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! ❤

SELFLESS SATURDAY: 10 BIBLE VERSES ABOUT SELFLESSNESS

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I’m calling today Selfless Saturday…

There I was in the parking lot of the center where I went for hyperbaric oxygen sessions when I had a full on attack of every single terrible symptom that I had had since I first became ill.  I bent over sobbing as my muscles jerked involuntarily and I shook uncontrollably.  Tremors wracked through my body, as my muscles spasmed causing body wide cramping to the extreme of my skin getting deep dimples where the cramping of the muscle pulled it in.  My nerves spun out of control as I felt what can only be described as acid running through my veins in surges while my body twitched.  My face was twitching and was contorted with pain as I cried.  I couldn’t see.  My vision was distorted by movement and bright flashing lights.  I began to drool because I couldn’t swallow.  I couldn’t wipe my tears – the facial pain and pressure was too much for that.  Pain shot all through my body as various parts of my body went numb.  My heart raced.  I couldn’t hear anything due to the deafening ringing and extreme pain in both my ears. Somehow both frigid cold chills and unbearable heat ran through my body at the same time as I was sweating and shivering all at once.  I dry heaved though I brought nothing up.

My husband tried to console me, but I was in too much pain for him to touch me, so he cried with me (I fiercely love this man!).  It was then that I felt like I floated outside of my body and was hovering there looking down at myself, but it didn’t look like me.  At that point in my illness, I had lost 10lbs that I didn’t have to lose and looked rail thin…I had lost about a third of my hair as well.  My hair was unbrushed as it was too painful to brush it, and I wore no make up because even that light application caused too much pain.  I had skin rashes on various parts of my body that itched uncontrollably along with welts and scrapes from scratching myself bloody  in hopes to relieve the itch.  There I was staring down at this “stranger” that was in so much obvious pain, and all I could think was “Somebody needs to help her…SOMEBODY HAS GOT TO HELP HER!!!”

This was about 6 months into my illness, and that was about two and a half years ago.  I can gladly say that though it’s been an extremely long journey, I am almost recovered now and am slowly moving on and putting it all behind me.  However, I remember that moment like it was yesterday – it was terrifying.  In that moment and thereafter, I made a decision that when I was well enough, if someone needed my help, no questions asked – I would help.  And for that matter, since I know it’s not always easy to ask for help, I would always be on the lookout for anyone that might need it.

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After this, on the days that I was able to get out of bed, I made it a priority to do something good for someone else.  On the days that I couldn’t get out of bed, I made it a priority to pray for others. It made me feel useful, but I never imagined it would help to heal me.  Yet this is exactly what happened.  The more I did for others and the more I took the focus off myself, the better I felt.  I quickly learned that when we take time to step outside of ourselves and reach out to help others, it helps us to deal with our own troubles much more easily and effectively.

I learned a selfless way of living from this experience.  I can’t thank God enough for this perspective.  Perhaps this was a lesson I needed to learn, and it was a hard one for sure, but to be in a position where you can’t help yourself, and you truly need help from others opens your eyes and gives you the gift of empathy ten fold!  Here is one of my favorite Brennan Manning quotes.

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Of course, I had read this well before I ever got sick, yet now, I understand it so much better.  Of course, I would have rather just been given this understanding instead of having to go through suffering, but Papa knows best, and I’m thankful for the lesson.

Okay, so here I’ve rambled on and on…my point?  Selflessness.  It’s SO incredibly important!  We are all in this world together, and I believe we are all here to help each other along in this journey we call life!  Our loving God certainly makes it very clear in His word that He wants it this way.

So, on this selfless Saturday, I am going to leave you with some of my go to bible verses when it comes to being selfless.  Do something for someone else today.  Do something to make someone smile.  You don’t have to move a mountain, it doesn’t have to be a huge act – it just has to be an act.  Take action, give a little bit of yourself to make someone else’s life better.  I promise you that the reward will be bigger than you can imagine.

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BIBLE VERSES ON SELFLESSNESS

1.) (my absolute favorite!) Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.  Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. ~Philippians 2:3-4

2.) But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. ~Luke 6:35

3.) Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. ~Proverbs 3:27

4.) Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. ~Proverbs 19:17

5.) For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” ~Galatians 5:14

6.) And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ ~Matthew 25:40

7.) Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. ~Philippians 2:5-8

8.) Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you. ~Deuteronomy 16:17

9.) He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor. ~Proverbs 22:9

10.) Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. ~Deuteronomy 15:10

If you are looking for a cause to donate to or get involved with, here are a couple that are near and dear to my heart.

1.) Apollo’s skin: My husband and I are running a 5K in a week to help raise money for a friend of mine’s son named Apollo who was born with Ichthyosis, a rare skin disorder, and was also diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, Autism, and Encopresis (lack of bowel control).  You can read more about Apollo here.  If you would like to donate to this cause, you can do so at his GoFundMe page.

2.) More-Self-Less: A friend of mine is the founder of this organization.  He started it up in 2010, and it has only grown since then.  Annually, they hold a “I Dream Beautiful Christmas Celebration” that provides gifts for children that would otherwise go without, but it doesn’t do just that.  This celebration provides an opportunity for families to spend quality time together and bond. Here is an excerpt from their website: “We focus on the person who is doing the deeds, rather than just the recipient. Our intent is to provide HEALING through an avenue of sharing & experiencing the blessing of fulfillment that is received through selfless acts as well as offering much needed encouragement to others. Together we can accomplish this through the systematic coordination of events, dynamic leadership, and the removal of common obstacles that present themselves with acts of kindness/volunteerism as it stands today.”  To learn more about More-Self-Less or to make a donation towards their I Dream beautiful celebration, go here.

These are just a couple of opportunities, but there are opportunities to step outside of ourselves and help others everywhere.  Bring a neighbor some cookies.  Help someone carry their groceries to their car at the grocery store.  You would be surprised how much of an impact little selfless acts like this can have on someone!  Something as simple as a smile and a kind word can completely change a person’s day.  The most important thing is to take action!  Have a great selfless Saturday and God bless you! ❤

FEARLESS FRIDAY – 20 BIBLE VERSES FOR ANXIETY, WORRY, AND STRESS.

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I saw this pin on Pinterest, and I love it!  There have been MANY times in my life when worry and fear has wormed it’s way into my head.  I know Papa doesn’t want this for us.  He wants what is best for us.  He wants us to ensconce ourselves in His love, grace, and mercy, knowing that He is always there and that He is working everything for our good.  He does not want us to live in fear, but wants for us to cast our anxieties on Him and trust Him to take care of us (because He will!).

I’ve decided to dub today “Fearless Friday”, and in celebration of this day, I am going to post 20 of my favorite bible verses that I read and pray over again and again when I feel overwhelmed, stressed, or worried about anything.  Scripture is our biggest weapon against anxieties – take head of God’s promises.  Allow them to crush your fears, and replace that feeling of being overwhelmed with feeling His peace and love all around and within you.

20 BIBLE VERSES FOR ANXIETY OR STRESS

1. “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you.I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” ~John 14:27

2. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4:6-8

3. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” ~2 Timothy 1:7

4. “When I am afraid, I will trust in you.” ~Psalm 56:3

5. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” ~Deuteronomy 31:6

6. “The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strong- hold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” ~Psalm 27:1

7. “I sought the Lord and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.” ~Psalm 34:4

8. “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” ~Isaiah 43:1-3

9. “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~John 16:33

10. “As for me, I look to theLORD for help. I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me.” ~Micah 7:7

11. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear…” ~Psalm 46:1-2

12. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” ~Joshua 1:9

13. “With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. Say to those with fearful hearts, ‘’Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.’” ~Isaiah 35:3-4

14. “This I declare about the LORD: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him.” ~Psalm 91:2

15. “I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ~Romans 8:38-39

16. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 ~Corinthians 4:17-18

17. “I am counting on the LORD; yes, I am counting on Him. I have put my hope in His word.” ~Psalm 130:5

18. “The LORD gives strength to His people; the LORD blesses His people with peace.” ~Psalm 29:11

19. “You are my hiding place;You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” ~Psalm 32:7

20. “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” ~1 Peter 5:7

He is with us ALWAYS!  There is no need to fear!  Happy Friday, friends!  God bless you! ❤

MY TOP 30 CHRISTIAN RUNNING SONGS

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That picture is of my foot!  I got that tattoo about 5 years ago.  The bible verse is 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.

I am SO incredibly thankful that I am able to run.  My running is one of the ways that I worship Papa.  I know that it is only through His grace and love that I am able to engage in this physical activity that I love so much, and I don’t take a single step for granted when I’m out there!  Thus, my iPod is always rocking Christian hits!  Do you ever notice that whenever you look up “good running songs”, it’s very rare that you find a list of Christian running songs?  This thought occurred to me when I came across this pin:

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I’m sure all these songs are great to run to, but there aren’t any christian songs on there, and that’s a common theme when trying to find running playlists.

I figured that since it’s not always easy to find “lists” of christian running songs, I would compile a short list of 30 of my favorite christian running songs.  I know some of these are oldies, but I love them anyway.  They all keep me moving and motivate me to keep going while keeping my eyes on the One who makes it all possible!  Here they are (in no particular order).

  1. Superchick – One More  (this one is FANTASTIC for speed workouts!  Especially intervals – “one more, go one more, yeah yeah”) 🙂
  2. Hillsong United – Oceans (where feet may fail) – my current favorite!
  3. Needtobreathe – Slumber
  4. Mandy Joy Miller – Made for This
  5. Mandisa – Stronger
  6. Remedy Drive – Guide you Home
  7. Avalon – Testify to Love (oldie but goodie!)
  8. Francesca Batistelli – This is the Stuff
  9. Barlow Girl – Running out of Time
  10. Dara Maclean – Suitcases
  11. Needtobreathe – Let us love
  12. For King & Country – The Proof of Your Love
  13. Mandy Joy Miller – Are There Words
  14. Mandisa – Overcomer
  15. Jamie Grace – Hold Me
  16. DC Talk – Jesus Freak
  17. Rush of Fools – Lay Me Down
  18. Superchick – Alive
  19. John Wilson – I Refuse
  20. Skillet – Awake and Alive
  21. Francesca Batistelli – Free to be Me
  22. Needtobreathe – Rise Again
  23. Newsboys – Shine
  24. Jason Gray – Laugh Out Loud
  25. Jamie Grace – Beautiful Day
  26. Steven Curtis Chapman – Love Take Me Over
  27. Brandon Heath – Wait and See
  28. Brit Nicole – Set the World on Fire
  29. Rush of Fools – When Our Hearts Sing
  30. Superchick – Stand in the Rain

So, there you go!  Enjoy! 🙂