When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you. Lao Tzu

 

As Christians, we need to check our hearts a lot more often. Because many times, Christians can go through the motions and keep doing the “Christian thing,” but something has crept in their hearts and is hurting them and others.

Proverbs 4:23 says, Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life (NLT). Notice that it doesn’t say somebody else will guard your heart. It doesn’t say God will guard your heart, your neighbor will guard your heart or your pastor will guard your heart. It says you need to guard your heart. You’re in charge of guarding your own heart. Realize that it’s pretty much a full-time job because we don’t know on any given day what’s going to come up. You don’t know what somebody may say to you that may hurt you, disappoint you or let you down. Then suddenly, there’s a wound in there that needs to be dealt with.

Since you just don’t know, you have to constantly be working with the Holy Spirit to keep your heart right.

Let’s look at Contentment:

Most of you would agree that contentment is a heart thing. Right? Well, that’s how I feel. I also feel. I also feel that we are most blessed when we are content, grateful and satisfied in him and have peace in the journey we are currently in and where He is leading us. God is pleased when we stop comparing our journeys with others and we are most content and satisfied in Him.

Let ‘s look at social media for example:

Social media can be a wonderful place to connect, learn a thing or two, be encouraged and share ideas, but it can also be addictive and a dangerous place to subconsciously engage in “comparison living”. I’ll admit I’ve used #blessed with previous posts. It’s definitely not always a bad thing, but when it is used as a “humble brag” to impress others… that’s where it gets tricky. How many times have you gotten on social media, perfectly content with the vacation you just had or the new pair of shoes you just bought? But then you see someone else’s Tahiti vacation or designer shoes and suddenly you want MORE. Or you feel confident and energized after a great workout until you look at those Instagram fitness accounts with all the right lighting and all the right angles. We can’t control everything we see, but we can control how we react to it. Choose to focus on the REAL blessings in your life instead of someone else’s #blessed.

The secret to overcoming comparisons?

Contentment is so far removed from many Christians that it seems that they will never be able to find it or be at peace. However, contentment is not something that must be searched for and found. It is an attitude of the heart. Once the attitude has been modified and all has been transferred to God, contentment will be evident.

So what is Contentment?

Contentment is being grateful for what we have. Maybe take a break from social media for a while. Unfollow accounts that aren’t building you up. We CAN tailor our news feeds to show us what we want to see. Learn to be happy FOR other people without coveting. If you can’t work at it. Stay true to your values and don’t let others (who you don’t even know!) dictate how you spend your money or time or think about yourself. Lastly, watch who & what you are following, what you post, like and share, check your motives friends! Are you building or tearing down? Is it building you or tearing you apart?

The Bible says satisfaction comes from doing your best, not comparing yourself to others: “Let everyone be sure to do his very best, for then he will have the personal satisfaction of work done well and won’t need to compare himself with someone else” (Galatians 6:4 LB).

Take an envy self-examination. Do you compare your life, your home, your husband, your kids, even your lawn, to other people? This exam may reveal some surprises and show you that there are more important things to do than compare yourself or what you have to others.

When you strive to be the person God made you to be, you’ll find real meaning, purpose, fulfillment, and satisfaction. You can’t focus on your purpose while looking at other people.

Dr. David Jeremiah, one of my favorite Bible teachers, the founder and host of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon pointed us in the direction of true contentment. http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/turning-point/listen/

Contentment Is…
I believe the most complete passage in Scripture on this subject is Philippians 4:10-20. The amazing reality about this passage on contentment is that Paul wrote it while in prison for his faith. Here’s his key thought: “…I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content…[for] my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (verses 11,19).

1. Contentment is learned behavior. We learn to be content like babies learn to walk. And such an unnatural disposition is only by supernatural grace. With a spouse, good friend, or small study group, you must learn to resist, in the power of the Holy Spirit, the discontentment of our age; or you will be swept up in it and live an agitated life.

2. Contentment is not dependent on circumstances. If Paul can learn to be content regardless of circumstance, we can, too. The same Holy Spirit who indwelt him indwells us. The same fruit of the Spirit  peace and self-control  that were manifest in his life can be manifest in ours.

Discontent desires more  bigger, better, faster, newer, more comfortable. That is deception. If you are not content in challenging circumstances, the contentment you think you feel in other circumstances is not contentment but simply your satisfaction that things are momentarily the way you think they should be.

3. Contentment is a state of being, not a state of doing. Our flesh only feels content when we are doing. Being, however, does not end  it is not tied to activity. Paul said he had learned to “be content,” not “do contentment.”

4. Contentment is based on the riches of God in Christ Jesus. The Bible says that everything we need to complete our journey from earth to heaven will be supplied by God. Therefore, everything we feel discontented about is likely not something we need in order to make and complete that journey.

There’s nothing wrong with possessing things. But there is something wrong if we can’t be content without them. May God speak to your heart and help you seek, and find, contentment in Him.

Do you ever feel restless in your spirit? Is there something you want, something you’re waiting for, or something you feel like you’ll never have? Contentment does not come easy, especially when there are circumstances in your life tempting you to want something better. Oh how our hearts love to covet … but Christ has given us the freedom to be content and live righteously.

The following is a prayer for finding contentment written by Kevin Halloran:

Oh Lord, You are my shepherd and I should not be in want,
but so often I struggle to be content and do want;
forgetting that you have graciously provided me with every spiritual blessing in Christ and everything I need for life and godliness.

Thank you for often not giving me what I want
because my desires would draw my heart from being satisfied in You.
Help me to be content in You with what You have given me
and to not be focused on what my flesh wants or the world tells me I should have.

Protect me from coveting possessions or people,
talent or influence, relationships or prestige.
Keep my heart from being anxious for what I don’t have
and make me thankful for the numerous gifts that You have already given.

According to Your Word and steadfast love,
fill me with the joy and satisfaction of contentment in Christ.
Help me learn to be content in any situation like Paul
and to quickly reject the idolatry that dwells beneath the surface of my coveting.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Mothers, God chose you to be the best mother you can be to your children. Don’t take your role lightly….so very special. 

I have been reflecting and praying about the vows I took on my wedding day not only to my husband but our children. I think about my responsibilities towards each and every single one of them , specially my daughters. I watched my incredible husband selflessly gives, cares, loves, covers, protects and provides to our blended family over the last few months and how God has lavished his overwhelming grace in my marriage. We are not perfect and we have challenges just like any  family but we are blessed. God is truly the best matchmaker. I am so thankful for God’s best. I watched his interactions with the boys and the girls and I the positive impact he has made on them. His dedication to help shape and lead with strong hands and teach them the way they should go as  father has been a tremendous blessing. The love I see in our little girls eyes and how the quickly adapt to our blended family brings me so much joy.

I have always knew as a mother how much influence I have on our girls but I am more convinced that my role as mother is more than just me nurturing and caring for them. I am their role model. I have in me the power to shape them to be women of purpose and Build a Godly Foundation of Strength and Beauty they are to becomes. My hope is that they will have strength and endurance to stand for Christ, even when others had faltered in the face of difficulty.

 

As written above, in Psalm 144 David writes that our daughters will be “like pillars carved to adorn a palace.” Not only are pillars beautiful and inspiring to look at, but more importantly, they are crucial to the stability of a building. The dictionary’s definition of a pillar has two sides: “a firm, upright support for a structure; or, a supporting, integral, or upstanding member or part of society.” David’s words about our daughters were definitely ahead of their time!

As I have taken some time to reflect on this verse and on some of the incredible women who are a part of my life, I think of some of the roles that they fulfill – they are speakers, teachers, board members, pastors, missionaries, writers, prayer warriors, children’s workers, greeters, janitors and worship leaders – just to name a few! They are leaders, and they are behind-the-scenes workers – all playing a crucial role in the function of the church. Nothing against our sons but My daughters will be like pillars!!!!. I pray that they will be women that lead others to Christ with their positive attitude and they way they carry themselves wherever they go. They will be women that live life with purpose and help carry the torch of love, mercy, grace, truth and compassion. They will know their true identify and self worth and live a life that inspires and builds other women around them.

I’m Not Raising Girls: I’m Raising Loving Wives, Devoted Moms, and Women Who Fear God.

Just recently, my daughters and I had a dance party. We had no special reason to have a party or celebrate. I needed to experience their joy and their laughter and their love and so we had an impromptu dance party, where we could just come as we were and have fun. As their laughter burst out and their dance moves got even sillier, I wanted to take it all in and hold it. I wanted to capture this moment in my heart and in my mind because this was a moment I wanted to experience again. This moment sparked my thoughts about the things I want my daughters to know.

Dear Daughters,

I hope that you read this one day and that it helps you to understand my heart. I hope that you flourish into the woman God intends you to be. Here are seven things I hope that you know and always remember:

1. I’ve loved you from the start and I love you now. Though it may seem that I am hard on you, I love you and want the best for you. But even so, I realize that my best for you won’t suffice. I want God’s best for you.

2. I’ve prayed for you even before you were born. I prayed that you would fulfill His purpose for your life. I prayed that you would be beautiful inside and out. I prayed that God would show me how to love you, that He would keep teaching me and molding me into the mother you needed in order to flourish.

3. There is no manual for mothering you and sometimes I wish one existed. But this is a grand responsibility:  to be entrusted with the responsibility of shaping your self-image, your relationship with your children, your views of the world, your concept of love, forgiveness,  being a woman, self-acceptance is a great task. I do not have a manual that tells me what to do. So I make mistakes, I get angry and frustrated. Mostly I’m frustrated at myself for not knowing how to be an expert at this. But I depend on God’s grace and His ability to correct me and to show me how to love you and parent you.

4. Please forgive me. Please forgive me for the mistakes I’ve made. If I have assumed that I could love you based on my needs and not yours, please forgive me. Please forgive me for not always saying I’m sorry.

5. I love dancing with you because then, I can capture your smile. Your joy is pure and complete and you seem to genuinely happy. Because I am happy and I’ve put down the world to dance with you and enjoy the moment, you are gleaming. I hope we dance together forever.

6. I think often about what you will remember about me. What will I have given you besides food and shelter? What will I have deposited in your soul that you will want to carry with you always? What pieces of me will you have that bring you joy and peace of mind?
7. You are brave and strong and I admire your willingness to try new things. Your bravery gives me strength and fuels my courage.  May your bravery never shrink to cowardice; may your bravery inspire all those you encounter.

8. You are beautiful. Everything about you is beautiful and nothing about you is by accident. Your personality is just what it should be. Your smile is just perfect for your face. Your light shines bright and I hope the world does not dull it’s glow.

9. I love you. I’ve always loved you. I prayed for you then and I pray for you now. I don’t really know what I’m doing, but I’m asking God to show me what to do.

Dear mothers reading this,

  1.  God is going to hold us accountable for our daughters. 
  2. Don’t try to be perfect but practice what you preach, you are the best role model in her life. 
  3. Moms, Your daughters is true reflection of who you are. If you are loud and ratchet that’s exactly what she will likely become because she is watching you. Who would want their children to make the same mistakes they’ve made? You are creating a mini-version of yourself if you are not too careful. Don’t take your role lightly. See wisdom and Godly guidance.
  4.  Be strong when you must and be kind and gentle when you need to. 
  5. Take time to evaluate our past mistakes/hurts  and any generational bondage likely to be pass on to our daughters. 
  6. They will make mistakes.
  7. NEVER stop praying for them.

God has entrusted them to our care and He will hold us accountable to how we choose to raise the daughters He has loaned to us. Part of that stewardship involves preparing them for their own adventure with God which separate from mom and Dad.

Please understand that daughters unconsciously identify with their mothers and all mothers have tremendous power to shape their daughters’ self-image by teaching that a woman’s value is not based solely on outer looks, but on her inner essence, by talking to her daughter in sensitive ways during the critical junctures of sexual development, and by deep self-love and acceptance. I am thankful to God for my wonderful mother. She is such a Godly example to me. My mother didn’t have to say much in public nor from a distance. She looks at me, i can already tell what that look meant. LOL Everything I am today is because of her.

A mother goes a long way to ensure her daughter’s future mental, emotional, and physical health. So whatever I am and do day in and day out, good or bad, my attitude…their eyes are fixing on me.. they are watching every actions, interactions and my reactions.  Children are the best gift but can be the worst embarrassment to their parents so teach tem well.  Same for all of you. Our daughters are watching us. we can’t garranty how they will behave when they leave us but the Bible encourage us Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

Let’s do our part, learn to protect, teach and discipline them according to what the word of God says but not what the world is saying or doing. Our attitude, how speak and how we carry ourselves around our daughters maters.

I am eternally grateful to God for the privilege of motherhood and I earnestly pray that I live a life that models Christ in front of them not just for today but until Christ return.

 

Lord, thank you for the precious daughters you have given me. Thank you for entrusting me with so great a duty. Thank you for grace and mercy that follow me daily as I shepherd and lead your children. Help me to stop and take in every moment. Teach me what to focus on as I correct, teach, lead, and love them. Amen!


May our sons flourish in their youth like well-nurtured plants. 
May our daughters be like graceful pillars, carved to beautify a palace.
Psalm 144:12

 

Be inspired today, ladies – you are called to be a crucial part in what God is doing!

Min. Flore

 

 

Joy cometh….Take heart! #Blog

The PAIN that you have been feeling can not compare to the JOY that is coming.” – Romans 8:18
Sometimes, we just need a reminder of greater things that are going to come when we’re just caught up in the mess of the world. A reminder to take a step back and peek back , realizing just how far you’ve come. A reminder to stretch from the piles of work in front of us and to let oxygen flow to your brain again. A reminder to remember who or what you’re working for.
There’s a beginning for everything and not all beginnings are easy. When we first come into this world, we’re pretty much helpless. We can’t fend for ourselves, we can’t feed ourselves and we can’t communicate efficiently. Yet, with proper aid and nourishment, we grow up to be amazing human beings who are able to fend for ourselves and help others. Without a beginning, then we wouldn’t exist! Also, of all the TV shows we’ve watched, most of the first episodes do not compare with the rest of the series since they’re usually awkward and you don’t really know what’s happening. As the series progresses, you get to know the characters more and how they solve whatever gets thrown at them. You find out how they handle certain situations and you think to yourself, I can do that too and that’s when you decide that they’re your heroes- the ones you look up to.
We’ve heard of the phrase, “It gets better.” I feel like this quote goes more into depth about that simple and overlooked quote. The it, your pain, is going to get better, hence, more joy will come your way. Pain and joy are opposing  feelings, but you won’t be in pain for a prolonged time. When you get a cut, you initially feel the stinging pain and it starts to throb after a while.  After a week or so, it goes away and heals. You certainly remember how it felt when you got the cut , but it’s not there anymore. There is healing in the injury process, but the initial pain doesn’t stay. It could linger a little longer than you expect, but it will heal.
Unfortunately, while pain isn’t permanent, so is joy. Joy isn’t permanent, but that’s what contrasts pain and joy. Without the presence of pain, how would you know what joy feels like? If all you felt was joy, would you realize that it was joy? Whatever you’re feeling that’s causing you to trip right now, just know that you’re feeling it just so that the joy you’ll feel would be greater and worth it.
When you’re in the healing process and recovering from immense pain, joy may be so far and so difficult to find. It’s times like these when we’re tested for our patience and perseverance. All we want at that moment is relief and the feeling of joy once again, but it just seems to be missing. After going through a long period of pain and waiting and the time of joy and relief comes, you come through wiser. Those features are worth the wait so that you can encourage others who may also be stuck in the muck of pains.
So, take heart and it gets better. Your breakthrough is coming. Hang in there. Hold on to God’s promises. Trust and embrace your struggles. God is with you. “Weeping may endure for a while but Joy Cometh in the morning.” – Psalm 30: 5