It’s Okay to Not Be Okay…

“So bring your brokenness, and I’ll bring mine, cause love can heal what hurt divides, and mercy’s waiting on the other side”…Were there ever more beautiful lyrics written?

I love this song for so many different reasons, but probably the biggest reason is because it reminds me of Papa’s unconditional love for me…even when I am completely broken and at my worst, He loves me just as I am. I don’t have to perform to earn it, I don’t have to take part in some sort of spiritual calisthenics to earn it, and I certainly don’t have to be “okay” to earn His love! It is freely given, and He loves me completely right where I am, no matter where that is.

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Another reason I so love this song is because it makes me think of some of the great friends that I have in my life, and how when I get together with these individuals, it’s just pure honesty, love, and acceptance. There’s no masks, there’s no putting up a brave front, there’s no acting like we’ve got it all together, there’s just love and understanding…there’s just honesty and healing. I love my friends!

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It’s been just under seven years since I became severely ill with botulism poisoning. Though I can happily and thankfully say that I am well into recovery and that things have improved drastically, there are still times that a flare up comes around, and knocks me right on my rear end…or rather into bed, hiding under the covers for fear that someone will see me when I’m ridden with anxiety, depression, and physical pain…when I feel incompetent, unable, like a failure, and thoroughly “not okay”.

This has been my go to for the longest time…hide away, and don’t let anyone see me when I don’t seem to have it all together. It wasn’t until a phone conversation with a dear friend a while back, in which they called when I was smack dab in the middle of a meltdown, that this began to change, and I began to allow myself to become more vulnerable and honest with other people. I normally wouldn’t have answered in this state, but for whatever reason I did. It went something like this:

Me: “Hello” *holding back tears*
Friend: “Hey! How are you doing?”
Me: *The dam breaks, the flood gates open, and I can’t hide it, I begin sobbing”… “Ya know what? I’m not good. I’m struggling. I’m overwhelmed with everything, and I’m not okay! I’m. Not. Okay.” *waits for friend to hang up on me, because I feel like I sound like a blubbering idiot*
Friend: “Girl, me too.” *begins sobbing right along with me, and we let ourselves be broken together, and love each other, not in spite of the brokenness, but because of it.*

Since this conversation, I can’t tell you how many more conversations that I’ve had with friends and strangers that go just like this. Conversations that I wouldn’t have been able to have if I wasn’t honest about what I was going through, and tried to keep up that “I’m fine” facade facing the world. All too many times, we try to put on a brave face for fear that we will be judged or ridiculed or told that we just aren’t trying hard enough, but ya know what? What I’ve found is that so many other people are going through the exact same stuff, and inside, they are just screaming for someone to relate to them, to be heard, and to be loved as they are and where they are. After opening up with people about my various struggles, I’ve found an overwhelming conclusion that it’s okay to not be okay.

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In today’s world of social media, we all see each other’s lives in these pretty little images indicating that life is perfect and we’ve all got it completely together. It’s so easy to feel like we need to keep up, like we need to have it all together, and like we need to be always be doing something great and accomplishing amazing things. It’s exhausting, and I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to not have it all together, it’s okay to take a mental health day to relax and replenish (in fact, it’s quite healthy to do so), it’s okay to rest, it’s okay to not do anything other than just be, and if you’re smack dab in the middle of a hard time, it’s okay to not be okay!!! Papa loves you as you are, not as you feel you should be. He loves you unconditionally, and He not only willingly, but gladly, walks into the midst of your struggles, right along with you, to offer you His inexplicable peace, mercy, and grace.

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The reality of life is that it doesn’t occur in pictures. Yes, there are great moments in life, and we capture mental images of these moments, but what about the in-between. That is, what about what happens in-between all of those picture perfect moments posted on social media? I can’t speak for everyone else, but it’s not like I’m posting pictures of when my house is a mess, I’m sobbing my face off, I’m having a panic attack, or my husband and I just had an argument over something ridiculous. See, these pictures of these fabulous moments show exactly that…moments, not life. The truth of the matter is that life is messy, we are messy, and all of us have parts of us that are broken in ways that only love can heal.

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If we’re honest with one another about these broken parts, opportunities arise. When we admit that we’re not okay during various seasons of our lives, a certain level of comfort is achieved, and others are more willing to open up and share about their own struggles. Hence, an opportunity arises for each of you to walk together through each of your struggles, love each other, and give each other a small taste of Jesus. Healing can occur on both ends. In hiding and putting up that supposedly brave face, these healing and loving moments are lost. Honestly, I think that it is braver for someone to admit that they’re not okay than it is to smile and say “I’m fine”.

Nobody in this life is safe from trials and suffering in various forms. No one is perfect. Everyone has bad days, weeks, or months. We all have times when we’re not okay. Isn’t there a weird sense of unity in that? Life can be hard. It can be overwhelming. It can be messy, ugly, and downright unbearable at times. The next time you’re walking through a tough season, and someone asks you “How are you doing?”, give honesty a try, and watch what happens. Beauty from darkness is not only possible with God, but it is a promise of His to all of His children. In honesty about what we’re going through, there is a sense of relief, along with opportunities to help others going through something similar.

All in all, guys, there are a lot of times that I’m not okay, and if you’re not okay, then we can be not okay together, and reassure one another that even though we’re not okay, we will be! It’s just not the end of the story! In the meantime, rest assured that it’s okay to not be okay!

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10 Bible Verses to Bring in the New Year

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Happy New Year!!!  The new year always represents a fresh start with new goals and new year’s resolutions. It also involves letting the disappointments of the past year go and moving forward in trust of Him and with no fear. I don’t know about you, but I want to squeeze every last drop out of my time here on earth that God’s blessed me with while spreading every word and act of kindness and encouragement that I possibly can this year!

Of course, we can’t go it alone, and the good news is that we don’t have to! He is always with us, protecting us, loving us, and making a way for us. He’s so enamored with us, and I hope that in the new year that if you haven’t already, you will come to grasp just how fond of you He truly is.

In the spirit of the new year, I’ve compiled 10 of my favorite bible verses that I like to meditate on on New Year’s Day, and guess what? I’m gonna share them with you!!!

1.) 2 Corinthians 5:17 ~ Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

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2.) Isaiah 43:19 ~ See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

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3.) Jeremiah 29:11 ~ For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

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4.) Proverbs 23:18 ~ There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.

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5.) Lamentations 3: 22 – 23 ~ Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

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6.) Ezekiel 11:19 ~ I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.

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7.) Micah 7:7 ~ But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.

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8.) Isaiah 40:31 ~ But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

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9.) Psalm 90:12 ~ So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

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10.) Proverbs 16:9 ~ In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.

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No matter where your at in your journey in the new year, you can rest assured that God has you in the palm of His hand and knows exactly what you need to become the best possible you and experience all the blessings He has in store for you! You are loved, friends, with a deep and unfathomable love. Take rest in Him in the new year and watch as His plans for your good unfold! Happy New Year!!!

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A Word About Suffering

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Suffering is an interesting thing. We all try to avoid it like the plague, and when it comes along for a season in our lives, we wish so badly for that season to be over with. It’s interesting though, that the bible tells us repeatedly to expect suffering in this world. Not only that, but it says to “rejoice in our sufferings”!

  • Romans 5:3-5 ~ More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
  • James 1: 2-4 ~Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
  • 1 Peter 4: 12-13 ~Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

Now, anyone who has truly gone through a season of suffering knows that “rejoicing” in suffering is probably the last thing we think about doing when we are hurting. However, if we look at the many different bible verses on suffering, it becomes clear that God doesn’t mean that we should be happy about the pain itself, but more so about the fact that times of suffering have a purpose, and that they can become something of such beauty and glorification of our amazing Father.

Whether it be to strengthen our relationship with Him, increase our dependence on Him, to mold us to become more Christ like, or something entirely different, suffering can have a positive outcome and work for our good, which is exactly what God wants for us. I don’t know about you, but yeah, I see that as a reason to “rejoice” when I am suffering – I know that it is a precursor to something amazing that will bring glory to God and work towards my good.

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If I’m being honest, when I first got sick about 5 years ago, I was confused, hurt, and very very angry…and this was on top of the suffering I was going through physically and mentally due to being sick! I didn’t understand why God would let this happen to me – I wasn’t a bad person (I mean sure, I have my flaws, but what ragamuffin doesn’t?), and I thought His promise was to work all things for my good…how could this be good?

Thankfully, I had about 3-4 years of intense suffering to really work through my thoughts on the subject. Yeah, you read that right, I said thankfully – even though I was so angry at first, now I am so grateful for all I’ve been through (even the flare-ups that I still get from time to time) and how close it has brought me to Papa. It’s one of my biggest blessings in this life, and I couldn’t have gotten that blessing without going through the trials I went through. I believe that it all comes down to this – He loves us way too much to let us be anything less than the best we can be.

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Let me ask you a question. Imagine you are a parent (or if you are one, just imagine real life 🙂 ), and you go to the doctor for your child’s checkup. The doctor tells you that there is a new medical procedure that will allow your child to be the best that they can possibly be. If they don’t have the procedure, their life will be okay and they will be fine, but they won’t reach their full potential, and they will miss out on so many wonderful opportunities that they could have if they have the procedure. Basically without the procedure, they will have a mediocre okay life, but with the procedure, their life will be beyond amazing and the best it can possibly be. There is no way the procedure can fail if you choose to have it done for your child. However, these are the conditions.

  • Your child will have to go through a period of great suffering.
  • You will have complete control over the entire period of suffering and you will be able to make sure it doesn’t become too much for them to bare, but they have to go through it for the procedure to work.
  • You will be there the entire time and will be overseeing the whole procedure knowing the outcome is the best possible thing for them. However, your child won’t be able to see you while they are suffering, and there will be times that the child feels as though you’ve abandoned them even though you are right there with them making sure they are safe and loved so dearly.

What do you choose? Procedure or no procedure? You know the procedure will allow them to live their best life possible. You know the suffering of your child is temporary, and you know you are always able to intervene to make sure it never destroys them or becomes too much for them. You know the outcome, and you know that the procedure is 100% effective.  However, yes, your child would have to suffer in order for this procedure to work!

Personally, I would choose the procedure. I would want the best possible life for my child. It would be extremely hard and painful to watch my child suffer and it would kill me if they thought I had abandoned them even though I hadn’t (I’m sure this is how it is for Papa when any of His children are suffering), but I would know that my child is safe in my hands, the suffering will end, and when it does end, my child will be in a much better place than if they hadn’t gone through it.

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This little analogy is what I’ve come up with while going through my own period of suffering as to why God allows suffering to happen. He wants what’s best for us, He already knows the outcome, and He will be with us, holding us and keeping us safe, all the way through the time of suffering.  In looking at it this way, I also tend to welcome and accept periods of suffering more easily now, and I can do as He says and “rejoice” in suffering. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t like the actual suffering part (as a matter of fact, I downright despise it), but I know I’m in good Hands that will never fail me, I know the suffering will end, and I know that when it does end I will be in such a better place! That is reason enough for me to rejoice and be glad in my suffering. God is good!

You’ve probably heard of the cliché saying that God won’t give you more than you can handle…yeah, I call bologna on that one! You will be given things that are so much more than you can handle…downright “impossible to handle” things! Nowhere in the bible does it say that you won’t, but don’t worry guys – He will handle it for you – that’s His word. That’s His promise.

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Whatever it is you may be going through at the moment, please know that you are held, that He won’t allow it to destroy you or become too much for you to bear. You couldn’t be in better hands, and He will be with you continuously till this season has passed. He loves you more than it is possible to fathom, and He already has a plan in place for you to come out of this period of struggle better than you went in.

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No one on this side of heaven is safe from suffering. We all go through times of pain and despair of all kinds, but my friends, I have great news – there is always the possibility of beauty from suffering, and this is God’s promise. He doesn’t promise that we won’t have suffering…quite the opposite actually – He is very specific in that we will have suffering in this world, but take heart! He has overcome the world!

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Karma vs. Grace

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In the past few weeks, I’ve had three different friends ask me about scenarios involving something they did or something that someone else did, and they were curious about my opinion as to what it meant karmically for the person involved. My response was the same in all three instances: “I don’t believe in karma, I believe in grace”.

Before we get started, let me preface this post by saying that this is based solely off my experiences and my belief. By no means am I any sort of expert. In fact, it’s a good day when I get a question from a friend and I have an answer other than “I don’t know”. However, what (or rather who) I do know is Jesus Christ, and I know that He is good, and He is always in my corner, regardless of the mistakes I’ve made in the past, the mistakes I’ve just made today, or the mistakes I will make in the future.

All that being said, let’s get back to the subject at hand: Karma vs. Grace. Yeah, like I said, I don’t believe in karma, I believe in grace. Let me explain. I’ve seen people who are some of the most loving and kind people I’ve ever met go through absolutely horrendous circumstances, and I’ve seen people do terrible things and get rewarded for those things. If karma were at play, these people would supposively be getting what they deserve?  Sorry, that just doesn’t add up to me.  So, no, I don’t believe in karma. Otherwise, let’s face it, we would all be fairly screwed, right? I mean, nobody’s perfect…we all make mistakes.

So, that explains my thoughts on karma, but why do I believe in grace? That answer is easy. God loves me and He loves you. Personally, I know I fall short and fail Him probably on a daily basis. There’s not a person on this earth that hasn’t screwed up at some point in their lives. And yet, guys, He loves us SO much – how is this even possible? I’ll tell you how – grace. God’s grace, His love, is unending and unfailing – it doesn’t matter what we’ve done, He loves us more than we can possibly fathom, He delights in us always, and when we mess up all He wants is to shower us with grace.

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Let me try to put this into perspective. Parents, if your child just royally messed up and made a huge mistake, wouldn’t you want your child to feel safe enough with you and trust you enough to come running to you in this event? You certainly wouldn’t want them to be scared, worried and feeling guilty all by themselves. Whatever they did may make you upset, but it certainly doesn’t change your love for them, and whatever it is, you would want to help them work through it supporting them, loving them, protecting them, and just guiding them in a better direction. In the exact same way, when we mess up, He just wants us to come running to Him, like the prodigal son, so He can hold us in His loving arms and reassure us that He made us, and what He makes is beautiful. To reassure us that He has washed us and made us clean…just like that *poof* – sin erased, sin forgotten, we’re forgiven, and we’re held.  We can breath in His love, we’re safe, and we can trust.

Wait, though, can it really be that easy? Yeah, it can. That’s grace. That’s God. That’s good. Maybe this is why it’s so hard for many of us to accept this gift of grace. It’s too easy. We live in a society that says the only way to gain something is to work for it, to give something up for it…nothing is free. We think we must have to do something to earn this, but no guys, He did all the work for us.  All we have to do is accept this gift, to accept Him. That’s it. Done deal. What an awesome gift, grace.

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Some of you may be thinking telling people this may be risky. I mean, does this “grace” concept mean that people can just sin as they please, because they will be forgiven. Does it mean we don’t have to do good for others?  Well, it’s true, there is risk involved. However, I can tell you from personal experience that once you’ve truly experienced the love and grace of God, once His light has seeped into the cracks of our brokenness illuminating all of our dark places, once you see that you can trust Him, that He is your loving Father who is especially fond of you, you’re not going to want to sin anymore – you just won’t.  Not only that, but after feeling God’s tremendous love for you, it will be hard to keep it to yourself.  You will want to serve others and share that love, because you will be bursting at the seams with it!

Let me be clear, not wanting to sin and not sinning are two very different things.  For instance, the women in my family (myself very much included) have a bit of temper.  It takes quite a bit for it to come out, but when it does, watch out, actually watching out isn’t enough, probably better to just run…no really, run away…fast. 🙂  Anyway, reason I bring it up, is because anytime that my temper has gotten the best of me, and maybe I’ve said something I shouldn’t have or raised my voice when I shouldn’t have, it’s not that I wanted that to happen.  It’s just that I’m a work in progress, and even though I know the things I have to work on and want to change them, that doesn’t mean I won’t stumble along the way.  Thank God for grace!

We all sin, we all fall short, we all fail, but hey, guess what? God already knows all the mistakes you’re going to make, and He already has a plan in place to pick you up, brush you off, and make that mistake into something beautiful. Probably not what we deserve as I know, personally, I’ve made some doozies in the past, but that’s the beauty of grace – we don’t get what we deserve, we get unmerited favor, we get grace. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take that over karma every single time!

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Wishing you a day full of grace!  God bless you!

Happy Easter! 10 Bible Verses for Easter Day

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The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances.  ~Robert Flatt

I love this quote. No one on this side of heaven is immune to suffering, and the great news Christ provided for us by dying on the cross and rising again three days later is that no matter what your circumstances are, no matter how bad things seem and how terribly you are struggling, this is temporary! Christ’s resurrection gives us hope and promises us that we have a fantastic future full of amazing blessings in front of us.

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He shows us that A LOT can happen in just three days. Things can ALWAYS turn around, and this is what He wants for us. When you are faced with a difficult situation that seems downright impossible, remember that Christ is risen showing you that you too shall rise! Bask in that beauty today as we celebrate that Christ is risen and that He lives in each and every one of us!

As you go through your day today, here are 10 bible verses to meditate on, hold tight to, and to just take comfort in.

1.) Luke 24:46-47 – The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name.

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2.) 1 Peter 1:3 – According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

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3.) Romans 6:5 – For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.

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4.) 1 Corinthians 6:14 – God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.

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5.) Philippians 3:10 – …that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death…

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6.) Mark 16: 5-7 – As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.  “Don’t be alarmed,” he said.  “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified.  He has risen!  He is not here.  See the place where they laid him.  But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee.  There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ”

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7.) John 11:25-26 – Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe in this?”

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8.) John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

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9.) Romans 8:34 – Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life– is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.

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10.) Romans 6:8-11 – Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

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Let today be a reminder of how much you are loved and treasured by God! Be comforted that whatever trials you may be facing right now, God will bring them to pass. He has you in the palm of His hand and will never fail you! Happy Easter, friends! He is Risen! J ❤

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WORSHIP WEDNESDAY – 10 bible verses about worship

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A couple weeks ago, a friend of mine told me about the following worship video

It’s an amazing video and so easy to get wrapped up in and just enjoy some time with Papa, worshipping and adoring Him.  Every second of every day His beauty is all around us, ensconcing us in His warmth, grace and love.  Naturally, we want to thank Him, and one of the best ways to do that is through worship.

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God LOVES it when we worship Him, and what’s so great about that is that worship can take away our worries and sufferings.  When we immerse ourselves in Him and His greatness, it takes our minds away from our worries and concentrates on the One who will strengthen us and help us (Isaiah 41:10).  Give thanks to Him even in the bad times, because there is beauty waiting around every corner, and He will restore you (1 Peter 5:10)!

10 BIBLE VERSES ON WORSHIP

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1.)  Psalms 29:2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.
2.) John 4:21-24 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

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3.) James 4:8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you…
4.) Revelation 4:11 “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”

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5.) Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God — this is your spiritual act of worship.
6.) Hebrews 12:28-29 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence, and awe, for our God is “a consuming fire”.

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7.) Psalms 99:5 Exalt the LORD our God; worship at his footstool! Holy is he!
8.) Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

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9.) Hebrews 5:7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence.
10.) Psalms 59:16 But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.

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Have a fantastic Wednesday, and be sure to thank the One who makes your life possible!  God bless you! 🙂

MEANINGFUL MONDAY – Bible Verses on Living a Meaningful Life

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I came across the following brilliant article the other day (click on picture to go to article).

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It is titled “A Lesson About Happiness From A Holocaust Survivor”, in which a psychiatrist who survived the Holocaust explains why meaningfulness is more important than happiness.  That psychiatrist is Viktor Frankl, author of “Man’s Search For Meaning”.

I couldn’t help but notice the parallels between his theories and living a life for Christ.  The article explains the book’s emphasis on meaning over happiness, the value of suffering, and responsibility to something greater than one’s self.  It states: “People whose lives have high levels of meaning often actively seek meaning out even when they know it will come at the expense of happiness. Because they have invested themselves in something bigger than themselves, they also worry more and have higher levels of stress and anxiety in their lives than happy people.”

The article also says “Having negative events happen to you, the study found, decreases your happiness but increases the amount of meaning you have in life.”  Frankl states in his book that “If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be meaning in suffering.”  On this side of heaven, we will all experience sufferings.  Living a life of meaning gives a reason or a purpose to those sufferings.  Going through something terrible can make you a huge blessing to someone else that may go through something similar.  Our sufferings are God’s way of making us a vessel to help others (live a life of meaning).  This is just my opinion, but that thought in itself makes my sufferings much easier to endure.

The article also discusses that happiness is more associated with taking and selfishness, whereas meaningfulness is more associated with giving and selflessness.  When I think of Christ’s life as depicted in the bible, at no point was He pursuing happiness.  His life was one of meaning, and we are all aware of how He suffered for our salvation.  The life of a follower of Christ is meant to be lived trying to be more like Christ…in other words, living a life pursuing meaning (helping others, sacrificing self for the betterment of others, serving a greater purpose (PAPA ❤ )), not happiness (aiming to satisfy our own wants, looking for things that serve ourselves – not something greater).

Another statement in the article gets at the fact that happiness is fleeting, coming and going as we satisfy our current wants and then those wants turn into new wants.  Meaning, on the other hand, is enduring.  Personally, I would much rather live a life of meaning and leave a positive mark on the world than live a life constantly chasing happiness and trying to satisfy my own wants and leaving nothing behind to remember me by.  This is not why we are here.  We are all here to help each other along, and to love one another.  Living a life with these goals in mind will result in a meaningful life, and happiness comes along with that naturally.

The following bible verses further indicate that we are here to pursue meaningfulness, not happiness.

PHILIPPIANS 2:3 – Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility, consider others better than yourselves.

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GALATIANS 5:13 – Through love, serve one another.

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ROMANS 12:9-10 – Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.

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GENESIS 50:20 – You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

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ACTS 20:24 – However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

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MATTHEW 25:40 – “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

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JOHN 13:7 – Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

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PHILIPPIANS 2:4 – In humility, value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

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When I dedicated my life to Christ, I was told that this was not the easy way – that there would be trials and tribulations along the way, and though ultimately, this will all prepare me for eternal glory (2 Corinthians 4:17), it’s not all rainbows and ponies.  I get it.  Basically, living a life for Christ is living a life pursuing meaningfulness, not my own happiness.  Seeking out ways to love one another, give to one another, help one another, and suffering in order to be able to help someone going through something similar may not satisfy our own desires, but it will certainly give us an amazing feeling and allow us to live more like Christ which is the ultimate goal of  life.  Make this Monday meaningful – look for ways to help someone other than yourself today, and when you do just that, thank God for using you for His glory!  Happy meaningful Monday, and God bless you! ❤