If you are feeling broken today

A friend of mine recently suffered from a heartache and she told me that she felt completely broken. She also said that she needed to be put back together and heal before she could trust certain people again. I know that broken feeling. I know that we can get so shattered inside that our core seems to be in pieces and it would take a miracle to get all the pieces back together. That miracle can take place. That miracle is not impossible. When such things appear to be impossible we can use a useful reminder. The reminder is that we are not the ones doing the healing. We are not the ones putting things back together. We are not the ones fixing our lives. We have a designated Healer who can patch up our lives and make us whole again. If you feel broken today, know that the Lord has the perfect fix for you. Know that He is still able to put you back together. You will rise up from the ashes of the most recent heartache and you will be born again into a life where joy is vibrant and hope exists.

Every time I have been broken I have noticed that I was in so many pieces that it was hard to even find some of them because they were scattered all over the place. When we are broken, our thoughts are like broken glass that is spread over the gamut of emotions. It is hard to be stable and to think straight. Praying is even difficult. All we want to do is let all the pieces be left alone in their hopeless state. It is ok to cry out to God. It is perfectly fine to present our weakness to Him and call Him for help. The Holy Spirit is the glue that can restore our broken heart. He has the ability to take every piece, one by one and polish it, sharpen it and put it back where it belongs. As soon you call on the Lord He starts the restoration process and He gets the bandages and the soothing oil.

The Holy Spirit is often represented as Oil in the Bible. Oil is a liquid that lubricates and soothes. When the Holy Spirit comes onto the scene, He first lubricates every part of you. The lubrication process consists in minimizing friction and allowing movement again. A heartache often feels like friction and disruption of your normal life. The Holy Spirit will diminish the friction and put an end to the disruption. The Oil of the Holy Spirit will enable you to move freely again spiritually, emotionally and physically. The restoration is from the inside out. The Lord will heal your emotions first with His love and His peace and your mind will be more receptive to positivity. Then your body will follow suit and get a boost. God can give you a new lease on life any day. The healing of your broken heart is not a one time event when you accept the Lord into your life. His healing is available 24/7. Don’t let your brokenness keep you in the dark. Allow the Lord’s healing to bring you back into the light. Jesus heals the broken-hearted. He will heal you. Give your heart over to Him once again. He will mend your brokenness and repair you. Stay encouraged!

Suggested reading: Psalm 34:18; Psalm 147:3; Luke 4:18

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How to handle your secret weapon every day

I love my morning routine. I wake up a little before 5 am to edit my daily message and post it. I then spend some time in prayer and fellowship with the Lord when everything is quiet and there is no distraction. That morning time with God is so precious to me. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I front load my day with God so I have plenty of Him for the rest of the day. The truth is I have get refills a couple times throughout the day especially on days when life dumps bad surprises on my lap. We all have those days. We all have days when things go wrong for no reason. When the going gets tough, it’s time to get tougher. How can we be tougher than some of the obstacles that come our way? There is power in peace and tranquility. The goal is to stay anchored in that peace and we can overcome a lot. The peace I feel in the morning when I start my day always comes back when I tap into God’s serenity. The joy of the Lord is our strength and His peace is our secret weapon. Here are a couple of things that have proven to help me a lot when I have needed to access my secret weapon.

Creating space for peace

Creating space for something (spiritual) to develop has been a habit of mine for a few years now. My morning routine allows me to create space for my relationship with the Lord to develop. Creating space for peace during the day goes beyond isolating myself. I do isolate myself but I also give peace a chance to develop despite the noise in my head. How do I do that? I try to recreate those moments of peace and quiet. One practical way I have been able to achieve that lately is by coloring. Adult coloring is more and more popular. I have bought two coloring books and they have helped a lot. Coloring just slows you down and it keeps you in the moment. It brings me a lot of peace. It is a way of meditating. Whatever it is that you enjoy doing and that slows you down is a good foundation for creating space for peace. Peace grows in places fertile with what makes us happy. Create space for peace!

Praying peace into all circumstances

Prayer is the weapon behind every spiritual weapon. When in doubt, pray it out! Pray things out until you get your answers and “pray things in” until you get an answer as well. When I pray something into my life, I invite it through prayer. Praying peace into my life is crucial. I pray “Lord, I need to feel Your peace again. Thank You for giving me what I need the most right now. Your peace is stronger than any chaos I might be facing.” God’s peace is more powerful than any chaos and any noise life might be making in your life right now. When life makes scary noises in your life, keep silent. Keep quiet. Keep the peace stand. Keep the posture of peace. You can do that through prayer. Invite peace into your life when you pray. God loves our invitations and He always RSVP with a big YES! Yes, He is coming and He will attend every event of your life. A simple prayer for peace can produce long lasting results of serenity and calmness.

The secret weapon of peace has guided me through some of the most chaotic and dramatic times in my life. The opposition hates it when we are at peace because we can be efficient, we can connect with God better and we can spread peace around us. The enemy is a thief and he doesn’t want us to give to others. If we nurture God’s peace and find time every day to grow in it, we will become givers of peace that annoy all adversity. Handle peace with care every day. It’s the secret weapon that will transform your life!

Suggested reading: Isaiah 26:3; 2 Thessalonians 3:16; Philippians 4:6

How powerful is your personal testimony?

There is always a spiritual warfare going on whether we acknowledge it or not. There are battles being fought, spiritual wars being won and spiritual failures taking place. I once looked up what our best weapons could be during those battles. When I say during those battles I truly mean all the time. The battles don’t stop. I found out that there are two main weapons in spiritual warfares; the blood of the Lamb and the utterance of our testimony*. The blood of Jesus is the greatest weapon. All that He did on the Cross signifies an unprecedented victory for us believers. The words of our personal testimony is another powerful tool we ought to use. We have a testimony we can share about God’s faithfulness in our lives. That testimony is of immense value because it allows us to stay in faith. We need to go over what the Lord has done in our lives often. It will boost our faith and it will serve as a weapon that can stop the enemy in his track. Why? Our testimony is a reminder of who we are in Christ and how amazing our God is. Don’t undermine your testimony. Write it on your heart and share a piece of your heart with everyone who needs it!

One drop of the blood of Jesus is more powerful than all the powers of darkness. Now, think about how many drops were shed on the Cross and how powerful the whole sacrifice was and still is. The testimony of the Lord is our testimony as well. We partake in what happened on the Cross. We are part of the heirs of the work of the Cross. That aspect of our testimony alone is enough to frighten the enemy but we don’t use it enough. We don’t always know how to stand tall against the opposition and profess our testimony that started on the Cross. The opposition in all its horrible splendor cannot stand hearing about the testimony of the Cross and it is even more frustrating to the opposition when we see ourselves as living testimonies to God’s glory. If you don’t know what to say or how to act when faced with adversity, start with your testimony. Start with the testimony of the Cross and spell it out for the enemy. Articulate what Jesus did and paraphrase the wonderful works of the Cross. “It is done!” said the Lord on the Cross. Repeat that phrase often!

Your testimony to the world is as big or as small as you want it to be. You don’t have to testify with your words. Your actions and deeds speak volumes. I love letting my actions speak for me and sing praises to God. Our testimony should reflect the Lord and His victory bought for us. Therefore the way we speak should mirror the blessings of the Lord in our lives. If we constantly talk about how bad our lives are or how little we have or how terrible things are, we are giving the wrong testimony to the world. We are not giving God any credit for what He has done. The great things He has done should not be forgotten. I am not saying we should live in the past but I am advocating digging out treasures from the past and exposing them so our faith can be stirred up and people can be positively impacted. Your personal testimony is a tool you have at your disposal to stop the fiery attacks of the enemy when he tries hard to mess up your thinking. Replace his lies with the truths of God in your life. Let your testimony be heard! Don’t negate your testimony. God has done and He will continue to do great things that will silence the enemy and give you the voice of victory!

Suggested reading: Psalm 71:15-18; Luke 8:39; Revelation 12:11*

Everything you will ever need

It’s almost the end of the school year and I am going to start working on my summer list. My summer list consists of my summer budget, the things I will need for the summer, a checklist of what I would like to accomplish and a number of wishes for the summer. I don’t always know what I will need but I have a general idea and my list grows bigger every day. Do we ever know what we will ever need during a certain period of time? If I were to make a list of all I will need in my life, I wouldn’t know where to start. It’s often true that I don’t always know what’s best for me. One thing for sure is that I know who will give me everything that I will ever need in life. I have accepted God as my provider. My job is not my provider. My friends and family are not my provider. God is. I depend on Him for everything, at least I try to more and more. He knows what I will need and what I won’t need. Not only does He know but He can also supply it all. The day I decided to rely on Him as my source of joy and peace, was one of the best days ever. Friend, no matter how big your list is, God can give you exactly what you need and more. It’s time you handed that list over to Him and completely trusted that He has all that you will ever need.

When I ask myself what I need the most in life, I try to avoid going down the path of material things because they are not what makes my life such a vibrant life. I would say that the spiritual aspect of my life is what I need to develop the most. The rest will follow. What I need the most is faith, love, peace, joy and wisdom. All these blessings come from the Lord so my number one need is to stay as close to Him as possible. I can’t get these things outside of Him. I could try and God knows how many times I have. I got tired of the pale imitation of true peace and true joy. Even love outside of Him only lured me for a short time but it left me empty. You see, God is the substance that the world craves. The world can imitate the blessings but at the end of the day the lack of substance leaves us empty and hollow. I don’t want to be a hollow loving person. I don’t want to walk around with a hollow sense of peace that disappears when the first storm comes. I want what the Lord has to offer and what He has to offer is beautiful, powerful and solid.

Everything you will ever need can be found in the Lord. It might sound cliche but it is a reality. God says that if we go to Him and seek His kingdom first, everything else will be added into us*. Seeking His kingdom is a wide search for intimacy with Him, for love, for spiritual gifts, for peace and much more. We often look for the truth in all the wrong places. We try many avenues before we end up on God’s street. His street is where all we need can be found. He has an array of blessings that cover all aspects of our lives. The first thing we need is a spiritual awakening and a spiritual motivation to pursue Him. He is all that we truly need. Today if you are making a list of what you will need in the next season of your life, make sure to put God first. He should be on top of your list. Ask Him what the rest of your list should be comprised of. He will always be and He will always have everything you will ever need!

Suggested reading: Matthew 6:33*; Luke 12:31; John 6:27

Follow the model

When I give my students practice exercises, I always write “Follow the model” in the directions. What ends up happening is that most of them miss that part and don’t follow the model provided. Following the model is the best way to get it right. The same is true in life. If we follow the correct model, we can be successful in the different exercises life tend to give us. There are a number of models displayed in the Word of God. I am not just talking about people. I am also referring to models of faith, models of peace and models of love. If we follow those models, we can expect some good results. This week I am encouraging you to follow the models of spiritual traits presented in the Bible. As we remain diligent in following those models we will stay in God’s will and we will have a positive impact on the people around us.

The models of love

Love is the essence of the Word of God. It is who God is. It is modeled throughout His Word. Now, when I talk about models, I mean examples and patterns. They are not people per say but actions and deeds carried out by various people. Take someone who is a love warrior as I like to call it in the Bible. Jesus is the best example. To follow His model of love, we ought to look at His actions and His way of life. As we tease out patterns and concrete examples we should endeavor to adopt them and follow them. It requires some studying on our part. The benefits of that study time are great.

The models of faith

We can find many examples of people who wore faith as a daily garment and who persevered in what they believe. It is also wise to study the models of faith. It is good to see how those people lived, what they did, what they thought and what they said. Faith is expressed in many ways and it needs to be given life in order to bear fruit. I have looked into the patterns of faith that allow people to stay strong and to hold on to hope no matter what. It’s not easy but it is feasible. Copying those patterns of faith requires practice but it does get easier. Following the models of faith should be done no matter how big or how small the matter is.

The models of peace

Some of those models are slightly different. They took place when people trusted in the Lord and He bestowed an immense peace on them. It’s their faith that triggered the peace. The peace of the Lord is above any peace we can experience on a human level. It surpasses all understanding. In order to get to that level we ought to follow the models of faith and the models of love. Those two go hand in hand. Once we have established patterns of faith/love we can receive so much more from the Lord including His peace that will blow our mind.

Follow the right models today. Identify them in the Word of God and make it a priority to follow them and to adopt them. It is when we follow those models that our walk will get to higher altitudes. Jesus is the ultimate example and focusing on Him over humans will bear the best fruit in all departments of our lives!

Suggested reading: Deuteronomy 5:33; Psalm 119:133; 2 Thessalonians 3:5

Is there nothing to worry about?

“There is nothing to worry about and nothing to fear” I once heard in my spirit while I was in meditative prayer. It had not even been the focus of my prayer. Those words came to me and left an indelible mark. They keep popping in every once in a while. They are a profound message that is repeated throughout the Word of God. It’s a statement that the Lord stand by and He won’t change it. However, we are faced every day with events that make us think that there is a good reason to worry and to fear. You see, there are two schools of thought on that. As a teacher, I like to picture the whole idea as two separate classrooms; the classroom of the world and the classroom of the Lord. They are two distinct classrooms with some overlapping. Keep in mind that the lessons taught in the classroom of the world do not influence the classroom of the Lord. The Lord can impact the world but the world cannot impact the Lord. God’s lessons have a way to get into the world’s lessons but no world lessons can ever change God’s curriculum. It’s up to us to decide which classroom we are going to pay attention to the most. Is there a good reason to worry or should we believe that there is nothing to worry about?

The classroom of the world is where we get most of our education. Society, parents, guardians, teachers, family, friends, circumstances and daily events take turns in that classroom as teachers. We learn many foundations for living in that room. We learn to love, we learn to hate. We learn good things, we learn bad things. We learn joy and we learn pain. More often than not, we the students make big decisions. We decide to accept the lessons or we decide to turn away from them and do our own thing. How strong the world classroom environment is can be debatable. It’s the idea of nature vs. nurture as well. One thing we grow up with is fear and worry. We are taught that they are part of life and that they are acceptable. Fear can be seen as a motivation. Worry is praised as a way of life pretty often. After all, the world is a scary place and its classroom wants us to remain scared because there is very little hope in sight or is there? God has a different viewpoint and His classroom teaches His ways that are higher than the world’s.

One can say that God is old school because His message has been the same for centuries and His amazing lessons are unchanged. In the Lord’s classroom, there is a very strong emphasis on love, hope, faith, peace and joy. Fear is banned. There is no mention of it in the daily lessons other than to reject it. When you sit in the Lord’s classroom, you are taught that God can do all things. You are taught not to focus on how things appear to be, how they feel and how they sound. The Lord ,through His Spirit, instructs that fear is the opposite of faith and that with Him there is no reason to fear. There is a whole unit on how to conquer fear and as students we need to go back to that unit over and over again. The love displayed in His classroom is so strong that it doesn’t leave room for worry and fear. If we intentionally stay in God’s classroom, we will learn how to withstand fear. It’s impossible to spend time in His room and be filled with fear. Let’s be students in the Lord’s classroom. We can’t skip the world’s classes but we don’t have to consider them more important than the Lord’s. “There is nothing to worry about and nothing to fear” teaches the Lord. Let’s learn and relearn that lesson!

Suggested reading: Isaiah 35:4; John 14:27; Romans 8:38-39

The (long) road to recovery

6 years ago I got pretty sick and the road to recovery seemed very long. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel but I have to say that I was made aware of the light that was brightening the inside of the tunnel while I was going through the ordeal. The Lord kept the light on when the darkness was trying to get the best of me. Hope stayed by my side and peace was a frequent visitor. The only thing that worked when I would wake up in the middle of the night in pain was prayer. Prayer was like a fast-release pill that brought relief almost instantly. I had to persevere and resort to it every night and it did its wonderful job every time. The recovery process was a lesson on how to apply my faith, how to deal with the symptoms and how to grow in my walk. Today you might be on the road to recovery. It could be recovery from a physical ailment, a spiritual battle, an emotional wound or a mental disturbance. No matter what the recovery is, know that the light is not just at the end of the tunnel. It is around you as you are walking through the agony and the misery.

One thing I learned during the long recovery process was that I had to hold on to hope and develop my faith or I would crash and burn and delay the process. Once I was past the initial shock of getting pretty ill, I decided to pursue the desire to have faith that I would get healed. It was deep down inside of me. It wasn’t easy to find but when push came to shove I was ready to try anything. I got all the inspirational books I had and I started reading them. I found motivational sermons online. I listened to uplifting music and little by little I believed that there would be a way out for me. I also surrounded myself with positive people and I kept all negative thoughts at bay as much as I could. This even implied staying away from anything sad and depressing on tv. Comedies became my friends and sitcoms were my daily buddies for a while.

Applying my faith was a challenge but I made some strides once I anchored myself in who the Lord is and what He can do. I made it through it all thanks to Him. He reminded me that He was with me in the tunnel. He could see me suffering and He could hear my prayers. I found a lot of comfort in that. I wondered at times why He wasn’t actively healing me or doing anything about the situation. What I didn’t know was that He was working behind the scenes and He was crafting my healing as I was growing in my walk with Him. Getting sick wasn’t a punishment from Him and I had to rewire my thinking so I could trust that He wasn’t the author of my suffering. You see, if you believe that He is, it will be difficult to believe that He can heal. The river that flows from Him doesn’t produce salt water and pure water at the same time. He is constantly a pure and blessed water God. If you are on the road to recovery, don’t give up. That light at the end of the tunnel might be tiny but focus on the light inside the tunnel. The Lord is with you right now! Keep praying. Keep praising. Keep feeding in the Word. Keep hoping and keep being grateful. Keep seeing the end of the road through faith!

Suggested reading: Psalm 147:3; Matthew 11:28-30; 1 Corinthians 10:13-14