Made Piece by Piece….

Made Piece by Piece….

We ALL have to start somewhere. Everything begins with a piece.  I don’t know about you, but there are many days which I feel all over the place – as if my life is an unorganized mess. That can really be overwhelming. I mean it literally feels as if my mind runs nonstop!!! Many times my mind literally jumps from one thing to another causing me to feel like I am not equipped to do anything. It is in these very moments that I need to stop, take a deep breath and slow down. Always easier said than done, but I am finding that when I take the time to be conscious of the chaos and re-center my mind, that is when I am capable of being most productive. Tackling things one at a time is the only way to truly give your all to the task at hand.

We live in a culture where we all want everything to happen immediately, especially when we are overwhelmed. But being impatient causes us to disregard the importance of the step by step process and many times is what prevents  us from finishing what we start.  Let’s think of a puzzle for example:

A puzzle consists of many different pieces which fit together to create a big picture.  Like a puzzle, we all have our own unique roles to play in life.  God created us each with a specific purpose in mind.  In a puzzle if you try to insert the wrong piece no matter how many ways you try it, it will not fit.  In life, if someone else tries to do what God created us to do, results will not be the same  – no one else will be the right fit to do what we are called to do. Read more

IT IS YOU, that holds us together

IT IS YOU, that holds us together

Some of us have multiple things or responsibilities going on at once. We are parents, providers, supporters, encouragers and also have manage protects and challenges in our places of work to juggle simultaneously as well.

Sometimes trying to manage all many things at once can cause us to feel as though we are living in chaos. This chaos can feel both organized and unorganized at times, and this can be overwhelming.

When chaos is all around, there is something we need to be reminded of: What seems like chaos to you, may appear as order to another. What appears as weakness to you, may appear as strength to another. What appears to be falling apart to you, may appear to be held together by another. It is all a matter perspective and faith.

So when you’re feeling as though chaos is all around you or that there is no one you can count on to be there for you, drop to your knees and lay it all at the feet of Jesus. This is what he wants from us; to come to him when we are weary or heavy laden (Mathew 11:28), so that he may give us rest and restore and renew our strength both physically and mentally.

We were not made to handle the struggles of life alone. So when your load is heavy and life is waring against you, call on Jesus. He will handle it all for you.

@madepiecebypiece

“Do not fear [anything], for I am with you; Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, be assured I will help you; I will certainly take hold of you with My righteous right hand [a hand of justice, of power, of victory, of salvation].’ Indeed, all those who are angry with you will be put to shame and humiliated; Those who strive against you will be as nothing and will perish. You shall search for those who quarrel with you, but will not find them; They who war against you will be as nothing, as nothing at all. For I the Lord your God keep hold of your right hand; [I am the Lord], Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.”

Isaiah 41:10-13 AMP

No matter how big or heavy you feel your fight or burdens are, God will protect you and hold you together and handle all that is before you. God is mighty and powerful! He can move the mountains you thought were impossible to move.

Pray with me:

Heavenly Father, I thank you Lord for your unfailing love, grace and mercy. I thank you for always being here for me and for all of your children when we need you. Father God, tonight I pray for anyone who is up battling anxiety or fear. Father God, life can feel really overwhelming and hectic sometimes. At times there can be so much to handle that we are trying to prioritize but still feel as if life is a chaotic mess. The enemy is out to corrupt our minds and hearts. In Jesus name, I pray against the enemies plans, and I decree and declare peace will fall upon anyone who calls upon the name of Jesus. Tonight, I ask you LORD Jesus, could you cover them and replace their fear or anxiety with peace. Holy Spirit fill their rooms, comfort them and make your presence known, transforming their hearts and minds. Remind them, LORD Jesus, that you desire for us to call upon your name in our times of need, and that you are our helper and you will uphold them and fight any battle they are facing, whether it be mental, physical, or a health report or illness. Remind them Holy Spirit that they are not alone. May they take comfort in knowing GOD is with them, even through the darkest of nights. In Jesus mighty name I pray, Amen 🙏

I heard this song today and although I have heard it many times before, it inspired me tonight to write this blog post. If you are reading this and have found any encouragement through my words, I pray that this video will also uplift you and comfort you in your time of need reminding you that It is God who holds us together, and he always will when we call upon him.

Something New

Something New

“Watch for the new thing I am going to do. It is happening already—you can see it now! I will make a road through the wilderness and give you streams of water there.”

Isaiah 43:19 GNTD

We are going into our 5th day of the new year 2023, and I pray you are filled with a heart and mind of expectancy. Take time to draw close to GOD through worship and in prayer and be reminded that it’s not about our own wants or desires or any new year resolutions. As followers of Christ, we must pray daily and seek out the Lord’s will for all decisions we will make.

In the Bible, in Isaiah 43:19, Isaiah was prophesying over what is to come in the future. The “new thing” he was referring to was Christs coming. Through Isaiah, GOD was giving the people of Isreal a hope and encouragement. Although they were not following GOD’s way and continued on in their evil ways no matter how many times GOD delivered them, GOD was starting to reveal to them that they would have a chance for salvation through the coming of the Messiah. GOD still loved them and wanted to give them another chance and help them to change.

Just as God was doing a new thing and making a way for the people of Israel, he desires to do the same for both you and I. When we fully surrender our lives to him in obedience, that is when he will be able to work in us and through us and do a new thing. He wants to make a way out of the dry dessert for us too. He wants to use us and transform us.

GOD is calling us to a new level of freedom in 2023. But he needs our willing hearts. Just as it was up to the people of Isreal to accept GOD’s offering, so must we too accept his invitation to move in a new direction.

Do you want what GOD is offering? Do you want a new direction in life. Do you want to step out of your old patterns and walk into the new thing he wants to do? We have a choice. Will you choose to leave behind the old? Will you choose to leave behind the repetitive unhealthy cycles in life that you’ve been battling in your own strength?

For he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care. If only you would listen to his voice today!

Psalms 95:7 NLT

Pray with me:

Father God, We thank you that you are a loving God. No matter how many mistakes we make you are always there giving us another chance to surrender our hearts to you. Lord, forgive us today for our disobedience, and for the times we take our lives into our own hands and forget that you are our creator and that you know the beginning and the end. You go before us, and see all that we cannot and you protect us. Holy Spirit, convict our hearts today. Change us and remove any desires that are not from you. Father God, in this new year, may the desires of our heart be to grow closer to you and to surrender to the purpose that you created us for. We know that we are not fighting in the physical, but we fight against spiritual principalities, and demonic forces. This world is getting dark. I declare and decree that plans which the enemy has to destroy us and keep us bound in the darkness will be broken, in Jesus name. You have a choice. Tomorrow is not promised, so today in this new year I pray that you will choose breakthrough, choose change, and choose to follow Jesus and watch the amazing way he will transform your life. I am excited to see him do a new thing in mine. My prayer is that you will surrender and allow him to do the same in yours. In Jesus mighty name, I pray, Amen.

I can get through anything because;

  • God Formed me
  • God Created me
  • God Redeemed me
  • God Called me

Growing with you,

Sandy

My Thanksgiving Prayer

My Thanksgiving Prayer

May peace, Love and gratitude fill your hearts and homes today.

My prayer today:

Father God, I ask you today to enter the hearts of all people and remind them of blessings you have provided for them. Father, sometimes the struggles of life blind us, and we focus on the bad things that have caused us harm or hurt. Father shift focus from the hurt of the past over to a focus on blessings and love. Show us that the past is not our home. We know that evil and bad exist in this world Lord, but today may we all remember that you alone conquer evil. May we celebrate love and thankfulness today. Father God, we declare this day, a day of love, appreciation and gratitude. Thank you for your blessings.

In Jesus name, Amen 🙏

Growing with you, Sandy 🧡💛

Jesus will always be there, so keep him Over Everything

Jesus will always be there, so keep him Over Everything

Jesus gave his life so that we could live. His sacrifice didn’t mean we would be promised a perfect life. Hard times will come. But he is with us through them.

Struggle is both inevitable and uncomfortable. But it has purpose. When we face hard times, he wants us to draw closer to him. He is by our side at all times and loves us more than anyone ever can or will.

“But now, God’s Message, the God who made you in the first place, Jacob, the One who got you started, Israel: “Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end— Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Savior. I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! That’s how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you.” - Isaiah‬ ‭43:1-4‬ ‭MSG‬‬‬‬

May we always run to him in every circumstance and keep him above all else in life. Never loose hope, never give up and be reminded to never place anything before him. He is faithful and will be with you helping you get your through all hardships as long as you call on his name!

Image source:
https://bible.com/bible/116/isa.43.2.NLT

Sometimes we are going to be put in the fire when we are following God, but we will not be alone!! Just as he protected Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when they were thrown in a fiery furnace when they refused to serve the gods of Nebuchadnezzar, you too will be protected and will not be burned or consumed. The hard trials God will allow you face will be to draw you closer to him and strengthen you for the calling he has for your life.

“Nebuchadnezzar was so furious with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face became distorted with rage. He commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual. Then he ordered some of the strongest men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. So they tied them up and threw them into the furnace, fully dressed in their pants, turbans, robes, and other garments. And because the king, in his anger, had demanded such a hot fire in the furnace, the flames killed the soldiers as they threw the three men in. So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, securely tied, fell into the roaring flames. But suddenly, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?” “Yes, Your Majesty, we certainly did,” they replied. “Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god!” Then Nebuchadnezzar came as close as he could to the door of the flaming furnace and shouted: “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stepped out of the fire. Then the high officers, officials, governors, and advisers crowded around them and saw that the fire had not touched them. Not a hair on their heads was singed, and their clothing was not scorched. They didn’t even smell of smoke!”
‭‭- Daniel‬ ‭3:19-27‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Father God, we praise your mighty name and we give you all glory and honor for you are loving and good to us. Father, whenever we go through the trials in our lives, please remind us that we are not alone and that you are walking right beside our us through the fire. Remind us Lord not to become discouraged, not to lose hope, and remind us who we are. We are called by you for such a time as this and we must keep you above all things that come into our lives. Lord Jesus, whether you’re walking with us by our side, or our carrying us through the hardest times in our lives, may we never loose sight of the power we have through you. May we always praise you through the hard times and know that you are with us always. Father God, if we ever for a moment allow fear or doubts to begin to take route, remind us that we are sons and daughters of the most high! And remind us Oh God, that your word is our double edged sword which will defeat and destroy anything that is not from you. Lord, we thank you for loving us, protecting us, and directing our steps. In Jesus name, we pray, Amen 🙏

Growing with you,

Sandy

The Time for Forgiveness is Now

The Time for Forgiveness is Now

We live in an imperfect world. Life leaves us disappointed when our expectations or needs are left unmet. We are imperfect people who disappoint even ourselves when we don’t meet the expectations we set for ourselves.

I love Jesus and I want more than anything in the world to always do the right thing and love others as he loves us. But truth is I fall short and I make mistakes. Fact is there will be times that we will let both ourselves and others down.

Some of my past mistakes are still being carried with me. They are a weight that at times feels heavy. I know that they don’t define me, yet I carry them. They are hard to forgot and hard to move past. But I long for the day when I can.

REFLECTION:
What are you holding against yourself? Are you allowing others to shame you because of your flaws? Are you allowing unforgivess to hold you back?


Father, tonight my prayer is that anyone reading this post holding themselves or another individual accountable will find the strength to forgive. May we find the strength to let go of what is holding us back. Father help us find release so that we can walk in the Purpose you created us for. God help us to be obedient and release our shortcomings to you. We can’t do it apart from you Lord. Help us forgive, now in this moment. Help us to break chains that keep us stuck.
In Jesus name, Amen

Growing with you,

Sandy

What does it mean to forgive like Jesus?

What does it mean to forgive like Jesus?

Many times I have been guilty of believing that I am weak. This is because I respond to personal attacks and insults far differently than anyone I know. When others put themselves first, I am always left feeling guilty or questioning myself. I tend to second guess my responses numerous times after occurrences have past. I argue with myself internally and ask; Why can’t I be like them?, Why can’t I respond the way they would?, Why can I not give the nastiness back? Well, it’s because I am me. God created me to be different!

While I may at times want to respond the way others would when I am faced with disrespect, in my heart I know that I can’t.

I don’t want to hurt others or mistreat them. It feels wrong in my spirit. No one deserves it. No matter how nasty they are.

We are called to forgive like Jesus, but again what does that mean?

Forgiving like Jesus means to forgive EVERYTHING and EVERYONE. It means forgiving all the time no matter who or what the situation or circumstances are.

Now, hold on a second. What about extreme situations such as murder, rape, child molestation? How on earth can we forgive those offenses? Only through strength that the Lord provides us with and even then, it may be the hardest thing we will ever have to do. And God loves us so much that he leaves it as our choice to do. He will never force us to follow him.

There are those who will say no way, never would I forgive such an offense. And I can understand that response, because that type of forgiveness is unimaginable. But with God, I know it has been possible for some.

Jesus taught that we are to forgive others just as he forgives us. He never placed a limitation on what or who should be forgiven.

Jesus was the ultimate mercy seat for every single one of us. He gave his life for all. So if we are to be like him, we too must extend mercy and grace to all who offend us. He never told us it would be easy, but he did tell us to go to God in prayer and ask him to forgive us just as we forgive those who sin against us (Matthew 6:12).

In this same chapter in the book of Matthew, Jesus told his people that their sins will not be forgiven by the father if they don’t forgive others:

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” - Matthew 6:14-15 NLT

Another version of the Bible explains it this way:


“In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.” - Matthew 6:14-15 MSG

So we are called to live by grace and extend mercy to all, always. Otherwise, we ourselves will not be forgiven for our sins.

In Matthew 18:21-22, the Apostle Peter questioned Jesus on this very thing.

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

Jesus is saying here that we must forgive over and over, continuously. Through our own strength we can’t do this. But the strength of the Lord will cover us in our weakness if we call upon his name and ask him to help us.

If you’re like me, striving not to meet others with the same disrespect they do to you, know that you are not weak. You are actually the opposite, you are strong. Take pride in this strength and continue to ask the Lord to help you continue to practice it over and over again if needed. For anyone can be reactive, but being like Jesus means forgiving and showing mercy, grace and strength. Do your best to not act out of your character, but rather continue to show the strength of the Lord at all times and in all things.

If a time comes when you fall short of this, don’t beat yourself up, repent and ask the Lord for forgiveness and then surrender the hurt and anger to the Lord and forgive your offender anyway.

God is showing me that as followers of Christ, we should always strive for peace. For when we do, rewards await us in Heaven.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” - Matthew 5:9, 11-12 NIV

Father God, We thank you and we Honor you for always forgiving us no matter what we do or how much we continue to do it. Jesus, you gave your life for us and you continue to chase us with unrelenting love no matter how many times we mess up. We know that in this world we will have trials and tribulations, but we know that you are right there with us giving us the strength we need to get through. Lord we ask that you would continue to strengthen us during these difficult times and change our hearts to be more like yours so that we may be able to offer forgiveness to those who hurt or offend us. May we be wise and guard our hearts, but may we also be reminded to forgive those that offend or hurt us. Father God our flesh is weak, but we submit ourselves to you and ask that you would lead us and guide us so that we will walk in your purpose for our lives and ultimately love others as you love us. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Growing with you,

Sandy

Please watch these video stories below from Mathew West. I pray they show you that even in the most devastating circumstances, forgiveness through the Lord’s strength is possible.

Lord, We Need You!

Lord, We Need You!

Words hurt!

People will insult you.

People will belittle you.

They will tell lies about you.

They will try to break you.

They will try to push you down.

Their words will pierce your heart and they will pierce your soul.

They will make you think less of yourself.

But do not give up on life.

Do not believe their lies.

Do not believe their opinions.

You are not less than.

You do have a purpose.

There is hope.

God created each one of us from the very moment of conception with a God given, appointed purpose.

You are not what has happened to you.

Your circumstances do not define you.

God loves and cares for you.

When your heart aches cry out to him!

He will show up for you and pull you through.

No matter what they say or what it is you are battling, cry out Lord I need you!!

You must understand God has so much in store for you.

God has a plan and a future for you.

God is going to use your pain for your purpose!!

He is going to use you to help others who will walk through the very valley you’re in now.

Do not give up on yourself.

Your life is tied to saving the lives of others.

Pray to God and ask him to give you strength.

Your testimony is for others.

You will overcome.

You will be used for greater!

Father God, we give you thanks for you are worthy of all praise. We call upon your name and cry out to you. Lord, I need you. Lord, we need you. Lord, your people need you. Father, hear the cries of your people and show up for them. Show them Lord that they are never walking alone and that you are with them. Holy Spirit move in their lives and transform their spirits from within. Father God, comfort hearts and break strongholds. Lord Jesus, you are love. Remind your people that they have been set apart by you for a greater purpose. Renew their strength oh Lord so that they may fulfill their God-given purposes to help others. Align them with the right people who will help strengthen them. Father God, we know that our pain births our God given purpose. Renew your people Lord, reveal yourself to them and give them the strength to stand in the midst of the attacks, insults and pain. Father, comfort them in their pain. We come against the plans of the enemy Lord and declare that your will for their lives will come to pass. They will overcome and have a testimony to encourage and empower others. Father God we know that you will go before them so that they may intercede and go before others in the future. Strengthen us to walk in our God given purpose. We know that only you are able to provide for our needs. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Growing with you,

Sandy