Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Contentment - The Theme For 43

So, tomorrow is my birthday. Yup 43. What am I doing with this life? What will people see in it when they look back? What are my children getting from it?

Anyway, typically, for about a week leading up to my birthday, I spend some time in reflection over the previous year, just simply counting my blessings and looking  at where I've come as a person. I also start looking forward to where I want to go in the next year. For the last several years I have chosen a song to be my theme song for the year and to kind of represent who I want to be or to become during that time. But this year I have forgotten to do all of that. I have been distracted and stressed. I have missed out on the joy that I get from this time of reflection.
And then today, it came to me! I am in the middle of doing a Bible study called Fight Back With Joy by Margaret Feinburg and I am also reading the book that goes along with it. I was reading today in Philippians 4 where Paul says that he has learned to be content in EVERY situation, no matter what his circumstances are because he can do ALL things through the power of Christ living in him. Wow! What if I applied that way of thinking to my life, to my circumstances? What if I could look at raising teenagers and say that I am content with my life and my struggles? What about my finances? My marriage? The hormonal changes going on in my own body? Would I be able to stand and say TODAY that I am content no matter what? No. No, I could not say that today and I certainly have not been living with contentment. But perhaps it is something worth pursuing, worth chasing after, worth trying to attain to.
Yes. Philippians 4:11 will be my verse for the year: "I have learned to be content no matter what my circumstances". Content will be my word for the year. I will be content, or at least strive toward it, in the power of Christ. I will have to do it in His power. If I were able to do it on my own, I would have done it already.
And what about a song? I think this one will do:
For the first time in months, I have a feeling of HOPE!
I am looking forward to a new chapter!
May God Bless you ALL as you seek to know Him more ~ Shannon

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Miracle on the Battlefield

Jehoshapat -- an Old Testament King of Judah. He was a good king with a heart for God. He wasn't perfect but you can see that he tries. One of the last events of his kingdom that we hear about is a battle, or rather, a non-battle. Jehoshapat was told that three other kings had joined forces and were plotting for war against him. Immediately, even though he is afraid, he calls for prayer and fasting. He immediately goes to God for a solution. He doesn't sit around and fret. He doesn't run away. He doesn't try to solve it on his own. He goes to God.
And his prayer is not just "Get me out of this mess!" Although I think that would be appropriate. No, his prayer is a prayer of praise for who God is and a prayer of rembrance for the promises that God has given His people. His prayer is a plea for help but more importantly it is a prayer of worship. In his fear, he worships.
And God answers his prayer with this:

You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.'
2 Chronicles 20:17
And God did fight the battle. The armies that were plotting together against Jehoshapat had turned on each other and by the time he arrived, there was no one left to fight. God had performed a miracle for them in answer to their prayers!
God told Jehoshapat that he would not need to fight but He also told him to GO.
We might not need to fight the battle but in order to see the deliverance of the Lord, in order to see the victory, we do have to show up to the battlefield!
We cannot watch God perform miracles if we do not sit in front of the stage!
Our battlefield is God's platform to show off His power, His glory! God wants to give us miracles, He wants to answer our prayers, He wants to bless us but what is it all worth if we don't come to the auditorium where He is performing?
I know that many of you are going through a hard time and I know the desire to crawl back under the covers and hide. But God is calling us out of hiding. He is calling us to come and witness His miracles. And He encourages us, "Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. I AM with you."
What an Awesome God!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Run Your Race

Last week our Bible study group started the study Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst. It's basically a study about how we give food a place of honor in our lives that is only meant for God. We run to food in times of stress, anxiety, joy, etc instead of running to God. This may not necessarily be true for you but I know that it is true for me! And let's face it, if you are a woman in America, it is probably true for you too, to some degree.

Well, this afternoon I was reading in Hebrews 12 and I really felt like part of what the writer of Hebrew was saying fits into my decision to make healthier food choices and put God first in my life. And as I was reading the notes for Hebrews 12, it lead me to a place in 1 Corinthians 9. These two passages really go together and they really spoke to me today.

 Hebrew 12:1-2
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross

1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Run with Endurance
Do Not Quit
Keep My Eyes Focused on Christ
Run to get the prize
What is the prize?
The prize is the JOY SET BEFORE ME - it is God's pleasure in me for doing His will.
I will only achieve this prize by keeping my eyes fixed on Christ.
I discipline my body to make it my slave -
My body does not discipline me -
I discipline my body.
An undisciplined body (or spirit) cannot run with endurance
I set aside the sin that entangles me and prevents me from running well.
I set aside the sin that trips me up so that I can run with Endurance.
What trips me up this year may not trip me next year - I need to keep evaluating my race.
What is preventing me from running well?
What is preventing me from worshiping God the way I should?
What is the race that God has set before you? What is preventing you from running well?
Endure, dear friends! We have a great cloud of witnesses cheering us on! And whatever we are facing, it is nothing compared to what Christ went through - Keep your eyes fixed on Him and you Can run your race Well!
May God bless you all as you seek to know Him better ~ Shannon

Monday, January 27, 2014

Musical Monday: Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) - Hillsong United

I LOVE this song!

I especially love the line that says 'Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders'. Wow!
Would we dare to invite the Spirit to lead us to a place where our trust is without borders?
How do I get to a place where my trust in God is so BIG that it literally has No borders?
I suppose it only happens by handing over my life to Him (surrender) and placing my trust in Him. Perhaps it is babysteps. I start by saying 'I will increase my financial giving' and then I do it and trust that He will provide for my needs. Perhaps I reach out to people who are different from me without fear, or despite fear. I give up my own life in order to live for His glory. I think it involves sacrifice and leaving my comfort zone. When I continue to only do what is comfortable, then I have no need of a Big trust or a Big God. By remaining in my comfort zone, I am essentially putting my trust in God inside a box and putting a lid on it.
I am done putting the lid on what God can do in my life.
Yes, today I am asking
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders!

Monday, January 20, 2014

I'm back!

Well, I haven't posted on the blog for a while (almost 2 years! Gasp!) but I'm back now! I spent some time last night reading through the blog and it really blessed me to see how strong my faith was back then. I'm not sure I would say it's that strong today. But God usually speaks to me as I journal or write in conjunction with my Scripture reading. So back to writing it is :)

God has really been doing a work in me lately and I'm excited to have a place to share it. (Like why I packed up my entire closet -ouch!)

If you're still here and reading, drop in and say Hi! I'd love to know your still with me <3 p="">May God bless you all as you seek to know Him better ~Shannon
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