February 25 Grown Up Conversations

Today’s Topic: Stop the Pain!

I’ve learned over time that if someone seems to be always angry and unpleasant to be around there is always pain hidden behind the mask. Hurting people hurt others. You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep replaying the hurt. People who love themselves don’t hurt others.

Have you ever held a newborn baby that didn’t want to be cuddled? Absolutely not!!! Why? Because babies come with the need for bonding which helps them to grow mentally and physically. As life plays out and the baby grows up in an evil world the trust factor gets broken and the curse of isolation becomes the new norm in adulthood.

Hurt is an ugly curse that sometimes goes from generation to generation. The truth is, only Jesus can touch where it hurts the most. We must make a deliberate effort to stop the pain from breeding and producing seeds of discord. Pain breeds in dark and lonely minds like mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. If pain remains hidden in our lives it will produce crazy unhealthy thoughts that will eventually ruin everyone’s life.

Pain changes everyone and makes you overthink more and shut people out. Not all pain is visible, and it can be easily masked making it difficult to pinpoint the root cause. Our village can be turned into a healing community if we begin building a bridge and not a wall. We must not allow pain to become a barrier between us. We are either building together or losing the war.

Quote: “Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”

James 4:1-6 “What is the source of conflict among you? What is the source of your disputes? Don’t they come from your cravings that are at war in your own lives? You long for something you don’t have, so you commit murder. You are jealous for something you can’t get, so you struggle and fight. You don’t have because you don’t ask. You ask and don’t have because you ask with evil intentions, to waste it on your own cravings.”

Let’s move from discussing people to finding solutions to make our village a friendlier place to live in.

When you don’t feel strong enough, ask for help from others.

Here’s a great prayer I came across online call ‘The Knots Prayer’

Dear God,

Please untie the knots in my mind, my heart and my life.

Remove the have nots, the can nots, and the do nots that I have in my mind.

Erase the will nots, may nots, might nots that may find a home in my heart.

Release me from the could nots, would nots and should nots that obstruct my life.

And most of all, Dear God, I ask that you remove from my mind, my heart and my life all of the “am nots” that I have allowed to hold me back, especially the thought that ‘I am not good enough.’

Amen. THE END

At any given moment you have the power to say: “This is not how my story is going to end. It is what it is and I’ve got this.”

Prayer Time: Father, make us instruments of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; when there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy. In Jesus Name, Amen

February 24th Grown Up Conversations

Psalms Wednesday

Psalm 103

Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.

Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.

Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul.

February 23 GROWN UP CONVERSATIONS

Today’s Topic: Trust the Engineer

There will never be a night that was so dark that will prevent the sun from rising. No matter how difficult the nights may be God’s presence brings hope that this too will pass. Morning will come. Change is coming. It takes a whole lot of patience and faith in God to trust the nighttime episodes but one day we will look back and say, ‘Mission accomplished.’

Corrie Ten Boom says, “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.”

Satan knows what triggers anxiety in us, and at the slightest trigger of fear it’s natural to become unstable in our thoughts. But if you don’t stand firm for what you believe, you will become restless, confused and unstable in your thinking. Train your mind to be single-minded in the all-knowing God who controls the entire universe.

Don’t dig up doubt what you have planted in faith. It becomes difficult to see miracles if you allow what you see and know to create doubt and fear. God is looking for consistency.

The poem ‘Footprints in the Sand’ was written by Margaret Fishback Power.

One night I dreamed a dream. As I was walking along the beach with my Lord. Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to me and one to my Lord.

After the last scene of my life flashed before me, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. I noticed that at many times along the path of my life, especially at the very lowest and saddest times, there was only one set of footprints.

This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.

“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you, You’d walk with me all the way. But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life, there was only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”

He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you. Never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”

The End

The Lord your God goes everywhere with you. He will never leave you nor abandon you. He never panics and runaway during the darkest and most disturbing times of your life. When you have lived through a night that was so dark and woke up to see the hand of God the next day – your faith in God grows. All the money a person makes can never buy peace in the darkest hour of life.

Even the darkest night will end, and the sun will rise again. If God is for you, who can be against you? The LORD will fight for you, you need only to be still.

Prayer Time: Father, thank you for carrying us many times through the darkest nights. Thank you for your strength when ours was depleted. Thank you for opening our eyes to see the sunrise giving us hope that today will be a better day. In Jesus Name, Amen

February 22 GROWN UP CONVERSATIONS

Welcome to the place where grownups meet and have many conversations.

Today’s Topic: You VS YOU

To create the life you can’t wait to wake up to, you need to prepare to make some big changes. When we change our priorities, we change our life. Old ways do not open up new doors. It’s easy to do things that we are comfortable with, but we cannot grow if we only do the things, we are comfortable doing. We only get one chance at life so we must keep pushing to get to the place we belong.

Let’s get the conversation started. When we were children, we enjoyed making new friends all the time. But as you grow older you no longer crave quantity but quality. Everyone in your circle must bring along value and purpose adding strength to the team.

Maturity is learning to walk away from anything or anyone who doesn’t help you to accomplish your purpose or destiny. When you are passionate about something you must challenge yourself to do it with or without friends. You grow fearless when you do the things you fear most. There’s no good reason not to be excited when you found the right path.

You are never too old to write down your dream with a date. As long as you are kept alive there’s purpose. When you are purpose driven you have no time for drama, gossip, bad behavior, or high-maintenance relationships. Work hard at being the best you can and when things get tough as they often do you remind yourself why you got started.

Setting boundaries are important. You actually have less interruptions. It’s the YOU VS YOU season and seasons are short. When you passionately pursue your purpose, you will have a different outlook on people, places and things.

Proverbs 4:23-27 says, “Keep vigilant watch over your heart, that’s where life starts. Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth. Avoid careless wisecracks, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead and ignore sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither to the right nor the left. Leave evil thoughts and plans behind.”

Strong women are not born. They simply become resilient by the difficult experiences that life forced them to survive. It’s your time to create the life you always dreamt about and can’t wait to wake up to.

Don’t be held a prisoner to people or things that keeps you from pursuing your purpose driven life.

Rick Warren says, “If you live for the approval of others, you will die by their rejection.”

We were made by God and for God’s purpose and nothing else will make sense. God is way easier to talk to than most people.

Prayer Time: Father, may we nurture the healthy relationships to keep us purpose driven. Give us the courage to dream again with a date in mind. Remove people and things in our lives that no longer serve our best interest. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

February 11th Grown Up Conversations

It’s Time to Re-evaluate Your Life.

Quotes:

“A rich man without God is just a poor man without money.”

“True wealth is not measured in money or status or power. It is measured in the legacy we leave behind for those we love and those we inspire.”

Luke 18:18-23 teaches us about a rich young ruler who wanted to inherit life after death. He came to Jesus and wanted to know what he needed to do. Jesus tested his faith to see how important eternal life was to him. Jesus told him to go and sell all he had and give it to the poor. Then he will have treasure in heaven and come and follow Him.

The rich man became very sorrowful because he was so wealthy. So many times, we allow the things we hold so closely to our hearts to keep us from following God.

The rich man didn’t receive eternal life because his wealth was too much to give to the poor. Sadly, he didn’t know that he couldn’t carry his riches to the grave.

What is holding us back from following God? At the end of life, we can’t take anyone or anything with us. Choose wisely.

There’s a poem that brings to reality the true meaning of life. It speaks of the value of the ‘dash’ that is between the birth date and date of our passing. The dash summarizes our entire life and how we will be remembered. It is a reminder for us to carefully live our limited time on earth intentionally leaving a legacy behind for those we love and those we hope to inspire.

Even if the banker writes a check and it’s placed in our coffin, we still can’t pay our way back to get eternal life.

The Dash By Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak at a funeral of a friend.  He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears but said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own, the cars…the house…the cash.  What matters is how we lived and loved and how we spend our dash.

So, think about this long and hard; are there things you’d like to change?  For you never know how much time is left that still can be rearranged.

To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile…remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read, with your life’s actions to rehash, would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash?

Thought for today: Would you believe me if I told you that our greatest need in life is the need to know God as a Father, Friend, and our secret defense? You are never poor if all you have is your relationship with God.

PRAYER TIME: Father, thank you that you gave us the free gift of eternal life. We ask you to come into our heart and forgive us for all our wrongdoings. May we live everyday conscious of the fact that our walk with you takes pre-eminence over everything else in our lives. We will not risk doing life without you. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Wednesday February 10 Grown Up Conversations

Psalms Wednesday

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Thoughts: The Bible never changes, but it changes us when we read it.

  • God will meet our needs.
  • He will give us peace.
  • He will restore us.
  • He will lead us down a path of righteousness and a place of rest.
  • If God could put our blessings in a cup, they would run over the top. Goodness and mercy will be following us everywhere we go.
  • It’s a blessing that we cannot afford to live without.

Prayer Time: Father, thank you that your love for us is unchanging. We will fear no evil: for you are always with us. You remember that we are human, and your mercy extends to our children’s children giving to us rest from the storms of life as we listen to you and obey your voice. In Jesus Name, Amen

February 9th Grown Up Conversations

Time to Make a Positive Turnaround

Whining is annoying at any age. Some people complain or fret about the same thing for years never compromising. They blame anything and everyone for their misery till it becomes a learned behaviour making it difficult to break the habit.

Mark 10: 50-52 tells a story about a blind beggar name Bartimaeus who for years sat outside the gate to the temple begging for handouts. One day he heard the movement of the crowd around him and knew that Jesus was approaching. He called out to Jesus, but the crowd tried to quiet him. I’m guessing they didn’t think he was important enough to meet Jesus. Bartimaeus refused to be quiet and shouted louder. Jesus on hearing his voice called him over and asked him – “What do you want me to do for you?”

The Bible says that he threw off his coat, jumped up and walked towards Jesus and said, “I want to see.” Bartimaeus eyesight was stabilized the moment he admitted his need.

Jesus hasn’t changed his question then nor now – “What do you want me to do for you?” When we admit our need – drastically things change for the better.

How many times have Satan tried to silence us from telling Jesus what we need? How many times have you tried to read your Bible but give up believing your hurt is too deep for God to turnaround?

Many times, in the heart of the whining is a longing to see beauty again. Our walk to Jesus humbles us to confess that we need to see again. It requires you throwing off the security blanket that holds the memories and blinding you to experience a positive turnaround. It’s what I call a ‘come to Jesus moment.’ It was Jesus who said that the healthy don’t need a doctor, but the sick.

Jesus did not come to get the righteous people’s attention but for those who have lost their happiness. Isaiah 41:10 – “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

God cares about your happiness. People always need Jesus but when life doesn’t make sense anymore then we need a little more of Jesus.

Jesus heals all manner of sicknesses – mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual.

It’s time to have faith and receive a positive turnaround to a different kind of life you have been longing for. Jesus said that the healthy do not need a doctor, but the sick. He did not come for those who feel that their life is perfect but for those have given up on finding true happiness.

Friends, I’m thankful for all my highs and low moments, the blessings and setbacks, the good and the ugly times – they were all lessons to prove to me that Jesus does offer a positive turnaround to a life of new beginnings.

Quote: “A pessimist complain about the wind. An optimist expects the wind to change. A leader adjusts the sails.”

PRAYER TIME: Father, thank you that you know our frame and you remember that we are mere dust. Teach us to trust your wisdom as we adjust our focus to a place of new beginnings. In Jesus Name, Amen

February 8th Grown Up Conversations

Don’t Live One Day Without HOPE

If you woke up this morning feeling like you are drowning in sorrow and thinking of all your problems maybe your heart may have been broken one too many times and it’s attracting too much negativity in your life.

May I gently remind you that Satan is not your friend either. You are no match for him and his evil schemes to steal your mind, kill your joy, and bring you to a place of giving up on your tomorrows.

Say this right now – ‘Devil, enough is enough! I need God!!!’

We all talk about God fighting our battles, loving us, and having our back but I am hoping it’s not just a cliché. Would you fight for and love someone unconditionally who you only meet in the problem’s section of life’s cafe?

Quote: “A lack of communication ruins everything because instead of knowing how the other person is feeling, we just assume.”

God wants to have your back and responds to your prayers. However, you need to be familiar with His ways and what pleases Him. You can’t just assume that He doesn’t care about your relationship with Him. He wants to test your faith and dependency on Him. Relationship and COMMUNICATION matters. And don’t forget He also loves a grateful heart – so return and thank Him.

One of Satan’s tricks is to keep us from being acquainted with God’s ways. When we pursue God, we do not worry or become anxious with time, place, or things. When we are unfamiliar with God’s ways, we go to bed turning and tossing all night long with a problem that we have no resolution for.

The best sleep approach is to read and mediate on a scripture just before you close your eyes, and you will sleep in perfect peace. A scripture a night keeps the devil away.

Your mind will believe anything you tell it. The more you ponder on a problem is the more it grows – that’s just how our human mind works. The more we ponder on God’s Word is the more our faith grows and the faster we fall asleep at nights and that’s how FAITH WORKS.

Proverbs 6:22 says, “When you walk about, they (the scriptures) will guide you; When you sleep, they will watch over you; And when you awake, they will talk to you.” The scriptures can talk back to you and worry can talk back to you. Choose your dialogue.

God cares when your brain is being caught in a web of burdensome thoughts. No matter what difficulties you or I maybe experiencing God has your name engraved in the palm of His hand because of the relationship bond.

Psalms 33:22 “Let your unfailing love surround us, LORD, for our hope is in you alone.” When your hope is in God – He surrounds you with His genuine love like a devoted mother nursing her baby. He is compassionate and showers you with His grace and mercy because He’s familiar with your voice.

PRAYER TIME: Father, thank you that you are devoted to us and showers us with your loving kindness in the morning, at noon, and in the nighttime. Teach us to quiet our hearts before you so we can sleep well at nights when our sorrow is too deep. Thank you for watching over us. In Jesus Name, Amen.