occasion to pursue Your will for my life.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My Beautiful Life: Day 20

Trusting God's Timing
We all want good things to happen in our lives, but too often we want it now...not later. When it doesn't happen when we expect it to, we are tempted to ask, "When, God, when?" Most of us need to grow in the area of trusting God instead of focusing on the "when" question. If you're missing joy and peace, due to waiting on your miracle, most likely you're not fully trusting God. Trusting Him includes trusting in His timing. Many people want change, but they don't want to go through the waiting process. But the truth is, waiting is a given—we all have to wait on something. The question is, what will be our attitude while we wait? Are we waiting the right way, or the wrong way? If we wait the wrong way, we'll be miserable; but if we decide to wait God's way, we can become stronger because of the wait. It takes practice, but as we let God help us in each situation, we develop patience, which is one of the most important Christian virtues. As we develop patience, the Bible says we finally feel completely satisfied—lacking nothing. God gives us hopes and dreams for certain things to happen in our lives, but He doesn't always allow us to see the exact timing of His plan. Although frustrating, not knowing the exact timing is often what keeps us in the program. There are times when we might give up if we knew how long it was going to take, but when we accept God's timing, we can learn to live in hope and enjoy our lives while God is working on our problems. We know that God's plan for our lives is good, and when we entrust ourselves to Him, we can experience total peace and happiness. 

Ecclesiastes 7:8
Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

A Prayer for Today
Lord, I earnestly seek after You. I seek Your kingdom and Your will. I lay my plans before You. I give you the desires of my heart. Help me to rely on You in every area of my life. Thank you for the patience to wait on You and appreciate where I am right now. I trust You when You say that the plans you have for me are good. Sharpen my character and transform my heart this day and every day.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

My Beautiful Life - Day 19

All That We Have Belongs to Him
We seem never to be satisfied with what we have—long hair or short hair, rich or poor, healthy or sick. Sometimes it's easy to forget all that we are already blessed with. But what a difference it makes when we realize that everything we have has been given to us by God! King David prayed, “Wealth and honor come from you … We give you thanks, and praise your glorious name … Everything comes from you” (1 Chronicles 29:12-14, NIV). We see wealth in terms of having an abundance of material or worldly things. The world tells us that riches consist of how many cars you own or how many square feet are in your house. When we get back to the Bible, however, we find that wealth is a lot more than money. Wealth is the sum total of all that God has given us. When we understand wealth as the gift of God, we realize that it comes from God and it all belongs to God. This is a very difficult attitude for the world to adopt. But the Bible makes it clear that God created everything, God sustains everything and God owns everything. Ultimately, everything we have is a gift from God. In His grace, God shares His property with us. In His grace, God shares the ability for you and me to make money in order to put food on our table and to clothe our families. It's all because of His amazing grace that we enjoy any of what He owns. Don't brag about how much God gives you or complain about how little He gives you. All good things are measured out from His hand just as we need them. Those who have smaller homes or more meager bank accounts may find they have much greater riches in other areas of life, if only they could see them with thankful eyes. Everything you have is God's gift to you. What you do with everything God gives you is your gift to Him. Be grateful for all that God has blessed you with.

1 Corinthians 4:7
For what gives you the right to make such a judgment? What do you have that God hasn't given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift?

A Prayer for Today
Heavenly Father, help me to be grateful. Help me to find my fulfillment in You, and not things. I pray that my focus would continuously be on You so that I would not be discouraged because of what I don't have, but instead be thankful for what I do have. Thank You for sharing your many riches with me. Thank you, Lord, for the blessings you have bestowed on my life. You have provided me with more than I could ever have imagined. Please help me to be a good steward over everything I have.

Monday, August 18, 2014

My Beautiful Life: Day 18

Joy Comes from Him
In America, we live in a society that mainly focuses on materialistic possessions. Fancy cars, nice clothes, and good looking people. They tell us that we will experience happiness if we buy this new make-up product  or buy this high definition flat screen television. We are intrigued and start to want these things, yet we fail to realize that these things are only temporary. Eventually we will want more materialistic possessions to fill the growing emptiness within us. We work harder and harder to buy more. We fuel our happiness by buying “stuff”. Then, when we run out of fuel, we buy even more “stuff”. This cycle of finding happiness with “stuff” will eventually wear us out. We will eventually get to a point where we are on overload. What happens when you keep filling up the tank of your car? It starts overflowing. This vicious cycle will eventually control your life. Many people are living their lives like this and don't even know it. This overflow of stuff will push you further and further away from your relationship with God. Why? Because true joy does not come from “stuff”, it comes from living in alignment with God's plan for your life. There is nothing wrong with having nice things, but when these things become the focus of your life, and replace God in your heart, then you have a problem. There is so much noise and temptations out there in this world, we can easily become influenced by the wrong things. Stay focused on pleasing God. Stop chasing money to buy you happiness. Each of us have this decision to make. What does having happiness mean in your life? Does happiness come from materialistic possessions or the intangible aspects of life - such as love, appreciation, warmth, kindness, and peace? Everything you need for a life of joy your Heavenly Father has already given to you.  All you have to do is receive His love.

Matthew 6:19-21
Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

1 John 2:17
And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.

A Prayer for Today
Heavenly Father, please help us to spend wisely and not excessively. Please break the bondage of conspicuous consumption over our nation. Help us to be better stewards of the resources You have blessed us with. Holy Spirit, please help us to be more disciplined with our lifestyles. Help us to learn to be content with what we have instead of always wanting more. Please forgive us for any greed, selfish ambition, idolatry, conceit and arrogance. Forgive us for loving things and placing them over You. Forgive us for not being good stewards of Your blessings. Thank You for loving us in spite of our wrongdoing.

My Beautiful Life: Day 17

Place Your Hope in Him
The Bible is full of examples of men and women who hoped in God's promises. Biblical hope not only desires something good for the future; it expects it to happen. And it not only expects it to happen; it is confident that it will happen. So what can cause our hope to go sour? Often, we hope in the wrong things. It's so easy to place our hope in this material world -- what we can see, taste, touch, and feel. These things are controllable to us. But God says His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36). In fact, the things of this world do not provide a firm foundation for our lives (Colossians 2:8). Only when we look to the truly firm foundation for living -- Jesus Christ -- will we find a hope that can anchor our souls. It all begins with our relationship with God. If you have not been "born again," your hope is simply misplaced. If you are feeling hopeless right now, consider where your primary hope is grounded. Even if you know Jesus as your Savior, it is still very possible to still lose hope. We learn from Proverbs that "hope deferred makes the heart sick" (Proverbs 13:12). When our hopes are delayed, we can be overcome by a deep sense of despair. So how did the men and women of the bible do it? How did they hope in God for decades and centuries? If they did it, you can do it. God is the source of our hope, so submit yourself to Him. Come to Him in humility and with a grateful heart. Strengthen your faith in Him. Learn about all the amazing things that God has already done, and allow His previously fulfilled promises to renew your hope. Trust His timing. Sometimes God answers our prayers and fulfills our hopes quickly. At other times, for His own divine reasons, He allows us to wait. It is through faith and patience that our hope is fulfilled. Have patience. The bible never says "figure it out". Instead the bible reads, "Trust God." All we have to do is put our hope in Him. Take comfort in knowing that our Heavenly Father is always watching out for you. 

Psalms 31:24
Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you that hope in the LORD.

A Prayer for Today
Father God, I know You are the God of hope. So often hope is distant in my heart. Today I acknowledge that I need You. I need Your hope in my heart and I need Your filling. Please help me to do my part and trust You. Help me to trust You to give me the hope and the peace that Your Holy Spirit brings. Increase my faith so I can trust You fully with all the question marks in my life. Fill me by the power of Your Holy Spirit now. Your Holy Spirit is the only one who has the power to give the peace You offer into my weary soul. I trust you today with all the circumstances of my life. 

My Beautiful Life: Day 16

Be Full of Joy Everyday
Joy is not hard to find, but we have to understand that true joy is not something you find outside of yourself. Joy is an unshakable feeling that we can bring with us wherever you go. At times, it is easy to feel defeated by life. Unfortunately that’s not how life works, you can't get the answers to life’s challenges in advance, so you will have to be ready for whatever happens. Don't use what you don't understand as a chance to worry, but to rather choose joy! Stop coming up with excuses to not be happy, and express gratitude for what you do have to be happy about. See yourself as God sees you, and embrace Him in your life. Feeling down and out not only is self-defeating, but it also does a disservice to the world. Your family, friends, and community can't enjoy your presence unless you give them something to love. Think about it. Do you want to be around someone who is always complaining? Would you want to have a conversation with a person who only speaks negatively? Of course not! Be the person who is always smiling despite their circumstances. Be the woman who always has an encouraging word to say. Be the friend who is a joy to be around. Life is about learning from your trials, failures, and misjudgments, so don’t lose any more of your time in unhappiness! We go through hard times in life to have a testimony to share with the world. Let your story be that you made it through with a smile on your face! Let your life be a testimony that God's joy can overcome any situation. People are watching your life, be the reason why they smile today.

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 

A Prayer for Today
Dear Father in Heaven, I know You are full of love towards me. Yet sometimes I do not feel filled with the joy You offer to me. So often happiness is distant in my heart. Today I acknowledge that I choose joy despite the circumstances. Help me to trust You to give me the joy and the peace that Your Holy Spirit brings. Increase my faith so I can trust You fully even when I don't feel like it. I don’t want to just survive or just get by… I want my life to overflow with joy! Help me to be a good ambassador for You. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

My Beautiful Life: Day 15

God Has a Plan for Your Life
Have you ever stopped to think: Why was I born? Does my life matter? What is my purpose? We all have asked ourselves one of these questions one time or another. Whatever your purpose, God calls us all overcomers (John 5:4), and that’s exactly what we are! An overcomer is someone who prevails against, conquers, or gains the victory over a struggle or conflict. We aren't going to become overcomers overnight, we will have to go through some struggles and conflicts in order to overcome them. We can be thankful even in the tough times because we already know we are overcomers because God said so. God know what you are facing right now, and He is with you. God’s Word tells us, in Psalm 139, that we are not an accident. God has never made anything without a purpose. God planned you. He planned everything about you. God knew how and when and where you would be born. He also is fully aware of the length of your days, including the exact time of your birth and death. That doesn't mean that God predestines the good and bad things that come to us. Good people are killed all the time, and our loving heavenly Father is not the creator of those tragedies. Babies come into this world every day, conceived outside of the framework of God’s perfect will, and He loves each one of them as much as He loves you and me. We are here on this earth for God’s purpose, not ours. As you grow to get to know God, you will get to know the plan He has for your life. 

Romans 8:28
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

A Prayer for Today
Heavenly Father, sometimes life gets rough, but I know You have kept me for a reason. I have survived every hard situation in my life because You have a plan for me. I thank You for keeping me. I have made it through my toughest times because I know You love me. I release and let go of all past hurts, misunderstandings and grudges because You said that I am more than a conqueror. I trust what You are doing in my life. I walk in victory everyday! 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

My Beautiful Life: Day 14

Love the Life You Were Given
Every day, we are constantly are surrounded by the media. Television, internet, social media are a part of  our daily lives. In our society, it’s easy to get caught up with a reality show or the latest celebrity gossip, but when you think about it, what good does it do for you? How can we possibly appreciate and love what we already have when society always tells us we need more? How can we show love to the ones around us when we are constantly thinking about the upcoming TV series or the latest fashion trend? These things are irrelevant in our appreciation of  life. When you reflect upon your life years from now, what do you think your outcome will be? It’s easy to just get stuck in the daily grind that you can’t possibly think 20 years ahead. But it is necessary for your personal well being to appreciate your life every single day. God has given you so much to be thankful for. When you continue to focus your time and energy on what you most value in your life, you will start to have positive feelings about your life. When you choose to focus your time and energy on material possessions, such as video games, the new fashion trend, or watching television, you will begin to feel inadequate in areas of your life, and God definitely does not want that for you. He has a perfect plan for your life, and it's up to you to choose if you will choose His way, or another way.  

Philippians 2:13
For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.

A Prayer for Today
Thank You heavenly father for my life. Thank You for forgiving my sins and making me a new creation in You. I appreciate all You have done for me. Lord, please open my eyes to all of the the good you have placed in the people around me, and help me to bless them by showing appropriate appreciation. Draw them to me and help them to see You in me. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Beautiful Life: Day 13

Place Your Value in Eternal Things
What do you recognize that is valuable in your life? Take a moment and reflect upon why you do what you do. Why do you wake up in the mornings? Why do you come home in the evenings? You must turn into your mind to answer these questions. You can not look at external factors to help you appreciate your life. It all starts within you. Your heart, your mind, and your spirit are all connected, but it is your mind that will ultimately determine the direction of your life. Your thoughts ultimately determine your actions. Your mind has the ability to focus on either the negative aspects of life or the positive aspects of life. Your mind is so powerful that it can lead you to living a completely fulfilling and rewarding life. If you are serious about making the necessary changes in your life, take one step at a time and start today. Don't look to the movies, the media, and your things to find happiness. These things although nice, are just temporary. Ask yourself,  what is most important in your life? Where — and with whom — should you put most of your time and energy? Relationships, building character and showing love are things that will begin to effect your life and leave a lasting change. If you appreciate materialistic possessions rather than your relationship with others and God, your life will become based and centered around materialistic possessions. Appreciating your life starts with the core of you. Complain less, and thank God more. Stop regretting the past, and start living today.You decide what you choose to value and what you don’t. You determine how you feel and your emotions. It takes a conscious mind to focus your attention on what you truly appreciate in your life. You can become thankful for your many blessings, and be grateful for all that God has done for you. 

2 Corinthians 4:18
So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

A Prayer for Today
Thank You Lord for helping me to focus on what matters most to You. There are many distractions in this world, and I don't want them to lead me away from You. Help me to appreciate all that I have, and all those You have placed in my life. Help me to not think about the past, but to look forward to the future with joy. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My Beautiful Life: Day 12

Appreciate Life!
Do you take the time to appreciate your life on a daily basis? Or does it seem like the daily stress of life blocks you from appreciating your life? Appreciation is when you are able to fully recognize the worth and value of “something” or “someone”. When you appreciate a car, you fully recognize the worth and value of your car. When you appreciate your friend, you fully recognize the worth and value of your friend. More importantly, when you appreciate your life, you fully recognize the worth and value that God has placed on you. You are priceless, and can never be replaced! Because of what Jesus did on the cross, our many sins have been forgiven, we are restored to right standing with God, and we will live forever in joyful fellowship with Him and His children. How much more should we thank Him every day for these and a hundred other blessings! Showing appreciation should always be genuine and sincere. When we come to Jesus Christ, it is not the end but the beginning of a whole new life. He is with us, and He wants to help us follow Him and His Word. In ourselves we do not have the strength that we need to live the way God wants us to live. In many countries a special day is set aside each year for thanksgiving. But for the Christian every day can be a day of thanksgiving as we are “always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20, NIV). We have so much to be thankful for. Do you know the joy of a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ? If you’ll turn to God, He can take away your bitterness and give you the spirit of true thankfulness, and you can begin to see your life in a whole new way.

Psalm 28:7
The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.

A Prayer for Today

Thank You heavenly father for my life. Thank You for forgiving my sins and making me a new creation in You. I appreciate all You have done for me. Lord, please open my eyes to all of the the good you have placed in the people around me, and help me to bless them by showing appropriate appreciation. Draw them to me and help them to see You in me.  

Monday, August 11, 2014

My Beautiful Life: Day 11

Don't Take Anything for Granted
Think of something you own that you might take for granted—your slightly dirty car, the old but trusty laptop you carry around with you every day, your old but brand name shoes. We live in a society where we are constantly being seduced and distracted with materialistic possessions and society’s standard of living. Some of us become so distracted that we lose a realistic sense of self. All of a sudden, what we have is not enough. We start modeling what we see in the media and the way celebrities are living their life that we forget about our own life. The more you surround yourself with the world, the more you will be influenced to change your life based upon what you see. Now imagine talking to someone who doesn't even have half of what you have. What's life like for them? What difficulties do they have to face? Take a moment to reflect upon what is meaningful in your life. It’s amazing how so many people never really take the time to answer this question. People just continue living their lives, being preoccupied with what’s going on Facebook, the latest gossip on television and getting stuck into a rut. When you stop to take a second to start to think about it, you realize just how much God has really blessed you! The more you think of all that you do have, and don't have to deal with, you become more and more appreciative. Your car may be dirty, but at least it can drive you safely to your destination. Your laptop may be old, but at least you have a laptop. Your shoes may not be new, and Thank God they aren't falling apart! We are so blessed, that sometimes it is easy to forget just how much we really do have. Take time to remind yourself daily of all that God has done for you. 

Ephesians 1:3
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with
every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.

A Prayer for Today
Father, far too often our minds can be consumed with things that only money can buy which can also bring discontent for that which we already have. Thank you for all that I have! Help me to focus our hearts on that  which has lasting value, that brings eternal dividends. As I lift my voice to You this day and turn my hearts toward Your unfailing love, I know I will find joy and satisfaction that will not be determined by the events of today. When human love is fleeting or disappoints me, help me to look to Your unfailing love which satisfies.  each me how to to listen carefully to You, and delight in Your abundance. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

My Beautiful Life: Day 10

Transform Your Thinking
In your quiet moments, what do you think about? How far you’ve come, or how far you have to go? Your strengths, or your weaknesses? The best that might happen, or the worst that might come to be? In your quiet moments, pay attention to your thoughts. Because maybe, just maybe, the only thing that needs to shift in order for you to experience more happiness, more love, and more vitality, is your way of thinking. Have you ever been around someone who never has a bad word to say about anyone or anything? How do you feel while in the company of that person? It’s refreshing, isn’t it? Just the same, have you ever been around someone who always has something negative to say? How does that make you feel? Nobody likes to be around Mr. Bummer, especially since negative attitudes can be so contagious. It is far too easy to adopt the perspective of the majority when you are surrounded by negativity, but in this case it’s not a very healthy option. To keep a positive perspective, you need to learn to think for yourself, and avoid letting others do it for you. That means you need to find ways of limiting your exposure to those who influence your thinking in a negative direction. Spend time with friends whose tendency is toward gratitude and positive thinking. At the same time, avoid spending too much time with those who like to think and speak negatively. Study the Word of God, and let Him begin to transform your mind to an attitude to love, gratitude, and thankfulness. 

Romans 12:2
Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

A Prayer for Today
Dear Lord, thank you for my beautiful life. Show me Your ways so that I can become more like You. I give you may hands to do Your work. I give You my feet to go Your way. I give You my eyes to see as You see. I give You my tongue to speak Your words. I give You my mind so that my thoughts can be transformed. Above all, I give You my heart that You can show me how to love. I give You my whole self, Lord, that You may grow in me, so that it is You who lives, works and prays in me. Help me to become the woman that You created me to be.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

My Beautiful Life: Day 9

Thank God for Every Moment
After a long and frosty winter, finally, spring has finally arrived. With the promise of warmer weather, the budding of flowers and a return of happily chirping birds, we look forward to long sunny days and an overall easier way of living. When a challenging time in your life comes to an end, treat it the same way you would a bad winter —learn from it, be proud of how you persevered, welcome the change of season with an open heart, and be present in your new and more enjoyable season. Now that you are here, God wants you to enjoy this new season’s peace and blessings. Just like in nature, a storm doesn't last forever. The hard times will come and they will go. Don’t prolong the challenging season and diminish the blessings of your “spring” by carrying over the hardships and heartaches of the past season. Carry on in the joy that God has for you. As you remember to not look back, also remember not to jump ahead to summer and fall and begin worrying now that winter will have to return. Enjoy the beauty and wonder of each season in your life for they have helped to develop the person you are today by providing you with lessons and blessings. Take a moment to enjoy right now. Every trial, every test, is making you into the person God truly wants you to be - stronger, wiser, more experienced. Remember as you go through all your seasons that life is sweet, no matter what — because with Jesus, your best days are always ahead of you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

A Prayer for Today
Glorious God, thank you for every moment I have experienced here on earth. Thank You for the good times and joyous memories I have to reminisce on. I thank You for every experience that has helped me become a better person. I know that whenever I need You, I know that I can come to You, Jesus, and that You will hear my prayer. Thank You for being with me in the good times and the bad.

Friday, August 8, 2014

My Beautiful Life: Day 8

Every Day is a Blessing
When you stop to think about it, our lives really are magnificent in so many ways. Each day is an opportunity to embrace a new challenge or appreciate the little things that make you smile. All it takes is a little perspective change. Your thoughts effect your actions, so switch your thoughts to positive and grateful ones. What about the person you know that has less than you? Do you think they are grateful for what they have? When we get to know people who don't have the things we take for granted, it gives us an even deeper appreciation for what we do have. Immediately upon waking each morning, think of ten things you are grateful for at the moment. As you fall asleep at the end of the day, fill your thoughts with thankfulness for the good and valuable blessings in your life. As you live with a grateful heart, you can experience a deep sense of fulfillment every single day because you know are living in alignment with God's perfect plan for your life. Appreciation is all about consciously recognizing the worth and value that God has placed on your life. It’s about recognizing that as people, we only have a specific amount of time on this earth. You are here to experience love, joy and to make an impact in someone else's life. Begin each day and end each day with a prayer of thanks. Live each day with a sincerely thankful heart. As each day passes, you’ll realize that you have more and more to be thankful for.

Psalms 118:24 
This is the day which the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

A Prayer for Today
Thank You Lord for the gift of today. Thank You for waking me up this morning, and giving me air to breathe. I am so grateful for my life. Thank You for the new grace and mercy that you have given me today. Thank You for all the kindness You have shown me. Thank You, Father, for Your great patience in preserving me despite my sinfulness, for Your protection in the past and for the opportunity to serve and honor You in the future. May my life, from now on, be a sign of my gratefulness. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

My Beautiful Life: Day 7

Trusting God While Waiting
It’s always easy to give thanks for the blessings that we already have. Love, family, friends, finances. For these, we are thankful daily. They make us feel good and we expect and receive them with little to no cost. Then there are those things in our life which seem to take a toll on us, like hoping for that new promotion or hoping for a healing in our bodies. Sometimes it is hard to understand that we are able to be more, do more, and imagine more beyond what currently is because we can't physically see any results at the moment. Have you ever read a promise in the Bible and wondered how it could ever come to pass in your life? Have you ever read, “by [His] stripes ye were healed” when your body was wracked with sickness and pain? Or heard someone preach that God will meet “all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” when your bank balance was zero and your unpaid bills were piled high? Healed sounds great, you thought. Needs met sounds great. But I don’t know how to get there from here. It looks impossible! Everyone who has ever lived by faith has felt like that at one time or another. The first time Abraham heard God’s promises for him, he had no idea how they would ever come to pass...but in God's timing, they did! While we are waiting on God, it is important to remain thankful. That is how we increase our faith. We can thank God in advance for what we are trusting Him to do. We can thank Him for working everything out for our good. We can thank Him for every blessing one of our blessings that are on the way. Even when we can't see our blessing, we have to continue to study and meditate on God’s Word until we begin to believe it with our minds, and receive it in our hearts. Stick to the truth of God's words and refuse to let go until what you have prayed for comes to pass. 

Jeremiah 17:7
But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.

A Prayer for Today
Thank You Lord for my wonderful life! I am so grateful for all that I have. I pray and ask you today to help me to seek you concerning my future. What do you have planned for me? Show me your ways Lord so that what I do will be pleasing to You. Help me to trust You today, Heavenly Father. I trust You with my life, and I know that you have only my best interests in mind. Thank You for being mindful of me. I turn my life over to You.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

My Beautiful Life: Day 6

“If only I had a job that paid more… If only I were born with a bottomless trust fund … If only I could afford a bigger house…” So many of us live in a perpetual state of wanting more—more money, more shiny new toys, more things. And we chase those material possessions with more gusto than we pursue what’s been empirically shown to increase happiness: more joy, more experiences, and more time. Studies show that rich people aren’t any happier day-to-day than the rest of us. In fact, many are more stressed and spend less time doing enjoyable activities. People who are grateful are more satisfied with their relationships with friends and family. They’re happier, less depressed and less stressed. They feel more in control of their lives, have higher self-esteem and cope better when things get tough. God wills our being thankful in all things because gratitude is the ultimate expression of a transformed heart. Just like thankfulness can transform our lives for the better, thanklessness can have a complete opposite effect. When complaining and thanklessness infest our hearts, it can destroy relationships, family, home and even churches. Being thankful compels us to fix our eyes on God rather than on ourselves or our problems. So cultivate a heart of gratitude. Be thankful for all things and in all circumstances. That’s God’s will for our lives. 

Philippians 4:12
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

A Prayer for Today
Dear God, give us thankful hearts today. Help me to realize that Your grace is sufficient. Everything that You have given to me is a blessing and I am truly grateful. I want to thank You for all that I have. Thank You for always providing just what I need when I need it. You are the source of my supply in this life, and You are more than enough for me.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

My Beautiful Life: Day 5

So Much to Be Thankful For
Why are newborn Christians so on fire for God? Because their newborn experience is fresh on their mind. They think about it all the time, and since it's a glorious thing to think about, they are naturally all fired up over their newfound relationship with God! The same is true when a person first comes into the baptism of the Holy Spirit. They are on cloud nine, because they are meditating or thinking often about the great gift they have been given! The reason so many people lose their fire, is because they've stopped thinking about the wonderful gifts they've been given. We as Christians should continue in this excitement and think often about our relationship with God and the blessings He's given us. If we do that in our everyday lives, we will come into perfect peace. Don't overlook the things you enjoy on a daily basis - keep them at the front of your mind and thank God for the little provisions He has made for you. Take a moment and think of your many blessings. Not material things, but all that God has done for you. You got in the car and arrived safely to your destination. You ate your last meal and didn't get sick. You woke up this morning and got yourself dressed because you had the ability to. When you think about it, not everyone woke up this morning. Not everyone who got in a car today arrived safely to their destinations. All of these things are daily blessings that God has blessed us to be able to enjoy. What else do you have to be grateful for? 

Isaiah 26:3
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

A Prayer for Today
Thank You for having kept me alive, for giving me shelter, warmth and nourishment. Thank you, Lord, for having given me friends and dear ones to love. Thank you for all that You created in heaven and on earth, especially man and woman, whom You created in Your own image and likeness. Thank you for the innocent little babies and children who will one day serve You. Thank You for the good souls, who live according to Your will and live to please You. Help us to realize and appreciate the many blessings You give to us every day. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

My Beautiful Life: Day 4

Appreciate Your Life
Whatever you think about throughout the day, will affect your whole personality and mood. If you spend your day thinking about golf, you will become a golf fanatic. If you spend your time thinking about traveling, you will find yourself spending your day daydreaming about being somewhere on vacation. If you spend your day thinking about the negative things around you and things to complain about, you will develop a negative outlook on life. Your gratitude is powerful! Thoughts of thankfulness and gratitude can lift the spirit and counteract against negative thoughts. Gratitude is the power of increase in action. In fact, one of the definitions of “appreciate” is “to increase in value.” For example, art can appreciate in value. The dollar can appreciate in value and so it’s worth more. Take a moment to think. What do you appreciate most about your life? When we give thanks and appreciate someone or something that God has given us, not just with our words, but with our hearts, we are acknowledging the important value of our blessings. One of the vital steps to developing a thankful personality, is to meditate (that is to think about often) the things that you have in your life to be thankful for. Make a list of the things God has done for you, and keep those things on your mind throughout the day. It may take a little more work at first, especially if your mind is programmed to think negatively. Many of us were not taught the practice of how to give thanks, and I have good news, because you can start today! Throughout each day, focus on one thing that you can to give thanks to God for. This process begins the renewing of your mind as God's Word tells us to do. How do we renew our minds? Do we renew them by sitting in church, daydreaming about other things? No, we renew our minds by feeding and meditating on uplifting things (the many blessings in our lives) and the truth in God's Word. As God renews your mind, you can begin to experience joy like never before.

Philippines 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

A Prayer for Today
Heavenly Father, Thank You for giving us joy! Oh help us to experience it all day long. Let us face the day and choose to focus on whatever brings a smile to our face, and ignore the other stuff. I am so grateful for everything that you have given me. I appreciate the small blessing that I get to enjoy daily. Thank you so much for the loved ones in my life, for the many ways in which I am cared for and supported. Thank you for the many ways I can serve and give to others. Thank you for the many colors in creation, for the beauty which is all around me. Thank You Lord for the breathtaking sunsets and early morning mists. I pray that you would help me to renew my mind by Your Word. We want a good life Lord, please help us to choose joy today.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

My Beautiful Life: Day 3

Thankful in Every Situation
Thankful people are happy people, and each of us have lots to be thankful for! You have life. You can read this. You have Christ. Some may say, “But my circumstances are not good.” The apostle Paul was in prison when he wrote the letter to the Ephesians, yet he was still rejoicing in the Lord. Gratefulness turned Paul's prison to a palace, and just the same, ungratefulness would have turned his palace to a prison. Change your negative attitude into an attitude of gratitude even about the simple things in life. God loves us so much that He doesn't hold anything back from us if we ask. So despite what things may look like right now, give your attention to God. As you focus on celebrating Him, He is behind the scenes fixing every broken piece for your favor. Having a good attitude through it all is what will truly bring glory to God. It is easy to be grateful when things are going well. But as others see you enduring hardship with thanksgiving in your heart, it will inspire them to do the same. God has promised that if we will do three simple things—continue to pray, to love Him, and to want His will—that all things will work together for our good. That’s God's guarantee to us that no matter how messy life gets, He will make good out of it. If you want victory in your life, all you have to do is adopt a lifestyle of thanksgiving. Be thankful the God has already given you the victory over your circumstances. If you can manage to be thankful in every situation, really believing that God is working everything out for your good, you will end up with the victory every single time.

Romans 8:28
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

A Prayer for Today
Gracious God, Thank You for the gift of today. Teach me when to speak and when to listen, when to ponder and when to share. In moments of challenge and decision, attune my heart to Your wisdom. As I perform ordinary and unnoticed tasks, gift me with simple joy. When my day goes well, may I rejoice. When it grows difficult, surprise me with new possibilities. Thank You Lord for the victory in every situation. When life is overwhelming, restore in me your peace and harmony. Thank you for every blessing. May my life reveal Your goodness.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

My Beautiful Life: Day 2

Cultivate a Spirit of Thankfulness
After Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, they grumbled, murmured and complained. They didn’t like his leadership, and wanted to go back to Egypt where they were slaves and in bondage. The Israelites blamed their enemies for them wandering around in the wilderness, but actually, (See Numbers 11.) all they needed to do was be positive, and stop complaining  - and God would have lead them to the promised land. Now, think about the things in your life that you were so excited about when God first blessed you—the baby you were praying for, the spouse you longed for, that promotion you tried so hard to get. They may be the very thing you complain about today! The nature of human flesh, if it is not disciplined and controlled by the Holy Spirit, will always drift toward the negative. You never have to try to complain, but it does take a lot of faith and effort to maintain a grateful, thankful attitude. In the midst of difficult times we can thank God, because we know that He has promised to be with us and that He will help us. We know that He can use times of suffering to draw us closer to Himself. God knows exactly what issues you are dealing with - big or small - and He loves you and is with you by His Holy Spirit. Cultivate a spirit of thankfulness even in the midst of trials and heartaches and be strengthened as you go through whatever you may be dealing with.  

James 1:2-3
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

A Prayer for Today
Thank You Lord for waking me up this morning, and giving me air to breathe. Despite any circumstance that  comes my way, today will be a good day. Thank You that each day is another day to have a new beginning. Father, I ask you to increase my faith and discipline so that when I encounter difficult circumstances, my spirit is calmed as I focus on You. I Thank You that everything I face will build my character, and draw me closer to You. I am certain that You have my best interests under Your divine control, and I trust You. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

My Beautiful Life: Day 1

Always Thankful
In the stressful world we live in, sometimes it can seem difficult for us to find something to be thankful for. Yet, it is precisely because of the problems around us that we need to devote ourselves to giving thanks to God. When we listen to or read the news, it is mostly bad news that is reported. We constantly hear of crime, tragedies and disasters. We rush about at a hectic pace day after day, trying to keep up with the demands of modern life, and the list of problems could go on and on. However, when darkness grows all around us, we cannot afford to become neglectful in our thankfulness. Instead, we need to renew our commitment to thankfulness daily. Science proves that being thankful can be therapeutic, and the Bible tells us that it can bring healing to a troubled heart. When we thank God for all that He has done, we start to remember all of the great things that we do have. Our circumstances themselves may not always inspire thankfulness, but if we turn our thoughts to God's blessings, both spiritual and physical, our hearts will again be filled with thankfulness to Him. We should practice being thankful everyday, not just when we attend a church service or a special holiday. There is always something to be grateful for, and we have to remind ourselves every chance we get.

Philippians 4:6
Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. 
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.

A Prayer for Today
Thank You God for giving me another day, another chance to become a better individual, another chance to give, and experience love. Thank You for giving me health, for the food you provide, and the clothes on my back. Thank you for the sun that warms our bodies and the air that fills our lungs. Because of you, I am learning to love and accept myself. God, show me how to love myself, to be able to love others. Help me become the type of person that I would like to befriend, help me forgive myself and forgive others. Thank You for giving me another day and another opportunity to get it right with You. Keep us all close to you, and hear our prayers.