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Lift Up Your Eyes

Posted on March 28, 2011 at 10:31 AM Comments comments (0)

Today I am going to have a thankful mindset. That mindset will keep me EVER aware of God's presence in my life. I will not complain and I will not grumble. I will let go of ANY negative thought that comes into my mind and cast it far away. I will walk in joy and glorify my God who has saved me from all evil.

Today I will keep my eyes lifted above my circumstances and fix them on my hope. My hope is in the Lord and I will trust in Him for all my needs and all my desires. I will seek to do His will above all else.

Won't you join me...

"You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant joy; in Your right hand are  eternal pleasures." Psalm 16:11

Talk To You Soon,

Starr

Offering of Pieces

Posted on March 23, 2011 at 12:41 PM Comments comments (2)

Sometimes I feel like nothing around me is whole. You know, those times in life when the peices just seem crumble. Now, if you know me, don't worry, I am fine. Everyone I love is fine. But, I can see things that are near and dear to my heart collapsing around me.

I remind myself, though, that only when I am totally trusting in God can I walk in His perfect peace. In that peace, I can rise above any negative circumstance that comes against me. All I have to do is look around and see the many blessings He has given me. I have learned to be thankful even when challenges arise because I know that they lead to spiritual growth. And, Spiritual growth is good, even if it hurts a bit along the way.

It's amazing how God can work through us when we refuse to resist those growing pains. Our strength increases and so does our stamina. It's awesome, really. How God can turn something bad into something good and purposeful.

I am just overflowing with the powerful sensation of His love today! I am feeling His presence so strongly! I can be filled with joy even in the midst of trying situations and that just blesses my socks off (Oh, that reminds me, I need to hit the laundry mat today. Austin is out of socks 'cause our washer and dryer are broken! ...See, how easy it is for one thought to lead to another, then another...)

My mind can drift off into SO many different places, but I have to purposely choose to think only about what God says is good.

"Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy- meditate on THESE things" Philippians 4:8

The only thing I can think of that even REMOTELY fits into that catagory is Jesus Himself, so on Him I will place my thoughts and I will ignore all the rest. For, they are only attacks thrown into my mind by the enemy and I refuse to fall for that kind of tactic.

"For the Lord is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above ALL Gods." Psalm 96:4

I am not gonna worry too much about those things that seem to be falling to pieces. Why? Because MY God is a God of abundance and I will walk in that abundance, no matter how things appear to be on the surface. Jesus once said to His disciples, "Gather up the fragments that remain so that nothing is lost. " (John 6:12)

The things that are important to God are important to me and I will trust Him as I attempt to gather up the remains of  what has been broken, misued and seemingly lost. I will hold those pieces carefully and present them to God as an offering as I wait patiently for Him to multiply the meager remnants.

What pieces are you presenting to Him today? Whatever it is, He will put them back together into something beautiful, something that is too good to be lost. Something that will bring glory to Him. Don't give up. Endure those growing pains. It's all good in the big scheme of things if you don't resist what God is refining in your life.

"God's kingdom is what God does with your life as He sets it right, puts it together, and completes it with joy." Romans 14:17 MSG

Keep your eyes on that joy!

See ya soon,

Starr

The Middle

Posted on March 12, 2011 at 4:28 PM Comments comments (2)

I love to watch "The Middle" on television. I get tickled at that family because they are so much like my own family! Really. They are. I loved the episode when they really needed a washer and dryer and they couldn't afford to get one. But, after a big tornado swept through their little town, they walked out into their front yard to access the damage, low and behold...There sat a washer and dryer!  They got what they needed but not in the way they were thinking they should get it. How true to life that is!

A few months ago, we had a dinner for all the praise team members from church and their families to just get together and hang out. It was awesome! During the dinner, Mac, the son of one of my best friends, ran through the church lobby. It was his birthday. Someone asked him how old he was and he said "Six".

 Another person picked at him saying, "I thought you were ten!"

He said, "Not anymore!!"

We all laughed over that statement. It was the cutest thing.The wheels in my mind started turning and, of course, I began to think of the fact that sometimes when God calls us forward, we just might have to fall back for a season in order to take that next step. You've been there, haven't you? That place where you are waiting for the manifestations of God's promises and the sweet contentment of knowing you are walking in His will.

He may call you out of something seemingly good to take you somewhere even better. In the meantime, there you are, waiting and maybe even worse off than the place you started. That's the middle, people. That's the not-so-desirable place where all the preparatory growing happens.

I personally really dislike that place. Why? because it doesn't feel good there. It's not so comfortable. It seems unfair. It seems to last forever.

God wants me to walk through that place with peace, though. With expectations of the good things to come. He wants me to lay my feelings aside and learn whatever it takes so I can be effective for Him when I finally graduate to that perfect place to which I have been called.

When I am walking in His will, I can have peace. His peace. I can know that I am doing the right thing; the thing He has asked of me. Then I can surely look forward to a bright future. Even when things appear hopeless or feel uncomfortable, HE alone is my help and my refuge. In Him alone will I put my trust.

Just like my little friend Mac said, I might be sliding back from a ten to a six, But God will promote me eventually to a one hundred if I keep trusting and walk only where He orders my steps.

"Trust is not upset, because it has entered into God's rest. Trust is not confused, because it has no need to lean to it's own understanding. Trust does not indulge in carnal reasoning, it let's God be God." (Joyce Meyer)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will direct your path." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

"Good people can look forward to a bright future." (Proverbs 13:9)

God, I ask you to order my steps today and every day, even if it takes me backward so I can grow. I totally and completely trust You, because no matter how dark I may find my path every now and then, You are eventually going to bring me back into Your light! AMEN

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him Who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light!" (1 Peter 2:9) 

See ya Soon,

Starr

I Believe

Posted on March 10, 2011 at 9:24 AM Comments comments (0)

My security is in the Lord, NOT in any earthly position that I may or may not hold. I will respond to whatever the Lord calls me to do today in a positive way. I can only do that by trusting that HIS way is the BEST way.

Any earthly desires are weak compared to the power of God. I trust that His power is working even now to remove the barriers formed against me. My strength comes from Him.

"I will be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power." (Ephesians 6:10)

His way will bring me goodness, peace, joy and fulfillment. I lay my will and my agenda aside. Lead me, Father God. Today is Yours.

"As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him." (Psalm 18:30)

See ya soon,

Starr

Speak To Me Lord, I'm Listening

Posted on March 3, 2011 at 6:25 PM Comments comments (1)

This new year offers the perfect opportunity to learn some new habits. I know. I know. We all make those resolutions and forget about them as soon as the clock chimes midnight on day two. That's not exactly what I am talking about.

I am speaking of REALLY pursuing a a new life, new ways, new thoughts, new ideas, new actions.

For one, I am really wanting to lose weight and be healthier. I want most of all to increase my energy so I can better serve the Lord. It's hard to serve Him when you can't even muster up the gumption to get out of your pjs by noon. Maybe that's just me. Oh well, I digress.

I was starting to feel like I had been cheating God, myself and my family all because of my lack of energy. I am tellin' ya people, it has been rough. Yes, I am a bit ashamed to admit that, but I have not hid it from God, so I might as well not hide it from you either.

God has given me a word to pray over each member of my family this year. Fittingly enough, my word is "diligence". So far, so good. I am on an entirely different schedule than ever before. I have started waking up earlier. For me earlier is around 7 am. Now, if you know me personally, you realize that is like waking up in the middle of the night for me. Really, it is.

After I get up, I wander into the den and sleepily crawl onto the seat of my exercise bike. I swear, I think I peddle for the first mile with my eyes closed. But, eventually, I am alert enough to pray and have me some good 'ol fashioned God time! Boy, I am sure enjoying that! Talk about motivating...that will do it every time for me!

After the peddling and praying, I drink a glass of ice water, make a cup of herbal tea and sit down on my comfy red couch with my journal, Bible and pen.

Then I begin to write. And write. And write some more. It's amazing how much God will reveal to a gal when she actually listens.

Nothing much has changed about my feelings during this new routine. I still HATE waking up early. I still HATE exercising. But, as always, I still LOVE to dig into God's Word and listen to what He reveals to me. Therefore, I have learned that if I exercise first, then pick up my Bible, I will be sure to do the hard stuff so I can hurry up and get to the good stuff!

I have new hope now for my health to improve, my energy to increase and my wisdom to multiply. And, maybe even for the numbers on my bathroom scale to decrease a bit. I can see it happening. I am experiencing the results of a completely surrendered life. And, it is pretty satisfying. 

"We will rejoice in our sufferings ( Like waking up early and exercising...UGHHHHH!) because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, Whom He has given us." (Romans 5:4-5 Italics mine!)

And, all of the above leads to diligence...my word for the year.

I am kinda growing to enjoy this diligence thing. I can persevere! I am moving forward toward the goal of creating new and positive habits that will last me a lifetime.

Thank You, Father for being my motivator, my encourager and my strength. My body is Your temple and You deserve to inhabit the most lovely temple I can offer. Let's work together to build it for Your glory. Father, You provide the strength and I will do the work to build it up strong and wise in Jesus' Name. Amen

See ya soon,

Starr 

Who Cares?

Posted on December 30, 2010 at 8:35 PM Comments comments (4)

Ever Felt Like Hiding From The World?

Me too!

Today I felt like nothing I do matters to anyone. I was riding in the car with my husband discussing how it would be nice to get acknowledged for my accomplishments every now and then. I realize how selfish that sounds, but let me explain...

I am currently attending Bible College online and credits are give for "life experience". I was sharing with my husband how wonderful it would be if I could get credit for all the years I have taught Bible studies for women and taught Children's Church classes. Not to mention the several retreats I have planned and spoken for. I really don't think my church would be willing to credit me for those things to further my Bible College experience. Not to mention, it would save me lots of tuition. By the way, I haven't ASKED them or anything, I was just assuming that they wouldn't. Let me tell you, assuming can only get a person in the wrong frame of mind.

I was having a pity party of sorts. Do you ever do that? I hate to admit it, but every now and then I do allow that ugly pity monster to get a foothold on my life.

At times like that, I definitely feel like hiding from everyone. I mean, if no one appreciates or acknowledges me, why not hide away where I can be complacent and lazy with my accomplishments? Who would even care?

No sooner had I spoken those words did I look up as we travelled under the overpass on the highway. There it was...plain as day.

In the snow-covered grass that graced each side of the bridge someone had written the name "Jesus". 

Each letter was as big as our car. Really...it was. Whomever carved out that beautiful name in the snow had made sure it would not be missed by the noisy traffic speedily passing by. And it wasn't...

I saw it. I got the message.

Jesus notices me. He cares about my accomplishments. I may try to cover my eyes and sink into the pity parties of life, but He still sees me.

And, He wants me to be sure to see Him. To know He notices every step I take. Every move I make. Every tear I cry. Every effort I make for Him.

Thank You Father for speaking to me in a special way today. Thank You for noticing.

I pray that You will remind me to notice others more than I desire for them to notice me. It's all about You. The recognition is all Yours.You will provide everything I need in order to accomplish what You have for me.

Remember dear friends, He sees you and He smiles.

See ya soon,

Starr

I am PUMPED UP!!!!!

Posted on August 26, 2010 at 6:12 PM Comments comments (2)

I have just finished reading CRAZY LOVE by Francis Chan. I know. I am probably the last Christian to read it, but finding time to actually complete a book at my house is a trick in itself!

Anyway, this book just seemed to energize me. For the past month, I have been basically "couch-ridden" due to some health issues. so, I thought I may as well use my time productively. I have kept my Bible by my side studying more than ever and growing more and more joyful along the way.

Right beside my Bible I have kept a copy of CRAZY LOVE that a very special friend loaned to me. I am so glad I had time to finally pick it up and crack it open because it was just what the doctor ordered!

It has inspired me to propose some questions to you, my faithful readers.

If you claim to be a Christian, does your life reflect that declaration?

Do you actually live your life like you believe JESUS is alive? What should a life lived with that knowledge look like? Can people tell you believe that just by watching you from a distance?

It made me question my actions and my thoughts. Gracious, people!!!! We serve the MOST AWESOME GOD, Creator of EVERYTHING and HE LOVES me!!!! And YOU!!! And, that crazy driver that cut you off today!!!!! And your Mother-in-law who drives you insane!!!!! And, all those other unlovely people you know!!!!

Please comment and tell me how you would answer the questions above. I would love to hear your opinions, your fears, your failures and your successes.

Looking forward to your posts.

Have a wonderful day and LIVE like you KNOW Jesus is ALIVE!!!!!

See ya soon!

Starr

While I'm Waiting

Posted on August 9, 2010 at 5:11 PM Comments comments (0)

Well, I have no choice but to wait. How about you? Are you waiting for something? Maybe that something could alter your life. Maybe in a positive way or maybe in a negative way. Either way, waiting is hard.

I am currently waiting on a diagnosis from my neurologist. I have done everything within MY power to get answers, but no results as of yet. Do you know how frustrating that is? I could have some potentially debilitating disease, or I could have something as simple as a pinched nerve. Whichever it is, it HURTS.

BADLY.

After several phone calls today to several doctors, I give up.

I give up trying to figure it all out.

I give up depending on other human beings to give me answers that I am not receiving.

I give up my grasp on this nasty pain I feel 24 hours a day.

I give up the struggle and I choose to wait patiently.

What am I waiting on exactly?

Well, I am done with waiting on all of the above and I wait ONLY on my GOD, my CREATOR, my SAVIOR, and my LORD.

One thing I do know is that this waiting will renew my strength. I currently have NO strength, so I am all about getting some; Especially if it comes from God Himself. That is the best kind of strength and I believe the only way to obtain it is to give up my struggle altogether.

 

If you are waiting too, I urge you to do the same as me and let it all go. Smile in spite of your pain. It might be emotional pain, physical pain, or a combination of both. Surrender it to THE ONLY ONE WHO always has the answers you are looking for. Move forward like you don't even feel it. I am pretty sure your strength, and mine too, will be increased.

 

I can wait a few more weeks to get that diagnosis and I will step out and keep on keeping on in the meantime. I feel myself growing stronger already!

 

Psalm 29:11 " The Lord gives strength to His people; The Lord blesses His people with peace." (NIV)

 

Philippians 4:13 "I can do everything through HIM WHO gives me strength." (NIV)

 

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 faint." (NIV)

 

Psalm 27:14 "Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." (NIV)

 

Psalm 28:6-7 "Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and shield; my heart trusts in Him and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song." (NIV)

 

Pressing On

Posted on August 6, 2010 at 11:06 AM Comments comments (0)

You ever faced obstacles? Sure you have! We all do every day. They may be small or large, but they seem to appear out of nowhere to throw us off course. 

I am facing one right now with my health. Just at the time when God is bringing His plans for me to fruition, the enemy steps in to try to push me off the path. NOT this time buddy! I will NOT be forced away from God's plans for me.

How many times have you gotten lead right off the track? Don't fall for it!! Those obstacles can be overcome with your faith in our great God. He is bigger than anything you are facing!

The trick is to magnify Him and not your problems. Get out your mental magnifying glass and see just how big He really is!!! Trust Him!!!

I will pray for you and you pray for me. That is the best gift we can give to other believers.

Just remember to never give up!! God has great plans for you and He wants you to hope and believe that He will come through and never forsake you or leave you standing alone.

Philippians 4:14 "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (NIV)

Psalm 35:27 " Let those who favor my righteous cause and have pleasure in my uprightness shout for joy and be glad and say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, Who takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servant. " (AMP)

 

Philippains 1:20b "Christ The Messiah will be magnified and get glory and praise in this body of mine and be boldly exalted in my person, whether through life or through death." (AMP)

 

Put your track shoes on and get ready to jump those hurdles with me!! 

Love and Blessings,

Starr

De-Cluttering

Posted on July 27, 2010 at 2:46 PM Comments comments (1)

Man, I despise cleaning out my 8 year-old son's room!! We do it every few months and it never fails to return to the destruction zone of pure chaos. No matter what we throw out or how we organize it, junk seems to appear from nowhere to force us into cleaning action again and again.

 

Now, I am not takling about just placing things in a new spot or dusting and vaccuming. I am referring to total reconstruction of his entire room. Bags and bags of toys, outgrown clothes, and mysterious dust bunnies are found and discarded time after time.

There must be some creature from another time and place that visits when we aren't  looking to destroy all our hard work. If not, then why do we have to keep repeating this drudgery over and over and over again?

 

Austin and I take things piece by piece and he is forced to choose what to keep and what to throw away. If I had my way, we would trash it all and just start all over. But, inevitably, he discovers toys he didn't even know he had and then refuses to part with them. Most of them hold a sentimental value to him in one way or another. I guess he gets that from me.

All he has to say is, "Paw Paw bought that for me. I CAN"T throw THAT away" Or, "I remember when Nanna gave me that. PLEASE let me keep it!!"

My tender heart suffers when I have to be the deciding factor on what stays and what goes. But, after two solid days thus far this week, we have filled 4 trash bags and two more bags for charity, so we ARE making some progress. Even if it is S...L...O...W....

 

Austin's disorganized room reminds me of my disorganized mind sometimes. How much junk do I hold on to because it is sentimental or because it just feels pleasurable to keep it. What if it is not good for me? Am I willing to let it go even if I like it in some way or another? Probably not without some coaxing from The Holy Spirit.

There are lots of things that feel comfortable to me that I want to hang on to, But that does not make it the right thing to do. Sometimes comfort and familiarity are just security vessels to keep us from being renewed.  We can disilusion ourselves into thinking that "things" or thoughts like "that's the way I've always done it" are who we are and what we stand for; Not always true! Life is meant to be fresh-lived every single day. Letting go of the familiar and the false senses of security is so freeing and opens the doors for so much more than what  we are just settling for!

As I look around Austin's room today, I can see we have quite a way to go before it is the way we want it to be, but it will take lots more hard work and willingness to move ahead on both our parts. I keep reminding him that when we are finished, he will be so pleased with the results, it will all pay off in the end and he will feel like he has a whole new room. The old comforts will be gone, but the new environment will feel so much better! Granted we will have to do it again in a few months because new "junk" creeps in every day. But, Renewal is a never-ending process. Our comfort and security is not found in material possesions or familiar things, it is found in our Creator who longs to give us the best of the best!

Don't miss out on what He has for you today by tightening your grip on what you already possess. Let it go and see what new thing He has for you! 

 

Ephesians  4:22-24:

"Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring up from delusion; And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude]. And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God's image, [Godlike} in true righteousness." (AMP)

 

 

 

 

  


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