Cutting Away

As I sit here at the salon and allow the hairstylist to get my long locks back into a healthy and more desirable state,  it reminds me of my heavenly father and his process for us.

“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.” John 15:2

As she cuts away the dead, the broken, the over-processed hair, so the Lord does with our character,  our behaviors and our unbecoming habits. If it is not anything that reflects goodness or Christ, he trims it away. Most of the time he slowly trims away and few times it’s done in an instance, like the closing of a door. He says “I don’t think so”, and your situation comes a dead stop.

The hair that is healthy remains and only becomes healthier by up keep.  In the same sense, read the Word, seek fellowship with the brethren, pray fervently and love Jesus with all your heart, let your life be a healthy reflection of Christ and bare much fruit.

Take off the mask

Regrets, shame, fear, heart break, discouragements, addictions, you name it and we all have been there. Can’t breathe, can’t move, can’t think straight because of the terrible things we’ve been through. It does not matter what someone may portray on the outside, we all have something going on inside. We wear masks out in public and even at home that say “I’m fine”, “I’m happy”, and “I’m strong” but the truth is we are all so broken. We can fake the funk rather easily. There’s a saying that “the eye is the window of the soul”, and there is a bible verse that expresses that very same idea.
“Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light but when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness.”- Matthew 6:22-23
Have you ever looked in the mirror and not recognize yourself? I mean you know it’s you but you just look so worn down, so exhausted, and so tired of fighting. You look into your eyes and you see a heaviness, your eyes are reflecting what is going on in your heart. Now it is one thing to just being plain ole’ tired but it’s another to be completely broken. This brokenness can be short term or long term, seasonal or lifelong. Whatever it is going on in your life and however long it has been, it can be overcome. We were not created to have a life of dread and continual sorrow, but created to have a life of abundance.
“The thief (the devil) comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; but I (the Lord your God) came to give you life to enjoy and in abundance.”- Matthew 10:10
Let’s break this down. The devil and all his schemes and evil plans are to ultimately destroy us, to kill us, to break us down. But the Lord our God has great plans for our lives and wants us to live a glory filled life and full of joy.
The meaning of Enjoy (En: within/ joy: gladness)
Listen, not every day will you be happy but in your heart there will be gladness. Why is there gladness? Because you have God’s son Jesus Christ living inside of you, and with that you are promised eternal life in heaven! The incentive to living in Heaven is perfection; there is no sorrow, hurt, pain, illness, or darkness. If someone came up to you today and said “Would you like to live in a perfect place? A place where you will only experience great happiness and joy? A place where there is nothing but mansions to live in and streets of gold? A place where people are kind and genuine? A place that has a perfect father to care for you and love you?” I don’t know about you but at first I would think the person was crazy because I cannot fathom such a place but then I would take my chance and say “Yes, take me to this perfect place- I want to go!”
Folks it’s real. It really exists and so does God our Father in heaven. Let’s go to this place! Let’s overcome the devil and his attempts of trying to destroy us and let us live the abundant life that God has set before us!
“For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord our God, plans to prosper you and not to harm you; to give you hope and a future (glorious plans). “-Jeremiah 29:11

The power of your WORDS

I seem to be using this reference a lot lately when talking to people, so I figured I might as well write on it also. Teacher Joyce Meyer talks about emotions and feelings frequently and how you can not trust them. Our feelings are so easily swayed, they are tossed to-and-fro, who can trust them?

When I wake up in the morning, there are times I feel angry, and the truth is I don’t even know why. I walk around the house super irritable and am like a fire breathing dragon if someone dares to talk to me. After about an hour and two cups of coffee I can tolerate people and life. This is just a small example of moods, feelings, or emotions. We allow them to get so erratic.

This past year I asked God to really help me to be in tune with my negative behavior. Anything that sets itself up against the Word of God needs to be cast down.

” We destroy arguments and every lofty thought raised up against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5

So what exactly does this mean? If your thoughts and your behavior is not pure in nature and or encouraging we need to: stop in our tracks, say aloud “nope I’m not going there” and start praising God instead. The easiest way to prevent negative thoughts is to speak great things into existence. Just as the Lord God spoke this whole world into existence, we too have that same authority. So now when I wake up and my head is foggy and I feel irritable I say “It is going to be a wonderful day!” “Great things are in store for me!” “Lord this is the day that you have made, I will rejoice and be glad!” Listen, when you start speaking these positive things into existence and you actually hear yourself saying it aloud, you start believing it! You are tricking your own feelings! Just try it. It is impossible to have a bad attitude and praise God at the same time. Continual praise brings peace and joy. I leave you with this verse that is great instruction and easy to interpret;

“Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praise worthy- think about these things.” Philippians 4:8

 

The pleasures of this World.

This world can offer us many things but are they all good for us? I’m sure some people can ignorantly argue this and say “absolutely, they are good for us”. Maybe the question to really ask is “are we fulfilled by the things this world has to offer?” Lets go a little deep here.

When I was twelve years old I started drinking, and took a liking to Cisco Red and Mickey’s malt liquor. If any of you have ever heard of either you are probably gagging right now. Cisco was referred to as liquid crack, not that it was literally but it was more like the texture and taste of cough syrup. Then eventually through my years of drinking, I liked anything and everything and in excessive amounts. I probably got sick 90% of the time I drank, which was probably God’s early warning signs. As all of us with any addictions, we allow our inhibitions to go down the drain and make poor decisions. So with drinking came a life of promiscuity for me. I decided I was going to play the field with no feelings attached and live each day care free. The truth is I loved being desired but I was being desired by undesirable men and in a completely disrespectful way. I had done this to myself, I allowed guys to use me and I used them. Let me tell you something, the worst thing you can do is say you don’t care. When you stop caring your heart grows cold and you stop feeling things, you become accustomed to crap going on around you. Be honest with yourself! We have that moral gauge in us that tells us when we’re out of line, but we use excuses, addictions and allow the voice of another person to manipulate our good senses. I partied hard all the way up to twenty-eight years old, that’s 16 years of belligerent behavior. What a waste of time! I am so glad that I finally surrendered to God because if he hadn’t I might have been dead or possibly killed somebody else from drunk driving. The world and the things of it would love to destroy us but we can overcome it with our heavenly father Jesus.

In my time of walking with the Lord I have asked him to show me many things. Here’s a few;

Show me how to love myself

Show me how to forgive myself

How deep is your love for me

What are your plans for my life

Show me how you are transforming me

Close doors and open up new opportunities

Surround me with Godly people

Break me of bad habits

Help me to understand your Holy Bible and to remember your Word

God is faithful folks. I have learned so much from him and he has shown me so much of myself. God is all-knowing, he knew that I was going to get off track and be a mess BUT he turned my mess into a message. My test was for my testimony. It doesn’t matter the road we have been down, God wants to take our brokenness and make us whole. I don’t know if you know this but God likes to show off! He performs miracles daily for his glory, and we are to praise him for it. I challenge my readers to take a step forward, surrender yourselves and see what God can do. It’s easy…you have nothing to lose but everything to gain.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone away, behold the new is here”- 2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

“For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord. Just as the waters cover the sea.”- Habakkuk 2:14

“For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all Gods.”- Psalm 96:4

 

Philadelphia Eagles fly to heavenly heights!

Wow what a super bowl game that was! Both teams played amazing and definitely deserve praise for their performance but the best part of all 4 hours was when the Eagles head coach, Ertz, and Foles gave the glory to God. Amen! When your eyes are open to the fact that there is someone bigger than you and greater that’s when you learn to walk in humility. Every day is truly a gift from above. See the link below if you missed the trophy presentation

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” -1 Peter 5:6

 

It’s God’s protection not rejection.

Just recently the eyes of my heart were enlightened and I gained understanding that I was not rejected by that person or those persons but I was protected by my heavenly father. Have you ever been discouraged by someone or let down or had a dream fall to ashes? If you haven’t, luck you, but I am sure the majority of us has experienced rejection or discouragement some where down the line.

Well I had finally got a breakthrough the other day that I had needed for so long. I was driving down the road talking to God and I asked him to show me how to accept a particular situation that had happened with a guy I was talking to. Basically in a nut shell, I dated this guy who I had thought was pretty great while ignoring a couple of red flags. When I asked God to show me how to accept the rejection, he started speaking to me, “Courtney suppose one of your parents saw something that would affect you in a negative way but they didn’t say or do anything about it”. He then said “I know what lies ahead, and I know this man and what your future would be like with him, and I know the heartbreak you will go through if you would’ve stayed with him”. Praise God! Right then I felt a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. He knows every thing and all things! Nothing is a surprise to him. He is my heavenly Father doing his heavenly duties, protecting me and loving me in a way I have never experienced. He wants to do the same for all of us but we have to choose. We can either chase after empty promises or walk in the amazing plans our daddy Jesus has for us. WALK IN VICTORY!

Isaiah 41:10 NLT

10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.